Homer, Iliad VI 1-36

Τρώων δ᾽ οἰώθη καὶ Ἀχαιῶν φύλοπις αἰνή:

πολλὰ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθ᾽ ἴθυσε μάχη πεδίοιο

ἀλλήλων ἰθυνομένων χαλκήρεα δοῦρα

μεσσηγὺς Σιμόεντος ἰδὲ Ξάνθοιο ῥοάων.

5

Αἴας δὲ πρῶτος Τελαμώνιος ἕρκος Ἀχαιῶν

Τρώων ῥῆξε φάλαγγα, φόως δ᾽ ἑτάροισιν ἔθηκεν,

ἄνδρα βαλὼν ὃς ἄριστος ἐνὶ Θρῄκεσσι τέτυκτο

υἱὸν Ἐϋσσώρου Ἀκάμαντ᾽ ἠΰν τε μέγαν τε.

τόν ῥ᾽ ἔβαλε πρῶτος κόρυθος φάλον ἱπποδασείης,

ἐν δὲ μετώπῳ πῆξε, πέρησε δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ὀστέον εἴσω10

αἰχμὴ χαλκείη: τὸν δὲ σκότος ὄσσε κάλυψεν.

Ἄξυλον δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔπεφνε βοὴν ἀγαθὸς Διομήδης

Τευθρανίδην, ὃς ἔναιεν ἐϋκτιμένῃ ἐν Ἀρίσβῃ

ἀφνειὸς βιότοιο, φίλος δ᾽ ἦν ἀνθρώποισι.

πάντας γὰρ φιλέεσκεν ὁδῷ ἔπι οἰκία ναίων.15

ἀλλά οἱ οὔ τις τῶν γε τότ᾽ ἤρκεσε λυγρὸν ὄλεθρον

πρόσθεν ὑπαντιάσας, ἀλλ᾽ ἄμφω θυμὸν ἀπηύρα

αὐτὸν καὶ θεράποντα Καλήσιον, ὅς ῥα τόθ᾽ ἵππων

ἔσκεν ὑφηνίοχος: τὼ δ᾽ ἄμφω γαῖαν ἐδύτην.

20

Δρῆσον δ᾽ Εὐρύαλος καὶ Ὀφέλτιον ἐξενάριξε:

βῆ δὲ μετ᾽ Αἴσηπον καὶ Πήδασον, οὕς ποτε νύμφη

νηῒς Ἀβαρβαρέη τέκ᾽ ἀμύμονι Βουκολίωνι.

Βουκολίων δ᾽ ἦν υἱὸς ἀγαυοῦ Λαομέδοντος

πρεσβύτατος γενεῇ, σκότιον δέ ἑ γείνατο μήτηρ:

ποιμαίνων δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ὄεσσι μίγη φιλότητι καὶ εὐνῇ,25

ἣ δ᾽ ὑποκυσαμένη διδυμάονε γείνατο παῖδε.

καὶ μὲν τῶν ὑπέλυσε μένος καὶ φαίδιμα γυῖα

Μηκιστηϊάδης καὶ ἀπ᾽ ὤμων τεύχε᾽ ἐσύλα.

Ἀστύαλον δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔπεφνε μενεπτόλεμος Πολυποίτης:

Πιδύτην δ᾽ Ὀδυσεὺς Περκώσιον ἐξενάριξεν30

ἔγχεϊ χαλκείῳ, Τεῦκρος δ᾽ Ἀρετάονα δῖον.

Ἀντίλοχος δ᾽ Ἄβληρον ἐνήρατο δουρὶ φαεινῷ

Νεστορίδης, Ἔλατον δὲ ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων:

ναῖε δὲ Σατνιόεντος ἐϋρρείταο παρ᾽ ὄχθας

Πήδασον αἰπεινήν. Φύλακον δ᾽ ἕλε Λήϊτος ἥρως35

φεύγοντ᾽: Εὐρύπυλος δὲ Μελάνθιον ἐξενάριξεν.

