A marvelous description of the helots’ tightly held, flexible and impregnable shield wall, like the scales of a fish, or here, as the strakes of a ship’s hull, hermetically sealed with caulking.

 

‘The columns tightened.

The rim of each man’s shield

Overlapped the face of his neighbour’s shield

Like clinkered hulls – as shipwrights call them when they lay

Strake over strake, caulked against the seas.’ 

 

Source: Christopher Logue, War Music: An account of Books 1-4 and 16-19 of Homer’s Iliad, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 146

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