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The Iliad of Homer by Homer (Lang, Leaf, Myers trans.)

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This etext was prepared by Sandra Stewart



The execution of this version of the ILIAD has been entrusted to the
three Translators in the following three parts:

Books I. - IX. . . . . W. Leaf.
" X. - XVI. . . . . A. Lang.
" XVII. - XXIV. . . . . E. Myers.

Each Translator is therefore responsible for his own portion; but
the whole has been revised by all three Translators, and the
rendering of passages or phrases recurring in more than one portion
has been determined after deliberation in common. Even in these,
however, a certain elasticity has been deemed desirable.

On a few doubtful points, though very rarely, the opinion of two of
the translators has had to be adopted to the suppression of that
held by the third. Thus, for instance, the Translator of Books
X. - XVI. Would have preferred "c" and "us" to "k" and "os" in the
spelling of all proper names.

The text followed has been that of La Roche (Leipzig, 1873), except
where the adoption of a different reading has been specified in a
footnote. Where the balance of evidence, external and internal, has
seemed to the Translator to be against the genuineness of the
passage, such passage has been enclosed in brackets [].

The Translator of Books X. - XVI. Has to thank Mr. R.W. Raper,
Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, for his valuable aid in revising
the proof-sheets of these Books.


In the present Edition the translation has been carefully revised
throughout, and numerous minor corrections have been made. The Notes
at the end of the volume have been, with a few exceptions, omitted;
one of the Translators hopes to publish very shortly a Companion to
the Iliad for English readers, which will deal fully with most of
the points therein referred to.

The use of square brackets has in this edition been restricted to
passages where there is external evidence, such as absence from the
best MSS., for believing in interpolation. One or two departures
from this Rule are noticed in footnotes.

November 1891

The reader will perhaps also be helped by the following list of the
Greek and Latin names of the gods and goddesses who play important
parts in the narrative. When the Greek names are new to him, the
corresponding Latin names may be more familiar.

Greek Latin
----- -----
Zeus. Jupiter.
Hera. Juno.
(Pallas) Athene. Minerva.
Aphrodite. Venus.
Poseidon. Neptune.
Ares. Mars.
Hephaestus. Vulcan.

The sacred soil of Ilios is rent
With shaft and pit; foiled waters wander slow
Through plains where Simois and Scamander went
To war with gods and heroes long ago.
Not yet to dark Cassandra lying low
In rich Mycenae do the Fates relent;
The bones of Agamemnon are a show,
And ruined is his royal monument.
The dust and awful treasures of the dead
Hath learning scattered wide; but vainly thee,
Homer, she meteth with her Lesbian lead,
And strives to rend thy songs, too blind is she
To know the crown on thine immortal head
Of indivisible supremacy. A.L.

Athwart the sunrise of our western day
The form of great Achilles, high and clear,
Stands forth in arms, wielding the Pelian spear.
The sanguine tides of that immortal fray,
Swept on by gods, around him surge and sway,
Wherethrough the helms of many a warrior peer,
Strong men and swift, their tossing plumes uprear.
But stronger, swifter, goodlier he than they,
More awful, more divine. Yet mark anigh;
Some fiery pang hath rent his soul within,
Some hovering shade his brows encompasseth.
What gifts hath Fate for all his chivalry?
Even such as hearts heroic oftenest win;
Honour, a friend, anguish, untimely death. E.M.



How Agamemnon and Achilles fell out at the siege of Troy;
and Achilles withdrew himself from battle, and won from Zeus
a pledge that his wrong should be avenged on Agamemnon and
the Achaians.

Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles Peleus' son, the ruinous wrath that
brought on the Achaians woes innumerable, and hurled down into Hades
many strong souls of heroes, and gave their bodies to be a prey to dogs
and all winged fowls; and so the counsel of Zeus wrought out its
accomplishment from the day when first strife parted Atreides king of
men and noble Achilles.

Who among the gods set the twain at strife and variance? Apollo, the son
of Leto and of Zeus; for he in anger at the king sent a sore plague upon
the host, so that the folk began to perish, because Atreides had done
dishonour to Chryses the priest. For the priest had come to the
Achaians' fleet ships to win his daughter's freedom, and brought a
ransom beyond telling; and bare in his hands the fillet of Apollo the
Far-darter upon a golden staff; and made his prayer unto all the
Achaians, and most of all to the two sons of Atreus, orderers of the
host; "Ye sons of Atreus and all ye well-greaved Achaians, now may the
gods that dwell in the mansions of Olympus grant you to lay waste the
city of Priam, and to fare happily homeward; only set ye my dear child
free, and accept the ransom in reverence to the son of Zeus, far-darting

Then all the other Achaians cried assent, to reverence the priest and
accept his goodly ransom; yet the thing pleased not the heart of
Agamemnon son of Atreus, but he roughly sent him away, and laid stern
charge upon him, saying: "Let me not find thee, old man, amid the hollow
ships, whether tarrying now or returning again hereafter, lest the staff
and fillet of the god avail thee naught. And her will I not set free;
nay, ere that shall old age come on her in our house, in Argos, far from
her native land, where she shall ply the loom and serve my couch. But
depart, provoke me not, that thou mayest the rather go in peace."

So said he, and the old man was afraid and obeyed his word, and fared
silently along the shore of the loud-sounding sea. Then went that aged
man apart and prayed aloud to king Apollo, whom Leto of the fair locks
bare: "Hear me, god of the silver bow, that standest over Chryse and
holy Killa, and rulest Tenedos with might, O Smintheus! If ever I built
a temple gracious in thine eyes, or if ever I burnt to thee fat flesh of
thighs of bulls or goats, fulfil thou this my desire; let the Danaans
pay by thine arrows for my tears."

So spake he in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him, and came down from
the peaks of Olympus wroth at heart, bearing on his shoulders his bow
and covered quiver. And the arrows clanged upon his shoulders in wrath,
as the god moved; and he descended like to night. Then he sate him aloof
from the ships, and let an arrow fly; and there was heard a dread
clanging of the silver bow. First did the assail the mules and fleet
dogs, but afterward, aiming at the men his piercing dart, he smote; and
the pyres of the dead burnt continually in multitude.

Now for nine days ranged the god's shafts through the host; but on the
tenth Achilles summoned the folk to assembly, for in his mind did
goddess Hera of white arms put the thought, because she had pity on the
Danaans when she beheld them perishing. Now when they had gathered and
were met in assembly, then Achilles fleet of foot stood up and spake
among them: "Son of Atreus, now deem I that we shall return wandering
home again--if verily we might escape death--if war at once and
pestilence must indeed ravage the Achaians. But come, let us now inquire
of some soothsayer or priest, yea, or an interpreter of dreams--seeing
that a dream too is of Zeus--who shall say wherefore Phoebus Apollo is
so wroth, whether he blame us by reason of vow or hecatomb; if perchance
he would accept the savour of lambs or unblemished goats, and so would
take away the pestilence from us."

So spake he and sate him down; and there stood up before them Kalchas
son of Thestor, most excellent far of augurs, who knew both things that
were and that should be and that had been before, and guided the ships
of the Achaians to Ilios by his soothsaying that Phoebus Apollo bestowed
on him. He of good intent made harangue and spake amid them: "Achilles,
dear to Zeus, thou biddest me tell the wrath of Apollo, the king that
smiteth afar. Therefore will I speak; but do thou make covenant with me,
and swear that verily with all thy heart thou wilt aid me both by word
and deed. For of a truth I deem that I shall provoke one that ruleth all
the Argives with might, and whom the Achaians obey. For a king is more
of might when he is wroth with a meaner man; even though for the one day
he swallow his anger, yet doth he still keep his displeasure thereafter
in his breast till he accomplish it. Consider thou, then, if thou wilt
hold me safe."

And Achilles fleet of foot made answer and spake to him: "Yea, be of
good courage, speak whatever soothsaying thou knowest; for by Apollo
dear to Zeus, him by whose worship thou, O Kalchas, declarest thy
soothsaying to the Danaans, not even if thou mean Agamemnon, that now
avoweth him to be greatest far of the Achaians."

Then was the noble seer of good courage, and spake: "Neither by reason
of a vow is he displeased, nor for any hecatomb, but for his priest's
sake to whom Agamemnon did despite, and set not his daughter free and
accepted not the ransom; therefore hath the Far-darter brought woes upon
us, yea, and will bring. Nor will he ever remove the loathly pestilence
from the Danaans till we have given the bright-eyed damsel to her
father, unbought, unransomed, and carried a holy hecatomb to Chryse;
then might we propitiate him to our prayer."

So said he and sate him down, and there stood up before them the hero
son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, sore displeased; and his dark
heart within him was greatly filled with anger, and his eyes were like
flashing fire. To Kalchas first spake he with look of ill: "Thou seer of
evil, never yet hast thou told me the thing that is pleasant. Evil is
ever the joy of thy heart to prophesy, but never yet didst thou tell any
good matter nor bring to pass. And now with soothsaying thou makest
harangue among the Danaans, how that the Far-darter bringeth woes upon
them because, forsooth, I would not take the goodly ransom of the damsel
Chryseis, seeing I am the rather fain to keep her own self within mine
house. Yea, I prefer her before Klytaimnestra my wedded wife; in no wise
is she lacking beside her, neither in favour nor stature, nor wit nor
skill. Yet for all this will I give her back, if that is better; rather
would I see my folk whole than perishing. Only make ye me ready a prize
of honour forthwith, lest I alone of all the Argives be disprized, which
thing beseemeth not; for ye all behold how my prize is departing from

To him then made answer fleet-footed goodly Achilles: "Most noble son of
Atreus, of all men most covetous, how shall the great-hearted Achaians
give thee a meed of honour? We know naught of any wealth of common
store, but what spoil soe'er we took from captured cities hath been
apportioned, and it beseemeth not to beg all this back from the folk.
Nay, yield thou the damsel to the god, and we Achaians will pay thee
back threefold and fourfold, if ever Zeus grant us to sack some
well-walled town of Troy-land."

To him lord Agamemnon made answer and said: "Not in this wise, strong as
thou art, O godlike Achilles, beguile thou me by craft; thou shalt not
outwit me nor persuade me. Dost thou wish, that thou mayest keep thy
meed of honour, for me to sit idle in bereavement, and biddest me give
her back? Nay, if the great-hearted Achaians will give me a meed suited
to my mind, that the recompense be equal--but if they give it not, then
I myself will go and take a meed of honour, thine be it or Aias', or
Odysseus' that I will take unto me; wroth shall he be to whomsoever I
come. But for this we will take counsel hereafter; now let us launch a
black ship on the great sea, and gather picked oarsmen, and set therein
a hecatomb, and embark Chryseis of the fair cheeks herself, and let one
of our counsellors be captain, Aias or Idomeneus or goodly Odysseus, or
thou, Peleides, most redoubtable of men, to do sacrifice for us and
propitiate the Far-darter."

Then Achilles fleet of foot looked at him scowling and said: "Ah me,
thou clothed in shamelessness, thou of crafty mind, how shall any
Achaian hearken to thy bidding with all his heart, be it to go a journey
or to fight the foe amain? Not by reason of the Trojan spearmen came I
hither to fight, for they have not wronged me; never did they harry mine
oxen nor my horses, nor ever waste my harvest in deep-soiled Phthia, the
nurse of men; seeing there lieth between us long space of shadowy
mountains and sounding sea; but thee, thou shameless one, followed we
hither to make thee glad, by earning recompense at the Trojans' hands
for Menelaos and for thee, thou dog-face! All this thou threatenest
thyself to take my meed of honour, wherefor I travailed much, and the
sons of the Achaians gave it me. Never win I meed like unto thine, when
the Achaians sack any populous citadel of Trojan men; my hands bear the
brunt of furious war, but when the apportioning cometh then is thy meed
far ampler, and I betake me to the ships with some small thing, yet my
own, when I have fought to weariness. Now will I depart to Phthia,
seeing it is far better to return home on my beaked ships; nor am I
minded here in dishonour to draw thee thy fill of riches and wealth."

Then Agamemnon king of men made answer to him "yea, flee, if thy soul be
set thereon. It is not I that beseech thee to tarry for my sake; I have
others by my side that shall do me honour, and above all Zeus, lord of
counsel. Most hateful art thou to me of all kings, fosterlings of Zeus;
thou ever lovest strife and wars and fightings. Though thou be very
strong, yet that I ween is a gift to thee of God. Go home with thy ships
and company and lord it among thy Myrmidons; I reck not aught of thee
nor care I for thine indignation; and all this shall be my threat to
thee: seeing Phoebus Apollo bereaveth me of Chryseis, her with my ship
and my company will I send back; and mine own self will I go to thy hut
and take Briseis of the fair cheeks, even that thy meed of honour, that
thou mayest well know how far greater I am than thou, and so shall
another hereafter abhor to match his words with mine and rival me to my

So said he, and grief came upon Peleus' son, and his heart within his
shaggy breast was divided in counsel, whether to draw his keen blade
from his thigh and set the company aside and so slay Atreides, or to
assuage his anger and curb his soul. While yet he doubted thereof in
heart and soul, and was drawing his great sword from his sheath, Athene
came to him from heaven, sent forth of the white-armed goddess Hera,
whose heart loved both alike and had care for them. She stood behind
Peleus' son and caught him by his golden hair, to him only visible, and
of the rest no man beheld her. Then Achilles marvelled, and turned him
about, and straightway knew Pallas Athene; and terribly shone her eyes.
He spake to her winged words, and said: "Why now art thou come hither,
thou daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus? Is it to behold the insolence of
Agamemnon, son of Atreus. Yea, I will tell thee that I deem shall even
be brought to pass: by his own haughtinesses shall he soon lose his

Then the bright-eyed goddess Athene spake to him again: "I came from
heaven to stay thine anger, if perchance thou wilt hearken to me, being
sent forth if the white-armed goddess Hera, that loveth you twain alike
and careth for you. Go to now, cease from strife, and let not thine hand
draw the sword; yet with words indeed revile him, even as it shall come
to pass. For thus will I say to thee, and so it shall be fulfilled;
hereafter shall goodly gifts come to thee, yea in threefold measure, by
reason of this despite; hold thou thine hand, and hearken to us."