The gods depart from the battlefield. The Achaeans, led by Telemonian Ajax, defeat a series of Trojans, some of whom are given short biographies. 

In these first duels, Homer underscores the gravity of the Trojans’ situation by showing us all of the principal Greek warriors (Ajax, Diomedes, Odysseus, and Agamemnon), killing Trojans. Translations can sometimes make battle narratives seem dull and repetitive, but reading the Greek lets us see the marvelous variety and inventiveness in these encounters. [read full essay]

1: οἰώθη: “was abandoned,” by the gods, 3rd sg. aor. dep. pass. > οἰόομαι.

2: πολλὰ: “many times, often,” adverbial acc. (Goodell 230); ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθ’: “here and there”; πεδίοιο: “on the plain,” Homeric 2nd decl. gen. sg., gen. of place within which, depending on ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα (Goodell 515).

3: ἀλλήλων ἰθυνομένων … δοῦρα: “each side driving straight their spears,” gen. absolute (Goodell 590). χαλκήρεα: uncontracted acc. neut. pl. δοῦρα: acc. neut. pl., the most common plural form of singular δόρυ/δοῦρο (Graziosi-Haubold), though Homer also uses the full form δούρατα, e.g., Il. 5.656 (Monro 107).

5: ἕρκος Ἀχαιῶν: in apposition to Αἴας

6: ῥῆξε: “broke,” unaugmented aor. > ῥήγνυμι (Monro 69). φόως: “light” of safety, or a hole in the enemy line, neuter accusative > φάος or φόως, (dat. φάει, nom./acc. pl. φάεα). ἐτάροισιν: Homeric dat. pl. (Monro 93). ἔθηκε: “made,” aor. > τίθημι (Goodell 373).

7: βαλὼν: masc. nom. sg. aor. ptc. > βάλλω. ὅς: “who...,” ὅς (often a demonstrative pronoun) here functions as a relative pronoun, whose antecedent is ἄνδρα (Monro 266). ἐνὶ: “among” = ἐν, a common alternative spelling. Θρῄκεσσι: Aeolic 3rd decl. dat. pl. τέτυκτο: “was,” unaugmented 3rd sg. plpf. > τεύχω (Monro 69).

8: υἱὸν: in apposition to ἄνδρα and Ἀκάμαντ’.

9: τὸν: “him,” or “this man,” personal pronoun or demonstrative. ὅ, ἥ, τό is rarely a “pure article” and instead generally has a demonstrative function in Homer (Monro 256). ἔβαλε: governs two accusatives, first of the person (τόν), then of the part of the body (or, in this case, attire: φάλον), as often in Homer (Graziosi-Haubold; see Monro 141). φάλον: “on the crest” of his helmet. The φάλος was apparently something on the helmet that carried the plume.

10: πῆξε: “stuck,” “planted,” unaugmented aor. > πήγνμι (Monro 69).

11: τὸν … ὄσσε: “his eyes.” ὄσσε: “(two) eyes,” neut. acc. dual., a noun found in Homer only in the dual (Monro 107.1).

12: ἔπεφνε: “killed,” “slew,” 3rd sg. reduplicated aorist > θείνω, aor. ἔπεφνον or πέφνον, infin. πεφνέμεν (Monro 36.5). βοὴν: “in/at the battle cry,” acc. of respect is common after an adj., here ἀγαθός (Goodell 537).

13: ὅς: “who,” relative pronoun. Ἀρίσβῃ: ancient Arisbe, modern Musaköy, was located in the Troad region of Asia Minor, not far from Troy.

14: ἦν: 3rd sg. impf. > εἰμί (Goodell 384)

15: φιλέεσκεν: “used to show hospitality to,” “used to entertain” + acc.; -σκ- indicates iterative impf., like ἔσκεν in line 19 (Monro 48-9). ὁδῷ ἔπι: “on the roadway,” = ἑφ’ ὁδῷ (anastrophe). οἰκία: acc. neut. pl. > οἰκίον, which is formally a diminutive of οἶκος, but the implication is that Axylos’ house was grand, since he habitually entertained travelers.

