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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

Μη̂νιν ʼάειδε, θεά, Πηληιάδεω ʼΑχιλλη̂ος
οὐλομένην, ʽή μυρί' ʼΑχαιοι̂ς ʼάλγε' ʼέθηκε,
πολλὰς δ' ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Αʽίδι προίαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τευ̂χε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοι̂σί τε πα̂σι, Διὸς δ' ἐτελείετο βουλή,
ἐξ οʽυ̂ δὴ τὰ πρω̂τα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε
ʼΑτρείδης τε ʼάναξ ἀνδρω̂ν καὶ δι̂ος ʼΑχιλλεύς.
Τίς τ' ʼα̂ρ' σφωε θεω̂ν ʼέριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι;
Λητου̂ς καὶ Διὸς υἱός; ὁ γὰρ βασιλη̂ι χολωθεὶς
νου̂σον ἀνὰ στρατὸν ʼω̂ρσε κακήν, ὀλέκοντο δὲ λαοί,
οʽύνεκα τὸν Χρύσην ἠτίμασεν ἀρητη̂ρα
ʼΑτρείδης· ὁ γὰρ ʼήλθε θοὰς ἐπὶ νη̂ας ʼΑχαιω̂ν
λυσόμενός τε θυγάτρα φέρων τ' ἀπερείσι' ʼάποινα,
στέμματ' ʼέχων ἐν χερσὶν ἑκηβόλου ʼΑπόλλωνος
χρυσέῳ ἀνὰ σκήπτρῳ, καὶ λίσσετο πάντας ʼΑχαιούς
ʼΑτρείδα δὲ μάλιστα δύω, κοσμήτορε λαω̂ν·
"ʼΑτρείδαι τε καὶ ʼάλλοι εὐκνήμιδες ʼΑχαιοί,
ὑμι̂ν μὲν θεοὶ δοι̂εν ʼΟλύμπια δώματ' ʼέχοντες
ἐκπέρσαι Πριάμοιο πόλιν, εʼύ δ' οʼίκαδ' ἱκέσθαι!
παι̂δα δ' ἐμοὶ λύσαιτε φίλην, τὰ δ' ʼάποινα δέχεσθαι,
ἁζόμενοι Διὸς υἱὸν ἑκηβόλον ʼΑπόλλωνα."

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."