Homer: Iliad: Book II: The Catalogue of Ships | Sabidius.com
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Ancient Greece

Homer: Iliad: Book II: The Catalogue of Ships


In this translation piece Sabidius returns to Homer, whose last translated passage, the “Iliad” Book III, he published on 16 December 2012. Previous to that, he had published translations of the “Iliad” Book I on 12 March 2010 and Book VI on 5 June 2012 (See Sabidius.com).

Book II of the “Iliad” commences with Zeus’ plan to punish Agamemnon for his mistreatment of Achilles. He sends a false dream, in the apparent shape of Nestor, King of Pylos, Agamemnon’s most trusted senior adviser, to assure him that the Gods are now on the side of the Greeks, and that they will very soon be victorious in their campaign against Troy. Agamemnon then seeks to test the resolve of his soldiers by suggesting that they might wish to return home, but, contrary to his hope that this might shame them into wishing to renew the fighting, they appear overjoyed at the thought of going home and race back to their ships. Fortunately for Agamemnon, Odysseus and Nector rouse the Greeks into recovering their martial spirits, and, heartened by a sacrificial feast and by the urgings of the goddess Athene, the Greeks prepare for battle.

At this point, the narrative ceases and there is featured the long intermission, know as the ‘Catalogue of Ships’ (ll. 494-759), in which Homer provides his readers with a long and very detailed list of the various Greek contingents which make up Agamemnon’s army. In each case, we are told the names of the towns or districts from which they came, together with the leader, or leaders, of each contingent and the number of ships that came with them. The detail involved in this list is truly extraordinary: there are 29 contingents, 175 towns or localities, 44 leaders, and a total of 1,186 ships. The nature of this list, the use of the imperfect tense throughout it, and the insistence on the precise number of ships supplied by each contingent suggest that the genesis of the ‘Catalogue of Ships’ is in some way separate from the work of the “Iliad” in general, and that it may come originally from Boeotia and the school of Hesiod, Homer’s approximate contemporary. Hence, the ‘Catalogue’ commences with the details of the Boeotian contingent, which has more named towns and leaders than any other even though there is very little reference to the Boeotians and their leaders in the rest of the work. It is also likely that the ‘Catalogue’ relates to the state of the force of ships drawn up at the Boeotian port of Aulis, from which the whole fleet sets out at the start of the campaign. However, while this list does seem to have been an interpolation inserted into the oral tradition of the ‘Iliad’ before it was written down for the first time in the middle of the Eighth Century BCE, or perhaps subsequently, it is an invaluable source of evidence about Greece in Late Mycenaean, or Late Bronze Age, times, before the arrival of the Dorians. For instance many towns are listed which were unknown in the classical period, and many famous places and geographical expressions in the classical period are not mentioned at all in the ‘Catalogue of Ships’, e.g. the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Delphi, Megara; and Thebes does not appear because, according to legend, it had been destroyed during the Mycenaean period. Furthermore, there is no record of any Greek contingents from the west coast of Asia Minor, as the compilation of the ‘Catalogue’ preceded the Ionian migrations.

Book II ends with the ‘Trojan Catalogue’, in which the details of the six Trojan contingents and the ten contingents of their allies, together with the names of their leaders, are also listed. Of the 27 leaders named, as many as 17 are recorded in the “Iliad” as having died, and this high casualty rate does suggest that the ‘Trojan Catalogue’ was compiled for the work itself, although the geographical information it contains clearly precedes the Ionian migration. It is also of some interest to note that, while the Trojan War is generally described as a war between East and West, or between Asia and Europe, a number of Troy’s allies came from European areas to the west of the Hellespont, i.e. Thracians, Cicones and Paeonians (see ll. 844-850 below).

The text for this translation is taken from “Homer: Iliad Books I-XII, edited by M.M. Willcock, Bristol Classical Press, (1978).

Lines 1-34: Agamemnon’s dream.

Now all the others, both gods and the men who fight from chariots, slept all through the night, but sweet sleep did not take hold of Zeus, but he pondered in his heart how he might honour Achilles and bring death to many beside the ships of the Achaeans. Now this seemed to his mind (to be) the best plan, to send a baneful dream to Agamemnon, son of Atreus; so he spoke, and addressed it with winged words: “Speed thee away, (you) baneful dream, to the swift ships of the Achaeans; and, when you come to the hut of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, tell (him) absolutely everything, exactly as I command (you). Bid him arm with all speed the Achaeans with the long hair on their heads; for now he may take the broad-paved city of the Trojans. For the immortals who have their homes on Olympus no longer think differently (about this matter); for Hera has converted (them) all with her pleas, and woes are bearing down on the Trojans.”

Thus he spoke, and indeed the dream went its way when it heard these words; and it came rapidly to the swift ships of the Achaeans, and went to Agamemnon, son of Atreus; and it found him sleeping in his hut, and heavenly slumber had enveloped (him). And it stood (there) above his head in the likeness of Nestor, son of Neleus, whom of (all) the elders Agamemnon honoured most. Likening itself to him, the dream spoke (thus): “You sleep, son of warlike Atreus, master of horses; it is not fitting for a man to sleep all night who gives counsel, and to whom a host is entrusted and for whom so many (matters) are an object of care; but now hearken quickly unto me, for I am a messenger to you from Zeus, who, although he is far away from you, is full of great concern and compassion (for you). He bids you arm with all speed the Achaeans with the long-hair on their heads; for now you may take the broad-paved city of the Trojans. For the immortals who have their homes on Olympus no longer think differently (about this matter); for Hera has converted (them) all with her pleas, and, by the will of Zeus, woes are bearing down on the Trojans. But keep (this) and do not let forgetfulness take hold of you, when delightful sleep shall release you. ”

Ll. 35-75. Agamemnon convenes the council of elders.

So spoke (the dream) and departed, and left him there, contemplating in his heart things which were not about to be accomplished; for, fool (that he was,) he actually thought he would take Priam’s city on that very day, although he did not know the deeds which Zeus was intending (to happen); for he was yet on the point of bringing sorrows and woes upon both the Trojans and the Danaans in the course of this mighty conflict. Then, he awoke from sleep, and the divine voice was (still) ringing in his ears; so, he sat up straight, and donned a soft tunic, fine and new, and cast a large cloak around his shoulders; and he bound fine sandals on his well-oiled feet, and then slung his silver-studded sword around his shoulders; then, he took up the ever imperishable sceptre of his ancestors, (and) with it went his way along the (the line of) the ships of the bronze-clad Achaeans.

