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From Opus brought, a luckless homicide.
Who of Amphidamas, by evil chance.
Had slain the son, disputing o'er the dice:
Me noble Peleus in his house receiv'd.
And kindly nurs'd, and thine attendant made.
So in one urn be now our bones enclos'd.
The golden vase, thy Goddess- mother's gift,"

The Older Iliad 13

Whom answer'd thus Achilles, swift of foot:
**Why art thou here, lov'd being? Why on me
These sev'ral charges lay? Whate'er thou bidd'st
Will I perform, and all thy mind fulfill;
But draw thou near, and in one short embrace.
Let us, while yet we may, our grief indulge."

Thus as he spoke, he spread his longing arms.
But nought he clasped, and with a waihng cry.
Vanish 'd, like smoke, the spirit beneath the earth.
Up sprang Achilles, all amaz'd, and smote
His hands together, and lamenting cried:
**0 Heav'n, there are then, in the realms below,
Spirits and spectres, unsubstantial all;
For all night long Patroclus' shade hath stood.
Weeping and wailing, at my side, and told
His bidding; th' image of himself it seem'd."

With no companion save the roaring wind gods Achilles
watches all night beside the pyre.

.... They all night long

With current brisk together fann'd the fire.

All night Achilles with a double cup

Drew from a golden bowl the ruddy wine.

Wherewith, outpour'd, he moisten'd all the earth,

Still calling on his lost Patroclus' shade.

As mourns a father o'er a youthful son.

Whose early death has wrung his parents' hearts;

So mourned Achilles o'er his friend's remains.

Prostrate beside the pyre, and groan 'd aloud.

But when the star of Lucifer appear'd.

The harbinger of light, whom following close

Spreads o'er the sea the saffron-robed mom,

Then pal'd the smould'ring fire, and sank the flame;

And o'er the Thracian sea, that groan'd and heav'd

Beneath their passage, home the Winds return'd;

And weary, from the pyre a space withdrawn,

Achilles lay, o'ercome by gentle sleep.

14 Ideals in Greek Literature

The memorial mound is to be built for both friends.
Achilles gives the command:

** These ashes in a golden urn shall He

Till I myself shall in the tomb be laid;

And o'er them build a mound, not over large,

But of proportions meet; in days to come.

Ye Greeks, who after me shall here remain,

Complete the work, and build it broad and high."

It is fitting to set beside this pair of friends the noble
kinsmen Glaucus and Sarpedon, who came from far off
Lycia to aid King Priam, the unhappy father of Paris and
of Hector. The passage here offered is generally regarded
as peculiarly suited to the genius of Pope, whose sonorous
version may be cited. Sarpedon, who is a son of Zeus,
the supreme god, by a mortal mother, addresses his merely
human cousin as they prepare to enter the fray together.

**Why boast we, Glaucus, our extended reign,
Where Xanthus' streams enrich the Lycian plain,
Our numerous herds that range the fruitful field.
And hills where vines their purple harvest yield.
Our foaming bowls with purer nectar crown'd,
• Our hearts entranced with music's sprightly sound?
Why on these shores are we with joy survey'd,
Admired as heroes and as gods obey'd,
Unless great acts superior merit prove,
And vindicate the bounteous powers above?
'Tis ours the dignity they give to grace;
The first in valor as the first in place;
That, when with wandering eyes our martial bands
Behold our deeds transcending our commands,
'Such', they may cry, 'deserve the sovereign state,
Whom those that envy dare not imitate!'
Could all our care elude the gloomy grave.
Which claims no less the fearful and the brave,

The Older Iliad 15

For lust of fame I should not vainly dare
In fighting fields, nor urge thy soul to war.
But since, alas! ignoble age must come,
Disease, and death's inexorable doom.
The life, which others pay, let us bestow.
And give to fame what we to honor owe;
Brave though we fall, and honor'd if we live,
Or let us glory gain or glory give ! "

Outward conditions of life change ceaselessly; but
such comradeship as this, such a noble sense of the duty
that is imposed by lofty rank, even the rather grim fatal-
ism of the latter lines, will always make strong appeal to
men, and above all to the gallant patriotic soldier.


The famous Elizabethan translation of Homer by John Chap-
man, despite Keats' glorification of it in his sonnet: "On First
Looking into Chapman's Homer," is very hard reading, full of
quaint "conceits," and often most un-Homeric. Pope's reso-
nance, clear syntax, and rapid movement, are all most fitting, but
he also introduces in numberless details the manners and tastes
of his own day, and he probably could not read the Greek at all,
depending chiefly on incompetent French translators. It is the
largest example in English of clear forceful writing by a perfect
master of the heroic couplet, but as the great scholar Bentley said
to Pope, "You mustn't call it Homer."

