Tsagalis, Christos. 2012. From Listeners to Viewers: Space in the Iliad. Hellenic Studies Series 53. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_TsagalisC.From_Listeners_to_Viewers.2012.
Chapter 7. Described Objects
- Position of the beholder (explicitly or implicitly expressed)
- Diagrammatic iconicity
- A. Dynamic spatial description (movement of the object)
- B. Static spatial description
- i. Extrinsic perspective (stemming from its use)
- ii. Intrinsic perspective (unchangeable, e.g. a column, which always points to the notion of “verticality”)
- Mixed description
The Position of the Beholder
φύσει, ἐπεὶ δὴ πρῶτα τομὴν ἐν ὄρεσσι λέλοιπεν,
οὐδ’ ἀναθηλήσει· περὶ γάρ ῥά ἑ χαλκὸς ἔλεψεν
φύλλά τε καὶ φλοιόν· νῦν αὖτέ μιν υἷες Ἀχαιῶν
ἐν παλάμῃς φορέουσι δικασπόλοι, οἵ τε θέμιστας
πρὸς Διὸς εἰρύαται· ὁ δέ τοι μέγας ἔσσεται ὅρκος·”
branch, now that it has left behind the cut stump in the mountains,
nor shall it ever blossom again, since the bronze blade stripped
bark and leafage, and now at last the sons of the Achaians
carry it in their hands in state when they administer
the justice of Zeus. And this shall be a great oath before you. “
By offering a visual tour of a precious object he holds in his hands (τόδε) as his eye moves around it, Achilles virtually spaces time by means of two distinct techniques: perspective and chronotope,  that is, a framework in which time and space not only constitute integral parts of the whole but also “read” one another. With respect to perspective, Achilles’ eye follows a visual tour of the outer parts of the scepter, where there were leaves, branches, and bark before they were stripped by the bronze blade; as far as the chronotope is concerned, the scepter’s past and present are “spaced” by being anchored respectively to the mountains, where the wood it is made of was first cut, and to the palms of the kings’ hands that now hold it.
Ἥρη πρέσβα θεά, θυγάτηρ μεγάλοιο Κρόνοιο·
Ἥβη δ’ ἀμφ’ ὀχέεσσι θοῶς βάλε καμπύλα κύκλα
χάλκεα ὀκτάκνημα σιδηρέῳ ἄξονι ἀμφίς·
τῶν ἤτοι χρυσέη ἴτυς ἄφθιτος, αὐτὰρ ὕπερθεν
χάλκε’ ὀπίσσωτρα προσαρηρότα, θαῦμα ἰδέσθαι·
πλῆμναι δ’ ἀργύρου εἰσὶ περίδρομοι ἀμφοτέρωθεν·
δίφρος δὲ χρυσέοισι καὶ ἀργυρέοισιν ἱμᾶσιν
ἐντέταται, δοιαὶ δὲ περίδρομοι ἄντυγές εἰσιν.
τοῦ δ’ ἐξ ἀργύρεος ῥυμὸς πέλεν· αὐτὰρ ἐπ’ ἄκρῳ
δῆσεν χρύσειον καλὸν ζυγόν, ἐν δὲ λέπαδνα
κάλ’ ἔβαλε χρύσει’· ὑπὸ δὲ ζυγὸν ἤγαγεν Ἥρη
ἵππους ὠκύποδας, μεμαυῖ’ ἔριδος καὶ ἀϋτῆς.
the mighty, went away to harness the gold-bridled horses.
Then Hebe in speed set about the chariot the curved wheels
eight-spoked and brazen, with an axle of iron both ways.
Golden is the wheel’s felly imperishable, and outside it
is joined, a wonder to look upon, the brazen running-rim,
and the silver naves revolve on either side of the chariot,
whereas the car itself is lashed fast with plaiting of gold
and silver, with double chariot rails that circle about it,
and the pole of the chariot is of silver, to whose extremity
Hebe made fast the golden and splendid yoke, and fastened
the harness, golden and splendid, and underneath the yoke Hera,
furious for hate and battle, led the swift-running horses.
