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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 5

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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Menelaus, the son of Atreus, slew with his sharp[199] spear Scamandrius, son of Strophius, clever in the chase, an excellent huntsman; for Diana herself taught him to shoot all kinds of beasts, which the wood in the mountains nurtures. But then at least arrow-rejoicing Diana availed him not, nor his skill in distant shooting, in which he had been formerly instructed. But spear-renowned Menelaus, son of Atreus, wounded him, flying before him, with a spear in the back, between the shoulders, and drove [the spear] through his breast. Prone he fell, and his arms resounded upon him.

Meriones slew Phereclus, son of the artist Harmon, who knew how to form with his hands all ingenious things (for Pallas Minerva loved him exceedingly): who also for Alexander had built the equal ships, source of woes, which were a bane to all the Trojans and to himself, since he did not understand the oracles of the gods.[200] Meriones, indeed, when following he overtook him, struck him in the right hip; but the point went right through beneath the bone, near the bladder; and on his knees he fell lamenting, and death overshadowed him.

[Footnote 199: Apoll. Lex. Hom. p. 604, ed. Villois: [Greek: oxyoenti. O men Apion, oxei enchei, oxyoenti de, oxyino]. With Anthon, I prefer Apion's interpretation. Others explain it "beechen," or "thorn-wood." Cf. Alberti on Hesych. p. 766.]

[Footnote 200: A doubtful line, but probably referring to an oracle by which the Trojans were recommended to avoid maritime affairs. Cf. Procl. Chrestom. p. 472, ed. Gaisf.]

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