Book II

The Trial of the Army, and Catalogue of the Forces

A treacherous dream sent by Jupiter to Agamemnon, who assembles the army in the hope to take Troy⁠—Debate of the chiefs in council⁠—Agamemnon pretends a desire to return to Greece, in order to try the disposition of the army⁠—Insolent speech of Thersites, and his punishment by Ulysses⁠—Advice of Nestor to review the troops⁠—Catalogue of the troops and ships⁠—Enumeration of the Trojan forces.

All other deities, all mortal men,
Tamers of war-steeds, slept the whole night through;
But no sweet slumber came to Jove; his thoughts
Were ever busy with the anxious care
To crown with honor Peleus’ son, and cause
Myriads to perish at the Grecian fleet.
At last, this counsel seemed the best⁠—to send
A treacherous dream to Agamemnon, son
Of Atreus. Then he called a Dream, and thus
Addressing it with wingèd words, he said:⁠—

“Go, fatal Vision, to the Grecian fleet,
And, entering Agamemnon’s tent, declare
Faithfully what I bid thee. Give command
That now he arm, with all the array of war,
The long-haired Greeks, for lo, the hour is come
That gives into his hands the city of Troy
With all its spacious streets. The powers who dwell
In the celestial mansions are no more
At variance; Juno’s prayers have moved them all,
And o’er the Trojans hangs a fearful doom.”

So spake the God; the Vision heard, and went
At once to where the Grecian barques were moored,
And entered Agamemnon’s tent and found
The king reposing, with the balm of sleep
Poured all around him. At his head the Dream
Took station in the form of Neleus’ son,
Nestor, whom Agamemnon honored most
Of all the aged men. In such a shape
The heaven-sent Dream to Agamemnon spake:⁠—

“O warrior-son of Atreus, sleepest thou?
Tamer of steeds! It ill becomes a chief,
Who has the charge of nations and sustains
Such mighty cares, to sleep the livelong night.
Give earnest heed to me, for I am come
A messenger from Jove, who, though far off,
Takes part in thy concerns and pities thee.
He bids thee arm, with all the array of war,
The long-haired Greeks, for now the hour is come
Which gives into thy hands the city of Troy
With all its spacious streets. The powers that dwell
In the celestial mansions are no more
At variance; Juno’s prayers have moved them all,
And o’er the Trojans hangs a fearful doom,
Decreed by Jove. Bear what I say in mind,
And when thy sleep departs forget it not.”

He spake, and, disappearing, left the king
Musing on things that never were to be;
For on that very day he thought to take
The city of Priam. Fool! who little knew
What Jupiter designed should come to pass,
And little thought by his own act to bring
Great woe and grief on Greeks and Trojans both
In hard-fought battles. From his sleep he woke,
The heavenly voice still sounding in his ears,
And sat upright, and put his tunic on,
Soft, fair, and new, and over that he cast
His ample cloak, and round his shapely feet
Laced the becoming sandals. Next, he hung
Upon his shoulders and his side the sword
With silver studs, and took into his hand
The ancestral sceptre, old, but undecayed,
And with it turned his footsteps toward the fleet
Of the Achaian warriors brazen-mailed.

Now Dawn, the goddess, climbed the Olympian height,
Foretelling Day to Jupiter and all
The immortal gods, when Agamemnon bade
The shrill-voiced heralds call the long-haired Greeks
Together; they proclaimed his will, and straight
The warriors came in throngs. But first he bade
A council of large-minded elders meet
On Pylian Nestor’s royal barque, and there
Laid his well-pondered thought before them:⁠—

“My friends, give ear: a Vision from above
Came to me sleeping in the balmy night;
Most like to noble Nestor was its look,
Its face, its stature, and its garb. It stood
Beside me at my head, and thus it spake:⁠—

“O warrior-son of Atreus, sleepest thou?
Tamer of steeds! It ill becomes a chief,
Who has the charge of nations and sustains
Such mighty cares, to sleep the livelong night.
Give earnest heed to me, for I am come
A messenger from Jove, who, though far off,
Takes part in thy concerns and pities thee.
He bids thee arm, with all the array of war,
The long-haired Greeks, for now the hour is come
Which gives into thy hands the city of Troy
With all its spacious streets. The powers who dwell
In the celestial mansions are no more
At variance; Juno’s prayers have moved them all,
And o’er the Trojans hangs a fearful doom,
Decreed by Jove. Bear what I say in mind.’

“It spake and passed away, and with it fled
My slumbers. Now must we devise a way
To bring into the field the sons of Greece.
I first will try, as best I may, with words,
And counsel flight from Troy with all our ships.
Ye each, with different counsels, do your part.”

He spake, and took his seat, and after him
Nestor, the king of sandy Pylus, rose,
With well-considered words. “O friends,” he said,
“Leaders and princes of the Grecian race,
Had any other of the Argive host
Related such a dream, we should have said
The tale is false, and spurned the counsel given,
But he has seen it who in rank and power
Transcends us all, and ours it is to see
How we may arm for war the sons of Greece.”

He spake, and left the council, and the rest,
All sceptred kings, arose, prepared to obey
The shepherd of the people. All the Greeks
Meanwhile came thronging to the appointed place.
As, swarming forth from cells within the rock,
Coming and coming still, the tribe of bees
Fly in a cluster o’er the flowers of spring,
And some are darting out to right and left,
So from the ships and tents a multitude
Along the spacious beach, in mighty throngs,
Moved toward the assembly. Rumor went with them,
The messenger of Jove, and urged them on.
And now, when they were met, the place was stunned
With clamor; earth, as the great crowd sat down,
Groaned under them; a din of mingled cries
Arose; nine shouting heralds strove to hush
The noisy crowd to silence, that at length
The heaven-descended monarchs might be heard.