16–17: “but this time (τότε) none of them (οὔ τις τῶν) warded off grim destruction from him (οἱ) by coming to meet the enemy (ὑπαντιάσας) out in front (πρόσθεν).” οἱ: = αὐτῷ, 3rd pers. sg. dat. of the personal pronoun (Monro 99), dative of interest with ἤρκεσε (Goodell 523). ὑπαντιάσας: “come to meet,” i.e. to meet the enemy and defend a man, masc. nom. sg. aor. ptc. > ὔπαντιάζω. ἄμφω θυμὸν ἀπηύρα: “robbed the two of life,” double acc. after ἀπαυράω (Goodell 534). ἀπηύρᾱ: root aor. of a defective verb, with a final long α. At some point the form must have been interpreted as an imperfect on the model of ἐτίμᾱ (= ἐτίμα-ε).

18: αὐτὸν: “Axylos himself.” τόθ᾽: = τότε, elision before an aspirated vowel.

19: ἔσκεν: “was,” iterative impf. of εἰμί, compare φιλέεσκεν in line 15. τὼ: “these,” dual nom. pl. demonstrative pronoun modifying ἄμφω. ἐδύτην: “went beneath,” “entered,” i.e. to the underworld, 3rd dual aor. act. > δύω.

21: βῆ: = ἔβη, unaugmented 3rd sg. root aor. > βαίνω (Goodell 366). μετ᾽: “after,” i.e. in pursuit, = μετὰ. νύμφη / νηῒς: “water nymph,” the female presiding spirit of a local spring.

22: τέκ᾽: “bore to” = τέκε, unaugmented 3rd sg. aor. > τίκτω. Βουκολίωνι: dat. of interest (Goodell 523).

24: γενεῇ: “in birth (order),” specifying dative (Goodell 527.b). : “him,” = αὐτόν (Monro 97), 3rd sg. personal pronoun, acc. obj. σκότιον: “in the dark,” “in secret,” compare σκότος, -εος, τό, darkness, gloom.

25: “while shepherding his flocks he lay with the nymph in love.” ἐπ᾽ὄεσσι: “over the sheep.” ὄεσσι: Aeolic dat. pl. (Monro 102). μίγη: “he mingled,” i.e. “had sexual intercourse with,” 3rd sg. aor. pass. > μίγνυμι. φιλότητι … εὐνῇ: “in love and bed” (i.e. in the bed of love, hendiadys), specifying dative (Goodell 527.b).

26: ἥ δ᾽: “and she,” “this one.” διδυμάονε … παῖδε: dual acc. (Goodell 114).

27: τῶν: “of these,” i.e. twins, demonstrative pronoun. μένος … γυῖα: neuter acc.

28: τεύχε᾽ = τεύχεα, uncontracted acc. pl. > τὸ τεῦχος.

30: Περκώσιον: “from Percote,” another city located in the Troad.

31: Τεῦκρος: understand ἐξενάριξεν from line 30. Teucer, founder of Salamis on Cyprus and half-brother of Ajax, was famous for his archery.

32: ἐνήρατο: unaugmented aor. mid. > ἐναίρω, “kill,” with no difference in meaning from the active.

33: Ἀγαμέμνων: understand ἐνήρατο.

34: ναῖε: “he used to dwell in” + acc. of the place (Πήδασον), unaugmented impf. Elatus is subject. δέ: suggests a change of subject from the previous line. ἐϋρρείταο: gen. sg. > ἐϋρρείτης/ἐϋρρεής “fair-flowing,” “well-flowing,” an epithet of rivers (Monro 98).

35: Πήδασον: not to be confused with the city in the Peneloponnese, but rather a minor town in the southern Troad, located close to the river Satnioeis. ἕλε: “took,” i.e. killed, unaugmented 3rd sg. aor. > αἱρέω.

