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Title: Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age, Vol. 1 of 3 - I. Prolegomena II. Achæis
Author: Gladstone, W. E. (William Ewart)
Language: English
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  VOL. I.

  Plenius ac melius Chrysippo et Crantore.--HORACE.


  [_The right of Translation is reserved._]






  Plenius ac melius Chrysippo et Crantore.--HORACE.




  SECT. I.

  _On the State of the Homeric Question._

  Objects of this Work                                   Page 1
  Results thus far of the Homeric Controversy                 2
  Improved apparatus for the Study of Homer                   4
  Effect of the poems on Civilization                         5
  They do not compete with the Holy Scriptures                6


  _The Place of Homer in Classical Education._

  Study of Homer in the English Universities                  9
  Homer should not be studied as a Poet only                 11
  His claims compared with those of other Poets              14
  Study of Homer in the Public Schools                       18


  _On the Historic Aims of Homer._

  High organization of the Poems                             21
  The presumption is that the Poet had Historic aims         22
  Positive signs of them                                     23
  Pursued even at some cost of Poetical beauty               26
  Minuter indications                                        28
  General tone                                               28
  Hypothesis of reproduction inadmissible                    30
  What is chiefly meant by his Historic aims                 35


  _On the probable Date of Homer._

  The main question: is he an original witness               36
  Adverse arguments                                          37
  Affirmative arguments                                      39

  SECT. V.

  _The probable Trustworthiness of the Text of Homer._

  The received text to be adopted as a basis                 42
  Failure of other methods                                   44
  State of the Manuscripts                                   46
  Complaints of interpolation                                47
  Testimonies concerning the early use of the Poems          49
  Preservative power of the Recitations or matches           55
  Pseudo-Homeric poems                                       56
  Argument from the Cyclic poems                             59
  The Alexandrian period                                     60
  Amount and quality of guarantees                           64
  Improbability of wilful falsification                      67
  Internal evidence of soundness in detail                   69


  _Place and Authority of Homer in Historical Inquiry._

  Homer paramount as a literary authority                    71
  He has suffered through credulity                          73
  And through incredulity                                    79
  Proposed method of treatment                               81
  Instances of contrary method, (1) Hellen and his family    82
  Authority of Hesiod                                        84
  Instance (2), personality of Helen                         87
  Conclusion                                                 89



  SECT. I.

  _Scope of the Inquiry._

  Preliminary objection of Mr. Grote stated                  93
  Synopsis of national and tribal names to be examined       96


  _On the Pelasgians, and cognate races._

  The Pelasgians                                            100
  Pelasgic Argos                                            101
  Dodona                                                    106
  Thessaly and the Southern Islands                         109
  Epithets for Pelasgians                                   113
  Use of this name in the singular                          114
  The Pelasgians and Larissa                                115
  The Arcadians Pelasgian                                   119
  Why προσέληνοι                                            121
  The Arcadians afterwards the Swiss of Greece              122
  The Graians or Greeks                                     123
  Ceres and the Pelasgians                                  124
  The Iaones or Ionians                                     127
  The Athenians in the Catalogue                            129
  The Catalogue, vv. 546-9                                  129
  The same, vv. 550,                                        132
  The same, vv. 553-5                                       135
  Review of the Homeric evidence as to the Athenians        137
  Their relations with Minerva                              140
  Post-Homeric evidence of the Pelasgianism of Attica       145
  The Pelasgians related to Egypt                           148
  The Egyptians semi-fabulous to Homer                      151
  Their Pelasgian resemblances, in Homer and otherwise      153
  The Greeks of the Iliad why never termed Pelasgian        156
  The Θρῇκες and Θρῃίκιοι                                   158
  The Caucones and Leleges                                  161


  _The Pelasgians: and certain States naturalized or
  akin to Greece._

  Minos in Homer                                            166
  His origin                                                167
  His place in the nether world                             168
  The power of Crete                                        169
  Two of the five races apparently Pelasgian                170
  The tradition of Deucalion                                172
  The extent of the Minoan Empire                           175
  Evidence of Post-Homeric tradition                        176
  Circumstantial evidence                                   178
  The Lycians                                               181
  Their points of connection with Greece                    183
  Elements of the population                                185
  Cyprus                                                    188
  Inhabitants probably Pelasgian                            190
  No other name competes with the Pelasgian as designating
  the first inhabitants of Greece                           193
  The Pelasgians were the base or _substratum_ of the
  Greek nation                                              194
  Post-Homeric testimony respecting them                    195
  K. O. Müller’s Summary                                    200
  The Pelasgian language                                    203
  The Pelasgian route into Greece                           205
  Probably twofold                                          206
  Route of the Helli                                        208
  Peloponnesus the old centre of power                      209
  Derivation of the Pelasgian name                          211


  _On the Phœnicians and the Outer Geography of
  the Odyssey._

  Tokens of the Phœnicians in Greece                        216
  Limits of Homer’s Inner or Greek Geography                217
  And Greek Navigation                                      219
  His Outer Geography Phœnician                             221
  The traditions connected therewith also Phœnician         223
  Minos the Ὀλοόφρων                                        225
  Commercial aptitude of the modern Greeks                  227
  The Homeric Mouth of Ocean                                228
  The two Geographical reports are blended into one         228
  The Siceli and Sicania                                    229
  Their site is probably on the Bruttian Coast              231
  The Epirus of Homer                                       234
  The Thesprotians in Homer                                 235
  The Cadmeans in Homer                                     239
  Period from which they date                               240
  Conclusions respecting them                               244

  SECT. V.

  _On the Catalogue._

  The Greek Catalogue, properly an Array or Review          245
  The Preface                                               246
  The List                                                  247
  The principle of arrangement                              249
  The distribution in chief                                 250
  The sub-distribution                                      251
  Proofs of historic aim                                    255
  Genealogies of the Catalogue                              256
  The Epilogue                                              259
  The Trojan Catalogue                                      261


  _On the Hellenes of Homer._

  The word Hellas the key to this inquiry                   264
  List of passages where used                               265
  Some of them admit the narrow sense                       266
  Some refuse it                                            268
  None require it                                           272
  Hellenes in Il. ii. 684                                   274
  Panhellenes in Il. ii. 530                                277
  Cephallenes in Il. ii. 631 and elsewhere                  278
  The Helli or Selli                                        279
  Selli of the Scholiast of Aristophanes                    280


  _On the respective contributions of the Pelasgian and
  Hellenic factors to the compound of the Greek nation._

  Contributions to Mythology                                285
  Correspondences with Rome and Troy                        287
  The Pelasgian religion less imaginative                   289
  Their ritual development fuller                           290
  Order of Priests in Homer not Hellenic                    293
  Contributions to language                                 294
  Classes of words which agree                              298
  Classes which differ                                      301
  Evidence from names of persons                            307
  General rules of discrimination                           309
  Names of the Pelasgian class                              311
  Names of the Hellenic class                               317
  Contributions to political ideas                          320
  To martial ideas                                          320
  Corporal education and Games                              322
  Music and Song                                            329
  Supposed Pelasgianism of the Troic age                    331
  The traditions of Hunting                                 332
  The practice of Navigation                                336
  Summary of the case                                       338
  States especially Hellic or Pelasgic                      342


  _On the three greater Homeric appellatives._

  Modes of formation for names of peoples                   346
  The three greater appellatives not synonymous             348
  Proofs of their distinctive use                           350
  The Argive Juno, Argive Helen                             353
  The Danaans of Homer                                      355
  Epithets of the three appellatives                        356
  The Danaan name dynastic                                  359
  Compared with the Cadmean name                            361
  Epoch of the dynasty                                      363
  Post-Homeric tradition                                    366
  Application of the name Argos                             368
  Achaic and Iasian Argos                                   373
  The phrase μέσον Ἄργος                                    378
  The Apian land                                            379
  Summary of geographical conclusions                       380
  Etymology of the word Argos                               381
  Its connection with ἔργον                                 384
  The etymology tested by kindred words                     388
  The Danaan Argeians of Od. viii. 578                      391
  The Argive Juno                                           392
  Transition to Achæans                                     393
  Relation of Argeian and Pelasgian names                   396
  The etymology illustrated                                 397
  Different extent of Ἀργεῖοι and Ἄργος                     401
  Propositions as to the Achæan name                        402
  Particulars of its use                                    403
  Signs of its leaning to the aristocracy                   406
  Mode of its application in Ithaca                         411
  Its local sense in Thessaly                               416
  In Crete                                                  417
  In Pylos                                                  418
  In Eastern Peloponnesus                                   419
  Force of the name Παναχαιοὶ                               420
  The Æolid and Æolian names                                423
  The Heraclids in Homer                                    425
  The descent of the Æolids                                 427
  The earliest Hellenic thrones in Greece                   429
  The Danaan and Argive names used nationally in
  poetry only                                               431
  Summary of the evidence                                   433
  Later literary history of the three great appellatives    436
  Their value as primitive History                          437


  _On the Homeric title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν._

  Difference between Epithets and Titles                    440
  Examples of Homeric titles                                443
  The Βασιλεὺς of Homer                                     443
  Common interpretations of the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν                 443
  Some particulars of its use in Homer                      446
  How far connected with metrical convenience               447
  The κρείων and the ποιμὴν λαῶν                            448
  Arguments for a specific meaning in ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν           450
  Persons to whom the title is applied                      453
  Persons to whom it might have been applied                455
  Associations of reverence with it                         456
  It may indicate patriarchal chieftaincy                   459
  Presumptions of this in the case of Agamemnon             461
  Propositions respecting his extraction and station        463
  Arguments against his Hellenic descent considered         465
  Connection of Tantalus with Greece and with Pelops        466
  As to the seat of his power                               470
  Homeric notices of Pelops                                 471
  The Achæans rose with him                                 472
  They came from Thessaly                                   474
  The Dorians appropriate the Pelopid succession            477
  Protest against the popular tradition of the Hellenidæ    480
  Which, however, bears witness to the connection
  with Thessaly                                             481
  Case of Agamemnon summed up                               482
  The cases of Anchises and Æneas                           484
  Presumptive evidence as to Anchises                       486
  Presumptive evidence as to Æneas                          486
  Evidence from the Dardanid genealogy                      489
  From the horses of Tros                                   490
  Evidence summed up                                        491
  Signs of kin between Trojans and Greeks                   492
  Signs connected with the Hellic name                      496
  The Hellespont of Homer                                   497
  The gift of Echepolus Anchisiades                         499
  Twofold bond, Hellic as well as Pelasgic                  499
  Case of Augeias stated                                    500
  Notes of connection between Elis and the North            502
  Relation of Augeias to the name Ephyre                    504
  Cluster of apparently cognate names                       505
  The race of Φῆρες                                         509
  Common root of all these names                            510
  Probable signification of Ἐφύρη                           513
  Places bearing the name Ἐφύρη                             515
  Summary of the evidence for Augeias                       519
  Case of Euphetes                                          520
  The site of his Ephyre                                    521
  Case of Eumelus                                           526
  The ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν is descended from Jupiter                 529
  The four notes of the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν                         531
  Negative proofs                                           532
  Persons with the four notes but without the title         536
  Its disappearance with Homer                              538
  Signs in the Iliad of political disorganization           539
  More extensively in the Odyssey                           542
  General significancy of the title ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν             543

  SECT. X.

  _On the connection of the Hellenes and Achæans
  with the East._

  The Achæan name has no mark of a Greek origin             545
  Means for pursuing the inquiry                            546
  The two groups of Indo-European languages                 547
  Corresponding distinction of races                        548
  Province of Fars or Persia proper                         549
  Ascendancy of the Persians                                550
  Relation of the Germani to the Celts                      551
  And to the Hellenes                                       552
  The Persian tribe of Γερμάνιοι                            554
  The Homeric traces of the Persian name                    555
  The Achæan name in Persia                                 556
  Its probable etymology                                    557
  The Persians according to Herodotus                       558
  The comparison as to religious belief                     561
  As to ritual, and other resemblances                      563
  Evidence of the Behistun inscription                      565
  The organization established by Darius                    566
  Presumptions from the term Βασιλεύς                       567
  Hellenic traits in modern Persia                          568
  The Eelliats                                              571
  Media a probable source of the Pelasgi                    571

  ADDENDA                                                   573



SECT. 1.--_On the State of the Homeric question._

We are told that, in an ancient city, he who had a new law to propose
made his appearance, when about to discharge that duty, with a halter
round his neck. It might be somewhat rigid to re-introduce this
practice in the case of those who write new books on subjects, with
which the ears at least of the world are familiar. But it is not
unreasonable to demand of them some such reason for their boldness as
shall be at any rate presumably related to public utility. Complying
with this demand by anticipation, I will place in the foreground an
explicit statement of the objects which I have in view.

These objects are twofold: firstly, to promote and extend the fruitful
study of the immortal poems of Homer; and secondly, to vindicate for
them, in an age of discussion, their just degree both of absolute and,
more especially, of relative critical value. My desire is to indicate
at least, if I cannot hope to establish, their proper place, both
in the discipline of classical education, and among the materials of
historical inquiry. When the world has been hearing and reading Homer,
and talking and writing about him, for nearly three thousand years,
it may seem strange thus to imply that he is still an ‘inheritor of
unfulfilled renown,’[2] and not yet in full possession of his lawful
throne. He who seems to impeach the knowledge and judgment of all
former ages, himself runs but an evil chance, and is likely to be found
guilty of ignorance and folly. Such, however, is not my design. There
is no reason to doubt that Greece

    Dum fortuna fuit

knew right well her own noble child, and paid him all the homage that
even he could justly claim. But in later times, and in most of the
lands where he is a foreigner, I know not if he has ever yet enjoyed
his full honour from the educated world. He is, I trust, coming to it;
and my desire is to accelerate, if ever so little, the movement in that

As respects the first portion of the design which has been described,
I would offer the following considerations. The controversy _de vitâ
et sanguine_, concerning the personality of the poet, and the unity
and antiquity of the works, has been carried on with vigour for near a
century. In default of extraneous testimony, the materials of warfare
have been sedulously sought in the rich mine which was offered by the
poems themselves. There has resulted from this cause a closer study of
the text, and a fuller development of much that it contains, than could
have been expected in times when the student of Homer had only to enjoy
his banquet, and not to fight for it before he could sit down. It is
not merely, however, in warmth of feeling that he may have profited;
the Iliad and the Odyssey have been, from the absolute necessity of the
case, put into the witness-box themselves, examined and cross-examined
in every variety of temper, and thus, in some degree at least, made
to tell their own story. The result has been upon the whole greatly
in their favour. The more they are searched and tested, the more does
it appear they have to say, and the better does their testimony hang
together. The more plain does it become, that the arguments used on the
side of scepticism and annihilation are generally of a technical and
external character, and the greater is the mass of moral and internal
evidence continually accumulated against them. In consequence, there
has set in a strong reaction among scholars, even in Germany (in
England the destructive theories never greatly throve), on behalf of
the affirmative side of all, or nearly all, the main questions which
had been raised. Mure,[3] the last and perhaps most distinguished of
British writers on this subject, has left the debate in such a state
that those who follow him may be excused, and may excuse their readers,
from systematic preliminary discussion; and may proceed upon the
assumption that the Iliad and Odyssey are in their substance the true
offspring of the heroic age itself, and are genuine gifts not only of a
remote antiquity but of a designing mind; as well as that he, to whom
that mind belonged, has been justly declared by the verdict of all ages
to be the patriarch of poets. These controversies have been ‘bolted to
the bran;’ for us at least they are all but dead, and to me it seems
little better than lost time to revive them.

Having then at the present day the title to the estate in some degree
secured from litigation, we may enter upon the fruition of it, and with
all the truer zest on account of the conflict, which has been long and
keenly fought, and in the general opinion fairly won. It now becomes
all those, who love Homer, to prosecute the sure method of inquiry
and appreciation by close, continued, comprehensive study of the
text; a study of which it would be easy to prove the need, by showing
how inaccurately the poems are often cited in quarters, to which the
general reader justifiably looks for trustworthy information. To this
we have been exhorted by the writer already named:[4] and we have
only to make his practice our model. That something has already been
attained, we may judge by comparison. Let us take a single instance.
In the year 1735 was published ‘Blackwell’s Inquiry into the Life and
Writings of Homer.’ Bentley, as it would appear from Bishop Monk’s
Life[5] of that extraordinary scholar, was not to be taken in by a
book of this kind: but such men as Bentley are not samples of their
time, they are living symbols and predictions of what it will require
years or generations to accomplish. We may rather judge of the common
impression made by this book, from the Notes to Pope’s Preface to the
Iliad, where Warton[6] extols it as ‘a work that abounds in curious
researches and observations, and places Homer in a new light.’ But no
reader of Homer, in our own time, would really, I apprehend, be the
poorer, if every copy of it could be burned.

Since the time of Blackwell’s work, important aids have been gained
towards the study of Homer, by the researches of travellers, fruitful
in circumstantial evidence, and by the discovery of the Venetian
Scholia, as well as by the persevering labours of modern critics.
We have been gradually coming to understand that these precious
works, which may have formed the delight of our boyhood, have also
been designed to instruct our maturer years. I do not here refer
to their poetic power and splendour only. It is now time that we
should recognise the truth, that they constitute a vast depository of
knowledge upon subjects of deep interest, and of boundless variety;
and that this is a knowledge, too, which can be had from them alone.
It was the Greek mind transferred, without doubt, in some part through
Italy, but yet only transferred, and still Greek both in origin and
in much of its essence, in which was shaped and tempered the original
mould of the modern European civilization. I speak now of civilization
as a thing distinct from religion, but destined to combine and coalesce
with it. The power derived from this source was to stand in subordinate
conjunction with the Gospel, and to contribute its own share towards
the training of mankind. From hence were to be derived the forms and
materials of thought, of imaginative culture, of the whole education
of the intellectual soul, which, when pervaded with an higher life from
the Divine fountain, was thus to be secured from corruption, and both
placed and kept in harmony with the world of spirits.

This Greek mind, which thus became one of the main factors of the
civilized life of Christendom, cannot be fully comprehended without the
study of Homer, and is nowhere so vividly or so sincerely exhibited as
in his works. He has a world of his own, into which, upon his strong
wing, he carries us. There we find ourselves amidst a system of ideas,
feelings, and actions, different from what are to be found anywhere
else; and forming a new and distinct standard of humanity. Many among
them seem as if they were then shortly about to be buried under a mass
of ruins, in order that they might subsequently reappear, bright and
fresh for application, among later generations of men. Others of them
almost carry us back to the early morning of our race, the hours of its
greater simplicity and purity, and more free intercourse with God. In
much that this Homeric world exhibits, we see the taint of sin at work,
but far, as yet, from its perfect work and its ripeness; it stands
between Paradise and the vices of later heathenism, far from both,
from the latter as well as from the former; and if among all earthly
knowledge, the knowledge of man be that which we should chiefly court,
and if to be genuine it should be founded upon experience, how is it
possible to over-value this primitive representation of the human race
in a form complete, distinct, and separate, with its own religion,
ethics, policy, history, arts, manners, fresh and true to the standard
of its nature, like the form of an infant from the hand of the Creator,
yet mature, full, and finished, in its own sense, after its own laws,
like some masterpiece of the sculptor’s art.

The poems of Homer never can be put in competition with the Sacred
Writings of the Old Testament, as regards the one invaluable code
of Truth and Hope that was contained in them. But while the Jewish
records exhibit to us the link between man and the other world in the
earliest times, the poems of Homer show us the being, of whom God was
pleased to be thus mindful, in the free unsuspecting play of his actual
nature. The patriarchal and Jewish dispensations created, and sustained
through Divine interposition, a state of things essentially special
and exceptional: but here first we see our kind set to work out for
itself, under the lights which common life and experience supplied, the
deep problem of his destiny. Nor is there, perhaps, any more solemn and
melancholy lesson, than that which is to be learned from its continual
downward course. If these words amount to a begging of the question,
at least, it is most important for us to know whether the course was
continually downwards; whether, as man enlarged his powers and his
resources, he came nearer to, or went farther from his happiness and
his perfection. Now, this inquiry cannot, for Europe and Christendom at
least, be satisfactorily conducted, except in commencing from the basis
which the Homeric poems supply. As regards the great Roman people,
we know nothing of them, which is at once archaic and veracious. As
regards the Greeks, it is Homer that furnishes the point of origin
from which all distances are to be measured. When the historic period
began, Greece was already near its intellectual middle-age. Little can
be learned of the relative movements of our moral and our mental nature
severally, from matching one portion of that period with another, in
comparison with what we may gather from bringing into neighbourhood and
contrast the pristine and youthful Greece of Homer on the one hand,
and, on the other, the developed and finished Greece of the age of the
tragedians or the orators.

The Mosaic books, and the other historical books of the Old Testament,
are not intended to present, and do not present, a picture of human
society, or of our nature drawn at large. Their aim is to exhibit it
in one master-relation, and to do this with effect, they do it, to a
great extent, exclusively. The Homeric materials for exhibiting that
relation are different in kind as well as in degree: but as they paint,
and paint to the very life, the whole range of our nature, and the
entire circle of human action and experience, at an epoch much more
nearly analogous to the patriarchal time than to any later age, the
poems of Homer may be viewed, in the philosophy of human nature, as the
complement of the earliest portion of the Sacred Records.

Although the close and systematic study of the Homeric text has begun
at a date comparatively recent, yet the marked development of riches
from within which it has produced, has already been a real, permanent,
and vast addition to the mental wealth of mankind. We can now better
understand than formerly much that relates to the fame and authority
of this great poet in early times, and that we may formerly have
contemplated as fanciful, exaggerated, or unreal. It was, we can now
see, with no idle wonder that, while Greek philosophers took texts
from him so largely in their schools, the Greek public listened to his
strains in places of thronged resort, and in their solemn assemblages,
and Greek warriors and statesmen kept him in their cabinets and under
their pillows; and, for the first and last time in the history of the
world, made the preservation of a poet’s compositions an object of
permanent public policy.


[1] Revised and enlarged from the ‘Essay on the place of Homer in
Classical education and in Historical inquiry,’ which was contained in
the ‘Oxford Essays’ for 1857, published by Mr. J. W. Parker.

[2] Shelley’s Adonais.

[3] While speaking of this eminent labourer in the field of Homeric
inquiry, I must not pass by the sympathising spirit and imagination
of Mr. H. Nelson Coleridge, the admirably turned Homeric tone of the
ballads of Dr. Maginn, or the valuable analysis contained in the
uncompleted ‘Homerus’ of Archdeacon Williams. But of all the criticisms
on Homer which I have ever had the good fortune to read, in our own or
any language, the most vivid and entirely genial are those found in
the ‘Essays Critical and Imaginative’ of the late Professor Wilson.
In that most useful, and I presume I may add standard, work, Smith’s
‘Dictionary of Classical Biography and Mythology,’ I am sorry to find
that the important article Homerus, by Dr. Ihne, though it has the
merit of presenting the question in a clear light, yet is neither
uniformly accurate in its references to the text of Homer, nor at all
in conformity with the prevailing state at least of English opinion
upon the controversy.

[4] Mure’s History of Grecian Literature, vol. i. p. 10.

[5] 4to ed. p. 622, n.

[6] Warton’s Pope, vol. iv. p. 371, n.

SECT. 2.--_The Place of Homer in Classical Education._

Now, from these considerations may arise the important question, Does
Homer hold in our English education the place which is his due, and
which it would be for our advantage to give him? An immense price is
paid by the youth of this country for classical acquirement. It is the
main effort of the first spring-tide of their intellectual life. It is
to be hoped that this price will continue to be paid by all those, who
are qualified to profit by the acquisition; and that though of other
knowledge much more will hereafter be gained than heretofore, yet of
this there shall on no account be less. Still, viewing the greatness
of the cost, which consists in the chief energies of so many precious
years, it highly concerns us to see that what we get in return is good
both in measure and in quality. What, then, are the facts with respect
to the study of Homer in England at the present day?

I must here begin with the apology due from one who feels himself to
be far from perfectly informed on the case of which it is necessary to
give an outline. But even if I understate both the amount of Homeric
study, and its efficiency, there will, I am confident, remain, after
every due allowance shall have been made for error, ample room for
the application of the general propositions that I seek to enforce.
They are these: that the study of Homer in our Universities is as yet
below the point to which it is desirable that it should be carried, and
that the same study, carried on at our public Schools, neither is,
nor can be made, a fitting substitute for what is thus wanting at the

In my own day, at Oxford, now a full quarter of a century ago, the
poems of Homer were read chiefly by way of exception, and in obedience
to the impulse of individual tastes. They entered rather materially
into those examinations by which scholarship was principally to be
tested, but they scarcely formed a substantive or recognised part
of the main studies of the place, which were directed to the final
examination in the Schools for the Bachelor’s degree. I do not
recollect to have ever heard at that time of their being used as the
subject matter of the ordinary tutorial lectures; and if they were so,
the case was certainly a rare one. Although the late Dr. Gaisford, in
the estimation of many the first scholar of his age, during his long
tenure of the Deanery of Christ Church, gave the whole weight of his
authority to the recommendation of Homeric study, it did not avail
to bring about any material change. The basis of the Greek classical
instruction lay chiefly in the philosophers, historians, and later
poets; and when Homer was, in the academical phrase, ‘taken up,’ he was
employed ornamentally, and therefore superficially, and was subjected
to no such searching and laborious methods of study as, to the great
honour and advantage of Oxford, were certainly applied to the authors
who held the first rank in her practical system. I am led to believe
that the case at Cambridge was not essentially different, although,
from the greater relative space occupied there by examinations in pure
scholarship, it is probable that Homer may, under that aspect at least,
have attracted a greater share of attention.

When, however, the University of Oxford brought to maturity, in the
year 1850, a new Statute of examinations, efforts were made to promote
an extended study of Homer. Those efforts, it happily appears, have
produced a considerable effect. Provision was made by that statute for
dividing the study of the poets from the philosophical and historical
studies, and for including the former in the intermediate, or, as it is
termed, ‘first public’ examination, while both the latter were reserved
for the final trial, with which the period of undergraduateship is
usually wound up. All candidates for honours in this intermediate
examination are now required to present not less than twelve Books
of Homer on the list of works in which they are to be examined. And
I understand that he has also taken his place among the regular
subjects of the tutorial lectures. This is a great sign of progress;
and it may confidently be hoped that, under these circumstances, Homer
will henceforward hold a much more forward position in the studies
of Oxford. There remains something to desire, and that something, I
should hope, any further development of the Examination Statute of the
University will supply.

It is clear, that the study of this great master should not be confined
to preparation for examinations which deal principally with language,
or which cannot enter upon either primitive history, or philosophy, or
policy, or religion, except by way of secondary illustration. Better
far that he should be studied simply among the poets, than that he
should not be studied at all. But as long as he is read only among the
poets, he cannot, I believe, be read effectively for the higher and
more varied purposes of which Homeric study is so largely susceptible.

The grammar, metre, and diction, the tastes, the whole poetic handling
and qualities of Homer, do, indeed, offer an assemblage of objects for
our consideration at once and alike singular, attractive, extended,
and profitable. The extraneous controversies with which his name has
so long been associated as to his personality and date, and as to the
unity and transmission of his works, although they are for us, I trust,
in substance nearly decided, yet are not likely to lose their literary
interest, were it only on account of the peculiarly convenient and
seductive manner in which they open up many questions of primitive
research; presenting these questions to us, as they do, not in the
dull garb pieced out of antiquarian scraps, but alive, and in the full
movement of vigorous debate. All this is fit for delightful exercise;
but much more lies behind.

There is an inner Homeric world, of which his verse is the tabernacle
and his poetic genius the exponent, but which offers in itself a
spectacle of the most profound interest, quite apart from him who
introduces us to it, and from the means by which we are so introduced.
This world of religion and ethics, of civil policy, of history and
ethnology, of manners and arts, so widely severed from all following
experience, that we may properly call them palæozoic, can hardly be
examined and understood by those, who are taught to approach Homer as a
poet only.

Indeed, the transcendency of his poetical distinctions has tended to
overshadow his other claims and uses. As settlers in the very richest
soils, saturated with the fruits which they almost spontaneously yield,
rarely turn their whole powers to account, so they, that are taught
simply to repair to Homer for his poetry, find in him, so considered,
such ample resources for enjoyment, that, unless summoned onwards by a
distinct and separate call, they are little likely to travel further.
It was thus that Lord Bacon’s brilliant fame as a philosopher diverted
public attention from his merits as a political historian.[7] It was
thus, to take a nearer instance, that most readers of Dante, while
submitting their imaginations to his powerful sway, have been almost
wholly unconscious that they were in the hands of one of the most
acute and exact of metaphysicians, one of the most tender, earnest,
and profound among spiritual writers. Here, indeed, the process has
been simpler in form; for the majority, at least, of readers, have
stopped with the striking, and, so to speak, incorporated imagery of
the ‘Inferno,’ and have not so much as read the following, which are
also the loftier and more ethereal, portions of the ‘Divina Commedia.’
It may be enough for Homer’s fame, that the consent of mankind has
irrevocably assigned to him a supremacy among poets, without real
competitors or partners, except Dante and Shakspeare; and that,
perhaps, if we take into view his date, the unpreparedness of the
world for works so extraordinary as his, the comparative paucity of
the traditional resources and training he could have inherited, he
then becomes the most extraordinary, as he is also the most ancient,
phenomenon in the whole history of purely human culture. In particular
points he appears to me, if it be not presumptuous to say so much, to
remain to this day unquestionably without an equal in the management of
the poetic art. If Shakspeare be supreme in the intuitive knowledge of
human nature and in the rapid and fertile vigour of his imagination, if
Dante have the largest grasp of the ‘height and depth’ of all things
created, if he stand first in the power of exhibiting and producing
ecstasy, and in the compressed and concentrated energy[8] of thought
and feeling, Homer, too, has his own peculiar prerogatives. Among them
might perhaps be placed the faculty of high oratory; the art of turning
to account epithets and distinctive phrases; the production of indirect
or negative effects; and the power of creating and sustaining dramatic
interest without the large use of wicked agents, in whom later poets
have found their most indispensable auxiliaries. But all this is not
enough for us who read him. If the works of Homer are, to letters and
to human learning, what the early books of Scripture are to the entire
Bible and to the spiritual life of man; if in them lie the beginnings
of the intellectual life of the world, then we must still recollect
that that life, to be rightly understood, should be studied in its
beginnings. There we may see in simple forms what afterwards grew
complex, and in clear light what afterwards became obscure; and there
we obtain starting-points, from which to measure progress and decay
along all the lines upon which our nature moves.

Over and above the general plea here offered for the study of Homer
under other aspects than such as are merely poetical, there is
something to be said upon his claims in competition with other, and
especially with other Greek poets. The case of the Latin poets, nearer
to us historically, more accessible in tongue, more easily retained in
the mind under the pressure of after-life, more readily available for
literary and social purposes, must stand upon its own grounds.

In considering what is the place due to Homer in education, we cannot
altogether exclude from view the question of comparative value, as
between him and his now successful and overbearing rivals, the Greek
tragedians. For we are not to expect that of the total studies, at
least of Oxford and Cambridge, any larger share, speaking generally,
can hereafter be given to Greek poetry, as a whole, than has heretofore
been so bestowed. It is rather a question whether there should be some
shifting, or less uniformity, in the present distribution of time and
labour, as among the different claimants within that attractive field.

I do not dispute the merits of the tragedians as masters in their noble
art. As long as letters are cultivated among mankind, for so long
their honours are secure. I do not question the advantage of studying
the Greek language in its most fixed and most exact forms, which they
present in perfection; nor their equal, at least, if not greater value
than Homer, as practical helps and models in Greek composition. But,
after all allowances on these, or on any other score, they cannot,
even in respect of purely poetic titles, make good a claim to that
preference over Homer, which they have, nevertheless, extensively
enjoyed. I refer far less to Æschylus than to the others, because
he seems more to resemble Homer not only in majesty, but in nature,
reality, and historical veracity: and far less again to Sophocles, than
to Euripides. But it may be said of them, generally, though in greatly
differing degrees, that while with Homer everything is pre-eminently
fresh and genuine, with them, on the contrary, this freshness and
genuineness, this life-likeness, are for the most part wanting. We
are reminded, by the matter itself, of the masks in which the actors
appeared, of the mechanical appliances with the aid of which they
spoke. The very existence of the word, ἐκτραγῳδεῖν,[9] and other[10]
like compounds, shows us that, in the Greek tragedy, human nature and
human life were not represented at large; they were got up; they were
placed in the light of certain peculiar ideas, with a view to peculiar
effects. The dramas were magnificent and also instructive pictures, but
they taught, as it were, certain set lessons only: they were pictures
_sui generis_, pictures marked with a certain mannerism, pictures
in which the artist follows a standard which is neither original,
nor general, nor truly normal. Let us try the test of an expression
somewhat kindred in etymology: such a word as ἐξομηροῦν would carry
upon its face a damning solecism. Again, let us mark the difference
which was observed by the sagacity of Aristotle.[11] With the speeches
in the Iliad, he compares the speeches in the tragedians; those most
remarkable and telling compositions, which we have occasion so often to
admire in Euripides. But, as he says, the Characters of the ancients,
doubtless meaning Homer, speak πολιτικῶς, those of the moderns,
ῥητορικῶς. I know no reason why the speeches of Achilles should not be
compared with the finest passages of Demosthenes: but no one could make
such a comparison between Demosthenes and the speeches, though they are
most powerful and effective harangues, which we find in the Troades,
or the Iphigenia in Aulide. This contrast of the earnest and practical
with the artificial, runs, more or less, along the whole line which
divides Homer from the tragedians, particularly from Euripides.

When we consider the case in another point of view, and estimate these
poets with reference to what they tell, and not to the mere manner of
their telling it, the argument for assigning to Homer a greater share
of the attention of our youth, becomes yet stronger. For it must be
admitted that the tragedians, especially the two later of the three,
teach us but very little of the Greek religion, history, manners,
arts, or institutions. At the period when they wrote, the religion of
the country had become political or else histrionic in its spirit,
and the figures it presented were not only multiplied, but were also
hopelessly confused: while morals had sunk into very gross corruption,
of which, as we have it upon explicit evidence, two at least of them
largely partook. The characters and incidents of their own time, and
of the generations which immediately preceded it, were found to be
growing less suitable for the stage. They were led, from this and other
causes, to fetch their themes, in general, from the remote period of
the heroic or pre-historic ages. But of the traditions of those ages
they were no adequate expositors; hence the representations of them
are, for the most part, couched in altered and degenerate forms. This
will be most clearly seen upon examining the Homeric personages, as
they appear in the plays of Euripides. Here they seem often to retain
no sign of identity except the name. The ‘form and pressure,’ and also
the machinery or physical circumstances of the Greek drama, were such
as to keep the tragedians, so to speak, upon stilts, while its limited
scope of necessity excluded much that was comprised in the wide circle
of the epic action; so that they open to us little, in comparison with
Homer, of the Greek mind and life: of that cradle wherein lie, we are
to remember, the original form and elements, in so far as they are
secular, of European civilization.

If I may judge in any degree of the minds of others by my own
experience, nothing is more astonishing in Homer, than the mass of
his matter. Especially is this true of the Iliad, which most men
suppose to be little more than a gigantic battle-piece. But that poem,
battle-piece as it is, where we might expect to find only the glitter
and the clash of arms, is rich in every kind of knowledge, perhaps
richest of all in the political and historical departments. It is
hardly too much to say, in general, that besides his claims as a poet,
Homer has, for himself, all the claims that all the other classes
of ancient writers can advance for themselves, each in his separate
department. And, excepting the works of Aristotle and Plato, on either
of which may be grafted the investigation of the whole philosophy of
the world, I know of no author, among those who are commonly studied
at Oxford, offering a field of labour and inquiry either so wide or so
diversified, as that which Homer offers.

But, if Homer is not fully studied in our universities, there is no
adequate consolation to be found in the fact, that he is so much read
in our public schools.

I am very far indeed from lamenting that he is thus read. His free and
genial temperament gives him a hold on the sympathies of the young.
The simple and direct construction of almost all his sentences allows
them easy access to his meaning; the examination of the sense of single
words, so often requisite, is within their reach; while it may readily
be believed that the large and varied inflexions of the Greek tongue,
in his hands at once so accurate and so elastic, make him peculiarly
fit for the indispensable and invaluable work of parsing. It may be,
that for boyhood Homer finds ample employment in his exterior and
more obvious aspects. But neither boyhood nor manhood can read Homer
effectively for all purposes at once, if my estimate of those purposes
be correct. The question therefore is, how best to divide the work
between the periods of life severally best suited to the different
parts of it.

It is, indeed, somewhat difficult, as a general rule, beneficially and
effectively to use the same book at the same time as an instrument for
teaching both the language in which it is written, and the subject
of which it treats. What is given honestly to the one purpose, will
ordinarily be so much taken or withheld from the other. For the one
object, the mind must be directed upon the thought of the author; for
the other, upon the material organ through which it is conveyed; or,
in other words, for the former of these two aims his language must be
regarded on its material, for the latter on its intellectual, side.
The difficulty of combining these views, taken of necessity from
opposite quarters, increases in proportion as the student is young,
the language subtle, copious, and elaborate, the subject diversified
and extended. In some cases it may be slight, or, at least, easily
surmountable; but it is raised nearly to its maximum in the instance
of Homer. There are few among us who can say that we learned much of
the inward parts of Homer in our boyhood; while perhaps we do not
feel that our labours upon him were below the average, such as it may
have been, of our general exertions; and though other generations
may greatly improve upon us, they cannot, I fear, master the higher
properties of their author at that early period of life. Homer, if
read at our public schools, is, and probably must be, read only, or in
the main, for his diction and poetry (as commonly understood), even
by the most advanced; while to those less forward he is little more
than a mechanical instrument for acquiring the beginnings of real
familiarity with the Greek tongue and its inflexions. If, therefore,
he is to be read for his theology, history, ethics, politics, for his
skill in the higher and more delicate parts of the poetic calling, for
his never-ending lessons upon manners, arts, and society, if we are to
study in him the great map of that humanity which he so wonderfully
unfolds to our gaze,--he must be read at the universities, and read
with reference to his deeper treasures. He is second to none of the
poets of Greece as the poet of boys; but he is far advanced before them
all, even before Æschylus and Aristophanes, as the poet of men.

But no discussion upon the general as well as poetical elevation
of Homer, can be complete or satisfactory without a more definite
consideration of the question--What is the historical value of his
testimony? This is not settled by our showing either his existence, or
his excellence in his art. No man doubts Ariosto’s, or Boiardo’s, or
Virgil’s personality, or their high rank as poets; but neither would
any man quote them as authorities on a point of history. To arrive at
a right view of this further question, we must be reasonably assured
alike of the nature of Homer’s original intention, of his opportunities
of information, and of the soundness of his text. To these subjects
I shall now proceed; in the meantime, enough may have been said to
explain the aim of these pages so far as regards the more fruitful
study of the works of Homer, the contemplation of them on the positive
side in all their bearings, and the clearing of a due space for them in
the most fitting stages of the education of the youth of England.


[7] The remark is, I think, Mr. Hallam’s.

[8] This is the σφοδρότης, which Longinus (c. ix.) commends in the
Iliad, but which was perhaps excelled in the Divina Commedia.

[9] Used by Longinus xv. Polyb. vi. 56, 8.

[10] Steph. Lex. iii., 1353.

[11] Aristot. Poet. c. 15.

SECT. 3.--_On the Historic Aims of Homer._

For the purposes of anatomy every skeleton may be useful, and may
sufficiently tell the tale of the race to which it belongs. But when
we come to seek for high beauty and for approaches to perfection, of
how infinite a diversity, of what countless degrees, does form appear
to be susceptible! How difficult it is to find these, except in mere
fragments; and how dangerous does it prove, in dealing with objects, to
treat the whole as a normal specimen, simply because parts are fine,
or even superlative. When, again, we pass onward, and with the body
regard also the mind of man, still greater is the range of differences,
and still more rare is either the development of parts in a degree
so high as to bring their single excellence near the ideal standard,
or the accurate adjustment of their relations to one another, or the
completeness of the aggregate which they form.

Now, it appears to me, that in the case of Homer, together with the
breadth and elevation of the highest genius, we have before us,
and in a yet more remarkable degree, an even more rare fulness and
consistency of the various instruments and organs which make up the
apparatus of the human being--constituted as he is, in mind and body,
and holding, as he does, on the one side of the Deity, and on the
other, of the dust. Among all the qualities of the poems, there is
none more extraordinary than the general accuracy and perfection of
their minute detail, when considered with reference to the standards
at which from time to time they aim. Where other poets sketch, Homer
draws; and where they draw, he carves. He alone, of all the now famous
epic writers, moves (in the Iliad especially) subject to the stricter
laws of time and place; he alone, while producing an unsurpassed work
of the imagination, is also the greatest chronicler that ever lived,
and presents to us, from his own single hand, a representation of
life, manners, history, of morals, theology, and politics, so vivid
and comprehensive, that it may be hard to say whether any of the more
refined ages of Greece or Rome, with their clouds of authors and their
multiplied forms of historical record, are either more faithfully or
more completely conveyed to us. He alone presents to us a mind and an
organization working with such precision that, setting aside for the
moment any question as to the genuineness of his text, we may reason
in general from his minutest indications with the confidence that they
belong to some consistent and intelligible whole.

It may be right, however, to consider more circumstantially the
question of the historical authority of Homer. It has been justly
observed by Wachsmuth[12], that even the dissolution of his
individuality does not get rid of his authority. For if the works
reputed to be his had proceeded from many minds, yet still, according
to their unity of colour, and their correspondence in ethical and
intellectual tone with the events of the age they purport to describe,
there would arise an argument, founded on internal evidence, for
the admissibility of the whole band into the class of trustworthy
historical witnesses.

But, first of all, may we not ask, from whence comes the presumption
against Homer as an historical authority? Not from the fact that
he mixes marvels with common events; for this, to quote no other
instance, would destroy along with him Herodotus. Does it not arise
from this--that his compositions are poetical--that history has long
ceased to adopt the poetical form--that an old association has thus
been dissolved--that a new and adverse association has taken its place,
which connects poetry with fiction--and that we illogically reflect
this modern association upon early times, to which it is utterly

If so, there is no burden of proof incumbent upon those, who regard
Homer as an historical authority. The presumptions are all in favour of
their so regarding him. The question will, of course, remain--In what
proportions has he mixed history with imaginative embellishment? And
he has furnished us with some aids towards the consideration of this

The immense mass of matter contained in the Iliad, which is beyond what
the action of the poem requires, and yet is in its nature properly
historical, of itself supplies the strongest proof of the historic
aims of the poet. Whether, in the introduction of all this matter, he
followed a set and conscious purpose of his own mind, or whether he
only fed the appetite of his hearers with what he found to be agreeable
to them, is little material to the question. The great fact stands,
that there was either a design to fulfil, or, at least, an appetite to
feed--an intense desire to create bonds and relations with the past--to
grasp its events, and fasten them in forms which might become, and
might make them become, the property of the present and the future.
Without this great sign of nobleness in their nature, Greeks never
could have been Greeks.

I have particularly in view the great multitude of genealogies;
their extraordinary consistency one with another, and with the other
historical indications of the poems; their extension to a very large
number, especially in the Catalogue, of secondary persons; I take
again the Catalogue itself, that most remarkable production, as a
whole; the accuracy with which the names of the various races are
handled and bestowed throughout the poems; the particularity of the
demands regularly made upon strangers for information concerning
themselves, and especially the constant inquiry who were their parents,
what was, for each person as he appears, _his_ relation to the past?
and further, the numerous legends or narratives of prior occurrences
with which the poems, and particularly the more historic Iliad, is so
thickly studded. Even the national use of patronymics as titles of
honour is in itself highly significant of the historic turn. Nay, much
that touches the general structure of the poem may be traced in part
to this source; for all the intermediate Books between the Wrath and
the Return of Achilles, while they are so contrived as to heighten the
military grandeur of the hero, are so many tributes to the special and
local desires in each state or district for commemoration of their
particular chiefs, which Homer would, of course, have to meet, as he
itinerated through the various parts of Greece.

Now, this appetite for commemoration does not fix itself upon what
is imaginary; it may tolerate fiction by way of accessory and
embellishment, but in the main it must, from its nature, rely upon
what it takes to be solid food. The actions of great men in all times,
but especially in early times, afford it suitable material; and there
is nothing irrational in believing that the race which in its infancy
produced so marvellous a poet as Homer, should also in its infancy
have produced great warriors and great statesmen. Composing, with such
powers as his, about his own country, and for his own countrymen,
he could scarcely fail, even independently of conscious purpose,
to convey to us a great mass of such matter as is in reality of the
very highest historic truth and value. If, indeed, we advance so far
as to the conviction that his hearers believed him to be reciting
historically, the main question may speedily be decided. For each
generation of men, possessed of the mental culture necessary in order
to appreciate Homer, knows too much of the generations immediately
preceding to admit of utter and wholesale imposition. But it is a fair
inference from the Odyssey, that the Trojan War was thus sung to the
men and the children of the men who waged it. Four lays of bards[13]
are mentioned in that poem; one of Phemius, three of Demodocus; and out
of the four, three relate to the War, which appears to show clearly
that its celebrity must have been both instantaneous and overpowering;
the more so, as the only remaining one has reference not to any human
transaction, but to a scene in Olympus. And I shall shortly advert
to the question, whether the Homeric poems themselves were in all
probability composed not later than within two generations of the War

It may be true that, with respect to some parts of his historical
notices, the poet, adapting himself to the wishes and tastes of his
hearers, might take liberties without fear of detection, most of all
where he has filled in accessories, in order to complete a picture;
but I think we should be wrong in supposing that in the interest of
his art he would have occasion to make this a general practice, or
to carry it in historical subjects beyond matters of detail. Nor can
I wholly disregard the analogy between his history and his equally
copious and everywhere intermixed geographical notices: such of them,
I mean, as lay within the sphere of Greek experience. These indeed, he
could not, under the eyes of the men who heard him, cast into the mould
of fiction; yet there could be no call of popular necessity for his
unequalled and most minute precision, and it can only be accounted for
by the belief that accurate record was a great purpose of his poems. If
he was thus careful to record both classes of particulars alike, and
if, as to the one, we absolutely know that he has recorded them with
exemplary fidelity, that fact raises a corresponding presumption of
some weight as to the other.

But there is, I think, another argument to the same effect, of the
highest degree of strength which the nature of the case admits. It
is to be found in the fact that Homer has not scrupled to make some
sacrifices of poetical beauty and propriety to these historic aims. For
if any judicious critic were called upon to specify the chief poetical
blemish of the Iliad, would he not reply by pointing to the multitude
of stories from the past, having no connexion, or at best a very
feeble one, with the War, which are found in it? Such brief and minor
legends as occur in the course of the Catalogue, may have a poetical
purpose; it appears not improbable that they may be introduced by way
of relief to the dryness of topographical and local enumeration. But in
general the narratives of prior occurrences are (so to speak) rather
foisted in, and we must therefore suppose for them a purpose over and
above that, which as a mere poet Homer would have in view. It is hard
to conceive that he would have indulged in them, if he had not been
able to minister to this especial aim by its means. Thus, again, the
curious and important genealogy of the Dardanian House[14] is given by
Æneas, in answer to Achilles, who had just shown by his taunt that
he, at least, did not want the information, but knew very well[15]
the claims and pretensions of his antagonist. Again, the long story
told by Agamemnon, in the assembly held for the Reconciliation, when
despatch was of all things requisite, may best be accounted for by the
desire to relate the circumstances attending the birth of the great
national hero, Hercules. It certainly impedes the action of the poem,
which seems to be confessed in the rebuke insinuated by the reply of

                        νῦν δὲ μνησώμεθα χάρμης
    αἶψα μάλ’· οὐ γὰρ χρὴ κλοτοπεύειν ἐνθάδ’ ἐόντας
    οὐδὲ διατρίβειν· ἔτι γὰρ μέγα ἔργον ἄρεκτον.[16]

Still more is this the case when Patroclus, sent in a hurry for news
by a man of the most fiery impatience, is (to use the modern phrase)
button-held by Nestor, in the eleventh Book, and, though he has ‘no
time to sit down,’ yet is obliged to endure a speech of a hundred and
fifty-two lines, ninety-three of which, containing the account of the
Epean contest with Pylos, are absolutely and entirely irrelevant.
It may be said, that these effusions are naturally referable to the
garrulous age of Nestor, and to false shame and want of ingenuousness
in Agamemnon. In part, too, we may compare them with the modern
fashion among Orientals of introducing parables in common discourse.
But many of these have no parabolic force whatever: and from all of
them poetical beauty suffers. On the other hand, the historic matter
introduced is highly curious and interesting for the Greek races:
why, then, should we force upon Homer the charge of neglect, folly,
or drowsiness,[17] when an important purpose for these interpolations
appears to lie upon the very face of them?

It will be observed, that if this reasoning in reference to the
interlocutory legends be sound, it supplies an historical character to
the poem just in the places where the general argument for it would
have been weakest; inasmuch as these legends generally relate to
times one or two generations earlier than the Troica, and are farther
removed, by so much of additional interval, from the knowledge and
experience of his hearers.

But, over and above the episodes, which seem to owe their place in the
poem to the historic aim, there are a multitude of minor shadings which
run through it, and which, as Homer could have derived no advantage
from feigning them, we are compelled to suppose real. They are part
of the graceful finish of a true story, but they have not the showy
character of what has been invented for effect. Why, for instance,
should Homer say of Clytæmnestra, that till corrupted by Ægisthus she
was good?[18] Why should it be worth his while to pretend that the iron
ball offered by Achilles for a prize was the one formerly pitched by
Eetion?[19] Why should he spend eight lines in describing the dry trunk
round which the chariots were to drive?[20] Why should he tell us that
Tydeus was of small stature?[21] Why does Menelaus drive a mare?[22]
Why has Penelope a sister Iphthime, ‘who was wedded to Eumelus,’ wanted
for no other purpose than as a _persona_ for Minerva in a dream?[23]
These questions, every one will admit, might be indefinitely multiplied.

But, after all, there can be no point more important for the decision
of this question, than the general tone of Homer himself. Is he, for
ethical and intellectual purposes, the child of that heroic age which
he describes? Does he exhibit its form and pressure? Does he chant in
its key? Are there a set of ideas of the writer which are evidently
not those of his heroes, or of his heroes which are not those of
the writer, or does he sing, in the main, as Phemius and Demodocus
might themselves have sung? Wachsmuth says well, that Homer must be
regarded as still within the larger boundaries of the heroic age.
There are, perhaps, signs, particularly in the Odyssey, of a first
stage of transition from it; but the poet is throughout identified
with it in heart, soul, speech, and understanding. I would presume to
argue thus; that Homer never would have ventured to dispense with mere
description, and to adopt action as his sole resource--to dramatise
his poem as he has dramatised it--unless he had been strong in the
consciousness of this identity. It is no answer to say that later
writers--namely, the tragedians--dramatised the subject still more,
and presented their characters on the stage without even those slender
aids from interjected narrative towards the comprehension of them,
which Homer has here and there, at any rate, permitted himself to
use. For the consequence has been in their case, that they entirely
fail to represent the semblance of a picture of the heroic age, or
indeed of any age at all. They produce remote occurrences or fables
in a dress of feelings, language, and manners suited to their own
time, as far as it is suited to any. Besides, as dramatists, they had
immense aids and advantages of other kinds; not to mention their grand
narrative auxiliary, the Chorus. But Homer enjoyed little aid from
accessories, and has notwithstanding painted the very life. And yet,
seeking to paint from the life, he commits it to his characters to
paint themselves and one another. Surely he never could have confined
himself to this indirect process, unless he had been emboldened by the
consciousness of his own essential unity with them all. He would have
done as most other epic poets have done, whose personages we feel that
we know, not from themselves, but from what the poet in the character
of intelligencer has been kind enough to tell us; whereas we learn
Achilles by means of Achilles, Ulysses by means of Ulysses, and so with
the rest. Next to their own light, is the light they reflect on one
another; but we never see the poet, so to speak, holding the candle.
Still, in urging all this, I feel that more remains and must remain
unspoken. The question, whether Homer speaks and paints essentially
in the spirit of his own age, or whether he fetches from a distance
both his facts and a manner so remarkably harmonizing with them, must
after all our discussions continue one to be settled in the last resort
not by arguments, which can only play a subsidiary part, but first
by the most thorough searching and sifting of the text; then by the
application of that inward sense and feeling, to which the critics of
the destructive schools, with their ἀναποδεικταὶ φάσεις, make such
copious appeals.

But the assumption by an effort of mind of the manners and tone of
a remote age, joined with the consistent support of this character
throughout prolonged works, is of very rare occurrence. In Greek
literature there is nothing, to my knowledge, which at all approaches
it; and this I think may fairly be urged as of itself almost conclusive
against ascribing it to Homer. The later tragedians, in whose
compositions we should look for it, do not apparently so much as think
of it; and it is most difficult to suppose a poet so national as Homer
to be in this cardinal respect entirely different from all others of
his race. Indeed the supposition is radically at variance with the
idea of his poetical character; of which the very groundwork lies in a
childlike unconsciousness, and in the unity of Art with Nature[24].

May we not, however, go a good deal further, and say boldly that the
faculty of assuming in literary compositions an archaic costume, voice,
and manner, does not belong at all either to an age like that of Homer,
or to any age of which the literary conditions at all resemble it?

In the first place, an inventor, working like Homer for the general
public, must, by departing altogether from the modes of thought,
expression, and action current in his own day, _pro tanto_ lose his
hold upon those on whose approval he depends. It seems to follow that
this will not be seriously attempted, except in an age which has
ceased to afford a liberal supply of the materials of romance. Is not
this presumption made good by experience? The Greek tragedians, it is
indisputable, did not find it necessary to aim, and did not aim, at
reproducing the whole contemporary apparatus, which was in strictness
appropriate and due to their characters. Virgil made no such attempt in
the Æneid, of which, notwithstanding the manners abound in anachronisms
of detail. The romance poets of Italy idealize their subject, not,
however, by the revival of antique manners with their proper apparatus
of incidents, but by means of an abundant preternatural machinery.
Even in Shakespeare’s King John, Henry IV, or Henry VIII, how little
difference can be detected from the Elizabethan age, or (in this point)
from one another[25]. Again, in Macbeth or Lear, enough is done
to prevent our utterly confounding their ages with the common life
of the hearers; but there is nothing that approaches to a complete
characteristic representation of the respective times to which the
personages are supposed to belong. So, again, in Coriolanus, Julius
Cæsar, or Antony and Cleopatra, there is a sort of Roman _toga_ thrown
loosely over the figures; but we do not feel ourselves amidst Roman
life when we read them. And, in truth, what is done at all in these
cases is not done so much by reproducing as by generalizing, in the
same sense as a painter generalizes his draperies. A great instance
of the genuine process of reproduction is to be found in Sir Walter
Scott. He, however, besides being a man of powerful genius, cast not
in the mould of his own age, but in one essentially belonging to the
past, was a master of antiquarian knowledge. And this leads me to
name what seems to be the second condition of serious and successful
attempts (I need not here speak of burlesques, of which all the touches
must be broad ones) at disinterring and reviving bygone ages in the
whole circle and scheme of their life. The first, as has been already
said, is to live in an age itself socially old, so as not to abound in
proper materials for high invention. The second is, to live in an age
possessed of such abundant documents and records of a former time as to
make it practicable to explore it in all points by historical _data_.
This condition was wanting to Virgil, even supposing him to have had
the necessary tastes and qualifications. It was not wanting to Scott,
with reference especially to the period of the Stuarts, who, besides
a vast abundance of oral and written traditions, had laws, usages,
architecture, arms, coins, utensils, every imaginable form of relic
and of testimony at his command, so that he could himself first live
in the age of his works, and then, when himself acclimatised, invent
according to it.

In all this it is not forgotten that a certain amount of archaism is
indispensable in all works purporting to draw their subject from a
long-past age. But this _minimum_ need only be slight and general,
as in the Æneid; and it consists rather in the exclusion of modern
accessories, than in the revival of the original tone. And again,
the very choice of subject, as it is grave and severe or light and
gay, will to some extent influence the manners: the former will
spontaneously lean towards the past, the latter, depending on the zest
of novelty, will be more disposed to clothe itself in the forms of the
present. Thus we have a more antique tone in Henry the Fifth, than in
the Merry Wives of Windsor. But archaic colouring within limits such as
these is broadly different from such systematic representation of the
antique as Homer must have practised, if he had practised it at all.

As in romance and poetry, so in the progress of the drama, this
method appears to be the business of a late age. The strength of
dramatic imagination is always when the drama itself is young. It
then confidently relies upon its essential elements for the necessary
illusion; it knows little, and cares less, about sustaining it by
elaborate attention to minor emblems and incidents. But when it has
lived into the old age of civilized society, when the critical faculty
has become strong and the imagination weak, then it strengthens
itself by minute accuracy in scenery and costume,--in fact, by exact
reproduction. This is indeed the novel gift of our own time: and by
means of it theatrical revivals are now understood and practised among
ourselves in a manner which former generations could not emulate, but
did not require.

Nor must we forget the importance, with reference to this discussion,
of Homer’s minuteness, precision, and multitude of details. Every one
of these, be it remembered, if we suppose him not to be painting from
the life, affords an additional chance of detection, by the discrepancy
between the life habitually present to the poet’s experience, and that
which he is representing by effort. But the voice of the Homeric poems
is in this respect, after all, unisonous, like that of the Greeks,
and not multiform, like that of the Trojan army[26]. We are driven,
therefore, to suppose that Homer practised this art of reproduction on
a scale, as well as with a success, since unheard of, and this at a
period when, according to all likelihood and all other experience, it
could only in a very limited sense be possible to practice it at all.
The extravagance of these suppositions tells powerfully against them,
and once more throws us back on the belief that the objects which he
painted were, in the main, those which his own age placed beneath his

This view of the historical character of Homer, I believe,
substantially agrees with that taken by the Greeks in general. If I
refer to Strabo, in his remarkable Prolegomena[27], it is because he
had occasion to consider the point particularly. Eratosthenes had
treated the great sire of poets as a fabulist. Strabo confutes him.
Eratosthenes had himself noticed the precision of the geographical
details: Thisbe, with its doves; Haliartus and its meadows; Anthedon,
the boundary; Lilæa by the sources of Cephissus; and Strabo retorts
upon him with force--πότερον οὖν ὁ ποιῶν ταῦτα ψυχαγωγοῦντι ἔοικεν ἢ
διδάσκοντι; his general conclusion is, that Homer used fiction, as his
smith in the Odyssey used gold for plating silver:--

    ὡς δ’ ὅτε τις χρυσὸν περιχεύεται ἀργύρῳ ἀνὴρ,

that so Homer adjoined mythical ornaments to true events. But history
was the basis:--ἔλαβεν οὖν παρὰ τῆς ἱστορίας τὰς ἀρχάς[28]. And, in
adopting the belief that Homer is to be taken generally for a most
trustworthy witness to facts, I am far from saying that there are no
cases of exception, where he may reasonably be suspected of showing
less than his usual fidelity. The doctrine must be accepted with
latitude: the question is not whether it is absolutely safe, but
whether it is the least unsafe. We may most reasonably, perhaps, view
his statements and representations with a special jealousy, when they
are such as appear systematically contrived to enhance the distinctive
excellencies of his nation. Thus, for instance, both in the causes
and incidents of the war, and in the relative qualities and merits of
Greeks and Trojans, we may do well to check the too rapid action of
our judgments, and to allow some scope to the supposition, that the
historical duties of the bard might here naturally become subordinate
to his patriotic purpose in glorifying the sires of his hearers, that
immortal group who became through him the fountain head to Greece, both
of national unity and of national fame.

Indeed, while I contend keenly for the historic aim and character of
Homer, I understand the terms in a sense much higher than that of mere
precision in the leading narration. We may, as I am disposed to think,
even if we should disbelieve the existence of Helen, of Agamemnon, or
of Troy, yet hold, in all that is most essential, by the historical
character of Homer. For myself, I ask to be permitted to believe in
these, and in much besides these; yet I also plead that the main
question is not whether he has correctly recorded a certain series
of transactions, but whether he has truly and faithfully represented
manners and characters, feelings and tastes, races and countries,
principles and institutions. Here lies the pith of history; these it
has for its soul, and fact for its body. It does not appear to me
reasonable to presume that Homer idealized his narration with anything
like the license which was permitted to the Carlovingian romance; yet
even that romance did not fail to retain in many of the most essential
particulars a true historic character; and it conveys to us, partly by
fact and partly through a vast parable, the inward life of a period
pregnant with forces that were to operate powerfully upon our own
characters and condition. Even those who would regard the cases as
parallel should, therefore, remember that they too must read Homer
otherwise than as a poet in the vulgar and more prevailing sense, which
divests poetry of its relation to reality. The more they read him in
that spirit the higher, I believe, they will raise their estimate of
his still unknown and unappreciated treasures.


[12] Historical Antiquities of the Greeks, vol i. Appendix C.

[13] Od. i. 326, viii. 72-82, 266-366, 499-520.

[14] Il. xx. 213-41.

[15] Il. xx. 179-83.

[16] Il. xix. 148-50.

[17] Hor. A.P. v. 359.

[18] Od. iii. 266.

[19] Il. xxiii. 826.

[20] Ibid. 326-33.

[21] Il. v. 801.

[22] Il. xxiii. 409.

[23] Od. iv. 797.

[24] Nägelsbach, Homerische Theologie, Einleitung, pp. 1-3.

[25] Scott has paid, however, a tribute to Shakespeare on this ground
in ‘The Fortunes of Nigel.’ Novels and Romances, vol. iii. p. 68, 8vo.

[26] Il. iv. 438.

[27] Strabo i. 2, p. 16.

[28] Strabo i. 2, p. 20.

SECT. 4.--_The probable Date of Homer._

In employing such a phrase as the date of Homer, I mean no reference to
any given number of years before the Olympiads, but simply his relation
in the order of history to the heroic age; to the events, and, above
all, to the living type of that age.

When asserting generally the historic aims and authority of the
poet, I do not presume to pronounce confidently upon the difficult
question of the period at which he lived. I prefer to dwell upon the
proposition that he is an original witness to manners, characters, and
ideas such as those of his poems. It is not necessary, to make good
this proposition, that we should determine a given number of years
as the maximum that could have passed between the Trojan war and the
composition of the Iliad or Odyssey. But the internal evidence seems to
me very strongly to support the belief, that he lived before the Dorian
conquest of the Peloponnesus. That he was not an eye-witness of the
war, we absolutely know from the Invocation before the Catalogue[29].
It also appears[30] that he must have seen the grandchildren of Æneas
reigning over the land of Priam. It is no extravagant supposition that
forty or fifty years after the siege, perhaps even less, might have
brought this to pass.

The single idea or form of expression in the poems, which at first
sight tends to suggest a very long interval, is that quoted by Velleius
Paterculus[31], the οἷοι νῦν βροτοί εἰσι[32]. But the question arises,
whether this is an historical land-mark, or a poetical embellishment?
In the former sense, as implying a great physical degeneracy of
mankind, it would require us to suppose nothing less than a lapse
of centuries between the Troica and the epoch of the poet. This
hypothesis, though Heyne speaks of the eighth or ninth generation[33],
general opinion has rejected. If it be dismissed, and if we adopt
the view of this formula as an ornament, it loses all definite
chronological significance. Thus it is lost in the phrase, common in
our own time with respect to the intellectual characters of men now
no more, but yet not removed from us, perhaps, by more than from a
quarter to half a century--‘there were giants in those days.’ Nay,
the observation of Paterculus, especially as he was an enthusiastic
admirer, itself exemplifies the little care with which these questions
have been treated. For the Iliad itself supplies a complete answer in
the speech of Nestor, who draws the very same contrast between the
heroes of the Troica and those of his own earlier days:

                          κείνοισι δ’ ἂν οὔτις
    τῶν οἱ νῦν βροτοί εἰσιν ἐπιχθονίων μαχέοιτο[34].

And it is curious that we have in these words a measure, supplied by
Homer himself, of the real force of the phrase, which seems to fix it
at something under half a century, and thus makes it harmonise with
the indication afforded by the passage relating to the descendants of
Æneas. The argument of Mitford[35] on the age of Homer appears to me
to be of great value: and, while it is rejected, it is not answered
by Heyne[36]. Nor is it easy to conceive the answer to those who urge
that, so far as the poet’s testimony goes, the years from Pirithous
to the siege are as many as from the siege to his own day[37]. But
Pirithous was the father of Polypætes, who led a Thessalian division in
the war.[38]

If this view of Homer’s meaning in the particular case be correct,
we can the better understand why it is that the poet, who uses this
form of enhancement four times in the Iliad, does not employ it in the
Odyssey, though it is the later poem, and though he had opportunities
enough; such as the athletic exploits of Ulysses in Phæacia, and
especially the handling of the Bow in Ithaca. For in the Iliad a more
antique tone of colouring prevails, as it is demanded by the loftier
strain of the action.

There is one passage, and one only, which is just capable of being
construed as an allusion to the great Dorian conquest: it is that in
the Fourth Book of the Iliad, where Juno tells Jupiter that she well
knows he can destroy in spite of her, whensoever he may choose, her
three dearest cities, Argos, Sparta, and Mycenæ[39]. It is probable
that the passage refers to sacking such as had been practised by
Hercules[40], and such as is pathetically described by Phœnix[41].
But, in the first place, we do not know that these cities were in any
sense destroyed by the Dorian conquest, more than they had been by
previous dynastic and territorial changes. If, on the other hand, it
be contended, that we need not construe the passage as implying more
than revolution independent of material destruction, then we need
not introduce the idea of the Dorian conquest at all to sustain the
propriety of the passage, for Homer already knew by tradition how those
cities, and the territory to which they belonged, had changed hands
from Danaïds to Perseids, and from Perseids to Pelopids.

But indications even far less equivocal from an isolated passage
would be many times outweighed, in a case like that of Homer, by any
conclusion justly drawn from features, whether positive or negative,
that are rooted in the general body of the poems. Now such a conclusion
arises from the admitted and total absence of any allusion in Homer
to the general incidents of the great Dorian conquest, and to the
consequent reconstruction of the old or European Greece, or to the
migrations eastward, or to the very existence of the new Asiatic Greece
which it is supposed to have called into being. Respecting the conquest
itself, he might by a sustained effort of deliberate intention have
kept silence: but is it possible that he could have avoided betraying
by reference to results, on a thousand occasions, his knowledge of a
change which had drawn anew the whole surface of society in Greece? It
would be more rational, were we driven to it (which is not the case),
even to suppose that the passage in question had been tampered with,
than to imagine that the poet could have forborne through twenty-eight
thousand lines, to make any other reference to, or further betray his
knowledge of, events which must on this supposition have occupied for
him so large a part of the whole horizon of life and experience.

Again, the allusions to the trumpet and the riding-horse found in
illustrative passages, but not as used in the war, are by far too
slight and doubtful, to sustain the theory that Homer saw around him a
system of warfare different from that which he recorded; and require
us to adopt no supposition for the explanation of them, beyond the
very natural one that the heroic poet, without essentially changing
manners, yet, within certain limits, insensibly projects himself and
his subject from the foreground of every-day life into the mellowness
of distance; and, therefore, that he may advisedly have excluded from
his poem certain objects or practices, which notwithstanding he knew
to have been more or less in use. Again, what are we to say to the
minute knowledge of Greece proper and the Peloponnesus, which Homer has
displayed? Why does he (apparently) know it so much better than he knew
Asia Minor? How among the rude Dorians, just emerged from comparative
barbarism, could he learn it at all? How strange, that Lycurgus
should have acquired the fame of having first introduced the poems to
the Peloponnesus, unless a great revolution and a substitution of one
dominant race for another had come between, to obliterate or greatly
weaken the recollection of them in the very country, which beyond all
others they covered with a blaze of glory.

Of the very small number of passages in the poems which contain a
reference to events later than the action, there are two, both relating
to the same subject, for which at first sight it appears difficult
to account. Why does Neptune obtrude upon the Olympian Court his
insignificant and rather absurd jealousy, lest the work of defence,
hastily thrown up by the Achæan army, should eclipse the wall built
around Troy by Apollo and himself? Evidently in order to obtain from
Jupiter the suggestion, that he should subsequently himself efface all
traces of it. But why does Homer show this anxiety to account for its
non-appearance? Why does he return subsequently to the subject, and
most carefully relate how Jupiter by raining, and Apollo by turning the
mouths of eight rivers, and Neptune with his trident, all cooperated to
destroy the work, and make the shore smooth and even again? Had Homer
lived many generations after the Trojan war, these passages would have
been entirely without purpose, for he need not then have given reasons
to show, why ages had left no trace still visible of the labour of
a day. But if he lived near the period of the war, the case is very
different. He might then be challenged by his maritime hearers, who,
if they frequented the passage into the Sea of Marmora, would have had
clear views of the camp of Agamemnon, and who would naturally require
him to assign a cause for the disappearance even of such a work as
a day’s labour of the army could produce, and as the Trojan soldiery
could make practicable for their chariots to drive over[42].

These particular indications appear to be worth considering: but the
great reasons for placing the date of Homer very near to that of the
War are, his visible identity with the age, the altering but not yet
vanished age, of which he sings, and the broad interval in tone and
feeling between himself, and the very nearest of all that follows him.


[29] Il. ii. 486.

[30] Il. xx. 308.

[31] Hist. i. 5.

[32] Il. v. 304; xii. 383, 449; xx. 287.

[33] Exc. iii. ad Il. xxiv., vol. viii. p. 828.

[34] Il. i. 262-272.

[35] Hist. Greece, chap. iii. App.; vol. i. 169-74, 4to.

[36] Heyne, Exc. iii. ad Il. xxiv.; vol. viii. p. 226.

[37] Granville Penn on the Primary Arguments of the Iliad, p. 314.

[38] Il. ii. 740.

[39] Il. iv. 51.

[40] Il. ii. 660.

[41] Il. ix. 593.

SECT. 5.--_The Probable Trustworthiness of the Text of Homer._

Let us now proceed to consider the question, what assumption is it, on
the whole, safest to make, or what rule can we most judiciously follow,
as our guide in Homeric studies, with reference to the text of the

Shall we adopt a given form of completely reconstructed text, like that
of Mr. Payne Knight?

Shall we, without such adherence to a particular pattern, assume it to
be either indisputable or, at least, most probable that an extensive
corruption of the text can hardly have been avoided[43]; and shall we,
in consequence, hold the received text provisionally, and subject to
excision or to amendment according to any particular theory concerning
Homer, his age, its manners and institutions, which we may ourselves
have thought fit to follow or construct?

Shall we admit as authoritative, the excisions of Aristarchus or the
Alexandrian critics, and the _obeli_ which he has placed against
verses which he suspected?

Or shall we proceed, as a general rule, upon the belief, that the
received text of Homer is in general sound and trustworthy, so far, at
least, as to be very greatly preferable to any reconstructed or altered
form whatever, in which it has hitherto been produced or proposed for
our acceptance?

My decided preference is for the fourth and last of these alternatives:
with the observation, however, in passing, that the third does not
essentially differ from it with respect to the great body of the Poems,
so far as we know what the Alexandrian text really was.

I prefer this course as by far the safest: as the only one which can be
entered upon with such an amount of preliminary assent, as to secure
a free and unbiassed consideration of Homeric questions upon a ground
held in common: and as, therefore, the only one, by means of which it
can be hoped to attain to solid and material results as the reward
of inquiry. In order fairly to raise the issue, the two following
propositions may be stated as fitting canons of Homeric study:--

1. That we should adopt the text itself as the basis of all Homeric
inquiry, and not any preconceived theory, nor any arbitrary standard of
criticism, referable to particular periods, schools, or persons.

2. That as we proceed in any work of construction by evidence drawn
from the text, we should avoid the temptation to solve difficulties
found to lie in our way, by denouncing particular portions of it as
corrupt or interpolated: should never set it aside except upon the
closest examination of the particular passage questioned; should use
sparingly the liberty even of arraying presumptions against it; and
should always let the reader understand both when and why it is

Now, let us consider these rules, and the method which it is proposed
by means of them to apply,

_a._ With reference to the failure of other methods.

_b._ With reference to the antecedent probabilities for or against the
general soundness of the text.

_c._ With reference to the internal evidence of soundness or
unsoundness afforded by the text itself.

The first of the two rules has been brought more and more into
operation by the believers in Homer as the Poet of the Iliad and the
Odyssey, in self-defence against the sceptical theories: and it has
been both announced and acted upon by Mure with such breadth and
completeness, as to leave to those, who adopt it, simply the duty of
treading in his footsteps.

Again, as to the second, it may now be hoped that by the force of
circumstances it is gradually coming into vogue, though perhaps less,
as yet, by a distinct conviction of its reasonableness, than through
the utter failure and abortiveness of all other methods. First to
theorise rashly (with or without consciousness), and then rudely
to excise from the Homeric text whatever clashes with our crude
conceptions, is, after all, an essentially superficial and vulgar
method of proceeding: and if it was excusable before the evidence
touching the Poet and the text had been so greatly confirmed, as it
has recently been, by closer scrutiny, it can hardly be forgiven now.
The text of Homer cannot be faultless: but, in the first place, it is
plain, as far as general consent can make it so, that the poems, as
they stand, afford a far better and surer foundation than any other
form of them which has been proposed, whether curtailed in their
principal members, as by the destructive school, or only amended
by free handling in detail. All the recasting processes which have
yet been tried, have begotten ten solecisms, or another solecism of
tenfold magnitude, for every one that they did away. In fact, the end
of schemes, such as that of Lachmann[44], has been not to achieve any
thing like real progress in a continuous work, but simply to launch so
many distinct speculations, isolated, conflicting, each resting on its
author’s own hearty approval, and each drawing from the rest of the
world no other sign than the shrug or the smile, which seems to be the
proper reward of perverted ingenuity.

It would be presumptuous and unjust to treat the remarkable performance
of Mr. Payne Knight as one of what may be called--to borrow a phrase
from the commercial world--the Homeric bubble-schemes. It was
anticipated with eagerness by Heyne. It was hailed by the calm judgment
and refined taste of Lord Aberdeen. Yet this was not enough.

    ἁμέραι δ’ ἐπίλοιποι
    μάρτυρες σοφώτατοι[45].

The ordeal of time has not destroyed the value of Mr. Payne Knight’s
Prolegomena, but it has been decidedly unfavourable to his text as a
practical attempt at reconstruction. With the old text in the right
hand, and Mr. Knight’s in the left, who would doubt in which to look
for the nearest likeness to Homer? Or who will ever again venture to
publish an abridged or re-modelled Iliad?

Apart, however, from the unsatisfactoriness of the results of
attempts at reconstruction, have we reason to believe that the text
of Homer has, as a whole, been seriously vitiated by interpolation
or corruption? The difficulties attending its transmission from the
time of the poet are not to be denied. But I think we have scarcely
enough considered the amount of means which were available, and which
were actually employed, in order to neutralize those difficulties,
and achieve the task. Although writing of some description appears to
have existed at the epoch of the Poems, it can be probably proved,
and may at any rate be fully admitted, that Homer did not write, but
recited only. This is the first step: now for the second. I pass by
the argument with those, who deny that poems of this length could be
transmitted orally at all, as one already disposed of by the general
verdict of the world. So, likewise, I leave behind me, at the point
where Mure has placed them, all the reasonings of the _piecers_, who
say that there were originally a number of Iliadic and Odyssean songs,
afterwards made up into the poems such as we now have them: of the
_amplifiers_, who look upon them as expanded respectively by gradual
interpolations and additions from an original of small dimensions; of
the _separators_, who will have just two Homers and no more, one for
the Iliad, and one for the Odyssey. I assume for the present purpose
the contrary of all these three propositions: and simply invite those
who disbelieve them, but who also conceive that the text is generally
unsafe and untrustworthy in its detail, to some consideration of that

In attempting to weigh retrospectively the probable fortunes of the
Homeric text, I presume that we may establish as our point of departure
the judgment delivered by Heyne[46], that the manuscripts of Homer are
satisfactory: that we possess all, or nearly all, that the Alexandrian
critics possessed; and that by the advance of the critical art, we
have now probably, on the whole, a better and truer Homer than that of
Aristarchus, which is the basis of the modern text. The imperfect state
of notation when writing first began to be used, and the changes in
pronunciation, have not, we may also suppose with Heyne[47], done more
than trifling or secondary damage to the copies.

