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Homer’s Iliad

The Basel Commentary

Homer’s Iliad
The Basel Commentary

Anton Bierl and Joachim Latacz

Managing Editor
Magdalene Stoevesandt

General Editor of the English Edition

S. Douglas Olson
Homer’s Iliad
The Basel Commentary
Edited by
Anton Bierl and Joachim Latacz

Book XIX
By Marina Coray

Translated by Benjamin W. Millis and Sara Strack and

edited by S. Douglas Olson
The publication of Homer’s Iliad: The Basel Commentary has been made possible
by the kind financial support from the following organizations:
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft (FAG), Basel
L. & Th. La Roche Stiftung, Basel

ISBN 978-1-5015-1224-7
e-ISBN (PDF) 978-1-5015-0441-9
e-ISBN (EPUB) 978-1-5015-0434-1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the Library of Congress.

Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie;
detailed bibliographic data are available in the Internet at

© 2016 Walter de Gruyter Inc., Boston/Berlin

Typesetting: Dörlemann Satz GmbH & Co. KG, Lemförde
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♾ Printed on acid-free paper
Printed in Germany
Table of contents
Preface to the German Edition  VII
Preface to the English Edition  IX
Notes for the Reader (including list of abbreviations)  XI

24 Rules Relating to Homeric Language (R)  1

Overview of the Action in Book 19  9
Commentary  11
Bibliographic Abbreviations  189
Preface to the German Edition
With 424 verses, Book 19 of the Iliad is relatively short. In terms of content,
however, it occupies a significant place within the structure of the action of the
poem: Achilleus’ renunciation of his wrath is the turning point of the entire
action, and this Book is thus closely linked to those that contain the cornerstones
of the story of the wrath and its consequences. Moreover, the speeches in the
great assembly scene, in which a broad consensus was reached via the media-
tion of Odysseus, have regularly attracted particular interest from commentators.
As a result, the present commentary aims to provide a critical survey of various
controversies and proposed solutions to contentious issues and, via selected bib-
liography, to point the way to exploration at greater depth.
In its aim and structure, the commentary follows the volumes already pub-
lished on Books 1, 2, and 6, the prefaces of which explain in detail the conception
of the project as a whole. Many discussions refer back to entries in these previ-
ously published commentary volumes; similar use was made of the commentary
on Book 3, under preparation at the same time as this one, while in a few cases
there are also references to the commentary on Book 24, which will be published

The Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen For­

schung, which has supported the project from the outset, made possible my par-
ticipation in the ‘Basler Kommentar’, as did additional donors that kindly aided
in broadening the financial base for the project: two Basel institutions, namely
the Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft and the Max Geldner-Stiftung, and the
Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur. Having been pri-
marily engaged in teaching in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at
the University of Basel, I was delighted to join the collaborators of the ‘Basel Com-
mentary’ in April 2003.

In the first instance, I would like to thank my honored teacher, Prof. Dr. Joachim
Latacz, who inspired me time and again to engage with the world of Homer, who
continually encouraged me with his interest in the development of this commen-
tary, and who tirelessly improved my work with critical encouragement. Particu-
lar thanks are likewise due to Prof. Dr. Anton Bierl who, helpfully and with great
interest in my work, made numerous suggestions that opened up broader view-
Also valuable was the fact that in all stages of my work I was able to rely on the
help of the other two collaborators at Basel; extensive discussion with Dr. Magda-
VIII   Iliad 19

lene Stoevesandt and lic. phil. Claude Brügger helped me find viable solutions to
many problems. I am grateful for this inexhaustible source of assistance, as well
as for the valuable suggestions of the external collaborators: Dr. Martha Krie­ter-
Spiro (Zurich), with whom I fruitfully consulted on many issues  – particularly
oath and armoring scenes – and Prof. Dr. Robert Plath (Erlangen).
No less helpful was the feedback received from our external experts: Rudolf
Führer, Fritz Graf, Irene de Jong, Michael Meier-Brügger, Sebastiaan R. van der
Mije, René Nünlist, Rolf A. Stucky, Jürgen von Ungern-Sternberg, Rudolf Wachter
and Martin L. West. All of them saved me from errors, and they continuously
improved my work with additions, suggestions and critical questions.
The work session with the team members of the Lexikon des frühgriechischen
Epos (LfgrE) and their director, Prof. Dr. Michael Meier-Brügger, also proved pro-
ductive for me: the occasion of their visit to Basel in January 2008 provided an
opportunity to engage with them in stimulating discussion of sections of my com-
As work on the commentary came to an end, I was able to rely on the meticu-
lous work of stud. phil. Alexandra Scharfenberger and stud. phil. Tamara Hofer;
warm thanks are owed them for collaboratively reading and thinking through
the material. But completion of the final version would not have been possi-
ble without the judicious editing by Magdalene Stoevesandt and the constant
support in all technical issues by Claude Brügger, who also assisted me in the
production of the master copy. I would like to thank them both warmly for this as
well. Further thanks are due Dr. Elisabeth Schuhmann of the publishers Walter
de Gruyter, who followed the development of the commentary with great interest,
and to lic. phil. Christoph Schneider, who as the subject librarian for Classical
Studies in the Basel University Library provided generous support through the
acquisition of bibliographic items.
Finally, special thanks are owed my husband, who supported me throughout
all stages of my work and participated with great understanding and engagement
in many discussions about my reflections on commenting, and who shares my joy
and interest in the millennia old language and culture of Greece.

Basel, April 2009 Marina Coray

Preface to the English Edition
For this slightly revised version of my German commentary I have tried to include
as much of the literature that has appeared in the field of Homeric studies since
2009, the year of its original publication, as possible.
The present English edition has been made possible by the most gener-
ous support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Freiwillige Akademische
Gesellschaft (FAG) and the L. & Th. La Roche Stiftung, as well as the publisher
Walter de Gruyter. I feel deeply indebted to all. My thanks are also due to Michiel
Klein-Swormink, director of the US branch of De Gruyter, and to Prof. Dr. Anton
Bierl and Prof. Dr. Joachim Latacz, the two directors of the Basel Commentary on
Homer’s Iliad, who initiated and supported this translation project. The transla-
tion team has performed a Herculean task: Prof. Dr. S. Douglas Olson, Dr. Benja-
min W. Millis and Dr. Sara Strack had to translate a rather complex German text
into readable English. I want to express my profound gratitude for their diligence
and patience. I also want to extend my warmest thanks both to my colleague
Dr. Magdalene Stoevesandt for her help and support throughout all these years,
and last, but not least, to my husband for having shown a profound interest in my
work and for giving many pieces of sound advice.

Basel, April 2016 Marina Coray

Notes for the Reader
1. In the commentary, four levels of explanation are distinguished graphically:
a) The most important explanations for users of all audiences are set in
regular type. Knowledge of Greek is not required here; Greek words
are given in transliteration (exception: lemmata from LfgrE, see COM
41 [1]).
b) More detailed explanations of the Greek text are set in smaller type.
These sections correspond to a standard philological commentary.
c) Specific information on particular sub-fields of Homeric scholarship is
set in small type.
d) The ‘elementary section’, designed to facilitate an initial approach to
the text especially for school and university students, appears beneath a
dividing line at the foot of the page.
The elementary section discusses Homeric word forms in particu-
lar, as well as prosody and meter. It is based on the ‘24 Rules Relating to
Homeric Language’, to which reference is made with the abbreviation ‘R’.
Particularly frequent phenomena (e.g. the lack of an augment) are not
noted throughout but are instead recalled ca. every 50 verses. — Informa-
tion relating to Homeric vocabulary is largely omitted; for this, the reader
is referred to the specialized dictionaries of Cunliffe and Autenrieth/
Complex issues are addressed in the elementary section as well as
the main commentary: they are briefly summarized in the elementary
section and discussed in greater detail in the main commentary. Such
passages are marked in the elementary section with an arrow (↑). In con-
trast, references of the type ‘cf. 73n.’ in the elementary section refer to
notes within the elementary section itself, never to the main commen-

2. The chapters of the Prolegomena volume are cited by the following abbrevia-
CG/CH Cast of Characters of the Iliad: Gods/Human Beings
COM Introduction: Commenting on Homer
FOR Formularity and Orality
G Grammar of Homeric Greek
HT History of the Text
M Homeric Meter (including prosody)
MYC Homeric-Mycenaean Word Index
NTHS New Trends in Homeric Scholarship
XII   Iliad 19

xxxP Superscript ‘P’ following a term refers to the definitions of terms

in ‘Homeric Poetics in Keywords’.
STR Structure of the Iliad
In addition:
R refers to the ‘24 Rules Relating to Homeric Language’ in the
present commentary (below, pp. 1  ff.).

3. Textual criticism
The commentary is based on the Teubner text of M. L. West. In some pas-
sages, the commentators favor decisions differing from that edition. In these
cases, both versions of the lemma are provided; West’s text is shown first in
square brackets, followed by the reading favored in the commentary.

4. English lemmata
The English lemmata in the commentary are taken from the translation of
R. Lattimore. In places where the commentators favor a different rendering,
both versions of the lemma are provided; the rendering of Lattimore is shown
first in square brackets, followed by the version favored in the commentary.

5. Quotations of non-English secondary literature

Quotations from secondary literature originally written in German, French or
Italian are given in English translation; in such cases, the bibliographic ref-
erence is followed by the notation ‘transl.’. In the case of terms that are espe-
cially important or open to misinterpretation, the original is given in square

6. Formulaic language
On the model of ‘Ameis-Hentze(-Cauer)’, repeated verses and verse-halves
are usually noted (on this, cf. COM 30). Other formulaic elements (verse
beginning and verse end formulae in particular) are only highlighted to the
extent necessary to convey an overall impression of the formulaic character
of Homeric language.

7. Type-scenesP
For each type-scene, the commentary provides at the appropriate place an
‘ideal version’ by compiling a cumulative, numbered list of all characteristic
elements of the scene that occur in the Iliad and/or Odyssey; the numbers of
the elements actually realized in the passage in question are printed in bold.
Each subsequent occurrence refers back to this primary treatment and uses
numbering and bold print in accord with the same principle.
 Notes for the Reader   XIII

8. Abbreviations

(a) Bibliographic abbreviations

For the bibliographic abbreviations, see below pp. 189  ff.

(b) Primary literature (on the editions used, see below pp. 192  f.)
Ach. Tat. Achilleus Tatius
‘Apollod.’ Works ascribed to Apollodorus (Bibl. = Bibliotheke)
Apoll. Rhod. Apollonios Rhodios
Aristoph. Aristophanes (Lys. = Lysistrata)
Aristot. Aristotle (Hist. an. = Historia animalium, ‘Inquiry into
Chrest. Chrestomathia (Proclus’ summary of the ‘Epic Cycle’)
Cycl. ‘Epic Cycle’
Cypr. Cypria (in the ‘Epic Cycle’)
Diod. Sic. Diodorus Siculus
Eur. Euripides (Alc. = Alcestis, El. = Electra, Her. = Herakles)
Eust. Eustathius
Hdt. Herodotus
Hes. Hesiod (Op. = Opera, ‘Works and Days’; Th. = Theogony)
‘Hes.’ Works ascribed to Hesiod (Sc. = Scutum, ‘Shield of Herak-
les’; fr. = fragments)
h.Hom. A collective term for the Homeric Hymns
  h.Ap., Individual Homeric Hymns: to Apollo,
  h.Bacch., – to Bacchus/Dionysus,
  h.Cer., – to Ceres/Demeter,
  h.Merc., – to Mercury/Hermes and
  h.Ven. – to Venus/Aphrodite
Il. Iliad
Il. parv. Ilias parva, ‘Little Iliad’ (in the ‘Epic Cycle’)
Il. Pers. Iliou Persis, ‘Sack of Troy’ (in the ‘Epic Cycle’)
Nost. Nostoi, ‘Returns’ (in the ‘Epic Cycle’)
Od. Odyssey
Paus. Pausanias
Pind. Pindar (fr. = fragments)
Plat. Plato (Nom. = Nomoi, ‘Laws’; Symp. = Symposium)
Plin. Pliny (Nat. hist. = Naturalis historia, ‘Natural History’)
Plut. Plutarch (Mor. = Moralia)
Porph. Porphyry (Quaest. Hom. = Quaestiones Homericae in
Iliadem, ‘Studies on Homer’s Iliad’)
XIV   Iliad 19

schol. scholion, scholia

schol. A (etc.) scholion in manuscript A (etc.)
Sen. Seneca (Epist. = epistulae ad Lucilium, ‘Epistles to Lucilius’)
Soph. Sophocles (Phil. = Philoctetes)
Theb. Thebais (in the ‘Epic Cycle’)
Thuc. Thucydides
Xen. Xenophon (Anab. = Anabasis, ‘March Up-country’; Ath. pol.
= Ἀθηναίων πολιτεία, ‘Constitution of the Athenians’; Equ.
= de equitandi ratione, ‘On Horsemanship’)

(c) Other abbreviations

(Commonly used abbreviations, as well as those listed under 2 above, are
not included here.)
* reconstructed form
< developed from
> developed into
| marks verse beginning and end
↑ in the elementary section, refers to the relevant lemma in
the main commentary
a/b after a verse number  indicates the 1st/2nd verse half
A 1, B 1 (etc.) indicate caesurae in the hexameter (cf. M 6)
app. crit. apparatus criticus (West edition)
fr., frr. fragment, fragments
Gr. Greek
IE Indo-European
imper. imperative
impf. imperfect
Introd. Introduction
loc. locative
ms., mss. manuscript, manuscripts
n. note1
sc. scilicet

1 ‘77n.’ refers to the commentary on verse 77 in the present volume, whereas 1.162n. refers to the
commentary on verse 162 in Book 1. – ‘In 19.126 (see ad loc.)’ and ‘cf. 24.229  ff. (see ad locc.)’ refer
primarily to the relevant passages in the Homeric text, secondarily to one or more commentary
entries relating to the relevant passages. (In the first example, the commentary entry can be
found under 19.126–127, in the second, relevant information can be found under 24.229–234 and
 Notes for the Reader   XV

subjunc. subjunctive
s.v., s.vv. sub voce, sub vocibus
t.t. terminus technicus
VB verse-beginning
VE verse-end
VH verse-half
v.l., vv.ll. varia lectio, variae lectiones (i.e. ‘variant reading(s)’)
voc. vocative
24 Rules Relating to Homeric Language (R)
The following compilation of the characteristics of Homeric language emphasizes
its deviations from Attic grammar. Linguistic notes are included only exception-
ally (but can be found in the ‘Grammar of Homeric Greek’ [G] in the Prolegomena
volume; references to the relevant paragraphs of that chapter are here shown in
the right margin).

R1 Homeric language is an artificial language, characterized by: G

1.1 meter (which can result in a variety of remodellings); 3
1.2 the technique of oral poetry (frequently repeated content is ren- 3
dered in formulae, often with metrically different variants);
1.3 different dialects: Ionic is the basic dialect; interspersed are 2
forms from other dialects, particularly Aeolic (so-called Aeoli-
cisms) that often provide variants according to 1.1 and 1.2.

Phonology, meter, prosody

R2 Sound change of ᾱ > η: In the Ionic dialect, old ᾱ has changed 5–8
to η; in non-Attic Ionic (i.e. also in Homer), this occurs also after
ε, ι, ρ (1.30: πάτρης).
When ᾱ is nonetheless found in Homer, it is generally:
2.1 ‘late’, i.e. it developed after the Ionic-Attic sound change
(1.3: ψυχάς);
2.2 or adopted from the Aeolic poetic tradition (1.1: θεά).

R3 Vowel shortening: Long vowels (esp. η) before another vowel 39  f.

(esp. ο/ω/α) in medial position are frequently shortened,
although not consistently (e.g. gen. pl. βασιλήων rather than
the metrically impossible four-syllable -έων; the related phe­
nomenon of quantitative metathesis [lengthening of a short
second vowel] does often not occur [e.g. gen. sing. βασιλῆος
rather than -έως]).

R4 Digamma (ϝ): The Ionic dialect of Homer no longer used the

phoneme /w/ (like Engl. will). The phoneme is, however,
4.1 attested in Mycenaean, as well as in some dialects still in the 19
alphabetic period (Mycenaean ko-wa /korwā/, Corinthian ϙόρϝα);
4.2 in part deducible etymologically (e.g. Homeric κούρη – with 27
compensatory lengthening after the disappearance of the
digamma – in contrast to Attic κόρη).
2   Iliad 19

In addition, digamma can often be deduced in Homer on the

basis of the meter; thus in the case of:
4.3 hiatus (see R 5) without elision (1.7: Ἀτρεΐδης τε (ϝ)άναξ); 22
4.4 hiatus without shortening of a long vowel at word end 21
(1.321: τώ (ϝ)οι, cf. R 5.5);
4.5 a single consonant ‘making position’ (1.70: ὃς (ϝ)είδη). 24
4.6 Occasionally, digamma is no longer taken into account 26
(1.21: υἱὸν ἑκηβόλον, originally ϝεκ-).

R5 Hiatus: The clash of a vocalic word end with a vocalic word

beginning (hiatus ‘gaping’) is avoided through:
5.1 elision: short vowels and -αι in endings of the middle voice are 30/
elided (1.14: στέμματ’ ἔχων; 1.117: βούλομ’ ἐγώ; 5.33: μάρνασθ’ 37
ὁπποτέροισι), occasionally also -οι in μοι/σοι (1.170); hiatus that
results from elision is left unchanged (1.2: ἄλγε’ ἔθηκεν);
5.2 ny ephelkystikon (movable ny): only after a short vowel (ε and ι), 33
esp. dat. pl. -σι(ν); 3rd sing. impf./aor./perf. -ε(ν); 3rd sing. and
pl. -σι(ν); the modal particle κε(ν); the suffix -φι(ν), cf. R 11.4; the
suffix -θε(ν), cf. R 15.1. ny ephelkystikon also provides metrically
convenient variants;
5.3 contraction across word boundaries (noted as crasis: τἄλλα, 31
– Hiatus is admissible predominantly in the case of:
5.4 loss of digamma (cf. R 4.3); 34
5.5 so-called correption: a long vowel/diphthong at word end 35
is shortened (1.17: Ἀτρεΐδαι τε καὶ ἄλλοι ἐϋκνήμιδες; 1.15
[with synizesis: R 7]: χρυσέ‿ῳ ἀνὰ σκήπτρῳ);
5.6 metrical caesura or more generally a semantic break; 36
5.7 after words ending in -ι and ‘small words’ such as πρό and ὅ. 37

R6 Vocalic contraction (e.g. following the loss of intervocalic /w/ 43–

[digamma], /s/ or /j/) is frequently not carried out in Homeric 45
Greek (1.74: κέλεαι [2nd sing. mid., instead of Attic -ῃ]; 1.103:
μένεος [gen. sing., instead of -ους]).

R7 Synizesis: Occasionally, two vowels are to be read as a single 46

syllable, especially in the case of quantitative metathesis
(1.1: Πηληϊάδε‿ω: R 3) but also in the gen. pl. -έ‿ων (synizesis is
indicated by a sublinear curved line connecting the affected
vowels, 1.18: θε‿οί.).
 24 Rules Relating to Homeric Language (R)   3

R8 Diectasis: Contracted forms (e.g. ὁρῶντες) may be ‘stretched’ 48

(ὁρόωντες); the metrically necessary prosodic shape of older
uncontracted forms (*ὁράοντες, ⏖–⏑) is thus artificially recon-
structed. Similarly, the aor. inf. -εῖν is written -έειν (rather than
the older *-έεν).

R9 Change in consonant quantity creates metrically convenient

variants (which usually derive originally from different dialects:
R 1.3):
9.1 τόσ(σ)ος, ποσ(σ)ί, Ὀδυσ(σ)εύς, ἔσ(σ)εσθαι, τελέσ(σ)αι; Ἀχιλ(λ)εύς; 17
ὅπ(π)ως, etc.
9.2 Variation at word beginning creates similar flexibility in π(τ) 18
όλεμος, π(τ)όλις.

R 10 Adaptation to the meter: Three (or more) short syllables in a 49  f.

row, or a single short between two longs (both metrically impos-
sible), are avoided by:
10.1 metrical lengthening (ᾱ᾽θάνατος, δῑογενής, οὔρεα rather than
ὄρεα; μένεα πνείοντες rather than πνέ-);
10.2 changes in word formation (πολεμήϊος rather than πολέμιος;
ἱππιοχαίτης rather than ἱππο-).


Homeric Greek declines in ways that sometimes vary from Attic forms or
represent additional forms:

R 11 Especially noteworthy in the case of nouns are:

11.1 1st declension: 68
gen. pl. -ᾱ´ων (1.604: Μουσάων) and -έων (1.273: βουλέων);
dat. pl. -ῃσι (2.788: θύρῃσι) and -ῃς (1.238: παλάμῃς);
gen. sing. masc. -ᾱο (1.203: Ἀτρεΐδαο) and -εω (1.1:
11.2 2nd declension: 69
gen. sing. -οιο (1.19: Πριάμοιο);
dat. pl. -οισι (1.179: ἑτάροισι);
11.3 3rd declension: 70–
gen. sing. of i-stems: -ιος (2.811: πόλιος) and -ηος 76
(16.395: πόληος);
gen./dat./acc. sing. of ēu-stems: -ῆος, -ῆϊ, -ῆα
(1.1: Ἀχιλῆος; 1.9: βασιλῆϊ; 1.23: ἱερῆα);
4   Iliad 19

dat. pl. -εσσι in the case of s-stems and other consonant

stems (1.235: ὄρεσσι);
11.4 gen./dat. sing./pl. in -φι (1.38: ἶφι; 4.452: ὄρεσφι); often metri- 66
cally convenient variants (e.g. βίηφι beside βίῃ).

R 12 Varying stem formation (and thus declension) appears in the

following nouns among others:
12.1 νηῦς: gen. sing. νηός, νεός, dat. νηΐ, acc. νῆα, νέα; nom. pl. νῆες, 77
νέες, gen. νηῶν, νεῶν, dat. νηυσί, νήεσσι, νέεσσι, acc. νῆας, νέας.
12.2 πολύς, πολύ (u-stem) and πολλός, πολλή, πολλόν (o/ā-stem) are 57
both fully declined.
12.3 υἱός: gen. sing. υἱέος, υἷος, dat. υἱέϊ, υἱεῖ, υἷϊ, acc. υἱόν, υἱέα, υἷα; 53
nom. pl. υἱέες, υἱεῖς, υἷες, gen. υἱῶν, dat. υἱάσι, υἱοῖσι, acc. υἱέας,
12.4 Ἄρης: gen. Ἄρηος, Ἄρεος, dat. Ἄρηϊ, Ἄρεϊ, Ἄρῃ, acc. Ἄρηα, 53
Ἄρην, voc. Ἆρες, Ἄρες.
12.5 Similarly complex declensions occur in the case of γόνυ (gen. 53/
γούνατος beside γουνός, nom./acc. pl. γούνατα beside γοῦνα), 77
δόρυ (δούρατος,
-τι etc. beside δουρός, -ί etc.); Ζεύς (Διός, Διΐ, Δία beside Ζηνός,
Ζηνί, Ζῆν/Ζῆνα).

R 13 Among other unusual comparative forms note: χερείων, 79

χειρότερος, χερειότερος (beside χείρων); ἀρείων (beside
ἀμείνων). Some comparatives and superlatives are formed from
nouns, e.g. βασιλεύτερος, βασιλεύτατος.

R 14 Varying pronoun forms:

14.1 Personal pronoun: 81
1st sing. gen. ἐμεῖο, ἐμέο, μεο, ἐμέθεν (very rare: μοι, e.g. 1.37)
2nd sing. gen. σεῖο, σέο, σεο, σέθεν; dat. τοι
3rd sing. gen. εἷο, ἕο, ἕθεν, ἑθεν; dat. οἷ, ἑοῖ, οἱ; acc. ἕ, ἑέ, ἑ, μιν
1st pl. nom. ἄμμες; gen. ἡμέων, ἡμείων; dat. ἧμιν, ἄμμι; acc.
ἡμέας, ἄμμε
2nd pl. nom. ὔμμες; gen. ὑμέων, ὑμείων; dat. ὔμμι; acc. ὑμέας,
3rd pl. gen. σφείων, σφεων; dat. σφισι, σφι; acc. σφέας, σφε,
σφεας, σφας
1st dual nom./acc. νώ, νῶϊ; gen./dat. νῶϊν
2nd dual nom./acc. σφώ, σφῶϊ; gen./dat. σφῶϊν
3rd dual nom./acc. σφωε; gen./dat. σφωϊν
 24 Rules Relating to Homeric Language (R)   5

14.2 Interrogative/indefinite pronoun: 84

gen. sing. τέο/τεο; dat. sing. τεῳ; gen. pl. τέων; correspondingly
ὅττεο, ὅτεῳ etc.
14.3 Anaphoric demonstrative pronoun (= ‘article’, cf. R 17): 83
the same endings as nouns (R 11.1–2); nom. pl. masc./fem. often
with an initial τ (τοί, ταί).
14.4 Possessive pronoun: 82
1st pl. ᾱ῾μός
2nd sing./pl. τεός ῡ῾μός
3rd sing./pl. ἑός, ὅς σφός
14.5 Relative pronoun: 83
The anaphoric demonstrative pronoun frequently functions as a
relative pronoun (14.3).

R 15 Adverbial forms straddle the border between morphology 66

(cases) and word formation. They can form metrically convenient
variants to the true cases:
15.1 ‘genitive’: -θεν (whence?, see also R 14.1), e.g. κλισίηθεν (1.391);
15.2 ‘dative’: -θι (where?), e.g. οἴκοθι (8.513);
15.3 ‘accusative’: -δε (whither?), e.g. ἀγορήνδε (1.54).

R 16 For verbs, the following points deserve particular attention:

16.1 Augment: frequently absent (which can lead to assimilation, e.g. 85
ἔμβαλε rather than ἐνέβαλε, κάλλιπον rather than κατέλιπον, cf.
R 20.1); used to fit the meter.
16.2 Personal endings: 86/
2nd sing. -σθα (1.554: ἐθέλῃσθα) 93
1st pl. mid. -μεσθα beside -μεθα (1.140: μεταφρασόμεσθα)
3rd pl. mid. (predominantly perf.) -ᾰται/-ᾰτο beside -νται/-ντο
(1.239: εἰρύαται)
3rd pl. -ν (with preceding short vowel) beside -σαν (with corre-
sponding long vowel), esp. aor. pass. -θεν beside -θησαν
(1.57: ἤγερθεν)
The difference from Attic forms frequently lies merely in the
omission of contraction (cf. R 6) between verbal stem and
16.3 Subjunctive: 89
frequently with a short vowel in the case of athematic stems
(ἴομεν from εἶμι, εἴδομεν from οἶδα); formed like the fut. ind. in
the case of σ-aorists (1.80: χώσεται). – In the 3rd sing. subjunc.,
the ending -ησι(ν) (1.408: ἐθέλησιν) is found beside -ῃ.
6   Iliad 19

16.4 Infinitive: 87
Aeolic -μεν(αι) (predominantly athematic verbs) beside Ionic -ναι
(e.g. ἔμ(μ)εν and ἔμ(μ)εναι beside εἶναι);
Aeolic -ῆναι beside Ionic -εῖν (2.107: φορῆναι);
thematic -έμεν(αι) (1.547: ἀκουέμεν; Od. 11.380: ἀκουέμεναι);
thematic aor. -έειν (2.393: φυγέειν; 15.289: θανέειν).
16.5 Forms with -σκ- stand for repeated action in the past 60
(1.490: πωλέσκετο).
16.6 Especially noteworthy as variant forms of εἰμί are: 90
pres. ind.: 2nd sing. ἐσσι, 1st pl. εἰμεν, 3rd pl. ἔασι(ν);
impf.: 1st sing. ἦα, 3rd sing. ἦεν and ἔην, 3rd pl. ἔσαν
(cf. 16.1);
fut.: 3rd sing. ἔσ(σ)εται;
part.: ἐών, -όντος; for the inf., 16.4.


R 17 ὅ, ἥ, τό (on the declension, R 14.3) is rarely a ‘pure article’ 99

and instead generally has an older anaphoric demonstrative

R 18 Number:
18.1 The dual is relatively common; forms of the dual and the plural 97
can be freely combined.
18.2 The plural is sometimes used simply for metrical convenience
(1.45: τόξα).

R 19 Use of the cases: 97

19.1 Accusative of respect is especially common (among other
instances in the so-called σχῆμα καθ’ ὅλον καὶ κατὰ μέρος:
two accusatives indicate respectively the whole and the part of
something, 1.362: τί δέ σε φρένας ἵκετο πένθος;).
19.2 Indications of origin, place or direction sometimes occur with no
preposition (1.359: ἀνέδυ … ἁλός; 1.45: τόξ᾿ ὤμοισιν ἔχων; 1.322:
ἔρχεσθον κλισίην).

R 20 Prepositions:
20.1 show a greater diversity of forms: ἄν (= ἀνά; with apocope, 59
frequently with assimilation: ἂμ πεδίον, 5.87; cf. R 16.1); ἐς (= εἰς);
εἰν, ἐνί, εἰνί (= ἐν); κάτ (= κατά; see on ἀνά); πάρ, παραί (= παρά);
προτί, ποτί (= πρός); ξύν (= σύν); ὑπαί (= ὑπό);
 24 Rules Relating to Homeric Language (R)   7

20.2 are more independent in use and position (1) with regard to 98
nouns (i.e. are used in a more adverbial manner), frequently also
placed after them as ‘postpositions’ in so-called anastrophe (and
thus often with an acute accent on the first syllable: e.g. ᾧ ἔπι,
1.162); (2) with regard to verbs (i.e. not necessarily connected
to the relevant verb as a preverb, so-called tmesis: ἐπὶ μῦθον
ἔτελλε, 1.25); this produces metrically convenient variants.

R 21 Use of the moods: 100

21.1 The moods and the modal particle (κε/κεν = ἄν) follow rules
that are less strict than those described in grammars of Attic
21.2 The functions of the subjunctive and the future cannot always be
sharply distinguished.

R 22 Characteristic Homeric conjunctions are: 101

22.1 conditional: αἰ (= εἰ);
22.2 temporal: εἷος/εἵως (= ἕως) ‘while’, ἦμος ‘when’, εὖτε ‘when’,
ὄφρα ‘while, until’;
22.3 causal: ὅ τι, ὅ;
22.4 comparative: ἠΰτε ‘like’;
22.5 final: ὄφρα.

R 23 Alternation of voice: In the case of some verbs, the act. and 100
mid. forms are used as convenient metrical variants with no dis-
cernible difference in meaning, e.g. φάτο/ἔφη, ὀΐω/ὀΐομαι.

R 24 Particles are sometimes used in ways that differ from later 101
24.1 ἄρα, ἄρ, ῥα, ῥ’: signals or suggests that something is evident,
roughly ‘therefore, naturally, as is well known’; probably often
used mainly for metrical reasons (especially ῥ’ to avoid hiatus,
cf. R 5).
24.2 ἀτάρ, αὐτάρ (metrical variants, etymologically distinct but used
interchangeably in Homer with no distinction in meaning): ‘but,
still’; sometimes adversative (1.127: σὺ μὲν … αὐτὰρ Ἀχαιοί),
sometimes progressive (1.51: αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα), rarely apodotic (like
δέ, see below).
24.3 apodotic δέ: δέ can introduce a main clause (apodosis) after a
preceding dependent clause (protasis) (e.g. 1.58). Occasionally
ἀλλά (e.g. 1.82), αὐτάρ (e.g. 3.290, cf. 1.133) and καί (e.g. 1.494)
are used apodotically as well.
8   Iliad 19

24.4 ἦ: ‘really, actually’; almost exclusively in direct speech. – Weak-

ened in the compounds ἤτοι (e.g. 1.68), ἠμὲν … ἠδέ ‘on the one
hand … on the other hand’ and ἠδέ ‘and’.
24.5 κε(ν): = ἄν (cf. R 21.1).
24.6 μέν: used not only to introduce an antithesis (with a subsequent
δέ) but also commonly in its original, purely emphatic sense
(≈ μήν, μάν; e.g. 1.216).
24.7 μήν, μάν: emphatic; when standing alone, almost always in
negative sentences (e.g. 4.512) or with imperatives (e.g. 1.302);
otherwise it strengthens other particles, esp. ἦ and καί (e.g.
2.370, 19.45).
24.8 οὐδέ/μηδέ: these connectives can occur after affirmative clauses,
not only after negative ones as in Attic.
24.9 οὖν: almost always in conjunction with temporal ἐπεί or ὡς,
‘(when) therefore’ (e.g. 1.57).
24.10 περ: stresses the preceding word; specifically concessive, esp.
with participles (1.586: κηδομένη περ ‘although saddened’);
intensive (1.260: ἀρείοσι ἠέ περ ὑμῖν ‘with even better men than
you’); limitative-contrasting (1.353: τιμήν περ ‘at least honor’).
24.11 ‘epic τε’: occurs in generalizing statements (e.g. 1.86, 1.218), esp.
common in the ‘as’ part of similes (e.g. 2.90).
24.12 τοι: ethical dat. of the 2nd pers. personal pronoun fossilized as a
particle (and often not clearly distinguishable from it); appeals
to the special attention of the addressee, roughly ‘imagine, I tell
24.13 τοιγάρ: ‘so then’ (to be distinguished from τοι ≈ σοι; the initial
element belongs to the demonstrative stem το-, cf. τώ ‘there-
fore’); in Homer, it always introduces the answer to a request
(e.g. 1.76).
Overview of the Action in Book 19
1–39 New armor for Achilleus
Thetis arrives at the encampment of ships and finds her son bent
in grief over the body of Patroklos. She hands him his new armor
and requests that he announce his return to battle to the Greeks.
Since Achilleus is concerned about Patroklos’ body, she uses
nectar and ambrosia to keep it from decomposing.

40–281 Assembly of the army, settlement of the quarrel

The entire Achaian army witnesses the settlement of the quarrel
between Achilleus and Agamemnon.
40–75 Achilleus summons the Greeks to the assembly, where he pub-
licly informs Agamemnon of the end of his wrath and asks him
to send the troops into battle, in which he himself means to par-
76–144 Agamemnon tries to win sympathy for his behavior by bringing
divine forces into play, and declares his willingness to publicly
deliver the promised gifts of atonement to Achilleus.
145–237 Achilleus pushes for battle, showing no interest in the gifts or
consideration for the needs of the troops. A discussion arises
between him and Odysseus regarding the necessity of eating
before battle.
238–281 Agamemnon has the gifts for Achilleus brought, presents them
amidst the assembly, and conducts an oath ritual. The assembly
is dissolved, and the gifts and Briseïs are taken to the Myrmidon

282–424 Preparations in the Greek camp

282–339 The mood in the Myrmidon camp is dejected: Briseïs mourns
the death of Patroklos and her own fate; Achilleus continues to
refuse food and gives himself over to mournful remembrance
of his time together with Patroklos; he is simultaneously con-
cerned for his elderly father Peleus.
340–424 In accord with orders from Zeus, Athene nourishes Achilleus
with nectar and ambrosia, while the Achaians prepare to march
forth into battle. As the troops leave the ships and converge,
Achilleus arms himself as well and has his horses harnessed. In
a colloquy with him, his immortal horse Xanthos alludes to the
circumstances of his coming death.
In Book 16, Patroklos went into battle in the armor of his friend Achilleus and was
killed by Hektor. In the course of these events, the armor fell into the hands of the
enemy; after a hard-fought battle, the Greeks were able to bring back to camp only
Patroklos’ body (17.1–18.242). The second part of Book 18 describes the production
of new armor by the divine smith Hephaistos (369–613), the delivery of the armor
to Thetis (614  f.), and her departure from Hephaistos’ workshop (616  f.). Book 19
follows seamlessly with Thetis’ arrival in the Greek camp, where deep sorrow is
felt for the slain Patroklos. Preparations for the imminent battle, in which Achil-
leus and Hektor will confront one another, begin with the handing over of the
new armor: first, the mustering of the troops with Achilleus’ renunciation of his
wrath, the settlement of the quarrel and the return of Briseïs, followed by a meal
and the arming of the troops before their departure for battle, which will be led by
Achilleus (fourth and final day of battle in the Iliad; see STR 21 fig. 1 and STR 22
fig. 2). Close links are apparent here with Books 1 and 9 (eruption of the quarrel,
failed attempt at conciliation), with which Book 19 also shares a comparatively
high proportion of direct speeches (Book 1: 61 %, Book 9: 82 %, Book 19: 64 %; see
Fingerle 1939, 68; Edwards p. 234  f.).

1–39 Thetis arrives in the encampment of ships and finds her son bent in grief over
the body of Patroklos. She hands him his new armor and requests that he announce
his return to battle to the Greeks. Since Achilleus is concerned about Patroklos’
body, she uses nectar and ambrosia to keep it from decomposing.
The book begins with the themeP ‘daybreak  – convening an assembly’ (cf.
2.48–52 [2.48–49n.], 8.1–3, Od. 2.1–8, 5.1–3, 8.1–15, 9.170  f., 10.187  f., 12.316–319).
The convening of the assembly by Achilleus (41) is preceded by the delivery of
the armor (12–19) and the preservation of Patroklos’ body (20–39). The arrival
of Thetis (CG 20) at daybreak seamlessly continues the action of Book 18, i.e.
the type-sceneP ‘arrival’ (1.496b–502n.): (1) the character departs (18.616  f.);
(2) he/she arrives (19.3) and (3) finds the character being sought, and (3a) the
bystanders are named (4–6a); (4) the first character approaches (6b); (5) he/
she speaks (7  ff.). Between (1) and (2), i.e. at the moment of the change of scene
from Olympus to the Greek camp, the type-scene is expanded by the motif of
the arriving dawn, and is thus adapted to the course of action announced by
Thetis at 18.136  f. (delivery of armor on the following morning; Edwards on
1–3; see also 1–2n; comparable modifications of type-scenes: 1.320–348a n.,
1.447–468n., 2.155–181n., 2.167n.; on a deity’s ‘travel’, see 1.43–52n.).  – The
division between Books, which falls in the middle of the type-sceneP, is likely
post-Homeric: STR 21 n. 22; for discussion of the division into Books in general,
12   Iliad 19

GT 5; Richardson, Introd. 20  f.; Edwards 2002, 39–47 (with bibliography); for

divisions by the poet of the Iliad, Jensen 2010, 329–362, esp. 346  ff.; see also
6.1n. – Some interpreters felt that 1–2 were a disruption and suspected, proba-
bly wrongly, that they were an interpolation connected with the post-Homeric
imposition of Book divisions (cf. 1–2n. and 3n. [s.v. ἣ δέ]; Edwards on 1–3).
1–2 Day 27 of the action of the Iliad begins (STR 21 fig. 1). The daybreak serves
to structure the action and forms the prelude for important events: Achilleus’
step toward (formal) reconciliation and the end of his wrath at 75 (STR 22),
his re-entry into battle (364  ff., 20.75  ff.) and the killing of Hektor (22.131  ff.);
cf. the similar function of daybreak preceding important events at 2.48  f.
(inspection of the army and departure for battle), 8.1 (defeat of the Greeks),
11.1  f. (Agamemnon’s aristeia and wounding; Hainsworth on 11.1–14). — Here,
the daybreak is not described with one of the usual whole-verse formulae (e.g.
1.477, 8.1; on the various ‘morning’-formulae, see 1.477n., 2.48–49n.; Kirk
on 2.48–9; de Jong on Od. 2.1). The formulaic statement that Eos, the dawn
(CG 38), is rising from her husband Tithonos’ bed (11.1, Od. 5.1) is omitted as
well, since here the arrival of dawn is closely linked to Thetis’ change of loca-
tion: flight down from Olympos (Il. 18.616) and rising from Okeanos (19.1  f.),
delivery of the gleaming armor (18.617, 19.3) and light (19.2). The sequence in the
shape of the ring-compositionP Thetis – Eos – Thetis thus calls forth an associ-
ation of Thetis, who brings the armor, with Eos, the bringer of light (‘imagistic
association’: Nagler 1974, 142; Edwards on 1–3; cf. also Slatkin [1991] 2011,
38  f.). Eos elsewhere rises from Okeanos only in the Odyssey (22.197, 23.243  f.,
23.347  f.).
1 1st VH = 8.1; ≈ 24.695; 2nd VH ≈ 3.5, Od. 22.197; VE ≈ ‘Hes.’ fr. 363 M.-W. — yel-
low-robed: In Homer, the epithet krokópeplos ‘with saffron (colored) peplos’
is used solely in reference to Eos (4x Il.), while in Hesiod it is used as an epithet
of Enyo at Th. 273 and of Telesto at Th. 358 (LfgrE s.v.). On the female garment
‘peplos’, see 6.90n. and Marinatos 1967, 11; on saffron as a dye for clothing,
LfgrE s.v. κρόκος and Marinatos loc. cit. 3. In other passages in the Iliad (8.1,
23.227, 24.695), the epithet is linked to an image of dawn spreading across the
land or the sea like a saffron-colored cloak and, as here, is closely connected
with divine action (8.2  ff., 23.226, 24.694; Vivante [1979] 1987, 51  f.: divine per-
spective; on dawn’s clothing in IE poetry, West 2007, 220  f.). Additional epi-
thets of Eos that refer to color phenomena are ‘rosy-fingered’ (Greek rhododák-

1 Ἠώς: = Attic Ἕως ‘dawn’ (cf. R 3). — Ὠκεανοῖο: on the declension, R 11.2. — ῥοάων: on the
declension, R 11.1.
Commentary   13

tylos) 1.477 (see ad loc.) and ‘golden-seated’ (Greek chrysóthronos; on this,

1.611n.) Od. 10.541, 12.142, etc. (Kirk on 2.48–9 and on 8.1, where note also his
reticence on the issue of the different implications of the epithets). — the river
of Ocean: the stream encircling the earth (1.423n.).
2 = 11.2, Od. 5.2. — to men and to immortals: The polar expressionP brings into
view the community of gods and human beings (Kemmer 1903, 81), while
simultaneously underlining the change of scene from the workshop of the god
Hephaistos (CG 15) to the Greek camp (cf. 1–39n.). In contrast to the simple
juxtaposition ‘gods  – humans’, the Greek phrasing athanátoisi  … brotoísin
‘immortals … mortals’, adapted to the situation, emphasizes the fact of mor-
tality (LfgrE s.v. βροτός; cf. 1.339n.; LfgrE s.v. ἀνήρ 834.11  ff.; on Indo-Iranian
parallels, West 2007, 127  f.).
βροτοῖσιν: on form and meaning, 1.272n.
3 The motif of the delivery of armor finds a parallel in the Aethiopis (Proclus, Chrest.
§ 2 West): Eos’ son Memnon receives armor made by Hephaistos. According to
the Neo-Analysts, this is to be ascribed to an oral version of the Trojan myth
complex upon which Homer as well was drawing (Edwards on 1–3 and Introd.
17  ff.; Currie 2006, 23–41, especially 28  f.; cf. Kullmann [1991] 1992, 114  ff.;
on neo-analysis in general, Kullmann 1984; Willcock 1997; Burgess 2006;
Currie 2012; cf. also NTHS 10); contra West 2003, 9  ff.: Memnon as a post-Ho-
meric invention meant to provide an evenly matched opponent for Achilleus
following Hektor’s death. – The delivery of armor is also a common motif in
ancient vase-painting. But it is frequently unclear whether what is depicted is
the first delivery of armor at the departure for the Trojan War or the second one
before Troy, or whether the depiction is even of a mythical scene (discussion
in Friis Johansen 1967, 104  ff.; Snodgrass 1998, 149  f.; Giuliani 2003, 133  ff.;
LIMC s.v. Achilleus 71  f., 122; on the basic issue ‘mythological scene – scene
of everyday life’, see Fittschen 1969, 9  ff., 176  f.; Kannicht [1979] 1996, 49  ff.;
Giuliani loc. cit. 46  ff.). — to the ships: i.e. in the Greek camp (1.12b n.).  —
carried with her the gifts of Hephaistos: the continuation of the Thetis-
story (cf. 18.617): the armor is a gift for Achilleus in recognition of the help his
mother Thetis once gave to Hephaistos (18.394–407, 18.463–467). Gifts from the

2 ὤρνυθ’: = ὤρνυτο, on the elision, R 5.1. — ἀθανάτοισι: metrically lengthened initial syllable
(R 10.1); on the declension, R 11.2. — φόως: on the epic diectasis (φάος > φῶς > φόως), R 8. —
φέροι ἠδέ: on the so-called correption, R 5.5. — ἠδέ: ‘and’ (R 24.4).
3 ἥ: on the anaphoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17. — ἐς: = εἰς (R 20.1). — νῆας: on
the declension, R 12.1. — ἵκανε: on the unaugmented form (short ἵ-), R 16.1. — θεοῦ πά-ρα: = παρὰ
θεοῦ (R 20.2).
14   Iliad 19

gods may be special talents or actual objects (weapons, musical instruments,

etc.). The motif ‘gift from a god/gods’ indicates a special aptitude of the charac-
ter concerned in that area or in the handling of the instrument in question (cf.
de Jong on Od. 2.116–18; 6.156n.). The divine provenance of the armor is con-
sequently emphasized repeatedly (18.617, 19.10, 19.18, 19.21, and in the arming
scene 19.368, 19.383). On other objects from Hephaistos’ workshop, see 2.101n.
ἣ δ(έ): referring to Thetis, anaphoric with ἣ δ(έ) at 18.616, which in turn takes up μητρὸς
Ἀχιλλῆος at 18.615; in antithesis to Ἠὼς μέν in 1: μὲν … δέ frequently links two contem-
poraneous storylines (e.g. 1.306/308, 18.1  f., Od. 16.321  f.: Rengakos 1995, 30; de Jong
2007, 31). — φέρουσα: an echo of 18.617 VE (1–2n.).
4–6a an account of the situation from the point of view of the character arriv-
ing (secondary focalizationP; 2.169–171n.): Thetis finds Achilleus lying down
embracing the corpse and mourning with his companions (cf. 18.354  f.; ele-
ments 3 and 3a of the type-sceneP ‘arrival’, 1–39n., 2.170n.). The prostrate
posture of Achilleus since Patroklos’ death (18.26  f., 18.178, 18.461 and again
at 23.60; cf. 24.4  ff.) is an expression of his mental anguish (Kurz 1966, 40  f.)
and a heightened expression of his inactivity (on Achilleus’ seated posture in
the wrath storyline, STR 22 n. 23). — Pairs of intimate friends are a popular
motif in epic poetry: Bowra 1952, 64–68; West 1997, 337  f.; on the friendship
between Achilleus and Patroklos in general, Barrett 1981; Mauritsch 1992,
115–120; Latacz (1995) 1997, 24 with n. 58; Wöhrle 1999, 67–71; Latacz 2008,
131 with n. 24; de Jong on Il. 22.387–390 (homosexuality is not discernible in
Homer; differently, e.g. Clarke 1978); further bibliography: LfgrE s.v. Patroklos
1060.58  ff., 1069.51  ff.
4 ὃν φίλον υἱόν: emphasizes the mother-son relationship together with 18.615 μητρὸς
Ἀχιλλῆος. Elsewhere at VE, the phrase is found in speech introductions (21.330 ≈ 21.378
of Hephaistos, Od. 18.214 ≈ 24.505 of Telemachos; not at VE Il. 6.474 of Astyanax, 16.447
of the son of an unnamed god); φίλον υἱόν is an inflectible VE formula (10x Il., 17x Od.,
3x ‘Hes.’, 1x h.Hom.). φίλος may either function purely as a possessive pronoun (‘own’)
or have an affective meaning (‘dear, beloved’); see 1.20n., 3.31n.; LfgrE s.v. In the present
description of a situation (on this, 4–6a n.), φίλος likely carries an affective connota-
tion; likewise at 19.132: Zeus feels pity seeing ‘his beloved son’ Herakles suffer (Hooker
[1987] 1996, 519; cf. also Robinson 1990, 100).
5–6a The mention of the ritual mourning conducted by Achilleus and his com-
panions during the laying out of the corpse (‘prothesis’: Andronikos 1968,
7–14; Alexiou [1974] 2002, 6  f.; on depictions of ‘prothesis’ in Geometric art,

4 Πατρόκλῳ: dependent on περικείμενον: περίκειμαι ‘lies there embracing’. — ὅν: possessive

pronoun of the 3rd person (R 14.4).
Commentary   15

see Ahlberg 1971, 31–45; cf. also 211–213a n.) takes up the depiction in Book
18: the mourning, begun after the retrieval of the body (18.233  f. myrómenoi),
continues throughout the night (18.314  f., 18.354  f.) until the following morning
(19.1  f.), via joint lament over the body (6a mýronto, cf. also 212  f.; see Krapp
1964, 334  f.). — Tears are not contradictory to the Homeric heroic ideal; this
idea first develops in the post-Homeric period (Monsacré 1984, 137–142; van
Wees 1998a, 11–16; HE s.v. ‘Weeping’; cf. also schol. AbT on 5). In the Iliad, men
most often shed tears in mourning the death of a kinsman or friend, particu-
larly Achilleus – alone or together with his companions – for Patroklos (18.35,
18.72  f., etc., 19.304, 23.9  ff., etc., 24.3  ff., etc.); likewise Antilochos (17.695  ff.,
18.17, 18.32), the Trojans for Hektor (22.408  f. 23.1, 24.161  f., 24.664, etc.), a father
for his slain son (5.156  f., 19.323), Achilleus in sad uncertainty about his elderly
father (19.338  f., 24.511). Additional emotions that elicit tears are fear of death
(10.377, 11.136  f., 13.88  f.), desperation (Agamemnon in the face of the Trojans’
good fortune in war 8.245, 9.13  f.; similarly Patroklos 16.2  ff.; Aias during the
battle for the body of Patroklos 17.648; Herakles in the service of Eurystheus
8.364; Phoinix after Achilleus’ refusal 9.433), being insulted (Achilleus over
the seizure of Briseïs 1.349, 1.357, 1.360), fury and frustration (Diomedes on the
occasion of the chariot race 23.385), pain and rage (the charioteer Eumelos
23.396  f.), pain (Thersites 2.266); cf. Odysseus visiting Kalypso (Od. 5.82  ff.) and
the Phaiakians (8.83  ff.). Further passages in Monsacré 1984, 137  ff.; Waern
1985, 223  ff.; Arnould 1990, 22  ff., 51  ff., 73  ff., 94  ff., 145  ff., 187  ff.; van Wees
1998a, 11–15.
5 1st VH ≈ Od. 10.201, 16.216. — κλαίοντα λιγέως: an asyndetic connection of the second
participle in progressive enjambmentP (cf. 1.105n.) that stresses Achilleus’ lament for
Patroklos via the integral enjambmentP of μύρονθ’ (6a). – λιγύς ‘shrill, clear/piercing’
characterizes a clear, high quality of tone, such as the whistling of the winds or the
sound of a phorminx; in the case of human beings, the clearly audible voice of a speaker
or herald (1.248n.; LfgrE s.v.); in the Iliad, it is used in connection with the verb κλαίω
only here, to mark the particular intensity of Achilleus’ pain (Krapp 1964, 235 with n. 3);
more common in the Odyssey: 10.201, 11.391, 16.216 and 21.56 (piercingly loud crying
by men and women) (Kaimio 1977, 43; Monsacré 1984, 181). Women’s shrill cries of
lament are similarly described by the expression λίγα κωκύω ‘cry piercingly, shrilly’
(e.g. Briseïs, 284n.). — ἀμφ’ αὐτὸν ἑταῖροι: a VE formula (4x Il., 1x Od.).

5 κλαίοντα (λ)λιγέως: on the prosody, M 4.6. — πολέες: = πολλοί (R 12.2); on the uncontracted
form, R 6.
16   Iliad 19

6a μύρονθ’: an onomatopoeic formation (Tichy 1983, 156), denoting joint ritual mourning
(LfgrE s.v.).
6b Through the circle of mourners, Thetis approaches Achilleus (as at the begin-
ning of Achilleus’ lament at 18.70: Faesi). Her appearance lends energy to the
mourning scene and provides an impulse for renewed action (cf. the signal
contained in the specification of time at 1  f.): grief is superseded by rage (16  f.),
inactivity is shed (23).
ἣ δ(έ): ἥ is simultaneously anaphoric with ἥ in 3 and looks ahead to the apposition
δῖα θεάων (1.348a n.; on the function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, 1.11n. [s.v. τὸν Χρύσην]). — τοῖσι: In
contrast to the short forms (τοῖς IE instrumental), the long forms (τοῖσι IE locative)
exclusively fulfil the function of pronominals rather than that of articles (Schw. 1.611;
Chantr. 1.276; Rix [1976] 1992, 182  f.). — παρίστατο: sc. Ἀχιλλῆι as the object (Faesi;
LfgrE s.v. ἵστημι 1244.32); in dialogue scenes, it signals intimacy between speaker and
addressee (Kurz 1966, 95; de Jong on Od. 10.377). — δῖα θεάων: a VE formula (7x Il.,
26x Od., 5x Hes., 5x h.Hom.). A set expression for Thetis, used like a generic epithetP,
also at Il. 24.93, elsewhere in early epic in reference to Athene, Aphrodite, Charis,
Demeter, Dione, Eidothee, Eurybie, Hera, Kalypso, Kirke and Psamathe; comparable to
δῖα γυναικῶν (2.714n.). Which expression is earlier is disputed: δῖα γυναικῶν as a model
for δῖα θεάων according to Schw. 2.116; Chantr. 2.60; DELG, Frisk, Beekes s.v. δῖος;
the opposite according to Ruijgh 1967, 133. δῖα (originally ‘she who is associated with
Zeus [*di̯ēu̯ s], the heavenly, the divine’) in these expressions is likely to be understood
as merely a general expression of supreme excellence (‘the sublime among goddesses,
women’; cf. LfgrE s.v. δῖος; 1.7n.); as in the case of διογενής ‘descended from Zeus’, the
original meaning has faded (1.337n.).
δῖα: Feminine in -ι̯ᾰ, derived from Διϝ- (*διϝ-ι̯ᾰ), which first occurs in the Mycenaean theonym di-u-ja
or di-wi-ja with the meaning ‘consort of Zeus’ (Ruijgh 1967, 130  ff.; [1985] 1996, 46, 62 n., 65; read
as ‘daughter of Zeus’ by Kastner 1967, 63 with n. 25; DMic s.v. di-u-ja; Hooker (1990) 1996, 297;
Bartoněk 2003, 420; further bibliography on the relationship δῖος/δῖα in Frisk 3.75).
7 =  6.253, 6.406, 14.232, 18.384, 18.423, Od. 2.302, 8.291, 11.247, 15.530; ≈ Od.
10.280; 2nd VH (speech introduction formulaP) a further 11x in Il., 21x Od., 2x
h.Ven. A formulaic verse for a cordial greeting, together with speech introduc-
tion: A approaches B, grasps B’s hand and addresses him/her. — She clung to
her son’s hand: The formula – found only in the iterata – implies urgency and
the purposefulness of the subsequent speech; physical contact is maintained
throughout the speech and is meant to lend emphasis to the words spoken

6 μύρονθ’: =  μύροντο from μύρομαι ‘cry, lament’. — τοῖσι: anaphoric demonstrative pronoun
(R 17).
7 ἐν  … φῦ: so-called tmesis (R 20.2); 3rd sing. aor. of ἐμφύομαι ‘grow into’. — ἄρα (ϝ)οι  …
χειρὶ (ϝ)έπος: on the prosody, R 4.3, 5.4. — οἱ: = αὐτῷ (R 14.1). — ἔφατ(ο): impf. of φημί; mid. with
no difference in meaning from the act. (R 23). — ἐκ … ὀνόμαζεν: so-called tmesis (R 20.2).
Commentary   17

(cf. Od. 2.302/321, where Telemachos reacts to Antinoos’ forced cordiality by

removing his hand only after his reply in the negative): AH; Barck 1976, 141  ff.;
cf. physical contact in the ‘hikesia’ (1.500n., 1.513n.). On other occasions, Thetis
meets her weeping son with gestures of tender affection (caressing him: 1.361
with n. and 24.127; holding his head as a gesture of [joint] mourning: 18.71).
The poet there depicts her as a concerned, empathetic mother trying to offer
comfort (cf. 1.357/362, 18.35  f./63  f./70, 24.126/128  f.), but in the present scene
she is a ‘goddess’ who speaks urgently with her son (cf. 6, 12, 28).
χειρί: Whether to understand this as an instrumental dative (‘grew onto him with her
hand’: thus AH, Willcock, Kirk on 6.253, Heubeck on Od. 24.410) or a locative as a
dative of destination/attained place of repose (‘grew onto his hand’: thus West and
Stanford on Od. 2.302; LSJ s.v. ἐμφύω; on the dative of destination with verbs of move-
ment, Schw. 2.139, Chantr. 2.68; on an attained place of repose with verbs such as ‘lay,
place/set, throw, fall’ etc., Schw. 2.154  ff.) is disputed. Understanding it as a locative is
supported by the use of ἐμφύω at 8.84, Od. 1.381; the two datives οἱ … χειρί may thus
be explained as a σχῆμα καθ’ ὅλον καὶ μέρος (cf. K.-G. 1.289  f.; Schw. 2.81, 189  f. with n.
5; Elmiger 1935, 52; Kölligan 2007, 113). — ἔκ τ’ ὀνόμαζεν: ‘and addressed him’; the
original meaning of this VE formula (‘call [out] someone’s name’) has faded (1.361n.;
LfgrE s.v. ὀνομάζω 715.19  ff.).
8–11 Thetis’ speech is a curt request  – expressed only implicitly  – to abandon
inactivity (let the corpse lie) and act immediately (take up the armor). It con-
tains elements of traditional speeches of consolation and encouragement: an
expression of sympathy (8n.), an admonition to cease mourning and come to
terms with what has happened (8  f.), and a reference to the irreversibility of
death (9): Fingerle 1939, 190  f.; on these elements in consolation literature,
Kassel 1958, 5  ff.; Chapa 1998, 27  ff., 34  ff.; cf. also 24.550–551n.
8 2nd VH = 18.112, 19.65, 24.523, Od. 16.147. — we: By means of the ‘we’, Thetis
signals her empathy and cautiously attempts to detach Achilleus from the
numbness of his grief. — though we grieve (Greek achnýmenói per): an
inflectible phrase (nom. sing./pl., gen. and dat. sing.; in total 15x Il., 7x Od., 4x
h.Cer.). Greek áchnymai frequently denotes a state of grief and disappointment
over immutable things (cf. 9), in conjunction with aggression; it is also used
when a slain friend must be left behind on the battlefield (thus at 8.125, 8.316,
17.459; see LfgrE s.v. ἄχνυμαι 1767  f.; Anastassiou 1973, 29  ff.; Mawet 1979,
325  ff.; cf. 1.103n., 2.270n.).
τέκνον ἐμόν: The address τέκνον occurs 17x Il. and 3x h.Hom., always in the case of
an actual familial relationship; 21x Od., also without a kinship relationship (in refer-

8 ἐάσομεν: short-vowel aor. subjunc. (R 16.3). — περ: concessive (R 24 10).

18   Iliad 19

ence to Telemachos, Odysseus and Penelope); on the metrical variant τέκος, 1.202n.
The combination with the possessive pronoun ἐμόν (9x each in Il./Od., 1x h.Hom.) is
generally used either at VB (5x Il., 7x Od.) or before caesura B 1 (4x Il., 1x Od., 1x h.Cer.;
exception: Od. 22.486), and is unlikely to be an emotional amplification: elsewhere
spoken by Thetis at 1.414, 24.128, but not in the similarly emotional situations at 1.362
and 18.73 (without ἐμόν also at 18.128, 19.29); used by Hekabe sometimes with ἐμόν
(22.82) and sometimes without it (6.254, 22.84, 22.431). On the address with τέκος, see
1.202n. — τοῦτον: In addition to its deictic function, this may here signal not so much
coldness and a lack of sympathy (thus AH; Edwards on 8–11) as impatience (Leaf), and
designates the dead as less important in the present moment, in contrast to τῷ/τῷδ(ε)
at 30/33 (cf. Schw. 2.209  f.; LfgrE s.v. ἐάω 383.33  ff.: ‘let [lie, rest]’; on deixis and gestures,
de Jong 2012; on the occurrence of οὗτος in direct speeches and narrator text, Bakker
[1999] 2005, 75  f.). But as a whole Thetis’ speeches in this scene reveal a certain detach-
ment vis-à-vis the slain Patroklos by not mentioning his name (differently Achilleus: 24
with n.).
8–9a ἐάσομεν  … | κεῖσθαι: a progressive enjambmentP (likewise at 5.684  f., 5.847  f.,
8.125  f., 15.472  f.; but at 8.317 bare εἴασε without κεῖσθαι with the meaning ‘let lie’). The
runover word emphasizes the ‘lying’ and signals, with its caesura effect, the turning
away from a person or action (Kurz 1966, 38; Edwards on 17.298–300 and ibid., Introd.
42).  – ἐάω is used inter alia in portrayals of battle where a warrior ‘leaves behind’ a
fallen individual – usually a slain enemy – on the battlefield in order to devote himself
to further action (5.148, 5.847, 11.148, 11.323, 11.426, 20.456, ‘Hes.’ Sc. 424; cf. Il. 24.17 Hek-
tor’s body near the ships); occasionally also in reference to companions (thus at 8.125
= 8.317, where Hektor must leave behind his fallen charioteer [ἀχνύμενός περ] in order to
continue fighting, and at 5.684  f. in the wounded Sarpedon’s plea to Hektor not to leave
him behind): Kurz 1966, 37  ff.; Nussbaum 1998, 75  ff.
9b Thetis refers to the will of the gods (Patroklos was killed via Apollo’s inter-
vention and with Zeus’ consent: 16.788–800) probably also in order to
absolve Achilleus of responsibility for the death of his friend (cf. Achilleus’
self-reproach at 18.98  ff); in contrast, at 18.73  ff., in ignorance of the events,
she attempted to console him by noting that all had been according to his
ἐπεὶ δὴ πρῶτα: ‘since now in fact’; the adverbial accusative πρῶτα in connection
with a temporal conjunction stresses irreversibility (1.6n.); δή indicates that the topic
is a generally known fact (Chantr. 2.255 n.1). — θεῶν ἰότητι: a formulaP that follows
caesura B 2 (1x Il., 6x Od., 1x h.Hom.); ἰότης, often used in direct speeches (in the Iliad
exclusively in speeches by gods), in early epic usually denotes the will of the gods (LfgrE
s.v. ἰότητ-; on the uncertain etymology, Frisk, DELG and Beekes s.v.).

9 δαμάσθη: aor. pass. of δάμνημι, δαμνάω/δαμάω ‘subdue, overcome’.

Commentary   19

10–11 With her second address, Thetis transitions to the actual exhortation and
thus to a different topic – the armor newly made by Hephaistos. Its significance
for the narrative is underlined by a triple predication (famous, very beautiful,
10 τύνη: This address occurs elsewhere at Il. 5.485, 6.262 (with n.), 12.237, 16.64, 24.465,
Hes. Th. 36, Op. 10, 641. The emphasis comes via the choice of words and position at
VB (Hainsworth on 12.237) and signals the change of topic from Patroklos to Achilleus
(LfgrE); similarly ἀλλὰ σύ 1.127 (with n.), etc.  – The origin of the form is unclear: an
archaism (Janko on 16.64–5), Aeolicism (Wathelet 1970, 286  f.), or derivation from Boe-
otian (West 1988, 167  f.) or West Greek (Peters 1987, 236). — κλυτὰ τεύχεα: a common
expression, 16x Il., 2x Od., 4x ‘Hes.’ Sc. (of which after caesura C 1, as here, 10x Il., 1x Od.,
4x ‘Hes.’ Sc.); used in the Iliad 4x for Achilleus’ new armor and 6x for his old armor, as
well as for that of Aineias, Paris, Euphorbos and the sons of Merops. The verbal adjective
of κλυεῖν, with the original meaning ‘of which one hears’ (hence ‘famous’, cf. 2.742n.),
is a common epithetP of gods (among others, Hephaistos 18.614) and human beings,
as well as of objects such as weapons, gifts, craftsman ship items, palaces, places, etc.
(LfgrE s.v.; Hooker [1980] 1996, 479  f.; West 2001a, 128  ff.; on τεύχεα ‘armor, weapons’,
3.29n.). — δέξο: In contrast to the participle δέγμενος (usually durative, ‘expecting’),
the imperative is to be understood as a single immediate action: ‘receive here!’ (Will-
cock; Debrunner 1956, 78  f.), much like δέκτο/ἔδεκτο (2.420n.).
11 no man (Greek ou pō tis anḗr): The addition ‘man’ (anḗr) highlights Achilleus
as the first warrior to wear such armor, while at the same time stressing the
contrast with the gods (‘human man’) and thus Achilleus’ proximity to them
(Edwards on 8–11: ‘mortal’; LfgrE s.v. ἀνήρ 834.11  ff. and 859.33  ff.; cf. men with
special abilities who are matched by ‘no man’: 2.553, 5.172, 23.632, Od. 11.483,
καλὰ μάλ’, οἷ(α): strong emphasis via progressive enjambmentP followed by a relative
clause with a supplement to the two attributes already mentioned (famous, beautiful
armor, such as has never been seen before); together with the accumulation of asyndetic
attributes (on this, 2.42–43n.), this emphasizes the uniqueness of the armor. On καλός at
VB, occasionally with a relative clause following, see Vivante 1982, 205; Perceau 2002,
178  f.; on οἷος without correlative denoting a particular category of object, see Monteil
1963, 182; LfgrE s.v. 604.60  f.
12–19 The mourning scene closes with the end of the speech and the clang of the
armor being laid down (Krapp 1964, 335; cf. 5–6a n., 6b n.). By means of the

10 τύνη: = emphatic σύ (↑). — Ἡφαίστοιο πάρα: = παρ’ Ἡφαίστοιο (R 20.2; on the declension,
R 11.2). — τεύχεα: on the uncontracted form, R 6. — δέξο: athematic imper. of δέχομαι (↑).
11 οἷ(α): the antecedent is τεύχεα, ‘how they’. — ὤμοισι: locative dat. without preposition
(R 19.2). — φόρησεν: aor. of φορέω (iterative-intensive of φέρω, to indicate a habitual action).
20   Iliad 19

antithetical motif ‘all others … x, (only) A … y’, the narrator accentuates one
character in particular and points the action in a new direction (2.1–6n.): the
sight of the armor changes Achilleus’ mood, with the rage and aggression that
also flared up during his lament taking over (16  f., see 16n.); this – and his joy
in the armor (18  f.) – singles him out as the only person worthy of this armor
among the companions, since they shy away (cf. Schein 1984, 93). – The visual
impression (cf. 18.617, 19.11/13/19) and the acoustic phenomenon (13) are here
linked suggestively in their effect on the bystanders (14–15a/15b–18) (Krapp
1964, 289; cf. the radiance when Achilleus dons the armor 369  ff. and its effect
on his opponents 20.44  ff., 22.134  ff.; on the motif of radiant armor/weapons,
374–383n.; on the phenomenon of synaesthesia in Homer, Wille 2001, 77  ff.).
12 1st VH = an inflectible VB formula (speech capping formulaP): 35x Il., 27x Od.,
2x h.Hom. (1.428n.).
13 VE = 5.60. — clashed loudly: The acoustic phenomenon has a proleptic func-
tion: it foreshadows Achilleus’ aristeia in the imminent battle, during which
he will kill Hektor with the aid of these arms (Krapp 1964, 308  f.; Patzer 1996,
117  f.).
Ἀχιλλῆος: on the etymology of the personal name, 1.1n. — τὰ δ(ὲ) … δαίδαλα πάντα:
τά simultaneously stands in anaphora with τεύχε(α) (12) and looks ahead to the appo-
sition δαίδαλα πάντα (cf. 6b n.). The substantival word δαίδαλον, generally used in the
pl., denotes an artfully wrought object with elaborate decoration (LfgrE s.v.: ‘Wunder-
werke’). Achilleus’ new armor, the shield in particular, is characterized as a notable
work of art by use of the word family δαιδαλ- (18.479, 482, 612, 19.19, 380, 22.314; cf.
the reference to the mythical craftsman and inventor Δαίδαλος 18.592): Morris 1992,
15  f.; for a detailed account of the meaning and use, Frontisi-Ducroux (1975) 2000,
37–83. The etymology is disputed (Leumann 1950, 131  ff.: a Mediterranean word; Tichy
1983, 299–304). — ἀνέβραχε: The onomatopoeic formation of the aorist denotes the
sudden onset of a sound of considerable volume, frequently the clang of weapons, less
often voices (LfgrE s.v. βραχεῖν; Krapp 1964, 98  f.; Tichy 1983, 57). The preverb ἀνα- (the
compound is elsewhere only at Od. 21.48, of the opening of door bolts) on the one hand
enhances the ingressive meaning (‘resounded’: LfgrE s.v. βραχεῖν; DELG s.v. ἀνά), while
on the other hand signaling the ascending of the tone (‘resounded up’, cf. Schw. 2.440;
Chantr. 2.90) and corresponds with κατά (12 ‘laid down’).
14–16 The effect of the noise produced by the armor, and implicitly also of its radi-
ance, on those present is elucidated (cf. 1.533–535n.) by the polar expressionP
‘all – none’ (Greek pántas – oudé tis), as well as by another affirmative state-

12 ὥς: ‘so’. — θεά: on the form, R 2.2. — κατὰ … ἔθηκεν: so-called tmesis (R 20.2).
13 Ἀχιλλῆος: on the declension, R 11.3, R 3.
Commentary   21

ment that reprises the first with a variation, and is contrasted with Achilleus’
reaction (15  f.): the opposition between ‘no one dares to look – Achilleus looks
on’ particularly stresses his power (AH; Faesi; cf. 11n., 12–19n.).
14 2nd VH ≈ 22.136 (Hektor before Achilleus). — Myrmidons: inhabitants of
Achilleus’ native land, Phthia (CM 2 with n. 11; 2.684n.).
ἕλε τρόμος: A mental state is frequently described by saying that an emotional impulse
‘grips’ a character: 1.387n., 2.2n., 3.446n. — οὐδέ τις ἔτλη: a VE formula (6x Il., 3x Od.,
1x h.Hom.).
15 ἄντην: an adverbial acc. of direction (‘into the face, directly’: 1.187n.; cf. the locative
dat. ἀντί, Latin ante). Elsewhere always in reference to a human object, in the Iliad
it often connotes courage (LfgrE s.v. ἄντην 925.71  ff.); together with the preverb εἰσ-, it
here stresses the intensity of the gaze (LfgrE s.v. ἄντα 913.66  ff.). — ἔτρεσαν: a return to
τρόμος (‘tremor’ caused by fear): the word playP with τρέω ‘shrink from’ (LfgrE s.v. τρέω:
‘flinch in fear’) and the etymologically close τρόμος ‘tremor’ (LfgrE; Frisk and Beekes
s.v. τρέω; DELG s.v. τρέμω) acts as emphasis and enhances the contrast with Achilleus’
reaction (16–19). — αὐτὰρ Ἀχιλλεύς: a VE formula (17x Il.); change of perspective
toward a different character. On a new sentence beginning after caesura C 2, 1.194n.
16 the anger came harder: The sight of the armor intensifies Achilleus’ memory
of the loss of his friend and his old armor, and causes a thirst for revenge
and rage against Hektor, which also gripped Achilleus at times during the
mourning scene (cf. 18.322, 337), to flare up even more (Taplin 1992, 199  f.);
on abruptly surging ‘rage, anger’ (Greek chólos) and its differentiation from
a chronic state of ‘anger’ (Greek mḗnis), see 1.1n., 1.9n., 1.81–82n.; Considine
1966, 22  f.; Clarke 1999, 92  ff. This produces renewed activity after the paralys-
ing grief (STR 22 n. 23; Redfield [1975] 1994, 14; Cairns 2003, 26  f. with n. 70);
cf. 18.107–110 (Achilleus on the effect of rage on humans) with Edwards ad loc.
ὡς … ὥς: is an ‘expression of the immediate succession of storylines’ (AH [transl.]; cf.
1.512n.): ‘as soon as …, then …’; similarly at 14.294, 20.424. — μάλλον: on the accent,
West 1998, XX, s.v. ἄσσον. — ἔδυ χόλος: The emotional impulse is portrayed as though
it penetrates the character from outside (likewise at 9.553, 22.94; additionally 17.210
ἄρης, 9.239 λύσσα, 19.367, Od.18.348, 20.286 ἄχος): LfgrE s.v. δύνω 359.1  ff.; cf. 14n. —
ἐν δέ οἱ ὄσσε: a VE formula (Od. 6.131, 10.247, Hes. Th. 826); ἐν is adverbial (cf. G 98),
either in the sense ‘within the head’ or ‘within the eyes’ (AH; Faesi; cf. West on Hes.

14 ἕλε: on the unaugmented form, R 16.1. — οὐδέ: In Homer, connective οὐδέ also occurs after
affirmative clauses (R 24.8).
15 εἰσιδέειν: on the form, R 16.4, R 8. — αὐτάρ: ‘but’ (R 24.2).
16 μιν: = αὐτόν (R 14.1). — δέ (ϝ)οι: on the prosody, R 4.3. — οἱ: = αὐτῷ (R 14.1). — ὄσσε: dual ‘eyes’
(closely related sing. form: acc. ὦπα ‘face’); it is the subject of ἐξεφάανθεν (17); for the combina-
tion of dual and plural, R 18.1.
22   Iliad 19

Th. 826), οἱ a dat. sympatheticus (cf. Schw. 2.147  f.; Chantr. 2.101). — ὡς εἰ: with ellipse
of the predicate (cf. 9.648, 16.59, 19.366 [athetized by West], 150, Od. 7.36, 19.39, 19.211):
either ἐκφαανθείη or εἶεν is to be understood with the subject ὄσσε (Ruijgh 621; cf. K.-G.
17 his eyes glittered terribly … like sunflare: a sign of aggressiveness (1.104n.;
Camerotto 2009, 133  f.); the glare is here caused, on the one hand, by the
surging rage, and on the other hand, by looking at the radiant armor (cf. 18.617;
LfgrE s.v. σέλας 91.55  f.: ‘his gaze withstands the divine radiance and reflects’
[transl.]). – Achilleus’ demeanor after the death of Patroklos is often accom-
panied by fire and light similesP: thus also at 18.207  ff., 19.365  f., 374  ff., 381,
398, 20.371  f., 490  ff., 21.12  ff., 522  ff., 22.25  ff., 134  f., 317  ff. (Schadewaldt [1943]
1965, 320 with n. 3; Whitman 1958, 138  f.; Richardson on 22.317–321; de Jong
on Il. 22.134–135).
σέλας: elsewhere denotes the widely visible blaze of a fire (e.g. 19.375  f.), a divine ray
of light such as Zeus’ lightning bolt (8.76), the flame emanating from Achilleus’ head
(18.214) and the gleam of his shield (19.374 [athetized by West], 19.379): LfgrE s.vv. αὐγή
1532.39  ff., σέλας; Graz 1965, 310  ff.; Ciani 1974, 16. — ἐξεφάανθεν: epic diectasis of
*ἐξεφάενθεν (G 48; 1.200n.).
18–19 The touching and especially the holding of the armor signals taking pos-
session of the gift; together with the gazing, this triggers a joy that Achilleus
savors intensely (Latacz 1966, 206; Nünlist 1998, 85); cf. the effect Hephaistos
at 18.466  f. anticipates the armor will have on an observer.
τέρπετο  … |  … τετάρπετο: The impf. signifies a pause in the joy felt in gazing and
touching, while the reduplicated aorist signals the achievement of satisfaction. The re­
petition of the verb in the subordinate clause with αὐτὰρ ἐπεί indicates that the pleasure
of viewing has been concluded and the action is now proceeding (20: αὐτίκα): LfgrE s.v.
τέρπω 406.40  ff. and 409.40  ff.: ‘enjoy, have pleasure in’; Latacz 1966, 190; Fehling
1969, 147; cf. also 1.474n. In addition, this clarifies Achilleus’ changed mood in contrast
to the beginning of the scene (5: κλαίοντα λιγέως). — ἀγλαὰ δῶρα: a VE formula (8x Il.,
6x Od., 1x Hes., 1x h.Merc.); ἀγλαός probably originally means ‘bright, radiant’, as an
epithet of δῶρα; also ‘attractive, tantalizing’ (1.23n.). — φρεσὶν ᾗσι: indicates that the
pleasure is an intense one (‘at heart’) involving the senses (Latacz 1966, 219; Jahn 1987,
225  ff.; cf. also 1.333n. vs. 1.24n., 2.301–302n. vs. 2.213n.). — δαίδαλα: 13n.

17 δεινόν: adverbial acc. — ὑπό: ‘out from under’. — ὡς εἰ σέλας: ‘like a ray of light’ (↑). —
ἐξεφάανθεν: aor. pass. of ἐκ-φαείνω; on the ending, R 16.2; on the epic diectasis, ↑.
18 τέρπετο: durative. — χείρεσσιν: on the declension, R 11.3.
19 ᾗσι: possessive pronoun of the 3rd person (likewise ἥν in v. 20) (R 14.4); on the declension,
R 11.1. — τετάρπετο: reduplicated thematic aor. of τέρπομαι.
Commentary   23

20 αὐτίκα: In addition to the temporal immediacy (prepared for by αὐτὰρ ἐπεί), this
stresses taking the initiative, here in the shape of a direct speech in which Achilleus
voices a new thought (2.322n.; LfgrE s.v. 1606.61  ff.). — μητέρα ἥν: an anticipation of
the address μῆτερ ἐμή (cf. 8 τέκνον ἐμόν); on the mother-son relationship, see also 4n.,
7n.). — ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα: a speech introduction formulaP: 55x Il., 59x Od. (of
which 6x προσ-ηύδων), 3x ‘Hes.’, 7x h.Hom.; on the meaning of πτερόεντα (‘feathered’,
i.e. unerring like an arrow) and on προσηύδα (with πρ- that does not make position), see
1.201n.; LfgrE s.v. πτερόεις.
21–27 According to the ‘continuity of thought’ principleP, Achilleus reprises the
last topic of the preceding speech first (likewise Thetis at 29  ff.).
21 such: Greek epieikés means ‘commensurate’ with the rank of the individuals
concerned as well as with the situation (LfgrE s.v.; cf. 1.119n.), and thus here
appropriate for the one who has wrought the armor.
τὰ μὲν ὅπλα: elsewhere in early epic mostly with the general meaning ‘tools, imple-
ments’; with the meaning ‘armor’, which is later standard, only here and at 10.254,
10.272, 18.614, Hes. Th. 853 (LfgrE s.v.; Trümpy 1950, 81  f.; Danek 1988, 119  f.). – ὅ, ἥ, τό
with substantives frequently marks a contrast (G 99; Chantr. 2.161).
22 No mortal man: The addition ‘mortal’ (Greek brotós) to ‘man’ (Greek ándra, cf.
11n.), itself the term of contrast to ‘god’, serves pregnantly to identify humans
as beings inferior to the gods (LfgrE s.v. βροτός 102.13  ff.; for additional epithets
of the terms for ‘human’, see 1.266n.; Düntzer [1864] 1979, 104  f.; cf. 2n.).
μηδὲ  … τελέσσαι: acc.-inf. with ‘generalizing consecutive force’ (Chantr. 2.335
[transl.]), sc. οἷα (ἔργα) as object in the acc.: ‘and such as could accomplish no …’. —
βροτὸν ἄνδρα: an inflectible formula after caesura C 1 (nom./dat./acc.: 3x Il., 3x Od.,
2x Hes., 1x h. Merc.), cf. 2.248n.; on the form βροτός, 1.272n.
23a I shall arm myself: This includes preparing mentally for battle (LfgrE; 2.11n.:
establishing mental readiness for battle; cf. 36n.).
νῦν δ’ ἤτοι μὲν ἐγώ: likewise at 67; a contextually conditioned variant of the more
common particle combination ἀλλ’ ἤτοι μέν that occurs with announcements (on this,
1.140n.): νῦν δ(έ) is characteristic of Achilleus’ language (1.354b–356n.; cf. character
languageP); ἤτοι μέν emphatically sets up the contrast ἀλλὰ … | δείδω (cf. Ruijgh [1981]
1996, 523  f.).

20 μητέρα (ϝ)ήν: on the prosody, R 4.3. — προσηύδα: 3rd sing. impf. of προσαυδάω, with double
acc. (μητέρα … ἔπεα) ‘tell someone something’.
21 πόρεν: aor. of a defective verb, ‘give, bestow’. — οἷ(α) ἐπιεικές (sc. ἐστι): ‘such, as is fitting,
that …’.
22 ἔμεν: = εἶναι (R 16.4). — ἀθανάτων: metrically lengthened initial syllable (R 10 1). — τελέσ-
σαι: on the -σσ-, R 9.1.
23 ἤτοι: R 24.4.
24   Iliad 19

23b–27 a strong contrast with his delight in the magnificent armor: despite
the careful treatment of the corpse (18.350  ff.; on this, Andronikos 1968,
4  f.; Laser 1983, 161), Achilleus fears an infestation of flies and maggots and
thus decomposition of the body he plans to bury only once revenge has been
enacted (cf. 18.334  f.); on the concern that corpses remain undamaged, cf.
24.408–420 (Priam’s fear for Hektor); on the use of this narrative scheme in
the Iliad, Foley 1991, 163–168 (‘feared desecration’). The motif of the conse-
quences of delayed burial appears already in the epic of Gilgamesh (George
2003, 279, 681): for seven days and nights, Gilgamesh mourns his dead friend
Enkidu, until a maggot appears on his face (Kirk 1970, 108, 138; Di Benedetto
[1994] 1998, 318; West 1997, 343; Szlezák 2004, 20; cf. also NTHS 54–57).
23b–24 ἀλλὰ … | δείδω, μή: = 10.38  f., 22.454  f. — emphasis via integral enjambmentP as
a transition to explicit description, likewise at 25 (μυῖαι) and 26 (εὐλάς) (Edwards; on
a new sentence beginning after caesura C 2, see 1.194n.). — ἀλλὰ μάλ’ αἰνῶς: a VE
formula (= 6.441, 10.38, 22.454).
24 warlike son of Menoitios: Although Thetis does not mention the deceased
by name (8, 30, 33; for the different practice of the narratorP at the beginning
and end of the scene, see 4, 38), Achilleus at first speaks of him as of a living
person (cf. schol. b on 24), using a formulaic expression of kinship (cf. peri-
phrastic denominationP); he named him thus at 18.12, before learning of his
death, as did Thetis during her visit to Hephaistos in her account of the events
leading to the death of Patroklos (18.455). The subsequent image of the corpse,
defenseless against flies, maggots and corruption, thus has an effect that is all
the stronger (25–27).
δείδω: (always at VB) is perfect < *δεδϝοια, with compensatory lengthening of ε and
contraction of *-οια > *-οα > -ω (Schw. 1.769; cf. G 27 and 45). — ἄλκιμον υἱόν: an inflect-
ible VE formula (nom./acc.), in total 15x Il. (of which 12x with Μενοιτίου), 5x Hes., 1x
h.Merc.; elsewhere in early epic used for Diomedes, Meges, Automedon, Herakles and
25–27 The graphic description of the process of decomposition is meant to rouse
pity for the dead and to induce Thetis to act to prevent it (Martin 1989, 33).
Likewise Andromache at 22.508  f. fears that Hektor’s body might become
infested with maggots. On additional literary uses of this experience of every-
day life (see also 30  f.) and on ancient specialist literature on flies, see Davies/
Kathirithamby 1986, 8  f., 150  ff.; KlP s.v. Fliege; on the intrusiveness of
swarms of flies, see also 2.469n., 2.469–473n.