 

Τρῶες: Trojans

 

οἰόομαι: to be left alone, abandoned, forsaken

 

Ἀχαιός: Achaian

 

φύλοπις -ιδος ἡ: battle-cry, din of battle, battle

 

αἰνός -ή -όν: dread, dire, grim

 

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.

 

ἰθύω: to go straight, press right on, charge

 

πεδίον -ου τό: a plain

 

ἰθύνω: to send straight at, direct, guide; ἀλλήλων ἰθυνομένων 'as they aimed at each other'

 

χαλκήρης -ες: fitted with brass, tipped with brass

 

δόρυ, gen. δόρατος or δουρός: timber, beam, spear

 

μεσηγύ(ς): between, in the middle of (+ gen.); meantime

 

Σιμόεις Σιμόεντος ὁ: Simoeis river

 

ἰδέ: and

 

Ξάνθος Ξάνθοιο ὁ: Xanthus (m. of persons and rivers; f. of town)

 

ῥοή: a river, stream, flood

 

Αἴας ‑αντος ὁ: Ajax

5

 

τελαμώνιος: of Telamon, son of Telamon

 

ἕρκος -εος τό: hedge, wall, defence; ἕρκος Ἀχαιῶν, 'bulwark of the Achaeans'

 

ῥήγνυμι, aor. ἔρρηξεν or ῥῆξε: to break, break through

 

φάλαγξ -αγγος ἡ: rank, column

 

φόως or φόος -εος τό: light; help, safety

 

ἑταῖρος -ου ὁ: a comrade, companion, mate

 

Θρᾷξ ‑ᾳκός or Θρῇξ ‑ῃκός ὁ: a Thracian

 

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

 

Ἐϋσσώρος -ου ὁ: Eussorus, a Thracian

 

Ἀκάμας -αντος ὁ: Acamas, a Thracian, who was slain by Ajax

 

ἐύς or ἠύς, neut. ἐύ, gen. ἑῆος: good, brave, noble

 

κόρυς -υθος ἡ: a helmet

 

φάλος -οιο ὁ: crest of helmet, or a plate holding the crest

 

ἱππόδασυς -εια -υ: bushy with horse-hair

 

μέτωπον: the space between the eyes, the brow, forehead10

 

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

 

περάω περάσω (or περῶ) ἐπέρασα πεπέρακα: to drive right through; pass, penetrate

 

ὀστέον -ου τό: bone

 

εἴσω (ἔσω): to within, into

 

αἱχμή -ῆς ἡ: spear-point

 

χάλκεος or χάλκειος: of bronze, bronze, bronze pointed (of a spear)

 

σκότος -ου ὁ: darkness, gloom

 

ὄσσε (τώ): the two eyes

 

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

 

θείνω, aor. ἔπεφνον, πέφνε, infin. πεφνέμεν: to strike, beat, wound; to batter, kill (only in forms with redupl. πεφ-)

 

βοή -ῆς ἡ: a loud cry, shout

 

Διομήδης -εος ὁ: Diomedes, son of Tydeus, king of Argos, one of the bravest and mightiest of the Achaeans fighting in Troy

 

ναίω or ναιετάω: to dwell, inhabit

 

ἐϋκτίμενος: well-built

 

Ἀρίσβα: Arisba, a town in the Troad; a town on Lesbos

 

ἀφνειός: rich, wealthy; full

 

βίοτος: substance, possessions; life

 

φίλος -η -ον: loved, beloved, dear, own 

 

φιλέω, iterative impf. φιλέεσκεν, aor. φίλησα, ἐφίλατο: to love, entertain, receive hospitably15

 

οἰκίον -ου τό: house, palace (always plural)

 

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

 

ἀρκέω, aor. ἤρκεσε: to protect, ward off

 

λυγρός -ά -όν: sore, baneful, mournful

 

ὄλεθρος -ου ὁ: ruin, destruction, death

 

πρόσθεν: before

 

ὑπαντιάω: to face, meet

 

ἄμφω: both

 

ἀπαυράω: to take away, rob, deprive

 

θεράπων -οντος ὁ: attendant, servant, assistant, companion

 

τόθι: there, in that place

 

ὑφηνίοχος -ου ὁ: the charioteer, as subordinate to the warrior

 

γαῖα -ας ἡ: a land, country

 

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.

