Classical Texts Library >> Dares Phrygius


DARES OF PHRYGIA's History of the Fall of Troy is a short prose work which purports to be a first hand account of the Trojan War by Dares, a Trojan priest of Hephaestus in the Iliad. The piece was a late Roman contrust, probably written in the early C6th A.D. The introductory letter, which attributes the Latin translation to a certain Cornelius Nepos, a Roman scholar of the C1st B.C., is likewise a forgery. Some would argue in favour of an original Greek text, albeit one dating from the Roman era. "Dares" version of the Trojan War is decidedly pro-Trojan, and diverges considerably in many places from the Iliad and other Greek accounts of the war.

Aelian attests an older Greek version of the journal, Historical Miscellany 11.2:--
"Dares the Phrygian, whose Iliad is to my knowledge still preserved, is also said to have lived before Homer."

The Trojan War. The Chronicles of Dictys of Crete and Dares the Phrygian. Translated by R. M. Frazer (Jr.). Indiana University Press. 1966.

The Frazer volume is no longer available in print. It is currently the only English translation available of Dares.



Cornelius Nepos sends greetings to his Sallustius Crispus. While I was busily engaged in study at Athens, I found the history which Dares the Phrygian wrote about the Greeks and Trojans. As its title indicates, this history was written in Dares’ own hand. I was very delighted to obtain it and immediately made an exact translation into Latin, neither adding nor omitting anything, nor giving any personal touch. Following the straightforward and simple style of the Greek original, I translated word for word.

Thus my readers can know exactly what happened according to this account and judge for themselves whether Dares the Phrygian or Homer wrote the more truthfully – Dares, who lived and fought at the time the Greeks stormed Troy, or Homer, who was born long after the War was over. When the Athenians judged this matter, they found Homer insane for describing gods battling with mortals. But so much for this. Let us now turn to what I have promised.

[1] King Pelias, who ruled in the Peloponnese,1 was the brother of Aeson, and Aeson was the father of Jason.

Jason was known for his courage and goodness. He treated everyone in the realm as his personal friend, and therefore everyone loved him.

When King Pelias saw that Jason was popular with everyone, he feared that he might do him some harm or drive him out of the kingdom. Accordingly, he told Jason that there was something worthy of his prowess at Colchis: the golden fleece of a ram. If Jason would bring it back, he would give him complete control of the kingdom.

On hearing this, Jason, who was the bravest of men, since he desired to see the world and hoped to add to his glory by bringing the golden fleece from Colchis, told the king he wanted to go. He needed, however, supplies and companions.

King Pelias ordered the architect-craftsman Argus to come and build the most beautiful ship he could, according to Jason’s specifications. Thus the rumor went throughout Greece that they were building a ship and that Jason was going to Colchis to fetch the golden fleece. Friends and acquaintances came and promised to go along with him. Jason was grateful to them and urged them to prepare to sail. When the ship was finished and the time for sailing had come, he sent them notice by letter. Immediately those who had promised to go along with him assembled at the ship, to which the name Argo was given.

King Pelias, after ordering the necessary supplies to be stowed, exhorted Jason and those who were about to set forth with him to show their courage. They must, he said, accomplish their mission, for this was a voyage which surely would glorify Greece and themselves.

(It is not our business to tell about those who set forth with Jason. If anyone wishes to know about them, he should read the Argonautica.2)

[2] When Jason came to Phrygia, he docked at the port of the Simois River, and everyone went ashore.

Soon news was brought to King Laomedon that a strange ship unexpectedly had entered the port of the Simois, and that many young men had come in it from Greece. On hearing this, the king was disturbed. Thinking that it would endanger the public welfare if Greeks began landing on his shores, he sent word to the port for the Greeks to depart from his boundaries. If they refused to obey, he would drive them out forcibly.

Jason and those who had come with him were deeply upset at the barbarous way Laomedon was treating them; they had done him no harm. Nevertheless, they were afraid to oppose him. They were not ready for battle and would certainly be crushed by the greater forces of the barbarians.

Thus, reembarking, they departed from Phrygia. And set out for Colchis. And stole the fleece. And returned to their homeland.

[3] Hercules was deeply upset at the insulting way Laomedon had treated him and those who had gone with Jason to Colchis. He went to Sparta and urged Castor and Pollux to help him take vengeance against Laomedon, saying that if they promised their aid, many others would follow. Castor and Pollux promised to do whatever he wanted.

He departed with them and went on to Salamis. There he visited Telamon and asked him to join the expedition against Troy, to avenge the ill-treatment he and his people had suffered. Telamon promised that he was ready for anything Heracles wanted to do.

He set out from Salamis and went on to Phthia. There he asked Peleus to join the expedition against Troy. Peleus promised to go.

Next he went to Pylos to visit Nestor. When Nestor asked why he had come, Hercules answered that he was stirred to seek vengeance and that he was leading an army against Phrygia. Nestor praised him and promised his aid.

Hercules, knowing that he had everyone’s support, readied his ships and gathered an army. When the time for sailing was right, he sent letters to those he had asked and told them to come in full force. On their arrival, they all set sail for Phrygia.

They came to Sigeum at night. Hercules, Telamon, and Peleus led the army into the country, leaving Castor, Pollux, and Nestor behind to guard the ships.

When news was brought to King Laomedon that the Greek fleet had landed at Sigeum, he took command of the cavalry himself and went to the shore and opened hostilities.

But Hercules, having gone on to Troy, was beginning to besiege the unsuspecting inhabitants on the city. When Laomedon learned what was happening at home, he tried to return immediately. But the Greeks stood in his way, and Hercules slew him.

Telamon proved his prowess by being the first to enter Troy. Therefore, Hercules gave him the prize of King Laomedon’s daughter Hesione.

Needless to say, all those who had gone with Laomedon were killed.

At this time Priam was in Phrygia, where Laomedon, his father, had put him in charge of the army.3

Hercules and those who had come with him plundered the country and carried much booty off to their ships. Then they decided to set out for home. Telamon took Hesione with him.

[4] When news was brought to Priam that his father had been killed, his fellow-citizens decimated, his country plundered, and his sister Hesione carried off as a prize of war, he was deeply upset to think that the Greeks had treated Phrygia with such contempt. He returned to Troy, along with his wife, Hecuba, and his children, Hector, Alexander, Deiphobus, Helenus, Troilus, Andromache, Cassandra, and Polyxena. (he had other sons by concubines, but only those by lawfully wedded wives could claim a truly royal lineage.) Arriving in Troy, he saw to the maximum fortification of the city, built stronger walls, and stationed a greater number of soldiers nearby. Troy must not fall again, as it had under his father, Laomedon, through lack of preparedness.

He also constructed a palace, in which he consecrated an altar and statue to Jupiter; sent Hector into Paeonia; and built the gates of Troy – the Antenorean, the Dardanian, the Ilian, the Scaean, the Thymbraean, and the Trojan.

When he saw that Troy was secure, he waited until the time seemed right to avenge the wrongs his father had suffered. Then he summoned Antenor and told him he wished him to go as an envoy to Greece. The Greek army, he said, had done him grave wrongs by killing his father, Laomedon, and by carrying off Hesione. Nevertheless, if only Hesione were returned, he would cease to complain.

[5] In obedience to Priam’s command, Antenor boarded a ship and sailed to Magnesia to visit Peleus. For three days Peleus entertained him hospitably, and on the fourth asked why he had come. Antenor, following Priam’s instructions, said that he had come to demand that the Greeks return Hesione. On hearing this, Peleus was deeply upset, and since he saw that this was a matter which touched his interests4 he ordered Antenor to depart from his boundaries.

