Chapter 14. The Text of Iliad 11 in the Fifth Century BC

{716|719} §5.39 There was a controversy in the late seventh and early sixth centuries BC as to the location of Homeric Pylos, whether north or south of the Alpheios River, and the battleground for this controversy was Odyssey 15, and also Iliad 7; this brings us back to the real question: could such a controversy have occurred if another passage in the Homeric poems plainly showed that Pylos lay south of the Alpheios River? This in turn brings us back to our real object, the passages in Nestor’s story in Iliad 11 that do plainly show that Pylos lay south of the Alpheios River, in Triphylia. Only one conclusion is possible: these passages did not yet exist when the Homeric Hymn to Apollo was composed, nor did they yet exist when the Homeric Hymn to Apollo was appropriated and expanded by the victors of the First Sacred War. The passages in Iliad 11, in other words, can be no earlier than the first half of the sixth century BC, and they may well be later than that.

§5.40 The question to ask is when it would have made sense to introduce a new candidate, in Triphylia, into an old dispute concerning Pylos’s location. The key to the likely circumstances, I think, is the historical expansion of Elis south into Triphylia: at some point it would have made sense to recast Nestor’s fight with the Eleians as a fight between Elis, the aggressor, and Triphylia, the victim of Eleian aggression. In the long run Elis absorbed Triphylia completely, as far as Triphylia’s border with Messenia. [136] This did {719|720} not happen all at once, but there are really only two periods to consider for the expansion of Nestor’s story, the first half of the sixth century BC, and the second half of the fifth century BC, and of these the first half of the sixth century BC is not at all likely. When Elis overthrew and absorbed the Pisatis c. 570 BC, two allies of the Pisatans in northern Triphylia, Skillous and Makistos, were also overthrown. [137] We do not know what became of the population of these cities, but it seems to have remained in place. [138] Eleian {720|721} aggression, at any rate, was limited to these two cities in northern Triphylia, and this is not enough to explain the expansion of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11. The early sixth century is the wrong time for another reason as well as I interpret the evidence. It was at the beginning of this century that an Eleian Pylos was first put forth as an alternative to Messenian Pylos, and the controversy was limited to the single name Pheai in Odyssey 15. It is not likely that a new version of Iliad 11, offering a different solution to the question of Pylos, would so soon thereafter have been either composed or accepted by one or the other of the parties to the controversy. This goes in particular for Sparta, which had only recently put its case for an Eleian Pylos, and it goes for Athens as well, which never forgot that Pylos lay in Messenia. If these two parties, whose interest in Pylos’s location emerges clearly from the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, were not involved, it is highly unlikely that anyone else was interested in the question to the extent of providing a new solution.

§5.41 Elis’s primary aggression against the cities of Triphylia took place in the fifth century, as we know from Herodotus, a contemporary witness. Herodotus names six cities in Triphylia that (according to his account) were founded from Laconia by Minyans, the descendants of Argonauts who had settled in Laconia, and he comments that most of these six cities were overthrown by the Eleians during his lifetime: the cities in question are Lepreon, Makistos, Phrixai, Pyrgos, Epion, and Noudion. [139] Herodotus does not say which of the six cities were overthrown in his lifetime (“most” must mean that either four or five of them suffered this fate), but one that successfully defended itself against Elis and managed to survive at least during Herodotus’s lifetime was Lepreon. [140] Lepreon, as we have seen, included in its {721|722} territory the Pylos that is the apparent focus of Nestor’s expanded story in Iliad 11. [141] Lepreon’s resistance to Elis, which is well documented for the first half of the Peloponnesian War, provides exactly the right motivation for the expansion of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11: Nestor’s story could be made to evoke Lepreon’s resistance to Elis if the Pylos of this story was the city that Lepreon contained within its borders, and this, in effect, is what the expansion of Nestor’s story is meant to show.

§5.42 To consider the question of who could have taken Lepreon’s part in this way, we need to follow the story more closely. The story begins at some time before the Peloponnesian War, when a previously independent town of Pylos was united with Lepreon; although the evidence is fragmentary, this part of the story emerges reasonably clearly. Strabo, in a rather confused account, says that Pylos was united with Lepreon after a successful war; he implies that the Spartans brought about the synoecism, but, as the rest of his account shows, the Eleians rather than the Spartans must have done so. [142] If Elis united Pylos with Lepreon after a successful war, it is tempting to see a reference to these events in Thucydides, in his account of how the hostilities between Elis and Lepreon during the Peloponnesian War first began. According to Thucydides, Elis once came to Lepreon’s aid in a war against the Arcadians; in return for their help the Eleians demanded half of Lepreon’s land, but after the war they allowed Lepreon to keep the land and pay an annual tribute of one talent instead. The Lepreans paid the tribute until the {722|723} outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, when they stopped; Elis then tried to exact the tribute by force and Lepreon turned to Sparta for help. [143] The land that Lepreon agreed to give up, but in the end kept, was in all likelihood the town of Pylos: Thucydides’ expression “half the land” (ἡμίσεια τῆς γῆς) corresponds well to Pylos, for Pylos, at least notionally, doubled Lepreon’s territory when it was added to it. [144] Strabo and Thucydides probably refer to the same war in their respective accounts, but they do not necessarily do so. [145] This, however, is a secondary point. What seems clear is that the territory for which Lepreon paid Elis tribute until the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War was Pylos.

§5.43 At the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War Lepreon seized the opportunity to stop paying the tribute to Elis, which was doubtless burdensome. [146] In terms of Homeric analogy, this was like Nestor’s putting an end to Elis’s raids on Pylos’s cattle. The analogy was all the closer inasmuch as Lepreon’s payments of tribute, we can be reasonably sure, were for the sake of the Pylos that lay within its borders. This time, however, it was not Nestor who saved the day against the enemy to the north, but the Spartan army. Sparta, as much as Lepreon, had a stake in the conflict that ensued with Elis, and this is an important point in understanding the expansion of Nestor’s story. With respect to Nestor’s Homeric city Sparta had a history of finding an alternative to Messenian Pylos, and it makes sense that Sparta should again {723|724} somehow be involved when, at a later time and in different circumstances, a new alternative was put forth. But we need to follow the story more closely to understand Sparta’s role.

§5.44 We have already seen that when Lepreon shook off its annual payment of tribute, the Eleians “brought pressure to bear” (ἐπηνάγκαζον), and Lepreon turned to Sparta for help. [147] According to Thucydides Sparta was asked to arbitrate the dispute, but the Eleians, thinking that they would lose the arbitration, did not wait for a decision and began to lay waste the Lepreans’ land. The Spartans proceeded with the arbitration anyway and decided in favor of Lepreon, which they judged to be an independent state, and against Elis, which they judged to be an aggressor; when Elis did not respect their decision, the Spartans stationed a garrison in Lepreon. [148] Thucydides does not make clear how early in the Archidamian War these events occurred, only that the Lepreans stopped their payments of tribute after the war began. The peace that ended the ten-years war in 421 did not change the situation, and Elis felt grievously wronged by Sparta for having received its subject city in revolt and for not returning it at the war’s end, as, in Elis’s view, Sparta was bound to do. The grievance was serious enough for Elis to join the anti-Spartan alliance organized by Argos when Argos’s thirty-year treaty with Sparta was about to expire in 421. [149] It is in relation to {724|725} Elis’s action in joining this alliance that Thucydides gives the background to the dispute between Elis and Sparta over Lepreon. Later in the same summer of 421 Sparta began to settle helot soldiers returning from Thrace and new helot recruits in Lepreon. [150] In the following summer, 420, the Olympic games were celebrated, which the Eleians as usual oversaw; the festival became a scene of great alarm when the Eleians refused to admit the Spartans to the games, and it was feared that the Spartan army would appear on the scene to force an entry for the Spartans and allow them to sacrifice and compete. The ban against the Spartans had to do with their alleged violation of the Olympic truce when they attacked a fort held by the Eleians and sent a force of a thousand hoplites into Lepreon. [151] The Eleians imposed a fine on the Spartans for the violation of the truce, but the Spartans refused to pay it on the grounds that the truce had not been proclaimed in Sparta when their hoplites were sent out. It was for refusing to pay the fine that the Spartans were banned from the games, and the Spartans themselves let the matter lie, staying home to sacrifice. At the festival, however, fear of a Spartan reprisal was raised to a fever pitch when a prominent Spartan, Likhas, entered his chariot into competition together with the Theban contestants and won the race. Because he had no right to enter the race, the Boeotian state was {725|726} announced the victor. To show that he was the true victor, Likhas came onto the course and crowned the charioteer, whereupon the Eleian umpires beat him in full view and drove him off. [152] This drama, for all its intensity, changed nothing with respect to Lepreon, which like Sparta (except for Likhas) stayed away from the games. Two years later, in the summer of 418, the situation in Lepreon was still the same. Argos’s anti-Spartan alliance, joined by Mantinea and Elis in 421, and by Athens in 420, took various actions against Sparta in the summer of 418 before being defeated by Sparta at Mantinea. After freeing Arcadian hostages held by Sparta in Orkhomenos, the alliance debated where to go next: the Mantineans wanted to attack Tegea, the Eleians Lepreon; when the Argives and the Athenians sided with Mantinea, the Eleians went home in anger. [153] This is the last that we hear of the standoff between Elis and Lepreon {726|727} until the end of the war, when Sparta set Elis’s subject cities in Triphylia free. Lepreon was among the cities freed, and it follows that at some time between 418 and 404 Elis regained control of Lepreon from Sparta. [154] We do not know when or in what circumstances that occurred. [155]

§5.45 Nestor’s story, in my view, was expanded while Lepreon still held out against Elis, for after Lepreon succumbed the expansion of the story would have been pointless. This leaves a fairly long period to consider for the composition of the passages, namely the twenty-seven years of the Peloponnesian War. But there is a passage in Nestor’s story that has so far been left out of account, which relates, I think, to the Olympic celebration of 420 BC. The humiliation inflicted by Elis on the Spartan Likhas after the {727|728} chariot race in 420, which caused such a stir at the time, and which the Spartans still remembered with anger at the end of the war, has a parallel in Nestor’s story. Neleus once sent a four-horse chariot to Elis to compete in a race, and Augeias outraged the Pylian king by seizing his horses and sending his charioteer packing; the episode is narrated when Neleus takes his share of the spoil from Nestor’s cattle raid (Iliad 11.696–702):

ἐκ δ' ὃ γέρων ἀγέλην τε βοῶν καὶ πῶϋ μέγ' οἰῶν
εἵλετο κρινάμενος τριηκόσι' ἠδὲ νομῆας.
καὶ γὰρ τῷ χρεῖος μέγ' ὀφείλετ' ἐν Ἤλιδι δίῃ
τέσσαρες ἀθλοφόροι ἵπποι αὐτοῖσιν ὄχεσφιν
ἐλθόντες μετ' ἄεθλα· περὶ τρίποδος γὰρ ἔμελλον
θεύσεσθαι· τοὺς δ' αὖθι ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Αὐγείας
κάσχεθε, τὸν δ' ἐλατῆρ' ἀφίει ἀκαχήμενον ἵππων.

The old man took out for himself a herd of cattle and a great flock of sheep,
choosing three hundred and the herders.
For a great debt was owed to him in shining Elis,
four prizewinning horses together with the chariot,
which had gone there for prizes; for they were going to run
for a tripod, but Augeias, king of men, kept them there
and sent the driver away grieving for the horses.

Cantieni, in his study of Nestor’s story, makes a compelling case that this passage, like the three passages containing precise geographical references, is a later expansion of the story. [156] Before the passage begins Pylians who had been robbed by the Epeians are summoned at dawn to collect their due from Nestor’s cattle raid, and past events are briefly narrated to explain the low state of Pylos’s fortunes at the time of Nestor’s raid (Iliad 11.685–695):

κήρυκες δ' ἐλίγαινον ἅμ' ἠοῖ φαινομένηφι
τοὺς ἴμεν οἷσι χρεῖος ὀφείλετ' ἐν Ἤλιδι δίῃ·
οἳ δὲ συναγρόμενοι Πυλίων ἡγήτορες ἄνδρες
δαίτρευον· πολέσιν γὰρ Ἐπειοὶ χρεῖος ὄφειλον,
ὡς ἡμεῖς παῦροι κεκακωμένοι ἐν Πύλῳ ἦμεν· {728|729}
ἐλθὼν γάρ ῥ' ἐκάκωσε βίη Ἡρακληείη
τῶν προτέρων ἐτέων, κατὰ δ' ἔκταθεν ὅσσοι ἄριστοι·
δώδεκα γὰρ Νηλῆος ἀμύμονος υἱέες ἦμεν·
τῶν οἶος λιπόμην, οἳ δ' ἄλλοι πάντες ὄλοντο.
ταῦθ' ὑπερηφανέοντες Ἐπειοὶ χαλκοχίτωνες
ἡμέας ὑβρίζοντες ἀτάσθαλα μηχανόωντο.

