The Cypria

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

5. Nine Years of War

Proclus Chrestomathia: καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα Ἀχιλλεὺς Ἑλένην ἐπιθυμεῖ θεάσασθαι, καὶ συνήγαγεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ αὐτὸ Ἀφροδίτη καὶ Θέτις. εἶτα ἀπονοστεῖν ὡρμημένους τοὺς Ἀχαιοὺς Ἀχιλλεὺς κατέχει.

After this, Achilles desires to see Helen, and Aphrodite and Thetis bring the two together to the same locale. Then, when the Greeks are eager to return home, Achilles checks them.

This is a striking and unique passage, at first sight very difficult to explain. But the congress referred to between Achilles and Helen is presumably sexual. This is doubted by West (2013:119), but it is what the collaboration of Aphrodite would suggest: Thetis alone would be sufficient if her son merely wanted to shake hands or collect an autograph. Note too the very similar (though admittedly not identical) phrasing used by Proclus to describe Paris’ first bedding with Helen: ἐν τούτωι δὲ Ἀφροδίτη συνάγει τὴν Ἑλένην τῶι Ἀλεξάνδρωι. καὶ μετὰ τὴν μεῖξιν, κτλ.

Our otherwise unrecorded tradition is but one aspect of the more general belief in the appropriateness of a union between the bravest hero and the most beautiful heroine in the world. Cf. H. Hommel, Der Gott Achilleus (Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse 1 [1980]) 92. On the various features shared by these two figures see K. Mayer, “Helen and the Διὸς Βουλή,” American Journal of Philology 117 (1996): 9–12. Closely connected with this as a further instance of the whole attitude is the statement preserved in Hesiod fr. 204.87–93 MW to the effect that Helen would have married Achilles rather than Menelaus had he been old enough at the time:

                                          Χείρων δ’ ἐν Πηλίωι ὑλήεντι
          Πηλεΐδην ἐκόμιζε πόδας ταχὺν ἔξοχον ἀνδρῶν
          παῖδ’ ἔτ’ ἐόντ’· οὐ γάρ μιν ἀρηΐφιλος Μενέλαος
90      νίκησ’ οὐδέ τις ἄλλος ἐπιχθονίων ἀνθρώπων
          μνηστεύων ‘Ελένην, εἴ μιν κίχε παρθένον οὖσαν
          οἴκαδε νοστήσας ἐκ Πληίου ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς·
          ἀλλ’ ἄρα τὴν πρίν γ’ ἔσχεν κτλ.

Euripides Helen 99 goes one better in asserting that in fact Achilles did join the wooing. [1]

These traditions form, as it were, the prelude to the Cypria’s episode. Its sequel is the idea that Achilles and Helen were united after death on the island of Leuce (cf. Hommel, Gott Achilleus, 27–30 and Davies, Aethiopis, 76–77). Wilamowitz once wrote (BKT 5.1:39) that “die anmutigen Erfindungen, dass der Held einmal die schöne Frau zu Gesicht bekommt (oder auch geniessen durf) für die er sterben soll, oder dass er mit ihr im Jenseits vereint wird, sind älter und gehören in eine höhere Region der Poesie.” The second part of this statement may be true, but the first is not confirmed by an inspection of Thompson’s Motif-Index. In spite of the obvious connections mentioned above, the Cypria’s picture of the union between Helen and Achilles seems to me not early and primitive but a late inspiration derived from the Leuce tradition mentioned above, a romantic elaboration of the sort that Griffin has taught us (1977:44–45 = 376) to expect from the Cypria but not to expect in the Iliad.

As Severyns observes (1928:304), the position of this episode after the failure of the Grecian embassy to Troy may have been intended to maintain (or recreate) interest in the beautiful Helen. Also (West 2013:119; see page 10 above) Achilles, not having been a suitor of Helen, has never hitherto set eyes on her.

Equally unHomeric is the sequel whereby Achilles restrains the Greek army. Unless we recognize with Griffin the romantic nature of what comes immediately before it in the summary provided by Proclus, we find the detail as inexplicable as did Bethe (1929:243). But this accepted, the juxtaposition of the two events becomes, as Severyns as cited saw, very suggestive. In Iliad II, Odysseus’ suppression of the Greek mutiny raises issues of leadership and government: how is the mass of soldiers before Troy to be kept disciplined and orderly? οὐκ ἀγαθὸν πολυκοιρανίη· εἷς κοίρανος ἔστω. In contrast to the maturity and complexity of that famous episode, the Cypria gives Achilles a purely selfish, personal, and romantic motivation: he has met Helen and the army must therefore stay. Nevertheless, Achilles’ seizing of the key role in this episode prepares us for his apparent domination of the rest of the epic as summarized by Proclus (West 2013:118).

Recognition of these similarities leads us to the question of priority. The Cypria’s dependence on the Iliad has been assumed by, among others, Schmid (GGL 1.1.209). The reverse supposition receives its most eloquent support from W. Kullmann, “Die Probe des Achaierheeres in der Ilias,” Museum Helveticum 12 (1955): 253–273, esp. 269–270 = Homerische Motive 38–63, esp. 65–57. [2] So cautious and level-headed a critic as G. S. Kirk has written of the numerous difficulties that surround the opening of Iliad Book II: “the superficial conflation or adaptation of earlier poetry might easily explain the situation—if, for example, Agamemnon’s original suggestion came not as a prelude to an attack which he believed would be successful, but in a moment of real defeat and despair” (The Songs of Homer [Cambridge 1962] 216). [3] Kullmann claims to provide just such a scenario in his reconstruction of a scene near the end of the Cypria, where the army had been reduced to near-desperation by the length of the war and pressing “Hungersnot.” In a βουλή convened for the crisis, Agamemnon’s genuinely dispirited speech led to a revolt which had to be staunched by Achilles. Nestor then suggested the sending of Palamedes to fetch the Oenotropoi as a more permanent resolution of the troubles that beset the army, and Agamemnon expressed his heart-felt gratitude for the old hero’s wisdom. According to Kullmann, the relevant speeches of Agamemnon, Odysseus, and Nestor as they now stand in Iliad Book II derive very closely (verbatim in places) from this model.

