and lovely Mantineia, and possessed Stymphelos and dwelt in Parhasie, of
these was Ankaios' son lord Agapenor leader, even of sixty ships; and in
each ship embarked many Arkadian warriors skilled in fight. For
Agamemnon king of men himself gave them benched ships wherewith to cross
the wine-dark sea, even he the son of Atreus; for matters of seafaring
concerned them not.
And they too that inhabited Bouprasion and goodly Elis, so much thereof
as Hyrmine and Myrsinos upon the borders and the Olenian rock and
Aleision bound between them, of these men there were four captains, and
ten swift ships followed each one, and many Epeians embarked thereon. So
some were led of Amphimachos and Thalpios, of the lineage of Aktor, sons
one of Kteatos and one of Eurytos; and of some was stalwart Diores
captain, son of Amarynkes; and of the fourth company godlike Polyxeinos
was captain, son of king Agasthenes Augeias' son.
And them of Doulichion and the holy Echinean Isles that stand beyond the
sea over against Elis, even these did Meges lead, the peer of Ares,
Phyleides to wit, for he was begotten of knightly Phyleus dear to Zeus,
him that erst changed his habitation to Doulichion for anger against his
father. And with him followed forty black ships.
And Odysseus led the great-hearted Kephallenians, them that possessed
Ithaka and Neriton with quivering leafage, and dwelt in Krokyleia and
rugged Aigilips, and them that possessed Zakynthos and that dwelt in
Samos, and possessed the mainland and dwelt in the parts over against
the isles. Them did Odysseus lead, the peer of Zeus in counsel, and with
him followed twelve ships with vermillion prow.
And of the Aitolians Thoas was captain, the son of Andraimon, even of
them that dwelt in Pleuron and Olenos and Pylene, and Chalkis on the
sea-shore and rocky Kalydon. For the sons of great-hearted Oineus were
no more, neither did he still live, and golden-haired Meleagros was
dead, to whose hands all had been committed, for him to be king of the
Aitolians. And with Thoas there followed forty black ships.
And of the Cretans Idomeneus the famous spearman was leader, even of
them that possessed Knosos and Gortys of the great walls, Lyktos and
Miletos and chalky Lykastos and Phaistos and Rhytion, stablished cities
all; and of all others that dwelt in Crete of the hundred cities. Of
these men was Idomeneus the famous spearman leader, and Meriones peer of
the man-slaying war-god. With these followed eighty black ships.
And Tlepolemmos, Herakles' son goodly and tall, led from Rhodes nine
ships of the lordly Rhodians, that dwelt in Rhodes in threefold
ordering, in Lindos and Ialysos and chalky Kameiros. These were led of
Tlepolemos the famous spearman, that was born to great Herakles by
Astyocheia, whom he had brought away from Ephyre by the river Selleeis,
when he laid waste many cities of strong men, fosterlings of Zeus. Now
when Tlepolemos had grown to manhood within the strong palace walls,
anon he slew his own father's dear uncle, an old man now, Likymnios of
the stock of Ares. Then with speed built he ships and gathered much folk
together, and went fleeing across the deep, because the other sons and
grandsons of great Herakles threatened him. So he came to Rhodes a
wanderer, enduring hardships, and his folk settled by kinship in three
tribes, and were loved of Zeus that is king among gods and men; and
Kronion poured upon them exceeding great wealth.
Nireus, moreover, led three trim ships from Syme, Nireus son of Aglaia
and king Charopos, Nireus the most beauteous man that came up under
Ilios of all the Danaans, after the noble son of Peleus. Howbeit he was
a weakling, and a scanty host followed him.
And of them that possessed Nisyros and Krapathos and Kasos and Kos the
city of Eurypylos, and the Kalydnian Isles, of them Pheidippos and
Antiphos were leaders, the two sons of king Thessalos son of Herakles.
With them were arrayed thirty hollow ships.
Now all moreover that dwelt in the Pelasgian Argos and inhabited Alos
and Alope and Trachis and possessed Phthia and Hellas the home of fair
women, and were called Myrmidons and Hellenes and Achaians; of all
these, even fifty ships, Achilles was captain. But these took no thought
of noisy war; for there was no man to array them in line of battle. For
fleet-footed goodly Achilles lay idle amid the ships, wroth for the sake
of a damsel, Briseis of the lovely hair, whom he had won from Lyrnessos
and the walls of Thebe, and overthrew Mynes and Epistrophos, warriors
that bare the spear, sons of king Euenos Selepos' son. For her sake lay
Achilles sorrowing; but soon was he to arise again.
