Aspermos

Henry Howard (kopie naar), Poseidon komt tussenbeide in de Trojaanse oorlog, 1805

Δεύτερος αὖτ’ Ἀχιλεὺς προΐει δολιχόσκιον ἔγχος,
καὶ βάλεν Αἰνείαο κατ’ ἀσπίδα πάντοσ’ ἐΐσην
ἄντυγ’ ὕπο πρώτην, ᾗ λεπτότατος θέε χαλκός,
λεπτοτάτη δ’ ἐπέην ῥινὸς βοός· ἣ δὲ διὰ πρὸ
Πηλιὰς ἤϊξεν μελίη, λάκε δ’ ἀσπὶς ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς.
Αἰνείας δ’ ἐάλη καὶ ἀπὸ ἕθεν ἀσπίδ’ ἀνέσχε
δείσας· ἐγχείη δ᾽ ἄρ’ ὑπὲρ νώτου ἐνὶ γαίῃ
ἔστη ἱεμένη, διὰ δ’ ἀμφοτέρους ἕλε κύκλους
ἀσπίδος ἀμφιβρότης· ὃ δ’ ἀλευάμενος δόρυ μακρὸν
ἔστη, κὰδ δ’ ἄχος οἱ χύτο μυρίον ὀφθαλμοῖσι,
ταρβήσας ὅ οἱ ἄγχι πάγη βέλος. αὐτὰρ Ἀχιλλεὺς
ἐμμεμαὼς ἐπόρουσεν ἐρυσσάμενος ξίφος ὀξὺ
σμερδαλέα ἰάχων· ὃ δὲ χερμάδιον λάβε χειρὶ
Αἰνείας, μέγα ἔργον, ὃ οὐ δύο γ’ ἄνδρε φέροιεν,
οἷοι νῦν βροτοί εἰσ’· ὃ δέ μιν ῥέα πάλλε καὶ οἶος.
ἔνθά κεν Αἰνείας μὲν ἐπεσσύμενον βάλε πέτρῳ
ἢ κόρυθ’ ἠὲ σάκος, τό οἱ ἤρκεσε λυγρὸν ὄλεθρον,
τὸν δέ κε Πηλεΐδης σχεδὸν ἄορι θυμὸν ἀπηύρα,
εἰ μὴ ἄρ’ ὀξὺ νόησε Ποσειδάων ἐνοσίχθων·
αὐτίκα δ’ ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖς μετὰ μῦθον ἔειπεν·
“ὢ πόποι ἦ μοι ἄχος μεγαλήτορος Αἰνείαο,
ὃς τάχα Πηλεΐωνι δαμεὶς Ἄϊδος δὲ κάτεισι
πειθόμενος μύθοισιν Ἀπόλλωνος ἑκάτοιο
νήπιος, οὐδέ τί οἱ χραισμήσει λυγρὸν ὄλεθρον.
ἀλλὰ τί ἢ νῦν οὗτος ἀναίτιος ἄλγεα πάσχει
μὰψ ἕνεκ’ ἀλλοτρίων ἀχέων, κεχαρισμένα δ’ αἰεὶ
δῶρα θεοῖσι δίδωσι τοὶ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσιν;
ἀλλ’ ἄγεθ’ ἡμεῖς πέρ μιν ὑπὲκ θανάτου ἀγάγωμεν,
μή πως καὶ Κρονίδης κεχολώσεται, αἴ κεν Ἀχιλλεὺς
τόνδε κατακτείνῃ· μόριμον δέ οἵ ἐστ’ ἀλέασθαι,
ὄφρα μὴ ἄσπερμος γενεὴ καὶ ἄφαντος ὄληται
Δαρδάνου, ὃν Κρονίδης περὶ πάντων φίλατο παίδων
οἳ ἕθεν ἐξεγένοντο γυναικῶν τε θνητάων.
ἤδη γὰρ Πριάμου γενεὴν ἔχθηρε Κρονίων·
νῦν δὲ δὴ Αἰνείαο βίη Τρώεσσιν ἀνάξει
καὶ παίδων παῖδες, τοί κεν μετόπισθε γένωνται.”
(Homer, Iliad 20.273-308)

