Homer the Preclassic

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Chapter One: Homer and the Athenian empire

I 11. The Athenian empire

I§13 I offer here an overview of what we know about the Athenian empire in the era of the democracy in the fifth century BCE. The basic facts can be found in the history of Thucydides, who highlights what gradually happened to Athens as a world power in the period extending from the end of the Persian War, with the establishment of the Delian League in 478 BCE, to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War in the year 431: what had started as a xummakhia ‘alliance’ of the city of Athens with various other cities evolved into an arkhē ‘rule’ by Athens over these cities (Thucydides 1.67.4, 1.75.1, etc.). [1] This ‘rule’ is the essence of the Athenian empire.

I 12. Athens as Homer’s imperial metropolis

I§19 Here I return to the remark made by Plato’s Socrates when Ion the rhapsode points to the status of his native city of Ephesus as a tributary of Athens. As we have seen, Socrates follows up by remarking that Ephesus is after all a daughter city of Athens. In other words, Ion of Ephesus is a virtual Athenian, since Ion’s identity as an Ionian is not only dominated by the Athenians: it is actually determined by them.

I§21 So the identity of Ion as rhapsode was defined by the Panathenaic Homer, that is, by Homer as performed at the Panathenaia. Even the identity of Athens as an imperial power was defined by this Panathenaic Homer. The Athenian standard for performing Homer at the Panathenaia was a self-expression of the Athenian empire. The Panathenaic Homer was an imperial Homer.

I§22 What I am calling an Athenian standard was simultaneously an Ionian standard. In other words, the Panathenaic Homer was simultaneously an Ionian Homer. That is because the Athenian empire was at least notionally an Ionian empire. The Delian League, as an earlier form of the Athenian empire, was a clear and most forceful expression of Ionian identity. Moreover, the Ionian identity of the Athenian empire could be maintained and even reaffirmed most consistently by invoking the idea that Athens is the metropolis or ‘mother city’ of all Ionian cities. As we see in Plato’s Ion, this idea explains how a rhapsode like Ion could be pictured as performing for all Ionians by virtue of performing Homer at the festival of the Panathenaia.

I 13. Homer the Ionian

I§24 For a clearer picture of Homer’s Ionian identity, we need to shift our perspective farther back in time—back to the era of the tyrants in Athens. In this earlier era, the festival of the Panathenaia in Athens was not the only notional setting for the performance of Homer before a festive assembly of all Ionians. There was another festival that served as such a setting: the Delia, celebrated on the sacred island of Delos.

Iⓣ1 Thucydides 3.104.2–6

{3.104.2} ἀπέχει δὲ ἡ Ῥήνεια τῆς Δήλου οὕτως ὀλίγον ὥστε Πολυκράτης ὁ Σαμίων τύραννος ἰσχύσας τινὰ χρόνον ναυτικῷ καὶ τῶν τε ἄλλων νήσων ἄρξας καὶ τὴν Ῥήνειαν ἑλὼν ἀνέθηκε τῷ Ἀπόλλωνι τῷ Δηλίῳ ἁλύσει δήσας πρὸς τὴν Δῆλον. καὶ τὴν πεντετηρίδα τότε πρῶτον μετὰ τὴν κάθαρσιν ἐποίησαν οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι τὰ Δήλια. {3.104.3} ἦν δέ ποτε καὶ τὸ πάλαι μεγάλη ξύνοδος ἐς τὴν Δῆλον τῶν Ἰώνων τε καὶ περικτιόνων νησιωτῶν· ξύν τε γὰρ γυναιξὶ καὶ παισὶν ἐθεώρουν, ὥσπερ νῦν ἐς τὰ ᾿Εφέσια Ἴωνες, καὶ ἀγὼν ἐποιεῖτο αὐτόθι καὶ γυμνικὸς καὶ μουσικός, χορούς τε ἀνῆγον αἱ πόλεις. {3.104.4} δηλοῖ δὲ μάλιστα Ὅμηρος ὅτι τοιαῦτα ἦν ἐν τοῖς ἔπεσι τοῖσδε, ἅ ἐστιν ἐκ προοιμίου Ἀπόλλωνος·

[Beginning of a point of insertion: The preceding verses, as quoted by Thucydides, correspond to the following verses as transmitted by the medieval manuscript traditions of the Homeric Hymn (3) to Apollo, 146–150.]

