Friday, 12 March 2010



Following his translations of books 4 and 6 of Virgil's "Aeneid", Sabidius now offers a translation of the first book of the "Iliad", Homer's epic poem about the fall of Troy. Not only was the the "Iliad" the first poem in European literature, having almost certainly existed for centuries in oral form before being written down in the eighth century BCE, it is one of the most influential works of literature of all time and established the genre of epic poetry. For Greeks and later for Romans it was at the centre of their educational and cultural milieu, and provided an inexhaustible treasury of speech and action through which both their imagination and moral awareness were nourished. The First Book, in all its rousing language, tells of the damaging feud that broke out in the tenth year of the siege of Troy between King Agamemnon of Mycenae, the leader of the Greek expeditionary force and Achilles, the most celebrated warrior in his army. As in his earlier renderings of the "Aeneid", Sabidius seeks to keep as closely as possible to the structure of the words used by Homer, albeit at the expense from time to time of the most attractive sounding English. The text used is that of J.A. Harrison and R.H. Jordan, Bristol Classical Press (1983), and follows too the sub-headings by which they conveniently divide the text itself. Although the Old Ionic dialect, in which Homer writes contains a number of words and word endings which are alien to Attic Greek, these are not a significant barrier to one's appreciation of the beautiful hexameter rhythm in which the "Iliad" is cast.

Ll. 1-7. Sing, Muse, of the wrath of achilles and his quarrel with Agamemnon.

Sing, goddess, of the accursed wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus, which caused countless griefs to the Achaeans, and sent down prematurely to Hades many mighty souls of heroes and made them prey to all the dogs and birds of prey, and the decree of Zeus was accomplished, (starting) from the time that both the son of Atreus, lord of men, and godlike Achilles were at variance, quarrelling for the first time.

Ll.8-21. Chryses, a priest of Apollo, seeks to ransom his daughter who was Agamemnon's war prize.

Which of the gods brought together the two of them in strife so as to fight? The son of Leto and Zeus: for he, having been angered by the king, let loose a vile plague throughout the army, and the army was being destroyed, because the son of Atreus had dishonoured Chryses, his priest; for he had come to the swift ships of the Achaeans in order to ransom his daughter and carrying vast ransom, and carrying in his hands the sacred woollen bands of Apollo the far-shooter upon his golden staff, and he entreated all the Achaeans, and especially the two sons of Atreus, the marshals of the army: "Sons of Atreus and you other well-greaved Achaeans, may the gods having their home on Olympus, grant to you the destruction of the city of Priam, and to arrive home safely; but please set free to me my dear child, and accept this ransom, reverencing the son of Zeus, Apollo the far-shooter".

Ll. 22-42. Agamemnon dismisses Chryses with threats. The priest asks Apollo to punish the Greeks.

Then all the other Achaeans agreed both to reverence the priest and to accept the splendid ransom; but it was nor pleasing to the mind of Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, but he sent him on his way shamefully, and he laid a stern word on him: "May I not find you, old man, by our hollow ships, either lingering now or coming back again later, lest indeed your staff and the woollen bands of the god are not helpful to you; and I shall not release her; and beforehand old age will reach her in our house in Argos, far from her native-land, working at the loom and sharing my bed; but go, do not provoke me, so that you may get away more safely." Thus he spoke, and the old man was afraid and obeyed the advice; he went silently along the shore of the loud-roaring ocean; then going far away he prayed to lord Apollo, to whom lovely-haired Leto gave birth: "Hear me, lord of the silver bow, (you) who has protected Chryse and very sacred Cilla and rules with strength over Tenedos, Smintheus, if ever I have built a shrine which is pleasing to you, or if ever I have burned for you fat thigh-flesh of bulls and goats, fulfil for me this prayer, may the Danaans atone for my tears with your arrows".

Ll. 43-67. Apollo's arrows rain death. Achilles summons an assembly.

