Hippota Nestor

  Frame, Douglas. 2009. Hippota Nestor. Hellenic Studies Series 37. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Frame.Hippota_Nestor.2009.

Chapter 11. The Festival of the Panionia and the Homeric Poems

{550|551} §4.20 The Phaeacians, as argued earlier, represent the Ionians in the one context in which they were a single people, namely the celebration of the Panionia. With their love of songs, dances, and banquets, the Phaeacians bring out the festive side of the Ionians, and this is for good reason if they are meant to evoke the Ionians at the celebration of the Panionia. The Phaeacians’ seamanship also fits with the context of a festival, for the Ionians must have come to Panionion (if the festival took place there from the start) primarily by ships.

§4.21 A love of song is the most interesting attribute of the Phaeacians insofar as they represent the Ionians. Demodokos, the blind poet who three times entertains the Phaeacians while Odysseus is their guest, represents this attribute most directly. More significant, however, is Odysseus himself, to whom the Phaeacians listen with rapt attention when he sings the song of his own nóstos. Through four entire books of the Odyssey Odysseus is the poet and the Phaeacians are his audience. Odysseus here represents the Homeric poets, who did the actual singing, and the Phaeacian audience represents the Homeric audience, which did the actual listening. [93] If Odysseus’s Phaeacian audience in fact represents the Homeric audience, I think that we have found the occasion on which the Homeric poems were performed during their formative Ionian phase, namely the festival of the Panionia. This, to repeat, {551|552} was the only occasion on which the Ionians of the dodecapolis, whom the Phaeacians represent, actually came together as one. Among the things that they did there, if the Phaeacians who listen to Odyssey 9–12 are a guide, was to listen to a performance of the Homeric poems.

§4.22 It is no surprise if a panḗguris like the Panionia was the occasion for the performance of such large-scale epics as the Iliad and the Odyssey. Gilbert Murray saw clearly a century ago that these extravagant poems actually demanded a panḗguris in order to be performed. [94] The festival of the Panionia does not emerge into the light of history until the mid-sixth century, when the twelve-city league had already become a defensive alliance faced with enemies that overmatched it. [95] We simply do not know what this league {552|553} did in the latter eighth century and the beginning of the seventh century, before these enemies appeared on the scene. [96] We do know, however, that the Homeric poems were later performed at another festival, the Panathenaia, and it does not seem rash to extrapolate backward from this festival to the Panionia. [97] We also have the earlier evidence of the Delian Hymn to Apollo, which represents itself as the creation of a blind bard from Chios (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 172, τυφλὸς ἀνήρ, οἰκεῖ δὲ Χίῳ ἔνι παιπαλοέσσῃ). The blind bard from Chios is meant to be Homer himself, the supposed ancestor of the Homeridai, rhapsodes who lived on Chios and undoubtedly performed the {553|554} Homeric poems when the Delian Hymn to Apollo was composed. [98] The Delian Hymn to Apollo is thus well aware of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and it is striking how its picture of the blind bard Homer resembles the Phaeacian bard Demodokos; it is more striking still how the Ionians, who are described in the hymn as gathered for a festival on Delos, resemble the Phaeacians: the correspondences include a love of games, dancing, and singing, a godlike grace, swift ships, and great wealth (Homeric Hymn to Apollo 146–155):

ἀλλὰ σὺ Δήλῳ Φοῖβε μάλιστ’ ἐπιτέρπεαι ἦτορ,
ἔνθα τοι ἑλκεχίτωνες Ἰάονες ἠγερέθονται
αὐτοῖς σὺν παίδεσσι καὶ αἰδοίῃς ἀλόχοισιν.
οἱ δέ σε πυγμαχίῃ τε καὶ ὀρχηθμῷ καὶ ἀοιδῇ
μνησάμενοι τέρπουσιν ὅταν στήσωνται ἀγῶνα.
φαίη κ’ ἀθανάτους καὶ ἀγήρως ἔμμεναι αἰεὶ
ὃς τότ’ ἐπαντιάσει’ ὅτ’ Ἰάονες ἀθρόοι εἶεν·
πάντων γάρ κεν ἴδοιτο χάριν, τέρψαιτο δὲ θυμὸν
ἄνδρας τ’ εἰσορόων καλλιζώνους τε γυναῖκας
νῆάς τ’ ὠκείας ἠδ’ αὐτῶν κτήματα πολλά.

But, Phoebus, you delight your heart most of all in Delos,
where the tunic-trailing Ionians gather
with their children and revered wives.
They delight you with boxing and dancing and singing
whenever they hold contests in your memory.
He would say that they are deathless and ageless,
whoever should be present then, when the Ionians are gathered together.
For he would see the grace of all of them, and delight his heart
seeing the men and beautifully-girdled women
and the swift ships and their many possessions. {554|555}

Friedrich Welcker emphasized this passage when he argued that the Phaeacians represent the Ionians of Homer’s time. [99] The resemblance is so great, however, that one may legitimately ask whether the portrayal of Homer and the Ionians in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo was not directly inspired by the portrayal of Demodokos and the Phaeacians in the Odyssey. [100] The Delian Hymn to Apollo, I think, originated close enough in time to when poetry still flourished at the festival of the Panionia to be well aware that the Phaeacians represented this panḗguris, and to use them as the poetic model for a contemporary Ionian festival on Delos. [101] If this argument is correct, the portrayal of the Delia in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo brings us as close in time to the early celebration of the Panionia as we are likely to come, apart from what the Phaeacians reveal about this festival in the Homeric poems themselves.

§4.23 I have already said that, in my view, the Panionia were the occasion for the performance of both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Now I wish to insist on the idea that the performance that took place there was of the two {555|556} poems together, in sequence. I make this claim on the basis of Nestor’s role in the two poems, which, as I have analyzed it, is of a single piece, bridging both poems. Nestor’s role in the story of Patroclus in the Iliad matches his role in the story of Odysseus in the Odyssey, in both substance and style; his role in both cases is based on his twin myth, but in both cases the myth itself is deliberately withheld. This overall congruence cannot be accidental, but must have arisen from a single source. [102] When Nestor’s role as a whole is taken into account, the narrower question of a bridge between the two poems, which I have so far been reluctant to press, takes on a new look. [103] There is in fact good reason to press it. The bridge at issue is the episode in Iliad 8 that seems to allude to events recounted in Odyssey 3: Nestor, Diomedes, and Odysseus play out a drama during the war at Troy that will, with significant role reversals, be repeated after the war has ended and the departing army reaches Tenedos. The drama as it was played out on Tenedos is the main point of Nestor’s account to Telemachus in Odyssey 3; Odysseus broke with Nestor on Tenedos, and this, to judge by Diomedes’ speedy return home, added ten years to Odysseus’s nóstos, the ten years that constitute the Odyssey. We may say that if Odysseus had not broken with Nestor on Tenedos, there would be no Odyssey, and in this sense Odyssey 3 explains why there is a story to tell at all. But Nestor does not say in so many words that Odysseus broke with him; this must be inferred from his account. In Iliad 8 it is the opposite: Odysseus pointedly breaks with Nestor when Nestor is in mortal danger and Odysseus does not heed the call to help him but flees by himself to the ships; this action itself, however, is inexplicable except when seen in the context of Odyssey 3, Nestor’s account of the nóstoi. While the explicit nature of Odysseus’s action at Troy immediately brings to mind his later action on Tenedos, his later action is only implied when the time comes to recount it. The episodes complement each other in this way, and this, I think, reflects an overall design. [104] If we are {556|557} justified in saying that Iliad 8 alludes to Odyssey 3, this means that the two poems coexisted when Iliad 8 was first composed. This conclusion has important implications for the genesis of the Homeric poems, which must have developed, not sequentially, but in tandem. [105]

§4.24 At the Panathenaia in Athens teams of rhapsodes performed the Homeric poems, one rhapsode taking over from another until the performance was completed. [106] We do not know any of the details of these performances: {557|558} the number of rhapsodes involved, the length of individual performances, the number of performances per day, the number of performances overall. [107] At any rate several rhapsodes took part, and we must imagine something of the kind for the Panionia as well, where both poems were, as I have argued, performed together in sequence. But here is the great difficulty. Whereas at the Panathenaia the Homeric poems already existed and had only to be performed in a prescribed order, these poems were, I believe, actually created at the Panionia as they were performed. When I say that the poems were created at the Panionia, I mean more precisely that traditional poems were expanded in repeated performances to the monumental size and complex design that they retained from then on with only relatively minor changes through future generations. [108] But how were the poems expanded in the first place? The explanation for the monumental scale of the Homeric poems to which there is an almost irresistible temptation to run is the technique of writing, which entered {558|559} Greek culture close to the period in question. [109] The idea is, more or less, that a single great poet saw the potential of the written word for expanding traditional poems vastly beyond their inherited limits and so created two monumental epics, which he performed piecemeal here and there as the occasion arose. [110] This model assumes that a poet, trained to compose as he performed before an audience, instead dictated his poetry to a scribe or even wrote it down himself, and was thus able to leave behind a fixed text which others continued to perform as prescribed. It is true that a written text was most likely a feature of the Panathenaic performance of Homer, although not in a simple way. [111] I do not see, however, how a written text, produced as outlined above, could have been performed at the festival of the Panionia. I continue to take as my starting point Murray’s argument (as formulated by Wade-Gery) “that a poem of the length and coherence of the Iliad presupposes a panegyris of some days’ duration,” and I add that such a panḗguris is doubly presupposed if the performance, as I have argued, was of the Odyssey as well as the Iliad. A single poet could not have performed this combined work, and it would be fantastic to imagine one doing so. Did a single poet then train others to help him with the performance? This may be closer to the truth, but I do not think that writing played any part in the process. [112] I suggest that the crucial element was rather the {559|560} Panionic festival itself, which recurred at regular intervals, and thus provided the context for the poems to grow and develop over time: to borrow an image from another art, the regularly recurring festival provided the fixed loom on which the fabric of the two poems was woven. This, I think, was a completely oral process. The problem is to imagine how it took place.

§4.25 In historical times poets who performed at festivals competed for prizes. Poetry, like athletics, was a competition, and at some festivals there were contests in both pursuits. We take the agonistic nature of Greek culture for granted and do not consider any other model, even for the performance of the Homeric poems by rhapsodes at the Panathenaia. But does it not seem strange that the arena in which these rhapsodes competed, namely the performance of the Homeric poems, in the end produced a highly collaborative effort? I think that we must allow for the element of collaboration, however un-Greek it may seem at first, in the creation of the Homeric poems at the Panionia. The Panionic league itself was a collaboration of twelve cities, and I think that the Homeric poems served this collaboration. [113] We can hardly know how the poetic collaboration would have started, but surely a great poet was involved. This poet, I think, stood closest to Miletus, and thus knew all the traditions of the Neleids, Nestor’s traditions above all. But I imagine that there was something spontaneous about the collaboration when it began, and so I think in terms of two great poets, each firing the imagination of the other. This second poet perhaps came from a different city of the league, perhaps Priene. Then too a third great poet could have been present from the start, perhaps from Colophon. What every one of these aoidoí could do, to judge by modern parallels, was to hear a song once and perform it as he heard it. Thus they would have listened to each other as they took turns developing and expanding traditional songs before an audience at the Panionia. Presumably the greatest poet among them was recognized as such by his peers, and this poet had the greatest influence on the development of the poems, but this too was a matter of degree: each of the poets would have been listened to as he contributed to the emerging design of the epics. And what were these epics? There had long been poems about a war at Troy, and some of these may already have been developed on a considerable scale by individual poets. I imagine that the poetic collaboration at Panionion {560|561} began with one such poem about Troy, namely the poem that featured the anger of the Thessalian hero Achilles. The tale of Odysseus was probably less developed when it too was incorporated into a combined performance at the Panionia. The poem about Odysseus was therefore more thoroughly shaped by the collaborative process than was the more traditional poem about the war at Troy. [114] If we ask which of the poets was responsible for making a poem about a nóstos the companion piece to a poem about the war at Troy, this must have been the poet from Miletus, for he knew all the epic traditions of Néstōr, who was the very personification of the nóstos tradition. This same poet would also have developed Nestor’s role in the Iliad as we know it.

§4.26 As the poems took shape and established themselves at the center of the Panionia more poets may have been added to the effort. In the earlier stages of the poems’ development the league itself may still have been in the process of development. The principle that evolved, I think, was that each city of the league should be represented in the collaborative effort, and that as new cities were added to the league the number of poets grew. In the end the league reached its canonical number of twelve cities, and at this point, I think, the number of poets who took part in the recurring performance of the Homeric poems was also, ideally, twelve.

§4.27 The number of books in the Homeric poems is a multiple of twelve, and this fact, I think, may reflect the final stage that the poetic collaboration reached. [115] It is not immediately clear how the book divisions would {561|562} have corresponded to performance. [116] I think that the Odyssey, which at the start was probably less evolved than the Iliad, and which was therefore more thoroughly shaped by the process of poetic collaboration, offers a clear indication, especially in the first half of the poem. This half of the Odyssey breaks naturally into three segments of four books each: the Telemachia (1–4), the Phaeacian books (5–8), and the adventures of Odysseus (9–12). Now four books multiplied by twelve, the ideal number of poets at the Panionia, gives forty-eight books, or the complete Iliad and Odyssey. Can the rest of the Odyssey and the Iliad also be broken into four-book segments, and were these the basic units of performance? To consider the second question first, a four-book unit of performance is in fact suggested by Odysseus’s performance in Odyssey 9–12, if this performance is regarded as the ideal epic performance. But four books are a very long performance for one oral poet to judge by modern parallels, where the usual performance is closer to one book of Homer in length. [117] Even for the hero Odysseus, who can be expected to surpass mortals of a later day in this pursuit as in others, the performance is long, for he proposes to end it and go to sleep part way through his third book. I suggest that four books are indeed the basic unit of performance, but in the sense of a single sitting rather than of a single singer: I think that the singers alternated book by book (thus it took four different singers to tell the story told by Odysseus alone); each singer, ideally, would still have sung four books of the combined Iliad and Odyssey, but not in sequence. As for the order in which the poets performed, we can imagine any number of ways in which that order might be determined, and indeed the basic principle here, I think, was flexibility. The indispensable requirement to become one of the twelve poets would have been the ability to perform the entire Iliad and Odyssey even as the two poems continued to evolve; parts could thus change among singers {562|563} from one performance to the next, and probably would have done so. But the best poets surely kept control of the process, and if parts of the poems needed further development, the best poets would have undertaken to develop them in performance, and all would have taken note of the new state of the song. One poet was doubtless regarded as the best of all, and that poet would have exercised the greatest influence over the ongoing development of the poems. The poems would have continued to be refined further and further by this process as long as it continued.

§4.28 A performance, in the sense of a sitting, would have been devoted to a single segment of the story. Can the Homeric poems in fact be broken up into a series of four-book segments? The test is to see if we can determine a simple narrative purpose, within the overall narrative purpose of each poem, to each such four-book segment, for each individual performance (i.e. each individual sitting) must have had its own story to tell. [118] For the Odyssey the four-book scheme fits perfectly, for each of the poem’s resulting six segments has its own rather simple story to tell. [119] Books 1–4 begin with Telemachus in Ithaca and take him as far as Sparta in search of his father. Books 5–8 begin with Odysseus on Calypso’s island and take him as far as the Phaeacians, with whom he engages. In Books 9–12 Odysseus tells the Phaeacians how he once got from Troy to Calypso’s island, where he stayed until his release only shortly before. In Books 13–16 Odysseus and Telemachus both return to Ithaca and are reunited; this segment ends when father and son, now reunited, go to sleep in the swineherd’s hut. In Books 17–20 Odysseus, known only to his son, enters his own palace and meets with his own wife. In Books 21–24 Odysseus slays the suitors and reclaims his wife and kingdom. Each of these segments is well defined and thus well suited for a separate performance, each performance perhaps taking place on a separate day. Odysseus gives his own four-book performance after an evening feast, and we might also imagine this at the festival of the Panionia. With a performance of four books each evening the Odyssey would have taken six days to complete.

§4.29 A second test to decide whether the six segments can be separated from each other by intervals between performances is to look more closely at the junctures between the segments. Ideally a segment should reach the end of its own theme and prepare the way for the next segment’s theme; in some cases this preparation for the next segment might involve suspense in {563|564} order to raise the audience’s expectations for the next night’s performance. Books 1–4 end with Telemachus in Sparta, and here there is indeed suspense, but it is long-range suspense: the narrative will not return to Telemachus in Sparta until Book 15, which is in the fourth segment of the poem and thus three days off in terms of performance. We might say that here the audience is left in suspense not for the sake of the next night’s performance, but for the sake of the poem’s overall development. In Books 5–8 Odysseus takes center stage, and enormous suspense is raised at the end of Book 8 when Alcinous asks Odysseus why he weeps when he hears of Troy. Alcinous’s final question to Odysseus is whether he lost some companion “equal to a brother” at Troy. This, I think, was a significant question to leave not only for Odysseus to answer in the next performance, but also for the Homeric audience to ponder in the interval before the next performance. [120] The next segment begins with Odysseus’s reply to Alcinous, in the course of which he reveals his identity and proceeds to tell his whole story. The opening of Book 9 is the reply to a question at the end of Book 8, and it thus follows the end of Book 8 without any break in terms of narrative time. But for this very reason a pause—a highly dramatic pause—would be effective; thus I think that the next performance, after a day’s interval, could well begin: “Odysseus spoke to him in reply” (Odyssey 9.1–4): {564|565}

τὸν δ’ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη πολύμητις Ὀδυσσεύς·
“Ἀλκίνοε κρεῖον, πάντων ἀριδείκετε λαῶν,
ἦ τοι μὲν τόδε καλὸν ἀκουέμεν ἐστὶν ἀοιδοῦ
τοιοῦδ’, οἷος ὅδ’ ἐστί, θεοῖσ’ ἐναλίγκιος αὐδήν.”

Answering him very wily Odysseus said:
“King Alcinous, most exalted of all your people,
this is a fine thing, to listen to a singer
such as this one is, like the gods in voice.”

All that need be remembered from the previous performance for these lines to open the next performance is that Alcinous asked Odysseus why he weeps at the mention of Troy. The audience already knows the answer to this question; they only need to hear Odysseus himself say it—indeed they are waiting to hear him say it. The long delay in Odysseus’s revelation of his identity, which has continued throughout the latter half of the second performance (Books 7 and 8), would be reinforced by the break before the beginning of the third performance, and such added suspense seems entirely appropriate. [121] Odysseus’s speech is in many ways the centerpiece of the Odyssey, and {565|566} it needs to be closely connected both with what precedes it and what follows it. This has to do with his Phaeacian audience in both cases. The power of Odysseus’s story is such that after it his Phaeacian audience is spellbound (Odyssey 13.1–4):

ὣς ἔφαθ’, οἱ δ’ ἄρα πάντες ἀκὴν ἐγένοντο σιωπῇ,
κηληθμῷ δ’ ἔσχοντο κατὰ μέγαρα σκιόεντα.
τὸν δ’ αὖτ’ Ἀλκίνοος ἀπαμείβετο φώνησέν τε·
“ὦ Ὀδυσεῦ….”

So he spoke, and they all fell into a hushed silence
and were held by a spell in the shadowy hall.
And then Alcinous anwered him and said:
“O Odysseus….”

If a pause in performance followed Odysseus’s story these lines at the beginning of the next performance may at first seem to lack a point of reference. I suggest instead that the phrase ὣς ἔφαθ’, “thus he spoke,” was enough to evoke the entire performance of the previous evening, and that the new opening, as it continues, gives expression to the spell that must have been cast over the Homeric audience itself in the interval since the previous performance; the Homeric audience would thus find itself mirrored by the Phaeacian audience, and this effect too, I think, was by design insofar as the Phaeacian audience represented the Homeric audience. I have already commented that at the end of the next four-book segment (the fourth segment) Odysseus and Telemachus, reunited in Ithaca, fall asleep in the swineherd’s hut (Odyssey 16.481); this brings to a fitting conclusion the reunion of father and son that is this segment’s basic theme. The next segment begins with the dawn of a new day, which lasts through more than three of this segment’s four books. [122] By the end of this segment, in which the disguised Odysseus enters his palace and meets with his wife, the suitors have insulted Odysseus as they insulted {566|567} Telemachus at the beginning of the poem, and the seer Theoklymenos, foreseeing the suitors’ doom, has left the palace (Odyssey 20.363–372). This segment ends on a note of high suspense, as the suitors prepare a feast, and the poet comments that sweet as this feast was none could have proved less pleasing for the suitors (Odyssey 20.390–394):

δεῖπνον μὲν γὰρ τοί γε γελώοντες τετύκοντο
ἡδύ τε καὶ μενοεικές, ἐπεὶ μάλα πόλλ’ ἱέρευσαν·
δόρπου δ’ οὐκ ἄν πως ἀχαρίστερον ἄλλο γένοιτο,
οἷον δὴ τάχ’ ἔμελλε θεὰ καὶ καρτερὸς ἀνὴρ
θησέμεναι· πρότεροι γὰρ ἀεικέα μηχανόωντο.

They laughed as they prepared their meal,
which was sweet and satisfying to the spirit, since they had slaughtered many animals.
But no other meal would in any way be less pleasing than the one
which the goddess and the strong man were about to
make; for the suitors were first to devise unseemly deeds.

This ending prepares for the final performance, which might be entitled simply φόνος, “slaughter.” At the beginning of Book 21 Penelope, through Athena’s prompting, thinks of the archery contest, and this is in fact called φόνου ἀρχή, “the beginning of the slaughter” (Odyssey 21.1–4):

τῇ δ’ ἄρ’ ἐπὶ φρεσὶ θῆκε θεὰ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη,
κούρῃ Ἰκαρίοιο, περίφρονι Πηνελοπείῃ,
τόξον μνηστήρεσσι θέμεν πολιόν τε σίδηρον
ἐν μεγάροισ’ Ὀδυσῆος, ἀέθλια καὶ φόνου ἀρχήν.

The goddess grey-eyed Athena put in the mind
of wise Penelope, the daughter of Ikarios,
to place for the suitors the bow and the grey iron
in the halls of Odysseus, a contest and the beginning of the slaughter.

After dealing with the suitors Odysseus reclaims his wife and defends his kingdom, and with this the poem ends. {567|568}

§4.30 The Odyssey, I think, meets the tests that we have set for the division of the poem into six separate performances. As proposed earlier, these six performances may be imagined as taking place on six successive evenings of the Panionia—the last six evenings. On the first six evenings of the Panionia, I now further propose, the Iliad was performed. But can the Iliad, by the same tests that we applied to the Odyssey, also be broken into six four-book segments? I reiterate that the Iliad probably had an older and more highly developed tradition that did the Odyssey, but in spite of this I think that the six-segment scheme works very well for the Iliad too. Let us examine the six four-book segments, asking the same question that we asked of the Odyssey: within the overall story of the Iliad does each segment have its own story to tell, and would each separate story have made a good evening’s entertainment? Somewhat more needs to be said of the Iliad than of the Odyssey to make the case, but the criteria are the same. [123]

§4.31 Books 1–4 are all introductory. Book 1 introduces the specific theme of the Iliad, the wrath of Achilles, and Books 2–4 broaden the context of the poem to the war at Troy as a whole: Book 2, the Catalogue of Ships, tells who fought in the war; Book 3, the duel between Menelaus and Paris with Helen looking on, dramatizes the cause of the war; Book 4, in which a Trojan breaks the truce of Book 3, repeats the Trojan perfidy that began the war. Book 4 ends with a return to battle: here for the first time in the poem the two armies actually clash. The stage is thus set for a full-scale battle in the second segment. {568|569}

§4.32 In Books 5–8 Zeus sets in motion his plan to honor Achilles by giving the Trojans the upper hand in battle. The balance begins to shift in this segment, for the Achaeans have the upper hand at first, but at the end of the segment the Trojans fight on equal terms with the Achaeans, and are even able to camp outside their walls for the first time. The key figure in this section is Diomedes, who is most able to carry the fight to the Trojans now that Achilles is gone: if Diomedes is subdued, no other Achaean will prevail. In Book 5, teamed with the war goddess Athena, Diomedes has his way with the Trojans; but in Book 8, teamed with Nestor, Diomedes has a very different outcome: Zeus hurls a thunderbolt in front of Diomedes’ horses and warns him off any attempt to take Troy by himself. [124] Zeus also warns Athena off in Book 8 when she arms with Hera to help the Achaeans. These reversals from Book 5 to Book 8 frame this segment, which ends, after further fluctuations in the battle, with the {569|570} Trojans encamped outside their city walls. The beautiful simile that ends this segment, comparing the Trojans’ campfires on the plain to the multitude of stars in heaven, is an impressive end to this poetic performance, if that is what it is. [125] The other important events in Books 5–8 essentially highlight the central place of Achilles in the Iliad, even in his absence: the meeting of Hector and Andromache in Book 6, which foreshadows Hector’s death and Troy’s destruction, keeps the decisive role of Achilles present despite his absence; in Book 7 the duel between Hector and Ajax, the greatest defensive warriors on either side, ends in a draw, and this likewise bodes ill for Hector, who must ultimately face a greater warrior than Ajax in Achilles. Until Achilles returns, however, the Trojans will fight with the Achaeans on at least even terms, as Hector does in his duel with Ajax, and as the Trojan army does before it camps for the night outside the walls of Troy.

§4.33 The simile at the end of Book 8, evoking the majesty of the night sky, was a good place to pause to await the next night’s performance, for the next segment, Books 9–12, begins with two episodes set in this night filled with enemy campfires: the embassy to Achilles in Book 9, which fails, and the night raid in Book 10, which succeeds. [126] This segment too has a dramatic conclusion, marking a further stage in Zeus’s plan to honor Achilles: at the end of Book 12 Hector breaches the Achaean wall and the Achaeans are forced back as far as they can go, to their very ships. [127] The breach of the {570|571} Achaean wall marks a definite stage in Zeus’s plan to tip the balance in favor of the Trojans; unlike the end of the second segment, where the Trojans fight on equal terms with the Achaeans, they now have the upper hand. From the Achaean standpoint the episodes in this segment can all be viewed as attempts to deal with the loss of Achilles. Like the embassy of Book 9, the wall in Book 12 proves to be a vain attempt to deal with Achilles’ absence. More hopeful for the Achaeans are the successful night raid of Book 10 and, in Book 11, Nestor’s appeal to Patroclus to take Achilles’ place in battle.

