For in courage his heart resemblesthose of roaring lionsin the thick of fighting, but in craftiness he is like a fox, which stays the swoop of an eagle by tumbling to its back. For he was not allotted Orion’s size,but rather summons scorn on sight.
His strength, however, makes him hard to combat hand-to-hand.
Thus, Just as the Homeridae,singers of epic poems pieced together,start out for the most part with a prelude to Zeus, so too this manhas begun to collect victories in the sacred contests of Nemeain Zeus’ celebrated sacred grove.
the skill of inferior men / overtakes and overthrows the mightier man. Here, the two take part in a wrestling contest in honor of their deceased compatriot Patroclus, and Ajax appears at first to have the upper hand—both literally and figuratively—once he has hoisted Odysseus.
Odysseus, however, surprises Ajax by hitting him on the back of his knee so that he falls backward; and, not long afterward, Achilles intercedes and awards the same prizes to both warriors.
No doubt you know of the might of Ajax, which he slew bloodily lateat night with his own sword, being blamed as a result by all of the Greeks’ sons who traveled to Troy.
But Homer has honored him among people,having gotten straight and recounted his every heroic act in the measured verseof divine epic poems for successors to sing.
(men’s glorious deeds) at a point in the poem when the inclusion of Achilles’ own acts among these illustrious exploits appears to be at risk.
Seeking to convince the soldier to set aside his anger at his commander Agamemnon and to return to combat, Phoenix plays on Achilles’ aspiration to prestige: But now [Agamemnon] is giving you many things at once, and has promised more to come,and has sent men to entreat you,having selected the best among the Achaean army, the men who aredearest to you of the Argives.The connection between each pair of contrasting epics originates with the poems themselves and is reinforced by their early readers.Hence, examining how each epic set represents itself and how its self-representation informs its designation by its early exegetes makes sense.For, if someone says something well, it issues forth as an immortal utterance;and over the earth full of all kinds of fruit and through the sea has rangedthe splendor of noble deeds, never to be extinguished.May I gain the grace of the Muses so that I may ignite this torch of songfor Melissus too—for this offshoot of Telesiadas, a wreath worthy of his boxing-and-wrestling contest.in line 39 as “epic poems” in order to emphasize the sources that supply Pindar with the material from which he fashions his own poetic persona.