Homer, Iliad XXII 1-37

ὣς οἳ μὲν κατὰ ἄστυ πεφυζότες ἠΰτε νεβροὶ

ἱδρῶ ἀπεψύχοντο πίον τ᾽ ἀκέοντό τε δίψαν

κεκλιμένοι καλῇσιν ἐπάλξεσιν: αὐτὰρ Ἀχαιοὶ

τείχεος ἆσσον ἴσαν σάκε᾽ ὤμοισι κλίναντες.

Ἕκτορα δ᾽ αὐτοῦ μεῖναι ὀλοιὴ μοῖρα πέδησεν5

Ἰλίου προπάροιθε πυλάων τε Σκαιάων.

αὐτὰρ Πηλείωνα προσηύδα Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων:

τίπτέ με Πηλέος υἱὲ ποσὶν ταχέεσσι διώκεις

αὐτὸς θνητὸς ἐὼν θεὸν ἄμβροτον; οὐδέ νύ πώ με

ἔγνως ὡς θεός εἰμι, σὺ δ᾽ ἀσπερχὲς μενεαίνεις.10

ἦ νύ τοι οὔ τι μέλει Τρώων πόνος, οὓς ἐφόβησας,

οἳ δή τοι εἰς ἄστυ ἄλεν, σὺ δὲ δεῦρο λιάσθης.

οὐ μέν με κτενέεις, ἐπεὶ οὔ τοι μόρσιμός εἰμι.

τὸν δὲ μέγ᾽ ὀχθήσας προσέφη πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς:

ἔβλαψάς μ᾽ ἑκάεργε θεῶν ὀλοώτατε πάντων15

ἐνθάδε νῦν τρέψας ἀπὸ τείχεος: ἦ κ᾽ ἔτι πολλοὶ

γαῖαν ὀδὰξ εἷλον πρὶν Ἴλιον εἰσαφικέσθαι.

νῦν δ᾽ ἐμὲ μὲν μέγα κῦδος ἀφείλεο, τοὺς δὲ σάωσας

ῥηϊδίως, ἐπεὶ οὔ τι τίσιν γ᾽ ἔδεισας ὀπίσσω.

ἦ σ᾽ ἂν τισαίμην, εἴ μοι δύναμίς γε παρείη.20

ὣς εἰπὼν προτὶ ἄστυ μέγα φρονέων ἐβεβήκει,

σευάμενος ὥς θ᾽ ἵππος ἀεθλοφόρος σὺν ὄχεσφιν,

ὅς ῥά τε ῥεῖα θέῃσι τιταινόμενος πεδίοιο:

ὣς Ἀχιλεὺς λαιψηρὰ πόδας καὶ γούνατ᾽ ἐνώμα.

25

τὸν δ᾽ ὃ γέρων Πρίαμος πρῶτος ἴδεν ὀφθαλμοῖσι

παμφαίνονθ᾽ ὥς τ᾽ ἀστέρ᾽ ἐπεσσύμενον πεδίοιο,

ὅς ῥά τ᾽ ὀπώρης εἶσιν, ἀρίζηλοι δέ οἱ αὐγαὶ

φαίνονται πολλοῖσι μετ᾽ ἀστράσι νυκτὸς ἀμολγῷ,

ὅν τε κύν᾽ Ὠρίωνος ἐπίκλησιν καλέουσι.

λαμπρότατος μὲν ὅ γ᾽ ἐστί, κακὸν δέ τε σῆμα τέτυκται,30

καί τε φέρει πολλὸν πυρετὸν δειλοῖσι βροτοῖσιν:

ὣς τοῦ χαλκὸς ἔλαμπε περὶ στήθεσσι θέοντος.

ᾤμωξεν δ᾽ ὃ γέρων, κεφαλὴν δ᾽ ὅ γε κόψατο χερσὶν

ὑψόσ᾽ ἀνασχόμενος, μέγα δ᾽ οἰμώξας ἐγεγώνει

λισσόμενος φίλον υἱόν: ὃ δὲ προπάροιθε πυλάων35

ἑστήκει ἄμοτον μεμαὼς Ἀχιλῆϊ μάχεσθαι:

τὸν δ᾽ ὃ γέρων ἐλεεινὰ προσηύδα χεῖρας ὀρεγνύς:

Once inside the city walls the Trojans, sweating and winded, slake their thirst. As the Achaeans draw near, Hector remains outside the walls. Apollo reveals himself to Achilles. Achilles turns away and races across the plain toward Troy, where he is observed by king Priam.

