Book 24 (Ω

It is in the evening of the thirty-eighth day of the poem that Priam comes to ransom Hector.

[472] ἔν = “ἔνδον.

μιν, Achilles.

[473] εὗρ᾽ε), subject, Priam.

480, 481. ‘And as when dense blindness of heart seizes a man, so that he slays a fellow in his fatherland and comes to the land of strangers.’

[489] ἀμῦναι expresses purpose.

[496] ἰῆς ἐκ νηδύος, of Hecabe (Hecuba).

[499] καὶ αὐτός, ‘even alone.’

[503] αὐτόν, supply “με”.

[506] χεῖῤ = “χεῖρε”: ‘to take to my lips the hands of the man that has murdered my sons.’ Compare l. 478. Others understand “χεῖῤ” = “χεῖρα” (or read “χείῤ” = “χειρί”), and translate: ‘to reach [with] my hand to the mouth [or ‘chin’] of the man’ etc., comparing A 501.

[510] ἐλυσθείς, ‘rolled up.’ “Low on earth” (Pope).

[523] κατακεῖσθαι, ‘to sleep,’ undisturbed.

[524] ‘For no good comes of’ etc.

[528] κακῶν, supply “ἕτερος μέν”, ‘the one.’

ἐάων, § 99.

[529] ‘To whomsoever Zeus gives of these, when he has mingled them’ (i. e. the good and the bad gifts).

τερπικέραυνος, § 59.—On this story of the jars is perhaps founded the Epimetheus-Pandora myth, that appears first in Hesiod, Works and Days, ll. 69-104.

[535] ἐπ᾽ί), ‘extending over,’ ‘among.’

[543] εἶναι, imperfect infinitive, ‘were.’

[544] ‘All the territory that Lesbos bounds’ (“ἐντὸς ἐέργει”).

ἄνω (limiting “ἐέργει”) = ‘upward,’ from the south, Lesbos being a southern boundary.

[545] καὶ Φρυγίη καθύπερθε, ‘and Phrygia on the east,’ according to a scholiast; the poet “bounds the kingdom of Priam on the south by Lesbos, on the east by Phrygia, and on the north by the Hellespont.”

[546] τῶν, the inhabitants of the region just defined, genitive (here only) with “κεκάσθαι”: ‘among people of this region you used to rank first, they say, in wealth and sons.’—On κεκάσθαι cf. “εἶναι” (l. 543).

[551] πρὶν καὶ κακὸν κτλ., cf. A 29. For the subjunctive cf. § 191.

[556] σὺ δὲ τῶνδ᾽ ἀπόναιο, ‘and may you have joy of this’ (ransom).

[557] ἔασας, ‘spared.’

[558] Bracketed because missing in many MSS., and evidently added by somebody who misunderstood the meaning of “ἔασας” (l. 557) and thought the sense must be somehow completed.

[563] σέ, an instance of anticipation (prolepsis): ‘I know that a god led you hither.’ Cf. note on B 409.

[569] ἐάσω, in meaning like “ἔασας”, l. 557.

[570] καὶ ἱκέτην κτλ., ‘even though you are a suppliant.’

[577] κήρυκα, Idaeus, crier of the aged king (“τοῖο γέροντος”).

[581] δοίη, subject, Achilles.

[595] καὶ τῶνδ᾽ε), ‘even of these treasures,’ in an offering to the dead.

[597] ἔνθεν, ‘from which.’

[598] τοίχου τοῦ ἑτέρου, see note on I 219.

[603] τῇ περ κτλ., ‘although her twelve children’ etc.

[608] τεκέειν, understand Leto as subject.

[610] κέατ᾽ο), § 29.

614-617. These lines look like a later addition to the story just recited; for nothing has previously been said which would lead one to believe that Niobe herself was turned to stone; in fact the point of the whole recital lies in the statement that Niobe forgot her sorrow enough to eat food (l. 613). And how could a stone eat food? as a scholiast pertinently suggests. The Alexandrians (Aristophanes, Aristarchus) rejected the lines altogether.

A later myth does make Niobe herself one of those turned to stone. The scholiast, repeating her story, adds: “So Zeus took pity on Niobe who was weeping over such a great misfortune and changed her to stone, as even up to the present time she is seen by all on Phrygian [“τῆς Φρυγίας”] Sipylus, shedding fountains of tears.” Pausanias (2d century A. D.) was acquainted with this Niobe, and repeats the story of the tears (I, 21, 5; VIII, 2, 3), evidently alluding to a stream of water trickling down over a face of natural rock. But it seems to be hardly possible to-day to identify “with any approach to certainty or even probability” such a Niobe as he describes. The (formerly) so-called Niobe of Mt. Sipylus is really a sculpture representing “Mother Plastene,” i. e. Cybele [cf. Frazer, Pausanias's Description of Greece (London, 1898), vol. iii, pp. 552-555].

[616] ἐρρώσαντο, here ‘dance’ § 184).

[617] θεῶν ἒκ κήδεα πέσσει, ‘she nurses her god-given sorrows.’

[630] ὅσσος ἔην οἷός τε, ‘how tall and how handsome he was.’

[635] λέξον, root “λεχ”, ‘make me to lie down,’ ‘give me a bed.’

[638] With this long wakefulness of Priam a scholiast compares the vigil of Odysseus, who, while piloting his raft, went without sleep for seventeen days, and then swam with the aid of a life-buoy (Leucothea's veil) for three days continuously (Od. 5.278, 279, 388 ff.).

[644] αἰθούσῃ, see notes on l. 673 and Z 243.—The lodge of Achilles grows in grandeur, as the poet proceeds. It is described as if furnished like the Homeric prince's palace, in many respects.

[645] The τάπητας were spread on the “ῥήγεα” (cf. note on 16.224); on these Priam was to sleep, with woolen blankets to draw over him (“καθύπερθεν ἕσασθαι”).

[650] λέξο, intransitive; compare the transitive “λέξον”, l. 635.

[660] εἰ ... δή, ‘since really,’ like A 61.

[661] ῥέζων is equivalent to the protasis of a condition.

κεχαρισμένα θείης, ‘you would do welcome things,’ ‘you would gratify me.’

κε goes with “θείης”.

[662] ἐέλμεθα, εἴλω

τηλόθι δ᾽ ὕλη κτλ., ‘and the wood is far to bring.’

[665] δαινυῖτο, present optative, formed without thematic vowel.

[673] ἐν προδόμῳ δόμου: this expression locates the “αἴθουσα” of l. 644 immediately before the entrance to the large room of Achilles's lodge.

[683] οὔ νύ τι κτλ., ‘have you not the least fear of trouble [“κακόν”]. [to judge] by the way that you yet sleep’?

[684] εἴασεν, ‘spared,’ as before.

[686] σεῖο κτλ., ‘and for your life,’ genitive of price with “δοῖεν ἄποινα”.

[687] παῖδες τοι κτλ., ‘those sons [of yours] left behind.’

On the morning of the thirty-ninth day of the poem Priam comes to Troy, with Hector's body. For nine days preparations for the burial are making and wood for the pyre is hauled. The next two days are occupied with Hector's burial and the funeral feast. (Cf. note on A 8.) The Iliad ends with the words (l. 804) “ὣς οἵ γ᾽ ἀμφίεπον τάφον Ἕκτορος ἱπποδάμοιο”.

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