 

Δρῆσος: Dresus, a Trojan20

 

Εὐρύαλος: Euryalus, an Argive

 

Ὀφέλτιος: Opheltius, a Trojan

 

ἐξεναρίζω, aor. ἐξενάριξε(ν): to strip of armor, despoil; to lay low

 

Αἴσηπος: Aesepus, a Trojan, son of Abarbarea and Bucolion

 

Πήδασος: Pedasus, a Trojan, son of Bucolion

 

νύμφη: nymph

 

ναϊάς or νηίς -ίδος ἡ: naiad, river-nymph, spring-nymph

 

Ἀβαρβαρέη: a Trojan naiad

 

ἀμύμων -ονος: blameless, noble, excellent

 

Βουκολίων: Bucolion, son of Laomedon

 

ἀγαυός: illustrious, noble

 

Λαομέδων ‑οντος ὁ: Laomedon, father of Priam and Bucolion, Son of Ilus

 

γενεά or γενεή: race, stock, family

 

σκότιον: in shadow, in secret

 

γείνομαι, aor. ἐγείναο: to be born; (aor.) begot, bore

 

ποιμαίνω: to be a shepherd25

 

ὄις ὄιος: sheep

 

φιλότης -ητος ἡ: friendship, love, affection

 

εὐνή: bed, couch

 

ὑποκύομαι: to conceive, become pregnant

 

διδυμάων -ονος ὁ/ἡ: twin

 

ὑπολύω: to release from under, weaken

 

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

 

φαίδιμος, ον: illustrious, glorious

 

γυῖον -ου τό: a limb

 

Μηκιστηϊάδης: son of Mecisteus, Euryalus

 

ὦμος ὤμου ὁ: shoulder (with the upper arm)

 

τεῦχος -εος τό: (pl.) arms, armour

 

συλάω: to strip off

 

Ἀστύαλος: Astyalus

 

μενεπτόλεμος: staunch in battle, steadfast

 

Πολυποίτης: Polypoetes, a Lapith

 

Πιδύτης: Pidytes, a Trojan30

 

Ὀδυσσεύς, Ὀδυσῆος: Odysseus, an Ithacan. He is called πολύμητις, crafty, and πολυμήχανος, full of strategems. He was one of the wisest Achaean leaders.

 

ἔγχος -εος τό: spear, lance

 

Τεῦκρος: Teucer, son of Telamon, half-brother of Ajax, and the best bowman in the Greek army

 

Ἀρετάων: Aretaon, a Trojan, slain by Teucer

 

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

 

Ἀντίλοχος: Antilochus, son of Nestor

 

Ἄβληρος: Ablerus, a Trojan

 

ἐναίρω, aor. ἐνήρατο: to slay

 

φαεινός -ή -όν: bright, brilliant, radiant

 

Νεστορίδης: son of Nestor

 

ἄναξ -ακτος ὁ: lord, king, master

 

Ἀγαμέμνων -ονος ὁ: Agamemnon, son of Atreus, king of Mycenae and the leader of the expedition against Troy

 

Σατνιόεις -εντος ὁ: Satnioeis, river in the Troad

 

ἐϋρρεής and ἐϋρρείτης: strong-flowing, fair-flowing

 

ὄχθη: a bank, dyke

 

αἰπεινός: high, lofty35

 

Φύλακος: Phylacus, a Trojan

 

Λήϊτος: Leitus, a leader of the Boeotians

 

ἥρως ἥρωος ὁ: hero, warrior

 

Εὐρύπυλος: Eurypylus, a Thessalian

 

Μελάνθιος: Melanthius, a Trojan

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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.https://dcc.dickinson.edu/index.php/homer-iliad/homer-iliad-vi-1-36