Chapter 13. The Homeric Hymn to Apollo and the Text of Iliad 11

{671|673} §5.12 The controversy over Pylos, whether or not it was in Elis, centered on Telemachus’s voyage home from Pylos to Ithaca in Odyssey 15. After bidding farewell to Nestor’s son Peisistratos and taking on board the seer Theoklymenos, Telemachus sets sail from Pylos; as they sail north along the coast the sun sets and the ship makes for Pheai, a town on a prominent cape not far north of the mouth of the Alpheios River. [50] From here they sail past Elis, the land of the Epeians, before leaving the coast for the “fast islands” (nē̂soi thoaí) enroute to Ithaca (Odyssey 15.296–300). Now Pheai is south of where Strabo’s account indicates that the Eleian town of Pylos (i.e. the coastal town of Pylos) lay; thus if Telemachus began his voyage from the Eleian town of Pylos he cannot have passed Pheai on his way to Ithaca. [51] It was precisely Pheai that was the disputed point in Telemachus’s journey: in fact only Aristarchus and Strabo give the name Pheai in Odyssey 15.297; all manuscripts of the Odyssey read Pherai, referring to a town well past Elis in {673|674} the historical region of Achaea. [52] This was the controversy, and in my view Pherai was substituted for Pheai in Odyssey 15.297 by those who sought to put Pylos in Elis. But this interpretation was resisted by others, and their resistance, I think, is reflected in the line that follows in Odyssey 15: here Elis and the Epeians are mentioned next on Telemachus’s northward voyage, and the effect of this is to preclude Pherai in the preceding line, for Pherai is already past Elis in Achaea. I suggest that originally Telemachus made for Pheai in his journey up the coast, and that from there he left the coast for the “swift islands,” with no mention of Elis; this geography was minimal but sufficient for the story. [53] Elis was later added to the route, not for the sake of realism, but to defend the name Pheai in the preceding line; the looseness with which Elis was added is apparent in the grammatical construction following the verb ἐπιβάλλειν, “to make for,” which suits the object Φεὰς, but not the phrase παρ' Ἤλιδα δῖαν, “along shining Elis,” in the next line (Odyssey 15.296–300):

δύσετό τ' ἠέλιος σκιόωντό τε πᾶσαι ἀγυιαί·
ἡ δὲ Φεὰς ἐπέβαλλεν ἐπειγομένη Διὸς οὔρῳ,
ἠδὲ παρ' Ἤλιδα δῖαν, ὅθι κρατέουσιν Ἐπειοί.
ἔνθεν δ' αὖ νήσοισιν ἐπιπροέηκε θοῇσιν,
ὁρμαίνων, ἤ κεν θάνατον φύγοι ἦ κεν ἁλοίη. {674|675}

The sun set and all the ways grew dark;
it made for Pheai, driven by Zeus’s wind,
and past shining Elis, where the Epeians have power.
From there he struck out for the fast islands,
pondering whether he would escape death or die.

§5.13 The Pythian Hymn to Apollo, which dates from the seventh or early sixth century BC, takes a strong stand in the controversy over Telemachus’s route home in favor of the place-name Pherai. It is thus a crucial piece of evidence for the controversy itself. The hymn presents a schematic geography of the Greek world, at the center of which is Delphi. Two broad arcs, one beginning in the north, the other in the south, converge at Delphi as the hymn unfolds: first Apollo leaves Olympus in the north in search of a cult site, and his journey brings him through Thessaly, Euboea, and Boeotia to his final destination Delphi; then his future priests leave Crete in the south, and their ship, commandeered by Apollo, sails past the entire southern and western Peloponnesus before it reaches the Gulf of Krisa (Gulf of Corinth) and likewise proceeds to Delphi as its final destination. The location of Pylos is an important matter in this hymn; indeed it is a central matter. It is necessary to understand this to make sense of the hymn’s geography, which is so anomalous that little attention has been paid to it on the assumption that the poet of the hymn was badly informed. [54] It is instead the case, I think, that the poet had a specific agenda with his geography, and that he carried this agenda out quite well.

§5.14 Attention is drawn to Pylos as soon as the narrative shifts from Apollo’s journey southward to his future priests’ voyage northward: before the Cretan sailors are hijacked and brought to Delphi, their goal is Pylos (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 397–399):

οἱ μὲν ἐπὶ πρῆξιν καὶ χρήματα νηῒ μελαίνῃ
ἐς Πύλον ἠμαθόεντα Πυλοιγενέας τ' ἀνθρώπους
ἔπλεον· αὐτὰρ ὁ τοῖσι συνήνετο Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων.

They sailed in their black ship for trade and profit
to sandy Pylos and the Pylos-born men;
but Phoebus Apollo met them. {675|676}

After the dramatic appearance of Apollo on board the ship in the form of a dolphin, and the acquiescence of the Cretan sailors in Apollo’s command, the ship continues on its course, which is described in significant detail: the ship rounds Cape Malea and passes the Laconian land and Cape Tainaron; the sailors try to land at Cape Tainaron, where flocks of Helios graze, but the ship no longer obeys them. It sails onward keeping the Peloponnesus at a distance until it reaches Arene and the Alpheios River. We should note in passing that nothing whatever is said about Messenia, which represents most of what the ship passes between Cape Tainaron and the Alpheios River; Messenia is a blank in this story, and Pylos is located north of the Alpheios River, in what was historically Elis (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 418–424):

ἀλλ' οὐ πηδαλίοισιν ἐπείθετο νηῦς εὐεργής,
ἀλλὰ παρὲκ Πελοπόννησον πίειραν ἔχουσα
ἤϊ' ὁδόν, πνοιῇ δὲ ἄναξ ἑκάεργος Ἀπόλλων
ῥηϊδίως ἴθυν'· ἡ δὲ πρήσσουσα κέλευθον
Ἀρήνην ἵκανε καὶ Ἀργυφέην ἐρατεινὴν
καὶ Θρύον Ἀλφειοῖο πόρον καὶ ἐΰκτιτον Αἶπυ
καὶ Πύλον ἠμαθόεντα Πυλοιγενέας τ' ἀνθρώπους.

But the well-built ship did not obey the rudder,
but keeping away from the fertile Peloponnesus
it went its way, and far-worker Apollo easily steered it
with the wind; plying its path
it came to Arene and lovely Argyphea
and Thryon, ford of the Alpheios, and well-built Aipy
and sandy Pylos and the Pylos-born men.

The place-names that occur here, except for otherwise unknown Argyphea (Arguphéē), all occur in the Pylian entry to the Catalogue of Ships, but unlike the catalogue, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo lines them up in order, and Pylos is placed north of Thryon and the Alpheios River. That the Homeric Hymn to Apollo is taking a position on the location of Pylos in the Homeric poems is clear at this point; indeed the crucial line about the Alpheios River is taken directly from the Pylian entry to the Catalogue of Ships (Iliad 2.591–592):

οἳ δὲ Πύλον τ' ἐνέμοντο καὶ Ἀρήνην ἐρατεινὴν
καὶ Θρύον Ἀλφειοῖο πόρον καὶ ἐΰκτιτον Αἰπὺ…. {676|677}

And those who inhabited Pylos and lovely Arene
and Thryon, ford of the Alpheios, and well-built Aipy…. [55]

As the voyage continues it becomes ever clearer that the location of Pylos in the Homeric poems is the issue. In order to make room for Nestor’s kingdom north of the Alpheios, Elis itself is limited to its own northeast corner, or just beyond this corner, in what was historically Achaea; this is achieved by putting Elis past Dyme, the westernmost city of Achaea historically, but once, according to Strabo, a part of the Epeian realm (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 425–426):

βῆ δὲ παρὰ Κρουνοὺς καὶ Χαλκίδα καὶ παρὰ Δύμην
ἠδὲ παρ' Ἤλιδα δῖαν ὅθι κρατέουσιν Ἐπειοί.

It went past Krounoi and Khalkis and past Dyme
and past shining Elis, where the Epeians have power.

The Eleians seem not yet to have reached their ultimate historical homeland in this scheme, but to be, as it were, still enroute from their place of origin north of the Peloponnesus.quot;noteref"> [56] The point of this idiosyncratic geography {677|678} reveals itself plainly in what comes next, when the Cretan ship does exactly what Telemachus’s ship does in Odyssey 15.297, but in such a way as to end all dispute about Telemachus’s route: in virtually the same language as that used of Telemachus’s ship in Odyssey 15.297 (ἡ δὲ Φεὰς ἐπέβαλλεν ἐπειγομένη Διὸς οὔρῳ), the Cretan ship makes for Pherai, not Pheai (εὔτε Φερὰς ἐπέβαλλεν ἀγαλλομένη Διὸς οὔρῳ), and Pherai is guaranteed by its location past Dyme; [57] then, to drive home the point that this all has to do with Telemachus’s voyage home, Ithaca, with no regard for verisimilitude, now appears from out of the clouds (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 427–429):

εὔτε Φερὰς ἐπέβαλλεν ἀγαλλομένη Διὸς οὔρῳ
καί σφιν ὑπὲκ νεφέων Ἰθάκης τ' ὄρος αἰπὺ πέφαντο,
Δουλίχιόν τε Σάμη τε καὶ ὑλήεσσα Ζάκυνθος.

When it made for Pherai, exulting in Zeus’s wind,
from under the clouds Ithaca’s steep mountain also appeared to them,
and Doulichion and Same and wooded Zakynthos.

It does not matter that the ship has been sailing eastward, away from Ithaca and the other three islands, for more than 20 kilometers when it passes Dyme and makes for Pherai; the ship’s real mission is fulfilled when Ithaca, the goal {678|679} of Telemachus’s voyage, manifests itself to the Cretan sailors precisely now, when their ship makes for Pherai. [58] The rest of the voyage, into the Gulf of Krisa and onward to Delphi, passes quickly and without further anomaly. But here too, significantly, there is an allusion to Odyssey 15; indeed there is a direct “quotation” of Odyssey 15, which solidifies the hymn’s deliberate engagement with this Homeric text. In Odyssey 15 Athena sends a favorable wind as soon as Telemachus sets sail from Pylos (Odyssey 15.292–294):

τοῖσιν δ' ἴκμενον οὖρον ἵει γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη,
λάβρον ἐπαιγίζοντα δι' αἰθέρος, ὄφρα τάχιστα
νηῦς ἀνύσειε θέουσα θαλάσσης ἁλμυρὸν ὕδωρ.

Grey-eyed Athena sent them a favorable wind
rushing briskly through the sky, so that as fast as possible
the ship might reach its goal running across the salt water of the sea.

The last two verses occur virtually unchanged in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo when Zeus sends a west wind to speed the Cretan ship through the Gulf of Krisa (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 430–439):

ἀλλ' ὅτε δὴ Πελοπόννησον παρενίσατο πᾶσαν,
καὶ δὴ ἐπὶ Κρίσης κατεφαίνετο κόλπος ἀπείρων
ὅς τε διὲκ Πελοπόννησον πίειραν ἐέργει,
ἦλθ' ἄνεμος ζέφυρος μέγας αἴθριος ἐκ Διὸς αἴσης
λάβρος ἐπαιγίζων ἐξ αἰθέρος, ὄφρα τάχιστα {679|680}
νηῦς ἀνύσειε θέουσα θαλάσσης ἁλμυρὸν ὕδωρ.
ἄψορροι δὴ ἔπειτα πρὸς ἠῶ τ' ἠέλιόν τε
ἔπλεον, ἡγεμόνευε δ' ἄναξ Διὸς υἱὸς Ἀπόλλων·
ἷξον δ' ἐς Κρίσην εὐδείελον ἀμπελόεσσαν
ἐς λιμέν', ἡ δ' ἀμάθοισιν ἐχρίμψατο ποντοπόρος νηῦς.

But when it passed all the Peloponnesus,
and the boundless gulf toward Krisa appeared
which keeps the rich Peloponnesus separate,
a great clear west wind came by Zeus’s fate
rushing briskly from the sky, so that as fast as possible
the ship might reach its goal running across the salt water of the sea.
Then they sailed back toward the dawn and the sun,
and lord Apollo, Zeus’s son, led them;
they came to shining Krisa rich in vines,
to the harbor, and the seafaring ship landed on the sand.

The lines describing Athena’s favorable wind, Odyssey 15.293–294, constitute the third instance of direct quotation of the Homeric poems by the Homeric Hymn to Apollo; the other two instances are Homeric Hymn to Apollo 423 = Iliad 2.592, naming the Alpheios River in the Pylian entry to the Catalogue of Ships, and Homeric Hymn to Apollo 427 = Odyssey 15.297, describing the approach of Telemachus’s ship to Pheai. Together these three instances leave no doubt that the hymn means to engage directly with the text of the Homeric poems in general, and with the text of Telemachus’s voyage home in particular. Among the small changes in the hymn’s two quotations of the Odyssey is the whole point of the exercise, namely the change from the name Pheai in Odyssey 15.297 to the name Pherai in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo 427. [59] {680|681}

§5.15 Our text of Odyssey 15, as I have already suggested, defends itself against the place-name Pherai in Odyssey 15.297 by adding Elis to the route in Odyssey 15.298:

ἡ δὲ Φεὰς ἐπέβαλλεν ἐπειγομένη Διὸς οὔρῳ,
ἠδὲ παρ' Ἤλιδα δῖαν, ὅθι κρατέουσιν Ἐπειοί.

It made for Pheai, driven by Zeus’s wind,
and past shining Elis, where the Epeians have power.

The added line, I think, was borrowed directly from the Homeric Hymn to Apollo in order to be used against it in this ongoing battle of the texts: in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo the line relocates Elis past Dyme, northeast of its historical location; in Odyssey 15 the line is used to reassert the known historical location of Elis, and to defend the place-name Pheai in the line before it. [60]

§5.16 In the same passage of Odyssey 15 there is yet another dubious line, but it seems not to concern the controversy over the location of Pylos in Elis, or at least not directly. Odyssey 15.295 does not occur in the manuscripts, but it is quoted twice by Strabo: βὰν δὲ παρὰ Κρουνοὺς καὶ Χαλκίδα καλλιρέεθρον, “They went past Krounoi and the beautifully flowing Khalkis.” As Strabo quotes it, this line occurs after Telemachus sets sail from Pylos, when Athena sends him a fair wind, but before the sun sets and the ship makes for Pheai. Strabo quotes the line to support his argument that the Homeric Pylos lay in Triphylia: he knows of a spring called Krounoi north of Samikon in Triphylia, and Khalkis, he says, is the name of both a river and a {681|682} town in the same region. [61] But the line, which stands alone (unenjambed) in Odyssey 15, clearly has a connection with the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, where the Cretan ship also sails παρὰ Κρουνοὺς καὶ Χαλκίδα, “past Krounoi and Khalkis,” after it passes the Alpheios River and the Eleian town of Pylos, and before it passes Dyme; in the hymn these obscure place-names, Krounoi and Khalkis, are in what was historicially Elis: in fact they take the place of Elis itself, which has been shifted to the northeast from its historical location. Although we cannot say to what precisely the names Krounoi and Khalkis in the hymn refer, these names, I think, belong to the hymn first: the learned tradition followed by Strabo has availed itself of the names, which are not distinctive in themselves, to bolster the case for a Triphylian Pylos. This, I think, was a comparatively late development, and had nothing to do with the controversy in the Archaic period over the Eleian location of Pylos. [62]

§5.17 Odyssey 15, in my view, originally named only one location on the coast of the Peloponnesus after Telemachus’s departure from Pylos, and that was Pheai, the jumping-off place to the islands; omitting line 298, which in my view was added in the Archaic period to defend the name Pheai, and line 295, which in my view was added at a later time to support an entirely different argument relating to a Triphylian Pylos, the description of Telemachus’s voyage would have been as follows before the controversy over Pylos’s location first arose (Odyssey 15.292–294, 296–297, 299–300): {682|683}

292     τοῖσιν δ' ἴκμενον οὖρον ἵει γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη,
293 λάβρον ἐπαιγίζοντα δι' αἰθέρος, ὄφρα τάχιστα
294 νηῦς ἀνύσειε θέουσα θαλάσσης ἁλμυρὸν ὕδωρ.
296 δύσετό τ' ἠέλιος σκιόωντό τε πᾶσαι ἀγυιαί·
297 ἡ δὲ Φεὰς ἐπέβαλλεν ἐπειγομένη Διὸς οὔρῳ.
299 ἔνθεν δ' αὖ νήσοισιν ἐπιπροέηκε θοῇσιν,
300 ὁρμαίνων, ἤ κεν θάνατον φύγοι ἦ κεν ἁλοίη.