And Achilles fleet of foot made answer and said to her: "Goddess, needs
must a man observe the saying of you twain, even though he be very wroth
at heart; for so is the better way. Whosoever obeyeth the gods, to him
they gladly hearken."

He said, and stayed his heavy hand on the silver hilt, and thrust the
great Sword back into the sheath, and was not disobedient to the saying
of Athene; and she forthwith was departed to Olympus, to the other gods
in the palace of aegis-bearing Zeus.

Then Peleus' son spake again with bitter words to Atreus' son, and in no
wise ceased from anger: "Thou heavy with wine, thou with face of dog and
heart of deer, never didst thou take courage to arm for battle among thy
folk or to lay ambush with the princes of the Achaians; that to thee
were even as death. Far better booteth it, for sooth, to seize for
thyself the meed of honour of every man through the wide host of the
Achaians that speaketh contrary to thee. Folk-devouring king! seeing
thou rulest men of naught; else were this despite, thou son of Atreus,
thy last. But I will speak my word to thee, and swear a mighty oath
therewith: verily by this staff that shall no more put forth leaf or
twig, seeing it hath for ever left its trunk among the hills, neither
shall it grow green again, because the axe hath stripped it of leaves
and bark; and now the sons of the Achaians that exercise judgment bear
it in their hands, even they that by Zeus' command watch over the
traditions--so shall this be a mighty oath in thine eyes--verily shall
longing for Achilles come hereafter upon the sons of the Achaians one
and all; and then wilt thou in no wise avail to save them, for all thy
grief, when multitudes fall dying before manslaying Hector. Then shalt
thou tear thy heart within thee for anger that thou didst in no wise
honour the best of the Achaians."

So said Peleides and dashed to earth the staff studded with golden
nails, and himself sat down; and over against him Atreides waxed
furious. Then in their midst rose up Nestor, pleasant of speech, the
clear-voiced orator of the Pylians, he from whose tongue flowed
discourse sweeter than honey. Two generations of mortal men already had
he seen perish, that had been of old time born and nurtured with him in
goodly Pylos, and he was king among the third. He of good intent made
harangue to them and said: "Alas, of a truth sore lamentation cometh
upon the land of Achaia. Verily Priam would be glad and Priam's sons,
and all the Trojans would have great joy of heart, were they to hear all
this tale of strife between you twain that are chiefest of the Danaans
in counsel and chiefest in battle. Nay, hearken to me; ye are younger
both than I. Of old days held I converse with better men even than you,
and never did they make light of me. Yea, I never beheld such warriors,
nor shall behold, as were Peirithoos and Dryas shepherd of the host and
Kaineus and Exadios and godlike Polyphemos [and Theseus son of Aigeus,
like to the Immortals]. Mightiest of growth were they of all men upon
the earth; mightiest they were and with the mightiest fought they, even
the wild tribes of the Mountain caves, and destroyed them utterly. And
with these held I converse, being come from Pylos, from a distant land
afar; for of themselves they summoned me. So I played my part in fight;
and with them could none of men that are now on earth do battle. And
they laid to heart my counsels and hearkened to my voice. Even so
hearken ye also, for better is it to hearken. Neither do thou, though
thou art very great, seize from him his damsel, but leave her as she was
given at the first by the sons of the Achaians to be a meed of honour;
nor do thou, son of Peleus, think to strive with a king, might against
might; seeing that no common honour pertaineth to a sceptred king to
whom Zeus apportioneth glory. Though thou be strong, and a goddess
mother bare thee, yet his is the greater place, for he is king over
more. And thou, Atreides, abate thy fury; nay, it is even I that beseech
thee to let go thine anger with Achilles, who is made unto all the
Achaians a mighty bulwark of evil war."

Then lord Agamemnon answered and said: "Yea verily, old man, all this
thou sayest is according unto right. But this fellow would be above all
others, he would be lord of all and king among all and captain to all;
wherein I deem none will hearken to him. Though the immortal gods made
him a spearman, do they therefore put revilings in his mouth for him to

Then goodly Achilles brake in on him and answered: "Yea, for I should be
called coward and man of naught, if I yield to thee in every matter,
howsoe'er thou bid. To others give now thine orders, not to me [play
master; for thee I deem that I shall no more obey]. This, moreover, will
I say to thee, and do thou lay it to thy heart. Know that not by
violence will I strive for the damsel's sake, neither with thee nor any
other; ye gave and ye have taken away. But of all else that is mine
beside my fleet black ship, thereof shalt thou not take anything or bear
it away against my will. Yea, go to now, make trial, that all these may
see; forthwith thy dark blood shall gush about my spear."

Now when the twain had thus finished the battle of violent words, they
stood up and dissolved the assembly beside the Achaian ships. Peleides
went his way to his huts and trim ships with Menoitios' son [Patroklos]
and his company; and Atreides launched a fleet ship on the sea, and
picked twenty oarsmen therefor, and embarked the hecatomb for the god,
and brought Chryseis of the fair cheeks and set her therein; and
Odysseus of many devices went to be their captain.

So these embarked and sailed over the wet ways; and Atreides bade the
folk purify themselves. So they purified themselves, and cast the
defilements into the sea and did sacrifice to Apollo, even unblemished
hecatombs of bulls and goats, along the shore of the unvintaged sea; and
the sweet savour arose to heaven eddying amid the smoke.

Thus were they busied throughout the host; but Agamemnon ceased not from
the strife wherewith he threatened Achilles at the first; he spake to
Talthybios and Eurybates that were his heralds and nimble squires: "Go
ye to the tent of Achilles Peleus' son, and take Briseis of the fair
cheeks by the hand and lead her hither; and if he give her not, then
will I myself go, and more with me, and seize her; and that will be yet
more grievous for him."

So saying he sent them forth, and laid stern charge upon them.
Unwillingly went they along the beach of the unvintaged sea, and came to
the huts and ships of the Myrmidons. Him found they sitting beside his
hut and black ship; nor when he saw them was Achilles glad. So they in
dread and reverence of the king stood, and spake to him no word, nor
questioned him. But he knew in his heart, and spake to them: "All hail,
ye heralds, messengers of Zeus and men, come near; ye are not guilty in
my sight, but Agamemnon that sent you for the sake of the damsel
Briseis. Go now, heaven-sprung Patroklos, bring forth the damsel, and
give them her to lead away. Moreover, let the twain themselves be my
witnesses before the face of the blessed gods and mortal men, yea and of
him, that king untoward, against the day when there cometh need of me
hereafter to save them all from shameful wreck. Of a truth he raveth
with baleful mind, and hath not knowledge to look before and after, that
so his Achaians might battle in safety beside their ships."

So said he, and Patroklos hearkened to his dear comrade, and led forth
from the hut Briseis of the fair cheeks, and gave them her to lead away.
So these twain took their way back along the Achaians' ships, and with
them went the woman all unwilling. Then Achilles wept anon, and sat him
down apart, aloof from his comrades on the beach of the grey sea, gazing
across the boundless main; he stretched forth his hands and prayed
instantly to his dear mother: "Mother, seeing thou didst of a truth bear
me to so brief span of life, honour at the least ought the Olympian to
have granted me, even Zeus that thundereth on high; but now doth he not
honour me, no, not one whit. Verily Atreus' son, wide-ruling Agamemnon,
hath done me dishonour; for he hath taken away my meed of honour and
keepeth her of his own violent deed."

So spake he weeping, and his lady mother heard him as she sate in the
sea-depths beside her aged sire. With speed arose she from the grey sea,
like a mist, and sate her before the face of her weeping son, and
stroked him with her hand, and spake and called on his name: "My child,
why weepest thou? What sorrow hath entered into they heart? Speak it
forth, hide it not in thy mind, that both may know it."

Then with heavy moan Achilles fleet of foot spake to her: "Thou knowest
it; why should I tell this to thee that knowest all! We had fared to
Thebe, the holy city of Eetion, and laid it waste and carried hither all
the spoils. So the sons of the Achaians divided among them all aright;
and for Atreides they set apart Chryseis of the fair cheeks. But
Chryses, priest of Apollo the Far-darter, came unto the fleet ships of
the mail-clad Achaians to win his daughter's freedom, and brought a
ransom beyond telling, and bare in his hands the fillet of Apollo the
Far-darter upon a golden staff, and made his prayer unto all the
Achaians, and most of all to the two sons of Atreus, orderers of the
host. Then all the other Achaians cried assent, to reverence the priest
and accept his goodly ransom; yet the thing pleased not the heart of
Agamemnon son of Atreus, but he roughly sent him away and laid stern
charge upon him. So the old man went back in anger; and Apollo heard his
prayers, seeing he loved him greatly, and he aimed against the Argives
his deadly darts. So the people began to perish in multitudes, and the
god's shafts ranged everywhither throughout the wide host of the
Achaians. Then of full knowledge the seer declared to us the oracle of
the Far-darter. Forthwith I first bade propitiate the god; but wrath gat
hold upon Atreus' son thereat, and anon he stood up and spake a
threatening word, that hath now been accomplished. Her the glancing-eyed
Achaians are bringing on their fleet ship to Chryse, and bear with
them offerings to the king; and the other but now the heralds went and
took from my hut, even the daughter of Briseus, whom the sons of the
Achaians gave me. Thou therefore, if indeed thou canst, guard thine own
son; betake thee to Olympus and beseech Zeus by any word whereby thou
ever didst make glad his heart. For oft have I heard thee proclaiming in
my father's halls and telling that thou alone amid the immortals didst
save the son of Kronos, lord of the storm-cloud, from shameful wreck,
when all the other Olympians would have bound him, even Hera and
Poseidon and Pallas Athene. Then didst thou, O goddess, enter in and
loose him from his bonds, having with speed summoned to high Olympus him
of the hundred arms whom gods call Briareus, but all men call Aigaion;
for he is mightier even than his father--so he sate him by Kronion's
side rejoicing in his triumph, and the blessed gods feared him withal
and bound not Zeus. This bring thou to his remembrance and sit by him
and clasp his knees, if perchance he will give succour to the Trojans;
and for the Achaians, hem them among their ships' sterns about the bay,
given over to slaughter; that they may make trial of their king, and
that even Atreides, wide-ruling Agamemnon, may perceive his blindness,
in that he honoured not at all the best of the Achaians."

Then Thetis weeping made answer to him: "Ah me, my child, why reared I
thee, cursed in my motherhood? Would thou hadst been left tearless and
griefless amid the ships, seeing thy lot is very brief and endureth no
long while; but now art thou made short-lived alike and lamentable
beyond all men; in an evil hour I bare thee in our halls. But I will go
myself to snow-clad Olympus to tell this thy saying to Zeus, whose joy
is in the thunder, [perhaps rather, "hurler of the thunderbolt."] if
perchance he may hearken to me. But tarry thou now amid thy fleet-faring
ships, and continue wroth with the Achaians, and refrain utterly from
battle: for Zeus went yesterday to Okeanos, unto the noble Ethiopians
for a feast, and all the gods followed with him; but on the twelfth day
will he return to Olympus, and then will I fare to Zeus' palace of the
bronze threshold, and will kneel to him and think to win him."

So saying she went her way and left him there, vexed in spirit for the
fair-girdled woman's sake, whom they had taken perforce despite his
will: and meanwhile Odysseus came to Chryse with the holy hecatomb. When
they were now entered within the deep haven, they furled their sails and
laid them in the black ship, and lowered the mast by the forestays and
brought it to the crutch with speed, and rowed her with oars to the
anchorage. Then they cast out the mooring stones and made fast the
hawsers, and so themselves went forth on to the sea-beach, and forth
they brought the hecatomb for the Far-darter Apollo, and forth came
Chryseis withal from the seafaring ship. Then Odysseus of many counsels
brought her to the altar and gave her into her father's arms, and spake
unto him: "Chryses, Agamemnon king of men sent me hither to bring thee
thy daughter, and to offer to Phoebus a holy hecatomb on the Danaans'
behalf, wherewith to propitiate the king that hath now brought sorrow
and lamentation on the Argives."

