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Homer, Odyssey, Book 1 

 

O Muse, speak to me of the many-sided man,

of his many wanderings after his destruction

of the mighty city of Troy. Many people

and places he came to know, their ways and habits;

astray at sea he suffered much to save his life

and return home with his companions. But his men

would not be saved, but perished, for like foolish children

they ate the cattle of the sun-god Helios : so the men asea

day by day were denied their return. O goddess,

daughter of Zeus, begin where you will and speak to me. . . .                                                                                                             

Homer, Iliad, Book 1

 

Sing, goddess, of the rage of Achilles, Peleus’ son;

rage that brought innumerable troubles to the Achaeans,

sending many warriors down to Hades as dead shadows,

their bodies abandoned as prey for dogs and birds to feed on. 

 

Such was the will of Zeus to be. Goddess, sing the beginning :

the quarrel that separated the son of Atreus, king of men, 

and δῖος Achilles. Which of the gods made these two powers 

stand in challenge?—Apollo, the one son of Leto and Zeus.