The most popular recent rhythmical versions are doubtless
Lord Derby's and William Cullen Bryant's, both in blank verse,
or ten-syllable unrhymed lines. The former has been freely
quoted in this chapter, the latter in the "Odyssey." Both trans-
lators use the Roman names for gods instead of the Greek, calling
the king of heaven and his wife Jupiter, or Jove, and Juno, not
Zeus and Hera, the war god Mars, not Ares, the goddess of love
Venus instead of Aphrodite. Even the patroness of Odysseus is
oftener named Minerva than Pallas Athene. A more serious fault

1 6 Ideals in Greek Literature

is the slow effect inherent in the rhythm. A certain pedantic
stiffness in the British, a refined gentleness in the American trans-
later might be mentioned. Both are good and essentially faithful
versions, Bryant's the more enjoyable. Other spirited verse-
translations have been published by Way, Blackie, Worsley and
Conington, and many others.

The exact statements of Homer are well rendered in some-
what archaic English prose, by the three English scholars Lang,
Leaf, and Myers, collaborating on the Macmillan translation.
For the discoveries by excavation at Troy, Mycenae, etc., the
English reader should refer to Tsountas' and Manatt's "Mycenean
Age," rather than to Dr. Schliemann's own stately volumes.

The unity of authorship in the "Iliad" is best defended by
Andrew Lang, in "Homer and the Epic." He does not fully
meet the assaults of his friend Leaf, who in his "Companion to
the Iliad" assigns the parts of the poem in detail to several suc-
cessive composers and interpolators.



Family Ties. Hector and Andromache. Priam's Griej
jar Hector.

In the ** Iliad" the Greeks come to Asia Minor as to
an alien land. The Asiatic peoples are arrayed as allies
or vassals on Priam's side. But still, most of the seven
or more towns that claimed each to be the place of
Homer's birth, Smyrna, Chios, etc., are old Greek cities
on the Eastern side of the ^gean. These cities may
really all have been early colonies from Greece proper.
If, as is widely believed, these Eastward pilgrims brought
the older portions of the ''Iliad" with them, it is natural
that some of the latest additions to the poem, as we now
read it, should have been made in the new home, and
should delineate with fullest sympathy the Asiatic heroes,
even though they had fought on the wrong side in the
mythic war about Troy ; even though, like Evangeline and
Hiawatha, they were of races alien and hostile to their
poet's own people. These portions seem to show more
refinement, and gentler feeling, than the older parts of
the epic. Among them is the passage last cited, — with
others in which both Glaucus and Sarpedon are given
marked honor, — and, especially, the two great scenes
which are perhaps better known than any others: the
parting of Hector and his wife Andromache before his
last great exploits, and the final appearance of old king


1 8 Ideals in Greek Literature

Priam in the cabin of his deadliest foe Achilles, whither
he has gone by night to beg the privilege of ransoming
the body of his bravest son.

For the former extract an attempt may be made to
imitate, in our own harsher, more consonantal speech, the
hexameter rhythm of the Greek poem.


So thro' the city he passed, and came to the Scaean gate-

Where he intended forth to the plain and the battle to

There did his bounteous wife, Andromache, running to
meet him

Come, — Andromache, child of Eetion, fearless in spirit.

He, Eetion, dwelt at the foot of deep- wooded Plakos;

Ruling Cilician folk in Thebe under the mountain.

She was his daughter, and wife unto brazen-helmeted *

So she came and met him, and with her followed the ser-

Clasping the innocent boy to her bosom — yet but an

Hector's well-loved child, and brightly he shone as a star

Hector Scamandrius called him, the others Astyanax
named him.

Prince of the city — for Hector alone was Ilios' bulwark.

Hector is too modest to call his child Lord of the
Town, and names him instead Child of the River, Scam-
ander, the chief stream of the Trojan plain. Some
commentators have cut out these lines as unpoetical.

^ These "permanent" epithets often became almost like names. Often,
too, they are amusingly unsuited to the particular incident bein^ described.
We saw "swift-footed" Achillesfstanding idle. So Helen is "trailing-robed"
even when hurrying thro' the dusty streets. Juno is "golden-throned," when
she goes sleepy to Bed !