So saying he gave her to his arms, and he gladly took his dear child;
and anon they set in order for the god the holy hecatomb about his
well-builded altar; next washed they their hands and took up the barley
meal. Then Chryses lifted up his hands and prayed aloud for them:
"Hearken to me, god of the silver bow that standest over Chryse and holy
Killa, and rulest Tenedos with might; even as erst thou heardest my
prayer, and didst me honour, and mightily afflictest the people of the
Achaians, even so now fulfil me this my desire: remove thou from the
Danaans forthwith the loathly pestilence."

So spake he in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him. Now when they had
prayed and sprinkled the barley meal, first they drew back the victims'
heads and slaughtered them and flayed them, and cut slices from the
thighs and wrapped them in fat, making a double fold, and laid raw
collops thereon, and the old man burnt them on cleft wood and made
libation over them of gleaming wine; and at his side the young men in
their hands held five-pronged forks. Now when the thighs were burnt and
they had tasted the vitals, then sliced they all the rest and pierced it
through with spits, and roasted it carefully, and drew all off again. So
when they had rest from the task and had made ready the banquet, they
feasted, nor was their heart aught stinted of the fair banquet. But when
they had put away from them the desire of meat and drink, the young men
crowned the bowls with wine, and gave each man his portion after the
drink-offering had been poured into the cups. So all day long worshipped
they the god with music, singing the beautiful paean, the sons of the
Achaians making music to the Far-darter [or, "the Averter" (of
pestilence)]; and his heart was glad to hear. And when the sun went down
and darkness came on them, they laid them to sleep beside the ship's
hawsers; and when rosy-fingered Dawn appeared, the child of morning,
then set they sail for the wide camp of the Achaians; and Apollo the
Far-darter sent them a favouring gale. They set up their mast and spread
the white sails forth, and the wind filled the sail's belly and the dark
wave sang loud about the stem as the ship made way, and she sped across
the wave, accomplishing her journey. So when they were now come to the
wide camp of the Achaians, they drew up their black ship to land high
upon the sands, and set in line the long props beneath her; and
themselves were scattered amid their huts and ships.

But he sat by his swift-faring ships, still wroth, even the heaven-sprung
son of Peleus, Achilles fleet of foot; he betook him neither to the
assembly that is the hero's glory, neither to war, but consumed his
heart in tarrying in his place, and yearned for the war-cry and for

Now when the twelfth morn thereafter was come, then the gods that are
for ever fared to Olympus all in company, led of Zeus. And Thetis forgat
not her son's charge, but rose up from the sea-wave, and at early morn
mounted up to great heaven and Olympus. There found she Kronos' son of
the far-sounding voice sitting apart from all on the topmost peak of
many-ridged Olympus. So she sat before his face and with her left hand
clasped his knees, and with her right touched him beneath his chin, and
spake in prayer to king Zeus son of Kronos: "Father Zeus, if ever I gave
thee aid amid the immortal gods, whether by word or deed, fulfil thou
this my desire: do honour to my son, that is doomed to earliest death of
all men: now hath Agamemnon king of men done him dishonour, for he hath
taken away his meed of honour and keepeth her of his own violent deed.
But honour thou him, Zeus of Olympus, lord of counsel; grant thou
victory to the Trojans the while until the Achaians do my son honour and
exalt him with recompense."

So spake she; but Zeus the cloud-gatherer said no word to her, and sat
long time in silence. But even as Thetis had clasped his knees, so held
she by him clinging, and questioned him yet a second time: "Promise me
now this thing verily, and bow thy head thereto; or else deny me, seeing
there is naught for thee to fear; that I may know full well how I among
all gods am least in honour."

Then Zeus the cloud-gatherer, sore troubled, spake to her: "Verily it is
a sorry matter, if thou wilt set me at variance with Hera, whene'er she
provoketh me with taunting words. Even now she upbraideth me ever amid
the immortal gods, and saith that I aid the Trojans in battle. But do
thou now depart again, lest Hera mark aught; and I will take thought for
these things to fulfil them. Come now, I will bow my head to thee, that
thou mayest be of good courage; for that, of my part, is the surest
token amid the immortals; no word of mine is revocable nor false nor
unfulfilled when the bowing of my head hath pledged it."

Kronion spake, and bowed his dark brow, and the ambrosial locks waved
from the king's immortal head; and he made great Olympus quake.

Thus the twain took counsel and parted; she leapt therewith into the
deep sea from glittering Olympus, and Zeus fared to his own palace. All
the gods in company arose from their seats before their father's face;
neither ventured any to await his coming, but stood up all before him.
So he sate him there upon his throne; but Hera saw, and was not ignorant
how that the daughter of the Ancient of the sea, Thetis the
silver-footed, had devised counsel with him. Anon with taunting words
spake she to Zeus the son of Kronos: "Now who among the gods, thou
crafty of mind, hath devised counsel with thee? It is ever thy good
pleasure to hold aloof from me and in secret meditation to give thy
judgments, nor of thine own good will hast thou ever brought thyself to
declare unto me the thing thou purposest."

Then the father of gods and men made answer her: "Hera, think not thou
to know all my sayings; hard they are for thee, even though thou art my
wife. But whichsoever it is seemly for thee to hear, none sooner than
thou shall know, be he god or man. Only when I will to take thought
aloof from the gods, then do not thou ask of every matter nor make

Then Hera the ox-eyed queen made answer to him. "Most dread son of
Kronos, what word is this thou hast spoken? Yea, surely of old I have
not asked thee nor made question, but in my heart sore afraid lest thou
have been won over by silver-footed Thetis, daughter of the Ancient of
the sea, for she at early morn sat by thee and clasped thy knees. To her
I deem thou gavest a sure pledge that thou wilt do honour to Achilles,
and lay many low beside the Achaians' ships."

To her made answer Zeus the cloud-gatherer: "Lady, Good lack! ever art
thou imagining, nor can I escape thee; yet shalt thou in no wise have
power to fulfil, but wilt be the further from my heart; that shall be
even the worse for thee. And if it be so, then such must my good
pleasure be. Abide thou in silence and hearken to my bidding, lest all
the gods that are in Olympus keep not off from thee my visitation, when
I put forth my hands unapproachable against thee."

He said, and Hera the ox-eyed queen was afraid, and sat in silence,
curbing her heart; but throughout Zeus' palace the gods of heaven were
troubled. Then Hephaistos the famed craftsman began to make harangue
among them, to do kindness to his mother, white-armed Hera: "Verily this
will be a sorry matter, neither any more endurable, if ye twain thus
fight for mortals' sakes, and bring wrangling among the gods; neither
will there any more be joy of the goodly feast, seeing that evil
triumpheth. So I give counsel to my mother, though herself is wise, to
do kindness to our dear father Zeus, that our father upbraid us not
again and cast the banquet in confusion. What if the Olympian, the lord
of the lightning, will to dash us from our seats! for he is strongest
far. Nay, approach thou him with gentle words, then will the Olympian
forthwith be gracious unto us."

So speaking he rose up and sat in his dear mother's hand the twy-handled
cup, and spake to her: "Be of good courage, mother mine, and endure,
though thou art vexed, lest I behold thee, thou art so dear, chastised
before mine eyes, and then shall I not be able for all my sorrow to save
thee; for the Olympian is a hard foe to face. Yea, once ere this, when I
was fain to save thee, he caught me by my foot and hurled me from the
heavenly threshold; all day I flew, and at the set of sun I fell in
Lemnos, and little life was in me. There did the Sintian folk forthwith
tend me for my fall."

He spake, and the white-armed goddess Hera smiled, and smiling took the
cup at her son's hand. Then he poured wine to all the other gods from
right to left, ladling the sweet nectar from the bowl. And laughter
unquenchable arose amid the blessed gods to see Hephaistos bustling
through the palace.

So feasted they al day till the setting of the sun; nor was their soul
aught stinted of the fair banquet, nor of the beauteous lyre that Apollo
held, and the Muses singing alternately with sweet voice.

Now when the bright light of the sun was set, these went each to his own
house to sleep, where each one had his palace made with cunning device
by famed Hephaistos the lame god; and Zeus the Olympian, the lord of
lightning, departed to his couch where he was wont of old to take his
rest, whenever sweet sleep visited him. There went he up and slept, and
beside him was Hera of the golden throne.


How Zeus beguiled Agamemnon by a dream; and of the assembly
of the Achaians and their marching forth to battle. And of
the names and numbers of the hosts of the Achaians and the

Now all other gods and chariot-driving men slept all night long, only
Zeus was not holden of sweet sleep; rather was he pondering in his heart
how he should do honour to Achilles and destroy many beside the
Achaians' ships. And this design seemed to his mind the best, to wit, to
send a baneful dream upon Agamemnon son of Atreus. So he spake, and
uttered to him winged words: "Come now, thou baneful Dream, go to the
Achaians' fleet ships, enter into the hut of Agamemnon son of Atreus,
and tell him every word plainly as I charge thee. Bid him call to arms
the flowing-haired Achaians with all speed, for that now he may take the
wide-wayed city of the Trojans. For the immortals that dwell in the
halls of Olympus are no longer divided in counsel, since Hera hath
turned the minds of all by her beseeching, and over the Trojans sorrows

So spake he, and the Dream went his way when he had heard the charge.
With speed he came to the Achaians' fleet ships, and went to Agamemnon
son of Atreus, and found him sleeping in his hut, and ambrosial slumber
poured over him. So he stood over his head in seeming like unto the son
of Neleus, even Nestor, whom most of all the elders Agamemnon honoured;
in his likeness spake to him the heavenly Dream:

"Sleepest thou, son of wise Atreus tamer of horses? To sleep all night
through beseemeth not one that is a counsellor, to whom peoples are
entrusted and so many cares belong. But now hearken straightway to me,
for I am a messenger to thee from Zeus, who though he be afar yet hath
great care for thee and pity. He biddeth thee call to arms the
flowing-haired Achaians with all speed, for that now thou mayest take
the wide-wayed city of the Trojans. For the immortals that dwell in the
halls of Olympus are no longer divided in counsel, since Hera hath
turned the minds of all by her beseeching, and over the Trojans sorrows
hang by the will of Zeus. But do thou keep this in thy heart, not let
forgetfulness come upon thee when honeyed sleep shall leave thee."

So spake the Dream, and departed and left him there, deeming in his mind
things that were not to be fulfilled. For indeed he thought to take
Priam's city that very day; fond man, in that he knew not the plans that
Zeus had in mind, who was willed to bring yet more grief and wailing on
Trojans alike and Danaans throughout the course of stubborn fights. Then
woke he from sleep, and the heavenly voice was in his ears. So he rose
up sitting, and donned his soft tunic, fair and bright, and cast around
him his great cloak, and beneath his glistering feet he bound his fair
sandals, and over his shoulders cast his silver-studded sword, and
grasped his sires' sceptre, imperishable for ever, wherewith he took his
way amid the mail-clad Achaians' ships.

Now went the goddess Dawn to high Olympus, foretelling daylight to Zeus
and all the immortals; and the king bade the clear-voiced heralds summon
to the assembly the flowing-haired Achaians. So did those summon, and
these gathered with speed.

But first the council of the great-hearted elders met beside the ship of
king Nestor the Pylos-born. And he that had assembled them framed his
cunning counsel: "Hearken, my friends. A dream from heaven came to me in
my sleep through the ambrosial night, and chiefly to goodly Nestor was
very like in shape and bulk and stature. And it stood over my head and
charged me saying: 'Sleepest thou, son of wise Atreus tamer of horses?
To sleep all night through beseemeth not one that is a counsellor, to
whom peoples are entrusted and so many cares belong. But now hearken
straightway to me, for I am a messenger to thee from Zeus, who though he
be afar yet hath great care for thee and pity. He biddeth thee call to
arms the flowing-haired Achaians with all speed, for that now thou
mayest take the wide-wayed city of the Trojans. For the immortals that
dwell in the palaces of Olympus are no longer divided in counsel, since
Hera hath turned the minds of all by her beseeching, and over the
Trojans sorrows hang by the will of Zeus. But do thou keep this in thy
heart.' So spake the dream and was flown away, and sweet sleep left me.
So come, let us now call to arms as we may the sons of the Achaians. But
first I will speak to make trial of them as is fitting, and bid them
flee with their benched ships; only do ye from this side and from that
speak to hold them back."

So spake he and sate him down; and there stood up among them Nestor, who
was king of sandy Pylos. He of good intent made harangue to them and
said: "My friends, captains and rulers of the Argives, had any other of
the Achaians told us this dream we might deem it a false thing, and
rather turn away therefrom; but now he hath seen it who of all Achaians
avoweth himself far greatest. So come, let us call to arms as we may the
sons of the Achaians."

