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“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 SING, O GODDESS, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, safety; but free my daughter, and accept a ransom that brought countless ills upon the Achæans. Many for her, in reverence to Apollo, son of Jove.” a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, On this the rest of the Achæans with one voice and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and were for respecting the priest and taking the ran-vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled som that he offered; but not so Agamemnon, who from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away.

men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one an-

“Old man,” said he, “let me not find you tarrying other.

about our ships, nor yet coming hereafter. Your And which of the gods was it that set them on to 3

The Iliad – Book I

sceptre of the god and your wreath shall profit you down away from the ships with a face as dark as nothing. I will not free her. She shall grow old in night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot his my house at Argos far from her own home, busying arrow in the midst of them. First he smote their herself with her loom and visiting my couch; so go, mules and their hounds, but presently he aimed his and do not provoke me or it shall be the worse for shafts at the people themselves, and all day long you.”

the pyres of the dead were burning.

The old man feared him and obeyed. Not a word For nine whole days he shot his arrows among he spoke, but went by the shore of the sounding the people, but upon the tenth day Achilles called sea and prayed apart to King Apollo whom lovely them in assembly—moved thereto by Juno, who saw Leto had borne. “Hear me,” he cried, “O god of the the Achæans in their death-throes and had com-silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla passion upon them. Then, when they were got to-and rulest Tenedos with thy might, hear me oh thou gether, he rose and spoke among them.

of Sminthe. If I have ever decked your temple with

“Son of Atreus,” said he, “I deem that we should garlands, or burned your thigh-bones in fat of bulls now turn roving home if we would escape destruc-or goats, grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge tion, for we are being cut down by war and pesti-these my tears upon the Danaans.” lence at once. Let us ask some priest or prophet, or Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer.

some reader of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) He came down furious from the summits of who can tell us why Phoebus Apollo is so angry, Olympus, with his bow and his quiver upon his and say whether it is for some vow that we have shoulder, and the arrows rattled on his back with broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and the rage that trembled within him. He sat himself whether he will accept the savour of lambs and goats 4

The Iliad – Book I

without blemish, so as to take away the plague from Calchas, to whom you pray, and whose oracles you us.”

reveal to us, not a Danaan at our ships shall lay his With these words he sat down, and Calchas son hand upon you, while I yet live to look upon the of Thestor, wisest of augurs, who knew things past face of the earth—no, not though you name present and to come, rose to speak. He it was who Agamemnon himself, who is by far the foremost of had guided the Achæans with their fleet to Ilius, the Achæans.”

through the prophesyings with which Phoebus Thereon the seer spoke boldly. “The god,” he said, Apollo had inspired him. With all sincerity and

“is angry neither about vow nor hecatomb, but for goodwill he addressed them thus—

his priest’s sake, whom Agamemnon has

“Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you dishonoured, in that he would not free his daugh-about the anger of King Apollo, I will therefore do ter nor take a ransom for her; therefore has he sent so; but consider first and swear that you will stand these evils upon us, and will yet send others. He by me heartily in word and deed, for I know that I will not deliver the Danaans from this pestilence shall offend one who rules the Argives with might, till Agamemnon has restored the girl without fee or to whom all the Achæans are in subjection. A plain ransom to her father, and has sent a holy hecatomb man cannot stand against the anger of a king, who to Chryse. Thus we may perhaps appease him.” if he swallow his displeasure now, will yet nurse reWith these words he sat down, and Agamemnon venge till he has wreaked it. Consider, therefore, rose in anger. His heart was black with rage, and his whether or no you will protect me.” eyes flashed fire as he scowled on Calchas and said, And Achilles answered, “Fear not, but speak as it

“Seer of evil, you never yet prophesied smooth is borne in upon you from heaven, for by Apollo, things concerning me, but have ever loved to fore-5

The Iliad – Book I

tell that which was evil. You have brought me nei-us to sack the city of Troy we will requite you three ther comfort nor performance; and now you come and fourfold.”

seeing among Danaans, and saying that Apollo has Then Agamemnon said, “Achilles, valiant though plagued us because I would not take a ransom for you be, you shall not thus outwit me. You shall not this girl, the daughter of Chryses. I have set my overreach and you shall not persuade me. Are you heart on keeping her in my own house, for I love to keep your own prize, while I sit tamely under her better even than my own wife Clytemnestra, my loss and give up the girl at your bidding? Let whose peer she is alike in form and feature, in un-the Achæans find me a prize in fair exchange to my derstanding and accomplishments. Still I will give liking, or I will come and take your own, or that of her up if I must, for I would have the people live, Ajax or of Ulysses; and he to whomsoever I may not die; but you must find me a prize instead, or I come shall rue my coming. But of this we will take alone among the Argives shall be without one. This thought hereafter; for the present, let us draw a ship is not well; for you behold, all of you, that my prize into the sea, and find a crew for her expressly; let us is to go elsewhither.”

put a hecatomb on board, and let us send Chryseis And Achilles answered, “Most noble son of Atreus, also; further, let some chief man among us be in covetous beyond all mankind, how shall the command, either Ajax, or Idomeneus, or yourself, Achæans find you another prize? We have no com-son of Peleus, mighty warrior that you are, that we mon store from which to take one. Those we took may offer sacrifice and appease the the anger of the from the cities have been awarded; we cannot disal-god.”

low the awards that have been made already. Give Achilles scowled at him and answered, “You are this girl, therefore, to the god, and if ever Jove grants steeped in insolence and lust of gain. With what 6

The Iliad – Book I

heart can any of the Achæans do your bidding, ei-will not stay here dishonoured to gather gold and ther on foray or in open fighting? I came not war-substance for you.”

ring here for any ill the Trojans had done me. I have And Agamemnon answered, “Fly if you will, I shall no quarrel with them. They have not raided my make you no prayers to stay you. I have others here cattle nor my horses, nor cut down my harvests on who will do me honour, and above all Jove, the lord the rich plains of Phthia; for between me and them of counsel. There is no king here so hateful to me there is a great space, both mountain and sounding as you are, for you are ever quarrelsome and ill af-sea. We have followed you, Sir Insolence! for your fected. What though you be brave? Was it not pleasure, not ours—to gain satisfaction from the heaven that made you so? Go home, then, with your Trojans for your shameless self and for Menelaus.

ships and comrades to lord it over the Myrmidons.

You forget this, and threaten to rob me of the prize I care neither for you nor for your anger; and thus for which I have toiled, and which the sons of the will I do: since Phoebus Apollo is taking Chryseis Achæans have given me. Never when the Achæans from me, I shall send her with my ship and my fol-sack any rich city of the Trojans do I receive so good lowers, but I shall come to your tent and take your a prize as you do, though it is my hands that do the own prize Briseis, that you may learn how much better part of the fighting. When the sharing comes, stronger I am than you are, and that another may your share is far the largest, and I, forsooth, must fear to set himself up as equal or comparable with go back to my ships, take what I can get and be me.”

thankful, when my labour of fighting is done. Now, The son of Peleus was furious, and his heart within therefore, I shall go back to Phthia; it will be much his shaggy breast was divided whether to draw his better for me to return home with my ships, for I sword, push the others aside, and kill the son of 7

The Iliad – Book I

Atreus, or to restrain himself and check his anger.