Now, the goddess Dawn went up to high Olympus to announce the daylight to Zeus and to the other immortals; but he (i.e. Agamemnon) bade the clear-voiced heralds summon the Achaeans with the long hair on their heads to an assembly; and they summoned them, and they gathered together very quickly. Then, firstly he convened the council of the great-hearted elders beside the ship of Nestor, the king born in Pylos. When he had called them together, he contrived a shrewd plan: “Listen, my friends: a dream from heaven came to me, appearing in my sleep during the ambrosial night; and it most closely resembled noble Nestor, both in form, and in size, and in stature; and so it stood (there) above my head, and spoke these words to me: ‘You sleep, son of warlike Atreus, master of horses; it is not fitting for a man to sleep all night, who gives counsel, and to whom a host is entrusted, and (for whom) so many (matters) are an object of care; but now, hearken quickly unto me; for I am a messenger to you from Zeus, who, although he is far away from you, is full of concern and compassion for you. Bid him arm with all speed the Achaeans with the long hair on their heads; for now you may take the broad-paved city of the Trojans. For the immortals who have their homes on Olympus no longer think differently (about this matter); for Hera has converted (them) all with her pleas, and, by the will of Zeus, woes are bearing down on the Trojans. But keep this in your heart!’ So it spoke, and went off in flight, and sweet sleep released me. But come (now), (let us see), if we can, by any means, rouse the sons of the Achaeans to arms. But, first, I will try (them) with words, as is our custom, and I will bid them flee with their benched ships; but you, each from his own place, must seek, with words, to restrain (them from flight).”

Ll. 76-108. The assembly of the people is convened.

Now, when he had spoken thus, he (i.e. Agamemnon) sat down, and Nestor, who was king of sandy Pylos, arose among them, and, meaning well, he addressed them, and spoke to (them as follows): “O my friends, leaders and rulers of the Argives, if any other of the Achaeans had recounted this dream (to us), we might think (it) a false (one), and for that reason ignore (it); but now (he) who has seen (it) claims himself to be by far the noblest of the Achaeans. But come (now), (let us see) if we can, by any means, rouse the sons of the Achaeans to arms.”

Thus he spoke, and he started to lead (them) forth from the (place of) council, and the sceptred kings arose and obeyed the shepherd of the people; and the people hurried (after them). As when swarms of closely-packed bees come forth, pouring forth ever anew, and fly in clusters over the flowers of spring, and fly about in a throng this way and that, so many swarms of them (i.e. the Achaeans) marched forward in companies from their ships and huts along the wide beach to the (place of) assembly. Amongst them rumour, the messenger of Zeus, was ablaze, urging them to go forth; and they came together. And the (place of) assembly was in turmoil, and the earth groaned beneath (them) as the people took their seats, and there was a loud commotion; then, nine heralds, crying aloud, sought to restrain them, (to see) if they would ever stop their shouting, and listen to the kings cherished by Zeus. And, with difficulty, the people were made to sit, and they stayed in their seats and ceased their clamour; then, the lord Agamemnon arose, holding his sceptre, in the construction of which Hephaestus had wearied himself. Hephaestus gave (it) to king Zeus, son of Cronos, and then Zeus gave (it) to his servant, the Slayer of Argus, and the lord Hermes gave (it) to Pelops, driver of horses, and Pelops gave (it) in turn to Atreus, shepherd of the people, and, on his death, Atreus left (it) to Thyestes, rich in flocks of sheep, and, in turn, Thyestes left (it) to Agamemnon to bear, as lord of many islands and of all Argos.

Ll. 109-154. Agamemnon addresses the assembled Greeks.

Leaning thereon (i.e. on his sceptre), he (i.e. Agamemnon) spoke these words among the Argives: “My friends, Danaan warriors, companions of Ares, Zeus, the mighty son of Cronos, has entangled me in a deep delusion, hard-hearted (as he is,) (he) who previously promised me that I should return home, when I had sacked the strongly fortified Ilium, but now he has planned a cruel trick and bids me return inglorious to Argos, when I have lost (so) many of my people. Such seems to be the pleasure of almighty Zeus, (he) who has overthrown the citadels of many a city, and will yet lay low (others) too; for so great is his might. For this is a shameful (thing) even to be heard by those in the future, how vainly such a brave and so numerous a host of Achaeans waged (so) unprofitable a war, and fought fewer men (than they had themselves), nor was any end yet in sight. For if we, both Achaeans and Trojans, should be so minded to swear sacrificial oaths, and to count up both our numbers, and should the Trojans, as many as have homes (in the city), be gathered together, and we Achaeans be mustered into groups of ten, and each group of ten chooses a man of the Trojans to pour their wine, (then) many would lack a cup-bearer. So much more numerous, I believe, are the sons of the Achaeans than the Trojans, who dwell in the city: but they have allies from many cities, spear-wielding men, who obstruct me greatly, and do not allow (me,) despite my wishes, to sack the well-peopled citadel of Ilium. Nine of great Zeus’s years have already gone by, and now the timbers of our ships have rotted and our cables have slackened; and, doubtless, our wives and young children sit in our halls and wait patiently (for us to come home); yet our task, on account of which we came here, is still unaccomplished. But come, let us all obey, as I shall direct: let us run with our ships to our native land, for (there is) no longer (any hope) that we shall take broad-paved Troy.”

So he spoke, and roused the hearts in the breasts of all those in the multitude, as many as had not heard (the words of) the council; and the gathering was stirred like the long rollers of the sea, the Icarian high-sea, which the South-East Wind let loose, rushing from the massed clouds of father Zeus. And just as when the West Wind stirs a deep cornfield as it arrives, dashing violently upon (it), and thereupon it sinks down with its ears of corn, so the whole of their gathering was aroused; and, with loud shouting, they rushed towards the ships, and the dust beneath their feet was made to rise up into the air. And they called upon one another to take hold of the ships and draw (them) into the glittering sea, and they cleared the channels; and, in their eagerness (to go) homewards, their shouts went up to heaven; and they took the props from beneath the hulls.

Ll. 155-187. Athene prompts Odysseus to intervene.

Then would a return home by the Argives have happened beyond the decrees of fate, if Hera had not spoken a word to Athene: “For shame, Unwearied One, child of aegis-bearing Zeus, are the Argives really going to flee thus homewards to their native land over the sea’s broad back, and would they bequeath to Priam and the Trojans, (as) a matter for boasting, Argive Helen, on whose account (so) many (of them) have perished in Troy (so far) from their native land; but go now through the host of the bronze-clad Achaeans; seek to restrain every man with your soothing words, and do not let (them) launch their curved ships into the sea.”

So she spoke, nor did the goddess, the flashing-eyed Athene, disobey (her), and she went darting down from the peaks of Olympus, and came speedily to the swift ships of the Achaeans. She found Odysseus standing there, (he who was) equal to Zeus in counsel; nor was he clinging to his well-benched black ship, since grief had come upon his heart and soul, and flashing-eyed Athene stood nearby and said to (him): “Heaven-born son of Laertes, Odysseus of many wiles, so then are you (Greeks) really going to tumble into your well-benched ships and run home to your native land, and are you going to bequeath to Priam and the Trojans, (as) a matter for boasting, Argive Helen, on whose account (so) many (of you) have perished in Troy (so far) from your native land? But go now through the host of the Achaeans, and do not hold back any further, and seek to restrain every man with your soothing words, and do not let (them) launch their curved ships into the sea.”