Antenor, without any delay whatsoever, boarded his ship and, sailing along past Boeotia, came to the island of Salamis. There he tried to persuade Telamon to return to Priam his sister Hesione. It was not right, he said, to hold a girl of royal rank in servitude. Telamon answered that he had committed no wrong against Priam. He refused to return her whom he had received as a prize of war and ordered Antenor to depart from his island.

Antenor, having boarded his ship, went on to Achaea. There he was taken to Castor and Pollux and tried to persuade them to make reparation to Priam by returning his sister Hesione. Castor and Pollux denied that Priam had suffered any injury and ordered Antenor to depart.

Then he went to Pylos and told Nestor the purpose of his mission. When Nestor knew why he had come, he began to scold him. How, he asked, had he dared to undertake this mission? The Phrygians had been the first to offend.

When Antenor saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but that he was being treated with scorn, he boarded his ship and returned to his homeland. Reporting to Priam, he told what each one had said and how each one had treated him; and he urged the king to make war.

[6] Immediately Priam summoned his sons and all of his friends – Antenor, Anchises, Aeneas, Ucalegon, Bucolion, Panthus, and Lampus – and all of the sons he had fathered by concubines. When they had come, he told them about Antenor’s unsuccessful mission, how he had gone to Greece and demanded as satisfaction for Laomedon’s death the return of Hesione; and how the Greeks had treated him scornfully and sent him home empty-handed. Now, Priam concluded, since the Greeks refused to do as he wished, he would send an army to make them pay for their crimes, lest they think barbarians worthy of scorn. And he urged his sons – especially Hector since he was the oldest – to take command of the forces.

Hector responded by saying that he would carry out his father’s wishes and avenge the death of his grandfather, Laomedon, and the other injustices the Greeks had done to the Trojans. The Greeks, he said, must pay for their crimes. He feared, however, that the Trojan expedition would fail, for Europe had bred many warlike men who would come to Greece’s aid, while they themselves, who lived in Asia, had spent their time in idleness and built no ship.

[7] Then Alexander began to exhort them. They must build a fleet and go against Greece. If his father wished, he would take charge of this venture; he would conquer the enemy and return from Greece with great renown. There was reason to believe that the gods would aid him, for, while hunting in the woods on Mount Ida, he had fallen asleep and dreamt as follows:

Mercury brought Juno, Venus, and Minerva to him to judge of their beauty. Then Venus promised, if he judged her most beautiful, to give him in marriage whoever was deemed the loveliest woman in Greece. Thus, finally, on hearing Venus’ promise, he judged her the most beautiful.

This dream inspired Priam with the hope that Venus would aid Alexander. And Deiphobus approved of what Alexander had said. He believed that the Greeks would return Hesione and make reparations if, as had been proposed, they would send a fleet against Greece.

Helenus, however, began to predict that if Alexander brought home a Greek wife, the Greeks would pursue, and overpower Troy and slay – oh cruel might – his parents and brothers.

But Troilus, who, though youngest of Priam’s sons, equalled Hector in bravery, urged them to war and told them not to be frightened by Helenus’ fearful words.

And so they unanimously decided to ready a fleet and set out for Greece.

[8] Priam sent Alexander and Deiphobus into Paeonia to raise an army.

Then he called the people to assembly. Having arranged a line of command beginning with his older and ending with his younger sons, he told how the Greeks had wronged the Trojans. He had sent Antenor as an envoy to Greece to regain his sister Hesione and obtain reparation for the Trojans, but the Greeks had treated Antenor scornfully and sent him home empty-handed. For this reason he had decided to send Alexander with a fleet against Greece. Thus Alexander would avenge the death of his grandfather and the other wrongs that the Trojans had suffered.

Then Priam ordered Antenor to tell how he had been treated in Greece. Antenor briefly described his mission and, urging the Trojans to have no fear, made them more eager for war against Greece.

Then Priam asked for other opinions: Would anyone like to speak against war? Thereupon Panthus, addressing himself to the king and his party, told what he had heard from his father, Euphorbus: If Alexander brought home a wife from Greece, troy would utterly fall. It was much better, he said, to spend one’s life in peace than to risk the loss of liberty in war.

Panthus’ speech won the contempt of the people, and they asked the king what had to be done. When he told them that they must build ships to go against Greece and gather supplies for the army, they cried out that they were ready to obey any order he gave them. For this he thanked them profusely, and then dismissed the assembly.

Soon afterwards he ordered men to go to the forests of Ida and there cut wood for building the ships; and he sent Hector into Upper Phrygia to levy an army.

When Cassandra heard of her father’s intentions, she told what the Trojans were going to suffer if Priam should send a fleet into Greece.

[9] Soon preparations were made. The ships were built, and the army which Alexander and Deiphobus had raised in Paeonia had come. When the time seemed right for sailing, Priam addressed the troops. He appointed Alexander as commander-in-chief, and made Deiphobus, Aeneas, and Polydamas officers. First, he said, Alexander must go to Sparta and ask Castor and Pollux to return his sister Hesione, and to make reparations to the Trojans. Then, if Castor and Pollux refused, Alexander must send home word immediately. Thus he, Priam, would feel able to order the army to go against Greece.

Accordingly, Alexander sailed for Greece, piloted by the same man who had gone with Antenor. Several days before they reached Greece – before they came to the island of Cythera – they passed Menelaus, who was on his way to visit Nestor at Pylos. Menelaus marveled at the royal fleet and wondered where it was heading. In fact, each party, surprised at seeing the other, wondered where the other was going.

Castor and Pollux had gone to visit Clytemnestra at Argos, where the festival of Juno was being held; and they had taken along their niece Hermione, the daughter of Helen.

It was at this time that Alexander arrived on Cythera and sacrificed to Diana at a place where the temple of Venus was.5 The inhabitants of the island marveled at the royal fleet and asked the sailors who they were and why they had come. They answered that King Priam was sending Alexander to confer with Castor and Pollux.

[10] While Alexander was on Cythera, Helen, the wife of Menelaus, decided to go there. Thus she went to the shore, to the seaport town of Helaea,6 intending to worship in the temple of Diana and Apollo.7 Alexander, on hearing that she had arrived, wanted to see her. Confident in his own good looks, he began to walk within sight of her. When Helen learned that the Alexander who was the son of King Priam had come to Helaea, she also wanted to see him. Thus they met and spent some time just staring, struck by each other’s beauty.

Alexander ordered his men to be ready to sail that night. They would seize Helen in the temple and take her home with them.

Thus at a given signal they invaded the temple and carried her off – she was not unwilling – along with some other women they captured. The inhabitants of the own, having learned about the abduction of Helen, tried to prevent Alexander from carrying her off. They fought long and hard, but Alexander’s superior forces defeated them. After despoiling the temple and taking as many captives as his ships would hold, he set sail for home.

On the island of Tenedos, where they landed, he tried to comfort Helen, who was having regrets; and he sent news to his father of his success.

Menelaus, having learned what had happened, left Pylos accompanied by Nestor, and returned to Sparta whither he summoned his brother Agamemnon from Argos.8

[11] Meanwhile Alexander arrived home with his booty and gave his father an exact description of everything he had done. Priam was delighted. He hoped that the Greeks would seek to recover Helen, and thus would return his sister Hesione,9 and the things they had taken form Troy. He consoled Helen, who was having regrets, and gave her to Alexander to marry. When Cassandra saw Helen, she began to prophesy, repeating what she had already said; until Priam ordered her carried away and locked up.

Agamemnon upon his arrival in Sparta, consoled his brother. They decided to send men throughout Greece to gather an army for war against Troy. Among those who assembled at Sparta were Achilles, who came with Patroclus; and Euryalus, Tlepolemus, and Diomedes. They swore to avenge the wrongs the Trojans had done and to ready an army and fleet for this purpose. Agamemnon was chosen commander-in-chief, and messengers were sent to summon all the Greeks to the Athenian port with their ships and armies. From there they would set out for Troy together to avenge the wrongs they had suffered.