So spake he, and led the way forth from the council, and all the other
sceptred chiefs rose with him and obeyed the shepherd of the host; and
the people hastened to them. Even as when the tribes of thronging bees
issue from the hollow rock, ever in fresh procession, and fly clustering
among the flowers of spring, and some on this hand and some on that fly
thick; even so from ships and huts before the low beach marched forth
their many tribes by companies to the place of assembly. And in their
midst blazed forth Rumour, messenger of Zeus, urging them to go; and so
they gathered. And the place of assemblage was in an uproar, and the
earth echoed again as the hosts sate them down, and there was turmoil.
Nine heralds restrained them with shouting, if perchance they might
refrain from clamour, and hearken to their kings, the fosterlings of
Zeus. And hardly at the last would the people sit, and keep them to
their benches and cease from noise. Then stood up lord Agamemnon bearing
his sceptre, that Hephaistos had wrought curiously. Hephaistos gave it
to king Zeus son of Kronos, and then Zeus gave it to the messenger-god
the slayer of Argus [Or, possibly, "the swift-appearing"]; and king
Hermes gave it to Pelops the charioteer, and Pelops again gave it to
Atreus shepherd of the host. And Atreus dying left it to Thyestes rich
in flocks, and Thyestes in his turn left it to Agamemnon to bear, that
over many islands and all Argos he should be lord. Thereon he leaned and
spake his saying to the Argives:

"My friends, Danaan warriors, men of Ares' company, Zeus Kronos' son
hath bound me with might in grievous blindness of soul; hard of heart is
he, for that erewhile he promised me and pledged his nod that not till I
had wasted well-walled Ilios should I return; but now see I that he
planned a cruel wile and biddeth me return to Argos dishonoured, with
the loss of many of my folk. So meseems it pleaseth most mighty Zeus,
who hath laid low the head of many a city, yea, and shall lay low; for
his is highest power. Shame is this even for them that come after to
hear; how so goodly and great a folk of the Achaians thus vainly warred
a bootless war, and fought scantier enemies, and no end thereof is yet
seen. For if perchance we were minded, both Achaians and Trojans, to
swear a solemn truce, and to number ourselves, and if the Trojans should
gather together all that have their dwellings in the city, and we
Achaians should marshal ourselves by tens, and every company choose a
Trojan to pour their wine, then would many tens lack a cup-bearer: so
much, I say, do the sons of the Achaians outnumber the Trojans that
dwell within the city. But allies from many cities, even warriors that
wield the spear, are therein, and they hinder me perforce, and for all
my will suffer me not to waste the populous citadel of Ilios. Already
have nine years of great Zeus passed away, and our ships' timbers have
rotted and the tackling is loosed; while there our wives and little
children sit in our halls awaiting us; yet is our task utterly
unaccomplished wherefor we came hither. So come, even as I bid let us
all obey. Let us flee with our ships to our dear native land; for now
shall we never take wide-wayed Troy."

So spake he, and stirred the spirit in the breasts of all throughout the
multitude, as many as had not heard the council. And the assembly swayed
like high sea-waves of the Icarian Main that east wind and south wind
raise, rushing upon them from the clouds of father Zeus; and even as
when the west wind cometh to stir a deep cornfield with violent blast,
and the ears bow down, so was all the assembly stirred, and they with
shouting hasted toward the ships; and the dust from beneath their feet
rose and stood on high. And they bade each man his neighbor to seize the
ships and drag them into the bright salt sea, and cleared out the
launching-ways, and the noise went up to heaven of their hurrying
homewards; and they began to take the props from beneath the ships.

Then would the Argives have accomplished their return against the will
of fate, but that Hera spake a word to Athene: "Out on it, daughter of
aegis-bearing Zeus, unwearied maiden! Shall the Argives thus indeed flee
homeward to their dear native land over the sea's broad back? But they
would leave to Priam and the Trojans their boast, even Helen of Argos,
for whose sake many an Achaian hath perished in Troy, far away from his
dear native land. But go thou now amid the host of the mail-clad
Achaians; with thy gentle words refrain thou every man, neither suffer
them to draw their curved ships down to the salt sea."

So spake she, and the bright-eyed goddess Athene disregarded not; but
went darting down from the peaks of Olympus, and came with speed to the
fleet ships of the Achaians. There found she Odysseus standing, peer of
Zeus in counsel, neither laid he any hand upon his decked black ship,
because grief had entered into his heart and soul. And bright-eyed
Athene stood by him and said: "Heaven-sprung son of Laertes, Odysseus of
many devices, will ye indeed fling yourselves upon your benched ships to
flee homeward to your dear native land? But ye would leave to Priam and
the Trojans their boast, even Helen of Argos, for whose sake many an
Achaian hath perished in Troy, far from his dear native land. But go
thou now amid the host of the Achaians, and tarry not; and with gentle
words refrain every man, neither suffer them to draw their curved ships
down to the salt sea."

So said she, and he knew the voice of the goddess speaking to him, and
set him to run, and cast away his mantle, the which his herald gathered
up, even Eurybated of Ithaca, that waited on him. And himself he went to
meet Agamemnon son of Atreus, and at his hand received the sceptre of
his sires, imperishable for ever, wherewith he took his way amid the
ships of the mail-clad Achaians.

Whenever he found one that was a captain and a man of mark, he stood by
his side, and refrained him with gentle words: "Good sir, it is not
seemly to affright thee like a coward, but do thou sit thyself and make
all thy folk sit down. For thou knowest not yet clearly what is the
purpose of Atreus' son; now is he but making trial, and soon he will
afflict the sons of the Achaians. And heard we not all of us what he
spake in the council? Beware lest in his anger he evilly entreat the
sons of the Achaians. For proud is the soul of heaven-fostered kings;
because their honour is of Zeus, and the god of counsel loveth them."

But whatever man of the people he saw and found him shouting, him he
drave with his sceptre and chode him with loud words: "Good sir, sit
still and hearken to the words of others that are thy betters; but thou
art no warrior, and a weakling, never reckoned whether in battle or in
council. In no wise can we Achaians all be kings here. A multitude of
masters is no good thing; let there be one master, one king, to whom the
son of crooked-counselling Kronos hath granted it, [even the sceptre and
judgments, that he may rule among you"].

So masterfully ranged he the host; and they hasted back to the assembly
from ships and huts, with noise as when a wave of loud-sounding sea
roareth on the long beach and the main resoundeth.

Now all the rest sat down and kept their place upon the benches, only
Thersites still chattered on, the uncontrolled speech, whose mind was
full of words many and disorderly, wherewith to strive against the
chiefs idly and in no good order, but even as he deemed that he should
make the Argives laugh. And he was ill-favored beyond all men that came
to Ilios. Bandy-legged was he, and lame of one foot, and his two
shoulders rounded, arched down upon his chest; and over them his head
was warped, and a scanty stubble sprouted on it. Hateful was he to
Achilles above all and to Odysseus, for them he was wont to revile. But
now with shrill shout he poured forth his upbraidings upon goodly
Agamemnon. With him the Achaians were sore vexed and had indignation in
their souls. But he with loud shout spake and reviled Agamemnon:
"Atreides, for what art thou now ill content and lacking? Surely thy
huts are full of bronze and many women are in they huts, the chosen
spoils that we Achaians give thee first of all, whene'er we take a town.
Can it be that thou yet wantest gold as well, such as some one of the
horse-taming Trojans may bring from Ilios to ransom his son, whom I
perchance or some other Achaian have led captive; or else some young
girl, to know in love, whom thou mayest keep apart to thyself? But it is
not seemly for one that is their captain to bring the sons of the
Achaians to ill. Soft fools, base things of shame, ye women of Achaia
and men no more, let us depart home with our ships, and leave this
fellow here in Troy-land to gorge him with meeds of honour, that he may
see whether our aid avail him aught or no; even he that hath now done
dishonour to Achilles, a far better man than he; for he hath taken away
his meed of honour and keepeth it by his own violent deed. Of a very
surety is there no wrath at all in Achilles' mind, but he is slack; else
this despite, thou son of Atreus, were thy last."

So spake Thersites, reviling Agamemnon shepherd of the host. But goodly
Odysseus came straight to his side, and looking sternly at him with hard
words rebuked him: "Thersites, reckless in words, shrill orator though
thou art, refrain thyself, nor aim to strive singly against kings. For I
deem that no mortal is baser than thou of all that with the sons of
Atreus came before Ilios. Therefore were it well that thou shouldest not
have kings in thy mouth as thou talkest, and utter revilings against
them and be on the watch for departure. We know not yet clearly how
these things shall be, whether we sons of the Achaians shall return for
good or ill. Therefore now dost thou revile continually Agamemnon son of
Atreus, shepherd of the host, because the Danaan warriors give him many
gifts, and so thou talkest tauntingly. But I will tell thee plain, and
that I say shall even be brought to pass: if I find thee again raving as
now thou art, then may Odysseus' head no longer abide upon his
shoulders, nor may I any more be called father of Telemachos, if I take
thee not and strip from thee thy garments, thy mantle and tunic that
cover thy nakedness, and for thyself send thee weeping to the fleet
ships, and beat thee out of the assembly with shameful blows."

So spake he, and with his staff smote his back and shoulders: and he
bowed down and a big tear fell from him, and a bloody weal stood up from
his back beneath the golden sceptre. Then he sat down and was amazed,
and in pain with helpless look wiped away the tear. But the rest, though
they were sotty, laughed lightly at him, and thus would one speak
looking at another standing by: "Go to, of a truth Odysseus hath wrought
good deeds without number ere now, standing foremost in wise counsels
and setting battle in array, but now is this thing the best by fat that
he hath wrought among the Argives, to wit, that he hath stayed this
prating railer from his harangues. Never again, forsooth, will his proud
soul henceforth bid him revile the kings with slanderous words."

So said the common sort; but up rose Odysseus waster of cities, with
sceptre in his hand. And by his side bright-eyed Athene in the likeness
of a herald bade the multitude keep silence, that the sons of the
Achaians, both the nearest and the farthest, might hear his words
together and give heed to his counsel. He of good intent made harangue
to them and said: "Atreides, now surely are the Achaians for making
thee, O king, most despised among all mortal men, nor will they fulfil
the promise that they pledged thee when they still were marching hither
from horse-pasturing Argos; that thou shouldest not return till thou
hadst laid well-walled Ilios waste. For like young children or widow
women do they wail each to the other of returning home. Yea, here is
toil to make a man depart disheartened. For he that stayeth away but one
single month far from his wife in his benched ship fretteth himself when
winter storms and the furious sea imprison him; but for us, the ninth
year of our stay here is upon us in its course. Therefore do I not
marvel that the Achaians should fret beside their beaked ships; yet
nevertheless is it shameful to wait long and to depart empty. Be of good
heart, my friends, and wait a while, until we learn whether Kalchas be a
true prophet or no. For this thing verily we know well in our hearts,
and ye all are witnesses thereof, even as many as the fates of death
have not borne away. It was as it were but yesterday or the day before
that the Achaians' ships were gathering in Aulis, freighted with trouble
for Priam and the Trojans; and we round about a spring were offering on
the holy altars unblemished hecatombs to the immortals, beneath a fair
plane-tree whence flowed bright water, when there was seen a great
portent: a snake blood-red on the back, terrible, whom the god of
Olympus himself had sent forth to the light of day, sprang from beneath
the altar and darted to the plane-tree. Now there were there the brood
of a sparrow, tender little ones, upon the topmost branch, nestling
beneath the leaves; eight were they and the mother of the little ones
was the ninth, and the snake swallowed these cheeping pitifully. And the
mother fluttered around wailing for her dear little ones; but he coiled
himself and caught her by the wing as she screamed about him. Now when
he had swallowed the sparrow's little ones and the mother with them, the
god who revealed him made of him a sign; for the son of
crooked-counselling Kronos turned him to stone, and we stood by and
marvelled to see what was done. So when the dread portent brake in upon
the hecatombs of the gods, then did Kalchas forthwith prophesy, and
said: 'Why hold ye your peace, ye flowing-haired Achaians? To us hath
Zeus the counsellor shown this great sign, late come, of late
fulfilment, the fame whereof shall never perish. Even as he swallowed
the sparrow's little ones and herself, the eight wherewith the mother
that bare the little ones was the ninth, so shall we war there so many
years, but in the tenth year shall we take the wide-wayed city.' So
spake the seer; and now are all these things being fulfilled. So come,
abide ye all, ye well-greaved Achaians, even where ye are, until we have
taken the great city of Priam."

So spake he, and the Argives shouted aloud, and all round the ships
echoed terribly to the voice of the Achaians as they praised the saying
of god-like Odysseus. And then spake among them knightly Nestor of
Gerenia: "Out on it; in very truth ye hold assembly like silly boys that
have no care for deeds of war. What shall come of our covenants and our
oaths? Let all counsels be cast into the fire and all devices of
warriors and the pure drink-offerings and the right hands of fellowship
wherein we trusted. For we are vainly striving with words nor can we
find any device at all, for all our long tarrying here. Son of Atreus,
do thou still, as erst, keep steadfast purpose and lead the Argives amid
the violent fray; and for these, let them perish, the one or two
Achaians that take secret counsel--to depart to Argos first, before they
know whether the promise of aegis-bearing Zeus be a lie or no. Yea, for
I say that most mighty Kronion pledged us his word that day when the
Argives embarked upon their fleet ships, bearing unto the Trojans death
and fate; for by his lightning upon our right he manifested signs of
good. Therefore let Trojan's wife and paid back his strivings and groans
for Helen's sake. But if any man is overmuch desirous to depart homewards,
let him lay his hand upon his decked black ship, that before all men he
may encounter death and fate. But do thou, my king, take good counsel
thyself, and whate'er it be, shall not be cast away. Separate thy
warriors by tribes and by clans, Agamemnon, that clan may give aid to
clan and tribe to tribe. If thou do thus and the Achaians hearken to
thee, then wilt thou know who among thy captains and who of the common
sort is a coward, and who too is brave; for they will fight each after
their sort. So wilt thou know whether it is even by divine command that
thou shalt not take the city, or by the baseness of thy warriors and
their ill skill in battle."

