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[400] So saying he smote upon her tasselled aegis—the awful aegis against which not even the lightning of Zeus can prevail—thereon blood-stained Ares smote with his long spear. But she gave ground, and seized with her stout hand a stone that lay upon the plain, black and jagged and great, [405] that men of former days had set to be the boundary mark of a field. Therewith she smote furious Ares on the neck, and loosed his limbs. Over seven roods he stretched in his fall, and befouled his hair with dust, and about him his armour clanged. But Pallas Athene broke into a laugh, and vaunting over him she spake winged words: [410] “Fool, not even yet hast thou learned how much mightier than thou I avow me to be, that thou matchest thy strength with mine. On this wise shalt thou satisfy to the full the Avengers invoked of thy mother, who in her wrath deviseth evil against thee, for that thou hast deserted the Achaeans and bearest aid to the overweening Trojans.” [415] When she had thus spoken, she turned from Ares her bright eyes. Him then the daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite, took by the hand, and sought to lead away, as he uttered many a moan, and hardly could he gather back to him his spirit. But when the goddess, white-armed Hera, was ware of her, forthwith she spake winged words to Athene: [420] “Out upon it, thou child of Zeus that beareth the aegis, unwearied one, lo, there again the dog-fly is leading Ares, the bane of mortals, forth from the fury of war amid the throng; nay, have after her.” So spake she, and Athene sped in pursuit, glad at heart, and rushing upon her she smote Aphrodite on the breast with her stout hand; [425] and her knees were loosened where she stood, and her heart melted. So the twain lay upon the bounteous earth, and vaunting over them Athene spake winged words: “In such plight let all now be that are aiders of the Trojans when they fight against the mail-clad Argives, [430] and on this wise bold and stalwart, even as Aphrodite came to bear aid to Ares, and braved my might. Then long ere this should we have ceased from war, having sacked Ilios, that well-peopled city.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 2.447
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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), AEGIS
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