§4.34 In Books 13–16 the battle is carried to the Achaeans’ ships, where a defeat will mean disaster for the Achaeans themselves. This dire point is nearly reached in Book 16, when Hector, spurred on by Zeus, sets fire to one of the ships. [128] In Book 16, however, Patroclus takes Achilles’ place in battle and drives the Trojans back to the walls of Troy, where he is then slain by Apollo. This segment ends with the death of Patroclus, which will bring Achilles himself back into battle in the next segment. This segment, in its own right, {571|572} tells a very dramatic story: at the moment of greatest danger to the Achaeans Patroclus enters battle and saves them, but he pays for this with his life. It is worth noticing how the story in this segment is developed for its own sake. The preceding segment ended with great suspense as Hector crashed through the Achaean wall with fire in his eyes. When the narrative continues the great intensity of the preceding segment is immediately diminished, for it will take more than three books before Hector actually sets fire to one of the Achaean ships. Events must develop at their own pace in this new segment, and a slower pace is brought about by having Zeus become distracted. This happens most notably in Book 14, when Hera seduces him, and Poseidon is thus able to intervene openly against Hector. But it also happens immediately at the start of the new segment. At the beginning of Book 13 Zeus shifts his attention to far-off, exotic peoples: the king of the gods, whose plan at Troy is well in hand at this point, seems to have other places on which he must keep an eye. [129] This immediate shift of focus, after the great suspense of the preceding segment, is classic narrative technique. [130] With Zeus distracted by other matters the battle can rage back and forth for three books before Hector sets fire to one of the ships and Patroclus enters the battle. The intensity builds {572|573} gradually through the first three books of the segment and reaches a peak early in the fourth book, when fire is set to a ship, but this only sets the stage for the real climax of the segment, the aristeía and death of Patroclus in the rest of the fourth book. [131]

§4.35 The rest of the story of the Iliad, in which Achilles avenges the death of Patroclus, takes two segments to tell. The first segment, Books 17–20, ends with Achilles’ re-entry into battle. But the climax of this battle, Achilles’ defeat of Hector, occurs in the poem’s final segment, Books 21–24.Thus the goal of Books 17–20 is an important moment in the poem, the return of Achilles to battle, but not the poem’s climax. [132] The end of this segment {573|574} raises anticipation for the final segment of the poem, and this, again, is consistent with the idea that each segment was performed separately. Let us now briefly consider Books 17–20 as a single unified piece. Following the death of Patroclus at the end of Book 16, Book 17 opens with the battle for his body: Hector and the Trojans strip his armor, but the Achaeans rescue his dead body. In Book 18 Achilles learns of his companion’s death, but he cannot go into battle to avenge him until his armor, now in Hector’s hands, is replaced; Book 18 ends with the fashioning of brilliant new armor for Achilles by Hephaistos. Book 19 brings Achilles back into the Achaean assembly for the first time since Book 1, and he and Agamemnon now end their quarrel; after the army eats (and Achilles abstains) all arm for battle. In Book 20 the two armies enter battle, and the gods likewise take sides for the conflict. Only toward the end of the book is first blood drawn, and Achilles draws it; by the end of the book Achilles has slain fourteen victims, and they are the only victims on either side. Book 20 is Achilles’ re-entry into battle, and even the gods, whom Zeus gives permission to fight on either side at the beginning of the book, take seats and simply watch through the rest of the book. At the end of the book Achilles, who is compared to a forest fire, is in full cry. To reduce the action of the entire segment to a single theme, it is this: Achilles learns of Patroclus’s death and enters battle to avenge him.

§4.36 In the poem’s final segment, Books 21–24, the battle continues until Hector is slain in Book 22; in Book 23 Achilles celebrates the funeral of his now avenged companion Patroclus; in Book 24, finding his humanity again after his murderous rampage against the Trojans and his subsequent ravaging of Hector’s dead body, Achilles ransoms Hector’s body to his father Priam, and the Iliad reaches a fitting conclusion. As the last segment of the poem begins Achilles is utterly unstoppable, but he is finally contained and prevented from taking Troy against destiny by the intervention of the gods who sat by as spectators in the previous segment. The battle is cast in the most elemental terms when fire and water are pitted against each other in the persons of the river god Xanthos and the fire god Hephaistos. The intervention of the gods allows the Trojans to escape inside their walls, which Achilles cannot storm. But Achilles is allowed his last and most important victim, Hector, who does not escape inside Troy. By the end of the poem Achilles has overcome his anger against even this foe. To reduce the action of {574|575} this segment to a single theme, it is perhaps this: Achilles’ anger, although it is fulfilled, is also contained, first by the intervention of the gods, and finally by a more internal process within Achilles himself. This is a resolution not only of the final segment of the poem, but of the poem as a whole.

§4.37 I have offered a preliminary analysis of both Homeric poems as a series of four-book segments that served as the basic units not only of performance but also of composition. To substantiate this idea I have paid attention to certain details of the poems and ignored other details. The real test of the idea will require more thorough analysis of each segment, as far as this can still be done, to see how each segment might have been developed as an individual unit of performance. [133] For my purposes, however, the results are positive enough to proceed with a scheme of twelve successive performances, each carried out by four poets, which together made up the Iliad and the Odyssey: these twelve performances, repeated periodically at the Panionia, were the only existence that the poems had when they were first created in the form that we know them. [134] To repeat my earlier metaphor, the fabric of the Iliad and the Odyssey was woven on the fixed loom of the Panionia. I am now prepared to describe this loom in somewhat more detail. I have suggested that the festival lasted twelve days. This may in fact be too long a time for participants in a panḗguris to be absent from home. If so the time can be reduced to six days by imagining two performances each day instead of one; just as Demodokos performs songs of Troy after two feasts on the same {575|576} day, there could have been two performances of the Iliad and the Odyssey on each day of the Panionia. [135] It is even possible to shorten the time to four days by imagining three performances per day (Demodokos performs three songs including the lay of Ares and Aphrodite in one day), but this would have allowed time for little else given the scale of the poems; the festival must, I think, have lasted at least six days, and this number seems acceptably short from the standpoint of the participants’ absence from home. [136] How often the festival recurred we do not know even for the historical Panionia: for my scheme to work the festival must have recurred at least yearly, since a four-yearly festival could not have produced the Iliad and the Odyssey. [137] Even a yearly festival may seem too infrequent for the creation of the poems, unless we assume that the poets gathered before the festival and rehearsed for as long as needed. Such a preliminary gathering of poets probably would have been necessary even if the performances occurred more frequently than once yearly, given the size of the poems and the number of poets involved. {576|577}

§4.38 Among the Phaeacians, who represent the Ionians, there are, in addition to feasts accompanied by song, games and dances. [138] There is no indication that games were part of the Panionia in historical times, but this would be a strange omission for the early period that concerns us. Alcinous says that the Phaeacians do not excel at games, apart from running, and it is hard to know what to conclude from this regarding the place of games at the Panionia. To me it seems likely that there were games, but that they were not the central feature of the festival; this, as among the Phaeacians, was rather banqueting and song.

§4.39 Games would of course have been competitive. Were poetic performances also competitive, as they later were at the Panathenaia and elsewhere? When poets from the twelve cities performed the Iliad and the Odyssey, they collaborated, but the situation would also have fostered competition: the audience was made up of citizens from all twelve cities, and while all were Panionians and interested in the poems’ overall story, they were also citizens of individual cities with a keen interest in seeing their own city’s poet perform, and perform well. There may not always have been twelve poets to perform the poems (only four were strictly necessary), but there would always have been pressure for a full twelve arising from the shame of those not represented by their own poet in the performance.

§4.40 The Homeric poems, I think, continued to evolve with each new performance at the Panionia. This process could have gone on indefinitely, with the poems reaching ever higher levels of refinement, but at some point the process stopped. Why? More than one explanation is possible for this, but among the more likely, I think, is that the Panionia continued for only a limited period of time before foreign pressure effectively destroyed it as the fixed loom on which the poems were created. Certainly when the Cimmerians under Lygdamis occupied Mykale for a period of years in the mid-seventh century BC the Panionia could not have been celebrated at all. [139] But foreign pressure may have ended the performance of the Homeric poems at the Panionia even earlier in the seventh century, when the Lydians under Gyges began to attack Ionian cities about 680 BC. [140] When the collaboration began {577|578} and how long it lasted is impossible to say without knowing more about the origins of the Panionic league, but I do not think that a long period of time was necessary to develop the poems to the state in which we know them; ten years or so was perhaps enough. But the poems may also have developed over a longer period if the Panionic league arose earlier in the eighth century BC than is now generally thought. [141] {578|579}

§4.41 When the regularly recurring performances at the Panionia came to an end the Homeric poems could no longer continue to evolve by the same process that had allowed their expansion on a monumental scale; in fact the poems could not continue to exist at all unless the poets who had created them continued to perform them in the final form that they had reached at the festival. But where would such performances have occurred if not at the Panionia? Although mainland Ionia came under increasing pressure from about 680 BC, the same was not true of the islands of Samos and Chios, which, protected by geography, remained free of Lydian domination even under Croesus in the mid-sixth century BC. [142] On both these islands schools of rhapsodes appeared at an early date: on Samos the Kreophyleioi, and on Chios the Homeridai. The Kreophyleioi preserved an epic about Heracles, the Oikhalias Halosis; [143] the Homeridai of Chios preserved the more prestigious tradition of {579|580} the Homeric poems. [144] How did the Homeridai, on Chios, come into possession {580|581} of the Homeric poems? I suggest that the same poets who created these poems at the Panionia remained together, in whole or in part, and continued to perform—and thus preserve—the poems in the relative tranquillity of Chios. [145] The name Homeridai, according to the interpretation of it that I accept, would have described this group of poets most aptly while they still came together from twelve different cities to perform at the festival of the Panionia. [146] If the poets were already called Homeridai when they performed at the Panionia, they would have brought with them to Chios not only the poems, which were part of their identity, but also their collective name, which was also distinctively theirs. But on Chios they did not have to “come together” as they had for the {581|582} Panionia, for they were now together permanently. In time, as the poems were passed from one generation of rhapsodes to the next, this guild of rhapsodes, which existed to preserve the Homeric poems, would have come to resemble a génos. At this stage the mythical figure of Homer, the supposed ancestor of the Homeridai and the creator of the Iliad and the Odyssey, presumably arose. [147] On Chios the poems no longer served the larger purpose for which they were created at the Panionia, but were preserved and passed on for their own sake.

§4.42 Chios, I think, was the point of diffusion for the Homeric poems; it was from there that they reached the rest of the Greek world. We do not know how soon this process began, but it was probably not long after the Homeridai established themselves on the island. Writing was not necessary to preserve the poems if the Homeridai, as rhapsodes, were dedicated to this very task; writing was also not needed to carry the poems abroad if other rhapsodes simply heard them performed by the Homeridai and remembered what they heard. Writing, I think, became important only in the next century at the Panathenaia, and not as an aid to performance even there, but as a control on the content and structure of the poems. The role that the Homeridai first played on Chios in safeguarding the tradition of the poems was later played in Athens by a written text. [148] {582|583}

§4.43 But the performance of the poems at the Panathenaia in the mid-sixth century BC was not the first that Athens had heard of the Homeric poems. Solon, as noted earlier, seems to have been well acquainted with the poems at the end of the seventh century BC, and others before him must also have known them. [149] I speculate that the poems reached Athens almost {583|584} immediately after they took root on Chios, and that even earlier they may have begun to be known in Athens directly from the Panionia: Athens, after all, was one of the two keys to Panionian identity (Pylos was the other), and this must have given the city a special status with respect to both the festival and the poems. The Kodrid myth, which underlies the Phaeacians’ identity in the Odyssey, begins with the brothers Neileos and Medon, who gave rise to the ruling families of Miletus and Athens, the Neleids and the Medontids. We know very little about the Medontids. [150] The only name that stands out in this line of rulers is Hippomenes, whose cruelty toward his own daughter brought about the end of the Medontid dynasty. [151] Hippomenes was closely associated {584|585} with a particular place in Athens, and this topographical association seems old. [152] He was also assigned a particular place in the sequence of ten-year archons who were supposed to follow the lifelong archons and precede the annual archons, and perhaps the date that this represents is also not far from the mark. If Hippomenes spelled the end of the monarchy, he is credibly situated close to the end of the eighth century BC. All we know for sure, however, is that the Medontid dynasty had come to an end by 683/2 BC, when the list of annual archons begins.

§4.44 The Athenian tyrant Peisistratos claimed descent from Nestor’s son Peisistratos. [153] This, I think, was a fiction made to rival the genuine claim {585|586} to Neleid descent on the part of the Medontids of Athens on the one hand and the Neleids of Miletus on the other hand. [154] The rival claim by the tyrant’s family, moreover, presupposes the existence of the Homeric poems since the Odyssey is the only likely source of the tradition that Nestor had a son named Peisistratos. [155] Among the early names on the list of annual Athenian archons is another figure named Peisistratos, who was the annual archon in 669 BC; this figure is thought to be the ancestor of the sixth-century tyrant, and, since he lived first, he is taken as an argument that the tyrant had a genuine claim to descent from Neleus, the founder of Pylos. [156] But in my view the basic {586|587} point remains that Nestor’s son Peisistratos belonged to epic rather than historical tradition, and a different explanation thus suggests itself: if the two Athenian figures named Peisistratos in fact came from the same family, we may suppose that this family’s pretension to Neleid descent began with the naming of the first figure, and was already well established by the time of the second. [157] The family’s original pretension would have arisen from a rivalry with the traditional seat of Athenian power, namely the Medontid dynasty, which had been removed from power by the time of the archonship of the first Athenian Peisistratos, and perhaps also by the time of his birth and naming. The basis of the family’s rival claim was the Homeric poems, which must already have made an impression in Athens at the time. The naming of the first Athenian Peisistratos, in other words, may be taken, provisionally at least, as evidence that the Homeric poems were already known in Athens in the early seventh century BC. [158] {587|588}

§4.45 In Athens the Medontids had disgraced themselves and fallen from power through weakness and cruelty, but the basis of their hereditary power, descent from Neleus, did not disappear immediately, at least as a claim, if I am right about the family of Peisistratos and its pretensions. Let us assume that this is the case and consider implications for the Homeric poems. If the Homeric poems were used to support this family’s pretensions, as I have suggested, there must, I think, have been an awareness that these poems had supported the position of the Neleids in the Ionian world: the Athenian family’s rivalry may have been with the Medontids’ pedigree, but the means chosen to pursue this rivalry, descent from Nestor’s son, reflects directly on the Neleids, the Medontids’ cousins in Miletus, and their relationship to the Homeric poems.

§4.46 I return now to the Panionia as the birthplace of the Homeric poems, and to the role of the Neleids at the Panionia. Although there is no direct evidence for the Neleids’ role at this festival, I have used the indirect evidence of the Homeric poems, especially the Phaeacians, to argue that the Neleids were the prime movers of both the festival and the league. There may also be evidence of a different kind for this question. Stories of particular Neleids survived into the historical period, and while these stories do not touch on the point at issue, they may still offer indirect evidence. The stories are also worth considering in their own right, for they give substance to the Neleids’ rule of Miletus, which I have dealt with so far only as an abstraction.

§4.47 The earliest source for a particular Neleid king of Miletus is Aristotle, and the Neleid named by him is Phobios. This king’s story, which is uncertain as to date, has a romantic aspect, and to this is due its survival: Parthenius retold the story in his Erotica Pathemata in the first century BC. [159] Phobios, “one of the Neleids, who was then ruling the Milesians,” had in his household a hostage from Halicarnassus; [160] Phobios’s wife fell in love with this hostage, was rejected by him, killed him, and hung herself. Phobios, being accursed, gave up the kingship to another figure, Phrygios. [161] From this {588|589} story something can be deduced about early relations between Miletus and Halicarnassus, the Doric city to the south of Miletus that in time, through the influence of Miletus, became strongly Ionic in character. [162] The name Phrygios indicates that by the time this Neleid king was born there was already contact with the Phrygians, and this suggests eighth-century dates for him and his predecessor Phobios. [163]

§4.48 Phrygios (probably the same Phrygios, but possibly another) occurs in another story. [164] The story concerns relations between Miletus and Myus, the small city next to Miletus on the Gulf of Latmos, which, like Miletus, was a member of the dodecapolis. In this story a party in Miletus opposed to the rule of the “sons of Neleus” takes refuge in Myus, and the citizens of the two cities thereafter do not mix except during festivals. [165] During a festival of Artemis in {589|590} Miletus Phrygios, “one of the sons of Neleus,” falls in love with a woman from Myus and grants her wish to make peace between the two cities. [166] Stripped of its romantic dress this looks like a dynastic marriage that brought Myus into Miletus’s orbit; we see here a particular Neleid king extending the reach of Miletus over another Panionic city, and this suggests how, in a general way, Miletus may have dealt with other Panionic cities that were farther off and larger. [167] The festival with which the marriage was associated was called Nēlēḯs, the “Neleid festival,” and this suggests that the two cities became realigned on the Neleids’ terms. This seems highly likely in any case. [168]

§4.49 The last Neleid king of Miletus was named Leodamas. [169] He became king when he proved himself a greater benefactor of the Milesian people than did a rival in his own family. [170] But Leodamas was undone by this rival, who slew him at a public festival and made himself tyrant. [171] Ultimately Leodamas {590|591} was avenged when those responsible for his death were either killed or exiled. But the result of this series of events was that the Neleid dynasty in Miletus came to an end. [172] {591|592}

§4.50 Leodamas deserves closer scrutiny. Although we cannot date him exactly, the fact that he was the last Neleid to hold the kingship in Miletus suggests the latter part of the eighth century BC. Leodamas became king by waging a successful war for Miletus against Karystos in Euboea; his rival lost his bid to become king by failing in a campaign against another enemy of Miletus at the time, the island of Melos. [173] It has been suggested that these foreign campaigns had something to do with the Lelantine war, a generalized conflict involving much of the Greek world, probably in the late eighth century. [174]

§4.51 From the little that has survived about Leodamas he seems to have been an impressive figure. His brilliant military success made him king, [175] and as king he won great praise, being both just and “after the heart {592|593} (καταθύμιος)” of his city. [176] Leodamas, in short, was remembered as a great leader in war and peace who was loved by his people. [177] If we look for a particular Neleid who played the role at the Panionia that I have attributed to the Neleid family overall, Leodamas, the last Neleid king of Miletus, has much to recommend him for both his likely date and his great reputation. The development of the Homeric poems to their definitive shape at the Panionia may have taken more than one generation, but there is no reason not to associate Leodamas with at least their final stage of development. [178] If the king who was laid low by a kinsman in his own city had first brought Panionism to full flower in the Homeric poems, it is a good story, worthy of Greek tragedy. Whether it is more than that is, I think, an important question, worthy of serious consideration. My answer again has to do with the Phaeacians. We already know that the two most important figures among the Phaeacians, the king and queen, are more than they seem to be on the surface of the Odyssey. The same is true of the Phaeacian princess, Nausicaa. Next in importance in the royal family is Laodamas, the Phaeacian prince, and he too, I think, has a hidden identity. If the king and queen represent the Ionians’ past, the prince, I suggest, represents their actual present. That present is still in the future from the standpoint of the story of the Odyssey, and, accordingly, Laodamas does not yet rule, but he is destined to rule one day. The name Laodamas is exceptional among the Phaeacians, whose names have overwhelmingly to do with the sea and seafaring: even in the royal family only Laodámas expresses, to use Friedrich Welcker’s term, “das Königliche” (“kingliness”). [179] I suggest {593|594} that the Phaeacian prince is named for the Milesian king, who bears the same quintessentially “kingly” name in its Ionic form. [180]

§4.52 It is perhaps a bold suggestion to see a living king represented in Homeric epic, which, as we know, is oriented strictly toward the past. But a living Neleid king was a genuine link to the Ionians’ past as that past, in Pylos and Athens, is represented in the Phaeacian royal couple. The link between past and present is established in the poem when Odysseus, the embodiment of the epic past, first appears in the Phaeacian palace grasping the knees of the queen, and the king, prompted by his retainer, raises him from the ashes: in an act that is at once entirely natural and deeply significant the king bids his son, the prince Laodamas, to give his seat to Odysseus, and Laodamas, his father’s favorite, does as he is bidden (Odyssey 7.167–171):

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ τό γ’ ἄκουσ’ ἱερὸν μένος Ἀλκινόοιο,
χειρὸς ἑλὼν Ὀδυσῆα δαΐφρονα ποικιλομήτην
ὦρσεν ἀπ’ ἐσχαρόφιν καὶ ἐπὶ θρόνου εἷσε φαεινοῦ,
υἱὸν ἀναστήσας ἀγαπήνορα Λαοδάμαντα,
ὅς οἱ πλησίον ἷζε, μάλιστα δέ μιν φιλέεσκε.

But when Alcinous, whose power is sacred, heard this,
he took the hand of wise Odysseus with the inventive mind {594|595}
and raised him from the hearth and sat him on the shining chair,
removing his son from it, courteous Laodamas,
who sat close to him, and whom he loved most.

§4.53 The proper relationship between present and past is defined in this scene: it is a unique honor for a living king to be represented in Homeric epic, and that is the main point; but the proper epic role for this future king is simply to give his seat to the great hero of the past. [181] There is more to the story, but giving up the seat is the significant act, which sets the tone for the rest. The rest is what takes place at the games, in which Odysseus is provoked to take part and hurls the discus far beyond all the others. In this scene there is a great contrast in behavior between Laodamas, who invites Odysseus to compete, and Euryalos, who abuses Odysseus as a lowborn seaman when he declines the invitation. After Odysseus shows his mettle for all to see, he turns on Euryalos in an angry speech. [182] This speech is rightly seen as an example of the widespread {595|596} literary type known as the “instruction of princes.” [183] But it is easy to miss the {596|597} key figure in this scene, who is in fact Laodamas. He is the royal prince, and it is for his benefit that the instruction is offered. [184] Or rather he stands for a future king of the same name, and it is for the benefit of the future king that the instruction is offered. The instruction is not offered directly, but indirectly, by way of a counterexample. All attention is focused on the example of wrong behavior, and the real object of the instruction stands by unnoticed. [185] It is {597|598} true, I think, that Odysseus describes his own inmost self, hidden at present to outward appearance, when he characterizes the man with the gift of fair speech (Odyssey 8.171–173): [186]

ὁ δ’ ἀσφαλέως ἀγορεύει
αἰδοῖ μειλιχίῃ, μετὰ δὲ πρέπει ἀγρομένοισιν,
ἐρχόμενον δ’ ἀνὰ ἄστυ θεὸν ὣς εἰσορόωσιν.

He speaks unerringly
with gentle modesty, and he stands out among those gathered,
and they look on him as a god as he walks through the city.

But indirectly his words also set the standard for a prince who will become king of the Phaeacians, and for a like-named future king who, in reality, already hears these words at the festival of the Panionia. The standard for this future king, one could say, is Odysseus himself, insofar as it is himself that Odysseus describes in these lines. [187]

§4.54 Laodamas is the last piece in my interpretation of the Phaeacians. The Neleids gave to some of the Ionians who celebrated the Panionia a common past in the form of the Kodrid myth, and in Homeric epic this myth was universalized in the Phaeacians, whose king and queen embody the first two stages of the myth, Pylos and Athens. Laodamas, the future king, brings that common past down to the present: the Ionians who celebrated the Panionia embraced not only a collective past based on that of Miletus, but also a collective present in which Miletus was still the leader. Laodamas, if he does indeed represent the Neleid king Leodamas, is, as it were, the living proof of the central role that Miletus must have played in the creation of the Panionic league on the one hand, and in the development of the Homeric poems on the other hand. Miletus’s future role still lay hidden in the heroic age, when the city was held by barbarian Carians (Καρῶν βαρβαροφώνων, Iliad 2.867–869), but the future is nonetheless prefigured in the Phaeacian prince. {598|599}

§4.55 Leodamas has his own personal story, and it is worth asking what light his story throws on Homeric epic. This Neleid prince had to win the kingship in a contest with a rival, and his uncertain situation, at the very least, corresponds to the precarious state of kingship seen in the Homeric poems, where Odysseus must rid his palace of a host of rivals, and Agamemnon, who is unsure of his position in the Iliad, loses both his position and his life to a rival, as told in the Odyssey. Leodamas too was ultimately murdered by his rival for the kingship of Miletus, but presumably this part of the story still lay in the future when the Homeric poems were composed. The very fact that Leodamas had a rival at his back from the start of his career, however, throws a certain light on the “instruction of princes” in Odyssey 8, where right and wrong behavior are contrasted with each other in the persons of the courteous Laodamas and the offensive Euryalos. I do not propose that Euryalos too is based on a historical figure, but he does perhaps personify the danger that kingship faced. Euryalos is not presented as a rival for the Phaeacian kingship, but is that how he would have struck an Ionian audience, and is that why Odysseus spares nothing to put him in his proper place?

§4.56 I have made my case for the role of Miletus and the Neleids in the creation of the Homeric poems at the festival of the Panionia. The parts of the poems in which the influence of the Neleids is, to my mind, certain are Nestor’s role in both poems and the Phaeacian episode of the Odyssey in its entirety. It is time to consider common characteristics of these parts of the poems and to draw conclusions from them. Surely the most salient characteristic of these parts of the poems is the veil of secrecy that surrounds them, or, if that is too strong a term, the extended irony that characterizes them. It is of course in the nature of traditional epic poetry, and of other poetry as well, to allude to different parts of the tradition and thereby to add meaning to whatever subject is at hand. The death and funeral of Patroclus in the Iliad, for example, allude to the death and funeral of Achilles outside the Iliad, and this deepens the significance of Patroclus’s story. [188] But the irony of Nestor’s role goes well beyond this in scope, and it differs in quality as well. The quality of Nestor’s ironic role is perhaps best exemplified by his speech at the end of the chariot race for Patroclus, when he thanks Achilles for his special {599|600} prize, and rejoices that he does not escape Achilles’ notice as to the honor that befits him (Iliad 23.648–649):

οὐδέ σε λήθω,
τιμῆς ἧς τέ μ’ ἔοικε τετιμῆσθαι μετ’ Ἀχαιοῖς.

And I do not escape your notice
as to the honor that it befits me to receive among the Achaeans.

