previous next
“Now we were sailing together on our way from Troy, the son of Atreus and I, in all friendship; but when we came to holy Sunium, the cape of Athens, there Phoebus Apollo [280] assailed with his gentle1 shafts and slew the helmsman of Menelaus, as he held in his hands the steering-oar of the speeding ship, even Phrontis, son of Onetor, who excelled the tribes of men in piloting a ship when the storm winds blow strong. So Menelaus tarried there, though eager for his journey, [285] that he might bury his comrade and over him pay funeral rites. But when he in his turn, as he passed over the wine-dark sea in the hollow ships, reached in swift course the steep height of Malea, then verily Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, planned for him a hateful path and poured upon him the blasts of shrill winds, [290] and the waves were swollen to huge size, like unto mountains. Then, parting his ships in twain, he brought some to Crete, where the Cydonians dwelt about the streams of Iardanus. Now there is a smooth cliff, sheer towards the sea, on the border of Gortyn in the misty deep, [295] where the Southwest Wind drives the great wave against the headland on the left toward Phaestus, and a little rock holds back a great wave. Thither came some of his ships, and the men with much ado escaped destruction, howbeit the ships the waves dashed to pieces against the reef. But the five other dark-prowed ships [300] the wind, as it bore them, and the wave brought to Egypt. So he was wandering there with his ships among men of strange speech, gathering much livelihood and gold; but meanwhile Aegisthus devised this woeful work at home. [305] Seven years he reigned over Mycenae, rich in gold, after slaying the son of Atreus, and the people were subdued under him; but in the eighth came as his bane the goodly Orestes back from Athens, and slew his father's murderer, [310] the guileful Aegisthus, for that he had slain his glorious father. Now when he had slain him, he made a funeral feast for the Argives over his hateful mother and the craven Aegisthus; and on the self-same day there came to him Menelaus, good at the war-cry, bringing much treasure, even all the burden that his ships could bear. “So do not thou, my friend, wander long far from home, leaving thy wealth behind thee and men in thy house [315] so insolent, lest they divide and devour all thy wealth, and thou shalt have gone on a fruitless journey. But to Menelaus I bid and command thee to go, for he has but lately come from a strange land, from a folk whence no one would hope in his heart [320] to return, whom the storms had once driven astray into a sea so great, whence the very birds do not fare in the space of a year, so great is it and terrible. But now go thy way with thy ship and thy comrades, or, if thou wilt go by land, here are chariot and horses at hand for thee, [325] and here at thy service are my sons, who will be thy guides to goodly Lacedaemon, where lives fair-haired Menelaus. And do thou beseech him thyself that he may tell thee the very truth. A lie will be not utter, for he is wise indeed.”

1 1

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, 1886)
load focus Greek (1919)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Athens (Greece) (2)
Troy (Turkey) (1)
Phaestus (Greece) (1)
Mycenae (Greece) (1)
Lacedaemon (Greece) (1)
Gortyn (Greece) (1)
Egypt (Egypt) (1)
Crete (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: