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The Iliad of Homer

Part 2 out of 8

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You would not have then found Agamemnon asleep nor cowardly and
unwilling to fight, but eager rather for the fray. He left his
chariot rich with bronze and his panting steeds in charge of
Eurymedon, son of Ptolemaeus the son of Peiraeus, and bade him
hold them in readiness against the time his limbs should weary of
going about and giving orders to so many, for he went among the
ranks on foot. When he saw men hasting to the front he stood by
them and cheered them on. "Argives," said he, "slacken not one
whit in your onset; father Jove will be no helper of liars; the
Trojans have been the first to break their oaths and to attack
us; therefore they shall be devoured of vultures; we shall take
their city and carry off their wives and children in our ships."

But he angrily rebuked those whom he saw shirking and disinclined
to fight. "Argives," he cried, "cowardly miserable creatures,
have you no shame to stand here like frightened fawns who, when
they can no longer scud over the plain, huddle together, but show
no fight? You are as dazed and spiritless as deer. Would you wait
till the Trojans reach the sterns of our ships as they lie on the
shore, to see whether the son of Saturn will hold his hand over
you to protect you?"

Thus did he go about giving his orders among the ranks. Passing
through the crowd, he came presently on the Cretans, arming round
Idomeneus, who was at their head, fierce as a wild boar, while
Meriones was bringing up the battalions that were in the rear.
Agamemnon was glad when he saw him, and spoke him fairly.
"Idomeneus," said he, "I treat you with greater distinction than
I do any others of the Achaeans, whether in war or in other
things, or at table. When the princes are mixing my choicest
wines in the mixing-bowls, they have each of them a fixed
allowance, but your cup is kept always full like my own, that you
may drink whenever you are minded. Go, therefore, into battle,
and show yourself the man you have been always proud to be."

Idomeneus answered, "I will be a trusty comrade, as I promised
you from the first I would be. Urge on the other Achaeans, that
we may join battle at once, for the Trojans have trampled upon
their covenants. Death and destruction shall be theirs, seeing
they have been the first to break their oaths and to attack us."

The son of Atreus went on, glad at heart, till he came upon the
two Ajaxes arming themselves amid a host of foot-soldiers. As
when a goat-herd from some high post watches a storm drive over
the deep before the west wind--black as pitch is the offing and a
mighty whirlwind draws towards him, so that he is afraid and
drives his flock into a cave--even thus did the ranks of stalwart
youths move in a dark mass to battle under the Ajaxes, horrid
with shield and spear. Glad was King Agamemnon when he saw them.
"No need," he cried, "to give orders to such leaders of the
Argives as you are, for of your own selves you spur your men on
to fight with might and main. Would, by father Jove, Minerva, and
Apollo that all were so minded as you are, for the city of Priam
would then soon fall beneath our hands, and we should sack it."

With this he left them and went onward to Nestor, the facile
speaker of the Pylians, who was marshalling his men and urging
them on, in company with Pelagon, Alastor, Chromius, Haemon, and
Bias shepherd of his people. He placed his knights with their
chariots and horses in the front rank, while the foot-soldiers,
brave men and many, whom he could trust, were in the rear. The
cowards he drove into the middle, that they might fight whether
they would or no. He gave his orders to the knights first,
bidding them hold their horses well in hand, so as to avoid
confusion. "Let no man," he said, "relying on his strength or
horsemanship, get before the others and engage singly with the
Trojans, nor yet let him lag behind or you will weaken your
attack; but let each when he meets an enemy's chariot throw his
spear from his own; this be much the best; this is how the men of
old took towns and strongholds; in this wise were they minded."

Thus did the old man charge them, for he had been in many a
fight, and King Agamemnon was glad. "I wish," he said to him,
"that your limbs were as supple and your strength as sure as your
judgment is; but age, the common enemy of mankind, has laid his
hand upon you; would that it had fallen upon some other, and that
you were still young."

And Nestor, knight of Gerene, answered, "Son of Atreus, I too
would gladly be the man I was when I slew mighty Ereuthalion; but
the gods will not give us everything at one and the same time. I
was then young, and now I am old; still I can go with my knights
and give them that counsel which old men have a right to give.
The wielding of the spear I leave to those who are younger and
stronger than myself."

Agamemnon went his way rejoicing, and presently found Menestheus,
son of Peteos, tarrying in his place, and with him were the
Athenians loud of tongue in battle. Near him also tarried cunning
Ulysses, with his sturdy Cephallenians round him; they had not
yet heard the battle-cry, for the ranks of Trojans and Achaeans
had only just begun to move, so they were standing still, waiting
for some other columns of the Achaeans to attack the Trojans and
begin the fighting. When he saw this Agamemnon rebuked them and
said, "Son of Peteos, and you other, steeped in cunning, heart of
guile, why stand you here cowering and waiting on others? You two
should be of all men foremost when there is hard fighting to be
done, for you are ever foremost to accept my invitation when we
councillors of the Achaeans are holding feast. You are glad
enough then to take your fill of roast meats and to drink wine as
long as you please, whereas now you would not care though you saw
ten columns of Achaeans engage the enemy in front of you."

Ulysses glared at him and answered, "Son of Atreus, what are you
talking about? How can you say that we are slack? When the
Achaeans are in full fight with the Trojans, you shall see, if
you care to do so, that the father of Telemachus will join battle
with the foremost of them. You are talking idly."

When Agamemnon saw that Ulysses was angry, he smiled pleasantly
at him and withdrew his words. "Ulysses," said he, "noble son of
Laertes, excellent in all good counsel, I have neither fault to
find nor orders to give you, for I know your heart is right, and
that you and I are of a mind. Enough; I will make you amends for
what I have said, and if any ill has now been spoken may the gods
bring it to nothing."

He then left them and went on to others. Presently he saw the son
of Tydeus, noble Diomed, standing by his chariot and horses, with
Sthenelus the son of Capaneus beside him; whereon he began to
upbraid him. "Son of Tydeus," he said, "why stand you cowering
here upon the brink of battle? Tydeus did not shrink thus, but
was ever ahead of his men when leading them on against the foe--
so, at least, say they that saw him in battle, for I never set
eyes upon him myself. They say that there was no man like him. He
came once to Mycenae, not as an enemy but as a guest, in company
with Polynices to recruit his forces, for they were levying war
against the strong city of Thebes, and prayed our people for a
body of picked men to help them. The men of Mycenae were willing
to let them have one, but Jove dissuaded them by showing them
unfavourable omens. Tydeus, therefore, and Polynices went their
way. When they had got as far the deep-meadowed and rush-grown
banks of the Aesopus, the Achaeans sent Tydeus as their envoy,
and he found the Cadmeans gathered in great numbers to a banquet
in the house of Eteocles. Stranger though he was, he knew no fear
on finding himself single-handed among so many, but challenged
them to contests of all kinds, and in each one of them was at
once victorious, so mightily did Minerva help him. The Cadmeans
were incensed at his success, and set a force of fifty youths
with two captains--the godlike hero Maeon, son of Haemon, and
Polyphontes, son of Autophonus--at their head, to lie in wait for
him on his return journey; but Tydeus slew every man of them,
save only Maeon, whom he let go in obedience to heaven's omens.
Such was Tydeus of Aetolia. His son can talk more glibly, but he
cannot fight as his father did."

Diomed made no answer, for he was shamed by the rebuke of
Agamemnon; but the son of Capaneus took up his words and said,
"Son of Atreus, tell no lies, for you can speak truth if you
will. We boast ourselves as even better men than our fathers; we
took seven-gated Thebes, though the wall was stronger and our men
were fewer in number, for we trusted in the omens of the gods and
in the help of Jove, whereas they perished through their own
sheer folly; hold not, then, our fathers in like honour with us."

Diomed looked sternly at him and said, "Hold your peace, my
friend, as I bid you. It is not amiss that Agamemnon should urge
the Achaeans forward, for the glory will be his if we take the
city, and his the shame if we are vanquished. Therefore let us
acquit ourselves with valour."

As he spoke he sprang from his chariot, and his armour rang so
fiercely about his body that even a brave man might well have
been scared to hear it.

As when some mighty wave that thunders on the beach when the west
wind has lashed it into fury--it has reared its head afar and now
comes crashing down on the shore; it bows its arching crest high
over the jagged rocks and spews its salt foam in all
directions--even so did the serried phalanxes of the Danaans
march steadfastly to battle. The chiefs gave orders each to his
own people, but the men said never a word; no man would think it,
for huge as the host was, it seemed as though there was not a
tongue among them, so silent were they in their obedience; and as
they marched the armour about their bodies glistened in the sun.
But the clamour of the Trojan ranks was as that of many thousand
ewes that stand waiting to be milked in the yards of some rich
flockmaster, and bleat incessantly in answer to the bleating of
their lambs; for they had not one speech nor language, but their
tongues were diverse, and they came from many different places.
These were inspired of Mars, but the others by Minerva--and with
them came Panic, Rout, and Strife whose fury never tires, sister
and friend of murderous Mars, who, from being at first but low in
stature, grows till she uprears her head to heaven, though her
feet are still on earth. She it was that went about among them
and flung down discord to the waxing of sorrow with even hand
between them.

When they were got together in one place shield clashed with
shield and spear with spear in the rage of battle. The bossed
shields beat one upon another, and there was a tramp as of a
great multitude--death-cry and shout of triumph of slain and
slayers, and the earth ran red with blood. As torrents swollen
with rain course madly down their deep channels till the angry
floods meet in some gorge, and the shepherd on the hillside hears
their roaring from afar--even such was the toil and uproar of the
hosts as they joined in battle.

First Antilochus slew an armed warrior of the Trojans, Echepolus,
son of Thalysius, fighting in the foremost ranks. He struck at
the projecting part of his helmet and drove the spear into his
brow; the point of bronze pierced the bone, and darkness veiled
his eyes; headlong as a tower he fell amid the press of the
fight, and as he dropped King Elephenor, son of Chalcodon and
captain of the proud Abantes began dragging him out of reach of
the darts that were falling around him, in haste to strip him of
his armour. But his purpose was not for long; Agenor saw him
haling the body away, and smote him in the side with his
bronze-shod spear--for as he stooped his side was left
unprotected by his shield--and thus he perished. Then the fight
between Trojans and Achaeans grew furious over his body, and they
flew upon each other like wolves, man and man crushing one upon
the other.

Forthwith Ajax, son of Telamon, slew the fair youth Simoeisius,
son of Anthemion, whom his mother bore by the banks of the
Simois, as she was coming down from Mt. Ida, where she had been
with her parents to see their flocks. Therefore he was named
Simoeisius, but he did not live to pay his parents for his
rearing, for he was cut off untimely by the spear of mighty Ajax,
who struck him in the breast by the right nipple as he was coming
on among the foremost fighters; the spear went right through his
shoulder, and he fell as a poplar that has grown straight and
tall in a meadow by some mere, and its top is thick with
branches. Then the wheelwright lays his axe to its roots that he
may fashion a felloe for the wheel of some goodly chariot, and it
lies seasoning by the waterside. In such wise did Ajax fell to
earth Simoeisius, son of Anthemion. Thereon Antiphus of the
gleaming corslet, son of Priam, hurled a spear at Ajax from amid
the crowd and missed him, but he hit Leucus, the brave comrade of
Ulysses, in the groin, as he was dragging the body of Simoeisius
over to the other side; so he fell upon the body and loosed his
hold upon it. Ulysses was furious when he saw Leucus slain, and
strode in full armour through the front ranks till he was quite
close; then he glared round about him and took aim, and the
Trojans fell back as he did so. His dart was not sped in vain,
for it struck Democoon, the bastard son of Priam, who had come to
him from Abydos, where he had charge of his father's mares.
Ulysses, infuriated by the death of his comrade, hit him with his
spear on one temple, and the bronze point came through on the
other side of his forehead. Thereon darkness veiled his eyes, and
his armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the
ground. Hector, and they that were in front, then gave round
while the Argives raised a shout and drew off the dead, pressing
further forward as they did so. But Apollo looked down from
Pergamus and called aloud to the Trojans, for he was displeased.
"Trojans," he cried, "rush on the foe, and do not let yourselves
be thus beaten by the Argives. Their skins are not stone nor iron
that when hit them you do them no harm. Moreover, Achilles, the
son of lovely Thetis, is not fighting, but is nursing his anger
at the ships."

