Thus, then, did the Achaeans arm by their ships round you, O son of Peleus, who were hungering for battle; while the Trojans over against them armed upon the rise of the plain.
Meanwhile Zeus from the top of many-delled Olympus
, bade Themis gather the gods in council, whereon she went about and called them to the house of Zeus. There was not a river absent except Okeanos, nor a single one of the nymphs that haunt fair groves, or springs of rivers and meadows of green grass. When they reached the house of cloud-compelling Zeus, they took their seats in the arcades of polished marble which Hephaistos with his consummate skill had made for father Zeus.
In such wise, therefore, did they gather in the house of Zeus. Poseidon also, lord of the earthquake, obeyed the call of the goddess, and came up out of the sea to join them. There, sitting in the midst of them, he asked what Zeus' purpose might be. "Why," said he, "wielder of the lightning, have you called the gods in council? Are you considering some matter that concerns the Trojans and Achaeans - for the blaze of battle is on the point of being kindled between them?"
And Zeus answered, "You know my purpose, shaker of earth, and wherefore I have called you hither. I take thought for them even in their destruction. For my own part I shall stay here seated on Mount Olympus
and look on in peace, but do you others go about among Trojans and Achaeans, and help either side as you may be severally disposed in your thinking [noos]. If Achilles fights the Trojans without hindrance they will make no stand against him; they have ever trembled at the sight of him, and now that he is roused to such fury about his comrade, he will override fate itself and storm their city."
Thus spoke Zeus and gave the word for war, whereon the gods took their several sides and went into battle. Hera, Pallas Athena, earth-encircling Poseidon, Hermes bringer of good luck and excellent in all cunning - all these joined the host that came from the assembly [agôn] of ships; with them also came Hephaistos in all his glory, limping, but yet with his thin legs plying lustily under him. Ares of gleaming helmet joined the Trojans, and with him Apollo of locks unshorn, and the archer goddess Artemis, Leto, Xanthos
, and laughter-loving Aphrodite.
So long as the gods held themselves aloof from mortal warriors the Achaeans were triumphant, for Achilles who had long refused to fight was now with them. There was not a Trojan but his limbs failed him for fear as he beheld the fleet son of Peleus all glorious in his armor, and looking like Ares himself. When, however, the Olympians came to take their part among men, forthwith uprose strong Strife, rouser of hosts, and Athena raised her loud voice, now standing by the deep trench that ran outside the wall, and now shouting with all her might upon the shore of the sounding sea. Ares also bellowed out upon the other side, dark as some black thunder-cloud, and called on the Trojans at the top of his voice, now from the acropolis, and now speeding up the side of the river Simoeis till he came to the hill Kallikolone.
Thus did the gods spur on both hosts to fight, and rouse fierce contention also among themselves. The sire of gods and men thundered from heaven above, while from beneath Poseidon shook the vast earth, and bade the high hills tremble. The spurs and crests of many-fountained Ida quaked, as also the city of the Trojans and the ships of the Achaeans. Hades, king of the realms below, was struck with fear; he sprang panic-stricken from his throne and cried aloud in terror lest Poseidon, lord of the earthquake, should crack the ground over his head, and lay bare his moldy mansions to the sight of mortals and immortals - mansions so ghastly grim that even the gods shudder to think of them. Such was the uproar as the gods came together in battle. Apollo with his arrows took his stand to face King Poseidon, while Athena took hers against the god of war; the archer-goddess Artemis with her golden arrows, sister of far-darting Apollo, stood to face Hera; Hermes the lusty bringer of good luck faced Leto, while the mighty eddying river whom men can Skamandros, but gods Xanthos
, matched himself against Hephaistos.
The gods, then, were thus ranged against one another. But the heart of Achilles was set on meeting Hektor son of Priam, for it was with his blood that he longed above all things else to glut the stubborn lord of battle. Meanwhile Apollo set Aeneas on to attack the son of Peleus, and put courage into his heart, speaking with the voice of Lykaon son of Priam. In his likeness therefore, he said to Aeneas, "Aeneas, counselor of the Trojans, where are now the brave words with which you vaunted over your wine before the Trojan princes, saying that you would fight Achilles son of Peleus in single combat?"