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The Iliad: Book 1 Analysis



Author: poem of Homer Type: poem Views: 2

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  Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought

countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send

hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs

and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the

day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first

fell out with one another.

  And which of the gods was it that set them on to quarrel? It was the

son of Jove and Leto; for he was angry with the king and sent a

pestilence upon the host to plague the people, because the son of

Atreus had dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses had come to the

ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and had brought with him a

great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo

wreathed with a suppliant's wreath and he besought the Achaeans, but

most of all the two sons of Atreus, who were their chiefs.

  "Sons of Atreus," he cried, "and all other Achaeans, may the gods

who dwell in Olympus grant you to sack the city of Priam, and to reach

your homes in safety; but free my daughter, and accept a ransom for

her, in reverence to Apollo, son of Jove."

  On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for

respecting the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but not

so Agamemnon, who spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away.

"Old man," said he, "let me not find you tarrying about our ships, nor

yet coming hereafter. Your sceptre of the god and your wreath shall

profit you nothing. I will not free her. She shall grow old in my

house at Argos far from her own home, busying herself with her loom

and visiting my couch; so go, and do not provoke me or it shall be the

worse for you."

  The old man feared him and obeyed. Not a word he spoke, but went

by the shore of the sounding sea and prayed apart to King Apollo

whom lovely Leto had borne. "Hear me," he cried, "O god of the

silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla and rulest Tenedos

with thy might, hear me oh thou of Sminthe. If I have ever decked your

temple with garlands, or burned your thigh-bones in fat of bulls or

goats, grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon

the Danaans."

  Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. He came down

furious from the summits of Olympus, with his bow and his quiver

upon his shoulder, and the arrows rattled on his back with the rage

that trembled within him. He sat himself down away from the ships with

a face as dark as night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot

his arrow in the midst of them. First he smote their mules and their

hounds, but presently he aimed his shafts at the people themselves,

and all day long the pyres of the dead were burning.

  For nine whole days he shot his arrows among the people, but upon

the tenth day Achilles called them in assembly- moved thereto by Juno,

who saw the Achaeans in their death-throes and had compassion upon

them. Then, when they were got together, he rose and spoke among them.

  "Son of Atreus," said he, "I deem that we should now turn roving

home if we would escape destruction, for we are being cut down by

war and pestilence at once. Let us ask some priest or prophet, or some

reader of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) who can tell us why

Phoebus Apollo is so angry, and say whether it is for some vow that we

have broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and whether he will

accept the savour of lambs and goats without blemish, so as to take

away the plague from us."

  With these words he sat down, and Calchas son of Thestor, wisest

of augurs, who knew things past present and to come, rose to speak. He

it was who had guided the Achaeans with their fleet to Ilius,

through the prophesyings with which Phoebus Apollo had inspired him.

With all sincerity and goodwill he addressed them thus:-

  "Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you about the anger of

King Apollo, I will therefore do so; but consider first and swear that

you will stand by me heartily in word and deed, for I know that I

shall offend one who rules the Argives with might, to whom all the

Achaeans are in subjection. A plain man cannot stand against the anger

of a king, who if he swallow his displeasure now, will yet nurse

revenge till he has wreaked it. Consider, therefore, whether or no you

will protect me."

  And Achilles answered, "Fear not, but speak as it is borne in upon

you from heaven, for by Apollo, Calchas, to whom you pray, and whose

oracles you reveal to us, not a Danaan at our ships shall lay his hand

upon you, while I yet live to look upon the face of the earth- no, not

though you name Agamemnon himself, who is by far the foremost of the

Achaeans."

  Thereon the seer spoke boldly. "The god," he said, "is angry neither

about vow nor hecatomb, but for his priest's sake, whom Agamemnon

has dishonoured, in that he would not free his daughter nor take a

ransom for her; therefore has he sent these evils upon us, and will

yet send others. He will not deliver the Danaans from this

pestilence till Agamemnon has restored the girl without fee or

ransom to her father, and has sent a holy hecatomb to Chryse. Thus

we may perhaps appease him."

  With these words he sat down, and Agamemnon rose in anger. His heart

was black with rage, and his eyes flashed fire as he scowled on

Calchas and said, "Seer of evil, you never yet prophesied smooth

things concerning me, but have ever loved to foretell that which was

evil. You have brought me neither comfort nor performance; and now you

come seeing among Danaans, and saying that Apollo has plagued us

because I would not take a ransom for this girl, the daughter of

Chryses. I have set my heart on keeping her in my own house, for I

love her better even than my own wife Clytemnestra, whose peer she

is alike in form and feature, in understanding and accomplishments.

Still I will give her up if I must, for I would have the people

live, not die; but you must find me a prize instead, or I alone

among the Argives shall be without one. This is not well; for you

behold, all of you, that my prize is to go elsewhither."

  And Achilles answered, "Most noble son of Atreus, covetous beyond

all mankind, how shall the Achaeans find you another prize? We have no

common store from which to take one. Those we took from the cities

have been awarded; we cannot disallow the awards that have been made

already. Give this girl, therefore, to the god, and if ever Jove

grants us to sack the city of Troy we will requite you three and

fourfold."

  Then Agamemnon said, "Achilles, valiant though you be, you shall not

thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shall not persuade me.

Are you to keep your own prize, while I sit tamely under my loss and

give up the girl at your bidding? Let the Achaeans find me a prize

in fair exchange to my liking, or I will come and take your own, or

that of Ajax or of Ulysses; and he to whomsoever I may come shall

rue my coming. But of this we will take thought hereafter; for the

present, let us draw a ship into the sea, and find a crew for her

expressly; let us put a hecatomb on board, and let us send Chryseis

also; further, let some chief man among us be in command, either Ajax,

or Idomeneus, or yourself, son of Peleus, mighty warrior that you are,

that we may offer sacrifice and appease the the anger of the god."

  Achilles scowled at him and answered, "You are steeped in

insolence and lust of gain. With what heart can any of the Achaeans do

your bidding, either on foray or in open fighting? I came not

warring here for any ill the Trojans had done me. I have no quarrel

with them. They have not raided my cattle nor my horses, nor cut

down my harvests on the rich plains of Phthia; for between me and them

there is a great space, both mountain and sounding sea. We have

followed you, Sir Insolence! for your pleasure, not ours- to gain

satisfaction from the Trojans for your shameless self and for

Menelaus. You forget this, and threaten to rob me of the prize for

which I have toiled, and which the sons of the Achaeans have given me.

Never when the Achaeans sack any rich city of the Trojans do I receive

so good a prize as you do, though it is my hands that do the better

part of the fighting. When the sharing comes, your share is far the

largest, and I, forsooth, must go back to my ships, take what I can

get and be thankful, when my labour of fighting is done. Now,

therefore, I shall go back to Phthia; it will be much better for me to

return home with my ships, for I will not stay here dishonoured to

gather gold and substance for you."

  And Agamemnon answered, "Fly if you will, I shall make you no

prayers to stay you. I have others here who will do me honour, and

above all Jove, the lord of counsel. There is no king here so

hateful to me as you are, for you are ever quarrelsome and ill

affected. What though you be brave? Was it not heaven that made you

so? Go home, then, with your ships and comrades to lord it over the

Myrmidons. I care neither for you nor for your anger; and thus will

I do: since Phoebus Apollo is taking Chryseis from me, I shall send

her with my ship and my followers, but I shall come to your tent and

take your own prize Briseis, that you may learn how much stronger I am

than you are, and that another may fear to set himself up as equal

or comparable with me."

  The son of Peleus was furious, and his heart within his shaggy

breast was divided whether to draw his sword, push the others aside,

and kill the son of Atreus, or to restrain himself and check his

anger. While he was thus in two minds, and was drawing his mighty

sword from its scabbard, Minerva came down from heaven (for Juno had

sent her in the love she bore to them both), and seized the son of

Peleus by his yellow hair, visible to him alone, for of the others

no man could see her. Achilles turned in amaze, and by the fire that

flashed from her eyes at once knew that she was Minerva. "Why are

you here," said he, "daughter of aegis-bearing Jove? To see the

pride of Agamemnon, son of Atreus? Let me tell you- and it shall

surely be- he shall pay for this insolence with his life."

  And Minerva said, "I come from heaven, if you will hear me, to bid

you stay your anger. Juno has sent me, who cares for both of you

alike. Cease, then, this brawling, and do not draw your sword; rail at

him if you will, and your railing will not be vain, for I tell you-

and it shall surely be- that you shall hereafter receive gifts three

times as splendid by reason of this present insult. Hold, therefore,

and obey."

  "Goddess," answered Achilles, "however angry a man may be, he must

do as you two command him. This will be best, for the gods ever hear

the prayers of him who has obeyed them."