Castor and Pollux, immediately upon learning of their sister Helen’s abduction, had set sail in pursuit.10 When, however, they landed on the island of Lesbos, a great storm arose and, lo and behold, they were nowhere in sight. That was the story. Later, people thought that they had been made immortal. The Lesbians, taking to the sea and searching even to Troy, had returned to report that they found no trace of Castor or Pollux.

[12] Dares the Phrygian, who wrote this history, says that he did military service until the capture of Troy and saw the people listed below either during times of truce or while he was fighting.11 As for Castor and Pollux, he learned from the Trojans what they were like and how they looked: they were twins, blond haired, large eyed, fair complexioned, and wellbuilt with trim bodies.12

Helen resembled Castor and Pollux.13 She was beautiful, ingenuous, and charming. Her legs were the best; her mouth the cutest. There was a beauty-mark between her eyebrows.

Priam, the king of the Trojans, had a handsome face and a pleasant voice. He was large and swarthy.

Hector spoke with a slight lisp. His complexion was fair, his hair curly. His eyes would blink attractively. His movements were swift. His face, with its beard, was noble. He was handsome, fierce, and high-spirited, merciful to the citizens, and deserving of love.

Deiphobus and Helenus both looked like their father, but their characters were not alike. Deiphobus was the man of forceful action; Helenus was the gentle, learned prophet.

Troilus, a large and handsome boy, was strong for his age, brave, and eager for glory.

Alexander was fair, tall, and brave. His eyes were very beautiful, his hair soft and blond, his mouth charming, and his voice pleasant. He was swift, and eager to take command.

Aeneas was auburn-haired, stocky, eloquent, courteous, prudent, pious, and charming. His eyes were black and twinkling.

Antenor was tall, graceful, swift, crafty, and cautious.

Hecuba was beautiful, her figure large, her complexion dark. She thought like a man and was pious and just.

Andromache was bright-eyed and fair, with a tall and beautiful body. She was modest, wise, chaste, and charming.

Cassandra was of moderate stature, round-mouthed, and auburn-haired. Her eyes flashed. She knew the future.

Polyxena was fair, tall, and beautiful. Her neck was slender, her eyes lovely her hair blond and long, her body well-proportioned, her fingers tapering, her legs straight, and her feet the best. Surpassing all the others in beauty, she remained a completely ingenuous and kind-hearted woman.

[13] Agamemnon was blond, large, and powerful. He was eloquent, wise, and noble, a man richly endowed.

Menelaus was of moderate stature, auburn-haired, and handsome. He had a pleasing personality.

Achilles had a large chest, a fine mouth, and powerfully formed arms and legs. His head was covered with long wavy chestnut-colored hair. Though mild in manner, he was very fierce in battle. His face showed the joy of a man richly endowed.

Patroclus was handsome and powerfully built. His yes were gray. He was modest, dependable, wise, a man richly endowed.

Ajax, the son of Oileus, was stocky, powerfully built, swarthy, a pleasant person, and brave.

Ajax, the son of Telamon, was powerful. His voice was clear, his hair black and curly. He was perfectly single-minded and unrelenting in the onslaught of battle.

Ulysses was tough, crafty, cheerful, of medium height, eloquent, and wise.

Diomedes was stocky, brave, dignified, and austere. No one was fiercer in battle. He was loud at the war-cry, hot-tempered, impatient, and daring.

Nestor was large, broad and fair. His nose was long and hooked. He was a wise adviser.

Protesilaus was fair-skinned, and dignified. He was swift, self-confident, even rash.

Neoptolemus was large, robust, and easily irritated. He lisped slightly, and was good-looking, with hooked nose, round eyes, and shaggy eyebrows.

Palamedes was tall and slender, wise, magnanimous, and charming.

Podalirius, was sturdy, strong, haughty, and moody.

Machaon was large and brave, dependable, prudent, patient, and merciful.

Meriones was auburn-haired, of moderate height, with a well-proportioned body. He was robust, swift, unmerciful, and easily angered.

Briseis was beautiful. She was small and blond, with soft yellow hair. Her eyebrows were joined above her lovely eyes. Her body was well-proportioned. She was charming, friendly, modest, ingenuous, and pious.

[14] The following is a list of Greek leaders and the ships they brought to Athens.14 Agamemnon came from Mycenae with 100 ships; Menelaus from Sparta with 60; Arcesilaus and Prothoenor from Boeotia with 50; Ascalaphus and Ialmenus from Orchomenus with 30; Epistrophus and Schedius from Phocis with 40; Ajax the son of Telamon brought along Teucer, his brother, from Salamis, and also Amphimachus, Diores, Thalpius, and Polyxenus from Buprasion, with 40 ships; Nestor came from Pylos with 80; Thoas from Aetolia with 40; Nireus from Syme with 53; Ajax the son of Oileus from Locris with 37; Antiphus and Phidippus from Calydna with 30; Idomeneus and Meriones from Crete with 80; Ulysses from Ithaca with 12; Eumelus from Pherae with 10; Protesilaus and Podarces from Phylaca with 40; Podalirus and Machaon, the sons of Aesculapius, from Tricca with 32; Achillles, accompanied by Patroclus and the Myrmidones, from Phthia with 50; Tlepolemus from Rhodes with 9; Eurypylus from Ormenion with 40; Antiphus and Amphimachus from Elis with 11; Polypoetes and Leonteus from Argisa with 40; Diomedes, Euryalus, and Sthenelus from Argos with 80; Philoctetes from Meliboea with 7; Guneus from Cyphos with 21; Prothous from Magnesia with 40; Agapenor from Arcadia with 40; and Menestheus from Athens with 50. There were 49 Greek leaders, and they brought a total of 1,130 ships.

[15] When they had arrived at Athens, Agamemnon called the leaders to council. He praised them and urged them to avenge the wrongs they had suffered as quickly as possible. Let each one, he said, tell how he felt. Then he advised that, before setting sail, they should consult the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The council agreed unanimously and appointed Achilles to be in charge of this mission; and thus he, along with Patroclus, set out to Delphi.

Meanwhile Priam, having learned that the Greeks were preparing for war, sent men throughout Phrygia to enlist the support of the neighbouring armies. He himself zealously readied his forces at home.

When Achilles had come to Delphi, he went to the oracle. The response, which issued from the holiest of holies, said that the Greeks would conquer and capture Troy in the tenth year. Then Achilles performed his religious duties as ordered.

At the same time the seer Calchas, the son of Thestor, had arrived, sent by his people, the Phrygians, to bring gifts to Apollo. When he inquired in behalf of his kingdom and of himself consulted the oracle, the response which issued from the holiest of holies said that the Greeks would sail against Troy and would continue their siege until they had captured it, and that he would go with them and give them advice.

Thus Achilles and Calchas met in the temple and, after comparing responses, rejoiced in each other’s friendship and set out for Athens together.

At Athens Achilles made his report to the council. The Greeks were delighted. And they accepted Calchas as one of their own.

Then they set sail. But a storm arose and prevented their progress. Thereupon Calchas, interpreting the omens, said that they must return and go up to Aulis.

On arriving at Aulis, Agamemnon appeased the goddess Diana. Then he commanded his followers to sail onwards to Troy. Philoctetes, who had gone with the Argonauts to Troy, acted as pilot.15

Then they landed at a city which was ruled by King Priam. They took it by storm and carried off much booty.

One coming to the island of Tenedos, they killed all the people, and Agamemnon divided the booty.

