The first six books of the Iliad of Homer, literally translated into English prose, with copious explanatory notes, and a preliminary dissertation on his life and writings online

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literally translated into



lExpIaitatorg ^ott^y





Is ego ,««w, i]iii Homero tantvm trilun, quantum hominem verecundum et
literarvm amantem, ei, qui tnt eetatvm prde.tcriptiorie princeps ivgeniorum,
bonaruvi omnium artium et doctrinnrum Seminarium, humance deniqufi sapi-
enti<B apex audiaf, trihuere fms est.

M. Casaubox.






In offering the following work to the Public, we
feel it our humble conviction that no apology will
be required by those that are in any degree con-
cerned, — either in imparting to others, or in ac-
quiring for themselves, a knowledge of the ancient
and venerable language of Greece, — whilst a te-
dious prolixity of prefatory observations would be
altogether needless and superfluous. Suflice it to
say, that our sole and exclusive object has been
utility, and our aim in the translation has been
to give as correct and literal a version as the
idiomatic constructions of the Greek and English
languages can bear. The necessary consequence
of this design was the total exclusion of the
beauties and ornaments of Homer's style ; but in
sacrificing the elegance, we hope that the simpli-
city of his poetical diction has been in some
measure preserved, — nay, we would almost ven-
ture to affirm that the sublimity of the Iliad is not
entirely lost in the following pages.


With regard to our Preliminary Dissertation, —
we cannot but be apprehensive lest our admira-
tion of Homer and of the Sages of antiquity in
general, may appear to have prejudiced us too
much in their favour, and to have inclined us to
attribute excellencies to them which they never
possessed. The tide of our admiration was indeed
strong and vehement, — but we have not advanced
a single conjecture that is not founded upon
sufficient data, nor drawn a single conclusion
that is not borne out by the concurrent testimonies
of ancient history. A full discussion of the scientific
and the Theological knowledge of early ages
would require far deeper and more extensive re-
searches than the narrow bounds of a preliminary
essay would allow.

As for the merit of the whole work, — we have
only to say that we have attentively done our
pint ; the rest is confided to the scrutiny of im-
jiartial criticism. Our object was not to write
for fume, but merely to benefit the less forward
sons of Alma Mater, and to hold out our feeble
aid for tlie encouragement of the young, but
aspiring members of the vast republic of literature.
If our labours shall prove in any degree success-
ful, we shall roet perfectly satisfied, and covet no

other applause than the simple attestation of a
self-approving conscienee, — that our desig^n origi-
nated from motives of doing good, and that the
result has entailed at least no injuries upon

Trinity Collegf., Camiuiidgk,
October 20, li\'2H.


Diss. p. xi, 1. 7, their for tliis.

B. 1. V. 222, dele the.

Note, V. 202, moneo for inoveo.

Note, V. 606, bellore for hellare.

B.IT. V. 708, leaders for a leader,

B. III. V. 150, wanted were.

Note, V. 124, both is for both are.

B. V. V. 463, wanted the.

V. 473, would for wouldst.

Note, V. 215. Thamysis for Thamyris.

Note, V. 487, "X**^' ^oi' "4'*<'''

B. VI. V. 54. wanted a.

Note, V, 275, compound for compounded.


Section I.



When a reflecting and philosophic mind takes a general survey
of the wide and diversified scenery of literature, — wlien it con-
templates every branch of intellectual investigation, and beholds
with wonder and delight the flourishing aspect of science in the
present times, — a more interesting topic of consideration can
scarcely engage its attention, than to trace in all their varieties of
forms — in all their ramifications and expansions, the beauteous
orders of mental vegetation that bloom around, and to follow
their progress with a retrospective view along the verdant annals
of history, till the prospect dies at last, beyond the towering hills
of fabulous obsciuity, and imagination alone wings her adventurous
flight into the enchanting scenes of fiction. In this bright pano-
rama of splendid visions, surely no part bespangles with greater
beauties — no region smiles with more delightful attractions than
the flowery vale of Poesy; — this is the emblem of the paradise of
bliss, the peculiar province of fancy, — where the virgins of har-



