Wasps quick-bending

Wasps quick-bending

One of the many stretch metaphors used by Homer. When you see a comma followed by ‘as …’ it can be a signal to take a good intake of breath to carry you through to the end of the image. Here it is feisty bees and quick-bending wasps who convey the...
Sweet-running river

Sweet-running river

Flowing like the sweet-running river it evokes, a meandering metaphor for Hector’s strength and movement, likened to a thoroughbred horse breaking free and seeking out its remembered watering spots and pastures.  Other riverine triologisms include:...
Dark-named destiny

Dark-named destiny

Another term for death, the fate of Asios who, horse-proud, insisted on driving his chariot into the fray where he met a Trojan spear.  ‘Before this the dark-named destiny had shrouded about himthrough the spear of Idomeneus, proud son of...
High-hearted Trojans

High-hearted Trojans

A curious triologism, suggesting courage, felicity, or nobility?  Given the Greeks beating at the gates, it’s unlikely to be about felicity, so I plump for bravery or similar. ‘Nor did Hektor either permit the high-hearted Trojansto sleep, but had called...
The walls and towers of Troy

The walls and towers of Troy

Three triologisms demonstrating the strength of the protective masonry encasing Troy; the first being in the mouth of Agamemnon, chief among the Greek kings at Troy.  As we know, in the end, the walls came tumbling down not by being breached or broken but through...
Blank-eyed face

Blank-eyed face

A shield features a terrifying Gorgon’s head to project fear and dread onto any assailant.  Elsewhere, that same blank-eyed stare is attributed to the Trojan hero Hector in murderous mode. ‘And circled in the midst of all was the blank-eyed face of the...
Nestor berates the Greeks

Nestor berates the Greeks

Old Nestor has a few choice words to say to his fellow Greeks for their unwillingness to take on the Trojan hero Hector. He compares their cowardice to his own ‘hard-enduring heart’ which fuelled his courage in his youth. ‘Wearing this armour he...
Bright and brighter

Bright and brighter

The Trojan Hector goes on the attack with his beautiful horses, bright-maned, a complement to the bright-patterned shield of Odysseus.Note also Hector’s Gorgon-eyed murderous stare.  ‘… while Hektor, wearing the stark eyes of a Gorgon, or...
Foes and friends

Foes and friends

Here, the Trojan hero Hector addresses the Greek Ajax in friendship.  There is a number of heart- prefixed triologisms in Homer, concerning hatred, hostility, and its effects.  See also Hera’s kitting out for battle. ‘Come then, let us give each other...

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