T he Ionian migration was a long process, but the great majority of migrants seem to have passed through Attica before the end of the ninth century, and by this time also the full membership of the Ionian League was established. During this long period the Mycenaean stories had been told and retold; in the process they had been in some respects brought up to date, and the poets had devised new formulae alongside the old formulae; they had also devised certain forms of poetry, in which the new desire for definition and organization, which distinguishes post-Mycenaean from Mycenaean pottery, can be appreciated. The memory of the Mycenaean past was kept alive through the dark period by these poets, but in the ninth and still more in the eighth century the Greeks showed themselves aware of their past in other ways too--hero cults, games, dedications, royal names, and political manipulation of legend; and this awareness belonged to the Greeks as a whole whether they claimed Mycenaean ancestors or not. However much its members might quarrel with each other, the Greek world had settled down into something like its classical shape and felt itself Greek, and because Greek possessed of a common glorious past in which it was important to every member to have a share. Moreover, a certain amount of prosperity had been achieved so that celebration could be on a more generous scale than before: one sign of this is the magnificence of Attic Geometric pottery in the eighth century. But the further the polis developed towards its classical form, the greater the difference between the heroic and the contemporary world 1 and, therefore, the greater the difficulty of bringing the old stories up to date.
When I speak of Homer and his immediate predecessors, I____________________