Thus spoke the mighty god, crying to them from the city, while
Jove's redoubtable daughter, the Trito-born, went about among the
host of the Achaeans, and urged them forward whenever she beheld
them slackening.

Then fate fell upon Diores, son of Amarynceus, for he was struck
by a jagged stone near the ancle of his right leg. He that hurled
it was Peirous, son of Imbrasus, captain of the Thracians, who
had come from Aenus; the bones and both the tendons were crushed
by the pitiless stone. He fell to the ground on his back, and in
his death throes stretched out his hands towards his comrades.
But Peirous, who had wounded him, sprang on him and thrust a
spear into his belly, so that his bowels came gushing out upon
the ground, and darkness veiled his eyes. As he was leaving the
body, Thoas of Aetolia struck him in the chest near the nipple,
and the point fixed itself in his lungs. Thoas came close up to
him, pulled the spear out of his chest, and then drawing his
sword, smote him in the middle of the belly so that he died; but
he did not strip him of his armour, for his Thracian comrades,
men who wear their hair in a tuft at the top of their heads,
stood round the body and kept him off with their long spears for
all his great stature and valour; so he was driven back. Thus the
two corpses lay stretched on earth near to one another, the one
captain of the Thracians and the other of the Epeans; and many
another fell round them.

And now no man would have made light of the fighting if he could
have gone about among it scatheless and unwounded, with Minerva
leading him by the hand, and protecting him from the storm of
spears and arrows. For many Trojans and Achaeans on that day lay
stretched side by side face downwards upon the earth.


The exploits of Diomed, who, though wounded by Pandarus,
continues fighting--He kills Pandarus and wounds AEneas--Venus
rescues AEneas, but being wounded by Diomed, commits him
to the care of Apollo and goes to Olympus, where she is tended
by her mother Dione--Mars encourages the Trojans, and
AEneas returns to the fight cured of his wound--Minerva and
Juno help the Achaeans, and by the advice of the former
Diomed wounds Mars, who returns to Olympus to get cured.

Then Pallas Minerva put valour into the heart of Diomed, son of
Tydeus, that he might excel all the other Argives, and cover
himself with glory. She made a stream of fire flare from his
shield and helmet like the star that shines most brilliantly in
summer after its bath in the waters of Oceanus--even such a fire
did she kindle upon his head and shoulders as she bade him speed
into the thickest hurly-burly of the fight.

Now there was a certain rich and honourable man among the
Trojans, priest of Vulcan, and his name was Dares. He had two
sons, Phegeus and Idaeus, both of them skilled in all the arts of
war. These two came forward from the main body of Trojans, and
set upon Diomed, he being on foot, while they fought from their
chariot. When they were close up to one another, Phegeus took aim
first, but his spear went over Diomed's left shoulder without
hitting him. Diomed then threw, and his spear sped not in vain,
for it hit Phegeus on the breast near the nipple, and he fell
from his chariot. Idaeus did not dare to bestride his brother's
body, but sprang from the chariot and took to flight, or he would
have shared his brother's fate; whereon Vulcan saved him by
wrapping him in a cloud of darkness, that his old father might
not be utterly overwhelmed with grief; but the son of Tydeus
drove off with the horses, and bade his followers take them to
the ships. The Trojans were scared when they saw the two sons of
Dares, one of them in fright and the other lying dead by his
chariot. Minerva, therefore, took Mars by the hand and said,
"Mars, Mars, bane of men, bloodstained stormer of cities, may we
not now leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight it out, and see
to which of the two Jove will vouchsafe the victory? Let us go
away, and thus avoid his anger."

So saying, she drew Mars out of the battle, and set him down upon
the steep banks of the Scamander. Upon this the Danaans drove the
Trojans back, and each one of their chieftains killed his man.
First King Agamemnon flung mighty Odius, captain of the Halizoni,
from his chariot. The spear of Agamemnon caught him on the broad
of his back, just as he was turning in flight; it struck him
between the shoulders and went right through his chest, and his
armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground.

Then Idomeneus killed Phaesus, son of Borus the Meonian, who had
come from Varne. Mighty Idomeneus speared him on the right
shoulder as he was mounting his chariot, and the darkness of
death enshrouded him as he fell heavily from the car.

The squires of Idomeneus spoiled him of his armour, while
Menelaus, son of Atreus, killed Scamandrius the son of Strophius,
a mighty huntsman and keen lover of the chase. Diana herself had
taught him how to kill every kind of wild creature that is bred
in mountain forests, but neither she nor his famed skill in
archery could now save him, for the spear of Menelaus struck him
in the back as he was flying; it struck him between the shoulders
and went right through his chest, so that he fell headlong and
his armour rang rattling round him.

Meriones then killed Phereclus the son of Tecton, who was the son
of Hermon, a man whose hand was skilled in all manner of cunning
workmanship, for Pallas Minerva had dearly loved him. He it was
that made the ships for Alexandrus, which were the beginning of
all mischief, and brought evil alike both on the Trojans and on
Alexandrus himself; for he heeded not the decrees of heaven.
Meriones overtook him as he was flying, and struck him on the
right buttock. The point of the spear went through the bone into
the bladder, and death came upon him as he cried aloud and fell
forward on his knees.

Meges, moreover, slew Pedaeus, son of Antenor, who, though he was
a bastard, had been brought up by Theano as one of her own
children, for the love she bore her husband. The son of Phyleus
got close up to him and drove a spear into the nape of his neck:
it went under his tongue all among his teeth, so he bit the cold
bronze, and fell dead in the dust.

And Eurypylus, son of Euaemon, killed Hypsenor, the son of noble
Dolopion, who had been made priest of the river Scamander, and
was honoured among the people as though he were a god. Eurypylus
gave him chase as he was flying before him, smote him with his
sword upon the arm, and lopped his strong hand from off it. The
bloody hand fell to the ground, and the shades of death, with
fate that no man can withstand, came over his eyes.

Thus furiously did the battle rage between them. As for the son
of Tydeus, you could not say whether he was more among the
Achaeans or the Trojans. He rushed across the plain like a winter
torrent that has burst its barrier in full flood; no dykes, no
walls of fruitful vineyards can embank it when it is swollen with
rain from heaven, but in a moment it comes tearing onward, and
lays many a field waste that many a strong man's hand has
reclaimed--even so were the dense phalanxes of the Trojans driven
in rout by the son of Tydeus, and many though they were, they
dared not abide his onslaught.

Now when the son of Lycaon saw him scouring the plain and driving
the Trojans pell-mell before him, he aimed an arrow and hit the
front part of his cuirass near the shoulder: the arrow went right
through the metal and pierced the flesh, so that the cuirass was
covered with blood. On this the son of Lycaon shouted in triumph,
"Knights Trojans, come on; the bravest of the Achaeans is
wounded, and he will not hold out much longer if King Apollo was
indeed with me when I sped from Lycia hither."

Thus did he vaunt; but his arrow had not killed Diomed, who
withdrew and made for the chariot and horses of Sthenelus, the
son of Capaneus. "Dear son of Capaneus," said he, "come down from
your chariot, and draw the arrow out of my shoulder."

Sthenelus sprang from his chariot, and drew the arrow from the
wound, whereon the blood came spouting out through the hole that
had been made in his shirt. Then Diomed prayed, saying, "Hear me,
daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, unweariable, if ever you loved my
father well and stood by him in the thick of a fight, do the like
now by me; grant me to come within a spear's throw of that man
and kill him. He has been too quick for me and has wounded me;
and now he is boasting that I shall not see the light of the sun
much longer."

Thus he prayed, and Pallas Minerva heard him; she made his limbs
supple and quickened his hands and his feet. Then she went up
close to him and said, "Fear not, Diomed, to do battle with the
Trojans, for I have set in your heart the spirit of your knightly
father Tydeus. Moreover, I have withdrawn the veil from your
eyes, that you know gods and men apart. If, then, any other god
comes here and offers you battle, do not fight him; but should
Jove's daughter Venus come, strike her with your spear and wound

When she had said this Minerva went away, and the son of Tydeus
again took his place among the foremost fighters, three times
more fierce even than he had been before. He was like a lion that
some mountain shepherd has wounded, but not killed, as he is
springing over the wall of a sheep-yard to attack the sheep. The
shepherd has roused the brute to fury but cannot defend his
flock, so he takes shelter under cover of the buildings, while
the sheep, panic-stricken on being deserted, are smothered in
heaps one on top of the other, and the angry lion leaps out over
the sheep-yard wall. Even thus did Diomed go furiously about
among the Trojans.

He killed Astynous, and Hypeiron shepherd of his people, the one
with a thrust of his spear, which struck him above the nipple,
the other with a sword-cut on the collar-bone, that severed his
shoulder from his neck and back. He let both of them lie, and
went in pursuit of Abas and Polyidus, sons of the old reader of
dreams Eurydamas: they never came back for him to read them any
more dreams, for mighty Diomed made an end of them. He then gave
chase to Xanthus and Thoon, the two sons of Phaenops, both of
them very dear to him, for he was now worn out with age, and
begat no more sons to inherit his possessions. But Diomed took
both their lives and left their father sorrowing bitterly, for he
nevermore saw them come home from battle alive, and his kinsmen
divided his wealth among themselves.

Then he came upon two sons of Priam, Echemmon and Chromius, as
they were both in one chariot. He sprang upon them as a lion
fastens on the neck of some cow or heifer when the herd is
feeding in a coppice. For all their vain struggles he flung them
both from their chariot and stripped the armour from their
bodies. Then he gave their horses to his comrades to take them
back to the ships.

When Aeneas saw him thus making havoc among the ranks, he went
through the fight amid the rain of spears to see if he could find
Pandarus. When he had found the brave son of Lycaon he said,
"Pandarus, where is now your bow, your winged arrows, and your
renown as an archer, in respect of which no man here can rival
you nor is there any in Lycia that can beat you? Lift then your
hands to Jove and send an arrow at this fellow who is going so
masterfully about, and has done such deadly work among the
Trojans. He has killed many a brave man--unless indeed he is some
god who is angry with the Trojans about their sacrifices, and and
has set his hand against them in his displeasure."

And the son of Lycaon answered, "Aeneas, I take him for none
other than the son of Tydeus. I know him by his shield, the visor
of his helmet, and by his horses. It is possible that he may be a
god, but if he is the man I say he is, he is not making all this
havoc without heaven's help, but has some god by his side who is
shrouded in a cloud of darkness, and who turned my arrow aside
when it had hit him. I have taken aim at him already and hit him
on the right shoulder; my arrow went through the breastpiece of
his cuirass; and I made sure I should send him hurrying to the
world below, but it seems that I have not killed him. There must
be a god who is angry with me. Moreover I have neither horse nor
chariot. In my father's stables there are eleven excellent
chariots, fresh from the builder, quite new, with cloths spread
over them; and by each of them there stand a pair of horses,
champing barley and rye; my old father Lycaon urged me again and
again when I was at home and on the point of starting, to take
chariots and horses with me that I might lead the Trojans in
battle, but I would not listen to him; it would have been much
better if I had done so, but I was thinking about the horses,
which had been used to eat their fill, and I was afraid that in
such a great gathering of men they might be ill-fed, so I left
them at home and came on foot to Ilius armed only with my bow and
arrows. These it seems, are of no use, for I have already hit two
chieftains, the sons of Atreus and of Tydeus, and though I drew
blood surely enough, I have only made them still more furious. I
did ill to take my bow down from its peg on the day I led my band
of Trojans to Ilius in Hector's service, and if ever I get home
again to set eyes on my native place, my wife, and the greatness
of my house, may some one cut my head off then and there if I do
not break the bow and set it on a hot fire--such pranks as it
plays me."

