Homer, Iliad XXII 437-472

ὣς ἔφατο κλαίουσ᾽, ἄλοχος δ᾽ οὔ πώ τι πέπυστο

Ἕκτορος: οὐ γάρ οἵ τις ἐτήτυμος ἄγγελος ἐλθὼν

ἤγγειλ᾽ ὅττί ῥά οἱ πόσις ἔκτοθι μίμνε πυλάων,

ἀλλ᾽ ἥ γ᾽ ἱστὸν ὕφαινε μυχῷ δόμου ὑψηλοῖο440

δίπλακα πορφυρέην, ἐν δὲ θρόνα ποικίλ᾽ ἔπασσε.

κέκλετο δ᾽ ἀμφιπόλοισιν ἐϋπλοκάμοις κατὰ δῶμα

ἀμφὶ πυρὶ στῆσαι τρίποδα μέγαν, ὄφρα πέλοιτο

Ἕκτορι θερμὰ λοετρὰ μάχης ἐκ νοστήσαντι

νηπίη, οὐδ᾽ ἐνόησεν ὅ μιν μάλα τῆλε λοετρῶν445

χερσὶν Ἀχιλλῆος δάμασε γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη.

κωκυτοῦ δ᾽ ἤκουσε καὶ οἰμωγῆς ἀπὸ πύργου:

τῆς δ᾽ ἐλελίχθη γυῖα, χαμαὶ δέ οἱ ἔκπεσε κερκίς:

ἣ δ᾽ αὖτις δμῳῇσιν ἐϋπλοκάμοισι μετηύδα:

δεῦτε δύω μοι ἕπεσθον, ἴδωμ᾽ ὅτιν᾽ ἔργα τέτυκται.450

αἰδοίης ἑκυρῆς ὀπὸς ἔκλυον, ἐν δ᾽ ἐμοὶ αὐτῇ

στήθεσι πάλλεται ἦτορ ἀνὰ στόμα, νέρθε δὲ γοῦνα

πήγνυται: ἐγγὺς δή τι κακὸν Πριάμοιο τέκεσσιν.

αἲ γὰρ ἀπ᾽ οὔατος εἴη ἐμεῦ ἔπος: ἀλλὰ μάλ᾽ αἰνῶς

δείδω μὴ δή μοι θρασὺν Ἕκτορα δῖος Ἀχιλλεὺς455

μοῦνον ἀποτμήξας πόλιος πεδίον δὲ δίηται,

καὶ δή μιν καταπαύσῃ ἀγηνορίης ἀλεγεινῆς

ἥ μιν ἔχεσκ᾽, ἐπεὶ οὔ ποτ᾽ ἐνὶ πληθυῖ μένεν ἀνδρῶν,

ἀλλὰ πολὺ προθέεσκε, τὸ ὃν μένος οὐδενὶ εἴκων.

460

ὣς φαμένη μεγάροιο διέσσυτο μαινάδι ἴση

παλλομένη κραδίην: ἅμα δ᾽ ἀμφίπολοι κίον αὐτῇ

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ πύργόν τε καὶ ἀνδρῶν ἷξεν ὅμιλον

ἔστη παπτήνασ᾽ ἐπὶ τείχεϊ, τὸν δὲ νόησεν

ἑλκόμενον πρόσθεν πόλιος: ταχέες δέ μιν ἵπποι

ἕλκον ἀκηδέστως κοίλας ἐπὶ νῆας Ἀχαιῶν.465

τὴν δὲ κατ᾽ ὀφθαλμῶν ἐρεβεννὴ νὺξ ἐκάλυψεν,

ἤριπε δ᾽ ἐξοπίσω, ἀπὸ δὲ ψυχὴν ἐκάπυσσε.

τῆλε δ᾽ ἀπὸ κρατὸς βάλε δέσματα σιγαλόεντα,

ἄμπυκα κεκρύφαλόν τε ἰδὲ πλεκτὴν ἀναδέσμην

κρήδεμνόν θ᾽, ὅ ῥά οἱ δῶκε χρυσῆ Ἀφροδίτη470

ἤματι τῷ ὅτε μιν κορυθαίολος ἠγάγεθ᾽ Ἕκτωρ

ἐκ δόμου Ἠετίωνος, ἐπεὶ πόρε μυρία ἕδνα.

Andromache hears the wailing from the city walls while at home weaving and preparing a bath for Hector. Greatly disturbed, she asks two servants to investigate the cause. In a state of frenzy she rushes out to the tower with them and sees Hector's lifeless body being dragged behind Achilles' chariot. As she collapses she throws off her elaborate headdress.

The poet uses language often found in battle scenes to describe the brutal impact of Hector’s death on his wife. This kind of metaphor surfaces in her characterization first in Book Six, when Homer uses the participle ἐντροπαλιζομένη, “turning around again and again,” otherwise reserved for retreating warriors or hunted animals, to describe Andromache as she reluctantly leaves Hector at the city gates (6.496). [read full essay]

437: κλαίουσ᾽: = κλαίουσα nom. fem. pres. ptc. οὔ πώ τι: “not yet at all,” τι is adverbial (de Jong). πέπυστο: plpf. mid. > πυνθάνομαι, here used absolutely.

438: Ἕκτορος: “Hector’s (wife),” it seems best to connect the genitive Ἕκτορος with ἄλοχος rather than with πέπυστο, which usually introduces a genitive + participle, and ἄλοχος Ἕκτορος is a highly effective circumlocution. οἵ: “to her,” ind. object of ἤγγειλε, with accent from enclitic τις. ἐτήτυμος ἄγγελος ἐλθὼν: “coming as a truth-telling messenger.” ἄγγελος is used predicatively in Homer. ἐτήτυμος: “sure,” i.e. authentic. She first heard only the wailing (line 447), and feared the worst (455 ff.) (Monro).

439: ἤγγειλ᾽: = ἤγγειλε, 3rd sg aor. > ἀγγέλλω. ὅττι: = ὅτι, “that…,” introducing indirect discourse (Goodell 622). οἱ: “her,” possessive dative personal pronoun (Monro 143.1).

440: μυχῷ: “in an inner room” + gen., locative dative without preposition.

441: ἐν δὲ θρόνα ποικίλ’ ἔπασσε: “and she wove colorful flowery decorations in it,” (de Jong).

442: κέκλετο: “urged,” “commanded,” “exhorted” + dat. and inf., reduplicated aor. dep. mid > κέλομαι (Monro 36).

443: ἀμφὶ πυρὶ: “about the fire,” place where. στῆσαι: transitive aor. inf. > ἵστημι.

443–446: ὄφρα πέλοιτο: “so that there might be,” purpose clause, with optative (aor. dep. mid. > πέλομαι) after past tense κέκλετο (Monro 307).

444: Ἕκτορι: “for Hector,” dat. of interest (Goodell 523). μάχης ἐκ: = ἐκ μάχης, anastrophe.

445: : “that…,” = ὅτι, introducing ind. discourse (LSJ s.v. ὅς IV.1; Goodell 622). λοετρῶν: gen. of separation with τῆλε (Goodell 509.a).

446: χερσὶν: dat. pl. of means > χείρ.

447: κωκυτοῦ καὶ οἰμωγῆς: gen. with verb of hearing (Monro 151.d), see lines 407–409. δ᾽ ἤκουσε: “but she began to hear,” a strong adversative, perhaps an inceptive aorist (Goodell 464).

448: τῆς δ’ ἐλελίχθη γυῖα: “her limbs quivered.” ἐλέλιχθη: 3rd sg. aor. pass. > ἐλελίζω, plural subject. οἱ: either possessive dat. personal pronoun with κερκίς, or dat. of interest with ἔκπεσε. ἔκπεσε: aor. > ἐκπίπτω.

449: ἣ δ᾽: “and this one,” Andromache. μετηύδα: “addressed” + dat., 3rd sg. impf. > μεταυδάω.