The description of the chariot falls into the following six units:
- the wheels (κύκλα): 722–726
- the chariot-board (δίφρος): 727–728
- the rim surrounding the chariot-board (ἄντυγες): 728
- the pole (ῥυμός): 729
- the yoke (ζυγόν): 730
- the straps fastening the yoke (λέπαδνα): 730–731
Dynamic spatial description
ἔστη σκῆπτρον ἔχων· τὸ μὲν Ἥφαιστος κάμε τεύχων·
Ἥφαιστος μὲν δῶκε Διὶ Κρονίωνι ἄνακτι,
αὐτὰρ ἄρα Ζεὺς δῶκε διακτόρῳ Ἀργεϊφόντῃ,
Ἑρμείας δὲ ἄναξ δῶκεν Πέλοπι πληξίππῳ,
αὐτὰρ ὃ αὖτε Πέλοψ δῶκ’ Ἀτρέϊ ποιμένι λαῶν·
Ἀτρεὺς δὲ θνῄσκων ἔλιπεν πολύαρνι Θυέστῃ,
αὐτὰρ ὃ αὖτε Θυέστ’ Ἀγαμέμνονι λεῖπε φορῆναι,
πολλῇσιν νήσοισι καὶ Ἄργεϊ παντὶ ἀνάσσειν.
stood up holding the sceptre Hephaistos had wrought him carefully.
Hephaistos gave it to Zeus the king, the son of Kronos,
and Zeus in turn gave it to the courier Argeïphontes,
and lord Hermes gave it to Pelops, driver of horses,
and Pelops again gave it to Atreus, the shepherd of the people.
Atreus dying left it to Thyestes of the rich flocks,
and Thyestes left it in turn to Agamemnon to carry
and to be lord of many islands and over all Argos.
In contrast with Achilles, the narrator employs a cataloguing type of organization, one that builds on the history of Agamemnon’s scepter. By tracing its origins to the divine craftsman Hephaistos, the narrator capitalizes on its tremendous power as a symbol, while by listing all its previous holders and owners he underscores both its royal aspect and its temporariness, the former stemming from the fact that it has belonged only to kings, the latter that it has “moved” in time. Scholars have recently talked about an archaeology of the past  that is embodied in certain material objects in Homeric epic. The term biography of things,  though first used a century ago,  has become important again in descriptions of phases or stages in a thing’s life. Biographies of material objects, however, especially those organized in catalogues, may determine not only temporal relations but also spatial ones, as part of the tracing of a given object’s history. Before exploring this aspect of Agamemnon’s scepter, I will try briefly to explain a frequent misunderstanding in discussions of the cataloguing principle of organization, which stems from a confusion between the terms “catalogue” and “list.” The following formulation by Sammons sets things in the right order: 
Static spatial description
εἰδομένη γαλόῳ, Ἀντηνορίδαο δάμαρτι,
τὴν Ἀντηνορίδης εἶχε κρείων Ἑλικάων,
Λαοδίκην, Πριάμοιο θυγατρῶν εἶδος ἀρίστην.
τὴν δ’ εὗρ’ ἐν μεγάρῳ· ἣ δὲ μέγαν ἱστὸν ὕφαινεν,
δίπλακα πορφυρέην, πολέας δ’ ἐνέπασσεν ἀέθλους
Τρώων θ’ ἱπποδάμων καὶ Ἀχαιῶν χαλκοχιτώνων,
οὕς ἕθεν εἵνεκ’ ἔπασχον ὑπ’ Ἄρηος παλαμάων.
in the likeness of her sister-in-law, the wife of Antenor’s
son, whom strong Helikaon wed, the son of Antenor,
Laodike, loveliest looking of all the daughters of Priam.
