Chapter 1. Ἀνδρομάχη μαινομένη: The Dionysiac Element in the Iliad

The almost complete absence of Dionysus from the Iliad is well known, as it is commonly recognized that the heroic epic singing the κλέα ἀνδρῶν does not have a place for the god of wine, ecstasy, and bacchic frenzy. Dionysus appears in the Iliad only twice: the first time in the myth of Lycurgus (Iliad VI 132, 135) and the second in the episode of Zeus’ deception (Iliad XIV 325), within a small catalogue of Zeus’ extramarital relationships. However, the Dionysiac element is latently present in the Iliad through Andromache, who is characterized twice (Iliad VI 389: μαινομένῃ εἰκυῖα, Iliad XXII 460: μαινάδι ἴση) by terminology with covertly Dionysiac overtones.
The use of Dionysiac, or rather maenadic, associations has been studied primarily by Privitera and Seaford. The former argues that the Dionysiac myths formed part not only of heroic epic but also of the complex mythical nexus developed around the Trojan War. The adventures of Dionysus had thus been the subject of epic poetry, as can also be argued from the study of Eumelus’ Europia. [1] Moreover, the name of Dionysus is already attested in Linear B, which proves that the god was known and, probably, worshiped by the Mycenean aristocracy. [2] Seaford [3] has rightly argued that the marginalized and almost liminal presence of Dionysus as well as of the maenadic references to Andromache in the Iliad are the result of the enactment and subsequent annulment of the nuptial ritual in general and of marriage in particular, which this epic tradition fosters and systematically pursues. Each time Andromache, the Iliadic paragon of the noble wife on the human level, is mentioned (Iliad VI, XXII, XXIV), the image of either a past or an impending catastrophe (referring to Hector’s death and the dissolution of his marriage) lurks in the background. According to Seaford, [4] Andromache is the only Iliadic figure to whom a Dionysiac metaphor is attributed, because both in Iliad VI and XXII she leaves, maenad-like, her οἶκος. In this light, she virtually annuls (especially in Iliad XXII) both the wedding ritual and marriage itself, which Dionysus also overturns in myth, forcing women to resist any form of institutionally legitimized obedience, as symbolized by marriage, one of the most representative forms of female submission to male-controlled civic authority.
This chapter aims to widen the horizon of Seaford’s aforementioned theory by presenting an evolutionary model of interpretation according to which the questions “Why is Dionysus excluded from the Iliad?” and “Why is Andromache presented as a maenad connected with a Dionysiac metaphor?” are complementary. The central problem to these questions concerns the relationship of the Iliadic tradition to another rival tradition, that of Thebes, which the Iliad artfully conceals, though unable to avoid making implicit allusions to it.
This chapter is divided into two parts. In the first I deal with those elements ‘shared’ by the two “Dionysiac” scenes in Iliad VI (the episode of Lycurgus and the meeting between Hector and Andromache), as well as the end of Iliad XXII, where Andromache, running to the walls in order to face the sight of her dead husband, is compared to a maenad. In the second part, I examine the Theban allusions and hints, overt and covert alike, that recur in Iliad VI and relate to the two aforementioned ‘Dionysiac’ scenes, that of Lycurgus and of the meeting between Hector and Andromache. I make the case that two allegedly distinct features of the Iliad (the absence of the god Dionysus and the systematic and almost exclusive correlation between Andromache and Dionysus) constitute a by-product of the epic rivalry between song-traditions aiming at prevailing upon one another by adopting a policy of selective compilation.

The Myth of Lycurgus

The most important allusion to Dionysus in the Iliad is attested in the myth of Lycurgus. I quote the relevant passage (Iliad VI 130-140):
οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐδὲ Δρύαντος υἱός, κρατερὸς Λυκόοργος,
δὴν ἦν, ὅς ῥα θεοῖσιν ἐπουρανίοισιν ἔριζεν·
ὅς ποτε μαινομένοιο Διωνύσοιο τιθήνας
σεῦε κατ᾿ ἠγάθεον Νυσήϊον, αἳ δ᾿ ἅμα πᾶσαι
θύσθλα χαμαὶ κατέχευαν, ὑπ᾿ ἀνδροφόνοιο Λυκούργου
θεινόμεναι βουπλῆγι. Διώνυσος δὲ φοβηθείς
δύσεθ᾿ ἁλὸς κατὰ κῦμα, Θέτις δ᾿ ὑπεδέξατο κόλπῳ
δειδιότα· κρατερὸς γὰρ ἔχε τρόμος ἀνδρὸς ὀμοκλῇ.
τῷ μὲν ἔπειτ᾿ ὀδύσαντο θεοὶ ῥεῖα ζώοντες,
καί μιν τυφλὸν ἔθηκε Κρόνου πάϊς· οὐδ᾿ ἄρ᾿ ἔτι δήν
ἦν, ἐπεὶ ἀθανάτοισιν ἀπήχθετο πᾶσι θεοῖσιν.