[End of point of insertion. Now, to resume what Thucydides is saying … ]

{3.104.5} ὅτι δὲ καὶ μουσικῆς ἀγὼν ἦν καὶ ἀγωνιούμενοι ἐφοίτων ἐν τοῖσδε αὖ δηλοῖ, ἅ ἐστιν ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ προοιμίου· τὸν γὰρ Δηλιακὸν χορὸν τῶν γυναικῶν ὑμνήσας ἐτελεύτα τοῦ ἐπαίνου ἐς τάδε τὰ ἔπη, ἐν οἷς καὶ ἑαυτοῦ ἐπεμνήσθη·

[Beginning of another point of insertion: the preceding verses, as quoted by Thucydides, correspond to the following verses as transmitted by the medieval manuscript traditions of the Homeric Hymn (3) to Apollo, 165–172.]

[End of point of insertion. Now, to resume what Thucydides is saying … ]

{3.104.6} τοσαῦτα μὲν Ὅμηρος ἐτεκμηρίωσεν ὅτι ἦν καὶ τὸ πάλαι μεγάλη ξύνοδος καὶ ἑορτὴ ἐν τῇ Δήλῳ· ὕστερον δὲ τοὺς μὲν χοροὺς οἱ νησιῶται καὶ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι μεθ’ ἱερῶν {14|15} ἔπεμπον, τὰ δὲ περὶ τοὺς ἀγῶνας καὶ τὰ πλεῖστα κατελύθη ὑπὸ ξυμφορῶν, ὡς εἰκός, πρὶν δὴ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι τότε τὸν ἀγῶνα ἐποίησαν καὶ ἱπποδρομίας, ὃ πρότερον οὐκ ἦν.

[Beginning of a point of insertion: The preceding verses, as quoted by Thucydides, correspond to the following verses as transmitted by the medieval manuscript traditions of the Homeric Hymn (3) to Apollo, 146–150.]

But you in Delos, Phoebus, more than anywhere else delight [terpesthai] in your heart [ētor],
where the Ionians, with khitons trailing, gather
with their children and their circumspect wives.
And they with boxing and dancing and song
have you in mind and delight [terpein] you, whenever they set up a competition [agōn]. {15|16}

[End of point of insertion. Now, to resume what Thucydides is saying … ]

[Beginning of another point of insertion: the preceding verses, as quoted by Thucydides, correspond to the following verses as transmitted by the medieval manuscript traditions of the Homeric Hymn (3) to Apollo, 165–172.]

[End of point of insertion. Now, to resume what Thucydides is saying … ]

I 14. Homer and the Panionian festivals of Delos and beyond

I§31 In the verses of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo quoted by Thucydides (146–150), the speaker pictures Delos as a festive center where representatives of all Ionian cities converge in a grand assembly to validate their common origin by celebrating a Panionian festival. In commenting on the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, Thucydides says that this supposedly Homeric description of the festival indicates a prototype of the Delia, to be contrasted with the contemporary version that was organized (‘made’) by the Athenians to be celebrated on a quadrennial basis:

Iⓣ2 Thucydides 3.104.2

καὶ τὴν πεντετηρίδα τότε πρῶτον μετὰ τὴν κάθαρσιν ἐποίησαν οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι τὰ Δήλια

After the purification [katharsis], the Athenians at that point made for the first time the quadrennial festival known as the Delia.

I 15. The performance of epic at the Panathenaia in the era of the Peisistratidai, the later years

I§35 As we consider what happened after the death of Polycrates, the focus of attention shifts from the festival of the Delia in Delos to the festival of the Panathenaia in Athens. For a starting point I choose the historical moment in time when control of the Delia was lost by Polycrates of Samos and regained by the Peisistratidai of {20|21} Athens. This would have happened, as we just saw, soon after the premier performance of what we know as the Homeric Hymn to Apollo in Delos. There is general agreement that this particular performance at Delos preceded the celebration at Athens of the quadrennial Panathenaia by Hipparkhos son of Peisistratos in the summer of 522. [41] So we are looking at a historical moment in time that took place during the later years of the rule of the Peisistratidai in Athens (as I noted earlier, Peisistratos had died already by 528/7). As I will now argue, the epic poetry performed at the festival of the quadrennial Panathenaia at this historical moment in the year 522 was a prototype of what eventually evolved into the Panathenaic Homer. By the time of Thucydides in the late fifth century, more than a hundred years later, this Panathenaic Homer had evolved into a form that resembles most closely what we still recognize today as the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey. And for Thucydides as an Athenian, the speaking ‘I’ who narrates the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey as performed at the festival of the Panathenaia is the same person as the speaking ‘I’ of Homer in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo.

