A Californian Hymn to Homer

  Pepper, Timothy, ed. 2011. A Californian Hymn to Homer. Hellenic Studies Series 41. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_PepperT_ed.A_Californian_Hymn_to_Homer.2011.

6. Skillful Symposia: Odyssey ix, Archilochus Fr. 2 West, and the Οἶνος Ἰσµαρικός

Timothy Pepper

The Origins of Objects

Local Wines, Panhellenic Reputations

To understand the importance of particular types of wine in aristocratic Greek culture, it is first necessary to travel to the sands of Egypt—or rather, nowadays, to the vaults of the British Museum. The cultural importance of the names of wine and the need to differentiate between them are most apparent in a rather simple letter (published as P.Lond. VII 1948) written by a man named Glaucias to his superior Apollonios, finance minister of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, on May 5, 257 BCE. Glaucias had been sent to inspect an estate under the management of a certain Melas in Bethanath in the Galilee, and he concludes the description of his visit in the following way (lines 8–9): ἔγευσεν δὲ με καὶ τοῦ οἴνου, ὃν οὐ διέγνων πότερον Χῖός ἐστιν ἢ ἐπιχώριος. καλῶς οὖν ποιεῖς εὐκληρῶν κατὰ πάντα (“He gave me a taste of the wine too, and I could not discern whether it was Chian or local. [3] You’re doing well, then, fortunate in everything”). We see that the origin of a wine could conjure up specific associations, as the Chian here is associated with a standard of excellence against which the Galilean wine measures in taste. [4] In case we are ready to discount the associations with certain wines as the product of Alexandrian labeling and canonization, we need only look to an Athenian stele from 414/3 BCE, chronicling the auction of the property of the profaners of the mysteries of 415, among whom most famously was Alcibiades. One of the items listed is ἀμφορε̃[ς] … Χῖο[ι] (“Chian amphoras”) [5] —and it is difficult to doubt the good taste of Alcibiades and his companions. [6]

pepper fig1

Figure 1. Mendean (front) and Chian amphoras. The Chian amphora on the left represents the last of the bulbous-necked amphoras from Chios; the one on the right the first of the straight-necked ones. Courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, after Grace 1961: Fig. 43.

Figure 2. Jars from Lesbos from the early and late fifth century BCE, of dark grey clay. Courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, after Grace 1961:fig. 52.

We find a clue in a scholion attributed to Aristotle, in which he discusses why Menelaus is said to have many women captives yet is never portrayed as sleeping with them (Aristotle fr. 144 Rose). Aristotle explains the potential difficulty in the Iliad’s representation of Menelaus’ continued acquisition of these unused captive women by means of a comparison: ἐπεὶ οὐδὲ τὸν πολὺν οἶνον εἰς τὸ μεθύειν παρεσκευάσατο (“since neither had he kept at hand the large amount of wine for getting drunk”). [8] He formulates the concept as εἰς γέρας, as opposed to εἰς χρῆσιν, terms perhaps best translated here as ‘symbolic capital’ and ‘productive capital’, respectively (οὐκ εἰκός … εἰς χρῆσιν εἶναι τὸ πλῆθος τῶν γυναικῶν, ἀλλ’ εἰς γέρας; “it is not reasonable that the large number of women were productive capital, but instead [they were] symbolic capital”). [9] In other words, the captive women’s status as Menelaus’ symbolic capital is made clear by analogy with wine’s place as a carrier of social prestige and political value. Aristotle considers wine’s value as a signifier of social capital obvious enough that it can be used as the primary example and need not be explained to his audience. The container, the wine jar, would be the natural place to indicate the cachet of the wine within it—but what exactly could a simple jar say about its owner?

Strangely enough, an anecdote relates how a wine jar could mold the identity of a polis. According to Athenaeus (XI 784c), when the Macedonian King Cassander founded the eponymous colony of Cassandreia, the sculptor Lysippus created a new type of wine jar by comparing a wide range of other cities’ jars and copying elements from all, creating a “Pan-Hellenic” jar for the popular Mendaean wine that was being exported from there. In fact, the wine jars of many cities have seals bearing the same iconography as the local coinage. More important, these seals are in relief rather than inset from pressing a coin into wet clay, and therefore were made from special stamps that often appear to have been made by a craftsman, perhaps working from the same seal that provided the model for coin dies (figs. 3, 4, and 5).


Figure 3. Chian coin (3a) and jar stamp (3b), third quarter of fifth century BCE. Courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, after Grace 1934: pl. I.1, and Grace, 1961: fig. 49.


Figure 4. Thasian coin (4a) and jar stamp (4b), ca. 400 BCE. Courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, after Grace 1961: figs. 27 and 28.



Figure 5. Rhodian jar stamps (a, b) and coins (c), third century BCE. Courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, after Grace 1961: figs. 23-25.

These coinlike stamps on wine jars are more explicable if we consider a passage from Aristotle’s Rhetoric (1375b7). There, a juror is likened to a “tester of silver” (ἀργυρογνώμων) who distinguishes “true justice” (τὸ ἀληθὲς [δίκαιον]), and coinage is equated with “the unchanging and eternal principle of equity, nature, and authenticity” (Kurke 1999:318–319). If we look to the changes in wine measures (see fig. 6) and coins on the island of Chios in the 430s BCE, we can see that this association between coinage and authenticity could both legitimate wine jars and in turn be legitimated by them.

Figure 6. Cross sections of Chian jars from the fifth century BCE. The jar on the lower right has an increased capacity to match the Attic chous unit.
Courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, after Williams 1978:18, fig. 5.

The final types of Chian bulbous-necked amphoras (fig. 6, lower right) had an increased capacity as an adjustment to the Attic khous unit, but turned out to be commercially unviable and were replaced in the late 430s with a long, thin jar of different shape but the same capacity (see fig. 1). The stamps on the earliest of the new jars were modeled after Chian didrachm coinage. However, when the didrachm coinage of Chios itself was replaced by tetradrachms and drachms (before 429/8), the new straight-necked jar on the new drachm coinage simultaneously replaced the bulbous-necked jar portrayed on the didrachms (Mattingly 1981:78–80). The fact that coinage and amphora design could authenticate each other suggests the importance of authentic wine to the identity of the polis, protected in places like Thasos by laws such as one that prohibited the importation of foreign wine in Thasian amphoras to a section of the mainland and even the sale of small amounts of wine from large vessels (see IG XII Supp. 347 and Osborne 1987:105).