The first serious question is this; how far was Homer mutilated, first,
by the rhapsodists, or reciters, before he was put into writing, and
secondly, by those who, in order to bring the lays of the Iliad into
one body, must, it is assumed, have added and altered much, even if
they had no whims of their own, and only sought to do what was needful
_nexûs et juncturæ causâ_. It is, of course, admitted that these lays,
even though ideally one as they came from their framer, were in many
cases actually separated. And Heyne quotes the Scholiast of Pindar[48],
complaining by report that Cinæthus and his school had interpolated
largely, as well as the passage in which Josephus[49] (so he states)
gives it as his opinion that the Iliad, from having been pieced
together long after it was composed, presented many discrepancies.
Now, even if this were the opinion of Josephus, it would have no more
pretension to historical authority, than if it had been delivered
yesterday. But the fact is, that Josephus mentions it simply as a
current notion; φασὶν οὐδὲ τοῦτον ... ἀλλὰ διαμνημονευομένην ... καὶ
διὰ τοῦτο πολλὰς ἐν αὐτῇ σχεῖν τὰς διαφωνίας. Indeed, it cannot be too
carefully borne in mind, that if the positive notices of Homer in early
times are slight, so as to throw us back very much upon the poems for
their own vindication, yet, on the other hand, all the authorities
cited on the sceptical side, are chronologically so remote from the
question in debate, that they are but opinions and not proofs, and that
we may canvass and question them without the smallest scruple, or fear
that we are pitting mere theory against legitimate evidence.

It is not to be denied that the condition of the Homeric poems,
before they were committed to writing, was one of great danger. But
the question may well be asked, how came poems of such length to
be preserved at all by mere oral transmission through a period of
undefined, and possibly of very great, length? It is plain that nothing
but an extraordinary celebrity, and a passionate attachment on the part
of the people, could have kept them alive. Now, if we suppose this
celebrity and this attachment, let us inquire further, whether they
may not have supplied the means of neutralizing and counteracting, in
the main, the dangers to which the poems were exposed; and whether
it is unreasonable to say, That which _could_ have preserved them in
their unity at all, _must_, in all likelihood, have preserved them
in a tolerably genuine state. Fully admitting that the evidence in
the case is imperfect, and can only lead to disputable conclusions, I
nevertheless ask, What is the most probable supposition respecting the
condition of the Homeric poems in the pre-historic times of Greece?
Is it not this--that, with due allowance for a different state of
circumstances, they were then, what they were in later times; the
broad basis of mental culture; the great monument of the glory of the
nation, and of each particular State or race; the prime entertainment
of those prolonged festive gatherings which were so characteristic of
early Greece; that they were not only the special charge and pride
of particular poetical schools, but distinct objects of the care of
legislators and statesmen; that in this manner they were recognised as
among the institutions of the country, and that they had thus to depend
for their transmission, not only on the fire of national and poetic
feeling, but upon a jealous custody much resembling that which even a
comparatively rude people gives to its laws?

I shall attempt a summary of the arguments and testimonies which appear
to me to recommend, if they do not compel, the adoption of these

1. Heraclides Ponticus, a pupil of Plato, in a fragment περὶ πολιτειῶν,
declares that Lycurgus was the first to bring the poetry of Homer
into Peloponnesus: τὴν Ὁμήρου ποίησιν, παρὰ τῶν ἀπογόνων Κρεοφύλου
λαβὼν, πρῶτος διεκόμισεν εἰς Πελοπόννησον. This testimony is late
with reference to the fact it reports, but not late in the history
of Greek literature. Of the source from which it was derived by the
author who gives it us, we know nothing. No light is thrown upon it by
Ælian,[50] who adds the epithet ἀθρόαν to ποίησιν. Plutarch enlarges
the expression of the tradition, but seems to add little to its matter,
except that some portions of Homer were known before Lycurgus brought
the whole from Crete.[51] It is stated in the Republic of Plato,[52]
that Creophylus was a companion of Homer. Strabo[53] informs us that
he was a Samian; and Hermodamas, the master of Pythagoras, is said
by Diogenes Laertius[54] to have been his descendant. Now, we cannot
call any part of these statements history; but they exhibit a body
of tradition, of which the members, drawn from scattered quarters,
agree with one another, and agree also with the general probability
that arises out of a fact so astonishing as is in itself the actual
preservation of the poems of Homer. It is in truth this fact that
lays the best ground for traditions such as the one in question. If
they came before us artificially complete and embellished, that might
be made a ground of suspicion. But appearing, as this one does, with
an evident absence of design, there is every presumption of its truth.
Before considering the full force which attaches to it if it be true,
we will draw out the kindred traditions.

2. Of these, the next, and a most important one, is the statement of
Herodotus respecting Clisthenes, the ruler of Sicyon, who, when he
had been at war with Argos, ῥαψῳδοὺς ἔπαυσε ἐν Σικυῶνι ἀγωνίζεσθαι,
τῶν Ὁμηρείων ἐπέων εἵνεκα, ὅτι Ἀργεῖοί τε καὶ Ἄργος τὰ πολλὰ πάντα
ὑμνέαται[55]. He proceeds to say, that Clisthenes sought to banish the
memory of Adrastus, as being an Argive hero, from Sicyon. It is not
necessary to inquire what these Homeric poems may have included; but
the conclusion of Grote, that they were ‘the Thebais and the Epigoni,
not the Iliad[56],’ seems to me incredible. Nor is it correct that
the Iliad fails to supply matter to which the statement may refer. In
the Iliad, the name of Argos, though meaning it is true the country
rather than a city, is nearly associated with the chief seat of power,
and becomes representative of the whole Hellenic race in its heroic
infancy. This is surely honour infinitely higher, than any local fame
it could derive from the civil feud with Thebes. The Iliad, too, marks
most clearly the connexion of Adrastus with Argos--for it names Diomed
as the husband of his daughter or granddaughter, Ægialea[57]; it also
marks the subordinate position of Sicyon,

    ὅθ’ ἄρ’ Ἄδρηστος πρῶτ’ ἐμβασίλευεν[58],

by making it a mere town in the dominions of Agamemnon, while Argos
figures as a sovereign and powerful city. There may therefore perhaps
be room to doubt whether Herodotus meant even to include the Thebais or
Epigoni in the phrase ‘Homeric poems.’

But the importance of the passage is not wholly dependent on these
considerations. It shows,

_a._ That there were, at Sicyon, State-recitations of Homer six
centuries before the Christian era, attended with rewards for the
successful performers.

_b._ That these recitations were in conformity with common use; for
they are named as something ordinary and established, which was then
set aside, not as a custom peculiar to Sicyon.

_c._ That the recitations depended upon the Homeric poems, since they
were entirely stopped on account of exceptionable matter which the
Homeric poems were deemed to contain.

_d._ That these recitations were in the nature of competitive contests
among the rhapsodists, when the best and most approved, of course,
would obtain prizes. This implies that the recitations were not single,
as if by poet laureates, but that many shared in them.

3. Next to this tradition, and nearly coeval with it, but reported by
later authority, is that respecting Solon and Athens. Dieuchidas of
Megara, an author of uncertain age, placed by Heyne[59] later than
Alexander, is quoted in Diogenes Laertius[60] as testifying to the
following effect concerning Solon: τά τε Ὁμήρου ἐξ ὑποβολῆς γέγραφε
ῥαψῳδεῖσθαι. οἷον ὅπου ὁ πρῶτος ἔληξεν, ἐκεῖθεν ἄρχεσθαι τὸν ἐχόμενον.
μᾶλλον οὖν Σόλων Ὅμηρον ἐφώτισεν, ἢ Πεισίστρατος. But we have also a
better witness, I think, in Lycurgus the orator, contemporary with
Demosthenes,[61] who gives a most striking account of the political
and martial use of the Homeric songs. He says, οὕτω γὰρ ὑπέλαβον ὑμῶν
οἱ πατέρες σπουδαῖον εἶναι ποιήτην, ὥστε νόμον ἔθεντο καθ’ ἑκάστην
πενταετηρίδα τῶν Παναθηναίων μόνου τῶν ἄλλων ποιήτων ῥαψωδεῖσθαι τὰ
ἔπη. ‘It was with these songs in their ears,’ he proceeds, ‘that your
fathers fought at Marathon; and so valiant were they _then_, that from
among them their brave rivals, the Lacedæmonians, sought a general,

_a._ Now, these words appear to carry the traditional origin of this
law, as far as the authority of Lycurgus will avail, back to the early
part of the seventh century, when Tyrtæus lived.[62]

_b._ Thus, at the period when Athens is just beginning to rise towards
eminence, she enacts a law that the poems of Homer shall be recited at
her greatest festival.

_c._ This honour she accords to Homer (whatever that name may have
imported) alone among poets.

_d._ This appears, from the connexion with Tyrtæus, to be a tradition
of a matter older still than the one mentioned by Dieuchidas. But
the two are in thorough accordance. For Dieuchidas does not say that
Solon introduced the recitations of Homer, nor does he refer simply
to the Panathenaica. He pretty clearly implies, that Solon did not
begin the recitations, but that he reformed--(by bringing them into
regular succession, which implies a fixed order of the songs)--what had
been introduced already; while Lycurgus seems to supply the notice of
the original introduction as having occurred before the time even of

4. The argument from the sculptures on the chest of Cypselus,
representing subjects taken out of the Iliad, refers to a period nearly
corresponding with that of Tyrtæus, as Cypselus was probably born about
B. C. 700: and tends to show that the Iliad was famous in Corinth at
that date.[63]

5. The next of the specific traditions is that relating to Pisistratus.
To his agency it has been the fashion of late years to assign an
exaggerated, or even an exclusive, importance. But whereas the
testimonies respecting Lycurgus, Clisthenes, and Solon, (as well as the
Athenian legislators before him,) are derived from authors probably,
or certainly, of the fourth and fifth centuries B. C., we have none at
all respecting Pisistratus earlier than the Augustan age.[64] Cicero
says he first disposed the Homeric books in their present order;
Pausanias,[65] that he collected them, διεσπασμένα τε καὶ ἀλλαχοῦ
μνημονευόμενα; Josephus,[66] who, as we have seen, merely refers to the
report that the Iliad was not committed to writing until after Homer’s
time, is wrongly quoted[67] as a witness to the labours of Pisistratus.
An ancient Scholion, recently discovered,[68] names four poets who
worked under that prince. And it may be admitted, that the traditions
respecting Pisistratus have this distinctive mark--that they seem to
indicate the first accomplishment of a critical and literary task upon
Homer’s text under the direct care and responsibility of the sovereign
of the country.

Thus, the testimony concerning Pisistratus is of an order decidedly
inferior to that which supports the earlier traditions, and cannot with
propriety be put into the scale against them where they are in conflict
with it; but there is no reason to reject the report that he fixed the
particular order of the poems, which the law of Solon may have left
open in some degree to the judgment of the reciters, although they were
required by it to recite in order.

6. The dialogue, doubtfully ascribed to Plato under the name of
Hipparchus, states that that sovereign--

τὰ Ὁμήρου πρῶτος ἐκόμισεν ἐς τὴν γῆν ταυτηνὶ, καὶ ἠνάγκασε τοὺς
ῥαψῳδοὺς Παναθηναίοις ἐξ ὑπολήψεως ἐφεξῆς αὐτὰ διιέναι, ὥσπερ νῦν ἔτι
οἵδε ποιοῦσι[69].

As regards the matter of original introduction, this passage
contradicts all the foregoing ones. From the uncertainty who is its
author, it must yield to them as of less authority. But this is not
all. It is on the very face of it incredible: for it asserts, not that
his poetry was first arranged or adjusted, but first brought into
the country by Hipparchus. This is in itself absurd: and it is also
directly in the teeth of the statement, which can hardly be a pure
fiction, that Solon by law required the poems of Homer to be recited
at the Panathenæa. As regards the succession in reciting, it is quite
possible that he may have put the last hand to the work of his father.

However, the passage may deserve notice as a sign of the general belief
that the care of the poems of Homer, and provision for their orderly
publication in the only mode then possible, was a fit and usual part of
the care of States and their rulers.

The whole mass of the passages which have been cited may be thought to
bear primarily on the controversies which I have waived. But they have
a most important, even if secondary, bearing upon the question, whether
the received text is generally sound in its structure. The dangers
which menaced that text of course were referable to two sources: the
one, want of due care; and the other, falsification for a purpose: and
it is necessary to bring into one view the whole positive evidence
with respect to the preservation and publication of the Homeric poems,
in order to estimate the amount both of these dangers and of the
safeguards against them. I resume the prosecution of this task.

From the word ἀγωνίζεσθαι, applied by Herodotus to the recitations at
Sicyon, it is plain that they were matches among the rhapsodists. And
as the match did not in the main depend upon the original compositions
of the candidates, but on the repetition of what Homer was reputed to
have composed, the question arises, on what grounds could the prize be
adjudged? Partly, perhaps, for the voice and manner of the rhapsodist;
but partly also, nay, we must assume principally, for his comparative
fidelity to the supposed standard of his original. And, when we
consider the length of the poems, we may the more easily understand
how the retentiveness of memory required to give an adequate command
of them, might well deserve and receive reward. True, the vanity of
a particular rhapsodist might readily induce him to suppose that he
could improve upon Homer. But surely such an one would be subject to
no inconsiderable check from the vigilance, and the impartial, or
more probably the jealous, judgment of his contemporaries and rivals.
The aberrations, too, or interpolations, of each one inventor, would
be immediately crossed by those of every other; and the intrinsic
superiority of the great poet himself, and the extraordinary reverence
paid to his name, would thus derive powerful aid from the natural play
of human passions. I look upon the circumstance that these recitations
were competitive, and probably open to all comers, as one of the utmost
importance. Freedom, in such a case, would be far more conservative
than restriction.

The force of such considerations is abated indeed, but it is not
destroyed, by the fact that poems not composed by Homer were esteemed
to be Homeric. We have no means of knowing whether this false
estimation reached in general beyond the character of mere vulgar
rumour. We find, indeed, that Callinus ascribed the Thebais to Homer,
Thucydides the Pythian Hymn, and Aristotle the Margites. But, of these
three, the last judgment, for all we know, may have been a true one.
The Thebais was judged by Pausanias to be the best of the epics, after
the Iliad and Odyssey. It does not therefore follow, that because a
poet might assign this to him, he would also have assigned others. Few
authors show more slender marks of critical acumen than Herodotus;
but even he treats the notions that the Cyprian epic or the Epigoni
belonged to Homer in terms such as to show, that they were at most mere
speculations, and not established public judgments.[70]

Now, even in a critical age, it seems to be inevitable, that authors
of conspicuous popularity shall be followed on their path, not only
by imitators, but, where there is the least hope of even temporary
success, by forgers. We see, in the present day, attempts to vent
new novels under the name of Walter Scott. I have myself a volume,
purchased in Italy, of spurious verses, printed under the name of
her great, though not yet famous, modern poet, Giacomo Leopardi. In
periods far less critical, impostors would be bolder, and dupes more
numerous. But it cannot be shown that a number of other epics, or even
that any single one, had been generally ascribed to Homer with the same
confidence as the Iliad and Odyssey; nor that the same care, public or
private, was taken in any other case for the keeping and restoration of
the text.

Again, though the Spartan and Athenian traditions take no specific
notice of competition, yet we are justified in supposing that it
existed, because the practice can be traced to an antiquity more remote
than any of them. It is true that in Homer we have no example of
competition among bards actually exhibited; but neither do the poems
furnish us with an occasion when it might have been looked for. The
ordinary place of the bard was as a member of a king’s or chieftain’s
household. At the great assemblages of tribes, or of the Greek race, to
which the chiefs repaired in numbers, more bards than one would also
probably appear. Some light is thrown upon this subject by the passage
relating to Thamyris in the second Book of the Iliad.[71] He met his
calamity at Dorion, when on a journey; and it caught him Οἰχαλίηθεν
ἰόντα παρ’ Εὐρύτου Οἰχαλιῆος. Homer’s usual precision justifies our
arguing that, when he says he came, not simply from a place, but also
from, or from beside, the lord of a place, the meaning is, that he was
attached to that lord as the bard of his court or household. Again,
he was on a journey. Whither bound, except evidently to one of these
contests? This is fully shown by the lines that follow, for they
contemplate a match as then about to take place forthwith. For the
form of his boast was not simply that he could beat the Muses, but (to
speak in our phraseology) he vauntingly vowed that he would win, even
though the Muses themselves should be his rivals.

    στεῦτο γὰρ εὐχόμενος νικήσεμεν, εἴπερ ἂν αὐταὶ
    Μοῦσαι ἀείδοιεν.

Institutions which embrace competition have, from the character of
man’s nature, a great self-sustaining power; and there is no reason to
suppose that between the time of Thamyris and that of the Sicyonian
rhapsodists this method of recitation had at any time fallen into
abeyance. In a fragment of Hesiod[72], quoted by the Scholiast on
Pindar, we find the phrase ῥάπτειν ἀοιδήν; but on account of its
mention of Homer as a contemporary, this fragment is untrustworthy.
In other places, however, he distinctly witnesses to the matches and
prizes of the bards, and says that at the match held by Amphidamas
in Aulis, he himself won a tripod[73]. Again, Thucydides finds an
unequivocal proof of the competition of bards in the beautiful passage
which he quotes from the very ancient _Hymn_ to Apollo[74].

I do not think it needful to dwell in detail upon the means privately
taken for the transmission of the Homeric songs. Cinæthus of Chios
(according to the Scholiast on Pindar[75], quoting Hippostratus, a
Sicilian author of uncertain date), ἐῤῥαψῴδησε τὰ Ὁμήρου ἔπη (about 500
B.C.), for the first time at Syracuse. It may be observed that this
passage may probably imply the foundation of public recitations there.
Eustathius[76], quoting, as Heyne[77] observes, inaccurately, charges
Cinæthus with having corrupted the Homeric poems; but the words of the
Scholiast need not mean more than that he composed certain poems and
threw them into the mass of those which were more or less taken to be
Homeric. We need not enlarge upon Creophylus[78], or upon the Homeridæ
mentioned by Pindar, and, according to Strabo, claimed as her own by
Chios[79]. That name appears to be used freely by Plato[80], without
explanation, as if in his own time they formed a well-known school.
According to Athenæus[81], quoting Aristocles, a writer of uncertain
date, the name Ὁμηρισταὶ was given to the rhapsodists generally.

The Iliad and the Odyssey were known to Herodotus under their present
titles, as we find from his references to them. But it is justly argued
by Heyne, that there must have been known poems of their scope and
subject at the time when the other Cyclic poems were written, which
fill up the interval between them, and complete the Troic story[82];
that is to say, not long after the commencement of the Olympiads.

Again, it is needless to do more than simply touch upon the relation
of Homer to Greek letters and culture in general. He was the source
of tragedy, the first text-book of philosophers, and the basis of
liberal education; so much so, that Alcibiades is said to have struck
his schoolmaster for having no MS. rhapsody of the Iliad[83], while
Xenophon quotes Niceratus as saying that his father made him learn
the Iliad and Odyssey, and that he could repeat the whole of them by
heart[84]. Cassander, king of Macedon, according to Athenæus, could do
nearly as much. He had by heart τῶν ἐπῶν τὰ πολλά.[85]

Passing on from this evidence of general estimation, I come to what is
more important with respect to the question of the text--that is, the
state of the poems at the time of the Alexandrian recensions, as it is
exhibited by Villoison, from the Venetian Scholia on the Iliad which he
discovered. From this source appears to me to proceed our best warrant
for believing in the general soundness of the text.

The first tendencies of the Alexandrian school, as they are represented
by Zenodotus, appear to have been towards very free excision and
emendation. Aristarchus, its highest authority, is considered to
represent a reaction towards more sober handling. The plan of
expressing suspicion by _obeli_ was a good one--it raised the question
of genuineness without foreclosing it. The passages which he excluded
stand in the text, and many among them are not much damaged by the
condemnation. One particularly, in the speech of Phœnix,[86] appears
to me alike beautiful and characteristic. After all, the _obelos_ is
generally attached to lines of amplification and poetic ornament;
which could be dispensed with, and yet leave the sense not vitally
mutilated. But we may quote Aristarchus as a witness, on the whole,
to the substantial soundness of the text. For it is plain that the
affirmation of all his doubts would still leave us with the substance
of the Iliad as it is; while it seems that the judgment of mankind,
or rather its feeling, which in such a matter is worth more than its
judgment, has refused to go as far as he did, for his doubts or adverse
verdicts are recorded, but the lines and passages remain, are still
read and taught as Homer, and are not pretended to be distinguishable
by any broad mark of intrinsic inferiority. It is not meant that the
soundness of each line has been considered and affirmed to be free
from doubt, but that it has been felt that, while clear discrimination
in detail was impracticable, retention was, on the whole, safer than
exclusion. Nor is this because a principle of blind credulity has
prevailed. On the contrary, the same judgment, feeling, or instinct, be
it what it may, of civilised man, which has found it safest to adhere
to the traditional text of Homer, has likewise thought it safest to
rule the case of authorship adversely as to the Hymns. Under all the
circumstances, I find no difficulty in understanding such accounts as
that which tells us that the inquiry, which is the best edition of
Homer? was met with the answer, ‘the oldest;’--or such a passage as
that of Lucian,[87] who introduces Homer in the Shades, declaring that
the ἀθετούμεναι στίχες, the suspected and rejected verses, were all
his; whereupon, says Lucian, I recognised the abundant frigidity of the
school of Zenodotus and Aristarchus. This is in an ironical work; but
ironical works are often used as the vehicles of real opinions.

The Venetian Scholiast is full of familiar references to the different
editions of the text of the Iliad, as being standards perfectly well
known; and he thus exhibits to us, in a considerable degree, the
materials which the Alexandrian critics found existing, and with which
they went to work upon that poem.

The multitude of editions (ἐκδόσεις) which they had before them,
were partly state editions (αἱ πολιτικαὶ, αἱ κατὰ πόλεις, αἱ διὰ τῶν
πόλεων, αἱ ἀπὸ τῶν πόλεων), and partly those due to private care
(οἱ κατ’ ἄνδρα). These latter seem to have obtained the name in two
ways. The first was, when it was taken from particular editors who
had revised the text, such as Antimachus (contemporary with Plato),
Callimachus, and, above all, Aristotle, who prepared for Alexander the
Great the copy ἐκ νάρθηκος, and, again, the edition of Zenodotus, that
of Aristophanes, and the two separate editions of Aristarchus, all of
the Alexandrian school; or else they were named from the persons who
possessed them, and for whom they had been prepared by the care of
learned men. Among such possessors was Cassander, king of Macedonia.

The existence of these State editions is a fact full of meaning.
It appears to show nothing less than this, that the text was under
the charge of the public authorities in the several States. We have
particular names for six of these editions through the Venetian
Scholiast--those of Marseilles, Chios, Cyprus, Crete, Sinope, Argos. On
beholding this list, we are immediately struck by the fact that while
it contains names from the far East, like Sinope, and far West, like
Marseilles, it does not contain one name of a city in Greece Proper,
except Argos, and that a city having perhaps less communion than almost
any other considerable place with Greek literature in general. We ask
why do not Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, why do not Syracuse and
the great Greek towns of Sicily and Italy, appear with their several
Homeric texts? The most likely answer appears to be, not that these
six enumerated cities were more distinguished than others by the
carefulness of their provisions for the safety of the Homeric text, but
that for some reason, possibly from their lying less within the circle
of Greek letters at large, they still retained each their particular
text, whereas an approximation had been made to a common text,--of
which the cities most properly Greek in general availed themselves. For
sometimes there are certain signs supplied in the Scholia of a common
text prevailing in the State or national, and another in the private
editions, and this without reference to the six cities above mentioned.
In the supposition of such a tendency to divaricate, there is nothing
beyond likelihood; for private editors would be more free to follow
their own judgments or conjectures, whereas the public curators would
almost, as a matter of course, be more rigidly conservative. At any
rate, there are traceable indications before us to this effect; for the
Scholiast cites for particular readings--

    αἱ ἐκ τῶν πόλεων, xxi. 351.
    αἱ ἀπὸ πόλεων, xxii. 51.
    αἱ ἀπὸ τῶν πόλεων, xix. 386.

and on the other hand--

    αἱ κατ’ ἄνδρα, xxii. 103.

as well as in other places, τινὲς τῶν πολιτικῶν (e. g. xxiv. 30), and
αἱ πλείους τῶν κατ’ ἄνδρα (xxiii. 88). It is therefore likely that
there was a national text, approximating to uniformity, and used in
common by those cities, the principal ones of Greece, which are not
quoted as having had texts of their own; for there is no reason, that
I am aware of, to suppose that the phrases αἱ πολιτικαὶ, and the rest
of those equivalent to it, are confined to the six editions. Now, while
the six State editions indicate a care probably dating from very early
times for the soundness of the text, the common State recension, if,
as appears probable, there was one, indicates a gradual convergence of
critical labours and of the public judgment in the generality of those
States, of which the people had the oldest, strongest, and most direct
interest in the Homeric poems.

There is a third form of common text, less perfect than either of the
others, of which abundant traces are found. We find mention of the
editions or copies called αἱ κοιναὶ, αἱ δημοτικαὶ, αἱ δημώδεις, and
they are sometimes described collectively, as on Iliad ii. 53, ἐν δὲ
ταῖς κοιναῖς ἐγέγραπτο καὶ τῇ Ζηνοδοτείῳ, βουλήν. Sometimes the greater
part of these κοιναὶ or δημώδεις have a particular reading. They all,
of all classes, varied more or less, and are distinguished according
to their merits, as φαυλαὶ, εἰκαιότεραι, μέτριαι, χαριέσταται. These
ordinary or public (not national) editions, prepared for sale in
the open book-market, were probably founded, in the main, on the
national text, but being intended for general sale, and not prepared
by responsible editors, they were ordinarily inferior. This Venetian
Scholiast was himself a critic, and wrote when the Æolic and Ionic
dialects were still in use, as appears from his references to them.[88]

The Scholia to the Odyssey supply the names of some editions besides
those which have been mentioned. One of these is the Αἰολὶς, or
Αἰολική;[89] another is ἡ ἐκ Μουσείου,[90] which is explained to
refer to the depository near the School at Alexandria; and a third ἡ
Κυκλικὴ,[91] which is interpreted to mean an edition in which the poems
of Homer were placed in a series with those of the Cyclical authors.

On the one hand, then, it may be readily admitted that the Homeric
poems were exposed, before they were reduced to writing, to the
powerful and various action of disintegrating causes. Among these we
may name neglect, inability to cope with the real difficulties of their
transmission, the personal vanity of the rhapsodists, and the local
vanity of communities. But I think we have also disclosed to us, both
by the fragmentary notices of the history of the poems if taken in
their collective effect, and by the state of things in and upon which
the Alexandrian critics laboured, the operation of an immense amount
of restorative counter-agency. All chance of our arriving at a sober
judgment must depend upon our duly weighing these two sets of forces
in their relation to one another. There were indeed tendencies, which
may well be called irresistible, to aberrations from the traditional
standard; but there were barriers also insurmountable, which seem to
have confined those aberrations within certain limits. They could not
proceed beyond a given point without awakening the consciousness,
that Homer, the priceless treasure of Greece, and perhaps the first
source of its keener consciousness of nationality, was in danger of
being disfigured, and deformed, and so lost; and that sense, when once
awakened, without doubt generated such reactions as we find exemplified
in the proceedings of Pisistratus.

We may indeed derive directly, from the force of the destroying
element, when viewed in detail, the strongest proof that there must
have been an original standard, by recurrence to which its ravages
could from time to time be repaired. For if that element had worked
without such means of correction, I do not see how we could now have
been in possession of an Iliad and an Odyssey. As with regard to
religions after they are parted from their source, the tendency would
have been to continually-increasing divergence. The dissimilarities
arising from omission, alteration, and interpolation, would have grown,
so as to embrace larger and larger portions of the poems, and at this
day, instead of merely questioning this or that line in a few places,
and comparing this with that reading, we should have been deliberating
among a dozen Iliads and a dozen Odysseys, to discover which were the

If, then, it be said that the proceedings of Pisistratus or of Solon,
bear testimony not to the soundness but to the incessant corruption
of the text, my answer is, they bear witness to its corruption, just
as the records of the repairs of Westminster Abbey might be said,
and truly said, to bear testimony to its disrepair. That partial and
local faults, and dislocations, would creep in, is as certain as that
wind and weather act upon the stoutest fabric: but when we read of
the repairs of a building, we infer that pains were taken to make it
habitable; and when we read of the restorations of Homer, we perceive
that it was an object of public solicitude to keep the poems in a
state of soundness. As, indeed, the building most used will _cæteris
paribus_ require the most frequent repairs, so the elementary causes of
corruption, by carelessness, might operate most powerfully in a case
where the poet might be recited by every strolling minstrel at a local
festivity: but it is also clear that in these very cases there would
be the greatest anxiety to detect and to eliminate the destructive
elements, when once they were seen to be making head. But, in truth,
the analogy of a building does not represent the case. Edifices are
sometimes disfigured by the parsimony of after-times: but there was no
time, so far as we know, when Greece did not rate the value of Homer
more highly than the cost of taking care of him. Again, the architects
of degenerate ages think, as Bernini did of Michael Angelo, that they
can improve upon their designs: but the name of no Greek has been
recorded who thought he could improve upon Homer, and the vanity of the
nameless was likely to be checked by their companions and competitors.

We have principally had in view the question, whether Homer was, in a
peculiar degree, guarded against any profound and radical corruption
which might grow out of unchecked carelessness; but the result will
be not more unfavourable, if we ask how did he stand in regard to
the other great fountain-head of evil, namely, falsification with a
purpose? Now, the fact, that in any given case provision is made for
jealous custody against any attack from without, affords no proof, or
even presumption, against the subsistence of destroying causes within.
But the Greeks, as a nation, had no motive to corrupt, and had every
motive to preserve the text of Homer. His national office and position
have been admirably expressed by Statius, in verses on the Trojan

                          Tum primùm Græcia vires
    Contemplata suas: tum sparsa ac dissona moles,
    In corpus vultumque coït[92].

His works were the very cradle of the nation; there it first visibly
lived and breathed. They were the most perfect expression of every
Greek feeling and desire: in the rivalry between the Hellenic race and
the (afterwards so called) βάρβαροι of Asia, they gave, in forms the
most effective and the most artful, everything worth having to the
former, and left the later Greek nothing to add. What void to be filled
could even vanity discover, when so many Greek chieftains, inferior,
in a degree never measured, to Achilles, were, nevertheless, each of
them, too strong for the prince of Trojan warriors?

But it may perhaps be replied that, even supposing that collective
Greece could gain nothing by corrupting Homer, yet the relative
distribution of honour among the principal States might be affected to
the profit of one and the prejudice of another. Now it is plain that,
in this delicate and vital point, the sectional jealousies of the
Greeks would afford the best possible security to the general contents
of the text: something of the same security that the hatred of the Jews
and the Samaritans supplied, when they became rival guardians of the
books of the Old Testament. Argos, deeply interested for Diomed, and
Lacedæmon for Menelaus, and both for Agamemnon, were watchmen alike
powerful and keen against Athens, if she had attempted to obtain for
herself in the Iliad a place at all proportioned to her after-fame.
There were numerous parts of Homer’s Greece, both great and small,
that fell into subsequent insignificance, such as Pylos, Ithaca,
Salamis, Locris: the relative positions of Thessaly and Southern Greece
were fundamentally changed in the historic times. But all, whether
they exulted in the longlived honours of their States, or whether
they fondly brooded on the recollections of former fame, were alike
interested in resisting interlopers who might seek to trespass for
their own advantage, as well as in the general object of preserving
the priceless national monument from decay. Nor is there any room to
suppose, that these questions of primeval honour were indifferent to
the later Greeks. The citation from the Catalogue by the Athenian
envoys before Gelon in Herodotus (to take a single instance), affords
conclusive proof to the contrary: and, even so late as in the day
of Pausanias, he tells us that Argolis and Arcadia were the States,
which even then were still keenly disputing with Athens the palm of

It, therefore, appears to me that the presumptions of the case are on
the whole favourable, and not adverse, to the general soundness of the
Homeric text.

I confess myself to be very greatly confirmed in this view of the
presumptions, by the scarcely measurable amount of internal evidence
which the text supplies to substantiate its own integrity. Almost the
whole of the copious materials which recent writers have accumulated to
prove the unity and personality of the author, is available to show the
soundness of the text. The appeal need not be only to the undisturbed
state of the main _strata_ of the poems, the consistent structure
and relations of the facts; the general _corpus_ of the poems might
have been sound, and yet a bad text would, when subjected to a very
searching ordeal on the minutest points, have revealed a multitude of
solecisms and errors: but, instead of this, the rigid application of
the microscope has only shown more clearly a great perfection in the
workmanship. The innumerable forms of refined and delicate coincidence
in names and facts, in the use of epithets, the notes of character,
the turn of speeches and phrases, and the like, are so many rills of
evidence, which combine into a stream of resistless force, in favour of
that text which has been found so admirably, as a mirror, to reflect
the image and the mind of Homer, and which, like a mirror, could not
have reflected it truly unless it had itself been true.

Indeed, I must proceed a step further; and admit that the arguments
_ab extra_, which I have here put forward respecting the historic aims
of the poet, his proximity in time to his subject, and the probable
soundness of the text, are rather answers to objections, than the
adequate materials of affirmative conviction.

After having myself tested the text as to its self-consistency and
otherwise, in several thousand places, I find scarcely one or two
places in each thousand, where it seems to invite expurgation in order
to establish the consistency of its contents. The evidence on which
I really place reliance is experimental evidence: and that I find in
the poems, accumulated to a degree which no other human work within my
knowledge approaches. I do not presume to hope more than that the more
remote and general arguments, which have now been used, may assist in
removing preliminary barriers to the consideration of the one cardinal
and paramount argument, the text itself and its contents.

And here a brief reference must be made to the scepticism in miniature
which has replaced the more sweeping incredulity of Wolf and his
school. Editors of great weight, refusing to accompany even the
Chorizontes in separating the authorship of the poems, nevertheless
freely condemn particular passages. I do not deny that there are
various passages, of which the genuineness is fair matter for
discussion. But I confess that I find such grounds of excision, as
those commonly alleged by critics recommending it, very indeterminate,
and of a nature to leave it doubtful where their operation is to stop.
They generally involve arbitrary assumptions either of construction
or of history, or the application of a more rigid and literal rule
of consistency than poetry either requires or can endure, or else
the capital error, as I cannot but consider it, of bringing Homer
to be tried at the bar of later and inferior traditions. And there
is a want of common principles, a general insecurity of standing
ground, and an appearance of reforming Homer not according to any
acknowledged laws of criticism, but according to the humour of each
accomplished and ingenious man: which, in a matter of this weight,
is no sufficient guarantee. I therefore follow in the line of those,
whose recommendation is to draw every thing we can out of the present
text; and to see how far its contents may constitute a substantive and
consistent whole, in the various branches of information to which they
refer. When we have carried this process as far as it will bear, we may
find, first that many or some of the seeming discordancies are really
embraced within a comprehensive general harmony, and secondly that
with a fuller knowledge of the laws of that harmony we may ourselves
be in a condition at least of less incapacity to pronounce what is
Homeric and what is not. I will only say that were I to venture into
this field of criticism, I should be governed less than is usual by
discrepancies of fact often very hastily assumed; and much more than is
usual by any violence done to the finer analogies of which Homer is so
full, and by departures from his regular modes of thought, feeling, and


[42] Il. vi. 445-64; xii. 10-33; xv. 384.

[43] Heyne, Exc. ii. ad Il. Ω. sect. ii., vol. viii. p. 789; Lord
Aberdeen’s Inquiry, p. 65.

[44] In the Berlin Philosophical Transactions, 1839, and Fernere
Betrachtungen, 1843.

[45] Pindar.

[46] Exc. ii. ad Il. Ω, sect. ii. vol. viii. pp. 790, 1.

[47] Exc. ii. ad Il. Ω, sect. ii. vol. viii. pp. 790, 1.

[48] Pind. Nem. ii. 1.

[49] Joseph. contr. Ap. i. 2.

[50] Var. Hist. xiii. 14.

[51] Plut. Lyc. p. 41.

[52] Plat. Rep. x. p. 600, B.

[53] Strabo xiv. p. 946.

[54] viii. 2.

[55] Herod. v. 67.

[56] Hist. Greece, ii. 174 n.

[57] Il. v. 412-15.

[58] Il. ii. 572.

[59] Heyne, Hom. viii., seq.

[60] I. 57.

[61] In Leocritum, 104-8.

[62] Smith’s Dict. ‘Tyrtæus.’

[63] See the Homerus of Archdeacon Williams, pp. 9-11.

[64] Cic. de Or. iii. 34.

[65] Paus. vii. 26. p. 594. add Suidas in voc. Ὅμηρος. Eustath. Il. i.

[66] Contra Ap. i. 2.

[67] Smith’s Dict., Art. ‘Homerus:’ and elsewhere.

[68] Ibid. from Ritschl.

[69] Hipparchus, § 4. (ii. 228.)

[70] Herod. ii. 117. iv. 32.

[71] Il. ii. 594-600.

[72] Fragm. xxxiv.

[73] Op. ii. 268-75.

[74] Hymn. Apoll. 166-73; 146-50.

[75] Schol. Pyth. vi. 4; Nem. ii. 1.

[76] Il. Α. p. 6.

[77] Heyne, viii. p. 811.

[78] Sup.

[79] Pind. Nem. ii. 1, and Strabo, xiv. i. p. 645.

[80] Plat. Phædrus, iii. 252, and Republ. B. 1.; ii. 599.

[81] Athen. iv. p. 174.

[82] Heyne, viii. 814.

[83] Plut. Apoph., p. 186 D.

[84] Xenoph. Sympos. iii. 5.

[85] Athen. xiv. p. 620.

[86] Il. ix. 458-61.

[87] Lucian, Ver. Hist. ii. 117.

[88] Villoison, Proleg. p. xxvii.

[89] Od. xiv. 280.

[90] Od. xiv. 204, and Buttmann _in loc._

[91] xvi. 195, and Buttmann _in loc._

[92] Achilleis, i. 456.

SECT. 6.--_The Place and Authority of Homer in Historical Inquiry._

The principal and final purpose, which I wish to present in the most
distinct manner to the mind of the reader, is that of securing for the
Homeric traditions, estimated according to the effect of the foregoing
considerations, a just measure of relative as well as absolute

It appears to me that there has prevailed in this respect a wide-spread
and long-continued error, assuming various forms, and affecting in very
different degrees, without doubt, the practice of different writers,
but so extended and so rooted, as at this stage in the progress of
criticism to require formal challenge. I mean, that it is an error
to regard and accept all ancient traditions, relating to the periods
that precede regular historic annals, as of equal value, or not to
discriminate their several values with adequate care. Above all, I
strongly contend that we should assign to the Homeric evidence a
primary rank upon all the subjects which it touches, and that we should
make it a rule to reduce all other literary testimony, because of later
origin, to a subordinate and subsidiary position.

Mere rumours or stories of the pre-historic times are not, as such,
entitled to be called traditions. A story of this kind, say in
Apollodorus, may indeed by bare possibility be older than any thing in
Homer; but if it comes to us without the proper and visible criteria
of age, it has no claim upon our assent as a truthful record of the
time to which it purports to refer. Traditions of this class only grow
to be such, as a general rule, for us, at the time when they take a
positive form in the work of some author, who thus becomes, as far as
his time and circumstances permit, a witness to them. It is only from
thenceforward, that their faithful derivation and transmission can be
relied on as in any degree probable.

Again, I cast aside statements with respect to which the poet, being
carried beyond the sphere of his ordinary experience, must, on that
account, not be presumed to speak historically; yet even here, if he is
speaking of matters which were in general belief, he is a witness of
the first class with respect to that belief, which is itself in another
sense a matter of history; and here also those, who have followed him
at a remote date, are witnesses of a lower order.

Or there may be cases, as, for instance, in the stubborn facts of
geography, where the laws of evidence compel us rudely to thrust aside
the declaration of the bard; or cases where his mode of handling his
materials affords in itself a proof that he did not mean to speak
historically, but, in the phrase of Aristotle, ἐκπληκτικῶς, or for
poetic effect.

Or again, it is conceivable, though I do not know whether it has
happened, that Homeric testimony might come into conflict, not with
mere counter-assertion, but with those forms of circumstantial evidence
which are sometimes conclusively elicited by reasoning from positive
_data_ of architecture, language, and ethnology. I claim for Homer no
exemption from the more cogent authority which may attach to reasoning
of this kind.

Clearing the question of these incumbrances, I wish to submit to
the suffrages of those, who may be more competent than myself to
estimate both the proposition and the proof, the following thesis:
that, in regard to the religion, history, ethnology, polity, and life
at large of the Greeks of the heroic times, the authority of the
Homeric poems, standing far above that of the whole mass of the later
literary traditions in any of their forms, ought never to be treated
as homogeneous with them, but should usually, in the first instance,
be handled by itself, and the testimony of later writers should, in
general, be handled in subordination to it, and should be tried by it,
as by a touchstone, on all the subjects which it embraces.

It is generally admitted that Homer is older by some generations than
Hesiod, by many than the authors of the Cyclical Poems; and older
by many centuries than the general mass of our authorities on Greek
antiquity, beginning with Æschylus and Herodotus, and coming down to
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Ælian, Pausanias,
Diogenes Laertius. Nor is it by time alone, that his superior proximity
and weight are to be measured. Of all the ages that have passed since
Homer, it may be truly said that not one has produced a more acute,
accurate, and comprehensive observer. But, above all, writing of the
heroic time, he, and he alone, writes like one who, as from internal
evidence we may confidently assert, stood within its precinct, and was
imbued from head to foot with its spirit and its associations.

It is, of course, quite possible, that in one particular or another,
Homer may be in error, and the later tradition, it is also just
possible, may be correct. But so, also, the evidence of an eye-witness
in a court of justice may be erroneous, while by chance the merest
hearsay may be true. This does not divert men from a careful
classification of evidence according to its presumptive value, where
they have purposes of utility, according to the common and limited
sense of the term, in their view. In regard to the early Greek history,
the practice has often been otherwise; partly in the works of scholars,
and yet more, as we might expect, in the more popular forms of tuition.
It has been to lump together the heterogeneous mass of traditions
embodied in the literature of a thousand years. All that the sport of
fancy and imagination had conceived--all that national, or local, or
personal vanity had suggested--all that motives of policy had forged in
history or religion--or so much of this aggregate as time has spared
to us, has been treated without any systematic recognition of the
different value of different orders of tradition. I admit that it is
towards the close of the Greek literature that we find the principal
professed inquirers into antiquity; and their aim and method may have
redressed, in great part, any inequality between themselves and writers
of the time of Thucydides or Plato. But nothing can cancel, nothing, it
might almost be said, can narrow, the enormous interval, in point of
authority, between Homer, who sang in the heroic age, and those who not
only collected their materials, but formed their thoughts, after it was
closed, and after its floating reminiscences had become subject to the
incessant action of falsifying processes.

For a length of time the temper of our ancient histories was one of
unquestioning reception. But where much was self-contradictory, all
could not be believed. Under these circumstances, it was not unnatural
that those writers who were full and systematic, should be preferred,
rather than that the labour should be undergone of gathering gold in
grains from the pages of Homer, of carefully collecting facts and
presumptions singly from the text, and then again estimating the amount
and effect of their bearings upon one another. Hence the Catalogues
of Apollodorus, or the downright assertions of Scholiasts, have
been allowed to give form to our early histories of Greece; and the
authentic, but usually slighter notices of Homer, have received little
attention, except where, in some detail or other, they might suit
the argument which each particular writer happened to have in hand.
Again, because Herodotus was by profession an historian and nothing
else (at least, I can discern no better reason), more importance
seems to be attached to his notices of prior ages than to the less
formally presented notices of Homer, who, according to the statement of
Herodotus himself, preceded him by four hundred years. I do not mean
by this remark to imply that Herodotus and Homer are particularly at
variance with one another, but only to illustrate what seems to me a
prevailing source of error.

In general, where the traditions reported by the later writers are
preferred to those of Homer, it is perhaps because, although they may
conflict with probability as well as with one another in an infinity
of points, yet they are in themselves more systematic and complete.
They represent to us for the most part _pasticcios_ arbitrarily made up
of materials of unequal value, but yet made up into wholes; whereas,
the evidence which he supplies is original though it is fragmentary.
Had he been followed by a continuous succession of authors, we should,
no doubt, do wisely in consenting to view the subjects of fact, with
which he dealt, mainly as they were viewed by those who trod in his
steps. But, on the contrary, they were separated from him by a gulf
both wide and deep; over which his compositions floated, in despite
of difficulties so great that many have deemed them positively
insurmountable, only by their extraordinary buoyancy.

It is in the Cyclic poems that we should naturally seek for materials
to enlarge, expound, or correct Homer. But there is not a line or a
notice remaining of any one of them, which would justify our assigning
to them any historical authority sufficient to qualify them for such a
purpose. Their reputed authors, from Arctinus downwards, all belong to
periods within the dates of the Olympiads[93]. They all bear marks of
having been written to fill the gaps which Homer had left unoccupied,
and so to enter into a partnership, if not with his fame, yet with his
popularity; with the popularity, of which his works, as we can well
judge from more recent experience, would be sure to shed some portion
upon all compositions ostensibly allied with them, and which then, as
now, presented the most cogent inducements to imitators who had their
livelihood to seek by means of their Muse.

Homer, without doubt, gave an immense addition of celebrity and vogue
to the subject of the Trojan war, much as Boiardo and Ariosto did to
the whole circle of the romances of which Orlando is the centre. One
of these poems, the Ἰλίου Πέρσις, is a simple expansion, as Mure has
observed[94], of the third lay of Demodocus in the Eighth Odyssey[95].
They seem to bear the mark of being, not composed first-hand from
actions of men, but from a stock of compositions in which heroic
actions had already been enshrined; so little do they appear to have
been stamped with the individuality which denotes original design. And
accordingly the usual manner of quoting them is not as the certain
works of a given person, but the form of citation is (ὁ γράψας τὴν
μικρὰν Ἰλιάδα, ὁ ποιήσας τὰ Κύπρια ἔπη), the writer of the little
Iliad, the composer of the Cyprian Songs, and the like. Heyne[96] holds
even the commencement of the Cyclic poems to have been at least a
century after the date of the Iliad and Odyssey.

Mr. Fynes Clinton, whose name can never be mentioned without a grateful
recognition of his merits and services, supplies, in the early part
of his Fasti Hellenici, many valuable suggestions for the sifting of
early Greek history. But he nowhere acknowledges, or approaches (I
believe) to the acknowledgment of the rule, that for the heroic age
the authority of Homer stands alone in kind. In the Fasti Hellenici
many statements, dating long after Homer, are delivered as if of
equal authority with his in regard to the history of that age; and
Mr. Clinton seems to have been led into a snare, to which his duty
as a chronologer probably exposed him, in assuming that history
and chronology may be expected to begin together; an assumption, I
apprehend, not supported by probability. Mr. Mitford has admirably
pointed out the importance of veracity to Homer’s function, and to his
fame as a poet, at a time when a poet could be the only historian[97],
the probability and singular consistency of his scattered anecdotes,
and the remarkable contrast between the clearness of his history, and
the darkness and uncertainty which follow after him, and continue until
the historic age begins; nor does he scruple to declare that ‘for these
early ages Homer is our best guide[98].’ But even this is still short
of my desire, which is not merely to recognise him as _primus inter
pares_, but to treat his testimony as paramount, and as constituting a
class by itself, with which no other literary testimony can compete.
And so once more Bishop Marsh, in his able work on the Pelasgi, assigns
no special office, I might perhaps say no peculiar weight, to the
Homeric testimony.

But I am glad to shelter myself under the authority afforded me by the
practice of Buttmann, who, in the Preface to his admirable Lexilogus,
declares his rule of philological investigation in Homer to be this:
to take, first, the evidence of the text itself in its several parts;
secondly, that of the succeeding epic poetry, and along with this
the testimony of the prime after-ages of Greek literature; thirdly,
grammatical tradition.

And yet the extensive contrariety between the old and the new is
admitted. ‘The Iliad and the Odyssey,’ says Mr. Grote[99], ‘and the
remaining Hesiodic fragments, exhibit but too frequently a hopeless
diversity, when confronted with the narratives of the logographers.’
And the author of the Minos[100] cleared away the fabulous and defaming
accounts of that sovereign, to return to the representations of Homer
and of Hesiod; καίτοι γε πιθανώτεροί εἰσιν ἢ σύμπαντες οἱ τραῳδοποιοὶ,
ὧν συ ἀκούων ταῦτα λέγεις. The great ancient writers, indeed, seem
never to have questioned the authority of Homer as a witness; nor
could any one wish to see him enthroned at a greater elevation than
that assigned to him as late as in the pages of Strabo. Virgil
systematically made light of him, but he was in a manner compelled by
his subject to make light of historical veracity altogether.

Historical scepticism, which has come of late years into possession of
the ground, has not redressed, as affecting Homer, the wrong that had
been done by historical credulity. We once exalted into history the
general mass of traditions relating to the ages which next preceded
those of continuous historic records; we now again decline the labour
of discrimination, and reduce them all alike into legend. The name of
Mr. Grote must carry great weight in any question of Greek research:
but it may be doubted whether the force and aptitude of his powerful
mind have been as successfully applied to the Homeric as to the later
periods. He presents us, indeed, with even more goodly and copious
catalogues than historians are wont of Æolids, of Pelopids, of ruling
families in every corner of Greece, and from the earliest times; but
he, too, fixes a chronological point for the commencement of history,
namely, the first recorded Olympiad[101]. He seems to think that the
trustworthy chronology of Greece begins before its real history. He
declines to take his start from disinterred Pelasgi[102]; he conceives
that we have no other authority for the existence of Troy than we have
for the theogonic revolutions[103]; the immense array of early names
that he presents are offered as names purely legendary. He will not
attempt to determine how much or how little of history these legends
may contain; he will not exhibit a picture from behind the curtain,
because, as he forcibly says, the curtain is the picture, and cannot by
any ingenuity be withdrawn[104]. He deals in the main alike with Homer,
Hesiod, the tragedians and minor Greek poets, the scattered notices
of the historians, of the antiquarian writers near the Christian era,
and of the Scholiasts. Of course, therefore, he cannot be expected
to rectify the fault, if such there has been, in regard to the
appreciation of the poems of Homer.

I may, however, observe that in this, as in other cases, extremes
appear to meet. Attempts to winnow the legendary lore, and to separate
the historic or primitive kernel from the husk, were clearing the
stage of a multitude of mythical personages unknown to the earliest
tradition; all of whom now are ushered in once more; they are, indeed,
labelled as unhistorical; but they are again mixed up wholesale with
those, from whose company critical observation had expelled them. In
thus reimparting a promiscuous character to the first scenes of Grecian
history, we seem to effect a retrogressive and not a progressive
operation. At any rate it should be understood that the issue raised
embraces the question, whether the personality of Achilles and
Agamemnon has no better root in history than that of Pelasgus, of
Prometheus, or of Hellen. And again, whether all these, being equal
to one another, are likewise equal, and no more than equal, in credit
to Ceres, Bacchus, or Apollo. As to all alike, what proportion of
truth there may be in the legend, or whether any, ‘it is impossible
to ascertain, and useless to inquire[105];’ all alike belong to a
region, essentially mythical, neither approachable by the critic, nor
measurable by the chronologer.

If the opinions which have been here expressed are in any degree
correct, we must endeavour to recover as substantial personages, and
to bring within the grasp of flesh and blood some of those pictures,
and even of those persons, whom Mr. Grote has dismissed to the land of
Shadow and of Dream.

In this view, the earliest Greek history should be founded on the text
of Homer, and not merely on its surface, but on its depths. Not only
its more broad and obvious statements should be registered, but we
should search and ransack all those slighter indications, suggestions,
and sources of inference, in which it is so extraordinarily rich;
and compel it, as it were, to yield up its treasures. We cannot,
indeed, like the zoologist, say the very words, Give me the bone, and
I will disinter the animal; yet so accurately was the mind of Homer
constructed, that we may come nearer to this certainty in dealing
with him, than with any other child of man. The later and inferior
evidence should be differently handled, and should not be viewed as
intrinsically authoritative. But that portion of it, which fills up the
gaps or confirms the suggestions of Homer, becomes thereby entitled
to something of historic rank. Again, widely extended and uniformly
continued traditions may amount to proof of notoriety, and may, not
by their individual credit, but by their concurrence, supply us with
standing ground of tolerable firmness. Beyond all this we may proceed,
and may present to view, where for any cause it seems desirable, even
ill-supported legends, but always as such, with fair notice of any
circumstances which may tend to fix their credit or discredit, and
with a line sufficiently marked between these and the recitals which
rest upon Homeric authority. Thus, the general rule would be to begin
with Homer: _a Jove principium_. We should plant his statements each
in their place, as so many foundation stones. While he leads us by the
hand, we should tread with comparative confidence; when we quit his
guidance, we should proceed with caution, with mistrust, with a tone no
higher than that of speculation and avowed conjecture.

In many instances, the application of these principles will require
the rudiments of early Greek history to be recast. In illustration of
this statement, I will refer to a legend, which has heretofore been
popularly assumed as in a great degree the ethnological starting point
of Greek history.

The current ideas respecting the distribution of the Greek races are
founded upon the supposition that there was a certain Hellen, and that
he had three sons, Dorus, Æolus, and Xuthus, the last of whom died and
left behind him two sons, Ion and Achæus. This Hellen was (so runs the
story) the son of Deucalion, and Deucalion was the son of Prometheus,
and the husband of Pyrrha, who again was the daughter of Epimetheus
and of Pandora, the first-made woman. From the agency of Deucalion and
Pyrrha, the human race took a new commencement after the Deluge. The
nation at large were called Hellenes, after Hellen; and from his two
surviving sons, and his grandsons Ion and Achæus, were named the four
great branches of the common stem. Such is the legend as it stands in
Apollodorus[106]; and that part of it which describes Hellen and his
three sons, but no more, is found in a fragment of Hesiod, quoted by
Tzetzes on Lycophron[107].

It is obvious that any one, setting about the invention of a story with
the compound purpose, first, of uniting the Greeks in a common bond of
race; secondly, of referring them to a common country as their cradle;
and, thirdly, of carrying up their origin to an extreme antiquity,
could hardly have done better than invent this tale. And that, which
might have been done at a stroke by an individual mind, was done no
less effectually by the common thought and wish of the Greek people
moulding itself by degrees into tradition. The tale has a symmetry
about it, most suggestive of design and invention. How clearly it
connects all the celebrated families or groups of the Greek nation;
with what accuracy it fixes their relation to the common stem; and with
how much impartial consideration for the self-love of every one among
them, and for their several shares of fame.

Not only in general, but even in detail, we may watch the gradual
formation of this tradition adapting itself to the state of Greece.
In Homer we find no Hellenes greatly distinguished, except Æolids
and Achæans. This is the first stage. But when the Dorians attain
to power[108], they claim a share in the past answerable to their
predominance in the present: and they receive accordingly the first
place in the genealogy as it stands in Hesiod, where Dorus is the
first-named among the three sons of Hellen. The Achæans, now in
depression, do not appear as Hellenes at all. But with the lapse of
time the Ionians of Athens, becoming powerful, desire to be also
famous: therefore room must be made for them: and the Achæans too
by their local intermixture with the same race, and their political
sympathy with Athens, once more come to be entitled to notice: Xuthus
accordingly, in the final form of the tradition is provided with two
sons. Ion and Achæus, and now all the four branches have each their
respective place.

This tradition, however, is neither in whole nor in part sustained by
Homer, and can by no effort be made to fit into Homer; to say nothing
of its containing within itself much incongruity. If we exclude Xuthus,
as a mere mute, it gives us five persons as the eponymists of five
races, the four last included in the first. But of the five persons
thus placed upon the stage, Homer gives us but one; that one, Æolus,
has no race or tribe, but only two or three lines of descendants
named after him. Again, the two or three children of Æolus in Homer
become five in Hesiod, twelve in Apollodorus, and by additions from
other writers reach a respectable total of seventeen[109]. Thus as
to persons, Homer has indeed an Æolus, but he has no Hellen, no
Dorus, no Ion, no Achæus. Now as to races. He mentions, without doubt,
Hellenes, Achæans, Dorians, Ionians; but affords hardly any means of
identifying Dorians with Hellenes, and as to Ionians, supplies pretty
strong presumptions that they were not Hellenic[110]. Nor does he
establish any relation whatever between any of the four races and any
common ancestor or eponymist. Again, the Deucalion of this legend is
two generations before its Æolus; but the Deucalion of Homer, who may
be reckoned as three generations before the fall of Troy, is also three
generations later than his Æolus. In fact, this legend of Hellen and
his family is like an ugly and flimsy, but formal, modern house, built
by the sacrilegious collection of the fragments of a noble ruin.

It may be thought dangerous, however, in setting up the authority
of Homer, to pull down that of Hesiod, who comes nearest to him.
But, firstly, Hesiod is only responsible for so much of the legend
as connects two persons named Æolus and Dorus with Hellen as their
source; which is at any rate no more than a poetical dress given to an
hypothesis substantially not in conflict with the Homeric traditions.
Secondly, as respects literal truth, the name Hellen at once bears
the strongest evidence against its own pretensions to an historical
character such as that assigned to it, because its etymology refers it
to the territorial name Ἑλλὰς, and through this to the national name
Ἕλλοι[111]. Lastly, the essential difference in point of authority lies
between Homer and Hesiod, not between Homer together with Hesiod on
the one side, and those who came after Hesiod on the other. Homer was
fully within the sphere and spirit of the heroic age; Hesiod was as
plainly outside it. He is apparently separated from the mighty master
by a considerable term, even as measured in years. That term it would
be difficult to define by any given number; but it is easy to see that
even when defined it would convey an utterly inadequate idea of the
interval of poetic and personal difference, and of moral and social
change, between Hesiod and Homer. It is not to be found in this or that
variation, for it belongs to the whole order of ideas; all the elements
of thought, the whole tone of the picture, the atmosphere in which
persons and objects are seen, are essentially modified.

I venture one remark, however, upon Hesiod’s very beautiful account of
the Ages. None can fail to be struck by the order in which he places
them. Beginning with the Golden, he comes next to the Silver age, and
then to Brass. But, instead of descending forthwith the fourth and last
step to the Iron age, he very singularly retraces his steps, and breaks
the downward chain by an age of heroes, of whom he says that it was

                  δικαιότερον καὶ ἄρειον,
    ἀνδρῶν ἡρώων θεῖον γένος, οἱ καλέονται
    ἡμίθεοι προτέρῃ γενεᾷ κατ’ ἀπείρονα γαῖαν[112].

These, he goes on to explain, were the men, partly slain in the Theban
and Trojan wars, partly translated by Jupiter to the ends of the earth,
the islands of the blest. After this, the scale drops, at once, to the
lowest point, the Iron age, the age without either Νέμεσις or Αἰδὼς,
the age of sheer wickedness and corruption.

This very curious turn in the arrangement of the Hesiodic Ages, and
especially the insertion, in a regular figurative series taken from the
metals, of a completely heterogeneous passage, calls for explanation;
and I venture to suggest that this passage should be construed as
disclosing to us that brilliant halo, which the Homeric poems had cast
over an age still recent, so as not only to hold it above the one that
followed, but also to raise it even above that which had preceded it;
above the age of Bellerophon, of Tantalus, of Sisyphus, of Minos, and
even of Hercules. The splendour of the fame of heroes really depended
on the Bard. The great Bard of Greece had lifted Achilles and Ulysses
to a height surpassing that of the older Heroes, who remained unsung
by him; and he had promised Menelaus, in the Fourth Odyssey[113],
that very seat in the regions of the blest, to which allusion is here
made by Hesiod. While the apparent poetic solecism of this passage is
thus accounted for, it becomes, at once, both an emphatic testimony
to the immense power exercised by the verse of Homer, and a distinct
declaration by Hesiod of the wide social interval, by which he was
himself separated from the heroic period; a declaration entirely
accordant with the internal evidence of the poems of Hesiod generally,
and amounting by implication to the double statement from this poet,
that Homer belonged to the heroic age, and that he himself did not
belong to it.

The tradition of Hellen and his sons, then, exhibits one of the cases
in which we must take our choice between the testimony of Homer, and
what are apparently the inventions of the later Greeks.

Another of these cases, which will be my second and last illustration,
relates to Helen of Troy.

It has been much disputed whether this celebrated character is to be
regarded as historical or fictitious. A writer of no less judgment
and authority than the Bishop of St. David’s, adopts the latter
alternative, upon various grounds. The strongest among them all, in
his view, is, that ‘in the abduction of Helen, Paris only repeats an
exploit, also attributed to Theseus[114].’ This exploit, the Bishop
thinks, was known to Homer, as he introduces Æthra, the mother of
Theseus, in the company of Helen at Troy. And other writers have
further developed these ideas, by finding absurdity in the Homeric tale
of Helen, on the ground that she must have been eighty years old when
the supposed abduction by Paris took place.

Now, the basis of these statements entirely depends upon the assumption
that the later traditions are entitled to be treated either as upon
a par, or, at any rate, as homogeneous with those of Homer. The
tradition which assigns a rape of Helen to Theseus, is only available
to discredit the tale of Homer, on the supposition that it rests upon
authority like that of Homer. But if it was a late invention, then it
is more probably to be regarded as a witness to the fame of the Homeric
personages, and the anxiety of Attica to give her hero the advantage
of similar embellishments, than as an original tradition which Homer
copied, or as a twin report with that which he has handed down.

The tradition of the rape of Helen by Theseus is mentioned by
Herodotus[115] as a tale current among the Athenians. He testifies
apparently to the fact, that the Deceleans of Attica enjoyed certain
immunities in Sparta, and were spared by the Lacedæmonian forces when
they invaded Attica; which was ascribed by the Athenians to their
having assisted in the recovery of Helen from Theseus, by pointing out
to the Tyndaridæ the place of her concealment. Herodotus, however,
does not affirm the cause stated by the Athenians, nor the abduction
by Theseus, which afterwards became, or had even then become, an
established tradition. Isocrates[116] handles it without misgiving, and
it is methodized in Plutarch, with a multitude of other particulars,
our acceptance of which absolutely requires the rejection of Homer’s
historical authority.

And so again with regard to Æthra, the daughter of Pittheus, whom the
later ages have connected with Theseus. We have no right to treat her
introduction in the company of Helen[117], as a proof that Homer knew
of a story connecting Helen with Theseus, unless we knew, which we do
not, from Homer, or from authority entitled to compete with Homer, that
there was a relation between Æthra and Theseus.

Now, the story of Homer respecting Helen, is perfectly self-consistent:
and so is his story respecting Theseus: but the two are separated by
an interval of little less than two generations, or say fifty years.
For Theseus[118] fought in the wars against the Φῆρες, in which Nestor
took part: and he wooed and wedded Ariadne, the aunt of Idomeneus, who
was himself nearly or quite one generation older than the Greek kings
in general. On the other hand, Homer shows the age of Helen to have
been in just proportion to that of Menelaus: for she had a daughter,
Hermione, before the abduction, and might, so far as age was concerned,
have borne children after their conjugal union was resumed[119].
Why, then, if Homer be the paramount authority, should we, upon
testimony inferior to his, introduce conflict and absurdity into two
traditions, which he gives us wide apart from one another and each
self-consistent, by forging a connexion between them?

I have stated these two cases, not by way of begging the question as to
the superiority in kind of Homer’s testimony, but to show how important
that question is; and in how many instances the history of the heroic
age must be rewritten, if we adopt the principle, that Homer ought to
be received as an original witness, contemporary with the manners, nay,
perhaps, even with some of the persons he describes, and subject only
to such deductions as other original witnesses are liable to suffer:
whereas the later traditions rest only upon hearsay; so much so, that
they can hardly be called evidence, and should never be opposed, on
their own credit, to the testimony of Homer.

In bringing this discussion to a close, I will quote a passage
respecting Homer, from the Earl of Aberdeen’s _Inquiry into the
Principles of Beauty in Grecian Architecture_, which, I think,
expresses with great truth and simplicity the ground of Homer’s general
claim to authority, subject, of course, to any question respecting the
genuineness of the received text:

  In treating of an age far removed from the approach of regular
  history, it is fortunate that we are furnished with a guide so
  unerring as Homer, whose general accuracy of observation, and
  minuteness of description, are such as to afford a copious source of
  information respecting almost everything connected with the times in
  which he composed his work: and who, being nearly contemporary with
  the events which he relates, and, indeed, with the earliest matter
  for record in Greece, cannot fall into mistakes and anachronisms in
  arts, or manners, or government, as he might have done had he lived
  at a more advanced and refined period[120].

It was said of a certain Dorotheus, that he spent his whole life in
endeavours to elucidate the meaning of the Homeric word κλισίη. Such a
disproportion between labour and its aim is somewhat startling; yet it
is hardly too much to say, that no exertion spent upon any of the great
classics of the world, and attended with any amount of real result, is
really thrown away. It is better to write one word upon the rock, than
a thousand on the water or the sand: better to remove a single stray
stone out of the path that mounts the hill of true culture, than to
hew out miles of devious tracks, which mislead and bewilder us when we
travel them, and make us more than content if we are fortunate enough
to find, when we emerge out of their windings, that we have simply
returned to the point in our age, from which, in sanguine youth, we set

As rules of the kind above propounded can only be fully understood when
applied, the application of them has accordingly been attempted, in the
work to which these pages form an Introduction. In this view, it may be
regarded as their necessary sequel. I commit it to the press with no
inconsiderable apprehension, and with due deference to the judgments
of the learned: for I do not feel myself to have possessed either
the fresh recollection and ready command of the treasures of ancient
Greece, or the extended and systematic knowledge of the modern Homeric
literature, which are among the essential requisites of qualification
to deal in a satisfactory manner with the subject. I should further
say, that the poems of Homer, to be rightly and thoroughly sounded,
demand undoubtedly a disengaged mind, perhaps would repay even the
study of a life. One plea only I can advance with confidence. The work,
whatever else it be, is one which has been founded in good faith on
the text of Homer. Whether in statement or in speculation, I have
desired and endeavoured that it should lead me by the hand: and even my
anticipations of what we might in any case expect it to contain have
been formed by a reflex process from the suggestions it had itself

      Oh degli altri poeti onore e lume!
    Vagliami il lungo studio, e il grande amore
    Che m’ ha fatto cercar lo tuo volume;
      Tu sei lo mio maestro, e il mio autore[121].

       *       *       *       *       *

Finally, though sharing the dissatisfaction of others at the
established preference given among us to the Latin names of deities
originally Greek, and at some part of our orthography for Greek names,
I have thought it best to adhere in general to the common custom, and
only to deviate from it where a special object was in view. I fear
that diversity, and even confusion, are more likely to arise than any
benefit, from efforts at reform, made by individuals, and without
the advantage either of authority or of a clear principle, as a
groundwork for general consent. I am here disposed to say, ‘οὐκ ἀγαθὸν
πολυκοιρανίη;’ and again with Wordsworth,

    ‘Me this unchartered freedom tires.’

Yet I should gladly see the day when, under the authority of Scholars,
and especially of those who bear rule in places of education,
improvement might be effected, not only in the points above mentioned,
but in our solitary and barbarous method of pronouncing both the Greek
and the Latin language. In this one respect the European world may
still with justice describe the English at least as the _penitus toto
divisos orbe Britannos_.


[93] Mure, ii. 282.

[94] Mure, ii. 286.

[95] Od. viii. 499.

[96] Exc. i. ad Æn. ii.

[97] Hist. of Greece, chap. i. sect. iv. p. 62. 4to.

[98] Ibid. sect. iii. p. 47.

[99] History of Greece, vol. i. p. 146; chap. vi. Introd.

[100] Minos, 12, in Plato’s Works.

[101] Preface, p. xi.

[102] Ibid. p. xii.

[103] Vol. i. p. 2.

[104] An accomplished critic in the Quarterly Review July, (1856)
treats this renunciation as one of Mr. Grote’s main titles to praise.

[105] Grote’s Hist., vol. i. pp. 58, 9, 72.

[106] I. vii. 2 and 3.

[107] Hes. Fragm. xxviii. from Tzetzes ad Lyc. 284.

[108] Hermann, Griech. Staats-Altherthum, Sect. 8.

[109] See the list in Clinton, F. H. Vol. I., p. 46, note.

[110] See inf. II. Sect. 2.

[111] Mure, Lit. Greece, vol. i., p. 39, n.

[112] Hes. Op. 157.

[113] Od. iv. 561-9.

[114] Bp. Thirlwall’s Hist. of Greece, chap. v.

[115] Herod, ix. 73.

[116] Encom. Hel. 21 et seq.

[117] Il. iii. 144.

[118] Il. i. 262.

[119] See Od. iv. 12.

[120] Lord Aberdeen’s Inquiry, p. 62. (1822.)

[121] Inferno, I. 32.



_Scope of the Inquiry._

I now proceed to attempt, in a series of inquiries, the practical
application of the principles which have been stated in the preliminary
Essay. The first of these inquiries might on some grounds be deemed
the most hazardous. It is an inquiry into the Early Ethnology and
Ethnography of Greece: or the Composition of the Greek nation, and
the succession and Distribution of its races, according to the text
of Homer. The religion, the politics, the manners, the contemporary
history, of the Iliad and Odyssey, may justly be considered to form
essential parts of the plan of the Poet, and to have been distinctly
contemplated by his intention. But into anterior legends he only dips
at times: and of the subject of the succession and distribution of
races it probably formed no part of his purpose to treat at all; so
that in the endeavour to investigate it we are entirely dependent, so
far as he is concerned, upon scattered and incidental notices.

But here it is, that the extraordinary sureness and precision of the
mind of Homer stands us in such admirable stead. Wherever, amidst the
cloud and chaos of pre-Homeric antiquity, he enables us to discern a
luminous point, that point is a beacon, and indicates ground on which
we may tread with confidence. The materials, which at a first glance
appear upon the face of the poems to be available for our purpose,
may indeed be but slender. But the careful gathering together of many
dispersed indications, and the strict observation of their relative
bearings has this effect, that each fragment added to the stock may
both receive illustration from what is already known, and may give
it in return, by helping to explain and establish relations hitherto
doubtful or obscure. And as the total or gross accumulation grows, the
nett result increases in a more rapid ratio: as a single known point
upon a plane tells us of nothing besides itself, but two enable us
to draw a line, and three a triangle, and each further one as it is
added to construct a multitude of figures: or as in the map-puzzles,
constructed to provoke the ingenuity of children, when once a very few
countries have been laid in their right places, they serve as keys to
the rest, and we can lay out with confidence the general order. Even so
I am not without hope that, as to some parts at least of this ethnical
examination, the Homeric indications may, when brought together,
warrant our applying to them words used by Cicero for another purpose:
_est enim admirabilis continuatio seriesque rerum, ut aliæ ex aliis
nexæ, et omnes inter se aptæ conligatæque videantur_[122].

I must not, however, step over the threshold of the investigation
without giving warning, that we have to meet at the outset an opinion
broadly pronounced, and proceeding from a person of such high authority
as Mr. Grote, our most recent historian of Greece, to the effect that
these inquiries are futile. This intimation is so important that it
shall stand in his own words. “In going through historical Greece,”
says Mr. Grote, “we are compelled to accept the Hellenic aggregate
with its constituent elements as a primary fact to start from,
because the state of our information does not enable us to ascend any
higher. By what circumstances, or out of what pre-existing elements,
this aggregate was brought together and modified, we find no evidence
entitled to credit[123].” And then, in condemnation particularly of
Pelasgic inquiries, he resumes: “if any man is inclined to call the
unknown ante-Hellenic period of Greece by the name of Pelasgic, it is
open to him to do so: but this is a name carrying with it no assured
predicates, no way enlarging our insight into real history, nor
enabling us to explain--what would be the real historical problem--how
or from whom the Hellens acquired that stock of dispositions,
aptitudes, arts, &c. with which they began their career.... No
attested facts are now present to us--none were present to Herodotus
and Thucydides even in their age, on which to build trustworthy
affirmations respecting the ante-Hellenic Pelasgians.”

In answer to these passages, which raise the question no less broadly
than fairly, it may first be observed, that at least Herodotus and
Thucydides did not think what we are thus invited to think for them,
and that of the judgment of the latter, as an inquirer into matters of
fact, Mr. Grote has himself justly expressed the highest opinion[124].
Mr. Grote, placing in one category all that relates to the legendary
age, finds it as a whole intractable and unhistorical, with a
predominance of sentimental attributes quite unlike the practical
turn and powers of the Greek mind in later times[125]. But has not
this disturbance of equilibrium happened chiefly because the genuine
though slender historic materials of the heroic age, supplied by the
poems of Homer, have been overborne and flooded by the accumulations
made by imagination, vanity, resentment, or patriotism, during a
thousand years? Even of the unsifted mass of legend, to which the
distinguished historian refers, it may be doubted, whether it is not,
when viewed as a whole, bewildering, formless, and inconsistent, rather
than sentimental. It has been everywhere darkened by cross purposes,
and by the unauthorized meddling of generations, which had ceased to
sympathize with the heroic age. At any rate, I crave permission to try
what we can make of that age in the matter of history, by dealing first
and foremost with him who handled it for the purposes of history, apart
from those, I mean the after poets, tragedians, and logographers, to
whom it was little more than a romance.

I trust that the recent examples of men so learned and able as Bishop
Thirlwall and K. O. Müller, neither of whom have thought subjects
of this kind too uninviting to reward inquiry, may avail both to
prevent the interposition of a preliminary bar to the discussion, and
to protect it against an adverse prejudgment. By anticipation I can
reasonably make no other answer to a condemnatory sentence, than that
which is conveyed in the words ‘let us try.’ But at any rate, _est
operæ pretium_: the stake is worth the venture. He would be indeed a
worthless biographer who did not, so far as his materials carried him,
pursue the life of a hero back to the nursery or even the cradle: and
the same faithful and well-grounded instincts invest with a surpassing
interest all real elucidation of the facts and ideas, that make up the
image of the Greek nation either in its infancy or even in its embryo.

There are three and only three names of ordinary use in the Iliad,
by which the poet designates the people that had been banded together
against Troy. This same people afterwards became famous in history,
perhaps beyond all others, first by the name of Hellenes, which was
self-applied; and secondly by the name of Greeks, which they acquired
from their Italian conquerors and captives. Greece is now again become

These names, prominent far beyond all others, are,

1. Δαναοὶ, Danaans.

2. Ἀργεῖοι, Argeians or Argives.

3. Ἀχαιοὶ, Achæans.

They are commonly treated as synonymous. It appears at least to have
been assumed that they are incapable of yielding any practical results
to an attempt at historic analysis and distribution. To try this
question fully, is a main part of my present purpose. Thus much at
least is clear: that they seem to be the equivalents, for the Troic
period, of the Hellenic name in later times.