And lord Agamemnon answered and said to him: "Verily hast thou again
outdone the sons of the Achaians in speech, old man. Ah, father Zeus and
Athene and Apollo, would that among the Achaians I had ten such
councillors; then would the city of king Priam soon bow beneath our
hands, captive and wasted. But aegis-bearing Zeus, the son of Kronos,
hath brought sorrows upon me, in that he casteth my lot amid fruitless
wranglings and strifes. For in truth I and Achilles fought about a
damsel with violent words, and I was first to be angry; but if we can
only be at one in council, then will there no more be any putting off
the day of evil for the Trojans, no not for an instant. But now go ye to
your meal that we may join battle. Let each man sharpen well his spear
and bestow well his shield, and let him well give his fleet-footed
steeds their meal, and look well to his chariot on every side and take
thought for battle, that all day long we may contend in hateful war. For
of respite shall there intervene no, not a whit, only that the coming of
night shall part the fury of warriors. On each man's breast shall the
baldrick of his covering shield be wet with sweat, and his hand shall
grow faint about the spear, and each man's horse shall sweat as he
draweth the polished chariot. And whomsoever I perceive minded to tarry
far from the fight beside the beaked ships, for him shall there be no
hope hereafter to escape the dogs and birds of prey."

So spake he, and the Argives shouted aloud, like to a wave on a steep
shore, when the south wind cometh and stirreth it; even on a jutting
rock, that is never left at peace by the waves of all winds that rise
from this side and from that. And they did sacrifice each man to one of
the everlasting gods, praying for escape from death and the tumult of
battle. But Agamemnon king of men slew a fat bull of five years to most
mighty Kronion, and called the elders, the princes of the Achaian host,
Nestor first and king Idomeneus, and then the two Aiantes and Tydeus'
son, and sixthly Odysseus peer of Zeus in counsel. And Menelaos of the
loud war-cry came to him unbidden, for he knew in his heart how his
brother toiled. Then stood they around the bull and took the
barley-meal. And Agamemnon made his prayer in their midst and said:
"Zeus, most glorious, most great, god of the storm-cloud, that dwellest
in the heaven, vouchsafe that the sun set not upon us nor the darkness
come near, till I have laid low upon the earth Priam's palace smirched
with smoke, and burnt the doorways thereof with consuming fire, and rent
on Hector's breast his doublet cleft with the blade; and about him may
full many of his comrades prone in the dust bite the earth."

So spake he, but not as yet would Kronion grant him fulfilment; he
accepted the sacrifice, but made toil to wax increasingly.

Now when they had prayed and sprinkled the barley-meal they first drew
back the bull's head and cut his throat and flayed him, and cut slices
from the thigh's and wrapped them in fat, making a double fold, and laid
raw collops thereon. And these they burnt on cleft wood stript of
leaves, and spitted the vitals and held them over Hephaistos' flame. Now
when the thighs were burnt and they had tasted the vitals, then sliced
they all the rest and pierced it through with spits, and roasted it
carefully and drew all off again. So when they had rest from the task
and had made ready the banquet, they feasted, nor was their heart aught
stinted of the fair banquet. But when they had put away from them the
desire of meat and drink, then did knightly Nestor of Gerenia open his
saying to them: "Most noble son of Atreus, Agamemnon king of men, let us
not any more hold long converse here, nor for long delay the work that
god putteth in our hands; but come, let the heralds of the mail-clad
Achaians make proclamation to the folk and gather them throughout the
ships; and let us go thus in concert through the wide host of the
Achaians, that the speedier we may arouse keen war."

So spake he and Agamemnon king of men disregarded not. Straightway he
bade the clear-voiced heralds summon to battle the flowing-haired
Achaians. So those summoned and these gathered with all speed. And the
kings, the fosterlings of Zeus that were about Atreus' son, eagerly
marshalled them, and bright-eyed Athene in the midst, bearing the holy
aegis that knoweth neither age nor death, whereon wave an hundred
tassels of pure gold, all deftly woven and each one an hundred oxen
worth. Therewith she passed dazzling through the Achaian folk, urging
them forth; and in every man's heart she roused strength to battle
without ceasing and to fight. So was war made sweeter to them than to
depart in their hollow ships to their dear native land. Even as ravaging
fire kindleth a boundless forest on a mountain's peaks, and the blaze is
seen from afar, even so as they marched went the dazzling gleam from the
innumerable bronze through the sky even unto the heavens.

And as the many tribes of feathered birds, wild geese or cranes or
long-necked swans, on the Asian mead by Kaystrios' stream, fly hither
and thither joying in their plumage, and with loud cries settle ever
onwards, and the mead resounds; even so poured forth the many tribes of
warriors from ships and huts into the Skamandrian plain. And the earth
echoed terribly beneath the tread of men and horses. So stood they in
the flowery Skamandrian plain, unnumbered as are leaves and flowers in
their season. Even as the many tribes of thick flies that hover about a
herdsman's steading in the spring season, when milk drencheth the pails,
even in like number stood the flowing-haired Achaians upon the plain in
face of the Trojans, eager to rend them asunder. And even as the
goatherds easily divide the ranging flocks of goats when they mingle in
the pasture, so did their captains marshal them on this side and that,
to enter into the fray, and in their midst lord Agamemnon, his head and
eyes like unto Zeus whose joy is in the thunder, and his waist like unto
Ares and his breast unto Poseidon. Even as a bull standeth out far
foremost amid the herd, for his is pre-eminent amid the pasturing kine,
even such did Zeus make Atreides on that day, pre-eminent among many and
chief amid heroes.

Tell me now, ye Muses that dwell in the mansions of Olympus--seeing that
ye are goddesses and are at hand and know all things, but we hear only a
rumour and know not anything--who were the captains of the Danaans and
their lords. But the common sort could I not number nor name, nay, not
if ten tongues were mine and ten mouths, and a voice unwearied, and my
heart of bronze within me, did not the Muses of Olympus, daughters of
aegis-bearing Zeus, put into my mind all that came to Ilios. So will I
tell the captains of the ships and all the ships in order.

Of the Boiotians Peneleos and Leitos were captains, and Arkesilaos and
Prothoenor and Klonios; these were they that dwelt in Hyria and rocky
Aulis and Schoinos and Skolos and Eteonos full of ridges, Thespeia and
Graia and Mykalessos with wide lawns; and that dwelt about Harma and
Eilesion and Erythrai, and they that possessed Eleon and Peteon and
Hyle, Okalea and the stablished fortress of Medeon, Kopai and Eutresis
and Thisbe haunt of doves; and they of Koroneia and grassy Haliartos,
and that possessed Plataia and that dwelt in Glisas, and that possessed
the stablished fortress of lesser Thebes and holy Onchestos, Poseidon's
bright grove; and that possessed Arne rich in vineyards, and Mideia and
sacred Nisa and Anthedon on the furthest borders. Of these there came
fifty ships, and in each one embarked young men of the Boiotians an
hundred and twenty. And they that dwelt in Aspledon and Orchomenos of
the Minyai were led of Askalaphos and Ialmenos, sons of Ares, whom
Astyoche conceived of the mighty god in the palace of Aktor son of
Azeus, having entered her upper chamber, a stately maiden; for mighty
Ares lay with her privily. And with them sailed thirty hollow ships.

And the Phokians were led of Schedios and Epistrophos, sons of
great-hearted Iphitos son of Naubolos; these were they that possessed
Kyparissos and rocky Pytho and sacred Krisa and Daulis and Panopeus, and
they that dwelt about Anemoreia and Hyampolis, yea, and they that lived
by the goodly river Kephisos and possessed Lilaia by Kephisos' springs.
And with them followed thirty black ships. So they marshalled the ranks
of the Phokians diligently, and had their station hard by the Boiotians
on the left.

And of the Lokrians the fleet son of Oileus was captain, Aias the less,
that was not so great as was the Telamonian Aias but far less. Small was
he, with linen corslet, but with the spear he far outdid all the
Hellenes and Achaians. These were they that dwelt in Kynos and Opus and
Kalliaros and Bessa and Skarphe and lovely Augeiai and Tarphe and
Thronion, about the streams of Boagrios. And with Aias followed forty
black ships of the Lokrians that dwell over against holy Euboia.

And the Abantes breathing fury, they that possessed Euboia and Chalkis
and Eiretria and Histiaia rich in vines, and Kerinthos by the sea and
the steep fortress of Dios and they that possessed Karytos, and they
that dwelt in Styra, all these again were led of Elephenor of the stock
of Ares, even the son of Chalkodon, and captain of the proud Abantes.
And with him followed the fleet Abantes with hair flowing behind,
spearmen eager with ashen shafts outstretched to tear the corslets on
the breasts of the foes. And with him forty black ships followed.

And they that possessed the goodly citadel of Athens, the domain of
Erechtheus the high-hearted, whom erst Athene daughter of Zeus fostered
when Earth, the grain-giver, brought him to birth;--and she gave him a
resting-place in Athens in her own rich sanctuary; and there the sons of
the Athenians worship him with bulls and rams as the years turn in their
courses--these again were led of Menestheus son of Peteos. And there was
no man upon the face of earth that was like him for the marshalling of
horsemen and warriors that bear the shield. Only Nestor rivalled him,
for he was the elder by birth. And with him rivalled him, for he was the
elder by birth. And with him fifty black ships followed.

And Aias led twelve ships from Salamis, [and brought them and set them
where the battalions of the Athenians stood.]

And they that possessed Argos and Tiryns of the great walls, Hermione
and Asine that enfold the deep gulf, Troizen and Eionai and Epidauros
full of vines, and the youths of the Achaians that possessed Aigina and
Mases, these were led of Diomedes of the loud war-cary and Sthenelos,
dear son of famous Kapaneus. And the third with them came Euryalos, a
godlike warrior, the son of king Mekisteus son of Talaos. But Diomedes
of the loud war-cry was lord over all. And with them eighty black ships

And of them that possessed the stablished fortress of Mykene and wealthy
Corinth and stablished Kleonai, and dwelt in Orneiai and lovely
Araithyrea and Sikyon, wherein Adrestos was king at the first; and of
them that possessed Hyperesie and steep Gonoessa and Pellene, and dwelt
about Aigion and through all the coast-land and about broad Helike, of
them did lord Agamemnon son of Atreus lead an hundred ships. With him
followed most and goodliest folk by far; and in their midst himself was
clad in flashing bronze, all glorious, and was pre-eminent amid all
warriors, because he was goodliest and led folk far greatest in number.

And of them that possessed Lakedaimon lying low amid the rifted hills,
and Pharis and Sparta and Messe, the haunt of doves, and dwelt in
Bryseiai and lovely Augeiai, and of them too that possessed Amyklai and
the sea-coast fortress of Helos, and that possessed Laas and dwelt about
Oitylos, of these was the king's brother leader, even Menelaos of the
loud war-cry, leader of sixty ships, and these were arrayed apart. And
himself marched among them confident in his zeal, urging his men to
battle: and his heart most of all was set to take vengeance for his
strivings and groans for Helen's sake [Or, "for Helen's searchings of
heart and groans."].

And of them that dwelt in Pylos and lovely Arene and Thryon the
fording-place of Alpheios, and in established Aipy, and were inhabitants
of Kyparisseis and Amphigeneia and Pteleos and Helos and Dorion--where
the Muses met Thamyris the Thracian, and made an end of his singing, as
he was faring from Oichalia, from Eurytos the Oichalian; for he averred
with boasting that he would conquer, even did the Muses themselves sing
against him, the daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus; but they in their
anger maimed him, moreover they took from him the high gift of song and
made him to forget his harping--of all these was knightly Nestor of
Gerenia leader, and with him sailed ninety hollow ships.

And of them that possessed Arkadia beneath the steep mountain of
Kyllene, beside the tomb of Aipytos, where are warriors that fight hand
to hand; and of them that dwelt in Pheneos and Orchomenos abounding in
flocks, and Rhipe and Stratie and windy Enispe, and that possessed Tegea
and lovely Mantineia, and possessed Stymphelos and dwelt in Parhasie, of
these was Ankaios' son lord Agapenor leader, even of sixty ships; and in
each ship embarked many Arkadian warriors skilled in fight. For
Agamemnon king of men himself gave them benched ships wherewith to cross
the wine-dark sea, even he the son of Atreus; for matters of seafaring
concerned them not.

And they too that inhabited Bouprasion and goodly Elis, so much thereof
as Hyrmine and Myrsinos upon the borders and the Olenian rock and
Aleision bound between them, of these men there were four captains, and
ten swift ships followed each one, and many Epeians embarked thereon. So
some were led of Amphimachos and Thalpios, of the lineage of Aktor, sons
one of Kteatos and one of Eurytos; and of some was stalwart Diores
captain, son of Amarynkes; and of the fourth company godlike Polyxeinos
was captain, son of king Agasthenes Augeias' son.