So said she, and he recognised the voice of the goddess as she spoke, and he set off at a run, and cast his cloak from (him); and his herald, the Ithacan Eurybates, who accompanied him, picked it up; but he, himself, went straight to Agamemnon, son of Atreus, and received from him the ever imperishable staff of his ancestors; (and) with it he went along beside the ships of the bronze-clad Achaeans.

Ll. 188-223. Odysseus restrains the Greeks.

Whomsoever he met, a chieftain or a man of note, he stood beside him and restrained (him) with soothing words: “Good sir, it is not befitting (for me) to (try to) alarm you, as though (you were) a coward, but sit yourself down and make the rest of your people sit down; for you do not yet know clearly what (is) the intention of the son of Atreus; now he is testing the sons of the Achaeans, but soon he will chastise (them). And did we not all hear what he said in the council? May he, in his wrath, not do something harmful to the sons of the Achaeans! But great is the heart of a king cherished by Zeus, and his honour comes from Zeus, and Zeus the counsellor loves him.

And again, whatever man of the people he saw and found shouting out, he would strike him with the staff and upbraid (him) with these words: “Fellow! Sit still and hearken to the words of others who are better (men) than you, for you (are) unwarlike and feeble, never to be valued in war or in council! By no means shall we Achaeans all be kings here; a multitude of lords is no good (thing): let there be one ruler, one king, to whom the son of crooked-counselling Cronos (i.e. Zeus) gives his sceptre and the authority to give counsel to his (people)!”

Thus he (i.e. Odysseus) strode through the army in a masterful manner: and they hurried back noisily from their ships and huts, like when a wave of the loud-roaring sea crashes mightily on the shore, and the deep sea roars as well.

Now the others were seated and stayed in their places; yet the chattering Thersites alone went on scolding, and he knew in his mind many disorderly words, so as to revile the kings idly and in an unstructured manner, but (he did say) whatever seemed to him likely to raise a laugh among the Achaeans. He was the ugliest man (who) came up under (the walls of) Ilium: he was bandy-legged and lame in one foot, and his two shoulders were humped up and came together over his chest; and above them there was a pointed head, and a scanty stubble grew thereon. He was especially hateful to Achilles and Odysseus; for he was wont to revile those two. Now again, he rehearsed reproaches against the noble Agamemnon with a shrill cry; and the Achaeans were terribly angry with him (i.e. Thersites) and felt a just indignation in their hearts.

Ll. 224-264. Odysseus upbraids Thersites.

But, loudly bawling, he (i.e. Thersites) taunts Agamemnon with these words: “What are you bothered about now, son of Atreus, and what (more) do you want? Your huts (are) fill of bronze, and there are many hand-picked women in your hut which we Achaeans are wont to give you as first fruits, whenever we take a citadel. Do you still want the gold which one of the horse-taming Trojans will bring out of Ilium (as) a ransom for his son, whom I, or some other Achaean, have bound and led away; or (do you long for) some young woman (i.e. Chryseis or Briseis), so that you can lie with her in love-making, and whom you keep for yourself far away (from all others). But it does not seem right that one who is a leader should bring such misfortunes (i.e. the pestilence and the absence of Achilles) upon the sons of the Achaeans. O (you) weaklings, (you) shameful cowards, (you) Achaean (women), Achaean (men) no longer, let us, at all events, go homeward with our ships, and let us leave this (man) right here in (the land of) Troy to digest his prizes, so that he may learn whether we too were of use to him, or not; and (he it is) who has now dishonoured Achilles, a far better man than he; for he has taken and keeps his prize, having snatched (her) (i.e. Briseis) himself. But, for sure, there is no anger in the heart of Achilles; but there is a lack of concern. Otherwise, son of Atreus, you would have maltreated (him) for the last time.”

Thus spoke Thersites, taunting Agamemnon, shepherd of the host; but noble Odysseus came quickly to stand beside him (i.e. Agamemnon), and looking at him (i.e. Thersites) with a frown he upbraided him with these harsh words: “Reckless-talking Thersites, although you are a very clear speaker, restrain yourself, and do not be minded to strive against kings alone; for I declare that there is no other viler mortal than you (amongst) all those that came with the sons of Atreus (i.e. Agamemnon and Menelaus) up beneath (the walls of) Troy. So now, you keep pouring scorn upon Agamemnon, son of Atreus, the shepherd of the host, because the Danaan warriors give him very many (gifts); but you address (him) with taunts. But I proclaim this to you, and it will also be brought to pass: if I find that you are still playing the fool, as is certainly now the case, then may Odysseus’ head no longer be upon his shoulders, nor may I still be called the father of Telemachus, if I do not take hold of you and rip off your garments, both your cloak and tunic, and whatever covers your nakedness, and send (you,) yourself wailing to the swift ships, driving (you) from the assembly with shameful blows.”

Ll. 265-300. Odysseus chastises Thersites, and then addresses the host of the Achaeans.

So he spoke, and smote his back and his shoulders also with his staff; and he doubled up, and a big tear fell from him; and a bloody weal started up from under (the skin on) his back beneath the golden-studded staff; then he sat down and fear came upon him, and, in pain and looking helpless, he wiped away the tear. And, as they were very upset with him, they laughed merrily at him; and thus did (many) a one speak as he glanced at another (person) nearby: “O yes! Odysseus has already wrought countless good (deeds), both initiating good counsels and marshalling (us) for war; but now this (is) by far the best (thing) that he has accomplished among the Argives, in that he has stopped this scurrilous slanderer from speaking. Never, I think, will his bold spirit let him loose again to rail afresh at kings with reproachful words.”

So said the multitude; then up stood Odysseus, sacker of cities, holding the sceptre; and at his side bright-eyed Athene, in the likeness of a herald, bade the host keep silent, so that the sons of the Achaeans, both the nearest (to him) and the farthest (away from him) together, could hear his words and take account of his counsel; he addressed them with good intent and spoke (the following words) to (them): “Now indeed, son of Atreus, the Achaeans are minded to make you, (O) king, the most liable to reproach among all mortal men, nor will they fulfil the promise which they certainly made to you, when they were still on their way from Argos, rich in horses, that (they) would (only) return (home) when they had sacked well-fortified Ilium. For, just like young children and widow women, they wail to one another (in their longing) to return home. Surely there is toil enough (here) to send a man home disheartened; for a man who stays away from his wife in his well-benched ship for even a single month may be distressed, even (he) whom winter blasts and the raging sea may confine; for us who remain here the ninth year is reaching its completion. So I do not feel indignant that (you) Achaeans are fretting (here) beside your beaked ships; but, at all events, (it is) a shameful (thing), let me tell you, to remain (somewhere) for a long time, and yet to return (home) empty-handed. (So,) endure, my friends, and abide for a long time, so that we may learn whether Calchas prophesies truly or not.”

