Hector’s hidden end

Achilles was closing on him now … (Hector) started to tremble … left the gates behind and away he fled in fear … fleeing along the walls of Troy … on and on they race, passing the lookout point, passing the wild fig tree … down the wagon trail … until they reached the springs where whirling Scamander rises up … powerful stallions sweeping round the post … so the two of them whirled three times around the city of Priam … (Hector) the fawn goes to ground, hiding deep in brush … time and again he’d make a dash for the Dardan gates … time and again Achilles would intercept him quickly, heading him off, forcing him out across the plain … once they reached the springs for the fourth time then Father Zeus held out his sacred golden scales: in them he placed two fates of death … and down went Hector’s day of doom.

Again the geographer is so precise. They round the city yes but it is just one post in a great loop that also rounds the lookout where the Trojans watched for the Greeks and the source of the Scamander. The kill is at that source, in the foothills of Ida, out of view of the city’s walls. Hector’s mother only tear(s) her hair after she sees her son’s body being dragged down in the dust behind Achilles’ chariot, as it makes its way back to the Greek camp.

Homer shows much gore but for his men and women, the feared, the unseen, is the worst. And how true that is!

One Response to “Hector’s hidden end”

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