Thus did they fight about the ship of Protesilaos. Then Patroklos drew near to Achilles with tears welling from his eyes, as from some spring whose crystal stream falls over the ledges of a high precipice. When Achilles saw him thus weeping he was sorry for him and said, "Why, Patroklos, do you stand there weeping like some silly child that comes running to her mother, and begs to be taken up and carried- she catches hold of her mother's dress to stay her though she is in a hurry, and looks tearfully up until her mother carries her - even such tears, Patroklos, are you now shedding. Have you anything to say to the Myrmidons or to myself? or have you had news from Phthia
which you alone know? They tell me Menoitios son of Aktor is still alive, as also Peleus son of Aiakos, among the Myrmidons - men whose loss we two should bitterly deplore; or are you grieving about the Argives and the way in which they are being killed at the ships, through their own high-handed doings? Do not hide in your mind [noos] anything from me but tell me that both of us may know about it."
Then, O horseman Patroklos, with a deep sigh you answered, "Achilles, son of Peleus, foremost champion of the Achaeans, do not be angry, but I feel grief [akhos] for the disaster that has now befallen the Argives. All those who have been their champions so far are lying at the ships, wounded by sword or spear. Brave Diomedes son of Tydeus has been hit with a spear, while famed Odysseus and Agamemnon have received sword-wounds;
Eurypylos again has been struck with an arrow in the thigh; skilled apothecaries are attending to these heroes, and healing them of their wounds; are you still, O Achilles, so inexorable? May it never be my lot to nurse such a passion as you have done, to the baning of your own good name. Who in future story will speak well of you unless you now save the Argives from ruin? You know no pity; horseman Peleus was not your father nor Thetis your mother, but the gray sea bore you and the sheer cliffs begot you, so cruel and remorseless are you in your thinking [noos]. If however you are kept back through knowledge of some oracle, or if your mother Thetis has told you something from the mouth of Zeus, at least send me and the Myrmidons with me, if I may bring deliverance to the Danaans. Let me moreover wear your armor; the Trojans may thus mistake me for you and quit the field, so that the hard-pressed sons of the Achaeans may have breathing time- which while they are fighting may hardly be. We who are fresh might soon drive tired men back from our ships and tents to their own city."
He knew not what he was asking, nor that he was suing for his own destruction. Achilles was deeply moved and answered, "What, noble Patroklos, are you saying? I know no prophesyings which I am heeding, nor has my mother told me anything from the mouth of Zeus, but I am cut to the very heart with grief [akhos] that one of my own rank should dare to rob me because he is more powerful than I am. This grief [akhos], after all that I have gone through, is more than I can endure. The girl whom the sons of the Achaeans chose for me, whom I won as the fruit of my spear on having sacked a city - her has King Agamemnon taken from me as though I were some common vagrant. Still, let bygones be bygones: no man may keep his anger for ever; I said I would not relent till battle and the cry of war had reached my own ships; nevertheless, now gird my armor about your shoulders, and lead the Myrmidons to battle, for the dark cloud of Trojans has burst furiously over our fleet;
the Argives are driven back on to the beach, cooped within a narrow space, and the whole people of Troy
has taken heart to sally out against them, because they see not the visor of my helmet gleaming near them. Had they seen this, there would not have been a creek nor grip that had not been filled with their dead as they fled back again. And so it would have been, if only King Agamemnon had dealt fairly by me. As it is the Trojans have beset our host. Diomedes son of Tydeus no longer wields his spear to defend the Danaans, neither have I heard the voice of the son of Atreus coming from his hated [ekhthrê] head, whereas that of murderous Hektor rings in my cars as he gives orders to the Trojans, who triumph over the Achaeans and fill the whole plain with their cry of battle. But even so, Patroklos, fall upon them and save the fleet, lest the Trojans fire it and deprive us of our safe homecoming [nostos]. Bring to fulfillment [telos] what I now order you to do, so that you may win me great honor [timê] from all the Danaans, and that they may restore the girl to me again and give me rich gifts into the bargain. When you have driven the Trojans from the ships, come back again. Though Hera's thundering husband should put triumph within your reach, do not fight the Trojans further in my absence, or you will rob me of glory that should be mine. And do not for lust of battle go on killing the Trojans nor lead the Achaeans on to Ilion
, lest one of the ever-living gods from Olympus
attack you - for Phoebus Apollo loves them well: return when you have freed the ships from peril, and let others wage war upon the plain. Would, by father Zeus, Athena, and Apollo, that not a single man of all the Trojans might be left alive, nor yet of the Argives, but that we two might be alone left to tear aside the mantle that veils the brow of Troy
Thus did they converse. But Ajax could no longer hold his ground for the shower of darts that rained upon him; the will [noos] of Zeus and the javelins of the Trojans were too much for him; the helmet that gleamed about his temples rang with the continuous clatter of the missiles that kept pouring on to it and on to the cheek-pieces that protected his face. Moreover his left shoulder was tired with having held his shield so long, yet for all this, let fly at him as they would, they could not make him give ground. He could hardly draw his breath, the sweat rained from every pore of his body, he had not a moment's respite, and on all sides he was beset by danger upon danger.