Since even the son of Dryas, Lykourgos the powerful, did not
live long; he who tried to fight with the gods of the bright sky,
who once drove the fosterers of rapturous Dionysos
headlong down the sacred Nyseian hill, and all of them
shed and scattered their wands on the ground, stricken with an ox-goad
by murderous Lykourgos, while Dionysos in terror
dived into the salt surf, and Thetis took him to her bosom,
frightened, with the strong shivers upon him at the man’s blustering.
But the gods who live at their ease were angered with Lykourgos,
and the son of Kronos struck him to blindness, nor did he live long
afterwards, since he was hated by all the immortals.
The above passage constitutes a mythological exemplum or paradeigma. [5] The speaker Diomedes tells Glaucus the story of Lycurgus, who attacked Dionysus and his nurses so fiercely that the god was only able to escape by plunging into the sea, where he was welcomed and comforted by Thetis. [6] By exploiting the rich content of this mythological example, Diomedes covertly denotes his intention to avoid the confrontation with the gods on the battlefield, so as not to share Lycurgus’ fate, who lost first his sight and then his life. The tone of the mythological example is rather dissuading, as it is placed within the context of Diomedes’ attempt to find out whether his battlefield opponent, Glaucus, is a god or a man, so as to decide to either avoid battle or launch an attack against him.
Diomedes’ reference to Dionysus follows his aristeia in Iliad V, where the son of Tydeus has wounded and put into flight even the pro-Trojan gods. Diomedes’ excellence in battle is context-dependent as it is he, together with the greater Ajax, who acts as surrogate of Achilles, filling the void Thetis’ son has left for the Greek side. The mythological example of Lycurgus is, of course, adapted to suit the narrative needs of the scene in which it belongs, but it simultaneously initiates the beginning of an internal cycle brought to an end only with the meeting of Hector and Andromache in Iliad VI. Interestingly enough, this internal cycle is brought to the fore once more, at the end of Iliad XXII, just after Hector’s death.
The episode of Diomedes and Glaucus stands as a prelude to any overt or covert allusions to the maenadic elements in Iliad VI. In fact, the scene between Diomedes and Glaucus and the meeting between Hector and Andromache, placed respectively at the beginning and end of Iliad VI, are symmetrically balanced with respect to their Dionysiac connotations. This structural analogy does not necessitate thematic cohesion, but it nevertheless indicates the significance of the Dionysiac overtones in Iliad VI, in the single—I dare say—Dionysiac Book of the Iliad.
Detecting and analyzing Dionysiac features, explicit and implicit alike, does not only contribute to appreciating the structural model upon which Iliad VI has been built but also allows for a deeper understanding of Andromache’s overall Iliadic presentation. Turning my attention to the mythological model of Lycurgus, I will attempt to pinpoint a series of Dionysiac elements that have particular meaning for the function of Andromache in the Iliad.
(a) The participle μαινομένοιο (Iliad VI 132) referring to Dionysus does not, contrary to Iliadic practice, have any warlike overtones. The verb μαίνεσθαι and the noun μένος are used almost exclusively in terms of war, as they signify the fighting frenzy warriors display during the havoc of battle. [7] Seaford [8] has correctly observed that there are only six cases in the Iliad and the Odyssey, where frenzy does not have warlike connotations. I will focus only on three instances of this phenomenon. [9]
In the first case (Iliad XXII 70–71), Priam uses the verb ἀλύσσω (οἵ κ᾿ ἐμὸν αἷμα πιόντες ἀλύσσοντες περὶ θυμῷ // κείσοντ᾿ ἐν προθύροισι) when referring to the dogs that will drink the blood and then, in their anger, lie down in Priam’s courts. Seaford [10] rightly points to verses 337–339 of Euripides’ Bacchae, designating Actaeon’s miserable death, who is torn to pieces by the very same dogs he has reared (… τὸν Ἀκταίωνος ἄθλιον μόρον, // ὃν ὠμόσιτοι σκύλακες ἃς ἐθρέψατο // διεσπάσαντο …), and verse 977 of the same play, indicating that Pentheus will be dismembered by the fast dogs of Madness (θοαὶ Λύσσας κύνες).
The second case is that of Iliad XXIV 114 (φρεσὶ μαινομένῃσιν), in which Zeus expresses displeasure because Achilles refuses to return Hector’s body, instead keeping it next to the ships, thus inviting the rage of the gods, and most of all that of Zeus (Iliad XXIV 113–114: … ἐμὲ δ᾿ ἔξοχα πάντων // ἀθανάτων κεχολῶσθαι, …). Zeus’ fury recalls the rage of the gods in the myth of Lycurgus (Iliad VI 140: … ἐπεὶ ἀθανάτοισιν ἀπήχθετο πᾶσι θεοῖσιν) and belongs to the same thematic framework as Iliad XXII 70–71. Likewise, it “threatens the performance of the death ritual,” only because this time, as Seaford [11] accurately notes, the threat relates to the disfigurement of the body not by the dogs, as in the case of Priam, but by a human being, Achilles, who is figuratively transformed into a ‘dog eating raw-flesh’ (ὠμηστὴς κύων). The horrific echoes of the Iliadic proem could hardly have resounded with greater emphasis (Iliad I 4–5: … αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν // οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, … [12]
A third case, where μαίνεσθαι has no warlike overtones whatsoever is found in Odyssey xviii 406, where Telemachus accuses the suitors (δαιμόνιοι, μαίνεσθε …). Even in this context, μαίνεσθε alludes to imminent threat and the overturning of both the wedding ritual and marriage at large. In fact, the suitors’ determination to marry Penelope as well as their obstinate insistence on making her choose one of them as her new husband indicates that the menace imposed on Odysseus’ household is keyed on a Dionysiac tone. [13] Combining all of the non-warlike uses of μαίνεσθαι in the Iliad and the Odyssey, Seaford argues that each one is connected “with one or more of the elements of our tragic complex of ideas: violence within household, the negation of ritual and the Dionysiac.” [14]
After this detailed analysis of the non-warlike uses of μαίνεσθαι, one can plausibly claim that the participle μαινομένοιο (Iliad VI 132), which is used to characterize Dionysus, inaugurates a Dionysiac use of the term, which in the Iliad appears to be particular to Andromache and her presence and function in epic.
(b) In the mythological example employed by Diomedes, Lycurgus assaults the nurses of frenzied Dionysus at Nyseion, a mountain in Thrace (Iliad VI 132-133). [15] The Iliad refrains from mentioning what exactly the women were doing at Nyseion. Instead, it focuses on the throwing of their branches to the ground in a state of panic. However, according to Eumelus, who gives a detailed account of this myth in his Europia, [16] the nurses (who, as in Iliad VI 132, are called τιθῆναι) were celebrating orgies, together with Dionysus (ἐτύγχανον αὐτῷ [sc. Διονύσῳ] συνοργιάζουσαι). This comparison makes it clear that these nurses (τιθῆναι) are maenads, in spite of the fact that the Iliadic tradition does not use this term for them. Moreover, the same word employed for the women who accompany Dionysus (τιθῆναι) is also used in the meeting between Hector and Andromache (Iliad VI 389: μαινομένῃ εἰκυῖα· φέρει δ᾿ ἅμα παῖδα τιθήνη; Iliad VI 467–468: ἂψ δ᾿ ὁ πάϊς πρὸς κόλπον ἐϋζώνοιο τιθήνης // ἐκλίνθη ἰάχων, …), even though earlier, in Iliad VI 399, the same maid, who accompanies Andromache on the walls and is present at the meeting scene between husband and wife, is characterized by the more common, in terms of Iliadic diction, and more general term ‘maid’ (ἀμφίπολος). The word ‘nurse’ (τιθήνη) is also used in Iliad XXII 503 (ἐν ἀγκαλίδεσσι τιθήνης). Privitera has rightly observed that the term τιθήνη [17] deviates from the typical way the Iliad refers to a nurse (τροφός). This stylistic differentiation becomes all the more important, since all four attestations of the word τιθήνη are placed in contexts with Dionysiac connotations. Aside from the mythological example of Lycurgus, all three other instances of Iliadic maenadism involve Hector, Andromache, or Astyanax. The use of τιθήνη in these three passages adds a covert Dionysiac element to the overt Dionysiac terms μαινομένοιο (Iliad VI 132), μαινομένῃ (Iliad VI 389) and μαινάδι (Iliad XXII 460) and reveals the existence of a selective affinity of this terminology to Andromache, the only character in Iliadic epic constantly connected with Dionysiac allusions.
(c) In the myth of Lycurgus, greater emphasis should be placed on the latent connections between Hector and Andromache. Lycurgus is characterized by the epithet ‘man-slaying’ (Iliad VI 134: ἀνδροφόνοιο), which, together with the noun it modifies, forms a typical noun-epithet formula placed either in verse-initial or terminal position. The epithet ἀνδροφόνος is attested 16 times in the Iliad, [18] of which 13 are in the genitive case [19] and only three in the accusative [20] (designating the murderous hands of Achilles). From the 13 times this epithet is found in the genitive case, 11 refer to Hector (ὑφ᾿ Ἕκτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο or Ἕκτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο), one to Ares (Iliad IV 441: Ἄρεος ἀνδροφόνοιο) and one to Lycurgus (Iliad VI 134: ὑπ᾿ ἀνδροφόνοιο Λυκούργου). As a result, by forming an integral part of a Hector-related formula, the epithet ἀνδροφόνοιο conjures up these latent connotations not only to the singer’s mind but also to that of the audience. Formulaic expressions of this sort have acquired a secondary, ‘elliptical’ meaning, one that has been registered in the collective awareness of the tradition. The context-free formulaic input of ἀνδροφόνοιο allows Hector to be present even when not referred to by name. Thus, the formula ὑπ᾿ ἀνδροφόνοιο Λυκούργου recalls Hector, as the Iliad attributes to a figure mentioned only once an epithet traditionally employed for an epic protagonist. [21] In the meeting between Andromache and Hector in Iliad VI, Hector is also designated by the same epithet (Iliad VI 498: Ἕκτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο). In this way, the Iliad invites its audience to associate the myth of Lycurgus with the meeting between Hector and Andromache, which will follow later in Iliad VI. The epithet ἀνδροφόνοιο, however, is joined to the fate of Andromache in a unique way, as becomes evident from the wordplay in Iliad XXIV 723–724: τῇσιν δ᾿ Ἀνδρομάχη λευκώλενος ἦρχε γόοιο, // Ἕκτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο κάρη μετὰ χερσὶν ἔχουσα. [22] In these two verses introducing the lamentation of the spouse for her dead husband, the bond between the dead Hector and Andromache is deepened, highlighting the common fate shared by the deceased and the mourner. It is this motif that the widow of the most famous Trojan warrior had already mentioned in Iliad XXII 477–479: Ἕκτορ, ἐγὼ δύστηνος· ἰῇ ἄρα γεινόμεθ᾿ αἴσῃ // ἀμφότεροι, σὺ μὲν ἐν Τροίῃ Πριάμου κατὰ δῶμα, // αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ Θήβῃσιν ὑπὸ Πλάκῳ ὑληέσσῃ. Simultaneously, the expression μετὰ χερσὶν ἔχουσα alludes to the murderous hands (ἀνδροφόνους χεῖρας) of Achilles, which had caused the death of Hector. In this light, the epithet ἀνδροφόνος has evolved into an Iliadic metonymy for both Hector and for his relationship with Andromache, in the name of whom (Ἀνδρο-μάχη) it is partly reflected.
