Eustathius, Commentary on Homer’s Iliad 1.1.1: Escaping Homer



“Someone might escape the beautiful bewitchment of Homer’s Sirens by not starting at all, by stuffing wax in his ears, or by turning in some other direction. And if he couldn’t avoid it, but traveled through that song, he could not pass by easily, even if many bonds restrained him; nor, once he passed, could he be happy.”



Τῶν ῾Ομήρου Σειρήνων καλὸν μὲν ἴσως εἴ τις ἀπόσχοιτο τὴν ἀρχὴν ἢ κηρῷ

τὰς ἀκοὰς ἀλειψάμενος ἢ ἀλλ’ ἑτέραν τραπόμενος, ὡς ἂν ἀποφύγῃ τὸ θέλγητρον.

μὴ ἀποσχόμενος δέ, ἀλλὰ διὰ τῆς ᾠδῆς ἐκείνης ἐλθών, οὐκ ἄν, οἶμαι, οὔτε

παρέλθῃ ῥᾳδίως, εἰ καὶ πολλὰ δεσμὰ κατέχοι, οὔτε παρελθὼν εἴη ἂν εὔχαρις.


Eustathius? Bishop of the Dark Ages, Denizen of Thessaloniki, and author of extensive Medieval commentaries on Homer (and a prolegomena to Pindar).  The 19th century edition of the Commentary on the Iliad comes in 4 volumes. There is no available English translation.


Perhaps if I translate one line each day…the translation will be done by the time I am 107.

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