With these words she put heart and soul into them all, while Athena sprang to the side of the son of Tydeus, whom she found near his chariot and horses, cooling the wound that Pandaros had given him. For the sweat caused by the hand that bore the weight of his shield irritated the hurt: his arm was weary with pain, and he was lifting up the strap to wipe away the blood. The goddess laid her hand on the yoke of his horses and said, "The son of Tydeus is not such another as his father. Tydeus was a little man, but he could fight, and rushed madly into the fray even when I told him not to do so. When he went all unattended as envoy to the city of Thebes
among the Cadmeans, I bade him feast in their houses and be at peace; but with that high spirit which was ever present with him, he challenged the youth of the Cadmeans, and at once beat them in all that he attempted, so mightily did I help him. I stand by you too to protect you, and I bid you be instant in fighting the Trojans; but either you are tired out, or you are afraid and out of heart, and in that case I say that you are no true son of Tydeus the son of Oeneus."
Diomedes answered, "I know you, goddess, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, and will hide nothing from you. I am not afraid nor out of heart, nor is there any slackness in me. I am only following your own instructions; you told me not to fight any of the blessed gods; but if Zeus' daughter Aphrodite came into battle I was to wound her with my spear. Therefore I am retreating, and bidding the other Argives gather in this place, for I know that Ares is now lording it in the field." "Diomedes, son of Tydeus," replied Athena, "man after my own heart, fear neither Ares nor any other of the immortals, for I will befriend you. Nay, drive straight at Ares, and smite him in close combat; fear not this raging madman, villain incarnate, first on one side and then on the other. But now he was holding talk with Hera and myself, saying he would help the Argives and attack the Trojans; nevertheless he is with the Trojans, and has forgotten the Argives."
With this she caught hold of Sthenelos and lifted him off the chariot on to the ground. In a second he was on the ground, whereupon the goddess mounted the car and placed herself by the side of Diomedes. The oaken axle groaned aloud under the burden of the awful goddess and the hero; Pallas Athena took the whip and reins, and drove straight at Ares. He was in the act of stripping huge Periphas, son of Ochesios and bravest of the Aetolians. Bloody Ares was stripping him of his armor, and Athena donned the helmet of Hades, that he might not see her; when, therefore, he saw Diomedes, he made straight for him and let Periphas lie where he had fallen. As soon as they were at close quarters he let fly with his bronze spear over the reins and yoke, thinking to take the life of Diomedes, but Athena caught the spear in her hand and made it fly harmlessly over the chariot. Diomedes then threw, and Pallas Athena drove the spear into the pit of Ares' stomach where his under-belt went round him. There Diomedes wounded him, tearing his fair flesh and then drawing his spear out again. Ares roared as loudly as nine or ten thousand men in the thick of a fight, and the Achaeans and Trojans were struck with panic, so terrible was the cry he raised.
As a dark cloud in the sky when it comes on to blow after heat, even so did Diomedes son of Tydeus see Ares ascend into the broad heavens. With all speed he reached high Olympus
, home of the gods, and in great pain sat down beside Zeus the son of Kronos. He showed Zeus the immortal blood that was flowing from his wound, and spoke piteously, saying, "Father Zeus, are you not angered by such doings? We gods are continually suffering in the most cruel manner at one another's hands while doing a favor [kharis] for mortals; and we all owe you a grudge for having begotten that mad termagant of a daughter, who is always committing outrage of some kind. We other gods must all do as you bid us, but her you neither scold nor punish; you encourage her because the pestilent creature is your daughter. See how she has been inciting proud Diomedes to vent his rage on the immortal gods. First he went up to the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and then he sprang upon me too, equal to a daimôn. Had I not run for it I must either have lain there for long enough in torments among the ghastly corpses, or have been eaten alive with spears till I had no more strength left in me."
Zeus looked angrily at him and said, "Do not come whining here, Sir Facing-bothways. I hate you worst of all the gods in Olympus
, for you are ever fighting and making mischief. You have the intolerable and stubborn spirit of your mother Hera: it is all I can do to manage her, and it is her doing that you are now in this plight: still, I cannot let you remain longer in such great pain; you are my own off-spring, and it was by me that your mother conceived you; if, however, you had been the son of any other god, you are so destructive that by this time you should have been lying lower than the Titans."
He then bade Paieon heal him, whereon Paieon spread pain-killing herbs upon his wound and cured him, for he was not of mortal mold. As the juice of the fig-tree curdles milk, and thickens it in a moment though it is liquid, even so instantly did Paieon cure fierce Ares. Then Hebe washed him, and clothed him in goodly raiment, and he took his seat by his father Zeus all glorious to behold.
But Hera of Argos
and Athena of Alalkomene, now that they had put a stop to the murderous doings of Ares, went back again to the house of Zeus.