(d) Another element in the Lycurgus myth bearing similarities to the scene of the meeting between Hector and Andromache is that of fear. In Iliad VI 135 and 137, we learn that Dionysus, in a state of fear (φοβηθείς), plunged into the sea where, still afraid (δειδιότα), he was welcomed into Thetis’ arms. In Iliad VI 467–469 the infant Astyanax, frightened by the bronze armor and the crest of Hector’s helmet, ‘was welcomed’ in the embrace of his nurse who held him in her arms (ἂψ δ᾿ ὁ πάϊς πρὸς κόλπον ἐϋζώνοιο τιθήνης // ἐκλίνθη ἰάχων, πατρὸς φίλου ὄψιν ἀτυχθείς, // ταρβήσας χαλκόν τε ἰδὲ λόφον ἱππιοχαίτην).
(e) The analogy between the fear experienced by Dionysus and by Astyanax is strengthened by the fact that, just as the frightened god is welcomed into Thetis’ lap (Iliad VI 136: δύσεθ᾿ ἁλὸς κατὰ κῦμα, Θέτις δ᾿ ὑπεδέξατο κόλπῳ), [23] so Astyanax is either hidden in the arms of his nurse (Iliad VI 467–468: ἂψ δ᾿ ὁ πάϊς πρὸς κόλπον ἐϋζώνοιο τιθήνης // ἐκλίνθη ἰάχων, …) or ‘is received’ in the arms of his mother, Andromache (Iliad VI 483: … ἣ δ᾿ ἄρα μιν κηώδεϊ δέξατο κόλπῳ) or finds comfort in the embrace of his nurse (Iliad XXII 503: ἐν ἀγκαλίδεσσι τιθήνης). [24]
(f) The expression δύσεθ᾿ ἁλὸς κατὰ κῦμα (Iliad VI 136) and, more significantly, the use of the verb δύομαι presents a latent analogy to the phrase χθόνα δύμεναι used by Andromache when she wishes to sink into the earth rather than live without Hector (Iliad VI 411). The form δύμεναι is used four times in the Iliad, three of which have warlike implications (Iliad VI 185: μάχην […] δύμεναι ἀνδρῶν; Iliad XIV 62–63: πόλεμον … // δύμεναι; Iliad XIX 313: … πολέμου στόμα δύμεναι αἱματόεντος). Conversely, this (Iliad VI 411) is the only case where it is used with the noun χθόνα. A comparable example is γαῖαν ἐδύτην (Iliad VI 19). The formula (κατα)δῦναι ὅμιλον, which is mainly used in battle scenes, provides the spark for the creation of a verbal parallelism between the two passages. Furthermore, since the context of this scene presupposed a peaceful meeting between the two spouses on the walls of Troy before their definitive separation, the formula (κατα)δῦναι ὅμιλον needed to be adapted to its new ‘environment’. The result was the creation of the formulaic allomorph χθόνα δύμεναι (Iliad VI 411), which also echoes the expression δύσεθ᾿ ἁλὸς κατὰ κῦμα (Iliad VI 136). [25]
(g) The dramatic space where the episodes of Lycurgus and Hector-Andromache unfold is described in detail. Lycurgus chases Dionysus and his maenads on the Nyseion mountain, a space situated outside the boundaries of the city, symbolizing the figurative distance from human civilization since it is imbued with an unusual and charming wildness. Consequently, the framework of the Lycurgus episode immediately transports us to a “different” place, into the realm of Dionysiac ‘otherness’, where the god and his maenads are found as they travel from the city into the wild. The mountain is not simply a geographic point but rather the symbol of a ‘transition’ from the rational to the irrational, from the ‘civilized’ space of the polis to a realm where the power of Dionysus prevails.
Similar observations can be made concerning the meeting scene between Hector and Andromache in Iliad VI. [26] The fact that the two spouses meet on the walls of Troy is narratively highlighted, the more so since they were both compelled to leave the space of their own proper domain, Andromache her ‘house’ (οἶκος) and Hector the battlefield. [27] In this light, the walls of Troy constitute a ‘transitional’ space, one that belongs neither to the city nor to the battlefield and, by extension, neither to Andromache nor to Hector. This place is especially important for the Iliad, since it forms a metaphorical threshold where space and time are suspended in order to narratively immobilize these two important plot-characters, on which half of the Iliadic tragedy is based. When the tragic cycle is drawn to a close, the Iliad will once more bring the walls of the city to the narrative surface. It is there that the drama of Hector will be finally played out, as Andromache, maenad-like, panic-stricken and with disheveled hair, will watch her husband’s body being dragged by Achilles’ chariot in the battlefield. In this tragic scene, we encounter many of the motifs also found in Iliad VI. Andromache rapidly moves through the palace (Iliad XXII 460: μεγάροιο διέσσυτο) with her heart pounding (Iliad XXII 461: παλλομένη κραδίην). She then runs to the walls, where she will see the dead body of Hector dragged by Achilles’ chariot. In her panic she metaphorically loses her sight, collapses, and her heart becomes weak (Iliad XXII 466–467: τὴν δὲ κατ᾿ ὀφθαλμῶν ἐρεβεννὴ νὺξ ἐκάλυψεν, // ἤριπε δ᾿ ἐξοπίσω, ἀπὸ δὲ ψυχὴν ἐκάπυσσεν). Then she throws off the headbands and veils symbolizing her marriage to Hector (Iliad XXII 468–470). In her ensuing dirge [28] she does not fail to recall the same persons and themes she has already mentioned in her proleptic γόος in Iliad VI 407–439: her wedding, her father Eetion, Hector, with whom she shared the same doomed fate, and, last but not least, Astyanax. [29]
The walls of Troy constitute the emotional topography for the presentation of the last meeting between the two spouses. Under this scope, it is their early narrative connection to the episode of Andromache and Hector in Iliad VI that confers their special, Iliad-specific definition as a dramatic space of timely meaning. [30] But what exactly is the relationship between this dramatic space and the Dionysiac metaphor?
Following Segal, who, in his discussion on Greek tragedy, uses the terms ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ axes in order to define all that is familiar in the life of the city and all that is foreign, [31] we can examine the space where the episode of Hector and Andromache unfolds. By fostering such an interpretive approach, we may be able to determine the interplay between the Dionysiac metaphor in the myth of Lycurgus (Iliad VI 130–140) and the meeting between Andromache and Hector (Iliad VI 390–493).
The ‘horizontal’ axis includes both the meeting at the walls and the movement of the two spouses. Schadewaldt [32] believes that the emphasis here is on the mutual movement, as Hector is looking for Andromache in her own space, the ‘house’ (οἶκος), while she is looking for Hector in his own space, the walls. [33] Even though the walls define an intermediate space, as the Trojans in the Iliad almost always go out to the plain to fight against the Achaeans (there is never actually a siege), Schadewaldt’s observation is valid, since it underscores the importance of the ‘mutual approach’ of husband and wife. This approach consists of three phases: the search, the meeting, and the final separation. [34] In this light, the audience is encouraged to follow the shift from the speed of an initial anguished dash to an ensuing immobility. Andromache ‘has gone in speed to the wall, like a woman gone mad’ (Iliad VI 388–389: … ἐπειγομένη ἀφικάνει // μαινομένῃ εἰκυῖα …) [35] on the one hand, and Hector ‘hastened from his home / backward by the way he had come through the well-laid streets’ (Iliad VI 390–391: … ὃ δ᾿ ἀπέσσυτο δώματος Ἕκτωρ // τὴν αὐτὴν ὁδὸν αὖτις ἐϋκτιμένας κατ᾿ ἀγυιάς) on the other. The remaining passage is replete with similar accounts: ‘as he had come to the gates on his way through the great city, the Skaian gates, whereby he would issue into the plain, there at last his own generous wife came running to meet him’ (Iliad VI 392–394: εὖτε πύλας ἵκανε διερχόμενος μέγα ἄστυ // Σκαιάς, τῇ ἄρ᾿ ἔμελλε διεξίμεναι πεδίονδε, // ἔνθ᾿ ἄλοχος πολύδωρος ἐναντίη ἦλθε θέουσα). When the two spouses meet and find themselves face to face, the action stops and the focus is digressively turned to Andromache’s origins (Iliad VI 395–398). The term ἀπέσσυτο, which was used for Hector (Iliad VI 390), will be slightly repeated in Iliad XXII 460 (διέσσυτο), occupying the same place in the hexameter, albeit this time designating Andromache. [36] The deliberate emphasis on the theme of movement on the horizontal axis of the dramatic space is related to the motif of arrival in terms of Dionysiac epiphany. In Euripides’ Bacchae, the play begins with the unexpected advent of the god: ἥκω Διὸς παῖς τήνδε Θηβαίαν χθόνα // Διόνυσος … (1–2). [37] This arrival is usually underscored by the κατ᾿ ἐνώπιον (face to face) presence of Dionysus before humans. [38] Likewise, by presenting Andromache as coming in haste to meet Hector (Iliad VI 394: ἐναντίη ἦλθε θέουσα) and highlighting the family-reunion scene at the walls (Iliad VI 399: ἥ οἱ ἔπειτ᾿ ἤντησ᾿; Iliad VI 404: ἰδὼν ἐς παῖδα; Iliad VI 405: οἱ ἄγχι παρίστατο), the Iliad emphasizes the face-to-face meeting between husband and wife.
The Dionysiac metaphor is also manifested in the vertical axis. In the episode of Lycurgus, Dionysus is given a warm welcome in the arms of Thetis, after he plunges into the sea to save himself (Iliad VI 136: δύσεθ᾿ ἁλὸς κατὰ κῦμα). In the meeting between Hector and Andromache, the wife of the Trojan hero prefers to sink to the ground than to live without her beloved husband (Iliad VI 411: χθόνα δύμεναι). The use of the same verbal type in both passages points to a well-known Dionysiac metaphor, according to which the god is linked with both the watery and chthonic realms. In fact, the submersion into the sea represents, within a Dionysiac context, a transition to another state of being. The mythological tradition supporting one such interpretation is remarkably rich. The lake of Lerne, where Perseus throws the dead body of Dionysus, is commonly considered the entrance into Hades. [39] According to Diodorus, [40] who offers a mythological variation of the story of Lycurgus, the nurses of Dionysus were thrown into the sea in order to save themselves, while Boutas dies by falling into a well. Another well-known story is that of the Ἁλίαι, women murdered by Perseus. In the context of the ritual reenactment of their deaths in the water, Dionysus ἁλιεύς is immersed in water. [41] Moreover, as Daraki correctly observes, “the only swimming contests we are aware of in Greece were held in honor of Dionysus, in the area around lake Lerne, not far away from Hermione in the Argolid. [42] The word κόλυμβος, designates both a swimming contest and diving, and the nautical contest in Hermione had been placed under the protection of μελάναιγις Dionysus, a god of the darkness with chthonic characteristics.” [43] The expression χθόνα δύμεναι (Iliad VI 411) used by Andromache constitutes a death wish. Simultaneously, however, it is inscribed in the context of the Dionysiac metaphor pertaining to this particular scene, since the metaphorical submersion into the earth is known not only from the worship of Dionysus but also from the myth of the abduction of Kore by Hades/Plouton. In the Lenaia, Dionysus is recognized as a god of the Underworld and is virtually compared to Plouton, [44] while the Cretan tradition presents him as the son of Zeus and Persephone having the Underworld as his realm. [45]
(h) Another covert connection, which should not necessarily be pressed a great deal, concerns the way the two passages emphasize the massiveness of the destruction. In Iliad VI 133–134, Dionysus’ nurses all throw their branches to the ground (… αἳ δ᾿ ἅμα πᾶσαι // θύσθλα χαμαὶ κατέχευαν …). In the episode of Hector and Andromache, the image of an impending or past disaster is expressed in a similar way: Iliad VI 409–410: … τάχα γάρ σε κατακτενέουσιν Ἀχαιοί // πάντες ἐφορμηθέντες …; Iliad VI 416: … κατὰ δ᾿ ἔκτανεν Ἠετίωνα; Iliad VI 418–419: ἀλλ᾿ ἄρα μιν κατέκηε σὺν ἔντεσι δαιδαλέοισιν // ἠδ᾿ ἐπὶ σῆμ᾿ ἔχεεν· …; Iliad VI 422–423: οἳ μὲν πάντες ἰῷ κίον ἤματι Ἄϊδος εἴσω· // πάντας γὰρ κατέπεφνε ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.

