“Agamemnon saw (and what did he not see, since all of Greece was subject to his judgment?) Chryseis, captured by his own martial valor, and he loved her: but her foolish old father went all around weeping for her! (Why are you crying, you hateful old man? They’ve made a good match! You idiot, you’re harming your daughter with your meddling!) After Calchas, under the protection of Achilles, had ordered that she be returned and she was safely received home, Agamemnon said, ‘Well, this other girl has a fairly similar appearance, and, excepting the first syllable, practically the same name! If he knows what’s best for him, Achilles will give her to me willingly: if not, he will feel the weight of my power. And, my Achaeans, if any of you should censure this action, – well, it really is something to hold a sceptre in a mighty hand. For, if I am king, and no girl sleeps with me, Thersites may as well go ahead and take the throne from me!’ So he spoke, and had this to ease the burden of his earlier loss, and he set aside his concern, which was forced aside by new concerns. Therefore, take counsel from Agamemnon and take up a new flame, and let your love be drawn apart in opposite directions!”
Vidit ut Atrides (quid enim non ille videret,
Cuius in arbitrio Graecia tota fuit?)
Marte suo captam Chryseida, victor amabat:
At senior stulte flebat ubique pater. 470
Quid lacrimas, odiose senex? bene convenit illis:
Officio natam laedis, inepte, tuo.
Quam postquam reddi Calchas, ope tutus Achillis,
Iusserat, et patria est illa recepta domo,
‘Est’ ait Atrides ‘illius proxima forma, 475
Et, si prima sinat syllaba, nomen idem:
Hanc mihi, si sapiat, per se concedat Achilles:
Si minus, imperium sentiat ille meum.
Quod siquis vestrum factum hoc incusat, Achivi,
Est aliquid valida sceptra tenere manu. 480
Nam si rex ego sum, nec mecum dormiat ulla,
In mea Thersites regna, licebit, eat.’
Dixit, et hanc habuit solacia magna prioris,
Et posita est cura cura repulsa nova.
Ergo adsume novas auctore Agamemnone flammas, 485
Ut tuus in bivio distineatur amor.