Homer, Iliad XXII 38-76

Ἕκτορ μή μοι μίμνε φίλον τέκος ἀνέρα τοῦτον

οἶος ἄνευθ᾽ ἄλλων, ἵνα μὴ τάχα πότμον ἐπίσπῃς

Πηλεΐωνι δαμείς, ἐπεὶ ἦ πολὺ φέρτερός ἐστι40

σχέτλιος: αἴθε θεοῖσι φίλος τοσσόνδε γένοιτο

ὅσσον ἐμοί: τάχα κέν ἑ κύνες καὶ γῦπες ἔδοιεν

κείμενον: ἦ κέ μοι αἰνὸν ἀπὸ πραπίδων ἄχος ἔλθοι:

ὅς μ᾽ υἱῶν πολλῶν τε καὶ ἐσθλῶν εὖνιν ἔθηκε

κτείνων καὶ περνὰς νήσων ἔπι τηλεδαπάων.45

καὶ γὰρ νῦν δύο παῖδε Λυκάονα καὶ Πολύδωρον

οὐ δύναμαι ἰδέειν Τρώων εἰς ἄστυ ἀλέντων,

τούς μοι Λαοθόη τέκετο κρείουσα γυναικῶν.

ἀλλ᾽ εἰ μὲν ζώουσι μετὰ στρατῷ, ἦ τ᾽ ἂν ἔπειτα

χαλκοῦ τε χρυσοῦ τ᾽ ἀπολυσόμεθ᾽, ἔστι γὰρ ἔνδον:50

πολλὰ γὰρ ὤπασε παιδὶ γέρων ὀνομάκλυτος Ἄλτης.

εἰ δ᾽ ἤδη τεθνᾶσι καὶ εἰν Ἀΐδαο δόμοισιν,

ἄλγος ἐμῷ θυμῷ καὶ μητέρι τοὶ τεκόμεσθα:

λαοῖσιν δ᾽ ἄλλοισι μινυνθαδιώτερον ἄλγος

ἔσσεται, ἢν μὴ καὶ σὺ θάνῃς Ἀχιλῆϊ δαμασθείς.55

ἀλλ᾽ εἰσέρχεο τεῖχος ἐμὸν τέκος, ὄφρα σαώσῃς

Τρῶας καὶ Τρῳάς, μὴ δὲ μέγα κῦδος ὀρέξῃς

Πηλεΐδῃ, αὐτὸς δὲ φίλης αἰῶνος ἀμερθῇς.

πρὸς δ᾽ ἐμὲ τὸν δύστηνον ἔτι φρονέοντ᾽ ἐλέησον

δύσμορον, ὅν ῥα πατὴρ Κρονίδης ἐπὶ γήραος οὐδῷ60

αἴσῃ ἐν ἀργαλέῃ φθίσει κακὰ πόλλ᾽ ἐπιδόντα

υἷάς τ᾽ ὀλλυμένους ἑλκηθείσας τε θύγατρας,

καὶ θαλάμους κεραϊζομένους, καὶ νήπια τέκνα

βαλλόμενα προτὶ γαίῃ ἐν αἰνῇ δηϊοτῆτι,

ἑλκομένας τε νυοὺς ὀλοῇς ὑπὸ χερσὶν Ἀχαιῶν.65

αὐτὸν δ᾽ ἂν πύματόν με κύνες πρώτῃσι θύρῃσιν

ὠμησταὶ ἐρύουσιν, ἐπεί κέ τις ὀξέϊ χαλκῷ

τύψας ἠὲ βαλὼν ῥεθέων ἐκ θυμὸν ἕληται,

οὓς τρέφον ἐν μεγάροισι τραπεζῆας θυραωρούς,

οἵ κ᾽ ἐμὸν αἷμα πιόντες ἀλύσσοντες περὶ θυμῷ70

κείσοντ᾽ ἐν προθύροισι. νέῳ δέ τε πάντ᾽ ἐπέοικεν

ἄρηϊ κταμένῳ δεδαϊγμένῳ ὀξέϊ χαλκῷ

κεῖσθαι: πάντα δὲ καλὰ θανόντι περ ὅττι φανήῃ:

ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ πολιόν τε κάρη πολιόν τε γένειον

αἰδῶ τ᾽ αἰσχύνωσι κύνες κταμένοιο γέροντος,75

τοῦτο δὴ οἴκτιστον πέλεται δειλοῖσι βροτοῖσιν.