I§36 Essential for my argument is a basic historical fact about the performance of Homeric poetry at the quadrennial Great Panathenaia within a span of time extending from the era of Hipparkhos son of Peisistratos in the late sixth century BCE all the way to the era of Lycurgus of Athens in the late fourth: throughout this span of time, the performers of Homeric poetry at the Panathenaia were rhapsodes who simultaneously competed as well as collaborated with each other in their Homeric performances. This fact is made evident by what is said in a set of three passages that I will now proceed to analyze.

I§37 The first of the three passages comes from a work attributed to Plato and named after Hipparkhos son of Peisistratos. The words I am quoting are spoken by Plato’s Socrates, who is just on the verge of naming Hipparkhos as an Athenian of the past who deserves the admiration of Athenians in the present:

I§38 This story amounts to an aetiology. (By aetiology, I mean a myth that motivates an institutional reality, especially a ritual. [43] ) As I have argued in earlier work, the institutional reality described here in the Platonic Hipparkhos, where rhapsodes compete with each other as they perform by relay and in sequence the epics of Homer at the festival of the Panathenaia, is a ritual in and of itself. [44] Moreover, the principle of equity that is built into this ritual event of rhapsodic competition corresponds to the need for equity in the ritual events of athletic competition. As Richard Martin observes, “The superb management of athletic games to assure equity could easily have been extended by the promoters of the Panathenaic games in this way.” [45] To emphasize the ritualistic nature of this regulation of rhapsodic competitions, I refer to it as the Panathenaic Regulation instead of using the less expressive term Panathenaic Rule. [46] And the very idea of a Panathenaic Regulation, where rhapsodes collaborate as well as compete in the process of performing, by relay, successive parts of integral compositions like the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey, can be used to explain the unity of these epics as they evolved over time. [47] This evolution can best be understood in the light of Douglas Frame’s argument that the Homeric performance units stemming from this Panathenaic Regulation stem ultimately from earlier Homeric performance units that evolved at the festival of the Panionia as celebrated in the late eighth and early seventh centuries BCE at the Panionion of the Ionian Dodecapolis in Asia Minor: according to Frame’s explanation, the Panionian versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey were divided into six rhapsodic performance units each, adding up to twelve rhapsodic performance units representing each one of the twelve cities of the Ionian Dodecapolis; each one of these twelve rhapsodic performance units corresponds to four rhapsōidiai ‘rhapsodies’ or ‘books’ of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey as we know them (‘books’ 1–4, 5–8, 9–12, 13–16, 17–20, 21–24). [48]

I§39 Hipparkhos left his mark in defining the festival of the Panathenaia in Athens not only because he was the one who was credited with instituting the Panathenaic Regulation. He actually died at the Panathenaia. He was assassinated on the festive quadrennial occasion of the Great Panathenaia held in the year 514 BCE, and his spectacular death is vividly memorialized by both Thucydides (1.20.2, 6.54–59) and Herodotus (5.55–61). Despite the assassination, however, the older brother of Hipparkhos, Hippias, maintained his family’s political control of Athens. In the year {22|23} 510, Hippias was finally overthrown, and this date marks the end of the turannis ‘tyranny’ of the Peisistratidai, which then gave way to the dēmokratia ‘democracy’ initiated in 508 by Kleisthenes, head of the rival lineage of the Alkmaionidai.

I§40 The new regime of the Athenian democracy highlighted not Hipparkhos but the earlier figure of Solon as the culture hero of the Panathenaic Regulation. In the second of the three passages I am currently examining, the achievement of Solon is described as follows:

Iⓣ4 Dieuchidas of Megara FGH 485 F 6 via Diogenes Laertius 1.57

τά τε Ὁμήρου ἐξ ὑποβολῆς γέγραφε ῥαψῳδεῖσθαι, οἷον ὅπου ὁ πρῶτος ἔληξεν, ἐκεῖθεν ἄρχεσθαι τὸν ἐχόμενον

He [= Solon as Lawgiver of the Athenians] has written a law that the words of Homer are to be performed rhapsodically [rhapsōideîn], by relay [hupobolē], so that wherever the first person left off [lēgein], from that point the next person should start [arkhesthai].

