previous next
"Odysseus," he cried, "noble son of Laertes where are you fleeing to, with your back turned like a coward? See that you are not struck with a spear between the shoulders. Stay here and help me to defend Nestor from this man's furious onset."

Odysseus would not give ear, but sped onward to the ships of the Achaeans, and the son of Tydeus flinging himself alone into the thick of the fight took his stand before the horses of the son of Neleus. "Sir," said he, "these young warriors are pressing you hard, your force is spent,

and age is heavy upon you, your squire [therapôn] is naught, and your horses are slow to move. Mount my chariot and see what the horses of Tros can do- how cleverly they can scud hither and thither over the plain either in flight or in pursuit. I took them from the hero Aeneas. Let our squires [theraponte] attend to your own steeds, but let us drive mine straight at the Trojans, that Hektor may learn how furiously I too can wield my spear."

Nestor horseman of Gerene hearkened to his words. Thereon the doughty squires [therapontes], Sthenelos and kind-hearted Eurymedon, saw to Nestor's horses, while the two both mounted Diomedes' chariot. Nestor took the reins in his hands and lashed the horses on; they were soon close up with Hektor, and the son of Tydeus aimed a spear at him as he was charging full speed towards them. He missed him, but struck his charioteer and squire [therapôn] Eniopeus son of noble Thebaios in the breast by the nipple while the reins were in his hands, so that he lost his life-breath [psukhê] there and then, and the horses swerved as he fell headlong from the chariot. Hektor was greatly grieved at the loss of his charioteer, but let him lie, despite his sorrow [akhos], while he went in quest of another driver; nor did his steeds have to go long without one, for he presently found brave Arkheptolemos the son of Iphitos, and made him get up behind the horses, giving the reins into his hand.

All had then been lost and no help for it, for they would have been penned up in Ilion like sheep, had not the sire of gods and men been quick to mark, and hurled a fiery flaming thunderbolt which fell just in front of Diomedes' horses with a flare of burning brimstone. The horses were frightened and tried to back beneath the car, while the reins dropped from Nestor's hands. Then he was afraid and said to Diomedes, "Son of Tydeus, turn your horses in flight; see you not that the hand of Zeus is against you? To-day he grants victory to Hektor; tomorrow, if it so please him, he will again grant it to ourselves; no man, however brave, may thwart the purpose [noon] of Zeus, for he is far stronger than any."

Diomedes answered, "All that you have said is true; there is a grief [akhos], however, which pierces me to the very heart, for Hektor will talk among the Trojans and say, ‘The son of Tydeus fled before me to the ships.’ This is the vaunt he will make, and may earth then swallow me."

"Son of Tydeus," replied Nestor, "what mean you? Though Hektor say that you are a coward the Trojans and Dardanians will not believe him, nor yet the wives of the mighty warriors whom you have laid low."

So saying he turned the horses back through the thick of the battle, and with a cry that rent the air the Trojans and Hektor rained their darts after them. Hektor shouted to him and said, "Son of Tydeus, the Danaans have done you honor hitherto as regards your place at table, the meals they give you, and the filling of your cup with wine. Henceforth they will despise you, for you are become no better than a woman. Be off, girl and coward that you are, you shall not try to scale our towers without my stopping you; neither shall you carry off our wives in your ships, for I shall give you, with my own hand, a fate [daimôn] that will doom you."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Laertes (1)
Ilium (Turkey) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 11.545
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 22.4
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: