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whom fighting for his country thou hast slain. His body I come to redeem, bringing inestimable ransom with me. Achilles ! reverence the gods ! recollect thy father ! for his sake show compassion to me!” These words moved Achilles, and he wept; remembering by turns his absent father and his lost friend. Moved with pity of Priam's silver locks and beard, he raised him from the earth and spake : “ Priam, I know that thou hast reached this place conducted by some god, for without aid divine no mortal even in his prime of youth had dared the attempt. I grant thy request, for I am moved thereto by the manifest will of Jove." So saying he arose, went forth with his two friends, and unloaded of its charge the litter, leaving two mantles and a robe for the covering of the body. This they placed on the litter, and spread the garments over it, that not unveiled it should be borne back to Troy. Then Achilles dismissed the old king, having first pledged himself to a truce of twelve days for the funeral solemnities.
As the litter approached the city and was descried from the walls, the people poured forth to gaze once more on the face of their hero. Foremost of all, the mother and the wife of Hector came, and at the sight of the lifeless body renewed their lamentations. The people wept with them, and to the going down of the sun there was no pause or abatement of their grief.
The next day, preparations were made for the funeral solemnities. For nine days the people brought wood and built the pile ; and on the tenth they placed the body on the summit, and applied the torch, while all Troy thronging forth encompassed the pyre. When it had completely burned, they quenched the cinders with wine, and, collecting the bones, placed them in a golden urn, which they buried in the earth. Over the spot they reared a pile of CHAPTER XXVI.
“Such honors Iium to her hero paid,
And peaceful slept the mighty Hector's shade." I
i Pope's translation of the Iliad.
THE FALL OF TROY.
$ 169. The Fall of Troy. — The story of the Iliad ends with the death of Hector, and it is from the Odyssey and later poems that we learn the fate of the other heroes. After the death of Hector, Troy did not immediately fall, but receiving aid from new allies still continued its resistance. One of these allies was Memnon, the Æthiopian prince, whose story has been already told. Another was Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons, who came with a band of female warriors. All the authorities attest the valor of these women and the fearful effect of their war cry. Penthesilea, having slain many of the bravest Greeks, was at last slain by Achilles. But when the hero bent over his fallen foe, and contemplated her beauty, youth, and valor, he bitterly regretted his victory. Thersites, an insolent brawler and demagogue, attempting to ridicule his grief, was in consequence slain by the hero.?
The Death of Achilles. — But Achilles, himself, was not destined to a long life. Having by chance seen Polyxena, daughter of King Priam - perhaps on occasion of the truce which was allowed the Trojans for the burial of Hector — he was captivated with her charms; and to win her in marriage, it is said (but not
2 Pausanias v. 11. § 2; and Sophocles, Philoctetes, 445.
by Homer), that he agreed to influence the Greeks to make peace with Troy. While the hero was in the temple of Apollo, negotiating the marriage, Paris discharged at him a poisoned arrow, which, guided by Apollo, fatally wounded him in the heel. This was his only vulnerable spot; for Thetis having dipped him when an infant in the river Styx, had rendered every part of him invul- nerable except that by which she held him.?
Contest for the Arms of Achilles. — The body of Achilles so treacherously slain was rescued by Ajax and Ulysses. Thetis directed the Greeks to bestow her son's armor on that hero who of all the survivors should be judged most deserving of it. Ajax and Ulysses were the only claimants. A select number of the other chiefs were appointed to award the prize. It was awarded to Ulysses. Wisdom thus was rated above valor ; wherefore Ajax slew himself. On the spot where his blood sank into the earth a hyacinth sprang up, bearing on its leaves the first two letters of his name, Ai, the Greek interjection of woe.
It was now discovered that Troy could not be taken but by the aid of the arrows of Hercules. They were in possession of Philoctetes, the friend who had been with Hercules at the last, and had lighted his funeral pyre. Philoctetess had joined the Grecian expedition against Troy; but having accidentally wounded his foot with one of the poisoned arrows, the smell from the wound proved so offensive that his companions carried him to the isle of Lemnos, and left him there. Diomede and Ulysses, or Ulysses and Neoptolemus (son of Achilles) were now sent to induce him to rejoin the army. They succeeded. Philoctetes was cured of his wound by Machaon, and Paris was the first victim of the fatal arrows.
Paris and Enone. — In his distress Paris bethought him of one whom in his prosperity he had forgotten. This was the nymph (Enone, whom he had married when a youth, and had abandoned for the fatal beauty of Helen. Enone, remembering the wrongs she had suffered, refused to heal the wound; and Paris went back to Troy and died. Enone quickly repented, and hastened after him with remedies, but came too late, and in her grief hanged herself.
i Vergil, Æneid 6:57.
3 Sophocles, Ajax. 2 Statius, Achilleid 1: 269.
4 See Commentary. 5 Servius Honoratus, Commentary on Æneid (3:402). According to Sophocles (Philoctetes), the wound was occasioned by the bite of a serpent that guarded the shrine of the nymph Chryse, on an islet of the same name, near Lemnos.
The Palladium. — There was in Troy a celebrated statue of Minerva called the Palladium. It was said to have fallen from heaven, and the belief was that the city could not be taken so long as this statue remained within it. Ulysses and Diomede entered the city in disguise, and succeeded in obtaining the Palladium, which they carried off to the Grecian camp.
The Wooden Horse. — But Troy still held out. The Greeks began to despair of subduing it by force, and by advice of Ulysses they resorted to stratagem. They pretended to be making preparations to abandon the siege ; and a number of the ships were withdrawn and concealed behind a neighboring island. They then constructed an immense wooden horse, which they gave out was intended (as a propitiatory offering to Minerva; but it was, in fact, filled with armed men. The rest of the Greeks then betook themselves to their ships and sailed away, as if for a final departure. The Trojans, seeing the encampment broken up and the fleet gone, concluded that the enemy had abandoned the siege. ( The gates of the city were thrown open, and the whole population issued forth, rejoicing at the long-prohibited liberty of passing freely over the scene of the late encampment. The great horse was the chief object of curiosity. (Some recommended that it be taken into
i Vergil, Æneid, Bk. 2.