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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 3

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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Just as the armies are on the point of engaging, Paris proposes a single combat, but, on Menelaus advancing, retires in affright. Being rebuked by Hector, he consents to engage Menelaus, and a treaty is arranged. Paris is vanquished, but is brought back safe to Ilium by Venus, who appeases the anger of Helen. Menelaus, as conqueror, calls upon the Trojans to fulfil the conditions of the challenge.


But after they had each been marshalled along with their leaders, the Trojans, on the one hand, moved along with both clamour and battle-shout, like birds; just as is the noise of cranes forth under heaven, which, after they have escaped the winter and immeasurable[144] shower, with a clamour do these wing their way towards the streams of the ocean, bearing slaughter and fate to the Pygmaean men; and they then at early dawn bring fatal strife. But the Greeks, on the other hand, breathing might,[145] advanced in silence, anxious in mind to aid one another.

[Footnote 144: See Alberti on Hesych. s. v., t. i. p. 126; lit. "what even a god would not say."—Buttm. Lexil. p. 359.]

[Footnote 145: Par. Lost, i. 559:

"----thus they, Breathing united force with fixed thought, Moved on in silence."]

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