DICTYS CRETENSIS 2
 

DICTYS CRETENSIS INDEX

LETTER

PREFACE

BOOK 1 Antehomerica

BOOK 2 Antehomerica & "Iliad"

BOOK 3 "The Iliad"

BOOK 4 Posthomerica

BOOK 5 Posthomerica

BOOK 6 The Returns

DICTYS CRETENSIS BOOK 2 TRANS. BY R. M. FRAZER

[1] The winds drove our whole fleet toward Mysia, and at a given signal we quickly guided all of the ships to shore, where, however, there were guards who opposed our men and prevented them from debarking. These guards had been stationed there by Telephus, who was at that time the ruler of Mysia, to protect his country from overseas enemies. They forbade us to come ashore, or even to touch land, until they had told their king who we were. When our men paid no heed to these orders and began, one by one, to debark, the guards relented not in the least but used full force to resist and obstruct us. Thereupon all of our leaders agreed that force must be met with force and, snatching up arms and rushing from the ships, angrily slew some of the guards; and put the others to flight, slaughtering any they happened to catch.

[2] The guards who were first to escape the Greeks went and told Telephus about the hostile horde which had attacked their country and which, having slain some of their number, now was holding the shore. And each of the guards, in proportion to his fear, embellished the story now with some additional incident.

On learning this news, Telephus, taking the men he had with him and those who were able to be gathered in the emergency, hastened to encounter the Greeks. When the two sides had drawn up their forces, a great battle ensued. They slaughtered each other at close quarters, the deaths of their comrades spurring them on to fight the more fiercely. It was in this battle that Thersander (the son of Polynices, as we mentioned above) attacked Telephus, and fell at his hands. Thersander had killed many of the Mysians, among whom was a doughty fighter, a favourite of Telephus, chosen by him as one of his generals because of his bravery, strength, and natural ability; these successes had gradually caused Thersander to become elated at the prospects of ultimate victory; and thus, daring to do greater deeds, he was killed. Thereupon Diomedes, remembering the friendship their fathers had started,1 shouldered Thersander’s bloody body and carried it off to be cremated and buried according to custom.

[3] Achilles and Ajax the son of Telamon, seeing that the war was resulting in heavy casualties for our side, divided the army between them and, exhorting their troops as the occasion demanded, attacked the enemy more fiercely, their strength apparently renewed. They themselves were in the front of the fighting, now pursuing those who were fleeing, now opposing, like a wall, those who attacked. Thus even then, by being the first or among the first to fight in every encounter, they had won for themselves both with our men and with the enemy, an illustrious reputation for bravery.

Meanwhile Teuthranius, having noticed that Ajax was winning great glory in battle, hastened to meet him, and there died fighting, felled by Ajax’ spear. Teuthranius was the son of Teuthras and Auge; and the half-brother of Telephus, for they had the same mother.2

Telephus, being deeply upset by the death of his brother and seeking for vengeance, attacked the enemy line. Having put to flight those who opposed him, he was doggedly pursuing Ulysses in a vineyard nearby when a vine tripped him up. Thereupon Achilles who, from some distance, had seen what had happened, hurled his spear and pierced the king’s left thigh. But Telephus rose quickly and, having drawn out the spear, escaped immediate destruction under cover of a group of his men who had come to the rescue.

[4] At the close of this day, both sides were exhausted, for the battle had raged without break, the leaders joined in fierce combat. The presence of Telephus had especially dampened our spirits, tired as we already were from sailing so far; for Telephus was a tall and powerful man whose deeds of valor rivalled those of his divine father, Hercules. Thus with the coming of night, all were glad to stop fighting. The Mysians returned to their homes, our men to the ships. Great was the number of those who were slain in this battle, but greater still was the number of those who were wounded: no one, or at least very few, escaped without injury.

On the next day both sides sent envoys to make a truce for burying the dead. Thus the bodies were collected, cremated, and buried.

[5] Meanwhile Tlepolemus and the brothers Antiphus and Phidippus (who were sons of Thessalus and grandsons of Hercules, as we mentioned above) learned that Telephus was the ruler of Mysia. Relying for protection on the fact of this kinship, they went and told him who they were, and with whom they had sailed. Finally, after a long conversation, they bitterly accused him of the hostile way he had opposed his own people, pointing out that Agamemnon and Menelaus, who had brought together their army, were descendants of Pelops and therefore not unrelated to him.3 Then they told him about Alexander’s crimes against Menelaus’ home and about the abduction of Helen. Telephus therefore, they concluded, should want to aid the Greeks because of his relationship with them, and especially in view of Alexander’s violation of the laws of guest-friendship; moreover, Telephus’ father, Hercules, had also aided the Greeks by those numerous labours the monuments of which existed throughout Greece.

Telephus, though terribly pained by his wound, answered their charges politely. What had happened, he said, was not his fault, but theirs. He had not know that they who had come were closest friends and cherished relatives. They should have sent ahead messengers to announce their arrival, and he would have gone and met them, bidden them welcome, and made them at home; they would have been his guests, and he would have sent them off with gifts when they thought they must go. As for the expedition against Priam, he refused to take part; he was prevented by the closest bonds of kinship, for his wife Astyoche, the mother of his son Eurypylus, was one of Priam’s daughters.

Then he quickly commanded that his people be told to stop preparing for war and freely granted our men the right to debark. Tlepolemus and the other envoys were put in the care of Eurypylus; and thus, their mission accomplished, they returned to the ships to tell Agamemnon and the other nobles about the peace and concord with Telephus.

[6] On learning this news, we gladly stopped preparing for war; and, in accordance with the will of the council, Achilles and Ajax went to Telephus. Seeing he was suffering great pain, they tried to console him and urged him to bear up bravely. Telephus, when his pain allowed him to speak, accused the Greeks of not even sending a messenger ahead to announce their arrival. Then he asked how many of our men were descendants of Pelops, and who these descendants were. Having been told, he insisted that these relatives should come and see him. Thereupon our men, having promised to do as he wished, returned and told the others what he desired.

Accordingly, all of the descendants of Pelops, with the exception of Agamemnon and Menelaus, came together and went to Telephus. He was very grateful and very delighted to see them and received them hospitably with many gifts. Moreover, he showed his kindness by sending grain and ample supplies to all our men who were left at the ships. Noticing, however, that Agamemnon and Menelaus were absent, he begged Ulysses to go and summon them. Upon their arrival, he and they exchanged gifts, as royal custom demanded; and they ordered Podalirius and Machaon, the sons of Aesculapius, to come and treat him. These latter hastened to discover a cure and to offer a suitable treatment for the wound.

[7] When we had been delayed from embarking for several days, and the sea, because of adverse winds, was becoming increasingly rough, we went to Telephus and asked what was the best time for sailing to Troy from Mysia. The beginning of spring, he said; no other time was good. Thereupon, by unanimous agreement, we returned to Boeotia and, having hauled up our ships, dispersed to spend the winter in our different kingdoms.