Thus he spoke in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him, and he came down from the peaks of Olympus with anger in his heart, the bow on his shoulders with its enclosing quiver and indeed arrows clattered on the shoulders of (him) in his anger, when (the god) himself moved (lit. he himself having moved). He came like night. He settled down at a distance from the ships, and he let loose an arrow: and a fearful twang arose from the silver bow. First, he attacked the mules and the swift running dogs, but however, having then sent sharp arrows at (the men) themselves, he kept hitting (them); and always there burned the crowded pyres of the dead. For nine days the arrows of the god sped throughout the army, (but) on the tenth day Achilles called the people to an assembly. For the white-armed goddess Hera had put (this) into his mind: for she was concerned for the Danaans when she saw them dying. So, when they had been called together and they were gathered together, swift-footed Achilles, standing up among them, spoke: "Son of Atreus, I think that we having now been driven back, should return home again, supposing that we can escape death, if indeed both war and plague together are to ravage the Achaeans; but come, let us ask some prophet or priest, or even an interpreter of dreams, for dreams too are from Zeus, who may tell (us) why Phoebus Apollo has become so very angry (with us), whether indeed he finds fault with our prayer or our public sacrifice, if somehow, having accepted the savour of unblemished lambs and goats, he is willing to drive the plague away from us".

Ll. 68-91. Calchas says he knows why Apollo is angry. Achilles guarantees his protection.

Then indeed, speaking thus, he sat down; then there stood up among us Calchas, son of Thestor, by far the best of augurs, who knew what is, what will be, and what was before, and he guided the ships of the Achaeans into Ilium through his seercraft, which Phoebus Apollo had granted to him; he addressed them with good will, and spoke (to them): "O Achilles, beloved of Zeus, you have asked me to tell you of the anger of Apollo the lord who shoots from afar; so then I shall speak. But you take heed and swear to me that you will readily protect me with words and in action. For I think that I shall anger a man who rules strongly over the Argives and the Achaeans obey him. For a king (is) stronger whenever he may be angry with a lesser man; if indeed he may even repress his anger on the day itself, yet he keeps resentment afterwards within his breast until he can fulfil it; so you consider if you will protect me". Then answering the swift-footed Achilles spoke to him: "Being confident, tell (us) freely the prophecy which you know; for I swear by Apollo, beloved of Zeus, while praying to whom you, Calchas, disclose your prophecies to the Danaans, no man among all the Danaans with me living and breathing upon the earth will lay heavy hands upon you by our hollow ships, not even if you speak of Agamemnon, who now claims to be by far the best of the Achaeans".

Ll.92-120. Calchas says that they must return Chryseis. Agamemnon rages and demands another prize in her place.

Then, the excellent seer took courage and spoke: "He faults neither our prayer nor our sacrifice, but for the sake of his priest who Agamemnon dishonoured, nor has he released his daughter and he did not accept the ransom; on this account the far-shooter has given (us) griefs and will give (us) still (more); nor will he drive the shameful plague from the Danaans until we give the bright-eyed girl back to her dear father without price and without ransom, and take a holy hecatomb to Chryse; then, after appeasing him, we might persuade him (to change his mind)". Then indeed he having spoken thus sat down, and there stood up among them the hero son of Atreus, wide-ruler Agamemnon, greatly distressed. His black mind was greatly filled all around with rage, and his eyes were like blazing fire. Threatening evil, he addressed Calchas especially: "Prophet of evil you have not yet said anything useful to me; always it is dear to your mind to prophesy evil things, and you have not yet spoken nor brought to fulfilment any good word. And now you declare, prophesying among the Danaans, that on account of this the far-shooter prepares griefs for them because I was not willing to accept the splendid ransom for the girl Chryseis, since I very much wish to keep her in my home; for indeed I do prefer (her) to Clytemnestra, my wedded wife, since she is not inferior to her in body or in stature nor in mind nor in any household tasks. But even so I am willing to give back again, if that (is) better; I wish my people to be safe rather than to be destroyed. But you must immediately make ready a prize for me so that I am not alone among the Argives without a prize, since that it is not proper; for you all see this, the fact that my prize is going elsewhere".

Ll.121-129. Achilles promises him compensation when Troy is captured.

Then swift-footed godlike Achilles answered him: "Most glorious son of Atreus, most covetous of all men, how shall the great-hearted Achaeans give you a gift? Nor do we know of any great common stores lying anywhere; but the things which we exacted from the cities, these things have been divided up, and it is not seemly that the army should gather together these things having been collected up again. But you now give her up to the god; however, we Achaeans will recompense (you) if ever at all Zeus grants (to us) that we shall sack the well-walled city of Troy".

Ll. 130-147. Agamemnon says he will seize someone else's prize. He arranges for Chryseis to be taken home.