Ll. 301-335. Odysseus reminds the Greeks of Calchas’ prophesy.

For now do we know this well in our hearts, and you are all witnesses (to it), (that is, those of you) whom the fates of death have not carried off; (it was) but yesterday, or the day before, when the ships of the Achaeans were gathered together in Aulis, bearing woes for Priam and the Trojans, and we were round about a spring offering perfect hecatombs to the immortals beneath a beautiful plane-tree, from which shining water flowed; then, there appeared a great portent: a terrible serpent, (all) blood-red on its back, whom the Olympian himself (i.e. Zeus) had sent forth to the light, darted from beneath the altar and rushed forward to the plane-tree. And in it there were the fledglings of a sparrow, tender children crouched under the leaves on the topmost bough, eight (of them in all), while the mother that bore (them) was the ninth child; then, the (serpent) devoured them as they squeaked piteously; and the mother fluttered around her dear nestlings lamenting; and, coiling itself up, it caught her by the wing as she flew about shrieking. But, when it had devoured the the children of the sparrow and (the sparrow) herself, the god who had surely brought it to light made it invisible; for the son of the crooked-counselling Cronos (i.e. Zeus) turned it to stone. And we all stood there and marvelled at what had been brought about. So when this dread portent of the gods interrupted the hecatomb, then at once did Calchas address us in prophecy: ‘Why, (O you) Achaeans with the long hair on your heads, have you become (so) mute? To us has Zeus the counsellor shown this great sign: (though) late (in coming and) late in fulfilment, its fame will never perish. Even as this (serpent) devoured the children of the sparrow and (the sparrow) herself, eight (of them in all), while the mother that bore that bore (them) was the ninth child, so shall we make war here for so many years, but in the tenth, we shall take the broad-paved city.’ Thus did he speak; now all these (things) are already being brought to pass. But come, abide here all (you) well-greaved Achaeans, until we shall take the great city of Priam.”

So he spoke, and the Argives cried aloud, and (all) around (them) the ships resounded wondrously beneath the shouting of the Achaeans, as they applauded the words of the godlike Odysseus.

Ll. 336-368. Nestor addresses the assembly.

Then, chariot-driving Nestor of Gerenia spoke to them also: “For shame, you are surely gathered (here) now like childish boys, for whom deeds of war have no importance at all! So what is to become of (all) our covenants and oaths? Then may all those counsels and warriors’ plans end up in the fire, as well as all those unmixed libations and pledges, in which we trusted. For just so do we wrangle with words, nor can we find any remedy (for the fact that) we have been here for so long a time. Son of Atreus, do you still keep to your unshaken resolve, and lead the Argives in mighty combat! and those one or two of the Achaeans who scheme apart (from us), let them perish! For no accomplishment will come from them. For (they scheme) firstly to go to Argos before we know whether the promise of aegis-bearing Zeus (is) false or not. For I declare that the most mighty son of Cronos has nodded his head in agreement on that day when the Argives went on board their swift-sailing ships, bearing bloodshed and death to the Trojans, for he flashed his lightning on our right-hand side (i.e. towards the east), (thus) showing (us) favourable signs. Therefore, let no man make haste to depart for home, until each one has lain with the wife of some Trojan as repayment for the struggles and lamentations of Helen, but, if any man desperately wishes to depart for home, let him touch his well-benched black ship, in order that he may meet death and fate in front of the others. But, (O) king, take good decisions yourself, and listen to someone else; whatever word I speak shall not be cast aside by you: divide your men according to their tribes and clans, Agamemnon, so clan aids clan and tribe (aids) tribe. If you do this and the Achaeans obey you, you will then learn who among your captains, and among your men, (is) a coward, and also who is brave; for they will be fighting on their own behalf. And, if you do not take the city, then you will know whether it is through the will of heaven or through the cowardice of men and their folly in war.”

Ll. 369-418. Agamemnon speaks in reply.

Then, the lord Agamemnon spoke to him in reply: “In very truth, old man, you are pre-eminent in speech among the Achaeans once more. (O) father Zeus, Athene, and Apollo, would that I had ten such counsellors among the Achaeans; then would Priam’s city bow down forthwith beneath our hands, having been taken and laid waste. But the son of Cronos, aegis-bearing Zeus, brings me sorrows, in that he plunges me into fruitless strife and conflict. For, indeed, Achilles and I fought over a girl (i.e. Briseis) with opposing words, and I was the first to lose my temper. But, if ever we shall be at one in council, then there will no longer be any respite from evil for the Trojans, (no,) not even for an instant. Now off you go to your dinner, so that we may join together in battle. Let (every) man sharpen his spear well, and prepare his shield well, and let him give good food to his swift-footed horses, and let him look carefully (all) around his chariot, and be mindful of the fight, so that we may measure our strength in dread battle all day long. For not even a moment’s rest will intervene, until the coming of night parts the warriors’ fury. The strap of (many) a man’s body-shield will sweat around his breast, and his hand shall grow weary around his spear; and a man’s horse will sweat as it tugs at his polished-metal chariot. But whomever I shall see minded to linger far away from the battle beside the beaked ships, he will not be fated to escape the dogs and the birds of prey.”

So he spoke, and the Argives shouted aloud, like when a wave (roars) against a lofty promontory, a headland jutting out (into the sea), when the South Wind comes and sets (it) in motion; and the waves, (aroused) by all sorts of winds, whether they come from this or that direction, never leave it (in peace). And they arose and hastened away, scattering among their ships, and they made fires around their huts, and took their meal. And one (man) made sacrifice (to one) of the ever-living gods, (and another man) to another, praying that they might escape death and the toil of war. Then he, Agamemnon, king of men, sacrificed a fat five year-old bull to the most mighty son of Cronos, and summoned the elders, the chieftains of all the Achaeans: Nestor, first (of all), and king Idomeneus, and then the two Aiantes (i.e. Aias, the son of Telamon, and Aias, the son of Oïleus), and the son of Tydeus (i.e. Diomedes), and also Odysseus, equal to Zeus in counsel, (as) the sixth. And Menelaus, good at the war-cry, came to him of his own accord, for he knew in his heart how troubled his brother was. Then, they stood beside the bull and took up the grains of barley; and lord Agamemnon spoke for them in prayer: “Most glorious, most mighty Zeus, lord of the dark clouds, who dwells in the heavens, let not the sun go down, and the darkness come upon (us), until I have cast down headlong the smoke-begrimed hall of Priam, and have burned its portals with consuming fire, and I have ripped the tunic on Hector’s breast into shreds with my bronze (sword); and all around him a host of his comrades, lying face-downwards in the dust, bite the earth with their teeth.

Ll. 419-458. Heartened by the sacrificial feast, the Achaeans recover their desire to fight.

Thus he spoke, but as yet the son of Cronos did not grant him fulfilment, but, while, on the one hand, he accepted the sacrifice, yet, on the other hand, he increased their unenviable toil. So then, when they had prayed and had thrown down the barley-grains (to be sprinkled between the animals’ horns), they firstly drew back (their heads) and cut their throats, and (then) flayed (their skin), and cut out the thigh pieces and enveloped (them) with fat, having made (them) into two layers, and laid pieces of raw flesh on top of them. These they completely burned on leafless pieces of wood, and then they fixed the entrails on spits and held (them) over (the flames) of Hephaestus. But, when the two thigh pieces were wholly consumed, and they had tasted the entrails, then they cut up the rest (of the meat) and stuck (it) on spits and roasted (it) carefully, and (then) drew all (the meat) off (the spits). But, when they had ceased from their labour, and had made ready the meal, they feasted, nor did their hearts feel any lack of a sufficient feast. But, when they had satisfied their desire for food and drink, then chariot-driving Nestor of Gerenia began speaking to them: “(O) Agamemnon, son of Atreus, most honoured king of men, now let us not talk to one another here any longer, nor let us put off still further the work which the god has indeed put into our hands. But come, let the heralds summon the host of the bronze-coated Achaeans, and gather (them) together among the ships, and let us go thus as a body through the widespread army of the Achaeans, so that we may the more quickly arouse their enthusiasm for war.”

So he spoke, and Agamemnon, king of men, did not disregard his counsel. Straightway, he bade the clear-voiced heralds summon the long-haired Achaeans to battle; and they issued their summons, and the (troops) gathered together with full speed. The kings, cherished by Zeus, and those around the son of Atreus hurried about marshalling (the host), and in their midst (is) the bright-eyed Athene, holding the highly-prized aegis, ageless and immortal, from which hang a hundred tassels of pure gold, all (of them) well-plaited, and each (one) worth a hundred oxen. With it, she sped through the ranks of the Achaeans with a firm stare, urging (them) to go forth; and in the heart of each (man) she roused the unceasing strength to make war and to fight. And at once war became sweeter to them than to sail back in their hollow ships to their native land.

Just as an all-consuming fire makes a boundless forest blaze up on the peaks of a mountain, and the glare is seen from afar, so, as they marched forth, the dazzling gleam from their wondrous bronze (armour) went up through the sky to the heavens.

Ll. 459-483. The Greeks go forth to battle.

And, as the many tribes of winged fowls, wild geese, or cranes, or long-necked swans, (gathered) on the Asian meadows by the streams of the Caÿster, fly hither and thither, exulting in their wings and settling forward with loud cries, and the meadows resound (with the noise), so their many tribes poured forth from their ships and huts on to the plain of the Scamander; then the earth echoed wondrously beneath their feet and their horses’ (hooves). And they took their stand on the flowery meadow of the Scamander, as innumerable as are the leaves and the flowers in their season.

Just as the many tribes of swarming flies that wander through the stable of the herd in the season of the spring, when milk fills the pails with liquid, so the long-haired Achaeans stood on the plain facing the Trojans, yearning to destroy (them).

And as goatherds easily separate flocks of goats from one another, when they mingle in the pasture, so did their leaders marshal them hither and thither to go into battle, and in their midst (was) the lord Agamemnon, resembling Zeus, who delights in thunder, in his eyes and head, and Ares in his waist, and Poseidon in his chest. Just as a bullock becomes a bull, (by) standing out far above all (the others) in the herd – for he is pre-eminent among the gathering bullocks – , so did Zeus make the son of Atreus such (a man) on that day, outstanding in the crowd and foremost among the heroes.

THE CATALOGUE OF SHIPS: (Ll. 484-785: the forces of the Greeks.)

Ll. 484-493. Prooemium: invocation of the Muses.

Tell me now, you Muses, who have your dwellings on Olympus – for you are goddesses and are near at hand and know everything, whereas we hear but a rumour and do not know anything – , who were the leaders of the Danaans and their kings; for I shall not tell of, or name, (those of) the mob, not even if I were to have ten tongues and ten mouths and a tireless voice, and I were to have within me a heart of bronze, unless (you) Muses of Olympus, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus, can call to mind all those who came beneath (the walls of) Ilium. On the other hand, I will tell of the captains of the ships, and of the ships in full detail.

(1) The mainland of Greece, south of Thermopylae (Ll. 494-558).

Ll. 494-510. Boeotia.

Peneleos and Leïtus, Arcesilaus, and Prothoënor and Clonius were the leaders of the Boeotians, and (these were the men) who dwelt in Hyria and rocky Aulis, and Schoenus and Scolus, and mountainous Eteonus, Thespeia and Graea, and spacious Mycalessus, and who lived around Harma and Eilesium and Erythrae, and who held Eleon and Hyle and Peteon, Ocalea and the well-fortified citadel of Medeon, Copae and Eutresis and Thisbe, abounding in doves, and those from Coronea and grassy Haliartus, and (those) who held Plataea and who dwelt in Glisas, and who held the well-fortified stronghold of Lower Thebes, and sacred Onchestus, that bright grove of Poseidon, and (those) who held Arne, rich in vines, and Mideia and holy Nisa and Anthedon on the coast. With these Boeotians there came fifty ships, and in each (one) there sailed a hundred and twenty young men.

Ll. 511-516. Orchomenus.

Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Ares, led those who dwelt in Aspledon and Minyan Orchomenus; the honoured maiden Astyoche bore them to mighty Ares in the house of (her father) Actor, son of Azeus, having gone up to her upper chamber: for he lay with her in secret. And for them thirty hollow ships were drawn up in line.

Ll. 517-526. The Phocians.

Then, Schedius and Epistrophus, sons of great-hearted Iphitus, Naubolus’ son, led the Phocians, (and they were the men) who held Cyparissus and rocky Pytho (i.e. Delphi), and sacred Crisa and Daulis and Panopeus, and (those) who lived around Anemoreia and Hyampolis, and then (those) who dwelt beside the heavenly river Cephisus, and who held Lilaea, near the springs of the Cephisus; and forty black ships accompanied them. Then, their (leaders) busied themselves marshalling the ranks of the Phocians, and armed them for battle beside the the Boeotians on their left.

Ll. 527-535. The Locrians.

And Aias the lesser, the swift (son) of Oïleus, led the Locrians, (he who was) in no way as big as Telemonian Aias, but far smaller (than he); short was he in his linen corselet, but with his spear he (far) surpassed all of the Hellenes and Achaeans; (these were the men) who dwelt in Cynos and Opus and Calliarus, and Bessa and Scarphe, and lovely Augeiae, and Tarphe and Thronium around the streams of the Boagrius. And forty black ships of the Locrians, who dwelt (on the shores) opposite sacred Euboea, accompanied him.

Ll. 536-545. The Euboeans.

Those Abantes, breathing might, who held Euboea, and Chalcis and Eiretria and vine-rich Histiaea, and Cerinthus on the sea, and the high citadel of Dios, and who held Carystus, and who dwelt in Styra, Elephenor, scion of Ares, son of Chalcodon, (and) chief of the great-hearted Abantes, led them (all) once again. And with him there followed the swift Abantes, who grow their hair at the back (of their heads), spearmen, eager, with their outstretched ashen spears, to rend the corselets about the breasts of their enemies; and forty black ships accompanied him.