mony delight to rove, and the Zephyr's gale wafts on its genial
winjT, the warblinsf voice of angels. Methinks I see the shades
of sainted bards attuning their melodies to the harp of joy, — yes!
methinks I perceive the immortal Young, the serapliic Milton,
with an innumerable assembly, mingling their loud acclamations,
and weaving their garlands to the British Muse, — the venerable
Goronwy Owain, Taliesin, and Aneurin, with the legions of the
Cambrian bands, reposing by the streams of immortality, and
chanting forth, in cherubic strains, the praises of their country's
glory ; — w hilst the martial Maro veils our feeble sight from the
piercing lustre of the Ionian Bard, till he gently leads us up the
rising sublimities of poetic flights, and enables us gradually to
gaze upon that Orb, whose splendour envelopes the world with
a celestial halo, and whose rays have continued for a period of
nearly three thousand years, to spread their encircling influence
wider and wider over the remotest habitations of man, — and will
continue to attract the admiration of generations yet unborn, till
the wonders of time are swallowed up in eternity, and till the
breath of terrestrial music shall die away in the deluge of angelic
song, that carols amid the ecstacies of the fields of bliss !

This great luminary of poetic fame was an Asiatic Greek, a
native of Smyrna. His mother's name was Crytheis, who, having
been found illegally with child, was banished in consequence, by
her uncle, from Cumac ; and after a short time, being unexpectedly
taken in labour on the banks of the river Meles, in the neighbour-
hood of Smyrna, she gave birth to the father of poetry, who, from
that circumstance, was called Mele.sigenes. Herodotus' says, that

1. Lib. ii. c. !)3, 'Ylirwcov yap kul 'Ofir][joy iiXikiTjv Terpa-
KOffioiat ertffi cokeu) fiev Trptaftvrepovc ytveaOat, cat ov TrXeoct.

Hesiod and Homer, wliom he makes cotemporaries, lived no
more than 400 years before his time; so that by his account they
flourished about 845 years before the Christian era. But the
ancient author of his life,' ascribed to Herodotus, says, that Homer
was born 622 years before the expedition of Xerxes into Greece;
and if so, he must have been born in the year 1102, before
Christ. Tiie Parian Marbles place Hesiod in the Archonship of
Megacles, or in the year 936 before Christ; and Homer is
placed 29 years later, in the year 907, before the Christian era.
Aristophanes'' makes Hesiod older than Homer by the order of
the poets whom he mentions. According to Philochorus^ and
Tatian,^ Homer flourished about the year 1004 before Christ;
according to ApoUodorus^ he flourished b. c. 943 ; according to
Aristarchus,^ b. c. 1044; and according to Euthymenes,'' b. c.
983. Velleius Paterculus^ says, that Homer flourished 950 years
before his time ; he wrote his history in the seventeenth year of
Tiberius, and in the thirtieth year of the Christian era; so that
Homer must have flourished 920 years before Christ. He also
makes Hesiod cotemporary with Caranus in the year 814 before

1. Vit. Homer, ad finem. af 6v Be 'O/UTjpoc eyevEro, erea
ecTTiv klaKOffia eiKoai cvo ^tXP'- '"''C Xtp^ew Siajjacrewc, ijy arpartv-
crafitvog etzl tovq 'EWijyuQ, icai ^ev^ag tov 'YXXeairovTOVy hufii] ik
TiJQ Aaiag eg rrjv }Lvpu)Tn]y.

2. Ran. 1032 — 4. The succession of the poets here men-
tioned, is, Orpheus, — Musjeus, — Hesiod, — Homer.

3. Apud CI. Alex. Strom, lib. I. p. 326. airo h tG)v Tpwi-
K(m)v ein tj]v ' O fii]pov yeveaiv, Kara jaei' *\}iXo-)(^npoy, li^aToy oy^oijKoyrn
ETK] yivETui, varepov rijg Iwyiicijg airoit^uig. 'I'he destruction of Troy
happened about 1184 years before Christ.

4. Orat. cont. Greec. p. 166.

5. Apud CI. Alex, ubi supra, p. 327.
C. Ibid. 7. Ibid.

8. Hist. Rom. lib. I. c. 5. Hie longius a tcmporibus belli,
quod composuit, Troici, quam quidam renlur, ahfuit; nam ferme
ante annos OOOJloruit, intra millc natus est.