Aeneas answered, "Say no more. Things will not mend till we two
go against this man with chariot and horses and bring him to a
trial of arms. Mount my chariot, and note how cleverly the horses
of Tros can speed hither and thither over the plain in pursuit or
flight. If Jove again vouchsafes glory to the son of Tydeus they
will carry us safely back to the city. Take hold, then, of the
whip and reins while I stand upon the car to fight, or else do
you wait this man's onset while I look after the horses."

"Aeneas," replied the son of Lycaon, "take the reins and drive;
if we have to fly before the son of Tydeus the horses will go
better for their own driver. If they miss the sound of your voice
when they expect it they may be frightened, and refuse to take us
out of the fight. The son of Tydeus will then kill both of us and
take the horses. Therefore drive them yourself and I will be
ready for him with my spear."

They then mounted the chariot and drove full-speed towards the
son of Tydeus. Sthenelus, son of Capaneus, saw them coming and
said to Diomed, "Diomed, son of Tydeus, man after my own heart, I
see two heroes speeding towards you, both of them men of might
the one a skilful archer, Pandarus son of Lycaon, the other,
Aeneas, whose sire is Anchises, while his mother is Venus. Mount
the chariot and let us retreat. Do not, I pray you, press so
furiously forward, or you may get killed."

Diomed looked angrily at him and answered: "Talk not of flight,
for I shall not listen to you: I am of a race that knows neither
flight nor fear, and my limbs are as yet unwearied. I am in no
mind to mount, but will go against them even as I am; Pallas
Minerva bids me be afraid of no man, and even though one of them
escape, their steeds shall not take both back again. I say
further, and lay my saying to your heart--if Minerva sees fit to
vouchsafe me the glory of killing both, stay your horses here and
make the reins fast to the rim of the chariot; then be sure you
spring Aeneas' horses and drive them from the Trojan to the
Achaean ranks. They are of the stock that great Jove gave to Tros
in payment for his son Ganymede, and are the finest that live and
move under the sun. King Anchises stole the blood by putting his
mares to them without Laomedon's knowledge, and they bore him six
foals. Four are still in his stables, but he gave the other two
to Aeneas. We shall win great glory if we can take them."

Thus did they converse, but the other two had now driven close up
to them, and the son of Lycaon spoke first. "Great and mighty
son," said he, "of noble Tydeus, my arrow failed to lay you low,
so I will now try with my spear."

He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it from him. It struck
the shield of the son of Tydeus; the bronze point pierced it and
passed on till it reached the breastplate. Thereon the son of
Lycaon shouted out and said, "You are hit clean through the
belly; you will not stand out for long, and the glory of the
fight is mine."

But Diomed all undismayed made answer, "You have missed, not hit,
and before you two see the end of this matter one or other of you
shall glut tough-shielded Mars with his blood."

With this he hurled his spear, and Minerva guided it on to
Pandarus's nose near the eye. It went crashing in among his white
teeth; the bronze point cut through the root of his tongue,
coming out under his chin, and his glistening armour rang
rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground. The horses
started aside for fear, and he was reft of life and strength.

Aeneas sprang from his chariot armed with shield and spear,
fearing lest the Achaeans should carry off the body. He bestrode
it as a lion in the pride of strength, with shield and spear
before him and a cry of battle on his lips resolute to kill the
first that should dare face him. But the son of Tydeus caught up
a mighty stone, so huge and great that as men now are it would
take two to lift it; nevertheless he bore it aloft with ease
unaided, and with this he struck Aeneas on the groin where the
hip turns in the joint that is called the "cup-bone." The stone
crushed this joint, and broke both the sinews, while its jagged
edges tore away all the flesh. The hero fell on his knees, and
propped himself with his hand resting on the ground till the
darkness of night fell upon his eyes. And now Aeneas, king of
men, would have perished then and there, had not his mother,
Jove's daughter Venus, who had conceived him by Anchises when he
was herding cattle, been quick to mark, and thrown her two white
arms about the body of her dear son. She protected him by
covering him with a fold of her own fair garment, lest some
Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and kill him.

Thus, then, did she bear her dear son out of the fight. But the
son of Capaneus was not unmindful of the orders that Diomed had
given him. He made his own horses fast, away from the
hurly-burly, by binding the reins to the rim of the chariot. Then
he sprang upon Aeneas's horses and drove them from the Trojan to
the Achaean ranks. When he had so done he gave them over to his
chosen comrade Deipylus, whom he valued above all others as the
one who was most like-minded with himself, to take them on to the
ships. He then remounted his own chariot, seized the reins, and
drove with all speed in search of the son of Tydeus.

Now the son of Tydeus was in pursuit of the Cyprian goddess,
spear in hand, for he knew her to be feeble and not one of those
goddesses that can lord it among men in battle like Minerva or
Enyo the waster of cities, and when at last after a long chase he
caught her up, he flew at her and thrust his spear into the flesh
of her delicate hand. The point tore through the ambrosial robe
which the Graces had woven for her, and pierced the skin between
her wrist and the palm of her hand, so that the immortal blood,
or ichor, that flows in the veins of the blessed gods, came
pouring from the wound; for the gods do not eat bread nor drink
wine, hence they have no blood such as ours, and are immortal.
Venus screamed aloud, and let her son fall, but Phoebus Apollo
caught him in his arms, and hid him in a cloud of darkness, lest
some Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and kill him;
and Diomed shouted out as he left her, "Daughter of Jove, leave
war and battle alone, can you not be contented with beguiling
silly women? If you meddle with fighting you will get what will
make you shudder at the very name of war."

The goddess went dazed and discomfited away, and Iris, fleet as
the wind, drew her from the throng, in pain and with her fair
skin all besmirched. She found fierce Mars waiting on the left of
the battle, with his spear and his two fleet steeds resting on a
cloud; whereon she fell on her knees before her brother and
implored him to let her have his horses. "Dear brother," she
cried, "save me, and give me your horses to take me to Olympus
where the gods dwell. I am badly wounded by a mortal, the son of
Tydeus, who would now fight even with father Jove."

Thus she spoke, and Mars gave her his gold-bedizened steeds. She
mounted the chariot sick and sorry at heart, while Iris sat
beside her and took the reins in her hand. She lashed her horses
on and they flew forward nothing loth, till in a trice they were
at high Olympus, where the gods have their dwelling. There she
stayed them, unloosed them from the chariot, and gave them their
ambrosial forage; but Venus flung herself on to the lap of her
mother Dione, who threw her arms about her and caressed her,
saying, "Which of the heavenly beings has been treating you in
this way, as though you had been doing something wrong in the
face of day?"

And laughter-loving Venus answered, "Proud Diomed, the son of
Tydeus, wounded me because I was bearing my dear son Aeneas, whom
I love best of all mankind, out of the fight. The war is no
longer one between Trojans and Achaeans, for the Danaans have now
taken to fighting with the immortals."

"Bear it, my child," replied Dione, "and make the best of it. We
dwellers in Olympus have to put up with much at the hands of men,
and we lay much suffering on one another. Mars had to suffer when
Otus and Ephialtes, children of Aloeus, bound him in cruel bonds,
so that he lay thirteen months imprisoned in a vessel of bronze.
Mars would have then perished had not fair Eeriboea, stepmother
to the sons of Aloeus, told Mercury, who stole him away when he
was already well-nigh worn out by the severity of his bondage.
Juno, again, suffered when the mighty son of Amphitryon wounded
her on the right breast with a three-barbed arrow, and nothing
could assuage her pain. So, also, did huge Hades, when this same
man, the son of aegis-bearing Jove, hit him with an arrow even at
the gates of hell, and hurt him badly. Thereon Hades went to the
house of Jove on great Olympus, angry and full of pain; and the
arrow in his brawny shoulder caused him great anguish till Paeeon
healed him by spreading soothing herbs on the wound, for Hades
was not of mortal mould. Daring, head-strong, evildoer who recked
not of his sin in shooting the gods that dwell in Olympus. And
now Minerva has egged this son of Tydeus on against yourself,
fool that he is for not reflecting that no man who fights with
gods will live long or hear his children prattling about his
knees when he returns from battle. Let, then, the son of Tydeus
see that he does not have to fight with one who is stronger than
you are. Then shall his brave wife Aegialeia, daughter of
Adrestus, rouse her whole house from sleep, wailing for the loss
of her wedded lord, Diomed the bravest of the Achaeans."

So saying, she wiped the ichor from the wrist of her daughter
with both hands, whereon the pain left her, and her hand was
healed. But Minerva and Juno, who were looking on, began to taunt
Jove with their mocking talk, and Minerva was first to speak.
"Father Jove," said she, "do not be angry with me, but I think
the Cyprian must have been persuading some one of the Achaean
women to go with the Trojans of whom she is so very fond, and
while caressing one or other of them she must have torn her
delicate hand with the gold pin of the woman's brooch."

The sire of gods and men smiled, and called golden Venus to his
side. "My child," said he, "it has not been given you to be a
warrior. Attend, henceforth, to your own delightful matrimonial
duties, and leave all this fighting to Mars and to Minerva."

Thus did they converse. But Diomed sprang upon Aeneas, though he
knew him to be in the very arms of Apollo. Not one whit did he
fear the mighty god, so set was he on killing Aeneas and
stripping him of his armour. Thrice did he spring forward with
might and main to slay him, and thrice did Apollo beat back his
gleaming shield. When he was coming on for the fourth time, as
though he were a god, Apollo shouted to him with an awful voice
and said, "Take heed, son of Tydeus, and draw off; think not to
match yourself against gods, for men that walk the earth cannot
hold their own with the immortals."

The son of Tydeus then gave way for a little space, to avoid the
anger of the god, while Apollo took Aeneas out of the crowd and
set him in sacred Pergamus, where his temple stood. There, within
the mighty sanctuary, Latona and Diana healed him and made him
glorious to behold, while Apollo of the silver bow fashioned a
wraith in the likeness of Aeneas, and armed as he was. Round this
the Trojans and Achaeans hacked at the bucklers about one
another's breasts, hewing each other's round shields and light
hide-covered targets. Then Phoebus Apollo said to Mars, "Mars,
Mars, bane of men, blood-stained stormer of cities, can you not
go to this man, the son of Tydeus, who would now fight even with
father Jove, and draw him out of the battle? He first went up to
the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and
afterwards sprang upon me too, as though he were a god."

He then took his seat on the top of Pergamus, while murderous
Mars went about among the ranks of the Trojans, cheering them on,
in the likeness of fleet Acamas chief of the Thracians. "Sons of
Priam," said he, "how long will you let your people be thus
slaughtered by the Achaeans? Would you wait till they are at the
walls of Troy? Aeneas the son of Anchises has fallen, he whom we
held in as high honour as Hector himself. Help me, then, to
rescue our brave comrade from the stress of the fight."

With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Then
Sarpedon rebuked Hector very sternly. "Hector," said he, "where
is your prowess now? You used to say that though you had neither
people nor allies you could hold the town alone with your
brothers and brothers-in-law. I see not one of them here; they
cower as hounds before a lion; it is we, your allies, who bear
the brunt of the battle. I have come from afar, even from Lycia
and the banks of the river Xanthus, where I have left my wife, my
infant son, and much wealth to tempt whoever is needy;
nevertheless, I head my Lycian soldiers and stand my ground
against any who would fight me though I have nothing here for the
Achaeans to plunder, while you look on, without even bidding your
men stand firm in defence of their wives. See that you fall not
into the hands of your foes as men caught in the meshes of a net,
and they sack your fair city forthwith. Keep this before your
mind night and day, and beseech the captains of your allies to
hold on without flinching, and thus put away their reproaches
from you."