And when the crowd was seated and had paused
From clamor, Agamemnon rose. He held
The sceptre; Vulcan’s skill had fashioned it,
And Vulcan gave it to Saturnian Jove,
And Jove bestowed it on his messenger,
The Argus-queller Hermes. He in turn
Gave it to Pelops, great in horsemanship;
And Pelops passed the gift to Atreus next,
The people’s shepherd. Atreus, when he died,
Bequeathed it to Thyestes, rich in flocks;
And last, Thyestes left it to be borne
By Agamemnon, symbol of his rule
O’er many isles and all the Argive realm.
Leaning on this, he spake these wingèd words:⁠—

“Friends, Grecian heroes, ministers of Mars,
Saturnian Jove hath in an evil net
Entangled me most cruelly. He gave
His promise and his nod, that, having razed
Troy with her strong defences, I should see
My home again; but now he meditates
To wrong me, and commands me to return,
With lessened glory and much people lost,
To Argos. Thus hath it seemed good to Jove
The mighty, who hath overthrown the towers
Of many a city, and will yet o’erthrow.
The ages yet to come will hear with shame
That such a mighty army of the Greeks
Have waged a fruitless war, and fought in vain
A foe less numerous; yet no end appears
To this long strife. Should Greeks and Trojans make
A treaty, faithfully to number each,
And should the Trojans count their citizens,
And we the Greeks, disposed in rows of tens,
Should call the Trojans singly to pour out
The wine for us, full many a company
Of ten would lack its cup-bearer; so far,
I judge, the sons of Greece outnumber those
Who dwell in Troy. But they have yet allies
From many a city, men who wield the spear,
Withstanding my attempt to overthrow
That populous town. Nine years of mighty Jove
Have passed already, and the planks that form
Our barques are mouldering, and the cables drop
In pieces, and our wives within their homes,
With their young children, sit expecting us;
Yet is the enterprise for which we came
Still unperformed. Now let us all obey
The mandate I reveal, and hasten hence,
With all our fleet, to our beloved homes;
For Troy with her broad streets we cannot take.”

He spake, and in the bosoms of the crowd
Stirred every heart; even those who heard him not
Were moved: the assembly wavered to and fro
Like the long billows of the Icarian Sea,
Roused by the East wind and the South, that rush
Forth from the cloudy seat of Father Jove;
Or like the harvest-field, when west winds stoop
Suddenly from above, and toss the wheat.
So was the whole assembly swayed; they ran
With tumult to the ships; beneath their feet
Rose clouds of dust, and each exhorted each
To seize the ships and drag them to the deep.
They cleared the channels mid the clamorous cries
Of multitudes, who hastened to return,
And drew the props from underneath their barques.

Then had the Greeks returned before their time
If Juno had not to Minerva said:⁠—

“Unconquerable child of Jove! What change
Is this? Shall then the Argive army thus
Flee to their homes across the deep and leave
Glory to Priam, and to Ilium’s sons
The Argive Helen, for whose sake have died
So many Greeks upon the Trojan strand,
Far from the land they loved? But hasten thou
To the host of Argive warriors mailed in brass,
And with persuasive words restrain their men.
Nor let them launch their barques upon the sea.”

She spake; nor did the blue-eyed Pallas fail
To heed the mandate, but with quick descent
She left the Olympian height and suddenly
Stood by the swift ships of the Grecian host.
She found Ulysses there, the man endowed
With wisdom like to Jove’s; he had not touched
His well-appointed barque, for grief had seized
The hero’s heart. The blue-eyed goddess took
Her place beside him, and addressed him thus:⁠—

“Son of Laertes, nobly born and sage
Ulysses, will ye, entering your good ships,
Return in flight to your own land and leave
Glory to Priam, and to Ilium’s sons
The Argive Helen, for whose sake have died
So many Greeks upon the Trojan strand,
Far from the land they loved? Go thou at once
And seek the Argive warriors and restrain
With thy persuasive words the impatient men,
Nor let them launch their well-appointed ships.”

She spake; Ulysses knew the heavenly voice,
And hastened back, and as he ran cast by
His cloak. Eurybates of Ithaca,
The herald, caught it as he followed him.
And now before Atrides, king of men,
The warrior stood, and from his hand received
The ancestral sceptre, old, but undecayed;
And bearing this, he went among the ships
Which brought the Achaian army, mailed in brass;
And whomsoe’er he met upon his way,
Monarch or eminent among the host,
He stopped him, and addressed him blandly, thus:⁠—

“Good friend, this eager haste as if from fear
Befits thee not. Sit down, and cause the rest
To sit. What Agamemnon’s will may be
Thou canst not yet be certain; he intends
To try the Greeks, and soon will punish those
Who act amiss. We cannot all have heard
What he has said; beware, then, lest his wrath
Fall heavily upon the sons of Greece.
The monarch, foster-child of Jupiter,
Is terrible enraged. Authority
Is given by Jove, all-wise, who loves the king.”

But when he found one of the lower sort
Shouting and brawling, with the royal wand
He smote him, and reproved him sharply, thus:⁠—

“Friend, take thy seat in quiet, and attend
To what thy betters say; thou art not strong
Nor valiant, and thou art of mean repute
In combat and in council. We, the Greeks,
Cannot be all supreme in power. The rule
Of the many is not well. One must be chief
In war, and one the king, to whom the son
Of Saturn gives the sceptre, making him
The lawgiver, that he may rule the rest.”

Thus did he act the chief, and make the host
Obey his word; they to the council ground
Came rushing back from all the ships and tents
With tumult, as, on the long-stretching shore
Of ocean many-voiced, his billows fling
Themselves in fury, and the deep resounds.