24 τόφρα: ‘meanwhile’.
Commentary   25

25 χαλκοτύπους: a Homeric hapaxP and verb-noun compound, here with passive meaning
‘struck by/with (a) bronze (weapon)’ (cf. schol. bT ad loc.; on χαλκός ‘bronze’, see
1.236n., 2.226n., 6.3n.), in post-Homeric literature with active meaning ‘beating metal;
coppersmith’ (Edwards; LSJ s.v.); on this type of formation, which can be active or
passive, Risch 196  ff.; on the increased rate of hapax legomena in Achilleus’ speeches,
see Griffin 1986, 51  f., 57. — ὠτειλάς: in contrast to ἕλκος (49, 52; on this, 2.723n.), often
denotes lethal wounds or those on corpses (LfgrE s.v. ἕλκος; Trümpy 1950, 93  f.).
26 2nd VH = 16.545. — these make foul the body: The Greek verb aeikízein else-
where denotes the violation of corpses by the enemy; so a dignified burial is
prevented; cf. Iris’ appeal to Achilleus at 18.170–180 to help the Greeks prevent
Patroklos’ body from falling into the hands of the enemy (24.22n.; LfgrE; Segal
1971, 28  f.). There is thus a danger that the fierce battle for his body (17.104–369,
17.412–425, 17.543–761, 18.148–236) was in vain (cf. also 31n.).
εὐλάς: a verbal noun, perhaps related to εἰλέω ‘turn, wind’ (Frisk; contra Beekes),
here denoting the agile, whitish shimmering maggots or larvae (cf. 22.509: αἰόλαι εὐλαί)
that develop from the eggs of the blow-fly laid on flesh (cf. schol. bT). — ἐγγείνωνται:
a unique transitive aorist of the compound (‘produce within’: Kumpf 1984, 50; LfgrE
s.v. γίγνομαι 153.42  ff.; on transitive ἐγεινάμην beside intransitive ἐγενόμην, Schw. 1.746,
756; Wyatt 1969, 119  f. n. 19).
27 αἰών: denotes the ‘life force’ of young people that leaves them at death (5.685, 16.453,
Od. 7.224) or is stolen from them (Il. 22.58, Od. 9.523); it may be used in combination with
ψυχή (16.453, Od. 9.523); in post-Homeric literature also ‘spinal cord, marrow’ (LfgrE
s.v.; Degani 1961, 18  ff.; Bremmer 1983, 15  f., 74; Clarke 1999, 113  f.). — δ(έ): a parataxis
with causal function (Denniston 169; cf. 1.10n.; additional examples in Race 2000). —
πέφαται: in combination with ἐκ only here; perf. pass. elsewhere always with persons
as subjects (LfgrE s.v. θείνω, πεφνεῖν: ‘life is [has been] killed out of him’; on the form,
Schw. 1.297). — χρόα: on χρώς as a term for the visible parts of the body (‘skin’ or ‘flesh’
in the case of dead bodies; cf. 23.191, 24.414), see Snell (1939) 1999, 245 with n. 5; Laser
1983, 51–53; LfgrE s.v. — σαπήῃ: σήπεται also at 24.414 of the decomposition of Hektor’s
body, 2.135 of the mouldering of ship parts (LfgrE). As subject νεκρός (cf. 26) is perhaps
to be supplied (schol. bT; AH; Leaf; Willcock; cautiously Edwards on 25–27: “possi-
ble, but not necessary”).

25 καδδῦσαι: = καταδῦσαι (R 20.1), aor. part. of καταδύνομαι ‘slip into’; ἄλκιμον υἱόν (24) is its
26 ἀεικίσσωσι: aor. subjunc. of ἀεικίζω ‘treat improperly’, here ‘defile’; on the -σσ-, R 9.1.
27 ἐκ … πέφαται, κατὰ … σαπήῃ: on the so-called tmesis, R 20.2. πέφαται is perf. pass. of θείνω
‘beat’ (↑); σαπήῃ is aor. subjunc. of κατασήπομαι ‘rot’; on the uncontracted form, R 6. — χρόα
πάντα: acc. of respect (R 19.1), ‘all over the body’ (↑).
26   Iliad 19

28 =  18.127; ≈ 24.89. — Replacement of the speech capping formulaP with

the speech introduction formulaP of the reply is common in conversations
(Fingerle 1939, 373).
τὸν δ’ ἠμείβετ’ ἔπειτα: a VB formula (with τόν/τήν), in total 48x Il., 24x Od., 2x h.Ven.;
on the various response formulae, 1.121n. — θεὰ Θέτις ἀργυρόπεζα: a VE formula
(= 9.410, 18 146, 18.381, 24.120, Hes. Th. 1006) with a distinctive epithetP for Thetis (‘sil-
ver-footed’, see 1.538n.); on the epithet θεά in general, Dee 1994, 144; LfgrE s.v. 981.35  ff.;
cf. 1.280n.
29–36 Achilleus’ speech is successful: Thetis immediately addresses his worry
(29, cf. 37) and promises a remedy (30–33, cf. 38  f.), before giving him further
instructions (34–36); on this structure, cf. 21–27n.
29 ≈ 18.463, Od. 13.362, 16.436, 24.357, in each instance with the imperative θάρσει at
VB. The vocative τέκνον expresses greater intimacy (Higbie 1990, 95 with n. 9; on the
address, 8n.). — μὴ … μελόντων: On the negative present imperative of the 3rd person
in Homer, see Chantr. 2.231; Schw. 2.343. — μετὰ φρεσὶ σῇσι: always after caesura
B 2 (4x Il., 3x Od., in addition to the prosodic variant with ἐνί: Jahn 1987, 270); here it
denotes deeply felt worry (cf. 18–19n.). With τοι … σῇσι, cf. stressed ἐγώ at 30: ‘do not
concern yourself, I will take care of this’.
30–33 Decomposition will be prevented through special treatment (38n.) that
will also ensure a fresh appearance for the corpse, despite the delay of the
burial. Book 24 offers the same motif regarding Hektor’s corpse (see antici-
pation of motifsP; AH; Segal 1971, 29; Garcia 2013, 79–94): there Apollo pre-
vents infestation by maggots (24.18  ff., 24.414  f.), and upon its return to Hekabe,
the body appears to be that of someone recently deceased (24.757; cf. Hermes’
description at 24.419  f.).
30 I shall endeavour: understatement: Thetis has no doubt that she will be able
to preserve the body intact (32  f.).
ἄγρια: here pejorative (schol. bT; LfgrE s.v.). — φῦλα: used elsewhere in the Iliad only
for human beings or gods (but Od. 7.206: giants, ‘Hes.’ fr. 33(a).16 M.-W.: bees; see
Edwards on 29–32; 2.362n.; cf. ἔθνεα 2.87n.).
31 ≈ 24.415. — those flies, which feed upon the bodies: This reprises the motif
of the fear that corpses left unburied after battle will be consumed by dogs and

29 τοι: = σοι (R 14 1). — μελόντων: 3rd pl. imper.; in Homeric Greek, a plural verb can be used
with a neut. pl. subject.
30 τῷ: on the anaphoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17; obj. of ἀλαλκεῖν. — πειρήσω:
fut. act. (Attic passive deponent). — ἀλαλκεῖν: reduplicated aor. of ἀλέξω with zero-grade, + dat.
‘to keep away from someone’.
31 ῥα: ‘indeed, as generally known’ (R 24.1). — τε: on the ‘epic τε’, R 24.11.
Commentary   27

birds; cf. Hektor’s threat directed at the dying Patroklos at 16.836 (fundamental
references: 1.4n., 1.5n., 2.393n.).
αἵ ῥά τε: ἄρα in combination with τε marks inter alia relative clauses that contain char-
acteristic, universally applicable facts of experience (‘as is known’): Grimm 1962, 10  f.;
Ruijgh 439; cf. also 2.21n. — ἀρηϊφάτους: the verbal adjective φατ-, related to θείνω
(cf. πέφαται 27), with initial nominal element in the instrumental or locative dat. (Risch
19, 211, 219; LfgrE s.v. ἀρηϊκτάμενος); elsewhere only at 24.415, Od. 11.41. The war god’s
name is also used as a periphrasis for ‘battle’ (LfgrE s.v. Ἄρης 1257.21  ff.; cf. 2.381n.,
6.203–204n.). — κατέδουσιν: The compound (‘eat up, gobble down’) occurs elsewhere
in Homer of corpse-eating dogs (22.89, Od. 21.363), of a flesh-eating lion (Il. 17.542), and
metaphorically meaning ‘eat one’s heart out’ (6.202); in the Odyssey, usually of the con-
sumption of possessions (LfgrE s.v. ἔδω). κατα- stresses the totality: i.e. without inter-
vention, the corpse would be consumed in its entirety.
32 2nd VH = Od. 4.86, 10.467, 14.292, 15.230, Hes. Th. 740, h.Ap. 343, h.Hom. 20.6. — κεῖται:
a contracted, short-vowel subjunc. *κει̯εται (Leaf; Schw. 1.679; Chantr. 1.457; cf.
G 89). — τελεσφόρον: ‘bringing completion (> fruit)’, in early epic only in this formula
(see iterata) and as an epithet of Zeus (h.Hom. 23.2); here the formula denotes a particu-
larly lengthy period of time (Gundert 1983, 171  ff., esp. 172 n. 4; LfgrE).
33 VE ≈ 16.557. — ἀρείων: The body will not only be ‘unchanged’ (ἔμπεδος) and thus
‘undamaged’ by feeding flies, but will even be ‘better’, i.e. its physical consistency will
be consolidated and strengthened by the divine medicine.
34–36 The second part of Thetis’ speech provides information about the impor-
tant events to follow (a so-called ‘table of contents’ speech, see de Jong on Od.
1.81–95): settlement of the quarrel in the military assembly (40–276) and arming
for battle (351–424). Achilleus’ plan for revenge (1.407–412; on this, 1.408n.,
1.410n., 1.411n., 1.422n., 2.375–380n.) has been fulfilled in all its points  – as
he already stated to Thetis at 18.74–79 – so that the time has now arrived to
conclude his boycott of battle and his quarrel with Agamemnon (Latacz [1995]
1997, 53  f.; on the onset of the quarrel, see 1.85–91n., 1.306–348a n.; on the need
to settle the quarrel in public, see Raaflaub 1988, 213  f.). Since receiving the
news of Patroklos’ death, however, Achilleus has been filled with such longing
for battle and revenge (18.90  ff., 19.23a) that he has not yet considered either
concrete steps for settling his quarrel with Agamemnon (merely hinted at at
18.111  f.) or a communication to the Greek army as a whole. Consequently,
Thetis must provide instructions in order for him to proceed further (AH,
Anh. 5; Tsagarakis 1971, 272  f.).

32 περ: concessive (R 24 10).

33 αἰεί: = ἀεί. — ἀρείων: ≈ ἀμείνων (R 13).
28   Iliad 19

34 ≈ Od. 1.272. — Go then and …: Greek allá with the imperative marks the tran-
sition from argument to exhortation (1.127n., 2.360n.). — assembly: Achilleus
also convened the military assembly at 1.53  ff., an action encouraged by Hera
(cf. 40–276n.). — the fighting Achaians: Greek hḗrōes Achaioí is formulaic
for the Greek army; cf. the mustering at 1.54. The narrator alternately uses the
metrically convenient variants Achaioí, Danaoí (e.g. 78) and Argeíoi (e.g. 84) to
denote the Greeks: 1.2n. On the use and connotations of the Greek term hḗrōs,
see 1.4n., 6.34–35n.
ἀλλὰ σύ: a VB formula (1.127n.). — ἥρωας Ἀχαιούς: an inflectible VE formula (acc./
nom. pl.: 8x Il., 2x Od.).
35 refers to the key scene at 56  ff.: the implementation of this exhortation is stated
by the narratorP at 75 (with n.) in an almost literal repetition and with echoes
of 1.1. This leitmotif technique is a stylistic feature of predominantly oral epics
(cf. 6.86–101n. [end] with bibliography). On the ‘wrath’ (Greek mēnis) motif,
see 1.1n., 1.1–12a n., 1.247a n., 6.326n.
μῆνιν ἀποειπών: This form of the participle – hiatus that ‘makes position’ with an ety-
mologically unjustified double digamma (ἀπο(ϝϝ)ειπών)  – occurs only here and may
mark expressiveness; in elided form, it occurs at 75 (μ. ἀπειπόντος; on linguistic flexi-
bility, G 41; Chantr. 1.135). The phrasing with a participle, and the consequently greater
weight for the exhortation that follows (36: αἶψα μάλ’), is entirely in line with Achilleus’
ideas: the publicly demonstrated renunciation of the wrath is a precondition for what
really matters to him, namely the preparations for battle. – On the basis of the expres-
sion here and at 75, Book 19 was labelled in antiquity μήνιδος ἀπόρρησις (cf. schol. D
introduction; Eust. 1168.16). — Ἀγαμέμνονι ποιμένι λαῶν: an inflectible VE formula
(2.243n.); on the phrase ποιμένι/-α λαῶν as a title, see 1.263n., 2.85n.; West 2007, 421
(IE parallels); on λαοί ‘men at arms, warriors’, see 1.10n.
36 put your war strength upon you: This formulation (the combination occurs
elsewhere only at 9.231, likewise of Achilleus) is formed in imitation of the
strapping on of armor (e.g. 3.328, 16.129, 19.368, 19.371; see LfgrE s.v. δύνω
358.24  ff.) and the metaphor with the formulaic ‘clothed in force’ (7.164, 8.262,
18.157, 20.381, Od. 9.214, 9.514); it stresses the connection between armor and
force in battle: schol. bT; Porzig 1942, 103; Edwards on 34–36; LfgrE s.v. ἀλκή;
cf. 1.149n.; Semitic and Vedic parallels in West 1997, 239 and 2007, 92.

34 ἀγορήν: on the -η- after -ρ-, R 2.

35 ἀπō(ϝ)ειπών: from ἀπειπεῖν ‘retract, renounce’; on the prosody, ↑. — λαῶν: from λᾱϝός (= At-
tic-Ionic λεώς, cf. R 3).
36 ἐς: = εἰς (R 20.1). — θωρήσσεο, δύσεο: thematic imper. mid.; on the uncontracted forms, R 6.
Commentary   29

αἶψα μάλ(α): a VB formula (4x Il., 5x Od.); denotes rapid progress of an action (‘instan-
taneously’). — πόλεμον: in early epic usually means ‘battle/fighting’, less often ‘war’
(LfgrE s.v. 1335.41  ff.; 2.453n. with bibliography). — δύσεο: also at 16.129, Od. 17.276,
καταδύσεο Il. 18.134; imperative of the thematic s-aorist δύσετο (cf. G 63), which may
originally have been formed from the future δύσομαι, cf. δύσεαι 9.231 (3.262n. [βήσετο];
Schw. 1.788; Chantr. 1.417; Risch 250; Leumann [1953] 1959, 236  f.). — ἀλκήν: ‘fighting
spirit’; denotes the spirit of resistance, the will to defense, that prevents a warrior from
fleeing (3.45n.; LfgrE; Porzig 1942, 320; Latacz 1966, 25, 28; Benveniste 1969, 72  ff.).
37 1st VH = speech capping formulaP (12n.); 2nd VH ≈ 17.156, Od. 13.387. — drove
the strength of great courage into him: The instilling of aggressive energy
(Greek ménos is literally ‘energy, drive’, see 1.103n.) rouses or heightens activ-
ity (cf. Jahn 1987, 42  ff.). It serves to express, as often elsewhere, how a divin-
ity affects a human being, especially in battle situations (e.g. 5.125, 17.569  f.,
20.79  f.); in the present passage, it may also portray the effects of divine parae-
nesis (Kullmann 1956, 76; on divine impulses in general, 2.451b–452n.).
μένος πολυθαρσές: formula after caesura B 2 (see iterata), always as an object of
ἐν-ίημι, comparable with the phrase μένος καὶ θάρσος after caesura A 2 (Il. 5.2, Od.
1.321); on Vedic parallels, Schmitt 1967, 116; West 2007, 88. The possessive compound
πολυθαρσής ‘having much courage’ is used in early epic as a distinctive epithetP only of
μένος (Risch 83; LfgrE).
38–39 Introducing ambrosia and nectar through the nostrils to prevent decom-
position vaguely recalls the Egyptian technique of embalming, particularly of
the head, as described by Herodotus (2.86) (see LÄ s.v. Balsamierung; BNP s.v.
Mummies). It is unclear to what extent Homer would have had knowledge of
embalming techniques (in support: AH; Leaf 1902, 619; Edwards on 29–39;
Kurtz/Boardman 1971, 186; Griffith 1994, 20  ff. with n. 17; Somville 1999,
80  ff.; cautiously Lorimer 1950, 99; Laser 1983, 24, 161 n. 424; Garland
[1982] 1984, 16; Pulleyn 2006, 73 n. 118; in opposition: Mylonas 1962, 478  f.;
Andronikos 1968, 5  f., cf. Kirk on 7.85; on Homer’s knowledge of Egypt,
3.6–7n.; HE s.v. ‘Egypt and Homer’). In Homeric epic, cremation is customary:
1.52n., 24.16n. — ambrosia and red nectar: Patroklos undergoes an unusual
treatment meant to preserve his body particularly well (cf. 33): The divine
foods ambrosia and nectar – in Homeric epic not stringently differentiated into
food and drink (cf. Od. 5.93, 5.199, 9.359, Hes. Th. 640, 642, 796, h.Cer. 49, h.Ap.
124, h.Merc. 248) – are administered to a mortal only here and (as nourishment
for Achilleus) at 347  f./353  f. (347–354n.; BNP s.vv. Ambrosia, Nectar; LfgrE s.vv.
ἀμβρόσιος, νέκταρ; RE s.v. Ambrosia, especially col. 1811; on Indo-Iranian par-
allels for food and drink of the gods, see West 2007, 157  f.). But ambrosia (Greek
ambrosíē, derived from ámbrotos ‘immortal’) has additional uses, in contrast
to nectar (see BNP s.v.; LfgrE s.v. ἀμβρόσιος), and serves the same purpose here
30   Iliad 19

as at 16.670/680 and 23.186  f., where it denotes an ointment with which Apollo

and Aphrodite prevent the decomposition of the bodies of the two major war-
riors on the Trojan side, Sarpedon (CM 10; 2.876n.) and Hektor (CM 8), until
their respective burials (Edwards on 29–39).  – The color ‘red’ is either an
indication that nectar, as the drink of the gods, is understood as analogous to
wine (thus Od. 5.93, h.Ven. 206; cf. oínos/-on erythrós/-ón 7x Od. at VE, 1x h.Cer.
before caesura B 2; see Edwards on 37–38), or as a (‘transfused’) substitute for
blood serving to strengthen the dead body (Leaf; Schnaufer 1970, 153  f.).
38 VE = Od. 5.93, h.Ven. 206. — ἀμβροσίην: derived from the verbal adjective ἄμβροτος (cf.
2.57n.; on the word formation, G 15), a noun in -ίη meaning ‘food/ointment of the gods’
(Frisk, Beekes s.v. βροτός; Schw. 1.469; Schmitt 1967, 48–50; Pulleyn 2006, 62–65
with n. 74). — νέκταρ: The etymology is disputed (LfgrE s.v. with bibliography): inter
alia, it is explained as a Semitic or Egyptian loan word (Griffith 1994: from Egyptian
ntry: ‘divine’, borrowed later as νίτρον) or as an IE compound (Frisk, DELG; Beekes;
Pulleyn 2006, 69–72: initial element νέκ- [related to νέκυς, νεκρός] and final element
-ταρ [like Old Indian tár-ati] ‘transcending death’; for the doxography, see Garcia 2013,
80  f.).
39 ≈ ‘Hes.’ fr. 23(a).23 M.-W. — The exit of the goddess is tacitly understood (in
contrast to 1.221  f. [with n.] but similar to 2.182, 3.426/447, etc.); Achilleus comes
to the fore (40  ff.). The extra verse 39a (see app. crit.), transmitted in late mss.,
is probably an interpolation (Edwards on 37–38; Hellwig 1964, 70 n. 78; Kurz
1966, 106 n. 31).
κατὰ ῥινῶν: ‘down through the nostrils’; on the locative gen., Schw. 2.479, Chantr.
2.113. — ἵνα … εἴη: a final clause with opt. is a marker of secondary focalizationP; cf.
Thetis’ announcement at 33 (de Jong [1987] 2004, 111; cf. 2.794n.).

40–281 The entire Achaian army witnesses the settlement of the quarrel between
Achilleus and Agamemnon.
A momentous assembly of the entire Greek army that brings about the turning
point in the wrath-storyline and the return of Achilleus to the community of
fighters. Its significance is highlighted structurally by (a) distinct parallels to
the first assembly, likewise convened by Achilleus (1.54  ff.), which contained
the beginning of the wrath of Achilleus (overarching composition: Lohmann
1970, 173  f.; cf. 1.54n. [end]), and (b) the assembly having an equivalent on the
divine level in the assembly of gods at 20.4–32 (cf. particularly the emphasis

38 ἀμβροσίην: on the -η- after -ι-, R 2.

39 στάξε: aor. of στάζω ‘drip/drizzle’. — κατὰ (ῥ)ῥινῶν: on the prosody, M 4.6.— ἵνα (ϝ)οι: on the
prosody, R 4.3. — οἱ: = αὐτῷ (R 14 1).
Commentary   31

on the [near] universality of participation: 19.42–54 and 20.7–9): Edwards on

42–45; Kurz 1966, 52; cf. further Bethe 1914, 70  f.; Arend 1933, 117  f.; Reinhardt
1961, 413  f.; Bannert 1987, 16  f.; Tsagarakis 1982, 100; Tsagarakis 1990, 116  f.;
Elmer 2013, 125  f. – On the general course of a military assembly, 1.54n. with
bibliography, in addition Hölkeskamp 2002, 311  ff.; Kelly 2007, 68–75. – The
assembly is element (1) of the type-sceneP ‘armies joining battle’ (on which, see

40–75 Achilleus summons the Greeks to the assembly, where he publicly informs

Agamemnon of the end of his wrath and asks him to send the troops into battle, in
which he himself means to participate.
40 But he … walked: marks a break in the action and a change of scene (1.34n.).
Setting out forms a contrast to Achilleus lying down near Patroklos’ body and
expresses the beginning of activity (Kurz 1966, 103; cf. 4–6a n.). — along by
the sea-shore: The shore serves as a link between individual sections of the
camp (1.34n.); elsewhere, it also serves as a leitmotif denoting Achilleus’ iso-
lation (1.350n., 24.12a n.).
αὐτὰρ ὃ βῆ: a VB formula (11x Il., 4x Od.); on the use of ὅ, cf. 6b n. (ἣ δέ); on the verse
structure (anaphoric pronoun and noun-epithet formula at VE), see Bakker 1997, 92,
199. — παρὰ θῖνα θαλάσσης: likewise at Od. 4.432, 14.347; frequently expanded into a
VE formula by πολυφλοίσβοιο preceding θαλάσσης (1.34n.). — δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς: on the VE
formula and the meaning of δῖος, 1.7n.
41 crying his terrible cry, and stirred up: The unusual emphasis on the acous-
tic element, in contrast to other calls to assemble (cf. 1.54 [also Achilleus],
2.50  ff., 9.10  ff., 20.4  ff.), reflects Achilleus’ mood, which is animated by an urge
for battle (cf. 16–18, 37), and is a kind of anticipated call to battle (Krapp 1964,
59  f.; Heath 2005, 126  f.). The VB formula Greek smerdaléa iáchōn (7x Il., 1x
Od.) elsewhere refers to attacking cries in battle, with smerdaléa stressing the
strength of the attacker’s emotions and the resulting volume (LfgrE s.v. ἰάχω;
Kaimio 1977, 62  f.; 2.309n.; on ἰάχω, also 2.333a n.).
ἰάχων: originally a reduplicated thematic present stem *ϝι-ϝαχ- (Frisk; Beekes; Schw.
1.690; Chantr. 1.139; Risch 270; LIV 665; differently Untermann on Il. 16.785). On the
formation of formulae with ἰαχ-, see Hoekstra 1965, 53; Fernández-Galiano on Od.
22.81. — ἥρωας Ἀχαιούς: 34n.

40 ὃ … δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς: ὅ is anaphoric demonstrative (R 17), to which δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς is in apposi-
41 σμερδαλέα (ϝ)ι(ϝ)άχων: on the prosody, R 4.3. — σμερδαλέα: ‘awful, terrible’ (adv.). — ὦρσεν:
aor. of ὄρνυμι.
32   Iliad 19

42–46 The significance of this military assembly, which will set important events
in motion, is signalled by the mention of exceptional participants, the stew-
ards and the helmsmen, who (a) otherwise play no role in the Iliad (23.316
helmsmen only in a comparison), and (b) had so far remained absent from
assemblies (42). Why they do not attend assemblies on other occasions cannot
be deduced from this passage. Their presence here, however, can be explained
by the special circumstances: Achilleus’ cry, signalling the longed-for return to
battle, mobilizes not only the armed section of the Achaian army but also the
rear (40–281n.; Ruzé 1997, 72).
42 τὸ πάρος γε: ‘on each previous occasion’, i.e. ‘otherwise, usually’, with the counterpart
τότε γ(ε) at 45 (LfgrE s.v. πάρος 989  f.64  ff.); with the iterative form μένεσκον, it stresses
the contrast between common practice and the present case. — νεῶν ἐν ἀγῶνι: the
formulaP occurs elsewhere at 15.428, 16.500, also at 16.239 with νηῶν; on the meaning
of ἀγών (‘assembly, rallying point’), Leaf on 15.428; LfgrE s.v.; Trümpy 1950, 265  f.
n. 419.
43–44 οἵ τε … | καὶ …: τε … | καί connects the two relative clauses at 43 and 44, which are
in apposition to the relative clause at 42; καὶ ἔχον οἰήϊα νηῶν in 43 is a complementary
explanation for οἵ τε κυβερνῆται (sc. ἔσαν cf. 44): AH; Faesi; Ruijgh 424.
43 helmsmen: Homeric ships were steered by a helmsman with a single rudder.
Helmsmen were experts in seafaring (cf. 23.316  f., Od. 3.279–283) and likely
commanded an individual ship and its crew (cf. the figurative use of Greek
kybernḗtēs ‘leader, ruler’ in post-Homeric Greek, as well as modern terms such
as ‘cybernetics’, ‘government’); beside the warriors, who served as rowers
during a journey, they seem to have formed a discrete professional class in the
Achaian army (LfgrE s.v. κυβερνήτης; Casson 1971, 46., 300–304, 322; Kurt
1979, 209–211).
ἔχον: ‘hold’ while ‘steering’, like the reins of a team of horses (LfgrE s.v. 840. 78  ff.). —
οἰήϊα: denotes the ‘tiller’, a crossbar functioning as a handle at the upper end of the
rudder’s shaft, which moved the rudder blade and thus set the ship’s course, cf. Od.
12.218 (also Od. 9.483, 9.540): Kurt 1979, 146  f.

42–45 οἵ … | οἵ … | … | … οἵ: in 42/43, relative pronouns; in 45, anaphoric demonstrative pronoun
(R 17).
42 ῥ(α): = ἄρα (R 24.1: avoidance of hiatus). — περ: intensifying (R 24.10). — μένεσκον: iterative
(-σκ-: R 16.5).
43 ἔχον(ν) οἰήϊα: on the prosody, M 4.6 (note also the caesura). — νηῶν: on the declension,
R 12.1.
Commentary   33

44 stewards  … dispensers of rations: The unique mention of the stewards

may prepare for the subsequent discussion of eating before battle (156  ff.; thus
Leaf; Edwards on 42–45).
ταμίαι: masc. formation beside feminine ταμίη (on this, 6.381n.); derived from the root
ταμεῖν ‘to divide’ in a way that is formally unclear, and originally denoting the person
who manages and apportions provisions, the term is also used metaphorically (e.g. at
224, with n.) for Zeus as allocator of immaterial goods (Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v. ταμία;
LfgrE s.vv. ταμίη, ταμίης; Risch 118; Leukart 1994, 144, 236 with n., 269).
45a καὶ μάν: The particle combination is elsewhere always used in direct speeches (23.410,
Od. 11.582, 11.593, 16.440, 19.487) to affirm a statement, and appears only here in narra-
tor text; it serves to note emphatically the exceptional participants mentioned. — οἵ:
referring to the groups of persons particularly stressed at 43  f., in anaphora with the
relative pronoun οἵ at 42. — εἰς ἀγορήν: ‘assembly’ or ‘place of assembly’ (1.54n.; Ruzé
1997, 26).
45b–46 =  18.247  f., 20.42  f. — since now Achilleus | had appeared, after  …
battle: gives the Achaians’ motive for action, i.e. their thoughts (secondary
focalizationP; Edwards on 18.246–8; de Jong [1987] 2004, 233 n. 2; 1997, 178
with n. 5). The appearance of Achilleus mobilizes the Achaians weakened
from battle; at the same time, it frightens the Trojans (18.243  ff., 20.42  ff.). – The
return of the hero to the community after a long absence is a common epic
motif (Nagler 1974, 131  ff.; Lord 1991, 140  f.; on the structure of the so-called
‘return song’, see Foley 1990, 361  ff. with bibliography). — after staying so
long from the sorrowful battle: a kind of summary of Achilleus’ boycott
of battle throughout the previous 17 Books (STR 22 fig. 2; cf. 18.125; on the
summaryP-verse, 1.53n.): Achilleus has now been raging for 16 days, but has
missed only three days of battle. The addition ‘for a long time’ (Greek dērón)
was accordingly already regarded by the scholiasts as needing explanation
(cf. schol. A, bT on 18.125). But given the events of Days 2 and 3, which were
unfavorable to the Achaians (STR 21 fig. 1), even three days of battle without
Achilleus represent a long stretch of time from their point of view (cf. 18.125
[Achilleus himself] and Edwards on 18.121–5).
ἐξεφάνη: integral enjambmentP with emphatic effect, stressing the hero’s return to the
community. — μάχης … ἀλεγεινῆς: Both the speeches by characters and the narrator
text reveal that the attitude toward battle was ambiguous: epithetsP with negative con-

44 ἔσαν: unaugmented impf. of εἰμί (R 16.1, R 16.6).

45 καὶ μάν: emphatic ‘and indeed, and even’ (R 24.7). — ἴσαν: unaugmented (R 16.1) 3rd pl. impf.
of εἶμι. — οὕνεκ(α): crasis from οὗ ἕνεκα (R 5.3), ‘because’.
46 δηρόν: adv., ‘for a long time’.
34   Iliad 19

notations predominate (6.330n.; further examples and bibliography on this at 1.162n.,

2.453– 454n.), but in direct speeches μάχη is also linked with κυδιάνειρα, an epithetP
with a positive connotation (Trümpy 1950, 135; de Jong [1987] 2004, 231  ff.; LfgrE s.v.
47–53 Three assembly participants already mentioned together in the descrip-
tion of the previous day of battle (14.27–29, 14.379–381, 16.25  f.) are referred to
by name: Diomedes the son of Tydeus (CM 3), who temporarily replaced the
absent Achilleus as a warrior (6.96–101n.); Odysseus (CM 3), who appeared
as the spokesman of the delegation sent to appeal to Achilleus in the failed
attempt at reconciliation (9.192  ff.); and Agamemnon (CM 2), Achilleus’ oppo-
nent in the quarrel. On this occasion, their wounding during the previous
day’s battle, and thus the crisis faced by the Greek army, is called to mind. In
the case of Agamemnon, this is done in somewhat greater detail (51–53; on the
repeated references to the wounding of the three leaders, see Reichel 1994,
202  f.).
47 two who came limping: Diomedes had sustained injuries to his foot (11.369–
378), Odysseus to his side (11.434–438) (AH).
Ἄρεος θεράποντε: ‘warrior’ (2.110n.); the remodelling of the VE formula θεράποντες
Ἄρηος (e.g. 78) serves to avoid hiatus in the dual (Hoekstra 1965, 135; Lowenstam
1981, 6; on the declension of Ἄρης, G 53).
48 Tydeus’ son the staunch in battle, and brilliant Odysseus: The naming
of the first two occurs in a whole-line verse  – with chiastic arrangement of
the two names and epithets, as at 1.7 (see ad loc.) – with the personal name
‘Diomedes’ replaced by the patronymic ‘son of Tydeus’ (a common method, cf.
1.1n.). Elsewhere, all three wounded men are mentioned in a whole-line verse
(14.29, 14.380; cf. 47–53n.).
μενεπτόλεμος: a verb-noun compound, ‘persisting in battle’; the generic epithetP is
used only here in reference to Diomedes and is elsewhere always placed after caesura
B 2 (2.740n.); here it may have a pregnant sense (LfgrE): a reminiscence of his aristeia
(Book 5) and endurance in this war (e.g. 8.90  ff., 8.253  ff., 9.46  ff., 9.696  ff., 14.110  ff.). —
δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς: a VE formula (23x Il., 79x Od.), analogous with δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς

47 τὼ  … σκάζοντε  … θεράποντε: duals; σκάζω: ‘limp’. — βάτην: =  (ἐ)βήτην (3rd dual aor. of
βαίνω); here ingressive. —Ἄρεος: on the declension, R 12.4.
48 μενεπτόλεμος: on the πτ in -πτόλεμος, R 9.2.
Commentary   35

49 1st VH ≈ 14.38, Od. 10.170. — leaning on spears: Wounded warriors gener-

ally support themselves on their lance; thus all three already at 14.38. Carrying
arms in an assembly is also common elsewhere (Gröschel 1989, 75  f.; van
Wees 1998, 335  f. with n. 9).
γὰρ ἔχον: a lengthening of the vowel in the arsis (–⏖), cf. 2.39 (with n.), Od. 11.580,
h.Cer. 57; whether the original initial h of ἔχω (from IE s-) is still prosodically effective
here (thus 1.51n.) is debatable. — ἔχον ἕλκεα λυγρά: VE ≈ 15.393; ἕλκεα are usually
recent injuries the victim has survived (LfgrE s.v. ἕλκος). Here and at 52, the phrasing
may be meant to make the wounds received on the previous day seem fresh.
50 took their seats in the front rank: On the seating in the place of assembly
and on the place of honor for the elite, see 1.54n., 2.99n.
51–53 Agamemnon’s appearance at the end guarantees that everyone pays atten-
tion to the wounds he sustained in battle. At the same time, he is likely signa-
ling his aversion to a private conversation with Achilleus (Lateiner 1995, 54).
The portrayal of this entrance and the reference to the events surrounding the
wounding of Agamemnon may serve to prepare for 77 (with n.; cf. anticipation
of scenes/motifsP; Edwards, Introd. 21).
51 lord of men: On the meaning of this title (probably originally Mycenaean),
see 1.7n.
αὐτὰρ ὅ: On the structure of the verse, see 40n. — δεύτατος: predicative, ‘last, as the
last one’ (likewise at Od. 1.286, 23.342); literally a superlative of δεύτερος (‘the second,
the later’): LfgrE; Frisk, Beekes s.v. δεύτερος. — ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων: an inflect-
ible VE formula (36x nom., 11x voc.; in total 44x Il., 2x Od., 1x Hes.).
52 κρατερῇ ὑσμίνῃ: an inflectible VE formula denoting a ‘forcefully, powerfully con-
ducted battle’ (2.40n., with ἐνί 10x Il., 1x Od.). The hiatus results from declining the
formula (M 14), which is common in the acc., where there is no hiatus (in total 20x acc.
and 2x gen. sing. vs. 13x dat./nom. sing.).
53 Internal analepsisP: Agamemnon was wounded in the arm by Koön when the
latter was trying to avenge his brother’s death, and he then killed his attacker
(11.248–263). The choice of words in the Greek is reminiscent of formulaic

49 ἐρειδομένω· ἔτι: on the hiatus, R 5.6; ἐρειδομένω: dual. — γάρ: on the prosody, ↑. — ἕλκεα:
neut. pl. of ἕλκος ‘wound’; on the uncontracted form, R 6.
49 50 κὰδ … ἵζοντο: κάδ = κατά (R 20.1); on the so-called tmesis, R 20.2. — μετὰ πρώτῃ ἀγορῇ:
πρώτῃ predicative, ‘at the front in the midst of the assembly’. — κιόντες: part. of the defective
verb κίε ‘went’.
51 αὐτάρ: progressive ‘but, indeed’ (R 24.2). — ὅ: on the anaphoric demonstrative function of
ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17.
52 καὶ … τόν: ‘also this one’, cf. 51n. — ἐνί: = ἐν (R 20.1). — κρατερῇ ὑσμίνῃ: on the hiatus, ↑.
53 δουρί: dat. sing. of δόρυ (R 12.5).
36   Iliad 19

descriptions of wounding (Trümpy 1950, 92; Higbie 1990, 174  f.) and evokes
memories of past battle scenes (on ‘lance’ and ‘spear’ as offensive weapons,
2.692n., 3.18n., 6.3n.; Buchholz 2010, 113–121; on the depiction of woundings,
6.9–11n. with bibliography). — Koön, the son of Antenor: bears a Greek name
(related to koéō ‘behold’). His role in the Iliad is limited to the single attack
on Agamemnon that forces the latter to retire from battle, temporarily giving
the Trojans the upper hand (11.191  f., 11.267  ff.): von Kamptz; Wathelet s.v.;
Strasburger 1954, 31; on Antenor and his sons, see CM 9, 2.822n., 3.122n. —
bronze edge: literally ‘fitted with (a) bronze (tip)’; on the epithet and the ques-
tion of the material used for weapons, see 6.3n.
οὖτα: a root aorist, meaning ‘strike, wound (from nearby)’ (6.64n.). — χαλκήρεϊ δουρί:
an inflectible VE formula (6.3n., with bibliography on the various noun-epithet formu-
lae for ‘spear’).
54–276 The storylines that had for the most part been running separately since
1.306  ff. (Achilleus-Myrmidons, Agamemnon-main force) come together again
in this military assembly in which the Achaians generally take part (1.306–
348a n.; STR 22). After the sequence of speeches and replies between Achilleus,
Agamemnon and Odysseus (55–237), the handing over of gifts and the oath
ritual (238–268) are designed to conclude the quarrel before the eyes of all
assembled and thus to strengthen the camaraderie of the Achaian army as a
whole (cf. Achilleus’ closing words at 275). On the reactions (or lack thereof) of
the participants in the assembly, see Elmer 2013, 125–131.
54 1st VH = Od. 8.131; ≈ Il. 7.207, 14.187, 16.198, Od. 5.76, 6.227, 7.134, 8.282. — when
all the Achaians were in one body together: The mention of the unusual
participants (42–45) and the highlighting of the wounded leaders (47–53) is
followed by a concluding statement that the assembling body is complete; cf.
1.57n. The opening of the assembly in fact takes place only when all concerned
are present and thus becomes possible only with the arrival of Agamemnon
(cf. 51–53n.).
ἀολλίσθησαν: denominative from ἀολλέες ‘in a body, all together’ (190–191n.). In con-
trast to ἀγείρω (1.57, 2.52, etc.), which is often used in this context, it emphasizes the
united coming together of all Achaians (πάντες) in one place (cf. LfgrE s.vv. ἀολλίζω and
ἀολλέες; Edwards; on the formation, Risch 299): i.e., even those who at the beginning
of the Iliad had ‘stood apart in conflict’ (1.6n.) have come.

54 αὐτάρ: progressive ‘but’ (R 24.2). — ἀολλίσθησαν: unaugmented aor. of ἀολ-λίζεσθαι ‘gather

together’ (R 16.1).
Commentary   37

55 = 1.58 (see ad loc., also on speech introduction formulaeP generally); 1st VH

=  9.52. — Achilleus of the swift feet  … spoke: Greek pódas ōkýs Achilléus
is a VE formula (1.58n.).  – Achilleus speaks first, as also in the assembly in
Book 1 that he convened (cf. 40–276n.). In a similar fashion, Agamemnon
appears as the first speaker in the two major military assemblies he convened
(2.50  f./99  ff., 9.9–12/13  ff.).— stood up: Normally the speaker arises and steps
forward (1.54n., 2.278b–279n.).
μετέφη: an introduction in speeches addressing a collective, usually together with
the dat. pl.: ‘he spoke among …’; this contrasts with speeches prefaced by compounds
in προσ-, which are directed at single individuals, e.g. in the present Book: 106/120
(προσηύδα), 145/ 154/198/215 (προσέφη), 184 (προσέειπεν), besides 76 (μετέειπεν), 100
(μετέφη), 269 (μετηύδα): LfgrE s.v. εἰπεῖν 479.39  ff. and 480.15  ff.
56–73 Achilleus’ speech directed at Agamemnon can be divided into three parts
after the address (the same as at 1.59): (1) a brief summary of the preceding
events in the form of a ring compositionP: (A) a rhetorical question concerning
the benefit of the quarrel for both (56–58), (B) an expression of the wish that
Briseïs had died earlier (59–62), (A’) the statement that the quarrel only con-
ferred advantage on the Trojans (63–64); (2) transition: a turning away from
the past (65–66); (3) a view ahead in ‘free string’ formP: (C) a renunciation of
the wrath (67–68a), (D) a request to lead the army into battle with Achilleus
himself as a fellow combatant (68b–71a), (E) the consequences for the Trojans
(71b–73). On the structure of the speech, see Lohmann 1970, 32  f. with n. 49;
Edwards. — At 58, Achilleus downplays the original cause for the quarrel (cf.
58n.) and keeps his words brief, as he is concerned not so much with redress
from Agamemnon (cf. 147  f.) as with preparing for battle as rapidly as possible
(cf. 68  f. ‘the more quickly …’, 148  ff. ‘immediately’, and the contrast with 46
‘so long’), so that he can exact revenge (Taplin 1992, 205; Latacz [1995] 1997,
59; Wilson 2002, 116).
56–64 In the retrospective look at the quarrel, phrasing dominates that stresses
the common ground (56–58, 64: ‘for both, for you and me, we  … together,
between us’; Greek dual forms) between Achilleus and Agamemnon (on the
meaning of the ‘we’ forms, cf. 1.59–67n.). In this way, as in his rhetorical ques-
tion, Achilles expressly avoids allocating blame for the quarrel. He has long
regretted the evil caused by quarrelling and rage (18.102  ff.; see van Wees 1992,
135). By linking major losses among the Achaians with his boycott of battle

55 τοῖσι: on the declension, R 11.2. — δ(έ): can indicate a transition to a main clause (apodotic
δέ: R 24.3). — πόδας: acc. of respect (R 19.1).
38   Iliad 19

(61  f.), he acknowledges his responsibility and prepares for the renunciation of

his wrath at 67  f. (Edwards on 56–73).
56 Ἀτρεΐδη: 23x in the Iliad at the beginning of speeches; address by the patronymic
alone, lacking a personal name and/or epithet, is common, e.g. 1.59, 3.250, 19.185,
20.200 (1.59n., 3.182n.; on the personal name Ἀτρεύς, see 1.7n., 3.36–37n.). — ἦ ἄρ τι:
‘somehow after all?’; ἦ (‘really?, somehow?’) may introduce, as here, a specious ques-
tion that suggests a negative reply (AH; Faesi; Leaf; Schw. 2.564; Chantr. 2.10  f.; cf.
1.203n.). — ἄρειον: ‘better’, sc. than ‘the unexpressed opposite of the possibility men-
tioned’ (transl.); similarly e.g. 6.339, 24.52 (LfgrE s.v. ἀρείων 1226.15  ff.).
57 we, for all our hearts’ sorrow: Achilleus emphasizes their commonality
in regard to a painful experience: both men had to return the ‘gift of honor’
awarded by the military community (Greek géras; on this, 1.118–129n.); this
caused feelings of mortification, powerlessness and rage (on Greek áchny-
mai, 8n.), first for Agamemnon (1.103  ff., on this, 1.103n., 1.105–120n.), then for
Achilleus (1.148  ff., 1.188  ff., 1.349  ff., on this, 1.149–171n.).
ἔπλετο: VB ἔπλετ(ο) 6x Il., 5x Od.; aor. of πέλομαι in the sense ‘turn out to be’ (LfgrE
s.v. 1135.10  ff., esp. 57  ff.). — ὅ τε: more likely to be written separatim with the meaning
‘that’, introducing a factual complementary clause of τόδε ‘that (thing) there’ (cau-
tiously Chantr. 2.290; cf. West 1998, XXIX), than temporal ὅτε (AH [‘as’]; Ruijgh 816
[‘maintenant que’]; undecided Leaf; Monteil 1963, 262; on the issue in general, see
1.244n.). — ἀχνυμένω κῆρ: an inflectible VE formula (nom. sing./dual/pl., acc. sing.: 7x
Il., 6x Od., 1x ‘Hes.’ Sc.); κῆρ is a verse-filling element with no context-specific meaning,
used for mental processes, cf. 65 (Jahn 1987, 197  f., 208 with n. 42; 1.24n.).
58  quarreled: Quarrel (Greek éris) is a core motif of epic poetry; on the concept
in the Iliad, see 1.8n., 1.173–187n. — for the sake of a girl: The reference is to
Briseïs (cf. 1.336 [1.184n.]), who had been granted to Achilleus by the Achaians
as part of his booty (1.162, 1.299, 1.392). The phrasing highlights the compara-
tive triviality of the cause for the quarrel (AH; cf. 2.377 with n. [Agamemnon],
9.637  f. [Aias]): whereas in response to the Achaian offer of reconciliation,
Achilleus stressed his love for Briseïs (9.341–343; cf. also 16.85  f.) and his loss of
honor (9.644–648; cf. 1.355  f., 1.412) and otherwise repeatedly named the scan-
dalous seizure of his gift as the cause for the quarrel (1.161, 1.356, 1.392, 9.367  f.,

56 Ἀτρείδη, ἦ: on the hiatus, R 5.6. — ἄρ: R 24.1. — τόδ(ε): subj., looking forward to ὅ τε (57). —
ἄρειον: ≈ ἄμεινον (R 13).
57 καὶ ἐμοί: on the so-called correption, R 5.5. — νῶΐ: nom. dual of the personal pronoun of the
1st person (R 14.1); subj. of μενεήναμεν (58); for the combination of dual and plural, R 18.1. — περ:
stresses the preceding word (R 24 10). — ἀχνυμένω: dual. — κῆρ: acc. of respect (R 19.1).
58 ἔριδι (μ)μενεήναμεν: on the prosody, M 4.6 (note also the caesura). — εἵνεκα: metrically
lengthened initial syllable (R 10.1). — κούρης: on the form, R 2, R 4.2.
Commentary   39

16.56), here he downplays the incident (similar to his withdrawal from the first
assembly at 1.298  f.), since in the face of his grief for Patroklos and his thirst
for revenge, all else has lost significance (Edwards 56–73; Wickert-Micknat
1983, 6 n. 1; Latacz 2008, 133). — soul-perishing: On the various versions of
the common Greek metaphor ‘heart-eating’, see below (on θυμοβόρῳ) and
θυμοβόρῳ: an epithet of ἔρις used only in the Iliad; similarly at VB 7.210 (θυμοβόρου
ἔριδος μένει) and in the VE formula ἔριδος πέρι θυμοβόροιο (7.301, 16.476, 20.253). It is
otherwise used in reference to duels on the battlefield and, as here, at 20.253 to a battle
of words. A noun-verb compound ‘eating, consuming strength, the heart, the soul’ in
the sense ‘draining the substance from’ (Risch 207; LfgrE s.v.; Clarke 1999, 91; cf. LfgrE
s.v. θυμός 1082.48  ff.; differently AH on 7.210 and Edwards ad loc.: ‘life-destroying’; cf.
θυμοφθόρος 6 169n. and θυμὸν ὀλέσσῃ 1.205n.). The same metaphor appears in other
expressions in early epic, particularly ‘eating the heart’ from grief or rage (θυμοδακὴς
μῦθος Od. 8.185, θυμοβορεῖν Hes. Op. 799, θυμοφθόρος Od. 4.716, phrased differently
at Il. 1.491 [see ad loc.]., 6.202, 24.129, Od. 9.75, Hes. Th. 567, etc.). — μενεήναμεν: a
denominative from μένος (Schw. 1.440; Frisk and Beekes s.v. μένος; DELG s.v. μέμονα),
denoting a fierce or furious striving and raging; used in the aor. in verbal confronta-
tions to mean approximately ‘flare up, burst out’ (LfgrE s.v.; Edwards on 56–58; Adkins
1969, 17  f.; cf. 1.103n. on μένος: specifically aggressive energy). — εἵνεκα κούρης: a VE
formula, in the Iliad always of Briseïs (5x Il., 1x Od., 5x ‘Hes.’); on the metrical lengthen-
ing of εἵνεκα, 1.174n.
59–60 Given the present situation, it is understandable that Achilleus wishes
that Briseïs had died the day they met (Taplin 1992, 215  f.; Bouvier 2002, 303;
cf. 1.348a n.). On the death-wish motif in general, see 3.173a n. and the biblio­
graphy at 6.345–348n.
59 Artemis: see CG 7; she brings sudden death to women (exceptionally to men
as well: Od. 5.123  f.) with her arrows (6.205n.; BNP s.v. Artemis). — beside the
ships: i.e. in the camp (1.12b n.).
ὄφελ(ε): denotes something unfulfillable/unfulfilled in the present and the past
(1.353n., 6.345n.; Allan 2013, 3 and 16  ff.: ‘if only’; on the component of regret, Chantr.
60  when I destroyed Lyrnessos: an external repetitive analepsisP (cf. 2.690  ff.);
on the destruction of Lyrnessos, Briseïs’ native city, see 291–296n., 2.690n. (on
Achilleus’ campaigns of conquest in general, 1.366n.; STR 23 fig. 3). — took
her: Achilleus alludes to his deliberate choice of Briseïs (Greek emphatic per-

59 τήν: on the anaphoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17. — νήεσσι: on the declension,
R 12 1. — κατακτάμεν: athematic aor. act. inf. of κατακτείνω (R 16.4).
40   Iliad 19

sonal pronoun egṓn helómēn) during the distribution of booty in the camp
(AH; 2.690n.; LfgrE s.v. αἱρέω 356.55  ff., 358.15  ff.). At 9.330–334, he describes
Agamemnon’s supervision of the distribution of the booty he himself had won
(on the procedure in general, 1.118–129n., 1.162–168n.).
ἤματι τῷ, ὅτ(ε): a VB formula, usually a recollection of one’s own experiences (2.351n.);
it often refers not to a particular day but to a specific situation, usually an incident in the
past (Fränkel 1946, 132; Kelly 2007, 344–346).
61 2nd VH = 24.738, Od. 22.269. — would have bitten: ‘To bite the ground’ is a
colloquial periphrasis describing a warrior’s death (2.418n.); on parallels in
Sanskrit, West 2007, 490; on other paraphrases for ‘to die’, see 6.19n.
τώ: ‘in that case, then’, an adverb formed from the old instrumental ending -ω, cf.
οὕτω(ς) (2.250n.; Rix [1976] 1992, 170; on the acute accent, West 1998, XXII; Führer/­
Schmidt 2001, 20 n. 111 prefer the circumflex). — ὀδάξ: an adverb, in the Iliad usually
in conjunction with ἕλον/εἷλον (see above), in the Odyssey (3x) also with the VE formula
ἐν χείλεσι φύντες. The etymology is uncertain; it has been linked with ὀδών and δάκνω:
‘with the teeth’ and/or ‘biting’ (Frisk and LfgrE s.v. ὀδάξ; Fernández-Galiano on Od.
22.269; Beekes s.v.: ‘folk-etymological connection’). — ἄσπετον οὖδας: a VE formula
(see iterata, also Od. 13.395), always used in connection with dying. ἄ-σπετος is com-
monly explained as a verbal adjective related to the root of ἔσπετε (2.455n.; LfgrE s.v.
ἄσπετος: ‘unspeakably [large]’; on οὖδας ‘soil, ground, earth’, see Richter 1968, 95;
LfgrE s.v.).
62 2nd VH = 9.426 (likewise of Achilleus). — when I was away in my anger: On
Achilleus’ wrath, 1.1n.; he mentions only his own irreconcilable stance, but not
that displayed by Agamemnon after the eruption of the quarrel in Book 1 and
revealed at e.g. 1.247 and 1.285–291 (cf. 1.286–291n.).
δυσμενέων: an emotionally charged term for opponents in a war, usually in character
languageP (3.51n.). — ὑπὸ χερσίν: ὑπό with dat. with the meaning ‘under the influence
of’ (2.374n.). — ἐμεῖ’ ἀπομηνίσαντος: on the spelling ἐμεῖ(ο) rather than ἐμεῦ, see GT 7,
but also G 45 with n. 25; the prefix of ἀπο-μηνίζω can have an intensifying function (‘was
wholly submerged in wrath’; cf. AH and Leaf) or may include a temporal aspect (‘was
raging continually’; cf. 2.772n.). The gen. absolute with an aor. part. is uncommon in
Homer (Chantr. 2.324 with collection of examples).

60 ἤματι τῷ: ≈ ἐκείνῳ τῷ ἤματι; on the demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17. — τῷ, ὅτ(ε): on
the hiatus, R 5.6. — ἑλόμην: sc. τήν (cf. 59). — ὀλέσσας: on the -σσ-, R 9.1.
61 κ(ε): = ἄν (R 24.5). — τόσσοι: on the -σσ-, R 9.1.
62 δυσμενέων: on the uncontracted form, R 6. — ἐμεῖ(ο): = ἐμοῦ (R 14.1). — ἐμεῖ’ ἀπομηνίσαντος:
on the hiatus, R 5.1.
Commentary   41

63 Hektor: see CM 8, 1.242n. — better: Achilleus himself responds thus to the

rhetorical question put at the beginning (56–58): so far, only the opposing
army had got benefits and advantages. Nestor (CM 3) already pointed out in
Book 1 that the Trojans would rejoice at a quarrel between the two men (1.255–
257): Edwards.
Ἕκτορι μὲν καὶ Τρωσί: a slightly modified VB formula (Ἕκτορι καὶ Τρώεσσι(ν) 3x Il.),
a variant of the more common inflectible formula Τρωσίν τε καὶ Ἕκτορι that follows
caesura A 4 (10x Il.). The common formulation ‘Hektor and the Trojans’ highlights him
as the leader and focus of his people (Strasburger 1954, 103 with n. 3; Stoevesandt
2004, 199). — τό: refers to ὅ τε νῶΐ … | … μενεήναμεν εἵνεκα κούρης 57  f. — κέρδιον: a
comparative derived from κέρδος (‘advantage, gain’), meaning ‘of which someone has
a greater advantage’, i.e. ‘more advantageous, better’ (3.41n.); rare in a retrospective
declarative fashion, as here, but elsewhere usually hypothetical (LfgrE s.v.). — αὐτὰρ
Ἀχαιούς: an inflectible VE formula, only in the Iliad (12x nom., 7x acc., 2x dat., 1x gen.);
on the beginning of a new sentence after caesura C 2, see 1.194n.
64 will  … long remember: In Achilleus’ view, the Achaian army will have to
suffer the consequences of the quarrel for a long time to come, and the incident
will accordingly endure in the Greeks’ memory. Via the reflection of the charac-
terP on his own ‘fame’, the narrator may also be pointing toward the medium
of such remembrance, i.e. epic poetry: AH; Edwards; Lowenstam 1993, 103
n. 110; cf. Helen’s reflection at 6.357  f. that her fate would provide material for
future poets, and the appearances of the singers Phemios and Demodokos in
the Odyssey. For further examples with bibliography, see 2.119n., 6.356–358n.
ὀΐω: frequently serves to tone down a statement (‘I believe’; here likely understate-
ment); on this and the variants between the active and middle variants, probably used
only for metrical convenience, see 1.59n.
65–66 =  18.112  f. — Already at 16.60  f., Achilleus hinted with similar words to
Patroklos at a possible abating of his wrath, and at 18.112  f., using the same
words as here, he announced to Thetis the end of the quarrel and his deci-
sion to rejoin battle; with ‘now indeed’ (18.114, 19.67), he announces his
further actions: in the conversation with Thetis, he emphasized revenge and
death (cf. 18.95  ff.), in the military assembly, the renunciation of his wrath
and his reentry into battle (Edwards on 65–68; de Jong [1987] 2004, 190; AH
and Lohmann 1970, 32 n. 49 argue against the authenticity of the verses in
the present passage). In what follows, Achilleus also implies that the end of

63 μέν: ≈ μήν (R 24.6). — τό: on the anaphoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17; subj. of
κέρδιον (sc. ἦν). — αὐτάρ: 54n.
64 δηρόν: 46n.
42   Iliad 19

the quarrel and his wrath has nothing to do with Agamemnon (cf. 66n.), but
instead emanates solely from himself (cf. the stressed personal pronoun egṓ
at 67). The wounding of his pride and Agamemnon’s humiliating behavior no
longer play a role for him (58n.; Bouvier 2002, 417  f.; Kim 2000, 127  f.).
65 1st VH = 16.60; 2nd VH = 19.8, 24.523, Od. 16.147. — we will …, though it hurts
us: 8n., cf. 57n. Achilleus will suffer from the death of Patroklos even after the
cessation of the quarrel and his wrath. For the rest of the Achaian army, the
renunciation of his wrath is a cause for joy; cf. their reaction at 74.
προτετύχθαι ἐάσομεν: προ-τεύχω in early epic only in this form (likewise at 16.60,
18.112); although πρό in Homer rarely means ‘previously’ (Monro [1882] 1891, 192;
Chantr. 2.130  f.; cf. Leaf ad loc.), 1.70 πρό τ’ ἐόντα is comparable (Schw. 2.506; Janko
on 16.60); the perf. pass. inf. thus means approximately ‘to have happened previously, to
be over’ (Janko on 16.60–61 [‘to exist in the past’]; Willcock on 16.60; LfgrE s.v. τεύχω
437.59: ‘to have been done in the past, be over and done’). On ἐάω with inf., see LfgrE
s.v. 383.33  ff.: ‘to let be, leave in peace’; Nussbaum 1998, 77  f.; cf. ἐάσομεν … | κεῖσθαι 8  f.
(with n.).
66 1st VH = 9.637, 14.316, Od. 21.87. — by constraint: i.e. in the face of the precar-
ious situation within the army and the associated danger posed to a successful
end to the undertaking. Because of Patroklos’ death, Achilleus feels compelled
for personal reasons – and against significant mental resistance – to take the
first step and to set aside the quarrel and his wrath. Although he generally
highlights the enormous losses of the Achaian army in the present assembly
(61  f., cf. 203  ff.), in his statement to Thetis he specifically mentioned his desire
for revenge on behalf of Patroklos (AH and Edwards on 18.112  f.; LfgrE s.v.
ἀνάγκη 770.36  ff., esp. 49  ff.). — anger: Greek thymós can denote the seat of
emotions or the emotions themselves (2.196n.); here likely ‘agitation, anger’
(Böhme 1929, 78 with n. 1; LfgrE s.v. θυμός 1081.51  ff., especially 1082.14  ff.;
further bibliography in Bremmer 1983, 54 n. 111).
θυμὸν  … δαμάσαντες: The same expression with θυμός ‘agitation’ also at 9.496 in
Phoinix’s admonition to Achilleus (δάμασον θυμὸν μέγαν), 18.113 Achilleus to Thetis,
Od. 11.562 Odysseus’ plea to the deceased Aias to abandon anger and strife (δάμασον …
ἀγήνορα θυμόν) (Hainsworth on 9.496); cf. the expression with ἐρητύω/ἐρητύομαι,
1.192n. — ἐνὶ στήθεσσι: ‘in my breast’, i.e. ‘inwardly’ (cf. 1.189n.). — φίλον: can function
as a pure possessive pronoun (‘own’) or carry an affective meaning (‘dear, beloved’); see

65 τά: on the anaphoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17. — ἐάσομεν: short vowel aor.
subjunc. (R 16.3). — περ: concessive (R 24.10).
66 ἐνί: = ἐν (R 20.1). — στήθεσσι: on the declension, R 11.3, on the plural, R 18.2.
Commentary   43

1.20n., 3.31n. Here it likely means ‘dear, beloved’; cf. the separation of noun and epithet
across both verse halves (cf. Robinson 1990, 107).
67–70 By publicly declaring the end of his wrath toward Agamemnon (cf. 35n.),
Achilleus implicitly submits once more to his command (on his temporary
rejection of Agamemnon’s authority, see 1.150n.); for his campaign of revenge
against Hektor and the Trojans, he relies upon the Achaian army. His request
to Agamemnon nonetheless appears impatient (68 ‘come on then! The more
quickly  …’) and ill-considered: since catching sight of the new armor, he is
driven by anger at Hektor to such a degree (16n.) that he takes into consider-
ation neither the physical condition of individual leaders nor the fact that the
army has thus far had no food (cf. 154  ff.).
67 1st VH = 23; VE = Od. 19.118. — νῦν δ’ ἤτοι μὲν ἐγώ: 23a n. — χόλον: denotes an emo-
tional excitement that can suddenly befall an individual or rise up within him, but that
can also be suppressed or stopped (1.81–82n.; Clarke 1999, 93–96; cf. ἔδυ χόλος 16n.);
here almost synonymous with μῆνις (cf. also ἀπομηνίσαντος 62). The formulation in
Thetis’ speech at 35 (with n.) and in narrator text at 75 (with n.) picks up the subject of
the Iliad (see 1.1n.). — οὐδέ τί με χρή: a variant of the VE formula οὐδέ τί σε χρή (8x Il.,
7x Od., 3x h.Hom.); this particular version always occurs in advice delivered to individu-
als, e.g. Phoinix’s appeal to Achilleus at 9.496  f. (Martin 1989, 199).
68 VE =  20.257. — ἀσκελέως: a hapaxP in the Iliad (ἀσκελέ[ε]ς 3x Od.). Etymology and
meaning are unclear, perhaps related to σκέλλω ‘dry up, parch’ (Frisk; DELG; Beekes),
in which case it means approximately ‘shriveled, parched, hard’ and thus ‘unbending,
unrelenting’ (AH; Leaf; Edwards on 65–68; LfgrE; schol.  T: ἄγαν σκληρῶς); likewise
in reference to emotions at Od. 1.68  f., 4.543  f., differently at 10.463 ἀσκελέες καὶ ἄθυμοι
(‘sans force’ DELG; ‘weak’ Heubeck on Od. 10.463). Achilleus thus likely wants to create
the impression in the assembly that his renunciation of his wrath should also be attrib-
uted to the plight of the Achaians and the various appeals for his help, e.g. 9.230  ff.,
9.496  ff., 16.21–35, 16.202–207 (LfgrE). — μενεαινέμεν: ‘to be angry, rage’ (58n.). — ἀλλ’
ἄγε: a transition from the argument to instructions for action, 1.62, 2.72 (see ad loc.),
etc. — θάσσον: on the accent, West 1998, XX, s.v. ἄσσον.
69 ≈ 2.51, 2.443; 1st VH ≈ 2.589, 17.383. — flowing-haired Achaians: a VE formula;
on the long hair of the Achaians, 2.11n.
πόλεμόνδε: a compound of the acc. and the enclitic particle -δε (1.54n. s.v. ἀγορήνδε;
G 66).

67 ἤτοι: R 24.4. — μέν: emphatic (≈ μήν: R 24.6). — οὐδέ τι: ‘not at all, in no way’.
68 αἰεί: = ἀεί. — μενεαινέμεν: pres. inf. (R 16.4). — ἄγε: in origin, imper. of ἄγω; in combination
with an imper. or subjunc., an expression of encouragement: ‘come!’.
69 κάρη: Attic τὸ κάρα (R 2), ‘head’; acc. of respect (R 19 1). — κομόωντας: on the epic diectasis,
R 8.
44   Iliad 19

70 ≈ 20.352. — Trojans: On the use of this term for the entire force on the Trojan
side (including allies), see 2.125–126n., 2.816n.
ἔτι καί: points toward an earlier activity that has been interrupted until now, and
should here be understood as approximately ‘once more, again’, in contrast to the oth-
erwise common meaning (2.229n.: ‘besides’) (AH; Leaf). — πειρήσομαι: with an object
and indirect question, means ‘test whether someone …’ (LfgrE s.v. πειράω). — ἀντίος
ἐλθών: a variable VE formula (ἀντίος/-ον ἐλθών/-εῖν/-οι/-ω/ἦλθεν: 10x Il.); ἀντίος
means ‘facing, opposite’, usually in combination with intransitive verbs of motion;
also frequent in battle situations to denote an attack (‘confront, stand up against’):
LfgrE s.v.; Kurz 1966, 125. The transmission vacillates between adverbial ἀντίον and
the predicative adjective (app. crit.; schol. A ad loc. and schol. b on 6.54), but adjectival
ἀντίος is better attested in comparable passages (2.185, 20.352, also e.g. 11.219, 21.150,
22.113; differently with the infinitive at 7.160 and in the VB formula ἀντίον ἐλθέμεναι,
e.g. 17.67).
71a wish to sleep out by the ships: Despite the warnings of Polydamas (CM 9),
the Trojans reaffirmed this once more after Hektor’s advice in their assembly
(18.245–313, especially 18.254  ff.; cf. Hektor’s earlier demand at 8.497  ff. and
the effect this tactic has on the Achaians at 9.230  ff.). Achilleus expects that
they will no longer do so after the end of this day of battle (cf. 21.526  ff.).
αἴ κ’ ἐθέλωσ(ι): an indirect question, dependent on πειρήσομαι (AH; Faesi; Kelly 2007,
172); in effect a double question with an implicit second element (‘whether they …, ‹or
not›’). For bibliography on this, 1.66–67n.; on ἐθέλω (here ‘desire’) in a threatening,
sarcastic tone, LfgrE s.v. 414.51  ff. — ἰαύειν: ‘to pass the night’, as at 18.259, etc.; on the
etymology and meaning of the underlying IE root (‘stay, linger, pass the night’), see
LfgrE with bibliography; Strunk 1999, 271  ff., especially 272.
71b–73 Achilleus concludes his speech, confident that the opponents will fail in
the imminent battle.
71b ἀλλά … οἴω: ἀλλά modifies the content of the preceding sentence (71a) with the fol-
lowing claim (LfgrE s.v. ἀλλά 528.21  ff.). οἴω is here an expression of one’s own superior-
ity (LfgrE s.v. ὀΐω 628.26  ff.; cf. 64n.). — τιν(ά): collective ‘some, many a one’ (cf. Schw.
72 2nd VH ≈ 7.118; VE ≈ 7.173. On different forms of the verse that depend on the
preceding context, see Clark 1997, 124  f. — rest where they are: Greek góny

70 ὄφρ(α): ‘so that’ (R 22.5). — πειρήσομαι: short vowel aor. mid. subjunc. (Attic deponent pass.);
on the form, R 16.3; its object is Τρώων.
71 αἴ κ(ε): αἰ = εἰ (R 22.1), κ(ε) = ἄν (R 24.5). — νηυσίν: on the declension, R 12.1. — οἴω: active with
no recognizable difference in meaning from the middle (R 23).
72 αὐτῶν: partitive gen. dependent on τιν(ά) in 71. — φύγησιν: 3rd sing. subjunc. (R 16.3), effec-
tive aor. ‘escape’.
Commentary   45

kámpsein means ‘to bend the knee’, i.e. to settle down in order to rest after a
successful escape, cf. Od. 5.453 (AH; Kirk on 7.117–119; LfgrE s.v. κάμπτω; differ-
ently LfgrE s.v. γόνυ 175.38  ff.: of a quick run [‘turn tail’]).
ἀσπασίως: a deverbative from ἀσπάζομαι; an analogous formation is θαυμάσιος (from
θαῦμα) and θαυμάζω (Frisk and Beekes s.v. ἀσπάζομαι; Risch 114). It literally means ‘in
a welcome manner, gladly’; the adverb in the context of flight and escape from battle
also at 7.118, 11.327, 18.270 (LfgrE s.v.). — φύγησιν: on the subjunc. ending -ησι (without
ι subscr.), West 1998, XXXI.
73 1st VH = 7.119, 7.174, 17.189, 21.422. — δηΐου: used in Homer as an epithet of πῦρ, πόλεμος
and ἀνήρ; here likely ‘hostile, destructive’; on the etymology and the development
of the meaning, 2.415n. — ἐκ πολέμοιο: 36n. — ὑπ’ ἔγχεος: ‘under the influence of’
(Schw. 2.528; cf. 3.436n., 6.368n.; on the lance, 53n.). — ἡμετέροιο: On the emphatic
and metrical function of the pl. possessive pronoun with sing. meaning, see Floyd 1969,
122, 129.
74–76 On the sequence ‘speech capping formulaP – audience reaction – speech
introduction formulaP’, see 2.333–335n. with bibliography.
74 1st VH = 3.111. — strong-greaved Achaians: a VE formula; on greaves as mili-
tary equipment, see 1.17n., 3.330n., 3.331n.
ὣς ἔφαθ’· οἳ δ(έ): a speech capping formulaP (45x Il., 35x Od., 1x Hes. Op., 1x h.Ap.);
on the speech capping pattern ‘spoke’ + reaction of the listener/listeners (subject in
noun-epithet formula), see 1.33n.; collection of examples of the pattern with a positive
reaction in Finkelberg 1989, 182  f. — ἐχάρησαν: denotes an ‘emotional, joyful excite-
ment’, here triggered by Achilleus’ longed-for announcement: Latacz 1966, 56  f., 232; cf.
Elmer 2013, 241 n. 18.
75 2nd VH = 17.214, 18.226. — Within the structure of the Iliad, the storyline ‘wrath
of Achilleus’ and the parallel storyline ‘pledge of Zeus’ are finally concluded
(STR 22 with fig. 2; 34–36n., 35n., 1.488–492n.). — son of Peleus: On designat-
ing Achilleus by means of a patronymic, see 1.1n.
μῆνιν … Πηλεΐωνος: a four-word verse with epexegetic function: the cause for the joy
is thus highlighted (1.75n.; Bassett 1919, 224). The verse contains echoes of 1.1 (see
ad loc.) in word-choice and structure: the thematic word μῆνιν at VB, Achilleus in the
gen. at VE, here in a periphrastic denominationP (on μῆνις in reference to Achilleus,
see 1.247a n.).  — μῆνιν ἀπειπόντος: on the compound, 35n.; on the gen. absolute,
62n.  — μεγαθύμου Πηλεΐωνος: μεγάθυμος ‘great-hearted, with great passion’ is a
generic epithetP (1.123n.; on θυμός, cf. 2.196n.), in reference to Achilleus also at 17.214,

73 πολέμοιο: on the declension, R 11.2. — ἔγχεος: on the uncontracted form, R 6.

74 ἔφαθ’: = ἔφατο, impf. of φημί; on the middle, R 23. — οἵ: anaphoric demonstrative pronoun
(R 17), to which ἐϋκνήμιδες Ἀχαιοί is in apposition.
46   Iliad 19

18.226, 20.498, 21.153, 23.168, Od. 3.189. The word is here revitalized: on its importance
in the context of this passage (the wrath is now directed at Hektor and the Trojans), see
Edwards on 17.213–214; Shive 1987, 58  f. and 171 n. 19; on the problem of contextual
sensitivity of epithets, see FOR 39.

76–144 Agamemnon tries to win sympathy for his behavior by bringing divine

forces into play, and declares his willingness to publicly deliver the promised gifts
of atonement to Achilleus.
76 = 3.455, 10.233. — τοῖσι δὲ καὶ μετέειπεν: a VB formula (8x Il., 8x Od.); μετ-έϝειπε is a
reduplicated thematic aor. from dissimilated *-e-u̯ e-u̯ qu̯ - (Schw. 1.745; Rix [1976] 1992,
216). — ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων: 51n.
77 VB ≈ Od. 13.56. — Because of the apparent contradiction with 79  f., this verse
was athetized already in antiquity and/or suspected as an interpolation
by Aristarchus; the speech introduction at 76 is occasionally transmitted in
a different version (e.g. in Zenodotus, see app. crit. on 76  f.). But the verse
is well attested, was read thus also by Aristophanes of Byzantium, and was
likely imitated by Apollonius Rhodius (Erbse 1960, 54  ff.; Rengakos 1993,
74  f.; West 2001, 252  f.; cf. GT 9–12). The position in which Agamemnon de­-
livers the speech that follows is disputed: either standing up, as customary for
speakers in an assembly (cf. 55, 79; on this custom, Arend 1933, 116  ff.; 1.54n.;
2.278b–279n.; 2.55n.), but near his seat, without stepping forward toward the
middle, like Telemachos at Od. 2.37 (thus AH; Faesi; Leaf; Willcock; LfgrE s.v.
αὐτόθεν; Erbse 1953, 243  ff.; Kurz 1966, 59  f.), or sitting down (Chantr. 2.99;
Mazon 6  ff. n. 1; Edwards on 76–84; West 2001, 252; 2011, 355). His remaining
seated during a speech is explained in various ways: (1) because of his injury;
cf. 47–53n. (schol. A; Edwards; Reichel 1994, 203); (2) on the assumption that
he is talking only to Achilleus and the small circle of leaders (schol. bT; Arend
1933, 118; van der Valk 1963, 582  f.; likewise Kurz 1966, 59  f.; West 2011, 355;
similarly Elmer 2013, 127 and 261 n. 32: without ‘standing in the middle’, since
this is a private conversation with Achilleus); (3) as a sign of his low regard for
Achilleus (Clay 1995, 72  ff.; Lateiner 1995, 55 n. 4, 97  f.; Beck 2005, 223  ff.) or
even as a reproach directed at Achilleus, since the latter interrupted him at
1.292  ff. (see ad loc.); cf. 79  f. (Rabel 1991, 109  ff.). (3) Sitting down as a sign
of discourtesy would not be commensurate with the situation and would be
directed at all those present; (2) is somewhat problematic: the settlement of

76 τοῖσι: on the declension, R 11.2. — μετέειπεν: = μετεῖπεν (↑).

77 αὐτόθεν: on the suffix, R 15 1. — ἕδρης: on the -η- after -ρ-, R 2. — οὐδ(έ): In Homer, connective
οὐδέ also occurs after affirmative clauses (R 24.8).
Commentary   47

the quarrel takes place publicly before the military assembly (34–36n., 139–
144n.; cf. 175); in contrast, (1) can be reconciled with Agamemnon’s remarks
at 79 (79–80n.) and offers further possibilities of interpretation: the indirect
reference to his impediment might (a) show that he too has become a victim
of the situation (cf. his appearance in the assembly, 51–53n.), and (b) allow
for leaving command of the imminent battle to Achilleus without losing face
(139n.). For extensive discussion of the issue, and regarding 79, see Edwards
on 76–84.
αὐτόθεν … οὐδ(έ) …: a kind of rhetorical polar expressionP (cf. e.g. 1.468n.; Tzamali
1997, 133). — ἐν μέσσοισιν: ‘in their midst’ (LfgrE s.v. μέσ(σ)ος 163.15  ff.).
78–144 In contrast to Achilleus’ opening speech (18 verses), Agamemnon’s reply
is significantly longer (67 verses). It consists of two short framing sections
(79–84: an appeal for attention, 139–144: a demand addressed to Achilleus)
and an extended central section (85–138, cf. 86b–138n.) with an explanation of
his behavior and, by granting material compensation, the implicit admission
of a mistake (Lohmann 1970, 75–80). The addressees are all the Achaians (78,
83  f., cf. 41  ff.) as witnesses to the public settlement of the quarrel. The explana-
tion is primarily addressed to Achilleus (83), to whose concession Agamemnon
must react. But he responds to Achilleus’ main issue – the immediate setting
out for battle – only briefly (139). Agamemnon’s behavior is determined by the
unpleasant situation of having to admit a mistake, although without losing
face; the speech and offer of gifts (137  f., 140–144) thus appear as a somewhat
half-hearted apology to Achilleus (Leaf on 85; Edwards on 78–144; Lateiner
1995, 54  f.; Allan/Cairns 2011, 130–133; cf. 51–53n., 139–144n.).
78 = 2.110 (see ad loc.), 6.67, 15.733; 2nd VH = ‘Hes.’ fr. 193.6 M.-W. — The whole-
verse address is elsewhere used in battle paraeneses (6.67, 15.733; special
case 2.110, see ad loc.). Although Agamemnon initially responds to Achilleus’
appeal to summon the army for battle (68  ff.), he lets the issue recede into the
background – with the exception of 139. — Danaans: 34n.
ὦ φίλοι: a VB formula (21x Il., 21x Od.). ὦ φίλοι is frequently used as an address for a
large group and implies familiarity; in reference to the military assembly in its entirety,
as here, at 2.299 (see ad loc.), etc.; on ὦ with voc., 1.442n. — θεράποντες Ἄρηος: cf.
79–84 Agamemnon indirectly phrases his appeal for calm listening, a kind of
captatio benevolentiae, as a general statement in the shape of gnomes: 79–80a
a positively and negatively phrased statement, 81–82a a question, 80b and 82b

78 Ἄρηος: on the declension, R 12.4.

48   Iliad 19

statements that correspond rhythmically and in terms of content (Ahrens 1937,

32; Lohmann 1970, 76; Lardinois 1997, 227 with n. 64). The substantiation of
a statement by means of gnomes is typical of a speaker with a claim to author-
ity (1.274n.). Here the phrasing might indicate that Agamemnon is anxious to
claim the authority that befits a man in his position, since at the moment he
is weakened both physically and mentally. The somewhat tortuous introduc-
tion might also be a sign of nervousness: it likely stems from the fear of noise
and interjections in the unusually crowded assembly whose participants – as
he well knows (cf. 86a n.) – did not at all approve of his conduct in the con-
frontation with Achilleus and harbor considerable sympathy for the previous
speaker (AH; Leaf on 85; Edwards on 78–84 and 80–82; Hammer 2002, 156;
differently Minchin 2007, 231  f.: reaction to the joyous noise produced by the
Achaians). In addition, 79  f. may contain an allusion to the last encounter
between Achilleus and himself in the assembly described in Book 1 (1.292 [see
ad loc.]), during which Achilleus interrupted him in a breach of the etiquette of
the agorḗ (Greek hybbállein) (Leaf; Edwards on 76–84). Cf. also Agamemnon’s
loss of authority in the assembly of Book 2, during which Odysseus eventually
had to call for order (2.182–335; on this, 2.42–47n., 2.139–141n., 2.186–187n.),
as well as the course of the action of the Iliad in general (1.150n.). – That no
speaker is interrupted is a major rule for an assembly’s success; calls for listen-
ing calmly are therefore frequent (e.g. 2.280–282, 3.86, 7.67, 8.5; further exam-
ples in Wille 2001, 89  f.; on order in the assembly, Hölkeskamp 2002, 312  f.).
79–80  79  f. (especially 79a) reflect the ideal case: the speaker, standing up in
accord with common convention, is entitled to (and receives) undivided atten-
tion: on terms for what is appropriate according to ‘common opinion’ (Greek
kalón and éoiken), see 1.119n.; LfgrE s.v. καλός 1312.33  ff.; Yamagata 1994,
230. Agamemnon may thus also be hinting at the contrast, disadvantageous
to himself, between Achilleus, who spoke while standing, and he himself,
who was wounded in battle and is thus weakened (and likely sitting down)
(Edwards on 76–84; Heath 2005, 127; cf. 77n.).
ἑσταότος μέν: μέν prepares for δ(έ) at 81; the meaning is probably approximately:
‘when one is standing (as Achilleus was), everyone listens, but when one is sitting (as I
am), it is difficult to make one’s voice heard before a great crowd’, particularly given the

79 ἑσταότος: = Attic ἑστῶτος, perf. of ἵσταμαι (cf. R 6); object of ἀκουέμεν. — καλόν: sc. ἐστι. —
ἀκουέμεν: pres. inf. (R 16.4). — οὐδὲ (ϝ)έ(ϝ)οικεν: on the prosody, R 4.3. — οὐδέ: ‘and not at all’; in
Homer, connective οὐδέ also occurs after affirmative clauses (R 24.8).
80 ὑββάλλειν: =  ὑποβάλλειν (cf. R 20.1), ‘interrupt’. — χαλεπόν: sc. ἐστι, ‘it (i.e. ὑββάλλειν) is
troublesome, tiresome’. — περ: concessive (R 24.10). — ἐόντι: = ὄντι (R 16.6).
Commentary   49

audience’s reaction to the preceding speech (Edwards on 76–84 and 80–82). — οὐδὲ
ἔοικεν: a VE formula (5x Il., 5x Od.). — ὑββάλλειν: The compound occurs only here with
the meaning ‘to interrupt (a speaker)’ (LfgrE s.v. βάλλω 35.35  ff.; cf. ὑποβλήδην 1.292n.),
differently at Od. 10.353 (‘put beneath’). — ἐπισταμένῳ περ ἐόντι: an adjectival use
of the participle ἐπιστάμενος ‘versed, experienced’ (adverb at 7.317) with a predicative
function (LfgrE s.v. ἐπίσταμαι; Schw. 2.408; Chantr. 2.321); the dative is the v.l. of Aris-
tarchus; the acc. found in the main tradition is interpreted as part of an incomplete acc.-
inf. construction (Faesi; Leaf with reference to 16.620; van der Valk 1963, 582 n. 111).
81–82  81  f. reflect Agamemnon’s situation: obstruction by noise, and conse-
quently the fear of being unable to make himself heard as a speaker (Martin
1989, 117; Dickson 1995, 27). Remarkably, Agamemnon at first speaks from the
point of view of a listener (81): an indirect appeal to those present to listen to
his explanation.
ὁμάδῳ: As at 2.96, this denotes noise and the buzz of the voices of the assembled
crowd, elsewhere mostly the noise and tumult of the fray of battle (LfgrE; Krapp 1964,
12; Kaimio 1977, 79).
82 2nd VH = 2.246 (see ad loc.); ≈ 1.248, 4.293, Od. 20.274. — βλάβεται: an old thematic root
present, as also at 166, Od. 13.34, beside βλάπτ-, the pres.-stem with suffix (Schw. 1.685,
704; Hoekstra on Od. 13.34). In Homer, the medio-pass. βλάπτομαι often means ‘trip,
lose one’s footing’, here applied to interrupted speech: the voice no longer cuts through
the noise; cf. λιγύς περ … (AH; LfgrE s.v. βλάβομαι with reference to ἐπιτροχάδην of the
quick flow of words [3.213n.]). — λιγύς περ ἐὼν ἀγορητής: λιγύς (‘speaking in clear
tones, resonant’) is a positive characterization of a speaker based on his clearly audible
voice (1.248n., 3.151–152n.).
83 I shall address the son of Peleus: With the exception of 139–144, Agamemnon
only speaks of Achilleus in the third person (likewise at 89, 188  f., 194  f.; differ-
ently Achilleus, see 56–64n.; on the patronymic, 1.1n.), nor will he reply directly
to any of Achilleus’ speeches until the end of the Iliad. Agamemnon’s detach-
ment was already revealed on the occasion of the embassy in Book 9; he avoided
calling Achilleus by name (9.118–161, cf. Hainsworth on 9.118). The narrator
may thus be illustrating the estrangement between the quarrelling parties, and
particularly Agamemnon’s inability to directly confront Achilleus, which the
latter had already observed at 9.372  f. (Lohmann 1970, 76 n. 133; Edwards).
This demeanor corresponds to the entire tenor of Agamemnon’s speeches and
actions in this assembly: they are not aimed primarily at Achilleus but at the
military assembly as a whole (Taplin 1992, 206; cf. 139–144n., 238–276n.).

81 κεν: = ἄν (R 24.5).