During this time of leisure, Agamemnon felt free to blame Menelaus for having betrayed Iphigenia,4 for he believed that he had advised this and was, so to speak, the cause of his grief.

[8] And during this time the Trojans learned of our hostile alliance from the barbarous Scythians, who bartered their goods with the people who lived up and down both sides of the Hellespont. Fear and sorrow prevailed throughout Troy. Everyone who had from the beginning disapproved of Alexander’s crime swore that Greece had been wronged and that all of the Trojans, because of the sins of a few, were going straight to destruction. To meet this threat to their country, Alexander and his wicked advisers sent men, carefully chosen from every group, to levy forces in the neighboring regions, and commanded them to return as quickly as possible with their mission accomplished. Thus the sons of Priam sped up preparations in order that, when the army was ready, they might set sail first and carry the entire war to Greece.

[9] Meanwhile Diomedes, having learned what was happening at Troy, quickly went thoughout Greece; he met with all of our leaders and told them the plan of the Trojans. We must, he urged, gather supplies and equipment and sail as soon as we could.

Thus we assembled at Argos; but there Agamemnon aroused the wrath of Achilles by refusing to sail. He was still crushed with grief because of the loss of his daughter. Finally, however, Ulysses revived his spirits and sense of purpose by letting him know what had really happened to Iphigenia.

Everyone was present at Argos, and no one neglected his military duty. But Ajax the son of Telamon, along with Achilles and Diomedes, had shown the greatest concern and zeal in preparing for war; and now these saw to the construction of extra ships with which to make beachheads on Trojan territory, building within ad few days fifty such vessels complete in all points.

Eight years had passed from the time we first began preparing for war, and now the ninth had begun.

[10] When nothing prevented our sailing, the ships being ready and the sea being calm, we hired Scythians to act as our guides.5 They had landed at Argos to barter goods.

At the same time Telephus hastened to sail to Argos to find relief for the wound he had received while fighting our men. Having suffered a long time and found no remedy, he had gone to the oracle of Apollo, and there been told to consult Achilels and the sons of Aesculapius. He reported the oracle to all or our leaders, who were wondering why he had come, and begged them – they were his friends – not to deny the predicted remedy. On hearing his plea, Achilles, Machaon, and Podalirius treated his wound, and thus soon proved the oracle true.

After we had made many sacrifices and besought the gods to aid our endeavors, we went to Aulis, taking the ships mentioned above.

And from there we hastened to sail. Telephus, being grateful because of his cure, offered himself as a guide. Thus we boarded the ships and, finding favourable winds, came to Troy several days later.

[11] Meanwhile the Lycian Sarpedon, the son of Xanthus and Laodamia, in answer to the summons which frequent messengers had made for Priam, had led a huge army to Troy. Having noticed from afar that our great armada was landing, he realized the situation and, alerting his forces, rushed to prevent our debarking. Soon afterwards the sons of Priam learned what was happening and, taking up arms, ran to the aid of Sarpedon. Thus we were fiercely attacked in every way. At first we could neither debark without being killed nor arm ourselves, the general confusion causing our every action to flounder. Finally, however, some, in spite of the terrible pressure, were able to arm and, banding together, fiercely counter-attacked. In this battle Protesilaus, whose ship had been first to land, fell among those who were fighting up front, struck by Aeneas’ weapon. Also two sons of Priam were killed. In fact, no one on either side completely escaped without injury.

[12] Achilles and Ajax the son of Telamon fought with great glory, their courage sustaining and increasing the confidence of our men. They struck fear into the enemy, some of whom, having dared to oppose them, soon were retreating, and all of whom finally were taking to flight. Thus we, being free for a time from enemy attack, were able to draw up our ships and set them safely in order.

Then we chose Achilles and Ajax the son of Telamon, since they were the bravest, to guard the ships and the army, stationing them at the ends of our camp to cover our flanks. When everyone was settled in place, Telephus departed for home. Our army was very grateful to him for having led us to Troy.

Soon afterwards Cycnus surprised us with a treacherous attack. He had heard of our coming, for his kingdom was not far off from Troy. His attack was made against those of our men who were preoccupied with the burial of Protesilaus. These, expecting no trouble, were caught unawares and forced to flee in utter disorder. But soon the rest of our men, those not entrusted with the burial, learned what was happening and came to the rescue. Among these was Achilles who encountered and slew Cycnus along with countless numbers of others; thus those who had fled were relieved.

[13] But frequent raids by the enemy caused heavy casualties to our side and deeply disturbed our leaders. Therefore, the first thing we decided to do was to attack the cities in the region near Troy with a part of our army and wreak general destruction. We began with the kingdom of Cycnus and plundered the country around it. When, however, we invaded and began to fire the capital, where it was said the sons of Cycnus were being reared, the people, that is, the Neandrienses, offered no resistance and begged us to forbear. Weeping, they prayed on bended knee, by all things human and divine, that their city be spared. They were not, they said, to be blamed for the wicked acts of their evil king; they had been innocent and, after his death, had sided with us. Thus they stirred us to pity and saved their city. We required, however, that they hand over the sons of the king, Cobis and Corianus, along with their sister Glauce. Then we gave the girl to Ajax, in addition to this regular share of the booty, a due reward for his valorous deeds. Soon afterwards the Neandrienses came to the camp and sued for peace; they promised to be our allies and to do whatever we ordered.

When this campaign had been finished, we stormed Cilla but refrained from touching Carene, though it was near. Thus we showed our gratitude for the faithful friendship of the Neandrienses, for they were lords in Carene.

[14] At the same time an oracle of the Pythian god was reported to us. We must, it said, choose Palamedes to offer a sacrifice to the Sminthian Apollo; we must all grant Palamedes this honor. Many of us were happy to obey this oracle, remembering the zeal and love Palamedes had shown throughout the army; but some of the leaders disliked him. Nevertheless, whatever our feelings, we did what was ordered and had Palamedes offer a hundred victims in behalf of all the army. Chryses, Apollo’s priest in this region, presided over the offering.

Meanwhile Alexander, having learned what was happening, gathered a force of armed men and came to prevent the sacrifice. But before he could reach the temple, the two Ajaxes killed a great number of his men and put him to flight.

Chryses (who, as we have said above, was the priest of Sminthian Apollo) feared harm from both armies and pretended to favour those from each side who approached him.

During the sacrifice, Philoctetes, who was standing in the temple near the altar, was suddenly bitten by a serpent. Everyone who saw what had happened raised a shout, and Ulysses rushed forward and slew the serpent. Soon afterwards we sent Philoctetes, with a few other men, to be cured of his poison on Lemnos, for the inhabitants of this island, which was sacred to Vulcan, claimed that their priests were wont to cure cases like his.

[15] During the same time Diomedes and Ulysses devised a plot to kill Palamedes.6 (It is characteristic of human nature to yield to resentments and envy; one does not easily allow oneself to be surpassed by a better.) Accordingly, these two, pretending to have found gold in a well, persuaded Palamedes – they wanted, they said, to share the treasure with him – to be the one to descend. He suspected nothing; and so, when no one else was nearby, they let him down by means of a rope, and then, picking up stones which were lying on around, they quickly stoned him to death. Thus Palamedes, the best of men and the army’s favourite, one whose counsel and courage had never failed, died in a way he ill deserved, treacherously slain by the most unworthy men. There were those who suspected Agamemnon of having shared in this plot, for Palamedes was very popular with the soldiers, most of whom wanted him as their king and openly said that he should be made commander-in-chief. After burning the body, a ceremony which was attended, like a public funeral, by all the Greeks, the ashes were placed in a golden urn.

[16] Meanwhile Achilles suspected that the states bordering on Troy were Trojan allies and, so to speak, a Trojan arsenal. Accordingly, taking some ships, he attacked Lesbos and easily took it by storm. Having slain Phorbas, the king of this island, who had committed many acts of hostility against us, he carried off Diomedea, Phorbas’ daughter, along with much booty. Then, as all of his soldiers demanded it, he attacked the wealthy cities of Scyros and Hierapolis with all of his forces; and these he utterly destroyed without any trouble in a few days. Wherever he went, the country was completely pacified and plundered, and everything was thrown into turmoil; anything that might be helpful to Troy was either overturned or destroyed. The other neighboring peoples, having learned what was happening, flocked to him in peace and promised him half of their crops if he, in return, would leave their fields unharmed. Thus he made treaties with these and exchanged pledges of peace.

After completing this campaign, Achilles returned to camp, a glorious victor bringing much booty. At the same time the king of the Scythians, having learned that our men had arrived, came and brought many gifts.

[17] But Achilles was by no means content with what he had already done. Therefore, he attacked the Cilicians and, within a few days, took Lyrnessos by storm. Having slain Eetion, the king of Lyrnessos, he filled his ships with much wealth and carried Astynome off, the daughter of Chryses and, at that time, Eetion’s wife.

Then Achilles hastened to storm Pedasos, a city of the Leleges. When Brises, the king of the Leleges, saw the fierceness of the siege, he realized that there was no way the enemy could be resisted or his own people sufficiently defended. Despairing of both flight and safety, he returned to his palace and, while everyone else was busy fighting, hanged himself. Soon afterwards the city was taken; many people were killed, and Hippodamia, the daughter of Brises, was carried off.

[18] During the same time, Ajax the son of Telamon made a sweeping attack against the Thracian Chersonese. When Polymestor, the king of this region, learned of Ajax’ prowess in war, he thought it was useless to fight and sought terms of surrender. First, he handed over Priam’s son, Polydorus. (Priam, acting in complete secrecy, had sent this son, soon after birth, across for Polymestor to raise.) Second, he gave gold and other such gifts, enough to satisfy his enemy’s demands. Third, he promised a year’s supply of grain for our entire army and filled the merchant ships Ajax had brought for this purpose. When, finally, he had denounced, with many curses, his treaty with Priam against us, his plea for peace was deemed acceptable.

After completing this campaign, Ajax turned toward the country of the Phrygians. He attacked them and slew their ruler Teuthras7 in single combat. Within a few days he had stormed and fired their city and carried off a great amount of booty, including Tecmessa, the daughter of Teuthras.

[19] Then Achilles and Ajax, coming from different directions, returned to camp at the same time, as if by plan. Having sacked many cities and laid waste to vast regions, they had won great renown for themselves. When the heralds had assembled all the soldiers and leaders, the two returning heroes entered the crowd – not together, but one at a time – and displayed, for everyone to see, the results of all their labors and pains. Seeing what they had brought, we shouted their praises, and crowned them, as they stood in our midst, with wreaths of olive.

In deciding how best to divide the booty, we followed the advice of Nestor and Idomeneus, the most judicious of men. First, from the booty that Achilles had brought, Astynome (the wife of Eetion and the daughter of Chryses, as we said above) was given, by unanimous decision to Agamemnon in view of his kingly office. As for Achilles, he kept Diomedea and also Hippodamia, the daughter of Brises. It would have been cruel to separate these girls, for they were of the same age and from similar backgrounds; furthermore, they had fallen at Achilles’ feet and begged him not to let them be parted. The rest of Achilles’ booty was distributed among the men according to merit.

Then Ajax had Ulysses and Diomedes bring in the booty he had won. Agamemnon was given as much gold and silver as his station demanded. As for Ajax himself, he was allowed to keep Tecmessa, the daughter of Teuthras, a fitting reward for his valorous deeds. The rest of his things were fairly divided, and the grain was apportioned throughout the army.

[20] When he had finished dividing the booty, Ajax told about the treaty he had made with Polymestor, and how Polydorus had been handed over to him. Thereupon we all agreed that Ulysses and Diomedes should go to Priam and, in return for surrendering Polydorus, recover Helen along with the things that had been carried off. While Ulysses and Diomedes were preparing to set out, Menelaus – this was his business – also joined in the mission. Thus these proceeded to Troy, with Polydorus’ fate resting in their hands.8

When the Trojans beheld our envoys and saw that they were men of great renown, they hastened to assemble their elders, that is, those who were wont to hold council. Priam, however, was kept at home by his sons.

At the meeting of the council Menelaus said that now he had come a second time, but for the same reason. He complained about all the wrongs to himself and his house, and especially bewailed the fact that Helen’s absence had made an orphan of his daughter.9 A former friend, he said, a former guest, had done him all these wrongs, and he had ill deserved such treatment. Seeing the depth of his sorrow, the Trojan leaders wept, and agreed with all he had said, as if they themselves shared in his wrongs.

[21] Next, Ulysses stood up in their midst and made a speech of this sort: “Trojan lords, I believe that you know well enough that the Greeks are not accustomed to begin anything rashly or without proper consideration. From earliest times they have planned and labored that praise rather than blame should attend whatever they do. Let me, without going into details, review that previous occasion when I had dealings with you. As soon as Alexander had attacked and insulted the Greeks, we did not yield to temptation and hasten to arms. This, to be sure, is the usual way for fired-up feelings to seek relief. Instead, as you remember, our council sent us, along with Menelaus, as envoys to seek the recovery of Helen. But we got nothing from Priam and his princes, nothing but haughty, threatening words and hidden treacheries. Therefore, with the failure of our mission, it was to be expected, I think, that we should take up arms and obtain by force what we had been unable to get by friendly means. Thus we have assembled an army with many excellent and famous leaders. But not even so have we determined on war. Rather, following our usual custom and showing our usual moderation, we have come again to implore you in the same cause. Trojans, the rest is in your hands. We will not think less of you for correcting your previously ill-advised actions. Consider only what is wise, and make a sound decision.

