Agamemnon distinguishes himself, but, being wounded, retires from the field. Diomede is wounded by Paris: Ulysses by Socus. Ajax and Menelaus then go to the relief of Ajax, and Eurypylus, who had joined them, is shot in the thigh by Paris, who also wounds Machaon. Nestor conveys Machaon from the field. Achilles sends Patroclus to the tent of Nestor, who exhorts Patroclus to engage in battle, assuming the armour of Achilles.
But Aurora was rising from her couch, from beside glorious Tithonus, that she might bear light to immortals and to mortals, when Jove sent forth fell Discord to the swift ships of the Greeks, bearing in her hands the portent of war. And she stood upon the huge 359 black ship of Ulysses, which was in the centre, to shout to both sides, as well to the tents of Telamonian Ajax, as to those of Achilles; who had both drawn up their equal ships at the very extremities, relying on their valour and strength of hands. There standing, the goddess shouted both loudly and terribly, in Orthian strain, 360 to the Greeks, and implanted mighty strength in the heart of each, to war and fight incessantly. And immediately war became more sweet to them, than to return in the hollow ships to their dear fatherland. Then the son of Atreus shouted aloud, and ordered the Greeks to be girded; and arrayed himself, putting on his shining armour. First he put upon his legs his beautiful greaves, fitted with silver clasps; next he placed around his breast a corslet which Cinyras once gave him, to be a pledge of hospitality. For a great rumour was heard at Cyprus, that the Greeks were about to sail to Troy in ships: wherefore he gave him this, gratifying the king. Ten bars indeed [of the corslet] were of dark cyanus 361, twelve of gold, and twenty of tin; and three serpents of cyanus stretched towards the neck on each side, like unto rainbows, which the son of Saturn hath fixed in a cloud 362, a sign to articulate-speaking men. Then around his shoulders he hung his sword, on which glittered golden studs; and a silver scabbard enclosed it, fitted with golden rings. Next he took up his shield, mortal-covering 363, variously wrought, strong, beautiful, around which were ten brazen orbs. Upon it were twenty white bosses of tin, and in the midst was [one] of dark cyanus. On it a grim-visaged Gorgon was placed as an ornament, looking horribly, and around [were] Terror and Flight. The belt was of silver, but round it a snake of cyanus was twisted, and there were three heads entwined, springing from one neck. Upon his head also he placed his helmet, adorned with studs on all sides, having four bosses, crested with horse-hair, and dreadfully nodded the tuft from above. He then took two strong spears, tipped with brass, sharp; and the brass of them glittered afar, even to heaven: and Minerva and Juno thundered above, honouring the king of Mycenæ, rich in gold.
Then indeed each gave orders to his own charioteer to hold there his horses in good order by the fosse; whilst they themselves on foot 364, arrayed with their armour, rushed forth; and an inextinguishable clamour arose before morning. And they 365 were marshalled in the foreground with the cavalry at the trench; the cavalry followed at a little interval; but the son of Saturn aroused a dreadful tumult, and sent down dew-drops, moist with blood, from the air above, because he was about to hurl many brave souls on to Hades.
On the other side, on the contrary, the Trojans [drew up] on a hill in the plain around both mighty Hector, blameless Polydamas, and Æneas, who, among the Trojans, was honoured by the people as a god; and the three sons of Antenor, Polybus, noble Agenor, and youthful Acamas, like unto the immortals. And Hector in the van carried his shield, equal on all sides. And as when a pernicious star makes its appearance from the clouds, at one time shining, and dark again hath entered the clouds; so Hector, giving orders, appeared now among the first, and now among the last; and he glittered all over with brass, like the lightning of ægis-bearing Jove.
Footnote 359: (return) Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 378, sqq.
Footnote 360: (return) I. e. shrill, at the full pitch of the voice. Cf. Æsch. Pers. Μολπηδὸν ηὐϕήμησεν, ὄρθιον δ' ἄμα Άντηλάλαξε.
Footnote 361: (return) I have retained this word, as we cannot ascertain what precise metal is meant.
Footnote 362: (return) Cf. Genes. ix. 13.
Footnote 363: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 33.
Footnote 364: (return) Cf. Hesych. t. i. p. 1065, with Alberti's note.
Footnote 365: (return) I. e. the chiefs.
And they,--as when reapers opposite to each other form swathes of wheat or barley along the field of a rich man, and the frequent handfuls fall,--so the Trojans and Greeks, rushing against one another, kept slaughtering: and neither thought of pernicious flight. And they held their heads equal in combat, and rushed on like wolves; whilst lamentable Discord, looking on, exulted: for she alone of the gods was present with them contending. But the other gods were not present with them, but sat quiet in their palaces, where beautiful mansions were built for each, along the summits of Olympus. All however blamed the Saturnian collector of dark clouds, because he wished to afford glory to the Trojans. But the sire did not regard them, but retiring by himself, sat down apart from the others, exulting in glory, looking both upon the city of the Trojans, and the ships of the Greeks, and the brightness of armour, and the slaying, and slain.
Whilst it was morn, and the sacred day was increasing, so long the weapons reached both sides, and the people fell. But at the time when the wood-cutter 366 has prepared his repast in the dells of a mountain, when he has wearied his hands hewing down lofty trees, and satiety comes upon his mind, and the desire of sweet food seizes his breast; then the Greeks, by their valour, broke the phalanxes, cheering their companions along the ranks. But Agamemnon first leaped forth, and slew the hero Bianor, the shepherd of the people, and then also his companion, Oïleus, the goader of steeds. For he then, leaping from the chariot, stood against him; but he (Agamemnon) smote him, as he was rushing straight forward, with his sharp spear, in the forehead; nor did the visor, heavy with brass, retard the weapon, but it penetrated both it and the bone, and all the brain within was stained with gore. Him then he subdued while eagerly rushing on. And Agamemnon, king of men, left them there with their bosoms all bare, for he had stripped off their tunics. Next he went against Isus and Anthipus, two sons of Priam, [the one] illegitimate, and [the other] legitimate, being both in one chariot, in order to slay them. The spurious [son] guided the chariot, whilst illustrious Antiphus fought. Them Achilles had once bound with tender osiers on the summits of Ida, taking them while pasturing their sheep; and had liberated them for a ransom. Then however the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, struck one upon the breast above the pap with his spear; and again he smote Antiphus beside the ear with his sword, and hurled him from his chariot. Hastening up, he despoiled them of their beautiful armour, recognizing them; for he had formerly seen them at the swift ships, when swift-footed Achilles brought them from Ida. And as a lion, returning to his lair, easily crushes the little fawns of the fleet hind, seizing them in his strong teeth, and deprives them of their tender life, whilst she, although she happen [to be] very near, cannot aid them; for a dreadful tremor comes upon herself; but hastening, she immediately flies through the thick oak groves and the forest, sweating, through the attack of the wild beast. Thus no one of the Trojans was then able to avert destruction from these, but they themselves were put to flight by the Greeks. Next [he attacked] Pisander and Hippolochus, brave in battle, the sons of warlike Antimachus, who having accepted gold from Paris, rich gifts, would not suffer them to restore Helen to yellow-haired Menelaus. His two sons, then, Agamemnon, king of men, seized, being in one chariot, for they drove their fleet horses together; for the splendid reins had fallen from their hands, and they were confounded. But the son of Atreus rushed against them like a lion, and they, on the contrary, supplicated [him] from the chariot:
"Take us alive, O son of Atreus, and thou shalt receive worthy ransoms. For many treasures lie in the houses of Antimachus, brass, gold, and variously-wrought iron. From these would our father give infinite ransoms, if he should hear that we were alive at the ships of the Greeks."
Footnote 366: (return) Compare the similar allusion to rustic pursuits in xvi. 779, with Buttm. Lexil. p. 89.
Thus both weeping addressed the king with soothing words; but heard an unsoothing reply: "If indeed ye be the sons of warlike Antimachus, who once in an assembly of the Trojans, ordered that they should there put to death Menelaus, coming as an ambassador along with godlike Ulysses, and not send him back to the Greeks--now surely shall ye pay the penalty of the unmerited insolence of your father."
He said, and hurled Pisander from his horses to the ground, striking him on the breast with his spear; and he was stretched supine upon the soil. But Hippolochus leaped down, whom next he slew upon the ground, having lopped off his hands with his sword, and cut off his neck; and it (the head) like a cylinder, he hurled forward, to be rolled through the crowd. These then he left there; and where very many phalanxes were thrown into confusion, there he rushed, and at the same time other well-greaved Greeks. Infantry slew infantry, flying from necessity, and horse [slew] horse, slaughtering with the brass (whilst the dust was raised by them from the plain, which the loud-sounding feet of the horses excited); but king Agamemnon, constantly slaying, pursued, cheering on the Greeks. And as when a destructive fire falls upon a woody forest, and the wind whirling carries it on all sides, whilst the branches fall with the roots, overwhelmed by the violence of the flame; so fell the heads of the flying Trojans, at the hand of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, and many lofty-necked steeds rattled their empty chariots through the ranks 367 of the battle, longing for their faultless charioteers; but they lay upon the earth, far more agreeable to the vultures than to their wives.
Footnote 367: (return) Literally, "the bridges," i. e. the open spaces between the lines.
But Jove withdrew Hector out of the reach of weapons, of dust, of slaughter, blood and tumult, whilst Atrides pursued, loudly cheering on the Danai. [The Trojans] meanwhile rushed through the middle of the plain towards the wild fig-tree, near the tomb of Ilus, the descendant of ancient Dardanus, eager to reach the city; but Atrides still followed shouting, and stained his invincible hands with dusty gore. But when now they reached the Scæan gates and the beech-tree, there at length they halted, and awaited each other. Others, however, still fled through the middle of the plain, like oxen which a lion, coming at the depth of night, hath put tremblingly to flight--all, but to some one dreadful destruction is apparent; whose neck he first completely breaks, seizing it in his strong teeth; and then laps up both the blood and all the entrails: thus did the son of Atreus, king Agamemnon, follow them, always killing the hindermost; and they kept flying. Many fell prone and supine from their chariots, by the hands of the son of Atreus; for before [all others] he raged exceedingly with the spear. But when now he was about soon to reach the city and the lofty wall, then indeed the father both of men and gods, descending from heaven, seated himself upon the tops of Ida, of many rills. And he held the lightning in his hands, and aroused golden-winged Iris to bear his message:
"Come, swift Iris, deliver this message to Hector. As long as he may behold Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people, raging in the van, [and] destroying the ranks of men, so long let 368 him retreat, and let him exhort the rest of the army to fight with the enemy during the violent contest. But when he (Agamemnon) shall have mounted his steeds, either smitten by a spear, or wounded by an arrow, then will I supply him with strength to slay, 369 until he reach the well-benched ships, and the sun set, and sacred darkness come on."
Footnote 368: (return) Cf. ver. 204.
Footnote 369: (return) The Greeks.
Thus he spake; nor did rapid Iris, swift as the wind on her feet, disobey. But she descended from the mountains of Ida, towards sacred Ilium. She found noble Hector, son of warlike Priam, standing in the midst of the horses and well-joined chariots: and having approached, swift-footed Iris addressed him:
"Hector, son of Priam, equal in counsel to Jove, Jove hath sent me forward to deliver to thee this message: As long as thou seest Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people, raging amongst the van, [and] destroying the ranks of men, so long do thou abstain from combat, but exhort the rest of the army to fight with the enemy during the violent contest. But when he shall have mounted his steeds, either smitten with a spear, or wounded by an arrow, then will he supply thee with strength to slay, until thou reach the well-benched ships, and the sun set, and sacred darkness come on."
Thus having spoken, swift-footed Iris departed. But Hector with his armour sprang from his chariot to the ground, and brandishing sharp spears, ranged through the army on every side, inciting them to fight, and stirred up the dreadful battle. They indeed rallied, and stood opposite to the Greeks; but the Greeks, on the other hand, strengthened their phalanxes. And the battle was renewed, and they stood front to front. But Agamemnon first rushed on, for he wished to fight far before all.