82 ἢ (ϝ)είποι: on the prosody, R 4.4.
83 ἐγών (before a vowel): = ἐγώ. — αὐτάρ: ‘but’ (R 24.2).
50   Iliad 19

ἐνδείξομαι: a Homeric hapaxP, ‘declare oneself to someone, turn to someone’, similarly

δείξατο h.Merc. 367 (LfgrE s.v. δείκνυμι), Hdt. 8.141.2, clarified by τὴν ἑωυτῶν γνώμην
(Leaf); on its signaling function, Christensen 2010, 554  f. — αὐτὰρ οἱ ἄλλοι: a VE
formula (6.402, Od. 8.40), cf. 15n.; οἱ ἄλλοι is to be connected with the vocative Ἀργεῖοι,
cf. 11.75, Od. 8.40–42 (Schw. 2.63; Chantr. 2.36 n. 3; Basset 2006, 117).
84 Argives: On this designation for the ‘Greeks’, see 2.79n.
σύνθεσθ’ … τ’ εὖ γνῶτε: a demand for attention, intensified by connecting terms of
similar meaning, that precedes the main statement at 86  ff.: σύνθεσθε ‘listen well, give
hear to!’ (Willcock: “pay attention!”; cf. 1.76n.), εὖ γνῶτε ‘mark well!’ (AH: ‘under-
stand precisely!’). Similar to a synonym doubling (on this, 1.160n., 2.39n.), this implies
mental reception alongside acoustic reception (Snell 1978, 44); cf. 2.26n. (emphasizing
the mental: Snell 1924, 27 [identification of the train of thought] and LfgrE s.v. γιγνώσκω
159.34  ff. [recognition of veracity]).
85 Agamemnon refers loosely to Achilleus’ comments regarding the quarrel’s
devastating consequences for the Achaian army (56–58, 61–63, cf. 56–64n.),
but remains vague: he appears to be taken by surprise by Achilleus’s course
of action, as well as embarrassed by the need to explain himself in front of the
military assembly (Leaf).
μῦθον ἔειπον: a VE formula (1.552n.); on the form ἔειπον, 76n.
86a found fault with me: The narrator makes clear that Agamemnon was criti-
cized repeatedly (85 ‘often’, 86 Greek iterative form) by the Achaians vis-à-vis
his behavior and his actions in the quarrel with Achilleus (internal completive
analepsisP; cf. Myrmidons  – Achilleus 16.202). Thersites did so at 2.239  f. in
an abusive tone (2.221–222a n., 2.225–242n.), but Nestor too uttered criticism:
cautiously at 1.254–284 (see ad loc.) and in no uncertain terms at 9.108–111.
The general resentment toward Agamemnon is mentioned at 13.108–113 and
14.49–51 (Schadewaldt [1938] 1966, 122  f.).
καί τε: expresses a climax (1.521n.). — νεικείεσκον: ‘scold, abuse’, here probably ‘criti-
cize’ (LfgrE s.v. νεικέ(ί)ω; Edwards on 85–86: ‘kept finding fault with’).
86b–138 Agamemnon prefaces his offer of compensation and his explanation
for what has come to pass with a terse statement that the fault for the whole
affair is not to be sought with him, and justifies that insistence with the claim,
typical for him (86b–88n.), that he fell victim to divine forces (86b–88 and
136  f.). In his reflections on what occurred (section A: 86b–94 / A’: 134–137),
Agamemnon embeds a myth of Zeus as a victim of delusion (section B: 95–133)

84 σύνθεσθ(ε): aor. imp. of συντίθεσθαι. — γνῶτε (ϝ)έκαστος: on the prosody, R 4.3.

85 ἔειπον: = εἶπον.
86 τε: ‘epic τε’ (R 24.11). — νεικείεσκον: iterative (-σκ-: R 16.5); on the unaugmented form, R 16.1.
Commentary   51

in order to gain sympathy for his conduct (ring-compositionP; paradeigmaP

with argument functionP; Alden 2000, 30–37, especially 36  f.; on exempla-nar-
ratives in the Iliad in general, Grethlein 2006, 46–63; 2012, 18  f.; Scodel
2008, 118–121). The aetiological narrative of the banning of Ate, personi-
fied ‘Delusion’ (CG 38), from Olympus is supposed to explain how delusion/
Delusion entered the world and thus also how the rift between Achilleus and
himself could come about (Priess 1977, 78, 188; Held 1987, 256; Davies 1995,
5  f.). The links between Agamemnon and Zeus are brought out by the parallel
structure of the two sections:
(A) Agamemnon:
a Delusion caused by Zeus, Moira (Destiny) and Erinys (86b–88)
b point of time (89)
c conclusion from events not portrayed here: impotence in the face of divine
power (90)
d aition: Ate’s workings among humans (91–94)
(B) Zeus:
a’ Zeus’ delusion and Hera’s ploy (95–97)
b’ point of time (98–99)
c’ Zeus’ delusional actions and their consequences (100–125)
d’ aition: Ate’s banishment and fall from Olympus to down among human be-
ings (126–131)
e’ Zeus’ lamenting of Ate in light of Herakles’ fate (132–133)
(A’) Agamemnon:
e Agamemnon’s realization of his delusion in light of Achaian casualties
This clear structure counters doubts expressed in older commentaries on
Homer (e.g. AH) regarding the meaning and authenticity of this section, as
well as various suggestions for athetesis. Thorough discussion and further
bibliography in Edwards on 85–138 and 95–133; Dodds 1951, 1–27; Lohmann
1970, 75–80; van Erp 1971, 57–60; Schmitt 1990, 85–89; Taplin 1992, 206–209;
Davies 1995; Sarischoulis 2008, 46–54; Cairns 2012, 14  ff.; Dentice 2012,
226–229 (with emphasis on the rhetorical qualities of the speech); cf. 95–133n.
86b–88 It is characteristic of Agamemnon that here, as earlier (2.111–115n., 2.375–
380n., 8.236  ff., 9.18  ff.), he attributes his conduct to the influence of Zeus. But
the gods usually induce human beings to perform actions they are otherwise
disposed toward (on the present case: 88n., 89n.): cf. double motivationP;
1.55n., 1.188–222n., 2.169–171n.; on the issue of individual responsibility in
Homer in general, see Schmitt 1990, 100–110. — yet I am not responsible
| but Zeus is, and …: Despite this statement, Agamemnon cannot and does
not want to evade all responsibility, since he has recognized his wrongdoing
52   Iliad 19

(2.375–380 [see ad loc.], 9.115–119, 19.89) and is accordingly prepared to give

satisfaction (137  f.); the qualifying references to higher powers are an attempt
to save face and win sympathy from the army (Edwards on 85–138; Willcock;
Kullmann 1956, 110  f.; Adkins 1960, 50–52; Lesky [1961] 1999, 398  ff.; Lloyd-
Jones [1971] 1983, 22  f.; Schmitt 1990, 87  f.; Taplin 1990, 75  ff.; Williams 1993,
52  ff.; Teffeteller 2003, 17  ff.; Rinon 2008, 78–80; Sarischoulis 2008a,
55–61; Scodel 2008, 118–120; Collobert 2011, 116  f.; Versnel 2011, 163–179
[especially 169  f.]). Agamemnon also attempts to render his hostile action
against Achilleus less harsh; cf. the latter’s reaction at 270  ff. (van Wees 1992,
113, 362 n. 110). – That gods are regarded as originators of evil can also be seen
at 409  f. (Achilleus’ death), 3.164  f. (Trojan War; on Helen’s acknowledgement
of her culpability, see 3.164–165n.), 13.222  ff. (Achaian defeat), etc. (cf. also
86b αἴτιος: ‘who has done something (to someone)’; denotes the author of a particular
evil, in the first instance without moral evaluation; with a negation it frequently speci-
fies one who deserves no blame (1.153n.; LfgrE).
87 a verse constructed in accord with the ‘law of increasing parts’ and consist-
ing of three personal names, with the third expanded by an epithetP (on the
IE origin of this stylistic device, 1.145n.; West 2004; 2007, 117–119; examples
and bibliography on triple combinations of deities, 2.478–479n.). This enu-
meration of divine predominance, in contrast to 95–97 (Zeus had only Hera
to deal with, albeit with one of her subterfuges), serves in particular to gain
the audience’s sympathy (Lohmann 1970, 78 with n. 135, 199; Erbse 1986, 14;
Versnel 2011, 170–174). — Destiny: The divine force that allocates a fate to all
human beings (Greek móira, literally ‘[apportioned] share’: Risch 137; Frisk,
Beekes s.v. μείρομαι); it is manifested either as an immutable course of events,
as here, or as the fate of death (409  f.; Erbse 1986, 275  f.; BNP, KlP and HE s.v.;
on personifications, cf. CG 29; Dietrich 1965, 203; on the concept of fate in the
Iliad, 2.155n.). — Erinys the mist-walking: This characterization points to her
unexpected, often eerie appearance: Erinys punishes violations of the elemen-
tal order and can bring delusion to human beings, as here and at Od. 15.234.
Elsewhere in Homer, she generally occurs as a collective (cf. 259n.), and as an
individual deity only here in the enumeration beside Zeus and Moira, at 9.571
(myth of Meleagros), Od. 15.234 (episode involving the seer Melampus) and
‘Hes.’ fr. 280.9 M.-W. (CG 13; Heubeck 1986, 155  f.; Johnston 1999, 141  f.). Moira
and Erinys, who frequently occur together, especially in post-Homeric liter-
ature, are the guarantors of divine order together with Zeus (Dietrich 1965,
91  ff., 203  f.; Dodds 1951, 7  f.; Erbse 1986, 14). Agamemnon offers no reason
for their interference. The naming of the three divine forces is thus largely an
attempt to gain sympathy among the audience: he was powerless against them
Commentary   53

(cf. also 90 [see ad loc.]). It is nonetheless noteworthy that Erinys is mentioned

here. In the context of the quarrel, her appearance may perhaps be explained
via a possible etymological connection with Greek éris (‘strife’) (see below),
but she is primarily seen as the avenger of wrongdoing. Agamemnon’s mention
of her may thus be taken as an expression of a certain sense of guilt (cf. 86b–
88n.) – or perhaps merely as a covert pointer by the narrator toward the back-
ground of Agamemnon’s delusion: according to the story told by Phoinix in
Book 9 (9.502–512), those who disregard the Litaí (‘pleas’) are punished with
Ate (‘delusion’); and the Iliad began with Agamemnon dishonoring the priest
Chyses and brusquely rejecting his plea for the return of his daughter (1.11n.,
1.17–21n., 1.26–32n.); his quarrel with Achilleus was thus an indirect conse-
quence of this misconduct (somewhat differently, West 2011, 355: associative
link with 9.504  ff. and 9.571).
ἠεροφοῖτις: a distinctive epithetP of Erinys (likewise at 9.571), feminine of a nomen
agentis in -της (Risch 142; Heubeck 1986, 160  f.), probably meaning something like
‘she who comes clothed in ἀήρ (literally mist)’, i.e. ‘who comes unseen’ (schol. D: ἡ
διὰ τοῦ σκότους φοιτῶσα, ἡ ἀόρατος; Dietrich 1965, 204; LfgrE s.v.; Hainsworth on
9.571; Beekes s.v. φοιτάω). On the transmitted variants, particularly εἰαροπῶτις (schol.
T; Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v. ἔαρ), and the post-Homeric image of the ‘blood-drinking’
Erinys, see Hainsworth loc. cit.; van der Valk 1963, 457; Rengakos 1993, 147  f.; John-
ston 1999, 141 with n. 48. — Ἐρινύς: a theonym attested already in the Mycenaean
period (MYC s.v.), with an uncertain etymology; possibly a compound of ἔρι- ‘strife’ and
a final element related to the verbal root *sneh1- ‘spin’ (*eri-snh1-u- ‘turning/spinning
quarrels’): Neumann 1986, 48  f.; on the root, LIV 571  f.; contra: Beekes s.v. Ἐρινύς.
88 in assembly: The assembly in question is that in Book 1 (1.54  ff., esp.
1.103  ff.). — delusion (Greek átē): induces human beings to act foolishly with
catastrophic consequences and causes them to overlook the possible effects of
their actions. This explanation for retrospectively incomprehensible conduct
is frequently offered by the charactersP themselves (1.412n. with bibliography;
Edwards on 85–138; HE s.v. Ate). At the same time, Agamemnon’s behavior is
ascribed to delusion by others as well (Achilleus: 1.411  f., 19.270  ff., similarly
9.377; Patroklos: 16.273  f.), but by Agamemnon himself only in a moment of
great hopelessness at 9.115  ff., without recognizing the depth of the conflict;
cf. 9.158  ff. (Hainsworth on Il. 9.116; Hershkowitz 1998, 129  ff.; on the core of
the conflict, 1.173–187n.). An earlier insight into his own misconduct remained
entirely without consequences (2.375–380n.). From the beginning, the Iliad

88 μοι  … φρεσὶν: σχῆμα καθ’ ὅλον καὶ κατὰ μέρος, here in the dat. (cf. R 19.1). — εἰν: =  ἐν
(R 20.1). — ἀγορῇ: on the -η- after -ρ-, R 2. — ἄγριον: here a two-termination adj., referring to ἄτην.
54   Iliad 19

makes it clear that Agamemnon is prone to misjudging situations and may

thus easily fall prey to delusion (1.139n., 1.175n., 1.343n., 2.26b–27n., 2.36–40n.,
2.38n., 2.73–75n., 2.111–115n., 2.142–154n., 2.411–420n.; Schmitt 1990, 88, 262
n. 285).
φρεσίν: beside θυμός (9.537, 11.340, Od. 23.223), a seat of mental processes upon which
ἄτη acts (16.805, Od. 15.233  f., 21.301  f.; cf. Il. 9.119), thus also in the eruption of the
quarrel at 1.103  ff. in a moment of violent agitation (Sullivan 1988, 151; on the inter-
changeability of soul/spirit lexemes, 1.24n.). — ἔμβαλον: often used in reference to
divine impulses, elsewhere frequently with the objects μένος (5.513 etc.) and σθένος
(e.g. 11.11) or emotions such as fear, joy, etc. (Porzig 1942, 112; Kullmann 1956, 73  f.;
Kloss 1994, 49; on divine impulses in general, 2.451b–452n.). — ἄγριον: ‘wild, untamed’
(here, as normally, a two-termination adj.; the feminine form only at Od. 9.119). It serves
to chracterize wild animals, warriors (6.97n.) and dangerous creatures such as giants,
the Cyclops, Skylla and others, in addition to anger (χόλος), aggression (μένος) and
forces that cannot be controlled (Il. 17.398 battle fray, 17.737 fire); here it denotes ἄτη’s
irrepressibility and uncontrollability (LfgrE s.v. ἄγριος; Kastner 1967, 24).
89 I myself stripped from him the prize of Achilleus: Agamemnon confesses
to the high-handed behavior (Greek autós: AH; Leaf; Scodel 1999, 74) he
confidently and menacingly announced at 1.184  f. and 324  f. (on the actual
execution of these actions, 1.318b–325n., 1.356n.). In contrast to Achilleus at
56  ff., he explicitly mentions the cause of the quarrel, the main point of his
deluded action. References to the seizure of the gift of honor have previously
been repeated in the manner of a leitmotif, and on occasion it has been called
to mind with literal echoes (1.356 [with n.], 430, 507, 2.240, 9.107, 111, 131, 273,
344): Lohmann 1970, 227; van Wees 1992, 309. — prize of Achilleus: Having
had to return his own gift of honor, Agamemnon attempted to obtain a replace-
ment by seizing this gift (cf. 57n.). This revealed maladroitness in attempting to
save face and defend both his status and his property (cf. 1.118–129n., 1.119n.,
ἤματι τῷ, ὅτ(ε): 60n. — Ἀχιλλῆος: either an ablatival genitive with ἀπηύρων, as at
1.430 (see ad loc.), Od. 18.273 τῆς … ὄλβον ἀπηύρα (Faesi; LfgrE s.v. ἀπηύρων 1022.41  f.;
cf. K.-G. 1.328), or a attribute of γέρας in the genitive (AH). — ἀπηύρων: always in the 1st
pers. sing. at VE (also 9.131, 23.560, 808, Od. 13.132), in the 3rd pers. pl. before caesura C 2
(Il. 1.430, ‘Hes.’ fr. 10(a).57 M.-W.). Root aorist of a defective verb (‘I took away’), formed
like an imperfect of *ἀπαυράω or *ἀπευράω (but cf. aor. act. part. ἀπούρας < *ἀπόϝρᾱς
1.356n.).; details of the development of the form are disputed (LfgrE s.v. ἀπηύρων with
bibliography; Untermann on Il. 16.828).

89 ἤματι τῷ, ὅτ(ε): 60n. — Ἀχιλλῆος: on the declension, R 11.3, R 3.

Commentary   55

90 VE = 18.328; ≈ Od. 3.62. — Yet what could I do?: Agamemnon suggests that,
given the superiority of divine power, it was impossible for him to act differ-
ently (cf. 137: Zeus’ intervention).
κε: on the form without ny ephelkystikon, West 1998, XXVI. — θεὸς … τελευτᾷ: Iden-
tification of θεός and the punctuation at VE are disputed: (1) θεός is the same as Ἄτη in
91 (hence the comma at VE in West; cf. LfgrE s.v. πρέσβυς), and the statement is a tran-
sition to the first explanatory section (d) (Ate’s effects on human beings: 86b–138n.):
Ahrens 1937, 32; Labarbe 1949, 219  f. with reference to Plat. Symp. 195d (Ὅμηρος γὰρ
Ἄτην θεόν τέ φησιν εἶναι καὶ ἁπαλήν …, citing 19.92  f.); Dietrich 1965, 203 n. 2; Erbse
1986, 15; Heitsch (2000) 2001, 48 n. 42; Davies 2006, 586  f. (2) θεός refers to 87, and
the statement conclusively summarizes 86b–89 (full-stop at VE, thus schol. A, bT on
90–91): Leaf (‘divine power, is not to be taken as identical with Ate’); AH (‘generalizing:
the deity’ [transl.]); West 2011, 355 (‘unspecific’); Versnel 2011, 176–178 (retrospective:
Zeus, Moira and Erinys; prospective: Ate); somewhat differently Edwards on 89–90 (ref-
erence to 18.328: subject Ζεύς); LfgrE s.v. θεός 1004.72 (‘sc. Zeus’); Tsagarakis 1977, 80.
(1) could be contradicted by the fact that technically Ate is a mere tool of Zeus and other
divine forces (88) and can hardly be interpreted as the divinity who ‘accomplishes all
things’; compare to that relevant statements concerning Zeus: e.g. 18.328, Od. 4.237. In
the case of (2), 91 reprises the statement from 87  f., with an asyndetic introduction to the
aetiological narrative, and elaborates it further after 90b: Zeus’ tool is his own daughter
(nominal clause with Ἄτη as subject and πρέσβα … θυγάτηρ predicative; cf. AH; Faesi;
on the explanatory function of the asyndetic clause, K.-G. 2.344; Schw. 2.701; Maehler
2000, 421  f.; cf. 1 105n.). — διὰ … τελευτᾷ: tmesis of a compound, attested here only,
with the meaning ‘perform, bring to completion’ (Ebeling s.v. διά; AH; Leaf; Chantr.
2.95; LfgrE s.v. τελευτάω).
91–94 Soft feet, her lack of contact with the ground, and her residence in the
region of the head all symbolize the nature of Ate, the personification (CG 28)
of ‘delusion’ (1.412n. with bibliography; BNP s.v.): she approaches humans
unnoticed and affects them via ‘osmosis’; her corporeality remains entirely
vague in what follows – with the exception of 126 (schol. bT on 92; AH; Leaf;
Edwards on 92–94; Stallmach 1968, 84–88; Erbse 1986, 12  f.; Burkert 2003,
177  f.). Phoinix’ narrative in the course of the embassy in Book 9 stresses other
characteristics (9.502–512): speed, strength and the contrast with other daugh-
ters of Zeus, namely the ‘Pleas’ (Litaí), disregard of whom is punished by Zeus
via Ate (Fränkel [1951] 1962, 69  f.; Padel 1995, 181  f.). In Hesiod (Th. 230), she
appears among the descendants of Eris (‘strife’) beside Dysnomíē (LfgrE s.v.:

90 τί κε (ϝ)ρέξαιμι: past potential (on κε R 24.5); on the prosody, R 4.5. — διὰ … τε-λευτᾷ: so-
called tmesis (R 20.2).
56   Iliad 19

‘Lawlessness’, i.e. a degraded condition of basic social norms); on post-Ho-

meric Ate, Stallmach loc. cit. 89–91; Padel loc. cit. 189  ff.
91 2nd VH ≈ 129, 136. — For filling an entire verse with the epithets of a char-
acter significant for the subsequent narrative, cf. 1.36n. — [elder] venerable
daughter of Zeus: emphasizes her power (Fränkel [1951] 1962, 70); Greek
Diós thygátēr (‘Zeus-daughter’) is formulaic (3.374n.; before caesura B 1: 3x Il.,
3x Od., 1x Hes.); for this expression in IE poetic language, Schmitt 1967, 171  f.;
West 2007, 186.
πρέσβα: in the Iliad, only an epithet of θεά or θυγάτηρ in apposition to a divine name;
aside from here also in formulaic whole-verse denominations of Hera as a daughter
of Kronos (5.721, 8.383, 14.194, 14.243) and at Od. 3.452 of Nestor’s wife Eurydike. The
word means ‘venerable’, perhaps in reference to rank and dignity in the case of the
goddesses (LfgrE s.v.; cf. schol. bT; the use of γέρον as an address with a positive con-
notation [see 1.26n.] is analogous); the meaning ‘eldest’ (Od. 3.452 πρέσβα … θυγατρῶν
with AH and West ad loc., cf. Il. 4.59 on Hera) may be heard here as well (Edwards;
Janko on 14.194–197; Padel 1995, 182). — ἀᾶται: Forms of the verb are interspersed
in the manner of a motif throughout Agamemnon’s explanation (91  ἀᾶται, 95 ἄσατο,
113 ἀάσθη, 129 ἀᾶται, 136 ἀάσθην, 137 ἀασάμην). – Only this form of the present tense
is attested (thematic *ἀϝά-εται): here and at 129 in a relative clause that explains the
divine name (*Ἀϝάτη) and describes the nature of the goddess (LfgrE s.vv. ἀάτη, ἀάω
11.56  ff., 11  f.77  ff.; Edwards on 88; on the stylistic figure, 1.238n., 2.197n., 2.212–213n.; on
the implicit interpretation of the name [cf. etymologizingP], see Rank 1951, 41; Fehling
1969, 261  f.); Kanavou 2015, 23–25; a secondary formation related to the sigmatic aor.
*ἄϝασα/*ἀϝασάμην (Frisk s.v. ἀάω; Schw. 1.682; Nussbaum 1998, 27–31) with transi-
tive-causative meaning ‘cause someone to act in a deluded manner’, in contrast to the
forms of the aor. mid. (cf. LfgrE s.v. ἀάω; Jankuhn 1969, 50).
92 οὐλομένη: ‘in the manner of an exclamation’ (AH [transl.], cf. Leaf); as at 1.2 (see ad
loc.), emphasized by its position at VB in progressive enjambmentP (Higbie 1990, 109
and 149 n. 41). On the meaning of the participle (‘accursed’; aside from 1.2 and Od.
10.394, character languageP vocabulary in Homer), see 1.2n. — μέν: prepares for κατὰ δ’
οὖν … ἐπέδησεν in 94 (AH): a contrast between gentle appearance and powerful effect;
the etymologically related words πόδες and ἐπέδησεν suggest a connection in terms of
content (DELG, Frisk, Beekes s.v. πέδη; cf. 94n.). — ἁπαλοὶ πόδες: The phrase ‘delicate
feet’ is elsewhere used only of the feet of girls (Hes. Th. 3, h.Cer. 287) and of the new-born
Hermes (h.Merc. 273); ἁπαλός elsewhere in Homer is an epithet of other body parts, e.g.

91 πρέσβα: fem. of πρέσβυς ‘venerable’.

92–93 οὐλομένη: initial syllable is metrically lengthened (R 10.1); from ὄλλυμαι. — τῇ: on the ana-
phoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17 (likewise 93 ἥ). — θ’: ‘epic τε’ (R 24.11). — ἐπ(ὶ) …
| πίλναται: so-called tmesis (R 20.2). — οὔδει: cf. 61n. — ἄρα: ‘indeed’ (R 24.1). — κράατα: acc. pl.
of κάρη ‘head’ (↑, cf. 69n.).
Commentary   57

δειρή (3.371, 13.202, 18.177, 19.285), αὐχήν (17.49, 22.327, Od. 22 16), παρειή (Il. 18.123),
ἦτορ (11.115), χείρ (Od. 21.151) (LfgrE). Contrast Il. 9.505 Ἄτη  … ἀρτίπος ‘with straight
93 πίλναται: means ‘come into contact with, touch’, with the dative χθονί/οὔδει also ‘touch
the ground’ (LfgrE s.v. πελάζω 1122.18  ff.); on the verbal stem πιλνα-, G 61; on the dat. of
direction, Schw. 2.142; Chantr. 2.68. — ἄρα ἥ: additional examples with hiatus before
the 3rd metron in Führer/­Schmidt 2001, 27 n. 166 (cf. 2.87n.); attempts at emenda-
tion: app. crit. — κατ’ ἀνδρῶν κράατα βαίνει: κατά denotes a horizontal extent ‘across,
through’, as also with groups of people (Schw. 2.476; cf. 3.217n., 1.10n. [ἀνὰ στρατόν]);
the phrase describes Ate’s field of action, comparable to that of Eris at 4.443–445 (ἐπὶ
χθονὶ βαίνει. | … | ἐρχομένη καθ’ ὅμιλον), thus likely ‘above the heads’ (AH; Willcock;
LfgrE s.v. βαίνω 18.70  f.; differently RE s.v. Ate 1899.29  ff.: ‘in the heads’, cf. schol. bT). –
κράατα: a less common (also 14.177 κράατος, Od. 22.218 κράατι), possibly older (Aeolic)
form (cf. DMic s.v. ka-ra-a-pi) beside the more frequent κάρηνα (cf. Rix [1976] 1992, 73;
Janko on 14.175–177; further bibliography: LfgrE s.v. κάρη).
94 1st VH =  9.507 (likewise of Ate). — The verse forms the hinge between the
aetiology and the myth of Zeus’ delusion, and describes the effect of Ate: the
person concerned has their flexibility restrained, i.e. becomes unable to break
free from a pattern of behavior or action.
βλάπτουσ(α): ‘harm’, in connection with movement also ‘trip, make stumble’ (e.g. at
7.271 βλάψε … γούναθ(α), 23.782 μ’ ἔβλαψε θεὰ πόδας), thus also with the sense ‘confuse,
deceive’, occasionally clarified by the object φρένας (15.724, Od. 14.178; on φρένας,
1.115n.), with Ate as agent also at 9.507/512, likewise Zeus, Apollo or wine (LfgrE s.v.).
— κατὰ δ’ οὖν ἕτερόν γ’ ἐπέδησεν: The particle combination δ’ οὖν occurs only here
in Homer, but is common in Hdt. and Attic Greek (Denniston 460), where οὖν is fre-
quently used with gnomic aorists, in the case of compound verbs especially between
preverb and verb, as here (Wackernagel [1924] 2009, 616). ἕτερος is frequently empha-
sized by γε (LfgrE s.v. ἕτερος 757.6  f.; another solution, considered by Ruijgh 672: οὖν is
to be linked with following γ(ε), comparable with γοῦν). – As a rule, ἕτερος denotes one
of two; it denotes the other one, in the sense ‘an additional one’, only rarely in Homer
and almost exclusively in enumerations (LfgrE s.v.). Given the occasion for the speech –
the settlement of a quarrel – several possible interpretations exist (Edwards on 92–94):
(1) one of two opponents in a dispute, in this context either Agamemnon or Achilleus
(schol. bT; AH; Faesi; Leaf with reference to 5.258; Willcock; LfgrE s.v. 757.13  f.: ‘at
least the one’; Roemer 1912, 138), but on this cf. AH (transl.): ‘a relationship that is not
obvious, however, given the general depiction of Ate in what precedes’; (2) ‘‹also› one
other ‹than me›’, sc. Zeus, as a transition to the following myth (Roemer loc. cit. 139 n. 1;
schol. bT and Erbse on schol. 94 a; LfgrE s.v. πεδάω; Davies 2006, 583 with n. 9 with ref-
erence to verse 134: ‘I am not alone’ ~ ‘I as well’, as a variation of the motif ‘you are not

94 κατὰ … ἐπέδησεν: so-called tmesis (R 20.2).

58   Iliad 19

alone in suffering this’ from consolation literature). If κατὰ δ’ οὖν … ἐπέδησεν is read as
a gnomic aor. (thus Schw. 2.283; Chantr. 2.185; AH; Willcock), ἕτερον is undefined
and only implicitly present in reference to Zeus (cf. Edwards: ‘Zeus’s entrapment too
is already in mind’). On the unjustified athetesis of the verse by ancient commentators,
see Lührs 1992, 64  ff.  – πεδάω originally means ‘bind, shackle the feet’ (denomina-
tive from πέδη) and is subsequently used metaphorically in the sense ‘tie up, enmesh’,
usually with a deity or μοῖρα as agent (4.517, 13.435 etc.): LfgrE s.v.; on the similar use of
δέω, 2.111n.; on the issue of the augment, West 1998, XXVIf.; Führer/­Schmidt 2001,
22; cf. G 85.

95–133 The parallels between the behavior of the ruler of the gods and the top
Achaian military leader illustrate how Agamemnon uses the narrative of Zeus
and Ate (external analepsisP) to reflect on his own conduct (Reinhardt 1961,
19): a proud appearance and a demonstration of power (19.100–105 / 1.106–120,
1.131–139, 1.287–291); both are or perceive themselves to be attacked (19.107 /
1.133  f.), and are driven to rash action without considering the consequences
(19.112  f.: oath / 1.173–187, 1.318–326: seizure of the gift of honor); the opponent
reacts with grave consequences (19.118–124: Hera’s intervention in the order of
birth / 1.223–19.73: Achilleus’ boycott of battle) that will be suffered by others
(19.132  f.: Herakles / 1.409–412, 19.134  f.: the Achaians). But there is a significant
difference between the human and divine levels: Zeus can remove Ate from his
environment (19.126  ff.); on this, Hebel 1970, 106  f.; Schmitt 1990, 87  ff. On the
characterP-level, the comparison with the supreme god, who also fell victim
to Ate (cf. 95  f., 134), serves to plead for sympathy from the audience (a con-
clusion a maiore ad minus; argument functionP: 86b–138n.). At the same time,
this also shows that Agamemnon (1) fails to realize that Zeus does not come off
particularly well and (2), like Zeus, has no sense of how ridiculous a boastful
demeanor is (cf. 100n., 101n.). The narrator thus provides a further example of
Agamemon’s lack of judgment (cf. 88n.) and his predilection for excuses (cf.
86b–88n.). The comparison with Zeus (esp. at 134) may therefore also be read
as indicating Agamemnon’s inflated sense of self-importance (key functionP:
schol. bT on 95; Austin 1975, 125  f.; Andersen 1987, 6  f.). Another parallel with
Agamenon can be seen in part in the myth of Herakles, in this instance with
Eurystheus (both are rulers of Mycenae: CM 2; 116n., 123n.), since the core of
the confrontation between Agamemnon and Achilleus  – a social hierarchy
based on god-given power rather than personal achievement (1.173–187n.,
1.226–230n., 2.761–779n.)  – is present in the myth of Herakles as well, and
since Achilleus compares himself to Herakles at 18.117–121 (Davidson 1980,
200; Lowenstam 1993, 64 with n. 12, 110  f.; cautiously Edwards on 85–138;
on the comparison Achilleus – Herakles in general, see Galinsky 1972, 14  f.;
Schein 1984, 134; on Herakles, CM 6; BNP s.v.; on stray allusions to the myth
Commentary   59

of Herakles in the Iliad, see 133n.; on allusions to myth cycles outside the story
of Troy and their function in the Iliad in general, see Schwinge 1991, 497  f.
with bibliography; collection of examples in Burgess 2001, 209 n. 1). – It is
unclear to what extent the story told here was dictated by tradition or was an
ad hoc invention by the poet of the Iliad for the sake of the Zeus-Agamemnon
parallel (Scodel 2002, 150); on additional possible inventions of this type,
see 1.262–270n., 1.396–406n., 6.218–221n., 24.599–620n. section (2). It thus
remains open to question (1) whether Ate is a Homeric creation, a so-called
ad hoc personification (CG 31) (thus Erbse 1986, 11–14); via Ate’s connection
with Hera’s delay of the birth of Herakles, which is missing e.g. in the complete
account of the myth of Herakles in Diodorus Siculus (4.9.4  f.), Agamemnon is
made to articulate a parallel with his own ‘delusion’, although one in which
Hera plays the actual lead (Kullmann 1956, 26; de Jong [1987] 2004, 172  f.;
cautiously Edwards on 95–133; Willcock [1964] 2001, 443  f. and 1977, 44 with
n. 16: Ate’s fall from Olympus is a Homeric invention); and (2) whether the
myth of the birth itself is a set part of the myth of Herakles (Kullmann loc. cit.
25  f.) or is an entirely Homeric invention that in this fashion explains the dom-
inant theme of the myth of Herakles – ‘the stronger must serve the weaker’ –
as a result of Zeus’ mistaken actions under the effects of delusion, creating a
parallel with Agamemnon (Erbse loc. cit. 15–17). In the Old Testament, Gen. 27
is comparable: Rebecca uses deception to convince her husband Isaac that the
elder son, Esau, should serve the younger, Jacob (West 1997, 459  f.).
95–96 1st VH of 96 = 13.632. — the highest: Greek áristos is a common epithet of
the supreme god, usually emphasizing his position among the others (simi-
larly 15.107  f., cf. 13.154, 19.258, 23.43, Od. 19.303, h.Hom. 23.1; without reference
to a group at Il. 14.213, h.Cer. 21); on the use of Greek áristos, 1.91n. (‘greatest
of all’); LfgrE s.v. ἄριστος 1295.70  ff. — of gods and mortals: Greek andrṓn ēdé
theṓn is a formulaic polar expressionP stressing Zeus’ exceptional position,
usually with emphasis on the second term (Kemmer 1903, 81; cf. 1.548n.). The
Greek word anḗr ‘(hu)man’ as a term complementary to ‘god’ here indicates
that the speaker is considering his own situation: ‘even the supreme god was
not immune to Ate, so how should I, a man, withstand her?’ (cf. LfgrE s.v. ἀνήρ
834.37  ff.).

95–96 τόν περ … | … φασ(ι): ‘of whom they say …’; τόν with the function of a relative pronoun
(R 14.5); on περ, R 24.10. — ἀνδρῶν … θεῶν: partitive gen. with ἄριστον. — ἠδέ: ‘and’ (R 24.4). —
ἔμμεναι: = εἶναι (R 16.4). — ἄρα: ‘indeed’ (R 24.1). — τόν: on the anaphoric demonstrative function
of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17.
60   Iliad 19

καὶ γάρ: introduces a concrete example as an illustration of a preceding general state-

ment (2.377n.); cf. the transition to the actual case of the speaker ὣς καὶ ἐγών at 134. — νυ:
‘yes indeed’, ‘lightly links what follows’ to the present situation (Schw. 2.571 [transl.]),
used especially by speakers in an ‘agitated frame of mind’ (K.-G. 2.118  f. [transl.]). — Ζεὺς
ἄσατο: the reading preferred by Aristarchus, who makes Zeus the subject, as opposed
to the main transmission Ζῆν’ (schol. A); this is in accord with the use of the middle
aorist (on the present, 91n.), which is elsewhere consistently intransitive, approximately
‘acted under delusion’ (Edwards; LfgrE s.v. ἀάω 10.30  f., 11.62  ff.; cautiously Jankuhn
1969, 50; differently Erbse 1986, 15). On additional passages in which contracted forms
of ἀάτη/ἀάω cannot be replaced by uncontracted ones, as is otherwise common, see
Edwards on 88; on contracted beside uncontracted forms in general, G 43  f. — τόν περ:
a relative clause, highlighting a person with particularly outstanding characteristics:
‘even Zeus who …’ (Bakker 1988, 78; Davies 2006, 584  f.). — φασ(ί): marks generally
accepted facts (mostly in speeches, as here), here Zeus’ supreme position (Leaf; de Jong
[1987] 2004, 237  f.; cf. 2.783n.); the phrasing in Menelaos’ prayer at 13.631  f., which high-
lights Zeus’ superior understanding, is comparable (Edwards on 95–99).
97 1st VH ≈ 23.409. — deluded even Zeus: Hera’s penchant for deceiving her
husband is repeatedly touched on in the Iliad, esp. 14.159–353, 15.14–33; on this
character trait of Hera and her role in the myth of Herakles, see CG 16; O’Brien
1993, 175–177; on the present scene, Schäfer 1990, 110–115. Additional exam-
ples of the motif ‘one god outwits another’ occur in early epic: Hephaistos tricks
Ares and Aphrodite (Od. 8.266–366), Prometheus tricks Zeus (Hes. Th. 535–551
and Op. 47–59), Hermes tricks Apollo (h.Merc. 73  ff.): Janko on 14.153–353; de
Jong on Od. 8.266–366; Deichgräber (1940) 1952, 108–113, 123–126, 151–153.
θῆλυς: usually denotes the sex of domesticated animals; of humans only in the compar-
ative θηλύτεραι (but Od. 6.122 of female voices) and of a goddesss only here, along with
the form θήλεια/θήλειαι (Il. 8.7 and Hes. Th. 667, beside ἄρσην/ἄρσενες) in the explicit
mention of all gods of both sexes (Kirk on 8.7–9; LfgrE s.v. θῆλυς; Wickert-Micknat
1982, 7  f.; on the forms θῆλυς, θήλεια, Frisk and Beekes s.v. θῆλυς; DELG s.v. θήλη;
Kastner 1967, 22); the expression θῆλυς ἐοῦσα is here likely somewhat pejorative, as
at 23.409 (of a horse) (schol. b; AH; Edwards on 95–99; Lohmann 1970, 78 n. 134). —
δολοφροσύνῃς: the main characteristic of Hera’s actions; cf. 106 δολοφρονέουσα, 112
δολοφροσύνην; similarly 14.197, 300, 329 δολοφρονέουσα; also 15.14 κακότεχνος … σὸς
δόλος. The abstract occurs only here, at 112, and of Hermes at h.Merc. 361; it empha-
sizes the devious mindset (‘cunning, malice’) underlying the actions (in contrast to
simple δόλος): LfgrE s.v.; Luther 1935, 80; on the metrically convenient ‘poetic plural’,
cf. 2.588n. — ἀπάτησεν: denotes deception, intentional misdirection and swindling;
it is often used, as here, as a verbal expression of δόλος (‘trick, outwit’, cf. 15.14 and

97 Ἥρη: on the -η after -ρ-, R 2. — ἐοῦσα: = οὖσα (R 16.6). — δολοφροσύνῃς: on the declension,
R 11.1. — ἀπάτησεν: on the unaugmented form, R 16.1.
Commentary   61

15.31–33), here emphasized by δολοφροσύνῃς (LfgrE s.v.; Luther 1935, 97–101; on the
link between ἀπάτη and ἄτη, Stallmach 1968, 43  ff.; Dawe 1968, 100  f.).
98–99 Agamemnon makes clear from the start that Herakles’ birth did not take
place as intended: Greek émelle (‘was about to’) frequently characterizes an
expected action whose realization is hindered or prevented, here the birth
delayed by Hera; see 117–119 (LfgrE s.v. μέλλω 112.61  ff.; de Jong on Od. 6.110–
11: ‘interruptive μέλλω’). — strong wall-circled Thebe: situated in Boeotia
and considered a foundation of Kadmos (cf. 2.498n. [s.v. Mykalessos]); on the
historical significance of Thebes, see 2.494–510n. and 2.505n. The epithetP
refers to the well-fortified walls of ‘seven-gated Thebes’ (cf. 4.406  f.; CM  6
s.v. Tydeus). — Herakles: the son of Zeus and Alkmene, who was the wife of
Amphitryon of Thebes (14.323  f., cf. 5.392–396), a granddaughter of Perseus
and thus a great-granddaughter of Zeus (CM 6; BNP s.v. Alcmene). For Zeus’
offspring with mortal women, see his enumeration at 14.317–325 as well as the
list in LfgrE s.v. Ζεύς 872  f.
ἤματι τῷ, ὅτ(ε): a VB formula, elsewhere in direct speech usually to recount a memory
of one’s own experiences (60n.). — βίην Ἡρακληείην: a formulaic periphrasis of the
name (an inflectible VE formula: 6x Il., 1x Od., 16x Hes.), common also in the case of other
heroes, perhaps a titulature originating in the Mycenaean period (2.658n. with biblio-
graphy; on possessive adjectives in -ιος, 2.20n.), approximately ‘his power (~ excellency)
Herakles’ (cf. also Πριάμοιο βίην 3.105n.). — ἐϋστεφάνῳ: always after caesura B 2 (2x
Il., 4x Od., 9x Hes., 7x h.Hom.); mostly an epithet of goddesses (Aphrodite, Artemis,
Demeter) and women (inter alia the heroine Mykene Od. 2.120); of Thebes here and at
Hes. Th. 978, ‘Hes.’ Sc. 80: ‘with a good circle of walls’ (Leaf; LfgrE s.v. ἐϋστέφανος). —
Θήβῃ: a place name attested in both sing. and pl. (e.g. 6.223) (cf. Μυκήνη/Μυκῆναι, e.g.
4.52 and 2.569), in the sing. also at 4.378, 406, etc. (LfgrE s.v. Θῆβαι, Θήβη). The sing. fits
the association of a wreathed woman (see above); on this, cf. the metaphorical use of
κρήδεμνα/-ον at 16.100, Od. 13.388 (Τροίης κρ.), ‘Hes.’ Sc. 105 (Θήβης κρ.): Hoekstra on
Od. 13.388; Richardson on h.Cer. 151; LfgrE s.v. κρήδεμνον.
100 Zeus’ announcement to all the gods of the birth of his son is stamped
with paternal pride (schol. A; LfgrE s.v. (ἐπ)εύχομαι 823.56; Corlu 1966, 50;
Muellner 1976, 78, 93  f.); on the use of Greek eúchomai (here ‘proudly say [of

98 ἤματι τῷ, ὅτ(ε): 60n. — τῷ, ὅτ(ε): on the hiatus, R 5.6. — ἔμελλε: governs τέξεσθαι (V. 99),
the fut. mid. inf. of τίκτω: ‘she was about to give birth’. — βίην Ἡρα-κληείην: = Herakles (↑); on
the forms in -η-, R 2.
99 ἐϋστεφάνῳ ἐνί: on the bridging of hiatus by non-syllabic ι (ëustephánōy ení), M 12.2. — ἐνί:
= ἐν (R 20.1).
100 ἤτοι ὅ: on the so-called correption, R 5.5. — ἤτοι: R 24.4. — πάντεσσι: on the declension,
R 11.3. — θεοῖσιν: on the declension, R 11.2.
62   Iliad 19

oneself]’), see 1.91n., 6.211n.; on characterizing the nature of a subsequent

speech in the speech introduction in general, see 2.224n.
ἤτοι ὅ γ(ε): a VB formula (7x Il., 1x Od.); elsewhere – except at 11.94 – in a formulaic
verse with speech capping formula and a transition to the next speaker (1.68n.; Visser
1987, 148 n. 207), here in the transition between introducing the individuals involved
and the speech of the previously mentioned main character.
101–105 The literal rendering of divine speeches within direct speech (‘speech
within a speech’) here and at 107–111, 121–124 reinforces the rhetorical impact of
the external analepsisP and produces vividness: the narrative appears authen-
tic and one can see how Zeus became a victim of his ill-considered words
(Priess 1977, 182, 188; de Jong [1987] 2004, 172  f.; Heiden 1991, 2–4; Beck 2012,
38  f.; cf. 2.323–332n., 6.164–165n.; on the omniscience of a characterP when nar-
rating myths in general, see de Jong 2004, 20  f.).
101 =  8.5, h.Ap. 311; 2nd VH =  8.20, Od. 8.341. — The same solemn address is
found at the beginning of the assembly of gods in Book 8, where it is followed
by a clear demonstration of power by Zeus (8.5–27; on this, Reinhardt 1961,
171). In the present passage, it has a strongly emphatic effect and makes his
later defeat appear even more drastic (cf. 112, 132  f.): Edwards.
κέκλυτέ μοι: a VB formula at the beginning of a speech (3.86n., there also on the con-
jecture μοι [with genitive function] for the transmitted μευ). — θέαιναι: in early epic
only in the voc. pl. at VE in an address to all gods on the occasion of a divine assembly
(see iterata): LfgrE s.v. (an extended form at VE); Risch 139.
102 ≈ 7.68, 7.349, 7.369, 8.6 and 5x Od., 2x Hes.; 2nd VH ≈ Od. 16.141. – The formulaic verse
always follows κέκλυτε with the vocative and, with the exception of the present line,
always with κελεύει at VE (present here as a v.l.; see app. crit.). — θυμός: as the subject
of an action, the driving force behind a mental impulse (2.276n. with bibliography). —
ἀνώγει: here a secondary present (cf. κελεύει in the iterata) from the perf. with present
sense ἄνωγα (6.439n.).
103 2nd VH = 16.187, h.Ap. 97, 115; ≈ 11.270. — This day: The specification of time
(cf. 105n.), which is significant for the further course of the story, is empha-
sized by its position at the beginning of the sentence (Edwards). — Eileithyia:
literally ‘she who comes’ or ‘she who makes come’ (related to Greek elyth-),
goddess of birth labor, daughter of Hera (CG 11; BNP s.v.; on the name, already
attested in Mycenaean, Frisk; DELG; Beekes).

102 ὄφρ(α) (+ subjunc.): final (R 22.5). — τά: functions as a relative pronoun (R 14.5). — ἐνὶ
στήθεσσιν: 66n.
103 σήμερον: = Attic τήμερον ‘today’. — φόωσδε: ‘to the light’ (cf. 2n.; on the suffix -δε, R 15.3),
to be taken with ἐκφανεῖ (‘bring forth into the light’).
Commentary   63

φόωσδε: likewise of a birth at 16.188, 19.118, h.Ap. 119, cf. h.Merc. 12; on this use of
φόως, cf. the formulaic expression ὁρᾶν/ὄψεσθαι φάος ἠελίοιο for ‘to live, be alive’ at
5.120, etc. (Bremer 1976, 37; IE parallels, West 2007, 86  f.; cf. also 6.6n. on the meta-
phor light/life). — μογοστόκος: literally ‘giving birth to trouble’, consisting of an initial
element μόγο- and a final element related to τεκεῖν. An epithet of Eileithyia (see iterata;
cf. 119n.), in this context it means (cf. 11.269–271) approximately ‘bringing pangs (of
labor)’ (Hainsworth on 11.270: ‘by some ill-defined process whereby the literal force of
τόκος colours the sense of μόγος’); this ‘likely means that they are present «in the pains
of giving birth»’ (Wickert-Micknat 1982, 107 [transl.]). Regarding the initial element,
the compound is not formed in the usual manner with the stem alone (i.e. μογο-τόκος),
since that form would not fit in the hexameter, but perhaps with the acc. pl. *μόγονς
(*μογονσ-τοκ- > μογοστοκ-): Leaf; Bechtel 1914, 228  f.; Chantr. 1.95; Frisk s.v. μογέω;
Risch 220, cf. 200; LfgrE s.v.; cf. 1.238n. on δικασ-πόλοι; contra Beekes s.v. μογέω; on the
word formation in general, G 49.
104 ≈ 109. — περικτιόνεσσιν: ‘dwellers/dwelling round about’, an old type of nomen
agentis (Risch 56) related to *κτίσ(σ)αι (LfgrE), always after caesura B 2 (in total 4x
Il., 1x Od., 1x ‘Hes.’, 1x h.Ap.); as a noun elsewhere at 18.212, otherwise an epithet of
ἐπικούρων (17.220) or ἀνθρώπων/-ους (Od. 2.65, ‘Hes.’ fr. 144.2 M.-W., h.Ap. 274). —
ἀνάξει: On ἀνάσσω with the dative, see 1.38n.; LfgrE s.v. 794.74  ff.
105 Zeus’ phrasing is so vague that it might also refer to offspring in a wider
sense; in this form, it thus does not apply only to Herakles, who is both Zeus’
son and his great-grandson (on this, 98–99n.). It is this precise point that Hera
uses for her ruse, by making Zeus commit to an ambiguous phrasing (108  ff.);
since Eurystheus, whose birth will take place on this day due to Hera’s manip-
ulation, is also a great-grandson of Zeus (116n.), the descriptions ‘of my blood’
(Greek haímatos ex emoú) and ‘of the blood of your generation’ (Greek sēs ex
haímatos genéthlēs 111 [see ad loc.]) apply to him as well (as subsequently VB
124 ‘your generation’ [Greek son génos]): 107–111n.; Leaf on 111; Edwards;
Reinhardt 1961, 204; Schäfer 1990, 111  f.
τῶν ἀνδρῶν γενεῆς, οἵ θ(ε): The article τῶν lends emphasis to the antecedent preced-
ing the relative clause (Chantr. 2.162); οἵ θ’ here introduces not a generalizing but a
determinative relative clause (Ruijgh 416  f.). γενεῆς, dependent on ἄνδρα at 103, here
means very generally ‘lineage, descent’ (LfgrE s.v. 128.18  ff.). — αἵματος ἐξ ἐμοῦ: a meta-
phorical use of αἷμα with the sense ‘blood, lineage, descent’; elsewhere in the genitive
with no preposition, cf. 6.211 (with n.), 20.241, Od. 4.611, 16.300 (LfgrE s.v.). The main
transmission offers a specification via the personal pronoun ἐξ ἐμεῦ, cf. 5.896 (ἐκ  …
ἐμέο), 6.206 (ἐκ τοῦ), 21.189 (ἐκ Διός) (thus in AH; Faesi; Erbse 1986, 16; cf. schol. A.;

105 τῶν ἀνδρῶν: attribute of γενεῆς (on the form, R 2); this in turn is an explication of ἄνδρα
(103), ‘a man … from the line of the men who …’.
64   Iliad 19

on the form, G 81); this is an amalgam of the constructions αἵματος ἐμοῦ and ἐξ ἐμεῦ
(Leaf: ‘who are of me by blood’; Edwards; Ruijgh 417 with n. 55). But according to a
different tradition found in Apollonius Dyscolus, the word was complemented by the
possessive pronoun ἐμοῦ (see West app. crit.), which amplifies the ambiguity (‘who are
of my blood’; cf. 111n.).
106 = 14.300, 14.329; ≈ 14.197. — δολοφρονέουσα: serves in the Iliad especially to char-
acterize Hera’s speeches in the speech introductions (see iterata and cf. 97n.), else-
where only of Aphrodite (3.405); also of Odysseus at Od. 18.51 and 21.274, of Kirke at
10.339, and of Prometheus at Hes. Th. 550. Via ring-compositionP with 112 (δολοφροσύνη
together with speech capping), the speech is marked as part of Hera’s ruse (sugges-
tion by Führer). — προσηύδα: 20n. — πότνια Ἥρη: On the hiatus in the ancient VE
formula, see 1.551n.
107–111 Zeus’ inclination to pride (cf. 100n.) is cleverly exploited by Hera: by
means of a minor provocation, she induces him to swear an oath, while she
herself subsequently intervenes in the sequence of births (114  ff.). Via the oath,
she places Zeus under the obligation of fulfilling his announcement – that the
one born on this day will rule – without regard for the altered order of births
(105n., 109–111n.).
107 2nd VH ≈ 20.369. — ψεύστης εἰς: a reading of the secondary transmission preferred
by West with the less common 2nd sing. εἰς (G 90) and the nomen agentis ψεύστης (VB
elsewhere at 24.261 in Priam’s speech of reprimand directed at his sons [see ad loc.]). In
reference to Zeus’ announcement, it is thus ‘you are a liar’, i.e. ‘you are one who does
not abide by his promises’ (Leumann 1950, 36; West 2001, 253; LfgrE s.v. ψεύστης), as
opposed to ψευστήσεις (perhaps influenced by the future ἐπιθήσεις), the reading of
Aristarchus and the main transmission of the mss., ‘you will prove to be a liar’ (schol. T),
the future of an otherwise unattested denominative of ψεύστης (thus Leaf; preferred by
Edwards as the lectio difficilior; Risch 321; Luther 1935, 83; Levet 1976, 220  f.). The gen-
eralizing phrase in the present (‘you are a braggart’, cf. Macleod 1982, 111 [on 24.261]:
‘big talkers and poor doers’; Luther loc. cit. 85) contains the more pointed provocation
and better serves Hera’s intentions (on the rhetoric of quarrel, 1.106–108n.). — οὐδ’ …
ἐπιθήσεις: On τέλος μύθῳ ἐ. (‘give fulfillment to one’s word’, i.e. ‘fulfill one’s word’),
cf. 20.369  f., where the realization of Achilleus’ threatening announcement is called into
question; similar combinations of μῦθος-τέλος at 9.56, 16.83 (Barck 1976, 113, 138–140
[collection of examples of ‘word-deed’]).

106 δολοφρονέουσα: on the uncontracted form, R 6. — προσηύδα: 3rd sing. impf. of προσ-

αυδάω, ‘she addressed’.
107 οὐδ’ αὖτε: ‘and again not, and never’; in Homer, connective οὐδέ also occurs after affirma-
tive clauses (R 24.8).
Commentary   65

108–113 The type-sceneP ‘oath’ in abbreviated form: (1) a character invites

someone to swear an oath (108); (2) he/she first recites it (109–111); (3) the
oath is sworn (indirect speech, rarely repeated verbatim); (4) the completion
is noted and/or commented on (113): Arend 1933, 122  f.; Janko on 14.271–279;
de Jong on Od. 5.177–191. Zeus does not notice the trick and swears the oath
without considering that Hera has power over birth (Leaf on 111; Erbse 1986,
16  f.; on the motif of the precipitate oath in folk tales, Davies 1995, 4; a Near
Eastern parallel with an invitation to an oath in the service of a deception in
West 1997, 181; on oaths in general, 1.86n., 19.254b–265n.).
108 VE = 127. — εἰ δ’ ἄγε … ὄμοσσον … | … ἀνάξειν: an oath that refers to the future
(promissory, not assertory); the action promised is usually in the fut. inf. in such oaths
(1.76n.); on the interjectional function of εἰ with the imperative, 6.376n. — Ὀλύμπιε:
an address after caesura B 2 (1.508n.); likewise without a supplement but as a second
address (after Ζεῦ or Κρονίδη) at 15.375, Od. 1.60; on the formation of the word, 1.399n. —
καρτερὸν ὅρκον: a VE formula (2x Il., 4x Od., 1x h.Merc.); καρτερός is a common epithet
of warriors, gods, animals, body parts and deeds, but also of powerful, overwhelming
forces; it marks the oath as particularly binding, like ὄμοσεν μέγαν ὅρκον at 113 (AH;
LfgrE s.vv. κρατερός, ὅρκος); on the form (καρ- rather than κρα- as a metrical variant),
G 15.
109–111 Zeus’ announcement (birth of a future ruler) occurs with slight altera-
tions (cf. 103–105) to the oath formula, particularly in emphasis: Hera phrases
it in a way that primarily records a claim to authority: he who is born today
shall rule (cf. 105n., 111n.).
109 ≈ 104 (with n.). — ἦ μέν: an Ionic oath particle, cf. 1.77 (with n.), 10.322, 14.275 (Wakker
1997, 228  f.).
110 shall fall between the feet of a woman: indicates giving birth in a squat-
ting or kneeling position, thus h.Ap. 117  f. for Leto giving birth to Apollo and
Artemis: AH; Willcock; Edwards; Wickert-Micknat 1982, 106; cf. Allen/
Halliday/Sikes on h.Ap. 117; West on Th. 460; ibid. 2007, 87; on giving birth in
antiquity in general, BNP s.v. Birth.
ἐπ’ ἤματι τῷδε: ‘on this day’ (cf. 103), so too at 13.234, similarly 11.431/444, 15.252,
21.584, Od. 20.116 (AH; Schw. 2.468; de Jong [1987] 2004, 236; but cf. ἤματι τῷ, ὅτε

108 εἰ δ’ ἄγε: emphatic introduction to the imper.: ‘come’. — ὄμοσσον: aor. imper. of ὄμνυμι
‘swear’ (on the -σσ-, R 9.1). — Ὀλύμπιε: in the sing. only of Zeus.
109 ἦ μέν (≈ μήν): ‘certainly’, introduces emphasis; esp. in direct speeches (R 24.6–7). — τόν:
with anaphoric demonstrative function (R 17).
110 κεν: = ἄν (R 24.5). — ποσσί: on the -σσ-, R 9.1.
66   Iliad 19

111 The verse is just as ambiguous as Zeus’ announcement at 105 (see ad loc.), but
is phrased with a minor difference: Hera’s ‘born of the blood of your genera-
tion’ generally encompasses all Zeus’ offspring (cf. Heiden 1991, 3  f.).
σῆς ἐξ αἵματός … γενέθλης: ἐξ is to be connected either with αἵματος, modified by
γενέθλης, hence ‘who are of the blood of your lineage’ (Leaf; Erbse 1986, 16  f.; Heiden
1991, 3; cf. αἵματος ἐξ ἐμοῦ 105n.), or with γενέθλης, as at Od. 13.130, hence ‘who are of
your lineage by blood’ (AH; Faesi; Willcock; Edwards; Chantr. 2.99).
112–113 In the case of Zeus’ delusion, unlike that of Agamemnon, the ruse staged
by an adversary is the central point: Zeus does not realize that Hera speaks
with deceitful intent (cf. 107–111n.); this lack of attention leads him to swear
willingly. His delusion lies, on the one hand, in his misjudging Hera’s nature
(deceit) and powers (birth), and on the other hand in his overlooking the extent
of the oath formula’s ambiguity in reference to the person affected. Zeus thus
becomes the inadvertent cause of Herakles’ hard fate (see 132  f. [cf. 95–133n.]),
whereas otherwise he often acts as a power of fate himself (cf. 273b–274n.). –
Additional examples of Zeus’ inattentiveness in the Iliad are 13.7–9 (Poseidon
intervenes in battle by using a moment when Zeus’ eyes are averted from the
battlefield before Troy), 14.294–353, cf. 15.4–33 (Hera seduces Zeus and distracts
him), although there Zeus is still able to nullify the consequences (cf. 15.54  ff.):
Schmitt 1990, 87 and 261 n. 283. — swore a great oath: Although elsewhere,
according to Zeus’ statement, a nod is his binding indication of consent to a
promise (1.525–527), he here repeats the oath formula provided by Hera. – For
the most strongly binding oaths, the gods elsewhere swear by the earth, the
heavens and the waters of Styx (Hera 15.36–38, Kalypso Od. 5.184–186, Leto
h.Ap. 84–86); on divine oaths, see West on Hes. Th. 400; Janko on 15.36–46.
δολοφροσύνην: 97n.; picks up 106 (see ad loc.) in the manner of a ring-compositionP. —
ἔπειτα δὲ … ἀάσθη: is variously interpreted: (1) ἔπειτα refers back to ὄμοσεν with the
meaning ‘therein, since, in this case’: AH; Leaf with reference to 10.243; Edwards with
reference to 1.547; Cunliffe s.v.; cf. Ebeling s.v.; West on Od. 1.65 (‘after all this, i.e. in
these circumstances’); (2) ἔπειτα means ‘subsequently’ as ‘a designation of the progres-
sion from one action to another’ (Jankuhn 1969, 51 with n. 4 [transl.]), in which case
ἀάσθη refers to the continuation of the story (Dawe 1968, 98: ‘and thereafter he paid
heavily for his mistake’; Cairns 2012, 5); (a) the aorist in -θη- has, as usual, an intran-
sitive meaning ‘was in a deluded condition’ (thus e.g. 16.685, 19.136 [see ad loc.], Od.
4.503, 4.509, etc.): Untermann on Il. 16.685; West on Od. 4.503 (‘acted under the influ-
ence of ἄτη’); ingressive AH (‘fell prey to powerful enchantment’ [transl.]); (b) ἀάσθη

112 ἔφατο: 74n. — οὔ τι: ‘not at all’.

113 πολλόν: adv. ‘very’; on the declension, R 12.2.
Commentary   67

has a passive meaning ‘was deceived’ (LfgrE s.v. 11.73  f.; Jankuhn loc. cit. 50  f.; cf. 136n.)
or ‘was harmed (by delusion)’ (Stallmach 1968, 43 with n. 35 and 47 n. 47; Cairns loc.
cit.). Combination (1a) has the most elements in its favor: linguistically, the intransi-
tive meaning of the aorist in -θη- is common in Homer (Monro [1882] 1891, 44  f.; on
this aspect of the θη-aorist in general, Schw. 1.756  f.; Chantr. 2.181  f.; Rix [1976] 1992,
219; Meier-Brügger 1992, 2.59 with bibliography; Allan 2003, 148–154 and, in terms
of context, 112  f. better represent a self-contained situation and conclude the Zeus-scene
by way of a comment on it (cf. the embedding in the manner of a ring-compositionP by
means of ἄσατο [95] and ἀάσθη): the deluded actions are taking place at this moment,
in the end the injured party is Herakles in particular (133). — πολλόν: denotes intensity,
cf. h.Ven. 253 μάλα πολλὸν ἀάσθην (LfgrE s.v. 1424.29  f.; quantity for the designation of
intensity: see 1.35n., 6.207n.).
114–119 In this secondary storyP in accelerated pace, Hera’s changes of location
are only mentioned at points of significance for the progress of the story: depar-
ture from Olympos, speed, arrival in Argos, target person and portrayal of the
situation, implementation of the intent of the intervention; cf. the type-sceneP
‘change of location by a deity’ (1.43–52n.) and ‘arrival’ (1.496b–502n.); on rapid
changes of location by deities, see 24.80–82n.; on more extensively narrated
divine journeys, Janko on 14.225–230.
114 = 14.225. — Olympos: on the dwelling place of the gods, 1.18n., 1.499n.
ῥίον Οὐλύμποιο: likewise at 8.25, 14.225; cf. 14 154. ῥίον is a toponym of uncertain ety-
mology (*ϝριο- or rather *σριο-, cf. Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v.), perhaps already attested
in Mycenaean ri-jo (in which case <*srio-) (Heubeck on Od. 9.191–192; cf. DMic s.v. ri-jo-
with bibliography); here it means approximately ‘mountain peak, hillock’.
115 1st VH ≈ 2.17 (see ad loc.). — to Argos of Achaia: a region in the northeast
Peloponnese (the later Argolís); in the Iliad, Agamemnon’s realm (on the
ambiguous toponym ‘Argos’, 1.30n., 2.108n.).
εἴδη: With acc. object of the person alone only here and at 20.203 (LfgrE s.v. οἶδα
546.9  f.); in the present passage either ellipsis of a part. ἐοῦσαν or κυέουσαν (Faesi),
replacement of the part. by paratactic ἣ δ’ ἐκύει (AH and Edwards on 117 ἐκύει: ‘stands
for κυέουσαν’), or anticipation of the subject of 117 by ἰφθίμην ἄλοχον, as though ὡς
ἐκύει were to follow at 117 rather than ἣ δ’ ἐκύει (Leaf; cf. 2.409n. [ἀδελφεόν] on anti­
cipation of the subject of a subordinate clause) is to be understood. The choice of verb
(εἴδη rather than ηὗρε, which is more common in this type of scene: 2.167–170, 3.125,

114 ἀΐξασα: from ἀΐσσω ‘move hurriedly, hurry along’. — λίπε (ῥ)ῥίον: on the prosody, M 4.6. —
Οὐλύμποιο: metrically lengthened initial syllable (R 10.1); on the declension, R 11.2.
115 ἵκετ(ο): on the unaugmented form, (ῐ- rather than ῑ-), R 16.1. — Ἄργος Ἀχαιϊκόν: acc. of di-
rection without preposition (R 19.2). — ἄρα (ϝ)είδη: on the prosody, R 4.3. — εἴδη: 3rd sing. plpf.
(≈ impf.) of οἶδα.
68   Iliad 19

4.89  f., 11.197  f., 24.83–86, etc.) stresses Hera’s purposeful action: in awareness of the
pregnancy, she planned from the beginning to intervene in the case of Sthenelos’ wife. –
On the spelling, West 1998, XXXIII.
116 A four-word verse (1.75n.). — the mighty wife of Sthenelos: Sthenelos, son
of Perseus and Andromeda and grandson of Zeus, brother of Alkmene’s father
Elektryon (king of Mycenae) and Amphitryon’s father Alkaios (king of Tiryns),
drove Amphitryon, who had killed his uncle and father-in-law Elektryon,
away from Mycenae and became king in his place (schol. T; ‘Apollod.’ Bibl.
2.4.5  f./2.49–56). As often in such cases, several names are transmitted for his
wife: Amphibia and Nikippe, both daughters of Pelops, and Antibia, daughter
of Amphidamas (schol. A and T ad loc.; schol. D on 119). Here she remains
nameless; only her position as the legitimate spouse of a hero of divine lineage
is important. The attribute ‘mighty’ (Greek iphthímē) is an epithet of human
beings and animals and their body parts (1.3n.), of women elsewhere in the
Iliad only in the similarly structured verse at 5.415 (wife of Diomedes), in the
Odyssey of heroes’ wives or daughters (Arete, Penelope and others) (LfgrE
s.v. ἴφθιμος with bibliography); it either emphasizes actual physical virtues
or characterizes women as ‘excellent’ (schol. D ad loc.: in place of agathḗ)
and indicates their elevated social position (Wickert-Micknat 1982, 82, 94
n. 519).
117–119 A child born in the seventh month of pregnancy was considered viable
(BNP s.v. Birth; LfgrE s.v. ἕβδομος; Wickert-Micknat 1982, 106 with n. 613).
Premature and delayed birth are here ascribed to the power of Hera, mother of
the Eileithyiai (11.270  f., Hes. Th. 922) (likewise in the case of the birth of Leto’s
twins, h.Ap. 97–101); on the goddesses of birth, 119n.; on Hera’s association
with motherhood and birth, see BNP s.v. Hera 358; West on Hes. Th. 922.
δ(έ): a paratactic narrative style (5x δέ); on the comparative frequency of parataxis vs.
subordination in Homer, see 1.10n.
117 φίλον υἱόν: an inflectible formula (nom./acc.) after caesura A 4 (18x Il., 10x Od., 5x
h.Hom.; 1x Od. φίλον υἷα, 2x Od. φίλοι υἷες); also after C 1 (132n.) and at VE (4n.). – φίλος
with possessive meaning (‘belonging to her’) to denote affiliation (cf. 4n.). — ὅ: either
demonstrative, looking ahead to μείς (AH; cf. 1.11n., 1.409n.), or with the function of an
article with an ordinal number (cf. 1.54n.). — μείς: a regular nominative form (< *mēns)
beside secondary μήν, which was formed by analogy in accord with the oblique cases
(Edwards; Frisk and Beekes s.v. μήν); elsewhere in early epic only at Hes. Op. 557,

116 Περσηϊάδαο: patronymic ‘son of Perseus’; on the declension, R 11.1.

117 ἥ: is anaphoric (R 17). — ἐκύει + (acc.): ‘be pregnant with someone’. — ἑστήκει: = εἱστήκει
(cf. R 16.1).
Commentary   69

h.Merc. 11. When joined with ἵσταμαι, the original meaning ‘moon’ still resonates (LfgrE
s.v. μήν). — ἑστήκει: ‘had taken up its place’ (LfgrE s.v. ἵστημι 1241.40  f.), of the moon’s
appearance in the sky; cf. Od. 14.162 = 19.307, Hes. Op. 780 (with West ad loc.) and 798.
118 1st VH ≈ 16.188. — φόωσδε: 103n.; the second part, the report of Eurystheus’ birth and
its consequences, is connected via verbatim echoes to the first part, Zeus’ announce-
ment and oath (cf. ἀνάξει 104/122, καρτερὸν ὅρκον 108/127). — ἠλιτόμηνον: a Homeric
hapaxP, rarely attested in the post-Homeric period; it means approximately ‘missing the
(proper) month’ (Edwards), ‘failing in (the due number of) months’ (Leaf; cf. schol. D;
AH; with emphasis on the religious component, Vos 1955, 191  f.; differently Blanc 2003,
27–34, 49  f.: ‘qui subit une perte de mois’). The initial element ἠλιτο- is derived from the
thematic aorist ἀλιτεῖν (‘to transgress, fail in’, cf. 264–265n.), perhaps as a verb-noun
compound with -o- at the juncture of the compound elements (cf. ἁμαρτο-επής: Schw.
1.442; Frisk, Beekes s.v.; Risch 193; Sommer 1948, 126  f.: in accord with the model of
possessive compounds). The initial vowel with metrical lengthening ἠ- (cf. G 49) may be
motivated by the aorist ἤλιτεν (Tichy 1977, 167) or formed on analogy with νηλείτιδες/
ἀλείτης (Wyatt 1969, 75); on the metrical lengthening with ἠ- rather than long ἀ-, cf.
ἠγάθεος (1.252n.) and ἠμαθόεις (2.77n.).
119 and held back the [birth pangs] Eileithyiai: The plural form of Eileithyia is
found elsewhere in early epic only at 11.270, where the goddesses of birth bring
on labor (AH ad loc.). In the present passage, the pl. may be metonymy for labor
pangs, the whole a ‘paratactic explication’ of ‘she … stayed the childbirth of
Alkmene’ (AH; schol. bT; Mader 1970, 86; LfgrE s.vv. Εἰλείθυια, ἔχω 845.71  ff.).
At the same time, in the plural form the Eileithyiai may be counted among the
deities who appear as a collective so as to increase assistance (Burkert [1977]
1985, 173; Häussler 1995, 76  f.; cf. BNP s.v. Eileithyia).
120 2nd VH =  1.539. — The return to Olympos is not mentioned explicitly (cf.
39n.), but only its most important aspect: Hera’s plan to immediately inform
Zeus of the birth that has taken place, while savoring her triumph. On the
‘speech within the speech’, 101–105n. — Kronos: on Zeus’ father, CG 26.
αὐτή: serves to highlight the fact that Hera ‘personally’ conveyed the message
(Edwards; cf. LfgrE s.v. 1641.25  ff.; Jeremiah 2012, 57); somewhat differently LfgrE s.v.
1663.25  ff., esp. 53  ff.: picking up the acting character (cf. 114) ‘in weak contrast’ to those
affected by the preceding action; on Homeric uses of αὐτός (contrast, exclusivity, iden-
tity), see 1.4.n, 1.47n. — ἀγγελέουσα: The final fut. part., elsewhere usually connected
with verbs of motion (Chantr. 2.321; Monro [1882] 1891, 211), here contains the key

118 ἐκ … ἄγαγε: so-called tmesis (R 20.2). — πρό: adverbial, ‘forward, forth’. — φόωσδε: 103n. —
καί: concessive (like Attic καίπερ). — ἐόντα: = ὄντα (R 16.6).
119 σχέθε: poetic by-form of ἔσχε, ‘stop, hold back’.
120 ἀγγελέουσα: on the uncontracted form, R 6.
70   Iliad 19

information for the speech introduction formula (Edwards; cf. Chantr. 2.325). — Δία
Κρονίωνα: an inflectible formulaP after caesura B 2 (1.502n.).
121 1st VH ≈ 22.178; 2nd VH = h.Ap. 257; ≈ 16.83. — Father Zeus of the shining
bolt: The address ‘Father Zeus’ is used by both humans and gods (by Hera also
at 5.757, 15.762; further examples in Schmitt 1967, 150  f.); on IE parallels for the
combination of a divine name with the epithet ‘father’ (cf. Latin Iu-piter) and
their meaning, see 3.276n.; on the VB formula, see 1.503n. – Zeus is character-
ized as a weather god via a range of epithets (CG 24; 1.354n.); on Zeus’ light-
ning-bolt, see West 2007, 252, with reference to Indra’s weapon in the Rigveda.
ἀργικέραυνε: likewise at 20.16, 22.178 (always preceding caesura B 2); a posses-
sive compound (Risch 218) with initial element ἀργός, which may combine ideas of
‘brightness’ and ‘swift movement’ (1.50n.; cf. 24.211n. [ἀργίποδας]; cautiously LfgrE
s.v. ἀργικέραυνος). It means approximately ‘with bright, flickering lightning’; cf. also
τερπικέραυνος 24.529–530n. — ἔπος … θήσω: underlines the significance of the infor-
mation that follows (cf. the formulaic verse at 1.297n.); on the fut. in declarations of
intent, Chantr. 2.202.
122–124 The message is effectively staged, framed by a ring-compositionP via
the motif of ruling over the Argives (VE 122/124; cf. 109–111n.), in which Zeus’
announcement is echoed in slightly altered form (Edwards): birth of the future
ruler (122; cf. 103  f.), name (at VB) and filiation (123), descent from Zeus (VB
124; cf. 105) and eligibility to rule (124); cf. 109–111n. — Argives: here a term
for the inhabitants of the region of Argos, the later Argolís (LfgrE s.v. Ἀργεῖ(ος)
1193.22  ff.; cf. 115n.).
122 VE ≈ 14.94, 23.471. — ἀνὴρ … ἐσθλός: a typical way of naming a person in epic style:
ἀνήρ with a qualifying adjective and a subsequent specification via a personal name in
the next verse (cf. 21.188  f., 23.112  f., 23.664  f., Od. 9.453–455, 24.51  f., h.Ap. 392  f.); in the
present passage, ἀνήρ appears proleptically of the newborn (LfgrE s.v. 849.64  ff.). The
mention of the name is delayed and thus placed at VB of the next verse as a surprise. –
ἐσθλός expresses particular esteem for a person (‘splendid’), but here also suggests the
socio-political term ‘noble’ (AH; LfgrE s.v. 735.71  f.; in general, Hoffmann 1914, 79  ff.;
Calhoun 1934, 302  f.; Stein-Hölkeskamp 1989, 54  f. with n. 161).
123 a four-word verse; cf. 116n. — Eurystheus: will succeed his father as king of
Mycenae and ruler of the Argolid (cf. Thuc. 1.9.2).
124 It is not unfit: an ironic understatement (with litotes): after the oath, the
newborn’s claim to authority is indisputable, all of Zeus’ objections are useless.

121 ἀργικέραυνε, (ϝ)έπος: on the prosody, R 4.3. — τοι: = σοι (R 14.1).

122 Ἀργείοισιν: on the declension, R 11.2.
124 οὔ (ϝ)οι: on the prosody, R 4.4. — οἱ: = αὐτῷ (R 14.1). — ἀνασσέμεν: pres. inf. (R 16.4).
Commentary   71

On Greek aeikés ‘inadequate’ (i.e. not corresponding to the worth of a person –

as measured by descent and standing), cf. 21n.; LfgrE s.v. ἀεικής 162.43  ff. and
77  ff.; de Jong (1987) 2004, 274 n. 103; cf. 1.97n.
σὸν γένος: reduced to the essential in contrast to 111 (with n.); in the context of ‘family’,
γένος may also comprise social rank and dynastic claims (LfgrE s.v.). — ἀνασσέμεν: a
prosodically ineffective digamma, here after caesura B 2 (same position at 2.643, Od.
15.240); οὔ οἱ ἀεικές in the same position in the verse at Il. 15.496; cf. 9.70, h.Cer. 120
(οὔ τοι ἀεικές at VE): Ruijgh 1957, 114; G 26.
125 1st VH ≈ 17.591. — the sharp sorrow struck …: Hera’s words have an effect
similar to the blow of a weapon; the pain immediately releases emotions. Greek
áchos denotes a sudden mental anguish in which rage (127) and aggression
(126, 130  f.) follow a sense of powerlessness (2.169–171n.; Mawet 1979, 313; here
because of the oath; on this, Heiden 1991, 3  f.): the damage caused by Zeus’
inattention can no longer be reversed; now all his aggression is discharged
against Ate (cf. 126–127n.; on ‘delusion’, 1.412n.).
ὀξύ: frequently an epithet of weapons, the word also characterizes physical pain from
injury as well as birth-pangs (11.268–272, 16.518); the collocation ἄχος ὀξύ for mental
anguish occurs also at 22.425 (Priam’s grief over Hektor’s death), Od. 11.208 (Odysseus’
grief over his mother), h.Cer. 40 (Demeter’s grief over the loss of her daughter): LfgrE
s.v. — τὸν … κατὰ φρένα τύψε βαθεῖαν: a unique, forceful description, in contrast
to formulaic expressions like 1.188 (see ad loc.) or 2.171 (see ad loc.). It has echoes of
the original concrete physical meaning of φρήν (‘diaphragm’ 1.103n.); cf. 17.313 κατὰ
γαστέρα τύψεν (AH; Böhme 1929, 39  f.; Snell 1978, 56; Jahn 1987, 13). On the construc-
tion with an acc. of a person and a second specification with a preposition, see Schw.
2.81 n. 2; Chantr. 2.42; Sommer 1977, 143 n. 10. – βαθύς is linked to φρήν only here in
early epic and is likely predicative ‘deep in’ (thus AH; LfgrE s.v. 5.41  ff.; Snell [1939] 1975,
26; Sullivan 1988, 75, 135  f. considers taking it as attributive: ‘Zeus’ deep phrēn’; on
the attributes of φρένες, see 24.40n.); cf. ἠέρα τύψε βαθεῖαν (20.446, of a blow with a
weapon), ἁλὸς ῥηγμῖνα βαθεῖαν | τύπτετε (Od. 12.214  f., of a stroke of the oars). – τύπτω
in contexts related to war denotes a blow or stab in close combat (Trümpy 1950, 98  f.),
linked to an abstract subject only here in Homer (LfgrE s.v.; Mutzbauer 1909, 5  f.).
126–127 2nd VH of 127 ≈ Od. 4.253, 10.381, 12.298, 18.55, h.Merc. 536. — In
Agamemnon’s narrative, Zeus reacts similarly to Agamemnon himself at 86  ff.,
by assigning blame to an external power: Zeus apparently blames Ate for the
fact that he did not see through Hera’s ruse. Remarkably, he rages only against

125 φάτο: 74n.; on the unaugmented form, R 16 1.

126 κεφαλῆς λιπαροπλοκάμοιο: partitive gen. for designating a part of the body that is touched:
‘on the head with its gleaming tresses’.
127 ᾗσι: possessive pronoun of the 3rd person (R 14.4); on the declension, R 11.1.
72   Iliad 19

Ate, who played no visible role in the preceding description (100  ff.), rather
than against Hera, the actual schemer.  – Zeus’ aggressive action may seem
unusual (cf. the discussion in Edwards and Davies 1995, 1 with n. 2, 6 with n.
24), but seizing Ate by the hair is perfectly plausible as a spontaneous reaction.
Athene grabs Achilleus by the hair in a similar manner at 1.197 (see ad loc.),
albeit in a different situation (differently at 1.591: Zeus grasps Hephaistos by
the foot). — shining hair: Carefully coiffed hair, gleaming with the oil used
to care for it, is a mark of a refined appearance (Marinatos 1967a, 2–4; Laser
1983, 154, 164; LfgrE s.v. πλόκαμος; cf. 2.44n.) and is part of Ate’s alluring look
(AH; cf. Hera’s careful attention to her body and hair before she seduces Zeus
at 14.170  ff., esp. 175  f.; differently Edwards: a contrast with Zeus’ aggression;
on epithets referring to female beauty, see 1.143n.; relating to the beauty of
hair, 6.379–380n.).
αὐτίκα: 20n. — λιπαροπλοκάμοιο: a hapaxP in the Iliad (elsewhere in early epic only as
a v.l. in the extra verse at Od. 12.133a); a variant of the metrically identical καλλιπλοκάμοιο
(in early epic in total 5x gen., 2x dat., 2x acc., 1x nom.) and λιπαροκρήδεμνος (5x in early
epic). — χωόμενος φρεσὶν ᾗσι: rage from frustration in connection with a violent reac-
tion (Adkins 1969, 17). φρένες is one of the semantically interchangeable, often metri-
cally determined lexemes for soul-spirit (2.213n.; χωόμενος κῆρ 1.44 with n.) and here
serves to intensify the portrayal of mental agitation (Jahn 1987, 241). In addition, in the
present scene the φρένες are the recipients of information (121 ἔπος) and emotional pain
(125 ἄχος): Sullivan 1988, 74  f., 135  f. — καρτερὸν ὅρκον: 108n.
128–130 With his oath, Zeus definitively banishes Ate from the realm of the gods
and renders it impossible for her to return after her violent fall from heaven (on
Olympos and the heavens, 1.18n., 1.497n.; Noussia 2002, 491  ff.). This is meant
to explain her presence and effect among humans; cf. 131 and 91–94 (sections
d and d’ at 86b–138n.). A comparable story appears in an Assyrian poem about
the female demon Lamaštu: she is cast from heaven by her father and thus
comes among humans (West 1997, 390). – Indirect speeches are rare in Homer;
they are usually short and sometimes quickly segue into direct speech (cf.
1.401n., 3.88–94n.; on oath scenes in particular, 19.108–113n.).
128 μή ποτ(ε): ποτε intensifies the negation μή, which is typical in oaths; likewise at
9.133/275, 19.176; in a promissory oath, as here, at 20.315, 21.374; in a curse at 9.455; in a
promise at h.Merc. 522 (Pelliccia 1995, 335; on the fut. in a promissory oath, 108n.). —
οὐρανὸν ἀστερόεντα: on the inflectible VE formula and the ornamental epithetP, see

128 ἐς: = εἰς (R 20.1). — Οὔλυμπον: 114n.

Commentary   73

129–130 he whirled her | about in his hand: The resolute action, comparable
to that of a discus thrower (Edwards: cf. Od. 8.189), illustrates Zeus’ physical
superiority (cf. 1.581, 8.17  ff., 14.257) as well as his aim to hurl Ate as far away
as possible. — and slung her out: Zeus repeatedly punishes other gods in the
Iliad by casting them down to earth, into the sea or into Tartaros: Hephaistos
at 1.591 (see ad loc.) and any opponent at 14.257  f., 15.23; as a mere threat: 8.13,
cf. 1.581.
129 2nd VH ≈ 91 (see ad loc.), 136.
130 1st VH = Od. 20.299; 2nd VH = Od. 20.113, Hes. Op. 548. — ὣς εἰπών: an inflectible VB
formula (nom. masc./fem., acc.), usually in the nom. (in total 74x Il., 42x Od., 3x Hes.,
11x h.Hom.), elsewhere a speech capping formulaP for direct speeches (AH; Leaf); on
other speech capping formulas for indirect speech, see Führer 1967, 2  f. with n. 8. —
οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος: 128n.
131 1st VH ≈ Od. 8.189; VE = 16.392, Od. 6.259, 14.84. — presently: Ate’s fall, pro-
voked by Zeus’ extreme rage, lasts only a short time  – in contrast to that of
Hephaistos at 1.592 (see ad loc.), who spent an entire day flying through the air
toward the earth.
ἔργ’ ἀνθρώπων: denotes here the human sphere as opposed to the heavens, and espe-
cially inhabited areas (AH; Leaf; LfgrE s.v. ἔργον 679.21  f.); elsewhere frequently of cul-
tivated fields as the sphere of life and work (2.751n.; cf. 2.614n.).
132–135 στενάχεσχ’ … ὀλέκεσκεν: The iterative forms (G 60) illustrate in conclusion all
Herakles’ labors for Eurystheus, as well as the repeated heavy setbacks of the Achaians
at the hand of the Trojans (cf. STR 21 fig. 1); on the ‘iterative narrative’, 1.488–492n.
132 would forever grieve over her … he saw his dear son: the transition from
the aition with personified Ate to the personal ‘delusion’ of Zeus (AH), compa-
rable to Agamemnon at 136 (sections e’ and e at 86b–138n.); on personifica-
tions in general, CG 28/30.
ἑὸν φίλον υἱόν: 4n. – φίλον υἱόν is an inflectible formula (nom./acc.) after caesura C 1
(3x Il., 3x Od.; 1x φίλον υἷα Od. 4.765; cf. διίφιλος υἷας Il. 10.49); also after caesura A 4
(117n.) and at VE (4n.).