Christ. Suidas, in voce'Raio^oe says, that Porphyry and many others
made Homer a hundred years older than Hesiod, and Hesiod to
flourish only 32 years before the Olympiads. Now the Olym-
piads commenced b. c. 77G; so that by this accoimt Homer must
have flourished b. c. 908, which agrees with the Parian Marbles,
and nearly with the relations of Velleius Paterculus and Cornelius
Nepos.* CyriP makes Homer and Hesiod flourish together,
164 years after the taking of Troy, i. e. b. c. 1019.

Varro^ said it was uncertain which was the more ancient
poet, but that they certainly lived together some years. This he
inferred from an epigram'* written upon a Tripod, which was
related to have been dedicated to the Muses, on mount Helicon,
by Hesiod himself, upon his having obtained a victory in Poesy,
over Homer, at Chalcis. From the foregoing testimonies, con-
cernin<T the age of Homer and Hesiod, we may infer that they
were cotemporaries, — though Homer might be the elder poet,
and that they flourished together in the years 950 — 1000 before
the Christian era.^

1. Corn. Nepos, in his Chronicon, placed Homer 160 years
before the building of Rome, i. e. b. c. 913.

2. Contra Julian, lib. I. p. 11. tKaToaru ti,r)ToaTf tcai
TfiyiirTff ETEi Ttjc IXiov aXwfftwf, 'Ofiripov Kai 'litjiocov faai ytvta-
Oat, K. T. X.

3. Apud A. Cell. Noel. Attic, lib. iii. c. 2. Marcus autem
Varro, in prinio de Imaginibus, uter sit prior sit natus jiarum con-
stare dicit ; sed non esse dubium, quin aliquo tempore eodem vixe-
rint ; idrjue ex cpigrammale oslendi, quod in tripode scriptum est,
qui in monle Ilelicone ab Ilesiodo posilus traditur.

4. 'llffiococ Mouffatc 'EXucwvto-t roy o* avedrjKf.,
'Y/ivw viKTiauc tv XuXkici Otlof 'Ofiripoy.

We might also infer, that they were cotemporaries, from the
following distich, which is cited by Eustathius, from Hesiod:
Ev A»;X^ tore Tcpii)TOv cyw Kai 'O^rjpog aoicoi,
MtX7ro/J£V ty veuptnc vpyoic paypayrtr aoicrjy.

5. Vid. Jackson's C/ironul, Jntiquilics, vol. 2. p. 224.


No less than seven illustrious cities disputed with the utmost
pertinacity the honour of having given birth to the Prince of

poets. This spirit of rivalry gave rise to the following distich:

Smyrna, Chios, Colophon, Salamis, Rhodos, Argos, Athenae,
Orbis de patria certat, Homere, tua. 1

There prevailed a report that he had established a school at

Chios in the latter part of his life; and this tradition is still

cherished by the present inhabitants of the island, who glory in

shewing to travellers, the seats where the venerable master and

his pupils sat in the hollow of a rock, at the distance of about

four miles from the modern capital. In his hymn to Apollo, he

refers to his residence at Chios, and also to his blindness :

TvfXoQ avrjp, olkeI ce Xtw evL iranraXoetTOT}.

It is probable that whilst he retained his sight, he spent most ot

his time in travelling, and, like our old bards, recited his own

compositions, vvhich procured him a maintenance and a hospitable

reception on his journeys. It is said that he was the father of two

daughters, having married at Chios, and amassed considerable

wealth. One of these daughters died young ; the other was

married to a person whose children he had been educating. If

1. The verse comprising the contending Cities is read in
three other different ways:

Cuince, Smyrna, Chios, Colophon, Rhodos, Argos, Athence,
Smyrna, Rhodos, Colophon, Salam'in, los, Argos, Athence,
Smyrna, Chios, Colophon, Ithacc, Pylos, Argos, Athene^.
The second of these forms is the same as that in the Greek distich :
'ETrra -koXeiq Siepii^ovaiv -rtepi piC^iv 'O/dripov,
^jjivpya, 'Poioe, KoXo^wy, SaXo/iti', log, Apyoq, AQrivai.
Four of the competitors are mentioned by Cicero in his
oration, Pro Archia Poeta: — Homerum Colophonii civcm esse
dicunt suum; Chit simm vindicant; Salaminii rcpetunt; Smyrncci
vero suum esse conjirmant, — itaque ctiam deluhrum ejus in oppido
dedicaverunt. Permulti alii prcelerca pugnant inter se, ct contcn-