So much care is taken in the chariot race to mask Nestor’s real role that the phrase oudé se lḗthō, “I do not escape your notice,” at the episode’s end can only be taken as a touchstone to separate those who know what his real role in the race has been from those who do not. Clearly there must have been those whose “notice” Nestor did escape because they did not know his traditions and therefore could not understand the irony of his role; otherwise the secrecy surrounding his role has no point, for a secret known to all is not a secret, and it is hard to see why the Homeric poems would go to such lengths to conceal what was simply common knowledge. It is for this reason that I do not think that Nestor’s epic traditions were as widely known as is often assumed. Rather, I think that these traditions were the closely held possession of the Neleid family in Miletus, where they had long been the subject of song in the relatively closed world of the Neleid court. At the Panionia, where the Iliad took shape, Nestor was given a new role at Troy which built on his earlier epic traditions. [189] These earlier traditions were the key to {600|601} understanding Nestor’s hidden role in the Iliad and the Odyssey, and a knowledge of them must have spread to the other Ionians. Knowing Nestor’s traditions would have been a sign of having embraced Miletus’s Panionic ideology, and there may thus have been an eagerness to acquire them; in this regard the spread of Nestor’s traditions would have been like the spread of the Kodrid myth, and this was no doubt the point. The Kodrid myth is embodied in the Phaeacians, and in order to understand the Phaeacians the Ionians first had to understand Nestor’s role in both poems. Homeric epic gives the Phaeacians a large place in the overall design of the two poems, and this, I think, is a measure of the extent to which Homeric epic was a tool to advance the Neleids’ Panionic agenda. As knowledge of Nestor’s traditions and an understanding of his Homeric role spread so too did Panionism. Thus there was a balance between those who knew Nestor’s traditions and those who did not, even among the Ionians who celebrated the Panionia. We may say that in this sense Nestor’s traditions were esoteric, and this allowed the key to them to be lost, except perhaps among the Homeridai, when the Homeric poems left the Panionia. [190] Nestor’s traditions were never, I think, common knowledge. {601|602}

§4.57 The level of refinement that characterizes Nestor’s hidden role in the Iliad and the Odyssey could only have been attained, I think, through repeated performances before an audience that was challenged to understand what it heard, and that responded to the challenge. The refinement of Homeric poetry, especially as I see it in the deployment of Nestor’s traditions, is to me a great argument that these poems were created orally. I do not think that a literate poet, or a poet who dictated to a scribe, could have produced Nestor’s role, which spans the two poems, all in one step, or that an audience would have understood it if he did. A literate poet would of course have had no way to perform the two poems before one audience, and thus no reason to create Nestor’s hidden role in the two poems in the first place. [191] {602|603} This is perhaps the greatest argument against the theory of the literate or dictating poet, but the refinement of Nestor’s role counts little less for me. A literate poet simply did not have the means to achieve the level of refinement that was open to oral poets under the special circumstances of the Panionia. There every performance was a further refinement. For a literate poet further refinement, once he managed to get twenty-five thousand verses into written form, would have been practically impossible. [192] For a literate poet the initial form would have been the final form, and that simply does not account for the Iliad and the Odyssey as we know them. [193]

§4.58 This is not to deny that writing was available in the Homeric era. The first Greek inscription of any length dates to 740–730 BC, which, in my view, is probably when the Homeric poems began to take shape in Ionia. This would seem to be proof enough that the Homeric poems too could have been written down at the same early date. The Dipylon vase inscription, as it is called, contains a dactylic hexameter resembling a line of Homer in its formulaic technique, and this would seem to make the case for literacy all the stronger. [194] But the inscription, while showing that writing had indeed become {603|604} available for certain purposes when the Homeric poems were composed, is a long way from a written Iliad and Odyssey in both scale and purpose, and these differences, I think, are decisive. [195]

§4.59 Somewhat later than the Dipylon vase inscription is the “Nestor’s cup” inscription. [196] This inscription is again, and for the same reasons, not evidence for a written Iliad and Odyssey, but it raises the question of the spread of the Homeric poems in whatever way from their place of origin. The Nestor’s cup inscription was found in Pithekoussai (modern Ischia) among the western Greeks, and it apparently refers to our Iliad. The inscription contains three verses, the first of which, in my view, refers to Nestor’s cup in Iliad 11. While it is possible that the reference is not to Iliad 11 in particular, but to epic tradition in general, I do not think that this is the case for reasons given earlier: I do not think that Nestor’s traditions, which were a well-kept secret even within the Homeric poems, were at all widely known outside of the Homeric poems. The Nestor’s cup inscription is an ideal place to consider this idea more closely.

§4.60 The inscription occurs on a clay cup whose fragments have been reassembled. There are small gaps in the text that must be restored, and one such gap causes some uncertainty of interpretation; the text and interpretation that I follow are those of Calvert Watkins: {604|605}

Νέστορός ἐ[στ]ι εὔποτ[ον] ποτήριον.
ὃς δ᾿ ἂ<ν> τοῦδε πίησι ποτηρί[ου], αὐτίκα κεῖνον
ἵμερος αἱρήσει καλλιστε[φά]νου Ἀφροδίτης.

Nestor’s cup is good to drink from.
But he who drinks from this cup, forthwith him
desire of fair-garlanded Aphrodite will seize.

Watkins has made a convincing case that the first line refers to Nestor’s famous cup in Iliad 11, whereas the two lines that follow refer to the clay skúphos on which the inscription is written; the contrast between the iambic trimeter of the first line and the dactylic hexameter of the last two lines, and the contrast between the phrase Νέστορος…ποτήριον, “Nestor’s…cup,” in the first line and the phrase τοῦδε ποτηρίου, “this cup,” in the second line, lead to this conclusion. [197] To these metrical and phraseological contrasts, which are well brought out by Watkins, I would add a contrast of meaning as well: the idea that the cup on which the inscription appears will produce erotic passion cannot be associated with the old man Nestor’s cup, unless this is a joke; the purpose of the cup in Iliad 11 is not erotic, but medicinal. Nestor’s cup is simply a foil to the cup bearing the inscription; it was chosen for the purpose because it offered a contrast, and because it was famous.

§4.61 The contrast between Nestor’s cup and the cup with the inscription, however, is not essential to my argument. What is essential to my argument is a reference to Iliad 11, and that is not affected if the reading ε[ἰμ]ι, “I am,” is preferred to ἐ[στ]ι, “is,” in line 1, and if a rather ordinary clay skúphos, as a kind of joke, claims to be Nestor’s famous cup. If it is granted that the inscription refers to the epic hero Nestor and his cup, I repeat that I do not think that the reference is to Nestor’s epic tradition in general, but to Iliad 11 in particular, and to support this argument I turn now to the passage in Iliad 11. [198] I will argue that Nestor’s cup is wholly a function of the story in Iliad 11 and that it probably had no prior existence in epic. {605|606}

§4.62 The question is whether the elaborate cup in which Nestor prepares a kukeṓn to restore the wounded warrior Makhaon is a fixed attribute of the Pylian king. Nestor is said to have brought this cup with him from home (Iliad 11.632), and there is thus no doubt that for the story of Iliad 11 the cup is specifically his. The existence of an actual Bronze Age artifact resembling Nestor’s cup has significantly strengthened the impression that Nestor had always had such a cup in Greek epic tradition. This famous artifact, however, is from Mycenae, and presumably kings of many Bronze Age cities had similar elaborate cups to drink from. Why would Nestor be known for his cup unless there was something truly distinctive about it? [199] What seems to distinguish Nestor’s cup in Iliad 11, besides its elaboration, is the fact that it is very large and very heavy when full: another man would have had difficulty lifting it, but Nestor lifted it with ease (Iliad 11.636–637):

ἄλλος μὲν μογέων ἀποκινήσασκε τραπέζης
πλεῖον ἐόν, Νέστωρ δ’ ὁ γέρων ἀμογητὶ ἄειρεν.

Another man would have lifted it from the table with effort,
since it was full, but the old man Nestor lifted it without effort.

This motif has a purpose in the episode, for Nestor is about to tell a story in which his deeds of war push the limit, to say the least, of what a single man could do. This is the point of his story, for in his battle with the Epeians he was not just one man, but, by his twin myth, the equivalent of two. Now the cup that is described in Iliad 11 also seems to be twice the size, or at least to have twice the elaboration, of an ordinary cup if we consider the cup from Mycenae to be an ordinary cup. Nestor’s cup has twice as many handles and twice as many decorative doves per handle as does the cup from Mycenae, and it also has two bases. [200] Here is the description of Nestor’s cup, which his maidservant Hekamede sets on the table next to the ingredients for a kukeṓn (Iliad 11.632–635):

πὰρ δὲ δέπας περικαλλές, ὃ οἴκοθεν ἦγ’ ὁ γεραιός,
χρυσείοις ἥλοισι πεπαρμένον· οὔατα δ’ αὐτοῦ {606|607}
τέσσαρ’ ἔσαν, δοιαὶ δὲ πελειάδες ἀμφὶς ἕκαστον
χρύσειαι νεμέθοντο, δύω δ’ ὑπὸ πυθμένες ἦσαν.

Next to these [she put] a beautiful cup which the old man brought from home,
pierced with gold studs; it had four handles,
and around each one two golden doves
were pecking, and there were two bases underneath.

Walter Leaf compares Nestor’s cup with the Bronze Age artifact as follows: “This famous cup of Nestor receives an interesting illustration in the cup represented in Plate IV, which was found at Mykenai by Schliemann; it is of solid gold and stands eight or nine inches high. The poetical cup only differs in having four handles (οὔατα) instead of two, and two doves to each instead of one only.” [201] Nestor’s cup is distinctive, at least in relation to the Mycenaean artifact, but what makes it distinctive fits so well with the meaning of his story to Patroclus in Iliad 11, in which Nestor proves that he was worth two of any other man, that it is far more plausible that his cup is a poet’s flight of fancy, inspired by the story to come, than that Nestor was known through the ages for having a goblet with twice the usual number of handles, doves, and perhaps even bases. To me the cup looks like an ad hoc creation—based on knowledge of real Bronze Age objects, to be sure—to enhance the meaning of a particular episode in Iliad 11, which involves not only Makhaon, but also Patroclus, and the whole larger story of the Iliad. [202] This analysis falls short of {607|608} proof positive that Nestor’s cup belongs only to the Iliad, but it gives support to my contention, based on a more general argument, that the Nestor’s cup inscription in fact alludes to the Iliad as we know it. [203]

§4.63 But how did Euboean colonists in in the west know about the Iliad if, as I have argued, the Homeric poems existed only in performance at the Panionia? In a strict sense this would have been the case, but word of the poems may have traveled more widely. There were probably guests at the Panionia who, if they had poetic skills, could have carried parts of the poems away with them. I have already suggested that Athenians, who inhabited (in Solon’s phrase) “the oldest land of Ionia,” were perhaps specially honored guests at the Panionia and may have become aware of the Homeric poems in this way, so to speak, from the start. [204] Euboea was also Ionian, and {608|609} Pithekoussai, the earliest Greek colony in the west, was founded by the two leading cities of Euboea, Chalcis and Eretria. [205] Perhaps Pithekoussans, being Ionian, were also sometimes guests at the Panionia. They lived a long way from Ionia, but their Euboean colonizers were well known travelers, and they perhaps were intermediaries in spreading the word to their western colony. [206] Herodotus represents the Panionic league as an exclusive club, which, as Smyrna discovered, did not admit new members. But admitting new members is not the same as admitting occasional guests, and in any case we should not be overly influenced by Herodotus’s experience of Ionian exclusivity in the fifth century BC. In the eighth century BC the league was expanding and the mentality would have been different. [207] This is not to say that the Ionians of {609|610} the dodecapolis were not conscious of their special identity; on the contrary, I think that it was they who, when they heard the Homeric poems, understood Nestor’s hidden role, and so recognized themselves in the Phaeacians. Perhaps the secrecy of the Homeric poems with respect to Nestor’s role and the Phaeacians’ identity had to do with the presence of outsiders at the Panionia. If not even all the Ionians of the dodecapolis knew Nestor’s secrets, surely he must have escaped the notice of outside guests at their festival entirely. The main point to be explained in Nestor’s role remains the reason for its total secrecy, and a distinction between members and guests at the Panionia helps with this problem.

§4.64 How an awareness of Iliad 11 could have penetrated to the western Greek world while the Homeric poems were still in the process of development is not as intractable a problem as it might seem. It is true, I think, that the Iliad and the Odyssey existed in their entirety only in performance at the Panionia, but parts of the poems—indeed all of the poems—could have been performed piecemeal elsewhere. It is not surprising that what attracted attention in distant Pithekoussai was the description of an unusual object; it would be far more surprising, I think, if an awareness of Nestor’s real role in Iliad 11, and elsewhere in the Homeric poems, had spread outside the Panionia. But if this analysis is correct, the date of the Nestor’s cup inscription becomes the terminus ante quem for the full-scale development of the Homeric poems at the Panionia. It is therefore important to date this inscription as accurately as possible, and I think that current opinion may date it somewhat too early. There is no agreed-on absolute date, but the comparison (and rivalry) of the Nestor’s cup inscription with the oldest Greek inscription, the Dipylon vase inscription, causes reluctance to go lower than c. 725 BC, and some would date the Nestor’s cup inscription even earlier. [208] I do not propose to lower this date by much, only to c. 700 BC at the latest. The Iliad and the Odyssey were, I think, the newest songs in the air, which many heard (or heard about) for the first time, when the inscription was written: this stage, I think, came at the end of the eighth century BC. [209] {610|612}

§4.65 L. H. Jeffery pointed out unusual features in the script of the Nestor’s cup inscription, including the formation of letters, punctuation, and a geminated lambda in the word καλλιστεφάνου, and on the basis of these features Rhys Carpenter proposed to date the inscription more than a century later than the cup itself. [210] But such a late dating was firmly rejected by the archaeologists familiar with the find-spot. [211] Jeffery herself dated the inscription “c. 700?,” [212] but, as already said, 725 or earlier has remained the usual dating. This date was proposed by Buchner when he first reported the discovery of the cup, and the same date was supported by Metzger. [213] But while the date may well be correct for the cup, it is not necessarily correct for the inscription, for the inscription was added to the cup secondarily. [214] The date of the tomb in which the cup was buried is the key issue, for this date is the terminus ante quem for the inscription, whose own date really cannot {612|613} be further specified. Metzger, in consultation with Buchner, addressed this issue, and came to the conclusion that the Protocorinthian globular arúballoi found in the tomb should not be dated later than 720 BC. [215] But these arúballoi have also been considered to be of a later style than that by Einar Gjerstad, who proposed a date “perhaps as late as 700 BC” for them. [216] The assumption that the arúballoi were buried at the same date that they were manufactured may also perhaps be open to question. [217] In sum, I cannot see that a date of 725 BC for the burial is more probable than a date of 700 BC, and I therefore take 700 BC as the proper terminus ante quem.

§4.66 The date for the Nestor’s cup inscription is 700 BC or earlier, and the date for the Meliac War is 700 BC or later. The Panionic league was already in existence before the Meliac War according to the literary tradition, and this fits with my view of the Homeric poems. By the time of the Nestor’s cup inscription, with its reference to Iliad 11, the development of the Homeric poems must have been well along, and this development, in my view, took place at the Panionia. This means that the Panionia must have been in existence before the Meliac War.

§4.67 Wilamowitz argued that the Panionic league arose after the Meliac War, but I am driven to the opposite conclusion, that the league came first. This leaves us with a number of problems. The basic problem of course remains even if the Panionic league resulted from the Meliac War as Wilamowitz proposed: at Panionion no remains earlier than 600 BC have been found and thus the league’s existence earlier than this cannot be documented by archaeology. The cult of Poseidon Helikonios at Panionion is also a problem since this cult is evoked in Iliad 20. What can the history of this cult have been? Wilamowitz proposed that the cult originally belonged to Melia, and that the cities that destroyed Melia, when they divided Melia’s territory among them, took collective responsibility for the cult, making it the common center of a new league. [218] {613|614} But if the league existed before the Meliac War the process cannot have been exactly that, and here we are simply in the dark. We may suppose that the cult of Poseidon Helikonios was like the cult of Apollo at Delphi, which was originally tended by priests from nearby Krisa. Krisa was destroyed in the First Sacred War by members of the Amphictyonic league, and the cult became the league’s collective responsibility. Did Melia similarly control the cult of the Panionic league, and did the “arrogance” for which Melia was destroyed have to do with its control of the league’s cult? [219] This seems possible, but not likely: we have no indication that Panionion would have been the same valuable prize that Delphi was, and, at a more basic level, there is good reason to doubt that Melia was ever in the league. [220] We may alternatively suppose that the Panionic league had its center elsewhere before the Meliac War, and that when Melia was destroyed the league’s center was moved to Panionion. In this case the league only acquired the cult of Poseidon Helikonios after the Meliac War, and earlier the league must have been dedicated to another god. Vitruvius in fact says that the cities that formed the league founded a temple to Apollo Panionios, but this evidence, which is sometimes taken at face value, is best left out of account: if the name is not simply Vitruvius’s mistake for Poseidon Helikonios, it is best explained as an anachronistic reference on the part of Vitruvius’s late-third century BC source to the cult and oracle of Apollo Klarios near Colophon. [221] {614|615} But even if we leave Vitruvius out of account it is worth considering another famous cult and oracle of Apollo as the starting point of a nascent league, namely Branchidai in the territory of Miletus; this location, speculative as it is, makes good sense as a center for the earliest form of the league if Miletus was indeed the league’s prime mover. [222]

§4.68 It has been suggested that the “arrogance” of Melia, for which it was destroyed, had to do with piracy. [223] If Melia was mostly Carian, Thucydides’ statement that the Carians of the Aegean islands were pirates suggests that the same may have been true of Melia. [224] Melia’s position overlooking the Mykale coast and controlling the strait between Mykale and Samos would have lent itself to piracy; this strait was an important shipping route, especially for Miletus, whose colonies to the north, Abydos and Parion, were founded near the end of the eighth century BC, about the time of the Meliac War. [225] If Miletus had a particular reason to eliminate Melia, it perhaps induced other cities, in particular Samos, Priene, and Colophon, to join in the {615|616} war. [226] The inducement for these cities would have been Melia’s land, but for Miletus itself land would have been a secondary consideration. [227]

§4.69 It is possible that when Leodamas, the last Neleid king of Miletus, won the kingship in a contest with his kinsman Phitres, Miletus was already engaged in a war with Melia. According to Conon, our only source for the events, the Milesians had two wars at the time, against the Karystians and the Melians, and Phitres failed in his attempt to win the war against Melos: ἦσαν δ’ αὐτοῖς τότε δύο πόλεμοι Καρυστίοις καὶ Μηλιεῦσι. καὶ πρὸς μὲν Μῆλον (αὐτῷ γὰρ ὁ κλῆρος τοῦτον ἐδίδου τὸν πόλεμον) Φίτρης στρατεύσας ἄπρακτος ἀναστρέφει, “There were then two wars, with the Karystians and the Melians. Phitres campaigned against Melos (for the lot gave him this war) and returned in failure.” [228] Now Μηλιεῦσι is not the form one would expect for the name of the Melians, which, as readers of Thucydides Book 5 will remember, is Μήλιοι. [229] It is hard to understand how the correct first and second declension form of the name in -ιος was changed to a third declension form in -εύς, and it may well be that the form in the text was originally Μελιεῦσι, the {616|617} ethnic adjective of Melia, as we know from Stephanus of Byzantium: [230] Μελία, πόλις Καρίας. Ἑκαταῖος γενεαλογιῶν δ’. τὸ ἐθνικὸν Μελιεύς ὡς Ὑριεύς, “Melia, a city of Caria. Hecataeus Genealogies 4. The ethnic adjective is Melieús, like Hurieús.” Ignorance of a vanished place on Cape Mykale called Melia could well have led a copyist to change the reference in Conon’s story to the well-known island of Melos, but the change was not carried through completely: the ending -εῦσι was let stand in the ethnic adjective. The conjecture that Melos should be replaced by Melia in Conon’s account belongs to Hiller von Gaertringen, and to me it seems right; the argument based on the ending of the ethnic adjective is hard to refute. [231]

§4.70 If Miletus had a war with Melia, piracy may well have been the cause. If this war went badly for Miletus at first, when Phitres failed to win it, this would have been a reason to form an alliance against Melia, as Miletus seems to have done. Leodamas, who became king of Miletus by defeating Karystos, may then have succeeded where Phitres failed by involving the Panionic league against Melia. If my reconstruction is correct Leodamas came at the end of a line of Neleid kings who had begun to foster the development of the Panionic league in Miletus’s own territory. [232] It was here that {617|618} the Homeric poems would have taken shape and received their strong Neleid imprint. If the Panionia took place in the Neleids’ own territory, this was all the more reason not to make the Neleids’ role as leaders overt and heavy-handed in the poems, and this may help to explain the nature of Nestor’s Homeric role. The poems would have been well developed by the date of the Nestor’s cup inscription, c. 700 BC or somewhat earlier. By the same date or somewhat later the war against Melia would have been won with the support of the Panionic league, or at least with that part of the league that stood to gain by it. [233] When Melia was destroyed the league would have received a new center, less dependent on Miletus and closer to the rest of the league’s cities, a change which at least some of the cities of the league had earned. This was doubtless agreeable to Miletus too, which preferred to exert its leadership from behind the scenes. The cult of Poseidon Helikonios, which had previously belonged to Melia, would now have been taken over by the league, and the administration of the cult turned over to Priene, Miletus’s junior partner to judge by its Kodrid myth. [234] The Homeric poems would have continued to be performed at the Panionia in the festival’s new location at Panionion, but only in the short term. By c. 680 BC Gyges had begun his attacks on Ionian cities, and the Homeridai would have abandoned the Panionia for the safety of Chios soon after these attacks began. The simile in Iliad 20 evoking the cult of Poseidon Helikonios at Panionion must belong to the final phase of the poems’ development, shortly before the poems moved offshore to Chios. The context of the simile in Iliad 20 is Achilles’ entry into battle, and in the {618|619} same context there is an apparent allusion to Gyges and the Lydians. [235] The two allusions, which pertain to Achilles’ first and third victims in battle in the Iliad, go well together in terms of time and place of composition. [236] Presumably Panionion continued to be the meeting place for the league, and the Panionia continued to be celebrated there, after Homeric poetry ceased to be part of the celebration. Within a few decades the festival itself was interrupted, when Lygdamis and the Cimmerians occupied Mykale for {619|620} at least three (and as many as ten) years about 640 BC. [237] It remains a puzzle why there are no remains at Panionion for the century between the Meliac War and about 600 BC. Perhaps the Cimmerians, who interrupted the tenure of Melia’s former land, also destroyed the cult at Panionion, but there should be evidence of this on the ground. At present nothing more can be said on the subject. [238]

§4.71 Much of the argument in this section has been conjectural given the state of our evidence. For both the Homeric poems and the Panionic league the eighth century BC is a particularly difficult period. My working assumption has been that the poems and the league developed together through the latter half of the eighth century, [239] but other scenarios are possible. Some would date the Panionic league in its final twelve-city form (i.e. after Phocaea was admitted as the league’s last member) to the ninth or early eighth century BC. Smyrna, which became Ionic about the beginning of the eighth century, sought admission to the league and was refused, according to Herodotus, by a twelve-member league; if Smyrna sought admission immediately after it became Ionic, and if the league at that time really did include twelve cities, an early date for the league is indicated. In that case I would not argue that the Panionic league and the Homeric poems developed together, but that the development of the poems began only after the league was fully formed. I think that this would also have been the case if the league reached its final twelve-member form only in the middle of the eighth century, Phocaea being admitted at that time, and Smyrna, Phocaea’s neighbor to the south, seeking admission unsuccessfully sometime after that. If the twelve-member league did exist before the development of the Homeric poems, then the poems would have developed within their twelve-part structure, so to speak, from the start; this scenario may have advantages over the scenario proposed earlier, wherein the poems evolved gradually into a twelve-part structure as the league developed. I do not know what the precise relationship between the league and the poems was with respect to the twelve-part structure common to both, but whatever it was, I do not doubt that a relationship existed. {620|621}


[ back ] 93. Doherty 1995:87–92 discusses the relationship between the Phaeacians and the Homeric audience; Louden 1999:50–68 also discusses this relationship but emphasizes Alcinous as Odysseus’s audience over the Phaeacians as a group.

[ back ] 94. The Rise of the Greek Epic 1907:170–176 (modified in later editions: see Murray 1934:187–194); cf. also Wade-Gery 1952:14; Durante 1957:106–107; Webster 1964:268; Thornton 1984:28; Ford 1997:86. According to Wade-Gery: “It is, surely, one of the few things certain in the Homeric Question, that a poem of the length and coherence of the Iliad presupposes a panegyris of some days’ duration”; this, I would add, is no less true of the Odyssey. In Durante’s view: “All the salient characteristics that distinguish Homeric poetry presuppose or suit the atmosphere of the panegyris” (“Tutti i caratteri salienti che contraddistinguono la poesia omerica presuppogono o si addicono all’ atmosfera della panegyris”). Durante lists several such characteristics, among which the first, the choice of theme in the Iliad, suggests an interesting comparison with later rhetorical tradition: “If we want to find other literary manifestations in which the theme that informs every verse of the poem, that is, the alternative between Greeks and barbarians, is represented with the same clarity, we must look to the πανηγυρικοὶ λόγοι [‘panegyrics’] like the Olympicus of Lysias and the Panegyricus of Isocrates” (“Se vogliamo trovare altre manifestazioni letterarie in cui si ripresenti con la stessa nettezza il motivo che informa di sé ogni verso del poema, cioè l’alternativa fra Greci e barbari, dobbiamo rifarci ai πανηγυρικοὶ λόγοι come l’Olimpico di Lisia e il Panegirico di Isocrate”). Durante cites Murray 1934:193n1 for this point, and also for a point about the Homeric gods, whom Murray 1934:265 calls “an enlightened compromise made to suit the conveniences of a federation.” Durante’s other points include the absence of obscenity from the Homeric poems, suitable for the presence of chaste wives and children at a panḗgyris, and the non-local nature of the artificial Homeric dialect. He summarizes as follows: “Thus the panegyris, not the royal banquet, is the ideal background of Homeric poetry: the agora, not the megaron; it is not for nothing that Demodocus is λαοῖσι τετιμένος [‘honored by the people’], Odyssey 8.472 ” (“Dunque è la panegyris lo sfondo ideale della poesia omerica, non il banchetto regio: l’agorà, non il megaron; non per nulla Demodoco è λαοῖσι τετιμένος, θ 472”). Finally he cites Pagliaro 1953:51–62, who argues that early poetic exhibitions at festivals by aoidoí, like later poetic exhibitions by rhapsodes, were organized as competitions; according to Pagliaro the phrase ἀνεβάλλετο ἀείδειν in the Odyssey (“he began to sing”) properly indicates “the poet’s first intervention, in relation to successive interventions” (“il primo intervento dell’ aedo, correlativo agli interventi successivi”) and so forms a pair with the phrase ἐξ ὑποβολῆς ῥαψῳδεῖσθαι, “to perform as a rhapsode in succession” (Diogenes Laertius 1.57), which is technical language for a rhapsodic recitation in a competition. For Pagliaro’s argument see also Pagliaro 1970.

[ back ] 95. In the mid-sixth century power shifted from the Lydians to the Persians, but the Lydians had already changed conditions fundamentally for the Ionians more than a century earlier. Cook 1975:800, speaking of the arrival at the start of the seventh century of the Cimmerians, who overthrew the Phrygian capital at Gordion but had no lasting effect on the Ionians, contrasts the change brought about by the Lydians at about the same time: “Altogether more momentous was the transference of political power to Sardis, which lay only two or three days’ march from the Greek cities and controlled the routes to the different sectors of the coast. There could thenceforward be no common defence of the Ionic cities against attacks from the interior power.”

[ back ] 96. Ideas about the original purpose of the league differ: based on the evidence of Herodotus for a later period Wilamowitz 1906/1971:47/138 thought that the purpose was political (“it is therefore a political union; it doesn’t stand out as sacral” [“es ist also ein politischer Bund, sakral tritt er nicht hervor”]); Roebuck 1955, on the other hand, thought that the league must have originated as a religious amphictyony.

[ back ] 97. Wade-Gery 1952 devoted attention near the start of his study (pp. 2–6) to the Panionia as a likely context for the performance of the Iliad. For the relevance of later festivals, including the Panathenaia, to the question, cf. also Durante 1957:106: “For anyone who proceeds backwards from the historical stage of epic recitations, from known to unknown, there can be no doubt that the genesis of the epic is inseparable from the institution of the rhapsodic contest and from the context that this necessarily presupposes, the religious festival” (“Per chi proceda a ritrorso da quello che è lo stadio storico delle recitazioni epiche, from known to unknown, non può esservi dubbio che la genesi della epos è inscindibile dall’istituto dell’agone rapsodico e dall’ambiente che questo necessariamente presuppone, la festa religiosa”); cf. also Durante 1976:197. Durante, who mentions other festivals like the Delia, thinks especially of the Panionia (1957:106): “But the greatest Ionian festival was the Panionia celebrated on Mycale; now the simile in Iliad 20.403–5 shows, as ancient and modern interpreters have seen, that the author of the passage knew firsthand the sacrifice to Poseidon Helikonios that was performed at this festival” (“Ma la più grande festa ionica erano i Panionia celebrati a Micale: orbene, il paragone Υ 403–5 mostra, come videro esegeti antichi e moderni, che l’autore del passo conosceva de visu il sacrificio a Posidone Eliconio che si effettuava in questa festa”); Durante cites Ziehen RE ‘Panionia’ 602, with bibliography. It may be that the Peisistratids had the specific model of the Delia in mind when they instituted rhapsodic contests at the Panathenaia; it has even been suggested that when Peisistratos purified Delos he terminated the Delia and transferred the rhapsodic contests from that festival to the Panathenaia (Murray 1934:191–192; cf. Durante 1957:106n44 and 1976:197n2; for the opposite view, that Peisistratos renewed the Delia after he purified Delos, see n4.9 above; the ambiguity lies in Thucydides 3.104.2, which refers to the Athenians’ first penteteric celebration of the Delia, but it is unclear whether the purification of Delos with which Thucydides connects this event was that under Peisistratos or that in 426 BC).

