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: ‘deep-running river’, ‘deep-whirling river’, and ‘deep-eddying river’. 

See also the bestellar reviews, complete with rich quote-mosaics, of Adam Nicolson’s magnificent Why Homer Matters, and Christopher Logue’s War Musica muscular rendition of several books of the Iliad. 


‘He spoke, and breathed huge strength into the shepherd of the people.

As when some stalled horse who has been corn-fed at the manger

breaking free of his rope gallops over the plain in thunder

to his accustomed bathing place in a sweet-running river

and in the pride of his strength holds high his head and the mane floats

over his shoulders; sure of his glorious strength, the quick knees

carry him to the loved places and the pasture of horses;

so Hektor moving rapidly his feet and knees went

onward, stirring the horsemen when he heard the god’s voice speak.’


Source: Homer, The Iliad of Homer, trans. Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: Chicago UP, 1961 (1951)), book XV, p. 316


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