So spoke Sarpedon, and Hector smarted under his words. He sprang
from his chariot clad in his suit of armour, and went about among
the host brandishing his two spears, exhorting the men to fight
and raising the terrible cry of battle. Then they rallied and
again faced the Achaeans, but the Argives stood compact and firm,
and were not driven back. As the breezes sport with the chaff
upon some goodly threshing-floor, when men are winnowing--while
yellow Ceres blows with the wind to sift the chaff from the
grain, and the chaff-heaps grow whiter and whiter--even so did
the Achaeans whiten in the dust which the horses' hoofs raised to
the firmament of heaven, as their drivers turned them back to
battle, and they bore down with might upon the foe. Fierce Mars,
to help the Trojans, covered them in a veil of darkness, and went
about everywhere among them, inasmuch as Phoebus Apollo had told
him that when he saw Pallas, Minerva leave the fray he was to put
courage into the hearts of the Trojans--for it was she who was
helping the Danaans. Then Apollo sent Aeneas forth from his rich
sanctuary, and filled his heart with valour, whereon he took his
place among his comrades, who were overjoyed at seeing him alive,
sound, and of a good courage; but they could not ask him how it
had all happened, for they were too busy with the turmoil raised
by Mars and by Strife, who raged insatiably in their midst.

The two Ajaxes, Ulysses and Diomed, cheered the Danaans on,
fearless of the fury and onset of the Trojans. They stood as
still as clouds which the son of Saturn has spread upon the
mountain tops when there is no air and fierce Boreas sleeps with
the other boisterous winds whose shrill blasts scatter the clouds
in all directions--even so did the Danaans stand firm and
unflinching against the Trojans. The son of Atreus went about
among them and exhorted them. "My friends," said he, "quit
yourselves like brave men, and shun dishonour in one another's
eyes amid the stress of battle. They that shun dishonour more
often live than get killed, but they that fly save neither life
nor name."

As he spoke he hurled his spear and hit one of those who were in
the front rank, the comrade of Aeneas, Deicoon son of Pergasus,
whom the Trojans held in no less honour than the sons of Priam,
for he was ever quick to place himself among the foremost. The
spear of King Agamemnon struck his shield and went right through
it, for the shield stayed it not. It drove through his belt into
the lower part of his belly, and his armour rang rattling round
him as he fell heavily to the ground.

Then Aeneas killed two champions of the Danaans, Crethon and
Orsilochus. Their father was a rich man who lived in the strong
city of Phere and was descended from the river Alpheus, whose
broad stream flows through the land of the Pylians. The river
begat Orsilochus, who ruled over much people and was father to
Diocles, who in his turn begat twin sons, Crethon and Orsilochus,
well skilled in all the arts of war. These, when they grew up,
went to Ilius with the Argive fleet in the cause of Menelaus and
Agamemnon sons of Atreus, and there they both of them fell. As
two lions whom their dam has reared in the depths of some
mountain forest to plunder homesteads and carry off sheep and
cattle till they get killed by the hand of man, so were these two
vanquished by Aeneas, and fell like high pine-trees to the

Brave Menelaus pitied them in their fall, and made his way to the
front, clad in gleaming bronze and brandishing his spear, for
Mars egged him on to do so with intent that he should be killed
by Aeneas; but Antilochus the son of Nestor saw him and sprang
forward, fearing that the king might come to harm and thus bring
all their labour to nothing; when, therefore Aeneas and Menelaus
were setting their hands and spears against one another eager to
do battle, Antilochus placed himself by the side of Menelaus.
Aeneas, bold though he was, drew back on seeing the two heroes
side by side in front of him, so they drew the bodies of Crethon
and Orsilochus to the ranks of the Achaeans and committed the two
poor fellows into the hands of their comrades. They then turned
back and fought in the front ranks.

They killed Pylaemenes peer of Mars, leader of the Paphlagonian
warriors. Menelaus struck him on the collar-bone as he was
standing on his chariot, while Antilochus hit his charioteer and
squire Mydon, the son of Atymnius, who was turning his horses in
flight. He hit him with a stone upon the elbow, and the reins,
enriched with white ivory, fell from his hands into the dust.
Antilochus rushed towards him and struck him on the temples with
his sword, whereon he fell head first from the chariot to the
ground. There he stood for a while with his head and shoulders
buried deep in the dust--for he had fallen on sandy soil till his
horses kicked him and laid him flat on the ground, as Antilochus
lashed them and drove them off to the host of the Achaeans.

But Hector marked them from across the ranks, and with a loud cry
rushed towards them, followed by the strong battalions of the
Trojans. Mars and dread Enyo led them on, she fraught with
ruthless turmoil of battle, while Mars wielded a monstrous spear,
and went about, now in front of Hector and now behind him.

Diomed shook with passion as he saw them. As a man crossing a
wide plain is dismayed to find himself on the brink of some great
river rolling swiftly to the sea--he sees its boiling waters and
starts back in fear--even so did the son of Tydeus give ground.
Then he said to his men, "My friends, how can we wonder that
Hector wields the spear so well? Some god is ever by his side to
protect him, and now Mars is with him in the likeness of mortal
man. Keep your faces therefore towards the Trojans, but give
ground backwards, for we dare not fight with gods."

As he spoke the Trojans drew close up, and Hector killed two men,
both in one chariot, Menesthes and Anchialus, heroes well versed
in war. Ajax son of Telamon pitied them in their fall; he came
close up and hurled his spear, hitting Amphius the son of
Selagus, a man of great wealth who lived in Paesus and owned much
corn-growing land, but his lot had led him to come to the aid of
Priam and his sons. Ajax struck him in the belt; the spear
pierced the lower part of his belly, and he fell heavily to the
ground. Then Ajax ran towards him to strip him of his armour, but
the Trojans rained spears upon him, many of which fell upon his
shield. He planted his heel upon the body and drew out his spear,
but the darts pressed so heavily upon him that he could not strip
the goodly armour from his shoulders. The Trojan chieftains,
moreover, many and valiant, came about him with their spears, so
that he dared not stay; great, brave and valiant though he was,
they drove him from them and he was beaten back.

Thus, then, did the battle rage between them. Presently the
strong hand of fate impelled Tlepolemus, the son of Hercules, a
man both brave and of great stature, to fight Sarpedon; so the
two, son and grandson of great Jove, drew near to one another,
and Tlepolemus spoke first. "Sarpedon," said he, "councillor of
the Lycians, why should you come skulking here you who are a man
of peace? They lie who call you son of aegis-bearing Jove, for
you are little like those who were of old his children. Far other
was Hercules, my own brave and lion-hearted father, who came here
for the horses of Laomedon, and though he had six ships only, and
few men to follow him, sacked the city of Ilius and made a
wilderness of her highways. You are a coward, and your people are
falling from you. For all your strength, and all your coming from
Lycia, you will be no help to the Trojans but will pass the gates
of Hades vanquished by my hand."

And Sarpedon, captain of the Lycians, answered, "Tlepolemus, your
father overthrew Ilius by reason of Laomedon's folly in refusing
payment to one who had served him well. He would not give your
father the horses which he had come so far to fetch. As for
yourself, you shall meet death by my spear. You shall yield glory
to myself, and your soul to Hades of the noble steeds."

Thus spoke Sarpedon, and Tlepolemus upraised his spear. They
threw at the same moment, and Sarpedon struck his foe in the
middle of his throat; the spear went right through, and the
darkness of death fell upon his eyes. Tlepolemus's spear struck
Sarpedon on the left thigh with such force that it tore through
the flesh and grazed the bone, but his father as yet warded off
destruction from him.

His comrades bore Sarpedon out of the fight, in great pain by the
weight of the spear that was dragging from his wound. They were
in such haste and stress as they bore him that no one thought of
drawing the spear from his thigh so as to let him walk uprightly.
Meanwhile the Achaeans carried off the body of Tlepolemus,
whereon Ulysses was moved to pity, and panted for the fray as he
beheld them. He doubted whether to pursue the son of Jove, or to
make slaughter of the Lycian rank and file; it was not decreed,
however, that he should slay the son of Jove; Minerva, therefore,
turned him against the main body of the Lycians. He killed
Coeranus, Alastor, Chromius, Alcandrus, Halius, Noemon, and
Prytanis, and would have slain yet more, had not great Hector
marked him, and sped to the front of the fight clad in his suit
of mail, filling the Danaans with terror. Sarpedon was glad when
he saw him coming, and besought him, saying, "Son of Priam, let
me not be here to fall into the hands of the Danaans. Help me,
and since I may not return home to gladden the hearts of my wife
and of my infant son, let me die within the walls of your city."

Hector made him no answer, but rushed onward to fall at once upon
the Achaeans and kill many among them. His comrades then bore
Sarpedon away and laid him beneath Jove's spreading oak tree.
Pelagon, his friend and comrade, drew the spear out of his thigh,
but Sarpedon fainted and a mist came over his eyes. Presently he
came to himself again, for the breath of the north wind as it
played upon him gave him new life, and brought him out of the
deep swoon into which he had fallen.

Meanwhile the Argives were neither driven towards their ships by
Mars and Hector, nor yet did they attack them; when they knew
that Mars was with the Trojans they retreated, but kept their
faces still turned towards the foe. Who, then, was first and who
last to be slain by Mars and Hector? They were valiant Teuthras,
and Orestes the renowned charioteer, Trechus the Aetolian
warrior, Oenomaus, Helenus the son of Oenops, and Oresbius of the
gleaming girdle, who was possessed of great wealth, and dwelt by
the Cephisian lake with the other Boeotians who lived near him,
owners of a fertile country.

Now when the goddess Juno saw the Argives thus falling, she said
to Minerva, "Alas, daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, unweariable,
the promise we made Menelaus that he should not return till he
had sacked the city of Ilius will be of no effect if we let Mars
rage thus furiously. Let us go into the fray at once."

Minerva did not gainsay her. Thereon the august goddess, daughter
of great Saturn, began to harness her gold-bedizened steeds. Hebe
with all speed fitted on the eight-spoked wheels of bronze that
were on either side of the iron axle-tree. The felloes of the
wheels were of gold, imperishable, and over these there was a
tire of bronze, wondrous to behold. The naves of the wheels were
silver, turning round the axle upon either side. The car itself
was made with plaited bands of gold and silver, and it had a
double top-rail running all round it. From the body of the car
there went a pole of silver, on to the end of which she bound the
golden yoke, with the bands of gold that were to go under the
necks of the horses Then Juno put her steeds under the yoke,
eager for battle and the war-cry.

Meanwhile Minerva flung her richly embroidered vesture, made with
her own hands, on to her father's threshold, and donned the shirt
of Jove, arming herself for battle. She threw her tasselled aegis
about her shoulders, wreathed round with Rout as with a fringe,
and on it were Strife, and Strength, and Panic whose blood runs
cold; moreover there was the head of the dread monster Gorgon,
grim and awful to behold, portent of aegis-bearing Jove. On her
head she set her helmet of gold, with four plumes, and coming to
a peak both in front and behind--decked with the emblems of a
hundred cities; then she stepped into her flaming chariot and
grasped the spear, so stout and sturdy and strong, with which she
quells the ranks of heroes who have displeased her. Juno lashed
the horses on, and the gates of heaven bellowed as they flew open
of their own accord--gates over which the Hours preside, in whose
hands are Heaven and Olympus, either to open the dense cloud that
hides them, or to close it. Through these the goddesses drove
their obedient steeds, and found the son of Saturn sitting all
alone on the topmost ridges of Olympus. There Juno stayed her
horses, and spoke to Jove the son of Saturn, lord of all. "Father
Jove," said she, "are you not angry with Mars for these high
doings? how great and goodly a host of the Achaeans he has
destroyed to my great grief, and without either right or reason,
while the Cyprian and Apollo are enjoying it all at their ease
and setting this unrighteous madman on to do further mischief. I
hope, Father Jove, that you will not be angry if I hit Mars hard,
and chase him out of the battle."

And Jove answered, "Set Minerva on to him, for she punishes him
more often than any one else does."

Juno did as he had said. She lashed her horses, and they flew
forward nothing loth midway betwixt earth and sky. As far as a
man can see when he looks out upon the sea from some high beacon,
so far can the loud-neighing horses of the gods spring at a
single bound. When they reached Troy and the place where its two
flowing streams Simois and Scamander meet, there Juno stayed them
and took them from the chariot. She hid them in a thick cloud,
and Simois made ambrosia spring up for them to eat; the two
goddesses then went on, flying like turtledoves in their
eagerness to help the Argives. When they came to the part where
the bravest and most in number were gathered about mighty Diomed,
fighting like lions or wild boars of great strength and
endurance, there Juno stood still and raised a shout like that of
brazen-voiced Stentor, whose cry was as loud as that of fifty men
together. "Argives," she cried; "shame on cowardly creatures,
brave in semblance only; as long as Achilles was fighting, if his
spear was so deadly that the Trojans dared not show themselves
outside the Dardanian gates, but now they sally far from the city
and fight even at your ships."

