PRAYER FOR LIGHT IN ILIAD

Are you reading Homeric Greek? Whether you are a total beginner or an advanced Homerist, here you can meet kindred spirits. Besides Homer, use this board for all things early Greek poetry.
Post Reply
greenheron
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:03 pm

PRAYER FOR LIGHT IN ILIAD

Post by greenheron » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:11 pm

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.

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3185
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: PRAYER FOR LIGHT IN ILIAD

Post by jeidsath » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:38 pm

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.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3253
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: PRAYER FOR LIGHT IN ILIAD

Post by mwh » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:23 pm

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.

Post Reply