Tsagalis, Christos. 2012. From Listeners to Viewers: Space in the Iliad. Hellenic Studies Series 53. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_TsagalisC.From_Listeners_to_Viewers.2012.
Part II. Home is the Hero: Embedded Story Space
Table 4: Spatial distribution of narrator vs. character text
|Greece||Narrator Text (NT)||Character Text (CT)|
|Argos (Agamemnonis urbs)||1||7|
|Argos (Diomedis urbs)||||6|
|Total||22 (22.4%)||76 (77.6%)|
|Asia Minor||Narrator Text (NT)||Character Text (CT)|
|Total||19 (33.9%)||37 (66.1%)|
Narrator Text and the Catalogue of Ships
ὑμεῖς γὰρ θεαί ἐστε, πάρεστέ τε, ἴστέ τε πάντα,
ἡμεῖς δὲ κλέος οἶον ἀκούομεν, οὐδέ τι ἴδμεν—
οἵ τινες ἡγεμόνες Δαναῶν καὶ κοίρανοι ἦσαν.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ἀρχοὺς αὖ νηῶν ἐρέω, νῆάς τε προπάσας.
Βοιωτῶν μὲν Πηνέλεως καὶ Λήϊτος ἦρχον
Ἀρκεσίλαός τε Προθοήνωρ τε Κλονίος τε,
οἵ θ᾽ Ὑρίην ἐνέμοντο καὶ Αὐλίδα πετρήεσσαν,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
τῶν μὲν πεντήκοντα νέες κίον, ἐν δὲ ἑκάστῃ
κοῦροι Βοιωτῶν ἑκατὸν καὶ εἴκοσι βαῖνον.
For you, who are goddesses, are there, and you know all things,
and we have heard only the rumour of it and know nothing.
Who then of those were the chief men and the lords of the Danaans?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I will tell the lords of the ships, and the ships numbers.
Leïtos and Peneleos were leaders of the Boiotians,
with Arkesilaos and Prothoenor and Klonios;
they who lived in Hyria and rocky Aulis
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Of these there were fifty ships in all, and on board
each of these a hundred and twenty sons of the Boiotians.
The CS is a complex and concise catalogue, for although its rubric is straightforward, it is basically subdivided into two (occasionally three) items in each entry. As early as Iliad II 493, the poet defines his rubric as “lords of the ships and all the ships numbers” (ἀρχοὺς αὖ νηῶν ἐρέω, νῆάς τε προπάσας);  he then proceeds to describe the individual items, which are developed into two-level entries, one for each leader and one for the number of ships. By making constant reference to geographical location, the CS clearly follows a geographical blueprint,  although “no entry begins with a relative marker such as ‘to the north, south of there.’”  This last observation is accurate, but I think it overstates the notion of “geographical orientation” to require the narrator to use distinct and clear directional markers. But what if the storyteller sees the topography of Greece and of Asia Minor in his mind’s eye as a spatial diptych, that is, as both a tour and a map, in which geographical contiguity applies to the internal “sections” he creates, whereas the external arrangement of the sections is based on his attempt to create a structural bridge between the CS and the CT&A? To explore this possibility, let us take into account the following remarks:
- The storyteller’s overarching principle (1) is to begin from core regions, determined by the nature of each catalogue. Since the CS reflects the movement of the ships and troops from the various regions of mainland Greece and the islands to Aulis, the core region is Aulis. Likewise in the CT&A: the gathering of all the allies at Troy means that the core region is Troy.
- The storyteller has decided first to divide each catalogue into smaller sections, and then to follow the principle (2) of geographical contiguity both internally, within each section, and externally, in the transition from the CS to the CT&A. If principle 1 and principle 2 are combined, then he has to end the CS with northern Greece, since it is closest to the core area (Troy) of the CT&A that will come first in the second catalogue.
