Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

Page: 62


(ll. 11-15)....and as many women skilled in blameless arts, each holding a golden bowl in her hands. And truly Castor and strong Polydeuces would have made him 1743 their brother perforce, but Agamemnon, being son-in-law to Tyndareus, wooed her for his brother Menelaus.

(ll. 16-19) And the two sons of Amphiaraus the lord, Oecleus' son, sought her to wife from Argos very near at hand; yet.... fear of the blessed gods and the indignation of men caused them also to fail.


(l. 20)...but there was no deceitful dealing in the sons of Tyndareus.

(ll. 21-27) And from Ithaca the sacred might of Odysseus, Laertes son, who knew many-fashioned wiles, sought her to wife. He never sent gifts for the sake of the neat-ankled maid, for he knew in his heart that golden-haired Menelaus would win, since he was greatest of the Achaeans in possessions and was ever sending messages 1744 to horse-taming Castor and prize-winning Polydeuces.

(ll. 28-30) And....on's son sought her to wife (and brought) ....bridal-gifts.... ....cauldrons....


(ll. 31-33)...to horse-taming Castor and prize-winning Polydeuces, desiring to be the husband of rich-haired Helen, though he had never seen her beauty, but because he heard the report of others.

(ll. 34-41) And from Phylace two men of exceeding worth sought her to wife, Podarces son of Iphiclus, Phylacus' son, and Actor's noble son, overbearing Protesilaus. Both of them kept sending messages to Lacedaemon, to the house of wise Tyndareus, Oebalus' son, and they offered many bridal-gifts, for great was the girl's renown, brazen.... ....golden....


(l. 42)...(desiring) to be the husband of rich-haired Helen.

(ll. 43-49) From Athens the son of Peteous, Menestheus, sought her to wife, and offered many bridal-gifts; for he possessed very many stored treasures, gold and cauldrons and tripods, fine things which lay hid in the house of the lord Peteous, and with them his heart urged him to win his bride by giving more gifts than any other; for he thought that no one of all the heroes would surpass him in possessions and gifts.

(ll. 50-51) There came also by ship from Crete to the house of the son of Oebalus strong Lycomedes for rich-haired Helen's sake.

Berlin Papyri, No. 10560: (ll. 52-54)...sought her to wife. And after golden-haired Menelaus he offered the greatest gifts of all the suitors, and very much he desired in his heart to be the husband of Argive Helen with the rich hair.

(ll. 55-62) And from Salamis Aias, blameless warrior, sought her to wife, and offered fitting gifts, even wonderful deeds; for he said that he would drive together and give the shambling oxen and strong sheep of all those who lived in Troezen and Epidaurus near the sea, and in the island of Aegina and in Mases, sons of the Achaeans, and shadowy Megara and frowning Corinthus, and Hermione and Asine which lie along the sea; for he was famous with the long spear.

(ll. 63-66) But from Euboea Elephenor, leader of men, the son of Chalcodon, prince of the bold Abantes, sought her to wife. And he offered very many gifts, and greatly he desired in his heart to be the husband of rich-haired Helen.

(ll. 67-74) And from Crete the mighty Idomeneus sought her to wife, Deucalion's son, offspring of renowned Minos. He sent no one to woo her in his place, but came himself in his black ship of many thwarts over the Ogygian sea across the dark wave to the home of wise Tyndareus, to see Argive Helen and that no one else should bring back for him the girl whose renown spread all over the holy earth.

(l. 75) And at the prompting of Zeus the all-wise came.

((LACUNA—Thirteen lines lost.))

(ll. 89-100) But of all who came for the maid's sake, the lord Tyndareus sent none away, nor yet received the gift of any, but asked of all the suitors sure oaths, and bade them swear and vow with unmixed libations that no one else henceforth should do aught apart from him as touching the marriage of the maid with shapely arms; but if any man should cast off fear and reverence and take her by force, he bade all the others together follow after and make him pay the penalty. And they, each of them hoping to accomplish his marriage, obeyed him without wavering. But warlike Menelaus, the son of Atreus, prevailed against them all together, because he gave the greatest gifts.

(ll. 100-106) But Chiron was tending the son of Peleus, swift-footed Achilles, pre-eminent among men, on woody Pelion; for he was still a boy. For neither warlike Menelaus nor any other of men on earth would have prevailed in suit for Helen, if fleet Achilles had found her unwed. But, as it was, warlike Menelaus won her before.