And of them that possessed Phylake and flowery Pyrasos, Demeter's
sanctuary, and Iton mother of flocks, and Antron by the sea-shore and
Pteleos couched in grass, of all these was warlike Protesilaos leader
while yet he lived; but now ere this the black earth held him fast. His
wife with marred visage was left alone in Phylake, yea, and his bridal
chamber half builded; for a Dardanian warrior slew him as he leapt from
his ship far first of the Achaians. Yet neither were his men leaderless,
though they sorrowed for their leader; for Podarkes of the stock of Ares
marshalled them, son of Phylakos' son Iphiklos was he, the lord of many
flocks, own brother of great-hearted Protesilaos, and younger-born than
he: but the other was alike the elder and the braver, even Protesilaos,
that mighty man of war. Yet did not the host lack at all a leader, only
they yearned for the noble dead. With him followed forty black ships.
And of them that dwelt in Pherai by the Boibeian mere, in Boibe and
Glaphyre and stablished Iolkos, of them, even eleven ships, Admetos'
dear son was leader, Eumelos whom Alkestis, fair among women, bare to
Admetos, she that was most beauteous to look upon of the daughters of
And of them that dwelt in Methone and Thaumakie, and possessed Meliboia
and rugged Olizon, of these, even seven ships, was Philoktetes leader,
the cunning archer; and in each ship sailed fifty oarsmen skilled to
fight amain with the bow. But their captain lay enduring sore pain in
the isle of goodly Lemnos, where the sons of the Achaians left him sick
of a grievous wound from a deadly water-snake. There lay he pining; yet
were the Argives soon to bethink them beside their ships of king
Philoktetes. Yet neither were his men leaderless, only they sorrowed for
their leader; but Medon marshalled them, Oileus' bastard son, whom Rhene
bare to Oileus waster of cities.
And of them that possessed Trikke and terraced ithome and that possessed
Oichalia city of Eurytos the Oichalian, of these again Asklepios' two
sons were leaders, the cunning leeches Podaleirios and Machaon. And with
them were arrayed thirty hollow ships.
And of them that possessed Ormenios and the fountain of Hypereia, and
possessed Asterion and the white crests of Titanos, of these was
Eurypylos leader, Euaimon's glorious son; and with him, forty black
And of them that possessed Argissa and dwelt in Gyrtona, Orthe and
Elone and the white city of Olooson, of these was captain unflinching
Polypoites, son of Peirithoos that immortal Zeus begat: and Polypoites
did famed Hippodameia conceive of Peirithoos on that day when he took
vengeance of the shaggy wild folk, and thrust them forth from Pelion and
drave them to the Aithikes. And Polypoites ruled not alone, but with him
was Leonteus of the stock of Ares, son of high-hearted Koronos Kaineus'
son. And with them forty black ships followed.
And Gouneus from Kyphos led two-and-twenty ships, and with him followed
the Enienes and unflinching Peraibians that had pitched their homes
about wintry Dodona, and dwelt on the tilth about lovely Titaresios that
poureth his fair-flowing stream into Peneios. Yet doth he not mingle
with the silver eddies of Peneios, but floweth on over him like unto
oil, seeing that he is an offspring from the water of Styx, the dread
river of the oath.
And the Magnetes were led of Prothoos son of Tenthredon, even they that
dwelt about Peneios and Pelion with trembling leafage. These did fleet
Prothoos lead, and with him forty black ships followed.
So these were the leaders of the Danaans and their captains. Now tell
me, O Muse, who among them was first and foremost, of warriors alike and
horses that followed the sons of Atreus. Of horses they of Pheres' son
were far goodliest, those that Eumelos drave, swift as birds, like of
coat, like of age, matched to the measure of a levelling line across
their backs. These were reared in Peraia by Apollo of the silver bow,
two mares carrying onward the terror of battle. But of warriors far best
was the Telamonian Aias, while the wrath of Achilles yet endured; for he
was greatest of all, he and his horses that bore him, even Peleus' noble
son. But he lay idle among his seafaring ships, in sore wrath against
Agamemnon Atreus' son, shepherd of the host; and his folk along the
sea-shore sported with quoits and with casting of javelins and archery;
and the horses each beside his own chariot stood idle, champing clover
and parsley of the marsh, and their lords' chariots lay well covered up
within the huts, while the men yearned for their warrior chief, and
wandered hither and thither through the camp and fought not.
So marched they then as though all the land were consuming with fire;
and the earth groaned beneath them as at the wrath of Zeus whose joy is
in the thunder, when he lasheth the earth about Typhoeus in the country
of the Arimoi, where men say is Typhoeus' couch. Even so groaned the
earth aloud at their tread as they went: and with speed advanced they
across the plain.