“Goddess,” answered Achilles, “however angry a While he was thus in two minds, and was drawing man may be, he must do as you two command him.

his mighty sword from its scabbard, Minerva came This will be best, for the gods ever hear the prayers down from heaven (for Juno had sent her in the of him who has obeyed them.” love she bore to them both), and seized the son of He stayed his hand on the silver hilt of his sword, Peleus by his yellow hair, visible to him alone, for and thrust it back into the scabbard as Minerva of the others no man could see her. Achilles turned bade him. Then she went back to Olympus among in amaze, and by the fire that flashed from her eyes the other gods, and to the house of ægis-bearing at once knew that she was Minerva. “Why are you Jove.

here,” said he, “daughter of ægis-bearing Jove? To But the son of Peleus again began railing at the see the pride of Agamemnon, son of Atreus? Let son of Atreus, for he was still in a rage. “Wine-me tell you—and it shall surely be—he shall pay bibber,” he cried, “with the face of a dog and the for this insolence with his life.” heart of a hind, you never dare to go out with the And Minerva said, “I come from heaven, if you host in fight, nor yet with our chosen men in am-will hear me, to bid you stay your anger. Juno has buscade. You shun this as you do death itself. You sent me, who cares for both of you alike. Cease, then, had rather go round and rob his prizes from any this brawling, and do not draw your sword; rail at man who contradicts you. You devour your people, him if you will, and your railing will not be vain, for for you are king over a feeble folk; otherwise, son I tell you—and it shall surely be—that you shall hereof Atreus, henceforward you would insult no man.

after receive gifts three times as splendid by reason Therefore I say, and swear it with a great oath—

of this present insult. Hold, therefore, and obey.” nay, by this my sceptre which shalt sprout neither 8

The Iliad – Book I

leaf nor shoot, nor bud anew from the day on which therefore, he addressed them thus—

it left its parent stem upon the mountains—for the

“Of a truth,” he said, “a great sorrow has befallen axe stripped it of leaf and bark, and now the sons the Achæan land. Surely Priam with his sons would of the Achæans bear it as judges and guardians of rejoice, and the Trojans be glad at heart if they could the decrees of heaven—so surely and solemnly do I hear this quarrel between you two, who are so ex-swear that hereafter they shall look fondly for Achil-cellent in fight and counsel. I am older than either les and shall not find him. In the day of your dis-of you; therefore be guided by me. Moreover I have tress, when your men fall dying by the murderous been the familiar friend of men even greater than hand of Hector, you shall not know how to help you are, and they did not disregard my counsels.

them, and shall rend your heart with rage for the Never again can I behold such men as Pirithous hour when you offered insult to the bravest of the and Dryas shepherd of his people, or as Cæneus, Achæans.”

Exadius, godlike Polyphemus, and Theseus son of With this the son of Peleus dashed his gold-

Ægeus, peer of the immortals. These were the bestudded sceptre on the ground and took his seat, mightiest men ever born upon this earth: mightiest while the son of Atreus was beginning fiercely from were they, and when they fought the fiercest tribes his place upon the other side. Then uprose smooth-of mountain savages they utterly overthrew them. I tongued Nestor, the facile speaker of the Pylians, came from distant Pylos, and went about among and the words fell from his lips sweeter than honey.

them, for they would have me come, and I fought Two generations of men born and bred in Pylos had as it was in me to do. Not a man now living could passed away under his rule, and he was now reign-withstand them, but they heard my words, and were ing over the third. With all sincerity and goodwill, persuaded by them. So be it also with yourselves, 9

The Iliad – Book I

for this is the more excellent way. Therefore, Order other people about, not me, for I shall obey Agamemnon, though you be strong, take not this no longer. Furthermore I say—and lay my saying to girl away, for the sons of the Achæans have already your heart—I shall fight neither you nor any man given her to Achilles; and you, Achilles, strive not about this girl, for those that take were those also further with the king, for no man who by the grace that gave. But of all else that is at my ship you shall of Jove wields a sceptre has like honour with carry away nothing by force. Try, that others may Agamemnon. You are strong, and have a goddess see; if you do, my spear shall be reddened with your for your mother; but Agamemnon is stronger than blood.”

you, for he has more people under him. Son of When they had quarrelled thus angrily, they rose, Atreus, check your anger, I implore you; end this and broke up the assembly at the ships of the quarrel with Achilles, who in the day of battle is a Achæans. The son of Peleus went back to his tents tower of strength to the Achæans.” and ships with the son of Menoetius and his com-And Agamemnon answered, “Sir, all that you have pany, while Agamemnon drew a vessel into the wa-said is true, but this fellow must needs become our ter and chose a crew of twenty oarsmen. He escorted lord and master: he must be lord of all, king of all, Chryseis on board and sent moreover a hecatomb and captain of all, and this shall hardly be. Granted for the god. And Ulysses went as captain.

that the gods have made him a great warrior, have These, then, went on board and sailed their ways they also given him the right to speak with rail-over the sea. But the son of Atreus bade the people ing?”

purify themselves; so they purified themselves and Achilles interrupted him. “I should be a mean cow-cast their filth into the sea. Then they offered ard,” he cried, “were I to give in to you in all things.

hecatombs of bulls and goats without blemish on 10

The Iliad – Book I

the sea-shore, and the smoke with the savour of her and give her to them, but let them be witnesses their sacrifice rose curling up towards heaven.

by the blessed gods, by mortal men, and by the Thus did they busy themselves throughout the fierceness of Agamemnon’s anger, that if ever again host. But Agamemnon did not forget the threat that there be need of me to save the people from ruin, he had made Achilles, and called his trusty messen-they shall seek and they shall not find. Agamemnon gers and squires Talthybius and Eurybates. “Go,” is mad with rage and knows not how to look before said he, “to the tent of Achilles, son of Peleus; take and after that the Achæans may fight by their ships Briseis by the hand and bring her hither; if he will in safety.”

not give her I shall come with others and take her—

Patroclus did as his dear comrade had bidden him.

which will press him harder.” He brought Briseis from the tent and gave her over He charged them straightly further and dismissed to the heralds, who took her with them to the ships them, whereon they went their way sorrowfully by of the Achæans—and the woman was loth to go.

the seaside, till they came to the tents and ships of Then Achilles went all alone by the side of the hoar the Myrmidons. They found Achilles sitting by his sea, weeping and looking out upon the boundless tent and his ships, and ill-pleased he was when he waste of waters. He raised his hands in prayer to beheld them. They stood fearfully and reverently his immortal mother, “Mother,” he cried, “you bore before him, and never a word did they speak, but me doomed to live but for a little season; surely he knew them and said, “Welcome, heralds, mes-Jove, who thunders from Olympus, might have made sengers of gods and men; draw near; my quarrel is that little glorious. It is not so. Agamemnon, son of not with you but with Agamemnon who has sent Atreus, has done me dishonour, and has robbed me you for the girl Briseis. Therefore, Patroclus, bring of my prize by force.”


The Iliad – Book I

As he spoke he wept aloud, and his mother heard were for respecting the priest and taking the ran-him where she was sitting in the depths of the sea som that he offered; but not so Agamemnon, who hard by the old man her father. Forthwith she rose spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away.

as it were a grey mist out of the waves, sat down So he went back in anger, and Apollo, who loved before him as he stood weeping, caressed him with him dearly, heard his prayer. Then the god sent a her hand, and said, “My son, why are you weep-deadly dart upon the Argives, and the people died ing? What is it that grieves you? Keep it not from thick on one another, for the arrows went me, but tell me, that we may know it together.” everywhither among the wide host of the Achæans.

Achilles drew a deep sigh and said, “You know it; At last a seer in the fulness of his knowledge de-why tell you what you know well already? We went clared to us the oracles of Apollo, and I was myself to Thebe the strong city of Eetion, sacked it, and first to say that we should appease him. Whereon brought hither the spoil. The sons of the Achæans the son of Atreus rose in anger, and threatened that shared it duly among themselves, and chose lovely which he has since done. The Achæans are now tak-Chryseis as the meed of Agamemnon; but Chryses, ing the girl in a ship to Chryse, and sending gifts of priest of Apollo, came to the ships of the Achæans sacrifice to the god; but the heralds have just taken to free his daughter, and brought with him a great from my tent the daughter of Briseus, whom the ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre Achæans had awarded to myself.

of Apollo, wreathed with a suppliant’s wreath, and

“Help your brave son, therefore, if you are able.

he besought the Achæans, but most of all the two Go to Olympus, and if you have ever done him ser-sons of Atreus who were their chiefs.

vice in word or deed, implore the aid of Jove.

