Homer, Iliad XXII 337-366

τὸν δ᾽ ὀλιγοδρανέων προσέφη κορυθαίολος Ἕκτωρ:

λίσσομ᾽ ὑπὲρ ψυχῆς καὶ γούνων σῶν τε τοκήων

μή με ἔα παρὰ νηυσὶ κύνας καταδάψαι Ἀχαιῶν,

ἀλλὰ σὺ μὲν χαλκόν τε ἅλις χρυσόν τε δέδεξο340

δῶρα τά τοι δώσουσι πατὴρ καὶ πότνια μήτηρ,

σῶμα δὲ οἴκαδ᾽ ἐμὸν δόμεναι πάλιν, ὄφρα πυρός με

Τρῶες καὶ Τρώων ἄλοχοι λελάχωσι θανόντα.

τὸν δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ὑπόδρα ἰδὼν προσέφη πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεὺς:

μή με κύον γούνων γουνάζεο μὴ δὲ τοκήων:345

αἲ γάρ πως αὐτόν με μένος καὶ θυμὸς ἀνήη

ὤμ᾽ ἀποταμνόμενον κρέα ἔδμεναι, οἷα ἔοργας,

ὡς οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ ὃς σῆς γε κύνας κεφαλῆς ἀπαλάλκοι,

οὐδ᾽ εἴ κεν δεκάκις τε καὶ εἰκοσινήριτ᾽ ἄποινα

στήσωσ᾽ ἐνθάδ᾽ ἄγοντες, ὑπόσχωνται δὲ καὶ ἄλλα,350

οὐδ᾽ εἴ κέν σ᾽ αὐτὸν χρυσῷ ἐρύσασθαι ἀνώγοι

Δαρδανίδης Πρίαμος: οὐδ᾽ ὧς σέ γε πότνια μήτηρ

ἐνθεμένη λεχέεσσι γοήσεται ὃν τέκεν αὐτή,

ἀλλὰ κύνες τε καὶ οἰωνοὶ κατὰ πάντα δάσονται.

355

τὸν δὲ καταθνῄσκων προσέφη κορυθαίολος Ἕκτωρ:

ἦ σ᾽ εὖ γιγνώσκων προτιόσσομαι, οὐδ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔμελλον

πείσειν: ἦ γὰρ σοί γε σιδήρεος ἐν φρεσὶ θυμός.

φράζεο νῦν, μή τοί τι θεῶν μήνιμα γένωμαι

ἤματι τῷ ὅτε κέν σε Πάρις καὶ Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων

ἐσθλὸν ἐόντ᾽ ὀλέσωσιν ἐνὶ Σκαιῇσι πύλῃσιν.360

ὣς ἄρα μιν εἰπόντα τέλος θανάτοιο κάλυψε,

ψυχὴ δ᾽ ἐκ ῥεθέων πταμένη Ἄϊδος δὲ βεβήκει

ὃν πότμον γοόωσα λιποῦσ᾽ ἀνδροτῆτα καὶ ἥβην.

τὸν καὶ τεθνηῶτα προσηύδα δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς:

τέθναθι: κῆρα δ᾽ ἐγὼ τότε δέξομαι ὁππότε κεν δὴ365

Ζεὺς ἐθέλῃ τελέσαι ἠδ᾽ ἀθάνατοι θεοὶ ἄλλοι.

Hector begs Achilles to accept ransom for his corpse and not to deny it proper cremation and funeral among the Trojans. Achilles refuses and promises his body will be eaten by dogs and birds of prey. Hector urges Achilles not to become the target of divine wrath on his own dying day, which, he says, is not far off. As Hector's soul departs to the house of Hades, Achilles promises to accept his own death whenever it comes.

Hector is essentially a disembodied voice now. As he lies helpless on the ground the dark fantasy from his monologue before the walls becomes real. Vulnerable and exposed, “like a woman” (22.124–125), he begs Achilles not to leave his corpse to be shredded by dogs and birds. [read full essay]

338: λίσσομ᾽: = λίσσομαι. ὑπὲρ: “by/in the name of” + gen.

