Words Crush Wednesday – The Homeric Version

Published May 27, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

So, last week’s Words Crush Wednesday was from Book IV of the Iliad, where Agamemnon is trying to goad Diomedes into getting pumped up for the battle by insulting him.  (Well, okay, not exactly, but close enough.)  So here’s the reply to Agamemnon’s speech.  (W. H. D. Rouse translation)

Diomedes made no answer, for he respected the King’s reproof:  but Sthenelos spoke out:

“My lord, do not say what is false when you know the truth.  We are better men than our fathers, and we are proud of it!  We took the fortress of sevengate Thebes, although we had a weaker force against a stronger wall, because we trusted in the help of Zeus and omens from the gods above:  but our fathers perished through their own reckless folly.  So please don’t put them equal to us!”

You know, the implication of Sthenelos’ speech is that the Achaian force at Troy doesn’t trust in “the help of Zeus and omens from the gods above” in that they have a stronger force, and yet haven’t breached Troy’s walls in ten years of fighting.  (I doubt the siege of Thebes took ten years…though I haven’t started researching the Epigoni yet, so I’m not sure.)  For that matter, he’s implying lesser faith on the part of their fathers, too, despite that Amphiaraos, one of the original Seven against Thebes, was a priest and seer.  And Tydeus was one of Athene’s most favored mortals.  (More so, in fact, than even Odysseus, in that…well, actually, I’ll be getting to that tomorrow…)

Tomorrow’s myth will be about their fathers’ deaths, though, because it took me too long last week to set up the quarrel.  So the triumph of Diomedes, Sthenelos and their comrades won’t be until next week.




…ohmigod…I almost sent this flowing out into the ether while saying “do not saw with is false” instead of “do not say what is false”.  How in the heck did I make such an insane typo?  I’m just glad I noticed it before I hit “Publish”…

(Sorry.  I just thought it was such a crazy typo that I would share.  Because I thought it was mildly amusing.  But maybe I’m alone in that?)


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