The Authoress of the Odyssey, by Samuel Butler

Chapter xii

The Date of the Poem, and a Comparison of the State of the North Western Part of Sicily as Revealed to Us in the Odyssey, with the Account Given by Thucydides of the Same Territory in the Earliest Known Times.

The view that the “Odyssey” was written at Trapani will throw unexpected light upon the date of the poem. We can never date it within a hundred years or so, but I shall attempt to show that we must place it very little, if at all, later than 1050, and not earlier than 1150 B.C.

I see that I may claim Professor Jebb’s authority as to some extent, at any rate, supporting the later of these two dates. He writes:

With regard to the age of the “Odyssey,” we may suppose that the original “Return” was composed in Greece Proper as early as the Eleventh Century B.C., and that the first enlargement had been made before 850 B.C. *

I have shown why I cannot admit that any part of the “Odyssey” was written in Greece Proper, and while admitting that the poem has been obviously enlarged by the addition of Books i.-iv. and line 187 of Book xiii.-xxiv., with which I will deal fully in a later Chapter — I cannot think that the enlargement was by another hand than that of the authoress of the poem in its original form. Nevertheless I am glad to claim Professor Jebb’s support as far as it goes, for dating the inception of the “Odyssey” as in the eleventh century B.C.

I will begin by giving my reasons for thinking that the “Odyssey” must at any rate be earlier than 734 B.C.

When Eumæus is telling the story of his childhood to Ulysses (xv. 403, &c.), he says that he was born in the Syrian island over against Ortygia, and I have rendered “the Syrian island” “the island of Syra,” guided by the analogy of the “Psyrian island” (iii. 171), which unquestionably means the island of Psyra.

The connection of an island Syra with a land Ortygia, suggests Syracuse, in spite of the fact that in reality Ortygia was an island, and Syracuse both on the island and on the adjacent mainland — for as I have already too often said all Sicilian places in the “Odyssey” are travestied, however thinly.

The impression that Syracuse * is being alluded to is deepened by our going on to read that “the turnings of the sun” are “there”— which I presume may be extended so as to mean “thereabouts.” Now what are “the turnings of the sun”? I looked in Liddell and Scott, for whose work no one can feel a more cordial admiration, nor deeper sense of gratitude, and found that the turnings of the sun are “the solstices, or tropics, i.e., the turning points of midsummer and midwinter.” This may do very well as regards time, but not as regards place. In reference to the Odyssean passage, I read that “the turning of the sun denotes a point in the heavens probably to the Westward.”

But we want the sun to turn not at a point in the heavens, but in the neighbourhood of Syra and Ortygia, and to do so here in a way that he does not do elsewhere. The simplest way of attaining this end will be to suppose that the writer of the “Odyssey” was adopting a form of speech which we often use on a railway journey, when we say that the sun has turned and is coming in at the other window — meaning that the line has taken a sharp turn, and that we are going in a new direction. Surely I am not wrong in thinking that the author meant nothing more recondite than that near the two places named the land turns sharply round, so that sailors who follow it will find the sun on the other side of their ship from what it has hitherto been.

A glance at the map will show that the site which the combination of Syra and Ortygia has suggested is confirmed by the fact that shortly South of it the coast of Sicily turns abruptly round, and continues thenceforward in a new direction. Indeed it begins to turn sharply with the promontory of Plemmyrium itself. Eumæus, therefore, should be taken as indicating that he was born at the place which we know as Syracuse, and which was then, so he says, an aggregate of two small towns, without many inhabitants. It seems to have been a quite easy-going little place, where every one had enough to eat and drink, and nobody died except of sheer old age, diseases of all kinds being unknown. Business must have been carried on in a very leisurely fashion, for it took the Phœnicians a twelvemonth to freight their vessel, and the largest ship of those times cannot have been very large.

