Homer, Iliad VI 369-413

ὣς ἄρα φωνήσας ἀπέβη κορυθαίολος Ἕκτωρ:

αἶψα δ᾽ ἔπειθ᾽ ἵκανε δόμους εὖ ναιετάοντας,370

οὐδ᾽ εὗρ᾽ Ἀνδρομάχην λευκώλενον ἐν μεγάροισιν,

ἀλλ᾽ ἥ γε ξὺν παιδὶ καὶ ἀμφιπόλῳ ἐϋπέπλῳ

πύργῳ ἐφεστήκει γοόωσά τε μυρομένη τε.

Ἕκτωρ δ᾽ ὡς οὐκ ἔνδον ἀμύμονα τέτμεν ἄκοιτιν

ἔστη ἐπ᾽ οὐδὸν ἰών, μετὰ δὲ δμῳῇσιν ἔειπεν:375

εἰ δ᾽ ἄγε μοι δμῳαὶ νημερτέα μυθήσασθε:

πῇ ἔβη Ἀνδρομάχη λευκώλενος ἐκ μεγάροιο;

ἠέ πῃ ἐς γαλόων ἢ εἰνατέρων ἐϋπέπλων

ἢ ἐς Ἀθηναίης ἐξοίχεται, ἔνθά περ ἄλλαι

Τρῳαὶ ἐϋπλόκαμοι δεινὴν θεὸν ἱλάσκονται;380

τὸν δ᾽ αὖτ᾽ ὀτρηρὴ ταμίη πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν:

Ἕκτορ ἐπεὶ μάλ᾽ ἄνωγας ἀληθέα μυθήσασθαι,

οὔτέ πῃ ἐς γαλόων οὔτ᾽ εἰνατέρων ἐϋπέπλων

οὔτ᾽ ἐς Ἀθηναίης ἐξοίχεται, ἔνθά περ ἄλλαι

Τρῳαὶ ἐϋπλόκαμοι δεινὴν θεὸν ἱλάσκονται,385

ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ πύργον ἔβη μέγαν Ἰλίου, οὕνεκ᾽ ἄκουσε

τείρεσθαι Τρῶας, μέγα δὲ κράτος εἶναι Ἀχαιῶν.

ἣ μὲν δὴ πρὸς τεῖχος ἐπειγομένη ἀφικάνει

μαινομένῃ ἐϊκυῖα: φέρει δ᾽ ἅμα παῖδα τιθήνη.

390

ἦ ῥα γυνὴ ταμίη, ὃ δ᾽ ἀπέσσυτο δώματος Ἕκτωρ

τὴν αὐτὴν ὁδὸν αὖτις ἐϋκτιμένας κατ᾽ ἀγυιάς.

εὖτε πύλας ἵκανε διερχόμενος μέγα ἄστυ

Σκαιάς, τῇ ἄρ᾽ ἔμελλε διεξίμεναι πεδίον δέ,

ἔνθ᾽ ἄλοχος πολύδωρος ἐναντίη ἦλθε θέουσα

Ἀνδρομάχη θυγάτηρ μεγαλήτορος Ἠετίωνος,395

Ἠετίων ὃς ἔναιεν ὑπὸ Πλάκῳ ὑληέσσῃ

Θήβῃ Ὑποπλακίῃ Κιλίκεσσ᾽ ἄνδρεσσιν ἀνάσσων:

τοῦ περ δὴ θυγάτηρ ἔχεθ᾽ Ἕκτορι χαλκοκορυστῇ.

ἥ οἱ ἔπειτ᾽ ἤντησ᾽, ἅμα δ᾽ ἀμφίπολος κίεν αὐτῇ

παῖδ᾽ ἐπὶ κόλπῳ ἔχουσ᾽ ἀταλάφρονα νήπιον αὔτως400

Ἑκτορίδην ἀγαπητὸν ἀλίγκιον ἀστέρι καλῷ,

τόν ῥ᾽ Ἕκτωρ καλέεσκε Σκαμάνδριον, αὐτὰρ οἱ ἄλλοι

Ἀστυάνακτ᾽: οἶος γὰρ ἐρύετο Ἴλιον Ἕκτωρ.