129 αὖτις: = αὖθις.
131 ἵκετο: subject is Ἄτη. — ἵκετο (ϝ)έργ(α): acc. of direction without preposition (R 19.2); on the
prosody, R 4.3.
132–135 στενάχεσχ’ (=  στενάχεσκε)  … ὀλέκεσκεν: iteratives (-σκ-: R 16.5) of στενάχω ‘groan’
(+ acc.: ‘about’) and ὀλέκω ‘destroy’.
132 ὅθ’ (= ὅτε) … ὁρῷτο: iterative of the past (on the middle, R 23), governing the acc. with part.
ἑὸν … | … ἔχοντα. — ἑόν: possessive pronoun of the 3rd person (R 14.4).
74   Iliad 19

133 2nd VH = 8.363. — Overcoming Kerberos is the only labor of Herakles men-

tioned in Homer (8.362–369, Od. 11.620–626); the canon of twelve labors is
first attested in the post-Homeric period (e.g. Pind. fr. 169a, Eur. Her. 359–363;
on this, BNP s.vv. Heracles, Eurystheus). Additional episodes from the myth
of Herakles can be found interspersed throughout the Homeric epics: birth
(14.323  f., Od. 11.266  ff.), labors for Eurystheus (Il. 15.639  f.), visiting Laomedon
in Troy (5.640  ff., 14.250  f., 20.145  ff.), attack on Pylos (11.690  ff.), confrontations
with Hera (5.392  ff., 14.253  ff., 15.25  ff.), offspring (2.653  ff., 2.679, 5.628  ff.), wives
(Od. 11.269  f., 11.603), Herakles as archer (Od. 8.223  ff.), killing of Iphitos (Od.
21.25  ff.), death (Il. 18.117  ff., Od. 11.601  ff.): CM 6; Willcock; Kirk on 8.363;
Galinsky 1972, 10  ff.; Sbardella 1994, 152  f.; LIMC s.vv. Herakles, Eurystheus;
West 2011, 30  f.; on the technique of occasional allusions to various myth
cycles, see Friedrich 1975, 80; on the debate regarding pre-Homeric versions
of the Herakles tradition, see Sbardella loc. cit.; cf. also 95–133n. end.
ἔργον ἀεικές: a contrast with 124 (οὔ οἱ ἀεικές  …): ‘inappropriate’, i.e. labors that
are not in accord with Herakles’ lineage (124n.) and are also humiliating, since they
must be performed in the service of another (LfgrE s.v. ἔργον 678.68  f.). Elsewhere the
expression is a VE formula (1x Il., 4x Od.). On the phrase ἔργον ἔχω meaning ‘perform
work’, LfgrE s.v ἔχω 844.47  ff. — ὑπ’ Εὐρυσθῆος ἀέθλων: an addition to the participial
phrase ἔργον … ἔχοντα, just as it is to τειρόμενον at 8.363 (AH [transl.]: ‘owing to the
battles imposed by Eurystheus’; Willcock: ‘by reason of’; on ὑπό ‘under the influence
of’, Schw. 2.528). ἀ. generally denotes ‘labors, struggles’ connected with suffering and
danger, here and often elsewhere specifically the various ‘tasks’ Herakles must com-
plete at the behest of Eurystheus (LfgrE s.v. ἄεθλος, esp. 153.7  ff.; cf. 3.126n.).
134–138 By confessing to his devastating mistake before the assembled Achaians,
Agamemnon fulfils the last part of Achilleus’ plea to Thetis at 1.409  ff. (1.411n.).
In contrast to his earlier confession at 9.115  ff. (especially 9.158–161) within
the limited circle of the ‘council’ (on this, 1.144n.), Agamemnon no longer
insists that Achilleus formally subordinate himself to him, but in his role as
the supreme commander orders Achilleus to assume leadership in the immi-
nent battle (139 with n.). – On links between Books 9 and 19 in general, see
Schadewaldt (1938) 1966, 131–134; Reichel 1994, 125  f.
134–136 An internal analepsisP: Agamemnon refers to the military action of the
previous day (STR 21 fig. 1), in particular the attacks by Hektor and the Trojans
against the ships in Books 13–16, and intimates that he has suffered the whole
time from his responsibility for the course the fighting has taken (completive

133 Εὐρυσθῆος: on the declension, R 11.3, R 3. — ἀέθλων: on the uncontracted form, R 6.

Commentary   75

134 VB = 9.325, 18.120. — a conclusion a maiore ad minus (95–133n.; Erbse 1986,

12). — tall Hektor of the shining helm: on the epithets and the VE formula
(12x Il.), 2.816n., 6.116n.
ὣς καὶ ἐγών: transition from the example of Zeus to the speaker’s situation (cf. the
introductory καὶ γάρ, 95–96n.).
135 1st VH ≈ 5.712, 7.18; 2nd VH = 13.333, 14.51, 15.722. — Argives: 84n. — against
the sterns of their vessels: Mention of the encampment of ships, and particu-
larly the battle for the ships, winds through the Iliad in the manner of a leit-
motif with the heading ‘the ships’ sterns’; in Book 18, the motif concludes with
Achilleus’ decision to return to battle (18.73  ff.; cf. the Trojans’ reaction to his
appearance on the battlefield at 18.203  ff. und his resolve at 19.70  f.) (Latacz
[1995] 1997, 101 n. 143); on the positioning of the ships in the manner of a defen-
sive wall for the encampment, 1.12b n.
ὀλέκεσκεν: on the meaning of the present with κ (successful completion of the
verbal process), 1.10n.; on the iterative, 132–135n.; on mss. variants, West 2001, 153. —
πρυμνῇσι νέεσσιν: In this expression, adjectival πρυμνός denotes the rear portion of
a ship, the stern; the original meaning is disputed (various approaches with the same
result ‘stern’ in Kurt 1979, 110, and LfgrE s.v.; on the accent, West 1998, XXI).
136 2nd VH ≈ 91, 129. — λελαθέσθ’ Ἄτης: The reduplicated aor. mid. has a causative sense,
in contrast to the aorist in λαθ-, hence ‘make oneself forget’, and denotes conscious
suppression (Latacz 1966, 60; LfgrE s.v. λανθάνω 1628.36  ff.): Agamemnon could no
longer avoid the realization that the Greek losses were connected to Ate. — Ἄτης, ᾗ …
ἀάσθην: The articulation of an agent (Ἄτης, ᾗ) makes clear the transition from the mid.
to the pass. meaning (Jankuhn 1969, 51  f.; LfgrE s.v. ἀάω 11.18  ff.; on the dative with the
passive, George 2005, 51–60; on the meaning of the form ἀάσθη-, cf. 112–113n.). On the
implicit interpretation of names, see 91n.
137–141 These verses were wrongly athetized by ancient commentators on the basis of
ostensible discrepancies in context (139 vs. 142, 141 χθιζός) and repetitions (136  f., 138
and 140  ff.) (see app. crit. on 136–140; van der Valk 1964, 403).
137 1st VH = 9.119; 2nd VH ≈ 6.234, ‘Hes.’ Sc. 89. — returns via ring-compositionP to
the beginning of the explanation (86b–88, 90): here too Agamemnon blames
Zeus for his delusion (‘since … Zeus took my wits away’; cf. 86b–88n., 88n.,
90n.), emphasizing divine influence (Erbse 1986, 13; Schäfer 1990, 111; Taplin

134 ἐγών (before a vowel): = ἐγώ. — δὴ αὖτε:

͜ ‘now again’; on the synizesis, R 7.
135 νέεσσιν: on the declension, R 12.1.
136 λελαθέσθ’ (=  λελαθέσθαι): reduplicated thematic aor. inf. of λανθάνομαι; on the elision,
R 5.1.
137 ἀασάμην: metrically lengthened initial syllable (R 10.1).
76   Iliad 19

1992, 208  f.; cf. 87n.) – in opposition to his unqualified confession at 9.116/119

in the limited circle of the ‘council’ (cf. 134–138n.). Even though Agamemnon
explains his conduct via divine intervention, he is now also prepared to make
the necessary amends for his actions (9.120 = 19.138) in order to demonstrate
good faith in the settlement of the quarrel (Sullivan 1988, 151  f.; Williams
1993, 53). – A temporary clouding of judgment and consequent wrongdoing are
attributed to the fact that a deity impairs someone’s ‘wits’ (94n.), i.e. the func-
tioning of his mind (on Greek phrénes ‘mind, intellect’, 1.115n.), or removes
them altogether, as here (6.234n.; Sullivan loc. cit. 151): in direct speeches of
Agamemnon also at 9.377, of Automedon at 17.470, of Amphitryon at ‘Hes.’ Sc.
89, in narrator text of Glaukos at Il. 6.234, of the Trojans at 18.311 (Böhme 1929,
46 with n. 3; Kullmann 1956, 77; Clarke 1999, 281  f. n. 44).
ἐπεὶ ἀασάμην …: a verbatim echo of 9.119  f., albeit here with an explicit shift in the final
responsibility for the miscalculation to the actions of Zeus (καί μοι φρένας ἐξέλετο Ζεύς
rather than 9.119b φρεσὶ λευγαλέῃσι πιθήσας): Edwards; on the meaning of ἀασάμην,
cf. 95–96n. (Ζεὺς ἄσατο). — μοι: IE *moi, *toi, *soi can function as a gen. or a dat. (1.37n.,
G 81 with n. 38). φρένας ἐξελέσθαι is transmitted with both the gen. (e.g. at 18.311, ‘Hes.’
Sc. 89) and the dat. of the person (Il. 6.234 [with n.], 9.377) (cf. LfgrE s.v. αἱρέω 364.50  ff.
and 361.70  ff.).
138 = 9.120. — gifts in abundance: a formulaic expression for substantial com-
pensation; cf. 1.13n. The prospect of this had already been held out to Achilleus
by Athena at 1.213 (see ad loc.; Rothe 1910, 299) and was then offered by
Agamemnon (9.120  ff., 9.260  ff.); it becomes evident that Agamemnon intends
to make his contribution to the settlement largely in material form.
ἄψ: denotes a return to the beginning by reversing a process (LfgrE s.v. 1785.39  ff.). —
ἐθέλω: here, as frequently elsewhere, this means ‘be prepared, willing’ (AH on 9.120;
LfgrE s.v. 416.40  ff.); on the semantic range, 1.112n.; on prothetic ε-, 1.277n. — ἀρέσαι: a
sigmatic aorist of the disyllabic root ἀρε- (Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v. ἀρέσκω); it denotes
the process by which a disturbed order is returned to its rightful state, usually reconcil-
iation (middle) with a person (e.g. 9.112  f., 19.179, 183): 6.526–527a n. The verb is used in
the active and absolute only of Agamemnon (here and at 9.120), hence approximately
‘to put things right, remedy’, perhaps signalling his detached attitude toward Achil-
leus (LfgrE s.v. ἀρέσαι). — ἀπερείσι’ ἄποινα: a VE formula (11x Il.); on ἀπερείσιος and
ἄποινα, see 1.13n., 6.46n. ἄποινα in the Iliad usually denotes the ransom for defeated
opponents (on this, 2.229–230n., 6.46–50n.) or their corpse (e.g. 24.137, 139, 276), or for
captured women (on this, 6.427–428n.), but here and at 9.120 it is the compensation for
the seizure of Briseïs (also h.Ven. 210 for the abduction of Ganymedes): LfgrE s.v. ἄποινα;
Wilson 2002, 117  f.

138 ἄψ: ‘again’. — δόμεναι: = Attic δοῦναι (R 16.4). — ἀπερείσι’ ἄποινα: on the hiatus, R 5.1.
Commentary   77

139–144 The two topics of the final section, (A) ‘departure for battle’ (139) and (B)
‘transfer of gifts’ (140–144), are picked up and varied in several other speeches
in the agora-scene: 146–153 (B/A), 155–183 (A/B), 185–197 (B), 199–214 (A),
216–237 (A); these are the main events prior to the beginning of the subsequent
battle: 238–268 and 278–281 (B), 351–424 (A): Lohmann 1970, 138; cf. ‘table of
contents’ speech 34–36n. – The public settlement of a quarrel in Homer takes
place via an apologetic confession on the part of the offending party, combined
with a public handing over of gifts, with the injured party receiving both in a
conciliatory manner; cf. 23.566–616, Od. 8.158–253 and 8.396–416 (Donlan
1993, 161  f.). Since Achilleus had been very publicly deprived of his gifts of
honor during the assembly in Book 1, the handing over of the gifts as well will
take place before everyone (34–36n.; Edwards on 171–175; Scheid-Tissinier
1994, 202  f.; Ruzé 1997, 89; Bouvier 2002, 421  f.). But the form of Agamemnon’s
apology indicates that he lacks full sensitivity of Achilleus’ emotional state: he
thus stresses once more at 140–144 (cf. 138n.) his willingness to provide com-
pensation, and especially the fact that he is still planning to hand over in full
all gifts already promised (140), while making a particular point of impressing
Achilleus with this (144); he fails to consider that Achilleus’ return to battle
does not rest primarily on the quantity of the compensation (Edwards; Latacz
[1995] 1997, 56–59, 97–102 with bibliography; Bouvier loc. cit. 420; narratolog-
ical considerations for the timing of handing over the gifts, West 2011, 356).
139 1st VH = 4.264; 2nd VH = 15.475. — This is the sole reaction to Achilleus’ main
request for Agamemnon (68–73): Agamemnon transfers command to Achilleus
and thus signals agreement with him in this matter as well. Given his injury,
which he has recalled for everyone present (51–53n., 77n.), he can allow the
initiative for battle to come from Achilleus without losing face (AH; Edwards).
After the death of Hektor, Achilleus will return command to Agamemnon
(23.155–160; cf. 24.658n.).
ἀλλ(ά): 34n. — ὄρσε‿ ο: The emphasis of ὄρνυμαι is frequently on the haste with which
a subsequent action is executed (LfgrE s.v. ὄρνυμι 799.54  ff.). Trisyllabic ὄρσεο always
occurs at VB (3.250, 16.126, 18.170, 21.331, Od. 6.255, h.Ven. 177); after ἀλλ’ a disyllabic
form with synizesis or contraction is used (Chantr. 1.417: metrical variants for VB; on
the transmission -εο/-ευ, see Chantr. 1.59  f.; West 1998, XXII; GT 7; G 45 with n. 25). This
form is likely an extension of the root aor. ὄρσο (Risch 250; Schw. 1.788 n. 4; Roth 1973,
181–186 [≈ Roth 1990, 68–70]; contrast δύσεο 36n.). — ἄλλους ὄρνυθι λαούς: Agamem-
non refers to 69 (ὄτρυνον πόλεμόνδε); via the use of ὄρνυμι, the emphasis here is placed

139 ὄρσε‿ο: thematic aor. imper. of ὄρνυμαι ‘rise, set to work’; on the uncontracted form, R 6; on
the synizesis, R 7. — πόλεμόνδε: 69n. — ὄρνυθι: pres. act. imper. of ὄρνυμι ‘rouse’. — λαούς: 35n.
78   Iliad 19

more strongly on the propulsion, i.e. the setting into motion (cf. e.g. 41 and see above
on ὄρσε‿ο), whereas with ὀτρύνω the issuing of instructions or commands is to the fore
(e.g. 69, 156, 205): Achilleus is meant to be the driving force that sets everyone in motion
(cf. the repetition of the word stem ὄρ-). Agamemnon also gives Achilleus authority over
troops other than the Myrmidons: λαοί can include the other leaders (2.191n.; Haubold
2000, 82; on λαός ‘the [male] population in arms, the army’ in general, see 1.10n.).
140–141 gifts, as many | as … yesterday … promised: similarly 194  f.; the ref-
erence is to the embassy to Achilleus led by Odysseus (9.179–657) that took
place during the night from Day 25 to Day 26 of the action of the Iliad (internal
analepsisP; STR 21 fig. 1; 8.500  ff.). From the speaker’s point of view, ‘yesterday’
thus begins with the sunset of the previous day (schol. bT with ­Schmidt 1976,
138  f.; AH; cf. West 1997, 28; LfgrE s.v. αὔριον 1562.67  ff.).
ἐγὼν ὅδε … παρασχέμεν: a nominal clause with predicative ὅδε and final-consecutive
inf.: ‘I am the one …’ in the sense ‘I am here … to grant’; similarly 9.688, without inf. Od.
22.367 (Schw. 2.210, 363; Chantr. 2.5, 9; Leaf). — δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς: 48n.
142 1st VH = Od. 17.277; 2nd VH = Il. 19.189; ≈ Od. 1.309, 3.284, 15.49. — εἰ δ’ ἐθέλεις: a VB
formula (4x Il., 4x Od., 1x Hes.); implying a choice between two possible courses of
action, and used as a polite request when the speaker is not in a position to issue orders
or knows that the addressee actually wants what is mentioned (cf. 6.150, Od. 12.49, 16.82,
17.277): Wakker 1994, 264  f. with n. 89. — ἐπειγόμενός περ ἄρηος: ἐπείγομαι with gen.
object used of a mental impulse with the sense ‘long for’ (Schw. 2.140; Chantr. 2.54);
see iterata. On the metonymic use of Ἄρης/ἄρης, CG 28; 2.381n.
143–144 Agamemnon will later charge Odysseus with selecting suitable men
(192  ff.; implementation, 238  ff.). — followers: therápontes are free men of
various social ranks who serve as subordinates for certain tasks (1.321n.).
ὅ: with the sense ‘that’, as at 8.32, 11.439, etc. (Chantr. 2.289). — μενοεικέα: The com-
pound μενο-εικής ‘in accord with one’s desire’, with ἔοικα (‘be appropriate, suitable’)
as final element, usually characterizes food presented in abundance (9.90, 227, 23.29,
Od. 5.166, 267, etc.) or possessions (Od. 16.429) and booty (9.158, 13.273, h.Merc. 330), as
well as the wood gathered for Patroklos’ funeral pyre (Il. 23.139) and divine favors in the
form of material goods (23.650); it particularly stresses the satisfaction of the recipient
(LfgrE; Latacz 1966, 98).

140 παρασχέμεν: on the form, R 16.4. — ὅσσα: on the -σσ-, R 9 1. — τοι: = σοι (R 14.1).
141 χθιζός: predicative (literally ‘of yesterday’), in the sense ‘the night before last’ (↑). — ἐνί:
= ἐν (R 20.1).
142 περ: concessive (R 24.10). — ἄρηος: on the declension, R 12.4.
143 τοι: 140n. — νηός: on the declension, R 12 1.
144 ὄφρα (ϝ)ίδηαι: on the prosody, R 4.3. — ὄφρα: ‘so that’ (R 22.5). — ἴδηαι: uncontracted (R 6)
2nd sing. aor. mid. subjunc.; on the middle, R 23.
Commentary   79

145–237 Achilleus pushes for battle, showing no interest in the gifts or consider-

ation for the needs of the troops. A discussion arises between him and Odysseus
regarding the necessity of taking nourishment before battle.
The conflict between Achilleus’ profound impatience and the needs of those
around him, already in play at the start of the assembly (67–70n.), is now
revealed in his confrontation with the pragmatic Odysseus (Schadewaldt
[1938] 1966, 133). In addition, the debate regarding a meal prior to departure
for battle (155–237) and the act of handing over the gifts (238–268) constitute a
retardationP of Achilleus’ longed for return to battle, increasing the suspense
(Morrison 1992, 45).
145 = 1.84 (see ad loc.). — the speech introduction τὸν/τὴν δ’ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη with
noun-epithet formula (cf. 154): 36x Il., 68x Od., 1x h.Ap.; on the VE formula πόδας ὠκὺς
Ἀχιλλεύς (30x Il.), see 1.58n.
146 =  2.434 (see ad loc.), etc.; on the 1st VH (‘Son of Atreus, most lordly’) and
the Greek superlative kýdiste, 1.122n.; on the Greek title ánax andrṓn, 1.7n. In
this formal whole-verse address (likewise at 199), Achilleus acknowledges
Agamemnon’s position of authority (Brown 2006, 7  f.; Friedrich 2007, 136  f.;
cf. 2.434n.).
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγάμεμνον: 51n.
147–154 Achilleus makes reference only to the closing section of Agamemnon’s
speech – the argument involving delusion by Zeus is in any case not mentioned
again until 270  ff. – and begins with the topic ‘gifts’, which was mentioned last
(‘continuity of thought’ principleP), although he addresses this only briefly in
order to dwell on the topic ‘battle’ (147–148a and 148b–153, but cf. Agamemnon
at 139 and 140–144). The terse reply reflects his lack of interest in the gifts:
even though these are a set part of formal redress (139–144n.; cf. 1.203n. s.v.
ὕβρις: ‘repayment sanctioned by formal community procedures’), in his eyes
they have lost value due to the absence of a sincere apology by Agamemnon
and, after the death of Patroklos, are no longer a prerequisite for his return to
battle. He thus leaves it entirely up to Agamemnon whether the latter wants to
proceed in accord with custom. Achilleus will thus display no interest what-
soever in the gifts when they are presented at 275  ff. (AH; Lowenstam 1993,
120; Postlethwaite 1998, 97  f.; Wilson 2002, 119  f.); he is concerned less with
a harmonious relationship with Agamemnon than with immediate revenge:
Nagler 1974, 177 n. 16; cf. 56–73n.

145 πόδας: 55n.
146 κύδιστε, (ϝ)άναξ: on the prosody, R 4.3.
80   Iliad 19

147–148 as it is proper: literally ‘commensurate’ (Greek epieikés) with a person’s

achievements and social position (21n.), here especially the situation: a public
presentation of gifts would comply with etiquette.
δῶρα … | … σοί: The punctuation, function of the infinitives, and accent of παρα are
disputed (extensive discussion in Leaf, Edwards): (1) παρὰ σοί (West, Allen) as sup-
plementary to ἐχέμεν (LfgrE s.v. ἔχω 849.14) with an antithesis between the compound
and simplex verbs ‘to give up or to keep’ (Fehling 1969, 255); the infinitives παρασχέμεν
and ἐχέμεν are (a) imperatival and outside the conditional clause (‘hand over the gifts,
if you wish, or keep them for yourself’) or (b) dependent on ἐθέλῃσθα with an ellipsis of
the main clause (‘if you wish to hand over the gifts ‹it is acceptable to me› or if you wish
to keep them for yourself, ‹it is also acceptable›’, or the second infinitive is imperatival
‘or keep them for youself’); (2) πάρα ≈ πάρεστι: (a) as an independent sentence with
imperatival infinitives preceding and a semicolon after ἐχέμεν (schol. bT; AH; Faesi) or
(b) as a governing main clause: ‘whether you wish to hand over the gifts or keep them
is up to you’ (schol. D; preferred by Edwards; Willcock; cautiously Chantr. 2.275).
In expressing himself, Achilleus perhaps recalls his rejection of Agamemnon’s offer at
9.378, i.e. the decision regarding the further procedure is now supposed to rest with
Agamemnon; this would favor interpretation (2b) (cf. also Agamemnon’s announce-
ment at 140). — ἤ τ(ε): a rare combination of particles; a disjunctive used as a correla-
tive (9.276, 11.410, 17.42) or on its own (with a comparative at Od. 16.216): Ruijgh 827  f.
— νῦν δέ: 23a n. — μνησώμεθα χάρμης: an inflectible VE formula (7x Il., 1x Od.); χάρμη
denotes eagerness for battle, belligerence, μιμνήσκομαι in this context means ‘direct
one’s thoughts toward, reflect on’ (Latacz 1966, 29–33; Martin 1989, 79  f.; Bakker
[2002] 2005, 142; LfgrE s.vv. μιμνήσκω 216.47  ff. and χάρμη; cf. 6.265n.). With this call
to battle (cf. 15.477, 17.103, Od. 22.73), Achilleus – who has been thinking of nothing but
battle since receiving his new armor (16  ff., 23, 68  ff.) – wants to awaken the aggressive
potential of those present and direct attention away from the gifts toward preparations
for combat; cf. the position of δῶρα at VB 147 and χάρμης at VE 148 (Latacz loc. cit. 32;
Benedetti 1979, 172–175).
149–150 The double progressive enjambmentP highlights Achilleus’ desire for
swift action to achieve the ‘big work’. The ambiguous phrasing allows for
several interpretations: victory over the Trojans and conquest of Troy as the
aim of the shared undertaking, or revenge for Patroklos as Achilleus’ personal
goal (cf. 147–154n.).
αἶψα μάλ(α): 36n. — κλοτοπεύειν: a Homeric hapaxP of unknown derivation and
meaning, formed like a denominative (Risch 333; hypotheses in DELG and Frisk).

147–148 αἴ κ(ε): = ἐάν (R 22 1, R 24.5). — ἐθέλῃσθα: 2nd sing. subjunc.; on the ending, R 16.2. —
παρασχέμεν … | … ἐχέμεν: aor. inf. and pres. inf. (R 16.4); on the construction, ↑. — ἤ τ(ε): ‘or also’.
149 ἐόντας: = ὄντας (R 16.6), sc. ἡμᾶς.
150 μέγα (ϝ)έργον: on the prosody, R 4.3.
Commentary   81

The scholia on the present passage explain it variously as ‘to talk beautifully’ or ‘to
steal time (for battle) with speeches’ (schol. A, bT and D on 149); Hesychius renders it
παραλογίζεσθαι, ἀπατᾶν, κλεψιγαμεῖν, στραγγεύεσθαι. Comparable in terms of content
is 16.630  f. (Patroklos) with its similar appeal for battle rather than speeches (Martin
1989, 200; cf. 22.126–129; on Achilleus’ special vocabulary, 25n.). — ἐνθάδ’ ἐόντας: i.e.
‘here in the assembly’ rather than on the battlefield (AH; cf. 2.342b–343n.). — διατρίβειν:
(sc. χρόνον) is used absolutely only here; elsewhere it takes an acc. object (ῥίζαν ‘to
grind’ 11.846  f., χόλον 4.42, πάντα Od. 2.265, γάμον Od. 2.204  f., 20.341) or a gen. (ὁδοῖο
Od. 2.404). — μέγα ἔργον: The expression is elsewhere usually found before caesura B 2
(5x Il., 6x Od., 3x Hes.); as here only at 11.734 (μέγα ἔργον ἄρηος). — ἄρεκτον: a Homeric
hapaxP (elsewhere only in Simonides fr. 603 Page); a negated verbal adjective ‘undone’
of ῥέζω (related to ϝέργον: figura etymologica) with the ϝ having no prosodic effect (but
cf. 9.536, 10.49 ἔρρεξε). In contrast to ἀτελεύτητος, this denotes an undertaking not yet
begun (LfgrE; Leaf; on the meaning of ῥέζω, see 1.147n.; LfgrE s.v.).
151–153 The position and authenticity of these verses, transmitted in all man-
uscripts, have often been questioned (AH, Anh. 13; Leaf; Lohmann 1970,
65 n. 111), although unreasonably so: in the call to battle beginning in 148b
addressed by Achilleus to the assembled army, he urges haste (149  f.), provides
reasons for this (150b) and tries, via the prospect of his own participation at the
forefront, to give the Achaians renewed confidence in their joint battle-prow-
ess, so that they themselves should once again feel a lust for combat (151–153;
cf. the appeals arranged in a ring-compositionP at 148b and 153); on the motif
of battle paraeneses, see Stoevesandt 2004, 284  f.
151 Achilleus: The use of his own name adds emphasis; Achilleus shows the same
confidence as in the threat at 1.240 that he would no longer present himself on
the battlefield (see ad loc., with collection of examples; Kelly 2007, 84  f.). —
among the front fighters: on the warriors in the first line, see 3.16–17n.
ὥς κέ τις αὖτ’ … ἴδηται: ὥς κέ τις is either to be understood as correlative with 153,
with a comma at VE 152 and the reading ὧδέ τις at VB 153 (see app. crit.; thus already
Nicanor; schol. bT on 153; AH ad loc. and Anh. 33  f.; Leaf; Latacz [see the translation
in the text volume of the German edition]; cf. Faesi on 153), or ὥς κέ … ἴδηται is a final
clause with a modal particle, is connected with the exhortation μνησώμεθα χάρμης at
148, and the clause ends at VE 152 (text by Allen, West; Chantr. 2.270; cf. 2.385n.,
6.68–69n.); undecided, Edwards. — τις: ‘one’ in the sense ‘everyone’ (Schw. 2.214  f.).
152 2nd VH =  8.279. — with the bronze spear: a VB formula (7x Il.); on the
weapon, 2.692n., 3.18n., 6.3n.

151 Ἀχιλῆα: on the declension, R 11.3, R 3; on the single -λ-, R 9.1. — πρώτοισιν: on the declen-
sion, R 11.2. — ἴδηται: on the middle, R 23.
152 ὀλέκοντα: 132–135n.
82   Iliad 19

ὀλέκοντα: likely an echo of ὀλέκεσκεν at 135 (see ad loc.). — φάλαγγας: a technical

military term (approximately corresponding to the English term ‘line, rank’); φάλαγγες
denotes the army in battle-ready formation (3.77n., 6.6n.; Buchholz 2010, 97–103).
153 ὣς δέ: ‘thus’; see 151n. — τις: 151n. — ὑμείων: on the form, Schw. 1.605; Chantr.
1.271. — μεμνημένος: sc. χάρμης from 148 (Latacz 1966, 33) or μάχης from the following
μαχέσθω (LfgrE s.v. μιμνήσκω 220.14  ff.; cf. 147–148n. end). — ἀνδρί: beside τις is a col-
lective term for an anonymous group in man-against-man mass-battle (LfgrE s.v. ἀνήρ
845.76  ff.).
154 = 10.382, 10.423, 10.554, 19.215; 45x Od.; cf. 145n. — resourceful: The stand-
ard epithet for Odysseus (Greek polýmētis ‘endowed with much cleverness’), it
fits with the speeches that follow (155–183, 216–237) in which he stands out for
his cleverness and diplomatic skill (Tsagarakis 1982, 37  f.; similarly at 1.311n.,
3.200n.; cf. the characterization at 3.191–224 with n., 3.202n.; on his epithets,
LfgrE s.v. Ὀδυσσεύς 518.1  ff. and s.v. πολύμητις; on mḗtis as a term for practical
intelligence and strategic thinking, 2.169n.).
155–183 Odysseus acts as a mediator between Agamemnon and Achilleus, as
already in the embassy in Book 9 (on the connection between Books 9 and 19,
134–138n.). As a tactician with diplomatic skill and practical orientation, he
attempts to reconcile Agamemnon’s desire for ostentatious material redress and
Achilleus’ impatience with a concern for the physical well-being of the army
and Achilleus’ return to the community (Edwards on 154–183; Tsagarakis
1982, 37  f.). Odysseus’ speech consists of two sections addressed to Achilleus
(155–172a: nourishment of the army prior to battle, 172b–180: public satisfac-
tion) and a final section addressed to Agamemnon, with a concluding gnome
(181–183); on the structure of the speech, Lohmann 1970, 66–68; cf. 139–144n.
The speech gains in urgency by the positioning of significant words at the VB
(some with enjambmentP) (156, 158, 161, 163, 166, 172, 173, 175, 180): Edwards
on 155–172; Perceau 2002, 82  f. – The meal before the battle (cf. Agamemnon’s
instructions at 2.381n.) is part of the themeP ‘armies joining battle’, comprised
of military assembly – meal – arming scene – drawing up of forces – beginning
of battle (2.86b–401n.; cf. 19.40–276n.), but is here replaced by (a) Odysseus’
argumentation (155–172, 225–233), (b) Achilleus’ relenting (275), (c) Achilleus’
refusal of food (209  f., 304  ff., 319  ff., 345  f.), (d) his nourishment with nectar
and ambrosia (352  ff.): Hainsworth 1966, 162.  – Odysseus’ insistence is not
due solely to pragmatic reasons (nourishment of the warriors): the common
meal is also meant to be a means of reconciliation and a signal of the end of
the quarrel as well as of Achilleus’ reintegration into the fighting community,

153 ὑμείων: = ὑμῶν (R 14.1). — μαχέσθω: 3rd sing. mid. imper.

Commentary   83

and to seal the return to normality (Edwards on 145–237; Taplin 1992, 210;
Bouvier 2002, 421  f.; Wilson 2002, 119; Elmer 2013, 128).
155–172a The first section of the speech is divided into three parts in the manner
of a ring-compositionP (Lohmann 1970, 66  f.):
(A): a request (155–157a)
b rationale (157b–159)
a’ request (160–161a)
b’ rationale (161b)
(B): detailed, antithetically arranged rationale with negative (162–166) and pos-
itive (167–170) examples
(A’): request (171–172a).
155 = 1.131. — Odysseus begins his speech, in which he disagrees decidedly with
Achilleus and – respectfully (Taplin 1992, 209) – recalls him in the interest of
the army. — godlike: a generic epithetP, in the Iliad only in direct address to
Achilleus (1.131n.); on similar epithets, see 2.565n.
ἀγαθός περ ἐών: likewise at 1 131, 1.275, 15.185, 24.53. As at 1.275 (see ad loc.), two inter-
pretations are possible: (1) concessive ‘even though you are ἀγαθός’ (Denniston 485
n. 1; Bakker 1988, 193), i.e. on the basis of his claim to authority, which rests on his
superior fighting prowess, he could lead the army into battle immediately (LfgrE s.v.
ἀγαθός 22.18  ff., 23.4  ff.; Hoffmann 1914, 75; Long 1970, 127; Cairns 1993, 101; cf. Odys-
seus’ further arguments at 216  ff.); (2) causative ‘since after all you are an ἀγαθός’, i.e. an
ἀγαθός person is expected to act considerately (Dover 1983, 37  f.; cf. 1.131n.). The code
of conduct of Homeric heroes includes, in addition to proving oneself in battle, ‘values
such as friendship, loyalty, compassion, chivalry, but also a rationally justified sense of
justice and respect for others’ (Latacz [1995] 1997, 39  f. [transl.]; cf. 1.275n., 6.208n.).
156 2nd VH ≈ 17.396. — Ilion: on the name ‘Ilion’ – an alternative to ‘Troy’ – 1.71n.;
FOR 24.
νήστιας: also at 207 and Od. 18.370; composed of the negative prefix νη- and the root
ἐδ- ‘eat’ (discussion of the nominal formation in DELG, LfgrE and Beekes s.v. νῆστις); on
the acc. pl. -ιας, G 74; Chantr. 1.218; Schw. 1.571, 573. — ὄτρυνε: a negative pres. imper.
μὴ … | … ὄ. (rather than aor. subjunc.) with the meaning ‘don’t urge on ‹any longer›’ (cf.
on this, 6.68–69n.) as opposed to aor. ὄτρυνον at 69 (‘urge ‹immediately›’).  — προτὶ
Ἴλιον: always after caesura B 1 (14x Il.), sometimes expanded by the epithet ἠνεμόεσσαν
(3.305n., 8.499, 12.115, 13.724, 23.64) or in the VE formula προτὶ Ἴλιον ἱρήν (6x Il.) (on
this, Janko Introd. 17 and 19, who claims the expression proves that ‘Aeolic bards were
already singing tales about a war at Troy’). — υἷας Ἀχαιῶν: an inflectible VE formula; a

155 δὴ ͜οὕτως: on the synizesis, R 7. — δή: strengthens the negation. — ἐών: = ὤν (R 16.6).
156 νήστιας: acc. pl. of νῆστις ‘without eating’ (predicative), taken with υἷας. — προτὶ (ϝ)ίλιον:
on the prosody, R 5.4. — προτί: = πρός (R 20.1). — υἷας: on the declension, R 12.3.
84   Iliad 19

periphrastic collective denomination for the Achaians, likely a Semiticism (1.162n.; for
additional bibliography, see LfgrE s.v. υἱός 701.3  ff.).
157 1st VH ≈ 18.59, 18.440. — not short will be the time: Odysseus warns of the
gravity of the impending task: despite the return of Achilleus to the ranks, he
does not expect the opponents to be vanquished quickly (cf. the litotes here,
in addition to the expressions at 162 and 168 [‘all day long’], 169  f.), since not
only the Achaians, but also the Trojans can count on the support of a deity (159
with n.); on the motif of the long duration of battle in IE epics, see West 2007,
158 φύλοπις: a term for ‘battle’ with a largely negative connotation and without clear ety-
mology, see 6.1n.; here in integral enjambmentP. — εὖτ’ ἄν: denotes ‘a specified moment
in the future’ (Chantr. 2.258 [transl.]; 1.242n.). — πρῶτον: 9b n. — ὁμιλήσωσι: In a mil-
itary context, this denotes contact with the enemy in mass combat (LfgrE; Trümpy 1950,
146  f.; Latacz 1977, 229).
159 the god inspiring fury: illustrates the idea that the necessary aggressive
energy in battle is imparted to the warriors (here on both sides) by a deity
(cf. 37n.); likewise at 10.482, 15.60, 262, 20.110, of horses at 17.456, 24.442
(Kullmann 1956, 72; Schmitt 1967, 115  f. with Vedic parallels).
160 Odysseus acts diplomatically and respectfully toward Achilleus by making
clear that the latter is entitled to command the army; likewise at 171 (schol. bT
on 160).
θοῇς ἐπὶ νηυσὶν Ἀχαιούς: similar is 10.306 (Ἀχαιῶν), a variant of the VE formula θοὰς
ἐπὶ νῆας Ἀχαιῶν (1.12b n., 1.371n.), dat. without Ἀχαιῶν/-ούς also at 18.259, 24.254, Od.
24.419 after caesura B 2; on epithets for ships in general, 1.12b n.
161 = 9.706; 1st VH = Od. 14.46, ≈ Od. 20.378. — food and wine: a general peri­
phrasis for the characteristic diet of human beings (9.706, 24.641, Od. 3.479,
7.295 etc.; varied at Il. 19.167, cf. 19.306), in contrast to nectar and ambrosia,
the food of the gods (1.598, 5.341, 777, Od. 5.93, 197–199; cf. 38n.; Kirk on
Il. 5.339–342; LfgrE s.v. σῖτος); Achilleus will receive the latter as nourishment
from Athene (Il. 19.347  f./353  f.). On dietary habits in early epic, Bruns 1970,

157 μαχησομένους: final. — ἐπεὶ οὐκ: on the so-called correption, R 5.5.

158 εὖτ’ ἂν πρῶτον (with prospective subjunc.): ‘once, as soon as’ (R 22.2;).
159 ἐν … πνεύσῃ: so-called tmesis (R 20.2). — ἀμφοτέροισιν: ‘both parties, sides’.
160 πάσασθαι: aor. inf. of πατέομαι ‘partake of, enjoy’, with partitive gen. σίτου καὶ οἴνοιο
(161). — ἄνωχθι: imper. of the perfect with present sense ἄνωγα ‘order, command’. — θοῇς: on the
declension, R 11.1. — νηυσίν: on the declension, R 12.1.
161 καὶ (ϝ)οίνοιο: on the declension, R 11.2; on the prosody, R 4.4. — τό: on the demonstrative
function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17.
Commentary   85

51  ff., especially 55  f.; Rundin 1996, 185  ff.; with slightly different emphasis,
Davies 1997, 98  ff. — fighting fury and warcraft: With Greek ménos and alkḗ,
the purposeful aggressive energy (37n.) and spirit of resistance (36n.), i.e. the
physical and mental strength of the warriors, are made dependent on a suffi-
cient intake of food (cf. 9.706, also wine and grain as the warriors’ ‘marrow’ at
Od. 2.290): Böhme 1929, 31  ff.; Monsacré 1984, 189; on the controversy about
wine, which can also cripple fighting prowess, see 6.261n. and 6.264–268n.
with biblio­graphy.
162–170 Requests are often supported by gnomes (1.274n., 2.196–197n., 6.261n.),
here the explicit requests (160  f., 171  f.) and the implicit appeal to Achilleus
to participate in the meal (Lardinois 1997, 224; 2000, 652). This is achieved
by means of two gnomes (162–166/167–170) related to one another via the
opposites ‘fasting’ (163) – ‘sated’ (167) and ‘unfit for battle’ (162  f. and 165  f.) –
‘battle-­ready’ (169  f.) (Lohmann 1970, 66  f.).
162 ≈ 1.601 etc. (see ad loc.). — all day | long until the sun goes down: On the
long duration of battle, see 157n.; on the motif ‘night puts an end to battle’,
see 2.387n.
πρόπαν ἦμαρ: ‘all day long’; πρόπας is an amplification of πᾶς (LfgrE).
163 ἄκμηνος σίτοιο: ἄκμηνος in early epic here and at 207 (νήστιας ἀκμήνους), 320
(ἄκμηνον πόσιος καὶ ἐδητύος), 346 (ἄκμηνος καὶ ἄπαστος), elsewhere only in Hellen-
istic poets (examples in LfgrE); it is always given further specification either by a gen-
itive, in a manner analogous to verbs such as πάσασθαι at 160  f. (Chantr. 2.66), or by
another word for ‘fasting, unfed’ (νῆστις, ἄπαστος). Etymology and meaning have been
disputed since antiquity: schol. AbT: inter alia from Aeolic ἄκμα, explained as ἀσιτία,
νήστεια, ἔνδεια; Frisk and DELG: unexplained; Blanc 2002, 176  ff.: a privative forma-
tion related to the root of κάμνω/κομέω, *n̥ -k̑m̥h2-no-s ‘who has not been looked after,
cared for’, cf. κομιδή ‘care, being cared for’ (likewise Beekes s.v.; ChronEG 6 s.v. [transl.]:
‘said of persons who have not received the care necessary for being in a good physical
state’).  — ἄντα: an adverbial acc. of a root noun *ἀντ- (cf. ἄντην 15n.), ‘face to face,
straight ahead’.
164–166 Odysseus reveals the consequences of hunger and thirst during battle:
although the mental willingness to fight is there, physical power is gradually
lost (cf. 166n.). The contrast ‘mental strength – physical weakness’ is similar at
4.313–315: the battle-ready heart of the aged Nestor stands in contrast to what
he remains physically capable of due to his age.

162 ἐς: = εἰς (R 20.1). — ἠέλιον: = ἥλιον.

163 ἄκμηνος σίτοιο: ‘who does not take food for himself, unfed’ (↑).
86   Iliad 19

164–165 εἴ περ … | ἀλλά τε …: on a conditional clause with generalizing content followed
by ἀλλά τε, 1.81–82n.; Ruijgh 734  f.; cf. the contrast with ὃς δέ κ’ ἀνὴρ … | … πολεμίζῃ
167  f. — θυμῷ  … μενοινάᾳ: the long-vowel thematic present stem μενοινᾱ- (Schw.
1.730; Chantr. 1.361; on the epic diectasis -αᾳ, cf. G 48), literally ‘have the urge (μένος:
1.103n.), have in mind, desire/want to’ (likewise at 10.101, 13.214  f.; LfgrE); here linked
with θυμῷ (amplified by γε) and used pregnantly: ‘have the internal urge’; cf. Od. 2.248
μενοινήσει’ ἐνὶ θυμῷ, elsewhere often φρεσὶ σῇσι or ᾗσι (Jahn 1987, 286  f.; LfgrE s.v.
θυμός 1089.70  ff.; on θυμῷ, 1.24n.). — γυῖα βαρύνεται: βαρύνω (‘weigh down, cripple’)
elsewhere of wounded warriors or injured body parts (5.664, 11.584, 20.480, cf. 16.519),
here of exhausted limbs (cf. 169  f. γυῖα κάμνει, also 13.512–515): LfgrE s.v. βαρύνω; on
γυῖα, 3.34n., 6.27n.; cf. also ἀπο-γυιόω 6.265n. — κιχάνει: in a metaphoric sense with an
inanimate subject, here hunger and thirst as a threat to the warrior; elsewhere, except at
Od. 9.477 (κακὰ ἔργα), always death (e.g. Il. 11.441, 17.478, 672, 22.303, 436): Porzig 1942,
133; LfgrE. Early epic frequently describes how physical or mental states ‘come’ or ‘take
hold of’ a character (14n.).
166 2nd VH = Od. 13.34. — knees: The failure of the knee joints to function means
incapacitation, and often death, for a warrior; they are thus also considered a
center of power that guarantees mobility (Onians 1951, 174–186, esp. 180; LfgrE
s.v. γόνυ; Clarke 1999, 240 n. 20; cf. the nourishment of Achilleus by Athene at
353  f. and the expression ‘loosen the knees’ as a euphemism for ‘kill’ at 6.27n.).
βλάβεται: on the form, 82n. In Homer, the mid.-pass. frequently means ‘lose one’s
footing, trip’, here from exhaustion, hunger and thirst (6.39–40n.; Kurz 1966, 22 n. 23;
LfgrE s.v. γόνυ 176.5  f. [transl.]: ‘the fitness needed for the «leg-work»’ is impaired).
167 ὃς δέ κ(ε): a generalizing relative clause, the content of which is nevertheless con-
cretely expected in the future (Chantr. 2.247; cf. 163 δυνήσεται); instead of the demon-
strative, the personal pronoun οἱ (169) stands as a correlative in the main clause (AH;
on correlation in relative clauses, Schw. 2.640). — κορεσσάμενος: denotes the purely
physical process of sating oneself, in contrast to expressions with τέρπεσθαι as at 9.705  f.
(Latacz 1966, 180  ff.).

164–165 εἴ περ γὰρ … | ἀλλά τε: ‘for even though … | nevertheless …’, ἀλλά apodotic (R 24.3;). —
εἴ περ  … μενοινάᾳ: εἰ + subjunc. occurs in Homer also with no modal particle (R 21 1); περ is
concessive (R 24.10); μενοινάᾳ is 3rd sing. subjunc. of μενοινάω (↑).
165 ἀλλά τε: ‘epic τε’, likewise at 166 δέ τε (R 24.11). — λάθρῃ: ‘unnoticed’; on the form, R 2. —
ἠδέ: ‘and’ (R 24.4). — κιχάνει: ‘catch up with, overtake’.
166 γούνατ(α): on the declension, R 12.5.
167 κ(ε): = ἄν (R 24.5). — κορεσσάμενος: aor. part. of κορέννυμαι ‘sate oneself’, with partitive
gen. οἴνοιο … καὶ ἐδωδῆς.
Commentary   87

168 2nd VH ≈ 11.279. — a ‘four-word verse’ (1.75n.). — ἀνδράσι δυσμενέεσσι: an inflectible

VB formula (dat. 4x Il., gen. 3x Il., 4x Od., nom. 1x Il., 1x Od., acc. 1x Il.); on δυσμενής,
62n. — πανημέριος: ‘all day long’, corresponds to πρόπαν ἦμαρ at 162 (see ad loc.).
169–170 until all are ready  …: Only at this point is the battle over; everyone
leaves the battlefield together (AH).
θαρσαλέον: only in military contexts in the Iliad, always with a positive connotation
(LfgrE s.v.); here ‘courageous’ with a suggestion of endurance (schol. D on 169); θάρσος
at 17.570  ff. is similar. — νυ: 95–96n. — ἦτορ: The heart ‘as the organizing center of the
entire personal attitude’ of a human being, ‘the hard core’ (LfgrE s.v. 944.5  ff. [transl.]);
is in part semantically interchangeable with other soul-spirit lexemes such as φρήν and
θυμός (1.188n.). — ἐνὶ φρεσίν: on the prosodic variant μετὰ φρ., 29n. φρήν/φρένες itself
sometimes appears as a mental-spiritual authority (137n.), sometimes – as here and at
178 – as the seat of other such authorities, thus also once each θυμός (6.523b–525n.) and
κραδίη (20.169): Jahn 1987, 14–16; Sullivan 1988, 165  f. — οὐδέ … | …, πρὶν … ἐρωῆσαι:
πρίν is construed with an infinitive also after a negative main clause (1.97–100n.,
2.355n.). — ἐρωῆσαι πολέμοιο: an inflectible VE formula (=  13.776, ≈ 17.422). ἐρωέω
occurs with two basic meanings: (1) as here, with a gen. (usually πολέμοιο or χάρμης)
‘desist from, cease’ (cf. 2.179n.), (2) ‘shoot up, leap up’, of rearing horses and gushing
blood (1.303n.). – πόλεμος in early epic usually means ‘battle/fighting’ (36n.).
171–180 By means of the request directed to Achilleus, Odysseus introduces his
suggestion for how he imagines the rest of the course of the assembly should
proceed: Agamemnon should present the gifts before the assembled army
(173, 175) and swear an oath in order to satisfy Achilleus (172b–178), and then
(i.e. after the assembly is over) prepare a meal of reconciliation for Achilleus
(179  f.). At the same time, Achilleus is meant to give the order for dissolving the
assembly as well as for the general preparations for the meal (171  f.; cf. on this
160n.), since Agamemnon has transferred supreme command to him (139n.;
Haubold 2000, 82  f.). On the dissolution of assemblies in general, 1.305n.
171 2nd VH = 23.158  f. — ἀλλ’ ἄγε: 68n. — λαὸν μὲν σκέδασον: formulaic before caesura
C 1 (≈ 23.162, Od. 2.252). — δεῖπνον: ‘meal during the day’ (2.381n.).

168 δυσμνέεσσι: on the declension, R 11.3.

169 νύ (ϝ)οι: on the prosody, R 4.3; οἱ: =  αὐτῷ (R 14.1), here instead of τούτῳ. — ἐνί: =  ἐν
(R 20.1). — οὐδέ: In Homer, connective οὐδέ also occurs after affirmative clauses (R 24.8). — γυῖα:
acc. of respect (R 19.1).
170 πρὶν …, πρίν: The first πρίν is an adv., the second a conjunction with acc. and inf.: ‘previous-
ly … before’. — ἐρωῆσαι πολέμοιο: ‘desist from battle’.
171 ἄγε: 68n. — ἄνωχθι: 160n.
88   Iliad 19

172a ὅπλεσθαι: a rare variant of ὁπλίζεσθαι (‘prepare for oneself, get ready’), only here
and at 23.159 (in addition ὅπλεον at Od. 6.73); perhaps an old denominative forma-
tion (Schw. 1.723; cf. the Mycenaean personal name o-po-ro-me-no: MYC s.v. ὅπλον) or
-ε- rather than -ει as the old spelling for contracted -εε-, cf. ὅπλεον (schol. bT; Leaf;
Chantr. 1.351; cf. G 4; GT 6). (ἐφ-)ὁπλίζω/-ομαι is often used for the preparation of a
meal (4.344, 8.503, 9.66, 11.86, 641, 23.55, 158  f., Od. 2.20, 4.429, etc.), as well as for ready-
ing a chariot or ship prior to setting out (e.g. Il. 23.301, 24.190, 263, Od. 2.295, 6.73,
17.288), but also for arming for battle (Il. 8.55, Od. 24.495; cf. ἀφοπλίζομαι Il. 23.26 and
ὅπλα 21n.): LfgrE s.v. ὁπλέω, ὁπλίζω. The choice of words may be designed to stress the
link between the meal and the preparations for battle (Perceau 2002, 83).
172b–180 Odysseus puts his suggestions for what Agamemnon should do in the
3rd person (173 ‘he shall bring’, 175 ‘he shall swear’, 179 ‘he shall reconcile
himself with you’) before addressing Achilleus directly (174b, 178, 180), while
taking into account the latter’s point of view and sensitivities. The requests
relating to Agamemnon nevertheless contain an implicit request that Achilleus
accept this course of action (Pelliccia 1995, 206  f.; Perceau 2002, 80  f.).
Achilleus thus endures the enactment of the first two requests (241  ff., 249  ff.),
but can only be moved to participate in a joint meal with Agamemnon after the
death of Hektor (23.35  ff.; cf. 24.3n.).
172b ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων: an inflectible VE formula (51n.). — τὰ δὲ δῶρα: ana-
phoric with 140, 143, 147.
173–174 It is important to Odysseus that the military assembly is complete and
bears witness to the handing over of the gifts (differently Agamemnon at
140–144: completeness of the gifts). On handing over gifts during an assembly,
οἰσέτω: elsewhere at Od. 8.255; cf. imperatival οἴσετε at Il. 3.103, 15.718, Od. 20.154.
On the disputed development of these ‘future imperatives’, 3.103n. — ὀφθαλμοῖσιν: an
instrumental dat. that stresses the fact that the assembly are to be eye-witnesses (AH;
on formulaic expressions containing roots for ‘see’, Nussbaum 2002, 184  ff.). — σῇσιν:
on the v.l. ᾗσι (as a possessive pronoun of the 2nd person), West on Hes. Op. 381. —
ἰανθῇς: ἰαίνομαι originally denotes the transition from a rigid to a soft, fluid state, in the
psychological realm a mental process of softening, relaxation or happy encouragement.
Odysseus hopes that Achilleus might be moved to joy in the face of the gifts, with the
result that his impatience and the last remnant of his resentment toward Agamemnon
might be removed (Latacz 1966, 228–231; on the present passage: 231; LfgrE s.v.).

172 δῶρα (ϝ)άναξ: on the prosody, R 4.3.

173 ἐς: = εἰς (R 20.1). — μέσσην: on the -σσ-, R 9.1.
174 φρεσὶ σῇσιν: locative dat. without preposition (R 19.2); on the declension, R 11.1. — ἰανθῇς:
aor. pass. subjunc. of ἰαίνομαι.
Commentary   89

175–178 The lines contain verbatim echoes of Agamemnon’s announcement at

9.132  f. and of Odysseus’ report to Achilleus at 9.274  f., establishing a connec-
tion with the failed attempt at reconciliation in Book 9, as already at 140  f. (see
ad loc.): the offer of reconciliation will be repeated with the same gestures.
This time, it will find greater success, as the two opponents are now ready for
it (Bethe 1914, 71; Schadewaldt [1938] 1966, 131  f.). – 175 and 176 are elements
1/2 of the type sceneP ‘oath’: invitation to swear an oath and recitation of the
oath formula (cf. 108–113n.; AH, Anh. 13).
In order to remedy the somewhat disturbing fact that Odysseus’ request to swear an
oath makes reference to Briseïs (176 τῆς), who had not previously been mentioned,
Düntzer postulates a lacuna after 174 (AH, Anh. 13  f.), see West in the app. crit.; on this,
cf. 176n.
175 ὀμνυέτω: a thematic new formation, cf. impf. ὤμνυε 14.278 (Schw. 1.698; Chantr.
1.374). — ἐν … ἀναστάς: in contrast to his position in his previous speech at 77 (see ad
176 =  9.133, 275. — The oath is meant to reassure Achilleus that his honor as
Briseïs’ master has not been violated; cf. Achilleus’ indignation at 9.335–343
(Mauritsch 1992, 30  f.; Wöhrle 2002, 232  f.; Gottschall 2008, 62  f.).  –
Sexual intercourse is usually only hinted at discreetly in epic; the expression
‘enter the bed’ occurs, aside from the iterata, also at Od. 10.334, 340  ff., 347, 480
(Kirke with Odysseus), h.Ven. 154, 161 (Aphrodite with Anchises), ‘Hes.’ Sc. 16,
40 (Amphitryon with Alkmene), and ‘intermingle’ at e.g. Il. 2.232, 3.445, 6.25,
161, 15.32  f., 24.130  f., Od. 1.433 (Wickert-Micknat 1982, 100–102; Mauritsch
1992, 24  ff.; LfgrE s.vv. βαίνω 18.36  ff., μίσγω 228.8  ff.). — into her bed: The ref-
erence is to Briseïs’ bed, which had similarly been mentioned merely by way of
hints at 58–60 and 89 (58n.; cf. 194–195n.).
μή ποτε: 128n.; here in an assertive oath in reference to the past. — τῆς: an indication
of ownership (cf. LfgrE s.v. βαίνω 18.35  f.), it refers to Briseïs, who was last mentioned
not immediately before  – in contrast to 9.132/274  – but at 58  f. and 89 (schol. A; AH;
Chantr. 2.164). The verse is taken over verbatim from Book 9 (Leaf; Edwards) and is
to be read here as a repetition of Agamemnon’s earlier promise (Cauer [1895] 1923, 691;
Schadewaldt [1938] 1966, 132 n. 1). — εὐνῆς ἐπιβήμεναι ἠδὲ μιγῆναι: εὐνή (‘bed’),
here with a sexual connotation (LfgrE s.v. εὐνή 787.18  ff.; Laser 1968, 3; cf. 3.445n. and
λέχος 1.31n.); for its occurrence in connection with μιγῆναι, also 6.25 aside from the
iterata; on the synonym doubling, 1.160n.; Hainsworth on 9.133.

175 τοι: = σοι (R 14.1).

176 τῆς: ≈ ἐκείνης as a possessive gen. (↑); on the anaphoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό,
R 17. — ἐπιβήμεναι: aor. inf.; on the form, R 16.4.
90   Iliad 19

177 = 9.276; ≈ 9.134. — The verse (ἣ θέμις ἐστίν, ἄναξ, ἤ τ’ ἀνδρῶν ἤ τε γυναικῶν) is trans-
mitted in this position by only some mss. and was omitted by ancient commentators;
it was probably interpolated from Book 9, where it is preceded by the same verse with
the content of the oath (a so-called concordance-interpolation): Leaf; Edwards; Will-
cock; Apthorp 1980, 100; West 2001, 13. In addition, the invocation of θέμις (2.73n.:
‘custom, existing rules’) by Agamemnon seems more fitting at 9.134 than in the present
178 Odysseus recognizes the need to placate Achilleus’ feelings: while the gifts
are meant largely to compensate for material and social damage, the oath is
also intended to have an effect on Achilleus’ wounded pride and his attitude
toward Agamemnon (cf. his indignation at 9.336  f., 342  f.): Edwards.
θυμὸς … ἵλαος ἔστω: a request to the θυμός rather than directly to the character (cf.
220), clarified by the detail σοὶ αὐτῷ; the effect is a certain dissociation and makes
the request appear more tactful (in contrast, cf. Aias at 9.639): Pelliccia 1995, 236; cf.
Jahn 1987, 189.  – ἵλαος and ἱλάσκεσθαι are used elsewhere in early epic (5x and 17x,
respectively) only of gods; only here and at 9.639 is the word applied to Achilleus’ θυμός,
thus moving him into proximity with the gods (schol. bT and Hainsworth on 9.639;
Burkert 1955, 75 n. 4; cf. 1.100n.; in addition 1.1n. s.v. ‘anger’, 19.11n.). — ἐνὶ φρεσίν:
179–180 The meal of reconciliation, arranged by Agamemnon, is meant to rein-
troduce Achilleus into the commander’s inner circle and to normalize his rela-
tions with Agamemnon: 155–183n.; Nimis 1987, 35; on the function of the meal
(Greek daís), 2.404–409n. with bibliography.
ἀρεσάσθω: cf. 138n. — πιείρῃ: an IE feminine form of πίων with a r/n-change as
observed in Sanskrit as well (Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v. πῖαρ); an epithet of various
animals meant for food, as well as of meat (‘fat’), here applied to the entire meal for
positive emphasis (‘rich’, cf. 2.549 πίονι νηῷ with n.); an intensification of Odysseus’
phrasing at 9.225 (δαιτὸς … ἐΐσης οὐκ ἐπιδευεῖς). — δίκης: here denotes ‘right’ as a set-
tlement, ‘compensation’ (LfgrE s.v. δίκη 305.18  ff.; Bouvier 2002, 422  f.); elsewhere in
the Iliad a verdict or directions in legal cases (16.542, 18.508), as well as generally the
‘law’ as the ordering principle instituted by Zeus (16.388, cf. 23.542). On the use of the
term in early epic, see Janko on 16.384–393 and 16.386–388 with bibliography; Edwards
on 18.507–508; LfgrE s.v.; for further bibliography, Sullivan 1995, 174 n. 1. — ἐπιδευές:
likely a substantival adjective, ‘lack’, as an object of ἔχῃσθα (on this form, G 89) beside
adverbial τι (AH; Leaf; Edwards); differently Faesi; Mutzbauer 1893, 77; LfgrE s.v. ἔχω

178 ἐνί: = ἐν (R 20.1).

179 αὐτάρ: ‘but’, here progressive (R 24.2). — κλισίῃς: on the -ῃ- after -ι-, R 2; on the plural,
R 18.2. — ἀρεσάσθω: 3rd sing. aor. mid. imper., ‘let him conciliate, appease’ (cf. 138n.).
180 πιείρῃ, ἵνα: on the hiatus, R 5.6. — μή τι: ‘in no way’. — ἔχῃσθα: 2nd sing. subjunc.; on the
ending, R 16.2.
Commentary   91

844.68  f. (‘so that you not have your rights reduced’ [transl.]): adverbial, beside intransi-
tive ἔχω ‘be, remain’ (undecided LfgrE s.v. ἐπιδευής).
181–183 Odysseus directs his closing remarks to Agamemnon and suggests that
by means of the stipulated actions and their acceptance by Achilleus, the issue
should be closed. Agamemnon, who in Books 1 and 9 raged against Achilleus’
arrogant attitude and insisted on his own superiority and the subordination of
Achilleus (1.185–187, 9.160  f.; cf. Kalchas’ observation at 1.80), is now primar-
ily meant to demonstrate his willingness for reconciliation and his good will.
Odysseus diplomatically tones down his statement with a carefully and gener-
ally phrased gnome (182  f.) and shows that the present situation is not unique,
allowing Agamemnon to save face (Edwards; Perceau 2002, 248 with n. 78).
181 more righteous …: can be read in different ways: either (1) in reference to
the suggested actions and the willingness for reconciliation, as made clear at
182  f., i.e. in the sense ‘in the future [in the case of a quarrel], you will show
greater willingness for reconciliation toward another person as well’ (LfgrE
s.v. δίκαιος [transl.]; van Wees 1992, 131  f.; similarly Cairns 2012, 23  f.), or (2)
in reference to the quarrel between Achilleus and Agamemnon with regard
to respect for the property of others: ‘in future you will be more just toward
another [than you have been toward Achilleus]’ (Edwards; Ulf 1990, 100 with
n. 35; Sullivan 1995, 178  f.; Cairns 2001a, 213  f.); this second interpretation
would constitute rather undiplomatic criticism of Agamemnon, albeit tem-
pered by the generalizing statement at 182  f., or (3) Greek ep’ állō relating to the
judgment of others, i.e. after reconciliation he would ‘appear more just in the
eyes of others as well’ (AH; on linguistic reservations to this view, see below). –
The adjective díkaios ‘just’, very common in the Odyssey and in Hesiod, occurs
elsewhere in the Iliad only at 11.832 (of the centaur Cheiron) and 13.6 (of the
Ἀτρεΐδη, σὺ δ(έ): likewise at 1.282 and 2.344 (with n.) in a closing statement directed at
the military commander; on Ἀτρεΐδη, 56n. — καὶ ἐπ’ ἄλλῳ: in accord with usage else-
where, ‘to’ in the sense ‘toward everyone else’ (Edwards; Schw. 2.468; Chantr. 2.109;
LfgrE s.v. δίκαιος; cf. Agamemnon’s generally directed threat at 1.186  f.), rather than ‘for’
in the sense ‘in the judgement of everyone else’ (thus AH on the basis of 182  f., with
reference to 18.501).
182 king: On the position of the basileús, 1.9n., 1.238–239n.
ἔσσεαι: enjambmentP of the fut. copula stresses the future aspect as ἔπειτα did
already.  — οὐ μὲν γάρ τι νεμεσσητόν: characterizes an action that cannot be con-

182 ἔσσεαι: = ἔσῃ (on the uncontracted form, R 6; on -σσ-, R 9.1). — οὐ … τι: ‘not at all, by no
92   Iliad 19

demned under the given circumstances (LfgrE s.vv. νεμεσ[σ]ητός, νέμεσις; Cairns 2003,
34; cf. 2.222b–223n.); on the nominal clause in gnomes, 1.80n. — βασιλῆα: The structure
of the verse, as well as the context, suggest that βασιλῆα be understood as the subject,
ἄνδρα as the object, with τις at 183 (in contrast to 24.369, Od. 16.72, 21.133) picking
up βασιλῆα: AH; van Leeuwen; Edwards; Ahrens 1937, 33 (unlikely Faesi: βασιλῆα
ἄνδρα [= Achilleus] as the object; with doubts Leaf). ἀπαρέσσασθαι echoes the request
ἀρεσάσθω at 179, and the agent βασιλῆα stands in for Agamemnon; the subordinate
clause ὅτε τις πρότερος … at 183 signals the particular circumstances in which the state-
ment applies.
183 ≈ 24.369, Od. 16.72, 21.133. — was the first one to be angry: Indirectly and
in a manner moderated by generalization, Odysseus confirms the evaluation
of Agamemnon himself (2.378), who was the first to act aggressively and offen-
sively (against Kalchas 1.105–113a; against Achilleus 1.131–139 [see ad loc.]).
ἀπαρέσσασθαι: ‘make someone well-disposed toward oneself’, cf. 138n.; the com-
pound occurs only here and stresses the conclusive removal (ἀπο-) of the earlier offense
(LfgrE s.v.; Chantr. 2.93). — χαλεπήνῃ: denotes hostile behavior in word or deed
(2.378n.; Cairns 2003, 24; LfgrE s.v.).
184 = 9.114, 10.64, 10.119, 14.64. — a speech introduction formulaP; on the 1st VH, 3.58n., on
the 2nd VH, 51n. — προσέειπεν: cf. 76n.
185–197 A speech structured by changes in addressee (A–B–A), with praise for
and agreement with Odysseus (185  f./187–188a), and orders directed at the
assembly (190  f.) and instructions for Odysseus (192–195); the sections directed
at Odysseus are expanded by requests in the 3rd person: 188b–189 to Achilleus,
196  f. to Talthybios (Lohmann 1970, 68 n. 116). Here again, Agamemnon does
not address Achilleus directly (83n.), and while he approvingly takes up
Odysseus’ first two suggestions (172  f., 175, 179  f.) in reverse order (187  f., 190–
195), he does not comment on the joint meal of reconciliation (the slaughter
of a boar is part of the oath ceremony, its meat is not consumed; cf. 266–268).
185 σε‿ο: likely dependent on ἀκούσας as a possessive relating to μῦθον, similarly at 24.767
(AH; Nussbaum 1998, 127 n. 103); on the orthography, cf. 1.273n. — Λαερτιάδη: else-
where always in whole-verse address, as at 2.173, etc. (see ad loc.; LfgrE); on an address
with patronymic alone, 56n. — μῦθον ἀκούσας: an inflectible VE formula (2.16n.).

183 ἀπαρέσσασθαι: cf. 179n.; on -σσ-, R 9.1. — ὅτε … χαλεπήνῃ: a generalizing (iterative) tempo-
ral clause, which can occur in Homer with no modal particle (R 21.1).
184 προσέειπεν: = προσεῖπεν.
185 σε‿ο: = σου (R 14.1); on the synizesis, R 7. — Λαερτιάδη: ‘son of Laërtes’. — τὸν μῦθον: ‘this
speech’; on the anaphoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17.
Commentary   93

186 ἐν μοίρῃ: thus also Od. 22.54, ‘accordingly, in the right proportions’, i.e. appropriate
to the situation and prestige of the persons involved (182  f.) (LfgrE s.v. 248.71  ff.); Aga­
memnon acknowledges the correctness of the suggestion (cf. the formulaic verse with
κατὰ μοῖραν at 1.286n.; Pelliccia 1995, 207). — διίκεο καὶ κατέλεξας: a combination of
‘go through to the end’ and ‘enumerate in detail’, both used metaphorically (synonym
doubling: 1.160n., 2.39n.); together with πάντα, it emphasizes exhaustive completeness
and reaffirms agreement with the arguments and suggestions of the previous speaker
(Becker 1937, 117; Létoublon 1985, 161; cf. LfgrE s.vv. ἱκάνω 1181.21  ff., λέγω 1652.37  ff.).
187 VE = 10.534, Od. 4.140. — all this: refers back to 176.
ἐθέλω: 138n. — κέλεται  … θυμός: supplementary to ἐθέλω (‘I am willing, in agree-
ment’): he stresses his interest in the action and intimates that he had planned it in any
case (on θυμός, see 102n.).
188a οὐδ’ ἐπιορκήσω: forms a polar expressionP together with ὀμόσαι (cf. 77n. end).
ἐπιορκέω ‘swear falsely’ (a Homeric hapaxP) is a denominative from ἐπί-ορκος (DELG
s.v. ὅρκος; Frisk and LfgrE and Beekes s.v. ἐπίορκος), cf. also the expression ἐπίορκον
(ἐπ-) ὀμόσαι at 3.279, 10.332, 19.260 (with n.), Hes. Th. 232, 793, Op. 282, which is usually
used in connection with possible punishment by the gods (3.279n.). — πρὸς δαίμονος:
‘before the god’ who is called on as a witness; cf. 1.339  f., Od. 13.324, h.Ven. 131, 187.
δαίμων ‘allocator of fate’ is usually more or less synonymous with θεός (1.222n., but cf.
3.420n.: with a nuance closer to ‘power of fate’); here, as at 23.595, the deity that pun-
ishes perjury (Erbse 1986, 260  f.), mostly Zeus (cf. 197, 258 [with n.], in addition 3.297  ff.)
(Dietrich 1965, 310; Tsagarakis 1977, 99 n. 6a). — αὐτὰρ Ἀχιλλεύς: 15n.
188b–189 let Achilleus | stay here the while: Agamemnon confirms his already
stated intention to hand over the gifts to Achilleus immediately (138, 140–144),
thus indirectly resisting Achilleus’ desire for a speedy departure (147–150; but
see Agamemnon’s instruction ‘quickly’ at 196). On the distribution 3rd sing. for
Achilleus / 2nd pl. for the Achaians (190), cf. 83n.
189 2nd VH = 142 (see ad loc.). — τέως περ: τέως (< *τῆος) is to be read as iambic (⏑–)
here and at 24.658, but as trochaic (–⏑) at 20.42; on the conjectures τεῖος, τῆος, cf.
1.193n. (ἕως) and Führer/­Schmidt 2001, 20 with n. 112. Attempts were made in an-
tiquity to remove the use of περ twice in the same verse, as in the main transmission, via
omission of the first περ (Aristarchus) or adoption of a variant (γε, preferred by Leaf;
καί, preferred by Faesi and Ludwich 1885, 441 n. 396; δέ): van der Valk 1963, 166  f. —
ἐπειγόμενός περ ἄρηος: 142n.

186 διίκεο: uncontracted (R 6) 2nd sing. thematic aor. of δι-ικνέομαι ‘go through’.

187 ἐγών (before a vowel): = ἐγώ. — κέλεται: κέλομαι is frequently used in Homer for κελεύω.
189 μιμνέτω: 3rd sing. pres. imper. of μίμνω (a formal [reduplicated pres.] and metrical variant
of μένω). — αὖθι: short form of αὐτόθι ‘on the spot, here’. — τέως περ: ‘at least so long’ (limita-
tive-contrastive περ: R 24.10), corresponding with ὄφρα 190. — περ ἄρηος: 142n.
94   Iliad 19

190–191 The publicly presented gifts are meant to underline the significance of

the oath ceremony, as well as reinforcing the obligatory nature of the oath and
thus of the new alliance (of convenience) between Agamemnon and Achilleus
(196–197n.; Hooker [1989] 1996, 545  f.; cf. 139–144n.; on the function of the
community in important events in general, 6.300n.).
μίμνετε: an order directed at everyone not to leave the assembly yet, which gets particu-
lar stress via anaphora of the verb and a chiastic arrangement of subject and predicate
(see 188  f.) (Fehling 1969, 192  f.; on the further development of the plot, 171–180n.). —
ἀολλέες: a compound with α copulativum and a derivative of the root of εἴλομαι ‘crowd
together, collect’ (Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v. ἁλής; Risch 83, 216; cf. 54n.); it denotes the
Achaian community gathered in full. — ἔλθησι: The subject δῶρα refers to living beings
(women, horses) and inanimate objects (194  f.) brought to the spot (LfgrE s.v. ἐλθεῖν
535.31  ff., where see also for additional passages with an inanimate subject). On the
orthography, West 1998, XXXI. — ὅρκια πιστὰ τάμωμεν: likewise at 3.94; a formulaic
phrase for oath rituals in which sacrificial animals are slaughtered alongside the affir-
mation under oath of an agreement between two hostile parties (cf. the peace treaties
between the Achaians and Trojans at 2.124n. and 3.73n.). Agamemnon thus transforms
his personal oath (176n.) into a ceremonial act of obligatory reconciliation for all Acha-
ians before Troy, Achilleus included: Callaway 1990, 97  f.; Karavites 1992, 71  f.; LfgrE
s.v. ὅρκιον 775.2  ff.; cf. 249b–268a n.
192 2nd VH ≈ 10.61. — ἐπιτέλλομαι ἠδὲ κελεύω: a synonym doubling (1.160n., 2.39n.).
193 A four-word verse (1.75n.). — Agamemnon desires that his gifts – in accord
with the solemnity of the event  – be brought in by the best young men; he
leaves their selection to Odysseus (cf. 238–241 [with n.]; Edwards; on the tasks
of ‘young men’ in rituals, 1.462–463n., 1.470n.).
κούρητας: The appellative (‘young men’) occurs elsewhere only at 248 κούρητες
Ἀχαιῶν and is derived from κοῦρος (Schw. 1.499; Frisk and Beekes s.v. κόρη; DELG
s.v. κόρος; Leukart 1994, 136  f. n. 28). In contrast to the VE formula κοῦροι Ἀχαιῶν (all
Achaians present, 1.473n.), it denotes young men exclusively (Edwards). — ἀριστῆας
Παναχαιῶν: an inflectible VE formula (2.404n.), it denotes the elite of the Achaians
gathered before Troy and forms a unified concept together with κούρητας: ‘the best
young warriors among all Achaians’ (cf. γέροντας ἀριστῆας Παναχαιῶν 2.404 [with n.];
on ἀριστεύς, 1.227n.).

190 ἀολλέες: (predicative) ‘all together, as a group’. — ὄφρα κε (with prospective subjunc.):

‘until’ (R 22.2; R 24.5).
191 ἔλθησι: 3rd sing. aor. subjunc. (R 16.3).
192 σοὶ δ’ αὐτῷ: Odysseus is meant. — ἠδέ: ‘and’ (R 24.4).
193 ἀριστῆας: from ἀριστεύς ≈ ἄριστος.
Commentary   95

194–195 a verse pair, framed by the mention of the objects ‘gifts’, ‘women’ (Greek
dṓra, gynaíkas) in a chiastic arrangement relative to the verbs; the honoring of
the pledge is central and important to Agamemnon. — yesterday: 140–141n. —
women: Agamemnon promised Achilleus among other things seven women
from Lesbos from his own possessions, in addition to Briseïs and twenty Trojan
women from the prospective booty, if Achilleus rejoins the battle (9.128–132 ≈
9.270–274, 9.139 ≈ 9.281, 9.638, cf. 19.245  f.). It is remarkable that he does not
here mention by name Briseïs, the one woman who was important to Achilleus
(nor is she mentioned by Odysseus at 176; in contrast, cf. the narrator text at
246): this is likely designed by the narrator as an expression of an inhibition
against specific mention of the cause of the quarrel. On women as war booty,
1.13n., 1.31n., 1.113–114n.
ἐνεικέμεν: The thematic inf. occurs only here (cf. the imper. ἔνεικε at Od. 21.178) and
is an artificial form (Schw. 1.744 n. 5), perhaps a metrical variant of the athematic
ἐνεῖκαι used elsewhere (e.g. 18.334, Od. 18.286, Hes. Th. 784): Edwards; Chantr. 1.395;
Sommer 1977, 243. The formation from the Attic stem ἐνεγκε-, transmitted in the vulgate,
is not otherwise attested in early Greek epic.
196–197 The order corresponds to element (1) of the type-sceneP ‘sacrifice’; cf.
1.447–468n. — Talthybios: follower of Agamemnon, herald of the Achaians
(1.320–321n.; on his name, 1.320n.; on the function of heralds, 1.321n. [s.v.
κήρυκε]); he is also responsible at 3.118–120 for providing the sacrificial
animal for an oath ritual (there a lamb). The ritual action is designed to under-
line the character of the oath as binding and creating a sense of community
(249b–268a n., cf. 3.103–104n. with bibliography). — boar: Pigs are mentioned
as sacrificial animals relatively rarely in early epic, e.g. at Od. 11.131 and 23.278
for Poseidon, in addition to a ram and a bull, at Od. 14.414  ff. as a sacrifice to
be eaten (domestic pigs elsewhere: Il. 9.208, 467, 11.679, 21.282, Od. 8.474  ff.,
etc.); sheep and goats are more common, as are cattle for special occasions
(cf. 1.66n., 2.402n., 3.103–104n.; on the pig in Homeric epic, Richter 1968,
64–69, esp. 65  f. with n. 487). The sacrifice of a boar in the context of an oath
and treaty of alliance between hostile parties is also mentioned at Xen. Anab.
2.2.; in Aristoph. Lys. 195–205, the animal is replaced by wine; according to

194 δῶρα ἐμῆς: on the hiatus, R 5.6. — νηός: on the declension, R 12.1. — ἐνεικέμεν: =  Attic
ἐνεγκεῖν; thematic aor. inf. with imperatival function (on the form, R 16.4). — ὅσσ(α): on the -σσ-,
R 9.1. — Ἀχιλῆϊ: on the single -λ-, R 9.1.
195 χθιζόν: cf. 141n.; here adverbial. — ὑπέστημεν: root aor. of ὑφίσταμαι ‘promise’. — ἀγέμεν:
inf. with imperatival function (on the form, R 16.4).
197 ἑτοιμασάτω: 3rd sing. aor. imper. of ἑτοιμάζω ‘make ready, prepare’. — ταμέειν: final-con-
secutive aor. inf. of τάμνω (= τέμνω); on the form, R 16.4, R 8. — Ἠελίῳ: = Ἡλίῳ.
96   Iliad 19

Pausanias (5.24.9  f.), a boar was sacrificed at Olympia while the participat-

ing athletes swore by Zeus to observe the rules of the contests (on the choice
of sacrificial animals in general, see van Straten 1995, 170  ff.; Hermary/
Leguilloux 2004, 68; for oath sacrificies specifically, Graf 2005, 243  f.; on the
use of male animals for oath sacrifices, see Nilsson [1940] 1967, 140; Faraone
1993, 66–71; Kitts 2005, 127–129; on the sex of the sacrificial animal in general,
see 3.103–104n.). — Zeus and Helios: invoked at 258  f. together with the earth
and the Erinyes: Zeus is inter alia the guardian of oaths and treaties; the sun
god is the god of oaths, since he sees all (Od. 11.109): 3.103–104n., 3.277n.
κατὰ στρατὸν εὐρὺν Ἀχαιῶν: a variable VE formula (6x Il.); see 1.229n. — κάπρον:
properly a term for a wild boar, used to refer to domesticated pigs only here (251,
254, 266) and at Od. 11.131, 23.278, Hes. Op. 790 (LfgrE s.v.). — ταμέειν: literally ‘to
cut through, sever’, here of the slaughter of the sacrificial animal whose throat is cut
(‘slaughtered [in a religiously prescribed manner])’, cf. 266): 3.292n.; cf. the formula
ὅρκια πιστὰ τάμωμεν, 191 (see ad loc.).
198–199 = 145–146 (see ad loc.).
199–214 In his two-part speech, Achilleus contrasts the attitude of the previous
speakers (200–205a) with his own (205b–214). The two parts are arranged
in a ring-compositionP, with the dead (203  f.: Achaians, 210b–213: Patroklos)
the focus of attention in each central section (Lohmann 1970, 86  f. n. 144).
Achilleus’ refusal vis-à-vis the suggestions of the previous speakers is an
expression of his desire to take revenge on Hektor and a sign of his continued
segregation from his own community (Reinhardt 1961, 414  f.; Schein 1984,
139  f.; Nimis 1987, 34  ff.; Zanker 1994, 102; Postlethwaite 1998, 98; Hammer
2002, 112  f.; Wilson 2002, 119  f.).
200 VE = Od. 16.319, 24.407. — ἄλλοτέ περ: in contrast to νῦν δ(έ) at 203 (AH; Denniston
483); the content is explained at 201. — καὶ μάλλον: ‘even more’ in the sense ‘rather’,
logically in reference to ἄλλοτε rather than πένεσθαι; on the accent of μάλλον, see West
1998, XX, s.v. ἄσσον. — ὀφέλλετε: denotes counterfactual wishes in present and past
(here ‘you should’): 1.353n., 6.350n.; Allan 2013, 22, 24. — πένεσθαι: ‘trouble oneself
with, be busy with’, usually of the preparation of meals and other domestic tasks
(1.318a n.), here of the sacrificial ritual and presentation of gifts.

198 πόδας: 55n.
199 κύδιστε, (ϝ)άναξ: on the prosody, R 4.3.
200 περ: strengthens the preceding word (R 24.10).
Commentary   97

201 A general interruption in battle normally only takes place at sunset, see 162n.
and 207  f.; at the same time, breaks sometimes occur at particular points in the
action of the battle (e.g. 17.373  ff.).
μεταπαυσωλή: a hapax legomenonP, corresponding in terms of content to 2.386
παυσωλή γε μετέσσεται (see ad loc.) and 17.373 μεταπαυόμενοι δ’ ἐμάχοντο (see AH
ad loc.), i.e. a ‘pause in battle’ (on πόλεμος ‘battle’, 36n.). παυσωλή is an action noun
derived from the aor. stem; the compound with μετα- is either derived directly from it or
from the verb μεταπαύομαι (Edwards; Frisk s.v. παύω; Porzig 1942, 235). — γένηται:
on the prospective subjunc. (used in Homer also with no modal particle) with the func-
tion of a fut., see G 100; 6.459n.
202 2nd VH = 19.271, Od. 14.169. — so much fury: Since receiving his new armor
(18–37) and ceasing to rage against Agamemnon, Achilleus feels a particularly
strong desire to fight and take revenge on Hektor (Greek ménos [impulse for
war]: 37n., 2.387n.; Jahn 1987, 43  f. with n. 54); he thus now has difficulty in
showing understanding for the arguments and needs of others, and instead
pushes for them to adopt his own course of action; cf. 205b–207 (67–70n., 203–
οὐ  … ἦσιν: the negative οὐ with a prospective subjunc. with the function of a fut.
(Chantr. 2.209; cf. 201n.). ἦσιν often occurs elsewhere as uncontracted ἔησιν (G 90
with n. 39); on the spelling without ι subscr., West 1998, XXXI.
203–214 In light of the Achaian losses, Achilleus has no patience for the arrange-
ments proposed by the two previous speakers: for him, grief for Patroklos and
a thirst for revenge take precedence over any sense of physical needs, either
his own (cf. also 304  ff., 320  f., 346) or those of others (differently Agamemnon
at 2.381 [with n.], Odysseus at 19.225–233a [with n.]; parallels for the motif of
forgoing bodily care until revenge has been exacted in West 2007, 459). At the
same time, renunciation of food is for him part of his grieving, and he will
thus eat only reluctantly even after he has achieved his revenge on Hektor
(23.48; cf. Thetis’ worry at 24.129; differently at 24.475  f.; cf. 24.3n.) and will
not find his way to balanced grief until his encounter with a grieving Priam
(24.509  ff.). Priam likewise renounces food until Hektor’s body is recovered
(24.553  f., 24.642; cf. 24.599–620 [with n.]): Monsacré 1984, 188  f.; Hammer
2002, 182  f. – Actual fasting during mourning is attested only occasionally in
non-Christian antiquity: e.g. in Petronius’ narrative of the widow of Ephesos
(111  f.), cf. Demeter’s nine-day fast (h.Cer. 47  ff., 200  f.), the fasting of Penelope

201 ὁππότε: on the -ππ-, R 9 1. — πολέμοιο: on the declension, R 11.2.