I§44 This third passage makes it explicit that the epē ‘verses’ (epos plural) performed at the Panathenaia belonged to Homer only, to the exclusion of other poets. As we are about to see, the poets to be excluded were other authors, as it were, of epic. These authors, from the standpoint of the Athenian democracy in the fourth century BCE, were understood to be the poets of the epic Cycle and, secondarily, the poets Hesiod and Orpheus. I will have more to say about these poets at a later point in my argumentation; for now, however, I concentrate on the simple fact that they are seen as poets of epic, not of other forms of poetry.

I§45 The epē ‘verses’ (= epos plural) to which the Athenian orator is referring in this third passage are the dactylic hexameters performed by competing rhapsōidoi ‘rhapsodes’, not the lyric meters performed by competing kitharōidoi ‘citharodes’ and aulōidoi ‘aulodes’. At the Panathenaia, there were separate competitions of rhapsōidoi ‘rhapsodes’, of kitharōidoi ‘citharodes’ (= kithara-singers), of aulōidoi ‘aulodes’ (= aulos-singers), of kitharistai ‘citharists’ (= kithara-players), and of aulētai ‘auletes’ (aulos-players), as we learn from an Athenian inscription dated at around 380 BCE (IG II2 2311) that records Panathenaic prizes. [60] We learn about these categories of competition also from Plato’s Laws (6.764d-e), where we read of rhapsodes, citharodes, and auletes – and where the wording makes it clear that the point of reference is the Panathenaia. [61] I mention these other categories of competing performers because the festival of the Panathenaia featured citharodic and aulodic competitions in lyric as well as rhapsodic competitions in epic. [62] In the passage I have just quoted from Lycurgus, the use of the word rhapsōideîn ‘rhapsodically perform’ makes it clear that the poets who are being excluded from the Panathenaia are not the lyric poets, whose compositions are performed by citharodes and aulodes. In other words, Lycurgus is referring here not to lyric poets like Anacreon and Simonides. Rather, he is referring to epic poets other than the Homer he knows. It is these other epic poets who are being excluded from the Panathenaia. Lycurgus here is referring exclusively to rhapsodic competitions in epic, not to citharodic or aulodic competitions in lyric. When Lycurgus refers to ‘Homer’ in this passage, he means the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. [63]

I§47 A moment ago, I used the names of Anacreon and Simonides as examples of poets whose lyric compositions could be performed competitively at the Panathenaia. I mentioned their names for a specific reason. In the first of the three passages I quoted about the Panathenaic Regulation, we saw an association of Hipparkhos with Homer at the Panathenaia. Here I quote that passage again, but this time I extend the quotation to include what the speaker says about a parallel association of the same Hipparkhos with these two lyric poets, Anacreon and Simonides:

Iⓣ6 “Plato” Hipparkhos 228b-c

… Ἱππάρχῳ, ὃς ἄλλα τε πολλὰ καὶ καλὰ ἔργα σοφίας ἀπεδέξατο, καὶ τὰ Ὁμήρου ἔπη πρῶτος ἐκόμισεν εἰς τὴν γῆν ταύτην, καὶ ἠνάγκασε τοὺς ῥαψῳδοὺς Παναθηναίοις ἐξ ὑπολήψεως ἐφεξῆς αὐτὰ διιέναι, ὥσπερ νῦν ἔτι {c} οἵδε ποιοῦσιν, καὶ ἐπ’ ᾿Ανακρέοντα τὸν Τήιον πεντηκόντορον στείλας ἐκόμισεν εἰς τὴν πόλιν, Σιμωνίδην δὲ τὸν Κεῖον ἀεὶ περὶ αὑτὸν εἶχεν, μεγάλοις μισθοῖς καὶ δώροις πείθων· ταῦτα δ’ ἐποίει βουλόμενος παιδεύειν τοὺς πολίτας, ἵν’ ὡς βελτίστων ὄντων αὐτῶν ἄρχοι, οὐκ οἰόμενος δεῖν οὐδενὶ σοφίας φθονεῖν, ἅτε ὢν καλός τε κἀγαθός.