“On this the rest of the Achæans with one voice Ofttimes in my father’s house have I heard you glory 12

The Iliad – Book I

in that you alone of the immortals saved the son of row above your peers: woe, therefore, was the hour Saturn from ruin, when the others, with Juno, Nep-in which I bore you; nevertheless I will go to the tune, and Pallas Minerva would have put him in snowy heights of Olympus, and tell this tale to Jove, bonds. It was you, goddess, who delivered him by if he will hear our prayer: meanwhile stay where calling to Olympus the hundred-handed monster you are with your ships, nurse your anger against whom gods call Briareus, but men Ægæon, for he is the Achæans, and hold aloof from fight. For Jove stronger even than his father; when therefore he went yesterday to Oceanus, to a feast among the took his seat all-glorious beside the son of Saturn, Ethiopians, and the other gods went with him. He the other gods were afraid, and did not bind him.

will return to Olympus twelve days hence; I will Go, then, to him, remind him of all this, clasp his then go to his mansion paved with bronze and will knees, and bid him give succour to the Trojans. Let beseech him; nor do I doubt that I shall be able to the Achæans be hemmed in at the sterns of their persuade him.”

ships, and perish on the sea-shore, that they may On this she left him, still furious at the loss of her reap what joy they may of their king, and that that had been taken from him. Meanwhile Ulysses Agamemnon may rue his blindness in offering in-reached Chryse with the hecatomb. When they had sult to the foremost of the Achæans.” come inside the harbour they furled the sails and Thetis wept and answered, “My son, woe is me laid them in the ship’s hold; they slackened the that I should have borne or suckled you. Would forestays, lowered the mast into its place, and rowed indeed that you had lived your span free from all the ship to the place where they would have her lie; sorrow at your ships, for it is all too brief; alas, that there they cast out their mooring-stones and made you should be at once short of life and long of sor-fast the hawsers. They then got out upon the sea-13

The Iliad – Book I

shore and landed the hecatomb for Apollo; Chryseis When they had done praying and sprinkling the also left the ship, and Ulysses led her to the altar to barley-meal, they drew back the heads of the vic-deliver her into the hands of her father. “Chryses,” tims and killed and flayed them. They cut out the said he, “King Agamemnon has sent me to bring thigh-bones, wrapped them round in two layers of you back your child, and to offer sacrifice to Apollo fat, set some pieces of raw meat on the top of them, on behalf of the Danaans, that we may propitiate and then Chryses laid them on the wood fire and the god, who has now brought sorrow upon the poured wine over them, while the young men stood Argives.”

near him with five-pronged spits in their hands.

So saying he gave the girl over to her father, who When the thigh-bones were burned and they had received her gladly, and they ranged the holy tasted the inward meats, they cut the rest up small, hecatomb all orderly round the altar of the god.

put the pieces upon the spits, roasted them till they They washed their hands and took up the barley-were done, and drew them off: then, when they had meal to sprinkle over the victims, while Chryses finished their work and the feast was ready, they lifted up his hands and prayed aloud on their beate it, and every man had his full share, so that all half. “Hear me,” he cried, “O god of the silver bow, were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough to that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla, and rulest eat and drink, pages filled the mixing-bowl with wine Tenedos with thy might. Even as thou didst hear and water and handed it round, after giving every me aforetime when I prayed, and didst press hardly man his drink-offering.

upon the Achæans, so hear me yet again, and stay Thus all day long the young men worshipped the this fearful pestilence from the Danaans.” god with song, hymning him and chaunting the joy-Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer.

ous pæan, and the god took pleasure in their voices; 14

The Iliad – Book I

but when the sun went down, and it came on dark, went through great heaven with early morning to they laid themselves down to sleep by the stern Olympus, where she found the mighty son of Sat-cables of the ship, and when the child of morning, urn sitting all alone upon its topmost ridges. She rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared they again set sail sat herself down before him, and with her left hand for the host of the Achæans. Apollo sent them a seized his knees, while with her right she caught fair wind, so they raised their mast and hoisted their him under the chin, and besought him, saying—

white sails aloft. As the sail bellied with the wind

“Father Jove, if I ever did you service in word or the ship flew through the deep blue water, and the deed among the immortals, hear my prayer, and do foam hissed against her bows as she sped onward.

honour to my son, whose life is to be cut short so When they reached the wide-stretching host of the early. King Agamemnon has dishonoured him by Achæans, they drew the vessel ashore, high and dry taking his prize and keeping her. Honour him then upon the sands, set her strong props beneath her, yourself, Olympian lord of counsel, and grant vic-and went their ways to their own tents and ships.

tory to the Trojans, till the Achæans give my son But Achilles abode at his ships and nursed his his due and load him with riches in requital.” anger. He went not to the honourable assembly, and Jove sat for a while silent, and without a word, sallied not forth to fight, but gnawed at his own but Thetis still kept firm hold of his knees, and heart, pining for battle and the war-cry.

besought him a second time. “Incline your head,” Now after twelve days the immortal gods came said she, “and promise me surely, or else deny me—

back in a body to Olympus, and Jove led the way.

for you have nothing to fear—that I may learn how Thetis was not unmindful of the charge her son had greatly you disdain me.”

laid upon her, so she rose from under the sea and At this Jove was much troubled and answered, “I 15

The Iliad – Book I

shall have trouble if you set me quarrelling with old merman’s daughter, silver-footed Thetis, had Juno, for she will provoke me with her taunting been hatching mischief, so she at once began to speeches; even now she is always railing at me be-upbraid him. “Trickster,” she cried, “which of the fore the other gods and accusing me of giving aid to gods have you been taking into your counsels now?

the Trojans. Go back now, lest she should find out.

You are always settling matters in secret behind my I will consider the matter, and will bring it about as back, and have never yet told me, if you could help wish. See, I incline my head that you believe me.

it, one word of your intentions.” This is the most solemn that I can give to any god.

“Juno,” replied the sire of gods and men, “you I never recall my word, or deceive, or fail to do what must not expect to be informed of all my counsels.

I say, when I have nodded my head.” You are my wife, but you would find it hard to un-As he spoke the son of Saturn bowed his dark derstand them. When it is proper for you to hear, brows, and the ambrosial locks swayed on his im-there is no one, god or man, who will be told sooner, mortal head, till vast Olympus reeled.

but when I mean to keep a matter to myself, you When the pair had thus laid their plans, they must not pry nor ask questions.” parted—Jove to his house, while the goddess quit-

“Dread son of Saturn,” answered Juno, “what are ted the splendour of Olympus, and plunged into you talking about? I? Pry and ask questions? Never.

the depths of the sea. The gods rose from their seats, I let you have your own way in everything. Still, I before the coming of their sire. Not one of them have a strong misgiving that the old merman’s dared to remain sitting, but all stood up as he came daughter Thetis has been talking you over, for she among them. There, then, he took his seat.

was with you and had hold of your knees this self-But Juno, when she saw him, knew that he and the same morning. I believe, therefore, that you have 16

The Iliad – Book I

been promising her to give glory to Achilles, and to lest he again scold her and disturb our feast. If the kill much people at the ships of the Achæans.” Olympian Thunderer wants to hurl us all from our

“Wife,” said Jove, “I can do nothing but you sus-seats, he can do so, for he is far the strongest, so pect me and find it out. You will take nothing by it, give him fair words, and he will then soon be in a for I shall only dislike you the more, and it will go good humour with us.”

