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- The Iliad of Homer - 1/61 -
THE ILIAD OF HOMER
The execution of this version of the ILIAD has been entrusted to the three Translators in the following three parts:
Books I. - IX. . . . . W. Leaf. " X. - XVI. . . . . A. Lang. " XVII. - XXIV. . . . . E. Myers.
Each Translator is therefore responsible for his own portion; but the whole has been revised by all three Translators, and the rendering of passages or phrases recurring in more than one portion has been determined after deliberation in common. Even in these, however, a certain elasticity has been deemed desirable.
On a few doubtful points, though very rarely, the opinion of two of the translators has had to be adopted to the suppression of that held by the third. Thus, for instance, the Translator of Books X. - XVI. Would have preferred "c" and "us" to "k" and "os" in the spelling of all proper names.
The text followed has been that of La Roche (Leipzig, 1873), except where the adoption of a different reading has been specified in a footnote. Where the balance of evidence, external and internal, has seemed to the Translator to be against the genuineness of the passage, such passage has been enclosed in brackets .
The Translator of Books X. - XVI. Has to thank Mr. R.W. Raper, Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, for his valuable aid in revising the proof-sheets of these Books.
NOTE TO REVISED EDITION
In the present Edition the translation has been carefully revised throughout, and numerous minor corrections have been made. The Notes at the end of the volume have been, with a few exceptions, omitted; one of the Translators hopes to publish very shortly a Companion to the Iliad for English readers, which will deal fully with most of the points therein referred to.
The use of square brackets has in this edition been restricted to passages where there is external evidence, such as absence from the best MSS., for believing in interpolation. One or two departures from this Rule are noticed in footnotes.
The reader will perhaps also be helped by the following list of the Greek and Latin names of the gods and goddesses who play important parts in the narrative. When the Greek names are new to him, the corresponding Latin names may be more familiar.
Greek Latin ----- ----- Zeus. Jupiter. Hera. Juno. (Pallas) Athene. Minerva. Aphrodite. Venus. Poseidon. Neptune. Ares. Mars. Hephaestus. Vulcan.
The sacred soil of Ilios is rent With shaft and pit; foiled waters wander slow Through plains where Simois and Scamander went To war with gods and heroes long ago. Not yet to dark Cassandra lying low In rich Mycenae do the Fates relent; The bones of Agamemnon are a show, And ruined is his royal monument. The dust and awful treasures of the dead Hath learning scattered wide; but vainly thee, Homer, she meteth with her Lesbian lead, And strives to rend thy songs, too blind is she To know the crown on thine immortal head Of indivisible supremacy. A.L.
Athwart the sunrise of our western day The form of great Achilles, high and clear, Stands forth in arms, wielding the Pelian spear. The sanguine tides of that immortal fray, Swept on by gods, around him surge and sway, Wherethrough the helms of many a warrior peer, Strong men and swift, their tossing plumes uprear. But stronger, swifter, goodlier he than they, More awful, more divine. Yet mark anigh; Some fiery pang hath rent his soul within, Some hovering shade his brows encompasseth. What gifts hath Fate for all his chivalry? Even such as hearts heroic oftenest win; Honour, a friend, anguish, untimely death. E.M.
THE ILIAD OF HOMER
How Agamemnon and Achilles fell out at the siege of Troy; and Achilles withdrew himself from battle, and won from Zeus a pledge that his wrong should be avenged on Agamemnon and the Achaians.
Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles Peleus' son, the ruinous wrath that brought on the Achaians woes innumerable, and hurled down into Hades many strong souls of heroes, and gave their bodies to be a prey to dogs and all winged fowls; and so the counsel of Zeus wrought out its accomplishment from the day when first strife parted Atreides king of men and noble Achilles.
Who among the gods set the twain at strife and variance? Apollo, the son of Leto and of Zeus; for he in anger at the king sent a sore plague upon the host, so that the folk began to perish, because Atreides had done dishonour to Chryses the priest. For the priest had come to the Achaians' fleet ships to win his daughter's freedom, and brought a ransom beyond telling; and bare in his hands the fillet of Apollo the Far-darter upon a golden staff; and made his prayer unto all the Achaians, and most of all to the two sons of Atreus, orderers of the host; "Ye sons of Atreus and all ye well-greaved Achaians, now may the gods that dwell in the mansions of Olympus grant you to lay waste the city of Priam, and to fare happily homeward; only set ye my dear child free, and accept the ransom in reverence to the son of Zeus, far-darting Apollo."
Then all the other Achaians cried assent, to reverence the priest and accept his goodly ransom; yet the thing pleased not the heart of Agamemnon son of Atreus, but he roughly sent him away, and laid stern charge upon him, saying: "Let me not find thee, old man, amid the hollow ships, whether tarrying now or returning again hereafter, lest the staff and fillet of the god avail thee naught. And her will I not set free; nay, ere that shall old age come on her in our house, in Argos, far from her native land, where she shall ply the loom and serve my couch. But depart, provoke me not, that thou mayest the rather go in peace."
So said he, and the old man was afraid and obeyed his word, and fared silently along the shore of the loud-sounding sea. Then went that aged man apart and prayed aloud to king Apollo, whom Leto of the fair locks bare: "Hear me, god of the silver bow, that standest over Chryse and holy Killa, and rulest Tenedos with might, O Smintheus! If ever I built a temple gracious in thine eyes, or if ever I burnt to thee fat flesh of thighs of bulls or goats, fulfil thou this my desire; let the Danaans pay by thine arrows for my tears."
So spake he in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him, and came down from the peaks of Olympus wroth at heart, bearing on his shoulders his bow and covered quiver. And the arrows clanged upon his shoulders in wrath, as the god moved; and he descended like to night. Then he sate him aloof from the ships, and let an arrow fly; and there was heard a dread clanging of the silver bow. First did the assail the mules and fleet dogs, but afterward, aiming at the men his piercing dart, he smote; and the pyres of the dead burnt continually in multitude.
Now for nine days ranged the god's shafts through the host; but on the tenth Achilles summoned the folk to assembly, for in his mind did goddess Hera of white arms put the thought, because she had pity on the Danaans when she beheld them perishing. Now when they had gathered and were met in assembly, then Achilles fleet of foot stood up and spake among them: "Son of Atreus, now deem I that we shall return wandering home again--if verily we might escape death--if war at once and pestilence must indeed ravage the Achaians. But come, let us now inquire of some soothsayer or priest, yea, or an interpreter of dreams--seeing that a dream too is of Zeus--who shall say wherefore Phoebus Apollo is so wroth, whether he blame us by reason of vow or hecatomb; if perchance he would accept the savour of lambs or unblemished goats, and so would take away the pestilence from us."
So spake he and sate him down; and there stood up before them Kalchas son of Thestor, most excellent far of augurs, who knew both things that were and that should be and that had been before, and guided the ships of the Achaians to Ilios by his soothsaying that Phoebus Apollo bestowed on him. He of good intent made harangue and spake amid them: "Achilles, dear to Zeus, thou biddest me tell the wrath of Apollo, the king that smiteth afar. Therefore will I speak; but do thou make covenant with me, and swear that verily with all thy heart thou wilt aid me both by word and deed. For of a truth I deem that I shall provoke one that ruleth all the Argives with might, and whom the Achaians obey. For a king is more of might when he is wroth with a meaner man; even though for the one day he swallow his anger, yet doth he still keep his displeasure thereafter in his breast till he accomplish it. Consider thou, then, if thou wilt hold me safe."
And Achilles fleet of foot made answer and spake to him: "Yea, be of good courage, speak whatever soothsaying thou knowest; for by Apollo
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