The Theban Connection

After having examined the Dionysiac element in the meeting between Hector and Andromache and its relation to the episode of Diomedes and Glaucus, I will place all the above-mentioned Dionysiac connections into a larger perspective. In particular, I will attempt to clarify the relation of Hector and Andromache to Thebes and, through this, to Dionysus.
The episode of Hector and Andromache contains Theban-colored features either concerning the protagonists of the episode directly (Hector, Andromache, Astyanax) or consisting of ‘secondary’ references, which seem inexplicable or are, at least, difficult to explain, since they appear outside of their original framework.

The Protagonists

Andromache’s name recalls an Amazon. [46] She is the one ‘fighting against men’ while representing matriarchal conceptions, [47] evidenced by the fact that her mother (Iliad VI 425) reigned (βασίλευεν) in Plakos. In sixth-century iconography, she is sometimes depicted either along with other Amazons fighting against Heracles or holding a spear in order to protect Astyanax after the fall of Troy. [48] Her abilities in war and her military knowledge are not unknown in Homeric epic. In Iliad VI 431–439 she demonstrates her knowledge of war when advising Hector on how to place the army at that portion of the wall where there was a wild fig tree (ἐρινεός), right at the spot the best of the Achaeans had attacked in the past. Andromache is also associated with other military activities: she takes care of Hector’s horses (Iliad VIII 187–189) and, according to Zeus’ foreshadowing (Iliad XVII 207–208), she will never take the famous weapons of Achilles from Hector’s hands after his return from the battlefield. She is the only daughter of Eetion among seven brothers, which strengthens the ‘male’ aspect of her character, in contrast, for example, to the ‘effeminized’ Dolon, who is the only son among five sisters. [49] The reference to her mother in the list of her personal losses (Iliad VI 425–428) does not only belong to the typical motif of ‘the scale of affection for one’s beloved persons’ [50] but also makes it possible for Andromache to be found completely alone, so that Hector can act as father, mother, and brothers, that is, embody her entire lost family as well as her new marital home. [51] Furthermore, her mother’s death recalls both Artemis’ murder of Laodameia in the story of Bellerophon (Iliad VI 205) and the murder of Ariadne, executed according to Dionysus’ orders (Odyssey xi 321–325). [52] In Homer, the death of Andromache’s mother by Artemis is not explained, because the epic remains silent about a possible infringement infuriating the goddess. Jeanmaire has rightly observed that, in myth, Dionysus functions as a god of the underworld, since by making Artemis murder his beloved Ariadne, he brings the latter under his control. [53] Notwithstanding this murder, Dionysus subsequently deifies his beloved one, lifting her to the sky. Mother and beloved exchange roles and function as ‘dual’ companions, like the two goddesses in Eleusis, for whom Dionysus is ‘lover’ and ‘son’. In this light, one may inquire whether it is mere chance that the festival of Ἡρωίς, celebrating the ascent of Dionysus’ mother, Semele, who is identified with Kore, is held in Boeotia. [54]
Andromache’s covert, Amazon-oriented Iliadic associations point to Ares, as the Amazons are the cherished beings of the god of war. [55] To state another typical example from Greek epic, let us recall that the Amazon Penthesileia, who in the Aethiopis comes from Thrace to assist the Trojans, is Ares’ daughter. Ares’ Theban connections stem from Harmonia, the daughter he had with Aphrodite. Harmonia becomes, in myth, the wife of Cadmus, the mythical founder of Boeotian Thebes. [56] In view of the aforementioned associations, Ares is the mythical ‘filter’ through which Andromache’s link to Boeotian Thebes is effectuated.
Hector’s Theban connections are based on both the transfer of his bones to Thebes and his Iliadic associations to Ares. Dümmler was the first to have argued for the Theban origin of Hector. [57] This theory has been strongly supported by some, and furiously opposed by others. [58] However, as is often the case in Homeric studies, the scholarly debate focused more on the criticism of the method of each hermeneutical approach rather than on the core issue supported by the various schools. This is not the forum to present in detail the variety of different views argued thus far, but a brief account of the basic components of the theory supporting Hector’s Theban connections can be easily given: numerous ancient and Byzantine sources (Aristodemus of Thebes, [59] Lycophron, [60] a sepulchral epigram attested in pseudo-Aristotle’s Peplos, [61] Pausanias, [62] and Tzetzes) [63] speak of the transfer of Hector’s bones from Troy to Boeotian Thebes, to protect against plague (Tzetzes), war (Lycophron), or another disaster (Aristodemus of Thebes). The main argument supporting Hector’s Boeotian connection is that if Hector was not from Thebes and if he were not some local hero, then the Thebans would not have cared to transfer his bones from Troy to their own city in Boeotia. [64] Additional information refers to the existence of a historically identified person named Hector on the island of Chios at the time the island became part of the Ionian League. [65] The activity of this Hector, fourth descendant of Amphiclus, is connected to the war “against the Abantes and those Carians who had settled in Chios.” [66] Hector, after having killed many of his enemies, forced the rest of them to desert the island. Then, he made Chios part of the Ionian League. The supporters of this view believe that Hector was initially a Greek hero of Theban origin [67] and that the historical person, Hector, in Chios in the sixth century BC, was an emigrant of Boeotian origin, a case that is further supported by the fact that the Boeotian element was rather strong on the island, as proven by the multitude of place names of Boeotian provenance and by the mythological connections between the two places, such as that of Orion. [68]
In the Iliad, Hector seems to be covertly associated to Ares, since the epithets κορυθαιόλος, ἀνδροφόνοιο, and ὄβριμος attributed to the former are also employed for the latter. In Iliad V 590–595, Ares and Enyo, together with Hector, lead the Trojans into battle, and Ares’ huge spear recalls Hector’s spear (Iliad VII 244, Iliad VIII 494, Iliad XXII 289). [69] However, of more interest to us, Ares is linked to Thebes in Boeotia since, as I have already mentioned, his daughter Harmonia, the child of his marriage with Aphrodite, married Cadmus, the mythical founder of Thebes. In this foundation myth, Ares’ son was a dragon that Cadmus slayed, and whose teeth Cadmus subsequently planted in the ground, from which the Spartoi grew, i.e. the earth-born warriors. [70] The cult of Ares, whose name is attested already in Linear B, was not at all widespread in Greece during the Archaic period. However, he was venerated in Boeotian Thebes. Finally, the names of Hector and Ares display an interesting relation. The name e-ko-to (Hector) and its derivative e-ko-to-ri-jo (Hectorean), which are attested in Linear B (PY Eb 913.1, En 74.7, Eo 276.6, En 74.17, Eo 247.2, Ep 212.3, 705.8), designate a person who wins, conquers, or protects. [71] The military connotations of Hector’s name bear a striking similarity to the name Ares, which may well be an antiquated form of a noun meaning ‘war’, without excluding the possibility that the word ἕκτωρ was initially an invocation of war, [72] as Wathelet has suggested. [73]
The Theban associations are evident not only in the two protagonists of this scene (Andromache, Hector) but also in the whole of Iliad VI, both in the myth of Lycurgus (Iliad VI 130–140) and in the story of Bellerophon. [74] Murray [75] has suggested that the myth of Lycurgus, which is also found in Eumelus’ Europia (PEG 1, fr. 11 = EGF fr. 1), is to be related to another epic by the same poet, the Korinthiaka, where we learn about Sisyphus and Glaucus, Bellerophon’s ancestors. Consequently, it is possible that Eumelus depends on the same oral tradition that was also the source for the Iliadic episode of Glaucus and Diomedes.

Secondary References

Mountain-nymphs (νύμφαι ὀρεστιάδες)

When Andromache refers to the murder of her father by Achilles, she adds that the Achaean warrior respected his dead body and buried it accordingly. Subsequently, “… the nymphs of the mountains, / daughters of Zeus who brings the thunderstorm, [76] planted elm trees about it.” Nymphs are found in the Odyssey (xiii 356: νύμφαι νηϊάδες; xvii 240: νύμφαι κρηναῖαι), where they are called ‘daughters of Zeus’ (κοῦραι Διός). The formula κοῦραι Διός is also found in Odyssey vi 105 and Odyssey ix 154, but the phrase νύμφαι ὀρεστιάδες is only used in Iliad VI 420 and in the Homeric Hymn to Pan (19) 19. [77] Given that Eetion ruled the city of Hypoplakian Thebes, situated at the feet of mount Plakos in the Troad, and that he was killed by Achilles in this same city, it is likely that the mountain-nymphs who planted elm trees around his grave must also be placed at mount Plakos above the city Eetion ruled. This reference provokes justified questions: “Who are these mountain-nymphs?” and more importantly, “What is Eetion doing in this mythical context?”
In order to answer these questions, we have to interpret the function of three different mythological threads skillfully interwoven in the Iliadic tradition: [78]
(a) Eetion’s identity: Eetion is the son of Zeus and Electra, the daughter of Atlas who lived in Samothrace. [79] The other two children from Zeus’ marriage to Electra were Dardanus, mythical founder of Troy, and Harmonia, who married Cadmus, the mythical founder of Thebes. Because Eetion slept with Demeter, Zeus killed him with his thunderbolt, [80] exactly as in the story of Iasion and Demeter in Odyssey v 125–128. Hesiod (Theogony 969–974) places this myth in Crete and presents Ploutos as the offspring of the union of the two lovers. Of particular importance, in the Theogony (975–978) the union of Iasion and Demeter is immediately followed by the marriage of Cadmus and Harmonia. This catalogue-organized sequence may well be an argument ex silentio about the interconnection between the two traditions. Needless to say, Harmonia is also known to have been the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite. The common element between the mythical versions pertaining to the aforementioned three couples is hierogamia (marriage between a mortal and an immortal) as well as the motif of divine intervention. [81] Eetion’s connection to Thebes can be also seen through his mother Electra, after whom the gates of Thebes were named (Ἠλεκτρίδες πύλαι).
(b) The Cabiri: the origin of the myth of Eetion seems to be related to the Cabiri, who were worshipped in Lemnos, Samothrace, and Boeotia. Hephaestus, by whose name there was a city in Lemnos, is related to Dionysus who had helped him return to Olympos after his fall. [82] The link between Electra, Eetion’s mother, and Samothrace points to the Cabiri, who were local underworld deities related to fertility, prosperity, and the working of metals. Their relationship with Demeter, Dionysus, and Hephaestus is obvious. [83] In the Iliad, Eetion is a very wealthy man (after all, his daughter, Andromache, is referred to as πολύδωρος) and reigns in Hypoplakian Thebes, in the area of Troy. [84] In view of all the information presented above, it can hardly be a simple coincidence that the city of Thebes in Boeotia has a rich tradition in the cult of the Cabiri. In Boeotian Thebes a Cabirion has been excavated and there is strong evidence for the cult of Cabirian Demeter. In addition, votive objects from the temple were intended for a Cabirus, who is represented as a beardless Dionysus reclining in order to drink. [85]
(c) Achilles: In the Iliad, Eetion is killed by Achilles, who is related to Zeus through his mother Thetis and who sometimes acts in the place of the father of gods and men (like Asteropaius). [86] It has been suggested [87] that the Iliad has replaced Zeus with Achilles in this episode, adapting the old myth to its own plot requirements. Whereas Zeus had killed Eetion because of his affair with Demeter in the Hesiodic tradition [88] and perhaps in another oral tradition, in the Iliad Achilles causes his death. The substitution of Zeus by Achilles ties in well with the more general strategy of the Iliadic tradition to replace Zeus’ ‘wrath’ (μῆνις) by Achilles’ ‘wrath’ (μῆνις). [89] Furthermore (and in accordance to this epic’s narrative blueprint), as in the past Achilles had killed Andromache’s entire family (father and brothers), so in the future he will kill her beloved husband, Hector.
Eetion’s various associations point to the city of Thebes in mainland Greece, not only through Andromache but also through his affair, as Iasion, with Demeter, who is considered, along with Dionysus, one of the main deities of Boeotian Thebes. [90] In this light, I would argue that we must interpret the reference to the mountain-nymphs within the complex nexus created by the three aforementioned mythical threads. The mountain-nymphs seem peculiar within their Iliadic context, [91] but their eccentricity can be screened out, if they are intertextually linked to another oral tradition where Eetion was not the king of Hypoplakian Thebes but was connected to Boeotian Thebes. His death as the result of Zeus’ divine anger would easily explain the presence of mountain-nymphs at his funeral, especially if one assumes that the father of gods and men has been replaced by Achilles in Iliad VI. [92]