This equation of polis-identity with wine appears in one case to have been used as a convenient shorthand, if we believe a story from Aulus Gellius (XIII 5). When Aristotle had to choose a successor between Theophrastus of Lesbos and Eudemus of Rhodes, he asked the students to procure a Lesbian and a Rhodian wine. When it came time to taste these wines, he remarked, “utrumque oppido bonum, sed ἡδίων ὁ Λέσβιος” (“both are really good, but the Lesbian is sweeter”). Gellius explains, “id ubi dixit, nemini fuit dubium quin lepide simul et verecunde successorem illa voce sibi, non vinum delegisset” (“when he said that, no one doubted that with those words he had agreeably and tactfully chosen his successor, not his wine”). What, then, can the οἶνος Ἰσμαρικός mean for Homer and Archilochus?

In the Cave of the Cyclops

The Ismaric wine makes its first appearance in a digression in Odysseus’ story of his adventures on the Island of the Cyclopes in Book 9 of the Odyssey. In exchange for Odysseus’ protection during the raid against the Ciconians (related earlier in lines 39–61), Maron, identified as the son of Euanthes and a priest of Apollo, gives οἶνον ἐν ἀμφιφορεῦσι δυώδεκα (“wine in twelve jars,” ix 204). Not only does the number of jars match the number of ships that set out with Odysseus on his nostos, but Telemachus too orders his nurse to fill twelve jars of the wine second only to that reserved for Odysseus’ homecoming (ii 349–353) when he sets out to find his father. As in Telemachus’ case, where the filling of the jars is known only to him and the nurse (ii 356), knowledge of Maron’s wine is also restricted to only certain important members of the household (ix 206–207). This is real nostos-wine, for it incapacitates the Cyclops and allows Odysseus to blind him, and Odysseus wryly indexes its powers when he explains his reason for letting the Cyclops taste his wine: εἴ μ’ ἐλεήσας / οἴκαδε πέμψειας (“in case you might pity me and send me home”; 349–350). Odysseus’ use of Maron’s wine here, however, is not just a simple trick on a nature-demon figure, as Walter Burkert (1991:12) suggests, but a proto-sympotic exchange of sorts.

          Ὣς ἐφάμην, ὁ δὲ δέκτο καὶ ἔκπιεν· ἥσατο δ’ αἰνῶς
          ἡδὺ ποτὸν πίνων καὶ μ’ ᾔτεε δεύτερον αὖτις·
355    “Δός μοι ἔτι πρόφρων, καί μοι τεὸν οὔνομα εἰπὲ 
          αὐτίκα νῦν, ἵνα τοι δῶ ξείνιον, ᾧ κε σὺ χαίρῃς·
          καὶ γὰρ Κυκλώπεσσι φέρει ζείδωρος ἄρουρα
          οἶνον ἐριστάφυλον, καί σφιν Διὸς ὄμβρος ἀέξει·
          ἀλλὰ τόδ’ ἀμβροσίης καὶ νέκταρός ἐστιν ἀπορρώξ.”
360    Ὣς ἔφάτ’, αὐτάρ οἱ αὖτις πόρον αἴθοπα οἶνον.
          τρὶς μὲν ἔδωκα φέρων, τρὶς δ’ ἔκπιεν ἀφραδίῃσιν.
          αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ Κύκλωπα περὶ φρένας ἤλυθεν οἶνος,
          καὶ τότε δή μιν ἔπεσσι προσηύδων μειλιχίοισι·
          “Κύκλωψ, εἰρωτᾷς μ’ ὄνομα κλυτόν; αὐτὰρ ἐγώ τοι
365    ἐξερέω· σὺ δέ μοι δὸς ξείνιον, ὥς περ ὑπέστης.
          Οὖτις ἐμοί γ’ ὄνομα· Οὖτιν δέ με κικλήσκουσι
          μήτηρ ἠδὲ πατὴρ ἠδ’ ἄλλοι πάντες ἑταῖροι.”
          Ὣς ἐφάμην, ὁ δέ μ’ αὐτίκ’ ἀμείβετο νηλέϊ θυμῷ·
          “Οὖτιν’ ἐγὼ πύματον ἔδομαι μετὰ οἷς ἑτάροισι,
370    τοὺς δ’ ἄλλους πρόσθεν· τὸ δέ τοι ξεινήϊον ἔσται.” 
          Ἦ καὶ ἀνακλινθεὶς πέσεν ὕπτιος …

[353] When I had spoken, he took the cup and drank. He was extremely delighted with drinking the sweet wine, and he begged me for yet another cup. “Be so kind,” he said, “as to give me some more, and tell me your name at once, so I may give you a guest-gift that you will be glad to have. To the Cyclopes too the fruitful earth bears fine wine, which the shower of Zeus nourishes, but this is a distillation of nectar and ambrosia!” [360] I then gave him another cup of sparkling wine; three times did I give it to him, and three times he drank it down without thought; then, when the wine had got to his head, I said to him with soothing words: “Cyclops, do you ask my glorious name? I will tell it to you, then; but give me, then, the present as you promised. My name is Nobody; Nobody my father and mother and all my friends have always called me.” [368] As soon as I had spoken, he answered with an unpitying heart, “Then I will eat the others beforehand, and will keep Nobody after his friends for the last. This will be your parting gift.” [371] Then a deep sleep took hold upon him as he fell back …

Odyssey ix 353–371

Odysseus’ gift of wine is couched in the language of the proper order of offerings later formalized from drinking ritual in the Classical symposium—each of the tastes is offered as a libation (λοιβή), of which there are three (τρίς, 361), as in every well–ordered symposium. [10] According to the scholiast to Pindar Isthmian 6 (at 4 and 10a Drachmann), there are customarily three libations: to Zeus (in some cases with Hera), the heroes (sometimes with Earth), and Zeus the Savior. [11] Polyphemus’ words further enhance the connection with libation, for he speaks of the Cyclopes’ wine coming from the earth (ἄρουρα, 357) and the rain of Zeus (Διὸς ὄμβρος, 358). The third libation, to Zeus the Savior, literally saves Odysseus, for it is that draught that overpowers the Cyclops and pushes him into a deep sleep. Of course, Odysseus behaves rather unusually for a sympotic guest by blinding his host. Yet the events of the encounter (or at least Odysseus’ rhetoric in telling it) and logic of the rituals of consumption support him. The libations are consumed by his host rather than going to, among others, Zeus, who is responsible for protecting the guest-host relationship. [12] Further, Polyphemus promises what turns out to be an empty guest-friend gift (ξεινήϊον, 370, picking up on ξείνιον in 356), in contrast to the valuable gift that Maron has given to Odysseus and the wine that the Phaeacians will supply when he embarks on his way home (xiii 69). Odysseus’ success in controlling and ordering proto-sympotic ritual with the Cyclops stands in marked contrast to his earlier failures in Book 9 [13] —his failure to rescue his men from indulging in drink [14] and being unable to flee a subsequent Ciconian attack, and his failure at stopping his men from taking part in the feast of the Lotus-eaters and being unable to leave. [15] Though it would be excessive to call Odysseus’ entire interaction with Polyphemus an unmitigated success, his control of this part of their encounter with Maron’s wine allows him to avoid the Cyclops’ real threat of physical violence. The Ismaric wine, then, is emblematic of the proper ordering of guest-host interactions between Odysseus and Maron. It is the same proper observance that Odysseus, the teller of the tales, conducts with his well-ordered Phaeacian hosts and with the humble Eumaius, [16] and it foreshadows Odysseus’ later role in imposing his order on the drunken revelry of the suitors. [17] But what light can this Maron himself throw on his wine?