And now, tell me, O Muses that hold your mansions on Olympus
, how fire was thrown upon the ships of the Achaeans. Hektor came close up and let drive with his great sword at the ashen spear of Ajax. He cut it clean in two just behind where the point was fastened on to the shaft of the spear. Ajax, therefore, had now nothing but a headless spear, while the bronze point flew some way off and came ringing down on to the ground. Ajax knew the hand of heaven in this, and was dismayed at seeing that Zeus had now left him utterly defenseless and was willing victory for the Trojans. Therefore he drew back, and the Trojans flung fire upon the ship which was at once wrapped in flame.
The fire was now flaring about the ship's stern, whereon Achilles smote his two thighs and said to Patroklos, "Up, noble horseman, for I see the glare of hostile fire at our fleet; up, lest they destroy our ships, and there be no way by which we may retreat. Gird on your armor at once while I call our people together."
As he spoke Patroklos put on his armor. First he greaved his legs with greaves of good make, and fitted with ankle-clasps of silver; after this he donned the cuirass of the son of Aiakos, richly inlaid and studded. He hung his silver-studded sword of bronze about his shoulders, and then his mighty shield. On his comely head he set his helmet, well wrought, with a crest of horse-hair that nodded menacingly above it. He grasped two redoubtable spears that suited his hands, but he did not take the spear of noble Achilles, so stout and strong,
for none other of the Achaeans could wield it, though Achilles could do so easily. This was the ashen spear from Mount Pelion, which Chiron had cut upon a mountain top and had given to Peleus, wherewith to deal out death among heroes. He bade Automedon yoke his horses with all speed, for he was the man whom he held in honor next after Achilles, and on whose support in battle he could rely most firmly. Automedon therefore yoked the fleet horses Xanthos
and Balios, steeds that could fly like the wind: these were they whom the harpy Podarge bore to the west wind, as she was grazing in a meadow by the waters of the river Okeanos. In the side traces he set the noble horse Pedasos, whom Achilles had brought away with him when he sacked the city of Eetion, and who, mortal steed though he was, could take his place along with those that were immortal.
Meanwhile Achilles went about everywhere among the tents, and bade his Myrmidons put on their armor. Even as fierce ravening wolves that are feasting upon a horned stag which they have killed upon the mountains, and their jaws are red with blood - they go in a pack to lap water from the clear spring with their long thin tongues; and they reek of blood and slaughter; they know not what fear is, for it is hunger drives them - even so did the leaders and counselors of the Myrmidons gather round the good squire [therapôn] of the fleet descendant of Aiakos, and among them stood Achilles himself cheering on both men and horses.
Fifty ships had noble Achilles brought to Troy
, and in each there was a crew of fifty oarsmen. Over these he set five leaders whom he could trust, while he was himself commander over them all. Menesthios of the gleaming corselet, son to the river Spercheios that streams from heaven, was leader of the first company. Fair Polydora daughter of Peleus bore him to ever-flowing Spercheios - a woman mated with a god - but he was called son of Boros son of Perieres, with whom his mother was living as his wedded wife, and who gave great wealth to gain her.
The second company was led by noble Eudoros, son to an unwedded woman. Polymele, daughter of Phylas, graceful in dancing [khoros], bore him; the mighty slayer of Argos
was enamored of her as he saw her among the singing women at a dance [khoros] held in honor of Artemis the rushing huntress of the golden arrows; he therefore - Hermes, giver of all good - went with her into an upper chamber, and lay with her in secret, whereon she bore him a noble son Eudoros, singularly fleet of foot and in fight valiant. When Eileithuia goddess of the pains of child-birth brought him to the light of day, and he saw the face of the sun, mighty Echekles son of Aktor took the mother to wife, and gave great wealth to gain her, but her father Phylas brought the child up, and took care of him, doting as fondly upon him as though he were his own son. The third company was led by Peisandros son of Maimalos, the finest spearman among all the Myrmidons next to Achilles' own comrade Patroklos. The old horseman Phoenix was leader of the fourth company, and Alkimedon, noble son of Laerceus of the fifth.
When Achilles had chosen [krinô] his men and had stationed them all with their leaders, he charged them straitly saying, "Myrmidons, remember your threats against the Trojans while you were at the ships in the time of my anger, and you were all complaining of me. ‘Cruel son of Peleus,’ you would say, ‘your mother must have suckled you on gall, so ruthless are you. You keep us here at the ships against our will; if you are so relentless it were better we went home over the sea.’ Often have you gathered and thus chided with me. The hour is now come for those high feats of arms that you have so long been pining for, therefore keep high hearts each one of you to do battle with the Trojans."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all, and they serried their companies yet more closely when they heard the of their king. As the stones which a builder sets in the wall of some high house which is to give shelter from the winds - even so closely were the helmets and bossed shields set against one another. Shield pressed on shield, helm on helm, and man on man; so close were they that the horse-hair plumes on the gleaming ridges of their helmets touched each other as they bent their heads.
In front of them all two men put on their armor - Patroklos and Automedon - two men, with but one mind to lead the Myrmidons. Then Achilles went inside his tent and opened the lid of the strong chest which silver-footed Thetis had given him to take on board ship, and which she had filled with shirts, cloaks to keep out the cold, and good thick rugs. In this chest he had a cup of rare workmanship, from which no man but himself might drink, nor would he make offering from it to any other god save only to father Zeus. He took the cup from the chest and cleansed it with sulfur; this done he rinsed it clean water, and after he had washed his hands he drew wine. Then he stood in the middle of the court and prayed, looking towards heaven, and making his drink-offering of wine; nor was he unseen of Zeus whose joy is in thunder. "King Zeus," he cried, "lord of Dodona
, god of the Pelasgi, you who dwell afar, you who hold wintry Dodona
in your sway, where your seers the Selloi dwell around you with their feet unwashed and their couches made upon the ground - if you heard me when I prayed to you aforetime, and did me honor while you sent disaster on the Achaeans, grant me now the fulfillment of yet this further prayer. I shall stay here where my assembly [agôn] of ships are lying, but I shall send my comrade into battle at the head of many Myrmidons. Grant, O all-seeing Zeus, that victory may go with him; put your courage into his heart that Hektor may learn whether my squire [therapôn] is man enough to fight alone, or whether his might is only then so indomitable when I myself enter the turmoil of war. Afterwards when he has chased the fight and the cry of battle from the ships, grant that he may return unharmed, with his armor and his comrades, fighters in close combat."
Thus did he pray, and all-counseling Zeus heard his prayer. Part of it he did indeed grant him - but not the whole. He granted that Patroklos should thrust back war and battle from the ships, but refused to let him come safely out of the fight.
When he had made his drink-offering and had thus prayed, Achilles went inside his tent and put back the cup into his chest.
Then he again came out, for he still loved to look upon the fierce fight that raged between the Trojans and Achaeans.
Meanwhile the armed band that was about Patroklos marched on till they sprang high in hope upon the Trojans. They came swarming out like wasps whose nests are by the roadside, and whom silly children love to tease, whereon any one who happens to be passing may get stung - or again, if a wayfarer going along the road vexes them by accident, every wasp will come flying out in a fury to defend his little ones- even with such rage and courage did the Myrmidons swarm from their ships, and their cry of battle rose heavenwards. Patroklos called out to his men at the top of his voice, "Myrmidons, followers of Achilles son of Peleus, be men my friends, fight with might and with main, that we may win glory for the son of Peleus, who is far the foremost man at the ships of the Argives - he, and his close fighting followers [therapontes]. The son of Atreus King Agamemnon will thus recognize his derangement [atê] in showing no respect to the bravest of the Achaeans."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all, and they fell in a body upon the Trojans. The ships rang again with the cry which the Achaeans raised, and when the Trojans saw the brave son of Menoitios and his squire [therapôn] all gleaming in their armor, they were daunted and their battalions were thrown into confusion, for they thought the fleet son of Peleus must now have put aside his anger, and have been reconciled to Agamemnon; every one, therefore, looked round about to see whither he might flee for safety.
Patroklos first aimed a spear into the middle of the press where men were packed most closely, by the stern of the ship of Protesilaos. He hit Pyraikhmes who had led his Paeonian horsemen from the Amydon
and the broad waters of the river Axios
; the spear struck him on the right shoulder, and with a groan he fell backwards in the dust; on this his men were thrown into confusion, for by killing their leader, who was the finest warrior among them, Patroklos struck panic into them all. He thus drove them from the ship and quenched the fire that was then blazing - leaving the half-burnt ship to lie where it was. The Trojans were now driven back with a shout that rent the skies, while the Danaans poured after them from their ships, shouting also without ceasing. As when Zeus, gatherer of the thunder-cloud, spreads a dense canopy on the top of some lofty mountain, and all the peaks, the jutting headlands, and forest glades show out in the great light that flashes from the bursting heavens, even so when the Danaans had now driven back the fire from their ships, they took breath for a little while; but the fury of the fight was not yet over, for the Trojans were not driven back in utter rout, but still gave battle, and were ousted from their ground only by sheer fighting.
The fight then became more scattered, and the chieftains killed one another when and how they could. The valiant son of Menoitios first drove his spear into the thigh of Areilykos just as he was turning round; the point went clean through, and broke the bone so that he fell forward. Meanwhile Menelaos struck Thoas in the chest, where it was exposed near the rim of his shield, and he fell dead. The son of Phyleus saw Amphiklos about to attack him, and ere he could do so took aim at the upper part of his thigh, where the muscles are thicker than in any other part; the spear tore through all the sinews of the leg, and his eyes were closed in darkness.
Of the sons of Nestor one, Antilokhos, speared Atymnios, driving the point of the spear through his throat, and down he fell. Maris then sprang on Antilokhos in hand-to-hand fight to avenge his brother, and bestrode the body spear in hand; but valiant Thrasymedes was too quick for him, and in a moment had struck him in the shoulder ere he could deal his blow; his aim was true, and the spear severed all the muscles at the root of his arm, and tore them right down to the bone, so he fell heavily to the ground and his eyes were closed in darkness. Thus did these two noble comrades of Sarpedon go down to Erebos slain by the two sons of Nestor; they were the warrior sons of Amisodoros, who had reared the invincible Chimaera, to the bane of many. Ajax son of Oileus sprang on Kleoboulos and took him alive as he was entangled in the crush; but he killed him then and there by a sword-blow on the neck. The sword reeked with his blood, while dark death and the strong hand of fate gripped him and closed his eyes.