  He stayed his hand on the silver hilt of his sword, and thrust it

back into the scabbard as Minerva bade him. Then she went back to

Olympus among the other gods, and to the house of aegis-bearing Jove.

  But the son of Peleus again began railing at the son of Atreus,

for he was still in a rage. "Wine-bibber," he cried, "with the face of

a dog and the heart of a hind, you never dare to go out with the

host in fight, nor yet with our chosen men in ambuscade. You shun this

as you do death itself. You had rather go round and rob his prizes

from any man who contradicts you. You devour your people, for you

are king over a feeble folk; otherwise, son of Atreus, henceforward

you would insult no man. Therefore I say, and swear it with a great

oath- nay, by this my sceptre which shalt sprout neither leaf nor

shoot, nor bud anew from the day on which it left its parent stem upon

the mountains- for the axe stripped it of leaf and bark, and now the

sons of the Achaeans bear it as judges and guardians of the decrees of

heaven- so surely and solemnly do I swear that hereafter they shall

look fondly for Achilles and shall not find him. In the day of your

distress, when your men fall dying by the murderous hand of Hector,

you shall not know how to help them, and shall rend your heart with

rage for the hour when you offered insult to the bravest of the

Achaeans."

  With this the son of Peleus dashed his gold-bestudded sceptre on the

ground and took his seat, while the son of Atreus was beginning

fiercely from his place upon the other side. Then uprose

smooth-tongued Nestor, the facile speaker of the Pylians, and the

words fell from his lips sweeter than honey. Two generations of men

born and bred in Pylos had passed away under his rule, and he was

now reigning over the third. With all sincerity and goodwill,

therefore, he addressed them thus:-

  "Of a truth," he said, "a great sorrow has befallen the Achaean

land. Surely Priam with his sons would rejoice, and the Trojans be

glad at heart if they could hear this quarrel between you two, who are

so excellent in fight and counsel. I am older than either of you;

therefore be guided by me. Moreover I have been the familiar friend of

men even greater than you are, and they did not disregard my counsels.

Never again can I behold such men as Pirithous and Dryas shepherd of

his people, or as Caeneus, Exadius, godlike Polyphemus, and Theseus

son of Aegeus, peer of the immortals. These were the mightiest men

ever born upon this earth: mightiest were they, and when they fought

the fiercest tribes of mountain savages they utterly overthrew them. I

came from distant Pylos, and went about among them, for they would

have me come, and I fought as it was in me to do. Not a man now living

could withstand them, but they heard my words, and were persuaded by

them. So be it also with yourselves, for this is the more excellent

way. Therefore, Agamemnon, though you be strong, take not this girl

away, for the sons of the Achaeans have already given her to Achilles;

and you, Achilles, strive not further with the king, for no man who by

the grace of Jove wields a sceptre has like honour with Agamemnon. You

are strong, and have a goddess for your mother; but Agamemnon is

stronger than you, for he has more people under him. Son of Atreus,

check your anger, I implore you; end this quarrel with Achilles, who

in the day of battle is a tower of strength to the Achaeans."

  And Agamemnon answered, "Sir, all that you have said is true, but

this fellow must needs become our lord and master: he must be lord

of all, king of all, and captain of all, and this shall hardly be.

Granted that the gods have made him a great warrior, have they also

given him the right to speak with railing?"

  Achilles interrupted him. "I should be a mean coward," he cried,

"were I to give in to you in all things. Order other people about, not

me, for I shall obey no longer. Furthermore I say- and lay my saying

to your heart- I shall fight neither you nor any man about this

girl, for those that take were those also that gave. But of all else

that is at my ship you shall carry away nothing by force. Try, that

others may see; if you do, my spear shall be reddened with your

blood."

  When they had quarrelled thus angrily, they rose, and broke up the

assembly at the ships of the Achaeans. The son of Peleus went back

to his tents and ships with the son of Menoetius and his company,

while Agamemnon drew a vessel into the water and chose a crew of

twenty oarsmen. He escorted Chryseis on board and sent moreover a

hecatomb for the god. And Ulysses went as captain.

  These, then, went on board and sailed their ways over the sea. But

the son of Atreus bade the people purify themselves; so they

purified themselves and cast their filth into the sea. Then they

offered hecatombs of bulls and goats without blemish on the sea-shore,

and the smoke with the savour of their sacrifice rose curling up

towards heaven.