Tell me now, ye muses, possessing Olympian dwellings, who first, either of the Trojans or illustrious allies, now came against Agamemnon? Iphidamas, son of Antenor, both valiant and great, who was nurtured in fertile Thrace, the mother of flocks. Cisseus, his maternal grandfather, who begat fair-cheeked Theano, reared him in his house whilst yet a little boy: but when he had attained the measure of glorious youth, he there detained him, and gave him his own daughter. And having married her, he came from the bridal chamber, on the rumour of the Greeks, with twelve curved vessels which followed him. The equal ships indeed he afterwards left at Percote, but he, proceeding on foot, had arrived at Troy; and he it was who then came against Agamemnon, the son of Atreus. When these, advancing against each other, were now near, the son of Atreus on his part missed, and his spear was turned aside. But Iphidamas smote him upon the belt, under the corslet; and he put his strength to it, relying on his strong hand. Yet he pierced not the flexible belt, but meeting with the silver long before, the point was turned like lead. Then indeed wide-ruling Agamemnon, seeing it in his hand, pulled it towards him, exasperated, like a lion, and plucked it from his hand; and he smote him on the neck with his sword, and relaxed his limbs. Thus he, unhappy, while aiding his citizens, falling there, slept a brazen sleep, away from his lawful virgin wife, whose charms he had not yet known, although he had given many presents [for her]. 370 First he gave a hundred oxen, and then he promised a thousand goats and sheep together, which were pastured for him in countless numbers. Him Agamemnon, son of Atreus, at that time stripped [of his arms], and went through the army of the Greeks, bearing his rich armour. Whom when Coon, 371 the eldest born of Antenor, conspicuous amongst men, then beheld, violent grief darkened his eyes, for his brother having fallen, and he stood aside with his spear, escaping the notice of noble Agamemnon. And he wounded him in the middle of the arm, below the elbow, and the point of the shining spear passed right through to the other side. Then indeed Agamemnon, the king of men, shuddered; but not even thus did he abstain from battle or from war, but he rushed upon Coon, holding his wind-nurtured spear. 372 He on his part was eagerly dragging by the foot Iphidamas his brother, and begotten by the same father, and was calling upon every brave man, when [Agamemnon] wounded him with his polished brazen spear below the bossy shield, whilst dragging him through the crowd, and relaxed his limbs; and, standing beside him, cut off his head over Iphidamas. There the sons of Antenor, fulfilling their destiny at the hands of the king, the son of Atreus, descended to the abode of Hades. But he was ranging about through the ranks of other men, with his spear, his sword, and huge stones, whilst the warm blood yet oozed from his wound. When, however, the wound grew dry, and the blood ceased [to flow], sharp pains possessed the strength of Atreus's son. And as when the sharp pang seizes a woman in travail, piercing, which the Ilithyiæ, daughters of Juno, who preside over childbirth, send forth, keeping bitter pangs in their possession; so did sharp anguish enter the strength of the son of Atreus. And he sprang into his chariot, and ordered his charioteer to drive on to the hollow ships; for he was tortured at heart. And vociferating, he shouted aloud to the Greeks:
"O friends, leaders, and rulers over the Argives, repel ye now the severe battle from the sea-traversing barks, since provident Jove does not permit me to combat all day with the Trojans."
Footnote 370: (return) On this custom, cf. ix. 146, xviii. 593.
Footnote 371: (return) The name and fate of this hero unclassically remind us of the "gone coon" of American celebrity, immortalized in the "at homes" of the late Charles Matthews.
Footnote 372: (return) "The Scholiasts and Eustathius explain this epithet by the received opinion that trees in exposed situations are usually the strongest and most vigorous from their frequent agitation by the wind."--Kennedy.
Thus he spoke; and the charioteer lashed on the fair-maned steeds towards the hollow ships; and they, not unwilling, flew. They were covered with foam as to their breasts, and were sprinkled beneath with dust, as they bore the afflicted king apart from the battle. But Hector, when he observed Agamemnon going apart, exhorted both the Trojans and Lycians, shouting aloud:
"Ye Trojans, Lycians, and close-fighting Dardanians, be men, my friends, and be mindful of impetuous might. The bravest hero has departed, and Saturnian Jove has given great glory to me. But straightway urge your solid-hoofed horses against the gallant Greeks, that ye may bear off higher glory."
Thus saying, he aroused the courage and spirit of each. As when perchance some huntsman should urge his white-toothed dogs against a rustic wild boar or lion; so Hector, the son of Priam, equal to man-slaughtering Mars, urged the magnanimous Trojans against the Greeks. He himself, having mighty courage, advanced among the first, and rushed into the battle, like unto a storm blowing from above, and which rushing down, stirs up the purple deep.
Then whom first and whom last, did Hector, son of Priam, slay, when Jove gave him glory? Assæus indeed first, and Autonoüs, and Opites, and Dolops, son of Clytis, and Opheltius, and Agelaus, and Æsymnus, and Orus, and Hipponoüs, persevering in fight. These leaders of the Greeks he then slew, and afterwards the common crowd; as when the west wind drives to and fro the clouds of the impetuous 373 south, lashing them with an impetuous blast, and many a swollen 374 billow is rolled along, whilst the foam is scattered on high by the far-straying blast of the wind; thus were many heads of the people subdued by Hector. Then indeed would there have been ruin; and inevitable deeds had been done, and the flying Greeks had fallen in flight into their ships, had not Ulysses encouraged Diomede, the son of Tydeus:
"Son of Tydeus, through what cause are we forgetful of impetuous might? But come hither, my friend, stand by me; for surely it will be a disgrace if indeed crest-tossing Hector take the ships."
Him then valiant Diomede, answering, addressed: "I indeed will remain, and be courageous; although there will be little use 375 for us, since cloud-compelling Jove chooses to give glory to the Trojans rather than to us."
Footnote 373: (return) Or "serenizing, causing a clear sky." Heyne compares "albus notus," in Horace. But see Kennedy.