Peneleos and Lykon now met in close fight, for they had missed each other with their spears. They had both thrown without effect, so now they drew their swords. Lykon struck the plumed crest of Peneleos' helmet but his sword broke at the hilt, while Peneleos smote Lykon on the neck under the ear. The blade sank so deep that the head was held on by nothing but the skin, and there was no more life left in him. Meriones gave chase to Akamas on foot and caught him up just as he was about to mount his chariot; he drove a spear through his right shoulder so that he fell headlong from the car, and his eyes were closed in darkness. Idomeneus speared Erymas in the mouth; the bronze point of the spear went clean through it beneath the brain, crashing in among the white bones and smashing them up. His teeth were all of them knocked out and the blood came gushing in a stream from both his eyes; it also came gurgling up from his mouth and nostrils, and the darkness of death enfolded him round about.
Thus did these chieftains of the Danaans each of them kill his man. As ravening wolves seize on kids or lambs, fastening on them when they are alone on the hillsides and have strayed from the main flock through the carelessness of the shepherd - and when the wolves see this they pounce upon them at once because they cannot defend themselves- even so did the Danaans now fall on the Trojans, who fled with ill-omened cries in their panic and had no more fight left in them.
Meanwhile great Ajax kept on trying to drive a spear into Hektor, but Hektor was so skillful that he held his broad shoulders well under cover of his ox-hide shield, ever on the look-out for the whizzing of the arrows and the heavy thud of the spears. He well knew that the fortunes of the day had changed, but still stood his ground and tried to protect his comrades.
As when a cloud goes up into heaven from Olympus
, rising out of a clear sky when Zeus is brewing a gale - even with such panic stricken rout did the Trojans now flee, and there was no order in their going. Hektor's fleet horses bore him and his armor out of the fight, and he left the Trojan host penned in by the deep trench against their will. Many a yoke of horses snapped the pole of their chariots in the trench and left their master's car behind them. Patroklos gave chase, calling impetuously on the Danaans and full of fury against the Trojans, who, being now no longer in a body, filled all the ways with their cries of panic and rout; the air was darkened with the clouds of dust they raised, and the horses strained every nerve in their flight from the tents and ships towards the city.
Patroklos kept on heading his horses wherever he saw most men fleeing in confusion, cheering on his men the while. Chariots were being smashed in all directions, and many a man came tumbling down from his own car to fall beneath the wheels of that of Patroklos, whose immortal steeds, given by the gods to Peleus, sprang over the trench at a bound as they sped onward. He was intent on trying to get near Hektor, for he had set his heart on spearing him, but Hektor's horses were now hurrying him away. As the whole dark earth bows before some tempest on an autumn day when Zeus rains his hardest to punish men for judging [krinô] crookedly in their courts, and arriving justice there from without heed to the decrees [themistes] of heaven - all the rivers run full and the torrents tear many a new channel as they roar headlong from the mountains to the dark sea, and it fares ill with the works of men - even such was the stress and strain of the Trojan horses in their flight.
Patroklos now cut off the battalions that were nearest to him and drove them back to the ships. They were doing their best to reach the city, but he would not let them, and bore down on them between the river and the ships and wall. Many a fallen comrade did he then avenge. First he hit Pronoos with a spear on the chest where it was exposed near the rim of his shield, and he fell heavily to the ground. Next he sprang on Thestor son of Enops, who was sitting all huddled up in his chariot, for he had lost his head and the reins had been torn out of his hands. Patroklos went up to him and drove a spear into his right jaw; he thus hooked him by the teeth and the spear pulled him over the rim of his car, as one who sits at the end of some jutting rock and draws a strong fish out of the sea [pontos] with a hook and a line - even so with his spear did he pull Thestor all gaping from his chariot; he then threw him down on his face and he died while falling. On this, as Erylaos was on to attack him, he struck him full on the head with a stone, and his brains were all battered inside his helmet, whereon he fell headlong to the ground and the pangs of death took hold upon him. Then he laid low, one after the other, Erymas, Amphoteros, Epaltes, Tlepolemos, Echios son of Damastor, Pyris, Ipheus, Euippos and Polymelos son of Argeas.
Now when Sarpedon saw his comrades, men who wore unbelted tunics, being overcome by Patroklos son of Menoitios, he rebuked the Lycians saying. "Shame [aidôs] on you, where are you fleeing to? Show your mettle; I will myself meet this man in fight and learn who it is that is so masterful; he has done us much hurt, and has stretched many a brave man upon the ground."
He sprang from his chariot as he spoke, and Patroklos, when he saw this, leaped on to the ground also. The two then rushed at one another with loud cries like eagle-beaked crook-taloned vultures that scream and tear at one another in some high mountain fastness.
