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The Iliad – Book I
The Iliad
quarrel? It was the son of Jove and Leto; for he was
angry with the king and sent a pestilence upon the
host to plague the people, because the son of Atreus
had dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses
had come to the ships of the Achæans to free his
daughter, and had brought with him a great ran-
som: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of
Apollo wreathed with a suppliant’s wreath and he
besought the Achæans, but most of all the two sons
of Atreus, who were their chiefs.
“Sons of Atreus,” he cried, “and all other Achæans,
may the gods who dwell in Olympus grant you to
sack the city of Priam, and to reach your homes in
safety; but free my daughter, and accept a ransom
for her, in reverence to Apollo, son of Jove.”
On this the rest of the Achæans with one voice
were for respecting the priest and taking the ran-
som that he offered; but not so Agamemnon, who
spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away.
“Old man,” said he, “let me not find you tarrying
about our ships, nor yet coming hereafter. Your
Translated by Samuel Butler
SING, O GODDESS, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus,
that brought countless ills upon the Achæans. Many
a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades,
and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and
vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled
from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of
men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one an-
And which of the gods was it that set them on to