The Man is Close: Diomedes’ Turn with a Plan

In this passage, Diomedes announces his genealogy as justification for his authority to provide a plan for the other Achaean kings. Note, the women in his family receive no introductions. The scholia to this passage tell another part of his story, first explaining why Tydeus had to leave Calydon, and then why Diomedes had to leave Argos.

Homer, Iliad 14.110-132

“The man is nearby—we will not look long for him. If you are willing
To consent and each of you does not get troubled by anger
Because I am the youngest among you by birth.
I claim to be from a noble father by birth,
Tydeus, whom a heap of earth covers in Thebes.
Three blameless children were born to Portheus
And they used to live in Pleurôn and steep Kalydon:
Agrios, Melas and the third was the horseman Oeneus,
The father of my father. He was exceptional for his excellence.
But while he remained there, my father left, driven out
To Argos. This was, I guess, how Zeus and the other gods wanted it.
He married one of the daughters of Adrastos and lived in a home
Wealthy for life: he had enough wheat-bearing fields,
And there hear many orchards on all sides;
And he had many flocks. He also surpassed all the Achaeans
With a spear. You all have heard these things, if they are true.
Thus, you cannot claim that I come from low birth or I am a coward
And disregard the speech I make well for some reason.
Now, let us go to war by necessity, even though we are wounded.
There, we can keep ourselves out of the strife of the missiles,
Lest someone add a wound to a wound.
But we can go and encourage others, even those who before
Stood apart and did not fight, doing some favor for their hearts.”

ἐγγὺς ἀνήρ· οὐ δηθὰ ματεύσομεν· αἴ κʼ ἐθέλητε
πείθεσθαι, καὶ μή τι κότῳ ἀγάσησθε ἕκαστος
οὕνεκα δὴ γενεῆφι νεώτατός εἰμι μεθʼ ὑμῖν·
πατρὸς δʼ ἐξ ἀγαθοῦ καὶ ἐγὼ γένος εὔχομαι εἶναι
Τυδέος, ὃν Θήβῃσι χυτὴ κατὰ γαῖα καλύπτε
πορθεῖ γὰρ τρεῖς παῖδες ἀμύμονες ἐξεγένοντο,
οἴκεον δʼ ἐν Πλευρῶνι καὶ αἰπεινῇ Καλυδῶνι
Ἄγριος ἠδὲ Μέλας, τρίτατος δʼ ἦν ἱππότα Οἰνεὺς
πατρὸς ἐμοῖο πατήρ· ἀρετῇ δʼ ἦν ἔξοχος αὐτῶν.
ἀλλʼ ὃ μὲν αὐτόθι μεῖνε, πατὴρ δʼ ἐμὸς Ἄργεϊ νάσθη
πλαγχθείς· ὡς γάρ που Ζεὺς ἤθελε καὶ θεοὶ ἄλλοι.
Ἀδρήστοιο δʼ ἔγημε θυγατρῶν, ναῖε δὲ δῶμα
ἀφνειὸν βιότοιο, ἅλις δέ οἱ ἦσαν ἄρουραι
πυροφόροι, πολλοὶ δὲ φυτῶν ἔσαν ὄρχατοι ἀμφίς,
πολλὰ δέ οἱ πρόβατʼ ἔσκε· κέκαστο δὲ πάντας Ἀχαιοὺς
ἐγχείῃ· τὰ δὲ μέλλετʼ ἀκουέμεν, εἰ ἐτεόν περ.
τὼ οὐκ ἄν με γένος γε κακὸν καὶ ἀνάλκιδα φάντες
μῦθον ἀτιμήσαιτε πεφασμένον ὅν κʼ ἐῢ εἴπω.
δεῦτʼ ἴομεν πόλεμον δὲ καὶ οὐτάμενοί περ ἀνάγκῃ.
ἔνθα δʼ ἔπειτʼ αὐτοὶ μὲν ἐχώμεθα δηϊοτῆτος
ἐκ βελέων, μή πού τις ἐφʼ ἕλκεϊ ἕλκος ἄρηται·
ἄλλους δʼ ὀτρύνοντες ἐνήσομεν, οἳ τὸ πάρος περ
θυμῷ ἦρα φέροντες ἀφεστᾶσʼ οὐδὲ μάχονται.