Later Additions to the Iliad 19

Smiling the father stood, as he looked at his son, and in

Close to his side, with a tear in her eye, Andromache

Clung to her husband's hand, and thus she spoke and

addressed him:
''Ah me, surely your prowess will slay you! Nor will

you have pity,
Not for your helpless child, nor yet for myself the ill-fated.
Soon I of you shall be robbed. Ere long the Achseans

will slay you.
All of them rushing upon you ! And truly, for me it were

When I of you am bereft, to go down to the grave. Nor

May consolation be mine, when once your doom is accom-
Only laments! No father have I, nor reverend mother.
Well do you know how Achilles the godlike murdered my

, father.
When he had sacked our city, that well-built town of

Thebe with lofty gates; and Eetion also he murdered,
Though he despoiled him not, since that he dreaded in

There did the victor burn his body, in beautiful armor.
He, too, heaped up a mound, and the elms are growing

about it
Set by the Oreads, sprung from Zeus, who is lord of the

Seven my brethren were, who together abode in the palace.
All on a single day passed down to the dwelling of Hades,
Each of them slain by the sword of the fleet-footed, god-

Hke Achilles, —
They, and the white-fleeced sheep, and the herds of the

slow-paced oxen.
Lastly, my mother, who ruled as a queen under deep-
wooded Plakos: —

Q.O Ideals in Greek Literature

Though he had led her hither, along with the rest of the

Yet he released her again, and accepted a glorious ransom.
Then, in the hall of her father, the huntress Artemis slew

Hector, so you are to me both father and reverend

You are my brother as well, and you are my glorious

Pray have pity upon me, and tarry you here on the ram-
Lest you may leave as an orphan your boy, and your wife

as a widow.
Order your people to stand by the fig-tree, since upon

that side
Easier gained is the wall, and exposed to assault is the

Then unto her made answer the great bright-helmeted

"Surely for all these things, my wife, am I troubled, but

Shamed were I before Trojans, and long-robed Trojan

If like a coward I lingered, afar from the war and the

Nor has my heart so bade me, because I have learned to

be always
Valiant and ready to fight in the foremost line of our

Striving to win high fame, for myself and for Priam my

This, too, well do I know: in my heart and my soul it

abideth :
Surely a day shall come when the sacred city shall perish,
Priam himself, and the folk of Priam the valorous spear-
Yet far less do I grieve for the Trojans' sorrows hereafter,

iThat is, she died a sudden and painless death.

Later Additions to the Iliad 21

Even the woes of Hecabe's self, and of Priam the

Or for the fate of my brethren, though many shall perish

FaUing prone in the dust by the hands of the merciless

foemen, —
Less do I grieve for all this than for you, when a warrior

Leads you lamenting away, for the day of your freedom

is ended.
Then as another's slave at the loom you will labor in

Or from the spring Hypereia draw water, or else from

Oft in reluctance, because compulsion is heavy upon you.
Then, as you weep, perchance 'twill be said by one who

shall see you,
'Yon is Hector's wife, who still among knightly Trojans
Bravest proved in the fray, when Troy was with battle

So some day will they speak, and again will the pain be

Since, of so faithful a husband bereft, you will suffer in

Verily dead may I be, and the earth heaped heavy upon

Ere I may hear thy cry, or behold thee dragged by the

Speaking thus, for his son reached out the illustrious

Yet he backward recoiled on the breast of the faithful

Crying aloud in his fright at the sight of his father beloved.
'Twas by the brazen mail and the horsehair plume he was

Seeing it nodding so fiercely, adown from the crest of his


iThe Greek poet, adding the loving touch of local color, forgets that Tro-
jan Hector would never have heard of Pharpar and Abama.

22 Ideals in Greek Literature

Then out laughed the affectionate father and reverend

Presently now the illustrious Hector lifted his helmet
Off from his head; on the ground he laid it resplendently

When he had tossed in his arms his well-loved son, and

caressed him,
Then unto Zeus and the other immortals he made his

petition :
''Zeus, and ye other immortals, I pray you that even as I

So this boy may become preeminent over the Trojans,
Mighty and fearless as I, and in Ihos rule by his prowess!
May it hereafter be said, 'He is better by far than his


(It is a verse any man might write in golden letters on
the wall of the chamber where lies his first-born son: but
we cannot break off here, though the following lines are
an unwelcome reminder that Hector, like Achilles, is a
"splendid savage" after all!)