And them of Doulichion and the holy Echinean Isles that stand beyond the
sea over against Elis, even these did Meges lead, the peer of Ares,
Phyleides to wit, for he was begotten of knightly Phyleus dear to Zeus,
him that erst changed his habitation to Doulichion for anger against his
father. And with him followed forty black ships.

And Odysseus led the great-hearted Kephallenians, them that possessed
Ithaka and Neriton with quivering leafage, and dwelt in Krokyleia and
rugged Aigilips, and them that possessed Zakynthos and that dwelt in
Samos, and possessed the mainland and dwelt in the parts over against
the isles. Them did Odysseus lead, the peer of Zeus in counsel, and with
him followed twelve ships with vermillion prow.

And of the Aitolians Thoas was captain, the son of Andraimon, even of
them that dwelt in Pleuron and Olenos and Pylene, and Chalkis on the
sea-shore and rocky Kalydon. For the sons of great-hearted Oineus were
no more, neither did he still live, and golden-haired Meleagros was
dead, to whose hands all had been committed, for him to be king of the
Aitolians. And with Thoas there followed forty black ships.

And of the Cretans Idomeneus the famous spearman was leader, even of
them that possessed Knosos and Gortys of the great walls, Lyktos and
Miletos and chalky Lykastos and Phaistos and Rhytion, stablished cities
all; and of all others that dwelt in Crete of the hundred cities. Of
these men was Idomeneus the famous spearman leader, and Meriones peer of
the man-slaying war-god. With these followed eighty black ships.

And Tlepolemmos, Herakles' son goodly and tall, led from Rhodes nine
ships of the lordly Rhodians, that dwelt in Rhodes in threefold
ordering, in Lindos and Ialysos and chalky Kameiros. These were led of
Tlepolemos the famous spearman, that was born to great Herakles by
Astyocheia, whom he had brought away from Ephyre by the river Selleeis,
when he laid waste many cities of strong men, fosterlings of Zeus. Now
when Tlepolemos had grown to manhood within the strong palace walls,
anon he slew his own father's dear uncle, an old man now, Likymnios of
the stock of Ares. Then with speed built he ships and gathered much folk
together, and went fleeing across the deep, because the other sons and
grandsons of great Herakles threatened him. So he came to Rhodes a
wanderer, enduring hardships, and his folk settled by kinship in three
tribes, and were loved of Zeus that is king among gods and men; and
Kronion poured upon them exceeding great wealth.

Nireus, moreover, led three trim ships from Syme, Nireus son of Aglaia
and king Charopos, Nireus the most beauteous man that came up under
Ilios of all the Danaans, after the noble son of Peleus. Howbeit he was
a weakling, and a scanty host followed him.

And of them that possessed Nisyros and Krapathos and Kasos and Kos the
city of Eurypylos, and the Kalydnian Isles, of them Pheidippos and
Antiphos were leaders, the two sons of king Thessalos son of Herakles.
With them were arrayed thirty hollow ships.

Now all moreover that dwelt in the Pelasgian Argos and inhabited Alos
and Alope and Trachis and possessed Phthia and Hellas the home of fair
women, and were called Myrmidons and Hellenes and Achaians; of all
these, even fifty ships, Achilles was captain. But these took no thought
of noisy war; for there was no man to array them in line of battle. For
fleet-footed goodly Achilles lay idle amid the ships, wroth for the sake
of a damsel, Briseis of the lovely hair, whom he had won from Lyrnessos
and the walls of Thebe, and overthrew Mynes and Epistrophos, warriors
that bare the spear, sons of king Euenos Selepos' son. For her sake lay
Achilles sorrowing; but soon was he to arise again.

And of them that possessed Phylake and flowery Pyrasos, Demeter's
sanctuary, and Iton mother of flocks, and Antron by the sea-shore and
Pteleos couched in grass, of all these was warlike Protesilaos leader
while yet he lived; but now ere this the black earth held him fast. His
wife with marred visage was left alone in Phylake, yea, and his bridal
chamber half builded; for a Dardanian warrior slew him as he leapt from
his ship far first of the Achaians. Yet neither were his men leaderless,
though they sorrowed for their leader; for Podarkes of the stock of Ares
marshalled them, son of Phylakos' son Iphiklos was he, the lord of many
flocks, own brother of great-hearted Protesilaos, and younger-born than
he: but the other was alike the elder and the braver, even Protesilaos,
that mighty man of war. Yet did not the host lack at all a leader, only
they yearned for the noble dead. With him followed forty black ships.

And of them that dwelt in Pherai by the Boibeian mere, in Boibe and
Glaphyre and stablished Iolkos, of them, even eleven ships, Admetos'
dear son was leader, Eumelos whom Alkestis, fair among women, bare to
Admetos, she that was most beauteous to look upon of the daughters of

And of them that dwelt in Methone and Thaumakie, and possessed Meliboia
and rugged Olizon, of these, even seven ships, was Philoktetes leader,
the cunning archer; and in each ship sailed fifty oarsmen skilled to
fight amain with the bow. But their captain lay enduring sore pain in
the isle of goodly Lemnos, where the sons of the Achaians left him sick
of a grievous wound from a deadly water-snake. There lay he pining; yet
were the Argives soon to bethink them beside their ships of king
Philoktetes. Yet neither were his men leaderless, only they sorrowed for
their leader; but Medon marshalled them, Oileus' bastard son, whom Rhene
bare to Oileus waster of cities.

And of them that possessed Trikke and terraced ithome and that possessed
Oichalia city of Eurytos the Oichalian, of these again Asklepios' two
sons were leaders, the cunning leeches Podaleirios and Machaon. And with
them were arrayed thirty hollow ships.

And of them that possessed Ormenios and the fountain of Hypereia, and
possessed Asterion and the white crests of Titanos, of these was
Eurypylos leader, Euaimon's glorious son; and with him, forty black
ships followed.

And of them that possessed Argissa and dwelt in Gyrtona, Orthe and
Elone and the white city of Olooson, of these was captain unflinching
Polypoites, son of Peirithoos that immortal Zeus begat: and Polypoites
did famed Hippodameia conceive of Peirithoos on that day when he took
vengeance of the shaggy wild folk, and thrust them forth from Pelion and
drave them to the Aithikes. And Polypoites ruled not alone, but with him
was Leonteus of the stock of Ares, son of high-hearted Koronos Kaineus'
son. And with them forty black ships followed.

And Gouneus from Kyphos led two-and-twenty ships, and with him followed
the Enienes and unflinching Peraibians that had pitched their homes
about wintry Dodona, and dwelt on the tilth about lovely Titaresios that
poureth his fair-flowing stream into Peneios. Yet doth he not mingle
with the silver eddies of Peneios, but floweth on over him like unto
oil, seeing that he is an offspring from the water of Styx, the dread
river of the oath.

And the Magnetes were led of Prothoos son of Tenthredon, even they that
dwelt about Peneios and Pelion with trembling leafage. These did fleet
Prothoos lead, and with him forty black ships followed.

So these were the leaders of the Danaans and their captains. Now tell
me, O Muse, who among them was first and foremost, of warriors alike and
horses that followed the sons of Atreus. Of horses they of Pheres' son
were far goodliest, those that Eumelos drave, swift as birds, like of
coat, like of age, matched to the measure of a levelling line across
their backs. These were reared in Peraia by Apollo of the silver bow,
two mares carrying onward the terror of battle. But of warriors far best
was the Telamonian Aias, while the wrath of Achilles yet endured; for he
was greatest of all, he and his horses that bore him, even Peleus' noble
son. But he lay idle among his seafaring ships, in sore wrath against
Agamemnon Atreus' son, shepherd of the host; and his folk along the
sea-shore sported with quoits and with casting of javelins and archery;
and the horses each beside his own chariot stood idle, champing clover
and parsley of the marsh, and their lords' chariots lay well covered up
within the huts, while the men yearned for their warrior chief, and
wandered hither and thither through the camp and fought not.

So marched they then as though all the land were consuming with fire;
and the earth groaned beneath them as at the wrath of Zeus whose joy is
in the thunder, when he lasheth the earth about Typhoeus in the country
of the Arimoi, where men say is Typhoeus' couch. Even so groaned the
earth aloud at their tread as they went: and with speed advanced they
across the plain.

Now fleet Iris the wind-footed went to the Trojans, a messenger from
aegis-bearing Zeus, with a grievous message. These were holding assembly
at Priam's gate, being gathered all together both young men and old. And
fleet-footed Iris stood hard by and spake to them; and she made her
voice like to the voice of Polites son of Priam, who was the sentinel of
the Trojans and was wont to sit trusting in his fleetness upon the
barrow of Aisyetes of old, and on the top thereof wait the sallying of
the Achaians forth from their ships. Even in his likeness did
fleet-footed Iris speak to Priam: "Old man, words beyond number are
still pleasant to thee as erst in the days of peace; but war without
respite is upon us. Of a truth have I very oft ere now entered into
battles of the warriors, yet have I never seen so goodly a host and so
great; for in the very likeness of the leaves of the forest or the sands
of the sea are they marching along the plain to fight against the city.
But Hector, thee do I charge beyond all to do even as I shall say.
Seeing that the allies are very many throughout Priam's great city, and
diverse men, being scattered abroad, have diverse tongues; therefore let
each one give the word to those whose chieftain he is, and them let him
lead forth and have the ordering of his countrymen."

So spake she, and Hector failed not to know the voice of the goddess,
and straightway dismissed the assembly, and they rushed to arms. And the
gates were thrown open wide, and the host issued forth, footmen and
horsemen, and mighty din arose.

Now there is before the city a certain steep mound apart in the plain,
with a clear way about it on this side and on that; and men indeed call
this "Batieia," but the immortals call it "The tomb of lithe Myrine."
There did the Trojans and their allies divide their companies.

Amid the Trojans great Hector of the glancing helm was leader, the son
of Priam; with him the greatest hosts by far and the goodliest were
arrayed, eager warriors of the spear.

But the Dardanians were led of the princely son of Anchises, Aineias,
whom bright Aphrodite conceived to Anchises amids the spurs of Ida, a
goddess wedded to a mortal. Neither was he alone; with him were
Antenor's two sons, Archelochos and Akamas, well skilled in all the ways
of war.

And of them that dwelt in Zeleia beneath the nethermost foot of Ida, the
men of substance that drink the dark waters of Aisepos, even the Troes;
of these Lykaon's glorious son was leader, Pandaros, to whom Apollo
himself gave the bow.

And of them that possessed Adresteia and the land of Apaisos and
possessed Pityeia and the steep hill of Tereia, of these Adrestos was
captain, and Amphios of the linen corslet, the two sons of Merops of
Perkote, that beyond all men knew soothsaying, and would have hindered
his children marching to murderous war. But they gave him no heed, for
the fates of black death led them on.

And they that dwelt about Perkote and Praktios and possessed Sestos and
Abydos and bright Arisbe, these were led of Hyrtakos' son Asios, a
prince of men, Asios son of Hyrtakos, whom his tall sorrel steeds
brought from Arisbe, from the river Selleeis.

And Hippothoos led the tribes of the Pelasgians that fight with spears,
them that inhabited deep-soiled Larisa. These were led of Hippothoos and
Pylaios of the stock of Ares, twain sons of Pelasgian Lethos son of

And the Thracians were led of Akamas and hero Peiroos, even all they
that the strong stream of Hellespont shutteth in. And Euphemos was
captain of the Kikonian spearmen, the son of Troizenos Keos' son,
fosterling of Zeus.

But Pyraichmes led the Paionians with curving bows, from far away in
Amydon, from the broad stream of Axios, Axios whose water is the fairest
that floweth over the face of the earth.

And Pylaimenes of rugged heart led the Paphlagonians from the land of
the Eneti, whence is the breed of wild mules. This folk were they that
possessed Kytoros and dwelt about Sesamon, and inhabited their famed
dwellings round the river Parthenios and Kromna and Aigialos and lofty

And the Alizones were led of Odios and Epistrophos, from far away in
Alybe, where is the birthplace of silver.

And the Mysians were led of Chromis and Ennomos the augur, yet with all
his auguries warded he not black fate from him, but was vanguished by the
hand of fleet-footed Aiakides in the river, when he made havoc of the
Trojans there and of the rest.

And Phorkys and godlike Askanios led the Phrygians from far Askania, and
these were eager to fight in the battle-throng.

And the Maionians were commanded of Mesthles and Antiphos, Talaimenes'
two sons, whose mother was the Gygaian mere. So these led the Maionians,
whose birthplace was under Tmolos.

But Nastes led the Karians, uncouth of speech, that possessed Miletos
and the mountain of Phthires, of leafage numberless, and the streams of
Maiandros and the steep crest of Mykale. These were led of Amphimachos
and Nastes: Nastes and Amphimachos the glorious children of Nomion. And
he came, forsooth, to battle with golden attire like a girl--fond man:
that held not back in any wise grievous destruction, but he was
vanguished by the hands of fleet-footed Aiakides in the river, and
wise-hearted Achilles carried away his gold.

