The Cypria

  Davies, Malcolm. 2019. The Cypria. Hellenic Studies Series 83. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

4. The Arrival at Troy

Proclus Chrestomathia: ἔπειτα καταπλέουσιν εἰς Τένεδον.

Then they sail to Tenedos.

Proclus says nothing of a battle on Tenedos, but Wagner (1891:195) argued that the Greek force was unlikely to be peacefully received by the first Asiatics encountered. The further complicating of the narrative and postponement of the arrival at Troy seems characteristic of our epic (see page 135 above).

Do the details concerning Thetis and her warning also derive from the Cypria? Several scholars have thought so (e.g. Bethe 1929:92, Kullmann 1960:213). Wagner himself, though he supposed the details to be epic, refused them to the Cypria, on the ground that one would most naturally infer that poem to have regarded Cycnus as the father of Tenes. That is the version mentioned straight after the Cypria’s detail of the arrival at Tenedos, with the notion of Apollo as father tacked on as a variant attributed to τινες. The sequence whereby Achilles consecutively kills first son, then father, might be thought pleasantly symmetrical. On the other hand, one should not place too much faith in the order of details when an epitome is involved, so that Gruppe may have been right (Gr. Myth. 1.670n2) to suggest that it is the version whereby Cycnus is father that departs from the Cypria’s account. Certainly Thetis’ warning would have been very much at home in an epic crammed full of prophecies and oracles (see Kullmann 1960:221–224) and extremely concerned to prepare us for later developments. See further West 2013:111–112.

Proclus Chrestomathia: ἔπειτα καταπλέουσιν εἰς Τένεδον, καὶ εὐωχούμενων αὐτῶν Φιλοκτήτης ὑφ’ ὕδρου πληγεὶς διὰ τὴν δυσσομίαν ἐν Λήμνωι κατελείφθη.

Then they sail to Tenedos, and, while they are feasting, Philoctetes is bitten by a water-snake and abandoned on Lemnos because of the stench (of the wound).

Apollodorus Epitome 3.27 (προσπλέοντας σὺν Τενέδωι τοὺς Ἕλληνας ὁρὼν Τένης ἀπεῖργε … ) τελόυντων δὲ αὐτῶν Ἀπόλλωνι θυσίαν, ἐκ τοῦ βωμοῦ προσελθὼν ὕδρος δάκνει Φιλοκτήτην· ἀθεραπεύτου δὲ τοῦ ἕλκους καὶ δυσώδους γενομένου τῆς τε ὀδμῆς οὐκ ἀνεχόμενου τοῦ στρατοῦ, Ὀδυσσεὺς αὐτὸν εἰς Λῆμνον μεθ’ ὧν εἶχε τόξων ‘Ηρακλείων ἐκτίθησι κελεύσαντος Ἀγαμέμνονος (And while they are sacrificing to Apollo, a snake comes forth from the altar and bites Philoctetes. And since the consequent wound is untreatable and malodorous and the army cannot endure it, Odysseus maroons Philoctetes, together with the bow and arrows he had from Heracles, on Lemnos, acting on Agamemnon’s orders).

On the various versions as to Philoctetes’ abandonment and the tale’s origin see P. Corssen, “Der ursprüngliche Verbannungsort des Philoktet,” Philologus 66 (1907): 346–360. There is no contradiction between Proclus’ εὐωχούμενων αὐτῶν and Apollodorus’ τελούντων αὐτῶν Ἀπόλλωνι θυσίαν since, as J. G. Frazer observes (Loeb Apollodorus 2.194–195n2), “the feast mentioned by Proclus may have been sacrificial” (on the identity of feast and sacrifice see in particular Meuli, “Griechische Opferbräuche” [Phyllobolia für P. von der Mühll (Basel 1946)] 185–187 = Gesammelte Schriften 2.907–909).

Both summaries [2] have Philoctetes transferred from Tenedos to Lemnos, which is where a large number of sources (listed by Erbse on Σ Α Iliad II 722 [1.329]) place his sad exile. There is, however, a quite unavoidable contradiction between the Cypria’s version and at least two other branches of the tradition: (i) some authors, with greater economy, represent Philoctetes as being bitten on the same island on which he was then abandoned, viz. Lemnos (Σ TAD IIiad II 722; Eustathius on Iliad 330 [1.514 Van der Valk]; Σ Sophocles Philoctetes 270; Hyginus Fabula 102); (ii) Sophocles, in his Philoctetes (lines 270, 1327), names the small island of Chryse as the locale of the original biting (on the probable identity of this island see Corssen, “Der ursprüngliche Verbannungsort” and Frazer; cf. Van der Valk 1963:251n744); and here is the testimony of Porphyrius ap. Eustathius 329.45: δηχθῆναι δὲ τὸν Φιλοκτήτην ὁ Πορφύριος λέγει κατὰ τινας περὶ Τένεδον ἢ Ἴμβρον, ἐκεῖθεν δὲ ἐκτεθῆναι εἰς Λῆμνον· τινὲς δὲ περί τινα Χρυσήν νῆσον ὁμώνυμον Χρύσηι τινι νύμφηι, cf. Σ b Iliad II 721 (1.329 Erbse): περὶ Τένεδου ἢ περὶ Ἴμβρον δηχθεὶς ὑπὸ ἐχίδνης εἰς Λήμνον ἐξετέθη. The Homeric Catalogue mentions Philoctetes’ sufferings but does not specify where (or how) they were first inflicted (Iliad II 721–724):