J. Ebert, “Die Gestalt der Thersites in der Ilias,” Philologus 113 (1969): 170–174 (= Agonismata [Stuttgart and Leipzig 1997] 19–21) takes this argument one stage further by creating a role for Thersites in the corresponding scene of the Cypria. Kullmann had supposed that this character and his function derived from the Aethiopis and that Homer combined elements from this source with elements derived from the new context, and Ebert would derive Thersites’ intervention too from the Cypria. See contra the cautious remarks of Andersen, “Thersites und Thoas vor Troia,” Symbolae Osoenses 57 (1982): 25–26 and 34. These speculations at any rate lead us directly to the next section.

F19 Scholion on Lycophron’s Alexandra

Σ Lycophron 570 (2.197 sq. Scheer)

Σταφύλου τοῦ υἱοῦ Διονύσου θυγάτηρ γίνεται Ῥοιώ. ταύτηι ἐμίγη Ἀπόλλων. αἰσθόμενος δὲ ὁ Στάφυλος ἔβαλεν αὐτὴν εἰς λάρνακα καὶ ἀφῆκε κατὰ τὴν θάλασσαν. ἡ δὲ προσεπελάσθη τῆι Εὐβοίαι καὶ ἐγέννησεν αὐτόθι περί τι ἄντρον παῖδα, ὃν Ἄνιον ἐκάλεσε διὰ τὸ ἀνιαθῆναι δι’ αὐτόν. τοῦτον δὲ Ἀπόλλων ἤνεγκεν εἰς Δῆλον, ὃς γήμας Δωρίππην ἐγέννησε τὰς Οἰνοτρόπους [-οτρόφους fort. scribendum] Οἰνώ, Σπερμώ, Ἐλαΐδα· αἷς ὁ Διόνυσος ἐχαρίσατο ὁπότε βούλονται σπέρμα λαμβάνειν. Φερεκύδης δὲ [FGrHist 3 F 140] φησιν ὅτι Ἄνιος ἔπειθε [ἔπεισε codd. praeter S] τοὺς Ἕλληνας παραγενομένους πρὸς αὐτὸν αὐτοῦ μένειν τὰ θ᾽ ἔτη· δεδόσθαι δὲ αὐτοῖς παρὰ τῶν θεῶν τῶι δεκάτωι ἔτει πορθῆναι τὴν Ἴλιον. ὑπέσχετο δὲ αὐτοῖς ὑπὸ τῶν θυγατέρων αὐτοῦ τραφήσεσθαι.

ἔστι δὲ τοῦτο καὶ παρὰ τῶι τὰ Κύπρια πεποιηκότι.

Rhoeo was the daughter of Dionysus’ son Staphylus. Apollo had intercourse with her, and when Staphylus discovered he put her in a chest and set her adrift at sea. She came to Euboea and gave birth there near a cave, to a son whom she called Anius because of the pain [ania] she had endured over him. Apollo fetched him to Delos and he married Dorippe and fathered upon her the Oenotropoi, Oenoe, Spermo, and Elais. Dionysus bestowed on them the ability to produce corn whenever they wished. Pherecydes says that Anius tried to persuade the Greeks, when they turned up, to stay there with him for nine years, and told them that it was granted them by the gods to sack Troy in the tenth year. And he promised them that they would be maintained by his daughters.

The story also occurs in the author of the Cypria.

There seems to be considerable confusion in the collective scholarly mind as to precisely which of the available traditions concerning the daughters of Anius actually appeared in the Cypria. For a recent survey of the evidence see T. Marin, “Le Enotrope, Palamede, e la sosta dei Greci a Delos nei Cypria,” Lexis 27 (2009): 365–380, who handily summarizes previous hypotheses. See also R. Fowler, Early Greek Mythography, vol. 2: Commentary (Oxford 2013) 531–532 (who rightly says that “the tale of Anius and his … daughters … has a folktale ring”) and Hornblower’s commentary on Lycophron, general index s.v. “Anius.” Any attempt to clarify the issue must of necessity start from the evidence of the scholion upon Lycophron which is our fragment’s source. Even here there is generous scope for ambiguity, since (to quote Jacoby’s note on the fragment of Pherecydes likewise enshrined in Tzetzes’ comment) “ob auch die genealogie … Ph. gehört und ober nach den Kyprien erzählte bleibt zweifelhaft” (2.425).

According to Tzetzes, then, the Greek expedition arrived at Delos en route for Troy; was prophetically warned by the island’s King Anius that Troy would not fall for ten years; and was invited by him to stay on for the first nine enjoying the provisions of his bountiful daughters. A double proclamation of Troy’s capture in the tenth year, provided both by Anius on Delos and Calchas at Aulis, would be perfectly feasible for the Cypria, as Wagner (1891:185–186) observed, also inferring for our poem a visit on the same occasion to King Cinyras (cf. Apollodorus Epitome 3.9). Indeed, it is positively appropriate for this prophecy-ridden poem (see Kullmann 1960:221–223). Diodorus Siculus V 62.2 informs us that Anius owed his mantic abilities to his father Apollo.

When did the Greeks visit Delos? Immisch (“Ad Cypria Carmen,” 302–303) strongly argued that it formed part of the unsuccessful first expedition which ended in the Teuthranian debacle (similarly Marin, “Enotrope, Palamede”). But his more specific attempt to connect the event with the quarrel between Achilles and Odysseus catalogued in Odyssey viii 72–82 is implausible (see pages 159–161 above).