[16] Then, having called a meeting of the council, he sent envoys to Priam to ask for the return of Helen and the booty Alexander had taken; Diomedes and Ulysses were chosen to go on this mission. At the same time Achilles and Telephus were sent to plunder Mysia, the region ruled by King Teuthras.16

They had come to this region and had begun to despoil the country when Teuthras arrived with his army. Thereupon Achilles put the enemy to flight, and also wounded the king. He would have finished him off if Telephus had not stood in his way. Telephus came to Teuthras’ aid and protected him under his shield, for he remembered their friendship, the time in his boyhood when Teuthras had been his generous host: Teuthras had felt indebted to Telephus’ father, Hercules, for Hercules, so they said, had slain Diomedes, the previous king of Mysia, from whom Teuthras had inherited the kingdom. (Diomedes had met his death while hunting with his wild and powerful horses.) Nevertheless, now Teuthras realized that he was unable to live much longer, and so he appointed Telephus heir to the throne and king of Mysia.

Telephus had a magnificent funeral for Teuthras. Then Achilles urged him to stay behind and take care of his newly gained kingdom. Telephus, he said, would aid the Greeks much more by sending supplies than by going to Troy. Thus Telephus stayed behind in his kingdom, and Achilles, carrying much booty, returned to the army on Tenedos. His report of what had been done won Agamemnon’s approval and praise.

[17] Meanwhile the envoys had come to Priam, and Ulysses stated Agamemnon’s demands. If Helen and the booty, he said, were returned and proper reparations were made, the Greeks would depart in peace.

Priam answered by reviewing the wrongs the Argonauts had done:17 the death of his father, the sack of Troy, and the capture of his sister Hesione. He ended by describing how contemptuously the Greeks had treated Antenor when sent as his envoy. He, therefore, repudiated peace. He declared war and commanded that the envoys of the Greeks be expelled from his boundaries.

Thus the envoys returned to their camp on Tenedos and reported what Priam had answered. And the council discussed what to do.

[18] This seems to be a good place to list the leaders who brought armies to aid King Priam against the Greeks and to tell the countries from which they came.18 Pandarus, Amphius, and Adrastus came from Zelia; Mopsus from Colophon; Asius from Phrygia; Amphimachus and Nastes from Caria; Sarpedon and Glaucus from Lycia; Hippothous and Cupesus from Larissa; Euphemus from Ciconia; Pirus and Acamas from Thrace; Pyraechmes and Asteropaeus from Paeonia; Ascanius and Phorcys from Phrygia; Antiphus and Mesthles from Maeonia; Pylaemenes from Paphlagonia; Perses and Memnon from Ethiopia; Rhesus and Archilochus from Thrace; Adrastus and Amphius from Adrestia; and Epistrophus and Odius from Alizonia. Priam made Hector commander-in-chief of these leaders and their armies. Second-in-command were Deiphobus, Alexander, Troilus, Aeneas, and Memnon.

While Agamemnon was making his plans complete, Palamedes, the son of Nauplius, arrived with thirty ships from Cormos.19 He had been incapacitated by sickness from coming to Athens and begged their pardon. They thanked him for coming when he was able and asked him to share in their counsels.

[19] The Greeks debated whether they should make their attack against Troy secretly at night or during the day. Palamedes urged them to land by day, for thus they would draw the enemy forces out of the city. His advice was accepted unanimously. Then they decided to give Agamemnon command; and the envoys were appointed to gather supplies in Mysia and other places: Anius20 and the two sons of Theseus, Demophoon and Acamas.

Then Agamemnon, having called the soldiers to assembly, praised them and demanded their immediate and total allegiance.

When the signal was given, the ships set sail and landed at Troy, with the whole fleet widely deployed. The Trojans bravely defended their country. Hector met and slew Protesilaus and caused great confusion among the rest of the Greeks.21 (Protesilaus had gone inland, wreaking slaughter and putting the Trojans to flight.) But wherever Hector withdrew, the Trojans fled. The losses on both sides were heavy until the arrival of Achilles caused all the Trojans to flee back to Troy. When night brought an end to the battle, Agamemnon led forth all of his army onto the land and set up camp.

On the next day Hector led forth his army out of the city ready for battle. Agamemnon’s forces moved opposite, shouting their war cry. The battle that arose was fierce and raging; the bravest of those who fought in the vanguard fell. Hector slew Patroclus; he was trying to strip off his armor when Meriones snatched the body out of the action. Then Hector pursued and cut down Meriones. This time, however, while trying to despoil the body, he was wounded in the leg by Menestheus, who had come to the aid of his comrade. Hector, though wounded, slew a great number of the enemy and would have successfully turned the Greek forces to flight had Ajax the son of Telamon not stood in his way. Immediately upon meeting Ajax, Hector remembered that they were related: Ajax’ mother was Priam’s sister Hesione. Therefore, he commanded the Trojans to stop setting fire to the ships. And then the two men gave gifts to each other and departed in friendship.22

[20] On the next day the Greeks obtained a truce.23 Achilles mourned for Patroclus, and the Greeks for their dead. Agamemnon held a magnificent funeral for Protesilaus and saw to the proper burial of the others. And Achilles celebrated the funeral games in honor of Patroclus.

During this truce Palamedes continuously pressed for sedition. Agamemnon, he said, ill deserved the command of the army. Palamedes openly boasted of his own numerous accomplishments, particularly his tactics on offense, his fortifications of the camp, his regulation of guard duty, his invention of signals and scales, and his training of the army for battle. These things were due to him, and it was therefore not right, he said, for Agamemnon, whom only a few had chosen as leader, to command all those who had joined the campaign later. All of them had a right to expect a man who was brilliant and brave in this position.

After two years, during which time the Greeks debated who should command them, the war was resumed. Agamemnon, Achilles, Diomedes, and Menelaus led forth their army. The forces of Hector, Troilus, and Aeneas moved opposite. A great slaughter arose, and many very brave men fell on both sides. Hector slew Boetes, Arcesilaus, and Prothoenor. When night brought an end to the battle, Agamemnon called all the leaders to council and urged them to enter the fray and try to kill Hector especially, for Hector had slain some of their bravest commanders.

[21] With the coming of morning, Hector, Aeneas, and Alexander led forth their army. And all the Greek leaders advanced with their forces. A great slaughter arose, and on both sides countless numbers were sent down to Ocrus.24 Menelaus began to pursue Alexander who, turning around, pierced him in the leg with an arrow. Nevertheless, though pained by his wound, Menelaus continued to pursue, and Locrian Ajax accompanied him. Hector saw what was happening, and immediately he and Aeneas came to the aid of their brother. While Aeneas, using his shield, provided protection, Hector led Alexander out of the fighting and into the city.25 Night brought an end to the battle.

On the next day Achilles and Diomedes led forth their army. The forces of Hector and Aeneas came opposite. A great slaughter arose. Hector slew the leaders Orcomeneus, Ialmenus, Epistrophus, Schedius, Elephenor, Diores, and Polyxenus. Aeneas slew Amphimachus and Nireus. Achilles slew Euphemus, Hippothous, Pylaeus, and Asteropaeus. And Diomedes slew Antiphus and Mesthles. When Agamemnon saw that his bravest leaders had fallen, he called back his forces; and the Trojans returned to their city, rejoicing. Agamemnon was worried. Calling the leaders to council, he urged them to fight on bravely and not to give way. More than half of their forces had fallen, but any day now an army was coming from Mysia.

[22] On the next day Agamemnon ordered the whole army, with all of the leaders, to go forth to battle. The Trojans came opposite. A great slaughter arose, with both sides battling fiercely and losing countless numbers of men, there being no break in the fighting, which raged for eighty consecutive days. Agamemnon, seeing the steadily mounting casualties, felt that time was needed for burying the dead. Therefore, he sent Ulysses and Diomedes as envoys to Priam to seek a truce of three years. During this time the Greeks would also be able to heal their wounded, repair the ships, reinforce the army, and gather supplies.