But there are other names, of various classes, which on account of
their relations to the foregoing ones it is material to bring into view.

First, there are found in Homer two other designations, which purport
to have the same effect as the three already quoted. They are

1. Παναχαιοὶ, Panachæans.

2. Πανέλληνες, Panhellenes.

Next come three names of races, whose relations to the foregoing
appellations will demand scrutiny. These are

1. Πελασγοὶ, Pelasgians.

2. Ἕλληνες, Hellenes.

3. Θρῇκες, Thracians, or rather Thraces.

Lastly, there are a more numerous class of names, which are local in
this sense, that Homer only mentions them in connection with particular
parts of Greece, but which being clearly tribal and not territorial,
stand clearly distinguished from the names which owed, or may have
owed, their origin to the different cities or districts of the country,
such as Phocian (Il. ii. 517), Rhodian (654), Elian (Il. xi. 670), or
Ithacan (Odyssey _passim_): and likewise from the names which already
were, or afterwards came to be, in established connection with those
of districts, though they have no appearance of having been originally
territorial: such as Arcadian (Il. ii. 603, 611), Bœotian (Il. ii.
494), Athenian (Il. ii. 546, 551).

Of the class now before us there are some which are of importance in
various degrees with regard to the views of primitive history to be
gathered from the Homeric poems. As such I rank

1. Καδμεῖοι, Cadmeans, in Thebes, Il. iv. 388 and elsewhere: and with
this, as an equivalent, Καδμείωνες, Il. iv. 385 and elsewhere.

2. Ἰάονες, Ionians, in Athens, Il. xiii. 685.

3. Δωριέες, Dorians, in Crete, Od. xix. 177. A town Dorion is also
mentioned in the Catalogue as within the territories of Nestor, Il. ii.

4. Κεφάλληνες, Cephallenes, in the islands under Ulysses, Il. ii. 631.

5. Ἐφυροὶ, Ephyri, in Thessaly, Il. xiii. 301.

6. Σελλοὶ or Ἑλλοὶ, Helli, in northern Thessaly, Il. xvi. 234.

7. Καύκωνες, Caucones, in southern Greece, Od. iii. 366: (and among the
Trojan allies, Il. x. 429, xx. 329.)

8. Ἐπεῖοι, Epeans, in Elis, Il. ii. 619, and on the opposite or
northern coast and islands of the Corinthian Gulf: compare Il. ii. 627,
and xiii. 691.

9. Ἄβαντες, Abantes, in Eubœa, Il. ii. 536.

10. Μυρμίδονες, Myrmidones, in Phthia, Il. ii. 684.

11. Κουρῆτες, Curetes, in Ætolia, Il. ix. 529.

12. Φλεγύαι, Phlegyæ, in Thessaly, Il. xiii. 301.

13. Φῆρες, in Thessaly, Il. i. 267, 8, ii. 733, 4.

And lastly it may be mentioned that in the single word Γραῖα, used (Il.
ii. 498) to designate one of the numerous Bœotian towns, we have an
isolated indication of the existence in the heroic times of the germ of
the names _Greece_ and _Greek_, which afterwards ascended to, and still
retain, such extraordinary fame.

The Homeric text will afford us means of investigation, more or less,
for the greater part of these names, but the main thread of the inquiry
runs with these five; Pelasgians, Hellenes, Danaans, Argeians, Achæans.

In conjunction with the present subject, I shall consider what light
is thrown by Homer on the relations of the Greeks with other races not
properly Greek: the Lycians, the Phœnicians, the Sicels, the Egyptians,
the people of Cyprus, and finally the Persians. The name of the Leleges
will be considered in conjunction with that of the Caucones.


[122] Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 4.

[123] Grote’s Hist. vol. ii. pp. 349-51, part ii. ch. 2.

[124] Preface p. ix.

[125] Preface p. xvii.


_The Pelasgians; and with these_,

  _a._ Arcadians. _b._ Γραικοὶ or Græci. _c._ Ionians. _d._ Athenians.
  _e._ Egyptians. _f._ Thraces. _g._ Caucones. _h._ Leleges.

It will be most convenient to begin with the case of the Pelasgians:
and the questions we shall have to investigate will be substantially
reducible to the following heads:

1. Are the Pelasgians essentially Greek?

2. If so, what is their relation to the Hellenes, and to the integral
Greek nation?

3. What elements did they contribute to the formation of the composite
body thus called?

4. What was their language?

5. What was the derivation of their name?

6. By what route did they come into Greece?

The direct evidence of the Homeric poems with respect to the Pelasgians
is scattered and faint. It derives however material aid from various
branches of tradition, partly conveyed in the Homeric poems, and partly
extraneous to them, particularly religion, language, and pursuits.
Evidence legitimately drawn from these latter sources, wherever it is
in the nature of circumstantial proof, is far superior in authority to
such literary traditions as are surrounded, at their visible source,
with circumstances of uncertainty.

_The Pelasgians._

I. The first passage, with which we have to deal, is that portion of
the Catalogue of the Greek armament, where Homer introduces us to the
contingent of Achilles in the following lines:

    Νῦν αὖ τοὺς ὅσσοι τὸ Πελασγικὸν Ἄργος ἔναιον,
    Οἵ τ’ Ἄλον οἵ τ’ Ἀλόπην οἵ τε Τρηχῖν’ ἐνέμοντο,
    Οἵ τ’ εἶχον Φθίην ἠδ’ Ἑλλάδα καλλιγύναικα,
    Μυρμιδόνες δὲ καλεῦντο καὶ Ἕλληνες καὶ Ἀχαιοὶ,
    Τῶν αὖ πεντήκοντα νεῶν ἦν ἀρχὸς Ἀχιλλεύς[126].

All evidence goes to show, that Thessaly stood in a most important
relation to the infant life of the Greek races; whether we consider it
as the seat of many most ancient legends; as dignified by the presence
of Dodona, the highest seat of religious tradition and authority to
the Greeks; as connected with the two ancient names of Helli and
Pelasgi: or lastly in regard to the prominence it retained even down
to and during the historic age in the constitution of the Amphictyonic
Council[127]. All these indications are in harmony with the course of
Greek ethnological tradition.

Now the Catalogue of the Greek armament is divided into three great

The first comprises Continental Greece, with the islands immediately
adjacent to the coast, and lying south of Thessaly. The second consists
of the Greek islands of the Ægean. The third is wholly Thessalian: and
it begins with the lines which have been quoted.

_The Pelasgians: Pelasgic Argos._

What then does Homer mean us to understand by the phrase τὸ Πελασγικὸν
Ἄργος in this passage? Is it

1. A mere town, or town and district, like Alos, Alope, and others
which follow; or is it

2. A country comprising several or many such?

And if the latter, does it describe

1. That country only over which Peleus reigned, and which supplied the
Myrmidon division; or

2. A more extended country?

First let us remark the use of the article. It is not the manner of
Homer to employ the article with the proper names of places. We may
be sure that it carries with it a distinctive force: as in the Trojan
Catalogue he employs it to indicate a particular race or body of
Pelasgians[128] apart from others. Now the distinctive force of the
article here may have either or both of two bearings.

1. It may mark off the Argos of the Pelasgians from one or more other
countries or places bearing the name of Argos.

2. Even independently of the epithet, the article may be rightly
employed, if Argos itself be not strictly a proper name, but rather a
descriptive word indicating the physical character of a given region.
Thus ‘Scotland’ is strictly a proper name, ‘Lowlands’ a descriptive
word of this nature: and the latter takes the article where the former
does not require or even admit it. And now let us proceed to make our
selection between the various alternatives before us.

Whichever of the two bearings we give to the article, it seems
of itself to preclude the supposition that a mere town or single
settlement can be here intended: for nowhere does Homer give the
article to a name of that class.

Secondly, in almost every place where Homer speaks of an Argos, he
makes it plain that he does not mean a mere town or single settlement,
but a country including towns or settlements within it. The exceptions
to this rule are rare. In Il. iv. 52 we have one of them, where he
combines Argos with Sparta and Mycenæ, and calls all three by the name
of cities. The line Il. ii. 559 probably supplies another. But in a
later Section[129] the general rule will be fully illustrated.

It will also clearly appear, that the name Argos is in fact a
descriptive word, not a proper name, and is nearly equivalent to our
‘Lowlands’ or to the Italian ‘campagna.’

Thirdly: in many other places of the Catalogue, Homer begins by placing
in the front, as it were, the comprehensive name which overrides and
includes the particular names that are to follow; and then, without any
other distinctive mark than the use of the faint enclitic copulative
τε, proceeds to enumerate parts included within the whole which he has
previously named. Thus for instance

        οἱ δ’ Εὔβοιαν ἔχον ...
    Χαλκίδα τ’ Εἰρετρίαν τε κ.τ.λ.

    v. 535, 6.

‘Those who held Eubœa, both Chalcis and Eretria’.... Or in the English
idiom we may perhaps write more correctly, ‘Those who held Eubœa, that
is to say Chalcis, and Eretria’ ... and the rest.


    οἱ δ’ εἶχον κοιλὴν Λακεδαίμονα κητώεσσαν
    Φᾶρίν τε Σπάρτην τε ...

    v. 581, 2.

‘Those who held channelled Laconia, abounding in wild beasts, namely,
the several settlements of Pharis and Sparta,’ and the rest.

So with Arcadia, v. 603, and Ithaca, v. 631.

We may therefore consider the verse 681,

    Νῦν αὖ τοὺς, ὅσσοι τὸ Πελασγικὸν Ἄργος ἔναιον·

as prefatory, and I print it, accordingly, so as to mark a pause.

But, again, is it prefatory only to the division of Achilles, and
is it simply the integer expressing the whole territory from which
his contingent was drawn, or is it prefatory to the whole remainder
of the Catalogue, ending at v. 759, and does it include all the nine
territorial divisions described therein? There is no grammatical or
other reason for the former alternative, while various considerations
recommend the latter.

There is no sign in the poems of any connection between Achilles with
his Myrmidons, or between the kingdom of his father Peleus, and any
particular part of Thessaly under the name of Argos, or Pelasgic Argos.
Although the division of Achilles did not embrace the whole of the
Phthians[130], yet Phthia appears to be the proper description of his
territory, so far as it has a collective name: and there are signs,
which will be hereafter considered, that the name of Phthia itself was
embraced and included within the wider range of another name.

Again, the Pelasgic name, as will be further observed, is not in Homer
specially connected with the South of Thessaly, where the realm of
Peleus lay, but rather with the North, the towns and settlements of
which are enumerated, not in the first, but in the later paragraphs of
this portion of the Catalogue.

In the invocation of the Sixteenth Book, to which reference will
shortly be made, Achilles at once addresses Jupiter as Pelasgic, and as
dwelling afar (τηλόθι ναίων): therefore, the special Thessalian seat of
the god could not be in the dominions of Peleus.

We have observed, again, in the earlier parts of the catalogue various
collective names, afterwards explained distributively, for the various
contingents: but there is not one of this class of names employed
for any of the Eight Divisions which follow that of Achilles. They
all seem to bear the form of particular distributive enumerations,
belonging to the comprehensive head of Pelasgic Argos or Thessaly.

There is also something in the obvious break in the Catalogue,
signified by the words

    νῦν αὖ τοὺς ὅσσοι ...

which indicate, as it were, a completely new starting point. There
is nothing else resembling them. They form the introduction to a new
chapter of the lists, after a geographical transition from the islands:
and there is no reason for these marked words, if Pelasgic Argos was
either a mere town district, or a local sovereignty, but a very good
reason, if Pelasgic Argos meant that great integral portion of the
Greek territory, the vale of Thessaly, the particular parts of which
the Poet was about to set forth in so much detail.

It may therefore be inferred, that the epithet Πελασγικὸν is applied
by Homer to the Thessalian vale collectively, as it is contained
between the mountains of Pindus to the west, Œta and Olympus to the
north, Othrys to the south, and Ossa or the sea to the east. We might,
without geographical error, translate the phrase τὸ Πελασγικὸν Ἄργος
of the second Iliad by that name of Thessaly[131], which the country
afterwards acquired: but the idea which it properly indicates to us,
is, _that Argos which had been settled by the Pelasgians_.

It is the only geographical epithet which, applied to the name Argos,
belongs to the north of Greece: and it is so applied by way of
distinction and opposition to other uses of the name Argos in other
parts of the poems, which we shall hereafter have to examine, namely,
the Achaic and the Iasian Argos.

_The Pelasgians: Dodona._

II. Perhaps the most solemn invocation of Jupiter as the great deity of
the Greeks in the whole of the Poems is where Achilles, sending forth
Patroclus to battle, prays that glory may be given him. It runs thus
(Il. xvi. 233-5):

    Ζεῦ ἄνα, Δωδωναῖε, Πελασγικὲ, τηλόθι ναίων,
    Δωδώνης μεδέων δυσχειμέρου· ἀμφὶ δέ σ’ Ἕλλοι
    σοὶ ναίουσ’ ὑποφῆται ἀνιπτόποδες χαμαιεῦναι.

It seems not too much to say upon this remarkable passage, that it
shows us, as it were, the nation pitching its first altar upon its
first arrival in the country. It bears witness that those who brought
the worship of Dodonæan Jupiter were Pelasgians, as well as that the
spot, which they chose for the principal seat of their worship, was
Dodona. For the appeal of Achilles on this occasion is evidently the
most forcible that he has it in his power to make, and is addressed to
the highest source of Divine power that he knew.

It has been debated, but apparently without any conclusive result, what
was the site of the Dodona so famous in the after-times of Greece[132].
It seems clear, however, that it was a Dodona to the westward of
Pindus, and belonging to Thesprotia or Molossia. But this plainly was
not the position of the Dodona we have now before us. For in a passage
of the Catalogue Homer distinctly places this Dodona in Thessaly,
giving it the same epithet, δυσχείμερος, as Achilles applies to it in
Il. xvi. Gouneus, he says, was followed by the Enienes and Perrhæbi,

    οἱ περὶ Δωδώνην δυσχείμερον οἴκι’ ἔθεντο,
    οἵ τ’ ἀμφ’ ἱμερτὸν Τιταρήσιον ἔργ’ ἐνέμοντο[133].

Both the name of the Perrhæbi and that of the river Titaresius fix the
Dodona of Homer in the north of Thessaly. And the character assigned
to this Titaresius, so near Dodona, as a branch of Styx, ‘the mighty
adjuration of the gods,’ well illustrates the close connection between
that river, by which the other deities were to swear, and Jupiter,
who was their chief, and was in a certain sense the administrator of
justice among them. In the Odyssey, indeed, Ulysses, in his fictitious
narrations to Eumæus and Penelope, represents himself as having
travelled from Thesprotia to consult the oracle of Jupiter, that was
delivered from a lofty oak[134]. But no presumption of nearness can be
founded on this passage such as to justify our assuming the existence
of a separate Dodona westward of the mountains in the Homeric age:
and there was no reason why Ulysses should not represent himself as
travelling through the passes of Mount Pindus[135] from the Ambracian
gulf into Thessaly to learn his fate. Nor upon the other hand is there
any vast difficulty in adopting the supposition which the evidence in
the case suggests, that the oracle of Dodonæan Jupiter may have changed
its seat before the historic age. The evidence of Homer places it in
Thessaly, and Homer is, as we shall see, corroborated by Hesiod. After
them, we hear nothing of a Dodona having its seat in Thessaly, but
much of one on the western side of the peninsula. As in later times we
find Perrhæbi and Dolopes to the westward of Pindus, whom Homer shows
us only on the east, even so in the course of time the oracle may have
travelled in the same direction[136]. It is highly improbable, from
the manner in which the name is used, that there should have been two
Greek Dodonas in the Homeric age.

However, the very passage before us indicates, that revolution
had already laid its hand on this ancient seat of Greek religion.
For though the Dodona of Homer was Pelasgic by its origin, its
neighbourhood was now inhabited by a different race, the Selli or
Helli, and these Helli were also the ὑποφῆται or ministers of the
deity. While their rude and filthy habits of life mark them as probably
a people of recent arrival, who had not themselves yet emerged from
their highland home, and from the struggle with want and difficulty,
into civilized life, still they had begun to encroach upon the
Pelasgians with their inviting possessions and more settled habits, and
had acquired by force or otherwise the control of the temple, though
without obliterating the tradition of its Pelasgic origin. The very
fact, that the Helli were at the time the ministers of Jupiter, tends
to confirm the belief that the Pelasgians were those who originally
established it; for how otherwise could the name of the Pelasgian race
have found its way into an Hellenic invocation?

Thus, as before we found that what we term Thessaly is to Homer ‘the
Argos of the Pelasgians,’ so we now find that people associated with
the original and central worship of the Greek Jupiter, as having
probably been the race to whom it owed its establishment.

And thus, though the Pelasgians were not politically predominant in
Thessaly at the epoch of the _Troica_, yet Thessaly is Pelasgian Argos:
though they were not possessed of the Dodonæan oracle, yet Jupiter of
Dodona is Pelasgian Jupiter: two branches of testimony, the first of
which exhibits them as the earliest known colonisers of the country,
and the second as the reputed founders of the prime article of its

We must not quit this subject without referring to the evidence of
Hesiod, which, though second in importance to that of Homer, is before
any other literary testimony. He refers twice to Dodona. Neither time
does he appear to carry it to the westward. In one passage he connects
it immediately with the Pelasgians;

    Δωδώνην, φῆγόν τε, Πελασγῶν ἕδρανον, ἧκεν[137].

In the other passage, he associates it with the Hellic name through the
medium of the territorial designation Hellopia:

    ἐστί τις Ἑλλοπίη πολυλήϊος ἠδ’ εὐλείμων,
    ἔνθα τε Δωδώνη τις ἐπ’ ἐσχατίῃ πεπόλισται[138].

Thus, in exact accordance with Homer, he associates Dodona with two
and only two names of race, the same two as those with which it is
associated in the invocation of Achilles.

_Thessaly and the Southern Islands._

III. Next, we find in Homer a widely spread connection between Thessaly
and the islands which form as it were the base of the Ægean sea.

From these islands he enumerates four contingents furnished to the
Greek army:

1. From Crete, under Idomeneus (Il. ii. 645).

2. From Rhodes, under Tlepolemus (653).

3. From Syme, under Nireus (671).

4. From Nisyrus, the Calydnæ, and other minor islands, under Pheidippus
and Antiphus (676).

1. As to Crete. Universal tradition connects the name of Deucalion with
Thessaly. But he was the son, according to Homer, of Minos, who was the
ruler or warden of Crete (Κρήτῃ ἐπίουρος, Il. xiii. 450): and he was
also the father of Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans before Troy (Il.
xiii. 452), and ruler over many of them (ibid.), but not, so far as
appears, over the whole island.

Now Minos was not only king of all Crete, but son of Jupiter (ibid.,
and Od. xi. 568) by a Phœnician damsel of great note (Il. xiv. 321); we
must therefore regard him, or his mother, as having come from Phœnicia
into Crete. The inference would be, that Deucalion came from Crete to
Thessaly, and that he, or Idomeneus his son, re-migrated to Crete.
Homer does not indeed state that Deucalion was ever in Thessaly: but
he indirectly supports the tradition both by placing Idomeneus in a
different position in Crete from that of his grandfather Minos, and
otherwise[139]. This supposition would at once reconcile the later
tradition with Homer, and explain to us why the grandson of Minos only
filled an inferior position.

Again, as we see that Thessaly is Pelasgic, and that the Thessalian
Myrmidons are called Achæans, so likewise we find among the five
nations of Crete both Pelasgians and Achæans[140]. Here, according to
Strabo, Staphylus described these two races as inhabiting the plains,
and Andron reported them, as also the Dorians, to have come from
Thessaly: erroneously, says Strabo (x. 4., p. 476), making the mother
city of the Dorians a mere colony from the Thessalians. And the ancient
tradition which places the infant Jupiter in Crete (‘Jovis incunabula
Creten’), concurs with the idea which the above-named facts would
suggest, that the Pelasgians may have come, at least in part, from the
southern islands of the Ægean.

2. As to Rhodes. Tlepolemus, its chieftain, is the son of Hercules, and
of Astyochea, whom, in the course of his raids, he took from Ephyra by
the river Selleeis. It is questioned which Ephyra, and which Selleeis,
for of both there were several, these may have been. If they were in
Thessaly[141], we have thus a line of connection established between
Thessaly and Rhodes.

3. As to the contingent from Nisyrus, the Calydnæ, and Cos. Firstly, it
was commanded by Pheidippus and Antiphus (678), sons of Thessalus, the
son of Hercules. The connection between Hercules and Thessaly, which
is agreeable to the general course of tradition, also harmonises with
the most natural construction which can be put upon this passage of
Homer: namely, that this Thessalus was the person who afterwards became
the eponymist of Thessaly, that he was a native or inhabitant of the
country, and that either he, or more probably his sons, were emigrants
from it to the islands.

His name, latent for a time, may afterwards have attained to its
elevation, as a means of connecting Thessaly with Hercules, when the
descendants of that hero had become predominant in the South. Perhaps
the appearance of the post-Homeric name ‘Doris’ may be explained in the
same manner.

Secondly, Cos is described as the city of Eurypylus. This may mean a
city which he had founded; or a city which was then actually under his
dominion. Beyond all doubt, it indicates a very special connection
of some kind between Cos and Eurypylus. Now, his name is mentioned
without adjunct. Had he been a deceased founder of the city, he would
probably have been called θεῖος like Thoas (Il. xiv. 230). If he was
living, who was he? We have in the Iliad one very famous Eurypylus,
who appears among the nine foremost of the Greek heroes (Il. vii.
167), and whose rank entitled him (xi. 818) to be called Διοτρεφής; an
epithet confined, as is probable, to Kings[142]. Now although Homer
allows himself, when he is dealing with secondary persons, to apply
the same name to more than one individual, without always caring to
discriminate between them, there is no instance in which he does this
for a person of the class of Eurypylus. This probably, therefore, is
the same Eurypylus, as meets us in other parts of the poem, the son of
Euæmon. But from the Catalogue[143], it appears that he commanded the
contingent from Ormenium in Thessaly. If then, the same person, who
founded or had some special relation to Cos, was also the commander
of a Thessalian force, here we have a new track of connection between
Thessaly and the islands to the southward.

4. Nireus, named by Homer for his beauty alone, with his three ships
from Syme, can scarcely be said to make an unit in the Greek catalogue.

With this one inconsiderable exception, we find in all the cases of
island contingents a connection subsisting between them and Thessaly,
and this connection not appearing to be mediate, along the line of
mainland which reaches from Thessaly to within a short distance from
Crete, but apparently maintained directly by the maritime route: a fact
of importance in considering the probable extension and movement of the
Pelasgic race, which we find existing in both regions. We know from
Homer[144] that the southern islands were a common route connecting
Greece with the East. There are also abundant traces of migration by
the northern coast of the Ægean. Thus it is at both those gates of
Greece, that we find the Pelasgian name subsisting in the time of
Homer, when in the nearer vicinity of the centre of Achæan power it was
already extinct.

_The Pelasgians._

IV. Again, I think we may trace the near connection between the
Pelasgians and the Greek nation in the laudatory epithets with which
the former are mentioned by Homer. We must here keep in mind on the one
hand the extraordinary skill and care with which the Poet employed his
epithets, and on the other hand, his never failing solicitude to exalt
and adorn every thing Greek.

Homer names the Pelasgians only thrice, and each time with a laudatory

In Il. x. 429, where they form part of the Trojan camp, and again in
Od. xix. 177, where they are stated to be found in Crete, they are
δῖοι. Homer never applies this word except to what is preeminent in its
kind: in particular, he never attaches it to any national name besides
the Pelasgi, except Ἀχαιοὶ, which of itself amounts to a presumption
that he regarded his countrymen as in some way standing in the same
class with the Pelasgians.

In the remaining passage where he names the Pelasgians, that in the
Trojan Catalogue (Il. ii. 340), he calls them ἐγχεσίμωροι. He uses this
epithet in only three other places. Of itself it is laudatory, because
it is connected with the proper work of heroes, the σταδίη ὑσμίνη.
In one of the three places he applies it individually to two royal
warriors, one Munes the husband of Briseis, and the other Epistrophus
(Il. ii. 693), a warrior associated with Munes. In the second (Il. vii.
134), he gives it to the Arcadians; whom in the Catalogue (ii. 611), he
has already commended as ἐπιστάμενοι πολεμίζειν. In the third passage
(Od. iii. 188), he applies the epithet to the Myrmidons themselves.
From each of these uses, the last especially, we may draw fresh
presumptions of his high estimate of the Pelasgian name.

V. Again. In the case of a race, unless when it can be traced to
an Eponymus or name-giver, the plural name precedes the singular
in common use. There must be Celts before there can be a Celt, and
Pelasgians before there can be a Pelasgian. The use therefore of the
singular, in the names of nations, is a proof of what is established
and long familiar.

For example, Homer never calls a single Greek Δαναός, nor Ἀργεῖος
(though in the particular cases of Juno and of Helen he uses the
singular feminine, of which more hereafter), but only Ἀχαιός; and we
shall find, that this fact is not without its meaning. It is therefore
worthy of note, that he uses the term Πελασγὸς in the singular. The
chiefs of the Pelasgian ἐπίκουροι at Troy were Hippothous and Pulæus,
(Il. ii. 843,) who were

    υἷε δύω Λήθοιο Πελασγοῦ Τευταμίδαο.

And again, (xvii. 288),

    Λήθοιο Πελασγοῦ φαίδιμος υἷος.

‘The illustrious son of Lethus the Pelasgian.’ It seems uncertain, from
their place in the Trojan Catalogue, whether these Pelasgians were
European or Asiatic; nor is it material to which region they belonged.

_The Pelasgians and Larissa._

VI. It is further observable, that Homer implies distinctly the
existence of various tribes of Pelasgi under that same name in various
and widely separated places. He says,

    Ἱππόθοος δ’ ἄγε φῦλα Πελασγῶν ἐγχεσιμώρων
    τῶν, οἱ Λαρίσσην ἐριβώλακα ναιετάουσιν.

Strabo justly observes upon the use of the plural φῦλα in this passage
as implying considerable numbers. And the words τῶν οἱ in the
following line, signifying “namely those Pelasgi, who,” show that the
poet found it necessary to use a distinctive mark in order that these
Pelasgi might not be confounded with other Pelasgi. Again, as this is
in the Trojan Catalogue, where as a matter of course no Greeks would
be found, he could hardly need to distinguish them from any Pelasgi
connected with the Greeks, and we may assume it as most probable that
he meant thus to distinguish them from other Pelasgi out of Greece
rather than in Greece. At the same time, he may have had regard to
other Pelasgians of Pelasgic Argos. In that country, as we may conclude
with confidence from the appellation itself, they were known to form
the bulk of the population, and as we hear of no such Pelasgian mass
elsewhere in Homer, he may possibly have had them particularly in his
mind, when he described the Trojan Pelasgians as Pelasgians of Larissa.

Some light is also thrown upon the character and habits of nations
by the epithets attached to their places of abode. Homer mentions
Larissa but twice: once here, and once where he relates the death of
Hippothous, τῆλ’ ἀπὸ Λαρίσσης ἐριβώλακος (Il. xvii. 301). The fertility
of Larissa tends, as far as it goes, to mark the Pelasgi as a people of
cultivators, having settled habits of life.

There is some difficulty, however, connected with the particular sign
which Homer has employed to distinguish these Pelasgians. ‘Hippothous
led the Pelasgi, those Pelasgi, I mean, who inhabit productive
Larissa.’ From this it would appear that in the days of Homer, though
there were many Pelasgi in various places, there was but one Larissa.
And, accordingly, the name never appears within the Greece of Homer,
either in the Catalogue, or elsewhere. Yet tradition hands down to us
many Larissas, both in Greece and beyond it: and critics hold it to be
reasonably presumed, wherever we find a Larissa, that there Pelasgi had
been settled. But this name of Larissa apparently was not, and probably
could not have been, thus largely employed in Homer’s time; for if it
had been so, the poet’s use of the term Larissa would not have been
in this case what he meant it to be, namely, distinctive. Yet the
Pelasgians were even at that time apparently falling, or even fallen,
into decay. How then could they have built many new cities in the
subsequent ages? And, except in that way, how could the name Larissa
have revived, and acquired its peculiar significance?

In six places of the Iliad we hear of a particular part of the city of
Troy which was built upon a height, and in which the temple of Apollo
was situated (v. 446). This affords us an example of a separate name,
Πέργαμος, affixed to a separate part of a city, that part apparently
being the citadel. In like manner the citadel of Argos (which stood
upon an eminence) had, at a later date, a distinct name, which was
Larissa[145], and was said to have been derived from a daughter of
Pelasgus so called[146]. Now it may have been the general rule to
call the citadels of the Pelasgian towns Larissa. If so, then we can
readily understand that so long as the towns themselves, or rather, it
might be, the scattered hamlets, remained, the name of the citadels
would be rarely heard: but when the former fell into decay, the solid
masonry which the Pelasgi used for walls and for public buildings,
but which did not extend to private dwellings, would remain. Thus the
citadels would naturally retain their own old name, which had been
originally attached to them with reference to their fortifications.
This hypothesis will fully account for the absorption of the particular
and separate names of towns in the original and common name of their

Where an agricultural settlement was made upon ground, some particular
spot of which afforded easy means of fortification, convenience would
probably dictate the erection of a citadel for occasional retreat in
time of danger, without any attempt to gather closely into one place
and surround with walls the residences of the settlers: a measure
which, as entailing many disadvantages, was only likely to take place
under the pressure of strong necessity. Such I have presumed to have
been the ordinary history of the Pelasgian Larissas. That which, while
it flourished as a Pelasgian settlement, might be an Argos[147], would,
perhaps, after a conquest, and the changes consequent upon it, become
at last a Larissa.

But cases might arise in which the most fertile lands, lying entirely
open and level, would, on the one hand, offer peculiar temptations
to the spoiler, and, on the other, offer no scarped or elevated spot
suitable for a separate fortification. In such a case the name ἐριβώλαξ
would be best deserved, and in such a case too the probable result
would be, to build a walled town including all the habitations of the
colonists. This walled town would, for the very same reason as the
citadels elsewhere, be itself a Larissa: and thus this Pelasgian name
might be a distinctive one in the time of Homer, and yet might become a
common one afterwards.

All this corresponds with the general belief on the two points, (1)
that the Pelasgians dwelt, as in Attica, κωμηδὸν, and (2) that the
Larissas are Pelasgian.

But moreover it is supported by particular instances. Troy, for
example, had its Pergama on a lofty part of the site where it stood:
and from the epithets αἰπείνη, ὀφρυόεσσα, ἠνεμόεσσα, applied to the
name Ἴλιος but never to Τροίη (of course I mean when this latter word
is used for the city, the only class of cases in point), it may justly
be inferred that Ilus[148] built the Pergama when he migrated into the
plain. But the wall surrounding the entire city was only built in the
next generation, under King Laomedon, who employed Neptune and Apollo
for the purpose.

Another, and perhaps more marked instance, is to be found in the case
of Thebes. We know from Thucydides[149] that Bœotia was, from its
openness and fertility, more liable to revolutions from successive
occupancy than other parts of Greece. With this statement a passage
of the Odyssey[150] is in remarkable accordance. Homer tells us that
Amphion and Zethus, probably among the very earliest Hellic immigrants
into Middle Greece, first settled on the site of Thebes; and, he adds
specially, that they fortified it. But apparently it could not have
been the usual practice of the time to surround entire cities, at
least, with fortifications, because he goes on to assign the special
reason for its being done in this case, namely, that, even powerful as
they were, they could not hold that country, so open (εὐρύχορος, Od.
xi. 265) and rich, except with the aid of walls. This would appear to
be a case like the Λαρίσση ἐριβώλαξ of the seventeenth Iliad, and both
alike were probably exceptions to the general rule.

I have now done with the direct notices of the Pelasgi in Homer. But
we have still a considerable harvest of indirect notices to gather.
Particularly, in discussing the meaning of the name Ionians, we shall
hereafter find reason to suppose that Homer’s Athenians were Pelasgic:
and I propose here to refer to some similar indications with respect to
the Arcadians.

_The Arcadians in Homer._

Like the Pelasgians, the Arcadians are, as we have seen, happy in never
being mentioned without Homer’s commendation. In Il. ii. 611 they are
ἐπιστάμενοι πολεμίζειν. In Il. vii. 134 they are ἐγχεσίμωροι.

_The Arcadians Pelasgian._

In the Catalogue he also throws some light upon the habits of the
Arcadians: first, by describing them as heavy armed, ἀγχιμάχηται:
secondly, by stating that they had no care for maritime pursuits.
In both respects their relation to the Trojans is remarkable. With
the exception of the Arcadians, the epithet ἀγχιμάχηται is nowhere
used except for the substantive Δάρδανοι, and the position of the
Dardanians in Troas very much corresponded with that of the Arcadians
in Greece. Again, the Trojans, as we know, were so entirely destitute
of ships, that Paris had to build them by way of special undertaking.
These resemblances tend to suggest a further likeness. As the Trojans
appear to have been peculiarly given to the pursuits of peace, it is
reasonable to suppose the poet had the same idea of the Arcadians. The
ἀγχιμάχηται is connected with the habits of settled cultivators. A
peasantry furnishes heavy infantry, while light troops are best formed
from a population of less settled habits and ruder manners. And as the
use of ships had much less to do with regular commerce than with piracy
and war,[151] so the absence of maritime habits tends, for the heroic
age, to imply a pacific character. In those days the principal purpose
of easy locomotion was booty: and there was no easy locomotion for
bodies of men, except by ships. Though inclosed by hills, Arcadia was a
horse feeding[152], therefore relatively not a poor country. In later
times it was, next to Laconia[153], the most populous province of the
Peloponnesus; and even in Homer, although its political position was
evidently secondary, it supplied no less than sixty ships with large
crews to each[154]. All this is favourable to the tradition which gives
it a Pelasgian character.

Again, the Arcadians were commanded by Agapenor the son of Ancæus[155].
He would appear not to have been an indigenous sovereign. For we
learn from a speech of Nestor in the twenty-third Book[156], that
games were celebrated at the burial of Amarynceus by the Epeans, in
which he himself overcame in wrestling Ancæus the Pleuronian. Ancæus
therefore was not an Arcadian but an Ætolian: and his son Agapenor was
probably either the first Arcadian of his race, or else a stranger
appointed by Agamemnon to command the Arcadians in the Trojan war.
Their having ships from Agamemnon, and a chief either foreign or of
non-Arcadian extraction, are facts which tend to mark the Arcadians as
politically dependent, and therefore _pro tanto_ as Pelasgian: for it
cannot be doubted that whatever in Greece was Pelasgian at the epoch
of the _Troica_, was also subordinate to some race of higher and more
effective energies.

Again. It will hereafter (I think) be found that the institution of
all gymnastic and martial games was Hellenic and not Pelasgic[157].
In the passage last quoted there is a very remarkable statement, that
there were present at the games Epeans, Pylians, and Ætolians: that is
to say, all the neighbouring tribes, except the Arcadians. Thus we have
a strong presumption established that these games were not congenial
to Arcadian habits: and if the same can be shown from other sources
with respect to the Pelasgians, there is a strong presumption that the
Arcadians were themselves Pelasgian.

Once more. In the sixth book Nestor relates, that in his youth the
Pylians and Arcadians fought near the town of Pheiæ and the river
Iardanos. The Arcadians were commanded by Ereuthalion, who wore the
armour of Areithous. Areithous had met his death by stratagem from
Lycoorgos, who appropriated the armour, and bequeathed it to his
θεραπών, or companion in arms, Ereuthalion. Nestor, on the part of the
Pylians, encountered Ereuthalion, and by the aid of Minerva defeated

From this tale it would appear, first, that Lycoorgus was king of
Arcadia. His name savours of Pelasgian origin, from its relation to
Λυκαών of the later tradition respecting Arcadia, and to Lycaon son
of Priam, descended by the mother’s side from the Leleges; again, to
Lycaon the father of Pandarus; possibly also to the inhabitants of
Lycia. The allusion to his having succeeded by stratagem only, is very
pointed (148),

    τὸν Λυκόοργος ἔπεφνε δόλῳ, οὔτι κράτεΐ γε,

and the terms employed appear to indicate a military inferiority: which
accords with the probable relation of the Arcadians, as Pelasgi, to
their Hellenic neighbours. And this again corresponds with the close
of the story; in which Nestor, fighting on the part of the Pylians who
were Achæan, and therefore Hellenic, conquers the Arcadian chieftain
Ereuthalion (Il. vi. 132-56).

It may be remarked once for all, that this military inferiority is not
to be understood as if the Pelasgi were cowards, but simply as implying
that they gave way before tribes of more marked military genius or
habits than themselves; as at Hastings the Saxons did before the
Normans; or as the Russians did in the late war of 1854-6 before the
Western armies.

Lastly, the δῖος applied to Ereuthalion (Il. v. 319), accords with the
use of that epithet for the Pelasgi elsewhere.

Thus a number of indications from Homer, slight when taken separately,
but more considerable when combined, and drawn from _all_ the passages
in which Homer refers to Arcadia, converge upon the supposition that
the Arcadians were a Pelasgian people.

They are supported by the whole stream of later tradition; which placed
Lycaon, son of Pelasgus, in Arcadia, which uniformly represented the
Arcadians as autochthonic[158], and which made them competitors with
the Argives for the honour of having given to the Pelasgians their
original seat in the Peloponnesus.

Here too philology steps in, and lends us some small aid. The name
of Προσέληνοι, which the Arcadians took to themselves, and which is
assumed to mean older than the moon, appears, when so understood, to
express a very forced idea: it is difficult indeed to conceive how
such a name could even creep into use. But if we refer its origin to
πρὸ and Σελλοὶ or Σέλληνες, it then becomes the simple indication of
the historical fact we are looking for, namely, that they, a Pelasgic
population, occupied Arcadia before any of the Hellic or Sellic races
had come into the Peloponnesus.

From its rich pastures, Arcadia was originally well adapted for
Pelasgian inhabitants. Defended by mountains, it offered, as Attica
did through the poverty of its soil, an asylum to the refugees of that
race, when dispossessed from other still more fertile, and perhaps also
more accessible tracts of the Peloponnesus[159]. Hence it is easy to
account both for its original Pelasgian character, and for the long
retention of it.

We seem then to find the Arcadians of Homer (first) politically
dependent, and (secondly) commanded by a foreigner, but yet (thirdly)
valiant in war. It would thus appear that what they wanted was not
animal or even moral courage, but the political and governing element,
which is the main element in high martial talent. All this we shall
find, as we already have in some degree found, to be a Pelasgian
portraiture. And if it should seem to have been drawn with the aid of
conjecture, let it at any rate be observed that it is supported by
the Arcadian character in the historic ages. They appear from various
indications to have been for many generations the Swiss of Greece:
not producing great commanders, and obscure enough, until a very late
date, in the political annals of the country, but abounding in the
materials of a hardy soldiery, and taking service with this or that
section of the Greeks as chance might dictate. For in Xenophon they
boast that when any of the Greeks wanted auxiliaries (ἐπίκουροι) they
came to Arcadia to obtain them: that the Lacedæmonians took them into
company when they invaded Attica, and that the Thebans did the very
same when they invaded Lacedæmon[160]. And Thucydides tells us that,
in the Sicilian war, the Mantineans, with a portion of their brother
Arcadians, fought for hire with the Athenians on one side, while
another contingent from the very same State assisted the Corinthians,
who had come in force to aid in the defence of Syracuse against

_The Graians: the Pelasgians and Ceres._

Two other circumstances, slight in themselves, still remain for notice.

1. It was through the authority and practice of the Romans that the
name of Greeks or Graians came ultimately to supplant that of Hellenes.
Out of this fact, which is the most important piece of evidence in our
possession, arises the presumption, that as it was the Pelasgians who
may be said to have supplied the main link between Greece and Italy,
and between the Hellenic and the Roman language, the Graians could not
but have been a branch or portion of that people. Now we know that the
Pelasgians were cultivators of the plains. Bœotia is, as we have seen,
indicated by Thucydides[162] as the richest plain[163] of Greece, and
on that account among the parts most liable to the displacement of
their inhabitants. It was therefore probably a plain where the Pelasgi
would have settled early and in numbers: and it deserves notice, that
the Catalogue[164] placing the town of Graia in Bœotia, places it where
we naturally assume a large, though now, as in Thessaly, subordinate
Pelasgian population to have existed.

Nor is the passage in which Aristotle notices the Γραικοὶ adverse
to the belief that they were a Pelasgian race. He states that the
deluge of Deucalion was in the ancient Hellas: which is the country
reaching from Dodona to the Achelous (αὕτη δ’ ἐστὶν ἡ περὶ τὴν Δωδώνην
καὶ τὸν Ἀχελῷον). This may include either great part, or the whole,
of Thessaly: whether we understand it of the little and Thessalian
Achelous, near Lamia, which was within thirty _stadia_ of the
Spercheus[165]: or of the great Achelous, which skirted the western
border of that country, and whose line of tributaries was fed from the
slopes of Pindus. If we understand the Dodona of Epirus, this will give
a considerable range of country, all of it outside Thessaly. Aristotle
proceeds to say, that there dwelt the Selli, and those then called
Γραικοὶ but now Hellenes (καὶ οἱ καλούμενοι τότε μὲν Γραικοὶ νῦν δὲ
Ἕλληνες). Thus he describes as Γραικοὶ those who, together with the
Selli, were the inhabitants of the country that Homer calls Pelasgic
Argos: so that according to him the Γραικοὶ were not Sellic: and the
time, when they were thus neighbours of the Selli, was the pre-Hellenic
time. This is nearly equivalent to an assertion by Aristotle that the
Graians were Pelasgic, for we know of no other pre-Hellenic race in

2. In vv. 695, 6 we find that (Πύρασος) Pyrasus in Thessaly (probably
deriving its name from πυρὸς wheat, grain), is described as Δήμητρος
τέμενος: and it is the only ground consecrated to Ceres that Homer
mentions. It is material that this should be in Thessaly, the
especially Pelasgic country: for both slight notices in Homer, and
much of later tradition, connect the Pelasgi in a peculiar manner with
the worship of that deity. For example, Pausanias mentions a temple of
Δημήτηρ Πελασγὶς[167] at Corinth even in his own time. This connection
in its turn serves to confirm the character of the Pelasgi as a rural
and agricultural people.

So far as this part of the evidence of Homer is concerned, it goes to
this only, that with the aid of Hesiod it serves to exhibit Ceres in
direct relations with two countries; both with Thessaly, and, as will
now be shown, with Crete; in which also, as we know from Homer (brought
down by Hesiod to a later date), the Pelasgian name still remained when
it had apparently been submerged elsewhere in Greece; and in which
therefore it may be inferred that the Pelasgian element was more than
usually strong and durable.

In the fifth Odyssey[168] we are told that Ceres fell in love with a
son of Iasus (Iasion, in Hesiod Iasios), whom she met νειῷ ἐνὶ τριπόλῳ;
in what country Homer does not say, but Hesiod, repeating the story,
adds it was in Crete, Κρήτης ἐν πίονι δήμῳ[169]. Thus the double
connection is made good.

Over and above this, the name Iasus goes of itself to establish a
Pelasgian origin.

1. Because Ἴασον Ἄργος is an old name for the Peloponnesus, or else
a large portion of it; whereas the Hellenic name was, as we know,
Ἀχαικὸν Ἄργος. And the Ἰασίδαι reigned in Orchomenus[170] two or three
generations before the Neleids. This probably touches a period when
no Hellic tribes had, as far as we know, found their way into the
Peloponnesus[171], and when the dynasties even of the middle and north
were, as is probable, chiefly Pelasgian.

2. Because Ἴασος[172] was the name of one of the Athenian leaders, and
the Athenians were, as we shall find, manifestly Pelasgian. His father
Sphelus is also the son of Boucolus, a name which will be shown to be
of Pelasgic and not Hellenic character[173].

3. Because Dmetor the son of Iasus was the ruler of Cyprus at the
epoch of the Troica, and that island seems to have stood in an
anomalous relation of half-dependence to Agamemnon, which is best
capable of explanation if we suppose it to have been inhabited by a
population still retaining its Pelasgian character. To this question I
shall shortly have occasion to return in a more full consideration of
the case of Cyprus.

Of later tradition, there is abundance to connect Ceres with the
Pelasgians: their character as tillers of the soil, and hers as the
giver of grain: the worship of her at Eleusis, dating from time
immemorial, and purporting to be founded upon rites different from
those in vogue at a later epoch: this too taken in connection with the
Pelasgian origin of Athens, and its long retention of that character.
In the ancient hymn to Ceres, estranged from Jupiter and the other
gods, she comes to Eleusis, and there herself founds the worship; and
she announces in her tale that she was come from Crete:

    νῦν αὖτε Κρήτηθεν, ἐπ’ εὐρέα νῶτα θαλάσσης,
    ἤλυθον, οὐκ ἐθέλουσα[174].

I even venture to suggest it as possible that the existence of a
τέμενος (or land devoted to the service of any deity) at all, affords
a presumption of a Pelasgic population and institutions. For we find
only three other cases of such endowments: all in places strongly
marked with a Pelasgic character. One is that of the river Sperchius
in Thessaly: a second that of Venus in Cyprus; and the third that of
Jupiter in Gargarus[175].

_The Ionians._

The notices of the Ionians contained in Homer are faint and few: but
they are in entire contradiction with the prevailing tradition.

The word Ἰάονες occurs only once in the poems, where we find the five
contingents of Bœotians, Ionians, Locrians, Phthians, and Epeans,
united in resisting, but ineffectually, Hector’s attack upon the
ships. They are here termed ἑλκεχίτωνες[176], an epithet which is
unfortunately nowhere else employed by the poet. The order in which
they are named is,

  1. Bœotians,
  2. Ionians,
  3. Locrians,
  4. Phthians,
  5. Epeans.

A description thus commences in three parts, of which the first is

    οἱ μὲν Ἀθηναίων προλελεγμένοι· ἐν δ’ ἄρα τοῖσιν
    ἦρχ’ υἷος Πετεῶο, Μενεσθεύς· οἱ δ’ ἅμ’ ἕποντο
    Φείδας τε Στιχίος τε, Βίας τ’ ἐΰς·

The second describes the leaders of the Epeans: the third of the
Phthians, and these, it says, meaning apparently the Phthian force,
fought in conjunction with the Bœotians, μετὰ Βοιωτῶν ἐμάχοντο
(700). No Bœotian leaders are named: the absence of Oilean Ajax, who
officially led the Locrians, is immediately accounted for by saying
that he was with his inseparable friend, the Telamonian chief.

These Ἰάονες ἑλκεχίτωνες then were the προλελεγμένοι, a chosen band
of the Athenian force; or else they were the force composed of men
picked among the Athenians. But no distinguished quality or act of
war is recounted of the Athenians, either here or elsewhere in the
Iliad. They are simply called μηστῶρες ἀüτῆς,[177] but this is a mere
general epithet, has no reference to any particular conduct, and is not
sustained by any relation of their feats in arms. The five divisions
above named fight in order to be beaten by the Trojans: and we may be
sure that Homer does not produce the flower of the Greeks for such a
purpose. Nor has the Athenian chief Menestheus any distinction whatever
accorded to him, even in the much questioned passage of the Catalogue,
except that of being excellent at marshalling forces.

_The Athenians in the Catalogue._

The passage Il. ii. 546-56, describing the Athenians in the Catalogue,
is of so much historical interest through the various points it
involves, as to deserve a particular consideration, which it may
best receive in this place. Upon it depends some part of the Homeric
evidence relating to the signs of a Pelasgian origin.

Three lines of it must in any case be allowed to remain, in order to
describe the Athenian contingent and its commander.

    οἱ δ’ ἄρ’ Ἀθήνας εἶχον, ἐϋκτίμενον πτολίεθρον ... (v. 546.)

    τῶν αὖθ’ ἡγεμόνευ’ υἷος Πετεῶο Μενεσθεύς. (552.)

    τῷ δ’ ἅμα πεντήκοντα μέλαιναι νῆες ἕποντο. (556.)

To the supposition that this jejune _minimum_ represents the passage
in its original form, it is certainly an objection, that in no other
place of the whole Catalogue has Homer dispatched quite so drily and
summarily any important division of the force.

The remainder of the passage falls into three portions, of which the
first is separable from the two others, and the first with the second
is also separable from the third. They are as follows:

(1)--vv. 546-9.

    οἱ δ’ ἄρ’ Ἀθήνας εἶχον, ἐϋκτίμενον πτολίεθρον,
    δῆμον Ἐρεχθῆος μεγαλήτορος, ὅν ποτ’ Ἀθήνη
    θρέψε Διὸς θυγάτηρ, τέκε δὲ ζείδωρος Ἄρουρα,
    κὰδ δ’ ἐν Ἀθήνῃσ’ εἷσεν, ἑῷ ἐνὶ πίονι νηῷ.

There is a reading of Ἀθήνης for Ἀθηνῃσ’: it is disputed whether τέκε
applies to δῆμον or to Erechtheus; whether ἑῷ is to be understood of
Erechtheus or of Minerva; and again, what is the meaning of πίονι as
applied to νηῷ? The variety of lection is not material: the application
of τέκε is clearly to Erechtheus, as seems also that of ἑῷ to
Minerva[178]. Again, the application of the epithet πίονι to the temple
is perhaps sufficiently supported by Od. xii. 346, πίονα νηὸν, and Il.
v. 512, μάλα πίονος ἐξ ἀδύτοιο.

It does not appear that these lines, or the two which follow, were
rejected by the Alexandrian critics, but the Pseudo-Herodotus, in the
Life of Homer, c. 28, states that they were interpolated.

The objections from internal evidence are stated by Payne Knight[179].

1. That the Greeks had no temples at the time of the _Troica_.

2. That as Ἄρουρα is _superficies non orbis Terræ_, so it was not a
known personification at the time of Homer.

As to the first of these, we hear of Trojan temples in the Iliad;
probably also of the Greek temple of Apollo in Il. ix. 404; and of
Greek temples in the Odyssey, beyond all reasonable doubt. We hear
of Ætolian priests in Il. ix. 575; while it is not likely that there
should have been priests without temples.

Again, the circumstances of the Greeks in the Iliad were not such as to
lead to the mention of temples usually or frequently. Therefore this is
not a ground of suspicion against the passage.

As to the second objection, it should be borne in mind that the
Earth, Γαῖα, as well as Ἄρουρα, was apparently to Homer, not less
than to the other ancients, a surface, not a solid (κυκλοτερὴς ὡς ἀπὸ
τόρνου, Herod. iv. 36.) The objection really is, that Ἄρουρα means a
particular class of ground, namely, arable or cultivable land; and that
to personify this class of land by itself is artificial, far-fetched,
and not in the manner of Homer.

To me it appears clear that it would be unnatural for us, but very
doubtful whether it was so for Homer. We could not in poetry well
treat Corn-field or Garden as a person: but the corn-bearing Earth
(ζείδωρος Ἄρουρα) had for the Greeks in their early days a vividness of
meaning, which it has not for us. To us, to the modern European mind,
the gifts of Ceres are but one item in an interminable list of things
enjoyable and enjoyed: to man when yet youthful, while in his first
ruder contact with his mother Earth and the elements, while possessed
of few instruments and no resources, this idea was as determinate, as
it was likewise suggestive and poetical. The Latins have no word by
which to render the word Ἄρουρα in its full meaning, though _arvum_
must have been taken from it, or from the same root with it. It nearly
corresponds with the English ‘glebe’ in its proper use[180]. It
signifies not only corn land, but all productive land, for instance,
vine land, in Il. iii. 246. But to them, so pregnant was the idea,
that besides a crop of epithets such as πολύφορβος and τραφέρη, it
threw off its own inverted image in the epithet, habitual with Homer,
of ἀτρύγετος for θάλασσα, the un-cornbearing sea. Now when the idea
of corn land had been thus vividly conceived, the next step, that of
viewing Ἄρουρα as Γαῖα, was one not very hard to take. The objection
seems to arise out of our unconsciously reading Homer in the false
light of our own familiar associations.

His text affords evidence in support of these views. May it not be
said that the phrase πάτρις Ἄρουρα[181] for _patria_ shows us a great
step towards personification? In the Νεκυία (Od. xi. 489), ἐπάρουρος
is equivalent to ‘alive;’ compare Il. xvii. 447. Again, Ulysses,
the moment he escapes from the river mouth to the shore, kisses the
ζείδωρος Ἄρουρα[182] among the reeds: which seems to show an use of the
term nearly synonymous with Γαῖα or earth. And again, praying for the
glory of Alcinous[183], he says,

              τοῦ μέν κεν ἐπὶ ζείδωρον ἄρουραν
    ἄσβεστον κλέος εἴη.

The fame of Alcinous could not be confined to fields. So the setting
sun casts shadows on the ἐρίβωλος Ἄρουρα[184]. In both cases the
term so approximates to the meaning of Earth, doubtless by metonymy,
as to be indistinguishable from it. Again Il. iv. 174, σέο δ’ ὄστεα
πύσει Ἄρουρα. Surely the meaning here is Earth, for we are not to
suppose Homer meant to say the bodies of his warriors would lie on
the cultivable land only. But another passage brings us up to actual
personification, that respecting Otus and Ephialtes

    οὓς δὴ μηκίστους θρέψε ζείδωρος Ἄρουρα[185].

This objection to Ἄρουρα therefore will not hold good: and the passage
cannot be condemned upon internal evidence. It is referred to by Plato,
in the first Alcibiades[186].

(2)--Vss. 550, 1.

    ἐνθάδε μιν ταύροισι καὶ ἀρνείοις ἱλάονται
    κοῦροι Ἀθηναίων, περιτελλομένων ἐνιαυτῶν.

Some refer μιν to Minerva, and construe the passage with reference to
the Panathenaic celebration. When so interpreted, as it is contended,
the words betray a palpable anachronism.

Again it is alleged, (1) Homer does not in the Catalogue introduce
general descriptions of the religious rites of Greece, and it is
scarcely likely he should mention here a celebration, which he does not
report to have had anything peculiar in its character. (2) From xi.
729 it appears that cows were sacrificed to Minerva, not bulls: (3)
the tenour of the sentence directs us to Erechtheus, and it involves
worship offered to a local hero.

With respect to the Panathenaica, a difficulty would undoubtedly
arise, if we were obliged to suppose that it contained a reference to
gymnastic games, which we have every reason to treat as having borne in
the age of Homer a marked Hellenic character[187]. But the words imply
no such reference. They speak, at the most, of no more than periodical
sacrifices. This implies an established festival, and nothing beyond
it. Now such a signification raises no presumption whatever against
the genuineness of the passage: because we have one distinct and
unquestionable case in Homer of an established festival of a deity,
that namely of Apollo in the Odyssey. The day of the vengeance of
Ulysses was the ἑορτὴ τοῖο Θεοῖο ἁγνή[188].

So considering the passage, let us next examine the objection taken
to it, that it involves hero-worship[189], which was not known in the
Homeric age.

Now we have in the Odyssey, as well as here in the Iliad, cases of
mortals translated to heaven and to the company of immortals.

In the Odyssey we have, for example, the case of Castor and Pollux,
who enjoyed a peculiar privilege of life after death, and revisited
earth in some mysterious manner on alternate days[190]. And this, too,
although they were buried[191].

Their τίμη πρὸς Ζηνὸς was such that, as the passage in Od. xi. proceeds
to state, they vied with deities;

    τίμην δὲ λελόγχασ’ ἶσα θεοῖσιν.

This τίμη must have included honour paid on earth: to be in heaven,
unless in connection with earth and its inhabitants, was not of
itself a τίμη, much less was it the τίμη of the gods. The subject
of hero-worship will be further examined in a later portion of this
work: but for the present it appears sufficiently, that this comes
near to hero-worship. The passage about Erechtheus is no more than a
development of the expression relating to the Tyndarid brothers; and,
though by some steps in advance of it, can hardly be rejected on this
ground alone as spurious. All passages cannot be expected to express
with precisely the same degree of fulness the essential ideas on which
they are founded; and we are not entitled to cut off, on that ground
alone, the one which happens to be most in advance.

But although the application to Erechtheus might not convict the
passage, I very much question whether we ought so to apply it. It is
quite against the general bearing of the passage, which would much
more naturally refer it to Minerva. The reason for it is that cows or
heifers were offered to her, and not rams or bulls. No doubt, in the
particular cases mentioned to us, (Il. vi. 94, x. 292, xi. 729, and Od.
iii. 382,) cows or heifers only are spoken of. But in Od. iii. 145 we
are told that ἑκατομβαὶ were to be offered to her, which we can hardly
limit so rigidly: and considering that the cases of cows mentioned by
Homer are all special, while this passage speaks of what was ordinary
and periodical, I think we should pause before admitting that the
application of the lines to Minerva is on this ground indefensible.

The word περιτελλομένων[192] is taken to mean not annual revolutions,
but the revolutions of periods of years. I question the grounds of this
interpretation: but, if it could be established, it would certainly
rather weaken the passage; for Homer nowhere else mentions periodical
celebrations of any kind divided by any number of years, and I doubt
whether such an idea does not involve greater familiarity with
numerical combinations than the Poet seems to have possessed.

Leaving these two lines subject to some doubt, but by no means fully
convicted, let us proceed to the third and last of the contested
portions of the passage.

(3)--Vss. 553-5.

    τῷ δ’ οὔπω τις ὁμοῖος ἐπιχθόνιος γένετ’ ἄνηρ
    κοσμήσαι ἵππους τε καὶ ἀνέρας ἀσπιδιώτας·
    Νέστωρ οἶος ἔριζεν· ὁ γὰρ προγενέστερος ἦεν.

These lines were condemned by Zenodotus[193] upon the ground that we
have no other mention of these gifts of Menestheus, and no example of
his putting them in exercise. Mr. Payne Knight[194] also urges that
Menestheus, here so commended with respect to chariots as well as
infantry, does not even appear as a competitor in the chariot-race
at the funeral games of Patroclus, although, in order to enlarge the
competition, even the slow horses of Nestor are put in requisition.

The Scholiast answers, with regard to the first objection, and
Heyne[195] accepts the defence as sufficient, that other persons are
praised in the gross, of whom no details are given anywhere: as Machaon
is called ἀριστεύων in Il. xi. 506. But a mere general epithet is very
different from a set passage of three lines expressing extraordinary
preeminence in particular accomplishments.

Again, the word applied to Machaon is by no means one of abstract
panegyric, but is itself a description of the activity in the field by
which he was at the moment baffling the energies of Hector, and would,
says the Poet, have continued to baffle them, had not Paris wounded
him. Thus the word is not a vague epithet: the words παῦσεν ἀριστεύοντα
Μαχάονα simply mean, that the manful exertions of Machaon were arrested.

There is another objection to the passage in the rather inflated
character of its compliment to an undistinguished man. Even
Nestor[196], it says, did not beat him, but only (ἔριζεν) vied with
him: and this not as an abler, but only as an older, man.

On the other hand, some of the Scholiasts ingeniously suggest that
these verses are given to Menestheus by way of compensation; τοῦτο
χαρίζεται αὐτῷ, ἐπεὶ μὴ εὐδοκιμήσει ἐν ταῖς μάχαις[197]. But Homer
does not usually deal out compensation, among the Greeks, by abstract
praises, for the want of the honour earned by deeds: and all the other
martial eulogies on chiefs in the Catalogue are well borne out in the

On the whole, Mr. Payne Knight’s objection, and the judgment of the
Alexandrine Critics, seem to leave this part of the passage in a state
so questionable, that nothing ought to be rested on it. The best
point in its favour is, that the Athenian Legates before Gelon are
represented by Herodotus as confidently relying on it, when there would
have been an interest on his part in demurring to its authority, for
it was a question of military precedence that was at issue: τῶν καὶ
Ὅμηρος ὁ ἐποποιὸς ἄνδρα ἄριστον ἔφησε εἰς Ἴλιον ἀπικέσθαι, τάξαι τε καὶ
διακοσμῆσαι στράτον[198].

On the other hand, it may be observed with justice that the compliment
here paid to Menestheus is the very best of which the case admitted;
perhaps the only one that an interpolator would have been safe in
selecting. For he would have known that any panegyric relating to
strength or prowess in action would be conclusively belied by the rest
of the poem in its entire tenour.

But while we cannot confidently rely upon these three lines, there
appears to be no reason why we should not use the evidence supplied
by the rest of the passage as most probably good historic matter. It
undoubtedly represents a strong course of old local tradition[199]:
for there was in Athens a most ancient temple dedicated to Minerva and
Erechtheus in conjunction.

_Review of the Homeric evidence._

The Homeric evidence then up to this point stands as follows with
reference to Athens and the Athenian contingent, or the principal and
picked men of it, whichever be the best term for the passage. They were

1. Ionians, Il. xiii. 685.

2. ἑλκεχίτωνες, ibid.

3. Autochthonous, Il. ii. 547.

4. Undistinguished in the war.

5. Under the special patronage of Pallas or Minerva, Il. ii. 546, and
Od. xi. 323, where the epithet ἱεράων, given to Athens, indicates a
special relation to a deity.

The epithet ἑλκεχίτωνες suggests unwarlike habits, and, though
more faintly, it also betokens textile industry. It stands in
marked contrast with the ἀμιτροχίτωνες[200] of the valiant Lycians,
whose short and spare tunic required no cincture to confine it. It
corroborates the negative evidence afforded by the Iliad of some want
of martial genius in the primitive Athens. It coincides with the
tutelage of Pallas, for the Minerva of Homer has no more indisputable
function than as the goddess of skilled industry[201]. All this tends
to betoken that the inhabitants of the Homeric Attica were Pelasgian.

Again, the autochthonic origin, ascribed to the Athenians in the person
of Erechtheus, amounts to an assertion that they were the first known
inhabitants of the country: in other words, that they were Pelasgian.

The negative evidence is also important. There is nothing in Homer that
tends to associate Athens with the Hellenic stem. The want of military
distinction deserves a fuller notice.

It can hardly be without meaning, that of all the chiefs, considerable
in the Iliad by their positions and commands, there are but two who are
never named as in actual fight, or with any other mark of distinction,
and these two are the heads of the two (as we suppose) emphatically
Pelasgian contingents, from Athens and Arcadia respectively. Agapenor,
who (being however of Ætolian extraction) leads the Arcadians, is named
nowhere but in the Catalogue: Menestheus is repeatedly named, but never
with reference to fighting. In the only part of the action of the poem
where he is put forward, he shudders[202], and shows an anxiety for his
personal safety, much more like a Trojan leader than a Greek one. Yet
they were sole commanders, the first of no less than sixty ships, the
second of fifty. There are no similar cases. The nearest to them are
those (1) of Prothous[203], who commands 40 ships of the Magnesians,
and Gourieus[204], who leads 22 of the Enienes and Perrhæbi: both of
these are remote, Thessalian, and very probably Pelasgian tribes: (2)
of Podarkes, who commands 40 ships, but only as deputy for his deceased
brother Protesilaus, who is said to have been not only the elder, but
the more valiant[205].

Agapenor, indeed, was evidently dependent in a peculiar sense on
Agamemnon, in whose ships he sailed: but this could not affect his
position as to personal prowess. The case of Menestheus is the more
remarkable from this circumstance, that he is the only independent
and single commander in charge of so many as fifty ships, who is not
invested with the supreme rank of Βασιλεὺς or King. His father Peteos
is however called Διοτρεφὴς Βασιλεὺς (Il. iv. 338), which marks him as
having probably been a person of greater importance.

And what is true of the commanders is true also of the troops.
Athens, and with her Arcadia, may justly be regarded as the only two
undistinguished in Homer among those states of Greece which afterwards
attained to distinction. For among the States which acquired fame in
the historic ages, Argolis, Achaia, and Laconia hold through their
chiefs very high places in the poem: Elis and Bœotia are conspicuous
in the anterior traditions which it enshrines. Only Attica and Arcadia
fail in exhibiting to us signs of early pre-eminence in the arts of
war: which in a marked manner confirms the suppositions we have already
obtained, as to the Pelasgian character of their inhabitants.

A sign, though a more uncertain one, that points in the same
direction, is afforded by the choice of Athens, on the part of
Orestes[206], as his place of habitation during the tyranny of
Ægisthus in Mycenæ. The displaced, if they do not fly to the strong
for protection, go among those who are weaker, and where they may most
easily hold their ground, or even acquire power afresh. In other words,
in the case before us, an Hellenic exile would very naturally betake
himself among a Pelasgian people.

While however the indications of a predominating Pelasgian character
among the Athenians at the epoch of the _Troica_ appear to be varied
and powerful, I must admit that they are crossed by one indication,
which is at first sight of an opposite character, I mean that which is
afforded by their name. Even though we were to surrender the entire
passages in the Catalogue respecting them, it would still be difficult
to contend that the name of Athens and of Athenians is forged in six
other places of the poems where one or the other of them is found,
besides that there is a second allusion to Erechtheus in the Odyssey.
Here we have then, attached to a people whom we suppose Pelasgian, a
name connecting them immediately with a deity commonly reputed to be
of strong Hellic propensities: connecting them, indeed, in a manner
so special as to be exclusive, because no other city or population in
Homer takes its name from a deity at all. This indicates a relation of
the closest description: and it is quite independent of the suspected
passage, which represents Minerva as the nurse or foster-mother of

_Athenian relations with Minerva._

Now it will be found, upon close examination, that Minerva plays a
very different part in the Iliad from Juno, the great protectress
of the Greeks, and from Neptune, their actual comrade in fight. The
difference even at first sight is this, that theirs appears to be
a national, hers more a personal and moral sentiment. In Juno, it
is sympathy with the Greeks as Greeks; in Neptune, antipathy to the
Trojans as Trojans: but both cases are plainly distinguishable from the
temper and attitude of Minerva.

Her protection of Ulysses, whose character is the human counterpart
of her own, is the basis of the whole theurgy of the Odyssey, and is
also strongly marked in the Δολώνεια. Again, she comes, in the first
book[207], at the instance of Juno, to restrain and guide Achilles:
for Juno, it is stated, loved both Agamemnon and Achilles alike; which
may imply, that this was not the exact case with Minerva. So again,
she inspires Diomed[208] for the work of his ἀριστεῖα, with a view to
his personal distinction[209]. On each of the two occasions when the
two goddesses come down together from heaven, it is Juno that makes
the proposal. When Minerva prompts Pandarus to treachery, it is by
the injunction of Jupiter, issued on the suggestion of Juno[210]. In
the seventh book, however, she descends of herself on seeing that the
Greeks lose ground, tells Apollo that she was come, as he was, with
the intention to stay the battle[211], and the result of their counsel
is one of the single fights (that between Hector and Ajax), which were
sure to issue in glory to the Greek heroes. Still she has not the rabid
virulence against Troy which distinguishes Juno, which makes her exact
the decision for its destruction in the Olympian assembly, and which
leads Jupiter to say to her sarcastically, that if she could but
eat Priam and his children and subjects raw, then her anger would be

In fact, Juno has all the marks of a deity entirely Hellic: both in the
passionate character of her attachment, and in the absence of all signs
whatever of any practical relation between her and the Trojan people.

It is not so with Pallas. Pitilessly opposed to the Trojans in the
war, she is nowhere so identified with the Greeks as to exhibit her
in the light of one of those deities, whose influence or sympathies
were confined to any one place or nation. Her enmity to Troy is
mythologically founded on the Judgment of Paris[212]: but it has a more
substantive ethical ground in the nature of the quarrel between the two

Unlike Juno and Neptune, she was regularly worshipped at Troy, where
she had a priestess of high rank, and a temple placed, like that of
Apollo, on the height of Pergamus.

Distinct proof, however, that Minerva was neither originally at war
with the Trojans, nor unknown to them by her beneficial influences, is
afforded by the case of Phereclus son of Harmonides, the carpenter;
this Phereclus was the builder of the ships of Paris, and was a highly
skilled workman[213] by her favour,

    ἐξόχα γάρ μιν ἐφίλατο Πάλλας Ἀθήνη.

The name of Harmonides may be fictitious; but the relation to Pallas
deserves remark, if we assume Troy to have been fundamentally
Pelasgian; and it affords a strong presumption, that there was nothing
in the character of Minerva to prevent her being propitious to a
Pelasgian country. Her attributes as the goddess of industry, or more
strictly, in our phrase, of manufacture, were indeed in no special
harmony with the character of the Pelasgians, as she had nothing to do
with works of agriculture: but neither was there any antagonism between

There is also something that deserves notice in the speech in which
Minerva expresses to Juno her resentment at the restraint put upon
her by Jupiter. She accuses him of forgetting the services she had
so often rendered to Hercules when he was oppressed by the labours
that Eurystheus had laid upon him, and declares that it was she who
effected his escape from Hades[214]. Now this has all the appearance of
being the fabulous dress of the old tradition, which reports that the
children of Hercules had taken refuge in Attica, and had been harboured
there; that Eurystheus invaded the country in consequence of the
protection thus given, and that he was slain while upon the expedition.
It seems therefore possible, that this reception of the Heraclids may
have had something to do with the special relation, at the epoch of
the _Troica_, between Athens and Minerva as its tutelary goddess? In
connection with Hercules personally, the Iliad affords us another mark
that friendly relations might subsist between Troy and Pallas. She, in
conjunction with them,

    Τρῶες καὶ Πάλλας Ἀθήνη[215],

erected the rampart in which Hercules took refuge from the pursuing

But the full answer to the objection is of a wider scope, and is to
be found in the general character of this deity, which did not, like
inferior conceptions, admit of being circumscribed by the limits of a
particular district or people.

It will hereafter be shewn, that, like Latona and Apollo in
particular, Minerva in Pagan fiction represents a disguised and
solitary fragment of the true primeval tradition[216]. All such
deities we may expect to find, and we do find, transmitted from the
old Pelasgians into the mythologies both of Greece and Rome, or those
common to Pelasgian and Hellene. We expect to find, and we do find,
them worshipped both among the Greeks and among the Trojans as gods,
not of this or that nation, but of the great human family. In theory,
exclusive regard to the one side or the other comports far better with
the idea of such deities as represent unruly passions or propensities
of our nature like Mars and Venus, or Mercury; or chief physical forces
like Neptune; or such as, like Juno, are the sheer product of human
imagination reflected upon the world above, and have no relation to any
element or part of a true theology. But the Homeric Jupiter, in so far
as he is a representative of supreme power and unity, and the Pallas
and Apollo of the poems by a certain moral elevation, and by various
incidents of their birth or attributes, show a nobler parentage[217].

In the capacity of a traditive deity, Minerva is with perfect
consistency worshipped alike among Trojans and Greeks, Hellenic and
Pelasgian tribes. There is nothing strange, then, in our finding her
the patroness of a Pelasgian people. The only strangeness is her being
(if so she was) more specially their patroness than of any other
people. The very fact that, for the purposes of the war, Homer gives
her to the Greeks, might perhaps have prepared us to expect that we
should find her special domicile among the Hellic portions of that
nation: but it supplies no absolute and conclusive reason for such
a domicile. But I close the discussion with these observations. In
the first place, the Pelasgian character of the Athenians in early
times is established by evidence too strong to be countervailed by
any such inference as we should be warranted in drawing to a contrary
effect from the special connection with Minerva. Again, it may be that
the connection of both with Hercules may contain a solution of the
difficulty. But lastly, if, as we shall find reason to believe, the
traditive deities were the principal gods of ancient Greece, and if the
entrance of the Hellic tribes brought in many new claimants upon the
divine honours, it may after all seem not unreasonable that we should
find, in one of the most purely Pelasgian States, the worship of this
great traditive deity less obscured than elsewhere by competition with
that of the invaders, and consequently in more peculiar and conspicuous

An examination of the etymology of certain names in Homer will
hereafter, I trust, confirm these reasonings on the Athens of
the heroic age: with this exception, we may now bid adieu to the
investigation of the Homeric evidence of Pelasgianism in Attica.

_Post-Homeric evidence._

That evidence certainly receives much confirmation, positive and
negative, from without. In the first place, though Hesiod supplies us
with an Hellen, and with a Dorus and Æolus among his sons, he says not
a word of an Ion; and the tradition connecting Ion with Hellen through
Xuthus is of later date: probably later than Euripides, who makes
Ion only the adopted son of Xuthus an Achæan[218], and the real son
of Creusa, an Erectheid; with Apollo, a Hellic, but also a Pelasgian
deity, for his father. Again, in the legendary times we do not hear of
the Athenians as invaders and conquerors, which was the character of
the Hellic tribes, but usually as themselves invaded; for example, by
Eurystheus from the Peloponnesus.

In ancient tradition generally, the Athenians appear on the defensive
against Bœotians[219], Cretans, or others. And the reputed Pylian and
Neleid descent of the Pisistratid family is a curious illustration of
the manner in which Attica was reported to have imported from abroad
the most energetic elements of her own population[220], and also of the
(so to speak) natural predominance of Hellic over Pelasgic blood.

Thucydides[221] informs us, that the Athenians were first among the
Greeks to lay aside the custom of bearing arms, and to cultivate ease
and luxury. Of this we have perhaps already had an indication in the
words ἑλκεχίτωνες.

He also states that, on account of the indifferent soil[222], which
offered no temptation comparable to those supplied by the more fertile
portions of Greece, there was no ejection of the inhabitants from
Attica by stronger claimants. Τὴν γοῦν Ἀττικὴν, ἐκ τοῦ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον διὰ
τὸ λεπτογέων ἀστασίαστον οὖσαν, ἄνθρωποι ᾤκουν οἱ αὐτοὶ ἀεί. This is
simply stating in another form what was usually expressed by declaring
them autochthons. It is part of their Pelasgian title.

A remarkable passage in Herodotus covers the whole breadth of the
ground that has here been taken; and it is important, because no doubt
it expresses what that author considered to be the best of the current
traditions, founded in notoriety, and what Crœsus likewise learned
upon a formal inquiry, undertaken with a view to alliances in Greece,
respecting the origin of the Athenians. Herodotus, like Homer, makes
the Athenians Ionian; and in conformity with the construction here
put upon Homer, he declares the Ionians not to be Hellenic, but to be
Pelasgian[223]. The Attic people, he goes on to say, having once been
Pelasgian became Hellenic[224]. According to some opinions[225], this
change occurred when the Ionians came into Attica: but the evidence
of Homer, I think, makes Athens Ionian at the same epoch when it
is Pelasgian. I therefore construe the statement of Herodotus as
signifying that the Athenians, in the course of time, received among
themselves Hellenic immigrants from the more disturbed and changeful
parts of Greece, and these immigrants impressed on Attica, as they had
done on other states[226], the Hellenic character and name; only with
the difference that, instead of a conflict, and the subjugation of
the original inhabitants, there came a process of more harmonious and
genial absorption, and in consequence, a development of Greek character
even more remarkable for its fulness than in any other Grecian race.
Even in the case of Attica, however, the Hellenic character was not
finally assumed without a collision, though perhaps a local and partial
one only, which ended in the ejectment of the Pelasgians. This conflict
is reported to us by Herodotus from Hecatæus[227], and if we find that
in it, according to the Athenian version of the story, the Pelasgians
were the wrong-doers, it is probably upon the ground that the winner
is always in the right: and the Athenians had the more need of a case,
because their policy demanded a justification, when, under Miltiades,
they followed the Pelasgians to Lemnos, and again subdued them there.
Each version of the Attican quarrel contains indications of being
related to the truth of the case: for the Pelasgians are made to
declare, that the Athenians drove them out from the soil of which they
were the prior occupants, and which they cultivated so carefully as to
arouse their envy, while the Athenians alleged that when, before the
days of slavery, their children went to draw water at the Nine-Springs
(Ἐννεάκρουνοι), the Pelasgians of the district insulted them. What more
likely than that, when the Hellenic part of the population was coercing
the other portion of it into servitude, their resentment should
occasionally find vent in rustic insolence to boys and maidens?