[22] “I beg you, by the immortal gods, to ponder what will happen if you make a wrong decision. The effect will be a disaster which will spread, like a plague, throughout the world. After this, when anyone is entering into an important negotiation, will he not, remembering Alexander’s crime, find manifold reason for being suspicious and fearing deceit? Friend will fear friend. Who will open his house even to his own brother? Who will not fear a guest or relative as if he were an enemy? Finally, if you make a wrong decision – and certainly I hope you will not – you will destroy every basis for agreement and mutual understanding between barbarians and Greeks. Therefore, Trojan leaders, do what is good and right, be truly friendly and just. Send the Greeks home with everything that was stolen from them. Do not wait until our two kingdoms, in spite of their friendship, actually come to hostilities.

“By Hercules, when I think of your plight, I have pity for you. Though you yourselves are innocent and free from fault, nevertheless you must bow to the lusts of a few; and thus the crime of one man will cause you all to be punished. Surely you must know that the Greeks have attacked the cities nearby that are friendly to you and are planning, day after day, to make new attacks. Our success is shown by Polydorus’ capture. We will give Polydorus to Priam unharmed when Helen, at long last, is returned with everything that was stolen. If this does not happen, there must be immediate war, continuous war, until one side is completely victorious. Either all the Greek leaders, any of whom could cause your city’s destruction, must die or, as I hope, Troy must be captured and fired, and you must become an example of punished impiety for our descendants. I beg you, therefore, I implore you, have foresight, while matters are still in your hands.”

[23] When Ulysses had finished speaking, there was a long silence. Everyone, as often happens, was waiting for someone else to speak, someone better than himself. Finally this silence was broken by Panthus, who said in a loud voice: “Ulysses you are addressing people who are unable to do as they please. We are unable to remedy this situation.”

And next Antenor said: “Since we are wise and prudent men, we grant you everything you say; and if we had the power, we would advise accordingly. But, as you see, others with whom personal greed counts more than the common welfare are in control of our state.”

Then Antenor ordered the leaders of the foreign forces to be introduced: those who had come because of their treaties with Priam, and those who were hired mercenaries.

When these had been introduced, Ulysses made a second speech. They were all, he said, the wickedest men. They were no different from Alexander, who was the worst of criminals, for they had deserted the good and the true to follow him. Each of them knew that if they approved of this terrible crime they would be setting an evil example which, being disseminated especially through the peoples nearby, would serve as a model for similar or even more sorrowful acts.

Then each of the elders silently pondered how terrible might be the results of this horrible crime. Being moved to disgust and shrinking from their own evil example, they went on record, voting in their usual way, that Menelaus had suffered injustice. Only Antimachus, opposing everyone else, voted in Alexander’s behalf. Thereupon they chose two men to go and tell Priam about all that had happened. And these reported, along with the other things they were ordered, also about Polydorus.

[24] When Priam heard this report, he collapsed, utterly dumbfounded, in the presence of all. Soon, however, he got to his feet; those who were standing around helped to revive him. He wanted to go to the council, but the princes made him remain while they themselves went off.

Shortly before they burst into the council, Antimachus had been hurling reproaches against the Greeks. They had shown real effrontery, he said, and the Trojans should detain Menelaus until Polydorus was returned and treat Menelaus exactly as Polydorus was treated.

Everyone was silent to this suggestion with the exception of Antenor, who, using all the powers at his command, tried to prevent the council from such a course. He and Antimachus argued hotly, and finally their passions led them to blows. Then all the others who were present proclaimed Antimachus an unruly, seditious person, and drove him from the council.

[25] As soon as Priam’s sons arrived, Panthus begged Hector (who was believed to be the best of the princes in counsel as well as in courage) to return Helen peacefully, now that the envoys had come to regain her. Alexander, he said, had had time enough to satisfy whatever love he had had for Helen. The Greek kings, they should remember, were in their country and had recently sacked cities which were friendly to Troy. Furthermore, these Greek successes had caused Polymestor willingly to commit the horrible crime of giving the Greeks Polydorus. The Trojans should learn from this example and fear that the neighboring regions might enter into similar schemes and plot the destruction of Troy. Such an attack would catch the Trojans completely off guard; bonds of faith would be broken; treachery would reign everywhere; former pacts would be dashed. Therefore, they in the council should see things as they really were and delay the envoys no longer, but give Helen up. This act of good will would bring about a stronger and closer bond of friendship between the Greeks and the Trojans.

On hearing this, Hector was saddened and wept, remembering his brother’s crime. Nevertheless, he thought that Helen should by no means be given up, for she was a suppliant at his home; good faith intervened, and they must keep her. If, however, the envoys would enumerate the various articles that had been carried off with Helen, all of these things, he thought, should be returned. And, to take Helen’s place, Cassandra or Polyxena, whichever seemed best to the envoys, should be given in marriage to Menelaus along with a handsome dowry.

[26] Menelaus was terribly angered at this and answered as follows: “By Hercules, I am being treated in an excellent manner if I, who have been robbed of my wife, am forced to marry again according to the will of my enemies.”

Then Aeneas replied: “You will not even be granted this favour since I and the other relatives and friends who advise Alexander strongly oppose it. Fortunately there are, and always will be, those who safeguard the house and kingdom of Priam. The loss of Polydorus does not leave Priam bereft of children, for he still ahs many other such sons.

“Do you think that abductions, like that of Helen, should be allowed only thos those who hail from Greece? The Greeks of Crete, as you know, successfully abducted Europa from Sidon and Ganymede from our kingdom. Medea is another example. She, as surely you know, was abducted from Colchis and carried off to Iolchus. And finally, not to omit your very first of abductions, Io was stolen from Sidon and taken to Argos.

“Up to this time we have merely been bandying words. Now, however, unless you flee our land within a reasonable time, and take your fleet, soon, very soon, you will be tasting Trojan valor and courage. Troy ahs more than enough young men who are ready for battle, and every day new allies are coming.”

When Aeneas had finished this speech, Ulysses said calmly: “Then, by Hercules, there is no need for you to put off hostilities any longer. Give the signal for war and, as you were the first to commit injustice, be also the first to begin the battle. Only provoke us and we will follow suit.”

After this exchange of taunts the envoys left the council and departed from Troy.

As soon as the Trojan people learned how Aeneas had answered the envoys, they raised a huge tumult. Aeneas, they thought, was without a doubt a diplomat of the very worst sort; he was the reason why Priam’s kingdom was hated and Priam’s whole house was headed for ruin.

[27] The envoys, having returned to camp, told all our leaders what the Trojans had said and done to oppose them. Thereupon we determined to kill Polydorus within view of the wall where all the Trojans could easily see what was done. Delaying no further, we led him into the center and stoned him to death in payment for his brother’s impiety, while most of the enemy watched from the walls. Then we sent a herald to tell the Trojans to come and get the body for burial. Idaeus came and, with the help of some slaves of the king, took Polydorus, mangled and torn by the stones, back to his mother, Hecuba.

