Continuation of the battle. Hector's duel with Ajax

Hector and came out of the Skate Gate together Paris. The Trojans were delighted to see both heroes. Their spirits rose again, and a fierce battle began again. Many heroes were defeated by Hector, Paris and Glaucus. The Greeks began to retreat. The light-eyed daughter of Zeus saw this and rushed to the sacred Trinity. The goddess rushing from Olympus was met by the god Apollo at a hundred-year-old oak tree growing on the edge of the field. He asked the goddess Athena if she was in a hurry to help the Greeks, and persuaded her to help him stop the battle. Athena agreed. The gods decided, in order to stop the battle, to inspire Hector to challenge the most glorious of the Greek heroes to single combat. As soon as the gods decided this, their prophetic son immediately saw through their decision Priama Gelen. He approached his brother Hector and advised him to challenge a Greek hero to single combat. Helenus revealed to Hector that he had heard the voice of the celestials commanding him to do so, and that it was not the fate of Hector to die in this single combat.

Hector immediately stopped the battle, stopping the Trojans; so did Agamemnon. The battlefield calmed down, and the soldiers, tired of the battle, sat down on the ground. Pallas Athena and Apollo, taking off like predatory hawks, sat down on a century-old oak tree, admiring the troops of the Trojans and Greeks. When everyone calmed down, Hector loudly challenged one of the Greek heroes to single combat. He promised not to desecrate the corpse of the murdered man and not to take off his armor, and demanded that the hero of the Greeks promise this, if he was the winner. The Greeks listened to Hector's challenge, but everyone was silent, no one dared to come out against Hector. Terribly angry at them Menelaus, he himself wanted to engage in single combat with Hector, but Agamemnon held him back: he was afraid that his brother would die at the hands of Hector, with whom even Achilles was afraid to fight. The Greeks were also shamed by the elder Nestor. As soon as his angry speech ceased, nine heroes immediately stepped forward: King Agamemnon, Diomed, both Ajax, Idomeneus, Merion, Eurypylus, Foant and Odysseus. On the advice of Nestor, they decided to cast lots between the heroes. When the lots were placed in the helmet, Nestor began to shake it so that someone's lot would fall out.

Hector's duel with Ajax
Hector's duel with Ajax. From left to right, the goddess Athena, Ajax, Hector, the god Hermes.
(Drawing on a vase)

The heroes prayed to the gods that the lot of Ajax Telamonides, Diomedes or Agamemnon would fall out. The lot fell on Ajax. The mighty Telamonid Ajax rejoiced. He put on his armor and came forward to the place of the duel. He walked like a god of war Ares, huge, mighty and formidable. In front of him he carried a copper-bound shield, big as a tower, and shook a heavy spear. The Trojans were horrified when they saw Ajax, fear penetrated Hector's chest. The fighters looked at each other menacingly. Hector threw the spear first. He did not break through Ajax's shield. Ajax threw his spear and pierced through Hector's shield. Pierced the spear and armor of Hector and tore the chiton. Hector was saved from death only by jumping aside. The heroes pulled out the spears and collided again. Hector struck the shield of Telamonides with his spear again, the tip of his spear did not bend. Ajax once again pierced Hector's shield and easily wounded him in the neck. Hectare did not interrupt the fight, he picked up a huge stone and threw it at Ajax's shield; the copper covering the huge shield rattled, Ajax grabbed an even heavier stone and threw it with such force at Hector's shield that he broke the shield and wounded Hector and his leg. Hector fell to the ground, but the god Apollo quickly picked him up.

The heroes grabbed their swords, they would have cut each other down if the heralds had not arrived in time and would not have stretched wands between them.

- Finish the fight, heroes! - exclaimed the heralds, - we see everything that you are great warriors, both of you are equally loved by Zeus. It's already night, everyone needs rest.

- Herald, - Ajax turned to the herald of the Trojans, - what you said, Hector himself should have said, because he called for a single combat. I am ready to stop fighting if he wishes. Hector immediately replied to Ajax:

- Oh, Telamonides, the gods have given you great growth, strength, and intelligence, you are the most glorious of the Greek heroes. Let's finish our duel today. We can meet you later on the battlefield. But as we separate, we will honor each other with a gift in memory of our single combat. Let the warriors of Troy and Greece remember that the heroes fought, burning with enmity against each other, but parted reconciled as friends.

Having said this, Hector took off the silver-decorated sword and handed it to Ajax, and Ajax gave Hector a purple precious belt as a gift. Thus ended the duel of heroes. The Trojans rejoiced that Hector emerged unscathed from the single combat with the mighty Ajax, and triumphantly escorted him to Troy. The Greeks also rejoiced when they saw what a mighty hero Telamonides Ajax was. King Agamemnon arranged a feast in honor of Ajax, calling all the leaders to it. The chiefs feasted until evening.

When the feast was over, the elder Nestor at a meeting of Greek leaders gave advice to stop the battle for a day in order to bury the fallen heroes and build a wall with towers around the camp and ships so that this wall would protect the Greeks, and dig a deep ditch at the wall. The chiefs agreed with Nestor's advice and dispersed to their tents until morning.

The council of chiefs and Trojans gathered. On this advice Antenor advised to give the Greeks a beautiful Elena and the stolen treasures. But Paris never agreed to give Elena away, he agreed to return only the treasures of Menelaus, adding gifts from himself to them. King Priam gave advice to send a messenger to the Greeks in the morning, who was supposed to convey Paris' proposal to them, but if the Greeks did not agree with this proposal, then continue the battle until the gods gave the final victory to one side or the other. The Trojans agreed with Priam's proposal. When morning came, the Trojans sent a messenger to the Greeks, but they rejected Paris' offer, they only agreed to interrupt the battle for a day to bury the slain soldiers.

Even before sunrise, the Trojans and Greeks began to bury the fallen soldiers. They took the bodies to the bonfires and burned them. Then the Greeks built a high wall with towers around the camp in one day and dug a deep ditch in front of it, even the Olympian gods marveled at this work of the Greeks. Only god Poseidon was angry at the Greeks for not sacrificing to the gods by erecting a wall. But the thunderer Zeus calmed Poseidon. He advised him to then destroy the wall of the Greeks and again cover the shore with sea sand.

The Greeks, having finished their work, began to cook dinner for themselves. At this time, ships with wine arrived from Lemnos. The Greeks were delighted, they quickly bought up the wine, and the feast in the camp began. The feast of the Greeks was not calm. Thunderer Zeus thunderclaps foreshadowed them a lot of trouble. Often the feasters were seized with fear, and they spilled wine from the goblets. None of the Greeks dared to drink without making a libation in honor of the terrible Zeus. Finally, the feast was over, and the whole Greek camp fell asleep.