The doctrine thus propagated by Herodotus concerning Attica is even
more strongly represented in Strabo as respects its Ionian character.
Τὴν μὲν Ἰάδα τῇ παλαίᾳ Ἀτθίδι τὴν αὐτὴν φαμέν· καὶ γὰρ Ἴωνες ἐκαλοῦντο
οἱ τότε Ἀττικοὶ, καὶ ἐκεῖθεν εἰσιν οἱ τὴν Ἀσίαν ἐποικήσαντες Ἴωνες,
καὶ χρησάμενοι τῇ νῦν λεγομένῃ γλώττῃ Ἰάδι[228]. The poverty of their
soil kept them, he adds, apart as of a different race (ἔθνος), and of a
different speech (γλώττη).

And thus again Herodotus reports that the same letter which the Dorians
called San, the Ionians called Sigma. Is not this more than a dialectic
difference, and does it not indicate a deeper distinction of race?[229]

The connection of the Pelasgians with ancient Attica will receive
further illustration from our inquiry hereafter into the general
evidence of the later tradition respecting that race.


_Egypt and the Pelasgians._

If we are to venture yet one step further back, and ask to what
extraneous race and country do the Pelasgic ages of Greece appear
particularly to refer us as their type, the answer, as it would seem,
though it can only be given with reserve, must be, that Egypt and its
people appear most nearly to supply the pattern. A variety of notes,
indicative of affinity, are traceable at a variety of points where we
find reason to suspect a Pelasgian character: particularly in Troy,
and in the early Roman history, more or less in Hesiod and his school,
and in certain parts of Greece. Many of these notes, and likewise the
general character that they indicate, appear to belong to Egypt also.

The direct signs of connection between Egypt and Greece are far less
palpable in Homer, than between Greece and Phœnicia. We have no account
from him of Egyptians settled among the Greeks, or of Greeks among
the Egyptians. The evidence of a trading intercourse between the two
countries is confined to the case of the pseudo-Ulysses, who ventures
thither from Crete under circumstances[230] which seem to show that
it was hardly within the ordinary circle of Greek communications.
He arrives indeed in five days, by the aid of a steady north-west
wind: but a voyage of five days[231] across the open sea, which
might be indefinitely prolonged by variation or want of wind, was
highly formidable to a people whose only safety during their maritime
enterprises lay in the power of hauling up their vessels whenever
needful upon a beach. It was near twice the length of the voyage
to Troy[232]. Hence we find that Menelaus was carried to Egypt not
voluntarily, but by stress of weather: and Nestor speaks with horror of
his crossing such an expanse, a passage that even the birds make but
once a year[233]. If this be deemed inconsistent with the five days’
passage, yet even inconsistency on this point in Homer would be a proof
that the voyage to Egypt was in his time rare, strange, and mysterious
to his countrymen, and so was dealt with freely by him as lying beyond
experience and measurement.

There is nothing in Homer absolutely to contradict the opinion that
Danaus was Egyptian; but neither is there anything which suffices
conclusively to establish it. And if he considered the Egyptians to
approach to the Pelasgian type, this may cast some slight doubt on
the Egyptian origin of Danaus. The Poet certainly would not choose a
Pelasgian name, unless fully naturalized, for one of the characteristic
national designations of the Achæans. But he is too good a Greek to
give us particular information about any foreign eminence within his
fatherland. It seems, however, possible that in the name ἀπίη, given
to Peloponnesus, there may lie a relation to the Egyptian Apis. Apis
was the first of the four divine bulls of Egypt[234]; and the ox was
the symbol of agriculture which, according to the tradition conveyed by
Æschylus[235], Danaus introduced into the Peloponnesus.

The paucity of intercourse however between Greece and Egypt in the time
of Homer does not put a negative on the supposition that there may have
been early migration from the latter country to the former.

It has been questioned how far the ancient Egyptians were conversant
with the art of navigation. The affirmative is fully argued by Mr.
M’Culloch[236] in his commentaries on Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.
But it is plain that the Egyptians were not known to Homer as a
nautical people. Not only do we never on any occasion hear of them
in connection with the use of ships, but we hear of the plunder of
their coast by pirates, when they confined themselves to resistance by
land. This want of nautical genius agrees with all that we learn of
them in Holy Scripture. And it places them in marked resemblance to
the Pelasgian races generally: to the Arcadians[237]; to the Trojans;
to the early Romans, who paid no serious attention to the creation of
a fleet until the second Samnite War B.C. 311, or, as Niebuhr thinks,
then only first had a fleet at all[238]: and again, to the landsmanlike
spirit of Hesiod, who calls himself

    οὔτε τι ναυτιλίης σεσοφισμένος, οὔτε τι νηῶν,

limits it entirely to a certain season, never was at sea except
crossing from Aulis to Eubœa, and considers the whole business of going
to sea one that had better be avoided[239].

That with Homer the fabulous element enters into his view of the
Egyptians seems plain, from his calling them the race of Paieon, in the
same way as he calls the Phæacians the race of Neptune: and in some
degree also from the place which he gives them in the wanderings of
Menelaus, since they lay, like those of Ulysses, in the exterior and
unascertained sphere of geography.

Proteus is called Αἰγύπτιος, but in all probability the meaning
is Proteus of the Nile, which is the proper Αἴγυπτος in the
masculine gender; while the country, derivatively called from it
as the γῆ Αἴγυπτος, takes the feminine. We shall hereafter see how
Proteus belongs to the circle of nautical and therefore Phœnician
tradition[240]. That deity has upon him all the marks of the outer
and non-Grecian world. He is no less an admirable type of the πρωκτής,
than a regular servant of Neptune, Ποσειδάωνος ὑποδμώς (Od. iv. 386).
This connection with Neptune by no means makes him Greek: Neptune was
the god of the θάλασσα, which extended beyond the circle of Greek
experience, even to the borders of Ocean. We see set upon the whole of
this adventure the same singular religious token as upon the remote
adventures of Ulysses, namely this, that Menelaus passes beyond the
ordinary charge of the Hellenic deities. The means of deliverance
are pointed out to him, not by Minerva, but by Eidothea, daughter of
Proteus himself, whose name, function, and relationship alike remind
us that it was Ino Leucothea, daughter of the Phœnician Cadmus,
who appeared to Ulysses for his deliverance, in a nearly similar
border-zone of the marine territory lying between the world of fable
and the world of experience; for the position of Egypt was in this
respect like that of Phæacia. It would seem, then, as if Homer himself
knew Egypt mainly through a Phœnician medium.

Of the Phœnician intercourse with that country we may safely rest
assured, from their proximity, from their resort thither mentioned in
Homer[241], and from the traces they left in Egypt itself.

It seems a probable conjecture that they had from a very early date a
colony or factory in Egypt, by which they carried on their commerce
with it. In the time of Herodotus, there was at Memphis a large and
well-cared-for τέμενος or demesne of Proteus, whom the priests reported
to be the successor of Sesostris on the Egyptian throne. This demesne
was surrounded by the habitations of the ‘Tyrian Phœnices,’ and the
whole plain in which it stood was called the Τυρίων στρατόπεδον.
There is another tradition in Herodotus, according to which the
Phœnicians furnished Egypt with the fleet, which in the time of Necho
circumnavigated Africa[242].

Homer affords us little or no direct evidence of a connection between
the religion of Greece and an Egyptian origin, to which Herodotus
conceived it to be referable; but yet it may very well be the case,
that Egypt was the fountain-head of many traditions which were carried
by the Phœnicians into Greece. In Homer, for example, we find marks
that seem to connect Dionysus with Phœnicia: but the Phœnicians
may have become acquainted with him in Egypt, where Diodorus[243]
reports that Osiris was held to be his original. There are two marks,
however, of Egyptian influence, which seem to be more deeply traced.
One is the extraordinary sacredness attached to the oxen of the Sun.
The other, the apparent relation between the Egyptian Neith and the
Athene of Attica, taken in conjunction with the Pelasgian character
of the district[244]. But certainly our positive information from
Homer respecting the Egyptians may be summed up in very brief compass.
They would appear to have been peaceful, rich, and prosperous: highly
skilled in agriculture, and also in medicine, if we are not rather
to understand by this that they knew the use of opium, which might
readily draw fervid eulogiums from a race not instructed in its
properties. But the testimony to their agricultural excellence cannot
be mistaken. Twice their fields are mentioned, and both times as
περικάλλεες ἀγροί: in exact correspondence with the tradition which we
find subsisting in Attica respecting those fields which were tilled by
the Pelasgians[245]. And this case of the Egyptians is the only one
throughout the Poems in which Homer bestows commendation upon tillage.
Again, they fought bravely when attacked[246]. We find also the name
Ægyptius naturalized in Ithaca. Lastly, they appear to have been
hospitable to strangers, and placable to enemies[247]. This is a faint
outline: but all its features appear to be in harmony with those of the
Pelasgian race.

It is worthy of remark, that the Lotophagi visited by Ulysses
correspond very much with the Egyptians, such as Homer conceived them.
Locally, they belonged to the Egyptian quarter of the globe: they
received the companions of Ulysses with kindness[248]; and they gave
them to eat of the lotus, which appears in its essential and remarkable
properties exactly to correspond with the νήπενθες[249] that Helen
had obtained from Egypt. As every figure of the Phœnician traditions,
except perhaps Æolus, is essentially either hard, or cruel, or
deceitful, even so, whether on account of neighbourhood or otherwise,
it seems to have been the poet’s intention to impress the less
energetic but more kindly character of the Egyptians on this particular
people, which perhaps he conceived to be allied to them.

There is indeed one suggestive passage of the Odyssey from which it is
open to us to conjecture that there was more of substantive relation
between Greece and Egypt than Homer’s purpose as a national poet led
him fully to disclose. Menelaus, when he returns to Egypt after hearing
from Proteus of the death of Agamemnon, raises in Egypt a mound in
honour of his brother[250], ἵν’ ἄσβεστον κλέος εἴη. But this mound
could not contribute to the glory of the slain king, unless Greece and
its inhabitants were tolerably well known in Egypt.

Upon the whole, the evidence of the Homeric poems does not correspond
with those later traditions which refer principally to Egypt as the
origin of what is Greek. In considering this subject, we ought indeed
to bear in mind Homer’s systematic silence as to the channels by
which foreign influences found their way into Greece. For it throws
us entirely upon such indirect evidence as he may (so to speak)
involuntarily afford. And we must also recollect firstly that the
Egyptian influence, whatever it may have been, may perhaps have
operated more in the Pelasgian period, than in that Achæan age to which
the representations of Homer belong. Secondly, that much may have
reached Greece, as to religion or otherwise, in a Phœnician dress,
which the Phœnicians themselves may have derived from Egypt.

There are other features, well known from all history to be Egyptian,
though not traced for them by the hand of Homer, which tend strongly
to confirm their relationship to the Pelasgian race, partly as it is
delineated in the Homeric outlines, and partly as it is known from
later tradition. One of these points is the comparatively hard and
unimaginative character of its mythology, conforming to that of the
race. It is interesting to notice how the Greeks, with their fine sense
of beauty, got rid at once, in whatever they derived from Egypt, of the
mythological deformities of gods incarnate in beasts, and threw them
into the shapes of more graceful fable.

A second point of Pelasgian resemblance is the strong ritual and
sacerdotal development of religion. A third is the want of the
political energies which build and maintain extensive Empire. With
all its wealth, and its early civilization, this opulent state could
never make acquisitions beyond its own border, and has usually been
in subordination to some more masculine Power. A fourth is, the early
use of solid masonry in public edifices. The remains in Greece and
Italy which are referred to the Pelasgians are indeed of much smaller
dimensions than those of Egypt: but the Pelasgians of these countries,
so far as we know, had not time to attain any higher political
organization than that of small communities, with comparatively
contracted means of commanding labour. A fifth is their wealth itself,
which causes Egyptian Thebes to be celebrated both in the Iliad and in
the Odyssey, perhaps the only case in which the poet has thus repeated
himself, Il. ix. 381, and Od. iv. 126.

Lastly, the reputed derivation of the oracle at Dodona from Egypt
harmonises with the Pelasgian character assigned to that seat
of worship by Homer. The tradition to this effect reported by
Herodotus[251] was Greek, and not Egyptian: it was obtained by him on
the spot: and if Homer’s countrymen partook of the poet’s reserve,
and his dislike of assigning a foreign source to anything established
in Greece, a presumption arises that this particular statement would
not have been made, had it not rested on a respectable course of
traditionary authority.

_Silence of the Iliad._

It may however be asked, if the Pelasgians are to be regarded as
Greeks, and as the base of the Greek nation, and if Homer was familiar
with their name and position in that character, how happens it that he
never calls the Greeks Pelasgians, as he calls them Danaans, Argeians,
and Achæans, and never even gives us in the Iliad a Pelasgian race or
tribe by name as numbered among the Greeks?

Now it is not a sufficient answer to say, that the Pelasgian race and
name were falling under eclipse in the age of Homer; for we shall
see reason hereafter to suppose that the appellations of Danaan and
Argeian were likewise (so to speak) preterite, though not yet obsolete,
appellations; still Homer employs them freely.

Their case is essentially different, however, as we shall find, from
that of the Pelasgians, since those two names do not imply either any
blood different from that of the Achæan or properly Greek body, or any
particular race which had supplied an element in its composition: one
of these the Pelasgian name certainly does imply. Those names too,
without doubt, would not be used, unless they shed glory on the Greeks:
the Pelasgian name could have no such treasure to dispense.

It should, however, here be observed, that an examination presently
to be made of the force of the Argeian name will help us to account
for the disappearance from Greece of the Pelasgian name, which it may
perhaps have supplanted.

Let me observe, that if the Pelasgians did, in point of fact, supply
an element to the Greek nationality, which had, while still remaining
perceptibly distinct, become politically subordinate in Homer’s time,
that is precisely the case in which he would be sure not to apply the
name to the Greeks at large, nor to any Greek state, as its application
could not under such circumstances be popular. His non-employment of
it, therefore, for Greeks is _pro tanto_ a confirmation to the general
argument of these pages.

If, again, there were a distinct people of Pelasgians among the Trojan
auxiliaries, and on the Greek side a large but subordinate Pelasgic
element, this would be ample reason both for his naming the Pelasgic
allies of the Trojans, with a view to the truth of his recital, and for
his not using the Pelasgic name in connection with the Greeks; for in
no instance has he placed branches of the same race or tribe on both
sides in the struggle. Glaucus and Sarpedon, the transplanted Æolids,
cannot be considered as exceptions, first, from the old date of their
Greek extraction: and secondly, because they are individuals, whereas
we now speak of tribes and races. The name, too, was more suited to the
unmixed Pelasgians of the Trojan alliance, than to a people, among whom
it had grown pale beneath the greater splendour of famous dynasties and
of more energetic tribes.

The application of this reasoning to the Pelasgi is fortified by its
being applicable to other Homeric names.

_Thraces and Threicii._

It can hardly be doubted that the name Θρῇξ is akin to Τραχὶν and
τρῆχυς[252], that it means a highlander, or inhabitant of a rough
and mountainous country, and that it included the inhabitants of
territories clearly Greek. This extended signification of the term
explains the assertion of Herodotus[253], that the Thracians were the
most numerous of all nations, after the Indians.

Now Homer makes Thamyris the Bard a Thracian; yet it is clear from his
having to do with the Muses, and from the geographical points with
which Homer connects his name, that he must be a Greek[254]. They
are, Δώριον in the dominions of Pylos, where he met his calamity, and
the Œchalia of Eurytus in Thessaly, from whence he was making his
journey[255]. Strabo tells us that Pieria and Olympus were anciently
Thracian[256], and moreover, that the Thracians of Bœotia consecrated
Helicon to the Muses. Orpheus, Musæus, Eumolpus, were held to be
Thracians by tradition, yet it also made them write in Greek. I think
we may trace this descriptive character of the name Θρῇκες, and its not
yet having acquired fully the force of a proper name with Homer, in his
employment of it as an adjective, and not a substantive. It is very
frequently joined in the poems with the affix ἄνδρες, which he does
not employ with such proper names as are in familiar and established
use, such as Danaan, Argive, or Achæan. He says Achæan or Danaan
heroes, but never joins the names to the simple predicate ‘men.’ When
he says Ἀχαιὸς ἄνηρ, it is with a different force; it is in pointing
out an individual among a multitude. Indeed in Homer it is not Θρῇξ but
Θρηίκιος which means Thracian, of or belonging to the country called
Thrace, Θρῄκη. There is then sufficient evidence that Greeks of the
highlands might be Thraces; and there may very probably have been whole
tribes so called among the Greeks. Yet we never have Thracians named
by Homer on the Greek side, while on the Trojan side they appear as
supplying no less than two contingents of allies: one in the Catalogue,
and another which had just arrived at the period of the Δολώνεια[257].

These two appear to be entirely distinct tribes: because no connection
is mentioned between them; because the first contingent is described
as being composed not of all the Thracians, but of all the Thracians
within the Hellespont: and lastly, because the new comers have their
own βασιλεὺς with them, as the first contingent had its leaders,
Acamas and Peirous. The Hellespont meant here seems to be the strait,
because it is ἀγαρρόος. And it is therefore possible, that while the
first contingent was supplied by the nearer tribes, the second may have
been composed of those Thracians who lay nearer the Greek border.

Notwithstanding that Mars, who is so inseparably associated with
Thrace, fights on the Trojan side, we have no evidence from Homer which
would warrant the assumption that he intended to connect the Thracians
more intimately with the Pelasgians than with the Hellenes. It may be
that the poet’s ethnical knowledge failed him. The wavering of Mars
seems to indicate a corresponding uncertainty in his own mind. Perhaps
with both the Thracian and Pelasgian names it was the breadth of their
range that constituted the difficulty. Some part of Thrace is with him
ἐριβώλαξ[258]; it is the part from which the first contingent came, as
the son of Peirous belonged to it. And that part is less mountainous
than the quarter which I have presumed may have supplied the contingent
of Rhesus. The epithet is the very same as is applied to the Pelasgian
Larissa[259]: and the Larissan Pelasgians are placed next to the first
Thracian contingent in the Trojan Catalogue.

The most probable supposition for Thracians as well as Pelasgians
is, that they had affinities in both directions; that they existed
among the Greeks diffusively, and were absorbed in names of greater
splendour: but that on the Trojan side they still had distinct national
existence, and therefore they are named on that side, while to avoid
confusion silence is studiously maintained about them on the other.
The whole race, says Grote, present a character more Asiatic than

_Caucones and Leleges._

Many other races have been recorded in the later traditions as having
in pre-historic times inhabited various parts of Greece. Such are
Temnices, Aones, Hyantes, Teleboi. Of these Homer makes no mention.
But there are two other races whom he names, the Leleges and Caucones,
and with respect to whom Strabo[261] has affirmed, that they were
extensively diffused over Greece as well as over Asia Minor.

Homer has proceeded, with respect to the Caucones, exactly in the same
way as with respect to the Pelasgi. In the Iliad he names them[262]
among the Trojan allies, and is wholly silent about them in dealing
with the Greek races. But in the Odyssey, where he had no national
distinctions to keep in view, he names them as a people apparently
Greek, and dwelling on the western side of Greece. The pseudo-Mentor is
going among them on business, to obtain payment of a debt[263]: and the
manner in which they are mentioned, without explanation, shows that the
name must have been familiar to Nestor and the other persons addressed.
Probably therefore they were a neighbouring tribe: certainly a Greek
tribe, for we do not find proof that the Homeric Greeks carried on
commerce except with their own race.

The poet names them with a laudatory epithet: they are the Καύκωνες
μεγάθυμοι. This may remind us of his bounty in the same kind to the
Pelasgians: and it seems as though he had had a reverence for the
remains of the ancient possessors of the country.

We have abundant signs of the Leleges on the Trojan side in the war.
In the Tenth Book they appear as a contingent: but besides this,
Priam had for one of his wives Laothee, daughter of Altes, king of
the Lelegians, who are here called φιλοπτόλεμοι[264]. What is more
important, we find the expressions Λέλεγες καὶ Τρῶες[265] used together
in such a way, as implies the wide extension of the former as a race.
In the Twentieth Iliad, Æneas in speaking of Achilles refers to his
former escape from the great warrior. He fought, says Æneas, under
the auspices of Minerva: who shed light before him, and bid him slay
Lelegians and Trojans,

                                ἠδ’ ἐκέλευεν
    ἔγχεï χαλκείῳ Λέλεγας καὶ Τρῶας ἐναίρειν.

The Trojan force was in two main portions, each with many subdivisions:
first, the army of Priam, with those of his kindred or subordinate
princes: and, secondly, the allies, with their numerous and widely
dispersed races. In the passage just quoted, the word _Leleges_ must
either mean the great body of allies, or else it must, conjointly with
_Troes_, signify the whole mass of what we may call the indigenous
troops. Now the former is highly improbable. Such differences as are
implied in the combination of Thracians, Lycians, and Pelasgians, could
not well be, and nowhere else are comprehended by Homer under a single
name as one race or nation, though the Lycians, on account of their
excellence, are sometimes[266] taken to represent the whole body of
the allies. And again, if the Leleges meant the whole body of allies,
the Pelasgians would appear as a branch of them, which is contrary to
all evidence and likelihood. If then the two words together represent
those indigenous troops, as contradistinguished from the allies, who
were arrayed in the five divisions that are enumerated in vv. 816-39 of
the Second book, the question is, how is the sense to be distributed
between them. And here there is not much room for doubt. The name Τρῶες
had been assumed four generations before the war from King Tros, and
was therefore a political or dynastic name, not a name of race. It most
probably therefore indicates either the inhabitants of Priam’s own
city and immediate dominions, or else the ruling race, who held power
here, as elsewhere, among a subject population. In either case we must
conclude that the word Leleges is meant to indicate the blood, and also
the blood-name (so to speak) of the bulk of the population through a
considerable tract of country: and it will be observed that in the
fourth and fifth of the divisions[267] in the Trojan Catalogue Homer
specifies no blood-name or name of race whatever.

This being so, we find an important light cast upon the meaning of
the word Leleges. As we proceed with these inquiries, we shall find
accumulating evidence of the Pelasgianism of the mass of the population
on the Trojan side: and thus when it appears that that mass or a very
great part of it was Lelegian, it also appears probable that the
Leleges were at least akin to the Pelasgians, though some have taken
them to be distinct[268].

In answer therefore to the question, who were these Caucones and these
Leleges, while we are deficient in the means of detailed and particular
reply, we may, I think, fall back with tolerable security upon the
words used by Bishop Thirlwall in closing an ethnological survey:

“The review we have just taken of the Pelasgian settlements in Greece
appears inevitably to lead to the conclusion that the name Pelasgians
was a general one, like that of Saxons, Franks, or Alemanni: but that
each of the Pelasgian tribes had also one peculiar to itself[269].”

Upon our finding, as we find, the Pelasgian name in certain apparent
relations with others, such as Leleges and Caucones, it appears more
reasonable to presume a relationship between them, than the reverse:
for nothing can be more improbable than the simultaneous presence at
that early period of a multitude of races, radically distinct from each
other, and yet diffused intermixedly over the same country upon equal
terms, and if there was a relationship, it would most probably be that
of subdivision, under which Leleges and Caucones might be branches of
the widely spread Pelasgian family.

This opinion is supported, not only by presumptions, but by much
indirect evidence. It is indisputable that various names were applied,
by the custom of the Homeric age, to the same people, and at the
same period. The poet calls the inhabitants of Elis both Elians and
Epeans. The people of Ithaca are Ithacesians (Ἰθακήσιοι), but there
are also Ἀχαιοί[270], and in the Catalogue they are included under
the Cephallenians[271]. The Dolopians in the speech of Phœnix[272]
are included under the Phthians; and are also within the scope of the
other names applied by the Catalogue to the followers of Achilles, who
were called by the name of Myrmidons, or of Hellens, or of Achæans. Of
these the first seems to be the denomination, which the ruling race
of that particular district had brought with it into the country. The
third probably belongs to the Myrmidons, as members of that tribe, of
Hellic origin, which at the time predominated in Greece generally.
The second, as we shall find, was the common name for all Greek tribes
of that origin, and was the name which ultimately gained a complete
ascendancy in the country. Of the five nations of Crete in the
Seventeenth Odyssey[273], either all or several are probably included
in the Κρῆτες of the Second Iliad[274]. Nay, we may now declare it
to be at least highly probable[275], that the Ionian name was a
sub-designation of the Pelasgians. Thus we have abundant instances of
plurality in the designations of tribes. On the whole, we shall do best
to assume that the names in question of Leleges and Caucones indicated
Pelasgian subdivision. The inquiry is, however, one of ethnical
antiquarianism only; these names are historically insignificant, for,
apart from the Pelasgian, they carry no distinctive character or
special function in reference to Greece.

  _Erratum._--I have inadvertently, in p. 103, rendered κητώεσσαν ‘full
  of wild beasts.’ It ought to have been translated ‘deep-sunken.’ See
  Buttmann’s Lexilogus, _in voc._


[126] Il. ii. 681-5.

[127] Hermann Gr. Staats-alt. sect. 12.

[128] Il. ii. 841.

[129] Inf. sect. viii.

[130] Il. xiii. 686, et seqq.

[131] So Strabo, p. 221.

[132] The discussion is reviewed in Cramer’s Greece, vol. i. 115.

[133] Il. ii. 750.

[134] Od. xiv. 327; xix. 296.

[135] Cramer’s Ancient Greece, i. 353.

[136] Cramer’s Greece, i. 370.

[137] Hesiod ap. Strab. vii. 327.

[138] Schol. ad Trach. v. 1169.

[139] Vid. inf. sect. iii.

[140] Od. xix. 175.

[141] This question is discussed, inf. sect. ix.

[142] See inf. sect. ix.

[143] Il. ii. 735.

[144] Od. iv. 83. xiv. 199, 245. xvii. 448.

[145] Strabo viii. 6. p. 370.

[146] Cramer’s Greece, iii. 244.

[147] Inf. sect. viii.

[148] Il. xx. 215 and seqq.

[149] Thuc. i. cap. 2.

[150] Od. xii. 260-5.

[151] This state of ideas and habits is well illustrated by Odyss. xiv.
222-6: and see inf. sect. 7.

[152] Strabo viii. p. 383.

[153] Xenoph. Hell. vii. 1, 23, and Cramer iii. 299.

[154] Il. ii. 610.

[155] Il. ii. 609.

[156] 630-5.

[157] See inf. sect. vii.

[158] Xenoph. Hell. vii. 1. 23.

[159] Thuc. i. 2.

[160] Xenoph. Hellen. vii. 1. 23.

[161] Thucyd. vii. 57.

[162] B. i. 2.

[163] See also Müller, Orchomenus p. 77, and his references.

[164] Il. ii. 498.

[165] Strabo ix. p. 433.

[166] Aristot. Meteorol. i. 14.

[167] Paus. ii. 22. 2.

[168] Od. v. 125.

[169] Hesiod. Theog. 971.

[170] Od. xi. 281-4.

[171] See inf. sect. 8.

[172] Il. xv. 332, 7.

[173] Inf. sect. vi.

[174] Hymn. Cer. 123.

[175] Il. xxiii. 148. Od. viii. 362. Il. viii. 48.

[176] Il. xiii. 635.

[177] Il. iv. 328.

[178] Heyne in loc.

[179] In loc.

[180] From the Greek βῶλος, according to Richardson, who quotes _The
Fox_ (v. 2.)

                        If Italy
  Have any glebe, more fruitful than these fallows,
  I am deceived.

[181] Od. i. 407.

[182] Od. v. 463.

[183] Od. vii. 332.

[184] Il. xxi. 232.

[185] Od. xi. 309.

[186] (ii. 132 Serr. Steph.)

[187] Inf. sect. 7.

[188] Od. xxi. 255.

[189] Payne Knight in loc.

[190] Od. xi. 302-4.

[191] Il. iii. 243.

[192] Eustath. in loc. et alii.

[193] Schol. A. in loc.

[194] In loc.

[195] Obss. in loc.

[196] Eustath. in loc.

[197] Schol. BL. in loc.

[198] Herod. vii. 161.

[199] Lord Aberdeen’s Inquiry, p. 100.

[200] Il. xvi. 419.

[201] See Od. xx. 72.

[202] Il. xii. 331.

[203] Il. ii. 756.

[204] Il. ii. 748.

[205] Ibid. 703-7.

[206] Od. iii. 307.

[207] Il. i. 194.

[208] Il. v. 1-8.

[209] V. 2, 3.

[210] Il. iv. 64-74.

[211] Il. vii. 34.

[212] Il. xxiv. 25-30.

[213] Il. v. 59.

[214] Il. viii. 362-9: cf. Od. xi. 626.

[215] Il. xx. 146.

[216] See inf. Religion and Morals, Sect. II.

[217] Vid. inf. as before.

[218] Eurip. Ion 64. 1590. Grote i. 144.

[219] Thirlwall, vol. ii. p. 2.

[220] Herod. v. 65.

[221] Thuc. i. 6.

[222] i. 2.

[223] Herod. i. 56.

[224] i. 57.

[225] Höck’s Creta ii. 109.

[226] Thuc. i. 3.

[227] Herod. vi. 137, 8.

[228] B. viii. p. 333.

[229] Herod. i. 139.

[230] Od. xiv. 243.

[231] Ibid. 257.

[232] Il. ix. 363.

[233] Od. iii. 318.

[234] Döllinger Heidenthum und Judenthum vi. 136. p. 427.

[235] Inf. p. 176.

[236] Note xvii.

[237] Il. ii. 614.

[238] Smith, Antiq. p. 331. Niebuhr, Hist. iii. 282.

[239] Works and Days 616 et seqq.

[240] Vid. inf. sect. 4. Nägelsbach (Hom. Theol. ii. 9.) may be
consulted in an opposite sense.

[241] Od. xiii. 272. xiv. 228.

[242] Herod. iv. 42.

[243] i. 13.

[244] Inf. Religion and Morals, sect. iii.

[245] Sup. p. 148.

[246] Od. xiv. 271.

[247] Od. v. 278-86.

[248] Ibid. ix. 84, 94.

[249] Ibid. iv. 220.

[250] Ibid. 584.

[251] Herod. ii. 54. According to the Egyptian tradition there
reported, the Phœnicians carried into Greece the priestess who founded
the Dodonæan oracle. This again leads us to view the Phœnicians as the
chief medium of intercourse between Egypt and Greece.

[252] Mure, Lit. Greece, vol. i.

[253] Herod. v. 2.

[254] Il. ii. 594-600.

[255] Il. ii. 730.

[256] Strabo x. p. 471.

[257] Il. ii. 844, and x. 434.

[258] Il. xx. 485.

[259] Il. ii. 841.

[260] Hist. Greece, iv. 28.

[261] Strabo viii. 7. p. 321, 2.

[262] Il. x. 429; xx. 329.

[263] Od. iii. 366.

[264] Il. xxi. 85.

[265] Il. xx. 96.

[266] Inf. p. 182.

[267] Il. ii. 828-39.

[268] Höck’s Creta, ii. p. 7.

[269] Thirlwall’s Hist. of Greece. Ch. ii. Vol. i. p. 41. 12mo.

[270] Od. passim.

[271] Il. ii. 631.

[272] Il. ix. 184, and xvi. 196.

[273] Od. xix. 175.

[274] Il. ii. 645.

[275] See supr. p. 126.


_Pelasgians continued: and certain States naturalised or akin to

_a._ Crete. _b._ Lycia. _c._ Cyprus.

_Crete and the traditions of Minos._

This appears to be the place for a more full consideration of the
testimony of Homer with respect to, probably, the greatest character
of early Greek history, and one who cannot be omitted in any inquiry
concerning the early Pelasgians of Greece: in as much as they stand in
a direct Homeric relation to Crete, of which he was the king.

In the poems of Homer, Minos appears to stand forth as the first great
and fixed point of Greek nationality and civilization. He is not indeed
so remote from the period of Homer himself as others, even as other
Europeans, whom the poet mentions, and whom he connects by genealogy
with the Trojan period, particularly the Æolids. But the peculiarities
meeting in his case, as compared with most of them, are these:

1. That he is expressly traced upwards as well as downwards.

2. That he is connected with a fixed place as its sovereign.

3. That so much is either recounted or suggested of his character and

4. That the Homeric traditions as to Minos are so remarkably supported
from without.

Minos is mentioned, and somewhat largely, in no less than six different
passages of the Iliad and Odyssey. Homer has given us a much fuller
idea of him, than of the more popular hero Hercules, although he is not
named in nearly so many passages; and it is singular, that the more
ancient of the two personages is also by much the more historical.
Again, the poet has told us more about Minos, although he is of foreign
extraction, than he has said about all the rest of the older Greek
heroes put together. Of Theseus, Pirithous, Castor, Pollux, Meleager,
Perseus, Jason, and the rest, his notices are very few and meagre.
In dealing with Homer, I should quote even this fact of the greater
amount of his references, which in the case of most other poets would
be immaterial, as a strong presumption of the superior historical
importance of the person concerned.

Minos, according to Homer, had Jupiter for his father, a Phœnician
damsel for his mother, and Rhadamanthus for his younger brother.
The name[276] of his mother is not recorded, but Jupiter calls her
far-famed. This fame, if due to her beauty, would probably have kept
her name alive; but as it has not been preserved, it is more probably a
reflection from the subsequent greatness of her son.

The story thus far appears probably to indicate that Minos was a
Phœnician by birth, but without a known ancestry, and raised into
celebrity by his own energies and achievements.

The mode, by which he rose to fame, was by the government of men and
the foundation of civil institutions. At nine years old he received,
such is the legend, revelations from Jupiter,[277] and reigned, in
the great or mighty city (μεγάλη πόλις) of Cnossus, over Crete: such
was the form, copied by the politic legislator of Rome, in which a
title to veneration was secured for his laws. No other city, besides
this capital, is described in Homer by the epithet μεγάλη, or by any
equivalent word.

A further vivid mark of his political greatness is afforded us by that
passage in the Odyssey, which exhibits him not simply as exercising
in the world beneath[278] the mere office of a judge, but rather as
discharging there a judicial function in virtue of his sovereignty.
Such is the force of the word θεμιστεύειν,[279] which signifies rather
to give law than to administer it: or, at least, to exercise the
function of a king rather than of a judge[280] (ἵστωρ). He is described
as still the illustrious son of Jupiter, Διὸς ἀγλαὸς υἱός. Even there
he appears not as one of the suffering or bewildered inhabitants of
that lower world, but in the exercise of power as an actual ruler among
the spirits of the departed;

    οἱ δέ μιν ἀμφὶ δίκας εἴροντο ἄνακτα.

He only is invested with any character of this kind. Every other
apparition below is either in actual suffering, or gloomy and depressed.

The epithet ὀλοόφρων, applied to Minos in an earlier passage of the
Νεκυία, might perhaps convey the same idea as Virgil has rendered by
his _durissima_ regna,[281] in the description of Rhadamanthus: and we
may also compare the address of Menelaus in the Third Iliad to Jupiter,

    Ζεῦ πάτερ οὔτις σεῖο θεῶν ὀλοώτερος ἄλλος.[282]

A reasonable construction would refer the word to the commercial
character of the Phœnician people, at once cunning and daring[283]; and
there is much probability in the opinion of Höck, who interprets the
word as meaning ‘exactor of tribute,’ or as alluding to the exaction by
Minos of a tribute from Attica[284]. On this we shall shortly have to

_Power of Crete._

As to the family and kingdom of Minos, we should gather in the first
place from Homer, that Crete had under him been preeminent in power. He
was king of the island (Κρήτῃ ἐπίουρος)[285], and he reigned, at the
age of nine years only (ἐννέωρος βασίλευε), in Cnossus over the five
nations. The island had ninety, or in the rounder numbers, an hundred
cities. Two generations had passed since Minos; Idomeneus his grandson
did not apparently reign, like Minos himself, over the whole of it:
for if this had been the case, it is very improbable, presuming that
we may judge by the analogies which the order of the army in general
supplies, that Meriones would have been made his associate, which
in some manner he is, in the command; and again, the feigned story
of Ulysses in the Odyssey, though it introduces Idomeneus, does not
represent him as king of the whole island, but rather implies that his
pretended brother, Æthon, also exercised a sovereignty there[286]. But
even then the Cretan contingent, although the towns named as supplying
it do not extend over the whole island[287], amounted to eighty ships,
and thus exceeded any other, except those of Agamemnon and of Nestor.
And then, when Minos had so long been dead, it was still the marked and
special distinction of the country, that it was the seat of his race.
So Eumæus, describing the disguised stranger to Penelope, says[288],

    φησὶ δ’ Ὀδυσσῆος ξεῖνος πατρώïος εἶναι,
    Κρήτῃ ναιετάων, ὅθι Μίνωος γένος ἐστίν.

A passage which perhaps testifies that the family of Minos had been
ξεῖνοι to the predecessors of Ulysses.

But perhaps there is no country in Greece which Homer so rarely
mentions without a laudatory epithet. Though (περίρρυτος) sea-girt,
it is not with him an island: it is Κρήτη γαῖα, Κρήτη εὐρεῖα, Κρήτη
ἑκατόμπολις[289], and in the principal description, Homer exalts it
more highly, I think, than any other territory,

    Κρήτη τις γαῖ’ ἐστὶ, μέσῳ ἐνὶ οἴνοπι πόντῳ
    καλὴ καὶ πίειρα, περίρρυτος· ἐν δ’ ἄνθρωποι
    πολλοὶ, ἀπειέσιοι, καὶ ἐννήκοντα πόληες[290].

If it should be thought that the evidence to the character of Minos as
a lawgiver is slight, we must call to mind that even the word _law_
is not found in Homer. The term afterwards used by the Greeks to
express what we mean by a law, νόμος, only occurs with Homer in a sense
quite different. He tells us of nothing more determinate than δίκαι
and θέμιστες. But relatively to his pictures of other governors, the
legislatorial character of Minos is as strongly marked as that of Numa
is in Livy, relatively to other kings of Rome.

In conclusion, as to the region of Crete, it was inhabited by five
races: namely,

  1. Ἀχαιοί.
  2. Ἐτεοκρῆτες.
  3. Κυδῶνες.
  4. Δωριέες.
  5. Πελάσγοι.

_Pelasgianism in Crete._

Of these the Achæans and Dorians are evidently Greek. We are now
examining at large the title of the Pelasgi to the same character. With
respect to the Cydones, we may draw an inference from the facts, that
they lived (Od. iii. 292), on a Cretan river Iardanus, and that this
was also the name of a river of Peloponnesus (Il. vii. 133). I should
even hold that this stream, which is not identified, was most probably
in Arcadia: first, because in the contest with the Hellic tribes of
Pylos, the Arcadians as Pelasgians would be on the defensive, and would
therefore fight on their own ground: secondly, because the battle was
on the ὠκύροος Κελάδων. These words are most suitable to some mountain
feeder of the Iardanus, with its precipitate descent, rather than to
the usually more peaceful course of a river near the sea, especially
near the sea coast of sandy Pylus, which reached to the Alpheus[291].
This supposition respecting the Celadon will also best account for
what otherwise seems singular; namely, that the battle was at once on
the Celadon, and also about the Iardanus (Ἰαρδάνου ἀμφὶ ῥεέθρα[292]).
Again, the battle was between Arcadians and Pylians, and therefore,
from the relative situation of the territories, was probably on some
Arcadian feeder of the Alpheus, lying far inland. Now if Iardanus was
an Arcadian river, and if the Arcadians were Pelasgi, it leads to a
presumption that the Cydonians of Crete, who dwelt upon an Iardanus,
were Pelasgian also.

There remain the Ἐτεοκρῆτες, apparently so called, to distinguish them
as indigenous from all the other four nations, who were ἐπήλυδες, or
immigrant. This is curious, because it refers us elsewhere for the
origin of the Pelasgi. It is the only case in which we hear of any
thing anterior to them, upon the soils which they occupied. Lastly,
Crete lay between Greece and Cyprus, and Cyprus is clearly indicated
in the Odyssey as on the route to Egypt[293].

But we hear also of Rhadamanthus as the brother of Minos, of Deucalion
as his son, and of Ariadne as his daughter[294]. And the notices of
these personages in Homer all tend to magnify our conception of his
power and his connections.

Theseus, who is glorified by Nestor as a first rate hero[295], and
described as a most famous child of the gods[296], whom both Homer,
and also the later legends connect with Attica, marries Ariadne, who
dies on her way to Athens[297]. The marriages of Homer were generally
contracted among much nearer neighbours. This more distant connection
cannot, I think, but be taken as indicating the extended relations
connected with the sovereignty of Minos and his exalted position.

_Traditions of Deucalion._

The genealogy of Idomeneus runs thus[298]; ‘Jupiter begot Minos, ruler
of Crete. Minos begot a distinguished son, Deucalion. Deucalion begot
me, a ruler over numerous subjects in broad Crete.’

Here it is to be remarked,

1. That while Minos and Idomeneus, the first and third generations,
are described as ruling in Crete, Deucalion of the second is not so

2. That Idomeneus is nowhere described as having succeeded to the
throne of his grandfather Minos, but only as being a ruler in Crete:
and that, as we have seen, from the qualified conjunction of Meriones
with him in the command, perhaps also from the limited range of the
Cretan towns in the Catalogue, there arises a positive presumption that
he had succeeded only to a portion of the ancient preeminence and
power of his ancestor.

Now there is no direct evidence in Homer connecting Deucalion with
Thessaly. The later tradition, however, places him there: and this
tradition may probably claim an authority as old as that of Hesiod. A
fragment of that poet[299], with the text partially corrupt, speaks of
Locrus, leader of the Leleges, as among those whom Jupiter raised from
the earth for Deucalion. This reference to Locrus immediately suggests
the name of the Locrian race, and so carries us into the immediate
neighbourhood of Thessaly; and the general purport of the words is to
express something a little like the later tradition about Deucalion,
which had that country for its scene. Combining this with the negative
evidence afforded by the Homeric text, we thus find established a
communication seemingly direct between Crete under Minos, and Thessaly,
to which country we have already found it probable that Deucalion
immigrated, and where he may have reigned.

The usual statement is, that the name Deucalion was common to two
different persons, one the son of Minos, and the other the king of
Thessaly. But we must be upon our guard against the device of the later
Greek writers, who at once unravelled the accumulated intricacies
that had gradually gathered about their traditions, and enlarged the
stock of material for pampering vanity, and exciting the imagination,
by multiplying the personages of the early legends. As regards the
case now before us; the tradition, which makes Hellen son of the
latter of these Deucalions, would certainly make him considerably
older than he could be if a son of Minos. It must be admitted, that
Homer repeats the name of Deucalion, for a Trojan so called is slain
by Achilles in Il. xx. 478. It has pleased the fancy of the poet
there to use the names of a number of dead heroes to distinguish the
warriors who fell like sheep under the sword of the terrible Achilles:
we find among them a Dardanus, a Tros, and a Moulius; and it is so
little Homer’s practice to use names without a peculiar meaning, that
we may conjecture he has done it, in preference to letting Achilles
slaughter a crowd of ignoble persons, in order that in every thing his
Protagonist might be distinguished from other men. But the poet seems
to take particular care to prevent any confusion as to his great Greek,
and indeed as to all his great living, personages. I am not aware of
more than one single passage in the Iliad[300], among the multitude
in which one or other of the Ajaxes is named, where there can be a
doubt which of the two is meant. It is exceedingly unlikely that if a
separate Deucalion of Thessaly had been known to Homer, he should not
have distinguished him from the Deucalion of Crete. This unlikelihood
mounts to incredibility, when we remember (1) that this other Deucalion
of Thessaly is nothing less than the asserted root of the whole
Hellenic stock, and (2) that the poet repeatedly uses the patronymic
Deucalides as an individual appellation for Idomeneus, whereas the
adverse supposition would make all the Achæans alike Δευκαλίδαι. We may
therefore safely conclude at least, that Homer knew of no Deucalion
other than the son of Minos.

_Of Rhadamanthus and the Phæacians._

We come now to Rhadamanthus, who is thrice mentioned by Homer.
Once[301], as born of the same parents with Minos[302]. Once, as
enjoying like him honours from Jupiter beyond the term of our
ordinary human life: for he is placed amidst the calm and comforts
of the Elysian plain. The third passage is remarkable. It is where
Alcinous[303] promises Ulysses conveyance to his home, even should
it be farther than Eubœa, which the Phæacian mariners consider to be
their farthest known point of distance, and whither they had conveyed

    ἐποψόμενον Τίτυον, Γαιήιον υἱόν·

on his way to visit, or inspect, or look after, Tityus. This Tityus we
find in the νεκυία suffering torture for having attempted violence upon
Latona[304], as she was proceeding towards Pytho, through Panopeus.
Panopeus was a place in Phocis, on the borders of Bœotia, and on the
line of any one journeying between Delos and Delphi.

There is in this legend the geographical indistinctness, and even
confusion, which we commonly find where Homer dealt with places lying
in the least beyond the range of his own experience or that of his
hearers, as was the case with Phæacia. If Tityus was in Panopeus, the
proper way to carry Rhadamanthus was by the Corinthian gulf. But from
various points in the geography of the Odyssey, it may, in my opinion,
be gathered, that Homer had an idea, quite vague and indeterminate as
to distance, of a connection by sea between the north of the Adriatic,
and the north of the Ægean, either directly, or from the sea of
Marmora: and it suited his representation of the Phæacians, and best
maintained their as it were aerial character, to give them an unknown
rather than a known route. However that might be, if we look into
the legend in order to conjecture its historic basis, it appears to
suggest the inferences which follow:

1. That according to tradition, the empire or supremacy of Minos, which
may in some points have resembled that afterwards held by Agamemnon,
embraced both Corcyra and likewise middle Greece, where Panopeus and
Pytho or Delphi lay.

We must, however, presume the empire of Minos to have been in great
part insular. There were contemporary kingdoms on the mainland, which
give no sign of dependence upon it.

2. That the Phæacians acted as subjects of Minos in carrying
Rhadamanthus by sea from one part of the dominions of that king to

3. That Rhadamanthus went to punish Tityus as an offender within the
realm of Minos, and did this on the part and in lieu of Minos himself.

4. That though he was not Greek by birth, his person, and family, and
empire were all Greek in the view of Homer.

This conjectural interpretation of the legend derives support from many

It is in thorough harmony, as to the extended rule of Minos, with the
Eleventh Odyssey, which represents Minos as acting in the capacity of
a sovereign in the shades below; which also exhibits, as suffering
judicially the punishments that he awarded, offenders connected with
various portions of Greek territory, and among them this very Tityus.

_Minos: post-Homeric tradition._

It is now time to look to the post-Homeric traditions.

The extent of the sway of Minos is supported by the tradition of
Pelasgus, in the Supplices of Æschylus[305], which represents the
whole country from (probably) Macedonia to the extreme south of the
peninsula, as having been formerly under one and the same sway. The
empire of Minos may have been magnified into this tradition.

The authority of Thucydides is available for the following

1. That Minos was the earliest known possessor of maritime power:
thus harmonising with the hypothesis that the Phæacians, whose great
distinction was in their nautical character, were acting as his
subjects when they carried Rhadamanthus.

2. That his power extended over the Grecian sea, or Ægean (Ἑλληνικὴ
θάλασσα) generally (ἐπὶ πλεῖστον); thus indicating a great extent of

3. That he appointed his children to govern his dominions on his behalf
(τοὺς ἑαυτοῦ παῖδας ἡγεμόνας ἐγκαταστήσας): which supports the idea
that his brother Rhadamanthus may have acted for him at a distance.

4. That he drove the Carians out of the islands of the Ægean. This
statement receives remarkable confirmation from Homer, who makes the
islands up to the very coast of Caria contributors to the force of the
Greek army: while Lesbos and others, situated farther north, and more
distant from Crete, appear to have been, like Caria itself, in the
Trojan interest.

In the Minos ascribed to Plato[307] we find the tradition of his direct
relations with Attica, which were well known to the theatre. This
supports the notice in Homer of the marriage contracted between Theseus
and his daughter Ariadne.

Aristotle[308], like Thucydides, asserts the maritime power of Minos
and his sovereignty over the islands, and adds, that he lost or ended
his life in the course of an expedition to conquer Sicily[309].

Herodotus[310], like Thucydides, treats Minos as the first known
sovereign who had been powerful by sea. He states, that Minos expelled
his brother Sarpedon from Crete, and that Sarpedon with his adherents
colonised Lycia, which was governed, down to the time of the historian
himself, by laws partly Cretan[311]: and he also delivers the tradition
that Minos was slain in an expedition against Sicily at Camicus,
afterwards Agrigentum. A town bearing his name remained long after in
the island.

Euripides laid the scene of his Rhadamanthus in Bœotia: and a Cretan
colony is said to have established the Tilphosian temple there[312].
Höck finds traces of a marked connection between Crete and that

_Minos: Laconian and Cretan laws._

More important, however, than any isolated facts are the resemblances
of the Lacedæmonian and Cretan politics, noticed by Aristotle[314],
in combination with the admission always made by the Lacedæmonians,
that their lawgiver Lycurgus initiated the Cretan institutions[315],
and with the universal Greek tradition that in Crete, first of all
parts of Greece, laws and a regular polity had been established by
Minos. Again, in the Dialogue printed among the works of Plato, the
author of it seeks to establish the fundamental idea of law: puts aside
the injurious statements of the tragedians who represented Minos as
a tyrant, declares his laws to have been the oldest and the best in
Greece, and the models from which the prime parts of the Laconian
legislation had been borrowed[316].

Among the resemblances known to us appear to be

1. The division between the military and the agricultural part of the

2. The περίοικοι of Crete, holding the same relation to the Cretans, as
the Helots to the Spartans, and like them cultivating the land.

3. The institution of συσσίτια in both countries.

4. The organism of the government: the five ephors corresponding with
the ten κοσμοὶ of Crete, and the βουλὴ being alike in both.

There also still remain etymological indications that Minos was the
person who raised some tribe or class to preeminence in Crete, and
depressed some other tribes or classes below the level of the free
community. In Hesychius we read,

  μνοῖα, οἰκετεία.

  μνῆτοι, δοῦλοι.

  μνῶα, δουλεία.

And Athenæus quotes from the Cretica of Sosicrates, τὴν μὲν κοινὴν
δουλείαν οἱ Κρῆτες καλοῦσι μνοίαν· τὴν δὲ ἰδίαν ἀφαμιώτας· τοὺς δὲ
περιοίκους, ὑπηκόους[317]. He also says, that, according to Ephorus,
the general name for slave in Crete was κλαρώτης, and that it was
derived from the custom of apportioning the slaves by lot. This
remarkably fixes the character of Cretan slavery as owing its rise
to some institutions public in the highest sense, for merely private
slavery could not, it would appear, have had an origin such as to
account for the name. It thus indirectly supports the idea implied in
μνοία and μνῆτοι, that it was derived from Minos. Athenæus[318] again,
quoting the _Creticæ glossæ_ of Hermon, gives us the words μνώτας,
τοὺς εὐγενεῖς (otherwise read ἐγγενεῖς) οἰκέτας, and thus pointing to
the reduction to servitude of some of the previously free population of
the country.

There can be little doubt that it was the Pelasgic part of the
population which thus succumbed before the more active elements of
Cretan society, and which continued in the manual occupation of
husbandry, while war, policy, and maritime pursuits became the lot of
their more fortunate competitors. For is it difficult to divine which
were those more active elements, since Homer points out for us among
the inhabitants of Crete at least two tribes, the Achæans and the
Dorians, of Hellic origin. Bishop Thirlwall points also to a Phœnician
element in Crete, and to Homer as indicating the Phœnician origin of
Minos. This is suggested not only by his birth, and by his maritime
preeminence, but by Homer’s placing Dædalus in Crete[319]. For that
name directly establishes a connection with the arts that made Sidon
and Phœnicia so famous. The later tradition, indeed, places Dædalus
personally in relations with Minos, as having been pursued by him after
he had fled to Sicily[320].

Elsewhere I have shown reason for supposing that a second of the
five Cretan nations, namely, the Κύδωνες, was Pelasgian: and there
is a curious tradition, which supports this hypothesis. According to
Ephorus[321], there were solemn festivals of the slave population,
during which freemen were not permitted to enter within the walls,
while the slaves were supreme, and had the right of flogging the free;
and these festivals were held in Cydonia, the city of these Κύδωνες.

Our belief in a Cretan empire of Minos, founded on the evidence of
the Poems, and sustained by the statement of Thucydides, need not
be impaired by the fact that we find little post-Homeric evidence
directly available for its support. In early times the recollection of
dynasties very much depended on the interest which their successors
had in keeping it alive. Now the Minoan empire was already reduced to
fragments at the time of the _Troica_. The supremacy over Greece was
then in the hands of a family that held the throne of the Perseids and
the Danaids, a throne older than that of Minos himself, though in his
time probably less distinguished: a throne whose lustre would have
been diminished by a lively tradition of his power and greatness. And
it was from the Pelopids that the Dorian sovereigns of Sparta claimed
to inherit. Therefore the great Greek sovereignty, from the _Troica_
onwards, had no interest in cherishing the recollection of this ancient
part of history; on the contrary, their interest lay in depressing
it; and under these circumstances we need not wonder that, until the
inquiring age of Greek literature and philosophy, when Athens gained
the predominance, the traces of it should have remained but faint. But
the traces of Cretans have been found extensively dispersed both over
the islands, and on the coasts of the Ægean[322].

_The Lycians._

To complete the statement of this part of the case, it is necessary to
turn to another country, holding, with its inhabitants, a very peculiar
position in the Iliad. The attentive reader of the poem must often
inquire, with curiosity and wonder, why it is that Homer everywhere
follows the Lycian name with favour so marked, that it may almost be
called favouritism. At every turn, which brings that people into view,
we are met by the clearest indications of it: and few of Homer’s
indications, none of his marked indications, are without a cause and an

Sarpedon, the Lycian commander in chief, performs the greatest
military exploit on the Trojan side that is to be found throughout
the poems[323]. That he does not obscure the eminence of Hector is
only owing to the fact, that his share in the action of the poem is
smaller, not to its being less distinguished. Everywhere he plays his
part with a faultless valour, a valour set off by his modesty, and by
his keen sense of public duty according to the strictest meaning of the
term[324]; Jupiter, his father, sheds tears of blood for his coming
death; and he is in truth the most perfect as well as the bravest man
on the Trojan side. Glaucus, his second in command, is inferior to no
Trojan warrior save Hector, though in the exchange of the arms with
Diomed Homer has, as usual, reserved the superiority to the Grecian

The distinctions awarded to the Lycian people are in full proportion
to those of their king Sarpedon. They formed one only among the eleven
divisions of the auxiliary force, but the Lycian[325] name, and theirs
only[326], evidently on account of their eminence, is often used to
signify the entire body. In the great assault on the Greek trench and
rampart, Sarpedon their leader commands all the allies, and chooses as
his lieutenants Glaucus, and Asteropæus a Pæonian, but not the Pæonian
general[327]. They are never mentioned with any epithet except of
honour: and to them is applied the term ἀντίθεοι[328], which is given
to no other tribe or nation in the Iliad, and in the Odyssey only to
the Phæacians[329]; to these last it appertains doubtless on account
of their relationship to the immortals. The Lycian attack in the
Twelfth Book is the one really formidable to the Greeks[330], and in
the rout of the Sixteenth Book we are told, that ‘not even the stalwart
(ἴφθιμοι) Lycians’ held their ground after the death of Sarpedon[331].
They alone are appealed to in the name of that peculiar and sacred
sentiment of military honour called αἰδὼς, which, with this single
exception, seems to be the exclusive property of the Greeks[332].

It is difficult to account for this glowing representation, so
consistently carried through the poem, except upon the supposition,
that Homer regarded the Lycians as having some peculiar affinity or
other relation with the Greeks; and that he on this account raised
them out of what would otherwise more naturally have been a secondary

There are many signs of a specific kind, that this was actually his
view of them.

1. To make Sarpedon the son of Jupiter was at once to establish some
relationship with the Greek races.

2. The legend of Bellerophon, delivered on the field of battle, was
not required, nor is it introduced, merely to fill up the time during
which Hector goes from the camp to the city. It required no filling
up: but Homer turns the interval to account by using it to give us
this interesting chapter of archaic history, doubtless in order to
illustrate, as all his other legends do, the beginnings and early
relations of the Hellenic races. Accordingly we find that Antea, wife
of Prœtus the Argive king, was a Lycian: that a familiar intercourse
subsisted between the two courts, such as probably and strongly implies
that the nations had other ties: and lastly that an Æolid line of
sovereigns, descended through Sisyphus, were the actual governors of
Lycia at the period of the _Troica_.

3. The very same ideas of kingship and its offices, which prevailed
in Greece, are expressed by Sarpedon in his speech to Glaucus[333],
and there is an indication of free institutions which enlarges the
resemblance. The force of this circumstance will be more fully
appreciated, when we shall have examined the Asiatic tinge which is
perceptible in the institutions of Troy itself.

4. Besides the Æolid sovereignty, the etymology of the names of Lycian
warriors connects itself not only with the Greek race, but with the
Hellic element in that race[334].

5. On the other hand Apollo, whom we shall hereafter find to be the
great Pelasgian, though also universal, god, is even, according to
Homer, in close and peculiar connection with Lycia, although he is
not localized there by Homer as he is in the later tradition. First
as being λυκηγενής. Secondly as the great bowman: while Lycia was so
eminent in this art, that Æneas, addressing Pandarus with a compliment
on his skill, says no man before Troy can match him, and perhaps even
in Lycia there may not be a better archer[335]. Thirdly, this Pandarus
the archer, and son of Lycaon, received the gift of his bow from Apollo
himself[336]: and says, that Apollo prompted or instructed him, as
he came from Lycia[337]. It may, however, be reasonably questioned,
whether we are here to understand the Lycia of the South, or the
district of kindred name in Troas. In any case, Apollo in Lycia would
be no more than the counterpart of Minerva in Pelasgian Athens.

6. The prevalence of that Lycian name in other quarters, such as
Arcadia, of a marked Pelasgian character, further supports the
supposition that Lycia had probably a Pelasgian race for the bulk of
its population, holding the same subordinate relation to another race
as we find in corresponding cases. In Arcadia[338] Pausanias reports a
Lycaon son of Pelasgus; a Lycosura, the city he founded; Lyceon, the
hill where it stood; and Lycea, the games he established.

All this evidence combines to show some correspondence between Lycia
and Greece, as to the constituent elements of the population. The
agreement could not have been perfect: for the records of the Lycian
language, I believe, show a prevalence of other elements than the
Greek. But we have thus a reason to suppose, that the community of
architecture and other arts which has been found to subsist between the
two countries, was not merely dependent on later colonisation, but was
owing to an affinity of races and similarity of manners which dates
from the heroic age.

Lastly, the fragments of Homeric evidence respecting the Lycians are
combined by a later tradition, which links them to Crete, the main
subject of our recent inquiry. According to this tradition, there was a
Sarpedon earlier than the Sarpedon of the _Troica_, who, besides being
son of Jupiter, was brother to Minos. He is said to have been expelled,
with his adherents, by that sovereign from Crete; to have repaired to
Lycia, and to have colonised that country, or a part of it. In the
time of Herodotus, as we have seen, it retained laws of Cretan, that
is to say of Greek, origin. And at two later periods of its history,
far remote from Homer and from one another, its inhabitants signalised
themselves by the most desperate valour in defence of Xanthus, its

For the origin of the group of names, having Λύκος or some similar
word for their root, it seems most natural to infer its identity with
the Latin _lucus_, essentially the same with _lupus_, and to presume
that it had a Pelasgic source, but that the word corresponding with
it, probably Λύκος, meaning a wood or grove, had become obsolete in
the later Hellenic tongue. There is every reason for a supposition of
this kind, as these words, etymologically connected, evidently hang
round some common centre, which centre has reference to primitive and
to Pelasgic life, as well as to the somewhat specially Pelasgic deity
Apollo. Nor is it strange that the root of a name associated with the
Pelasgi should have been lost to the Greek tongue, while the name
itself remains: we have another example in Larissa.

But if there was such a word, with such a meaning, the link, which
may perhaps connect it with Pelasgic life, is evident. For the first
agricultural settlers must often be, as such, in a greater or less
degree, dwellers in woods. It may be said that in the United States,
at the present day, the proper name for an agricultural settler is
‘backwoodsman.’ In British colonies of Australia, they, who pass beyond
the limits of existing settlement, in order to extend it, are said to
go into the bush. Thus the idea at the root of the Lycian name is in
all probability twin, or rather elder brother, to that which properly
would indicate the agricultural settler.

It is however plain, that we cannot look to any thing simply Pelasgian
in the Lycian population, as supplying the motive which has induced
Homer to give the Lycians a marked preference over other populations,
themselves of a Pelasgian character. This preference must be due to
the other element, which associates them especially with the Hellenic
race. And we may not irrationally suppose it to be founded on any one
of such causes as these: the special connection in the royal line
between the two countries: a larger infusion of the more lordly blood
into a subordinate Lelegian or Pelasgian body in Lycia, just as in
Greece, than in Troas and Asia Minor generally: or lastly, a more
palpable and near connection between the dominant caste in Lycia and
those Persian highlanders, from among whom may have proceeded[340]
the forefathers of the Hellenic tribes. Everywhere we see this race
branching forth, and, by an intrinsic superiority, acquiring a
predominance over the races in prior occupation. Whether the stock came
to Lycia by land, or from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, it
may be hard even to conjecture: but there is one particular note of
relationship to Persia, which Lycia retains more clearly than Greece,
and that is the high estimation in which, to judge from the connection
with Apollo and from Il. v. 172, the use of the bow was held in that
country. The case was the same in Persia. According to Herodotus, one
of the three essential articles of education in Persia was the use of
the bow[341]; and he is not contradicted by Ctesias, who calls him in
most things a liar and a fabulist[342]. We must not, indeed, rely too
strongly upon a circumstance like this. Cyaxares the Median had the
art taught to his sons by Nomad Scythians[343]. We may however observe
that alike on the Trojan and the Grecian side we never hear of the
bow except in the hands of highborn persons, such as Paris, Pandarus,
Teucer: and, in the games, Meriones[344].

In passing, it may deserve remark, that the Lycians alone, of all
tribes or nations on either side, appear not under two leaders merely,
but two kings, in the strict sense. I do not however believe that this
indicates a political peculiarity. The origin of it may probably be
found in the legend of Bellerophon, to whom, after his high exploits
and great services, the reigning sovereign gave half his kingdom[345].
Now that king is nowhere stated to have had a son: and if we suppose a
failure of issue in his own direct line, and the succession of one of
the two descendants of his daughter to each moiety of the realm, it at
once accounts for the exceptional position of Sarpedon and Glaucus.

The suppositions then towards which we are led are, that Minos was of
Phœnician origin, that he came to Crete and acquired the sovereignty,
that he ruled over a mixed population of Cretans, Pelasgians, and
Hellic tribes, that he organised the country and established an
extended supremacy, especially maritime and insular, beyond its
limits; which however we must not consider as involving the consistent
maintenance of sovereignty according to modern ideas, and which is
in no degree inconsistent with the rule of Danaids or Perseids in
Peloponnesus. Lastly, that in giving form to his social institutions,
he depressed the Pelasgian element of Cretan society, and laid, in
political depression, the foundations of their subsequent servitude.


If this be so, it is worth while further to observe, that there are
traces of a somewhat analogous history in Cyprus, another acknowledged
stepping-stone, according to Homer[346], between Greece and the East.

In the Seventeenth Book of the Odyssey[347], Ulysses, in one of his
fictitious narrations, states to the Suitors, that the Egyptians, who
had taken him prisoner and reduced him to slavery, then made a present
of him to their ξεῖνος Dmetor, a descendant of Iasus, who ruled ‘with
might,’ that is, with considerable power over Cyprus (ὃς Κύπρου ἶφι
ἄνασσεν); the same expression as he uses in the Eleventh Book with
respect to Amphion, the Iasid, in Orchomenus. From all we know of the
Iasian name[348], it may be inferred that this was a Pelasgian dynasty,
and if so, then without doubt that it ruled over a Pelasgian people.

Ulysses does not mention the time of this transaction; and it must be
remembered, that he spoke in the character of an aged person, so that
the scene might be laid (so to speak) thirty or forty years back, and
therefore long before the expedition to Troy.

But in the Eleventh Book of the Iliad[349], we find Agamemnon putting
on a breastplate, which was evidently a marvel of workmanship, with
its plates on plates of different metals, and its six dragons flashing
forth the colours of the rainbow. Now we must observe, first, that this
was evidently meant to be understood as a Sidonian or Phœnician work:
secondly, that it was presented to Agamemnon by Cinyres of Cyprus, to
conciliate his favour (--χαριζόμενος βασιλῆï, perhaps we might render
it, to win the favour of _his_ king--) upon the occasion of his hearing
that the king was collecting an armament against Troy. That is to
say, it was to compound with him for not appearing in person to join
the Greek forces. Here then we must infer that there was some vague
allegiance, which was due, or which at least might be claimed, from
Cyprus to Agamemnon, under the πολλῇσιν νήσοισι[350].

Now we know nothing of the Pelopids before the _Troica_ as conquerors:
and especially, it would be difficult to apply the supposition that
they were such in relation to a place so distant. Therefore the
political connection, whatever it may have been, could probably rest
upon an ethnical affinity alone; and, as we know nothing of any Hellic
element in this quarter, that affinity seems to presume the Pelasgian
character of the population. The inference, which may thus be drawn,
coincides with that already suggested by the name of Iasus.

We may however justly be curious to learn what conditions they were
which gave to Cinyres, and so far as we know to Cinyres alone, among
princes, this very peculiar attitude at a critical juncture. It is
obvious, that in proportion as his situation was remote from the Greek
rendezvous, and from the scene of action, the service became more
burdensome: but on the other hand, in proportion as he was distant
from the centre of Achæan power, he was little likely to be coerced.
How comes it then that Agamemnon had over Cinyres an influence which
he does not seem to have possessed over the tribes of Macedonia and
Thrace, though these lay nearer both to him, and to the way between him
and the Troad, which he had to traverse by sea?

The hypothesis, that the population of Cyprus was purely or generally
Pelasgian, appears to square remarkably with the facts. For then, upon
the one hand, they would naturally be disinclined to interfere on
behalf of the Greeks in a war where all purely Pelasgian sympathies
would (as we must for the present take for granted) incline them
towards Troy.

But further, we find among other notes of the Pelasgians this, that
they were characterised by a want of nautical genius, while the more
enterprising character of the Hellenes at once made them, and has kept
them down to this very day, an eminently maritime people; and Homer
himself, with his whole soul, evidently gloried and delighted in the
sea. If then the population of Cyprus was Pelasgian, we can readily
understand how, notwithstanding its sympathies and its remoteness,
it might be worth the while of its ruler to propitiate Agamemnon
by a valuable gift in order to avert a visit which his ships might
otherwise be expected to pay; and how the Pelopid power over Cyprus,
as an island, might be greater than over nearer tribes, which were

It may aid us to comprehend the relation between Cyprus and Agamemnon,
if we call to recollection the insular empire which Athens afterwards

There is another sign, which strongly tends to connect Cyprus with
the Pelasgian races, especially those which belong to Asia. It is the
worship of Venus, who had in that island her especial sanctuary, and
who, upon her detection in the Odyssey[351], takes refuge there. In
the war, she is keenly interested on the Trojan side: and the Trojan
history is too plainly marked with the influence of the idea, that
exalted her to Olympian rank. That Venus was known mythologically among
the Hellenic tribes, we see from the lay of Demodocus. That she was
worshipped among them, seems to be rendered extremely improbable by the
fact, that Diomed wounds her in his ἀριστεῖα[352]. We must consider
her as a peculiarly, and perhaps in Homer’s time almost exclusively
Pelasgian deity; and her local abode at Paphos may be taken as a marked
sign, accordingly, of the Pelasgianism of Cyprus.

We have already seen Agapenor, a stranger, placed by Agamemnon in
command of the Pelasgian forces of Arcadia; and Minos, a stranger,
acquire dominion over the partially, and perhaps mainly, Pelasgian
population of Crete. It seems probable, that Cyprus in this too
affords us a parallel. We have the following considerations to guide
us in the question. First, the Pelasgians, not being a maritime, were
consequently not a mercantile people. Secondly, from the description
of the gift sent by Cinyres, we must understand it, on account of
the preciousness of its materials and its ornaments, to have been
a first rate example of the skill of the workers in metal of the
period. Such things were not produced by Pelasgians; and we must, to
be consistent with all the other Homeric indications, suppose this
breastplate to have been of Sidonian or Phœnician workmanship. This
supposition connects Cinyres himself with Phœnicia, while his people
were Pelasgian. Again, on examining his name we find in it no Pelasgian
characteristics; but it appears to be Asiatic, and to signify a musical
instrument with strings, which was used in Asia[353]. All this makes it
likely, upon Homeric presumptions, that he was a Phœnician, or a person
of Phœnician connections, and that into his hands the old Pelasgic
sovereignty of Minos had passed over from the Iasid family, which had
reigned there shortly before the _Troica_.

The Homeric tradition with respect to Cinyres is supported to some
extent from without[354]. Apollodorus so far agrees with it as to
report, that Cinyres migrated from the neighbouring Asiatic continent
into Cyprus with a body of followers, founded Paphos, and married the
daughter of the king of the island. Apollodorus, Pindar, and Ovid, all
treat Cinyres in a way which especially connects him with the worship
of Venus, as though he had introduced it into the island; and it is
observable, that the points at which we find this deity in contact with
the race are all in Asia, or on the way from it, that is to say, Troas,
Cyprus, and lastly, Cythera: as if it were not original to the Greeks,
but engrafted, and gradually taking its hold. Sandacus was, according
to Apollodorus, the father of Cinyres, and had come from Syria into

The process which we thus seem to see going forward in the Pelasgian
countries, and which was probably further exemplified in the Greek
migrations to the coast of Asia Minor, was grounded in the natural,
if we mean by the natural the ordinary, course of things. In the last
century, John Wesley said, that the religious and orderly habits of
his followers would make them wealthy, and that then their wealth
would destroy their religion. So in all likelihood it was the peaceful
habits of the Pelasgians that made their settlements attractive to the
spoiler. They thus invited aggression, which their political genius and
organization were not strong enough to repel; and the power of their
ancient but feeble sovereignties passed over into the hands of families
or tribes more capable of permanently retaining it, and of wielding it
with vigour and effect.

_Negative argument from Homer._

I must not, however, pass from the subject of Homeric testimony
respecting the Pelasgi, without adverting to one important negative
part of it.

It must be observed, that, as anterior to the three appellatives which
he ordinarily applies to the Greeks of the Trojan war collectively,
Homer uses no name whatever other than the Pelasgic, which is not of
limited and local application. Neither Ἀχαιοὶ, Ἀργεῖοι, nor Δαναοὶ,
bear any one sign of being the proper designation of the original
settlers and inhabitants of all Greece: and if the name for them be
not Πελασγοὶ, there certainly is no other name whatever which can
compete for the honour, none which has the same marks at once of great
antiquity, and of covering a wide range of the country. And if, as I
trust, it shall hereafter be shown, that all these came from abroad
as strangers into a country already occupied, there then will be a
presumption of no mean force arising even out of this negative, to the
effect that the Pelasgians were the original base of the Greek nation,
while we are also entitled to affirm, upon the evidence of Homer, that
their race extended beyond the limits of Greece.

Such is the supposition upon which we already begin to find that
the testimony of the poems as a whole appears to converge. It is, I
grant, indirect, and fragmentary, and much of it conjectural; we may
greatly enlarge its quantity from sources not yet opened: but I wish to
direct particular attention to its unity and harmony, to the multitude
of indications which, though separate and individually slight, all
coincide with the theory that the Pelasgi supplied the _substratum_ of
the Greek population subsisting under dominant Hellic influences; and
to the fact, I would almost venture to add, that they can coincide with
nothing else.

_The Pelasgians; post-Homeric evidence._

We must proceed, however, to consider that portion of the evidence in
the case, which is external to the Homeric Poems.

Besides what has been up to this point incidentally touched, there is
a great mass of extra-Homeric testimony, which tends, when read in the
light of Homer, to corroborate the views which have here been taken of
the Pelasgi, as one of the main coefficients of the Greek nation.

In the first chapter of the able work of Bishop Marsh, entitled, _Horæ
Pelasgicæ_[355], will be found an ample collection of passages from
Greek writers, which, though many of them are in themselves slight,
and any one if taken singly could be of little weight for the purpose
of proof, yet collectively indicate that the possession of the entire
country at the remotest period by the Pelasgi was little less than an
universal and invariable tradition. I will here collect some portion of
the evidence which may be cited to this effect.

Coming next to Homer in time and in authority, Hesiod supports him, as
we have seen above[356], in associating Dodona both with the Pelasgic
and with the Hellic races; placing it, just as Homer does, in the midst
of the latter, and more distinctly than Homer indicating its foundation
by the former. It may be observed that, in a Fragment, he questionably
personifies Pelasgus[357].

Next we find the very ancient poet Asius, according to the quotation of
Pausanias[358], assigning the very highest antiquity to the Pelasgian
race, by making Pelasgus the father of men;

    ἀντίθεον δὲ Πελασγὸν ἐν ὑψικόμοισιν ὄρεσσι
    γαῖα μέλαιν’ ἀνέδωκεν, ἵνα θνητῶν γένος εἴη.

Among the Greek writers, not being historians themselves, of the
historic period, there is none whose testimony bears, to my perception,
so much of the true archaic stamp, as Æschylus. It seems as if we could
trace in him a greater piety towards Homer, and we certainly find a
more careful regard both to his characters and his facts, than were
afterwards commonly paid to them. Nay he excels in this respect the
Cyclic poets. They were much nearer in date to the great master, but
he, as it were, outran them, by a deeper and nobler sympathy. In him,
too, the drama had not yet acquired the character, which effaces or
impairs its claims to historical authority: which earned for it the
ἐκτραγῳδεῖν of Aristotle[359] and Polybius[360], and on which was
founded the declaration of Socrates in the Minos, Ἀττικὸν λέγεις μῦθον
καὶ τραγικόν[361]. Even where he speaks allegorically, he seems to
represent the first form of allegory, in which it is traceably moulded
upon history, and serves for its key. It is not therefore unreasonable
to attach importance to his rendering of the public tradition
respecting the Pelasgi, which we find in a remarkable passage of the

    τοῦ γηγενοῦς γάρ εἰμ’ ἐγὼ Παλαίχθονος
    ἶνις Πελασγὸς, τῆσδε γῆς ἀρχηγέτης.
    ἐμοῦ δ’ ἄνακτος εὐλόγως ἐπώνυμον
    γένος Πελασγῶν τήνδε καρποῦται χθόνα[362].

Pelasgus, himself the speaker, then describes his dominions as reaching
from Peloponnesus (χώρη Ἀπίη) in the south to the river Strymon in
the north (πρὸς δύνοντος ἡλίου), and declares how Apis, coming from
Acarnania, had fitted the country for the abode of man by clearing it
of wild beasts. Acarnania marks the line of country, which formed the
ordinary route from Thessaly to Peloponnesus. Taken literally, Pelasgus
is the son of the Earthborn, and the name-giver of the Pelasgian race.
What the passage signifies evidently is, that by ancient tradition
the Pelasgians were the first occupants of the country, and that they
reached from the north to the south of Greece. It is in the reign of
this mythical Pelasgus, that Danaus reaches the Peloponnesus.

