NOTES

[Page 106] Suitors have beset us . Telémachus lists them in Od.XVI -- 52 from DulíchiuM (perhaps part of Cephallēnia), 24 from Same (perhaps the other part of Cephallēnia), 20 from Zacynthus, 12 from Ithaca. Total, 108. It has been suggested that this would overcrowd the hall of Odysseus and that the passage should be deleted; but it seems niggling to check a poet so precisely by the size of actual remains at Tiryns or Mycenae.

[Page 106] Bride-price . See p. 91.

[Page 106] Icárius . Brother of Tyndáreüs, the father of Helen (though she was actually child of Zeus) and Clytemnestra. The recurrent contrast in the Odyssey between the true wife, Penelope, and these two fatal women is heightened by their close kinship -- they are first cousins. Tradition told how Icárius so loved his daughter that, when she wedded Odysseus, he tried to keep the young couple with him at Sparta. But the home-loving Odysseus would not give up Ithaca and, setting his wife in his chariot, took the road north from Lacedaemon. Even then Icárius followed, begging at least his daughter to stay. At last Odysseus bade her choose. In silence she drew her veil across her face. So Icárius understood what, gentler than Cordelia, she would not say -- that she must follow her husband; and, resigning himself, set up by the wayside a statue of Modesty -- the same, Pausanias fondly believed, as he saw by the road north of Sparta fourteen hundred years later, in the second century A.D. (III, 20, 10).

Other accounts linked Icárius with Cephallēnia or Acarnānia -- which would be much nearer for the Suitors.

[Page 106] Thěmis . Goddess of law and order. In Il. xx Zeus bids her convene the assembly of the Gods.

[Page 106] Warp . The vertical threads that were first hung from the top bar of the loom; after which the horizontal threads of the woof were woven through them with the shuttle.

[Page 107] Tyro . Daughter of the Thessalian Salmōneus and mother, by Crētheus, of Aeson, father of Jason; by Poseidon, of the evil Pělias and of Něleus, the father of Nestor.

[Page 107] Alcměne . Mother of Hěracles (p. 342).

[Page 107] Mycěne . Daughter of the Argive river Inăchus, who gave her name to Mycenae.

[Page 110] With ye, the people, I am angry . Homer's attitude to the multitude is curiously like Shakespeare's -- sympathy and even admiration for individuals, amused contempt for the gullibility, baseness, and savagery of the many-headed beast when it lacks leadership. These truths, indeed, have changed little in thirty centuries. Mme Dacier well points out that in the Iliad common men perish by the folly of their kings -- or, as Horace puts it, 'Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi'; whereas in the Odyssey it is the wisdom of their king that struggles, often in vain, to prevent common men from perishing by follies of their own. (This applies both to the comrades of Odysseus and to his subjects in Ithaca.)

[Page 110] Pylos . Probably the Messenian Pylos, near Navarino (p. 86).

[Page 111] Pharos is less than a mile from the coast where later rose Alexandria-indeed it has ceased to be an island. But this coast was then Libya,

-180-

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Greek Poetry for Everyman
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction xxv
  • Part One - Epic Period 1
  • Homer - Iliad 3
  • Notes 180
  • Hesiod of Ascra - (c. 800 B.C.?) 195
  • The Homeric Hymns 207
  • Hesiod and Hymns - Notes 224
  • Part Two - From Archilochus to Alexander 231
  • Archilochus of Paros 233
  • Part Three - Alexandrian Period 295
  • Philetas of Cos 297
  • Part Four - Roman and Early Byzantine Period 349
  • MeleĀger of Gadara 351
  • Appendix I 397
  • Appendix II 405
  • Index of Poets 413
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