Words and Deeds: The Hero is Opposed to Inaction

Homer, Iliad 1.488–492

“But he sat there raging among the swift-wayed ships,
The godly son of Peleus, swift-footed Achilles.
He was not ever going into the man-ennobling assembly,
Nor into battle, but he was eating up his dear heart
Waiting there, desiring the war-cry and battle.”

Αὐτὰρ ὃ μήνιε νηυσὶ παρήμενος ὠκυπόροισι
διογενὴς Πηλῆος υἱὸς πόδας ὠκὺς ᾿Αχιλλεύς·
οὔτέ ποτ’ εἰς ἀγορὴν πωλέσκετο κυδιάνειραν
οὔτέ ποτ’ ἐς πόλεμον, ἀλλὰ φθινύθεσκε φίλον κῆρ
αὖθι μένων, ποθέεσκε δ’ ἀϋτήν τε πτόλεμόν τε.

Schol. A ad Il. 1.488 notes that the Alexandrian editor Zenodotus athetized this entire passage.

Schol. bT ad Il. 1.490-1b

“he was no longer frequenting the man-ennobling assembly / nor into war”: he knows that these are the two virtues of men, action and speech. And he judges speech to be more important”

ex. <οὔτέ ποτ’ εἰς ἀγορὴν πωλέσκετο κυδιάνειραν /> οὔτέ ποτ’ ἐς πόλεμον: δύο οἶδεν ἀνδρῶν ἀρετάς, πρᾶξιν καὶ λόγον. προκρίνει δὲ τὸν λόγον.

Schol A ad Il. 1.492

“He was longing”: For the hero is opposed to inaction. He is especially desirous of honors for deeds.
ex. <ποθέεσκε:> ἐχθρὸς γὰρ τῆς ἀργίας ὁ ἥρως, φιλότιμος δὲ περὶ τὰς πράξεις. A

Image result for Ancient Greek Achilles

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