  Thus did they busy themselves throughout the host. But Agamemnon did

not forget the threat that he had made Achilles, and called his trusty

messengers and squires Talthybius and Eurybates. "Go," said he, "to

the tent of Achilles, son of Peleus; take Briseis by the hand and

bring her hither; if he will not give her I shall come with others and

take her- which will press him harder."

  He charged them straightly further and dismissed them, whereon

they went their way sorrowfully by the seaside, till they came to

the tents and ships of the Myrmidons. They found Achilles sitting by

his tent and his ships, and ill-pleased he was when he beheld them.

They stood fearfully and reverently before him, and never a word did

they speak, but he knew them and said, "Welcome, heralds, messengers

of gods and men; draw near; my quarrel is not with you but with

Agamemnon who has sent you for the girl Briseis. Therefore, Patroclus,

bring her and give her to them, but let them be witnesses by the

blessed gods, by mortal men, and by the fierceness of Agamemnon's

anger, that if ever again there be need of me to save the people

from ruin, they shall seek and they shall not find. Agamemnon is mad

with rage and knows not how to look before and after that the Achaeans

may fight by their ships in safety."

  Patroclus did as his dear comrade had bidden him. He brought Briseis

from the tent and gave her over to the heralds, who took her with them

to the ships of the Achaeans- and the woman was loth to go. Then

Achilles went all alone by the side of the hoar sea, weeping and

looking out upon the boundless waste of waters. He raised his hands in

prayer to his immortal mother, "Mother," he cried, "you bore me doomed

to live but for a little season; surely Jove, who thunders from

Olympus, might have made that little glorious. It is not so.

Agamemnon, son of Atreus, has done me dishonour, and has robbed me

of my prize by force."

  As he spoke he wept aloud, and his mother heard him where she was

sitting in the depths of the sea hard by the old man her father.

Forthwith she rose as it were a grey mist out of the waves, sat down

before him as he stood weeping, caressed him with her hand, and

said, "My son, why are you weeping? What is it that grieves you?

Keep it not from me, but tell me, that we may know it together."

  Achilles drew a deep sigh and said, "You know it; why tell you

what you know well already? We went to Thebe the strong city of

Eetion, sacked it, and brought hither the spoil. The sons of the

Achaeans shared it duly among themselves, and chose lovely Chryseis as

the meed of Agamemnon; but Chryses, priest of Apollo, came to the

ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and brought with him a

great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo,

wreathed with a suppliant's wreath, and he besought the Achaeans,

but most of all the two sons of Atreus who were their chiefs.

  "On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for respecting

the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but not so

Agamemnon, who spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away. So

he went back in anger, and Apollo, who loved him dearly, heard his

prayer. Then the god sent a deadly dart upon the Argives, and the

people died thick on one another, for the arrows went everywhither

among the wide host of the Achaeans. At last a seer in the fulness

of his knowledge declared to us the oracles of Apollo, and I was

myself first to say that we should appease him. Whereon the son of

Atreus rose in anger, and threatened that which he has since done. The

Achaeans are now taking the girl in a ship to Chryse, and sending

gifts of sacrifice to the god; but the heralds have just taken from my

tent the daughter of Briseus, whom the Achaeans had awarded to myself.

  "Help your brave son, therefore, if you are able. Go to Olympus, and

if you have ever done him service in word or deed, implore the aid

of Jove. Ofttimes in my father's house have I heard you glory in

that you alone of the immortals saved the son of Saturn from ruin,

when the others, with Juno, Neptune, and Pallas Minerva would have put

him in bonds. It was you, goddess, who delivered him by calling to

Olympus the hundred-handed monster whom gods call Briareus, but men

Aegaeon, for he is stronger even than his father; when therefore he

took his seat all-glorious beside the son of Saturn, the other gods

were afraid, and did not bind him. Go, then, to him, remind him of all

this, clasp his knees, and bid him give succour to the Trojans. Let

the Achaeans be hemmed in at the sterns of their ships, and perish

on the sea-shore, that they may reap what joy they may of their

king, and that Agamemnon may rue his blindness in offering insult to

the foremost of the Achaeans."