Now fleet Iris the wind-footed went to the Trojans, a messenger from
aegis-bearing Zeus, with a grievous message. These were holding assembly
at Priam's gate, being gathered all together both young men and old. And
fleet-footed Iris stood hard by and spake to them; and she made her
voice like to the voice of Polites son of Priam, who was the sentinel of
the Trojans and was wont to sit trusting in his fleetness upon the
barrow of Aisyetes of old, and on the top thereof wait the sallying of
the Achaians forth from their ships. Even in his likeness did
fleet-footed Iris speak to Priam: "Old man, words beyond number are
still pleasant to thee as erst in the days of peace; but war without
respite is upon us. Of a truth have I very oft ere now entered into
battles of the warriors, yet have I never seen so goodly a host and so
great; for in the very likeness of the leaves of the forest or the sands
of the sea are they marching along the plain to fight against the city.
But Hector, thee do I charge beyond all to do even as I shall say.
Seeing that the allies are very many throughout Priam's great city, and
diverse men, being scattered abroad, have diverse tongues; therefore let
each one give the word to those whose chieftain he is, and them let him
lead forth and have the ordering of his countrymen."
So spake she, and Hector failed not to know the voice of the goddess,
and straightway dismissed the assembly, and they rushed to arms. And the
gates were thrown open wide, and the host issued forth, footmen and
horsemen, and mighty din arose.
Now there is before the city a certain steep mound apart in the plain,
with a clear way about it on this side and on that; and men indeed call
this "Batieia," but the immortals call it "The tomb of lithe Myrine."
There did the Trojans and their allies divide their companies.
Amid the Trojans great Hector of the glancing helm was leader, the son
of Priam; with him the greatest hosts by far and the goodliest were
arrayed, eager warriors of the spear.
But the Dardanians were led of the princely son of Anchises, Aineias,
whom bright Aphrodite conceived to Anchises amids the spurs of Ida, a
goddess wedded to a mortal. Neither was he alone; with him were
Antenor's two sons, Archelochos and Akamas, well skilled in all the ways
And of them that dwelt in Zeleia beneath the nethermost foot of Ida, the
men of substance that drink the dark waters of Aisepos, even the Troes;
of these Lykaon's glorious son was leader, Pandaros, to whom Apollo
himself gave the bow.
And of them that possessed Adresteia and the land of Apaisos and
possessed Pityeia and the steep hill of Tereia, of these Adrestos was
captain, and Amphios of the linen corslet, the two sons of Merops of
Perkote, that beyond all men knew soothsaying, and would have hindered
his children marching to murderous war. But they gave him no heed, for
the fates of black death led them on.
And they that dwelt about Perkote and Praktios and possessed Sestos and
Abydos and bright Arisbe, these were led of Hyrtakos' son Asios, a
prince of men, Asios son of Hyrtakos, whom his tall sorrel steeds
brought from Arisbe, from the river Selleeis.
And Hippothoos led the tribes of the Pelasgians that fight with spears,
them that inhabited deep-soiled Larisa. These were led of Hippothoos and
Pylaios of the stock of Ares, twain sons of Pelasgian Lethos son of
And the Thracians were led of Akamas and hero Peiroos, even all they
that the strong stream of Hellespont shutteth in. And Euphemos was
captain of the Kikonian spearmen, the son of Troizenos Keos' son,
fosterling of Zeus.
But Pyraichmes led the Paionians with curving bows, from far away in
Amydon, from the broad stream of Axios, Axios whose water is the fairest
that floweth over the face of the earth.
And Pylaimenes of rugged heart led the Paphlagonians from the land of
the Eneti, whence is the breed of wild mules. This folk were they that
possessed Kytoros and dwelt about Sesamon, and inhabited their famed
dwellings round the river Parthenios and Kromna and Aigialos and lofty
And the Alizones were led of Odios and Epistrophos, from far away in
Alybe, where is the birthplace of silver.
And the Mysians were led of Chromis and Ennomos the augur, yet with all
his auguries warded he not black fate from him, but was vanguished by the
hand of fleet-footed Aiakides in the river, when he made havoc of the
Trojans there and of the rest.
And Phorkys and godlike Askanios led the Phrygians from far Askania, and
these were eager to fight in the battle-throng.
And the Maionians were commanded of Mesthles and Antiphos, Talaimenes'
two sons, whose mother was the Gygaian mere. So these led the Maionians,
whose birthplace was under Tmolos.