harder with you. Granted that it is as you say; I As he spoke, he took a double cup of nectar, and mean to have it so; sit down and hold your tongue placed it in his mother’s hand. “Cheer up, my dear as I bid you for if I once begin to lay my hands mother,” said he, “and make the best of it. I love about you, though all heaven were on your side it you dearly, and should be very sorry to see you get would profit you nothing.”

a thrashing; however grieved I might be, I could On this Juno was frightened, so she curbed her not help for there is no standing against Jove. Once stubborn will and sat down in silence. But the heav-before when I was trying to help you, he caught me enly beings were disquieted throughout the house by the foot and flung me from the heavenly thresh-of Jove, till the cunning workman Vulcan began to old. All day long from morn till eve, was I falling, try and pacify his mother Juno. “It will be intoler-till at sunset I came to ground in the island of able,” said he, “if you two fall to wrangling and set-Lemnos, and there I lay, with very little life left in ting heaven in an uproar about a pack of mortals. If me, till the Sintians came and tended me.” such ill counsels are to prevail, we shall have no Juno smiled at this, and as she smiled she took pleasure at our banquet. Let me then advise my the cup from her son’s hands. Then Vulcan drew mother—and she must herself know that it will be sweet nectar from the mixing-bowl, and served it better—to make friends with my dear father Jove, round among the gods, going from left to right; and 17

The Iliad – Book II

the blessed gods laughed out a loud applause as he was thinking how to do honour to Achilles, and they saw him ing bustling about the heavenly man-destroyed much people at the ships of the Achæans.


In the end he deemed it would be best to send a Thus through the livelong day to the going down lying dream to King Agamemnon; so he called one of the sun they feasted, and every one had his full to him and said to it, “Lying Dream, go to the ships share, so that all were satisfied. Apollo struck his of the Achæans, into the tent of Agamemnon, and lyre, and the Muses lifted up their sweet voices, say to him word to word as I now bid you. Tell him calling and answering one another. But when the to get the Achæans instantly under arms, for he sun’s glorious light had faded, they went home to shall take Troy. There are no longer divided coun-bed, each in his own abode, which lame Vulcan with sels among the gods; Juno has brought them to her his consummate skill had fashioned for them. So own mind, and woe betides the Trojans.” Jove, the Olympian Lord of Thunder, hied him to The dream went when it had heard its message, the bed in which he always slept; and when he had and soon reached the ships of the Achæans. It got on to it he went to sleep, with Juno of the golden sought Agamemnon son of Atreus and found him throne by his side.

in his tent, wrapped in a profound slumber. It hovered over his head in the likeness of Nestor, son of Neleus, whom Agamemnon honoured above all his BOOK II

councillors, and said—

“You are sleeping, son of Atreus; one who has the NOW THE OTHER GODS and the armed warriors on welfare of his host and so much other care upon his the plain slept soundly, but Jove was wakeful, for shoulders should dock his sleep. Hear me at once, 18

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for I come as a messenger from Jove, who, though The goddess Dawn now wended her way to vast he be not near, yet takes thought for you and pities Olympus that she might herald day to Jove and to you. He bids you get the Achæans instantly under the other immortals, and Agamemnon sent the cri-arms, for you shall take Troy. There are no longer ers round to call the people in assembly; so they divided counsels among the gods; Juno has brought called them and the people gathered thereon. But them over to her own mind, and woe betides the first he summoned a meeting of the elders at the Trojans at the hands of Jove. Remember this, and ship of Nestor king of Pylos, and when they were when you wake see that it does not escape you.” assembled he laid a cunning counsel before them.

The dream then left him, and he thought of things

“My friends,” said he, “I have had a dream from that were, surely not to be accomplished. He heaven in the dead of night, and its face and figure thought that on that same day he was to take the resembled none but Nestor’s. It hovered over my city of Priam, but he little knew what was in the head and said, ‘You are sleeping, son of Atreus; one mind of Jove, who had many another hard-fought who has the welfare of his host and so much other fight in store alike for Danaans and Trojans. Then care upon his shoulders should dock his sleep. Hear presently he woke, with the divine message still ring-me at once, for I am a messenger from Jove, who, ing in his ears; so he sat upright, and put on his soft though he be not near, yet takes thought for you shirt so fair and new, and over this his heavy cloak.

and pities you. He bids you get the Achæans in-He bound his sandals on to his comely feet, and stantly under arms, for you shall take Troy. There slung his silver-studded sword about his shoulders; are no longer divided counsels among the gods; Juno then he took the imperishable staff of his father, has brought them over to her own mind, and woe and sallied forth to the ships of the Achæans.

betides the Trojans at the hands of Jove. Remember 19

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this.’ The dream then vanished and I awoke. Let us knots and clusters; even so did the mighty multi-now, therefore, arm the sons of the Achæans. But it tude pour from ships and tents to the assembly, will be well that I should first sound them, and to and range themselves upon the wide-watered shore, this end I will tell them to fly with their ships; but while among them ran Wildfire Rumour, messen-do you others go about among the host and preger of Jove, urging them ever to the fore. Thus they vent their doing so.”

gathered in a pell-mell of mad confusion, and the He then sat down, and Nestor the prince of Pylos earth groaned under the tramp of men as the people with all sincerity and goodwill addressed them thus: sought their places. Nine heralds went crying about

“My friends,” said he, “princes and councillors of among them to stay their tumult and bid them lis-the Argives, if any other man of the Achæans had ten to the kings, till at last they were got into their told us of this dream we should have declared it several places and ceased their clamour. Then King false, and would have had nothing to do with it.

Agamemnon rose, holding his sceptre. This was the But he who has seen it is the foremost man among work of Vulcan, who gave it to Jove the son of Satus; we must therefore set about getting the people urn. Jove gave it to Mercury, slayer of Argus, guide under arms.”

and guardian. King Mercury gave it to Pelops, the With this he led the way from the assembly, and mighty charioteer, and Pelops to Atreus, shepherd the other sceptred kings rose with him in obedi-of his people. Atreus, when he died, left it to ence to the word of Agamemnon; but the people Thyestes, rich in flocks, and Thyestes in his turn pressed forward to hear. They swarmed like bees left it to be borne by Agamemnon, that he might that sally from some hollow cave and flit in count-be lord of all Argos and of the isles. Leaning, then, less throng among the spring flowers, bunched in on his sceptre, he addressed the Argives.


The Iliad – Book II

“My friends,” he said, “heroes, servants of Mars, that hinder me from being able to sack the rich city the hand of heaven has been laid heavily upon me.

of Ilius. Nine of Jove years are gone; the timbers of Cruel Jove gave me his solemn promise that I should our ships have rotted; their tackling is sound no sack the city of Priam before returning, but he has longer. Our wives and little ones at home look anx-played me false, and is now bidding me go inglori-iously for our coming, but the work that we came ously back to Argos with the loss of much people.

hither to do has not been done. Now, therefore, let Such is the will of Jove, who has laid many a proud us all do as I say: let us sail back to our own land, city in the dust, as he will yet lay others, for his for we shall not take Troy.” power is above all. It will be a sorry tale hereafter With these words he moved the hearts of the mul-that an Achæan host, at once so great and valiant, titude, so many of them as knew not the cunning battled in vain against men fewer in number than counsel of Agamemnon. They surged to and fro like themselves; but as yet the end is not in sight. Think the waves of the Icarian Sea, when the east and that the Achæans and Trojans have sworn to a sol-south winds break from heaven’s clouds to lash emn covenant, and that they have each been num-them; or as when the west wind sweeps over a field bered—the Trojans by the roll of their household-of corn and the ears bow beneath the blast, even so ers, and we by companies of ten; think further that were they swayed as they flew with loud cries to-each of our companies desired to have a Trojan wards the ships, and the dust from under their feet householder to pour out their wine; we are so greatly rose heavenward. They cheered each other on to more in number that full many a company would draw the ships into the sea; they cleared the chan-have to go without its cup-bearer. But they have in nels in front of them; they began taking away the the town allies from other places, and it is these stays from underneath them, and the welkin rang 21

