“There can be no covenants between men and lions, wolves and lambs can never be of one mind.”

I’ve run variations of that quote from Homer’s “Iliad” here at the blog before; I think the translation that I like the best is the shortest: “There are no compacts between lions and men, and wolves and lambs have no accord.”  (I read that at the preface of one of Tom Clancy’s novels — I believe it was “Clear and Present Danger.”)

The most popular translation I can find online however, is below.  (The speaker here is Achilles.)

“Fool, prate not to me about covenants. There can be no covenants between men and lions, wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, but hate each other out and out an through. Therefore there can be no understanding between you and me, nor may there be any covenants between us, till one or other shall fall and glut grim Mars with his life’s blood. Put forth all your strength; you have need now to prove yourself indeed a bold soldier and man of war. You have no more chance, and Pallas Minerva will forthwith vanquish you by my spear: you shall now pay me in full for the grief you have caused me on account of my comrades whom you have killed in battle.”

 

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One thought on ““There can be no covenants between men and lions, wolves and lambs can never be of one mind.”

  1. Lucy Brazier says:

    One of the finest things ever written, The Iliad.

    Liked by 1 person

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