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Then would the Trojans have been driven again by the Achaeans, [320] dear to Ares, up to Ilios, vanquished in their cowardice, and the Argives would have won glory even beyond the allotment of Zeus, by reason of their might and their strength, had not Apollo himself aroused Aeneas, taking upon him the form of the herald, Periphas, son of Epytos, that in the house of his old father [325] had grown old in his heraldship, and withal was of kindly mind toward him. In his likeness spake unto Aeneas the son of Zeus, Apollo: “Aeneas, how could ye ever guard steep Ilios, in defiance of a god? In sooth I have seen other men that had trust in their strength and might, in their valour [330] and in their host, and that held their realm even in defiance of Zeus. But for us Zeus willeth the victory far more than for the Danaans; yet yourselves ye have measureless fear, and fight not.” So spake he, and Aeneas knew Apollo that smiteth afar, when he looked upon his face, and he called aloud, and spake to Hector: [335] “Hector, and ye other leaders of the Trojans and allies, shame verily were this, if before the Achaeans, dear to Ares, we be driven back to Ilios, vanquished in our cowardice. Howbeit even yet, declareth one of the gods that stood by my side, is Zeus, the counsellor most high, our helper in the fight. [340] Wherefore let us make straight for the Danaans, and let it not be at their ease that they bring to the ships the dead Patroclus.” So spake he, and leapt forth far to the front of the foremost fighters, and there stood. And they rallied, and took their stand with their faces toward the Achaeans. Then Aeneas wounded with a thrust of his spear Leocritus, [345] son of Arisbas and valiant comrade of Lycomedes. And as he fell Lycomedes, dear to Ares, had pity for him, and came and stood hard by and with a cast of his bright spear smote Apisaon, son of Hippasus, shepherd of the host, in the liver, below the midriff, and straightway loosed his knees—Apisaon [350] that was come from out of deep-soiled Paeonia, and next to Asteropaeus was preeminent above them all in fight. But as he fell warlike Asteropaeus had pity for him, and he too rushed onward, fain to fight with the Danaans; howbeit thereto could he no more avail, for with shields were they fenced in on every side, [355] as they stood around Patroclus, and before them they held their spears. For Aias ranged to and fro among them and straitly charged every man; not one, he bade them, should give ground backward from the corpse, nor yet fight in front of the rest of the Achaeans as one pre-eminent above them all; but stand firm close beside the corpse and do battle hand to hand. [360] Thus mighty Aias charged them, and the earth grew wet with dark blood, and the dead fell thick and fast alike of the Trojans and their mighty allies, and of the Danaans; for these too fought not without shedding of blood, howbeit fewer of them by far were falling; for they ever bethought them [365] to ward utter destruction from one another in the throng.

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  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 12.74
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 6.73
    • Thomas D. Seymour, Commentary on Homer's Iliad, Books IV-VI, 6.73
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