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[490] The city in peace, which is placed in contrast with the city in war (ll. 509-540), contains in itself two opposed scenes: the happy marriage (ll. 491-496) and the trial (ll. 497-508).

[491] γάμοι, εἰλαπίναι, etc., the plural seems to refer here, as often, to different parts of but one object; a marriage, a feast, etc.

[493] ἠγίνευν (“ἀγινέω”) for “ἠγίνεον”, § 42.

πολύς, ‘loud.’

[495] βοὴν ἔχον, cf. note on 16.105.

[496] θαύμαζον, ‘gazed in wonder.’

[497] The trial scene begins. No attempt is made in these notes to set forth all the possible interpretations of ll. 497-508. For further explanations reference may be made to Schömann's Antiquities of Greece, English translation by Hardy and Mann (London, 1880), The State, pp. 27, 28; to Walter Leaf, Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. viii, pp. 122 ff.; and to Gardner and Jevons, Manual of Greek Antiquities. pp. 407-409. The whole description of the trial scene is so vague and confused that a question has arisen whether the poet was not trying to describe some actually existing work of art of which he but imperfectly understood the meaning. A similar criticism has been applied to others of the scenes also.

εἰν ἀγορᾷ, ‘in the gathering place.’

[498] εἵνεκα ποινῆς, see notes on I 632, 633.

[499] μὲν εὔχετο κτλ., ‘the one man claimed that he had made payment in full, but the other denied that he had received anything.’

[501] ‘And both were eager to get a decision before a referee.’—The literal meaning of πεῖραρ in this instance is probably ‘end.’

[502] ἀμφὶς ἀρωγοί, literally ‘dividedly helping’ (cf. B 13 for “ἀμφίς”): ‘divided in approval.’ ‘taking sides.’

[503] γέροντες, ‘elders,’ who formed the council.

[505] There was but one scepter, which a herald put into the hand of the elder who was about to speak his judgment. Cf. A 234 ff., 3.218.— κηρύκων, ‘from the heralds.’

[506] τοῖσι, ‘with these [continuing the plural idea, “σκῆπτρα”] then they sprang up and in turn gave their decisions.’

[507] δύω χρυσοῖο τάλαντα, not a very large sum in Homer's time. Cf. note on I 122.

[508] ‘To give to him among them [the elders] who should speak the most righteous judgment.’ Probably the two talents were deposited at the beginning of the trial, one by each litigant; they seem to be intended for the elder whose decision prevails.

[509] The probable interpretation of the somewhat confused narrative of the siege scene is as follows: The enemy's army in two divisions (“δύω στρατοί”, l. 509) is besieging a city; they are considering (1) whether to continue their attacks with the hope of ultimately sacking the city, or (2) whether to propose terms of peace, the condition being, after an ancient custom, equal division of property (l. 511) in the city between besiegers and besieged. The citizens, however, who are quite unwilling to come to terms (l. 513), form an ambush near a stream (l. 521), where the enemy's cattle must come for water. The ambush is successful, they capture the cattle (l. 528) and kill the herdsmen (l. 529). The enemy, who are sitting in council, hear the commotion, and hurry (ll. 530-532) to the spot; whereupon a fierce battle is joined (ll. 533-540).

Probably the poet had in mind an actual picture of a siege, in which the city occupied the center of a group, and the enemy held either side; so he speaks of two armies. See the picture in Dr. A. S. Murray's restoration (History of Greek Sculpture, chap. iii) or Helbig's Plate I (Hom. Epos).

[510] δίχα κτλ., they were divided (“δίχα” = ‘in two ways’) in counsel.

[511] ἄνδιχα πάντα δάσασθαι. Similarly (X 117-120) Hector debates with himself whether he shall try to make terms with the Greeks by proposing to divide equally between them and the Trojans the property of Troy.

[512] ἔεργεν, cf. I 404.

[513] οἳ δ᾽ (έ), the townspeople, who were being besieged.

λόχῳ, ‘for an ambush.’

515 ῥύατ᾽ο), ‘were defending’ § 142.4, b).

ἐφεσταότες, with “ἄλοχοι” and “τέκνα”, an agreement in sense; for “τέκνα” includes ‘boys.’

[516] οἳ δ᾽ ἴσαν, ‘and the men of the city were going forth’ into ambush.

[517] ἕσθην (“ἕννυμι”), third person dual of the pluperfect; cf. “ἕσσο, Γ” 57.

[519] ἀμφίς, ‘apart,’ not associated with the fighters (Van Leeuwen).

λαοὶ δ᾽ ὕπ᾽ο), ‘and the men beneath,’ i. e. depicted below the gods, who were of towering stature.

[520] ‘And when at length they came where there was opportunity [“εἶκε”] for them to lie in ambush.’

εἶκε = Attic “ἐνεχώρει”, ‘it was possible.’

[523] τοῖσι δ᾽έ), ‘and for them’—the men in ambush.

ἀπάνευθε ... λαῶν, ‘at a distance from the men’ (in ambush).

[524] δέγμενοι, ὁππότε, ‘biding until,’ like I 191. The flocks and herds were the property of the besieging army.

[525] οἳ δέ, the sheep and cattle.

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