Meanwhile Ajax the son of Telamon, in order to keep the enemy riled, attacked the regions nearby that were friendly to Troy. He captured Pitya and Zelia, notoriously wealthy cities, and, not being content with these, laid waste Gargarum, Arisba, Gergitha, Scepsis, and Larissa with marvellous swiftness. Then, having learned from the inhabitants that there were many herds of all sorts being grazed on Mount Ida, since all of his soldiers demanded it, he quickly attacked the mountain and, after killing the herdsmen, drove a large number of cattle away. Then no one opposed him; everyone fled wherever he went; and so, when the time seemed right, he returned to camp, laden with booty.

[28] At the same time Chryses (who was the priest of the Sminthian Apollo, as we have said above), having learned that his daughter, Astynome, was with Agamemnon, came to the ships, trusting in the power of his awesome religion.10 He brought with him a statue of the god and certain ornaments of the temple, hoping thereby the ore easily to remind the kings of the god, and inspire them with awe. Praying for the release of his daughter, he offered gifts of gold and silver, countless ransom. We must, he implored, honor the presence of the god: Apollo was there, begging us in his behalf. Furthermore, because he had recently officiated at our sacrifice, he had incurred the enmity of Alexander and his brothers, who were daily plotting against him.

On hearing his plea, we all thought that the girl should be returned. Nor should we accept any ransom. We owed this to Chryses, not only because of his personal faithfulness to us but, what mattered more, because of his office as priest of Apollo. Having seen many evidences of Apollo’s power and having learned of his popularity in the region nearby, we had made up our minds to serve this god devoutly.

[29] When Agamemnon saw what was happening, he proceeded to take a stand opposite to that of everyone else. Scowling blackly and threatening death, he ordered the priest not to return. Accordingly, the old man departed, terrified and fearing for his life, his mission a failure.

When our assembly broke up, our leaders approached Agamemnon, one at a time, and taunted him with his manifold wickedness. Because of his love for a captive girl, he had treated his men, that is, themselves, with contempt and, what seemed a thing most shameful, had scorned a very powerful god.

When all had reviled him, they went away, thinking how he had shared in the plot by which Diomedes and Ulysses had treacherously slain Palamedes, the army’s favourite. Achilles openly, in everyone’s presence, abused both Agamemnon and Menelaus.

[30] Chryses, after Agamemnon had sent him away unjustly, returned to his home. And several days later a terrible plague invaded our army. Whether this was due to the wrath of Apollo, as everyone thought, or to some other cause, was uncertain. The disease attacked the cattle first and then, as it gradually gained momentum, spread among the men, a great number of whom suffered unspeakable deaths, their bodies slowly wasting away. Except for our leaders (the kings), none of whom died or was even attacked, the plague knew no bounds, and every day saw more men dying. Accordingly, our leaders, each of whom was afraid for himself, foregathered, and ordered Calchas (we have told about his knowledge of the future) to proclaim the cause of this terrible evil.

Although he admitted that he was able to do as they wished, he said that he was by no means free to speak out, for fear he would incur a most powerful king’s displeasure. Thereupon Achilles forced all of our kings to swear that they would not be offended, no matter what Calchas might say.

Thus Calchas, feeling that everyone was favourably disposed, announced that the wrath of Apollo was the cause of the plague. Apollo, he said, was angry because of the unjust way we had treated his priest and was therefore exacting punishment from our army. When Achilles asked what we must do to bring an end to the plague, the prophet said: “Restore the girl!”

[31] Then Agamemnon, though he foresaw what was going to happen, said nothing but withdrew from the council and commanded everyone in his contingent prepare for war. Achilles, on noticing this, being stirred to wrath and likewise vexed by the horrible way our men were dying, ordered that the bodies of everyone whom the plague had destroyed be collected and thrown out in the assembly for all to see. This was a sight which quickly moved all our leaders and men to desert Agamemnon unless he repented. Agamemnon, however, when he heard about this, obstinately held to his first decision and refused to yield in the least. It is uncertain whether his inflexibility was due to his naturally stubborn characters or to his love for the captive girl.

[32] The Trojans, looking from their walls, saw the many pyres of our dead burning continuously. They also were informed that those of us who were left were growing weak as the plague proceeded to rage. Accordingly, exhorting each other and taking up arms, they rushed from the gates along with their allies and made an attack. Their forces were arranged in the plain in two divisions: Hector was leading the Trojans, Sarpedon the allies.

When we saw them ready for attack, we armed ourselves and, forming an unbroken line of defense, drew up our forces to meet them. Achilles and Antilochus led our right wing; Ajax the son of Telamon and Diomedes led the left; and the other Ajax and Idomeneus, my leader, led the center.

Then the two armies, drawn up in this way, advanced to attack. As soon as they had come within striking distance, everyone raised the war cry and joined in the battle. The conflict lasted some time, and the casualties on both sides were heavy. Hector and Sarpedon were the outstanding leaders among the barbarians; Diomedes and Menelaus shone among the Greeks. Finally night brought an end to the battle and rest to the armies. Then both sides, withdrawing, cremated and buried their dead.

[33] Now the Greeks were on the point of making Achilles commander-in-chief, for he was the one, so we thought, who seemed most troubled by our misfortunes. And this caused Agamemnon to fear he might lose his glorious position.

Speaking in the council, he said that he was deeply concerned for the welfare of the army and that Astynome, without any further delay, should be returned to her father, especially if thus we would rid ourselves of the plague. He asked only to be given Hippodamia, the bond-maid of Achilles, to take the place of the prize he was losing.

Although everyone thought his request was mean and dishonorable, nevertheless we were moved to grant it. As for Achilles, to whom Hippodamia had been given because of his many marvellous deeds, he showed no signs of his feelings; so great was the love and concern for our army in the heart of this excellent youth.

Thus Agamemnon was flouting everyone’s wishes, but since no one openly opposed him, he thought that he had our unanimous approval. Accordingly, he ordered attendants to fetch Hippodamia; and they were prompt to obey.

At the same time we had Diomedes and Ulysses take Astynome, along with a great number of sacrificial victims, across to the shrine of Apollo. When these had completed the sacrifice, the force of the plague gradually seemed to abate. People were no longer becoming ill, and those who were already inflicted seemed to improve, as if their prayers had been divinely answered. Thus within a short time our entire army regained its usual strength and vigor.

During this period we also sent Philoctetes’ share of the booty across to Lemnos, where he was. This was the booty which Ajax and Achilles had won and which we had divided equally.

[34] Achilles, having (as we have described) been treated unjustly, stayed away from our councils. He hated Agamemnon especially; and now his love for the rest of the Greeks was also dead, since they had been silent when he had been robbed of Hippodamia, the reward which his many victories and many brave deeds had earned him. He refused to see any of the leaders who came to visit. Nor would he forgive any of his friends for having deserted him when they might have defended him against Agamemnon’s outrageous action. He preferred to stay in his hut with only Patroclus, his closest friend, and Phoenix, his wise teacher, and Automedon, his charioteer.