450: δεῦτε: “come on,” this is originally an imperative (“come here”), but has weakened to a particle. ἕπεσθον: “you two follow,” dual 2nd pl. imperative, δύω is voc. direct address. ἴδωμ’: = ἴδωμαι, “let me see,” 1st sg. hortatory subj. Note the asyndeton. ὅτιν’ ἔργα τέτυκται: “what deeds have been done,” i.e. “what’s happened,” pf. pass. > τεύχω, 3rd sg. with neut. pl. subject.

451: ὀπὸς: “voice,” gen. (> unattested nom.) with verb of hearing (Monro 151.d). ἔκλυον: 1st sg. impf. with aorist sense. ἐμοὶ αὐτῇ/στήθεσι: “in me myself, in my chest,” i.e. “in my own chest,” intensified both by ἐμοὶ (vs. enclitic μοι) and by the intensive pronoun αὐτή.

452: πάλλεται ἦτορ ἀνὰ στόμα: “my heart is leaping up to my mouth.” ἀνὰ στόμα: i.e. as though it would come out at my mouth (Monro). νέρθε = ἔνερθε, “up from below.”

453: πήγνυται: “are frozen,” “are locked,” pres. pass. γοῦνα is the neuter pl. subject. ἐγγὺςτέκεσσιν: “near the children.”

454: αἲ γὰρ ἀπ' οὔατος εἴη ἐμεῦ ἔπος: “may my word be away from my ear,” i.e. “may what I now say not become true,” εἰ/αἴ γάρ + opt. of wish (Goodell 476).

455–456: μὴδίηται: “lest … put to flight,” clause of fearing, aor. mid. subj. > δίω (Goodell 610). μοι: ethical dative (Goodell 523).

456: ἀποτμήξας: “cutting off from” + gen., nom. sg. aor. ptc. πόλιος: gen. governed by ἀπο- of ἀποτμήξας.

457: καὶ δή: “and indeed (also),” introduces something similar in kind to what has preceded, but stronger in degree, and marks a kind of climax (de Jong). μιν καταπαύσῃ: “made him cease from” + gen., continuing the fearing clause, 3rd sg. aor. subj. Achilles is still subject. ἀλεγεινῆς: “unhappy,” because the cause of his death (Monro); “that causes me distress,” because it carries Hector into battle (Benner, following scholia).

458: : “which…,” relative, i.e. ἀγηνορίης.

458–459: ἔχεσκ᾽, προθέεσκε: iterative impf. > ἔχω (= ἔχεσκε) and > προθέω, note that Andromache already uses a past tense to describe Hector. ἐπεὶ: “(I say this) since…”

459: πολὺ: “often,” “much,” adverbial acc. τὸ ὃν μένος οὐδενὶ εἴκων: “yielding in that mighty spirit of his to no one” (Benner). τὸ ὃν μένος: acc. of specification. εἴκων: “retiring before,” “yielding to” + dat., nom. sg. pres. ptc.

460: μεγάροιο διέσσυτο: “she rushed through the palace,” μεγάροιο is a genitive governed by the διά- of διέσσυτο, impf. dep. mid. > διασεύομαι.

461: κραδίην: “in her heart,” acc. of respect with παλλομένη, “vibrating, palpitating, quivering.” See LSJ s.v. πάλλω II. ἄμααύτῇ: “along with (her) herself.”

462: πύργον, ὅμιλον: acc. of direction without preposition. ἷξεν: aor. > ἵκω.

463: ἔστη: 3rd sg. root aor. > ἵστημι. τὸν δὲ: “and … this one,” Hector.

464: πόλιος: gen. > πόλις, Att. πόλεως, obj. of πρόσθεν.

466: κατ᾽ ὀφθαλμῶν: “down over her eyes,” (Monro 213.2).

467: ἤριπε: “crashed down,” aor. > ἐρείπω, an expressive verb used of the fall of dead warriors and trees. ἀπὸἐκάπυσσε: “breathed out (her ψυχή),” > ἀποκαπύω in so-called tmesis.

