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So fought they like unto blazing fire; but Hector, dear to Zeus, had not heard, nor wist at all [675] that on the left of the ships his hosts were being slain by the Argives; and soon would the Achaeans have gotten them glory, of such might was the Enfolder and Shaker of Earth that urged on the Argives and withal aided them by his own strength. Nay, Hector pressed on where at the first he had leapt within the gate and the wall, [680] and had burst the close ranks of the Danaan shield-men, even in the place where were the ships of Aias and Protesilaus, drawn up along the beach of the grey sea, and beyond them the wall was builded lowest;1 there, as in no place beside, the men and their horses waxed furious in fight. [685] There the Boeotians and the Ionians,2 of trailing tunics, and the Locrians, and Phthians, and glorious Epeians, had much ado to stay his onset upon the ships, and availed not to thrust back from themselves goodly Hector, that was like a flame of fire,—even they that were picked men of the Athenians; [690] and among them Menestheus, son of Peteos, was leader, and there followed with him Pheidas and Stichius and valiant Bias, while the Epeians were led by Meges, son of Phyleus, and Araphion and Dracius, and in the forefront of the Phthians were Medon and Podarces, staunch in fight. The one, verily, even Medon, was a bastard son of godlike Oïleus [695] and brother of Aias, but he dwelt in Phylace, far from his native land, for that he had slain a man of the kin of his stepmother Eriopis, that Oïleus had to wife; and the other, Podarces, was the son of Iphiclus, son of Phylacus. These, harnessed in their armour, in the forefront of the great-souled Phthians, [700] were fighting in defence of the ships together with the Boeotians. And Aias, the swift son of Oïleus, would no more in any wise depart from the side of Aias, son of Telamon, no not for an instant; but even as in fallow land two wine-dark oxen with one accord strain at the jointed plough, and about [705] the roots of their horns oozeth up the sweat in streams—the twain the polished yoke alone holdeth apart as they labour through the furrow, till the plough cutteth to the limit or the field; even in such wise did the two Aiantes take their stand and abide each hard by the other's side. After the son of Telamon verily there followed many valiant hosts of his comrades, [710] who would ever take from him his shield, whenso weariness and sweat came upon his limbs. But the Locrians followed not with the great-hearted son of Oïleus, for their hearts abode not steadfast in close fight, seeing they had no brazen helms with thick plumes of horse-hair, [715] neither round shields, nor spears of ash, but trusting in bows and well-twisted slings of sheep's wool had they followed with him to Ilios; with these thereafter they shot thick and fast, and sought to break the battalions of the Trojans. So the one part in front with their war-gear, richly dight, [720] fought with the Trojans and with Hector in his harness of bronze, and the others behind kept shooting from their cover; and the Trojans bethought them no more of fight, for the arrows confounded them.

1 53.2

2 55.1

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 11.596
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