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HADES - From Homer's Odyssey

by George Valsamis



Page 3

Among the dead there was also Achilles. He was with Patroclus and Antilochus and also with Ajax - the most brave man after Achilles. Achilles wondered why Odysseus descended to the underworld, a place where,


νεκροὶ ἀφραδέες ναίουσι, βροτῶν εἴδωλα καμόντων

(which means)

νεκροὶ (dead) ἀφραδέες (unconscious) ναίουσι (dwell),

 εἴδωλα (specters) βροτῶν (of mortals) καμόντων (who died)


Odysseus explains why he came and tries to comfort Achilles:

"As for you, Achilles, no one was ever yet so fortunate as you have been, nor ever will be, for you were adored like a God by all us Argives as long as you were alive, and now that you are here you are a great prince among the dead. Do not, therefore, take it so much to heart even if you are dead".

To which the great and glorious, the most adored in all Greece, answered:

"Say not a word in death's favour; I would rather be a paid servant in a poor man's house and be above ground (ἐπάρουρος) than king of kings among the demolished (καταφθιμένοισιν) dead (νεκύεσσι)".  

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Cf. The Complete Iliad * The Complete Odyssey
Greek Grammar * Basic New Testament Words * Greek - English Interlinear Iliad
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