And Sarpedon and blameless Glaukos led the Lykians from far away in
Lykia by eddying Xanthos.


How Menelaos and Paris fought in single combat; and
Aphrodite rescued Paris. And how Helen and Priam beheld the
Achaian host from the walls of Troy.

Now when they were arrayed, each company with their captains, the
Trojans marched with clamour and with shouting like unto birds, even as
when there goeth up before heaven a clamour of cranes which flee from
the coming of winter and sudden rain, and fly with clamour towards the
streams of ocean, bearing slaughter and fate to the Pigmy men, and in
early morn offer cruel battle. But on the other side marched the
Achaians in silence breathing courage, eager at heart to give succour
man to man.

Even as when the south wind sheddeth mist over the crests of a mountain,
mist unwelcome to the shepherd, but to the robber better than night,
and a man can see no further than he casteth a stone; even so thick
arose the gathering dust-clouds at their tread as they went; and
with all speed they advanced across the plain.

So when they were now come nigh in onset on each other, godlike
Alexandros played champion to the Trojans, wearing upon his shoulders
panther-skin and curved bow and sword; and he brandished two
bronze-headed spears and challenged all the chieftains of the Argives to
fight him man to man in deadly combat. But when Menelaos dear to Ares
marked him coming in the forefront of the multitude with long strides,
then even as a lion is glad when he lighteth upon a great carcase, a
horned stag, or a wild goat that he hath found, being an hungered; and
so he devoureth it amain, even though the fleet hounds and lusty youths
set upon him; even thus was Menelaos glad when his eyes beheld godlike
Alexandros; for he thought to take vengeance upon the sinner. So
straightway he leap in his armour from his chariot to the ground.

But when godlike Alexandros marked him appear amid the champions, his
heart was smitten, and he shrank back into the host of his comrades,
avoiding death. And even as a man that hath seen a serpent in a mountain
glade starteth backward and trembling seizeth his feet beneath him,
and he retreateth back again, and paleness hath hold of his cheeks, even
so did godlike Alexandros for fear of Atreus' son shrink back into the
throng of lordly Trojans. But Hector beheld and upbraided him with
scornful words: "Ill Paris, most fair in semblance, thou deceiver
woman-mad, would thou hadst been unborn and died unwed. Yea, that were
my desire, and it were far better than thus to be our shame and looked
at askance of all men. I ween that the flowing-haired Achaians laugh,
deeming that a prince is our champion only because a goodly favour is
his; but in his heart is there no strength nor any courage. Art thou
indeed such an one that in thy seafaring ships thou didst sail over the
deep with the company of thy trusty comrades, and in converse with
strangers didst bring back a fair woman from a far country, one that was
by marriage daughter to warriors that bear the spear, that she might be
a sore mischief to they father and city and all the realm, but to our
foes a rejoicing, and to thyself a hanging of the head? And canst thou
not indeed abide Menelaos dear to Ares? Thou mightest see what sort of
warrior is he whose lovely wife thou hast. Thy lyre will not avail thee
nor the gifts of Aphrodite, those thy locks and fair favour, when thou
grovellest in the dust. But the Trojans are very cowards: else ere this
hadst thou donned a robe of stone [i.e., been stoned by the people] for
all the ill thou hast wrought."

And godlike Alexandros made answer to him again: "Hector, since in
measure thou chidest me and not beyond measure--they heart is ever keen,
even as an axe that pierceth a beam at the hand of a man that shapeth a
ship's timber with skill, and thereby is the man's blow strengthened;
even such is thy heart undaunted in thy breast. Cast not in my teeth the
lovely gifts of golden Aphrodite; not to be flung aside are the gods'
glorious gifts that of their own good will they give; for by his desire
can no man win them. But now if thou wilt have me do battle and fight,
make the other Trojans sit down and all the Achaians, and set ye me in
the midst, and Menelaos dear to Ares, to fight for Helen and all her
wealth. And whichsoever shall vanquish and gain the upper hand, let him
take all the wealth aright, and the woman, and bear them home. And let
the rest pledge friendship and sure oaths; so may ye dwell in
deep-soiled Troy, and let them depart to Argos pasture-land of horses,
and Achaia home of fair women."

So spake he, and Hector rejoiced greatly to hear his saying, and went
into the midst and restrained the battalions of the Trojans, with his
spear grasped by the middle; and they all sate them down. But the
flowing-haired Achaians kept shooting at him, aiming with arrows and
casting stones. But Agamemnon king of men cried aloud: "Refrain, ye
Argives; shoot not, ye sons of the Achaians; for Hector of the glancing
helm hath set himself to say somewhat."

So spake he, and they refrained from battle and made silence speedily.
And Hector spake between the two hosts, "Hear of me, Trojans and
well-greaved Achaians, the saying of Alexandros, for whose sake strife
hath come about. He biddeth the other Trojans and all the Achaians to
lay down their goodly armour on the bounteous earth, and himself in the
midst and Menelaos dear to Ares to fight alone for Helen and all her
wealth. And whichsoever shall vanquish and gain the upper hand, let him
take all the wealth aright, and the woman, and bear them home; but let
all of us pledge friendship and sure oaths."

So spake he, and they all kept silence and were still. Then in their
midst spake Menelaos of the loud war-cry: "Hearken ye now to me, too;
for into my heart most of all is grief entered; and I deem that the
parting of Argives and Trojans hath come at last; seeing ye have endured
many ills because of my quarrel and the first sin of Alexandros. And for
whichsoever of us death and fate are prepared, let him lie dead: and be
ye all parted with speed. Bring ye two lambs, one white ram and one
black ewe, for earth and sun; and let us bring one for Zeus. And call
hither great Priam, that he may pledge the oath himself, seeing he hath
sons that are overweening and faithless, lest any by transgression do
violence to the oath of Zeus; for young men's hearts are ever lifted up.
But wheresoever an old man entereth in, he looketh both before and
after, whereby the best issue shall come for either side."

So spake he, and Achaians and Trojans were glad, deeming that they
should have rest from grievous war. So they refrained their chariots to
the ranks, and themselves alighted and doffed their arms. And these they
laid upon the earth each close to each, and there was but small space
between. And Hector sent two heralds to the city will all speed, to
bring the lambs, and to call Priam. And lord Agamemnon sent forth
Talthybios to go to the hollow ships, and bade him bring a ram; and he
was not disobedient to noble Agamemnon.

Now Iris went with a message to white-armed Helen in the likeness of her
husband's sister, the spouse of Antenor's son, even her that lord
Helikaon Antenor's son had to wife, Laodike fairest favoured of Priam's
daughters. And in the hall she found Helen weaving a great purple web of
double fold, and embroidering thereon many battles of horse-taming
Trojans and mail-clad Achaians, that they had endured for her sake at
the hands of Ares. So fleet-footed Iris stood by her side and said:
"Come hither, dear sister, that thou mayest see the wondrous doings of
horse-taming Trojans and mail-clad Achaians. They that erst waged
tearful war upon each other in the plain, eager for deadly battle, even
they sit now in silence, and the tall spears are planted by their sides.
But Alexandros and Menelaos dear to Ares will fight with their tall
spears for thee; and thou wilt be declared the dear wife of him that

So spake the goddess, and put into her heart sweet longing for her
former husband and her city and parents.

Forthwith she veiled her face in shining linen, and hastened from her
chamber, letting fall a round tear; not unattended, for there followed
with her two handmaidens, Aithre daughter of Pittheus and ox-eyed
Klymene. Then came she straightway to the place of the Skaian gates. And
they that were with Priam and Panthoos and Thymoites and Lampos and
Klytios and Hiketaon of the stock of Ares, Oukalegon withal and Antenor,
twain sages, being elders of the people, sat at the Skaian gates. These
had now ceased from battle for old age, yet were they right good
orators, like grasshoppers that in a forest sit upon a tree and utter
their lily-like [supposed to mean "delicate" or "tender"] voice; even so
sat the elders of the Trojans upon the tower. Now when they saw Helen
coming to the tower they softly spake winged words one to the other:
"Small blame is it that Trojans and well-greaved Achaians should for
such a woman long time suffer hardships; marvellously like is she to the
immortal goddesses to look upon. Yet even so, though she be so goodly,
let her go upon their ships and not stay to vex us and our children
after us."

So said they, and Priam lifted up his voice and called to Helen: "Come
hither, dear child, and sit before me, that thou mayest see thy former
husband and they kinsfolk and thy friends. I hold thee not to blame;
nay, I hold the gods to blame who brought on me the dolorous war of the
Achaians--so mayest thou now tell me who is this huge hero, this Achaian
warrior so goodly and great. Of a truth there are others even taller by
a head; yet mine eyes never behold a man so beautiful nor so royal; for
he is like unto one that is a king."

And Helen, fair among women, spake and answered him: "Reverend art thou
to me and dread, dear father of my lord; would that sore death had been
my pleasure when I followed thy son hither, and left my home and my
kinsfolk and my daughter in her girlhood and the lovely company of mine
age-fellows. But that was not so, wherefore I pine with weeping. Now
will I tell thee that whereof thou askest me and enquirest. This is
Atreides, wide-ruling Agamemnon, one that is both a goodly king and
mighty spearman. And he was my husband's brother to me, ah shameless me;
if ever such an one there was."

So said she, and the old man marvelled at him, and said: "Ah, happy
Atreides, child of fortune, blest of heaven; now know I that many sons
of the Achaians are subject to thee. Erewhile fared I to Phrygia, the
land of vines, and there saw I that the men of Phrygia, they of the
nimble steeds, were very many, even the hosts of Otreus and godlike
Mygdon, that were then encamped along the banks of Sangarios. For I too
being their ally was numbered among them on the day that the Amazons
came, the peers of men. Yet were not even they so many as are the
glancing-eyed Achaians."

And next the old man saw Odysseus, and asked: "Come now, tell me of this
man too, dear child, who is he, shorter by a head than Agamemnon son of
Atreus, but broader of shoulder and of chest to behold? His armour lieth
upon the bounteous earth, and himself like a bell-wether rangeth the
ranks of warriors. Yea, I liken him to a thick-fleeced ram ordering a
great flock of ewes."

Then Helen sprung of Zeus made answer to him: "Now this is Laertes' son,
crafty Odysseus, that was reared in the realm of Ithaka, rugged though
it be, and skilled in all the ways of wile and cunning device."

Then sage Antenor made answer to her: "Lady, verily the thing thou
sayest is true indeed, for erst came goodly Odysseus hither also on an
embassage for thee, in the company of Menelaos dear to Ares; and I gave
them entertainment and welcomed them in my halls, and learnt the aspect
of both and their wise devices. Now when they mingled with the Trojans
in the assembly, while all stood up Menelaos overpassed them all by the
measure of his broad shoulders; but when both sat down, Odysseus was the
more stately. And when they began to weave the web of words and counsel
in the face of all, then Menelaos harangued fluently, in few words, but
very clearly, seeing he was not long of speech, neither random, though
in years he was the younger. But whenever Odysseus full of wiles rose
up, he stood and looked down, with eyes fixed upon the ground, and waved
not his staff whether backwards or forwards, but held it stiff, like to
a man of no understanding; one would deem him to be churlish, and naught
but a fool. But when he uttered his great voice from his chest, and
words like unto the snowflakes of winter, then could no mortal man
contend with Odysseus; then marvelled we not thus to behold Odysseus'

And thirdly the old man say Aias, and asked: "Who then is this other
Achaian warrior, goodly and great, preeminent among the Archives by the
measure of his head and broad shoulders?"

And long-robed Helen, fair among women, answered: "This is huge Aias,
bulwark of the Achaians. And on the other side amid the Cretans standeth
Idomeneus like a god, and about him are gathered the captains of the
Cretans. Oft did Menelaos dear to Ares entertain him in our house
whene'er he came from Crete. And now behold I all the other
glancing-eyed Achaians, whom well I could discern and tell their names;
but two captains of the host can I not see, even Kastor tamer of horses
and Polydeukes the skilful boxer, mine own brethren, whom the same mother
bare. Either they came not in the company from lovely Lakedaimon; or
they came hither indeed in their seafaring ships, but now will not enter
into the battle of the warriors, for fear of the many scornings and
revilings that are mine."

So said she; but them the life-giving earth held fast there in
Lakedaimon, in their dear native land.