All others took their seats and kept their place;
Thersites only, clamorous of tongue,
Kept brawling. He, with many insolent words,
Was wont to seek unseemly strife with kings,
Uttering whate’er it seemed to him might move
The Greeks to laughter. Of the multitude
Who came to Ilium, none so base as he⁠—
Squint-eyed, with one lame foot, and on his back
A lump, and shoulders curving towards the chest;
His head was sharp, and over it the hairs
Were thinly scattered. Hateful to the chiefs
Achilles and Ulysses, he would oft
Revile them. He to Agamemnon now
Called with shrill voice and taunting words. The Greeks
Heard him impatiently, with strong disgust
And vehement anger, yet he shouted still
To Agamemnon, and kept railing on:⁠—

“Of what dost thou complain; what wouldst thou more,
Atrides? In thy tents are heaps of gold;
Thy tents are full of chosen damsels, given
To thee before all others, by the Greeks,
Whene’er we take a city. Dost thou yet
Hanker for gold, brought by some Trojan knight,
A ransom for his son, whom I shall lead⁠—
I, or some other Greek⁠—a captive bound?
Or dost thou wish, for thy more idle hours,
Some maiden, whom thou mayst detain apart?
Ill it beseems a prince like thee to lead
The sons of Greece, for such a cause as this,
Into new perils. O ye coward race!
Ye abject Greeklings, Greeks no longer, haste
Homeward with all the fleet, and let us leave
This man at Troy to win his trophies here,
That he may learn whether the aid we give
Avails him aught or not, since he insults
Achilles, a far braver man than he,
And takes from him by force and holds his prize.
And yet, Achilles is not moved by this
To anger: he is spiritless, or else,
Atrides, this injustice were thy last.”

Taunting the shepherd of the people thus,
Thersites shouted to the king of men.
But great Ulysses, coming quickly up,
Rebuked him with a frown: “Thou garrulous wretch!
Glib as thou art of tongue, Thersites, cease,
Nor singly dare to seek dispute with kings.
There came, I deem, no viler wretch than thou
To Troy with Agamemnon. Prate no more
Of kings, reviling them, and keeping watch
For pretexts to return. We know not yet
Whether to go or to remain were best.
Thou railest at the shepherd of the host,
Atrides Agamemnon, for thou seest
The Grecian heroes load him with rewards,
While thou insultest him with scurrilous words.
I tell thee now⁠—and I shall keep my word⁠—
If e’er again I find thee railing on,
As now thou dost, then let Ulysses wear
His head no longer, let me not be called
The father of Telemachus, if I
Shall fail to seize thee, and to strip thee bare
Of cloak and tunic, and whatever else
Covers thy carcass, and to send thee forth,
Howling, to our swift barques upon the shore,
Scourged from the council with a storm of blows.”

He spake, and with his sceptre smote the back
And shoulders of the scoffer, who crouched low
And shed a shower of tears. A bloody whelk
Rose where the golden sceptre fell. He took
His seat, dismayed, and still in pain wiped off
The tears from his smutched face. The multitude
Around him, though in anxious mood, were moved
To smiles, and one addressed his neighbor thus:⁠—

“Strange that Ulysses does a thousand things
So well⁠—so wise in council, and in war
So brave; and for the Grecian army now
He does the best of all, in silencing
The chatter of this saucy slanderer,
Whose acrid temper will not soon again
Move him to rail with insolent speech at kings.”

So talked the multitude. Ulysses then,
Holding the sceptre, rose, and by his side
The blue-eyed Pallas, in a herald’s form,
Commanded silence, that the Argive host⁠—
The mightiest and the meanest⁠—might attend
To what should now be said, and calmly weigh
The counsel given them. With a prudent art
Ulysses framed his speech, and thus he spake:⁠—

“The Greeks, O Atreus’ son, would bring on thee
Dishonor in the eyes and speech of men,
Breaking the promise made when first they came
From Argos, famed for steeds, that, having spoiled
This well-defended Troy, thou shouldst return
A conqueror. And now, like tender boys
Or widowed women, all give way to grief
And languish to return. ’Twere hard to bear
If, after all our sufferings and our toils,
We go back now. And yet, whoe’er remains
A single month away from wife and home
Chafes if the winter storms and angry sea
Detain him still on board his well-oared barque;
And we have seen the ninth full year roll round
Since we came hither. Therefore blame I not
The Greeks if they in their beaked ships repine
At this delay. But then it were disgrace
To linger here so long and journey home
With empty hands. Bear with us yet, and wait
Till it be certain whether Calchas speaks
Truly or not. For we remember well,
And all of you whom cruel death has spared
Are witnesses with me, that when the ships
Of Greece⁠—it seems as if but yesterday⁠—
Mustered in Aulis on their way to bring
Woe upon Priam and the town of Troy,
And we, beside a fountain, offered up
On sacred altars chosen hecatombs,
Under a shapely plane-tree, from whose root
Flowed the clear water, there appeared to us
A wondrous sign. A frightful serpent, marked
With crimson spots, which Jupiter sent forth
To daylight from beneath the altar-stone,
Came swiftly gliding toward the tree, whereon
A sparrow had her young⁠—eight unfledged birds⁠—
Upon the topmost bough and screened by leaves;
The mother was the ninth. The serpent seized
The helpless brood and midst their piteous cries
Devoured them, while the mother fluttered round,
Lamenting, till he caught her by the wing;
And when he had destroyed the parent bird
And all her brood, the god who sent him forth
Made him a greater marvel still. The son
Of crafty Saturn changed the snake to stone;
And we who stood around were sore amazed.
Such was the awful portent which the gods
Showed at that sacrifice. But Calchas thus
Instantly spake, interpreting the sign:⁠—
“ ‘O long haired Greeks,’ he said, ‘why stand ye thus
In silence? All-foreseeing Jupiter
Hath sent this mighty omen; late it comes
And late will be fulfilled, yet gloriously,
And with a fame that never shall decay.
For as the snake devoured the sparrow’s brood,
Eight nestlings, and the mother-bird the ninth⁠—
So many years the war shall last; the tenth
Shall give into our hands the stately Troy.’

“So spake the seer; thus far his words are true.
Bide ye then here, ye well-greaved sons of Greece,
Until the city of Priam shall be ours.”