202 ἦσιν: 3rd sing. subjunc. of εἰμί, = Attic ᾖ (R 16.3). — ἐνί: = ἐν (R 20.1). — στήθεσσιν: 66n. —
ἐμοῖσιν: on the declension, R 11.2.
98   Iliad 19

and Laërtes out of concern for Telemachos (Od. 4.787  ff., 16.142  ff.). Several ref-
erences are scattered throughout the Old Testament: seven days or a single
day of fasting after the death of Saul (1 Samuel 31:13; 2 Samuel 1:12), David’s
pledge of fasting on account of the murder of Abner (2 Samuel 3:35; cf. 2 Samuel
12:15–23); cf. Saul’s request that his people not eat until evening, but instead
first take revenge on their enemies (1 Samuel 14:24): RAC s.v. Fasten, especially
452 and 464  f.; West on Od. 4.788; Richardson on h.Cer. 47; Griffin 1980,
15  ff.; Arnould 1986, 269  f.; West 1997, 390  f.; Martinez 2012.
203 νῦν δ’: 23a n. — κέαται δεδαϊγμένοι: Elsewhere in the Iliad, the part. δεδαϊγμένος
(‘torn, rent’) serves to highlight the violent death of a warrior (inter alia Patroklos:
18.236, 19.211, 283, 319; Briseïs’ husband: 19.292; a young warrior in contrast to a slain
old man: 22.72) and is almost always found in direct speeches or secondary focalizationP
(18.235  f. εἴσιδε, 19.283 ἴδε). The form κέαται is found only here and in the formulaic
verse 11.659 = 11.826 = 16.24 (the wounded of the third day of battle).
204 = 8.216, 11.300. — Achilleus speaks of Hektor’s successes on the previous day
of battle (134–136n.).
Ἕκτωρ Πριαμίδης: an inflectible VB formula, only in the Iliad (7x nom., 3x dat., 5x
acc.). — κῦδος ἔδωκεν: an inflectible VE formula (sing./pl.: iterata and 1.279, 13.303,
18.456, 19.414); κῦδος (‘success, reputation’) denotes inter alia the proud elation of supe-
riority as a consequence and/or prerequisite of military success, thus also superiority
as a characteristic and the prestige resulting from success (LfgrE s.v.; 6.184n.; of gods
1.405n.; cf. 1.122n. [κύδιστε]). In contrast, κλέος denotes the ‘fame’ of human beings and
events that extends beyond the here and now (‘renown’: 2.325n.).
205 βρωτύν: a less common formation of the action noun (Risch 40; Porzig 1942, 181,
340) βρῶσις at 210 (see ad loc.); elsewhere in Homer only at Od. 18.407 and attested very
infrequently in the post-Homeric period. It denotes the process of eating (AH; LfgrE). —
ἦ τ(ε): introduces a contrast to the preceding (K.-G. 2.238  f.; Ruijgh 798  f.; cf. 3.56n.).
206 ἀνώγοιμι: cf. 102n. The command is somewhat toned down by the potential (ἂν  …
ἀνώγοιμι), so as to appear like a suggestion (LfgrE s.v. ἄνωγα 967.69  ff.; 2.250n.; on the

203 οἳ μέν: corresponds to ὑμεῖς δ(έ) (205); on the demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17. —
κέαται: = κεῖνται (R 16.2). — δεδαϊγμένοι: perf. pass. part. of δαΐζω ‘rend, tear’. — δε-δαϊγμένοι,
οὕς: on the so-called correption, R 5.5. — ἐδάμασσεν: on the -σσ-, R 9.1.
204 Πριαμίδης: metrically lengthened initial syllable (R 10.1). — ὅτε (ϝ)οι: on the hiatus, R 4.3. —
οἱ: = αὐτῷ (R 14.1).
205 ὑμεῖς  … ὀτρύνετον: dual; Agamemnon and Odysseus are meant. — ἐς: =  εἰς (R  20.1). —
βρωτύν (– –): ‘eating’. — ἦ τ(ε) … ἐγώ γε: ‘I, however’ (cf. R 24.4).
206 ἀνώγοιμι: potential, on which the infinitives πτολεμίζειν and τεύξεσθαι (208) depend,
linked by νῦν μέν and ἅμα δ’ ἠελίῳ καταδύντι (207). — πτολεμίζειν: on the πτ-, R 9.2. — υἷας: on
the declension, R 12.3.
Commentary   99

potential as a ‘polite, oblique […] form of an expression of a desire, a wish, a demand’,

see Schw. 2.329 [transl.] and Chantr. 2.221). — υἷας Ἀχαιῶν: 156n.
207 2nd VH = 1.592, 18.210, Od. 16.366. — starving and unfed … when the sun
sets: an emphatically doubled resumption of the central terms from Odysseus’
argument on the topic ‘setting out for battle’ (catch-word techniqueP; cf. 139–
144n.). — when the sun sets: 162n.
νήστιας: 156n. — ἀκμήνους: 163n.
208 VE = Hes. Th. 165, ≈ Od. 20.169. — great dinner: an intensifying depiction,
corresponding to the (hoped for) situation after a successful battle (LfgrE s.v.
μέγας 73.4  ff.). Greek dórpon usually refers to the ‘evening meal’ (LfgrE s.v.
δόρπον; Bruns 1970, 57  f.), in contrast to déipnon (171n.): i.e. this is a conscious
alteration in the choice of words directed at Odysseus.
τεύξεσθαι: ‘to prepare for oneself’; see 1.4n. An exceptional use of the fut. inf. after a
verb of command, in a pregnant contrast with 206 νῦν μὲν … πτολεμίζειν, since accord-
ing to the speaker, the preparation of the meal should take place, but only after the
fighting (Faesi; Edwards; Willcock; differently AH, Leaf: v.l. τεύξασθαι; but on the
fut., cf. AH, Anh. 35; undecided Chantr. 2.311). — ἐπὴν τεισαίμεθα: assimilation of
the mood to the opt. of the main clause (AH; Faesi; Edwards; Willcock; differently
Schw. 2.660: oblique opt.); reading ἐπεί for ἐπήν has been considered (Chantr. 2.260;
Wakker 1994, 206 n. 153). On the orthography (τεισ- vs. τισ-), 3.28n. — λώβην: ‘dis-
honor’, i.e. the loss of τιμή (1.232n.), here via the as yet unavenged deaths of Patroklos
and the other slain Achaians; cf. 18.102  f., 21.133–135 (Mawet 1979, 131  f.).
209–210 Achilleus uses a graphic expression to stress his conscious rejection of
food and drink until revenge has been exacted (cf. 24.641  f.; further passages
in Allen/Halliday/Sikes on h.Merc. 133). — my companion: a periphrastic
denominationP: Patroklos is repeatedly referred to as Greek hétaros/hetaíros
‘companion, comrade-in-arms’ (sc. of Achilleus) by Achilleus, in speeches by
others (e.g. 17.655, 19.345) and in the narrator text (e.g. 23.152, 24.4) (instances:
LfgrE s.v. ἑταῖρος 744.53  ff.; de Jong on Il. 22.390; on the term, also 305n.).
πως: ‘certainly, surely’ (cf. 2.203n.), with a negated opt. as an expression of an affir-
mation (AH). — φίλον: may here have the meaning of a possessive ‘one’s own’, and
together with ἐμοί γε stresses the contrast between Achilleus and the rest of the Achaian
army; on φίλος ‘own’ or ‘dear, beloved (as a friend)’, 3.31n. — ἰείη: a unique athematic

207 νήστιας: 156n. — ἀκμήνους: 163n. — ἠελίῳ: 197n.

208 ἐπήν: = ἐπεὶ ἄν. — τεισαίμεθα (+ acc.): aor. opt. of τίνομαι ‘make pay for something, take
revenge for something’.
209 πρίν: adverbial. — λαιμόν: ‘throat’. — ἰείη: = Attic ἴοι (↑).
210 ἑταίρου τεθνηῶτος: gen. absolute; τεθνηῶτος = τεθνεῶτος (for metrical reasons without
shortening of the internal hiatus: R 3).
100   Iliad 19

form of the opt. of εἶμι, beside ἴοι 14.21 (G 91); it may have been formed, on analogy with
ἱείη from ἵημι or τιθείη from τίθημι, under the influence of καθ-ίημι (cf. e.g. 24.641  f.
οἶνον | λαυκανίης καθέηκα) (Chantr. 1.284  f.; Leaf; Edwards; cf. schol. D ad loc.: ἱείη:
καθείη; differently Schw. 1.674 with n. 5: from IE *i-i̯e-t > *ἴη > εἴη, rendered ἰείη for the
sake of clarity; but cf. Sommer 1977, 199  ff.). — βρῶσις: The form accords with that of
an action noun (Risch 38  f.), but the word commonly denotes food, as here (LfgrE; cf.
205n.); always used in connection with πόσις in Homer, in the Iliad only here, in the
Odyssey e.g. 8x in the VE formula βρῶσίς τε πόσις τε (nom./acc.).
211–213a Achilleus picks up from the situation prior to the military assem-
bly (212  f. hetaíroi | mýrontai ≈ 5  f. hetaíroi | mýronth’) and describes a back-
ground story taking place in a different location (‘in the tent’): the laying
out of Patroklos and the lament by his companions (18.351–355, 19.4–39; on
Achilleus’ quarters in the encampment before Troy [Greek klisíē], see 1.185n.,
24.448–456n.). Even though the joint lament is interrupted during the military
assembly, in which all participate, and is only resumed after the battle that
follows (23.4–23, 23.109  f.; the funeral banquet as the conclusion of the day of
battle, 23.26–34), for Achilleus lament is continually present. – The laying out
of the corpse (on the ‘prothesis’, 5–6a n.) with the feet, and thus also the gaze,
toward the door is probably ritually determined (schol. bT; cf. Leaf with refer-
ence to the Roman custom in Persius 3.105, Plin. Nat. hist. 7.46, Sen. Epist. 12.3),
but is not attested elsewhere in Homeric epic (Andronikos 1968, 9), although
it is found later on black-figure terracotta plaques with depictions of ‘prothe-
sis’: the deceased lies facing the arriving visitors (Kurtz/Boardman 1971, 144;
Garland 1985, 24; Huber 2001, 94–100; a different interpretation at schol. D
on 212: the custom is supposed to prevent the deceased from returning after
having departed; on Homeric funeral rites in general, see also Garland [1982]
211 2nd VH ≈ 18.236, 19.283, 19.292, 22.72. — δεδαϊγμένος: 203n. — ὀξέϊ χαλκῷ: a VE
formula (25x Il., 11x Od., 1x ‘Hes.’), χαλκός (literally ‘bronze’: 25n.) is a metonymy for
‘weapon’ (1.236n.).
212 πρόθυρον: ‘entrance area’, elsewhere mostly of door or gate areas of large build-
ing complexes; cf. 24.323n. Achilleus’ quarters may have consisted of several rooms
(24.448n.). — ἀμφὶ δ’ ἑταῖροι: a VE formula (4x Il., 4x Od.).

211 ἐνί: = ἐν (R 20.1). — κλισίῃ: on the -ῃ- after -ι-, R 2. — δεδαϊγμένος: 203n.
212 ἀνὰ πρόθυρον: ‘toward the entrance’. — ἀμφί: adverbial.
Commentary   101

213 2nd VH ≈ Hes. Op. 531. — μύρονται: 6a n. — τό: an adverbial acc., ‘wherefore’

(Chantr. 2.160). — μετὰ φρεσί: a metrical filling element after caesura B 2 (LfgrE s.v.
μέλω 117.34  ff.; cf. 29n.).
214 A verse constructed in accord with the ‘law of increasing parts’, with the third
noun expanded by attributes (on the stylistic figure, 87n.). Comparable are the
descriptions of the crush of battle at 11.163  f. and the bloody traces of battle
at 10.298, both spoken by the narrator (Edwards). In accord with Achilleus’
own statement, his thinking is entirely oriented toward battle until Patroklos is
avenged (cf. his desire for battle and being sated with Hektor’s blood at 20.75–
78, 22.266  f.). This single-minded focus on battle – which in principle benefits
the community during a war – can cause risks for a community in exceptional
situations such as the present one (Lowenstam 1993, 71 with n. 35; Crotty
1994, 64–66; cf. 1.177n. on Agamemnon’s accusation that any kind of battle
and strife are dear to Achilleus). Odysseus will thus attempt in 216  ff. to contain
the risks without withholding the respect due the great fighter Achilleus (cf.
στόνος ἀνδρῶν: ≈ 4.445, likewise of the moaning of wounded warriors, στόνος also
in a slightly varied formulaic verse (10.483, 21.20, Od. 22.308, 24.184, cf. 23.40  f.) that
describes the effects of raging by individual characters (cf. στονόεντα βέλεα Il. 17.374
and στονόεντες ὀϊστοί Od. 21.12). The epithet ἀργαλέος has ‘purely affective value’
(Kaimio 1977, 59–67, on the present passage: 65; cf. Mawet 1979, 213).
215 = 154 (see ad loc.).
216–237 Odysseus’ response demonstrates his diplomatic skill vis-à-vis
Achilleus, as well as the imperturbability that comes from awareness of his
own strengths: he objectively lists both Achilleus’ qualities (217  f.: ‘you are
stronger  …’) and, a bit more guardedly, his own (218  f.: ‘yet I in turn might
overpass you …’ [Greek potential]); illustrates his concerns with a metaphor
(221–224); argues matter-of-factly against Achilleus’ conduct in mourning and
urgent desire for battle, the consequences of which in the present case would
have a negative impact on the entire army (cf. 214n.); and pleads for a rea-
sonable preparation for battle (225–233a). In the concluding paraenesis, he
attempts to strengthen the army’s resolve (233b–237) – and thus also placates
Achilleus, by indicating that ‘postponed is not abandoned’. On the characteri-
zation of Odysseus, 154n.; Edwards; Reinhardt 1961, 417  f.

213 οὔ τι: 182n. — ταῦτα: i.e. eating and drinking. — μέμηλεν: perf. of μέλει with pres. sense.
102   Iliad 19

216 =  16.21, Od. 11.478. — Odysseus uses his address to pay Achilleus respect
as the outstanding hero among the Achaians; on Achilleus as the best of the
Achaians, see 2.761–779n. as well as his own self-assessment at 1.244; a collec-
tion of positive evaluations of Achilleus by friends and enemies, as well as by
gods, can be found at Latacz (1995) 1997, 95  f. n. 122.
ὦ Ἀχιλεῦ: formulaic (5x Il., 1x Od.) at the beginning of speeches; the interjection ὦ
before a vocative may express strong emotional involvement (1.74n., but cf. 1.442n.),
here e.g. resentment at Achilleus’ closing words. — Πηλῆος υἱέ: on the prosody
(– – ⏖ –) with iambic υ-yε, see 1.489n., 6.130n.; M 4.6 (reduplication of the initial sound
of the following word [μ]μέγα; here also at a caesura); differently Janko on 16.21 with
reference to the v.l. Πηλέος υἱέ (on this, West 1998, XXXIV). — φέρτατ(ε): is largely
used as synonymous with ἄριστος (1.186n., 2.769n.; LfgrE s.v. φέρτερος; cf. 1.244).
217 κρέσσων: on the spelling, West 1998, XX s.v. ἄσσων. — φέρτερος: The comparative,
which is parallel with κρέσσων and explained by ἔγχει (in enjambment at 218), con-
trasts Achilleus’ physical superiority with the intellectual superiority of the speaker at
218  f. — οὐκ ὀλίγον περ: likewise after a comparative at Od. 8.187; reinforced by litotes,
the counterpart of πολλόν in enjambment at 219 (LfgrE s.v. ὀλίγος: ‘significantly’).
218–219 Odysseus’ evaluation agrees with Achilleus’ own insight at 18.105  f.
(cf. 1.244 with n.). – War and assembly are important areas in which to prove
oneself; although mastery of both is aspired to (cf. 9.442  f.), no individual hero
achieves it (1.258n. with bibliography, 2.370n.); on the distribution of differ-
ent skills, cf. 4.320, 13.730–734, 23.670  f. (Carlier 1984, 200  f.). The superiority
of elders due to their greater life experience is accepted in Homeric society
(1.259n., 3.108–110n., cf. 1.26n.) and thus also in the relationship between
Achilleus and Phoenix at 9.438–443 and between Achilleus and Patroklos at
11.786–789: Odysseus brings this generally valid rule to the fore (Lowenstam
1993, 109; on hints of a rivalry between Achilleus and Odysseus, see Nagy
[1979] 1999, 56–58; Clay 1983, 105–107; de Jong on Od. 11.482–91).
νοήματι: ‘thought, thinking’, sometimes ‘insight, understanding’, as here (thus used
like νόος; likewise e.g. ‘Hes.’ fr. 43(a).51 M.-W.: νοήματά τε καὶ πραπίδας τε); used in
opposition to ἔγχει: the tools for assembly and war; differently at e.g. 18.252: μύθοισι
vs. ἔγχεϊ (Porzig 1942, 185; LfgrE s.v. νόημα; on expressions of intellectual superiority,
see 1.115n. [φρένας]; on Odysseus’ intelligence, cf. Od. 12.211 with de Jong ad loc.). —

216 ὦ Ἀχιλεῦ: on the prosody, R 5.7; on the single -λ-, R 9.1. — Πηλῆος: on the declension, R 11.3.
217 εἰς: = Attic εἶ ‘you are’. — ἐμέθεν: gen. of comparison; on the form, R 14.1 (cf. R 15.1). — περ:
stresses the preceding word (R 24 10).
218 κε: = ἄν (R 24.5). — σεῖο: = σοῦ (R 14.1).
219 πολλόν: adv. ‘very much’; on the declension, R 12.2. — γενόμην: on the unaugmented form,
R 16 1. — πλείονα (ϝ)οῖδα: on the prosody, R 4.3. — πλείονα: = πλέονα (cf. R 13).
Commentary   103

προβαλοίμην: only here with the meaning ‘exceed, be superior to’; the concrete sense
of ‘throwing further forward’ in reference to missiles may still resonate, cf. 23.572 τοὺς
σοὺς (sc. ἵππους) πρόσθε βαλών (Clarke 1999, 123 n. 157). — ἐπεὶ  … οἶδα: likewise
at 21.440 (Poseidon to Apollo), similarly 13.355 (the narrator on Zeus as compared to
Poseidon). Od. 7.156  f. is also comparable; age confers knowledge because of what one
observes (on this, 2.485n.).
220 1st VH = 23.591. — τώ: ‘therefore’ (61n.). — τοι ἐπιτλήτω κραδίη …: cf. Od. 1.353 σοὶ
δ’ ἐπιτολμάτω κραδίη … (AH; Faesi); on the expression, cf. 178n.
221–224 Odysseus appeals to the young, impatient leader Achilleus to recall
his sense of responsibility and not drive the warriors into battle hungry, but
instead to allow them nourishment – even if Achilleus does not believe that
he himself needs any (cf. 155  f.) – to fortify them for physical exertion and not
endanger the success of the undertaking (cf. 231  f.). To elicit understanding
from Achilleus, he calls to mind a general experience of life (cf. 218  f. with n.):
warriors rapidly have enough of fighting (221 with n.). By means of the harvest
metaphor (222  f.), he indicates indirectly that warriors must be fortified and
motivated for the hardships of battle, since otherwise the strong, persistent
strain wears them out too quickly (cf. 157  f. and 227 with n.); cf. the simileP of
the woodcutter who interrupts his work for refreshment, exhausted from the
constant felling of trees (11.86–89), and the provisions for the workers in the
images of plowing and harvesting on Achilleus’ shield (18.541–560). Reaping
as a metaphor for killing on the battlefield also occurs in the simile at 11.67–71,
where Achaians and Trojans mow one other down like men reaping corn (on
Near Eastern parallels, see West 1997, 228  f.). The enormous number of cut
stalks represents the fallen warriors (222, cf. 226  f.). The second part of the
metaphor (223  f.) has been a matter of dispute since antiquity, with different
meanings attached to the Greek amētós ‘harvest’ (on which, 223a n.) (detailed
explanation in Combellack 1984; Edwards on 221–224; Grethlein 2005,
270–272): (1) ‘crop-yield’: (a) the yield for the warriors is generally small, the
reward for the risky mission is limited, success is in the end uncertain (AH;
Faesi; Willcock; Edwards; Grethlein loc. cit. 271  f.; Lentini 2006, 144–151,
esp. 145 n. 3); (b) the material gain, namely weapons and armor taken from
slain opponents, cannot be significant during battle itself (Fränkel 1921, 42;
cautiously Leaf; cf. Combellack loc. cit. 250, 252; on so-called spoliation, see
6.28n.; on booty as an aim of war, see 1.154–157n.); (c) the number of survivors
after battle is small (Porph. ad loc. §§ 3  f. MacPhail; Moulton 1979, 285  f.). (2)

220 τοι: = σοι (R 14.1). — ἐπιτλήτω: 3rd sing. aor. imper. of ἐπιτλῆναι (‘bear, tolerate’) with dat.
object μύθοισιν ἐμοῖσιν.
104   Iliad 19

‘the reaping, harvesting’: ‘harvest time’, i.e. the time of killing and looting at
the turning point in battle, when the defeated army flees, lasts only a short
while if the victors are weakened by hunger (Eust. 1181.55  ff.; Combellack loc.
cit. 250–256; cf. Ebeling s.v. ἄμητος). The metaphor remains vague and thus
allows for a variety of associations (Edwards; Combellack loc. cit. 256  f.). (1c)
can be safely excluded, since survivors do not fit the image of harvesting cut
stalks. The interpretation as a general metaphor for the toils of battle (1a) is
probably the most convincing: when Zeus lowers the balance of the scale and
the battle is decided (223  f. with n.), the return for the soldiers does not corre-
spond to the effort and risk expended, especially since individual warriors,
like reapers in a field, do not ‘work’ for themselves but always in the service of
another (cf. the harvest scene at 18.550–557). Odysseus thus paints a realistic
image of battle (222  f.): it is destructive, and the individual gets no great gain
from it (on battle as hard labor, see 1.162n., 2.401n.). The image of harvesting
may here also evoke associations with the meal the military assembly is await-
ing (Edwards; Grethlein loc. cit. 270 n. 51).
221 A general experience of life: weariness with fighting will set in over time (cf.
Menelaos’ outrage at the insatiable Trojans at 13.620  f., 630–639 and Janko on
13.620–639), but this will happen particularly quickly without nourishment
beforehand. The performance in battle of a refreshed army is contrasted with
this at 231  ff.
αἶψά τε: so too at Od. 1.392 (cf. Hes. Th. 87 and West ad loc.); τε here is either a gener-
alizing ‘epic τε’ (Leaf; Chantr. 2.341) or a ‘preparatory coordinator’ connecting the first
argument (recourse to the previous speech at 162  f. and 165  f.) with the second at 225–227,
introduced with anacoluthon via δέ (rather than καί) (Ruijgh 837  f.). — φυλόπιδος:
158n. — πέλεται: frequently in aphoristic phrases, here ingressive ‘usually comes
about’ (LfgrE s.v.1131.23  ff.; Waanders 2000, 263  f.). — κόρος: a verbal noun related to
κορέσαι ‘sate’, i.e. ‘satiety’, or even ‘aversion to’; of battle, cf. also 13.635 φυλόπιδος
κορέσασθαι and adjectival ἀ-κόρητος 7.117, 12.335, 13.621, 639, 14.479, 20.2 (Latacz 1966,
181  f.; Helm 1993/94, 5–7).
222 πλείστην μὲν καλάμην: a chiastic antithesis of ἀμητὸς δ’ ὀλίγιστος (223). καλάμη
occurs elsewhere at Od. 14.214; etymologically related to Latin culmus and Engl. ‘haulm’,
it is likely the result of vowel assimilation from *κολαμᾱ and is a collective singular for
the mass of cut stalks with the grain-ears (Ebeling; DELG, Frisk, Beekes s.v. κάλαμος;
Fränkel 1921, 43 n. 3). — χθονί: dat. of attained position of rest with verbs of laying,
throwing, etc. (Schw. 2.155; Chantr. 2.79). — χαλκός: literally ‘bronze’ (25n.), often
metonymic for individual tools and weapons (1.236n.) and thus appropriate here on

222 ἧς: sc. φυλόπιδος. — τε: ‘epic τε’, likewise at 224 (R 24.11).

Commentary   105

both metaphorical (‘sickle’) and concrete (‘weapon’; cf. 233) levels. — ἔχευεν: root aor.
of χέω (3.10n.), here as a gnomic aor. in the dependent clause (Schw. 2.283; Chantr.
2.185); on the augmented aor. in similes (signaling visualization), Bakker (2001) 2005,
223a ἀμητός: a Homeric hapaxP and deverbative of ἀμάω ‘cut, reap’, either a verbal adjec-
tive in -τός (‘the harvested’, i.e. ‘crop-yield’) or a verbal noun meaning ‘reaping’ or
‘harvest time’ (Porzig 1942, 190, 245, 342  f.; Risch 26). The word is transmitted some-
times as oxytone, sometimes as proparoxytone, with ancient grammarians distinguish-
ing between ‘yield’ (ἀμητός ~ ὁ καρπός) and ‘harvest time’ (ἄμητος ~ ὁ καιρὸς τοῦ ἀμᾶν);
see schol. bT, A and h, Erbse in the testimonia apparatus on 221–224, conversely schol. D
on 223 (West 2001, 253). In Hes., it occurs with the meaning ‘reaping, harvesting’, with
reference to harvest time (Op. 383  f. Πληιάδων … ἐπιτελλομενάων | ἄρχεσθ’ ἀμήτου, 575
ὥρῃ ἐν ἀμήτου), similarly at Hdt. 2.14.2 (τὸν ἄμητον … μένει) and 4.42.3 (μένεσκον τὸν
ἄμητον), with the meaning ‘yield’ not recurring before Aratus (1096  f. περιδείδιε  … |
ἀμητῷ, also 1061: σήματ’ … ἀμήτοιο). — ὀλίγιστος: The superlative occurs elsewhere in
early epic only at Hes. Op. 723 (with δαπάνη), with a clear temporal reference not before
Plat. (Leg. 2.661c) and (‘Xen.’) Ath. pol. (14), but cf. ὀλίγον χρόνον at 19.157, 23.418 and
ὀλίγη … ἀνάπνευσις πολέμοιο 11.801, etc. (LfgrE s.v.; Combellack 1984, 248  f.).
223b–224 224 = 4.84. — when Zeus has poised his balance: The scales of Zeus
are mentioned elsewhere in the context of portrayals of actual battle: at 8.69–74
before the defeat of the Achaian army and at 22.208–213 before Hektor’s death
(cf. Hektor’s realization at 16.658 and the simileP of the balanced scales at
12.432–438). When Zeus has distributed the lots of two parties into the pans
of the scales, the sinking of one side indicates that the moment of decision
has arrived and that one party (actually already determined, cf. 1.503–530 and
22.168–185) will now be defeated; in the present passage, however, Zeus is
depicted as the one setting the scales in motion and thus controlling the dis-
tribution of victory and defeat in battle (Edwards on 221–224; Dietrich 1965,
294–296; Combellack 1984, 250–252; KlP s.v. Kerostasia; LfgrE s.v. τάλαντον
with bibliography; de Jong on Il. 22.208–213; on similar ideas of scales of fate
in the ancient Near East, see West 1997, 393  f.). This implies that when Zeus
disturbs the equilibrium of the scales in favor of one party, the yield (or the
time for capturing booty) for individual members of the victorious party will be
limited (221–224n.). — who is administrator to men in their fighting: points
to Zeus as a dominant, divine force in war; the same notion at e.g. 4.84, 8.175  f.,
13.632, Od. 18.376 (Leaf; Edwards; Tsagarakis 1977, 11  f.; Erbse 1986, 230  f.;

223 ἀμητὸς δ’ ὀλίγιστος: sc. ἐστι. — ἐπήν: 208n. — κλίνησι: 3rd sing. aor. subjunc. (R 16.3;).
224 ἀνθρώπων: dependent on ταμίης πολέμοιο, ‘steward of the fighting’, i.e. ‘the  … for hu-
mans’. — τέτυκται: perf. pass. of τεύχω, here ‘is’.
106   Iliad 19

Grethlein 2005, 272 n. 56; on his role in the Trojan War, see 1.5n.; CG 24);
cf. 24.529  f., where Zeus allocates good and bad to human beings. The image
of Zeus as a ‘steward’ (Greek tamíēs) handling scales evokes an association
with individuals entrusted with the distribution and control of certain objects,
cf. at 44 the ‘stewards’ (Greek tamíai) who distribute bread as quartermasters
(44n.), Aiolos at Od. 10.21, who distributes the winds, and Endymion at ‘Hes.’
fr. 10a.62 M.-W., who is granted decision-making power over his own aging and
death (LfgrE s.v. ταμίης).
ἐπήν: on the form, 208n. — κλίνησι: here ‘incline, lower, let sink’, of scales as a sign
of someone’s defeat or victory. The form could be either pres. or aor.; here it is to be
taken as aor., cf. Hes. Th. 711 ἐκλίνθη δὲ μάχη (Willcock; Mutzbauer 1909, 61; Chantr.
1.463); on the ending -ησι (without ι subscr.), West 1998, XXXI. — τάλαντα: a deriva-
tion from ταλα- ‘carry’, interpreted as a participial formation with the suffix ντ (‘the
carriers’), with a secondary singular formation τάλαντον (Risch 13); a general term
for weighing-pans (cf. 12.433) and subsequently for a unit of weight (on this, 24.232n.):
LfgrE, Frisk and Beekes s.v.; DELG s.v. ταλάσσαι. — ταμίης: 44n.
225–233a Odysseus switches from the metaphorical to the concrete and points
out the difficult situation within the army, i.e. the heavy losses it has suf-
fered and the need to concentrate forces. For his argumentation, he employs
‘common sense and unsentimental facts of physiology’ (Taplin 1992, 210). The
verses are constructed in ring-compositionP: (A) the Achaians cannot grieve
with their bellies – i.e. by fasting – (225); (B) since many die every day, battle
demands the survivors’ all (226–227); (C) they are supposed to bury the dead
and mourn them for one day only (228–229); (B’) those who have survived thus
far (230) (A’) should think of food and drink in order to regain their readiness
for battle (231–233a); this last point forms the transition to the paraenetic
closing section of the speech (Edwards on 216–237; Lohmann 1970, 68  f.). – In
the Odyssey, the shipwrecked Odysseus frequently advocates for the needs of
the stomach (examples in Russo on Od. 18.44), but in the present passage this
is done to improve the army’s readiness for battle (Crotty 1994, 60–62; Heath
2005, 162).
225 1st VH ≈ Od. 17.286. — γαστέρι: used here for the digestive organ and the seat of sen-
sations of hunger, as in a wolf simile – admittedly textually problematic – at 16.156–163;
elsewhere the word refers either to the abdomen as a wounded body part (4.531, 5.539,
etc.) or the womb (6.58). In the Odyssey, γαστήρ is also used for the drive of hunger that
can induce a person to behave irrationally, e.g. at Od. 6.133, 15.344, 17.286  ff., 18.53  f.

225 οὔ πώς ἐστι: governs the acc.-inf. construction πενθῆσαι Ἀχαιούς ‘the Achaians cannot
mourn’; πενθῆσαι takes the acc. object νέκυν.
Commentary   107

(cf. γαστέρες as a term of abuse at Hes. Th. 26): LfgrE s.v.; Pucci 1987, 168, 173. — οὔ
πώς ἐστι: ‘it is not possible’; accent was not used in antiquity to differentiate between
the use of ἐστι as a copula and as a full verb (6.267n.). — πενθῆσαι: ‘to mourn (for)’ via
visible signs and actions (Mawet 1979, 290  f.; LfgrE s.v.).
226 ἐπήτριμοι: ‘in rows, in succession’; elsewhere at 18.211 of signal fires, 18.552 of stalks
falling during reaping; here it refers back to the falling stalks at 222. The etymology is
uncertain; according to ancient scholarship, the adjective is related to ἤτριον ‘warp’
(schol. AbT; opposed Arbenz 1933, 26; cf. Frisk, LfgrE, Beekes s.v.). — ἤματα πάντα:
a VE formula (7x Il., 19x Od., 5x Hes., 11x h.Hom.); distributive ‘day by day’ (IE parallels
in West 2007, 91).
227 ἀναπνεύσειε πόνοιο: ≈ 15.235, denotes the panting that occurs after hard work. πόνος
likely does not refer to fasting during mourning (thus AH; Faesi; Leaf; LfgrE s.v. πνέω
1301.7  f.; cf. Cicero’s translation in Tusculanae disputationes 3.65 maerore vacare), but
primarily to battle (schol. b; van Leeuwen; Edwards; Lehrs [1833] 1882, 74; LfgrE s.v.
πόνος 1447.7  ff.); on battle as ‘toil’, see 1.162n., 2.401n., 6.77n.
228–229 Burial of fallen warriors, usually carried out as rapidly as possible – i.e.
via cremation – during a pause in the fighting, is described at 7.328–335, 408–
410, 417–436 (on the reasons for speedy burial in general, see 24.37b n.). Apollo
thus deplores Achilleus’ unusual behavior in his mourning at 24.44–49; addi-
tional passages with calls for balanced grief, including some in later literature,
in Arnould 1990, 108–113. — harden our hearts: Given the number of the
dead, control of emotions is necessary for the good of the community (Crotty
1994, 60; cf. 7.427–429). Merciless behavior (Greek nēléa ‘pitiless, heartless’) is
strongly condemned elsewhere and sometimes held against individuals, espe-
cially Achilleus (9.496  ff., 628  ff, 16.33, 203  f.): Edwards; cf. LfgrE s.v. νηλεής.
χρή: here has the force of a necessity resulting from the general situation (Ruijgh 269;
on χρή in gnomes, see 2.24n.). — τὸν μέν: antecedent of the following ὅς κε (on which,
Chantr. 2.232 and 236), corresponding to ὅσσοι δ(έ) (230 [with n.]) and preparing for the
antithesis ‘deceased – surviving’. — θάνησιν: cf. κλίνησι 223b–224n. — νηλέα θυμόν:
The expression occurs elsewhere in the VE formula νηλέϊ θυμῷ Od. 9.272, 287, 368 (of
Polyphemos); cf. the VB formula νηλεὲς ἦτορ ἔχειν/ἔχων Il. 9.497 (of Achilleus), Hes.
Th. 456 (of Hades), as well as the VE formulae νηλεὲς ἦμαρ and νηλέϊ χαλκῷ (266n.).
On the etymology of νηλεής (privative particle *n̥ , the second element from ἔλεος) and
the hyphaeresis (-εεα > -εα), see 3.292n.; G 42 and Schw. 1.252. — ἐπ’ ἤματι: ‘on a single

226 ἤματα: from τὸ ἦμαρ ‘day’.

227 κέν: = ἄν (R 24.5). — ἀναπνεύσειε (+ gen.): from ἀναπνέω ‘breathe deeply, recover from’.
228–231 χρή: 67n.; the inf. καταθάπτειν (228) and μεμνῆσθαι (231) are dependent on it; as sub-
ject-acc. supply first Ἀχαιούς (cf. 225), to which ἔχοντας, … δακρύσαντας (229) is predicate, then
τούτους (as antecedent of ὅσσοι in 230). — θάνησιν: 3rd sing. subjunc. (R 16.3).
108   Iliad 19

day, a single day long’, a formulaic expression (after caesura B 2); elsewhere at 10.48,
Od. 2.284, 12.105, 14.105, Hes. Op. 43 (AH; van Leeuwen; Leaf; Edwards; cf. Verdenius
1985, 42  f.).
230 πολέμοιο: 36n. — στυγεροῖο: ‘abominable, loathsome, hated’, see 2.385n.; cf.
στυγεροῦ πολέμοιο at 4.240, 6.330 (with n.). — περὶ … λίπωνται: with genitive ‘be left
over from’ in the sense ‘survive something’; denotes the survivors of the most recent
battles and forms a contrast with ὅς κε θάνησιν 228, cf. λείπομαι ‘remain alive’ beside
‘die’ at 11.693, 12.14 (athetized by West), 23.247  f. (Edwards on 230–2; LfgrE s.v.).
231–233a With these words, Odysseus refers back to the beginning of his argu-
ment (221 and 225) and, by including all those present (‘so that … | we may’
231  f., cf. 236  f.), transitions to the paraenetic final section of his speech (225–
233a n.): as already in Book 2 (2.188–206n.), he tries to motivate the army and
strengthen its will for battle by all means possible. A motif typical of battle
paraeneses is the call for perseverance (6.80–82n.), here  – in an attempt to
reawaken a will for battle in the weakened army – suggested by ‘forever relent-
less’ and ‘with the weariless bronze’, and heightened by ‘all the more strongly
| we may fight’ (additional elements of battle paraeneses: 233b–237n.).
231 μεμνῆσθαι: in the case of physical needs ‘to be mindful of, give heed to’ (likewise in
the case of χάρμη, ἀλκή, etc., cf. 147–148n.). — πόσιος καὶ ἐδητύος: a formula occurring
before caesura C 2, elsewhere usually in the formulaic verse 1.469 (see ad loc.) indicat-
ing the end of a meal; on its function in terms of the content here, see 155–183n. — ὄφρ’
ἔτι μάλλον: a VE formula (2x Il., 2x Od.); on the accent of μάλλον, see West 1998, XX,
s.v. ἄσσον.
232 ἀνδράσι δυσμενέεσσι: 168n. — νωλεμὲς αἰεί: a VE formula (4x Il., 2x Od.), cf. esp.
9.317, 17.148. The etymology of νωλεμές (compound with privative particle *n̥ ) is uncer-
tain (Frisk, DELG, Beekes, LfgrE s.v.; schol. D ad loc.: ἀδιαλείπτως).
233a χαλκὸν ἀτειρέα: in the same position in the verse at 20.108, otherwise a VE formula
χαλκὸς ἀτειρής used of weapons (5.292, 7.247, 14.25), also of the material used in forging
weapons at 18.474 and of containers at Od. 13.368. ἀτειρής (likely α privativum + root of
τείρω, Lat. terere) is literally ‘not to be worn away’; as an epithet of objects ‘indestruc­
tible’, of persons ‘dauntless, relentless’ (LfgrE s.v.; 3.60n.).

230 ὅσσοι: on -σσ-, R 9.1. — περὶ … λίπωνται: so-called tmesis (R 20.2).

231 μεμνῆσθαι: dependent on χρή (228), sc. τούτους as the subject-acc. (228–231n.). — πόσιος:
on the declension, R 11.3. — ὄφρ(α) (+ subjunc.): final (R 22.5).
232 δυσμενέεσσι: 168n. — νωλεμές: adv. ‘unceasingly, incessantly’.
233 ἑσσάμενοι: aor. mid. part. of ἕννυμαι ‘put something on’. — χροΐ: locative dat. without pre­
position (R 19.2). — ἀτειρέα: on the uncontracted form, R 6. — μηδέ: In Homer, connective οὐδέ/
μηδέ also occur after affirmative clauses (R 24.8).
Commentary   109

233b–237 Odysseus makes it clear that Achilleus’ call to depart for battle is to be

obeyed (148–153, 205  f.; Agamemnon’s transferral of the supreme command at
139 with n.) and that there will be no further orders regarding this matter (233–
235). The army in fact obeys the instructions immediately after the dissolu-
tion of the assembly, which is accomplished by Achilleus (275  f., cf. 171–180n.),
and the consumption of a meal (277, 345  f., 351  f., 357–364, 20.1  f.). In closing,
Odysseus invokes the unity of the community of warriors (236  f.). – The passage
contains typical elements of battle paraeneses: an appeal to one’s own people
in the 3rd sing. imper. at 234 (examples and bibliography, 2.381–393n.), and
threats against potential shirkers at 235  f. (examples, 2.391–393n.).
233b μηδέ τις ἄλλην: on the beginning of a new sentence after caesura C 2, see 1.194n.
234 2nd VH ≈ Od. 7.161. — a four-word verse with an increasing number of syllables and/or
morae (1.75n.). — λαῶν: 35n. — ὀτρυντύν (‘order’) is an action noun related to the nasal
pres. ὀτρύνω (cf. 156, 205), only here and at 235, but cf. the personal name Ὀτρυντεύς
20.384 (Porzig 1942, 183; Risch 40  f.; Edwards); otherwise attested only in Antimachus
of Colophon (schol. bT on 233–4; cf. Antimachus fr. 172 Matthews). — ποτιδέγμενος:
Athematic δέγμενος usually has the durative meaning ‘expecting’ and replaces the form
δεχόμενος, which does not fit in hexameter (2.137n.). — ἰσχαναάσθω: ἰσχανάω is a met-
rical variant beside ἰσχάνω, possibly with a stronger durative sense (LfgrE s.vv. ἰσχάνω,
ἰσχανάω; Chantr. 1.359  f.; Risch 321): it stresses the expectations of the men who stay
behind beside the ships.
235 ἥδε  … ὀτρυντύς· κακόν: a completed, elliptical nominal clause (‘since this is the
order’) and an asyndetic new sentence beginning with κακόν (cf. app. crit.): AH; Leaf;
Edwards. — ὅς κε: a relative clause with no preceding demonstrative (literally ‘for all
who’), in the sense of a prospective conditional clause (Leaf on 14.81; K.-G. 2.441  f.;
Chantr. 2.238; cf. 3.109n.).
236–237 a call for a united advance against the enemy; on the solidarity of the
Achaian community of warriors, see 3.9n.
236 1st VH = 12.246; ≈ 24.298, cf. the VB formula νηυσὶν ἔπι γλαφυρῇσ(ι[ν]) 12x Il.
237 = 4.352; ≈ 8.516, 19.318; 1st VH ≈ 8.110, 17.230 (also in the gen./acc. without
preposition at 2.230, etc. [see ad loc.] and at 3.343, etc. [see ad loc.]). —

234 λαῶν: partitive gen. dependent on τις; on the form, 35n. — ποτιδέγμενος: = προσδεχόμενος
(↑; on the prefix, R 20.1). — ἰσχαναάσθω: 3rd sing. imper. of ἰσχανάομαι ‘hold back’; on the epic
diectasis, R 8.
235 ἥδε  … ὀτρυντύς: sc. ἐστι. — κακόν: neut. sing. subst., here ‘trouble’. — ἔσσεται: =  ἔσται
(R 16.6 and 9.1).
236 νηυσὶν ἔπ(ι): = ἐπὶ νηυσίν (R 20.2), on the declension of νηυσίν, R 12 1.
237 Τρωσὶν ἔφ’: = ἐπὶ Τρωσίν (R 20.2); ἐπί here with a dat. of direction. — ἐγείρομεν: short-vowel
aor. subjunc. (R 16.3). — ἄρηα: on the declension, R 12.4.
110   Iliad 19

breakers of horses: on the generic epithetP and the archaeological finds in

Troy, see 2.230n.
ἐγείρομεν ὀξὺν ἄρηα: a VE formula (5x Il.: 2.440n.); ἐγείρω is also used metaphorically
of awakening a fight with the objects μάχην, πόλεμον and φύλοπιν (LfgrE s.v. ἐγείρω); on
the metonymic use of Ἄρης/ἄρης (referring to both the god and his sphere of action), see

238–281 Agamemnon has the gifts for Achilleus brought, presents them amidst the
assembly, and conducts an oath ritual. The assembly is dissolved, and the gifts and
Briseïs are taken to the Myrmidon camp.
238–276 The closing scene of the assembly is comprised of elements similar to
those in the return of Chryseïs and reconciliation with Apollo at 1.430b–474:
public openness, speeches by the characters involved in making reparations,
prayers (or oaths) to appease the offended party, animal sacrifice, a subse-
quent meal (Edwards on 238–356; on the plot-pattern ‘assembly  – purifica-
tion – feast – mediation’, see Foley 1991, 175–180; 1999, 173  f.). But here the
narratorP makes the distance between the adversaries clear: (1) Agamemnon
does not address Achilleus with words or gestures (cf. 1.440–447a, the hand-
shake at 2.339–341 [2.341n.], 6.233 [with n.], 24.671  f.; also Kitts 2005, 79  ff.),
but instead stages the presentation of gifts and return of Briseïs, as well as the
oath ritual with animal sacrifice, primarily for the military assembly (249b–
268a n.; on rituals and their performative aspect, Graf [1994] 1997, 207: ‘any
rite has theatrical aspects’, in particular on oath rituals, 208–210, 212; Bierl
2001, 25–28); (2) Achilleus ignores the gifts (cf. 147  f.) and the oath (270–275
[with n.]) and evades the invitation to a joint meal after the assembly (303–
309n.). On the arrangement of this ‘scene of reconcilitation’, see Reinhardt
1961, 414  f., 419  f.; Elmer 2013, 128  f.
238–240 He spoke, and: a speech capping formulaP with the subject remain-
ing that of the preceding speech, allowing the plot to continue within the
same verse (1.219n.): Odysseus, who had urged that the gifts be brought
to the assembly (172–174), acts at once (see also 242, 245 [‘immediately’])
without waiting for Achilleus’ response; he tacitly assumes the latter’s agree-
ment. — went away with …: The enumeration of the young men presented by
Odysseus for the handing over of the gifts increases the impression of hurried

238 ἦ: 3rd sing. imper. of ἠμί ‘say’. — υἷας: on the declension, R 12.3. — ὀπάσσατο: on the unaug-
mented form, R 16.1; on the -σσ-, R 9.1. — κυδαλίμοιο: on the declension, R 11.2.
239–240 Φυλεΐδην  … Κρειοντιάδην: patronymics: ‘son of Phyleus’ and ‘son of Kreion’. —
Λυκομήδεα: on the uncontracted form, R 6.
Commentary   111

industriousness (the naming of those – again seven in number – who execute

an order is similar at 9.79–84; on this function of lists of names, see Minchin
2001, 92  f.; Gaertner 2001, 302; additional groups of seven individuals: 6.421
[Andromache’s brothers], 9.128 [women from Lesbos], 24.399 [Priam’s sons];
on the use of the typical numberP seven, see Blom 1936, 202–206). Catalogues
of names are elsewhere frequently found in battle scenes in the form of lists of
slain opponents (5.677  f., 5.705–707, 8.274–276, 11.301–303, 16.415–417, 16.694–
696), also at 12.93–102 (Trojan leaders), 13.790–792 (fighting Trojans), in a dif-
ferent context e.g. at 14.317–327 (lovers of Zeus), 18.39–49 (Nereïds [athetized
by West]); on catalogues in epic poetry in general, see catalogueP with n. 9;
Kelly 2007, 122–124.  – In accord with Agamemnon’s instructions (193–195),
Odysseus selects representatives of the younger generation (Jeanmaire 1939,
32–34; van Wees 1992, 276, 407 n. 5). — the sons of … Nestor: The reference is
to Antilochos, a friend of Achilleus (23.556, Od. 24.77  f.) and Menelaos (23.602–
611), and to Thrasymedes; the two are subordinate leaders of the Pylians and
frequently act together (16.317  ff., 17.377  ff., 17.703  ff.): CH 3; CH 4. — Meges:
leader of the contingent from Doulichion (2.625n.); he plays an important if
subsidiary role in the Iliad, cf. 5.69  ff., 10.108  ff., 15.301  ff., 15.520  ff., 16.313  ff.
(2.627n., CH 4). — Thoas: leader of the Aitolian contingent and granted a
certain authority (2.638n.). — Meriones: son of Molos, follower of Idomeneus,
under whose command he leads the Kretans; he is likely a figure from an old
epic narrative tradition (2.651n., CH 4 s.v.; LfgrE s.v. ὀπάων; Latacz [2001] 2004,
261–263). — Lykomedes: first mentioned at 9.84 along with Thrasymedes,
Meriones and others as a leader of the guards along the walls of the encamp-
ment of ships. — Melanippos: shares his name with three Trojans who are all
killed in battle (see Prolegomena, Character Index s.v.). The Achaian character
is mentioned only here; his name likely serves to complete the verse at the end
of the catalogueP, as do those of the Trojans at the end of the lists of names at
8.274–276 and 16.694  f. (Edwards).
ὀπάσσατο: belongs to the root ἕπομαι (Frisk, Beekes s.v.; DELG s.v. ὀπάων); causative
ὀπάζω is literally ‘make, cause to follow’, in the mid. with a person as object ‘bring
someone along (as a companion)’ (LfgrE). — κυδαλίμοιο: a generic epithetP derived
from κῦδος (204n.) and used for various heroes (including Menelaos, Achilleus, Aias,
and Odysseus) and with κήρ (6 184n.). — Μέγητα: In addition to this acc. form, Μέγην
is found at 15.302 (von Kamptz 144, 228; on a possible Mycenaean attestation of the
short form [gen. sing. Me-ka-o], Leukart 1994, 220; DMic s.v.).
112   Iliad 19

241 ≈ 2.9 (see ad loc.); 2nd VH = 1.203 (see ad loc.), 3.193, 7.176, 9.178, 14.137, 4x Od. — βὰν δ’
ἴμεν: ‘they strode out in order to walk’, i.e. ‘they set off’, signals the initiation of move-
ment in a scene (Kurz 1966, 96  f.); a variable formula, more ‘emphatic […], expressive
[…] and solemn’ than mere βῆναι (LfgrE s.v. βαίνω 10.61  ff. [transl.]; cf. 6.296n.); here it
refers to the solemn act introducing the departure of Odysseus and his helpers.
242 αὐτίκ’ … μῦθος: likely refers to an order – not explicitly stated – issued by Odysseus
to his companions (AH; differently LfgrE s.v. αὐτίκα 1604.21  ff.: reference to Agamem-
non’s order at 192  ff.; on αὐτίκα, 2.442n.). — ἅμα μῦθος ἔην, τετέλεστο δὲ ἔργον: a
chiastic rendering of a proverbial saying, with adverbial ἅμα used correlatively; in the
second clause, δέ is progressive, cf. 7.465 (τ. δὲ ἔ. Ἀχαιῶν), Od. 22.479 (τ. δὲ ἔ.) (Schw.
2.534  f.; West 2001, 253); on the saying (English: ‘no sooner said than done’, German:
‘gesagt, getan’), cf. the formulations at h.Merc. 46: ὣς ἅμ’ ἔπος τε καὶ ἔργον ἐμήδετο,
Hdt. 3.135.1: καὶ ἅμα ἔπος τε καὶ ἔργον ἐποίεε, 9.92.1: ταῦτά τε ἅμα ἠγόρευε καὶ τὸ ἔργον
προσῆγε, Apoll. Rhod. 4.103: ἔνθ’ ἔπος ἠδὲ καὶ ἔργον ὁμοῦ πέλεν (Edwards).
243–248 The same reparation was offered to Achilleus by the failed embassy in
Book 9 (9.122–132a ≈ 264–274a), if he would re-enter the community of warriors
(cf. 9.135a/277a): Reichel 1994, 126; on repetitions in epic, see 6.86–101n. end.
But the present version has been altered in certain ways: (1) Agamemnon’s
comments on the quality of the horses (9.124–127) and the beauty of the cap-
tured women (9.130) are omitted; (2) the prospect of goods held out in the case
of the sack of Troy and a safe return home – a share of the booty (9.135–140 ≈
277–282), one of Agamemnon’s daughters as wife, and appropriate endowment
with power and wealth (9.141–156 ≈ 283–298) – remain unmentioned because of
the situation here (Willcock 1977, 48); (3) the sequence of the list is altered, in
that the ten talents of gold, for which Odysseus is personally responsible, are
mentiond only after the women; this may be designed to highlight Odysseus’
role as organizer of the entire enterprise (Edwards). The narrator uses the re­
petition of the list to illustrate for the audience once more the large number
of gifts, thus indirectly characterizing Agamemnon as one for whom material
recompense for the offended party is paramount (Scheid-Tissinier 1994, 201
[transl.]: ‘too many gifts and not enough words’; Latacz [1995] 1997, 96  f. n. 133
and 135; Gaertner 2001, 300; on Achilleus’ lack of interest in reparations, see
147–154n.). This impression is supported by variation in the narrative pace: the
speedy execution of the order is followed by the catalogueP of gifts; the latter
is followed in turn by a brief description of the preparations for the ceremony
at 249–251 (suggestion by Führer). – Additional catalogues of gifts: 8.290  f.,

241 βάν: 3rd pl. root aor. (= ἔβησαν: R 16.1, 16.2). — ἴμεν: inf. of εἶμι (R 16.4). — ἐς: = εἰς (R 20.1). —
κλισίην: on the -η- after -ι-, R 2. — Ἀτρεΐδαο: on the declension, R 11.1.
242 ἔην: = ἦν (R 16.6). — δὲ (ϝ)έργον: on the prosody, R 4.3.
Commentary   113

24.229–235, Od. 4.128–135, 8.392  f., 9.202–205, 24.274–279 (Hainsworth on

9.121–30; on catalogues, see also 238–240n.).
243–244 244 = 9.123, 9.265. — tripods … | … shining cauldrons: Cooking pots
were set over the fire on a tripod; both pot and tripod were usually made of
bronze (Bruns 1970, 37–39; Canciani 1984, 38  f; Hiller 1991, 75  f.). Tripods
and/or cauldrons are also offered as gifts elsewhere, e.g. 8.290  f., 24.233, Od.
4.129, 13.13, 13.217, 15.84, or as prizes, e.g. Il. 11.700, 22.164, 23.259, etc. (BNP
s.v. Tripod; LfgrE s.vv. τρίπος and λέβης; Hainsworth on Il. 9.121–130; on the
typical numberP seven, 238–240n.). — those Agamemnon | had promised:
internal analepsisP, cf. Agamemnon’s references to keeping his promise at
140  f., 194  f. (140–141n.). — horses: Horses were bred by the elite for war and
hunting in particular, and were a sign of their wealth (2.762n.; Wiesner 1968,
23 with n. 77).
αἴθωνας: an adjectival formation etymologically related to αἴθω (‘burn’), epithet of
metals, aside from the iterata and 24.233 also in a VE formula with σίδηρος; also used
of animals. The meaning encompasses ‘gleaming brownish’ for newly made bronze
objects not yet blackened by fire (see 9.122), ‘brown’ (especially of animals: 2.839n.), and
‘gleaming, glittering’ of iron (Dürbeck 1977, 177–186, esp. 182; Edgeworth 1983, 34  f.
38–40). — ἐείκοσι: on the prothetic vowel, G 25; Schw. 1.412 and 591; Chantr. 1.182.
245 ≈ 9.128, 9.270, Od. 24.278, ‘Hes.’ fr. 197.1 M.-W.; 2nd VH ≈ Il. 23.263, Hes.
Th. 264. — women: They may be gifts or prizes – in addition to objects and
animals, mostly horses (e.g. at 8.290  f., 22.164, 23.259–265, Od. 24.274–279);
on Agamemnon’s promise, see 194–195n. — the work  …: particularly while
spinning and weaving: female captives are valued especially for their labor
(1.31n.; Wickert-Micknat 1983, 43  f.; on wool-working in general, 3.387–388n.,
ἀμύμονα: ‘blameless, excellent’, a generic epithetP of persons, but also of statements,
activities and so forth; the etymology is disputed (6.22–23n.). — ἔργ’ εἰδυίας: an inflect-
ible VE formula (sing.: nom./dat./acc., pl.: nom./acc.; in total 4x Il., 4x Od., 5x Hes.), in
addition to ἀμύμονα ἔ. (see iterata) also in the variants ἀγλαὰ ἔ. (3x Od.) and περικαλλέα
ἔ. (3x Hes.); it serves to highlight women with particular skills (‘knowledgeable in’:
LfgrE s.v. οἶδα 549.48  ff.); on the spelling ἔργ’ εἰδυίας rather than ἔργα ἰδυίας, see West
on Hes. Op. p. 62; Hoekstra on Od. 13.417.

243 οἱ ὑπέστη: on the so-called correption, R 5.5. — οἱ: = αὐτῷ (R 14 1). — ὑπέστη: 195n.
244 ἐείκοσι: = εἴκοσι (↑).
245 ἐκ … ἄγον: so-called tmesis (R 20.2). — ἀμύμονα (ϝ)έργ(α): 242n.
114   Iliad 19

246 and the eighth of them: The ordinal number marks the climax and conclu-
sion of a list (2.313n., cf. 2.326–329n.); additional lists with ‘seven … the eighth’:
7.222  f., 245  f. (layers of a shield), Od. 3.305  f., 7.259–261, 14.285–287 (years); on
the typical numberP seven, see 238–240n. Briseïs also received special mention
in Book 9 (9.128–132/270–274, cf. 9.632–638). — Briseïs of the fair cheeks: a
VE formula (1.184, 323, 346: 1.184n.). The name of the woman who became
the trigger for the quarrel had thus far not been mentioned by any of the
speakers, cf. 58–60, 89, 176 (58n., 194–195n.). – Briseïs is a patronymic (‘daugh-
ter of Briseus’, cf. 9.132) used as a personal name to be linked with the place-
name ‘Brisa’ on Lesbos (although Brisa, as Briseïs’ home town, plays no role in
the Iliad). She was captured in Lyrnessos, where she had gone to be married
(1.184n., 1.392n., 19.291–296n.). The generic epithetP kallipárēos designates one
of the signs of female beauty of mortal women and goddesses (1.143n.).
ὀγδοάτην: a metrically convenient variant of ὄγδοος (G 80).
247 ≈ 24.232; VE ≈ 2nd VH 9.122, 9.264. — ten full talents of gold: Gold is often
found alongside other goods among gifts, prizes, ransom payments, etc. The
weight of the Homeric talent (always of gold) cannot be determined, but
was likely smaller than that of talents from later periods (25 kg and more):
Hainsworth on 9.121–130; Richardson on 23.269; LfgrE s.v. τάλαντον; on the
function of gold in Homeric epic, see Brown 1998; Seaford 2004, 31–33.
στήσας: ἵστημι means here ‘weigh out’, likewise at 22.350 (gifts as ransom), 24.232
(gold). — Ὀδυσεύς: on the shortening of the consonant (σ rather than σσ), 3.191n. —
δέκα πάντα τάλαντα: πᾶς in the pl. in connection with numbers means ‘whole, entire’,
thus here ‘ten whole talents’ (LfgrE s.v. 1017.35  ff., on this passage 1018.8  f.).
248 ἦρχ(ε): used absolutely with the meaning ‘go ahead, precede’, as at 1.494  f. (ἴσαν …
πάντες ἅμα, Ζεὺς δ’ ἦ.), 9.656  f. (οἳ δὲ  … ἴσαν πάλιν, ἦ. δ’ Ὀδυσσεύς), Od. 24.9  f. (ἅμ’
ἤϊσαν, ἦ. … Ἑρμείας): 1.495–496a n.; LfgrE s.v. ἄρχω 1381.2  ff., 39  ff. — κούρητες: 193n.
249a into the midst of assembly: so that everyone can see the gifts, see 172–174,
190  f. (190–191n.).
249b–268a The oath ceremony is element (3) of the type-sceneP ‘oath’ (108–
113n.), the elements (1) invitation to swear an oath and (2) specification of the
oath formula are anticipated at 175  f. (175–178n.). The content of the oath refers
to Agamemnon’s personal conduct in the past (261–263; a so-called assertive

246 ἀτάρ: ‘and’ (progressive: R 24.2).

248 ἅμα … φέρον: ‘they carried at the same time’, i.e. ‘they followed him carrying’.
249–250 τά: anaphoric demonstrative, referring to δῶρα (248) (R 17). — μέσσῃ ἀγορῇ: on the
­hiatus, R 5.6. — μέσσῃ: on the -σσ-, R 9.1. — ἀγορῇ: on the -ῇ after -ρ-, R 2. — ἂν … ἵστατο: so-
called tmesis (20.2); ἄν = ἀνά (R 20.1). — αὐδήν: acc. of respect (R 19.1).
Commentary   115

oath). The significance of the action for the community is underlined by the
arrangement of the whole as a solemn ritual including animal sacrifice (prin-
ciple of elaborate narrationP), in a manner similar to the actions accompany-
ing the peace treaty between Achaians and Trojans at 3.267  ff. (on this more
elaborate oath ritual, see 3.245–302n., 3.292–302n.); the ritual is also meant
to strengthen the morale of the warriors via its community-building nature
(cf. Odysseus’ demand for public openness at 175) (cf. 190–191n., 196–197n.
[also on boar sacrifices in general]; Arend 1933, 78, 123; Kitts 2005, 116–119,
123; Hitch 2009, 77–92, 186  f.; cf. 238–276n.). In contrast to the oath scene in
Book 3, in which a treaty is entered into by two hostile groups by means of a
promissory oath, here the individual actions that usually symbolize a commit-
ment between the partners in the contract are missing – this is Agamemnon’s
personal oath, with which he intends to offer Achilleus satisfaction (see 252–
254a n., 255–256n.; on forms of public and private oaths, see Graf 2005, 237  f.,
243  f.). – The animal sacrifice accompanying the public oath is rendered as an
element of the type-sceneP ‘sacrifice’ (on which, 1.447–468n.; on element (1),
see 196–197n.); the following elements are realized: (3) leading in the sacrifi-
cial animal (250  f.); (6) description of the knife (252  f.); (8) cutting the animal’s
hair (254a); (12) prayer by the participant (254b–265); (18) cutting the animal’s
throat with the knife (266).
ἂν … | ἵστατο … | … παρίστατο … | … | ηὔχετο: The framing of imperfect forms (250,
251, 255) by aorists (249a θέσαν, 257 εἶπεν) aids the vivid vizualization of the solemn
ceremony that plays out before the spectators (255  f. εἵατο … ἀκούοντες), cf. 3.267–275
(suggestion by Führer; cf. 2.42n.; Schw. 2.275 [transl.]: ‘Via the imperfect, things in the
past are described as participatory and lingering’).
250 2nd VH ≈ Od. 1.371, 9.4. — stood up: prepares Agamemnon’s solemn appear-
ance, which is all the more effective as he had been speaking from a seated, or
at least unusual, position at the beginning of the assembly, contrary to custom
(77n., 79–80n.). Standing up is also explicitly mentioned at 3.267 at the begin-
ning of the oath ritual (see ad loc.). — in voice like an immortal: In case of
heralds like Talthybios (196–197n.), the expressiveness and quality of the voice
is often stressed (cf. 2.50n.); to perform a herald’s functions, they – like singers
(Od. 1.370  f., 9.3  f.)  – need a clearly audible voice and distinct articulation
(1.321n. [κήρυκε]; 2.50–52n.; on the particularities of divine voices, see Krapp
1964, 136  f.).
ἐναλίγκιος: ‘resembling’; a poetic word of uncertain etymology (Frisk, DELG, LfgrE,
Beekes s.v. ἀλίγκιος); in addition to the present formula (see iterata), cf. θεῷ/θεοῖσ’
ἐναλίγκιος/-ον ἄντην (3x Od.). — αὐδήν: In Homeric epic, this denotes the human voice
as opposed to a divine one; the formula θεῷ/θεοῖσ’ ἐναλίγκιος αὐ. thus marks a person
whose voice has superhuman qualities (Clay 1974, 133  f.).
116   Iliad 19

251 2nd VH = 5.570, 16.2. — boar: 196–197n.

ἔχων ἐν χειρί: means ‘holding in one’s hand’, elsewhere the objects are weapons,
implements, garments, wine and so forth; the VB is formulaic: – ⏑ ἔχων/ἔχουσ’ ἐν χειρί/
χερσίν (6x Il., 5x Od., 1x ‘Hes.’: e.g. 1.14, 15.443, 17.604, 24.284, Od. 3.443, etc.; collection
of examples for ἔχων in Kelly 2007, 237  f.). There are no parallels in Homeric language
for understanding ἐν as instrumental, which at first sight would appear more reason­
able here (Schw. 2.458); Il. 21.531 (πεπταμένας ἐν χερσὶ πύλας ἔχετ’) is comparable to the
action here, in that only part of an object is held with the hand in order to control its
movement; cf. 23.780 στῆ δὲ κέρας μετὰ χερσὶν ἔχων βοός. — ποιμένι λαῶν: an inflecti-
ble VE formula, a title of rulers and military commanders (35n., 1.263n., 2.85n.).
252–254a After its hair is cut (usually from the head), the sacrificial animal is
no longer intact; the act thus marks the beginning of the slaughter (likewise
at 3.273, Od. 3.446, 14.422; cf. Eur. El. 810–812). The cutting of the hair may be
interpreted as anticipating the killing of the animal; it serves to enhance the
obligation of the oath. In such cases, the hair is not thrown into the fire (as in
sacrifices that are to be eaten in the Odyssey), but is held in the hand by the
participants in the oath as a sign of their commitment (e.g. in the mass oath
at 3.273  f.): those taking the oath equate their fate with that of the sacrificed
animal in case the oath is violated (3.271–274n. with bibliography). By analogy,
it can be assumed that in the present passage Agamemnon retains the hair
in his hands, as he alone is taking the oath; the assembled Achaians are not
included in the ritual (Nilsson [1940] 1967, 140).
252–253 = 3.271–272. — hung ever beside the great sheath of his war sword:
on swords, scabbards and straps, see 2.45n.
χείρεσσι: probably a metrical filler (3.271n.). — μάχαιραν: ‘knife, dagger’ (of bronze:
266), here and at 3.271 hanging next to the sword, in early epic used not as a battle
weapon but in ritual, as here, or as a surgical implement (3.271n.). — ἄωρτο: related
to ἀείρω (‘lift’): in terms of its present state, ‘was hanging’; the formation is uncertain
254a ἀπὸ τρίχας ἀρξάμενος: ἀπ-/ἐπ-/κατ-άρχομαι is a technical term for the initiation of
a ritual act (sacrifice or libation). The acc. τρίχας is probably to be explained via the loss
of a form of (ἀπο-)τάμνειν, cf. 3.273 τάμνε τρίχας and similar phrases for a preliminary
sacrifice at Od. 3.445  f. (χέρνιβά τ’ οὐλοχύτας τε κατήρχετο, … | ἀπαρχόμενος … τρίχας …

252 δὲ (ϝ)ερυσσάμενος: on the prosody, R 4.3. — ἐρυσσάμενος: aor. of ἐρύω ‘draw’, mid.: his own
knife; on the -σσ-, R 9.1. — χείρεσσι: on the declension, R 11.3.
253 ἥ (ϝ)οι: on the prosody, R 4.4. — οἱ: = αὐτῷ (R 14.1). — πάρ: = παρά (R 20.1); to be taken with
κουλεόν. — ξίφεος: on the uncontracted form, R 6. — κουλεόν: = κολεόν, ‘sheath’; the initial syl-
lable is metrically lengthened (R 10.1). — αἰέν: = ἀεί.
254 ἀπὸ … ἀρξάμενος: so-called tmesis (R 20.2); on the construction, ↑.
Commentary   117

βάλλων), 14.422 (ἀπαρχόμενος κεφαλῆς τρίχας … βάλλεν), Il. 1.471 with n. (ἐπαρξάμενοι
δεπάεσσιν): AH; Leaf; LfgrE s.v. ἄρχω 1388.5  ff., 57  ff.; Rudhardt (1958) 1992, 219  f.
254b–265 The swearing of the oath, which is often merely summarized (cf. de
Jong [1987] 2004, 186  f. and 283 n. 81), is here described in detail with elements
from the type-sceneP ‘prayer’ (on which, 1.37–42n., 2.411–420n., 6.304–311n.),
as is Agamemnon’s public oath at 3.275  ff.: (1) prayer gesture (254b, 257b); (2)
verb of praying (255a, 257a); (4/5) invocation of the gods as witnesses and the
listing of their names (258–260). The assertive oath (261–263) and self-impre-
cation in case of violation of the oath follow (264  f.): Lateiner 1997, 253–255. –
This is Agamemnon’s final speech in the Iliad, and the oath ritual is the last
scene – aside from his appearance at Patroklos’ funeral and the games that
follow (23.49  ff., 155  ff., 233  ff., 272, 887  ff.) – in which he plays the dominant
role (Kurz 1966, 75; Taplin 1990, 77: ‘not exactly his finest hour’).
254b lifting his hands up: a common posture for prayer, designed to connect
with the gods (3.275n.); here linked with an upward glance (257), i.e. in the
direction of the deity.
χεῖρας ἀνασχών: an inflectible VE formula χεῖρας ἀνασχών/ἀνέσχον/ἀνασχεῖν (9x Il.,
4x Od.).
255–256 The behavior of the military assembly’s participants is – in accord with
the ceremonial scene – different from that at the beginning of the assembly:
they listen silently to Agamemnon, the order he demanded (79) having been
established (Montiglio 2000, 51  f.; Wille 2001, 50; cf. 79–84n.). In contrast
to the oath ritual in Book 3, where all those present are partners in the treaty
and thus participants in the oath (3.275–302, esp. 296  ff.), here they are passive
spectators who serve as witnesses (Edwards; cf. 249b–268a n.). — stayed fast
at their places | in silence: Sitting (Greek heíato) is the stance of spectators;
it indicates inactivity (LfgrE s.v. ἧμαι 910.71  ff.) and here lends a theatrical
element to the scene. — king: used in a pregnant sense of Agamemnon as the
supreme basileús who leads the entire undertaking (1.278–279n.; for his posi-
tion, see 1.9n., 1.238–239n., 2.203–205n.).
ηὔχετο: (‘make an official statement regarding oneself’: 1.91n.), in oaths with the
implication ‘affirm solemnly and bindingly’ (3.296n.). The integral enjambmentP after
three participles and a relative clause, and the repetition of the verb in 257 emphasize
Agamemnon’s active role and the contrast with the audience (Edwards on 252–255). —

255–256 τοὶ δ’ ἄρα πάντες … | Ἀργεῖοι: πάντες … | Ἀργεῖοι is in apposition to the demonstrative

anticipatory τοί (= οἵ: R 14.3; R 17). — ἐπ’ αὐτόφιν: = ἐφ’ ἑαυτῶν/-οῖς ‘by themselves’ (↑; on the
ending, R 11.4). — εἵατο: = ἧντο, 3rd pl. plpf. (≈ impf.) of ἧμαι (on the ending, R 16.2). — βασιλῆος:
on the declension, R 11.3, R 3.
118   Iliad 19

ἐπ’ αὐτόφιν: -φι(ν) is used here for a locative gen./dat. pl. (G 66); the pronoun αὐτός
likely refers to the individual participants in the assembly and thus has the reflexive
meaning ‘by themselves’, i.e. ‘sat by themselves’ in the sense ‘each in his own place’, cf.
7194  f. εὔχεσθε … ἐφ’ ὑμείων (AH; Faesi; Edwards; Willcock; cautiously Leaf; Schw.
1.550; LfgrE s.v. αὐτός 1666.27  ff.: ‘for himself’; on ἐπί ‘[close] by’, with reflexive pronoun
‘each man for himself’, see Schw. 2.470; on the comparatively rare reflexive use of αὐτός
by itself, see Schw. 2.195  f. and Chantr. 2.157  f.); according to others (Chantr. 1.239
following schol.  T on 255), in reference to Agamemnon and Talthybios (‘with them’)
emphasizing their fellowship with those making the sacrifice. — εἵατο: on the spelling
εἵατο (rather than ἥατο), 2.137n. — σιγῇ: attested in Homer only in the adverbial dat.
(‘quietly, silently’); on the difference from σιωπῇ, see 3.8n. — κατὰ μοῖραν: means ‘in
the right measure, as befits someone/something’, here likely of the silence, analogous
with the VE formula κατὰ μοῖραν ἔειπε/-ς (1.286n.), thus ‘silent in accord with the situ-
ation and the norms’, cf. the ritual silence requested for the prayer at 9.171  f. (LfgrE s.v.
μοῖρα 248.40  ff.; Kitts 2005, 126  f.; cf. ἐν μοίρῃ 19.186n.); a different interpretation: of
sitting ‘in order’ (thus Willcock; Dietrich 1965, 209, with reference to 16.367: ‘either
according to rank or according to their tribes’).
257 1st VH ≈ 16.513, Od. 7.330; 2nd VH = Il. 3.364, 7.178, 7.201, 21.272; ≈ 5.867. —
gazing into the wide sky: on the posture of prayer, 254b n., 3.364n.; Pucci
2012, 437  f.
εὐξάμενος: coincides with εἶπεν (‘by praying’), similarly Od. 14.463 (εὐξάμενος  …
ἐρέω), contains the main statement of the sentence (Edwards; Schw. 2.300  f.; Chantr.
2.187– 189) and picks up on 255; the second participle ἰδών is logically subordinate to
the first (similarly 2.269 [see ad loc.]). — οὐρανὸν εὐρύν: an inflectible VE formula
(acc.: 6x Il., 1x Od., 1x Hes.; nom.: 1x Hes.).
258–260 Zeus, the guardian of oaths and guarantor of legal order, is singled out
as the highest god and explicitly called on ‘first’ (1st VH 258; cf. 3.298n.); Earth
(CG 38 s.v. Gaia), the sun god Helios (CG 38) and the Erinyes (CG 13) repre-
sent the cosmos in a formulaic tripartite division (earth, heaven, underworld),
comparable to the oath-gods in the treaty confirmed by oath at 3.276  ff.; in a
similar manner, the goddesses Hera (15.36  ff.), Kalypso (Od. 5.184  ff.) and Leto
(h.Ap. 84  ff.) swear by the earth, heaven and the waters of Styx (on the oath-
gods and ancient Near Eastern parallels, 3.103–104n., 3.276–279n., 19.259n.).
Agamemnon thus lends weight to his sworn statement that he never touched
Briseïs and thus did not violate Achilleus’ honor (cf. 176n.).
258 = Od. 19.303, 20.230; 1st VH = Od. 14.158, 17.155; ≈ Il. 10.329; 2nd VH = 23.43;
≈ h.Cer. 21. — Zeus … highest of the gods and greatest: a shorter version of

257 ἄρα (ϝ)εῖπεν: on the prosody, R 4.3.

258 ἴστω: 3rd sing. imper. of οἶδα. — πρῶτα: neut. pl. as adv.
Commentary   119

the accumulation of epithets otherwise common in prayer language (cf. the

whole-verse addresses at 2.412n., 6.305n.; on IE parallels for epithets in the
superlative [e.g. Latin Iuppiter Optimus Maximus], see West 2007, 129  f.). The
epithets refer to Zeus’ preeminent position (95–96n.; cf. 1.18n. on the notion
that Zeus’ palace is situated on top of Olympus; on his cult on mountain tops
[as mentioned at 22.170  ff.], see DDD s.v. Zeus 934; Near Eastern parallels for the
concept that the most powerful god is to be found on high in West 1997, 114).
ἴστω νῦν: a formulaic invocation of the oath-god to be a witness (in addition to the
iterata, also 15.36, Od. 5.184, h.Ap. 84; cf. Il. 7.411, h.Cer. 259; LfgrE s.v. οἶδα 541.28  ff.; Ben-
veniste 1969, 173; 3.280n.); on the agreement between the verb and the closest subject,
see Schw. 2.610; Chantr. 2.18  f. — ὕπατος: usually a predicate of Zeus (in addition to
the iterata, also 5.756, 8.22/31, 17.339, Od. 1.45 = 1.81 = 24.473), elsewhere in early epic only
as an epithet of πυρή (Il. 23.165, 24.787) and ὄρος (h.Bacch. 8). ὕπ-ατος is etymologically
related to ὑπέρ and ὑπό, derivations from *up-, and shows as its basic meaning both
‘below’ and ‘over, on’ (likely originally ‘from below, upwards’) and is closely related to
Sanskrit upamá- and Latin summus (Schw. 2.522  f.; DELG and Beekes s.v. ὕπατος; on the
Greek suffix -ατος, Risch 93).
259 VB ≈ 3.104. — Sun: The sun god Helios is an oath-god since he sees and
hears everything (3.277n.). — Furies: As keepers of the fundamental order of
things (87n., 404–418n.), they ensure that the self-imprecation is fulfilled in
the case of violation of an oath; their connection with oaths and perjury is also
mentioned by Hesiod (Op. 803  f. with West ad loc.; on their role as keepers of
order, cf. Heraclitus [VS 22 B 94]). Whether punishment by the Erinyes is to
be imagined as taking place already during a person’s lifetime or only in the
underworld is disputed, since the phrasing both here and at 264  f. is ambig-
uous (see below): 3.278  f. (see ad loc.) suggests punishment after death. But
elsewhere punishment for violating an oath is expected during one’s lifetime,
e.g. at 3.300  f., 4.158  ff. (Schnaufer 1970, 110  f.), and the Erinyes are in fact able
to punish the living, e.g. at 9.454–456, 9.571  f., 19.87 (see ad loc.), Od. 15.231  ff.
The intended meaning might also be that they punish humans in both life
and death (cf. 3.278b–279a n., end; Hainsworth on 9.454; punishment during
life: Kirk on 3.278–279 with reference to Aeschylus, Eumenides; Edwards on
257–260; Johnston 1999, 252 n. 6; punishment in the underworld: Dodds 1951,
137 and 158 n. 10; Burkert [1977] 1985, 197; Tsagarakis 1977, 22; Sourvinou-
Inwood 1983, 36). Alternatively the reference could be to punishment by
death (see below (3) and cf. 3.300  f.): Bergold 1977, 96; Heubeck 1986, 146  f.;
Karavites 1992, 102; Kitts 2005, 112.

259 Ἠέλιος: = Ἥλιος. — θ’: = τε, ‘epic τε’ (R 24.11).

120   Iliad 19

ὑπὸ γαῖαν: The location is variously interpreted; most likely this is an acc. of spatial
extent (Schw. 2.530; Chantr. 2.144): either (1) with ἀνθρώπους τείνυνται supported
by 3.278  f. ὑπένερθε καμόντας | ἀνθρώπους τείνυσθον, i.e. they punish the dead in the
underworld (AH; Leaf on 258; LfgrE s.v. ἄνθρωπος 880.3  ff. and 901.4  ff.; Fritz 2005,
334), or (2) as information regarding the general place of residence of the Erinyes (cf.
9.572), in contrast to Γῆ and Ἠέλιος (van Leeuwen ad loc. [transl.]: ‘‹existing› under the
earth’; Edwards on 257–260), similar to dwelling ὑπ’ ἠῶ τ’ ἠέλιόν τε (5.267), ὑπ’ αὐγὰς
ἠελίοιο | φοιτῶσ’ (Od. 2.181  f., etc.); (3) differently Bergold 1977, 96, Heubeck 1986, 147:
acc. of destination (Bergold loc. cit. [transl.]: ‘they send them under the earth by way
of punishment’, i.e. they let them die, cf. 18.333, Od. 10.191, h.Cer. 431).
260 ≈ 3.279. — τείνυνται: athematic mid. τ(ε)ινυ- ‘make pay’ (G 61); on τει- vs. τι-, see
West 1998, XXXVf., following Wackernagel 1916, 77–81, esp. 80; differently LfgrE s.v.
τίνω. — ὅτις: a relative clause with no preceding demonstrative (cf. 235n.), which here
defines the relevant subgroup of ἄνθρωποι. On the form ὅτις (prosodic variant of ὅστις),
see 3.279n. — ἐπίορκον ὀμόσσῃ: an inflectible VE formula (ὀμόσσῃ/ὀμόσσας: 2x Il., 2x
Hes.); ἐπίορκος/-ον is throughout the object of (ἐπ-)όμνυμι (cf. 188a n.), except at 264
and Hes. Op. 804 (of persons, ‘oath-breakers’), almost always used in the context of a
potential punishment by the gods (3.279n.).
261–265 Agamemnon expands the oath formula that he himself provided and
that was adopted by Odysseus (9.133  f./275  f., 19.176 [with n.]), and supplements
it with a self-imprecation (264  f.). A conditional curse of this sort, linked with
violation of the oath, is a set part of oath rituals; the punishment the oath-
breaker should suffer is often formulated very generally, as here (cf. 3.298–302
[only after the animal sacrifice, during the libation]): Graf 1996, 145; 2005a,
249  f., 261; cf. 3.292–302n. This part of the oath is used in place of elements (6)
pledge in reference to services rendered earlier and (7) plea of the type-sceneP
‘prayer’ (254b–265n.).
261 μὴ μὲν … ἐπένεικα: μὴ μέν is a negative particle of swearing, ‘in no way at all’ (cf.
ἦ μέν 1.77n.); with the indicative also at 10.330, 15.41  f., h.Merc. 275, elsewhere often
in connection with the infinitive, cf. 176 (Denniston 389  f.; Leaf on 10.330). The ind.
ἐπένεικα, well attested in the manuscripts, is here to be preferred to the inf. of the main
transmission, since the form is linked to a subject in the nom. (AH; Leaf; Edwards);
differently Faesi, K.-G. 2.31 and Schw. 2.376: stressed nom. with infinitive rather than
acc.-inf. construction, construed on analogy with ὄμνυμι μή (but the only other attes-
tations for this are post-Homeric).  – χεῖρας ἐπιφέρω: means ‘lay hands on someone/
something, forcibly take possession’; μὴ … ἐπένεικα here is thus tantamount to ‘I did
not touch her’ (1.89n.).

260 ὅτις: = ὅστις. — κ(ε): = ἄν (R 24.5).

261 μέν: emphatic (≈ μήν: R 24.6). — κούρῃ: on the form, R 2, R 4.2. — ἐπένεικα: = ἐπ-ήνεγκον.
Commentary   121

262 Female captives had to be available as both workers and bedfellows (245n.,

2.355n.), something Agamemnon emphasized in the case of Chryseïs in par-
ticular (1.31 with n., 1.111  ff.). He may have intended the same fate for Briseïs
at the beginning of the confrontation (1.184  f.), and in the embassy at 9.134
(taken up by Odysseus at 9.276) he still indicates that this would have been
natural (cf. Hainsworth on 9.133–134: ‘he would only have been acting nor-
mally’). It is notable that Agamemnon refrained from this final step, which
would have lessened the chance of an amicable settlement (Mauritsch 1992,
31  f.). He assuredly recognized early on the problematic aspects of his actions
and took into account the necessity of reconciling with Achilleus if the overall
undertaking was to be successful (2.377–380 with 2.375–380n.; cf. 9.116–120).
οὔτ’ εὐνῆς … οὔτέ τε’ ἄλλου: epexegetic to the actual oath, negated with μή, the main
point being contained in 261 and 263 (Briseïs was left alone the entire time) (Edwards).
The addition hints at the sexual duties usually expected of captive women, and pos-
sibly also other tasks such as bathing and anointing (on which, Wickert-Micknat
1982, 57–61). — εὐνῆς πρόφασιν κεχρημένος: The expression is linguistically com-
plicated; the meaning of πρόφασιν is unclear, as is the syntactic integration of εὐνῆς
and then τέ(ο) (on εὐνή, 176n.). πρόφασιν, attested elsewhere in early epic only at 302
and ‘Hes.’ fr. 204.99 M.-W., is an adverbial acc. of a verbal noun that likely belongs to
the root φαν- rather than φημί (DELG, Frisk, Beekes s.v. φαίνω; Chantr. 2.48; Holt
1941, 44, 88; Robert 1976, 340 [transl.], on verse 302: ‘that which is visible, that which
is obvious’; LfgrE s.v.: ‘evidently’; undecided, Jones 1973, 26 n. 37); in post-Homeric lit-
erature it mostly indicates a visible – actual or ostensible – reason or cause (Rawlings
1975, 21–33; Robert loc. cit. 320–339). Suggestions for translation vary, depending on
how εὐνῆς is integrated syntactically by the interpreters: (1) dependent on πρόφασιν, in
which case ‘her’ (αὐτῆς) is to be understood as the object of κεχρημένος (‘desiring her’,
see below): πρόφασιν ‘due to, on the basis of’ (AH: ‘on the grounds of sharing a bed’;
Leaf; Willcock; Edwards; Rawlings loc. cit. 26; Robert loc. cit. 340  f.; Thalmann
1984, 105 and 216  f. n. 63; differently Pearson 1952, 207 with n. 11: ‘pretext’, i.e. sexual
desire as a pretext for the intended insult to Achilleus)  – but πρόφασιν with gen. is
attested only occasionally in early literature (2x Pind., 1x Hdt.: Rawlings loc. cit. 24); (2)
dependent on κεχρημένος, the perf. part. taking a gen. in the manner of a verb of desire
(cf. Od. 1.13, 22.50 [with comparable verse structure: οὔ τι γάμου τόσσον κ. οὐδὲ  …]),
thus approximately ‘desiring neither the bed (i.e. intercourse)’, beside absolute use
of πρόφασιν (as at 302): ‘evidently, as anyone can notice’ (Faesi; LfgrE s.v. πρόφασιν;
differently Ebeling s.v. πρόφασιν: ‘on that occasion’; Kloss 1994, 128  f. with n. 34: ‘in
accord with the occasion’); (3) dependent on both ἀπὸ κοινοῦ (Chantr. 2.54 with refer-
ence to Mazon’s translation).

262 τε(ο) ἄλλου: τεο = τινός (R 14.2); on the hiatus, R 5.1.

