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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 12

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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Page 2

Thus were Neptune and Apollo about to act hereafter; but then the battle and clamour burned around the well-built wall, and the stricken joists of the towers resounded: but the Greeks, subdued by the scourge[392] of Jove, were detained, hemmed in at the hollow ships, dreading Hector, the furious cause of flight; for he fought, as formerly, equal to a whirlwind. And as when a boar or lion is occupied amongst the dogs and huntsmen, looking dreadfully with strength, and they, drawing themselves up in a square form,[393] stand against him, and hurl frequent javelins from their hands; but never is his noble heart alarmed, nor is he put to flight; but his courage proves his death. And frequently he turns round, trying the ranks of men; and wheresoever he has directed his attack, there the ranks of men give way: so Hector, going through the crowd, rolled along, inciting his companions to cross the trench. Nor did the swift-footed horses dare [it];[394] but they loudly neighed, standing upon the precipitous brink; for the wide ditch affrighted [them], nor was it easy to leap across, [by standing] near,[395] or to pass it, for overhanging brinks stood round it on both sides, and beneath it was fortified with sharp palisades, which the sons of the Greeks had fixed, close-set and large, as a defence against hostile men. There a horse, drawing a swift-rolling chariot, could not readily enter, but the infantry eagerly desired it, if they could accomplish it. Then indeed Polydamas, standing near, addressed daring Hector:

[Footnote 392: Heyne compares Il. xiii. 812; Pseud.—Eur. Rhes. 37; Find. Pyth. iv. 390; Tryphiod. 596. The Scholiast on both passages, Hesychius, t. i. p. 1006, and the Schol. on Oppian. Hal. v. 282, suppose that the lightning is meant; but it is far better to understand, with Heyne, "terrore divinitus immisso."]

[Footnote 393: See Heyne, and Alberti on Hesych. t. ii. p. 1083.]

[Footnote 394: Cf. Statius, Theb. x. 517:--

"----ut patulas saltu transmittere fossas Horror equis; haerent trepidi, atque immane paventes Abruptum mirantur agi."]

[Footnote 395: Understand [Greek: ek tou schedon], "adstando prope ad fossae oram, ut saltu facilius transilias."—Heyne.]

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