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heave and struggle

Homer describes an inconclusive wrestling match between Odysseus and Ajax:

'For the winner there was a big three-legged cauldron to go on the fire - it was worth a dozen oxen - and for the loser a woman thoroughly trained in domestic work, who was valued at four oxen in the camp. Ajax rose at once, and so did the resourceful Odysseus, who knew all the tricks. The two put on their shorts, stepped into the middle of the ring, and gripped each other in their powerful arms. They looked like a couple of those sloping rafters that a good builder locks together in the roof of a high house to resist the wind. Their sweat streamed down; and many blood-red veins stood out along their sides and shoulders. And still they struggled on, each thinking of the fine cauldron that was not yet won. But Odysseus was no more able to bring down his man, and pin him to the ground, than Ajax, who was baffled by Odysseus' brawn.'

Homer The Iliad, translated E.V. Rieu, Penguin 1950, page 431

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