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Homer
Greek poet
(8th century B.C.)



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Achilles' wrath to Greece the direful Spring
Of Woes unnumber'd, heav'nly Goddess, sing!
That Wrath hurl'd to Pluto's gloomy Reign
The Soul of mighty Chiefs untimely slain.
-- The Iliad, bk. 1, line 1 (Alexander Pope, tr.)

In silence trailing away
by the shore of the tumbling clamorous
whispering sea
-- The Iliad, bk. 1, line 34

Winged words.
-- The Iliad, bk. 1, line 407

He who battles with the immortals does not live long, nor do his children prattle about his knees when he has returned from battle.
-- The Iliad, bk. 5, line 201

Victory switches from man to man.
-- The Iliad, bk. 6, line 339

Very like leaves
upon this earth are the generations of men --
old leaves, cast on the ground by wind, young leaves
The greening forest bears when spring comes in.
-- The Iliad, bk. 6, line 466

Smiling through her tears.
-- The Iliad, bk. 6, line 484

Tribeless, lawless, homeless is he who loves the horror of civil war.
-- The Iliad, bk. 9, lines 63-64

It is in the lap of the gods.
-- The Iliad, bk. 17, line 514, et passim

This is the way
the gods ordained the destiny of men,
To bear such burdens in our lives, while they
feel no affliction
-- The Iliad, bk. 24, line 525

Tell me, Muse, of the man of many devices, who wandered far and wide after he had sacked Troy's sacred city, and saw the towns of many men and knew their mind.
-- Of Odysseus, in: The Odyssey, bk. 1, line 1

Early-born, rosy-fingered dawn.
-- The Odyssey, bk. 2, line 1, et passim

Athene sent them a following breeze, strong west wind that whistled over the wine-dark sea.
-- The Odyssey, bk. 2, line 420

I would rather be tied to the soil as another man's serf, even a poor man's, who hadn't much to live on himself, than be King of all these dead and destroyed.
-- The Odyssey, bk. 11, line 489

Square in your ship's path are Seirenes [Sirens], crying beauty to bewitc men coasting by; woe to the innocent who hears that sound!
-- The Odyssey, bk. 12, line 41-42 (Robert Fitzgerald, tr.)

Come hither, renowned Odysseus, hither, you pride and glory of all Achaea! Pause with your ship; listen to our song. Never has any man passed this way in his dark vessel and left unheard the honey-sweet music from our lips; first he has taken his delight, and then gone on his way a wiser man. We know of all the troubles of the wide land of Troy that Argives and Trojans bore becasue the gods would needs have it so; we know of all things that come to pass on the fruitful earth.
-- The Odyssey, bk. 12, line 184

Have patience, heart. Once you endured worse than this.
-- The Odyssey, bk. 12, line 184

Alike he twarts the hospitable end
Who drives the free or stays the hasty friend;
True friendship's laws are by this rule express'd,
Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.
-- The Odyssey, bk. 15, line 72 (Alexander Pope, tr.)


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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