Achilles next—he hurled his spear and its long shadow flew
and the weapon struck the balanced round shield of Aeneas
under the outer rim where the bronze ran thinnest,
backed by the thinnest bull’s-hide. Straight through
the Pelian ash burst, the shield rang out with a screech—
but Aeneas crouched low, holding the buckler off his chest,
terrified as the shaft shot past his back, hurled so hard
it plunged deep in the ground, even after it tore up
two round plies of the shield that cased his body.
Dodging the big spear, Aeneas got to his feet…
a dizzying swirl of anguish rushing down his eyes,
blind with fear, the point had stuck so close.
But drawing his sharp sword, Achilles charged, wild,
hurtling toward him, loosing a savage cry as Aeneas
hefted a boulder in his hands, a tremendous feat—
no two men could hoist it, weak as men are now,
but all on his own he raised it high with ease.
Then and there he’d have struck Achilles lunging in,
the rock would have hit him square in casque or shield,
the gear would have warded off grim death, and Achilles, closing,
would have slashed his life away with a well-honed blade—
if the god of earthquakes had not marked it quickly
and called the gods at once who grouped around him:
“Now, I tell you, my heart aches for great Aeneas!
He’ll go down to the House of Death this instant,
overwhelmed by Achilles—all because he trusted
the distant deadly Archer’s urgings. Poor fool—
as if Apollo would lift a hand to save him now
from death, grim death. Aeneas the innocent!
Why should Aeneas suffer here, for no good reason,
embroiled in the quarrels of others, not his own?
He always gave us gifts to warm our hearts,
gifts for the gods who rule the vaulting skies.
So come, let us rescue him from death ourselves,
for fear the son of Cronus might just tower in rage
if Achilles kills this man. He is destined to survive.
Yes, so the generation of Dardanus will not perish,
obliterated without an heir, without a trace:
Dardanus, dearest to Zeus of all the sons
that mortal women brought to birth for Father.
Now he has come to hate the generation of Priam.
and now Aeneas will rule the men of Troy in power—
his sons’ sons and the sons born in future years.”
(tr. Robert Fagles)

Niphades

snow stones

Ὣς τώ γε προβοῶντε μάχην ὄτρυνον Ἀχαιῶν.
τῶν δ’, ὥς τε νιφάδες χιόνος πίπτωσι θαμειαὶ
ἤματι χειμερίῳ, ὅτε τ’ ὤρετο μητίετα Ζεὺς
νιφέμεν, ἀνθρώποισι πιφαυσκόμενος τὰ ἃ κῆλα·
κοιμήσας δ’ ἀνέμους χέει ἔμπεδον, ὄφρα καλύψῃ
ὑψηλῶν ὀρέων κορυφὰς καὶ πρώονας ἄκρους
καὶ πεδία λωτοῦντα καὶ ἀνδρῶν πίονα ἔργα,
καί τ’ ἐφ’ ἁλὸς πολιῆς κέχυται λιμέσιν τε καὶ ἀκταῖς,
κῦμα δέ μιν προσπλάζον ἐρύκεται· ἄλλα τε πάντα
εἴλυται καθύπερθ’, ὅτ’ ἐπιβρίσῃ Διὸς ὄμβρος·
ὣς τῶν ἀμφοτέρωσε λίθοι πωτῶντο θαμειαί,
αἱ μὲν ἄρ’ ἐς Τρῶας, αἱ δ’ ἐκ Τρώων ἐς Ἀχαιούς,
βαλλομένων· τὸ δὲ τεῖχος ὕπερ πᾶν δοῦπος ὀρώρει.
(Homer, Il. 12.277-289)