He spake, and loud applause thereon ensued
From all the Greeks, and fearfully the ships
Rang with the clamorous voices uttering
The praises of Ulysses and his words.
Then Nestor, the Gerenian knight, arose
And thus addressed them: “Strangely ye behave,
Like boys unwonted to the tasks of war.
Where now are all your promises and oaths?
Shall all our counselings and all our cares,
Leagues made with wine, religiously outpoured,
And plightings of the strong right hand, be cast
Into the flames? Idly we keep alive
A strife of words, which serves no end though long
We loiter here! But thou, Atrides, firm
Of purpose, give command that now the Greeks
Move to the war, and leave to meet their fate
Those⁠—one or more⁠—who, parting from our host,
Meditate⁠—but I deem in vain⁠—to flee
Homeward to Argos ere they are assured
Whether the word of Jove omnipotent
Be false or true. For when the Greeks embarked
In their swift ships, to carry death and fate
To Ilium’s sons, almighty Jupiter
Flung down his lightnings on the right and gave
Propitious omens. Therefore let no Greek
Go home till he possess a Trojan wife
And ye have signally avenged the wrongs
And griefs of Helen. Yet, if one be here
Who longs to go, let him but lay his hand
On his black ship, prepared to cross the deep,
And he shall die before the rest. But thou,
O king, be wisely counselled, lend an ear
To others, nor neglect what I propose.
Marshal the Greeks by tribes and brotherhoods,
That tribe may stand by tribe, and brotherhoods
Succor each other; if thou thus command
And they obey, thou shalt discern which chief
Or soldier is faint-hearted, which is brave,
For each will fight his best, and thou shalt know
Whether through favor of the gods to Troy,
Or our own cowardice and shameful lack
Of skill in war, the town is not o’erthrown.”

In turn the monarch Agamemnon spake:⁠—
“O aged warrior, thou excellest all
The Greeks in council. Would to Jupiter,
To Pallas and Apollo, that with me
There were but ten such comrades. Priam’s town
Would quickly fall before us and be made
A desolation. But the god who bears
The aegis, Saturn’s son, hath cast on me
Much grief, entangling me in idle strifes
And angry broils. Achilles and myself
Have quarrelled for a maid with bitter words,
And I was first incensed. But if again
We meet and act as friends, the overthrow
That threatens Ilium will not be delayed⁠—
Not for an hour. Now all to your repast!
And then prepare for battle. First let each
See that his spear be sharp, and put his shield
In order, give to his swift-footed steeds
Their ample forage, and o’erlook his car
That it be strong for war; for all the day
Shall we maintain the stubborn fight, nor cease
Even for a moment, till the night come down
To part the wrathful combatants. The band
Of each broad buckler shall be moist with sweat
On every breast, and weary every arm
That wields the spear, and every horse that drags
The polished chariot o’er the field shall smoke
With sweat. But whosoever shall be found
By the beaked ships and skulking from the fray
Shall be the feast of birds of prey and dogs!”

He spake; the Argives raised a mighty shout,
Loud as when billows lash the beetling shore,
Rolled by the south-wind toward some jutting rock
On which the waves, whatever wind may blow,
Beat ceaselessly. In haste the people rose
And went among the ships, and kindled fires
Within their tents and took their meal. And one
Made offerings to one god; another paid
Vows to another of the immortal race;
And all implored deliverance from death
And danger. Agamemnon, king of men,
Offered a fatted ox of five years old
To Jupiter Almighty, summoning
The elder princes of the Grecian host⁠—
Nestor the first, the king Idomeneus,
And then the warriors Ajax and the son
Of Tydeus, with Ulysses, like to Jove
In council, sixth and last. Unbidden came
The valiant Menelaus, for he knew
The cares that weighed upon his brother’s heart.
Then, as they stood around the fatted ox
And took in hand the salted barley-meal,
King Agamemnon in the circle prayed:⁠—

“O Jove, most great and glorious! who dost rule
The tempest⁠—dweller of the ethereal space!
Let not the sun go down and night come on
Ere I shall lay the halls of Priam waste
With fire, and give their portals to the flames,
And hew away the coat of mail that shields
The breast of Hector, splitting it with steel.
And may his fellow-warriors, many a one,
Fall round him to the earth and bite the dust.”

He spake; the son of Saturn hearkened not,
But took the sacrifice and made more hard
The toils of war. And now when they had prayed,
And strown the salted meal, they drew the neck
Of the victim back and cut the throat and flayed
The carcass, hewed away the thighs and laid
The fat upon them in a double fold,
On which they placed raw strips of flesh, and these
They burned with leafless billets. Then they fixed
The entrails on the spits and held them forth
Above the flames, and when the thighs were burned
And entrails tasted, all the rest was carved
Into small portions and transfixed with spits
And roasted carefully and drawn away.
And when these tasks were finished and the board
Was spread, they feasted; from that equal feast
None went unsated. When they had appeased
Their thirst and hunger, the Gerenian knight
Nestor stood forth and spake: “Most glorious son
Of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men!
Waste we no time in prattle, nor delay
The work appointed by the gods, but send
The heralds of the Achaians, brazen-mailed,
To call the people to the fleet, while we
Pass in a body through their vast array
And wake the martial spirit in their breasts.”

He spake, and Agamemnon, king of men,
Followed the counsel. Instantly he bade
The loud-voiced herald summon to the war
The long-haired Argives. At the call they came,
Quickly they came together, and the kings,
Nurslings of Jupiter, who stood beside
Atrides, hastened through the crowd to form
The army into ranks. Among them walked
The blue-eyed Pallas, bearing on her arm
The priceless aegis, ever fair and new,
And undecaying; from its edge there hung
A hundred golden fringes, fairly wrought,
And every fringe might buy a hecatomb.
With this and fierce, defiant looks she passed
Through all the Achaian host, and made their hearts
Impatient for the march and strong to endure
The combat without pause⁠—for now the war
Seemed to them dearer than the wished return,
In their good galleys, to the land they loved.

