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There are many translations of the Iliad - Pope's and Bryant's are perhaps the best of those in verse, that by Lang, Leaf and Myers is the best of the prose versions. In this translation by Bryant, Latin names are used for the Greek gods: Jove for Zeus, Pallas for Athene.
1. What covenant did Hector propose to Achilles ? Why did Achilles refuse? 2. Of what assistance was Pallas to Achilles ? 3. At what disadvantage was Hector in the final fight? 4. Where was he struck ? 5. By what weapon? 6. What qualities does Hector show in death? 7. The Iliad is famous for its beautiful similes or comparisons. Select several similes from this passage. Peleus (pē'lūs)
Pelides (pel-i'dez), son of PePallas (păl'as)
leus Deiphobus (de-i'fo-bus)
For Study with the Glossary. crested, attest, plight, compact, understood intent, passively, finely tempered, avenger.
ULYSSES, or ODYSSEUS as the Greeks called him, had many adventures on his journey home from Troy. The gods who favored the Trojans plotted to bring him into many perils. A fierce storm drove his little ships to the land of the lotus, a plant that brings to those who eat it forgetfulness and indolence. When Ulysses and his crew escaped from this island, they came to the land of the one-eyed giants where he had the adventures described in the next selection. It was only after ten years of wandering that Ulysses finally returned to his home on the island of Ithaca and to his faithful wife Penelope.
ULYSSES AND THE CYCLOPS
Ulysses is telling his adventures to the king of the Phæacians, who helped him on his journey homeward from Troy.
“Then we took to our oars, and rowed for many days till we came to the country where the Cyclopes dwell. Now a mile or so from the shore there was an island, very fair and fertile, but no man dwells there 5 or tills the soil; and in the island was a harbor where a ship may be safe from all winds, and at the head of the harbor a'stream falling from a rock, and whispering alders all about it. Into this the ships passed
safely, and were hauled up on the beach, and the crews 10 slept by them, waiting for the morning.
“When the dawn appeared, then we wandered through the island; and the Nymphs of the land started the wild goats that my company might have food to eat. Thereupon we took our bows and our 15 spears from the ships, and shot at the goats; and the gods gave us plenty of prey. Twelve ships I had in my company, and each ship had nine goats for its share, and my own portion was ten.
“Then all the day we sat and feasted, drinking 20 sweet wine and eating the flesh of the goats; and we
looked across to the land of the Cyclopes, seeing the smoke and hearing the voices of the men and of the sheep and of the goats. And when the sun set and darkness came over the land, we lay down upon the seashore and slept.
“The next day I gathered my men together, and said, 'Abide ye here, dear friends; I with my own ship and my own company will go and make trial of the folk that dwell in yonder island, and see whether they are just or unjust.'
“So I climbed into my ship and bade my company follow me, and we came to the land of the Cyclopes. Close to the shore was a cave, with laurels round about the mouth. This was the dwelling of the Cyclops. Alone he dwelt, a creature without law. Nor was he 15 like to mortal men, but rather like to some wooded peak of the hills that stands out apart from all the rest.
“Then I bade the rest of my comrades abide by the ship, and keep it, but I took twelve men, the bravest 20 that there were in the crew, and went forth. I had with me a goatskin full of the wine, dark red and sweet, which the priest of Apollo at Ismarus had given me. So precious was it that none in his house knew of it saving himself and his wife and one dame that kept the 25 house. When they drank of it, they mixed twenty measures of water with one of wine, and the smell
that went up from it was wondrous sweet. No man could easily refrain from drinking it. With this wine I filled a great skin and bore it with me; also I bore corn in a pouch, for my heart told me that I should 5 need it.
“So we entered the cave, and judged that it was the dwelling of some rich and skillful shepherd. For within there were pens for the young of the sheep and
of the goats, divided all' according to their age, and 10 there were baskets full of cheeses, and full milkpails
ranged along the wall. But the Cyclops himself was away in the pastures. Then my companions besought me that I would depart, taking with me, if
I would, a store of cheeses and sundry of the lambs 15 and of the kids. But I would not, for I wished to
see what manner of host this strange shepherd might be, and, if it might be, to take a gift from his hand, such as is the due of strangers. Verily, his coming was not to be a joy to my company.
“It was evening when the Cyclops came home, a mighty giant, very tall of stature, and when we saw him we fled into the secret place of the cave in great fear. On his shoulder he bore a vast bundle of pine
logs for his fire, and threw them down outside the 25 cave with a great crash, and drove the flocks within,
and closed the entrance with a huge rock, which twenty wagons and more could not bear. Then he milked
the ewes and the she-goats, and half of the milk he curdled for cheese, and half he set ready for himself, when he should sup. Next he kindled a fire with the pine logs, and the flame lighted up all the cave, showing to him both me and my comrades.
Who are ye?' cried Polyphemus, for that was the giant's name. 'Are ye traders or, perhaps, pirates ?'
“I shuddered at the dreadful voice and shape, but bore me bravely, and answered: “We are no pirates, mighty sir, but Greeks sailing back from Troy, and 10 subjects of the great King Agamemnon, whose fame is spread from one end of heaven to the other. And we are come to beg hospitality of thee in the name of Zeus, who rewards or punishes hosts and guests, according as they be faithful the one to the other or no.'
Nay,' said the giant; 'it is but idle talk to tell me of Zeus and the other gods. We Cyclopes take no account of gods, holding ourselves to be much better and stronger then they. But come, tell me where you have left your ship?'
“But I saw his thought when he asked about the ship, for he was minded to break it, and take from us all hope of flight. Therefore I answered him craftily :
"Ship have we none, for that which was ours Poseidon broke, driving it on a jutting rock on this coast, 25 and we whom thou seest are all that are escaped from the waves.'