ἀλλ᾽ ὁ μὲν ἐν νήσωι κεῖτο κρατέρ’ ἄλγεα πάσχων,
Λήμνωι ἐν ἠγαθέηι, ὅθι μιν λίπον υἷες Ἀχαιῶν
ἕλκεϊ μοχθίζοντα κακῶι ὀλοόφρονος ὕδρου
ἔνθ᾽ ὅ γε κεῖτ᾽ ἀχέων.

He is, however, quite certainly depicted here as marooned on Lemnos, and this may be the source for the later idea (see page 154 above) that he was also wounded there in the first place. [
3] One need not follow Kullmann (1960:270) in supposing that the reference to Lemnos at Iliad VIII 229–235 has anything to do with Philoctetes. [4]

In many ways this episode in the Cypria is very unHomeric. Homer nowhere connects Philoctetes with the bow of Heracles, and the picture of a hero who suffers from a physically disgusting but not mortal wound is totally alien to Homer’s stylized portrait of reality in the Iliad (cf. Griffin 1980:90). On the abandoning of Philoctetes see further my article “Unpromising Heroes and Heroes as Helpers,” Prometheus 37 (2011): 107–127. That Odysseus is entrusted with the task may suggest a continuity with his Iliadic role as trusty accomplisher of sensitive missions (see esp. his returning of Chryseis to her father in Iliad I 430–487), but the negative aspect of the abandoning may tie up with the more ambivalent presentation of this hero in the Cypria (see his treatment of Palamedes, page 179 below), and in the Epic Cycle in general.

Proclus Chrestomathia: καὶ Ἀχιλλεὺς ὕστερον κληθεὶς διαφέρεται πρὸς Ἀγαμέμνονα.

And Achilles, because invited too late, quarrels with Agamemnon.

The case would then seem to be simple: Sophocles is here drawing on the Cypria. Agamemnon and Achilles are connected with another ἔρις, of course, in Iliad I, and it may well be, as suggested by (for instance) W. Marg, “Der erste Lied des Demodokos,” in Navicula Chilonensis (Jacoby Festschrift) 18, that the present quarrel was intended to prefigure in less lethal form that fatal brawl. Furthermore, these two heroes are mentioned together in the vicinity of yet another disagreement at Odyssey viii 72–82, where the Phaeacian bard Demodocus sings of a quarrel between Achilles and Odysseus witnessed by Agamemnon:

          αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ πόσιος καὶ ἐδητύος ἐξ ἔρον ἕντο,
          Moῦσ’ ἄρ’ ἀοιδὸν ἀνήκεν ἀειδέμεναι κλέα ἀνδρών,
          οἴμης, τὴς τότ’ ἄρα κλέος οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἵκανε,
75      νεῖκος Ὀδυσσήος καὶ Πηλεΐδεω Ἀχιλήος,
          ὥς τοτε δηρίσαντο θεῶν ἐν δαιτὶ θαλείηι
          ἐκπάγλοισ’ ἐπέεσιν, ἄναξ δ᾽ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων
          χαῖρε νόωι, ὅ τ’ ἄριστοι Ἀχαιῶν δηριόωντο.
          ὣς γάρ οἱ χρείων μηθήσατο Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων
80      Πυθοῖ ἐν ἠγαθέηι, ὅθ’ ὑπέρβηι λάϊνον οὐδόν
          χρησόμενος· τότε γάρ ῥα κυλίνδετο πήματος ἀρχή
          Τρωσί τε καὶ Δαναοῖσι Διὸς μεγάλου διὰ βουλάς.

An already dense thicket of problems is rendered virtually impassible by uncertainty over the status of the allusion to the Delphic Oracle in lines 79–81. Some critics have taken them for a later addition to the text:

(ii) If we attach a particular nuance to the phrase τότε γάρ ῥα (as did several scholars ancient and modern: see von der Mühll, “Zur Frage,” 3 = 151–152, who himself prefers this approach) τότε may apply to the time of the dispute. And again, it will be hard to avoid placing this dispute at any but an early stage: one could perhaps maintain that the Greeks too had their share of sufferings after the death of Hector (the slaying of Achilles, for instance, or the madness and suicide of Ajax) but to describe these as, in any sense, a πήματος ἀρχή would be grotesque at this late stage.

So many attempts to identify the Odyssey’s ἔρις with that placed by the Cypria at Tenedos reach impasse so quickly that the question “What conceivable advantage is there in making these attempts?” automatically poses itself. [13] And, indeed, it is not as if we need feel compelled to apply Occam’s razor to the numerous examples of quarrels between heroes which we find attached to various stages of the Trojan War and other legends. The touchy and arrogant heroes of Homer are soon kindled to wrath: we need not wonder that a hero’s μῆνις and the ἔρις that is its sequel occur so often in the Homeric poems. See my remarks in TE, 71 and L. Muellner, The Anger of Achilles in Greek Epic (Cornell 2011). Willcock (1964:152n6 = 2000:452n41) lists the quarrels between Agamemnon and Menelaus (Odyssey iii 136), Ajax and Odysseus (Odyssey xi 544) and that between Diomedes and Achilles in Quintus of Smyrna I 768. As he says, “one might add the sudden outburst between Ajax son of Oileus and Idomereus in Il. 23.450–489.” He also observes that “withdrawal from the battle because of anger is ascribed in the Iliad to Paris (VI 326) and Aeneas (XIII 460) as well as to Achilles and Meleager” (the last in Iliad IX of course). [14] These instances bring us to a further point of relevance which may at last resolve the difficulties of Odyssey viii 72–82. Willcock himself has done much to render more acceptable the idea that Homer’s narratives may contain various details of his own invention, and such invention is often accompanied by precisely the sort of incoherence or inconsistency in minor and incidental background details which we find in the Odyssean lines (see especially Willcock 1964 [= 2001:435–453] and “Ad hoc Invention in the Iliad,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 81 [1977]: 41–54; cf. B. K. Braswell, “Mythological Innovation in the Iliad,” Classical Quarterly 21 [1971]: 16–26; Andersen, “The Making of the Past in the Iliad,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 93 [1990]: 25–45). This mode of approach is not necessarily to be seen as contrary to the sternly analytical approach of von der Mühll, and we have already seen the bankruptcy of the latter in its application to the passage from the Odyssey anyway. If we assume that Homer invented the quarrel between Achilles and Odysseus [15] for the sake of the latter’s moving reaction at 83–86 (a reaction important for the plot), we need not suppose that he had any specific concept at all concerning the time and place of the dispute invented by him ad hoc. Agamemnon’s glee will be a manifestation of the way in which Homeric “mirth proceeds from a delighted sense of one’s own superiority; at ease oneself one enjoys the spectacle of others struggling” (Griffin, “The Divine Audience and the Religion of the Iliad,” Classical Quarterly 28 [1978]: 6 = 1980:183).

The Death of Protesilaus

Proclus Chrestomathia: καὶ θνηίσκει Πρωτεσίλαος ὑφ᾽ Ἕκτορος.

And Protesilaus dies at Hector’s hands.

Cf. Apollodorus Epitome 3.30: Πρωτεσίλαος … ὕφ᾽ Ἕκτορος θνηίσκει.

On the general story of Protesilaus see Burkert, Homo Necans 269–271 = Engl. transl. 243–245 and n1, and on his Dionysiac features (cf. F18 for his wife as granddaughter of Oeneus) Burkert 272 = 245; R. O. A. M. Lyne, “Love and Death: Laodamia and Protesilaus in Catullus, Propertius and others,” Classical Quarterly 48 (1988): 200 = Collected Papers on Latin Poetry 211. It has not been adequately appreciated that the idea of the first to die in a war is a further folktale motif: in Celtic folktales “care is taken to commemorate the occasions when things were done or experienced for the first time and to record the names of the persons concerned, the first person to land, the first person to die … and so on. … As with other traditional cultures, Celtic society could not function without precedents” (A. Rees and B. Rees, Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales [London 1961] 105 [my italics]).

Proclus Chrestomathia: ἔπειτα ἀποβαίνοντας αὐτοὺς εἰς Ἴλιον εἴργουσιν οἱ Τρώες, καὶ θνήσκει Πρωτεσίλαος.

Then, while they are disembarking, the Trojans attempt to bar them, and Protesilaus is killed.

Apollodorus Epitome 3.29–30: Ἀχιλλεῖ δὲ ἐπιστέλλει Θέτις πρώτον μὴ ἀποβῆναι τῶν νεῶν· τὸν γὰρ ἀποβάντα πρῶτον πρῶτον μέλλειν τελευτήσειν. πυθόμενοι δὲ οἱ βάρβαροι τὸν στόλον ἐπιπλεῖν, σὺν ὅπλοις ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν ὥρμησαν καὶ βάλλοντες πέτροις ἀποβῆναι ἐκώλυον. τῶν δὲ ‘Ελλήνων πρώτος ἀπέβη τῆς νεὼς Πρωτεσίλαος, καὶ κτείνας οὐκ ὀλίγους τῶν βαρβάρων … θνήσκει (Thetis enjoins Achilles not to be the first to disembark from the ships, for the first to disembark will die. And the barbarians, learning that the Greek expedition is sailing against them, set forth with their weapons towards the seashore and try to prevent its disembarkation by throwing stones. And Protesilaus is first to disembark from his ship and after killing no small number of Trojans … meets his death).

Here Apollodorus’ synopsis becomes considerably fuller, and again we wonder whether these details too belong to our poem. That the Cypria motivated the Trojans’ presence at the shore and specified their mode of resistance is perfectly credible. On “barbarians” = Trojans, see page 164 below.

But what of the really significant additions, that is, the explanation of Achilles’ failure to leap first and the presence of the ancient motif whereby the sacrifice of the initiator’s life ensures the success of the enterprise thus begun (cf. Thompson, Motif-Index 2 M362, P711–719)? Wagner (1891:198) strongly favored the Cypria as source for these two details: Thetis’ prophecy to her son would indeed be appropriate in a poem already so laden with forecasts of one kind and another (see Kullmann 1960:221–224) and not unacquainted with motherly concern on the part of Thetis towards her son (as witness her attempt to hide him away on Scyros [Ilias Parva fr. 4a and my forthcoming commentary ad loc.]). Alternatively, a Euripidean origin was argued by M. Mayer, “Zu Achilleus und Polyxena,” Hermes 20 (1885): 119.

F18 Pausanias

Pausanias IV 2.7 (1.275 Rocha-Pereira)

Λυγκέως μὲν δὴ παῖδα οὐκ ἴσμεν γενόμενον, Ἴδα δὲ Κλεοπάτραν θυγατέρα ἐκ Μαρπήσσης, ἣ Μελεάγρωι συνώικησεν. ὁ δὲ τὰ ἔπη ποιήσας τὰ Κύπρια Πρωτεσιλάου φησίν, ὃς ὅτε κατὰ τὴν Τρωιάδα ἔσχον Ἕλληνες ἀποβῆναι πρῶτος ἐτόλμησε, Πρωτεσιλάου τούτου τὴν γυναῖκα Πολυδώραν μὲν τὸ ὄνομα, θυγατέρα δὲ Μελεάγρου φησὶν εἶναι τοῦ Οἰνέως. εἰ τοίνυν ἐστὶν ἀληθές, αἱ γυναῖκες αὗται τρεῖς οὖσαι τὸν ἀριθμὸν ἀπὸ Μαρπήσσης ἀρξάμεναι προαποθανοῦσι πᾶσαι τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἑαυτὰς ἐπικατέσφαξαν.

We do not know of any son born to Lynceus. But Idas had Cleopatra as daughter by Marpessa, and she married Meleager. And the author of the Cypria states as regards Protesilaus, who, when the Greeks put in at Troy, was the first Greek to disembark, as regards this Protesilaus, his wife’s name was Polydora, and he says she was the daughter of Meleager, son of Oeneus. If this, then, is true, these women, three in number starting from Marpessa, all killed themselves, dying for the sake of their husbands.

Proclus Chrestomathia: ἔπειτα Ἀχιλλεὺς αὐτοὺς τρέπεται ἀνελὼν Κύκνον τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος.

Then Achilles puts them to flight after killing Poseidon’s son Cycnus.

Apollodorus Epitome 3.31: Ἀχιλλεύς … λίθον βαλὼν εἰς τὴν κεφαλὴν Κύκνου κτείνει. ὡς δὲ τοῦτον νεκρὸν εἶδον οἱ βάρβαροι φεύγουσιν εἰς τὴν πόλιν (Achilles … kills Cycnus with a blow to the head from a stone, and the barbarians, on seeing him dead, take flight into the city).

On the origins of this story of the encounter between Achilles and Cycnus see Fontenrose, Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and Its Origins (Berkeley 1959) 31–32, The Cult and Myth of Pyrrhos at Delphi (University of California Publications in Classical Archeology 4 [1960]) 210. On Cycnus in Greek literature see Pearson, The Fragments of Sophocles 2.148; R. Janko, “The Shield of Heracles and the Legend of Cycnus,” Classical Quarterly 36 (1986): 38–59; Davies and Finglass on Stesichorus fr. 166. It is impossible to say whether the Cypria employed any of the traditions concerning Cycnus which we encounter in later writers (e.g. that he was snow-white: assumed for our epic by Griffin 1977:40 = 367). Achilles’ slaying of Cycnus becomes one of his great feats: cf. Pindar Olympian II 90, Isthmian V 39, etc. His use of a rock to do so is necessitated by Cycnus’ invulnerability (Sophocles fr. 500; on which motif see Davies, Aethiopis, 68–70). For the equation of barbarians and Trojans in Apollodorus see Nisbet and Hubbard on Horace Odes 2.4.9 (unHomeric).

The Embassy to Regain Helen

Proclus Chrestomathia: ἔπειτα ἀποβαίνοντας αὐτοὺς εἰς Ἴλιον εἴργουσιν οἱ Τρώες … καὶ τοὺς νεκροὺς ἀναιροῦνται καὶ διαπρεσβεύονται πρὸς τοὺς Τρῶας, τὴν Ἑλένην καὶ τὰ κτήματα ἀπαιτοῦντες. ὡς δὲ οὐχ ὑπήκουσαν ἐκείνοι ἐνταῦθα δὴ τειχομαχοῦσιν.

… and recover the dead and send an embassy to the Trojans, demanding back Helen and her possessions. When the Trojans pay no heed, they build a defensive wall.

Apollodorus Epitome 3.28–29: ἀναχθέντες δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς Τενέδου προσέπλεον Τροίαι, καὶ πέμπουσιν Ὀδυσσέα καὶ Μενέλαον τὴν Ἑλένην καὶ τὰ χρήματα ἀπαιτοῦντας. συναθροισθείσης δὲ παρὰ τοῖς Τρωσὶν ἐκκλησίας, οὐ μόνον τὴν Ἑλένην οὐκ ἀπεδίδουν ἀλλὰ καὶ τούτους κτείνειν ἤθελον. ἀλλὰ τοὺς μὲν ἔσωσεν Ἀντήνωρ, οἱ δὲ Ἕλληνες ἀχθόμενοι ἐπὶ τῆι τῶν βαρβάρων καταφρονήσει, ἀναλαβόντες τὴν πανοπλίαν ἔπλεον ἐπ’ αὐτούς (Putting out from Tenedos, the Greeks started to sail towards Troy. And they send Odysseus and Menelaus, charged with asking for Helen back and her possessions. And when an assembly was convened among the Trojans, not only did they fail to give Helen back but they also wished to murder these ambassadors. But Antenor saved them; and the Greeks as a whole, feeling indignation at the contempt shown by the Trojans, assembled their entire military force and proceeded to sail against them).

A recent survey of the various sources, literary and artistic, for this particular episode in the Trojan War, is provided by G. Danek, “Antenor und die Bittgesandtschaft: Ilias, Bakchylides 15 und der Astarita-Krater,” Wiener Studien 118 (2005): 5–20. Cf. also his “Antenor und seine Familie,” in Wiener Studien 119 (2006): 5–22. Note too M. I. Davies, “The Reclamation of Helen,” Antike Kunst 20 (1977): 73–85, and D. De Sanctis, “La Helenes apaitesis attraverso epica, lirica, tragedia,” Prometheus 38 (2012): 35–59.

The most striking point that emerges from a comparison of Apollodorus and Proclus’ respective accounts is the former’s reversal of the latter’s sequence of events. This reversal is shared by Σ Τ Iliad III 205 (1.396 Erbse) ὅτε ἐκ Τενέδου ἐπρεσβεύοντο οἱ περὶ Μενέλαον, τότε Ἀντήνωρ ὁ Ἱκετάονος ὑπεδέξατο αὐτούς, καὶ δολοφονεῖσθαι μέλλοντας ἔσωσεν. [19] Now Bethe (1929:242) supposes that this more rational and economical course of diplomacy before battle must originally have stood in the Cypria too. But in the first place a show of strength in such circumstances can wonderfully increase one’s bargaining power. Besides, Bacchylides XV 45–46 and a Corinthian krater, two sources which we will examine in greater detail below, both imply a scenario in which fighting preceded the embassy. It has been suggested that the reversal of that sequence was first made by Sophocles in his Ἑλένης ἀπαιτήσις: cf. Welcker, Griechische Tragödien 1.117–118, Wagner 1891:197. It is hard to evaluate Herodotus’ evidence (I 3.2: οὕτω δὴ ἀρπάσαντος αὐτοῦ [scil. Ἀλεξάνδρου] Ἑλένην τοῖσι, Ἕλλησι δόξαι πρώτον πέμψαντας ἀγγέλους ἀπαιτέειν τε Ἑλένην καὶ δίκας τῆς ἁρπαγῆς αἰτέειν, κτλ.), since its context is so pervaded with rationalization (see Davies and Finglass, p. 304).