Ulysses and Diomedes, while on their way to Priam by dark, met a Trojan named Dolon. When he asked why they were coming to the city, in arms and at night, they told him that they were envoys from Agamemnon to Priam.26

When Priam heard of their coming and knew what they wanted, he called all of his leaders to council. Then he announced that these were envoys Agamemnon had sent to seek a truce of three years. Hector suspected something was wrong. They wanted, he said, a truce for too long a time. Nevertheless, when Priam ordered the embers of the council to give their opinions, they voted to grant a truce of three years.

During the truce the Trojans repaired their walls, healed their wounded, and buried their dead with great honor.

[23] After three years, the war was resumed. Hector and Troilus led forth their army. Agamemnon, Menelaus, Achilles, and Diomedes commanded the Greeks. A great slaughter arose, with Hector killing the leaders of the first rank, Phidippus and Antiphus, and Achilles slaying Lycaon and Phorcys. Countless numbers of others fell on both sides, as the battle raged for thirty consecutive days. Priam, seeing that many of his men were falling, set envoys to seek a truce of six months. This Agamemnon, following the will of his council, conceded.

With the resumption of hostilities, the battle raged for twelve days. On both sides many of the bravest leaders fell; and even more were wounded, a majority of whom died during treatment. Therefore, Agamemnon sent envoys to Priam to seek a thirty-day truce for burying the dead. Priam, after consulting his council, agreed.

[24] When time for fighting returned, Andromache, Hector’s wife, had a dream which forbade Hector to enter the fray. He, however, dismissed this vision as due to her wifely concern. She, being deeply upset, sent word to Priam to keep her husband out of the battle that day. Priam, therefore, divided the command of his forces between Alexander, Helenus, Troilus, and Aeneas. Hector, on learning of this, bitterly blamed Andromache and told her to bring forth his armor; nothing, he said, could keep him from battle. She tried in vain to make him relent, falling at his feet, like a woman in mourning, her hair let down, holding the baby, their son Astyanax, out in her hands. Then, rushing to the palace, her wailing rousing the city as she went, she told King Priam how she had dreamt that Hector would eagerly leap into battle; and, holding Astyanax, she knelt before him and begged him not to allow this. Accordingly, Priam sent all the others to battle, but kept Hector back.

When Agamemnon, Achilles, Diomedes, and the Locrian Ajax saw that Hector was not on the field, they fought the more fiercely, slaying many leaders of the Trojans. But Hector, hearing the tumult and knowing that the Trojans were being hard pressed, leaped into battle. Immediately he slew Idomeneus, wounded Iphinous, cut down Leonteus, and thrust a spear into Sthenelus’ leg. Achilles, seeing these leaders fall and wanting to prevent other Greeks form meeting a similar fate, determined to go against Hector and slay him. But by the time he caught up with Hector, the battle continuing to rage, the latter had already killed Polypoetes, the bravest of leaders, and was trying to strip off the armor. The fight that arose was terrific, as was the clamor from city and armies. Hector wounded Achilles’ leg. But Achilles, though pained, pressed on all the harder and kept pressing on until he had won. Hector’s death caused the Traojans to turn and flee for their gates, their numbers greatly depleted. Only Memnon resisted. He and Achilles fought fiercely, and neither got off without injuries. When night brought an end to the battle, the wounded Achilles returned to camp. The Trojans lamented for Hector, and the Greeks for their dead.

[25] On the next day Memnon led forth the Trojans against the Greeks. Agamemnon, having called the army to assembly, urged a truce of two months for burying the dead. Thus envoys set out for Troy, and there, having told what they wanted to Priam, received a truce of two months.

Then Priam, following the custom of his people, buried Hector in front of the gates and held funeral games in his honor.

During the truce, Palamedes continued to complain about the Greek leadership, and so Agamemnon yielded to sedition. He said that the Greeks might choose as their general whomever they wished, so far as he cared.

On the next day he called the people to assembly and denied he had ever wanted to command them. He was ready to accept whomever they chose. He willingly yielded. All he desired was to punish the enemy, and it mattered little how this was done. Nevertheless, as he was still king of Mycenae, he commanded them to speak as they wished.

Then Palamedes came forward and, showing his qualifications, won the acclaim of the Greeks. They made him commander-in-chief, a position he gratefully accepted and began to administer. Achilles, however, disparaged the change.

[26] When the true was over, Palamedes, arranging his forces and urging them on, led forth the army ready for battle. Deiphobus commanded the Trojans, who offered fierce opposition. The Lycian Sarpedon, leading his men, attacked and caused great slaughter and havoc. The Rhodian Tlepolemus met and resisted Sarpedon, but finally fell badly wounded. Then Pheres, the son of Admetus, came up and, after a long hand-to-hand fight with Sarpedon, was killed. But Sarpedon also was wounded and forced from the battle. Thus for several days there was fighting, and many leaders died on both sides. The Trojan casualties, however, were greater. When they sent envoys to seek a respite for burying their dead and healing their wounded, Palamedes granted a truce of one year.

Both sides buried their dead and cared for their wounded. Their agreement allowed them to go to each other’s areas; the Trojans went to the camp, the Greeks to the city.

Palamedes sent Agamemnon to Mysia to Acamas and Demophoon, Theseus’ sons, whom Agamemnon had put in charge of bringing supplies and grain from Telephus. Upon his arrival in Mysia, Agamemnon told them about Palamedes’ sedition. When, however, he saw that they were displeased, he admitted that he had agreed to the change.

Meanwhile Palamedes was readying the ships and fortifying the camp with walls and towers. The Trojans were training their army, repairing their walls, adding a rampart and ditch, and diligently getting everything ready.

[27] On the first anniversary of Hector’s funeral, Priam, Hecuba, Polyxena, and other Trojans went to the tomb. There they happened to meet Achilles, who, being struck by Polyxena’s beauty, fell madly in love. The burning power of his love took all the joy out of life. (His soul was also rankled by the fact that the Greeks had deposed Agamemnon and made Palamedes commander-in-chief instead of himself.) Accordingly, urged by his love, he sent a trusted Phrygian slave to make this proposal to Hecuba: if she would give him Polyxena to marry, he would go home with his Myrmidons, and thus would set an example which the other leaders would follow. When the slave went to Hecuba and made the proposal, she answered that she would be willing, if Priam agreed, but that she must talk with him first. Then the slave, as Hecuba ordered, returned to Achilles and told him her answer.

Agamemnon, coming from Mysia with a large group of followers, arrived in camp at this time.

When Hecuba talked to Priam about Achilles’ proposal, Priam refused to agree. Granted that Achilles would make a good relative, it was not right to marry one’s daughter to an enemy; and even if Achilles himself went home, the other Greeks would not follow. Therefore, if Achilles wanted this marriage, he must promise a lasting peace, a treaty with sacred oaths; and the Greek must depart. On these conditions, Priam would willingly give him his daughter in marriage.

The slave of Achilles, according to his understanding with Hecuba, returned to her and learned what Priam had said. Then he reported all he had heard back to his master. Thereupon Achilles complained, to any and everyone, that for the sake of one woman, that is, Helen, all Europe and Greece were in arms, and now, for a very long time, thousands of men had been dying. Their very liberty, he said, was at stake, and this was the reason they ought to make peace and take their army back home.

[28] When the year was over, Palamedes led forth the army and drew it up. And the Trojans came opposite commanded by Deiphobus. (Achilles, however, refused to take part because of his anger.) Palamedes seized an opportunity to attack Deiphobus and slaughtered him.

A fierce battle arose, fiercely fought on both sides; there were countless numbers of casualties. Palamedes, active in the first ranks, urging his men to fight bravely, encountered and slew Lycian Sarpedon. But as he continued to prowl in the vanguard, spurred on by success, exulting, and vaunting his prowess, Alexander (Paris) pierced his neck with an arrow; and then the Phrygians, seeing their chance, hurled their spears and finished him off. King Palamedes was dead. Accordingly, all the Trojans attacked. They pursued the Greeks, and the Greeks retreated and fled to the camp. The camp was besieged, the ships set on fire.