Then answering, lord Agamemnon spoke to him: "Do not deceive me thus in your mind, godlike Achilles, though being great, you will not outwit nor persuade me. Do you wish, so that you can keep your prize, that I should sit like this without a prize, (since) you tell me to give her back? (No), but if the great-hearted Achaeans will give (me) a prize, suiting it to my desire, in order that it may be equivalent to the one I've lost, (well that's all right!) But if they will not give (it), I myself, having come, shall take either your prize or that of Ajax or that of Odysseus, and, having taken (it), I shall carry (it) off. And he will be angry whomever I come to. But come now, let us drag a black ship into the holy sea, and let us gather rowers for the purpose, and let us put in (it) a hecatomb, and let us embark in it the fair-cheeked daughter of Chryseis herself; and let some man of counsellor status be her captain, whether Ajax or Idomeneus or godlike Odysseus, or you, son of Peleus, most terrible of all men, so that, offering sacrifice, you may appease the one who smites from afar on our behalf".

Ll.148-171. Achilles taunts Agamemnon for his greed and threatens to return home.

Then, swift-footed Achilles, glancing (at him) with a scowl, addressed him: "Ah me! you crafty-minded one, clothed in impudence, how is anyone of the Achaeans to obey your words willingly or go on a journey or fight men with all his strength? For I have not come here in order to fight the spearmen of the Trojans, since they are not in any way guilty as far as I am concerned (lit. towards me); for they have not yet ever driven away my cattle nor yet my horses, nor have they ever ravaged the crops in very fertile Phthia, nurse of men, since there are very many things between (us), both shady mountains and the sounding sea; but we followed after you, O you great shameless one, in order that you might be glad, winning recompense at the hands of the Trojans for Menelaus and for you, dog-face; you do not show regard for these things at all, nor do you concern yourself about them; and you even threaten yourself to take away my prize , for which I laboured much, and (which) the sons of the Achaeans gave to me. I do not have a prize equal to yours whenever the Achaeans sack a well-peopled town of the Trojans; no, but my hands perform the major part of furious war; but if ever an apportionment is arrived at, your prize is by far the bigger, and I go to my ships holding a small but precious thing, when I have become weary fighting. Now, I shall go to Phthia, since it is certainly better by far to go homewards with my beaked ships, nor do I think I will win riches and wealth for you while being here dishonoured".

Ll.172-187. Agamemnon replies angrily. He will take Briseis, Achilles' war prize.

Then, Agamemnon, lord of men, addressed him: "flee far away, if your mind has been agitated, nor do I beg you to remain on account of me; with me still (are) others who will honour me, especially the all-wise Zeus. Of the kings nurtured by Zeus, you are the most hateful to me. For strife (is) always dear to you, and wars and battles. If you are very strong, doubtless a god gave this to you. Going home with your ships and your companions, lord it over your Myrmidons, I do not care about (you) nor do I heed (you) being angry. But I shall threaten you thus: since Phoebus Apollo takes away from me the daughter of Chryseis, I will send her back with my ship and my companions, but I, coming to your hut myself, shall lead away the fair-cheeked Briseis, your prize, so that you will know how much stronger I am than you, and another too can shrink from speaking to me as an equal, and matching himself openly (with me)".

Ll.188-222. Athene appears and stops Achilles from killing Agamemnon.

Thus he spoke. And distress arose for the son of Peleus, and within his shaggy breast his heart pondered two opinions, whether he, having drawn his sharp sword from his thigh, should disperse those assembled and kill the son of Atreus, or whether he should stay his anger and check his heart. While he was pondering this within his mind and within his heart, and he was drawing his great sword from its sheath, Athene came (down) from heaven. For the white-armed goddess Hera had sent (her), both loving and caring for both men in her heart alike. She stood behind (him), and she caught the son of Peleus by his yellow hair, visible to him alone; and of the rest no one beheld (her). Achilles was astonished and turned around, and knew Pallas Athene immediately. And her eyes flashed terribly; speaking winged words, he addressed her: "Why have you come again, child of aegis-bearing Zeus? Is it in order that you may see the insolence of Agamemnon, son of Atreus? But I shall speak out to you something which I think will be accomplished: by his great conceit sometime soon he will lose his life". Then, the bright-eyed goddess Athene said to him again: "I have come from heaven in order to stop your fury, if indeed you will obey (me); the white-armed goddess Hera sent me forth, both loving and caring for both of you equally in her heart. Come then, cease from your strife, nor draw your sword with your hand. But then reproach (him) with words (by telling him) how it will certainly be. For I will speak out thus, and this thing will indeed be accomplished. And some day glorious gifts, three times as many, will be present for you on account of this insolence; but you restrain yourself and obey us". Answering, swift-footed Achilles spoke to her: "It is necessary, goddess, (for a man) to respect the two of you, even though being very angry at heart; for (it is) better so. Whoever obeys the gods, they listen to him especially". He spoke, and checked his heavy hand on the silver hilt and pushed his great sword back into the scabbard, nor did he disobey the word of Athene; but she had gone to Olympus to the house of aegis-bearing Zeus to join the other gods.

Ll. 223-244. Achilles increases his taunts.

The son of Peleus again addressed the son of Atreus with insulting words, and he had not yet ceased from his anger: "Drunkard, having the eyes of a dog and the heart of a deer, you have not ever had the courage in your heart to arm yourself for war together with your people nor to go with the chiefs of the Achaeans into ambush: that would seem to be (a risk) of death to you. Certainly it is better throughout the broad camp of the Achaeans to take away the prizes from whoever speaks up against you; people-devouring king, (who can do this) since you rule over worthless people; for (otherwise), son of Atreus, you would now be acting outrageously for the last time. but I shall speak out to you and I shall swear a great oath to (it): truly by this staff, it will not ever produce leaves and shoots, since at the first it has left its stump in the mountains, nor will it sprout again; for the bronze (knife) has stripped it of its leaves and bark all around; now the sons of the Achaeans carry it in their hands again (as) judges, those who guard the decrees from Zeus; and this oath will be a mighty one for you. Certainly a longing for Achilles will one day come upon the sons of the Achaeans; then, though in distress, you will not be able to help (them), when many shall fall dying at the hands of murderous Hector; but you will tear your heart within (you) in anger because you did not honour in any way the best of the Achaeans".

Ll. 245-284. Old Nestor from Pylos tries to heal the quarrel.

So the son of Peleus spoke, and he hurled the staff studded with golden nails to the ground, and sat down himself; and the son of Atreus raged on the other side; then among them sweet-speaking Nestor sprang up, the clear speaker of the men of Pylos, from whose tongue flowed a voice sweeter than honey. Within his lifetime (lit. for him) two generations of articulate men had now passed away, who previously had been born and reared together with him in sacred Pylos, and he was ruling among the third; in good faith he spoke to them and addressed (the assembly):
"For shame, great grief is surely reaching the Achaean land. Priam and the sons of Priam would indeed rejoice, and the other Trojans would be greatly pleased at heart, if they were to learn all this about you two quarrelling, who (are) superior to the (other) Danaans at counsel, and are superior at fighting. But hearken (unto me): you are both younger than me. For I once associated with even better men than you, and they did not ever disrespect me. For I have not ever seen again such men nor shall I see (them), (men) such as Peirithous and Dryas, shepherd of his people, and Caeneus and Exadius and godlike Polyphemus, and Theseus, the son of Aegeus, image of the immortals. They were the mightiest of men reared upon the earth; they were the mightiest and they fought with the mightiest, mountain-bred wild beasts, and utterly destroyed (them). I associated with these men, coming from Pylos, from afar from a distant land; for they themselves summoned (me); and I fought in my own right; not one of those who are now mortals upon the earth could fight with them; and they took heed of my counsels and hearkened to my word. But you too hearken (to me), since (it is) better to listen. You, though being great, do not take the girl from him, but let her be, as the sons of the Achaeans first gave (her to him) as a prize; nor should you, son of Peleus, be willing to quarrel with the king face to face, since a sceptre-bearing king to whom Zeus has given glory does not ever share equal honour. While you may be strong, and a goddess mother may have given birth to you, yet he is the stronger since he rules over more people. Son of Atreus, you must stop your fury. I beg (you) to let go your anger against Achilles, who is a great defence for all the Achaeans against evil war".

Ll. 285-303. The quarrel continues. Achilles will yield Briseis but nothing else.