Meanwhile were the heralds bearing through the city the holy
oath-offerings, two lambs and strong-hearted wine, the fruit of the
earth, in a goat-skin bottle. And the herald Idaios bare the shining
bowl and golden cups; and came to the old man and summoned him and said:
"Rise, thou son of Laomedon. The chieftains of the horse-taming Trojans
and mail-clad Achaians call on thee to go down into the plain, that ye
may pledge a trusty oath. But Alexandros and Menelaos dear to Ares will
fight with their long spears for the lady's sake; and let lady and
treasure go with him that shall conquer. And may we that are left pledge
friendship and trusty oaths and dwell in deep-soiled Troy, and they
shall depart to Argos pasture-land of horses and Achaia home of fair

So said he, and the old man shuddered and base his companions yoke the
horses; and they with speed obeyed. Then Priam mounted and drew back the
reins, and by his side Antenor mounted the splendid chariot. So the two
drave the fleet horses through the Skaian gates to the plain. And when
they had come even to the Trojans and Achaians, they went down from the
chariots upon the bounteous earth, and marched into the midst of Trojans
and Achaians. Then forthwith rose up Agamemnon king of men, and up rose
Odysseus the man of wiles; and the lordly heralds gathered together the
holy oath-offerings of the gods, and mingled the wine in a bowl, and
poured water over the princes' hands. And Atreides put forth his hand
and drew his knife that hung ever beside his sword's great sheath, and
cut the hair from off the lambs' heads; and then the heralds portioned
it among the chief of the Trojans and Achaians. Then in their midst
Atreus' son lifted up his hands and prayed aloud: "Father Zeus, that
rulest from Ida, most glorious, most great, and thou Sun that seest all
things and hearest all things, and ye Rivers and thou Earth, and ye that
in the underworld punish men outworn, whosoever sweareth falsely; be ye
witnesses, and watch over the faithful oath. If Alexandros slay
Menelaos, then let him have Helen to himself and all her possessions;
and we will depart on our seafaring ships. But if golden-haired Menelaos
slay Alexandros, then let the Trojans give back Helen and all her
possessions and pay the Argives the recompense that is seemly, such as
shall live among men that shall be hereafter. But if so be that Priam
and Priam's sons will not pay the recompense unto me when Alexandros
falleth, then will I fight on thereafter for the price of sin, and abide
here till I compass the end of war."

So said he, and cut the lambs' throats with the pitiless knife. Them he
laid gasping upon the ground, failing of breath, for the knife had taken
their strength from them; and next they drew the wine from the bowl into
the cups, and poured it forth and prayed to the gods that live for ever.
And thus would say many an one of Achaians and Trojans: "Zeus most
glorious, most great, and all ye immortal gods, which folk soe'er be
first to sin against the oaths, may their brains be so poured forth upon
the earth even as this wine, theirs and their children's; and let their
wives be made subject unto strangers."

So spake they, but the son of Kronos vouchsafed not yet fulfilment. And
in their midst Priam of the seed of Dardanos uttered his saying:
"Hearken to me, Trojans and well-greaved Achaians. I verily will return
back to windy Ilios, seeing that I can in no wise bear to behold with
mine eyes my dear son fighting with Menelaos dear to Ares. But Zeus
knoweth, and all the immortal gods, for whether of the twain the doom of
death is appointed."

So spake the godlike man, and laid the lambs in his chariot, and entered
in himself, and drew back the reins; and by his side Antenor mounted the
splendid chariot. So they departed back again to Ilios; and Hector son
of Priam and goodly Odysseus first meted out a space, and then they took
the lots, and shook them in a bronze-bound helmet, to know whether of
the twain should first cast his spear of bronze. And the people prayed
and lifted up their hands to the gods; and thus would say many an one of
Achaians and Trojans: "Father Zeus, that rulest from Ida, most glorious,
most great; whichsoe'er it be that brought this trouble upon both
peoples, vouchsafe that he may die and enter the house of Hades; that so
for us peace may be assured and trusty oaths."

So said they; and great Hector of the glancing plume shook the helmet,
looking behind him; and quickly leapt forth the lot of Paris. Then the
people sat them down by ranks where each man's high-stepping horses and
inwrought armour lay. And upon his shoulders goodly Alexandros donned
his beauteous armour, even he that was lord to Helen of the lovely hair.
First upon his legs set he his greaves, beautiful, fastened with silver
ankle-clasps; next upon his breast he donned the corslet of his brother
Lykaon, and fitted it upon himself. And over his shoulders cast he his
silver-studded sword of bronze, and then a shield great and sturdy. And
on his mighty head he set a wrought helmet of horse-hair crest,
whereover the plume nodded terribly, and he took him a strong spear
fitted to his grasp. And in like wise warlike Menelaos donned his

So when they had armed themselves on either side in the throng, they
strode between Trojans and Achaians, fierce of aspect, and wonder came
on them that beheld, both on the Trojans tamers of horses and on the
well-greaved Achaians. Then took they their stand near together in the
measured space, brandishing their spears in wrath each against other.
First Alexandros hurled his far shadowing spear, and smote on Atreides'
round shield; but the bronze brake not through, for its point was turned
in the stout shield. Next Menelaos son of Atreus lifted up his hand to
cast, and made prayer to father Zeus: "King Zeus, grant me revenge on
him that was first to do me wrong, even on goodly Alexandros, and subdue
thou him at my hands; so that many an one of men that shall be hereafter
may shudder to wrong his host that hath shown him kindness."

So said he, and poised his far-shadowing spear, and hurled, and smote on
the round shield of the son of Priam. Through the bright shield went the
ponderous spear and through the inwrought breastplate it pressed on; and
straight beside his flank the spear rent the tunic, but he swerved and
escaped black death. Then Atreides drew his silver-studded sword, and
lifted up his hand and smote the helmet-ridge; but the sword shattered
upon it into three, yea four, and fell from his hand. Thereat Atreides
looked up to the wide heaven and cried: "Father Zeus, surely none of the
gods is crueller than thou. Verily I thought to have gotten vengeance on
Alexandros for his wickedness, but now my sword breaketh in my hand, and
my spear sped from my grasp in vain, and I have not smitten him."

So saying, he leapt upon him and caught him by his horse-hair crest, and
swinging him round dragged him towards the well-greaved Achaians; and he
was strangled by the embroidered strap beneath his soft throat, drawn
tight below his chin to hold his helm. Now would Menelaos have dragged
him away and won glory unspeakable, but that Zeus' daughter Aphrodite
was swift to mark, and tore asunder for him the strap of slaughtered
ox's hide; so the helmet came away empty in his stalwart hand. Thereat
Menelaos cast it with a swing toward the well-greaved Achaians, and his
trusty comrades took it up; and himself sprang back again eager to slay
him with spear of bronze. But Aphrodite snatched up Paris, very easily
as a goddess may, and hid him in thick darkness, and sent him down in
his fragrant perfumed chamber; and herself went to summon Helen. Her she
found on the high tower, and about her the Trojan women thronged. So
with her hand she plucked her perfumed raiment and shook it and spake to
her in the likeness of an aged dame, a wool-comber that was wont to work
for her fair wool when she dwelt in Lakedaimon, whom too she greatly
loved. Even in her likeness fair Aphrodite spake: "Come hither;
Alexandros summoneth thee to go homeward. There is he in his chamber and
inlaid bed, radiant in beauty and vesture; nor wouldst thou deem him to
be come from fighting his foe, but rather to be faring to the dance, or
from the dance to be just resting and set down."

So said she, and stirred Helen's soul within her breast; and when now
she marked the fair neck and lovely breast and sparkling eyes of the
goddess, she marvelled straightway and spake a word and called upon her
name: "Strange queen, why art thou desirous now to beguile me? Verily
thou wilt lead me further on to some one of the people cities of Phrygia
or lovely Maionia, if there too thou hast perchance some other darling
among mortal men, because even now Menelaos hath conquered goodly
Alexandros, and will lead me, accursed me, to his home. Therefore thou
comest hither with guileful intent. Go and sit thou by his side and
depart from the way of the gods; neither let thy feet ever bear thee
back to Olympus, but still be vexed for his sake and guard him till he
make thee his wife or perchance his slave. But thither will I not go--
that were a sinful thing--to array the bed of him; all the women of Troy
will blame me thereafter; and I have griefs untold within my soul."

Then in wrath bright Aphrodite spake to her: "Provoke me not, rash
woman, lest in mine anger I desert thee, and hate thee even as now I
love thee beyond measure, and lest I devise grievous enmities between
both, even betwixt Trojans and Achaians, and so thou perish in evil

So said she, and Helen sprung of Zeus was afraid, and went wrapped in
her bright radiant vesture, silently, and the Trojan women marked her
not; and the goddess led the way.

Now when they were come to the beautiful house of Alexandros the
handmaidens turned straightway to their tasks, and the fair lady went to
the high-roofed chamber; and laughter-loving Aphrodite took for her a
chair and brought it, even she the goddess, and set it before the face
of Paris. There Helen took her seat, the child of aegis-bearing Zeus,
and with eyes turned askance spake and chode her lord: "Thou comest back
from battle; would thou hadst perished there, vanquished of that great
warrior that was my former husband. Verily it was once thy boast that
thou wast a better man than Menelaos dear to Ares, in the might of thine
arm and thy spear. But go now, challenge Menelaos, dear to Ares to fight
thee again face to face. Nay, but I, even I, bid thee refrain, nor fight
a fight with golden-haired Menelaos man to man, neither attack him
recklessly, lest perchance thou fall to his spear anon."

And Paris made answer to her and said: "Chide not my soul, lady, with
cruel taunts. For now indeed hath Menelaos vanquished me with Athene's
aid, but another day may I do so unto him; for we too have gods with us.
But come now, let us have joy of love upon our couch; for never yet hath
love so enwrapped my heart--not even then when first I snatched thee
from lovely Lakedaimon and sailed with thee on my sea-faring ships, and
in the isle of Kranae had converse with thee upon thy couch in love--as
I love thee now and sweet desire taketh hold upon me." So saying he led
the way to the couch, and the lady followed with him.

Thus laid they them upon their fretted couch; but Atreides the while
strode through the host like to a wild beast, if anywhere he might set
eyes on godlike Alexandros. But none of the Trojans or their famed
allies could discover Alexandros to Menelaos dear to Ares. Yet surely
did they in no wise hide him for kindliness, could any have seen him;
for he was hated of all even as black death. So Agamemnon king of men
spake among them there: "Hearken to me, Trojans and Dardanians and
allies. Now is victory declared for Menelaos dear to Ares; give ye back
Helen of Argos and the possessions with her, and pay ye the recompense
such as is seemly, that it may live even among men that shall be
hereafter." So said Atreides, and all the Achaians gave assent.


How Pandaros wounded Menelaos by treachery; and Agamemnon
exhorted his chief captains to battle.

Now the gods sat by Zeus and held assembly on the golden floor, and in
the midst the lady Hebe poured them their nectar: they with golden
goblets pledged one another, and gazed upon the city of the Trojans.
Then did Kronos' son essay to provoke Hera with vexing words, and spake
maliciously: "Twain goddesses hath Menelaos for his helpers, even Hera
of Argos and Alalkomenean Athene. Yet these sit apart and take there
pleasure in beholding; but beside that other ever standeth
laughter-loving Aphrodite and wardeth off fate from him, and now hath
she saved him as he thought to perish. But of a truth the victory is to
Menelaos dear to Ares; so let us take thought how these things shall be;
whether once more we shall arouse ill war and the dread battle-din, or
put friendship between the foes. Moreover if this were welcome to all
and well pleasing, may the city of king Priam yet be an habitation, and
Menelaos take back Helen of Argos."

So said he, but Athene and Hera murmured thereat, who were sitting by
him and devising ills for the Trojans. Now Athene held her peace and
said not anything, for wrath at father Zeus, and fierce anger gat hold
upon her: But Hera's breast contained not her anger, and she spake:
"Most dread son of Kronos, what word is this thou hast spoken? How hast
thou the will to make my labour void and of none effect, and the sweat
of my toil that I sweated, when my horses were wearied with my summoning
of the host, to be the plague of Priam and his sons? Do as thou wilt;
but we other gods do not all approve thee."

Then in sore anger Zeus the cloud-gatherer spake to her: "Good lack, how
have Priam and Priam's sons done thee such great wrong that thou art
furiously minded to sack the established citadel of Ilios? Perchance
wert thou to enter within the gates and long walls and devour Priam raw,
and Priam's sons and all the Trojans, then mightest thou assuage thine
anger. Do as thou art minded, only let not this quarrel hereafter be to
me and thee a sore strife between us both. And this moreover will I say
to thee, and do thou lay it to they heart; whene'er I too be of eager
mind to lay waste to a city where is the race of men that are dear to
thee, hinder thou not my wrath, but let me be, even as I yield to thee
of free will, yet with soul unwilling. For all cities beneath sun and
starry heaven that are the dwelling of mortal men, holy Ilios was most
honoured of my heart, and Priam and the folk of Priam of the good ashen
spear. For never did mine altar lack the seemly feast, even
drink-offering and burnt-offering, the worship that is our due."

Then Helen the ox-eyed queen made answer to him: "Of a surety three
cities are there that are dearest far to me, Argos and Sparta and
wide-wayed Mykene; these lay thou waste whene'er they are found hateful
to thy heart; not for them will I stand forth, nor do I grudge thee
them. For even if I be jealous and would forbid thee to overthrow them,
yet will my jealousy not avail, seeing that thou art stronger far than
I. Still must my labour too not be made of none effect; for I also am a
god, and my lineage is even as thine, and Kronos the crooked counsellor
begat me to the place of honour in double wise, by birthright, and
because I am named thy spouse, and thou art king among all the
immortals. Let us indeed yield each to other herein, I to thee and thou
to me, and the rest of the immortal gods will follow with us; and do
thou with speed charge Athene to betake her to the fierce battle din of

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