So their cries urged on the Achaeans’ war-lust.
Thick-and-fast as the snows that fall on a winter dawn
when Zeus who rules the world brings on a blizzard,
displaying to all mankind his weaponry of war…
and he puts the winds to sleep, drifting on and on
until he has shrouded over the mountains’ looming peaks
and the headlands jutting sharp, the lowlands deep in grass
and the rich plowed work of farming men, and the drifts fall
on the gray salt surf and the harbors and down along the beaches
and only breakers beating against the drifts can hold them off
but all else on the earth they cover over, snows from the sky
when Zeus comes storming down—now so thick-and-fast
they volleyed rocks from both sides, some at the Trojans,
some from Trojans against the Argives, salvos landing,
the whole long rampart thundering under blows.
(tr. Robert Fagles)

Meligērun

(c) Manchester City Galleries; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
William Etty, The Sirens and Ulysses (1837)

“Δεῦρ᾽ ἄγ’ ἰών, πολύαιν’ Ὀδυσεῦ, μέγα κῦδος Ἀχαιῶν,
νῆα κατάστησον, ἵνα νωϊτέρην ὄπ’ ἀκούσῃς.
οὐ γάρ πώ τις τῇδε παρήλασε νηῒ μελαίνῃ,
πρίν γ’ ἡμέων μελίγηρυν ἀπὸ στομάτων ὄπ’ ἀκοῦσαι,
ἀλλ’ ὅ γε τερψάμενος νεῖται καὶ πλείονα εἰδώς.
ἴδμεν γάρ τοι πάνθ’ ὅσ’ ἐνὶ Τροίῃ εὐρείῃ
Ἀργεῖοι Τρῶές τε θεῶν ἰότητι μόγησαν,
ἴδμεν δ’, ὅσσα γένηται ἐπὶ χθονὶ πουλυβοτείρῃ.”
(Homer, Od. 12.184-191)

‘Come closer, famous Odysseus—Achaea’s pride and glory—
moor your ship on our coast so you can hear our song!
Never has any sailor passed our shores in his black craft
until he has heard the honeyed voices pouring from our lips,
and once he hears to his heart’s content sails on, a wiser man.
We know all the pains that Achaeans and Trojans once endured
on the spreading plain of Troy when the gods willed it so—
all that comes to pass on the fertile earth, we know it all!’
(tr. Robert Fagles)

Pannuchioi

Campfire_Pinecone

Οἱ δὲ μέγα φρονέοντες ἐπὶ πτολέμοιο γεφύρας
ἥατο παννύχιοι, πυρὰ δέ σφισι καίετο πολλά.
ὡς δ’ ὅτ’ ἐν οὐρανῷ ἄστρα φαεινὴν ἀμφὶ σελήνην
φαίνετ’ ἀριπρεπέα, ὅτε τ’ ἔπλετο νήνεμος αἰθήρ·
ἔκ τ’ ἔφανεν πᾶσαι σκοπιαὶ καὶ πρώονες ἄκροι
καὶ νάπαι οὐρανόθεν δ’ ἄρ’ ὑπερράγη ἄσπετος αἰθήρ,
πάντα δὲ εἴδεται ἄστρα, γέγηθε δέ τε φρένα ποιμήν·
τόσσα μεσηγὺ νεῶν ἠδὲ Ξάνθοιο ῥοάων
Τρώων καιόντων πυρὰ φαίνετο Ἰλιόθι πρό.
χίλι’ ἄρ’ ἐν πεδίῳ πυρὰ καίετο, πὰρ δὲ ἑκάστῳ
ἥατο πεντήκοντα σέλᾳ πυρὸς αἰθομένοιο.
ἵπποι δὲ κρῖ λευκὸν ἐρεπτόμενοι καὶ ὀλύρας
ἑσταότες παρ’ ὄχεσφιν ἐΰθρονον Ἠῶ μίμνον.
(Homer, Il. 8.553-565)

These then with high hearts stayed the whole night through along the lines of war, and their fires burned in multitudes. Just as in the sky about the gleaming moon the stars shine clear when the air is windless, and into view come all mountain peaks and high headlands and glades, and from heaven breaks open the infinite air, and all the stars are seen, and the shepherd rejoices in his heart; in such multitudes between the ships and the streams of Xanthus shone the fires that the Trojans kindled before Ilios. A thousand fires were burning in the plain and by each sat fifty men in the glow of the blazing fire. And their horses, eating of white barley and spelt, stood beside the chariots and waited for fair-throned Dawn. (tr. Augustus Taber Murray, revised by William F. Wyatt)