Maron’s abode is given as a “wooded grove” (ἄλσεϊ δενδρήεντι, ix 200), which may lead us to wonder whether a connection to a local hero cult may be suppressed by the text in accordance with the conventions of epic. [18] In fact, Eustathius (ad Odyssey ix 30) notes that Strabo records a “hero-shrine” (ἡρῷον) to Maron at Ismaros (said to be either a city near Maroneia, the colony Maron “founded,” or identical with it). The evidence for the form of this cult is found in rather late yet informative sources, which appear to preserve local traditions parallel to those of Homeric epic. [19] Philostratus (Heroicus 17.2) says that Maron is “seen by the farmers” (ὁρᾶται τοῖς γεωργοῖς) around Ismaros. Though the detail may at first not seem very helpful, heroes in hero cults are said to make epiphanies, and γεωργεῖν is used of the devotees of Protesilaus at Heroicus 2.8 (see Nagy 2001:xxvi–xxvii). Just as plants “breathe out” (ἀναπνεῖν) fragrance in the presence of Protesilaus in Heroicus 3.3, Maron is said to “breathe out” sweetness and the smell of wine in his epiphanies. The fragrance of the hero’s presence is possibly adduced at Odyssey ix 197, where Maron is said to be the son of Euanthes (Εὐάνθεος υἱός)—literally, ‘sweet-blooming’. [20] Further, Maron holds himself aloof from the monetary economy, keeping his wine buried beneath the earth (κατορωρυγμένον, 1.4) [21] rather than selling it.

Diodorus Siculus offers other testimony for Maron’s possible place within cult. He names him as a companion of Osiris skilled in “vine-cultivation” (τῆς μὲν περὶ τὴν ἄμπελον φυτείας; I 18.2). Later we meet him in Thrace, after Osiris has killed the barbarian king Lycurgus, as the “overseer of the plants there” (ἐπιμελητὴν τῶν ἐν ταῦτῃ τῇ χώρᾳ φυτευομένων) and the founder of Maroneia (κτίστην … τῆς ἐπωνύμου πόλεως; both Diodorus Siculus I 20.2).

Maron’s name does not derive merely from the colony [22] he supposedly founded, [23] but ultimately from μάρη, meaning ‘hand’. [24] Maron’s name, then, is connected with his attributes as a cultivator of vines and regulator of nature. In addition to his characteristics in Diodorus, Philostratus describes Maron as “planting and pruning” (φυτεύοντά τε καὶ κυκλοῦντα, 17.2), thus creating “sweet wine” (ἡδυοίνους) to enhance the symposium. He is the opposite of the savage (ἄγριον, Odyssey ix 215) Polyphemus, and it is his proper use of cultivation and exchange that allows Odysseus to master his situation. Like the similarly named Chiron the Centaur, [25] Maron is a figure who bridges culture and the natural world by controlling both through a type of expertise. Philostratus sums up that expertise best by calling Maron καλός τε καὶ ἁβρός (17.2). Paired with καλός, ἁβρός is a positive term, [26] and it fills out the picture of a hero whose cultural power is exercised on the level of non-monetary gift-exchange and performed with the paraphernalia of the symposium. Any hero-cult substrate to Philostratus’ account would likely predate the entrance of ἁβρός and its compounds into the Greek language (cf. Kurke 1992:93 with n6). Yet we see concepts later attached to the constellation of ἁβροσύνη already in Odysseus’ encounter with Polyphemus and in Odysseus’ talismanic use of Maron’s wine to control an opponent who does not recognize the aristocratic rituals of gift-exchange or of civilized conviviality.

“I fight sleep”

Archilochus fr. 2 West

The anaphora in the repeated ἐν δορί (‘on/in my spear’) provides much of the structure and grammatical interest in the fragment, and as such this phrase has attracted the most scholarly comment. Between its two occurrences in the hexameter and its reappearance in the pentameter a grammatical shift takes place: the clauses shift from nominal clauses to a clause with the finite verb πίνω. [32] A number of different translations are possible for ἐν δορί, with the preposition being spatial (‘on’), metaphorical (‘in [the power of]’), instrumental (‘with’) [33] or referential (‘in respect of’, i.e. ‘on guard duty’) [34] in its first two iterations; and with δόρυ itself able to be translated as ‘spear’, ‘ship’, [35] or even ‘stocks’. [36] The most subscribed-to interpretation of the phrase, suggested by Campbell, connects it with a Mycenaean vase that depicts soldiers carrying small bags or knapsacks on their spears. [37] To claim that Archilochus had any access at all to Mycenaean art is a dangerous assumption, particularly when the soldiers depicted carry shields shaped differently from a hoplite one, whose loss is the focus of fr. 5 West. [38] Such interpretations assume that his lyric poetry is primarily an exposition of personal experience, and that he reports “events” much like the filings of a war correspondent would. [39] Yet once we remember that the spear is the weapon not only of the Homeric hero, but the hoplite soldier as well, may we realize that this fragment is dealing with a deeper juxtaposition of archaic Greek ideologies?