[ back ] 98. By the Homeric poems I mean the Iliad and Odyssey, which, whatever else came to be associated with the name Homer, the early Homeridai surely also performed; the issue of what was attributed to Homer in the course of time is discussed further in EN4.6. I date the composition of the Delian Hymn to Apollo to the mid-seventh century BC; this issue is also discussed in EN4.6. For the blind bard of the Delian Hymn to Apollo as representing the Homeridai of Chios, cf. Dyer 1975.

[ back ] 99. Welcker 1832/1845:33–34; cf. n4.11 above.

[ back ] 100. I am especially struck by the comparison of the Ionians to gods in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (one would say that they are ἀθανάτους καὶ ἀγήρως, “deathless and ageless,” line 151), given the Phaeacians’ epithet, ἀγχίθεοι, “close to the gods,” in Odyssey 5.35 and 19.279, and the Phaeacians’ role in the Odyssey, in which two of them (in my view) actually represent the goddess Athena. Welcker 1832/1845:34 notes that the Ionians’ “wealth” (κτήματα) in Homeric Hymn to Apollo 155 also has a close correspondence in the Odyssey: the same word κτήματα occurs in a reference to the Phaeacians’ great wealth in Arete’s speech in Odyssey 11.340–341: πολλὰ γὰρ ὑμῖν / κτήματ’ ἐνὶ μεγάροισι θεῶν ἰότητι κέονται, “for many possessions lie in your halls by the will of the gods.” Finally I draw attention to the Ionians’ “swift ships” (νῆάς τ’ ὠκείας) in Homeric Hymn to Apollo 155, since swift ships are such an essential feature of the Phaeacians’ characterization.

[ back ] 101. Performances of the Homeric poems at the Panionia cannot have lasted much into the seventh century BC; see §4.40 below. They would have ended before the time of the Delian Hymn to Apollo, but not long before. For a different view of the description of the Delian festival in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, see Burkert 1987:54; going beyond the idea that he (and independently R. Janko) had reached earlier, namely that a Delian and a Pythian hymn to Apollo were combined into one hymn for Polycrates’ celebration of a joint Púthia kaì Dḗlia festival on Delos in 523 or 522 BC, Burkert suggests that much of the Delian hymn, including the description of the festival, was composed for Polycrates’ joint festival: “Parts of the text may well be older, but the arrangement belongs to the Polykrates festival, including the description of the Delian festival itself contained in the text.” Burkert proposes this late dating in particular for the hymn’s description of the singing of a chorus of Delian maidens. Be this as it may, I continue to follow Janko in dating the core of the Delian hymn, including the description of the Ionians gathered for a festival on Delos, to the seventh century BC. (For the festival of Polycrates as the context for the combined Homeric Hymn to Apollo, see Burkert 1979:59–60, 59n29 and Janko 1982:112–114, 258n76; cf. also Aloni 1989. The ancient sources for the combined festival concern a proverb relating to the festival’s name; they cite Menander and Epicurus for the proverb; see Burkert 1979:59n31.)

[ back ] 102. Nestor’s role is extensive enough in both poems to justify conclusions for the poems in their entirety; in the Iliad all of Nestor’s appearances contribute to one unified role, and in the Odyssey the Phaeacians must be taken into account together with Nestor himself. Nestor’s twin myth is put directly into play in Iliad 11, after allusions to it earlier in the poem; it remains in play until Odyssey 11, where it is fixed once and for all in a constellation of other twin myths, and a final echo of it is heard in Odyssey 15.

[ back ] 103. See above §2.89 and n2.118, and cf. §2.64.

[ back ] 104. Cf. n1.2 above on the motif of Nestor’s three-generation lifespan, which is deployed in the Iliad to introduce Nestor for the first time, and is redeployed in the Odyssey to recall that first introduction. These instances are related to “Monro’s Law,” which properly concerns the complementary distribution of content between the two poems. But whereas other instances of complementary distribution (including the way in which the motif of Nestor’s three-generation lifespan is deployed) reflect the Odyssey’s awareness of the Iliad, and do not logically require the earlier coexistence of the two poems, Iliad 8, in my view, alludes to Odyssey 3, and that is a different matter. If the principle that the Iliad can allude to the Odyssey is first established, then other possible examples suggest themselves: what Achilles says to Odysseus in Iliad 9.312–313 (ἐχθρὸς γάρ μοι κεῖνος ὁμῶς Ἀΐδαο πύλῃσιν / ὅς χ’ ἕτερον μὲν κεύθῃ ἐνὶ φρεσίν, ἄλλο δὲ εἴπῃ, “For he is hateful to me like the gates of Hades, / whoever hides one thing in his mind and says another thing”) may anticipate and turn against Odysseus what Odysseus himself says in Odyssey 14.156–157 (ἐχθρὸς γάρ μοι κεῖνος ὁμῶς Ἀΐδαο πύλῃσι / γίνεται, ὃς πενίῃ εἴκων ἀπατήλια βάζει, “For he is hateful to me like the gates of Hades, / who succumbs to poverty and says deceitful things”; cf. Edwards 1987:222 and Wilson 2002:86); similarly the footrace in Iliad 23 may allude to the nóstos of Odysseus as told in the Odyssey, and more particularly to the destruction of the lesser Ajax as told in Odyssey 4; it may also be that in Iliad 19, when Odysseus urges Achilles to let the army eat, “the Iliad answers the Odyssey directly” (Pucci 1987:169); and Iliad 10, which to some extent resembles the Odyssey in language (cf. Hainsworth 1993:154) and theme (the ambush theme of Iliad 10, as studied by Edwards 1985, is at least suggestive of the Odyssey), need not be later than the rest of the Iliad in order to allude to the Odyssey and its themes (cf. n4.126 below). It remains true, of course, that the Homeric poems also allude to epic traditions that do not appear, or do not appear prominently, in either poem; the specific instance of Memnon is discussed in EN4.7. Therefore it cannot be completely excluded that Iliad 8 alludes, not to Odyssey 3, but to the epic nóstoi tradition in general.

[ back ] 105. For those who believe that both poems were traditional this idea will not be hard to accept; but it remains to say exactly what it means that both poems were traditional, for two such large-scale poems, so symmetrical with each other, obviously did not always exist side by side. We still have to confront the problem of the expansion of the epics to their present size and design at a particular time.

[ back ] 106. This is the so-called Panathenaic rule, which is attributed to Hipparchus in “Plato” Hipparchus 228b: τὰ Ὁμήρου ἔπη πρῶτος ἐκόμισεν εἰς τὴν γῆν ταυτηνί, καὶ ἠνάγκασε τοὺς ῥαψῳδοὺς Παναθηναίοις ἐξ ὑπολήψεως ἐφεξῆς αὐτὰ διιέναι, ὥσπερ νῦν ἔτι οἵδε ποιοῦσιν, “He first brought the epics of Homer to this land, and compelled the rhapsodes at the Panathenaia to go through them in order, one after another, as they still do now.” Cf. Diogenes Laertius 1.57, where the rule is attributed to Solon: τά τε Ὁμήρου ἐξ ὑποβολῆς γέγραφε ῥαψῳδεῖσθαι, οἷον ὅπου ὁ πρῶτος ἔληξεν, ἐκεῖθεν ἄρχεσθαι τὸν ἐχόμενον, “He proposed the law that the poems of Homer be performed in succession, so that where the first rhapsode left off, from there the next would begin” (Diogenes’ source was Dieuchidas of Megara, whose attribution of the Panathenaic rule to Solon reflects the values of democratic Athens; see Ritoók 1993:47–48, Nagy 1999:131–132). There is disagreement among scholars whether the Iliad and the Odyssey were performed in their entirety at the Panathenaia. Burkert 1987:49–50 makes the case against such a complete performance: “There never could be a question of reciting the complete text of the Iliad at a rhapsodic contest. To recite the whole of the Iliad alone, not to mention the Odyssey and all the other works still attributed to Homer, would take thirty to forty hours, more than the time available for all the tragedies and comedies at the Great Dionysia, which clearly was the more important literary event in Athens. Homerids could only produce selections from the huge thesaurus that remained in the background.” Burkert (60n44) cites the scholia to Aristides Panathenaic Oration 147.9 (Dindorf p. 196) that the Panathenaia lasted four days. But Mikalson 1975:34 (cited by Burkert) notes that on the Athenian calendar the last two days of Hekatombaion do not have the usual month-end meetings and he takes this to mean that the celebration of the Panathenaia ended on the last day of the month, Hekatombaion 30; he suggests further that the lack of all public meetings on Hekatombaion 23–30 may indicate a festival of eight days. Cf. also Stanley 1993:401n36, who, for Homeric performances, prefers the longer festival of Mikalson. Without going into the question of the festival’s length West 1999:382 (cf. also 372) simply assumes “the complete performance of the poems of Homer” at the Panathenaia; Stephanie West shares this view in Jensen et al. 1999:70. The Panathenaic rule implies that before the rule was imposed episodes were performed out of order (cf. Burgess 2001:14), and this in turn suggests incomplete performance of the poems; it may be that performance in the correct order entailed complete performance as well.

[ back ] 107. We do not even know for certain that both the Iliad and the Odyssey were performed, although the phrases τὰ Ὁμήρου ἔπη in Plato and τά τε Ὁμήρου in Diogenes Laertius make that a fair assumption.

[ back ] 108. Nestor’s complex role in the Iliad and the Odyssey, for example, would belong to the period of the poems’ expansion at the Panionia, but modifications to the parts of the poems in which Nestor plays this role were also made in future generations: the catalogue of heroines in Odyssey 11, which is an integral part of Nestor’s Panionic role, received a Panathenaic overlay in the sixth century (see §2.160 above); Nestor’s story in Iliad 11, I think, received a comparable overlay in the fifth century (see Part 5 below on the passages in his story containing precise geographical description). There were other modifications of the poems as well, such as the Athenian entry to the Catalogue of Ships (see §3.87–§3.91 above). Such later modifications are not negligible, but they are minor compared with the Panionic core of the two poems.

[ back ] 109. The earliest inscription of more than a few letters, the Dipylon vase inscription, dates from 740–730 BC and contains a dactylic hexameter. See below §4.58–§4.65 and n4.194 for the question of the relationship of this inscription, and of the somewhat later “Nestor’s cup” inscription, to the Homeric poems.

[ back ] 110. To explain the monumental scale of the Homeric poems both Parry and Lord thought in terms of oral dictation; their experiments with living oral traditions in Yugoslavia have given the dictation theory legitimacy (Parry 1971:451; Lord 1960:124–128, 148–154). Janko 1998 is among those who have espoused the dictation theory more recently; Nagy 1999a, who rejects the theory, critiques Janko’s argument. West 2000 also rejects the dictation theory, but he does so in order to assert the even more improbable theory of a completely literate Homer; cf. also West 2001:108.

[ back ] 111. At the Panathenaia a written text was a control on what the rhapsodes performed, and not a means enabling them to perform it; the rhapsodes were specialists in remembering their repertoire and did not need writing to achieve this; cf. Nagy 2002:15–16. Nagy’s distinction between a “transcript” at this stage and a “script” two centuries or more later is to the point (for Nagy’s evolutionary scheme of Homeric poetry see his 1996a:110, 2002:6). For the likelihood that writing was used to add a Panathenaic layer to the catalogue of heroines in Odyssey 11, see §2.157 above; control of what was henceforth to be included in Panathenaic performances was clearly the issue in this case, which directly concerned the Peisistratids. The role that writing may have played in the transmission of the Homeric poems before the Panathenaic stage is impossible to discern, but it too was probably far from a simple matter; cf. Cassio 2002:114.

[ back ] 112. I explain more fully my objections to the theory that writing was used to create the Iliad and the Odyssey below §4.57 and n4.191, n4.192, n4.193.

[ back ] 113. Greek society (especially archaic Greek society) was defined as agonistic by Burckhardt in Griechische Kulturgeschichte and Nietzsche in Homer’s Wettkampf, but there is another side to the issue; for the current debate as to “competitive” versus “cooperative” values in Homer there are references in Haubold 2000:5n23. For the competitive aspect of Greek poetry see especially the work of Pagliaro (n4.94 above).

[ back ] 114. The relationship between the two Sanskrit epics may be comparable: Smith 1980:73 contrasts the Rāmāyaṇa with the more traditional Mahābhārata: “It is rather as though the Rāmāyaṇa had been composed in the manner of an epic, rather than having evolved as an epic.” Nagy 1996:45n66, referring to Smith’s argument, suggests that “a similar argument could be developed about the Homeric Odyssey as opposed to the Iliad.” This is my view precisely. For an illustration of the way in which the Odyssey may have been developed from local origins into its Panhellenic form see Marks 2003, whose argument uses the internal evidence of Homeric epic in combination with later sources.

[ back ] 115. Opinions as to the origin of the book divisions vary widely, from attributing them to Alexandrian librarians, to regarding them as organic and authentic. Van Sickle 1980:9–12 argues for a date between the third and first centuries BC, and Taplin 1992:285–286 thinks that the book divisions originated with Aristarchus; Mazon 1942:137–140, Broccia 1967, and Stanley 1993:249–261 are among those who regard the divisions as authentic. Stephanie West, who concludes that the book divisions are pre-Alexandrian, suggests that they go back to the fourth-century book trade (West 1967:18–25; cf. Pfeiffer 1968:115–116), and later proposes that the divisions originated in the sixth century for rhapsodes’ performances at the Panathenaia (Heubeck et al. 1988–1992, vol. 1, 39–40). I would go back still further and trace the rhapsodes’ practice in Athens, including the book divisions, to the Homeridai of Chios, and I see no reason why the book divisions cannot be wholly oral in origin (for the Homeridai as the likely source of the Panathenaic text, cf. Nagy 1992:48 and Graziosi 2002:205, and as the likely source of the Panathenaic rule, Nagy 2009:PI§§54, 144–145, 166–167; for origins of the book divisions in the oral phase of the poems see below in text). At some point the twenty-four letters of the Ionic alphabet were assigned to the twenty-four books of both poems, and it has been suggested that this practice too goes back to Homer (Goold 1960:289); but Ionic alphabets in the Homeric period varied from twenty to twenty-six letters (see Taplin 1992:285), and use of the standard Ionic alphabet to number the books doubtless began later. The primary factor in the number of books is not the alphabet, but, as I will argue below, the number twelve and its multiples. West 1967:19n30 suggests something similar: “The use of the Ionic alphabet (instead of the decimal-alphabetical system) is strange…, but intelligible if the twenty-four-fold division was canonical.”

[ back ] 116. There have been many attempts to correlate book divisions with performance; for a recent treatment, see M. S. Jensen in Jensen et al. 1999:5–35, with comments by eleven other scholars, 35–83.

[ back ] 117. M. S. Jensen in Jensen et al. 1999:25–26, citing Notopoulos 1964, Mazon 1942:138.

[ back ] 118. Episodes in serial dramas are constructed on this principle, but in these (I think of television serials) an overall structure is usually weak or lacking.

[ back ] 119. See n4.123 below for a similar analysis in Thornton 1970.

[ back ] 120. See §2.129 above on the passage concluding Odyssey 8 (Odyssey 8.577–586):

εἰπὲ δ’ ὅ τι κλαίεις καὶ ὀδύρεαι ἔνδοθι θυμῷ
Ἀργείων Δαναῶν ἠδ’ Ἰλίου οἶτον ἀκούων.
τὸν δὲ θεοὶ μὲν τεῦξαν, ἐπεκλώσαντο δ’ ὄλεθρον
ἀνθρώποισ’, ἵνα ᾖσι καὶ ἐσσομένοισιν ἀοιδή.
ἦ τίς τοι καὶ πηὸς ἀπέφθιτο Ἰλιόθι πρό,
ἐσθλὸς ἐών, γαμβρὸς ἢ πενθερός; οἵ τε μάλιστα
κήδιστοι τελέθουσι μεθ’ αἷμά τε καὶ γένος αὐτῶν.
ἦ τίς που καὶ ἑταῖρος ἀνὴρ κεχαρισμένα εἰδώς,
ἐσθλός; ἐπεὶ οὐ μέν τι κασιγνήτοιο χερείων
γίνεται, ὅς κεν ἑταῖρος ἐὼν πεπνυμένα εἰδῇ.

Tell me why you weep and grieve in your heart
when you hear the fate of the Argive Danaans and Troy.
The gods made that fate, and spun out destruction
for men, so that there might be a song for those to come.
Did some kinsman by marriage die at Troy,
one who was a good man, a son-in-law or father-in-law? These
are the closest ties after one’s own blood and family.
Or was it some companion who knew pleasing things,
a good man? Since in no way inferior to a brother
is one who, being a companion, knows wise things.

[ back ] 121. The reference for the demonstrative pronoun τόν in the first line of Book 9 is made clear by the vocative Ἀλκίνοε in the next line. The opening of Odyssey 21, which begins another four-book segment of the poem, is similar: the feminine demonstrative pronoun τῇ in the first line is made clear by the name Penelope in the next line (Odyssey 21.1–2):

τῇ δ’ ἄρ’ ἐπὶ φρεσὶ θῆκε θεὰ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη,
κούρῃ Ἰκαρίοιο, περίφρονι Πηνελοπείῃ….

To her the goddess grey-eyed Athena put it in mind,
to Ikarios’s daughter, wise Penelope….

The opening of Book 21 differs from the opening of Book 9 in that Penelope is not mentioned at the end of the previous book, but only in the new book. Such a transition to a new subject by way of a demonstrative pronoun is not uncommon. A similar change of subject to Penelope occurs in Odyssey 18.157–160 (the suitor Amphinomos is the subject in line 157):

ἂψ δ’ αὖτις κατ’ ἄρ’ ἕζετ’ ἐπὶ θρόνου ἔνθεν ἀνέστη.
τῇ δ’ ἄρ’ ἐπὶ φρεσὶ θῆκε θεὰ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη,
κούρῃ Ἰκαρίοιο, περίφρονι Πηνελοπείῃ,
μνηστήρεσσι φανῆναι.

He sat back down on the chair from which he rose.
To her the goddess grey-eyed Athena put it in mind,
to Ikarios’s daughter, wise Penelope,
to appear to the suitors.

As regards the demonstrative pronoun, then, the opening of Odyssey 9 is not abrupt but follows a pattern of epic composition. The point remains, of course, that Odysseus in Book 9 replies (ἀπαμειβόμενος) to something just said, and this must be regarded as striking and unusual if it is the start of a new performance.

[ back ] 122. The day that begins at Odyssey 17.1 finally ends at Odyssey 20.91, when a new day dawns. In this segment of the poem the action continues through day and night and then into the next day: when Odysseus finally sleeps in Odyssey 20.54, Penelope remains awake and prays to Artemis; when dawn then appears Odysseus reawakens and hears Penelope, who is still awake and weaping (Odyssey 20.91–92).

[ back ] 123. I was unaware when I wrote this analysis of the Iliad into four-book segments that in 1965 J. A. Davison had proposed the same thing, and that in 1970 and 1984 Agathe Thornton had substantially developed Davison’s idea. Davison, arguing against the possibility of large-scale interpolation in the post-Homeric Iliad, proposed the six four-book segments as likely units of performance on the basis of numbers alone: unlike the individual books of the Iliad, which vary considerably in length, the four-book segments are more even in length (Davison 1965:23–25). Following Davison Thornton noted an indentical structural principle in the Odyssey on the basis of both numbers and content (Thornton 1970 xiii–xiv, 120–128); Thornton later turned her attention to the Iliad, which, again following Davison, she analyzed into six performance units on the basis of content (Thornton 1984:46–63). While giving all due credit to Davison for discovering the principle at issue and to Thornton for developing a case for it, I have thought it best to leave my own original analysis unchanged. Thornton’s more detailed analysis of the Iliad’s content may be compared with my own, which is independent of it, but which is in substantial agreement with it. For the lengths of the four-book segments of both poems see n4.134 below. A point of particular interest to me in Davison’s argument is his view that each segment would have been performed by four different poets, and that the individual books have to do with this division of labor. I have come to the same conclusion. The main point in which I differ from Davison is that I do not assume that writing played any part in the creation of the poem(s).

[ back ] 124. Diomedes’ central role in the second segment of the poem is foreshadowed near the end of the first segment, when Agamemnon reviews the troops and chides Diomedes for being a lesser warrior than his father (Iliad 4.370–400). Unlike his companion Sthenelos, Diomedes takes Agamemnon’s chiding in good part (Iliad 4.401–421), and this foreshadows his role in the second segment: on the one hand he will soon demonstrate his valor with deeds rather than words; on the other hand there are limits to what he can do, as the scene with Agamemnon, with its negative comparison of Diomedes to Tydeus, seems to suggest. Diomedes’ role in this segment also has an intermediate stage: in Book 6 he refuses to fight with Glaukos the Lycian because they are ancestral guest friends. Broccia 1967:86 finds Diomedes’ role in this episode so different from his role in Book 5 that he regards the episode as an addition (“aggiunta”) rather than as part of the conception of Book 5. But if Books 5–8 feature an overall reversal in Diomedes’ role, as suggested above, Book 6 fits well as the neutral stage between his onslaught in Book 5 and his retreat in Book 8 (even in Book 5 Diomedes does not have his way completely with the Trojans: Aeneas escapes him with Apollo’s help, just as he later escapes Achilles). Broccia’s idea of an “aggiunta” is meant to illustrate his theory that the Iliad was expanded to monumental proportions by rhapsodes in competition, each building on what the previous singer had sung, without any a priori design; but I would view any such “addition” from the standpoint of the development of Books 5–8 as a separate performance, and in this there was a design in terms of the segment’s basic action. In the confrontation between Glaukos and Diomedes in Book 6, an Ionian audience would have been much interested in Glaukos’s Greek descent from Sisyphos, given the statement in Herodotus 1.147 that some Ionians took Cauconian Pylians as their kings, other Ionians took Lycian descendants of Glaukos as their kings, and still others took kings of both origins. As an ancestor of some of the Ionians Glaukos was the perfect opponent for Diomedes not to fight. To me this speaks of an overall design in the segment. It may be noted that Herodotus 2.116.3 refers to Iliad 6.289–292 as ἐν Διομήδεος Ἀριστηίῃ, “in the Aristeia (Prowess) of Diomedes”; this name is usually applied only to Book 5, and Herodotus seems to have extended it to this part of Book 6, where the Trojan women pray to Athena to stop Diomedes, offering her a particular gift. One wonders if the name could have been used of the entire segment Books 5–8, but I think not: while the focus on Diomedes would have been appropriate for the entire segment, his aristeía in the first part of the segment turns into a retreat by the end of the segment.

[ back ] 125. The end of Book 8 is considered a major break in the performance of the Iliad by Heiden 1996, who divides the Iliad into three units for performance (the end of Book 15 is the second major break in Heiden’s scheme). The end of Book 8 and the beginning of Book 9 happen to contain an instance of “Zielinski’s law” in that the assembly called by the Trojans (Iliad 8.489–541) and the assembly called by the Achaeans (Iliad 9.9–78) presumably occur at the same time (cf. Cantieni 1942:36).

[ back ] 126. I think that Book 10 belonged to the Iliad from the start and that the ancient notice that it was composed separately by Homer and interpolated into the Iliad by Peisistratos is not to be trusted (scholia to the beginning of Iliad 10: φασὶ τὴν ῥαψῳδίαν ὑφ’ Ὁμήρου ἰδίᾳ τετάχθαι καὶ μὴ εἶναι μέρος τῆς Ἰλιάδος, ὑπὸ δὲ Πεισιστράτου τετάχθαι εἰς τὴν ποίησιν, “They say that this rhapsody was placed on its own by Homer and was not part of the Iliad, but that it was placed in the poem by Peisistratos”). If Book 10 has much in common with the Odyssey, that, in my view, is no argument against its having been composed at the Panionia. Cf. Hainsworth 1993:151–155 and n4.104 above. In a full-scale study of the subject Dué and Ebbott 2010 attribute differences between Book 10 and other parts of the Iliad to differences in theme, and this, I think, is the right approach; the narrower question is to what extent Book 10 has the Odyssey in view.

[ back ] 127. The Achaean wall, which figures prominently in the battle of the third segment, is hastily constructed part way through the second segment (Iliad 7.436–441). The ending of Book 12, where Hector breaches the wall, is a dramatic highpoint: nowhere does Hector appear more menacing than here, as he leaps through the breach with fire in his eyes. After he smashes the gate with a huge stone, the book ends as follows (Iliad 12.462–471):

ὃ δ’ ἄρ’ ἔσθορε φαίδιμος ῞Εκτωρ
νυκτὶ θοῇ ἀτάλαντος ὑπώπια· λάμπε δὲ χαλκῷ
σμερδαλέῳ, τὸν ἕεστο περὶ χροΐ, δοιὰ δὲ χερσὶ
δοῦρ’ ἔχεν· οὔ κέν τίς μιν ἐρύκακεν ἀντιβολήσας
νόσφι θεῶν ὅτ’ ἐσᾶλτο πύλας· πυρὶ δ’ ὄσσε δεδήει.
κέκλετο δὲ Τρώεσσιν ἑλιξάμενος καθ’ ὅμιλον
τεῖχος ὑπερβαίνειν· τοὶ δ’ ὀτρύνοντι πίθοντο.
αὐτίκα δ’ οἳ μὲν τεῖχος ὑπέρβασαν, οἳ δὲ κατ’ αὐτὰς
ποιητὰς ἐσέχυντο πύλας· Δαναοὶ δὲ φόβηθεν
νῆας ἀνὰ γλαφυράς, ὅμαδος δ’ ἀλίαστος ἐτύχθη.

Shining Hector leapt in,
his face like swift night. He shone with the terrible bronze
that he had put on around his body, and he had
two spears in his hands; no one meeting him but the gods would have stopped him
when he sprang inside the gates; his eyes were ablaze with fire.
Turning around in the throng he called out to the Trojans
to go over the wall; and they listened as he urged them on.
Straightaway some went over the wall, and some poured in
through the well-built gates; the Danaans fled
through the hollow ships, and an inescapable din arose.

This is a highly suspenseful place to leave the audience at the end of one performance, with a full day to wait for the next performance; it deserves the name cliff-hanger.