Footnote 374: (return) Neuter of the Ionic adjective τρόϕις=μέγας, εὐτραϕής.
Footnote 375: (return) Hesychius: Ἦδος· ἡδονή, κα ὄϕελος.
He said, and hurled Thymbræus from his chariot to the ground, striking him with his spear upon the left pap; but Ulysses [slew] Molion, the godlike attendant of the king. These then they left, since they caused them to cease from war. Then both, advancing through the multitude, excited confusion; as when two boars, full of courage, rush upon the hounds; so they returning to the fight, cut down the Trojans; and the Greeks joyfully gained a respite, avoiding noble Hector. Next they took a chariot and two warriors, the bravest of the people, the two sons of Percosian Merops, who above all was skilled in augury, nor would permit his sons to march to the man-destroying war: yet did they not obey him, because the destinies of black death led them on. Them spear-renowned Diomede, the son of Tydeus, depriving of life and breath, despoiled of their splendid armour. And Ulysses slew Hippodamus and Hyperochus.
Then the son of Saturn, looking down from Ida, stretched for them the contest with equal tension, and they slaughtered one another. The son of Tydeus indeed wounded on the hip, with his spear, the hero Agastrophus, son of Pæon; for his horses were not at hand for him to take flight; but he had erred greatly in his mind, for his attendant kept them apart, whilst he rushed on foot through the foremost combatants, till he lost his life. But Hector quickly perceived it along the ranks, and hastened towards them, shouting; and with him followed the phalanxes of the Trojans. Diomede, brave in the din of battle, beholding him, shuddered, and immediately addressed Ulysses, who was near:
"Towards us is this great destruction, dreadful Hector, now rolled. But come, let us stand firm, and awaiting, repulse [him]."
He said, and brandishing his long-shadowed spear, hurled it, and smote him on the summit of the helmet on his head; nor, aiming did he miss. But brass wandered from brass, nor did it reach the white skin; for the threefold oblong helmet stopped it, which Phœbus Apollo had given him. Hector hastily retired to a distance, and was mingled with the crowd. And he (Hector) falling upon his knee, remained so, and supported himself with his strong hand against the earth, whilst dark night overshadowed his eyes. But whilst the son of Tydeus was following after the impulse of the spear far through the foremost combatants, where it was fixed in the earth, Hector, in the meantime, breathed again, and springing again into his chariot, drove into the crowd, and avoided black death. And valiant Diomede, rushing upon him with his spear, addressed him:
"Dog, thou hast escaped indeed death at present, although destruction approached near thee. Now again has Phœbus Apollo rescued thee, to whom thou art wont to offer prayers, advancing into the clash of spears. But I will assuredly make an end of thee, meeting thee again, if perchance any one of the gods be an ally to me. Now, however, I will go against others, whomsoever I can find."
He said, and slew the spear-renowned son of Pæon. But Paris, the husband of fair-haired Helen, leaning against a pillar, at the tomb of the deceased hero, Dardanian Ilus, the aged leader of the people, bent his bow against the son of Tydeus, the shepherd of the people. Whilst he was removing the variegated corslet from the breast of gallant Agastrophus, the shield from his shoulders, and his heavy casque, he (Paris) in the meantime was drawing back the horn of his bow, and struck him on the broad part of the right foot, nor did the weapon escape in vain from his hand; and the arrow went entirely into the ground. And he, laughing very joyfully, sprang from his ambuscade, and boasting, spoke:
"Thou art struck, nor has the weapon escaped me in vain. Would that, striking thee in the lower part of the groin, I had deprived thee of life. Thus, indeed, would the Trojans have respired from destruction, who now are thrilled with horror at thee, as bleating goats at the lion."
But him valiant Diomede, undismayed, addressed:
"Archer, reviler, decked out with curls, woman's man, if now in arms thou wouldst make trial of me, hand to hand, thy bow should not avail thee, and numerous arrows 376 whereas now, having grazed the broad part of my foot, thou boastest thus. I regard it not, as though a woman had wounded me, or a silly boy: for idle is the weapon of an unwarlike, good-for-nothing man. From me, indeed, it is otherwise; for if one be touched but slightly, the weapon is piercing, and forthwith renders him lifeless; and the cheeks of his wife are furrowed on both sides, and his children are orphans; but crimsoning the earth with his blood, he putrefies, and the birds around him are more numerous than the women."
Footnote 376: (return) Cf. iii. 39, sqq.; Hor. Od. i. 15, 13.
Thus he spoke; but spear-renowned Ulysses coming near, stood before him, and he (Diomede) sitting down behind him, drew the swift shaft out of his foot, and severe agony darted through his body. Then he leaped into his chariot, and commanded his charioteer to drive to the hollow ships; for he was grieved at heart. But spear-renowned Ulysses was left alone, nor did any of the Greeks remain beside him, as fear had seized upon all. Wherefore, groaning inwardly, he addressed his own mighty soul:
"Alas! what will become of me? Great would be the disgrace if I fly, alarmed at the multitude; but worse would it be if I were taken alone: but the son of Saturn hath struck the rest of the Greeks with terror. But wherefore does my spirit discuss these things with me? for I know that cowards indeed retire from the battle; but whosoever should be brave in combat, it is altogether necessary that he stand firmly, whether he be wounded, or wound another."
Whilst he revolved these things within his mind and soul, the ranks of the shielded Trojans in the meantime came upon him, and enclosed him in the midst, placing [their] bane in the midst of them. As when dogs and vigorous youths rush against a boar on all sides, but he comes out from a deep thicket, sharpening his white tusk within his crooked jaws; on all sides they rush upon him, and a gnashing of teeth arises: but they remain at a distance from him, terrible as he is: so the Trojans did rush round Ulysses, dear to Jove. But he wounded above the shoulder blameless Deïopites, springing upon him with his sharp spear; and afterwards he slew Thoön and Ennomous. With his spear he next wounded Chersidamas, when leaping from his chariot, in the navel, below his bossed shield; but he, falling amid the dust, grasped the earth with the hollow of his hand. These indeed he left, and next wounded with his spear Charops, son of Hippasus, and brother of noble Socus. But Socus, godlike hero, hastened to give him aid; and approaching very near, he stood, and addressed him in these words:
"O illustrious Ulysses, insatiable in crafts and toil, to-day shalt thou either boast over the two sons of Hippasus, having slain such heroes, and stripped them of their arms, or else stricken by my spear, thou shalt lose thy life."