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with their glad cries, so eager were they to return.

glory of still keeping Helen, for whose sake so many Then surely the Argives would have returned af-of the Achæans have died at Troy, far from their ter a fashion that was not fated. But Juno said to homes? Go about at once among the host, and speak Minerva, “Alas, daughter of ægis-bearing Jove, fairly to them, man by man, that they draw not unweariable, shall the Argives fly home to their own their ships into the sea.”

land over the broad sea, and leave Priam and the Ulysses knew the voice as that of the goddess: he Trojans the glory of still keeping Helen, for whose flung his cloak from him and set off to run. His sake so many of the Achæans have died at Troy, far servant Eurybates, a man of Ithaca, who waited on from their homes? Go about at once among the host, him, took charge of the cloak, whereon Ulysses went and speak fairly to them, man by man, that they straight up to Agamemnon and received from him draw not their ships into the sea.” his ancestral, imperishable staff. With this he went Minerva was not slack to do her bidding. Down about among the ships of the Achæans.

she darted from the topmost summits of Olympus, Whenever he met a king or chieftain, he stood by and in a moment she was at the ships of the him and spoke him fairly. “Sir,” said he, “this flight Achæans. There she found Ulysses, peer of Jove in is cowardly and unworthy. Stand to your post, and counsel, standing alone. He had not as yet laid a bid your people also keep their places. You do not hand upon his ship, for he was grieved and sorry; yet know the full mind of Agamemnon; he was so she went close up to him and said, “Ulysses, noble sounding us, and ere long will visit the Achæans son of Lærtes, are you going to fling yourselves into with his displeasure. We were not all of us at the your ships and be off home to your own land in council to hear what he then said; see to it lest he this way? Will you leave Priam and the Trojans the be angry and do us a mischief; for the pride of kings 22

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is great, and the hand of Jove is with them.” what he said, so that he might set the Achæans in a But when he came across any common man who laugh. He was the ugliest man of all those that came was making a noise, he struck him with his staff before Troy—bandy-legged, lame of one foot, with and rebuked him, saying, “Sirrah, hold your peace, his two shoulders rounded and hunched over his and listen to better men than yourself. You are a chest. His head ran up to a point, but there was coward and no soldier; you are nobody either in little hair on the top of it. Achilles and Ulysses hated fight or council; we cannot all be kings; it is not him worst of all, for it was with them that he was well that there should be many masters; one man most wont to wrangle; now, however, with a shrill must be supreme—one king to whom the son of squeaky voice he began heaping his abuse on scheming Saturn has given the sceptre of sovereignty Agamemnon. The Achæans were angry and dis-over you all.”

gusted, yet none the less he kept on brawling and Thus masterfully did he go about among the host, bawling at the son of Atreus.

and the people hurried back to the council from

“Agamemnon,” he cried, “what ails you now, and their tents and ships with a sound as the thunder what more do you want? Your tents are filled with of surf when it comes crashing down upon the shore, bronze and with fair women, for whenever we take and all the sea is in an uproar.

a town we give you the pick of them. Would you The rest now took their seats and kept to their have yet more gold, which some Trojan is to give own several places, but Thersites still went on wag-you as a ransom for his son, when I or another ging his unbridled tongue—a man of many words, Achæan has taken him prisoner? or is it some young and those unseemly; a monger of sedition, a railer girl to hide and lie with? It is not well that you, the against all who were in authority, who cared not ruler of the Achæans, should bring them into such 23

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misery. Weakling cowards, women rather than men, and it shall surely be—that if I again catch you talk-let us sail home, and leave this fellow here at Troy ing such nonsense, I will either forfeit my own head to stew in his own meeds of honour, and discover and be no more called father of Telemachus, or I whether we were of any service to him or no. Achil-will take you, strip you stark naked, and whip you les is a much better man than he is, and see how he out of the assembly till you go blubbering back to has treated him—robbing him of his prize and keep-the ships.”

ing it himself. Achilles takes it meekly and shows On this he beat him with his staff about the back no fight; if he did, son of Atreus, you would never and shoulders till he dropped and fell a-weeping.

again insult him.”

The golden sceptre raised a bloody weal on his back, Thus railed Thersites, but Ulysses at once went so he sat down frightened and in pain, looking fool-up to him and rebuked him sternly. “Check your ish as he wiped the tears from his eyes. The people glib tongue, Thersites,” said be, “and babble not a were sorry for him, yet they laughed heartily, and word further. Chide not with princes when you have one would turn to his neighbour saying, “Ulysses none to back you. There is no viler creature come has done many a good thing ere now in fight and before Troy with the sons of Atreus. Drop this chat-council, but he never did the Argives a better turn ter about kings, and neither revile them nor keep than when he stopped this fellow’s mouth from harping about going home. We do not yet know prating further. He will give the kings no more of how things are going to be, nor whether the Achæans his insolence.”

are to return with good success or evil. How dare Thus said the people. Then Ulysses rose, sceptre you gibe at Agamemnon because the Danaans have in hand, and Minerva in the likeness of a herald awarded him so many prizes? I tell you, therefore—

bade the people be still, that those who were far off 24

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might hear him and consider his council. He there-the ships of the Achæans were detained in Aulis fore with all sincerity and goodwill addressed them when we were on our way hither to make war on thus—

Priam and the Trojans. We were ranged round about

“King Agamemnon, the Achæans are for making a fountain offering hecatombs to the gods upon their you a by-word among all mankind. They forget the holy altars, and there was a fine plane-tree from promise they made you when they set out from beneath which there welled a stream of pure water.

Argos, that you should not return till you had sacked Then we saw a prodigy; for Jove sent a fearful ser-the town of Troy, and, like children or widowed pent out of the ground, with blood-red stains upon women, they murmur and would set off homeward.

its back, and it darted from under the altar on to True it is that they have had toil enough to be dis-the plane-tree. Now there was a brood of young heartened. A man chafes at having to stay away sparrows, quite small, upon the topmost bough, from his wife even for a single month, when he is peeping out from under the leaves, eight in all, and on shipboard, at the mercy of wind and sea, but it their mother that hatched them made nine. The is now nine long years that we have been kept here; serpent ate the poor cheeping things, while the old I cannot, therefore, blame the Achæans if they turn bird flew about lamenting her little ones; but the restive; still we shall be shamed if we go home empty serpent threw his coils about her and caught her by after so long a stay—therefore, my friends, be pa-the wing as she was screaming. Then, when he had tient yet a little longer that we may learn whether eaten both the sparrow and her young, the god who the prophesyings of Calchas were false or true.

had sent him made him become a sign; for the son

“All who have not since perished must remember of scheming Saturn turned him into stone, and we as though it were yesterday or the day before, how stood there wondering at that which had come to 25

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pass. Seeing, then, that such a fearful portent had all our talking here shall be no further forward.

broken in upon our hecatombs, Calchas forthwith Stand, therefore, son of Atreus, by your own stead-declared to us the oracles of heaven. ‘Why, fast purpose; lead the Argives on to battle, and leave Achæans,’ said he, ‘are you thus speechless? Jove this handful of men to rot, who scheme, and scheme has sent us this sign, long in coming, and long ere it in vain, to get back to Argos ere they have learned be fulfilled, though its fame shall last for ever. As whether Jove be true or a liar. For the mighty son of the serpent ate the eight fledglings and the sparrow Saturn surely promised that we should succeed, that hatched them, which makes nine, so shall we when we Argives set sail to bring death and destruc-fight nine years at Troy, but in the tenth shall take tion upon the Trojans. He showed us favourable the town.’ This was what he said, and now it is all signs by flashing his lightning on our right hands; coming true. Stay here, therefore, all of you, till we therefore let none make haste to go till he has first take the city of Priam.”

