Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

Page: 127

Fragment #1—Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii: The "Cypria", described in the preceding book, has its sequel in the "Iliad" of Homer, which is followed in turn by the five books of the "Aethiopis", the work of Arctinus of Miletus. Their contents are as follows. The Amazon Penthesileia, the daughter of Ares and of Thracian race, comes to aid the Trojans, and after showing great prowess, is killed by Achilles and buried by the Trojans. Achilles then slays Thersites for abusing and reviling him for his supposed love for Penthesileia. As a result a dispute arises amongst the Achaeans over the killing of Thersites, and Achilles sails to Lesbos and after sacrificing to Apollo, Artemis, and Leto, is purified by Odysseus from bloodshed.

Then Memnon, the son of Eos, wearing armour made by Hephaestus, comes to help the Trojans, and Thetis tells her son about Memnon.

A battle takes place in which Antilochus is slain by Memnon and Memnon by Achilles. Eos then obtains of Zeus and bestows upon her son immortality; but Achilles routs the Trojans, and, rushing into the city with them, is killed by Paris and Apollo. A great struggle for the body then follows, Aias taking up the body and carrying it to the ships, while Odysseus drives off the Trojans behind. The Achaeans then bury Antilochus and lay out the body of Achilles, while Thetis, arriving with the Muses and her sisters, bewails her son, whom she afterwards catches away from the pyre and transports to the White Island. After this, the Achaeans pile him a cairn and hold games in his honour. Lastly a dispute arises between Odysseus and Aias over the arms of Achilles.

Fragment #2—Scholiast on Homer, Il. xxiv. 804: Some read: 'Thus they performed the burial of Hector. Then came the Amazon, the daughter of great-souled Ares the slayer of men.'

Fragment #3—Scholiast on Pindar, Isth. iii. 53: The author of the "Aethiopis" says that Aias killed himself about dawn.

THE LITTLE ILIAD (fragments)

Fragment #1—Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii: Next comes the "Little Iliad" in four books by Lesches of Mitylene: its contents are as follows. The adjudging of the arms of Achilles takes place, and Odysseus, by the contriving of Athena, gains them. Aias then becomes mad and destroys the herd of the Achaeans and kills himself. Next Odysseus lies in wait and catches Helenus, who prophesies as to the taking of Troy, and Diomede accordingly brings Philoctetes from Lemnos. Philoctetes is healed by Machaon, fights in single combat with Alexandrus and kills him: the dead body is outraged by Menelaus, but the Trojans recover and bury it. After this Deiphobus marries Helen, Odysseus brings Neoptolemus from Scyros and gives him his father's arms, and the ghost of Achilles appears to him.

Eurypylus the son of Telephus arrives to aid the Trojans, shows his prowess and is killed by Neoptolemus. The Trojans are now closely besieged, and Epeius, by Athena's instruction, builds the wooden horse. Odysseus disfigures himself and goes in to Ilium as a spy, and there being recognized by Helen, plots with her for the taking of the city; after killing certain of the Trojans, he returns to the ships. Next he carries the Palladium out of Troy with help of Diomedes. Then after putting their best men in the wooden horse and burning their huts, the main body of the Hellenes sail to Tenedos. The Trojans, supposing their troubles over, destroy a part of their city wall and take the wooden horse into their city and feast as though they had conquered the Hellenes.

Fragment #2—Pseudo-Herodotus, Life of Homer: 'I sing of Ilium and Dardania, the land of fine horses, wherein the Danai, followers of Ares, suffered many things.'

Fragment #3—Scholiast on Aristophanes, Knights 1056 and Aristophanes ib: The story runs as follows: Aias and Odysseus were quarrelling as to their achievements, says the poet of the "Little Iliad", and Nestor advised the Hellenes to send some of their number to go to the foot of the walls and overhear what was said about the valour of the heroes named above. The eavesdroppers heard certain girls disputing, one of them saying that Aias was by far a better man than Odysseus and continuing as follows:

'For Aias took up and carried out of the strife the hero, Peleus' son: this great Odysseus cared not to do.'

To this another replied by Athena's contrivance:

'Why, what is this you say? A thing against reason and untrue! Even a woman could carry a load once a man had put it on her shoulder; but she could not fight. For she would fail with fear if she should fight.'

Fragment #4—Eustathius, 285. 34: The writer of the "Little Iliad" says that Aias was not buried in the usual way 3101, but was simply buried in a coffin, because of the king's anger.

Fragment #5—Eustathius on Homer, Il. 326: The author of the "Little Iliad" says that Achilles after putting out to sea from the country of Telephus came to land there: 'The storm carried Achilles the son of Peleus to Scyros, and he came into an uneasy harbour there in that same night.'

Fragment #6—Scholiast on Pindar, Nem. vi. 85: 'About the spear-shaft was a hoop of flashing gold, and a point was fitted to it at either end.'

Fragment #7—Scholiast on Euripides Troades, 822: '...the vine which the son of Cronos gave him as a recompense for his son. It bloomed richly with soft leaves of gold and grape clusters; Hephaestus wrought it and gave it to his father Zeus: and he bestowed it on Laomedon as a price for Ganymedes.'

Fragment #8—