[I am referring to] Hipparkhos, who accomplished many beautiful things in demonstration of his expertise [sophia], especially by being the first to bring over [komizein] to this land [= Athens] the verses [epos plural] of Homer, and he forced the rhapsodes [rhapsōidoi] at the Panathenaia to go through [diienai] these verses in sequence [ephexēs], by relay [ex hupolēpseōs], just as they [= the rhapsodes] do even nowadays. And he sent out a state ship to bring over [komizein] Anacreon of Teos to the city [= Athens]. He also always kept in his company Simonides of Keos, persuading him by way of huge fees and gifts. And he did all this because he wanted to educate the citizens, so that he might govern the best of all possible citizens. He thought, noble as he was, that he was obliged not to be stinting in the sharing of his expertise [sophia] with anyone.

I§52 We have just seen one of the two Panathenaic initiatives of Hipparkhos as narrated in the Platonic Hipparkhos. Now I turn to the other initiative. The narrative implies that Hipparkhos the tyrant undertook another rescue operation by virtue of transporting to Athens the epic poetry of Homer. In this case, as we are about to see, it is implied that Hipparkhos transported not the poet Homer but Homer’s notional descendants, called the Homēridai; further, by contrast with the case of Anacreon, Hipparkhos brought the Homēridai over to Athens not from the island of Samos but from the island of Chios.

I§53 At a later point in my argumentation, I will analyze the extant information we have about the Homēridai of Chios. As we will see, these Homēridai are the topic of a highly compressed but illuminating discussion in the scholia for Pindar’s Nemean 2. Moreover, they are well known to classical authors, who speak about them in passing as a matter of common knowledge. Two important examples, as we will also see, are the casual references made by Isocrates (Helen 65) and by Plato (Ion 530d, Republic 10.599e).

I§54 For the moment, I will leave the topic of the Homēridai of Chios, but not before I offer an outline of what I hope to reconstruct in the course of my upcoming analysis:

  1. There must have been some kind of traditional story about the initiative of the Peisistratidai in importing the Homēridai from Chios to Athens.
  2. This story was designed to explain the function of the Homēridai as regulators of rhapsodic competitions in performing epic at the festival of the Panathenaia. By implication, the Homēridai brought with them to Athens the Panathenaic Regulation. In other words, the Panathenaic Regulation was basically an Ionian tradition imported by way of Chios to Athens in the era of the Peisistratidai. [71] {28|29}


[ back ] 1. Meiggs 1972:376.

[ back ] 2. Meiggs 1972:294.

[ back ] 3. See also the discussion by Meiggs 1972:295, with specific reference to the horoi ‘boundary stones’ of Samos.

[ back ] 4. Hornblower 1996:73.

[ back ] 5. Hornblower 1996:73.

[ back ] 6. For more on Ion of Ephesus as a generic ‘Ionian’, see Porter 2001:281n93 (with reference to Callimachus Iambi 13.30–32; see also the remarks of Hunter 1997:46–47).

[ back ] 7. See Moore 1974:433–438 on the services performed for Athens by Herakleides of Klazomenai as stratēgos ‘general’ (he is mentioned in Plato Ion 541c-d).

[ back ] 8. On the Ion of Euripides, see especially Barron 1964:48. See also his pp. 39-40, where he argues that the Eponymoi to whom the inscriptions on the horoi of Samos refer are the four sons of Ion, heroes of the four Ionian civic lineages or phulai. Barron (p. 45) concludes that “the headquarters of the cults of Ion and the Ionic Eponymoi must have been at Athens.” We must note, however, that the four old phulai of Athens were replaced by ten new phulai instituted after the reform of Kleisthenes in 508/7 BCE. A primary source of reportage about this reform is Herodotus 5.66.2.

[ back ] 9. Meiggs 1972:294–295. See also his p. 294, with reference to lines 11–13 of IG I2 45 (Meiggs and Lewis 1988 no. 49), where the wording of the inscription specifies that the people of Brea, as a daughter city of Athens, must send a cow along with a panoply to the Great Panathenaia and a phallus to the Dionysia. See also Barron 1964:47. On the “international atmosphere” of the Great Panathenaia, see Shear 2001:121.

[ back ] 10. PR 28.

[ back ] 11. Thucydides does not mention this transfer at 1.92.2, where we might have expected such a mention, nor anywhere else in his history: see Hornblower 1991:146.

[ back ] 12. For a sketch of the relative chronology, involving Naxos as well as Samos and Athens, see Aloni 1989:46–47, 54–55, 62–63, 122–123.

[ back ] 13. An earlier form of my commentary on the Homeric Hymn (3) to Apollo appeared in Nagy 2009e.

[ back ] 14. Compare Iliad IV 162, σὺν σφῇσιν κεφαλῇσι γυναιξί τε καὶ τεκέεσσιν. Also Odyssey viii 525, ἄστεϊ καὶ τεκέεσσιν ἀμύνων νηλεὲς ἦμαρ.

[ back ] 15. Compare Odyssey viii 253, ναυτιλίῃ καὶ ποσσὶ καὶ ὀρχηστυῖ καὶ ἀοιδῇ. Also Odyssey xvii 605–606, πλεῖον δαιτυμόνων· οἱ δ’ ὀρχηστυῖ καὶ ἀοιδῇ | τέρποντ’.

[ back ] 16. On this variant καθέσωσιν, see Martin 2000b:421n61.

[ back ] 17. Compare Odyssey viii 261–264, κῆρυξ δ’ ἐγγύθεν ἦλθε φέρων φόρμιγγα λίγειαν | Δημοδόκῳ· ὁ δ’ ἔπειτα κί’ ἐς μέσον· ἀμφὶ δὲ κοῦροι | πρωθῆβαι ἵσταντο, δαήμονες ὀρχηθμοῖο, | πέπληγον δὲ χορὸν θεῖον ποσίν.

[ back ] 18. This variant reading ἀφήμως, as preserved here in the quotation by Thucydides, is to be contrasted with the variant reading ἀφ’ ἡμέων found in the medieval manuscript tradition of the Homeric Hymn (3) to Apollo. See the next note.

[ back ] 19. This variant reading ἀφ’ ἡμέων in the medieval manuscript tradition of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo is to be contrasted with the variant reading ἀφήμως in the quotation by Thucydides. See the previous note.

[ back ] 20. Comparable to the agōn ‘competition’ mentioned here by Thucydides (3.104.3) is the agōn ‘competition’ in mousikē ‘craft of the Muses’ at the Panathenaia, where the word mousikē includes the tekhnē ‘craft’ of rhapsodes. Supporting evidence comes from Aristotle Constitution of the Athenians (60.1), Plutarch Life of Pericles (13.9–11), Plato Ion (530a), Isocrates Panegyricus (4.159), and other sources. See PR 36–53; also Shear 2001:350. As my argumentation proceeds, we will see that the medium for performing the Homeric Hymn to Apollo was a rhapsodic medium.

[ back ] 21. Here and hereafter, I leave this word prooimion untranslated. It can be used with reference to the beginning of a humnos or ‘hymn’, as in the case of the Homeric Hymns. I analyze the technical meaning of this word (‘prooemium’) and its etymology (‘initial threading’) in HC 2§92.

[ back ] 22. On this aguia as the via sacra of Delos, see Aloni 1989:117–118.

[ back ] 23. The word agōn ‘competition’ as used here by Thucydides (3.104.5) needs to be correlated with his use of the same word earlier on in the passage that I am quoting here (3.104.3).

[ back ] 24. This version, as quoted by Thucydides, at first seems to foreclose the option of imagining the same singer returning again and again to Delos. That option is left open in the alternative version that we find in the medieval manuscript tradition: see below. As I argue in HC 2§39, both versions actually keep the option open for imagining the same singer returning eternally to Delos. On the formulaic integrity of both versions, see Aloni 1989:111–112.

[ back ] 25. See the note above on the variant ἀφήμως, as attested in this quotation by Thucydides (3.104.5). In HC 2§27n25, I make an argument for interpreting ἀφήμως to mean ‘without naming names’. The adjective ἄφημος was understood to be a synonym of ἀπευθής (as we see in the scholia to Aratus 1.270.2 ed. J. Martin 1974). This word ἀπευθής is used in the sense ‘without information’, as in Odyssey iii 88 and 184. When the Delian Maidens are asked to respond to the question ‘Who is the singer?’, they respond without naming names, that is, without giving information about the singer’s name. See also De Martino 1982:92–94.

[ back ] 26. This version, as we find it in the medieval manuscript tradition, leaves open the option of imagining the same singer returning again and again, in an eternal loop, to the seasonally recurring festival of the Delia.