Kakophōnotatōn

06505-shipwreck_turner

Part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

βιαζόμενον δέ τινα πρὸς ἐναντίον ῥεῦμα ποταμοῦ μετὰ τῶν ὅπλων καὶ τὰ μὲν ἀντέχοντα, τὰ δ’ ὑποφερόμενον εἰσάγων ἀνακοπάς τε ποιήσει συλλαβῶν καὶ ἀναβολὰς χρόνων καὶ ἀντιστηριγμοὺς γραμμάτων

δεινὸν δ’ ἀμφ’ Ἀχιλῆα κυκώμενον ἵστατο κῦμα,
ὤθει δ’ ἐν σάκεϊ πίπτων ῥόος, οὐδὲ πόδεσσιν
εἶχε στηρίξασθαι. [Il. 21.240ss.]

ἀραττομένων δὲ περὶ πέτρας ἀνθρώπων ψόφον τε καὶ μόρον οἰκτρὸν ἐπιδεικνύμενος ἐπὶ τῶν ἀηδεστάτων τε καὶ κακοφωνοτάτων χρονιεῖ γραμμάτων οὐδαμῇ λεαίνων τὴν κατασκευὴν οὐδὲ ἡδύνων·

σύν τε δύω μάρψας ὥστε σκύλακας προτὶ γαίῃ
κόπτ’· ἐκ δ’ ἐγκέφαλος χαμάδις ῥέε, δεῦε δὲ γαῖαν. [Od. 9.289s.]

πολὺ ἂν ἔργον εἴη λέγειν, εἰ πάντων παραδείγματα βουλοίμην φέρειν ὧν ἄν τις ἀπαιτήσειε κατὰ τὸν τόπον τόνδε· ὥστε ἀρκεσθεὶς τοῖς εἰρημένοις ἐπὶ τὰ ἑξῆς μεταβήσομαι.

(Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Peri Suntheseōs Onomatōn 16.99-100)

And when he depicts a warrior in full armour forcing his way forward against the contrary current of a river, now holding his own, now being carried off his feet, he will introduce clashings of syllables, delays in the rhythm, and letters which hold up the flow:

Around Achilles swirled a terrible tempestuous wave:
Its current dashed against his shield and swept away his feet
From their firm stance.

When men are being dashed against rocks, and he is portraying the noise and their pitiable fate, he will dwell on the most unpleasant and ill-sounding letters, nowhere attempting to make the arrangement smooth or attractive:

A pair of them he snatched and dashed, like puppies on the ground.
Their brains flowed freely on the floor and incarnadined the rocks

It would be a long task if I should set myself to produce examples of all the usages that might be required to illustrate this subject. I shall therefore content myself with what has been said and proceed to the next topic.

(tr. Stephen Usher)

Dusekphorōtata

800px-odysseus_and_nausicaa

Part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here.

ὅταν δ’ οἰκτρὰν ἢ φοβερὰν ἢ ἀγέρωχον ὄψιν εἰσάγῃ, τῶν τε φωνηέντων οὐ τὰ κράτιστα θήσει ἀλλὰ <τὰ δυσηχέστατα, καὶ> τῶν ψοφοειδῶν ἢ ἀφώνων τὰ δυσεκφορώτατα λήψεται καὶ καταπυκνώσει τούτοις τὰς συλλαβάς, οἷά ἐστι ταυτί

σμερδαλέος δ’ αὐτῇσι φάνη κεκακωμένος ἅλμῃ. [Od. 6.137]

τῇ δ’ ἐπὶ μὲν Γοργῲ βλοσυρῶπις ἐστεφάνωτο
δεινὸν δερκομένη, περὶ δὲ Δεῖμός τε Φόβος τε. [Il. 11.36s.]