She came on Helen in the chamber; she was weaving a great web,
a red folding robe, and working into it the numerous struggles
of Trojans, breakers of horses, and bronze-armoured Achaians
καλὴν κυανόπεζαν ἐΰξοον, αὐτὰρ ἐπ’ αὐτῆς
χάλκειον κάνεον, ἐπὶ δὲ κρόμυον ποτῷ ὄψον,
ἠδὲ μέλι χλωρόν, παρὰ δ’ ἀλφίτου ἱεροῦ ἀκτήν,
πὰρ δὲ δέπας περικαλλές, ὃ οἴκοθεν ἦγ’ ὁ γεραιός,
χρυσείοις ἥλοισι πεπαρμένον· οὔατα δ’ αὐτοῦ
τέσσαρ’ ἔσαν, δοιαὶ δὲ πελειάδες ἀμφὶς ἕκαστον
χρύσειαι νεμέθοντο, δύω δ’ ὑπὸ πυθμένες ἦσαν.
table, polished and with feet of cobalt, and on it
she laid a bronze basket, with onion to go with the drinking,
and pale honey, and beside it bread, blessed pride of the barley,
and beside it a beautifully wrought cup which the old man brought with him
from home. It was set with golden nails, the eared handles upon it
were four, and on either side there were fashioned two doves
of gold, feeding, and there were double bases beneath it.
ἔνθ’ ἔσάν οἱ πέπλοι παμποίκιλοι, ἔργα γυναικῶν
Σιδονίων, τὰς αὐτὸς Ἀλέξανδρος θεοειδής
ἤγαγε Σιδονίηθεν, ἐπιπλοὺς εὐρέα πόντον
τὴν ὁδόν, ἣν Ἑλένην περ ἀνήγαγεν εὐπατέρειαν.
τῶν ἕν’ ἀειραμένη Ἑκάβη φέρε δῶρον Ἀθήνῃ,
ὃς κάλλιστος ἔην ποικίλμασιν ἠδὲ μέγιστος,
ἀστὴρ δ’ ὣς ἀπέλαμπεν· ἔκειτο δὲ νείατος ἄλλων.
There lay the elaborately wrought robes, the work of Sidonian
women, whom Alexandros himself, the godlike, had brought home
from the land of Sidon, crossing the wide sea, on that journey
when he brought back also gloriously descended Helen.
Hekabe lifted out one and took it as gift to Athene,
that which was the loveliest in design and the largest,
and shone like a star. It lay beneath the others.
χάλκεον, ᾧ πέρι χεῦμα φαεινοῦ κασσιτέροιο
ἀμφιδεδίνηται· πολέος δέ οἱ ἄξιος ἔσται.”
it is bronze, but there is an overlay circled about it
in shining tin. It will be a gift that will mean much to him.”
Diagrammatic iconicity is here centered on a single feature of Asteropaios’ breastplate: its being fitted close in shining tin. The emphasis on this single feature counterbalances the brevity of the description by drawing attention to a remarkable feature of the breastplate that the listeners can effectively keep in their minds.  At the same time, and given that Achilles declares that he will offer to the winner of the spear contest the silver-fitted sword of Asteropaios (Iliad XXIII 807–808), the emphasis on a single feature seems to imply that this object’s brief description acquires its importance not by its beauty, size, or some other characteristic of its own, but mainly by being associated with Achilles’ defeat of Asteropaios. By isolating and therefore accentuating the importance of a single feature, the narrator can use it as a cue for recalling an important narrative incident that has taken place. It is of course quite fitting that in both XXIII 560–562 and 807–808 the speaker is Achilles, since it is he, after all, who has kept his previous exploits vividly in his memory.
