Falling like fir trees

In book 5 of the Iliad, Homer describes the deaths of the twins Krethon and Orsilochos at the hands of Aeneas. After quite a long description of their courage and strength, he describes how they fell. The sound of the word for “fell down” καππεσέτην so well describes the tree falling down that I wonder if Homer inserted the episode just so that he could use this dual form. The double π in the first syllable καππ gives the impression of something about to fall but just teetering before it finally comes down in the subsequent syllables.

τοίω τὼ χείρεσσιν ὑπ᾽ Αἰνείαο δαμέντε
καππεσέτην, ἐλάτῃσιν ἐοικότες ὑψηλῇσι.

These two overcome by the hands of Aeneas fell down like tall fir trees.

Iliad 5.559

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s