The Cypria

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

Appendix 3. The Suitors of Helen and the Cypria

On the general issues of catalogues of Helen’s suitors in Greek literature and early poetry’s knowledge of the tradition of the oath sworn by these worthies, see Davies and Finglass on Stesichorus fr. 87. Our particular concern here is with the question of whether the Cypria exploited the device of the oath and produced a catalogue of the suitors. Kullmann, who feels sure that the Iliad presupposes the oath on several occasions, thinks that the Cypria’s catalogue can be recovered from the list of suitors at Apollodorus Bibliotheca III 10.8. The majority of scholars (bibliography in Kullmann 1960:138n3) have by contrast presumed that Apollodorus represents an arbitrary and late abbreviation of the catalogue of Greek forces in Iliad II 484–759 [1] (of Apollodorus’ thirty-one names, four are additions to the Iliadic catalogue, which contains nineteen not in Apollodorus).


[ back ] 1. Certainly the source of most other lists of the Greek forces at Troy (Apollodorus Epitome 3.11–13, Hyginus Fabula 97, etc.).

[ back ] 2. Since they die in the Iliad. In fact the validity of this fact as a criterion for Homeric innovation is dubious: see Page, review of Kullmann 1960, Classical Review 11 (1961): 206–207.

[ back ] 3. As witness Kullmann’s uneasy attempts (1960:104–118). Most of the individuals involved are exceedingly unimportant.