This is not the description of a busy newly founded settlement, as Syracuse would be in 734 B.C. Still less will it apply to any later Syracusan age. The writer modernises when dealing with an earlier age as frankly as Shakspeare: I have never detected a trace in her of any archæological instinct. I believe, therefore, that she was telling what little she knew of the Syracuse of her own day, and that that day was one prior to the arrival of the Corinthian Colony. I think it likely also that she made Eumæus come from Syracuse because she felt that she rather ought to have done something at Syracuse during the voyage of Ulysses, but could not well, under the circumstances, break his journey between Charybdis and Calypso’s Island. She, therefore, took some other way of bringing Syracuse into her story.

It may be urged that we have no other evidence of any considerable civilisation as having existed at Syracuse before the one founded by the Corinthians, and as regards written evidence this is true, so far at least as I know; but we have unwritten evidence of an even more conclusive kind. The remains of pottery and implements found at, or in the near neighbourhood of, Syracuse go back in an unbroken line from post-Roman times to the age of stone, while commerce with the Peloponnese, at any rate from the Mycenæan age, is shown by the forms and materials of the objects discovered in countless tombs. I had the advantage of being shown over the Museum at Syracuse by Dr. Orsi, than whom there can be no more cautious and capable guide on all matters connected with the earliest history of Sicily, and he repeatedly insisted on the remoteness of the age at which commerce must have existed between the South East, and indeed all the East, coast of Sicily, and the Peloponnese. The notion, therefore, too generally held in the very face of Thucydides himself, that there were no people living at or near Syracuse till the arrival of the Corinthians must be abandoned, and I believe we may feel confident that in the story of Eumæus we have a peep into its condition in pre-Corinthian times.

The two communities of which Eumæus tells us were probably, one, on the promontory of Plemmyrium, and the other, at a place between three and four miles distant, now called Cozzo Pantano, on each of which sites Dr. Orsi has discovered the burying ground of an extensive village or town (borgo) to which he had assigned the date xii.-xi. centuries B.C. before his attention had been called to the existence of a reference to prehistoric Syracuse in the “Odyssey.” Many examples of implements found on these two sites may be seen in the museum at Syracuse. I did not gather that any other prehistoric burying grounds had been found at or in close proximity to Syracuse.

Whether the people whose burying grounds have been found at the above named places were Greeks, who were displaced later by Sicels, as the Sicels in their turn were displaced by the Corinthians, or whether they were Sicels of an earlier unrecorded immigration, I must leave Dr. Orsi and others to determine, but the name of the sea which washes the East coast of Sicily points to the existence at one time of extensive Ionian settlements on East Sicilian shores. The name, again, Aci, which is found in Aci reale, Aci Castello, and Aci trezza, and which among the common people is now always sounded Iaci, suggests a remote Ionian origin — for we may assume that there was no Ionian migration later than 734 B.C. of sufficient importance to give the name Ionian to Sicilian waters, towns, and islands. The reader will be reminded in the following Chapter that Ἰακός means Ionian.

Eumæus was so young when he was carried off that even though Greek was not his native language, he would have become Grecised in a few years; I incline to think, however, that the writer of the “Odyssey” would have said something about his being a Sicel if she had so conceived of him in her own mind. She seems to think of him as a Greek by birth.

The Sicels, however, also probably spoke Greek. The inhabitants of Temesa, on the toe of Italy, do not indeed seem to have done so (“Od.” i. 183); but we do not know that they were Sicels. No writing has been found at Plemmirio nor yet at Cozzo Pantano; we have therefore very little to go upon.

But postulating that we may accept Thucydides — whose accuracy as regards Syracusan details proves that even though he had not been at Syracuse himself, he had at any rate means of informing himself on Sicilian history — who is evidently taking pains, and whose reputation is surpassed by that of no other historian — postulating that we may accept his statement (vi. 2) that the great irruption of Sicels which changed the name of the country from Sicania to Sicelia took place about 300 years before B.C. 734, I think we may safely put back the date of the “Odyssey” to a time before B.C. 1000.

