Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Two quotes from the Iliad

10.65 - 69 Naming in Homer (my italics):
Then in turn the lord of Agamemnon spoke to him:
'Better wait here, so there will be no way we can miss one another
as we come and go. There are many paths up and down the encampment.
Call out wherever you go, and waken each man to give him
your orders, naming him by descent with the name of his father.
Give each man due respect.
Let not your spirit be haughty,
but let it be you and I ourselves who do the work, seeing
that Zeus cast on us as we were born this burden of evil.'
11.155 - 162 Homeric simile leading into a devastating payoff:
As when obliterating fire comes down on the timbered forest
and the roll of the wind carries it everywhere, and bushes
leaning under the force of the fire's rush tumble uprooted,
so before Atreus' son Agamemnon went down the high heads
of the running Trojans, and in many places the strong-necked horses
rattled their empty chariots along the causeways of battle,
and longed for their haughty charioteers, who were lying
along the ground, to delight no longer their wives, but the vultures.

From Richmond Lattimore's translation


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