[ back ] 128. Zeus literally pushes Hector forward in Iliad 15.694–695 (τὸν δὲ Ζεὺς ὦσεν ὄπισθε / χειρὶ μάλα μεγάλῃ, “Zeus pushed him from behind with his very large hand”), and the book ends in suspense, as Ajax, beleaguered by the Trojans, does not give way but continues to ward off fire from the ships (Iliad 15.743–746). In Book 16 Hector finally cuts Ajax’s sword in two and sets fire to a ship, and the poet invokes the Muses to tell this part of the story (Iliad 16.112–124). The increased intensity at this point serves the story of Patroclus, whom Achilles sends into battle when he sees the fire in the ship (Iliad 16.124–129).

[ back ] 129. Iliad 13.1–9:

Ζεὺς δ’ ἐπεὶ οὖν Τρῶάς τε καὶ Ἕκτορα νηυσὶ πέλασσε,
τοὺς μὲν ἔα παρὰ τῇσι πόνον τ’ ἐχέμεν καὶ ὀϊζὺν
νωλεμέως, αὐτὸς δὲ πάλιν τρέπεν ὄσσε φαεινὼ
νόσφιν ἐφ’ ἱπποπόλων Θρῃκῶν καθορώμενος αἶαν
Μυσῶν τ’ ἀγχεμάχων καὶ ἀγαυῶν Ἱππημολγῶν
γλακτοφάγων Ἀβίων τε δικαιοτάτων ἀνθρώπων.
ἐς Τροίην δ’ οὐ πάμπαν ἔτι τρέπεν ὄσσε φαεινώ·
οὐ γὰρ ὅ γ’ ἀθανάτων τινα ἔλπετο ὃν κατὰ θυμὸν
ἐλθόντ’ ἢ Τρώεσσιν ἀρηξέμεν ἢ Δαναοῖσιν.

When Zeus had brought the Trojans and Hector near the ships,
he let them have hardship and toil beside them
without pause, but he himself turned his shining eyes away,
looking down on the land of horse-tending Thracians
and close-fighting Mysians and proud milk-eating
Horse-milkers and Abioi, the most just of men.
No longer did he turn at all his shining eyes to Troy;
for in his heart he did not expect any of the immortals
to come and help the Trojans or Danaans.

That this is simply a distraction is clear from the fact that Zeus is here checking up on a tribe that is called “the most just of men”: clearly there can be no need of Zeus’s intervention there.

[ back ] 130. Familiar to all is the cliff-hanger that ends “to be continued,” and then resolves itself immediately in the next episode and goes off in a new direction.

[ back ] 131. The Achaean wall, which marks a stage in the development of the story when it is breached at the end of Book 12, is put back in play in this segment: while Zeus sleeps the Trojans are driven back outside the wall, and when he awakens Apollo repeats Hector’s earlier action, smashing the wall and leading the Trojans through again (Iliad 15.1–8, 360–366). The wall well illustrates the separate development of the story in the two segments.

[ back ] 132. The final confrontation between Achilles and Hector is anticipated in Book 20 only to be put off until the poem’s final segment. When Achilles first enters battle (20.41–46), he wants Hector but does not yet find him (20.75–78), and Apollo sends Aeneas his way instead; this confrontation, which takes up the middle of the book (20.79–352), ends inconclusively when Poseidon saves Aeneas. When the two armies finally come to grips, Apollo warns Hector not to confront Achilles (20.375–378). Only now, toward the end of Book 20, does Achilles slay his first victims: he slays three victims (20.381–406) before Hector’s brother Polydoros becomes his fourth victim, and this draws Hector himself into a confrontation with Achilles (20.407–423). The two heroes address each other and fight, but Athena renders Hector’s spear-cast ineffectual, and Apollo rescues Hector from the battlefield as Achilles is about to slay him. Apollo’s action pointedly contrasts with his role in the final confrontation between Hector and Achilles, when he will desert Hector. For now Achilles lets Hector go and turns to other victims, slaying ten more to end Book 20. Thus does Achilles enter battle for the first time in the Iliad. The final segment of the poem is closely connected with this segment, continuing virtually without break, and this, I think, is by design: Achilles is in pursuit of the fleeing Trojans at the end of Book 20, and Book 21 begins exactly there (Iliad 21.1–5):

Ἀλλ’ ὅτε δὴ πόρον ἷξον ἐϋρρεῖος ποταμοῖο
Ξάνθου δινήεντος, ὃν ἀθάνατος τέκετο Ζεύς,
ἔνθα διατμήξας τοὺς μὲν πεδίον δὲ δίωκε
πρὸς πόλιν, ᾗ περ Ἀχαιοὶ ἀτυζόμενοι φοβέοντο
ἤματι τῷ προτέρῳ, ὅτε μαίνετο φαίδιμος Ἕκτωρ.

But when they reached the ford of the beautiful-flowing,
eddying Xanthos, whom immortal Zeus fathered,
he cut them asunder there, and he chased some to the plain
toward the city, where the Achaeans had fled in terror
the day before, when shining Hector raged.

No subjects are expressed to tell us who came to the river and who separated them from each other, pursuing some of them to the city and trapping others in the river, and this has made the division between Books 20 and 21 among the most problematic in the Iliad (Broccia 1967:19–22 discusses this book division first, as one that in his view must have originated outside of performance); but for anyone following the poem so far there is no ambiguity, and the point, I think, is to maintain the intensity of Achilles’ entry into battle: the final two segments of the poem work together in this.

[ back ] 133. One test case might begin with the study of Whitman and Scodel 1981. The authors have analyzed the close interrelationship of episodes in Iliad 13–15, some of which are repeated to convey simultaneous action (Zielinski’s law). The analysis, I think, may provide an insight into how the action within this particular segment was developed. I would emphasize, however, that Book 16, to which the authors refer only tangentially, is part of the same segment. The proof of this is that the climax of the struggle in Books 13–15 does not occur until early Book 16, when Hector finally sets fire to an Achaean ship; this triggers the segment’s true climax, Patroclus’s entry into battle and eventual death. Given the onward thrust of the action from the end of Book 15, where a beleaguered Ajax continues to ward off fire from the ships, into Book 16, where Hector cuts Ajax’s spear in two and sets fire to a ship (16.101–124), I disagree with Heiden 1996:19–22 that the end of Book 15 constitutes one of two major breaks in the performance of the Iliad (the other being at the end of Book 8; cf. n4.125 above); this seems to me to disregard the development of the story at the most basic level of action.

[ back ] 134. In the text of the Homeric poems as we have it the twelve four-book segments vary in length between 1757 lines (Books 5–8 of the Odyssey) and 2972 lines (Books 13–16 of the Iliad). Based on these figures the longest performance would have been 1.7 times as long as the shortest performance. The total lines for the six segments of the Iliad are as follows: Books 1–4: 2493; Books 5–8: 2485; Books 9–12: 2611; Books 13–16: 2972; Books 17–20: 2305; Books 21–24: 2827. For the Odyssey the totals are as follows: Books 1–4: 2222; Books 5–8: 1757; Books 9–12: 2233; Books 13–16: 2011; Books 17–20: 2032; Books 20–24:1855.

[ back ] 135. After the daytime feast Demodokos sings the quarrel of Achilles and Odysseus (Odyssey 8.73–82); after the nighttime feast he sings the Trojan horse (Odyssey 8.499–520). On the next day Demodokos sings an unspecified song after a daytime feast as Odysseus waits for the sun to set and his voyage home to begin (Odyssey 13.27–28). Węcowski 2002 takes nighttime epic performance among the Phaeacians to be against their usual practice of retiring with the sun; he interprets the provision made for nighttime feasting in the description of Alcinous’s palace (Odyssey 7.98–102) to be an intrusion from the poet’s world, which already featured the nighttime symposium, into the heroic world, in which days end at sunset. But Odysseus’s performance in Books 9–12, I suggest, has to do with contemporary epic performance at a panḗguris more than with the contemporary symposium. Taplin 1992:29–30, 39–40 suggests that Homeric performances took place at night at the Panathenaia and earlier festivals; cf. Ford 1997:88.

[ back ] 136. For the possibility that the Panathenaia lasted six days or more see n4.106 above. A six-day celebration of the Panionia, allowing three days for the performance of the Iliad and three days for the Odyssey, is in line with Wade-Gery’s estimate that the Iliad took three days to perform at a panḗguris (Wade-Gery 1952:14–16, 69nn39–40, 70n42); the famous three-day reading of the Iliad by the poet Ronsard may be an apt comparison (Wade-Gery 1952:16). Davison 1965:23–25, who proposes that the performance of the Iliad was divided into six four-book segments, imagines a three-day performance of two segments per day; Thornton 1984:46–63, following Davison’s scheme, imagines a performance either three or six days in length, with only one segment per day in a six-day performance (1984:48, 58).

[ back ] 137. The Panathenaia was a yearly festival, but poetic contests occurred only at the Great Panathenaia every fourth year (Lycurgus Against Leocrates 102 implies this). There is no real parallel for the yearly poetic performances that I posit; I recognize this lack, but I add that there is also no parallel for poems on the scale of the Iliad and Odyssey: more frequent performances would have been necessary to create the poems at the Panionia than to recite them at the Great Panathenaia. Quadrennial Greek festivals were mostly expanded versions of annual festivals like the Panathenaia (see Ziehen RE ‘Penteteris’ 537–538). The Olympic and Pythian games are exceptions; in both cases there is evidence that an eight-year cycle preceded the four-year cycle (see Nilsson 1967:644–647; cf. Ziehen RE ‘Penteteris’ 539).

[ back ] 138. The games follow the daytime feast (Odyssey 8.97–255). After the games Demodokos performs the song of Ares and Aphrodite, which youths accompany with a dance (8.256–369); Alcinous’s sons Halios and Laodamas then follow with a particularly athletic dance (8.370–380).

[ back ] 139. The Cimmerians occupied Mykale for at least three and as many as ten years; cf. n4.78 above on Welles 1934 no. 7.

[ back ] 140. The Homeric poems seem to be aware of the Lydians and Gyges. Achilles’ first victim when he enters battle in Iliad 20 is from “under Mount Tmolos,” an identifying feature of the later Lydian homeland (Iliad 20.381–385):

ἐν δ’ Ἀχιλεὺς Τρώεσσι θόρε φρεσὶν εἱμένος ἀλκὴν
σμερδαλέα ἰάχων, πρῶτον δ’ ἕλεν Ἰφιτίωνα
ἐσθλὸν Ὀτρυντεΐδην πολέων ἡγήτορα λαῶν,
ὃν νύμφη τέκε νηῒς Ὀτρυντῆϊ πτολιπόρθῳ
Τμώλῳ ὕπο νιφόεντι Ὕδης ἐν πίονι δήμῳ.

Achilles leapt among the Trojans, having put on resoluteness in his heart,
shouting terribly, and he slew Iphition first,
Otryntes’ noble son, the leader of many warriors,
whom a water nymph bore to city-sacking Otryntes
beneath snowy Tmolos in the rich land of Hyde.

Later geographers identified Hyde, Iphition’s town, with the Lydian capital Sardis; cf. Leaf and Bayfield 1898 ad loc. When Achilles exults over his first victim he refers to his birth by the λίμνη Γυγαίη, the “Gygaean lake” (Iliad 20.389–392):

κεῖσαι Ὀτρυντεΐδη πάντων ἐκπαγλότατ’ ἀνδρῶν·
ἐνθάδε τοι θάνατος, γενεὴ δέ τοί ἐστ’ ἐπὶ λίμνῃ
Γυγαίῃ, ὅθι τοι τέμενος πατρώϊόν ἐστιν
Ὕλλῳ ἐπ’ ἰχθυόεντι καὶ Ἕρμῳ δινήεντι.

You lie still, son of Otryntes, most violent of men;
here is your death, but your birth is by the Gygaean lake,
where your ancestral precinct is,
on the fish-filled Hyllos and the eddying Hermos.

The “Gygaean lake” is also mentioned in Iliad 2, in the Trojan catalogue, where it is in the territory of the Maeonians (Iliad 2.864–866):

Μῄοσιν αὖ Μέσθλης τε καὶ Ἄντιφος ἡγησάσθην
υἷε Ταλαιμένεος τὼ Γυγαίη τέκε λίμνη,
οἳ καὶ Μῄονας ἦγον ὑπὸ Τμώλῳ γεγαῶτας.

Mesthles and Antiphos led the Maeonians,
the sons of Talaimenes, whom the Gygaean lake bore;
they led the Maeonians, born under Mount Tmolos.

The Maeonians, “born under Mount Tmolos,” are epic predecessors of the Lydians. The λίμνη Γυγαίη was perhaps not named for the famous king Gyges (cf. Kirk 1985 on Iliad 2.864–866: “The Gygaean lake…was presumably named after an ancestor of the famous Guges”), but the Homeric phrase seems at least to evoke the famous king. The Homeric phrase (which is found also in Herodotus) and the Maeonians are discussed further in EN4.8.

[ back ] 141. For the issue of the league’s date of origin, cf. n4.90 above and §4.66–§4.71 below; it is perhaps more accurate to say that there is no current consensus as to date.

[ back ] 142. Herodotus 1.27 tells how Bias of Priene (or Pittacus of Mytilene) dissuaded Croesus from building ships and attempting to overthrow the islanders, convincing him that the islanders would welcome meeting Croesus in a sea battle, just as he would welcome meeting them in a land battle. Croesus thus gave up his plan to build a navy and instead made a pact of guest-friendship with the islanders: κάρτα τε ἡσθῆναι Κροῖσον τῷ ἐπιλόγῳ καί οἱ, προσφυέως γὰρ δόξαι λέγειν, πειθόμενον παύσασθαι τῆς ναυπηγίης. καὶ οὕτω τοῖσι τὰς νήσους οἰκημένοισι Ἴωσι ξεινίην συνεθήκατο, “Croesus was very pleased by the reasoning, and, being persuaded by him, for he seemed to speak to the point, he stopped building ships. And so he made a treaty of guest-friendship with the Ionians who inhabited the islands” (Herodotus 1.27.5).

[ back ] 143. See Burkert 1972:77nn13 and 15 for sources on the Kreophyleioi; particularly interesting in Burkert’s study is his analysis of the debt that the Oikhalias Halosis, which Burkert dates to the seventh century BC (p. 82), owes to the Homeric poems in terms of themes and general style (pp. 82–85). Callimachus weighed the relative merits of the two traditions in a famous epigram on the Oikhalias Halosis (Callimachus Epigrams 6 Pfeiffer):

τοῦ Σαμίου πόνος εἰμὶ δόμῳ ποτὲ θεῖον ἀοιδόν
δεξαμένου, κλείω δ’ Εὔρυτον ὅσσ’ ἔπαθεν,
καὶ ξανθὴν Ἰόλειαν, Ὁμήρειον δὲ καλεῦμαι
γράμμα· Κρεωφύλῳ, Ζεῦ φίλε, τοῦτο μέγα.

I am the Samian’s work, who once received the divine poet
in his home; I celebrate Eurytos and all that he suffered,
and fair-haired Iole; I am called Homer’s
writing: for Kreophylos, by Zeus, this is a great thing.

Callimachus’s judgment of the Samian tradition may be more negative than Burkert would have it. I note in particular the contrast in the first line between τοῦ Σαμίου, “the Samian,” at the beginning of the line and θεῖον ἀοιδόν, “divine poet,” at the end of the line: here, and again in the last line of the epigram, Homer is pointedly ranked above Kreophylos. Callimachus’s judgment that the Oikhalias Halosis, although it is called Homeric, is in fact Kreophylos’s work, must have to do with the poem’s quality. Burkert (p. 76) thinks that the epigram hovers between appreciation and irony with respect to Kreophylos, but irony seems to me to predominate. Graziosi 2002:190 does not see irony in the epigram’s tone of praise for the Oikhalias Halosis, but her own discussion (Graziosi 2002:193, cf. also 193–200) is not inconsistent with such a reading. Strabo 14.1.18, who quotes the epigram to offset the story of Homeric authorship, does not concern himself with the reasons behind Callimachus’s judgment.

[ back ] 144. For the Homeridai as preservers of the Iliad and the Odyssey see EN4.6 to n4.98 above. For ancient sources and modern opinion concerning the Homeridai see Burkert 1972:79n20, who remarks that they are little more than a name for us, and for the ancient world as well; see also Allen 1924:42–50. Pindar Nemean 2.1–5 attests that the Homeridai were still rhapsodes in the fifth century; their performances, Pindar says in a comparison with his victor’s achievement, often began with a hymn to Zeus:

Ὅθεν περ καὶ Ὁμηρίδαι
ῥαπτῶν ἐπέων τὰ πόλλ’ ἀοιδοί
ἄρχονται, Διὸς ἐκ προοιμίου, καὶ ὅδ’ ἀνήρ
καταβολὰν ἱερῶν ἀγώνων νικαφορίας δέδεκται πρῶτον, Νεμεαίου
ἐν πολυϋμνήτῳ Διὸς ἄλσει.

From the point that the Homeridai singers also
usually begin their stitched words,
from a prooimion of Zeus, this man too
has first received a foundation of victories in the holy games
in the much-hymned grove of Nemean Zeus.

The scholia to Pindar Nemean 2.1 say that the Homeridai were originally descendants of Homer who sang his poetry by inheritance: Ὁμηρίδας ἔλεγον τὸ μὲν ἀρχαῖον τοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ Ὁμήρου γένους, οἳ καὶ τὴν ποίησιν αὐτοῦ ἐκ διαδοχῆς ᾖδον. But later, the scholia continue, the rhapsodes no longer claimed Homer as an ancestor; one of these later rhapsodes was the Chian Kynaithos, who, according to the scholia, composed the Homeric Hymn to Apollo about the end of the sixth century BC and attributed it to Homer: μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα καὶ οἱ ῥαψῳδοὶ οὐκέτι τὸ γένος εἰς ῞Ομηρον ἀνάγοντες. ἐπιφανεῖς δὲ ἐγένοντο οἱ περὶ Κύναιθον, οὕς φασι πολλὰ τῶν ἐπῶν ποιήσαντας ἐμβαλεῖν εἰς τὴν Ὁμήρου ποίησιν. ἦν δὲ ὁ Κύναιθος τὸ γένος Χῖος, ὃς καὶ τῶν ἐπιγραφομένων Ὁμήρου ποιημάτων τὸν εἰς Ἀπόλλωνα γεγραφὼς ὕμνον ἀνατέθεικεν αὐτῷ. οὗτος οὖν ὁ Κύναιθος πρῶτος ἐν Συρακούσαις ἐραψῴδησε τὰ Ὁμήρου ἔπη κατὰ τὴν ξθ’ Ὀλυμπιάδα, ὡς Ἱππόστρατός φησιν, “After this the rhapsodes no longer traced their ancestry [génos] to Homer. Those around Kynaithos were famous, who they say composed many verses and inserted them into the poetry of Homer. Kynaithos was a Chian by race, and of the poems claimed for Homer he wrote the hymn to Apollo and attributed it to Homer. This Kynaithos gave the first rhapsodic performance of the Homeric poems in Syracuse in the sixty-ninth Olympiad, so Hippostratos says.” Whereas the scholia seem to report a reliable tradition when they say that the Homeridai of the late sixth century did not claim Homer as their ancestor, the first part of the statement, that the original Homeridai were Homer’s offspring, is, I think, an erroneous inference from the name Homeridai itself (see next note). For Kynaithos see Burkert 1979 and cf. Nagy 2009:PI§§157–179, E§§84–89, 116, 118, 124; Nagy, PI§§174–176, E§86, argues that if the combined Homeric Hymn to Apollo was in fact commissioned by Polycrates to celebrate the Púthia kaì Dḗlia (cf. n4.101 above), it was Kynaithos who performed this commission. Durante 1976:188n2 leaves open the possibility that Homeridai, though particularly associated with Chios, were also found in other Ionian cities; whether or not this was the case in Colophon (see Pasquali 1913:88–92 on Nicander Ὁμήρειος), the Kreophyleioi of Samos should not be considered Homeridai (Rzach RE ‘Homeridai’ 2150 makes clear that the legendary Kreophylos is a very different creature from the Chian Homerid Kynaithos).

[ back ] 145. If Chios rather than Samos became the home of the Homeric poems, Miletus perhaps had something to do with that; I note that whereas Miletus and Samos took different sides in the Lelantine war (cf. n4.64 above), Miletus and Chios remained allies throughout the early period: during Alyattes’ repeated attacks on Miletus c. 600 BC none of the Ionian cities came to Miletus’s aid except Chios, which did so to repay Miletus for help in Chios’s earlier war with Erythrai (Herodotus 1.18.3; cf. n4.48 above). Huxley 1966:51 suggests that the war between Chios and Erythrai could have been part of the Lelantine war; this conflict between Chalcis and Eretria over the Lelantine Plain in Euboea became more widespread, with allies on both sides, and probably lasted many years, but the details are unknown (Thucydides 1.15.3 says that the rest of Greece took part in the war, but, as Huxley 1966:51 says, the problem is to find enough allies for each of the protagonists). If the Lelantine war began early enough and lasted long enough, it may have coincided with the period in which the Panionic league developed. Surely many local rivalries had to be overcome when the league came into being, and the conflict between Erythrai and Chios was perhaps one; Miletus and Samos may also have had to reconcile differences for the sake of the league. But differences doubtless remained in the long run, and these may have been a factor in the move of the Homeridai to Chios rather than Samos, where a rival guild of rhapsodes took root. For further consideration of the earliest development of the Panionic league see below n4.162 and §4.67. For the Lelantine war as possible background to this development see below §4.50–§4.51 and n4.174; Bearzot 1983:76 considers the war between Chios and Erythrai to be part of the Lelantine war, which, following Sordi 1958:42–51, she dates late (mid-seventh century BC; cf. n4.174 below for the problem of dating the Lelantine war).

[ back ] 146. I follow Durante 1957 (republished with modifications in Durante 1976:185–204) for the derivation and interpretation of the name. The essentials are as follows: The names Ὁμηρίδαι and Ὅμηρος, which belong to the same lexical series as e.g. the verb ὁμηρέω, “meet with” (Odyssey 16.468), derive from *som-, “together,” and the root ar- of ἀραρίσκω, “join together, fasten” (the root vowel is lengthened in the compound forms by Wackernagel’s Law, as in e.g. στρατηγός, “general” [root *ag- of ágō, “lead”], πανήγυρις, “festival” [cf. ageíro, “gather”]; Wackernagel 1889). A derivative form in -ios, Ὁμάριος, was the epithet of Zeus as god of a common festival of the Achaeans celebrated near Helike in Achaea; the neuter form ῾Ομάριον designated that festival’s site, literally “place of coming together.” The association of the names Homērídai and Hómēros with festivals, based on Greek Homários and Homárion, is strongly supported by a Sanskrit comparison: Sanskrit samará-, “coming together, battle, festival reunion,” is the exact cognate of Greek Hómēros, and the derivative form samaryá-, “battle, festival reunion, poetic contest,” is the exact cognate of Homários/Homárion. Durante’s proposal is discussed further in EN4.9.

[ back ] 147. Cf. the scholia to Pindar Nemean 2.1, quoted n4.144 above. The earliest sources for the Homeridai as a génos are Acusilaus (early fifth century) and Hellanicus, both cited by Harpokration s.v. Ὁμηρίδαι· γένος ἐν Χίῳ, ὅπερ Ἀκουσίλαος ἐν γ’, Ἑλλάνικος ἐν τῇ Ἀτλαντιάδι ἀπὸ τοῦ ποιητοῦ φησιν ὠνομάσθαι, “Homeridai: a génos in Chios, which Akusilaos in the third book and Hellanicus in the Atlantias say was named from the poet.”

[ back ] 148. For the Panathenaia see n4.111 above (cf. also n4.106 and n4.107 above). Albert Lord showed that a fully creative oral tradition does not maintain a song in a fixed form over time and drew the following conclusion for Homer (Lord 1970:18): “[The] dream of an Homeric Iliad and Odyssey preserved ‘in oral tradition’ in ‘more or less’ the same form over several generations is demonstrably false if the Greek tradition was in the first phase of oral tradition.” In my view Homeric tradition was not still “in the first phase of oral tradition” when it fell to the Homeridai to preserve it (Powell 1991:189 quotes only the first part of Lord’s statement to support his view of a written Homer; the second part of Lord’s statement seems to me to be an important qualification, and one that Milman Parry also understood; cf. Parry 1971:337). It is possible that writing eventually became a factor in preserving the poems in the hands of the Homeridai on Chios, but I do not think that this is a necessary hypothesis. I should also emphasize that I do not exclude some variation in the tradition of the poems either among the early Homeridai or at the later Panathenaia, but I think that in both cases the limits of variation remained fairly narrow—how narrow is the question. Gregory Nagy has stressed the distinction between a written text and a progressively fixed text (cf. Nagy 1992:51: “There can be textuality—or better, textualization—without written text”; cf. also Nagy 1996:40). In Nagy’s model the process of diffusion accounts for fixation: the more wide spread the poems became the more fixed they became. I would modify this model to allow the Homeridai a central role in the process of diffusion; it was through the Homeridai, who first fixed the poems, that the poems were spread.

[ back ] 149. I argued in n3.285 above that Solon fr. 4 West presents the Homeric view of Athena Polias, which differed markedly from the Athenians’ traditional view of their own city goddess. But does Solon have specifically Homer in mind in his depiction of Athena Polias or epic tradition in general? Werner Jaeger argued that Solon fr. 4, in which Athena holds her protective hands over Athens but the Athenians destroy the city by their own stupidity, alludes to Odyssey 1.32–34, where Zeus says that men wrongly blame gods for evils brought on by themselves through their own recklessness (Jaeger 1926); a direct link here is possible but cannot be proved (cf. Mülke 2002:96). Maria Noussia (Noussia and Fantuzzi 2001:238) thinks a direct correspondence in language probable between fr. 4 and Odyssey 4, where Penelope’s sister appears to Penelope in a dream and reassures her that Telemachus will be safe because he has Athena’s protection (Odyssey 4.825–829):

θάρσει, μηδέ τι πάγχυ μετὰ φρεσὶ δείδιθι λίην·
τοίη γάρ οἱ πομπὸς ἅμ’ ἔρχεται, ἥν τε καὶ ἄλλοι
ἀνέρες ἠρήσαντο παρεστάμεναι, δύναται γάρ,
Παλλὰς Ἀθηναίη· σὲ δ’ ὀδυρομένην ἐλεαίρει·
ἣ νῦν με προέηκε τεῒν τάδε μυθήσασθαι.

Have courage, and do not at all fear overly much in your heart;
for such an escort goes with him, whom other men as well
have prayed to stand by their side, for she has the power,
Pallas Athena; she pities you in your grief;
it is she who has now sent me to tell you these things.

The resemblance to the opening of Solon fr. 4 West is striking:

ἡμετέρη δὲ πόλις κατὰ μὲν Διὸς οὔποτ’ ὀλεῖται
αἶσαν καὶ μακάρων θεῶν φρένας ἀθανάτων·
τοίη γὰρ μεγάθυμος ἐπίσκοπος ὀβριμοπάτρη
Παλλὰς Ἀθηναίη χεῖρας ὕπερθεν ἔχει.

Our city will never be destroyed by the destiny of Zeus
and the will of the blessed immortals.
For such a great-hearted guardian, Pallas Athena,
the daughter of a mighty father, holds her hands over it.