[ back ] 27. As I already noted, the variant ἀφ’ ἡμέων, which I translate here as ‘about me’, is attested in the medieval manuscript tradition, while the variant ἀφήμως, which I interpret to mean ‘without naming names’, is attested in the quotation by Thucydides. I think that both ἀφ’ ἡμέων and ἀφήμως can be explained as authentic formulaic variants. My translation ‘about me’ for ἀφ’ ἡμέων is merely a cover for the deeper meaning of this expression, which could be rendered as ‘representing me’, as when a group represents a lead speaker in contexts of group performance. See HC 2§§27–40, where I argue that the Homeric Hymn to Apollo represents Homer in the act of interacting with the local chorus of the Delian Maidens. He acts as a poet-director for the Maidens as he cues them to perform their response to the perennial question: who is the best poet of them all? The Hymn gives a riddling response, making a representation of Homer by Homer about Homer, as performed for Homer by the Delian Maidens. That is the force of the expression ἀφ’ ἡμέων at verse 171 of the Hymn: the Maidens are cued ‘by me’ to respond dialogically to a question ‘about me’. Relevant is the formulation of Bakker 2002:21 about the preverb apo: “In the case of verbs denoting speech, the addition of apo- turns the sensibility to context into an immediately dialogic sense: apo-logeomai ‘speak in return’, ‘defend oneself against’, apo-krinomai ‘reason in return’, ‘answer’.”

[ back ] 28. See Rhodes 1994:260.

[ back ] 29. Hornblower 1991:527 and Rhodes 1994:258–259.

[ back ] 30. Hornblower 1991:523.

[ back ] 31. On the Delian League as an alliance of Ionians, the formulation of Aristotle Constitution of the Athenians 23.4 is decisive; see also Thucydides 1.95.1. For more on the politics and poetics of the Delian League, as reflected in compositions intended for choral performances at the festival of the Delia, see the survey by Kowalzig 2007 ch. 2.

[ back ] 32. Hornblower 1991:523; Rhodes 1994:258.

[ back ] 33. Rhodes 1994:259.

[ back ] 34. Gomme 1956:414. See also Hornblower 1991:521

[ back ] 35. Hornblower 1991:521. The meeting in question, which takes place in Olympia, is recounted by Thucydides 3.9–14 (the speakers are the Mytilenaeans). As I will argue later, the Homeric Hymn (3) to Apollo as we have it is a combination of a Hymn to Delian Apollo and a Hymn to Delphian Apollo. The Delphian aspect of the Hymn would be compatible with the cultural outlook of Sparta. This aspect, however, is eclipsed by the Ionian outlook of the Hymn as a whole.

[ back ] 36. See also Graziosi 2002:222–226, who adduces Choricius Laudatio Marciani 2.3.

[ back ] 37. See again Hornblower 1991:527.

[ back ] 38. Hornblower 1991:520, who also comments at p. 519 on the “vigorous Aegean foreign policy” of the Peisistratidai. See in general his pp. 519–520 for comments on the survival of various ideologies from the era of the Peisistratidai to the era of the democracy, such as various Panhellenic features of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

[ back ] 39. Zenobius of Athos 1.62; Suda s.v. tauta kai Puthia kai Dē lia; for a fuller collection of sources, see Aloni 1989:35n2, 83n1.

[ back ] 40. Burkert 1979:59–60 and Janko 1982:112–113; West 1999:369–370n17 argues for 523, but his dating criteria depend on whether or not we posit a perfect match between the datable events narrated by Herodotus and Thucydides.

[ back ] 41. Burkert 1979:60, West 1999:382.

[ back ] 42. There is an indirect reference to this passage in Aelian Varia Historia 8.2.

[ back ] 43. BA 16§2n2 (= p. 279).

[ back ] 44. PR 42–47. For a comparative perspective on the concept of competition-in-collaboration, see PP 18.

[ back ] 45. Martin 2000b:422.

[ back ] 46. PR 36–69.

[ back ] 47. PR 42–47; HC 2§§297, 304, 325; 3§§4, 6, 33.

[ back ] 48. Frame 2009 ch. 11.

[ back ] 49. I should add that Solon was a culture hero for the Peisistratidai as well. There is a useful discussion by Aloni 1989:43–45, 122n2.

[ back ] 50. Shear 2001:366.

[ back ] 51. PR 14.