The heralds made a shrill cry when dawn appeared
for those to come to whom a debt was owed in shining Elis,
and the Pylians’ leading men came together
and divided the spoil. For the Epeians owed a debt to many,
since few of us were left in Pylos and we were badly off,
for mighty Heracles had come and hurt us badly
in earlier years; all the best men had been killed.
Twelve sons of faultless Neleus we had been,
but of those only I was left; the others had all perished.
Emboldened by this the bronze-clad Epeians
treated us outrageously and devised reckless deeds.

In this passage the narrative moves skillfully from present to past to more distant past, and then to recent past again; [157] the passage that comes next returns to the present and continues with Neleus’s share of the spoil. This is the case with or without the expansion coming next. Without the expansion the story moves forward in the present from Neleus’s share of the spoil and the distribution of the rest to the Pylians’ sacrifices to the gods and the sudden attack of the Epeian horsemen (Iliad 11.703–709):

τῶν ὃ γέρων ἐπέων κεχολωμένος ἠδὲ καὶ ἔργων
ἐξέλετ' ἄσπετα πολλά· τὰ δ' ἄλλ' ἐς δῆμον ἔδωκε
δαιτρεύειν, μή τίς οἱ ἀτεμβόμενος κίοι ἴσης. {729|730}
ἡμεῖς μὲν τὰ ἕκαστα διείπομεν, ἀμφί τε ἄστυ
ἕρδομεν ἱρὰ θεοῖς· οἳ δὲ τρίτῳ ἤματι πάντες
ἦλθον ὁμῶς αὐτοί τε πολεῖς καὶ μώνυχες ἵπποι

Angered by their words and deeds
the old man took out an immense number; the rest he gave to the people
to distribute, so that no one would go away deprived of a fair share.
We were attending to all this, and around the city
we were making sacrifices to the gods; but on the third day they all
came, both the many men themselves and their solid-hoofed horses,
at great speed.

With the expansion, on the other hand, the narrative does not move forward but goes back again into the past for the story of Neleus’s chariot. This doubling of the background to Nestor’s cattle raid is the first sign that the story of Neleus’s chariot is not integral to the older version of the story. [158] Another sign is the plural pronoun τῶν at the beginning of the passage above (line 703). This refers to the Epeians, who are the subject of the two immediately preceding lines in the older version of the story (Ἐπειοὶ…μηχανόωντο, lines 694–695); but when the expansion intervenes, the pronoun has no clear antecedent, for then the subject of the preceding lines is the singular Augeias. Perhaps the most telling sign of expansion has to do with the motivation for Nestor’s cattle raid. Without the expansion there is only one motivation, namely cattle raids carried out by the Epeians; the Pylians, including Neleus, all suffered the same harm, and all were made whole by the cattle {730|731} that Nestor brought back. [159] The story of Neleus’s chariot provides a second motivation, which, like the second return to the past in the narrative, cannot be integral to the older version of the story; if the theft of Neleus’s horses had motivated Nestor’s raid in the older version of the story, Nestor would surely have recovered the horses as part of the story, and that does not happen in Iliad 11. [160] There are other details in the expanded passage that are not decisive in themselves, but nevertheless raise questions. [161] The four-horse chariot has no good parallel in Homer, where the two-horse chariot is the rule, as, for example, in the chariot race for Patroclus: there is only one other example of a four-horse chariot in the Iliad, when Hector calls to his four horses by name, and the fact that these names are followed by a verb in the dual underscores the anomaly; [162] in the Odyssey the only example of a four-horse chariot occurs in a simile, where features of the poets’ contemporary world are permitted. [163] As an event at the Olympic games the four-horse chariot race was an {731|732} innovation dated to the twenty-fifth Olympiad, 680 BC. [164] It is not that a four-horse chariot race is impossible in Homer; [165] it is rather that in Nestor’s story about his youth, which purports to represent a time long before, say, the chariot race for Patroclus, such a thing is very hard to credit in view of the very clear and consistent Homeric pattern.

§5.46 The expansion of Nestor’s story is, I think, meant to evoke the Olympic games, but not the games of the eighth or the seventh century BC. Although the theft of Neleus’s horses did not occur in the older version of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11, the myth itself probably goes back to the sixth or early fifth century BC, for the fifth-century Athenian author Pherekydes is known to have recounted it. In Pherekydes’ telling, furthermore, we find the full version of the myth: here Neleus’s horses are not only stolen, they are also recovered; Nestor leads an army into Elis for this express purpose. [166] In {732|733} the expansion of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11, on the other hand, the myth has been tailored to another purpose, and that purpose, in my view, is the evocation of the Olympic games of 420. [167]

§5.47 If the argument is on track so far, the expansion of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11 was intended for a Spartan audience at some date after 420 BC. It is now time to face the obvious problem that the end of the fifth century BC is quite late for a new version of Nestor’s story, not only to take root, but to replace completely the older version of the story. It is not a great exaggeration to say that by that time the Homeric poems were known everywhere and that everyone would be aware of the change. The key must be that the new version was accepted into the Athenian state text used to control Homeric performances at the Panathenaia, for it is from such a text that our tradition of the poems derives. [168] If those who had responsibility for maintaining the state text wished to change it in some way, change was theoretically possible; it would depend on whether whoever wanted a change had enough influence at the highest levels of Athenian government to bring it about.

§5.48 A strong case can be made, I think, that the poet who, on the one hand, wished to appeal to a Spartan audience, and who, on the other hand, had great influence in the Athenian government, was none other than Alcibiades, who in his public career was uniquely associated with both cities. But before we consider the activities of the public figure, we need to consider his credentials as a poet. In West’s Iambi et Elegi Graeci Alcibiades {733|734} is represented by a single elegiac couplet, which seems to be genuine, and which thus bears witness to Alcibiades’ ability to do what was done in Iliad 11. The couplet is addressed to the comic poet Eupolis, who in his play Baptai, “Bathers,” lampooned Alcibiades and other public figures as devotees of an orgiastic Thracian cult. Alcibiades responded to the “bath” given him on stage by threatening, in the couplet in question, to give Eupolis a real “bath” in the sea, and to drown him in the bitterest waters. The couplet, which is preserved by the scholia to Aelius Aristides, has uncertain wording at the beginning of the first line, but the sense is perfectly clear; the following restoration retains the imperative form of the verb βάπτω, “plunge in water, bathe,” transmitted by the scholiast in the first word: [169]

βάπτε σύ μ' ἐν θυμέλῃσιν, ἐγὼ δέ σε κύμασι πόντου
βαπτίζων ὀλέσω νάμασι πικροτάτοις.

Give me a bath on stage, but I will give you a bath in the waves of the sea
and destroy you in the bitterest of waters.

It was apparently these verses of Alcibiades that gave rise to an erroneous story, widely repeated in antiquity, that he threw Eupolis into the sea and drowned him on the way to Sicily in 415 BC. [170] {734|735}

§5.49 Alcibiades was, among other things, a poet. He also had a keen interest in Homer, as an anecdote in Plutarch’s Life of Alcibiades makes clear. When Alcibiades was a young man he asked two schoolteachers for texts of Homer. The first said that he had none, and Alcibiades struck him with his fist. The second said that he not only had a text of Homer, but that he had corrected it himself; Alcibiades thereupon asked why, when he was able to correct Homer, he taught letters (grámmata) and did not educate young men. [171] While this anecdote is unlikely to be strictly true, it doubtless contains an element of truth. The high regard for Homeric expertise exhibited by Alcibiades in the case of the second teacher is what I take to be the anecdote’s element of truth. Such expertise, in my view, was something that Alcibiades himself possessed. [172]

§5.50 Alcibiades defected from Athens to Sparta in the winter of 415/4 BC, and when he did so he had a record of anti-Spartan activity for which he needed to make amends. Most recently he had been in Sicily, one of three generals leading the Athenian expedition there; he was recalled from Sicily on a charge of profaning the Mysteries, and rather than stand trial in Athens he defected. The Sicilian Expedition itself was in large part due to Alcibiades, who had opposed the peace that ended the war between Athens and Sparta in 421, and who did all in his power to subvert that peace in the years following. To win the assembly’s approval for the Sicilian Expedition in 415 he overcame the opposition of Nikias, the author of the peace with Sparta in 421. Alcibiades first subverted the Peace of Nikias in 420, when he persuaded the Athenians to make an alliance with Argos, Mantinea, and Elis, the three Peloponnesian cities that had formed an anti-Spartan alliance the year before. In 419, while {735|736} Alcibiades was general, he led a small force of Athenian hoplites and archers through the Peloponnesus, adding contingents from the allied cities as he went, in order to solidify the opposition to Sparta. [173] The following year, in 418, the anti-Spartan strategy of Alcibiades reached a climax at the Battle of Mantinea; Alcibiades himself, for reasons unknown to us, had not been elected general that year. Sparta won the battle, but it had been forced to risk everything on a single day, and for this Alcibiades claimed full credit in Athens. [174] After the Battle of Mantinea Alcibiades could accomplish little more in the Peloponnesus. [175] His next real initiative was the Sicilian campaign, and this he was forced to abandon almost as soon as it started.

§5.51 As it turned out Alcibiades had put the Spartans at great risk but had caused them no great harm, and he was thus able to cross over to the Spartan side. He also had strong connections in Sparta. His family traditionally represented Spartan interests in Athens, a role that his grandfather renounced in the mid-fifth century. Alcibiades, who was born c. 450, wished to reassume the role of Sparta’s Athenian próxenos early in his career, and with this in mind he tended to the Spartans taken captive at Pylos in 425. [176] The trauma of having {736|737} its full citizens held prisoner in Athens finally induced Sparta to end the war in 421, but to negotiate a peace they dealt not with Alcibiades, who was still young, but with Nikias. Alcibiades was hostile to the Peace of Nikias, and did all he could to subvert it, because the Spartans had dealt with his personal enemies, increasing their power, and diminishing his own. This, as Alcibiades told a Spartan audience in the winter of 415/4, justified his anti-Spartan activities which culminated in the Battle of Mantinea in 418. [177] {737|738}

§5.52 Alcibiades had a particular friend in Sparta named Endios. There was a strong family connection between the two, and Alcibiades worked closely with Endios to accomplish his objectives in Sparta. His main objective was to make Athens pay dearly for alienating him, and so to bring down his personal enemies at home; his larger objective, which he would have kept to himself in Sparta, was surely to return to Athens when the time was right, as he in fact did in 408. This is of course to simplify the story, which does not follow a straight path, but is full of intrigue at every step. The Spartans made use of Alcibiades’ help for a time, but they distrusted him, and he was forced to change sides again and curry favor with the Persians in order to return to Athens. The initial help that Alcibiades gave the Spartans was limited to advice, namely to fortify Decelea and to send a Spartan general with a Peloponnesian force to Sicily. After the Athenian defeat in Sicily, and the annihilation of the Athenian force there, Athens’ empire was in jeopardy, and Alcibiades helped the Spartans bring about revolt in Ionia. Alcibiades’ friend Endios was elected ephor in 411, and Alcibiades persuaded him to act quickly in Chios, which was already on the point of revolt, in order to get the credit for Ionia. The Spartan king Agis, who was also trying to organize revolts, would get the credit if they delayed. Alcibiades had made a personal enemy of Agis by seducing his wife and fathering a child by her, and he thus had at least as much reason as Endios to get the best of Agis. With the backing of Endios Sparta sent a naval force, which Alcibiades accompanied, to Chios, and Chios revolted from Athens. Later in 411 Alcibiades again acted quickly to cause Miletus to revolt, and his motive was again to win credit for himself, and for Endios. [178] When {738|739} Athens struck back at Miletus, Alcibiades helped in the defense of the city, but soon thereafter a Spartan ship arrived with orders for Alcibiades’ death, and Alcibiades went over from the Spartans to the Persians. [179]

§5.53 Thucydides, who is well informed about Alcibiades and his activities, explains his relationship to Endios early in Book 8, when the Spartans, influenced by Alcibiades, first decide to concentrate their efforts on Ionia rather than the Hellespont in the campaign to break up Athens’ empire. [180] Alcibiades was an ancestral guest-friend of Endios, and Thucydides emphasizes the great closeness between their families: it was because of this relationship that Alcibiades had a Laconian name, which was also Endios’s father’s name. [181] While Alcibiades was in Sparta he was clearly close to Endios. But {739|740} three years earlier in Athens he had tricked Endios and two other Spartans in front of the assembly in order to bring Athens into the anti-Spartan alliance of Argos, Mantinea, and Elis. Endios and the other Spartan envoys had been sent to prevent this alliance and to settle differences between Sparta and Athens. They had come with full powers to settle disputes, and Alcibiades feared that because of this they would persuade the assembly to reject the alliance with Argos. He therefore tricked the Spartans into not revealing their full-power status to the assembly, giving his word that he would deliver Pylos to them in exchange for this; when they kept their part of the agreement and denied having come with full powers he flatly denounced them to the assembly. The Spartan ambassadors were thus defeated and Alcibiades got the alliance with Argos that he wanted.