292     Grey-eyed Athena sent them a favorable wind
293 rushing briskly through the sky, so that as fast as possible
294 the ship might reach its goal running across the salt water of the sea.
296 The sun set and all the ways grew dark;
297 it made for Pheai, driven by Zeus’s wind.
299 From there he struck out for the fast islands,
300 pondering whether he would escape death or die. [63]


§5.18 The Pylos at the start of Telemachus’s voyage home in Odyssey 15 is in Messenia, but not because the narrative locates it there precisely; it is there because, when the Homeric poems were composed, Messenia was known to be the location of Nestor’s city, and there was as yet no controversy about it. There was also at that time a living tradition bearing witness to Pylos’s true location. After the fall of Bronze Age Pylos, the Pylians themselves did not all leave Messenia; Pylians, still known as such, continued to live there until the seventh century BC, when the Spartans finally drove them out in the {683|684} course of the Second Messenian War. [64] It appears that these Pylians, after the destruction of Bronze Age Pylos, inhabited at least two other sites in Messenia that they continued to call Pylos, the final site being at Koryphasion, at the northern end of the bay of Navarino, some 9–10 kilometers southwest of the Bronze Age city at Ano-Englianos. This site too was abandoned at the end of the Second Messenian War, but to it the name Pylos clung; most famously, this was the Pylos of the disaster that befell Spartan hoplites in 425 BC, when they were trapped on the island of Sphacteria and taken prisoner by the Athenian navy. A narrow inlet of the sea separates Sphacteria from Pylos, and Pylos is the name that Thucydides and other Athenian writers use to refer to the location of this celebrated and shocking incident of the Peloponnesian War. It was also here that a new city of Pylos was founded in the fourth century BC when the Messenians regained their independence from Sparta. [65] {684|685}

§5.19 Significantly, however, the Spartans did not call this place Pylos, but Koryphasion, as Thucydides expressly states. [66] The name Koryphasion was doubtless old, but use of it instead of Pylos distinguishes the Spartans, and it implies, I think, a deliberate choice. The Spartans, who expelled the Pylians in the Second Messenian War, did not wish to remind themselves or others that Nestor’s Homeric kingdom now lay desolate, and, more to the point, under Spartan control. [67] This suggests, I think, how the location {685|686} of Pylos first became a subject of dispute: the Spartans had no wish to claim Homeric Pylos by right of conquest, but wished rather to disclaim it, because it brought opprobrium rather than glory. But to disclaim it they had to reckon with the Homeric poems, which were at the root of their problem; without the Homeric poems, Nestor and the Pylians would not have been an issue in the first place. But given that the Homeric poems did exist there was still a way out: the Homeric poems could be reinterpreted and the location of Pylos could be shifted because Homeric geography was vague. Nestor’s story in Iliad 11, in which he reaches Bouprasion after a one-day rout of the Epeians, invited a geographical reinterpretation: Nestor’s city, on a realistic interpretation of his story, lay not in Messenia, but in Elis. The only bar to this reinterpretation was Telemachus’s voyage home in the Odyssey, in which the town of Pheai would be passed on the way to Ithaca only if the voyage began somewhere south of the Alpheios River, namely in Messenia. Hence, I suggest, it was the Spartans who first put forth the idea that in Odyssey 15 the name of the town was not Pheai, but, with the addition of a single letter, Pherai.

§5.20 But what authority could the Spartans have claimed for a revised version of Telemachus’s voyage in Odyssey 15? To this there is an answer. As Aristotle attests, the Spartans claimed a separate tradition for the Homeric poems that bypassed the Homeridai of Chios and went instead through the Kreophyleioi of Samos: Lycurgus, the legendary Spartan lawgiver, is supposed to have received the Homeric poems from descendants of Kreophylos during a visit to Samos. [68] Acccording to this tradition the Spartans were among the {686|687} first, if not the very first, to gain possession of the Homeric poems in mainland Greece. We may ask why it was important to the Spartans to claim not only priority of reception of the Homeric poems, but also an independent source. I suggest that the controversy over Telemachus’s voyage in Odyssey 15 provides a sufficient reason. It is also very much to the point that the Samians, with their ships, seem to have been called in by the Spartans to expel the coastal population, including the Pylians, from the southwest Peloponnesus at the end of the Second Messenian War. The case for this is based on a passage of Herodotus, which says that the Samians sent ships to help the Spartans against the Messenians, and it is implied that this happened sometime before the tyranny of Polycrates; Herodotus does not specify the date more closely, but the Second Messenian War seems highly likely. [69] If Samos was thus useful to Sparta in {687|688} removing the Pylians from Messenia, it may also have been useful in trying to expunge from Homer the very memory of their ever having been there. [70]

§5.21 If this argument is correct, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, with its idiosyncratic geography, also reflects a Spartan point of view. This, I think, is the case, but there is a problem. At the end of the hymn Apollo’s Cretan priests are warned against acts of hybris, for which they will be punished by being subjected to new masters. [71] The lines in question are reasonably taken as an allusion to the First Sacred War, which ended in 591 BC with the destruction of Krisa and the imposition of a new regime at Delphi. [72] The war’s victors, {688|689} which included the Athenians, Sikyonians, and Thessalians, did not include the Spartans; [73] thus the ex eventu prophecy at the end of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo does not reflect a Spartan point of view. But there has long been a debate as to whether the hymn’s final prophecy was added to an already existing hymn after the First Sacred War to reflect the war’s outcome. [74] A strong case can in fact be made that the victors appropriated an older hymn and gave it a new twist at the hymn’s end. The threat made against the priests at the end of the hymn, which had already been carried out in reality, is not only unanticipated earlier in the hymn, but it contradicts the hymn’s very purpose, which is to celebrate the establishment of the Delphic oracle and its Cretan priesthood. The poem cannot well have set out from the start to undermine its own purpose at the end. [75] Particularly hard to understand in the poem is the role of Krisa, the goal of both Apollo’s journey from Olympus and his future priests’ voyage from Crete, if at the moment of the poem’s {689|690} composition Krisa had already been destroyed and its land withdrawn forever from human cultivation. [76]

§5.22 The hymn’s final passage is the clearest evidence that an older hymn was appropriated and adapted by a new political group after the First Sacred War, but it is not the only evidence. Another expansion of the hymn is reasonably seen in lines 305–355, which describe how the goddess Hera conceived and gave birth to the monster Typhaon. The story of Typhaon’s birth is set within the story of the “she-dragon” (drákaina) slain by Apollo near his newly founded temple at Delphi (lines 300–374). The connection between the two stories is that, among her other evil deeds, the she-dragon is said to have received the monster Typhaon from Hera’s hands and raised him. [77] The story that is then told mostly concerns Hera, the monster’s mother; all that we hear about the monster himself is that he did great harm to men (355, one line). [78] Nothing is said about the monster’s fate, which was presumably to be {690|691} slain by Zeus (as in Hesiod Theogony 820–868). [79] The story of Typhaon’s birth adds little of relevance to the story of Apollo’s slaying of the she-dragon in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo. [80] {691|692}

§5.23 If the Typhaon episode adds little to the story of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, and does so at considerable length, why is it there? [81] The political situation following the First Sacred War suggests an answer. As already noted, the episode is more about Hera than Typhaon: Hera conceived and gave birth to the monster by herself to retaliate against Zeus, who, to Hera’s great discredit, had given birth to Athena without Hera’s help. [82] Hera’s jealous reaction casts {692|693} her in the dark role of a monster’s mother; as such she is presented as a foil to the glorious birth of Athena, and the latter directly concerns one of the victors in the Sacred War, namely Athens. This passage of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo is among the first to attest the tradition for Athena’s birth from Zeus’s head; [83] although the myth did not originate in Athens, representations of it became popular there in the sixth century because of what I view as profound changes to the cult of Athena Polias in the time of Solon. [84] To the time of Solon also belongs the First Sacred War, with which Solon himself was associated. The speech in which Hera announces to Zeus and the other gods her intention to bear a child by herself because Zeus bore Athena by himself really amounts {693|694} to glorification of Athena and of Athens. [85] There may be a related point when Hera, having been excluded by Zeus from the birth of Athena, sets out to give birth to a creature of equal prominence among the gods; here too Athena is the standard of comparison. [86] Cities devoted to Hera’s cult can have taken {694|695} no pride in the representation of the goddess as the mother of a monster. In mainland Greece Hera’s most important cult was at Argos, and Cleisthenes of Sikyon, another victor in the First Sacred War, was a bitter enemy of Argos. Is not the Hera of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo the Argive goddess as viewed from Sikyon, Athens’ ally in the Sacred War? The expansion of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, in its positive attitude toward Athena and its negative attitude toward Hera, will thus reflect the viewpoints of these two allies in the Sacred War. [87]

§5.24 We are not primarily concerned with the Homeric Hymn to Apollo as it reflects the interests of the victors in the First Sacred War, but with an earlier version of the hymn, before the two expansions just considered were composed. [88] This earlier version must have come into existence before the First Sacred War, but not long before it, if the hymn, as argued above, reflects a Spartan point of view. The Spartans drove the Pylians from Messenia at the end of the Second Messenian War. [89] The dates of the Second Messenian War are a matter of debate, but for the end of the war there is a valuable piece of evidence: Epameinondas, when he defeated the Spartans at Leuctra in 371 BC, is reported to have said that he gave the Messenians back their freedom after 230 years. [90] In line with this figure the end of the Second Messenian War, and the departure of the Pylians from Messenia, can be firmly dated to c. 600 BC. {695|696} Soon after the end of the Second Messenian War, perhaps immediately after it, the earlier version of the Hymn to Apollo would have been composed. [91]

§5.25 As a parallel to the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, if it was indeed a Spartan poem, I suggest a poem of Tyrtaeus, the Spartan poet who, more than any other figure, was identified with the Second Messenian War. [92] I do not {696|697} have in mind Tyrtaeus’s war poems, in which Tyrtaeus exhorts the Spartans to maintain their steadfast courage, but his Eunomia, “Good Order,” in which he invokes the authority of Delphi for the Great Rhetra, the Spartans’ constitution. Plutarch has preserved an archaic prose version of this constitution, which was presumably what the Spartan assembly once enacted. Tyrtaeus gives a poetic version of the constitution, which he says was brought back from Delphi. [93] The Great Rhetra defined the political roles of the kings and elders on the one hand and of the people on the other hand. The poetic version of Tyrtaeus, which, it has been suggested, may contain the actual words of the Delphic oracle in the last four hexameter lines, interspersed with Tyrtaeus’s own additions in the five pentameter lines, is as follows (Tyrtaeus fr. 4 West):

Φοίβου ἀκούσαντες Πυθωνόθεν οἴκαδ' ἔνεικαν
μαντείας τε θεοῦ καὶ τελέεντ' ἔπεα·
ἄρχειν μὲν βουλῆς θεοτιμήτους βασιλῆας,
οἷσι μέλει Σπάρτης ἱμερόεσσα πόλις,
πρεσβυγενέας τε γέροντας· ἔπειτα δὲ δημότας ἄνδρας
εὐθείαις ῥήτραις ἀνταπαμειβομένους
μυθεῖσθαί τε τὰ καλὰ καὶ ἔρδειν πάντα δίκαια,
μηδέ τι βουλεύειν τῇδε πόλει <σκολιόν>·
δήμου τε πλήθει νίκην καὶ κάρτος ἕπεσθαι.
Φοῖβος γὰρ περὶ τῶν ὧδ' ἀνέφηνε πόλει.

After listening to Phoebus they brought home from Pytho
the god’s oracles and sure predictions. {697|698}
Those to initiate counsel are the divinely honored kings
in whose care is Sparta’s lovely city,
and the aged elders; and then the men of the people,
responding with straight utterances,
are to speak fair words and act justly in everything,
and not give the city counsel.
Victory and power are to accompany the mass of the people.
For such was Phoebus’ revelation about these things to the city. [94]

As in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, where Delphi’s higher authority is claimed for a partisan view of political geography, Tyrtaeus here attributes to Delphi something controversial. This, at least, is what Plutarch, following Aristotle, says. [95] According to Plutarch the Great Rhetra, as originally brought back from Delphi, gave final authority to the people, but this authority was subsequently taken away from them by an additional clause, or rider. The additional clause said that the people had final authority only if they made no “crooked” (skoliá) pronouncement in response to initiatives of the kings and elders; the people’s will, in other words, could effectively be set aside. [96] But what Plutarch regards as two separate items, the original Rhetra and a {698|699} subsequent rider, Tyrtaeus presents as a single oracle emanating from Apollo himself: the fragment’s final hexameter (line 9), which proclaims the decisive authority (νίκην καὶ κάρτος) of the people, represents the purpose of the original Rhetra; the rider, on the other hand, has been woven into the two preceding pentameters (lines 6 and 8), and here the people respond to initiatives “with straight pronouncements” (εὐθείαις ῥήτραις, line 6) and are forbidden to counsel anything “crooked” (σκολιόν, line 8). The word σκολιόν has been restored in line 8, which is corrupt; the restoration corresponds to the actual wording of the rider in Plutarch (σκολιάν), and in my view it is probably correct, but it is not certain. [97] It is also uncertain whether Aristotle, when he made a distinction between the original Rhetra and a later rider, reported a genuine tradition or arrived at this conclusion on his own; some would prefer to see the rider as part of the Rhetra from the start, as in Tyrtaeus. [98] There are also historical and chronological uncertainties pertaining to the Rhetra and the rider when they are regarded as separate. [99] {699|700} Still I think it is more likely that Aristotle, in separating the rider from the Rhetra, did not invent this interpretation, but relied on a tradition. [100] I also think that the interpretation of Tyrtaeus fr. 4 as an actual hexameter oracle delivered to kings Theopompos and Polydoros, to which Tyrtaeus added his own pentameters incorporating the substance of the later rider as if it too were part of the oracle, deserves serious consideration. If this is what in fact took place, then Huxley has a point when he describes Tyrtaeus, insofar as his representation of the Great Rhetra is concerned, as “an able propagandist and a successful exponent of the despicable craft of rewriting the past”; [101] presumably the urgency of the Messenian revolt had something to do with Tyrtaeus’s constitutional sleight of hand, and also prevented any real opposition to it. [102]

§5.26 Rewriting the past is also the issue in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, insofar as the hymn erases the Homeric city of Pylos from Messenia in mythic times to match what had happened only recently in historical time. The {700|701} parallel with the Eunomia of Tyrtaeus may be short of conclusive, but it is a basis for comparison nonetheless. The context for the hymn, however, would have been quite different from the context for the Eunomia of Tyrtaeus. Like other Homeric hymns, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo must have been composed as a prooímion to introduce a performance of Homeric poetry. Such prooímia were composed in Sparta as they were elsewhere, the practice having been introduced there by Terpander of Lesbos in the first half of the seventh century, [103] and Terpander is known to have taught his musical craft to others in Sparta as well. [104] Would Tyrtaeus, after the apparent success of his elegies in the Second Messenian War, have turned to a different kind of poetry later in life, once the war had been won? His poetry would still have served Sparta’s interests, but now in a more international setting, as opposed to the domestic purpose of his elegies. We know that performances of Homeric poetry took place at Spartan festivals; Terpander gave performances of Homeric poetry, and of his own prooímia, in poetic contests. [105] At a festival outsiders, especially {701|702} other Peloponnesians, would be present, and this offered an opportunity, if not to rewrite the past, at least to present the Spartan point of view. In such a setting a performance of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, as prooímion, could have been associated with Odyssey 15 as part of the Homeric performance that followed. This would have been an ideal occasion to present the corrected version of Telemachus’s voyage home from Pylos, the true course of which had international significance c. 600 BC. [106]

§5.27 I do not want to push the idea of Tyrtaeus as poet of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo too hard. [107] I prefer to fall back on the more general idea that the Homeric Hymn to Apollo reflects a Spartan agenda. Victors in the Second Messenian War, the Spartans did not wish to be known as having driven Nestor’s descendants from their ancestral homeland at the war’s end. For this reason they called the abandoned place Koryphasion, not Pylos. The Homeric poems were reinterpreted to show that Nestor’s kingdom lay not in Messenia, but in Elis; this was accomplished with the change of a single word in the Odyssey, from Pheás to Pherás, and this change was defended. The Homeric Hymn to Apollo presents a complete defense of the change, and it cunningly implies that Apollo himself endorsed the new interpretation of Telemachus’s voyage: Apollo, in the form of a dolphin, was on board when the ship sailed past the Peloponnesus, town by town. When the ship passes Pylos north of the Alpheios River, blame for the expulsion of Nestor’s descendants shifts {702|703} from the Spartans, and lands, subtly but squarely, on the Eleians instead. In the mythic time of Apollo’s voyage around the Peloponnesus with his future priests, the Eleians had not yet descended to their historical homeland, but lived in what was later western Achaea. This implies something about the fate of the Pylians. By the time the Homeric Hymn to Apollo was composed the Eleians had long occupied their historical homeland, which included (it is implied) what once was Pylos. Where had the Pylians gone? Ask the Eleians. Who better, after all, to take the blame for the final extinction of Pylos than Pylos’s ancient enemy in the Homeric poems? [108]

§5.28 The Homeric Hymn to Apollo does not identify itself overtly with Sparta or any city; the sole focus of the hymn is Delphi, which stands above all at the center of the hymn’s world. There Apollo establishes an oracle for men who will ever after bring him sacrifices, as many as inhabit the fertile Peloponnesus and Europe and the sea-girt islands; so Apollo proclaims when he reaches his destination (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 287–293):

ἐνθάδε δὴ φρονέω τεύξειν περικαλλέα νηὸν
ἔμμεναι ἀνθρώποις χρηστήριον οἵ τέ μοι αἰεὶ
ἐνθάδ' ἀγινήσουσι τεληέσσας ἑκατόμβας,
ἠμὲν ὅσοι Πελοπόννησον πίειραν ἔχουσιν,
ἠδ' ὅσοι Εὐρώπην τε καὶ ἀμφιρύτους κατὰ νήσους,
χρησόμενοι· τοῖσιν δ' ἄρ' ἐγὼ νημερτέα βουλὴν
πᾶσι θεμιστεύοιμι χρέων ἐνὶ πίονι νηῷ.

Here I plan to build a beautiful temple
to be an oracle for men who will forever
drive perfect hecatombs here for me,
all the men that inhabit the fertile Peloponnesus
and Europe and the sea-girt islands
when they seek oracles; to all of them
I would give unerring counsel when I prophesy in my rich temple. {703|704}

Delphi is the center, [109] and among those who will consult Apollo’s oracle at Delphi the Peloponnesians (ὅσοι Πελοπόννησον πίειραν ἔχουσιν) have pride of place, as before the First Sacred War they in fact did; [110] Europe (the northern Greek mainland) and the islands fill out Delphi’s world. The hymn betrays no obvious Spartan bias, for this would reveal its hidden purpose. The “Laconian land” is duly recognized in the hymn, but without drawing attention to itself; it is represented by Cape Malea and Cape Tainaron, and by a cult to Helios on Cape Tainaron, about which nothing else is known. [111] It is not the {704|705} inland city of Sparta itself that receives attention, but an apparently old cult on the outer limits of Spartan territory. This of course is far more attention than is paid to Messenia, which is not even mentioned in the hymn, but is bypassed as if it did not exist: as far as the hymn is concerned Messenia was a deserted, empty place then as now.

