The Iliad of Homer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 499 pages of information about The Iliad of Homer.

8.  This alludes to the custom of placing columns upon tombs, on which
   were frequently represented chariots with two or four horses.  The
   horses standing still to mourn for their master, could not be more
   finely represented than by the dumb sorrow of images standing over
   a tomb.  Perhaps the very posture in which these horses are
   described, their heads bowed down, and their manes falling in the
   dust, has an allusion to the attitude in which those statues on
   monuments were usually represented; there are bas-reliefs that
   favor this conjecture.

9 [The Latin plural of Ajax is sometimes necessary, because the
   English plural—­Ajaxes—­would be insupportable.]—­TR.

10. [Leitus was another chief of the Boeotians.]—­TR.

11. [{Diphro ephestaotos}—­Yet we learn soon after that he fought on
   foot.  But the Scholiast explains the expression thus—­{neosti to
   diphoo epibantos}.  The fact was that Idomeneus had left the camp on
   foot, and was on foot when Hector prepared to throw at him.  But
   Coeranus, charioteer of Meriones, observing his danger, drove
   instantly to his aid.  Idomeneus had just time to mount, and the
   spear designed for him, struck Coeranus.—­For a right understanding
   of this very intricate and difficult passage, I am altogether
   indebted to the Scholiast as quoted by Villoisson.]—­TR.

12. [The translator here follows the interpretation preferred by the
   Scholiast.  The original expression is ambiguous, and may signify,
   either, that we shall perish in the fleet ourselves, or that
   Hector will soon be in the midst of it.  Vide Villoisson in

13. [A noble instance of the heroism of Ajax, who asks not deliverance
   from the Trojans, or that he may escape alive, but light only,
   without which be could not possibly distinguish himself.  The tears
   of such a warrior, and shed for such a reason, are singularly

Footnotes for Book XVIII:  1.  This speech of Antilochus may serve as a model for its brevity.

2.  This form of manifesting grief is frequently alluded to in the
   classical writers, and sometimes in the Bible.  The lamentation of
   Achilles is in the spirit of the heroic times, and the poet
   describes it with much simplicity.  The captives join in the
   lamentation, perhaps in the recollection of his gentleness, which
   has before been alluded to.—­FELTON.

3. [Here it is that the drift of the whole poem is fulfilled.  The
   evils consequent on the quarrel between him and Agamemnon, at last
   teach Achilles himself this wisdom—­that wrath and strife are
   criminal and pernicious; and the confession is extorted from his
   own lips, that the lesson may be the more powerfully inculcated.  To
   point the instruction to leaders of armies only, is to narrow its
   operation unnecessarily.  The moral is of universal application, and
   the poet’s beneficent intentions are wronged by one so

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