As when a forest on the mountain-top
Is in a blaze with the devouring flame
And shines afar, so, while the warriors marched,
The brightness of their burnished weapons flashed
On every side and upward to the sky.

And as when water-fowl of many tribes⁠—
Geese, cranes, and long-necked swans⁠—disport themselves
In Asia’s fields beside Cayster’s streams,
And to and fro they fly with screams, and light,
Flock after flock, and all the fields resound;
So poured, from ships and tents, the swarming tribes
Into Scamander’s plain, where fearful’y
Earth echoed to the tramp of steeds and men;
And there they mustered on the river’s side,
Numberless as the flowers and leaves of spring,
And as when flies in swarming myriads haunt
The herdsman’s stalls in spring-time, when new milk
Has filled the pails⁠—in such vast multitudes
Mustered the long-haired Greeks upon the plain,
Impatient to destroy the Trojan race.

Then, as the goatherds, when their mingled flocks
Are in the pastures, know and set apart
Each his own scattered charge, so did the chiefs,
Moving among them, marshal each his men.
There walked King Agamemnon, like to Jove
In eye and forehead, with the loins of Mars,
And ample chest like him who rules the sea.
And as a bull amid the horned herd
Stands eminent and nobler than the rest,
So Jove to Agamemnon on that day
Gave to surpass the chiefs in port and mien.

O Muses, goddesses who dwell on high,
Tell me⁠—for all things ye behold and know,
While we know nothing and may only hear
The random tales of rumor⁠—tell me who
Were chiefs and princes of the Greeks; for I
Should fail to number and to name them all⁠—
Had I ten tongues, ten throats, a voice unapt
To weary, uttered from a heart of brass⁠—
Unless the Muses aided me. I now
Will sing of the commanders and the ships.

Peneleus, Prothoenor, Leitus,
And Clonius, and Arcesilaus led
The warriors of Boeotia, all who dwelt
In Hyria and in rocky Aulis, all
From Schoenus and from Scolus and the hill
Of Eteonus and Thespeia’s fields,
And Graia and the Mycalesian plain,
All who from Herma and Ilesius came,
And Erythrae, and those who had their homes
In Eleon, Hyla, and Ocalea,
And Peteona, and the stately streets
Of Medeon, Copae, Thisbè full of doves,
And those whose dwelling-place was Eutresis,
And Coronaea, and the grassy lawns
Of Haliartus, all the men who held
Plataea, or in Glissa tilled the soil,
Or dwelt in Hypothebae nobly built,
Or in Onchestus with its temple-walls
Sacred to Neptune, or inhabited
Arnè with fruitful vineyards, Midea
And Nyssa the divine, and Anthedon
The distant⁠—fifty were their barques, and each
Held sixscore youths of the Boeotian race.

Next, over those who came from Aspledon
And from Orchomenus in Minyas
Ascalaphus ruled with his brother chief
Ialmenus⁠—two sons of mighty Mars.
These, in the halls of Actor, Azis’ son,
Astyoche bore to the god of war,
Who met by stealth the bashful maid, as once
She sought the upper palace-rooms. Their ships
Were thirty, ranged in order on the shore.

Then Schedius and Epistrophus, two chiefs
Born to Iphitus, son of Naubolus
The large of soul, led the Phocean host,
Those who in Cyparissus had their homes,
In Panopè and Crissa the divine
And Daulis, or about Hyampolis
Anemoreia, and upon the banks of broad
Cephissus, and with them the race
Who held Lilaea by Cephissus’ springs.
With these came forty ships. Their leaders went
Among them, ranging them in due array
And close to the Boeotians on the left.

Ajax the swift of foot, Oileus’ son,
Was leader of the Locrians⁠—less in limb
And stature than the other Ajax⁠—nay,
Much smaller than that son of Telamon,
Wearing a linen corselet; but to wield
The spear he far excelled all other men
Of Hellas and Achaia. Those who dwelt
In Cynus, Opus, Bessa, and the fields
Of Scarpha and Calliarus and green
Augeia, Tarpha, and the meadows where
Boagrius waters Thronium, followed him
With forty dark-hulled Locrian barques, that came
From coasts beyond Eubrea’s sacred isle.

The Euboeans breathing valor, they who held
Chalcis, Eretria, and the vineyard slopes
Of Histiaea, and the lofty walls
Of Dium and Cerinthus by the sea,
And Styra, and Earystus; these obeyed
Elphenor of the line of Mars, and son
Of the large-souled Chalcodon ruler o’er
The Abantes. Him with loosely flowing locks
The Abantes followed, swift of foot and fierce
In combat, and expert to break the mail
Upon the enemies’ breasts with ashen spears;
With forty dark-hulled barques they followed him.

Next they who came from Athens nobly built,
The city of Erechtheus, great of soul,
Son of the teeming Earth, whom Pallas reared,
That daughter of the Highest, and within
Her sumptuous temple placed him, where the sons
Of Athens, with the circling year’s return,
Paid worship at her altars, bringing bulls
And lambs to lay upon them; these obeyed
Menestheus, son of Peteus, whom no chief
On earth could equal in the art to place
Squadrons of men and horse in due array
For battle. Nestor only sought to share
This praise, but Nestor was the elder chief.
Fifty dark galleys with Menestheus came.

Ajax had brought twelve ships from Salamis,
And these he stationed near the Athenian host.

But they who dwelt in Argos, or within
The strong-walled Tiryns, or Hermione
And Asine with their deep, sheltering bays,
Troezenè and Eïonae, and hills
Of Epidaurus planted o’er with vines,
And they who tilled Aeigina and the coast
Of Mases⁠—Grecian warriors⁠—over these
Brave Diomed bore sway, with Sthenelus,
Beloved son of far-famed Campaneus,
And, third in rule, Euryalus, who seemed
Like to a god, Mecisteus’ royal son
Who sprung from Talaus; yet the chief command
Was given to Diomed, the great in war.
A fleet of eighty galleys came with them.