In Book 22 Homer builds toward an intense climactic scene, the death of Hector. From the opening tableau, with Hector waiting alone before the city walls as Achilles races across the plain toward him, through the brilliant portrayal of the duel itself, to Hector’s poignant death and its grim aftermath, we witness destruction rolling ever closer to a warrior and a civilization we have come to admire.  [read full essay]

1: ὣς οἳ μὲν: “thus they ...,” ὅ, ἥ, τό is rarely a “pure article,” and instead generally has a demonstrative function in Homer (Monro 256). κατὰ: “throughout,” “in,” extensive in sense (Monro 212.1). πεφυζότες: pf. act. ptc. > φεύγω, Att. πεφευγότες.

2: ἱδρῶ ἀπεψύχοντο: “they let their sweat cool down,” i.e. “dried off their sweat” (de Jong). ἱδρῶ: = acc. sg. > ἱδρώς, Att. ἱδρῶτα. πίον: unaugmented 3rd pl. aor. > πίνω (Monro 69).

3: κεκλιμένοι: pf. mid. ptc. > κλίνω. καλῇσιν ἐπάλξεσιν: dat. of place where. An ἔπαλξις is defensive structure, a shelter, bastion, bulwark, or trench.

4: ἆσσον: "nearer," governs a gen. object (τείχεος). ἴσαν: 3rd pl. impf. > εἶμι, Att. ᾖσαν. σάκε᾽ ὤμοισι κλίναντες: in the attitude of readiness to receive an attack (Monro). σάκε᾽: = σάκεα, uncontracted neut. pl. acc. ὤμοισι: dat. of place where. κλίναντες: aor. act. ptc. > κλίνω.

5: αὐτοῦ: “there,” “in this very place,” adverb > αὐτός (Goodell 228.a). μεῖναι: “for remaining,” so that he remained (Monro), aor. inf. > μένω. ὀλοιὴ: = ὀλοὴ.

6: Ἰλίου προπάροιθε: the preposition comes after the word it governs.  

7: προσηύδα: “began to address,” here specifying the beginning of an ongoing action (the so-called inchoative imperfect) (Monro 70).

8: υἱὲ: vocative, direct address. ποσὶν: dat. pl. of means > πούς (Goodell 526.a).

9: αὐτὸς: “(you) yourself,” intensive, 2nd sg. ἐὼν: concessive participle, “though…,” = Att. ὤν.

10: ἔγνως: 2nd sg. root aor. > γιγνώσκω. ὡς: “that….” σὺ δ᾽ ἀσπερχὲς μενεαίνεις: parenthetical—“in the hot fury of your pursuit.” σύ is repeated to mark the opposition to the preceding clause: “you have not recognized me—(on the contrary) you pursue with unslackened ardor.” (Monro)

11: νύ: = νῦν. τοι: “for you,” σοι with μέλει. οὔ τι: “not at all,” τι is an adverbial acc. (Goodell 540). πόνος: of the “distress” of battle, as elsewhere (Monro). οὓς: relative pronoun whose antecedent is Τρώων.

12: δή τοι: “you know,” “in fact.” ἄλεν: 3rd pl. aor. pass. > εἴλω, Att. ἄλησαν (Monro 42), “were shut in.” λιάσθης: 2nd sg. aor. dep. pass. > λιάζομαι.

13: οὐ μέν: “not,” emphatic denial. κτενέεις: uncontracted fut. > κτείνω. τοι: “to you,” = σοι, dat. sg. pers. pron. (Monro 98). οὔ τοι μόρσιμός εἰμι: “I am not fated for you,” i.e. fate does not give me to you to kill (Monro).

14: ὀχθήσας: “becoming greatly vexed,” ingressive aor. ptc. (Goodell 464). πόδας: “in foot,” acc. of respect is common after an adj., here ὠκὺς (Goodell 537).

15: ἔβλαψας: “you foiled me” (Monro). ὀλοώτατε: vocative superlative adj.

