ι΄ ΠΥΡΡΟΣ Η ΜΥΣΟΙ
20(1) Τὰ Εὐρυπύλου καὶ Νεοπτολέμου ποιητῶν ὑμνεῖ χορὸς πατρῴζειν τε αὐτοὺς ἄμφω καὶ τὴν χεῖρα εὐδοκίμους κατ᾿ ἰσχὺν εἶναι, φησὶ δὲ καὶ ἡ γραφὴ ταῦτα· ἡ τύχη γὰρ τὴν ἐξ ἁπάσης γῆς ἀρετὴν ἐς μίαν πόλιν συνενεγκοῦσα οἱ μὲν οὐκ 25ἀκλεεῖς οἴχονται, ἀλλ᾿ οἷοι πρὸς πολλοὺς δυστήνων δέ τε παῖδες εἰπεῖν οἳ ἐμῷ μένει ἀντιόωσιν, οἱ δὲ γενναῖοι γενναίων κρατοῦσι.
(2) Τὰ μὲν δὴ περὶ τῶν ἐν τῷ νικᾶν ἕτερα, νυνὶ δὲ περὶ τοὺς ξυνεστῶτας ἡ θέα. πόλις μὲν 30αὕτη Ἴλιος ὀφρυόεσσα, καθ᾿ Ὅμηρον, περιθεῖ δὲ αὐτὴν τεῖχος οἷον καὶ θεοὺς μὴ ἀπαξιῶσαι τῆς ἑαυτῶν χειρός, ναύσταθμόν τε ἐπὶ θάτερα 405 K.καὶ στενὸς Ἑλλησπόντου διάρρους Ἀσίαν Εὐρώπης διείργων. τοὐν μέσῳ δὲ πεδίον ποταμῷ διαιρεῖται Ξάνθῳ, γέγραπται δὲ οὐ μορμύρων ἀφρῷ, οὐδ᾿ οἷος ἐπὶ τὸν τοῦ Πηλέως ἐπλήμμυρεν, 5ἀλλ᾿ εὐνὴ μὲν αὐτῷ λωτὸς καὶ θρύον καὶ ἁπαλοῦ δόνακος κόμαι, κατάκειται δὲ μᾶλλον ἢ ἀνέστηκε
10. Pyrrhus or the Mysians1
The story of Eurypylus and Neoptolemus is sung by a chorus of poets, who tell us how each resembles his father and is famous for the prowess of his arm; and this painting also relates this tale. For when fortune has gathered into one city the valour of every land,2 some go away not inglorious but able to say to the world, “children of wretched men are they who encounter my wrath,”3 and men of noble birth overcome men of noble birth.
The account of the victory is another tale, but the scene before you now has to do with the combatants. Here is the city of “beetling Ilium,” as Homer4 calls it; and a wall runs round about it such as even the gods disdained not to claim as the work of their own hands. On the other side is the station of the ships and the narrow strait of the Hellespont that separates Asia from Europe. The plain between the city and the strait is divided by the river Xanthus, which is represented, not as “roaring with foam”5 nor yet as when it rose in flood against the son of Peleus,6 but its bed is lotus grass and rushes and foliage of tender reeds; it reclines instead of standing
- 1In the later years of the Trojan war the son of Telephus, Priam’s nephew Eurypylus, leads the Mysians to the aid of the Trojans, where he is slain by Achilles’ son Neoptolemus (Pyrrhus) at the head of the Myrmidons. Cf. the account of Achilles and Memnon, supra, p. 29.
- 2The reference is to the heroes gathered at Troy.
- 3Quoted from Iliad 6. 127. Cf. supra, p. 225 n.
- 4Ibid. 22.411.
- 5Ibid. 18. 403, where the phrase is used of the stream of Oceanus: cf. 21. 302 f.
- 6For the attack on Achilles by the river Xanthus see Iliad 21. 212 f. For the personification of the river, cf. supra, pp. 159 and 319.