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[303] μέγα ἔργον: a great thing. Cf. the use of “μέγα χρῆμα” in later Greek,

φέροιεν: potential opt. without “ἄν”.

304 = “Μ 449, γ” 287. cf. “Μ 383, Α 272, θ” 222 ff. — The poet's contemporaries are thought of as a degenerate race, when compared with the heroes of the Trojan war. Homer appears as a laudator temporis acti, and clearly shows his appreciation of the distance of time which separates him from the events of which he sings. The ‘sagas’ of all nations and times picture the men of former ages as stronger, better, and happier than the men of the present. cf. saxum antiquum, ingens, campo quod forte iacebat,| limes agro positus, litem ut discerneret arvis;| vix illud lecti bis sex cervice subirent,| qualia nunc hominum producit corpora tellus;| ille manu raptum trepida torquebat in hostem Verg. Aen. xii. 897 ff. The theory of progress and development from a ruder and more helpless state, hardly appears before Aeschylus.

πάλλε: swung, preparatory to throwing it. Two men of Homer's time could not carry it, but Diomed swung it easily.

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