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Aethiopis

Epic Cycle

fragment 1

Proclus, Chrestomathia, ii

The Kypria, described in the preceding book, has its sequel in the Iliad of Homer, which is followed in turn by the five books of the Aethiopis, the work of Arktinus of Miletus. Their contents are as follows. The Amazon Penthesileia, the daughter of Ares and of Thrakian race, comes to aid the Trojans, and after showing great prowess, is killed by Achilles and buried by the Trojans. Achilles then slays Thersites for abusing and reviling him for his supposed love for Penthesileia. As a result a dispute arises amongst the Achaeans over the killing of Thersites, and Achilles sails to Lesbos and after sacrificing to Apollon, Artemis, and Leto, is purified by Odysseus from bloodshed.

Then Memnon, the son of Eos [Dawn], wearing armor made by Hephaistos, comes to help the Trojans, and Thetis tells her son about Memnon. A battle takes place in which Antilochos is slain by Memnon and Memnon by Achilles. Eos then obtains of Zeus and bestows upon her son immortality; but Achilles routs the Trojans, and, rushing into the city with them, is killed by Paris and Apollon. A great struggle for the body then follows, Aias [Ajax] taking up the body and carrying it to the ships, while Odysseus drives off the Trojans behind. The Achaeans then bury Antilochos and lay out the body of Achilles, while Thetis, arriving with the Muses and her sisters, bewails her son, whom she afterwards catches away from the pyre and transports to the White Island. After this, the Achaeans pile him a cairn and hold games in his honor. Lastly a dispute arises between Odysseus and Aias over the arms of Achilles.

fragment 2

Schol. on Il. xxiv. 804

Some read: "Thus they performed the burial of Hektor. Then came the Amazon, the daughter of great-souled Ares the slayer of men."

fragment 3

Schol. on Pindar, Isth. iii. 53

The author of the Aethiopis says that Aias [Ajax] killed himself about dawn.

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