§5.29 We have so far looked only at the southern half of the world centered on Delphi in the hymn, the half marked out by the voyage of Apollo and his priests. The northern half of this world is marked out by Apollo alone when he goes in search of a site for his oracle. As already said, the arc of Apollo’s initial journey southward is counterbalanced by the arc of the Cretans’ voyage northward, both ending in Delphi; the overall scheme is like two halves of a circle that connect at one point only. We must now examine the hymn’s northern geography to see how it corresponds to its southern geography. This will provide a check on conclusions already reached for the Cretans’ voyage around the Peloponnesus, especially the importance of the location of Pylos in the interpretation of the hymn as a whole.

§5.30 The hymn’s northern geography is in general very good. Between Olympus and Krisa seventeen tribes and places are named: all are correctly located and put in the proper order with two apparent exceptions, which are easily explained, and one real exception, which requires a different explanation altogether. It is the exceptions, both apparent and real, that reveal most about the true intentions of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo.

§5.31 The journey begins when Apollo leaves Olympus and descends to Pieria (line 216): Πιερίην μὲν πρῶτον ἀπ' Οὐλύμποιο κατῆλθες. This is in fact one of the journey’s apparent anomalies. In the Iliad Hera leaves Olympus by way of Pieria when she heads north to Thrace. [112] Because the geography of {705|706} the Hymn to Apollo seems aberrant and capricious at other points, it has been assumed that the poet, following Homer without due care, has Apollo set off in the wrong direction from Olympus. [113] It is true, I think, that the poet of the hymn has the Homeric model in mind, but this does not mean that he follows it carelessly. This is not his practice in the rest of the hymn, where, on the contrary, he seeks to correct the transmission of the Homeric poems in a crucial point: it is a poor start toward that goal if the poet stumbles at the very outset. In fact he does not do so. Pieria was the coastal region primarily east and north of Olympus, stretching as far north as the Haliakmon River, but it also reached south of Olympus to the Peneios River. [114] Apollo goes southeast from Olympus toward the coast, [115] and this must be where the next point on his journey is, an unknown Lektos: this place is called ἠμαθόεις, “sandy,” and like “sandy Pylos” it must be on the sea (lines 217–218): Λέκτον τ' ἠμαθόεντα παρέστιχες ἠδ' Αἰνιῆνας / καὶ διὰ Περραιβούς. [116] In contrast to un-Homeric Lektos, the Ainianes (Ainiē̂nes/Eniē̂nes) and the Perrhaiboi, whom Apollo passes next, are both known from Homer: situated thus between well-known places, Olympus and Pieria, to the north and two Homeric tribes to the south, unknown Lektos makes the same impression as the otherwise unknown {706|707} Argyphea in the group of towns near the Alpheios River in the voyage of the Cretan ship (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 421–424):

ἡ δὲ πρήσσουσα κέλευθον
Ἀρήνην ἵκανε καὶ Ἀργυφέην ἐρατεινὴν
καὶ Θρύον Ἀλφειοῖο πόρον καὶ ἐΰκτιτον Αἶπυ
καὶ Πύλον ἠμαθόεντα Πυλοιγενέας τ' ἀνθρώπους.

Plying its path
it came to Arene and lovely Argyphea
and Thryon, ford of the Alpheios, and well-built Aipy
and sandy Pylos and the Pylos-born men.

Except for Argyphea all the towns in this passage are not only Homeric, but they occur together in the Pylian entry to the Catalogue of Ships: the poet of the hymn follows Homer, but not blindly, for he knows other names, Argyphea and Lektos, in addition to what Homer furnishes.

§5.32 The Ainianes and the Perrhaiboi, who are next to each other in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, are closely paired in the Homeric Catalogue of Ships, where they share one leader; but in the Catalogue of Ships two separate locations are given for these tribes, around Dodona in Epirus, and around the Titaressos River, a tributary of the Peneios River in Thessaly. [117] If the Titaressos River is indeed to be identified with the Europos River in Thessaly, as Strabo says, the two Homeric locations of the Ainianes and the Perrhaiboi {707|708} are widely separated from each other and difficult to reconcile. [118] In historical times both the Ainianes and the Perrhaiboi lived in Thessaly, [119] and Thessaly is what the poet of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo also intends. Like Strabo, the poet may well have had the Europos River in mind for the Homeric Titaressos, for the Europos is on Apollo’s path from Pieria to the next point on his journey after he passes the two tribes, namely Iolkos. Depending on how the poet understood the Homeric Catalogue of Ships, he probably took Thessaly to be not only the historical homeland of the Ainianes and the Perrhaiboi, but their Homeric homeland as well. [120] {708|709}

§5.33 Apollo’s next steps are straightforward and clear: he comes to Iolkos, and then to two places in Euboea, Cape Kenaion in the north and the Lelantine Plain further south (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 218–220):

τάχα δ' εἰς Ἰαωλκὸν ἵκανες,
Κηναίου τ' ἐπέβης ναυσικλείτης Εὐβοίης·
στῆς δ' ἐπὶ Ληλάντῳ πεδίῳ.

And soon you came to Iolcus,
and set foot on Kenaion in Euboea, famous for ships,
and stood on the Lelantine Plain.

Apollo rejects the Lelantine Plain as the site for his temple and crosses the Euripos strait from Euboea into Boeotia (lines 220–222); the first places he comes to in Boeotia, after an unnamed mountain, are Mykalessos and Teumessos, which are on a straight line to Thebes, the next point on his journey (lines 223–224). [121] Here, as elsewhere, the poet archaizes, saying that Thebes was not yet inhabited, but was still covered with forest (lines 225–228). [122] Next Apollo comes to Onkhestos, the site of a cult to Poseidon, {709|710} where the ritual of horses, chariots, and drivers who leap to the ground, and who dedicate their chariots if they crash, is described at length (lines 229–238). So far all is in order, but now we come to the one real exception to the hymn’s geographical coherence. Before Apollo reaches the next town, Haliartos, he crosses the Kephisos River and (passes) the town of Okalea (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 239–243):

ἔνθεν δὲ προτέρω ἔκιες ἑκατηβόλ' ῎Απολλον·
Κηφισὸν δ' ἄρ' ἔπειτα κιχήσαο καλλιρέεθρον,
ὅς τε Λιλαίηθεν προχέει καλλίρροον ὕδωρ·
τὸν διαβὰς Ἑκάεργε καὶ Ὠκαλέην πολύπυργον
ἔνθεν ἄρ' εἰς Ἁλίαρτον ἀφίκεο ποιήεντα.

You went on from there, far-shooter Apollo,
and came then to the beautiful-flowing Kephisos,
which pours forth its beautiful-flowing water from Lilaia;
crossing it, far-worker, and many-towered Okalea,
you came from there to grassy Haliartos.

Here something has gone badly wrong, for the Kephisos River, which does indeed rise near the town of Lilaia, north of Delphi and Mount Parnassos in Phokis, empties into the western end of the Kopaic Lake. Onkhestos and Haliartos, on the other hand, border the south shore of the Kopaic Lake at its eastern end. Apollo, who is moving west, is nowhere near the Kephisos River as yet, nor will he ever have to cross it on his way to Delphi. If the Kephisos River is wildly out of place, the town of Okalea is less so, but it too is on the wrong side of Haliartos, some thirty stades west of that town according to Strabo. [123] Apollo, for whatever reason, approaches Haliartos from the wrong direction. For now I simply note that the problem lies in lines 239–242, and continue to follow Apollo’s journey westward, first to Haliartos (line 243), and onward to Delphi from there. From Haliartos Apollo first proceeds to the spring of Telphousa, where he proposes to build his temple, but the nymph Telphousa persuades {710|711} him to go on to Krisa instead (lines 244–276). The final point on Apollo’s journey before he reaches his destination in Krisa involves another anomaly, but only an apparent one. This is the city of the hybristic Phlegyai, who dwell in a valley near the “Kephisis Lake” (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 277–280):

ἔνθεν δὲ προτέρω ἔκιες ἑκατηβόλ' Ἄπολλον,
ἷξες δ' ἐς Φλεγύων ἀνδρῶν πόλιν ὑβριστάων,
οἳ Διὸς οὐκ ἀλέγοντες ἐπὶ χθονὶ ναιετάασκον
ἐν καλῇ βήσσῃ Κηφισίδος ἐγγύθι λίμνης.

You went on from there, far-shooter Apollo,
and came to the city of the Phlegyai, violent men,
who, having no regard for Zeus, live upon the earth
in a beautiful valley near the Kephisis Lake.

The city of the Phlegyai, as we know from Strabo and Pausanias, was Panopeus, which lay in Phokis about halfway from Telphousa to Delphi. [124] But the “Kephisis Lake” (Κηφισὶς λίμνη), near which the city is said to lie, is another name for the Kopaic Lake, [125] and Panopeus does not lie near the Kopaic Lake, but 15 kilometers west of it. It has been suggested that by the “Kephisis Lake” is meant the Kephisos River, to which Panopeus is closer, although the town does not lie on the river either, but some distance south of it. The solution to the problem, I think, lies in another direction. According to Pausanias, before the hybristic Phlegyai moved westward to their historical home in Phokis, they lived in Orkhomenos in Boeotia; [126] unlike Panopeus, Orkhomenos lay next to the Kopaic Lake, at its western end where the Kephisos River emptied into it. Again the poet archaizes. The implication is {711|712} that at the time of Apollo’s journey the Phlegyai still occupied the land of Orkhomenos, “near the Kephisis Lake,” and that perhaps Orkhomenos itself did not yet exist. [127] But if Orkhomenos did not yet exist, neither did Thebes, the successor to Orkhomenos’s glory in Boeotia; that point, as seen, was anticipated in the hymn when Apollo passed the site of future Thebes, still covered in trees.

§5.34 The location of the Phlegyai in the hymn is against expectation, and very deliberately so: the initial impression is that their “city” is Panopeus, but this impression is corrected by the phrase Κηφισίδος ἐγγύθι λίμνης, “near the Kephisis Lake,” at the end of the passage. This sets the stage for a similar dislocation in the second part of the hymn, where Elis is placed not where it was known to be historically, but in western Achaea. [128] The dislocation of Elis is vital to the hymn’s main purpose, which is to create a picture of Pylos and the Pylian kingdom lying north of the Alpheios River. That purpose, I think, is already served in Apollo’s journey past the city of the Phlegyai. With the shift of the Phlegyai from Phokis to Boeotia, the final stages of Apollo’s journey are not as evenly spaced as they would be otherwise: Phokis is now a blank apart from Krisa. This too has a counterpart in the second part of the hymn, where Messenia is a blank. The omission of Messenia is of course also an essential part of the hymn’s principal objective, and it seems to be anticipated by the imbalance between the final two stages of Apollo’s journey to Delphi.

§5.35 I return now to lines 239–242, where Apollo temporarily ceases to move west through Boeotia in well-measured stages, as he does both before and after these lines, and is suddenly far off to the west crossing the Kephisos River in the wrong direction and moving eastward through Okalea {712|713} toward Haliartos, the next point in his interrupted westward journey. Like two other passages in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, namely the passage threatening a change of regime at Delphi and the passage devoted to Hera’s birth of Typhaon, this passage too must be an expansion of the hymn on the part of the victors in the First Sacred War. The earlier hymn, which would have had the sanction of the former regime at Delphi, was appropriated by the victors of the Sacred War by right of conquest. The earlier hymn was politically charged insofar as it reflected Spartan propaganda following the Second Messenian War, and this propaganda would not have been acceptable to the victors in the First Sacred War: the earlier hymn pictures a Pylos north of the Alpheios River, but Athens, one of the victors in the Sacred War, never forgot that Pylos once lay in Messenia, before Sparta put an end to it there. The key to the Spartan reinterpretation of Pylian geography in the hymn is the Alpheios River, which the Cretan ship passes before it reaches Pylos on its way north. It is no accident that another river, the Kephisos, has been woven into the hymn by means of an expansion, and that this river makes nonsense of Apollo’s journey west through Boeotia. The effect of this is to undermine the meaning of the voyage north of the Cretan ship: the expansion reverses the relative locations of Haliartos and the Kephisos River in order to show that the relative locations of Pylos and the Alpheios River in the hymn are also backwards. With the inclusion of lines 239–242 none of the hymn’s geography can any longer be taken seriously. [129]

§5.36 If we look at lines 239–242 more closely there are clear signs that the passage represents an expansion of the earlier hymn. Line 241, describing the source of the Kephisos River, is also found in Hesiod with only a minor variation of the verb (προΐει, “sends forth,” instead of προχέει, “pours forth”): ὅς τε Λιλαίηθεν προΐει καλλίρροον ὕδωρ, “which sends forth its beautiful-flowing water from Lilaia” (Hesiod fr. 70.18 MW = fr. 37 Rz.). [130] The correspondence {713|714} with Hesiod, like such correspondences elsewhere, points toward a sixth-century Athenian borrowing from the Catalogue of Women; there is agreement here with the hymn’s other two expansions, which, as seen, also probably had an Athenian origin. [131] In line 242, “having crossed it (the Kephisos River) and Okalea,” the construction with two objects of a single verb is highly compressed, and the second object, Okalea, does not really fit the verb’s meaning “crossed”: Okalea has been squeezed in to provide a reference for line 243, “from there you arrived at Haliartos,” and to show the backwards direction of Apollo’s journey at this point. Without lines 239–242 the description of the chariot ritual at Onkhestos, which ends at line 238, is not followed by the generic line 239: ἔνθεν δὲ προτέρω ἔκιες ἑκατηβόλ' Ἄπολλον, “you went on from there, far-shooter Apollo,” but by the specific line 243: ἔνθεν ἄρ' εἰς Ἁλίαρτον ἀφίκεο ποιήεντα, “from there you came to grassy Haliartos.” The generic line and the specific line begin the same, and, as far as the transition from line 238 is concerned, nothing is missed when lines 239–242 are omitted. [132]

§5.37 As the Homeric Hymn to Apollo confirms, there was a real contest in the early sixth century as to the location of Homeric Pylos. There were moves and countermoves in this contest, and no resolution was reached. As a sign that the Spartan position did not simply give way after the First Sacred War, however much the Homeric Hymn to Apollo was neutralized by the victors of that war, I repeat the fact that in Odyssey 15.297 the entire manuscript tradition follows the Spartan version of Telemachus’s voyage home from Pylos: the manuscripts all read Pherás instead of Pheás. How this version of the voyage was able to establish itself I do not know, but the fact is that it did.

§5.38 Odyssey 15 and the Homeric Hymn to Apollo provide the main evidence of the Spartan attempt to shift the location of Homeric Pylos from Messenia to Elis after the Second Messenian War, but there is another important piece of evidence still to consider, from the Iliad. As in Odyssey 15 and the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, the point at issue is again the location of Pylos relative to the town {714|715} of Pheaí, on the coast of Elis, but in the Iliad the form of the name is Pheiá, in the singular, and with ei for e. In Iliad 7, to shame the Achaeans into meeting Hector in single combat, Nestor tells how he once accepted the challenge of the club-wielding Arcadian giant Ereuthalion, and slew him. The Pylians were at war with the Arcadians, their neighbors to the east, and the battle between champions took place at the Keladon River, where the two armies fought. This, at least, is how the story begins in Iliad 7.133–134, but in the next line, 135, an additional location is given, and an additional river is specified, the Iardanos: this line sets the battle “by the walls of Pheia” (Iliad 7.133–136):

ἡβῷμ' ὡς ὅτ' ἐπ' ὠκυρόῳ Κελάδοντι μάχοντο
ἀγρόμενοι Πύλιοί τε καὶ Ἀρκάδες ἐγχεσίμωροι
Φειᾶς πὰρ τείχεσσιν Ἰαρδάνου ἀμφὶ ῥέεθρα.
τοῖσι δ' Ἐρευθαλίων πρόμος ἵστατο ἰσόθεος φὼς.

I wish I were young, as when, beside the swift-flowing Keladon,
the assembled Pylians and the spear-mad Arcadians fought,
by the walls of Pheia around the streams of the Iardanos,
and Ereuthalion, a godlike man, stood as their champion.

The location of the battle beside two different rivers has long been suspected, and the presence of Pheia in the story has seemed wholly inexplicable: how can Pheia, ten miles north of the Alpheios River on the coast of Elis, have been the site of a battle between Pylos and Arcadia? [133] The answer, however, is clear: {715|716} the Pylos envisaged by Iliad 7.135 lay in Elis, north of the Alpehios, and also north of Pheia, just as it does in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo. When the Arcadians attacked this Pylos, they first had to pass Pheia, where Nestor stopped them by slaying their champion. Iliad 7.135 is an expansion of Nestor’s story, which is intended to change the site of his battle from Arcadia to the coast of Elis. [134] The presence of the town Pheia in Iliad 7.135 must be viewed together with the absence of the town Pheai in the manuscript tradition of Odyssey 15.297: Pheia is a correction of Pheai both as to the form of the name (singular Pheia, not plural Pheai), and as to the town’s location relative to Nestor’s Pylos (south of it, not north). The one-line expansion of Nestor’s story in Iliad 7 and the one-word change in Telemachus’s voyage home in Odyssey 15 constitute the entire reworking of Homer with respect to the location of Pylos in Elis. Everything else in the poems stayed the same because no other change was needed. [135] {716|719}


[ back ] 50. Pheai is about 12 kilometers north of the Alpheios mouth (see Map 3 for key locations in the following discussion). The singular form Pheia is used of the town in Iliad 7.135 (see §5.38 below); this form is also used of the town by Thucydides (in e.g. 2.25.4, where the name of the cape is said to be Ichthys). According to Strabo 8.3.12 Pheia was the name of the cape as well as the town; Strabo goes on to mention another cape, for which no name occurs in the text but Ichthys is conjectured. There seems to be some confusion here, for there is only one cape, and its historical name was Ichthys. It is easy (also correct?) to think of the landmark on Telemachus’s voyage as the cape, and perhaps this was in Strabo’s mind.

