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But when their flight had taken them past the trench and the set stakes, and many had fallen by the hands of the Danaans, the Trojans made a halt on reaching their chariots, routed and pale with fear. Zeus now woke on the crests of Ida, where he was lying with golden-throned Hera by his side, and starting to his feet he saw the Trojans and Achaeans, the one thrown into confusion, and the others driving them pell-mell before them with King Poseidon in their midst. He saw Hektor lying on the ground with his comrades gathered round him, gasping for breath, wandering in mind and vomiting blood, for it was not the feeblest of the Achaeans who struck him.

The sire of gods and men had pity on him, and looked fiercely on Hera. "I see, Hera," said he, "you mischief-making trickster, that your cunning has stayed Hektor from fighting and has caused the rout of his host. I am in half a mind to thrash you, in which case you will be the first to reap the fruits of your scurvy knavery. Do you not remember how once upon a time I had you hanged? I fastened two anvils on to your feet, and bound your hands in a chain of gold which none might break, and you hung in mid-air among the clouds. All the gods in Olympus were in a fury, but they could not reach you to set you free; when I caught any one of them I gripped him and hurled him from the heavenly threshold till he came fainting down to earth; yet even this did not relieve my mind from the incessant anxiety

which I felt about noble Herakles whom you and Boreas had spitefully conveyed beyond the seas [pontos] to Cos, after suborning the tempests; but I rescued him, and notwithstanding all his mighty labors I brought him back again to Argos. I would remind you of this that you may learn to leave off being so deceitful, and discover how much you are likely to gain by the embraces out of which you have come here to trick me."

Hera trembled as he spoke, and said, "May heaven above and earth below be my witnesses, with the waters of the river Styx - and this is the most solemn oath that a blessed god can take - nay, I swear also by your own almighty head and by our bridal bed - things over which I could never possibly perjure myself - that Poseidon is not punishing Hektor and the Trojans and helping the Achaeans through any doing of mine; it is all of his own mere motion because he was sorry to see the Achaeans hard pressed at their ships: if I were advising him, I should tell him to do as you bid him."

The sire of gods and men smiled and answered, "If you, Hera, were always to support me when we sit in council of the gods, Poseidon, like it or no, would soon come round to your and my way of thinking [noon]. If, then, you are speaking the truth and mean what you say, go among the rank and file of the gods, and tell Iris and Apollo lord of the bow, that I want them - Iris, that she may go to the Achaean host and tell Poseidon to leave off fighting and go home, and Apollo, that he may send Hektor again into battle and give him fresh strength; he will thus forget his present sufferings, and drive the Achaeans back in confusion till they fall among the ships of Achilles son of Peleus. Achilles will then send his comrade Patroklos into battle, and Hektor will kill him in front of Ilion after he has slain many warriors, and among them my own noble son Sarpedon. Achilles will kill Hektor to avenge Patroklos, and from that time I will bring it about that the Achaeans shall persistently drive the Trojans back till they fulfill the counsels of Athena and take Ilion. But I will not stay my anger, nor permit any god to help the Danaans till I have accomplished the desire of the son of Peleus, according to the promise I made by bowing my head on the day when Thetis touched my knees and besought me to give him honor."

Hera heeded his words and went from the heights of Ida to great Olympus. Swift as the thought [noos] of one whose fancy carries him over vast continents, and he says to himself, "Now I will be here, or there," and he would have all manner of things - even so swiftly did Hera wing her way till she came to high Olympus and went in among the gods who were gathered in the house of Zeus. When they saw her they all of them came up to her, and held out their cups to her by way of greeting. She let the others be, but took the cup offered her by lovely Themis, who was first to come running up to her. "Hera," said she, "why are you here? And you seem troubled - has your husband the son of Kronos been frightening you?"

And Hera answered, "Themis, do not ask me about it. You know what a proud and cruel disposition my husband has. Lead the gods to table, where you and all the immortals can hear the wicked designs which he has avowed. Many a one, mortal and immortal, will be angered by them, however peaceably he may be feasting now."

On this Hera sat down, and the gods were troubled throughout the house of Zeus. Laughter sat on her lips but her brow was furrowed with care, and she spoke up in a rage. "Fools that we are," she cried, "to be thus madly angry with Zeus; we keep on wanting to go up to him and stay him by force or by persuasion, but he sits aloof and cares for nobody, for he knows that he is much stronger than any other of the immortals. Make the best, therefore, of whatever ills he may choose to send each one of you; Ares, I take it, has had a taste of them already, for his son Askalaphos has fallen in battle - the man whom of all others he loved most dearly and whose father he owns himself to be."

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 8.335
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    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.1
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