[35] Meanwhile, at Troy, the allies and mercenaries who had come to help the Trojans began to mutiny. They were probably motivated either by boredom from spending a long time there to no purpose or by longing for those they had left behind in their homelands. Hector, noticing this, felt forced to call his troops to arms; they must be ready to follow whenever he signalled. Then, having been informed that the time looked favourable and that his men were in arms, he ordered them all to go forth, he himself taking command and leading the way.

This seems a good place to list the kings of the allied forces (those who were bound to the Trojans by treaties) and also of the mercenary forces (those who, coming from various regions, were serving Priam’s sons for pay).11 The first to rush from the gates was Pandarus, the son of Lycaon, from Lycia; then Hippothous and Pylaeus, the sons of Lethus,12 from Pelasgian Larissa; then Acamas and Pirus13 from Thrace; then Euphemus, the son of Troezenus, who led the Ciconians; Pylaemenes, the boasting Paphlagonian, whose father was Melius; Odius and Epistrophus, the sons of Minuus, who led the Alizonians; Sarpedon, the son of Xanthus, who led the Lycians, from Solymum; Nastes and Amphimachus, the sons of Nomion, from Caria; Antiphus and Mesthles, the sons of Talaemenes, from Maeonia; Glaucus, the son of Hippolochus, from Lycia, whom Sarpedon had summoned to share the command because he surpassed all other Lycians in counsel and arms; Phorcys and Ascanius from Phrygia; Chromius and Ennomus, who were Mygdonians, from Mysia; Pyraechmes, the son of Axius, from Paeonia; Amphius and Adrastus, the sons of Merops, from Adrestia; Asius, the son of Hyrtacus, from Sestos; and then the other Asius, the son of Dymas and the brother of Hecuba, from Phrygia. Many men followed each of the leaders we have listed; their different customs and different languages caused them to fight in disorder and turmoil.

[36] When our men saw what was happening, we proceeded onto the plain and drew up our forces in battle array. Menestheus, the Athenian, who was in charge of our deployment, set us in order, according to our different clans and regions. Only Achilles and his Myrmidons stayed behind. Achilles continued to be angry with Agamemnon for unjustly depriving him of Hippodamia; also the fact that Agamemnon had not invited him to dinner along with the other leaders seemed insulting to him.14 When our army had been drawn up, we were facing the full force of the enemy for the first time. But neither side dared to begin; both held their ground for a while and then retreated at signals given as if by common consent.

[37] Having returned to the ships, we put down our arms and prepared to enjoy our dinners as usual. We were relaxing, fearing no trouble, when Achilles tried to catch us off guard. There were, however, guards who got wind of his plans and told Ulysses. And Ulysses, running around to all the leaders, exhorted and warned them, shouting that Achilles was going to attack. They must, he said, be ready; they must be armed. A great commotion arose, with everyone rushing to arms and striving to save himself. Thus Achilles’ plot was disclosed, and he, being foiled, returned to his hut, despairing of any success against our alerted army.

Then our leaders, fearing that this sudden commotion might cause the Trojans to make a new attack, increased the number of the advanced guard. The two Ajaxes, Diomedes, and Ulysses were sent forth. They took up positions where they thought – quite rightly, as it happened – that the enemy would be most likely to come.

Hector, desiring to learn the reason for the uproar in the camp of the Greeks,15 had persuaded Dolon, the son of Eumedes, with promises of a huge a reward, to go and spy. While Dolon, trying to fulfil his mission, was eagerly gathering information, he fell into Diomedes’ hands. Diomedes and also Ulysses, who were guarding the area near the ships, made him tell whatever he knew. Then they killed him.

[38] Several days passed without any outbreak of hostilities. Then Greeks and Trojans prepared to lead their armies onto the plain between Troy and the ships. When everything seemed ready for battle, both sides, in full force, cautiously advanced. At given signals the front lines clashed in dense formation. The Greeks fought in good battle order, everyone following the commands of the leader in charge of his division. The barbarians, however, rushed on without any order or discipline. Nevertheless, many on both sides fell in this battle. There was no retreating; everyone attacked and strove to rival the valor of the heroes fighting around him. Among the barbarian leaders who were seriously wounded and forced to withdraw from the battle were Aeneas, Sarpedon, Glaucus, Helenus, Euphorbus, and Polydamas. Among those on our side who were similarly afflicted were Ulysses, Meriones, and Eumelus.

[39] Menelaus happened to catch sight of Alexander and rushed, with all his might, to meet him. Alexander, however, not daring to stay where he was, soon took to flight and escaped. But Hector, having noticed this from a distance, ran forward, along with Deiphobus, and caused Alexander to halt. They reproached him bitterly and finally persuaded him to go out between the battle lines and, when everyone else had grown quiet, challenge Menelaus to single combat.

Thus these brought Alexander back into battle; and he (apparently this was the way to make a challenge) went out in front of the Trojan line. Menelaus, noticing this from a distance, felt that at long last he was being given an opportunity to attack the man he most hated. Right here and now, he thought, Alexander is going to pay with his life for all his crimes. And so he rushed against him again. Signals were given, and everybody on both sides drew back as they saw these two rushing head-on, armed and eager to fight.

[40] Soon the two fighters, taking full strides, had advanced to where they could use their spears. Alexander, hoping to get the start and wound Menelaus, was the first to make a cast. His spear, however, struck against Menelaus’ shield, and thus was deflected. Then Menelaus, throwing with all his might, met, alas, with the same result – his spear stuck in the earth; Alexander had been on his guard and dodged the blow. But soon they were armed with new spears, and the fight was on again. Finally, Alexander fell, wounded in the thigh; and Menelaus, hoping to take complete vengeance and win greatest glory, rushed forward to kill him. But Pandarus, committing an act of the blackest treachery by shooting his bow from a hidden spot, wounded Menelaus and caused him to halt. This stirred our men to wrath, and they raised a huge cry, feeling cheated because the Trojans had ended the fight in this treacherous way, especially this fight between the two men who had cause the whole war. During this general confusion, a group of barbarians rushed in and saved Alexander from danger.

[41] At the same time, Pandarus was taking advantage of our irresolution. Standing at a distance, he was finding many of our men with his arrows. He continued his slaughtering until Diomedes, stirred by this barbarous action, advanced upon him and cut him down at close quarters. Thus Pandarus, who had killed many men in violation of the treaty (that is, the agreement according to which Menelaus and Alexander should fight), paid with his life for his heinous method of fighting. His body was carried from the battle and duly cremated by Priam’s sons; the ashes were given to his companions to take to Lycia for burial in his native soil.

Meanwhile the two armies had given the signal for battle and joined combat. They fought until sundown with all their might, but neither side could claim a victory. With the coming of night, the commander-in-chief withdrew their forces a short distance and posted sufficient guards along the facing battle lines.