Given that the Homeric and the hoplite warrior both fight with the spear yet themselves form programmatic points of contrast for Archilochus, [40] we may be tempted to read the μᾶζα μεμαγμένη (“kneaded barley-cake”) at the end of the first clause as such a point of juxtaposition of high and pedestrian. The everyday nature of μᾶζα (Amouretti 1986:123–126) would provide an implicit contrast with the heroic stature of the Ismaric wine in the next clause. Though μᾶζα has been commonly thought to be a porridge, like Circe’s kykeon in Odyssey x 234, [41] Aristotle Problems 21 929b11 makes it clear that it was an unbaked cake formed from liquid ingredients and ground parched barley, somewhat like the Tibetan pag cake made from tsampa (parched barley flour). The combination of μᾶζα with the full force of the perfect participle μεμαγμένη, however, is far more significant than may first appear at a casual reading, for Archilochus is engaging with a proverbial phrase. Glosses on μᾶζα μεμαγμένη and the related μεμαγμένον βίον indicate that the phrase is used “for the good things that are ready at hand” or, in the words of the scholiast to Aristophanes’ Knights, for “accomplishment” (κατόρθωμα). [42] In the Knights, the phrase is used to describe the victory that the Paphlagonian Slave (Creon) steals away from Demosthenes at Sphacteria, and Theodorus Metochites uses the expression in a similar way. [43] In this phrasing, then, the μᾶζα μεμαγμένη is anything but humble. Further, note that in each case the preparer of the μᾶζα is different from the person who enjoys it. Though the grammar of the first clause can follow the same pattern, with μοι serving as a dative of possession, its prominent positioning in an alliterative sequence offers the possibility of reading the pronoun as a dative of agent. Much as fr. 114 West upends preconceived notions of military excellence, Archilochus characterizes himself as simultaneously enjoying a place of privilege and creating it for himself. To belabor a proverbial phrase in English, he is having his cake and eating it too.

Beyond μᾶζα’s proverbial associations, however, it has important military ones as well, as it is mentioned along with wine as being supplied to the second ship sent after the Mytilenean Debate (Thucydides III 49.3). This pair of consumables was provided when soldiers and sailors did not have the opportunity to prepare their own food, but Archilochus’ portrayal of himself within this situation nevertheless draws on language associated with the elite. What he consumes is simultaneously supplies used in pressing need, with even the Ismaric wine being local—according to Harpocration (s.v. Στρύμη), both Philochorus and Archilochus himself report that the Thasians are fighting the inhabitants of Maroneia—and items that have strong associations with the elite and the heroic. As we saw in the previous section, the cult figure of Maron is strongly tied to the Ismaric wine, which itself can provide a talisman of the well-ordered, elite symposium. If we look to Athenaeus, he characterizes epic as depicting two entirely separate types of symposia (V 177b): τούτοις δ’ ἀντέθηκε [ὁ ποιητὴς] τὰ μὲν [συμπόσια] ἐπὶ στρατιᾶς, τὰ δὲ τὰ πολιτικώτερον τελούμενα σωφρόνως (“To these things [the symposium of the Phaeacians] [the Poet] has contrasted the [symposia] on a military expedition against those conducted more civically in a moderate way”). It becomes apparent that Archilochus is mixing both these symposia within this fragment while juxtaposing the trappings of the elite and the “middling” life. [44] The final clause of the short couplet makes that fusion even stronger.

The last clause of fr. 2 West, πίνω δ’ ἐν δορὶ κεκλιμένος (“and I drink reclining on my spear”) may at first appear to be simply a serious breach of military discipline, much in the style of the leaving of the shield in fr. 5 West. The Demosthenic Against Conon (54.3) provides testimony that drinking on duty could go unpunished in Athens in the fourth century, so it is a dangerous assumption to restrict our commentary to this aspect alone. The key word here is κεκλιμένος, which is used of reclining at a symposium, on a couch or κλίνη (Bowie 1986:18 with n27). The poem on Gyges, King of Lydia, already shows Archilochus engaging with connections between Greece and the East—where the custom of reclining adopted by the Greeks originated, and with which the practices of ἁβροσύνη [45] became closely connected. Just as the criticism there is couched in the persona of Charon the Carpenter, [46] Archilochus’ incorporation of sympotic practice is tied to his self-characterization. [47] If we take Clay’s suggestion that the archaic Parian Totenmahl relief, depicting a hero seated on a couch with a spear suspended above him, represents “a quotation in marble” of fr. 2 West, [48] we may even posit that Archilochus is to some extent taking for himself, through the references to Ismaric wine and reclining, the heroic position of Maron as the cultivated arbiter of the refined and potentially orientalizing symposium. Ismaric wine may evoke its careful cultivation, but Maron’s power must be taken on Archilochus’ terms: through rations and guard-duty, firmly within the frame of hoplite tactics. On Maron’s own home turf Archilochus expropriates the elite position of Maron the colony founder for his self-characterization as the colonist moving to a better life—reflected in the biographical tradition of Critias fr. 88 B 44 D-K, which claims that Archilochus left Paros διὰ πενίαν καὶ ἀπορίαν (“on account of poverty and dire straits”). [49] Such repurposing of elite sympotic practice is not entirely unattested, [50] but the degree of his appropriation is remarkable. Like Maron, Archilochus can embellish a Greek symposium at the edge of the Greek world with his refined song, and his later veneration in hero cult implies its artistic success. [51]

Maron at the End

Although the Ismaric wine of Maron survives in name only twice in archaic Greek literature, each of these isolated references integrates with a larger civic discourse of wine and its consumption. As a product that was important to political identity, wine was invested with great cultural meaning. In the case of Ismaric wine, the connection with Maron and the founding of a new polis, the colony, over foreign opposition looms large. Perhaps the placement of Maron’s shrine, at one of the ends of the Greek-speaking world, on the edge of Thrace, made it an attractive middle-term for the notional cultivation and exploitation of colonization. Both Odyssey ix and Archilochus’ fr. 2 West offer a slightly different take on the usefulness of Ismaric wine, but both keep the essential terms of cultivation in the colonial symposium. As the narrative on the founding of Cassandreia and the “Cassandreian” jar shows, sympotic trappings were not solely a private affair, but important to public life as well. The symposium and the consequent ingredients of wine and song were not only an important sphere for culture, but also an essential staging ground for colonial and polis identity.


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———. 2002. “Early Excavations at Pergamon and the Chronology of Rhodian Amphora Stamps.” Hesperia 71.3:295–324.

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[ back ] 1. My warmest thanks to Mark Griffith, Jonathan L. Ready, Margaret Foster, Nathan Arrington, and Leslie Kurke for their invaluable feedback on earlier versions of this paper, and to Greg Nagy for his indefatigable help and encouragement. The next specific attestation of Ismaric wine occurs in Virgil (Georgics II 37), though in Euripides Cyclops 141 Odysseus identifies the wine he carries as “the draught Maron gave me.” See below for Maron’s association with Ismaric wine.

[ back ] 2. Athenaeus’ citation of Archilochus fr. 2 West (I 30f [epitome]) even hints that no strong textual link exists. The quotation immediately follows on the assertion that Archilochus “compared Naxian wine to nectar”—if there were a strong connection between fr. 2 West and Odyssey ix, we would expect that Ismaric wine would be included there as well, since the Cyclops himself makes such a comparison (in ix 359; see below).

