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Book 15 (Ο

[592] λείουσιν, Attic “λέουσιν”, from “λέων”.

[594] θέλγε δὲ θυμὸν

Ἀργεΐων, ‘and charmed [“quenched,” Chapman] the spirit of the Argives.’

[595] τοὺς δ᾽ (έ), the Trojans.

[597] Πριαμίδῃ, in apposition to “Ἔκτορι” (l. 596), and in emphatic position.

[598] Θέτιδος δ᾽ ἐξαίσιον ἀρὴν κτλ., ‘and might fulfil the unjust [“merciless,” Voss] prayer of Thetis to the utmost’ (“πᾶσαν”).

ἐξαίσιον= ‘exceeding proper measure.’ The point of view of the poet is characteristically Greek.

[599] τὸ ... μένε, ‘was waiting for this.’ The next line is an appositive to “τό”.

[601] παλίωξιν παρὰ νηῶν ... Τρώων, ‘a rout [‘pursuit back’] of the Trojans from the ships.’ This is the phrase seen in the title of the present book (occurring l. 69 also); yet it is not strictly correct, for the rout does not begin until the next book.

[602] θησέμεναι, ‘to make, ‘to cause.’

[606] βαθέης, Attic “βαθείας”.

[608] ἀμφί, adverb, § 168.

[610] Lines 610-614 have from ancient times been suspected as an interpolation. They match the present context badly, for Zeus is known to be on Mount Ida, while “ἀπ᾽ αἰθέρος” (l. 610) implies Olympus; the expression “πλεόνεσσι ... μοῦνον ἐόντα” (l. 611) is scarcely intelligible; further the cause here given for honoring Hector, “μινυνθάδιος ... ἔσσεσθ᾽” (ll. 612 f.), is at variance with the reasons already introduced (ll. 596-599).

[613] ἐπώρνυε, a thematic formation for “ἐπώρνυ§ 132): ‘let approach.’

[618] ἴσχον γὰρ πυργηδὸν ἀρηρότες, ‘for they stood firm supporting one another [literally ‘fitted’] like a tower,’ i. e. in solid array. The simile beginning “ἠύτε πέτρη” is imitated by Vergil

... velut rupes, vastum quae prodit in aequor,
obvia ventorum furiis expostaque ponto,
vim cunctam atque minas perfert caelique marisque,
ipsa immota manens.

‘Even as a rock that projects into the measureless sea, facing the raging winds and exposed to the deep, firmly meets all the violent menaces of heaven and sea, staying fast itself.’

[620] μένει ... λαιψηρὰ κέλευθα, ‘firmly meets the swift assaults.’

[623] λαμπόμενος πυρί, ‘gleaming with fire,’ in reference to the shining bronze armor.

[626] δεινός must here be considered an adjective of two endings, one form serving for both masculine and feminine. The MSS. commonly read “ἀήτης”, masculine, however.

[628] τυτθόν, ‘by a little,’ ‘narrowly.’

[630] Neither γ᾽ε) nor λέων has a finite verb. “λέων” is taken up in “ δέ” (l. 635); while “ γ᾽”(“ε”) recurs as “Ἕκτορι” (l. 637). The translation should supply verbs where the English idiom demands.

[632] ‘And among them is a herdsman that does not yet clearly know how to cope with a wild beast about the slaying of a crumpled-horned cow’; i. e. to prevent the slaying.

[634] μέν, the herdsman.

[635] ὁμοῦ στιχάει, ‘walks with,’ or ‘along with.’

[636] ὑπέτρεσαν, gnomic aorist.

[637] ἐφόβηθεν, ‘fled,’ as regularly in Homer.

[640] ἀγγελίην is cognate accusative after “οἴχνεσκε.

βίῃ Ἡρακληείῃ is a periphrasis for ‘mighty Heracles.’ Translate, ‘used to go on the mission of lord Eurystheus to mighty Heracles.’ Eurystheus, fearing to meet Heracles personally, communicated with him through Copreus.

[641] πατρὸς ... χείρονος is in apposition to “τοῦ”: literally ‘from him, a much worse father, he was born a better son.’ Pope paraphrases: “The son redeem'd the honours of the race,
A son as generous as the sire was base.

[642] μάχεσθαι, infinitive of specification, equivalent to “μάχην”. Cf. A 258.

[643] ἐτέτυκτο (“τεύχω”) = “ἦν”.

[644] ὅς, § 123.4.

[645] στρεφθεὶς ... μετόπισθεν, ‘as he turned back’ in flight to the ships. To understand how it was possible for Periphetes to trip on his shield, the great shield of the Mycenaean type must be called to mind; cf. Introduction, 23.

[650] Periphetes was indeed a warrior “at mischief taken” (cf. Dryden's Palamon and Arcite, III. 516); but he was not therefore spared by Hector, for this was no tournament of jousting knights.

[651] ἑταίρου, genitive of cause.

[652] δείδισαν, for “δέδϝισαν”, § 62.1.

653-656. Three points in the flight of the Achaeans are pictured: driven before Hector they had turned their backs on the Trojans; (1) now ‘they had come to be face to face with their ships’ (l. 653); (2) now ‘the foremost ships, the first that were hauled up, compassed them about,’ and as they were streaming between them, ‘the Trojans poured in after them’ (l. 654); (3) now ‘they retreated from the foremost ships by necessity and grouped themselves near the huts’ (ll. 655, 656). It is generally understood that the ships were hauled up in several long rows, ranged one behind another.

[653] ἔσχεθον, § 154.2.

[654] τοὶ δ᾽έ), the Trojans.

[656] τῶν πρωτέων § 70) agrees with “νεῶν”, l. 655, genitive of separation The same ships are denoted as by “ἄκραι νῆες” above (ll. 653 f.).