With these words she put heart and soul into them all, while
Minerva sprang to the side of the son of Tydeus, whom she found
near his chariot and horses, cooling the wound that Pandarus had
given him. For the sweat caused by the hand that bore the weight
of his shield irritated the hurt: his arm was weary with pain,
and he was lifting up the strap to wipe away the blood. The
goddess laid her hand on the yoke of his horses and said, "The
son of Tydeus is not such another as his father. Tydeus was a
little man, but he could fight, and rushed madly into the fray
even when I told him not to do so. When he went all unattended as
envoy to the city of Thebes among the Cadmeans, I bade him feast
in their houses and be at peace; but with that high spirit which
was ever present with him, he challenged the youth of the
Cadmeans, and at once beat them in all that he attempted, so
mightily did I help him. I stand by you too to protect you, and I
bid you be instant in fighting the Trojans; but either you are
tired out, or you are afraid and out of heart, and in that case I
say that you are no true son of Tydeus the son of Oeneus."

Diomed answered, "I know you, goddess, daughter of aegis-bearing
Jove, and will hide nothing from you. I am not afraid nor out of
heart, nor is there any slackness in me. I am only following your
own instructions; you told me not to fight any of the blessed
gods; but if Jove's daughter Venus came into battle I was to
wound her with my spear. Therefore I am retreating, and bidding
the other Argives gather in this place, for I know that Mars is
now lording it in the field."

"Diomed, son of Tydeus," replied Minerva, "man after my own
heart, fear neither Mars nor any other of the immortals, for I
will befriend you. Nay, drive straight at Mars, and smite him in
close combat; fear not this raging madman, villain incarnate,
first on one side and then on the other. But now he was holding
talk with Juno and myself, saying he would help the Argives and
attack the Trojans; nevertheless he is with the Trojans, and has
forgotten the Argives."

With this she caught hold of Sthenelus and lifted him off the
chariot on to the ground. In a second he was on the ground,
whereupon the goddess mounted the car and placed herself by the
side of Diomed. The oaken axle groaned aloud under the burden of
the awful goddess and the hero; Pallas Minerva took the whip and
reins, and drove straight at Mars. He was in the act of stripping
huge Periphas, son of Ochesius and bravest of the Aetolians.
Bloody Mars was stripping him of his armour, and Minerva donned
the helmet of Hades, that he might not see her; when, therefore,
he saw Diomed, he made straight for him and let Periphas lie
where he had fallen. As soon as they were at close quarters he
let fly with his bronze spear over the reins and yoke, thinking
to take Diomed's life, but Minerva caught the spear in her hand
and made it fly harmlessly over the chariot. Diomed then threw,
and Pallas Minerva drove the spear into the pit of Mars's stomach
where his under-girdle went round him. There Diomed wounded him,
tearing his fair flesh and then drawing his spear out again. Mars
roared as loudly as nine or ten thousand men in the thick of a
fight, and the Achaeans and Trojans were struck with panic, so
terrible was the cry he raised.

As a dark cloud in the sky when it comes on to blow after heat,
even so did Diomed son of Tydeus see Mars ascend into the broad
heavens. With all speed he reached high Olympus, home of the
gods, and in great pain sat down beside Jove the son of Saturn.
He showed Jove the immortal blood that was flowing from his
wound, and spoke piteously, saying, "Father Jove, are you not
angered by such doings? We gods are continually suffering in the
most cruel manner at one another's hands while helping mortals;
and we all owe you a grudge for having begotten that mad
termagant of a daughter, who is always committing outrage of some
kind. We other gods must all do as you bid us, but her you
neither scold nor punish; you encourage her because the pestilent
creature is your daughter. See how she has been inciting proud
Diomed to vent his rage on the immortal gods. First he went up to
the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and then
he sprang upon me too as though he were a god. Had I not run for
it I must either have lain there for long enough in torments
among the ghastly corpes, or have been eaten alive with spears
till I had no more strength left in me."

Jove looked angrily at him and said, "Do not come whining here,
Sir Facing-both-ways. I hate you worst of all the gods in
Olympus, for you are ever fighting and making mischief. You have
the intolerable and stubborn spirit of your mother Juno: it is
all I can do to manage her, and it is her doing that you are now
in this plight: still, I cannot let you remain longer in such
great pain; you are my own offspring, and it was by me that your
mother conceived you; if, however, you had been the son of any
other god, you are so destructive that by this time you should
have been lying lower than the Titans."

He then bade Paeeon heal him, whereon Paeeon spread pain-killing
herbs upon his wound and cured him, for he was not of mortal
mould. As the juice of the fig-tree curdles milk, and thickens it
in a moment though it is liquid, even so instantly did Paeeon
cure fierce Mars. Then Hebe washed him, and clothed him in goodly
raiment, and he took his seat by his father Jove all glorious to

But Juno of Argos and Minerva of Alalcomene, now that they had
put a stop to the murderous doings of Mars, went back again to
the house of Jove.


Glaucus and Diomed--The story of Bellerophon--
Hector and Andromache.

THE fight between Trojans and Achaeans was now left to rage as it
would, and the tide of war surged hither and thither over the
plain as they aimed their bronze-shod spears at one another
between the streams of Simois and Xanthus.

First, Ajax son of Telamon, tower of strength to the Achaeans,
broke a phalanx of the Trojans, and came to the assistance of his
comrades by killing Acamas son of Eussorus, the best man among
the Thracians, being both brave and of great stature. The spear
struck the projecting peak of his helmet: its bronze point then
went through his forehead into the brain, and darkness veiled his

Then Diomed killed Axylus son of Teuthranus, a rich man who lived
in the strong city of Arisbe, and was beloved by all men; for he
had a house by the roadside, and entertained every one who
passed; howbeit not one of his guests stood before him to save
his life, and Diomed killed both him and his squire Calesius, who
was then his charioteer--so the pair passed beneath the earth.

Euryalus killed Dresus and Opheltius, and then went in pursuit of
Aesepus and Pedasus, whom the naiad nymph Abarbarea had borne to
noble Bucolion. Bucolion was eldest son to Laomedon, but he was a
bastard. While tending his sheep he had converse with the nymph,
and she conceived twin sons; these the son of Mecisteus now slew,
and he stripped the armour from their shoulders. Polypoetes then
killed Astyalus, Ulysses Pidytes of Percote, and Teucer Aretaon.
Ablerus fell by the spear of Nestor's son Antilochus, and
Agamemnon, king of men, killed Elatus who dwelt in Pedasus by the
banks of the river Satnioeis. Leitus killed Phylacus as he was
flying, and Eurypylus slew Melanthus.

Then Menelaus of the loud war-cry took Adrestus alive, for his
horses ran into a tamarisk bush, as they were flying wildly over
the plain, and broke the pole from the car; they went on towards
the city along with the others in full flight, but Adrestus
rolled out, and fell in the dust flat on his face by the wheel of
his chariot; Menelaus came up to him spear in hand, but Adrestus
caught him by the knees begging for his life. "Take me alive," he
cried, "son of Atreus, and you shall have a full ransom for me:
my father is rich and has much treasure of gold, bronze, and
wrought iron laid by in his house. From this store he will give
you a large ransom should he hear of my being alive and at the
ships of the Achaeans."

Thus did he plead, and Menelaus was for yielding and giving him
to a squire to take to the ships of the Achaeans, but Agamemnon
came running up to him and rebuked him. "My good Menelaus," said
he, "this is no time for giving quarter. Has, then, your house
fared so well at the hands of the Trojans? Let us not spare a
single one of them--not even the child unborn and in its mother's
womb; let not a man of them be left alive, but let all in Ilius
perish, unheeded and forgotten."

Thus did he speak, and his brother was persuaded by him, for his
words were just. Menelaus, therefore, thrust Adrestus from him,
whereon King Agamemnon struck him in the flank, and he fell: then
the son of Atreus planted his foot upon his breast to draw his
spear from the body.

Meanwhile Nestor shouted to the Argives, saying, "My friends,
Danaan warriors, servants of Mars, let no man lag that he may
spoil the dead, and bring back much booty to the ships. Let us
kill as many as we can; the bodies will lie upon the plain, and
you can despoil them later at your leisure."

With these words he put heart and soul into them all. And now the
Trojans would have been routed and driven back into Ilius, had
not Priam's son Helenus, wisest of augurs, said to Hector and
Aeneas, "Hector and Aeneas, you two are the mainstays of the
Trojans and Lycians, for you are foremost at all times, alike in
fight and counsel; hold your ground here, and go about among the
host to rally them in front of the gates, or they will fling
themselves into the arms of their wives, to the great joy of our
foes. Then, when you have put heart into all our companies, we
will stand firm here and fight the Danaans however hard they
press us, for there is nothing else to be done. Meanwhile do you,
Hector, go to the city and tell our mother what is happening.
Tell her to bid the matrons gather at the temple of Minerva in
the acropolis; let her then take her key and open the doors of
the sacred building; there, upon the knees of Minerva, let her
lay the largest, fairest robe she has in her house--the one she
sets most store by; let her, moreover, promise to sacrifice
twelve yearling heifers that have never yet felt the goad, in the
temple of the goddess, if she will take pity on the town, with
the wives and little ones of the Trojans, and keep the son of
Tydeus from falling on the goodly city of Ilius; for he fights
with fury and fills men's souls with panic. I hold him mightiest
of them all; we did not fear even their great champion Achilles,
son of a goddess though he be, as we do this man: his rage is
beyond all bounds, and there is none can vie with him in prowess"

Hector did as his brother bade him. He sprang from his chariot,
and went about everywhere among the host, brandishing his spears,
urging the men on to fight, and raising the dread cry of battle.
Thereon they rallied and again faced the Achaeans, who gave
ground and ceased their murderous onset, for they deemed that
some one of the immortals had come down from starry heaven to
help the Trojans, so strangely had they rallied. And Hector
shouted to the Trojans, "Trojans and allies, be men, my friends,
and fight with might and main, while I go to Ilius and tell the
old men of our council and our wives to pray to the gods and vow
hecatombs in their honour."

With this he went his way, and the black rim of hide that went
round his shield beat against his neck and his ancles.

Then Glaucus son of Hippolochus, and the son of Tydeus went into
the open space between the hosts to fight in single combat. When
they were close up to one another Diomed of the loud war-cry was
the first to speak. "Who, my good sir," said he, "who are you
among men? I have never seen you in battle until now, but you are
daring beyond all others if you abide my onset. Woe to those
fathers whose sons face my might. If, however, you are one of the
immortals and have come down from heaven, I will not fight you;
for even valiant Lycurgus, son of Dryas, did not live long when
he took to fighting with the gods. He it was that drove the
nursing women who were in charge of frenzied Bacchus through the
land of Nysa, and they flung their thyrsi on the ground as
murderous Lycurgus beat them with his oxgoad. Bacchus himself
plunged terror-stricken into the sea, and Thetis took him to her
bosom to comfort him, for he was scared by the fury with which
the man reviled him. Thereon the gods who live at ease were angry
with Lycurgus and the son of Saturn struck him blind, nor did he
live much longer after he had become hateful to the immortals.
Therefore I will not fight with the blessed gods; but if you are
of them that eat the fruit of the ground, draw near and meet your

And the son of Hippolochus answered, son of Tydeus, why ask me of
my lineage? Men come and go as leaves year by year upon the
trees. Those of autumn the wind sheds upon the ground, but when
spring returns the forest buds forth with fresh vines. Even so is
it with the generations of mankind, the new spring up as the old
are passing away. If, then, you would learn my descent, it is one
that is well known to many. There is a city in the heart of
Argos, pasture land of horses, called Ephyra, where Sisyphus
lived, who was the craftiest of all mankind. He was the son of
Aeolus, and had a son named Glaucus, who was father to
Bellerophon, whom heaven endowed with the most surpassing
comeliness and beauty. But Proetus devised his ruin, and being
stronger than he, drove him from the land of the Argives, over
which Jove had made him ruler. For Antea, wife of Proetus, lusted
after him, and would have had him lie with her in secret; but
Bellerophon was an honourable man and would not, so she told lies
about him to Proteus. 'Proetus,' said she, 'kill Bellerophon or
die, for he would have had converse with me against my will.' The
king was angered, but shrank from killing Bellerophon, so he sent
him to Lycia with lying letters of introduction, written on a
folded tablet, and containing much ill against the bearer. He
bade Bellerophon show these letters to his father-in-law, to the
end that he might thus perish; Bellerophon therefore went to
Lycia, and the gods convoyed him safely.