122   Iliad 19

263 ἀπροτίμαστος: a Homeric hapaxP; a negated verbal adjective related to (προτι-)

μαίομαι (‘seek, grasp’) with the meaning ‘untouched’ (LfgrE; Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v.
μαίομαι; Edwards: ‘unsought-out’). Agamemnon emphasizes once more that Briseïs
was left alone the entire time.
264–265 may the gods give me many | griefs: These ‘griefs’ (Greek álgea)
refer in particular to circumstances of fate that cause physical or mental suf-
fering (6.450–454n. on álgos). Thus the gods punish e.g. human hybris with
blindness (2.595  ff., 6.138  f.), homelessness (6.200–202), killing one’s children
(24.602  ff.) or early death (6.130  ff., Od. 8.226  ff.): 2.595n., 6.138–140n., 6.139n.,
6.200–205n.; de Jong on Od. 8.223–8; on the punishment for oath-breaking,
see 259n., 261–265n.
ἐπίορκον: the noun ‘violation of an oath’ is otherwise the object of ὄμνυμι (260n.). —
πολλὰ μάλ(α): a VB formula (8x Il., 5x Od., 1x h.Hom., 1x Hes.). — ὅτις … ἀλίτηται
ὀμόσσας: a variation of 260 ὅτις … ἐπίορκον ὀμόσσῃ. The aor. part. is coincident with
ἀλίτηται (+ acc. ‘offend someone, transgress against someone/something’; cf. 257n.);
in early epic, this usually denotes contempt for divine commandments that works to
the detriment of another person and for one’s own ruin, thus at 24.570 and 586 of com-
mandments by Zeus, Od. 4.378, 5.108, ‘Hes.’ Sc. 80 of commandments by the gods (LfgrE
s.v. ἀλιτεῖν; Tichy 1977, 165  f.; cf. 3.28n. [ἀλείτην]). On ὅτις, 260n. — σφ(ε): refers to
the θεοί at 264, which likely denotes the oath-gods at 258  f.; although the word usually
refers to two individuals in Homer (11.111, 115, Od. 8.271, 21.192, 206), it is plural in form
and here in meaning as well (cf. ἄμμε Il. 1.59, 14.62, 18.268 etc.): G 81; Chantr. 1.267.
διδοῦσιν: also Ionic, derived from athematic *didonti (IE *di-dh3-enti), cf. Mycenaean /didonsi/
(G 92; Rix [1976] 1992, 252; differently Hackstein 2002, 112: a thematic formation because of the
accent; but cf. also τιθεῖσιν 16.262).
266–276 The oath scene concludes with the killing and immediate disposal of the
animal, whose flesh – in contrast to sacrifices meant to be eaten – is neither
consumed nor offered to the gods, but destroyed by various means (2.341n.,
3.103–104n.; Callaway 1990, 100; Graf 2005, 244; cautiously Burkert [1977]
1985, 252). The libation, frequently mentioned elsewhere, during which
unmixed wine is poured out in the course of an oath ceremony (on which,
3.292–302n.), is lacking. The oath and the disposal of the dead boar (267  f.)
is immediately followed by Achilleus’ dissolution of the assembly (on the

263 ἔμεν’: =  ἔμενε (sc. Βρισηΐς). — ἐνί: =  ἐν (R 20.1). — κλισίῃσιν ἐμῇσιν: on the declension,
R 11.1, on the plural, R 18.2.
264 εἰ … ἐπίορκον: sc. ἐστιν.
265 διδοῦσιν: = διδόασιν; sc. τούτῳ. — ὅτις: = ὅστις. — σφ(ε): = αὐτούς (R 14.1), sc. θεούς. —
ἀλίτηται: subjunc. (aor. mid. of ἀλιταίνω) in a generalizing relative clause, which in Homer can
occur with no modal particle (R 21 1).
Commentary   123

type-sceneP ‘oath’, 108–113n.; Callaway loc. cit. 101  f.), with no indication of

any reaction by the invoked deity (on which, 2.419–420n., 3.302n., 6.311n.).
266 ≈ 3.292. — So he spoke, and: 238–240n. In the perception of the audience,
the ritual act immediately following the oath reinforces its message, since the
individual actions in a ritual as performative act serve to clarify and enhance
the spoken word (Graf [1994] 1997, 208–210; 1996, 187–189; cf. 3.292–302n.). —
cut the boar’s throat: Letting the animal bleed out is an important part of an
oath sacrifice: 3.292n.; LfgrE s.v. τάμνω 298.43  ff.
στόμαχον: derived from στόμα; only here and at 3.292 in reference to the ‘throat’ of a
sacrificial animal, at 17.47 the ‘throat’ of Euphorbos, pierced by a lance; in post-Homeric
literature particularly as a technical medical term denoting the ‘esophagus, opening of
bladder and womb/uterus, cardia’ (Frisk s.v.). — νηλέϊ χαλκῷ: a VE formula (11x Il., 8x
Od., 2x Hes.), elsewhere generally used in connection with the killing or wounding of a
human, of the killing of sacrificial animals also at 3.292, Od. 10.532 ≈ 11.45 (3.292n.; there
also on the form νηλέϊ). χαλκός ‘bronze’ is used by metonymy for the μάχαιρα mentioned
at 252 (see ad loc.; on the metonymy, 1.236n.).
267–268a Although the boar was intended for the oath-gods Zeus and Helios
(197), its flesh is not offered to them in sacrifice (266–276n.). Disposal at sea
may be designed to avoid defilement emanating from the sacrificial animal,
which was considered cursed via the oath (Edwards with reference to 1.314;
Kirk on 3.310; Callaway 1990, 98 and 140 n. 91  f.; cf. 1.314n. [λύματα]). Some
scholars discern a reference to the situation of the person swearing, and
accordingly interpret the manner of disposal as an additional pointer for the
audience: it indicates the final disposal of the mḗnis (Burkert [1991] 2001, 88)
or of Ate (by analogy with her fall from Olympus at 19.130: Wyatt 1982, 258 n.
14; differently Faraone 1993, 75  f.: reference to the fate of the oath-breaker, i.e.
death without burial).
267 πολιῆς ἁλός: a formulaic expression for the sea near the coast with its gray-white
crested waves (1.350n.). — μέγα λαῖτμα: VE = Od. 9.323, h.Ap. 469, a variant of the VE
formula μέγα λαῖτμα θαλάσσης (3x Od., 1x h.Hom., 1x Hes.). λαῖτμα (‘maw, depths’) is a
hapaxP in the Iliad and only rarely attested in post-Homeric literature; it is used exclu-
sively for the sea and may have been formed with expanded suffix -τ-μα from the same
root as λαι-μός (‘throat’) (Chantraine 1933, 181; Risch 51; LfgrE s.v.; West on Op. 164:
‘the great greedy gulp’); beside βόσιν ἰχθύσιν, it makes vivid the disappearance of the
animal’s body without a trace. – The parallel word order of the expressions in the 2nd
VH, each consisting of an adjective and noun (πολιῆς ἁλὸς and μέγα λαῖτμα), lends par-

266 ἦ: 238n. — ἀπὸ … τάμε: so-called tmesis (R 20.2.). — νηλέϊ: dat. sing. of νηλεής.
267 τὸν μέν: sc. κάπρον; answered by αὐτὰρ Ἀχιλλεύς 268. — ἐς: = εἰς (R 20.1).
124   Iliad 19

ticular weight to the object described; the same word order occurs in descriptions of
natural forces at 14.17 ≈ 15.620, Od. 11.400 = 407 (winds), Il. 17.749, Hes. Op. 737 (rivers),
Hes. Th. 566 (fire); of other objects at Il. 24.276 ≈ 579 (ransom for Hektor’s body), 5.693
(Zeus’ oak), Hes. Th. 815 (Zeus’ allies): Bühler 1960, 215.
268 ῥῖψ’ ἐπιδινήσας: likewise at 3.378 of a helmet (with ἧκ’ at 7.269 and Od. 9.538 of
throwing a stone, Il. 23.840 a disk); to throw the entire boar into the sea, Talthybios must
first draw his arm back in order to gather momentum. — βόσιν: a Homeric hapaxP, as an
action noun literally ‘feeding’ (cf. βόσκει of fish at Od. 12.97), here specifically ‘fodder’
(Risch 39; Porzig 1942, 336; LfgrE s.v.; cf. βρῶσις 209–210n.). — αὐτὰρ Ἀχιλλεύς: a VE
formula (15n.).
269 2nd VH =  23.5. — a four-word verse (on which, 1.75n.); transition from the
oath scene (256: Greeks as spectators) to the situation of the military assembly
prior to departure for battle (Kurz 1966, 73): the epithet philoptolémoisi (‘bat-
tle-loving’) recalls the key topic of the preceding speeches, i.e. preparation for
ἀνστάς: always at VB (here and Od. 15.58, 96); in contrast, ἀναστάς is usually at VE
(1.387n.). — φιλοπτολέμοισι: in the Iliad, an epithet of Greeks and Trojans; usually
after caesura B 2, as here; on the meaning of φιλο-compounds, Landfester 1966, 114–
270–275 Rather than reacting formally and appropriately to the gifts and the
oath (cf. Chryses on the return of his daughter at 1.446  ff., Priam after the
conclusion of the treaty reinforced by an oath at 3.304  ff.), Achilleus recog-
nizes the ceremonial moment of the ritual only by addressing Zeus (270) and
proceeds immediately to the point that concerns him: Agamemnon’s delu-
sion (cf. 1.411  f. with nn.). By taking up the latter’s explanation in a general
way (87  ff.) and interpreting the incident accordingly, he accepts the apology
rather casually (AH, Faesi, Edwards; Gruber 1963, 56; cf. 270n.). The tone
of the speech is interpreted variously: generous politeness and diplomacy
(van Leeuwen; Edwards with reference to 23.890  ff.; Taplin 1992, 209); care-
less indifference toward Agamemnon, since the cause for the strife no longer
matters to Achilleus (van Erp 1971, 60; Scodel 2008, 122  f.); or ironic brevity
after Agamemnon’s verbose explanation (Donlan 1993, 169). While Achilleus
shows some restraint toward Agamemnon, in that – as already at the begin-
ning of the assembly (esp. 57  f., 64, cf. 56–64n.) – he avoids explicitly allocat-

268 ἐπιδινήσας: ‘turn, whirl about’. — βόσιν: predicative ‘as food, fodder’. — αὐτάρ: ‘but, more-
over’ (R 24.2).
269 ἀνστάς: =  ἀναστάς (R 20.1). — Ἀργείοισι φιλοπτολέμοισι: on the declension, R 11.2. —
φιλοπτολέμοισι: on the -πτ-, R 9.2. — μετηύδα: 3rd sing. impf. of μετ-αυδάω (+ dat. pl.) ‘speak
Commentary   125

ing blame, he gives the impression here too – as already at 149  f. – that in his
disdain for Agamemnon and his thirst for revenge he is unwilling to engage
any further with Agamemnon’s account of the situation (but cf. 270n.). In addi-
tion, Achilleus exhibits his detachment by avoiding direct address. The con-
flict between the two men has thus not been entirely resolved. But Achilleus
signals consensus with the two previous speakers by referring to Zeus’ role
(270–274) and the call for a meal (275) (cf. 86–137 and 160  f., 230–233), and
can thus conclude the assembly (cf. elements (6) and (7) of the type-sceneP
‘assembly’: 1.54n., 1.305n.; on Achilleus’ desire for a speedy conclusion to the
assembly, see 56–73n., 67–70n., 147–154n.). Additional examples of the switch
between invocations of Zeus and general speech: 8.228–244, 13.620–639, 17.19–
32, 629–647 (Lohmann 1970, 23  f. with n. 30).
270 The impersonal phrasing has led to different interpretations: (1) Achilleus
includes his own conduct (his mḗnis), as a sign of courtesy or even as an apology
on his own part (as at 56–62): Faesi; Cauer (1895) 1923, 585; Stallmach 1968,
22 n. 50, also 35 with n. 13 (reference to schol. bT), 39; Lloyd-Jones (1971) 1983,
23; Edwards on 270–275; Cairns 2012, 31  f.; (2) Achilleus only aims at the delu-
sion of Agamemnon, of whose action he speaks at 271–273, and omits mention
of his own: Tsagarakis 1971, 268; Adkins 1982, 307  f.; van Wees 1992, 369
n. 142; Finkelberg 1995, 23  f. with n. 34; West 2011, 358; (3) via the storyline of
the Iliad, the narratorP makes clear that the statement is also true for Achilleus,
who has brought about the death of Patroklos by refusing the offer of recon-
ciliation in Book 9: Wyatt 1982, 256; Hooker (1988) 1996, 529; Cairns loc. cit.
32. But Achilleus’ behavior – in contrast to that of Agamemnon (1.411  f., 9.377;
cf. 86b–88n., 88n., 137n.) – is connected only indirectly with delusion sent by
Zeus (Greek átē), namely in Phoinix’ account at 9.505  ff.; his explosive reac-
tions are ascribed to his passion by both himself and others: his spirit (Greek
thymós) was excited by Agamemnon’s actions (271, also 18.107–113, 19.66
[see ad loc.], 19.178, cf. 9.496, 9.628  f., also 9.646  f.): Adkins loc. cit. 307 n. 33;
Pelliccia 1995, 207 n. 176; de Jong on Il. 22, Introd. 16–18. The verse – together
with 271–274 – may express a superficial acceptance of 87–90.
Ζεῦ πάτερ: 121n. — ἄτας: In addition to this statement, which is reminiscent of a
gnome, the pl. also occurs at 9.115, where Agamemnon summarizes the mistakes Nestor
has accused him of making with the phrase ἐμὰς ἄτας, at 10.391 (Hektor’s promises),
and 3x Hes. Op. (Gruber 1963, 59 n. 1); μεγάλας emphasizes the magnitude of the impact
(LfgrE s.v. 74.28  ff., 75.50  f.). — ἄνδρεσσι: The use of ἄνδρες rather than ἄνθρωποι in this

270 ἦ: emphatic, ‘actually, indeed’ (R 24.4). — ἄνδρεσσι: on the declension, R 11.3. — δι-δοῖσθα:
2nd sing. pres. ind. of δίδωμι; on the ending, R 16.2.
126   Iliad 19

generalizing statement perhaps implies a reference to the concrete instance that has
befallen a person (LfgrE s.v. ἀνήρ 834.39  ff.). — διδοῖσθα: a form attested only here, an
expansion of διδοῖς (9.164) by analogy with οἶσθα (cf. εἶσθα 10.450, τίθησθα Od. 9.404,
24.476): G 86; Chantr. 1.470.
271–273a A brief summary of Agamemnon’s behavior in Book 1, by means of
which he stirred up Achilleus’ feelings and brought about his mḗnis: a pro-
vocative and uncompromising appearance at 1.131–139, 1.173–189, 1.287–291 (cf.
1.286–291n., 1.287–289n.) that culminated in the taking of Briseïs 1.318–348a
(1.429 [with n.]).
οὐκ ἂν … | … ὤρινε … | ἦγεν: The impf. in a past contrary to fact condition highlights
the entire course of the action, including its effects reaching into the present (Mutz-
bauer 1893, 7, 29; cf. Schw. 2.348); with a paratactic start to the protasis: the conditional
clause is represented by either 270 (‘you confer powerful delusions …; ‹otherwise› he
would never have …’; Willcock) or 273  f. ἀλλὰ … (AH, Leaf, Edwards).
271 2nd VH ≈ Od. 14.169. — θυμόν: ‘heart’ (LfgrE s.v. 1086.11  ff.; cf. 66n.).
272 taken … away: From the point of view of Achilleus, the taking of Briseïs was
an act of violence (1.430 with n.). The Greek verb ágō (VA 273) can mean ‘lead
away forcibly’, particularly in reference to human booty (women, children)
taken from a conquered city. Agamemnon threatened at 1.139 and 184 to take
away another man’s captive woman as a replacement for Chryseïs (1.139n.).
ὤρινε: originally ‘set in motion physically, agitate’; transferred to the emotional level,
it denotes eliciting a feeling that triggers an action, often via a speech (LfgrE s.v. ὀρίνω
772.57  ff.; cf. 2.142n.). — διαμπερές: a compound used adverbially and having an origi-
nally locative sense ‘through the middle, from one end to the other’; here approximately
‘through and through, entirely’ (AH; LfgrE s.v. διαμπερές). The word is composed from
διά and ανα-περ- (Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v. διαμπερές with reference to ἀμπερές [11.377,
17.309, Od. 21.422] and ἀμπείρω ‘skewer, impale’ [Il. 2.426]), thus originally meaning
something like ‘piercing’ (on the adjective structure with initial element, verbal element
and suffix -ης/-ες, see Risch 81–83; Schw. 1.513  f.); differently Szemerényi 1972, 250  f.:
from *δια-περες, related to δια-περάω ‘pass through’ (with nasalization δια-μπερ- from
double consonant *δια-ππερ-).
273a against my will: Achilleus further stresses that the taking of Briseïs was
against his will, thus referring to the cause of the conflict (but he expressed
himself differently at 57  f. [see ad loc.]). His remarks are the counterpart to the

271 ἐνὶ στήθεσσιν: 66n.

272 κε: = ἄν (R 24.5).
273 ἐμεῖ’ ἀέκοντος: gen. absolute; ἐμεῖ(ο) = ἐμοῦ (R 14.1); ἀέκοντος < ἀϝέκοντος, = ἄκοντος. —
ποθι: = που (cf. R 15.2); ‘somehow, probably’.
Commentary   127

narratorP commentary at 1.428–430; the two passages frame the portrait of

Achilleus’ boycott of battle (1.430a n.).
ἀμήχανος: a possessive compound, ‘without means’, the word means either ‘helpless’
or ‘for which there is no means for a solution’ (Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v. μηχανή); in the
Iliad, it is used of characters who are not susceptable to rational counsel or argument
(10.167 Nestor, 13.726 Hektor, 15.14 Hera, 16.29 Achilleus), thus approximately ‘imper-
vious, obstinate, unswayable’ (Janko on 13.726–728: ‘describes someone incorrigible’;
Martin 1983, 12  ff.: ‘persons unable to be dealt with’). Achilleus likely refers to Aga­
memnon’s obstinate attitude during and after the assembly in Book 1 (cf. 1.340) (AH;
LfgrE s.v.; cautiously Edwards; differently schol. A, bT on 273–274: ‘helpless’ in the face
of Zeus’ power).
273b–274 Both Agamemnon (2.114–116 =  9.21–23, 14.65–69) and Idomeneus
(13.225–227) also suspected that the Achaian defeat was intended by Zeus
(additional comparable pointers to Zeus as a power of fate [co]responsible for
human failure or suffering: 14.119  f., 19.86b–88n., Od. 17.424, etc.; cf. Jörgensen’s
principleP). Achilleus tacitly concedes that he accepts not only Agamemnon’s
explanation regarding Ate brought forth by Zeus, but also the associated
notion that Zeus is the trigger for an unfortunate chain of events leading to
the death of many Achaians, including his friend Patroklos (270–275n., 270n.).
At the same time, he does not comment on the fact that he himself prompted
the god to bring about an Achaian defeat (cf. 1.408n., 1.411n.). – On the level of
the narratorP, the will of Zeus was already introduced in the prooimion (1.3–7)
and at 2.37–40 as a factor directing the action (1.5n., 2.36–40n.; Schadewaldt
[1938] 1966, 134; Barck 1976, 45 n. 123); on the idea that the Trojan War in its
entirety was caused by Zeus as a means of reducing the human numbers, see
Cypr. fr. 1.3–7 West (cf. 1.5n.).
ἀλλά … Ζεύς | ἤθελ(ε): here approximately in the sense ‘it pleased/suited Zeus’, simi-
larly at 14.120, Od. 9.262, 17.424, 19.80 (LfgrE s.v. (ἐ)θέλω 414.75  ff.); on the VE, cf. 1.128n.
275 = 2.381. — dinner (Greek déipnon): denotes the ‘meal during the day’, here as
nourishment before battle (2.381n.): Achilleus bows to Odysseus’ suggestion
(and also his choice of words) (in contrast, see 208n.); on the themeP ‘armies
joining battle’, see 155–183n.
ξυνάγωμεν ἄρηα: on the so-called metonymic use of Ἄρης/ἄρης and on similar phrases
denoting the onset of battle, see 2.381n., 2.440n.

274 πολέεσσι: = πολλοῖς (R 12.2).

275 ξυνάγωμεν ἄρηα: ‘commence battle’ (↑); on ξυν- = συν-, R 20.1. — ἄρηα: on the declension,
R 12.4.
128   Iliad 19

276 =  Od. 2.257; 1st VH =  Il. 10.465, 6x Od. — The final speaker frequently dis-
solves an assembly (1.305n., 2.808n.); here it is Achilleus, who (a) is urging a
quick conclusion (149  f.), (b) has been instructed to issue the necessary orders
to the army (139, 171  f.: 171–180n.), and (c) has convened the assembly in his
own interest (34  f., 67–71).
λῦσεν: coincides with ἐφώνησεν and specifies the function of the final sentence of
the speech (AH). — αἰψηρήν: an adjectival formation related to αἶψα, used predica-
tively with the meaning ‘immediate/quick to dissolve’ (AH; Leaf: ‘quick to disperse at
his word’; West on Od. 2.257): the Achaians thus comply immediately with Achilleus’
urgent wish (cf. 148  ff.) (differently schol. bT: ἀντὶ τοῦ ταχέως; Edwards: ‘quickly’).
277 = 23.3; ≈ Od. 2.258. — these scattered away each man to …: This explicit
reference to the parting at the end of the assembly and the glance from the
so-called panorama point of view of the narratorP at the characters’ differ-
ent directions of movement (277–281) signal the end of the scene (1.487n.;
Richardson 1990, 119  f. and 230 n. 24). The switch to the new scene ‘the
Myrmidons’ quarters’ (282  ff.) is created by the transition at 278–281, with the
narratorP accompanying the characters to their new setting (de Jong/Nünlist
2004, 69, 73  f.).
ἕκαστος: on ἕ. as a distributive appositive, 2.775b n.
278–281 The careful description directs attention to the handing over of the
gifts; this procedure seals Achilleus’ acceptance of them, which had been left
unmentioned. After the general movement (278  f.), 280 marks a moment of rest
(Greek thésan, káthesan: ‘they deposited, they let be seated’) from which a new
storyline can proceed (1.487n.).
278 2nd VH = 13.656. — μεγαλήτορες: ‘with much energy, great-hearted’; a generic epi-
thetP of male characters and peoples (6.283n.); in addition to the Myrmidons, also of
the Trojans (8.523, 21.55), the Phlegyes (13.302), the Paphlagonians (13.656) and the
Eteokretans (Od. 19.176): Dee 2000, 558  f. — ἀμφεπένοντο: ‘took care of’ (cf. 200n.),
always with persons or animals as an object.
279 Ἀχιλλῆος θείοιο: θείοιο (originally scanned ⏖–⏑) is a metrical variant of δίου (2.335n.
with bibliography); the VE Ἀ. θ. is attested elsewhere only at 19.297 (cf. Hainsworth,
Introd. 27  f. [Clustering]; also Πηλείδαο ⏑–⏖–⏑ θείοιο 17.199); additional genitive for-
mulae for ‘Achilleus’ in the 2nd VH after caesura B 2 are ἀμύμονος Αἰακίδαο (16.140,

276 ἄρ’: = ἄρα (R 24.1).

277 ἐσκίδναντο (ϝ)εήν: on the prosody, R 4.3; σκίδνημι is a by-form of σκεδάννυμι. — ἑήν: pos-
sessive pronoun of the 3rd person (R 14.4). — νῆα (ϝ)έκαστος: on the prosody, R 4.3; on the de-
clension of νῆα, R 12.1.
279 βάν: 241n.
Commentary   129

16.854) and, with initial consonant, ποδώκεος Αἰακίδαο (2.860n.; Edwards; Shive 1987,
56  f.); on the metrically equivalent dat./acc. formulae, see 24 108n.
280 κάθεσαν: on the form (as opposed to κάθισαν, the reading of the main transmission),
see Leaf (‘The assonance θέσαν κάθεσαν is probably intentional’) and West 1998, XXXI.
281 θεράποντες: 143–144n., 24.396n. — ἀγαυοί: a generic epithet of humans and gods of
uncertain meaning (possibly ‘admirable’, or perhaps ‘calling loudly’): 3.268n.

282–339 The mood in the Myrmidon camp is dejected: Briseïs mourns the death
of Patroklos and her own fate; Achilleus continues to refuse food and gives himself
over to mournful remembrance of his time with his friend; he is simultaneously con-
cerned for his elderly father Peleus.
282–302 Briseïs’ return does not bring about a reunion with Achilleus; the focus
is on her mourning for the slain Patroklos who, since his body was recovered,
has been laid out in Achilleus’ quarters and mourned by his companions (on
the ‘prothesis’, see 5–6a n., 211–213a n.). The sight of the corpse triggers a
behavior in Briseïs that is typical of women perceiving dead kinsmen or friends
in Homeric epic: a spontaneous scream (284), gestures of mourning (284  f.),
lament (286–302) (additional examples in Derderian 2001, 53  f.). Briseïs’
deep attachment to the deceased becomes clear from her account (295–299).
Her lament, and its adoption by the other women present (anticipationP of the
motif: 18.28–31, 18.339–342), stands in for lament by the female relatives of
the deceased comparable to the lament over Hektor’s body by Andromache,
Hekabe and Helen at 24.723–776 (schol. bT on 282–302; Andronikos 1968, 9–14;
Wickert-Micknat 1983, 239; Alexiou [1974] 2002, 10  f.; cf. HE s.v. ‘Lament’;
comparison to the laments over Patroklos and Hektor in Di Benedetto [1994]
1998, 291–293; Tsagalis 2004, 27–51). Briseïs’ lament on the occasion of her
return has additional functions: it (1) elucidates the enormity of the loss for
Achilleus, rendering his grief more comprehensible, (2) raises awareness of
the connections between the fate of Briseïs and the death of Patroklos, as
well as the imminent death of Achilleus, (3) likely represents an anticipatory
hint at the lament for Achilleus himself (see 284–285n. on Briseïs’ gestures of
mourning, cf. the lament of Thetis and the Nereids at 18.37–64; on premature
lament, see 6.497–502n.), and (4) illustrates Patroklos’ mediating role between
Achilleus and Briseïs, thus offering an overall characterization of Patroklos
(cf. Menelaos on Patroklos’ amicable nature at 17.670  f.): Edwards on 282–302.

280 κάθεσαν: from καθίζω, transitive: ‘let sit down’.

130   Iliad 19

282 in the likeness of golden Aphrodite, Briseïs: On the one hand, the com-
parison brings to mind Briseïs’ exceptional appearance and emphasizes the
contrast with Patroklos as he is laid out (283); on the other hand, it highlights
her appearance on the only occasion when she has a direct speech – similar
to Kassandra’s sole appearance at 24.699  ff. (Scott 1974, 69  f.; on comparisons
with gods in general, see 2.478–479n.; on parallels in Sanskrit, West 2007, 97;
on the attribute ‘golden’, 2.448n., 3.64n.). Prior to her return to Achilleus (246
with n.), Briseïs last appeared in the scene in which she was conducted away
by Agamemnon’s heralds (1.346–348). Since then, she has remained in the
background and was only a topic of discussion in the embassy in Book 9 (de
Jong 1987, 110–113).
ἰκέλη χρυσῇ Ἀφροδίτῃ: =  24.699, ‘Hes.’ fr. 30.25 M.-W., similarly Od. 17.37, 19.54
(Ἀρτέμιδι ἰ. ἠὲ χ. Ἀ. of Penelope); the hiatus in the VE formula χρυσῇ Ἀφροδίτῃ (7x in
early epic) is likely due to declension of the formula (M 14): elsewhere 15x gen./acc.
without hiatus, 2x nom. with hiatus (on the possibility of non-syllabic -y in -ῇ bridging
the hiatus, see M 12.2). On the formula and the contracted form χρυσῇ, 3.64n.
283 2nd VH = 18.236, 19.292; ≈ 19.211, 22.72. — δεδαϊγμένον: 203n. — ὀξέϊ χαλκῷ: 211n.
284–285 Mourning gestures of the most intense sort: at 4  f. Achilleus mourns in a
similar fashion by embracing Patroklos’ corpse, at Od. 8.526  f. a woman throws
herself onto the body of her dying husband (cf. Andromache with Hektor at
Il. 24.723  f.); the scratching of the face or cheeks is in early epic a mourning
gesture of widows in particular (2.700, 11.393, ‘Hes.’ Sc. 243), here perhaps an
indication that the intense grief for Patroklos is another anticipation of the
mourning for Achilleus; on images of scratching one’s body bloody in scenes
of mourning, see Neumann 1965, 86  ff., esp. 89; Huber 2001, 92  f., 119, 203  f.;
self-harm as a mourning gesture in the Old Testament: Leviticus 19:28 and 21:5,
Deuteronomy 14:1, Jeremiah 16:6 (on this, Kutsch [1965] 1986, 79 with n. 18).
Additional gestures of aggression and self-disfigurement include beating the
chest (18.31 captive women, 18.51 Nereids) and pulling the hair (18.27 Achilleus,
22.77 Priam, 22.406 Hekabe, 24.711 Hekabe and Andromache [24.711–712n.]),
covering oneself with ash, dust or excrement (18.23–25 Achilleus, 22.414 and
24.640 Priam, Od. 24.316  f. Laërtes): Grajew 1934, 14; Alexiou (1974) 2002, 6;
Sourvinou-Inwood 1983, 37; Huber loc. cit. 14  f., 33, 86; BNP s.v. Mourning.

282 ἄρ’: = ἄρα (R 24.1).

283 ἴδε: on the unaugmented form, R 16 1.
Commentary   131

284 until caesura C 2 ≈ Od. 8.527. — λίγ’ ἐκώκυε: The expression occurs only here and at
Od. 4.259, 8.527, of the piercing screams of women on receiving news of the fallen, and of
women on seeing their dying husbands (on λίγα ‘shrill’, see 5n.; Kaimio 1977, 44). As at
Od. 19.541, the impf. perhaps expresses intensity, whereas the aor. of κωκύω, used more
commonly in the Iliad, describes instead a woman’s spontaneous cry, usually upon
seeing a deceased loved one, e.g. 22.407 (Hekabe with Hektor), 24.702  f. (Kassandra with
Hektor), similarly 18.37 and 71 (Thetis’ reaction to Achilleus’ lament for Patroklos as an
anticipated lament for Achilleus: 282–302n.), 24.200 (Hekabe fearing for Priam): LfgrE
s.v. κωκύω; Krapp 1964, 38  f.; Tichy 1983, 266; Spatafora 1997, 12  f.; Derderian 2001,
28 n. 56.
285 VE = Od. 8.85, 15.332, h.Ven. 183. — ἁπαλήν: in the case of parts of the body, often used
for the sake of the contrast, like καλός, when they are disfigured; ἁ. highlights their
vulnerability (LfgrE s.vv. ἁπαλός, καλός 1308.21  ff.; 92n.) — ἰδέ: ‘and’; a metrical variant
of ἠδέ (2.511n.).
286–339 Briseïs’ speech (287–302) has a tripartite, ring-compositionP structure
also identifiable in other speeches of mourning by women, comparable to the
mourning speeches of Andromache, Hekabe and Helen at 24.725–776, consist-
ing of (A) an address to the deceased and reflection on the situation with con-
trasting ‘then – now’ (287–290), (B) a narrative section, establishing a relation-
ship between the deceased and one’s own destiny and bemoaning it (291–299),
(A’) a return to general mourning (300) adopted by the bystanders (301  f.):
Alexiou (1974) 2002, 132  f. with n. 7  f., 165–171; Foley 1991, 168–170; Tsagalis
2004, 30–32, 44  f.; cf. 24.725–745n.; on epic laments in general, Reiner 1938,
12  ff., 22  ff., 30  ff.; Fingerle 1939, 162  ff.; Petersmann 1973; Easterling 1991;
Derderian 2001, 35–52; Tsagalis loc. cit. 27–50, 139–143; West 2007, 498  f.
In the present scene, the speeches of mourning by Briseïs and Achilleus
(315–339) are particularly coordinated in regard to structure and especially
topic (cf. 6.407–465n.):
(1) mourning for the deceased with an emphatic address (with superlative)
and contrasting ‘then – now’ (287–290 / 315–321);
(2) comparison with earlier or imagined grief for relatives (291– 294: husband,
brothers / 322–327: father, son);
(3) hopes shattered by the death of Patroklos (295–299 / 328–333);
(4) further lament for Patroklos, or fears for an elderly father (300 / 334– 337);
(5) subsequent lament by the women or men present for their own sorrows
(301  f. / 338  f.).

284 ἀμφ’ αὐτῷ χυμένη: aor. mid.-pass. part. of χέω, here approximately: ‘draped over him’.
285 στήθεα: on the uncontracted form, R 6. — ἠδ(έ): ‘und’ (R 24.4). — δειρήν: on the -η- after -ρ-,
R 2. — πρόσωπα: on the plural, R 18.2.
132   Iliad 19

Detailed discussion of the correspondences in content: Lohmann 1970, 102–

105; 1988, 13–23; Pucci (1993) 1998, 99–112; Tsagalis loc. cit. 139–143, 148–151;
on the disputed authenticity of 326  ff., see 326–337n. Another parallel for the
content of Briseïs’ lament is found in Helen’s lament for Hektor (24.762–775):
the painful loss of a sympathetic friend in an alien environment (Reinhardt
1961, 421; Schein 1984, 191; Reichel 1994, 270  f.; Tsagalis loc. cit. 162–164);
on parallels with Andromache’s speech at 6.411  ff., see 291–296n.; on images of
mourning scenes with different groups of mourners, see Huber 2001, 64  ff. –
The mourning scene also links indirectly with topics from the preceding
assembly: the appearance of Briseïs with the conclusion of the reconciliation
by Agamemnon, Achilleus’ two speeches (esp. 303–309 and 315–321a) with the
discussion regarding the meal before battle: Edwards on 287–300.
286–300 This is Briseïs’ sole speech in the Iliad, triggered by the sight of
Patroklos’ corpse. It is noteworthy that a captive slave, who remains silent
while being led away in Book 1 (1.346–348), speaks up here (de Jong 1987, 113:
‘Briseis is […] a «semi-silent» character’; cf. 282n.). But laments elsewhere in
the Iliad also offer a frame in which women can speak in public and formulate
their perspectives (Monsacré 1984, 119–123; Easterling 1991, 146  f.; Kahane
2005, 184; on the function of the speech, see 282–302n.). – There are also other
characters in the Iliad who appear on multiple occasions but only speak once,
especially subordinate commanders and so-called ‘minor fighters’ (CH 12)
in battle scenes, as well as Achilleus’ tutor Phoinix (9.432–605; at 17.555–559
Athena speaks in his guise), the herald Talthybios (4.204–207: messenger
speech), and a nameless servant (6.382–389, with n.).
286 2nd VH =  11.638; ≈ h.Ven. 153. — The woman  … spoke to him: a speech
introductory formulaP unique in its form (Edwards 1970, 26). — The woman
like the immortals: a periphrastic denominationP of Briseïs, who is intro-
duced by name at 282 and compared to Aphrodite. The narratorP similarly
varies her designation in her first appearance in the Iliad, when she is being
led away from Achilleus’ tent by Patroklos (1.346/348, cf. the conclusion of
the scene at 1.429). The appellation ‘woman’ (Greek gynḗ) is perhaps used in
reference to one of the main themes of her speech, her status as a wife (291  f.,
295–299): de Jong (1987) 2004, 198; Dué 2002, 74  f.; cf. 284–285n.; on the other
hand, the designation might also be linked to the fact that she is among the
female captives given out as gifts by Agamemnon and thus part of the only
group of ‘women’ present in the Achaian camp (Greek nom./acc. pl. gynaíkes

286 γυνὴ (ϝ)εικυῖα: on the prosody, R 4.4. — θεῇσιν: on the declension, R 11.1.

Commentary   133

and gynaíkas: 195, 245, 280, 301), in which case the addition ‘like the immor-
tals’ elevates her among this group (cf. LfgrE s.v. γυνή 189  f.76  ff.; Ndoye 2010,
198, 203–205; on the comparison with gods, see 282n.). In speeches by men
(1.275, 298, 336, etc.) and by Thetis (18.444), however, Briseïs is designated
by the Greek word koúrē (‘girl, daughter’); likewise in the reasons given for
Achilleus’ absence at 2.689 in the catalogue of ships (additional examples in
Dee 2000, 149  f.).
εἰκυῖα θεῇσιν: a VE formula (3x Il., 1x Od., 1x h.Ven.), joined with γυνή/γύναι at 11.638,
h.Ven. 153.
287–300 The narrator opens a view into the experiences and perspectives of the
otherwise silent Briseïs via her lament (286–300n.). The portrayal of her situ-
ation illustrates the threat of being carried off and enslaved after the loss of
a protector, a fate particularly common among women during wartime, and
which threatens the women of Troy as well (on the fate of captive women,
262n., 291–296n., 1.13n., 2.355n., 6.57b–60n., 6.450–458n.). Additional bibli-
ography on Briseïs’ mourning speech: Farron 1979, 27  ff.; Wickert-Micknat
1983, 5  f., 31  f.; de Jong 1987, 110–113; Taplin 1992, 212  ff.; Murnaghan 1999,
206  ff.; Dué 2002, 67–81; Tsagalis 2004, 139–143; Dentice 2012, 238–242.
287 Πάτροκλε: only here with the scansion –⏖, differently at VB 16.830 (on the so-called
correptio attica, see M 4.5; Chantr. 1.108  f.). — μοι: Although the position of the enclitic
after a vocative, already noticed by ancient commentators (cf. Erbse’s commentary ad
loc. in his edition of the scholia; Leaf), is otherwise rare (e.g. h.Ven. 1; see West app.
crit.), it is consistent with IE rules of word order: enclitics often stand in second position
in a clause (Wackernagel [1892] 1953, 11; cf. 2.7n.). The laments for Hektor at 22.431,
477, 24.725, 748, 762 likewise start with an address at VB. — δειλῇ: ‘miserable, wretched’
(1.293n.). Thetis too refers to herself in this manner (18.54: after news of the death of
Patroklos), as does Hekabe (22.431: at the sight of the slain Hektor) in her lament for her
son (LfgrE s.v. δειλός). — κεχαρισμένε θυμῷ: a VE formula (5x Il., 1x Od., 1x h.Hom.)
comparable to the formulaic address (τῷ) ἐμῷ κ. θ. directed at Diomedes (by Sthenelos,
Athene and Agamemnon: 5.243 = 5.826 = 10.234) and at Patroklos (by Achilleus: 11.608).
The address, usually directed at a close friend in an extraordinary situation, indicates
emotional attachment, with the participle κεχαρισμένος (‘pleasing’) emphasizing appre-
ciation of past behavior; here it is explicitly justified by Patroklos’ actions (295–299, cf.
300n.): Latacz 1966, 118  f. On the superlative (πλεῖστον κ. θ.), cf. Achilleus’ address at
315 φίλταθ’ ἑταίρων and the addresses in the lament for Hektor at 24.748 (ἐμῷ θυμῷ …
πολὺ φίλτατε παίδων) and 24.762 (ἐμῷ θυμῷ δαέρων πολὺ φίλτατε πάντων): Lohmann
1970, 112; on θυμός as the seat of emotions, 1.24n.

287 πλεῖστον: adverbial ‘most’.

134   Iliad 19

288–290a Briseïs refers to her unwilling departure when Patroklos led her away
from Achilleus’ quarters to hand her over to the heralds (1.345–348), and via
the contrast ‘alive … | … fallen’ (cf. the chiastic word order of the Greek zōón …
se and se tethnēóta at 288  f.) stresses the difference between ‘then’ and ‘now’,
a characteristic theme of laments; cf. 22.436, 24.749  f. (Alexiou [1974] 2002,
165–177; Tsagalis 2004, 30, 44  f.; cf. 286–339n.).  – The participles ‘going
away … coming back’ (Greek ioúsa … an-ioús[a]) span Days 10 through 27 of
the action of the Iliad (STR 21 fig. 1).
σε ἔλειπον: The imperfect frequently occurs in ‘vivid visualizations of the past’
(AH  [transl.]; cf. 2.42n.); on the hiatus at this point in the verse, see 3.46n.; Schw.
1.399  f.  — ὄρχαμε λαῶν: a generic epithetP, elsewhere of Menelaos (formulaic verse:
17.12 and 6x Od.), Agamemnon (Il. 14.102), Achilleus (21.221) and Odysseus (Od. 10.538).
The VE formula (4x Il., 7x Od., 1x ‘Hes.’) is a vocative variant of the inflectible VE formula
ὄ. ἀνδρῶν; the etymology of ὄρχαμος ‘leader, chief’ is uncertain (2.837n.; Witte [1912]
1979, 113  f.; on λαοί, 35n.).
290b The conclusion of the first part of the speech of mourning, via a summary of
Briseïs’ life experience, which has been an endless concatenation of catastro-
phes (cf. her crying at 297, 300). She sets this out at 291  ff. in her description
of her previous experiences, which correspond to those at 322  ff. in Achilleus’
speech (cf. 286–339n.). Briseïs relates the ‘now’ (Patroklos’ death) to the losses
she has already suffered of persons close to her (husband, brothers); Achilleus,
who has no comparable experience, relates it to losses anticipated in the future
(father, son): Edwards on 287–300; Lohmann 1970, 103  f.; Tsagalis 2004, 150.
δέχεται κακὸν ἐκ κακοῦ: an intransitive construction of δέχομαι: ‘one evil takes over
from another evil’, i.e. ‘supersedes the other’ (LfgrE s.v. δέχομαι 263.3  ff.), with poly­
ptoton expressing continuity, as at Hes. Th. 800 (ἄλλος δ’ ἐξ ἄλλου δέχεται χαλεπώτερος
ἄεθλος), Il. 16.111 is similar (κακὸν κακῷ ἐστήρικτο); on the polyptoton, cf. also Od.
17.217 (κακὸς κακὸν ἡγηλάζει), h.Ap. 354 (φέρουσα κακῷ κακόν), ‘Hes.’ fr. 204.105 M.-W.
(ἄλγος ἐπ’ ἄλγει): Janko on Il. 16.106–111; Gygli-Wyss 1966, 92; IE parallels in West
2007, 112  f. — αἰεί: Along with the polyptoton, this emphasizes the continuing series of
evils (LfgrE s.v. 283.5  ff.).
291–296 Briseïs was captured by Achilleus during the conquest of Lyrnessos
(in the southern Troad: 2.690n.); see 2.689–693 and Achilleus’ allusion at
19.59  f. (60n.); on this technique of scene preparation, see Edwards, Introd.

288 κλισίηθεν: on the form, R 15.1.

289 τεθνηῶτα: = τεθνεῶτα (for metrical reasons, without shortening of the internal hiatus: R 3).
290 ἄψ: (‘back’) strengthens ἀνα- in ἀνιοῦσ(α). — ὡς: ‘how …!’ (exclamation). — κακοῦ αἰεί: on
the so-called correption, R 5.5. — αἰεί: = ἀεί.
Commentary   135

21  f.; cf. seedP. The story of her abduction establishes links with Chryseïs and
Andromache: (1) during a raid in the vicinity of Troy, Achilleus also conquered
Andromache’s home town, Thebe (2.691), from which Chryseïs was abducted
(1.366–369, cf. 1.389–392 with n. and the allusions at 9.328–336, 20.191–194); on
the parallel functions of Chryseïs and Briseïs, see 1.184n., 1.366n.; (2) Briseïs’
description has similarities to Andromache’s account of the destruction of
her homeland (6.413  ff.: 6.394–399n.), i.e. the killing of father and brothers,
or of husband and brothers, and the abduction of the women (the mother or,
as implied here, Briseïs herself). On a narratological level, these reports of
Achilleus’ raids (external analepsesP) anticipate the fate of Troy’s inhabitants
(287–300n.; Edwards on 291–294; Reinhardt 1961, 52  f.; Zarker [1965] 1987,
148–151; Taplin 1986, 18  f.; on the killing of adult men during the conquest of
a city, see 6.57b–60n.).
291 2nd VH =  6.413, 6.429, 9.561, 11.452, 13.430, 22.239, 22.341, 4x Od. — The
husband: It becomes clear only here that Briseïs, the ‘daughter of Briseus’
(1.392; on the name, 1.184n.), was previously married (cf. the principles of ‘ad
hoc narration’P and external completive analepsisP). By means of this refer-
ence, the narratorP illustrates the tragedy of Briseïs’ life, which will continue
in the future (Edwards on 291–294).
μέν: emphatic (R 24.6), or to be connected with τε at 293 (Denniston 375). — πότνια
μήτηρ: on the honorific title πότνια for goddesses and prominent women, and on the
VE formula, see 1.357n., 6.264n.
292 2nd VH = 283 (with n.). — Via the literal echo of 283, the narratorP may allude
to the fact that the sight of the slain Patroklos has awakened the memory of
Briseïs’ slain husband (Edwards on 282–285 and 291–294; de Jong 1987, 113).
The situation is comparable to the one Andromache will experience after the
duel between Achilleus and Hektor (22.462  ff.).
293 2nd VH ≈ 3.238. — three brothers: Should Briseïs, in the poet’s imagination,
have come from Brisa (cf. 1.184n.), the presence of her brothers in the homeland
of her in-laws might seem unusual (in contrast to the death of Andromache’s
brothers in their home city at 6.421  ff.). This is sometimes explained as a relic
of a pre-Homeric version of the myth, in which Briseïs was originally captured
in her home town Brisa on Lesbos (Reinhardt 1961, 52–57; Heitsch [1980]
2001, 79  ff.). But it might also represent a typical motif, here used in an ad hoc

291 ᾧ ἔδοσαν: on the prosody, R 5 7.

292 πτόλιος: on the declension, R 11.3; on the πτ-, R 9.2.
293 τρῖς: = τρεῖς. — τούς: functions as a relative pronoun (R 14.5).
136   Iliad 19

manner by the narrator to underline the parallel with Andromache’s fate: the
detail illustrates the vulnerability of women who have lost their male relatives
(cf. 291–296n.; on the use of typical motifs in the ‘biographies’ of subsidiary
characters, see Fenik 1968, 150–152). – Three is a typical numberP (1.53n.).
τρῖς: on the form, West 1998, XXXVI. — μία: ‘one and the same’ (3.238n.). — τούς μοι …
γείνατο μήτηρ: on the epexegetic relative clause, 1.238n.; on the VE formula γείνατο
μήτηρ, 1.280n.; on the transitive aor. ἐγεινάμην, 26n.
294 κηδείους: occurs in this form only here in Homer and is derived from κῆδος ‘death,
bereavement, sorrow, mourning for kinsmen’ (302n., 1.445n., 6.240–241n.), also
‘concern’ (for the lives of kinsmen, cf. κήδομαι 1.196n.); the word denotes persons
toward whom one has particular obligations (approximately ‘cherished, cared for,
dear’, cf. κήδιστος 9.642 and in the Odyssey), here perhaps ‘with overtones of mourn-
ing’ (Edwards on 292–294; Mawet 1979, 360 n. 11, 372; LfgrE s.vv. κῆδος, κήδε[ι]ος; cf.
6.59–60n. [ἀκήδεστος]). — ὀλέθριον ἦμαρ ἐπέσπον: The phrase occurs also at 409
(ἦμαρ ὀλέθριον) in the prophecy by the horse Xanthos regarding the death of Achilleus;
comparable are αἴσιμον ἦμαρ (e.g. 21.100, 22.212), μόρσιμον ἦμαρ (15.613, Od. 10.175) and
the VE formula νηλεὲς ἦμαρ (Il. 11.484, etc.): LfgrE s.v. ἦμαρ 917.34  ff.; Schw. 2.177  f. –
ἐπι-σπεῖν (effective aor. of ἐφ-έπειν ‘follow, pursue something’) is often used metaphor-
ically in combination with πότμος and so means ‘fulfil, reach (one’s fate)’ or ‘touch
(one’s fate)’ (2.358–359n., 6.412n.), thus here ‘reach the day of doom’.
295–297a 2nd VH of 296 ≈ 14.230. — The reason for Briseïs’ deep grief for Patroklos
becomes clear; she particularly stresses the comforting compassion he repeat-
edly showed her after the loss of her home and her guardians (cf. also 300,
the concluding thought of the speech). This is supported linguistically by the
emphatic doubling of the negative at the VB of 295 (Greek oudé men oudé), the
emphatic runover word ‘sorrow’ (Greek klaíein) at 297a (integral enjambmentP)
and the Greek iterative forms at 295, 297 (Edwards on 295–297). — That Mynes,
king of Lyrnessos (cf. 2.692n.), was Briseïs’ husband (thus schol. bT on 296) is
not said explicitly; but see below s.v. θείοιο Μύνητος.
οὐδὲ μὲν οὐδέ: a variable VB formula (5x Il., 1x Od.). — ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς: a shortened
version of the more common VE formula πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς (1.58n.), also at 21.211,
22.188, 22.229 in the context of ‘battle’ as here; in addition at 23.218, 24.621, ‘Hes.’ fr.
204.92 M.-W.; the formulae referred originally to Achilleus’ speed in battle (cf. 22.8,
22.173, 230; revitalization here is considered by Pucci [1993] 1998, 102: an allusion

294 κηδείους: attribute of κασιγνήτους 293. — ἦμαρ: ‘day’.

295–297 οὐδὲ μὲν οὐδέ μ’ ἔασκες: emphatic negation (‘no, you would also not let me’), governs
κλαίειν 297 (on οὐδέ after an affirmative clause, R 24.8); μέν is answered by ἀλλά in 297, which
connects ἔασκες and ἔφασκες (iterative forms of ἐάω and φημί: R 16.5).
296 πέρσεν: aor. of πέρθω ‘sack’. — θείοιο: on the declension, R 11.2.
Commentary   137

to his imminent death by reference to ὠκύμορος at 1.417; but see FOR 39). — θείοιο
Μύνητος: as a genitive attribute of πόλιν, a specification of the town’s ruler (LfgrE s.v.
πόλις 1358.8  ff.), linked by chiasmus with Ἀχιλλῆος θείοιο at 297, which in turn is a gen-
itive attribute of κουριδίην ἄλοχον at 298 (on θεῖος, see 279n.). Some scholars interpret
this as a vague indication that Mynes is to be identified as Briseïs’ husband (Reinhardt
1961, 53; Pucci [1993] 1998, 102  f.; Dué 2002, 13 with n. 36; guardedly Leaf; Edwards on
291–294; Wathelet s.v. Μύνης 1439 n. 6).
297b–299 The plan for a wedding between Achilleus and Briseïs is proba-
bly an ad hoc invention on Homer’s part (Willcock 1977, 52  f.). Be that as it
may, the passage is further evidence of the significant emotional relationship
between Achilleus and Briseïs, which was also evident earlier in the story of
the Iliad, e.g. in her reaction to being led away (1.348 [with n.], cf. 1.429  f.) and
in Achilleus’ speech at 9.336/341–343 (Taplin 1992, 213–216). The question of
whether Briseïs – as a captive – was even in a position to become Achilleus’
wife (Leaf; Willcock; consideration of the legal situation in Wickert-
Micknat 1982, 84; Weinsanto 1983, 49  f.) – cf. Achilleus’ remarks to the con-
trary at 9.393–397 – is probably less relevant, since the motif fulfils primarily
narratological functions: (1) the hopes – perhaps unrealistic – that Patroklos
aroused in Briseïs in order to console her are linked with his friendliness and
compassion (295–297a n.) in order that they can serve as praise for the dead
and make his death appear even worse (282–302n.; Edwards on 298–299;
Hebel 1970, 122  f.; Farron 1979, 29 n. 43; Ferrari 1986, 68; cf. schol. bT on
298–299). (2) The mention of a wedding in Achilleus’ homeland serves to illus-
trate the distance between the two characters; it contrasts with Achilleus’
interest in Briseïs, which has since cooled, and reveals the different levels of
knowledge the two characters possess: Briseïs cannot know that Achilleus has
chosen death (cf. 328–333, 420–423) and that there will be no future together in
his homeland (Scully 1990, 123  f.; Taplin 1992, 216). She will only be reunited
with Achilleus at the end of the Iliad (24.676), when he can return to ‘normal-
ity’ after having effected his revenge (de Jong 1987, 113; cf. 24.673–676n.). (3)
That Patroklos was meant to conduct the bride to the groom and arrange the
official wedding celebration (298  f.) – normally the task of the parents, i.e. the
ones who give the bride away (Wickert-Micknat 1982, 95  f.) – may emphasize
once more the special trust Achilleus places in him. (4) On the characterP-level,
the emphasis on Patroklos’ compassion perhaps represents an indirect appeal
to Achilleus (a sort of three-way conversationP) attempting to remind him of
his friend’s promise (suggestion by Nünlist and van der Mije). In that case,
the two speeches of mourning would need to be imagined as temporally con-
secutive (cf. 303n.).
138   Iliad 19

297b ἔφασκες: to be taken as parallel to ἔασκες at 295; on the augmented iterative form,

see Chantr. 1.319  f. — Ἀχιλλῆος θείοιο: 279n.
298 κουριδίην ἄλοχον: an inflectible VB formula (gen./dat./acc. sing.: 3x Il., 2x Od., 1x
h.Ven.). ἄ-λοχος is a possessive compound (< *ἅ-λοχος with α copulativum [ha- < *sm̥-
‘one and the same’, cf. Latin simul, English same]: ‘who shares the same bed’; cf. ἄκοιτις
3.138n.); in conjunction with the epithet κουριδίη, the word elsewhere denotes the
lawful wives of Agamemnon (1.114), Menelaos (7.392, 13.626), Odysseus (Od. 14.245) and
Laërtes (15.356). The etymology of κουρίδιος (related to κούρη) and the meaning thus
derived from it (‘maidenly’) have occasionally been used to cast doubt on the authen-
ticity of this passage on the ground that the expression is inappropriate for a widow
(schol. D; guardedly Leaf; references to atheteses in West in the app. crit.), but the
meaning has likely faded to ‘wedded’, emphasizing the lawfulness of the relationship:
1.114n.; LfgrE s.vv. ἄλοχος and κουρίδιος with bibliography; Wickert-Micknat 1982, 82
with n. 443. — θήσειν ἄξειν τ(ε): Patroklos is to be thought of as the subject of both,
as also of δαίσειν in 299 (Willcock; Edwards; differently AH and Leaf: a change of
subject to Achilleus in the case of ἄξειν with v.l. δ’ rather than τ’; but cf. LfgrE s.v. ἄγω
121.30  ff.: used in the middle with the groom as the subject; on expressions for ‘to wed’,
see ­Wickert-Micknat 1982, 95, and Weinsanto 1983, 55  f. n. 2).
299 Phthia: Achilleus’ homeland (2.683n., cf. 19.14n.).
δαίσειν δὲ γάμον: denotes the arrangement of a wedding celebration, as at Od. 4.3  f.
(Menelaos for son and daughter), h.Ven. 141 (the groom himself), cf. δαινύναι τάφον
23.29, Od. 3.309 (LfgrE s.v. δαίνυμι; AH; Wickert-Micknat 1982, 96).
300 1st VH ≈ 24.773. — kind always: Patroklos’ helpfulness and compassion
are repeatedly stressed elsewhere in the Iliad as well (11.814–848, 15.390–
404, 16.2–46, 17.204 ≈ 21.96, 17.670–672, 23.281  f.) and form a contrast with
Achilleus’ rigid intransigence (Monsacré 1984, 91  f.; Zanker 1994, 40  f.; Most
2003, 67–70). The same motif – memories of the deceased’s friendliness and
helpfulness – occurs in Helen’s lament for Hektor (24.767–775).
τώ: ‘so … then, therefore’ (61n.). — ἄμοτον: an adverbial accusative (‘violently, vehe-
mently’), elsewhere usually linked to a form of μέμονα in a figura etymologica; but
the etymology is uncertain (negated verbal adjective of the root *men- ‘think, strive’:
Forssman 1986, 329–339, esp. 333  ff.; ChronEG 5 s.v.; or ‘indefatigable’ related to the
root of μῶλος, Latin moles: LIV 425 n. 1). — τεθνηότα: on the metrical variants τεθνηο-,
τεθνεω- and τεθνηω- (289), see G 95. — μείλιχον αἰεί: VE = Hes. Th. 406; the adjective
μείλιχος is used in early epic to characterize only Patroklos (also 17.671), the goddesss
Leto (Hes. Th. 406, 408), and Hypnos (Hes. Th. 763) (LfgrE; on the etymology, 6.214n.).

297 Ἀχιλλῆος: on the declension, R 11.3, R 3.

298 κουριδίην: on the -η- after -ι-, R 2. — ἐνί: = ἐν (R 20.1). — νηυσίν: on the declension, R 12.1.
299 ἐς: = εἰς (R 20.1). — Μυρμιδόνεσσιν: on the declension, R 11.3.
Commentary   139

The addition of αἰεί indicates that this general character trait of Patroklos was repeat-
edly apparent in specific actions; cf. the iteratives at 295, 297 (LfgrE s.v. αἰεί).
301 =  22.515, 24.746; ≈ 19.338, 22.429, 24.776; 1st VH =  22.437; ≈ 24.760; 2nd VH
=  24.722. — A speech capping formulaP of laments, thus also in the laments
for Hektor in Books 22 and 24 (282–302n.; on the speech capping formula, see
74n.): those present respond to the preceding speech of mourning with wailing
(Reiner 1938, 31  f.; Alexiou [1974] 2002, 135). — the women: This does not nec-
essarily refer only to the seven women brought to Achilleus’ quarters together
with Briseïs (245  f.), who were unacquainted with Patroklos (thus schol. AT;
AH); laments of captive women in the Myrmidon camp are mentioned already
at 18.28  ff. (Leaf; Edwards).
ἐπὶ δὲ στενάχοντο: ἐπί ‘thereupon’, i.e. wails in response to the preceding speech
(Derderian 2001, 26 n. 46; Tsagalis 2004, 48  f. n. 153, 66 n. 205). στ. is elsewhere used
intransitively in the speech capping formulaeP of laments (see iterata), likewise here at
first, with the acc. obj. only added at 302 (Πάτροκλον … κήδε[α]) ‘mourn for someone/
something’; similarly but with preceding acc. obj. and γοῶντες: 18.315/355 (Πάτροκλον
ἀνεστενάχοντο γ.), Od. 9.467 (τοὺς δὲ στενάχοντο γ.), in addition act. at Il. 23.211 (τὸν …
ἀναστενάχουσιν), cf. 19.132 (τὴν αἰεὶ στενάχεσχ’): Ebeling s.vv. ἀναστενάχω, στενάχω.
302 Awareness of changed circumstances and mourning for one’s own fate as it
follows from bereavement are set motifs in laments (286–339n.). The sight of
the slain Patroklos and the mourning for him trigger a lament by the women,
into which is merged sorrow for their own suffering; similarly, among men,
Achilleus’ remembrance of Patroklos, and in particular his worry for his father
and son, lead to anxious thoughts of what has been left behind in the home-
land (326–339): Leaf; Edwards on 287–300 and 301–302; Alexiou (1974) 2002,
231 n. 7; Crotty 1994, 49; Derderian 2001, 30  f.; cf. 290b n., 292n., 339n.
πρόφασιν: on the meaning, see 262n.; here it elucidates a discrepancy between an
external, visible action (LfgrE s.v.: ‘evidently, as anyone could see’ [transl.]; Robert 1976,
340: ‘officiellement’) and an internal motivation: the lament for Patroklos is the cause
(or mere excuse) for mourning for one’s own losses (cause: Leaf; Edwards; Heiden
1991, 7  f.; Most 2003, 59; mere excuse: schol. D; Lohmann 1988, 21; Pucci [1993] 1998,
104; cautiously Rawlings 1975, 26: because of the absence of μέν, the contrast between
mourning for Patroklos and personal grief is only implicit).  – Πάτροκλον πρόφασιν
became proverbial (Eust. 1185.35  f.), e.g. Plut. Mor. 546  f, Ach. Tat. 2.34.7, Charito 8.5.2
(cf. Leutsch 1851, 606). — σφῶν … αὐτέ‿ων: reflexive pronoun of the 3rd pers. used as
a possessive gen. and amplified by αὐτός (G 81; Schw. 2.206; Chantr. 1.268; Jeremiah

301 ἔφατο: impf. of φημί; on the middle, R 23. — ἐπὶ … στενάχοντο: on the so-called tmesis,
R 20.2.
302 αὐτέ‿ων: on the synizesis, R 7. — κήδε(α) ἑκάστη: on the prosody, R 5.1, R 4.6 (cf. 277n.).
140   Iliad 19

2012, 52–54); on the form in -ε‿ων, see Wackernagel 1916, 4–6. — κήδε(α): ‘sorrow’
(1.445n.), here particularly that caused by the loss of kinsmen (AH; Faesi; Ebeling s.v.
κῆδος; LfgrE s.v.; cf. 6.240–241n.; differently Anastassiou 1973, 110  f.; Wickert-Mick-
nat 1983, 6; Tsagalis 2004, 67: also generally of grief due to being enslaved). — ἑκάστη:
303–309 The pleas of the ‘elders’ (Greek gérontes) and Achilleus’ refusal refer to
the meal typically taken between assembly and battle (155–183n.) and to the
institution of the council of ‘elders’ (Hainsworth 1966, 162; cf. 2.53n., 2.194n.,
19.303n.). Achilleus himself will not eat, but will be refreshed by Athena at
340–356. The joint meal, an important element of Odysseus’ suggestions for
the process of reconciliation (179–180n.), will take place only after the battle,
at 23.35  ff. (Edwards on 303–339; cf. 24.3n.).
303 The view shifts abruptly from Briseïs and the mourning women: ‘about him’
(Greek autón amphí) at the beginning of the sentence points to Achilleus, who
was mentioned by name in Briseïs’ speech (295/297; his last action was dis-
solving the assembly at 276). The position at VB and the unusual word order
(see below) highlight this: next to Briseïs and the mourning female captives,
he is the central, dominant person who forms the focal point of another group
(on the use of αὐτός, 120n., 1.4n.; Bonifazi 2009, 12  f.; Jeremiah 2012, 54  ff.).
The unexpected transition can also be taken to indicate that the two groups
have lined up next to one another at the same time: here Briseïs (with the
other women in her wake), who in her mourning speech mentions Achilleus
(295–299), there Achilleus, around whom are gathered the Achaian ‘elders’,
who wish to persuade him to join the meal (cf. Lohmann 1988, 23). — Greek
gérontes ‘the elders’ is a technical term for the elite, regardless of the age of
individual members (see 309 basilḗas): 1.26n., 2.53n.
ἠγερέθοντο: from ἀγείρω (‘they assembled’), the formation is not entirely clear (2.303–
304n.); ἀμφί is a ‘postposition’ (G 98) only here, elsewhere always a preposition: LfgrE
s.v. ἠγερέθομαι.
304 The verse combines several pleas of similar content in the form of indirect
speech (on this, Richardson 1990, 73  f.; Beck 2012, 87  f.); it serves as a speech
introduction for the following direct speech and points to Achilleus’ dismissive
attitude as well as his mood (Edwards 1970, 26 and on 304–308; de Jong [1987]
2004, 115  f.; but cf. the speech introduction formulaP at 1.364 [with n.]).
λισσόμενοι: denotes insistently delivered pleas (1.15n.), cf. 306 μὴ  … κελεύετε. —
στοναχίζων: on the usage (moaning from sorrow or pain) and the spelling, 2.95n.; LfgrE
s.v. στεναχίζω, στοναχίζω.

304 ὅ: on the anaphoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17.

Commentary   141

305 ≈ 17.154; 2nd VH ≈ 11.616. — companion: The Greek term hétaroi/hetaíroi

denotes (a) friends who stand in a close relationship with one another (cf. 209–
210n.), (b) a group of ‘companions, comrades’ linked as participants in a joint
enterprise (LfgrE s.v. ἑταῖρος; van Wees 1992, 335 n. 67; on the Achaian com-
manders as hetaíroi, see Spahn 2006, 176). By designating the leading charac-
ters in the Achaian army his hetaíroi, Achilleus signals that he feels himself to
be part of their group, even if he is currently resisting their insistent pleas to
rejoin the common undertaking (LfgrE s.v. 750.25  ff.). In the embassy in Book 9,
he was accused by Aias of having turned his back on the friendship among the
commanders when he rejected the proposal for reconciliation (9.630  f.).
τις: collective, ‘any (who may be considered)’ (AH; Schw. 2.214  f.).
306–308 Achilleus argues much as he did in the military assembly at 200–214
(on which, 199–214n., 203–214n., 214n.), but in a more restrained manner, in
accord with the situation: by mentioning the sating of his heart, he perhaps
implies that he means first to sate it with bloody battle (cf. 209–214, 213  f. with
n., 22.346  f.) and laments (cf. e.g. 23.10  f., 23.157, 24.513); his assertion that he
does not intend to eat or drink before sunset, i.e. that he will continue to fast
until the end of the battle (308n.), suggests that for him, revenge is a priority
(cf. 207n.). On ‘food and drink’, cf. 161n.
306 μή … πρίν: ‘not before’, adverbial πρίν, is defined more closely in terms of content
only at 308 via δύντα δ’ ἐς ἠέλιον, with a change from the expected construction πρὶν
ἠέλιον δῦναι, similarly at 16.62  f. (Leaf; Edwards on 304–308: ‘altered to a more vivid
expression’; cf. AH on 16.62); in this way, Achilleus’ drive to persevere comes to the fore
in 308 (with n.).
307 strong sorrow: Greek áchos denotes a suddenly occurring mental anguish,
followed by rage and aggression (125n.), e.g. in the following typical situation:
death of a battle companion – áchos – act of revenge (2.169–171n.). For Achilleus,
this ongoing anguish means that he suffers from any delay in taking his revenge
and thus will tolerate no distraction (cf. 147–153, 213  f., 312  f.), but instead
pursues his goal inexorably (365–368 [athetized by West], 419  ff., 20.75  ff.).
ἄσασθαι: here and at 9.489, of physical satiety; elsewhere usually in a military context,
of satiety of the blood and flesh of warriors (the subjects are scavenging dogs and – with
ἄ. in a metaphorical sense – Ares and lances) or of having one’s fill of battle (402, 423)
or lament (LfgrE s.v. ἄμεναι; Latacz 1966, 181  f.; Arnould 1986, 271  f.). — φίλον ἦτορ:
cf. φίλον … λαιμόν 209n. ἦτορ is semantically equivalent to κῆρ at 319  f. (1.188n.; Jahn
1987, 206); on the meaning of φίλος in this expression (here possessive), 3.31n.

305 ἐπιπείθεθ’: = ἐπιπείθεται (R 5.1) from ἐπιπείθεσθαι ‘follow’, here approximately ‘obey, com-
ply with a wish’.
142   Iliad 19

308 till the sun goes down: on specifications of the duration of battle, see 157n.,
μενέω καὶ τλήσομαι: stresses Achilleus’ firm determination to wait for his meal until
the end of the battle and to endure until evening without food or drink; elsewhere the
phrase refers to perseverance in battle, cf. 2.299 Odysseus’ appeal to the army, 11.317
Diomedes’ assurances to Agamemnon (LfgrE s.v. τλῆναι 555.23  ff.).
309–310 the rest  …, | but the two  …: a variant of the antithetical motif ‘the
others … x, A (on their own) … y’ (1.198n., 2.1–6n.): Achilleus is not yet alone
with his grief, since a few men stay behind to comfort him, while the majority
leave to eat. Only after Achilleus’ lament do all except Achilleus go refresh
themselves (345  f.). — the two sons of Atreus: Agamemnon and his brother
Menelaos, the two chief initiators of the Trojan expedition (1.16n., CH 2).
Agamemnon, who avoided direct conversation with Achilleus during the
assembly, notably remains behind as well and joins in the attempt to cheer the
grieving hero (312). This and the fact that Achilleus allows him to do so likely
indicate that both men are concerned to achieve a certain degree of mtutal
ἀπεσκέδασεν: here active ‘he dismissed’, as in the dissolution of assemblies at 19.171,
23.158, 23.162, elsewhere of assemblies usually in the mid.-pass. ‘dispersing (them-
selves)’ (1.487, 2.398, 19.277, 24.2, Od. 1.274, 2.258, cf. Il. 15.657, 23.3  f.): LfgrE s.v. (σ)
κεδάσσαι, σκίδν(ημι), (σ)κίδναμαι; on the ny ephelkystikon that ‘makes position’, G 33,
1.388n. — δοιὼ δ’ Ἀτρεΐδα: δοιώ is a metrical variant of δύο (3.236n.); on the dual with
the addition of the number ‘two’, Schw. 2.48  f., Chantr. 2.25. — μενέτην: ‘endure’, as
at 308 (LfgrE). — δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς: 48n.
311 2nd VH ≈ 9.432, 16.196. — a verse constructed according to the ‘law of increas-
ing parts’ (87n.). — Nestor, the wise counsellor (1.247b–252n., 2.601n.), and
Idomeneus, the Kretan leader (CH 3; 2.645n.), like the elderly Phoinix,
Achilleus’ tutor and advisor (CH 5; cf. 9.434–605), are among the older genera-
tion of heroes. All the individuals listed at 310  f., with the exception of Phoinix,
belong to Agamemnon’s inner circle of advisors (cf. 2.404–409 with n.;
on Odysseus, see also 155–183n.). The mention of Phoinix is likely an echo of
the embassy in Book 9, where he similarly attempts to influence Achilleus; he
rarely appears elsewhere in the Iliad (Edwards on 310–313; Reichel 1994, 126
n. 28; West 2011, 218  f. [on 9.168]).

308 ἠέλιον: = ἥλιον. — μενέω: fut.; on the uncontracted form, R 6. — ἔμπης: ‘nevertheless, in

any case’.
309 βασιλῆας: on the form, R 3; cf. R 11.3.
310 δοιὼ … Ἀτρεΐδα μενέτην: dual (R 18.1); on the unaugmented form, R 16.1.
Commentary   143

Νέστωρ: Asyndeton at VB within a list of names is not unusual; it marks the begin-
ning of a new series: AH on 2.498; West on Hes. Th. 245 (collection of examples). —
ἱππηλάτα: usually linked formulaically with γέρων after caesura C 1; an epithetP of
heroes of the older generation; aside from Phoinix, also of Peleus (7.125, 9.438, 11.772,
18.331), Oineus (9.581), Tydeus (4.387 without γέρων) and Nestor (Od. 3.436, 3.444). On
the nom. in -ᾰ and the meaning of the title-like epithet (‘charioteer’), see 2.336n. on the
synonym ἱππότα. — Φοίνιξ: on the accent, West 1998, XXI.
312 τέρποντες: denotes the attempt to cheer and console Achilleus by any means possi-
ble (Latacz 1966, 194, 214, 219; LgfrE s.v. τέρπω). — πυκινῶς ἀκαχήμενον: ἀκαχήμενος
serves as the perf. part. of ἄχνυμαι and, in contrast to the pres. and aor., emphasizes a
continuing state of mind (‘sad, gloomy’; cf. 307 pres. ἱκάνει) that results from a preced-
ing stroke of fate, cf. ἄχος 307n. (LfgrE s.v. ἄχνυμαι, esp. 1771.66  ff.; Anastassiou 1973,
45–47; Mawet 1979, 336  f.). πυκινῶς (‘tightly, closely, much’) stresses the intensity of
emotion (cf. LfgrE s.v. πυκινός 1632.46  ff., used inter alia with ἄχος: ‘overwhelming’; on
the portrayal of intensity in the emotional sphere, cf. Snell [1939] 1999, 254  f.; differ-
ently Anastassiou 1973, 52  f., 62  f.: πυκινὸν ἄχος ‘confinement, stifling’); the phrase
occurs also at Od. 19.95, 20.84, 23.360, and similarly in expressions for ‘sigh, groan’, as
at Il. 10.9, 18.318, 21.417 (Krapp 1964, 31; Kaimio 1977, 52); on the metaphorical use of
πυκινός, 2.55n.; LfgrE s.v. 1632.46  ff. — οὐδέ τι θυμῷ: a variable VE formula (οὐδέ/μηδέ:
5x Il., 4x Od.; in addition with acc. θυμόν 1x Od.); θυμός is here used pregnantly of the
intensity of a mental process: deeply felt joy (Jahn 1987, 227).
313 went into the jaws of the bleeding battle: The metaphor ‘jaws of bleed-
ing battle’ likely derives from the notion of a predator’s jaws, similarly at 10.8,
20.359 (Achilleus’ battle paraenesis): Leaf; Edwards; LfgrE s.v. στόμα; cf. the
image of Ares being sated with the blood of slain warriors, 5.289, 20.77  f., 22.267
(Fränkel 1921, 62). This is an amplification of the otherwise common expres-
sion of terms for battle (fray) with Greek dýnō ‘plunge into, enter’ (on which,
πρίν: 169–170n.; on the differing prosodic effect of πρ- here (short at a syntactic break)
and at 306 (‘making position’ in the case of closely connected words), see Tichy 1981,
29. — αἱματόεντος: elsewhere usually an attribute of body parts, garments, weapons,
etc.; of πόλεμος at 9.650 and of ἤματα at 9.326, both in direct speeches by Achilleus,
the only characterP who uses the adjective metaphorically. This may indicate that the
narratorP is reporting Achilleus’ thoughts in the πρίν clause, which is probably already
anticipated in οὐδέ … θυμῷ | τέρπετο (secondary focalizationP; Edwards on 310–313;
Griffin 1986, 52; de Jong [1987] 2004, 119; additional epithets with πόλεμος: see LfgrE
s.v. 1334.54  ff.).

312 τέρποντες: ‘attempting to cheer’ (conative). — οὐδέ: ‘but not’; in Homer connective οὐδέ
also occurs after affirmative clauses (R 24.8).
313 δύμεναι: inf. of the root aor. ἔδυν; on the form, R 16.4.
144   Iliad 19

314 VB ≈ 339 (with n.). — Remembering: Achilleus attempts to recreate the famil-
iar intimacy via remembrance of his friend, a remembrance that, according to
his own words, is meant to accompany him beyond the grave (22.387–390);
cf. also Achilleus’ memories during a sleepless night at 24.3–11. Parallels in
the epic of Gilgamesh: the grieving Gilgamesh recalls adventures undertaken
jointly with his friend Enkidu (Di Benedetto [1994] 1998, 314; West 1997,
345  f.; cf. NTHS 54–57).
ἁδινῶς ἀνενείκατο: ἁδινῶς originally meant ‘close to one another’ (cf. 2.87n.), in the
context of laments ‘repeated, continuous’, and characterizes intense, repeatedly uttered
wails, cf. adverbial ἁδινὸν/-ὰ στενάχω/στοναχίζω at 23.225, 24.123, Od. 7.274, 24.317, also
Il. 24.510 with κλαῖε, adjectival with γόοιο at 18.316, 22.430, 23.17, 24.747 (Krapp 1964,
30  f.; Kaimio 1977, 49  ff.; Watkins [1979] 1994, 622  f.); ἀνενείκατο is here thus used sim-
ilarly to στενάχω/στοναχίζω (cf. also Hdt. 1.86.3 ἀνενεικάμενόν τε καὶ ἀναστενάξαντα),
i.e. ‘brought up (sc. breath)’, probably in the sense ‘sighed deeply’ (AH; Leaf; Edwards;
LfgrE s.v. ἐνεῖκαι; Krapp 1964, 31; Rengakos 1994, 50  f.; differently schol. bT: the object
is the voice, cf. Apoll. Rhod. 3.635; on the formation of the stem, 194–195n.).
315–339 On the content and structure of the speech, see 286–339n. (also for bib-
liography on mourning speeches in general).
315–321a Section (A) (contrasting ‘then – now’) is linked to the theme of eating,
which has already been reprised at 304  ff., and to the actual situation prior
to departure for battle: (1) remembering Patroklos’ services as a friend during
the morning meal, (2) adherence to Achilleus’ renounciation of food and drink
(Schadewaldt [1938] 1966, 134 n. 2; cf. 286–339n. end).
315 dearest of all my companions: a periphrastic denominationP represent-
ing Achilleus’ perspective (secondary focalizationP; cf. 209–210n.); the same
phrase (in the nom.) occurs at 17.411 ≈ 655 in indirectly reported messages
meant to inform Achilleus of the death of Patroklos.
ἦ ῥά νυ: an emphatic beginning to a speech (6.215n.). — δυσάμμορε: an ‘intensify-
ing contamination’ of ἄμμορος (literally ‘without a share’, subsequently ‘unfortunate,
miserable’: 6.408n.) and δύσμορος (‘with a bad fate’: 22.481), thus ‘very unfortunate’
(Risch 214, 229; LfgrE s.vv. δύσμορος, δυσάμμορος; on -μμ-, see G 16); in early epic only
in the Iliad, always in the context ‘lament’, also at 22.428 (Priam on Hekabe) and 22.485a
= 24.727a (Andromache on herself and Hektor). — φίλταθ’ ἑταίρων: on the superlative,
cf. 287n. The same address occurs at 13.249 (Idomeneus to Meriones) and Od. 24.517
(Athena in the guise of Mentor to Laërtes).

314 ἀνενείκατο: Attic = ἀν-ηνέγκετο.

315 ἦ ῥα: ‘indeed’, ἦ emphatic (R 24.4, on ῥα R 24.1).
Commentary   145

316 Patroklos and other ‘companions, comrades’ (Greek hétaroi/hetaíroi) of

Achilleus serve as assistants for domestic tasks also elsewhere in the Iliad:
food preparation (9.201–220: Patroklos and Automedon; 24.474  f.: Automedon
and Alkimos; 24.622–626: Automedon and others), preparation of quarters for
the night (9.620  f., 658–661: Patroklos as organizer; 24.643–648: companions
and female servants): LfgrE s.v. ἑταῖρος, esp. 750.8  ff.; Spahn 2006, 175–183,
esp. 177–179.
αὐτός: Together with καὶ σύ (315), the word stresses the fact that his friend at times
rendered this service ‘in person’ (LfgrE s.v. 1641.44  ff.). — λαρόν: ‘pleasant to the taste’
(schol. D, A and T: ≈ ἡδύ); *λαϝαρός/λαϝερός is likely related to (ἀπο-)λαύω ‘enjoy, savor’
(Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v.). — δεῖπνον: 275n.
317 quickly and [expertly] swiftly: The hurried bustle is parallel to the haste
of the departing Achaians (‘were urgent’), the image as a whole is representa-
tive of Achilleus’ current urging to depart for battle. On the synonym doubling
(aípsa kai otraléōs: ‘quickly and swiftly’), 1.160n., 2.39n.
318 = 8.516; ≈ 19.237; 1st VH = 4.352; ≈ 8.110, 17.230; 2nd VH ≈ 3.132. — breakers
of horses: 237n.
ἔφ’ … φέρειν … ἄρηα: ‘to attack someone’; on this expression, and on the metonymic
use of ἄρης/Ἄρης, 237n., 3.132n. — πολύδακρυν: an epithet with ἄρης, πόλεμος, μάχη,
ὑσμίνη (3.132n.); elsewhere only said by Trojans (3.132 Iris-Laodike, 3.165 Priam, 8.516
Hektor, 22.487 Andromache; 17.192 and 544 in the narrator text); perhaps used here
by the narrator in reference to the speaker’s situation (Pucci [1993] 1998, 107; cf. 313
πολέμου … αἱματόεντος [with n.]).
319 But now: forms a transition to a portrayal of the current situation with a con-
trasting ‘then – now’, as at 289 (cf. 288–290a n.). This is characterized by the
comparison ‘you – I’ (319, 321); on this pattern in laments, see Alexiou (1974)
2002, 171–177; Tsagalis 2004, 90–102.
δεδαϊγμένος: 203n.; a reprise of Achilleus’ description in the military assembly at 211  f.
(with n.). — αὐτὰρ ἐμὸν κῆρ: a VE formula (1x Il., 3x Od.). The use after caesura C 2 (on
which, 1.194n.) causes enjambmentP and thus emphasizes the runover word ἄκμηνον
(Edwards); on κῆρ, 307n.

316 παρὰ … ἔθηκας: so-called tmesis (R 20.2), to which μοι 315 belongs: ‘you set beside me’.
317 σπερχοίατ(ο): iterative opt.; on the ending, R 16.2.
318 ≈ 237 (s.d.). — ἱπποδάμοισι: on the declension, R 11.2. — φέρειν: final/consecutive inf.
319 αὐτάρ: ‘but’, answers μέν (R 24.2).
146   Iliad 19

320 ἄκμηνον: 163n. — πόσιος καὶ ἐδητύος: 231n. — ἔνδον ἐόντων: a VE formula (1x Il.,
4x Od.), here either concessive in relation to πόσιος καὶ ἐδητύος (AH, Faesi) or partitive
(Leaf: ‘of the store that is in my hut’).
321a σῇ ποθῇ: action noun related to ποθέω (‘miss, long for’) in the dat. of cause, with the
possessive pronoun functioning as an objective gen., cf. 336  f. (ἐμὴν … ἀγγελίην), Od.
11.202 (σός … πόθος): AH; Edwards; Schw. 2.203; Porzig 1942, 71; LfgrE s.v.: ‘because
I miss you’; cf. 6.362n. The phrase – stressed by progressive enjambmentP – also gives
an additional reason why Achilleus cannot eat: the loss of his intimacy with Patroklos,
whom he does not wish to replace with anyone else (Nimis 1987, 37; on the sentence
structure with enjambments, Allan 2009, 143  ff. [esp. 147]).
321b Transition to the narrative section, analogous to 290b, with an amplifica-
tion of emotion: worse suffering is unimaginable for Achilleus; cf. 23.46  f., sim-
ilarly Hektor at 6.450–455 (with n.).
κακώτερον ἄλλο: a variable formula (masc./neut.) after caesura B 2 (2x Il., 3x Od.).
322–337 Achilleus’ anxiety for his elderly father Peleus, and the image of how
both men fear a message reporting that the other has died, frame sections (2)–
(4) (ring-compositionP), in which all three generations are mentioned (see VE
322 and 337); on the structure, see 286–339n.; on the potentially expressive
alliteration of p-sounds in these sections, see Martin 1989, 65; on the disputed
authenticity of 326  ff., see 326–337n. The motif of fearing a message from home
reporting that someone close has died is found already at 16.13–16. But now,
after the death of Patroklos, Achilleus gives it a different weight: his mourning
for his friend cannot be compared with his grief for another person close to
him. – From the memories of Achilleus and others scattered throughout the
Iliad, one can form an image of the absent Peleus, the wealthy and powerful
ruler of the Myrmidons, who gave parting advice to his son but would now have
to rely on the latter’s help due to his own advanced age (e.g. 7.125  f., 9.252–259,
393  f., 400, 11.783–790, 24.534–542; cf. Achilleus’ worries in the underworld at
Od. 11.494  ff.; genealogy: Il. 21.188  f.): Crotty 1994, 24–41, 80  f.; on this ‘scat-
tering technique’ in general, Friedrich 1975, 80  f.; Latacz (1995) 1997, 90 n.
107. In Book 24, Priam deliberately evokes the memory of Achilleus’ equally
aged father in order to soften him – and succeeds in this (24.486–492, 507–512,
515  ff., prepared for at 22.418–422). From Book 22 on, the father-son motif is
also picked up via the figure of Priam and is gradually brought to a climax in

320 ἄκμηνον: sc. ἐστίν. — ἐόντων: = ὄντων (R 16.6).