For the “Odyssey” conveys no impression as though Sicily at large had been lately subdued and overrun by Sicels. Locally, indeed, the city at the top of Mt. Eryx had, as we have seen (“Od.” vii. 60), been conquered and overthrown; but I shall bring Thucydides, as well as other evidence, to show that in this case the victors are more likely to have been Asiatic Greeks than Sicels. The poem indicates a time of profound present peace and freedom from apprehension, and on the one occasion in which the writer speaks of Sicily under its own name, she calls it by its pre-Sicelian name of Sicania. * The old Sicel woman who waited on Laertes (xxiv. 211 and elsewhere) is not spoken of as though there were any ill-will on the part of the writer towards the Sicels, or as though they were a dominant race. Lastly, one of the suitors (xx. 382) advises Telemachus to ship Theoclymenus and Ulysses off to the Sicels. Now if the writer had the real Ithaca in her mind, the Sicels could only have been reached by sea, whether they were in Italy or Sicily; but I have already shown that she never pictured to herself any other Ithaca than the one she had created at Trapani; the fact, therefore, that Theoclymenus and Ulysses were to be put on board ship before they could reach the Sicels, shows that she imagined these last as (except for an occasional emigrant) outside the limits of her own island.

If the foregoing reasoning is admitted, 1050 B.C. will be about as late as it is safe to place the date of the “Odyssey”; but a few years later is possible, though hardly, I think, probable. Unfortunately this date will compel us to remove the fall of Troy to a time very considerably earlier than the received date. For a hundred years is, one would think, the shortest interval that can be allowed between the “Odyssey” and the “Iliad.” The development of myth and of the Epic cycle, of which we find abundant traces in the “Odyssey,” is too considerable to render any shorter period probable. I therefore conclude that 1150 B.C. is the latest date to which we should assign the “Iliad.”

The usually received date for the fall of Troy is 1184 B.C. This is arrived at from a passage in Thucydides (i. 12) which says that sixty years after the fall of Troy, the Bœotians were driven from Arne and settled in what was originally called Cadmeis, but subsequently Bœotia. Twenty years later, he tells us, the Dorians and the Heraclidæ became masters of the Peloponnese; but as he does not fix this last date, probably because he could not, so neither does he fix that of the fall of Troy.

The date commonly accepted for the return of the Heraclidæ and their conquest of the Peloponnese is 1104, * but those who turn to Müller’s History of the Doric Race Vol. I., p. 53, will see that there is no authority for this date which is worth a moment’s consideration; and with the failure of authority here, we are left absolutely without authority for 1184 B.C. as the date of the fall of Troy.

Admitting for the moment 1150 B.C. as the latest date to which we should assign the “Iliad,” the question arises: How much later than the fall of Troy did Homer write? Mr. Gladstone has argued very ably in support of the view that he wrote only some forty or fifty years after the events he is recording, in which case it would seem that he must date the “Iliad” hardly at all later than the latest date to which I would assign it, for he does not appear to dispute the received date for the fall of Troy, though he does not say that he accepts it. I should only be too glad to find that I can claim Mr. Glad-stone’s support so far, but farther I cannot expect to do so; for the impression left upon me by the “Iliad” is that Homer was writing of a time that was to him much what the middle ages are to ourselves.

If he had lived as near the Trojan War as Mr. Gladstone supposes, he would surely have given us some hint of the manner in which Troy fell, whereas he shows no signs of knowing more than the bare fact that the city had fallen. He repeatedly tells us this much, but always more curtly and drily than we should expect him to do, and his absolute silence as to the way in which the capture of the city was effected, goes far to prove either that all record of the modus in quo had perished — which would point to a very considerable lapse of time — or else to suggest a fact which, though I have often thought it possible, I hardly dare to write — I mean that Troy never fell at all, or at any rate that it did not fall with the close of the Trojan War, and that Homer knew this perfectly well.

The infinite subtlety of the “Iliad” is almost as unfathomable as the simplicity of the “Odyssey” has so far proved itself to be, and its author, writing for a Greek audience whom he obviously despised, and whom he was fooling to the top of their bent though always sailing far enough off the wind to avoid disaster, would take very good care to tell them that — if I may be allowed the anachronism — Napoleon won the battle of Waterloo, though he very well knew that it was won by Wellington. It is certain that no even tolerably plausible account of the fall of Troy existed among the Greeks themselves; all plausibility ends with their burning their tents and sailing away baffled (“Od.” viii. 500, 501)— see also the epitome of the “Little Iliad,” given in the fragment of Proclus. The wild story of the wooden horse only emphasises the fact that nothing more reasonable was known.