Thus saying, he smote him upon the shield equal on all sides. The rapid weapon penetrated the shining shield, and was fixed through the curiously-wrought corslet, and tore off all the skin from his sides. But Pallas Minerva suffered it not to be mingled with the entrails of the hero. And Ulysses perceived that the weapon had not come upon him mortally, and retiring, he addressed [this] speech to Socus:
"Ah! wretch; very soon indeed will dreadful destruction overtake thee. Without doubt thou hast caused me to cease from fighting with the Trojans, but I declare that death and black fate shall be thine this day; and that, subdued beneath my spear, thou shalt give glory to me, and thy soul to steed-famed Pluto." 377
Footnote 377: (return) Probably so called from the steeds ("inferni raptoris equos," Claud. de Rapt. Pros. i. 1) by which he stole away Proserpine. See the Scholiast.
He said, and the other, turning again to flight, had begun to retreat, but whilst he was turning, he (Ulysses) fixed his spear in his back between the shoulders, and drove it through his breast. Falling, he made a crash, and noble Ulysses boasted over him:
"O Socus, son of warlike, horse-breaking Hippasus, the end of death has anticipated thee, nor hast thou escaped. Ah! wretch, neither thy father nor venerable mother shall close thine eyes for thee, dead as thou art, but ravenous birds shall tear thee, flapping about thee with dense wings: but when I die, the noble Greeks will pay me funeral honours."
So saying, he plucked the strong spear of warlike Socus out of his flesh and bossy shield; and his blood gushed forth as he drew it out, and tortured his mind. But the magnanimous Trojans, when they beheld the blood of Ulysses, encouraging one another through the crowd, all rushed on against him; whilst he kept retreating backwards, and called to his companions. Thrice did he then shout as much as the head of mortal could contain, and thrice warlike Menelaus heard him exclaiming, and instantly addressed Ajax, being near:
"Most noble Ajax, son of Telamon, chieftain of the people, the cry of invincible Ulysses has come upon me, like to that, as if the Trojans were greatly pressing upon him, being alone, having cut him off in the sharp fight. Wherefore let us go through the crowd, as it is better to aid him. I fear lest being left alone amidst the Trojans, he suffer aught, although being brave, and there be great want [of him] to the Greeks."
Thus speaking, he led the way, and the godlike hero followed along with him. Then they found Ulysses, dear to Jove; and around him followed the Trojans, like tawny jackals round an antlered stag when wounded in the mountains, which a man hath stricken with an arrow from the bowstring. Him indeed, flying, it escapes on its feet, as long as the blood is warm, and its knees have the power of motion. But when the swift arrow hath subdued it, the raw-devouring jackals destroy it in a shady grove among the mountains. Chance, however, brings thither the destructive lion: the jackals then fly in terror, and he devours. So at that time followed the Trojans, numerous and brave, round warlike, crafty Ulysses; but the hero, rushing on with his spear, warded off the merciless day. Then Ajax came near, bearing his shield, like a tower, and stood beside him; and the Trojans fled, terrified, different ways. In the meantime warlike Menelaus, taking him by the hand, withdrew [him] from the throng, till his attendant drove his horses near. But Ajax, springing upon the Trojans, slew Doryclus, son of Priam, an illegitimate son; and next wounded Pandocus. Lysander he wounded, and Pyrasus, and Pylartes. And as when an overflowing river comes down on the plain, a torrent from the mountains, accompanied by the shower of Jove, and bears along with it many dry oaks and many pines, and casts forth the swollen torrent into the sea; so illustrious Ajax, routing [them], pursued [them] along the plain, slaughtering both horses and men. Nor as yet had Hector heard it; for he was fighting on the left of the battle, on the banks of the river Scamander; for there chiefly fell the heads of men, and an inextinguishable clamour had arisen around mighty Nestor, and warlike Idomeneus. Among these did Hector mingle, performing arduous deeds with his spear and equestrian skill, and he was laying waste the phalanxes of youths. Nevertheless the noble Greeks would not have retired from the way, had not Paris, the husband of fair-haired Helen, disabled Machaon, the shepherd of the people, performing prodigies of valour, wounding him on the right shoulder with a triple-barbed arrow. For him then the valour-breathing Greeks trembled, lest perchance they should slay him, the battle giving way, and immediately Idomeneus addressed noble Nestor:
"O Neleian Nestor, great glory of the Greeks, come, ascend thy chariot, and let Machaon mount beside thee; and direct thy solid-hoofed horses with all speed towards the ships, for a medical man is equivalent to many others, both to cut out arrows, and to apply mild remedies." 378
Footnote 378: (return) Scribonius Largus, Compos. Med. cc. "Neque chirurgia sine diætetica, neque hæc sine chirurgia, id est, sine ea parte quæ medicamentorum utilium usum habeat, perfici possunt; sed aliæ ab aliis adjuvantur, et quasi consumantur." Where John Rhodius well observes: "Antiquos chirurgos Homerus Chironis exemplo herbarum succis vulnera sanasse memorat. Hunc et sectiones adhibuisse notat Pindarus Pyth. Od. iii. Neque ingeniorum fons Ιλ. Λ. τὸ ἐκτάμνειν omisit." Cf. Celsus, Pref. with the notes of Almeloveen, and lib. vii. præf., where the chirurgical part of ancient medicine is amusingly discussed.
Thus he spoke, nor did the Gerenian knight Nestor disobey. Forthwith he ascended his chariot, and Machaon, the son of Æsculapius, blameless physician, mounted beside him; but he lashed on the steeds, and they flew not unwillingly towards the hollow ships, for there it was agreeable to their inclination [to go].
