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Now to show that it was possible for him to have been saved had he refrained from avenging the death of Patroclus, read what Thetis says.

““Ah me, my son, swift fate indeed will fall
On thee, if thou dost speak such words. For know,
Swift after Hector's death fate brings thine own.
To her divine Achilles, swift of foot,
In turn made answer. Straightway let me die,
For when my friend was slain, my dearest friend,
It was not granted me to succor him.”

Hom. Il. 18.95

1 The above quotations from Homer show considerable variations from our MSS. of the poet. It seems that Aeschines was using a very corrupt text of Homer. In Hom. Il. 18.324 ff., there is variation in one word; in Hom. Il. 18.333-35, in two words; the long passage from Hom. Il. 23.77 has two lines that are not found in our MSS. of the Iliad, one line that is changed in position, and four that show verbal changes. The quotation from Hom. Il. 18.95-99 shows a verbal change in one line, and an entire change in the last half-line.

That widely divergent texts of Homer were in circulation as early as the time of Aeschines has been proved by the papyrus fragments.

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