Ll. 546-556. The Athenians.

And then (there were those) who hold the well-fortified citadel of Athens, the land of great-hearted Erechtheus, whom Zeus’ daughter Athene once reared and the fruitful earth had borne, and she made (him) settle in Athens, in her own rich sanctuary; and there, as the years revolve, the young men of the Athenians appease him with bulls and rams; again Menestheus, the son of Peteos, led them. For, up to this time, there was not any man upon the earth equal to him for marshalling chariots and shield-bearing warriors; Nestor alone could vie (with him): for he was the elder (man). And fifty black ships accompanied him.

Ll. 557-558. The Salaminians.

And Aais (i.e. the Greater, son of Telamon) led twelve ships from Salamis, and, as their leader, he stationed (them in the place) where the Athenians’ contingent was drawn up.

(2) Middle and Southern Greece, with the islands immediately adjoining (Ll. 559-644).

Ll. 559-568. Argos.

And (those) who held Argos and well-walled Tiryns, Hermione and Asine, which occupy the deep gulf, Troezen and Eïonae and vine-clad Epidaurus, and the young men of the Achaeans, who held Aegina and Mases, these again Diomedes, good at the war-cry, and Sthenelus, beloved son of the renowned Capaneus, led. And with them there came a third man, godlike Euryalus, son of king Mecisteus, son of Talaus ; but Diomedes, good at the war-cry, led them all. And eighty black ships accompanied them.

Ll. 569-580. The realm of Agamemenon.

And (they) that held the well-built citadel of Mycenae, and rich Corinth and well-built Cleonae, and dwelt in Orneiae and sweet Araethyrea, and Sicyon, where Adrastus was first king, and (they) that held Hyperesia and lofty Gonoessa and Pellene, and lived around Aegium, and throughout the whole of Aegialus, and around broad Helice, of these (people) lord Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, led a hundred of their ships. With him there followed by far the most numerous and the best force; but among (them) he himself proudly donned his shining bronze (armour), and he stood out among all the warriors, because he was the noblest and led by far the most numerous host.

Ll. 581-590. The realm of Menelaus.

And (they) that held hollow Lacedaemon, full of ravines, and Pharis and Sparta and Messe, abounding in doves, and that dwelt in lovely Augeiae, and (they) that held Amyclae and the citadel of Helos on the sea, and that held Laas and who lived around Oetylus, of these (people) his brother Menelaus, good at the war-cry, led sixty of their ships; but they were marshalled separately (from the Mycenaeans). And he himself went among (them), persuasive in his zeal and urging (them) into battle: above all, he was yearning in his heart to avenge the toils and sorrows of Helen.

Ll. 591-602. The forces of Nestor.

And (they) that dwelt in Pylos and lovely Arene, and at the ford of Alpheius (at) Thyrum, and well-built Aepy, and lived in Cyparisseïs and Amphigeneia, and Pteleos and Helus, and Dorium, where the Muses met the Thracian Thamyris, as he was going from (the house) of Eurytus the Oechalian, and put an end to his singing; for he boastfully declared that, even if the Muses, themselves, the daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus, were to sing (in a contest with him), he would be the victor; but they, in their wrath, made (him) mute and took from him his wondrous singing, and made (him) forget (how) to play the lyre; and, again, the charioteer Nestor of Gerenia led (all) these (men); and with him ninety hollow ships were drawn up in rows.

Ll. 603-614. The Arcadians.

And (they) that held Arcadia beneath the steep mountain of Cyllene, beside the tomb of Aegyptus, where (there are) men who fight hand-to-hand, and (they) that dwelt in Pheneos and Orchomenus, rich in flocks, and Rhipe and Stratia, and wind-swept Enispe, and held Tegea and lovely Mantinea, and held Stymphalus and dwelt in Parrhasia, prince Agapenor, son of Ancaeus, commanded (all) these (men and) their sixty ships; and on each ship there embarked many Arcadian warriors, skilled in warfare. For Atreus’ son, Agamemnon, king of men, had himself given them these well-benched ships to cross over the wine-dark sea, since nautical matters had not been objects of concern to them (previously).

Ll. 615-624. The Eleans.

And (they) that lived in Buprasium and heavenly Elis, as far as Hyrmine and Myrsinus on the edge (of the sea) and the rock of Olene and Alesium enclose between (them), of these again there were four leaders, and ten swift ships followed each man, and many Epeians embarked (in them). Amphimachus and Thalpius, grandsons of Actor, sons, the one of Cteatus, and the other of Eurytus, led some of these (men); and the mighty Diores, son of Amarynceus commanded some others, and godlike Polyxeinus, son of king Agasthenes, Augeias’ son, was the captain of the fourth (company).

Ll. 625-630. Dulichium.

And those from Dulichium and the Echinades, the holy islands that lie across the sea opposite Elis, Meges, the peer of Ares, again led these; (he was) the son of Phyleus, whom the charioteer Phyleus, dear to Zeus, begat, and he, angry with his father, had departed to Dulichium some time before; and forty black ships accompanied him.

Ll. 631-637. The forces of Odysseus.

Now Odysseus led the great-hearted Cephallenians, that is (those) who held Ithaca and Neritos with its quivering foliage, and dwelt in Crocyleia and rugged Aegilips, and (those) who held Zacynthus and who dwelt around Samos, and (those) who held the mainland and dwelt on the opposite coast. Of these Odysseus was captain, (he who was) the peer of Zeus in counsel; and twelve ships with red-painted bows accompanied him.

Ll. 638-644. The Aetolians.

Thoas, the son of Andraemon, led the Aetolians, (those) who dwelt in Pleuron and Olenus, and Pylene, and Chalcis by the sea, and rocky Calydon; for the sons of the great-hearted Oeneus no longer lived, nor was he himself still alive, and golden-haired Meleager was dead. And everything concerning the command of the Aetolians had been laid upon him (i.e. Thoas); and forty black ships accompanied him.

(3) Insular Greece (Ll. 645-680).

Ll. 645-652. The Cretans.

And Idomeneus, famed for his spear, led the Cretans, (those) who held Cnossos and high-walled Gortys, Lyctos and Miletus, and chalk-white Lycastus, and Phaestos and Rhytion, well-populated cities, and all those who dwelt around the hundred cities of Crete. Idomeneus, famed for his spear, led these (men), and also Meriones, the peer of man-slaying Enyalios (i.e. Ares); and eighty black ships accompanied them.

Ll. 653-670. The Rhodians.