  Thetis wept and answered, "My son, woe is me that I should have

borne or suckled you. Would indeed that you had lived your span free

from all sorrow at your ships, for it is all too brief; alas, that you

should be at once short of life and long of sorrow above your peers:

woe, therefore, was the hour in which I bore you; nevertheless I

will go to the snowy heights of Olympus, and tell this tale to Jove,

if he will hear our prayer: meanwhile stay where you are with your

ships, nurse your anger against the Achaeans, and hold aloof from

fight. For Jove went yesterday to Oceanus, to a feast among the

Ethiopians, and the other gods went with him. He will return to

Olympus twelve days hence; I will then go to his mansion paved with

bronze and will beseech him; nor do I doubt that I shall be able to

persuade him."

  On this she left him, still furious at the loss of her that had been

taken from him. Meanwhile Ulysses reached Chryse with the hecatomb.

When they had come inside the harbour they furled the sails and laid

them in the ship's hold; they slackened the forestays, lowered the

mast into its place, and rowed the ship to the place where they

would have her lie; there they cast out their mooring-stones and

made fast the hawsers. They then got out upon the sea-shore and landed

the hecatomb for Apollo; Chryseis also left the ship, and Ulysses

led her to the altar to deliver her into the hands of her father.

"Chryses," said he, "King Agamemnon has sent me to bring you back your

child, and to offer sacrifice to Apollo on behalf of the Danaans, that

we may propitiate the god, who has now brought sorrow upon the

Argives."

  So saying he gave the girl over to her father, who received her

gladly, and they ranged the holy hecatomb all orderly round the

altar of the god. They washed their hands and took up the

barley-meal to sprinkle over the victims, while Chryses lifted up

his hands and prayed aloud on their behalf. "Hear me," he cried, "O

god of the silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla, and

rulest Tenedos with thy might. Even as thou didst hear me aforetime

when I prayed, and didst press hardly upon the Achaeans, so hear me

yet again, and stay this fearful pestilence from the Danaans."

  Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. When they had done

praying and sprinkling the barley-meal, they drew back the heads of

the victims and killed and flayed them. They cut out the

thigh-bones, wrapped them round in two layers of fat, set some

pieces of raw meat on the top of them, and then Chryses laid them on

the wood fire and poured wine over them, while the young men stood

near him with five-pronged spits in their hands. When the

thigh-bones were burned and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut

the rest up small, put the pieces upon the spits, roasted them till

they were done, and drew them off: then, when they had finished

their work and the feast was ready, they ate it, and every man had his

full share, so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough

to eat and drink, pages filled the mixing-bowl with wine and water and

handed it round, after giving every man his drink-offering.

  Thus all day long the young men worshipped the god with song,

hymning him and chaunting the joyous paean, and the god took

pleasure in their voices; but when the sun went down, and it came on

dark, they laid themselves down to sleep by the stern cables of the

ship, and when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared they

again set sail for the host of the Achaeans. Apollo sent them a fair

wind, so they raised their mast and hoisted their white sails aloft.

As the sail bellied with the wind the ship flew through the deep

blue water, and the foam hissed against her bows as she sped onward.

When they reached the wide-stretching host of the Achaeans, they

drew the vessel ashore, high and dry upon the sands, set her strong

props beneath her, and went their ways to their own tents and ships.

  But Achilles abode at his ships and nursed his anger. He went not to

the honourable assembly, and sallied not forth to fight, but gnawed at

his own heart, pining for battle and the war-cry.

  Now after twelve days the immortal gods came back in a body to

Olympus, and Jove led the way. Thetis was not unmindful of the

charge her son had laid upon her, so she rose from under the sea and

went through great heaven with early morning to Olympus, where she

found the mighty son of Saturn sitting all alone upon its topmost

ridges. She sat herself down before him, and with her left hand seized

his knees, while with her right she caught him under the chin, and

besought him, saying-

  "Father Jove, if I ever did you service in word or deed among the

immortals, hear my prayer, and do honour to my son, whose life is to

be cut short so early. King Agamemnon has dishonoured him by taking

his prize and keeping her. Honour him then yourself, Olympian lord

of counsel, and grant victory to the Trojans, till the Achaeans give

my son his due and load him with riches in requital."

  Jove sat for a while silent, and without a word, but Thetis still

kept firm hold of his knees, and besought him a second time.

"Incline your head," said she, "and promise me surely, or else deny

me- for you have nothing to fear- that I may learn how greatly you

disdain me."

  At this Jove was much troubled and answered, "I shall have trouble

if you set me quarrelling with Juno, for she will provoke me with

her taunting speeches; even now she is always railing at me before the

other gods and accusing me of giving aid to the Trojans. Go back

now, lest she should find out. I will consider the matter, and will

bring it about as wish. See, I incline my head that you believe me.