High-Gated Thebes (Θήβη ὑψίπυλος)

The argument presented above must be placed within the general framework of the connection between Boeotian Thebes and Hypoplakian Thebes in the area of Troy. [93] In Iliad VI 415–416, Hypolakian Thebes is designated as one of the cities conquered by Achilles in the region of the Troad. The Iliad employs the same formula (τείχεα Θήβης) both for Thebes in Boeotia (Iliad IV 378) and for Hypoplakian Thebes (Iliad II 691). Moreover, the adjective ἱερός is used both for Hypoplakian Thebes (Iliad I 366) and for the walls of Boeotian Thebes (Iliad IV 378). Additionally, in Iliad VI 416 Hypoplakian Thebes is described as ‘high-gated’ (ὑψίπυλος), [94] which is also employed for Troy (Iliad XVI 698 = Iliad XXI 544). The epithet ‘high-gated’ (ὑψίπυλος) seems to have been ‘influenced’ by the tradition of the Seven-Gated Boeotian Thebes, which the Iliad explicitly mentions in IV 406 within the context of Diomedes’ analeptic cross-reference to the expedition of the Epigoni against Thebes. It is highly unlikely that all these similarities are purely accidental, the more so since Hypoplakian Thebes was an unimportant and small city, which could not have been famous for being ‘high-gated’ (ὑψίπυλος). [95]

The wild fig tree (ἐρινεός)

The wild fig tree is attested four times in the Iliad (Iliad VI 433, Iliad XI 167, Iliad XXI 37, Iliad XXII 145), always in relation to a threat the Trojan army faces on the battlefield. Topographical details of this sort have acquired a secondary, metonymical function given the dramatic framework of the plot. Under this scope, a single spot on the Trojan plain has ‘evolved’ into a sophisticated topographical metonymy for Trojan-oriented impending danger. In Iliad XI 166–168, Agamemnon chases his enemies and, after passing by the tomb of Ilus and the wild fig tree, he heads towards Troy. Prior to Agamemnon’s ἀριστεία, [96] the poet has artfully withdrawn Hector from the battle (Iliad XI 163), since the wild fig tree is also specially linked to him. In Iliad XXI 37, Lycaon, taken captive by Achilles while cutting branches next to the wild fig tree and subsequently sold into slavery in Imbros, meets his doom. Likewise, in Iliad XXII 145, Achilles, chasing Hector around the walls of Troy, passes by the wild fig tree. At this point, the epic carefully mentions two springs, one of cold water, the other warm. This prima facie trivial detail should not be taken at face value, since Iliadic topography does not conform to geographical but to poetic rules. On the other hand, one is tempted to draw an analogy between the two springs of Forgetfulness (Λήθη) and Remembrance (Μνημοσύνη) in the oracle of Zeus Trophonius in Boeotia (Pausanius IX 39.9).
In Iliad VI 433, Andromache refers to the ἐρινεός by stressing that the Achaeans know it to be found at the weakest part of the walls of Troy. She adds that either a seer gave them this information or that they followed their intuition when they attacked this part of the walls (Iliad VI 438–439). But why would a seer have given the Achaeans the information? Why would someone with access to the will of the gods have revealed that the wild fig tree indicated a weakness at a single spot on the walls? Is there some latent religious significance linked to this tree, or is the Iliad making a covert intertextual reference to another assault on a wall-protected city? Andromache’s words are quite inappropriate not only in respect to the awkwardness of a woman giving military advice [97] but also because the Iliad never refers to an assault on the walls of Troy by the Achaean army. On the contrary, war always takes place on either the battlefield outside the walls of Troy or, when things go bad for the Greeks, in front of the Achaean Wall and then inside the Achaean camp.
The ‘weak spot on the walls’ might have been a direct borrowing from an unknown eastern source, given that eastern influence on mythical material concerning city-siege might be due to the fact that wall-protected cities had been built in Mesopotamia long before Greece. Herodotus offers a typical example (I 84) in the description of the siege and ensuing sack of Sardis by a Persian army led by Cyrus. In this case, the spot on the walls that seems least vulnerable to attack, the steepest part of the fortification, becomes the ‘weak spot’ Hyroeades uses to enter the citadel. Herodotus makes explicit reference to a prophecy given to Meles, the ancient king of Sardis, by the Telmessians, telling him to carry around the walls the lion cub his concubine had born to him, in order to make the city impregnable. Assuming that this particular spot on the walls was so steep that no enemy could climb it and enter the city, Meles failed to carry the lion cub over it. The situation in Iliad VI 433–439 [98] explicitly refers to a weak spot on the walls of Troy, which the best of the Achaeans have already attacked three times either because some seer had revealed it to them or because their heart urges them to do so. The reference to a seer, when taken together with the ‘magical’ number three (designating the attacks on the wall), shows that the Iliadic tradition has used material of intertextual provenance, which it has subsequently tailored to its needs. If we endorse Aristarchus’ athetesis of these verses, [99] then the ‘weak spot’ feature becomes all the more intriguing. Pindar (Olympian 8.31–46) relates that the weak spot was placed at that part of the wall built by the mortal Aiacus, whereas the rest of the walls were made impenetrable by Apollo and Poseidon. If this information reflects an oral tradition predating the Epic Cycle, [100] and given the ‘Theban’ context of all this episode, it would be advisable to look more closely into the construction of the walls of Troy by Apollo and Poseidon.
Amphion and Zethus, the Boeotian Dioskouroi [101] (Odyssey xi 260–265), represent a more recent, rival Boeotian tradition according to which the walls of Thebes had been built by ‘non-Thebans’ instead of the ‘thebanized’ Cadmus, who belonged to the Theban version. The similarities between the building of the walls in Thebes of Boeotia by Amphion and Zethus [102] and the building of the walls in Troy by Apollo and Poseidon are striking. First, the building of the walls in Troy takes place when Laomedon, the son of the city founder, Ilus, is king, just as Amphion and Zethus build the Theban walls after Cadmus had founded the city. Second, Amphion and Apollo share a number of similarities: they are both twins, they love pastoral life and music, they possess a magic lyre, a gift of Hermes or of the Muses. Amphion’s house is destroyed by Apollo’s arrows when Niobe compares herself to Leto, and he finds his death attempting to burn the Ismenos temple. Apollo is founder of cities par excellence, and in Thebes he has passed his powers on to Amphion. The seven sons and daughters of Niobe and Amphion were later linked to the tradition of the seven warriors and the seven gates of Thebes. Interestingly enough, both Zethus and Poseidon are linked to the earth. [103]
Similarities of this sort cannot be coincidental. The ‘Theban’ connection between the mythical tradition of the building of Thebes’ walls by Amphion and Zethus on the one hand, and of Troy’s walls by Apollo and Poseidon on the other, becomes even stronger when one considers how large the Achaean Wall looms in the Iliad. The ‘turning’ of the Achaeans from besiegers of Troy into the besieged gives the Iliadic tradition the opportunity to describe, at length, an assault on a besieged ‘city’, in this case the very camp of the Achaeans. Singor has convincingly shown that the Seven-Gated city of Thebes lurks in the background of the Iliadic depiction of the Achaean Wall and that the latter’s seven gates with their seven guardians have been created under the influence of their Theban antecedent.
The epic parallel of a battle on and around the walls of a besieged city, described from the perspective of and with a certain sympathy for the besieged, is clearly the war against Boiotian Thebes. Parts of ‘Theban epic’, probably not from the Thebais but from the oral epic that must have preceded it in the manner that oral epic on the Trojan War preceded our Iliad, could quite easily have been borrowed or ‘transposed’ to yield some material for the siege of the Greeks in their camp before Troy. [104]
I would go even further than Singor by arguing that the strong ‘Theban’ overtones of the Achaean Wall constitute a narrative of the abbreviated reference to the six-warrior attack on the weak spot of the Trojan wall in Iliad VI 433–439. The ‘Theban’ oral epic tradition on which the Iliad is drawing knew of the famous siege of Boeotian Thebes by seven warriors who were killed in front of its seven gates. The Iliadic tradition could not exploit the rich intertextual background offered by the Theban oral tradition with respect to an assault on Troy because war in the Iliad virtually takes place on the battlefield and not on or around the walls of Troy. In other words, one of the most essential features of Theban war, i.e. the siege of a walled city, was inappropriate given the plotline of Iliadic epic. Since the Iliad was obviously aware of material linked to its past (like the building of its ramparts by Apollo and Poseidon in the manner Amphion and Zethus had built the walls of Thebes), it exploited the ‘Theban’ background of the siege by reverting its actants. In this way, Hector (a hero of ‘Theban’ connections) became the primary attacker of the Achaean Wall and the Achaeans who were initially besieging Troy were turned into the besieged. In this light, Andromache’s reference to an otherwise unknown attack of six Achaean warriors at the weak spot of the walls of Troy must be placed within the much larger framework of the aforementioned cross-reference to a Theban oral epic tradition. In fact, the very number six used for these warriors (the two Atreides, Idomeneus, the two Aiantes, and Diomedes) can be explained, if we take into account the Iliadic deviation from the Theban pattern of this episode. In the Theban oral tradition, Amphion has seven sons with Niobe, i.e. as many as the number of warriors attacking Thebes, and, of course, as many as killed by Apollo after Niobe’s insult to Leto. In the Iliadic tradition (XXIV 603–604), Niobe has six sons (from Amphion) who are subsequently killed by Apollo, i.e. as many as the warriors who attack the weak spot on the walls. [105] The internal discrepancy between the seven gates and seven guardians of the Achaean Wall on the one hand, and the six sons of Niobe and Amphion on the other, may be due to the existence of variant versions of this story, some of which made the number of attacking warriors and guardians of the city match the sons of one of the city’s builders, while others did not.
In this light, Willcock’s theory of ad hoc invention, or Augenblickserfindung, in reference to this episode is, I maintain, off the mark. [106] The autoschediasmata of the Iliadic tradition do indeed arise from the composition of Homeric epic, but the exploitation of traditional mythical material is not invented to suit only immediate needs. In fact, the very term autoschediasmata is only valid intratextually, when examined from the point of view of the deployment of the plot. Intertextually, autoschediasmata are a ‘surface-phenomenon’, which ceases to exist when seen as the compositional exploration, not invention, of mythical diversity widely diffused by living oral epic traditions. Intratextually perceived invention is nothing more than intertextually oriented exploration.