lain with the wife of some Trojan, and avenged the On this the Argives raised a shout, till the ships toil and sorrow that he has suffered for the sake of rang again with the uproar. Nestor, knight of Gerene, Helen. Nevertheless, if any man is in such haste to then addressed them. “Shame on you,” he cried, be at home again, let him lay his hand to his ship

“to stay talking here like children, when you should that he may meet his doom in the sight of all. But, fight like men. Where are our covenants now, and O king, consider and give ear to my counsel, for the where the oaths that we have taken? Shall our coun-word that I say may not be neglected lightly. Di-sels be flung into the fire, with our drink-offerings vide your men, Agamemnon, into their several tribes and the right hands of fellowship wherein we have and clans, that clans and tribes may stand by and put our trust? We waste our time in words, and for help one another. If you do this, and if the Achæans 26

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obey you, you will find out who, both chiefs and long day; for we shall have no rest, not for a mo-peoples, are brave, and who are cowards; for they ment, till night falls to part us. The bands that bear will vie against the other. Thus you shall also learn your shields shall be wet with the sweat upon your whether it is through the counsel of heaven or the shoulders, your hands shall weary upon your spears, cowardice of man that you shall fail to take the your horses shall steam in front of your chariots, town.”

and if I see any man shirking the fight, or trying to And Agamemnon answered, “Nestor, you have keep out of it at the ships, there shall be no help for again outdone the sons of the Achæans in counsel.

him, but he shall be a prey to dogs and vultures.” Would, by Father Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, that I Thus he spoke, and the Achæans roared applause.

had among them ten more such councillors, for the As when the waves run high before the blast of the city of King Priam would then soon fall beneath south wind and break on some lofty headland, dash-our hands, and we should sack it. But the son of ing against it and buffeting it without ceasing, as Saturn afflicts me with bootless wranglings and the storms from every quarter drive them, even so strife. Achilles and I are quarrelling about this girl, did the Achæans rise and hurry in all directions to in which matter I was the first to offend; if we can their ships. There they lighted their fires at their be of one mind again, the Trojans will not stave off tents and got dinner, offering sacrifice every man destruction for a day. Now, therefore, get your morn-to one or other of the gods, and praying each one of ing meal, that our hosts join in fight. Whet well them that he might live to come out of the fight.

your spears; see well to the ordering of your shields; Agamemnon, king of men, sacrificed a fat five-year-give good feeds to your horses, and look your chari-old bull to the mighty son of Saturn, and invited ots carefully over, that we may do battle the live-the princes and elders of his host. First he asked 27

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Nestor and King Idomeneus, then the two Ajaxes pieces of raw meat on the top of them. These they and the son of Tydeus, and sixthly Ulysses, peer of burned upon the split logs of firewood, but they gods in counsel; but Menelaus came of his own ac-spitted the inward meats, and held them in the cord, for he knew how busy his brother then was.

flames to cook. When the thigh-bones were burned, They stood round the bull with the barley-meal in and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut the their hands, and Agamemnon prayed, saying, “Jove, rest up small, put the pieces upon spits, roasted most glorious, supreme, that dwellest in heaven, and them till they were done, and drew them off; then, ridest upon the storm-cloud, grant that the sun may when they had finished their work and the feast not go down, nor the night fall, till the palace of was ready, they ate it, and every man had his full Priam is laid low, and its gates are consumed with share, so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had fire. Grant that my sword may pierce the shirt of had enough to eat and drink, Nestor, knight of Hector about his heart, and that full many of his Gerene, began to speak. “King Agamemnon,” said comrades may bite the dust as they fall dying round he, “let us not stay talking here, nor be slack in the him.”

work that heaven has put into our hands. Let the Thus he prayed, but the son of Saturn would not heralds summon the people to gather at their sev-fulfil his prayer. He accepted the sacrifice, yet none eral ships; we will then go about among the host, the less increased their toil continually. When they that we may begin fighting at once.” had done praying and sprinkling the barley-meal Thus did he speak, and Agamemnon heeded his upon the victim, they drew back its head, killed it, words. He at once sent the criers round to call the and then flayed it. They cut out the thigh-bones, people in assembly. So they called them, and the wrapped them round in two layers of fat, and set people gathered thereon. The chiefs about the son 28

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of Atreus chose their men and marshalled them, the feet of men and horses. They stood as thick while Minerva went among them holding her price-upon the flower-bespangled field as leaves that less ægis that knows neither age nor death. From it bloom in summer.

there waved a hundred tassels of pure gold, all deftly As countless swarms of flies buzz around a woven, and each one of them worth a hundred oxen.

herdsman’s homestead in the time of spring when With this she darted furiously everywhere among the pails are drenched with milk, even so did the the hosts of the Achæans, urging them forward, and Achæans swarm on to the plain to charge the Tro-putting courage into the heart of each, so that he jans and destroy them.

might fight and do battle without ceasing. Thus war The chiefs disposed their men this way and that became sweeter in their eyes even than returning before the fight began, drafting them out as easily home in their ships. As when some great forest fire as goatherds draft their flocks when they have got is raging upon a mountain top and its light is seen mixed while feeding; and among them went King afar, even so as they marched the gleam of their Agamemnon, with a head and face like Jove the lord armour flashed up into the firmament of heaven.

of thunder, a waist like Mars, and a chest like that They were like great flocks of geese, or cranes, or of Neptune. As some great bull that lords it over swans on the plain about the waters of Cayster, that the herds upon the plain, even so did Jove make wing their way hither and thither, glorying in the the son of Atreus stand peerless among the multi-pride of flight, and crying as they settle till the fen tude of heroes.

is alive with their screaming. Even thus did their And now, O Muses, dwellers in the mansions of tribes pour from ships and tents on to the plain of Olympus, tell me—for you are goddesses and are in the Scamander, and the ground rang as brass under all places so that you see all things, while we know 29

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nothing but by report—who were the chiefs and Midea, sacred Nisa, and Anthedon upon the sea.

princes of the Danaans? As for the common sol-From these there came fifty ships, and in each there diers, they were so that I could not name every single were a hundred and twenty young men of the one of them though I had ten tongues, and though Boeotians.

my voice failed not and my heart were of bronze Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Mars, led the within me, unless you, O Olympian Muses, daugh-people that dwelt in Aspledon and Orchomenus the ters of ægis-bearing Jove, were to recount them to realm of Minyas. Astyoche a noble maiden bore me. Nevertheless, I will tell the captains of the ships them in the house of Actor son of Azeus; for she and all the fleet together.

had gone with Mars secretly into an upper cham-Peneleos, Leitus, Arcesilaus, Prothoenor, and ber, and he had lain with her. With these there came Clonius were captains of the Boeotians. These were thirty ships.

they that dwelt in Hyria and rocky Aulis, and who The Phoceans were led by Schedius and held Schoenus, Scolus, and the highlands of Epistrophus, sons of mighty Iphitus the son of Eteonus, with Thespeia, Graia, and the fair city of Naubolus. These were they that held Cyparissus, Mycalessus. They also held Harma, Eilesium, and rocky Pytho, holy Crisa, Daulis, and Panopeus; they Erythræ; and they had Eleon, Hyle, and Peteon; also that dwelt in Anemorea and Hyampolis, and Ocalea and the strong fortress of Medeon; Copæ, about the waters of the river Cephissus, and Lilæa Eutresis, and Thisbe the haunt of doves; Coronea, by the springs of the Cephissus; with their chief-and the pastures of Haliartus; Platæa and Glisas; tains came forty ships, and they marshalled the the fortress of Thebes the less; holy Onchestus with forces of the Phoceans, which were stationed next its famous grove of Neptune; Arne rich in vineyards; to the Boeotians, on their left.