This is the most solemn that I can give to any god. I never recall

my word, or deceive, or fail to do what I say, when I have nodded my

head."

  As he spoke the son of Saturn bowed his dark brows, and the

ambrosial locks swayed on his immortal head, till vast Olympus reeled.

  When the pair had thus laid their plans, they parted- Jove to his

house, while the goddess quitted the splendour of Olympus, and plunged

into the depths of the sea. The gods rose from their seats, before the

coming of their sire. Not one of them dared to remain sitting, but all

stood up as he came among them. There, then, he took his seat. But

Juno, when she saw him, knew that he and the old merman's daughter,

silver-footed Thetis, had been hatching mischief, so she at once began

to upbraid him. "Trickster," she cried, "which of the gods have you

been taking into your counsels now? You are always settling matters in

secret behind my back, and have never yet told me, if you could help

it, one word of your intentions."

  "Juno," replied the sire of gods and men, "you must not expect to be

informed of all my counsels. You are my wife, but you would find it

hard to understand them. When it is proper for you to hear, there is

no one, god or man, who will be told sooner, but when I mean to keep a

matter to myself, you must not pry nor ask questions."

  "Dread son of Saturn," answered Juno, "what are you talking about?

I? Pry and ask questions? Never. I let you have your own way in

everything. Still, I have a strong misgiving that the old merman's

daughter Thetis has been talking you over, for she was with you and

had hold of your knees this self-same morning. I believe, therefore,

that you have been promising her to give glory to Achilles, and to

kill much people at the ships of the Achaeans."

  "Wife," said Jove, "I can do nothing but you suspect me and find

it out. You will take nothing by it, for I shall only dislike you

the more, and it will go harder with you. Granted that it is as you

say; I mean to have it so; sit down and hold your tongue as I bid

you for if I once begin to lay my hands about you, though all heaven

were on your side it would profit you nothing."

  On this Juno was frightened, so she curbed her stubborn will and sat

down in silence. But the heavenly beings were disquieted throughout

the house of Jove, till the cunning workman Vulcan began to try and

pacify his mother Juno. "It will be intolerable," said he, "if you two

fall to wrangling and setting heaven in an uproar about a pack of

mortals. If such ill counsels are to prevail, we shall have no

pleasure at our banquet. Let me then advise my mother- and she must

herself know that it will be better- to make friends with my dear

father Jove, lest he again scold her and disturb our feast. If the

Olympian Thunderer wants to hurl us all from our seats, he can do

so, for he is far the strongest, so give him fair words, and he will

then soon be in a good humour with us."

  As he spoke, he took a double cup of nectar, and placed it in his

mother's hand. "Cheer up, my dear mother," said he, "and make the best

of it. I love you dearly, and should be very sorry to see you get a

thrashing; however grieved I might be, I could not help for there is

no standing against Jove. Once before when I was trying to help you,

he caught me by the foot and flung me from the heavenly threshold. All

day long from morn till eve, was I falling, till at sunset I came to

ground in the island of Lemnos, and there I lay, with very little life

left in me, till the Sintians came and tended me."

  Juno smiled at this, and as she smiled she took the cup from her

son's hands. Then Vulcan drew sweet nectar from the mixing-bowl, and

served it round among the gods, going from left to right; and the

blessed gods laughed out a loud applause as they saw him ing

bustling about the heavenly mansion.

  Thus through the livelong day to the going down of the sun they

feasted, and every one had his full share, so that all were satisfied.

Apollo struck his lyre, and the Muses lifted up their sweet voices,

calling and answering one another. But when the sun's glorious light

had faded, they went home to bed, each in his own abode, which lame

Vulcan with his consummate skill had fashioned for them. So Jove,

the Olympian Lord of Thunder, hied him to the bed in which he always

slept; and when he had got on to it he went to sleep, with Juno of the

golden throne by his side.





Translated by Samuel Butler






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

i came not warring here for any ill Trojans had done me

| Posted on 2010-02-07 | by a guest


.: :.

"Hear me," he cried, "O god of the
silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla and rulest Tenedos
with thy might, hear me oh thou of Sminthe. If I have ever decked your
temple with garlands, or burned your thigh-bones in fat of bulls or
goats, grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon
the Danaans."


| Posted on 2007-02-01 | by a guest




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