ἤτοι ὃ μὲν μείδησεν ἰδὼν ἐς παῖδα σιωπῇ:

Ἀνδρομάχη δέ οἱ ἄγχι παρίστατο δάκρυ χέουσα,405

ἔν τ᾽ ἄρα οἱ φῦ χειρὶ ἔπος τ᾽ ἔφατ᾽ ἔκ τ᾽ ὀνόμαζε:

δαιμόνιε φθίσει σε τὸ σὸν μένος, οὐδ᾽ ἐλεαίρεις

παῖδά τε νηπίαχον καὶ ἔμ᾽ ἄμμορον, ἣ τάχα χήρη

σεῦ ἔσομαι: τάχα γάρ σε κατακτανέουσιν Ἀχαιοὶ

πάντες ἐφορμηθέντες: ἐμοὶ δέ κε κέρδιον εἴη410

σεῦ ἀφαμαρτούσῃ χθόνα δύμεναι: οὐ γὰρ ἔτ᾽ ἄλλη

ἔσται θαλπωρὴ ἐπεὶ ἂν σύ γε πότμον ἐπίσπῃς

ἀλλ᾽ ἄχε᾽: οὐδέ μοι ἔστι πατὴρ καὶ πότνια μήτηρ.

Hector does not find Andromache at home and instead meets their housekeeper, who informs him that she has gone in a panic to a part of the wall overlooking the battlefield. Hector heads back the way he came, and just as he is about to exit through the Skaian gate Andromache, attended by a handmaiden holding their child, comes down to meet him. She begs him to think of her and the child, and not to return to the battle.

When Hector and Andromache meet, at the last possible moment, builds up the tension in what we already know will be a highly-charged meeting; where they meet is just as important, right on the boundary between the beautiful, civilized spaces of Troy and the grinding chaos of the battlefield. [read full essay]

369: φωνήσας: nom. sg. aor. ptc. > φωνέω. ἀπέβη: 3rd sg. aor. > ἀπο-βαίνω.

370: εὖ ναιετάοντας: “well-peopled,” “well-built.”

372: ἥ γε: “she in fact,” demonstrative pronoun, γε draws attention to the poet’s knowledge of the situation (Graziosi-Haubold). 

373: ἐφεστήκει: “had stopped upon” + dat., thus “was standing upon,” intransitive plpf. > ἐφ-ίστημι. γοόωσά τε μυρομένη τε: the two present participles have similar meaning and often occur together (Graziosi-Haubold).

374: ὡς: “when.” τέτμεν: “came across,” reduplicated root aorist from unknown present.

376: εἰ δ᾽ ἄγε: “now come,” εἰ with an imperative (usually in connection with ἄγε, which can be used when addressing more than one person) functions as an interjection (Stoevesandt). μυθήσασθε: aor. dep. mid. imper. > μυθέομαι. 

378: ἠέ: “either … or … or.” ἐς γαλόωνεἰνατέρων: “to (the houses) of … (to the houses) of…,” as often when a genitive follows the preposition εἰς (Goodell 507.a).

379: ἐς Ἀθηναίης: “to (the temple) of…” (Goodell 507.a). ἐξοίχεται: “has gone out,” pres. with perfect sense. ἔνθά περ: “just where,” “the very place where,” the particle intensifies the relative adverb.

380: θεὸν: “goddess,” the noun can be feminine or masculine, evident in the adj. δεινὴν.

381: τὸν δ᾽: “this one,” Hector. πρὸςἔειπεν: “addressed a speech to.” The verb governs two accusative objects, τὸν and μῦθον.

382: ἄνωγας: pf. with pres. sense. ἀληθέα: “the truth,” “true things,” neut. pl. adj. used substantively (Goodell 544).

386: οὕνεκα: “because,” “since,” crasis for οὗ ἕνεκα, “for the sake of which.”

387: Τρῶας: “that the Trojans,” acc. subject. κράτος: “that the power,” acc. subject with inf. > εἰμί. μέγα is predicate acc.

388: ἥ μὲν δὴ: “she in fact…,” μὲν δὴ points forward to Astyanax, who is mentioned in the next line. ἐπειγομένη: “rushing.”

389: μαινομένῃ ἐϊκυῖα: “like a raging woman,” dat. sg. pres. mid. ptc., dat. after ἐϊκυῖα.

390: : “spoke,” 3rd sg impf. > ἠμί (Goodell 383). ἀπέσσυτο: root aor. > ἀποσεύομαι.

391: τὴν αὐτὴν ὁδὸν: “over this same route,” inner accusative or acc. of extent of space (common with ὁδόν) (see 6.292).

