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...
Fine wrought and strong wheeled

Fine wrought and strong wheeled

I happen to love fine descriptions of things well crafted, chariots, ships, bridges, tables, pots… Particularly striking is the first of these chariot related triologisms, part of an unusual and involved metaphor for the way a man drops dead in a battle. Homer...
Of shooting shadows

Of shooting shadows

This expertly aimed spear casts a shadow as it flies through the air, and its reach is far. Surprising then that it fails to hit the target, deflected by a strong shield.   ‘First of the two Alexandros let go his spear far-shadowing and struck the shield of...
Helen has second thoughts

Helen has second thoughts

Helen regrets her elopement with Paris after seeing him nearly killed by the husband she abandoned, only surviving because a goddess spirited him away in the nick of time.  Hardly heroic.  The quotation begins with a certain loveliness which doesn’t prepare you...
Fast and strong

Fast and strong

Three triologisms to describe the fine, fast, strong ships that brought the Greeks to Troy. I particularly like ‘sea-wandering’. May you be fast-running and strong-benched, wherever you wander.    ‘… on that day when we went in our fast-running...
Here comes Hera

Here comes Hera

One goddess you should never cross, quick to rouse to wrath and terrible in her exactions. Divinely, drop-dead gorgeous, of course. There are several heart- prefixed triologisms in Homer, emphasizing the human pain, terror and sorrow of war and hostility; see, for...
Of wine-blue water

Of wine-blue water

The first time I read of the wine-blue Greek sea, I was baffled.  However, I took a second translation to read in Mykonos. Sitting one morning in a blindingly white sunlit courtyard, I cooled my eyes by looking at the sea and suddenly realized what...

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