Achilles, though told what was happening, chose to pretend that things were all right.

Ajax the son of Telamon bravely led the defense until night brought an end to the battle. Then the Greeks lamented the loss of Palamedes’ wisdom, justice, mercy, and goodness; and the Trojans bewailed the deaths of Sarpedon and Deiphobus.

[29] Also during the night Nestor, since he was the eldest, called the Greek leaders to council and, speaking with tact, urged them to choose a new general. He felt that, if they thought best, Agamemnon’s reappointment would cause the least discord. He reminded them that while Agamemnon was general things had gone well and the army had prospered. If, however, anyone had a better idea, he urged him to speak. But all, agreeing with him, made Agamemnon commander-in-chief.

On the next day the Trojans came forth. And Agamemnon led the Greeks opposite. The battle was joined, and the two forces clashed. Towards evening Troilus advanced to the front and, wreaking slaughter and havoc, sent the Greeks flying back to their camp.

On the next day the Trojans led forth their army. And the forces of Agamemnon came opposite. A horrible slaughter arose. Both armies fought fiercely; Troilus slaughtered many Greek leaders, as the battle lasted seven days.

Then Agamemnon, having obtained a truce of two months, held a magnificent funeral in Palamedes’ honor. Both sides saw to the burial of all the leaders and soldiers who had died.

[30] During the truce, Agamemnon sent Ulysses, Nestor, and Diomedes to Achilles to ask him to reenter the fighting. But Achilles, still moody, refused to budge from his decision to stay out of battle. He told about his promise to Hecuba and said that he would certainly fight rather poorly because of his passionate love for Polyxena. They whom Agamemnon had sent were not welcome. A lasting peace – that was the need. For the sake of one woman, he said, the Greeks were risking their lives, endangering their freedom, and wasting a great deal of time. Thus Achilles demanded peace, and refused to reenter the fighting.

When Agamemnon learned of Achilles’ stubborn refusal, he summoned all the leaders to council and asked them to tell what they thought should be done. Menelaus urged Agamemnon to lead the army to battle and not to worry about the withdrawal of Achilles. He himself would try to win over Achilles, but if he should fail, he would not be dejected. Furthermore, he said, the Trojans now had no one to take Hector’s place, no one so brave. Diomedes and Ulysses answered that Troilus was the bravest of men and the equal of Hector. But Menelaus denied this and urged the council to continue the war. Calchas, taking the omens, informed them that they ought to do battle and not be frightened by the Trojans’ recent successes.

[31] When the time for fighting returned, Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Ajax led forth the army. The Trojans came opposite. A great slaughter arose, a fierce and raging battle on both sides. Troilus, having wounded Menelaus, pressed on, killing many of the enemy and harrying the others. Night brought an end to the battle.

On the next day Troilus and Alexander led forth the Trojans. And all the Greeks came opposite. The battle was fierce. Troilus wounded Diomedes and, in the course of his slaughter, attacked and wounded Agamemnon himself.

For several days the battle raged on. Countless numbers fell on both sides. Then Agamemnon, seeing that he was losing more of his forces each day, and knowing that they were unable to last, sought a truce of six months.

Priam, having called a meeting of his council, reported the desires of the Greeks. Troilus felt that they were asking for too long a time; he urged the Trojans to continue fighting, and fire the ships. When, however, Priam ordered the members of the council to give their opinions, the vote was unanimous in favour the Greek petition, and thus they granted a truce of six months.

Agamemnon buried his dead with honors and saw to the care of the wounded, such as Diomedes and Menelaus. The Trojans also buried their dead.

During the truce Agamemnon, following the advice of his council, went to rouse Achilles to battle. But Achilles, still gloomy, refused to go forth; he felt that the king should be suing for peace. Neverthless, after complaining that it was impossible to refuse Agamemnon, he said that he would send forth his forces when war was resumed, though he himself would stay back. For this Agamemnon gave him his thanks.

[32] When the time for war returned, the Trojans led forth their army. And the forces of the Greeks came opposite. Achilles, having drawn up his Myrmidons, sent them to Agamemnon ready for combat. A great battle arose, fierce and raging. Troilus, fighting in the first ranks, slaughtered the Greeks and put the Myrmidons to flight. He pressed his attack even into the camp, killing many and wounding most who stood in his way until Ajax the son of Telamon stopped him. The Trojans returned to the city victorious.

On the next day Agamemnon led forth his army along with the Myrmidons and all of his leaders. And the Trojans came opposite, eager to fight. The battle was joined. For several days both sides fought fiercely, and countless numbers were lost. Troilus, attacking the Myrmidons and breaking their order, put them to flight.

When Agamemnon saw that many of his men had been killed, he sought a thirty-day truce for holding their funerals. This was granted by Priam, and thus the Greeks and Trojans buried their dead.

[33] When the time for war returned, the Trojans led forth their army. And Agamemnon came opposite with all of his leaders. The battle was joined. A great slaughter, fierce and raging, arose. When the morning had passed, Troilus advanced to the front, slaying the Greeks and making them flee with loud cries in general confusion. It was then that Achilles, seeing this mad and savage advance – the Greeks being crushed and the Myrmidons being relentlessly slaughtered – reentered the battle; but almost immediately he had to withdraw, wounded by Troilus. The others continued to fight for six days.

On the seventh, the battle still raging, Achilles (who until then had stayed out of action because of his wound) drew up his Myrmidons and urged them bravely to make an attack against Troilus. Toward the end of the day Troilus advanced on horseback, exulting, and caused the Greeks to flee with loud cries. The Myrmidons, however, came to their rescue and made an attack against Troilus. Troilus slew many men, but, in the midst of the terrible fighting, his horse was wounded and fell, entangling and throwing him off; and swiftly Achilles was there to dispatch him.

Then Achilles tried to drag off the body. But Memnon maintained a successful defense, wounding Achilles and making him yield. When, however, Memnon and his followers began to pursue Achilles, the latter, merely by turning around, brought them to halt.

After Achilles’ wound had been dressed and he had fought for some time, he slew Memnon, dealing him many a blow; and then, having been wounded himself, yielded from combat again. The rest of the Trojan forces, knowing that the king of the Persians was dead, fled to the city and bolted the gates. Night brought an end to the battle.

On the next day Priam sent envoys to Agamemnon to seek a twenty-day truce. This Agamemnon immediately granted. Accordingly, Priam held a magnificent funeral in honor of Troilus and Memnon. And both sides buried their dead.

[34] Hecuba, bewailing the loss of Hector and Troilus, her two bravest sons, both slain by Achilles, devised, like the woman she was, a treacherous vengeance. Summoning her son Alexander, she urgently begged him to kill Achilles, and thus to uphold the honor of himself and his brothers. This he could do in an ambush, catching his victim off guard. She would summon Achilles, in Priam’s name, to come to the temple of the Thymbraean Apollo in front of the gate, to settle an agreement according to which she would give him Polyxena to marry. When Achilles came to this meeting, Alexander could treacherously kill him. Achilles’ death would be victory sufficient for her.

Alexander promised to do as she asked. During that night he chose the bravest of the Trojans and stationed them in the temple with instructions to wait for his signal. Hecuba, as she had promised, sent word to Achilles. And Achilles, because of his love for Polyxena, gladly agreed to come to the temple that morning.

Accordingly, on the next day Achilles, along with Antilochus, Nestor’s son, came for the meeting. Upon entering the temple, he was treacherously attacked. Spears were hurled from all sides, as Alexander exhorted his men. Achilles and Antilochus counterattacked, with their left arms wrapped in their cloaks for protection, their right hands wielding their swords; and Achilles slew many. But finally Alexander cut down Antilochus and then slaughtered Achilles, dealing him many a blow. Such was the death of this hero, a treacherous death and one ill-suiting his prowess.