339: μήἔᾱ: “don’t allow” + acc. and inf., = ἔα-ε, neg. command with 2nd  sg. imperative > ἐάω. καταδάψαι: aor. inf. > κατα-δάπτω, devour.

340: δέδεξο: = δέδεκ-σο, pf. mid. imperative > δέχομαι.

341: δῶρα: in apposition to χαλκόν, χρυσόν. τά: “which…,” demonstrative pronoun used as a relative.

342: δόμεναι: aor. inf. (Att. δοῦναι) used as an imperative > δίδωμι. We find an imperatival infinitive when conventional social procedures are invoked (de Jong).

342–343: ὄφραλελάχωσι: “so that the Trojans and the wives of the Trojans might make me have a share of fire when I am dead,” i.e., allow me to be properly cremated. ὄφρα + reduplicated aor. subj. > λαγχάνω without κεν/ἄν in pure purpose clause (Monro 287.1.b). 

343: θανόντα: acc. sg. aor. ptc. > θνήσκω.

345: μή με γούνων γουνάζεο: “don’t grasp me by the knees,” neg. mid. imperative, = γουνάζε(σ)ο. Achilles repeats γόνυ and the related verb γουνάζομαι in a derisive figura etymologicaκύον: vocative direct address. γούνων: “by the knees,” genitive with verb of grabbing and taking (Monro 151.a). τοκήων: “(on behalf of your) parents,” supply ὑπέρ, a response to line 338.

346: αἲ γάρἀνήη: “would that (my mind) drove me…” + acc. and inf., i.e., “would that I were able to bring myself to….” ἀνήη (> ἀνίημι) is a unique form, evidently aorist indicative, making this an unattainable wish with εἰ/αἲ γὰρ (as in 6.345; see Goodell 470.a). Some editors print the optative ἀνείη, which would make it a straightforward wish (Goodell 477). αὐτόν: intensive with με, obj. of ἀνήη.

347: ὤμ’: = ὤμα, neut. adj., modifies κρέα, predicative (“eat your flesh raw”). ἔδμεναι: pres. inf. > ἔδω (Monro 85.2). οἷα ἔοργας: “the kinds of things you have done to me,” i.e. “because you have done me such wrong,” a syntactically loosely attached, explanatory οἷος-clause (de Jong). ἔοργας: 2nd sg. pf. > ἔρδω.

348: ὡς οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ ὅς: “as there is not (anyone) who….” σῆςκεφαλῆς: gen. of separation governed by ἀπό- of ἀπολέξω. ἀπαλάλκοι: “could ward off,” 3 sg. aor. 2 opt.  > defective ἀπαλέξω, potential opt. without ἄν (Goodell 478)

349–350: εἴ κένστήσωσ’ὑπόσχωνται: “not even if they weigh … promise,” protasis of future-more-vivid condition with 3rd pl. aorist subjunctives > ἵστημι and ὑπ-ισχνέομαι. For ἵστημι = "weigh," see LSJ s.v. ἵστημι A. IVκαὶ ἄλλα: “other things also,” adverbial καί.

351–352: ἀνώγοι: opt. > ἄνωγα, perf. with pres. sense, “should order.” Achilles changes from subjunctive to optative to indicate that he considers the act of Priam offering Hector’s weight in gold as merely possible rather than very possible (de Jong). σ’ αὐτὸν: “you yourself,” i.e. your bodyweight. χρυσῷ: dat. of means. ἐρύσασθαι: “(your bodyweight) to be weighed out (in gold),” lit. “to be drawn.” 

352: οὐδ᾽ὧς: “not even at this price” shall your mother place you on a funeral bed (Benner).

353: ἐνθεμένη λεχέεσσι: “having placed you on a bier,” nom. sg. aor. mid. ptc. > ἐν-τίθημι, dat. pl. governed by ἐν- of εν-τίθημι. ὃν: “whom…,” relative. τέκεν: unaugmented aor. > τίκτω. αὐτή: “she herself,” intensive. 