"When he reached the river Xanthus, which is in Lycia, the king
received him with all goodwill, feasted him nine days, and killed
nine heifers in his honour, but when rosy-fingered morning
appeared upon the tenth day, he questioned him and desired to see
the letter from his son-in-law Proetus. When he had received the
wicked letter he first commanded Bellerophon to kill that savage
monster, the Chimaera, who was not a human being, but a goddess,
for she had the head of a lion and the tail of a serpent, while
her body was that of a goat, and she breathed forth flames of
fire; but Bellerophon slew her, for he was guided by signs from
heaven. He next fought the far-famed Solymi, and this, he said,
was the hardest of all his battles. Thirdly, he killed the
Amazons, women who were the peers of men, and as he was returning
thence the king devised yet another plan for his destruction; he
picked the bravest warriors in all Lycia, and placed them in
ambuscade, but not a man ever came back, for Bellerophon killed
every one of them. Then the king knew that he must be the valiant
offspring of a god, so he kept him in Lycia, gave him his
daughter in marriage, and made him of equal honour in the kingdom
with himself; and the Lycians gave him a piece of land, the best
in all the country, fair with vineyards and tilled fields, to
have and to hold.

"The king's daughter bore Bellerophon three children, Isander,
Hippolochus, and Laodameia. Jove, the lord of counsel, lay with
Laodameia, and she bore him noble Sarpedon; but when Bellerophon
came to be hated by all the gods, he wandered all desolate and
dismayed upon the Alean plain, gnawing at his own heart, and
shunning the path of man. Mars, insatiate of battle, killed his
son Isander while he was fighting the Solymi; his daughter was
killed by Diana of the golden reins, for she was angered with
her; but Hippolochus was father to myself, and when he sent me to
Troy he urged me again and again to fight ever among the foremost
and outvie my peers, so as not to shame the blood of my fathers
who were the noblest in Ephyra and in all Lycia. This, then, is
the descent I claim."

Thus did he speak, and the heart of Diomed was glad. He planted
his spear in the ground, and spoke to him with friendly words.
"Then," he said, "you are an old friend of my father's house.
Great Oeneus once entertained Bellerophon for twenty days, and
the two exchanged presents. Oeneus gave a belt rich with purple,
and Bellerophon a double cup, which I left at home when I set out
for Troy. I do not remember Tydeus, for he was taken from us
while I was yet a child, when the army of the Achaeans was cut to
pieces before Thebes. Henceforth, however, I must be your host in
middle Argos, and you mine in Lycia, if I should ever go there;
let us avoid one another's spears even during a general
engagement; there are many noble Trojans and allies whom I can
kill, if I overtake them and heaven delivers them into my hand;
so again with yourself, there are many Achaeans whose lives you
may take if you can; we two, then, will exchange armour, that all
present may know of the old ties that subsist between us."

With these words they sprang from their chariots, grasped one
another's hands, and plighted friendship. But the son of Saturn
made Glaucus take leave of his wits, for he exchanged golden
armour for bronze, the worth of a hundred head of cattle for the
worth of nine.

Now when Hector reached the Scaean gates and the oak tree, the
wives and daughters of the Trojans came running towards him to
ask after their sons, brothers, kinsmen, and husbands: he told
them to set about praying to the gods, and many were made
sorrowful as they heard him.

Presently he reached the splendid palace of King Priam, adorned
with colonnades of hewn stone. In it there were fifty
bedchambers--all of hewn stone--built near one another, where the
sons of Priam slept, each with his wedded wife. Opposite these,
on the other side the courtyard, there were twelve upper rooms
also of hewn stone for Priam's daughters, built near one another,
where his sons-in-law slept with their wives. When Hector got
there, his fond mother came up to him with Laodice the fairest of
her daughters. She took his hand within her own and said, "My
son, why have you left the battle to come hither? Are the
Achaeans, woe betide them, pressing you hard about the city that
you have thought fit to come and uplift your hands to Jove from
the citadel? Wait till I can bring you wine that you may make
offering to Jove and to the other immortals, and may then drink
and be refreshed. Wine gives a man fresh strength when he is
wearied, as you now are with fighting on behalf of your kinsmen."

And Hector answered, "Honoured mother, bring no wine, lest you
unman me and I forget my strength. I dare not make a
drink-offering to Jove with unwashed hands; one who is
bespattered with blood and filth may not pray to the son of
Saturn. Get the matrons together, and go with offerings to the
temple of Minerva driver of the spoil; there, upon the knees of
Minerva, lay the largest and fairest robe you have in your
house--the one you set most store by; promise, moreover, to
sacrifice twelve yearling heifers that have never yet felt the
goad, in the temple of the goddess if she will take pity on the
town, with the wives and little ones of the Trojans, and keep the
son of Tydeus from off the goodly city of Ilius, for he fights
with fury, and fills men's souls with panic. Go, then, to the
temple of Minerva, while I seek Paris and exhort him, if he will
hear my words. Would that the earth might open her jaws and
swallow him, for Jove bred him to be the bane of the Trojans, and
of Priam and Priam's sons. Could I but see him go down into the
house of Hades, my heart would forget its heaviness."

His mother went into the house and called her waiting-women who
gathered the matrons throughout the city. She then went down into
her fragrant store-room, where her embroidered robes were kept,
the work of Sidonian women, whom Alexandrus had brought over from
Sidon when he sailed the seas upon that voyage during which he
carried off Helen. Hecuba took out the largest robe, and the one
that was most beautifully enriched with embroidery, as an
offering to Minerva: it glittered like a star, and lay at the
very bottom of the chest. With this she went on her way and many
matrons with her.

When they reached the temple of Minerva, lovely Theano, daughter
of Cisseus and wife of Antenor, opened the doors, for the Trojans
had made her priestess of Minerva. The women lifted up their
hands to the goddess with a loud cry, and Theano took the robe to
lay it upon the knees of Minerva, praying the while to the
daughter of great Jove. "Holy Minerva," she cried, "protectress
of our city, mighty goddess, break the spear of Diomed and lay
him low before the Scaean gates. Do this, and we will sacrifice
twelve heifers that have never yet known the goad, in your
temple, if you will have pity upon the town, with the wives and
little ones of the Trojans." Thus she prayed, but Pallas Minerva
granted not her prayer.

While they were thus praying to the daughter of great Jove,
Hector went to the fair house of Alexandrus, which he had built
for him by the foremost builders in the land. They had built him
his house, storehouse, and courtyard near those of Priam and
Hector on the acropolis. Here Hector entered, with a spear eleven
cubits long in his hand; the bronze point gleamed in front of
him, and was fastened to the shaft of the spear by a ring of
gold. He found Alexandrus within the house, busied about his
armour, his shield and cuirass, and handling his curved bow;
there, too, sat Argive Helen with her women, setting them their
several tasks; and as Hector saw him he rebuked him with words of
scorn. "Sir," said he, "you do ill to nurse this rancour; the
people perish fighting round this our town; you would yourself
chide one whom you saw shirking his part in the combat. Up then,
or ere long the city will be in a blaze."

And Alexandrus answered, "Hector, your rebuke is just; listen
therefore, and believe me when I tell you that I am not here so
much through rancour or ill-will towards the Trojans, as from a
desire to indulge my grief. My wife was even now gently urging me
to battle, and I hold it better that I should go, for victory is
ever fickle. Wait, then, while I put on my armour, or go first
and I will follow. I shall be sure to overtake you."

Hector made no answer, but Helen tried to soothe him. "Brother,"
said she, "to my abhorred and sinful self, would that a whirlwind
had caught me up on the day my mother brought me forth, and had
borne me to some mountain or to the waves of the roaring sea that
should have swept me away ere this mischief had come about. But,
since the gods have devised these evils, would, at any rate, that
I had been wife to a better man--to one who could smart under
dishonour and men's evil speeches. This fellow was never yet to
be depended upon, nor never will be, and he will surely reap what
he has sown. Still, brother, come in and rest upon this seat, for
it is you who bear the brunt of that toil that has been caused by
my hateful self and by the sin of Alexandrus--both of whom Jove
has doomed to be a theme of song among those that shall be born

And Hector answered, "Bid me not be seated, Helen, for all the
goodwill you bear me. I cannot stay. I am in haste to help the
Trojans, who miss me greatly when I am not among them; but urge
your husband, and of his own self also let him make haste to
overtake me before I am out of the city. I must go home to see my
household, my wife and my little son, for I know not whether I
shall ever again return to them, or whether the gods will cause
me to fill by the hands of the Achaeans."

Then Hector left her, and forthwith was at his own house. He did
not find Andromache, for she was on the wall with her child and
one of her maids, weeping bitterly. Seeing, then, that she was
not within, he stood on the threshold of the women's rooms and
said, "Women, tell me, and tell me true, where did Andromache go
when she left the house? Was it to my sisters, or to my brothers'
wives? or is she at the temple of Minerva where the other women
are propitiating the awful goddess?"

His good housekeeper answered, "Hector, since you bid me tell you
truly, she did not go to your sisters nor to your brothers'
wives, nor yet to the temple of Minerva, where the other women
are propitiating the awful goddess, but she is on the high wall
of Ilius, for she had heard the Trojans were being hard pressed,
and that the Achaeans were in great force: she went to the wall
in frenzied haste, and the nurse went with her carrying the

Hector hurried from the house when she had done speaking, and
went down the streets by the same way that he had come. When he
had gone through the city and had reached the Scaean gates
through which he would go out on to the plain, his wife came
running towards him, Andromache, daughter of great Eetion who
ruled in Thebe under the wooded slopes of Mt. Placus, and was
king of the Cilicians. His daughter had married Hector, and now
came to meet him with a nurse who carried his little child in her
bosom--a mere babe. Hector's darling son, and lovely as a star.
Hector had named him Scamandrius, but the people called him
Astyanax, for his father stood alone as chief guardian of Ilius.
Hector smiled as he looked upon the boy, but he did not speak,
and Andromache stood by him weeping and taking his hand in her
own. "Dear husband," said she, "your valour will bring you to
destruction; think on your infant son, and on my hapless self who
ere long shall be your widow--for the Achaeans will set upon you
in a body and kill you. It would be better for me, should I lose
you, to lie dead and buried, for I shall have nothing left to
comfort me when you are gone, save only sorrow. I have neither
father nor mother now. Achilles slew my father when he sacked
Thebe the goodly city of the Cilicians. He slew him, but did not
for very shame despoil him; when he had burned him in his
wondrous armour, he raised a barrow over his ashes and the
mountain nymphs, daughters of aegis-bearing Jove, planted a grove
of elms about his tomb. I had seven brothers in my father's
house, but on the same day they all went within the house of
Hades. Achilles killed them as they were with their sheep and
cattle. My mother--her who had been queen of all the land under
Mt. Placus--he brought hither with the spoil, and freed her for a
great sum, but the archer-queen Diana took her in the house of
your father. Nay--Hector--you who to me are father, mother,
brother, and dear husband--have mercy upon me; stay here upon
this wall; make not your child fatherless, and your wife a widow;
as for the host, place them near the fig-tree, where the city can
be best scaled, and the wall is weakest. Thrice have the bravest
of them come thither and assailed it, under the two Ajaxes,
Idomeneus, the sons of Atreus, and the brave son of Tydeus,
either of their own bidding, or because some soothsayer had told