They kept their men fully armed in these positions and waited for an opportunity to make a successful attack. But this opportunity never came, for winter began to set in, soaking the battlefield with frequent rains. The barbarians retreated within their walls, and our men, left with no enemy to fight, returned to the ships and took up winter duties. Dividing the portion of the plain that was unfit for battle into two parts, they cultivated the soil and grew whatever crops the time of year permitted.

During the same period, Ajax, the son of Telamon, with a force consisting of his own men and some from the army of Achilles, made an attack against Phrygia, capturing cities and causing general destruction. Within a few days, he returned to camp, victorious laden with booty.

[42] Just before his arrival, the barbarians made a sneak attack upon our men, who were relaxing in winter quarters and suspected no hostilities. Hector, the instigator of this rash expedition, was chosen as leader. At daybreak, after calling all of his men to arms, he led them through the gates, with orders to move at double-time straight for the ships, and fall upon us. Our forces which were scattered hither and yon, were caught off guard. The flight of those who were attacked first increased the confusion of the others and made it difficult for them to arm. A great slaughter ensued. As soon as our men in the center gave way, Hector was at the ship, raging with firebrands and setting fire to the prows. None of us dared to oppose him. Our unforeseen plight frightened us almost to death, and we begged Achilles for help; but even now he refused. How suddenly and radically the spirit had changed in us and our enemies!

[43] But when Ajax the son of Telamon returned and learned where Hector was at the ships, he presented himself at this spot, dressed in his marvellous armor. There hew as, streaming with sweat, his great bulk pressing against the enemy, as he drove them away from the ships and thrust them outside the rampart. The more they retreated, the more he pressed his attack.

Hector, however, stood his ground – too bold for his own good, for Ajax struck him with a huge rock and sent him sprawling. Then, from every direction, a large number of Trojans rushed up and, crowding around, rescued Hector out of the battle and carried him into the city, a hero half dead, his expedition a failure.

Ajax, being thus deprived of honor and glory, was all the more savage. Accompanied by Diomedes, Idomeneus, and the other Ajax, he pursued the Trojans, who fled pell-mell in terror. He was using his spear to hit those in the distance, his shield to crush those he met at close quarters. No on in that part of the battlefield escaped without wounds. Glaucus, the son of Hippolochus, Sarpedon, and Asteropaeus tried to stem their fearful route but, after briefly resisting, soon gave way, seriously wounded. The loss of these leaders caused the barbarians to lose all hope and, breaking ranks, they rushed for the gates in confusion. The passageway, however, was too narrow for the great number of men who tried to enter; they stumbled and fell, like a landslide, over each other. Ajax and the Greeks we just mentioned were soon upon them, and great numbers of barbarians, being terrified and confused, were cut down and killed. Among those who were slain were the sons of Priam, Antiphus and Polites, Pammon and Mestor, and the son of Troezenus, Euphemus, the Ciconians’ glorious leader.

[44] Thus the arrival of Ajax caused the fortunes of war to change; the Trojans, until then victorious, lost their leaders, and were forced to pay for their ill-considered aggression. When evening came and the signal was given for retreat, our men returned to the ships, rejoicing in victory.

Then Agamemnon gave a dinner in honor of Ajax, at which time he praised this hero most highly and gave him beautiful gifts. Our other leaders, too, praised the courage of Ajax. No one was silent. They told of his valorous deeds, how he had captured and plundered many Phrygian cities, and how he had fought with Hector at the very ships, a battle to be remembered, and freed the ships from fire. There was no one who doubted that at that time, because of his many excellent and glorious deeds, all of our hopes for a successful campaign rested with him.

Within a short time Epeus repaired the two ships that had caught fire; only their prows had been destroyed.

Then the Greeks free to relax without fear, thinking that the Trojans, in view of the attack that had recently failed, would refrain from another attempt.

[45] During this time Rhesus, the son of Eion, arrived with a large army of Thracians; he had had some dealings with Priam who had promised him pay for his aid. On the day of his arrival, he waited until nightfall on the peninsula which adjoined his kingdom in Thrace. Then, about the time of the second watch, he advanced onto the Trojan plain, spread out his tents, and set up camp.

Diomedes and Ulysses, who were guarding this sector, having noticed the commotion from afar, thought that Priam was sending some Trojan on a reconnaissance mission. Accordingly, they seized their arms and, moving stealthily and looking all around as they went, soon arrived at the spot. There they discovered the Thracian guards, who, being wearied by their long journey, had fallen asleep. After killing these, they entered Rhesus’ tent and slew the king himself. They were, however, afraid to press their luck any further, and so returned to the ships, taking along Rhesus’ chariot and richly caparisoned horses. Then, having gone to their huts, they slept for the rest of the night.

At daybreak they went to all of our leaders and told about their successful adventure. The consensus was that the death of Rhesus would anger the Thracians and that they would make an attack. Therefore, everyone was ordered to stand by his arms and be ready for battle.

[46] We had not long to wait, for the Thracians, when they awoke, discovered that their king had been foully slain within his tent and saw the tell-tale traces the stolen chariot had left. Immediately, undisciplined and disorganized bands of men began rushing toward the ships. As soon as our men caught sight of the Thracians, they advanced, following their leader’s commands, in a solid front. The two Ajaxes led the way; they were the first to meet and slay the enemy. Then our other leaders, in their various positions, cut down those who opposed them. Sometimes several of them united their strength to break the power of the attacking bands, and thus they slaughtered them, scattered and leaderless; no one survived.

As soon as these attackers had been wiped out, our men, obeying the signal to advance, hastened to the Thracian tents. The only Thracians still alive were those who had been left to guard the camp. When these saw our men advancing, they were terrified and, abandoning everything, fled to the walls for safety. It was really pathetic. Our men moved in from all sides and seized the armor, horses, and royal wealth that fate had kindly left us.

[47] Thereupon, with Rhesus and his Thracians completely destroyed, our forces returned to the ships, victoriously laden with booty. Meanwhile the Trojans were frightened, as they watched from their battlements, but to no avail for their ally, and stayed within their walls. Their spirits broken by recent reverses, they sent us envoys begging for peace. And thus a treaty was made which both sides, making due sacrifice, swore to uphold.

At about the same time, Chryses (who was the priest of the Sminthian Apollo, as we have said above) came to the Greeks to thank them for returning his daughter, Astynome. Because of this kindness, and because he knew that his daughter had been properly treated, he was now bringing her back for Agamemnon to have.

The next event was the return of Philoctetes from Lemnos, along with those who had gone to take him his share of the booty. He was still rather sick and walked with difficulty.

