The Events of the Iliad (page 612)

Chapter 16, The Trojan War

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Homer, Iliad Book 4
[1] Now the gods, seated by the side of Zeus, were holding assembly on the golden floor, and in their midst the queenly Hebe poured them nectar, and they with golden goblets pledged one the other as they looked forth upon the city of the Trojans. [5] And forthwith the son of Cronos made essay to provoke Hera with mocking words, and said with malice:“Twain of the goddesses hath Menelaus for helpers, even Argive Hera, and Alalcomenean Athene. Howbeit these verily sit apart and take their pleasure in beholding, [10] whereas by the side of that other laughter-loving Aphrodite ever standeth, and wardeth from him fate, and but now she saved him, when he thought to perish. But of a surety victory rests with Menelaus, dear to Ares; let us therefore take thought how these things are to be; [15] whether we shall again rouse evil war and the dread din of battle, or put friendship between the hosts. If this might in any wise be welcome to all and their good pleasure, then might the city of king Priam still be an habitation, and Menelaus take back Argive Helen.” [20] So spake he, and thereat Athene and Hera murmured, who sat side by side, and were devising ills for the Trojans. Athene verily held her peace and said naught, wroth though she was at father Zeus, and fierce anger gat hold of her; howbeit Hera’s breast contained not her anger, but she spake to him, saying: [25] “Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! How art thou minded to render my labour vain and of none effect, and the sweat that I sweated in my toil,—aye, and my horses twain waxed weary with my summoning the host for the bane of Priam and his sons? Do thou as thou wilt; but be sure we other gods assent not all thereto.” [30] Then, stirred to hot anger, spake to her Zeus, the cloud-gatherer:“Strange queen, wherein do Priam and the sons of Priam work thee ills so many, that thou ragest unceasingly to lay waste the well-built citadel of Ilios? If thou wert to enter within the gates and the high walls, [35] and to devour Priam raw and the sons of Priam and all the Trojans besides, then perchance mightest thou heal thine anger. Do as thy pleasure is; let not this quarrel in time to come be to thee and me a grievous cause of strife between us twain. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart. [40] When it shall be that I, vehemently eager to lay waste a city, choose one wherein dwell men that are dear to thee, seek thou in no wise to hinder my anger, but suffer me; since I too have yielded to thee of mine own will, yet with soul unwilling. For of all cities beneath sun and starry heaven [45] wherein men that dwell upon the face of the earth have their abodes, of these sacred Ilios was most honoured of my heart, and Priam and the people of Priam, with goodly spear of ash. For never at any time was mine altar in lack of the equal feast, the drink-offering, and the savour of burnt-offering, even the worship that is our due.”  Continue Reading  Greek Text
Homer, Iliad Book 5
[1] And now to Tydeus’ son, Diomedes, Pallas Athene gave might and courage, that he should prove himself pre-eminent amid all the Argives, and win glorious renown. She kindled from his helm and shield flame unwearying, [5] like to the star of harvesttime that shineth bright above all others when he hath bathed him in the stream of Ocean. Even such flame did she kindle from his head and shoulders; and she sent him into the midst where men thronged the thickest. Now there was amid the Trojans one Dares, a rich man and blameless, [10] a priest of Hephaestus; and he had two sons, Phegeus and Idaeus, both well skilled in all manner of fighting. These twain separated themselves from the host and went forth against Diomedes, they in their car, while he charged on foot upon the ground. And when they were come near, as they advanced against each other, [15] first Phegeus let fly his far-shadowing spear; and over the left shoulder of the son of Tydeus passed the point of the spear, and smote him not. Then Tydeus’ son rushed on with the bronze, and not in vain did the shaft speed from his hand, but he smote his foe on the breast between the nipples, and thrust him from the car. [20] And Idaeus sprang back, and left the beauteous chariot, and had no heart to bestride his slain brother. Nay, nor would he himself have escaped black fate, had not Hephaestus guarded him, and saved him, enfolding him in darkness, that his aged priest might not be utterly fordone with grief. [25] Howbeit the horses did the son of great souled Tydeus drive forth and give to his comrades to bring to the hollow ships. But when the great-souled Trojans beheld the two sons of Dares, the one in flight and the other slain beside the car, the hearts of all were dismayed. And flashing-eyed Athene [30] took furious Ares by the hand and spake to him, saying:“Ares, Ares, thou bane of mortals, thou blood-stained stormer of walls, shall we not now leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight, to whichsoever of the two it be that father Zeus shall vouchsafe glory? But for us twain, let us give place, and avoid the wrath of Zeus.” [35] So spake she, and led furious Ares forth from the battle. Then she made him to sit down on the sandy banks of Scamander, and the Trojans were turned in flight by the Danaans. Each one of the captains slew his man; first the king of men, Agamemnon, thrust from his car the leader of the Halizones, great Odius, [40] for as he turned first of all to flee he fixed his spear in his back between the shoulders and drave it through his breast; and he fell with a thud, and upon him his armour clanged.  Continue Reading  Greek Text
Homer, Iliad Book 6
