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As he was speaking, the son of Tydeus came driving in, plying his whip lustily from his shoulder, and his horses stepping high as they flew over the course. The sand and grit rained thick on the driver, and the chariot inlaid with gold and tin ran close behind his fleet horses. There was little trace of wheel-marks in the fine dust, and the horses came flying in at their utmost speed. Diomedes stayed them in the middle of the assembly [agôn], and the sweat from their manes and chests fell in streams on to the ground. Forthwith he sprang from his goodly chariot, and leaned his whip against his horses' yoke; brave Sthenelos now lost no time, but at once brought on the prize [athlon], and gave the woman and the ear-handled cauldron to his comrades to take away. Then he unyoked the horses.

Next after him came in Antilokhos of the race of Neleus, who had passed Menelaos by craft [kerdos] and not by the fleetness of his horses; but even so Menelaos came in as close behind him as the wheel is to the horse that draws both the chariot and its master. The end hairs of a horse's tail touch the tire of the wheel, and there is never much space between wheel and horse when the chariot is going; Menelaos was no further than this behind Antilokhos, though at first he had been a full disc's throw behind him. He had soon caught him up again, for Agamemnon's mare Aethe kept pulling stronger and stronger, so that if the course had been longer he would have passed him, and there would not even have been a dead heat. Idomeneus' brave squire [therapôn] Meriones was about a spear's cast behind Menelaos. His horses were slowest of all in the contest [agôn], and he was the worst driver. Last of them all came the son of Admetos, dragging his chariot and driving his horses on in front. When Achilles saw him he was sorry, and stood up among the Argives saying, "The best man is coming in last. Let us give him a prize for it is reasonable. He shall have the second, but the first must go to the son of Tydeus."

Thus did he speak and the others all of them applauded his saying, and were for doing as he had said, but Nestor's son Antilokhos stood up and claimed his rights from the son of Peleus. "Achilles," said he, "I shall take it much amiss if you do this thing; you would rob me of my prize [athlon], because you think Eumelos' chariot and horses were thrown out, and himself too, good man that he is. He should have prayed duly to the immortals; he would not have come in fast if he had done so. If you are sorry for him and so choose, you have much gold in your tents, with bronze, sheep, cattle, and horses. Take something from this store if you would have the Achaeans speak well of you, and give him a better prize [athlon] even than that which you have now offered; but I will not give up the mare, and he that will fight me for her, let him come on."

Achilles smiled as he heard this, and was pleased with Antilokhos, who was one of his dearest comrades. So he said -

"Antilokhos, if you would have me find Eumelos another prize, I will give him the bronze breastplate with a rim of tin running all round it which I took from Asteropaios. It will be worth much money to him."

He bade his comrade Automedon bring the breastplate from his tent, and he did so. Achilles then gave it over to Eumelos, who received it gladly.

But Menelaos got up in a rage, furiously angry with Antilokhos. An attendant placed his staff in his hands and bade the Argives keep silence: the hero then addressed them. "Antilokhos," said he, "what is this from you who have been so far blameless? You have shamed my excellence [aretê] and baulked my horses by flinging your own in front of them, though yours are much worse than mine are; therefore, O princes and counselors of the Argives, judge between us and show no favor, lest one of the Achaeans say, ‘Menelaos has got the mare through lying and corruption; his horses were far inferior to Antilokhos', but he is superior in excellence [aretê] and force [biê].’ Nay, I will determine the matter myself, and no man will blame me, for I shall do what is just. Come here, Antilokhos, and stand, as our custom [themis] is, whip in hand before your chariot and horses; lay your hand on your steeds, and swear by earth-encircling Poseidon that you did not purposely and guilefully get in the way of my horses."

And Antilokhos answered, "Forgive me; I am much younger, King Menelaos, than you are; you stand higher than I do and are the better man of the two; you know how easily young men are betrayed into indiscretion; their tempers are more hasty and they have less judgment [noos]; make due allowances therefore, and bear with me; I will of my own accord give up the mare that I have won, and if you claim any further chattel from my own possessions, I would rather yield it to you, at once, than fall from your good graces henceforth, and do wrong in the eyes of daimones."

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