Jacoby, as above, carefully distinguishes the account given in the Cypria and by Pherecydes from several others: (i) that utilized by Simonides (fr. 537P) whereby Menelaus and Odysseus go to Delos to fetch the daughters of Anius [5] (we are not told at what stage of the war); (ii) that found in Tzetzes on Lycophron 581 (2.200 Scheer) in which Agamemnon dispatches Palamedes on the same errand and the daughters rescue the Greek army from famine (Servius on Aeneid II 81 [2.431 ed. Harvard] has Palamedes sent to Thrace and succeeding in fetching grain where Odysseus had failed); (iii) that of Ovid (Metamorphoses XIII 650–674), which depicts the girls presumably tiring of the commissariat, taking to flight, and being changed by Dionysus to white doves in order to elude their pursuers. These stories are clearly distinct from that attributed to the Cypria. They are perfectly compatible with its version, of course: (i) or (ii) would be reasonable sequels to our fragment and (iii) could equally follow on a combination of either of them with this fragment. Thus Immisch (“Ad Cypria Carmen,” 304) supposes that the Cypria deliberately prepared for Palamedes’ mission to Delos with the earlier encounter between Anius and the Greek force. [6] But we must not deceive ourselves into supposing that there is the slightest shred of evidence for any such reconstruction. Griffin (1977:40–41 = 369) is wrong automatically to assume that the Cypria set out to answer “the question how the Achaeans solved the problem of supplies in a ten-year siege” by showing how the daughters of Anius “fed the Achaeans at Troy for nine years.” It might have done, and such an account would follow neatly enough upon the heels of what our fragment actually says. But equally versions (i) to (iii) above could be later embellishments. F19 is certainly valid in its own right, as a prophecy of the length of the Trojan War and a sample of the magical delights which the Greeks rejected in proceeding to Troy.

We cannot dogmatize over the exact form of the collective name for the daughters of Anius. αἱ Οἰνότροποι (“those who change things into wine”) is certainly the more frequently attested, but αἱ Οἰνότροφοι (or -όφοι) meaning “the wine-growers” may be the older version. [7] For details as to the evidence of ancient authors see G. Herzog-Hauser s.v. “Oinotropoi” in RE 17 (1937): 2276–2277. It is impossible to decide between these two alternatives by considering the magical powers of the girls in question, since here too the testimonies are divided: Apollodorus tells us that they could produce oil, corn, and wine from the earth, while Ovid and Servius attribute to them the wider gift of transforming whatever they touched into those three commodities. Now the latter set of miraculous powers would be particularly appropriate for descendants of Dionysus, who possessed a like ability to set flowing such natural liquids as wine, water, milk, and honey (see Dodds on Euripides Bacchae 704–711, Nisbet and Hubbard on Horace Odes II 19.10, etc.). On the other hand, if Οἶνος is a name for Dionysus (cf. H. Usener, “Göttliche Synonyme,” Rheinisches Museum 53 [1898]: 375 = Kleine Schriften 3.303n139) the title may originally have meant “nurses of Dionysus,” and the Oenotrophoi may have been synonymous with the Διονύσοιο τιθῆναι (Iliad VI 132: cf. Homeric Hymn to Dionysus 3 [Διόνυσον] ὃν τρέφον ἠΰκομοι νύμφαι, κτλ.), on whom see Nilsson, GGR 13.580–581. This would neatly explain why we find attached to all three daughters a title that on either of the other two interpretations strictly belongs only to one.

The girls have significant names, eponymous of the commodities they produce: Oeno (Wine-girl), Spermo (Seed-girl), and Elais (Oil-girl). One is reminded of the symbolic names of the three daughters of Agamemnon at Iliad IX 145 = 287 (see page 148 above) and in general on this type of word-play in early epic L. P. Rank, Etymologiseering en verwante verschijnselen bij Homerus (Assen 1951). Anius their father also has a significant name (on the principle involved in his mother’s naming him διὰ τὸ ἀνιαθῆναι αὐτήν, see page 140 above) as does his mother Rhoeo (named from the pomegranate [ῥοίη]) and his grandfather Staphylus (named, appropriately for a son of Dionysus, from σταφυλή, a grape-cluster): compare such cult-titles and epithets of Dionysus himself as ἐριστάφυλος, εὐστλαφυλος, and πολυστάφυλος and see Farnell, Cults of the Greek States 5.118 for further instances.

The picture of a pregnant mother set adrift at sea by her angry father finds an interesting parallel in a similar story concerning Dionysus himself which we meet in Pausanias III 24.3–4. According to this, Cadmus learns that his daughter Semele has given birth and sets her and the child adrift in a chest which is finally washed up at Brasiae in Laconia. The inhabitants find Semele dead, bury her with due honor, and bring up Dionysus themselves, with the help, according to a further local tradition, of Ino, who wishes to be Dionysus’ nurse. This tale restores the motif of casting mother and son adrift together in a casket, which is a common feature of folktale: see Davies, TE, 9. So is the motif of giving birth near a cave, especially as a sequel to intercourse with a god: see Davies and Finglass on Stesichorus fr. 11.

Anius is priest of his father, Apollo, and enjoys benefits (via his daughters) from his great-grandfather Dionysus. We might perhaps compare Maron in Odyssey ix 197–198, who comes from Thrace and grows vines but is the priest of Apollo (cf. Dodds, Euripides Bacchae xii n2).

F20 Pausanias

Pausanias X 31.1 sq. (3.162 Rocha-Pereira) de Polygnoti Necyia

εἰ δὲ ἀπίδοις πάλιν ἐς τὸ ἄνω τῆς γραφῆς, ἔστιν ἐφεξῆς τῶι Ἀκταίωνι Αἴας ὁ ἐκ Σαλαμῖνος καὶ Παλαμήδης τε καὶ Θερσίτης κύβοις χρώμενοι παιδιᾶι, τοῦ Παλαμήδους τῶι εὑρήματι … ἐς δὲ τὸ αὐτὸ ἐπίτηδες τοῦ Ὀδυσσέως τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἤγαγεν ὁ Πολύγνωτος … Παλαμήδην δὲ ἀποπνιγῆναι προελθόντα ἐπὶ ἰχθύων θήραν, Διομήδην δὲ τὸν ἀποκτείναντα εἶναι καὶ Ὀδυσσέα ἐπιλεξάμενος ἐν ἔπεσιν οἶδα τοῖς Κυπρίοις.

If you look up again to the topmost portion of the painting, next to Actaeon are Ajax of Salamis and Thersites playing the game of draughts, Palamedes’ invention. … Polygnotus has deliberately gathered into one group the enemies of Palamedes. … Palamedes was drowned while on a fishing expedition, and Diomedes was the killer, as well as Odysseus, as I know from reading it in the epic Cypria.

Proclus Chrestomathia: ἐπειτα ἐστι Παλαμήδους θάνατος.

Next comes the death of Palamedes.

Secondly, death by drowning is for Homer a λευγάλεος θάνατος (Iliad XXI 281, Odyssey v 312) reserved only as a special punishment for an impious boaster like the Locrian Ajax (Odyssey iv 499–522). “But most unHomeric of all is the treacherous murder of an ally for selfish reasons. … Treachery and revenge on one’s friends are alike excluded by the noble ethos of the Iliad” (Griffin 1977:46 = 379), so that we hear nothing from Homer of Palamedes’ fate, of his father Nauplius’ reprisals therefor, or of Telamonian Ajax’s nocturnal attack on the Atreidae. See Kullmann 1960:166n1 for those scholars who suppose Palamedes’ absence from Homer’s epics to be due to the poet’s reworking and improving of Odysseus’ character. The absence may also relate to Palamedes’ role as culture hero or primus inventor: see my remarks in “Homer and the Fable: Odyssey xxi 293–306,” Prometheus 27 (2001): 207–208.

For Diomedes as featuring in the Epic Cycle in general see O. Wehr, Die Ilias und Argos: Ein Beitrag zur homerischen Frage (Studien zur klassischen Philologie 168 [2013]) 83–91, esp. 85–87 on his close collaboration with Odysseus. The oddity of his participation in this particular episode (he rarely features in stories set in the period of time predating the Iliad’s events) is commented on by Andersen in Die Diomedesgestalt in der Ilias (Symbolae Osloenses Suppl. 25 [1978]) 26. As he says, since Odysseus’ role will have been motivated by his hatred of his victim (page 130 above), Diomedes has a rather otiose role. Presumably the Iliadic cooperation of the pair was deliberately foreshadowed: on this collaboration see further E. Howald, Der Mythos als Dichtung (Zurich 1936) 33–36. The Cypria’s version of Palamedes’ murder is, however, presupposed by a scene on the Nekyia Krater (New York 08.258.21: ARV 2 1086.1: LIMC Ac 7), that artifact so memorably described and analysed by Paul Jacobsthal (“The Nekyia Krater in New York,” Metropolitan Museum Studies 5 [1934]: 117–145, in particular 125–130; cf. W. Felten, “Attische Unterwelts-Darstellungen des 6 und 5 Jh. v. Chr.,” Münchener Archäologischer Studien 6 [1975]: 83–94). On the upper zone of the reverse of this “record of what Periclean Athens believed about the future life” (Jacobsthal, 130) we behold “the arch-trangressors, Theseus and Pirithous, and beside them the βιαιοθάνατοι” (132), just as the lower zone depicts the punishment of sinners against the gods. Among the βιαιoθάνατοι feature Elpenor, Ajax, and Meleager, and to their right a character who approaches alone the palace of Persephone (represented by two columns) within which the goddess herself sits on a throne (fig. 6 in Jacobsthal). The man approaching this building has his himation tied round his waist like a workman (Jacobsthal, 128n58 gives parallels): he leans upon his oar with his right hand and further supports himself by clasping one of the above-mentioned columns. As Jacobsthal sensitively puts it (128), his face, “turning out of the picture, has a look of suffering and privation.” All these accompanying features, not least the last, are explained and put into perspective by the accompanying label, which identifies the figure as Palamedes, [9] appearing here for the first time in pictorial art, and clearly fresh from death by drowning. “This version is evidently taken from the Cypria,” says Jacobsthal (128), although we should be cautious about the precise relationship between poem and artifact: more accurate to say that the latter presupposes the version used by the former (cf. page 51 above). Palamedes sat playing backgammon with Thersites on Polygnotus’ Delphic Nekyia (Pausanias X 31.1 = LIMC s.v. “Palamedes” A c 8) and Plato Apologia 41A mentions Palamedes together with Telamonian Ajax as mythical instances of undeserved death.

F21 Scholion on Iliad XVI

Σ Τ I liad XVI 57 (4.172 Erbse)

〈πόλιν εὐτείχεα πέρσας [scil. unde Achilles Briseida cepit]〉· τὴν Πήδασον οἱ τῶν Κυπρίων ποιηταί, αὐτὸς δὲ [cf. I liad II 690 sq.] Λυρνησ(σ)όν [suppl. Allen]. σημειωτέον δὲ τοῦτο πρὸς τὸ “δῶισι πόλιν Τροίην εὐτειχέα”, ὅτι οὐ μόνον Τροία εὔτειχος.

The poet of the Cypria says the city [where Briseis was taken prisoner] was Pedasus, while Homer himself says it was Lyrnessus.

eadem dicunt τινες ap. Eust. Il. 77.30 sqq. (1.123 Van der Valk)

Proclus Chrestomathia: κἄπειτα ἀπελαύνει τὰς Αἰνείου βόας, καὶ Λυρνησσὸν καὶ Πήδασον πορθεῖ καὶ συχνὰς τῶν περιοικίδων πόλεων.

Then Achilles drives away the cattle of Aeneas and sacks the towns of Lyrnessus and Pedasus and all of the adjacent cities.

Several passages in the Iliad (collected by Page, History and the Homeric Iliad [Berkeley 1959] 170n67) presuppose a series of events in which Achilles chases Aeneas down from Mount Ida, carries off the cattle he was guarding, and then sacks Lyrnessus and Pedasus (on the likely identity and whereabouts of which cities see Page, 143–144). It was from the former of these cities that Achilles, as represented by Homer, took Briseis captive. Note in particular Iliad II 688–670: κεῖτο γὰρ ἐν νήεσσι ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς, | κούρης χωόμενος Βρισηΐδος ἠϋκόμοιο, | τὴν ἐκ Λυρνησσοῦ [ἐν Λυρνησσῶι Zenodotus ap. Σ Α ad loc. (1.325 Erbse)] ἐξείλετο πολλὰ μογήσας, | Λυρνησσὸν διαπορθήσας καὶ τείχεα Θήβης) and XVI 56–57, where Achilles refers to κουρήν, ἣν ἄρα μοι γέρας ἔξελον υἷες Ἀχαιῶν | δουρὶ δ᾽ ἐμῶι κτεάτισσα, πόλιν εὐτείχεα πέρσας. But according to our fragment, the city was Pedasus. The phrasing of Proclus’ summary seems deliberately to sidestep this discrepancy between Iliad and Cypria, by failing to make it clear that Briseis and Chryseis were from the states just mentioned. This would be consistent with the revised function of the summary as an introduction to the Iliad with all the original contradictions smoothed away.

Some scholars have sought to deny the discrepancy. But Kullmann (1960:207) is surely right to dismiss as perverse an interpretation of our fragment which concentrates on the participle πέρσας: the scholion is not merely stating that in the Cypria Achilles did not sack Lyrnessus, and Proclus’ summary has not ironed out the contradiction presupposed by this approach. Equally perverse, I fear, is Uvo Hölscher’s notion, advanced in his review of Kullmann (Gnomon 38 [1966]: 121–122), that the continuation in Σ Τ (σημειωτέον δὲ τοῦτο, κτλ.) cures all: the divergence between Cypria and Iliad, on this interpretation, relates to the use of εὐτείχης discussed in the continuation, and the Cypria is mentioned because it wrongly applied that epithet to Pedasus rather than (in the Homeric manner) to Lyrnessus. But this section of the scholion is clearly marked off by the particle δέ as a second and separate point. Hölscher’s attempt to evade the contradiction will not do.

Proclus Chrestomathia: καὶ Tρωίλον φονεύει.

And Achilles kills Troilus.

Apollodorus Epitome 3.12: Ἀχιλλεὺς ἐνεδρεύσας Tρωΐλον ἐν τῶι τοῦ Θυμβραίου Ἀπόλλωνος ἱερῶι φονεύει (Achilles lies in wait and kills Troilus at the temple of Thymbrean Apollo).

A narrative of considerable significance lies behind these starveling summaries. On the evidence of art and literature see G. Danek, “Troilos und Lykaon: Ein Beitrag zur Intertextualität Homers,” in Geistes-, sozial- und kulturwissenschaftlicher Anzeiger 5 (2016): 20–34, with useful bibliography. For the evidence of art see further LIMC s.v. “Troilus” VII 1, pp. 959–960 and note M. Robertson, “Ibycus, Polycrates, Troilus, Polyxena,” Bulletin of the Institite of Classical Studies 17 (1970): 11–15. According to Σ Iliad XXIV 257 b (5.567 Erbse), οἱ νεώτεροι related the story of Troilus fleeing on horse only to be caught up with by Achilles on foot. Severyns (1928:306–307) took this for a reference to the Cypria’s version, so that we can infer another instance of our poem’s use of unHomeric features, that hero’s supernatural fleetness of foot (cf. Griffin 1977:40 = 368) as well as the mean ambushing of a helpless victim. For the possibility that Achilles’ killing of Troilus at Apollo’s temple lies behind that god’s antipathy to Achilles in the Iliad, though the explicit motivation is omitted, perhaps like the Judgment of Paris (pages 71–72 above), see my article “The Judgment of Paris and Iliad Book XXIV,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 101 (1981): 60. On the other hand, there is a tradition (Plautus Bacchides 959–960; Servius on Vergil Aeneid II 13 (2.317 ed. Harvard); cf. M. Robertson, “Laomedon’s Corpse, Laomedon’s Tomb,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 11 [1970]: 23–26) that Troy’s survival depended on three talismans: the preservation of the palladium; the inviolability of Laomedon’s tomb; and the life of Troilus. The first of these folktale features played its part in the Epic Cycle (Little Iliad fr. 9) and, if the Cypria made use of the last, Achilles’act perhaps becomes less reprehensible. However, this tradition is, as Danek stresses (p. 29), only attested in late authors (Servius is merely quoting Plautus). See further the commentary on F27 below.

F22 Eustathius

Eustathius Il. 119.4 (1.184 Van der Valk)

ἱστοροῦσι δέ τινες ὅτι ἐκ τῶν Ὑποπλακίων Θηβῶν ἡ Χρυσηὶς ἐλήφθη, οὔτε καταφυγοῦσα ἐκεῖ, οὔτ᾽ ἐπὶ θυσίαν Ἀρτέμιδος ἐλθοῦσα, ὡς ὁ τὰ Κύπρια γράψας ἔφη, ἀλλὰ πολῖτις ἤτοι συμπολῖτις Ἀνδρομάχης οὖσα.

cf. Σ bT Il iad I 365 (1.109 Erbse): εἰς Θήβας δὲ ἥκουσα ἡ Χρυσηὶς πρὸς Ἰφινόην τὴν Ἠετίωνος ἀδελφὴν, Ἄκτορος δὲ θυγατέρα, θύουσαν Ἀρτέμιδι, ἥλω ὑπὸ Ἀχιλλέως.

Some relate that Chryseis was taken prisoner from Hypoplacean Thebes and that she had not taken refuge there or gone to a sacrifice to Artemis, as the author of the Cypria states, but was a member of the city or a co-member with Andromache.

Cf. Apollodorus Epitome 3.33: αἱρεῖ δὲ [scil. Ἀχιλλεύς] καὶ Θήβας Ὑποπλακίας.

On this fragment see in particular Van der Valk 1963:96–97. He and, for instance, Severyns (1928:305–309) point out the correspondence between the version here attributed to the Cypria (ἡ Χρυσηὶς ἐλήφθη … ἐπὶ θυσίαν Ἀρτέμιδος ἐλθοῦσα) and the account contained in Σ bT Iliad I 365 (1.109 Erbse) whereby Athena forbids Achilles to capture the city of Chryse, εἰς Θήβας δὲ ἥκουσα ἡ Χρυσηὶς πρὸς Ἰφινόην τὴν Ἠετίωνος ἀδελφὴν, Ἄκτορος δὲ θυγατέρα, θύουσαν Ἀρτέμιδι, ἥλω ὑπὸ Ἀχιλλεύς. Σ bΤ in general draws upon excellent mythographic sources (cf. Van der Valk 1963:97n51), including the cyclic epics, and it may be that the Cypria supplied this particular detail.

As for the other two explanations of Chryseis’ presence in the relevant city, Van der Valk may be right to suggest that they were actually “invented by the critic who compiled” this particular note. He points out (1963:97) that such a rejection of a version attested by an early author in favor of an explanation purely personal to the annotator himself can be paralleled in the practice of Porphyrius. On the relationship between the Cypria’s and the Iliad’s references to Chryseis see Kullmann 1960:287–288 (esp. 288n1). He rejects A. Heubeck’s suggestion (Der Odyssee-Dichter und die Ilias [Erlangen 1954] 99) that “Die Kyprien … suchen im Anschluss an [Iliad I 366] das Dilemma zu erklären, wieso Chryseis nicht im ihrer Heimat Chryse, sondern in Thebe erbeutet wurde.” Those of us who do not share Kullmann’s constant wish to prove the Iliad’s dependence upon the Cypria may be more ready to accept the pleasingly simple solution offered by Heubeck’s approach. We have here an early example of the motif of the vulnerability of young girls attending festivals.

F23 Pausanias

Pausanias X 26.1 (3.150 Rocha-Pereira) de Polygnoti Iliuperside

ἐπὶ δὲ τῆι Κρεούσηι λέγουσιν ὡς ἡ θεῶν μήτηρ καὶ Ἀφροδίτη δουλείας ἀπὸ Ἑλλήνων αὐτὴν ἐρρύσαντο· εἶναι γὰρ δὴ καὶ Αἰνείου τὴν Κρέουσαν γυναῖκα· Λέσχεως [Ilias Parva fr. 22] δὲ καὶ ἔπη τὰ Κύπρια διδόασιν Εὐρυδίκην γυναῖκα Αἰνείαι.

On the subject of Creusa, they say that the mother of the gods and Aphrodite rescued her from slavery under the Greeks. For Creusa was in fact the wife of Aeneas. But Lesches and the epic Cypria give Eurydice as Aeneas’ wife.

The earliest attested mentions of Aeneas’ wife give her the name Eurydice. And not only the earliest: Ennius Annales fr. xxix (37 Skutsch) knows her by that name too. For a list of the authors who employ the later and more familiar tradition whereby she is called Creusa see R. G. Austin’s commentary on Aeneid II (1964) p. 288, and O. Skutsch on the Ennian fragment cited above. Creusa is generally regarded as the daughter of Priam: whose daughter Eurydice was supposed to be we have no evidence to say. On the important but insoluble problem of when Eurydice was replaced by Creusa see Davies and Finglass on Stesichorus fr. 110. Rzach (2383.41–44 [
11] ) supposes the context of the present fragment to have been Aphrodite’s selection of Aeneas to accompany Paris on his visit to Sparta (see page 94 above). In fact the Cypria may have had cause to mention Aeneas’ wife on any number of occasions.

Proclus Chrestomathia: Λυκάονα τε Πάτροκλος εἰς Λῆμνον ἀγαγὼν ἀπεμπολεῖ.

Patroclus takes Lycaon and sells him into slavery at Lemnos.

This is clearly preparation for Lycaon’s future reappearance in the Iliad. Note, however, that there are two slightly divergent accounts in that epic: in XXI 71–79 he tells Achilles “you captured me and sold me to Lemnos”; at XXIII 744–749 the poet mentions a silver mixing bowl given to Patroclus as ransom for Lycaon. See Ø. Andersen, “The Making of the Past in the Iliad,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 93 (1990): 36–37, concluding that “the more broadly attested version [i.e. Iliad XXI’s] is the more likely” version, with XXIII’s adapted to suit its context’s stress on Patroclus. Note also his warning (37) against attempts such as Kullmann’s (1960:293–297) to construct a consistent version by way of “the present passage of Proclus’ summary, and thereby establish a version with Patroclus acting as Achilles’ agent” and receiving the bowl on his behalf. On Lycaon’s parallels with Troilus as a son of Priam who falls victim to Achilles see G. Danek, “Troilus und Lykaon: Ein Beitrag zur Intertextualität Homers,” in Geistes-, sozial- und kulturwissenschaftlicher Anzeiger 5 (2016): 34–40.

Proclus Chrestomathia: καὶ ἐκ τῶν λαφύρων Ἀχιλλεὺς μὲν Bρισηίδα γέρας λαμβάνει, Χρυσηίδα δ’ Ἀγαμέμνων.

And from the spoils of war Achilles takes Briseis as booty prize and Agamemnon takes Chryseis.

This is the most obviously abject example of preparation for the Iliad’s plot.

On the death of Palamedes, which comes next in Proclus’ summary, see pages 178–180 above. I have transposed it there in order to achieve proximity to the tale of the Oinotropoi, with which some scholars have associated it.

Proclus Chrestomathia: καὶ Διὸς βουλὴ ὅπως ἐπικουφίσηι τοὺς Τρῶας Ἀχιλλέα τῆς συμμαχίας τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς ἀποστήσας.

And the plan of Zeus as to how he may lighten the burden of the Trojans by causing Achilles to withdraw from the Greek alliance.