[ back ] 51. Strabo 8.3.27 makes the same point. The location for the Eleian Pylos suggested by Strabo 8.3.7 (Cape Khelonatas, see n5.47 above) is some 30 kilometers north of Pheai.

[ back ] 52. The reading Pheás is given by Strabo 8.3.26, the scholia to Iliad 7.135 (citing Aristarchus), and the scholia to Odyssey 15.297. The reading Pherás of the Homeric manuscripts stands for the Achaean city of Pharaí. For the location of this city see Map 3; Pausanias 7.22.1 gives the location in terms of distance west from Patrai (150 stades) and south from the coast (70 stades): Φαραὶ δέ, Ἀχαιῶν πόλις, …ὁδὸς δὲ ἐς Φαρὰς Πατρέων μὲν ἐκ τοῦ ἄστεως στάδιοι πεντήκοντά εἰσι καὶ ἑκατόν, ἀπὸ θαλάσσης δὲ ἄνω πρὸς ἤπειρον περὶ ἑβδομήκοντα, “Pharai, a city of the Achaeans, …the road to Pharai from the city of Patrai is 150 stades, and inland from the sea toward the interior about 70 stades.” Herodotus 1.145 names this city Φαρέες and locates it between Patrees (Patrai) and Olenos in his list of the twelve Achaean cities: Πατρέες καὶ Φαρέες καὶ Ὤλενος. Strabo 8.7.5 names the city Φάρα in the singular: ἡ δὲ Φάρα συνορεῖ μὲν τῇ Δυμαίᾳ. καλοῦνται δὲ οἱ μὲν ἐκ ταύτης τῆς Φάρας Φαριεῖς, οἱ δ' ἐκ τῆς Μεσσηνιακῆς Φαραιᾶται, “Phara borders on the territory of Dyme. Those from this city Phara are called Pharieîs, those from the Messenian city Pharaiā̂tai.” Towns with the actual name Φεραί are found in Thessaly (e.g. Iliad 2.711, Odyssey 4.798) and in Aetolia (Stephanus of Byzantium s.v.). For Φηραία in Strabo 8.3.32, and its apparent relation to Achaean Pharai, see EN5.6 to n5.35 above.

[ back ] 53. “Swift islands” seems to mean no more than “islands”; a specific group of islands has not been identified and is probably not meant (see Strabo 8.3.26 for ancient speculation about the Ekhinades near the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth). In the older version of Odyssey 15 Telemachus left the Peloponnesian coast at Cape Pheai and headed for the “islands” (one of which was Ithaca), and the coast of Elis past Cape Pheai played no part in the voyage.

[ back ] 54. Cf. Aloni 1989:101, who develops an explanation for the hymn’s geography based on the premise that the poet had no direct knowledge of the Peloponnesus; cf. also Aloni 2006:58–61.

[ back ] 55. The Pylian catalogue begins with Pylos because of this city’s importance; the hymn changes this non-geographical order into a geographical order by putting Pylos after the Alpheios River and by substituting Argyphea for Pylos in the line with Arene.

[ back ] 56. Strabo 8.3.9 cites Hecataeus for Dyme as an Epeian city (φησὶ δὲ καὶ τὴν Δύμην Ἐπειίδα καὶ Ἀχαιίδα; the first part of this passage is quoted below). Castelnuovo 2002:159–163 argues that the name Dyme, which is not in Homer, was coined in the seventh century BC when the region, previously nameless, was synoecized and separated itself from Elis (Eusebius attests a war between Dyme and Elis in 668 BC that may have taken place in this context; see Castelnuovo 2002:162) and became instead the westernmost part of Achaea (various sources, including Strabo 8.7.5 [387], interpret the name Dyme to mean “sunset/western”; so interpreted the name must reflect the town’s position in Achaea; see Castelnuovo 2002:160 with n7 and Wilamowitz 2006:320; Wilamowitz shows from Pausanias 7.17.7 that the name Dyme in the list of eighth-century BC Olympic victors [for the year 756 BC see 2006:320n1102] is an anachronism). Hecataeus, in contrast to other sources, considers Epeians and Eleians different peoples in that he makes the Epeians join Heracles in attacking Elis: Ἑκαταῖος δ' ὁ Μιλήσιος ἑτέρους λέγει τῶν Ἠλείων τοὺς Ἐπειούς· τῷ γοῦν Ἡρακλεῖ συστρατεῦσαι τοὺς Ἐπειοὺς ἐπὶ Αὐγέαν καὶ συνανελεῖν αὐτῷ τόν τε Αὐγέαν καὶ τὴν Ἦλιν, “Hecataeus the Milesian says that the Epeians are different from the Eleians; at any rate he says that the Epeians campaigned with Heracles against Augeias and that together they destroyed Augeias and Elis” (Strabo 8.3.9). Castelnuovo 2002:168–171 argues that Elis and Dyme made rival claims to Epeian ancestry and that Hecataeus follows Dyme’s version. The Homeric Hymn to Apollo, like other sources including Homer (cf. Wilamowitz 2006:334), identifies the Epeians with the Eleians (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 426, quoted above in text). Elis, which is located east of Dyme in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, is apparently imagined as a moving entity in the migration of the Eleian people before they reached their final destination. Here the poet archaizes on the basis of historical tradition: the Eleians came to the Peloponnesus from Aetolia according to Pausanias 5.1.3, and their dialect, which was Northwest Greek, attests to their origin outside the Peloponnesus (cf. Lafond DNP ‘Elis’ 994; Castelnuovo 2002:169 with n51). Wilamowitz 2006:322 suggests a similar archaizing view of Eleians as one time Aetolians in Iliad 23.633, which refers to Aetolians as competitors at Bouprasion in the distant past of Nestor’s youth. In the mythic time imagined by the Homeric Hymn to Apollo the Eleians are established in the Peloponnesus, but they have not yet reached their ultimate homeland; they have advanced, as it were, to their penultimate homeland. On this interpretation the name Elis, which is in fact a geographical term (cf. Wilamowitz 2006:322, and, for the name’s possible correspondence with Latin valles, see Walde-Hofmann 1938–1954 s.v. valles and Dräger’s note at Wilamowitz 2006:290n948), represents the Eleian people before they became known as such. This picture of Eleian migration is consistent with the Dorian myth of the return of the Herakleidai, which was doubtless known to the poet of the Pythian Hymn to Apollo (Tyrtaeus fr. 2.12–15 West, which is roughly contemporary with the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, says that the Herakleidai came to Sparta from Erineos in the north; see Parker OCD 3 ‘Heraclidae’). For the archaizing view of Elis’s location in the Pythian Hymn to Apollo cf. Frame 2006:10 and n23; there is further discussion in EN5.8 to n5.62 below.

[ back ] 57. Note the variation between ἐπειγομένη, “driven by,” in Odyssey 15 and ἀγαλλομένη, “exulting in,” in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (Strabo 8.3.26 actually quotes Odyssey 15.297 with the word ἀγαλλομένη of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo). The variation in the hymn looks deliberate, as if to highlight the real issue in the line, the variation between Φεράς and Φεάς.

[ back ] 58. The simultaneous appearance of the three other islands in line 429 is also meant to evoke the Odyssey, where the line is used repeatedly to link these islands with Ithaca. Directly relevant to the Homeric Hymn to Apollo is the passage in which Odysseus reveals his identity to the Phaeacians, for here Ithaca’s conspicuous (ἀριπρεπές) Mount Neriton is also mentioned (Odyssey 9.21–24):

ναιετάω δ' Ἰθάκην εὐδείελον· ἐν δ' ὄρος αὐτῇ,
Νήριτον εἰνοσίφυλλον, ἀριπρεπές· ἀμφὶ δὲ νῆσοι
πολλαὶ ναιετάουσι μάλα σχεδὸν ἀλλήλῃσι,
Δουλίχιόν τε Σάμη τε καὶ ὑλήεσσα Ζάκυνθος.

I dwell in shining Ithaca; there is a mountain in it,
Neriton with fluttering leaves, standing out clearly; around it
many islands lie very close to each other,
Doulichion and Same and wooded Zakynthos.

Cf. also Odyssey 1.245–247, 16.122–124, 19.130–132.

[ back ] 59. What the three virtual quotations imply about a largely fixed state of the Homeric text, regardless whether oral or written, when the Pythian Hymn to Apollo was composed is considered in Frame 2006; cf. Förstel 1979:210–211 and Janko 1982:77–78, 129–131. Solon’s use of Homer, discussed in n4.149 above, also raises a question about the state of the Homeric text, which was presumably no less fixed for him than it was for the Homeric Hymn to Apollo; variation in the early stages of the Homeric text is illuminated by Rengakos 2000, who discusses the relationship between Alcman fr. 81 Page [PMG 82] and Zenodotus’s reading of Odyssey 6.244–245, and also between Stesichorus fr. 78 Page [PMG 255] and Zenodotus’s reading of Iliad 21.575; cf. also Noussia 2002, discussed in n4.149 above. With regard to the passage of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo quoted above I make a further observation: as noted earlier, the Cretan ship first turns east at Cape Araxos en route to Dyme and Pherai, and it sails a considerable distance eastward before the sailors catch sight of Ithaca, which, paradoxically, is behind them, to the west, receding or disappearing from view; the hymn does not acknowledge this paradox, but makes it appear that the eastward segment of the voyage does not begin until the Gulf of Krisa is entered (ἄψορροι δὴ ἔπειτα πρὸς ἠῶ τ' ἠέλιόν τε / ἔπλεον, “they sailed back toward the dawn and the sun,” lines 436–437). The geography is twisted, but consistent.

[ back ] 60. The line, which is the same in the two texts, follows smoothly in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (the prepositional phrase ἠδὲ παρ' Ἤλιδα δῖαν, “and past shining Elis,” is parallel to the two prepositional phrases that precede it: βῆ δὲ παρὰ Κρουνοὺς καὶ Χαλκίδα καὶ παρὰ Δύμην, “it went past Krounoi and Khalkis and past Dyme”), but in the Odyssey, as already mentioned, the line is added only loosely (ἠδὲ παρ' Ἤλιδα δῖαν is not parallel to Φεὰς, the object of the verb ἐπέβαλλεν, “made for”). The line in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo is itself an adaptation of two Homeric lines, which differ in the opening from the line in the Hymn to Apollo, and which also have a slight variation between themselves (ἢ εἰς Ἤλιδα δῖαν, ὅθι κρατέουσιν Ἐπειοί, Odyssey 13.275, and ἢ καὶ ἐς Ἤλιδα δῖαν, ὅθι κρατέουσιν Ἐπειοί, Odyssey 24.431, both lines meaning “or into shining Elis, where the Epeians have power”).

[ back ] 61. Strabo 8.3.13, proceeding from north to south, puts these places just north of Samikon in Triphylia: εἶτα τὸ διεῖργον ὄρος τῆς Τριφυλίας τὴν Μακιστίαν ἀπὸ τῆς Πισάτιδος· εἶτ' ἄλλος ποταμὸς Χαλκὶς καὶ κρήνη Κρουνοὶ καὶ κατοικία Χαλκίς, καὶ τὸ Σαμικὸν μετὰ ταῦτα, ὅπου τὸ μάλιστα τιμώμενον τοῦ Σαμίου Ποσειδῶνος ἱερόν, “Then the mountain of Triphylia that separates Makistia from the Pisatis; then another river Chalkis and spring Krounoi and settlement Chalkis, and after these Samikon, where the most honored temple of Samian Poseidon is.” In 8.3.26 Strabo quotes the line in question (Odyssey 15.295) with the epithet καλλιρέεθρον, “beautiful-flowing,” qualifying Χαλκίδα, making Khalkis a river (cf. ποταμὸς Χαλκίς, “river Khalkis,” in 8.3.13); in 10.1.9 he quotes the same line with the epithet πετρήεσσαν, “rocky,” qualifying Χαλκίδα, making Khalkis a town (cf. κατοικία Χαλκίς, “settlement Khalkis,” in 8.3.13).

[ back ] 62. Strabo’s learned tradition, which goes back to Apollodorus, found two possible references for the name Khalkis in Triphylia, a river and a town, and in Odyssey 15.295 both possibilities were entertained with the variants καλλιρέεθρον and πετρήεσσαν (see previous note). Whether Odyssey 15.295 was actually interpolated by Hellenistic scholarship is a difficult question. Cf. n5.135 below on Iliad 7.133–135 for changes proposed by Hellenistic scholarship to a different passage; as with Odyssey 15.295, the changes to Iliad 7.133–135 are found only in Strabo, but unlike Odyssey 15.295, they are not part of Strabo’s standard text. For the question of Odyssey 15.295, cf. Wilamowitz 2006:341, who attributes the line to someone’s wish to put Pylos in Triphylia (“Wer den Vers zusetzte, war also einer, der Pylos nach Triphylien verlegen wollte”). Two solutions proposed by other scholars to the difficulties of Odyssey 15.295–300 are discussed in EN5.8.

[ back ] 63. There are several changes of subject in this passage: as the passage stands in our texts the ship is the subject in lines 294 and 297; “they” (the sailors) are the subject in line 295; the setting sun and the darkening “ways” are the subjects in line 296; Telemachus is the subject in lines 299–300. Without line 295, in which the subject is “they” (the sailors, verb βάν), the changes of subject are fewer. There is still the change of subject from the ship to Telemachus in the final two lines of the passage; there is also the change of subject from the ship to the setting sun in line 296. But there is only one change of subject (the setting sun in line 296) between two lines in which the ship is subject (294 and 297); this, I think, makes the change of subject back to the ship in line 297 easy enough. As for the change of subject from “it” in line 297 to “he” in line 299, it should be noted that “it” (the ship) follows a fixed course along the shore whereas “he” (Telemachus) changes course and heads out to sea; the different tenses of the verbs ἐπέβαλλεν, “was making for” (imperfect) and ἐπιπροέηκε, “struck out for” (aorist) bring out the difference between inanimate object and human agent.

[ back ] 64. For Messenia as the known location of Nestor’s Pylos in the Homeric era cf. Wilamowitz 2006:331. The rulers of Bronze Age Pylos went to Athens when their city fell, but not the population as a whole. Although the palace at Ano-Englianos was never reoccupied, at Tragana, only 2–3 kilometers to the southwest, a Bronze Age tholos tomb continued to be used for new burials in the sub-Mycenaean and Protogeometric periods; see Kiechle 1960:7–8; Desborough 1952:281–283; Wace 1956:132–133; Webster 1964:137; Wade-Gery 1948:117. According to several passages in Pausanias Pylian survivors were still living on the Messenian coast during the Second Messenian War: when the Messenians retreated to Mount Hira after the Battle of the Great Trench, the people of Pylos and Methone (to the south of Pylos) continued to preserve the coastal districts for them (Μεσσήνιοι δὲ ὡς ἐς τὴν Εἶραν ‹ἀνῳκίσθησαν,› τῆς δὲ ἄλλης ἐξείργοντο πλὴν ὅσον σφίσιν οἱ Πύλιοι τὰ ἐπὶ θαλάσσῃ καὶ οἱ Μοθωναῖοι διέσωζον, “When the Messenians moved inland to Mount Hira, they were cut off from the rest of the country except as far as the Pylians and the Methonaians preserved the coastal regions for them,” Pausanias 4.18.1); when Mount Hira was finally captured and the Messenians were enslaved, the people of Pylos and Methone took to ships and left their old homes (τῶν δὲ Μεσσηνίων ὁπόσοι περὶ τὴν Εἶραν ἢ καὶ ἑτέρωθί που τῆς Μεσσηνίας ἐγκατελήφθησαν, τούτους μὲν οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι προσένειμαν ἐς τὸ εἱλωτικόν· Πύλιοι δὲ καὶ Μοθωναῖοι καὶ ὅσοι τὰ παραθαλάσσια ᾤκουν, [καὶ] ναυσὶν ὑπὸ τὴν ἅλωσιν τῆς Εἴρας ἀπαίρουσιν ἐς Κυλλήνην τὸ ἐπίνειον τὸ Ἠλείων, “The Messenians who were captured around Mount Hira or elsewhere in Messenia the Spartans assigned to the helot class; but the Pylians and Methonaians and those who occupied the sea coast departed in ships for Cyllene, the seaport of the Eleians, at about the time of the capture of Mount Hira,” Pausanias 4.23.1); see n5.91 for a third passage, Pausanias 3.3.4. Not all of what Pausanias says in the two passages above is reliable, but the departure of the Pylians from the Peloponnesus c. 600 BC appears to be solidly historical; the issue is discussed in EN5.9. Memories of a distinct Pylian population in Messenia seem to be preserved in fifth-century authors, but as early as Pindar Pylians are called Messenians (cf. Kiechle 1959:53–56 and n5.65 below), who are in turn distinguished from Dorians (Ephorus 70 F 116; cf. Kiechle 1959:43, 68).