The Origins of Dionysus

The Iliad (XIV 325: ἣ δὲ Διώνυσον Σεμέλη τέκε, χάρμα βροτοῖσιν) is familiar with the myth of the birth of Dionysus from Semele, who is related to Thebes (as she is, along with Ino, Agaue, Autonoe and Polydorus, a child of Cadmus and Harmonia, the mythical founder of Thebes and the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, respectively). I shall not deal more with this brief reference, and perhaps I should not have even mentioned it were it not for the fact that it is indirectly relevant to Dionysus’ Theban connection. When Zeus, in a long priamel in Iliad XIV, offers a list of his previous lovers, he considers it necessary to refer also to the offspring he had with them. In his extended catalogue, Semele is naturally presented as the mother of Dionysus. However, this reference to Dionysus is related to Zeus’ previous mention of Heracles, his son from Alcmene [107] (Iliad XIV 323: οὐδ᾿ ὅτε περ Σεμέλης, οὐδ᾿ Ἀλκμήνης ἐνὶ Θήβῃ). The common point between these two love affairs of the father of gods with mortal women is anything but the city of Thebes. The juxtaposition of the two ‘mythical items’ in this catalogue may well have been triggered by some sort of mental link they created in the bard’s mind, as they both had Theban associations.

The Festival of the Agrionia

The mythical version of Lycurgus’s attack against Dionysus used in Iliad VI 130–140 is related to the feast of Agrionia in Orchomenos of Boeotia. According to some ancient sources, [108] the daughters of Minyas (Leukippe, Arsipe, and Alkithoe) offended Dionysus by refusing to take part in the dancing performed in his honor. As a result, the angry god ‘visited’ the Minyads when they were weaving at the loom. Suddenly, leaves of ivy and vine appeared on their tools, snakes came out of their baskets, and drops of wine started dripping from the ceiling of the room. Then the girls, who realized what was going on, cast lots to select the one who would try to appease the wrath of the god. When the lot fell to Leukippe, she sacrificed her son, Hippasus, to Dionysus, dismembered him with the assistance of her sisters, and made her way to the mountains together with the other Minyads. At the feast of the Agrionia in Boeotia, the priest of Dionysus chases the women of the city, who represent the Minyads, and kills the one who falls in his hands. Burkert [109] associates the myth of Lycurgus with the ritual of the Agrionia, suggesting that Lycurgus is a ritual surrogate of Dionysus’ priest. Indeed, during a sacrifice to Dionysus, an armed man appears and chases the god and his maenads to the sea. He then turns a weapon recalling Lycurgus’ ox-goad (Iliad VI 135: θεινόμεναι βουπλῆγι …) around in his hand, and in later versions even kills his own children in a state of uncontrollable frenzy.

The Temple of Athena

Hector, upon his return to Troy, does not find Andromache in the temple of Athena with the other women. Praying to the pro-Greek Athena in order to stop Diomedes’ fierce attack against their city and even having a temple dedicated to Athena in Troy is noteworthy. Is this reference to be related to the cult of Oncaian and Ismenian Athena in Thebes? In Thebes, Athena is neither the goddess of the acropolis nor its patron goddess. The temple of Pallas Onca, found near the walls and, more specifically, near the Oncaian Gate, is devoted to Athena ‘of the gates’ (πυλαΐτις). [110] The cult of Pallas Onca is based on her ancient relationship to Demeter ἐν Ὀγκείῳ in Arcadia and Boeotian Demeter, who also share a special relationship to Thebes. [111] In this light, the description of a supplication scene in Athena’s temple in Iliad VI may owe much to its intertextual background in a Theban oral tradition, where such a scene would have made greater sense. The Cyclic Epigoni might have also featured a homologous scene, which should have been based on a pre-Iliadic Theban epic. The Iliadic tradition is exploiting a scene pertaining to a lost Theban tradition, where a supplication to Athena, protectress of the Oncaian gate, carried out by the women of the city in order to avert the assault of Diomedes, son of Tydeus and one of the Epigoni, would have been at home. [112]

An Evolutionary Hermeneutical Model

The above remarks show that the references to Diomedes (whom the Iliad knows as one of the Epigoni, conquerors of Thebes), the episode of Dionysus, and the origin of Andromache and Hector unravel a narrative web that allows for the presentation of an evolutionary model of Iliadic maenadism. The main aim of this chapter has been to answer the question of why the maenadic and, consequently, the Dionysiac references in the Iliad are related to Andromache and are extremely scarce, or perhaps marginalized.
The maenadic references to Andromache in Books VI and XXII result from the Iliad’s sophisticated use of older mythical material, where the Dionysiac allusions would be at home and where Andromache, Hector, and the mythological context they are placed in would be related to Dionysus and Thebes. Therefore, the Iliad refers to Dionysus only occasionally because the mythological material related to him belongs not simply to another poem (perhaps Eumelus’ Europia) [113] but also to another tradition, that of Boeotian Thebes. This rival epic tradition seems to have been well known to the Ionian poets, who had every reason to refrain from highlighting it.
Under this scope, Andromache’s maenadic associations and, by extension, Dionysiac allusions should be placed within the intertextual framework of an older Theban epic tradition, of which Eumelus’ Europia is only a later, post-Homeric reflection. The entire ‘Theban part’ of the Iliad indicates the existence of intertextual relationships in one of the most fertile and strong epic traditions developed in the Greek world during the Archaic period. Throughout its evolution and shaping, the Iliadic tradition ‘transferred’ Theban epic heroes and events to its own story. Within this process, the so-called ‘Theban features’ evolved into Iliadic ones, the more so since the Iliad was able to tailor them to its needs and accommodate them to its plot requirements. Still, ‘Theban features’ have left the traces of their ‘earlier’, non-Iliadic past in the form of intratextual ruptures, which can be filled by intertextually retrieved material.
One of the reasons, perhaps the most important, why the Iliad has been recognized since antiquity as a monumental epic composition is the fact that it embedded, incorporated, and adapted various rival song-traditions to its basic myth. By filtering these traditions, the Iliad managed to surpass them, changing (as far as Andromache is concerned) an Amazon with maenadic and warlike origins into a suffering wife and mother, and the great, mythologically renowned Thebes of Boeotia into a small, unimportant city of the Troad, Hypoplakian Thebes. The new poetry of Ionia was thus able to speak about its own places with its own traditional but also innovative voice.


