All morning, as the sun rose higher, the missiles found their mark and warriors fell, but at the hour when a forester, weary of felling tall trees, tired and hungry, sits down to eat in some mountain glade, the Danaans rallying their comrades through the ranks, showed their valour, and the enemy battalions broke. Agamemnon led the charge, killing the Trojan general, Bienor, and then Oïleus his charioteer. Oïleus had leapt from the chariot to face him, but as he ran towards him Agamemnon pierced his brow with his sharp spear, which passed through the heavy bronze helmet and the bone, so the brains spattered within. Thus the king slew him. Then Agamemnon, lord of men, stripping them of their tunics, left them there, their naked chests gleaming in the light, and went to kill Isus and Antiphus, sons of Priam, one illegitimate the other a legitimate son, who shared a chariot. Noble Antiphus, the legitimate son, stood up to fight, while Isus took the reins. Achilles had once captured the pair and bound them with willow-shoots as they herded sheep on the slopes of Ida, then set them free for a ransom. But now, imperial Agamemnon, son of Atreus, struck Isus on the breast with his spear just above the nipple, while his sword pierced Antiphus beside the ear and knocked him from the chariot. Quickly he stripped away their shining armour, recognising them from the day when fleet-footed Achilles had brought them down from Ida to the swift ships. As a doe, though she is nearby, fails to defend her fawns when a lion forces her lair, seizes them in his mighty jaws, and robs them of tender life, trembling instead with fear and running sweat-drenched through dense undergrowth, fleeing from her powerful enemy’s attack, so the Trojans failed to save these two from death, driven themselves to flight by the Greeks.
Then the king slew Peisander and steadfast Hippolochus, sons of shrewd Antimachus, who hoping for glorious gifts and gold as a bribe from Paris, was loudest to oppose restoring Helen to yellow-haired Menelaus. Now, it was his two sons whom Agamemnon captured, as they shared a chariot. They tried to contain the powerful horses, but the gleaming reins slipped from their grasp, and the team ran wild. Atreides sprang on them like a lion, while the pair begged for mercy: ‘Take us alive, son of Atreus, and win a noble ransom. Much treasure is heaped in our father’s house, gold, bronze and iron, finely wrought. Antimachus will grant you a princely ransom it you keep us alive by the Greek ships.’
Placatory were their tearful words to the king, but implacable his reply: ‘If you are truly the offspring of that shrewd wretch Antimachus, who when Menelaus came as ambassador, with godlike Odysseus, to address the Trojan council, suggested they should not let him return, but should kill him on the spot, then you must pay the price now for his vile words then.’
So saying he struck Peisander in the chest with his spear sending him flying backwards from the chariot to the earth. Though Hippolochus leapt down, he killed him on the ground, and culling his limbs and head with his sword sent him rolling through the ranks like a rounded boulder.
Then he left them dead behind him, and ran to where the enemy battalions fled in rout, supported by his bronze-clad Achaeans. Foot-soldiers killed others as they ran; horsemen put horsemen to the sword, while a cloud of dust rose from the ground at their feet, stirred by the thundering hooves.
And King Agamemnon, racing after, shouting aloud to his Argives, never ceased from slaying. As a dense wood bows to consuming fire borne on the whirling wind, and uprooted trees collapse in the rush of flame, so the fleeing Trojans fell before Agamemnon, son of Atreus, and many a team of spirited horses dragged an empty chariot rattling through the lines, bereft of its peerless charioteers, while they lay in the dust, to the vultures’ joy and their own wives’ sorrow.