ποταμῶν δέ γε σύρρυσιν εἰς χωρίον ἓν καὶ πάταγον ὑδάτων ἀναμισγομένων ἐκμιμήσασθαι τῇ λέξει βουλόμενος οὐκ ἐργάσεται λείας συλλαβὰς ἀλλ’ ἰσχυρὰς καὶ ἀντιτύπους

ὡς δ’ ὅτε χείμαρροι ποταμοὶ κατ’ ὄρεσφι ῥέοντες
ἐς μισγάγκειαν συμβάλλετον ὄβριμον ὕδωρ. [Il. 4.452s.]

(Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Peri Suntheseōs Onomatōn 16.98-99)

But when he is introducing a scene that is pitiable, frightening or august, he will not employ the finest of the vowels, but will take <the most unpleasant-sounding and> those of the fricatives and the voiceless consonants that are the most difficult to pronounce and crowd his syllables with these, as in these lines:

He burst on them, a fearsome sight, all uglified with brine.

A Gorgon’s head of baleful mien embossed the centre orb
With Fear and Panic ranged around her terrifying glare.

When he wishes to represent in words the flowing together of rivers into one place and the noisy splash of mingling torrents, he will not render this with smooth syllables, but with strong and resounding ones:

E’en as the winter-swollen rivers rush from hillsides steep,
They hurl their torrents wild into the watersmeet below.

(tr. Stephen Usher)

Poluphōnotatos

gerardhomer-det1

Part 1 of 3. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

Ὁ δὴ πολυφωνότατος ἁπάντων ποιητῶν Ὅμηρος, ὅταν μὲν ὥραν ὄψεως εὐμόρφου καὶ κάλλος ἡδονῆς ἐπαγωγὸν ἐπιδείξασθαι βούληται, τῶν τε φωνηέντων τοῖς κρατίστοις χρήσεται καὶ τῶν ἡμιφώνων τοῖς μαλακωτάτοις, καὶ οὐ καταπυκνώσει τοῖς ἀφώνοις τὰς συλλαβὰς οὐδὲ συγκόψει τοὺς ἤχους παρατιθεὶς ἀλλήλοις τὰ δυσέκφορα, πραεῖαν δέ τινα ποιήσει τὴν ἁρμονίαν τῶν γραμμάτων καὶ ῥέουσαν ἀλύπως διὰ τῆς ἀκοῆς, ὡς ἔχει ταυτί

ἣ δ’ ἴεν ἐκ θαλάμοιο περίφρων Πηνελόπεια
Ἀρτέμιδι ἰκέλη ἠὲ χρυσῇ Ἀφροδίτῃ. [Od. 17.36s. = 19.53s.]

Δήλῳ δήποτε τοῖον Ἀπόλλωνος παρὰ βωμῷ
φοίνικος νέον ἔρνος ἀνερχόμενον ἐνόησα. [Od. 6.162s.]

καὶ Χλῶριν εἶδον περικαλλέα, τήν ποτε Νηλεὺς
γῆμεν ἑὸν μετὰ κάλλος, ἐπεὶ πόρε μυρία ἕδνα. [Od. 11.281s.]

(Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Peri Suntheseōs Onomatōn 16.97-98)

Now when Homer, the poet with the most voices of all, wishes to portray the freshness of a comely countenance and a beauty that brings delight, you will find him using the finest of the vowels and the softest of the semivowels, and not crowding his syllables with voiceless letters, nor destroying the flow of sound by juxtaposing words which are hard to pronounce. He will make the arrangement of the letters sound gentle, and make it flow through the ear without offending it, as in the following lines:

Penelope, queen of wisdom from her chamber forth had gone,
Like Artemis or golden Aphrodite’s form divine.

’Twas once at Delos that I saw hard by Apollo’s shrine,
A sapling palm whose youthful straightness matched such comely grace as thine.

And saw I Chloris passing fair, whom Neleus wed of yore,
Bestowing wedding gifts unnumbered, for her beauty’s sake.

(tr. Stephen Usher)