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Early Indo-European Texts

Classical Greek

Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Classical Greek with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Classical Greek Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Classical Greek language and its speakers' culture.

from Homer's Iliad

Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἥ μυρί' Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε' ἔθηκε,
πολλὰς δ' ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Αἵδι προίαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, Διὸς δ' ἐτελείετο βουλή,
ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε
Ἀτρείδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.
Τίς τ' ἆρ' σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι;
Λητοῦς καὶ Διὸς υἱός; ὁ γὰρ βασιλῆι χολωθεὶς
νοῦσον ἀνὰ στρατὸν ὦρσε κακήν, ὀλέκοντο δὲ λαοί,
οὕνεκα τὸν Χρύσην ἠτίμασεν ἀρητῆρα
Ἀτρείδης· ὁ γὰρ ἤλθε θοὰς ἐπὶ νῆας Ἀχαιῶν
λυσόμενός τε θυγάτρα φέρων τ' ἀπερείσι' ἄποινα,
στέμματ' ἔχων ἐν χερσὶν ἑκηβόλου Ἀπόλλωνος
χρυσέῳ ἀνὰ σκήπτρῳ, καὶ λίσσετο πάντας Ἀχαιούς
Ἀτρείδα δὲ μάλιστα δύω, κοσμήτορε λαῶν·
"Ἀτρείδαι τε καὶ ἄλλοι εὐκνήμιδες Ἀχαιοί,
ὑμῖν μὲν θεοὶ δοῖεν Ὀλύμπια δώματ' ἔχοντες
ἐκπέρσαι Πριάμοιο πόλιν, εὔ δ' οἴκαδ' ἱκέσθαι!
παῖδα δ' ἐμοὶ λύσαιτε φίλην, τὰ δ' ἄποινα δέχεσθαι,
ἁζόμενοι Διὸς υἱὸν ἑκηβόλον Ἀπόλλωνα."

Translation

Sing, oh goddess, of the wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus, the baneful wrath, which brought countless woes on the Achaeans and sent many valiant souls of heroes to Hades; But it made them themselves spoils for dogs and all kinds of birds, while the wish of the god was fulfilled. (Sing) from the time when, quarreling with one another, they first separated, the son of Atreus, ruler of men, and noble Achilles.
Who now of the gods brought those two to quarrel in strife? The son of Leto and Zeus! For he, angered at the king, brought about an evil sickness on the army, and the people were perishing, because the son of Atreus had dishonored Chryses, the priest. For he had come to the swift ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, bearing countless ransom and having in his hands on a golden scepter garlands of far-shooting Apollo. And he requested of all the Achaeans, but chiefly the two sons of Atreus, commanders of the people: "Sons of Atreus and other well-greaved Achaeans, may the gods, who have Olympian homes, grant to you that you destroy the city of Priam and return safely home. But free my dear child to me, and receive the ransom, in awe of far-shooting Apollo, son of Zeus."