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[265] To him then Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, made answer, saying:“Son of Atreus, of a surety will I be to thee a trusty comrade, even as at the first I promised and gave my pledge; but do thou urge on the other long-haired Achaeans that we may fight with speed, seeing the Trojans have made of none effect our oaths. [270] Death and woes shall hereafter be their lot, for that they were the first to work violence in defiance of the oaths.” So spake he, and the son of Atreus passed on, glad at heart, and came to the Aiantes as he fared through the throng of warriors; [275] these were arming them for battle, and a cloud of footmen followed with them. Even as when from some place of outlook a goatherd seeth a cloud coming over the face of the deep before the blast of the West Wind, and to him being afar off it seemeth blacker than pitch as it passeth over the face of the deep, and it bringeth a mighty whirlwind; and he shuddereth at sight of it, and driveth his flock beneath a cave; [280] even in such wise by the side of the Aiantes did the thick battalions of youths, nurtured of Zeus, move into furious war—dark battalions, bristling with shields and spears. At sight of these lord Agamemnon waxed glad, and he spake and addressed them with winged words: [285] “Ye Aiantes, leaders of the brazen-coated Argives, to you twain, for it beseemeth not to urge you, I give no charge; for of yourselves ye verily bid your people fight amain. I would, O father Zeus and Athene and Apollo, that such spirit as yours might be found in the breasts of all; [290] then would the city of king Priam forthwith bow her head, taken and laid waste beneath our hands.” So saying, he left them there and went to others. Then found he Nestor, the clear-voiced orator of the Pylians, arraying his comrades and urging them to fight, [295] around mighty Pelagon and Alastor and Chromius and lord Haemon and Bias, shepherd of the host. The charioteers first he arrayed with their horses and cars, and behind them the footmen, many and valiant, to be a bulwark of battle; but the cowards he drave into the midst, [300] that were he never so loath each man must needs fight perforce. Upon the charioteers was he first laying charge, and he bade them keep their horses in hand, nor drive tumultuously on amid the throng.“Neither let any man, trusting in his horsemanship and his valour, be eager to fight with the Trojans alone in front of the rest, [305] nor yet let him draw back; for so will ye be the feebler. But what man soe'er from his own car can come at a car of the foe, let him thrust forth with his spear, since verily it is far better so. Thus also did men of olden time lay waste cities and walls, having in their breasts mind and spirit such as this.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (7):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 505
    • Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, Commentary on the Homeric Hymns, HYMN TO HERMES
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 15.347
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 17.357
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 22.381
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 23.855
    • Thomas D. Seymour, Commentary on Homer's Iliad, Books IV-VI, 5.12
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