Of such an _eponymus_ Thessaly, Argos, and Arcadia had each their
separate tradition in its appropriate dress. Pausanias reports the
Arcadian one very fully: and according to its tenour Pelasgus taught
the use of dwellings and clothes, and to eat chestnuts instead of
roots, grass, and leaves[363]. The tomb of Pelasgus was pretended to be
shown at Argos.

Herodotus states that the Hellas of his day was formerly called
Πελασγία[364]: gives to the Peloponnesian women of the era of Danaus
the name of Πελασγιωτίδες γυναῖκες[365]: he denominates the Arcadians
Πελασγοὶ Ἀρκάδες[366], the people of what was afterwards Achaia
Πελασγοὶ Αἰγιαλέες[367], the Athenians Πελασγοὶ Κραναοὶ[368], whom also
he describes as autochthonic[369]: and he shows, that recollections
of the Pelasgian worship were preserved in his day at Dodona[370].
He furthermore mentions the Πελασγικὸν τεῖχος[371] at Athens; and he
places the Pelasgian race in Samothrace, and Lemnos, and mentions their
settlements upon the Hellespont, named Placia and Scylace.

Thucydides describes the spot or building called Πελασγικὸν under
the Acropolis at Athens, the very situation, in which the original
town would in all likelihood be placed for safety. This historian
also sustains, with the weight of his judgment, the opinion that
in pre-Hellenic times the prevailing race and name in Greece were
Pelasgic; κατὰ ἔθνη δὲ ἄλλα τε καὶ τὸ Πελασγικὸν ἐπὶ πλεῖστον[372].

It is true, that in another passage[373], among the races of the
βάρβαροι, he enumerates the Pelasgi: but the epithet itself, which
was wholly inapplicable to the heroic age, shows that he spoke with
reference to the demarcation established in his own time, which made
every thing barbarous that was not Greek, either geographically or
by known derivation. Barbarian with him and his contemporaries meant
simply foreign, with the addition of a strong dash of depreciation.
The full-grown Hellenic character no longer owned kindred with the
particular races, which nevertheless might have contributed, each in
its own time and place, to the formation of that remarkable product.
The relationship is, however, established by Thucydides himself; for he
says these Pelasgi were of the same Tyrseni, who occupied Athens at an
earlier period.

Theocritus, who flourished early in the third century B. C., has a
passage where he distinguishes chronologically between different
persons and races. He begins with the heroes of the Troica, and then
goes back to the ἔτι πρότεροι, in which capacity he names the Lapithæ,
the Deucalidæ, the Pelopids, and lastly the Ἄργεος ἄκρα Πελασγοί[374].
The word ἄκρα might mean either (1) the flower of Greece, or (2)
the very oldest and earliest inhabitants of Greece[375]. Now as the
Pelasgians were by no means the flower of Greece, we can only choose
the latter meaning for this particular passage. The word Ἄργος is
perhaps taken here in its largest sense[376].

Apollonius Rhodius, nearly a century later, adheres to part at
least of the same tradition, and calls Thessaly the πολυλήïος αἶα
Πελασγῶν[377]. The Scholiast on this passage adds an older testimony,
stating that Sophocles, in the Inachus, declared that the Πελασγοὶ and
Ἀργεῖοι were the same.

According to Strabo, the Pelasgi were the most ancient race which
had held power in Greece: τῶν περὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα δυναστευσάντων
ἀρχαιότατοι[378]. In the same place he calls the oracle of Dodona
Πελασγῶν ἵδρυμα, a Pelasgian foundation. He expressly supports the
construction which has been given above to the Πελασγικὸν Ἄργος of
Homer[379], in the words τὸ Πελασγικὸν Ἄργος ἡ Θετταλία λέγεται, and he
defines the country by the Peneus, Pindus, and Thermopylæ. He traces
the Pelasgi in a multitude of particular places, and, on the authority
of Ephorus, mentions Πελασγία as a name of Peloponnesus. He also gives
us that fragment of Euripides, which states, in harmony with the
testimony of Æschylus, that Danaus came to Greece, founded the city of
Inachus, and changed the name of the inhabitants from Pelasgiotes to

    Πελασγιώτας δ’ ὠνομασμένους τὸ πρὶν
    Δαναοὺς καλεῖσθαι νόμον ἔθηκ’ ἀν’ Ἑλλάδα.

And Strabo considers that both the Pelasgiote and the Danaan name,
together with that of the Hellenes, were covered by the Argive or
Argeian name on account of the fame, to which the city of Argos

The writings of Dionysius of Halicarnassus probably represent all, that
a sound judgment could gather from the records and traditions extant in
his time[381]. He pronounces confidently, that the Pelasgian race was
Hellenic; which I take to mean, that it was one of the component parts
of the body afterwards called Hellenic, not that the early Pelasgi were
included among the early Hellenes. He considers that the race came from
Peloponnesus, where many believed it to be autochthonic, into Thessaly,
under Achæus, Phthius, and Pelasgus. It was unfortunate, as in other
respects, so in being driven to frequent migrations. This idea of the
frequent displacement of the Pelasgians was probably the product in the
main of the two facts, first, that traces of them were found at many
widely separated points, and secondly, that, according to tradition,
they had sunk into a position of inferiority.

K. O. Müller, proceeding chiefly on the post-Homeric tradition, has
strongly summed up the evidence as to the Pelasgi, to the following

They were the original inhabitants of the plains and flat bottoms of
the valleys, any one of which the ancients called by the name Ἄργος, as
we see by the plains of the Peneus, and of the Inachus. If, as Strabo
holds, this use of the word was in his time modern, and Macedonian or
Thessalian, it may still have been a revival of a primitive usage,
even as the very old word Γραικὸς had come back into use with the
Alexandrian poets, through the old common tongue of Macedonia.

Their oldest towns were the Larissæ[382], and the number of these
points out the Pelasgians as a city-founding people, expert in raising
considerable and durable structures. These Larissæ were upon alluvial
soils by rivers, and the Pelasgians were early diggers of canals[383].
Their pursuits were agricultural; hence they occupy the richest soils:
hence Pelasgus is the host of Ceres, and the inventor of bread: hence
Tyrrhenian Pelasgi convert the stony ground by Hymettus into fruitful
fields. The shepherd life of the Pelasgians is an Arcadian tradition,
but Arcadia was not their only original seat, and, when displaced by
Achæans and Dorians, they may have been driven to the hills. Such seats
we find in Argos, Achaia, Peloponnesus generally, Thessalia, Epirus,
and Attica, where they may be traced in the division of the tribes.

Treating as an error the tradition of their vagrant character, he
conceives them to be generally and above all autochthonic. He quotes
from Asius in Pausanias the lines which have already been quoted.

There is no record, he says, of their coming into Greece by
colonization. They are a people distinct, he thinks, from Lelegians
and Carians, as well as from the northern immigrants, Achæans, and
Thessalians: and they are the basis and groundwork of the Greek

In Niebuhr[385] will be found a comprehensive outline of the wide range
of Pelasgian occupancy in Italy: and Cramer supplies a similar sketch
for Asia Minor and for Greece[386].

I forbear to quote Latin authorities as to the Pelasgi of Greece. The
strong Pelasgian character of Magna Græcia will of itself naturally
account for the free use of the name by Romans to designate the Greek
nation, and cannot therefore greatly serve to show even the later
tradition concerning the ancient position of the Pelasgians in Greece,
and their relations to its other inhabitants.

Marsh appears to assert too much, when he says that we may set down as
peculiarly Pelasgian those places which retained the Pelasgian name in
the historic ages. It does not follow from this retention, that Placia
and Scylace were more genuinely Pelasgian than Thessaly, any more than
we are entitled to say from Homer, that Thessaly was originally more
Pelasgian than Attica or Peloponnesus, though it retained the name
longer. The reason may have been, that no such powerful pressure from a
superior race was brought to bear in the one class of cases, as in the

In holding that the Pelasgians were the base, so to speak, of the
Greek nation, I mean to indicate it as a probable opinion, that they
continued to form the mass of the inhabitants throughout all the
changes of name which succeeded the period of their rule. But it would
appear, that a succession of other more vigorous influences from the
Hellic stock must have contributed far more powerfully in all respects,
excepting as to numbers, to compose and shape the nationality of the
people. The chief part of the Pelasgians of Attica may perhaps have
lain among the 400,000 slaves, who formed the unheeded herd of its
population; much as in Italy the serfs of the Greek colonists bore the
Pelasgian name[388]. So large a body could scarcely have been formed
in that limited territory, except out of the original inhabitants of
the country. In early stages of society the bulk of society takes its
impress from one, or from a few, of superior force: and the ruling
families and tribes of a smaller, but more energetic and warlike race,
finding for themselves a natural place at the head of societies already
constituted, assume the undisputed direction of their fortunes, and
become, by a spontaneous law, their sole representatives in the face of
the world, and in the annals of its history.

_Language of the Pelasgians._

We may, however, find no inconsiderable proof of the presence of a
strong Pelasgian element in the Greek nation, in that portion of the
evidence upon the case which is supplied by language. Those numerous
and important words in the Latin tongue, which correspond with the
words belonging to the same ideas in Greek, could only have come from
the Pelasgian ancestry common to both countries; and, if coming from
them, must demonstrate in the one case, as in the other, the strong
Pelasgian tincture of the nation.

And as the language of a country cannot be extensively impregnated
in this manner, except either by numbers, or by political and social
ascendancy (as was the case of the French tongue with the English), or
by literary influence (as is now the case with us in respect to the
Greek and Latin tongues), we must ask to which of these causes it was
owing, that the Pelasgians so deeply marked the Greek language with the
traces of their own tongue. It was not literary influence, for we may
be sure that there existed none. It was not political ascendancy, for
they were either enslaved, or at the least subordinate. It could only
be the influence of their numbers, through which their manner of speech
could in any measure hold its ground; and thus we arrive again at the
conclusion, that they must have supplied the substratum of the nation.

It is true that Herodotus, as well as Thucydides, spoke of the
Pelasgians as using a foreign tongue. So a German writer would
naturally describe the English, and yet the English language, by
one of its main ingredients, bears conclusive testimony to the Saxon
element of the English nation, and also illustrates the relative
positions, which the Saxon and Norman races are known in history to
have occupied. The tongue of the Pelasgians had been subject within
Greece to influence and admixture from the language of the Hellic
tribes: beyond Greece it had received impressions from different
sources; and naturally, after the consequences of this severance had
worked for centuries, the speech of the Pelasgians would be barbarous
in the eyes of the Greeks. Again, Marsh[389] observes that, in the very
chapter where he distinguishes Pelasgic from Hellenic, Herodotus (i.
56) declares the Ionians to belong to one of these stocks, the Dorians
to the other: both of which populations were in his time undoubtedly
Greek. And the historian gives another strong proof that the Pelasgians
were Greek, where he assigns to this parentage (ii. 52) the Greek name
of the gods: θεοὺς δὲ προσωνόμασάν σφεας ἀπὸ τοῦ τοιούτου, ὅτι κόσμῳ
θέντες τὰ πάντα πρήγματα κ.τ.λ.

Even if we suppose, as may have been the case, that the Pelasgi
mentioned by Herodotus, and by Thucydides, spoke a tongue as far from
the Greek actually known to either of them, as is German from the
English language at the present day, yet by its affinities that tongue
might still remain a conclusive proof, that the ancestors of those who
spoke it must have formed an essential ingredient in the composition
of the nation. The evidence, which we know to be good in the one case,
might be equally valid in the other.

There is abundance of testimony among authors, both Greek and Roman,
to establish the relation of the Pelasgi to the old forms of the
language of both countries. It is enough for the present to refer to
the Second Chapter of Bishop Marsh’s Horæ Pelasgicæ for a very able
and satisfactory discussion of the question. I shall presently have to
consider the particular complexion of the words which the Greek nation
appear to have derived from Pelasgic sources, and the inferences which
that complexion suggests. But this will best be done, when we have
examined into the Homeric import of the Hellenic and Pelasgian proper

_Pelasgian route into Greece._

We have next to examine the question,

By what route is it most probable that this Pelasgian nation came into

On this subject there can hardly be any other than one of two
suppositions: the first, that by Thrace, or by the islands of the
north, they reached Thessaly: the other, that they crossed from Asia,
to the south of the Ægean, by the islands which divide the spaces of
that sea.

It is observed by Cramer[390], that the prevailing opinion among those
ancient writers, who have discussed the subject, places the Pelasgians
first in the Peloponnesus: this being maintained by Pherecydes,
Ephorus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Pausanias, without any
dissentients to oppose them. This tradition evidently favours the
opinion of a passage by the south.

Dionysius, who may be regarded as summing up the general results of
Greek tradition, says[391] it placed the Pelasgians first in the
Peloponnesus as autochthons; and represented them as having migrated
to Thessaly in the sixth generation. In six generations more, they
were, he conceives, expelled by the Ætolians and Locrians, then
called Curetes and Leleges, and were dispersed into various quarters:
indeed, here the tradition seems to become wholly vague or mythical,
and to have gathered into one mass most of the places in which there
appeared signs of Pelasgic occupancy: it includes the report of a great
migration to Italy.

Marsh[392] considers Thrace as the original seat in Europe of the
Pelasgi; but the _data_ on which he proceeds are too narrow; they
have reference only to the islands of Lemnus, Imbrus, and Samothrace.
There is no evidence of Pelasgians on the Continent to the north of
the Ægean except what places them at a distance from Troy (τῆλε Hom.
Il. xvii. 301), and if so, at a point which they may have reached from
those islands, more probably, than by the continental route. It is on
the whole more likely, however, that Pelasgians may have found their
way into Greece both by the north (and if so, probably through the
islands), and also by the south.

Homer affords no materials for conclusively determining the question.
He gives us the Pelasgic name established in Thessaly, which favours
our supposing the one passage, and likewise in Crete, which favours
the other. He gives us the Pelasgic Jove of Dodona (a very weighty
piece of testimony), and the τέμενος of Ceres in Thessaly, telling
rather for the first; and he likewise gives us a perceptible connection
between Ceres and Crete, and between Jupiter and king Minos, verging
to the latter. But it is to be observed that, with the exception of
Attica, the chief Homeric tokens of Pelasgianism lie in Northern and in
Southern, but not in Middle, Greece: which favours the opinion, that
there may have been a double line of entry.

The extra-Homeric tradition is on the whole most favourable to the
supposition of a southern route. Hesiod makes Dodona in Thessaly
Pelasgian, but distinctly associates Ceres with Crete: and the Theogony
(479, 80) sends Jupiter as an infant to be reared in Crete. The Hymn
to Ceres, as we have seen, brings her from thence to Eleusis; and
the popular mythology in general treats that island as the cradle
of Jupiter, therefore manifestly as the place from which the Greeks
derived his worship. More than this; the tradition makes Peloponnesus
the seat and centre of Pelasgic power, as we see from Æschylus, who
makes Pelasgus reside in Peloponnesus, but rule as far as Macedonia.
So likewise the names both of Ἀπίη γαῖα and of Ἰασὸν Ἄργος connect
themselves originally with this part of Greece: especially when we
consider that Apis in Egypt is the sacred bull, and that agriculture,
the characteristic pursuit of the Pelasgians, was also the business of
oxen. Again, Herodotus[393] reports that the local tradition of Dodona
assigned to that oracle an Egyptian origin; and as Dodona was Pelasgic,
this tradition somewhat favours the hypothesis of entry by the south.

There are several allusions in Homer to Crete, to Cyprus, or to both,
as marking the route between Greece and Asia. Menelaus, after quitting
Troy, and nearing Crete (Od. iii. 285-92), sailed afar

    Κύπρον Φοινίκην τε καὶ Αἰγυπτίους ἐπαληθεῖς[394].

The pseudo-Ulysses sails from Crete to Egypt[395], and returns
thence to Phœnicia, in one tale, and afterwards starts for Libya by
Crete; in another legend, he is given over from Egypt to Cyprus; and
Antinous[396], in the Seventeenth Odyssey, replying to the supposed
beggar-man, says, Get out of the way,

    μὴ τάχα πικρὴν Αἴγυπτον καὶ Κύπρον ἵκηαι.

We already know the connection of Crete with Greece from the Iliad: and
thus it appears as on the high road from Greece to Phœnicia, and by
Phœnicia to Egypt. The unexampled populousness of that island would,
as a matter of course, beget migration; and, of all the tracts lying
to the west of the Ægean, the Thessalian plain would, from its extent,
offer perhaps the greatest encouragement to agricultural settlers.
The traditions reported by Herodotus from Dodona connect that place
closely with Egypt and the East, and the route now supposed by Crete
establishes that connection in what is probably the simplest and most
obvious line.

The continental country from Thessaly to the north and east was held
as it would appear to a great extent by a martial and highland race
Θρῇκες and Θρηίκιοι. It is not likely that the Pelasgians had much
in common with that people, or could make their way to Greece either
with or in despite of them. Perhaps the coast where we find Cicones
and Pæones apart from the Thracians, may have afforded a route, and we
must remember the traditional traces of them both on the coast of the
Hellespont and in the islands[397].

This may be the place most convenient for observing, that there can
be little hesitation in regarding the northern route as that by which
the Hellic tribes came into Greece. They, a highland people, came
along a mountain country. They left their name upon the Hellespont,
the sea of Helle, which means not the mere strait so called in later
times, but the whole northern Ægean[398]; and upon the river Selleeis,
which discharges itself into the sea of Marmora. We first hear of them
in Homer at the extreme north of Thessaly: then we find them giving
their name, Hellas, to that country, or to some part of it. The people
of Hellas, when their connection with their sires of the mountain had
become faint in comparison with their relation to the territory they
occupied, called themselves Hellenes, from the region they inhabited;
and lost sight, as it were, of the ruder parent tribe. In the meantime,
they had struck out offshoots through Greece, and the name Hellas had,
as will be seen[399], probably come, even in the time of Homer, to be
applied in a secondary and comprehensive sense to the whole northern
and central parts of it.

_Peloponnesus the seat of power._

It is remarkable and undeniable, with reference both to Pelasgic and
to Hellenic times, that in whatever part of the country ruling tribes
or families might first make their appearance, the permanent seat of
power for Greece was uniformly in the Peloponnesus. Every movement
of political importance appears to direct itself thither, and there
to rest in equilibrium. The old tradition of Pelasgus, the dynasties
of Danaids, Perseids, and Pelopids, the great Heraclid and Doric
invasion, evidently aiming at laying hold on the centre of dominion,
and yet more, that Spartan primacy (ἡγεμονία), which endured for so
many centuries, all tell the same tale; finally the train of evidence
is crowned by the strong local sympathies of Juno. It was only in
the fifth century before the Christian era that Athens acquired the
lead: nor did she keep it long. Her sway, after an interval, was
followed by another shortlived ascendancy, that of Thebes, in the
fourth century. But Greece ended as she had begun: and the last
splendours of her national sentiment and military courage were flung
from its pristine seats in Peloponnesus: from Lacedæmon, and Achaia.
The old Amphictyonic Union alone remained, throughout the historic
times of Greece, to bear witness to the fact that it was in the north
of the Isthmus, and above all in Thessaly, that the Hellic tribes
first organised themselves as distinct political integers, united
in substance, if not in form, in respect of their common religious
worship, and their common blood.

It was probably greater security, which gave this advantage, in
early times, to Southern over Northern and Midland Greece. Only one
narrow neck of land led into the Peloponnesus, and that passage was
so circuitous, or dangerous, or both, that it was not the highway of
immigrant tribes, who seem usually to have crossed the Corinthian gulf
into Elis. This tract of land had not indeed the whole, but it had
much, of the advantage enjoyed by England. It was not quite, but it was

    A precious stone, set in the silver sea,
    Which serves it in the office of a wall,
    Or as a moat defensive to a house[400].

When reached, it was the highway to nothing. The fat lands of Bœotia
were a road onwards for all who came from Thessaly: there was here a
choice between barrenness and poverty, on the one hand, like those of
Attica in early times, and insecurity of tenure in the rich soils,
which were the object of desire to each tribe as it went upon its
march. The Peloponnesus was richer than the one, far more secure than
the other: it throve accordingly; and in the Trojan war this small
territory supplied four hundred and thirty ships, probably including
the greatest number of large vessels, while the other two divisions of
continental Greece together gave no more than five hundred and thirty.
And it seems to have had altogether a more vigorous and concentrated
political organisation; for while the five hundred and thirty were in
fifteen divisions, under twenty-six leaders, the Peloponnesian force
was in six divisions, under nine leaders only, and of the six three at
least, namely, those of Mycenæ, Lacedæmon, and Arcadia, were virtually
under the direct command of Agamemnon.

_Derivation of the Pelasgian name._

Various derivations have been suggested for the name of the Pelasgi.
Some will have it to come from Peleg, mentioned in the tenth chapter
of Genesis, whose name, said to mean division, is taken to allude to
the partition of the earth’s surface among the various tribes of the
human race. Marsh well observes, that this amounts to no more than
possibility: that the meaning of the word will not serve to attach
it to the Pelasgi in particular, as in the early ages of the world
migration, with partition and repartition, was a continuous process:
and that, even if true, it tells us nothing of them antecedent to their
European settlement[401]: nothing, that is to say, of a material kind,
except what we know independently of it, viz. their being, in common
with all other races, of eastern origin. Clinton gives other reasons
for rejecting this etymology[402], while he sees force in the reference
of the names of Iapetus and Ion to Japheth and Javan respectively.
It seems plain that we could not safely build upon even a complete
similarity of name, in a case where the interval of time that separates
Peleg and Pelasgi, the terms we are to compare, is so vast and so

So also the name πελαργοὶ, meaning storks, has been taken to be the
foundation of Πελασγοί; and the explanation has been given, that the
stork is a migratory bird, and that the Pelasgi were called after it
on account of their wanderings.

This explanation, which seems worse than the former, rests in part
upon a statement of Herodotus misconstrued. He calls the Dorians ἔθνος
πουλυπλάνητον κάρτα[403], and this has been erroneously applied to the
Pelasgians, of whom, on the contrary, he says, οὐδαμῆ κω ἐξεχώρησε.
This statement from a writer of the age of Herodotus, fully neutralises
the statement of Dionysius, who describes them as itinerant, and never
securely settled[404]. He may, indeed, mean no more than Thucydides
means, when he says (i. 2), that the occupants of good soils were
the most liable to dispossession. But does this idea of itinerancy
correspond with the migrations of the stork, which seem to have
reference to the steady periodical variations of climate, and to be as
far as possible from the idea implied in ‘much-roving?’

It appears to have been the understood characteristic of that bird,
to draw to and dwell about the settled habitations of men. It seems
highly improbable, and without precedent, that a widely spread nation
should take its name from a bird: but may not the bird have taken its
name from the nation? If it were a nation emphatically of settlers,
as opposed to pirates, robbers, nomads, and rovers of all kinds,
dwelling with comfort in fixed abodes, as opposed to the ἀνιπτόποδες
χαμαίευναι[405], might not birds, which seemed to share these
settlements, be reasonably named after the people?

It by no means appears as if Aristophanes, in the passage where
he uses the term, intended a mere pun. It is in the comedy of the
Birds[406], and is an allusion to that law of the Athenians, evidently
here signified under the name of storks, which required children to
provide for their parents[407]. The passage is clearly a testimony to
the Pelasgic origin of the Athenians: and it may be based upon the
belief, that the storks took their name from the Pelasgi, and that
the similarity lay in their habit of settling on the roofs of houses
and the like, almost as if inhabitants, in the villages of which the
Pelasgi were the first Greek founders. It also gives room for the
conjecture that Πελαργοὶ may have been the old form of the name.
The stork, it may be remembered, was one of the sacred birds of the

Again, the word πέλαγος has been suggested as supplying the true
derivation of the Pelasgian name. Marsh[408] rejects it, because he
conceives it is founded upon the hypothesis that the Pelasgi came
across the Ægean, which he thinks improbable. But the evidence appears
to be in favour of their having come principally by the islands, if
not at once across the Ægean. It may also be questioned, whether the
etymology must rest on this hypothesis exclusively. For, in the first
place, the more natural construction would be, not that they came by
sea, but that they came _from beyond sea_, an idea which might very
well attach to any people of Asiatic origin. So it was that the too
famous Pelagius, who is known to have been a Welshman, came by his
classical name; a name bearing that very signification[409]. But
is it not also possible, that πέλαγος may at one time have had the
meaning of a plain? It properly signifies a wide open level surface,
corresponding with the Latin _æquor_, and with our _main_. Hence Homer
never attaches to the word πέλαγος any of his usual epithets for
the sea, such as οἴνοψ, ἠχηεὶς, μεγακήτης, ἀτρύγετος, πολύφλοισβος;
but only μέγα, great: and he uses the phrase ἅλος ἐν πελάγεσσι[410],
which would be mere tautology, if πέλαγος properly and directly meant
the sea. So Pindar has πόντιον πέλαγος, Æschylus ἃλς πελαγία, and
Apollonius Rhodius πέλαγος θαλάσσης[411]. There were in Macedonia, as
we learn from Strabo, a people called Pelagones[412], and in Homer
we find the names Πελάγων and Πηλέγων. Again, we have in Hesychius,
among the meanings of πελαγίζειν, ψεύδεσθαι μεγάλα, and for πέλαγος he
gives μέγεθος, πλῆθος, βύθος; as well as πλάτος θαλάσσης. It seems not
impossible that the Pelasgi may owe their name to the word πέλαγος, in
its primary sense of plain and open surface: as the word Θρῇξ, in this
view its exact counterpart, was derived from τρῆχυς, and at one time
meant simply the inhabitant of a rough and rocky place, a mountaineer
or highlander.

There is, however, another mode in which Πελασγοὶ may bear the sense of
inhabitants of the plain, or rather (for it is in this that the word
will most comprehensively apply to them, and most closely keep to its
proper meaning), of the cultivable country, which would include valleys
as well as plains properly so called: and indeed this derivation,
suggested by K. O. Müller, is the simplest possible, if only we can
clear the first step, which _assumes_ the identity of Πελασγοὶ and
Πελαργοί. He says it is compounded of πέλω and ἄργος. The first meaning
of πέλω seems to imply motion with repetition or custom. Afterwards it
is _to be_, and especially _to be wont to be_. Thus it will, while yet
very near its fountain, have the sense, _to frequent_ or _inhabit_.
To the same origin he refers πόλις, πολέω; and also the πελώρια, the
harvest feast of Thessaly, taken as the feast of inhabitation[413] or

The subject of this name will again come into view, when the later
name of Ἀργεῖοι is examined. In the mean time, let it be observed,
that if the Pelasgi were thus called from being, or if only they in
fact were, inhabitants of the plains, we find in this some further
explanation of the tradition, which can hardly have been an unmixed
error, of their vagrant character. For the plains contained the most
fertile soils: and, especially as they were of limited extent, their
inhabitants could not but rapidly increase, so as to require more space
for the support of their population. Further, these rich tracts offered
a prize to all the tribes who were in want of settlements; according
to the just observation of Thucydides[414], already quoted, that the
most fertile parts of Greece, namely, Bœotia, Thessaly, and much of
Peloponnesus, most frequently changed hands. This would be more and
more applicable to a given people, in proportion as it might be more
addicted to peaceful pursuits. Manifestly, it is as inhabitants of the
plains, or the cultivable country, that Homer especially marks the
Pelasgi: both by calling the great plain of Thessaly Pelasgic, and by
the epithet ἐριβώλαξ which he applies (Il. ii. 841, and xvii. 301), to
their Larissa, on the only two occasions when he mentions it. And the
etymological inquiry seems, upon the whole, to direct us, although the
particular path be somewhat uncertain, towards a similar conclusion.


[276] Il. xiv. 321.

[277] Od. xix. 178.

[278] Od. xi. 568-71.

[279] Cf. Il. i. 238. ii. 205.

[280] Il. xviii. 501. xxiii. 436.

[281] Æn. vi. 566.

[282] Il. iii. 365.

[283] Nägelsbach, Homerische Theologie, p. 83; and Vid. inf. sect. iv.
pp. 120, 124.

[284] Höck’s Creta, ii. 142, n.

[285] Il. xiii. 450. Od. xix. 179.

[286] Od. xix. 181-98.

[287] Höck’s Creta, ii. 182.

[288] Od. xvii. 523.

[289] Od. xiv. 199. Il. xiii. 453. Il. ii. 649.

[290] Od. xix. 172.

[291] Il. xi. 712.

[292] Il. vii. 133, 5.

[293] Od. xvii. 442.

[294] Od. xi. 321.

[295] Il. i. 260-5.

[296] Od. xi. 631.

[297] Ibid. 322-5.

[298] Il. xiii. 450-3.

[299] Fragm. xi. Strabo vii. p. 332.

[300] Il. xiii. 681.

[301] Il. xiv. 322.

[302] Od. iv. 564.

[303] Od. vii. 317-26.

[304] Od. xi. 580.

[305] Æsch. Suppl. 262.

[306] Thucyd. i. 4.

[307] Minos, 16, 17.

[308] Pol. ii. 10. 4.

[309] For a lucid sketch of the position of Minos as defined by
tradition, see Thirlwall’s Greece, vol. i. ch. 5.

[310] Herod. iii. 122.

[311] Herod. i. 173.

[312] Müller’s Dorians, ii. 11. 8; Eurip. Fragm. i.

[313] Creta ii. 87.

[314] Pol. ii. 10.

[315] Ibid. ii. 10. 2.

[316] Minos 11-17.

[317] Athen. vi. p. 263.

[318] Ibid. p. 267.

[319] Il. xviii. 592.

[320] Paus. x. 17. 4.

[321] Ath. vi. p. 263.

[322] Höck’s Creta, b. ii. sect. 4. (ii. 222 and seqq.)

[323] Il. xii. 397.

[324] See particularly his speech Il. xii. 310-28.

[325] There were also Lycians of Troas, with whom Pandarus was
connected: and it is possible that these may be the persons meant.
(Schol. on Il. v. 105.)

[326] For the question whether the Leleges on one single occasion form
an exception, see sup. p. 162.

[327] Il. xvii. 350, 1. ii. 848.

[328] Il. xii. 408. xvi. 421.

[329] Od. vi. 241.

[330] Il. xii. 397.

[331] Il. xvi. 659.

[332] Il. xvi. 422. xvii. 426.

[333] Il. xii. 310.

[334] Vid. inf. sect. vii.

[335] Il. v. 172.

[336] Il. ii. 827.

[337] Il. v. 105.

[338] Paus. viii. 2. 1.

[339] Grote, Hist. Greece, iv. 280.

[340] Vid. inf. sect. x.

[341] Herod. i. 136.

[342] Photii Bibliotheca 72. p. 107.

[343] Herod. i. 73.

[344] Il. xxiii. 860.

[345] Il. vi. 193.

[346] Od. xvii. 442, 8.

[347] Ibid. 440-4.

[348] Vid. sup. p. 125.

[349] Il. xi. 19-28.

[350] Il. ii. 108.

[351] Od. viii. 362.

[352] See inf. Religion and Morals, Sect. iii.

[353] Gr. κινύρα, Hebr. kinnûr. Liddell and Scott, in voc.

[354] Apollod. Bibl. iii. 14. 3. Pind. Pyth. ii. 26. Ov. Met. x. 310.

[355] Cambridge, 1815.

[356] Sup. p. 108.

[357] Hist. Fragm. x. 2.

[358] Paus. viii. 1. 2.

[359] Rhet.

[360] Hist. vi. 56, 8.

[361] Minos 10.

[362] Æsch. Suppl. 256.

[363] Paus. viii. 2. 2.

[364] Herod. ii. 56.

[365] ii. 171.

[366] i. 146.

[367] vii. 94.

[368] i. 56.

[369] viii. 44.

[370] ii. 52.

[371] v. 64.

[372] Thuc. i. 3.

[373] Thuc. v. 109.

[374] Theocr. Idyll. xv. 136-40.

[375] Pind. Pyth. xi. 18. Soph. Aj. 285.

[376] See inf. sect. viii.

[377] Argonaut. i. 580, and Schol. Paris.

[378] Strabo vii. p. 327.

[379] Ibid. v. p. 221.

[380] Ibid.

[381] i. 17.

[382] See however p. 114 above.

[383] So the ὀχετηγὸς ἀνὴρ already exists, as apart from the common
labourer, in the time of Homer; Il. xxi. 257.

[384] K. O. Müller, Orchomenos, 119-22.

[385] Chap. iii.

[386] Cramer’s Geogr. Ancient Greece, vol. i. p. 15.

[387] The tradition that the Pelasgians were the original inhabitants
of the Greek Peninsula appears to have been adopted into the literature
of modern Greece. See Πετρίδης--Ἱστορία τῆς παλαίας Ἑλλάδος ἀπὸ τοὺς
ἀρχαιοτάτους χρόνους, Κερκύρα, 1830, chap. i. p. 2. Also that Pelasgi
and Hellenes were the two factors (μέρη) of the Greek nation. Ibid. p.

[388] Niebuhr, ibid.

[389] Horæ Pelasg. ch. ii. p. 28.

[390] Cramer’s Greece i. 17.

[391] Antiq. Rom. i. 17, 18.

[392] Horæ Pelasg. pp. 12-15.

[393] Herod. ii. 54-7.

[394] Od. iv. 83.

[395] Ibid. xiv. 246-58, 290, 293-300.

[396] Ibid. v. 442, 7, 8.

[397] Perhaps the use of the word ἤπειρος for mainland may suggest,
that it is due to an insular people, who would appropriately describe
a continent as the unlimited (land). It is derived from α and πέρας,
an end or stop; consider also περάω, to pass over, ἀντιπέραια, Il. ii.
635, and πέρην ἱερῆς Εὐβοίης, ibid. 535.

[398] See inf. sect. vi.

[399] Inf. sect. vi.

[400] Richard II., act ii., sc. 1.

[401] Horæ Pelasg. ch. i. sub fin.

[402] Clinton, Fast. Hell. i. p. 97.

[403] Herod. i. 56.

[404] Dion. Hal. i. 17.

[405] Il. xvi. 235.

[406] Ὄρνιθες, v. 1359.

[407] Potter’s Antiq., b. i. ch. 26.

[408] Horæ Pelasg. ch. i. p. 17.

[409] See Hey’s Norrisian Lectures, vol. iii. p. 142.

[410] Od. v. 335.

[411] Ol. vii. 104; Persæ 427; Scott and Liddell in πέλαγος. I venture
to suggest πελάζω as the root, and ‘accessible,’ ‘easily travelled,’
‘open’ (compare εὐρυαγυῖα) as the meaning.

[412] Strabo, p. 327, 331.

[413] Orchomenos, p. 119 and n.

[414] Thuc. i. 2.


_On the Phœnicians, and the Outer Geography of the Odyssey._

_The Phœnicians._

The text of Homer appears to afford presumptions, if not of close
affinity between the Phœnician and Hellenic races, yet of close
congeniality, and of great capacity for amalgamation; although the
former were of Semitic origin.

The Phœnician name, as may be seen from Strabo, was widely spread
through Greece: even in Homer we find the word Φοίνιξ already used, (1)
for a Phœnician, (2) for a Greek proper name, (3) for purple, and (4)
for the palm tree (Od. v. 163).

We find the ancient family of Cadmus established as a dynasty in
Bœotia, about the same time, according to the common opinion, with
the earliest appearances of the Hellenic race in the Greek peninsula.
We have no reason to suppose that they were themselves of Hellic
extraction: but we find them invested with the same marks of political
superiority as the Hellenic families, and figuring among the Greek
sovereigns in successive generations. They must have ejected previous
occupants: for Amphion and Zethus first settled and fortified Thebes,
and they were the sons of Jupiter and Antiope[415].

Ino Leucothee, the daughter of Cadmus, was already a deity in the time
of Homer. She appears in that capacity to Ulysses, when he is tossed
upon the waters between Ogygia and Phæacia; that is to say, when he
was still beyond the limits of the Greek or Homeric world, and within
the circle of those traditions, lying in the unknown distance, which
the Greeks could only derive from the most experienced and daring
navigators of the time; namely, the Phœnicians. This appears to mark
Ino herself, and therefore her father Cadmus, as of Phœnician birth.
And accordingly we may set down the position of this family in Greece,
as the earliest token of relations between Phœnicia and Greece.

It is followed by one more significant still, and more clearly attested
in Homer. Minos, a Phœnician, appears in Crete and founds an empire:
he marries his daughter Ariadne to the Athenian hero Theseus; and so
quickly does this empire assume the national character, that in the
time of the _Troica_, Hellenic races are established in the island, the
Cretan troops are numbered without distinction among the followers of
Agamemnon; and Idomeneus, only the grandson of Minos, appears to be as
Grecian as any of the other chiefs of the army. The grandfather himself
is appointed to act as judge over the shades of Greeks in the nether
world[416]: and his brother Rhadamanthus has a post of great dignity,
if of inferior responsibility, in being intrusted with the police of

Nowhere is Homer’s precision more remarkable, than in the numerous
passages where he appears before us as a real geographer or
topographer. Indeed, by virtue of this accuracy, he enables us to
define with considerable confidence the sphere of his knowledge and
experience; by which I mean not only the countries and places he had
visited, but those with respect to which he had habitual information
from his countrymen, and unrestricted opportunities of correcting
error. In the direction of the west, it seems plain that he knew
nothing except the coast of Greece and the coastward islands. Phæacia
hangs doubtfully upon his horizon, and it is probable that he had only
a very general and vague idea of its position. Towards the north, there
is nothing to imply, that his experimental knowledge reached beyond the
Thracian coast and, at the farthest, the Sea of Marmora. He speaks of
Ida, as if its roots and spurs comprised the whole district, of which
in that quarter he could speak with confidence[418]. To the east, he
probably knew no region beyond Lycia on the coast of Asia Minor, and to
the south Crete was probably his boundary: though he was aware, by name
at least, of the leading geographical points of a maritime passage, not
wholly unfrequented, to the almost unknown regions of Cyprus, Phœnicia,
and Egypt. The apparent inconsistency however of his statements[419]
respecting the voyage to Egypt, affords proof that it lay beyond the
geographical circle, within which we are to consider that his familiar
knowledge and that of his nation lay.

While he is within that circle, he is studious alike of the distances
between places, the forms of country, and the physical character of
different districts: but, when he passes beyond it, he emancipates
himself from the laws of space. The points touched in the voyage
of Ulysses are wholly irreconcilable with actual geography, though
national partialities have endeavoured to identify them with a view to
particular appropriation. Some of them, indeed, we may conceive that he
mentally associated with places that had been described to him: nay, he
may have intended it in all: but the dislocated knowledge, which alone
even the navigators of the age would possess, has suffered, by intent
or accident, such further derangement in its transfer to the mind of
Homer, that it is hopeless to adjust his geography otherwise than by a
free and large infusion of fictitious drawing. This outer sphere is,
however, peopled with imagery of deep interest. For the purposes of
the poem, the whole wanderings both of Menelaus and Ulysses lie within
it, and beyond the limits of ordinary Greek experience. And throughout
these wanderings the language of Homer is that of a poet who, as to
facts, was at the mercy of unsifted information; of information which
he must either receive from a source not liable to check or scrutiny,
or else not receive at all: and who wisely availed himself of that
character of the marvellous with which the whole was overspread, to
work it up into pictures of the imagination, which were to fill both
his contemporaries and all succeeding generations with emotions of
interest and wonder.

_Limits of Greek navigation._

In Homer we find that Greek navigation already extends, yet it is very
slightly, beyond the limits of Greek settlement. The Pseudo-Ulysses of
the Fourteenth Odyssey made nine voyages[420], ἀνδρὰς ἐς ἀλλοδάπους;
and at length, inspired as he says by a wild impulse from on high,
he planned and executed a voyage to Egypt. But he is represented
as a Cretan, and the early fame of Crete in navigation is probably
due to its connection through Minos with Phœnicia. Here too the
representation is, that he is a Cretan of the highest class, the
colleague of Idomeneus in his command[421], and thus, according to the
law of poetical likelihood, to be understood as probably of a family
belonging to the Phœnician train of Minos. The Thesprotian ship of the
Fourteenth Odyssey trades for corn to Dulichium only. The Taphians,
indeed, who from the xenial relation of their lord, Mentes[422], to
Ulysses, must in all likelihood have lived in the neighbourhood of
Ithaca, are represented as making voyages not only to an unknown
Temese, which was in foreign parts (ἐπ’ ἀλλοθρόους ἀνθρώπους[423]), but
likewise to Phœnicia; the latter voyage, however, is only mentioned in
connection with the purpose of piracy[424]. But these Taphians appear
to have formed an insignificant exception to the general rule: we do
not hear any thing of them in the great armament of the Iliad. Speaking
generally, we may say that the Achæans had no foreign navigation: it
was in the hands of the Phœnicians.

_The Outer Geography Phœnician._

It is to that people that we must look as the established merchants,
hardiest navigators, and furthest explorers, of those days. To them
alone as a body, in the whole Homeric world of flesh and blood, does
Homer give the distinctive epithet of ναυσικλυτοὶ ἄνδρες[425]. He
accords it indeed to the airy Phæacians, but in all probability that
element of their character is borrowed from the Phœnicians[426], and
if so, the reason of the derivation can only be, that the Phœnicians
were for that age the type of a nautical people. To them only does he
assign the epithets, which belong to the knavery of trade, namely,
πολυπαίπαλοι and τρωκταί. When we hear of their ships in Egypt or
in Greece, the circumstance is mentioned as if their coming was in
the usual course of their commercial operations. Some force also, in
respect to national history, may be assigned to the general tradition,
which almost makes the Mediterranean of the heroic age ‘a Phœnician
lake:’ to their settlements in Spain, and the strong hold they took
upon that country; and to the indirect Homeric testimony, as well as
the judgment of Thucydides, respecting the maritime character of the
Minoan empire.

Again, Homer knew of a class of merchants whom he calls πρηκτῆρες
in the Eighth Odyssey (v. 152). But where Eumæus enumerates the
δημιόεργοι, or ‘trades and professions’ of a Greek community, there are
no πρηκτῆρες among them[427]. Again, as the poet knew of the existence
of this class on earth, so he introduced them into his Olympian heaven,
where gain and increase had their representative in Mercury. From
whence could the prototype have been derived, except from intercourse
with the Phœnicians?

But the imaginative geography of the Odyssey goes far beyond the
points, with which Homer has so much at least of substantive
acquaintance, as to associate them historically with the commerce or
politics of the age. The habitations of the Cyclops, the Læstrygones,
the Lotophagi, of Æolus, the Sirens, Calypso, and Circe, may have
had no ‘whereabout,’ no actual site, outside the fancy of Homer;
still they must have been imagined as repositories in which to lodge
traditions which had reached him, and which, however fabulously
given, purported to be local. Again, with respect to the tradition
of Atlas, it is scarcely possible to refuse to it a local character.
He knows the depths of every sea, and he holds or keeps the pillars
that hold heaven and earth apart. This must not be confounded with the
later representations of Atlas carrying the globe, or with his more
purely geographical character, as representing the mountain ranges of
Northern Africa. Here he appears[428] as the keeper of the great gate
of the outer waters, namely, of the Straits of Gibraltar: that great
gate being probably the point of connection with the ocean, and that
outer sea being frequented exclusively by the Phœnicians, who in all
likelihood obtained from Cornwall the tin used in making the Shield of
Agamemnon, or in any of the metal manufactures of the period. Rocks
rising on each side of a channel at the extreme point of the world, as
it was known to Greek experience, or painted in maritime narrative,
could not be represented more naturally than as the pillars which hold
up the sky. This figure follows the analogy of the pillars and walls
of a house, supporting the roof, and placed at the extremities of the
interior of its great apartment[429]. With equal propriety, those who
are believed alone to have reached this remote quarter, and to frequent
it, would be said to hold those pillars[430].

Even in a less imaginative age than that of Homer, the love of the
marvellous, both by the givers and by the receivers of information,
would act powerfully in colouring all narratives, of which the scene
was laid in tracts unknown except to the narrator. But a more powerful
motive might be found in that spirit of monopoly, which is so highly
characteristic of the earlier stages, in particular, of the development
of commerce[431]. To clothe their relations in mystery and awe, by the
aid both of natural and supernatural wonders, would be, for a people
possessed of an exclusive navigation, a powerful means of deterring
competitors, and of maintaining secure hold upon profits either
legitimate or piratical.

We have before us these facts in evidence: on the one hand, a people
who in maritime enterprise had far surpassed all others, and had a
virtual monopoly of the knowledge of the waters and countries lying
beyond a certain narrow circle. Then, on the other hand, we have
a multitude of adventures laid by Homer in this outer sphere, and
associated wholly with the persons and places that belong to it. Upon
these grounds it seems hardly possible to avoid the conclusion, that
the Phœnicians must have been the people from whom Homer drew, whether
directly or mediately, his information respecting the outer circle of
the geography of the Odyssey. Such is the judgment of Strabo. He says
τοὺς δὲ Φοίνικας λέγω μηνυτάς; he considers that even before the time
of Homer they were masters of the choice parts of Spain and Africa: and
it appears that the traces of their colonization remained until his

_Traditions of the Outer Geography._

But further; the traditions themselves bear other unequivocal marks,
besides their lying in parts known to Phœnicians only, of a Phœnician
character; and whether these marks were attached by Homer, or came
ready made into his hands, has no bearing upon the present argument.

I have spoken of the tradition of Atlas; and of the likelihood that
the Phœnicians would cast a veil over the regions of which they knew
the profitable secrets. In conformity with these ideas, the island of
Ogygia is the island of Calypso, the Concealer: and this Calypso is the
daughter of Atlas.

Phæacia is, in the Odyssey, the geographical middle term between the
discovered and the undiscovered world; Ogygia is the stage beyond
it, and the stage on this side of it is Ithaca. I do not understand
the Phæacians to be a portrait of the Phœnicians[433]: but the very
resemblance of name is enough to show that Homer had this people in
his eye when he endowed his ethereal islanders with the double gift,
first, of unrivalled nautical excellence, and, secondly, of forming the
medium of communication between the interior space bounded by the Greek
horizon, and the parts which lay beyond it.

_Minos the ὀλοόφρων._

But in many instances we find Homer’s peculiar and characteristic use
of epithets the surest guide to his meaning. Now in Minos we have,
according to Homer, a firmly grounded point of contact with Phœnicia.
Of Minos, as the friend of Jupiter, and the Judge of the defunct, we
must from the poems form a favourable impression. Yet is Ariadne Μίνωος
θυγάτηρ ὀλοόφρονος. What is the meaning of the word ὀλοόφρων? I think
an examination of the use of kindred words will show, that in the mind
of Homer it does not mean anything actually wicked or criminal, but
hard, rigid, inexorable; or astute, formidable to cope with, one who
takes merciless advantage, who holds those with whom he deals to the
letter of the bond; and, in consequence, often entails on them heavy

In this view, it would be an epithet natural and appropriate for a
people, who represented commerce at a time when it so frequently
partook of the characters of unscrupulous adventure, war, and plunder;
and an epithet which might pass to Minos as one of the great figures
in their history, or as a conqueror. Again, it is worth while to
review Homer’s use of the adjective ὀλοός. This epithet is applied by
him to the lion, the boar, and the water-snake[434]. Achilles, when
complaining of Apollo for having drawn him away from the Trojan wall,
calls him θεῶν ὀλοώτατε πάντων[435]. Menelaus, combating with Paris,
when his sword breaks in his hand, complains of Jupiter that no god
is ὀλοώτερος[436]. Philætius, in the Twentieth Odyssey, astonished
that Jupiter does not take better care of good men, uses the same
words[437]. And Menelaus applies the same epithet to Antilochus, who
has stolen an advantage over him in the chariot-race[438]. In the
positive degree, it is applied to old age, fire, fate, night, battle,
to Charybdis (Od. xii. 113), and even to the hostile intentions of a
god, such as the ὀλοὰ φρονέων of Apollo (Il. xvi. 701), and in θεῶν
ὀλοὰς διὰ βουλὰς (Od. xi. 275).

But the characteristic force of the epithet applied to Minos becomes
most clear, and its effect in stamping a Phœnician character upon
certain traditions undeniable, when we examine the remaining instances
of its use; and likewise that of the cognate, indeed nearly synonymous,
phrase ὀλοφώïα εἰδώς.

Only two persons besides Minos receive in Homer the epithet
ὀλοόφρων[439]. One of them is Atlas, the father of Calypso: the other
is Æetes, the brother of Circe. Again, the phrase ὀλοφώïα εἰδὼς
is applied to Proteus[440]; and it is used nowhere else except by
Melanthius, where he means to describe Eumæus as a person dangerous
and to be suspected[441]. Again, the ὀλοφώïα of Proteus are his
tricks[442]: and moreover we have the ὀλοφώïα δήνεα of Circe[443].
Thus it would appear that Homer virtually confines these epithets
within one particular circle of traditions; for Proteus, Æetes, Circe,
Atlas, all belong to the Outer Geography of the Odyssey[444]: and the
use of one of them for Minos, with his already presumable Phœnician
extraction[445], leads us, in concurrence with many other signs, to
conclude that the epithet is strictly characteristic, and the circle
of traditions Phœnician. One of the slightest, is also perhaps one of
the most curious and satisfactory signs of the Phœnicianism of the
whole scheme. Tiresias is employed in the Eleventh Odyssey to predict
to Ulysses his coming fortunes: and in doing it he uses many of the
very lines, which are afterwards prophetically spoken by Circe. Now
why is Tiresias made the informant of Ulysses? He is nowhere else
mentioned in the poems; yet he is introduced here, in possession of
the only gift of prophecy permitted in the nether world. Why have we
not rather Amphiaraus, or Polupheides, those Seers at the top of all
mortal renown[446]? Surely there can be but one reason; namely, that
Tiresias was a Theban, a native of the only Greek State, except Crete,
where he could have been the subject of a Phœnician dynasty[447]. It
was doubtless this Phœnician connection, which qualified him to speak
of regions, of which a Greek Seer would, in right of his nation, have
possessed no knowledge.

Nor is it only upon the epithets that we may rely; but upon the
characters, too, of those to whom they are appropriated. They are full
of the elements of cunning and deception. Proteus, Circe, Calypso,
the Sirens, the Læstrygones, the Cyclopes, all partake of this
element, while in some it is joined with violence, and in others
with refinement or sensuality. In all of these we recognise so many
variations of the one Phœnician type.

It has been observed, that Virgil seems to recognise Proteus as an
eastern counterpart of Atlas, in the lines

  Atrides Protei Menelaus ad usque columnas, &c.

This is a recognition by Virgil of the Phœnician character of the
tradition: but I see no evidence that Homer meant to place Proteus and
Atlas in relations to one another as representing the East and West of
the Mediterranean, though this theory is adopted by Nägelsbach[448] and

The office of the god Mercury, and his relationship to Calypso, will be
found to confirm these conclusions[449].

_Commercial aptitude of modern Greeks._

The moral signs of the Greek character, though not identical with
those of the Phœnician, yet establish a resemblance between them; in
so far that both possessed vigour, hardihood, and daring, and that
the intelligence, which directed and sustained these great qualities,
was susceptible of alliance with craft. In the censure upon the
πρηκτῆρες, which Homer has conveyed through the mouth of Euryalus,
we may read a genuine effusion of his own nature: but the gifts of
Mercury to Autolycus appear to show, that the Phœnician character
easily amalgamated with the Greek by its cunning, as well as by its
strength. And certainly we may well marvel at the tenacity of tissue,
with which these characters were formed, when we find that still, after
the lapse of three thousand years, one race is distinguished beyond
all others for aptitude and energy in prosecuting the pursuits of
honourable commerce; that in England, now the centre of the trade of
the whole world, the Greeks of the present day alike excel all other
foreigners who frequent her great emporia, and the children of her own
energetic and persevering people; themselves perhaps the offspring of
the Thesprotians, who went for corn to Dulichium; of the Taphians, who
carried swarthy iron to Temese; of the Cretans, who made much money in
Egypt; and of the Lemnians, who obtained metals, hides, captives, and
even oxen, in return for their wine, from the jovial Greeks of the army
before Troy.

The more we attempt an examination of the geography of the Odyssey, the
more we find that, impossible as it is to reconcile with the actual
distribution of earth and sea, it has marks of being derived from the
nation, who navigated in the remote waters where its scenes are laid.
The fundamental article of the whole is the circumscription of the
known seas by the great river Ocean, which, alike in the Iliad and
the Odyssey, flows round and round the earth, returning upon itself,
ἀψόρροος[450], like what is called an endless rope. And the two keys,
as I believe, to the comprehension of it are to be found in the double

(1) That Homer placed to the northward of Thrace, Epirus, and the
Italian peninsula, an expanse, not of land, but of sea, communicating
with the Euxine. Or, to express myself in other words, that he greatly
extended the Euxine westwards, perhaps also shortening it towards
the east; and that he made it communicate, by the Gulfs of Genoa and
Venice, with the southern Mediterranean.

(2) That he compounded into one two sets of Phœnician traditions
respecting the Ocean-mouth, and fixed the site of them in the North

It would carry us too far from the line of ethnological inquiry, were
I now to examine the extensive question with which these propositions
are connected. I will only observe in this place, that all the features
of this outer geography, when viewed at large, are of such a nature
as to favour, or perhaps rather to compel, the supposition, that it
was founded on foreign, that is to say, on Phœnician information. Its
extended range, its reach, by the routes of Menelaus on the one side,
and of Ulysses on the other, over all the points of the compass, its
vague, indeterminate, and ungeographical character as to distances and
directions, and yet its frequent, though inconsistent and confused,
resemblances at almost every point to some actual prototype, of which
the poet may have had possibly or probably a vision in his eye;--all
this agrees with the belief, that it represents a highly manufactured
work, made up from Phœnician materials, and can scarcely agree with any
thing else.

Reserving this much agitated subject for a fuller separate discussion,
I will here only proceed to consider that limited portion of it which
bears upon ethnology; I mean the evidence afforded us by Homer in the
Odyssey, and particularly in connection with the Wanderings, as to
the site and character (1) of the Siceli and of Sicania: (2) of the
Thesprotians and Epirus: and (3) with respect to the family of Cadmus,
which general tradition connects immediately with Phœnicia in the
person of its founder, and which Homer, by indirect testimony, I think,
justifies us in considering as derived from that source.

_The Siceli and Sicania._

Notwithstanding his use of the name Thrinacie, the poet appears to
have had no geographical knowledge of Sicily, at least beyond its
shape; for I think it may be shown that he places the site of the
island in the immediate neighbourhood of the Bosphorus. But he might
still have heard of the eastern coast of Italy immediately adjoining,
afterwards the country of the Bruttii, which forms the sole of the foot
rudely described by the configuration of southern Italy. For this coast
is much nearer to Greece; it probably would be taken by mariners on
their way from Greece to Sicily, and might be visited by them before
they had pushed their explorations to the more distant point. The
Athenian fleet in the Peloponnesian war touched first at the Iapygian
promontory, and then coasted all the way[451]. This possibility grows
nearly into a certainty, when we find that Homer speaks of a race,
evidently as transmarine, which from history would appear probably to
have inhabited that region at some early period.

I venture to argue that this Bruttian coast, the sole of the Italian
foot, reaching from the gulf of Tarentum down to Rhegium, is the
country which appears to us in the Odyssey under the name of Sicania.

In the fabulous account which Ulysses gives of himself to his father
Laertes before the Recognition, he speaks as follows:

    εἶμι μὲν ἐξ Ἀλύβαντος, ὅθι κλυτὰ δώματα ναίω,
    υἷος Ἀφείδαντος Πολυπημονίδαο ἄνακτος·
    αὐτὰρ ἐμοί γ’ ὄνομ’ ἐστὶν Ἐπήριτος· ἀλλά με δαίμων
    πλάγξ’ ἀπὸ Σικανίης δεῦρ’ ἐλθέμεν οὐκ ἐθέλοντα·
    νηὺς δέ μοι ἥδ’ ἕστηκεν ἐπ’ ἀγροῦ νόσφι πόληος[452].

In this passage Ulysses represents himself as a mariner, driven by
some cross wind out of his course into Ithaca. Now this implies that
his point of departure should be one from which by a single change of
wind he could easily be driven upon Ithaca. Again, Sicania must have
been a region known to the Ithacans, or else, instead of merely naming
it, he would have described it to Laertes, as he describes Crete to

Now, to fulfil these conditions, no other country than the one I have
named is available. It has only an open sea between it and Greece, and
a passage of some two hundred or two hundred and fifty miles, so that
a wind driving him from his course might readily carry him across. And
there is no other tract on the western side of the Adriatic, which is
so likely to have been intended by Homer. Iapygia, beyond the Tarentine
gulf, lies northward even of Scheria; and, like Scheria, so Iapygia
was, we may be assured, in the Outer or unknown sphere of geography for

On the other hand, the Bruttian coast might well be known in Greece,
though by dim rumour, yet better than Sicily: first, because it was
nearer; and secondly, inasmuch as it did not in the same manner
present the appearance of an island, its bearings would be more easily
determined, and therefore its site was less likely to be mistaken.
Lastly, history assures us that the Sicanian name prevailed in Italy,
before it passed over into Sicily. Therefore the country of the Bruttii
is in all likelihood the Homeric Sicania.

But again, we hear in Homer of Σικελοὶ, though not of a Σικελία. The
Suitors advise Telemachus to send his guests to the Σικελοὶ[454] for
sale: adding that a good price, a renumerating price (ἄξιον), would
thus be obtained for them. On the other hand, a Sicelian female slave
is the wife of Dolios, and looks after Laertes in his old age[455].

From these passages we may infer,

1. That the country of the Σικελοὶ was within the remoter knowledge of
Ithacan seamen.

2. That they were a rich people; since they were able to pay a good
price for slaves.

The first point, as we have seen, would make the Σικελοὶ suitable
inhabitants of Sicania.

But likewise as to the second, Homer has given us some indications of
their wealth: (_a_) in the name Ἀφείδας (the open-handed) ascribed by
Ulysses to his father; (_b_) in that of Ἐπήριτος (object of contention)
assumed for himself; (_c_) perhaps also in the name Ἀλύβας, akin to
that of Ἀλύβη[456], where there was silver, and to that of Ἀρύβας a
rich Sidonian[457]. This name probably indicates the possession of
metallic mines, which for that period we may consider as a special sign
of advancement and opulence.

Then if we turn for a moment to the historic period, it is in this very
country that we find planted the great and luxurious cities of Sybaris
and Crotona[458].

Now as the people called Siceli, and the country called Sicania, are
thus placed in relations of proximity by Homer, so they continue
throughout all antiquity. The reports collected by Thucydides represent
the Sicanians as giving their name to Sicily, and displacing the former
name Trinacria, which is identical with the Homeric Thrinacie. At a
later time, the Sicilians passed from Italy into Sicily, and, as was
said, upon rafts; that is to say, across the strait, and consequently
from the country which, as I contend, is the Homeric Sicania. These
Siceli were rumoured to have overcome the Sicani, and to have again
changed the name of the island to Sicily. It is yet more material to
note, that Thucydides says there were still Siceli in Italy when he
himself lived: and he adds the tradition that Italus, a king of theirs,
gave his name to the Peninsula[459].

To these reports, which form a part of the account given by Thucydides,
we may add the statement of Dionysius, that the Σικελοὶ were the oldest
inhabitants of Latium, and were displaced by the Pelasgi[460]. This
implies their movement southward, and makes it probable that we should
meet them in Bruttium, on their way to Sicily, perhaps pressing, in
that region, upon the Sicani.

Such an hypothesis would be in entire agreement with Homer, who
evidently represents the Sicanian as older than the Sicelian name: for
the first had become territorial, when the latter was only tribal or
national. And all this is in agreement with Thucydides in the essential
point, that he makes the Sicanians precede the Siceli: while, though
the tradition he reports brings the Sicani from Spain under pressure
from the Ligures[461], he need not mean to exclude the supposition,
that they may have come by land down the Italian peninsula. Though it
is probably wrong to confound the Siceli with the Sicani[462], it would
thus on all hands appear, that they were but successive waves of the
tide of immigration advancing southward.

There is a further evidence that Homer meant to place Sicania within
the Greek maritime world, and not beyond it. It is this. In his
fabulous narrative to Laertes, Ulysses apprises the old man, that he
had seen his son five years before in Sicania, hopeful of reaching his
home[463]. Now this is a proof that the place was in the Inner or
known sphere of geography: for in the outer circle, as for instance at
Æolia, he never has any knowledge or reckoning of his own as to the
power of reaching home: it was Æolus who gave him the Zephyr to take
him home, not he who knew that if he got a Zephyr he would reach home.
And in like manner he is supplied with express directions by Calypso:
while Menelaus, not being absolutely beyond the known world, has no
instructions for his voyage from Proteus, who plays for him the part of
divine informant.

Thus then it appears, that Homer knew something of that part of the
Italian continent, which we may term the sole of the foot. Again,
if we look onward to the heel, Iapygia or Apulia, and observe its
proximity to Corcyra or Scheria, we shall perceive that mariners in
the time of Homer might take the route, which was afterwards pursued
by the Athenian fleet under Nicias and his colleagues. But this is
conjectural; and as Scheria was so faintly known, we must suppose
Apulia to have been still more faintly conceived. Beyond Apulia Homer
gives no sign of any acquaintance whatever with Italy. It therefore
at once appears possible that he had no idea of the junction by land
between the Greek and Italian peninsulas, and that he had imaged to
the northward only an expanse of sea. I postpone, however, the further
discussion of this subject.

_Epirus and the Thesproti._

_Epirus in Homer._

The Ithacan Suitors threaten to send Irus (Od. xviii. 84, 115), and
again Ulysses (Od. xxi. 307), to a certain lawless and cruel king
named Echetus; and in the two first passages we have the additional
indication ἤπειρόνδε. This expression used in Ithaca can refer to no
other mainland than that of the Greek Peninsula: of which even the
nearer parts[464] pass by that name.

As on the one hand Echetus is savage, and evidently foreign (for we
never find a Greek sold by Greeks as a slave to a Greek), he must be
beyond the Greek limit: doubtless beyond the Thesproti, who were allies
(ἄρθμιοι, Od. xvi. 427) of Ithaca. On the other hand, he could not
be remote, or the Suitors would not have spoken so glibly of sending
persons there. Hence we can hardly doubt, that this Echetus was a
sovereign in the region of Epirus, between Scheria and the Thesproti:
and the territorial name Ἤπειρος may thus be at least as ancient as the

In like manner we find in the Sixth Odyssey a female slave named
Eurymedusa, in the household of Alcinous, the old nurse of Nausicaa.
She was brought by sea Ἀπείρηθεν, and is described as γρηῢς
Ἀπειραίη[465]. This is probably meant to indicate some part of the same

Thus Epirus would appear to form, along with Scheria and Sicania,
Homer’s line of vanishing points, or extreme limits of actual
geography, towards the north-west and west of Greece. To trace these
vanishing points all round the circuit of his horizon, whenever it
can be done, is most useful towards establishing the fundamental
distinction between his Inner and Outer, his practical and poetical
geography. In order to mark that distinction more forcibly, I would, if
I might venture it, even call the former of these alone Geography, and
the latter his territorial Skiagraphy.

More nearly within the circle of every day intercourse with Greece than
the barbarous Echetus and his Epirus, and yet hovering near the verge
of it, are the Thesprotians of the Odyssey.

Ulysses, in the Fourteenth Book, in the course of his fabulous
narrative to Eumæus, relates that, when he was on his way from Crete
to Libya, the ship in which he was sailing foundered, but that, by the
favour of Jupiter, he floated on the mast for nine days, and, on the
tenth, reached the land of the Thesprotians.

_Thesproti in Homer._

This statement suffices to fix that people to the north of the gulf
of Ambracia (Arta). For had they lain to the south of that gulf, this
would not have been the first land for him to make, as it would have
been covered by the islands.

The narrative which follows is very curious. The Thesprotian king
Pheidon, according to the tale of Ulysses, took good care of him
without making him a slave (ἐκομίσσατο ἀπριάτην); which, as he was cast
helpless on the shore, common usage would apparently have justified,
and even suggested. The king’s son, who found him in his destitute
condition, had his share in this great kindness; for he took him home,
like Nausicaa, and clothed him. Here, says the tale, he heard news
of Ulysses, who had proceeded from thence to Dodona to inquire about
his fate, and had left much valuable property in trust with these
hospitable and worthy people. But he goes on to relate, still in the
assumed character, that, instead of keeping him to wait for Ulysses,
the Thesprotian king took advantage of the opportunity afforded by a
Thesprotian ship about to sail to Dulichium for corn, and dispatched
him by it as a passenger to his home. The crew, however, infected with
the kidnapping propensities of navigators, maltreated and bound him,
with the intention of selling him for a slave: but, when they landed on
the Ithacan beach to make a meal, he took advantage of the opportunity,
and made his escape[466].

This ingenious fable is referred to, and in part repeated in subsequent
passages of the poem[467], with no material addition, except that the
country is called (πίων δῆμος xix. 271) a rich one.

But another passage[468], quite independent of all the former, adds
a highly characteristic incident. Antinous, the insolent leader of
the Suitors, is sharply rebuked by Penelope, and is reminded that
his father Eupeithes had come to the palace as a fugitive from the
Ithacan people, dependent on Ulysses for deliverance from their wrath.
The reason of their exasperation was, that Eupeithes had joined
the buccaneering Taphians in a piratical expedition against the
Thesprotians, who were allies of Ithaca.

We have here a very remarkable assemblage of characteristics, which all
tend to prove, and I think very sufficiently prove, the Pelasgianism
of the Thesprotians. The humane and genial reception of the stranded
sea-farer is in exact accordance with the behaviour of the Egyptian
king[469], and his people to him on a previous occasion. The fact that
he was not enslaved, suggests it as most probable, that there were no
slaves in the Thesprotian country: which would entirely accord with
the position of the Pelasgians, as themselves not the conquerors of a
race that had preceded them, but the first inhabitants of the spots
they occupied in the Greek peninsula. The richness of their country
is further in harmony with the account of Egypt, and with their
addiction to agricultural pursuits. The feigned deposit by Ulysses of
his metallic stores with them proves, that they were not a predatory,
and therefore proves, for that period, that they were not a poor
people. The name Pheidon, or thrifty, given to the king, agrees with
the character which, as we shall elsewhere find, attaches in a marked
manner to Pelasgian proper names. And lastly, they were the subject of
attack by Taphian buccaneers; which tends to show their unoffending and
unaggressive character.

On the other side, we find them trading by sea to Dulichium: and we
find the crew of the trader attempting to kidnap Ulysses. But as the
Pelasgians were not in general navigators, it may very well have
happened that the trade of the country had fallen into the hands of
some distinct, possibly some Lelegian, or even some Hellenic race,
which may have settled there for the purpose of carrying on a congenial
employment, and which, like other traders of the time, would be ready
upon occasion to do a turn in the way of piracy. It is to be remembered
that there was a Thesprotian[470] Ephyre; which proves, as I believe,
an early infusion of some race connected with the Hellenic stem.

I conclude, therefore, from Homer, that the Thesprotians were
Pelasgian. And this conclusion is strongly sustained by the
extra-Homeric tradition. Herodotus states, that they were the parent
stock from whence descended the Thessalians[471], a report which I only
follow to the extent of its signifying an affinity between the early
settlers on the two sides of Mount Pindus. And Dionysius[472] appears
to imply the opinion, that they were Thesprotian Pelasgians who settled
in Italy.

I have already stated, that I can hardly think Homer points out to
us more than one Dodona in the Iliad and Odyssey respectively. At
the same time, if the supposition of two Dodonas be admissible, the
circumstances suggested by him would help to account for it. For the
Dodona of the Iliad is described as Pelasgic and also Hellic: that
is, as we must I think suppose, having been Pelasgic, it had become
Hellic. The Dodona of the Odyssey (on this supposition) is Thesprotian,
that is to say Pelasgic, only. The solution would then be, that the
Pelasgians of the original Dodona, when displaced, claimed to have
carried their oracle along with them, while the Hellic intruders in
like manner set up a counter-claim to have retained it in its original
seat. The history of Christendom supplies us with cases bearing no
remote analogy to this, in connection with the removal of a great seat
of ecclesiastical power.


_Cadmeans in Homer._

We have seen that the name of Ino Leucothee is sufficiently identified
with a circle of Phœnician and outer-world traditions. And, as her
name and position give us directly, or by suggestion, the principal
testimony borne by Homer to Cadmus her father, this will be the most
convenient place for considering his connection with Greece.

We are justified, I think, in at once assuming, first, from his
relation to Ino, that he was Phœnician; secondly, from the deification
of his daughter, that he was a ruler or prince. And thirdly, Ino
appears to Ulysses in his distress as a protecting deity. Now as, when
mortal, she had been Phœnician by extraction, and as she thus shows her
sympathies with the Hellenic race, we must assume a link between these
two facts. They would be associated in an appropriate manner, if the
family of Cadmus her father had become naturalized in the possession of
a Greek sovereignty.

Diodorus Siculus has handed down a tradition respecting Cadmus[473],
which is important from its combination with circumstantial evidence;
and which is in harmony with Homer, as it appears to represent the
Phœnician immigrant at a well known and natural resting-place on his
way towards Greece. It is to the effect, that Cadmus put into Rhodes,
built there a temple of Neptune (and here we should remember the
worship, and, as some think, the temple of Neptune[474] in Scheria),
established a line of hereditary priests, and deposited offerings to
Minerva of Lindos. Among these, there remained in after-times a finely
wrought kettle or caldron, executed in an antique style of art, and
bearing an inscription in the Phœnician character.

In connection with the name of Cadmus, we have the Homeric designations
of Καδμεῖοι and Καδμείωνες. They appear to be synonymous: but the
patronymical form of the latter corroborates the opinion that there
was an individual Cadmus from whom the names proceeded, that they were
properly dynastic, and not names taken from a nation or extended race.

We have next to inquire as to the period within which this race of
Cadmeans held sway in Bœotia, the district where alone we hear of them.
When did they begin, and when did they close?

The extra-Homeric tradition would throw Cadmus back to one of the very
earliest periods, which would appear to be included within Homer’s
knowledge upwards. The generations are arranged as follows:

  1. Cadmus.
  2. Polydorus.
  3. Labdacus.
  4. Laius.
  5. Œdipus.
  6. Eteocles and Polynices.

The last-named brothers are contemporaries of Tydeus. It follows that
Cadmus is placed seven generations before the Trojan war; he is made
contemporary with Dardanus, and he appears in Greece about three and a
half generations before Minos came to Crete.

Now this is not the presumption, to which the Homeric text would
give rise. For it does not seem likely that, if a family of an
active race like the Phœnicians made their way into Greece, and
managed to establish a sovereignty within it seven generations before
the _Troica_, upwards of a century should elapse before any other
adventurer was found to repeat so advantageous a process.

Further, the Cadmeans were in Thebes. But Cadmus was not its founder.
It was founded, as we are told in the Eleventh Odyssey[475], by Zethus
and Amphion, sons of Jupiter and of Antiope, daughter of Asopus: two
persons who have thus, on both sides of their parentage, the signs
of being the first known of their own race in the country. From the
appearance of Antiope in the Νεκυΐα, where none but Hellenic and
naturalized Shades are admitted, we may infer that Amphion and Zethus
were not Pelasgian but Hellene. Again, as they _first_ founded and
fortified Thebes, they must have preceded Cadmus there. What then was
their probable date?

In the Νεκυΐα, so far as regards the women, Homer gives some appearance
of meaning to introduce the persons and groups in chronological order.

The first of them all is Tyro[476], who seems to have been of the
family of Æolus, and to have lived about four generations before the

The next is Antiope, mother of Amphion and Zethus.

After her come (1) Alcmene, mother of Hercules,

(2) Epicaste, mother of Œdipus, and

(3) Chloris, mother of Nestor.

All of whom belong to a period three generations before the war.

After these follow Leda and Ariadne, with others whose epoch the text
of Homer does not enable us to fix. But Ariadne, the bride of Theseus,
and aunt of Idomeneus (the μεσαιπόλιος), stands at about one generation
and a half before the war: and Leda, as the mother of Castor and Pollux
who were dead, and of Helen whose marriageable age dated from so many
years before the action of the Iliad, as well as of Clytemnestra,
belongs to about the same date.

On the whole therefore it would appear, from the signs of chronological
order, that Antiope can hardly have been older than Tyro, and therefore
can only have been about four, and her sons about three generations
before the War. We have no vestiges of their race in Homeric history,
except that, in the Nineteenth Odyssey[477], there is recorded the
death of Itylus, the son of Zethus, in his boyhood. The Amphion Iasides
of Od. xi. 283, must be another person. But, if this reasoning be
sound, Cadmus, who succeeds to them in Thebes, was probably much more
recent than the later tradition makes him, and may have come into
Greece only a short time before Minos.

His name appears to have been given as a dynastic name to his subjects,
or the ruling class of them, and to have continued such under his
descendants. For not only does it appear to have begun with him, but
with the fall of the family it at once disappears.

In five different places of the poems, Homer has occasion to refer to
occurrences, which took place at Thebes under the Cadmean dynasty,
in the time of Œdipus and of his sons: and in these five passages he
employs the names Καδμεῖοι and Καδμείωνες no less than eight times for
the people, while he never calls them by any other name[478].

But when we come down to the time of the war, this dynasty has
disappeared with Eteocles and Polynices: the country of Bœotia, which
it had once governed, seems to have lost its cohesion, and its troops
are led by a body of no less than five chiefs. And now, whenever Homer
has occasion to refer to the inhabitants of the country, they are never
Καδμεῖοι or Καδμείωνες, but they are Βοιωτοί. The words Βοιωτὸς and
Βοιώτιος are found nine times in the Iliad.

Nations called by a name which is derived from a national source, are
likely to retain it longer than those which are designated dynastically
from the head of a ruling family: as they must change their dynasties
more frequently than they can receive new infusions of race and blood,
powerful enough to acquire a predominance over the old.

Strabo indeed says[479], that Homer calls the Cadmeans of the Troic
war by the name of Minyæ. But no Minyæ are named in Homer at all,
although he speaks of the Ὀρχόμενος Μινυήïος, and of the ποταμὸς
Μινυήïος in Peloponnesus, and though there was perhaps there also a
Minyan Orchomenos. Even if Minyæ were named in Homer as a race, it
would be strange that Homer should without a reason alter, for the
period of the war, that use of the Cadmean name, to which he adheres
elsewhere so strictly, as to show that he is acting on a rule. Whereas
the transition to Βοιωτοὶ is not only intelligible, but politically

Upon the foregoing facts we may found several observations:

1. The Cadmean name would seem to be strictly dynastic: as it makes its
first appearance on the spot where Cadmus has reigned, and disappears
at the same point, along with the extinction of his family.

2. The use of the Cadmean name by Homer, compared with his departure
from it, each having appropriate reference to the circumstances of
different epochs, appears to be a marked example of a careful and
historic manner of handling local names with reference to the exact
circumstances of place, time, and persons, and not in the loose manner
of later poetry.

3. Our whole view of Cadmus and the Cadmeans from Homer has been
attained by circuitous inference: and, presuming it to be a just
one, we have here a very singular example of the poet’s reticence
with respect to all infusion of foreign blood and influence into his


[415] Od. xi. 260.

[416] Od. xi. 568.

[417] Od. iv. 564.

[418] Il. ii. 824; and xii. 19.

[419] Od. iii. 320-2; and xiv. 257.

[420] Od. xiv. 231, 243-8.

[421] Od. xiv. 237; Il. xiv. 321.

[422] Od. i. 105; ii. 180.

[423] Od. i. 183.

[424] Od. xv. 425.

[425] Od. xv. 415.

[426] See Wood on Homer, p. 48.

[427] Od. xvii. 383.

[428] Nägelsbach, Homerische Theologie 80-3.