The son of scheming Kronos looked down upon them in pity and said to Hera who was his wife and sister, "Alas, that it should be the lot of Sarpedon whom I love so dearly to perish by the hand of Patroklos. I am in two minds whether to catch him up out of the fight and set him down safe and sound in the fertile district [dêmos] of Lycia
, or to let him now fall by the hand of the son of Menoitios."
And Hera answered, "Most dread son of Kronos, what is this that you are saying? Would you snatch a mortal man, whose doom has long been fated, out of the jaws of death? Do as you will, but we shall not all of us be of your mind. I say further, and lay my saying to your heart, that if you send Sarpedon safely to his own home, some other of the gods will be also wanting to escort his son out of battle, for there are many sons of gods fighting round the city of Troy
, and you will make every one jealous. If, however, you are fond of him and pity him, let him indeed fall by the hand of Patroklos, but as soon as the life [psukhê] is gone out of him, send Death and sweet Sleep to bear him off the field and take him to the broad district [dêmos] of Lycia
, where his brothers and his kinsmen will bury him with mound and pillar, in due honor to the dead."
The sire of gods and men assented, but he shed a rain of blood upon the earth in honor [timê] of his son whom Patroklos was about to kill on the fertile plain of Troy
far from his home.
When they were now come close to one another Patroklos struck Thrasydemos, the brave squire [therapôn] of Sarpedon, in the lower part of the belly, and killed him. Sarpedon then aimed a spear at Patroklos and missed him, but he struck the horse Pedasos in the right shoulder, and it screamed aloud as it lay, groaning in the dust until the life went out of it. The other two horses began to plunge; the pole of the chariot cracked and they got entangled in the reins through the fall of the horse that was yoked along with them; but Automedon knew what to do; without the loss of a moment he drew the keen blade that hung by his sturdy thigh and cut the third horse adrift; whereon the other two righted themselves, and pulling hard at the reins again went together into battle.
Sarpedon now took a second aim at Patroklos, and again missed him, the point of the spear passed over his left shoulder without hitting him. Patroklos then aimed in his turn, and the spear sped not from his hand in vain, for he hit Sarpedon just where the midriff surrounds the ever-beating heart. He fell like some oak or silver poplar or tall pine to which woodmen have laid their axes upon the mountains to make timber for ship-building - even so did he lie stretched at full length in front of his chariot and horses, moaning and clutching at the blood-stained dust. As when a lion springs with a bound upon a herd of cattle and fastens on a great black bull which dies bellowing in its clutches - even so did the leader of the Lycian warriors struggle in death as he fell by the hand of Patroklos. He called on his trusty comrade and said, "Glaukos, my brother, hero among heroes, put forth all your strength, fight with might and main, now if ever quit yourself like a valiant warrior. First go about among the Lycian leaders and bid them fight for Sarpedon; then yourself also do battle to save my armor from being taken. My name will haunt you henceforth and for ever if the Achaeans rob me of my armor now that I have fallen near the assembly [agôn] of their ships. Do your very utmost and call all my people together."
The outcome [telos] of death closed his eyes as he spoke. Patroklos planted his heel on his breast and drew the spear from his body, whereon his diaphragm came out along with it, and he drew out both spear-point and Sarpedon's life-breath [psukhê] at the same time. Hard by the Myrmidons held his snorting steeds, who were wild with panic at finding themselves deserted by their lords. Glaukos was overcome with grief [akhos] when he heard what Sarpedon said, for he could not help him. He had to support his arm with his other hand, being in great pain through the wound which Teucer's arrow had given him when Teucer was defending the wall as he, Glaukos, was assailing it. Therefore he prayed to far-darting Apollo saying, "Hear me O king from your seat, may be in the fertile district [dêmos] of Lycia
, or may be in Troy
, for in all places you can hear the prayer of one who is in distress, as I now am. I have a grievous wound; my hand is aching with pain, there is no staunching the blood, and my whole arm drags by reason of my hurt, so that I cannot grasp my sword nor go among my foes and fight them, though our prince, Zeus' son Sarpedon, is slain. Zeus defended not his son, do you, therefore, O king, heal me of my wound, ease my pain and grant me strength both to cheer on the Lycians and to fight along with them round the body of him who has fallen."
Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. He eased his pain, staunched the black blood from the wound, and gave him new strength. Glaukos perceived this, and was thankful that the mighty god had answered his prayer; forthwith, therefore, he went among the Lycian leaders, and bade them come to fight about the body of Sarpedon. From these he strode on among the Trojans to Polydamas son of Panthoos and Agenor; he then went in search of Aeneas and Hektor, and when he had found them he said, "Hektor, you have utterly forgotten your allies, who languish here for your sake far from friends and home while you do nothing to support them.
Sarpedon leader of the Lycian warriors has fallen - he who was at once the right and might of Lycia
; Ares has laid him low by the spear of Patroklos. Stand by him, my friends, and suffer not the Myrmidons to strip him of his armor, nor to treat his body with contumely in revenge for all the Danaans whom we have speared at the ships."