A more general Homeric pattern is indicated by Iliad 4.390, where Athena’s help for Tydeus in days past is expressed in similar terms (τοίη οἱ ἐπίρροθος ἦεν Ἀθήνη); the correspondence of the Solon passage can be with this passage as well. Noussia 2006:147–148 sees a similar correspondence in language and theme between Solon fr. 4a.1–2 West (Solon’s álgea, “woes”) and Iliad 24.522–523 and Odyssey 24.423 (cf. Vox 1984:53–54); Noussia 2002:496–503 attributes the phrase αἰπὺν…οὐρανόν, “steep…sky,” in Solon fr. 13.21–22 West to Solon’s knowledge of an old variant (οὐρανὸν αἰπύν, “steep sky”) reported by Zenodotus for the phrase οὐρανὸν εὐρύν, “wide sky,” in Iliad 3.364 and 15.192. Irwin 2005:113–153 detects an “Odyssean-stance” in Solon’s poetry, which she connects with his political activity, especially regarding Salamis; the case that she makes is persuasive in my view. For further discussion of Homeric reception at an early period see below n4.209 and n5.59.

[ back ] 150. Cf. n4.5 above. For the pedigree of the Medontidai see Jacoby, commentary on Hellanicus FGrHist 323a F 23, pp. 43–51. Jacoby, p. 51, argues that Hellanicus first constructed a pedigree for this dynasty as part of a list to fill the gap between the Ionian migration in Medon’s time and the first annual archon in 683/2 BC; Jacoby even regards the last Medontid ruler, Hippomenes, about whom there was an actual tradition (see below n4.151 and n4.152), as having been made a Medontid only secondarily (see n4.152 below). There was further manipulation of the Medontid tradition by democratic authors, who made the Medontidai archons rather than kings; details of the democratic scheme are discussed in EN4.10. While there is little actual history of the Medontidai (Hippomenes may be the exception), there is epigraphic evidence of a phratry named Medontidai, and a génos of this name may still have existed in the fifth century BC; the evidence is discussed in EN4.10.

[ back ] 151. See Jacoby, commentary on Hellanicus FGrHist 323a F 23, p. 45 and n29, for sources and variants of the story. An excerpt from Aristotle’s Constitution of the Athenians (Aristotle fr. 611.1 Rose = Heraclides Lembus 371.1 Dilts) says that kings were no longer chosen from the Kodrids because the Kodrids had become weak and effeminate, but that Hippomenes tried to remove this charge by killing his daughter and an adulterer in gruesome fashion: ἀπὸ δὲ Κοδριδῶν οὐκέτι βασιλεῖς ᾑροῦντο διὰ τὸ δοκεῖν τρυφᾶν καὶ μαλακοὺς γεγονέναι. Ἱππομένης δὲ εἷς τῶν Κοδριδῶν βουλόμενος ἀπώσασθαι τὴν διαβολήν, λαβὼν ἐπὶ τῇ θυγατρὶ Λειμώνῃ μοιχόν, ἐκεῖνον μὲν ἀνεῖλεν ὑποζεύξας [μετὰ τῆς θυγατρὸς] τῷ ἅρματι, τὴν δὲ ἵππῳ συνέκλεισεν ἕως ἀπόληται, “They no longer chose kings from the Kodrids because they seemed to indulge in luxury and to have become effeminate. Hippomenes, one of the Kodrids, wishing to throw off this slander, seized an adulterer with his daughter Leimone and killed him by hitching him [with his daughter] to a chariot; he locked her up with the horse until she died.” This excerpt stops short of what should be the point, namely that the Kodrids (Medontids) permanently lost power because of popular hatred for Hippomenes’ deed. Nikolaos of Damascus FGrHist 90 F 49 makes Hippomenes’ fall from power explicit in his version of the story: Ἱππομένης, ὁ Ἀθηναίων ἄρχων, ἐξέπεσε τῆς ἀρχῆς δι’ αἰτίαν τοιάνδε. ἦν αὐτῷ θυγάτηρ, ἥντινα τῶν ἀστῶν τινος λάθρα αἰσχύναντος, ὑπ’ ὀργῆς καθεῖρξεν εἰς οἴκημα δήσας σὺν ἵππῳ, καὶ τροφὴν οὐδετέρῳ εἰσέπεμπε. πιεσθεὶς οὖν λιμῷ ὁ ἵππος, ἐφορμήσας τῇ παιδὶ, ἀναλώσας τε αὐτὴν, καὶ αὐτὸς ὕστερον ἀπέθανε. μετὰ ταῦτα ἐπισκαφείσης αὐτοῖς τῆς οἰκήσεως, ἀπ’ ἐκείνου ὁ χῶρος ἐκαλεῖτο Ἵππου καὶ Κόρης, “Hippomenes, the Athenians’ ruler, fell from power through the following cause. He had a daughter, whom, when one of the citizens secretly brought shame on her, he angrily locked in a building, tying her to a horse, and he sent food in to neither one. And so the horse, pressed by hunger, attacked the girl and consumed her, and later died itself. After this the building was razed over them, and from that time the place was called ‘of the Horse and the Maiden’.”

[ back ] 152. The name of the place is Ἵππου καὶ Κόρης, “of the Horse and the Maiden” (Nikolaos of Damascus, see previous note) or Παρ’ ἵππον καὶ κόρην, “By the horse and the maiden” (Lexeis Rhetorikai, p. 295.12 Bekker; scholia to Aeschines 1.182 [367b Dilts]; cf. Suda s.v.). The entry in the Lexeis Rhetorikai (which follows the scholia to Aeschines according to Jacoby, commentary on Hellanicus FGrHist 323a F 23, n17) is as follows: Παρ’ ἵππον καὶ κόρην· ὄνομα τόπου Ἀθήνῃσιν. ἐκλήθη δὲ οὕτως ἀπὸ τοῦ τὸν Ἱππομένην, ἕνα τῶν Κοδριδῶν, βασιλέα ὄντα, τῆς παιδὸς αὐτοῦ διαφθαρείσης τὴν παρθενίαν, ἀγανακτήσαντα καθεῖρξαι αὐτὴν ἐν τῷ χωρίῳ ἐκείνῳ μεθ’ ἵππου μαινομένου, ὑφ’ οὗ προδήλως ἔμελλεν ἀπολεῖσθαι, “By the Horse and the Maiden: the name of a place in Athens. It was called this for the following reason: Hippomenes, one of the Kodrids, who was king, bore it ill when his daughter lost her virginity, and locked her up in that place with a crazed horse, beneath which she was destined to die in full view.” The “crazed horse” (ἵππου μαινομένου) in this version of the story was suggested by the name Hippomenes. In the Suda s.v. Παρίππον καὶ κόρη, where a “crazed horse” again appears, the form of the name is Hippomanes, making the connection even closer: Παρίππον καὶ κόρη· τόπος Ἀθήνησιν οὕτω καλούμενος· ἐπειδή τις τοῦ γένους τῶν Κοδριδῶν, Ἱππομάνης τοὔνομα, ὃς καὶ τελευταῖος ἐβασίλευσε, τὴν θυγατέρα καθεῖρξεν ἐν χωρίῳ τινὶ μεθ’ ἵππου μαινομένου, διότι λαθραίῳ μίξει τὴν παρθενίαν αὐτῆς ἐλυμήνατο. καὶ ὁ ἵππος τὴν κόρην βίαν ἐποιήσατο· ἀφ’ οὗ Πάριππος καὶ κόρη ὁ τόπος, ἐν ᾧ τὸ πάθος ὑπέστη, καλεῖται, “By the Horse and the Maiden: a place in Athens so called because one of the family of the Kodrids, Hippomanes by name, who was also the last king, locked his daughter in a place with a crazed horse for the reason that she had dishonored her virginity by secret intercourse. And the horse ravished the girl; from this the place in which she underwent the suffering is called ‘By the Horse and the Maiden’.” This source also makes it explicit that Hippomenes was the last king (τελευταῖος ἐβασίλευσε). Jacoby, who regards the Hippomenes story as a genuine old aition, which “surely…had originally no other purpose but to explain the name…of a locality,” believes that “the Atthis made Hippomenes a Medontid, and made the disappearance of the second family of kings the consequence of his gruesome deed” (Jacoby 1949:145). This seems to me to imply that no tradition whatsoever survived for how Athens was governed before the start of the annual archonship. I prefer to think that there really were Medontid kings, and that Hippomenes was quite possibly the last of them. Cf. Carlier 1984:495, who argues that detailed stories of the end of kingship in Greece, like the story of Hippomenes in Athens (among others, see Carlier 1984:495n23), have a factual basis.

[ back ] 153. Herodotus 5.65 gives this information when he tells how the Peisistratids were driven from power in 510 BC: μετὰ δὲ ἐξεχώρησαν ἐς Σίγειον τὸ ἐπὶ τῷ Σκαμάνδρῳ, ἄρξαντες μὲν Ἀθηναίων ἐπ’ ἔτεα ἕξ τε καὶ τριήκοντα, ἐόντες δὲ καὶ οὗτοι ἀνέκαθεν Πύλιοί τε καὶ Νηλεῖδαι, ἐκ τῶν αὐτῶν γεγονότες καὶ οἱ ἀμφὶ Κόδρον τε καὶ Μέλανθον, οἳ πρότερον ἐπήλυδες ἐόντες ἐγένοντο Ἀθηναίων βασιλέες. ἐπὶ τούτου δὲ καὶ τὠυτὸ οὔνομα ἀπεμνημόνευσε Ἱπποκράτης τῷ παιδὶ θέσθαι τὸν Πεισίστρατον, ἐπὶ τοῦ Νέστορος Πεισιστράτου ποιεύμενος τὴν ἐπωνυμίην, “Afterwards they went away to Sigeion on the Scamander, having ruled the Athenians for thirty-six years, they too being in origin Pylians and Neleids, born from the same ancestors as those around Kodros and Melanthos, who earlier as immigrants had become kings of the Athenians. In memory of this Hippocrates gave his son the same name Peisistratos, naming him after Nestor’s son Peisistratos” (Herodotus 5.65.3–4). Cf. above §4.13 end.

[ back ] 154. The Medontids and the Neleids were Kodrids, whereas Peisistratos claimed a non-Kodrid connection with the same original ancestor, the Pylian Neleus. Rivalry with Athens’ past Medontid rulers is perhaps suggested by the wording in Herodotus 5.65.3 used to describe the position claimed by Peisistratos and his family: ἐόντες δὲ καὶ οὗτοι ἀνέκαθεν Πύλιοί τε καὶ Νηλεῖδαι, ἐκ τῶν αὐτῶν γεγονότες καὶ οἱ ἀμφὶ Κόδρον τε καὶ Μέλανθον, οἳ πρότερον ἐπήλυδες ἐόντες ἐγένοντο Ἀθηναίων βασιλέες, “they too being in origin Pylians and Neleids, born from the same ancestors as those around Kodros and Melanthos, who earlier as immigrants had become kings of the Athenians.” Kodrid descent was attributed to Solon (Diogenes Laertius 3.1; Plutarch Solon 1.1); it is not clear what the basis for this was (cf. Davies 1971:323), but it would seem to have nothing to do with Peisistratos. The mothers of Solon and Peisistratos were cousins according to Heraclides Ponticus (Plutarch Solon 1.2), but Solon’s alleged Kodrid descent was through his father (Diogenes Laertius 3.1), and Peisistratos’s claim to descent from Pylian Neleus was presumably through his father as well. Cf. Aly RE ‘Solon’ 948.

[ back ] 155. I view Nestor himself as an epic rather than historical figure, and so too his sons; even within epic I doubt that Nestor or his sons had wide currency outside the Homeric poems (see §4.56 below) despite the counterexample of Antilochus’s death at the hands of Memnon (see EN4.7 to n4.104 above). Leaving Antilochus aside for now (see n4.189 below), I suggest that his brother Peisistratos, who did not go to Troy, had minimal existence outside the Homeric poems, or none at all. To put the genealogical claim of the Athenian tyrant Peisistratos in perspective it is significant that his political opponents, the Alcmaeonids and the Paionids, made the same claim to be descendants of Nestor through two of his other sons: the Alcmaeonids claimed to be descendants of Thrasymedes, the Paionids of Antilochus. The genealogical claims of the Alcmaeonids and the Paionids, as Toepffer 1889:225–228 argues (and as their very names show) are fictitious; in my view their claims cast doubt on Peisistratos’s claim as well: if Peisistratos’s claim had been seen as unassailable, it probably would not have invited rival claims from his opponents. The rival Athenian claims to descent from Nestor are discussed further in EN4.11.

[ back ] 156. Shapiro 1983:89: “The Peisistratos who was archon in 669/668 is almost certainly an ancestor of the Tyrant named for the same Neleid hero.” The date is determined indirectly as follows: according to Pausanias 2.24.7 Peisistratos was archon in the fourth year of an Olympiad, the number of which is missing from the text; Pausanias mentions the victory of Eurybotos the Athenian in the stádion in the same Olympiad, and this victor, with the name Eurybates, is attested for the twenty-seventh Olympiad by both Dionysius of Halicarnassus 3.1.3 and Sextus Iulius Africanus List of the Victors at the Olympic Games; cf. Cadoux 1948:90. Pausanias 2.24.7 concerns the Battle of Hysiai, in which Argos defeated Sparta; this event occurred in the archonship of Peisistratos, and is thus dated to 669/8 BC as well. For the likelihood that the archon of this year was an ancestor of the tyrant cf. Davies 1971:445: “At all events, though homonymity is the only argument for supposing that Peisistratos (I), archon in 669/8, was an ancestor, this argument is nearly strong enough by itself.”

[ back ] 157. In Herodotus 5.65.4 there is a close connection between the Pylian ancestry of past Athenian kings (passage quoted in n4.154 above) and the naming of the future tyrant Peisistratos after Nestor’s son: ἐπὶ τούτου δὲ καὶ τὠυτὸ οὔνομα ἀπεμνημόνευσε Ἱπποκράτης τῷ παιδὶ θέσθαι τὸν Πεισίστρατον, ἐπὶ τοῦ Νέστορος Πεισιστράτου ποιεύμενος τὴν ἐπωνυμίην, “Hence Hippocrates remembered to give his son the same name Peisistratos, naming him after Nestor’s son Peisistratos” (or perhaps “remembering [this] Hippocrates gave…,” with ἀπεμνημόνευσε…θέσθαι standing for ἀπομνημονεύσας…ἔθετο by enallage; for ἐπὶ τούτου, “hence,” cf. Herodotus 2.57.1; 7.40. 3; 7.83.1; 7.193.2). His family, I think, had high ambitions for the future tyrant from his birth. Another sign of the family’s ambitions for the future tyrant even before his birth, if the story is not an invention after his tyranny became a fact, is the portent of the kettle that boiled without fire when Hippocrates visited Delphi (Herodotus 1.59.1); while the interpretation given to this supernatural event is negative (Chilon the Spartan advises Hippocrates not to conceive a son), there is something larger than life about the portent itself, and this could be useful to one who deliberately rivaled former kings.

[ back ] 158. This explanation, I think, provides an answer to a real question regarding Peisistratos and his family; cf. Davies 1971:445: “As with the Alkmeonidai, we cannot yet properly explain or explain away the tradition that the Peisistratidai were of Pylian and royal origin (Hdt. 5.65.3), but for the latter, as for the Alkmeonidai, this tradition must be taken in conjunction with demonstrable Eupatrid status” (for the family’s connections and status cf. also Anderson 2003:30 and 227n43). As to how Athenians became aware of the Homeric poems at the end of the eighth or beginning of the seventh century BC, I suggest that as Ionians they may have been honored guests at the Panionia, and thus present at the creation; cf. §4.63 below.

[ back ] 159. Parthenius Erotica Pathemata 14 (= Aristotle fr. 556 Rose); Parthenius names Aristotle and authors of Milesian tales as his two sources (ἱστορεῖ Ἀριστοτέλης καὶ οἱ τὰ Μιλησιακά).

[ back ] 160. ἐκ δὲ Ἁλικαρνασσοῦ παῖς Ἀνθεὺς ἐκ βασιλείου γένους ὡμήρευσε παρὰ Φοβίῳ, ἑνὶ τῶν Νειλειδῶν, τότε κρατοῦντι Μιλησίων, “The boy Antheus was a hostage from the royal family of Halicarnassus at the house of Phobios, one of the Neileids, who then ruled the Milesians” (Parthenius 14). Aristotle was clearly the source for the statement that Phobios was one of the Neleids and that he ruled Miletus.

[ back ] 161. Φοβίος μέντοι διὰ ταύτην τὴν αἰτίαν ὡς ἐναγὴς παρεχώρησε Φρυγίῳ τῆς ἀρχῆς, “But Phobios gave up the rule to Phrygios for this reason, being accursed” (Parthenius 14). Phrygios too must have been a Neleid, for the story concerns a personal tragedy, not a change of dynasty.

[ back ] 162. Milesian influence, as it extended south, first reached Iasos on the Gulf of Bargylia between Miletus and Myndos (see Map 1); Iasos was reputedly a colony of Argos, but according to Polybius 16.12 a “son of Neleus” (i.e. a Neleid) was brought from Miletus to Iasos to help the inhabitants in their war against the Carians (cf. Huxley 1966:49 and Hicks 1887:83–84). Further south Halicarnassus may also have felt the influence of Miletus in the early period (cf. Huxley 1966:50); by the fifth century BC, at any rate, Halicarnassus had become fully Ionic in dialect. Miletus’s influence was doubtless exerted northwards as well as southwards; we should bear this in mind when we consider the early formation of the Panionic league among cities whose populations were far from uniform in origin.

[ back ] 163. According to the fifth-century BC Lydian historian Xanthus (FGrHist 765 F 14 = Strabo 14.5.29) the Phrygians came to Asia from Europe after the Trojan war; their arrival, once associated with the collapse of the Hittite empire c. 1200 BC, is now usually dated to the tenth or ninth century BC (Neumann 1988:16). Inscriptions in Old Phrygian begin in the second half of the eighth century BC in an alphabet based on Greek and Semitic models (Lejeune OCD 3 ‘Phrygian language’). For the “close interchange of goods and cultural influences” that took place between Phrygians and Greeks in the later eighth century BC see Barnett 1975:428–429; for the arrival of the Phrygian cult of the Kabeiroi in Miletus in the late eighth century BC see Barnett 1975:437 and cf. n4.177 below. The cultural exchange is dated somewhat later by Cook 1975:799 (“The excavations seem to show that there was no exchange of manufactured objects or artistic motifs between Phyrygians and Greeks before the seventh century”). Högemann 2001:62 sets Homer in relation to Phrygia: “Homer was a contemporary Anatolian witness: he had experienced the history of the Phrygian kingdom under Midas of Gordion (from c. 750 BC), his brilliant period, but also his brutal end at the hands of the Cimmerians (676 BC)” (“Homer war anatolischer Zeitzeuge: Er hat die Geschichte des Phrygerreiches unter Midas von Gordion (ab ca. 750) erlebt, seine Glanzzeit, aber auch sein brutales Ende durch die Kimmerier [676]”); Eusebius’s dates for Midas are 738–696/5 BC; for Midas’s death by drinking bull’s blood see Strabo 1.3.21. Sources for the Phrygians are discussed by Carrington 1977. For the cult of the Kabeiroi in and near Miletus (Didyma and Assessos) see Laumonier 1958:173–174, 545, 569, 572, 585; cf. also Graf DNP ‘Kabeiroi’ 124, 125, 127.

[ back ] 164. Plutarch Bravery of Women 253f–254b; Polyaenus 8.35; Aristaenetus Epistolai 1.15. The story was also told by Callimachus (Aitia frs. 80–83 Pfeiffer).

[ back ] 165. Polyaenus 8.35: οἱ ἐν Μιλήτῳ Ἴωνες πρὸς τοὺς Νηλέως παῖδας στασιάσαντες ἀνεχώρησαν ἐς Μυοῦντα κἀκεῖθεν ἐπολέμουν· οὐ μὴν ὅγε πόλεμος ἄσπονδος ἦν, ἀλλὰ ἐν ταῖς ἑορταῖς ἦν αὐτοῖς ἐπιμιξία, “The Ionians in Miletus, being at odds with the sons of Neleus, withdrew to Myus and carried on a war from there; the war indeed was not without truces, but there was mixing between them at festivals.”

[ back ] 166. Polyaenus 8.35: Πύθου ἀνδρὸς ἐνδόξου θυγάτηρ Πιερία ἑορτῆς οὔσης παρὰ Μιλησίοις, ἣν Νηληΐδα κλῄζουσιν, ἧκεν ἐς Μίλητον. τῶν Νηλέως παίδων [ὁ δυνατώτατος] ὄνομα Φρύγιος Πιερίας ἐρασθεὶς ἤρετο, τί ἂν αὐτῇ μάλιστα γίγνοιτο κεχαρισμένον, κτλ., “Pieria, the daughter of Pythos, a respected man, came to Miletus when the Milesians were celebrating a festival which they call the Nēlēḯs. [The most powerful] of the sons of Neleus, Phrygios by name, fell in love with Pieria and asked her what the most pleasing thing was that could happen for her,” etc. In Polyaenus (and also in Plutarch) there is an explicit connection between the exile of the Neleids’ opponents to Myus and the period of hostility between Miletus and Myus that ends with a marriage; Huxley 1966:49 is misleading on this.

[ back ] 167. It seems reasonable to assume that Miletus’s reconciliation with neighboring Myus took place before the Panionic league came into being; this is a broad indication of the league’s date if Phrygios, because of his name, belongs to the eighth century BC. Cf. n4.163 above and §4.67–§4.68 below; but cf. also §4.71 below on the possibility of an earlier date for the league. For a different view of the story of Phrygios and Myus see Herda 1998:34n276, 41, who regards it as a Hellenistic invention.

[ back ] 168. Polyaenus and Plutarch both call the festival Nēlēḯs; Plutarch and Aristaenetus both say that the festival was for Artemis. Herda 1998:25–40 argues that the festival belonged to both Neileos, the city founder, and Artemis Kithone; Sakellariou 1958:50n1 and 54n7 takes the festival to be that of an Artemis Nēlēḯs.

[ back ] 169. Conon FGrHist 26 F 1 xliv (Photius Bibliotheca 186, Bekker pp. 139b–140a); Nikolaos of Damascus FGrHist 90 F 52 and 53. Both authors are of Augustan date.

[ back ] 170. Conon, who calls the rival Phitres, tells this part of the story; Photius’s summary of Conon begins: ἡ μδ’ ἱστορία φησὶν ὡς Λεωδάμας καὶ Φίτρης ἤρισαν ὑπὲρ τῆς Μιλησίων βασιλείας γένους ἄμφω ὄντε βασιλείου, “The forty-fourth narrative says that Leodamas and Phitres quarreled over the kingship of the Milesians, both being of the royal family” (Conon FGrHist 26 F 1 xliv).

[ back ] 171. Nikolaos of Damascus, who calls the rival Amphitres, tells this part of the story, beginning with the murder of Laodamas and the tyranny of Amphitres: Λεωδάμας ἐβασίλευσε Μιλησίων…εἰς ὃ φόνον αὐτῷ βουλεύσας Ἀμφιτρὴς ἐν ἑορτῇ Ἀπόλλωνος ἄγοντα ἑκατόμβην τῷ θεῷ Λεωδάμαντα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀπέκτεινεν, αὐτὸς δὲ μετὰ τῶν αὐτοῦ στασιωτῶν τὴν πόλιν κατελάβετο, καὶ τύραννος ἐγένετο, ἰσχύϊ προὔχων Μιλησίων, “Leodamas was king of the Milesians…until Amphitres plotted his murder and killed him at the festival of Apollo as he drove a hecatomb for the god along the road, and he himself seized the city with his faction and became tyrant, holding the chief place among the Milesians by force” (Nikolaos of Damascus FGrHist 90 F 52).

[ back ] 172. Amphitres was killed in battle by the sons and friends of Leodamas. After Amphitres’s death, the people elected an aisumnḗtēs who proscribed or exiled Amphitres’s followers. The second of the two excerpts of Nikolaos (FGrHist 90 F 53) concludes: οἱ μὲν δὴ Νηλεῖδαι κατελύθησαν ὧδε, “thus were the Neleids removed from power.” For the date of the Neleids’ fall from power the tenth or ninth century BC (proposed by Gorman 2001:92) is too early, the late eighth or early seventh century BC likely; see Herda 2005:290, who makes the terminus ante quem c. 630 BC, the date at which Miletus’s colony of Sinope was founded (here, and at Olbia [founded c. 575–550 BC] the two institutions that replaced the kingship at Miletus, the aisumnḗtēs and the Molpoi, are found in association with the cult of Apollo Delphinios as at Miletus). The Neleid family survived long after its fall on the evidence of an inscription from the first century BC recording an official “of the lineage (patriá) of the Neileidai” (Collitz-Bechtel 1884–1915 no. 5501; cf. n1.45 above; for patriá as a “gentilicial subgroup of the phratries” [“gentilizische Untergruppe der Phratrien”] see Herda 1998:19n138 with reference). The name “Neleid” does not occur on other inscriptions, but there is indirect evidence that the family was still active politically in the fifth century BC. Glotz 1906 argued this on the basis of a fifth-century banishment decree from Miletus (Tod 1946 no. 35, Meiggs and Lewis 1988 no. 43), which in Glotz’s view recorded the banishment of members of the Neleid family in the mid-fifth century (and then remained in place to color the account in Nikolaos of Damascus of the earlier banishment of Neleids under Amphitres). Barron 1962 extended Glotz’s idea that the inscription recorded the banishment of Neleids, arguing that in the mid-fifth century a Neleid oligarchy held power in Miletus for a few years before being banished. Against this is a more recent redating of the inscription to shortly after 479 BC when the city was reoccupied after the Persian defeat (see Robertson 1987:378–379; Herda 1998:18). Much of the case for the Neleids’ activity at the time of the decree depends on names that are interpreted as belonging to Neleids: Alkimos and Cresphontes, who were banished in the decree; Kretheus and Peisistratos, names of officials in Miletus during the period. Meiggs and Lewis 1988:105–107, while not accepting that there was a full-scale Neleid oligarchy in the mid-fifth century, accept that the names in question probably belonged to Neleids. Robertson 1987:379 and n56 does not accept this, but cf. Herda 1998:18. In my view not all the names are equally convincing, in particular Cresphontes, the name of the Heraclid conqueror of Messenia (the name also occurs in Apollonia Pontica, a colony of Miletus; see Herda 1998:10n55). The name Cresphontes seems appropriate for a Neleid only if the distinction between Messenians and Pylians blurred by poets (e.g. Pindar Pythian 6.35; cf. Strabo 14.1.3) was also blurred by the Neleid family; but Ephorus 70 F 116 (Strabo 8.4.7) shows that still in the fourth century BC Cresphontes and the Dorians were thought to have controlled only a limited part of Messenia, which did not include Pylos (see Kiechle 1959:43, 56, 68). The name Kretheus, on the other hand, is impeccably Neleid, belonging to Neleus’s step-father (it is also attested on Linear-B tablets from Pylos; Ventris and Chadwick 1973:260, 553; cf. Chadwick and Baumbach 1963 s.v.); this name by itself, I think, clearly suggests that the Neleids were still a political force in fifth-century Miletus. Herda 1998:18 and n135 adds another piece of evidence, drawing attention to a late Archaic altar dedicated by several prytaneis, one of whom is named Leodamas. When Herodotus refers to the Milesians as “those who set out from the prytaneion of the Athenians and consider themselves the noblest of the Ionians” (see n4.15 above), he may well have had contemporary Neleids especially in mind (cf. n4.16 above). Barron 1962:4n25 has suggested that Teichioussa, fifteen miles south of Miletus on an inlet of the sea (see Map 2), was the ancestral seat of the Neleids; he bases this on the fact that the first-century official “of the lineage of the Neileidai” (see above) is from the deme Teichioussai. Barron notes further that this official’s phratry, Pelagonidai, also suggests the Neleids: Pelagon is the name of a Pylian leader under Nestor in Iliad 4.295. For the fifth-century banishment decree cf. also Rhodes 1992:58–59.