[ back ] 65. The new city was probably founded in 365 BC (see Meyer RE ‘Pylos’ 2125). The only real proof of the existence of an earlier city of Pylos on the same site is the persistence of the name Pylos of the site down to the time of the Peloponnesian War (cf. Meyer RE ‘Pylos’ 2123). Herodotus refers to the site as Pylos at the time of the Persian Wars when he tells how the Sicilian Greeks made a show of sending aid against the Persians, but went no further than Pylos and Tainaron: περὶ Πύλον καὶ Ταίναρον γῆς τῆς Λακεδαιμονίων ἀνεκώχευον τὰς νέας, καραδοκέοντες καὶ οὗτοι τὸν πόλεμον τῇ πεσέεται, “They held up their ships around Pylos and Tainaron in the land of the Lacedaemonians, waiting to see which way the war would turn,” Herodotus 7.168.2). The city at Koryphasion, abandoned after the Second Messenian War, was itself a successor to earlier places called Pylos, the first of which would have been the Bronze Age city at Ano-Englianos. There is also evidence of an intermediate location of the city before its final location at Koryphasion: Strabo is the source for a tradition that there was an “old Pylos” (παλαιὰ Πύλος) before the city at Koryphasion; this city, he says, lay under Mount Aigaleon, and when it was destroyed some of the inhabitants moved to Koryphasion (Strabo 8.4.2): ἡ μὲν οὖν παλαιὰ Πύλος ἡ Μεσσηνιακὴ ὑπὸ τῷ Αἰγαλέῳ πόλις ἦν, κατεσπασμένης δὲ ταύτης ἐπὶ τῷ Κορυφασίῳ τινὲς αὐτῶν ᾤκησαν. We do not know for sure what location Strabo had in mind for the old city, nor when the old city was abandoned for the new city at Koryphasion, but in any case the move to Koryphasion must have taken place before the Pylians left the Peloponnesus at the end of the Second Messenian War; the probable location of Strabo’s “old Pylos” at modern Volimidia, five kilometers northeast of Ano-Englianos, is discussed in EN5.10. Although Messenia was regarded as Nestor’s home in the classical period (Pindar Pythian 6.35 calls Nestor Μεσσανίου δὲ γέροντος, “the Messenian old man”), this evidence is discounted by some as relating to the Messenian resurgence of the fourth century BC, which had its roots in the fifth century BC; according to this line of thought the Messenians had to reinvent their entire past, which had been wiped clean during the period of Spartan domination, and it was only in the course of this late process that they laid claim to Nestor and Pylos (see Luraghi 2002:49n21, who follows Visser 1997:522–530 in locating the Homeric Pylos in Triphylia rather than Messenia; for Luraghi’s approach, cf. Siapkas 2003:285). While there may be truth in this analysis of Messenian traditions in general, it does not explain the history of the name Pylos in Messenia.

[ back ] 66. Thucydides 4.3.2; the preceding passage describes the rough and desolate nature of the place, which the Athenians fortified in the spring of 425 BC: κατὰ τύχην χειμὼν ἐπιγενόμενος κατήνεγκε τὰς ναῦς ἐς τὴν Πύλον. καὶ ὁ Δημοσθένης εὐθὺς ἠξίου τειχίζεσθαι τὸ χωρίον (ἐπὶ τοῦτο γὰρ ξυνεκπλεῦσαι), καὶ ἀπέφαινε πολλὴν εὐπορίαν ξύλων τε καὶ λίθων, καὶ φύσει καρτερὸν ὂν καὶ ἐρῆμον αὐτό τε καὶ ἐπὶ πολὺ τῆς χώρας· ἀπέχει γὰρ σταδίους μάλιστα ἡ Πύλος τῆς Σπάρτης τετρακοσίους καὶ ἔστιν ἐν τῇ Μεσσηνίᾳ ποτὲ οὔσῃ γῇ, καλοῦσι δὲ αὐτὴν οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι Κορυφάσιον, “By chance a storm came up and carried the ships into Pylos. Demosthenes at once proposed to fortify the place (he had joined the expedition for this reason), and pointed out that there is an abundant supply of wood and stones, and that the place is naturally strong and, along with much of the rest of the country, uninhabited. Pylos is about four hundred stades from Sparta in what was once the Messenian land; the Spartans call it Koryphasion.”

[ back ] 67. Kiechle 1960:8 argues that the name Pylos belonged to the location before the period of Spartan control since the Spartans, with the name Koryphasion, tried to ignore the memory of it (“…einer Erinnerung, die offensichtlich aus der Zeit vor der Errichtung der spartanischen Herrschaft stammte, da die Spartaner sie zu ignorieren versuchten…”). Hornblower 1996:154–155, commenting on Thucydides 4.3.2, refers to a suggestion of Robin Osborne that the Spartans avoided the name Pylos because they did not wish to give the Messenians credit for Nestor’s city; in my view it was more the case that the Spartans themselves, at least initially, wished to avoid discredit, but the two explanations are not incompatible; in the fifth century the Messenians at Naupaktos had strong feelings for Pylos as a fatherland (Thucydides 4.41.2 and 4.3.3). The name Koryphasion may be pre-Dorian, as Kiechle 1960:6 suggests, but not for the reason that Kiechle gives, namely that -σ- for -σσ- is Arcadian (that would imply an underlying -ky- or -ty-, which cannot be right in this derivative from koruphḗ, “top”). The name Koryphasion belonged to the cape as opposed to the city on the cape; cf. Meyer RE ‘Pylos’ 2126: “The place’s double name, Koryphasion for the cape, Pylos for the city on it, easily led to mistakes” (“Der Doppelname der Örtlichkeit, Koryphasion für das Kap, Pylos für die Stadt darauf führte leicht zu Irrtümern”). Examples of the Spartans’ use of the name Koryphasion are found in the document of the Peace of Nikias (Thucydides 5.18.7) and in the earlier truce document (Thucydides 4.118.4). Xenophon Hellenica 1.2.18 uses the name Koryphasion, perhaps showing his Spartan orientation.

[ back ] 68. Aristotle’s evidence is from the Constitutions as excerpted by Heraclides Lembus (Aristotle fr. 611.10 Rose = Heraclides Lembus 372.10 Dilts): Λυκοῦργος ἐν Σάμῳ ἐγένετο. καὶ τὴν Ὁμήρου ποίησιν παρὰ τῶν ἀπογόνων Κρεοφύλου λαβὼν πρῶτος διεκόμισεν εἰς Πελοπόννησον, “Lycurgus came to Samos. He received Homer’s poetry from the descendants of Kreophylos and was the first to bring it to the Peloponnesus.” Plutarch Lycurgus 4.4 attests the same tradition: ἐκεῖ δὲ καὶ τοῖς Ὁμήρου ποιήμασιν ἐντυχὼν πρῶτον, ὡς ἔοικε, παρὰ τοῖς ἐκγόνοις τοῖς Κρεοφύλου διατηρουμένοις, “He also came upon the poems of Homer there for the first time, preserved, it seems, by the descendants of Kreophylos.” Wilamowitz 1884:267–271 argues that this tradition was invented in the fourth century to overshadow the claim attested in “Plato” Hipparchus 228b that Hipparchus first brought the Homeric poems to Athens (cf. above n2.225 and n2.240). Ritoók 1993:48 reexamines the question and concludes that an independent tradition for Lycurgus cannot be excluded. Kreophylos, who was said to have entertained Homer in his home (Callimachus Epigrams 6 Pfeiffer; cf. Plato Republic 600b), was presumably thought to have received not only the Oikhalias Halosis from Homer (Callimachus Epigrams 6 Pfeifer), but also the Iliad and the Odyssey, which he would then have left to his descendants (Kreophylos is said to have received the Iliad from Homer by the scholia to Plato Republic 600b, but in this account there is contamination with other traditions; cf. Graziosi 2002:191). For a different view from mine of how Kreophylos came to be regarded as Sparta’s link to the Homeric poems, cf. Graziosi 2002:205–206, who suggests that, because Kreophylos had a bad reputation in Athens, the “descendants of Kreophylos” may have been an Athenian invention intended to discredit Spartan claims to Homeric reception; Graziosi presumably thinks that these Spartan claims linked Lycurgus to Homer directly, whereas I take Kreophylos, the intermediary between the two figures, to be an old feature of the Spartan tradition. Variants of the stories linking Homer with both Kreophylos and Lycurgus are discussed in EN5.11.

[ back ] 69. Herodotus 3.47.1. According to what the Samians said, they once sent ships to help the Spartans against the Messenians, and in return for this good deed the Spartans sent an expedition against Polycrates when Samian exiles appealed to them for help; the Spartans maintained that besides this repayment of an earlier good deed they had their own scores to settle with Polycrates: καὶ ἔπειτα παρασκευασάμενοι ἐστρατεύοντο Λακεδαιμόνιοι ἐπὶ Σάμον, ὡς μὲν Σάμιοι λέγουσι, εὐεργεσίας ἐκτίνοντες ὅτι σφι πρότεροι αὐτοὶ νηυσὶ ἐβοήθησαν ἐπὶ Μεσσηνίους, ὡς δὲ Λακεδαιμόνιοι λέγουσι, οὐκ οὕτω τιμωρῆσαι δεομένοισι Σαμίοισι ἐστρατεύοντο ὡς τείσασθαι βουλόμενοι τοῦ κρητῆρος τῆς ἁρπαγῆς, τὸν ἦγον Κροίσῳ, κτλ., “Then the Spartans made preparations and sent an expedition against Samos, repaying, as the Samians say, a good deed, in that they themselves had earlier come with ships to the Spartans’ aid against the Messenians; but the Spartans say that they did not make war so much to avenge the Samians at their request, but because they wished to exact punishment for the robbery of a mixing bowl which they were bringing to Croesus,” etc. Kiechle 1959:33 reasonably argues that the ships once sent by Samos against the Messenians were instead (or more specifically) sent against the Pylians and the other coastal populations of Messenia during the Second Messenian War. While the episode is undated in Herodotus, it clearly preceded the tyranny of Polycrates; Kiechle’s dating of it to the Second Messenian War has been accepted by others (Jeffery 1976:120; Cartledge 1982:259; cf. Huxley 1962:74). Cartledge argues that there was a centuries-long “special relationship” between Sparta and Samos, and that, to judge by the exchange of goods between them, this relationship began by c. 650 BC (Cartledge 1982:255).

[ back ] 70. Concerning the tradition that Lycurgus brought the Homeric poems to Sparta from Samos, Cartledge 1982:252 remarks that “this is just the sort of anecdote that would tend to become attached to a chronologically fluid wonder-worker like Lykourgos.” As the date for the tradition (first found in Aristotle) linking Lycurgus with the Kreophyleioi, Janko 1992:31n50 suggests the late sixth century BC, in the time of Polycrates; I would move this back to the early sixth or late seventh century BC, i.e. to the end of the Second Messenian War: if Sparta was embarrassed by what had happened to Nestor’s descendants in Messenia, so must Samos have been, after providing the naval force to drive them out. The idea that Nestor’s kingdom had never been in Messenia, but in Elis, could well have been the result of Spartan-Samian connivance, especially if Samos had the Kreophyleioi to vouch for the small but necessary change to the Homeric poems (the letter rho in Pherás). For the Kreophyleioi and Homeric poetry, cf. n4.143 above.

[ back ] 71. Homeric Hymn to Apollo 540–544 (a lacuna seems to precede):

ἠέ τι τηΰσιον ἔπος ἔσσεται ἠέ τι ἔργον,
ὕβρις θ', ἣ θέμις ἐστὶ καταθνητῶν ἀνθρώπων,
ἄλλοι ἔπειθ' ὑμῖν σημάντορες ἄνδρες ἔσονται,
τῶν ὑπ' ἀναγκαίῃ δεδμήσεσθ' ἤματα πάντα.
εἴρηταί τοι πάντα, σὺ δὲ φρεσὶ σῇσι φύλαξαι.

There will be either some rash word or deed,
and insolence, as is the way of mortal men,
then there will be other masters over you,
under whose compulsion you will be subjected forever.
Everything has been told to you, but you guard it in your heart.

With the second person singular pronoun σύ in line 544 Apollo addresses the leader of the Cretan priests (the Κρητῶν ἀγός of line 525).

[ back ] 72. See Forrest 1956, especially pp. 34–35. The reality of the First Sacred War is challenged by Robertson 1978. Davies 1994 takes account of Robertson’s argument (summarized on p. 197) and more recent work (pp. 197–200) but reaches no conclusion about the war, saying only that it (the war) remains a plausible hypothesis (p. 206); he is similarly agnostic about the final lines of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (p. 193): “Allusions which may or may not be to the war have been detected in late archaic poetry in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, lines 540–544 (Forrest, 1956), and in the last lines (478–480) of the Hesiodic Aspis (Parke and Boardman 1957)” (for the Hesiodic Aspis/Shield see also Guillon 1963:18–19). The city destroyed in the Sacred War is sometimes called Krisa, sometimes Kirrha; for the problem of the two names, see Daverio Rocchi DNP ‘Krisa’: Kirrha, a port on the gulf, was inhabited in the classical period and after on the evidence of archaeological remains; the sacred plain, which was perhaps the site of Homeric Krisa (there are late Mycenaean and earlier remains on a spur 1.5 kilometers north of Kirrha; for the spur cf. the phrase Κρισαῖον λόφον, “crest of Krisa,” in Pindar Pythian 5.37) was apparently not inhabited later. In ancient tradition Kirrha and Krisa were equated. Sources for the First Sacred War (Aeschines Against Ctesiphon 107–113, Plutarch Solon 11, Pausanias 10.37.5–8; all quoted in Davies 1994:206–210) use the form Kirrha; Pausanias says that Krisa was an older name of the city.

[ back ] 73. See Forrest 1956:36–44 for grievances that the victors may have had against Delphi in the period before the war. These grievances are discussed in EN5.12.

[ back ] 74. Parke and Wormel 1956, vol. 1, 107–108 accept this interpretation.

[ back ] 75. Cf. Davies 1994:203: “The final lines of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo can hardly be read otherwise than as a warning, or more plausibly as a prophecy (presumably post eventum), that one regime at the shrine would be violently succeeded by another. Given that the whole poem as we have it is concerned to provide a divine charter for the oracle as Apollo’s, and given that lines 388ff. are concerned to provide the Kretan sailors who had been hijacked by Apollo’s epiphany with a charter as priests of the sanctuary, these final lines are disconcerting. To propose the existence of a lacuna between lines 539 and 540 does not help much, for the final lines will still explicitly cancel the charter. Unless they belong to a wholly different poem, they have to be read, I think, as an addition, tacked on to accommodate a new reality as economically as possible.”

[ back ] 76. In the hymn the name Delphi does not occur, only Krísē (lines 269, 282, 431, 438, 445; the people are Krísaioi, line 446); in the hymn Krisa is Delphi.

[ back ] 77. The transition from the she-dragon (ἥ in line 302) to the story of Hera and Typhaon is as follows (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 302–307):

κακὰ πολλὰ
ἀνθρώπους ἔρδεσκεν ἐπὶ χθονί, πολλὰ μὲν αὐτοὺς
πολλὰ δὲ μῆλα ταναύποδ' ἐπεὶ πέλε πῆμα δαφοινόν.
καί ποτε δεξαμένη χρυσοθρόνου ἔτρεφεν Ἥρης
δεινόν τ' ἀργαλέον τε Τυφάονα πῆμα βροτοῖσιν,
ὅν ποτ' ἄρ' Ἥρη ἔτικτε χολωσαμένη Διὶ πατρὶ….

Who did many evils
to men on earth—many to the men themselves
and many to thin-shanked sheep, since she was a bloody woe.
She once received from golden-throned Hera, and then raised up,
terrible cruel Typhaon, a woe to mortals,
whom Hera bore out of anger with father Zeus….

[ back ] 78. The transition from the story of Hera and Typhaon back to the she-dragon (τῇ in line 356) is as follows (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 351–358):

ἡ δ' ἔτεκ' οὔτε θεοῖς ἐναλίγκιον οὔτε βροτοῖσι
δεινόν τ' ἀργαλέον τε Τυφάονα πῆμα βροτοῖσιν.
αὐτίκα τόνδε λαβοῦσα βοῶπις πότνια Ἥρη
δῶκεν ἔπειτα φέρουσα κακῷ κακόν, ἡ δ' ὑπέδεκτο·
ὃς κακὰ πόλλ' ἔρδεσκε κατὰ κλυτὰ φῦλ' ἀνθρώπων.
ὃς τῇ γ' ἀντιάσειε, φέρεσκέ μιν αἴσιμον ἦμαρ
πρίν γέ οἱ ἰὸν ἐφῆκεν ἄναξ ἑκάεργος Ἀπόλλων

She bore terrible cruel Typhaon, a woe to mortals,
who was like neither gods nor mortals.
Taking him revered ox-eyed Hera
brought and gave this evil one to another evil one, and she received him;
he worked many evils among the famous tribes of men.
Whoever met her, his day of doom would carry him off,
until the far-worker lord Apollo shot her
with a strong arrow.

[ back ] 79. Allen and Sikes, in the first edition of their commentary on the Homeric Hymns (Allen and Sikes 1904), regarded lines 305–355 of the Hymn to Apollo as not original in their present context; they noted, in particular, the fact that Typhaon’s fate is not told in the hymn (see on lines 305–355 and on line 355). Allen and Halliday, in the second edition of the commentary (Allen, Halliday, and Sikes 1936), no longer comment on the problems of the passage’s present placement, but no reason is given for the change.

[ back ] 80. Without the long expansion the story of Apollo and the she-dragon is as follows (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 300–304, 356–359):

ἀγχοῦ δὲ κρήνη καλλίρροος ἔνθα δράκαιναν
κτεῖνεν ἄναξ Διὸς υἱὸς ἀπὸ κρατεροῖο βιοῖο
ζατρεφέα μεγάλην τέρας ἄγριον, κακὰ πολλὰ
ἀνθρώπους ἔρδεσκεν ἐπὶ χθονί, πολλὰ μὲν αὐτοὺς
πολλὰ δὲ μῆλα ταναύποδ' ἐπεὶ πέλε πῆμα δαφοινόν·
ὃς τῇ γ' ἀντιάσειε, φέρεσκέ μιν αἴσιμον ἦμαρ
πρίν γέ οἱ ἰὸν ἐφῆκεν ἄναξ ἑκάεργος Ἀπόλλων
καρτερόν· ἡ δ' ὀδύνῃσιν ἐρεχθομένη χαλεπῇσι
κεῖτο μέγ' ἀσθμαίνουσα κυλινδομένη κατὰ χῶρον.

Nearby is the beautiful-flowing spring where the lord,
the son of Zeus, killed the she-dragon with his strong bow,
a wild monster grown to great size, who did many evils
to men on earth—many to the men themselves
and many to thin-shanked sheep, since she was a bloody woe.
Whoever met her, his day of doom would carry him off,
until the far-worker lord Apollo shot her
with a strong arrow. She, wracked with harsh pains,
lay heaving great gasps, writhing about the place.