[429] There were columns outside the doors, for example, of the palace
of Ulysses in Ithaca. Od. xvii. 29. This construction of the metaphor
would come nearly to the same point, by making it mean the doors of

[430] Hermann Opusc. vii. 253. Nägelsbach, ii. 9, note.

[431] Blakesley’s Introduction to Herodotus, p. xiv.

[432] Strabo iii. 2. 13, 14. pp. 149, 50.

[433] Mure, Greek Literature, i. 510.

[434] Il. xv. 630. xvii. 21. ii. 723.

[435] Il. xxii. 15.

[436] Il. iii. 365.

[437] Od. xx. 201.

[438] Il. xxiii. 439.

[439] Od. i. 52 and x. 137.

[440] Od. iv. 460.

[441] Od. xvii. 248.

[442] Od. iv. 410.

[443] Od. x. 289.

[444] As perhaps does Amphitrite, mentioned four times in the Odyssey,
never in the Iliad.

[445] I shall consider further the construction of Il. xiv. 321, as it
bears on the connection of Minos with Phœnicia, in treating the subject
of the Outer Geography.

[446] Od. xv. 252, 3.

[447] Od. x. 492.

[448] Nägelsbach ii. 9.

[449] See Studies on Religion, sect. iii.

[450] I have given the accepted, and perhaps the more probable meaning;
but the word is also well adapted to signify the _tidal_ Ocean. In the
Mediterranean, as is well known, the tidal action is not perceived.

[451] Thucyd. vi. 42, 44.

[452] Od. xxiv. 304-8.

[453] Od. xix. 172.

[454] Od. xx. 383.

[455] Od. xxiv. 211, 366, 389.

[456] Il. ii. 857. Schönemann Geog. Hom. p. 31.

[457] Od. xv. 426.

[458] Cramer’s Italy, ii. pp. 354, 391.

[459] Thucyd. vi. 2.

[460] Dionys. i. 9.

[461] Thuc. ibid.

[462] Cramer’s Italy, ii. p. 2.

[463] Od. xxiv. 309.

[464] Od. xiv. 93.

[465] Od. vi. 7-12.

[466] Od. xiv. 293-359.

[467] Od. xvi. 65. xvii. 525, and xix. 269-99.

[468] Od. xvi. 424-30.

[469] Od. xiv. 278-86.

[470] Strabo vii. p. 324.

[471] Herod. vii. 176.

[472] Dion. Hal. i. 18.

[473] Diod. Sic. v. 58.

[474] Od. vi. 266.

[475] 260-5.

[476] See inf. sect. viii.

[477] Od. xix. 522.

[478] Il. iv. 385, 388, 391. v. 804. 7. x. 208. xxiii. 680. Od. xi. 275.

[479] ix. p. 401.


_On the Catalogue._

The Catalogue in the Second Book belongs more properly to the
Geography, than to the Ethnology of the poems. But I advert to it here
on account both of the historic matter it contains, and of the manner
in which it illustrates the general historic designs of the Poet.

It is perhaps, in its own way, nearly as characteristic and remarkable
a performance, as any among the loftier parts of the poem. Considered
as a portion of the Iliad, it would be more justly termed the Array
than the Catalogue; for it is a review, and not a mere enumeration.
Considered with respect to history, its value can scarcely be
overrated: it contains the highest title-deeds of whatever ancient
honour the several States might claim, and is in truth the Doomsday
Book of Greece.

We may consider the Greek Catalogue in three parts:

  First, the Invocation or Preface.

  Secondly, the Catalogue Proper.

  Thirdly, the Postscript, so to call it, 761-779.

Before and after, he has graced the work with splendid similes. When
all is concluded and, as it were, marked off, he proceeds to append to
it the Trojan Catalogue; a work of less extent and difficulty, as also
of less penetrating interest to his hearers, but yet constructed with
much of care, and with various descriptive embellishments.

The Preface contains the most formal invocation of the Muses among the
few which are to be found in the poems. The others are,

  Il. i. 1. Introduction to the Iliad: addressed to Θεά.

  Il. ii. 761. In the Postscript to the Catalogue.

  Il. xi. 218. Before the recital of the persons who were slain by

  Il. xiv. 508. Before the recital of the Greek chiefs, who, on the
  turn of the battle, slew various Trojans.

  Il. xvi. 112. Before proceeding to relate, how the Trojans hurled the
  firebrands at the Grecian ships.

  Od. i. 1. Introduction to the Odyssey: addressed to Μοῦσα.

In the cases of the Eleventh and Fourteenth Books, the invocation of
the Muse stands in connection with a particular effort of memory; for
the recitals prefaced by it consist of names not connected by any
natural tie one with the other. But it is here that the Poet’s appeal
to the Muse most deserves attention.

If Homer was composing a written poem, the invocation is ill-timed and
unmeaning. He has already, by a series of fine similes, elevated the
subject to a proper level. Considered as a mere written Catalogue, it
does not deserve or account for the prayer for aid: in this point of
view, it was of necessity among the _sermoni propiora_, and was one of
the easiest parts of the poem to compose. But if we consider the poem
as a recitation, then the Catalogue was very difficult; because of the
great multitude of details which are included in it, and which are not
in themselves connected together by any natural or obvious link.

It is true that he begs the Muses to inform him, because they were
omnipresent and omniscient, whereas he is dependent on report only
(κλέος) for information. Now this was equally true of the whole
material of the poem: but the reason why he introduces the statement of
this truth in so marked a manner, must be from the arduous nature of
the task he was beginning; nor could it be arduous in any other way,
than as an effort of memory.

The invocation contains another proof that the poems were composed for
recitation in the words (vv. 489, 90)

    οὐδ’ εἴ μοι δέκα μὲν γλῶσσαι, δέκα δὲ στόματ’ εἶεν
    φωνὴ δ’ ἄρρηκτος, χαλκέον δέ μοι ἦτορ ἐνείη.

Nothing can be more proper than to refer to the insufficient ability
of the bodily organs of recitation, if he were about to recite: but
nothing less proper, if he were engaged on a written poem. It has been
a fashion however with poets to copy Homer in this passage, although
the reason and circumstances on which it is founded had become wholly
inapplicable: and their abusive imitation has blinded us to the
significance of the passage as it stands in the Iliad.

Now as regards the list itself.

_The Greek Array._

In this Catalogue, he had to go through the different States of Greece,
furnishing twenty-nine contingents of various strengths, all indicated
by the number of ships, to the army. These contingents are under
forty-five leaders, many of them with genealogies, and coming from one
hundred and seventy-one Greek towns. The proper names of the Greek
Catalogue, strictly so called, are three hundred and ninety-six, and
those of the Trojan one hundred and five, making in all five hundred
and one. These must have been a selection from a larger number, for
there were Greek towns (for example Φηραὶ of the Peloponnesus, Od. iii.
488, and the various towns named Ἐφύρη) not named in the Catalogue;
and this again increased the difficulty of keeping by memory to the
list throughout. Again, it was difficult to adopt any arrangement
that should not be wholly arbitrary, in displaying to us the parts of
an army which comprised so many divisions, and which was drawn from
sources so numerous, and dispersed over a territory of such extremely
irregular formation.

_The principle of arrangement._

Homer has however with great ingenuity adopted a geographical
arrangement in the Greek Catalogue, which, so far as the various
divisions were concerned, has enabled him to combine them into a kind
of whole.

The territory, which supplied the army, consisted partly of continent,
and partly of islands: and the islands again were partly such as, lying
about the coast of the mainland, might be most conveniently remembered
in conjunction with it, partly such as formed a group of themselves.

If we take the continent and islands together, we shall find that they
form part of a curvilinear figure, not indeed circular, but elliptical,
and more nearly approaching a circle than that group of islands in
the Ægean, which afterwards obtained the name of Cyclades. This name,
taken from the rude approximation to a geometrical figure, may possibly
have been at first suggested to the Greeks by Homer’s geometrical
arrangement in the Catalogue. I speak of Homer’s arrangement as
geometrical, because the principle he has adopted is that of mental
figure drawing: it is of course of the rudest kind, and he perhaps did
not even know the correct mode of constructing a circle.

The proportion of the figure formed by the mainland and islands is
about two-thirds of a complete circumference: the ends of the curve
being Thessaly to the north, and Calydnæ, with the other small
islands, in the south-east.

Let us now proceed to notice, firstly, the primary division of the
Catalogue into principal parts, and secondly, the subdivision in each
of those parts.

It is worth while to remark, that the Poet has not adopted the mode
of enumeration which might have been thought most obvious: namely, to
begin at one of the extremities of this semicircle (so to call it), and
then proceed towards the other. If the territorial subdivisions had
been regular, this would have been convenient: but from their utter
irregularity it would in this case have been wholly useless.

Again, he might have begun with Agamemnon, his immediate forces and
dominion; and might then proceed through the States according to the
political importance of their respective contingents. But to this
course there were two objections. First, their order could not on this
principle have been easily decided, especially after passing a few
of the most considerable. But, secondly, he appears to have avoided,
with a fixed purpose and with an extraordinary skill, both here and
elsewhere, whatever could have excited feelings of jealousy as between
the several States of Greece. Of course I do not refer to the admitted
supremacy of Agamemnon: but if he had attempted to place the forces
of Nestor, Diomed, Menelaus, of the Athenians, the Arcadians, the
Phthians, in an order thus regulated, it would have been at variance
with obvious prudence, and with his uniform rule of action. Perhaps,
however, we may rightly consider, that if Homer had been writing his
poems, he could not have failed to give Agamemnon the first place
in this description. He has not then followed the general form of
the territory, nor has he begun with the chief political member of
the armament. Nor, lastly, has he even treated the Peloponnesus as a
separate division of Greece: but he has introduced it, though it was
the most important part of the country, between the eastern parts
(Bœotia, with six other States) and the western parts (Ætolia, with two
other States) of Middle Greece.

There are therefore various modes of arrangement, which either
politically or geographically might be termed obvious, but which the
Poet has passed by. Why has he passed them by? and why has he begun the
Catalogue with the Bœotians? who were neither powerful, nor ancient,
nor distinguished in a remarkable degree; nor did they lie at any one
of the geographical extremities of the country.

Again, it might be asked, why has he not either divided all the
islands from Continental Greece, or none? Instead of that, he reckons
Eubœa, Cephallenia, Zacynthus, and Ithaca, in the same division with
Continental Greece, but begins a new division with Crete.

Let us now carefully note what he has done, and see whether it does not
suggest the reasons.

The three principal divisions of the Catalogue would appear to lie as

I. Continental Greece south of mount Œta, including the Middle and the
Southern division, with the islands immediately adjacent. This section
furnishes sixteen contingents. (Il. ii. 494-644.)

II. Insular Greece, from Crete to Calydnæ: these islands furnish four
contingents. (645-680.)

III. Thessalian Greece, from Œta and Othrys in the south, to Olympus in
the north: which furnishes nine contingents. (681-759.)

These three divisions completely sever the line of the semicircular
curve. It follows that in recitation he would be able to dispose of
each part severally, as each forms a compact figure of itself: and this
he could not have done, had he followed the seemingly more natural
division into continent and islands. At the interval between the first
and the second, he makes a spring from Ætolia to Crete: and another
between the second and the third, from the Calydnæ to Thessaly.

The _desideratum_ obviously was, to assist memory by such a
geographical disposition, that the different parts might be made by
association each to suggest that which was immediately to follow. So
distributed, they would supply a kind of _memoria technica_.

We see how he prepares for this operation by his distribution in chief,
which gives him the three sections of Greece, as they succeed one
another on the line of the (completed) figure.

And, though we may not yet have in view a reason for his beginning
with the Bœotians, we seem now at least to have a reason before us for
his beginning with the middle section instead of one of the extremes;
namely, that it was the principal one, as it not only supplied the
largest number of ships and men, and nearly all the greater commanders,
but also as it contains the seat of sovereignty, and supplied the
forces of the Chief of the army.

Having the three sections before us, let us now observe the manner in
which he manages the sub-distribution, so as to make each district of
territory lead him on to the next.

And here he seems evidently to proceed upon these two rules: first,
never to pass over an intervening territory, though he may cross a
strait or gulf.

And secondly, to throw the several States into rude circles or other
figures, round the arc or along the line of which his recollection
moves from point to point.




The Sections are the main divisions.

_The Figures are the Sub-divisions._

_The islands I, II, III, IV, make up the
Second Section and the Third Figure._





   I. Bœotia. (1)
  II. Orchomenus,
      (or Bœotia, 2.)
 III. Phocis.
  IV. Locris.
   V. Eubœa.
  VI. Attica.
 VII. Salamis.
VIII. Argolis.
  IX. Mycenæ.


   I. Lacedæmon.
  II. Pylus.
 III. Arcadia.
  IV. Elis.
   V. Dulichians.
  VI. Cephallenians.
 VII. Ætolians.


   I. Territory of Achilles.
  II. Protesilaus.
 III. Eumelus.
  IV. Philoctetes.


   I. Podaleirius and Machaon.
  II. Polypœtes.
 III. Gouneus. (Perrhœbians and Dodona.)
  IV. Prothous. (Magnesians.)

_N.B. A [cross] marks the place assigned by
Müller to Ormenium, which is
placed by Homer between I and II._

His first figure may be called a circle, being elliptical[480]; and it
includes nine contingents.

  1. Bœotia.
  2. Minyeian Orchomenus.
  3. Phocis.
  4. Locris.
  5. Eubœa.
  6. Attica.
  7. Salamis.
  8. Argolis.
  9. Mycenæ.

His second is a zigzag, and includes seven contingents[481].

  1. Lacedæmon.
  2. Pylus.
  3. Arcadia.
  4. Elis.
  5. The Dulichians.
  6. The Cephallenians.
  7. Ætolia.

We now part with the first section.

His third figure embraces the second section, or insular division of
the Catalogue, and is again part of a rude circle or ellipse[482].

1. Crete.

2. Rhodes.

3. Syme.

4. Cos and other islands. Carpathus is included, which lay between
Crete and Rhodes; being apparently in political union with Cos and
the Calydnæ, and contributing to the same contingent, it could not
but stand with them. Strabo observes that this principle of political
division, according to what he terms δυνάστειαι[483], has been adopted
by the Poet in his account of the Thessalian contingents.

By reference to the rude maps annexed, which mark the several
contingents by figures, the nature of this contrivance will be clearly

_The order for Thessaly._

It is more difficult to trace Homer’s method of proceeding with respect
to Thessaly.

This country furnishes nine contingents, which may best be described
by the names of their leaders. There is no difficulty as to the first
four, except that some of the boundaries are indeterminate. They form,
like the last or insular group, an incomplete circle[484]. The leaders

I. Achilles (681-94).

II. Protesilaus (695-710).

III. Eumelus (711-15).

IV. Philoctetes (716-28).

There is more difficulty in describing the arrangement of the
remainder. Strabo, who has followed the Catalogue in Thessaly with
great minuteness, seems to have noticed the circular arrangement:
at least he speaks of the κύκλος τῆς Θετταλίας, and the περιόδεια
τῆς χώρας[485]. But when he comes to the sixth division, that of
Eurypylus, he appears to find it impossible to fix with any confidence
the site of Ormenium: and says, καὶ ἄλλα δ’ ἐστὶν ἃ λέγοι τις ἂν,
ἀλλ’ οὖν ὀκνῶ διατρίβειν ἐπὶ πλέον[486]. And further on he observes,
that the displacements and changes of cities, and mixtures of races,
have confounded the names and tribes[487], so as to make them in part
unintelligible to men of his day: where we are anew reminded of the
passage of Thucydides, in which he tells us, that the most fertile
tracts underwent the most frequent changes of population[488].

The δυναστεία of Eurypylus is in our maps commonly placed on the sea
coast, but as it appears, with little authority of any kind: while,
after all the proof we have seen of continuous arrangement, it seems
incredible that, in this instance alone, Homer could have followed an
order such that the δυναστεία should not march either with that which
precedes, or that which follows, but should be severed from them by a
line of territories intervening, which he has already disposed of.

To judge from analogy with the otherwise uniform rule of the Catalogue,
the dominions of Eurypylus must have been somewhere conterminous both
with those of the Asclepiads, and with those of Polypœtes. Waiving
however any effort to fix positively their site, we find the other four
remaining contingents connected by a zigzag line[489], like that which
was used in southern Greece. The leaders are as follows:

I. Podaleirius and Machaon (729-33). (Eurypylus 734-7, omitted.)

II. Polypœtes (738-47).

III. Gouneus (Enienes, Perrhæbi, and Dodona, 748-55).

IV. Prothous (the Magnesians, 756-9).

In this view Homer appears to subdivide Thessaly into two figures,
as he had done Southern Greece: and in both cases one of them is
curvilinear, in which the eastern parts are arranged: the other a
zigzag, which includes the western portions.

I have described this geometrical arrangement, as of great interest
in connection with the question, whether the poems were written or
recited; and also as it seems to be in itself highly ingenious.

It seems to distribute in rude but real symmetry before the eye of the
mind, an assemblage of objects between which it would at first sight
appear almost impossible to frame any link of connection.

But in Homer, though there is much that is ingenious, there is nothing
that is far-fetched: and the order he has followed might well, as to
many parts at least of Greece, have been that of his own itinerancy as
a minstrel. And, though complex in other respects, yet if it reduces
a complex physical arrangement to the form, in which it becomes
practically more manageable than in any other way for his purposes, it
is evidently the one which may best be justified on the principles of
common sense.

_Fresh proofs of historical intention._

The Greek Catalogue is also full of proofs of the historical intention
of Homer.

In the first place, such proof is afforded by the immense amount of its
details, which are _prima facie_ a load upon his verse, and which Homer
seems to have so regarded, from the care he has taken to relieve the
subject by the cluster of similes at the beginning. He must have had a
purpose in facing this disadvantage. It is quite at variance with his
own spirit, and the spirit of his age, to suppose that this purpose was
merely to flatter the vanity of hearers by wholesale fiction.

The use of supernatural machinery is agreeable to the genius of
the poet and his age, but not so the vulgar falsification of plain
terrestrial facts. If the supposition of wholesale fiction cannot be
maintained, there is no other alternative but that of an historical

Viewed at large, the Catalogue is an answer to that normal question,
which expresses the anxiety of every Greek to make the acquaintance
of a man first of all through what are colloquially termed his

    Τίς; πόθεν εἶς ἀνδρῶν; πόθι τοι πόλις; ἠδὲ τοκῆες[490];

The chief indication of departure from this purpose is in the case of
Nireus[491]. This paltry leader is almost the only person of legitimate
birth, both of whose parents are named: and while he is evidently
introduced for his beauty only, it is most suspicious that his father
should be named Χάροψ, and likewise his mother Ἀγλαΐη. This savours of
the names Δημόδοκος and Τερπιάδης, which Homer has given to his Bards
in the Odyssey. And again of his Phronius, son of Noemon, whom he
introduces to play the part of a considerate and serviceable Ithacan
citizen[492]. With the insignificant island of Syme Homer might, for
a special object, well take this liberty. And we may observe here, as
elsewhere, that what is probably a departure from literal truth, may
also be in a higher view historical: for doubtless his object is to
commemorate impressively the wonderful beauty of Nireus, and this he
does by inventing appropriate accessories.

Again, though an accurate geography would not of itself have proved
the personal parts of the narrative to be historical, it is scarcely
conceivable that he would have adopted one so minute and elaborate, as
well as exact, if he had meant to combine with it a string of merely
fictitious personalities.

_Genealogies of the Catalogue._

Thirdly, besides many simple patronymics, there are found thirteen
minor genealogies in the Catalogue, ten of them Greek, and three
foreign. They are of three generations only in every case, with the
single exception of the Orchomenian leaders, who have four: and in
every case they attach to secondary heroes, who are thus treated in a
mass, while provision is made in other parts of the poem for making
known to us the descent (with the exception of Ajax) of all the greater
heroes, as occasion serves to state it for each of them singly. Now
it is inconceivable, even on general grounds, that the poet should
have invented this mass of names; for they could surely have excited
no sort of interest among his hearers, except upon one ground. They
must have been true genealogical records of persons, who had played a
part in the great national drama; one not perhaps of high importance,
yet sufficient to be the basis of such traditions, as are justly
deemed worthy of local record among a people eminently strong in their
municipal, as well as their general patriotism. Over and above this,
many points of these minor genealogies coincide with, and illustrate
other historical notices in other parts of the poem.

Again, there are in all eight cases in the Catalogue, where the name of
a mother is mentioned. These are,

1. Astyoche, mother of Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, Mars being the father,
v. 513.

2. Aroura mother of Erechtheus, no father being mentioned, v. 548.

3. Astyochea mother of Tlepolemus, Hercules being the father, v. 658.

4. Aglaie mother of Nireus, Charops the father, v. 672.

5. Alcestis mother of Eumelus, Admetus the father, v. 715.

6. Rhene mother of Medon, Oileus the father, v. 728.

7. Hippodamia mother of Polypœtes, Pirithous the father, v. 742.

8. Venus is mentioned as the mother of Æneas, Anchises being the
father, v. 820.

The second of these cases, if we are to regard the passage containing
it as Homeric, must not be considered as an account of parentage, but
simply as a mode of asserting autochthonism. Again, the parents of
Nireus, whether true persons or not, are evidently named with reference
to the consideration of beauty only, which is the key to the whole

And the parentage of Æneas may also perhaps be named for the sole
purpose of embellishment.

Described by the words θεὰ βροτῷ εὐνηθεῖσα, it does not appear to stand
in the same class, or to be susceptible of the same explanations, as
those Greek cases where Greek chieftains born out of wedlock have
gods for their fathers; nor is there any case, among the Greeks, of
illegitimate birth from a goddess. Of the five other cases three (1,
3, and 6), are obviously illegitimate births, one at least of them
with a fabulous father. This raises the presumption that the name of
the mother was mentioned as the only remaining means of recording the
descent: inasmuch as the persons would otherwise have been οὐτίδανοι.
It may reasonably be conjectured, that all these births were out of

The epithets of the Catalogue are so accurately descriptive of the
country, that they have always been used as tests of the traditions
respecting the situations of the places to which they refer. They are
not less exactly in harmony with the descriptions in other parts of
the poem, and this in minor cases, where purposed fiction can hardly
be supposed, not less than in the greater ones. For instance, the
Arcadians of Il. vii. 134, are ἐγχεσίμωροι: those of the Catalogue
are ἀγχιμάχηται (604), and ἐπιστάμενοι πολεμίζειν (611). The Pelasgi
of Il. x. 429 are δῖοι, those of the Catalogue (840) are ἐγχεσίμωροι.
The Cephallenians of the Catalogue are μεγάθυμοι (631), those of Il.
iv. 330 are στίχες οὐκ ἀλαπαδναί. The Crete of the Odyssey (xix.
174) has ἐννήκοντα πόληες, the Crete of the Catalogue (v. 649) is

Single commands are in every instance assigned to those who in the
rest of the poem appear as chiefs of the first order. In the case of
Idomeneus alone is this in any way obscured; as the passage (645-51)
runs: ‘Idomeneus led the Cretans.... Idomeneus led them, with
Meriones.’ But it is very remarkable that Meriones holds just this sort
of ambiguous relation to Idomeneus in the poem at large: sometimes he
is called his θεράπων (xxiii. 113 _et alibi_), and his ὀπάων (x. 58 _et
alibi_), while he stands among the nine first warriors of the army, who
(vii. 161), volunteer for single combat with Hector; and when Idomeneus
leads the van, he manages the rear (iv. 251-4). Again, though the
opportunities afforded by the Catalogue are of necessity narrow, yet
Homer has contrived within its limits to mark distinctly the character
and position of nearly every great chieftain: certainly of Agamemnon,
Achilles, Menelaus, Telamonian Ajax (v. 668), and Ulysses.

_The Epilogue._

The third portion, or epilogue, appears to be ascribable chiefly to
the genial love of Homer for the horse. His arrangement of the army
according to the number of ships, which conveyed each division, had
shut out the mention of the chariots and the coursers who drew them,
and he appears to have devised this closing invocation for the purpose
of supplying the defect. It was certainly not necessary in order to
fix the position of Achilles in the army, which the First Book had
completely developed; and the passage is chiefly occupied with the
horses of Eumelus, together with those of Achilles and his force.

It contains, however, two remarkable notes of historical veracity. The
horses of Eumelus, a Thessalian, are proclaimed to have been by far the
best (μέγ’ ἄρισται): and the Myrmidons, again a Thessalian contingent,
are here spoken of as having a number of separate chariots and horses;
we are told (773), ‘the soldiers played at games.... The horses stood
feeding, each near his own chariot, and the chariots were in their
sheds.’ This is never said of any other contingent in the army. In
strict harmony with this picture, Thessaly was conspicuous throughout
the historic times of Greece, for the excellence of its breeds of
horses, and the high character of its cavalry.

If all this be so, we cannot wonder at the high estimation in which the
Catalogue of Homer was held by the Greeks of after-ages, as the great
and only systematic record of the national claims of the respective

This was not merely literary or private estimation: the Catalogue had
the place of an authoritative public document. Under the laws of Solon,
for example, it received the honour of public recitation on solemn
occasions. It was also quoted for the decision of controversies. In the
critical moment, which preceded the first Persian war, the Athenian and
Spartan envoys apply on the part of Greece to Gelon for his aid. He
claims the command. In resisting this claim and urging their own right
to lead the fleet, unless that post be claimed by the Lacedæmonians,
the Athenians found their pretensions on the magnitude of their fleet,
their autochthonism, and, finally, the testimony of Homer to the merits
of Menestheus[494].

_The Trojan Catalogue._

The Trojan Catalogue has less of organic connection than the Greek with
the structure of the poem at large.

In proceeding to this portion of his work, the poet does not renew his
ornamental similes, or his invocation to the Muse. He evidently meant
to lower the tone of his strain: and moreover he was not about to tax
memory as he had done in the former operation, the proper names being
only about one fourth in number of those used for the Greeks, and none
of them being arranged in long strings like the towns of Bœotia.

He now begins in what may be called a natural order: taking first that
section of the army, which was supplied by the Troic sovereignties,
principal and subordinate; and among these giving the first place to
the troops of Ilion itself, as the most considerable, and as those
chiefly concerned. The next is given to the Dardan forces, which were
connected with the original seat of the race, and the following ones to
the contingents supplied by the subordinate sovereigns of the rest of

His pursuit of this order reminds us, that the geographical
distribution was in the case of the Trojan list simple, and did not
require the aid of mental geometry, as he had only to follow, almost
throughout, a single line of States along the European and Asiatic
coasts. It also strengthens the presumption that, when Homer chose an
order so different, and so much less natural and obvious, in the case
of the Greeks, he must have been governed by some peculiar reason.

It will be observed that, of the eleven divisions of the Allies, the
two first are the Pelasgians and the Thracians. As the blood of these
two races flowed likewise in the veins of the Greeks, the precedence
given to them may have been founded on this relationship. But this
presumption is qualified by our finding that, doubtless on the ground
of geographical order, the Lycian contingent, which had, at any rate,
strong Greek affinities, comes last of all.

For a reason given elsewhere, we must consider the numbers assigned
to the Greek contingents as approximate representations of their
respective force: but the omission to particularize numbers at all in
the Trojan Catalogue is itself an evidence of its historical character.
The Trojan army was of a miscellaneous character: we also know that
the allied contingents went and came, and that their absence from
home, not prompted by the same powerful motives as that of the Greeks,
was shortened by reliefs. Thus we find Rhesus with his Thracians just
arrived in the Tenth Book[495]: Memnon comes to Troy after the death
of Hector[496]: and we are told of the sons of Hippotion (Il. xiii.
792), who ἦλθον ἀμοιβοί, had come as reliefs, on the preceding day. An
army thus collected piecemeal, and thus fluctuating in its composition,
could not leave behind it the same accessible traditions. Again, the
destruction of Troy itself obliterated what alone could have been their
depository; nor had Homer, as a Greek bard, either the same motives
or the same means for gathering detailed information, as he would
naturally possess with reference to his own countrymen.

Hence, as the Trojan Catalogue is shorter, so also its scope is more
limited. It contains no specification of forces: no anecdotes going
farther back than the existing generation: scarcely any of what may
be called specialties of character or position as to the chiefs. It
shows a good deal of knowledge of the geography and products of the
countries, but this knowledge is of a much more general and vague
character, than that which he has displayed in almost every portion
of the Greek Array. He gives here very few lists of towns at all, and
never uses epithets requiring us to believe that he had a personal
knowledge of their site and character. Only Ariste is δῖα, and Larissa
is ἐριβώλαξ. In two or three cases he speaks of commercial products;
a characteristic which it is obvious that he might have learned
without any personal experience of the countries. He does not use
this particular kind of sign at all in the descriptions of the Greek
Catalogue: and we may perhaps correctly interpret it, where it appears,
as a token of his want of vivid and experimental knowledge.

He also occasionally names a mountain or a river. But there is a
general avoidance of particular and characteristic epithets, such
as, (to refer to the Bœotian list alone,) πετρήεσσα given to Aulis,
πολύκνημος to Eteonos, εὐρύχορος to Mycalesos, ἐϋκτίμενον to Medeon and
Hypothebæ, πολυτρήρων to Thisbe, ποιήεις to Haliartos, πολυστάφυλος to
Arne, ἐσχατόωσα to Anthedon, with perhaps one or two other cases.

Another material inference is suggested by the very different texture
of the Trojan Catalogue.

Upon the whole, this vagueness of description cannot, I think, but be
regarded as much in conflict with the belief that Homer was a Greek of
Asia Minor, if at least his comparative knowledge of the two countries
on the opposite sides of the Ægean is to be taken as a sign, either
positive or negative, of his nativity.


[480] Fig. i. in Map.

[481] Fig. ii. in Map.

[482] Fig. iii. in Map.

[483] ix. 5. p. 430.

[484] Fig. iv. in Map.

[485] Strabo ix. p. 435.

[486] Ibid. p. 439.

[487] Ibid. p. 442.

[488] Thuc. i. 2.

[489] Fig. v. in Map.

[490] Od. i. 170, _et alibi_.

[491] I am not prepared to contend that the numbers of the ships are to
be taken as literally correct: but this subject will be discussed in
conjunction with his general mode of using number, in the ‘Studies on
Poetry,’ sect. iii.

[492] Od. ii. 386.

[493] The reasons for treating this as a coincidence will be found in a
paper on Homer’s use of number. (Studies on Poetry, sect. iii.)

[494] Herod. vii. 161.

[495] Il. x. 434.

[496] Od. xi. 521.


_On the Hellenes of Homer; and with them_,

Hellas; Panhellenes; Cephallenes; Helli or Selli.

_The Hellas of Homer._

We have next to inquire into the force of the Hellenic name in the
poems of Homer.

It meets us not, like the Pelasgic, in a single form, but in a group of
words; among which, the principal are as follows:

  1. Ἕλληνες, Il. ii. 684.  }
  2. Πανέλληνες, ibid. 530. } National or tribal names.
  3. Σελλοὶ, Il. xvi. 234.  }

And, lastly, the territorial name of

  4. Ἕλλας.

Observing the order of derivation as it has been pointed out by
Mure[497], we shall naturally look to the word Ἕλλας as a guide to
the meaning of its derivatives, Ἕλληνες and Πανέλληνες. It is itself
drawn from Ἑλλοὶ or Σελλοί: but as that name is only once used in the
Poems, and as by far the largest body of evidence tells upon the word
Ἕλλας, the decision upon the whole group of words will turn mainly upon
the inquiry we shall have to make into the use of that word by Homer.
With it therefore we shall commence. Is there, we have to ask, clear
proof, that it went beyond the dominions of Peleus? If it went beyond
them, how far did it go? and did it include that division of Greece, in
which Locris lay, whose inhabitants a particular line of the Catalogue
classes with the Panhellenes? For no suspicion of spuriousness can
justly arise out of the fact (if it be one), that Homer calls by the
name of Hellenes the inhabitants of any country, which was itself
within the scope of the territorial name Hellas: inasmuch as this is
little more than, the word Yorkshire being given, to make use also of
the word Yorkshiremen.

At the outset, however, it is essential to observe, that a certain
elasticity in the use of geographical as well as political names could
not but belong to the age, in which Homer lived: first, because of the
successive movements of tribes, like wave on wave, so that the use of
any such name would ordinarily be either growing or declining, but
not stationary: secondly, because of the indeterminate forms which
political authority assumed, as resting on a mixture, in unknown
proportions, of the various elements of custom, compact, reverence, and
force: and, thirdly, because of the want of well-defined geographical

We are not entitled to assume that the territory, which we call Greece,
was, in Homer’s time, subdivided with precision between a given number
of territorial names. We hear of Phthia, Ægialus, Elis, Arcadia:
but these seem to be the exceptions rather than the rule. For many
parts of it there are no local names whatever; and we must not look
for any thing resembling the manner in which England is made up of
its counties, France of its departments, or the later Greece of its
individual states.

The passages in which the word Hellas is used by Homer stand as follows
in the order of the Poems:

1. A verse in the Catalogue, Il. ii. 683:

    οἵ τ’ εἶχον Φθίην ἠδ’ Ἑλλάδα καλλιγυναῖκα.

2. (Achilles _loquitur_), ix. 395:

    πολλαὶ Ἀχαΐιδές εἰσιν ἀν’ Ἑλλάδα τε Φθίην τε.

3. (Phœnix _loq._), ibid. 447:

    οἷον ὅτε πρῶτον λίπον Ἑλλάδα καλλιγυναῖκα.

4. (Phœnix _loq._), ibid. 478:

    φεῦγον ἔπειτ’ ἀπάνευθε δι’ Ἑλλάδος εὐρυχόροιο,
    Φθίην δ’ ἐξικόμην ἐριβώλακα.

5. (In the narrative), Il. xvi. 595:

    Χάλκωνος φίλον υἱὸν, ὃς Ἑλλάδι οἴκια ναίων
    ὄλβῳ τε πλούτῳ τε μετέπρεπε Μυρμιδόνεσσιν.

6. (Penelope _loq._), Od. i. 344:

                                      μεμνημένη αἰεὶ
    ἀνδρὸς, τοῦ κλέος εὐρὺ καθ’ Ἑλλάδα καὶ μέσον Ἄργος.

7. (Penelope _loq._), Od. iv. 724:

    ἣ πρὶν μὲν πόσιν ἐσθλὸν ἀπώλεσα θυμολέοντα,
    παντοίῃς ἀρέτῃσι κεκασμένον ἐν Δαναοῖσι,
    ἐσθλὸν, τοῦ κλέος εὐρὺ καθ’ Ἑλλάδα καὶ μέσον Ἄργος.

8. Penelope repeats the same lines, Od. iv. 814-16.

9. (Achilles _loq._), Od. xi. 494:

    εἶπε δέ μοι, Πηλῆος ἀμύμονος εἴ τι πέπυσσαι·
    ἢ ἐτ’ ἔχει τιμὴν πολέσιν μετὰ Μυρμιδόνεσσιν
    ἤ μιν ἀτιμάζουσιν ἀν’ Ἑλλάδα τε Φθίην τε.

10. (Menelaus _loq._), to Telemachus, Od. xv. 80:

    εἰ δ’ ἐθέλεις τραφθῆναι ἀν’ Ἑλλάδα καὶ μέσον Ἄργος,
    ὄφρα τοι αὐτὸς ἕπωμαι, ὑποζεύξω δέ τοι ἵππους,
    ἄστεα δ’ ἀνθρώπων ἡγήσομαι.

Of these passages, there are some which admit for the word Hellas
the contracted sense of the dominions of Peleus, or even of a simple
portion of them. Namely the following:

In (1) we are reading part of the description of the country, from
which the force of Achilles was drawn. Beginning from the line which
precedes it, we may translate thus: ‘the inhabitants of Alos, and of
Alope, and of Trachin, and those who occupied Phthia, and the Hellas
of fair women.’ It is clear, on the face of the passage, that, whatever
it may mean, the sense does not require it to mean more in this place
than a particular district, forming part of the dominions of Peleus.

In (2), where Achilles says, there are many Achæan maids through Hellas
and Phthia, any one of whom he can have for a wife.

In (5), where we are told that Bathycles, son of Chalcon, dwelt in
Hellas, preeminent among the Myrmidons in prosperity and wealth.

And in (9), where the shade of Achilles asks whether his father Peleus
is still in the enjoyment of kingly power in the populous country of
the Myrmidons, or whether he is deprived and despised through the range
of Hellas and Phthia.

But among these four passages there is a distinction. In (1), (5), and
(9) Hellas is combined with Phthia. Now we have seen, that there were
Phthians beyond the dominions of Peleus: if the territorial name Phthia
was similarly extended, then the presumption would arise that Hellas
also might mean something more than lay within those dominions. But
there are many passages where Phthia is used without Hellas; and in
them all it is used to express the district where Peleus reigned. It
is not unlikely therefore, at first sight, that Hellas has the limited
sense of a part of the kingdom in these passages. And in the passage
relating to Bathycles, the son of Chalcon, the limited sense is yet
more strongly suggested; yet, as we may hereafter see more clearly, it
is by no means positively required either in that or in any of these
four places.

And it is abundantly clear, from the remainder of the passages, that
the name Hellas had already, in Homer’s time, begun to bear a more
extended sense.

In proof of this, let us take, firstly, the two passages in which it
stands alone. In Il. ix. 444-8, Phœnix tells us that nothing would
induce him to quit Achilles; no, not even if the gods, brushing off
his old age, were to make him young and vigorous again, such as he was
when first he left Hellas, the land of fair women, flying from his
feud with his father Amyntor. Now this passage absolutely proves that
the word Hellas was used by Homer, at least occasionally, for some
limited district, and not (as in after times) for the entire country;
inasmuch as Phœnix could not otherwise have said he _left_ Hellas on
this occasion. But on the other hand it demonstrates, that the limits
of Hellas were not so narrow, as the passages heretofore considered
might permit us to suppose. For Phœnix goes on to describe the cause
of quarrel; and (478-80) says he took his course _through_ broad
open Hellas, and came _into_ fertile Phthia, to Peleus the king. The
supposition most consistent with the wording of these passages is, that
Phthia comprised the principal district of the dominions of Peleus,
while a portion of them may have fallen (as we elsewhere see was
perhaps the case) under the name of Hellas: but they absolutely place
the abode of Amyntor outside the realm of Peleus; and therefore, in
saying that Phœnix left Hellas, and that he fled from his home through
Hellas, they imply necessarily that Hellas, the region from which he
fled, was, in part at least, outside of that realm to which he fled.

But these passages will harmonise perfectly with each other, and with
those formerly examined, if we suppose that Hellas meant the whole of
Northern Greece generally, but that a particular portion of it had been
more definitely stamped with the name of Phthia, as the chief seat of
Peleus and the Myrmidons. For then the original abode of Phœnix might
be in Hellas, as he says (in ix. 447) that it was: and yet he would
pursue his way through Hellas, as he says (ibid. 478) that he did: and
he would also leave Hellas, namely by coming into Phthia: and moreover
the dominions of Peleus might go beyond what was commonly known by the
particular designation of Phthia, and might include some portion of
Hellas, as, from Il. ii. 683, they evidently did.

This supposition is recommended to us, not only by its conforming to
all the requisite conditions, and furnishing a convenient construction
for all the passages we have examined, but by the fact that Phthia, and
Phthia alone, is commonly mentioned in the poem as the home of Achilles
and the Myrmidons: which shows that they had a more special relation to
the territory known by that name, than to Hellas.

If any thing be still wanting, the proof is brought to completeness by
two other passages: the one (Il. x. 261-7), which tells us that this
Amyntor, son of Ormenus, dwelt in Eleon; dwelt there permanently, since
Autolycus stole from him an helmet, by breaking into his substantial
well-built house,

    πύκινον δόμον ἀντιτορήσας[498]:

and the other the verse of the Catalogue[499], which places Eleon in
Bœotia. These passages therefore clearly appear to carry the name
Hellas as far as Bœotia, and to make it reach continuously from thence
to Phthia. And if Hellas comes down to Bœotia, then it includes
Locris; and the various tribes of these regions may be included in
the general name of Hellenes, though to all appearance they were not
as yet familiarly and ordinarily so called. And if Locris and Bœotia,
with part of Southern Thessaly (the dominions of Peleus), are included
within the range of the name Hellas, we can have no difficulty in
supposing that it included Northern Thessaly also, which must have been
the pathway of the Helli to the South.

But we find Ἕλλας in another combination besides that with Phthia,
in the four passages of the Odyssey, (one of them being a simple
repetition of another,) which we have still to examine.

Now the line Od. iv. 726, repeated 816, is under suspicion, of which it
is not worth while to scrutinise the justice: as the idea and force of
it is just the same with that of Od. i. 344,

    Ἀνδρὸς, τοῦ κλέος εὐρὺ καθ’ Ἑλλάδα καὶ μέσον Ἄργος.

This passage describes the fame of Ulysses as spread through the
breadth of Hellas and mid-Argos; (or, from the heart of Argos to its
extremities, right through or _all over_ Argos.) And again in Od.
xv. 80, when Telemachus has proposed to return home forthwith from
the court of Menelaus, his host gently dissuades him from haste, and
counsels a more extended tour, καθ’ Ἑλλάδα καὶ μέσον Ἄργος; offering
to take charge of his horses, and to shew him ‘the cities,’ or secured
dwellings, ‘of men.’

The signification of the word Ἄργος will be considered hereafter: for
the present purpose it is enough to observe that the word μέσον, as
used by Menelaus, in combination with Hellas, of itself prevents our
applying it simply to the narrow corner of the Peloponnesus in which
the city of Argos was placed; and therefore that it can scarcely mean
less than Peloponnesus. And it is not less plain, that whatever may
be the force of the words when taken singly, their effect when taken
together can hardly be less than this: Menelaus must mean to point to
Greece at large, as the scene of the proposed excursion. For there is
no assignable portion of Greece to which, consistently with the words
and the sense, he can be held to confine his meaning. If we could
suppose him to mean Peloponnesus only by the two names Hellas and
Argos, which he employs in this place, we should but enlarge thereby
the Homeric capacity of the word Hellas; for we have already brought it
down from the north to Bœotia; and we should, in the way now proposed,
carry it through the isthmus, and over Peloponnesus, or, at the least,
over some part of it. But even if Menelaus means Peloponnesus only,
which is most improbable, it is plainly incredible that such should be
the meaning of Penelope in Od. i. 344. As a Greek, she _cannot_ mean to
limit the renown of her husband to any sphere less wide than Greece.

We have already seen, that Hellas sometimes includes certainly the
territory from Southern Thessaly to Bœotia, and probably Thessaly at
large: and it is quite plain that, if it comes to Bœotia, it does not
stop there, but applies to the whole of Middle Greece, the region
between Thessaly and the isthmus: for the application of the term
Hellas could not stop except at some great natural division of the
country, and the isthmus is here the only one possible.

Now the name Argos is related to Thessaly[500], but much more specially
related to the Peloponnesus, as we shall see from a number of passages.
It has no relation at all in Homer to that division of the country in
particular which we call Middle Greece.

Assuming it, then, to mean Peloponnesus, in that case Hellas means
Middle with Northern Greece: and the two names of Hellas and Argos,
taken together, completely and conveniently express the whole country.
The only alterations are such as would assign to Hellas a larger sense;
in no case can it, as to this passage, admit of a more restricted one.

The foregoing argument is supported to a certain extent by the fact,
that while territorial names are frequent for the Peloponnesian part of
Greece, (we have Achaic Argos, Iasian Argos, Elis, Arcadia, Lacedæmon,)
the continent to the north of the isthmus is generally without
territorial names: Phthia and Pelasgic Argos are, I think, the only
exceptions. There is thus before us a gap, which the name Hellas, as it
has been here construed, seems conveniently to fill.

This construction of certain passages, in which the word Hellas is
contained, is not one which should be adopted by the reader unawares.
But if, like myself, after examining into it strictly he assents to
its justice and necessity, then he will find that it is of the utmost
importance to the elucidation of Homeric history; for it supplies a key
to other much contested uses of the Hellenic name.

In the first place, I submit that if we now review the ten passages
in which Homer speaks of Hellas, and bear in mind that in some among
them it cannot be construed as meaning less than, with a certain amount
of indeterminateness as to boundaries, Northern and Middle Greece
generally, we shall also find, that there is not one of all those
passages, in which it will not at least admit of the same sense. I
do not deny that it is open to us to hold that the Hellas, in which
Chalcon dwelt, was a mere district of Thessaly, and that Homer attaches
in different places different senses to the word. But if there is a
sense, substantially one, which will suit the word in every place
where it is used, it seems most reasonable to adhere generally to
that sense. Such a meaning we have, I think, found for Hellas, in
concluding that it is used to signify Northern and Middle Greece. In
this sense it overrides and includes Phthia, as France overrides Alsace
or Burgundy. But as there was a time when Alsace and Burgundy might,
before the present state of incorporation, have been either said to be
in France or not in France, without an outrageous license of speech
either way, so perhaps the land of Phthia was for Homer either a part
of Hellas, or a province carved out of Hellas by the special occupation
of the Myrmidons, as occasion might chance to demand. Not that he
did not conform to the facts, but that the facts were themselves
indeterminate. To our habits, under which every inch of ground belongs
to somebody, this indefiniteness is wholly strange; but in times
when only spots here and there were appropriated, and there was no
universal occupation, it was thoroughly natural, and the thing really
strange would be the absence of it. Accordingly, when Phœnix says he
left Hellas, he gives to Phthia, the name of the place he reached,
its exclusive force. When he says Chalcon dwelt in Hellas among the
Myrmidons, he probably means in Phthia, but now regards Phthia as
covered by the larger designation. When Homer tells us the soldiers
of Achilles were those who inhabited Alos, and Alope, and Trachin,
and who occupied Phthia and Hellas, we understand by the three first,
particular spots which the Myrmidons had settled, by Phthia a larger
district which they had so far dotted with their occupancy as to make
it peculiarly theirs, and by Hellas the surrounding country, into which
they had more or less ramified.

Assuming then the sense of the word Hellas to be now sufficiently
ascertained, the next question is, how came this country, which has
been described, to bear the name of Hellas? And the question admits of
but one answer. It could only be called Hellas because tribes of Helli
had become its masters, its governing race, the depositaries, through
its various regions, of political and military power.

We must therefore understand that, according to Homer, tribes reputed
to be of Hellic origin were so far distributed over this country, as to
have begun at least to affix their name to it: though without having
absolutely effaced every older name, like Πελασγικὸν Ἄργος and though
not precluding the introduction of names perhaps more recent, certainly
more specific, such as Phthia.

_The Hellenes of Homer._

We may now proceed to consider the force, according to Homer’s use, of
the names derived from Hellas. These are, as commonly understood,

1. Ἕλληνες,

2. Πανέλληνες,

and to these I shall presume to add,

3. Κεφάλληνες.

The first of these is found only in Il. ii. 684. Here, after the
description of the places from which the forces of Achilles came, the
poet proceeds to give them their designation:

    Μυρμίδονες δὲ καλεῦντο καὶ Ἕλληνες καὶ Ἀχαιοί.

We find an exclusive use[501] of the word Myrmidons for the force
of Achilles throughout the Iliad, except in this one place;
notwithstanding that Phœnix, who was lord of the Dolopes, commanded one
of the five divisions[502], and that we may therefore presume a certain
part of the force to have been Dolopian. From this exclusive use, we
cannot doubt that the name of Myrmidons was that which appertained to
them in particular, as the ruling tribe among the subjects of Peleus.

Had we found reason to construe the word Ἕλλας in the preceding line as
meaning only a district of his dominions, it would have followed, that
Ἕλληνες meant the inhabitants of that district; and that a part of the
soldiers of Achilles were Hellenes rather than Myrmidons, in virtue of
a local name. But it follows from what we have already concluded about
Hellas, that the name of Hellenes was applicable to all the Myrmidons
as being themselves inhabitants of Hellas, that is, of Phthia, which
belonged to Hellas.

And in passing it should be noticed that, although the Myrmidons
inhabited Phthia, they are never called Phthians; nor do we ever hear
of Phthians at all in Homer, except only in that passage where they
are described as engaged with Locrians and others in repelling the
Trojan assault[503]. They are there described as under the command of
Medon and Podarces. But in the Catalogue Podarces and Medon[504], as
substitutes for Protesilaus and Philoctetes respectively, command the
second and fourth Thessalian contingents, which came from districts
lying near the kingdom of Peleus. Either therefore the Phthian name
extended beyond the limits of Phthia, or the Phthians were those
whom the Myrmidons had recently driven out, and whose lands they had

We cannot conclusively settle the sense of the word Ἀχαιοὶ in this
passage, except by anticipating the results of an examination, on which
we have not yet entered. But it may be observed even at this point,
that the bearings of the passage are somewhat adverse to a merely
local construction for it. If Myrmidon was the strictly proper name,
then Achæan must have been a designation which was not proper to the
Myrmidons only, but which they enjoyed in common with others. And yet,
on the other hand, not in common with all the Greeks, but in some
sense more restricted than that, in which it is habitually applied to
the whole army. For in that large and general sense every contingent
of the army was Achæan, and Homer would certainly therefore not have
mentioned the Achæan name with respect to one in particular. It can
hardly escape observation that, studying great clearness and precision
in the Catalogue, he systematically avoids the introduction of his
general names for the army. We never read of Danaans or Argeians in
it at all, and of Achæans only twice[505]. So far then as the passage
itself guides us, it points to the supposition that those who were
called Myrmidons properly, to distinguish them from all others, and
Hellenes because they were (in common with others) inhabitants of
Hellas, belonged likewise to a particular class or race of Greeks, to
whom the name of Ἀχαιοὶ was applicable in some distinctive sense. The
three appellations, accordingly, are not so many synonyms; but each has
probably its own proper scope.

Thucydides[506] speaks with his usual accuracy, when he says that Homer
has given the name of Hellenes to no portion of the army except the
troops of Achilles from Phthiotis. He does not however go beyond the
assertion that this word had not yet grown into an appellation for the
Greeks universally, an assertion which, as far as Homer’s evidence
goes, is undeniable. But it does not require us also to deny that the
Hellas of Homer extends beyond Phthia, and that the name of Hellenes
may even then have been beginning to attach to the inhabitants of other
parts of Hellas, though perhaps less fixedly, as yet, than to the

_The Panhellenes of Homer._

With these facts in view, I am wholly unable to follow those who have
condemned, upon internal evidence, that verse of the Catalogue in which
we find mention of the Panhellenes.

Speaking of Oilean Ajax, commander of the Locrians, the poet says (Il.
ii. 530),

    ἐγχείῃ δ’ ἐκέκαστο Πανέλληνας καὶ Ἀχαιούς.

It is not grammatically necessary that we should make these two words
coextensive; and I do not believe that either of them separately,
as here used, conveys the whole force of the two, though perhaps
conjointly they may carry the assertion that he was the best spearman
in the army.

If there was a Hellas in the time of Homer, which was inhabited by a
variety of tribes, then, as these tribes dispersedly might be called
with propriety Hellenes, even apart from the authority of constant
use, so they might with equal propriety be combined into the term
Panhellenes, which would mean all the tribes, including the Locrians,
that inhabited Hellas, or Northern and Mid-Greece. Thus, as the
Achæan name was at this time more prominent and distinguished in the
Peloponnesus[507] than in any other part of the country, the poet may
in this place by Ἀχαιοὶ mean the Southern or Peloponnesian Greece; so
as, by the two epithets conjointly, to signify the whole army. Or he
may mean all those who, in Hellas or beyond it, were of the pure Achæan
race (assuming, for the moment, that such a race existed); and thus may
here assert, that Ajax excelled all Hellas, and even all Achæans in or
out of Hellas, using the last of the two words by way of climax. I do
not deny that he may also be construed to mean the whole host in the
gross by Ἀχαιοὶ, agreeably to the common use of it; but this is less
likely; as the name, so understood, would not be distinctive.

Nor do I see any reason to hesitate about treating the Homeric name
Κεφάλληνες as one of his Hellenic group of names. As in the case of
Πελασγοὶ, so here we have a name formed by a combination of different
words. The word _head_ seems to have been represented by a root of
flexible structure. In Sanscrit it is _kapâla_[508], in Greek κεφάλη,
in Latin _caput_: but it also appears in the German _kopf_, and in the
Greek κόπτειν, ‘to butt,’ and in κύβη, κυβιστάω, κυβερνάω. The word
Κεφάλληνες seems, then, to be formed in the most direct manner from the
root κεφ, signifying ‘head,’ and Ἕλληνες: and thus it both attaches
Ulysses, with at least the dominant race among his subjects, to the
Hellic stock, and indicates the tendency of the Hellenic name, even in
Homer’s time, to reproduce itself and to spread abroad.

Again, we observe in his rare use of Κεφάλληνες the same signs as in
Ἕλληνες and Πανέλληνες, that the power of the name was only growing up
from its infancy. For the word is used but twice in the Iliad, and no
more than four times in the Odyssey, where there is constant occasion
for addressing, or for speaking of, the subjects of Ulysses. We find in
that poem Ἰθακήσιοι eleven times, and Ἀχαιοὶ constantly.

Having dealt with the Homeric derivations of Hellas[509], let us now
ascend to the word, from which it is itself derived; Hellas being
evidently, in the Greek tongue, the country which had been occupied by
the Helli.

Of the people who are so termed, either under the form beginning with
the aspirate, or else under that of Σελλοὶ, we find obvious Homeric
vestiges in the Hellespont, Ἑλλήσποντος; in various rivers termed
Σελληείς; and in the invocation of Achilles to Jupiter, which places
the Selli in the north of Thessaly, about wintry Dodona, and seems to
stamp them as then still remaining a people of the rudest habits in
their mountain home[510];

    Δωδώνης μεδέων δυσχειμέρου· ἀμφὶ δὲ Σελλοὶ
    σοὶ ναίουσ’ ὑποφῆται ἀνιπτόποδες, χαμαιεῦναι.

_The Σελλοὶ of Homer._

The word Ἕλλοι would appear to be not the most probable reading of
the text of this invocation; for it presumes an inconvenient loading
of the sentence with the double pronoun σε and σοι. But there can be
no doubt whatever as to its identity with Σελλοί. Independently of
philological argument, there is the strongest presumption that in this
place Achilles intends to name his own national ancestry, as being the
ministers of the god; who give him, as it were, the right to invoke
the aid of the Pelasgic indeed, but therefore genuine and original,
Jupiter of Dodona. But no circumstance seems to be better established
by philological research, than that in many cases of Greek words,
which now begin with the aspirate, there was one (or more than one)
initial letter, and that frequently that letter was the _sigma_. Much
obscurity has hung about this subject, from the fact that discovery has
proceeded piecemeal, and that for a length of time the word _digamma_
was used to signify what had originally filled the void now existing
in so many places of the Homeric versification. What this _digamma_
might have been was disputed; but it was, almost insensibly perhaps,
assumed to be some one letter or sound only. But as inquiry has made
further advances, many forms of a lost letter or letters have been
discovered: and it has also been made clear that the gaps ought to be
filled up variously, and not by any one uniform expedient. To take
very simple examples, there can be no doubt about the identity of
ἓξ, ἕπτα, ὓς, with _sex_, _septem_, _sus_: nor any doubt about the
essential identity of ὕδωρ and _sudor_, ἡδὺς and _suavis_, ἑκυρὸς and
_socer_: none therefore that the σ ought to be supplied, and not _f_,
_w_, or _v_, in the passage φίλε ἑκυρέ[511]. While indeed a presumption
arises[512] from the German words _schwieger_ and _schwäger_, that a
double or even treble loss may have occurred, and that the passage may
have run φίλε σϝεκυρέ. Under these circumstances, in the case before
us, where we have both forms represented, there can be no hesitation as
to the identity of Ἑλλοὶ and Σελλοί: the first represented in Ἕλλας,
Ἕλληνες, Ἑλλήσποντος, and the Ἑλλοπία of Hesiod: the other and older
one supported by Σελληείς.

There is another curious and instructive case, in which we have
the older form of the word Σελλοὶ still remaining: besides that of
Προσέληνοι, to which allusion has already been made in considering
the case of the Pelasgian Arcadians. In the Birds of Aristophanes,
the dramatist satirizes Athens and the Sicilian Expedition, under the
name of a city in the clouds, called Νεφελοκοκκυγία; the object being
to expose the arrogance of great pretensions, without adequate means
to support them. There, he says, lie most of the goods of Theagenes,
and all those of Æschines. This Theagenes was called κάπνος, smoke,
because he promised much, and did nothing. Æschines was a pauper,
who pretended to wealth. The Scholiast adds, ἦν δὲ Αἰσχίνης Σελλοῦ.
Ἔλεγον δὲ ἐκ μεταφορᾶς τοιούτους Σελλούς· καὶ τὸ ἀλαζονεύεσθαι δὲ,
σελλίζειν[513]. Cary thinks the term σελλίζειν came from a Sellus, the
father of this Æschines. But in the first place, it seems difficult
to rely on the Scholiast for knowing, still less for recording with
accuracy, the name of the father of an obscure person, who had lived
in the age of Aristophanes. In the second place, if Æschines was an
obscure fellow, it is most improbable that his father’s name should
have become the root of a Greek word descriptive of a particular
habit or propensity. Such words (for example) as hectoring and
rhodomontading presuppose a great celebrity in the person on whose
name they are based. Lastly, the derivation from the ancient Σελλοὶ
seems a perfectly natural one, and also adequate to the case. It is
in some degree characteristic of those who in reduced circumstances
trace back their lineage to a very ancient stock, instead of relying
simply on the substantial honour of their descent, still to affect the
possession of the wealth which has passed away from them: to play for
themselves the part, which Caleb Balderstone desires to play, on behalf
not of himself, but of the Master of Ravenswood, in Scott’s ‘Bride
of Lammermoor’; and altogether to be sensitive, or what is called
touchy on the subject, and to lean on the whole towards a certain
boastfulness, in common with the νεοπλοῦτοι at the other extremity of
the scale. There is a broad distinction between treating the Scholiast
as a witness to the existence and force of a current phrase, and the
taking his word for the parentage of a nobody, like this Æschines,
who had lived long before him. It may, however, not be necessary to
construe σελλίζειν solely, or even specially, with reference to a pride
in wealth which had passed away. If we shall hereafter show for the
Selli[514] a Persian ancestry, then, even without any regard to change
of circumstances, the phrase at once leads us back to the description
given by Herodotus of the Persians their forefathers. Πέρσαι, φύσιν
ἐόντες ὑβρισταὶ, εἰσὶν ἀχρήματοι[515].

I shall also have occasion to notice hereafter one or two other words
apparently akin to Σελλοί.


[497] Lit. Greece, i. 39, note.

[498] Il. x. 267.

[499] Il. ii. 500.

[500] Il. ii. 681.

[501] Iliad _passim_: and Od. iii. 182. iv. 9. and xi. 494.

[502] Il. xvi. 171.

[503] Il. xiii. 685-700.

[504] Il. ii. 704, 727.

[505] Il. ii. 530. 562. 684.

[506] Thuc. i. 3.

[507] Vid. inf. sect. viii.

[508] Donaldson’s New Cratylus, p. 291.

[509] It is not necessary to trace in this place, with precision, the
various applications of the name Hellas, after the time of Homer.
Stanley (on Æsch. Suppl. 263) states, that what I have termed Middle
Greece was the Hellas of Ptolemy: that with Strabo the word includes
most of the islands of the Ægean: and, finally, that it also came to
include Asia Minor, and parts even of the African coast, as well as
places elsewhere, which had been colonised by the Greek race. According
to Cramer (Geogr. Greece, i. 2), at the epoch of the Peloponnesian
war, Hellas meant everything south of the Peneus and the gulf of
Ambracia. He considers that Herodotus also meant by it a portion of
Thesprotia (Herod. ii. 56. viii. 47). It is interesting to observe how
this domestic name, taken from the race which made Greece so great and
famous, has retained its vitality through so many vicissitudes, and
is now the national name of Greece, in opposition to that which was
probably drawn from a Pelasgian source, and which, as proceeding from
the Roman masters of the country, told its people the tale of their

[510] Il. xvi. 234.

[511] Il. iii. 172.

[512] I follow the acute and sagacious notes of Professor Malden to a
valuable paper contributed by Mr. James Yates, during the year 1856, to
the Philological Transactions: also Donaldson’s Cratylus, p. 120.

[513] In loc. Cary’s Birds, p. 77.

[514] See sect. x.

[515] i. 89.


_On the respective contributions of the Pelasgian and Hellenic factors
to the compound of the Greek nation._

_Contributions to the mythology._

In this attempt at an ethnological survey, we have now come down to the
point, at which the Greek Peninsula passes over from its old Pelasgian
character, and becomes subject to predominating Hellenic influences.

Now therefore, and before we examine the relations and succession of
the great Homeric appellations for the Hellenes, appears to be the
time for considering how the account stands between these tribes and
the Pelasgians, and what were, so far as by probable evidence we can
ascertain it, the respective contributions from the two sources to the
integral character of the Greeks and of their institutions.

In the case of Greece, as it is known to us in history, we have the
most remarkable disproportion between moral and physical power, and
between the green and the full grown product, which is offered to
view in the whole range of human experience. A circumscribed country,
with a small population, throws forth, without loss of vital power,
to the East and to the West, colonies greatly transcending itself, as
would appear, in wealth and population; continues for many centuries
to exercise a primary influence in the world; at one time resists and
repels, at another invades and terrifies, at a third overthrows and
crushes to atoms the great colossus of Eastern empire, and continues
to exercise, through the medium of mind, a singular mastery, enduring
down to our own time, and likely still to endure, over civilized man.
And even the miniature organization of Greece presents to us, within
its own limits, diversities of character almost enough for a quarter of
the globe.

Many of these diversities connect themselves with the ethnological
formation of the different communities. In the course of that process,
so far as can be discerned, certain admixtures of foreign influence
were supplied direct from Phœnicia, Egypt, or elsewhere: but the grand
component parts or factors in this composite product are two, the
Hellenic and the Pelasgic. To this dual combination, perhaps the double
invocation of Achilles (Il. xvi. 233, 4) is a witness.

The development of the national character is the most large and varied
in Attica, where the population, from successive immigrations of
bodies of refugees, and from the free general resort and reception of
strangers, presented also the largest and most varied ethnical compound.

In analysing that national character which thus resulted from the
amalgamation of ingredients chiefly Hellic and Pelasgic, we have now to
ask how far its different elements are referable to the Pelasgic or to
the Hellic root respectively? We have traced in some degree the course
and local circumscription of the races: can we affiliate upon them any
of the contributions which they severally made to the varied manners
and to the institutions of Greece?

The proof, as far as it is specific, can be only that which probable
and conjectural evidence afford: but that evidence is supported by the
fact, that it tends, as a whole, to an orderly result.

While they proceed from different sources, and present visible and
even permanent distinctions of character, there is no violent disparity
between the Hellic and the Pelasgic races: they afford a good material
for coalescence. We are not to suppose that whatever the one had,
the other had not. Of what belongs historically to the Pelasgi, much
may stand as theirs only through their priority of entrance into the

I propose to inquire what evidence can be drawn, either from
philological sources, or from the text of Homer, to throw light on the
several pursuits and tendencies of these races, under the heads of
Religion, Policy, War, the Games, Poetry, the Chase, and Navigation.

Under some of these heads, however, we must in a measure anticipate
results which will be only obtained in full from later inquiries.

The Poems afford us no complete and decisive test for discriminating
between the Hellene and the Pelasgian contributions respectively to the
Greek religion.

We shall, however, hereafter find many details of evidence bearing upon
this subject.

For the present I must confine myself to two very general propositions,
which are founded on the relations of the Greek religion with those of
Troy and of Italy.

First, there seems to be a presumption, which may weigh with us to
a certain extent in the absence of counter-evidence, that those
parts of the Greek religion which were common to the Greeks with the
Trojans were Pelasgian, and that those which were not common, were not
Pelasgian. But of the parts which were common, and therefore Pelasgian,
many may have been originally Hellene too.

Again, a relationship subsists between Greece and Italy, as to the
component parts of their respective populations, which, without being
unduly strained, will throw considerable light upon the question of
Hellic and Pelasgic attributes.

The Greek or the Italian of the classic times could not be expected
to own relationship with what lay to the northward, on each of those
two peninsulas. The Roman, therefore, whose investigations led him
to suppose there were Pelasgians in Italy, would only derive them
from Greece. For us the case stands far otherwise; and we must simply
consider the Pelasgians of Greece, and the Pelasgians of Italy, as two
among a variety of branches, which struck out at different times from
the main trunk of an extended race, probably diffusing itself over
many parts of Asia and Europe. In Greece and Italy respectively these
Pelasgic tribes entered into new combinations, probably not wholly
different, nor, on the other hand, by any means in exact correspondence.

We may perhaps be found not to go beyond the limits of the modesty
which the case requires, when we simply lay down this rule: that
correspondences in religion or in language between Greece and ancient
Italy raise a presumption, that those features of each country, in
which the correspondence is observed, are of Pelasgic origin.

Something of such correspondence we may perceive in regard to religion.
The religion of Homeric Greece differs from that of Rome, not only
as to minor deities, but in the names given to many of the greater
deities, and especially in the far more imaginative character of its

Those parts of the religion of Greece and Rome which were common to
both were probably Pelasgian.

Let us take first the names which correspond, and then those which are

(I.) Names of deities that correspond in the Greek and Latin tongues:

  1. Ζεύς            Deus.
  2. Ζεὺς-πάτηρ      Jupiter.
  3. Ἀπόλλων         Apollo.
  4. Ἱστιή           Vesta.
  5. Λήτω            Latona.
  6. Περσεφόνη       Proserpina.
  7. Ἄρης            Mars or Mavors.

(II.) Names of deities which do not in any manner correspond in the
Greek and Latin tongues:

  1. Ἥρη         Juno.
  2. Ποσειδὼν    Neptune.
  3. Ἀιδώνευς    Pluto.
  4. Ἀθήνη       Minerva.
  5. Ἥφαιστος    Vulcan.
  6. Ἑρμῆς       Mercury.
  7. Ἀφροδίτη    Venus.
  8. Ἄρτεμις     Diana.
  9. Δημήτηρ     Ceres.
  10. Διόνυσος   Bacchus.

Two remarks may be made on the deities of the first list.

First, that it comprehends generally the gods whom we shall find to
bear marks of being the most ancient among the Greek deities; with the
marked exception, however, of Minerva[516].

Secondly, that in it we find no deity who takes part on the Greek,
that is, the Pelasgian side, in the war of Troy. The only two names
which do not appear on the Trojan side, are Vesta, who with Homer is
not personified at all: and Proserpine, who from the seat of her dark
dominion could not share in the wars waged upon earth.

On the other hand, when we turn to the second list of exclusively Greek
names, we find that it contains all the deities who took part against
Troy: and only two very secondary names of deities friendly to it.

Mars and Venus, both engaged on the Trojan side, and one standing in
the first list, are the deities after whom, according to Ovid[517], the
two first months of the Roman year were named in the first age of the

It would not, however, be safe to depend implicitly upon the apparent
reappearance of certain names in the Latin language, without a fuller
knowledge of the laws of discrimination between the early mythology
of the Romans, and the form which their religious system assumed at
the period when they came into free communication with Greece and its
colonies, from which, as they certainly borrowed some names of deities,
such as Pallas and Phœbus, so they may have assumed others too. We have
no proof, for example, that Apollo was prominent, or even that he was
known, in the earliest Roman worship. Cicero[518] says, _Jam Apollinis
nomen est Græcum_. Still, a temple was raised to him in Rome[519] as
early as 430 B. C.; and the Trojan sympathies of most of the deities
in the first list tend in some degree to show both that they were well
known in the Pelasgian religion, and that many of the older portions
of the mythology were common to the Trojans, the early Romans, and the
Pelasgians of Greece.

_Pelasgian Religion less imaginative._

We may more boldly rely upon a general indication, which is offered to
us by the religious systems both of Rome and of Troy, in comparison
with that of Greece.

The large account of Roman deities furnished by Saint Augustine, in
his ‘De Civitate Dei,’ constitutes for us the principal representation
of the great work of Varro, now lost, on the ‘Antiquitates Rerum
Divinarum.’ Notwithstanding the multitudinous development of the
theurgic system, the ‘_De Civitate_’ tends to support the belief that
it was not vivified, like the system of the Greeks, by the intense
pervading power of a vigorous and prolific imagination. The ‘Fasti’ of
Ovid may perhaps be referred to as sustaining the same opinion. And
Heyne in his commentary on Virgil has observed upon the comparative
dulness and dryness of the early mythology of Rome: _Italici mythi
longe a Græcæ fabulæ suavitate absunt; nec varietas grata inest_[520].

In a later portion of this work[521] I shall endeavour to show, that
a similar character apparently attaches to the religious system of
Troy: not so much a purity or simplicity, as a comparative poverty
and hardness; and an indisposition in the inventions to assume those
graceful forms, of which the Grecian Theo-mythology, as exhibited in
Homer, is so full.

And again, when we pass from Homer to Hesiod, we find a great mass
of religious fable, either added by the later poet, or grown up in
the interval between the two. Hesiod’s depositories are much more
numerously peopled: but we have passed at once from the poetry of a
theogony to its merest prose, when we compare his manner of touch or
handling, and his ideas on these subjects, with those of Homer. And, as
on other grounds we may consider Hesiod to represent the Pelasgian side
of the Greek mind, we seem justified in referring the distinctive tone
of his mythology in some degree to his Pelasgian characteristics.

But independently of confirmation from the case of Troy, and from
the tone of Hesiod, the character of the old Italian mythology, so
devoid of imagination, force, and grace, leads us to ascribe these
properties, when we find them abound in the Greek supernaturalism, to
its non-Pelasgian, that is, to its Hellenic source.

_Its ritual development fuller._

When, however, we turn to another form of development in religious
systems, we find the case entirely different: I mean the development
in positive observances of all kinds, and in fixed institutions of
property and class. Here the religion of Rome was large and copious.
Polybius has left upon record, in a most remarkable passage, his
admiration of the Roman system of δεισιδαιμονία, which had, he says,
been so got up, and carried to such a point, that it could not be
exceeded. It was all done, in his opinion, on account of the multitude.
Were States composed of the wise, the case would have been different:
but as the people are full of levity and passion, λείπεται τοῖς ἀδήλοις
φόβοις καὶ τῇ τοιαύτῃ τραγωδίᾳ τὰ πλήθη συνέχειν[522].

Not less remarkable is the testimony of Dionysius; who, while he
praises Romulus for the severe simplicity of what he caused to be
taught and held concerning religion, and for the expulsion of immoral
fables and practices, says that he arranged for his people all that
concerned the temples of the gods, their consecrated lands, their
altars, their images, their forms, their _insignia_, their prerogatives
and their gifts to man, the sacrifices in which they delight, the
feasts and assemblies to be celebrated, and the remissions of labour
to be granted in their honour. In no other newly founded city could be
shown such a multitude of priests and ministers of the gods[523], who
were chosen, too, from the most distinguished families[524].

The Fasti of Ovid give an idea of the manner in which the Roman
Calendar brought the ceremonial of religion to bear upon the course
of life. For some centuries an acquaintance with the Calendar was the
exclusive property of the sacred order[525]; and the priesthood turned
to its own power and profit the knowledge, which afterwards filled the
pages of that characteristic work.

Again, we shall have occasion, when considering the distinctive
character of Troy, to notice that the political and ritual forms of
religion appear to have been much more advanced there, than with the
Greeks. This difference will naturally connect itself with the stronger
Pelasgian infusion in the former case. We shall then find that of the
two great kinds of sacred office, one only, that of the μάντις, and not
that of the priest, seems at the time of Homer to have appertained to
the Hellenic races.

And it is not a little curious to observe that, when Saint Paul
arrives among the Athenians, the point which he selects for notice
in their character and usages, after all the intermixtures they had
undergone, is still this, that they are δεισιδαιμονέστεροι[526],
peculiarly disposed to religious observances; and that, not contented
with the gods whom they suppose themselves to know, they have likewise
a supernumerary altar for ‘the Unknown God.’ Nor are we the less
warranted to connect this peculiarity with the original and long
preserved Pelasgian character of Athens, because that city had, for
centuries before, become a peculiarly apt representative of the full
Greek compound: for a system of ritual observance has a fixity,
which does not belong to mere opinion; and, when once rooted in a
country, has powerful tendencies to assume such a solidity as survives
vicissitude: perhaps in some degree on account of its neutral and
pacific character, and of the power it leaves to men of separating
between outward observance and inward act.

Although the opinion has been entertained, that from the earliest ages
it was the exclusive privilege of the first-born to offer sacrifice,
it appears most probable that the separate function of priesthood was,
like other offices and professions, one of gradual formation. Whether
the primitive institution of sacrifice was spontaneous or commanded,
every man, that is to say, every head of a family, was, I shall assume,
at first his own offerer or priest[527]. Then, as the household
developed into the community, the priestly office, in the first stages
of political society, as a matter of course appertained to the chief.

He, by the necessity of natural order, originally united in his own
person the great functions of

  1. Father.
  2. Teacher.
  3. Priest.
  4. King.
  5. Proprietor.
  6. Commander.

The severance of these offices successively would arrive sooner or
later, according as the progress made in numbers and wealth was rapid
or slow. Concentration of employments in a single hand marks the
primitive condition or retarded movement of society, while the division
of labour is the sign of more speedy and more advanced development.
Even the annals of the people of Israel furnish instances in which
we trace, at periods when these offices had undergone division under
divine authority, vestiges of their former union. It appears that,
besides Moses, who consecrated Aaron and his sons by divine command,
Joshua, Samuel, and Saul[528] on certain occasions offered sacrifice.
The exclusive character of priesthood has been impressed upon it,
under Divine Revelation, by positive ordinance, and for a special

_Order of Priests not Hellenic._

The Hellenes in Homer appear to exhibit it in its earlier state
of union with the office of civil government; and the Pelasgians
to display it as a function which has indeed become special and
professional, but only on that self-acting principle which, in the
progress of society, leads to division of labour.

If we suppose the case of two races, one of them inhabiting a rude and
barren country in a state of perpetual poverty and warfare, and then
recently, by a descent upon more fertile soils, brought into contact
with civilised life: the other of them addicted from a much earlier
period to pursuits of peace and industry, inhabiting plains, and
accustomed to form agricultural settlements; there will be no cause
for wonder upon our also finding that the latter of these races has
a professional priesthood, while the former has none; but that the
sacrificial office remains in the private dwelling with the father
of the family, and on public occasions with the head of the civil

This appears to have been the state of facts as between the Trojans
of Homer who had a priesthood, and the Hellenes who had none: and the
difference may be principally referable to the different condition
and history of the Pelasgian and the Hellic races: while other
causes, belonging to the respective characters of the races, may have
contributed their share towards the production of this curious result.
Partly the greater personal energy and self-reliance of the Hellic
tribes, but partly also the earlier and older ease, wealth, and fixity
of the Pelasgians, are the probable reasons why, at the point of time
exhibited in the writings of Homer, we find priesthood properly a
Pelasgian, but not yet properly an Hellenic, and only to a limited
extent an adoptive, institution.

Thus far, then, we have a presumption, to be greatly strengthened
as I trust hereafter, that the Greek religion owed to the Hellenes
its imaginative, and to the Pelasgians its sacerdotal and ceremonial
development. And this presumption is, I think, in entire accordance
with what we should reasonably anticipate, from relations otherwise
known to have subsisted between the two races. I now pass on to the
subject of language.

