The Fall of Troy

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     "So we grappled the livelong day, and we had not refrained
          us then,
     But Zeus sent a hurricane, stilling the storm of the battle
          of men."

Now, it is just in describing such natural phenomena, and in blending them with the turmoil of battle, that Quintus is in his element; yet for such a scene he substitutes what is, by comparison, a lame and impotent conclusion. Of that awful cry that rang over the sea heralding the coming of Thetis and the Nymphs to the death-rites of her son, and the panic with which it filled the host, Quintus is silent. Again, Homer ("Odyssey" iv. 274-89) describes how Helen came in the night with Deiphobus, and stood by the Wooden Horse, and called to each of the hidden warriors with the voice of his own wife. This thrilling scene Quintus omits, and substitutes nothing of his own. Later on, he makes Menelaus slay Deiphobus unresisting, "heavy with wine," whereas Homer ("Odyssey" viii. 517-20) makes him offer such a magnificent resistance, that Odysseus and Menelaus together could not kill him without the help of Athena. In fact, we may say that, though there are echoes of the "Iliad" all through the poem, yet, wherever Homer has, in the "Odyssey", given the outline-sketch of an effective scene, Quintus has uniformly neglected to develop it, has sometimes substituted something much weaker—as though he had not the "Odyssey" before him!

For this we have no satisfactory explanation to offer. He may have set his own judgment above Homer—a most unlikely hypothesis: he may have been consistently following, in the framework of his story, some original now lost to us: there may be more, and longer, lacunae in the text than any editors have ventured to indicate: but, whatever theory we adopt, it must be based on mere conjecture.

The Greek text here given is that of Koechly (1850) with many of Zimmermann's emendations, which are acknowledged in the notes. Passages enclosed in square brackets are suggestions of Koechly for supplying the general sense of lacunae. Where he has made no such suggestion, or none that seemed to the editors to be adequate, the lacuna has been indicated by asterisks, though here too a few words have been added in the translation, sufficient to connect the sense.

—A. S. Way



    I How died for Troy the Queen of the Amazons,
   II How Memnon, Son of the Dawn, for Troy's sake fell
       in the Battle.
  III How by the shaft of a God laid low was Hero Achilles.
   IV How in the Funeral Games of Achilles heroes contended.
    V How the Arms of Achilles were cause of madness and
       death unto Aias.
   VI How came for the helping of Troy Eurypylus,
       Hercules' grandson.
  VII How the Son of Achilles was brought to the War
       from the Isle of Scyros.
 VIII How Hercules' Grandson perished in fight with the
       Son of Achilles.
   IX How from his long lone exile returned to the war
    X How Paris was stricken to death, and in vain sought
       help of Oenone.
   XI How the sons of Troy for the last time fought from
       her walls and her towers.
  XII How the Wooden Horse was fashioned, and brought
       into Troy by her people.
 XIII How Troy in the night was taken and sacked with fire
       and slaughter.
  XIV How the conquerors sailed from Troy unto judgment
       of tempest and shipwreck.