In with the gore and glory of Homer’s war-words, there are repeated expressions of sorrow at human hatred. ‘Soul-perishing’ echoes our more commonly used ‘soul-destroying’.
Either way, to be avoided if possible. See other such pleas by Homer and Dante. See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam Nicolson’s magnificent Why Homer Matters, and Christopher Logue’s War Music, a muscular rendition of several books of the Iliad.
‘Son of Atreus, was this after all the better way for
both, for you and me, that we, for all our hearts’ sorrow,
quarrelled together for the sake of a girl in soul-perishing hatred?’
Source: Homer, The Iliad of Homer, trans. Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: Chicago UP, 1961 (1951)), book XIX, p. 393