_Contributions to language._

In attempting to illustrate the relations of Pelasgians to Hellenes
through the medium of the affinities and contrasts between the Greek
and Latin languages, I am aware that I venture upon ground which
requires to be trodden with great circumspection. For the Latin nation
may possibly have contained within itself some ethnical element not
dissimilar to the Hellenic, as well as one substantially corresponding
with the Pelasgian, factor of the Greek people. And again, there is a
very extended relation of the two languages to a common root in the
Sanscrit. The number of words traceable to such a root has recently
been stated at 339 in the Greek, and 319 in the Latin tongues[530]. We
must not then, it will justly be observed, infer from the simple fact
of resemblance between a Greek and a Latin word, that the one has been
borrowed or directly modified from the other.

Let us begin by considering the just effect of these remarks, and
inquiring whether they do not still leave space enough for an useful

I begin from the assumption, that there was a deep and broad Pelasgian
_substratum_ both in the Greek and the Roman nations. It is thought,
and it may perhaps be justly thought, that a dominant tribe of Oscans,
who were a nation of warriors and hunters, came among the Pelasgi of
Italy, as the Hellenes came among the Pelasgi of Greece. But while we
may properly assume the identity of the Pelasgian factor in the two
cases respectively, it is quite plain that the compounds or aggregate
characters are broadly distinguished, and represent an assemblage and
admixture either of different qualities, or else of the same qualities
in very different proportions. Therefore we are justified in laying
it down as a general rule, that whatever is found in the language of
the two countries alike was most probably Pelasgian: since, if that
portion of the aggregate language had been supplied from those elements
in which the nations differed, it is likely that a corresponding
difference would have been found to prevail between their modes of

Again, I think we must distinguish between the simple fact of
derivation from an original source in common, and those degrees or
descriptions of resemblance which show that any given words not only
had one source at first, but that they continued together up to a
certain point in the formative process, so as to be capable, from their
shape, of derivation, not only from that root, but also one from the
other. For instance, the Greek ἐγὼ and the Latin _ego_ are both stated
to be derived from the Sanscrit _aham_. But here it is quite plain that
they have not only set out from the same point, but travelled along
the same road to their journey’s end, as the Greek and Latin words are
identical. On the other hand, if we take the Greek τέσσαρες, and the
Latin _quatuor_, both are referred to the same Sanscrit root, _chatur_:
but neither of them can well have been derived from the other, and each
is more nearly related to the root than it is to the other. Or if we
take the Latin _anser_, the Greek χὴν, and the English ‘goose,’ these
words scarcely appear to have a connecting link: but it is found, and
a remote or mediate connection established, by means of the German
_gans_. Instances might easily be multiplied.

In single cases, where the relationship of words is only of the kind
last exemplified, it would not be safe to draw inferences to the
effect of their being respectively due to this or that element in the
composition of the nation.

But where there is such a similarity as to show either that the word
has advanced nearly to its mature state before the Greek and Latin
forms began to divaricate, or that the Latin form may have been derived
from the Greek in an early stage of the history of the language, or
_vice versâ_, then it seems just to refer the resemblance of terms to
the existence of a powerful common element in the two peoples.

And further, if we shall find that the words standing in close kindred
are capable of classification with reference to their sense, then, when
we have once constituted a class of such words, it may be justifiable
to add fresh words to it on the strength of a more remote affinity,
in virtue of the presumption already created. For instance, if the
names of the commonest objects and operations of inanimate nature are
generally in close correspondence, we may infer a relation between
other words which are in the same class as to meaning, though they may
be not so nearly alike, with more confidence than if the reasoning
as to this latter section were not supported by the former. On this
principle I proceed in the collections of words given below.

Of course the utmost care must be taken to exclude those words which
have been copied from Greek into Latin, after the literary ages of Rome
had begun, and according to the practice which Horace has described and

_Niebuhr’s propositions._

Niebuhr was, I believe, the first person to draw from philological
sources a conclusion as to the character and habits of the Pelasgians.
He proceeded upon the threefold assertion, (1) that the words common
to the two tongues are presumably Pelasgian, (2) that they for the
most part refer to tillage and the gentler ways of life, and (3) that
we may hence conclude that the Pelasgians were a people given to peace
and husbandry. And conversely, that the words which widely differ in
the two tongues are not Pelasgian, and that the pursuits which they
indicate must have been more peculiarly characteristic of some other
race, that contributed to make up the composition of the Roman nation.
The principles thus assumed by Niebuhr[532] appear, when placed under
due limitation, to be sound; and the only question is, whether they are
supported by the facts of the case. If in a given language we find the
words indicative of a certain turn of life to have been derived from a
particular race, which forms part of the nation speaking that language,
while other words, referable to other habits and pursuits, have been
supplied by other races also numbered among its constituent parts, it
is just to read the characters of those races respectively through the
character of the words that they contribute to the common tongue. For
the question is really one of forces which may have been adjusted with
as much accuracy, as if they had been purely mechanical. The ordinary
reason why a word of Pelasgian origin prevails over a word of Hellenic
origin with the same signification, or the reverse, is that it is in
more or in less common use: and the commonness of use is likely to be
determined by the degree in which the employment or state of life, with
which the word is connected, may belong to the one race or the other.

The survey taken by Niebuhr appears to have been rapid; and the list
of words supplied by him is very meagre. Bishop Marsh[533] and other
authors have, with a variety of views, supplied further materials. The
most comprehensive list, to which my attention has been directed, is
in the ‘Lateinische Synonyme und Etymologieen’ of Döderlein[534]. The
subject is essentially one which hardly admits of a fixed criterion or
authoritative rule, or of a full assurance that its limits have been
reached. Mindful of the reserve which these considerations recommend, I
should not wish to lay down inflexible propositions. But I venture to
state generally, that those words of the Latin and Greek tongues, which
are in the closest relationship, are connected

1. With the elementary structure of language, such as pronouns,
prepositions, numerals.

2. With the earliest state of society.

3. With the pursuits of peaceful and rural industry, not of highly
skilled labour.

_Classes of words which agree._

Examples, numerous enough to show a most extensive agreement, will
readily suggest themselves under the first head. To illustrate the
other propositions, though it can only be done imperfectly, I will
follow both the positive and the negative methods. The first, by
comparing words which denote elementary objects, both of animate
and inanimate nature, or the simplest products of human labour for
the supply of human wants, or the members of the human body, or the
rudiments of social order. The second, by contrasting the words which
relate (1) to intelligence and mental operations, (2) to war, and (3)
to the metals, the extended use of which denotes a certain degree of
social advancement. It will I hope be borne in mind, on the one hand,
that these lists are given by way of instance, and have no pretension
to be exhaustive: and, on the other hand, that exceptions, discovered
here and there, to the rule they seem to indicate, would in no way
disprove its existence, but should themselves, if purely exceptions, be
treated, provisionally at least, as accidental.

Class I.--_Elementary objects of inanimate Nature._

  ἔρα, terra
  ἀήρ, aer
  αἴθηρ, æther
  αὖρα, aura
  ἀστήρ    {astrum
  ἀστέρος  {stella
  κοίλον, cælum
  ἥλιος, sol
  σε-λήνη, luna
  νὺξ, nox
  (Ζεὺς) Διὸς, dies
  πόντος, pontus
  ἃλς       } sal
  θάλασσα   } salum
  πόλος, polus
  λυκὴ in λυκάβας,   } lux
  λεύσσειν           }
  χείμων, hyems
  ἔαρ, ver
  ὥρη, hora
  ἑσπέρα, vesper
  νέφος             {nubes
  (νιψ) νιφος, nix, nivis
  δρόσος, ros
  ὕετος             {fluvius
  ῥῖγος, frigus
  χάμαι, humus
  πευκὴ, pix
  κῆπος    } sepes
  σῆκος    }
  λακκὸς    } (_a pit_), lacus
  λάχυς     }
  ἄμπελος, pampinus
  ὕλη, sylva
  φύλλον, folium
  ῥόδον, rosa
  λαὰς, lapis
  ἄγρος, ager
  ἄρουρα, arvum
  ἄντρον, antrum
  φῦκος, fucus
  σπέος      } spelunca
  σπήλαιον   }
  ἴον, viola
  σκόπελος, scopulus
  ὕδωρ, sudor.

Class II.--_Elementary objects of animated Nature._

  θὴρ, fera
  λύκος, lupus
  καπρὸς, aper
  λέων, leo
  ἔγχελυς, anguilla
  ἴχθυς, piscis
  ὠκύπτερος, accipiter
  κύων, κύνος, canis
  ὄϊς, ovis
  βοὺς, bos
  ταῦρος, taurus
  ὓς, sus
  ἵππος, equus
  πῶλος, pullus
  οὖθαρ, uber
  ἄμνος, agnus
  κριὸς, aries
  ἀλώπηξ, vulpes.

Class III.--_Articles immediately related to elementary wants and to


  δόμος, domus
  οἶκος, vicus
  θύραι, fores
  κληΐς, clavis
  ἕδος, sedes
  αἰθάλη, favilla
  θάλαμος, thalamus
  λέχος, lectus.

2. FOOD.

  οἶνος, vinum
  ἔλαια, olea
  ἔλαιον, oleum
  ὦον, ovum
  μῆλον, malum
  σῦκον, ficus
  τρύγη, fruges
  ἀ-τρύγετος, triticum
  σῖτος, cibus
  γλάγος,          } lac, lactis
  γάλα, γάλακτος   }
  κάλαμος, calamus
  κρέας, caro
  μέλι, mel
  δαὶς, dapes
  κοινὴ, cœna.


  ἐσθὴς, vestis
  χλαῖνα, læna.


  ἄροτρον, aratrum
  ζεῦγος   } jugum.
  ζύγον    }


  ναῦς, navis
  λίμην, limen
  ἐρετμὸς, remus
  κυβερνήτης, gubernator
  ἀγκύρα, ancora
  ποὺς, pes.

Class IV.--_The constituent parts of the human body, the family,
society, and general ideas._


  κεφαλὴ, caput
  κόμη, coma
  ὦμος, armus[535]
  μῆρον, fe-mur, moris
  παλάμη, palma
  ποὺς, pes
  ὄδους, οντος, dens, dentis
  λάπτω, labrum
  δείκνυμι, digitus
  λὰξ, calx
  ἦπαρ, jecur
  ἔντερον, venter
  ἕλκος, ulcus
  κέαρ     } cor
  καρδία   }
  γόνυ, genu
  μύελος, medulla
  ὄστεον, os (ossis)
  ὤψ, os (oris).


  πατὴρ, pater
  μήτηρ, mater
  υἷος, filius
  φρήτηρ   } frater
  φρήτρη   }
  ἕκυρος, socer
  χήρη       } heres
  χηρωστῆς   }
  γένος   {gens


  (ῥέζειν) ῥέξας, rex[536]
  ἐλεύθερος, liber
  τέκτων (στέγω), cf. tectum (tego)
  φὼρ, fur
  παλλακὶς, pellex.


  νεύω, numen
  θεὸς, deus
  ὄνομα, nomen
  μόρφη, forma
  ἲς, vis
  ῥώμη, Roma, robur
  κνίσση, nidor
  ὄδμη, odor
  φήμη, fama
  φάτις   } fatum
  φάτον   }
  βίος, vita[537]
  μόρος, mors
  ὕπνος, somnus
  ὀδύνη[538], odium
  ἄλγος, algor
  γεύω,   } gustus
  γεύσω   }
  ἦνις, annus
  λήθη    } lethum
  λήτω    }
  δόσις, dos
  δῶρον, donum
  φυγὴ   } fuga
  φύζα   }
  αἴων, ævum.

Class V.--_Adjectives of constant use in daily life._

  μέγας, magnus
  παῦρος   {parvus
  πλατὺς, latus
  ἄγχος       }
  ἄγκιστρον   } {uncus
            or} {angustus
  ἄγοστος     }
  κυρτὸς, curtus
  γῦρος, curvus
  πυρρὸς, furvus
  ἐρυθρὸς   {ruber
  παχὺς, pinguis
  βραχὺς, brevis
  βραδὺς   } tardus
  βαρδὺς   }
  χαὸς, cavus
  τέρην, tener
  πλέος, plenus
  μείων, minor
  μάσσων, major
  νέος, novus
  ἄλλος, alius
  ὄρθος, ordo[539]
  ὕπτιος, supinus
  γραῦς, gravis
  λεπτὸς   {levis
  λεῖος, lævis
  γενναῖος, gnavus
  δέξιος, dexter
  ὅλος, solus
  ἡδὺς, suavis
  πικρὸς, acris[540].

_Classes of words which differ._

A very extensive list of perhaps one hundred or more verbs might be
added, which are either identical or nearly related in the Greek and
Latin languages: but it would not, I think, materially enlarge or
diminish the general effect of those words which have been enumerated.
We have before us about one hundred and eighty words in the classes of
substantive and adjective only. They might nearly form the primitive
vocabulary of a rustic and pacific people. Two exceptions may be named,
which may deserve remark. It will be observed, that the senses are
inadequately represented, only two of them, smell and taste, being
included. The other three are also connected in the two languages as
follows: touch, by the relation of θιγγάνω and _tango_: sight, by εἴδω
and _video_: hearing, by the evident connection of the Latin _audire_
with the Greek αὔδη, the proper name in Homer for the voice.

The other marked exception is that of religion. With slender
exceptions, such as θεὸς = _deus_, the connection of _rex_ with ῥέζω,
of _numen_ with νεύω, of λοιβὴ with _libo_, and that of ἀράομαι,
ἀρητὴρ with _orare_, _orator_, _ara_, there is a considerable want of
correspondence in the leading words, such as ἱερὸς, ἅγιος, θύω, βῶμος,
νῆον, ἄγαλμα, σέβω, μάντις, of the one tongue, and _sacer_, _sanctus_,
_pius_, _templum_, _vates_, _macto_, _mola_, of the other. The greater
part of the Pelasgian vocabulary must have been displaced on the one
side or on the other: and as it is in Greece that we have much fuller
and clearer evidence of the advent of a superior race, which gave its
own impress to life and the mind in the higher departments of thought,
we must conclude that this substitution probably took place in Greece,
and was of Hellenic for Pelasgian words.

The proposition of Niebuhr with respect to terms of war, appears to me
to be in the main well sustained by the facts. Let us take for example
the following list: which appears to show that, in this department,
with the exception of a pretty close relation between βέλος and
_telum_, and a more remote one between πόλεμος and _bellum_, possibly
also between _lorica_ and θώρηξ, there is hardly in any case the
faintest sign of relationship between the customary terms employed in
the two languages for the respective objects.

  telum              βέλος

  ensis     }       {ξίφος
  gladius   }       {φάσγανον

  cuspis    }
  mucro     }        αἰχμή
  acies     }

  galea              κυνέη

  hasta             {δόρυ

  scutum[541] }     {ἄσπις
  clypeus     }     {σάκος

  lorica             θώρηξ

  ocrea              κνημίς

  vagina             κολεός

  bellum            {Ἄρης

  prælium   }       {ὑσμίνη
  pugna     }       {μάχη

  currus    }       {δίφρος
  rheda     }       {ἅρμα

  rota               κυκλός (Hom.)

  terno              ῥυμὸς

  tuba      }        σάλπιγξ
  classicum }

  castra             κλισίαι

  tabernaculum[542]  κλισίη

  arcus             {βιὸς

  sagitta           {ἰὸν

It can hardly, I think, be questioned, that this class of words
presents on the whole a very marked contrast to those which were before
exhibited. And as we see the highest martial energies of Greece
manifestly represented in the Hellenes, we may the more confidently
adopt that inference as to the habits of Hellenes and Pelasgians
respectively, which the contrast between the two languages of itself
vividly suggests.

Before quitting this head of the subject, let us notice the wide
difference in the channels by which the two languages arrive at the
words intended to represent the highest excellence. For ‘better’ the
Greeks have βέλτερος, from βέλος, ‘a dart,’ and for ‘best,’ ἄριστος,
from ἄρης, ‘war;’ while the Latins are contented with _optimus_, formed
from a common root with _opes_, ‘wealth.’

There is almost as remarkable a want of correspondence between the two
languages in respect to the higher ideas, both intellectual and moral,
as in regard to war.

In three words indeed we may trace a clear etymological relationship,
but in two of the cases with a total, and in the third with an
important change in the meaning.

1. The μένος of the Greeks becomes the Latin _mens_; so that a
particular quality, and that one belonging to the πάθη rather than the
ἤθη of man, comes to stand for the entire mind.

2. The Greek ἄνεμος is evidently the Latin _animus_: or, that word
which remains the symbol of a sensible object in Greek becomes
the representative of mind in Latin. The adjective ἀνεμώλιος is
indeed capable of a metaphysical application: but it means ‘of no

3. The θυμὸς of the Greeks is the _fumus_ of the Latins: and the case
last described is exactly reversed.

The three great words in the early Greek for the unseen or spiritual
powers of man’s nature are νόος, φρὴν, and ψυχή. They perhaps
correspond most nearly with the three Latin words _mens_, _indoles_,
and _vita_[544]. There is not the slightest sign of conformity
or common origin in any of the cases; although νόος is akin to

In two other very important words we find perhaps derivation from a
common root, but nothing like a near or direct relationship. The Greek
ἀρετὴ may proceed from the same stock with the Latin _virtus_, and in
like manner ἄτη may have the same source as _vitium_.

Upon the whole we may conclude, that in this important class of words
the resemblances are scanty and remote. It will be seen that under
the head of general ideas there is not included any clear case of
correspondence in a mental quality; and all the resemblances appear to
rest, mediately or immediately, upon sensible objects and phenomena.

As respects the terms employed in navigation, it will have been
observed, that they are all connected with its rudest form, that of
rowing; and that they do not include the words for mast, yard, or sail,
in all of which the two tongues appear to be entirely separated.

Again, it may be stated generally, that society in its very earliest
stages has little to do with the use of metals. This rule will be
of various application, according to their abundance or scarcity in
various countries, and according to the facility with which they are
convertible to the uses of man. As the objects of enjoyment multiply
with the continuance and growth of industry, the precious metals become
more desirable with a view to exchange. But the principal metal for
direct utility is iron: and of that, the quantity known and used by the
Greeks would appear, even in the time of Homer, to have been extremely
small. The use of metal for works of art, and probably also for
commercial exchange, would seem to have been derived from Phœnician,
not Pelasgian sources; and we have no proof that when Homer lived they
had acquired the art in any high degree for themselves.

The absence of any great progress in the use of metals may thus be set
down as a sign of Pelasgianism. And now let us compare the Greek and
Roman names for the metals respectively:

  1. χρυσὸς, aurum.

  2. ἄργυρος, argentum.

  3. χαλκὸς, æs.

  4. σίδηρος, ferrum.

  5. μόλιβος, plumbus: in later Greek μόλυβδος, the form nearest to the

  6. κασσίτερος, stannum.

Here also there is a great want of correspondence. Only in iron and
lead, and possibly in silver, are there signs of relationship: but in
all it is remote. In the other metals it is entirely wanting; and in
those which are nearest, it amounts only to presumptive derivation from
a common root. The want of community in this class of terms seems to
show, that the race which was the common factor of the two nations,
was probably not advanced in the use of metals beyond their elementary

I will only further observe, that while so many names indicative of
social and domestic relations are akin, nothing can be more clearly
separate than the Greek δοῦλος and the Latin _servus_. From this fact
it would be no improbable inference, that slavery was unknown to the
Pelasgians: and their ignorance of it would, on the other hand, be
in the closest harmony with their slight concern in warlike and in
maritime pursuits; since captivity in the one, and kidnapping through
the other, were the two great feeders of the institution. It is also
in close correspondence with the further hypothesis, which represents
the Pelasgians as probably the race that first occupied the Greek soil,
and found no predecessors upon it over whom to establish political or
proprietary dominion[546].

It may, I think, deserve notice in confirmation of the general
argument, that almost all those Greek words, which are in close
affinity with the Latin, are found in Homer. For there can be little
doubt that, after his time, the Greek tongue became more and more
Hellenic: and the fact that a word is Homeric supplies the most
probable token of a link with a Pelasgian origin.

And now let us sum up under this head of discussion.

It may be said with very general truth, that the words which have
been quoted, and the classes to which they belong, have reference to
the primary experience and to the elementary wants and productions of
life: but that they do not touch the range of subjects belonging to
civilization and the highest powers of man, such as war, art, policy,
and song.

But if the evidence goes to show, that the Pelasgian tongue supplied
both the Latin and the Greek nations with most of the principal
elementary words, and with those which express the main ideas connected
with rural industry, the inference strongly arises, 1. That they
constituted the base of the Greek nation; and, 2. that, originally
cultivators of the soil for themselves, there came upon them a time
when other tribes acquired the mastery among them, so that thenceforth
they had to cultivate it under the government of others. The case of
the Pelasgian vocabulary in the Latin and in the Greek languages would
thus appear to resemble the Saxon contribution to the English tongue:
and it is likely that something like the general position, which we
know to be denoted in the one case, is also similarly to be inferred in
the other.

_Evidence from names of persons._

No inconsiderable light may, I think, be thrown upon the character and
pursuits of the Pelasgian and Hellenic races respectively, from an
examination of the etymology of the names of persons contained in the
Homeric poems. For the names of men, in the early stages of society,
are so frequently drawn direct from their pursuits and habits, that the
ideas, on which they are founded, may serve to guide us to a knowledge
of the character and occupations of a people.

By way of summary proof that a connection prevailed (whether the names
be fictitious or not, I care not, for this purpose, to inquire,)
between the Homeric names, and the pursuits and habits of those who
bear them, I may refer to the names of Phæacians and Ithacans. Of the
latter, which are numerous, not one is derived from the horse; and we
know[547] that no horses were used in Ithaca. The former are chiefly
composed of words connected with the sea: in conformity with the fact
that the pursuits of the people are represented by Homer as thoroughly

The names of persons in Homer are extremely numerous, amounting to many
hundreds. It would be hazardous, as a general rule, to assume for them
an historical character, except in the cases of such individuals as,
from general eminence or local connection, or from some particular
gift or circumstance, were likely to be held in remembrance. In some
cases, as we have already seen[548], they bear the marks of invention
upon them. But this question is little material for the present
purpose: and indeed the probability that we ought, as a general rule,
to regard the less distinguished names as fabricated for the purposes
of the poem, makes it the more reasonable that we should turn to them
to see how far they connect themselves with distinctions of pursuit,
character, and race, and what properties and characteristics, when so
connected, they appear to indicate as having been assigned by Homer to
one race or to another.

We must not expect to arrive at anything better than general and
approximate conclusions; for particular circumstances, unknown to us,
may have varied the course of etymological nomenclature, and it may
also happen, that in a great number of cases we cannot securely trace
etymology at all.

Subject to these cautions, I would observe, first, that the evidence
from other sources generally tends to show,

1. That the Trojans, except as to the royal house[549], and perhaps a
few other distinguished families, were Pelasgian.

2. That the base of the Greek army and nation were Pelasgian: with
an infusion of Hellenic tribes, not families merely, who held the
governing power and probably formed the upper, that is, the proprietary
and military, class of the community, in most parts of Greece.

3. That some parts of the Greek peninsula present little or no mark of
Hellenic influences; particularly Attica and Arcadia.

4. That the Lycians appear to approximate more than the other races
on the Trojan side to the high Greek type, and to present either the
Hellenic element, or some element akin to it, in a marked form.

The investigation of individual names occurring singly would be
endless, and often equivocal: but Homer frequently unites many names
in a group under circumstances, which authorize us to assume a common
origin and character for the persons designated: and others, though he
may not collect them together in the same passage, are yet associated
in virtue of palpable relations between them.

An examination of Homeric names, in the groups thus gathered, has
brought me to the following results:

1. Where we have reason to presume an Hellenic extraction, a large
proportion of those names, of which the etymology can be traced,
appear to express ideas connected with glory, political power, mental
fortitude, energy and ability, martial courage and strength, or
military operations.

2. But where we may more reasonably suppose, in part or in whole, a
Pelasgic stock, ideas of this kind are more rarely expressed, and
another vein of etymology appears, founded on rural habits, abodes,
and pursuits, or the creation and care of worldly goods, or on other
properties or occupations less akin to political and martial pursuits,
or to high birth and station.

It is at the same time worth remark that, among the slaves of the
Odyssey, we find names of a more high-born cast than those most
current among the Pelasgians. Such as Eumæus (μάω, to desire eagerly
and strive after), Euryclea, (who moreover is daughter of Ops the son
of Peisenor,) Eurymedusa (in Scheria), and Alcippe (at Sparta[550]).
There were two causes, to which this might be referable: first, that
high-born slaves were often obtained both by kidnapping and by war;
Eumæus, as we know, was of this class. And secondly, that the names
of their lords may then, as now, have been occasionally given them.
So that the high significations connected with servile names do not
constitute an objection to the rules which have been stated.

There is another class of names, which requires especial notice. They
are those which have reference to the horse. The rearing and care of
the horse are in Homer more connected with the Trojans, than with the
Greeks: and his standing epithet, ἱπποδάμος, is more largely employed
on the Trojan side[551]. The horse was not exclusively, perhaps not
principally, employed in war and games. He was used in travelling also:
he may have been employed as a beast of burden: he certainly drew the
plough, though Homer informs us that in this occupation the mule was

The points at which we may expect to find names chiefly Pelasgian,
besides those which are expressly given us as such, will be these three:

1. In connection with some particular parts of Greece, especially
Attica or Arcadia.

2. Among the masses of the common Greek soldiery.

3. Still more unequivocally among the masses of the Trojan force, and
of the auxiliaries generally; except the Lycians, whom we have seen
reason to presume to have been less Pelasgian, and more allied, or at
least more similar, to the Hellic races.

On the other hand we may presume Hellic blood, or what in Homer’s
estimation was akin to it, among the Lycians, and likewise wherever
we find, especially on the Greek side, any considerable collection of
names appertaining to the higher class or aristocracy of the army, or
of the country.

_Names of the Pelasgian Class._

The Homeric names, which are given us as expressly Pelasgian, are four
only; and they belong to the Pelasgian force on the Trojan side.

  1. Hippothous.
  2. Pulæus.
  3. Lethus.
  4. Teutamus[552].

The etymology of the three first names seems obvious enough: and,
though the persons are all rulers among their people, not one of them
unequivocally presents the characteristics which we should regard as
appropriate in Hellic names: although, from their being of the highest
rank, we should be less surprised if the case were otherwise.

As regards the first of the four, upon examining the class of names
relating to the horse in the poems, we find, as far as I have observed,
only Hipponous[553] among the Greeks. This rank does not clearly
appear: but νόος, the second factor of the word, supplies the higher

On the other side, in addition to Hippolochus, a name meaning
horse-ambush, who was both Lycian and royal, we have Hippasus,
Hippodamas, Hippodamus, Hippocoon, Hippomachus, and Hippotion. We have

  Melanippus, (Il. xvi. 695.)
  Echepolus, (Il. xvi. 417.)
  Euippus, (Il. xvi. 417.)

Take again Pulæus, from πύλη. This name may mean porter or gate-keeper:
it is scarcely susceptible of a high sense. In connection with the
character of the Pelasgians as masons and builders of walled places, it
is appropriate to them. Homer has three other names, and no more, which
appear to be founded simply upon the term gate: Πύλων, Πυλάρτης, and
Πυλαιμένης. They are all on the Trojan side.

Next, we have a larger class of names, where a strong infusion of the
Pelasgic character may be expected: namely, those connected with Attica.

Among these, three belong to its royal house, and in them we find no
certain features of the Pelasgian kind. They are,

  1. Erechtheus,   }
  2. Peteos,       } From Il. ii. 547-52.
  3. Menestheus,   }

The last of the three, however, seems, if derived from μένος, to belong
to the higher class of names.

Besides these three there are,

  4. Pheidas,   }
  5. Stichius,  } Il. xiii. 690, 1.
  6. Bias,      }

  7. Iasus,     }
  8. Sphelus,   } Il. xv. 332, 7, 8.
  9. Boucolus.  }

Now the whole of these are commanders or officers; and yet four of
them, Pheidas (φείδω), Stichius (στείχω), Sphelus (σφάλλω), and
Boucolus (βούκολος), are in a marked manner of the Pelasgian class:
Bias (βίη), may perhaps belong to it, as meaning mere physical force:
and on the etymology of the ancient name Iasus I do not venture to
speculate. Boucolus, like Boucolion, which we shall meet presently,
deserves particular attention: we find nothing at all resembling it
among the names which are (on other grounds) presumably Hellic.

Other names in the poems, which there may be some reason, from their
local connection, to presume Pelasgian, are,

  1. Lycoorgus,   } From Il. vii. 136, 149, where
  2. Ereuthalion, } they are described as Arcadians.
  3. Dmetor, Lord of Cyprus, from Od. xvii. 443.

And perhaps we may add,

  4. An Ion or Ian, as head of the Ἰάονες.
  5. An Apis, the early eponymist of the Peloponnesus, or a part of

Now, though these are all rulers and great personages, the name Dmetor
is the only one among them which seems in any degree to present
Hellenic ideas: nor need that mean a subduer of men; it may as well
mean simply a breaker of horses. Apis, we have every reason to suppose,
means the ox. Lycoorgus, from Λυκὸς and ἔργον or its root, has all the
appearance of being characteristically Pelasgian.

Let us now inquire if the rules laid down will bear the test of being
applied to the lower order of the Greek soldiery.

In the Fifth Iliad Hector and Mars slay a batch of apparently
undistinguished persons[555]. They are,

  1. Teuthras.
  2. Orestes.
  3. Trechus.
  4. Œnomaus.
  5. Helenus (son of Œnops).
  6. Orestius.

And again in the Eleventh Iliad Hector slays nine more;

  1. Asæus.
  2. Autonous.
  3. Opites.
  4. Dolops (son of Clytus).
  5. Opheltius.
  6. Agelaus.
  7. Æsymnus.
  8. Orus.
  9. Hipponous.

Now out of the seventeen names here assembled,

Four, namely, Autonous, Clytus, Agelaus, and Æsymnus (from its
connection with the word αἰσυμνητὴς, ruler), belong to what I term the
Hellic class.

Three, namely, Teuthras, Asæus, and Helenus, do not immediately suggest
a particular derivation.

Of Hipponous I have already spoken. The other nine appear to conform to
the Pelasgian type. Œnomaus corresponds with the Latin Bibulus.

Again; the names of ordinary Trojans appear to belong generally to the
same type.

When Patroclus commences his exploits in the Sixteenth book, he slays
in succession,

  1. Pronous.
  2. Thestor, son of
  3. Enops.
  4. Erualus.
  5. Erumas.
  6. Amphoteros.
  7. Epaltes.
  8. Tlepolemus, son of
  9. Damastor.
  10. Echios.
  11. Puris.
  12. Ipheus.
  13. Euippus, and
  14. Polumelus, son of
  15. Argeas.

Of these only Tlepolemus and Pronous can with certainty be assigned
to the higher class. Damastor is doubtful, like Dmetor; but perhaps
from its connection with Tlepolemus, we ought to place it in the same
category. Still it must be observed that Homer takes care to bring into
action against Patroclus and the Myrmidons his favourites the Lycians,
as well as the Trojans[556]: and that therefore we are to presume in
this list an intermixture of Lycian names.

The names of ordinary Trojans are for the most part of the same colour.
But we must bear in mind that we cannot so easily trace the Trojan as
the Greek commonalty. Homer rarely allows a Greek of high station or
distinction to be slain: whereas the Greeks continually destroy Trojans
of eminence. We may therefore be prepared to find names of the higher
type somewhat more freely sprinkled among the Trojan than among the
Greek slain.

In the Sixth Iliad[557] a number of the Greek heroes dispatch
consecutively a list of Trojans, which supplies the following names:

  1. Dresus.
  2. Opheltius.
                 { These two were sons of Boucolion,
                 { an illegitimate son of Laomedon,
  3. Æsepus      { who apparently never was acknowledged,
                 { but was brought up in the
  4. Pedasus     { lower class by his mother Abarbaree.
                 { I add these names to the list:
  5. Boucolion.
  6. Abarbaree (mother of Boucolion).
  7. Astualus.
  8. Pidutes.
  9. Aretaon.
  10. Ableros.
  11. Elatus.
  12. Phylacus.
  13. Melanthius.
  14. Adrestus.

Among all these names there is not one which we can with confidence
place in the higher category except Aretaon. Dresus (compare δρήστηρ,
a domestic servant), Opheltius, Boucolion, Melanthius (from its use in
the Odyssey, supported by Melantho, and both belonging to servants),
are unequivocally of the Pelasgian class: probably Elatus (which
however is found among the Ithacan suitors), Phylacus, Adrestus, should
be similarly interpreted. Astualos (ἄστυ, ἃλς) has no contrary force:
and of the rest the derivation is not obvious.

If we take the second batch of Trojans slain by Patroclus, it gives a
somewhat different result. They are[558],

  1. Adrestus.
  2. Autonous.
  3. Echeclus.
  4. Perimus, son of Megas.
  5. Epistor.
  6. Melanippus.
  7. Elasus.
  8. Moulius.
  9. Pulartes.

Of these Autonous and Epistor would seem clearly to belong to the
higher class; to which we may add Echeclus, if it is derived (like
Echecles, a Myrmidon chieftain) from ἔχω and κλέος: but even this is
not a large proportion.

Now when we turn to the Lycians[559] slain consecutively by Ulysses, we
find a material change. These are,

  1. Koiranos.
  2. Alastor.
  3. Chromius.
  4. Alcandros.
  5. Halios.
  6. Noemon.
  7. Prutanis.

_Of the higher or Hellenic Class._

All of these seven visibly belong to the higher or Hellenic order of
names, except Χρόμιος, which I presume may be akin to χρῶμα, and Ἅλιος,
‘mariner.’ But this last named designation is also somewhat Hellic: I
doubt if we find among Pelasgian names any taken from maritime ideas or

Again, when Achilles comes forth, there is provided for him a list of
victims bearing distinguished names[560], though practically unknown as
characters in the poem. At the end of the Twentieth book he slays,

  1. Druops.
  2. Demouchus, son of
  3. Philetor.
  4. Laogonus, and
  5. Dardanus, sons of
  6. Bias.
  7. Tros, son of
  8. Alastor.
  9. Moulius.
  10. Echeclus, son of
  11. Agenor.
  12. Deucalion.
  13. Rigmos, son of
  14. Peiroos, one of the Thracian leaders.
  15. Areithous.

Now of these fifteen names none, if judged by the rules which we have
laid down, would clearly fall into the Pelasgian, or more plebeian,
class, except Dryops, perhaps Laogonus, and Bias: three only. Peiroos
and Rigmos (probably akin to ῥῖγος) are Thracian, and may be put aside.
Six, viz., Demuchus, Philetor, Alastor (contrast with this Lethus),
Echeclus, Agenor, and Areithous, are of the Hellic class. The others,
Dardanus, Tros, Moulius (Il. xi. 739), and Deucalion are repeated from
eminent historical personages.

In this set of names we observe, in conjunction with a new instance
of Homer’s ever wakeful care in doing supreme honour to Achilles,
unequivocal evidence, as I think, that the poet did distribute his
names with some special meaning among his minor, and, (so we must
suppose,) generally or frequently, non-historical personages.

And the further inference may perhaps be drawn of a probable affinity
of race between the highest Trojans and the Hellic tribes.

This inference may be supported by another example. The numerous sons
of Antenor, whose names are collected from different parts of the poem,
are as follows:

  1. Agenor, Il. xi. 59.
  2. Acamas, ii. 823. xi. 60. xii. 100, _et alibi_.
  3. Archelochus, ii. 823. xiv. 464.
  4. Coon, xi. 248.
  5. Demoleon, xx. 395.
  6. Echeclus, xx. 474.
  7. Helicaon, iii. 123.
  8. Iphidamas, xi. 221.
  9. Laodamas, xv. 516.
  10. Laodocus, iv. 87. and
  11. Pedæus (νόθος), v. 70.

I apprehend Laodocus should be construed, after the manner of
Demodocus, to signify having fame or repute among the λαός. If so, then
of the ten legitimate sons, eight have names with an etymology that
directly connects them with the higher signification. The name of the
Bastard only is more doubtful.

Among the Suitors in Ithaca, who are the princes and chief men of the
island, with their connections, and others of the same class, we have
the following list of names of the high class:

  Elatus. (cf. Il. xi. 701.)

Nor are the names which have not been placed in this list of an
opposite character. They are chiefly such as have not an obvious
etymology. Two of them, Ægyptius and Polybus, were, as we know, great
names in Egypt, and they probably indicate a Pelasgian or an Egyptian
extraction. Others are, Halitherses, Melaneus, Ctesippus, Nisus,
Antiphus, Peiræus. Of these, the two, or even the three, first may
perhaps be regarded as properly Hellic.

Take again the six sons of Nestor:

  1. Antilochus.
  2. Stratius.
  3. Thrasymedes.
  4. Echephron.
  5. Perseus.
  6. Aretus (akin to ἀρέσκω, ἀρετή, and the Arete of Scheria).

Of these only Perseus would not at once fall within the class; and this
is evidently a most noble name, taken from a great Greek hero. Indeed
it must itself stand as a conspicuous example of the rule, if we shall
hereafter be able to show[561] a relationship between the Hellic races
and Persia as their fountain-head.

Lastly, let us take the Myrmidon leaders and commanders. These were,

  1. Patroclus; { and after him the heads of the five
       son of   { divisions.
  2. Menœtius.
  3. Menesthius.
  4. Eudorus.
  5. Peisander, son of
  6. Maimalus, from μαιμάω.
  7. Phœnix. This name may represent, (1) Phœnician
  extraction or connection; (2) The palm
  tree; (3) The colour of red or purple, akin to
  φόνος, and to blood, which the colour φοίνιξ is
  supposed to betoken. In any of these three
  aspects, it will fall into the Hellic class.
  8. Alcimedon, son of Laerces.
  9. Automedon.

All these names belong to the higher categories. It is therefore the
general result of our inquiry, that wherever we have reason on other
grounds to presume a Pelasgian origin, we find in the proper names of
persons, unless they chance to be merely descriptive of the country
they inhabited, a decided tendency to represent peaceful, profitable,
and laborious pursuits, or the lower qualities and conditions of
mankind. But wherever from other causes we are entitled to presume an
Hellic relationship, there, so far as a simple etymology will carry
us, the personal appellatives appear to run upon ideas derived from
intellect, power, command, policy, fame, the great qualities and
achievements of war; in short, apart from religion, which does not
appear to enter into the composition of nomenclature at all, all the
ideas that appeal most strongly to those masculine faculties of our
race, in which its perfection was so vividly conceived by the Greeks to

_Evidence from political and martial ideas._

One among the most remarkable features of the Homeric Poems is, their
highly forward development of political ideas in a very early stage
of society[562]. It seems hardly necessary to argue that these were
of Hellic origin; because the fact is before us, that they make their
appearance in Homer simultaneously with the universal ascendancy of the
Hellic over the Pelasgian tribes wherever they were in contact; and
because, in comparing the two nations together, we shall have occasion
to note the greater backwardness, and indocility, so to speak, of the
Trojans[563] in this respect. I assume, therefore, without detailed
argument, the peculiar relation between the Hellic stock and the
political institutions of Greece.

For similar reasons I shall touch very briefly the relation of the
Hellic tribes to the martial character of Greece.

We may consider the whole Iliad, which represents a conflict between
less Pelasgic and more Pelasgic races, and which gives a clear
superiority to the former, as a general but decisive testimony to this

We find another such testimony, with a well established historical
character, in the comparison between the secondary military position
of Athens in the Iliad, and its splendid distinctions in later
times. It is true indeed, that the Athenian troops are mentioned
specifically in the attack upon the ships, together with the Bœotians,
Locrians, Phthians, and Epeans[564]. Of these the two latter are
called respectively μεγάθυμοι and φαιδιμόεντες; the Athenians are the
Ἰάονες ἑλκεχίτωνες, an epithet of most doubtful character as applied
to soldiers. It seems to me plain that Homer by no means meant the
particular notice of these five divisions for a mark of honour: they
fought to be defeated, and he does not use his prime Greeks in that
manner. No Peloponnesian forces are named as having been engaged on
this occasion. Those probably were the flower of the army; and it
is mentioned in the Catalogue that the troops of Agamemnon were the
best[565]. Again, it will be seen, on reference to the Catalogue,
that the whole force of Middle Greece is here in battle except the
Ætolians, the contingent of Ulysses, and the Abantes (for whom see
542-4). These three are all distinguished races, whom he seems
purposely to have excluded from a contest, where honour was not to be
gained. The military contrast, then, between the earlier and the later
Athens, may be taken to be established: and with it coincides that
very marked, though normal and pacific, transition of Attica from the
exclusively Pelasgic to the fullest development of the composite Greek

The passage of the seventh Iliad, which describes the war of the
Pylians with the Arcadians, suggests a like conclusion.

Upon the whole, however, the _de facto_ Hellic ascendancy in Greece at
the time is, with reference to war and the strong hand even more than
to policy, a full presumption of their title to be regarded as having
given birth to the splendid military genius of Greece.

When, for the business of the Trojan war, Homer divides the two great
traditive deities[567], and assigns to the Greeks Pallas, the more
political, energetic, and intellectual of the two, to the Trojans
Apollo, we may take this as of itself involving an assertion, that the
high arts of policy and war were peculiarly Hellenic.

_Evidence from Games._

We come now to the principle of what may be called corporal education,
which found a development among the Greeks more fully than among any
other nation; first, in gymnastic exercises, generally pursued, and,
secondly, in the great national institution of the Games.

“There were,” says Grote[568], “two great holding points in common for
every section of Greeks. One was the Amphictyonic Assembly, which met
half yearly, alternately at Delphi and at Thermopylae; originally and
chiefly for common religious purposes, but indirectly and occasionally
embracing political and social objects along with them. The other
was, the public festivals or games, of which the Olympic came first
in importance; next, the Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian: institutions,
which combined religious solemnities with recreative effusion and
hearty sympathies, in a manner so imposing and so unparalleled.
Amphictyon represents the first of these institutions, and Aethlius the

This passage places in an extremely clear light the relative position
of the Games and the Amphictyonic Assembly. The Council represented
a religious institution, partaking also of a political character. The
Games, on the other hand, were a gymnastic celebration, made available
for national gatherings: placed, as a matter of prime public moment,
under the guardianship of high religious solemnities, and referred for
greater effect, in the later tradition, to some person of the highest
rank and extraction, as their nominal founder. As the objects of the
Games and the Council were distinct, so were their origin and history
different; and this difference mounted up into the very earliest
ages. This is clearly proved by the extra-historic and mythical names
assigned to their founders, whose faint personality does not even
serve to repress the suggestion of fiction, conveyed with irresistible
force by etymological considerations. But the legend, though a legend
only, conformed to the laws of probability, by assigning to Amphictyon
a Thessalian birth, and by vindicating at the same time to Aethlius
the higher honour of the immediate paternity of Jupiter; while, by
placing him in Elis it secures his function as the institutor of the
oldest, namely, the Olympic Games. In this legend, too, we see Hellenic
imagination providing for its own ancestral honours in competition,
as it were, with those of the sister institution, which may have been

The foundation of Games _in genere_ appears to be traceable, with
sufficient clearness and upon Homeric evidence, to the Hellic tribes.

The lengthened detail of the Twenty-third Iliad is of itself enough
to prove their importance, as an institution founded in the national
habits and manners. We must not, however, rely upon the absence of any
similar celebrations, or even allusions to them, among the Trojans;
since their condition, in the circumstances of the war, will of itself
account for it. But we may observe how closely it belonged to the
character of the greatest heroes to excel in every feat of gymnastic
strength, as well as in the exercises of actual warfare. The kings
and leading chiefs all act in the Games, with the qualified exception
of Agamemnon, whose dignity could not allow him to be actually judged
by his inferiors, but yet who appears as a nominal candidate, and
receives the compliment of a prize, though spared the contest for it;
and with the exception also of Achilles, who could not contend for his
own prizes. Again, it is a piece of evidence in favour of the Hellic
character of public Games, that, though there were three Athenian
leaders alive during the action of the Twenty-third Book, none of them
took any part. They were Menestheus, Pheidas, and Bias. Again, the
speech of Ulysses to Euryalus, the saucy Phæacian[569], with the acts
which followed it, strengthen the general testimony of the Iliad upon
the point. So does the prosecution of these exercises, to the best of
their power, even by the Phæacians, the kindred of the gods.

So much for the general idea of Games in Homer; but, to draw the
distinction with any force between what is Hellic and what is Pelasgic,
we must refer to those passages which afford glimpses of the earlier
state of Greece, and see what light they afford us.

According to the Homeric text, Elis and Corinth were the portions of
the Peloponnesus, where the early notes of the presence of the Hellenic
races are most evident. Now of these Elis had the greatest and oldest
Greek Games, while the Isthmian festival at Corinth was held to stand
next to them.

The invention of these gymnastic exercises was ascribed in the later
mythology to Mercury, who is in Homer a Hellenic, as opposed to
Pelasgian, deity.

    Mercurî, facunde nepos Atlantis,
    Qui feros mores hominum recentum
    Voce formasti catus, et decoræ
          More palæstræ[570].

It has been observed, that the Hermes of Homer bears no trace of this
function: but we have no proof in Homer of the formal institution of
Games at all, although we have clear signs of them as a known and
familiar practice; and the Mercury of the poems is even yet more
Phœnician than he is Hellenic. Aristophanes[571] produces the Ἑρμῆς
Ἐναγώνιος, and supplies a fresh link of connection by referring to
ἀγῶνες in music, as well as in feats of corporal strength and skill. So
does Pindar[572].

In truth, these Games were the exercise and pleasure of the highest
orders only. For we see that, in Homer’s Twenty-third Book, not a
single person takes a part in any of the eight matches that is not
actually named among the ἡγεμόνες and κοίρανοι of the Catalogue, with
three such exceptions as really confirm the rule. They are Antilochus,
the heir apparent of Pylos, Teucer the brother of Ajax, and Epeus,
(only however in the boxing match,) who appears from the Odyssey[573]
to have been a person of importance, as he contrived the stratagem of
the horse. Even the σόλος αὐτοχόωνος, the iron lump, part of the booty
of Achilles, had formerly been used for the sport only of a king[574].

    ὃν πρὶν μὲν ῥίπτασκε μέγα σθένος Ἠετίωνος.

The Greek Games presuppose leisure, and therefore the accumulation of
property, or the concentrated possession of lands: but this comports
much more with Hellenic than with what we know of Pelasgic society, in
which we do not find the same signs as in the former, of an aristocracy
occupying the middle place between the people at large, and the royal
house. Let us now examine another part of the Homeric evidence.

In the Eleventh Iliad, Nestor’s legend acquaints us that, at the time
of the war between Pylians and Elians, Neleus the king appropriated a
part of the Pylian spoil, in respect of a ‘debt’ owed him in Elis, the
nature of which he explains[575]:

    τέσσαρες ἀθλοφόροι ἵπποι αὐτοῖσιν ὄχεσφιν,
    ἐλθόντες μετ’ ἄεθλα· περὶ τρίποδος γὰρ ἔμελλον
    θεύσεσθαι· τοὺς δ’ αὖθι ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Αὐγείας
    κάσχεθε, τὸν δ’ ἐλατῆρ’ ἀφίει, ἀκαχήμενον ἵππων.

There were then, it is plain, chariot races regularly established
(for the Games are here spoken of without explanation, as a matter
familiarly known) in Olympia: and this was during the boyhood of
Nestor, or about two generations before the Trojan war. The tribes,
which we here see concerned in these Games, are first, the Pylians,
and next the Elians, of whom Augeas was king. It will be seen in a
subsequent part of this inquiry[576], that both of these tribes were
Hellic, and not Pelasgian. Yet certainly there is nothing here to show
directly the non-participation of Pelasgians in the games.

There is however another passage of our useful friend Nestor in the
Twenty-third Book, which supplies in some degree even this form of
evidence. ‘Would,’ says he in his usual phrase, ‘would I were young and

    ὡς ὅποτε κρείοντ’ Ἀμαρυγκέα θάπτον Ἐπειοὶ
    Βουπρασίῳ, παῖδες δ’ ἔθεσαν βασιλῆος ἄεθλα·

Here is a distinct testimony to the custom of funeral Games in Elis,
nearly two generations before the _Troica_. They embraced, as we find
further down in the record, 1. Chariot races, with the best prize; 2.
Boxing; 3. Wrestling; 4. Running; and 5. Hurling the spear. But we have
a further most valuable passage. There was no person present, says
Nestor, equal to myself; and then he adds an exhaustive enumeration of
the races that furnished the company:

            οὔτ’ ἄρ’ Ἐπεῶν,
    οὔτ’ αὐτῶν Πυλίων, οὔτ’ Αἰτώλων μεγαθύμων.

For the Epeans (or Elians) and Pylians, I repeat the reference already
made. Nor can I doubt that the Ætolians, the subjects of Œneus and
his illustrious family, belonged to the same stock. I do not inquire
whether, as they were always in later times held to belong to the
Æolian branch of the Greeks, so their name may have been radically akin
to, or identical with, the name of Æolus, which is often with Homer
Αἴωλος. But we find Meleager (independently of the reference to him,
evidently as a great national hero, in the Catalogue[578],) selected
by Phœnix for the subject of an episode of great length, and held out
as a warning and example to Achilles[579]. It may safely be assumed
he would have chosen no character for this purpose, except that of an
hero of pure Hellic origin. And the description of Tydeus, the father
of Diomed, by the epithet Αἰτώλιος[580], again serves to identify the
Ætolian name with the Hellic races.

The tribes present, then, at the Games were all Hellic, and they were
all conterminous: the Epean inhabitants, the Pylians, neighbours on the
South, the Ætolians from the other side of the narrow strait, which
was the most frequented passage into Peloponnesus. In fact, it was
evidently an assemblage of the neighbouring tribes; but with a most
remarkable exception, that of the eastern neighbours of Elis, those
same Arcadians, whom by many signs we are enabled to conclude to have
been Pelasgian.

A third instance in which Homer notices gymnastic exercises, is in
Il. iv. 389. Here Tydeus, having gone to Thebes, finds a solemn
banquet proceeding in the palace of Eteocles. Alone among many, and on
questionable terms with his hosts, he nevertheless at once challenges
them to gymnastic games, and beats them all.

    ἀλλ’ ὅγ’ ἀεθλεύειν προκαλίζετο, πάντα δ’ ἐνίκα
    ῥηιδίως· τοίη οἱ ἐπιρρόθος ἦεν Ἀθήνη.

Achæan, that is Hellene, himself, he is, if not among Hellenes, yet
among the members and adherents of that Phœnician dynasty which had
established itself, to all appearance, in Bœotia, at a somewhat early
date: even as, at a period slightly later[581], Minos established from
Phœnicia a Throne in Crete, which soon became wholly Greek in character.

And again, in Il. xxiii. 678-80, we are told, that Mecisteus, on the
death of Œdipus, went to Thebes to the even then customary funeral
Games, and there was victor over all the Καδμείωνες who opposed him, by
the aid of Minerva. Euryalus, the son of Mecisteus, was an Argive, and
was the colleague of Diomed and Sthenelus. The same observations are
applicable here, as in the last case.

There is therefore nothing in any one of these cases to connect the
gymnastic celebrations with the Pelasgian, but every thing to associate
them with the Hellic races.

Of the Greek Games, the Pythian are those which, as being under
Apollo, might most be suspected of Pelasgic origin. But these did
not apparently begin as a national gymnastic festival until about 586
B. C.[582] The Olympic contests had then been regularly recorded for
nearly two hundred years, since 776 B. C. And in the laws of Solon
there was a reward of 500 drachms for every Athenian who should gain
an Olympic prize, of 100 only for an Isthmian: while of the Nemean and
Pythian Games, as being merely local, they take no notice. So these
Games, besides being secondary, belonged to times much later, and also
purely Hellenic.

The Panathenaic Games are apparently of similar date. And with this
evidence from the earlier historic times before us, no importance can
attach to a tradition so late as that of Pausanias, who makes Theseus
found the Panathenaica, and Lycaon, son of Pelasgus, the Λύκαια[583].
But it is well worthy of remark, that in reporting this tradition he
adds, that the Olympic Games were much older, that they mounted to
the very highest antiquity of the human race, and that Κρόνος and
Jupiter were said to have contended at them for prizes. Again, great
fame attached to the Games said to have been celebrated by Acastus on
the death of his father Pelias. Stesichorus, who lived in the seventh
century, wrote a poem upon them; but Pelias, the brother of Neleus, and
son of Tyro, (having Neptune for his father,) was of undoubted Hellic

Minor instances of the addiction of the Hellic races to Games may be
found in the constant practice of the Ithacan Suitors, and in the
resort of the Myrmidons before Troy, during the seclusion of Achilles,
to this method of beguiling their time[585].

The case stands only a little less distinctly as to song. There is an
ἀοιδὸς in the palace of Priam, as well as in that of Ulysses; one in
that of Agamemnon, and one in that of Alcinous. The Muses are Olympian
Muses. Olympus geographically was quite as much Hellic as Pelasgian,
and in every other sense, as I believe, far more. We may perhaps most
fairly estimate its national character, by contrasting the Jupiter
of Olympus with the Jupiter of Dodona, and the home of the large and
varied group of Grecian gods with the solitary grandeur which affords a
trace of the old Pelasgian worship. In this view Olympus and the Muses
will be clearly Hellic. Further[586], Thamyris in his boast supposes
the Muses to be contending against him at the public matches. If I have
been correct in tracing such matches to an Hellic source, Thamyris must
have regarded the Muses as Hellic when he made this supposition. Again,
Thamyris himself is a Θρὴξ, that is to say, a highlander: this connects
him with the Helli of the hills, not with the Pelasgians of the more
open country. The place, too, where the punishment is inflicted upon
Thamyris, is in the dominions of Pylus: which, at any rate for a term
equal to three generations before the _Troica_, had been Achæan, that
is, Hellic[587].

Apollo was doubtless an object of Pelasgian worship: the Apollo of
Homer however is not confined to the Pelasgians, but is by many signs,
scattered throughout the poems, placed in close as well as friendly
relations with the whole Greek nation. Among these may be reckoned his
acceptance of the propitiation and prayer offered by Calchas. In truth,
though it is his business, as the organ of Jupiter, to assist the
Trojans, he no where shows any of that hostility to their opponents,
which Neptune and Juno show to them.

_As to poetry and music._

In later times, the traditions of Orpheus, Musæus, and Eumolpus, always
Θρῇκες, supported the tradition which derives Greek song from the
mountain tribes.

Why has Arcadia a muse of her own, but because the Pelasgian poetry is
not the Hellic? and does not the reputed character of that muse oblige
us to assign a Hellic origin to the higher national poetry?

Hesiod, as author of the Works and Days, is so enormously different
from Homer in his frame of mind, as well as his diction, that it is
hard to trace, even in the most general form, a complete national
affinity between them. The Theogony, by its subject, brought him nearer
to Homer, but it is quite destitute of the heroic power and fire: a
calm and low-toned beauty, as in the legend of the Ages, is all to
which Hesiod ever rises. To my conjecture, he seems to personify the
one-stringed instrument which might suffice for Pelasgian song: while
the Diapason of Homer, embracing with its immeasurable sweep things
small and things great, things sublime and things homely, all objects
that human experience had suggested, and all thoughts that the soul of
man had imagined or received, presents to us that Greek mind, full,
varied, energetic, lively, profound, exact, which was destined to give
form for so many ages to the genius of the world.

I cannot however part from this subject, and leave the Hellenic races
in possession of the honour of having principally contributed to
mould the powerful imagination of the Greeks, without noticing the
opposite conclusion of Mr. Fergusson, in his admirable ‘Handbook of

He treats the Greek nation as made up chiefly of two ingredients, the
Dorian and the Pelasgian. He takes the Greeks of the Trojan Epoch to
have been Pelasgian, and so to have continued until the return of the
Heraclidæ. Then, according to him, began the Hellenic, which he treats
as synonymous with the Doric, preponderance; and, having Sparta before
him as the one great Hellic type, he observes that the race was far
better adapted “for the arts of war and self-government, than for the
softer arts of poetry and peace[588].”

But the supposition of a Pelasgic supremacy in Homeric Greece, is
contrary to all the evidence afforded by the text of Homer, and, I
think we may add, to the belief alike of ancient and of modern times.
Even the limited part of the Homeric evidence which is connected with
the names Ἕλλας and Ἕλληνες, seems large enough to overthrow any such
hypothesis. Though the Dorian race was Hellenic, it was apparently
a late outgrowth from the stock, and has no pretension whatever to
be considered as the universal type of its products. In Sparta, the
excessive development of policy was doubtless unfavourable to human
excellence in other forms; among others, to poetry and art. Still,
neither verse, music, nor architecture are disconnected from the Dorian
name and race. It seems quite impossible to refer the war-poetry of
the Iliad, the grandest in the world, for its origin to a people so
unwarlike, in reference especially to the changeful, romantic, and
poetic side of war, as the Pelasgi.

The adventurous tone and tenour of the Odyssey, and its wide range over
the world, and over the sea, are as little in keeping with what we can
see of Pelasgic habits in the heroic age. Above all, that largeness and
unimpaired universality of type, which belongs to human character as
drawn by Homer, and especially to Achilles and Ulysses, demonstrate (I
cannot use a weaker word) that all the materials of Grecian greatness
were in his time fully ripened.

_Pelasgian sense of beauty._

At the same time it is not necessary to deny, that the Pelasgians
may have been endowed with a high sense of beauty. Not that Homer
appears to have had a vivid conception of beauty in connection with
architecture, their great reputed accomplishment; for he seems, on the
contrary, to have had little idea of ornament in buildings, beyond
the blaze of plates of polished metal: far different here from what
he shows himself to be in dealing with dress, or armour, or the forms
of men and horses. But we have before us the fact that through Athens
itself preeminently, and likewise through its colonies to the east, the
Greek race earned in after-times the very highest honours in poetry
and the fine arts. On the one hand, however, a large share of these
honours, especially in early times, fell to the share of the race
called Æolian, which was clearly Hellic, and a principal part of the
Hellic family. On the other hand, Arcadia, which remained more purely
Pelasgian, while Athens received all sorts of mixtures, never attained
to high distinction in art, nor rose above a modest and tranquil strain
of verse. The great tragedians and the great artists were of a race
the most composite in all Greece. The natural inference would seem to
be, that whatever the Pelasgians may have contributed to the general
result, however they may have afforded for poetry and art (as also they
did for war) a good raw material, it was only when in combination with
other elements from other sources, that they could attain to great
practical excellence. A lively sense of beauty is, doubtless, not only
a condition, but even a foundation: yet a great organising power is as
necessary for the production of the great works of imagination, as
it was to Lycurgus for the Spartan constitution, or to Aristotle for
philosophical analysis and construction; and this was the commanding
and sovereign faculty in a mind such as that of Homer.

The connection between the Homeric Greeks and the traditions of
huntsmen is, I think, sufficiently evident from Homer. His hunting
legends, and the multitude of his hunting similes, are so many signs of
it; and many indications, I think, concur towards forming a belief that
the Greeks owed their fondness for the chace to their Hellic, not to
their Pelasgic habits and blood.

I take first the relation between Achilles and his instructors.
Chiron was the teacher of Achilles in the surgical art, while Phœnix
had charge of his higher education. Surgery and war would obviously
go together. But Chiron too gave his father the ashen spear from
Pelion, which none but Achilles could wield: he was the most civilized
(δικαιότατος) of the Centaurs, the one to whom the ideas of right, on
which society is founded, were most congenial. But he seems to dwell
on Mount Pelion, not like Phœnix, in the court of Peleus; he is,
therefore, without doubt, a huntsman, and is in fact a link between the
old and rude, and the new and more civilized life of the Hellic tribes.

Again. Of the Hellic legends of Homer, which are not in all very
numerous, two have hunting for their subject: as,

1. That of the Calydonian Boar in Il. ix.

2. That of the visit of Ulysses to the court of Autolycus, in Od. xix.

Now these two legends are the only ones in the poems, that do not
relate to war. Though the Trojans dwelt by Ida, we never hear of their
hunts: but their princes feed sheep upon its slopes, or tend horses in
the plain below.

_Evidence as to hunting._

Even apart from particular evidence, we might presume that, if the
nation derived its warlike turn from a Hellic source, so it must
likewise have been with hunting, which was next of kin to war.

Lastly, if this supposition be correct, it helps to account for what
is otherwise an anomaly in the poems. Diana fights on the Trojan side:
yet we find no evidence that she was worshipped among the Trojans, or
even known to them in the character, in which she has the greatest
mythical celebrity. She is mentioned but once, I think, among them; it
is by Andromache, and that is as having put a period to her mother’s
life[589], nowhere in her character as a huntress. But among the Greeks
she constantly appears otherwise than as in connection with death. Her
epithets, ἀγροτέρη, κελαδεινὴ, ἰοχέαιρα, are far more suitable to the
huntress, than to the more solemn function of the ministry of Death
among human beings. Again, Helen is compared to her in appearance.
The calamities of the Kalydonians came upon them in consequence of
their neglect as to her worship on a particular occasion[590]; and the
particular punishment inflicted is the sending a wild boar upon them.
Nausicaa[591] is elaborately compared to her, and in this simile she is
described as hunting in Taygetus and Erymanthus. Thus while among the
more Pelasgic Trojans, she appears only in virtue of the relation to
death which (we shall find) she holds from a traditive source[592]; it
is the Hellic influence, which superadds the mythical and imaginative
attributes of the beautiful huntress: and which, in so doing, supplies
a marked proof of the addiction of the Hellic tribes to that pursuit.

_Evidence as to navigation._

It is not easy to judge whether the turn of the Greeks for navigation
ought to be referred in any degree to a Pelasgian source. Plainly, if
there was such a source, it was not the main one. We have seen that
only the most elementary words connected with propulsion by rowing,
appear to bear any sign on them of proceeding from that stock. We
cannot argue from the maritime excellence of the Athenians at a much
later date to their nautical character in the time of Homer, on account
of the important ethnical changes, which in the mean time they had
gradually, but most thoroughly, undergone. On the other hand, our
finding the pure Pelasgian population of Arcadia resorting to the
inland country, and wholly destitute of ships, affords a negative
indication. A stronger, and indeed very remarkable one, is supplied by
the total want of ships among the Trojans, notwithstanding that their
situation was one highly favourable to the acquisition of maritime
power. Yet Paris needed to have ships built for him in order to effect
his tour[593], and the building of them appears in the Iliad as
having been an event of much note in Troy. On the other hand, Homer
is full of indications of the locomotive tendencies of the Hellic
races. Among these may be mentioned, the wide circle embraced in
the adventures of Hercules: the offer of Menelaus[594] to accompany
Telemachus on a journey about Greece: the sojourn of Neoptolemus[595]
in Scyros: the frequent visits of Idomeneus[596] to Sparta before
the war: the marriage of Theseus[597] to a daughter of the king of
Crete: the journey of Nestor[598] into Thessaly: the pleasure visits
of Autolycus to Ithaca, and of the young Ulysses[599] to Autolycus:
the evident familiarity of the Poet with the idea of travelling to
recover debts[600]: the existence of places of wide resort for Games
and Oracles[601]: the custom of assembling from a group of districts
at the funerals of great men[602]: nay, the very choice of the voyages
of Ulysses for the subject of so great a part of the Odyssey, and the
lengthened tour of Menelaus. And while the Pelasgians appear to be akin
to the land-loving Egyptians, we have found the Hellenes to be strongly
sympathetic in character with the Phœnicians, the great masters of
navigation in the heroic age.

From the speech of the Pseudo-Ulysses in the Fourteenth Odyssey, we
have the strongest evidence that navigation and agricultural pursuits,
which were those of the Pelasgians, stood in sharp opposition to one
another. He could not bear tillage, but loved ships and war[603].

                ἔργον δέ μοι οὐ φίλον ἦεν,
    οὐδ’ οἰκωφελίη, ἥτε τρέφει ἀγλαὰ τέκνα·
    ἀλλά μοι αἰεὶ νῆες ἐπήρετμοι φίλοι ἦσαν
    καὶ πόλεμοι καὶ ἄκοντες ἐΰξεστοι καὶ ὀïστοί.

It is also plain, from two circumstances at least, that Homer regarded
travelling as one great means of mental and practical culture. One is,
that he describes this benefit as attained in the case of his great
hero Ulysses;

                      ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
    πλάγχθη ...
    πολλῶν δ’ ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα, καὶ νόον ἔγνω[604].

The other is that, in the very remarkable simile of the Thought, he
treats travelling as the great stimulus to the growth of the mind of

    ὡς δ’ ὅτ’ ἂν ἀΐξῃ νόος ἀνέρος, ὅς τ’ ἐπὶ πολλήν
    γαῖαν ἐληλουθὼς φρεσὶ πευκαλίμῃσι νοήσῃ·
    ἔνθ’ εἴην, ἢ ἔνθα· μενοινήῃσί τε πολλά[605].

Both as to navigation then, and as to locomotion, which stand nearly
related to each other, it would seem that we ought probably to regard
the Hellic stock as the parent of the Greek accomplishment.

_Summary of the case._

After this laborious and microscopic investigation, we may now be
justified in taking a survey more at ease of the ground which we have
traversed so slowly, and in endeavouring to embody our general results
in a rude sketch of the succession, places, and functions of the two
great races of early Greece.

Relying, therefore, upon what has been produced in the way of proof,
I will proceed to fill up its interstices with such conjectures as
probable reasoning will supply.

The Greek nation was originally formed of two great coefficients, the
Hellic and Pelasgic races respectively: and there is no evidence, that
any other race entered largely into its composition, or modified it
sensibly: although individual foreigners or companies of emigrants,
which left little impression on the names of districts or races, may
notwithstanding have exercised a powerful influence from time to time.
We may consider the Leleges, Caucones, and other pre-Hellenic tribes as
branches of the Pelasgian family, or as akin to it rather than to the
Hellic stem.

There is Homeric and post-Homeric evidence, which seems to shew us the
Pelasgians established through Greece from Macedonia in the north,
to Crete in the south: as well as in Italy, and elsewhere beyond the
borders of Greece.

It is on the whole most probable, that the Pelasgians principally
entered Greece from the south by Crete; but they may have entered
it in both directions. In either case, there is no other people
to dispute with them in continental Greece the title of its first
regular settlers. They chose their habitations in the plains, and
were essentially a lowland people. It is even likely that they derive
their name from this characteristic, and that it marks them at once as

As respects the religion of Greece, its most essential features were
probably common to the two races: a principle illustrated by the fact
that the Helli, by a kind of natural succession, become the wardens and
interpreters of the great Pelasgian shrine of Jupiter at Dodona.

The first form of the religion of Greece was probably due to
the Pelasgians; and moreover it would appear to be from them
that it received, in the main, its ritual and hierarchical, as
contradistinguished from its imaginative, development. They appear to
have incorporated it in visible institutions, and to have given social
order to the country; probably in that form in which men live sparsely,
and not in the large aggregations of considerable cities. But social
order in any form implies some means of defence against the lawless:
and we must view the Pelasgians as having introduced the construction
of works of this class, which were then of prime necessity to the
existence of communities. Their standing pursuit was evidently that of
agriculture: the only link of connection established by Homer between
them and the beautiful in art, is the doubtful one of the epithets
περικαλλέα and καλὰ[606] applied to the architecture of the palaces of
Priam and Paris respectively.

In general, the Pelasgian race, though without the vivid temperament of
the Hellic tribes, yet would appear to have been both brave and solid
in character.

The stream of Pelasgic immigration, flowing chiefly northward, is met
by the counter-stream of Hellic tribes, proceeding from the highland
nation of the Helli, which had taken its seat in the mountains to the
north of Thessaly.

They in their southward course overspread the same countries which the
Pelasgi had already occupied; successive tribes of immigrants going
forth from the parent stock at different times, as the pressure of
population on the means of subsistence required it, and under different
names, taken in all likelihood from their leaders.

In the nest of mountaineers, barbarism, or at least rudeness,
continues: but as the young broods go forth, and make their way into
more favourable conditions of physical and social life, their great
capacities for development find scope, and they rapidly assume a new

By their greater energy and activity, they became everywhere the
dominant race. Policy and war fell into their hands: they supplied the
more vigorous, intellectual, and imaginative element in the wonderful
composition of the Greek mind. Of the Pelasgian imagination it is
difficult to speak in a definite manner: but it probably had not that
masculine tone, and energetic movement, when alone, which marks the
mind of Greece.

Far more expansive than their Pelasgian antecessors, the Hellic tribes
availed themselves of the great advantages which the country offers
for extended navigation, which was so essential as a means both of
communication, and of attracting the elements of civilization from
abroad. They were apt pupils under apt instructors, the Phœnician
mariners. They developed the Pelasgic religion into their more enlarged
and diversified mythology: they idealized the visible world together
with human nature, and established those peculiar and pervasively
poetical relations between the seen and the unseen spheres of
existence, which are the basis of the Greek mythology. Their keen sense
of the beautiful led them to adorn both the body and the mind of man
with the attributes of deity, while their imaginative power continually
prompted them both to clothe celestial objects in shapes borrowed from
the visible world, and to equip the gods with sentiments and passions
drawn from the sphere of every day experience.

They likewise brought with them the gymnastic element of the Greek
system, the education of the body; and they made provision for this
education, in conjunction with a powerful means of national union, in
the Games which became so famous through so many ages.

The same qualities which found employment in fashioning the relations
of earth to heaven, were likewise busy in uniting the past with the
present, by the agency of history in the form of song.

Of this race were the Achæans, who by their power and extension through
Greece, gave to it and to its people their first famous designation,
that which they bore in the Homeric times. From the same source
proceeded all the Hellenes, derivatively so called, and the Myrmidons.
Under the great Achæan name, understood in its special sense, are
probably included with the Pelopids, the Pylians, Cephallenians,
Epeans, Myrmidons, Loerians. Nor can we be certain that it did not also
include those Æolid families whose power and extension subsequently
impressed large portions of Greece with the Æolian name.

While imperial cares and aims, and the refinements and enjoyments,
together with the stir, movement, and solicitude of life, fell to the
Hellic portion of the Greek societies, and took its form from them,
the Pelasgian element, though depressed below the surface, continued
to live and act with vigour; it predominated in the classes which form
the solid _substratum_ of society, those on which rural industry, if
not those on which mechanical pursuits depended, and from which the
upper surface, when exhausted by the prolonged performance of its
functions, may draw in every society successive stocks of new materials
to renovate its vital forces.

While Homer himself seems to represent the unbounded wealth and
fulness, and the manifold and versatile power, of the composite Greek
mind, we appear to have, in the rural strains of Hesiod, if not in the
unenlivened theogonic traditions ascribed to him, the just and natural
exemplification of all that we might expect in a Pelasgic poet.

_States especially Hellic or Pelasgic._

In later, as well as in Homeric times, the Arcadians seem in the most
marked manner to have exhibited the Pelasgic aspect of the Greek mind
and life: and they show it much in the same relation to the Hellic
races, as that of the Saxons to the Norman chivalry. Like the Saxons,
it was not in bravery that they failed: they were ἐγχεσίμωροι and
ἐπιστάμενοι πολεμίζειν: but in energy and passion, and likewise in
governing and organizing powers, they were beneath the competing race,
and therefore they gave way: while, from their enduring and solid
qualities, they were well qualified in after generations to supply the
greater waste caused by a more vivid temperament and keener action in
the soil above them.

Among the Spartans we find developed, in a very peculiar degree, two
of the imperial elements of the Greek character. The first is that
political faculty of the Hellic races, by which, as Strabo says, they
preserved their ἡγεμονία from the time of Lycurgus, down to the fifth

And the second is, the idea of the education of the body, as an
essential and main part of human training: a sentiment which to us may
seem narrow, but we must remember that the Greeks kept fully in their
view what we have dropped from our theories, though it may be hoped,
not wholly from our practice, namely, the influence of bodily exercise
and discipline in forming mental qualities and habits.

It was to Attica, however, that was reserved the offices of exhibiting
in the fullest degree the manysidedness of the Greek character: and
the efficient cause, by which she was fitted to fulfil this function,
probably may have been that constant infusion of new blood by the
successive immigrations of the different Greek races, without the
absolute displacement of any of them on a large scale, which, as we
have seen, Thucydides remarks to have been her special characteristic.
Hence she always exhibited both the ancient and the fresh; both, too,
in the highest degree; urging, like Arcadia, the autochthonic origin of
her population, which must refer to its Pelasgic element; contending
with that state, and with Argos[607], for the honour of the traditions
touching Pelasgus and the worship of Ceres; but richer at the same time
than any other Greek State, in the varied aggregate of the qualities,
which the composite or entire Greek mind appears to have owed to
Hellic infusion. Hence the breadth of the transition which, according
to Herodotus[608], she had made from the Pelasgic to the Hellenic
character: and yet she had made it without any visible breach in the
continuity of her social and political traditions.

Though Thessaly was the country in which, to all appearance, the Hellic
tribes, coming down from the poverty and rudeness of their highland
life, first began to develope their amazing powers, and to acquire
civilization, yet it was rather, so to speak, their caravansera or
halting house, than their abode.

The Helli, thus travelling through Hellas, give it a name, and receive
from it one in return; so that when they pass on to the southward,
they are no longer Helli but Hellenes, and have only a secondary
and derivative relation to their original home and stock. It is
intelligible, that they should not wish to claim too close a kindred
with the ἀνιπτόποδες χαμαίευναι of Homer[609], although most ready to
own the relationship in solemn appeals to the ancient seat of Jupiter.
Even in Homer’s time, they had advanced very far ahead of the habits
thus ascribed to them: for when the Greek chiefs return from the
Doloneia, they first wash in the sea, then pass into the bath, and
thirdly are anointed, before they begin their well-earned meal[610].

The rapidity of their growth in numbers, and of their propagation
southwards, might be due to their having settled on a fertile plain;
while necessities, arising from the vicissitudes of climate, would
be the probable and less copious cause of migration from the hills.
But in any case, whether from the rapidity of their passage through
Thessaly, or from their having actually occupied no more than a small
portion of it, they left it in the Homeric, and apparently also in
the Hesiodic period, still partly impressed, as they must have found
it, with the Pelasgic name[611]. The prolonged existence of this
appellation indicates in part perhaps the predominance of the Pelasgic
element in this country, in part the fugacious character of the Hellic
settlement, of which only the Achæan portion lived through the historic
times in such a degree of force as to maintain its visible identity:
this, too, according to post-Homeric tradition, was peopled by the
Myrmidons from the south, and not directly from the region of the Helli.

Thessaly, then, was the nursery or cradle of the Hellic or Hellenic
races, but it was no more. Consequently with the lapse of time, as it
wanted the true mixture of ingredients, Thessaly became less and less
Greek in its essential habits and sympathies: while from its preserving
a federal constitution, under a federal head, the τάγος, we may also
refer to its more Pelasgian character the apparent fact, that it was
not so liable to political change, or νεωτέρισις, as were the less
Pelasgian parts of Greece. When, after centuries of vicissitude, the
outward notes of its original blood were almost gone, Pelasgian feeling
still survived: for Thucydides relates that, when Brasidas entered
Thessaly at the head of the Lacedæmonian army, he found the mass of the
people attached by affection to the Athenian cause, and had to rely on
aristocratic influence to furnish him with guides[612].


[516] See Studies on the Theo-mythology of Homer.

[517] Fasti, i. 39.

[518] De Nat. Deor. ii. 27.

[519] Liv. Hist. Rom. iv. 25, 29.

[520] Exc. iv. ad Æn. vii. See Browne’s History of Roman Literature,
chap. viii. p. 129, and chap. iii. p. 41. Also Dunlop’s Hist. Rom.
Literature, vol. iii. p. 56.

[521] See ‘The Trojans.’

[522] Polyb. vi. 56, sect. 6-12.

[523] Dionysius, b. ii. 18-21.

