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Contrary to Fact

by Jaebi_Lit 0 reviews

[Iliad] Tria viae quibus cogitant: si Patroculus viveret. (Three ways in which people think: if Patroculus were alive.)

Category: Classics - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst - Characters: Achilles, Odysseus, Patroclus, Other - Published: 2005-11-11 - Updated: 2005-11-12 - 778 words - Complete

Written for the LJ comm 31_days, November 11.

Sententiae omnis acierem Achaicorum, etiam Agamemnonis, cui culpae pars maior quibusquam est, idem sic incipiunt, etiamsi non finiunt: si Patroculus viveret.

Si Patroculus viveret, putat Ulixes, qui Nestori secundum sapientissimus et nulli ex Achaeis peritissimus est, fortasse furor Achillis, qui dolore et culpae onere grave opprimitur, retineri posset. Nunc magis magisque in dies Peleides ut semivivus vivit et clarius solis radiis Ulixi si mox impetum non fecerint in Troiae moenia - in Hectorem, ex hominibus infelicissimum, qui manus Patroculo percutere ausus est - nescioquo die surgent ut Achillem, amentem amici amissi amore, solum impetum in Troianos factum profectum esse inveniant. Deinde ferocissimo Achaeorum mortuo, in perpetuum hoc manebunt, pugnantes bellum Menelaui dignitatis causae, et nulla acies victor erit. Hoc cogitat, lectulo sedens et de uxore sua filioque ignoto suo reminiscans.

Si Patroculus viveret, putat Thetis, mari maerens et fletu vado addens. Ita Ulixes, agnoscit filium suum mox moriturum esse accipit. Principio cum primum oculis suis Patroculum aspexisset, illum et filium suum a Parcis designatos esse sciverat. Animus duobus corporibus unus ut neuter sine altero longum vivere tempus posset. Ditis regno duos iterum iuncturos esse, putat. Sic sit. Modo paulum quomodo vitam futuram esse si Patroculus viveret, quia medullis suis certe scit eum vixisse et operae pretium non est alio modo cogitare, quomodo futurum fuisset. Multa millia annorum vixit et plus filio mortuo vivet; ullius mors parvi est.

Si Patroculus viveret, cogitat Achilles, et nihil plus putare potest. Dolorius est ut de nihilo cogitet. Pro doloribus dies cessatas meminit: cum Patroculo pugnat, cum Patroculo iocatur, cum Patroculo copias suas ducit, cum Patroculo imi regni deum superat, Patroculum ecfutatur et amanter complectitur, amantis nomen anhelans. diem quo Patroculo iterum se iuncturum esse exspectat.

/Anglice/The thoughts of every man in the Achaean troops, even of Agamemnon, who has a greater share of the fault than anyone else, begin in this same way, even if they do not end in the same way: if Patroculus were alive.

If Patroculus were alive, Odysseus thinks. Odysseus, who, following Nestor, is the wisest among the Greeks, and following no one is the most cunning among the Greeks, thinks in this manner. Perhaps the rage of Achilles, who is weighed down by grief and by the heavy weight of his shame, could be held in check. Now, more and more every day, the son of Peleus lives as one who is half-dead and to Odysseus, it is clearer than the rays of the sun that if they don't soon make an attack against the walls of Troy - against Hector, the most ill-fated among men, who dared to strike a hand against Patroclus - on some day, he doesn't know which, they will wake to find that Achilles, driven insane by the love of his dead friend, has set out alone to bring battle against the Trojans. Then, after the fierciest of the Argives has died, they will stay here forever, fighting a war for the sake of Menelaus' honor, and neither side will be victorious. He thinks in this way, sitting on his bed and remembering his wife and his unknown son.

If Patroculus were alive, thinks Thetis, while she grieves in the sea and adds to the salt water with her weeping. Like Odysseus, she recognises that her son will die soon, and she accepts that. From the beginning, when she had first glanced upon Patroculus with her eyes, she had known that he and her son had been marked by the Fates. One soul in two bodies, so that neither one of the two can live for a long time without the other. The two shall be joined again in the kingdom of Hades, she thinks. As it should be. She only thinks a little about how life would be if Patroculus were alive, because in the marrows of her bones she knows for a certainty that he has died and that it is of little value to think in any other fashion, how it would have been. Thetis has lived for many thousands of years and after her son is dead, she will live for many thousands more; the death of one man is of small importance.

If Patroculus were alive, thinks Achilles, and he cannot think of anything more. It is too grievous, so he thinks about nothing. Instead of his sorrows, he remembers bygone days: he fights with Patroculus, he jokes with Patroculus, he leads his troops with Patroculus, and with Patroculus, he conquers the god of the infernal kingdom. He makes love to Patroculus and embraces him lovingly, gasping the name of his beloved. Achilles awaits the day when he will be joined again with Patroculus.
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