But Cebriones, sitting beside Hector, perceived the Trojans in confusion, and addressed him in [these] words: "Hector, we two are mingling here with the Greeks in the outskirt of evil-sounding battle, whilst the other Trojans are thrown into confusion in crowds, both their horses and themselves. Telamonian Ajax is routing them, for I know him well, for around his shoulders he bears a broad shield. But let us also direct our horses and chariot thither, where cavalry and infantry, having engaged in the evil strife, are slaughtering each other, and inextinguishable tumult hath arisen."
Thus then having spoken, he lashed on the fair-maned steeds with his shrill-cracking lash. But they, sensible of the stroke, speedily bore the swift chariot through Trojans and Greeks, trampling on both corses and shields. With blood the whole axletree was stained beneath, and the rims around the chariot-seat, which the drops from the horses' hoofs, and from the wheel-tires, spattered. But he longed to enter the crowd of heroes, and to break through, springing upon them. And he sent destructive tumult upon the Greeks, and abstained very little from the spear. Among the ranks of other men indeed he ranged with his spear, his sword, and with huge stones; but he shunned the conflict of Telamonian Ajax.
But lofty-throned Jove excited fear within Ajax, and he stood confounded, and cast behind him his shield of seven bulls' hides. Panic-struck he retired, gazing on all sides like a wild beast, turning to and fro, slowly moving knee after knee. As when dogs and rustic men drive a ravening lion from the stall of oxen, who, keeping watch all night, do not allow him to carry off the fat of their cattle, but he, eager for their flesh, rushes on, but profits nought, for numerous javelins fly against him from daring hands, and blazing torches, at which he trembles, although furious; but in the morning he stalks away with saddened mind: so Ajax, sad at heart, then retired, much against his will, from the Trojans; for he feared for the ships of the Greeks. And as when a stubborn ass, upon whose sides 379 many sticks have already been broken, entering in, browses on the tall crop, but the boys still beat him with sticks, although their strength is but feeble, and with difficulty drive him out, when he is satiated with food, so then at length the magnanimous Trojans and far-summoned allies continually followed Ajax, the mighty son of Telamon, striking the middle of his shield with missile weapons. And Ajax, sometimes wheeling about, was mindful of impetuous might, and checked the phalanxes of the horse-breaking Trojans, but again he would turn himself to fly. But he prevented all from advancing to the swift ships, whilst standing himself between the Trojans and Greeks he raged impetuously. And spears hurled against him from daring hands, stuck, some indeed in his ample shield, and many, though eager to glut themselves with his flesh, stood fixed in the ground between, before they could reach his fair skin.
Footnote 379: (return) Such seems to be the force of ἀμϕίς.
Whom when Eurypylus, the illustrious son of Evæmon, perceived pressed hard with many darts, advancing he stood beside him, and took aim with his shining spear; and smote Apisaon, son of Phausias, shepherd of the people, in the liver, under the diaphragm; and immediately relaxed his limbs. And when godlike Alexander observed him stripping off the armour of Apisaon, he instantly bent his bow against Eurypylus, and smote him with an arrow upon the right thigh; and the reed was broken, and pained his thigh. Then he fell back into the column of his companions, avoiding fate, and shouting, he cried with a loud voice to the Greeks:
"O friends, leaders, and rulers over the Greeks, rallying, stand firm, and ward off the merciless day from Ajax, who is hard pressed with darts; nor do I think that he will escape from the dread-resounding battle. But by all means stand firm round mighty Ajax, the son of Telamon."
So spake the wounded Eurypylus, and they stood very near him, resting their shields upon their shoulders, and lifting up their spears. But Ajax came to meet them, and turning about, stood firm, when he reached the body of his comrades. Thus they indeed combated like blazing fire.
In the meantime the Neleian steeds, sweating, bore Nestor from the battle, and conveyed Machaon, the shepherd of the people. And noble Achilles, swift of foot, looking forth, beheld him; for he stood upon the prow of his great ship, gazing at the severe labour and lamentable rout. Straightway he addressed Patroclus, his companion, calling [to him] from the ship; and he, hearing him within the tent, came forth, like unto Mars: but it was the beginning of misfortune to him. Him first the gallant son of Menœtius addressed: "Why dost thou call me, Achilles, and what need hast thou of me?"
But him swift-footed Achilles answering, addressed: "Noble son of Menœtius, most dear to my soul, soon I think that the Greeks will stand round my knees entreating, for a necessity no longer tolerable invades them. But go now, Patroclus, dear to Jove, ask Nestor what man this is whom he is carrying wounded from the battle. Behind, indeed, he wholly resembles Machaon, the son of Æsculapius, but I have not beheld the countenance of the man: for the horses passed by me, hastening onward."
Thus he spoke, and Patroclus was obedient to his dear comrade, and hastened to run to the tents and ships of the Greeks.
But when they came to the tent of the son of Neleus, they themselves descended to the fertile earth, and Eurymedon, the attendant of the old man, unyoked the mares from the chariot; whilst they refreshed themselves from the sweat upon their tunics, 380 standing towards the breeze beside the shore of the sea, and afterwards, entering the tent, they sat down upon couches. But for them fair-curled Hecamede prepared a mixture, she whom the old man had brought from Tenedos, when Achilles laid it waste, the daughter of magnanimous Arsinoüs, whom the Greeks selected for him, because he surpassed all in counsel. First she set forward for them a handsome, cyanus-footed, well-polished table; then upon it a brazen tray, and on it an onion, a relish 381 for the draught, as well as new honey, and beside it the fruit of sacred corn. Likewise a splendid cup 382 near them, which the old man had brought from home, studded with golden nails. Its handles were four, and around each were two golden pigeons feeding, and under it were two bottoms. Another indeed would have removed it with difficulty from the table, being full; but aged Nestor raised it without difficulty. In it the woman, like unto the goddesses, had mixed for them Pramnian wine, and grated over it a goat's-milk cheese with a brazen rasp, and sprinkled white flour upon it: then bade them drink, as soon as she had prepared the potion. But when drinking they had removed parching thirst, they amused themselves, addressing each other in conversation. And Patroclus stood at the doors, a godlike hero.
