About this Edition
- Alexander Pope
We have now passed through the Iliad, and seen the anger of Achilles, and the terrible effects of it, at an end, as that only was the subject of the poem, and the nature of epic poetry would not permit our author to proceed to the event of the war, it perhaps may be acceptable to the common reader to give a short account of what happened to Troy and the chief actors in this poem after the conclusion of it.
I need not mention that Troy was taken soon after the death of Hector by the stratagem of the wooden horse, the particulars of which are described by Virgil in the second book of the Aeneid.
Achilles fell before Troy, by the hand of Paris, by the shot of an arrow in his heel, as Hector had prophesied at his death, lib. xxii.
The unfortunate Priam was killed by Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles.
Ajax, after the death of Achilles, had a contest with Ulysses for the armour of Vulcan, but being defeated in his aim, he slew himself through indignation.
Helen, after the death of Paris, married Deiphobus his brother, and at the taking of Troy betrayed him, in order to reconcile herself to Menelaus her first husband, who received her again into favour.
Agamemnon at his return was barbarously murdered by Aegysthus, at the instigation of Clytemnestra his wife, who in his absence had dishonoured his bed with Aegysthus.
Diomed, after the fall of Troy, was expelled his own country, and scarce escaped with his life from his adulterous wife Aegiale; but at last was received by Daunus in Apulia, and shared his kingdom; it is uncertain how he died.
Nestor lived in peace with his children, in Pylos, his native country.
Ulysses also, after innumerable troubles by sea and land, at last returned in safety to Ithaca, which is the subject of Homer’s Odyssey.
For what remains, I beg to be excused from the ceremonies of taking leave at the end of my work, and from embarrassing myself, or others, with any defences or apologies about it. But instead of endeavouring to raise a vain monument to myself, of the merits or difficulties of it (which must be left to the world, to truth, and to posterity), let me leave behind me a memorial of my friendship with one of the most valuable of men, as well as finest writers, of my age and country, one who has tried, and knows by his own experience, how hard an undertaking it is to do justice to Homer, and one whom (I am sure) sincerely rejoices with me at the period of my labours. To him, therefore, having brought this long work to a conclusion, I desire to dedicate it, and to have the honour and satisfaction of placing together, in this manner, the names of Mr. CONGREVE, and of
March 25, 1720
"Ton theon de eupoiia—to mae epi pleon me
procophai en poiaetikn kai allois epitaeoeimasi en ois isos a kateschethaen, ei aesthomaen emautan euodos proionta."
M. AUREL ANTON de Seipso, lib. i. Section 17.