Schol. ad. Il. 14.114b

“Tydeus, the son of Oineus and Periboia the daughter of Hippotos. He killed his cousins who were conspiring against Oieneus, Lykopeus and Alkathoos, accidentally, he also killed with them his uncle Melanas who was dining with them. After he fled the murder, he went to Argos; and once he was purified by Adrastos, he married his daughter Dêipulê.”

b(BCE3E4)T ὁ δὲ Τυδεὺς Οἰνέως καὶ Περιβοίας τῆς ῾Ιππότου· ὃς ἀνεψιοὺς ἐπιβουλεύοντας Οἰνεῖ Λυκωπέα καὶ ᾿Αλκάθουν ἀπέκτεινεν †ἀγρόθι†, σὺν αὐτοῖς δὲ ἄκων καὶ τὸν πατράδελφον Μέλανα (συνεδαίνυτο γὰρ αὐτοῖς) καὶ φεύγων τὸν φόνον ἧκεν ἐς ῎Αργος καὶ καθαρθεὶς ὑπὸ ᾿Αδράστου γαμεῖ Δηϊπύλην τὴν θυγατέρα αὐτοῦ. T

Scholia D ad Il. 5.412

“Aigialeia, was the youngest of the daughters of Adrastos. For Adrastos had three daughters, this one [Aigialeia, who married Diomedes], Argeia, Polyneikos’ wife, and Dêipulê, Tydeus’ wife”

Διομήδους γυνὴ Αἰγιάλεια, ἡ νεωτάτη τῶν ᾿Αδράστου θυγατέρων. Τρεῖς γὰρ ἔσχε θυγατέρας ὁ ῎Αδραστος· ταύτην, καὶ ᾿Αργείαν τὴν Πολυνείκους, καὶ Δηϊπύλην τὴν Τυδέως. Τῆς οὖν μητρὸς αὐτοῦ”

And then the scholion continues….

But he, after he went to Troy, left Sthenelos’ son Komêtês, as an overseer of his position and household. The story goes as follows. Aphrodite, although she was wounded by Diomedes, could not bring up her hatred of him because of the alliance with Athena, so she made his wife crazy about screwing so that she yielded to every age of the young men as she engaged in outrages. [Aphrodite] also filled Komêtês with lust of Agialeia. When Diomedes returned from Troy, he pursued him with spearmen wising to kill him. Diomedes, benefiting from the weakness of his opponents, fled to the altar of Hera. After that, he went to the west and it is said he received some land for a colony from Daunos. And finally, when his companions were impoverished and starving, Athena turned them into herons and then Diomedes ended his life. This story is recorded by Lykophron. The Poet does not mention this account.”

῾Ο δὲ, στρατεύσας ἐς ῎Ιλιον, κατέλιπε τῆς ἀρχῆς καὶ τῆς οἰκίας ἐπίτροπον τὸν Σθενέλου Κομήτην. Κατέχει δὲ ὁ λόγος· τρωθεῖσαν τὴν ᾿Αφροδίτην ὑπὸ Διομήδους, αὐτῷ μὲν μὴ μνησικακῆσαι, διὰ τὴν τῆς ᾿Αθηνᾶς ἐπικουρίαν, τὴν δὲ τούτου γυναῖκα ἐκμῆναι περὶ πορνείαν, ὡς περὶ πᾶσαν τὴν τῶν νέων ἡλικίαν συγχορεύειν ἀσελγαίνουσαν· τῷ δὲ Κομήτῃ καὶ ἔρωτα τῆς Αἰγιαλείας ἐμποιῆσαι. παραγενόμενον δὲ τὸν Διομήδην ἐξ ᾿Ιλίου, διώκειν μετὰ δορυφόρων, ἀποκτεῖναι βουλόμενον· τὸν δὲ λοιπὸν, τοῖς ἀσθενέσι βοηθήμασι χρώμενον, καταφυγεῖν ἐπὶ τὸν ῎Ηρας βωμόν. Μετὰ ταῦτα δὲ ἀπῇρεν εἰς ῾Εσπερίαν, καὶ παραλαβεῖν λέγεται παρὰ Δαύνου [τόπους] τινὰς εἰς κατοικισμόν. Καὶ τέλος, ἀπορούντων αὐτοῦ τῶν ἑταίρων, καὶ λιμωττόντων, τούτους μὲν τὴν ᾿Αθηνᾶν εἰς ἐρωδιοὺς ἀπορνεῶσαι, τὸν Διομήδην δὲ ἐνταῦθα καταστρέψαι τὸν βίον. ῾Η δὲ ἱστορία παρὰ Λυκόφρονι. Ταύτην δὲ τὴν ἱστορίαν ὁ Ποιητὴς οὐ λέγει.


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One thought on “The Man is Close: Diomedes’ Turn with a Plan

  1. “And as he drew his sword, they shouted, ‘But Diomedes, we would rather liveomedes!'”

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