393: τῇ: “in which (place),” “where.” διεξίμεναι: pres. inf. > δι-έξ-ειμι, Attic διεξιέναι. πεδίονδε: -δε expresses place to which (Monro 335.2).

394: ἔνθα: “there,” correlative with εὖτε, “where.”

396: Ἠετίων ὃς: “the Eetion who ….”

397: Θήβῃ Ὑποπλακίῃ: “at Thebe below Mount Placus,” locative dat. without preposition. Thebe, modern Edremit, (not to be confused with either Egyptian or Boeotian Thebes), was a city in the so-called Plain of Thebe, south of Troy. As Andromache goes on to say, it was one of the many cities around Troy that Achilles and the Greeks sacked while besieging Troy. Κιλίκεσσ᾽ ἄνδρεσσιν: dat. pl. governed by ptc. ἀνάσσων. It is unclear what, if any, connection these Cilicians have to those in the similarly named region of southern Asia Minor.

398: τοῦ περ δὴ θυγάτηρ: “and the daughter of this man, then” (Graziosi-Haubold). ἔχεθ᾽ Ἕκτορι: “was held by Hector,” “was married to Hector,” = ἔχεται, pres. pass. > ἔχω. Ἕκτορι: dat. with passive ἔχεται.

399: οἱ: “this one,” = αὐτῷ, dat. obj. of ἀντάω. αὐτῇ: “herself,” Andromache, governed by ἅμα.

400: παῖδ: = παῖδα. ἔχουσα: fem. nom. sg. ptc. νήπιον αὔτως: “still an infant,” “just an infant.”

402: τόν: “whom,” relative pronoun. καλέεσκε: “was accustomed to call (x) (y),” the verb governs a double acc. (2nd acc. is the predicate), the iterative form -σκ-, evokes family usage (Goodell 534). οἱ ἄλλοι: “others (were accustomed to call him),” supply καλέεσκον.

403: ἐρύετο: “was drawing (from danger),” “was rescuing,” impf. mid. > ἐρύομαι (compare Lat. ēripiō), see 22.303 for a similar use.

404: ἤτοι: this word is similar in grammatical function to μέν, but more emphatic (Graziosi-Haubold). σιωπῇ: dat. of manner, which can often be translated as an adverb (Goodell 526.b).

405: οἱ: “him,” dat. governed by παρ- in compound παρ-ίστημι (Monro 145.6). δάκρυ: poetic for δάκρυον, translate as pl.

406: ἔν τ᾽ ἄρα οἱ φῦ χειρὶ: “firmly clasped his hand,” literally “grew into his hand.” ἐνφῦ: 3rd sg. root aorist > ἐμφύω, with tmesis. ἔπος τ᾽ ἔφατ᾽ἔκ τ᾽ ὀνόμαζε: see 6.253; Andromache is subject.

407: φθίσει: fut. > epic φθίνω, Attic φθίω. τὸ σὸν μένος: “this courage of yours.” τό is demonstrative.

408: : “who…,” relative pronoun.

409: σεῦ: “from you,” = σοῦ, gen. of separation with χήρη. ἔσομαι: dep. fut. > εἰμί. κατακτανέουσιν: uncontracted fut. > κατακτείνω.

410: πάντες ἐφορμηθέντες: “attacking together,” aor. pass. ptc. > ἐφορμάω (Graziosi-Haubold). κεεἴη: “it would be,” κε/ἄν + potential opt. > εἰμί; the subject is the infin. in 411.

 411: σεῦ: “(from) you,” = σοῦ, gen. of separation with ἀπο- in ἀφαμαρτούσῃ. χθόνα δύμεναι: “sink beneath the earth,” χθόνα is acc. of direction without preposition, δύμεναι is aor. infin. > δύω, subject of the sentence (Goodell 574). οὐἔτι: “no longer,” “not still.” 

412: ἔσται: 3rd sg. dep. fut. > εἰμί, supply μοι. ἐπεὶ ἄν: “whenever…,” ἄν + subj. (here 2nd aor. > ἐφ-έπω) in a general temporal clause (see 6.225) (Goodell 627).

413: ἄχε’: ἄχεα, neut. pl. subject, parallel to θαλπωρὴ, supply ἔσται. μοι: dat. of possession with ἔστι.

ἄρα, ῥά (enclit.), ἄρ, ῥ᾿: so, then, as you know, you know, it seems. Very often it marks an action as natural, or reminds of something recently said. It also marks transitions.

