The Iliad - Homer - ebook
Opis

One of the greatest stories ever told, „"The Iliad"” has survived for thousands of years because of its insightful portrayal of man and its epic story of war, duty, honor, and revenge. The poem itself centers on the figure of Achilles the Greek warrior, his quarrel with King Agamemnon the Greek leader, the death of Achilles’ friend Patroclus, and Achilles’ ultimate defeat of the Trojan warrior Hector. In the course of relating this core story, the main events of the whole war are covered. Revenge and meddling gods weave through this epic of a seemingly endless war. Seven Greek cities claim the honor of being the birthplace of Homer, the poet to whom the composition of „"The Iliad"” and „"The Odyssey"” are attributed. „"The Iliad"” is one of the foremost achievements in Western literature, but the identity – or even the existence – of Homer himself is a complete mystery, with no reliable biographical information having survived.

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Liczba stron: 701

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Contents

BOOK I

BOOK II

BOOK III

BOOK IV

BOOK V

BOOK VI

BOOK VII

BOOK VIII

BOOK IX

BOOK X

BOOK XI

BOOK XII

BOOK XIII

BOOK XIV

BOOK XV

BOOK XVI

BOOK XVII

BOOK XVIII

BOOK XIX

BOOK XX

BOOK XXI

BOOK XXII

BOOK XXIII

BOOK XXIV

BOOK I

ARGUMENT.40

THE CONTENTION OF ACHILLES AND AGAMEMNON.

In the war of Troy, the Greeks having sacked some of the neighbouring towns, and taken from thence two beautiful captives, Chryseis and Briseis, allotted the first to Agamemnon, and the last to Achilles. Chryses, the father of Chryseis, and priest of Apollo, comes to the Grecian camp to ransom her; with which the action of the poem opens, in the tenth year of the siege. The priest being refused, and insolently dismissed by Agamemnon, entreats for vengeance from his god; who inflicts a pestilence on the Greeks. Achilles calls a council, and encourages Chalcas to declare the cause of it; who attributes it to the refusal of Chryseis. The king, being obliged to send back his captive, enters into a furious contest with Achilles, which Nestor pacifies; however, as he had the absolute command of the army, he seizes on Briseis in revenge. Achilles in discontent withdraws himself and his forces from the rest of the Greeks; and complaining to Thetis, she supplicates Jupiter to render them sensible of the wrong done to her son, by giving victory to the Trojans. Jupiter, granting her suit, incenses Juno: between whom the debate runs high, till they are reconciled by the address of Vulcan.

The time of two-and-twenty days is taken up in this book: nine during the plague, one in the council and quarrel of the princes, and twelve for Jupiter’s stay with the Æthiopians, at whose return Thetis prefers her petition. The scene lies in the Grecian camp, then changes to Chrysa, and lastly to Olympus.

Achilles’ wrath, to Greece the direful spring

Of woes unnumber’d, heavenly goddess, sing!

That wrath which hurl’d to Pluto’s gloomy reign

The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain;

Whose limbs unburied on the naked shore,

Since great Achilles and Atrides strove,

Sprung the fierce strife, from what offended power

And heap’d the camp with mountains of the dead;

For Chryses sought with costly gifts to gain

His captive daughter from the victor’s chain.

Suppliant the venerable father stands;

Apollo’s awful ensigns grace his hands

By these he begs; and lowly bending down,

Extends the sceptre and the laurel crown

He sued to all, but chief implored for grace

Ye kings and warriors! may your vows be crown’d,

And Troy’s proud walls lie level with the ground.

May Jove restore you when your toils are o’er

Safe to the pleasures of your native shore.

But, oh! relieve a wretched parent’s pain,

And give Chryseis to these arms again;

If mercy fail, yet let my presents move,

The Greeks in shouts their joint assent declare,

The priest to reverence, and release the fair.

Not so Atrides; he, with kingly pride,

Hence on thy life, and fly these hostile plains,

Nor ask, presumptuous, what the king detains

Hence, with thy laurel crown, and golden rod,

Nor trust too far those ensigns of thy god.

Mine is thy daughter, priest, and shall remain;

And prayers, and tears, and bribes, shall plead in vain;

Till time shall rifle every youthful grace,

And age dismiss her from my cold embrace,

In daily labours of the loom employ’d,

Or doom’d to deck the bed she once enjoy’d

Hence then; to Argos shall the maid retire,

Far from her native soil and weeping sire.”

HOMER INVOKING THE MUSE.

The trembling priest along the shore return’d,

And in the anguish of a father mourn’d.

Disconsolate, not daring to complain,

Silent he wander’d by the sounding main;

Till, safe at distance, to his god he prays,

Thou source of light! whom Tenedos adores,

And whose bright presence gilds thy Chrysa’s shores.

Or fed the flames with fat of oxen slain;

God of the silver bow! thy shafts employ,

Thus Chryses pray’d.–the favouring power attends,

And from Olympus’ lofty tops descends.

Fierce as he moved, his silver shafts resound.

Breathing revenge, a sudden night he spread,

And gloomy darkness roll’d about his head.

The fleet in view, he twang’d his deadly bow,

And hissing fly the feather’d fates below.

And last, the vengeful arrows fix’d in man.

For nine long nights, through all the dusky air,

The pyres, thick-flaming, shot a dismal glare.

But ere the tenth revolving day was run,

Inspired by Juno, Thetis’ godlike son

Convened to council all the Grecian train;

The assembly seated, rising o’er the rest,

Why leave we not the fatal Trojan shore,

And measure back the seas we cross’d before?

The plague destroying whom the sword would spare,

'Tis time to save the few remains of war.

But let some prophet, or some sacred sage,

Explore the cause of great Apollo’s rage;

Or learn the wasteful vengeance to remove

If broken vows this heavy curse have laid,

Let altars smoke, and hecatombs be paid.

So Heaven, atoned, shall dying Greece restore,

He said, and sat: when Chalcas thus replied;

Chalcas the wise, the Grecian priest and guide,

That sacred seer, whose comprehensive view,

The past, the present, and the future knew:

Uprising slow, the venerable sage

Beloved of Jove, Achilles! would’st thou know

Why angry Phoebus bends his fatal bow?

First give thy faith, and plight a prince’s word

Of sure protection, by thy power and sword:

For I must speak what wisdom would conceal,

And truths, invidious to the great, reveal,

Bold is the task, when subjects, grown too wise,

Instruct a monarch where his error lies;

For though we deem the short-lived fury past,

'Tis sure the mighty will revenge at last.”

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