And Hector answered, "Wife, I too have thought upon all this, but
with what face should I look upon the Trojans, men or women, if I
shirked battle like a coward? I cannot do so: I know nothing save
to fight bravely in the forefront of the Trojan host and win
renown alike for my father and myself. Well do I know that the
day will surely come when mighty Ilius shall be destroyed with
Priam and Priam's people, but I grieve for none of these--not
even for Hecuba, nor King Priam, nor for my brothers many and
brave who may fall in the dust before their foes--for none of
these do I grieve as for yourself when the day shall come on
which some one of the Achaeans shall rob you for ever of your
freedom, and bear you weeping away. It may be that you will have
to ply the loom in Argos at the bidding of a mistress, or to
fetch water from the springs Messeis or Hypereia, treated
brutally by some cruel task-master; then will one say who sees
you weeping, 'She was wife to Hector, the bravest warrior among
the Trojans during the war before Ilius.' On this your tears will
break forth anew for him who would have put away the day of
captivity from you. May I lie dead under the barrow that is
heaped over my body ere I hear your cry as they carry you into

He stretched his arms towards his child, but the boy cried and
nestled in his nurse's bosom, scared at the sight of his father's
armour, and at the horse-hair plume that nodded fiercely from his
helmet. His father and mother laughed to see him, but Hector took
the helmet from his head and laid it all gleaming upon the
ground. Then he took his darling child, kissed him, and dandled
him in his arms, praying over him the while to Jove and to all
the gods. "Jove," he cried, "grant that this my child may be even
as myself, chief among the Trojans; let him be not less excellent
in strength, and let him rule Ilius with his might. Then may one
say of him as he comes from battle, 'The son is far better than
the father.' May he bring back the blood-stained spoils of him
whom he has laid low, and let his mother's heart be glad.'"

With this he laid the child again in the arms of his wife, who
took him to her own soft bosom, smiling through her tears. As her
husband watched her his heart yearned towards her and he caressed
her fondly, saying, "My own wife, do not take these things too
bitterly to heart. No one can hurry me down to Hades before my
time, but if a man's hour is come, be he brave or be he coward,
there is no escape for him when he has once been born. Go, then,
within the house, and busy yourself with your daily duties, your
loom, your distaff, and the ordering of your servants; for war is
man's matter, and mine above all others of them that have been
born in Ilius."

He took his plumed helmet from the ground, and his wife went back
again to her house, weeping bitterly and often looking back
towards him. When she reached her home she found her maidens
within, and bade them all join in her lament; so they mourned
Hector in his own house though he was yet alive, for they deemed
that they should never see him return safe from battle, and from
the furious hands of the Achaeans.

Paris did not remain long in his house. He donned his goodly
armour overlaid with bronze, and hasted through the city as fast
as his feet could take him. As a horse, stabled and fed, breaks
loose and gallops gloriously over the plain to the place where he
is wont to bathe in the fair-flowing river--he holds his head
high, and his mane streams upon his shoulders as he exults in his
strength and flies like the wind to the haunts and feeding ground
of the mares--even so went forth Paris from high Pergamus,
gleaming like sunlight in his armour, and he laughed aloud as he
sped swiftly on his way. Forthwith he came upon his brother
Hector, who was then turning away from the place where he had
held converse with his wife, and he was himself the first to
speak. "Sir," said he, "I fear that I have kept you waiting when
you are in haste, and have not come as quickly as you bade me."

"My good brother," answered Hector, "you fight bravely, and no
man with any justice can make light of your doings in battle. But
you are careless and wilfully remiss. It grieves me to the heart
to hear the ill that the Trojans speak about you, for they have
suffered much on your account. Let us be going, and we will make
things right hereafter, should Jove vouchsafe us to set the cup
of our deliverance before ever-living gods of heaven in our own
homes, when we have chased the Achaeans from Troy."


Hector and Ajax fight--Hector is getting worsted when night
comes on and parts them--They exchange presents--The
burial of the dead, and the building of a wall round their
ships by the Achaeans--The Achaeans buy their wine of
Agamemnon and Menelaus.

WITH these words Hector passed through the gates, and his brother
Alexandrus with him, both eager for the fray. As when heaven
sends a breeze to sailors who have long looked for one in vain,
and have laboured at their oars till they are faint with toil,
even so welcome was the sight of these two heroes to the Trojans.

Thereon Alexandrus killed Menesthius the son of Areithous; he
lived in Arne, and was son of Areithous the Mace-man, and of
Phylomedusa. Hector threw a spear at Eioneus and struck him dead
with a wound in the neck under the bronze rim of his helmet.
Glaucus, moreover, son of Hippolochus, captain of the Lycians, in
hard hand-to-hand fight smote Iphinous son of Dexius on the
shoulder, as he was springing on to his chariot behind his fleet
mares; so he fell to earth from the car, and there was no life
left in him.

When, therefore, Minerva saw these men making havoc of the
Argives, she darted down to Ilius from the summits of Olympus,
and Apollo, who was looking on from Pergamus, went out to meet
her; for he wanted the Trojans to be victorious. The pair met by
the oak tree, and King Apollo son of Jove was first to speak.
"What would you have", said he, "daughter of great Jove, that
your proud spirit has sent you hither from Olympus? Have you no
pity upon the Trojans, and would you incline the scales of
victory in favour of the Danaans? Let me persuade you--for it
will be better thus--stay the combat for to-day, but let them
renew the fight hereafter till they compass the doom of Ilius,
since you goddesses have made up your minds to destroy the city."

And Minerva answered, "So be it, Far-Darter; it was in this mind
that I came down from Olympus to the Trojans and Achaeans. Tell
me, then, how do you propose to end this present fighting?"

Apollo, son of Jove, replied, "Let us incite great Hector to
challenge some one of the Danaans in single combat; on this the
Achaeans will be shamed into finding a man who will fight him."

Minerva assented, and Helenus son of Priam divined the counsel of
the gods; he therefore went up to Hector and said, "Hector son of
Priam, peer of gods in counsel, I am your brother, let me then
persuade you. Bid the other Trojans and Achaeans all of them take
their seats, and challenge the best man among the Achaeans to
meet you in single combat. I have heard the voice of the
ever-living gods, and the hour of your doom is not yet come."

Hector was glad when he heard this saying, and went in among the
Trojans, grasping his spear by the middle to hold them back, and
they all sat down. Agamemnon also bade the Achaeans be seated.
But Minerva and Apollo, in the likeness of vultures, perched on
father Jove's high oak tree, proud of their men; and the ranks
sat close ranged together, bristling with shield and helmet and
spear. As when the rising west wind furs the face of the sea and
the waters grow dark beneath it, so sat the companies of Trojans
and Achaeans upon the plain. And Hector spoke thus:--

"Hear me, Trojans and Achaeans, that I may speak even as I am
minded; Jove on his high throne has brought our oaths and
covenants to nothing, and foreshadows ill for both of us, till
you either take the towers of Troy, or are yourselves vanquished
at your ships. The princes of the Achaeans are here present in
the midst of you; let him, then, that will fight me stand forward
as your champion against Hector. Thus I say, and may Jove be
witness between us. If your champion slay me, let him strip me of
my armour and take it to your ships, but let him send my body
home that the Trojans and their wives may give me my dues of fire
when I am dead. In like manner, if Apollo vouchsafe me glory and
I slay your champion, I will strip him of his armour and take it
to the city of Ilius, where I will hang it in the temple of
Apollo, but I will give up his body, that the Achaeans may bury
him at their ships, and the build him a mound by the wide waters
of the Hellespont. Then will one say hereafter as he sails his
ship over the sea, 'This is the monument of one who died long
since a champion who was slain by mighty Hector.' Thus will one
say, and my fame shall not be lost."

Thus did he speak, but they all held their peace, ashamed to
decline the challenge, yet fearing to accept it, till at last
Menelaus rose and rebuked them, for he was angry. "Alas," he
cried, "vain braggarts, women forsooth not men, double-dyed
indeed will be the stain upon us if no man of the Danaans will
now face Hector. May you be turned every man of you into earth
and water as you sit spiritless and inglorious in your places. I
will myself go out against this man, but the upshot of the fight
will be from on high in the hands of the immortal gods."

With these words he put on his armour; and then, O Menelaus, your
life would have come to an end at the hands of hands of Hector,
for he was far better the man, had not the princes of the
Achaeans sprung upon you and checked you. King Agamemnon caught
him by the right hand and said, "Menelaus, you are mad; a truce
to this folly. Be patient in spite of passion, do not think of
fighting a man so much stronger than yourself as Hector son of
Priam, who is feared by many another as well as you. Even
Achilles, who is far more doughty than you are, shrank from
meeting him in battle. Sit down your own people, and the Achaeans
will send some other champion to fight Hector; fearless and fond
of battle though he be, I ween his knees will bend gladly under
him if he comes out alive from the hurly-burly of this fight."

With these words of reasonable counsel he persuaded his brother,
whereon his squires gladly stripped the armour from off his
shoulders. Then Nestor rose and spoke, "Of a truth," said he,
"the Achaean land is fallen upon evil times. The old knight
Peleus, counsellor and orator among the Myrmidons, loved when I
was in his house to question me concerning the race and lineage
of all the Argives. How would it not grieve him could he hear of
them as now quailing before Hector? Many a time would he lift his
hands in prayer that his soul might leave his body and go down
within the house of Hades. Would, by father Jove, Minerva, and
Apollo, that I were still young and strong as when the Pylians
and Arcadians were gathered in fight by the rapid river Celadon
under the walls of Pheia, and round about the waters of the river
Iardanus. The godlike hero Ereuthalion stood forward as their
champion, with the armour of King Areithous upon his shoulders--
Areithous whom men and women had surnamed 'the Mace-man,' because
he fought neither with bow nor spear, but broke the battalions of
the foe with his iron mace. Lycurgus killed him, not in fair
fight, but by entrapping him in a narrow way where his mace
served him in no stead; for Lycurgus was too quick for him and
speared him through the middle, so he fell to earth on his back.
Lycurgus then spoiled him of the armour which Mars had given him,
and bore it in battle thenceforward; but when he grew old and
stayed at home, he gave it to his faithful squire Ereuthalion,
who in this same armour challenged the foremost men among us. The
others quaked and quailed, but my high spirit bade me fight him
though none other would venture; I was the youngest man of them
all; but when I fought him Minerva vouchsafed me victory. He was
the biggest and strongest man that ever I killed, and covered
much ground as he lay sprawling upon the earth. Would that I were
still young and strong as I then was, for the son of Priam would
then soon find one who would face him. But you, foremost among
the whole host though you be, have none of you any stomach for
fighting Hector."

Thus did the old man rebuke them, and forthwith nine men started
to their feet. Foremost of all uprose King Agamemnon, and after
him brave Diomed the son of Tydeus. Next were the two Ajaxes, men
clothed in valour as with a garment, and then Idomeneus, and
Meriones his brother in arms. After these Eurypylus son of
Euaemon, Thoas the son of Andraemon, and Ulysses also rose. Then
Nestor knight of Gerene again spoke, saying: "Cast lots among you
to see who shall be chosen. If he come alive out of this fight he
will have done good service alike to his own soul and to the

Thus he spoke, and when each of them had marked his lot, and had
thrown it into the helmet of Agamemnon son of Atreus, the people
lifted their hands in prayer, and thus would one of them say as
he looked into the vault of heaven, "Father Jove, grant that the
lot fall on Ajax, or on the son of Tydeus, or upon the king of
rich Mycene himself."

As they were speaking, Nestor knight of Gerene shook the helmet,
and from it there fell the very lot which they wanted--the lot of
Ajax. The herald bore it about and showed it to all the
chieftains of the Achaeans, going from left to right; but they
none of them owned it. When, however, in due course he reached
the man who had written upon it and had put it into the helmet,
brave Ajax held out his hand, and the herald gave him the lot.
When Ajax saw his mark he knew it and was glad; he threw it to
the ground and said, "My friends, the lot is mine, and I rejoice,
for I shall vanquish Hector. I will put on my armour; meanwhile,
pray to King Jove in silence among yourselves that the Trojans
may not hear you--or aloud if you will, for we fear no man. None
shall overcome me, neither by force nor cunning, for I was born
and bred in Salamis, and can hold my own in all things."

