The Fate of Aias (page 629)

Chapter 16, The Trojan War

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Proklos, Aithiopis argumentum – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, p. 69, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

Homer, Odyssey 5.308-10

Even so would that I had died and met my fate on that day when the throngs [310] of the Trojans hurled upon me bronze-tipped spears, fighting around the body of the dead son of Peleus.  Greek Text

Aithiopis fr 5 PEG – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, p. 71, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

Lesches, Ilias Mikra (Little Iliad) fr 2 PEG, with apparatus – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, p. 76, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

Lesches, Ilias Mikra (Little Iliad) Fr 3 PEG – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, p. 77, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

Lesches, Ilias Mikra (Little iliad) Fr 32 [dubium] PEG – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, pp. 85-86, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

Scholia at Homer, Odyssey 5.310 – Scholia Graeca in Homeris Odysseam, vol. 1, pp. 275-76, ed. W. Dindorf. Oxford 1855.

Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 11.543-6

Alone of them all the spirit of Aias, son of Telamon, stood apart, still full of wrath for the victory [545] that I had won over him in the contest by the ships for the arms of Achilles, whose honored mother had set them for a prize; and the judges were the sons of the Trojans and Pallas Athena. I would that I had never won in the contest for such a prize, over so noble a head did the earth close because of those arms, [550] even over Aias, who in comeliness and in deeds of war was above all the other Achaeans, next to the peerless son of Peleus. To him I spoke with soothing words: “‘Aias, son of peerless Telamon, wast thou then not even in death to forget thy wrath against me because of [555] those accursed arms? Surely the gods set them to be a bane to the Argives: such a tower of strength was lost to them in thee; and for thee in death we Achaeans sorrow unceasingly, even as for the life of Achilles, son of Peleus. Yet no other is to blame but Zeus, [560] who bore terrible hatred against the host of Danaan spearmen, and brought on thee thy doom.  Greek Text

Scholia at Odyssey 11.547 – Scholia Graeca in Homeris Odysseam, vol. 2, p. 519, ed. W. Dindorf. Oxford 1855. 

Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 24.36-92

“Fortunate son of Peleus, godlike Achilles, that wast slain in the land of Troy far from Argos, and about thee others fell, the best of the sons of the Trojans and Achaeans, fighting for thy body; and thou in the whirl of dust [40] didst lie mighty in thy mightiness, forgetful of thy horsemanship. We on our part strove the whole day long, nor should we ever have stayed from the fight, had not Zeus stayed us with a storm. But after we had borne thee to the ships from out the fight, we laid thee on a bier, and cleansed thy fair flesh [45] with warm water and with ointment, and many hot tears did the Danaans shed around thee, and they shore their hair. And thy mother came forth from the sea with the immortal sea-nymphs, when she heard the tidings, and a wondrous cry arose over the deep, and thereat trembling laid hold of all the Achaeans. [50] Then would they all have sprung up and rushed to the hollow ships, had not a man, wise in the wisdom of old, stayed them, even Nestor, whose counsel had before appeared the best. He with good intent addressed their assembly, and said: “‘Hold, ye Argives; flee not, Achaean youths. [55] ‘Tis his mother who comes here forth from the sea with the immortal sea-nymphs to look upon the face of her dead son.’ “So he spoke, and the great-hearted Achaeans ceased from their flight. Then around thee stood the daughters of the old man of the sea wailing piteously, and they clothed thee about with immortal raiment. [60] And the Muses, nine in all, replying to one another with sweet voices, led the dirge. There couldst thou not have seen an Argive but was in tears, so deeply did the clear-toned Muse move their hearts. Thus for seventeen days alike by night and day did we bewail thee, immortal gods and mortal men, [65] and on the eighteenth we gave thee to the fire, and many well-fatted sheep we slew around thee and sleek kine. So thou wast burned in the raiment of the gods and in abundance of unguents and sweet honey; and many Achaean warriors moved in their armour about the pyre, when thou wast burning, [70] both footmen and charioteers, and a great din arose. But when the flame of Hephaestus had made an end of thee, in the morning we gathered thy white bones, Achilles, and laid them in unmixed wine and unguents. Thy mother had given a two-handled, golden urn, and [75] said that it was the gift of Dionysus, and the handiwork of famed Hephaestus. In this lie thy white bones, glorious Achilles, and mingled with them the bones of the dead Patroclus, son of Menoetius, but apart lie those of Antilochus, whom thou didst honor above all the rest of thy comrades after the dead Patroclus. [80] And over them we heaped up a great and goodly tomb, we the mighty host of Argive spearmen, on a projecting headland by the broad Hellespont, that it might be seen from far over the sea both by men that now are and that shall be born hereafter. [85] But thy mother asked of the gods beautiful prizes, and set them in the midst of the list for the chiefs of the Achaeans. Ere now hast thou been present at the funeral games of many men that were warriors, when at the death of a king the young men gird themselves and make ready the contests, [90]  but hadst thou seen that sight thou wouldst most have marvelled at heart, such beautiful prizes did the goddess, silver-footed Thetis, set there in thy honor; for very dear wast thou to the gods.  Greek Text

Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2023

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