321–322 οὐ … πάθοιμι, | οὐδ’ εἴ κεν … πυθοίμην: κεν = ἄν; potential, with the modal particle
in the dependent clause rather than the main clause (R 21.1; ↑). — μέν: ≈ μήν (R 24.6). — τοῦ …
πυθοίμην: with gen. of person (‘of, for’) and part.
Commentary   147

Book 24 (cf. 22.38–76, 22.416–428, 24.362–439n.); cf. also 23.222  ff.: Achilleus

weeps for Patroklos as a father does for his child (Zanker 1994, 15  f.). This
is anticipated on the divine level by Zeus’ mourning for his son Sarpedon at
16.431  ff. (Edwards, Introd. 10).
322 VB = 22.220, 22.349, 22.351, 23.346, Od. 14.140. — οὐδ’ εἴ κεν … πυθοίμην: οὐδ’ εἰ marks
the so-called ‘«not even + hyperbole» motif’ (cf. de Jong on Od. 4.595–598). εἰ with κεν
makes clear the potential (1.60n., 2.123n.), particularly given the absence of the modal
particle in the main clause here (Schw. 2.324; Chantr. 2.217; on the absence of modal
particles, Willmott 2008, 248–250). — τοῦ πατρός: an article functioning as a demon-
strative for emphatic effect, ‘the father’ in the sense ‘my father’ (Chantr. 2.164; Nuss-
baum 1998, 115  f.; differently AH, Leaf, Edwards with Brugmann’s conjecture: οὗ as a
reflexive possessive pronoun, here for the 1st person).
323 2nd VH (after caesura B 2) ≈ 16.11, Od. 16.332 (after caesura B 1 with θαλερόν rather
than τέρεν: 24.9, Od. 11.391). — που: in direct speeches, signals a degree of uncertainty
(here also at 327, 335) ‘in assertions, the accuracy of which one is certain about, but
without being able to prove it’ (Wackernagel [1895] 1953, 701 [transl.]; cf. Denniston
490  ff.: ‘I suppose, I think’): on balance, Achilleus assumes that Peleus is still alive. —
τέρεν κατὰ δάκρυον εἴβει: τέρεν (‘smooth, tender’) is a generic epithetP of δάκρυ(-ον)
(collective singular: ‘stream of tears’), also of χρόα, φύλλα and ἄνθος/ἄνθεα; on the ety-
mology and formulaic use, see 3.142n. (κατὰ) δάκρυον εἴβει is a variable VE formula
(3x Il., 7x Od.); on additional variants, 1.413n., 3.142n. (δάκρυ χέουσα); Haslam 1976,
203–207 (δάκρυα λείβ-).
324 1st VH ≈ 6.463. — land: On Greek dḗmos, which denotes in part a land and
the area inhabited by a community, and in part the inhabitants themselves,
see 2.198n.
χήτει τοιοῦδ’ υἷος: χήτει is an ossified dat. sing. (‘lack’) used as a preposition (‘in the
absence of’): 6.463n.; the entire phrase expresses a certain self-assurance: implied is
the thought of how a father might miss a ‘son of such qualities’ (Staten 1993, 356). — ὃ
δ(έ): anaphoric with τοιοῦδ’ υἷος, but simultaneously the subject of πολεμίζω (325) with
the attraction of the expected πολεμίζει to the person of the speaker: via the switch from
the 3rd to the 1st person and the fact that he puts the thought in an exclamation-like
main clause (rather than a subsidiary clause), Achilleus stresses the circumstances,
painful also for himself, of a warrior in a foreign land (AH; cf. Edwards). — ἀλλοδαπῷ:
‘foreign, distant’ (3.48n.), cf. Od. 8.211, 9.36 (δήμῳ/γαίῃ ἐν ἀ.).

323 Φθίηφι: locative; on the form, R 11.4. — κατὰ … εἴβει: so-called tmesis (R 20.2).
324 χήτει: causal dat.: ‘from the lack of, because … is lacking’. — υἷος: gen. sing. dependent
on χήτει; on the declension, R 12.3. — ἀλλοδαπῷ ἐνί: on the hiatus-bridging non-syllabic ι (allo-
dapṓy ení), M 12.2.
148   Iliad 19

325 for the sake of accursed Helen: The idea of the elderly father who must do
without his son’s support awakens Achilleus’ displeasure with the person for
whose sake the war is being conducted. He had already made clear in Book 1
that he had no real reason to go to war against the Trojans (1.152–157, cf. also
9.337–339). – This is the only passage in the Iliad in which Helen is character-
ized negatively by an Achaian (AH; on the Achaians’ evaluation of her, see
2.356n.: Helen as the innocent victim of an abductor); Hera and Athene at
2.161  f., 2.177  f. (2.161n.) phrase this more neutrally. But Achilleus’ frankness
is understandable, given the loss of his friend. Helen herself, in her frequent
instances of self-abuse, speaks far more savagely (on this, 3.172–180n., 6.344–
358n.); cf. the ambivalent assessment by the Trojan elders at 3.156–160 (with
3.158n.) and Helen’s awareness at 24.775 of her effect on the Trojans. On the
criticism of Helen in the Odyssey, see de Jong on Od. 4.121–136.
ῥιγεδανῆς: one of the imprecations used exclusively by Achilleus (Griffin 1986, 52); a
Homeric hapaxP, attested very rarely in the post-Homeric period. An adjectival formation
related to ῥῖγος/ῥιγέω with the suffix -δανο-, approximately ‘causing a (cold) shudder’;
cf. ῥίγιον at Hes. Op. 703 (DELG s.v. ῥῖγος; Risch 106; LfgrE s.vv. ῥιγεδανός, ῥιγέω; schol.
AT and b: στυγητῆς; on expressions for sensations of cold in the psychosomatic range,
see 6.344n.; LfgrE s.v. στυγέω; cf. also 3.404 στυγερήν and 24.775 πεφρίκασιν [Helen on
326–337 Neoptolemos is mentioned by name only here in the Iliad; the allu-
sion to a son of Achilleus at 24.467 is perhaps to be understood generally,
since it may refer to one of the authorities commonly named in an imploring
appeal (24.466–467n.: father, mother, child). Additional mentions are found
in the Odyssey and the epic cycle: on the island of Skyros, Achilleus marries
Deidameia, daughter of King Lykomedes (Cypr., Proclus Chrest. § 7 West); the
couple’s son is first called Pyrrhos by Lykomedes, but later ‘Neoptolemos’ (‘he
for whom war is new’ or ‘who goes to war young’) by Phoinix, according to one
source because he went to war so young, according to others because Achilleus
had done so (Cypr. fr. 19 West; cf. schol. b on 326 and Cycl. fr. 4 Davies [p. 75]; on
the naming of children after their fathers’ attributes, cf. 6.402–403n.); after the
death of Achilleus, Odysseus brings Neoptolemos from Skyros to Troy; during
the sack of the city, Neoptolemos kills numerous Trojans, including Priam (Od.
11.508–532; Il. parv., Proclus Chrest. § 3 West; Il. Pers., Proclus Chrest. § 2 West;
cf. Soph. Phil.); he receives Andromache as a prize and returns home unharmed
(Od. 3.188  f., 11.533–537; Il. Pers., Proclus Chrest. § 4 West; Nost., Proclus Chrest.
§ 4 West); he is meant to marry the daughter of Menelaos (Od. 4.4  f.). – There

325 εἵνεκα: metrically lengthened initial syllable (R 10.1).

Commentary   149

are various versions of the reason for Achilleus’ sojourn on Skyros: a storm
during the journey to Troy (Cypr., Proclus Chrest. § 7 West; Il. parv. fr. 4 West,
cf. schol. T on 326); a measure taken by Peleus or Thetis to prevent Achilleus’
participation in the war against Troy and thus his early death (schol. D and
T on 326; on this, West 2013, 103  f.). On these episodes, see LfgrE and BNP
s.v. Neoptolemus; Burgess 2001, 21, 24; Tsagalis 2008, 258–261; West 2013,
108, 184  f. — The passage has been suspected as an interpolation for linguis-
tic reasons (among others, the connective in 326 [see ad loc.]: Blössner 1991,
79–84) and matters of content: (a) Neoptolemos otherwise receives no mention
in the Iliad, (b) a son of Achilleus – who went to war very young (cf. 9.438  ff.) –
is seen as inappropriate for the Iliad, particularly since Achilleus’ words at
24.538–540 suggest that he has no offspring, because Peleus has no prospect of
an heir (AH on 326 and Anh. 19  f., 22  f.; Leaf on 327; Von der Mühll 1952, 289;
Blössner loc. cit. 80 with n. 330; West 2001, 12; 2011, 359). Arguments in favor
of retaining the passage are: (1) the thematic agreement with Briseïs’ lament
and the structural parallels between the two speeches, cf. 286–339n. (Lohmann
1970, 102–105 with n. 21); (2) the unlikeliness that in the Iliad Achilleus was
meant to remain without a son given that a son was likely specified in the
myth of Troy (Kullmann 1960, 197  f., 339, 374  f.; Reinhardt 1961, 418 n. 3;
external analepsisP); he was suppressed in the Iliad to lend more emphasis
to the motif of Achilleus’ isolation (Priess 1977, 117). Phoinix’ statement that
Achilleus joined the war young does not necesarily mean that he had not yet
fathered a son. On (a), cf. the fact that other heroes’ young sons Telemachos
(2.260, 4.354) and Orestes (9.142  f./284  f.), who are not present at Troy, are also
mentioned only briefly (2.260n.; Hainsworth on 9.142; left unmentioned is
Nestor’s son Peisistratos, on whom see West on Od. 3.36). On Homer’s adap-
tation of traditional narratives to his own aims, see Edwards on 326–327 and
Introd. 15–19; Lohmann 1970, 104  f.; 1988, 24  f. Additional source-critical con-
siderations in Kullmann loc. cit. 190  ff. (priority of the material contained in
the epic cycle vis-à-vis the present passage); Blössner loc. cit. 75–80 (priority
of Od. 11.488–540 vis-à-vis the present passage). – At any rate, the use of the
father-son motif here fits well within the overall scene: Achilleus’ concern for
the well-being of his father and son with regard to his own death fits with his
sense of abandonment (cf. 321) and his abjectly sad mood, which renders him
inaccessible to consolation (cf. 312  f.): van der Valk 1964, 404  f.; Schein 1984,
144; Crotty 1994, 49.
150   Iliad 19

326 Skyros: an island east of Euboia; it is doubtful whether it is identical with

the Skyros mentioned at 9.667  f., ‘the city of Enyeus’, which was conquered
by Achilleus (Latacz 2002, section ‘The Catalogue of Ships’, item (4); on the
discrepancies with the epic cycle, Hainsworth on 9.663–665).
ἠὲ τόν: a return to the protasis of 322: dependent on πυθοίμην with a change of con-
struction from gen. to acc. and ellipsis of inf. or part. ἀποφθίμενον (AH; Leaf; Edwards;
LfgrE s.v. πεύθομαι 1205.3  ff.; Blössner 1991, 79 n. 319). If 326  ff. are retained, the sen-
tence at 324b–325 is to be understood as a parenthetical remark (i.e. with no full stop at
VE of 325).
327 1st VH =  Od. 14.44, 20.207; ≈ Od. 4.833. — The verse was athetized by Aristophanes
and Aristarchus on the ground that Achilleus’ doubts regarding his son’s well-being
are incomprehensible, particularly given the limited distance between Skyros and Troy;
but cf. van der Valk 1964, 404: the strange, exaggerated concern serves to convey
Achilleus’ mood. — εἰ που: ‘if at all’, as at 11.366, 20.453, Od. 11.458  f., etc.; cf. 323n. —
θεοειδής: a formulaic (VE) generic epithetP (2.623n.); on the common use of epithets
meaning ‘god-like’, etc., see 2.565n.
328–333 Achilleus has long since realized that he himself will die before the walls
of Troy (9.410  ff., 18.94  ff.), but he had not reckoned with the premature death
of his friend, especially given that he provided the latter with clear instructions
and warnings regarding battle at 16.87–96 and prayed to Zeus for his friend’s
happy return at 16.239  ff. (for Zeus’ reaction, see 16.250–253). His hopes were
based on the suppression and erroneous interpretation of signs: 18.9–11, and
cf. the narratorP commentary at 17.404–411 (Edwards on 17.404–411; Pelliccia
1995, 245  f.); on the expression in laments of wishes that remain unfulfilled, see
Alexiou (1974) 2002, 178; Tsagalis 2004, 42–44. – The Iliad includes a series
of increasingly concrete external prolepsesP of Achilleus’ death: frequently
in his own words, at first vaguely at 1.352 (see ad loc.) and 9.410  ff., more
concretely after Patroklos’ death and often in direct reference to it: 18.88  ff.,
98  ff., 329  ff., 19.421  f., 21.110  ff., 277  f., 23.144  ff., 24.540 (indirectly at 23.125  f.);
by gods at 1.415  ff., 505, 16.709, 18.95  f., 440  f., 464  f., 20.127  f., 337  f., 24.131  f.,
indirectly in Thetis’ laments at 18.51  ff., 24.84  ff.; also by the horse Xanthos
at 19.416  f. (see ad loc.), the dying Hektor at 22.359  f., the deceased Patroklos
who appears in Achilleus’ dream at 23.80  f.; and in the narratorP commentary
at 17.197 (409–410n.; Edwards on 17.404–411 and on 18.95–96; Duckworth
1933, 29; Schadewaldt [1936] 1997, 163–165; Lesky 1967, 93; Schein 1984, 92  f.;
Morrison 1992, 142 n. 41; on Achilleus’ awareness of his imminent death, see

326 ἠέ: ‘or (also)’. — τόν: on the demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17. — ἐνιτρέφεται:
= ἐντρέφεται (cf. R 20.1); intrans. ‘grow up in’.
Commentary   151

Griffin 1980, 95, 163; Zanker 1994, 78; de Jong on Il. 22, Introd. 16; on paral-
lels in the epic of Gilgamesh, West 1997, 341).
328 2nd VH (from θυμός on) = Od. 20.328, 21.96; ≈ 24.313. — πρίν: adverbial; resumes once
more the portrayal of the ‘then’ at 315  ff. — μοι θυμὸς … ἐώλπει: plpf. (with impf. sense)
of ἔολπα (a perf. with present sense), from ἔλπομαι ‘expect, reckon with’ (1.545n.; Schw.
1.701; as here, of an erroneous assumption at 3.112 [with n.]). On θυμός as the subject
substituting for ‘I’ in general, Pelliccia 1995, 59  f.).
329 ≈ 9.246; 2nd VH = 2.287. — The thought of death is frequently linked to the
notion that a person will not return to his or her father or family; in reference
to Achilleus at 18.101, 330  f., 23.150 (Griffin 1980, 123–127; Crotty 1994, 35  f.).
The motif of dying far from home and family is illustrated by repeated reference
to the spatial distance between Achilleus and his father (323  f., 329  f., 336  f.)
and between him and his son (326, 330–332) (Tsagalis 2004, 86). — alone:
i.e. Patroklos would not also die before the walls of Troy; cf. 330  ff. — far away
from … Argos: On the one hand, ‘Pelasgian Argos’ is the term for the entire
Myrmidon realm (2.681n.); on the other hand, in the context of remoteness
generally, ‘Argos’ may denote the Greek homeland in contrast to Troy (2.287n.).
φθείσεσθαι: on the spelling φθει- (vs. φθι-), West 1998, XXXVI; 2001, 30. — ἱπποβότοιο:
a generic epithetP of regions (‘horse-nourishing’), 14x of Argos in early epic; on the
present VE formula, 6.152n.
330–333 Achilleus apparently hoped that Patroklos would fill the void he would
leave, and intended that after the Trojan War his friend would be the execu-
tor of his will and a substitute father-figure for Neoptolemos, whom Patroklos
was meant to accompany home (332  f.). This hope, no longer realizable, corre-
sponds to that of Briseïs at 297  ff. At the same time, the distance between the
two figures is increased by Achilleus’ advance knowledge of his early death
330 1st VH = 2.237, 18.330, Od. 18.266. — win back again: The Greek term nées-
thai means literally ‘escape unscathed, return home unharmed’ (cf. German
genesen), and is in contrast to 329 ‘waste, die’ (LfgrE s.v. νέομαι).
Τροίῃ: refers to the region of the ‘Troad’ (cf. 2.141n.). — δέ τε: ‘the most difficult example
of δέ τε’ (Ruijgh 699 [transl.] with conjecture δ’ ἔτι).

328 ἐνὶ στήθεσσιν: 66n.

329 ἀπ(ό): here ‘far from’. — Ἄργεος: on the uncontracted form, R 6.
330 αὐτοῦ: adv., ‘on the spot, here’. — Φθίηνδε: on the suffix -δε, R 15.3. — νέεσθαι: pres. inf.
with fut. sense (cf. 329 φθείσεσθαι); on the uncontracted form, R 6.
152   Iliad 19

331 2nd VH = Od. 3.61, 10.332; ≈ Il. 1.300 (with n.), Od. 15.258, h.Ap. 497, 511 (παρά);
Od. 2.430, 10.244, h.Bacch. 35 (ἀνά/ἐπί + acc.). — in a fast black ship: on epi-
thets of ships, 1.12b n., 1.141n.
ὡς ἄν: final, with potential opt.; similarly Od. 15.538, 16.297, etc. (Chantr. 2.272). — μοι
τὸν παῖδα: the possessive function of the article (Leaf; Edwards; Chantr. 2.164; Nuss-
baum 1998, 114; cf. 322n.), rather than anaphoric with 326 (AH). — σὺν νηῒ μελαίνῃ:
formulaic (σὺν/ἐν/παρὰ ν. μ.: 3x Il., 12x Od., 1x Hes. Op., 2x h.Ap.); νηῒ μελαίνῃ is an
inflectible VE formula (1.300n.).
332 Skyros: 326n., 326–337n.
333 = Od. 7.225, 19.526; VE = Il. 5.213, Od. 4.15. — δμῶας: elsewhere in the Iliad only the fem.
pl. δμῳαί, here masc. as a collective for all Achilleus’ servants (schol. b; LfgrE s.v. δμώς);
δμῶας and δῶμα are part of a tripartite enumeration (cf. the ‘law of increasing parts’
87n.), and the verse as a whole is in apposition to ἕκαστα (Gschnitzer 1976, 46–52, esp.
50  f.; Wickert-Micknat 1983, 140, 155–157 with n. 19; ­Schmidt 2007, 245, 248  f.; cf. the
punctuation in West; differently Hainsworth on Od. 7.225; Ramming 1973, 9  f.; Jones
1973, 23: δμῶάς τε … δῶμα in apposition to κτῆσιν). — ὑψερεφές: an epithet of δῶ(μα)
(in addition to the iterata, 8x Od.) and θάλαμος (Il. 9.582); a compound from ὕψ-ι and
ἐρέφω (‘roof over’, cf. 1.39n.), i.e. ‘with a high roof’, a characteristic of the large, airy
houses of the wealthy or the gods (3.423n.; on ὑψηρεφέος [9.582], the metrically alterna-
tive form for the gen., and on the juncture of the compound elements [-ερ-/-ηρ-], Risch
226; Chantr. 1.111). — μέγα δῶμα: a VE formula (2x Il., 6x Od., 1x h.Cer.).
334–337 Of the two possibilities regarding his elderly father (deceased  – still
alive), Achilleus elaborates on the second, which probably seems more likely to
him: he imagines Peleus weighed down by old age and worn out by the endless
wait for news of his son (cf. the women waiting back home at 2.136  f. [with n.]
and Penelope in the Odyssey); he knows that in the end the news will be of
his own death. In Book 24, Priam too will use the image of the waiting father,
although there the image is positive because of the lack of knowledge: in con-
trast to Priam, Peleus could look forward to the return of his son (24.490–492,
cf. Achilleus’ reaction at 24.511): Edwards on 334–337.
334 πάμπαν: literally ‘wholly, entirely’ (1.422n.), frequently an ‘expanded form used to
reach the VE or the caesura κατὰ τρίτον τροχαῖον [= B2]’ (LfgrE s.v. 951.57 [transl.]); κατὰ
π. | τεθνάμεν is a contrast to τυτθὸν ἔτι ζώοντ’ in 335.
335 που: 323n. — ἀκάχησθαι: serves as the perf. inf. of ἄχνυμαι (cf. 312n.) and here has a
strong durative character (Mawet 1979, 340  f.); the state of mind is doubly motivated, as

332 Σκυρόθεν: on the suffix, R 15.1. — καὶ (ϝ)οι: on the prosody, R 4.4. — οἱ: = αὐτῷ (R 14 1). —
ἕκαστα: ‘all individually’.
334–335 Πηλῆα: on the declension, R 11.3, R 3. — κατὰ … | τεθνάμεν: perf. inf. (R 16.4); on the
so-called tmesis, R 20.2. — τυτθόν: ‘a little’, with ζώοντ(α).
Commentary   153

is expressed by the causal dat. and the pres. part. (336 γήραΐ τε … καὶ … ποτιδέγμενον …
| λυγρὴν ἀγγελίην).
336 2nd VH ≈ 10.123; VE ≈ Od. 9.545, 22.380, 24.396. — hatefulness of old age:
Old age, accompanied by failing strength and increasing dependency, is made
even worse by a lack of children, especially of a son who might function as
a protector, cf. 5.20  ff., especially 23  f., 5.152–158, 24.487–489, 540–542, Od.
11.494–503 (Preisshofen 1977, 24  f., 29).
τε … καί: connects sentence parts that are closely linked in content (reason) but are
in different syntactic constructions (here dat. and part.), similarly 4.60 = 18.365 (dat.
and causal clause), cf. also Od. 8.429, h.Ven. 232 (dat. and part.): Ebeling s.v. καί 626. —
στυγερῷ: ‘causing dread, hateful’ (2.385n.), cf. στυγερὸν … γῆρας h.Ven. 233; additional
epithets with γῆρας at LfgrE s.v., end. — ἐμήν: a possessive pronoun functioning as an
objective gen. (‘news of me’), cf. 321a n. — ποτιδέγμενον: 234n.
337 λυγρὴν ἀγγελίην: The phrase also occurs at 17.642, 686, 18 18  f. (news of Patroklos’
death); is emphasized via integral enjambmentP, anticipated by ἐμήν (Edwards on
334–337; Higbie 1990, 55  f.). — ἀποφθιμένοιο πύθηται: echoes 322 (ἀποφθιμένοιο
πυθοίμην) but with a change of perspective from the hypothetical death of Achilleus’
father to his own anticipated death, and in terms of content frames sections (3) and (4)
in the manner of a ring-compositionP (322–337n.; Lohmann 1970, 103; Nagy [1979] 1999,
185 n. 1; Tsagalis 2004, 151; on Achilleus’ knowledge of his own death, 328–333n.).
338 ≈ 301, 22.429, 22.515, 24.746, 24.776; 1st VH ≈ 22.437, 24.760; 2nd VH ≈ 24.722. —
a speech capping formulaP of laments with responses by the individuals
present, as also in the laments of the women and Priam for Hektor (301n.). —
the elders: 303n.
339 2nd VH ≈ Od. 4.734, 11.68. — remembering each those …: an echo of 314
(see ad loc.) ‘lost in memory’ (Greek mnēsámenos or mnēsámenoi); analogous
to 302 in terms of content: both passages reveal a discrepancy between the
occasion (mourning for Patroklos) and the content of the individual laments
(personal matters) (302n.). In the present passage, a common point of refer-
ence immediately results from Achilleus’ speech: all of them have left relatives
behind in their homeland. — in his own halls: The Greek term mégaron liter-
ally denoted the main room of the Homeric house (3.125n.); at the same time,

336–337 ἐμὴν ποτιδέγμενον  … |  … ὅτ(ε)  … πύθηται: ποτιδέγμενον =  προσδεχόμενον (↑; on

the prefix, R 20 1) ‘awaiting’, with acc. object and temporal clause with a prospective subjunc.
(‘when he will learn’); in Homer also without a modal particle (R 21.1). — ἀποφθιμένοιο: sc. ἐμοῦ.
338 ≈ 301 (see ad loc.).
339 τὰ (ϝ)έκαστος: on the prosody, R 5.4. — τά: functions as a relative pronoun (R 14.5). — ἐνὶ (μ)
μεγάροισιν: on the prosody, M 4.6.
154   Iliad 19

the formulaic expression ‘in one’s chamber’ is often synonymous with (emo-
tionally connotative) ‘at home’ (24.209a n.).
ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν: formulaic after caesura B 2 and between caesurae A 2 and B 1/2
(1.396n.).  — ἔλειπον: the reading preferred by West, as also at LfgrE s.v. ἕκαστος
497.60  ff. (‘what they, each of them, had left behind’; similarly 5.878, 10.215, Od. 8.392,
h.Merc. 431), contra the main transmission ἔλειπε(ν) (thus Leaf, Edwards); on the
appositive ἕκαστος, cf. 2.775b n.; K.-G. 1.286; Hahn 1954, 202.

340–424 In accord with orders from Zeus, Athene nourishes Achilleus with nectar
and ambrosia, while the Achaians prepare to march forth into battle. As the troops
leave the ships and converge, Achilleus arms himself as well and has his horses
harnessed. In a colloquy with him, the immortal horse Xanthos alludes to the cir-
cumstances of his coming death.
340 ≈ 17.441 (Zeus feels pity for Achilleus’ horses, whom he sees weeping for
Patroklos); 2nd VH ≈ 15.44, 24.332. — as he watched: a gliding change of
sceneP via the introduction of a character B (here Zeus), who sees a different
character A (here the mourners in the Myrmidon camp), especially in a tran-
sition to the divine level, where the gods appear as spectators, confer about
the action, and sometimes intervene; cf. e.g. 5.711–772 (plight of the Achaians),
7.442–464 (building a wall), 16.428–461 (death of Sarpedon), 17.432–456 (grief
of Achilleus’ horses), 22.165–187 (Achilleus pursues Hektor), 24.22–77 (abuse of
Hektor’s corpse), 24.329–339 (Zeus sends Hermes to Priam): Kullmann 1956,
83–85; Griffin 1980, 179  ff.; Richardson 1990, 111–113, 229 n. 6; de Jong/
Nünlist 2004, 74. — took pity: The Greek word family ele- (‘pity’) denotes both
a character’s emotion (‘compassion’) and the resulting impulse for action that
focuses on a specific object (human, animal, god), and often justifies divine
intervention (2.27n.; Paul 1969, 12  f., on the present passage, 45  f.; Scott 1979,
8–10, 13  f.; Kim 2000, 67). — son of Kronos: CG 26.
341–356a The scene shares similarities with the type-sceneP ‘delivery of a
message’ (1.320–348a n.): (1) issuing of orders with their rationale (341–349),
(2) departure (350–351a), (4) description of the situation (here in part con-
tained in element 1): the character searched for (reported in 344  f. from the
perspective of Zeus), (4a) the characters surrounding him (345  f., with empha-
sis on Achilleus’ isolation, 351b–352a), (6) completion of the instructions and
return (352b–356a): cf. Edwards on 351–352. The absence of elements 3 (the

340 μυρομένους: predicative with ἰδών. — τούς: refers back to the subject of 338; on the ana-
phoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17. — γε (ϝ)ιδών: on the prosody, R 4.3. — ἐλέησε: on
the unaugmented form, R 16 1.
Commentary   155

character arrives) and 5 (approaches), as well as the modification of element 6

(the messenger conveys the instructions), is here conditioned by the context:
no direct encounter or conversation follow, the instructions are carried out
swiftly and silently without being noticed by Achilleus (Arend 1933, 56  f.; on
such modifications of this scene type, see 2.786–808n.; cf. also 19.1–39n.; on
appearances of gods in general, see 1.197–198n.; de Jong on Od. 1.29–324).
341 = 8.351; ≈ 4.69, 5.713, 21.419. — Ἀθηναίην: is a metrically convenient variant of Ἀθήνην
(6.88n.). — ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα: speech introductory formulaP (20n.).
342–346 Zeus spurs his daughter to immediate action with the ironic insinuation
that Athene seems indifferent to Achilleus and with a description of the latter’s
physical and mental state – as though Athene were ignorant of this (cf. 349). In
a similar manner, Zeus provokes Hera and Athene at the beginning of Book 4
with ironic comments in order to prompt the desired course of the action after
the duel between Paris and Menelaos (4.5–73, esp. 4.7–19; cf. his scolding at
8.446–457). It is already evident at 18.166  ff. that Athene knows independently
of Achilleus’ needs: when Iris, at Hera’s behest, asks him to assist in the battle
for Patroklos’ corpse, Athene is immediately at hand to facilitate a forceful
appearance for Achilleus, who has lost his armor (18.203  ff.).
342 the man of your choice: in the sense ‘your protégé’: like Hera, Athene
supports the Achaian side (CG 8) and repeatedly appears as Achilleus’ pro-
tectress and aide: 1.193  ff. (in the quarrel with Agamemnon), 18.203  ff. (342–
346n.), 20.94  ff. and 438  ff. (in battle), 21.284  ff. (when he is threatened by the
Skamandros), 22.214–223 and 276  f. (in the battle with Hektor); in addition, she
assists Odysseus (2.172  ff., etc., esp. in the Odyssey), Diomedes (5.1  ff., etc.),
Menelaos (e.g. 4.127  ff.) and other heroes (LfgrE s.v. Ἀθηναίη 214.19  ff.).
τέκνον ἐμόν: on the address, 8n. — δή: an unusual position, at the beginning of the
sentence after the address (likewise at 15.437); the word lends emphasis to the state-
ment that follows (‘thus, as one can see’): Denniston 228. — πάμπαν: ‘wholly, entirely’
(< παν-παν, see 1.422n.). — ἑῆος: linked with παιδός/υἷος elsewhere in the Iliad (1.393
[with n.], 15.138, 24.422, 550), in the Odyssey with φωτός (Od. 14.505) and, as here, with
ἀνδρός (15.450). The etymology and sense have been disputed since antiquity: the word
is related either to ἐΰς ‘good’ or to the possessive pronoun ἑός (ChronEG 4 s.v. ἐύς, ἑῆος;
Nussbaum 1998, 87  ff., 147  ff.: related to ἐΰς, in part a reinterpretation of the possessive
pronoun of the 2nd person as a metrically convenient variant of τεοῖο; Forssman 2001,

341 Ἀθηναίην: on the -η- after -ι-, R 2. — ἔπεα: on the uncontracted form, R 6. — προσηύδα: 3rd
sing impf. of προσαυδάω, with double acc. (Ἀθηναίην … ἔπεα) ‘say something to someone’.
342 ἀποίχεαι (+ gen.): here in the sense ‘abandon someone’; on the uncontracted form, R 6. —
ἀποίχεαι ἀνδρός: on the so-called correption, R 5.5.
156   Iliad 19

115  f. [transl.]: ‘These constructions are thus used here, at least mutatis mutandis, for «of
your noble hero/son»’; cf. 1.393n., G 82). Interpretations of the present passage differ:
‘your man’ (in the sense ‘protégé’, see above), Schw. 2.198; LfgrE s.v. ἀνήρ 859.2  ff.; Leaf
and Willcock with Zenodotus’ variant ἑοῖο; cautiously Edwards (‘probably under-
stood as a 2nd-person possessive pronoun’); differently Nussbaum loc. cit. 93–96 and
102  f., with reference to the passages in the Odyssey: ‘good, noble’ with no possessive
component. By the interpretation ‘your man’ the acerbity of the ironic reproach regard-
ing the lack of assistance would be increased.
343 ἦ νύ τοι: ἦ (‘indeed?’) frequently introduces a rhetorical question (56n.); the combi-
nation of particles is similarly used ironically at 15.128, 20.184, 22.11. — μετὰ φρεσί:
213n. — μέμβλετ(αι): perf. with present sense of μέλω (AH; Edwards; Chantr. 1.426,
432; LfgrE s.v. [transl.]: ‘does not really move you anymore?’); likewise at Hes. Th. 61, cf.
μέμβλετο at Il. 21.516, Od. 22.12 beside the more frequent active μέμηλ-. The explana-
tion of the ‘mysterious ε’ (thus Risch 342) before -ται is disputed, but perhaps this is a
thematic perfect formation μέ-μβλ-ε-ται (Schw. 1.767  f.; Strunk 1957, 104  f.; additional
possibilities in Hackstein 2002, 222  f.).
344–346 Description of the situation (341–356a n.): The general departure took
place at 275/277, the statement ‘while all the others | have gone to take their
dinner’ (345  f.) likely now includes the ‘elders’ as well: Achilleus remains
alone with his grief. The contrasting Greek verb forms placed at VB of 345/346
hḗstai – oíchontai (‘he sits there’ – ‘they have left’) and the antithetical pattern
‘A ‹alone›  … x, all the others  … y, but A  … z’ (cf. 1.198n, 2.1–6n.) highlight
Achilleus’ rigid refusal to eat and his continued separation from the commu-
nity (Létoublon 1985, 99; Nimis 1987, 37; Kölligan 2007, 151; cf. 24.2b–13n.;
on the refusal of food, 306–308n.). The fact that 344 is nearly identical with
18.3, element 4 of the delivery of a message by Antilochos, who on the previ-
ous day informed Achilleus of Patroklos’ death, may also indicate that little
has changed in regard to Achilleus’ isolation even after the assembly. In addi-
tion, Achilleus’ passivity is illustrated by his being seated; cf. 1.421/488, 18.104
(1.349n., 2.137n.; LfgrE s.v. ἧμαι 910.76  ff. and 911.44  ff.).
344 ≈ 18.3. — before the … ships: On the position of the ships within the Achaian
encampment, see 1.12b n.
κεῖνος: predicative (‘as someone there’ → ‘there’), specified further by προπάροιθε
νεῶν, signals locational distance (Schw. 2.179, 210  f.; Chantr. 2.170; Bonifazi 2012,
51–53; cf. 3.391n.). — ὅ γε: picks up again the subject of 343 (Ἀχιλλεύς) (cf. 1.97n.). —
νεῶν ὀρθοκραιράων: a plural variant of the VE formula νεὸς κυανοπρῴροιο (1x Il., 8x
Od.) (Edwards on 18.3–4). ὀρθόκραιρος is a possessive compound ‘with upright horns’,

343 τοι: = σοι (R 14.1). — μέμβλετ’: = μέμβλεται (↑); on the middle, R 23.

344 ὀρθοκραιράων: on the declension, R 11.1.
Commentary   157

elsewhere an epithet of cattle (8.231, 18.573, Od. 12.348, h.Merc. 220); attested in refer-
ence to ships only here and at 18.3 (likewise of Achilleus’ contingent), it refers either
to the upward pointing prow and stern (LfgrE s.v.) or to projecting parts of the ships
in general (Nussbaum 1986, 225–229, 232–234: ‘ships with straight projections’ [quote
p. 226], i.e. yards, masts, etc.; cf. 1.170n. [κορωνίσιν]; somewhat differently Kurt 1979,
62–65, esp. 64  f.: in reference to the front section of the ship, ‘with straight [vertical]
head’; other possibilities in Shear 2000, 80: painted-on horns as emblems of Achilleus’
ships in particular; on ship epithets generally, see 1 12b n.; Gray 1974, 96–98).
345 1st VH = Od. 16.145. — beloved companion: 209–210n.
φίλον: here probably with the affective connotation ‘dear, beloved’ (4n.); cf. additional
passages in connection with the loss of his friend: in direct speeches 17.642, 655, 18.80,
22.390; in narrator text 17.411, 23.152, 23.178, 24.4, 24.51, 24.416, 24.591. — οἳ δὲ δὴ ἄλλοι:
A break, with a new sentence beginning or a change of scene after caesura C 2 (1.194n.),
here with a change in the point of view, is characteristic of Homeric poetics.
ὀδυρόμενος ἕταρον: The apparent short syllable in the longum before caesura B 1 (cf. M 8; also
before ἕταρος at Od. 10.225, 15.529, before caesura A 4 at Il. 16.269, 23.137) may be explained either
via ‘position-making’ /s/ or as an after-effect of the digamma: (1a) final position -ς as a double con-
sonant (M 4.6); (1b) prevocalic /s/ that was originally present and was potentially still prosodically
meaningful (M 13.2) with ἕταρος derived from the IE reflexive *se- (etymology according to Frisk,
DELG, Beekes, LfgrE s.v. ἑταῖρος; Risch 92); (2) after-effect of the digamma in ἕταρος/ἑταῖρος as a
derivation from the IE reflexive *swe- (on this, ChronEG 4 s.v. ἕ, ἑ: cf. ἔτης 6.239n.); although ϝ is
not attested in inscriptions for ετα(ι)ρ-, it would explain not just the ‘irregular shorts’ but hiatus
without shortening before ἑταρ-/ἑταιρ- (10.235, 242, 16.581, 23.748, 24.4, 416, Od. 3.432, 10.436,
11.113, etc.) (Wachter 2001, 235  f.).
346 οἴχονται μετὰ δεῖπνον: ‘have gone away to eat’ (LfgrE s.v. οἰχνέω, οἴχομαι 623.31  f.;
Létoublon 1985, 98  f., 104; on μετά as a specification of direction with a final connota-
tion, Schw. 2.486). — ἄκμηνος καὶ ἄπαστος: emphasis via synonym doubling (on this,
1.160n.) and repetition of the negation (1.99n., 1.415n., 2.447n., 3.40n.). On ἄκμηνος, see
163n.; ἄπαστος is a negated verbal adjective of πάσασθαι (‘who is not partaking/has not
partaken of food’), an Iliad hapaxP, elsewhere in conjunction with the gen. (ἄ. ἐδητύος
ἠδὲ ποτῆτος: Od. 4.788, h.Cer. 200, variation ἐδητύος ἦεν ἄπαστος: Od. 6.250): LfgrE
s.v. ἄπαστος.
347–354 By having Achilleus nourished with nectar and ambrosia, the narrator
achieves a prolongation of his separation and refusal of food, while nonethe-
less keeping the hero’s enormous stamina in battle, unimpaired by hunger,
plausible (Nimis 1987, 37  f.; Karsai 1998, 46  f.; cf. 348n.). In addition, this
allows links to be drawn to two other scenes in the Iliad: (a) the feeding with
nectar and ambrosia by a goddess recalls Thetis’ care for the dead Patroklos at

345 ἕταρον: = ἑταῖρον.
346 ἄκμηνος: ‘unfed, fasting’.
158   Iliad 19

38  f. (Nagler 1974, 156; Taplin 1992, 210 n. 12); (b) Achilleus’ refreshment by
Athene before battle finds a parallel in Diomedes’ refreshment before his aris-
teia at 5.1–7 (Edwards on 340–354; on the relationship Achilleus – Diomedes,
see 6.96–101n.). The special refreshment given Achilleus (in Homer, he is the
only living mortal to receive nectar and ambrosia) illustrates his proximity
to the gods (Schein 1984, 140; cf. 11n.). In contrast to post-Homeric poets, in
whom nectar and ambrosia are administered to mortals to render them immor-
tal (examples in Richardson on h.Cer. 237; BNP s.v. Nectar), in the present
passage Achilleus’ mortality is not removed, but is instead explicitly men-
tioned in what follows (409, 416  f., 420–422) (Edwards on 352–354; on nectar
and ambrosia, 38n.). – The theme of strength conferred by divine foods finds a
parallel in the Old Testament (1.Kings 19:5–8): the prophet Elijah receives food
from an angel before a strenuous journey (Louden 2006, 169  f.).
347 ≈ h.Ap. 124; 2nd VH = 353, Hes. Th. 642, ‘Hes.’ fr. 23(a).22 M.-W. (restored). — ἀλλ’ ἴθι:
with an imperative following (here 348 στάξον), often ‘fossilized so as to be like a par-
ticle’ (1.32n.), although it may here have a more intimate connection to the situation, in
which Zeus sends his daughter off on an errand (‘go ‹to him›’, cf. Sommer 1977, 206  f.),
and corresponds to the formulaic order βάσκ’ ἴθι in the sending of messengers (2.8n.; on
asyndeton with imperatives, cf. Schw. 2.633). — νέκταρ τε καὶ ἀμβροσίην ἐρατεινήν:
ἐρατεινός is a generic epithetP of geographical designations (2.532n.), persons, and
abstracts (3.175n.), also of the divine food ambrosia (see iterata) and foods in general
(δαῖτ’ ἐρατεινήν Od. 8.61, 20.117). On νέκταρ and ἀμβροσίη, see 38n.
348 1st VH ≈ 353. — A variation of the forms of divine impulse common else-
where (cf. 37n., 159n.): rather than ‘power’ (Greek ménos, thársos), as in Thetis’
appearance at 37, Achilleus is here given the contextually relevant divine foods
nectar and ambrosia ‘inside his chest’ (Kullmann 1956, 71; Louden 2006,
18  f.).
ἐνὶ στήθεσσ(ι): On the dat. of an attained position of rest with verbs meaning ‘lay, set,
throw’ etc., see Schw. 2.155  f. — λιμὸς ἵκηται: cf. 164–165n. (κιχάνει).
349 = 4.73, 22.186, Od. 24.487: In contrast to other speeches containing instruc-
tions (2.166n.), here a specific speech capping formulaP follows Zeus’ orders
(Arend 1933, 57). In it, the narrator hints that Zeus’ snide remarks were actu-
ally unnecessary (cf. 342–346n.): a readiness to act is already present in the

347 ἴθι (ϝ)οι: on the prosody, R 5.4; οἱ = αὐτῷ (R 14 1).

348 ἐνί: =  ἐν (R 20.1). — στήθεσσ(ι): on the declension, R 11.3; on the plural, R 18.2. — μιν:
= αὐτόν (R 14.1).
349 πάρος: ‘already previously’. — μεμαυῖαν: fem. of μεμαώς, part. of the perf. μέμονα (‘strive,
be eager’).
Commentary   159

goddess – as is often the case with Athene, see iterata (cf. double motivationP
in the case of human beings).
ὣς εἰπὼν ὤτρυνε: a variable VB formula (13x Il., 2x Od.), usually as the conclusion of
a battle paraenesis; εἰπών is temporally coincident with ὤτρυνε (6.72n.).
350–351a Great speed by human beings or animals is often illustrated in early
epic via bird comparisonsP (2.764n.). In the case of gods, however, who move
through the air ‘like a bird’ (13.62 Poseidon, 15.237 Apollo, 18.616 Thetis, Od.
1.320 and 3.372 Athene, 5.51 Hermes) or observe an event from an elevated posi-
tion (tree, roof) (Il. 7.59, 14.290, Od. 22.240), it is disputed whether this repre-
sents mere comparison or if a metamorphosis is implied (Fränkel 1921, 81  f.;
Coffey [1957] 1999, 325, 336 n. 29; Scott 1974, 77–79; Erbse 1980; Tsagarakis
1982, 135–138; de Jong on Od. 1.319–324; summary of positions in Carter 1995,
287–290; Near Eastern and IE parallels in West 1997, 185; 2007, 152  f.). The
present passage is most likely a comparison: the image of a bird of prey’s rapid
swoop serves to illustrate Athene’s swift, targeted change of location toward
Achilleus in the encampment of ships (element 4 of the type sceneP ‘divine
journey’, cf. 114–119n.): AH; Dirlmeier 1967, 24  f., 31 n. 41; Bannert 1978, 37
n. 27; 1988, 67  f.; Edwards, Introd. 29  f.; more cautiously Edwards on 350–351;
Johansson 2012, 178–181 (esp. 180  f.: no indication of velocity); differently
Kullmann 1956, 91, 93: Athene appears in the guise of a bird (although with
no indication that the Achaians or Achilleus notice her arrival or her actions);
moderated in Erbse loc. cit. 263  f. on the basis of 4.75–81: the image of the bird
is meant to show what ‘the listeners would be able to perceive if they were
witnesses’ [transl.].
ἅρπῃ: a Homeric hapaxP, a term for an unidentified bird, perhaps a bird of prey (sug-
gestions collected in LfgrE s.v. ἅρπη II; Johansson 2012, 180  f. [bearded vulture]) or,
according to Aristot. Hist. an. 609a24, a marine bird (Edwards). The name of the bird
is either identical with ἅρπη ‘sickle’ (cf. Latin sarp[i]o), from which are derived e.g.
ἅρπαξ, ἁρπάζω (Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v.), presumably because of its sickle-shaped
talons, or is related to an IE root *(h1)rep- (cf. Latin rapio) (LfgrE s.vv. ἅρπη, ἅρπυια). —
τανυπτέρυγι: The bird-epithet occurs elsewhere only at 12.237, in addition to the met-
rical variants τανύπτερος (Hes. Th. 523, h.Cer. 89) and τανυσίπτερος (2x Od., 2x Hes., 2x
h.Hom.); it means either ‘spreading the wings’ (a verb-noun compound) or ‘with out-
stretched wings’ (a possessive compound) (Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v. τανυ-; Untermann
on 16.767; LfgrE s.vv. τανύπτερος, τανυπτέρυγι). — λιγυφώνῳ: ‘with shrill, piercing
voice’, also at Hes. Th. 275 and 518 of the song of the Hesperides, h.Merc. 478 of the lyre;
on the cry of birds, cf. Il. 14.290 ὄρνιθι λιγυρῇ ἐναλίγκιος (LfgrE; on λιγύς, 5n.). Of bird

350 ἅρπῃ (ϝ)εικυῖα: on the prosody, R 4.4. — τανυπτέρυγι (λ)λιγυφώνῳ: on the prosody, M 4.6.
160   Iliad 19

noises, the Iliad describes only piercing cries and loud screeching (Krapp 1964, 158  f.;
Wille 2001, 39  f.); here the high-pitched call of the bird underlines the image of it in
the air, but is irrelevant to the rest of the action (Kaimio 1977, 44  f.: ‘the mention of the
voice is purely decorative’). — ἐκκατέπαλτο: athematic aor. of the compound ἐκ-κατ-
επι- + ἄλτο (from ἅλλομαι) (on such compounds, see Schw. 2.428  f.); in addition to the
starting point (ἐκ-) and the direction (κατα-), it denotes the purposefulness (ἐπι-) of the
bird and the goddess: Leaf, Willcock, Edwards: ‘leap out down towards’; Chantr.
2.145; LfgrE s.v. ἅλλ(ομαι) 547.24  ff. Cf. ἄλτο in Thetis’ journeys from Olympos at 1.532,
18.616 (on οὐρανός and Olympos, 128–130n.). Differently AH, Faesi: double compound
ἐκ-κατα- + πάλλομαι (‘swung herself down’). On the accent and the merging of ἐπ-αλτο
and ἐ-παλτο, West 1998, XX. — δι’ αἰθέρος: αἰθήρ in Homer denotes the sky as the
sphere of wind and clouds (2.412n.).
351b–356a In accord with the speed and secrecy of the action as a whole, the
goddess’ arrival receives no special notice; instead, the surroundings are
briefly mentioned (description of the situation at 351b–352a) before the execu-
tion of the orders is reported (352b–356a): 341–356a n. When Athene arrives, the
Achaians are busy preparing for battle; this process continues in what follows
(356b–364) and is only concluded at 20.1  f. (356b–20.3n.). The verses added
after 351 and transmitted in a commentary preserved in a papyrus are likely
meant to bridge the abrupt transition from Athene’s journey to the arming of
the Achaians (see app. crit. on 351; Edwards on 351–352; Haslam 1998, 39  f.).
351b αὐτὰρ Ἀχαιοί: an inflectible VE formula (63n.).
352 αὐτίκα: probably signals contemporaneity with Athene’s arrival (LfgrE s.v. 1600.53  ff.:
‘at the same moment (as another reported event)’ [transl.] and 1601.54  ff.: ‘in this [the
same] moment, they were about to …’ [transl.]), rather than the army’s eager obedience
(‘immediately’ after the meal: AH; Edwards on 351–352).
353–354 1st VH 353 ≈ 348 (with n.). The execution of the order is described – in
accord with epic narrative convention (on this, 6.86–101n., end) – with a nearly
literal repetition of 347  f. The expansion in the final clause creates an echo of
165  f. in Odysseus’ argument. — knees: 166n.
ἀτερπής: an Iliad hapaxP (but see 6.285n.) and a term from character languageP; a com-
pound related to τέρπω with α privativum (‘unsatisfactory, unpleasant’); on the forma-
tion and its use (‘as a type of active or passive verbal adjective’ [transl.]), Schw. 1.513;
Risch 81  f., 86. Here the word characterizes the ‘hunger «that renders man dissatisfied»
by weakening him physically and mentally’ [transl.] (Latacz 1966, 218 n. 33, with refer-

351 αὐτάρ: ‘but’ (R 24.2).

352 Ἀχιλῆϊ: on the declension, R 11.3, R 3; on the single -λ-, R 9.1.
354 μιν … γούναθ’: acc. of the whole and the part (R 19.1). — γούναθ’: = γούνατα; on the declen-
sion, R 12.5.
Commentary   161

ence to 161  ff.); the expression also occurs at Hes. Op. 647; elsewhere 1x with δαῖτα (Od.
10.124) and 2x with χῶρον (Od. 7.279, 11.94). — ἵκηται: A (final) subjunc. is common in
Homer even after an aor. (Chantr. 2.269); here it represents an echo of 348 and is to be
preferred to the weakly attested v.l. ἵκοιτο (Edwards on 352–354).
355–356 The departure of divine visitors often remains unmentioned (39n.).
Here the rapid change of perspective – away from Athene, who returns to her
father’s house (i.e. to Olympos), and toward the army arming and gathering
for battle – points to the concurrence of two events (refreshment of Achilleus,
arming of the Achaians): Kurz 1966, 111 with n. 41; cf. 303n.
αὐτή: cf. 120n. — πατρὸς ἐρισθενέος: likewise at Od. 8.289 (π. ἐ. Κρονίωνος) and ‘Hes.’
fr. 204.123 M.-W. (restored at VB). ἐρισθενής (‘exceedingly strong, mighty’, a possessive
compound) is an epithet of Zeus and Poseidon (LfgrE s.v.; on the initial element ἐρι-,
see Willi 1999, 94  ff. [‘high above’]). — πυκινὸν δῶ: a shorter variant of the VE formu-
lae χαλκοβατὲς δῶ (1.426n.) and ὑψερεφὲς δῶ (3x Od.), and a variant of the inflectible
expression (nom./gen./dat.) πυκινὸς δόμος (after caesura B 1: 1x Il., 2x Od., 2x h.Hom.;
after caesura C 1: 1x Il., 1x Od.). πυκινός ‘dense’ is inter alia a characteristic of a massive
building complex (cf. πυκινοῖσι λίθοισιν | δώματος 16.212  f.), as here of Zeus’ palace or
the dwellings of Amyntor, Erechtheus, and Alkinoos (LfgrE); on the etymology of δῶ
‘house’, 1.426n.
356b–20.3 After Athene’s departure, the narrator first unfolds a panoramic view
of the gathering army. 364 narrows the view down to Achilleus, whose arming
is described in more detail, and widens it once more only at the beginning of
Book 20, when both armies are referenced. At 20.4  ff., the action is located on
the divine level: Zeus responds to the gathering of the armies that has been
observed by the gods (on the assembly of gods, 40–276n.). The detailed descrip-
tion of the arming, gathering and departure of the Achaian force (element 3 of
the type sceneP ‘armies joining battle’: Hainsworth 1966, 160  f.; cf. 155–183n.)
is expanded by several similes that illustrate mass movement and the gleam of
weapons (357–361n., 364b–391n.), as well as by Achilleus’ extraordinary con-
versation with his horse (399–403n.). On this type of panoramic scene, see
3.1–14n. with bibliography; on the present scene, Fränkel 1921, 32; Krischer
1971, 47; de Jong 1985, 263 with n. 24; Richardson 1990, 120  f.
356b ≈ 17.403. — ἀπάνευθε νεῶν: a formula before caesura C 1 (1.35n.). — ἐχέοντο: ‘they
poured forth’, cf. the similar portrayal at 2.464  f.; on ‘flowing, pouring’ as terms of mass
movement, Kurz 1966, 140. — θοάων: 1.12b n.

355 ἐρισθενέος: on the uncontracted form, R 6.

356 τοί: =  οἵ (R 14.3), an anaphoric demonstrative (R 17) that refers back to Ἀχαιοί in 351. —
ἀπάνευθε: a composite preposition (basis: ἄνευ) with gen., ‘away from’ (likewise at 374, 378).
162   Iliad 19

357–361 The snowflake simileP primarily illustrates the dense crowd and the
incessant movement of the converging armed warriors, whose weapons gleam
in the light (359, 362  f.): via the description of the thick, cold flurries of snow
driven by the north wind, an ominous mood is created and the visual effect of
the countless, moving bits of armor and weaponry is illustrated (Edwards on
356–364; Jachmann 1958, 289  f.; Bradley 1967, 39  f.; Rosenmeyer 1978, 214  f.;
on word repetition in the simile and in the context [357/359], Edwards, Introd.
27  f. and 31; on snow similes in general, 3.221–222n.).
357 the snowflakes of Zeus come fluttering: As a weather god, Zeus causes
snow (10.6  f., 12.279  f.) and especially rain (e.g. 12.25, 16.385  f., Od. 14.457  f.,
Hes. Op. 415  f., 488) to fall (LfgrE s.v. Ζεύς 864.44  ff.). Here the name should
probably not be understood merely as a designation for the sky (thus AH,
Leaf, Willcock); Boreas seems to be similarly personified in 358 (Edwards;
cf. CG 24).
ὡς δ’ ὅτε: a common introduction for similes (2.147–148n.). — ταρφειαί: a derivation
from τρέφω that in the collective plural denotes a large number of simultaneously
occurring (as here) or closely spaced units: ‘dense, numerous’ (LfgrE s.v. ταρφ[ύς]; of
weapons in a snow simile also at 12.158); on the accent, West 1998, XXI. — νιφάδες:
‘snow flakes’, only in similes (3.221–222n.). — ἐκποτέονται: an iterative form of
ἐκ-πέτομαι (Schw. 1.719; Tucker 1990, 130 n. 176; LfgrE s.v. ποτάομαι, ποτέομαι; cf.
358 ≈ 15.171. — Boreas is a wind bringing cold and snow that blows from the
direction of Thrace (15.170  f., Hes. Op. 505  ff., 547  ff.; cf. West on Op. 553) and is
considered very strong (CG 37).
ὑπὸ ῥιπῆς: formulaic before caesura B 1 (4x Il., 1x Od., 1x h.Ap.); ῥιπή (‘force, rush’) is
related to ῥίπτω; always with the gen. of that which triggers the movement (god, wind,
human) or in the gen. of the object set in motion whose force is propagated (stone,
lance, discus, fire): LfgrE s.v.; here the words introduce an explanation of ψυχραί. —
αἰθρηγενέος: a compound formed with αἰθρη- ‘clear sky’ and -γενης, attested only
here and at 15.171, aside from the metrically conditioned nom. form αἰθρηγενέτης at Od.
5.296; a distinctive epithetP of Boreas. The sense is either passive ‘born in the air’, like
most adjectives in -γενής (Edwards; Leaf on 15.171; Janko on 15.170–171; Hainsworth
on Od. 5.296; comparable is διο-γενής ‘sprung from god’: 1.337n.), or active ‘creating
clean, cold air’ (schol. b and T ad loc.; LfgrE s.vv. αἰθρηγενέτης and αἰθρηγενής; unde-
cided Risch 246).

357 Διός: dependent on ἐκποτέονται (‘are flying from Zeus’).

358 ὑπὸ (ῥ)ῥιπῆς: on the prosody, M 4.6. — Βορέαο: on the declension, R 11.1.
Commentary   163

359–361 In accord with the principle of elaborate narrationP, at this point in the
narrative, when the Achaians can finally go into battle once more supported by
Achilleus, the individual parts of their arms and armor are named.
359 VE ≈ 13.265. — γανόωσαι: The verb γανάω is etymologically related to γάνος (‘gleam,
delight’) and γάνυμαι (‘rejoice, delight in’), belongs to the root *γαϝ- (cf. Lat. gaudeo,
gavisus), and means ‘gleam, be in full glory’; here and at 13.265 of arms/armor, Od. 7.128
of flower beds, h.Cer. 10 of the narcissus (LfgrE; Latacz 1966, 156–158; Clarke 2005,
40  f.).
360 shields massive in the middle: Round shields of the Geometric period
were fitted with a central boss for the purpose of decoration and reinforcement
(Borchhardt 1977, 36. 50); on the two shield types described in the Iliad (long
and round shields), see 2.388–389n., 3.335n. (σάκος), 6.117–118n., end (ἀσπίδος
ἐκφορέοντο: φορέω is an iterative related to φέρω (Schw. 1.720), usually denoting
inter alia the habitual wearing of particular garments or arms (e.g. at 7.147, 149, 15.530,
533, 19.11); here, on analogy with the iterative ἐκποτέονται (357n.), it emphasizes the
large number of armed Achaians. The form may be understood as an intransitive medio-
pass. (LSJ s.v.: ‘move forth’; Cunliffe s.v.: ‘advance from’; LfgrE s.v. φορέω: ‘push out’;
cf. intransitive φέρεσθαι ‘move, throw oneself’; Schwyzer [1942] 1983, 55 with n. 3;
Jankuhn 1969, 115 n. 2; LfgrE s.v. φέρω 852.23  ff.) or as passive (Leaf; Ebeling s.v.;
Mutzbauer 1909, 122). — ἀσπίδες ὀμφαλόεσσαι: an inflectible VE formula (6.117–
118n., end).
361 corselets: On the materials and function of Homeric body armor, and on the
archaeological evidence generally, see 3.332–333n.; Buchholz 2010, 214–226.
The enumeration concludes with a verse with chiastic structure. — κραταιγύαλοι:
‘with strong γύαλα’, attested only here; γύαλον denotes unidentifiable sections of body
armor, possibly the curved part (chest and back plate) or metal reinforcements on the
shoulders (LfgrE s.v. γύαλον; Catling 1977, 76–78, 100; Franz 2002, 58  f.), or smaller,
movable metal parts on the shoulders and the lower section of the armor (Shear 2000,
48); on the initial element κραται-, see LfgrE s.v. κρατύς. — μείλινα δοῦρα: likewise at
VE in 13.715; the epithet refers to the ash-wood shafts of the spears. The VE formulae
μείλινον ἔγχος (6.65n.) and χαλκήρεα δοῦρα (6.3n.; see there on the noun-epithet formu-
lae for ‘spear’ in general) are more common.
362–364 Visual and acoustic impressions are effectively combined in a manner
similar to that of the departure of the Achaian army in Book 2 (2.455  ff.); in
the same way that the gathering of the Achaian army concludes with the gaze

359 λαμπρόν: adverbial acc. — γανόωσαι: pres. part. of γανάω; on the epic diectasis, R 8.
360 νηῶν: on the declension, R 12 1.
361 μείλινα: metrically lengthened initial syllable (R 10.1). — δοῦρα: on the declension, R 12.5.
164   Iliad 19

directed toward Agamemnon (2.477–483), here, after the image of the massed
army pouring forth, it concludes with a gaze toward Achilleus, who will play
the leading role in the battle to come (cf. 2.455–483n., 2.780–785n.). The motif
of the widely visible gleam of weapons, frequently used in connection with
movements of armed warriors (Kurz 1966, 155), indicates the destructive force
of the army, as at 2.458 (2.455–458n.). But here the metaphorical use of Greek
gélasse ‘laughed’ (362 [with n.]) lends in addition a positive mood to the scene
(Krischer 1971, 47). The motif ‘the earth thundering beneath their feet’ (as at
2.465  f. and 2.780–784; on the motif, 2.95n., and cf. 2.459–466n.) is repeated at
20.157  f. when the two armies clash after the scene with the gods. By means of
the overall impression created by these motifs, the narrator constructs a back-
ground against which the view focusses on Achilleus from 364 on.
362 οὐρανὸν ἷκε: of the gleam of weapons also at 2.458; on the formulaic expression,
including with different subjects, see 2.153n.; on IE parallels, West 2007, 91. — γέλασσε:
With animate subjects, the sense is ‘laugh’ (on the etymology, cf. LIV 162), with inani-
mate subjects, as here, h.Cer. 13  f. (subject οὐρανός, γαῖα and οἶδμα θαλάσσης) and Hes.
Th. 40  ff. (subject Zeus’ δώματα) it is metaphorically ‘laugh, shine’ (LfgrE s.v.; Leaf;
Arnould 1990, 138  f. with additional post-Homeric examples; Clarke 2005, 39  f.; cf.
the etymologically related γαλήνη: DELG s.v.). — πέρι: thus West, following Heyne; the
mss. offer adverbial περί (G 98; Chantr. 2.83, 125).
363 1st VH ≈ 11.83, Od. 4.72, 14.268, 17.437. — στεροπῆς: Here and in the iterata (aside from
Od. 4.72), this refers to the flashing of metal weapons in motion (LfgrE s.v. [ἀ]στεροπή
1443.15  ff., esp. 32  ff.). A comparable image of weapons in motion occurs at Il. 11.80–
83, where Zeus observes the warring armies from Olympos. — ὑπό: adverbial ‘below,
underneath’; despite the wide separation, it adds a note of specification to ποσσίν (AH;
364b–391 This is the final realization of the type-sceneP ‘arming’ (3.328–338n.)
in the Iliad. This passage has a special place within the series of major arming
scenes, since individual elements are expanded by unusual additions: (1) the
general announcement (364, 368) is expanded by physical signs of aggres-
sion in Achilleus (365–367; on the disputed authenticity of the verses, 365–368
with n.); after putting on (2) greaves, (3) corselet and (4) sword (369–373a),
his strapping on his (5) shield and putting on his (6) helmet are expanded
via comparisonsP to (different sorts of) light and a simileP (373b–383: 374,
375–380a, 381b–382a); and after a test of his ability to move in the new armor
(384–386), his grasping his (7) lance is expanded by the story of its prove-

362 ἷκε: impf. of ἵκω ‘reach’. — γέλασσε … πέρι: on the so-called anastrophe and tmesis, R 20.2
and ↑; on -σσ-, R 9.1.
Commentary   165

nance (387–391). These expansions stress the dynamism of the scene and thus
prepare for Achilleus’ special role and exceptional aristeia (374–383n.). The
expectations thus awakened are fulfilled by the hero’s achievements in battle
and his victory over Hektor in Books 20–22 (Edwards on 364–424; Arend 1933,
94  f.; Krischer 1971, 23  ff., esp. 27  f.). – Two other arming scenes offer signi­
ficant parallels: (a) that of Agamemnon at 11.16b–45a, which contains expan-
sions of comparable size, albeit with specific descriptions of the value of the
materials and the decoration of the armor and shield; (b) that of Patroklos at
16.130–144, which ends with a reference to the absence of the lance of Peleus
and is followed – as here in 392  ff. – by harnessing the horses that originally
belonged to Peleus (16.145–154). The echoes of (b), the arming of Patroklos
before his final fight against Hektor, point tentatively toward the chain of
deaths Patroklos – Hektor – Achilleus and bring to the fore the tragic fate of
the warrior now singled out (Patzer 1972, 38–40; Shannon 1975, 69–71; Heath
1992, 396, 399; Patzer 1996, 114  f.).
364 ἐν … μέσοισι: 77n. — κορύσσετο: picked up at 397, at the end of the arming scene
(Edwards). — δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς: 40n.
365–368 As Achilleus’ aggression flared up at his initial glimpse of his new equip-
ment (16  ff.), so it does again at the moment when he first puts it on (cf. 12–19n.,
16n., 17n.). The unusual addition to element 1 of the type-sceneP ‘arming’ has
been suspected repeatedly since antiquity as an interpolation: Aristarchus
found it overly ridiculous – a judgment he is said to have later revised (schol. A;
Erbse’s commentary on schol. 365–368; AH, Anh. 23; Leaf; Edwards), whereas
West judged it a rhetorical addition that interrupts the generally expected pro-
gression of the scene, with the result that the interpolator had to start anew
with 368 (West 2001, 12 n. 28, 253  f.). But the following might argue for authen-
ticity: (1) the verses provide an acoustic and visual counterpart to 362  ff. by
picking up the gleaming armor and noise of the marching army in the gnash-
ing of Achilleus’ teeth and the gleaming of his eyes (Danek 2003, 285); (2) via
a brief summary in 368, they explicitly mention the new armor (as a set), with
a detailed description at 369  ff., as in the arming of Paris at 3.328  f. (a so-called
‘header’ device, cf. 6.156–159n.; on the reference to Hephaistos, see 19.383n.);
(3) they illustrate the effects of Athene’s refreshment on Achilleus’ person (cf.
the peculiarity of the glow that emanates from him at 375–383, 398, 20.46; for
additional examples, see 17n.) (AH; Edwards); (4) they create a special atmos-
phere of aggression that emerges around Achilleus as, supremely impatient,

364 μέσοισι: on the declension, R 11.2.

166   Iliad 19

he waits for battle (Armstrong 1958, 350). Together with the conversation
with Xanthos after the arming scene proper (392  ff.), the verses give expression
to the anger, grief and death of Achilleus, allowing the narrator to create ‘a
moment of great power and intensity in the poem’ (Armstrong loc. cit. 353  f.).
365–366 1st VH 365 up to πέλε ≈ ‘Hes.’ Sc. 164. — A clash went from the grinding
of his teeth: This is the only passage in Homer in which Greek kanachḗ is used
for a noise produced by a human being (of teeth elsewhere only at ‘Hes.’ Sc.
160 [Ker, goddess of death] and 164 [snakes]); elsewhere it denotes the sound
of objects hitting metal (16.105, Od. 19.469) or of hooves (Il. 16.794): LfgrE s.v.
καναχή. The best parallels for the present passage are the sharpening of teeth –
sometimes together with a fiery look – as a sign of aggressiveness in animals:
11.416  f., 12.149  f., 13.474  f., ‘Hes.’ Sc. 388 (comparisons of warriors to attacking
boars), 235 (snakes on the shield), 404 (lions fighting); for human beings, in
contrast, only the chattering of teeth as a sign of fear is mentioned elsewhere
(Il. 10.375, 13.283): LfgrE s.v. ὀδ(ών); Tichy 1983, 185  f. — his eyes glowed | as if
they were the stare of a fire: on this sign of aggressiveness, see 17n.
τὼ δέ οἱ ὄσσε | λαμπέσθην: = 15.607  f.; τὼ δέ οἱ ὄσσε is a VE formula (6x Il., 2x Od.); cf.
also VE 16 ἐν δέ οἱ ὄσσε (with n.). — ὡς εἰ … σέλας: 17n.; σέλας recurs as a theme in the
description of the shield that follows (374, 375, 379; see Armstrong 1958, 351  f.). — ἐν
δέ οἱ ἦτορ: a VE formula (3x Il.): 1.188n.
367 1st VH ≈ ‘Hes.’ fr. 33(a).24 M.-W. — sorrow: Greek áchos denotes mental pain
in conjunction with anger and aggression (125n., 307n.; cf. Achilleus’ reaction
when first seeing his armor at 12–19n., 16n.).
δῦν’ ἄχος: cf. ἔδυ χόλος 16n. — ἄτλητον: related to τλῆναι ‘bear, endure’, in early epic
only here and at 9.3, ‘Hes.’ fr. 33(a).24 M.-W., in each case characterizing mental suffer-
ing. On the short syllable in the longum before the caesura, cf. M 8 and M 15. — ὃ δ(έ):
picks up the subject of 364 (κορύσσετο … Ἀχιλλεύς) and together with 368 leads to the
detailed description of the arming. — μενεαίνων: 58n.; here with the dat. ‘filled with
rage at’ (LfgrE [transl.]).
368 2nd VH ≈ 2.101 (with n.), 7.220, 8.195. — the gifts of the god: 3n. — that
Hephaistos …: cf. 369–371n.

365–367 τοῦ: anaphoric demonstrative (R 17); dependent on ὀδόντων. — πέλε: ‘there was’; on

the unaugmented form, R 16.1. — τὼ … ὄσσε | λαμπέσθην: dual; ὄσσε: ‘eyes’. — δέ (ϝ)οι: on the
prosody, R 4.3; οἱ = αὐτῷ (R 14.1). — ὡς εἴ τε πυρὸς σέλας: ‘as (if) the glow of the fire ‹shines›’. —
τε: ‘epic τε’ (R 24 11). — ἐν … | δῦν(ε): ‘entered’; so-called tmesis (R 20.2). — ἦτορ: acc. of direction
without preposition (R 19.2).
368 τά (ϝ)οι: on the prosody, R 5.4. — τά: anaphoric demonstrative pronoun with the function of
a relative pronoun (R 14.5). — κάμε τεύχων: ‘he produced with toil, effort (i.e. with care)’; κάμε
is aor. of κάμνω.
Commentary   167

δύσετο: recalls δῦν’ at 367, where an emotion enters a character from outside, as it
were, and in terms of content picks up κορύσσετο at 364; on ‘sinking, diving into’ armor
and the so-called thematic s-aorist, see 36n. (δύσεο δ’ ἀλκήν).
369–371 = 3.330–332 (see ad loc.), 11.17–19, 16.131–133; verse 371 = ‘Hes.’ Sc. 124. —
In the three other major arming scenes in the Iliad, additional information
is provided about the corselet (3.333 and 16.134: the actual owner; 11.20–28:
provenance and appearance); in the case of Achilleus’ armor, provenance and
workmanship are already known (18.468–613, the corselet at 610). On greaves,
ankle protectors and corselets in general, see 3.330n., 3.331n., 3.332–333n.;
Buchholz 2010, 209–226.
370 καλάς, …: on the sentence structure (VB 380 is similar), cf. 11n.
372 = 2.45 (see ad loc.), 3.334 (see ad loc.), 16.135; ≈ 11.29, Od. 8.416; 1st VH = Il.
5.738. — Achilleus’ sword gets no special mention (in contrast to Agamemnon’s
at 11.29–31); there is no reference whatsoever to it in the account of the forging
of the armor in Book 18 (on this, Edwards on 18.609–613). The narrator
devotes more attention to Achilleus’ lance, which Patroklos did not take when
he departed for battle (387–391n., 388–389n.) and which will find frequent use
in the fighting to come (e.g. 20.273–277, 21.161  ff., 22.319–330).
373 = 3.335 (with n.), 16.136; 2nd VH = 18.478, 18.609, ‘Hes.’ Sc. 319; from caesura
C 1 = Il. 22.307; ≈ 11.10, Od. 3.322, h.Ap. 401. — The composition and decoration
of the shield were described in detail at 18.478–609, where the beginning and
end of the passage are framed with the same formulaic half-verse as here.
σάκος: originally denotes the long shield, occasionally – as perhaps here (374n.) – the
round shield; in contrast to ἀσπίς, σάκος may have had a more poetic and heroic sound
(­Schmidt 2006, 441; cf. 3.335n.).
374–383 The motif of gleaming weapons is another sign of the aggressive energy
and threat emanating from Achilleus and is a harbinger of great achievements
in battle (cf. 362–364n.); an aristeia is frequently preceded or accompanied by
a simile for the gleaming weapons (e.g. 5.4–7 Diomedes, 11.44  f. Agamemnon,
11.62–64 Hektor): 19.12–19n.; 6.513n.; Krischer 1971, 27, 38; Ciani 1974, 136–
144; Patzer 1996, 117. The comparisonsP and the fire simileP clustered effec-
tively in the present arming scene (366, 374, 375–380a, 381b–382a, 398: fire and
stars; 386: wings) direct attention to Achilleus’ impressive, dynamic appear-
ance, which will have its effect on the enemy in 20.44–46 and thus singles

369 πρῶτα: adverbial, ‘first of all’. — κνήμῃσιν: on the declension, R 11.1.

371 στήθεσσιν: on the plural, R 18.2.
372 ἀμφὶ … βάλετο: on the so-called tmesis, R. 20.2. — ἄρ’: = ἄρα (R 24.1).
373 αὐτάρ: ‘but’, here progressive (R 24.2).
168   Iliad 19

him out even further (after 364) from the mass of Achaian soldiers (Bremer
1976, 82–84; Moulton 1977, 108; Scott 2009, 174–176; see also 17n. on addi-
tional light similes in reference to Achilleus’ appearance; on fire and star
similes in general, Fränkel 1921, 47–52; Scott 1974, 66–68). The situation
after Patroklos’ death thus changes in one respect: Achilleus, who lamented at
18.102  f. that he had been no ‘light’ for Patroklos and his companions (i.e. no
savior; on the metaphor, 6.6n.), is now the radiant center amid the Achaians
ready for battle (cf. 364, 20.1  f., 20.42  f.).
374 as from the moon: The comparison may highlight the shield’s perfect
shape as well as the effect of the light (cf. Armstrong 1958, 351; on shield
types, 360n.). Thus at 23.455 the full moon is an image for a horse’s circular
blaze (LfgrE s.v. μήνη; Edwards ad loc. and pp. 201–205). In the Odyssey, the
clear gleam of the moon is used to describe the visual effect of the palaces of
Menelaos and Alkinoos (Od. 4.45 = 7.84) and of a garment woven by Penelope
(24.148): these shine like the sun or the moon (AH, Anh. 40).
The verse is athetized by West, following Heyne, since the sentence ends elliptically
with the formulaic 373 in the parallel passages (cf. 3.335, 16.136). Here an interpolator
may have completed it via a predicate in enjambment and have filled out the remainder
of the line with the comparison (Leaf; West 2001, 12 with n. 29). In addition, the short
comparison has been modified in the fire simileP that immediately follows at 375  ff., but
without adding another aspect to the gleam of the shield (cf. σέλας 375, 379) (Leaf). On
the other hand, the moon comparison fits well with the two other short comparisons
for the gleam of weapons (star 381, sun 398; cf. the depiction of heavenly bodies on the
shield at 18.484  ff.) (schol. bT on 381; Fränkel 1921, 48; Edwards, Introd. 25  f. and 41),
and on occasion elsewhere a short comparison is picked up by a subsequent longer
one that merely amplifies a previously mentioned aspect (Moulton 1977, 19  ff.; cf. also
2.455–483n. and Edwards, Introd. 40; Ready 2011, 87  ff., on series of similes). Here the
special gleam emanating from the shield is perhaps emphasized by the perfect form
(moon, see above) and the intensity of the shining (fire). — σέλας: elsewhere of fire or
a ray of light from a divine source, of moonlight only here, but cf. σελήνη < *selas-nā
(Ciani 1974, 14–18, 92). — ἠΰτε: ‘as’ (2.87n.).
375–380a The fire simileP depicts the intense, far-reaching ray of light that shines
forth from Achilleus’ shield, and is expanded by an image of stricken sailors,
whose connection with the arming scene has been understand in several
ways: (1) the sailors’ fearful glance at the unreachable fire refers to the longing
looks of the Achaians as they observe Achilleus’ long-awaited preparations for
battle (Fränkel 1921, 49  f.; Willenbrock [1944] 1969, 46 n. 1; de Jong 1985,

374 τοῦ … ἀπάνευθε: ‘out from it’ (cf. R 17).

Commentary   169

276; Edwards on 372–380; Scott 2005, 48  f. n. 19); a reference to the mood of
the Achaians is not obvious however, given that their mood appears instead
to be optimistic, cf. 362–364n. (AH on 378; Friedrich 1982, 125  f.; Erbse 2000,
268  f.). (2) The glow of the fire, like the gleam of Achilleus’ shield, draws the
attention of the observers, since in both situations (distress at sea, departure
for battle) it is particularly meaningful to them (Leaf; Erbse loc. cit. 269  f.).
While other distress at sea similes prioritize the joy in the face of help or rescue
(7.4–7: the appearance of Hektor and Paris in the Trojan battle lines; Od. 23.233–
240: Odysseus’ return to Penelope), here the sailors drift out to the open sea,
away from their loved ones (377b–378), amplifying the significance of the fire
visible on land. (3) The stable (377, cf. LfgrE s.v. σταθμός) is used by the narrator
to suggest security and a peaceful world within the context of war, creating a
contrast with the remaining images of battle preparations by Achilleus and the
army, which are dominated by menace and aggression (362–364n., 365–368n.,
374–383n.; Scott 1974, 101  f., 109  f.; similarly Clay 2011, 10  f., with reference
to the images of the shield). As a result, the light of the fire is connected to the
hope for rescue in a manner similar to 18.207  ff. (signal fires of a city under
threat); but other fire similes frequently highlight the power and destructive-
ness of a conflagration (e.g. 11.155  ff., 15.605  f., 17.737  ff., 20.490  ff.; for addi-
tional examples, see 2.455–458n.; cf. also Stoevesandt 2004, 238–240 on the
watchfires at 8.553  ff.; Scott 2009, 49  f.).
375–378 φανήῃ | … τό τε καίεται … | … φέρουσιν: On the transition from the subjunc.
(hypotaxis) to the ind. (parataxis) in Homeric similes, see 2.147–148n.; Chantr. 2.355  f.
375 ὡς δ’ ὅτ’ ἄν: a prosodic variant of the simile introduction ὡς δ’ ὅτε at 357 (see ad loc.;
Ruijgh 634; Chantr. 2.258). — ἐκ πόντοιο: indicates the perspective of the sailors, who
are themselves at sea, i.e. ‘from the sea’ (Leaf; Chantr. 2.99; for similar instances, see
2.456n.; on πόντος ‘the open sea’ in contrast to ἅλς, see 1.350n.; LfgrE s.v. πόντος).
376 καιομένοιο … καίεται: Word repetition as a means of explaining or supplementing a
participial statement is common in epic language, e.g. 8.215 (εἰλομένων· εἴλει), 16.105
(βαλλομένη  …, βάλλετο), 18.227 (δαιόμενον· τὸ δ’ ἔδαιε): AH and Kirk on 8.215 with
additional examples; Fehling 1969, 144. Here the source of the widely visible flame is
mentioned: a fire burning high above near a stable.

375 ὡς: ‘as’, correlative to ὥς ‘so’ in 379. — πόντοιο: on the declension, R 11.2. — φανήῃ: aor.
subjunc. of φαίνομαι; on the uncontracted form, R 6.
376 τό: functions as a relative pronoun (R 14.5). — τε: ‘epic τε’ (R 24.11). — ὑψόθ(ι): ‘on high’;
on the suffix -θι, R 15.2. — ὄρεσφιν: ≈ ἐν ὄρεσι, locative dat. without preposition (R 19.2); on the
declension, R 11.4.
170   Iliad 19

377 1st VH ≈ 13.473, 17.54. — οἰοπόλῳ: ‘lonely, deserted’, literally ‘where one dwells alone’
(from οἶος and πέλομαι); epithet of geographical terms highlighting their distance from
settlements (χῶρος 13.473, 17.54; ὄρος 24.614, Od. 11.574): LfgrE s.v. οἰοπόλος I.
378 1st VH = Od. 4.516, 5.420, 9.83, 23.317; ≈ h.Hom. 27.9. — φίλων: refers to the relatives
(Landfester 1966, 71; de Jong 1997a, 301).
379 ≈ 18.214 (of the flame springing from Achilleus’ head). — αἰθέρ’ ἵκανεν: a variable VE
formula (αἰ. ἵκανεν/ἵκηται: 5x Il., 1x Hes. with hyperbaton); the impf. has the function
of the aor. (1.431n.: confective). On αἰθήρ, see 350–351a n.; on the use of the verb with
οὐρανόν, 362n.
380a καλοῦ δαιδαλέου: an inflectible VB formula (6x Il., 3x Od.), also at 22.314 of Achil-
leus’ shield; here in progressive enjambmentP, singling out the shield as a special, lav-
ishly decorated marvel (11n., 13n.).
380b–381a τρυφάλειαν: a term for the helmet, literally ‘fitted with four φάλοι (metal
plates?: 3.362n.)’, cf. τετρά-φαλος (τρυ-: zero-grade of τέσσαρες [Frisk; DELG; Beekes]):
3.372n.; LfgrE s.v.; on additional words denoting the helmet, see 3.316n. (metrical vari­
ants); on the formulae used in arming scenes to describe putting on the helmet, see
3.336  f. with nn. — βριαρήν: an epithetP of helmets, elsewhere formulaic in the phrase
κόρυθα/-ι β. (LfgrE s.v. βριαρ(ός)), but here with hyperbaton τρυφάλειαν … | … βριάρην.
381b–382 2nd VH of 382 ≈ 22.315. — helmet crested with horse-hair: on the
function of the horsehair plume (a status symbol and some degree of protection
from sword blows), see 3.337n., 6.469n.; Shear 2000, 57–59; Buchholz 2012,
196–198. — like a star: byword for a particularly beautiful gleam (cf. 6.295, 401
both with n.); the comparison points to Achilleus, who stands out among his
men in the same measure (Fränkel 1921, 47  f.), but may also signal the threat
emanating from him, as in the duel with Hektor (22.26  ff., 317  f.); likewise of
Diomedes at 5.5  ff. and Hektor at 11.62  ff. (374–383n., 375–380a n., end; de Jong
on Il. 22.25–32). — the golden fringes: likewise in reference to the manes of
the horses of Zeus and Poseidon at 8.42, 13.24. The attribute ‘golden’ is charac-
teristic of divine things in particular (2.448n.; IE parallels in West 2007, 153  f.).
ἔθειραι: a less common word for hair, in early epic it denotes only the hair of the horses
of Zeus or Poseidon (8.42 = 13.24), that on Achilleus’ two helmets (16.795 and here), and
that of Tithonos (h.Ven. 228): LfgrE; on the uncertain etymology (‘those which shake
themselves’?), see Frisk, Beekes s.v.; Chantr. 1.151.

377 οὐκ ἐθέλοντας: pred., ‘against their will’.

378 πόντον ἔπ’: = ἐπὶ πόντον (R 20.2). — φίλων ἀπάνευθε: cf. 356n.
380–381a περὶ … | … θέτο: on the so-called tmesis, R 20.2. — ἀείρας: aor. part. of ἀείρω (= Attic
αἴρω). — κρατί: dat. of κάρη ‘head’. — βριαρήν: on -η- after -ρ-, R 2.
381b–382 ἀστὴρ ὥς: = ὡς ἀστήρ. — περισσείοντο: ‘bobbed, jiggled all the way around’; on the
-σσ-, R 9.1.
Commentary   171

383 = 22.316. — Hephaistos: The two references to the divine armorer here and at
368 form a frame around the main section of the arming scene (Achilleus puts
on the armor newly made by the god); only the grasping of the lance follows
separately, since it is not among the newly forged arms.
ἵει λόφον ἀμφί: ‘he had let hang down to both sides of the plume’ ([transl.]: LfgrE
s.vv. ἀμφί 665.26  ff., ἵημι 1151.60  ff. and λόφος; on ἀμφί in anastrophe, Schw. 2.436  f.
n. 1). The plume fixed to the top of the helmet is probably bordered by golden threads
(cf. 18.612); alternatively, additional tufts of horsehair interwoven with gold are affixed
to the sides of the helmet (Franz 2002, 56). — θαμειάς: an adj. formation from the
adv. θαμά (Risch 363), it means ‘in close succession, close together’, of regular spatial
arrangement (LfgrE s.v. θαμέες); on the accent, West 1998, XXI.
384–386 Testing the agility after putting on the armor is described only here, and
is necessary since everything has been newly made and is being worn for the
first time. That armor fits is elsewhere explicitly mentioned at 3.332  f., where
Paris appears in a corselet borrowed from his brother Lykaon (3.332–333n.),
and at 17.210, where Hektor dons Achilleus’ armor after taking it from the body
of Patroklos. The comparison with wings underscores the ease with which
Achilleus can move (Fränkel 1921, 53; Willenbrock [1944] 1969, 47). This is
an amplification of the effect that putting on Achilleus’ armor had on Hektor
(17.192–214, esp. 210–212): Edwards on 384–386 and 17.210–212.
384 πειρήθη: with reflexive pronoun as gen. object, literally ‘he put himself to the test in
his armor’ (on the construction, Wakker 1994, 370  f.). — δὲ ἕ’ αὐτοῦ: a conjecture by
Heyne; the main transmission (δ’ ἕο αὐτοῦ) lacks the after-effect of the ϝ in the reflexive
pronoun (West 2001, 254; Chantr. 1.147  f.; but see also G 22); on the reflexive pronoun
and its reinforcement, see G 81; Schw. 2.195; Chantr. 2.157. — ἐν ἔντεσι: ἐν ἔντεσι(ν)
also at 11.731, 17.197 and σὺν ἔ. at 5.220, 16.279 in the same position in the verse, in
addition to the VE formula σὺν ἔ. δαιδαλέοισιν. ἔντεα is a prosodic variant of τεύχεα, cf.
6.504 (with n.), 13.181 etc. (6.418n.). — δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς: 40n.
385 ἐφαρμόσσειε: with an intransitive sense (‘fit’) like ἥρμοσε, also used of putting on
unfamiliar armor at 3.333 (see ad loc.) and 17.210 (Hektor in Achilleus’ armor); ἔντεα
is to be understood as the subject: LfgrE s.v. ἁρμόζω 1321.64  ff.; Willcock; differently
AH, Leaf: transitive ‘whether he had fitted the armor to himself, i.e. had put it on so
it fit’ (transl.). — ἐντρέχοι: The compound is a Homeric hapaxP, attested elsewhere
only rarely; the subject is ἀγλαὰ γυῖα (‘move in it [swiftly/without hinderance]’: LfgrE
[transl.]). The fact that Achilleus can move nimbly in the new armor (cf. schol. D) will
be evident in the battle that follows (21.595–22.24, 22.138–166, 188–201); on Achilleus’

384 δὲ ἕ’: = δὲ (ϝ)έο, ἕο + αὐτοῦ = ἑαυτοῦ (R 14.1;); on the prosody, R 4.3. — ἕ’ αὐτοῦ: obj. of
πειρήθη; on the hiatus, R 5.1.
385 εἴ (ϝ)οι: on the prosody, R 5.4; εἰ: ‘if, whether’; οἱ = αὐτῷ (R 14.1).
172   Iliad 19

swiftness generally, 24.138n. — ἀγλαὰ γυῖα: only here, a prosodic variant of the VE
formula φαίδιμα γυῖα (7x Il., 1x Hes.; cf. the VE formula ἀγλαὸς/φαίδιμος υἱός 2.736n.
and 6.144n.); the gleam of the armor is here perhaps transferred to the γυῖα (LfgrE s.v.
ἀγλαός 76.69  ff.; on γυῖα ‘arms and legs’, 3.34n.).