- According to principle 1, he begins the CS with Aulis in Boeotia and follows a clockwise movement, based on geographical contiguity, towards Orkhomenos, Phokis, Lokris, Euboea, Athens, and Salamis (Iliad II 494–558). That this is the end of a smaller zone within his first section is indicated by the fact that though he still operates on the principle of geographical proximity, he changes the way he tours this specific area. He first moves to the south (southern Argolid), then to the north (northern Argolid), then to the southeast (Laconia), southwest (Pylos), central (Arcadia), and northwest Peloponnese (Elis) (Iliad II 559–624). He now moves on to a third zone within this same section by following a counterclockwise movement: Doulikhion, Kephallenia, and Aetolia (Iliad II 625–644). At this point, the narrator’s mental tour of section 1 is complete.
- The storyteller now makes a huge leap from Aetolia to Crete, in the southern Aegean, and then moves counterclockwise toward the eastern islands of Rhodes, Syme, Karpathos, and Kos (Iliad II 645–680). This discontinuity has been called unavoidable,  but for the wrong reason. In my view, it is a by-product of the ensuing discontinuity with northern Greece. As I have just argued, the latter is a discontinuity only if the CS is seen independently of the CT&A. When examined as a spatial diptych, the placement of Thessaly at the very end of the CS makes perfect sense. The narrator is employing the principle of economy, according to which geographical contiguity will enhance spatial memory only if used at the lowest cognitive cost.
- In northern Greece, the storyteller moves first to Pelasgian Argos and then goes northeast (Phthiotis, Pelasgiotis, Magnetis); he now changes direction and turns toward the northwest (Hestiaiotis), then southeast (Thessaliotis) and northeast (Perrhaibia); a surprising turn off course towards the west (Aenienis) is explained by the fact that in this and the following location the narrator is mainly touring the courses of the rivers Titaressos (on the west) and Peneios (on the east). The entire section ends with Peleion in the northeast, the closest point for the mental leap to the beginning of the CT&A that will soon follow (Iliad II 681–759). Having paved the way so as to decrease the cognitive cost of passing from one mental map to another, the storyteller is now ready to move on to the CT&A.
- The CT&A is divided into four zones, which belong to two larger sections. The first section covers a vast area in the north, stretching from Europe to the Pontos region, while the second stretches toward the south. The first section includes three geographical zones. The storyteller begins, as he did in the CS, with the core region of Troy, following a counterclockwise course from Ilion to Zeleia, the Propontis, the southwestern Hellespont, and Pelasgian Larisa (Iliad II 816–843). He then moves northwest to Europe, touring areas on the basis of geographical contiguity: the Thracians, the Kikones, and the Paiones (II 844–850). The third and last zone of this northern section contains a leap toward the northeast, to Asia, again according to geographical contiguity. The narrator seems to be touring areas as they appear on a map: first the Paphlagonians, then the Halizones (II 851–857). One can see that it is the combination of geographical contiguity and beginning with the core region that determines the mental blueprint adopted by the storyteller in the CT&A; that is, just as in the CS.
- Having toured a vast area in the north, the storyteller now moves toward the south. He first follows a course toward the Musoi in the southwest, then to the Phrygians in the southeast, and the Maiones further south (Iliad II 858–866). His mental journey continues further south with the Carians and southeast to the Lycians (867–877). In this case section and zone coincide, since the storyteller uses a single technique of mental “navigation”: in contrast to the previous section on the north, in which he used two different techniques (counterclockwise and linear progression), he now follows a single path as he moves almost vertically toward the south.
- The CS and CT&A form a spatial diptych, based not only on their sharing the same organizing principles (beginning from the core region, geographical contiguity, and low cognitive cost) but also on their symmetrical arrangement: both emphasize their beginning and end, to which they devote the largest amount of textual space: CS core region (sixty-four verses)—CS last section (seventy-eight verses), and CT&A core region (twenty-seven verses)—CT&A last section (twenty-two verses); both use water in the form of a gulf, sea, or river as the outer limit of each section: in the CS, these are Khalkis in Aetolia, Karpathos/Kos in the eastern Aegean, and Peneios in northern Greece; the CT&A has the river Halys in the land of the Halizones (implicit in their name as well as in the place-name Alybe)  and the river Xanthos in Lycia at the very end. Symmetry and analogical arrangement, together with the organizing principles discussed above, strongly indicate that space plays a major role in the structure of both catalogues, which must be examined not separately but as belonging to a spatial diptych. Juxtaposition, concatenation, and seriality  have all played their roles in the internal organization of the two catalogues.