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Bk XII:1-38 Iphigenia at Aulis.

The father, Priam, mourned for the son, Aesacus, not knowing that he was still alive in winged form. Hector with his brothers had also, inappropriately, offered sacrifices at a tomb inscribed with his name. Paris was not present at this sad ritual, he, who presently brought extended war on his country because of the wife he had stolen. The whole Pelasgian race, joined together to pursue him, in a thousand ships, and vengeance would not have been long in coming had not fierce winds made the seas un-navigable, and the land of Boeotia detained the waiting ships in the fishing-grounds of Aulis. After they had prepared a sacrifice to Jupiter there, after the customs of their country, and when the ancient altar was alive with the kindled flames, The Greeks saw a dark-green snake sliding into a plane tree that stood near to where they had begun the sacrifice. There was a nest with eight young birds in the crown of the tree, and these the serpent seized and swallowed in its eager jaws, together with the mother bird who circled her doomed fledglings.
They looked at it wonderingly, but Calchas, the seer, son of Thestor, interpreted the truth, saying: ‘We will conquer, Greeks, rejoice! Troy will fall, though our efforts will be of long duration,’ and he divined nine years of war from the nine birds. The snake was turned to stone, exactly as it was, twined around the green branches, and stamped in the stone its serpent shape.
Boreas, the north-wind, continued to stir the waves violently, and would not grant the warships a crossing, and some thought Neptune was sparing Troy, because he had built its walls. But not Calchas. He knew and did not withhold from them, that a virgin’s blood would appease the wrath of Diana, the virgin goddess. When consideration of the common cause had conquered affection, and the king had suppressed the father, and as Iphigenia stood, among her weeping attendants, before the altar, to surrender her innocent blood, the goddess was vanquished, and veiled their eyes in mist, and, in the midst of the rites and confusion of the sacrifice, and the cries of the suppliants, they say she substituted a hind for the Mycenean girl. When, therefore, Diana had been appeased, by the required victim, and the sea’s anger had subsided simultaneously with that of Phoebe, the thousand ships, driven by a tail wind, reached the shores of Phrygia, after many adventures.
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