[ back ] 1. PEG 1, fr. 11 = EGF fr. 1. On the possible connection of Eumelus’ Europia to Boeotia, see West 2002:126–128. There was also another Europia by Stesichorus (fr. 195, PMGF) concerning the foundation of the city of Thebes by Cadmus.
[ back ] 2. Privitera 1970:14–15, 20–21.
[ back ] 3. Seaford 1993:115–146.
[ back ] 4. Seaford 1993:116–117.
[ back ] 5. For the general use and function of the mythological model in the Homeric epics, see Willcock 1964:141–154.
[ back ] 6. Dionysus and Thetis are mythologically connected through a golden amphora Dionysus gave her as a wedding gift. It was this same amphora the goddess later used to keep the bones of Achilles (Odyssey xxiv 73–76).
[ back ] 7. The verb μαίνεσθαι is attested 20 times in the Iliad (V 185; V 717; V 831, VI 101; VI 132; VI 389; VIII 111; VIII 355; VIII 360; VIII 413; IX 238; XV 128; XV 605; XV 606; XVI 75; XVI 245; XXI 5; XXII 460 (μαινάς); XXIV 114; XXIV 135) and 4 times in the Odyssey: ix 350, xi 537, xviii 406, xxi 298. The noun μαινάς is attested only once in the Hom. Hymn to Demeter (2) 386: ἤϊξ᾿ ἠΰτε μαινὰς ὄρος κάτα δάσκιον ὕλῃ. μένος pertains to male behavior and is regarded as a primary component of the warrior’s military talent. However, it is not used exclusively for men, (Iliad XXI 411; Iliad XXI 482; Iliad XXI 488). See also Hershkovitz 1998:57 (with relevant bibliography), 143.
[ back ] 8. Seaford 1993:143–144.
[ back ] 9. The three other Iliadic deviations from the typical warlike-colored terms relating to μαίνεσθαι and μένος refer to Dionysus (Iliad VI 132: μαινομένοιο Διωνύσοιο) and Andromache (Iliad VI 389: μαινομένῃ εἰκυῖα, Iliad XXII 460: μαινάδι ἴση). For these cases, see the introductory comments in this chapter. For Andromache as a maenad, see Gagliardi 2006:16–19.
[ back ] 10. Seaford 1993:143.
[ back ] 11. Seaford 1993:144.
[ back ] 12. For the theme of the mutilation of the body in the Iliad, see Segal 1971b.
[ back ] 13. Seaford 1993:144.
[ back ] 14. Seaford 1993:145.
[ back ] 15. The mountain is named Nysa in Euripides Bacchae 556. According to Kirk 1990:174: “There were many mountains of that name – from India to Babylon, Arabia and Libya according to Hesychius – associated with or named after the god, but [the scholia] bT were right in taking this one to be in Thrace because Thetis is nearby (136), since she lived in an underwater cave between Samos, i.e. Samothrace, and Imbros according to 24.77–84.” Thrace is the correct choice because it is compatible with the widespread mythological concept that Dionysus originated from Thrace.
[ back ] 16. PEG 1, fr. 11 = EGF fr. 1.
[ back ] 17. The word τιθήνη is attested only 4 times in the Iliad (VI 132; VI 389; VI 467; XXII 503). See Privitera 1970:61n18.
[ back ] 18. It is attested only once in the Odyssey (i 261).
[ back ] 19. Iliad I 242; Iliad IV 441; Iliad VI 134, Iliad VI 498; Iliad IX 351; Iliad XVI 77; Iliad XVI 840; Iliad XVII 428; Iliad XVII 616; Iliad XVII 638; Iliad XVIII 149; Iliad XXIV 509; Iliad XXIV 724. See n22.
[ back ] 20. Iliad XVIII 317; Iliad XXIII 18; Iliad XXIV 479.
[ back ] 21. This is confirmed by the use of the fundamental, nuclear idea of the formula, the preverbal Gestalt according to Nagler 1967:269–311; 1974:8. In similar cases, the use and combination of metrical, morphological and semantic elements (or their formulaic allomorphs) creates an interpretive pattern that is recalled under the same or similar contextual parameters. See Kahane 1994:43–79.
[ back ] 22. I have adopted, contra West, the reading ἀνδροφόνοιο offered by the manuscript family Ω*.
[ back ] 23. In the episode of Hector and Andromache in Iliad VI, the word κόλπος is used in order to highlight the image of the young and frightened Astyanax (Iliad VI 400: παῖδ᾿ ἐπὶ κόλπῳ ἔχουσ᾿ ἀταλάφρονα, νήπιον αὔτως). Andromache proleptically refers to a similar image in Iliad XXII 503, though the word κόλπος is not stated: εὕδεσκ᾿ ἐν λέκτροισιν, ἐν ἀγκαλίδεσσι τιθήνης.
[ back ] 24. Privitera 1970: 61–62, and, most importantly, 61n18.
[ back ] 25. The phrase (κατα)δῦναι ὅμιλον // δόμον is attested 8 times in the Iliad (Iliad III 322; Iliad VII 131; Iliad X 231; Iliad X 433; Iliad XI 537; Iliad XIII 307; Iliad XV 299; Iliad XX 76). For the allomorph ἀναδῦναι ὅμιλον, see Iliad VII 217-218. See also Iliad X 338 (κάλλιφ᾿ ὅμιλον) and Iliad XVI 729 (δύσεθ᾿ ὅμιλον ἰών) referring to Apollo and recalling Iliad VI 136 (δύσεθ᾿ ἁλὸς κατὰ κῦμα). Segal 1971a: 33–57 has argued that the second portion of Iliad XXII 462 (καὶ ἀνδρῶν ἷξεν ὅμιλον) “is clearly modeled after δῦναι (καταδῦναι) ὅμιλον, common in the battle scenes” (48). It is indeed noteworthy that the protagonist in this episode is, once more, Andromache.
[ back ] 26. See Maronitis 1990:105–123.
[ back ] 27. See Iliad XXII 460–465.
[ back ] 28. See Tsagalis 2004:129–133.
[ back ] 29. Seaford 1993:118–119 has rightly emphasized that in this scene certain typical elements of the wedding ritual, such as the μακαρισμός and the new home where the newlyweds will live, have been inverted or completely destroyed. See also Tsagalis 2004:118–129.
[ back ] 30. The importance of the walls for the plot of the Iliad is overtly but systematically underscored. All of the scenes related to the future of Troy take place either at the walls or at the Skaian gates, not inside the city (the ‘Teichoscopia’ in Iliad III, the meeting of Hector and Andromache in Iliad VI, Priam and Hecuba’s warnings to Hector in Iliad XXII, the laments for Hector in Iliad XXII). See Scully 1990:42–43.
[ back ] 31. Segal 1997:78.
[ back ] 32. Schadewaldt 19654:214–215.
[ back ] 33. Schadewaldt 19654:215-217.
[ back ] 34. Schadewaldt 19654:215.The verb σεῦε is also used in Iliad VI 133 for the attack Lycurgus launched against Dionysus and his maenads.
[ back ] 35. In this case, I have not adopted West’s edition, in which Iliad VI 388 is considered to be an interpolation.
[ back ] 36. Segal 1997:48.
[ back ] 37. Ἥκω is often used in the first verse of Euripidean prologues but this does not undermine the fact that Dionysus’ arrival has specific religious connotations.
[ back ] 38. For the ‘arrival’ of Dionysus, the ‘face-to-face’ encounter with the god and the function of vision (ὁρᾶν) and appearance (φαίνεσθαι) in a Dionysiac context, see the seminal discussion of Vernant in Vernant and Vidal-Naquet 1986:237–270 (vol. 2).
[ back ] 39. Pausanias II 37.5. See also Socrates of Argos (FGrHist 310, F 2), Pollux IV 861, scholia on Lycophron’s Alexandra 212 (Scheer), scholia vetera on Iliad XIV 319 (Erbse).
[ back ] 40. See Diodorus Siculus V 50.
[ back ] 41. Pausanias II 20.4 and 22.1, scholia vetera on Iliad VI 130 (Erbse).
[ back ] 42. See Daraki 1985:35. See also Sourvinou-Inwood 2005:204–205, who argues that the recurrence of bou- elements in the mythological nexuses of Boutas, Lycurgus (bouplex), and Lerna (Dionysus bougenes) “provides some confirmation for the notion that the Homeric Lykourgos and the Lerna nexus were indeed transformations (as was the Boutas myth) of earlier mythicoritual material that had involved a mortal’s attack on Dionysos and Dionysos plunging in water.” (205)
[ back ] 43. The translation is my own.
[ back ] 44. See Heraclitus B15 (D-K): —Ὡυτὸς δὲ Ἀίδης καὶ Διόνυσος, ὅτεῳ μαίνονται καὶ ληναΐζουσιν.
[ back ] 45. See Daraki 1985:51n58-60. See also Hesiod Works and Days 126, where the dead of the golden age are called πλουτοδόται (wealth-giving), just like Dionysus.
[ back ] 46. The use of a name expressing hostility towards men does not necessarily prove that it belongs to an Amazon (cf. the name Alexandros). The name Andromache is not necessarily of Amazonian origin and so I prefer the term ‘recalls’ rather than ‘denotes’ an Amazon. However, given the relevant Iliadic passages, iconographical representations and mythological evidence, the hypothesis of Andromache’s Amazonian origin becomes all the more likely.
[ back ] 47. Pomeroy 1975:16–19.
[ back ] 48. See von Bothmer 1957 plates 1, 3, 8, 11, 25, 106, 129–146, 179 (black-figure vases) and plates 3, 4, 8–9, 12 (red-figure vases); Touchefeu-Meynier 1981:772; Devambez and Kauffmann-Samaras 1981:586–653. See also the scholia vetera on Iliad III 189 (Erbse), where the name Ἀνδρομάχη features in an Amazon-list. I owe this point to Wathelet 1988:1214. Moreover, Andromache’s name reflects the basic Homeric epithet attributed to the Amazons (Iliad III 189: ἀντιάνειραι).
[ back ] 49. See Wathelet 1988:282.
[ back ] 50. For the effect of ‘ascending climax’ within such a list, see Kakridis 1949:49–64.
[ back ] 51. See Tsagalis 2004:118–129; Gagliardi 2006:11–46.
[ back ] 52. See Wathelet 1988:282.
[ back ] 53. See Jeanmaire 1951:225. Block 1995:310–311 argues that Artemis kills Laodameia in order to avenge the annihilation of the Amazons by Bellerophon. If this was the case, then why does Artemis kill (inexplicably) the mother of an Amazon like Andromache? The explanation given by Block leaves this question unanswered. One of the two sons of Bellerophon, Isandros, is murdered by the Solymoi and Ares. Artemis who kills Laodameia is characterized by the epithet χρυσήνιος (Iliad VI 205), which Homeric epic only ascribes to Ares (Block [1995] 311n58). Given that Ares and Artemis have complementary roles and that Iliad VI 190 (πάντας γὰρ κατέπεφνεν ἀμύμων Βελλεροφόντης) and Iliad VI 423 (πάντας γὰρ κατέπεφνε ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς) are formulaically equivalent, it could be plausibly argued that the story of Bellerophon, which is embedded in the episode of Diomedes and Glaucus, is analogous to the embedded story of Eetion in the episode of Hector and Andromache in Iliad VI. Just as Bellerophon murders all of his foes (and the Amazons), so Achilles murders almost the entire family of the ‘Amazon’ Andromache. In a similar way, just as Artemis led the daughter of Bellerophon to disaster, so she kills Andromache’s mother. However, the list of those murdered by Bellerophon is profoundly reminiscent of the list of those Achilles had killed in the embedded story of Iliad VI 414–428. Alden 2000:135n37 has argued that the word Ἀλήϊον (Iliad VI 201) perhaps echoes the verb ἀλᾶτο (Iliad VI 201) in the story of Bellerophon. Under this light, one may maintain that this is also the case with Διωνύσοιο (Iliad VI 132) and Νυσήϊον (Iliad VI 133) in the embedded story of Lycurgus. Needless to say, aural similarities of this kind are enhanced by the textual proximity of the aforementioned words, which are placed either in the same (Iliad VI 201) or in ensuing (Iliad VI 132–133) verses.