[ back ] 3. Elsewhere in the Zenon papyri, an account of importation expenses (P.Cair. Zen. I 59012.17–19, 22–24; May–June 259 BCE) and two porterage accounts (P.Cair. Zen. I 59013.2, 5; 59014.2; both after May–June 259 BCE) record earlier shipments of Chian and Thasian wine to Apollonios. We can thus justly assume that Glaucias is evaluating the wine for Apollonios, and not merely expressing some rhetorical trope.

[ back ] 4. In Vita W of the Life of Aesop (no earlier than the first century CE), Aesop compares his lowly appearance and sharp intellect to a jar of wine: οὐδ’ εἰς τὴν ἀρετὴν τῶν κεραμίων σκοπεῖν δεῖ, ἀλλ’ εἰς τὴν ἔνδοθεν τοῦ οἴνου γεῦσιν (“one must not look at the excellence of the jars, but to the taste of the wine in them” [88]—there are similar sentiments at 26 and 88 in Vita G, though in 88 a πίθος is used as for comparison instead of the smaller κεράμιον). Despite Aesop’s emphasis on taste as the standard (perhaps related to the sort of wine counterfeiting that Pliny describes in Natural History XIV 16–17 [18–20]?), the fact that his companions needed correcting suggests that the origin of a jar was important to the majority of Greeks, as we will see further below.

[ back ] 5. IG I3 422.18–20 = Pritchett 1953:250, Stele II, column I, lines 18–20.

[ back ] 6. For other examples of Chian’s supremacy among wines, see also Hermippus fr. 77 K-A (mid to late fifth century BCE, from Athenaeus Ι 29e [epitome]): τοῦτον ἐγὼ κρίνω πολὺ πάντων εἶναι ἄριστον / τῶν ἄλλων οἴνων μετ’ ἀμύμονα Χῖον ἄλυπον (“this [Thasian] I judge the best of all wines by far after blameless, painless Chian”—thanks to Margaret Foster for the reference), Aristophanes fr. 225.3 K-A (as the drink of choice of the dissolute brother in the Banqueters, from Athenaeus XI 484f and XII 527c) and fr. 334.2 K-A (one of two wines forbidden by the women in the second version of the Thesmophoriazusae, from Athenaeus I 29A [epitome]), and Machon 266 with Gow ad loc. (Chian wine, along with Thasian, among items brought by Diphilus as a generous contribution to a dinner and symposium held at the house of the hetaira Gnathaena). Unfortunately, IG I3 422 is broken where the price of the amphoras would be given. Plutarch’s pricing of an amphora of Chian wine in fifth-century Athens at the fabulously high price of one mina (Moralia 470f) may very well be an exaggeration, as it is reported in the complaint of one of Socrates’ associates about high prices there. Lawall 2000, in his survey of graffiti on amphoras from the Athenian Agora, finds prices for Chian wine ranging from possibly 14 drachmas on the low end up to 28 or perhaps 52 drachmas per amphora (15, 31, 33, 42, 52). He notes, however, that price marks are relatively scarce and most likely from wholesale transactions outside of Athens, though the strong representation of Chian jars among those with graffiti argues for frequent decantings from them and consequently for their popularity (80–81).

[ back ] 7. Grace and Savvatianou-Pétropoulakou 1970:319. Lawall 2002:308–309 has questioned Grace’s interpretation of the amphora stamps as evidence of Rhodian occupation of Knidos. Even if such is the case, the production of these Rhodian-like amphoras, along with an autonomous mint that produced coins adapted to replace light Rhodian coinage (Reger 1999:89n47), instantiates the close political cooperation between the cities (see Lawall 2002:308nn82–83 for references).

[ back ] 8. Fr. 144 Rose (from Athenaeus XIII 556e); attributed to Aristotle’s Homeric Questions.

[ back ] 9. Ibid. For the slippage of these two categories in Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (formulated by Wohl as the “economy of commodities” and the “economy of agalmata”) through the use of Helen as “universal equivalent,” see Wohl 1998:83–91, with 85 and 229n12, which connect the place of Helen in the symbolic economy with her status as prize in agōnes.

[ back ] 10. It is thus more than an “emphatic,” “typical number,” as is claimed by de Jong 2001:243. While τρὶς μέν … τρὶς δέ and similar formulations occur elsewhere in Homer (Iliad V 436f., VIII 169f., XI 462f., XVI 702f., XVI 784f., XVIII 228f., XX 445f., XXI 176f., XXIII 817; Odyssey vi 154f., xi 206f., xii 105), they are more than some empty poetic formula. With the exception of Odyssey vi 154f. (in which the OCT reads τρισμάκαρες … τρισμάκαρες), the construction is used of a process that is interrupted by another event (sometimes spelled out as τὸ τέταρτον). The context here, with the requisite libations and the fact that the Cyclops’ fall into drunkenness is preceded by a trading of hexameters (arguably representing a precursor to the practice of singing epic hexameters within the symposium), suggests that sympotic associations or at least the practices that developed into the symposium would not have been lost on the audience.

[ back ] 11. Euripides’ Cyclops 316–346 has the Cyclops mentioning Earth and Zeus repeatedly at a similar point in the narrative; Euripides is also thinking of the Cyclops’ violation of proper sympotic behavior and its influence on the events here. ἁγὼ οὔτινι θύω πλὴν ἐμοί, θεοῖσι δ’ οὔ, / καὶ τῇ μεγίστῃ, γαστρὶ τῇδε, δαιμόνων. / ὡς τοὐμπιεῖν γε καὶ φαγεῖν τοὐφ’ ἡμέραν, / Ζεὺς οὗτος ἀνθρώποισι τοῖσι σώφροσιν / λυπεῖν δὲ μηδὲν αὑτόν (“I sacrifice to no one except myself—not to gods—and to this belly, the greatest of divinities, since, yes, drinking and eating all day long—this is Zeus for sober men—and to feel no pain oneself”; 334–337)—a somewhat more ironic take on the Cyclops’ disastrous wrongheadedness in dealing with sympotic ritual.

[ back ] 12. The traditions recorded by Athenaeus report similar libations during the feast, after the first taste of meat. Philochorus FGH 328 F 5b (Athenaeus II 38c–d [epitome]) claims libations of unmixed wine are made to Agathos Theos, while Philonides (Athenaeus XV 675b–c) records that they are to Agathos Daimon, who is said to represent “the one who discovered [wine]” (τὸν εὑρόντα: Dionysus for Philonides). Both record the libation to Zeus the Savior after the meal, with Philochorus maintaining that the same cup used during the meal is also used for this libation. Niafas 2000:466–475 connects both of these anecdotes with the cult of Dionysus Orthos and with correct mixing as “the hallmark of civilized behavior in the symposium” (468). Saïd 1979:13 emphasizes that violations of the rituals and codes of hospitality within guest-host encounters in the Odyssey are emblematic of “la transgression des normes sociales et religieuses.”