φωνέω, aor. φώνησεν: to speak

ἀποβαίνω, aor. ἀπεβήσετο or ἀπέβη: to go away, dismount

κορυθαίολος: crest-waving, gleaming-crested

Ἕκτωρ ‑ορος ὁ: Hector

αἶψα: quickly, at once370

ἱκάνω: to come, arrive

δόμος -ου ὁ: a house, home

ναιετάω: to dwell

Ἀνδρομάχη: Andromache, wife of Hector, daughter of Eetion. Her father and brothers were slain by Achilles.

λευκώλενος: white-armed

μέγαρον -ου τό: large room, main hall (in the center) of the house; (pl.) dwelling, house, palace.

ἀμφίπολος -ου, ἡ: female attendant, handmaid 

εὔπεπλος: beautifully robed

πύργος -ου ὁ : tower, turreted surrounding wall; (fig.) rampart, defense, defender

ἐφίστημι, plpf. ἐφεστήκει and ἐφέστασαν: to place upon; (plpf.) to stand upon

γοάω: to wail, groan, weep

μύρομαι: to weep, grieve, lament

ἔνδον: in, within, in the house, at home

ἀμύμων -ονος: blameless, noble, excellent

τέτμεν: came across (aor. from an unknown present)

ἄκοιτις: wife, spouse

οὐδός: a threshold375

δμῳή -ῆς ἡ: female slave, maid

ἄγε: come! come on! well!

νημερτής -ές: unfailing, true

μυθέομαι: speak or talk of, describe, explain, relate

πῇ (interrog.): by what path? where to? where?; how? in what way?

πῃ (enclitic): in any way, in any direction, perhaps 

γάλοως, dat. γαλόῳ: a husband's sister, sister-in-law

εἰνάτερες: husband's brothers' wives

Ἀθήνη and Ἀθηναίη: Athena

ἐξοίχομαι: to be gone

Τρώϊος: Trojan380

εὐπλόκαμος: having lovely locks, curled (usu. of goddesses and women)

ἱλάσκομαι, aor. subj. ἱλάσσεαι [ἱλάσῃ] and ἱλασόμεσθα [ἱλασώμεθα]: to propitiate, appease

αὖτε: again, on the other hand, however, but

ὀτρηρός: nimble, prompt, ready

ταμίη: a housekeeper

μῦθος -ου ὁ: word, utterance, saying, proposition, plan, thought, injunction

ἄνωγα (perf. as pres.), impf. ἄνωγον, plpf. as impf. ἠνώγει or ἀνώγειν: to command, order, bid

Ἴλιος -ου ἡ: Ilius or Ilium, the city of Ilus, Troy 

386

οὕνεκα: on which account, wherefore

τείρω: to oppress, press hard, weigh heavily upon, distress

Τρῶες: Trojans

κράτος -εος τό: strength, might, victory

Ἀχαιός: Achaian

ἐπείγω: to hurry, urge; (mid.) to hasten, be in haste, be eager

ἀφικάνω: to come

μαίνομαι ἔμηνα μέμηνα ἐμάνην: to rage, be furious, be frantic, rave

τιθήνη: a nurse

ἠμί, impf. ἦ: to say, speak. ἦ καί is used after a speech that is reported, where the same subject is continued for the following verb.390

ἀποσεύω: to chase away

δῶμα -ατος τό: a house

αὖθις: back, back again

ἐυκτίμενος: well-built

ἄγυια: street, way

εὖτε: when, at the time when

πύλη -ης ἡ: one wing of a pair of double gates; (pl.) gate

διέρχομαι διελεύσομαι διῆλθον διελήλυθα: to go through, pass through

ἄστυ ἄστεος τό: a city, town

διέξειμι, inf. διεξίμεναι: to go forth

πεδίον -ου τό: a plain

ἄλοχος -ου ἡ: wife

πολύδωρος: richly dowered

θέω θεύσομαι: to run

μεγαλήτωρ -ορος: great-hearted, heroic395

Ἠετίων -ωνος: Eetion, king of Hypoplacian Theba near Troy, father of Hector's wife Andromache; slain by Achilles on the capture of Theba.

ναίω or ναιετάω: to dwell, inhabit

Πλάκος: a mountain above the city of Theba

ὑλήεις: woody, wooded

Θήβη: Theba, a Cilician town in the Troad (at the foot of Mt. Placus, an eastern spur of Mt. Ida), under the rule of Andromache's father Eetion; it was sacked by Achilles.