Then answering, lord Agamemnon addressed him: "Yes, you said all these things, old man, according to the right. But this man wishes to be superior to all others, he wishes to control all, to rule over all, and to give orders to all, in which matters I think (there is) someone (who) will not obey (him). If the gods who are forever made him a warrior, on this account do his insults rush forward for him to utter?". Interrupting, godlike Achilles addressed him: "Surely I should be called cowardly and worthless, if I should give way to you in everything, whatever you may say. Give these orders to others but do not give orders to me, for I think I shall not obey you any longer. And I shall tell you another thing, and you should consider (this) in your mind; I shall not fight hand to hand for the sake of the girl either with you or with any other man since you have taken (her) from me after giving (her to me); but of the other things which are mine by my swift black ship, you will not take up and bear off any of those things, against my will (lit. me being unwilling). But come now and just try (it) so that these men (here) will know (what will happen): your dark blood will straightway flow around my spear".

Ll. 304-317. A ship is launched and Chryseis is put on board. Agamemnon sacrifices to Apollo.

When the two of them, having contended with violent words, stood up, they broke up the assembly by the ships of the Achaeans. The son of Peleus went to his huts and his well-balanced ships together with the son of Menoetius and his companions; the son of Atreus pulled forward a fast ship to the sea, and he chose twenty oarsmen and he put on board a hecatomb for the god, and, bringing the fair-cheeked Chryseis, he placed her on board; wily Odysseus went on board as captain. Then, they having embarked set sail over the watery ways, but the son of Atreus ordered the army to purify (itself); and they purified (themselves) and cast the defilement into the sea, and they offered to Apollo unblemished hecatombs of bulls and goats by the shore of the restless sea; the savour reached the sky swirling around in the smoke.

Ll. 318-356. Agamemnon's messengers take Briseis away. Achilles complains to his mother, the sea-goddess Thetis.

So the men busied themselves with matters connected with the camp; nor would Agamemnon give up the quarrel which he had first threatened against Achilles, but he called to Talthybius and Eurybates who were his heralds and ready attendants: "Go to the hut of Achilles, son of Peleus: having taken the fair-cheeked Briseis by the hand, lead (her here); if he will not give (her to you), I, having come with more men, shall take (her) myself; that will be even worse for him". Thus speaking he sent then forth, and he laid a stern command upon (them). The two of them went reluctantly along the shore of the restless sea, and came to the huts and the ships of the Myrmidons. They found him sitting by his hut and his black ship. Nor did Achilles rejoice seeing the two of them. The two of them, terrified and respecting the king, stood, neither did they address him at all nor did they ask (any questions); however, he knew their purpose in his mind and he addressed (them): "Welcome, heralds, messengers of Zeus and of men also, come nearer. You are not blameworthy at all to me, but Agamemnon (is), (he) who has sent you two forth for the sake of the girl Briseis. But come, heaven-sprung Patroclus, lead out the girl and give (her) to them to take; let these two themselves be witnesses before the blessed gods and before mortal men, and before that heartless king, if some day need of me shall arise again to ward off shameful destruction from the rest (of them). For he rages with a destructive mind, nor does he know at all to see forward and backward at the same time, so that his Achaeans might fight by their ships". Thus he spoke, and Patroclus obeyed his dear companion and led the fair-cheeked Briseis from the hut, and he gave (her to the heralds) to take; the two of them went back to the ships of the Achaeans. The woman went along with them unwillingly. But Achilles, weeping, having withdrawn quickly from his companions, sat down on the shore of the grey sea, looking out over the boundless deep; he prayed to his dear mother for a long time, stretching out his hands: "Mother, since you bore me, though being doomed to a very short span of life, Olympian Zeus, thundering on high, should surely have conferred honour upon me; now he has honoured me not even a little: for the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon has dishonoured me; for he has taken and holds my prize, which he has seized himself ".

Ll. 357-412. Thetis hears his complaint. He urges her to persuade Zeus to help the Trojans.