386 εὖτε: only here and at 3.10 in a comparative sense: ‘like’, elsewhere temporal (‘as
soon as’): 3 10n. — ἄειρε: continues the comparison to wings: the armor does not weigh
him down, but lifts him up, i.e. lends him wings, as it were (AH; Leaf). — ποιμένα
λαῶν: an inflectible VE formula, a title of rulers and military commanders (35n.), of
Achilleus also at 16.2.

387–391 The lance is the only remaining part of Achilleus’ old equipment inher-
ited from Peleus (and was likewise a gift from the gods: 17.194–197, 18.84  f.); he
did not give it to Patroklos to use in battle (16.140–144, 19.388–391) because
only he himself can wield it (16.141  f., 19.388  f., with n.). With this comment, the
narrator identifies Achilleus as a son worthy of Peleus, while at the same time
explaining the availability of the lance when Achilleus reenters battle. The nar-
rator further underlines the significance of the lance for the continuing action
(the slaying of Hektor at 22.317  ff.) by stating its provenance (external analep-
sisP) and referring to its deadly properties (cf. seedP). The description of the
lance contains core elements of an ekphrasis: value (387n.), size (388  f.), mate-
rial (390) and function in connection with the history of its provenance (390  f.,
cf. 387): Minchin 2001, 106–112; on the form and function of descriptions of
objects, see 2.101–108n., 2.447–449n.; on the significance of object histories,
see Grethlein 2008, 36  ff. – In the Cypria, additional gods are involved in the
manufacture of the lance (Cypr. fr. 4 West): on the occasion of the wedding
of Peleus and Thetis, Cheiron cut a lance shaft from ash wood as a present;
Athene and Hephaistos worked it further. In the time of Pausanias, a ‘lance of
Achilleus’ was kept in the temple of Athene at Phaselis (Paus. 3.3.8): Edwards
on 387–391; Willenbrock (1944) 1969, 47  f.; Armstrong 1958, 352; Kullmann
1960, 232–236; Shannon 1975, 27, 70  f.; Bannert 1988, 164  ff.; on variants of
the myth concerning Peleus’ lance, see Janko on 16.130–154; on the allusions
in the Iliad to Peleus’ wedding, see 24.59–63n.

387 Instead of the formulaic verse for grasping the lance (3.338 etc., with n.), the
present passage contains an allusion to its origin and express advice regarding
its careful storage and thus its particular value (Arend 1933, 93  f.; cf. the prin-
ciple of elaborate narrationP). Whereas other warriors frequently arm them-
selves for battle with two lances (examples at 3.18n.), Achilleus carries only
this single, special lance (cf. Paris and Menelaos at 3.338  f. [with n.], Hektor
at 22.291–293). – Thrusting lances usually measured ca. 2–3 m in length, while
throwing spears were significantly shorter; nonetheless, lengths of 11 cubits
Commentary   173

(≈ 5 m) and more (6.319n.) are mentioned for the weapons of Hektor and Aias
(on lances and spears, cf. 53n.).
σύριγγος: denotes here a tube-shaped container for the lance; elsewhere in early epic
it is a term for a flute (10.13, 18.526, h.Merc. 512, ‘Hes.’ Sc. 278): LfgrE s.v. At Od. 1.128,
Odysseus’ lances are kept in a rack called a δουροδόκη.
388–391 = 16.141–144. Aristarchus athetized the verses here, whereas Zenodotus athetized
16.141  ff. But here the lines are designed to recall the scene with Patroklos in Book 16; on
this, see Lührs 1992, 159–161.
388–389 The idiosyncracies of the lance and its owner are conveyed in two ways:
(1) a description with the same asyndetically connected epithets as were used
for Athene’s lance (where special mention is also made of its deadly purpose:
5.746  f. = 8.390  f. = Od. 1.100  f., cf. Il. 19.391b) and for Patroklos’ at the moment
it breaks (16.802); on asyndetic lists of epithets as an element of epic style,
see La Roche 1897, 175  ff., 181  ff.; K.-G. 2.341  f.; (2) by means of the common
motif ‘another could not do what the hero does with ease’ (cf. the failure of
Asteropaios at 21.174–178). This motif occurs in Homer in a number of vari-
ants and usually serves to emphasize an object’s size and weight and thus the
almost superhuman strength of the hero who can handle it (Edwards on 387–
391; de Jong on Od. 9.240–243). The two basic patterns are: (a) ‘others could
not achieve, or only achieve with difficulty, what the hero can do easily’: like-
wise of Achilleus at 10.402–404, 17.76–78 (handling of horses) and 16.140–144
(spear), also 11.636  f. (Nestor, cup), 12.378–383 (Aias, stone), in an expanded
form in Od. 21 (the contest of the bow, esp. 73  ff., 124  ff., 149  ff., 184  ff., 245  ff.,
404  ff.); cf. Il. 14.166–169 (the lock to Hera’s bedroom cannot be opened by any
other god, see Janko ad loc.), 16.225–227 (no one receives wine from Achilleus’
cup but Zeus), Od. 23.184–189 (Odysseus’ marital bed cannot be moved from
its location by anyone); (b) ‘two others could not do what the hero does by
himself and with ease’: Il. 5.302–304, 12.445–453, 20.285–287 (stone throwing
scene: Diomedes, Hektor, Aineias, in each case with a reference to the supe-
riority of the generation of heroes, see 1.272n.); cf. 24.454–456 (the bar on the
door to Achilleus’ quarters can only be moved by three Achaians), Od. 9.240–
243, 304  f., 313  f. (the stone in front of Polyphemos’ cave could not be moved
aside even with 22 carts). Examples of this narrative motif outside Homer in
West 2007, 426; Thompson D1651 (‘magic object obeys master alone’); on IE
parallels for a hero’s special weapon, see West, loc. cit. 460–462, esp. 460 n. 37
on weapons made of ash-wood.

389 μιν: = αὐτό, sc. τὸ ἔγχος (R 14.1). — οἶος: ‘alone’.

174   Iliad 19

βριθύ: used only in this formulaic list (β. μέγα στιβαρόν) as an epithet for a lance; like
the epithet of helmets βριαρός (380b–381a n.), this is an adjective formation from the
root of βρίθω (‘be heavily laden’) and refers primarily to weight, in contrast to στιβαρόν
‘solid, massive’ (Risch 74; LfgrE s.v. βριθ(ύς)). — οὐ δύνατ’ … ἐπίστατο: inability as
a result of physical weakness vs. ability (LfgrE s.vv. δύναμαι, ἐπίσταμαι). — πάλλειν …
πῆλαι: ‘shake’ in order to provoke the opponent (3.19n.); the phrase gains particular
emphasis from the repetition of the infinitive and the word playP (assonance) with
Πηλιάδα and Πηλίου (VB 390/391). The name of the mountain range also reverberates
in the personal name Πηλεύς, an association prepared by ‘father’ at 390 (LfgrE s.vv.
Πηλεύς, Πηλιάς).
390 Pelian: a mountain range in Thessaly considered the home of the Centaurs
(2.744n.) and the location of the wedding of Peleus and Thetis (Cypr. fr. 4 West;
cf. 387–391n.). — Cheiron: in Homer, the ‘most just’ of the Centaurs (Leaf on
11.832: ‘in modern phrase «the most civilized»’), who instructed Asklepios and
Achilleus in the art of healing (4.219, 11.830–832). In the post-Homeric period,
Cheiron was considered the tutor of Achilleus (‘Hes.’ fr. 204.87–89 M.-W.; in the
Iliad, this function is fulfilled by Phoinix: Il. 9.485  ff.) and several other heroes,
including Iason, Aktaion and Herakles (BNP s.v. Chiron; Janko on 16.141–144;
West on Hes. Th. 1001; de Jong on Il. 22.133–134; Priess 1977, 108).
Πηλιάδα μελίην: a formulaic term for the lance Achilleus inherited from his father
(VB = 16.143 = 21.162; cf. 22.133; nom. with hyperbaton at 20.277): LfgrE s.v. Πηλιάς); on
the adj. formation Πηλιάδ- from Πήλιον (‘coming from Pelion’), see Meier 1975, 61  f. –
μελίη (‘ash’), actually the material out of which the lance shaft is fashioned (cf. μείλινον
ἔγχος 6.65n.), is often used via metonymy for the lance as a whole; in the Iliad, used of
Achilleus’ lance (without Π. also at 20.322, 21.169, 174, 22.225, 328) and the lances of the
Abantes (2.543): LfgrE s.v. μελίη; Shannon 1975, 71  ff.). — πόρε: The main transmission
offers τάμε, corresponding to the version from Cypr. fr. 4 West (μελίαν εὐθαλῆ τεμὼν
εἰς δόρυ παρέσχεν, cf. 387–391n.), and πόρε is transmitted as a v.l.; the situation is the
reverse at 16.143 (cf. also VE 4.219).
392–424 As in the arming of Patroklos, putting on the armor is followed by
harnessing the immortal horses (16.145–154; see 364b–391n.), who wept after
Patroklos’ death (17.426–440) and were therefore pitied by Zeus (17.443–456):
Edwards 392–395; Armstrong 1958, 353.  – The description follows the
type-sceneP ‘chariot-ride’; the following elements are included: (1) harnessing
the horses (392–395a), (2) mounting the chariot, (3) grasping the reins and/or
the whip, here (2) and (3) are in reverse order and are expanded via a compar-
ison to light (395b–398), (4) spurring on the horses, here expanded by a retar-

390 Πηλιάδα (μ)μελίην: on the prosody, M 4.6. — τήν: functions as a relative pronoun (R 14.5).
391 ἔμμεναι: = εἶναι (R 16.4); final-consecutive inf.
Commentary   175

dationP in the guise of a dialogue with the horse Xanthos (399–423), (5) depar-
ture, movement of the horses (424) (24.189–328n.; Arend 1933, 86–91 [esp. 90];
Tsagarakis 1982, 90–94; Kelly 2007, 92–96; de Jong on Od. 3.474–485).
392 Automedon and Alkimos: After Achilleus and Patroklos, these are the most
important warriors in the Myrmidon contingent (cf. 24.574  f.) and also serve
as aides in Achilleus’ household (23.563  f., 24.473–476, 573  ff.; additional refer-
ences: 19.316n.). Since Patroklos’ death, Automedon (CH 4) has in a sense been
his replacement and serves as Achilleus’ charioteer, cf. 395–397 (Strasburger
1954, 82  f.). He entered battle with Patroklos as the latter’s charioteer, but was
able to escape thanks to the swift horses (16.145–147, 472–475, 684, 864–867).
In the fighting that followed, he was supported by Alkimedon/Alkimos, who
stood in as charioteer (17.463–506).
Ἄλκιμος: hypocoristic of Ἀλκι-μέδων (‘he who rules with stength’), perhaps to avoid
the near repetition of Αὐτομέδων: the short form occurs only when both characters are
mentioned in the same verse (LfgrE s.v. Ἄλκιμος; Janko on 16.11; Kanavou 2015, 123,
142); it is formed in accord with the pattern initial element (ἀλκι-) + initial consonant
of the final element (μ-): Risch 229  f.; cf. von Kamptz 16–20, 138. — ἀμφιέποντες:
‘to concern oneself with something, take care of someone/something’ (LfgrE s.v. ἕπω
[transl.]); summarizing 393–395 in advance.
393 breast straps: The horses were harnessed to the yoke by means of straps
(Greek lépadna, elsewhere in early epic only at 5.730) placed around their
shoulders and chests (Leaf pp. 627  f. [Appendix M]; Wiesner 1968, 18  f., 107;
Plath 1994, 357–360, 406).
ζεύγνυον: thematic form of the 3rd pl. impf., beside which the athematic ζεύγνυ-σαν
also exists at 24.783; on the coexistence of athematic and thematic forms of verbal stems
in -nū/nu-, Schw. 1.698; Rix (1976) 1992, 210. — ἀμφὶ … ἕσαν: ‘put on on both sides’
(LfgrE s.v. ἵημι 1151.60  f. [transl.], cf. schol. T); cf. the harnessing of the horses to Athene’s
chariot at 5.730  f. (ἐν δὲ λέπαδνα | κάλ’ ἔβαλε χρύσει(α)). — χαλινούς: ‘­ bridle-bit, snaffle’,
in early epic only here (but e.g. Eur. Alc. 492, Xen. Equ. 3.2, 6.7, etc.): Wiesner 1968, 19  f.;
Plath 1994, 366–368.
394 2nd VH ≈ 3.261, 3.311. — the reins back: The reins are pulled tautly backward
and tied to the front rail while the chariot is standing, cf. 5.262, 322 (3.261n.; on
fastening the bit, Wiesner 1968, 108).

392 καὶ Ἄλκιμος: on the so-called correption, R 5.5.

393–394 ζεύγνυον: Attic = ἐζεύγνυσαν (↑); on the unaugmented form, R 16.1. — ἀμφὶ … ἕσαν:
so-called tmesis (R 20.2.), likewise ἐν … | … ἔβαλον and κατὰ … τεῖναν. — ἕσαν: aor. of ἵημι (Attic
= εἷσαν, cf. R 16.1). — γαμφηλῇς: on the declension, R 11 1. — ὀπίσσω: on the -σσ-, R 9.1.
176   Iliad 19

γαμφηλῇς: ‘jaws’, elsewhere in early epic only at 13.200 and 16.489, of lions holding
prey in their mouths; the etymology is uncertain (perhaps related to γόμφος ‘wooden
peg’: Frisk, DELG s.v.).
395 chariot: on the use of chariots in Homer, 2.384n., 24.14n.; Buchholz 2010,
29–38; Raaflaub 2011, 18–20, 24.
κολλητὸν ποτὶ δίφρον: a variant of the VE formula ἅρμασι κολλητοῖσι (3x Il., 1x Od.,
7x ‘Hes.’); κολλητός ‘closely joined together’ (by means of stakes, pegs or glue) is an
epithet of wooden objects that are joined from several parts and exhibit a certain degree
of stability: chariots, door leaves, and especially long ship-lances (LfgrE s.v.; Plath
1994, 172–176, 237  f.). On δίφρος, the ‘body’ of the two-wheeled chariot, see 3.262n. —
μάστιγα φαεινήν: an inflectible VE formula (dat./acc.: 3x Il., 1x Od., 1x h.Merc.);
φ. probably refers to embellishments (made of metal?) of the leather at the ends of the
whip or wrapped around its grip (Hainsworth on Od. 6.316; Handschur 1970, 90  f.;
LfgrE s.v. φαεινός; Buchholz 2012, 324–326).
396 χειρὶ λαβὼν ἀραρυῖαν: χ. is here perhaps to be taken ἀπὸ κοινοῦ with λαβών (thus
LfgrE s.v. ἀραρίσκω 1180.63  f.) and ἀραρυῖαν (thus schol. bT; AH, Edwards with reference
to 3.338; Willcock): χειρὶ/χερσὶ λ. is a VB formula (4x Il., 1x Hes.), ἀραρυῖα (aside from
here, always at VE) elsewhere always supplemented by a dat. or an adv. — ἐφ’ ἵπποιιν:
The dual and plural of ἵππος are frequently used in Homer in the sense ‘war-chariot’
(6.232n.); on the dat. of obtained position of rest, see 348n.
397 The verse is framed by the names of Automedon and Achilleus, the two char-
acters who will now go into battle together; this is achieved via the wide sepa-
ration between Greek hó dé ‘but he’ (395), which begins the sentence, and the
name Automedon, which clarifies it but does not occur until the beginning
of 397. A war-chariot (Greek díphros) is always manned by two individuals, a
charioteer and a warrior, see e.g. 11.102–104, 23.131  f. (AH; 3.262n.).
κορυσσάμενος: signals the completion of the arming of Achilleus, cf. 364n.
398 ≈ 6.513 (see ad loc.); 2nd VH ≈ h.Ap. 369. — After the comparison of indi-
vidual parts of the armor to fire (18.610: corselet, 19.375  ff.: shield), the moon
(374 with n.: shield) and a star (381  f. with n.: helmet), Achilleus’ overall
appearance is compared in a climactic conclusion to the sun god, an image
of his proud appearance in full armor (cf. 22.134  f. and Paris at 6.512  ff.):

395 ποτί: =  πρός (R 20.1.). — ὅ: anaphoric demonstrative (R 17), with Αὐτομέδων (397) as an

appositive. — δὲ (μ)μάστιγα: on the prosody, M 4.6 (note also the caesura: M 8).
396 ἵπποιιν(ν) ἀνόρουσεν: on the prosody, M 4.6. — ἀνόρουσεν: ‘jumped on’, 397 βῆ (for ἀνέβη)
is parallel to this.
397 ὄπιθεν: = ὄπισθεν.
398 τ(ε): ‘epic τε’ (R 24.11).
Commentary   177

schol. bT; Fränkel 1921, 48; Moulton 1977, 94 with n. 17; cf. 374–383n. — like
the sun: Greek Ēléktōr is an epithet of the sun god (here and at h.Ap. 369); at
Il. 6.513, it is used as a term for the sun, likewise in a comparison of the gleam of
weapons to the sun’s shining. The etymology and meaning are uncertain, but
since antiquity the word has been associated with Greek ḗlektron (on the one
hand, an alloy of gold and silver; on the other hand, amber) (6.513n.). — when
he crosses above us: Greek Hyperíōn is another name for the sun god Helios
(CG 38), in the Iliad only here and at 8.480, where both names are used in con-
junction, as also at Od. 1.8, 12.133, 263, 346, 374; as a synonym for Helios also
at Od. 1.24; on the etymology of the name, see below. The name of the sun god
is here used for the sun via metonymy (cf. CG 28). – From Hesiod’s Theogony
and the Homeric hymns onward, Hyperion is also the name of Helios’ father
(Hes. Th. 371–374, h.Cer. 26, h.Hom. 28.13): Kirk on Il. 8.480; West on Th. 134;
LfgrE s.v. Ὑπερίων with bibliography.
παμφαίνων: reduplicated φαίνω, but the prefix παμ- was probably interpreted as
the neuter of πᾶς (2.458n., 6.513n.). — ὥς τ(ε): an introduction to comparisonsP and
similesP (2.289n.). — Ὑπερίων: probably mistakenly understood in antiquity as ὑπερ-
ιών (cf. schol. A on 8.480: τοῦ ὑπὲρ ἡμᾶς ὄντος ἡλίου; schol. D on 8.480 and bT on
19.398: ὑπεράνω ἡμῶν); variously explained by modern scholars as: (1) a comparative
of ὕπερος (cf. Lat. superior): Schulze 1892, 304  f.; RE s.v. Hyperion; AH, Anh. on Od. 1.8;
Richardson on h.Cer. 26; West on Od. 1.8; Ruipérez 1972, 232–235; Wathelet 1996, 45;
reservations in Schw. 1.536 n. 1; (2) a name formed in -ίων by analogy with patronym-
ics and terms for inhabitants of places (e.g. οὐρανίωνες, cf. Lat. superi), the long ι and
inflection -ονος being metrically conditioned (Risch 57). In both cases, a later interpre-
tation of Ὑπερίων as a patronymic can be assumed because of the contamination of the
suffixes -ίων and -ίδης (Ὑπεριον-ίδης Od. 12.176, h.Cer. 74, Hes. Th. 1011), e.g. Κρονίων/
Κρονίδης (Risch 148; Ruipérez loc. cit. 232  f.; Wathelet loc. cit. 50).
399–403 In contrast to other examples of the type-sceneP ‘chariot-ride’ (392–
424n.), here the spurring on of the horses (element 4) is expanded via a direct
speech that contains elements of a rebuke (challenge and criticism, together
with naming the misconduct, see 403: Edwards on 399–403; on the type
‘rebuke’, 2.225–242n.) and evokes an objection by the horse Xanthos; addi-
tional battle paraeneses directed at horses: 8.184–197, in a contest at 23.402–
416 and 442–445. The speech directed at the horses here replaces the otherwise
common paraenetic speech by the commander when he draws up the troops
(cf. element 4 of the themeP ‘armies joining battle’ 2.86b–401n.); according
to Odysseus in his address to the assembled Achaians (233b–237n.), such a
speech is no longer to be expected from Achilleus. In addition, the appear-
ance of the horses and the content of the dialogue recall the close connection
between the fate of Patroklos and that of Achilleus.
178   Iliad 19

399 ≈ 23.402; 1st VH to caesura C 2 ≈ ‘Hes.’ Sc. 341. — the horses of his father:
They are immortal and – like the armor captured by Hektor (17.194–197, 18.82–85)
and the lance from Mt. Pelion (19.390  f., cf. 387–391n.) – a divine gift to Peleus
(from Poseidon: 23.277  f.; from all the gods: 16.867, 17.443  f.), perhaps a wedding
gift (cf. schol. T on 16.867; Janko on 16.130–154 and 16.867; Richardson on
23.277–278); they occasionally display human characteristics (weeping for
Patroklos: 17.426  ff., 23.279  ff.; ability to speak: 19.404  ff., cf. 404–418n.) and
play a significant role in the battle for Patroklos’ corpse (17.426–506): Edwards
on 399–403; Heath 1992, 392  f. – Elsewhere in the Iliad, only Eumelos (2.763–
767, with n.) and the Trojan Aineias (5.265  ff.) own special horses that were gifts
from gods (Aineias loses them to Diomedes): Schnapp-Gourbeillon 1981,
σμερδαλέον: elsewhere in acoustic contexts often a characteristic of cries of attack
(41n.); also in the introduction to a paraenetic rebuke, as here, at 8.92. — ἐκέκλετο:
used to spur on horses in battle or a race in speech introductions at 8.184, 23.402, 442,
also at h.Cer. 88, ‘Hes.’ Sc. 341 (cf. Il. 23.371  f.); in the formula ἐ. μακρὸν ἀΰσας a speech
introduction for battle paraeneses (6.66n.; LfgrE s.v.). — πατρὸς ἑοῖο: a VE formula
(4x Il., 1x Od., 2x Hes., 1x h.Ap.); on ἑοῖο, G 82, 2.662n.
400 Xanthos, Balios: Names of horses are frequently derived from colors:
Greek xanthós denotes a pale yellow to pale grey coat (cf. ‘dun’), baliós a
white-dappled coat (cf. ‘piebald’: LfgrE s.vv. Ξάνθος I, Βαλίος; Dürbeck 1977,
103; cf. Richter 1968, 73  f.). Xanthos and Balios are offspring of the wind god
Zephyros, the swiftest of the winds (cf. 2.147–148n.; CG 37), and of the Harpy
Podarge, who in the Iliad seems to appear in the guise of a horse (16.150  f.)
and has a speaking name (Pod-árgē: ‘foot-fast’, i.e. ‘fast of foot’, cf. the horse
name ‘Podargos’ at 8.185, 23.295; LfgrE s.v. Πόδαργος and 1.50n. [s.v. ἀργούς];
Schmitt 1967, 240  f.; West 2007, 466). In the Odyssey (1.241, 14.371, 20.77) and
Hesiod’s Theogony (267  f.), the Harpies are storm gods, the personified force of
storms (BNP s.v. Harpies; LfgrE s.v. ἅρπυια; Janko on 16.149–150; on IE parallels
for the linking of winds and horses, see West loc. cit. 264). Xanthos takes up
Achilleus’ implied reference to their hereditary speed by naming Zephyros at
415  f. The superiority of the two horses is also mentioned elsewhere (2.769  f. by
the narrator, 23.274–276 by Achilleus).

399 σμερδαλέον: ‘frightening, terrible’ (adv.). — ἵπποισιν: on the declension, R 11.2. — ἐκέκλετο

(+ dat.): reduplicated aor. of κέλομαι ‘exhort, urge’. — ἑοῖο: possessive pronoun of the 3rd person
(R 14.4); on the declension, R 11.2.
Commentary   179

Βαλίε, τηλεκλυτά: a short syllable in the longum before the caesura (M 8; specifically
on a vocative before the caesura, Wyatt 1992, 22  f.). Perhaps this is the lasting effect
of an inflected formula – which is attested only once more in early epic, cf. Ξάνθον καὶ
Βαλίον 16.149 (M 14; cf. 2.8n. on hiatus in the case of a vocative explicable as an inflected
formula: οὖλε Ὄνειρε); alternatively, the address might originally have consisted of a
name in the vocative and a second name in the nominative, in accord with the IE model
for addressing gods (suggestion by West; cf. 3.277n.; West on Th. 964). — τηλεκλυτά:
on the epithet and additional phrases for the notion ‘wide-spread fame’, see 6.111n.
401 ἄλλως δή: ‘differently’, i.e. ‘better’ (sc. than the last time, see 403) (AH, Leaf,
Edwards); emphatically strengthened by δή (Denniston 204, 206). — σαωσέμεν: a
thematic s-aorist (as at 9.230 σαωσέμεν ἦ’ ἀπολέσθαι: Willcock; Chantr. 1.491); on the
formation from the fut., see 6.52–53a n. (s.v. καταξέμεν). — ἡνιοχῆα: literally ‘holder of
reins’, usually a warrior’s charioteer, here Achilleus himself (cf. 424); cf. the reference
to Patroklos (403), who had been Achilleus’ charioteer and is accordingly designated
as such at 17.427, 17.439 and 23.280, although he too was accompanied by Automedon
as the actual charioteer (16.218  f.): Edwards on 399–403; LfgrE s.v. ἡνίοχος. ἡνιοχῆα/-ες
(always at VE) are metrical variants for the equivalent forms of ἡνίοχος (Risch 157; cf.
Myc. a-ni-o-ko: DMic s.v.).
402 By means of the formulation héōmen polémoio (‘we sate ourself with battle’),
Achilleus takes up the motif of satiety that played a central role in the discus-
sion of the departure for battle (155  ff., 221  ff.). From the start, he made it clear
that satisfying hunger and thirst was of secondary importance to him, since
he first wanted to have enough of battle and blood (213  f., 306–308: 203–214n.,
306–308n.). He can only achieve this after he has taken revenge for Patroklos
on Hektor and the Trojans (cf. 18.114–125 to Thetis) and when ‘the Trojans have
had enough of my fighting’ (19.423). The metaphor ‘satiated by battle’ is thus
used as a sign of tiring warriors in the sense ‘weary of battle’ at 423 as well as
221 (see ad loc.; on the meaning of the underlying Greek verbs koréssasthai and
ásasthai, see Latacz 1966, 181  f.). The designation ‘insatiable in battle’ is used
of heroes (akórētos e.g. 7.117, 12.335, 20.2), of Achilleus and Hektor (átos 13.746
and 22.218), and especially of Ares, the god of war (6.203n.).
ἕ‿ωμεν πολέμοιο: from athematic ἄ-μεναι (cf. 21.70), ἕ‿ ωμεν is originally a short-vowel
subjunctive form with Ionic vowel quality that originated from quantitative metathesis
(*ἥομεν < *sā-o-men; cf. G 89), thus ‘sate oneself with battle, have enough of battle’
(cf. 19.307 [with n.] and 36n.): Schw. 1.792; Chantr. 1.21, 71, 457; Rüsing 1962, 163  f.;
LIV 520  f.; cf. G 40; on the spiritus (< *s-, cf. Lat. satis, Engl. sate), G 14; Chantr. 1.185  f.

401 σαωσέμεν: aor. inf. (R 16.4; ↑). — ἡνιοχῆα: on the declension, R 11.3, R 3.

402 ἄψ: ‘back’, with σαωσέμεν ‘bring back unharmed’. — ἐς: =  εἰς (R 20.1). — χ’: =  κε =  ἄν
(R 24.5). — ἕ‿ωμεν: on the synizesis, R 7. — πολέμοιο: on the declension, R 11.2.
180   Iliad 19

403 In his phrasing here and at 401, Achilleus insinuates that the horses deserted
the dead man (cf. 399–403n.). Initially, they did indeed flee the battlefield
together with Automedon after Patroklos’ death (16.864–867, 17.426  ff.), but
then – strengthened by Zeus – they allowed themselves to be driven back into
the fray to fetch the corpse (17.456  ff.). Cf. the exaggerated accusations in the
rhetoric of quarrels: 1.106–108n.
μηδ’ ὡς … λίπετ(ε): an introduction to an elliptically phrased comparison, in the sense
‘and ‹act› not as ‹before, when› you left behind’, cf. the similar uses of οὐχ ὡς at Od.
21.427, 24.199 (Bekker 1863, 89  f.; AH; Leaf; Willcock).
404–418 Nowhere else in the Homeric epics do animals either talk to one another
(as in fables, e.g. Hes. Op. 203  ff.; cf. schol. T on 407) or speak to human beings
(exception: the eagle in Penelope’s dream at Od. 19.545  ff.). Overall, fantastic
or fairy tale-like narrative motifs are rare in Homer (Griffin 1977); the horses’
ability to speak is thus expressly traced to the actions of a god at 407 (Priess
1977, 153 n. 4; Wathelet 2000, 181  f.); cf. a parallel in the Old Testament
(Numbers 22:28–30): God enables Balaam’s donkey to speak, without Balaam
being surprised (West 1997, 391; on speaking horses in heroic epics, see Bowra
1952, 157–170, esp. 166  ff.; in fairy tales, see ATU no. 531–533; Priess loc. cit. 81
[Grimm no. 89, 126]; in addition, the themes ‘speaking animals’ and ‘helpful
horse’ in Thompson B133, B210, B211 and B401). The prophetic function of
animals is elsewhere in Homer limited to their appearance and behavior (e.g.
snake portents at 2.308–320n. and 2.308n., bird signs at 13.821, 24.292–294
[24.219n.]). But Xanthos’ speech is not only another prediction of Achilleus’
death – both he and the audience already know about it (328–333n.) – but also
a response to Achilleus’ reproachful request to perform better this time (assent-
ing reassurance: 408; defense against reproaches: 409b–416a). Achilleus and
the audience can be confident from this that (1) Achilleus will return from this
battle unharmed (408; likewise Hektor at 7.43  ff. before his formal duel with
Aias), even though it had already been prophecied that his death would be
closely connected to the killing of Hektor (18.96, Thetis), (2) he will neverthe-
less have to die soon afterward (409  f., 416b–417), and (3) like Patroklos (413  f.),
he will fall prey to the joint action of a mortal and a god (410, 417); on the struc-
ture of the speech, see 408–417n.; on the function of prophecies in general
(‘structuring of audience expectation’), see 1.37–42n. Such an announcement
of impending death perhaps normally took place before the hero’s departure

403 μηδέ: in Homer also used after affirmative clauses (R 24.8). — αὐτόθι: ‘on the spot’, i.e.
where he had fallen; on the suffix -θι, R 15.2. — τεθνηῶτα: = τεθνεῶτα (without shortening of the
internal hiatus for metrical reasons: R 3).
Commentary   181

for his final battle, in which he was destined to fall (Edwards on 404–417 and
Introd. 18  f.; cf. Mackie 2008, 75  f., 223 n. 19). But in the case of Hektor as well,
the narrator offers early indications of the hero’s imminent death in battle
(6.447  ff. and 497  ff.: 6.497–502n.). In the present passage, Achilleus’ tragic fate
is presented to the audience via the stark contrast between the proximity to
the gods just indicated (nourishment with ambrosia at 347–354n., armor from
Hephaistos at 368/383, comparison with the sun god at 398, immortal horses)
and his mortality, whereas the divine intervention framing Xanthos’ speech
(407, 418) indicates the extraordinary nature of the situation and the special
position of the character (Whitman 1958, 270  f.; Kirk 1962, 348  f.; Scully
1990, 38; Heath 1992, 399; Aubriot 2001, 24). On other issues discussed in
conjunction with this episode, see 407–417n.
404 The speech introduction formulaP is comparable to 1.148 (see ad loc.) and
19.419 (see ad loc.) in terms of structure and word choice, with both having the
VE formula pódas ōkýs Achilléus (‘swift-footed Achilleus’: 1.58n.). The narrator
clearly indicates the extraordinary nature of the situation in his structuring
of the dialogue between human and horse (cf. 404–418n.): the first speech is
thus followed immediately and without speech capping – as is typical in dia-
logues – by the introduction of the reply (cf. 28n.), which is not – as is likewise
typical – immediately followed by the speech itself, but instead by a descrip-
tion of the horse’s posture (405  f.) and an explanation of its ability to speak
(407): Fingerle 1939, 375; Führer 1967, 46 n. 7; on expanded speech introduc-
tions, cf. 2.790n., 3.386–389n.
αἰόλος: In the case of animals, this means ‘alive, mobile’ (wasps 12.167, maggots 22.509,
a snake 12.208 and Hes. Th. 300, a horsefly Od. 22.300, cf. αἰολό-πωλος ‘with quick-mov-
ing colts’ 3.185 [with n.]), whereas of weapons it is ‘glinting lively, flickering’ (LfgrE s.v.);
cf. in addition the derivation αἰόλλω ‘shift rapidly to and fro’ at Od. 20.27, ‘Hes.’ Sc. 399.
Epithets of horses usually refer to speed, their most important characteristic, and the
quality of their hooves (2.383n. s.v. ὠκυπόδεσσιν); the adjective may thus combine the
notion of swift movement with the pale gleam of the hooves, cf. Ποδάργη 400n. (Butt-
mann 1825, 74–77; Leaf; Edwards on 404–407).
405 The lowering of the head at 17.437  ff. – together with the soiling of the mane –
is a sign of grief for Patroklos (Edwards on 17.437–440), and here is likely a
mark of sorrow over Achilleus’ imminent death (cf. 23.283  f. the manes of the
grieving horses): Edwards on 404–407.

404 τόν: on the anaphoric demonstrative function of ὅ, ἥ, τό, R 17. — ὑπὸ ζυγόφι: ‘from under the
yoke’; on the form, R 11.4. — πόδας: acc. of respect (R 19.1).
405 καρήατι: dat. sing. of κάρη ‘head’.
182   Iliad 19

ἄφαρ: ‘in the same moment’ (1.594n.; LfgrE s.v.). — ἤμυσε καρήατι: intransitive ἠμύω
means ‘tilt, bow’ (LfgrE; cf. 2.373n.); 8.308 ἤμυσε κάρη with acc. of respect (Kirk ad loc.)
is comparable. The oblique cases καρήατος/-ι/-α always come before caesura C 2 (4x Il.,
2x h.Hom., 2x Hes.), but κάρητος/-ι always comes at VE (cf. also κράατα 93n.).
406 ≈ 17.440. — pad: Greek zéuglē, denotes the padded section of the yoke that
rests above the withers on the horse’s neck (Wiesner 1968, 19; Plath 1994,
ἵκανεν: 379n.
407–417 In the modern discussion of this passage (for the basics, see 404–418n.),
two further issues are addressed (detailed presentation with references to
older literature in Dietrich 1964 and Heath 1992): (1) Why are (a) Hera and (b)
the Erinyes involved? (2) Why does a horse speak of the imminent death of its
master? Regarding (1): (a) Hera appears as the protectress of the Achaians from
the beginning and in this regard frequently acts in conjunction with Athene
(1.55n., 1.195n., 2.155–181n.); she influences Achilleus’ actions (1.55, 1.195  f.,
18.166  ff. and 184) and worries about his interests (20.112–131: Achilleus’
safety during battle, 21.328  ff.: renewed concern for Achilleus, 24.55  ff.: taking
sides); after Athene strengthens Achilleus’ body (349  ff.), Hera uses Xanthos to
bring about a certain mental strengthening for the imminent battle by giving
Achilleus the certainty of a safe return (cf. 9.254  f.: Peleus on Athene and Hera
as Achilleus’ helpers): LfgrE s.v. Ἥρη; Erbse 1986, 203  f.; Heath 1992, 398.
(b) The Erinyes punish violations of the fundamental order (259n.; CG 13);
they therefore remove the ability of the horse to speak, which had been lent it
for only this special moment (407), thus restoring its original state (Edwards
on 418; Heath 1992, 397  f.; Pelliccia 1995, 103–108, 167  f., 309; Heath 2005,
39  f.; differently Dietrich 1964, 9  ff.; Johnston 1992, 86  ff.: a close relation-
ship between Hera and/or the Erinyes and horses). On (2): On the one hand,
this reflects the motif of the close connection between horse and hero also
found outside the Homeric epics (Bowra 1952, 162–170, esp. 169  f.; Puhvel
1987, 269–276; West 2007, 465–468, 490  f.); it is particularly prominent in the
Theban myth cycle in relation to Arion, Adrastos’ divine horse (Il. 23.346  f.
with Richardson ad loc.), which was descended from an Erinys (schol. D on
Il. 23.346 [Theb. fr. 11 West]) or a Harpy (schol. T on 23.347) and was likewise
meant to save its owner in battle. That this horse was also given the ability to
speak is attested only in the post-Homeric tradition, although the detail may
go back to pre-Homeric oral sources; at the same time, this horse is not nec-

406 ἐξεριποῦσα: strong aor. of ἐξ-ερείπω (+ gen.) ‘fall out from’.

Commentary   183

essarily a model for Xanthos (Heath 1992, 397; Pelliccia 1995, 106  f.). On the
other hand, there are indications in early epic of connections between horses
and chthonic deities: Hades’ epithet ‘with splendid colts’ (5.654, 11.445, 16.625;
see on this LfgrE s.v. κλυτόπωλος); Erinys and Poseidon as parents of the horse
Arion in the epic cycle (Theb. fr. 11 West): Edwards on 404–417; Richardson
on h.Cer. 18.
407 of the white arms: characterizes female beauty (1.55n.).
The verse was athetized by Aristarchus (schol. A), who considered it superfluous (after
404) and thought the mention of Hera contradicted 418, where the Erinyes restore a
normal state of affairs. The line can nevertheless be justified on the basis of its content:
the fact that a horse is talking necessitates an expanded speech introduction (404–
418n., 404n.; van der Valk 1964, 408  f.; Lührs 1992, 141–144). — αὐδήεντα: ‘speaking,
gifted with speech’ (Iliad hapaxP), in contrast to other adjectives with the suffix -(ϝ)εντ-
(‘richly adorned with something’), here based more on the verb (αὐδάω) than the noun
(αὐδή) (Risch 154; Clay 1974, 132): the position at VB, together with αὐδήν at VE of 418
(see ad loc.), marks the exceptional event of a speaking animal. In the Odyssey, the
word is used as an epithet of human beings (Od. 5.334, 6.125) and of the goddesses Kirke
and Kalypso: LfgrE s.v.; Krapp 1964, 24; Ford 1992, 174–179. — θεὰ λευκώλενος Ἥρη:
noun-epithet formula in the 2nd VH (19x Il., 3x Hes.; the abbreviated form λ. Ἥ. 5x Il.,
5x h.Hom.): 1.55n., 24.55n. The choice between this VE formula and the prosodically
identical βοῶπις πότνια Ἥρη was likely driven by the context: β. never occurs when
other animals are mentioned (Beck 1986, 484  f.; Friedrich 2007, 78–80).
408–417 A ring-compositionP speech that switches between future (408–
410/415–417) and past (411–414) (Edwards on 408–417): (A) certainty regard-
ing the outcome of the imminent battle and Achilleus’ death by divine inter-
vention (408–410), (B) the horses’ abilities (411  f.), (C) Patroklos’ death at the
hands of Apollo and Hektor (413  f.), (B’) the horses’ speed (415–416a), (A’)
Achilleus’ death at the hands of a god and a human being (416b–417).
408 καὶ λίην: a VB formula (3x Il., 8x Od.), always in direct speech; signals emphatic
agreement (1.553n.: ‘yes, certainly’), although here with the qualification νῦν γε; this
is followed by the stressed contrast ἀλλά at 409. — ὄβριμ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ: ὄβριμος probably
means ‘large, mighty’ and links size with power (3.357n.); elsewhere in the Iliad, this is
an epithet only of Ares and Hektor (as well as of ἔγχος), in Hesiod of the hunter Orion,
the Hundred-handers and the Bronze Race. In the response to the unexpected reproach,
the address may have been chosen for its somewhat critical nuance. The variant of this
VE formula beginning with a consonant is φαίδιμ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ (4x Il., 1x Od.): LfgrE s.v.
ὄβριμος; Edwards; Shive 1987, 110; Camerotto 2009, 122  ff.

407 Ἥρη: on the -η after -ρ-, R 2.

408 σαώσομεν: = σώσομεν.
184   Iliad 19

409–410 Over the course of the Iliad, the details regarding Achilleus’ death
(external prolepsesP) grow increasingly concrete (paralipsisP: ‘piecemeal
presentation’): 1.352 (Achilleus) and 1.416–418 (Thetis): early death; 18.95  f.
(Thetis): immediately after Hektor; 19.417 (Xanthos): effected by a god and a
man; 21.276  ff. (Thetis): by Apollo’s arrows; 22.359  f. (Hektor): by Apollo and
Paris at the Skaian Gate; 23.80  f. (revelation in the dream of Patroklos): at the
foot of the wall; 24.131  f. (Thetis): death is now close; additional instances:
328–333n.; de Jong on Il. 22.358–360; cf. 6.367–368n. on the prolepsesP of
Hektor’s death. The Aithiopis (Proclus Chrest. § 3 West) reports Achilleus’
death at the hands of Paris and Apollo, Od. 24.36–94 describes events after his
death (sources collected in Burgess 2005, 120  f.). — a great god: Greek mégas
(‘mighty’) is an epithet of several gods, including Zeus, Kronos, Poseidon and
Apollo; it becomes apparent that the reference is to Apollo, protector of the
Trojans (CG  5), only at 21.277  f., where Achilleus mentions a prophecy made
by his mother (the same expression for Apollo used here also at 5.434, 16.531:
LfgrE s.v. μέγας 71.2  ff; Dee 1994, 39, 153). — and powerful Destiny: Moira, who
brings about fated deaths, appears here beside the god as an active force (cf.
87n.; Dietrich 1965, 199; on personifications, CG 29; Erbse 1986, 275  f.; on the
concept of fate in the Iliad in general, see 2.155n.).
409b–410 corresponds to 416b–417 in content and verse structure: death under divine
influence; beginning of sentence after caesura C 2 (οὐδέ τοι ἡμεῖς | and ἀλλὰ σοὶ αὐτῷ |)
and emphatic placement of αἴτιοι and μόρσιμον at VB (Edwards, Introd. 44 n. 56). —
ἀλλά τοι  … οὐδέ τοι: an emphatic repetition of the dat. (Denniston 548). — ἦμαρ
ὀλέθριον: cf. 294n. — αἴτιοι: 86b n. — Μοῖρα κραταιή: a VE formula (9x Il., 1x ‘Hes.’),
elsewhere frequent (6x Il.) in the synonym doubling θάνατος καὶ μ. κ. κραταιή is proba-
bly a feminine formation from κρατύς, masc. κραταιός is a secondary formation derived
from it (Risch 74; Breuil 1989, 39 n. 51).
411–414 The summaryP of events surrounding the death of Patroklos, depicted at
16.786–17.197, is connected to a strong rejection of Achilleus’ main accusation
at 403: at 411 via the synonym doubling ‘slowness and tardiness’ (on this in
general, 1.160n., 2.39n.) and via the phrasing ‘not a, but rather b’, highlight-
ing the relevant facts at 413  f. (on this pattern, 6.383–385n.). Only now does
Achilleus learn of Apollo’s actions, about which he warned Patroklos (16.93–
96): Apollo made his armor slip off during the duel (16.788–804), and Hektor
then took it and delivered it to the Trojans (17.120–131) (Edwards).

409 τοι … τοι: = σοι (R 14.1). — ἐγγύθεν: ‘near’. — ἦμαρ: = ἡμέρα. — οὐδέ: In Homer, connective
οὐδέ also occurs after affirmative clauses (R 24.8). — ἡμεῖς: sc. ἐσμέν.
410 κραταιή: on the -η after -ι-, R 2.
Commentary   185

411 βραδυτῆτι: a Homeric hapaxP; derived from βραδύς in accord with the inherited IE for-
mation type in -τητ-, but rare in Homer; its antonym ταχυτής (23.740, Od. 17.315: perfor-
mance according to which a horse or dog is judged) beside the neuter τάχος is analogous
(Risch 150; Porzig 1942, 248; Meissner 2006, 99  ff.). — νωχελίῃ: a Homeric hapaxP
of unknown etymology, rare in post-Homeric literature, where also exists an adjective
νωχελής; glossed βραδυτῆτι, ἀσθενείᾳ in schol. D (LfgrE; Porzig 1942, 204: in reference
to the inadequacy of the will). On τε … τε at VE, see 2.39n.
412 describes the spoliation in formulaic language: ἀπ’ ὤμοιιν Πατρόκλου τεύχε’ ἕλοντο
is a variant of the half-verse ἀπ’ ὤμων τεύχε’ ἕλοντο (7.122, 16.782, 16.846), as at 16.663
(ἀ. ὤ. Σαρπηδόνος ἔντε’ ἕ., see 384n. on ἔντεα); on the formulaic system, Hoekstra
1981, 21  f.
413 2nd VH = Od. 11.318, h.Ap. 178; ≈ Il. 1.36. — Filling an entire verse with the
designation of a person signals the individual’s significance for the narra-
tive (cf. 1.36n.). — that high god: It is remarkable that Achilleus’ horse calls
Apollo, protector of the Trojans and particularly of Hektor (CG 5; 1.9n., 24.18–
21n.), the best (gr. áristos): on the one hand, this serves to deflect Achilleus’
accusation, since in the face of the ‘best among the gods’, Xanthos and Balios
are powerless (LfgrE s.v. ἄριστος 1296.7  f.); on the other hand, it may imply that
Patroklos’ defeat is no disgrace (cf. Patroklos himself at 16.844–850 and on
this point, Stoevesandt 2004, 216  f.). — the child of lovely-haired Leto: a
periphrastic denominationP for Apollo, cf. 1.9n.; on Leto, CG 18; on the generic
epithetP ēúkomos, 1.36n.
414 = 18.456. — among the champions: on the warriors in the front row of the
phalanx formation, see 3.16–17n.
κῦδος ἔδωκεν: 204n.
415 blast of the west wind: Zéphyros, the fastest of the winds, is the father of the
two immortal horses (400n.).
ἅμα πνοιῇ Ζεφύροιο: i.e. ‘as fast as our father’ (cf. AH on Od. 1.98 [transl.]: ‘as in a
race’); elsewhere frequently ἅμα πνοιῇ ἀνέμοιο for the speed of horses and birds (LfgrE
s.v. πνοιή).

411 βραδυτῆτι … νωχελίῃ: causal dat., ‘on the basis of, because of’.
412 ὤμοιιν: gen. dual. — τεύχε’ ἕλοντο: on the hiatus, R 5.1; on the uncontracted form, R 6.
413 ὥριστος: crasis of ὁ ἄριστος (R 5.3).
414 ἔκταν(ε): strong aor. of (ἀπο)κτείνω. — ἐνί: = ἐν (R 20.1).
415 νῶϊ: nom. dual of the personal pronoun of the 3rd person (R 14.1). — καί κεν ἅμα πνοιῇ …
θέοιμεν: ‘we could in fact together with the wind …’, i.e. ‘we could in fact as fast as the wind …’.
— κεν: = ἄν (R 24.5). — πνοιῇ: metrically lengthened initial syllable (R 10.1).
186   Iliad 19

416–417 by a god and a mortal: The unequivocal identification of the man is

made only at 22.359 by the dying Hektor (‘Paris and Phoibos Apollo’), although
Thetis already informs Achilleus about Apollo’s role at 21.277  f.; cf. 409–410n.;
Edwards on 415–417.
φασ(ι): marks generally known facts, here in a formulation similar to that at 96 (see ad
loc. and cf. 2.783n.): the speed of the wind (Leaf). — σοὶ αὐτῷ: contrasts Achilleus with
the speaker, i.e. ‘yourself (without us being part of it)’: AH, Faesi, Leaf; differently LfgrE
s.v. 1661.53  ff.: ‘you for your part’ in comparison to Patroklos. — μόρσιμον: a derivation
from μόρος (cf. 421n.) meaning ‘allotted, determined as fate’; impersonal with an inf.
following also at 5.674, 20.302 (LfgrE s.v. μόρσιμος, μόριμον). — θεῷ τε καὶ ἀνέρι: on the
dat. of the person involved with the pass. of δάμνημι, 3.183n. — ἶφι δαμῆναι: a variable
VE formula (2x Il., 2x Od., 2x ‘Hes.’).
418 stopped the voice in him: The phrasing does not make explicit whether
the Erinyes remove the ability to speak from the animal primarily in order to
restore its original state (i.e. to put an end to its ability to talk after it has fin-
ished doing so: thus Edwards, Willcock; for further bibliography, see 407–
417n.) or whether they interrupt its speech primarily in order to prevent further
revelations regarding the future (thus AH; LfgrE s.v. αὐδή 1542.40  ff.; Heubeck
1986, 154, 163; undecided Nagler 1974, 146).
ὣς ἄρα φωνήσαντος: an inflectible VB formula (speech capping formulaP), elsewhere
always in the nom. (φωνήσας/φωνήσασ(α) and φωνήσαντε/-ες): 1.428n. — ἔσχεθον
αὐδήν: means ‘bring the speech to a stop’ (cf. 119 τόκον: LfgrE s.v. ἔχω 845.73  ff.); αὐδή
can denote both the act of speaking and the ability to speak (LfgrE s.v. αὐδή 1541.9  ff.;
Clay 1974, 131  f.).
419 = 16.48, 22.14; ≈ 18.97 (τήν); 1st VH (to caesura C 1) = 7.454, 1718, Od. 4.30, 4.332, Hes.
Th. 558; ≈ Il. 1.517 (see ad loc.), 4.30, 8.208, 15.184 (τήν), Od. 15.325. — μέγ’ ὀχθήσας: a
sign of Achilleus’ frustration and bitterness: he responds gruffly to Xanthos and appears
determined in the face of his immutable fate (LfgrE s.v. ὀχθῆσαι; Scully 1984, 21  f.; cf.
1.517n.). — πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς: a VE formula (30x Il.): 1.58n.
420–423 The speech contains clear echoes of 16.859–861: there Hektor reacts
with similar words, albeit in a different tenor, to Patroklos’ prophecy of his
imminent death at the hands of Achilleus (16.851  ff.). Whereas Hektor speaks

416 τήν περ: τήν functions as a relative pronoun (R 14.5), cf. 95–96n.; on περ, R 24.10. — ἔμμεναι:
= εἶναι (R 16.4).
417 ἀνέρι (ϝ)ῖφι: on the prosody, R 5.4. — ἀνέρι: metrically lengthened initial syllable (R 10.1);
= ἀνδρί. — ἶφι: ‘instrumental’ (-φι: R 11.4) of the nominal root (ϝ)ίς (cf. Lat. vis), ‘with force, power,
might’. — δαμῆναι: aor. pass. inf. of δάμνημι.
418 ἔσχεθον: poetic byform of ἔσχον.
419 μέγ(α): adv., ‘very’.
Commentary   187

with fatal confidence, Achilleus faces his death determinedly: he accepts his
fate (by persisting at Troy, he has chosen a notable but brief life [cf. 9.410  ff.])
and insists on his desire for revenge (so too at 18.98  ff., cf. his reaction to
Hektor’s warning at 22.365  f.), emphasizing the tragedy of his fate before his
departure for battle (Edwards; Fenik 1968, 217  f.; Macleod 1982, 10; Taplin
1992, 220  f., 247; Grethlein 2006, 120  f.; 2012, 31  f.).
420 οὐδέ τί σε χρή: a VE formula (67n.).
421 νύ: 95–96n. — οἶδα καὶ αὐτός: elsewhere an inflectible VE formula (4x Il., 3x Od., 1x
‘Hes.’, 2x h.Merc); the placement in the 1st VH and the addition of εὖ (cf. εὖ νυ καὶ ἡμεῖς
ἴδμεν 8.32, 8.463, 18.197) add to the emphasis. By means of the phrasing, the speaker
acknowledges a statement as legitimate, while at the same time preparing a contrast,
see ἀλλά … 422  f., cf. also 8.32  f., 24.105  f. (AH ad loc. and on Od. 10.457; on Achilleus’
knowledge, 328–333n.). — μόρος: ‘(allotted) fate’, frequently in reference to death, cf.
μόρσιμον (416–417n.) and Μοῖρα (409–410n.): LfgrE; Janko, Introd. 5; Sarischoulis
2008, 76.
422 VE = 2.297. — far from my beloved father and mother: The common motif
of dying as not returning to one’s father (329n.) or one’s homeland (2.162n.) is
here varied by mentioning the mother as well in order to heighten the pathos
(likewise at 18.330–332).
423 on the notion of ‘satiation by battle’, see 402n.
οὐ  …, πρὶν  … ἐλάσαι: 169–170n. — ἅδην ἐλάσαι πολέμοιο: ἅδην ‘satiety, surfeit’,
used metaphorically also at 13.315 (ἅδην ἐλόωσι  … πολέμοιο), Od. 5.290 (ἅδην ἐλάαν
κακότητος); probably an ossified acc. of a noun related to the root of ἄ-μεναι used adver-
bially (‘into a surfeit of battle’), cf. 307n., 402n. (Schw. 1.508; Edwards: ‘before driving
the Trojans to satiety of war’; Janko on 13.315–316; cf. LfgrE s.v. ἐλαύνω 517.61  ff. [transl.]:
‘drive them so that they have had enough of battle’; Latacz 1966, 181; on the word for-
mation [noun or deverbative adverb], see also Risch 365; Leaf on 13.315; LfgrE s.v. ἄδη).
424 VE = 5.829, 5.841, 8.139, 11.513, 16.712, 23.398, 23.423. — The Book ends with
Achilleus’ signal to depart for battle. Book 20 picks up immediately with the
arming and gathering of the Achaian army around their commander Achilleus
(20.1  f., cf. 19.352a and 364) and introduces the opponent in the battle (20.3); a
gathering of the gods follows (20.4  ff.). The scene, which began at 351bf., does
not conclude until the phrase ‘so these now … were arming | around you’ at
20.1 (Greek VB formula hōs hoi men followed by a verb in the impf.: 1.318a n.),

420 μαντεύεαι: on the uncontracted form, R 6. — οὐδέ τι: ‘not at all, in no way’.

421 τοι: on the particle, R 24.12. — ὅ: = ὅτι. — μόρος: sc. ἐστίν.
422 μητέρος: = μητρός. — ἀλλὰ καὶ ἔμπης: ‘but all the same’.
424 ἦ: 3rd sing. impf. of ἠμί ‘say’. — ῥα: = ἄρα (R 24.1).
188   Iliad 19

i.e. beyond the (likely post-Homeric: 1–39n., end) Book-division, with a brief
summary and preparation of the change of scene: 351b–356a n., 356b–20.3n.;
Edwards on 20.1–3; Kelly 2007, 102  f. — in the foremost: 414n. — single-foot:
The Greek adjective ‘single-hooved’ is a distinctive epithetP of horses (cf. today
in the Order ‘odd-toed ungulates, perissodactyla’: Equidae or ‘single-hoofers’);
horse epithets generally refer to the speed and/or quality of the hooves: in the
present VE formula, the ‘single-hooved’ horses that were carefully bred and of
particular value among domestic animals are highlighted in contrast to other
domestic animals such as cattle (cf. ‘lumbering’ at 6.424n.) (Delebecque 1951,
149  f.; on the special status of horses, see Richter 1968, 70–76; Wiesner 1968,
30–32; cf. 243–244n.).
ἰάχων: 41n. — ἔχε: with horses as the object, ‘steer’ (LfgrE s.v. 840.53  ff. [transl.]: ‘i.e. give
them a direction’), sometimes with a specification of direction (3.263, 5.240, 829/841,
8.139, 11.513, 760). — μώνυχας ἵππους: an inflectible VE formula (33x Il., 1x Od., 1x
‘Hes.’; of these 27x acc., 8x nom.) after a vocalic word-end, cf. also the VE formula
ὠκέες/-ας ἵ. after a consonant (3.263n.; Düntzer [1864] 1979, 101). μ. is a possessive
compound with the zero-grade of the numeral ‘one’ as the initial element (IE *sem/sm̥,
cf. εἷς, μία, ἕν, Latin semel): *σμ-ῶνυξ (LfgrE, Frisk, DELG, Beekes s.v. μῶνυξ).
Bibliographic Abbreviations

1 Works cited without year of publication (standard works)

AH on Il. Homers Ilias. Erklärt von K. F. Ameis und C. Hentze, Leipzig and Berlin
1868–1884 (Books 1–6 by Ameis, rev. by Hentze; 7–24 by Hentze); most
recent editions: vol. 1.1 (Books 1–3) 71913, rev. by P. Cauer; vol. 1.2 (4–6)
1908; vol. 1.3 (7–9) 51907; vol. 1.4 (10–12) 51906; vol. 2.1 (13–15) 41905; vol. 2.2
(16–18) 41908; vol. 2.3 (19–21) 41905; vol. 2.4 (22–24) 41906. (Reprint Amster-
dam 1965.)
AH, Anh. on Il. Anhang zu Homers Ilias. Schulausgabe von K. F. Ameis, Leipzig 11868– 1886
(commentary on Books 1–6 by Ameis, rev. by Hentze; 7–24 by Hentze); cited
in this volume: Heft 7 (on Il. 19–21) 1883.
AH on Od. Homers Odyssee. Erklärt von K. F. Ameis und C. Hentze, Leipzig and Berlin
1856–1860; cited in this volume: vol. 1.1 (Books 1–6), rev. by P. Cauer, 131920.
AH, Anh. on Od. Anhang zu Homers Odyssee. Schulausgabe von K. F. Ameis, Leipzig 11867;
cited in this volume: Heft 1 (on Od. 1–6), rev. by C. Hentze, 31883.
Allen Allen, Th.W. Homeri Ilias, Oxford 1931. (3 vols.)
Allen/Halliday/ Allen, Th.W., W. R. Halliday and E. E. Sikes. (edd.) The Homeric Hymns.
Sikes Oxford 1936. (Reprint Amsterdam 1980.)
ArchHom Archaeologia Homerica. Die Denkmäler und das frühgriechische Epos. Edited
by F. Matz and H.-G. Buchholz under the authority of the DAI. Göttingen
ATU The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography.
Based on the System of A. Aarne and S. Thompson, by H.-J. Uther (FF Com-
munications, 284–286). Helsinki 2004. (3 vols.)
Autenrieth/Kaegi Autenrieth, G. and A. Kaegi. Wörterbuch zu den Homerischen Gedichten14.
Stuttgart and Leipzig 1999 (= reprint of 131920, with a Preface by J. Latacz and
an Introduction by A. Willi; Leipzig 11873.)
Beekes Beekes, R. Etymological Dictionary of Greek, with the assistance of L. van
Beek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series, 10). Leiden/
Boston 2010. (2 vols.)
BNP Brill’s New Pauly, ed. by H. Cancik and H. Schneider, transl. by C. F. Sala­
zar; online:
pauly (retrieved: 12.  03. 2016); print edition Leiden 2002–2011. (Original
German ed.: Der Neue Pauly. Enzyklopädie der Antike, ed. by H. Cancik and
H. Schneider. Stuttgart and Weimar 1996–2003.)
ChronEG Chronique d’étymologie grecque, ed. by A. Blanc, C. de Lamberterie and
J.-L. Perpillou, appears annually in: RPh 70  ff., 1996  ff. (also in: DELG); cited
in this volume: ChronEG 4, RPh 73 (1999) 79–108; ChronEG 5, RPh 74 (2000)
257–286; ChronEG 6, RPh 75 (2001) 131–162.
Chantr. Chantraine, P. Grammaire homérique6. Paris 1986–1988 (11942–1953). (2 vols.)
Companion Morris, I. and B. Powell (edd.). A New Companion to Homer. Leiden and New
York 1997.
Cunliffe Cunliffe, R. J. A Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect. Expanded Edition with a
New Preface by J. H. Dee. Norman 2012 (11924).
190   Iliad 19

DDD van der Toorn, K., B. Becking and P. W. van der Horst (edd.). Dictionary of
Deities and Demons in the Bible2. Leiden etc. 1999 (11995).
DELG Chantraine, P. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque. Histoire des
mots. Nouvelle édition avec, en supplément, les Chroniques d’étymologie
grecque (1–10). Paris 2009 (11968–1980).
Denniston Denniston, J. D. The Greek Particles2. Oxford 1954 (11934).
DMic Aura Jorro, F. Diccionario Micénico. Madrid 1985–1993. (2 vols.)
Ebeling Ebeling, H. Lexicon Homericum. Leipzig 1885 (Reprint Hildesheim 1987.)
(2 vols.)
Edwards Edwards, M. W. The Iliad. A Commentary, vol. V: Books 17–20. Cambridge
Faesi Homers Iliade4. Erklärt von J. U. Faesi. Leipzig 1864–1865 (11851–1852).
Fernández-Galiano Fernández-Galiano, M. In A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey, vol. III: Books
XVII–XXIV. Oxford 1992. (Original Italian ed. 1986.)
Frisk Frisk, H. Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Heidelberg 1960–1972.
(3 vols.)
Hainsworth Hainsworth, J. B. The Iliad. A Commentary, vol. III: Books 9–12. Cambridge
on Il. 9–12 1993.
Hainsworth Hainsworth, J. B. In A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey, vol. I: Books I–VIII.
on Od. 5–8 Oxford 1988. (Original Italian ed. 1982.)
HE Finkelberg, M. (ed.). The Homer Encyclopedia. Chichester 2011. (3 vols.)
Heubeck Heubeck, A. In A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey, vol. II: Books IX–XVI.
on Od. 9–12 Oxford 1989. (Original Italian ed. 1983.)
Heubeck Heubeck, A, In A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey, vol. III: Books XVII–
on Od. 23–24 XXIV. Oxford 1992. (Original Italian ed. 1986.)
Hoekstra Hoekstra, A. In A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey, vol. II: Books IX–XVI.
Oxford 1989. (Original Italian ed. 1984.)
HTN Latacz, J. (ed.). Homer: Tradition und Neuerung. Wege der Forschung 463.
Darmstadt 1979.
Janko Janko, R. The Iliad. A Commentary, vol. IV: Books 13–16. Cambridge 1992.
de Jong on Od. Jong, I. J. F. de. A Narratological Commentary on the Odyssey. Cambridge 2001.
Jong, I. J. F. de (ed.). Homer, Iliad Book XXII. Cambridge Greek and Latin
de Jong on Il. 22 Classics. Cambridge 2012.
von Kamptz Kamptz, H. von. Homerische Personennamen. Sprachwissenschaftliche und
historische Klassifikation. Göttingen and Zürich 1982. (Originally diss. Jena
K.-G. Kühner, R. and B. Gerth. Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache.
Zweiter Teil: Satzlehre. Hanover 1898–1904. (Reprint Hanover 1992.) (2 vols.)
Kirk Kirk, G. S. The Iliad. A Commentary, vol. I: Books 1–4. Cambridge 1985; vol. II:
Books 5–8. Cambridge 1990.
KlP Ziegler, K. and W. Sontheimer (edd.). Der Kleine Pauly. Lexikon der Antike
in fünf Bänden. Stuttgart and Munich 1964–1975. (Reprint Munich 1979.)
(5 vols.)
LÄ Helck, W. and E. Otto (edd.). Lexikon der Ägyptologie. Wiesbaden 1975–1989.
(7 vols.)
Leaf The Iliad2. Ed. with Apparatus Criticus, Prolegomena, Notes, and Appendi-
ces by W. Leaf. London 1900–1902 (11886–1888). (2 vols.)
 Bibliographic Abbreviations   191

van Leeuwen Ilias. Cum prolegomenis, notis criticis, commentariis exegeticis ed. J. van
Leeuwen. Leiden 1912–1913. (2 vols.)
LfgrE Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos. Founded by Bruno Snell. Prepared under
the authority of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen and edited by the
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae. Göttingen 1955–2010.
LIMC Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, ed by H. C. Ackermann and
J. R. Gisler. Zurich etc. 1981–1999. (18 vols.)
LIV Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben. Die Wurzeln und ihre Primärstamm-
bildungen. Ed. by M. Kümmel, Th. Zehnder, R. Lipp, B. Schirmer under
the direction of H. Rix and with the collaboration of many others. Second,
expanded and improved edition ed. by M. Kümmel and H. Rix. Wiesbaden
2001 (11998).
LSJ Liddell, H. R., R. Scott and H. S. Jones. A Greek-English Lexicon9. Oxford
1940. (Reprint with revised supplement 1996.)
Mazon Homère, Iliade. Tome 4: Chants 19–24. Texte établi et traduit par P. Mazon
avec la collaboration de P. Chantraine et al. Paris 1947.
RAC Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum. Sachwörterbuch zur Auseinanderset-
zung des Christentums mit der antiken Welt. Ed. by Th. Klauser, E. Dassmann
et al. Stuttgart 1950–.
RE Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft. New
edition, ed. by G. Wissowa with the cooperation of numerous specialists.
Stuttgart 1894–2000.
Richardson Richardson, N. J. The Iliad. A Commentary, vol. VI: Books 21–24. Cambridge
on Il. 21–24 1993.
Richardson Richardson, N. J. (ed.) The Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Oxford 1974.
on h.Cer.
Risch Risch, E. Wortbildung der homerischen Sprache2. Berlin and New York 1974
Ruijgh Ruijgh, C. J. Autour de ‘te épique’. Études sur la syntaxe grecque. Amsterdam
Russo Russo, J. In A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey, vol. III: Books XVII– XXIV.
Oxford 1992. (Original Italian ed. 1985.)
Stanford Homer, Odyssey2. Ed. with Introduction and Commentary by W. B. Stanford.
London 1958–1959 (11947–1948; reprint Bristol 1996). (2 vols.)
Schw. Schwyzer, E., A. Debrunner, D. J. Georgacas and F. and St. Radt. Griechische
Grammatik. Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft 2.1.1–4. Munich 1939–
1994. (4 vols.)
ThesCRA Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum, ed. by the Fondation pour le
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC) and the J. Paul Getty
Museum. Los Angeles 2004–2014. (8 vols. and one index vol.)
Thompson Thompson, S. Motif-Index of Folk-Literature: A Classification of Narra-
tive Elements in Folktales, Ballads, Myths, Fables, Mediaeval Romances,
Exempla, Fabliaux, Jest-Books and Local Legends2. Copenhagen 1955–1958
(11932–1936). (6 vols.)
Untermann Untermann, J. Einführung in die Sprache Homers. Der Tod des Patroklos, Ilias
Π 684–867. Heidelberg 1987.
192   Iliad 19

Wathelet Wathelet, P. Dictionnaire des Troyens de l’Iliade. Université de Liège. Biblio-

thèque de la Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres. Documenta et Instrumenta
1. Liège 1988. (2 vols.)
West on Hes. Op. Hesiod, Works and Days. Ed. with Prolegomena and Commentary by
M. L. West. Oxford 1978.
West on Hes. Th. Hesiod, Theogony. Ed. with Prolegomena and Commentary by M. L. West.
Oxford 1966.
West on Od. 1–4 West, S. In A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey, vol. I: Books I–VIII. Oxford
1988. (Original Italian ed. 1981.)
Willcock Homer, Iliad. Ed. with Introduction and Commentary by M. M. Willcock.
London 1978–1984. (2 vols.)

2 Editions of Ancient Authors and Texts1

Antimachus of Colophon (Matthews)
Antimachus of Colophon. Text and Commentary by V. J. Matthews. Mnemosyne Supplement
155. Leiden etc. 1996.
‘Epic Cycle’ (West) or (Davies)
• in Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. M. Davies. Göttingen 1988;
• and in Greek Epic Fragments. From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries BC, ed. and transl. by
M. L. West. Loeb Classical Library 497. Cambridge, Mass. and London 2003.
Heraclitus (VS)
in Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker6, Greek and German text by H. Diels, ed. by W. Kranz,
vol. 1. Berlin 1951 (11903).
‘Hesiod’, fragments (M.-W.)
in Hesiodi Theogonia, Opera et dies, Scutum3, ed. F. Solmsen; Fragmenta selecta, edd.
R. Merkelbach et M. L. West. Oxford 1990 (11970).
Pindar, fragments
in Pindari Carmina cum Fragmentis, pars II: Fragmenta, Indices, ed. H. Maehler. Leipzig
Porphyry (MacPhail)
Porphyry’s Homeric Questions on the Iliad. Text, Translation, Commentary by J. A. MacPhail
Jr. Texte und Kommentare 36. Berlin and New York 2011.
Scholia on the Iliad (Erbse)
Scholia graeca in Homeri Iliadem (scholia vetera), rec. H. Erbse. Berlin 1969–1988. (7 vols.)
Scholia on the Iliad (van Thiel)
Scholia D in Iliadem secundum codices manu scriptos. Proecdosis aucta et correctior 2014.,
ed. H. van Thiel. Elektronische Schriftenreihe der Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek Köln 7. (retrieved: 12. 03. 2016).
Simonides (Page)
in Poetae Melici Graeci, ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

1 Included are editions only of works for which different editions offer differing verse-, para-
graph- or fragment-numbers.
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3 Articles and Monographs

Journal abbreviations follow l’Année Philologique.2

Adkins 1960 Adkins, A. W. H. Merit and Responsibility: A Study in Greek Values. Oxford.
Adkins 1969 Adkins, A. W. H. ‘Threatening, Abusing and Feeling Angry in the Homeric
Poems.’ JHS 89: 7–21.
Adkins 1982 Adkins, A. W. H. ‘Values, Goals, and Emotions in the Iliad.’ CPh 77: 292–326.
Ahlberg 1971 Ahlberg G. Prothesis and Ekphora in Greek Geometric Art. SIMA 32. Göteborg.
Ahrens 1937 Ahrens, E. Gnomen in griechischer Dichtung (Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus).
Alden 2000 Alden, M. J. Homer Beside Himself: Para-Narratives in the Iliad. Oxford.
Alexiou (1974) 2002 Alexiou, M. The Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition2. Greek Studies. Lanham
etc. (11974).
Allan 2003 Allan, R. J. The Middle Voice in Ancient Greek: A Study in Polysemy.
Amsterdam Studies in Classical Philology 11. Amsterdam.
Allan 2009 Allan R. ‘Orale elementen in de Homerische grammatica. Intonatie-eenheid
en enjambement.’ Lampas 42: 136–151.
Allan 2013 Allan, R. J. ‘Exploring Modality’s Semantic Space: Grammaticalization, Sub-
jectification and the Case of ὀφείλω.’ Glotta 89: 1–46.
Allan/Cairns 2011 Allan, W. and D. Cairns. ‘Conflict and Community in the Iliad.’ In Competition
in the Ancient World, ed. by N. Fisher and H. van Wees, pp. 113–146. Swansea.
Anastassiou 1973 Anastassiou, I. Zum Wortfeld ‘Trauer’ in der Sprache Homers. Hamburg.
Andersen 1987 Andersen, Ø. ‘Myth, Paradigm and ‘Spatial Form’ in the Iliad.’ In Bremer
1987, pp. 1–13.
Andronikos 1968 Andronikos, M. ‘Totenkult.’ ArchHom chap. W. Göttingen.
Apthorp 1980 Apthorp, M. J. The Manuscript Evidence for Interpolation in Homer. Bibliothek
der Klass. Altertumswiss., N. F. 2.71. Heidelberg.
Arbenz 1933 Arbenz C. Die Adjektive auf -ΙΜΟΣ. Ein Beitrag zur griechischen Wortbildung.
Arend 1933 Arend, W. Die typischen Scenen bei Homer. Problemata 7. Berlin.
Armstrong 1958 Armstrong, J. I. ‘The Arming Motif in the Iliad.’ AJPh 79: 337–354.
Arnould 1986 Arnould, D. ‘τήκειν dans la peinture des larmes et du deuil chez Homère et
les tragiques.’ RPh 60: 267–274.
Arnould 1990 Arnould, D. Le rire et les larmes dans la littérature grecque d’Homère à Platon.
Collection d’études anciennes, Série grecque 119. Paris.
Aubriot 2001 Aubriot, D. ‘Humanité et divinité dans l’Iliade à travers le personnage
d’Achille.’ In: Dieux, héros et médecins grecs. Hommage à Fernand Robert,
ed. by M. Woronoff, S. Follet and J. Jouanna, pp. 7–27. Besançon.
Austin 1975 Austin, N. Archery at the Dark of the Moon: Poetic Problems in Homer’s
Odyssey. Berkeley etc.

2 A cumulative list can be found at:

­(retrieved: 12. 03. 2016).
194   Iliad 19

Bakker 1988 Bakker, E. J. Linguistics and Formulas in Homer: Scalarity and the Description
of the Particle ‘per’. Amsterdam and Philadelphia.
Bakker 1997 Bakker, E. J. Poetry in Speech: Orality and Homeric Discourse. Myth and
Poetics. Ithaca and London.
Bakker (1999) 2005  Bakker, E. J. ‘The Poetics of Deixis.’ In Bakker 2005, pp.  71–91. (First
published in CPh 94: 1–19; also in Nagy 2001, vol. 2, pp. 313–331.)
Bakker (2001) 2005  Bakker, E. J. ‘Similes, Augment, and the Language of Immediacy.’ In Bakker
2005, pp. 114–135. (First published in Speaking Volumes: Orality and Literacy
in the Greek and Roman World, ed. by J. Watson, J., pp.  1–23. Mnemosyne
Supplement 218. Leiden etc.)
Bakker (2002) 2005  Bakker, E. J. ‘Remembering the God’s Arrival.’ In Bakker 2005, pp. 136–153.
(First published in Arethusa 35: 63–81.)
Bakker 2005 Bakker, E. J. Pointing at the Past: From Formula to Performance in Homeric
Poetics. Hellenic Studies 12. Cambridge, Mass. and London.
Bannert 1978 Bannert, H. ‘Zur Vogelgestalt der Götter bei Homer.’ WS 12: 29–42.
Bannert 1987 Bannert, H. ‘Versammlungsszenen bei Homer.’ In Bremer 1987, pp. 15–30.
Bannert 1988 Bannert, H. Formen des Wiederholens bei Homer. Beispiele für eine Poetik des
Epos. Wiener Studien Beih. 13. Vienna.
Barck 1976 Barck, Chr. Wort und Tat bei Homer. Spudasmata 34. Hildesheim and New
Barrett 1981 Barrett, D. S. ‘The Friendship of Achilles and Patroclus.’ CB 57: 87–93.
Bartoněk 2003 Bartoněk, A. Handbuch des mykenischen Griechisch. Indogermanische
Bibliothek, Reihe 1. Heidelberg.
Basset 2006 Basset, L. ‘La préfiguration dans l’épopée homérique de l’article défini
du grec classique.’ In Word Classes and Related Topic in Ancient Greek:
Proceedings of the Conference on ‘Greek Syntax and Word Classes’ held in
Madrid on 18–21, June 2003, ed. by E. Crespo, J. de la Villa and A. R. Revuelta,
pp. 105–120. Louvain-la-Neuve.
Bassett 1919 Bassett, S. E. ‘Versus tetracolos.’ CPh 14: 216–233.
Bechtel 1914 Bechtel, F. Lexilogus zu Homer. Etymologie und Stammbildung homerischer
Wörter. Halle.
Beck 1986 Beck, W. ‘Choice and Context: Metrical Doublets für Hera.’ AJPh 107:
Beck 2005 Beck, D. Homeric Conversation. Hellenic Studies 14. Cambridge, Mass. and
Beck 2012 Beck, D. Speech Presentation in Homeric Epic. Austin.
Becker 1937 Becker, O. Das Bild des Weges und verwandte Vorstellungen im früh­grie­chi­
schen Denken. Hermes Einzelschriften 4. Berlin.
Beckmann 1932 Beckmann, J.Th. Das Gebet bei Homer. Würzburg.
Beekes 1969 Beekes, R. S. P. The Development of the Proto-Indo-European Laryngeals in
Greek. Janua linguarum, Series practica 42. The Hague and Paris.
Bekker 1863 Bekker, I. Homerische Blätter, vol. 1. Bonn.
Benedetti 1979 Benedetti, M. ‘Il composto omerico ΙΠΠΙΟΧΑΡΜΗΣ.’ RAL 34: 169–185.
Benveniste 1969 Benveniste, E. Le vocabulaire des institutions indo-européennes, vol. 2:
pouvoir, droit, religion. Paris.
Bergold 1977 Bergold, W. Der Zweikampf des Paris und Menelaos. Zu Ilias Γ 1–Δ 222. Habelts
Dissertationsdrucke, Reihe Klass. Philol. 28. Bonn.
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Bethe 1914 Bethe, E. Homer. Dichtung und Sage, vol. 1: Ilias. Leipzig and Berlin.
Bierl 2001 Bierl, A. Der Chor in der Alten Komödie. Ritual und Performativität. Beiträge
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Bierl et al. 2004 Bierl, A., A. Schmitt and A. Willi. Antike Literatur in neuer Deutung. Festschrift
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Blanc 2002 Blanc, A. ‘Disguised Compounds in Greek: Homeric ἈΒΛΗΧΡΟΣ, ἈΓΑΥΟΣ,
Blanc 2003 Blanc, A. ‘La faute et le parricide en grec, le dommage indo-iranien et la peine
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Blom 1936 Blom, J. W. S. De typische getallen bij Homeros en Herodotos, I: Triaden,
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Blößner 1991 Blößner, N. Die singulären Iterata der Ilias. Bücher 16–20. Beiträge zur Alter-
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Böhme 1929 Böhme, J. Die Seele und das Ich im homerischen Epos. Leipzig and Berlin.
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Bonifazi 2012 Bonifazi, A. Homer’s Versicolored Fabric: The Evocative Power of Ancient
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Borchhardt 1977 Borchhardt, H. ‘Frühe griechische Schildformen.’ In ArchHom chap. E 1
(‘Kriegswesen, Teil 1: Schutzwaffen und Wehrbauten’), pp. 1–56. Göttingen.
Bouvier 2002 Bouvier, D. Le sceptre et la lyre. L’Iliade ou les héros de la mémoire. Collection
HOROS. Grenoble.
Bowra 1952 Bowra, C. M. Heroic Poetry. London.
Bradley 1967 Bradley, E. M. ‘Hector and the Simile of the Snowy Mountain.’ TAPhA 98:
Bremer 1976 Bremer, D. Licht und Dunkel in der frühgriechischen Dichtung. Interpreta-
tionen zur Vorgeschichte der Lichtmetaphysik. Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte,
Suppl. 1. Bonn.
Bremer 1987 Bremer, J. M., I. J. F. de Jong and J. Kalff (edd.). Homer: Beyond Oral Poetry.
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Bremmer 1983 Bremmer, J. N. The Early Greek Concept of the Soul. Princeton.
Breuil 1989 Breuil, J.-L. ‘ΚΡΑΤΟΣ et sa famille chez Homère. Étude sémantique.’ In
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M. Casevitz, pp. 9–53. Travaux de la maison de l’orient 16. Lyon.
Brown 1998 Brown, A. ‘Homeric Talents and the Ethics of Exchange.’ JHS 118: 165–172.
Brown 2006 Brown, H. P. ‘Addressing Agamemnon. A Pilot Study of Politeness and
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Bruns 1970 Bruns, G. ‘Küchenwesen und Mahlzeiten.’ ArchHom chap. Q. Göttingen.
Buchholz 2010 Buchholz, H. G. ‘Kriegswesen, Teil 3: Ergänzungen und Zusammenfassung.’
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Buchholz 2012 Buchholz, H.-G. ‘Erkennungs-, Rang- und Würdezeichen.’ ArchHom chap. D.
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Burgess 2001 Burgess, J. S. The Tradition of the Trojan War in Homer and the Epic Cycle.
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Burgess 2005 Burgess, J. S. ‘The Death of Achilles by Rhapsodes.’ In Approaches to Homer,
Ancient and Modern, ed. by R. J. Rabel, pp. 119–134. Swansea.
Burgess 2006 Burgess, J. S. ‘Neoanalysis, Orality, and Intertextuality: An Examination of
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Burkert 1955 Burkert, W. Zum altgriechischen Mitleidsbegriff. Erlangen.
Burkert (1977) 1985 Burkert, W. Greek Religion. Transl. by J. Raffan. Cambridge, Mass. (German
original: Griechische Religion der archaischen und klassischen Epoche,
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Burkert (1991) 2001 Burkert, W. ‘Homer’s Anthromorphism: Narrative and Ritual.’ In W. Burkert.
Kleine Schriften 1: Homerica, ed. by Chr. Riedweg et al., pp.  80–94.
Hypomnemata, Supplement 2. Göttingen. (First published in New Perspec-
tives in Early Greek Art, ed. by D. Buitron-Oliver, pp. 81–91. Washington, D. C.).
Burkert 2003 Burkert, W. ‘Hesiod in Context: Abstractions and Divinities in an Aegean-
Eastern Koiné.’ In W. Burkert. Kleine Schriften 2: Orientalia, ed. by M. L. Ge-
melli Marciano et al., pp. 172–191. Hypomnemata, Supplement 2. Göttingen.
Buttmann 1825 Buttmann, Ph. Lexilogus, oder Beiträge zur griechischen Wort-Erklärung,
hauptsächlich für Homer und Hesiod, vol. 2. Berlin.
Cairns 1993 Cairns, D. L. Aidōs: The Psychology and Ethics of Honour and Shame in
Ancient Greek Literature. Oxford.
Cairns 2001 Cairns, D. L. (ed.). Oxford Readings in Homer’s Iliad. Oxford.
Cairns 2001a Cairns, D. L. ‘Affronts and Quarrels in the Iliad.’ In Cairns 2001, pp. 203–219.
Cairns 2003 Cairns, D. L. ‘Ethics, Ethology, Terminology: Iliadic Anger and the Cross-Cul-
tural Study of Emotion.’ In Ancient Anger: Perspectives from Homer to
Galen, ed. by S. Braund and G. W. Most, pp. 11–49. Yale Classical Studies 32.
Cairns 2012 Cairns, D. L. ‘Atē in the Homeric poems.’ PLLS 15: 1–52.
Calhoun 1934 Calhoun, G. M. ‘Classes and Masses in Homer.’ CPh 29: 192–208, 301–316.
Callaway 1990 Callaway, C. L. The Oath in Epic Poetry. Diss. Univ. of Washington.
Camerotto 2009 Camerotto, A. Fare gli eroi. Le storie, le imprese, le virtù: compositione e
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Canciani 1984 Canciani, F. ‘Bildkunst, Teil 2.’ ArchHom chap. N 2. Göttingen.
Carlier 1984 Carlier, P. La royauté en Grèce avant Alexandre. Études et travaux publiés
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Carter 1995 Carter, J. B. ‘Ancestor Cult and the Occasion of Homeric Performance.’ In The
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Casson 1971 Casson L. Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World. Princeton. (Reprint
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Chapa 1998 Chapa, J. Letters of Condolence in Greek Papyri. Papyrologica Florentina 29.
Christensen 2010 Christensen, J. P. ‘First-Person Futures in Homer.’ AJPh 131: 543–571.
Ciani 1974 Ciani, M. G. ΦΑΟΣ e termini affini nella poesia greca. Introduzione a una
fenomenologia della luce. Università di Padova, Pubblicazioni della facoltà
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Clark 1997 Clark, M. Out of Line: Homeric Composition Beyond the Hexameter. Greek
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Clarke 1978 Clarke, W. M. ‘Achilles and Patroclus in Love.’ Hermes 106: 381–396.
Clarke 1999 Clarke, M. J. Flesh and Spirit in the Songs of Homer: A Study of Words and
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Clarke 2005 Clarke, M. J. ‘On the Semantics of Ancient Greek Smiles.’ In Body Language in
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Considine 1966 Considine, P. ‘Some Homeric Terms for Anger.’ AClass 9: 15–25.
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Dentice 2012 Dentice di Accadia Ammone, St. Omero e i suoi oratori. Tecniche di

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Fränkel 1946 Fränkel, H. ‘Man’s «Ephemeros» Nature According to Pindar and Others.’
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