Ajax and Odysseus quarrelling over Achilles’ arms

Debilitaturum quid te petis, improbe, munus,
quod tibi si populi donaverit error Achivi,
cur spolieris, erit, non cur metuaris ab hoste,
et fuga, qua sola cunctos, timidissime, vincis,
tarda futura tibi est gestamina tanta trahenti?
adde quod iste tuus, tam raro proelia passus,
integer est clipeus; nostro, qui tela ferendo
mille patet plagis, novus est successor habendus.
(Ovid, Met. 13.112-119)

‘Perverse man, why do you go after a prize that will cripple you, one that, if it is given you in error by the Achaean people, will be a reason for being despoiled by the enemy, not feared by them? And running away, in which you surpass everyone, you master-coward, will turn out to be a slow game for you, if you are carrying such a weight. Add to that your shield that is rarely used in battle, and uninjured, and mine split in a thousand places from fending off spear-thrusts, that needs a new successor.’ (tr. Tony Kline)

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