[ back ] 13. And to the frame with which the narrative Odyssey begins (i 6–10): Odysseus’ failure to hold back and thus to save (ἐρρύσατο) his companions (ἑτάρους), who are uncontrollably and transgressively intent on feasting on the cattle of the Sun.

[ back ] 14. The connection between being unable to control the measure of wine and mortal danger is continued when Odysseus meets Elpenor in the underworld (xi 51–83). In a metaphorical/mimetic replay of the Cyclops episode, Elpenor attributes his death to the fact that ἆσέ με δαίμονος αἶσα κακὴ καὶ ἀθέσφατος οἶνος (“an adverse allotment of a god and immeasurable wine blinded me”; xi 61). For later historical and poetic parallels to uncontrolled wine as a cause of death, see n39 below.

[ back ] 15. If we accept the cultural partition of food into “bread/grain” (σῖτος) and “sauce” (ὄψον), sketched out in chapter 1 of Davidson 1997, the Lotus-eaters represent a (culturally unacceptable and uncivilized) sauce-based diet (the Lotus), a contrast that is made clear in this episode by Odysseus’ men’s taking a meal of grain (ix 87) before setting out to learn “what sort of bread-eating men are on the land” (οἵ τινες ἀνέρες εἶεν ἐπὶ χθονὶ σῖτον ἔδοντες, ix 89). Polyphemus, too, is called “not at all like a bread-eating man” (οὐδὲ ἐῴκει / ἀνδρί γε σιτοφάγῳ; ix 190–191). Compare also Odysseus’ advocacy of a meal before battle in speeches in the Iliad (XIX 155–183 and 216–237) that draw on themes of social reconciliation, contrasted with Achilles rejection of both meal and reconciliation in his speech at XIX 199–214.

[ back ] 16. See xiv 462–467 with Nagy 1999:236–237; Nagy connects the structure of Odysseus’ excuse for telling the story of the cloak with “formalistic excuses” for praise in epinician poetry and notes the similar emphasis of the guest-host relationship within epinician and Odysseus’ appeal (esp. xiv 505). We should note, moreover, that the consumption of wine and the practices of socialization connected with it are said to motivate Odysseus’ epos, at least in Odysseus’ rhetoric, and that Odysseus’ excuse for speaking in xiv 466–467 builds on the idea that wine can lead one to say what is “better left unsaid” (ἄρρητον ἄμεινον).

[ back ] 17. See Mitchell in this volume (pp. 49–74) on atasthalia in the Odyssey, with his summary of Bakker 2005. For more on Odysseus, Alcinous and Arete, and Menelaus and Helen as masters of order and discretion, see Austen 1975:182–200. The suitors are repeatedly represented as engaging in excessive and disorderly drinking: see Louden 1999:38–40. Moreover, at xx 292–298 Odysseus in his disguise as the beggar-guest is received in a manner that recalls his treatment by Polyphemus, as Segal 1994:160 notes. The widely accepted view that Odysseus is motivated by his belly, most influentially espoused by W. B. Stanford, has been rightly rebutted by Worman 2002:101–102 for ignoring the importance of fair apportionment in the characterization of Odysseus in both epic and drama. But in contrast to Worman’s emphasis on Odysseus as apportioner, I believe the salient focus is on his exercise of power in these scenes, whether by force, trickery, or persuasion. His role as the imposer of order is made particularly clear in the exchange just before Odysseus in disguise takes up his bow: the suitor Antinous tries to dissuade him by saying that he is mad from drink (xxi 293–294), and that he should quietly drink his wine (xxi 309b–310). The first suitor to die is Antinous, who is shot through the throat as he raises a cup of wine to his lips, immediately after Odysseus casts off his rags and reveals himself (xxii 1–20).

[ back ] 18. Maron is the only local priest mentioned in the Odyssey (in his case, of Apollo), and the Ismaric wine itself is only one of two local wines mentioned (along with Circe’s Pramnian wine at x 235). For Greek epic’s suppression and transformation of the religious dimension of hero cult, see Nagy 1999:116.

[ back ] 19. Although the temporal spread of the prose sources on Maron is not ideal for giving an outside perspective on archaic Greek poetry, Maclean and Aitken 2001:lxxi, lxxiv with n103 argue for the reliability of Philostratus’ Heroicus for preserving local traditions tied to the epic cycle and hero cult. Diodorus Siculus, who claims to have consulted numerous local histories in Alexandria and Rome, and who appears to draw much of the material in his first book from Hecataeus of Abdera, constructs from his sources a universalist narrative of culture heroes, deified in return for their service to humanity (Sacks 1990:55–82). That local hero cult may be the ultimate source of the information about Maron is strongly suggested by his companion in Osiris’ contingent—Triptolemus, who had a cult in Eleusis (Pausanias I 38.6). Unfortunately, the only extant archaeological evidence for the hero cult of Maron is from the Roman period; see, for example, Reinach 1884:51.

[ back ] 20. The Ismaric wine’s sweet smell in ix 210 also reinforces these traits.

[ back ] 21. This word is also used in Demosthenes 27.53 of a hoard of money for an inheritance, and in Herodotus VIII 36.1 for a plan to protect the sacred property at Delphi by burying it. Thus, we can understand that Maron is protecting his wine from circulating in any way other than gift exchange. The description of this burying comes in a question by the Phoenician about whether the vinedresser must be money-loving (φιλοχρήματος), as he has to deal with the monetary realities of agriculture. When the vinedresser gives the answer that he makes all transactions by barter and has never seen a drachma (Heroicus 1.7), the Phoenician describes the arrangement as a χρυσῆν ἀγορὰν … καὶ ἡρώων μᾶλλον ἢ ἀνθρώπων (“a golden market … and one of heroes rather than of humans”; Heroicus 2.1). For more on the relationship of metals to aristocratic gift exchange, see Kurke 1999:130–171.

[ back ] 22. Ps.-Scymnus of Chios (676–678) makes the claim that Maroneia was colonized by Chios, a connection that perhaps derives from a mythical genealogy. Oenopion, the son of Dionysus and Ariadne (Diodorus Siculus V 79.1, scholia to Aratus 636) and grandfather of Maron (Hesiod fr. 238 West) was said to have founded Chios (Ion fr. 29 West, from Plutarch Theseus 20.2), and had a hero shrine and cult there (Pausanias VII 5.13).

[ back ] 23. Contra Heubeck and Hoekstra 1989:197–198.