The pronoun τῇ in line 356 (ὃς τῇ γ' ἀντιάσειε, “whoever met her”) has a much clearer reference when line 356 immediately follows line 304, as above, than when it follows line 355 (see n5.78 above for text). In the hymn as we have it the transition to the expansion and the transition back to the main story both seem unnatural. Cf. Allen and Sikes 1904 on lines 305–355: “The connexion of the δράκαινα with Typhaon is very forced”; and on line 355: “Nothing more is said of Typhaon. …the poem returns to the dragoness, by a very abrupt transition (355–356).” Aloni 2006:60 mentions differences of diction that set the Typhaon episode apart from the rest of the Pythian hymn but are in line with the Delian hymn; he does not cite examples.

[ back ] 81. The immediate inspiration for the Typhaon episode was probably another reference to the monster later in the hymn: exulting over the dying she-dragon Apollo says that not even Typhoeus or Chimaera will ward off death from her (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 367–369):

οὐδέ τί τοι θάνατόν γε δυσηλεγέ' οὔτε Τυφωεὺς
ἀρκέσει οὔτε Χίμαιρα δυσώνυμος, ἀλλὰ σέ γ' αὐτοῦ
πύσει γαῖα μέλαινα καὶ ἠλέκτωρ Ὑπερίων.

Neither Typhoeus nor accursed Chimaera will ward off
ruthless death, but the dark earth
and the sun, shining Hyperion, will rot you here.

Typhoeus and Typhaon are alternative names of the same monster. In the Homeric Hymn to Apollo Typhaon is the name used throughout the passage on the monster’s birth, and this too sets the passage apart from the rest of the hymn (i.e. from Typhoeus in line 367; cf. Allen and Sikes 1904 ad loc.), but not decisively (Hesiod too uses both names: Typhaon in Theogony 306, Typhoeus in Theogony 821 and 869). As to why Chimaera and Typhoeus are mentioned together in lines 367–368, it is noteworthy that Chimaera is Typhaon’s daughter by Echidna in Hesiod Theogony 306 and 319. If that tradition is relevant to Hymn to Apollo 367–368 (see Allen and Sikes on line 368 for the suggestion of Gemoll that “the δράκαινα may here be identified with Echidna, Chimaera being thus the daughter of Typhoeus and the δράκαινα”) the poet of the Typhaon episode makes no use of it: in this episode Typhaon is presented as the she-dragon’s foster child, not as her husband or as the father of her daughter. The expansion may well have been suggested by the mention of Typhoeus in the hymn, but the intent of the expansion has more to do with the goddess Hera than with the monster that she bears (see below in text).

[ back ] 82. There are other traditions of Hera’s giving birth on her own to retaliate against Zeus for Athena’s birth: in Hesiod Theogony 924–929 Hera bears Hephaistos for this reason:

αὐτὸς δ' ἐκ κεφαλῆς γλαυκώπιδα γείνατ' Ἀθήνην,
δεινὴν ἐγρεκύδοιμον ἀγέστρατον ἀτρυτώνην,
πότνιαν, ᾗ κέλαδοί τε ἅδον πόλεμοί τε μάχαι τε·
Ἥρη δ' Ἥφαιστον κλυτὸν οὐ φιλότητι μιγεῖσα
γείνατο, καὶ ζαμένησε καὶ ἤρισεν ᾧ παρακοίτῃ,
ἐκ πάντων τέχνῃσι κεκασμένον Οὐρανιώνων.

From his head he gave birth by himself to grey-eyed Athena,
terrible, panic-awakening, army-leading Atrytone,
revered, whom din and wars and battles please;
but Hera, without mingling in love, gave birth to famous Hephaistos—
she was furious and strove to best her bed partner—
Hephaistos, surpassing all the gods in arts.

The pairing of Athena and Hephaistos in this passage suggests an Athenian context (see §3.79–§3.80 above on the myth of Erichthonios’s birth); West 1966:397–399 attributes this passage, along with the rest of the end of the Theogony (lines 901–1022), to the poet of the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, who in West’s view was a sixth-century Athenian (West 1985:130–137, 169–171; Janko 1982:85–87, 221–225 agrees with West insofar as the end of the Theogony and the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women resemble each other linguistically, but he dates both works earlier and does not see an Athenian origin; cf. n2.219 above). A fragment of the Catalogue of Women, in which Hera bears Hephaistos without Zeus, is consistent with this argument (Hesiod fr. 343.1–3 MW; line 3 closely resembles Theogony 929). For the pairing of Athena and Hephaistos in Attic cult (and only there, with the possible exception of Lemnos) see West 1966:413 on Theogony 927. In contrast to the above passage of the Theogony, Homer makes Hephaistos the son of both Hera and Zeus (Iliad 1.578–579, 14.338, Odyssey 8.312). The Homeric Hymn to Apollo too seems to consider Hephaistos Zeus’s son when Hera speaks of him, despite the phrase ὃν τέκον αὐτὴ in line 317 (for similar phrases in Hesiod Theogony 924, quoted above, and Iliad 5.880, see EN3.7); as commentators note, Hera “would have been even with Zeus without the birth of a monster” if she were Hephaistos’s sole parent; hence ὃν τέκον αὐτή should not mean “whom I bore by myself,” but “who is my very own son (and not another goddess’s)” (Allen, Sikes, and Halliday 1936 ad loc.). Ares too may have been considered the son of Hera alone, without any fathering by Zeus (cf. Ovid Fasti 5.229–258, noted by West 1966 on Theogony 922).

[ back ] 83. The motif of Athena’s birth from Zeus’s head appears immediately after the first mention of Typhaon’s birth (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 307–310):

ὅν ποτ' ἄρ' Ἥρη ἔτικτε χολωσαμένη Διὶ πατρὶ
ἡνίκ' ἄρα Κρονίδης ἐρικυδέα γείνατ' Ἀθήνην
ἐν κορυφῇ· ἡ δ' αἶψα χολώσατο πότνια Ἥρη
ἠδὲ καὶ ἀγρομένοισι μετ' ἀθανάτοισιν ἔειπε….

Whom Hera once bore, being angry with father Zeus
because the son of Kronos bore glorious Athena
in his head; revered Hera suddenly became angry
and spoke among the assembled gods….

The motif of Athena’s birth from Zeus’s head also appears in Hesiod Theogony 924 (see n5.82 above) and Homeric Hymn 28.5, both of which, like this passage of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, seem to have a sixth-century Athenian origin (for Homeric Hymn 28, see n3.90 above).

[ back ] 84. See above n3.90 and n3.108 (end) and EN3.7.

[ back ] 85. Note in particular lines 311–315:

κέκλυτέ μευ πάντες τε θεοὶ πᾶσαί τε θέαιναι,
ὡς ἔμ' ἀτιμάζειν ἄρχει νεφεληγερέτα Ζεὺς
πρῶτος, ἐπεί μ' ἄλοχον ποιήσατο κέδν' εἰδυῖαν·
καὶ νῦν νόσφιν ἐμεῖο τέκε γλαυκῶπιν Ἀθήνην,
ἣ πᾶσιν μακάρεσσι μεταπρέπει ἀθανάτοισιν.

Hear me, all you gods and all you goddesses,
how the cloud-gatherer Zeus was the first to dishonor me
after he made me his devoted wife;
now without me he has borne grey-eyed Athena,
who stands out among all the blessed gods.

Hera says that Zeus’s action has brought her dishonor, but the other side of this is the honor that would have been hers as Athena’s mother. This is the point of the last line above, and it can be felt again in the following lines, where Hera addresses Zeus directly (lines 322–325):

σχέτλιε ποικιλομῆτα τί νῦν μητίσεαι ἄλλο;
πῶς ἔτλης οἶος τεκέειν γλαυκώπιδ' Ἀθήνην;
οὐκ ἂν ἐγὼ τεκόμην; καὶ σὴ κεκλημένη ἔμπης
ἦα ῥ' ἐν ἀθανάτοισιν οἳ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσι.

Hard-hearted wily-minded one, what else will you devise?
How have you dared to bear grey-eyed Athena alone?
Could I not have borne her? At any rate I was called yours
among the immortals who inhabit the wide sky.

These lines reflect as positively on Athena as they do negatively on Hera.

[ back ] 86. Note that Hera uses a similar phrase to describe the status of Athena among the gods (ἣ πᾶσιν μακάρεσσι μεταπρέπει ἀθανάτοισιν, “who stands out among all the blessed gods,” line 315) and the status that she intends for her own offspring (lines 326–327):

καὶ νῦν μέν τοι ἐγὼ τεχνήσομαι ὥς κε γένηται
παῖς ἐμὸς ὅς κε θεοῖσι μεταπρέποι ἀθανάτοισιν.

And now I will contrive that a son of mine
may be born who might stand out among all the blessed gods.

Hephaistos, whom Hera bore with Zeus (see n5.82 above), lacked status among the gods, as Hera complains (lines 316–317). By the time of this passage of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo Hephaistos had a part in Athenian cult, although his rank was well below that of Athena (see §3.79–§3.80 above, on the arrival of Hephaistos’s cult in Athens c. 600 BC, and on Athena’s rejection of Hephaistos as a lover in the myth of Erichthonios’s birth). Hera, as she herself says, did her best to destroy Hephaistos by throwing him into the sea, and she gives Thetis no thanks for having saved him (lines 318–321). This motif further alienates Hera from the standpoint of Athenian cult, in which Hephaistos was honored, albeit humbly. Hera’s name is then totally blackened when she proceeds in her speech from her attempted murder of Hephaistos to her deliberate plan to give birth to a man-destroying monster.

[ back ] 87. The hymn’s negative attitude toward Hera has precedents in the Homeric poems (e.g. Iliad 4.35–36, where Zeus accuses Hera of wanting to eat the Trojans raw, or Iliad 4.51–54, where Hera offers the destruction of three of her favorite cities, including Argos, in exchange for Troy); but the hymn carries Hera’s resentfulness and vengefulness to an extreme. Sikyon had close ties especially with the Athenian family of the Alcmaeonids: Megacles, the son of Alcmaeon (the Athenian commander in the First Sacred War; Plutarch Solon 11.2, citing records of Delphi), won the hand of Cleisthenes’ daughter Agariste in a celebrated marriage contest at Sikyon (Herodotus 6.130). The Alcmaeonids were politically aligned with Solon (cf. Forrest 1956:40 and 50), the instigator of the First Sacred War (Plutarch Solon 11.1, citing Aristotle; Plutarch discounts the tradition that Solon actually led the Athenians in the war; Davies 1994:201 suggests that Solon’s role in the war was invented in the late fifth century; cf. also Fowler 1998:14n33). The Alcmaeonids had a personal stake in the Sacred War if they had been put under a curse by Delphi for the execution of the Cylonian conspirators; they maintained their influence with the new regime at Delphi later in the sixth century, when they lavishly rebuilt the temple of Apollo in return for Delphi’s support against the Peisistratids (Herodotus 5.62.2–63.1).

[ back ] 88. For the likelihood of a third short expansion of the hymn, also made after the First Sacred War, see §5.33 and §5.35–§5.36 below.

[ back ] 89. See §5.18 and n5.64 above.

[ back ] 90. Plutarch Sayings of Kings and Commanders 194b. The figure 230 is confirmed by Aelian Varia Historia 13.42.

[ back ] 91. Recent scholarship has lowered the dates for both the First and the Second Messenian War: the First Messenian War, which was once dated to the eighth century BC, has been redated to 700/690–680/670 BC; the Second Messenian War, which was once thought to have erupted after Sparta’s loss to Argos at Hysiai in 669 BC, has been redated to 640/630–600 BC (see Meier DNP ‘Messenische Kriege,’ citing Parker 1991 and Meier 1998:91–99). Earlier dates for both wars are found in e.g. Huxley 1962; Huxley nevertheless dates the end of the second war and the departure of the Pylians from Messenia to c. 600 BC, and in this he should be followed (Huxley 1962:59). Pausanias 3.3.4 dates the Messenian revolt (Second Messenian War) to the reign of the Spartan king Anaxander and says that the coastal towns in Messenia held out and remained free after the other Messenians were expelled or enslaved by the Spartans: ἐπὶ δὲ Ἀναξάνδρου τοῦ Εὐρυκράτους—τὸ γὰρ χρεὼν ἤδη Μεσσηνίους ἤλαυνεν ἐκτὸς Πελοποννήσου πάσης—ἀφίστανται Λακεδαιμονίων οἱ Μεσσήνιοι. καὶ χρόνον μὲν ἀντέσχον πολεμοῦντες· ὑπόσπονδοι δὲ ὡς ἐκρατήθησαν ἀπῄεσαν ἐκ Πελοποννήσου, τὸ δὲ αὐτῶν ἐγκαταλειφθὲν τῇ γῇ Λακεδαιμονίων ἐγένοντο οἰκέται πλὴν οἱ τὰ ἐπὶ τῇ θαλάσσῃ πολίσματα ἔχοντες, “In the time of Anaxander the son of Eurykrates—for fate was already driving the Messenians from all of the Peloponnesus—the Messenians revolted from the Spartans. They held out fighting for a time, and when they were defeated they left the Peloponnesus under a truce; those left in the country became the Spartans’ slaves, except for those with cities on the sea.” Anaxander, as Huxley 1962:59 convincingly argues, belongs to the second half of the seventh century (for Anaxander cf. also Pausanias 3.14.4); once the rest of Messenia was subdued, the coastal towns of Pylos and Methone were presumably quickly dealt with at the war’s end (cf. n5.69 above).

[ back ] 92. Most of what later historians knew about the Second Messenian War came from the poetry of Tyrtaeus. Tyrtaeus’s date depends on the date of the Second Messenian War: formerly he was associated with a supposed first phase of the war following the Battle of Hysiai in 669 BC (so Huxley1962:57, 59; cf. n5.91 above); now that such a first phase of the war is not accepted, Tyrtaeus’s war is equated with Anaxander’s war in the second half of the seventh century (see n5.91 above). Lower dates for the Second Messenian War and Tyrtaeus entail a lower date for the First Messenian War, which Tyrtaeus says took place in the time of “our fathers’ fathers” (Tyrtaeus fr. 5.6 West); in the same fragment he says that the first war was fought under the Spartan king Theopompos and lasted for twenty years (Tyrtaeus fr. 5 West):

ἡμετέρῳ βασιλῆϊ, θεοῖσι φίλῳ Θεοπόμπῳ,
ὃν διὰ Μεσσήνην εἵλομεν εὐρύχορον,
Μεσσήνην ἀγαθὸν μὲν ἀροῦν, ἀγαθὸν δὲ φυτεύειν·
ἀμφ' αὐτὴν δ' ἐμάχοντ' ἐννέα καὶ δέκ' ἔτη
νωλεμέως αἰεὶ ταλασίφρονα θυμὸν ἔχοντες
αἰχμηταὶ πατέρων ἡμετέρων πατέρες·
εἰκοστῷ δ' οἱ μὲν κατὰ πίονα ἔργα λιπόντες
φεῦγον Ἰθωμαίων ἐκ μεγάλων ὀρέων.

…to our king, Theopompos, dear to the gods,
through whom we took wide Messene,
Messene good for plowing and good for planting;
they fought for it for nineteen years
without ever ceasing, with patient hearts,
those spearmen, our fathers’ fathers;
in the twentieth year they left their rich lands
and fled from the great mountain Ithome.

The dates now given for the First Messenian War (see n5. 91 above) are in line with the content of this fragment: if Tyrtaeus himself lived in the latter part of the seventh century a twenty-year war would have been waged in the first quarter of the seventh century by the generation of Tyrtaeus’s grandfather.

[ back ] 93. The fragment (Tyrtaeus fr. 4 West) does not say who brought the oracle back from Delphi; the subject of οἴκαδ' ἔνεικαν, “[they] brought home,” in the fragment’s first line (see below in text) must have occurred in a preceding line. Cf. n5.94 below.

[ back ] 94. The translation follows that of Gerber 1999:41, modified to distinguish the hexameters from the pentameters. The idea that Tyrtaeus repeats the hexameters of Delphi (the four hexameters in bold above) and adds his own pentameters as a kind of commentary was suggested by Bergk 1882:11 and is accepted by West 1970a:151, 1974:184–185. The final two couplets of the fragment are found only in Diodorus 7.12.6, one of the fragment’s two sources; the other source, Plutarch Lycurgus 6.5, while it lacks the final two couplets, has what seems to be the older version of the first couplet (that given in West’s text above), in which a nameless group brings the oracle home from Delphi; most likely meant are the Spartan Púthioi, whose function was to receive and report Delphi’s pronouncements (see Herodotus 6.57.2 and Xenophon Constitution of the Lacedaemonians 15.5; Cartledge 1978:26, 30 suggests that the Púthioi go back to the eighth century BC; cf. Cartledge 2002:111). Diodorus’s version of the first couplet, on the other hand, allows Lycurgus to be the oracle’s recipient (as Diodorus says he was). The different versions are discussed in EN5.13.

[ back ] 95. See Van Wees 1999:21 for the likelihood that Plutarch’s entire discussion goes back to Aristotle’s Spartan Constitution (Plutarch Lycurgus 6.2 cites Aristotle for the interpretation of a pair of topographical references in the Great Rhetra).

[ back ] 96. Plutarch Lycurgus 6.4 (text as at West, Tyrtaeus fr. 4): ὕστερον μέντοι τῶν πολλῶν ἀφαιρέσει καὶ προσθέσει τὰς γνώμας διαστρεφόντων καὶ παραβιαζομένων, Πολύδωρος καὶ Θεόπομπος οἱ βασιλεῖς τάδε τῇ ῥήτρᾳ παρενέγραψαν· “αἰ δὲ σκολιὰν ὁ δᾶμος ἔροιτο, τοὺς πρεσβυγενέας καὶ ἀρχαγέτας ἀποστατῆρας εἶμεν,” “Later, however, when the people distorted and did violence to motions by removing and adding things, the kings Polydoros and Theopompos inserted the following into the Rhetra: ‘If the people should say something crooked, the elders and the kings will dissolve the assembly’ ” (with the adjective σκολιάν, “crooked,” the noun ῥήτραν, “pronouncement,” is understood; for the phrase ἀποστατῆρας εἶμεν see LSJ s.v. ἀποστατήρ); cf. Huxley 1962:44.