And Tlepolemus, son of Heracles, valiant and tall, led from Rhodes nine ships of the brave Rhodians, (those) who dwelt around Rhodes, arranged into three (divisions): Lindos, and Ialysos and chalk-white Cameiros. Tlepolemus, famed for his spear, led these (men), (he) whom Astyocheia bore to mighty Heracles, whom he had led from Ephyra by means of the river Selleïs, after he had sacked many cities (full) of vigorous (men) cherished by Zeus. But, when Tlepolemus had reached manhood in the well-built palace (i.e. in Tiryns), he suddenly slew his father’s dear uncle, Licymnius, scion of Ares, who had already grown old; and he quickly built ships, and, having gathered many people together, he set out in flight over the sea; for other sons and grandsons of mighty Heracles had threatened him. Yet, in his wanderings he came to Rhodes suffering woes; and (there) they were settled in three clans, and were beloved of Zeus, who is king among both gods and men, and the son of Cronos poured wondrous wealth upon them.

Ll. 671-675. The forces of Nireus.

Then, Nireus led three well-balanced ships from Syme, Nireus, son of Aglaea and king Charops, Nireus, the most handsome man who came beneath (the walls of) Ilium of all the Danaans after the peerless son of Peleus (i.e. Achilles); but he was feeble and (only) a small force followed him.

Ll. 676-680. The Sporades.

And (they) that held Nisyrus and Crapathus, and Casus and Cos, the city of Eurypylus, and the Calydnian isles, these again Pheidippus and Antiphus, the two sons of king Thessalus, son of Heracles, led; and with them thirty hollow ships sailed in column.

(4) Northern Greece (Ll. 681-749).

Ll. 681-694. The forces of Achilles.

But now all those who inhabited Pelasgian Argos (i.e. what was later to be called Thessaly), and who dwelt in Alos and Alope, and Trachis, and who held Phthia and Hellas, the land of lovely women, and were called Myrmidons and Hellenes and Achaeans, again Achilles was in command of their fifty ships. But they were not mindful of hateful war, for there was no one who could lead them into the ranks (of battle); for the swift-footed godlike Achilles was lying idle among his ships, angry because of the fair-haired maiden Briseïs, whom he had taken from Lyrnessus after much toil, having sacked Lyrnessus and the walls of Thebe, and he had laid low the spear-fighting Mynes and Epistrophus, sons of king Euenus, son of Selepius; grieving for her, he lay idle, but soon he would rise up again.

Ll. 695-710. The forces of Protesilaus.

And (they) that held Phylace and flowery Pyrasus, the sanctuary of Demeter, and Iton, mother of flocks, and Antron near the sea, and grassy Pteleos, again warlike Protesilaus was their leader, while he was (still) alive; but by this time the dark earth had already claimed (him). His wife, (her face) scratched on both sides, had left Phylace, and their house (remained) half-finished, and a Dardanian warrior slew him as he leapt from his ship, by far the foremost of the Achaeans. But yet they were not in any way leaderless, though they longed indeed for their leader; but Podarces, scion of Ares, son of Iphiclus, rich in flocks, (himself) the son of Phylacus, marshalled them, (he who was) the very own brother of great-hearted Protesilaus, (though) younger by birth, but the warlike warrior Protesilaus (was) the elder and the better (man). Yet the host in no way lacked a leader, though they longed for (the man) who had been (so) noble; and forty black ships accompanied him (i.e. Podarces).

Ll. 711-715. The kingdom of Eumelus.

(Of those) that dwelt in Pherae beside the Boebean lake, (and in) Boebe and Glaphyrae and well-built Iolcos, Eumelus, the beloved son of Admetus, was in command of their eleven ships, (he) whom Alcestis, a queen among women (and) the most shapely daughter of Pelias, brought to birth through Admetus.

Ll. 716-728. The forces of Philoctetes.

(Of those) that dwelt in Methone and Thaumica, and Meliboea and rugged Olizon, Philoctetes, well-skilled in archery, was in command of their seven ships; and on every (ship) fifty oarsmen, well-skilled in archery, had embarked, so as to fight with force. But he lay on an island suffering grievous pains, (that is) on sacred Lemnos, where the sons of the Achaeans had left him in anguish with an evil wound from a deadly water-snake; there he lay grieving; but soon the Argives beside their ships would remember king Philoctetes. But yet they were not in any way leaderless; but Medon, bastard son of Oïleus, marshalled (them), (he) whom Rhene had brought to birth through Oïleus, sacker of cities.

Ll. 729-733. Forces of the Asclepiads.

And (they) that held Tricca and rocky Ithome, and that held Oechalia, city of Oechalian Eurytus, again Podaleirius and Machaon, the two sons of Asclepius, good at healing, led them; and thirty hollow ships followed them in line.

Ll. 734-737. Forces of Eurypylus.

And (they) that held Ormenia and the Hypereian spring, and who held Asterium and the white crests of Titanus, Eurypylus, Euaemon’s splendid son, was their captain; and forty black ships accompanied him.

Ll. 738-747. The forces of Polypoetes.

And (they) that held Argissa and dwelt in Gyrtone, Orthe and Elone, and the the white city of Oloösson, again Polypoetes, staunch in battle, the son of Peirithoüs, whom immortal Zeus begat, led these (men); (he was the man) whom glorious Hippodameia brought forth through Peirithoüs on the day when he took his revenge on the shaggy centaurs, and thrust (them) from (Mount) Pelion and drove (them) to the Aethices (i.e. on Mount Pindus); (he was) not alone, but with him (was) Leonteus, scion of Ares, son of the high-spirited Coronus, son of Caeneus; and forty black ships accompanied them.

Ll. 748-755. Aenianians and Perhaebians.

And Guneus led twenty-two ships from Cyphus; and the Aenianians and the steadfast Perhaebians followed him, (those) who built their homes around wintry Dodona, and who dwelt in the filled fields on the banks of the lovely Titaressus, which pours his beautifully-flowing waters into the Peneus, but yet he does not mingle with the silver-eddying Peneus, but flows on top of it like olive-oil; for he is an off-shoot of the waters of the Styx, the dread (river) of oath.

Ll. 756-759. The Magnesians.

And Prothous, son of Tenthredon, commanded the Magnesians, (those) who lived around the Peneus and (Mount) Pelion with its quivering foliage; swift Prothous led these (men), and forty black ships accompanied him.

Ll. 760-785. Conclusion of the Catalogue of the Greek forces.

So these were the leaders and lords of the Danaans; but who was by far the best of them, do you tell (me), (O) Muse, (both) of them and of the horses which accompanied the sons of Atreus) (i.e. Agamemnon and Menelaus).

By far the best horses were (those) of the son of Pheres (i.e. Admetus), that Eumelus drove as swift as birds, with the same (colour) hair, of the same age, and like a plumb-line (i.e. straight) across the back; Apollo of the silver bow, had reared them in Pereia, both (of them) mares, conveying the panic of war. Then by far the best of the warriors was Telamonian Aias, as long as Achilles was nursing his wrath; for he (i.e. Achilles) was by far the mightiest, and the horses which bore the peerless son of Peleus (were by far the best). But he lay among his beaked sea-faring ships, full of very great wrath against Agamemnon, son of Atreus, the shepherd of the host. And, by the sea-shore, his men delighted themselves in throwing the discuss, (hurling) javelins and (shooting) arrows. And their horses stood, each by his own chariot, feeding on lotus and marsh-bred parsley, while their chariots lay well covered up in their masters’ huts; but the (men), longing for their captain, dear to Ares, went backwards and forwards through the camp and did not fight.