As he spoke the Trojans were plunged in extreme and ungovernable grief [penthos]; for Sarpedon, alien though he was, had been one of the main stays of their city, both as having many people with him, and himself the foremost among them all. Led by Hektor, who was infuriated by the fall of Sarpedon, they made instantly for the Danaans with all their might, while the undaunted spirit of Patroklos son of Menoitios cheered on the Achaeans. First he spoke to the two Ajaxes, men who needed no bidding. "Ajaxes," said he, "may it now please you to show yourselves the men you have always been, or even better- Sarpedon is fallen - he who was first to overleap the wall of the Achaeans; let us take the body and outrage it; let us strip the armor from his shoulders, and kill his comrades if they try to rescue his body."
He spoke to men who of themselves were full eager; both sides, therefore, the Trojans and Lycians on the one hand, and the Myrmidons and Achaeans on the other, strengthened their battalions, and fought desperately about the body of Sarpedon, shouting fiercely the while. Mighty was the din of their armor as they came together, and Zeus shed a thick darkness over the fight, to increase the ordeal [ponos] of the battle over the body of his son.
At first the Trojans made some headway against the Achaeans, for one of the best men among the Myrmidons was killed, Epeigeus, son of noble Agakles who had erewhile been king in the good city of Boudeion; but presently, having killed a valiant kinsman of his own, he took refuge with Peleus and Thetis, who sent him to Ilion
the land of noble steeds to fight the Trojans under Achilles. Hektor now struck him on the head with a stone just as he had caught hold of the body,
and his brains inside his helmet were all battered in, so that he fell face foremost upon the body of Sarpedon, and there died. Patroklos was enraged with grief [akhos] over by the death of his comrade, and sped through the front ranks as swiftly as a hawk that swoops down on a flock of daws or starlings. Even so swiftly, O noble horseman Patroklos, did you make straight for the Lycians and Trojans to avenge your comrade. Forthwith he struck Sthenelaos the son of Ithaimenes on the neck with a stone, and broke the tendons that join it to the head and spine. On this Hektor and the front rank of his men gave ground. As far as a man can throw a javelin in competition [athlos] for some prize, or even in battle - so far did the Trojans now retreat before the Achaeans. Glaukos, leader of the Lycians, was the first to rally them, by killing Bathykles son of Khalkon who lived in Hellas
and was supreme in wealth [olbos] among the Myrmidons. Glaukos turned round suddenly, just as Bathykles who was pursuing him was about to lay hold of him, and drove his spear right into the middle of his chest, whereon he fell heavily to the ground, and the fall of so good a man filled the Achaeans with dismay [akhos], while the Trojans were exultant, and came up in a body round the corpse. Nevertheless the Achaeans, mindful of their prowess, bore straight down upon them.
Meriones then killed a helmed warrior of the Trojans, Laogonos son of Onetor, who was priest of Zeus of Mount Ida
, and was honored in the district [dêmos] as though he were a god. Meriones struck him under the jaw and ear, so that life went out of him and the darkness of death laid hold upon him. Aeneas then aimed a spear at Meriones, hoping to hit him under the shield as he was advancing, but Meriones saw it coming and stooped forward to avoid it, whereon the spear flew past him and the point stuck in the ground, while the butt-end went on quivering till Ares robbed it of its force. The spear, therefore, sped from Aeneas' hand in vain and fell quivering to the ground. Aeneas was angry and said, "Meriones, you are a good dancer, but if I had hit you my spear would soon have made an end of you."
And Meriones answered, "Aeneas, for all your bravery, you will not be able to make an end of every one who comes against you. You are only a mortal like myself, and if I were to hit you in the middle of your shield with my spear, however strong and self-confident you may be, I should soon vanquish you, and you would yield your life-breath [psukhê] to Hades of the noble steeds."
On this the son of Menoitios rebuked him and said, "Meriones, hero though you be, you should not speak thus; taunting speeches, my good friend, will not make the Trojans draw away from the dead body; some of them must go under ground first; the outcome [telos] of battle is in the force of hands, while the outcome of deliberation is words; fight, therefore, and say nothing."
He led the way as he spoke and the hero went forward with him. As the sound of woodcutters in some forest glade upon the mountains- and the thud of their axes is heard afar - even such a din now rose from earth-clash of bronze armor and of good ox-hide shields, as men smote each other with their swords and spears pointed at both ends. A man had need of good eyesight now to know Sarpedon, so covered was he from head to foot with spears and blood and dust. Men swarmed about the body, as flies that buzz round the full milk-pails in the season [hôra] of spring when they are brimming with milk - even so did they gather round Sarpedon; nor did Zeus turn his keen eyes away for one moment from the fight, but kept looking at it all the time, for he was settling how best to kill Patroklos, and considering whether Hektor should be allowed to end him now in the fight round the body of Sarpedon, and strip him of his armor, or whether he should let him give yet further trouble [ponos] to the Trojans. In the end, he deemed it best that the brave squire [therapôn] of Achilles son of Peleus should drive Hektor and the Trojans back towards the city and take the lives of many. First, therefore, he made Hektor turn fainthearted, whereon he mounted his chariot and fled, bidding the other Trojans flee also,
for he saw that the scales of Zeus had turned against him. Neither would the brave Lycians stand firm; they were dismayed when they saw their king lying struck to the heart amid a heap of corpses - for when the son of Kronos made the fight wax hot many had fallen above him. The Achaeans, therefore stripped the gleaming armor from his shoulders and the brave son of Menoitios gave it to his men to take to the ships. Then Zeus lord of the storm-cloud said to Apollo, "Dear Phoebus, go, I pray you, and take Sarpedon out of range of the weapons; cleanse the black blood from off him, and then bear him a long way off where you may wash him in the river, anoint him with ambrosia, and clothe him in immortal raiment; this done, commit him to the arms of the two fleet messengers, Death, and Sleep, who will carry him straightway to the fertile district [dêmos] of Lycia
, where his brothers and kinsmen will give him a funeral, and will raise both mound and pillar to his memory, in due honor to the dead."