Seeing his son below on the plain, Priam begs Hector to come inside the walls.

Here, as often in this episode, the painful exchange between Hector and Andromache in Book Six echoes in our ears. Like Andromache, Priam hopes to keep Hector close by appealing to his sense of responsibility to those who depend on him. [read full essay]

38: μήμίμνε: “don’t wait for” + acc. neg. imperative; the verb is transitive. μοι: so-called ethical dative, which gives expression to the speaker’s involvement. Its force is captured by “please” (de Jong). φίλον τέκος: vocative. ἀνέρα: acc. sg. > ἀνήρ, Att. ἄνδρα.

39: ἵνα μὴ ἐπίσπῃς: “so that you may not meet,” negative purpose clause, 2nd sg. aor. subj. > ἐφ-έπω (Goodell 642.a).

40: Πηλεΐωνι: dat. of agent. δαμείς: nom. sg. aor. passive ptc. > δαμνάω (= δάμνημι = δαμάζω). πολὺ: “by far,” “far.”

41: σχέτλιος: “hard,” “relentless one,” said of Hector. Most commentators refer it to Achilles, both here and in line 86, where it is similarly used. But σχέτλιος is especially a word of friendly complaint: Achilles uses it of Patroclus (18.13), Diomedes of Nestor (10.164), etc. (Monro). αἴθεγένοιτο: “would that…,” opt. of wish introduced by αἴθε (= εἴθε), aor. opt. > γίγνομαι. θεοῖσι φίλος τοσσόνδεὅσσον ἐμοί: “may he become so very dear to the gods as he is to me,” i.e. so little, correlative adjectives, adverbial accusatives of extent modifying φίλος (de Jong).

42: ἐμοί: supply φίλος. : “him,” = αὐτόν, 3rd sg. acc. personal pronoun (Monro 99). κένἔδοιεν: “would eat,” potential opt. elaborating on the wish in the previous line.

43: κείμενον: “lying (dead),” pres. dep. mid. ptc. μοι: either dat. of reference (“grief would be gone for me from the heart”) or dat. possession (“grief would be gone from my heart”) (de Jong). The dative of the personal pronoun is often used in place of a possessive (Monro 143.1). κέἔλθοι: “would go,” i.e. “depart,” not “arrive,” potential opt. > ἔρχομαι.

44: ὅς: “he,” “this man,” Achilles, demonstrative pronoun (see 22.1). ἔθηκε: “made (x) (y)” aor. > τίθημι + double acc. (Goodell 534).

45: νήσων ἔπι: “upon islands,” = ἐπὶ νήσων.

46: παῖδε: dual acc.

47: ἰδέειν: aor. inf. > εἶδον (which supplies the aorist of ὁράω), artificially lengthened to fit the meter (Goodell 391). Τρώων: “among the Trojans,” partitive genitive (Monro).  ἀλέντων: “being hemmed in,” gen. absolute, aor. pass. ptc. > εἴλω.

48: τούς: “whom,” relative. μοι: dat. of interest (Goodell 523). τέκετο: unaugmented aor. mid. > τίκτω.

49: μετὰ στρατῷ: i.e., in the hands of the Greeks. ἦ τ᾽: “certainly, undoubtedly, indeed.” But ἄν introduces an element of doubt. τε underlines the close connection between protasis and apodosis but is left untranslated (de Jong).

50: ἂνἀπολυσόμεθα: “we will perhaps ransom,” either fut. mid. indicative (Monro 326) or aor. prospective subjunctive with short thematic vowel (Att. ἀπολυσώμεθα) (Monro 275.a). χαλκοῦχρυσοῦ: gen. of price (Goodell 513). ἔστι: “it is…,” i.e. the gold and bronze.