Wall at Hissarlik, showing contrast between weathered and protected courses
Wall at Hissarlik, showing contrast between weathered and protected courses

The Iliadic wall
The Iliadic wall

A coin bearing on the obverse the legend IAKIN, and on the reverse a representation of the brooch described by Ulysses. Enlarged to about double the actual diameter
A coin bearing on the obverse the legend IAKIN, and on the reverse a representation of the brooch described by Ulysses
Enlarged to about double the actual diameter

But let us suppose that Troy fell, and that Homer’s silence was dictated by the loss of all record as to the manner of its falling. In this case one would think that two, or even three, hundred years must have passed between the fall of Troy and the writing of the “Iliad.” Let us make it the same distance of time as that between the Parliamentary Wars and the present day. This would throw back the Trojan War to about 1400 B.C., and if we accept Homer’s statement that the wall of Troy (i.e. that which Dr. Dörpfeld excavated in 1893 — for that this is the Iliadic wall may be taken as certain) was built in the time of Priam’s father Laomedon, we should date the wall roughly as 1450 B.C. I may add, that it seems to me to be of somewhat earlier date than the co-called Treasury of Atreus at Mycene, and hence still earlier than that which bears the name of Clytemnestra.

I see by the latest work on the subject * that Dr. Dörpfeld dates it as between 1500 and loon B.C. I know how perilous it is to date a wall by the analogy of other walls in distant countries, which walls are themselves undateable with anything like precision, but having seen the Iliadic wall as also those of Tiryns and Mycene, as well as most of the so-called Pelasgic walls that remain in the Latin and Volscian cities, I should say that the wall of Troy was much later than those of the megalithic ages, but still not by any means free from the traditions of megalithic builders. I should date it roughly at not later than 1300 B.C. and hardly earlier than 1500 B.C. 

I will, however, date the Iliadic wall as 1400 B.C. The Trojan war will then be supposed to have taken place from 1360-1350 B.C.; the writing of the “Iliad” will be about 1150; and that of the “Odyssey” about 1050 B.C. This is a tight fit, and I should be glad to throw the Iliadic wall back to the earlier of the two dates between which Dr. Dörpfeld has placed it, but precision is out of the question; 1400 B.C. will be as near the truth as anything that we are likely to get, and will bring the archæological evidence as derivable from the wall of Troy, the internal evidence of the “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” the statement of Thucydides that the last and greatest inroad of the Sicels occurred about 1030 B.C., and our conclusion that the “Odyssey” was written before that date, into line with one another.

The date 1050 B.C. will explain the absence of all allusion in the “Odyssey” to Utica, the land near which, on certain rare days, can be seen from Mt. Eryx. The Phœnicians are known in the “Odyssey,” disliked and distrusted, but they do not seem to be feared as they would surely be if so powerful a maritime nation were already established so near the writer’s own abode. She does not seem to know much about the Phœnicians after all, for in iv. 83 she makes Menelaus say that he had gone to Cyprus, Phoenicia, and the Egyptians, and in the next line she adds that he had also been to the Ethiopians and the Sidonians, as though she was not aware that Sidon was a Phœnician city.

The absence of all allusion to Olympia when Telemachus was on his return from Pylos is most naturally explained by supposing that Olympia was not yet famous. The principal hero at Athens appears to be the earliest known object of the national cult, I mean Erechtheus (vii. 81); the later, though still very early, cult of Theseus is not alluded to. There is no allusion, however vague, to any event known as having happened in Greek history later than 1100 B.C., and though the absence of reference to any particular event may be explained by indifference or forgetfulness, the absence of all reference to any event whatever suggests, I should say strongly, that none of the events to one or other of which reference might be expected had as yet happened.