468: κρατὸς: gen. > κάρη. βάλε: unaugmented aor. > βάλλω. δέσματα: “headgear” (Monro); a general word, to which ἄμπυκα (line 469), etc., are in apposition. Apparently the poet gives here the complete head-dress of a Homeric woman (Benner).

469: ἄμπυκα seems to indicate the same as στεφάνη, a metal diadem, especially of gold (Benner); a “diadem” of metal, hence the epithet χρυσάμπυκες, applied to the Muses (Hesiod, Theogony 916) and Seasons (Homeric Hymn 6.5) (Monro). τε ἰδὲ: “both … and.” πλεκτὴν ἀναδέσμην: “plaited band,” probably a thick band passing round the head behind the ears, represented on some Etruscan monuments of the archaic style (Monro, following Helbig).

470: θ᾽: = τε, “and.” : “which,” neuter acc. sg. οἱ: = αὐτῇ, dat. sg. ind. obj., 3rd pers. pronoun > ἑ.

471: ἤματι τῷ: “on that day,” = ἐκείνῳ τῷ ἤματι, dat. of time when (Goodell 527.c). μιν: Andromache, = αὐτήν. ἠγάγεθ᾽: “led her (in matrimony),” aor. mid. > ἄγω, the verb with middle voice often describes when men marry women and lead them home (LSJ s.v. ἄγω B.2).

472: πόρε:  “gave, furnished” 3rd sg. aor. > *πόρω, assumed present of the aor. act. ἔπορον and pf. pass. πέπρωμαι.

κλαίω, opt. κλαίοισθα, impf. κλαῖε, fut. κλαύσομαι, κλαύονται: to weep, lament, wail

ἄλοχος -ου ἡ: wife

πω: ever, yet

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

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

ἐτήτυμος: true

ἄγγελος –ου ὁ: a messenger, envoy

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.

πόσις –ιος ὁ, dat. πόσεϊ, acc. pl. πόσιας: husband

ἔκτοθι: adv. out of, outside (+gen)

μίμνω: to stay, stand fast, remain

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

ἱστός -οῦ ὁ: anything set upright: ship's mast; beam of a loom; loom440

ὑφαίνω: to weave

μυχός: the innermost part of a house

δόμος -ου, ὁ: a house, home

ὑψηλός –ή –όν: high, lofty, high-raised

δίπλαξ: double folded

πορφύρεος: dark-gleaming, dark, purple

θρόνον: flowers embroidered on cloth, patterns

ποικίλος –η –ον: many-coloured, variegated, artistically wrought

πάσσω πάσω ἔπασα ––– πέπασμαι ἐπάσθην: to sprinkle; to weave

κέλομαι, aor. (ἐ)κέκλετο: to urge on, bid, command; freq. with dative.

ἀμφίπολος -ον: servant, handmaid

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

δῶμα –ατος τό: a house

τρίπους or τρίπος τρίποδος ὁ: a tripod

ὄφρα: in order that; as long as, until

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

θερμός: hot, warm

λουτρόν: a bath, bathing place

νοστέω : to return home, return, go back

νήπιος -α -ον: infantile, childish, silly, ignorant, without foresight445

νοέω, aor. ἐνόησε: to perceive, observe, look, devise, plan

μιν: him, her, it

τῆλε: at a distance, far off, far away

λοετρόν: bath

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.

δαμάζω: to overpower, tame, conquer, subdue

γλαυκῶπις -ιδος: gleaming eyed, epithet of Athena

Ἀθήνη and Ἀθηναίη: Athena

κωκυτός: a moaning, wailing

οἰμωγή: lamentation

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

ἐλελίζω: to whirl round

γυῖον -ου, τό: a limb

χαμαί: on the earth, on the ground

ἐκπίπτω, aor. ἔκπεσε: to fall from

κερκίς –ίδος ἡ: a shuttle, a long rod or needle, to which the "shot-thread" or weft was fastened.