[ back ] 173. In Conon the two Neleids are both sent on foreign campaigns to end the civil strife caused by their rivalry: τὸ κοινὸν δὲ τῇ ἐκείνων κακούμενοι στάσει τῆς μὲν φιλονεικίας μετὰ πολλὰ πάθη ἐξίσταντο, ἔκρινον δ’ ἐκεῖνον βασιλεύειν, ὃς Μιλησίους πλείω ἀγαθὰ ἐργάσοιτο, “Being harmed as a city by the strife of those men they [the Milesians] freed themselves of the rivalry after many sufferings, and decided that whichever did more good for the Milesians, he was king” (Conon FGrHist 26 F 1 xliv ). The war with Melos requires further comment; see §4.69 below.

[ back ] 174. See Huxley 1966:50, Herda 1998:45–46; for the Lelantine war cf. n4.64 and n4.145 above; for the problem of dating the Lelantine war see Hall 2002:232–234, 237–238 and cf. Herda 1998:46, 42n333. With respect to Karystos and Melos Conon says only that Miletus had wars with both at the time: ἦσαν δ’ αὐτοῖς τότε δύο πόλεμοι Καρυστίοις καὶ Μηλιεῦσι (Conon FGrHist 26 F 1 xliv). For the question of the historicity of Leodamas’s war against Karystos cf. Herda 1998:45–46 and n376.

[ back ] 175. The campaigns of Leodamas and his rival are summarized in Conon as follows: καὶ πρὸς μὲν Μῆλον (αὐτῷ γὰρ ὁ κλῆρος τοῦτον ἐδίδου τὸν πόλεμον) Φίτρης στρατεύσας ἄπρακτος ἀναστρέφει· Λεωδάμας δὲ λαμπρῶς κατὰ Καρυστίων ἀνδραγαθήσας, καὶ κατὰ κράτος ἑλὼν τὴν πόλιν καὶ ἀνδραποδισάμενος, Μιλήτου ἐπανιὼν κατὰ τὰ συγκείμενα βασιλεύει, “And Phitres, campaigning against Melos (for the lot gave him this war), returned unsuccessful; but Leodamas, brilliantly showing his courage against the Karystians, whose city he seized by force and enslaved, ruled Miletus when he returned according to the agreement” (Conon FGrHist 26 F 1 xliv).

[ back ] 176. Nikolaos of Damascus FGrHist 90 F 52: Λεωδάμας ἐβασίλευσε Μιλησίων, καὶ ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα ἐπῃνεῖτο, δίκαιός τε ὢν καὶ τῇ πόλει καταθύμιος, “Leodamas ruled the Milesians, and he was among the most praised, being both just and after the heart (according to the spirit) of the city.” For the βασιλεὺς καταθύμιος as the model for Augustan rule in Nikolaos see Parmentier 1991:233–234.

[ back ] 177. Leodamas’s reputation comes through clearly in both sources for him, although he is the primary focus in neither one. The main point of Conon’s story is that Leodamas brought back a captive from Karystos named Euangelos, the ancestor of a priestly family at Branchidai called the Euangelidai (cf. n4.232 below). Nikolaos of Damascus, as his final words show (οἱ μὲν δὴ Νηλεῖδαι κατελύθησαν ὧδε, “thus were the Neleids removed from power”), narrated the end of the Neleid dynasty in Miletus, and Leodamas’s role in this was only to be murdered by his rival; Nikolaos’s narrative focuses on the struggle against Leodamas’s murderer after he made himself tyrant, in particular the role of the Kabeiroi, new gods brought in from Phrygia to defeat him in battle.

[ back ] 178. For the question of the time needed for the Homeric poems to develop at the Panionia see §4.40 above and also §4.70–§4.71 below.

[ back ] 179. Welcker 1832:3: “Von den drei Söhnen des Alcinous (8.119) drückt nur der erste, Laodamas, das Königliche aus” (“Of the three sons of Alcinous [Odyssey 8.119] only the first, Laodamas, expresses kingliness”). Alcinous’s other two sons, as Welcker notes, have names related to the sea and seafaring (Halios and Klytoneos), as do two others in the royal family (Nausicaa and Nausithoos). Eighteen other Phaeacians have names related to the sea and seafaring: Ekheneos, Pontonoos, Akroneos, Okyalos, Elatreus, Nauteus, Prymneus, Ankhialos, Eretmeus, Ponteus, Proreus, Thoon, Anabesineos, Amphialos, Polyneos, Tektonides, Euryalos, Naubolides. Only Polybos, who made the purple ball used in the dance (Odyssey 8.373), and perhaps Dymas, “famous for ships” (ναυσικλειτοῖο Δύμαντος, Odyssey 6.22), do not have sea-related names. In the royal family three figures have names that are not related to the sea, Alcinous, Arete, and Laodamas, and all three names are significant.

[ back ] 180. For the meaning of the name Laodamas, “he who subdues/controls the people,” see above EN2.2. There are a few bearers of the name in addition to the Neleid king of Miletus (for two Athenian statesmen of the fifth and fourth centuries BC see Wickert RE ‘Leodamas’; five heroes called ‘Laodamas’ are treated separately by Meuli RE s.v.). For the “kingliness” of the name, cf. Herodotus 5.61.1: in Thebes Eteocles had a son Laodamas, who was supposed to have dedicated a tripod with the following inscription in the temple of Apollo Ismenios (note μουναρχέων, “ruling alone”):

Λαοδάμας τρίποδ’ αὐτὸς ἐϋσκόπῳ Ἀπόλλωνι
μουναρχέων ἀνέθηκε τεῒν περικαλλὲς ἄγαλμα.

Laodamas himself, ruling alone, dedicated a tripod,
a very beautiful gift, to you, keen-sighted Apollo.

[ back ] 181. Compare the Archaic relief from Sparta shown in Plate III (cf. n3.112 above), in which the two seated heroes (or perhaps gods) are much bigger than the human worshippers who approach them (see also n3.112 above); Renaissance paintings in which a miniature living patron stands in front of the throne of a larger-than-life seated saint offer a further analogy.

[ back ] 182. Odyssey 8.166–177 (see the following note for the underlined passage):

ξεῖν’, οὐ καλὸν ἔειπες· ἀτασθάλῳ ἀνδρὶ ἔοικας.
οὕτως οὐ πάντεσσι θεοὶ χαρίεντα διδοῦσιν
ἀνδράσιν, οὔτε φυὴν οὔτ’ ἂρ φρένας οὔτ’ ἀγορητύν.
ἄλλος μὲν γὰρ εἶδος ἀκιδνότερος πέλει ἀνήρ,
ἀλλὰ θεὸς μορφὴν ἔπεσι στέφει· οἱ δέ τ’ ἐς αὐτὸν
τερπόμενοι λεύσσουσιν, ὁ δ’ ἀσφαλέως ἀγορεύει
αἰδοῖ μειλιχίῃ, μετὰ δὲ πρέπει ἀγρομένοισιν,
ἐρχόμενον δ’ ἀνὰ ἄστυ θεὸν ὣς εἰσορόωσιν.
ἄλλος δ’ αὖ εἶδος μὲν ἀλίγκιος ἀθανάτοισιν,
ἀλλ’ οὔ οἱ χάρις ἀμφὶ περιστέφεται ἐπέεσσιν,
ὡς καὶ σοὶ εἶδος μὲν ἀριπρεπές, οὐδέ κεν ἄλλως
οὐδὲ θεὸς τεύξειε, νόον δ’ ἀποφώλιός ἐσσι.

You have not spoken well, stranger. You seem like a reckless man.
It is clear that the gods do not give graces to all men,
neither stature nor wit nor eloquence.
For one man is weaker in looks,
but the god crowns his words with beauty; others look at him
with delight, and he speaks unerringly
with gentle modesty, and he stands out among those gathered,
and they look on him as a god as he walks through the city.
Another man is like the immmortals in beauty,
but no grace crowns his words,
like you, who have striking beauty, and not even a god
would fashion it otherwise, but you are worthless in your mind.

[ back ] 183. Speculum principum, “princes’ mirror,” is the medieval term sometimes used in discussions of the type. For examples in various cultures and traditions, all concerned with transmitting proper legal, religious, political, and social behavior, see West 1978:3–25; Greek examples include Hesiod’s Works and Days, the fragmentary Precepts of Chiron (Κheίrōnos Hupothē̂kai), and the poetry of Theognis. Martin 1984 argues that in Greek the instruction of princes had a distinct existence as a genre (hupothē̂kai), and that poets in other genres such as epic and theogonic poetry could draw on this tradition for specific purposes. The example that Martin proposes is the passage quoted above, Odyssey 8.166–177, in which Odysseus chastises Euryalos. As Walcot 1963:12 first noticed, this passage uses language that corresponds closely to language in a passage of Hesiod’s Theogony; the passage, Theogony 79–93, concerns the muse Calliope, who bestows fair speech on kings (specific correspondences of language between the two passages are underlined; cf. the preceding note):

Καλλιόπη θ’· ἡ δὲ προφερεστάτη ἐστὶν ἁπασέων.
ἡ γὰρ καὶ βασιλεῦσιν ἅμ’ αἰδοίοισιν ὀπηδεῖ.
ὅντινα τιμήσουσι Διὸς κοῦραι μεγάλοιο
γεινόμενόν τε ἴδωσι διοτρεφέων βασιλήων,
τῷ μὲν ἐπὶ γλώσσῃ γλυκερὴν χείουσιν ἐέρσην,
τοῦ δ’ ἔπε’ ἐκ στόματος ῥεῖ μείλιχα· οἱ δέ νυ λαοὶ
πάντες ἐς αὐτὸν ὁρῶσι διακρίνοντα θέμιστας
ἰθείῃσι δίκῃσιν· ὁ δ’ ἀσφαλέως ἀγορεύων
αἶψά τι καὶ μέγα νεῖκος ἐπισταμένως κατέπαυσε·
τούνεκα γὰρ βασιλῆες ἐχέφρονες, οὕνεκα λαοῖς
βλαπτομένοις ἀγορῆφι μετάτροπα ἔργα τελεῦσι
ῥηιδίως, μαλακοῖσι παραιφάμενοι ἐπέεσσιν·
ἐρχόμενον δ’ ἀν’ ἀγῶνα θεὸν ὣς ἱλάσκονται
αἰδοῖ μειλιχίῃ, μετὰ δὲ πρέπει ἀγρομένοισι.
τοίη Μουσάων ἱερὴ δόσις ἀνθρώποισιν.

…and Kalliope; she is the foremost of all [the Muses].
For she accompanies even revered kings.
Whomever among Zeus-nourished kings
the daughters of great Zeus honor and look on when he is born,
they pour sweet dew on his tongue,
and gentle words flow from his mouth; and all the people
see him deciding laws
with straight decisions. He, speaking unerringly,
stops even a great quarrel at once with his understanding.
There are prudent kings because they bring about a different outcome
for the people when they are misled in assembly,
persuading them with gentle words;
as he walks through the assembly they supplicate him like a god
with gentle reverence, and he stands out among those gathered.
Such is the sacred gift of the Muses to men.

In Martin’s view Hesiod does not imitate the Odyssey in this passage, and the Odyssey does not imitate Hesiod (both arguments have been maintained in the past, with no consensus reached). Both passages, Martin argues, make use of elements belonging to an independent tradition of hupothē̂kai (cf. Walcot 1963:12–13, whose argument Martin develops). Particularly attractive is Martin’s interpretation of the poetic situation in the Odyssey. Odysseus has not yet revealed his identity, and Euryalos takes him for a lowborn man unskilled in athletic contests; Odysseus reveals himself to be a king not only by his throw of the discus, but by his speech to Euryalos, in which he shows that he not only knows accepted standards of behavior, but that he also knows how to instruct princes in them. The implied contrast in Odysseus’s speech is between himself, a king who does not outwardly appear to be one, and Euryalos, a prince whose outward appearance is faultless, but who lacks a king’s gift of fair speech. I find this interpretation persuasive, particularly with respect to Odysseus: the contrast between his appearance and his fair speech is also part of Helen’s characterization of him in Iliad 3. Whatever the relationship between the Homeric and the Hesiodic passages (Butterworth 1986:34–36 again argues for the priority of the Homeric passage, and with some force), Martin’s identification of a tradition of “instruction of princes” behind the Homeric passage is illuminating.

[ back ] 184. As far as outward appearance is concerned, Odysseus’s statement to Euryalos could apply even more to Laodamas: Euryalos is said to be second to Laodamas in beauty and form when he rises to take part in the footrace (Odyssey 8.115–117):

ἂν δὲ καὶ Εὐρύαλος, βροτολοιγῷ ἶσος Ἄρηϊ,
Ναυβολίδης, ὃς ἄριστος ἔην εἶδός τε δέμας τε
πάντων Φαιήκων μετ’ ἀμύμονα Λαοδάμαντα.

Up stood Naubolos’s son Euryalos, equal to man-destroying Ares,
who was best in beauty and build
of all the Phaeacians after faultless Laodamas.

[ back ] 185. But Laodamas too is involved in this scene: Odysseus includes him and all the young Phaeacian athletes when he says that they taunt him with their challenge (Odyssey 8.153–157):

Λαοδάμαν, τί με ταῦτα κελεύετε κερτομέοντες;
κήδεά μοι καὶ μᾶλλον ἐνὶ φρεσὶν ἤ περ ἄεθλοι,
ὃς πρὶν μὲν μάλα πολλὰ πάθον καὶ πολλὰ μόγησα,
νῦν δὲ μεθ’ ὑμετέρῃ ἀγορῇ νόστοιο χατίζων
ἧμαι, λισσόμενος βασιλῆά τε πάντα τε δῆμον.

Laodamas, why do you bid me to do this, taunting me?
There are more cares in my heart than games,
who have suffered many things and had may toils before,
and now sit in your assembly longing for my return,
supplicating the king and all the people.

The second person plural in Odysseus’s reply (κελεύετε/ὑμετέρῃ) helps to redirect attention from Laodamas to Euryalos, who speaks next in answer to Odysseus; in fact, however, Laodamas alone issued the actual challenge to Odysseus (Odyssey 8.145–151). For Alcinous’s role in this scene see §2.125–§2.127 above.

[ back ] 186. I follow Martin here (see n4.183 above).

[ back ] 187. It seems significant that this princely instruction is delivered at games that are most likely meant to evoke contemporary games at the Panionia. For the attitude of Euryalos toward an apparently lowborn participant cf. Mann 1998, who studies the aristocratic origins of the classical gymnasium, and who argues that the Phaeacians’ games, including the exclusive attitude of Euryalos, are a precursor of the gymnasium (Mann 1998:15–18); Mann dates the institutionalization of the gymnasium to the first half of the sixth century BC, when aristocrats’ traditional role had been diminished by the development of the polis and phalanx warfare (Mann 1998:18–20).

[ back ] 188. See Kakridis 1949:65–83: the scene in Iliad 18 in which Thetis and the Nereids visit Achilles as he grieves at the news of Patroclus’s death most likely reflects a similar scene, elsewhere in the tradition, in which Thetis and the Nereids come to lament Achilles’ own death (Kakridis 65–75); in Iliad 23, when the winds Boreas and Zephyros do not come to help burn Patroclus’s pyre and have to be called specially, there is reason to think that this motif is drawn from Achilles’ funeral (Kakridis 75–83; see EN4.7 to n4.104 above).

[ back ] 189. In his separate epic traditions Nestor was a young man; only when Nestor was added to the saga of Troy was the figure of the old man created (cf. Cantieni 1942:87). The idea that at Troy Nestor operates among the third generation of heroes during his own lifetime is meant, I think, to establish a sharp divide between the aged Nestor (who is new) and the young Nestor (who is old); a middle-aged Nestor does not exist in epic as far as we know. It was perhaps to distinguish the old hero at Troy from the young hero in Pylos that the hippóta Néstōr of ancient Pylian fame became Gerḗnios hippóta Néstōr at Troy, if Gerḗnios, derived from géras, “privilege of the old,” simply means “old,” as forcefully argued by Bader 1980:55–56: note in particular Iliad 4.325, where Nestor, referring to his role as counselor and speaker (i.e. to his Homeric role in essence) says τὸ γὰρ γέρας ἐστὶ γερόντων, “for that is the privilege of the old”; a full and convincing morphological analysis of the derivation of Gerḗnios from géras has now been offered by Timothy Barnes in an unpublished paper delivered at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Philological Association. The question that remains is when and how the aged figure came into existence in epic. Among those who take Nestor to be a historical figure (and even among those who do not) the assumption has been that his role at Troy goes back indefinitely far in epic tradition. I propose instead that the aged Nestor is strictly the creation of the Iliad and the Odyssey at the Panionia. This view may need to be modified to take account of Antilochus’s death at the hands of Memnon, to which, I have argued (EN4.7 to n4.104 above), the Iliad alludes in Book 8: this allusion, if it is real, presupposes Nestor’s role at Troy, and the question again is how old that role is. I argued earlier that Memnon, insofar as his death leads directly to Achilles’ death (as it does in the Aithiopis of Arctinus; see Proclus Chrestomathy lines 188–192 [Allen 1912:106 lines 4–9]), is a variant of Hector, who has this role in the Iliad (or is at least said to have it in the Iliad). Patroclus and Antilochus are likewise variants in the same story, for their deaths precede Achilles’ encounters with Hector and Memnon respectively. Patroclus, I think, is the older variant: in the Iliad Antilochus is brought into the story of Patroclus as a parallel, as when he tells Achilles of Patroclus’s death and thus foreshadows his own death, and when he competes in the chariot race for Patroclus, where the parallel with Patroclus arises from the dangerous example set by Nestor for both young men, one of whom has already died. In Odyssey 24, where Agamemnon tells Achilles in the underworld about his burial at Troy, he makes the relationship between Patroclus and Antilochus clear: Achilles was buried with Patroclus in the same golden urn, but Antilochus was buried separately (Odyssey 24.76–78). Patroclus and Antilochus—whom Achilles “honored most after Patroclus died” (Odyssey 24.78–79)—are ranked here, and the ranking, I think, correlates directly with the age of their traditions. I thus do not think that the tradition for Antilochus’s death need be much older than the Homeric poems, or that it necessarily arose outside the Panionia itself, where epic song probably included more than the Homeric poems. This, however, is to reach the limit of what can be said on this speculative subject. It was at the Panionia, I think, that in an even more fundamental way the Odyssey took shape (see n4.114 above for the idea that the Odyssey is, so to speak, a secondary epic as compared with the more traditional Iliad). I hold to the view that it was the Neleids, with their epic hero Néstōr, who made a nóstos poem the companion piece to the Iliad; this was the Neleids’ particular epic domain (cf. above §4.25 end).

[ back ] 190. The Phaeacians, who represent the Ionians at the Panionia, also represent the creation of the Homeric poems at the Panionia; this is easily inferred from Odysseus’s poetic performance before the Phaeacians in Books 9–12 of the Odyssey. It is interesting to keep this equation between the Phaeacians and the Homeric poems in mind when the Phaeacians are threatened with disappearance after Odysseus’s return home: the Homeric poems too were threatened with disappearance, since their existence depended on performance at the Panionia, and such performance was not destined to last. Within the Odyssey we are not told whether the Phaeacians were spared by Poseidon, who had threatened to wall them off from the sea and the world beyond with a mountain. In another sense, however, they were sealed off, for their hidden identity as the Ionians at the Panionia was forgotten when the Homeric poems ceased to be performed there (only the Homeridai remembered their hidden identity, as the Hymn to Apollo shows; see §4.22 above). But the Homeric poems themselves were preserved, by the Homeridai on Chios, and with them the Phaeacians were also preserved, albeit behind a veil. The Phaeacians and their uncertain future within the Odyssey are an intriguing metaphor for the Homeric poems themselves. To what degree the Homeric poets may have been conscious of this metaphor is unknowable, but I do not think that they would have been totally unaware of it. I think that they knew that the fate of the Phaeacians, even if they survived as part of the Homeric poems, was to have their significance forgotten, for a true secret cannot easily survive as such in the long run. In Plato’s Ion the rhapsode Ion discusses with Socrates the advice that Nestor gives Antilochus before the chariot race, and the point of the discussion is whether a poet is qualified to offer real technical advice on the subject of chariot racing (Ion 537a–538b). This discussion, which takes Nestor’s advice for rounding the turning post wholly at face value, is, I think, the measure of what had been lost from this episode at a deeper level; the irony at this deeper level of the episode now escaped the notice of all, including professional rhapsodes like Ion.

[ back ] 191. One might call this the problem of the poet: What possible motive can the hypothetical literate poet have had for creating masterpieces on a monumental scale if they could never be performed before one audience? There is a related problem of audience: What audience would have wanted to hear only fragments of highly unified works? That the poems were necessarily performed piecemeal is, I think, a fatal weakness of the theory of literacy or dictation. F. A. Wolf used the image of an “inland ship” to describe the situation of a poem without an audience (cf. Ford 1997:84); it does not diminish Wolf’s point that he thinks in terms of readers rather than listeners when he says: “If Homer lacked readers, then I certainly do not understand what in the world could have impelled him to conceive and plot out poems which were so long and so unified in the close interconnection of their parts” (“si Homero lectores deerant, plane non assequor, quid tandem eum impellere potuisset in consilium et cogitationem tam longorum et continuo partium nexu consertorum carminum”) (Wolf 1795:112, Part 1, Chapter 26; English translation 1985:116 as adapted by Ford 1997:84); Murray 1934:187 expands on Wolf as follows: “Every work of art that was ever created was intended in some way to be used. No picture was painted for blind men; no ship built where there was no water. What was to be the use of the Iliad?” (cf. Ford 1997:108). Taplin 1992:22–44 posits complete performances of the Iliad in the eighth century BC, but by the poet Homer alone; this model, which is strained to the limit to account for performances of the Iliad, breaks down for performances of the Iliad and Odyssey combined. Stanley 1993:279–281 pictures complete performance of the poems for the first time at the festival of the Panathenaia in the sixth century; this is the right model but the wrong date for the poems’ composition. Cf. Ford 1997:88–89.

[ back ] 192. It is not that a literate poet could not be subtle in what he created; it is that he would have had to create all his subtlety from the start, with only limited opportunities to improve what he had written, and a laborious process to record these improvements when he made them. For oral poets the poems existed only in performance and in the memory of past performances, and each new performance was therefore an invitation to further refinement. The audience was a partner in this process, for the audience had to approve what it heard for the process to continue. But if we imagine a single poet producing the same degree of subtlety and refinement through the use of writing, we are hard pressed to see what the audience could have contributed to the process.

[ back ] 193. I have this final problem with the theory of literacy or dictation: given the enormous success of the two monumental poems, why did no one else imitate the innovative new method that produced them and create something else on the same scale? Surely the method, which differed from the methods of all other poets, could not have been kept a secret for long. As far as we know, nothing like the Iliad and Odyssey was ever again produced.

[ back ] 194. In the post-Euclidian alphabet the hexameter reads: ὃς νῦν ὀρχηστῶν πάντων ἀταλώτατα παίζει, “whoever now performs most gracefully of all dancers.” The inscription also contains the beginning of a second line, which may be read τοῦ τόδε, “his this” (the vase is a prize). The vase has been definitely attributed to the Dipylon master and is thus securely dated to 740–730 BC (Powell 1991:158 with references in n92). Powell 1991:160–161 nicely compares the hexameter with Odyssey 8.382: Ἀλκίνοε κρεῖον, πάντων ἀριδείκετε λαῶν, “King Alcinous, most exalted of all your people,” which has the same juxtaposition of πάντων, “of all,” and superlative adjective (or adverb) in the same metrical position.

[ back ] 195. For the purpose of poetic inscriptions I quote Nagy 1992:35: “The language of the earliest inscribed utterances makes it clear that writing was being used as an equivalent to performance, not as a means for performance. It is evident from the language of the earliest inscriptions from the eighth century and thereafter, and the pattern holds all the way till 550 BC or so, that the speech-act of performance was thought to be inherent in the given inscription itself, which normally communicates in the first person, as if it were a talking object.” Nagy here follows Svenbro 1988:33–52 (English translation 1993:26–43).

[ back ] 196. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 14 (1957) no. 604. The date of the inscription is not certain, but it is not later than the end of the eighth century BC. The date first proposed, the third quarter of the eighth century, is, I think, a little too early; see below §4.64–§4.65, where I argue for a date closer to the end of the century. The earlier date was proposed by Buchner, who discovered the inscription (Buchner and Russo 1955). The earlier date, which would rival the date of the Dipylon vase inscription, still has a considerable attraction; cf. Powell 1991:163 regarding the Nestor’s cup inscription: “According to recent opinion, it is the second oldest complete Greek alphabetic inscription, after the Dipylon oinochoe, or just as old, given the uncertainty of all this.”

[ back ] 197. Watkins 1976. Others have thought that only one cup is referred to in the inscription: either Nestor’s cup in Iliad 11, which the clay cup claims to be, or the cup of a local Pithekoussan who happened to be named Nestor; these interpretations both restore ε[ἰμ]ι, “I am,” rather than ἐ[στ]ι in the first line of the inscription. The issue is discussed further in EN4.12.

[ back ] 198. Watkins 1976:38 leaves open the possibility that the inscription does not allude to Iliad 11 “as we know it,” but to epic tradition generally. I think that the allusion is in fact quite specific.

[ back ] 199. In the case of Achilles’ shield, and Ajax’s, we know what distinguished them from other shields.

[ back ] 200. It is not clear exactly what is meant by two “bases” (πυθμένες), and it is thus hard to compare this feature of Nestor’s cup with the Mycenaean artifact. Leaf finds an equivalent feature on the Mycenaean artifact (see following note), and he may well be right. Be this as it may, the poet does not let the opportunity slip to repeat that Nestor’s cup is in every respect double, including its base.

[ back ] 201. Leaf and Bayfield 1908 on Iliad 11.632 (Plate IV is on p. 518); Leaf adds that “The four handles are to be regarded as placed in pairs, one pair at each side, not at equal intervals all round the cup.” Leaf has two suggestions for the cup’s two “bases,” the second more plausible than the first: 1) πυθμένες may designate the supports running from the base of the cup to the two pairs of handles (the Mycenaean cup has two such supports running from the base of the cup to its two single handles), but this is a strange use of the word “base”: what would the actual base then be called? 2) In addition to the base on which the whole object stands, the bottom of the actual cup represents a second base, which protrudes slightly but noticeably on the Mycenaean artifact. To say that the cup has two bases would thus be a way of identifying this kind of cup. (The gold studs on Nestor’s cup have no equivalent on the Mycenaean cup unless the rivets attaching the two supports to the base count as ἧλοι; cf. Leaf and Bayfield, ibid. In any case there are no decorative studs on the Mycenaean cup.)