We know that this subject matter was also treated in a dithyramb by Bacchylides entitled Antenoridae, of which we possess generous fragments depicting the reception of the Greek ambassadors (who are led off somewhither), the transmission of the message to Priam and his sons by Antenor, the summoning of the Trojans to an assembly in the marketplace, and the speech of Menelaus. So the poem ends, but when it was rediscovered scholars were puzzled at the obvious prominence it bestows upon Theano, wife of Antenor and priestess of Athena, right at the beginning (Ἀντή]ν̣ .. | ]ρακοιτις), where her name is clearly juxtaposed with those of Odysseus and Menelaus. Lacunae prevent any certain solution, but Ο. Crusius (“Aus den Dichtungen des Bakchylides,” Philologus 57 [1898]: 163–166), followed, for instance, by Jebb ad loc. (Bacchylides, p. 362), plausibly suggested that the work started with Theano opening the gates of Athena’s temple to the Greek envoys.

As Beazley (“ Ἑλένης ἀπαίτησις,” 242) says, “What the picture tells us is that the two Greek heroes arrived at the city and announced themselves; word was given that they were to be admitted at the gate, but must wait just inside the wall; Theano set out to meet them; accompanied by her maids, and escorted by an armed and mounted bodyguard, consisting of, or at least including, her sons.” Why should Theano (rather than her husband Antenor) occupy so prominent a position in both vase painting and poem? Before the publication of the krater it had been guessed (see e.g. Jebb, Bacchylides, p. 362) that in Bacchylides’ dithyramb the visit of the envoys to Athena’s temple was a sequel to—and pre-supposed, their hospitable reception by—Antenor. The purpose of the trip to the temple will have been the supplication of Athena.

Beazley suggests that his reading of our Corinthian krater makes the first portion of this hypothesis far less plausible while offering an alternative solution to replace the second part. For he supposes that the vase painting shows Theano coming upon the envoys practically as soon as they have entered the city. Starting from the initial premise (“ Ἑλένης ἀπαίτησις,” 242) that Theano’s activity will have been planned in consultation with her husband, Beazley guessed that the Greek envoys were guided to the temple of Athena by its priestess for safety and sanctuary, while her husband endeavored to persuade Priam (presumably in opposition to the counsels of men like Antimachus) that the ambassadors should be given a fair hearing rather than be done to death without ceremony. The behavior of Antimachus will remind us that this last eventuality constituted a very real possibility indeed; and it will explain both why Antenor might postpone all considerations—including his own initial contact with and hospitable entertainment of the Greeks—to the direct persuasion of King Priam, and why Theano might well require a troop of horse for the protection of herself and the envoys.

In the role they assign to Theano, do Bacchylides and the column krater go back to a common source, and is that source the Cypria? Again it is hard to fault Beazley’s reasoning when he says of the vase’s version (242): “there is no means of proving that it is not the painter’s own invention, but it is extremely improbable that he did not take it from a poetical source, whether the Cypria, as is likely enough, or another poem.” We might extend much the same conclusion to Bacchylides, and also to Triphiodorus, when he writes of Menelaus (656–659) at the sack of Troy:

τέκνα δὲ καὶ γενεὴν Ἀντήνορος ἀντιθέοιο
Ἀτρεΐδης ἐφύλαξε, φιλοξείνοιο γερόντος,
μειλιχίης προτέρης μεμνημένος ἠδὲ τραπέζης
κείνης ἧι μιν ἔδεκτο γυνὴ πρηεῖα Θεανώ.

One might likewise argue that some or all of the names of secondary figures on the Corinthian vase painting derive from the Cypria.

Danek, in “Antenor und die Bittgesandtschaft,” excogitates a version of the story in which Odysseus and Menelaus are almost murdered in the assembly on Paris’ instigation (cf. δολοφονεῖσθαι μέλλοντες in the Iliadic scholion quoted page 165 above) and have to flee to the nearby altar of Athena’s temple, where Theano protects them as suppliants (seated there on its steps together with Talthybius on the krater) and sees to it that they are returned safely to the Greek camp under the escort of the mounted Antenorids, shown on the Corinthian krater by the familiar vase painting technique of “telescoping” consecutive scenes. This ingenious speculation certainly supplies an episode whose unHomeric narrative of cowardly treachery towards the defenseless would be at home in an epic which related the ambush of the Apharetidae or of Troilus and the murder of Palamedes by Odysseus and Diomedes (see pages 169–170 above, 178–179 below).

Apollodorus and Σ bT Iliad III 206 have the embassy occur before the arrival at Troy—it is sent from Tenedos—and Bethe (1929:242) suggested that this was a more rational and therefore early form of the motif.

On the defensive wall which the Greeks build given the failure of their embassy and which is referred to by Thucydides I 1.1 see West, “The Achaean Wall,” Classical Review 19 (1969): 256–257 = Hellenica 1.240; E. Dolin, “Thucydides on the Trojan War: A Critique of the Text of I 11.1,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 87 (1983): 119–130.


[ back ] 1. On the intervening details here omitted see Wagner 1891:193–194, who convincingly shows that they derive from a source other than their context’s.

[ back ] 2. Taken in isolation, Proclus’ εὐωχουμένων αὐτῶν might conceivably be thought ambiguous as to between Tenedos and Lemnos (cf. Kullman 1960:270). But even without the help of Apollodorus’ fuller account, the word-order of Proclus’ summary points decisively in favor of Tenedos as the feast’s local.

