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A. Richard Diebold Center for Indo-European Language and Culture

Indo-European Texts

Homeric Greek

Jonathan Slocum and Carol Justus

Chryses' Prayer

The first prayer in the Iliad (Book I, lines 37-42) is Chryses' prayer to Apollo to avenge the dishonor done him by Agamemnon, the leader of the Danaans (Greeks), who took Chryses' daughter as a war prize, refused to release her, and mistreated Chryses when he offered a ransom for her return. It illustrates older Indo-European prayer form and linguistic structure, as well as properly epic Greek features.

Each line is transcribed in Greek, transliterated into Roman script, briefly glossed word-for-word, then translated into English.

κλῦθί μευ ἀργυρότοξ', ὃς Χρύσην ἀμφιβέβηκας
kluthi meu argurotox', hos Chrusên amphibebêkas
hear 2.sg. imp; me 1.sg. gen; silver-bow masc. voc.sg; that masc. nom.sg; Chryses fem. acc.sg; go-around 2.sg. perf.ind.
Hear me O (you with the) silver bow, who guard Chryses
 
Κίλλάν τε ζαθέην Τενέδοιό τε ἶφι ἀνάσσεις,
Killan te zatheên Tenedoio te iphi anasseis,
Cilla fem. acc.sg; and; very-sacred fem. acc.sg; Tenedos fem. gen.sg; and; mightily; rule 2.sg. pres.ind.
and holy Cilla and (who) rule with might over Tenedos,
 
Σμινθεῦ εἴ ποτέ τοι χαρίεντ' ἐπὶ νηὸν ἔρεψα,
Smintheu ei pote toi charient' epi nêon erepsa,
Sminthe masc. voc.sg; if; ever; you 2.sg. dat; pleasing; upon; temple masc. acc.sg; feed-on 1.sg. aor.ind.
O Sminthe, if I ever put a roof on a temple (that was) pleasing to you,
 
ἢ εἰ δή ποτέ τοι κατὰ πίονα μηρί' ἔκηα
ê ei dê pote toi kata piona mêri' ekêa
or; if; then; ever; you 2.sg. dat; down; fat; thigh neut. acc.pl; burn 1.sg. aor.ind.
or if I ever burned for you the fat thighs
 
ταύρων ἠδ' αἰγῶν, τὸ δέ μοι κρήηνον ἐέλδωρ:
taurôn êd' aigôn, to de moi krêênon eeldôr:
bull masc. gen.pl; or; goat masc. gen.pl; that; but; me 1.sg. dat; grant 2.sg. aor. imp; wish neut. acc.sg.
of bulls or goats, then grant me this wish:
 
τίσειαν Δαναοὶ ἐμὰ δάκρυα σοῖσι βέλεσσιν.
tiseian Danaoi ema dakrua soisi belessin.
pay-for 3.pl. aor. opt; Danaan masc. nom.pl; my neut. acc.pl; tear neut. acc.pl; your neut. dat.pl.; arrow neut. dat.pl.
let the Danaans pay for my tears with your arrows.

Key to gloss abbreviations:

Abbrev. Meaning
1.=1st (person)
2.=2nd (person)
3.=3rd (person)
acc.=accusative (case)
aor.=aorist (tense)
dat.=dative (case)
fem.=feminine (gender)
gen.=genitive (case)
imp.=imperative (mood)
ind.=indicative (mood)
masc.=masculine (gender)
neut.=neuter (gender)
nom.=nominative (case)
opt.=optative (mood)
perf.=perfect (aspect)
pl.=plural (number)
pres.=present (tense)
sg.=singular (number)
voc.=vocative (case)