ἔνθεν δώδεκα μὲν περικαλλέας ἔξελε πέπλους,
δώδεκα δ’ ἁπλοΐδας χλαίνας, τόσσους δὲ τάπητας,
τόσσα δὲ φάρεα λευκά, τόσους δ’ ἐπὶ τοῖσι χιτῶνας,
χρυσοῦ δὲ στήσας ἔφερεν δέκα πάντα τάλαντα,
ἐκ δὲ δύ’ αἴθωνας τρίποδας, πίσυρας δὲ λέβητας,
ἐκ δὲ δέπας περικαλλές, ὅ οἱ Θρῇκες πόρον ἄνδρες
ἐξεσίην ἐλθόντι, μέγα κτέρας· οὐδέ νυ τοῦ περ
φείσατ’ ἐνὶ μεγάροις ὁ γέρων, περὶ δ’ ἤθελε θυμῷ
λύσασθαι φίλον υἱόν.
and from inside took out twelve robes surpassingly lovely
and twelve mantles to be worn single, as many blankets,
as many great white cloaks, also the same number of tunics.
He weighed and carried out ten full talents of gold, and brought forth
two shining tripods, and four cauldrons, and brought out a goblet
of surpassing loveliness that the men of Thrace had given him
when he went to them with a message, but now the old man spared not
even this in his halls, so much was it his heart’s desire
to ransom back his beloved son.
ὑψηλήν―τὴν Μυρμιδόνες ποίησαν ἄνακτι
δοῦρ’ ἐλάτης κέρσαντες, ἀτὰρ καθύπερθεν ἔρεψαν
λαχνήεντ’ ὄροφον λειμωνόθεν ἀμήσαντες·
ἀμφὶ δέ οἱ μεγάλην αὐλὴν ποίησαν ἄνακτι
σταυροῖσιν πυκινοῖσι· θύρην δ’ ἔχε μοῦνος ἐπιβλής
εἰλάτινος, τὸν τρεῖς μὲν ἐπιρρήσσεσκον Ἀχαιοί,
τρεῖς δ’ ἀναοίγεσκον μεγάλην κληῗδα θυράων,
τῶν ἄλλων, Ἀχιλεὺς δ’ ἄρ’ ἐπιρρήσσεσκε καὶ οἶος―
shelter the Myrmidons had built for their king, hewing
the timbers of pine, and they made a roof of thatch above it
shaggy with grass that they had gathered out of the meadows;
and around it made a great courtyard for their king, with hedgepoles
set close together; the gate was secured by a single door-piece
of pine, and three Achaians could ram it home in its socket
and three could pull back and open the huge door-bar; three other
Achaians, that is, but Achilleus all by himself could close it.
From the very beginning of this description, the storyteller carefully draws attention not only to various aspects of the hut, such as its size (449 ὑψηλήν) and the material used in making all its parts (walls, roof, hedgepoles), but also to the contribution of the Myrmidons to its construction. The audience is repeatedly told that it was Achilles’ companions who cut the trees and provided the wood (449–450), who covered the hut’s roof with grass they gathered from a meadow (450–451), and who finally built a large yard around it for their king using stakes closely fitted together (452–453). The narrator has organized the largest part of his description by means of a twofold list of the various parts of the hut and the materials used in their construction, which are tied together through the pseudonarrative of the work of a group of men, the Myrmidons.  When the description continues, attention is focused on one part of the hut, the single door-bolt made of pine. This single feature of the hut is accompanied by the contrast between the abilities of the Myrmidons and those of Achilles: the listeners are explicitly told that whereas three Myrmidons were needed in order to remove the bolt, Achilles could do the same thing on his own (456 οἶος). 
καλήν, χαλκείην ἐξήλατον, ἣν ἄρα χαλκεύς
ἤλασεν, ἔντοσθεν δὲ βοείας ῥάψε θαμειάς
χρυσείῃς ῥάβδοισι διηνεκέσιν περὶ κύκλον·
a lovely thing of beaten bronze, which the bronze-smith hammered
out for him, and on the inward side had stitched ox-hides
in close folds with golden staples clean round the circle.