With this they fell praying to King Jove the son of Saturn, and
thus would one of them say as he looked into the vault of heaven,
"Father Jove that rulest from Ida, most glorious in power,
vouchsafe victory to Ajax, and let him win great glory: but if
you wish well to Hector also and would protect him, grant to each
of them equal fame and prowess."

Thus they prayed, and Ajax armed himself in his suit of gleaming
bronze. When he was in full array he sprang forward as monstrous
Mars when he takes part among men whom Jove has set fighting with
one another--even so did huge Ajax, bulwark of the Achaeans,
spring forward with a grim smile on his face as he brandished his
long spear and strode onward. The Argives were elated as they
beheld him, but the Trojans trembled in every limb, and the heart
even of Hector beat quickly, but he could not now retreat and
withdraw into the ranks behind him, for he had been the
challenger. Ajax came up bearing his shield in front of him like
a wall--a shield of bronze with seven folds of oxhide--the work
of Tychius, who lived in Hyle and was by far the best worker in
leather. He had made it with the hides of seven full-fed bulls,
and over these he had set an eighth layer of bronze. Holding this
shield before him, Ajax son of Telamon came close up to Hector,
and menaced him saying, "Hector, you shall now learn, man to man,
what kind of champions the Danaans have among them even besides
lion-hearted Achilles cleaver of the ranks of men. He now abides
at the ships in anger with Agamemnon shepherd of his people, but
there are many of us who are well able to face you; therefore
begin the fight."

And Hector answered, "Noble Ajax, son of Telamon, captain of the
host, treat me not as though I were some puny boy or woman that
cannot fight. I have been long used to the blood and butcheries
of battle. I am quick to turn my leathern shield either to right
or left, for this I deem the main thing in battle. I can charge
among the chariots and horsemen, and in hand to hand fighting can
delight the heart of Mars; howbeit I would not take such a man as
you are off his guard--but I will smite you openly if I can."

He poised his spear as he spoke, and hurled it from him. It
struck the sevenfold shield in its outermost layer--the eighth,
which was of bronze--and went through six of the layers but in
the seventh hide it stayed. Then Ajax threw in his turn, and
struck the round shield of the son of Priam. The terrible spear
went through his gleaming shield, and pressed onward through his
cuirass of cunning workmanship; it pierced the shirt against his
side, but he swerved and thus saved his life. They then each of
them drew out the spear from his shield, and fell on one another
like savage lions or wild boars of great strength and endurance:
the son of Priam struck the middle of Ajax's shield, but the
bronze did not break, and the point of his dart was turned. Ajax
then sprang forward and pierced the shield of Hector; the spear
went through it and staggered him as he was springing forward to
attack; it gashed his neck and the blood came pouring from the
wound, but even so Hector did not cease fighting; he gave ground,
and with his brawny hand seized a stone, rugged and huge, that
was lying upon the plain; with this he struck the shield of Ajax
on the boss that was in its middle, so that the bronze rang
again. But Ajax in turn caught up a far larger stone, swung it
aloft, and hurled it with prodigious force. This millstone of a
rock broke Hector's shield inwards and threw him down on his back
with the shield crushing him under it, but Apollo raised him at
once. Thereon they would have hacked at one another in close
combat with their swords, had not heralds, messengers of gods and
men, come forward, one from the Trojans and the other from the
Achaeans--Talthybius and Idaeus both of them honourable men;
these parted them with their staves, and the good herald Idaeus
said, "My sons, fight no longer, you are both of you valiant, and
both are dear to Jove; we know this; but night is now falling,
and the behests of night may not be well gainsaid."

Ajax son of Telamon answered, "Idaeus, bid Hector say so, for it
was he that challenged our princes. Let him speak first and I
will accept his saying."

Then Hector said, "Ajax, heaven has vouchsafed you stature and
strength, and judgement; and in wielding the spear you excel all
others of the Achaeans. Let us for this day cease fighting;
hereafter we will fight anew till heaven decide between us, and
give victory to one or to the other; night is now falling, and
the behests of night may not be well gainsaid. Gladden, then, the
hearts of the Achaeans at your ships, and more especially those
of your own followers and clansmen, while I, in the great city of
King Priam, bring comfort to the Trojans and their women, who vie
with one another in their prayers on my behalf. Let us, moreover,
exchange presents that it may be said among the Achaeans and
Trojans, 'They fought with might and main, but were reconciled
and parted in friendship.'"

On this he gave Ajax a silver-studded sword with its sheath and
leathern baldric, and in return Ajax gave him a girdle dyed with
purple. Thus they parted, the one going to the host of the
Achaeans, and the other to that of the Trojans, who rejoiced when
they saw their hero come to them safe and unharmed from the
strong hands of mighty Ajax. They led him, therefore, to the city
as one that had been saved beyond their hopes. On the other side
the Achaeans brought Ajax elated with victory to Agamemnon.

When they reached the quarters of the son of Atreus, Agamemnon
sacrificed for them a five-year-old bull in honour of Jove the
son of Saturn. They flayed the carcass, made it ready, and
divided it into joints; these they cut carefully up into smaller
pieces, putting them on the spits, roasting them sufficiently,
and then drawing them off. When they had done all this and had
prepared the feast, they ate it, and every man had his full and
equal share, so that all were satisfied, and King Agamemnon gave
Ajax some slices cut lengthways down the loin, as a mark of
special honour. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink,
old Nestor whose counsel was ever truest began to speak; with all
sincerity and goodwill, therefore, he addressed them thus:--

"Son of Atreus, and other chieftains, inasmuch as many of the
Achaeans are now dead, whose blood Mars has shed by the banks of
the Scamander, and their souls have gone down to the house of
Hades, it will be well when morning comes that we should cease
fighting; we will then wheel our dead together with oxen and
mules and burn them not far from the ships, that when we sail
hence we may take the bones of our comrades home to their
children. Hard by the funeral pyre we will build a barrow that
shall be raised from the plain for all in common; near this let
us set about building a high wall, to shelter ourselves and our
ships, and let it have well-made gates that there may be a way
through them for our chariots. Close outside we will dig a deep
trench all round it to keep off both horse and foot, that the
Trojan chieftains may not bear hard upon us."

Thus he spoke, and the princess shouted in applause. Meanwhile
the Trojans held a council, angry and full of discord, on the
acropolis by the gates of King Priam's palace; and wise Antenor
spoke. "Hear me," he said, "Trojans, Dardanians, and allies, that
I may speak even as I am minded. Let us give up Argive Helen and
her wealth to the sons of Atreus, for we are now fighting in
violation of our solemn covenants, and shall not prosper till we
have done as I say."

He then sat down and Alexandrus husband of lovely Helen rose to
speak. "Antenor," said he, "your words are not to my liking; you
can find a better saying than this if you will; if, however, you
have spoken in good earnest, then indeed has heaven robbed you of
your reason. I will speak plainly, and hereby notify to the
Trojans that I will not give up the woman; but the wealth that I
brought home with her from Argos I will restore, and will add yet
further of my own."

On this, when Paris had spoken and taken his seat, Priam of the
race of Dardanus, peer of gods in council, rose and with all
sincerity and goodwill addressed them thus: "Hear me, Trojans,
Dardanians, and allies, that I may speak even as I am minded. Get
your suppers now as hitherto throughout the city, but keep your
watches and be wakeful. At daybreak let Idaeus go to the ships,
and tell Agamemnon and Menelaus sons of Atreus the saying of
Alexandrus through whom this quarrel has come about; and let him
also be instant with them that they now cease fighting till we
burn our dead; hereafter we will fight anew, till heaven decide
between us and give victory to one or to the other."

Thus did he speak, and they did even as he had said. They took
supper in their companies and at daybreak Idaeus went his way to
the ships. He found the Danaans, servants of Mars, in council at
the stern of Agamemnon's ship, and took his place in the midst of
them. "Son of Atreus," he said, "and princes of the Achaean host,
Priam and the other noble Trojans have sent me to tell you the
saying of Alexandrus through whom this quarrel has come about, if
so be that you may find it acceptable. All the treasure he took
with him in his ships to Troy--would that he had sooner
perished--he will restore, and will add yet further of his own,
but he will not give up the wedded wife of Menelaus, though the
Trojans would have him do so. Priam bade me inquire further if
you will cease fighting till we burn our dead; hereafter we will
fight anew, till heaven decide between us and give victory to one
or to the other."

They all held their peace, but presently Diomed of the loud
war-cry spoke, saying, "Let there be no taking, neither treasure,
nor yet Helen, for even a child may see that the doom of the
Trojans is at hand."

The sons of the Achaeans shouted applause at the words that
Diomed had spoken, and thereon King Agamemnon said to Idaeus,
"Idaeus, you have heard the answer the Achaeans make you-and I
with them. But as concerning the dead, I give you leave to burn
them, for when men are once dead there should be no grudging them
the rites of fire. Let Jove the mighty husband of Juno be witness
to this covenant."

As he spoke he upheld his sceptre in the sight of all the gods,
and Idaeus went back to the strong city of Ilius. The Trojans and
Dardanians were gathered in council waiting his return; when he
came, he stood in their midst and delivered his message. As soon
as they heard it they set about their twofold labour, some to
gather the corpses, and others to bring in wood. The Argives on
their part also hastened from their ships, some to gather the
corpses, and others to bring in wood.

The sun was beginning to beat upon the fields, fresh risen into
the vault of heaven from the slow still currents of deep Oceanus,
when the two armies met. They could hardly recognise their dead,
but they washed the clotted gore from off them, shed tears over
them, and lifted them upon their waggons. Priam had forbidden the
Trojans to wail aloud, so they heaped their dead sadly and
silently upon the pyre, and having burned them went back to the
city of Ilius. The Achaeans in like manner heaped their dead
sadly and silently on the pyre, and having burned them went back
to their ships.

Now in the twilight when it was not yet dawn, chosen bands of the
Achaeans were gathered round the pyre and built one barrow that
was raised in common for all, and hard by this they built a high
wall to shelter themselves and their ships; they gave it strong
gates that there might be a way through them for their chariots,
and close outside it they dug a trench deep and wide, and they
planted it within with stakes.

Thus did the Achaeans toil, and the gods, seated by the side of
Jove the lord of lightning, marvelled at their great work; but
Neptune, lord of the earthquake, spoke, saying, "Father Jove,
what mortal in the whole world will again take the gods into his
counsel? See you not how the Achaeans have built a wall about
their ships and driven a trench all round it, without offering
hecatombs to the gods? The fame of this wall will reach as far as
dawn itself, and men will no longer think anything of the one
which Phoebus Apollo and myself built with so much labour for

Jove was displeased and answered, "What, O shaker of the earth,
are you talking about? A god less powerful than yourself might be
alarmed at what they are doing, but your fame reaches as far as
dawn itself. Surely when the Achaeans have gone home with their
ships, you can shatter their wall and fling it into the sea; you
can cover the beach with sand again, and the great wall of the
Achaeans will then be utterly effaced."

Thus did they converse, and by sunset the work of the Achaeans
was completed; they then slaughtered oxen at their tents and got
their supper. Many ships had come with wine from Lemnos, sent by
Euneus the son of Jason, born to him by Hypsipyle. The son of
Jason freighted them with ten thousand measures of wine, which he
sent specially to the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus.
From this supply the Achaeans bought their wine, some with
bronze, some with iron, some with hides, some with whole heifers,
and some again with captives. They spread a goodly banquet and
feasted the whole night through, as also did the Trojans and
their allies in the city. But all the time Jove boded them ill
and roared with his portentous thunder. Pale fear got hold upon
them, and they spilled the wine from their cups on to the ground,
nor did any dare drink till he had made offerings to the most
mighty son of Saturn. Then they laid themselves down to rest and
enjoyed the boon of sleep.

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