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Ajax, the fleet son of Oileus, commanded the people of great Erechtheus, who was born of the soil Locrians. He was not so great, nor nearly so great, as itself, but Jove’s daughter, Minerva, fostered him, and Ajax the son of Telamon. He was a little man, and established him at Athens in her own rich sanctuary.

his breastplate was made of linen, but in use of the There, year by year, the Athenian youths worship him spear he excelled all the Hellenes and the Achæans.

with sacrifices of bulls and rams. These were com-These dwelt in Cynus, Opous, Calliarus, Bessa, manded by Menestheus, son of Peteos. No man liv-Scarphe, fair Augeæ, Tarphe, and Thronium about ing could equal him in the marshalling of chariots the river Boagrius. With him there came forty ships and foot soldiers. Nestor could alone rival him, for he of the Locrians who dwell beyond Euboea.

was older. With him there came fifty ships.

The fierce Abantes held Euboea with its cities, Ajax brought twelve ships from Salamis, and sta-Chalcis, Eretria, Histiæa rich in vines, Cerinthus upon tioned them alongside those of the Athenians.

the sea, and the rock-perched town of Dium; with The men of Argos, again, and those who held the them were also the men of Carystus and Styra; walls of Tiryns, with Hermione, and Asine upon the Elephenor of the race of Mars was in command of gulf; Troezene, Eionæ, and the vineyard lands of these; he was son of Chalcodon, and chief over all Epidaurus; the Achæan youths, moreover, who came the Abantes. With him they came, fleet of foot and from Ægina and Mases; these were led by Diomed wearing their hair long behind, brave warriors, who of the loud battle-cry, and Sthenelus son of famed would ever strive to tear open the corslets of their Capaneus. With them in command was Euryalus, foes with their long ashen spears. Of these there came son of king Mecisteus, son of Talaus; but Diomed fifty ships.

was chief over them all. With these there came eighty And they that held the strong city of Athens, the ships.


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Those who held the strong city of Mycenæ, rich The men of Pylos and Arene, and Thryum where Corinth and Cleonæ; Orneæ, Aræthyrea, and is the ford of the river Alpheus; strong Aipy, Licyon, where Adrastus reigned of old; Hyperesia, Cyparisseis, and Amphigenea; Pteleum, Helos, and high Gonoessa, and Pellene; Ægium and all the Dorium, where the Muses met Thamyris, and stilled coast-land round about Helice; these sent a hun-his minstrelsy for ever. He was returning from dred ships under the command of King Oechalia, where Eurytus lived and reigned, and Agamemnon, son of Atreus. His force was far both boasted that he would surpass even the Muses, finest and most numerous, and in their midst was daughters of ægis-bearing Jove, if they should sing the king himself, all glorious in his armour of gleam-against him; whereon they were angry, and maimed ing bronze—foremost among the heroes, for he was him. They robbed him of his divine power of song, the greatest king, and had most men under him.

and thenceforth he could strike the lyre no more.

And those that dwelt in Lacedæmon, lying low These were commanded by Nestor, knight of among the hills, Pharis, Sparta, with Messe the Gerene, and with him there came ninety ships.

haunt of doves; Bryseæ, Augeæ, Amyclæ, and Helos And those that held Arcadia, under the high upon the sea; Laas, moreover, and Oetylus; these mountain of Cyllene, near the tomb of Æpytus, were led by Menelaus of the loud battle-cry, brother where the people fight hand to hand; the men of to Agamemnon, and of them there were sixty ships, Pheneus also, and Orchomenus rich in flocks; of drawn up apart from the others. Among them went Rhipæ, Stratie, and bleak Enispe; of Tegea and fair Menelaus himself, strong in zeal, urging his men to Mantinea; of Stymphelus and Parrhasia; of these fight; for he longed to avenge the toil and sorrow King Agapenor son of Ancæus was commander, and that he had suffered for the sake of Helen.

they had sixty ships. Many Arcadians, good soldiers, 32

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came in each one of them, but Agamemnon found Ithaca, Neritum with its forests, Crocylea, rugged them the ships in which to cross the sea, for they Ægilips, Samos and Zacynthus, with the mainland were not a people that occupied their business upon also that was over against the islands. These were the waters.

led by Ulysses, peer of Jove in counsel, and with The men, moreover, of Buprasium and of Elis, so him there came twelve ships.

much of it as is enclosed between Hyrmine, Thoas, son of Andræmon, commanded the Myrsinus upon the sea-shore, the rock Olene and Ætolians, who dwelt in Pleuron, Olenus, Pylene, Alesium. These had four leaders, and each of them Chalcis by the sea, and rocky Calydon, for the great had ten ships, with many Epeans on board. Their king Oeneus had now no sons living, and was him-captains were Amphimachus and Thalpius—the self dead, as was also golden-haired Meleager, who one, son of Cteatus, and the other, of Eurytus—

had been set over the Ætolians to be their king.

both of the race of Actor. The two others were And with Thoas there came forty ships.

Diores, son of Amarynces, and Polyxenus, son of The famous spearsman Idomeneus led the King Agasthenes, son of Augeas.

Cretans, who held Cnossus, and the well-walled city And those of Dulichium with the sacred Echinean of Gortys; Lyctus also, Miletus and Lycastus that islands, who dwelt beyond the sea off Elis; these lies upon the chalk; the populous towns of Phæstus were led by Meges, peer of Mars, and the son of and Rhytium, with the other peoples that dwelt in valiant Phyleus, dear to Jove, who quarrelled with the hundred cities of Crete. All these were led by his father, and went to settle in Dulichium. With Idomeneus, and by Meriones, peer of murderous him there came forty ships.

Mars. And with these there came eighty ships.

Ulysses led the brave Cephallenians, who held Tlepolemus, son of Hercules, a man both brave 33

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and large of stature, brought nine ships of lordly up under Ilius of all the Danaans after the son of warriors from Rhodes. These dwelt in Rhodes which Peleus—but he was a man of no substance, and had is divided among the three cities of Lindus, Ielysus, but a small following.

and Cameirus, that lies upon the chalk. These were And those that held Nisyrus, Crapathus, and Ca-commanded by Tlepolemus, son of Hercules by sus, with Cos, the city of Eurypylus, and the Astyochea, whom he had carried off from Ephyra, Calydnian islands, these were commanded by on the river Selleis, after sacking many cities of val-Pheidippus and Antiphus, two sons of King iant warriors. When Tlepolemus grew up, he killed Thessalus the son of Hercules. And with them there his father’s uncle Licymnius, who had been a fa-came thirty ships.

mous warrior in his time, but was then grown old.

Those again who held Pelasgic Argos, Alos, Alope, On this he built himself a fleet, gathered a great and Trachis; and those of Phthia and Hellas the following, and fled beyond the sea, for he was men-land of fair women, who were called Myrmidons, aced by the other sons and grandsons of Hercules.

