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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 20

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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Page 4

Thus indeed gods went against gods; but Achilles chiefly longed to penetrate through the crowd against Hector, the son of Priam; for with his blood his mind particularly ordered him to satiate Mars, the invincible warrior. But Apollo, exciter of troops, immediately aroused Aeneas against the son of Peleus, and infused into him strong courage. And he likened himself in voice to Lycaon, the son of Priam, and having likened himself to him, Apollo, the son of Jove, said:

"O Aeneas, counsellor of the Trojans, where are thy threats which, whilst carousing, thou didst promise to the leaders of the Trojans, that thou wouldst fight against Achilles, the son of Peleus?"

But him Aeneas, answering, addressed in turn:

"Son of Priam, why dost thou order me, not wishing it, these things, to fight against magnanimous Pelides? For shall I not now for the first time stand against swift-footed Achilles, but already, on another occasion, he chased me with his spear from Ida, when he attacked our cattle, and laid waste Lyrnessus and Pedasus: but Jove preserved me, who excited my strength and nimble limbs. Certainly I should have been subdued beneath the hands of Achilles, and Minerva, who, preceding, gave him victory, and encouraged him to slay the Lelegans and Trojans with his brazen spear. Wherefore it is not possible that a man should fight against Achilles, because one of the gods is ever beside him, who averts destruction. Besides, also, his weapon flies direct, nor stops before it has pierced through human flesh; though if the deity would extend an equal scale of victory, not very easily would he conquer me, although he boasts himself to be all brazen."

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