16: τρέψας: nom. sg. aor. ptc. > τρέπω.

16–17: κ᾽γαῖαν ὀδὰξ εἷλον: “would have taken the ground with their teeth,” i.e. “would have bitten the dust,” past contrary-to-fact construction (aor. indicative + κε/ἄν), with implied protasis (if Apollo hadn’t turned Achilles away from the wall), 3rd pl. aor. > αἱρέω (de Jong; see Goodell 467.c).

17: πρὶν: “before they came,” governs an inf., translated as a finite verb (Goodell 568). Ἴλιον: acc. place to which without preposition (Goodell 533).

18: νῦν δ᾽: “but as it is,” “but now," commonly follows past potential and contrary-to-fact conditions to return the reader to what is, in fact, true. ἀφείλεο: “take (x) away from (y)” + double acc., = ἀφείλε(σ)ο, 2nd sg. aor. mid. > ἀφ-αιρέω. τοὺς δὲ: “and these (Trojans),” demonstrative (Monro 256). σάωσας: unaugmented 2nd sg. aor. (not a ptc.) (Monro 69).

19: ῥηϊδίως: “with a light heart” (Monro). οὔ τι: “not at all,” τι is adverbial acc. (Goodell 540).

20: ἂν τισαίμηνεἴ παρείη: “I would take vengeance on you, if power should be at my command,” future-less-vivid condition (εἰ + opt., ἄν + opt.) referring to something that is not possible yet is imaginable for a moment (de Jong; see Monro 311). σ’ τισαίμην: “take vengeance on” + acc. pers., = τεισαίμην. The manuscripts print τισαίμην instead of the correct τεισαίμην (aor. mid. opt. > τίνω) due to iotacism. μοιπαρείη: dat. of possession (Goodell 524.a).

21: ὣς εἰπὼν: “speaking thus,” a formulaic way to round off a speech and lead into action. προτὶ: = πρός. μέγα φρονέων: “high-spirited,” the expression refers to a mixture of fighting spirit and confidence. One may hesitate whether to take as adverb (“with a high pitch of resolve”) or as object (“with high thoughts in mind”) (de Jong). ἐβεβήκει: 3rd sg. plpf. > βαίνω, probably not anterior to the main action but rather preterite, “went.”

22: ὥς θ᾽: “just as…,” θ᾽= τε, elided before a rough breathing, an example of “epic” τε used in similes and generalizing statements (Monro 332.b). ὄχεσφιν: equivalent to a dat. singular. The suffix -φι often is instrumental or locative in force, but may, as here, substitute as a general dative.

23: ὅς: “who," relative. ῥά: = ἄρα. τε: see line 22. θέῃσι: “runs,” 3rd sg. pres. subj. > θέω, thematic subjunctive with athematic ending. τιταινόμενος: “at full stride” (Monro). πεδίοιο: “on the plain,” Homeric 2nd decl. gen. sg., gen. of place within which (Goodell 515).

24: ὣς Ἀχιλεὺς: “so Achilles…,” closes the simile. λαιψηρὰ: with πόδας and γούνατα, the second noun fixing the gender (Monro).

25: τὸν δ᾽: “this one,” i.e. Achilles (see line 18). ἴδεν: aor. unaugmented > εἶδον, which supplies the aorist of ὁράω (Goodell 391). ὀφθαλμοῖσι: dat. of means, Homeric dat. pl. (Goodell 526.a).

26: παμφαίνοντα: acc. sg. ptc., to be taken closely with ἐπεσσύμενον, “glittering as he rushed on.” ὥς τ’: “just as…,” simile with epic τε (see line 22) (Monro 332.b). ἐπεσσύμενον: "rushing, hurrying over" + gen., pf. pass. ptc. > ἐπισεύω.

27: ὀπώρης: “during the (late) summer,” “during harvest season,” gen. of time within which (Goodell 515). εἶσιν: 3rd sg. > εἶμι (Goodell 385). δέ οἱ: “and its.” οἱ is the dative pronoun, indicating possession.

28: ἀμολγῷ: dat. of time when (Goodell 527.c).