51: πολλὰ: “many (gifts),” a large dowry. ὤπασε: “gave with” (Monro). παιδὶ: “his daughter” Laothoe, fem. dat. indirect object.

52: εἰ δ᾽: “but if,” compare εἰ μὲν in line 49. τεθνᾶσι: “have died,” “are dead,” 3rd pl. pf. > θνήσκω. εἰν Ἀΐδαο δόμοισιν: supply εἰσί. εἰν: = ἐν. Ἀΐδαο: gen. sg.

53: ἐμῷ θυμῷ καὶ μητέρι: datives of interest (Goodell 523). τοὶ: “who,” relative. τεκόμεσθα: “bore” > τίκτω. The aor. mid. is used in pl. of both parents.

54: λαοῖσιν: dat. of interest (Goodell 523).

55: ἔσσεται: = ἔσται, fut. dep. mid. > εἰμί. ἢνθάνῃς: future-more-vivid condition (ἢν/ἐάν + aor. subj., fut. indic.). θάνῃς: 2nd sg. aor. subj. > θνήσκω. δαμασθείς: nom. sg. aor. pass. ptc. > δαμνάω (= δάμνημι = δαμάζω), here with dat. of agent (see line 40).

56: εἰσέρχεο: = εἰσέρχε(σ)ο, 2nd sg. imperative. ὄφρα σαώσῃς: “so that…,” ὄφρα + aor. subj. > σαόω (= σῴζω) without κεν/ἄν in pure purpose clause (Monro 287.1.b).

57: Τρῶας καὶ Τρῳάς: 3rd decl. masc. and 1st decl. fem. adj. μὴ ... ὀρέξῃς: “you should not offer,” “do not grant,” prohibitive subjunctive (μή + 2nd sg. aor. subj. > ὀρέγω).

58: φίλης αἰῶνος: “of your dear life,” “from your dear life,” gen. of separation with ἀμερθῇς. ἀμερθῇς: “you should not be bereft of,” supply μὴ, another prohibitive subj., aor. pass subj. > ἀμέρδω.

59: πρὸς δ’: “and in addition,” “and besides,” adverbial. ἐμἐ τὸν δύστηνον: “me, this wretched man.” φρονέοντα: “while I still have my senses,” an emphatic variant for “while I am still alive” (de Jong); “alive and therefore knowing what evils are impending” (Monro). ἐλέησον: aor. act. imper. > ἐλεέω.

60: ὅν: “whom,” relative. ἐπὶ γήραος οὐδῷ: not “at the threshold of old age” (i.e. entering old age), but “at the threshold (between life and death), which is formed by old age,” a defining genitive (de Jong; see Monro 147).

60–61: πατὴρ Κρονίδηςαἴσῃ ἐν ἀργαλέῃ φθίσει: “(whom) father Zeus will destroy with a cruel fate.” ἐν expresses the circumstances under which something happens (de Jong).

61: κακὰ: “evils,” object of ἐπιδόντα. The accusatives of line 62 and following are in apposition to κακὰ. ἐπιδόντα: acc. sg. aor. ptc. > ἐπ- + εἶδον (see 22.25).

62: ἑλκηθείσας: “dragged away,” aor. pass. ptc. > ἑλκέω (= ἕλκω).

64: βαλλόμενα: pres. pass. ptc. > βάλλω. προτὶ: “against,” “near” + dat., = πρός (Monro 206).

65: ὀλοῇς: modifies χερσὶν, fem. dat. pl. > χείρ. ὑπὸ: “under (the power of)” + dat. (Monro 204.3).

66: αὐτὸνμε: “me myself,” intensive pronoun. πρώτῃσι θύρῃσιν: “just outside the door,” cp. 8.411 (Monro).

66–67: ἂνἐρύουσιν: “(perhaps) will drag,” fut. indicative + ἂν, which has a conditional force (see lines 49–50) (Monro 326).

