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[700] Then the son of Peleus forthwith ordained in the sight of the Danaans other prizes for a third contest, even for toilsome wrestling — for him that should win, a great tripod to stand upon the fire, that the Achaeans prized amongst them at the worth of twelve oxen; and for him that should be worsted he set in the midst a woman [705] of manifold skill in handiwork, and they prized her at the worth of four oxen. And he stood up and spake among the Argives saying:“Up now, ye twain that will make essay likewise in this contest.” So spake he, and thereat arose great Telamonian Aias, and up stood Odysseus of many wiles, he of guileful mind. [710] Then the twain, when they had girded themselves, stepped into the midst of the place of gathering, and laid hold each of the other in close grip with their mighty hands, even as the gable-rafters of a high house, which some famous craftsman joineth together, that he may have shelter from the might of the winds. And their backs creaked beneath the violent tugging of bold hands, [715] and the sweat flowed down in streams; and many a weal, red with blood, sprang up along their ribs and shoulders; and ever they strove amain for victory, to win the fashioned tripod. Neither might Odysseus avail to trip Aias and throw him to the ground, [720] nor Aias him, for the mighty strength of Odysseus held firm. But when at the last they were like to weary the well-greaved Achaeans, then unto Odysseus spake great Telamonian Aias, saying:“Zeus-born, son of Laertes, Odysseus of many wiles, lift thou me, or let me lift thee; but the issue shall rest with Zeus.” [725] He spake, and lifted him; but Odysseus forgat not his guile. He smote with a sure blow the hollow of Aias' knee from behind, and loosed his limbs, so that he was thrown backward, and Odysseus fell upon his chest; and the people gazed thereon and were seized with wonder. Then in his turn the much-enduring goodly Odysseus essayed to lift, [730] and moved him a little from the ground, but lifted him not, howbeit he crooked his knee within that of Aias, and upon the ground the twain fell one hard by the other, and were befouled with dust. And now would they have sprung up again for the third time and have wrestled, but that Achilles himself uprose, and held them back: [735] “No longer strain ye now, neither be worn with pain. Victory is with you both; take then equa1 prizes and go your ways, that other Achaeans too may strive.” So spake he, and they readily hearkened to him and obeyed, and wiping from their bodies the dust they put upon them their tunics.

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