She knew not that both these heroes were already lying under the earth in their own land of Lacedaemon
Meanwhile the heralds were bringing the holy oath-offerings through the city - two lambs and a goatskin of wine, the gift of earth; and Idaios brought the mixing bowl and the cups of gold. He went up to Priam and said, "Son of Laomedon, the princes of the Trojans and Achaeans bid you come down on to the plain and swear to a solemn covenant. Alexander and Menelaos are to fight for Helen in single combat, that she and all her wealth may go with him who is the victor. We are to swear to a solemn covenant of peace whereby we others shall dwell here in Troy
, while the Achaeans return to Argos
and the land of the Achaeans."
The old man trembled as he heard, but bade his followers yoke the horses, and they made all haste to do so. He mounted the chariot, gathered the reins in his hand, and Antenor took his seat beside him; they then drove through the Scaean gates on to the plain. When they reached the ranks of the Trojans and Achaeans they left the chariot, and with measured pace advanced into the space between the hosts.
Agamemnon and Odysseus both rose to meet them. The attendants brought on the oath-offerings and mixed the wine in the mixing-bowls; they poured water over the hands of the chieftains, and the son of Atreus drew the dagger that hung by his sword, and cut wool from the lambs' heads; this the men-servants gave about among the Trojan and Achaean princes, and the son of Atreus lifted up his hands in prayer. "Father Zeus," he cried, "you who rule in Ida, most glorious in power, and you O Sun, who see and give ear to all things, Earth and Rivers, and you who in the realms below chastise those mortals who have broken their oath, witness these rites and guard them, that they be not vain. If Alexander kills Menelaos, let him keep Helen and all her wealth, while we sail home with our ships; but if Menelaos kills Alexander, let the Trojans give back Helen and all that she has; let them moreover pay such fine [timê] to the Achaeans as shall be agreed upon, in testimony among those that shall be born hereafter.
And if Priam and his sons refuse such fine [timê] when Alexander has fallen, then will I stay here and fight on till the war reaches its completion [telos]. "
As he spoke he drew his knife across the throats of the victims, and laid them down gasping and dying upon the ground, for the knife had reft them of their strength. Then they poured wine from the mixing-bowl into the cups, and prayed to the everlasting gods, saying, Trojans and Achaeans among one another, "Zeus, most great and glorious, and you other everlasting gods, grant that the brains of them who shall first violate their oaths - of them and their children - may be shed upon the ground even as this wine, and let their wives become the slaves of strangers."
Thus they prayed, but not as yet would Zeus grant them their prayer. Then Priam, descendant of Dardanos
, spoke, saying, "Hear me, Trojans and Achaeans, I will now go back to the wind-beaten city of Ilion
: I dare not with my own eyes witness this fight between my son and Menelaos, for Zeus and the other immortals alone know which of the two is doomed to undergo the outcome of death."
On this he laid the two lambs on his chariot and took his seat. He gathered the reins in his hand, and Antenor sat beside him; the two then went back to Ilion
. Hektor and Odysseus measured the ground, and cast lots from a helmet of bronze to see which should take aim first. Meanwhile the two hosts lifted up their hands and prayed saying, "Father Zeus, you who rule from Ida, most glorious in power, grant that he who first brought about this war between us may die, and enter the house of Hades, while we others remain at peace and abide by our oaths."