354: κατὰδάσονται: “will divide up,” i.e. “will tear apart.” πάντα: “(you) completely,” modifies a missing (σε). This predicative use, “tear you apart you complete,” is best translated as an adverb.

355: τὸν δὲ: “this one,” Achilles.

356-7: οὐδ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔμελλον / πείσειν: “as it seems, I was not going to persuade you.” For ἄρα + impf. as ex post facto realization see 22.301.

357: σοί γε: “your,” possessive dat. pronoun, γε emphasizes the clause. σιδήρεος: “(is) of iron” nom. predicate, supply ἐστί.

358: φράζεο: pres. mid. imperative. μήγένωμαι: “lest I become…,” negative purpose clause with aor. subj. > γίγνομαι. τοὶ: = σοὶ, “against you,” dat. of interest. θεῶν μήνιμα: “a cause of wrath against you on the part of the gods.” θεῶν is a subjective gen. (Benner)

359: ἤματι τῷ: “on that day,” = ἐκείνῳ τῷ ἤματι, dat. of time when with a demonstrative (Goodell 527.c). ὅτε κένὀλέσωσιν: “when they kill,” subjunctive + κε/ἄν in a general temporal clause (kindred with a future-more-vivid condition) (Monro 296), aor. subj. > ὄλλυμι.

360: ἐόντ᾽: “though being,” concessive ptc.

362: πταμένη: “flying,” nom. sg. dep. mid. aor. > πέτομαι. Ἀϊδόσδε: “to Hades’ (house).” The suffix -δε implies place to which (Monro 335.2). βεβήκει: “turned its step,” “approached,” unaugmented 3rd sg. plpf. act. > βαίνω, aorist in sense.

363: ὃν: = ἑόν, “his own,” possessive adj. > ἑός. γοόωσα, λιποῦσα: pres. and aor. ptc. modifying fem. ψυχή.

364: τὸν: “him,” Hector. καὶ τεθνηῶτα: “even though dead,” adverbial καὶ signals a concessive ptc., pf. > θνήσκω.

365: τέθναθι: “be dead,” pf. imperative > θνήσκω, which suggests a state of completed action. The imperative standing alone is abrupt and dismissive.

365–366: ὁππότε κεν δὴ: “whenever at all.” δή increases the indefiniteness of this general temporal clause (see line 359).

366: ἠδ’: “and,” joining the nominatives.

ὀλιγοδρανέων: able to do little, feeble, powerless

πρόσφημι, impf. προσέφη, aor. προσεῖπον or προσέειπον: speak to, address

κορυθαίολος: crest-waving, gleaming-crested

Ἕκτωρ: Hector, the most distinguished warrior of the Trojans, son of Priam and Hecabe, and husband of Andromache.

λίσσομαι: to beg, pray, entreat, beseech

γόνυ, gen. γόνατος or γούνατος: knee

τοκεύς –ῆος ὁ: a parent

κύων κυνός ὁ or ἡ: a dog

καταδάπτω, aor. inf. καταδάψαι: to rend in pieces, devour, tear

Ἀχαιός: Achaian340

χαλκός –οῦ ὁ: bronze

ἅλις: in heaps, crowds, swarms, in abundance, in plenty

χρυσός –οῦ ὁ: gold

δῶρον –ου τό: a gift, present

πότνια: mistress, honored

οἴκαδε: to one's home, home, homewards

ὄφρα: in order that; as long as, until

Τρῶες: Trojans

ἄλοχος -ου ἡ: wife

λαγχάνω λήξομαι ἔλαχον εἴληχα εἴληγμαι ἐλήχθην: to obtain by lot; to have one's fair share

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.

ὑπόδρα: adv. with a sullen or grim look

ὠκύς ὠκεῖα ὠκύ: quick, swift, fleet

Ἀχιλλεύς -έως or -ῆος ὁ: Achilles, son of Peleus and Thetis, leader of the Myrmidons and Hellenes in Thessaly, the mightiest warrior before Troy, and the principal hero of the Iliad.