Hellenes, and Achæans; these had fifty ships, over After a voyage. during which he suffered great hard-which Achilles was in command. But they now took ship, he came to Rhodes, where the people divided no part in the war, inasmuch as there was no one to into three communities, according to their tribes, marshal them; for Achilles stayed by his ships, furi-and were dearly loved by Jove, the lord, of gods and ous about the loss of the girl Briseis, whom he had men; wherefore the son of Saturn showered down taken from Lyrnessus at his own great peril, when great riches upon them.

he had sacked Lyrnessus and Thebe, and had over-And Nireus brought three ships from Syme—

thrown Mynes and Epistrophus, sons of king Evenor, Nireus, who was the handsomest man that came son of Selepus. For her sake Achilles was still griev-34

The Iliad – Book II

ing, but ere long he was again to join them.

with Boebe, Glaphyræ, and the populous city of And those that held Phylace and the flowery Iolcus, these with their eleven ships were led by meadows of Pyrasus, sanctuary of Ceres; Iton, the Eumelus, son of Admetus, whom Alcestis bore to mother of sheep; Antrum upon the sea, and Pteleum him, loveliest of the daughters of Pelias.

that lies upon the grass lands. Of these brave And those that held Methone and Thaumacia, with Protesilaus had been captain while he was yet alive, Meliboea and rugged Olizon, these were led by the but he was now lying under the earth. He had left a skilful archer Philoctetes, and they had seven ships, wife behind him in Phylace to tear her cheeks in each with fifty oarsmen all of them good archers; sorrow, and his house was only half finished, for he but Philoctetes was lying in great pain in the Island was slain by a Dardanian warrior while leaping fore-of Lemnos, where the sons of the Achæans left him, most of the Achæans upon the soil of Troy. Still, for he had been bitten by a poisonous water snake.

though his people mourned their chieftain, they There he lay sick and sorry, and full soon did the were not without a leader, for Podarces, of the race Argives come to miss him. But his people, though of Mars, marshalled them; he was son of Iphiclus, they felt his loss were not leaderless, for Medon, the rich in sheep, who was the son of Phylacus, and he bastard son of Oileus by Rhene, set them in array.

was own brother to Protesilaus, only younger, Those, again, of Tricca and the stony region of Protesilaus being at once the elder and the more Ithome, and they that held Oechalia, the city of valiant. So the people were not without a leader, Oechalian Eurytus, these were commanded by the though they mourned him whom they had lost.

two sons of Æsculapius, skilled in the art of healing, With him there came forty ships.

Podalirius and Machaon. And with them there came And those that held Pheræ by the Boebean lake, thirty ships.


The Iliad – Book II

The men, moreover, of Ormenius, and by the foun-flow on the top of them like oil; for the Titaresius is tain of Hypereia, with those that held Asterius, and a branch of dread Orcus and of the river Styx.

the white crests of Titanus, these were led by Of the Magnetes, Prothous son of Tenthredon was Eurypylus, the son of Euæmon, and with them there commander. They were they that dwelt about the came forty ships.

river Peneus and Mt. Pelion. Prothous, fleet of foot, Those that held Argissa and Gyrtone, Orthe, Elone, was their leader, and with him there came forty ships.

and the white city of Oloosson, of these brave Such were the chiefs and princes of the Danaans.

Polypoetes was leader. He was son of Pirithous, who Who, then, O Muse, was the foremost, whether man was son of Jove himself, for Hippodameia bore him or horse, among those that followed after the sons to Pirithous on the day when he took his revenge on of Atreus?

the shaggy mountain savages and drove them from Of the horses, those of the son of Pheres were by Mt. Pelion to the Aithices. But Polypoetes was far the finest. They were driven by Eumelus, and not sole in command, for with him was Leonteus, of were as fleet as birds. They were of the same age the race of Mars, who was son of Coronus, the son and colour, and perfectly matched in height. Apollo, of Cæneus. And with these there came forty ships.

of the silver bow, had bred them in Perea—both of Guneus brought two and twenty ships from them mares, and terrible as Mars in battle. Of the Cyphus, and he was followed by the Enienes and men, Ajax, son of Telamon, was much the foremost the valiant Peræbi, who dwelt about wintry Dodona, so long as Achilles’ anger lasted, for Achilles exand held the lands round the lovely river Titaresius, celled him greatly and he had also better horses; which sends its waters into the Peneus. They do but Achilles was now holding aloof at his ships by not mingle with the silver eddies of the Peneus, but reason of his quarrel with Agamemnon, and his 36

The Iliad – Book II

people passed their time upon the sea shore, throw-saying, “Old man, you talk idly, as in time of peace, ing discs or aiming with spears at a mark, and in while war is at hand. I have been in many a battle, archery. Their horses stood each by his own chariot, but never yet saw such a host as is now advancing.

champing lotus and wild celery. The chariots were They are crossing the plain to attack the city as housed under cover, but their owners, for lack of thick as leaves or as the sands of the sea. Hector, I leadership, wandered hither and thither about the charge you above all others, do as I say. There are host and went not forth to fight.

many allies dispersed about the city of Priam from Thus marched the host like a consuming fire, and distant places and speaking divers tongues. There-the earth groaned beneath them when the lord of fore, let each chief give orders to his own people, thunder is angry and lashes the land about Typhoeus setting them severally in array and leading them among the Arimi, where they say Typhoeus lies.

forth to battle.”

Even so did the earth groan beneath them as they Thus she spoke, but Hector knew that it was the sped over the plain.

goddess, and at once broke up the assembly. The And now Iris, fleet as the wind, was sent by Jove men flew to arms; all the gates were opened, and to tell the bad news among the Trojans. They were the people thronged through them, horse and foot, gathered in assembly, old and young, at Priam’s with the tramp as of a great multitude.

gates, and Iris came close up to Priam, speaking Now there is a high mound before the city, rising with the voice of Priam’s son Polites, who, being by itself upon the plain. Men call it Batieia, but the fleet of foot, was stationed as watchman for the gods know that it is the tomb of lithe Myrine. Here Trojans on the tomb of old Æsyetes, to look out for the Trojans and their allies divided their forces.

any sally of the Achæans. In his likeness Iris spoke, Priam’s son, great Hector of the gleaming helmet, 37

The Iliad – Book II

commanded the Trojans, and with him were arrayed They that dwelt about Percote and Practius, with by far the greater number and most valiant of those Sestos, Abydos, and Arisbe—these were led by Asius, who were longing for the fray.

son of Hyrtacus, a brave commander—Asius, the The Dardanians were led by brave Æneas, whom son of Hyrtacus, whom his powerful dark bay steeds, Venus bore to Anchises, when she, goddess though of the breed that comes from the river Selleis, had she was, had lain with him upon the mountain slopes brought from Arisbe.

of Ida. He was not alone, for with him were the two Hippothous led the tribes of Pelasgian spearsmen, sons of Antenor, Archilochus and Acamas, both who dwelt in fertile Larissa—Hippothous, and skilled in all the arts of war.

Pylæus of the race of Mars, two sons of the Pelasgian They that dwelt in Telea under the lowest spurs of Lethus, son of Teutamus.

Mt. Ida, men of substance, who drink the limpid Acamas and the warrior Peirous commanded the waters of the Æsepus, and are of Trojan blood—these Thracians and those that came from beyond the were led by Pandarus son of Lycaon, whom Apollo mighty stream of the Hellespont.

had taught to use the bow.

Euphemus, son of Troezenus, the son of Ceos, They that held Adresteia and the land of Apæsus, was captain of the Ciconian spearsmen.

with Pityeia, and the high mountain of Tereia—these Pyræchmes led the Pæonian archers from distant were led by Adrestus and Amphius, whose breast-Amydon, by the broad waters of the river Axius, plate was of linen. These were the sons of Merops of the fairest that flow upon the earth.

Percote, who excelled in all kinds of divination. He The Paphlagonians were commanded by stout-told them not to take part in the war, but they gave hearted Pylæmanes from Enetæ, where the mules him no heed, for fate lured them to destruction.

run wild in herds. These were they that held Cytorus 38

The Iliad – Book III

and the country round Sesamus, with the cities by the lofty crests of Mt. Mycale. These were com-the river Parthenius, Cromna, Ægialus, and lofty manded by Nastes and Amphimachus, the brave Erithini.

sons of Nomion. He came into the fight with gold Odius and Epistrophus were captains over the about him, like a girl; fool that he was, his gold was Halizoni from distant Alybe, where there are mines of no avail to save him, for he fell in the river by the of silver.

hand of the fleet descendant of Æacus, and Achil-Chromis, and Ennomus the augur, led the les bore away his gold.

Mysians, but his skill in augury availed not to save Sarpedon and Glaucus led the Lycians from their him from destruction, for he fell by the hand of the distant land, by the eddying waters of the Xanthus.

fleet descendant of Æacus in the river, where he slew others also of the Trojans.