[ back ] 54. See Daraki 1985:222.
[ back ] 55. Daraki 1985:222.
[ back ] 56. For Dionysus Cadmeius of Thebes, see Mikalson 2005:91–99.
[ back ] 57. The Amazons are characterized as ἀντιάνειραι (Iliad III 189). According to Block 1995:221, the form of the epithet may have been determined by the word ἀντιθέοιο (Iliad III 186), which is attested in the same passage and occupies the same metrical position (the terminal adonic). Is it really a coincidence that the name of Andromache is suspiciously similar to a characteristic epithet (ἀνδροφόνοιο) used for Hector in the Iliad? In Iliad XXIV 723–724, the two words are found in subsequent verses (… Ἀνδρομάχη / / Ἕκτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο …). Note also that the name of the Amazon Πενθεσίλεια reflects (etymologically but also acoustically as far as its second part is concerned) the name of Achilles (Ἀχιλλεύς).
[ back ] 58. Dümmler 1890:194–205. See all previous bibliography in Sakellariou 1958:193n6.
[ back ] 59. FGrHist 383 F 7 (Jacoby). See Sakellariou 1958:194n1. For this topic, see also Wathelet 1988:1326–1328 with additional bibliography.
[ back ] 60. Alexandra 1189-1213.
[ back ] 61. Fr. 640.46 (Rose).
[ back ] 62. IX 18.5.
[ back ] 63. Scholia on Lycophron’s Alexandra 1194 (Scheer).
[ back ] 64. This seems to be a petitio principii (since the bones of Hector were transferred to Boeotian Thebes, therefore Hector was of Theban origin). The transfer of the bones of other heroes, such as Theseus to Athens and Orestes to Sparta, does not support the analogy. Sakellariou (1958:195) correctly notes: “Thésée était une figure attique; Oreste appartenait au Peloponnèse, et les Lacédémoniens s’ efforçaient de se presenter eux-mêmes commes les continuateurs du régime achéen. L’ Héctor homérique était un prince étranger à Thèbes. Par quelle sorte de raisonnement les Thébains auraient-ils été amenés à demander, au moment d’un danger, la protection d’un héros lointain, auquel rien ne les aurait liés dans le passé?” Therefore, the only valid explanation may be that Hector was a local Theban hero, whose name epic poetry had used for the famous Trojan prince. The dissemination and cultural domination of epic poetry concerning the Trojan War almost obliterated the ‘Theban’ Hector and resulted in the aforementioned ‘paradox’.
[ back ] 65. See Sakellariou 1958:195, and for the relevant bibliography, 195n2. See also Ion of Chios FGrHist 392 F1 = Pausanias VII 4.9.
[ back ] 66. See Sakellariou 1958:192.
[ back ] 67. See Bethe 1922:79–83, who has observed that Hector’s opponents in the Iliadic plot come from central Greece (where Thebes is situated).
[ back ] 68. See Sakellariou 1958:188.
[ back ] 69. See also Iliad V 703–710, where Hector and Ares go to war together. Among others, they kill Oresbius ὅς ῥ᾿ ἐν Ὕλῃ ναίεσκε μέγα πλούτοιο μεμηλώς, // λίμνῃ κεκλιμένος Κηφισίδι· πὰρ δέ οἱ ἄλλοι // ναῖον Βοιωτοί, μάλα πίονα δῆμον ἔχοντες (Iliad V 708–710).
[ back ] 70. Burkert 1985:169–170.
[ back ] 71. Chantraine 1968–1980 s.v. Ἕκτωρ.
[ back ] 72. Burkert 1985:169n1–2 with bibliography.
[ back ] 73. Wathelet 1988:504.
[ back ] 74. For the Theban references to the embedded story of Bellerophon, see Alden 2000:131–142.
[ back ] 75. Murray 19344:176.
[ back ] 76. For the interpretation of the epithet αἰγιόχοιο, see West 1978:366–368. The translation is that of Lattimore with the exception of the epithet αἰγίοχος.
[ back ] 77. See also Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (5) 257: νύμφαί μιν θρέψουσιν ὀρεσκῷοι βαθύκολποι. Kirk 1990:215 remarks that the elm trees placed in the Iliad at the banks of Scamander may well have had funerary associations. Interestingly, in Iliad VI 402 Astyanax is called Scamander by his father Hector. The nymphs, as Kirk correctly argues, add to the status of Eetion (as it is the case with the Nereids for Achilles in Odyssey xxiv 47). For mountain-nymphs in tragedy in a Dionysiac context, see Sophocles Antigone 1128–1129 (… ἔνθα Κωρύκιαι // στείχουσι Νύμφαι Βακχίδες); Euripides Cyclops 4 (Νύμφας ὀρείας ἐκλιπὼν ᾤχου τροφούς) and 68-69 (οὐδ᾿ ἐν Νύσᾳ μετὰ Νυμφᾶν // ἴακχον ἴακχον …); Euripides Suppliants 993 (ὠκυθόαι νύμφαι?). The interpretation of Kirk is followed, although not overtly stated, by Larson 2001:23, who asks herself whether Eetion is an Asian aristocrat connected to a nymph or if we are simply faced with the participation of nature in his mourning. Additionally, she argues (2001:4–5) that the nymphs are related to the element of water, which is also the case for Dionysus and Artemis. In Iliad VI 428, Artemis kills the mother of Andromache, while Thetis, who receives Dionysus into her arms as he is being chased by Lycurgus, (Iliad VI 130-140) is a Nereid, the sea-equivalent of a mountain-nymph. See Carpenter 1986:76–77, who observes that in an Attic black-figure vase painted by Cleitias depicting the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, Dionysus is accompanied by Silenoi and Nymphs.
[ back ] 78. For the mythological and religious elements used in the following three remarks I rely upon Wathelet 1988:566–569, and Burkert 1985:281–285.
[ back ] 79. See Zarker 1965–1966:110–114, who does not attempt to trace the mythical ramifications of Eetion’s identity. Even if a pre-Iliadic song-tradition referred to Achilles’ ‘Great Assault’ against Thebe and Lyrnessos, as Zarker and others seem to believe, the use of Eetion’s name still remains unexplained. On Eetion and Samothrace in the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, see West 1985:160–161
[ back ] 80. See Catalogue of Women, fr. 177 (M.-W.). See also Hellanicus (FGrHist 4 F 23 = EGM fr. 23) and Idomeneus (FGrHist 547 F 1). I owe these references to Wathelet 1988:566.
[ back ] 81. Wathelet 1988:568.
[ back ] 82. See Burkert 1985:281, to whom I owe the references to Alcaeus 349 (Voigt) and Aeschylus’ Cabiri fr. 97 (TrGF 3, Radt). See also Harrison 19913:652, who draws attention to the shards of a black-figure vase depicting Dionysus (holding a kantharos) as a bearded Cabiros (inscription).
[ back ] 83. Wathelet 1988:566.
[ back ] 84. Wathelet 1988:568–569.
[ back ] 85. Wathelet 1988:568.
[ back ] 86. See Burkert 1985:281, who refers to Nilsson (19673) plate 48.1.
[ back ] 87. See Wathelet 1988:568.
[ back ] 88. See Catalogue of Women, fr. 177 (M.-W.).
[ back ] 89. See chapter 10.
[ back ] 90. See Wathelet 1988:569.
[ back ] 91. What happens to Dionysus, who is saved by a sea-nymph (Thetis) in extra-Iliadic myth, is applied to Eetion who dies but is honored by the mountain Nymphs. Since ‘Nymphs’ were “associated with an ambiguous kind of immortality” and are a rather “elastic concept” (Sourvinou-Inwood 2005:100), the Lycurgus-Dionysus-Thetis versus Achilles-Eetion-‘mountain Nymphs’ nexuses may well represent two different versions of ‘nymphic’ immortality. In fact, the former constitutes an example of greater immortality [as it is the case with water Nymphs, especially those with “a distinct persona, such as Thetis” (Sourvinou-Inwood 2005:105)], while the latter stands for a case of lesser immortality, “primarily drifted to Nymphs associated with trees” (Sourvinou-Inwood 2005:105).
[ back ] 92. Larson 2001:23 explains the presence of nymphs in Eetion’s funeral as an example of a pathetic fallacy, “whereby the natural world, personified in the nymphs, expresses its sorrow at [Eetion’s] death”…“Andromache’s father was such a great man that even his enemy honored him, while the nymphs came out of the mountains to do the same.”
[ back ] 93. See Pindar Isthmian 7.3. See also Torres-Guerra 1995:55–57.
[ back ] 94. See also Iliad I 366–367 with Kirks comment’s (1990:215) ad Iliad VI 415–416.
[ back ] 95. On ‘Theban’ motifs in the Iliad, see Torres-Guerra 1995:51–64.
[ back ] 96. Thornton 1984:152–153.
[ back ] 97. See scholia vetera on Iliad VI 433–439 (Erbse) with Aristarchus’ comments.
[ back ] 98. See Tsagalis 2004:125–127.
[ back ] 99. See scholia vetera on Iliad VI 433–439 (Erbse).
[ back ] 100. Kirk 1990:218.
[ back ] 101. This is how they have been called by Vian 1963:69.
[ back ] 102. Amphion and Zethus are builders of ramparts par excellence. See Eumelus’ Europia fr. 13 (PEG 1) = fr. 3 (EGF); Catalogue of Women fr. 182 (M.-W.). I owe this information to Vian 1963a:72n2.
[ back ] 103. Vian 1963a:69–75.
[ back ] 104. Singor 1992:404.
[ back ] 105. See the Catalogue of Women, fr. 183 [M.-W.] (= Apollodorus Library III [45] 5.6 (120.3 Wagner), Aelian Varia Historia XII 36.
[ back ] 106. Willcock 1977:41–53.
[ back ] 107. See also the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, in which the last part devoted to Helen’s suitors (a shorter catalogue within a larger catalogue) is preceded by a ‘Theban part’ ending with Alcmene’s twin sons, Heracles and Iphicles. See Cingano 2005:118–152, and in particular 123–124.
[ back ] 108. See Aelian Varia Historia III 42, and Antoninus Liberalis Metamorphoses X 3.
[ back ] 109. Burkert 1985:164–165. See also Burkert 1983:168–179.
[ back ] 110. Vian 1963a:139–141.
[ back ] 111. See Vian 1963a:139–140.
[ back ] 112. See Torres-Guerra 1995:59–61.
[ back ] 113. On Eumelus’ Europia, see Lecomte 1998:71–79; West 2002:109–133.