The dwellers of Mycenae nobly built,
Of Corinth famed for riches, and the town
Of beautiful Cleonae, they who tilled
Orneia, Araethyrea’s pleasant land,
And Sicyon, where of yore Adrastus reigned,
And Hyperesia and the airy heights
Of Gonoessa, and Pellene’s fields,
And they who came from Aegium and the shores
Around it, and broad lands of Helicè⁠—
These had a hundred barques, and over them
Atrides Agamemnon bore command;
And with him came the largest train of troops
And bravest. He was cased in gleaming mail,
And his heart gloried when he thought how high
He stood among the heroes⁠—mightier far
In power, and leader of a mightier host.

Then they who dwelt within the hollow vale
Of queenly Lacedsemon, they who held
Phare and Sparta, Messa full of doves,
Bryseiae, and Augeia’s rich domain,
Amyclae and the town of Helos, built
Close to the sea, and those who had their homes
In Laäs and the fields of Oetylus;
All these obeyed the brother of the king,
The valiant Menelaus. Sixty ships
They brought, but these he ranged apart from those
Of Agamemnon. Through the ranks he went,
And, trusting in his valor, quickened theirs
For battle; for his heart within him burned
To avenge the wrongs of Helen and her tears.

Then came the men who tilled the Pylean coast
And sweet Arenè, Thrya at the fords
Of Alpheus, and the stately palace homes
Of Aepy, or in Cyparissus dwelt,
Or in Amphigeneia, Pteleum,
Helos and Dorium, where the Muses once
Met, journeying from Oecalian Eurytus,
The Thracian Thamyris, and took from him
His power of voice. For he had made his boast
To overcome in song the daughters nine
Of Jove the Aegis-bearer. They in wrath
Smote him with blindness, took the heavenly gift
Of song away, and made his hand forget
Its cunning with the harp. All those were led
By Nestor, the Gerenian knight, who came
To war on Troy with fourscore ships and ten.

The Arcadians, dwelling by the lofty mount
Cyllene, near the tomb of Epytus,
Warriors who combat hand to hand, and they
Who tilled the fields of Pheneus and possessed
Orchomenus with all its flocks, or dwelt
In Ripa and in Stratia, and the bleak
Enispe, beaten with perpetual winds,
And in Tegea, and the lovely land
Of Mantinea, and in Stymphalus
And in Parrhasia, came in sixty ships
To Troy, with Agapenor for their chief,
Son of Ancaeus. Every ship was thronged
With warriors of Arcadia, for the king
Of men, Atrides, gave them well-oared barques
To cross the dark blue deep, since not to them
Pertained the cares and labors of the sea.

Then from Buprasium and the sacred coast
Of Elis, from Hyrmine and remote
Myrsinus and the Olenian precipice,
And from Alisium came, with chieftains four,
The warriors, ten swift galleys following
Each chieftain, crowded with Epean troops.
And part obeyed Amphimacus, the son
Of Cteatus, and part with Thalpius came,
The son of Eurytus Actorides,
And part with brave Diores, of the line
Of Amarynceus. Last, Polyxenus,
The godlike offspring of Agasthenes,
Whose father was Augeias, led the rest.

They from Dulichium and the Echinades,
Those holy isles descried from Elis o’er
The waters, had for leader Megas, brave
As Mars⁠—the son of Phyleus, dearly loved
By Jove. He left his father’s house in wrath
And dwelt within Dulichium. With the troops
Of Megas came a fleet of forty ships.

Ulysses led the Cephallenian men,
Who dwelt in Ithaca, or whose abode
Was leafy Neritus, and those who came
From Crocyleia, and from Aegilips
The craggy, and Zacynthus, and the isle
Of Samos, and Epirus, and from all
The bordering lands. O’er these Ulysses ruled,
A chief like Jove in council, and with him
There came twelve galleys with their scarlet prows.

Then with the Aetolians came Andraemon’s son
Thoas, their leader. With him were the men
Of Pleuron and Pylene, Olenus,
And Chalcis on the sea-coast and the rocks
Of Calydon; for now no more the sons
Of large-souled Oeneus were alive on earth,
Nor lived the chief himself, and in his tomb
Was Meleager of the golden hair;
And thus the Aetolian rule to Thoas came.
A fleet of fourscore galleys followed him.

Idomeneus, expert to wield the spear,
Commanded those of Crete, the men who dwelt
In Cnosus or Gortyna, strongly walled
Lyctus, Miletus, and the glimmering
Lycastus, Phaestus, Rhytium’s populous town,
And all the warrior train inhabiting
The hundred towns of Crete. Idomeneus
The mighty spearman, and Meriones,
Fierce as the god of war, commanded these,
And came to Troy with eighty dark-ribbed barques.

Tlepolemus, a warrior of the stock
Of Hercules, was leader of the troops
Of Rhodes, and brought nine vessels to the war,
Manned with the haughty Rhodians. These were ranged
In threefold order: those of Lindus, those
Who dwell in white Camirus, lastly those
Of Ialassa. These Tlepolemus,
The valiant spearman, ruled. Astyoche
Bore him to mighty Hercules, who led
The maid from Ephyra, upon the banks
Of Selleis, to be his wife, what time
His valor had o’erthrown and made a spoil
Of many a city full of noble youths.
Tlepolemus, when in the palace-halls
He grew to manhood, slew an aged man,
An uncle of his father, whom he loved,
Lycimnius, of the line of Mars, and straight
He rigged a fleet of ships and led on board
A numerous host and fled across the sea.
For fearful were the threats of other sons
And grandsons of the mighty Hercules.
In Rhodes they landed after wanderings long
And many hardships. There they dwelt in tribes,
Three tribes⁠—and were beloved of Jupiter,
The ruler over gods and men, who poured
Abundant riches on their new abode.