§5.54 If the story of Alcibiades’ deception of the Spartan ambassadors is true, as Thucydides believed it to be, Alcibiades had amends to make to Endios when he defected to Sparta three years later. [182] I see in this a potential motive for the expansion of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11. Alcibiades must have needed Endios’s help to pave the way for him in Sparta. He also had time on his hands while arrangements for his arrival in Sparta were made. On the way back from Sicily Alcibiades escaped his Athenian escort at Thurii in southern Italy, and from there he made his way by merchant ship to Elis in the Peloponnesus, landing at the port of Cyllene. [183] He could not risk going to Sparta without a safe-conduct, and so he waited in Elis until the Spartans sent for him. [184] As he {740|741} waited he perhaps revisited the landscape around Olympia. At the Olympic games the year before, in 416 BC, he had entered an unprecedented seven chariots in the chariot race, bringing immense glory to himself, and to Athens, by winning first, second, and fourth places. [185] At the games four years earlier the Spartan Likhas had been beaten by the Eleian umpires for entering the chariot race. That was the summer of 420, just after Alcibiades had brought Athens into the anti-Spartan alliance of Argos, Mantinea, and Elis. The treaty for that alliance had been engraved on a pillar and set up at Olympia expressly for the games of 420. [186] When it was feared that the Spartans would defy the ban on their participation and come in force, Athenian cavalry were among those held in readiness near the games. [187] Alcibiades knew this whole landscape well. In 419, when he led a force through the Peloponnesus to solidify the Argive alliance, he must have visited Elis, and he may well have ventured south toward the trouble spot of Lepreon. More likely he took the opportunity now, in 415, to visit Lepreon, and neighboring Pylos, as he waited to hear from Sparta about his safe-conduct. With this landscape in mind and with recollections of past Olympic games he had all he needed to expand Nestor’s story. If he did not have a text of Homer, there was doubtless a schoolteacher in Elis to provide one. {741|742}

§5.55 Alcibiades knew where he was headed at this point, and he knew that he would need Endios’s help. He had once tricked his friend in order to get Athens to join the anti-Spartan alliance of Argos, Mantinea, and Elis, but now he was joining the other side, of Sparta and Lepreon. [188] To correlate with Nestor’s story the two sides could be represented by Elis on the one hand and Lepreon on the other. Whereas Alcibiades had once been on the side of Elis, he was now switching to the side of Lepreon, and thus of ancient Pylos as well. To work this out in Nestor’s story was an interesting challenge. Sparta had long been on the defensive about the location of Nestor’s Pylos, alleging that it was in Elis when the rest of the world knew that it was in Messenia. Who but Alcibiades would have thought of a third way out that shifted Sparta to the moral high ground as the latter-day defender of Nestor’s beleaguered city?

§5.56 The effort was intended for Endios, I think, and through Endios perhaps for other Spartans. [189] The language of the expansions, as we have seen, contains nothing to mark it as un-Homeric. A skilled craftsman did the job. In terms of poetic technique there is also nothing remarkable, and this is again a sign of skill: the expansions succeed by drawing as little attention to themselves as possible, as if they had always been there. [190] It is interesting {742|743} that the Anigros River, which is clearly meant as the point where Nestor and the Pylians mobilize after leaving their city by night, is called the “Minyan river.” This is as much a periphrasis as it is a name, and it serves a dual purpose: it avoids the name Anigros, which would have drawn glaring attention to itself, and it suggests the ancient Minyans, who were associated with this very region in Alcibiades’ day, as Herodotus attests. [191]

§5.57 There is one particular point in the language that I take to be highly significant in view of the authorship that I propose. It has to do with the Alpheios River, which is the central fixed point in the expansion of Nestor’s story. For the geography of the expanded story to work, there can be no doubt about the Alpheios: [192] it is the Alpheios that identifies the “Minyan river” as the Anigros, for the two rivers are separated by a half-day’s march, and the identification of the Anigros in turn tells us exactly where Pylos is. The standard of measurement for the distances in the expanded story is the half-day’s march from the Anigros to the Alpheios, and I do not think that it is an accident that the word used to indicate a half-day’s march, ἔνδιοι, “at noon,” is the plural of the name Endios (Iliad 11.725–726):

ἔνθεν πανσυδίῃ σὺν τεύχεσι θωρηχθέντες
ἔνδιοι ἱκόμεσθ' ἱερὸν ῥόον Ἀλφειοῖο.

From there, armed with weapons, we came at great speed
to the sacred stream of the Alpheios at midday. [193] {743|744}

As previously mentioned, Alcibiades and Endios shared the name Alcibiades; it was Endios’s patronymic. By identifying himself with Pylians who once marched against Elis, Alcibiades also, in a sense, shares with his guest-friend the name Endios. It is an elegant compliment and a sign of solidarity to Endios, who presumably would not have failed to notice it. [194] There is only one other instance of the adjective in Homer, as Alcibiades and Endios would both know, and there could be no mistaking the intent of its second appearance in Nestor’s expanded story. [195]

§5.58 There remains the question of how the expanded version of Nestor’s story entered the Athenian state text. Alcibiades was destined to return to Athens in 408. It was a moment of triumph for him, and he used it to maximum advantage. He had never answered the charge of profaning the Mysteries, and now he chose to answer it in his own way. In the celebration of the Mysteries the customary procession to Eleusis became impossible when the Spartans (at Alcibiades’ suggestion) occupied Decelea; now the Athenians could reach Eleusis only by sea. In 408 Alcibiades personally conducted the procession to Eleusis under the protection of the army, to magnificent effect. He remained afterwards for some months in Athens, with ample opportunity to think about the Athenian state text of Homer, to which he must have had access in his hour of triumph. [196] Why would he have wanted to return to something that he had done in other circumstances and for another purpose? Perhaps he had simply grown fond of his own contribution to Homer and wished to see it perpetuated.

§5.59 In 424, the year after the Spartan hoplites were taken prisoner at Pylos, Aristophanes in the Knights quoted half an old riddle about the location {744|745} of Pylos that now had topical relevance, if only for the name. [197] The riddle itself was clearly well known since only half of it is quoted: ἔστι Πύλος πρὸ Πύλοιο, “there is a Pylos before Pylos”; the rest of the riddle, which the audience would have known, is quoted by the scholia to Aristophanes and by Strabo: Πύλος γε μέν ἐστι καὶ ἄλλος, “and there is yet another Pylos.” We can account for the first two of these cities named Pylos, one “before” the other, within the region of Messenia, as earlier discussed; [198] the third Pylos referred to in this well-known riddle, which seems to have originated in the sixth century BC, can only have been in Elis. [199] The Pylos in Triphylia was not one of the three cities intended by the riddle when it was first composed, nor was it understood as one of the three cities at issue when the riddle was quoted by Aristophanes. The earliest that we can see Triphylia being taken as the location of Nestor’s city is by Demetrius of Scepsis more than two centuries later. [200] During those two centuries the expanded version of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11, which I would date to 415 BC, established itself as the dominant version and perhaps the only version of the story. That is a remarkable fact in itself. [201] {745|746}

§5.60 Sparta’s relationship with other Peloponnesians was the main factor causing shifts in the location of Nestor’s Homeric city, first in the late seventh or early sixth century BC, when an Eleian location entered the picture, and again in the late fifth century BC, when a Triphylian location entered the picture. In the first instance, when Sparta expelled Messenia’s coastal population at the end of the Second Messenian War, Sparta itself had a motive to deny that Messenia was ever Nestor’s kingdom, and it succeeded in its denial insofar as the location of Pylos became a question, indeed a riddle, from that point on. In the late fifth century BC Sparta no longer had a stake in the location of Nestor’s Pylos, but its protection of Lepreon against Elis nevertheless led to a new location for Nestor’s city in Triphylia, and this new location put up a challenge to Messenia that has still not been put down.§5.61 Sparta’s effect on the question of Pylos’s location, interesting as it is for the history of the transmission of the Homeric poems, is irrelevant to the meaning of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11, the point of departure of my analysis. In that story Nestor tells how he first became hippóta Néstōr by conquering the entire western Peloponnesus, from Pylos to Bouprasion, in a single day. Only later did the interest of this story shift from its meaning for the story of Patroclus, its true object, to the question of the location of Pylos. To that question, which was not in the poet’s mind as such, Nestor’s story has no real answer. {746|747}


[ back ] 136. I note that Wilamowitz 2006:335 takes Nestor’s Iliad 11 story as a whole to be a reflection of the Eleians’ aggression against more immediate neighbors in southern Elis and the Pisatis in the period between 776 BC (the first Olympiad) and c. 600 BC; although the roots of Nestor’s story are in my view much older than that (for Wilamowitz’s dating of the so-called “Nestoris” to c. 700 BC see Burkert in Wilamowitz 2006:13), the story’s concrete form probably owes something to historical conditions during the Homeric era. But the issue for the expansion of Nestor’s story is not southern Elis and the Pisatis, but Triphylia. Bölte’s comment, RE ‘Triphylia’ 199: “The politics of the Triphylians were determined at all times by their opposition to Elis” (“Die Politik der Triphylier war zu allen Zeiten bestimmt durch den Gegensatz zu Elis”), concerns the historical period primarily. In Strabo’s time the border between Triphylia and Messenia was the Neda River, south of Lepreon (Strabo 8.3.22); in a passage dealing with Homeric geography Strabo 8.4.1 refers to a cape on the border between Messenia and Triphylia, apparently indicating a boundary other than the Neda at an earlier time.

[ back ] 137. Skillous lay a few kilometers south of the Alpheios, to the southwest of Olympia; Makistos (or Makiston), whose location is unknown, is variously placed east of Skillous near the Alpheios, and further to the south near Samikon (see Bölte RE ‘Makiston’ 775–776, who supports a location near Samikon). The Pisatans’ allies also included Dyspontion, a perioikic city in Elis on the road from Olympia to the later town of Elis. For the Eleians’ overthrow of the Pisatans and their allies, cf. EN5.16 to n5.108 above. The main source for this event, Pausanias 6.22.4, represents the Pisatans and their allies as aggressors in the war; this probably reflects the bias of Pausanias’s source and is regarded with skepticism (Swoboda RE ‘Elis’ 2390): Πύρρου δὲ τοῦ Πανταλέοντος μετὰ Δαμοφῶντα τὸν ἀδελφὸν βασιλεύσαντος Πισαῖοι πόλεμον ἑκούσιον ἐπανείλοντο Ἠλείοις, συναπέστησαν δέ σφισιν ἀπὸ Ἠλείων Μακίστιοι καὶ Σκιλλούντιοι, οὗτοι μὲν ἐκ τῆς Τριφυλίας, τῶν δὲ ἄλλων περιοίκων Δυσπόντιοι…. Πισαίους μὲν δὴ καὶ ὅσοι τοῦ πολέμου Πισαίοις μετέσχον, ἐπέλαβεν ἀναστάτους ὑπὸ Ἠλείων γενέσθαι, “When Pantaleon’s son Pyrrhos ruled after his brother Damophon, the Pisatans entered into a voluntary war against the Eleians, and the Makistians and Skillountians in Triphylia revolted with them from the Eleians, and also the Dyspontians among the other neighboring peoples…. It befell the Pisatans and all who joined the Pisatans in war to be destroyed by the Eleians.” Cf. also Pausanias 5.6.4: τῶν μὲν δὴ πόλεων ἦν τῶν ἐν τῇ Τριφυλίᾳ καὶ Σκιλλοῦς· ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦ πολέμου τοῦ Πισαίων πρὸς Ἠλείους ἐπίκουροί τε Πισαίων οἱ Σκιλλούντιοι καὶ διάφοροι τοῖς Ἠλείοις ἦσαν ἐκ τοῦ φανεροῦ, καὶ σφᾶς οἱ Ἠλεῖοι τούτων ἕνεκα ἐποίησαν ἀναστάτους, “Skillous also was one of the cities in Triphylia; during the war of the Pisatans against the Eleians the Skillountians were openly allies of the Pisatans and hostile to the Eleians, and for this the Eleians destroyed them.”