29: ὅν: “which…,” i.e. the star, ἀστέρα. τε: epic τε in generalizing statement (Monro 332.b). κύν’: = κύν(α), acc. predicate, i.e. Sirius, known as the “Dog star.” καλέουσι: “call (x) (y)” + double acc. (Goodell 534).

30: λαμπρότατος: superlative adj. : “it,” the star. μὲνδέ marks an antithesis: though it is very bright, it is an evil sign. τε: epic τε in generalizing statement (Monro 332.b). τέτυκται: “is made,” “is” + nom. pred. (here neuter), pf. pass. > τεύχω (Monro 28).

32: ὣς: “so,” closing the simile from line 26. τοῦ: “this one’s,” demonstrative pronoun referring to Achilles. χαλκὸς: (bronze) armor. θέοντος: “(while) running,” or “as he was running,” cirumstantial ptc. > θέω (Goodell 583).

33: ᾤμωξεν: aor. > οἰμώζω. ὅ γε: still Priam. χερσὶν: dat. pl. of means > χείρ (Goodell 526.a).

34: ἀνασχόμενος: “raising (his hands),” aor. mid. ptc. > ἀν-έχω. μέγα: “loudly,” “greatly,” cognate accusative adjective, translated as an adverb (Goodell 536.b). ἐγεγώνει: “was shouting,” 3rd sg. plpf. >  perf. γέγωνα, plpf. in form but imperfect in sense (Smyth 1952.a).

36: ἑστήκει: “had stopped,” “was standing,” intr. plpf. > ἴστημι. μεμαὼς: "eager," pf. act. ptc. > μέμονα, with pres. sense (Monro 36.5). Ἀχιλῆϊ: “with…,” dat. with verb of fighting (Monro 144).

37: προσηύδα: = προσηύδαε, 3rd sg. inchoative impf. with double acc. (Monro 70), “began to address (+ acc.).” ἐλεεινὰ: internal accusative functioning as an adverb (Goodell 536.b), either “piteously,” (in the view of observers), or “in an attempt to arouse compassion” (from Hector). See ἐλέησον (22.59) and οἴκτιστον (22.76). ὀρεγνύς: "stretching out," "extending," nom. sg. pres. ptc. > ὀρέγνυμι.

ἄστυ ἄστεος τό: a city, town

ἠΰτε: as, like, than

νεβρός: a fawn

ἱδρώς –ῶτος ὁ, acc. ἱδρῶ [ἱδρῶτα]: sweat

ἀποψύχω, impf. pass. ἀπεψύχοντο: to cool off, dry off

ἀκέομαι, pres. partic. ἀκειόμενοι : to heal, cure; to quench

δίψα: thirst

κλίνω, aor. ἔκλιναν, perf. partic. κεκλιμένος, aor. pass. ἐκλίνθη: to lean, turn aside, put to flight; (pass.) bend aside (or back), rest

ἔπαλξις –ιος ἡ: battlement

ἀτάρ: but, yet

Ἀχαιός: Achaian

ἆσσον: nearer, very near

σάκος -εος τό: a shield

ὦμος ὤμου ὁ: shoulder (with the upper arm)

Ἕκτωρ: Hector, the most distinguished warrior of the Trojans, son of Priam and Hecabe, and husband of Andromache.5

αὐτοῦ: (adv.) at the very place, just here, just there

ὀλοός: destroying, destructive, fatal, deadly, murderous

μοῖρα –ας ἡ: portion, fate, lot

πεδάω, aor. ἐπέδησε(ν): to ensnare, entangle, fetter

Ἴλιος: Ilian, Trojan

προπάροιθε: before, in front of

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

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.

Πηλεΐων: son of Peleus

προσαυδάω: to speak to, address

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.

τίπτε: why? (τί ποτε)

Πηλεύς gen. –ῆος and έος : Peleus, king of the Myrmidons. He was the son of Aeacus, husband of Thetis, and father of Achilles.

θνητός –ή –όν: mortal

ἄμβροτος: immortal, divine

πω: ever, yet

ἀσπερχές: eagerly, ceaselessly, hotly, vehemently10

μενεαίνω, aor. μενεήναμεν: to be angered, be enraged, rage; to eagerly desire

μέλω, fut. μελήσει and μελήσεται, perf. μέμηλε: to be a care, be an object of concern. (1) The object of concern is put in the nom. and the person who feels the concern in the dat. (2) The verb is impersonal and takes the object of concern in the gen.