γουνάζομαι, fut. γουνάσομαι: to implore, beseech345

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

ἀνίημι, 2nd. pers. ind. ἀνιεῖς, fem. partic. ἀνιεῖσα, fut. ἀνήσει, aor. ἀνῆκε or ἀνέηκεν, aor. subj. ἀνήῃ, aor. partic. ἀνέντες: to let go, free, urge on

ὦμος: raw

ἀποτέμνω or ἀποτάμνω: to cut off, sever

κρέας τό: flesh, meat, a piece of meat

ἔδω: to eat

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

ἔρδω: to do, accomplish, perform

ἀπαλέξω, 2nd aor. opt. ἀπαλάλκοι: to ward off

δεκάκις: ten-times, tenfold

εἰκοσινήριτος: twenty-fold

ἄποινα -ων τά: a ransom

ἐνθάδε: thither, hither, here, there350

ὑπισχνέομαι, aor. imp. ὑπόσχεο, aor. inf. ὑποσχέσθαι: to promise

ἐρύω: to drag, pull, tear; draw up, raise, balance

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

Δαρδανίδης –αο: a son or descendant of Dardanos

Πρίαμος: Priam, son of Laomedon. King of Troy.

ἐντίθημι, aor. ἔνθεο: to put in, set in

λέχος –εος τό: a couch, bed, bier

γοάω: to wail, groan, weep

οἰωνός: bird

δατέομαι: to divide, distribute

καταθνῄσκω, 2nd aor. κάτθανε, perf. κατατεθνήκασιν: to die355

προτιόσσομαι: to gaze upon

σιδήρεος: made of iron

φρήν φρενός ἡ: heart, mind

μήνιμα –ατος τό: a cause of wrath

ἦμαρ –ατος τό: day

Φοῖβος: Phoebus, epithet of Apollo

Ἀπόλλων: Apollo, son of Zeus and Leto, brother of Artemis, God of the sun and light, of song, of herds, of the bow, and of health and disease. He favors the Trojans against the Greeks.

ἐσθλός –ή –όν: good, decent, honorable, noble, generous; capable, able; (of things) good, useful; (of words) wise, sensible360

ὄλλυμι, fut. ὀλεῖται, ὀλέσεις, aor. ὤλεσα, ὀλέσ(σ)ῃς, ὄλοντο, οὐλόμενος, perf. ὀλώλῃ: to ruin, destroy, kill, lose; mid. and perf. to be destroyed, perish, die

Σκαιαί: the Scaean Gate of Troy, the only gate of the city which Homer mentions by name. It appears to have faced the Greek camp, affording a view over the Trojan plain.

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

μιν: him, her, it

καλύπτω, aor. (ἐ)κάλυψε(ν): to cover with

ῥέθος –εος τό: a limb

πέτομαι, 2nd aor. ἔπτατο, aor. partic. πταμένη: to fly, speed on

ᾍδης, gen. Ἀίδεω and Ἄϊδος, dat. Ἄϊδι, Ἀϊδωνῆι: Hades, god of the unseen lower world. His realm is the home of the dead, and in the Iliad it is beneath the earth, while in the Odyssey Odysseus sails to it, across Oceanus, and finds in it a faint, ghostly imitation of life on earth.

ἑός ἑή ἑόν: his, her own

πότμος: fate, death

ἀνδρότης: manliness, manhood, courage

ἥβη: youthful prime, youth, vigor

προσαυδάω: to speak to, address

δῖος –α –ον: divine, noble, illustrious; marvelous, magnificent

κήρ κηρός ἡ: doom, death, fate365

ὁπότε: when

Ζεύς Διός ὁ: Zeus, son of Cronus, the husband and brother of Hera and the wisest and mightiest of the gods.

τελέω τελέσω ἐτέλεσα τετέλεκα τετέλεσμαι ἐτελέσθην: to complete, fulfil, accomplish

ἠδέ: and

ἀθάνατος -ον: undying, immortal, imperishable. οἱ ἀθάνατοι: the immortals

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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-xxii-337-366