Footnote 380:(return) "Construe ἀπεψ· κατὰ τὸν ιδρῶχιτ. I.e. refreshed, cooled themselves, by standing in front of the breeze and drying off the perspiration with which their garments were saturated."--Kennedy.
Footnote 381:(return) Probably the onion acted as a stimulant to drinking, as anchovies and olives are now used.
Footnote 382: (return) It was an ἀμϕικύπελλον. Cf. i. 584, and Buttm. Lexil. p. 93. There were two doves round each handle, making eight in all.
But the old man, perceiving him, rose from his splendid seat, and taking him by the hand, led him, in, and bade him be seated. But Patroclus, on the other side, declined, and uttered [this] reply:
"No seat [for me], O Jove-nurtured sage, nor wilt thou persuade me. Revered and irascible 383 is he who sent me forth to inquire who this man is whom thou leadest wounded; but even I myself know, for I perceive Machaon, the shepherd of the people. Now, however, in order to deliver my message, I will return again an ambassador to Achilles; for well dost thou know, O Jove-nurtured sage, what a terrible man he is; soon would he blame even the blameless."
Footnote 383: (return) Or "respected," as the Oxford translator renders it.
But him the Gerenian knight Nestor then answered: "But why indeed does Achilles thus compassionate the sons of the Greeks, as many as have been wounded with weapons? Nor knows he how great sorrow hath arisen throughout the army; for the bravest lie in the ships, smitten in the distant or the close fight. 384 Stricken is brave Diomede, the son of Tydeus, and wounded is spear-renowned Ulysses, as well as Agamemnon. Eurypylus also has been wounded in the thigh with an arrow; and this other have I lately brought from battle, smitten with an arrow from the bowstring: yet Achilles, being brave, regards not the Greeks, nor pities them. Does he wait until the swift ships near the sea, contrary to the will of the Greeks, be consumed with the hostile fire, and we ourselves be slain one after the other? For my strength is not as it formerly was in my active members. Would that I were thus young, and my might was firm, as when a contest took place between the Eleans and us, about the driving away some oxen, when, driving away in reprisal, I slew Itymoneus, the valiant son of Hypeirochus, who dwelt in Elis: for he, defending his cattle, was smitten among the first by a javelin from my hand, and there fell; and his rustic troops fled on every side. And we drove from the plain a very great booty, fifty droves of oxen, as many flocks of sheep, as many herds of swine, and as many broad herds of goats, one hundred and fifty yellow steeds, all mares, and beneath many there were colts. And these we drove within Neleian Pylus, at night towards the city; but Neleus was delighted in his mind, because many things had fallen to my lot, going as a young man to the war. But with the appearing morn, heralds cried aloud for those to approach to whom a debt was due in rich Elis; and the leading heroes of the Pylians assembling, divided [the spoil], (because the Epeans owed a debt to many); for we in Pylus, [being] few, were overwhelmed with evil. For the Herculean might, coming in former years, did us mischief, and as many as were bravest were slain. For we, the sons of illustrious Neleus, were twelve; of whom I alone am left, but all the rest have perished. Elated at these things, the brazen-mailed Epeans, insulting us, devised wicked deeds. But the old man chose for himself a herd of cattle and a large flock of sheep, selecting three hundred and their shepherds; for even to him a great debt was due in rich Elis: four horses, victorious in the race, with their chariots, which had gone for the prizes; for they were about to run for a tripod; but Augeas, king of men, detained them there, and dismissed the charioteer, grieved on account of his steeds. At which words and deeds the old man, being wroth, chose out for himself mighty numbers, and gave the rest to the people to divide, that no one might go away defrauded by him of his just proportion. We indeed accomplished each of these things, and were performing sacrifices to the gods through the city, when on the third day they all came at once, both the citizens themselves and their solid-hoofed steeds, in full force: and with them were armed the two Molions, being still youths, nor as yet very skilled in impetuous might. There is a certain city, a lofty hill, Thryoëssa, far away at the Alpheus, the last of sandy Pylus; this they invested, eager to overthrow it. But when they had crossed the whole plain, Minerva, hastening from Olympus, came to us by night as a messenger, that we should be armed; nor did she assemble an unwilling people at Pylus, but one very eager to fight. Still Neieus would not allow me to be armed, but concealed my horses, for he said that I was not at all acquainted with warlike deeds. Yet even thus was I conspicuous amongst our cavalry, even although being on foot; for thus did Minerva conduct me to battle. There is a certain river, Minyeïus, emptying itself into the sea near Arena, where we, the Pylian horsemen, awaited divine Morn, whilst the swarms of infantry poured in. Thence in full force, equipped in armour, we came at mid-day to the sacred stream of Alpheus. There having offered fair victims to almighty Jove, a bull to the Alpheus, and a bull to Neptune, but an untrained heifer to blue-eyed Minerva, we then took supper through the army by troops; and we each slept in our arms along the river's stream. In the meantime the magnanimous Epeans stood around, desirous to lay waste the city; but a mighty work of Mars first appeared to them: for as soon as the splendid sun was elevated above the earth, we were engaged in the battle, praying to Jove and to Minerva. But when now the battle of the Pylians and Eleans began, I first slew a man, the warrior Molion, and bore away his solid-hoofed steeds: he was the son-in-law of Augeas, and possessed his eldest daughter, yellow-haired Agamede, who well understood as many drugs as the wide earth nourishes. Him advancing against [me], I smote with my brazen spear. He fell in the dust, and springing into his chariot, I then stood among the foremost combatants; but the magnanimous Epeans fled terrified in different directions when they beheld the hero fallen, the leader of their cavalry, he who was the best to fight. But I rushed upon them like unto a black whirlwind; and I took fifty chariots, and in each two men bit the ground with their teeth, vanquished by my spear. And now indeed I should have slain the youthful Molions, the sons 385 of Actor, had not their sire, wide-ruling Neptune, covering them with a thick haze, preserved them from the war. Then Jove delivered into the hands of the Pylians