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The Iliad, Homer, Book XVIII, 497 et seq. (ca. 650 B.C.)

Title
The Iliad, Homer, Book XVIII, 497 et seq. (ca. 650 B.C.)
Content

Greek

λαοὶ δ᾽ εἰν ἀγορῇ ἔσαν ἀθρόοι: ἔνθα δὲ νεῖκος
ὠρώρει, δύο δ᾽ ἄνδρες ἐνείκεον εἵνεκα ποινῆς
ἀνδρὸς ἀποφθιμένου: ὃ μὲν εὔχετο πάντ᾽ ἀποδοῦναι
δήμῳ πιφαύσκων, ὃ δ᾽ ἀναίνετο μηδὲν ἑλέσθαι:
ἄμφω δ᾽ ἱέσθην ἐπὶ ἴστορι πεῖραρ ἑλέσθαι.
λαοὶ δ᾽ ἀμφοτέροισιν ἐπήπυον ἀμφὶς ἀρωγοί:
κήρυκες δ᾽ ἄρα λαὸν ἐρήτυον: οἳ δὲ γέροντες
εἵατ᾽ ἐπὶ ξεστοῖσι λίθοις ἱερῷ ἐνὶ κύκλῳ,
σκῆπτρα δὲ κηρύκων ἐν χέρσ᾽ ἔχον ἠεροφώνων:
τοῖσιν ἔπειτ᾽ ἤϊσσον, ἀμοιβηδὶς δὲ δίκαζον.
κεῖτο δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἐν μέσσοισι δύω χρυσοῖο τάλαντα,
τῷ δόμεν ὃς μετὰ τοῖσι δίκην ἰθύντατα εἴποι.

English

Meanwhile the people were gathered in assembly, for there was a quarrel,
and two men were wrangling about the blood-money for a man who had been killed,
the one saying before the people that he had paid damages in full,
and the other that he had not been paid.
Each was trying to make his own case good, and the people took sides,
each man backing the side that he had taken;
but the heralds kept them back, and the elders sate
on their seats of stone in a solemn circle,
holding the staves which the heralds had put into their hands.
Then they rose and each in his turn gave judgement,
and there were two talents laid down,
to be given to him whose judgement should be deemed the fairest.

German

Auch war dort auf dem Markte gedrängt des Volkes Versammlung:
Denn zwei Männer zankten, und haderten wegen der Sühnung
Um den erschlagenen Mann. Es beteuerte dieser dem Volke,
Alles hab' er bezahlt; ihm leugnete jener die Zahlung.
Jeder drang, den Streit durch des Kundigen Zeugnis zu enden.
Diesem schrien und jenem begünstigend eifrige Helfer;
Doch Herolde bezähmten die Schreienden. Aber die Greise
Saßen umher im heiligen Kreis' auf gehauenen Steinen;
Und in die Hände den Stab dumpfrufender Herolde nehmend,
Stauden sie auf nacheinander, und redeten wechselnd ihr Urteil.
Mitten lagen im Kreis' auch zwei Talente des Goldes,
Dem bestimmt, der vor ihnen das Recht am gradesten spräche.

A project of CENTRAL, University of Cologne.