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All had then been lost and no help for it, and the Achaeans would have fled pell-mell to their ships, had not Odysseus cried out to Diomedes, "Son of Tydeus, what has happened to us that we thus forget our prowess? Come, my good man, stand by my side and help me, we shall be shamed for ever if Hektor takes the ships."

And Diomedes answered, "Come what may, I will stand firm; but we shall have scant joy of it, for Zeus is minded to give victory to the Trojans rather than to us."

With these words he struck Thymbraios from his chariot to the ground, smiting him in the left breast with his spear, while Odysseus killed Molion who was his squire [therapôn]. These they let lie, now that they had stopped their fighting; the two heroes then went on playing havoc with the foe, like two wild boars that turn in fury and rend the hounds that hunt them. Thus did they turn upon the Trojans and slay them, and the Achaeans were thankful to have breathing time in their flight from Hektor.

They then took two princes with their chariot, the two sons of Merops of Perkote, who excelled in the arts of divination all others from the district [dêmos]. He had forbidden his sons to go to the war, but they would not obey him, for fate lured them to their fall. Diomedes son of Tydeus deprived them both of their life-breath [psukhê] and stripped them of their armor, while Odysseus killed Hippodamos and Hypeirochos.

And now the son of Kronos as he looked down from Ida ordained that neither side should have the advantage, and they kept on killing one another. The son of Tydeus speared Agastrophos son of Paeon in the hip-joint with his spear. His chariot was not at hand for him to fly with, so blindly confident had he been. His squire [therapôn] was in charge of it at some distance and he was fighting on foot among the foremost until he lost his life. Hektor soon marked the havoc Diomedes and Odysseus were making, and bore down upon them with a loud cry, followed by the Trojan ranks; brave Diomedes was dismayed when he saw them, and said to Odysseus who was beside him, "Great Hektor is bearing down upon us and we shall be undone; let us stand firm and wait his onset."

He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it, nor did he miss his mark. He had aimed at Hektor's head near the top of his helmet, but bronze was turned by bronze, and Hektor was untouched, for the spear was stayed by the visored helm made with three plates of metal, which Phoebus Apollo had given him. Hektor sprang back with a great bound under cover of the ranks; he fell on his knees and propped himself

with his brawny hand leaning on the ground, for darkness had fallen on his eyes. The son of Tydeus having thrown his spear dashed in among the foremost fighters, to the place where he had seen it strike the ground; meanwhile Hektor recovered himself and springing back into his chariot mingled with the crowd, by which means he saved his life. But Diomedes made at him with his spear and said, "Dog, you have again got away though death was close on your heels. Phoebus Apollo, to whom I ween you pray ere you go into battle, has again saved you, nevertheless I will meet you and make and end of you hereafter, if there is any god who will stand by me too and be my helper. For the present I must pursue those I can lay hands on."

As he spoke he began stripping the spoils from the son of Paeon, but Alexander husband of lovely Helen aimed an arrow at him, leaning against a pillar of the monument which men had raised to Ilos son of Dardanos, a ruler in days of old. Diomedes had taken the cuirass from off the breast of Agastrophos, his heavy helmet also, and the shield from off his shoulders, when Paris drew his bow and let fly an arrow that sped not from his hand in vain, but pierced the flat of Diomedes' right foot, going right through it and fixing itself in the ground. Thereon Paris with a hearty laugh sprang forward from his hiding-place, and taunted him saying, "You are wounded - my arrow has not been shot in vain; would that it had hit you in the belly and killed you, for thus the Trojans, who fear you as goats fear a lion, would have had a truce from evil."

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 2.156
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 8.78
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