Despite its terseness, this description of Sarpedon’s shield reflects the typology of descriptive sections in general: it is framed by a “visual ring-composition” (294 πάντοσ’ ἐΐσην; 297 περὶ κύκλον) and is also marked by the so-called effet de liste (295 καλήν, χαλκείην ἐξήλατον). These general features aside, the narrator focuses his attention on the spatial opposition between the shield’s outward and inward sides, the former made of bronze, the latter of ox-hides stitched together and fastened with golden staples. The highlighting of this spatially determined antithesis strikes a dissonant note against the monumental description of Achilles’ shield in Iliad XVIII, since in this case there is no tour of the various parts of the shield, but only a brief look at the outside and inside. In addition to its visual speed, the storyteller uses this technique to create a link with the ensuing narrative.  In fact, the emphasis on the marked opposition between the “beaten bronze” of the outer side and the closely folded ox-hides of the inner part functions as a visual backdrop against which the narrator, in the following simile, will emphasize not only the interplay between “outside” and “inside” in the lion’s attack on the strongly built stable where the sheep are kept, but also the antithesis between Sarpedon’s attack and the Achaeans’ defense of their wall. It is of no importance that the initial spatial opposition pertains only to an object owned by the aggressor, whereas it is then split between aggressor and defender in both simile and narrative. This “domino effect” is based on the visual association of contiguous mental spaces that determines the course followed by the narrator’s mind. Thus descriptive space can be mapped onto the space of the simile and then again onto its immediate narrative space, effectively allowing the storyteller to cross over to other registers by means of concatenated visual units.
βῆ ῥ’ ἴμεν ἐς κλισίην, χηλοῦ δ’ ἀπὸ πῶμ’ ἀνέῳγε
καλῆς δαιδαλέης, τήν οἱ Θέτις ἀργυρόπεζα
θῆκ’ ἐπὶ νηὸς ἄγεσθαι, ἐῢ πλήσασα χιτώνων
χλαινάων τ’ ἀνεμοσκεπέων οὔλων τε ταπήτων·
ἔνθα δέ οἱ δέπας ἔσκε τετυγμένον, οὐδέ τις ἄλλος
οὔτ’ ἀνδρῶν πίνεσκεν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ αἴθοπα οἶνον
οὔτέ τεῳ σπένδεσκε θεῶν, ὅτε μὴ Διὶ πατρί.
went off into his shelter, and lifted the lid from a lovely
elaborately wrought chest, which Thetis the silver-footed
had put in his ship to carry, and filled it fairly with tunics
and mantles to hold the wind from a man, and with fleecy blankets.
Inside this lay a wrought goblet, nor did any other
man drink the shining wine from it nor did Achilleus
pour from it to any other god, but only Zeus father.
As in Iliad VI 293–295, the most precious object is mentioned at the end of the actual description, and is singled out in stark contrast to the plurality of other, rather “transitional” objects (such as tunics, mantles, and blankets) placed either upon or next to it.  This time the effet de liste applies to both the description of Achilles’ chest (XVI 222 καλῆς, δαιδαλέης) and the various other gifts placed in it. When the narrator refers to the cup of Achilles, he has already guided his listeners to the contents of the chest by means of a mental tour, following initially a vertical course from the lid as it is lifted to the tunics, mantles, and blankets, and then a horizontal one, by visualizing the cup somewhere there (ἔνθα), probably next to or beneath them. The top-bottom spatial pair is particularly effective, since the audience is mentally following the narrator in the course of his description: they are lifting the chest’s lid and looking at its contents together with him, moving from a multitude of trivial objects to a prized cup devoted to a special god, Zeus himself, for whose sake it is used in libations.
ἄμπυκα κεκρύφαλόν τε ἰδὲ πλεκτὴν ἀναδέσμην
κρήδεμνόν θ’, ὅ ῥά οἱ δῶκε χρυσῆ Ἀφροδίτη
ἤματι τῷ, ὅτε μιν κορυθαίολος ἠγάγεθ’ Ἕκτωρ
ἐκ δόμου Ἠετίωνος, ἐπεὶ πόρε μυρία ἕδνα.
the diadem and the cap, and the holding-band woven together,
and the head-veil,  which Aphrodite the golden once had given her
on that day when Hektor of the shining helmet led her forth
from the house of Eëtion, and gave numberless gifts to win her.
Andromakhe, who has been in her chamber since Iliad VI, after meeting with Hektor on the walls, is preparing a hot bath for her husband, who is expected to return from the battlefield. Hearing the cries of pain and lamentation, she decides to run to the walls, like a maenad (XXII 460 μαινάδι ἴση). At the crucial moment, when she looks at the battlefield and sees Hektor’s corpse being dragged by Achilles’ chariot, she almost faints. It is at this point that the narrator undertakes a brief description of the headgear that falls from her head.
καὶ ξίφος· ἀμφὶ δέ οἱ κυνέην κεφαλῆφιν ἔθηκεν
ῥινοῦ ποιητήν, πολέσιν δ’ ἔντοσθεν ἱμᾶσιν
ἐντέτατο στερεῶς, ἔκτοσθε δὲ λευκοὶ ὀδόντες
ἀργιόδοντος ὑὸς θαμέες ἔχον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα
εὖ καὶ ἐπισταμένως, μέσσῃ δ’ ἐνὶ πῖλος ἀρήρει·
τήν ῥά ποτ’ ἐξ Ἐλεῶνος Ἀμύντορος Ὀρμενίδαο
ἐξέλετ’ Αὐτόλυκος πυκινὸν δόμον ἀντιτορήσας,
Σκάνδειαν δ’ ἄρα δῶκε Κυθηρίῳ Ἀμφιδάμαντι·
Ἀμφιδάμας δὲ Μόλῳ δῶκε ξεινήϊον εἶναι,
αὐτὰρ ὃ Μηριόνῃ δῶκεν ᾧ παιδὶ φορῆναι·
δὴ τότ’ Ὀδυσσῆος πύκασεν κάρη ἀμφιτεθεῖσα.
and a sword; and he too put over his head a helmet
fashioned of leather; on the inside the cap was cross-strung firmly
with thongs of leather, and on the outer side the white teeth
of a tusk-shining boar were close sewn one after another
with craftsmanship and skill; and a felt was set in the centre.
Autolykos, breaking into the close-built house, had stolen it
from Amyntor, the son of Ormenos, out of Eleon,
and gave it to Kytherian Amphidamas, at Skandeia;
Amphidamas gave it in turn to Molos, a gift of guest-friendship,
and Molos gave it to his son Meriones to carry.
But at this time it was worn to cover the head of Odysseus.
ἀργύρεον κρητῆρα τετυγμένον· ἓξ δ’ ἄρα μέτρα
χάνδανεν, αὐτὰρ κάλλει ἐνίκα πᾶσαν ἐπ’ αἶαν
πολλόν, ἐπεὶ Σιδόνες πολυδαίδαλοι εὖ ἤσκησαν,
Φοίνικες δ’ ἄγον ἄνδρες ἐπ’ ἠεροειδέα πόντον,
στῆσαν δ’ ἐν λιμένεσσι, Θόαντι δὲ δῶρον ἔδωκαν·
υἷος δὲ Πριάμοιο Λυκάονος ὦνον ἔδωκεν
Πατρόκλῳ ἥρωϊ Ἰησονίδης Εὔνηος.
καὶ τὸν Ἀχιλλεὺς θῆκεν ἀέθλιον οὗ ἑτάροιο,
ὅς τις ἐλαφρότατος ποσσὶ κραιπνοῖσι πέλοιτο.
a mixing-bowl of silver, a work of art, which held only
six measures, but for its loveliness it surpassed all others
on earth by far, since skilled Sidonian craftsmen had wrought it
well, and Phoenicians carried it over the misty face of the water
and set it in the harbour, and gave it for a present to Thoas.
Euneos, son of Jason, gave it to the hero Patroklos
to buy Lykaon, Priam’s son, out of slavery, and now
Achilleus made it a prize in memory of his companion,
for that man who should prove in the speed of his feet to run lightest.