Alexander’s order to throw the bodies to the dogs and birds was countermanded by that of Helenus to take them out of the temple and hand them over to the Greeks. Thus the Greeks received their dead and carried them back to the camp. Agamemnon gave them magnificent funerals. He obtained a truce from Priam for the purpose of burying Achilles,27 and then held funeral games in his honor.

[35] Then he called a meeting of the Greek council, at which he gave an address. It was unanimously decided that Achilles’ command should be given to Ajax, who was Achilles’ cousin. But Ajax objected that Neoptolemus, Achilles’ son, was still living, and thus had first claim; therefore, they should bring Neoptolemus to Troy and give him command of the Myrmidons and all of his father’s prerogatives.

Agamemnon and the rest of the council agreed and chose Menelaus to go on this mission.

When Menelaus had come to the island of Scyros, he urged King Lycomedes (Neoptolemus’ grandfather) to send Neoptolemus to battle. The king gladly granted the Greeks this request.

The truce having come to an end, Agamemnon drew up his forces and, urging them on, led them to war. The Trojans came opposite out of the city. The battle was joined, with Ajax fighting up front, but wearing no armor. Great was the clamor that arose, and many died on both sides. Alexander, using his bow with frequent success, pierced the unarmed Ajax’ body; Ajax, however, though wounded, pursued and finally killed his assailant. Then, as the wound had exhausted his strength, he was carried back to the camp; and there, though they drew out the arrow, he died.28

The Trojans, having rescued Alexander’s body, fled back to the city, exhausted, before Diomedes’ fierce onslaught. Diomedes pursued right up to the walls. Then Agamemnon, having ordered his forces to encircle the city, spent the whole night ready for battle, his guards always alerted.

On the next day, in the city, Priam buried Alexander. Helen took part in the funeral with loud lamentations. Alexander, she said, had treated her kindly; and thus she had become like a daughter to Priam and Hecuba, who always made her welcome at Troy and never let her remember her homeland.

[36] On the next day Agamemnon drew up his army in front of the gates and challenged the Trojans to come out and fight. But Priam stayed in the city, increasing his fortifications and waiting for Penthesilea to come with her Amazons.

When Penthesilea arrived, she led forth her army against Agamemnon. A huge battle arose. It raged several days, and then the Greeks, being overwhelmed, fled for their camp. Diomedes could hardly prevent Penthesilea from firing the ships and destroying all the Greek forces.

After this battle, Agamemnon kept his forces in camp. Penthesilea, to be sure, came forth each day and, slaughtering the Greeks, tried to provoke him to fight. But he, following the advice of his council, fortified the camp, strengthened the guard, and refused to go out to battle – until Menelaus arrived.

When, on Scyros, Menelaus had given Neoptolemus the arms of his father, Achilles, he brought him to join the Greeks at Troy. And here Neoptolemus wept and lamented above the tomb of his father.

Penthesilea, according to her custom, drew up her army and advanced as far as the camp of the Greeks. Neoptolemus, in command of the Myrmidons, led forth his forces. And Agamemnon drew up his army. Greek and Trojans clashed head-on. Neoptolemus wreaked great slaughter. Penthesilea, having entered the fray, proved her prowess again and again.

For several days they fought fiercely, and many were killed. Finally Penthesilea wounded Neoptolemus, and then fell at his hands; in spite of his wound, he cut her down.29 The death of Penthesilea, the queen of the Amazons, caused all the Trojans to turn and flee in defeat for their city. And then the Greeks surrounded the walls with their forces and prevented anyone’s leaving.

[37] When the Trojans saw their predicament, Antenor, Polydamas, and Aeneas went to Prima and asked him to call a meeting of the council to discuss the future of Troy and the Trojans.

Priam agreed, and so the meeting was called. Antenor spoke first, he and the other two having obtained permission to give their advice. The Trojans, he said, had lost their foremost defenders, Hector and the other sons of the king, along with the leaders from other places; but the Greeks still had their bravest commanders, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Neoptolemus, who was no less brave than his father, Diomedes, the Locrian Ajax, and many others besides, like Nestor and Ulysses, who were very shrewd men. Furthermore, the Trojans were surrounded and worn out with fear. Therefore, he urged the return of Helen and the things Alexander and his men had carried off with her. They must make peace.

After they had discussed making peace at some length, Amphimachus, Priam’s son, a very brave youth, arose and, calling down curses upon Antenor and his associates, blamed them for the way they were acting.30 He felt that the Trojans should lead forth their army and make an attack on the camp and never give up until they had either conquered or died fighting in behalf of their country.

After Amphimachus had spoken, Aeneas arose and tried to refute him. Speaking calmly and gently but with persistence, he urged the Trojans to sue for peace with the Greeks. Then Polydamas urged the same course as Aeneas.

[38] After this speech Priam arose with great eagerness and hurled many curses at Antenor and Aeneas. They had been the means, he said, by which war had arisen, for they were the envoys who had been sent to Greece; Antenor, who now urged peace, had then urged war when, on returning from Greece, he had told how scornfully he had been treated; and Aeneas had helped Alexander carry off Helen and the booty. In view of these facts, he, Priam, had made up his mind. There would be no peace.31

He commanded everyone to be prepared. When the signal was given, they must rush from the gates and either conquer or die. He had made up his mind.

After exhorting them thus at some length, Priam dismissed them. Then, taking Amphimachus along toe the palace, he told him that those who urged peace must be killed. He feared that they would betray the city. Also, they had won much support for their views among the people. Once they were killed, he, Priam, would see to his country’s defense and the Greeks’ defeat.

Begging Amphimachus to be faithful and true, he told him to gather a band of armed men. This could be done without any suspicion. As for this part, tomorrow after going to the citadel to worship as usual, he would invite those men to dine with him. Then Amphimachus, along with his band, must rush in and kill them.

Amphimachus agreed to this plan and promised to carry it out. And then he departed from Priam.

[39] During the same day, Antenor, Polydamas, Ucalegon, and Dolon met in secret. They were amazed at the stubbornness of the king, who, when surrounded by the enemy, preferred to die rather than sue for peace, thus causing the destruction of his country and people. Antenor had a plan for solving their problem, and if the others would swear allegiance, he would reveal it.

When all had sworn as he wished, he first sent word to Aeneas, and then told them his plan. They must, he said, betray their country, and in such a way that they might safeguard themselves and their families. Someone must go – someone that no one could suspect – and tell Agamemnon. They must act quickly. He had noticed that Priam, when leaving the council, was enraged because he had urged him to sue for peace; and he feared that the king was devising some treachery.

All promised their aid and immediately chose Polydamas – he would arouse least suspicion – to go in secret and see Agamemnon.

Thus Polydamas, having gone to the camp of the Greeks, saw Agamemnon and told him the plan.

[40] That night Agamemnon called all the leaders to a secret meeting of the council, and gave them the news, and asked their advice. The council decided unanimously to trust the traitors. As for the plan, Ulysses and Nestor said that they were afraid to carry it out; but Neoptolemus spoke in its favour; and thus a disagreement arose, which it was decided by obtaining a password from Polydamas that Sinon might test with Aeneas, Anchises, and Antenor.

Thus Sinon went to Troy and tested the password (Amphimachus had not yet stationed his guards at the gate), and returned and told Agamemnon that Aeneas, Anchises, and Antenor had given the correct countersign. Then the members of the council, binding themselves on oath, promised that if Troy were betrayed the next night, no harm would come to Antenor, Ucalegon, Polydamas, Aeneas, and Dolon, or to any of their parents, or indeed to their children, wives, relatives, friends, and associates, or to any of their property.

