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PRAYER FOR LIGHT IN ILIAD

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:11 pm
by greenheron
There is a line in the Iliad which is somewhat loosely rendered as "Light; light, if only to die in." Would someone direct me to that line in the Iliad please. I have been unable to access it. I believe Greeks are returning to camp in the midst of battle, and the skies darken. They pray to Zeus for light, and he grants them light.
Thank you for yor time and help.

Re: PRAYER FOR LIGHT IN ILIAD

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:38 pm
by jeidsath
The quote is not from the Iliad, but from Ajax' suicide speech in Sophocles. Lines 856 - 858.

σὲ δ᾽, ὦ φαεννῆς ἡμέρας τὸ νῦν σέλας,
καὶ τὸν διφρευτὴν Ἥλιον προσεννέπω,
πανύστατον δὴ κοὔποτ᾽ αὖθις ὕστερον.

You may have better luck posting to our Open Board or Learning Greek. The Academy is usually where off-topic threads get moved to, and may not be looked at by many users.

EDIT: I may be wrong. Here is Iliad 17.645

Ζεῦ πάτερ ἀλλὰ σὺ ῥῦσαι ὑπ’ ἠέρος υἷας Ἀχαιῶν,
ποίησον δ’ αἴθρην, δὸς δ’ ὀφθαλμοῖσιν ἰδέσθαι·
ἐν δὲ φάει καὶ ὄλεσσον, ἐπεί νύ τοι εὔαδεν οὕτως.

Re: PRAYER FOR LIGHT IN ILIAD

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:23 pm
by mwh
ἐν δὲ φάει καὶ ὄλεσσον. Destroy us in the light. Yes, that's what Ajax tells Zeus (in part) in Iliad 17. Longinus On the Sublime fastens on the passage as an example of sublimity (height), and quite right too. It makes a tremendous impression. As does Ajax' silence when he encounters Odysseus in the Underworld in Odyssey 11, another passage picked out by Longinus.

I like Longinus' aesthetic sensibilities, pretty well unique among Homeric critics in antiquity.

It's Homer's portrayal of Ajax that informed Sophocles' portrayal of him, of course.