[ back ] 138. Pausanias 6.22.4 (see previous note) says that it was the fate of the Pisatans and all their allies to be destroyed by the Eleans (ἀναστάτους ὑπὸ Ἠλείων γενέσθαι); about the fate of the Dyspontians Strabo 8.3.32 gives the futher information that they left their city and that most went to Epidamnos and Apollonia: αὐτοῦ δ' ἔστι…καὶ τὸ Δυσπόντιον κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν τὴν ἐξ Ἤλιδος εἰς Ὀλυμπίαν ἐν πεδίῳ κείμενον· ἐξελείφθη δέ, καὶ ἀπῆραν οἱ πλείους εἰς Ἐπίδαμνον καὶ Ἀπολλωνίαν, “Here is…also Dyspontion, on the road from Elis to Olympia, lying in a plain; but it was abandoned, and most of the people went to Epidamnos and Apollonia.” We hear nothing further about the fate of Makistos and Skillous, but Skillous, at least, was later inhabited and is unlikely to have been abandoned in the first place. Evidence for the later history of Skillous and Makistos in Triphylia, and of the Pisatis, is discussed in EN5.17.

[ back ] 139. Herodotus 4.148; Herodotus says that of the Minyans forced to leave Laconia some joined the Spartan colonization of Thera, but most went to the country of the Paroreatai and Kaukones (i.e. Triphylia), whom they drove out to found the six new cities: οἱ γὰρ πλέονες αὐτῶν ἐτράποντο ἐς τοὺς Παρωρεάτας καὶ Καύκωνας, τούτους δὲ ἐξελάσαντες ἐκ τῆς χώρης σφέας αὐτοὺς ἓξ μοίρας διεῖλον, καὶ ἔπειτα ἔκτισαν πόλις τάσδε ἐν αὐτοῖσι, Λέπρεον, Μάκιστον, Φρίξας, Πύργον, Ἔπιον, Νούδιον· τουτέων δὲ τὰς πλέονας ἐπ' ἐμέο Ἠλεῖοι ἐπόρθησαν, “Most of them turned toward the Paroreatai and Kaukones, and driving these people out of their country they divided themselves into six groups, and amongst them they then founded the following cities, Lepreon, Makiston, Phrixai, Pyrgon, Epion, Noudion. The Eleians destroyed most of these cities during my lifetime” (Herodotus 4.148.4).

[ back ] 140. We know that Lepreon still remained free of Elis in 418 BC (Thucydides 5.62), but it is unclear what happened after that (see below §5.44 end and n5.153 and n5.155). Whether Herodotus was still alive and at work on the Histories after 421 BC is controversial (cf. EN5.18 end to n5.145 below).

[ back ] 141. See n5.23 and n5.24 above on the location of Pylos north of Lepreon on the Leprean border, and the question of whether the population of Pylos remained in place or was moved to Lepreon when Lepreon absorbed Pylos.

[ back ] 142. Strabo 8.3.30 (end): καὶ αὐτὸν δὲ τὸν Πύλον τὸν ἠμαθόεντα εἰς τὸ Λέπρειον συνῴκισαν, χαριζόμενοι τοῖς Λεπρεάταις κρατήσασι πολέμῳ, καὶ ἄλλας πολλὰς τῶν κατοικιῶν κατέσπασαν, ὅσας γ' ἑώρων αὐτοπραγεῖν ἐθελούσας, καὶ φόρους ἐπράξαντο, “They joined sandy Pylos itself with Lepreon, gratifying the Lepreans who had prevailed in a war, and they destroyed as many of the other communities as they saw wishing to act independently, and they exacted tribute.” The subject of this sentence, which refers to the overthrow of Triphylian cities (καὶ ἄλλας πολλὰς τῶν κατοικιῶν κατέσπασαν, “and they destroyed many of the other settlements”), must be the Eleians, as in Herodotus 4.148.4, which refers to the same events; by the same token the tribute mentioned (καὶ φόρους ἐπράξαντο, “and they exacted tribute”) must refer to the tribute exacted by Elis from Lepreon as described by Thucydides. The problem is that the sentence comes at the end of a sweeping historical account of how Sparta helped Elis gain control over Triphylia as far as the Messenian border (this problematic passage is discussed in EN5.18 to n5.145 below). The sentence quoted above is appended to the end of this passage with no indication of a change of subject, and the subject thus still seems to be the Spartans. For the necessary change of subject to the Eleians in this sentence, see Bölte RE ‘Triphylia’ 197. The war won by Lepreon, after which Elis incorporated Pylos into Lepreon, is considered further in EN5.18 to n5.145 below.

[ back ] 143. Thucydides 5.31.2–3: πολέμου γὰρ γενομένου ποτὲ πρὸς Ἀρκάδων τινὰς Λεπρεάταις καὶ Ἠλείων παρακληθέντων ὑπὸ Λεπρεατῶν ἐς ξυμμαχίαν ἐπὶ τῇ ἡμισείᾳ τῆς γῆς καὶ λυσάντων τὸν πόλεμον Ἠλεῖοι τὴν γῆν νεμομένοις αὐτοῖς τοῖς Λεπρεάταις τάλαντον ἔταξαν τῷ Διὶ τῷ Ὀλυμπίῳ ἀποφέρειν. καὶ μέχρι μὲν τοῦ Ἀττικοῦ πολέμου ἀπέφερον, ἔπειτα παυσαμένων διὰ πρόφασιν τοῦ πολέμου οἱ Ἠλεῖοι ἐπηνάγκαζον, οἱ δ' ἐτράποντο πρὸς τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους, “Once when the Lepreans were at war with certain Arcadians and the Eleians were summoned as allies by the Lepreans on the condition of half their land, the Eleians, when they concluded the war, fixed a tribute of one talent for the Lepreans to pay to Olympian Zeus for the land, which the Lepreans continued to inhabit. They paid the tribute until the Attic war, when they stopped on the pretext of the war; the Eleians began to compel them by force, and they turned to the Spartans.”

[ back ] 144. Cf. Bölte 1934:341: “It is an obvious thing to see in the territory of Pylos the ἡμίσεια τῆς χώρας, ‘half the land,’ that according to Thucydides 5.31.2 the Lepreans offered the Eleians for their armed help against the Arcadians” (“Es liegt nahe, in dem Gebiet von Pylos die ἡμίσεια τῆς χώρας zu erblicken, welche die Lepreaten nach Thuk. 5.31.2 den Eleiern für Waffenhilfe gegen die Arkader anboten”); cf. also Bölte RE ‘Triphylia’ 197–198.

[ back ] 145. In Thucydides Elis demands half of Lepreon before fighting the war; in Strabo Pylos becomes part of Lepreon after the war. How these two accounts can be reconciled is considered in EN5.18.

[ back ] 146. Andrewes (Gomme et al. 1970) comments on Thucydides 5.31.2 that as an annual rent a talent “looks high for half the Lepreatis,” although that depends on the size of the latter at the time.

[ back ] 147. Thucydides 5.31.3 (n5.143 above).

[ back ] 148. Thucydides 5.31.3–4: καὶ δίκης Λακεδαιμονίοις ἐπιτραπείσης ὑποτοπήσαντες οἱ Ἠλεῖοι μὴ ἴσον ἕξειν ἀνέντες τὴν ἐπιτροπὴν Λεπρεατῶν τὴν γῆν ἔτεμον. οἱ δὲ Λακεδαιμόνιοι οὐδὲν ἧσσον ἐδίκασαν αὐτονόμους εἶναι Λεπρεάτας καὶ ἀδικεῖν Ἠλείους, καὶ ὡς οὐκ ἐμμεινάντων τῇ ἐπιτροπῇ φρουρὰν ὁπλιτῶν ἐσέπεμψαν ἐς Λέπρεον, “After the matter was turned over to the Spartans for arbitration, the Eleians, suspecting that they would not get their due, gave up the arbitration and began to ravage the Lepreans’ land. The Spartans nonetheless decided that the Lepreans were independent and the Eleians were in the wrong, and on the grounds that the Eleians had not remained in the arbitration they sent a garrison of hoplites to Lepreon.”

[ back ] 149. Thucydides 5.31.5: οἱ δὲ Ἠλεῖοι νομίζοντες πόλιν σφῶν ἀφεστηκυῖαν δέξασθαι τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους καὶ τὴν ξυνθήκην προφέροντες ἐν ᾗ εἴρητο, ἃ ἔχοντες ἐς τὸν Ἀττικὸν πόλεμον καθίσταντό τινες, ταῦτα ἔχοντας καὶ ἐξελθεῖν, ὡς οὐκ ἴσον ἔχοντες ἀφίστανται πρὸς τοὺς Ἀργείους, καὶ τὴν ξυμμαχίαν, ὥσπερ προείρητο, καὶ οὗτοι ἐποιήσαντο, “The Eleians, thinking that the Spartans had received a city that had revolted from them, and citing the treaty in which it is stated that what the various cities had going into the Attic war they should also have at the end of the war, thinking that they had been treated unfairly they revolted to the Argives, with whom they made an alliance, as has already been said.” It is not clear to what treaty the Eleians referred in their charge against Sparta. Andrewes (Gomme et al. 1970) ad loc. discusses the possibility that it may have been the Peace of Nikias as originally discussed but not as finally formulated (the Peace of Nikias contained no provision regarding subject states); in that case the Eleians also extended the provision from relations between adversaries to relations between allies. Another possibility is that the Peloponnesian allies made a treaty among themselves at the outbreak of the war, but this would imply, as Andewes says, an extraordinary degree of mutual distrust.

[ back ] 150. Thucydides 5.34.1: καὶ τοῦ αὐτοῦ θέρους ἤδη ἡκόντων αὐτοῖς τῶν ἀπὸ Θρᾴκης μετὰ Βρασίδου ἐξελθόντων στρατιωτῶν, οὓς ὁ Κλεαρίδας μετὰ τὰς σπονδὰς ἐκόμισεν, οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι ἐψηφίσαντο τοὺς μὲν μετὰ Βρασίδου Εἵλωτας μαχεσαμένους ἐλευθέρους εἶναι καὶ οἰκεῖν ὅπου ἂν βούλωνται, καὶ ὕστερον οὐ πολλῷ αὐτοὺς μετὰ τῶν νεοδαμώδων ἐς Λέπρεον κατέστησαν, κείμενον ἐπὶ τῆς Λακωνικῆς καὶ τῆς Ἠλείας, ὄντες ἤδη διάφοροι Ἠλείοις, “In the same summer the soldiers returning with Brasidas from Thrace, whom Klearidas had brought there after the treaty, arrived in Sparta; the Spartans voted that the helots who fought with Brasidas were free and could live where they wished, and not long after settled them with the new helot recruits in Lepreon, which borders on the Spartan and Eleian countries, the Spartans already being at odds with the Eleians.” The helots who fought with Brasidas in Thrace received their freedom on their return; the other group mentioned in the passage, the neodamō̂dai, were also freed helots, but they seem to have received their freedom before or at their enrollment. Both groups were settled in Lepreon after the peace of 421.