67: ἐπεὶ κέ τιςἕληται: “when someone takes,” subjunctive + κε/ἄν in a general temporal clause (kindred with a future-more-vivid condition) (Monro 296), aor. mid. subj. > αἱρέω.

68: τύψας, βαλὼν: nom. sg. aor. act. ptc. > τύπτω and βάλλω. Priam imagines death by sword thrust or spear cast. ῥεθέων ἐκ: = ἐκ ῥεθέων, “from my limbs.”

69: οὓς: “which,” dogs. τραπεζῆας: “eating from the table,” domesticated (Monro).

70: οἵ: “these,” demonstrative (22.1). πιόντες: aor. ptc. > πίνω. περὶ θυμῷ: “very much in their heart,” περί is adverbial; “to the fullness of their hearts,” cp. 21.65 (Monro).

71: νέῳ: “for a young man,” dat. interest (Goodell 523). τε: epic τε in generalizing statement (Monro 332.b). πάντ᾽ ἐπέοικεν: “everything looks well,” neuter plural subject of singular verb.

72: ἄρηϊ: “in war,” dat. means or, if personified, dat. of agent “by Ares.” κταμένῳ: “killed,” aor. mid. ptc. with pass. sense > κτείνω, predicative after κεῖσθαι (“to lie killed”). δεδαϊγμένῳ: pf. pass. ptc. > δαίζω, also predicative after κεῖσθαι. ὀξέϊ χαλκῷ: dat. of means.

73: κεῖσθαι: “to lie (dead),” epexegetical infinitive explaining πάντα in line 71 (Monro 242). πάνταὅττι φανήῃ: “Everything of him is beautiful even though he is dead, whatever part of his body is visible” (de Jong); “whatever may present itself, befall him in the sight of men” (Monro).  πάντα: subject, supply ἐστί. θανόντι περ: “though dead,” dat. aor. ptc. > θνήσκω. περ suggests the ptc. is concessive. ὅττι: singular in number with plural antecedent πάντα, in a distributive construction (“everything … whatever individual part”).

74: κάρη: neut. sg., modified by πολιόν.

75: αἰδῶ: “nakedness,” i.e., the shameful parts, acc. sg. αἰσχύνωσι: “defile” by eating. κταμένοιο γέροντος: “an old man being killed,” aor. mid. ptc., which in Homer still may have a passive meaning (de Jong).

76: τοῦτο δὴ: “this very thing,” i.e. the death of an old man. πέλεται: “turns out to be,” “is.” οἴκτιστον: “the most pitiable thing,” closing off the speech with a repetition of its key idea.

μίμνω: to stay, stand fast, remain

φίλος –η –ον: friend; loved, beloved, dear

τέκος -εος τό: a child

ἄνευθε: without; far away (+gen)

τάχα: quickly, presently; perhaps

πότμος: fate, death

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

Πηλεΐων: son of Peleus40

δαμάζω: to overpower, tame, conquer, subdue

φέρτατος: bravest, best

σχέτλιος: persistent, stubborn, headstrong, implacable, harsh, cruel

εἴθε: would that!

τοσόσδε –ήδε –όνδε: so strong, so able

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

κύων κυνός ὁ or ἡ: a dog

γύψ γυπός ὁ: a vulture

ἔδω: to eat

αἰνός –ή –όν: dread, dire, grim

πραπίδες: diaphragm; mind, heart

ἄχος –εος τό: grief, sadness

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

εὖνις: deprived, bereft

κτείνω, aor. subj. κτείνῃς, aor. (ἔ)κτανε(ν) and ἔκτα, aor. mid. as pass. κτάμενος: to slay, kill45

πέρνημι, pres. partic. περνάς, pass. περνάμενα: to export for sale, to sell

τηλεδαπός: remote, distant

Λυκάων: Lycaon, son of Priam and Laothoe

Πολύδωρος: Polydorus, youngest son of Priam by Laothoe, who was slain by Achilles.