[ back ] 202. See §2.11–§2.17 above. In a number of scenes in the Iliad a single hero lifts a rock that two men of today could not lift (Diomedes, Hector, and Aeneas in Iliad 5.303, 12.447, and 20.286 are all said to do this; Ajax in Iliad 12.383 does something analogous). The fact that the comparison is between one man and two suggests a connection with Nestor and his cup in Iliad 11: the explicit comparison is different (Nestor easily lifts what another man could only lift with difficulty), but the point of the comparison is the same: Nestor in the story he is about to tell is more than a match for two heroes at once. It is possible that the comparisons with men of today (οἶοι νῦν βροτοί εἰσ’, “such as mortals are now”) in the four passages cited above derive from Nestor’s comparison in Iliad 1.272 between the heroes of his youth and those at Troy (οἳ νῦν βροτοί εἰσι, “who are mortals now”); cf. Kirk 1990 on Iliad 5.304, who also sees a relationship between the Nestor passage and the other four passages but in rather different terms.

[ back ] 203. My more general argument is that Nestor’s traditions were not widely known outside the Homeric poems (see §4.56 above), but I cannot claim this as an absolute principle (see above n4.155 and n4.189 above on Antilochus and Memnon). Achilles’ shield may be an analogous case to Nestor’s cup, but I see significant differences. I would argue that Achilles’ shield was part of the story of Achilles’ wrath for as long as Patroclus was part of the same story; we do not know how long that was, but I think that Patroclus was certainly part of the story before the development of our Iliad at the Panionia. Nestor’s role in the Iliad, on the other hand, I think actually began at the Panionia under Neleid influence. The secret nature of Nestor’s traditions in the Iliad has no counterpart in the case of Patroclus and Achilles; their tradition, I think, was widely known. Cf. n4.189 above on the relative ages of the traditions for Patroclus and Antilochus. For another view of the Nestor’s cup inscription and its relation to the Iliad and earlier epic tradition see S. West 1994, who argues that both the inscription and the Iliad allude to an older tradition about Nestor and his cup; cf. also Graziosi 2002:135n33. One reason for this view is the apparently puzzling statement in the Iliad that Nestor more than others was able to lift his cup; this motif seems to both West 1994:13–14 and Graziosi to point to an unknown older tradition about the cup. In my view the motif is integral to the story as it is told in the Iliad (see the discussion above and §5.4 below).

[ back ] 204. See above §4.44 and n4.158. It is possible that Nestor’s aborted battle with the Actorione Molione is represented on a late eighth-century Attic vase on which what appear to be Siamese twins stand in a chariot and are attacked by a single figure; given that Nestor’s traditions were not widely known outside the Homeric poems (see §4.56 above) the vase would be further evidence of early Athenian awareness of the Iliad. But the subject is disputed; cf. King 1977:34: “The attacker of the double figure on the belly zone of the famous Subdipylon oinochoe from the Agora (about 725 BC) is usually identified with Nestor, and the subject is taken to be the struggle between Nestor and the twins which is described in Iliad 11.750–752…. But it is still possible that Heracles is the attacker: the encounter in which Iphicles was wounded has also been suggested as the subject [Fraser 1940:460n8].” Another interpretation is offered by Fittschen 1969:74, who states “rather convincingly” (King 1977:39n29) that the theme of the vase is two chariot groups against one. See also Hampe 1950:56 and n126 with bibliography; King 1977:34, 38n27, 39nn28 and 29, with bibliography; Shapiro 1983:89, with figures 6.2a, 2b; Snodgrass 1998:30–31, who comes down against an identification with Nestor and the Molione. Cf. also below n4.209 end.

[ back ] 205. Strabo 5.4.9.

[ back ] 206. It is worth noting that Euboea is a point of reference for the Phaeacians: in Odyssey 7 Alcinous promises to take Odysseus home even if he lives beyond Euboea, where Phaeacians once brought Rhadamanthys to see Tityos (cf. §2.117 above); Euboea, those who went there say, is the farthest land (Odyssey 7.317–324):

πομπὴν δ’ ἐς τόδ’ ἐγὼ τεκμαίρομαι, ὄφρ’ ἐῢ εἰδῇς,
αὔριον ἔς· τῆμος δὲ σὺ μὲν δεδμημένος ὕπνῳ
λέξεαι, οἱ δ’ ἐλόωσι γαλήνην, ὄφρ’ ἂν ἵκηαι
πατρίδα σὴν καὶ δῶμα, καὶ εἴ πού τοι φίλον ἐστίν,
εἴ περ καὶ μάλα πολλὸν ἑκαστέρω ἔστ’ Εὐβοίης·
τὴν γὰρ τηλοτάτω φάσ’ ἔμμεναι οἵ μιν ἴδοντο
λαῶν ἡμετέρων, ὅτε τε ξανθὸν Ῥαδάμανθυν
ἦγον ἐποψόμενον Τιτυόν, Γαιήϊον υἱόν.

I decree an escort for this time, so that you may know it well,
for tomorrow; throughout the voyage you will lie overcome by sleep,
and they will ply the placid sea until you reach
your fatherland and home, or wherever is dear to you,
even if it is farther away than Euboea,
which is said to be farthest off by those of our people who saw it
when they took fair-haired Rhadamanthys
to see Tityos, Earth’s son.

There was a strong tie between Eretria and Miletus, allies in the Lelantine war (cf. n4.64 above); for the campaign of the Milesian king Leodamas against Karystos in the context of this war see Herda 1998:46 and n4.174 above.

[ back ] 207. We do not know when Smyrna unsuccessfully sought admission, but I suspect that it was soon after the league was formed; Smyrna, as argued earlier, may have been denied admission for particular reasons having to do with its origins from Colophon, and not from a general policy of exclusion, as one might infer from Herodotus; see my discussion §4.7–§4.8 above.

[ back ] 208. Cf. n4.196 above.

[ back ] 209. Accordingly the writer of the inscription had first heard of Nestor’s fabulous cup not long before the inscription was written (the fame of the newest songs had spread quickly, as in the dictum at Odyssey 1.351–352). The question of when the Homeric poems became widely known has been discussed above on the basis of texts (see EN4.6 to n4.98 above, and, with respect to Solon’s knowledge of Homer, n4.149 above), and will be pursued further below on the basis of texts, but I have not considered another criterion by which this question is judged: representations of Homeric episodes in vase paintings. Steven Lowenstam has devoted attention to this problem and has reached an essentially negative conclusion: to judge by vase paintings the Homeric poems were not known as such before the early fifth century BC, and Lowenstam calls into question their existence before that date (Lowenstam 1997, especially pp. 58–67). I do not dispute the lack of evidence for Homer in vase paintings, nor the need to explain it, but there are other criteria that must also be considered in this question. In my view Lowenstam dismisses too easily the argument of Burkert (and others) that the Iliad and Odyssey were known to Stesichorus, whose death in 556 BC is thus a (very late, but nonetheless real) terminus ante quem for the Homeric poems (Lowenstam 1997:58–59 and, for an earlier statement of his argument, 1993:216n88; Burkert 1987:51). Lowenstam argues that a passage of Stesichorus’s Geryoneis cannot be shown to draw from the Iliad because the case for this depends too much on uncertain restorations of the text, and this may be so. But he does not equally consider the case for Stesichorus’s knowledge of the Odyssey, and this seems to me to be unassailable: Stesichorus’s Nostoi recreated the scene in Odyssey 15.168ff. where Telemachus leaves Helen and Menelaus in Sparta, and Helen interprets a bird omen favorable to Odysseus’s return (Stesichorus fr. 32.1–9 Page [PMG 209.1–9]):

θε[ῖ]ον ἐ[ξ]αίφνας τέρας ἰδοῖσα νύμφα
ὧ̣δ̣ε̣ δ̣ε̣[ ] Ἑλένα φωνᾶι ποτ[ὶ] παίδ’ Ὀδύσειο[ν·
Τηλέμαχ[ ]τ̣ις ὅδ’ ἁμὶν ἄγγελ[ο]ς ὠρανόθεν
δι’ αἰθέρο[ς ἀτ]ρυγέτας κατέπτατο, βᾶ δ[
].. φοινᾶ̣ι̣ κεκλαγ̣{γ̣}ώ̣[ς
]…ς ὑμετέρους δόμους προφα [ ]υς
]….αν ̣υς ἀνὴρ
βο]υ̣λ̣α̣ῖς Ἀθάνας
].η̣ις αυτα λακέρυζα κορώνα.

Suddenly seeing the divine portent the nymph
thus [ ] Helen with her voice to the son of Odysseus;
Telemachus, this messenger to us from the sky
through the barren air flew down, and went [
] crying with its voice
] your houses [ ]
] man [ ]
by the coun]sels of Athena
] cawing crow.

This text is too close to what takes place in the Odyssey, and what takes place in the Odyssey is too particular to the development of the story of that poem, to speculate about other versions of the same story that may have been current: if other versions were that close to the Odyssey, in fact they were the Odyssey. It is uneconomical to posit anything else. There was thus a demonstrated interest in the Odyssey at a date when no such interest is documented on vase paintings. The reason for the latter lack of interest according to A. M. Snodgrass is that Greek visual artists had their own independent agenda to follow: they were not primarily interested in verbal art, and they thus have no real bearing on the question considered by Lowenstam (see in particular Snodgrass 1998). The question of Solon’s knowledge of Homer, discussed in n4.149 above, raises the question of other early poets’ knowledge of Homer: see West 1995:206–207 for possible allusions to the Iliad in Alcaeus fr. 44.6–8 LP (accepted by West, rejected by Lowenstam 1997:59) and Mimnermus fr. 2.1–4 West (rejected by West); for the controversies cf. Graziosi 2002:92n10. Lentini 2000 argues that Alcaeus fr. 70 LP alludes to disparate parts of the Iliad as we know it. In a more general comparison Seidensticker 1978 argues that Archilochus had Odysseus and the Odyssey in mind as models. In Part 5 below I argue that in the late seventh or early sixth century BC the poet of the Pythian Hymn to Apollo was much concerned with the exact text of both the Iliad and the Odyssey (see §5.12–§5.14 and n5.59).

[ back ] 210. Jeffery 1961:235–236; Carpenter 1963. Jeffery writes as follows: “I know of no other example of an archaic poem in which the lines are thus separately written. Punctuation is : , as in examples from Eretria and Leontinoi [the examples are dated ‘550–525?’ and ‘525?’ BC by Jeffery]; lambda is geminated; the lettering is not tall and spidery like that of other very early inscriptions, but small and neat, very like that on Tataie’s aryballos from Kyme [dated ‘675–650 BC?’ by Jeffery].” For features of the script and other physical aspects of the inscription, cf. Powell 1991:163–164.

[ back ] 211. Metzger 1965, in consultation with G. Buchner. The cup’s fragments were found in the necropolis of the Valle di San Montano and belonged to tomb 282. Cf. also Graham 1971:12.

[ back ] 212. For the date see Jeffery 1961 Plate 47.1.

[ back ] 213. Buchner relied solely on the date of the cup, which he put not later than the third quarter of the eighth century (Buchner 1955:220). The skúphos is of Aegean manufacture, perhaps from Rhodes (cf. Powell 1991:163 with n109). The design on the cup is purely Geometric in contrast to the bird motif found on the widespread Rhodian skúphoi of the seventh century. Nestor’s cup, which was the first such Aegean skúphos found in Italy, cannot be precisely dated on its own (Metzger 1965:302 says only the second half of the eighth century BC); Buchner used fragments of another pottery type from the same tomb (globular proto-Corinthian arúballoi) to date the cup. His assumption is that the cup had been in use for some time before it was buried, but that the arúballoi were purely funerary, and that their date of manufacture was thus the same as their date of burial (Buchner and Russo 1955:220).

[ back ] 214. Carpenter 1963:83: “These lines were engraved after the vase was fired and were not added by the potter, to judge from their disregard of the ornamental painted bands girdling the vase”; Powell 1991:163–164 adds further detail: “The cup (10 x 15 cm) is decorated in black slip with rectangular decorative panels on either side consisting of four geometrically decorated metopal panels bordered at the bottom by a broad band. The horizontal band is decorated with parallel horizontal lines above and below a central horizontal zigzag. Along these parallel lines, and down the center of the zigzag, the inscription has been scratched, as if to accord with the decoration, although all three lines of the inscription begin outside the decorative horizontal band in the black slip near one of the handles.”

[ back ] 215. So I take his statement p. 304: “In these conditions the Protocorinthian aryballoi of tomb 282 should be considered earlier than the last decades of the eighth century” (“Dans ces conditions les aryballes protocorinthiens de la tombe 282 doivent être considérés comme antérieurs aux dernières décades du VIIIe siècle”).

[ back ] 216. Gjerstad 1965:72: “The tomb contained Late Geometric pottery among which a cup that belonged to a man called Nestor, as told by its inscription, and globular Protocorinthian aryballoi of advanced shape. The latter indicate a date for the burial at the end of the 8th cent. B.C., perhaps as late as c. 700 B.C., and if the inscribed cup is somewhat earlier, that may very well be explained, as Buchner does, by the probability that the cup had been used by the deceased during his lifetime.” Coldstream 1968:358n4 dates the arúballoi 720–710 BC (later than Metzger and earlier than Gjerstad).

[ back ] 217. See n4.213 above.

[ back ] 218. Wilamowitz 1906/1971:45–46/137. Wilamowitz argued that Melia had grown too powerful for its neighbors, which therefore banded together and destroyed it (p. 43/134). To illustrate Melia’s presumed strength Wilamowitz pointed to the territory, extensive for the time, that it controlled on Cape Mykale (Pygela, allotted to Samos after the war, was more that twenty kilometers north of Melia itself).

[ back ] 219. Cf. Hiller von Gaertringen 1906 vi. The “arrogance” of Melia may be compared with the “hybris” of Krisa: in Homeric Hymn to Apollo 540–544 (a passage composed post eventum) Apollo’s priests are warned against hybris and threatened with a change of regime at Delphi. Priene, which acquired the site of Melia, provided the priests of Poseidon Helikonios for the historical league. Priene may thus have been Melia’s successor not only on the site of the former city, but also in the management of the cult at Panionion; cf. n4.85 above. In an event similar to that at Delphi, and at about the same time (c. 570 BC), the Eleans destroyed Pisa near Olympia and took over the conduct of the Olympic games (see Wade-Gery 1952:64n15).

[ back ] 220. Only Vitruvius says that the league had thirteen members, and that Melia was the thirteenth; this likely has to do with Vitruvius’s late-third century source and the status of the Hellenistic city of Smyrna as the league’s thirteenth member (see EN4.3 to n4.72 above). If Melia did belong to the league, the parallel with Krisa still breaks down: Krisa was made rich and arrogant by its control of an oracle consulted by outsiders, but at Panionion there was no such oracle.

[ back ] 221. For the question of Vitruvius’s source see Ragone 1986:183–205 (and cf. EN4.3 to n4.72 above). There were cults of Apollo Panionios at Miletus, Ephesus, and Colophon in the Roman era (Ragone 1986:185n3 and 186nn2 and 3), and a passage of Nicander (Alexipharmaca 9–11) suggests that the cult of Apollo Panionios existed at Colophon/Klaros already in the Hellenistic era; see Ragone 1986:185–186 for significant points of comparison between the passage of Nicander and Vitruvius 4.1.4–6. Vitruvius discusses the origin of the Doric architectural order, and this, according to Ragone 1986:202–203, is the reason for Vitruvius’s statement that the Ionians built a temple to Apollo Panionios: the temple in question is the Doric temple of Apollo at Klaros (at Panionion, significantly, there was no temple, only an altar, of Poseidon). Lenschau 1944:228 takes Vitruvius at face value, arguing that the original colonists of Ionia founded a cult to Apollo; cf. also Bearzot 1983, who speculates that the Panionic league of the seventh century BC, under the leadership of Miletus, founded a short-lived temple and oracle of Apollo Panionios at Panionion to rival the cult of Apollo at Delphi and give support to Ionian colonization.

[ back ] 222. The oracle and cult of Apollo at Branchidai were older than the Ionian colonization (Pausanias 7.2.6; cf. Herodotus 1.157.3). The cult was in the territory of Miletus (cf. Herodotus 1.46.2; 1.92.2), but it was administered independently until the temple was plundered and burned after the Ionian revolt (probably by Xerxes rather than Darius; see Hammond 1998). The Persians turned the oracle over to the Carians, but it was ultimately recovered by Miletus (Hammond 1998:339). If Branchidai served as the center of a nascent Panionic league it had the obvious disadvantage of distance from the league’s northern cities; even after reaching Miletus visitors would have had an overland journey of sixteen kilometers to reach the oracle. For further consideration of Branchidai as a possible league center even into the late eighth century BC see n4.232 below. See Map 2 for the location of Branchidai/Didyma.

[ back ] 223. G. Kleiner and P. Hommel in Kleiner et al. 1967:5 and 91–93.

[ back ] 224. Thucydides 1.8.1. Cf. n4.83 above for the presumed Carian population of Melia.

[ back ] 225. P. Hommel in Kleiner et al. 1967:92n258; cf. G. Kleiner ibid. 10. Parion was a joint colony of Miletus, Erythrai, and Paros (Strabo 10.5.7, 13.1.14; Pausanias 9.27.1; cf. Olshausen RE Supplement 12 ‘Parion’ 983). Eusebius’s date for the foundation of Parion is 709 BC (see Cook 1946:77). Abydos was founded by Miletus with Gyges’ consent according to Strabo 13.1.22, and its foundation may thus have been after rather than before the Meliac War. Hommel also mentions Cyzicus, which was founded by Miletus in 679 BC according to Eusebius (Cook 1946:77).

[ back ] 226. In Welles 1934 no. 7 four cities are named that were allotted land on Mykale after the Meliac War: Miletus, Priene, Samos, and Colophon. These may have been the only cities that made war on Melia; cf. Hommel in Kleiner et al. 1967:91: “More likely [than an action by a twelve-city league] is an action of a few neighboring cities” (“Wahrscheinlicher ist eine Aktion weniger benachbarter Städte”). Lenschau 1944:234 and Roebuck 1955:32–33 both view the war as the work of only the four cities that divided Melia’s land; Roebuck, like Wilamowitz, thinks that the league did not yet exist at the time of the Meliac War. The apparent absence from the war of Ephesus, which lay closer to Melia than Colophon, is remarkable. It is possible that Ephesus should be included in the list of cities that destroyed Melia, despite the lack of evidence that Ephesus shared in the division of Melia’s land. Wilamowitz 1906/1971:43/134 suggests that Ephesus, overthrown by Lygdamis, failed to recover its allotment of land after the Cimmerians withdrew, and thus its participation in the Meliac War was forgotten; Hommel p. 91, who follows Wilamowitz, goes further than Wilamowitz when he simply includes Ephesus with the other four cities as a recipient of Melia’s land. It has also been argued that the presence of two historians from Ephesus (Kreophylos and Eualkes) among the eight historians adduced in the later land disputes between Samos and Priene indicates that Ephesus too was concerned with the original land division (Ragone 1986:174n1); the presence of Theopompus from Chios among the eight historians, however, runs counter to this idea insofar as Chios had no part in the land division.

[ back ] 227. It is clear from IP (Hiller 1906) 37 that Miletus was given some part or parts of Melia’s land after the war, but the text of the inscription is uncertain. The likeliest reconstruction is that Miletus received only Akadamis, a place of unknown location on the Mykale coast. The evidence is discussed in EN4.13.

[ back ] 228. Photius’s summary of Conon FGrHist 26 F 1 xliv; see above §4.49–§4.51 and n4.169, n4.170, n4.173, and n4.175.

[ back ] 229. Μάλιοι, the equivalent Doric form, is found on coins and inscriptions (IG XII.3 1097; IG VII 2419 column 2 line 8; Dittenberger 1915–1924 no. 115 (Μάλιος); cf. Zschietzschmann RE ‘Melos’ 567).

[ back ] 230. Cf. n4.69 above.

[ back ] 231. Hiller RE ‘Miletus’ 1588, with reference to the first appearance of his conjecture in Ziebarth IG XII.9 p. 146 lines 64ff. For another instance in which ignorance of the vanished city Melia apparently caused a reference to it to be eliminated from a text, see EN4.4 to n4.83 above on the likely change from Μελιάς to Μηλιάς in Theopompus 115 F 103.

[ back ] 232. See above §4.67 end and cf. n4.90. In line with my suggestion of the cult of Apollo at Branchidai as a possible early meeting place for the Panionic league I note that Conon, as excerpted by Photius, connects Leodamas and his victory over Karystos with Branchidai and Branchus, the oracle’s eponymous priest. The details of the story seem largely fictitious, but the mere connection of Branchidai with Leodamas and his foreign conquest deserves attention. Leodamas is supposed to have brought back with him from Karystos the infant ancestor of a Milesian priestly family, the Euangelidai (unattested except in this story by Conon; cf. Herda 1998:16n114); Leodamas sent the child and his mother to Branchidai, where Branchus adopted him and appointed him to announce the prophecies, giving him the name Euangelos (Conon FGrHist 26 F 1 xliv 3–4; cf. Huxley 1966:50): αἰχμάλωτον δὲ κατὰ χρησμὸν γυναῖκα Καρυστίαν, παῖδα φέρουσαν ὑπομάσθιον, μετὰ πολλῶν καὶ ἄλλων ἀναθημάτων, ἃ δεκάτη τῶν λαφύρων ἐτύγχανον, ἀνέπεμψεν ἐν Βραγχίδαις. αὐτὸς δὲ τότε Βράγχος προὐστήκει τοῦ τε ἱεροῦ καὶ τοῦ μαντείου, ὃς τήν τε αἰχμάλωτον γυναῖκα ἐνόμισε καὶ τὸν παῖδα αὐτῆς ἔθετο. ηὔξανε δ’ ὁ παῖς οὐ κατὰ λόγον ἀλλὰ θείᾳ τινὶ τύχῃ, καὶ πλέον ἢ πρὸς τὴν ἡλικίαν ἀπήντα τὸ εὐσύνετον. ποιεῖται δ’ αὐτὸν ὁ Βράγχος καὶ ἄγγελον τῶν μαντευμάτων, Εὐάγγελον ὀνομάσας· οὗτος ἡβήσας τὸ Βράγχου μαντεῖον ἐξεδέξατο, καὶ ἀρχὴ γένους Εὐαγγελιδῶν παρὰ Μιλησίοις ἐγένετο, “In accordance with a prophecy he sent a captive Karystian woman with a child at her breast to Branchidai with many other offerings amounting to a tenth of the spoils; at that time Branchus himself was at the head of the temple and the oracle, and he acknowledged the captive woman as his wife and adopted her child. The boy grew, not in the normal way, but by some divine fortune, and reached a quickness of understanding beyond his years. Branchus also made him messenger of the prophecies, calling him Euangelos [‘good messenger’]. When he reached his youthful prime he inherited the oracle of Branchus, and this was the beginning of the family of Euangelidai among the Milesians.” It is also worth noting that according to Nikolaos of Damascus Leodamas was killed while driving a hecatomb along the road to Apollo’s feast (see n4.171 above); this too likely refers to Apollo’s cult at Didyma/Branchidai.

[ back ] 233. Thus, contrary to the literary tradition of Vitruvius, Melia would never have been part of the Panionic league (cf. n4.220 above). Here I disagree with G. Kleiner in Kleiner et al. 1967:6, who proposes that Melia joined the Panionic league as its thirteenth member and was subsequently destroyed by its neighbors, leaving the league again with twelve members and a new league center. As Wade-Gery 1952:64n15 points out, the very idea of a thirteenth city most likely arose from Smyrna’s admission to the league in Hellenistic times as its thirteenth member. On this view Smyrna’s position in the later league was the model for Melia’s earlier position. This is consistent with the general tenor of Vitruvius’s account, which conflates the Hellenistic league with the archaic league (cf. n4.72 above).

[ back ] 234. For Priene’s administration of the cult at Panionion, see above n4.85 and n4.219. For Priene’s Kodrid myth, see §4.19 and n4.92 above.

[ back ] 235. For this passage see n4.140 above and n4.236 below.

[ back ] 236. There is a comparable sequence of passages near the end of Iliad 2, where the catalogue of Trojan allies ends with the Maeonians (Iliad 2.864–866) and the Carians (Iliad 2.867–875), before a final two-line passage devoted to Sarpedon and the Lycians (Iliad 2.876–877): the Maeonians, predecessors of the Lydians, whose “Gygaean lake” seems meant to evoke the future Lydian king Gyges (see n4.140 above), are juxtaposed with the Carians, who inhabit Miletus and its surrounding area; it does not seem accidental that this second passage singles out, along with the Maeander River and Mount Phthiron at the head of the Gulf of Latmos, Cape Mykale, the site of the future Panionia (Iliad 2:867–869):

Νάστης αὖ Καρῶν ἡγήσατο βαρβαροφώνων,
οἳ Μίλητον ἔχον Φθιρῶν τ’ ὄρος ἀκριτόφυλλον
Μαιάνδρου τε ῥοὰς Μυκάλης τ’ αἰπεινὰ κάρηνα.

Nastes led the Carians, speakers of a foreign tongue,
who held Miletus and the thickly-leaved mountain of Phthiron
and the streams of the Maeander and the steep peaks of Mykale.

The two passages of the Trojan catalogue, though they may be “late,” are organic to the poem. The same is true of the two passages devoted to Achilles’ victims, neither of which should be judged an “interpolation.” Leaf and Bayfield regard Iliad 20.383–394, the passage which seems to allude to Gyges and the Lydians, as “probably an interpolation” (Leaf and Bayfield 1898 ad loc.); they comment further (on 20.385): “If this part really belongs to the Μῆνις, it is the only instance in the ancient poem which shows any minute knowledge of the geography of Asia Minor.” I agree with this judgment to the extent that the passage belongs not to the earlier tradition of the Iliad, but to the final period of the poem’s development at the Panionia (I also point out that Iliad 2.864–866 shows the same geographical awareness as this passage). Consistent with this view, I think, is a linguistic feature of the passage noted by Leaf 1900–1902 on Iliad 20.381 as being late (cf. also Leaf and Bayfield 1898 on Iliad 20.383–394), namely the initial short syllable of the names Ὀτρυντεΐδην (Ὀτρυντεΐδη) and Ὀτρυντῆϊ (Iliad 20.383, 389, 384), as opposed to a long first syllable in all examples of Homeric ὀτρύνω. I would compare the phrases τὸ πρῶτον and τὰ πρῶτα, which always have a long first syllable (in arsis) in Homer (18 examples), but Odyssey 3.320 has a short syllable (in thesis) in a comparable phrase, ὅν τινα πρῶτον. The short treatment (“Attic correption”) may be relatively late, but it is not un-Homeric; cf. Janko 1982:157, also 177. Högemann 2001:63 assumes that Homer knew of Gyges’ sudden rise to power and subsequent rule; Högemann also cites the tradition that Gyges kept the poet Magnes of Smyrna at his court and heard his poem of a battle between the Lydians and the Amazons (Nikolaos of Damascus FGrHist 90 F 62), and he speculates that Gyges, who must have understood Greek, may also have heard the Iliad performed. The length and subject matter of the Iliad are, I think, against this, but the possibility exists.

[ back ] 237. Cf. above n4.78 and n4.139.

[ back ] 238. Before leaving the subject of Ionia I must at least mention the name Ionia itself. If, as I argue, the Ionians of Asia Minor were given a common identity by the Panionic league, surely their common name also had to do with that league: if the name did not arise there, it at least gained currency there. The issue is considered further in EN4.14.

[ back ] 239. Cf. §4.26 above.