Thus he spoke. Apollo obeyed his father's saying, and came down from the heights of Ida into the thick of the fight; forthwith he took Sarpedon out of range of the weapons, and then bore him a long way off, where he washed him in the river, anointed him with ambrosia and clothed him in immortal raiment; this done, he committed him to the arms of the two fleet messengers, Death and Sleep, who presently set him down in the fertile district [dêmos] of Lycia
Meanwhile Patroklos, with many a shout to his horses and to Automedon, pursued the Trojans and Lycians in the pride and foolishness of his heart. Had he but obeyed the bidding of the son of Peleus, he would have, escaped death and have been scatheless; but the counsels [noos] of Zeus pass man's understanding; he will put even a brave man to flight and snatch victory from his grasp, or again he will set him on to fight, as he now did when he put a high spirit into the heart of Patroklos.
Who then first, and who last, was slain by you, O Patroklos, when the gods had now called you to meet your doom? First Adrastos, Autonoos, Echeklos, Perimos the son of Megas, Epistor and Melanippos; after these he killed Elasus, Moulios, and Pylartes. These he slew, but the rest saved themselves by flight.
The sons of the Achaeans would now have taken Troy
by the hands of Patroklos, for his spear flew in all directions, had not Phoebus Apollo taken his stand upon the wall to defeat his purpose and to aid the Trojans. Thrice did Patroklos charge at an angle of the high wall, and thrice did Apollo beat him back, striking his shield with his own immortal hands. When Patroklos was coming on like a daimôn for yet a fourth time, Apollo shouted to him with an awful voice and said, "Draw back, noble Patroklos, it is not your lot to sack the city of the Trojan chieftains, nor yet will it be that of Achilles who is a far better man than you are." On hearing this, Patroklos withdrew to some distance and avoided the anger [mênis] of Apollo.
Meanwhile Hektor was waiting with his horses inside the Scaean gates, in doubt whether to drive out again and go on fighting, or to call the army inside the gates. As he was thus doubting Phoebus Apollo drew near him in the likeness of a young and lusty warrior Asios, who was Hektor's uncle, being own brother to Hecuba, and son of Dymas who lived in Phrygia
by the waters of the river Sangarios; in his likeness Zeus' son Apollo now spoke to Hektor saying, "Hektor, why have you left off fighting? It is ill done of you. If I were as much better a man than you, as I am worse, you should soon rue your slackness. Drive straight towards Patroklos, if so be that Apollo may grant you a triumph over him, and you may kill him."
With this the god went back into the struggle [ponos], and Hektor bade Kebriones drive again into the fight. Apollo passed in among them, and struck panic into the Argives, while he gave triumph to Hektor and the Trojans. Hektor let the other Danaans alone and killed no man, but drove straight at Patroklos. Patroklos then sprang from his chariot to the ground,
with a spear in his left hand, and in his right a jagged stone as large as his hand could hold. He stood still and threw it, nor did it go far without hitting some one; the cast was not in vain, for the stone struck Kebriones, Hektor's charioteer, a bastard son of Priam, as he held the reins in his hands. The stone hit him on the forehead and drove his brows into his head for the bone was smashed, and his eyes fell to the ground at his feet. He dropped dead from his chariot as though he were diving, and there was no more life left in him. Over him did you then vaunt, O horseman Patroklos, saying, "Bless my heart, how active he is, and how well he dives. If we had been at sea [pontos] this man would have dived from the ship's side and brought up as many oysters as the whole crew could stomach, even in rough water, for he has dived beautifully off his chariot on to the ground. It seems, then, that there are divers also among the Trojans."