αὖθις: back, back again

δμῳή -ῆς ἡ: female slave, maid

μεταυδάω, impf. μετηύδα: to speak among

δεῦτε: hither! come on! come here!450

τεύχω τεύξω ἔτευξα τέτευχα τέτυγμαι ἐτύχθην: to make ready, make, build, work

αἰδοῖος: revered, honored, modest

ἑκυρή: mother-in-law

ὄψ ὀπός ἡ: a voice

κλύω, 2nd aor. ἔκλουν and κλύον, imperat. κλῦθι, κλῦτε, κέκλυτε: to hear, listen to (+gen)

στῆθος –εος τό: the breast, chest

πάλλω, aor. πῆλε: to brandish, shake, cast (of lots), toss

ἦτορ -ορος τό: the heart

ἔνερθε: from beneath, up from below

γόνυ, gen. γόνατος or γούνατος: knee

πήγνυμι, aor. ἔπηξε or πάγε: to make fast, stick, dig in, plant in, fix

ἐγγύς: near, nigh, at hand

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

τέκος -εος τό: a child

οὖς οὔατος τό: ear

αἰνός –ή –όν: dread, dire, grim

δείδω, aor. (ἔ)δεισεν, perf. δείδοικα, perf. imperat. δείδιθι, perf. partic. δειδιότες, plpf. ἐδείδιμεν: to fear, be afraid455

θρασύς –εῖα –ύ: bold, spirited, courageous, confident

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

ἀποτμήγω, aor. partic. ἀποτμήξας: to cut off

πεδίον –ου τό: a plain

δίω: to flee; mid. to scare away, chase

καταπαύω, fut. inf. καταπαυσέμεν, aor. subj. καταπαύσῃ: to make stop, check, stay, cease

ἀγηνορίη: manliness, valor, boldness, pride

ἀλεγεινός: painful, woeful, grievous, troublesome

πληθύς –ύος ἡ: a throng, a crowd, multitude, host

προθέω, iterat. impf. προθέεσκε: to run forward, rush to the front

ἑός ἑή ἑόν: his, her own

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

εἴκω, imperat. εἶκε, partic. εἴκων, aor. opt. εἴξειε, aor. partic. εἴξας: to give way, yield

μέγαρον –ου τό: large room, main hall (in the center) of the house; pl. dwelling, house, palace.460

διασεύομαι, 2nd aor. διέσσυτο: to rush through

μαινάς –άδος: a mad woman

καρδίη: heart

κίω: to go

ἀτάρ: but, yet

ἵκω: to come to

ὅμιλος –ου ὁ: any assembled crowd, a throng of people

παπταίνω: to look earnestly, gaze

ἕλκω: to draw, drag465

πρόσθεν: before, in front

ἀκήδεστος –ον: uncared for, unburied; adv. mercilessly

κοῖλος -η -ον : hollow, hollowed

Ἀχαιός: Achaian

ἐρεβεννός: dark, gloomy

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

ἐρείπω, 2nd aor. ἤριπε(ν), aor. partic. ἐριπών: to dash down; instrans. to fall

ἐξοπίσω: backwards, back again

καπύω: breathe forth

κράς: the head

δέσμα –ατος τό: headband

σιγαλόεις: gleaming

ἄμπυξ –υκος ὁ ἡ: diadem

κεκρύφαλος: a cap of cloth, which confined the hair

ἰδέ: and

πλεκτός: plaited, twisted

ἀναδέσμη: fillet

κρήδεμνον: a veil, headdress470

χρύσε(ι)ος –η –ον: golden, of gold

Ἀφροδίτη: Aphrodite, daughter of Zeus and goddess of love and beauty. She supports the Trojan cause.

ἦμαρ –ατος τό: day

κορυθαίολος: crest-waving, gleaming-crested

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

πόρω: to furnish, give, grant, bestow; pass. it is decreed by fate, it is destined, it is doomed

μυρίος –α –ον: numberless, countless, infinite

ἕδνον: gifts, which were originally paid by the suitor to the bride's father.

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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-437-472