[48] Then our leaders held a meeting of the council, at which Ajax the son of Telamon, having gone to the center, delivered a speech. He advised us to send suppliants to Achilles to beg him, on behalf of the officers and common soldiers, to give up his wrath and resume his position of honor among us. We should, he felt, act now, for now, in view of our recent victory and the favourable treaty we had made, we would be seeking him out, not because of our need, but merely to honor him as he deserved; we wanted him with us, simply because of his greatness. Furthermore, Ajax implored, Agamemnon should show his willingness to be reconciled with Achilles. In their present circumstances, fighting, as they were, this terrible war in a far-off country, everyone should think only of the common cause.

When he had finished speaking, all of our leaders agreed unanimously with what he had said and praised him to the skies. He was, they said, not only stronger but also more intelligent than anyone else.

Then Agamemnon told how he had already sent many suppliants to try to reconcile Achilles. There was nothing he would more desire. Accordingly, he asked Ajax (whose relationship with Achilles should add to his persuasiveness) and Ulysses to undertake this mission and go to Achilles in behalf of them all. Ajax and Ulysses promised to do what they could. And Diomedes offered to go along too.

[49] Thereupon Agamemnon ordered two attendants to bring a sacrificial victim. These brought the victim and held it above the ground while he, drawing his sword, cut it in half; the pieces fell to earth where all could see. This done, he walked through the middle, smearing his sword with blood. It was at this time that Patroclus, who had learned that the council was meeting, arrived. When Agamemnon had passed through the sacrifice, he swore that he had never violated Hippodamia; he had never been prone to lust or sensual pleasures; it was, rather, his inability to control his temper that had caused him countless troubles and brought him to this pass. Now he wanted to make the following offer: he would give Achilles one of his daughters to marry, whichever one he desired, besides a tenth of all his kingdom and fifty talents as dowry.

Those at the council, on hearing this, were amazed at his magnanimity. Patroclus was especially impressed by the offer of so much wealth, and he was also happy that Hippodamia had not been violated. Thus he returned to Achilles and told him all that had happened at the council.

[50] Achilles was pondering Agamemnon’s offer, trying to decide what he should do, when Ajax and the other leaders entered his hut. He received them hospitably and offered them seats.

Ajax, having taken the seat that was next to Achilles, began, when the time seemed right, to chide and admonish him. Since they were relatives, he could speak more freely than the others. He blamed Achilles for nursing his wrath when many of his friends and most of his relatives – they, his people, were in serious danger – were begging him to relent.

Ulysses was next to speak. First, he said that the gods were to blame for what had happened so far. Then he told about the meeting of the council, about the promises Agamemnon had made and the oath Agamemnon had taken. Finally, urging Achilles not to scorn the prayers of the Greeks and not to spurn such a marriage, he ended by listing all of the dowry that Agamemnon was offering.

[51] Then Achilles, in a long speech, began by expounding upon his deeds and accomplishments, reminding them of the many labors he had borne for the common good, of the cities he had stormed. While everyone else was relaxing, he had spent his days and nights anxiously and zealously committed to war, sparing neither himself nor his soldiers; and furthermore, he had allowed the booty he had carried off to be distributed among the entire army. In return for these services, he had received the unique honor of being deprived of his just reward. Only he had been treated with such contempt, such dishonour, for he had been robbed of Hippodamia, his prize, the symbol of his success. Agamemnon was not entirely to blame. What was even worse, all the other Greek leaders, forgetful of past kindnesses, had, by keeping silent, ignored the fact that he was being insulted.

When Achilles had finished speaking, Diomedes said: “What is past is past, and a wise man does not dwell upon it. Try as you may, you can not call it back.”

Meanwhile Phoenix and Patroclus were standing around Achilles in the position of suppliants, taking hold of his knees and, without restraint, kissing his hands and face, begging him to give up his wrath and return to his place of honor. Do this, they said, not so much for these representatives but, as is right, for all of the army.

[52] Finally Achilles yielded.16 He would do what they wanted. The sight of the representatives, the prayers of his closest friends, and the realization that the army was not to blame made him change his mind.

Then for the first time after his wrath, at the suggestion of Ajax, Achilles went to a meeting of the council. Agamemnon greeted him in a royal manner, and the other leaders were happy to welcome him back. On every side there was joy, unbounded joy. And then Agamemnon, taking Achilles by the hand, led him off, along with the other leaders, to dinner.

A little later, during the dinner, when they were enjoying themselves, Agamemnon commanded Patroclus to take Hippodamia to Achilles’ hut, and also the jewelry he had given to her. This was an order Patroclus was glad to obey.

During this winter, Greeks and Trojans mingled in the grove of the Thymbraean Apollo.17 They went freely, whether singly or in groups, without any fear of each other.

1. Diomedes’ father, Tydeus, had helped Polynices gather an army for the attack against Thebes. See Iliad 4.376-379.
2. Telephus, whose real father was Hercules, was, according to Apollod. 3.9.1, Teuthras’ adopted son. Compare Dares 16.
3. According to Euripides (Heracleidae 210-211), Hercules’ mother, Alcmene, was the daughter of Pelops.
4. According to Euripides (Iphigenia at Aulis 94-414), Menelaus persuaded Agamemnon to sacrifice Iphigenia, and prevented him from countermanding the letter by which she had been summoned to Aulis.
5. This section provides two different guides for the Greeks: the Scythians and Telephus. Furthermore, the part about Telephus seems inconsistent with earlier sections. Previously Telephus refused to help the Greeks because of his relationship with Priam (Dictys 2.5); and Machaon and Podalirius had already bound his wound (Dictys 2.6).
6. Dictys differs from all other accounts of how Palamedes was slain. For instance, in the Cypria (fragment 19, p. 505), Palamedes is drowned – he had gone out fishing – by Diomedes and Ulysses.
7. This Teuthras is not to be confused with the father of Teuthranius (Dictys 2.3).
8. This embassy (Dictys 2.20-26) is the one to which Homer refers: Ulysses makes the main speech (compare Iliad 3.204-224), and Antimachus urges that Menelaus should not be allowed to return to the Greek camp (compare Iliad 11.122-142). In the earlier embassy Palamedes mad the main speech. See Dictys 1.4 (end), 6, and 10 (middle)-11.
9. The daughter of Menelaus and Helen is Hermione (Dictys 6.4).
10. Sections 2.28-4.1 cover the events described in the Iliad.

11.This list is taken for the most part from Homer’s catalogue of Trojan allies in Iliad 2.824-877.
12. The text, which is corrupt here, has been emended to agree with Iliad 2.842-843.
13. There is a lacuna in the text between “Acamas” and “Pirus.”
14. According to Aristotle (Rhetoric 2.24), Achilles was terribly angry with the Greeks on Tenedos because he had not been invited to dinner.
15. According to Euripides (Rhesus 41-146), Hector sent Dolon to find out why the Greeks had lit their fires and gathered, in an uproar, around Agamemnon’s hut. Compare Iliad 10.
16. How different is this Achilles from the Achilles of Iliad 9!
17. The temple of the Thymbraean Apollo was located in a grove east of Troy where the Thymbrius River emptied into the Scamander. See Strabo Geography 13.1.35.

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