Nireus with three good ships from Syma came,
Nireus, Aglaia’s son by Charopus
The monarch⁠—Nireus who in comeliness
Surpassed all Greeks that came to Ilium, save
The faultless son of Peleus. Yet was he
Unwarlike and few people followed him.

The dwellers of Nisyrus, Crapathus,
And Cos, the city of Eurypylus,
Casus, and the Calydnian isles, obeyed
Phidippus and his brother Antiphus,
Sons of the monarch Thessalus, who sprang
From Hercules. With thirty ships they came.

But those who held Pelasgian Argos, those
Who dwelt in Alos, Trachys, Alope,
Phthia, and Hellas full of lovely dames⁠—
Named Myrmidons, Achaians, Hellenes,
Achilles led their fifty ships; but they
Now heeded not the summons to the war,
For there was none to form their ranks for fight.
The great Achilles, swift of foot, remained
Within his ships, indignant for the sake
Of the fair-haired Briscis, whom he brought
A captive from Lyrnessus after toils
And dangers many. He had sacked and spoiled
Lyrnessus, and o’erthrown the walls of Thebes
And smitten Mynes and Epistrophus,
The warlike sons of King Evenus, sprung
From old Selapius. For this cause he kept
Within his ships, full soon to issue forth.

The men of Phylacè, of Pyrasus⁠—
Sacred to Ceres and o’erspread with flowers,
And of Itona, mother of white flocks,
Antrona on the sea, and Pteleum green
With herbage⁠—over these while yet he lived
The brave Protesilaüs ruled; but now
The dark earth covered him, and for his sake
His consort, desolate in Phylacè,
Tore her fair cheeks, and all unfinished stood
His palace, for a Dardan warrior slew
Her husband as he leaped upon the land,
The foremost of the Achaians. Yet his troops
Were not without a leader, though they mourned
Their brave old chief. Podarces, loved by Mars⁠—
Son of Iphiclus, rich in flocks, who sprang
From Phylacus⁠—led them and formed their ranks.
A younger brother of the slain was he.
The slain was braver. Though the warriors grieved
To lose their glorious chief, they did not lack
A general. Forty dark ships followed him.

Then they who dwelt in Pherae, by the lake
Boebeis, and in Boebe, Glaphyrae,
And nobly built Iolchos, came to Troy,
Filling eleven galleys, and obeyed
Eumelus, whom Alcestis the divine
Bore to Admetus⁠—fairest, she, of all
The house of Pelias and of womankind.

Those from Methone and Olizon’s rocks,
And Meliboea and Thaumacia, filled
Seven ships, with Philoctetes for their chief,
A warrior skilled to bend the bow. Each barque
Held fifty rowers, bowmen all, and armed
For stubborn battle. But their leader lay
Far in an island, suffering grievous pangs⁠—
The hallowed isle of Lemnos. There the Greeks
Left him, in torture from a venomed wound
Made by a serpent’s fangs. He lay and pined.
Yet was the moment near when they who thus
Forsook their king should think of him again.
Meantime his troops were not without a chief;
Though greatly they desired their ancient lord,
For now the base-born Medon marshalled them,
Son of Oileus. Rhene brought him forth
To that destroyer of strong fortresses.

The men of Tricca and Ithome’s hills,
And they who held Oechalia and the town
Of Eurytus the Aechalian, had for chiefs two
sons of Aesculapius, healers both,
And skilful⁠—Podalirius one, and one
Machaon. Thirty hollow barques were theirs.

The dwellers of Ormenium, they whose homes
Were by the Hyperian fount, and they
Who held Asterium and the snowy peaks
Of Titanus, obeyed Eurypylus,
Evaemon’s son, and far renowned. A fleet
Of forty dark-ribbed vessels followed him.

Those who possessed Argissa, those who held
Gyrtonè, Orthè, and Helonè, those
Who dwelt in Oloösson with white walls,
The sturdy warrior Polypoetes led,
Son of Pirithoüs, who derived his birth
From deathless Jove. Hippodameia bore
The warrior to Pirithoüs on the day
When he took vengeance on the shaggy brood
Of Centaurs, and from Pelion drove them forth
To Aethicae. Yet not alone in rule
Was Polypoetes, for Leonteus, sprung
From the large-souled Coronus, Caeneus’ son,
Shared with him the command. With them a fleet
Of forty dark-hulled vessels came to Troy.

Then Guneus came, with two and twenty ships
From Cythus. Under his command he held
The Enienes, and that sturdy race,
The Periboean warriors, and the men
Who built on cold Dodona, or who tilled
The fields where pleasant Titaresius flows
And into Peneus pours his gentle stream,
Yet with its silver eddies mingles not,
But floats upon the current’s face like oil⁠—
A Stygian stream by which the immortals swear.

With Prothous, Tenthredon’s son, there came
The warriors of Magnesia, who abode
By Peneus, and by Pelion hung with woods;
Swift-footed Prothous led these. They came
With forty dark-hulled galleys to the war.

These were the chiefs and princes of the Greeks.
Say, Muse, who most excelled among the kings,
And which the noblest steeds, of all that came
With the two sons of Atreus to the war?
The noblest steeds were those in Pherae bred,
That, guided by Eumelus, flew like birds⁠—
Alike in hue and age; the plummet showed
Their height the same, and both were mares, and, reared
By Phoebus of the silver bow among
The meadows of Pieria, they became
The terror of the bloody battle-field.
The mightiest of the chiefs, while yet in wrath
Achilles kept aloof, was Ajax, son
Of Telamon; yet was Pelides far
The greater warrior, and the steeds which bore
That perfect hero were of noblest breed.
In his beaked galleys, swift to cut the sea,
Achilles lay, meanwhile, and nursed the wrath
He bore to Agamemnon, Atreus’ son,
The shepherd of the people. On the beach
His warriors took their sport with javelins
And quoits and bows, while near the chariots tied
The horses, standing, browsed on lotus-leaves
And parsley from the marshes. But beneath
The tents the closely covered chariots stood,
While idly through the camp the charioteers,
Hither and thither sauntering, missed the sight
Of their brave lord and went not to the field.