[ back ] 3. So Van der Valk 1964:252, who himself strangely supposes that Iliad II 721–726 represents Philoctetes as both wounded and exposed on Lemnos. His explanation of the Cypria’s divergence from what he imagines to be the Iliadic account is therefore even less deserving of serious consideration.

[ back ] 4. In this Iliadic passage, Agamemnon rallies the Greeks by reminding them of the boasts they uttered when feasting on Lemnos, Τρώων ἄνθ’ ἑκατόν τε διηκοσίων τε ἕκαστος | στήσεσθ’ ἐν πολέμωι. Kullmann, insisting on the ambiguity of Proclus’ summary over the location of the Greeks’ banquet (see p. 270), supposes Homer to refer to the abandonment of Philoctetes on Lemnos, when the Greeks might have boasted that they could sack Troy without Philoctetes. It is more plausible to suppose that the detail is an ad hoc invention to strengthen Agamemnon’s paraenesis (compare the invented motif of “boasting in my/your father’s house” which fulfils a similar function in Iliadic speeches of reproach or encouragement; cf. Willcock 1964:143n4 = 2001:438n11).

[ back ] 5. For a completely different tradition wherein Philoctetes is punished for revealing the whereabouts of Heracles’ ashes see Servius on Aeneid III 402 (3.156–157 ed. Harvard), Vatican Mythographer 1.59, 2.165. But in this version of events, Philoctetes receives his hurt (appropriately enough) from one of Heracles’ hydra-envenomed arrows which he drops on his foot in the manner of Pholus (see Davies and Finglass, 290–293).

[ back ] 6. O. Immisch, “Ad Cypria Carmen,” Rheinisches Museum 44 (1889): 300 supposes that the Cypria’s quarrel occurred on Lemnos, because that is the locale last mentioned in the text. But it is so mentioned only as part of a digression concerning the abandonment of Philoctetes; with the arrival of Achilles we are back on Tenedos (cf. page 155 above).

[ back ] 7. A bibliography of scholars sharing Pearson’s view is in von der Mühll, “Zur Frage,” 3 = 151. One must now add W. Marg, “Der erste Lied des Demodokos,” 16–25, a very effective retort to von der Mühll. Scholars who derive the Odyssean passage from the Cypria include (apart from von der Mühll himself) O. Immisch, “Ad Cypria carmen,” Rheinisches Museum 44 (1889): 299–301 and Kullmann, “Ein vorhomerisches Motiv im Iliasproömium,” Philologus 99 (1955): 178n4 = Homerische Motive 22n25.

[ back ] 8. For this contrast between the two heroes see my article “Euripides Telephus fr. 49 (Austin) and the Folk-Tale Origins of the Teuthranian Expedition,” Zeitschrift f ür Papyrologie und Epigraphik 133 (2000): 7–10.

[ back ] 9. See von der Mühll, “Zur Frage,” 3 = 150 for the other scholars who adopt this viewpoint. Marg, “Der erste Lied des Demodokos,” 20 plausibly concludes that the scholion’s explanation of the passage is extrapolated ad hoc and has no independent authority.

[ back ] 10. Von der Mühll (“Zur Frage,” 3 = 149) compares the account of Bellerophon’s career in Iliad VI 156–202 (composed in Kirk’s “abbreviated-reference style”: see that scholar’s The Songs of Homer [Cambridge 1962] 164–165) for this sort of elliptical treatment. But it is hard to find a parallel for the elision of so basic and essential a narrative detail, as Marg, “Der erste Lied des Demodokos,” 21 and n2 stresses.

[ back ] 11. For which see e.g. J. E. Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle: Its Responses and Operations (Berkeley 1978) 58–61.

[ back ] 12. That is “Agamemnon rejoiced <but in fact he was mistaken in his interpretation of the oracle>, for ruin …,” etc. The “expansion” of the Odyssey’s passage to this effect, which von der Mühll offers on “Zur Frage,” 4 = 152 of his article clearly shows—with almost every other line enclosed in angular brackets—how much additional material must be imported for this approach to work: cf. Marg’s criticisms (“Der erste Lied des Demodokos,” 23n3).

[ back ] 13. Von der Mühll says of Odyssey viii 81–82 “sie klingen in der Tat recht Kyklisch” (“Zur Frage,” 2 = 149). But not every reference to the beginning of the Trojan War (if that is what the lines refer to) need be “cyclic” in that sense (on the phrase Διὸς μεγάλου διὰ βουλάς see pages 30–31 above).

[ back ] 14. As Griffin observes (1977:45 = 378), these latter examples are a nice instance of the Iliad’s suppression of low motives such as cowardice: “when a hero does not fight the assumption is that the reason will be heroic resentment.”