this was the case, it is not impossible but the Poet may have
given birth to posterity. There did exist, in fact, certain Rhap-
sodists, who called themselves Homeridse, and pretended to be
the lineal descendants of Homer;' but most probably, however,
these were only strolling bards, who wandered from place to
place, and recited certain detached pieces from the Iliad and the

From the ninth to the sixth century before the Christian era,
it is probable there were no other writings but those of Homer
and Hcsiod; — indeed it is not certain that these were committed
to writing, — at least, in the alphabetical form in which we now
find them;^ and some have gone so far as to suppose that they
were only handed down by memory from generation to generation,
till the art of alphabetical writing was introduced. There is no
prose writer upon record before Cadmus, of Miletus, and Phere-
cydes, of Scyros, who flourished 544 years before Christ; that is,
according to the date of Herodotus, three centuries after the time
of Homer. This circumstance induced Mr. Wood'* to conclude

1. Plato speaks of these Homerida; as still in existence in
his time. Vid. his Dialogue entitled Iwv. Fid. etiam Suidam in
voce 'O^rjpicai; and Athen. lib. xiv. where paxpwooi are said to be
called 'Of^iTjpKTTCu: — ort c" ekuXovvto paxpwSoi Kcii 'Ofiripiarai, &c.

2. 'I'he portions delivered at each recitation were called
pa\p^ciai, from pairTU), to seiv, or according to others, from pnfi^oQ,
the staff, which the Rhapsodist carried in his hand. Hence, each
Book of the Iliad and tlie Odyssey is entitled pa\po)Cia.

5. Josephus relates that, it was the opinion of some persons
in his time, that Homer did not leave his Poems in writing: tpaaiv,
ouc£ O^ripov tv ypaj-ifxatri rijy avrov Troir/aiv KaraKnreiv. Contra
Apion. I. 2.

4. Vid. Wood's Essay on Homer, where he treats of the
Poet's language and learning. Eustathius and the Scholiast seem
also to have considered that Homer was ignorant of the art of



that alpliahctical writing was not known, or bnt little practised
before that period. If, however, we patiently search and examine
the records of antiquity, we shall find very strong reasons to think
that this art was known — not only in the age of Homer, but for
many centuries before his time. Chronologers have calculated
that Moses' was born in the year of the world 2428, or 1576,
before the coming of Christ. In the eightieth year of his age, or
B. 0. 149G, and after the Deluge 718, he delivered the Israelites
from their bondage in the land of Egypt." This agrees almost
exactly with the time when Cadmus is said to have introduced
the knowledge of letters into Greece, b. c. 1494. The country of
Cadmus was Phoenicia, and for this reason the letters which he
introduced were called ypa/ifiaTa (j>oiviKia in opposition to the
Pelasg'ic Alphabet, which the ancient inhabitants of Greece used
before that time.^ But though Cadmus brought his letters out

writing. Vid. Iliad VI. 1 68, and VII. 175, with the commentaries
in locis. They appear to have been misled by the original mean-
ing of the word ypaijiiiv, which properly signifies to engrave with
a sharp-pointed instrument, and the words c tX-oc, ItKrapiov, invn^,
TTivaKioy, TTivai^uiov, aaviQ (xariSiov, &c. vvliich signify the tablets
of stone or brass on which the engraving was made. But this
aflfects only the manner of writing, and not the knowledge of the
art itself.