ὑποπλάκιος: under mount Placus

Κίλιξ ‑ικος ὁ: (pl.) Cilicians, but not the historical nation of that name. In Homer they live in Greater Phrygia near Troy, in two nations. One king, Eetion, Andromache's father, reigned at Theba. Another, Mynes, at Lyrnessus. 

ἀνάσσω: to be lord or master, dominate, rule

χαλκοκορυστής: helmeted with bronze, in bronze armor

οἱ (enclitic, dat. 3rd pers. pron.): (to) him, (to) her 

ἀντάω: to come opposite to, meet face to face, meet with

ἀμφίπολος -ον: servant, handmaid

κίω: to go

κόλπος -ου ὁ: bosom400

ἀταλάφρων -ον: gentle-spirited, guileless

νήπιος -α -ον: infant, childish 

αὔτως: in this very manner, even so, just so, as it is, merely; νήπιον αὔτως 'merely a child'

Ἑκτορίδης -ου ὁ: son of Hector, Ascanius

ἀγαπητός: beloved

ἀλίγκιος: resembling, like

ἀστήρ -έρος ὁ: star

Σκαμάνδριος: Scamandrius, Hector's son, whom the people called Astyanax

ἀτάρ: but, yet

Ἀστυάναξ -ακτος: Astyanax, Hector's son, also known as Ascanius

οἷος -α -ον: of what sort, what kind of, what, such as, as

ἐρύομαι, εἰρύομαι, ἔρυμαι, or εἴρυμαι, impf. ἔρυτο, aor. εἰρύσατο and ἐρύσσατο, aor. inf. εἰρύσσασθαι: to protect, preserve, save, defend, observe, ward off

Ἴλιος -ου ἡ: Ilius or Ilium, the city of Ilus, Troy 

ἤτοι: now surely, truly, = μέν

μειδάω, aor. μείδησε: to smile

σιωπή ‑ῆς ἡ: silence

ἄγχι: near, close405

παρίσταμαι, aor. ptc. παραστάς: stand beside, stand near, stand by, assist

δάκρυον ‑ου τό, also δάκρυ ‑υος τό: tear

χέω, aor. ἔχεεν or ἔχευε, χύντο, perf. κέχυνται, plpf. κέχυτο: to pour, heap (of a funeral mound), throw into a heap; σὺν ὅρκια ἔχευαν, broke (threw into a disorderly heap) the oaths; ἀμφὶ υἱὸν ἐχεύατο πήχεα, threw (her) arms about (her) son; δάκρυ χέων, weeping 

δαιμόνιος: supernatural, marvelous, extraordinary; excellent, admirable; striken by (adverse) fate, miserable, unfortunate 

φθίνω, fut. φθίσει, plpf. ἐφθίατο: to waste away, perish, die; (fut.) destroy, kill

μένος -εος τό: might, force, strength, prowess, courage

ἐλεαίρω: to pity

νηπίαχος: young, helpless

ἄμμορος: ill fated, unhappy

τάχα: quickly, presently; perhaps 

χήρη: bereft of a husband, widow

κατακτείνω: to kill, slay, murder

ἐφορμάω, aor. ἐφώρμησαν, aor. pass. partic. ἐφορμηθέντες: to urge upon; (pass.) to rush upon, attack410

κερδίων -ον: more profitable, more advantageous, better; (superl.) κέρδιστος, the slyest

ἀφαμαρτάνω, aor. partic. ἀφαμαρτούσῃ: miss the target, fail to reach the mark; to lose, be bereft (+ gen.)

χθών χθονός ἡ: the earth, ground

δύω, fut. δύσω, aor. inf. δῦσαι, aor. mid. (ἐ)δύσετο, aor. ἔδυ, perf. δέδυκεν: to enter, go into, put on; πρὶν ἠέλιον δῦναι, before the sun set; γαῖαν ἐδύτην, (their souls) entered the earth 

θαλπωρή: comfort, joy

πότμος: fate, death

ἐφέπω, aor. subj. ἐπίσπῃ: to meet; πότμον ἐπισπεῖν, meet one's fate, fulfill one's destiny

ἄχος -εος τό: grief, sadness

πότνια: mistress, honored

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Suggested Citation

Thomas Van Nortwick and Geoffrey Steadman, Homer: Iliad 6 and 22. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-947822-11-5.http://dcc.dickinson.edu/homer-iliad/homer-iliad-vi-369-413