When they had sworn to this promise, Polydamas gave them instructions. At night, he said, they must lead the army to the Scaean gate – the one whose exterior was cared with a horse’s head.32 Antenor and Aeneas would be in charge of the guard at this point, and they would open the bolt and raise a torch as the sign for attack.

[41] Their agreement being complete in every detail, Polydamas returned to the city and reported the success of his mission. Antenor, Aeneas, and all their associates, he said, must go by night to the Scaean gate and open the bolt, and raise a torch, and thus welcome the Greeks.

That night Antenor and Aeneas were ready at the gate and let Neoptolemus in. After opening the bolt and raising the torch, they looked to a means of escape for themselves and their people.

Antenor, with Neoptolemus providing protection, led the way to the palace, to the point where the Trojans had posted a guard. Then Neoptolemus, breaking into the palace and slaughtering the Trojans, pursued and cut down Priam at the altar of Jupiter.

Hecuba, fleeing with Polyxena, met with Aeneas and entrusted her daughter to him. He had her concealed at the home of his father Anchises. Andromache and Cassandra hid in the temple of Minerva.

During the whole night the Greeks did not cease wreaking slaughter and carrying off plunder.

[42] With the coming day, Agamemnon called all of his leaders to a meeting on the citadel. After giving thanks to the gods, he praised the army and ordered that all the booty be gathered together and fairly divided. At the same time he asked them what they wanted to do with Antenor and Aeneas and those who had helped betray Troy. All of them answered, with a loud shout, that they wanted to honor their promise to these.

Thus Agamemnon, having summoned all of the traitors, confirmed them in all of their rights. Antenor, when Agamemnon had granted him leave to speak, began by thanking the Greeks. Then he bade them to remember how Helenus and Cassandra had always pled with Priam for peace, and how Helenus had successfully urged the return of Achilles’ body for burial. Accordingly, Agamemnon, following the advice of the council, gave Helenus and Cassandra their freedom.

Then Helenus, remembering how Hecuba and Andromache had always loved him, interceded with Agamemnon in their behalf.

And again Agamemnon, by advice of the council, gave these their freedom.

Then he made an equitable division of the booty and rendered thanks to the gods with the sacrifice of a victim.

The council voted that they should return to their homeland on the fifth day.

[43] When the time for sailing arrived, a great storm arose and raged several days; Calchas informed them that the spirits of the dead were displeased.

Then Neoptolemus, remembering that Polyxena, the cause of his father’s death, had not been found in the palace, voiced his complaint; he blamed the army and demanded that Agamemnon produce her. Agamemnon summoned Antenor and told him to find Polyxena and bring her there.

Accordingly, Antenor went to Aeneas and earnestly begged him to hand over Polyxena, so that the Greeks would set sail. And thus, having found where she had been hidden, he took her to Agamemnon. And Agamemnon gave her to Neoptolemus. And Neoptolemus cut her throat at the grave of his father.

Agamemnon was angry with Aeneas for hiding Polyxena and ordered him and his followers to depart from their country immediately. Thus Aeneas and all of his followers departed.

For several days after Agamemnon set sail, Helen, returning home with Menelaus, her husband, was grieved more deeply than when she had come.

Helenus went to the Chersonese, accompanied by Cassandra, his sister, and Andromache, the wife of his brother Hector, and Hecuba, his mother.

[44] So much and no more Dares the Phrygian put into writing, for, as a faithful follower of Antenor, he stayed on at Troy.33

The war against Troy lasted ten years, six months, and twelve days.

The number of Greeks who fell, according to the Journal that Dares wrote, was 866,000; the number of the Trojans 676,000.

Aeneas set sail with the twenty-two ships that Alexander used when going to Greece. He had about 3,400 followers, people of all different ages; Antenor had about 2,500; Andromache and Helenus about 1,200.


1. But Pelias ruled in Thessaly, not in the Peloponnese.
2. There is an Argonautica attributed to Orpheus which, however, is dependent upon Apollonius Rhodius. Orpheus was one of the Argonauts.
3. Perhaps this army was fighting the Amazons. See Iliad 3.182-190.
4. Peleus was Telamon’s brother.
5. The compiler, who is here basing his work upon Dracontius, has substituted “Diana” for “Dione,” which is the reading of Dracontius Romulea 8.435. Dione, of whom the compiler had never heard, was, according to Iliad 5.370, the mother of Venus. See Schissel von Fleschenberg, pp. 154-156.
6. This name does not appear in Dracontius, who is the source for this passage. Accordingly, “Helaea,” which is probably to be derived from “Helen,” must have been added later either by the compiler or someone else. See Schissel von Fleschenberg, p. 156.
7. The compiler, having already substituted Diana for Dione, now adds Diana’s brother, Apollo. See note 5 above.
8. Schissel von Fleschenberg (pp. 147 ff.) thinks that this sentence begins the translation of the original Dares somewhere in the middle of its introduction, a large part of which ahs been replaced by the material in sections 1 through 10.
9. Sections 1 through 10 give the capture of Hesione, and the failure of Antenor’s mission to seek her recover, as the cause of the War, whereas the original Dares, as shown in sections 11 through 43, blame the War on Helen’s abduction. Accordingly references to Hesione and to Antenor’s mission in sections 11 through 43 are probably additions of the translator-compiler for the purpose of harmonizing his different sources. See Schissel von Fleschenberg, p. 147.
10. Schissel von Fleschenberg (pp. 9-12, and 147) thinks that references to Castor and Pollux in sections 11 and 12 are additions of the translator-compiler for the purpose of connecting his Dares-translation with the earlier sections, in which Castor and Pollux play important roles.

11. According to Schissel von Fleschenberg, this sentence probably belongs to an original Greek Preface.
12. See note 10 above.
13. Helen, as well as her brothers, is perhaps out of place here. See note 10 above.
14. This list is for the most part based on Homer’s catalogue of ships in Iliad 2.494-759.
15. Compare Dictys 2.10 and note 5 thereto.
16. Compare this section with Dictys 2.1-6 and note 2 thereto.
17. According to Schissel von Fleschenberg, most of this speech is probably the work of the translator-compiler. See note 9 above.
18. This catalogue of Trojan allies is based for the most part on Iliad 2.824-877.
19. Schissel von Fleschenberg (p. 162) points out that the non-Homeric hero Palamedes (with his ships) is not listed in section 14 along with the other Greek leaders (and their ships) but its given a special place here after the listing of the Trojan leaders.
20. For Anius, compare Dictys 1.23 (end) and note 16 thereto.

21. According to Dictys (2.11), Aeneas slew Protesilaus.
22. Compare Iliad 7, where Hector and Ajax, after their duel, exchange gifts and part in friendship.
23. There are eleven truces reported in Dares, lasting, all told, more than seven and a half years.
24. Compare Iliad 1.1-4, in which the Wrath of Achilles hurls many brave souls of heroes to Hades.
25. Compare the duel between Alexander and Menelaus in Iliad 3, where Venus rescues Alexander out of the battle; and in Dictys 2.40, where the barbarians rescue him. Notice that Dares has Alexander (and not Pandarus, as in Homer and Dictys) wound Menelaus with an arrow.
26. Compare Dictys 2.3 (end) and Dares 39 (beginning).
27. Compare Dictys 4.15, where Ajax sees to the building of a tomb for Achilles.
28. Compare the different account in Dictys 5.15.
29. Compare the different account in Dictys 4.3.
30. Apparently Dares has created the character of Amphimachus after that of Antimachus in the traditional account. Compare Dictys 2.23-24 and 4.21.

31. According to Schissel von Fleschenberg, Priam’s speech is, up to this point, probably the work of the translator-compiler. See note 9 above.
32. Thus Dares explains the wooden horse away.
33. According to Schissel von Fleschenberg, this section is probably based on an original Greek Preface.