[ back ] 15. This was, in fact, how von der Mühll originally approached our lines (calling Odyssey viii 73–82 an autoschediasm: see his RE article on the Odyssey [Suppl. 7 (1940): 718.45–50] = Ausgewählte Kleine Schriften 56). It was only later that he changed his mind. W. Marg, “Der erste Lied des Demodokos,” 19 and 24–25 (cf. his Homer über die Dichtung [Münster 1971] 14n9) also supposed the passage an invention, though his idea that it was specifically inspired by the quarrel in Iliad I is exposed to several objections (leveled by Kullmann [1960:221–222n4]). B. K. Braswell, “The Song of Ares and Aphrodite: Theme and Relevance in Odyssey viii,” Hermes 110 (1982): 130n5 convincingly argues for invention, as does Taplin, “The Earliest Quotation of the Iliad?” in Owls to Athens (Dover Festschrift [Oxford 1990]) 109–112, Garvie’s commentary (1994) on lines 62–82 summarizes other views. Further bibliography in J. Grethlein, Die Odyssee: Homer und die Kunst des Erzählens (Munich 2017) 287n2.

[ back ] 16. Note the remarks of Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle: Its Responses and Operations (Berkeley 1978) 117–118: “in the legends of the Trojan War, as they appear in the Homeric poems, seers like Calchas made the necessary predictions and revelations (all of which are elaborations of the story and unnecessary to the basic legend). Agamemnon’s consultation of Pytho … is unique, and indicates an early appearance of the Delphic Oracle in the Trojan legend, though it cannot have occurred much earlier than 700.”

[ back ] 17. On the oddity of Protesilaus’ slaying by an unknown hand see Griffin 1980:133n51.

[ back ] 18. It is true that, instead of Hector, we sometimes find Aeneas, Euphorbus, or Achates mentioned as Protesilaus’ killer (see the texts assembled by Erbse on Σ Α Iliad II 701 [1.327)). However, Kullmann (1960:111n4) plausibly takes these divergent traditions to be extrapolations from such passages in the Iliad as XVI 807–808 Δάρδανος ἀνήρ | Πανθοΐδης Εὔφορβος. In view of this convincing explanation, it is strange to find Kullmann then taking (1960:111) the opposite line to Jacoby and arguing that the existence of these variant traditions is incompatible with any explicit statement in the Cypria as to the identity of Protesilaus’ killer. But we must remember that Kullmann is most reluctant to accept that Hector featured in the Cypria (cf. 1960:226), because such an eventuality would quite destroy his picture of that poem as composed independently of the Iliad. Rather, this may have been Hector’s only appearance in the Cypria, an appearance necessary since (West 2013:114) “the existence of a hero so central to the Iliad needed to be established.”

[ back ] 19. Other testimonia presenting this implicit sequence are listed by Erbse ad loc.

[ back ] 20. Μ. Μ. Willcock, “Ad hoc Invention in the Iliad,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 81 (1977): 46 makes an unnecessary fuss about this passage, which he thinks untraditional and Homer’s invention because of certain oddities he detects. The first part of this theory may be right, but Willcock is hardly justified in referring to ‘‘the supposed (sic) embassy of Menelaus and Odysseus to Troy,” in claiming that the details of 138–142 are ‘‘improbable in the story of the war,” or in finding 138–142 inconsistent with 123–128. Kullmann (1960:277) allows that the sons of Antimachus (though not the embassy) may be invented ad hoc. See also Danek’s two articles as cited page 165 above.

[ back ] 21. Cf. Kullmann 1960:277–278, though we need not follow his characteristic conviction that the Iliad here is directly indebted to the Cypria.

[ back ] 22. For the Sophoclean drama see Pearson ad loc. (1.121–123), Radt, TrGF 4, pp. 177–178.

[ back ] 23. There is a fuller description of the artifact in the article by M. I. Davies entitled “The Reclamation of Helen.” This had the advantage of being drawn up after the vase had been thoroughly cleaned. Davies further provides an extremely useful bibliography of works on the krater in 73n2, to which now add Lorber as cited.

[ back ] 24. For other occurrences of these names see Beazley, “ Ἑλένης ἀπαίτησις,” 236–237. Dia and Malo are ingeniously suggested to be the daughters of Theano by Martin Robertson ap. Davies 77n20.

[ back ] 25. But most of the other horsemen’s names recur (often applied to hunters) on other vases: see Beazley, “ Ἑλένης ἀπαίτησις,” 238–239.

[ back ] 26. A further new interpretation of the vase whereby the ambassadors are envisaged as sitting on steps ready to address the Trojan assembly (C. Bérard, “Architecture et politique: Réception d’une ambassade en Grèce archaique,” Études de Lettres 3.10 [1977]: 1–25) is adequately refuted by Davies, “Reclamation of Helen,” 83–84.