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The Iliad: Book 5 Analysis

Author: Poetry of Homer Type: Poetry Views: 111

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The Iliad850 B.C.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 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 her."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 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 to 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 on 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 ground.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 he 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 none 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 flours 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, fi 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-bothways. 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 off-spring, 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 behold.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.


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