As he spoke he flung himself on Kebriones with the spring, as it were, of a lion that while attacking a stockyard is himself struck in the chest, and his courage is his own bane - even so furiously, O Patroklos, did you then spring upon Kebriones. Hektor sprang also from his chariot to the ground. The pair then fought over the body of Kebriones. As two lions fight fiercely on some high mountain over the body of a stag that they have killed, even so did these two mighty warriors, Patroklos son of Menoitios and brave Hektor, hack and hew at one another over the corpse of Kebriones. Hektor would not let him go when he had once got him by the head, while Patroklos kept fast hold of his feet, and a fierce fight raged between the other Danaans and Trojans. As the east and south wind buffet one another when they beat upon some dense forest on the mountains - there is beech and ash and spreading cornel; the to of the trees roar as they beat on one another, and one can hear the boughs cracking and breaking -
even so did the Trojans and Achaeans spring upon one another and lay about each other, and neither side would give way. Many a pointed spear fell to ground and many a winged arrow sped from its bow-string about the body of Kebriones; many a great stone, moreover, beat on many a shield as they fought around his body, but there he lay in the whirling clouds of dust, all huge and hugely, heedless of his driving now.
So long as the sun was still high in mid-heaven the weapons of either side were alike deadly, and the people fell; but when he went down towards the time when men loose their oxen, the Achaeans proved to be beyond all forecast stronger, so that they drew Kebriones out of range of the darts and tumult of the Trojans, and stripped the armor from his shoulders. Then Patroklos sprang like Ares with fierce intent and a terrific shout upon the Trojans, and thrice did he kill nine men; but as he was coming on like a daimôn for a time, at that moment, O Patroklos, was your doom approaching, for Phoebus fought you in fell earnest. Patroklos did not see him as he moved about in the crush, for he was enshrouded in thick darkness, and the god struck him from behind on his back and his broad shoulders with the flat of his hand, so that his eyes turned dizzy. Phoebus Apollo beat the helmet from off his head, and it rolled rattling off under the horses' feet, where its horse-hair plumes were all begrimed with dust and blood. Before this, it would not have been right [themis] for this to happen. For before, this helmet had served to protect the head and comely forehead of the godlike hero Achilles. Now, however, Zeus delivered it over to be worn by Hektor. Nevertheless the end of Hektor also was near. The bronze-shod spear, so great and so strong, was broken in the hand of Patroklos, while his shield that covered him from head to foot fell to the ground as did also the band that held it, and Apollo undid the fastenings of his corselet.
At this his mind became clouded in derangement [atê]; his limbs failed him, and he stood as one dazed; whereon Euphorbos son of Panthoos, a Dardanian, the best spearman of his time, as also the finest horseman and fleetest runner, came behind him and struck him in the back with a spear, midway between the shoulders. This man as soon as ever he had come up with his chariot had dismounted twenty men, so proficient was he in all the arts of war - he it was, O horseman Patroklos, that first drove a weapon into you, but he did not quite overpower you. Euphorbos then ran back into the crowd, after drawing his ashen spear out of the wound; he would not stand firm and wait for Patroklos, unarmed though he now was, to attack him; but Patroklos unnerved, alike by the blow the god had given him and by the spear-wound, drew back under cover of his men in fear for his life. Hektor on this, seeing him to be wounded and giving ground, forced his way through the ranks, and when close up with him struck him in the lower part of the belly with a spear, driving the bronze point right through it, so that he fell heavily to the ground to the great of the Achaeans. As when a lion has fought some fierce wild-boar and worsted him - the two fight furiously upon the mountains over some little fountain at which they would both drink, and the lion has beaten the boar till he can hardly breathe - even so did Hektor son of Priam take the life of the brave son of Menoitios who had killed so many, striking him from close at hand, and vaunting over him the while. "Patroklos," said he, "you deemed that you should sack our city, rob our Trojan women of their freedom, and carry them off in your ships to your own country. Fool; Hektor and his fleet horses were ever straining their utmost to defend them. I am foremost of all the Trojan warriors to stave the day of bondage from off them; as for you, vultures shall devour you here. Poor wretch, Achilles with all his bravery availed you nothing; and yet I ween when you left him he charged you straitly saying, ‘Come not back to the ships, horseman Patroklos, till you have rent the bloodstained shirt of murderous Hektor about his body. Thus I ween did he charge you, and your fool's heart answered him ‘yea’ within you."
Then, as the life ebbed out of you, you answered, O horseman Patroklos: "Hektor, vaunt as you will, for Zeus the son of Kronos and Apollo have granted you victory; it is they who have vanquished me so easily, and they who have stripped the armor from my shoulders; had twenty such men as you attacked me, all of them would have fallen before my spear. Fate and the son of Leto have overpowered me, and among mortal men Euphorbos; you are yourself third only in the killing of me. I say further, and lay my saying to your heart, you too shall live but for a little season; death and the day of your doom are close upon you, and they will lay you low by the hand of Achilles son of Aiakos." When he had thus spoken his eyes were closed in the doom [telos] of death, his life-breath [psukhê] left his body and flitted down to the house of Hades, mourning its sad fate and bidding farewell to the youth and vigor of its manhood. Dead though he was, Hektor still spoke to him saying, "Patroklos, why should you thus foretell my doom? Who knows but Achilles, son of lovely Thetis, may be smitten by my spear and die before me?"
As he spoke he drew the bronze spear from the wound, planting his foot upon the body, which he thrust off and let lie on its back. He then went spear in hand after Automedon, squire [therapôn] of the fleet descendant of Aiakos, for he longed to lay him low, but the immortal steeds which the gods had given as a rich gift to Peleus bore him swiftly from the field.