The relationship of the Διὸς βουλή at the end of the Cypria to the Διὸς βουλή (a) at the start of the same poem; (b) at the start of the Iliad, is extremely problematical: see in particular Kullmann, “Ein vorhomerisches Motiv im Iliasproömium,” Philologus 99 (1955): 167–192= Homerische Motive 11–35 and 1960:210–211, who usefully surveys the available solutions, even if his selection of what seems the most plausible may not convince everyone. Note also the more recent contribution of J. Marks, “The Junction between the Cypria and the Iliad,” Phoenix 56 (2002): 2.

Welcker (2.149) noted the different aims of the Διὸς βουλή at the end of the Cypria and the start of the Iliad: in the first, Zeus wishes to help the Trojans and therefore has Achilles revolt; in the second, Zeus wishes to honor Achilles and therefore supports the Trojans. Besides, Welcker complained, how could Zeus have a plan for Achilles and the Trojans at the end of the Cypria, before Achilles has been insulted and Thetis has supplicated Zeus? Kullmann (1960:210) agrees with this stance. But the likeliest interpretation of the Διὸς βουλή in Cypria F1.7 sees it as a recasting in a tendentious manner of the Διὸς βουλή of Iliad I 5, and a similar process may have been at work at the end of the Cypria. Kullmann’s reluctance to consider the Cypria as the later of the two epics has a deleterious effect on his understanding of the relationship between the two initial passages of the relevant poems (see pages 4–6 above). In the present place too, I feel, he is led to a perverse preference for the third of the possibilities outlined above: the unknown tradition, independent of the Iliad, is that employed by the Aethiopis. In this, as restored by Welcker, Achilles will have retired from battle in pique over the στάσις engendered by Thersites’ death, and will have returned only when stung to action by the killing of Antilochus. Is this not fully consistent with the Cypria’s Διὸς βουλή ὅπως ἐπικουφίσηι τοὺς Τρῶας Ἀχιλλέα τῆς συμμαχίας τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς ἀποστήσας?

It may well be. But since the reconstruction of the Aethiopis just outlined is utterly speculative and totally without evidence to support it, only those who share Kullmann’s morbid fear of a post-Iliadic Cypria will prefer (iii) to (i) or (ii). And (i), as we have seen above, is a perfectly feasible hypothesis, not devoid of parallels. Still, we lack the evidence definitively to choose between it and (ii).

The issue of how early epics closed is anyway a fraught one, even when the epics in question are extant. Thus R. Renehan, “The Early Greek Poets: Some Interpretations,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 87 (1983): 14 writes, with particular reference to the variant ending of the Iliad which anticipates the arrival of Penthesileia (see Davies, Aethiopis, 90), “It is well known that the epic poets and rhapsodes could conclude one poem with one or more verses that lead directly into a new theme in a way which implies a new topic to come.” See in general S. West, “Terminal Problems,” in Hesperos (M. L. West Festschrift [Oxford 2007]) 3–21, esp. 4–7 on Homer. Cf. page 188n18 below.

Proclus Chrestomathia: καὶ κατάλογος τῶν τοῖς Τρωσὶ συμμαχησάντων. [13]

Several scholars have been disturbed at this item, Bethe [14] in particular (“Proklos und der epische Kyklos,” Hermes 26 [1891]: 611, cf. 1929:212). He noted the similar catalogue in an analogous position in Apollodorus Epitome 3.34–35, observed how that catalogue is identical with the catalogue of Trojan allies in Iliad II 816–877, deduced that the catalogue mentioned by Proclus will have been similarly identical with the Iliad’s, and (not surprisingly) rejected the possibility of so otiose and pointless a repetition. Conclusion: Proclus’ claims to represent the Cypria’s contents are unreliable, here as elsewhere. But there are any number of different ways to avoid the possibility rightly rejected by Bethe. In the first place [15] , Apollodorus’ catalogue can be employed in a mode less drastic than Bethe’s to re-enforce Proclus’ credibility. For in the mythographer this catalogue is prefaced by ἐννεαετοῦς δὲ χρόνου διελθόντος παραγίνονται τοῖς Τρῶσι σύμμαχοι … Now if in the Cypria too the Trojans’ allies did not arrive until nine years of war had passed, the position of the κατάλογος in Proclus’ summary is easily explained. Other features too become coherent on this supposition. For instance (i) we understand why, after the Greeks had set siege to their city, the Trojans failed to sally forth and attempt to drive away their enemy: having as yet no allies on the scene they were too weak. [16] (ii) Likewise it is implausible to picture the Trojan allies, having arrived on the scene near the start of hostilities, as sitting idly within Troy for some nine years doing nothing. (iii) The arrival of the Trojan allies fits extremely well with Achilles’ withdrawal from battle, which in Proclus’ summary immediately precedes the reference to the catalogue of Trojan allies. In this way the Greeks unexpectedly suffer a weakening from two sources at a crucial moment in the war. Scholars have for once waxed enthusiastic over the effectiveness of the conjunction thus contrived: they call it “eine glückliche Erfindung” or “eine gute Idee des Kypriendichters.” [17]

As for the relationship between the Cypria’s catalogue and that in Iliad II 816ff., those numerous scholars who allege that one must be spurious are likely to be right. But we need not therefore join the ranks of Bethe (see page 187 above) and others in assaulting the former’s authenticity and with it the testimony of Proclus. On the contrary, Jacoby seems to me to have decisively established the alternate view “dass der Kypriendichter den troischen Katalog in der Ilias nicht vorfand.” Granted that the Cypria so often draws upon the Iliad for its motifs (see pages 6–7 above) and took care (see pages 131–133 above) not to repeat its model’s Greek catalogue, then Proclus’ mention of the Cypria’s κατάλογος would appear to be evidence that the Iliad contained no such item. And let us remind those who scent a circularity in the argument that there is a variety of evidence pointing independently to the status of Iliad II 816–884 as a late interpolation.