But Nastes led the Karians, uncouth of speech, that possessed Miletos
and the mountain of Phthires, of leafage numberless, and the streams of
Maiandros and the steep crest of Mykale. These were led of Amphimachos
and Nastes: Nastes and Amphimachos the glorious children of Nomion. And
he came, forsooth, to battle with golden attire like a girl - fond man:
that held not back in any wise grievous destruction, but he was
vanguished by the hands of fleet-footed Aiakides in the river, and
wise-hearted Achilles carried away his gold.
And Sarpedon and blameless Glaukos led the Lykians from far away in
Lykia by eddying Xanthos.
How Menelaos and Paris fought in single combat; and
Aphrodite rescued Paris. And how Helen and Priam beheld the
Achaian host from the walls of Troy.
Now when they were arrayed, each company with their captains, the
Trojans marched with clamour and with shouting like unto birds, even as
when there goeth up before heaven a clamour of cranes which flee from
the coming of winter and sudden rain, and fly with clamour towards the
streams of ocean, bearing slaughter and fate to the Pigmy men, and in
early morn offer cruel battle. But on the other side marched the
Achaians in silence breathing courage, eager at heart to give succour
man to man.
Even as when the south wind sheddeth mist over the crests of a mountain,
mist unwelcome to the shepherd, but to the robber better than night,
and a man can see no further than he casteth a stone; even so thick
arose the gathering dust-clouds at their tread as they went; and
with all speed they advanced across the plain.
So when they were now come nigh in onset on each other, godlike
Alexandros played champion to the Trojans, wearing upon his shoulders
panther-skin and curved bow and sword; and he brandished two
bronze-headed spears and challenged all the chieftains of the Argives to
fight him man to man in deadly combat. But when Menelaos dear to Ares
marked him coming in the forefront of the multitude with long strides,
then even as a lion is glad when he lighteth upon a great carcase, a
horned stag, or a wild goat that he hath found, being an hungered; and
so he devoureth it amain, even though the fleet hounds and lusty youths
set upon him; even thus was Menelaos glad when his eyes beheld godlike
Alexandros; for he thought to take vengeance upon the sinner. So
straightway he leap in his armour from his chariot to the ground.
But when godlike Alexandros marked him appear amid the champions, his
heart was smitten, and he shrank back into the host of his comrades,
avoiding death. And even as a man that hath seen a serpent in a mountain
glade starteth backward and trembling seizeth his feet beneath him,
and he retreateth back again, and paleness hath hold of his cheeks, even
so did godlike Alexandros for fear of Atreus' son shrink back into the
throng of lordly Trojans. But Hector beheld and upbraided him with
scornful words: "Ill Paris, most fair in semblance, thou deceiver
woman-mad, would thou hadst been unborn and died unwed. Yea, that were
my desire, and it were far better than thus to be our shame and looked
at askance of all men. I ween that the flowing-haired Achaians laugh,
deeming that a prince is our champion only because a goodly favour is
his; but in his heart is there no strength nor any courage. Art thou
indeed such an one that in thy seafaring ships thou didst sail over the
deep with the company of thy trusty comrades, and in converse with
strangers didst bring back a fair woman from a far country, one that was
by marriage daughter to warriors that bear the spear, that she might be
a sore mischief to they father and city and all the realm, but to our
foes a rejoicing, and to thyself a hanging of the head? And canst thou
not indeed abide Menelaos dear to Ares? Thou mightest see what sort of
warrior is he whose lovely wife thou hast. Thy lyre will not avail thee
nor the gifts of Aphrodite, those thy locks and fair favour, when thou
grovellest in the dust. But the Trojans are very cowards: else ere this
hadst thou donned a robe of stone [i.e., been stoned by the people] for
all the ill thou hast wrought."
And godlike Alexandros made answer to him again: "Hector, since in
measure thou chidest me and not beyond measure - they heart is ever keen,
even as an axe that pierceth a beam at the hand of a man that shapeth a
ship's timber with skill, and thereby is the man's blow strengthened;
even such is thy heart undaunted in thy breast. Cast not in my teeth the
lovely gifts of golden Aphrodite; not to be flung aside are the gods'
glorious gifts that of their own good will they give; for by his desire
can no man win them. But now if thou wilt have me do battle and fight,
make the other Trojans sit down and all the Achaians, and set ye me in
the midst, and Menelaos dear to Ares, to fight for Helen and all her
wealth. And whichsoever shall vanquish and gain the upper hand, let him
take all the wealth aright, and the woman, and bear them home. And let
the rest pledge friendship and sure oaths; so may ye dwell in
deep-soiled Troy, and let them depart to Argos pasture-land of horses,
and Achaia home of fair women."