While, however, placing 1050 B.C. as the latest limit for the “Odyssey” I do not see how we can place it earlier than 1150 without throwing the date of the Iliadic wall farther back than we can venture to do, for we can hardly date it earlier than 1500 B.C., and 350 years is as short an interval as we can well allow between the building of that wall and the writing of the “Odyssey.”


Let us now compare the history of the N.W. corner of Sicily as revealed to us in the “Odyssey”— always assuming that the pedigree of Alcinous and Arēte in Book vii. is in its main facts historic — with the account given by Thucydides concerning the earliest history of the same district.

In the “Odyssey” we have seen the Sicans (whom I think that I have sufficiently identified) as originally in possession of Mt. Eryx under a king whose Odyssean name is Eurymedon. He, it seems, was overthrown, and the power of his people was broken, by enemies whose name is not given, about a hundred years before the writing of the “Odyssey,” as nearly as we can gather from the fact of his having been Nausicaa’s great great grandfather.

The writer of the “Odyssey” wrote in a language mainly Ionian, but containing a considerable Æolian element. It must be inferred, therefore, that her family and audience — that is to say the Phæacians — spoke a dialect in which these characteristics are to be found. The place of all others where such a dialect might be looked for is Phocæa, a little South of the Troad; for Phocæa was an Ionian city entirely surrounded on its land sides by Æolian territory. I see from Professor Jebb’s Introduction to Homer * that Aristarchus when editing the “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” and settling the text to all intents and purposes as we now have it, by comparison of the best copies known, made most frequent use of the civic edition of Marseilles which contained both “Iliad” and “Odyssey.” It will be remembered that Marseilles was a Phocæan colony.

The name Phæacians is not unsuggestive of a thin disguise for Phocæans; lines iv. 441-443, moreover, will gain greatly in point, if we imagine that the seals, or Phocæ, with their disgusting smell, are meant for the writer’s countrymen whom she evidently dislikes, and that the words, “who, indeed, would go to bed with a sea monster if he could help it?” are her rejoinder to the alleged complaint of the young Phæacians that she would marry none of them (vi. 276 &c.). Apart, therefore, from any external evidence, I should suspect the Phæacians to have been Phocæans, who had settled on this part of the island. * From the fact that the Phæacians in the time of the “Odyssey” were evidently dominant on Mt. Eryx as well as at Trapani, I conclude that they must have had, to say the least of it, a considerable share in the overthrow of Eurymedon and of the Sican power in that part of the island. If they had allies with them, these allies seem to have gone on to other sites on which Elymite cities are known to have existed, for we find no reference in the “Odyssey” to any other people as sharing Hypereia and Scheria with the Phæacians.

Though the power of the Sicans at Eryx was broken, and the Phæacians were established at Hypereia, also on the top of Mt. Eryx and less than a mile from the Sican city, the Sicans were still troublesome neighbours; there seems, however, to have been a marriage between some chief man among the Phæacians and Peribœa, youngest daughter of the old king Eurymedon, and this no doubt would lead to some approach to fusion between the two peoples. The offspring of this marriage, Nausithous, is said in the poem to have been by Neptune, from which I infer that the marriage may have been of a more or less irregular kind, but there can be no doubt that Nausithous came of a Phæacian father and would speak the Phæacian dialect, which the Sicans, though in all probability a Greek-speaking race, cannot be supposed to have done. Nausithous seems to have been a capable man; finding the continued raids of semi-outlawed Sicans still harassing, perhaps, also, induced by the fact that the promontory on which Trapani stands was better suited to a race of mariners than the lofty and inhospitable top of Mt. Eryx, he moved his people down to the seaside and founded the city that now bears the name of Trapani — retaining, however, the site of Hypereia as his own property on which his pigs and goats would feed, and to which also his family would resort, as the people of Trapani still do, during the excessive heat of summer.

The reader will have noted that Eumæus, who we must never forget is drawn not from Ithaca but from Mt. Eryx, when watching over his pigs by night thought it necessary to be fully armed (xiv. 526). He seems also from xvi. 9, to have had neighbours, from which we may infer that the old Sican city of Eryx was not yet entirely abandoned; nevertheless, Eumæus would not be there at all unless the fusion between the Sicans and the Phocæans had been fairly complete. The Sicans appear in the “Odyssey” under the names of Cyclopes and Læstrygonians, and the Sicels are not yet come. This is all that we can collect from the “Odyssey.”