great strength, for so long did we follow them through the long 386 plain, both slaying them, and gathering up rich armour, until he had driven our horses to Buprasium, fertile in wheat, to the rock Olenia and Alesium, where it is called Colone: whence Minerva turned back the people. Then having killed the last man, I left him; but the Greeks guided back their swift steeds from Buprasium to Pylus; and all gave glory to Jove, of the gods, and to Nestor, of men. Thus was I, as sure as ever I existed, among men: but Achilles will enjoy his valour alone: surely I think that he will hereafter greatly lament, when the people have bitterly perished. O my friend, Menœtius did assuredly thus command thee on that day when he sent thee from Phthia to Agamemnon. For we being both within, I and noble Ulysses, distinctly heard all things in the halls, as he charged you: but we were come to the well-inhabited palace of Peleus, collecting an army through fertile Greece. There then we found the hero Menœtius within, as well as thee, and Achilles besides; but the aged horseman, Peleus, was burning the fat thighs of an ox to thunder-rejoicing Jove, within the enclosure 387 of his palace, and held a golden cup, pouring the dark wine over the blazing sacrifice. Both of you were then employed about the flesh of the ox, whilst we stood in the vestibule; but Achilles, astonished, leaped up, and led us in, taking us by the hand, and bade us be seated: and he set in order before us the offerings of hospitality which are proper for guests. But when we were satiated with eating and drinking, I began discourse, exhorting you to follow along with us. Ye were both very willing, and they both commanded you many things. Aged Peleus in the first place directed his son Achilles ever to be the bravest, and to be conspicuous above others; but to thee again Menœtius, the son of Actor, thus gave charge: 'My son, Achilles indeed ia superior in birth; but thou art the elder. And he is much superior in strength: but still do thou frequently suggest to him proper advice, and admonish and direct him, and he will surely be obedient in what is for [his own] good.' Thus did the old man command thee; but thou art forgetful: but even now do thou mention these things to warlike Achilles, if perchance he may be obedient. Who knows if, advising him, thou mayest, with the gods' assistance, arouse his mind? For the admonition of a friend is good. But if within his mind he avoid some prophecy, and his venerable mother has told him anything from Jove, let him at least send thee forth; and with thee let the other forces of the Myrmidons follow, if indeed thou mayest be some aid to the Greeks. Let him likewise give his beautiful armour to thee, to be borne into battle, if perchance the Trojans, assimilating thee to him, may abstain from the conflict, and the warlike sons of the Greeks, already afflicted, may respire; and there be a little respite from fighting. 388 But you, [who are] fresh, will, with fighting, easily drive back men wearied, towards the city, from the ships and tents."
Footnote 384: (return) Cf iv. 540, for the distinction between βεϑλημένοι and οὐτάμενοι.
Footnote 385: (return) I. e. the reputed sons.
Footnote 386: (return) See Schol. Etym. M. s.v., and Alberti on Hesych. t, ii. p. 1247
Footnote 387: (return) Properly, the fence or barrier of the enclosure.
Footnote 388: (return) There are several different interpretations for this line: 1. Schneider explains it: "They have but short time to respire; for if not at once assisted, they will be destroyed." 2. "Short will be the cessation from war." 3. "A cessation, or breathing-time, from war, although short, will be agreeable." 4. "Supply 'may be', and translate, 'and that there may be a short breathing-time from the battle;' although this last involves some tautology with the preceding line."--Ed. Dubl.
Thus he spake, and he aroused the spirit within his breast; and he hastened to run to the ships to Achilles, the grandson of Æacus. But when now Patroclus, running, arrived at the ships of godlike Ulysses, where were their forum and seat of justice, and there the altars of their gods also were erected, there Eurypylus, the noble son of Evæmon, wounded with an arrow in the thigh, limping from the battle, met him. Down his back ran the copious sweat from his shoulders and head, and from the grievous wound oozed the black blood; nevertheless his mind was firm. Seeing him, the gallant son of Menœtius pitied him, and, grieving, spoke winged words:
"Alas! unhappy men, leaders and rulers over the Greeks, are ye then thus destined, far away from your friends and native land, to satiate the swift dogs at Troy with your white fat? But come, tell me this, O Jove-nurtured hero, Eurypylus, will the Greeks still at all sustain mighty Hector, or will they now be destroyed, subdued by his spear?"
But him prudent Eurypylus in turn addressed: "No longer, Jove-nurtured Patroclus, will there be aid for the Greeks, but they will fall back upon the black ships. For already all, as many as were once bravest, lie at the ships, stricken or wounded by the hands of the Trojans, whose strength ever increases. But do thou now, indeed, save me, leading me to my black ship; and cut out the arrow from my thigh, and wash the black blood 389 from it with warm water; then sprinkle upon it mild drugs, salubrious, which they say thou wert taught by Achilles, whom Chiron instructed, the most just of the Centaurs. For the physicians, Podalirius and Machaon, the one, I think, having a wound, lies at the tents, and himself in want of a faultless physician, and the other awaits the sharp battle of the Trojans upon the plain."
Footnote 389: (return) Cf. Virg. Æn. x. 834: "Vulnera siccabat lymphis." The manner in which this was done is described by Celsus, v. 26: "Si profusionem timemus, siccis lineamentis vulnus implendum est, supraque imponenda gpongia ex aqua frigida expressa, ac manu super comprimenda." Cf. Athen. ii. 4.
But him again the brave son of Menœtius addressed: "How then will these things turn out? What shall we do, O hero Eurypylus? I go that I may deliver a message to warlike Achilles, with which venerable Nestor, guardian of the Greeks, has intrusted me: but even thus I cannot neglect thee, afflicted."
He said, and having laid hold of the shepherd of the people under his breast, bore him to the tent, and his attendant, when he saw him, spread under him bulls' hides. There [Patroclus] laying him at length, cut out with a knife the bitter, sharp arrow from his thigh, and washed the black blood from it with warm water. Then he applied a bitter, pain-assuaging root, rubbing it in his hands, which checked all his pangs: the wound, indeed, was dried up, and the bleeding ceased.