[1] So was the dread strife of the Trojans and Achaeans left to itself, and oft to this side and to that surged the battle over the plain, as they aimed one at the other their bronze-tipped spears between the Simoïs and the streams of Xanthus. [5] Aias, son of Telamon, bulwark of the Achaeans was first to break a battalion of the Trojans, and to bring a light of deliverance to his comrades, for he smote a man that was chiefest among the Thracians, even Eüssorus’ son Acamas, a valiant man and tall. Him he was first to smite upon the horn of his helmet with thick crest of horse-hair, [10] and drave the spear into his forehead so that the point of bronze pierced within the bone; and darkness enfolded his eyes. And Diomedes, good at the war-cry, slew Axylus, Teuthras’ son, that dwelt in well-built Arisbe, a man rich in substance, that was beloved of all men; [15] for he dwelt in a home by the high-road and was wont to give entertainment to all. Howbeit of all these was there not one on this day to meet the foe before his face, and ward from him woeful destruction; but Diomedes robbed the twain of life, himself and his squire Calesius, that was then the driver of his car; so they two passed beneath the earth. [20] Then Euryalus slew Dresus and Opheltius, and went on after Aesepus and Pedasus, whom on a time the fountain-nymph Abarbarea bare to peerless Bucolion. Now Bucolion was son of lordly Laomedon, his eldest born, though the mother that bare him was unwed; [25] he while shepherding his flocks lay with the nymph in love, and she conceived and bare twin sons. Of these did the son of Mecisteus loose the might and the glorious limbs and strip the armour from their shoulders. And Polypoetes staunch in fight slew Astyalus, [30] and Odysseus with his spear of bronze laid low Pidytes of Percote, and Teucer goodly Aretaon. And Antilochus, son of Nestor, slew Ablerus with his bright spear, and the king of men, Agamemnon, slew Elatus that dwelt in steep Pedasus by the banks of fair-flowing Satnioeis. [35] And the warrior Leïtus slew Phylacus, as he fled before him; and Eurypylus laid Melanthius low.  Continue Reading  Greek Text
Homer, Iliad Book 7
[1] So saying, glorious Hector hastened forth from the gates, and with him went his brother Alexander; and in their hearts were both eager for war and battle. And as a god giveth to longing seamen [5] a fair wind when they have grown weary of beating the sea with polished oars of fir, and with weariness are their limbs fordone; even so appeared these twain to the longing Trojans. Then the one of them slew the son of king Areithous, Menesthius, that dwelt in Arne, who was born of the mace-man [10] Areithous and ox-eyed Phylomedusa; and Hector with his sharp spear smote Eioneus on the neck beneath the well-wrought helmet of bronze, and loosed his limbs. And Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, leader of the Lycians, made a cast with his spear in the fierce conflict at Iphinous, [15] son of Dexios, as he sprang upon his car behind his swift mares, and smote him upon the shoulder; so he fell from his chariot to the ground and his limbs were loosed. But when the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, was ware of them as they were slaying the Argives in the fierce conflict, she went darting down from the peaks of Olympus [20] to sacred Ilios. And Apollo sped forth to meet her, for he looked down from out of Pergamus and beheld her, and was fain to have victory for the Trojans. So the twain met one with the other by the oak-tree. Then to her spake first the king Apollo, son of Zeus:“Wherefore art thou again come thus eagerly from Olympus, thou daughter of great Zeus, [25] and why hath thy proud spirit sent thee? Is it that thou mayest give to the Danaans victory to turn the tide of battle, seeing thou hast no pity for the Trojans, that perish? But if thou wouldst in anywise hearken unto me—and so would it be better far—let us now stay the war and fighting [30] for this day. Hereafter shall they fight again until they win the goal of Ilios, since thus it seemeth good to the hearts of you immortal goddesses, to lay waste this city.” And in answer to him spake the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene: “So be it, thou god that workest afar; [35] with this in mind am I myself come from Olympus to the midst of Trojans and Achaeans. But come, how art thou minded to stay the battle of the warriors?” Then in answer to her spake king Apollo, son of Zeus: “Let us rouse the valiant spirit of horse-taming Hector, in hope that he may challenge some one of the Danaans in single fight [40] to do battle with him man to man in dread combat. So shall the bronze-greaved Achaeans have indignation and rouse some one to do battle in single combat against goodly Hector.”  Continue Reading  Greek Text
Homer, Iliad Book 8
[1] Now Dawn the saffron-robed was spreading over the face of all the earth, and Zeus that hurleth the thunderbolt made a gathering of the gods upon the topmost peak of many-ridged Olympus, and himself addressed their gathering; and all the gods gave ear: [5] “Hearken unto me, all ye gods and goddesses, that I may speak what the heart in my breast biddeth me. Let not any goddess nor yet any god essay this thing, to thwart my word, but do ye all alike assent thereto, that with all speed I may bring these deeds to pass. [10] Whomsoever I shall mark minded apart from the gods to go and bear aid either to Trojans or Danaans, smitten in no seemly wise shall he come back to Olympus, or I shall take and hurl him into murky Tartarus, [15] far, far away, where is the deepest gulf beneath the earth, the gates whereof are of iron and the threshold of bronze, as far beneath Hades as heaven is above earth: then shall ye know how far the mightiest am I of all gods. Nay, come, make trial, ye gods, that ye all may know. Make ye fast from heaven a chain of gold, [20] and lay ye hold thereof, all ye gods and all goddesses; yet could ye not drag to earth from out of heaven Zeus the counsellor most high, not though ye laboured sore. But whenso I were minded to draw of a ready heart, then with earth itself should I draw you and with sea withal; [25] and the rope should I thereafter bind about a peak of Olympus and all those things should hang in space. By so much am I above gods and above men.” So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence, marvelling at his words; for full masterfully did he address their gathering. [30] But at length there spake among them the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene:“Father of us all, thou son of Cronos, high above all lords, well know we of ourselves that thy might is unyielding, yet even so have we pity for the Danaan spearmen who now shall perish and fulfill an evil fate. [35] Yet verily will we refrain us from battle, even as thou dost bid; howbeit counsel will we offer to the Argives which shall be for their profit, that they perish not all by reason of thy wrath.” Then with a smile spake to her Zeus the cloud-gatherer:“Be of good cheer, Tritogeneia, dear child. In no wise [40] do I speak with full purpose of heart, but am minded to be kindly to thee.”  Continue Reading  Greek Text
Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, January 2023

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