At last the armies clashed at one strategic point,
they slammed their shields together, pike scraped pike
with the grappling strength of fighters armed in bronze
and their round shields pounded, boss on welded boss,
and the sound of struggle roared and rocked the earth.
Screams of men and cries of triumph breaking in one breath,
fighters killing, fighters killed, and the ground streamed blood.
Wildly as two winter torrents raging down from the mountains,
swirling into a valley, hurl their great waters together,
flash floods from the wellsprings plunging down in a gorge
and miles away in the hills a shepherd hears the thunder –
so from the grinding armies broke the cries and clash of war.
The Iliad, Book 4, lines 517-528. Homer offers us a very powerful and vivid description of the clash of armies. He employs beautiful imagery to convey the viciousness of war, with fighters killing and being killed. Using a powerful epic simile, he likens the sound of the clashing armies to two wild rivers converging and crashing together.