— When he returns from the fray, with the bloodstained

armour of heroes,
When he has smitten the foe, and gladdened the heart of

his mother."
So did he speak; and into the arms of his wife, the

Laid he the boy, and she in her fragrant bosom received

Laughing with tears in her eyes. Her husband was moved

as he saw her:
"Dear one, be not for me so exceedingly troubled in

No one against Fate's will shall send me untimely to Hades.
None among mortal men his destiny ever evadeth, —
Neither the coward nor hero, when once his doom is


Later Additions to the Iliad 23

Pray you, go to your home, and there give heed to your

Tasks of the loom and the spindle, and lay your commands
on the servants.

So they may work your will. Let men take thought for
the combat,

All — I most of them all — whoso are in Ilios native."
So having spoken, illustrious Hector took up the helmet,

Horsehair-crested. The faithful wife had homeward

Turning ever about, and fast were her tears down drop-

Presently now to her palace she came, that so fairly was

Home of Hector, destroyer of heroes: many a servant

Found she within, and among them all she aroused

They in his home over Hector lamented, while yet he was

Since they believed he would come no more from the
battle returning.

Nor would escape from the hands and might of the val-
iant Achaeans.

The funeral rites of Patroclus fill Book XXHI. of the
*'Iliad." Hector's body still lies, insulted and mangled,
by his slayer's cabin, while day after day passes. In the
next and last book Hermes, the kindly messenger-god, has
guided and protected Priam on his way, with costly ran-
som, to the hostile camp, but leaves him, at the threshold
of Achilles, late in the night.

Achilles was just ceasing from his meal,
From drink and food. The table stood by him.
Great Priam entered in unmarked by them
And close beside Achilles took his place.
Clasped with both hands his knees, and kissed

24 Ideals in Greek Literature

Those awful murderous hands, which had destroyed
. His many sons.

As when a mighty curse
Befalleth one who in his fatherland
Hath slain a man, and to another folk
He comes, unto some wealthy man's abode.
And wonder seizes those who look on him.
So did Achilles marvel, as he saw
The godlike Priam: and the others too
In their amazement gazed at one another.

Then Priam prayerfully addressed him thus:
''Remember, O Achilles like the gods.
Thy father, even of such years as I,
Upon the fatal threshold of old age.
Perchance the neighbors vex him round about,
And there is no one to avert from him
Calamity and ruin. But yet he.
Hearing thou art alive, exults in heart,
And all his days is hopeful he shall see
His well-loved son returning home from Troy.
But wholly evil is my fate, who had
The noblest sons in wide Troy-land, and none
Of them, I tell thee, now is left alive.
Fifty I had when the Achaeans came:
Nineteen were from one womb bom unto me,
The others of the women in my halls.
Of most, impetuous Ares^ brake the knees.
Him who alone remained, and kept my town
And people, thou the other day hast slain.
While he was fighting for his fatherland:
Hector. For his sake to th' Achaeans' ships
I came, to buy him back from thee, and bring
A priceless ranson. But do thou revere
The gods, Achilles, and have pity on me.
Remembering thine own father. Yet am I
More piteous, and have borne what no one else
Of men on earth has done — to lift the hand

1 The war god, meaning here war itsell.

Later Additions to the Iliad 25

Of him who slew my sons unto my lips."

So spoke he; and he roused indeed in him
Desire of weeping for his father. Then
Grasping him by the hand, he gently pushed
The old man from him; and they both bewailed
Unceasingly: the one remembering
Hector, the slayer of men, the while he lay
Before Achilles' feet; but for his sire
Achilles wept, and for Patroclus too
At times; and in the house their moan went up.

But when divine Achilles had his fill
Of weeping, straightway from the chair he rose,
And lifted by the hand the aged man.
Pitying his hoary head and hoary beard.
Addressing him he uttered winged words:
**Ah, wretched one, thou hast indeed endured
Full many woes in heart. How didst thou dare
To come to the Achaeans' ships, alone,
Into my presence, — mine, who have despoiled
Thy many noble sons? Thy soul is hard
As iron. But, come, sit upon a chair.
And truly we will let our sorrows lie
Quiet within our hearts, grieved though we be;
For in chill mourning there is no avail.
Since so the gods have spun for wretched men,
To live in sorrow. They are free from care !
For at the door of Zeus two jars are set,
One filled with evil gifts, and one again
With blessings; and to whomsoever Zeus,
Hurler of lightning, intermingling gives.
He chances now on evil, now on good;
While him to whom he gives but ills he makes
A byword! Wretched famine urges him
Over the holy earth. He wanders forth,
Unhonoured of the gods or mortal men.*

So the gods gave to Peleus glorious gifts
At birth, for he to all mankind was famed

