Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica

LCL 19: 444-445




The Trojans bury Eurypylus, and Neoptolemus prays at the tomb of his father, Achilles. Deïphobus encourages the fearful Trojans to fight, and both he and Neoptolemus slay countless victims. Finally they meet, but Deïphobus is removed from the battlefield by Apollo. Poseidon supports the Greeks and warns Apollo not to kill Neoptolemus. Calchas reveals that Troy may not be captured without the help of Philoctetes. Odysseus and Diomedes go to fetch him from the island of Lemnos. They find him living in a cave and still suffering from the putrid wound whose stench had caused the Greeks to abandon him. He is persuaded to accompany them to Troy, where he is cured by Podalirius, honored, and offered compensation.

Philoctetes and his wound are mentioned in the Iliad (2.721–25). The embassy to fetch him was told in the Little Iliad. Sophocles’ tragedy Philoctetes will have been known to Quintus. Euripides wrote a play, now lost, on the same subject.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.quintus_smyrnaeus-posthomerica.2018