Τρῶες: Trojans

τοι: let me tell you, surely

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

δεῦρο: here, this way, over here

λιάζομαι, aor. λιάσθης, aor. partic. λιασθείς: to bend, retire, withdraw

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

μόρσιμος: fated, destined

ὀχθέω, aor. ὤχθησαν, aor. partic. ὀχθήσας: to be vexed; to be troubled, be distressed

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

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.

βλάπτω, aor. ἔβλαψας, aor. pass. partic. βλαφθείς: to weaken, blind15

Ἑκάεργος: the far-working, epithet of Apollo

ἐνθάδε: thither, hither, here, there

γαῖα –ας ἡ: a land, country

ὀδάξ: adv. with the teeth, biting

εἰσαφικνέομαι, 2nd aor. inf. εἰσαφικέσθαι: to reach, arrive at

κῦδος -εος τό: glory, renown

τίσις –ιος ἡ: payment, punishment, vengeance

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

ὀπίσω or ὀπίσσω: backwards, in the future

τίνω, aor. opt. τίσειαν, aor. mid. opt. τίσαίμην, fut. mid. inf. τίσεσθαι, pres. mid. inf. τίσασθαι: to pay; to punish, avenge20

σεύω, aor. ἔσσευα, σεῦε or σεύατο, perf. ἔσσυμαι, ἐσσύμενον, plpf. as aor. ἔσσυτο: to drive, pursue, start; (pass.) hasten, hurry, rush

ἀθλοφόρος or ἀεθλοφόρος –ον: prize-winning

ὄχος –εος τό: chariot

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.

ῥεῖα: easily, lightly

θέω θεύσομαι: to run

τιταίνω: to stretch, draw; mid. to gallop at full speed

πεδίον –ου τό: a plain

λαιψηρός: nimble, swift

γόνυ, gen. γόνατος or γούνατος: knee

νωμάω, impf. (ἐ)νώμα, aor. νώμησαν: to distribute; to direct this way and that, wield, move, ply

γέρων –οντος ὁ: an old man25

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

παμφαίνω: to shine bright, be shining

ἀστήρ –έρος ὁ: star

ἐπισσεύω, plpf. as aor. ἐπέσσυτο, perf. ἐπέσσυται: mid. hasten on, rush upon

ὀπώρα: the part of the year between the rising of Sirius and of Arcturus

ἀρίζηλος: very clear

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

αὐγή: bright light, radiance, beam

ἀμολγός: darkness, νυκτός ἀμολγῷ 'in the dead of night'

κύων κυνός ὁ or ἡ: a dog

Ὠρίων: Orion, the mighty hunter, beloved of Eos, and in this context, a constellation.

ἐπίκλησις: a name

σῆμα –ατος τό: a sign, mark, token, character, monument, mound, portent30

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

πυρετός: a fever

δειλός –ή –όν: cowardly, fearful; wretched

βροτός –οῦ ὁ: a mortal man

χαλκός –οῦ ὁ: bronze

λάμπω: to give light, shine, beam, be bright, brilliant, radiant

στῆθος –εος τό: the breast, chest

οἰμώζω, aor. ᾤμωζεν, aor. partic. οἰμώξας: to wail aloud, lament

κόπτω, impf. κόπτε, aor. mid. κόψατο: to strike, smite, beat; to hammer, forge

ὑψόσε: aloft, on high, up high

ἀνέχω, fut. ἀνέξομαι and ἀνσχήσεσθαι, aor. ἀνέσχον: to hold up, lift, raise; mid. to hold up under, be patient, endure, suffer, allow; draw up

γέγωνα, 2nd perf. w/ pres. meaning, plpf. ἐγεγώνει: to call out

λίσσομαι: to beg, pray, entreat, beseech35

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

ἄμοτον: adv. insatiably, incessantly, without ceasing

μέμαα, perf.: to be eager, rush on impetuously. μεμαότες: eager

ἐλεεινός, comp. ἐλεεινότερος: pitiable, to be pitied; ἐλεεινά: neut. as adv., pitifully, piteously

ὀρέγω: to reach, stretch, stretch out

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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-xxii-1-37