[ back ] 97. In Diodorus, the only source for the last four lines of the poem, line 8 is transmitted as the following unmetrical phrase: μηδέ τι ἐπιβουλεύειν τῇδε πόλει. Restoration of the word σκολιόν at the end of line 8 (and deletion of the prefix ἐπι- in ἐπιβουλεύειν) was first proposed by Bach in his 1831 edition of Callinus, Tyrtaeus, and Asius; cf. Van Wees 1999:30n31, who prefers a different emendation, and proposes a different interpretation of the fragment as a whole, having nothing to do with the Great Rhetra. Van Wees’s interpretation, which is a reminder of how uncertain the whole matter of the Great Rhetra is, is discussed in EN5.14.

[ back ] 98. Wade-Gery, who believes that the two parts of the Rhetra were enacted together, thinks that Aristotle invented the theory of a separate rider (Wade-Gery 1944:115 [= 1958:67–68]); so also Van Wees 1999:21; Huxley, on the other hand, believes that the rider was separate (see below in text). Among German scholars Kiechle 1963:162–176 argues that there was a separate “addition” (“Zusatz”) to the Rhetra, and Bringmann 1975 holds the opposite view. For further bibliography see Van Wees 1999:33n60 and 35n70.

[ back ] 99. Plutarch Lycurgus 6, following Aristotle, says that Lycurgus received the original Rhetra from the Delphic oracle, and that the rider was added later by the two Spartan kings, Theopompos and Polydoros (cf. n5.95 and n5.96 above). But if the rider was in fact added in Tyrtaeus’s time, Theopompos and Polydoros were perhaps responsible for the original Rhetra itself. The political reform fits the character of the younger king, Polydoros, who was known to have been well disposed toward the people (cf. Huxley 1962:40–41); we do not know the attitude toward political reform of the older king, Theopompos, but he was perhaps less favorable to it (cf. Huxley 1962:51). How to account for Aristotle’s version of events is a question. Aristotle presumably attributed the original Rhetra to Lycurgus, as in Plutarch; if so, he may have followed the variant of the first two lines of Tyrtaeus fr. 4 found in Diodorus rather than the version found in Plutarch (cf. EN5.13 to n5.94 above). As for the two kings, whose names were separated from each other in the king lists by two generations, Aristotle presumably linked them because he found them linked in Tyrtaeus (cf. Huxley 1962:20–21 and 103nn73 and 75). As seen, Tyrtaeus makes the rider part of the original Rhetra; if Tyrtaeus linked the kings’ names in the context of the original Rhetra, Aristotle may have inferred that the two kings added the rider (cf. Huxley 1962:51).

[ back ] 100. I do not see what theoretical consideration would have prompted Aristotle to propose, as an actual historical development, a change from an originally democratic constitution to an aristocratic abridgement of this constitution if such a change was not in fact attested. It would seem more intuitive to proceed in the opposite direction, as Wade-Gery and others have in fact done, i.e., to disbelieve the tradition for an early democratic constitution, and to make what was reportedly a later aristocratic reaction into part of the original arrangement instead. In any case there is a real historical plausibility to an early democratic constitution in Sparta if, as seems to have been the case, it was brought to Sparta from Crete, where a similar development is detectable (Huxley 1962:46–47; cf. Raaflaub and Wallace 2007:23–24, 36–41). The tradition that the constitution came from Delphi does not conflict with such a Cretan origin, for the priesthood of Apollo at Delphi also had a Cretan origin. Van Wees 1999:14–21, believing that the idea of a separate rider to the Rhetra began with Aristotle, suggests how this idea may have suggested itself: in line with his argument that Tyrtaeus’s Eunomia in reality had nothing to do with the Great Rhetra, Van Wees argues that the Spartan king Pausanias, exiled in 395 BC, first connected the two in his tract Against the Laws of Lycurgus (1999:17), and that Aristotle, following Pausanias, drew a further conclusion based on the text of the Eunomia (1999:21).

[ back ] 101. Huxley 1962:55; cf. Tarditi 1983:7, who calls Tyrtaeus “un uomo di parte” with respect to the Spartan aristocracy, i.e. biased in its favor.

[ back ] 102. The rider may have been prompted not only by the Messenian War, but also by the people’s simultaneous demand for land redistribution. The latter was a subject of Tyrtaeus’s Eunomia according to Aristotle Politics 1306b36–1307a2 (Tyrtaeus fr. 1 West), in a discussion of conditions under which factions arise in aristocracies: ἔτι ὅταν οἱ μὲν ἀπορῶσι λίαν οἱ δ' εὐπορῶσιν (καὶ μάλιστα ἐν τοῖς πολέμοις τοῦτο γίνεται· συνέβη δὲ καὶ τοῦτο ἐν Λακεδαίμονι ὑπὸ τὸν Μεσηνιακὸν πόλεμον· δῆλον δὲ [καὶ] τοῦτο ἐκ τῆς Τυρταίου ποιήσεως τῆς καλουμένης Εὐνομίας· θλιβόμενοι γάρ τινες διὰ τὸν πόλεμον ἠξίουν ἀνάδαστον ποιεῖν τὴν χώραν), “Also whenever some are excessively badly off and some are well off (this happens most often in wars; it also happened in Sparta at the time of the Messenian War; this is clear from the poem of Tyrtaeus called the Eunomia; for some, distressed by the war, proposed to redistribute the land”).

[ back ] 103. Terpander was said to have won the first poetic competition at the festival of the Karneia, the first celebration of which was dated between 676 and 673 BC; the sources of this information are Hellanicus (FGrHist 4 F 85) and Sosibius (FGrHist 595 F 3), both cited by Athenaeus 14.635e (= Gostoli 1990 T 1). The sources do not specifically say that Terpander introduced the practice of composing prooímia at Sparta, but this seems to be implied. “Plutarch” On Music is the source for Terpander’s prooímia as preludes to Homeric performances: most explicit is On Music 6.1133c (= Gostoli T 34), which says that early citharodic performers, “after discharging their duty to the gods, which they did as they pleased, passed at once to the poetry of Homer and the rest. This can be seen in Terpander’s preludes (prooímia)”; note also On Music 3.1132c (= Gostoli T 27): according to Heraclides Ponticus, Terpander set his own epic verses (ἔπη) and those of Homer to music and performed them in poetic contests; and On Music 4.1132d (= Gostoli T 32): Terpander composed preludes (prooímia) which were sung to the cithara in epic verses (ἐν ἐπεσιν). A fragment of Terpander (Page PMG 697 = Gostoli F 2) appears to be the start of a prooímion to Apollo; see Gostoli 1990:129 for the question of whether the text of this fragment should be emended to yield a line of hexameter. In contrast to Homeric rhapsodes, Terpander is said to have set his own and Homer’s verses to music (On Music 3.1132c and 4.1132d, cited above). In the history of Homeric performance Terpander is unusual in having performed epic to music; the rhapsodes, whose performances were not sung (this characteristic defines rhapsōidía according to Ford 1988), represent the norm. For the relationship of kitharōidía to rhapsōidía in the performance of epic, cf. Ford 1988:303n25; for a more comprehensive treatment, see Power 2010.

[ back ] 104. “Plutarch” On Music 9.1134b (= Gostoli 1990 T 18): ἡ μὲν οὖν πρώτη κατάστασις τῶν περὶ τὴν μουσικὴν ἐν τῇ Σπάρτῃ, Τερπάνδρου καταστήσαντος, γεγένηται, “The first institution for musicians, set up by Terpander, came into being in Sparta” (“La prima scuola musicale è nata a Sparta per opera di Terpandro” [Gostoli]).

[ back ] 105. See n5.103 above. “Plutarch” On Music 9.1134b, which attributes the first “institution (school) of musicians” (κατάστασις τῶν περὶ τὴν μουσικὴν) to Terpander in Sparta (n5.104 above), associates the second such κατάστασις with the Gymnopaidiai at Sparta among other festivals.

[ back ] 106. The three main festivals at Sparta, the Karneia, the Hyakinthia, and the Gymnopaidiai, were all dedicated to Apollo. If Homeric poetry was performed at these festivals (there is evidence only for the Karneia, cf. n5.103 above; for all three as musical festivals in general the evidence is in Herington 1985:7, 25, 162, 165–166), the performances were presumably preceded by a hymn to Apollo, the festival’s god in each case; for this reason, as well as others, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo seems very much at home in Sparta. A perusal of Robert Parker’s essay called “Spartan Religion” (Parker 1988) gives an idea of Apollo’s pre-eminent place at Sparta: “The god who dominated Spartan festivals was lucid, disciplined Apollo” (p. 151); it was Apollo, “above all,” who dominated Spartan religion (p. 145); the colossal Archaic statue of Apollo at Amyklai, 45 feet high, was “doubtless the most sacred object in all Laconia” (p. 146); the Spartan kings had a “special relationship with Apollo of Delphi” (p. 143); “Delphic Apollo was closely associated with the kings. The Púthioi, permanent officials whose job it was to consult Delphi on public business—a post known only from Sparta—were royal appointees and shared the kings’ tent” (p. 154); the Spartans “loved oracles, more perhaps than did the citizens of any other Greek state, and granted them an unusual importance in political debate. Had not their own constitution been prescribed by Apollo of Delphi himself?” (p. 154).

[ back ] 107. I have not systematically compared the language of Tyrtaeus with the language of the Pythian Hymn to Apollo, but I see no great difference between them: both use essentially Homeric diction. In EN5.15 a few points of comparison in the language of the two are considered; a different proposal concerning the Pythian hymn, namely that its language is Hesiodic (Martin 2000a), is also discussed.

[ back ] 108. It is possible that the Spartans also had a particular score to settle with Elis at the end of the Second Messenian War in that, according to Strabo 8.4.10 and Pausanias 4.15.7, the Eleians were allies of the Messenians in that war; this evidence, however, is regarded with skepticism. The issue is discussed in EN5.16.

[ back ] 109. Delphi has only one challenger as the center in the hymn, namely the spring of Telphousa in Boeotia: Apollo first proposes to establish his oracle at Telphousa, but the nymph Telphousa persuades him to go to Delphi instead. Feeling himself tricked by Telphousa Apollo later returns from Delphi and founds a second oracle, but that is precisely the point: Telphousa is Apollo’s second oracle, not his first. Delphi is supreme. The speech that Apollo gives at Delphi, announcing his intention to build an oracle there, is the same speech that he gave at Telphousa before being persuaded to move on (lines 247–253): there are minor differences at the beginning of the speech, but the lines about the Peloponnesus, Europe, and the islands are the same.

[ back ] 110. Corinth and Sparta had the closest relationship with the oracle: Delphi backed Corinth’s colonizing efforts (Forrest 1956:51, 1982:309), and it “approved if it did not originate the Lykurgan reforms” in Sparta (Forrest 1956:52). Parke and Wormell 1956, vol. 1, 82–98 (Ch. 2: “The Oracle and Sparta in Early Times”) emphasize the difficulty of determining the real extent of Sparta’s relationship with Delphi: “Of all the states of the Greek mainland Sparta was the one which was regarded by later generations as the most closely linked with Delphi in its early development. There is a certain amount of original and genuine evidence on the subject, but this advantage is somewhat offset by the obscurity of the whole matter, which results partly from the mystification about their past practised by the Spartans, partly from the misguided efforts of other Greeks to illuminate the subject by conjectures and inventions” (p. 83). Forrest 1982:310–311 sees a temporary decline in Sparta’s relationship with Delphi in the years following c. 670 BC.

[ back ] 111. The Cretans wish to disembark at Tainaron to see whether the dolphin will stay on board, but Apollo prevents them (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 409–415):

πρῶτον δὲ παρημείβοντο Μάλειαν,
πὰρ δὲ Λακωνίδα γαῖαν ἁλιστέφανον πτολίεθρον
ἷξον καὶ χῶρον τερψιμβρότου Ἠελίοιο
Ταίναρον, ἔνθα τε μῆλα βαθύτριχα βόσκεται αἰεὶ
Ἠελίοιο ἄνακτος, ἔχει δ' ἐπιτερπέα χῶρον.
οἱ μὲν ἄρ' ἔνθ' ἔθελον νῆα σχεῖν ἠδ' ἀποβάντες
φράσσασθαι μέγα θαῦμα καὶ ὀφθαλμοῖσιν ἰδέσθαι….

First they passed Maleia,
then, passing by the Laconian land, a sea-girt citadel,
they came to the land of mortal-delighting Helios,
Tainaron, where the deep-fleeced sheep of lord Helios
graze forever and have a delightful land.
They wished to stop the ship and disembark
to mark the great wonder and see with their eyes….

It has been suggested that in line 410 ἁλιστέφανον πτολίεθρον, “sea-girt citadel,” be emended to Ἕλος τ’ ἔφαλον πτολίεθρον, “and Helos, a city on the sea,” referring to a town between Cape Malea and Cape Tainaron at the head of the Laconian Gulf; this gives more point to πτολίεθρον, “city, citadel,” but the added geographical detail seems unnecessary and out of place (cf. Allen and Sikes 1904 ad loc.).

[ back ] 112. Iliad 14.225–228:

Ἥρη δ' ἀΐξασα λίπεν ῥίον Οὐλύμποιο,
Πιερίην δ' ἐπιβᾶσα καὶ Ἠμαθίην ἐρατεινὴν
σεύατ' ἐφ' ἱπποπόλων Θρῃκῶν ὄρεα νιφόεντα
ἀκροτάτας κορυφάς.

Darting forth Hera left the peak of Olympus,
and traversing Pieria and lovely Emathia
she sped over the snowy mountains of the horse-tending Thracians,
the highest peaks.

For locations on the first half of Apollo’s journey see Map 5.

[ back ] 113. This is suggested in Allen and Sikes 1904 ad loc.: “Pieria is strictly N. of Olympus, whereas Apollo was coming south. The poet appears to have borrowed from Ξ without due care (in Ξ the geography is right, as Hera is going to Thrace).” In Allen, Halliday, and Sikes 1936 the sentence “the poet appears to have borrowed from Ξ without due care” is omitted, but the implication remains.

[ back ] 114. For the lower Peneios River as Pieria’s southern boundary, see Strabo 7 fr. 14: ἐπὶ μὲν δὴ ταῖς ἐκβολαῖς τοῦ Πηνειοῦ ἐν δεξιᾷ Γυρτὼν ἵδρυται, Περραιβικὴ πόλις καὶ Μαγνῆτις…. ἐπὶ δὲ θάτερα ἡ Πιερία, “Gyrton is situated at the outlet of the Peneios on the right [south] side, a Perrhaibian and Magnetan city…. On the other side is Pieria.” Cf. Geyer RE ‘Makedonia’ 650: “The country east of Olympus from the Peneios to the Haliacmon was called Pieria according to all ancient testimony” (“Die Landschaft am Ostfuss des Olymp vom Peneios bis zum Haliakmon hiess nach allen antiken Zeugnissen Pieria”); Pape-Benseler 1911 s.v. und Forbiger 1877, vol. 3, 727 are cited for the ancient sources.

[ back ] 115. Consistent with this movement of Apollo is the departure of Hermes for Calypso’s island in Odyssey 5: Hermes too starts from Olympus (this much is implied) and goes by way of Pieria to the sea (Πιερίην δ' ἐπιβὰς ἐξ αἰθέρος ἔμπεσε πόντῳ, Odyssey 5.50).

[ back ] 116. Apart from this unknown Lektos only Pylos in Greek epic has the epithet ἠμαθόεις (there are two instances in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo; that another town besides Pylos should have the epithet in this hymn is noteworthy). Emendations have been suggested for unknown Lektos, but these make Apollo’s journey truly incoherent; Allen, Halliday, and Sikes 1936 ad loc. cite two: Baumeister changed Λέκτον to Λάκμον, a peak in the Pindos range far to the west (cf. Strabo 6.2.4 [271]); Matthiae changed the epithet ἠμαθόεντα, “sandy,” to Ἠμαθίην τε in line with Iliad 14.226, making Apollo, like Hera, head north into Thrace (see n5.113 above). Another town named Λεκτός (or Λεκτόν) lay on the coast of Asia Minor (Thucydides 8.101.3).

[ back ] 117. Iliad 2.748–755:

Γουνεὺς δ' ἐκ Κύφου ἦγε δύω καὶ εἴκοσι νῆας·
τῷ δ' Ἐνιῆνες ἕποντο μενεπτόλεμοί τε Περαιβοὶ
οἳ περὶ Δωδώνην δυσχείμερον οἰκί' ἔθεντο,
οἵ τ' ἀμφ' ἱμερτὸν Τιταρησσὸν ἔργα νέμοντο
ὅς ῥ' ἐς Πηνειὸν προΐει καλλίρροον ὕδωρ,
οὐδ' ὅ γε Πηνειῷ συμμίσγεται ἀργυροδίνῃ,
ἀλλά τέ μιν καθύπερθεν ἐπιρρέει ἠΰτ' ἔλαιον·
ὅρκου γὰρ δεινοῦ Στυγὸς ὕδατός ἐστιν ἀπορρώξ.

Gouneus led twenty-two ships from Kyphos;
the Enianes and the staunch Perrhaiboi followed him,
who made their homes around wintry Dodona,
and others inhabited the country around the lovely Titaressos,
which sends its beautiful-flowing water into the Peneios,
but it does not mix with the silver-eddying Peneios,
but flows over it like oil;
for it is a branch of the Styx’s water, a dread oath to swear by.