We will now see what support the sketch given above will derive from Thucydides (vi. 2). According to him the Læstrygonians and the Cyclopes, mentioned as the earliest inhabitants of Sicily, are mere poetical fictions. This, however, does not preclude their having had their prototype in some real Sicilian people who bore another name; and at any rate, however fictitious they may be, he locates them in Sicily.

He continues that the oldest historic inhabitants of the island were the Sicans, who by their own account had been there from time immemorial. This he denies, for he says they were Iberians, and he says it as though he had satisfied himself after due inquiry, but since he gives no hint as to the date of their arrival, he does not impugn their statement that their settlement in the island dated from a remote time. It is most likely that he is right about the Sicans having come from Spain; and indeed at Tarragona, some fifty or sixty miles North of the mouth of the river Iberus, there are megalithic walls that bear, so far as I can judge from photographs, a very considerable analogy with those of Eryx. In Thucydides’ own times there were still Sicans in the Western part of Sicily.

He then goes on to say that after the fall of Troy, but he does not say how much after, some of the Trojans who had escaped the Greeks migrated to Sicily. They settled in the neighbourhood of the Sicans and were all together called Elymi, their cities being Eryx and Segesta. There were also settled with them — but whether at the same date, or earlier or later, and if so, how much, Thucydides does not say — certain Phocians of the Trojan branch, i.e., Phocæans — Phocæa having been founded by Phocians from the gulf of Corinth under the leadership of the Athenian chiefs Philogenes and Damon (Strab. xiv. 633; Pausan. vii. 3, 10; cf. Herod. I. 146). These Phocæans had been carried first by a tempest to Libya, * and thence to Sicily.

We need not follow him to the arrival of the Sicels, for I have already, I hope, satisfied the reader that the “Odyssey” belongs to a pre-Sicelian age, and I am only dealing with the period which the “Odyssey” and Thucydides cover in common.

I should perhaps put it beyond doubt that Thucydides means Phocæans and not Phocians. In the first place it is difficult to understand how Phocians, who were on the Achæan side (“Il.” II. 518), should amalgamate with Trojans; and in the next Thucydides’ words cannot be made to bear the meaning that is generally put upon them, as though the Phocians in question were on their way back from Troy to Phocis. His words are Φωκέων τινὲς τῶν ἀπὸ Τροίας, and this cannot be construed as though he had said Φωκέων τινὲς τῶν ἀνερχομένων ἐν νόστῳ ἀπὸ Τροίας. If ἀπό is to imply motion from, it should have a verb or participle involving motion before it; without this it is a common way of expressing residence in a place. For example, Ὀρέστης ἤλυθεν…ἀπ᾽ Ἀθηνάων (iii. 307) means Orestes came from Athens, whereas Ὀρέστης ὁ ἀπ᾽ Ἀθηνάων would mean “Orestes the Athenian, or quasi-Athenian,” as Λακεδαιμόνιοι οἱ ἀπὸ Σπάρτης means “the Lacedæmonians who live at Sparta,” Neither of these last two passages can be made to bear the meaning “Orestes, who was on his way from Athens,” or “the Lacedæmonians, who were on their way from Sparta.” The reader who looks out ἀπὸ in Liddell & Scott will find plenty of examples. To Thucydides, Phocæans in Asia Minor and Phocians on the gulf of Corinth would be alike Phocians in virtue of common descent, but to avoid misapprehension he calls the Phocæans “Phocians of the Trojan stock,” by “Trojan” meaning not very far from Troy. It should be noted that the Phocians of the gulf of Corinth are called Φωκῆες, not Φωκέες in “Il.” II. 517, xv. 516, xvii. 307. I see that Dobree (Adversaria in Thucyd.) is suspicious of the reading in the passage of Thucydides which we are now considering. He evidently considers that Φωκέων must mean Phocians from the gulf of Corinth, and so it would, if it were not qualified by the words τῶν ἀπὸ Τροίας which negative the possibility of European Phocians being intended.