[ back ] 151. Thucydides 5.49.1: καὶ Λακεδαιμόνιοι τοῦ ἱεροῦ ὑπὸ Ἠλείων εἴρχθησαν ὥστε μὴ θύειν μηδ' ἀγωνίζεσθαι, οὐκ ἐκτίνοντες τὴν δίκην αὐτοῖς ἣν ἐν τῷ Ὀλυμπιακῷ νόμῳ Ἠλεῖοι κατεδικάσαντο αὐτῶν φάσκοντες ‹ἐς› σφᾶς ἐπὶ Φύρκον τε τεῖχος ὅπλα ἐπενεγκεῖν καὶ ἐς Λέπρεον αὐτῶν ὁπλίτας ἐν ταῖς Ὀλυμπιακαῖς σπονδαῖς ἐσπέμψαι, “The Spartans were banned from the temple so as not to sacrifice or compete because they had not paid the penalty that the Eleians decided against them according to the Olympic law; the Eleians claimed that the Spartans had carried out an armed attack against them at Phyrkos, a fort, and had sent hoplites of theirs into Lepreon during the Olympic truce.” The fort, which is otherwise unknown, was presumably in the territory of Lepreon.

[ back ] 152. Thucydides 5.50.4: δέος δ' ἐγένετο τῇ πανηγύρει μέγα μὴ ξὺν ὅπλοις ἔλθωσιν οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, ἄλλως τε καὶ ἐπειδὴ καὶ Λίχας ὁ Ἀρκεσιλάου Λακεδαιμόνιος ἐν τῷ ἀγῶνι ὑπὸ τῶν ῥαβδούχων πληγὰς ἔλαβεν, ὅτι νικῶντος τοῦ ἑαυτοῦ ζεύγους καὶ ἀνακηρυχθέντος Βοιωτῶν δημοσίου κατὰ τὴν οὐκ ἐξουσίαν τῆς ἀγωνίσεως προελθὼν ἐς τὸν ἀγῶνα ἀνέδησε τὸν ἡνίοχον, βουλόμενος δηλῶσαι ὅτι ἑαυτοῦ ἦν τὸ ἅρμα· ὥστε πολλῷ δὴ μᾶλλον ἐπεφόβηντο πάντες καὶ ἐδόκει τι νέον ἔσεσθαι. οἱ μέντοι Λακεδαιμόνιοι ἡσύχασάν τε καὶ ἡ ἑορτὴ αὐτοῖς οὕτω διῆλθεν, “There was a great fear at the festival that the Spartans would come in arms, especially when the Spartan Likhas, the son of Arkesilaos, was given blows on the course by the umpires; when his chariot won and the Boeotian state was proclaimed the victor because of his ineligibility, he proceeded onto the course and tied a wreath onto the charioteer, wishing to show that the chariot was his; as a result all were in a much greater state of fear, and it seemed that something would happen. But the Spartans remained calm and thus the festival passed for them.” Thucydides says that the Boeotian people was announced the victor in the race; Xenophon, who also tells of the incident, says that Likhas gave his chariot to the Thebans to race (Hellenica 3.2.21). Xenophon makes clear how painful the whole episode was to the Spartans: when the Spartans made war on the Eleians twenty years later, one of their grievances even then was having been barred from the games and having had one of their citizens, an old man, beaten and driven from the course: Λακεδαιμόνιοι…πάλαι ὀργιζόμενοι τοῖς Ἠλείοις καὶ ὅτι ἐποιήσαντο συμμαχίαν πρὸς Ἀθηναίους καὶ Ἀργείους καὶ Μαντινέας, καὶ ὅτι δίκην φάσκοντες καταδεδικάσθαι αὐτῶν ἐκώλυον καὶ τοῦ ἱππικοῦ καὶ τοῦ γυμνικοῦ ἀγῶνος, καὶ οὐ μόνον ταῦτ' ἤρκει, ἀλλὰ καὶ Λίχα παραδόντος Θηβαίοις τὸ ἅρμα, ἐπεὶ ἐκηρύττοντο νικῶντες, ὅτε εἰσῆλθε Λίχας στεφανώσων τὸν ἡνίοχον, μαστιγοῦντες αὐτόν, ἄνδρα γέροντα, ἐξήλασαν, “The Spartans…had long been angry with the Eleians because of the alliance that they had made with the Athenians, Argives, and Mantineans, and also because they had barred the Spartans from the chariot race and athletic competition, claiming that a fine had been levied against them; and this was not enough, but after Likhas handed over his chariot to the Thebans and they were proclaimed victors, and when he then entered the course to crown the charioteer, the Eleians beat him, an old man, and drove him off” (Xenophon Hellenica 3.2.21).

[ back ] 153. Thucydides 5.62.1–2: μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο ἔχοντες ἤδη τὸν Ὀρχομενὸν ἐβουλεύοντο οἱ ξύμμαχοι ἐφ' ὅτι χρὴ πρῶτον ἰέναι τῶν λοιπῶν. καὶ Ἠλεῖοι μὲν ἐπὶ Λέπρεον ἐκέλευον, Μαντινῆς δὲ ἐπὶ Τεγέαν· καὶ προσέθεντο οἱ Ἀργεῖοι καὶ Ἀθηναῖοι τοῖς Μαντινεῦσιν. καὶ οἱ μὲν Ἠλεῖοι ὀργισθέντες ὅτι οὐκ ἐπὶ Λέπρεον ἐψηφίσαντο ἀνεχώρησαν ἐπ' οἴκου, “After this, having Orkhomenos now in hand, the allies debated which of the remaining objectives they should attack first. The Eleians urged Lepreon, the Mantineans Tegea, and the Argives and Athenians supported the Mantineans. The Eleians, angry that they had not voted to attack Lepreon, went home.” Later in the summer the Eleians sent three thousand hoplites to the allies, but they arrived too late for the battle at Mantinea (Thucydides 5.75.5).

[ back ] 154. Xenophon Hellenica 3.2.25; the Lepreans, with the Makistians, were the first to revolt to Agis when he invaded, but others soon followed: περιόντι δὲ τῷ ἐνιαυτῷ φαίνουσι πάλιν οἱ ἔφοροι φρουρὰν ἐπὶ τὴν Ἦλιν, καὶ συνεστρατεύοντο τῷ Ἄγιδι πλὴν Βοιωτῶν καὶ Κορινθίων οἵ τε ἄλλοι πάντες σύμμαχοι καὶ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι. ἐμβαλόντος δὲ τοῦ Ἄγιδος δι' Αὐλῶνος, εὐθὺς μὲν Λεπρεᾶται ἀποστάντες τῶν Ἠλείων προσεχώρησαν αὐτῷ , εὐθὺς δὲ Μακίστιοι, ἐχόμενοι δ' Ἐπιταλιεῖς. διαβαίνοντι δὲ τὸν ποταμὸν προσεχώρουν Λετρῖνοι καὶ Ἀμφίδολοι καὶ Μαργανεῖς. ἐκ δὲ τούτου ἐλθὼν εἰς Ὀλυμπίαν ἔθυε τῷ Διὶ τῷ Ὀλυμπίῳ· κωλύειν δὲ οὐδεὶς ἔτι ἐπειρᾶτο. θύσας δὲ πρὸς τὸ ἄστυ ἐπορεύετο, κόπτων καὶ κάων τὴν χώραν, καὶ ὑπέρπολλα μὲν κτήνη, ὑπέρπολλα δὲ ἀνδράποδα ἡλίσκετο ἐκ τῆς χώρας, “In the course of the year the ephors called up a levy against Elis, and all the allies except the Boeotians and Corinthians joined Agis in the campaign, including the Athenians. When Agis invaded the country through Aulon, the Lepreans immediately revolted from the Eleians and joined him, as did the Makistians, and next the Epitalians. When he crossed the river the Letrinians, Amphidolians, and Marganians joined him. After this he went to Olympia and sacrificed to Olympian Zeus; no one any longer tried to stop him. After he sacrificed he marched toward the city, cutting and burning the land, and a great number of beasts and a great number of slaves were captured from the country” (Xenophon Hellenica 3.2.25–26).

[ back ] 155. Aristophanes’ Birds, produced in 414 BC, calls Lepreon “Eleian,” but this is probably only to identify the city geographically (cf. Andrewes in Gomme et al. 1970 on Thucydides 5.31.2); thus it does not necessarily follow that Elis had regained Lepreon by 414. The two heroes of the play seek a new city to inhabit and the Hoopoe first suggests two Greek cities, Lepreon in Elis and Opous in Lokris, both of which are rejected with puns: Lepreon because of Melanthios, an obnoxious tragic poet said to have leprosy; Opous because of Opountios, a one-eyed informer (lines 149–154). The important point is the balance between the expressions “Lepreon in Elis” (τὸν Ἠλεῖον Λέπρεον) and “the Opountians of Lokris” (τῆς Λοκρίδος Ὀπούντιοι): geographical location seems to be the point in the one case as in the other. One might argue that the passage indicates that in 414 Lepreon was open for settlement, but the same possibility must then be admitted for Opous (cf. Andrewes). The status of Lepreon in 414 is simply not known. (For the gender of τὸν Ἠλεῖον Λέπρεον in Aristophanes see Fraenkel 1959:11–12.)

[ back ] 156. Cantieni 1942:63–67.

[ back ] 157. As Cantieni 1942:64n135 points out, the two steps back in time are made with the same verbal device, namely the change of a passive expression into an active equivalent: χρεῖος ὀφείλετο in line 686 is changed into χρεῖος ὄφειλον in line 688, and the focus is thereby shifted from the distribution of Nestor’s spoil in the present to the Epeians’ raids in the past; κεκακωμένοι in line 689 is changed into ἐκάκωσε in line 690, and the focus is thereby shifted from the Pylians’ condition in the past to Heracles’ still earlier sack. After the four lines devoted to Heracles’ sack (690–693) the narrative moves forward in time again through the same two stages, the first being a return to the Eleians’ depredations of the Pylians (lines 694–695).

[ back ] 158. Ring composition is used to give the background to Nestor’s cattle raid: the point from which the narrative departs and to which it returns is the distribution of spoil. The expansion also employs ring composition in making Neleus’s spoil a point of departure and return. One would have expected the story of Neleus’s horses to be told in the first passage, when the narrative moves forward from the remote past, Heracles’ sack, to the depredations of the Eleians, but there only vague terms are used (ταῦθ' ὑπερηφανέοντες… / ἡμέας ὑβρίζοντες ἀτάσθαλα μηχανόωντο): the important story, Heracles’ sack, has been told, and the Epeians’ outrage of the weakened Pylians is already known (they stole the Pylians’ cattle); the narrative does not waste time repeating what is already known but returns to the present to continue with the story. Cf. Cantieni 1942:65, who compares certain aspects of the Meleager story (Iliad 9.529–599).

[ back ] 159. See Cantieni 1942:28–31, 61–63; Cantieni terms the purpose of Nestor’s raid “compensation for stolen property” (“Entschädigung für Geraubtes,” p. 29), and he interprets the phrase ῥύσι' ἐλαυνόμενος, “driving off cattle in reprisal,” in Iliad 11.674 in this sense (p. 31 and n51); ῥύσια occurs only here in Homer.

[ back ] 160. Cf. §5.46 and n5.166 below.

[ back ] 161. The language of this expansion, as of the three other expansions of Nestor’s story, is acceptably Homeric, but there is a weakness in the second line of the passage (697): the neuter plural adjective τριηκόσια, “three hundred,” has no noun to modify; presumably three hundred head of livestock are meant, but the adjective is connected only very loosely with the phrase ἀγέλην τε βοῶν καὶ πῶϋ μέγ' οἰῶν, “a herd of cattle and a great flock of sheep” in the preceding line. The model for the phrase τριηκόσι' ἠδὲ νομῆας, “three hundred and the herders,” in Iliad 11.697 is seen in Odyssey 21.18–19, where τριηκόσι’, “three hundred,” agrees with μῆλα, “sheep,” in the preceding line: μῆλα γὰρ ἐξ Ἰθάκης Μεσσήνιοι ἄνδρες ἄειραν / νηυσὶ πολυκλήϊσι τριηκόσι' ἠδὲ νομῆας, “Messenian men with their many-benched ships took from Ithaca three hundred sheep and their herders.”

[ back ] 162. Iliad 8.185–186:

Ξάνθέ τε καὶ σὺ Πόδαργε καὶ Αἴθων Λάμπέ τε δῖε
νῦν μοι τὴν κομιδὴν ἀποτίνετον.