[ back ] 24. Fick in RE 28.1911, s.v. Μάρων, 2; compare Old Norse mund (‘hand’) <*mṇt, and Albanian marr (‘hold’) <*mainō (Frisk 1960–1972:2:175). Maron’s name is thus functionally similar to Χείρων, though its precise connotation is unclear because the only attestation of μάρη (Pindar fr. 310 Maehler) comes without a context. Euripides apparently knows of the etymology, as he has Silenus ask whether Maron was ὃν ἐξέθρεψα ταῖσδ’ ἐγώ ποτ’ ἀγκάλαις (“the one whom I once reared in these arms”; Cyclops 142—I thank Mark Griffith for directing my attention to this passage in particular and in general for persuading me to reconsider the value of Cyclops as a source).

[ back ] 25. See the previous note for the similar etymology of the two names. For Chiron as a figure who is a ritual and cultural expert, see Titanomachy fr. 6 Allen; as a figure who bridges the forces of nature and civilization, see Dougherty 1993:154n25 with references. Like Maron, Chiron exerts a positive influence on a colonization narrative in Pindar Pythian 9.39–61 (Dougherty 1993:143–149 and 154n25).

[ back ] 26. See Kurke 1992:91–120 for a full discussion of the later poetic and political implications of the positive and negative uses of the word. Hammer 2004 attacks both Kurke’s “cult of habrosunē” and Ian Morris’s “middling” values (discussed below) for being guided by theoretical structures rather than the evidence. The heart of Hammer’s criticism, however, is that the “multi-vocal” coexistence of sometimes shifting and competing ideologies across the poleis of the archaic period precludes the appropriations of these respective terms by “elite” and “middling” aristocrats. As Kurke 1999:18n48 warns, over-reading this ideological opposition, as Hammer does in his criticism of Kurke and Morris, can make the analysis appear arbitrary and schematic. Though Hammer sees structuralist binaries at the root of Kurke’s and Morris’s readings, a less cherry-picked look at the evidence reveals that reappropriation and negotiation of the ideological terms is frequently the rule, and that the symposium was more often a place to blow off aristocratic steam than a hothouse of rebellion. I agree with Hammer (505) that behavior and habitus are a necessary element for understanding these various contested terms in archaic Greece, but we must not confuse action with discourse.

[ back ] 27. Likewise, in Euripides’ Cyclops 411–415 it is “Hellas” that is said to be bringing the wine to the land of the Cyclopes, who in this telling (unlike in the Odyssey) are ignorant of wine.

[ back ] 28. Or “on my spear” for this and the following clause. See the discussion below, together with nn32–38.

[ back ] 29. Clay 2004:50 with 166n67 asserts that the Suda’s quotation of this poem under the lemma ὑπνομαχῶ is evidence that the poem was originally a skolion, meant to be capped by an improvised response. The Suda’s citation (Υ 441 Adler), however, derives from Synesius’ own quotation of the poem, and the external support Clay cites is not sufficient evidence on its own for the completeness of this fragment.

[ back ] 30. Further, μοι is omitted in the manuscripts of Athenaeus (it was restored by Musurus).

[ back ] 31. Synesius quotes this passage much in the way that spending the night on watch is contrasted with the symposium (and especially lying with one’s fellow soldiers is contrasted with lying with a male lover), as at Bacchylides 1.75–80 and Sophocles’ Ajax 1199–1210. However, Archilochus in fr. 2 is conducting the symposium rather than longing for it. If anything, the battle against sleep should recall the Cyclops, whose loss against it (Odyssey ix 371, and more blatantly martial in Euripides Cyclops 454) has disastrous consequences for him.

[ back ] 32. Clay 2004:51. This change in syntax would argue against the necessity of each instance of ἐν δορί having the same meaning, contra Bowra apud Davison 1960:1.

[ back ] 33. Campbell 1982:142 notes that Hybrias the Cretan in his thematically related skolion (PMG 909 Page, which begins ἐστί μοι πλοῦτος μέγας δόρυ καὶ ξίφος [“I have a shield and a spear as a great source of wealth”]) suggests the preposition should be read as instrumental; a referential reading, however, is also a possibility.

[ back ] 34. Davison 1960:2 notes that this is the sense in which Synesius must understand the preposition.

[ back ] 35. First suggested by Davison 1960:3 and developed by Gentili 1965:129–134.

[ back ] 36. Cf. Anacreon fr. 43.7 Page; it would thus emphasize Archilochus’ mix of high and low values (see below). Since Clay 2004:50 makes a compelling case for the appearance of a spear in the Parian Totenmahl relief as being “a quotation of Archilochus in marble,” I have decided on the “traditional” interpretation of δόρυ for the purposes of my argument. Any number of other meanings (which certainly play a secondary role in any reading), however, do not seriously change my interpretation of the passage.

[ back ] 37. Campbell 1982:142; the vase to which he refers (the “Seven against Thebes” Vase) is illustrated in fig. 9 of Clay 2004:50.

[ back ] 38. A plausible connection is perhaps possible if we accept that ἐν δορί could be punning on the epic ἐν … δοροῖσιν, the leather bags in which barley flour is carried (Odyssey ii 354 and 380). These bags are mentioned at the same place in which Telemachus prepares the wine and other provisions for the Telemachia, and thus are part of the provisions for visiting and exchanging in guest-friend visits. Barley itself appears twice in Homer in symposia, when it is sprinkled on the first cup of wine given to guests (Iliad XI 640, Odyssey x 234–235), and we know from the scholiast to Aristophanes’ Knights (at 55) that μᾶζα is ground barley made into dough. Archilochus need not have been familiar with a “text” of “Homer” to draw this connection, for the formulae or even situations cited could easily have existed far before and independently of any text in an oral-poetic tradition. Yet such a connection remains tentative and provisional at best.

[ back ] 39. See Campbell 1982:136, 142. Hanson 2000:131 implies that Archilochus fr. 2 West is evidence for his assertion that Greek soldiers went into battle “almost” drunk. Despite the astute observations Hanson makes elsewhere in his book, I find this argument completely unconvincing. In the passages he cites as support (Homer Iliad XIV 1–8; Xenophon Hellenica V 4.40–44, VI 2.5–23, VI 4.8–13; Menander Aspis 53–61; Polybius III 72.5–7; Plutarch Dion 30.3–31.1), the midday wine drinking always precedes some military disaster. Hanson defends his view by claiming that “when troops have drunk moderately, such activity merits no mention” (245), a dubious argument from silence. Drinking before battle is much more likely to have been a trope of a poorly disciplined army: their lack of success in battle is due to lack of discipline, which is illustrated by their excesses in conducting an improper “army symposium” immediately before battle. For drink as the cause of death being a part of a later tradition of Hellenistic (literary) epitaphs, see Fantuzzi and Hunter 2004:321–322 with 322n128.

