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He then said to Talthybios, "Talthybios, tell Machaon, son to the great physician, Asklepios, to come and see Menelaos immediately. Some Trojan or Lycian archer has wounded him with an arrow to our dismay [penthos], and to his own great glory [kleos]."

Talthybios did as he was told, and went about the host trying to find Machaon. Presently he found standing amid the brave warriors who had followed him from Tricca; thereon he went up to him and said, "Son of Asklepios, King Agamemnon says you are to come and see Menelaos immediately. Some Trojan or Lycian archer has wounded him with an arrow to our dismay [penthos] and to his own great glory [kleos]."

Thus did he speak, and Machaon was moved to go. They passed through the spreading host of the Achaeans and went on till they came to the place where Menelaos had been wounded and was lying with the chieftains gathered in a circle round him. Machaon passed into the middle of the ring and at once drew the arrow from the belt, bending its barbs back through the force with which he pulled it out. He undid the burnished belt, and beneath this the cuirass and the belt of mail which the bronze-smiths had made; then, when he had seen the wound, he wiped away the blood and applied some soothing drugs which Chiron had given to Asklepios out of the good will he bore him.

While they were thus busy about Menelaos, the Trojans came forward against them, for they had put on their armor, and now renewed the fight.

You would not have then found Agamemnon asleep nor cowardly and unwilling to fight, but eager rather for the fray. He left his chariot rich with bronze and his panting steeds in charge of the squire [therapôn] Eurymedon, son of Ptolemaios the son of Peiraios, and bade him hold them in readiness against the time his limbs should weary of going about and giving orders to so many, for he went among the ranks on foot. When he saw men hastening to the front he stood by them and cheered them on. "Argives," said he, "slacken not one whit in your onset; father Zeus will be no helper of liars;

the Trojans have been the first to break their oaths and to attack us; therefore they shall be devoured of vultures; we shall take their city and carry off their wives and children in our ships."

But he angrily rebuked those whom he saw shirking and disinclined to fight. "Argives," he cried, "cowardly miserable creatures, have you no shame to stand here like frightened fawns who, when they can no longer scud over the plain, huddle together, but show no fight? You are as dazed and spiritless as deer. Would you wait till the Trojans reach the sterns of our ships as they lie on the shore, to see, whether the son of Kronos will hold his hand over you to protect you?"

Thus did he go about giving his orders among the ranks. Passing through the crowd, he came presently on the Cretans, arming round Idomeneus, who was at their head, fierce as a wild boar, while Meriones was bringing up the battalions that were in the rear. Agamemnon was glad when he saw him, and spoke him fairly. "Idomeneus," said he, "I treat you with greater distinction than I do any others of the Achaeans, whether in war or in other things, or at table. When the princes are mixing my choicest wines in the mixing-bowls, they have each of them a fixed allowance, but your cup is kept always full like my own, that you may drink whenever you are minded. Go, therefore, into battle, and show yourself the man you have been always proud to be."

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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 23.71
  • Cross-references to this page (4):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, Paus. 2.26
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, Paus. 2.26
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.pos=2.2
    • Smith's Bio, Hermes
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