The army swept the earth as when a fire
Devours the herbage of the plains. The ground
Groaned under them as when the Thunderer Jove
In anger with his lightnings smites the earth
About Typhosus⁠—where they say he lies⁠—
In Arimi. So fearfully the ground
Groaned under that swift army as it moved.

Now to the Trojans the swift Iris came
A messenger from aegis-bearing Jove,
Tidings of bale she brought. They all had met⁠—
Old men and youths⁠—in council at the gates
Of Priam’s mansion. There did Iris take
Her station near the multitude, and spake,
In voice and gesture like Polites, son
Of Priam, who, confiding in his speed,
Had stood a watcher for the sons of Troy
On aged Aesyeta’s lofty tomb,
To give them warning when the Achaian host
Should issue from their galleys. Thus disguised,
Swift Iris spake her message from the skies:⁠—

“Father! Thou art delighted with much speech,
As once in time of peace, but now’t is war,
Inevitable war, and close at hand.
I have seen many battles, yet have ne’er
Beheld such armies, and so vast as these⁠—
In number like the sands and summer leaves.
They march across the plain, prepared to give
Battle beneath the city walls. To thee,
O Hector, it belongs to heed my voice
And counsel. Many are the allies within
The walls of this great town of Priam, men
Of diverse race and speech. Let every chief
Of these array his countrymen for war,
And give them orders for the coming fight.”

She spake, and Hector heeded and obeyed
The counsel of the goddess; he dismissed
The assembly; all the Trojans rushed to arms,
And all the gates were opened. Horse and foot
Poured forth together in tumultuous haste.

In the great plain before the city stands
A mound of steep ascent on every side;
Men named it Batiea, but the gods
Called it the swift Myrinna’s tomb; and here
Mustered the sons of Troy and their allies.

Great Hector of the beamy helm, the son
Of Priam, led the Trojan race. The host
Of greatest multitude was marshalled there,
And there the bravest, mighty with the spear.

Aeneas marshalled the Dardanian troops⁠—
The brave son of Anchises. Venus bore
The warrior to Anchises on the heights
Of Ida, where the mortal lover met
The goddess. Yet he ruled them not alone;
Two chiefs, Antenor’s sons Archelochus
And Acamas, were with him in command,
Expert in all the many arts of war.

The Trojans from Zeleia, opulent men,
Who drank the dark Aesepus⁠—over these
Ruled Pandarus, Lycaon’s valiant son,
To whom the god Apollo gave his bow.

The troops from Adrasteia, they who dwelt
Within Apaesus’ walls, or tilled the soil
Of Pityeia and Tereia’s heights,
Were led by Amphius and Adrastus, clad
In linen corselets for the war, the sons
Of Merops the Percosian, skilled beyond
All other men in the diviner’s art.
Nor would he that his sons should seek the field
Of slaughter. They obeyed him not; the fates
Decreed their early death and urged them on.

The dwellers of Percote, Practium,
And Sestus, and Abydus, and divine
Arisba, followed Asius, great among
The heroes and the son of Hyrtacus⁠—
Asius, who came with strong and fiery steeds,
Borne from Arisba and from Selleis’ banks.

Hippothoüs over the Pelasgian tribes⁠—
Skilled spearman, who abode among the fields
Of the deep-soiled Larissa⁠—bore command⁠—
Hippothoüs with Pyteus, who derived
Their race from Mars, and for their father claimed
Pelasgian Lethus, son of Teutamus.

And Acamas, and Peiroüs, valiant chief,
Were captains of the Thracian men, whose fields
Were bounded by the rushing Hellespont.
Euphemus led the Cicones, expert
To wield the spear in fight. The nobly-born
Troezenus was his father. Ceas’ son
Pyraechmes with Paeonia’s archers came
From the broad Axius in far Amydon⁠—
Axius, the fairest river of the earth.

Pytamenes, a chief of fearless heart,
Led from the region of the Eneti,
Where first the stubborn race of mules was bred,
The Paphlagonian warriors, they who held
Cytorus, Sesamus, and fair abodes
Built where Parthenius wanders on, and those
Who dwelt in Cromna and Aegialus,
And on the lofty Erythinian heights.

And Hodius and Epistrophus led on
The Halezonians from the distant land
Of Alyba, where ores of silver lie.
And Chromis and the augur Ennomus
Were leaders of the Mysians; but his skill
Saved not the augur from the doom of death,
Slain by the swift of foot, Aeacides,
With other men of Troy where Xanthus flows.
And Phorcys and Ascanius, who was like
A god in beauty, led the Phrygian troops
From far Ascania, eager for the fray.
And Antiphus and Mesthles were the chiefs
Of the Maeonian warriors, reared beside
The ships of Tmolus. There Gygaea’s lake
Brought forth both chieftains to Pylsemenes.

Nastes was leader of the Carian troops,
Who spake in barbarous accents and possessed
Miletus and the leafy mountain heights
Where dwell the Phthirians, and Maeauder’s stream,
And airy peaks of Mycalè. O’er these
Amphimachus and Nastes held command⁠—
Amphimachus and Nastes, far renowned
Sons of Nomion, him who, madly vain,
Went to the battle pranked like a young girl
In golden ornaments. They spared him not
The bitter doom of death; he fell beneath
The hand of swift Aeacides within
The river’s channel. There the great in war,
Achilles, spoiled Nomion of his gold.

Sarpedon and the noble Glaucus bore
Rule o’er the Eycians coming from afar,
Where eddying Xanthus runs through Lycia’s meads.