1. Vid. Simpson's Chron. Cathol. ed. Wessel. p. 173.

2. Vid. Clayton's Chronologij of the Hebrew Bible, ]^. 210.

3. Dionysius, the Milesian, an ancient mythological writer,
related that Cadmus having brought letters from Phoenicia, Liiuis,
who lived then in Bocotia, and was the inventor of rhythm and
melody, was the first who introduced them into the Greek language,
and gave tliem their names and forms: (I)-i](tl toivvv (Dionysius)
Trap' 'EX\>/(Tt TrpCJrov evpeTrjy yeveffdcu ATvov pvQ^wv Kai /.leXovg'
£Ti ce Kacytjou KOjXKTavTOQ tK ^oiviKrjg ra kaXov/i£va ypaf-t^ara,
irpuiTOP etc 'EXXj;)'(Cf/j/ j-iETaUelyat CioXeKror, kcu rnc Trpoffijyoptac
tcooTw Tat,ai Kai rovg j^opa^TT/pac SiaTViruxrai' Kaiyi} ovv ra ypnju-
jLtara ^oiytKia KX»;Oj;vot cia to Trnpa rovg EXXj/voc £i^ ^oivikiov
fuerevej^drivai' i^it^ ^e rioy IleXoffydij' irpwrur ^pqaa^tvuv ■^npaK-
Tijpai, lleXao-yfKo -rrpac^ayopEvdrirai. Vid. Diod. Sic. lib. iii. p. 200.

of Pliociiicia, they were probably the Egyptian characters, — and
must be so, if Cadmus was born in Egypt, and fled thence into
Phoenicia, for fear of his uncle Busiris. And it is generally
agreed that Agenor,' the father of Cadmus, went out of Egypt
into Phcenicia, and reigned there; and he, no doubt, used the
Egyptian letters, and taught them to his son Cadmus. Now,
since Moses received his education in Egypt, it is probable that
he also wrote the Pentateuch, in the Egyptian Characters, or in
other words, that the ancient Egyptian and Hebrew alphabet
were nearly of the same kind. From hence we infer, that the
Cadmaean Letters, which were brought into Greece b. c. 1494,
were exactly the same as the letters which Moses used in the
composition of his history about the very same time. Indeed
tliere can be nothing absurd or romantic in the notion, if we were
to suppose that Moses and Cadmus were personally acquainted
with each other, since they lived at the same time and in the
same country, — the one being the son of a prince of great cele-
brity, the other being the adopted heir to the throne of Egypt, and
might therefore have received their education in the same semi-
nary of learning. It is perhaps owing to some information brought
by Cadmus into Greece, that we find so many mythological allu-
sions in the classic writers which coincide so nearly with our
Scripture history. This however is only a conjecture ; — the main
design of our inquiry regards only the extent of the knowledge of
Cadmus in alphabetical writing. If we take it for granted that
this art was certainly known to Moses, — and consequently to
other learned men of his age; — if we consider that it must
liave been always cultivated in Phoenicia and Egypt, since the

1. Vid. Jackson's Chronol. Antiq. vol. iii. p. 147.


time oi Hermes or Tholh, the inventor of letters', — we may con-
clude tliat Cadmus was acquainted not only with the art of hiero-
glyphical representations, or alphabetical engraving, — but with the
very same species of writing in which Moses and Joshua wrote
their histories. If then Cadmus disseminated the knowledge of it
among the early inhabitants of Greece, it appears a thing scarcely
possible that their knowledge could be altogether eradicated, till
by some chance or other it should be revived again nearly a thou-
sand years after its first introduction. The art must have been
a thing of great notoriety, and its utility perfectly understood, —
and even if it should die away among the warlike tribes of the
Greeks, it could never have perished among the Phoenicians,
who were a nation devoted to merchandize and commerce.

But, independent of any positive testimonies in favour of our
hypothesis, we may gather sufficient evidence by a very slight
examination of the remains of antiquity, that the art of alphabetical
writing was known, not only in the age of Homer, but for at least

