Chapter 16, The Trojan War
Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page
♠ Apollodoros, Epitome 5.13
And Ulysses went with Diomedes by night to the city, and there he let Diomedes wait, and after disfiguring himself and putting on mean attire he entered unknown into the city as a beggar. And being recognized by Helen, he with her help stole away the Palladium, and after killing many of the guards, brought it to the ships with the aid of Diomedes. Greek Text
♠ Homer, Odyssey 4.242-64
but what a thing was this which that mighty man wrought and endured in the land of the Trojans, where you Achaens suffered woes! Marring his own body with cruel blows,  and flinging a wretched garment about his shoulders, in the fashion of a slave he entered the broad-wayed city of the foe, and he hid himself under the likeness of another, a beggar, he who was in no wise such an one at the ships of the Achaeans. In this likeness he entered the city of the Trojans, and all of them were but as babes.  I alone recognized him in this disguise, and questioned him, but he in his cunning sought to avoid me. Howbeit when I was bathing him and anointing him with oil, and had put on him raiment, and sworn a mighty oath not to make him known among the Trojans as Odysseus  before that he reached the swift ships and the huts, then at length he told me all the purpose of the Achaeans. And when he had slain many of the Trojans with the long sword, he returned to the company of the Argives and brought back plentiful tidings. Then the other Trojan women wailed aloud, but my soul  was glad, for already my heart was turned to go back to my home, and I groaned for the blindness that Aphrodite gave me, when she led me thither from my dear native land, forsaking my child and my bridal chamber, and my husband, a man who lacked nothing, whether in wisdom or in comeliness.” Greek Text
♠ Euripides, Hekabe 239-50
Do you know when you came to spy on Ilium,  disguised in rags and tatters, while down your cheek ran drops of blood?
I do; for it was no slight impression it made upon my heart.
Did Helen recognize you and tell me only?
I well remember the great risk I ran.
 Did you embrace my knees in all humility?
Yes, so that my hand grew dead and cold upon your robe.
Was it I that saved and sent you forth again?
You did, and so I still behold the light of day.
What did you say then, when in my power?
 Doubtless I found plenty to say, to save my life. Greek Text
♠ Aristotle, Poetics 23.1459b6
The result is that out of an Iliad or an Odyssey only one tragedy can be made, or two at most, whereas several have been made out of the Cypria, and out of the Little Iliad more than eight, e.g. The Award of Arms, Philoctetes, Neoptolemus, Eurypylus, The Begging, The Laconian Women, The Sack of Troy, and Sailing of the Fleet, and Sinon, too, and The Trojan Women. Greek Text
Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2023
107 total views, 1 views today