[ back ] 40. See fr. 114 West with Morris 2000:177–178 for a discussion of that poem being programmatic for a “middling” ideology set against an “elite” one; chapter 5 of Morris also gives a more general view of Archilochus’ place in the Greek cultural contestations between “middling” and “elite.” See n26 for a brief sketch of Hammer’s criticism of Morris and a few cautions. One could add in this instance that the contradistinction of the “middling” to the “elite” is one of the linchpins of the “middling” ideology here, even if they actually had more overlap in action than they do in discourse.

[ back ] 41. Amouretti 1986:125n22 draws an analogy with the Tunisian and Moroccan wheat mhamza porridge, but its being kneaded argues for something much thicker.

[ back ] 42. ἐπὶ τῶν ἑτοίμων ἀγαθῶν: CPG I 432 (Appendix III 86); cf. CPG II 39 (Diogenianus III 21), I 7 (Zenobius I 21), I 350 (Gregorius Cyprius I 21), Suda β 293, 295 Adler; scholiast to Aristophanes’ Knights 55. The Tibetan pag takes considerable skill to knead (Norbu and Harrer 1960:26): if it provides a good analogue, it may explain the connection between having a ready supply of a certain food and well-being and accomplishment. The proverbial nature of the phrase could also explain the alternate reading of τοι for μοι in the quotation of fr. 2 in Suda Υ 441 Adler.

[ back ] 43. Since Campbell 1982:143 gives a misleading partial quotation of this difficult passage, it is worth quoting it more fully here. The chapter is describing the consequences of seeking wealth without limitations: καὶ οὐ φίλοις μόνον ἄχρηστος, ἀλλὰ καὶ πολλῷ πρότερον ἑαυτῷ, ὥστε καὶ τελευτᾷν τῆς κακίστης ἐκείνης σπουδῆς, καὶ τῶν ἐχθίστων ἐρώτων ἀλθλιώτατα … , καὶ μάζαν, κατὰ τὴν παροιμίαν, ἑαυτῷ μεμαγμένην ξὺν πολλῷ τῷ πονῷ καὶ ταῖς φροντίσιν ἑτέροις καταλείπειν καὶ παρατίθεσθαι τοῖς πικρὸν ὄμμα καὶ φθονερὸν †τὸν? ?? ??? ????? ?? ??? ?τὸ ἐπ’ αὐτόν τε καὶ τὰ φίλτατα χρήματα διὰ τοὺς αὐτοὺς καὶ παραπλησίους ἴσως ἔρωτας ἐπιβάλλουσι (“[He is] not only useless to his family, but also much before [that] to himself, so as to fulfill the most unhappy consequences of that worst pursuit and the most hateful desires … , to leave behind and to furnish the māza, as the proverb says, kneaded by him with much toil and cares to others who cast a bitter and envious gaze on both him and his most beloved money from the same and perhaps nearly equal desires”; 85 p. 559 Müller). The proverb is focalized on the envious heirs; for them, the wealth they receive will be provided for them just like the μᾶζα μεμαγμένη.

[ back ] 44. P.Oxy. LXIX 4708 represents a more explicit blending of the life of a hoplite soldier with sustained heroic narrative, if one takes Obbink’s suggestions (ii) or (iii) about how the fragments could have fit into a larger narrative (P.Oxy. LXIX 4708 introd).

[ back ] 45. Though the etymology of this word itself is disputed (see for instance Frisk 1960:1.4, 3.16; Chantraine 1968:4–5; van Windekens 1986:1), Kurke 1992:93–94 makes a convincing case for its being connected at least in the Greek imagination with Lydia/the East.

[ back ] 46. Aristotle Rhetoric III 17 1418b28, with Campbell 1982:148.

[ back ] 47. P.Oxy. LXXIII 4952 preserves a fragmentary ancient commentary on Archilochus, which, after discussing the biographical tradition of his being born of a slave-woman (see n49), has the last two lines of the first column end tantalizingly with Ἀρχιλόχου χαρακτῆρα (“the persona of Archilochus”) and πολλοῖς (“for the many”).

[ back ] 48. Clay 2004:48–50, with detail of the spear in plate 18 and overall view of the Totenmahl relief in plate 13.

[ back ] 49. This information comes from Aelian’s report (Varia Historia 10.13) of Critias’ criticism of Archilochus, which consists of blaming Archilochus for giving too much compromising information about himself. Interestingly enough, the criticism is phrased in terms of knowledge of Archilochus’ “low status” (being born of a slave woman, not cultivating friendly ties with the colonists or the Thasians, not speaking any better about friends than enemies, etc.), which Archilochus has needlessly divulged. It concludes that Archilochus has left τοιοῦτον κλέος … καὶ τοιαύτην ἑαυτῷ φήμην (“fame of such a quality and repute of such a quality for himself”). Of course, all this “knowledge” (as far as we can triangulate it) comes from supposedly biographical details that could just as well be part of an Archilochean persona that emphasizes “middling” values. See further Rotstein 2007; Rotstein argues that Aelian’s summary is ultimately from an invective, probably poetic work by Critias that deals with Archilochus, who by contemporary standards at Athens was a favorite of people whom Critias would have regarded as his political opponents. Rotstein also suggests (152) that Critias’ poem could have been delivered at a [suitably counterrevolutionary] symposium!

[ back ] 50. A similar repurposing of ἁβρός can be found in Xenophon’s Symposium, within a speech of Antisthenes (4.44): καὶ μὴν καὶ τὸ ἁβρότατόν γε κτῆμα, τὴν σχολὴν ἀεὶ ὁρᾶτέ μοι παροῦσαν, ὥστε καὶ θεᾶσθαι τὰ ἀξιοθέατα καὶ ἀκούειν τὰ ἀξιάκουστα καὶ ὃ πλείστου ἐγὼ τιμῶμαι, Σωκράτει σχολάζων συνδιημερεύειν (“And, what’s more—and the most ἁβρός possession of all—you see that I always have leisure so as to see things worth seeing, hear things worth hearing, and—what I value most of all—to spend my days at leisure with Socrates”). Since this speech takes place at a symposium, the word ἁβρός as a marker for elite practice plays a role for Socrates here much like the Ismaric wine for Archilochus: as a foil that draws on correct behavior within the symposium yet rejects other values of the “normal” elite symposium. Murray (1991:87–99) describes a similar melding of heroic and hoplite in Spartan elegiac poetry within the historical framework of the extension at Sparta of elite and military rituals of commensality to the civic class of hoplites.

[ back ] 51. For Archilochus in hero cult, see Clay 2004.