1. Letters were first invented in Phoenicia, and most pro-
bably by Taaut or Thoth, the son of Misor or Misrahn, soon
after the dispersion of the descendants of Noah ; from Phoenicia
they were carried into Egypt by Taaut himself; and the know-
ledge of them was soon after spread into Syria, Arabia, Clialdrea,
and ^Ethiopia. The Pdasgi, descended from the Dioscuri or
Cabiri, were the first who carried them out of Asia into the
islands of the ^gean sea, into Attica, and other parts of Greece;
and into Peloponnesus, where they founded tlie two most ancient
kingdoms of Sicyon and Argos. But the Pelasgi never established
their language, which was Phoenician, in Greece. The descen-
dants of Javan and Tiras, who had settled with their families in
Thrace and several parts of Greece, before the Pelasgi came
thither, as in Macedonia, Thessaly, Achaia, Bocotia, and Attica,
and all the country anciently called Ionia, — used another language,
which was the original Greek tongue, derived from Japheth, —
and was also the Scythian and Gomeric language, which is known
at this day to possess a considerable similarity with the Greek.
Vid. Jackson's Chronol. Antiq. vol. iii. p. 142.



a thousand years before his time, and that even general Hterature
was in a state of considerable advancement^ Indeed there is
sufficient internal evidence, in the works of Homer himself, to
convince every unbiassed mind, that he cannot possibly be con-
sidered in the true sense of the term, the father of poetry. That
the same individual should conceive and give birth to the very
existence of poetry, and produce such stupendous compositions
as the Iliad and the Odyssey, would certainly be an effort of
genius, far transcending the powers of the human mind. It is not
at all unreasonable to think that Poetry was in a state of very
great perfection before the time of Homer. In fact we can trace
the existence of it among the Greeks for about twenty generations
before his birth. Even if we suppose Linus to be the first poet
of note, — he flourished about six hundred years before Homer.

1. The knowledge of Letters had long existed in Greece
before the introduction of the Phoenician characters by Cadmus.
We are told by Zenobius Paroemiograj)hus in his Ka^jueta vikt},
that Linus, an ancient Poet, and cotemporary with Cadmus, was
killed for opposing the Phoenician Usurper in introducing his
letters, and teaching the characters of his own language : ra €k
<ifoiviKr]Q ypannara ftovXofiEvoe ciacodrjvai toIq 'EXXTjcrt, KaBfxog
avtlXe AIvov /cat avTOv iCia ypa^fiara ETnceiKvvjitvov. These
ancient letters are called by Harpocration and Hesychius irnXaia,
npyjiCui, t-Kiyuypia ypafifxara. In hitter times they were called
Ar-tka ypanfjaTa, as having been originally used by the Pelasgic
Attics. Orpheus, and Pronapides, the master of Homer, used
in tlieir poems the Pelasgic Letters, — as also Thymaetes, cotem-
porary with Orpheus, who composed a poem called Phrygia,
concerning the exploits of Bacchus, in the ancient language of
Greece. Diod. Sic. lib. III. p. 201. Tov S" ovv Alvov 0a<7t toIq
T\t\a<jyit:oic yfiufifjatn avvTaiu^tvov rac rov Trpwrov Awvvaov
TTpuiuQ' — ifioiWQ Zt TOVTOtc ')(pi)iraadai ro'ic HeXaayiKoig ypcififiaai
TOV Op(pea Krti Upovairurjt' tov 'Ofjrjpov cicaaKuXov. — Upoc Se rov-
ToiQ OvfJioiTTjv TOV (Jv/^toiTOv TOV AuofJ-fCovTOQ, Kat Tt]v riXiKiav
yiyovoTU tov ()p({)tu)Q — upyaiKibc Tr\ re cuiXekto) kui toIq ypa^ijxatn
yj)r}iraiitvov. Hence the Phrijgia of Thymsctes must have been
written in the ancient Gomeric tongue. Vid. Jackson's Chronol.
Anliq. vol. iii. p. 1 37.


But the Sibyls lived four or five centuries before Linus. From
Linus, we have a regular succession of poets down till the time
of Homer, and from him till the grand revival of literature, in the
fifth century before Christ. The most remarkable were Orpheus,
who was scholar of Linus, — Musaeus, who was scholar of Orphe-
us, — Eumolpus, the son of Musaeus, and who flourished, according
to the Parian Marbles, b. c. 1373, in the reign of Erectheus, king
of Athens, — Pamphus, who was the most ancient Attic poet, and
flourished about the year b. c. 1300; he composed some hymns,
and wrote an elegy on the death of Linus, which he called CE^o-
linus, or the lamentation of Linus^, — and he was immediately
followed by Orpheus, the Argonaut, who flourished b. c. 1250,

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