One of the most vivid links between the text of Homer and Bronze Age Greece is the boar’s tooth helmet, several of which have been found in Mycenaean-era graves, and which is described carefully by Homer, several hundred years later. Karl Smith examines the passage in the context of the epic and compares it to the archaeological record.  Iliad 10.260-271, read, translated and discussed by Karl Smith.

Μηριόνης δ’ Ὀδυσῆϊ δίδου βιὸν ἠδὲ φαρέτρην (260)
καὶ ξίφος, ἀμφὶ δέ οἱ κυνέην κεφαλῆφιν ἔθηκε
ῥινοῦ ποιητήν· πολέσιν δ’ ἔντοσθεν ἱμᾶσιν
ἐντέτατο στερεῶς· ἔκτοσθε δὲ λευκοὶ ὀδόντες
ἀργιόδοντος ὑὸς θαμέες ἔχον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα
εὖ καὶ ἐπισταμένως· μέσσῃ δ’ ἐνὶ πῖλος ἀρήρει. (265)
τήν ῥά ποτ’ ἐξ Ἐλεῶνος Ἀμύντορος Ὀρμενίδαο
ἐξέλετ’ Αὐτόλυκος πυκινὸν δόμον ἀντιτορήσας,
Σκάνδειαν δ’ ἄρα δῶκε Κυθηρίῳ Ἀμφιδάμαντι·
Ἀμφιδάμας δὲ Μόλῳ δῶκε ξεινήϊον εἶναι,
αὐτὰρ ὃ Μηριόνῃ δῶκεν ᾧ παιδὶ φορῆναι· (270)
δὴ τότ’ Ὀδυσσῆος πύκασεν κάρη ἀμφιτεθεῖσα.

One Response to “Odysseus’ boar’s tusk helmet (Iliad 10.260-271)”

  1.   Nameless Says:

    Wow! I am doing a project on wether Troy exist or not at the moment, and this has been very helpful!

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