Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. vii-ix

The romantic legend of the Trojan War has exercised the imagination of poets and artists and held a prominent place in the collective consciousness of the Western world for more than three thousand years. Such prominence is warranted because the war is the subject of the Iliad and the Odyssey attributed to Homer, two of the...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xl

The Greek epic poem by Quintus of Smyrna is the only large-scale poetic narrative of much of the traditional story of the Trojan War surviving from antiquity. Written in the third century A.D. in close imitation of the language and style of the Homeric epics, it is rather more than half the length of the Iliad, 8,800 lines in fourteen books...

The TROJAN EPIC

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p. 1

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1. Penthesileia

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pp. 3-24

Hektor the equal of gods had been killed by the son of Peleus. Consumed by the funeral pyre, his bones were under the ground. The Trojans stayed inside the city of Priam, Fearing the force of Aiakos’ dauntless grandson...

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2. Memnon

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pp. 25-42

As the splendor of the sun in its ceaseless course Rose above the peaks of the echoing mountains, The mighty sons of Achaia filled their camp With joyful praise of their tireless champion Achilles...

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3. The Death of Achilles

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pp. 43-63

With the light of Dawn enthroned in splendor Antilochos’ body was carried to the ships By the spearmen of Pylos loudly lamenting their lord. As they buried him there on the shores of the Hellespont...

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4. The Funeral Games of Achilles

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pp. 64-79

Nor was the mighty son of warlike Hippolochos Left unwept by the grieving Trojans. By them as well, In front of the Dardanian Gate, was a glorious hero Placed upon a funeral pyre. Apollo himself...

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5. The Contest for the Armor of Achilles

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pp. 80-97

Now that the series of contests had been completed The superhuman armor of noblehearted Achilles Was placed in their midst by the goddess Thetis. The space was filled With the gleam from the intricate scenes that the art of Hephaistos...

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6. The Arrival of Eurypylos

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pp. 98-115

Dawn left behind the stream of Ocean and the bed Of Tithonos. Climbing the sky’s expanse she scattered light In all directions and brought a smile to earth and air. Mortal men, who die so easily, turned to their tasks...

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7. The Arrival of Neoptolemos

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pp. 116-134

When heaven hid the stars from view and Dawn awoke With a blaze of light that routed the darkness of night, The sturdy warrior sons of Argos marched out In front of their ships determined to face Eurypylos...

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8. The Death of Eurypylos

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pp. 135-148

Scattering light across the earth the Sun ascended From the edge of the world, where the goddess Dawn has her cave. Then the Trojans and the sturdy sons of Achaia Armed themselves, on both sides eager for the fray...

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9. The Arrival of Philoktetes

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pp. 149-162

The darkness of night was done and from the horizon Dawn Awoke to fill the wondrous sky with limitless light. At once the mighty warrior sons of Argos Peered out across the plain and saw the height of Ilion...

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10. The Death of Paris

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pp. 163-175

Meanwhile the Trojans were all outside the city of Priam Wearing their armor and keeping their chariots and speedy horses With them. For while they were burning those killed in action, They feared the Achaian army might bear down on them...

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11. The Defense of Troy

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pp. 176-188

Troy’s women mourned inside the town, because they could not Reach the grave of Paris, which was very distant From that lofty city. Outside meanwhile the young men Kept on toiling without a break in the battle’s slaughter...

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12. The Wooden Horse

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pp. 189-204

Despite their endless efforts round the walls of Troy The Danaan spearmen failed to achieve their goal in the war. So then a meeting of the leaders was called by Kalchas, To whom the archer god had given understanding...

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13. The Sack of Troy

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pp. 205-219

The Trojans were feasting throughout the city amid the mingled And strident sounds of oboes and panpipes. In every direction There was singing and dancing and a confusion Of diners’ voices, such as goes with food and wine...

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14. The Departure of the Greeks

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pp. 220-237

Now the goddess Dawn enthroned in gold leapt up From Ocean into the heavens, while Night was welcomed by Chaos. The strong-walled city of Troy had been stormed and destroyed By the Argives and immense was the booty they had taken...

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Critical Summary

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pp. 239-265

Penthesileia, queen of the Amazons, a fabulous race of warrior women, arrives with her army and is welcomed by the Trojans as their savior from the Greeks. Their high hopes appear justified by her initial success in battle, but they are dashed as soon as Achilles enters the field, when she falls an all too easy prey to him. The main...

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Commentary

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pp. 267-347

As explained in the general introduction, differences between the sequence of certain events in the Trojan Epic and that in the Little Iliad and the Sack of Ilion make it very unlikely that any of the lost Trojan epics of the Cycle were available to Quintus. Accordingly the first question to be asked about his literary background is from what source or sources...

Index of Names

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pp. 349-365