Thucydides says nothing about any invasion of Sicily by a people called Elymi. He does not see the Elymi as anything more than the combined Asiatic and Sican peoples, who came to be called Elymi. If he had believed in the Elymi as a distinct batch of immigrants he would have given us a line or two more about them.

It is just possible that the known connection between Phocians and Phocæans may explain why Ulysses’ maternal grandfather should have been made to live on Mt. Parnassus, * which is in Phocis. Ulysses, to the writer of the “Odyssey,” was a naturalised Phæacian, for her native town had become in her eyes both Scheria and Ithaca. It would not be unnatural, therefore, that she should wish to connect his ancestry with Phocis, the ancestral seat of the Phocæans.

Returning to Thucydides, the only point in which he varies the Odyssean version is that he makes other Trojans migrate to Eryx as well as the Phocæans, whereas the writer of the “Odyssey” mentions only the Phæacians without saying anything about their having been of Phocæan descent. She has, however, betrayed herself very sufficiently. Thucydides again does not tell us that the Phocæans re-settled themselves at Drepanum, but a man who is giving a mere outline of events which happened some seven hundred years before he was writing, can hardly be expected to give so small a detail as this. The wonder is that the “Odyssey” should bear him out and confirm his accuracy in so striking a way as it does. We now, therefore, see that instead of there being any cause for surprise at finding an Ionic-Æolian poem written near Mt. Eryx, this is the very neighbourhood in which we might expect to find one.

Finally, let us turn to Virgil. His authority as a historian is worthless, but we cannot suppose that he would make Æneas apparently found Drepanum, if he held the presence of a Greek-speaking people at Drepanùm even before the age of Homer to be so absurd as it appears to our eminent Homeric scholars. I say “apparently found Drepanum,” for it is not quite easy to fix the site of the city founded by Æneas (Æn. v. 755-761), for at the close of Æn. III. Anchises dies at Drepanum, as though this city was already in existence. But whether the city founded by Æneas was actually Drepanum, or another city hard by it, it is clear that Virgil places Greek-speaking people at Drepanum, or close to it, immediately after the fall of Troy. He would hardly do this unless Drepanum was believed in his time to be a city of very great antiquity, and founded by Greek-speaking people. That the Trojan language was Greek will not be disputed.

210:* Introduction to Homer, ed. 1888, pp. 172, 193.

211:* On its earlier coins Syracuse not unfrequently appears as Syra.

214:* The fact that Σικανίης (xxiv. 307) should not have got corrupted into Σικελίης— which would scan just as well — during the many centuries that the island was called Σικελία, suggests a written original, though I need hardly say that I should not rely on so small a matter if it rested by itself.

215:* See Prof. Jebb’s Introduction to Homer, ed. 1888, Note 1 on p. 43.

215:† Murray, 1830.

217:* The Mycenæan Age, by Dr. Chrestos Tsountas and Dr. J. Irving Manatt, Macmillan, 1897, p. 369.

217:† The dark line across my illustration is only due to an accident that happened to my negative. I believe (but am not quite sure, for my note about it was not written on the spot) that the bit of wall given in my other illustration has nothing to do with the Iliadic wall, and is of greatly later date. I give it to show how much imagination is necessary in judging of any wall that has been much weathered.

219:* Ed. 1888, note on p. 91.

220:* Herodotus tells us (1. 163) that the Phocæans were the first people to undertake long voyages, exploring the Tuscan sea, and going as far as Cadiz. He says that their ships were not the round ones commonly used for commerce, but long vessels with fifty oarsmen. The reader will recollect that this feature of Phocæan navigation is found also among the Phæacians, who sent Ulysses to the place that we are to take as Ithaca, in a vessel that had fifty oarsmen.

222:* One cannot help wondering whether the episode of the Lotus-eaters may not be due to the existence of tradition among the Phæacians that their ancestors had made some stay in Libya before reaching Sicily.

223:* “Od.” xix. 410, 432.

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31