Thus he spoke, letting fall a tear, and his revered mother heard him while sitting beside her old father in the depths of the sea; quickly she rose up from the grey sea like a mist and sat down before him while he let fall a tear, (and) she stroked him a little by hand and she spoke and called him by name: "My child, why do you weep, what grief has come to your mind (lit. to you in respect of your mind)? Speak out, do not hide it in your mind, so that we shall both know". Then, swift-footed Achilles, groaning heavily, spoke to her: "You know. Why indeed should I tell these things to you who knows all? We went to Thebes, the sacred city of Eetion, and we sacked it and brought back everything here. And the sons of the Achaeans divided things up properly amongst themselves, and they took out the fair-cheeked Chryseis for the son of Atreus. But Chryses, the priest of Apollo the far-shooter came there to the swift ships of the bronze-clad Achaeans in order to free his daughter and bearing a vast ransom, holding in his hands the sacred woollen bands of Apollo the far-shooter upon his golden staff, and he entreated all the Achaeans, and especially the two sons of Atreus, the marshals of the army. Then, all the other Achaeans shouted their agreement both to reverence the priest and to accept the splendid ransom; but it was not pleasing to the mind of Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, but he sent (him) on his way shamefully, and laid a stern word upon (him). Then, the old man went back in anger; and Apollo heard him praying, since he was very dear to him, and he sent a deadly arrow against the Argives: indeed the people began to die in quick succession, and the arrows of the god ranged everywhere throughout the wide camp of the Achaeans. The seer in full knowledge declared to us the prophecies of Apollo the far-shooter. Straightway I was the first to urge the appeasement of the god; but then anger seized the son of Atreus, and straightway standing up he threatened a word, which indeed has been accomplished. The flashing-eyed Achaeans are sending her with a swift ship to Chryse and are taking gifts for its lord; but just now heralds have gone from my hut taking away the daughter of Briseus, whom the sons of the Achaeans gave to me. But you, if you can, protect your noble son, going to Olympus to entreat Zeus, if ever you have pleased at all the heart of Zeus either by word or also by deed. For often I have heard you in the palace of my father boasting when you said that you alone among the immortals warded off shameful ruin from the son of Cronus, shrouded in clouds, at the time when the other Olympians were willing to bind him fast, even Hera and Poseidon and Pallas Athene. But you, goddess, having come, released him from his bonds, having quickly called the hundred handed one to high Olympus, (he) whom the gods call Briareus but all men Aegaeon; for he is yet better than his father in strength; he took his seat beside the son of Cronus exulting in his glory; and the other gods shrank from him nor did they bind (Zeus). Now having reminded him of these things, sit beside (him) and clasp his knees, (asking) if somehow he might be willing to bring help to
the Trojans, and to hem in the Achaeans by their sterns and around the sea, while they are being slain, so that all may enjoy their king, and the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, may recognise his folly in that he did not honour the best of the Achaeans".

Ll. 413-427. Thetis tells her son to abstain from fighting. She will go to see Zeus.

Then, Thetis answered him, letting fall a tear:"Ah me, child, why did I rear you, having borne you terribly? Would that you could just sit by the ships without a tear and unharmed, since your life-span (runs) for a very short time, and certainly not for a very long time; now you have come to be at the same time both short-lived and wretched far beyond all (other) men; to an evil fate did I bear you in our palace. In order to tell this story of yours to Zeus who delights in thunder, I am going myself to snow-capped Olympus, (to see) if he will listen (to me). But you, now sitting by your swift ships, must rage against the Achaeans, and withdraw completely from the war; for Zeus went yesterday to Ocean about a feast with the blameless Ethiopians, and all the gods followed along with (him); but on the twelfth day he will come back to Olympus, and then I shall go to the palace of Zeus with its bronze threshold, and I shall beseech him and I think I shall persuade him".

Ll. 428-456. The ship, with Odysseus as captain, brings Chryseis home.

Having spoken thus, she went away and left him where he was (lit. there), angry at heart because of the beautifully girdled woman seized by force against his will; meanwhile, Odysseus was coming to Chryse, bringing the holy hecatomb. When they had come within the very deep harbour, they unfurled the sails and put (them) in the black ship, and they brought down the mast to the mast-crutch, letting (it) down quickly by (slackening) the forestays, and they rowed it forward with oars to the anchorage. They threw out the mooring stones and they tied fast the stern-cables; and they jumped out themselves at the sea shore, and they brought out the hecatomb for Apollo the far-shooter, and out of the sea-faring ship came Chryseis. Then, the wily Odysseus, leading her to the altar, placed her in the arms of her dear father, and said to him: "Agamemnon, lord of men, has sent me forth to bring your daughter to you, and to sacrifice a holy hecatomb to Phoebus on behalf of the Danaans so that we can appease the lord (god) who has now brought grievous troubles upon the Argives". So saying, he placed (her) in his arms, and he joyfully received his dear child; they quickly set up the holy hecatomb to the god around the well-built altar, and then washed their hands and took up the barley grains (for sprinkling). Chryses, lifting up his arms among them, prayed in a loud voice: "Hear me, (lord) of the silver bow, who has protected Chryse and holy Cilla and rules mightily over Tenedos; just as you heard me once when I prayed before, you honoured me and punished mightily the army of the Achaeans; so even now grant me this further desire: so now ward off the shameful plague from the Danaans".

