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[7] And a fierce fight taking place for the corpse, Ajax with difficulty, by performing feats of valor, rescued the body.1 And Achilles laid aside his anger and recovered Briseis. And a suit of armour having been brought him from Hephaestus, he donned the armour2 and went forth to the war, and chased the Trojans in a crowd to the Scamander, and there killed many, and amongst them Asteropaeus, son of Pelegon, son of the river Axius; and the river rushed at him in fury. But Hephaestus dried up the streams of the river, after chasing them with a mighty flame.3 And Achilles slew Hector in single combat, and fastening his ankles to his chariot dragged him to the ships.4 And having buried Patroclus, he celebrated games in his honor, at which Diomedes was victorious in the chariot race, Epeus in boxing, and Ajax and Ulysses in wrestling.5 And after the games Priam came to Achilles and ransomed the body of Hector, and buried it.6


1 These events are the subject of the seventeenth book of the Iliad , (Hom. Il. 17).

2 These events are narrated in the eighteenth (Hom. Il. 18) and nineteenth (Hom. Il. 19) books of the Iliad .

3 These events are related in the twentieth (Hom. Il. 20) and twenty-first (Hom. Il. 21) books of the Iliad . As to the slaying of Asteropaeus by Achilles, see Hom. Il. 21.139-204. As to the combat of Achilles with the river Scamander, and the drying up of the streams of the river by the fire-god Hephaestus, see Hom. Il. 21.211-382. The whole passage affords a striking example of the way in which the Greeks conceived rivers as personal beings, endowed with human shape, human voice, and human passions. Incidentally (Hom. Il. 21.130-132) we hear of sacrifices of bulls and horses to a river, the horses being thrown alive into the stream.

4 The combat of Achilles with Hector, and the death of Hector, form the subject of the twenty-second book of the Iliad , (Hom. Il. 22).

5 The burial of Patroclus and the funeral games celebrated in his honour, are described in the twenty-third book of the Iliad , (Hom. Il. 23).

6 These events are narrated in the twenty-fourth book of the Iliad , (Hom. Il. 24).

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