1 From the jar of blessings, alone, no man's portion is dipped, it appears.

26 Ideals in Greek Literature

For bliss and wealth, and ruled the Myrmidons.
A goddess, too, they made his wife, though he
Was mortal. Yet the God sent woe on him;
For in his halls no race of mortal sons
Arose; one all-untimely son had he,
And I protect him not as he grows old:
Since far from home I tarry in the Troad,
Vexing thee, and thy children. And of thee
'Tis said, old sir, that thou wert happy once.
Of all the land which Lesbos, Makar's home,
Doth bound, and Phrygia, and vast Hellespont,
Of all these folk, 'tis said, thou wert supreme,
O aged man, in tale of wealth and sons.
But since the Heaven-dwellers on thee sent
This sorrow, ever round thy town is strife
And slaying of men.

Endure, and do not grieve
Unceasingly in spirit. Naught by grief
Wilt thou accomplish for thy gallant son;
Thou mayst not raise him up to life again;
Nay, sooner wilt thou suffer other ills."

Then aged godlike Priam answered him:
**Bid me not yet to sit upon a chair.
Thou child of Zeus, while Hector in thy house
Uncared-for lies. But give him up at once,
That I may see him; — and accept the price."

Then swift Achilles with fierce glance replied:
** Chafe me no more, old sir; I do myself
Intend to give thee Hector back. From Zeus
As messenger to me my mother came;
The daughter of the Ancient of the Sea.
And as for thee, O Priam, well I know
In heart, and it escapes me not, some god
Guided thee to the Achaeans' speedy ships;
For never mortal man would dare to come.
Though youthful, to our camp, nor could he elude
The guards, nor easily push back the bolts
Upon our gates. So do thou rouse no more,

Later Additions to the Iliad 27

O aged man, mine anger in my grief,

Lest I may leave thee not unharmed, even here

Within my cabin, suppliant as thou art.

But may transgress against the will of Zeus."

He spoke; the aged man in fear obeyed.
PeHdes like a lion through the house
Rushed to the portal; not alone: with him
Two servants went, heroic Automedon
And Alkimos, whom of his comrades most
Achilles honoured, save Patroclus dead.
They from the yoke released the steeds and mules,
And led the herald of the old King in,
And bade him sit. Then from the shining cart
They took the priceless ransom for the head
Of Hector. But two robes they left, and one
Tunic well-knit, that he might wrap therewith
The dead, and give him to be carried home.
Calling the maids he ordered them to wash
And to anoint him, taking him apart.
That Priam might not look upon his son.
Lest in his sorrowing spirit he might not
Restrain his wrath when he beheld his child;
And so Achilles* heart would be aroused.
And he would slay him, and transgress the will
Of Zeus.^

Achilles breathes the prayer:

** Patroclus, be not wroth,
Even in Hades, that I have released
The mighty Hector to his loving father.
For no unworthy ransom did he give.
And with thee I will share it, as is right."

Then, turning to Priam:

**Thy son is freed, old man, as thou hast bid,
And lies upon the bier. At dawn shalt thou
Behold and bear him hence. But now let us

iThe courteous and cbivalric host, fearing that a savage devil maybe
roused in his own heart, is an early and striking example of conscious-dualism.

28 Ideals in Greek Literature

Take thought of supper "

When they had sated them with food and drink,

Dardanian Priam at Achilles gazed

In wonder, seeing him so tall and fair.

Achilles too admired Dardanian Priam,

Viewing his goodly aspect, giving ear

Unto his words. But when they had looked their fill

At one another, first unto his host

The venerable, godlike Priam spoke:

"Let me at once, O child of Zeus, lie down,

That we of slumber sweet may have our fill.

And rest. Nor yet mine eyes* beneath their lids

Have closed, since at thy hands my son gave up

His life, but evermore I groan aloud.

And brood on my innumerable griefs.

Rolling in filth within my courtyard's close.

Now truly have I tasted food, and let

.The gleaming wine pass down my throat. Before

I had tasted nothing. '*

The beds are accordingly spread under the colonnade in
the courtyard. Before they part for the night, however,
a yet more generous thought occurs to Achilles, and he
asks his guest:

"But prithee tell me, and say truthfully.

How many days thou dost intend to pay

Thy rites to mighty Hector, so that I

Myself may wait, and hold my folk aloof. ' *

Then agdd godlike Priam answered him:

"If thou indeed dost wish me to complete

Great Hector's burial, by acting thus,

Achilles, thou wouldst win my gratitude;

Thou knowest we are pent within the town.

The wood is from the mountain far to fetch.

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