23. Ἄγε δή, ξένε, τὴν ἀσπίδα ἤδη ἀναλάβωμεν, ἣν ὁ Πρωτεσίλεως Ὁμήρῳ τε ἠγνοῆσθαί φησι καὶ ποιηταῖς πᾶσι.
2ΦΟΙΝ. Ποθοῦντι ἀποδίδως, ἀμπελουργέ, τὸν περὶ αὐτῆς λόγον· σπάνιον δὲ οἶμαι ἀκούσεσθαι.
ἈΜΠ. Σπανιώτατον· προσέχων δὲ ἀκροῶ.
ΦΟΙΝ. Προσέχων λέγεις; οὐδὲ τὰ θηρία ἐς τὸν Ὀρφέα οὕτως ἐκεχήνει ᾄδοντα, ὡς ἐγώ σου ἀκούων τά τε ὦτα ἵστημι καὶ τὸν νοῦν ἐγρήγορα καὶ ξυλλέγομαι ἐς τὴν μνήμην πάντα. ἡγοῦμαι δὲ καὶ τῶν ἐπὶ Τροίαν ἐστρατευκότων εἷς εἶναι· τοσοῦτον κατέσχημαι τοῖς ἡμιθέοις ὑπὲρ ὧν διαλεγόμεθα.
3ἈΜΠ. Οὐκοῦν, ἐπειδὴ φρονεῖς οὕτω, αἴρωμεν ἐξ Αὐλίδος, ὦ ξένε. τὸ γὰρ ἐκεῖ ξυνειλέχθαι σφας ἀληθές. τὰ δ’ ἐμβατήρια τοῦ λόγου τῷ Πρωτεσίλεῳ εὔχθω. 4ὡς μὲν δὴ τὴν Μυσίαν οἱ Ἀχαιοὶ πρὸ Τροίας ἐπόρθησαν ἐπὶ Τηλέφῳ τότε οὖσαν, καὶ ὡς ὁ Τήλεφος ὑπὲρ τῶν ἑαυτοῦ μαχόμενος ἐτρώθη ὑπὸ Ἀχιλλέως, ἔστι σοι καὶ ποιητῶν ἀκούειν· οὐ γὰρ ἐκλέλειπται αὐτοῖς ταῦτα.
5τὸ δὲ πιστεύειν ὡς ἀγνοήσαντες οἱ Ἀχαιοὶ τὴν χώραν τὰ τοῦ Πριάμου ἄγειν τε καὶ φέρειν ᾤοντο, διαβάλλει τὸν Ὁμήρου λόγον ὃν περὶ Κάλχαντος ᾄδει τοῦ μάντεως· εἰ γὰρ ἐπὶ μαντικῇ ἔπλεον καὶ τὴν τέχνην ἡγεμόνα ἐποιοῦντο, πῶς ἂν ἄκοντες ἐκεῖ καθωρμίσθησαν; 6πῶς δ’ ἂν καθορμισθέντες ἠγνόησαν ὅτι μὴ ἐς Τροίαν ἥκουσι, καὶ ταῦτα πολλοῖς μὲν βουκόλοις ἐντετυχηκότες, πολλοῖς δὲ ποιμέσι; νέμεταί τε
23. But now, stranger, let us take up the story of the shield, which Protesilaus says is unknown to Homer and to all the other poets.
2Phoenician. I am very eager for you to tell me about it, vinedresser—I expect I am going to hear an unusual story.
Vinedresser. Very unusual, so listen attentively.
Phoenician. Attentively? Not even the beasts gaped at Orpheus’ singing such as I do—my ears strained, my mind alert and ready to commit everything to memory. I feel as if I were one of the army which has sailed for Troy, so possessed am I by the demigods we are discussing.
3Vinedresser. Since you feel that way, stranger, let us set sail from Aulis—for the story that they mustered there first is true—and let the embarkation offerings for our story be made to Protesilaus. 4Now then, as to the story that before Troy the Achaeans ravaged Mysia which was then under Telephus’ rule, and that Telephus was wounded by Achilles while fighting to defend his people, you can learn that even from the poets, who haven’t left out this part.70
5But to believe that the Achaeans, in ignorance of the country, thought they were plundering Priam’s land, does an injustice to Homer’s account of Calchas the prophet. For if they sailed after consulting a seer and allowed his skill to guide them, then how could they have landed in Mysia unless they wanted to? 6And once they had landed, how could they not have known they weren’t at Troy, although they encountered many cowherds and shepherds?