[ back ] 52. Further discussion of this passage in PH 1§10n20 (= pp. 21–22), PR 10–12. See also Shear 2001:367.

[ back ] 53. The orator Lycurgus, in ‘adducing’ the various classical authors whom he quotes, is doing so in his role as a statesman.

[ back ] 54. To make his arguments here in Against Leokrates 102, the orator is about to adduce a quotation from Homer, the equivalent of what we know as Iliad XV verses 494–499. On my reasons for translating epaineîn as ‘quote’, see PR 27–28. Adducing a Homeric quotation is presented here as if it were a matter of adducing Homer himself. In the same speech, at an earlier point, Lycurgus (Against Leokrates 100) had quoted 55 verses from Euripides’ Erekhtheus (F 50 ed. Austin). At a later point (Against Leokrates 107), he quotes 32 verses from Tyrtaeus (F 10 ed. West), whom he identifies as an Athenian (so also does Plato in Laws 1.629a). On the politics and poetics of the Athenian appropriation of Tyrtaeus and of his poetry, see GM 272–273. I suggest that the Ionism of poetic diction in the poetry of Tyrtaeus can be explained along the lines of an evolutionary model of rhapsodic transmission: see PH 2§3 (= pp. 52–53), 14§41 (= pp. 433–434) and HQ 111; see also PH 1§13n27 (= p. 23) on Lycurgus Against Leokrates 106–107, where the orator mentions a customary law at Sparta concerning the performance of the poetry of Tyrtaeus. For more on epaineîn, see now Elmer (forthcoming).

[ back ] 55. I deliberately translate hupolambanein as ‘receive’ (that is, ‘reception’) here in terms of reception theory. In terms of rhapsodic vocabulary, as we saw above in “Plato” Hipparkhos 228b-c, hupolēpsis is not just ‘reception’ but also ‘continuation’ in the sense reception by way of relay. Further analysis in PR 11n8.

[ back ] 56. In the original Greek, the counting is inclusive: every ‘fifth’ year.

[ back ] 57. Comparable is the context of epideigma ‘display, demonstration’ in “Plato” Hipparkhos 228d, as discussed in PH 6§30 (= pp. 160–161); see also PH 8§4 (= pp. 217–218) on apodeixis ‘presentation, demonstration’. The basic idea behind what is being ‘demonstrated’ is a model for performance. The motivation as described here corresponds closely to the motivation of Hipparkhos as described in the first of the three passages that I have been analyzing.

[ back ] 58. By implication, the Panhellenic impulse of the ‘ancestors’ of the Athenians in making Homer a classic is mirrored by the impulse of Lycurgus, statesman that he is, to quote extensively from such classics as Homer, Tyrtaeus, and Euripides. See also “Plutarch” Lives of the Ten Orators 841f on the initiatives taken by Lycurgus to produce a State Script of the dramas of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides (commentary in PP 174–175, 189n6, 204).

[ back ] 59. I infer that the erga ‘accomplishments’ include poetic accomplishments: on the mentality of seeing a reciprocity between noble deeds and poetry that becomes a noble deed itself in celebrating noble deeds, see PH 2§35n95 (= p. 70), 8§5 (= pp. 218–219).

[ back ] 60. Further discussion in PR 38–39, 42n16, 51. The portion of the inscription that deals with rhapsodes is lost, but it is generally accepted that rhapsodic competitions were mentioned in this missing portion.

[ back ] 61. PR 38, 40, 42.

[ back ] 62. HC 3§§27–33.

[ back ] 63. HC 3§33.

[ back ] 64. PP 68; PR 10–12, 47.

[ back ] 65. Burgess 2004.

[ back ] 66. HQ 80n49.

[ back ] 67. PH 6§§30–31 (= pp. 160–162).

[ back ] 68. HQ 81n50.

[ back ] 69. In Pausanias 1.2.3, the consorting of Anacreon with Polycrates is drawn into a parallel with the consorting of poets with kings in general.

[ back ] 70. Nagy 2007b:235–236, 243–246, 252; see also HQ 81n50. For more on Simonides as a protégé of the Peisistratidai, see Graziosi 2002:225–226.

[ back ] 71. About this Ionian tradition, stemming ultimately from the festival of the Panionia as celebrated in the late eighth and early seventh centuries at the Panionion of the Ionian Dodecapolis in Asia Minor, I rely on the findings of Frame 2009 ch. 11.