[ back ] 118. Strabo 7 fr. 15 identifies the Titaressos with the Europos, which marked the boundary between lower Macedonia and Thessaly. Strabo 9.5.20 says that the Titaresios (as he calls it) “rises in the Titarios mountain, which connects with Olympus, and flows into the territory of Perrhaibia near Tempe, and somewhere in that neighborhood unites with the Peneios.” He comments that the pure water of the Peneios and the oily water of the Titaresios do not mix, just as Homer says (Iliad 2.753–754, n5.117 above). The conjunction of a river in the east with Dodona in the west produces what Simpson and Lazenby 1970:149 call an insoluble problem; in the end these authors choose Dodona as the true Homeric location and reject Strabo’s identification of the Titaressos with the Europos. Strabo, on the other hand, reconciles the two locations in favor of Thessaly; he says that the oracle of Dodona was originally near Skotoussa in Thessaly and was later moved to Epirus (Strabo 9.5.20; 7.7.12; 7 fr. 1, 1a, 1b).

[ back ] 119. In classical times the Ainianes lived in the upper Spercheios valley in southern Thessaly (Σπερχειὸς ποταμὸς ῥέων ἐξ Ἐνιήνων ἐς θάλασσαν ἐκδιδοῖ, “the Spercheios River flows out of [the country of] the Enianes and empties into the sea,” Herodotus 7.198. 2); earlier they had a home farther north in Thessaly, closer to the Perrhaiboi (Strabo 9.5.22). The Perrhaiboi lived around the Peneios River in Thessaly (Strabo 7 fr. 15); in the classical era Herodotus 7.131 seems to locate them on the lower Peneios near the coast (in this passage Xerxes waits in Pieria until a division of his army clears a road through the “Macedonian mountain” into the country of the Perrhaiboi: ὁ μὲν δὴ περὶ Πιερίην διέτριβε ἡμέρας συχνάς· τὸ γὰρ δὴ ὄρος τὸ Μακεδονικὸν ἔκειρε τῆς στρατιῆς τριτημορίς, ἵνα ταύτῃ διεξίῃ ἅπασα ἡ στρατιὴ ἐς Περραιβούς, “He lingered several days in Pieria; for a third of his army was clearing the Macedonian mountain so that the entire army could come through by that route into the land of the Perrhaiboi”; Pieria was on the coast [see n5.114 above], and so presumably were the Perrhaiboi). A location near the coast for the Perrhaiboi is confirmed by Strabo 7 fr. 14 (n5.114 above), where on either side of the Peneios “near the outlets” of the river (ἐπὶ…ταῖς ἐκβολαῖς τοῦ Πηνειοῦ) are said to lie Piera to the north and the “Perrhaibic city” (Περραιβικὴ πόλις) of Gyrton to the south.

[ back ] 120. Strabo 9.5.22 says that the two tribes once dwelt near each other in Thessaly, the Perrhaiboi in the region later still called Perrhaibia (cf. Strabo 7 fr. 15), and the Ainianes in the Dotian Plain near Mount Ossa and Lake Boibeïs. The two tribes were then separated, as they later were historically. A few of the Ainianes remained in the north, but most were driven south to the Spercheios River and into Mount Oeta by the Lapiths (Strabo presents this compressed version of the Ainianes’ migration to the region called Ainis, their historical home; longer versions, found in Plutarch Greek Questions 13 and 26, are discussed by Sakellariou 1984 and 1990:190–200). As for the Perrhaiboi, some drew together round the western parts of Olympus and remained there, being neighbors to the Macedonians (i.e. in the vicinity of the Titaressos), but most were driven out of their country into the mountains around Athamania and Pindus (i.e. in the vicinity of Dodona). The stage described in Homer, according to this scheme, is the first stage, when the two tribes lived side by side in Thessaly. It is likely that the poet of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo had the same scheme in mind: he pairs the two tribes because they are paired in Homer, and he puts them in Thessaly, near what seems to be the Europos/Titaressos. How this poet understood the location of Dodona in Homer we cannot say, but perhaps Strabo’s tradition that the oracle was once in Thessaly before it migrated to Epirus was also known to him. The point is that this poet presents a coherent picture of the two tribes, which also squares with the Homeric picture if the latter is intepreted in a particular way. If the poet did think of the oracle of Dodona as having had an earlier location than its historical location, this would be consistent with his placement of Elis in the voyage of Apollo’s priests, which is also meant to represent an earlier location than the historical location of Elis (see §5.14 and §5.15 above; cf. §5.34 below).

[ back ] 121. For locations on the second half of Apollo’s journey see Map 6. Guillon 1963:92 points out that there is a hill (Messapios), but not a mountain, on Apollo’s route inland from the Euripos; his conclusions about an earlier route past the Ptoion, to the northwest, are in my view unconvincing.

[ back ] 122. I again take issue with Guillon, who sees in this feature of the poem an anti-Theban bias on the part of the poet; on the contrary, Thebes, despite its not yet being in existence, is called “holy,” and the epithet cannot be explained away as traditional, and thus unavoidable, as Guillon 1963:92 argues (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 225–228):

Θήβης δ' εἰσαφίκανες ἕδος καταειμένον ὕλῃ·
οὐ γάρ πώ τις ἔναιε βροτῶν ἱερῇ ἐνὶ Θήβῃ,
οὐδ' ἄρα πω τότε γ' ἦσαν ἀταρπιτοὶ οὐδὲ κέλευθοι
Θήβης ἂμ πεδίον πυρηφόρον, ἀλλ' ἔχεν ὕλη.

You came to the seat of Thebes clothed in forest;
for no mortal yet lived in holy Thebes,
nor were there yet paths and ways
through the wheat-bearing plain of Thebes, but a forest possessed it.

[ back ] 123. Okalea, which occurs in the Catalogue of Ships (Iliad 2.501), is said by Strabo 9.2.26 to lie halfway between Haliartos and the Alalkomenion (at Alalkomenai), thirty stades from each: ἡ δ' Ὠκαλέη μέση Ἁλιάρτου καὶ Ἀλαλκομενίου ἑκατέρου τριάκοντα σταδίους ἀπέχουσα. For the problem in Apollo’s route see Map 6.

[ back ] 124. Strabo 9.2.42 says that the town lay above the territory of Orkhomenos in Phokis (ὑπέρκειται δ' Ὀρχομενίας ὁ Πανοπεύς, Φωκικὴ πόλις); cf. Strabo 9.3.14, Pausanias 10.3.1. Pausanias 10.4.1 comments that in his time Panopeus did not deserve to be called a city.

[ back ] 125. Strabo 9.2.27, commenting on different names for the lake, cites Pindar: ὕστερον δ' ἡ πᾶσα Κωπαῒς ἐλέχθη κατ' ἐπικράτειαν…. Πίνδαρος δὲ καὶ Κηφισσίδα καλεῖ ταύτην, “Later the whole lake was called the Kopaïs, this name predominating…. Pindar also calls it the Kephissis.”

[ back ] 126. Pausanias 10.4.1: καὶ γενέσθαι μὲν τῇ πόλει τὸ ὄνομα λέγουσιν [sc. the people of Panopeus] ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἐπειοῦ πατρός, αὐτοὶ δὲ οὐ Φωκεῖς, Φλεγύαι δὲ εἶναι τὸ ἐξ ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐς τὴν γῆν διαφυγεῖν φασι τὴν Φωκίδα ἐκ τῆς Ὀρχομενίας, “They [the people of Panopeus] say that their city got its name from the father of Epeios, and that they are not Phocians, but Phlegyans originally, and they say that they fled into the Phocian country from the country of Orkhomenos”; cf. also Pausanias 9.36.2: καὶ ἀπέστησάν τε ἀνὰ χρόνον ἀπὸ τῶν ἄλλων Ὀρχομενίων ὑπὸ ἀνοίας καὶ τόλμης οἱ Φλεγύαι καὶ ἦγον καὶ ἔφερον τοὺς προσοίκους, “In the course of time the Phlegyans through their witlessness and recklessness withdrew from the other Orkhomenians, and began to plunder and rob their neighbors.”

[ back ] 127. If strict logic is applied an inconsistency arises from an implication in the hymn of Orkhomenos’s non-existence, namely the simultaneous existence of Pylos: Chloris, the wife of Neleus, the founder of Pylos, is the daughter of Amphion, the king of Orkhomenos, according to Odyssey 11; if Pylos exists (as it does in the hymn), so must Orkhomenos. But this, I think, is to look more closely than the poet intended. There is another possibility to consider. In Pausanias 9.36.2 the Phlegyai separate themselves from “the other Orkhomenians” (see previous note); this could be what the poet of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo had in mind, and it would allow Orkhomenos to exist at the time of Apollo’s journey. The Phlegyai in fact seem to be a mythic contrast to the Minyai, a name applied to the Orkhomenians (and others); the similar formation of the names Μινύαι and Φλεγύαι suggests a contrasting pair; there is also a genealogical connection that puts the two on the same level, but whereas the seafaring Minyai descend from Poseidon, the wild Phlegyai descend from Ares (cf. Buttmann 1829:222–224). This too, however, goes beyond what is intended in the hymn; in the hymn the Phlegyai sit where Orkhomenos should be and Orkhomenos is simply not there.

[ back ] 128. Cf. n5.120 above on the placement of the Ainianes and the Perrhaiboi.

[ back ] 129. To the point here are the comments of George Forrest in another context (1982:315): “The world of propaganda is a topsy-turvy world…. Greeks rarely denied an opponent’s story—they preferred to take it over and stand it on its head.”

[ back ] 130. The line is attributed to Hesiod by the scholia to Iliad 2.522 (and by Eustathius 275.17 on Iliad 2.523): ὁ δὲ Κηφισσὸς ποταμός ἐστι τῆς Φωκίδος, ἔχων τὰς πηγὰς ἐκ Λιλαίας, ὥς φησιν Ἡσίοδος “ὅς—ὕδωρ,” “The Kephisos River is in Phokis, having its source from Lilaia, as Hesiod says…” (Eustathius has Λιλαίηθεν, “from Lilaia,” the scholia A Λιλαίῃσι, “at Lilaia”). In Hesiod fr. 70.18 MW only the end of the line ]ροο[ν] ὕδωρ, “-flowing water,” survives; this papyrus fragment reveals the context of the line in Hesiod, namely Athamas and his descendants (the Kephisos is the divine father of one of his descendants, Eteoklos). Lilaia, at the source of the Kephisos, occurs in Homer in the Phocian entry to the Catalogue of Ships: οἵ τε Λίλαιαν ἔχον πηγῇς ἔπι Κηφισοῖο, “and those who inhabit Lilaia at the source of the Kephisos,” Iliad 2.523.

[ back ] 131. Hesiodic catalogue poetry was used to expand the catalogue of heroines in Odyssey 11 in a sixth-century Athenian context (see above §2.135, §2.142–§2.144, n2.209 and n2.213 ; cf. §2.160, §2.164). For the Athenian character of the Typhaon episode, see §5.23 above. The post eventum threat of regime change at the end of the hymn need not be exclusively Athenian since there were other victors in the Sacred War, but Athens is the likely exponent of their point of view.

[ back ] 132. The generic line also occurs before Apollo’s arrival at Onkhestos and at the city of the Phlegyai, Homeric Hymn to Apollo 229 and 277 respectively; in both cases a passage of more than one line follows. The expansion in lines 239–242 makes use of the same pattern, namely generic line followed by short passage. When the expansion is removed there is no need for the generic line: Apollo’s onward progress to Haliartos is told in one line; in the following line Apollo arrives at Telphousa.

[ back ] 133. Kirk 1990:252–253 offers this half-hearted explanation: “If the western Arcadians were in Parrhasia (vol. I, 218), then they might have interfered as far to the N-W as Pheia; though somewhere further south, around Arene indeed, might have been a more plausible area for border clashes with Pylians.” Visser 1997:524 and 524n31 thinks that there must have been a different town of Pheia in Arcadia: “In the east—in line with…Iliad 7.133–135—the rivers Keladon and Iardanos as well as the city of Pheia seem to mark the border with Arcadia; these rivers can of course not be exactly located…. The Pheai named in Odyssey 15.297 is not, then, the same place as the one in Iliad 7, since the Pheai of the Odyssey is certainly, in view of the context, presented as lying on the coast, and the western boundary of Arcadia cannot, despite Ps.-Scylax 44, be displaced to the coast of the Ionian sea; otherwise Homer would not have to have Agamemnon provide the ships for the Arcadians” (“Im Osten scheinen—entsprechend der…Ilias-Stelle H 133–135—die Flüsse Keladon und Iardanos sowie die Stadt Pheia die Grenze nach Arkadien hin zu markieren; allerdings lassen sich diese Flüsse nicht exakt lokalisieren…. Das in o 297 genannte Pheai ist dann nicht derselbe Ort wie der im H der Ilias, da das Pheai der Odyssee auf Grund des Kontextes mit Sicherheit an der Küste liegend vorgestellt ist und man die Westgrenze Arkadiens trotz Ps.-Skyl. 44 wohl nicht bis an die Küste des Ionischen Meeres verlegen kann; sonst müsste Homer Agamemnon nicht die Schiffe für die Arkader stellen lassen”).

[ back ] 134. This assumes that the Keladon River was in Arcadia, although such a river is not definitely known; Callimachus Hymns 3.107 refers to a Keladon River in Arcadia, but he may have taken the name from Iliad 7.133; Pausanias 8.38.9 mentions a tributary of the Alpheios called the Kelados, which could be the Keladon. The river name Keladon has a generic quality; it means “sounding,” as of rushing water (cf. the phrase πὰρ ποταμὸν κελάδοντα, “along a sounding/ rushing river,” in Iliad 18.576); a mythical river in Miletus is named Kelados/Keladon (Herda 2006a:302–310, 448), and this too suggests the name’s generic quality. Wilamowitz 2006:336 proposes that Keladon in Iliad 7.133 is not a name but a common noun, “river,” referring to the Iardanos two lines later, but this is at best difficult. The name may be an invention in Iliad 7.133, but in any case Arcadia seems to be the intended location. For the possibility that the name Keladon is an invention, cf. Willcock 1964:146, who argues that Nestor’s entire story in Iliad 7 is the poet’s invention (a problem for this argument, as Hainsworth 1993:297 points out, is the occurrence of Ereuthalion in Iliad 4.319, which anticipates the story in Iliad 7; Willcock 1964:142–143 argues that Nestor’s story in Iliad 1.259–274 is likewise the poet’s invention). The Iardanos River near Pheia also presents a problem in that no river of any size is found near Pheia, although a stream in the vicinity could be meant (a ποτάμιον, “small river,” near the town of Pheia was taken as the Iardanos by some ancient scholars, Strabo 8.3.12). Simpson and Lazenby 1970:94 comment as follows: “Pheia is presumably the same as classical Pheia, securely located at Ayios Andreas near Katakolon, while the River Iardanos is presumably the stream immediately to north of the village of Skaphidia.” The phrase Ἰαρδάνου ἀμφὶ ῥέεθρα, “around the streams of the Iardanos,” in Iliad 7.135 is also found in Odyssey 3.292, where it refers to a river in western Crete; see n5.135 below for further discussion of the Iardanos River in Iliad 7.135.

[ back ] 135. In the Hellenistic age there was a further development with respect to the expansion of Nestor’s story in Iliad 7. Strabo 8.3.21 tells us of a town named Kháa near Lepreon in Triphylia, past which a river called the Akídōn flowed; there was also a tomb of Iardanos next to this river. Strabo says that in Nestor’s story some read Kháa for Pheiá and Akídōn for Keládōn:

ἡβῷμ', ὡς ὅτ' ἐπ' ὠκυρόῳ Ἀκίδοντι μάχοντο
ἀγρόμενοι Πύλιοί τε καὶ Ἀρκάδες ἐγχεσίμωροι
Χάας πὰρ τείχεσσιν.

I wish I were young, as when, beside the swift-flowing Akidon,
the assembled Pylians and the spear-mad Arcadians fought,
by the walls of Khaa.

According to Strabo this text was put forth because Khaa is closer than Pheia to Arcadia, and closer to the tomb of Iardanos as well (Strabo does not say with what wording the tomb of Iardanos was substituted for the streams of Iardanos in this version of the text, but Ἰαρδάνου ἠρίον ἀμφί is a possibility). To the reasons that Strabo gives for this version of Iliad 7.135 I would add that it was presumably due to the learned minority (Strabo’s Homērikṓteroi) who thought that Homeric Pylos lay in Triphylia near Lepreon; cf. n5.62 above. We can say more. The scholia to Iliad 4.319 give two versions of an account by Ariaithos of Tegea (fourth century BC) of Nestor’s conquest of Ereuthalion, one of which puts the conflict on the Akidon River (Ariaithos FGrHist 316 F 7; see Jacoby’s commentary ad loc. for the two versions, one of which says that Nestor’s conquest of Ereuthalion was unfairly won, and both of which say that the Arcadians proceeded to defeat the Pylians in battle; cf. Wilamowitz 2006:337–338); this Arcadian tradition, which changes the outcome of Nestor’s story in Iliad 7, may well have gone hand in hand with the variant reading in Iliad 7.135. Didymus read something else again in Iliad 7.135, namely Φηρᾶς for Φειᾶς and Δαρδάνου for Ἰαρδάνου (Δαρδάνου ἀμφὶ ῥέεθρα). What the point of this version was is unclear (perhaps it had to do with a tradition for Dardanos’s birth in a cave near the Anigros River, Strabo 8.3.19), but the scholia to Iliad 7.135 citing Didymus also say that Pherekydes told this version of the story (see Wilamowitz 2006:337); with Pherekydes we are back in the fifth century BC, when Iliad 7.135 was evidently open to dispute because the idea of an Eleian Pylos had already faded. Pausanias 5.18.6 says that a scene without names on the chest of Cypselus at Olympia was interpreted by some as the battle at Pheia on the Iardanos River between the Pylians and Arcadians (but by others as a meeting between the Eleians and the Aetolians with Oxylos); if the chest of Cypselus, which probably belongs to the late seventh or sixth century BC, in fact portrayed Nestor’s battle with the Arcadians it would have done so close to the time of the expansion of Nestor’s story in Iliad 7, perhaps reflecting contemporary interest in that story.