Xanthos, and you, Podargos, and Aithon, and shining Lampos,
repay me [you two] now for your keep.

[ back ] 163. The Phaeacian ship that carries Odysseus home is compared to a four-horse chariot (Odyssey 13.81–85):

ἡ δ', ὥς τ' ἐν πεδίῳ τετράοροι ἄρσενες ἵπποι,
πάντες ἅμ' ὁρμηθέντες ὑπὸ πληγῇσιν ἱμάσθλης
ὑψόσ' ἀειρόμενοι ῥίμφα πρήσσουσι κέλευθον,
ὣς ἄρα τῆς πρύμνη μὲν ἀείρετο, κῦμα δ' ὄπισθεν
πορφύρεον μέγα θῦε πολυφλοίσβοιο θαλάσσης.

As four yoked stallions on the plain,
all surging together under the whip’s blows,
rise high as they quickly traverse their course,
so the ship’s stern rose, and behind it ran
a great dark wave of the much resounding sea.

[ back ] 164. Sextus Iulius Africanus Olympionicarum Fasti (List of the Victors at the Olympian Games) for 680 BC: προσετέθη τέθριππον καὶ ἐνίκα Παγώνδας Θηβαῖος, “The four-horse chariot was added and Pagondas the Theban won”; Pausanias 5.8.7 records the same victory without specifying the chariot type: πέμπτῃ δὲ ἐπὶ ταῖς εἴκοσι…ἀνηγορεύθη Θηβαῖος Παγώνδας κρατῶν ἅρματι, “In the twenty-fifth Olympiad…the Theban Pagondas was proclaimed victor in the chariot.”

[ back ] 165. Cf. Lorimer 1950:328: “Homer’s treatment of the chariot is strictly ‘Mycenaean’; in war and racing alike only a pair of horses is used…. At what time the team of four became usual we cannot tell; it sometimes occurs on Dipylon vases of a late type. The four-horse chariot-race was introduced at Olympia only in the 25th Olympiad, but had probably been practised as a sport much earlier. At the time of their entry into the Peloponnese neither the Dorians nor the north-west Greeks can have been proficient in the use of the chariot, and the latter would not be likely to encourage it at the festival which they controlled. If the team of four was known in the rugged land of Attica before the end of the eighth century, it must have been familiar in other regions at least as early. The allusion to such a chariot therefore in Iliad 11.699ff. need be no later, nor yet the simile in Odyssey 13.81.” Lorimer cites a Dipylon-vase depiction and adds that “plastic groups of four horses forming the handle of the lids of Geometric pyxides should also be noted.” Three horses, also found in art, figure in Iliad 16.466–475 and are mentioned in Odyssey 4.590.

[ back ] 166. Pherekydes FGrHist 3 F 118 (= scholia to Iliad 11.674): Νηλεὺς ὁ Ποσειδῶνος, ἱππικώτατος τῶν καθ' αὑτὸν γενόμενος, ἔπεμψεν εἰς Ἦλιν ἵππους ἐς τὸν ὑπ' Αὐγέου συντελούμενον ἀγῶνα. νικησάντων δὲ τούτων, φθονήσας Αὐγέας, ἀπέσπασε τούτους, καὶ τοὺς ἡνιόχους ἀφῆκεν ἀπράκτους. Νηλεὺς δὲ γνοὺς, ἡσυχίαν ἦγε. Νέστωρ δὲ, ὁ τῶν παίδων αὐτοῦ νεώτατος, στρατὸν ἀθροίσας, ἐπῆλθεν Ἤλιδι. καὶ πολλοὺς ἀποκτείνας, ἀπέλαβε τοὺς ἵππους. καὶ οὐκ ὀλίγην τῶν πολεμίων ἀπέσυραν λείαν. ἡ ἱστορία παρὰ Φερεκύδῃ, “Neleus, the son of Poseidon, the most skillful horseman of his time, sent horses to Elis to the contest being held by Augeias. When these won Augeias was envious and seized them, and sent the charioteers away in failure. When Neleus found out he remained calm. But Nestor, the youngest of his sons, gathered an army and attacked Elis. He killed many men and took back the horses. They also stripped not a little spoil from the enemy. The story is in Pherekydes.”

[ back ] 167. Note that in Pherekydes’ account Neleus’s horses won the race in Elis (νικησάντων δὲ τούτων); this is a further correspondence to Likhas’s situation. It is also worth noting that the expansion of Nestor’s story refers to one charioteer as compared to the plural ἡνιόχους in Pherekydes’ account; the singular corresponds to Likhas’s situation, although the real comparison for the rude dismissal of Neleus’s charioteer is the treatment of Likhas himself. If the myth of the theft of Neleus’s horses originated in the sixth century, as seems likely, it was clearly meant to evoke the Olympic games, which were in Eleian hands after c. 570 BC (see EN5.16 to n5.108 above; cf. §5.40 above).

[ back ] 168. Cf. Davison 1962:223: “The text which, from Aristarchus’s time down to that of Wolf, held the field against all comers, must, as its orthography shows, have come to Alexandria by way of Athens.” Davison, citing Wackernagel 1916 and Chantraine 1958:5–16 for this point, is more cautious as to whether the Athenian text was a Panathenaic text (Davison 1962:232n37, 224). This issue is discussed in EN5.19. Iliad 7.334–335, which seems to be a fifth-century Athenian interpolation (the bones of fallen warriors brought home to their children: see Jacoby 1944a:44n30; cf. Cassio 2002:119–120), would be a parallel for the period but on a considerably smaller scale.

[ back ] 169. Scholia to Aristides In Defence of the Four 117.18 [Dindorf p. 444], where the first line begins with unmetrical βάπτε με ἐν. Tzetzes On Comedy (Perì Kōmōidías) Kaibel 1899 p. 20 gives (in a mostly prose version) βάπτ' ἐμέ σύ; the text given above (βάπτε σύ μ' ἐν) is proposed by Hiller; an indicative verb (βάπτές μ' ἐν) is proposed by Meineke (West ad loc.).

[ back ] 170. See West ad loc. (IEG, vol. 2, 29–30). According to the scholia to Aristides Alcibiades uttered the verses as he carried out the deed: ἄλλοι δὲ λέγουσιν ὅτι ἐκωμῴδουν ὀνομαστὶ τοὺς ἄνδρας μέχρις Εὐπόλιδος. περιεῖλε δὲ τοῦτο ᾿Αλκιβιάδης ὁ στρατηγὸς καὶ ῥήτωρ. κωμῳδηθεὶς γὰρ παρὰ Εὐπόλιδος ἔρριψεν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ θαλάττῃ ἐν Σικελίᾳ συστρατευόμενον εἰπὼν· “βάπτε—πικροτάτοις,” “Others say that the comic poets ridiculed men by name up until Eupolis. But Alcibiades, the general and statesman, put an end to this. After being ridiculed by Eupolis he threw him into the sea when he was on the same campaign in Sicily, saying [here the couplet is quoted].” Eratosthenes, who knew that Eupolis produced plays after 415, corrected the erroneous story (Eratoshenes FGrHist 241 F 19). Cicero, the source of this information, suggests how widespread the story was despite Eratosthenes (Letters to Atticus 6.1.18): quis enim non dixit Εὔπολιν τὸν τῆς ἀρχαίας ab Alcibiade navigante in Siciliam deiectum esse in mare? Redarguit Eratosthenes; adfert enim quas ille post id tempus fabulas docuerit. Num idcirco Duris Samius, homo in historia diligens, quod cum multis erravit, irridetur?, “Who has not told how Eupolis, the poet of old comedy, was thrown into the sea by Alcibiades when he sailed to Sicily? Eratosthenes refutes this, for he cites the plays that he produced after that time. Surely Duris of Samos, a diligent historian, is not mocked because he has made the same mistake as many others?”

[ back ] 171. Plutarch Alcibiades 7.1: τὴν δὲ παιδικὴν ἡλικίαν παραλλάσσων ἐπέστη γραμματοδιδασκαλείῳ καὶ βιβλίον ᾔτησεν Ὁμηρικόν. εἰπόντος δὲ τοῦ διδασκάλου μηδὲν ἔχειν Ὁμήρου, κονδύλῳ καθικόμενος αὐτοῦ παρῆλθεν. ἑτέρου δὲ φήσαντος ἔχειν Ὅμηρον ὑφ' ἑαυτοῦ διωρθωμένον, “εἶτα” ἔφη “γράμματα διδάσκεις Ὅμηρον ἐπανορθοῦν ἱκανὸς ὤν, οὐχὶ τοὺς νέους παιδεύεις;”, “When he was no longer a child he presented himself at a grammar school and asked for a text of Homer. When the teacher said that he had nothing of Homer’s, he struck him with his fist and went on. When another teacher said that he had a text of Homer corrected by himself, he said, ‘So, then, you teach letters when you are able to correct Homer, and you do not educate young men?’ ”

[ back ] 172. If Alcibiades himself referred to a diórthōsis, “corrected edition,” of Homer (in Plutarch’s account he uses the word diōrthōménon, “corrected”), one wonders how far such “correction” might have gone in the fifth century BC. Did it go beyond trivial mistakes and entail decisions between variants, or even between rival versions, as in the case of Salamis’s entry in the Catalogue of Ships, which was disputed by Megara (cf. n3.272 above)? If Alcibiades expanded Nestor’s story in Iliad 11 as I propose, would he have considered that too a matter of diórthōsis, such that correcting Homer could also mean improving Homer?

[ back ] 173. Thucydides 5.52.2.

[ back ] 174. In the debate before the Sicilian Expedition Alcibiades defends his extravagant quest for glory, on account of which his private life is being attacked, and asks whether anyone else has better managed public affairs (Thucydides 6.16.6): Πελοποννήσου γὰρ τὰ δυνατώτατα ξυστήσας ἄνευ μεγάλου ὑμῖν κινδύνου καὶ δαπάνης Λακεδαιμονίους ἐς μίαν ἡμέραν κατέστησα ἐν Μαντινείᾳ περὶ τῶν ἁπάντων ἀγωνίσασθαι· ἐξ οὗ καὶ περιγενόμενοι τῇ μάχῃ οὐδέπω καὶ νῦν βεβαίως θαρσοῦσιν, “For having brought about a coalition of the most powerful states in the Peloponnesus I caused the Spartans, without great risk or expense to you, to fight for everything on one day at Mantinea. After that, even though they prevailed in the battle, they have never really been sure of themselves, even now.” Alcibiades’ failure to be elected general and take part in the Battle of Mantinea was probably due to “a vote for caution and against adventure” by the Athenians in 418 BC (Kagan 1981:91); generals elected that year who belonged to the peace party included, besides Nikias, both of the generals who fought at Mantinea, Laches and Nicostratus (see Kagan 1981:91n39 with references for their party affiliation).

[ back ] 175. With the loss at Mantineia “all of Alkibiades’ fine plans for completing the humiliation of Sparta had gone astray” (Andrewes [Gomme et al. 1970] on Thucydides 5.80.3). Alcibiades continued to foster the Argive alliance after the battle but without great effect. He could not prevent the peace offered by Sparta and accepted by Argos in the winter of 418/7 BC (Thucydides 5.76.3). Political instability then followed in Argos, where the democracy was put down and an alliance with Sparta was concluded, and the democracy was then restored. In 416, when Alcibiades was again elected general (Diodorus 12.81.2), he sailed to Argos, took 300 pro-Spartan Argives prisoner, and put them on neighboring islands controlled by Athens (Thucydides 5.84.1).