Τρῶες: Trojans

ἄστυ ἄστεος τό: a city, town

εἴλω, aor. pass. ἄλεν, subj. εἰλέωσι: to hold back, detain

Λαοθόη: Laothoe, daughter of Altes and mother of Lycaon and Polydorus by Priam.

κρείων -οντος ὁ: a ruler, lord, master; κρείουσα, queen

ζῶ: to live

χρυσός –οῦ ὁ: gold50

ἀπολύω, aor. ἀπέλυσε: to release, set free

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

ὀπάζω, aor. ὤπασαν: to grant, follow, press hard upon

γέρων –οντος ὁ: an old man

ὀνομάκλυτος: of famous name

Ἄλτης: king of the Leleges, father of Laothoe

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.

δόμος -ου, ὁ: a house, home

ἄλγος –εος τό: pain

λαός –οῦ ὁ: the people

μινυνθάδιος: short-lived; Comparative μινυνθαδιώτερον, of shorter duration

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.55

εἰσέρχομαι εἰσελεύσομαι εἰσῆλθον εἰσελήλυθα: to go in

ὄφρα: in order that; as long as, until

Τρώϊος: Trojan

κῦδος -εος τό: glory, renown

ὀρέγω: to reach, stretch, stretch out

Πηλεΐδης: son of Peleus

αἰών –ῶνος ὁ ἡ: life, lifetime

ἀμέρδω, aor. inf. ἀμέρσαι, aor. pass. subj. ἀμερθῇς: to deprive, rob

δύστηνος: wretched, unhappy, unfortunate

ἐλεέω, aor. ἐλέησε: to pity, take pity

δύσμορος: unfortunate, unhappy60

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.

Κρονίδης and Κρονίων –ωνος ὁ: son of Cronus, Zeus

γῆρας –αως τό: old age

οὐδός: a threshold

αἶσα: share, lot, allotted portion, term of life; κατὰ αἶσαν, as is due

ἀργᾰλέος -α, -ον: painful, troublous, grievous

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

ἐφοράω, 2nd aor. partic. ἐπιδόντα, fut. mid. ἐπιόψομαι: to behold; select

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

ἑλκέω: to drag off, tear asunder

θάλαμος: women's apartment, chamber (esp. of married people), storeroom

κεραΐζω, pres. partic. κεραΐζων, pass. κεραϊζομένους, fut. inf. κεραϊξέμεν: ravage, plunder, despoil, destroy

νήπιος -α -ον: infant, childish

γαῖα –ας ἡ: a land, country

δηιοτής –ῆτος ἡ: war, battle, conflict

ἕλκω: to draw, drag65

νυός ἡ: a daughter-in-law

ὀλοός: destroying, destructive, fatal, deadly, murderous

Ἀχαιός: Achaian

πύματος: uttermost, last; adv. πύματον, in the end, at last

θύρη: door

ὠμηστής: eating raw flesh, ravenous

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

χαλκός –οῦ ὁ: bronze

τύπτω, aor. partic. τύψας, 2nd aor. partic. τυπείς: to beat, strike, smite

ῥέθος –εος τό: a limb

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

τραπεζεύς: of the table, fed at the table

θυραωρός: door-watching, guardians of the door

ἀλύσσω: to be frenzied70

πρόθυρον: the front-door, the door leading from the αὐλή

ἐπέοικε: it is seemly, is suitable, is becoming

Ἄρης: Ares, son of Zeus and Hera, God of war and is on the side of the Trojans.

δαΐζω, aor. inf. δαΐξαι, impf. pass. ἐδαΐζετο, perf. partic. δεδαϊγμένος: to divide, tear, rend, pierce

πολιός: gray, hoary

κάρη κρατός τό: head

γένειον: the chin

αἰδώς αἰδοῦς ἡ: a sense of shame, shame, modesty, self-respect, nakedness75

αἰσχύνω: to disgrace, bring shame upon

οἰκτρός: pitiable

πέλω and πέλομαι, aor. as pres. ἔπλεο, ἔπλετο: to be

δειλός –ή –όν: cowardly, fearful; wretched

βροτός –οῦ ὁ: a mortal man

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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-38-76