So spake he, and Hector rejoiced greatly to hear his saying, and went
into the midst and restrained the battalions of the Trojans, with his
spear grasped by the middle; and they all sate them down. But the
flowing-haired Achaians kept shooting at him, aiming with arrows and
casting stones. But Agamemnon king of men cried aloud: "Refrain, ye
Argives; shoot not, ye sons of the Achaians; for Hector of the glancing
helm hath set himself to say somewhat."
So spake he, and they refrained from battle and made silence speedily.
And Hector spake between the two hosts, "Hear of me, Trojans and
well-greaved Achaians, the saying of Alexandros, for whose sake strife
hath come about. He biddeth the other Trojans and all the Achaians to
lay down their goodly armour on the bounteous earth, and himself in the
midst and Menelaos dear to Ares to fight alone for Helen and all her
wealth. And whichsoever shall vanquish and gain the upper hand, let him
take all the wealth aright, and the woman, and bear them home; but let
all of us pledge friendship and sure oaths."
So spake he, and they all kept silence and were still. Then in their
midst spake Menelaos of the loud war-cry: "Hearken ye now to me, too;
for into my heart most of all is grief entered; and I deem that the
parting of Argives and Trojans hath come at last; seeing ye have endured
many ills because of my quarrel and the first sin of Alexandros. And for
whichsoever of us death and fate are prepared, let him lie dead: and be
ye all parted with speed. Bring ye two lambs, one white ram and one
black ewe, for earth and sun; and let us bring one for Zeus. And call
hither great Priam, that he may pledge the oath himself, seeing he hath
sons that are overweening and faithless, lest any by transgression do
violence to the oath of Zeus; for young men's hearts are ever lifted up.
But wheresoever an old man entereth in, he looketh both before and
after, whereby the best issue shall come for either side."
So spake he, and Achaians and Trojans were glad, deeming that they
should have rest from grievous war. So they refrained their chariots to
the ranks, and themselves alighted and doffed their arms. And these they
laid upon the earth each close to each, and there was but small space
between. And Hector sent two heralds to the city will all speed, to
bring the lambs, and to call Priam. And lord Agamemnon sent forth
Talthybios to go to the hollow ships, and bade him bring a ram; and he
was not disobedient to noble Agamemnon.
Now Iris went with a message to white-armed Helen in the likeness of her
husband's sister, the spouse of Antenor's son, even her that lord
Helikaon Antenor's son had to wife, Laodike fairest favoured of Priam's
daughters. And in the hall she found Helen weaving a great purple web of
double fold, and embroidering thereon many battles of horse-taming
Trojans and mail-clad Achaians, that they had endured for her sake at
the hands of Ares. So fleet-footed Iris stood by her side and said:
"Come hither, dear sister, that thou mayest see the wondrous doings of
horse-taming Trojans and mail-clad Achaians. They that erst waged
tearful war upon each other in the plain, eager for deadly battle, even
they sit now in silence, and the tall spears are planted by their sides.
But Alexandros and Menelaos dear to Ares will fight with their tall
spears for thee; and thou wilt be declared the dear wife of him that
So spake the goddess, and put into her heart sweet longing for her
former husband and her city and parents.
Forthwith she veiled her face in shining linen, and hastened from her
chamber, letting fall a round tear; not unattended, for there followed
with her two handmaidens, Aithre daughter of Pittheus and ox-eyed
Klymene. Then came she straightway to the place of the Skaian gates. And
they that were with Priam and Panthoos and Thymoites and Lampos and
Klytios and Hiketaon of the stock of Ares, Oukalegon withal and Antenor,
twain sages, being elders of the people, sat at the Skaian gates. These
had now ceased from battle for old age, yet were they right good
orators, like grasshoppers that in a forest sit upon a tree and utter
their lily-like [supposed to mean "delicate" or "tender"] voice; even so
sat the elders of the Trojans upon the tower. Now when they saw Helen
coming to the tower they softly spake winged words one to the other:
"Small blame is it that Trojans and well-greaved Achaians should for
such a woman long time suffer hardships; marvellously like is she to the
immortal goddesses to look upon. Yet even so, though she be so goodly,
let her go upon their ships and not stay to vex us and our children
So said they, and Priam lifted up his voice and called to Helen: "Come
hither, dear child, and sit before me, that thou mayest see thy former
husband and they kinsfolk and thy friends. I hold thee not to blame;
nay, I hold the gods to blame who brought on me the dolorous war of the