[ back ] 176. Thucydides 5.43.2; this passage, which introduces Alcibiades for the first time in Thucydides, identifies him as the main leader of the party opposed to the peace with Sparta, and the main proponent of a treaty with Argos: ἦσαν δὲ ἄλλοι τε καὶ Ἀλκιβιάδης ὁ Κλεινίου, ἀνὴρ ἡλικίᾳ μὲν ἔτι τότε ὢν νέος ὡς ἐν ἄλλῃ πόλει, ἀξιώματι δὲ προγόνων τιμώμενος· ᾧ ἐδόκει μὲν καὶ ἄμεινον εἶναι πρὸς τοὺς Ἀργείους μᾶλλον χωρεῖν, οὐ μέντοι ἀλλὰ καὶ φρονήματι φιλονικῶν ἠναντιοῦτο, ὅτι Λακεδαιμόνιοι διὰ Νικίου καὶ Λάχητος ἔπραξαν τὰς σπονδάς, ἑαυτὸν κατά τε τὴν νεότητα ὑπεριδόντες καὶ κατὰ τὴν παλαιὰν προξενίαν ποτὲ οὖσαν οὐ τιμήσαντες, ἣν τοῦ πάππου ἀπειπόντος αὐτὸς τοὺς ἐκ τῆς νήσου αὐτῶν αἰχμαλώτους θεραπεύων διενοεῖτο ἀνανεώσασθαι. πανταχόθεν τε νομίζων ἐλασσοῦσθαι τό τε πρῶτον ἀντεῖπεν, οὐ βεβαίους φάσκων εἶναι Λακεδαιμονίους, ἀλλ' ἵνα Ἀργείους σφίσι σπεισάμενοι ἐξέλωσι καὶ αὖθις ἐπ' Ἀθηναίους μόνους ἴωσι, τούτου ἕνεκα σπένδεσθαι αὐτούς, “There were others, but the main leader was Alcibiades, the son of Kleinias, a man young in years for another city, but held in honor because of his ancestors’ reputation. He thought that it was the better policy to move closer to the Argives, but he was also opposed to peace out of pride and party rivalry; the Spartans had made the truce through Nikias and Laches, disregarding him because of his youth, and failing to value him for the old position that had once existed of looking after Spartan interests in Athens; his grandfather had renounced this position, but by looking after the captives from the island he intended to renew it. Thinking that he was being worsted on all sides he opposed the peace from the first, saying that the Spartans were not trustworthy, but had made the truce with them in order to destroy the Argives first and then to move against the Athenians alone” (Thucydides 5.43.2–3).

[ back ] 177. Alcibiades makes this case at the beginning of his speech to the Spartans (Thucydides 6.89.1–3): ἀναγκαῖον περὶ τῆς ἐμῆς διαβολῆς πρῶτον ἐς ὑμᾶς εἰπεῖν, ἵνα μὴ χεῖρον τὰ κοινὰ τῷ ὑπόπτῳ μου ἀκροάσησθε. τῶν δ' ἐμῶν προγόνων τὴν προξενίαν ὑμῶν κατά τι ἔγκλημα ἀπειπόντων αὐτὸς ἐγὼ πάλιν ἀναλαμβάνων ἐθεράπευον ὑμᾶς ἄλλα τε καὶ περὶ τὴν ἐκ Πύλου ξυμφοράν. καὶ διατελοῦντός μου προθύμου ὑμεῖς πρὸς Ἀθηναίους καταλλασσόμενοι τοῖς μὲν ἐμοῖς ἐχθροῖς δύναμιν δι' ἐκείνων πράξαντες, ἐμοὶ δὲ ἀτιμίαν περιέθετε. καὶ διὰ ταῦτα δικαίως ὑπ' ἐμοῦ πρός τε τὰ Μαντινέων καὶ Ἀργείων τραπομένου καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα ἐνηντιούμην ὑμῖν ἐβλάπτεσθε· καὶ νῦν, εἴ τις καὶ τότε ἐν τῷ πάσχειν οὐκ εἰκότως ὠργίζετό μοι, μετὰ τοῦ ἀληθοῦς σκοπῶν ἀναπειθέσθω, “It is necessary that I speak to you first about the slander against me, so that you do not, because of your suspicions against me, listen with bias to matters that concern us both. Although my ancestors, because of a disagreement, renounced the position of Sparta’s official representative in Athens, I took it up again, and I especially looked after your interests in the disaster at Pylos. While I remained eager on your behalf, you, when you made peace with the Athenians, bestowed power on my enemies by dealing with them, and brought dishonor on me. Because of this you were justly harmed by me when I turned to the Mantineans and Argives, and in whatever else I did to oppose you; if anyone of you was angry with me unreasonably even then, when you were actually suffering, let him now consider the truth of the matter and be persuaded otherwise.” Thucydides’ own introduction of Alcibiades in 5.43.2–3 (see n5.176 above) anticipates his point that the Spartans dealt with his personal enemies to negotiate the peace.

[ back ] 178. Alcibiades wanted to win for Endios and himself the “prize” (ἀγώνισμα) for having caused the greatest number of Ionian cities to revolt. In the case of Chios Alcibiades persuaded the ephors, including Endios, to send ships quickly, before news of a recent setback to the Spartan fleet reached Chios, saying that he himself would easily persuade the Chians to revolt (Thucydides 8.12.1); to Endios, privately, he spoke of Ionia (and alliance with Persia) as a “prize” to deny Agis and gain for Endios (Thucydides 8.12.2): Ἐνδίῳ τε αὐτῷ ἰδίᾳ ἔλεγε καλὸν εἶναι δι' ἐκείνου ἀποστῆσαί τε Ἰωνίαν καὶ βασιλέα ξύμμαχον ποιῆσαι Λακεδαιμονίοις, καὶ μὴ Ἄγιδος τὸ ἀγώνισμα τοῦτο γενέσθαι, “He said privately to Endios himself that it would be a fine thing to cause Ionia to revolt and to make the king an ally of the Spartans through him, and for this prize not to go to Agis.” In the case of Miletus, where Alcibiades was on close terms with the leaders, he wanted to act quickly before a force sent from Sparta arrived, and thus to gain for his force of Chians, himself, the Spartan commander with whom he sailed, and Endios, who had sent him, and to whom he had promised it, the “prize” of having caused the greatest number of cities to revolt (Thucydides 8.17.2): ἐβούλετο γὰρ ὁ Ἀλκιβιάδης, ὢν ἐπιτήδειος τοῖς προεστῶσι τῶν Μιλησίων, φθάσαι τάς τε ἀπὸ τῆς Πελοποννήσου ναῦς προσαγαγόμενος αὐτοὺς καὶ τοῖς Χίοις καὶ ἑαυτῷ καὶ Χαλκιδεῖ καὶ τῷ ἀποστείλαντι Ἐνδίῳ, ὥσπερ ὑπέσχετο, τὸ ἀγώνισμα προσθεῖναι, ὅτι πλείστας τῶν πόλεων μετὰ τῆς Χίων δυνάμεως καὶ Χαλκιδέως ἀποστήσας, “Alcibiades, being on familiar terms with the leaders of the Milesians, wished to bring them over to Sparta’s side before the ships arrived from the Peloponnesus, and to gain for the Chians, himself, Chalkides, and Endios, who had sent him, the prize that he had promised him, of causing, with the help of the Chian force and Chalkides, the greatest number of cities to revolt.”

[ back ] 179. In explaining the death warrant Thucydides 8.45.1 comments that Alcibiades was generally mistrusted and that Agis was his personal enemy (the seduction of Agis’s wife, which is found in Plutarch Alcibiades 23.7–8, is not mentioned by Thucydides): Ἀλκιβιάδης μετὰ τὸν Χαλκιδέως θάνατον καὶ τὴν ἐν Μιλήτῳ μάχην τοῖς Πελοποννησίοις ὕποπτος ὤν, καὶ ἀπ' αὐτῶν ἀφικομένης ἐπιστολῆς πρὸς Ἀστύοχον ἐκ Λακεδαίμονος ὥστ' ἀποκτεῖναι (ἦν γὰρ καὶ τῷ Ἄγιδι ἐχθρὸς καὶ ἄλλως ἄπιστος ἐφαίνετο), πρῶτον μὲν ὑποχωρεῖ δείσας παρὰ Τισσαφέρνην, ἔπειτα ἐκάκου πρὸς αὐτὸν ὅσον ἐδύνατο μάλιστα τῶν Πελοποννησίων τὰ πράγματα, “After the death of Chalkides and the battle in Miletus Alcibiades was suspect to the Spartans, and when a letter from them came from Sparta to Astyochos to kill him (he was Agis’s enemy and he seemed untrustworthy otherwise), he first escaped to Tissaphernes out of fear, and then began to damage the Peloponnesians’ interests with him as much as he could.”

[ back ] 180. As argued by Brunt 1952, Thucydides seems to have obtained much of his information about Alcibiades and his activities directly from Alcibiades. This thesis was developed further by Delebecque 1965. Cf. Andrewes (Gomme et al. 1981) 3. The intrusion of Alcibiades’ point of view is particularly noticeable in Thucydides 8.45–56 (Brunt 1952:72–96); Andrewes (Gomme et al. 1981) 94–95 accepts Brunt’s argument but sees no overt bias in Alcibiades’ favor in Book 8. This, I think, is debatable, especially in 8.45–56.

[ back ] 181. Thucydides 8.6.3 (explaining Alcibiades’ role in promoting Ionia and Tissaphernes over the Hellespont and Pharnabazus as the Spartans’ first target in the campaign to dismantle the Athenian empire): οἱ μέντοι Λακεδαιμόνιοι τὰ τῶν Χίων καὶ Τισσαφέρνους παρὰ πολὺ προσεδέξαντο μᾶλλον· ξυνέπρασσε γὰρ αὐτοῖς καὶ Ἀλκιβιάδης, Ἐνδίῳ ἐφορεύοντι πατρικὸς ἐς τὰ μάλιστα ξένος ὤν, ὅθεν καὶ τοὔνομα Λακωνικὸν ἡ οἰκία αὐτῶν κατὰ τὴν ξενίαν ἔσχεν· Ἔνδιος γὰρ Ἀλκιβιάδου ἐκαλεῖτο, “The Spartans were much more receptive to the Chians and Tissaphernes; for Alcibiades supported them, and he was an extremely close ancestral guest-friend of Endios, who was then ephor (because of this their house used a Spartan name; for Endios was called the son of Alcibiades).” The genuineness of the last part of this passage (ὅθεν—ἐκαλεῖτο) is open to question, but it is defended by Andrewes (Gomme et al. 1981) ad loc.; one must understand the plural αὐτῶν, “their,” in the phrase ἡ οἰκία αὐτῶν, “their house,” as referring to Alcibiades and his ancestors, who are implicit in the adjective describing Alcibiades as Endios’s “ancestral” (πατρικός) guest-friend. For the custom by which Alcibiades was named see Herman 1987:19–20, 148 and Habicht 2000:119–120. Alcibiades’ grandfather also had the name.

[ back ] 182. Thucydides 5.44-45. Kebric 1976 argues that Alcibiades and Endios colluded in this matter, both wanting the war to continue, and that the deception of Endios is only apparent; Herman 1987:148–150 makes a similar argument. I think it is more likely that Alcibiades persuaded the other two Spartans by first persuading his guest-friend, and that he did not hesitate to make use of Endios in this way; he would charm him again later when the time came. Brunt’s argument that Thucydides has followed Alcibiades’ own explanation of events, and that some of the explanation does not make sense, seems to me to have merit. But I would not include the fact that Endios was tricked among the misinformation to which Thucydides may have fallen victim (nor does Brunt make such an argument).

[ back ] 183. Thucydides 6.88.9: καὶ οἵ ἐκ τῆς Κορίνθου πρέσβεις παρῆσαν ἐς τὴν Λακεδαίμονα καὶ Ἀλκιβιάδης μετὰ τῶν ξυμφυγάδων περαιωθεὶς τότ' εὐθὺς ἐπὶ πλοίου φορτηγικοῦ ἐκ τῆς Θουρίας ἐς Κυλλήνην τῆς Ἠλείας πρῶτον, ἔπειτα ὕστερον ἐς τὴν Λακεδαίμονα αὐτῶν τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων μεταπεμψάντων ὑπόσπονδος ἐλθών· ἐφοβεῖτο γὰρ αὐτοὺς διὰ τὴν περὶ τῶν Μαντινικῶν πρᾶξιν, “The ambassadors from Corinth were present in Sparta, and so too was Alcibiades with his fellow exiles, having crossed immediately aboard a merchant ship from Thurii to Cyllene in Elis, then later, when the Spartans summoned him, having come under a safe-passage; for he feared them because of the Mantinea affair.”

[ back ] 184. A stay of some length in Elis is implied by the phrase ἔπειτα ὕστερον, “then later,” of his continuation on to Sparta (Thucydides 6.88.9; see previous note). There was a different tradition that Alcibiades went to Argos before defecting to Sparta (Isocrates 16.9, Plutarch Alcibiades 23.1). But if Alcibiades was Thucydides’ direct informant for his activities in the war (see n5.180 above), it is hard to explain why Thucydides should be misinformed on this point. The issue is discussed in EN5.20.