[ back ] 1. Kannicht on Euripides Helen 99 argues that Lycophron’s references to Helen’s five husbands (143–146) involve an allusion to the Cypria’s scene. But although Achilles must be one of the husbands, Lycophron may have been thinking of their union on Leuce (see further Davies, Aethiopis, 76–77 and Hornblower’s commentary).

[ back ] 2. Cf. Kullmann 1960:279–282.

[ back ] 3. For a more recent exposition of these difficulties (from an analytic viewpoint and with full bibliography) see H. van Thiel, Iliaden und Ilias (Basel/Stuttgart 1982) 143–181.

[ back ] 4. Compare Μενέλαος σὺν Ὀδυσσεῖ καὶ Ταλθυβίωι πρὸς <Kινύραν> … ἐλθόντες συμμαχεῖν ἔπειθον at Apollodorus Epitome 3.9 (see page 129 above).

[ back ] 5. This may be the same tradition as implied by Apollodorus Epitome 3.10, where a short account of Anius’ daughters sits rather disjointedly between a reference to the visit paid by Menelaus and Odysseus to Cinyras and a list of the Greek forces which assembled at Aulis for the first expedition: cf. Wagner 1891:184–185.

[ back ] 6. The hypothesis is enthusiastically adopted by Kullmann, “Probe des Achaierheeres in der Ilias,” 261 = Homerische Motive 47, because it neatly fits his reconstruction of the end of the Cypria: Achilles restrains the Greeks, who are in a state of revolt due to famine: this famine is ended by the dispatch of Palamedes to fetch the daughters of Anius.

[ back ] 7. A further derivation from the verb τράπειν (Preller-Robert 1.677) seems unlikely.

[ back ] 8. The present fragment is therefore connected with a hypothetical λίμος by Kullmann (1960:224): see page 176n6 above and Marin, “Le Enotrope, Palamede.”

[ back ] 9. Actually the identifying tag reads Ταλμεδες, a patent error for Παλαμήδης. Τελαμεδες seems to be a mistake for a further mythical hero (Pylades this time) on a second vase painting: see LIMC s.v. “Telamedes” VII 1, p. 852.

[ back ] 10. Kullmann has no independent proof of the Iliad’s dependence on the Cypria for this episode. His suggestion that the passages mentioning Briseis’ capture are too detailed to be Homer’s invention (208–209: “Bei Personnen, die frei erfunden sind, erwartet man keine ‘nachträgliche Exposition’ ”) is not self-evidently true, and anyway does nothing to prove his case.

[ back ] 11. Presumably taking his lead from Welcker’s suggestive paraphrase (2.91) of Proclus: “Aphrodite heisst den Aeneas mit ihm zu schiffen—dessen Weib Eurydike hiess—…,” etc.

[ back ] 12. As for (a), Kullmann 1960:225 suggests that the Διὸς βουλή at the end of our epic was linked to that at the beginning because Achilles’ withdrawal would prevent any premature cessation of the war, a cessation that would be incompatible with Zeus’ plan to decimate mankind.

[ back ] 13. Welcker’s conjecture συμμαχησόντων (2.156–157) was intended as “eine prophetische Verkün-digung,” anticipating such later allies as Rhesus (in Iliad X) and his Thracians, Penthesileia and her Amazons or Memnon and his Ethiopians (the Aethiopis), and Eurypylus together with his Mysians (the Ilias Parva), and also including those allies recently arrived from nearer lands. It was motivated by Welcker’s belief that the Cypria must have used the Iliad as source and thus would not wish to reduplicate Iliad II 816–877. But a catalogue so curiously concerned with personages and events lying beyond the scope of its poem would be as unique as anything in ancient literature (cf. U. Hölscher, review of Kullmann 1960 in Gnomon 38 [1966]: 121 against Kullmann’s revival of a similar idea [1960:169–171]; cf. page 186 above) and Iliad II as utilized by the Cypria may have lacked 816–877: see Jacoby 1932:611n4 = 1961:100n6, rightly deeming Welcker’s idea “unmöglich.”

[ back ] 14. For the general attitude of Bethe as thus exemplified see page 93 above.

[ back ] 15. The following points are made by Wagner (1891:252–253 [cf. his article “Die sabbatischen Apollodorfragmente,” in Rheinisches Museum 46 (1891): 403–404]). Most of them are also made by Jacoby (1932:612n1 = 101n107) without reference to the first of the two contributions of Wagner cited above.

[ back ] 16. It may not be irrelevant to note that those versions of Palamedes’ death which involve a Phrygian slave (cf. Robert, Heldensage 1133) have that slave allegedly carrying gold to Sarpedon overseas, who thus cannot have yet been present at Troy.

[ back ] 17. So, respectively, Wagner, “Die sabbatischen Apollodorfragmente,” 403–404, who notes the absence of any such conjunction in Homer, and Jacoby 1932:612n1 = 101n107 ad fin., who suggests Iliad II 130–141 (Agamemnon complains of ἐπίκουροι | πολλέων ἐκ πολίων … | οἵ με μέγα πλάζουσι καὶ οὐκ εἰῶσ᾽ ἐθέλοντα | Ἰλίου ἐκπέρσαι εὖ ναιόμενον πτολίεθρον) as the Cypria’s inspiration. Note too Achilles’ boast at Iliad IX 352–354 (ὄφρα δ᾽ ἐγὼ μετ᾽ Ἀχαιοῖσιν πολέμιζον | οὐκ ἐθέλεσκε μάχην ἀπὸ τείχεος ὀρνύμεν Ἕκτωρ, | ἀλλ᾽ ὅσον ἐς Σκαιάς τε πύλας καὶ φηγὸν ἵκανεν), a passage cited by Wagner.

[ back ] 18. The interesting speculations of J. S. Burgess, “The Non-Homeric Cypria,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 126 (1996): 77–100 about the poem’s original ending and the catalogues mentioned above have such far-reaching implications for the Cycle as a whole as to require the separate study I plan (see page x above).