Expanding certain aspects of the description
ἀγρίου, ὅν ῥά ποτ’ αὐτὸς ὑπὸ στέρνοιο τυχήσας
πέτρης ἐκβαίνοντα, δεδεγμένος ἐν προδοκῇσιν,
βεβλήκει πρὸς στῆθος, ὃ δ’ ὕπτιος ἔμπεσε πέτρῃ.
τοῦ κέρα ἐκ κεφαλῆς ἑκκαιδεκάδωρα πεφύκει·
καὶ τὰ μὲν ἀσκήσας κεραοξόος ἤραρε τέκτων,
πᾶν δ’ εὖ λειήνας χρυσέην ἐπέθηκε κορώνην.
καὶ τὸ μὲν εὖ κατέθηκε τανυσσάμενος, ποτὶ γαίῃ
a running wild goat he himself had shot in the chest once,
lying in wait for the goat in a covert as it stepped down
from the rock, and hit it in the chest so it sprawled on the boulders.
The horns that grew from the goat’s head were sixteen palms’ length.
A bowyer working on the horn then bound them together,
smoothing them to a fair surface, and put on a golden string hook.
Pandaros strung his bow and put it in position, bracing it
against the ground …
Description and mini-ecphrastic expansion
πέπλον μὲν κατέχευεν ἑανὸν πατρὸς ἐπ’ οὔδει
ποικίλον, ὅν ῥ’ αὐτὴ ποιήσατο καὶ κάμε χερσίν,
ἣ δὲ χιτῶν’ ἐνδῦσα Διὸς νεφεληγερέταο
τεύχεσιν ἐς πόλεμον θωρήσσετο δακρυόεντα.
ἀμφὶ δ’ ἄρ’ ὤμοισιν βάλετ’ αἰγίδα θυσσανόεσσαν
δεινήν, ἣν περὶ μὲν πάντῃ Φόβος ἐστεφάνωται,
ἐν δ’ Ἔρις, ἐν δ’ Ἀλκή, ἐν δὲ κρυόεσσα Ἰωκή,
ἐν δέ τε Γοργείη κεφαλὴ δεινοῖο πελώρου,
δεινή τε σμερδνή τε, Διὸς τέρας αἰγιόχοιο·
κρατὶ δ’ ἐπ’ ἀμφίφαλον κυνέην θέτο τετραφάληρον
χρυσείην, ἑκατὸν πολίων πρυλέεσσ’ ἀραρυῖαν·
beside the threshold of her father slipped off her elaborate
dress which she herself had wrought with her hands’ patience,
and now assuming the war tunic of Zeus who gathers
the clouds, she armed in her gear for the dismal fighting.
And across her shoulders she threw the betasselled, terrible
aegis, all about which Terror hang like a garland,
and Hatred is there, and Battle Strength, and heart-freezing Onslaught
and thereon is set the head of the grim gigantic Gorgon,
a thing of fear and horror, portent of Zeus of the aegis.
Upon her head she set the golden helm with its four sheets
and two horns, wrought with the fighting men of a hundred cities.
Ἀργείους· ἐν δ’ αὐτὸς ἐδύσετο νώροπα χαλκόν.
κνημῖδας μὲν πρῶτα περὶ κνήμῃσιν ἔθηκεν
καλάς, ἀργυρέοισιν ἐπισφυρίοις ἀραρυίας·
δεύτερον αὖ θώρηκα περὶ στήθεσσιν ἔδυνεν,
τόν ποτέ οἱ Κινύρης δῶκε ξεινήϊον εἶναι,
πεύθετο γὰρ Κύπρονδε μέγα κλέος, οὕνεκ’ Ἀχαιοί
ἐς Τροίην νήεσσιν ἀναπλεύσεσθαι ἔμελλον·
τοὔνεκά οἱ τὸν δῶκε, χαριζόμενος βασιλῆϊ.