[ back ] 185. For the date of Alcibiades’ Olympic victory 416 BC is the only possibility; see Bowra 1960 and Andrewes [Gomme et al. 1970] on Thucydides 6.16.2.

[ back ] 186. Thucydides 5.47 quotes the treaty, which states that a stone copy of the treaty is to be set up by each state individually at Athens, Argos, and Mantinea, and that the allies “are to set up jointly a bronze stele at Olympia at the games now at hand” (καταθέντων δὲ καὶ Ὀλυμπίασι στήλην χαλκῆν κοινῇ Ὀλυμπίοις τοῖς νυνί, 5.47.11). The bronze stele at Olympia apparently also served as Elis’s copy of the treaty (see Andrewes [Gomme et al. 1970] ad loc. for Elis’s display of its decrees at Olympia).

[ back ] 187. All the allies had sent armed contingents out of fear of the Spartans (Thucydides 5.50.3): ὅμως δὲ οἱ Ἠλεῖοι δεδιότες μὴ βίᾳ θύσωσι, ξὺν ὅπλοις τῶν νεωτέρων φυλακὴν εἶχον· ἦλθον δὲ αὐτοῖς καὶ Ἀργεῖοι καὶ Μαντινῆς, χίλιοι ἑκατέρων, καὶ Ἀθηναίων ἱππῆς, οἳ ἐν Ἁρπίνῃ ὑπέμενον τὴν ἑορτήν, “Nevertheless the Eleians, fearing that they would use force to sacrifice, kept a guard of young men under arms; Argives and Mantineans came to their aid, a thousand of each, and Athenian cavalry, who were waiting for the festival in Harpine.” If indeed the outrage committed against Likhas in 420 is evoked in the expansion of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11, this, like the rest of the story, must have been calculated to win favor in Sparta, but it is not clear that it would have won favor with Likhas himself. Not enough is known of Alcibiades’ attitude to Likhas to judge this. Thucydides 5.76 reports that after the Battle of Mantinea the Spartans sent Likhas to Argos to offer a peace, and that Alcibiades, who was present in Argos at the time, spoke against him, but the peace was accepted. It may be that Alcibiades did not mind perpetuating Likhas’s humiliation among those who knew how and why Nestor’s story had been expanded.

[ back ] 188. This argument assumes that in 415 BC, when Alcibiades defected, Lepreon still remained independent of Elis and was still defended by Sparta; this, I think, was likely the case, but positive evidence is lacking after 418 BC (cf. above §5.44 end and n5.153 and n5.155). The argument also assumes that Elis did not return to Sparta’s camp after the defeat of the Argive alliance at Mantinea, and for this there is independent evidence: in Thucydides 8.3.2 the list of cities that Sparta required to provide 100 ships after the defeat of Athens in Sicily does not contain Elis (the list includes Boeotians, Phocians, Locrians, Corinthians, Arcadians, Pellenians, Sicyonians, Megarians, Troizenians, Epidaurians, and Hermionians); at the end of the war, furthermore, Sparta was quick to turn its attention to Elis to settle old scores (see n5.152 and n5.154 above and cf. Andrewes [Gomme et al. 1970] on Thucydides 6.88.9). The only counterevidence is Thucydides 7.31.1, stating that a Corinthian fleet anchored at Pheia on the coast of Elis in 413 BC; this evidence may make it “possible that Elis had been brought back under Spartan control after the collapse of her alliance with Argos and Mantineia” (Andrewes [Gomme et al. 1970] on 6.88.9), but it does not make it likely.

[ back ] 189. Compare the situation later when Alcibiades, to win acceptance from the other Spartan ephors of his plan to free Chios, persuaded Endios first (Thucydides 8.12.1–2; see n5.178 above).

[ back ] 190. The first two expansions of Nestor’s story begin with the same phrase ἔστι δέ τις, “there is a (certain),” a bona fide Homeric formula; what is more, both lines beginning with this formula resemble other lines in Homer: Iliad 11.711, ἔστι δέ τις Θρυόεσσα πόλις αἰπεῖα κολώνη, “There is a city Thryoessa, a steep hill,” closely resembles Iliad 2.811, ἔστι δέ τις προπάροιθε πόλιος αἰπεῖα κολώνη, “There is before the city a steep hill”; likewise Iliad 11.722, ἔστι δέ τις ποταμὸς Μινυήϊος εἰς ἅλα βάλλων, “There is a river Minyeios flowing into the sea,” resembles Odyssey 3.293, ἔστι δέ τις λισσὴ αἰπεῖά τε εἰς ἅλα πέτρη, “There is a smooth and steep rock into the sea.” There is another example of the formula ἔστι δέ τις in Odyssey 4.844 (ἔστι δέ τις νῆσος μέσσῃ ἁλὶ πετρήεσσα, “There is a rocky island in the middle of the sea”), and there are also variations of the formulaic pattern (ἔστι δέ τι σπέος, “there is a cave,” Iliad 13.32; ἔστι πόλις Ἐφύρη, “there is a city Ephyre,” Iliad 6.152; νῆσος ἔπειτά τις ἔστι, “then there is an island,” Odyssey 4.354; Κρήτη τις γαῖ' ἔστι, “there is a land Crete,” Odyssey 19.172; cf. also ἔστι τις Ἑλλοπίη, “there is a certain Hellopíē,” in Hesiod fr. 240.1 MW). Other points in the language of the expansions are discussed in EN5.21.

[ back ] 191. Herodotus 4.148 (see §5.41 and n5.139 above). In Nestor’s expanded story the phrase ποταμὸς Μινυήϊος, “the Minyan river,” is paralleled by the phrase Θρυόεσσα πόλις, “the reedy city”; the two periphrases are mutually reinforcing, the name Θρυόεσσα (which has good parallels, see EN5.21 to n5.190 above) in a sense preparing the way for the name Μινυήϊος; note that both names follow the ἔστι δέ τις formula within the same line as the formula (cf. n5.190 above; for the passages see §5.2 above).

[ back ] 192. Note that in the old controversy as to Pylos’s location the natural feature used to establish a location in Elis was the Alpheios River: Pylos was put north of the Alpheios notably in Homeric Hymn to Apollo 418–424 (see §5.14 above); now, elegantly, the Alpheios is used to establish a new location in Triphylia, south of the river. The author who proposed a new solution was of course aware of the old controversy, whose terms he seems simply to have redefined.

[ back ] 193. Pape-Benseler 1911 s.v. Ἔνδιος, “Mittag” (“Midday”) cite three other instances of the name besides Alcibiades’ guest-friend: two on inscriptions (of an Athenian and a Delphian) and another of a better known Athenian from Lamptrai (Demosthenes 45.8; Isaeus 3.1–70, often; also on an inscription). Bechtel 1917:154 (discussing Ἔν-διος Λακεδαιμόνιος, “the Spartan Endios,” Thucydides 5.44.3) compares the Homeric adjective ἔνδιος, “at noon,” and its opposite ἐννύχιος, “at night,” and cites the Spartan name Ἔννυχος, “at night” (IG V.1.193).

[ back ] 194. The adjective ἔννυχος (cf. ἐννύχιος, previous note) occurs in the older version of Nestor’s story, Iliad 11.716, where Athena comes “at night” (ἔννυχος) to warn the Pylians of the Epeians’ attack; the occurrence of ἔνδιος in the expansion of Nestor’s story, apart from what I take to be its real purpose, offers a point of contrast. This perhaps did not go unnoticed by the poet of the expansion.

[ back ] 195. In Odyssey 4.450 Proteus comes out of the sea at midday: ἔνδιος δ' ὁ γέρων ἦλθ' ἐξ ἁλός. The meaning “at midday” of ἔνδιος is nicely demonstrated in this episode, in which line 4.400 refers to the same time of day with the words: ἦμος δ' ἠέλιος μέσον οὐρανὸν ἀμφιβεβήκῃ, “when the sun had reached the middle of the sky”; cf. Strabo 8.3.28, who glosses ἔνδιοι in Iliad 11.726 as κατὰ μεσημβρίαν, “at midday.” Instances of ἔνδιος after Homer are rare and are mainly limited to Hellenistic poetry.

[ back ] 196. For Alcibiades’ return to Athens in 408, see Xenophon Hellenica 1.4.8–21 and Plutarch Alcibiades 32–35.1. Xenophon 1.4.21 says that he left Athens in the fourth month after his arrival.

[ back ] 197. Aristophanes Knights 1059; see EN5.10 to n5.65 above. For the degree to which Pylos was on the minds of all after the surrender of the Spartan hoplites, cf. Thucydides 4.40: παρὰ γνώμην τε δὴ μάλιστα τῶν κατὰ τὸν πόλεμον τοῦτο τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἐγένετο· τοὺς γὰρ Λακεδαιμονίους οὔτε λιμῷ οὔτ' ἀνάγκῃ οὐδεμιᾷ ἠξίουν τὰ ὅπλα παραδοῦναι, ἀλλὰ ἔχοντας καὶ μαχομένους ὡς ἐδύναντο ἀποθνῄσκειν. ἀπιστοῦντές τε μὴ εἶναι τοὺς παραδόντας τοῖς τεθνεῶσιν ὁμοίους, κτλ., “This was the most surprising event for the Greeks during the war. For they did not expect the Spartans to surrender their weapons out of hunger or any other necessity, but to hold on and fight as much as they could and die. Not believing that those who surrendered were like those who died,” etc.

[ back ] 198. According to Strabo 8.4.2 there was an “old Pylos” in Messenia that preceded the Pylos at Koryphasion; see n5.65 above and EN5.10 to n5.65 above (the word πρό in the riddle is to be taken spatially rather than temporally).

[ back ] 199. In the sixth century the riddle would have reflected the controversy at the beginning of that century as to the location of Pylos in Messenia or Elis. The age and original sense of the riddle are discussed further in EN5.22.

[ back ] 200. See n5.9 above. Demetrius of Scepsis, born perhaps c. 205 BC, was a contemporary of Aristarchus, born c. 215 BC, who gave special status to an Athenian text, probably the Panathenaic text, in his edition of Homer (cf. n5.168 above and EN5.19 to n5.168 above); Demetrius, if my argument is correct, would also have used the Athenian state text. Strabo 8.3.7, who quotes the riddle of the three cities named Pylos in full, naturally understands Triphylian Pylos as one of the three cities (the other two being Messenian Pylos, at Koryphasion, and an Eleian Pylos), and this interpretation has prevailed ever since. For possible interest in a Triphylian Pylos on the part of a fourth-century BC Arcadian author (i.e. before Demetrius of Scepsis) see n5.135 above. For a different view from mine of the Triphylian city see Biraschi 1994:42–52, who argues that the idea of a Triphylian location for Nestor’s Pylos goes back to the Archaic period.

[ back ] 201. The location of Pylos became a subject of interest among scholars (especially Strabo’s Homērikṓteroi) in Hellenistic times, and one might expect at least a mention of an alternative (shorter) version of Nestor’s story in Iliad 11 if it still existed. We see no such mention, but our evidence, coming mostly from Strabo, is of course limited. The question whether texts persisted containing the old version of Nestor’s story is considered further in EN5.23. From a modern standpoint the significant fact is that the expanded version of Nestor’s story was accepted without question for more than two millenia until it was challenged by Cantieni in 1942. Still today the effects of that long unquestioned acceptance persist in a work like Edzard Visser’s authoritative study of the Catalogue of Ships (Visser 1997), which continues to see Triphylia as the location of Pylos in the Homeric poems (Visser 1997:522–530), and Visser is followed by others in this (cf. above n5.65 end). Surely Alcibiades, if it was in fact he who altered Nestor’s story, would have been pleased to know that he would go undetected so long. It was a point of pride with this chameleon-like character to appear more Spartan than the Spartans when he was in Sparta (Plutarch Alcibiades 23.3–6). He could also, I think, be more Homeric than Homer when he wished. There was also an element of truth, or something like the truth, to what he did: the coincidence of a Bronze Age site at Kakovatos and a later town named Pylos in the same vicinity seems not unlike the situation in Messenia, where the name Pylos migrated twice from one location to another; Alcibiades fully exploited the opportunity to introduce another worthy candidate where agreement had long been lacking.