[660] ὑπὲρ τοκέων, ‘in behalf of [i. e. ‘by’] his parents,’ with “γουνούμενος” Compare “τοκέων” with “τοκήων” (l. 663), the same word; § 29.

[661] αἰδόα, declined like “ἠώς”, § 92.

[662] ἐπί, ‘besides.’ The sentiment is imitated by Vergil

Nunc coniugis esto quisque suae tectique memor,
nunc magna referto facta, patrum laudes.

‘Now let every man remember his wife and his home, now let him recall the mighty deeds that gave his fathers glory.’

[664] ὅτεῳ § 124) and are datives of interest (advantage or disadvantage). The idea is, do all of you remember, ‘both the man whose parents yet live, and the man whose parents are dead.’

ὅττεῳ, two syllables, § 43.

[665] τῶν ὕπερ κτλ., ‘I here beseech you by those that are not with us.’

[668] ὦσεν, cf. A 220. No previous mention has been made of a cloud surrounding the Greeks.

[670] πρός, ‘in the direction of.’

[671] ἐφράσσαντο (from “φράζομαι”), ‘they saw.’

[676] ἴκρι᾽α), the Homeric ship had small decks fore and aft only.

[679] ἀνήρ lacks a finite verb; so ὡς δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ε), which literally would be rendered ‘and as [happens] when,’ must here be translated simply ‘like.’ —The idea is, like a skilful horseman Ajax leaped from deck to deck.

[680] πολέων, § 106.

πίσυρας § 108.4), a relic of Aeolic influence.

συναείρεται, aorist subjunctive, ‘has hitched together.’

[682] θηήσαντο, gnomic aorist § 184).

[683] δ᾽ ἔμπεδον κτλ., ‘while he with steady poise [“ἔμπεδον”] and sure feet [“ἀσφαλές”] continually vaults [“θρῴσκων”] from horse to horse in succession [“ἀμείβεται”], as they course along.’ The horseman is imagined as standing all the time.

[690] ὀρνίθων πετεηνῶν, with “ἔθνος” (l. 691).

[693] ‘So Hector rushed straight toward a dark-prowed ship, dashing against it.’

νεός is a variety of partitive genitive.

[697] φαίης κ᾽ε), ‘you would have thought’ § 207).

[701] Τρωσὶν δ᾽ ἔλπετο θυμός means ‘the Trojans' spirit hoped’; then “ἑκάστου”, a possessive genitive with “στήθεσσιν”, is added, regardless of the preceding “Τρωσίν”. ‘Each man of the Trojans cherished in his breast the hope.’

[705] Πρωτεσίλαον, the first of the Achaeans to land from his ship on Trojan soil (B 698, 702). He was slain by a Dardanian as soon as he set foot on the shore.

[709] τόξων=“τοξευμάτων.

ἀικάς belongs to “ἀκόντων” as well as to “τόξων.

ἀμφίς, ‘at a distance from one another,’ in contrast with “ἐγγύθεν ἱστάμενοι” (l. 710).

[711] 711, 712. πέλεκυς, an axe or hatchet, often double-edged, commonly used for cutting and hewing wood (cf. 3.60 f., 16.483, 484).

ἀξίνη, ‘battleaxe.’

ξίφος (like “φάσγανον”, cf. l. 713), ‘sword.’

ἔγχος ἀμφίγυον, commonly explained as ‘double-headed spear,’ one end of which was used for thrusting, the other for fixing the spear in the ground (cf. 3.135) when it was not in use.

[714] ἄλλα ... ἄλλα, ‘some’ ... ‘others,’ in apposition to “φάσγανα” (l. 713). Swords fell from hands, if the hands that held them were maimed or cut off; from shoulders, if the shoulders and the sword belts that they carried were slashed through. The sword belt probably passed over the right shoulder; and the sword, when not in use, dangled in its sheath at the left side.

[716] πρυμνῆθεν, used for a partitive genitive, § 172.

[718] οἴσετε, § 153.

[719] πάντων ... ἄξιον ἦμαρ, ‘a day worth all our former toils.’

721-723. Achilles, on the other hand, assigned a quite different reason for Hector's reluctance to fight, I 352 f.

[723] αὐτόν, with “μ̓”(“ε”) (l. 722).

[728] We are to understand that Ajax, who had previously been springing from deck to deck of one ship after another, now stood at bay on the vessel of Protesilaus.

[729] θρῆνυν, explained in the scholia as a ‘thwart’ (“καθέδραν”) for rowers or helmsman. There are various other conjectures about it, both ancient and modern.

[736] ἄρειον, comparative of “ἀγαθόν”.

[738] ‘In which we may defend ourselves with citizens who would change the fortune of battle.’

ἑτεραλκέα means ‘bringing defensive strength to the other side’ that previously was getting the worse of the conflict.

[739] ἀλλ᾽) ... “γάρ”, ‘but [this is not to be considered] for.’

[740] πόντῳ κεκλιμένοι, with “naught but seas behind” (Chapman).

[741] ‘Therefore delivery lies in might, not in flinching from battle.’

[744] χάριν Ἕκτορος ὀτρύναντος, ‘to serve Hector who urged him’: χάριν, ‘for the sake of,’ is adverbial accusative.

[745] 745, 746. οὔτασκε and οὖτα: this verb (“οὐτάω, οὐτάζω”), like “τύπτω, νύσσω”, and “πλήσσω”, is regularly used of wounding by a thrust, the weapon not leaving the hand. Cf. E 336, 16.26. When the poet wishes to express the idea of hitting with a missile that is hurled from a distance he uses “βάλλω”.

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