Ll. 457-474. The sacrificial feast. Apollo is praised in music and song.

So he spoke in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him. When they had prayed and thrown down the barley grains, they first drew back (the animals' heads) and cut (their throats) and flayed (their skins), and cut out the thighs and covered (them) up with fat, making (the layer of meat) a double one, and placed raw meat on them. The old man burned (them) on logs of wood, and poured a libation of sparkling wine; and beside him the young men held in their hands the five-pronged forks. Then, when the thigh pieces were burned up and they had tasted the entrails, they cut up the rest (of the meat) into pieces and pierced on spits all round, and roasted it carefully and drew off all (the meat). But when they had ceased from their work and prepared the meal, they fed (themselves), nor did their hearts lack anything of the equal feast. When they had put away from (themselves) the desire for drink and food, the young men filled the mixing bowls full with drink. They served (it) to all, pouring drops into the cups as a libation. All day long the young men of the Achaeans appeased the god with song, singing a lovely hymn, celebrating in song he who works from afar; and he, listening, was delighted in his heart.

Ll. 475-487. The Greek ship returns and the crew disembark.

But when the sun sank down and darkness arrived, then they lay down to rest by the stern-cables of the ship; when early-born dawn arrived with rosy fingers, then at that time they put out to sea in search of the broad camp of the Achaeans (and) Apollo, who works from afar, sent a favouring breeze for them; they set up the mast and spread out the white sails, and the wind swelled out the middle of the sail and the dark waves roared loudly around the ship's keel as it sped along (lit. going). And she ran through the swell accomplishing her way. But when they arrived at the broad camp of the Achaeans, they hauled the black ship on land, high up on the sand, and they set in line long props under (it), and they themselves dispersed among the huts and ships.

Ll. 488-492. Achilles nurses his anger.

But the heaven-sprung son of Peleus, swift-footed Achilles, was raging, sitting beside his fast moving ships. Not ever did he go forth to the glory-winning assembly, nor did he go into war, but wasted his own heart, remaining there, and he longed for the war-cry and the battle.

Ll. 493-510. Thetis visits Zeus and asks that due honour be paid to Achilles.

But when the twelfth dawn came round from that (meeting), then the ever living gods came to Olympus all together and Zeus was leading (them). And Thetis did not forget the request of her son but she arose from the swell of the sea, and early in the morning she went up to the great heaven and Olympus. She found the wide-seeing son of Cronus sitting apart from the rest on the highest peak of many-ridged Olympus; and she sat down before him, and took his knees with her left hand, and taking (him) by his chin with her right hand she addressed lord Zeus, the son of Cronus, in prayer: "Father Zeus, if ever I have pleased you among the immortals either by word or by deed, fulfil this my desire; show honour to my son who is very short-lived beyond (all) others; yet now Agamemnon, lord of men, has dishonoured him; for taking his prize, he keeps (it), seizing it himself. But do you show him honour, all-wise Olympian Zeus; may you confer might upon the Trojans up to such time as the Achaeans value my son and elevate him in honour.

Ll. 511-530. Zeus hesitates, fearing a row with Hera, but finally nods assent.

Thus she spoke; but Zeus the cloud-gatherer did not speak to her at all, but sat silent for a long time; as Thetis grasped his knees, so she held on clinging tightly, and she asked (him) again a second time: "Promise me without fail and nod in assent, or deny (me), since fear is not upon you, that I may know full well how far I am the most dishonoured god among (them) all". Greatly worried, Zeus the cloud-gatherer addressed her: "Certainly (there will be) sorry work in that you have set me on to quarrel with Hera, whenever she provokes me with spiteful words. Even as it is, she is always abusing me among the immortal gods, and she says that I aid the Trojans in battle. But you must go away again now, lest Hera may perceive something; these things will be a care to me, until I shall accomplish (them). But come now, I shall nod my head, so that you may be confident; for this pledge from me (is) the greatest among the immortals; for no promise of mine (shall be) taken back or prove false or (be) unaccomplished whenever I nod my head in assent (to it)". The son of Cronus spoke and nodded his dark brows in agreement; and the immortal locks of the lord (god) streamed forward from his immortal head; and he shook great Olympus.

Ll. 531-567. Hera asks Zeus about the visit of Thetis. Zeus turns on her with threats of violence.

And so, having deliberated, the two parted; then she jumped down from bright Olympus into the deep sea, and Zeus went to his own house; all the gods rose together from their seats in the presence of their father; nor did any one (of them) dare to remain (seated)(him) arriving, but they all rose up facing (him). And so he sat down there upon his throne; nor, having seen him, was Hera unaware that silver-footed Thetis, daughter of the old man of the sea, had taken counsel together with him. Immediately, she spoke to Zeus, the son of Cronus, with bitter (words): " Which of the gods, you crafty one, has taken counsel with you? It is always pleasing to you, being away from me, to settle (matters), considering secret things; nor have you brought yourself to declare to me readily whatever matter you may intend". Then, the father of men and of gods and of men answered her: "Hera, do not expect to know all of my words; they will be hard for you, though being my wife, (to understand); whatever one (it is) suitable (for you) to hear, then no other one either of gods or of men will know it before (you do); but what I may wish to plan far away from the gods, do you not question (me) about or enquire into any of these things in any way". Then, the ox-eyed queenly Hera addressed him: "Most terrible son of Cronus, what kind of word have you spoken? Certainly I have neither questioned (you) nor made enquiries of you before, but you may consider quite undisturbed whatever things you wish. Now, I fear dreadfully in my heart that silver-footed Thetis, the daughter of the old man of the sea, may have beguiled you; for early in the morning she sat beside you and took your knees; I think that you nodded your head to her in definite (agreement) that you would bring honour to Achilles, and destroy many of the Achaeans by their ships". Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, addressed her in answer: " Strange woman, you are always imagining, nor can I escape your notice; nevertheless, you will not be able to accomplish anything, but you will be further from my heart; and that will be the worse for you. If this thing is as you say (lit. thus), it is likely to be good to me. But sit still and listen, (and) obey my word, lest as many gods as there are in Olympus they cannot help you (against me) coming nearer, when I lay my invincible hands upon you".

Ll. 568-594. Hephaestus urges peace. He recall how Zeus once hurled him from Olympus.

Thus he spoke, and ox-eyed queenly Hera was afraid, and sat down in silence, curbing her own heart; the heavenly gods were troubled throughout the house of Zeus; Hephaestus, the famous craftsman, began to address them, bringing kindness to his dear mother, the white-armed Hera: "Certainly this will be a grievous business, nor is it yet endurable if the two of you are to quarrel thus on account of mortals, and to keep up this wrangling among the gods; nor will there be any benefit in the goodly feast, since worse things prevail. I advise my mother, even though knowing (this) herself, to bring kindness to our dear father Zeus, so that the father may not upbraid her again, and disturb our feast. What if the Olympian sender of lightning wishes to drive (us) from our seats; for he is by far the strongest. But do you address him with gentle words; then the Olympian will be kind to us forthwith". Thus he spoke, and, springing up, he placed the two-handled cup in the hands of his dear mother, and he addressed her: "Take courage, my mother, and, though distressed, endure, lest I may see you, though being dear (to me), smitten before my eyes, and then I shall not be able to help you at all, though grieving; for the Olympian is hard to match oneself against. For at another time previously, seizing (me) by the foot, he hurled me, being eager to defend you, from the divine threshold; all day long I was carried (down), and at the same time as the sun set I fell in Lemnos, and little life was in (me) still; there Sintian men rescued me at once, after my fall (lit. having fallen)".

Ll. 595-611. Hephaestus makes the gods laugh. They feast till sundown and then retire to bed.

Thus he spoke, and the white-armed goddess Hera smiled, and, smiling, she received the cup in her hand from her son; then, he poured for all the other gods from left to right, drawing sweet nectar from the bowl. And unceasing laughter arose among the blessed gods, as they saw Hephaestus shuffling through the palace. So, then they feasted all day (long) to the setting sun, nor did their hearts lack anything of the equal feast, nor yet of the very beautiful lyre which Apollo held nor of the Muses who were singing in a beautiful voice answering (one another) in turn. But when the shining light of the sun set, they went, each to his (own) home to lie down, where the famous lame (god) Hephaestus had made with knowing craft a house for each; and Zeus, the Olympian sender of lightning, went to his bed where he always lay down whenever sweet sleep came over him; there, having gone up, he slept, and beside him (lay) Hera of the golden throne.

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