An awesome imprecatory prayer in Homer

In Book III (288-301)of the Iliad, the Trojans and Achaeans pray an imprecatory prayer against one who might break an oath being sworn between them while pouring out wine on the ground:

Ζεῦ κύδιστε μέγιστε, καὶ ἀθάνατοι θεοὶ ἄλλοι, ὁππότεροι πρότεροι ὑπὲρ ὅρκια πημήνειαν, ὧδέ σφ’ ἐγκέφαλος χαμάδις ῥέοι ὡς ὅδε οἶνος, αὐτῶν καὶ τεκέων, ἀλοχοι δ’ ἄλλοισι δαμεῖεν.

Zeus, most glorious and greatest, and all the other deathless gods – whichever of the two might first cause harm to the oath, may their brain flow onto the ground as this wine, both theirs and their children’s, and may their wives be conquered by others.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “An awesome imprecatory prayer in Homer

  1. Tap

    why is this awesome?

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