τοῦ δ’ ἤτοι δέκα οἶμοι ἔσαν μέλανος κυάνοιο,
δώδεκα δὲ χρυσοῖο καὶ εἴκοσι κασσιτέροιο·
κυάνεοι δὲ δράκοντες ὀρωρέχατο προτὶ δειρήν
τρεῖς ἑκάτερθ’, ἴρισσιν ἐοικότες, ἅς τε Κρονίων
ἐν νέφεϊ στήριξε, τέρας μερόπων ἀνθρώπων.
ἀμφὶ δ’ ἄρ’ ὤμοισιν βάλετο ξίφος· ἐν δέ οἱ ἧλοι
χρύσειοι πάμφαινον, ἀτὰρ περὶ κουλεὸν ἦεν
ἀργύρεον, χρυσέοισιν ἀορτήρεσσιν ἀρηρός.
ἂν δ’ ἕλετ’ ἀμφιβρότην πολυδαίδαλον ἀσπίδα θοῦριν,
καλήν, ἣν πέρι μὲν κύκλοι δέκα χάλκεοι ἦσαν,
ἐν δέ οἱ ὀμφαλοὶ ἦσαν ἐείκοσι κασσιτέροιο
λευκοί, ἐν δὲ μέσοισιν ἔην μέλανος κυάνοιο.
τῇ δ’ ἐπὶ μὲν Γοργὼ βλοσυρῶπις ἐστεφάνωτο
δεινὸν δερκομένη, περὶ δὲ Δεῖμός τε Φόβος τε·
τῆς δ’ ἐξ ἀργύρεος τελαμὼν ἦν, αὐτὰρ ἐπ’ αὐτοῦ
κυάνεος ἐλέλικτο δράκων, κεφαλαὶ δέ οἱ ἦσαν
τρεῖς ἀμφιστρεφέες, ἑνὸς αὐχένος ἐκπεφυυῖαι.
κρατὶ δ’ ἐπ’ ἀμφίφαλον κυνέην θέτο τετραφάληρον
ἵππουριν· δεινὸν δὲ λόφος καθύπερθεν ἔνευεν.
εἵλετο δ’ ἄλκιμα δοῦρε δύω, κεκορυθμένα χαλκῷ,
ὀξέα· τῆλε δὲ χαλκὸς ἀπ’ αὐτόφιν οὐρανὸν εἴσω
λάμπ’. ἐπὶ δ’ ἐγδούπησαν Ἀθηναίη τε καὶ Ἥρη,
τιμῶσαι βασιλῆα πολυχρύσοιο Μυκήνης.
to gird them, while he himself put the shining bronze upon him.
First he placed along his legs the beautiful greaves linked
with silver fastenings to hold the greaves at the ankles.
Afterwards he girt on about his chest the corselet
that Kinyras had given him once, to be a guest present.
For the great fame and rumour of war had carried to Kypros
how the Achaians were to sail against Troy in their vessels.
Therefore he gave the king as a gift of grace his corselet.
Now there were ten circles of deep cobalt upon it,
and twelve of gold and twenty of tin. And toward the opening
at the throat there were rearing up three serpents of cobalt
on either side, like rainbows, which the son of Kronos
has marked upon the clouds, to be a portent to mortals.
Across his shoulders he slung the sword, and the nails upon it
were golden and glittered, and closing about it the scabbard
was silver, and gold was upon the swordstraps that held it.
And he took up the man-enclosing elaborate stark shield,
a thing of splendour. There were ten circles of bronze upon it,
and set about it were twenty knobs of tin, pale-shining,
and in the very centre another knob of dark cobalt.
And circled in the midst of all was the black-eyed face of the Gorgon
with her stare of horror, and Fear was inscribed upon it, and Terror.
The strap of the shield had silver upon it, and there also on it
was coiled a cobalt snake, and there were three heads upon him
twisted to look backward and grown from a single neck, all three.
Upon his head he set the helmet, two-horned, four-sheeted,
with the horse-hair crest, and the plumes nodded terribly above it.
Then he caught up two strong spears edged with sharp bronze
and the brazen heads flashed far from him deep into heaven.
And Hera and Athene caused a crash of thunder about him,
doing honour to the lord of deep-golden Mykenai.