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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Rhapsody 9

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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By advice of Nestor, Agamemnon sends Ulysses, Phoenix, and Ajax, to the tent of Achilles to sue for a reconciliation. Notwithstanding the earnest appeal of Phoenix, their errand proves fruitless.


Thus the Trojans indeed kept guard: but a mighty[290] Flight, the companion of chill Fear, seized upon the Greeks; and all the chiefs were afflicted with intolerable grief. And as two winds, the north and south, which both blow from Thrace,[291] rouse the fishy deep, coming suddenly [upon it]; but the black billows are elevated together; and they dash much sea-weed out of the ocean; so was the mind of the Greeks distracted within their bosoms.

[Footnote 290: "In Il. 1,2, the [Greek: thespesin phuza] of the Achaeans is not to be explained as a supernatural flight, occasioned by the gods. It is a great and general flight, caused by Hector and the Trojans. For although this was approved of and encouraged by Jupiter, yet his was only that mediate influence of the deity without which in general nothing took place in the Homeric battles."—Buttm. Lexil. p. 358. Cf. Coleridge, p. 160.]

[Footnote 291: Wood, p. 46, explains this from the situation of Ionia. Heyne, however, observes, "comparatio e mente poetae instituitur, non ex Agamemnonis persona."]

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