Dēmoboros

Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, De strijd tussen Achilles en Agamemnon
Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, La colère d’Achille contre Agamemnon

Πηλεΐδης δ’ ἐξαῦτις ἀταρτηροῖς ἐπέεσσιν
Ἀτρεΐδην προσέειπε, καὶ οὔ πω λῆγε χόλοιο·
“οἰνοβαρές, κυνὸς ὄμματ’ ἔχων, κραδίην δ’ ἐλάφοιο,
οὔτέ ποτ’ ἐς πόλεμον ἅμα λαῷ θωρηχθῆναι
οὔτε λόχον δ’ ἰέναι σὺν ἀριστήεσσιν Ἀχαιῶν
τέτληκας θυμῷ· τὸ δέ τοι κὴρ εἴδεται εἶναι.
ἦ πολὺ λώϊόν ἐστι κατὰ στρατὸν εὐρὺν Ἀχαιῶν
δῶρ’ ἀποαιρεῖσθαι ὅς τις σέθεν ἀντίον εἴπῃ·
δημοβόρος βασιλεὺς, ἐπεὶ οὐτιδανοῖσιν ἀνάσσεις·
ἦ γὰρ ἂν, Ἀτρεΐδη, νῦν ὕστατα λωβήσαιο.
ἀλλ’ ἔκ τοι ἐρέω καὶ ἐπὶ μέγαν ὅρκον ὀμοῦμαι·
ναὶ μὰ τόδε σκῆπτρον, τὸ μὲν οὔ ποτε φύλλα καὶ ὄζους
φύσει, ἐπεὶ δὴ πρῶτα τομὴν ἐν ὄρεσσι λέλοιπεν,
οὐδ’ ἀναθηλήσει· περὶ γάρ ῥά ἑ χαλκὸς ἔλεψε
φύλλά τε καὶ φλοιόν· νῦν αὖτέ μιν υἷες Ἀχαιῶν
ἐν παλάμῃς φορέουσι δικασπόλοι, οἵ τε θέμιστας
πρὸς Διὸς εἰρύαται· ὃ δέ τοι μέγας ἔσσεται ὅρκος·
ἦ ποτ’ Ἀχιλλῆος ποθὴ ἵξεται υἷας Ἀχαιῶν
σύμπαντας· τότε δ’ οὔ τι δυνήσεαι ἀχνύμενός περ
χραισμεῖν, εὖτ’ ἂν πολλοὶ ὑφ’ Ἕκτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο
θνῄσκοντες πίπτωσι· σὺ δ’ ἔνδοθι θυμὸν ἀμύξεις
χωόμενος ὅ τ’ ἄριστον Ἀχαιῶν οὐδὲν ἔτισας.”
ὥς φάτο Πηλεΐδης, ποτὶ δὲ σκῆπτρον βάλε γαίῃ
χρυσείοις ἥλοισι πεπαρμένον, ἕζετο δ’ αὐτός…
(Homer, Il. 1.223-246)

But Achilles rounded on Agamemnon once again,
lashing out at him. not relaxing his anger for a moment:
“Staggering drunk, with your dog’s eyes. your fawn’s heart!
Never once did you arm with the troops and go to battle
or risk an ambush packed with Achaea’s picked men—
you lack the courage, you can see death coming.
Safer by far, you find, to foray all through camp,
commandeering the prize of any man who speaks against you.
King who devours his people! Worthless husks, the men you rule—
if not, Atrides, this outrage would have been your last.
I tell you this, and I swear a mighty oath upon it…
by this, this scepter, look,
that never again will put forth crown and branches,
now it’s left its stump on the mountain ridge forever,
nor will it sprout new green again, now the brazen ax
has stripped its bark and leaves, and now the sons of Achaea
pass it back and forth as they hand their judgments down,
upholding the honored customs whenever Zeus commands—
This scepter will be the mighty force behind my oath:
someday, I swear, a yearning for Achilles will strike
Achaea’s sons and all your armies! But then, Atrides,
harrowed as you will be, nothing you do can save you—
not when your hordes of fighters drop and die,
cut down by the hands of man-killing Hector! Then—
then you will tear your heart out, desperate, raging
that you disgraced the best of the Achaeans!”
Down on the ground
he dashed the scepter studded bright with golden nails,
then took his seat again.
(tr. Robert Fagles)

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