So they marched then, as if the whole earth were consumed by fire; and the earth groaned beneath (them), as it groans beneath Zeus, who, in his wrath, delights in thunder, when he lashes the earth around Typhoeus (i.e. a mighty giant confined by Zeus under a mountain) in the land of the Arimi (i.e. in Cilicia), where they say Typhoeus’ couch is situated. Even so, the earth groaned greatly beneath their feet as they went, and very swiftly did they cross the plain.

Ll. 786-815. The Trojan armies gather.

And to the Trojans (as) a messenger went swift-footed Iris with a grievous message from aegis-bearing Zeus. And they were holding an assembly at Priam’s gate, all gathered together, both young men and elders; and swift-footed Iris stood nearby and addressed him (i.e. Priam); and she came with the voice of Polites, son of Priam, who, trusting in his fleetness of foot, was sitting (as) a watchman of the Trojans on the top of the tomb of old Aesyetes, waiting until the Achaeans should sally forth from their ships; likening herself to him, swift-footed Iris spoke (as follows): “O old (sir), endless speeches are always as dear to you as ever in times of peace; but (now) unabating war is let loose (upon you). I have already entered into the battles of warriors very often, but I have never yet seen an army of such quality and so numerous; for (they are) just like leaves or the sands on the sea-shore, as they march across the plain to fight against our city. Hector, to you especially do I give orders, and do you do as I say; for (there are) many allies throughout the great city of Priam, and among such numerous men, one tongue (is) among many others; let each man give the word to those, whom he commands, and, when he has marshalled his fellow-citizens, let him lead them forth (to battle).”

So she spoke, and Hector did not in any way fail to recognise the voice of the goddess, and at once he broke up the assembly; and the whole gate (i.e. the Scaean Gate) was opened, and the people streamed through (it), both footmen and charioteers, and a great din had arisen.

Now, there is a certain steep mound before the city, far away on the plain, freelying in this direction and that, which indeed men call Batieia, but the immortals (call it) the barrow of nimble Myrine (i.e. an Amazon warrior); here then the Trojans and their allies separate (their forces) from one another.


(1) The Trojan leaders and their contingents from Troy and the Troad. (Ll. 816-843.)

Ll. 816-818. The city of Troy itself.

The mighty Hector of the flashing helmet, son of Priam, was leading the Trojans; with him indeed by far the largest and the best hosts armed themselves, eager for the fray.

Ll. 819-823. The Dardanians.

Moreover, Aeneas, the valiant son of Anchises, was captain of the Dardanians, (he) whom most divine Aphrodite brought forth through Anchises, the goddess having lain with a mortal (man) on the slopes of (Mount) Ida; nor (was he) alone, for with him (were) the two sons of Antenor, Archelochus and Acamas, well-skilled in every type of fighting.

Ll. 824-827. Trojans living under Mount Ida.

And (they) that inhabited Zeleia, beneath the lowest foothill of (Mount) Ida, (men) of wealth, who drink the dark waters of the Aesepus, Trojans (all), again Pandarus, the glorious son of Lycaon, to whom even Apollo himself gave a bow, commanded these (men).

Ll. 828-834. Adresteia and other towns.

And (they) that held Adresteia and the land of Apaesus, and (that) held Pityeia and the steep mountain of Tereia, these (men) Adrastus and Amphius, in his linen corselet, commanded, (they who were) the two sons of Merops of Percote, who was, above all (men), skilled in the art of divination, and would not permit his sons to go into murderous warfare; but the two of them would not in any way obey (him); for the fates of black death were leading (them) on.

Ll. 834-839. Cities on the shores of the Hellespont.

And then (there were those) who dwelt around Percote and Practius, and held Sestus and Abydus, and sacred Arisbe, again Asius, son of Hyrtacus, a leader of men, captained these (men) – Asius, son of Hyrtacus, whom big fiery horses had borne from Arisbe (and) from the river Selleïs.

Ll. 840-843. Pelasgians from Larissa.

And Hippothous led the tribes of the spear-fighting Pelasgians, those that dwelt in very fertile Larissa; Hippothous and Pylaeus, scion of Ares, the two sons of Pelasgian Lethus, son of Teutamus, commanded these (men).

(2) The Allies of the Trojans (Ll. 844-877).

Ll. 844-850. From Europe.

Then, Acamas and the warrior Peirous led the Thracians, as many as the fast-flowing Hellespont encloses.

And Euphemus was the captain of the Ciconian spearmen, (he who was) the son of Ceas’ son, Troezenus, cherished by Zeus.

Then, Pyraechmes led the Paeonians with their curved bows from afar, out of Amydon and the wide-flowing Axius, the Axius, whose water (is) the most beautiful (that) spreads over the earth.

Ll. 851-857. From north-east of Troy, on the south shore of the Black Sea.

The shaggy-breasted Pylaemenes led the Paphlagonians from (the land of) the Enetians, from where (comes) the breed of wild mules, that is (those) that held Cytorus and dwelt around Sesamus, and lived in their famous houses around the river Parthenius, and Cromna and Aegialus, and lofty Erythini.

But Odius and Epistrophus led the Halizones from distant Alybe, where there is a silver mine.

Ll. 858-863. From south-east of Troy, from north-central Asia Minor.

And Chromis and the augur Ennomus captained the Mysians, but he (i.e. Ennomus) did not ward off black fate by his auguries, but was slain at the hands of the swift-footed grandson of Aeacus (i.e. Achilles) in the river, just where he killed other Trojans too.

Again, Phorcus and godlike Ascanius led the Phrygians from distant Ascania; and they yearned to fight in (the press of) battle.

Ll. 864-877. From south of Troy, from the west coast of Asia Minor.

Again, Mesthles and Antiphus, the two sons of Talaemenes, (whom the nymph of) the Gygean lake had brought to birth, led the Maeonians, and they led the Maeonians born beneath (Mount) Tmolus.

Again, Nastes led the foreign-sounding Carians, who held Miletus and the mountain of Phthires with its thick foliage, and the streams of the Maeander and the steep crests of (Mount) Mycale. So, Amphimachus and Nastes led these (men) – Nastes and Amphimachus, the splendid sons of Nomion, and he (i.e. Amphimachus) went into battle, bearing (ornaments of) gold like a girl, child (that he was), but he was slain in the river at the hands of the swift-footed grandson of Aeacus, and bold Achilles took possession of his gold.

And Sarpedon and the blameless Glaucus led the Lycians out of distant Lycia from the whirling (currents) of the Xanthus.

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