[524] Id., b. viii. 38. See also Cic. Div. i. 2.

[525] Smith’s Dict., Art. ‘Fasti.’

[526] Acts xvii. 22.

[527] Outram de Sacrif. b. i. ch. iv. sect. 3.

[528] Exodus xi. 12-16, and Levit. viii. 1-13. 1 Sam. xvi. 2, &c. See
Calmet’s Dict. Taylor’s Edition, 1838. Art. Priest.

[529] Heb. v. 4.

[530] Browne’s Roman Classical Literature, ch. i. p. 13.

[531] Hor. de Art. Poet. v. 53.

[532] Hare and Thirlwall’s Niebuhr, vol. i. p. 65.

[533] Horæ Pelasg. ch. iv.

[534] Sechster Theil. Leipzig, 1838.

[535] Applied principally to the shoulder of animals by the Latins.

[536] The link of ideal connection is to be found in the sacrificial
office of the primitive _rex_.

[537] Scott and Liddell _in voc._

[538] Compare the Homeric derivation of Ὀδύσσευς from ὀδύσσομαι, Od.
xix. 407.

[539] Döderlein.

[540] Ennius.

[541] Perhaps connected with the Greek κεύθειν.

[542] Cæsar, b. iii. c. 96.

[543] Il. xx. 123.

[544] As in Æn. xii. 952.

[545] Buttmann’s Lexil. in voc. κελαινός.

[546] Compare sup. p. 237.

[547] Od. iii. 601-8. The names of Ctesippus and Elatus among the
Suitors are related to horses: but all the islands were not so rough as
Ithaca, and some of the nobles may, like Ulysses, have had pastures on
the continent. (Od. xiv. 100.)

[548] Sup. p. 256.

[549] Inf. sect. ix.

[550] Od. ii. 347. vii. 8. iv. 124.

[551] See Mure’s Hist. Lit. Greece, vol. ii. p. 86.

[552] Il. ii. 840-3.

[553] Il. xi. 303.

[554] See inf. sect. viii.

[555] Il. v. 705-7.

[556] Il. xvi. vv. 369, 393, 419, 422.

[557] Il. vi. 20-37.

[558] Il. xvi. 694.

[559] Il. v. 677, 8.

[560] Il. xx. 455-87.

[561] Inf. sect. x.

[562] See ‘Studies on Policy.’

[563] See Studies on ‘The Trojans.’

[564] Il. xiii. 685.

[565] Il. ii. 577.

[566] Herod. i. 56.

[567] See Studies on Religion, sect. 2.

[568] Hist. of Greece, vol. i. p. 137.

[569] Od. viii. 179.

[570] Hor. Od. i. 10. 1.

[571] Plutus 1162.

[572] Pyth. ii. 18. Nem. x. 98. Isthm. i 85.

[573] Od. viii. 493. xi. 592.

[574] Il. xxiii. 827.

[575] Il. xi. 699-702.

[576] Vid. inf. sect. viii.

[577] xxiii. 629.

[578] Il. ii. 642.

[579] Il. ix. 529-99.

[580] Il. iv. 399.

[581] Sup. pp. 167, 242, and see ‘The Outer Geography of the Odyssey.’

[582] Grote’s Hist. ii. 322.

[583] Paus. viii. 2. 1.

[584] Grote’s Hist. Greece, i. 160.

[585] Il. ii. 773.

[586] Il. ii. 597, 8.

[587] On Pelasgian music see Müller’s Dorians, i. p. 367 (transl.)

[588] Fergusson’s Illustrated Handbook of Architecture, book vi. chap.

[589] Il. vi. 428.

[590] Il. ix. 533.

[591] Od. vi. 102.

[592] See infra, Studies on Religion, sect. ii.

[593] Il. v. 62.

[594] Od. xv. 80.

[595] Od. xi. 506.

[596] Il. iii. 232.

[597] Od. xi. 322.

[598] Il. i. 269.

[599] Od. xix. 399, 413.

[600] Od. iii. 267. xxi. 16.

[601] Il. xi. 698-702. Od. vi. 364. xiv. 327.

[602] Il. xxiii. 629-43.

[603] Od. xiv. 222.

[604] Od. i. 1-3.

[605] Il. xv. 80.

[606] Il. vi. 242, 315.

[607] Paus. i. 14. 2.

[608] Herod. i. 56.

[609] Il. xvi. 235.

[610] Il. x. 537-9.

[611] Hes. Fragm. xviii.

[612] Thuc. iv. 78.


_On the three greater Homeric appellatives._

_a._ Danaans. _b._ Argives. _c._ Achæans.

We now come to the great Homeric appellatives, Danaan, Argive, and
Achæan. As Thucydides has said (i. 3), Δαναοὺς δὲ ἐν τοῖς ἔπεσι, καὶ
Ἀργείους, καὶ Ἀχαιοὺς ἀνακαλεῖ. Why has the great historian arranged
the three names in this order? It cannot be with reference to the
comparative frequency of their use: for the first is employed the
smallest number of times, and the third is by far the most frequent.
For the present let us postpone seeking after the cause; and simply
note it as probable, even if no more than probable, that there _is_ a

_Modes of formation for Names of Peoples._

Let me, by way of preface to the examination of these names, consider
the various ways in which, so far as we have the means of tracing them
(which is but to a limited extent), the names attached by Homer to the
inhabitants of particular countries are derived.

They appear to come either

1. From an eponymist directly, who is also an original founder, as
Δαρδανοὶ, Τρῶες, from Dardanus, and Tros, in relation to Dardania and
Troja respectively.

2. From the land they live in: and thus from an eponymist, if there has
originally been one for the territory.

For example, we find Ἰθακήσιοι from an island Ἰθακὴ, which again was
derived from Ἰθακός. In a case like this, when the appellation of
the people comes not directly, but mediately from the name-giver, a
territorial designation intervening, we can draw no inference as to
the oneness of race between them and him. Thus in the case before us,
Ἰθακήσιοι, though connected with Ἰθακὴ, has not as of necessity, any
connection whatever with Ἰθακὸς personally.

3. From the land they live in, as described by its most prominent
physical characteristic.

For example, the Thracians (Θρῇκες), must evidently be so called from
the roughness of the country, as a cognate word to τρῆχυς, which is
thus applied to Ithaca,

    τρηχεῖ’, ἀλλ’ ἀγαθὴ κουρότροφος. Odyss. ix. 27.

Again, from Αἰγίαλος, the district afterwards called Achæa, we have,
in later Greek[613], the name Αἰγιαλεῖς for the inhabitants. This does
not occur in Homer, but we have what is equivalent to it in the name of
Αἰγιάλεια, who was wife of Diomed, and daughter of Adrastus, the former
king of Sicyon in Ægialus. This is an instance of the application of
the principle, not to the inhabitants at large, but to an individual

4. The name of a population may be derived secondarily from that of
another population. Thus while we must derive Ἕλληνες from Ἕλλας, this
in its turn can only be drawn from the Ἕλλοι.

5. In the single case of the Athenians, we find the name of a
population derived from that of a deity.

6. It is presumable, though not certain, that entire populations took
their name from ruling individuals or races. It seems hardly possible
to explain, for example, the name Καδμεῖοι, which nowhere connects
itself with any of the foregoing sources of eponymism, otherwise than
by reference to an individual Cadmus, whom Homer mentions in Od. v. 333.

The idea prevails extensively, at least by sufferance, that these three
great names are in Homer mere synonyms, and have no reference to any
actual and historical differences, either existing when Homer wrote, or
known by him to have existed at a previous period.

This question it is proposed now to examine. I commence by making a
broad admission. It is this.

Upon the face of the poems, and on almost all ordinary occasions,
Homer seems at first sight to use, and he very frequently does use,
as equivalent and interchangeable, those three principal designations
which he applies to the Greeks in common.

_Homer’s use of them distinctive._

It is a very important question, however, whether Homer knew of and
observed any distinctions between these names. For if he did, then
these mere commonplace words, as they are taken to be, may involve in
them the germ of much early history.

In this investigation, we have the advantage of dealing in great
part, not with mere traditional assertion, but with facts. The use of
particular names, at particular epochs, for particular tribes, affords
(if the text can be trusted for genuineness) a class of evidence
analogous to that supplied by coins and inscriptions for history, or
that afforded by geological phænomena with respect to the formation of
the globe.

The poems of Homer, particularly the Iliad, abound in passages relating
to prior occurrences. These passages are not in general of a high
order of poetical beauty, as compared with the rest of the poem; they
often cause the action to hang rather heavily; many of them make
up the speeches of old men, whose natural leaning to loquacity it
appears that the Poet has, with his usual skill, made to minister
to the accomplishment of his own marked historic aims. But they are
repositories stored, we may almost say packed, with the most curious
and suggestive information.

Some of them may be without date: but the time is generally fixed
within limits sufficiently close, either by genealogies, or by the
period in the lives of the narrators, to which the tales belong. The
war of the Elians and Pylians in the Eleventh Book took place in the
boyhood of Nestor: probably from fifty to sixty years before the war
of Troy. The birth of Eurystheus, related in the Nineteenth Book, was
probably earlier still by ten or twenty years. The other legends fall
into the interval between these events and the _Troica_. Now if we can
trace a difference in the application by Homer of his appellatives,
either as to the times or the places, he may hereby conclusively,
though unconsciously, tell us a good deal about his view of the
succession, and the local distribution, of ruling races in Greece.

Such a rule of difference is easy to be traced.

For example. In the Catalogue[614] and elsewhere, if in the course of
the action he refers to the soldiers who proceeded from the country
afterwards called Bœotia, he calls them Βοιωτοί. But where Agamemnon
has, or rather makes, occasion to tell a story of the same people
acting in prior history, he calls them, not Βοιωτοὶ, but once Καδμεῖοι,
and once by the equivalent name Καδμειῶνες[615]. The tale is an account
of the mission of Tydeus from Thebes to Mycenæ, in company with
Polynices, which had occurred under the Pelopid dynasty.

In this story it appears, that Tydeus and Polynices, first obtained
a promise of the help they wanted; but that, after they had departed,
there was a change of resolution. Hence messengers were sent to
acquaint Tydeus, and apparently to recall the force. The expression is
(Il. iv. 384),

    ἔνθ’ αὖτ’ ἀγγελίην ἐπὶ Τύῃ στεῖλαν Ἀχαιοί.

An allusion to this occurrence is again put into the mouth of Minerva
in Il. v. 800-7. The resemblance in the names used is so precise as
to be almost _precisian_. Again, the Mycenians are named once, and
named as Ἀχαιοί. Again, the Thebans are named twice, and once it is as
Καδμεῖοι, once as Καδμείωνες.

_Proofs of the distinctive use._

These two instances fortify one another to such a degree by their
concurrence, that, as I would submit, they would, even if they stood
alone, amount to a demonstration that Homer had regard to the times
and circumstances under which the several races prevailed, in those
passages of his work which refer to particular incidents of prior
history, personal and local. But there is no lack of other evidence.

First, we have other pieces of prior history, which affect the same
portion of Greece. The first of these probably preceded the _Troica_
by only two, or, at the utmost, two and a half generations. It is the
account of the birth of Eurystheus, given by Agamemnon himself in the
Nineteenth Book. The scene of it is described as Ἄργος Ἀχαιïκόν. He
calls it indeed by the name, which it still bore at the time when he
spoke, and which was understood by the hearers, for it remained the
same country as it had been in former times. But the same people, who
in the time of Tydeus, living under the Pelopids, were Ἀχαιοὶ, in
the time of Eurystheus, and therefore before the predominance of the
Pelopids, are described as Ἀργεῖοι. In Il. xix. 122, Juno thus speaks
of the birth of Eurystheus

    ἤδη ἀνὴρ γέγον’ ἐσθλὸς, ὃς Ἀργείοισιν ἀνάξει.

And again, v. 124, the same term is used.

Again, it appears from the Sixth Iliad that Prœtus, who expelled
Bellerophon about the same time, was king of the Ἀργεῖοι (Il. vi. 158);

    ὅς ῥ’ ἐκ δήμου ἔλασσεν, ἐπεὶ πολὺ φέρτερος ἦεν

According to extra-Homeric tradition, Prœtus was the brother of
Eurystheus. According to Homer, his power extends over Ephyre, and over
the Argives: and as Æolid dynasties were then ruling in the west, it
is the country afterwards called the Argos of the Achæans, within some
part of which he must have ruled. But in telling both the story of
Prœtus, and the story of Eurystheus, with reference to the same side of
Peloponnesus, and entirely out of connection with one another, the text
of Homer, true to itself, calls the subjects of each at that period,
only by the name Ἀργεῖοι, never Δαναοὶ or Ἀχαιοί.

Thus, one generation before the _Troica_ he calls people Achæans, and
calls them by that name only, whom one or two generations earlier he
describes, and repeatedly and uniformly describes, as having been
Argives. There can hardly be stronger circumstantial evidence of the
fact, that to each term he attached its own special meaning.

And yet it is not simply that Homer has made the Argive the more
ancient, and the Achæan the more recent, name. On the contrary, he uses
both the one and the other with marked respect to place as well as to
time. For at the great Argive epoch he has Achæans: and at the great
Achæan epoch, that of the poems, he has Argive associations, and a
local Argive designation, still remaining.

In the Eleventh Book, Nestor detains Patroclus with a speech of
great length. In the beginning of this harangue, he refers to the
circumstances of the moment, and, having ended his preface, he travels
back to his own early youth, indeed almost his childhood, to give the
story of a war, or foray, between the Epeans and the Pylians. When
he has ended this tale, he returns to the actual position of affairs
before Troy.

In the narrative of this raid[616], he commonly terms the one side
Epeans, and the other Pylians. But he once calls the Epeans, who were
inhabitants of Elis, Elians. This is natural enough: for as the Elian
name afterwards (and so soon as in the time of Homer) prevailed in
that race and country, it might very well have been already beginning
to come into use. But he also calls the Pylians Achæans; and he uses
the name distinctively, for it is where he is speaking of them as the
conquering party[617]. For this there is clearly no corresponding
reason. It is equally clear that Homer does not call the Pylians
Ἀχαιοὶ, simply in the sense of being Greeks, for then the name would
not have been distinctive: the enemy too would have been included with
them, which would turn the passage into nonsense. Homer, then, (there
is no other alternative) means to say that the Pylians were, in some
particular sense, of the Achæan race.

This is the more worthy of remark, when we look to the preamble and
peroration of the speech. For in both of these, which refer to the
whole body of the Greeks and to the Trojan epoch, he employs his usual
names, and calls them both Danaans (Δαναῶν οὐ κήδεται, v. 665, also
vid. 797), and Argives (Ἀργείων ἀέκητι, v. 667): finally Achæans (υἷες
Ἀχαιῶν, 800).

Thus then he calls the Pylians Achæans at the time of the Argive
predominance: for this local war could hardly have been more than ten
or twenty years after the birth of Eurystheus, and must therefore have
been before, or else during his reign; that is to say, at a time when
his own subjects are called Ἀργεῖοι.

Again. Homer uses the word Ἀργεῖος in the feminine singular fifteen
times. Twice it is with reference to Juno. Of course this application
of the term is figurative. But though it be figurative, the figure
is evidently founded on her close and intimate relation, not to the
Greeks at large only, but to the Argive name; and to the persons, but
more particularly to the place, that was so specially associated with

In all the other thirteen places, the epithet is joined with the name
of Helen. Does it for her mean simply Greek, or something special and
beyond this? Now if it meant simply Greek, it would be strange that
she is never called, I will not say Δαναὴ, because the Danaan name has
no singular use in Homer, but certainly Ἀχαιὴ or Ἀχαίïς. Especially as
the word Ἀχαιὸς is used as an epithet, be it remembered, many times
oftener, than is Ἀργεῖος: and it alone is used to describe the women of
Greece generally.

Again, if the epithet Argive, as applied to Helen, meant simply Greek,
it might be suitable enough in the mouth of a Trojan speaking among
Trojans, but it would have been weak and unmeaning, and therefore most
unlike Homer, in the mouth of a Greek or a friend of Greeks; or when,
as in the Odyssey[619], Helen is no longer among strangers, but at
home. Yet it is used in the following passages among others, (1) by
Juno to Minerva, Il. ii. 161, (2) by Minerva to Ulysses, Il. ii. 177;
and here in a near juxtaposition with the Achæan appellative, which
goes far to prove of itself that Ἀργείη has a meaning more specific
than merely Greek. The passage is,

    Ἀργείην Ἑλένην, ἧς εἵνεκα πολλοὶ Ἀχαιῶν
    ἐν Τροίῃ ἀπόλοντο.

I doubt whether Homer ever places in such proximity the two epithets
with the same meaning for each[620]. The tautology would be gross, if
Achæan and Argeian each meant neither more nor less than Greek: but if
Ἀργείη have the local sense, nothing awkward remains. (3) It is used by
Agamemnon, Il. iii. 458, in addressing the Trojans; (4) Il. iv. 174, in
addressing Menelaus; (5) Il. ix. 140, in addressing the Greek Council.
It seems quite clear, from even this enumeration, that Ἀργείη, as
applied to Helen, must mean something different from the mere fact that
she belonged to the Greek nation at large.

Nor is it difficult to find a meaning. Homer indeed leaves us but
narrow information as to the extraction of Helen. He calls her
sometimes εὐπατέρεια[621], and many times Διὸς ἐκγεγαυῖα[622]. In the
Third Iliad he shows her to be the sister of Castor and Pollux, and
in the Eleventh Odyssey he shows them to be the children of Tyndareus
and Leda[623]. Who Tyndareus was we do not know from him. But the
common tradition, which makes him a sovereign in Eastern Peloponnesus,
is thoroughly accordant with the slight notices in Homer. For, as
we see from the cases of Eurystheus and Prœtus, it was in Eastern
Peloponnesus that the Argive power and name prevailed; and Helen, the
daughter of Tyndareus is, as we have also seen, characteristically
with him the Argive Helen. Thus then it may now be lawful to say, we
are supplied with a meaning for the name which makes it especially
appropriate in the mouth of Agamemnon, the head of the Pelopids. For
they were the race who, coming in at the head of the Achæans, had from
the West overpowered and superseded the Argive power of the East,
while they also held as heirs to it by marriage: and if a royal Argive
house at the epoch of the war survived only in Helen and her sister
Clytemnestra, she in part at least represented its title, and, as a
lawful wife of Menelaus, added to his throne whatever authority the
name and rights of her race were capable of conferring.

Having, I trust, seen enough to justify the belief that some at least
of these names in the mind of Homer had a definite as well as a more
general meaning, let us now, taking them in succession, proceed to
examine what that meaning is.

_The Danaans of Homer._

Among the three great Homeric appellatives, let us direct our attention
first to the one, which is presumably the oldest. The word Δαναοὶ, from
the comparative paucity of the signs and indications connected with it,
evidently answers to this description.

We will take first the Homeric, and then the later, evidence respecting
it. Of the former, the greater number of particulars are negative.
Indeed we have but two positive notes to dwell upon; both of these,
however, are of great importance.

1. The Danaan name is with Homer a standing appellation of the Greeks.
I think, however, it can be shown that it never means the Greek nation,
but always the Greek armament or soldiery.

It is used in the Iliad one hundred and forty-seven times. The name
Ἀργεῖοι is employed oftener, namely, one hundred and seventy-seven
times in the plural, besides eleven times in the singular as a personal
epithet: and Ἀχαιοὶ much more frequently still.

_His epithets for the three designations._

If we observe the shadings, attached to these words respectively by
means of the epithets which Homer annexes to them, we shall find they
establish perceptible distinctions.

The epithets of Δαναοὶ are exclusively military epithets:

  1. ἥρωες.
  2. θεράποντες Ἄρηος.
  3. φιλοπτόλεμοι.
  4. αἰχμηταί.
  5. ἀσπισταί.
  6. ἴφθιμοι.
  7. ταχύπωλοι.

The epithets of Ἀργεῖοι are as follows:

  1. ἰόμωροι, Il. iv. 242. xiv. 479.
  2. ἀπειλάων ἀκόρητοι, Il. xiv. 479.
  3. θωρηκτοί, Il. xxi. 429.
  4. φιλοπτόλεμοι, Il. xix. 269.
  5. ἐλεγχέες, Il. iv. 242.

Upon these we may observe, first, that they are few in number;
secondly, that they are used with extreme rarity; being only applied
in four passages altogether, whereas the word Δαναοὶ has epithets in
twenty-two. Thirdly, this word only twice in the whole of the poems
has a military epithet attached to it. For I must follow those, who do
not translate ἰόμωροι as corresponding with ἐγχεσίμωροι: (1) because
the Greeks were not archers, (2) because the derivation from ἴα,
‘the voice,’ giving the sense of braggart, harmonises exactly with
the accompanying phrase ἀπειλάων ἀκόρητοι: as well as (3) for the
presumptive, but in Homer by no means conclusive, reason, that ἴον in
composition is long.

The epithets of Ἀχαιοὶ are numerous, highly varied, and of very
frequent use. They are these:

  1. ἀπειλητῆρες.
  2. μάχης ἀκόρητοι.
  3. ἀνάλκιδες.
  4. δῖοι.
  5. ἑλικῶπες.
  6. εὐκνήμιδες.
  7. ἥρωες.
  8. καρηκομόωντες.
  9. μεγάθυμοι.
  10. μένεα πνείοντες.
  11. χαλκοκνήμιδες.
  12. χαλκοχίτωνες.
  13. ὑπερκύδαντες.
  14. ἀρηίφιλοι.
  15. φιλοπτόλεμοι.

These epithets are used in nearly one hundred and thirty passages, and
they may be classified as comprising,

  (1) One or two words of sarcastic reproach, very rarely used.

  (2) Words descriptive of courage and spirit: such are μεγάθυμοι,
  μένεα πνείοντες.

  (3) Words indicating that disposition to brag, which is more or less
  traceable in the military conduct of the Greeks, as well as glaringly
  palpable among the Trojans.

  (4) Words descriptive of personal beauty: ἑλικῶπες and καρηκομόωντες.

  (5) The word δῖοι, which signifies generally the possession of some
  kind of excellence.

  (6) Words relating to well made and well finished armour: εὐκνήμιδες,
  χαλκοκνήμιδες, χαλκοχίτωνες.

And of the epithets of the three appellatives respectively we may say,

  (1) Those of Ἀχαιοὶ are highly diversified, extended, and elevated in
  meaning: and are not suitable for soldiers exclusively.

  (2) Those of Ἀργεῖοι are so slight and rare that they may be passed

  (3) Those of Δαναοὶ are most properly neither those of chiefs, nor of
  a nation at large, but of a soldiery.

In the Odyssey the Danaan name is used thirteen times: but it never
signifies either the Greeks contemporary with the action of that
poem, or the Greek nation in its prior history: it is employed always
retrospectively, and always of the soldiery in the Trojan war.

It will be observed by readers of the poems, that Homer often brings
two of the three great appellatives, or even all the three, into
juxtaposition so near, as would be inconvenient upon the supposition
that they are purely synonymous. For instance, in Il. i. 71, we have
Ἀργεῖοι and Ἀχαιοὶ in the same line, and in Il. i. 90, 91, Δαναοὶ and
Ἀχαιοὶ in two successive lines. It is, I think, obvious, that this
inconvenience will be mitigated or removed, if it can be shown that
each of these three names, though they were most commonly applied
to mean the same body of persons, nevertheless had its own shade
of meaning. And we shall presently have to examine cases, where a
determination of this kind appears to be required by the sense[624].

All the rest of the Homeric evidence connected with the name Δαναοὶ is
of a negative character.

It is never used in the singular number, either as an adjective, or as
a substantive. Nor is it ever applied to women: a point not immaterial,
in connection with the question, whether with Homer it does not mean
the Greeks of the army exclusively. There is, again, nothing in his use
of it which associates it with a particular class of the army, either
the lower or the higher; but it appears to be essentially general,
comprehensive, and, I may add, likewise invariable in its meaning.

Still less should we expect to find it, nor do we find it, connected
with the inhabitants of any particular part of the country: it has
not, like the Cadmean or Cephallenian name, a local habitation within
Greece. Nor has it in itself any root, or any derivative, which would
associate it with any territory, as Αἰγιαλεῖς refers us to Αἰγίαλος, or
even as Ἄρκαδες is related to Ἀρκαδίη.

Its use in the Iliad is in exact harmony with that in the Odyssey: it
is never associated with the history of the Greeks or any part of them:
in short, there is no clear evidence of its existence or application
beyond the limits of the camp.

Neither has it any thing related to the physical character of the
country, or to any of the races known to have inhabited it, or to any
employment or habit of life, or to any deity. It floats before us like
Delos on the Ægean, without any visible or discoverable root. And the
only question is, whether the slight positive evidence at our command
is not so limited, and so hemmed in on all sides by negatives, as to
determine the hypothesis that may be drawn from it to one particular
form, by forbidding us to move, except in one particular direction.

It is quite plain that the Danaan name must have had some root, lying
very deep in the history or legends of Greece: since it would not have
been possible for Homer, as a poet of the people, handling a subject
the most profoundly national, to describe the Greek army under any
name, except one associated with some of the most splendid, or the most
venerable, traditions of the country.

_Danaan name dynastic._

In one way alone could this name fulfil the required condition. If
its root was not territorial, nor tribal, nor religious, it could
only be personal. Was there, then, a Danaus known to the early
history of Greece, who founded a dynasty in its centre of power, at
a period anterior to the Hellenic history of the country, so as not
to be in competition with the honours of that race? If so, then it
is intelligible that the Greeks might be called Δαναοὶ by Homer. If
that dynasty had passed away, we can well understand why Δαναοὶ should
not be a name of contemporary Greeks as such: just as Καδμεῖοι was
not an admissible designation for contemporary Bœotians. Further, if
it had never been an historical appellative at all, but was the mere
reflection cast by the figure of a great primitive personage, and
incorporated, for the Poet’s purpose, in a designation made national
by him, then we can see how natural it was, that he should limit the
word altogether to an heroic and martial sense; just as Cambrian
for Welshman, or Caledonian for Scotchman, or Gael for Highlander,
or son of Albion for Englishman, would be an appellation naturally
appropriated to romance, or war, or any strain impregnated with a
strong vein of imagery or passion, but yet would not be suitable for
the purposes of pure history.

In this inquiry concerning the Danaan name, we must, I think, carry
along with us, as a cardinal element in the case, that which we know
from other sources respecting the manner in which Homer was wont to
veil all traces of the entry from elsewhere of races, persons, or
influences into Greece. It must never be forgotten, that, throughout
the whole of the poems, there is apparently not one single statement,
made to us with the intention of conveying information respecting
the colonization of Greece from abroad. It seems to be the Poet’s
intention that we should assume all Greek manners, institutions, and
races, to have sprung out of the very soil: and it is only accidentally
that he imparts to us any information or suggestion on this subject,
when he is in quest of some other purpose, and unawares lets fall a
gleam of light upon some foreign settlement or immigration.

All this is conformable to the course of natural feeling. Shakespeare
found it worth his while to sing of Lear, but not of Hengist and Horsa;
of the English in France, not of the Normans in England. And though
Danish invasions have not robbed our great Alfred of his fame, yet for
a long time, in order to guard its brilliancy, it may have been that we
coloured in our own favour the military history of the period. Arrivals
from abroad, in the early periods of the life of a nation, are usually
the conquests, in one form or another, of foreigners over natives: of
what is strange to the soil over what is associated with it. It can
hardly be, that such narratives should be popular. An abnormal instance
to the contrary may be found in the fable, which deduced the Julian
line in Rome from Æneas: but this was for poetry composed a thousand
years after the date of its narrative; composed when the line of
national continuity with those, whom Æneas was taken to have conquered,
had been completely broken; and composed for the ears of a court, when
the pulse of national life had become almost insensible. Even the
process, by which Hellenes mastered Pelasgians, is nowhere professedly
related by Homer; whose purpose it was to unite more closely the
elements of the nation, and not to record that they had once been

_Compared with the Cadmean._

Except in the one point, that the name Καδμεῖοι had had a clear and
undeniable place in prior history, there is a marked analogy between
the modes in which Homer treats the Cadmean and the Danaan stories.
In each of the two cases, general tradition tells us of a foreigner,
who enters Greece and founds a dynasty. This dynasty, after acting
powerfully on the destinies of the country for some generations, in
the course of time disappears, the name dying with it. All this,
in the first of the two instances, we have seen to be sufficiently
supported by inference and suggestion from Homer. Yet Homer never
mentions Cadmus, except as it were by chance, in the act of giving the
extraction of Leucothee[625]; nor states that he came from abroad;
nor that he founded a dynasty at all. He gives us Cadmus, father of
Leucothee, and Cadmeans, and lets us make of them what we can. So here
he gives us Danaans, and not indeed a Danaus, but a Danae, who is
presumably related to Danaus.

2. In Iliad xiv., Jupiter renders an account of his passion for various
women, all of them persons in the very highest positions; and among
these for Danae[626].

            Δανάης καλλισφύρου Ἀκρισιώνης,
    ἣ τέκε Περσῆα, πάντων ἀριδείκετον ἀνδρῶν.

_The line of Danae._

In this passage we have Danae exhibited as the head of a line of
sovereigns through Perseus, who occupied the most ancient and
most distinguished seat of power in Greece, that of the Eastern
Peloponnesus. From her, indeed, the derivation of sovereignty is
locally continuous down to the time of Homer. Perseus is the father
of Sthenelus[627], and Sthenelus of Eurystheus. Next to him, we find
Pelops in possession of the throne, with a new sceptre, betokening
a new sovereignty. That is to say, he was no longer a merely local
sovereign, whose highest honour it was to be first in that class,
_primus inter pares_; but he had also acquired an extensive supremacy,
reaching beyond his own borders, or those of the Achaic Argos, and
embracing all Greece, with a multitude of islands[628].

Such is the line of Danae downwards: beginning with a son, whose
paternal extraction we shall consider hereafter[629]. And her epoch,
as we shall see, is six generations before the Trojan war. For tracing
her upwards, we have no means from Homer, except such as are afforded
by the word Ἀκρισιώνη. The use of a patronymic which describes Danae
as the daughter (most probably) of Acrisius, in some degree makes it
likely that Acrisius either was the brother of Danaus, or otherwise
collaterally related, rather than directly descended from him. For,
had Danae herself been descended from Danaus, it seems improbable
that she would have drawn her patronymic from the less distinguished
Acrisius, unless Danaus was a very remote ancestor. But this is very
improbable: for seven generations before Troy form the utmost limit
of Homer’s historical knowledge; and where all besides falls within
that line, it is improbable that there should be a single exception
reaching greatly beyond it. And again, from the course of migration, it
is likely that we should find his oldest traditions in Asia, and not
in Europe. On the other hand, that Homer should stop short in tracing
the lineage onwards, just before he came to the foreign immigrant,
is in exact conformity with what he has done in omitting to connect
Œdipus and Epicaste[630] with Cadmus, or Pelops with Tantalus. In the
former of these two cases, the omission all the more cogently suggests
design, because Epicaste is the only woman introduced in the Νεκυΐα
without mention of her husband, among all those, eight in number, of
whose cases he gives us the detail. It is most probable, therefore,
that Homer meant the genealogy to stand as follows: and at the least,
it must not be thought that the text of Homer gives countenance either
directly or indirectly to those later fables, which throw back the
first Greek dynasties into a very remote antiquity.

  1. Danaus = Acrisius
            2. Danae
            3. Perseus
            4. Sthenelus
            5. Eurystheus (= Hercules) = Pelops
                           6. Atreus = Thyestes
                           7. Agamemnon = Ægisthus.

_Epoch of the dynasty._

According to these presumptions, Danaus is contemporary with
Dardanus[631]: and also is just such a person as Homer’s poetic use of
the name Δαναοὶ would lead us to expect; one who came from abroad, and
is on that account kept in majestic shadow; one who founded a throne,
but did not introduce a race: one who may have given his people the
name of Δαναοὶ, as Cadmus gave that of Καδμεῖοι, for the time while
his dynasty was in power, but whose name disappeared, together with
its sway. We have, it will be remembered in Homer, no Homeric legends
of the period of the Danaids, so that we do not know whether the name
Δαναοὶ was then in any degree national or not.

According to the post-Homeric tradition, Danaus was an Egyptian[632],
brother of Ægyptus. He migrated into Greece, and became king of Argos.
Acrisius and Prœtus were reputed to be his great-grandsons.

In Homer, too, we have an Acrisius and a Prœtus: but Prœtus is
contemporary with Bellerophon, two generations before the _Troica_, so
that he is later by four generations than Acrisius, and later by at
least four than Danaus.

The more recent tradition, contradicting Homer positively in this, as
in so many instances, carries Prœtus back to the time of Acrisius, and
then, paying some respect to the interval between Prœtus and Danaus,
gives compensation by thrusting Danaus himself three generations
further back.

Of the posterity of the Homeric Prœtus we hear nothing, and with him
the Danaid line, prolonged in a junior branch, may have expired.
Tradition places him on the throne of Tiryns. His holding a separate
sovereignty in Argolis is not of itself in conflict with the Homeric
account of the Perseids, who reigned at Mycenæ; because we find in
Argos itself a separate sovereignty under Diomed at the epoch of the
_Troica_. But the terms used are peculiar. Prœtus ruled over Ἀργεῖοι;

                   πολὺ φέρτερος ἦεν
    Ἀργείων· Ζεὺς γάρ οἱ ὑπὸ σκηπτρῷ ἐδάμασσεν[633].

The account of Eurystheus in the Nineteenth Book may, however, imply
that he was king of all the Ἀργεῖοι: and at first sight there is some
conflict here, because both Eurystheus and Prœtus may be said to
date two generations before the _Troica_. The solution is probably
as follows. The passion of Antea, wife of Prœtus, for Bellerophon,
suggests that her husband was more advanced in life than Bellerophon,
whom, as the grandfather of Glaucus, we may take as justly representing
in time the second generation before the war. On the other hand, as
Eurystheus was the contemporary of Hercules, and Hercules had a son,
as well as grandsons in the war, we may assume Eurystheus to have been
junior to the generation, as Prœtus was its senior; so that they need
not have been contemporary princes.

The historic place assigned to Danaus, either as we might fix it from
Homer, or as the later tradition would determine it, keeps him clear
of the earliest Hellic traditions in southern Greece. None of these
can well be carried back beyond Sisyphus; and Sisyphus stands at five
generations before the war, while Danaus cannot be less than seven. Had
Homer made Danaus synchronise with the earlier Hellic sovereignties, it
would have been, in my view, a presumption against his Egyptian origin,
or his existence altogether. For an Egyptian stranger was little likely
to attain to power, where Hellenes were already in the field: the more
energetic genius would subdue the less vigorous. The expulsion of the
Hellenic Bellerophon, and the plot against his life, may really have
been connected with the political jealousies of the Danaids towards
the formidable new-comers of the Æolid stem: nor do I read the fable
of Jupiter with Danae otherwise than as a veil, used to give dignity
to the commencement of an Hellic sovereignty, which, in the person of
Perseus, partly succeeded, partly supplanted, the Danaid throne.

Danaus has been mentioned by Hesiod, the first among the later
authorities. This poet states, that he relieved Argos from drought: an
operation which harmonises well with the tradition that brings him from
a country dependent on the irrigation of the Nile, as the conditions of
cultivation there could not but lead at an early date to care in the
management of water. He likewise calls Perseus by the name of Δαναίδης,
and also terms him the son of Danae[634].

The only point of connection between the Danaids and the Argive or
Argeian name is, that Prœtus, the last of the Danaids, reigns over
Argeians. But this is at a period when the Perseid house, which was
evidently Hellenic, has already become the first in rank among the
Greek thrones, and has given, as is probable, the Argeian name to the
people of Eastern Peloponnesus. The whole evidence, therefore, throws
the Danaan name, with all its incidents, back to a period anterior to
that of Argeians and of Achæans.

But if the Danai were thus before the Ἀργεῖοι and before the Ἀχαιοὶ,
whom did they follow?

_Post-Homeric tradition._

The evidence of Æschylus in the Supplices supports the tradition
which makes them immediately follow the Pelasgi[635], or which, more
strictly, represents their name as the first of those borne by the
Greek nation after it had ceased to be simply Pelasgic.

By Euripides was conveyed a kindred tradition, that Danaus, having come
to Argos, colonized the city of Inachus; and that the Peloponnesians,
previously called Pelasgiotes, were thereafter called Danai[636].

    Πελασγιῶτας δ’ ὠνομασμένους, τὸ πρὶν
    Δαναοὺς καλεῖσθαι νόμον ἔθηκ’ ἀν’ Ἑλλάδα.

These traditions, received through the tragedians, coincide with the
evidence of the Homeric text. For this text, in the first place,
clearly throws the Danaan line farther back than that of any of the
Hellic tribes. Secondly, by negative evidence, no where employing the
Danaan name in the pre-Troic legends, he leaves us to infer that it
must have been the oldest, and the most remote from common use, of his
three great appellations. Thirdly, Homer supplies us with no other name
which there is the smallest ground for inserting between the Danaans
and the ancient Pelasgi, of whom we have found traces, direct and
indirect, in so many places of the poems.

Thus, then, although we can plead little but conjecture from Homer with
respect to the person Danaus, we seem to be justified in concluding
from his testimony, that the appellation was dynastic, that the dynasty
was pre-Hellenic, and that it stands in chronological order next to the
Pelasgic time.

The name Ἀργεῖοι is the next with which we have to deal: and this
name, applicable to persons, is so evidently founded on the name
Ἄργος, applicable to territory, that with this latter word we must of
necessity begin the investigation; just as in order to arrive at the
meaning of the term Hellenes, we were obliged to begin with Hellas.

_Applications of the name Argos._

And the word Ἄργος is so important, and as it were central, in the
geography of Homer, that we had better first consider what are the
various forms of expression which Homer uses when he wants to express
in words the entire territory of the Greek nation:

1. We have already seen that he appears to use for this purpose the
combined force of the names Hellas and Argos;

    ἀνδρὸς, τοῦ κλέος εὐρὺ καθ’ Ἑλλάδα καὶ μέσον Ἄργος[637].

2. He employs other combinations for the like purpose. The first
is that of Ἄργος, extended by the epithet πᾶν, and joined with the
islands. These words taken together embrace the whole Empire of

    πολλῇσιν νήσοισι, καὶ Ἄργει παντὶ ἀνάσσειν[638].

3. And again, with the proper name Ἀχαïὶς,

    Ἄργος ἐς ἱππόβοτον, καὶ Ἀχαïίδα καλλιγύναικα[639].

This is spoken by the Trojan herald of the possible adjustment of the
quarrel, upon which, he says, we shall dwell quietly in Troy, and
_they_ will return to Argos and Achæis. By “they” he means all the
Greeks, therefore the country to which they return means all Greece.

4. It may be a question whether Ἄργος, in combination with μέσος,
includes the whole of Greece, as in the speech of Diomed to Glaucus:

    τῷ νῦν σοι μὲν ἐγὼ ξεῖνος φίλος Ἄργεï μέσσῳ
    εἰμὶ, σὺ δ’ ἐν Λυκίῃ[640].

5. It is also a question, what is the geographical force of Argos, even
when standing alone. It is manifestly wide in certain passages. Thus
Paris mentions the κτήματα,

    ὅσσ’ ἀγόμην ἐξ Ἄργεος ἡμέτερον δῶ[641]:

and Polydamas, speaking of the possible destruction of the Greek army,

    νωνύμνους ἀπολέσθαι ἀπ’ Ἄργεος ἐνθάδ’ Ἀχαιούς[642].

a line repeated elsewhere. On the other hand, the word in some places
has undoubtedly a limited meaning only.

6. Again, we find the word Ἀχαίïς γαῖα, used apparently with the
intention of signifying the whole Greek country; as in the first Iliad
by Nestor;

    ὦ πόποι, ἢ μέγα πένθος Ἀχαίïδα γαῖα ἱκάνει[643].

7. And we have the same word Ἀχαίïς without γαῖα, both in the Iliad and
the Odyssey.

For instance, when Nestor and Ulysses were collecting the Greek forces,
they were

    λαὸν ἀγείροντες κατ’ Ἀχαίïδα πουλυβότειραν[644].

And Ulysses, addressing his mother in the Shades beneath, says,

    οὐ γάρ πω σχέδον ἦλθον Ἀχαίïδος, οὐδέ πω ἀμῆς
    γῆς ἐπέβην[645].

To proceed first with what is most clear, I think it may be taken
for certain that Ἀχαίïς, with or without the affix γαῖα or αἶα[646],
means nothing less than the whole of Greece in the passages where
Homer uses this appellative alone. One passage, indeed, taken alone,
affords decisive proof for itself that even the islands are included.
Telemachus[647] thus describes his mother as unrivalled in Greece:

    οἵη νῦν οὐκ ἔστι γύνη κατ’ Ἀχαίïδα γαῖαν
    οὔτε Πύλου ἱερῆς, οὔτ’ Ἄργεος, οὔτε Μυκήνης,
    οὔτ’ αὐτῆς Ἰθάκης, οὔτ’ ἠπείροιο μελαίνης.

For here are clearly enumerated as among the parts of Ἀχαίïς, several
Peloponnesian states, the island of Ithaca, and the continent,
evidently meaning that to the North of the Corinthian gulf.

And yet it may remain true that, though commonly meaning Greece at
large, Ἀχαίïς may still have a more special connection with the South,
as the whole of this island is called Britain, whereas the name has
been derived especially from its southern inhabitants.

But in the passages numbered (1) and (3) we find the whole of Greece
designated by the use, not of one, but of two expressions: in the first
case they are,

  1. Ἕλλας.
  2. μέσον Ἄργος.

In the second they are,

  1. Ἄργος.
  2. Ἀχαίïς.

And with these we may compare the expression, evidently meant to cover
all the Greeks, in Il. ii. 530, under the names

  1. Πανέλληνες.
  2. Ἀχαιοί.

Now there are here three ways in which the words may be used so as to
convey their joint sense, which I assume to be that of Greece _entire_:

1. That each word should cover a part, the two parts together making up
the whole, _i.e._ that the words should be used distributively.

2. That each should cover the whole, and that the words should be used

3. That one of the words should apply to a part of Greece only, and
should be overlapped as it were by the other, that other meaning the

Now as Ἀχαίïς uniformly means all Greece in eight passages where it
stands alone, this will naturally govern its sense in the two passages,
where it is joined copulatively with Ἄργος. We shall also hereafter
see the local use of the Ἀχαιοὶ so diffused, that it would hardly be
possible to suppose any other meaning. Thus, then, we have one point
fixed, from which to operate upon others.

But what does the Ἄργος ἱππόβοτον mean?

It is demonstrable that in Homer the word Ἄργος has several meanings.

1. It is a city, as in Il. iv. 51,

    ἤτοι ἐμοὶ τρεῖς μὲν πολὺ φίλταται εἰσὶ πόληες
    Ἄργος τε, Σπάρτη τε, καὶ εὐρυάγυια Μυκήνη.
    τὰς διαπέρσαι κ.τ.λ.

2. It is a limited territory, probably such as was afterwards the State
of Argolis. For when Telemachus is quitting Sparta, Theoclymenus joins
him[648], φεύγων ἐξ Ἄργεος. And again, when Melampus quitted Pylos, he
came to Argos:

                    ὁ δ’ ἄλλων ἵκετο δῆμον
    Ἄργος ἐς ἱππόβοτον[649].

The first proves that Sparta was not included in the geographical name
Ἄργος: the second proves the same of Pylos: and this too is the Ἄργος

The same phrase is used in Od. iii. 263, of Ægisthus, who endeavours to
corrupt Clytemnestra,

    μυχῷ Ἄργεος ἱπποβότοιο.

Here Mycenæ is plainly meant by the μυχὸς, and the Ἄργος ἱππόβοτον is
Argolis, or something like it.

This district, including Mycenæ, was the head quarter of the Greek
power. Now we find that the whole dominion of Priam was named Τροίη,
while including many cities and much territory, and the name Τροίη
was also sometimes applied to the capital, of which the proper name
was Ilion. So Venezia at the present day means both a city and a
territory, even though the city is outside the territory; the only
distinction lying in the use or non-use of the article. Therefore it
was sufficiently natural, that the Trojan herald should name the whole
from the most excellent part, and so identify them: and on the other
hand, it would not be otherwise than natural, were he to name the
most excellent part, and likewise to name the whole, without verbally
distinguishing them.

So that in Il. iii. 75, 258, the phrase Ἄργος ἐς ἱππόβοτον, according
to what has preceded, may either mean,

1. The part of the Peloponnesus containing Argos and Mycenæ as its
head quarter, (and then the line must be interpreted in the third of
the modes above pointed out; as we might now say, ‘we visited Rome and

2. Or it may mean the whole of Greece, by transfer from its capital
part, and then the line must be interpreted in the second mode, as
might now be said, ‘to our Green Erin, our Ireland mother of the brave.’

The English ‘and’ would indeed mar the sense: but the Greek καὶ is much
more elastic, and may be equivalent to the Italian _ossia_, or to the
sign =.

I doubt if there be any passage in Homer where the word Argos stands
alone, or with a characteristic epithet such as ἱππόβοτον, and where
it requires any other sense than one of the three just given--the
city--the north east of Peloponnesus--and (by metonymy) all Greece.

When Nestor (Il. ii. 348) denounces those Greeks who should think of
returning home before the mind of Jupiter is known, and calls returning
Ἄργοσδε ἰέναι, it seems indisputable that we must construe Ἄργος Greece.

When Paris says he brought the κτήματα from Argos, the most natural
construction is, as the place was Sparta, and therefore not Argos in
the narrow sense, from which he took them, that he means by Argos to
signify Greece.

When Sisyphus dwells at Ephyre, μυχῷ Ἄργεος ἱπποβότοιο, the word means
the north eastern district Peloponnesus[650].

The word Ἄργος in the Catalogue (ii. 559) most probably means the city

As it is plain that in some passages it cannot mean the Peloponnesus,
and as that meaning does not appear to be supported by superior
probability in any place, such a meaning ought not to be admitted.

_Achaic and Iasian Argos._

It is another question how we ought to construe the phrases μέσον
Ἄργος--Ἀχαιïκὸν Ἄργος, used four times--and Ἴασον Ἄργος.

The two latter are evidently analogous to Πελασγικὸν Ἄργος, which we
have already found to mean Thessaly.

Of the four passages where we read the phrase Ἀχαιïκὸν Ἄργος, the
two first[651] relate to the return of Agamemnon and the Greeks, and
appear to admit therefore either of the limited sense of a portion of
Peloponnesus as the most eminent part, or of the extended one of all
Greece, better than of the intermediate one of Peloponnesus itself,
with which neither Agamemnon, nor the whole body of the Greeks, had
any separate and defined relation, as they had with the dominions of
Agamemnon in the capacity of their supreme Chief, and perhaps with
those of the Pelopid family jointly, so as to include Menelaus.

In the third case it is used of Juno, as she goes to hasten the birth
of Eurystheus[652],

    καρπαλίμως δ’ ἵκετ’ Ἄργος Ἀχαιïκὸν, ἔνθ’ ἄρα ᾔδη
    ἰφθίμην ἄλοχον Σθενέλου Περσηïάδαο.

This passage evidently admits the sense of the city, or a limited
district, better than that of the Peloponnesus at large. Indeed, as
the seat of the Perseid dominion is evidently intended, and as that
dominion did not reach over all Peloponnesus, we may say that this
could not be the meaning of the words.

But the fourth passage requires a larger signification for this phrase.
It is the question of Telemachus, asking where Menelaus had been during
all the time that Ægisthus was about his crime[653];

    ποῦ Μενέλαος ἔην;
    ἢ οὐκ Ἄργεος ἦεν Ἀχαιïκοῦ, ἀλλὰ πῇ ἄλλῃ
    πλάζετ’ ἐπ’ ἀνθρώπους;

This seems clearly to include Sparta in Achaic Argos; and, this
being so, no meaning is so suitable to it in this place as Eastern
Peloponnesus. This construction is also eminently suitable to the
relation between Eastern Peloponnesus and the Achæan power, which had
its central seat there.

Undoubtedly Strabo treats Ἀχαιïκὸν Ἄργος as meaning the whole of
Peloponnesus (viii. 5. p. 365, ibid. 6. p. 369), but the argument from
Homer’s text seems to be against him: and even he admits from Od. iii.
249, that the term applied also to Laconia in particular: ἀλλὰ καὶ
ἰδίως τὴν Λακωνικὴν οὕτω προσαγορευθῆναι[654].

As then it appears that the sense of Eastern Peloponnesus will suit the
phrase Ἄργος Ἀχαιïκὸν in all the four passages where it is employed,
while the more extended meaning of the whole Peloponnesus is required
by none, and could only be even admissible in one (Od. iii. 249), we
may conclude that Eastern Peloponnesus is the proper meaning of the

_Iasian Argos._

We now come to Ἴασον Ἄργος.

In Od. xviii. 245, Eurymachus the Suitor, in paying a compliment to the
beauty of Penelope, says to her, you would have more suitors than you

    εἰ παντές σε ἴδοιεν ἀν’ Ἴασον Ἄργος Ἀχαιοί.

Now it must first be admitted, that this does not refer to any country
out of the Peloponnesus. For in the first place, that was the most
distinguished part of the country, and the chief Achæan seat; so that
the intention of this speech therefore most naturally bears upon it.
But also we have nothing in Homer to connect any local use of the word
Ἄργος with Middle Greece.

But if Eurymachus means nothing to the North of Peloponnesus, it is
again most probable that he refers to that part of Peloponnesus with
which Ithaca had most intercourse, where lay its relations of business,
and of hospitality. Now this part was Western Peloponnesus, as we see
from the journey of Ulysses to Ephyre (Od. i. 260); from the journey
of Telemachus which, as it were, spontaneously takes that direction;
from the course of public transactions implied in his speech (Od. iii.
82, cf. 72); from the χρεῖος, which Ulysses went to recover in Messene
(Od. xxi. 15); from Nestor’s being the person to visit Ithaca in the
matter of the great Trojan quarrel; and from the apprehension felt by
the party of the Suitors, that Ulysses would forthwith repair to Elis,
or to Pylos for aid. (Od. xxiv. 431.)

Just so the relations of Crete were with Eastern Peloponnesus; and
therefore Helen at Troy recognises Idomeneus, because she has often
seen him in Sparta. And this, I may observe in passing, is probably
the reason why Ulysses, in the fictitious accounts which he gives
of himself in Ithaca, is so fond of making himself a Cretan, namely
that he may avoid any risk of detection, by placing his own proper
whereabout at a distance beyond the ordinary range of intercourse.

Nor are we wholly without information from Homer on the subject of
the original Iasus himself, from whom the name appears to be derived;
and whose name we find still subsisting in Attica at the time of the

For a passage in the Eleventh Odyssey informs us that Amphion, son
of Iasus[656], was a powerful prince in Minyeian Orchomenus: that
his youngest daughter, the beautiful Chloris, was queen of Pylos: and
that Neleus, marrying her, founded there the dynasty of the Neleids.
Thus through Pylos we connect a powerful Iasid family with Western
Peloponnesus, possibly five generations before the Trojan war, and at a
time when we find from Homer that the Danaids or Perseus must have been
reigning in Eastern Peloponnesus. This seems enough to justify putting
the sense of Western Peloponnesus upon the phrase Ἴασον Ἄργος in the
speech of Eurymachus.

We may justly inquire whether it is so certain, as seems to be taken
for granted, that the Minyeian Orchomenus, where Amphion reigned, was
the Orchomenus of Bœotia. For his daughter Chloris was sovereign of
Pylos, and we must suppose that sovereignty to have been not acquired
by herself, but inherited from her father. Now it is very improbable
that Amphion could have been sovereign at the same time of Pylos and
of the northern Orchomenos: between which intervened an Æolid family
settled at the Isthmus, another race of Hellenic chiefs, the line
of Portheus, in Ætolia, and perhaps also the dynasty of Cadmus in
Bœotia. We have no instance in Homer of the possession by the same
prince of territories not continuous. Now there was there a river
Minyeius, between Pylos and Elis; in Arcadia as well as in Bœotia there
was an Orchomenos at the period of Homer; it seems then probable,
that the name of that town should be combined with the Minyeian name
in Peloponnesus as well as in Bœotia. If it were so, the political
connection with Pylos is natural, and the application of the Iasian
name to Western Peloponnesus becomes still more easy of explication.
But even though the Orchomenos here named be Bœotian, the case remains
sufficiently clear. For it was once, or formerly (τότε) that Amphion
reigned in Orchomenus; and the meaning may well be, that having in
earlier life reigned there, he had afterwards accompanied the southward
movement of the time, perhaps being expelled from his fat soil; and
that he established, or re-established the connection between Western
Peloponnesus and the Iasian name.

Lastly, the place μέσον Ἄργος seems to be equivalent to the English
expression, ‘through the breadth of Argos,’ or _all over_ Argos;
and though we may think that Ἄργος alone means one side of the
Peloponnesus, μέσον Ἄργος may very well mean the whole. In the speech
of Diomed[657] to Glaucus, it cannot mean less than this: on the other
hand, from its being the counterpart of Lycia, it may perhaps not
less probably signify the whole of settled Greece, and thus be the
equivalent of πᾶν Ἄργος in Il. ii. 108. But the more convenient sense
for Od. xv. 80 is plainly the Peloponnesus, because then it squares
precisely with Hellas in the same passage, and the two together make
up the whole of Greece. But without disturbing the signification of
the word Hellas, as meaning Northern and Middle Greece, we might still
give to μέσον Argos the force of ‘all Greece.’ The words of Menelaus
would then stand as if an inhabitant of London said to his friend a
foreigner, ‘I will take you through Scotland and all Britain.’ It is
difficult, however, to decide absolutely between these two senses of
μέσον Ἄργος. What we see plainly is, that the word Ἄργος had taken
the deepest root, and a very wide range, in connection with Greek
settlements, and with such settlements only.

And now with respect to the line so much criticised,

    ἐγχείῃ δ’ ἐκέκαστο Πανέλληνας καὶ Ἀχαιούς[658].

The word Πανέλληνες may, we have seen, either mean the tribes of Greece
beyond the Isthmus, or those of all Greece: in which latter and more
likely sense it is coextensive with Ἀχαιοί. I here finally touch upon
this verse along with those properly geographical, on account of the
important combination which it involves.

_The Apian land._

We find in Il. i. 270, iii. 49, and in Od. vii. 25, xvi. 18, the
expression ἀπίη γαίη, which some of the grammarians, and the common
opinion mentioned by Strabo[659], have explained to mean the
Peloponnesus, while modern scholars render it simply distant[660]. In
the two passages of the Iliad, the former construction is certainly
more suitable: and the combination with τηλόθεν in Il. i. 270, is
tautological, flat, and un-Homeric, if ἀπίη mean merely distant. In
Od. xvi. 18 either sense will serve the passage. In Od. vii. 25 (when
we again have τηλόθεν) Ulysses states himself to have come ἐξ ἀπίης
γαίης. As he had not come from Peloponnesus, it is assumed that this
is not the meaning. I question the reasoning. Ulysses everywhere,
when questioned, shows an immense fertility in fiction about himself:
in every case, however, carefully reporting himself to be come from
a distant spot. I see no reason therefore why we should not construe
Ἀπίη γαῖα to mean the Peloponnesus; in conformity with the tradition
which Æschylus[661] reports concerning Apis, and with the undoubted
usage of the tragedians. As I interpret the Outer or Romance-geography
of the Odyssey, the Peloponnesus would be understood by the Phæacians
of Homer to be extremely remote from their country. The difference of
quantity is no sufficient reason against this construction. Plainly
Ἀπίη γαίη, if it be a proper name at all, means the whole Peloponnesus,
and not a part of it, for Nestor in Il. i. 270 uses it so as to include
the Western side, and Hector, Il. iii. 49, so as to include the Eastern.

_Geographical definitions._

I will now sum up the conclusions to which this inquiry has brought
us, either by certain or by probable evidence, with respect to Homer’s
geographical nomenclature for Greece at large, and for its principal

  1. Ἀχαïὶς       }
     Ἀχαïὶς γαῖα  }  invariably mean the whole of Greece.
     Ἀχαιῒς αἶα   }

2. Ἄργος either alone, or with epithets other than those which concern
geographical extension, means

  (1) The city only, as in Il. iv. 52, and probably in Il. ii. 559.

  (2) The immediate dominions of Agamemnon in the north and north-east
  of Peloponnesus, as in Od. iii. 263.

  But it is possible, though by no means certain, that Ἄργος in this
  sense should be held to include the whole Pelopid dominions, which
  were looked upon as having a certain political unity, and thus to be
  the equivalent of Ἄργος Ἀχαιïκόν.

  (3) By metonymy from this supreme and metropolitan quarter of Greece,
  it means the whole country.

3. The phrase πᾶν Ἄργος in Il. ii. 108 means the whole of Continental

4. The phrase μέσον Ἄργος means most probably the whole of Greece, or
Greece at large; possibly the Peloponnesus only.

5. Πελασγικὸν Ἄργος is Thessaly, from Macedonia to Œta.

6. Ἀχαιïκὸν Ἄργος means the Pelopid dominions of the Troic time, or in
general words, Eastern Peloponnesus.

7. Ἴασον Ἄργος means Western Peloponnesus.

8. The word Ἕλλας means

  (1) probably a portion of the dominions of Achilles, as in Il. ii.
  683, ix. 395;

  (2) certainly the country outside them to the southward of Phthia,
  down to the Isthmus of Corinth, and probably reaching northward
  through the rest of Thessaly: Il. ix. 447 and elsewhere;

  (3) it is possible that Ἕλλας may mean all Greece in Od. i. 344, and
  xv. 80; but more likely that the sense is the same as in (2).

9. The phrase Ἀπίη γαίη most probably, though not certainly, means the
entire Peloponnesus.

What then was this name Ἄργος, which Homer uses so much more
frequently, and with so much more elasticity and diversity of sense,
than any other territorial name whatever?

In the first place let us remark how rarely it is used for a city; in
the strict sense of the word, we cannot be said to find it more than
once. Its proper meaning is evidently a tract of country.

From this it is limited to the city to which the tract of country
belonged: or it is extended to the country at large, of which the
particular tract was the capital or governing part. Both these
significations are what are termed improper: the latter is also
political, and has no relation to race, or to an eponymist, or to any
physical features of soil or scenery, whether the word Ἄργος may have
had such reference or not, when used in its original, proper, and usual
application, to mean a district.

As previously with populations, let us now set out the various
descriptions of source, to which the Homeric names of countries and
places owe their origin.

They appear to be derived either

1. From an individual eponymist, as Ithaca from Ithacus, Od. xvii. 207;
Dardania from Dardanus, Il. xx. 216; Ascanie from Ascanius, Il. ii.
863; while we see the intermediate stage of the process in the name
Ἀπίη, joined with γαῖα, supposed to indicate the Peloponnesus, and to
be derived from Apis.

2. From a race in occupation: as in the case of Ἀχαïὶς γαῖα and Ἀχαïὶς
simply, from the Achæans; Ἕλλας from the Ἕλλοι; Κρήτη or Κρηταὶ (Od.
xiv. 199) from the Κρῆτες.

3. From its physical features or circumstances directly, such as
Αἰγίαλος from being a narrow strip along the shore of the Corinthian
gulf, between the mountains and the sea: there is also a town Αἰγίαλος
of the Paphlagonians, Il. ii. 855. Probably we may add Εὔβοια, Eubœa,
from the adaptation of that fertile island to tillage, which afterwards
made it the granary of Athens.

4. From some race occupying it: and in the cases where that race has
been named from any feature of the country, then, not directly but
derivatively, from the country itself.

For instance, Θρῄκη from Θρῇκες, Thracians, which word again must come
from a common root with τρᾶχυς. The name Τρηχῖν has obviously a similar

So again in the later Greek we find the old Αἰγίαλος named Αἰγιάλεια
from the intermediate formation Αἰγιαλεῖς: and perhaps Ἄργολις from
the Ἀργεῖοι, who inhabited it, and took their name from Ἄργος.

And so in Homer we have Φθίη; from that apparently comes Φθῖοι, and
from this again, in the later Greek, Phthiotis.

Such then are the ordinary sources, as far as we know, of the
territorial names of Homer.

The three aids which we have for judging of the meaning of the name
Ἄργος are, the Homeric text, etymology, and the later tradition.

_Etymology of the word Argos._

None of these in any manner connect the name Ἄργος either with
an eponymist, or with a race of inhabitants, either mediately or
immediately, as its root. We can only therefore look for its origin
in something related to the physical features of the country, or
countries, to which it was applied.

The word ἄργος itself is frequently found in Homer otherwise than as a
proper name. It is used as an adjective in the following combinations:

1. κύνες ἀργοὶ Il. i. 50.

2. βόες ἀργοὶ Il. xxiii. 30.

3. ἀργὴν χῆνα Od. xv. 161.

So also we have the compounds ἀργὴς (κέραυνος) ἀργικέραυνος, ἀργεστὴς
(Νότος), ἀργενναὶ (ὀΐες, ὀθόναι), ἀργινόεις (Κάμειρος), ἀργιόδοντες
(ὕες), ἀργιπόδες (κύνες), Ποδάργης (horse of Achilles).

And it is usual to give to the word ἀργὸς[662] in these several forms
the several senses of

1. Swift, as in swift dogs, swift thunderbolt.

2. White, as in white goose, white (chalky) Cameirus.

3. Sleek, shining, as in sleek oxen, with glistening coats.

It is said truly, that what is swift in motion gives an appearance
of shining: and what shines is in some degree akin to whiteness.
But it is neither easy to say, in this view of the matter, which is
the primary, and which the secondary, meaning of the word, nor what
is its etymology. Nor does it show the slightest resemblance to the
local name Ἄργος, which, from the variety of its applications, apart
from any question of race or political connection, must have had some
etymological signification.

Nor, as regards the βόες ἀργοὶ in particular, is it very easy to
believe in the sleekness of the oxen in Homer’s time, (this seems to
be rather an idea borrowed from the processes and experience of modern
times,) or of the camp oxen of any time. Nor is the matter mended by
two forced attempts, one to construe βόες ἀργοὶ as oxen having white
fat within them, or again, as slow oxen. From these sources, then, we
can at present obtain no light.

Now I submit that the just signification of the proper name Ἄργος is
to be found by considering it as akin to the word ἔργον, which plainly
appears in Homer to have agricultural labours for its primary object.
And it seems pretty clear, that by the transposition of letters which
so commonly occurs in popular speech, especially during the infant
state of languages, the word ἄγρος, ‘a field,’ is no more than a form
of Ἄργος.

K. O. Müller, as we have seen, considers that Ἄργος with the ancients
means a plain[663]: I would add a plain, not as being a flat surface,
but as being formed of cultivable ground, or else it means a
settlement formed upon such ground.

In speaking of the word _plain_ as applied to Greece, we use it
relatively, not as it would be employed in reference to Russia or
Hungary, but as meaning the broader levels between the hills, and
commonly towards the sea: such as those valleys of Scotland which are
called _carses_, or those called _straths_.

Now in the first place I know no other meaning of the word Ἄργος which
will suit its various uses in Homer as Pelasgic Argos, Achaic Argos,
Iasian Argos. What is the one common physical feature of the several
regions that accounts for the common factor in these three compound
expressions, if it be not that of plain, that is to say, cultivable,
and cultivated, or settled country?

Again, look at the relation of Ἄργος to Ἀργεῖοι. What except a physical
and geographical meaning, still adhering to the word, and holding
it somewhat short of the mature and familiar use of a proper name,
can account for the fact that we have in the history and geography
of Greece so many cases of an Argos, without Argives, that is local
or provincial Argives, belonging to it? Achaic Argos indeed has
Ἀργεῖοι belonging to it, but Pelasgic and Iasian Argos have none.
Just so we might speak of the Highlands of Saxony, or of the Lowlands
of Switzerland; but the inhabitants of the first are not known as
Highlanders, nor those of the latter as Lowlanders[664].

I believe there are no phrases, which more nearly translate the words
Ἄργος and Ἀργεῖοι, than Lowlands and Lowlanders respectively. For
the word Lowlands means land not only lying low, but both lying low,
and also being favourable for cultivation: and these ideas more truly
represent the land fitted for the sort of settlement called Ἄργος, than
the mere idea of level plains.

If this be the idea of the word Argos, we see the propriety of its
application to the city of Argos and its district. For this city stood,
as a city of the town and more open country, in a certain opposition to
Mycenæ, which nestled among the hills; and which bore geographically
much the same relation to Argos, as Dardania to Ilion. It afterwards
fell also into the same political analogy.

In the phrase Ἀχαιïκὸν Ἄργος, Homer deals with a case where, as it is
sometimes applied without an epithet, Ἄργος may justly be called a
proper name, like the European _Pays-bas_; but there is no evidence of
this in his ‘Pelasgic Argos,’ and ‘Iasian Argos,’ and it seems likely
that he rather intends in those phrases to employ the term Argos as a
word simply descriptive, and to speak of the Pelasgian Lowlands, and
the Iasian Lowlands. The difference of sense is just that which we
should indicate in English by the absence of the capital letter.

There is evidence that the name had not exhausted its elasticity even
after Homer’s time. In later ages we find an Argos of Orestis in
Macedonia; an Argos of Amphilochia in Western Greece; an Argos near
Larissa in Thessaly[665], and other cases more remote. Nothing but a
geographical force still adhering to the word will account for this

The same is the inference to be drawn from the epithets and
quasi-epithets, or descriptive phrases, applied to it by Homer.
With the exception of one passage, where he gives it the political
epithet[666] κλυτὸν, they are all physical; being ἱππόβοτον,
πολυδίψιον, πολύπυρον, and οὖθαρ ἀρούρης. Of these four epithets, the
first is in Homer peculiarly connected with the specific form and
character of the country: accordingly, while it is the standing epithet
of Argos, being used with it eleven times out of only fifteen in which
the word has any epithet or quasi-epithet attached to it, it is never
found with Achæis, or with Hellas. And the proof of its physically
descriptive character lies in the passage where Telemachus gives to
Menelaus an account of Ithaca;

    ἐν δ’ Ἰθάκῃ οὔτ’ ἀρ’ δρόμοι εὔρεες, οὔτε τι λείμων·
    αἰγίβοτος, καὶ μᾶλλον ἐπήρατος ἱπποβότοιο[667].

The ἱππόβοτος of Homer, again, does not point merely to fertility, but
also to labour and its results; not merely to pasture, but also to
grain, for the horses of Homer are fed on this as well as on herbage,

    κρῖ λευκὸν ἐρεπτόμενοι καὶ ὀλεύρας[668].

Now, in referring the word Ἄργος to a common root and significancy with
ἔργον, we are not bound to hold that it attains its initial vowel by
junction with the particle ἀ used in its intensive sense. For we have
the word, and also its derivatives, in this form, coming down to us
from the old Greek. Among the four tribes of Attica which subsisted
until the time of Cleisthenes[669], one was that of the Ἄργαδες or
husbandmen: and in the Elian inscription supposed to date about the
Fortieth Olympiad[670], or more than 600 years B. C., we have the very
word ἔργον in the form ἄργον, with the digamma, in a passage which I


This inscription, says the Article in the _Museum Criticum_, is of
older date than any other which has either been brought in copy from
Greece, or is to be found on the marbles. The matter of it is a public
treaty, between the Elians and some of their neighbours, concluded for
an hundred years.

Another good example of the interchange of the vowels α and ε is in
the word ἀρόω, which it is obvious to derive from ἔρα, the earth. In
the Latin we see both forms preserved, the one in _aro_ to plough, the
other in _sero_ to sow. And this latter suggests the derivation of the
Greek σπείρω from a similar source.

If then the meaning of Ἄργος be an agricultural settlement, and its
root the same with that of ἔργον, we need not now discuss at large
whether that root be the old word ἔρα or terra, which however appears
to be probable, and which accounts both for the especial reference
of the word ἔργον in Homer to tillage, the oldest industry, and for
the subsequent extension of its meaning to labour and its results in

_The etymology tested by kindred words._

Now, having this view of the words Ἄργος and ἔργον, we shall find, in
the fundamental idea of labour itself, a meaning which will furnish
a basis for the Homeric adjective, and for all its compounds in all
their varied applications. That idea is always in relation with what is
earnest, and (so to speak) strengthful; sometimes this takes the form
of keenness, and then comes in the idea of swiftness in conjunction
with labour: sometimes, again, it takes the form of patience, and then
labour suggests slowness. The labour of a dog is swift, that of an ox
is patient: hence the κύνες ἄργοι are laborious dogs, therefore swift;
and hence too the βόες ἄργοι are laborious oxen, therefore slow; the
office of the one being to cover space, and of the other to overcome
resistance. We may bring the two senses near without any loss in either
case, by calling the oxen sturdy or sedulous, and the dogs strenuous or

The third sense of whiteness legitimately attaches to the effect of
rapid motion upon the eye.

The sense of sleekness does not appear to be required in Homer: but it
may be a derivative from that of whiteness.

By one or more of the three first senses, or by the original sense of
labour in its (so to speak) integral idea, all the Homeric words may be
justly rendered. Some of them will bear either the sense of swift, or
that of white: for instance, ἀργὴς with κεραυνός. In Aristotle[671],
de Mundo, c. 4, we have τῶν κεραυνῶν ... οἱ ταχέως διάττοντες, ἀργῆτες
λέγονται. And again, ἀργεστὴς with Νότος. This may mean the fleet
Notus: it may also mean white, as carrying the light white cloud from
over the sea, in the sense taken by Horace, who appears to have been an
accurate and careful observer of Homeric epithets; and who says,

    Albus ut obscuro deterget nubila cœlo
      Sæpe Notus[672].

This sense of the word Argos will suit other uses of it which have not
been yet named.

For instance, it will suit the ship Argo, which we may consider as
swift, or, and perhaps preferably, as stout, strong, doing battle
with the waves: as we now say, a good ship, or a gallant ship. Again,
it suits the noble dog Argus of the Odyssey, whose character would
be but inadequately represented by either patient, swift, or white.
Considering this word as the adjective of the word which describes what
has been well called by a writer of the present day, “noble, fruitful
labour,” we at once see him before us, swift as he had been, and
patient as he was, but also brave, faithful, trustful, and trustworthy.
Argus the spy, named in the Ἀργειφόντης of Homer, represents one
side of the early meaning of the word[673]. The adjective ἀργαλέος,
exaggerating as well as isolating that element of difficulty which the
root comprises, represents another: and the later word ἀργοῦντες[674],
the idle, catching the idea of slowness at the point where it passes
into inertness, similarly represents yet another.

Such being the case in regard to the name Ἄργος, we shall now have an
easy task in dealing with Ἀργεῖοι.

Homer employs this word in four places (to speak in round numbers) for
three in which he uses Δαναοί.

He employs it as an epithet, sometimes with the name of Juno, and
frequently with the name of Helen.

_The Danaan Argives of Od. viii. 578._

In the Odyssey[675] we have this singular and rare juxtaposition of the

    Ἀργείων Δαναῶν ἠδ’ Ἰλίου οἶτον ἀκούων.

Nitzsch[676] observes, that we might almost suppose the word Ἀργείων
to be an epithet, and this observation is quoted by G. Crusius.
Eustathius, the Scholiast, Barnes, Payne Knight, do not notice it.
It seems to me more agreeable to Homeric laws to treat Ἀργείων as the
substantive, and Δαναῶν as the adjective. For as Homer knows of an
Achaic, an Iasian, a Pelasgic Argos, so he may consistently speak of
Danaan Argives, with the latent idea that there might be, and were,
other Lowlanders out of Greece. But there were not, so far as we know,
any other Danaans than a single Greek dynasty.

Homer also in other places uses Δαναοὶ[677] as an adjective, with
the substantives ἥρωες and αἰχμηταί. He has no corresponding use of
Ἀργεῖοι: thus the old idea of a _colonus_ or farming settler seems
still to colour the word, and lingers in it, even after it has grown to
be in common use a proper name.

In the application of the word Ἀργείη as an epithet to Juno and Helen,
he appears not to mean simply Greek but Argive Juno, Argive Helen, so
that the word here is not properly the singular of Ἀργεῖοι the national
name, but simply the adjective formed from Ἄργος, in the sense of that
part of Peloponnesus which formed the Pelopid dominions. To these Helen
belonged: and for that family, as previously for the Perseid race, Juno
felt her chief anxiety, evidently because they were the political heads
of Greece.

Thus the use of Argeian as an adjective seems to be quite clearly
limited to a local sense of the word: and this being the case, it seems
remarkable that the attention of the commentators before Nitzsch should
not have been directed to the line in the Eighth Odyssey, and that
Nitzsch, with ἥρωες Δαναοὶ and αἰχμηταὶ Δαναοὶ to guide him, should
suggest the sense of Argive Danaans, instead of Danaan Argives.

The local use, however, of the Argeian name must not be dismissed
without a more full investigation. Let us first dispose of its use for
Juno and Helen.

The proof that Helen is meant to be described as not merely Greek, but
as connected with Achaic Argos or Eastern Peloponnesus, has already
been sufficiently[678] set forth.

As respects Juno, we shall find that her affections always centre in
the house that was paramount in the chief seat of Hellenic power, the
Eastern Peloponnesus. Her tenacious attachments are constantly directed
to the nation, and they survive dynastic changes. Hence her keen and
venturesome feeling for Eurystheus; her never dying, never sleeping
hatred to his rival Hercules; her esteem for Agamemnon equally with
Achilles[679], though they were so unequal in fame and valour: perhaps
suggesting that Achilles was regarded by her either because he was
necessary for the purposes of Agamemnon, or because he was closely
allied to the chief Achæan stock[680]. Hence it is that, when he has
assumed his arms[681], she thunders in his honour: and hence her
especial love for the three cities, which were the symbols of Greek
power, Argos, Sparta, and Mycenæ[682]. So intense is her attachment,
that she could wish to be the actual mother of the Greeks, even as she
would readily devour the Trojans upon occasion[683]. Hence, once more,
even in the Odyssey, where she is almost a mute, it is mentioned, that
Agamemnon[684] came safe across the sea, for Juno protected him. This
is quite enough to fix the sense of Ἀργείη, when it is applied to Juno,
as a local sense.

In fact, Homer’s use of this word with a restrained and local sense is
not only clear, but most carefully defined, both as to time and as to

While in the army before Troy he freely interchanges Danaan, Argive,
and Achæan, as they are near enough to identity for his purpose, he
never applies Danaan at all to the Greeks at home, and employs the
other two names with the most accurate discrimination.

_Transition from Argeians to Achæans._

The Argeian name is confined in place to the Eastern Peloponnesus, and
in time to the Perseid epoch. Upon the transfer of the sovereignty
to the Pelopid house, the Argeian name ceases to be applied to their
immediate subjects. Let us now examine passages which may illustrate
the case.

1. Two or nearly three generations before the _Troica_, in the time
when Bellerophon was young, Prœtus ruled over the Ἀργεῖοι,

                          πολὺ φέρτερος ἦεν
    Ἀργείων· Ζεὺς γὰρ οἱ ὑπὸ σκηπτρῷ ἐδάμασσεν[685].

Now Prœtus was certainly not lord of Greece. There was no lord
paramount of Greece before the Pelopids: and near the time of Prœtus we
have Eurystheus, Œneus and his line, Cadmus and his line, Neleus and
his line, Minos and his line, as well as probably other thrones, each
in its own place. But Prœtus falls within the period of the Perseids,
and within the local circumscription of the Eastern Peloponnesus where
they reigned.

2. But neither is Eurystheus spoken of by Homer as sovereign of Greece;
though he is king of the Argives[686],

    ὃς Ἀργείοισιν ἀνάξει.

For when Juno fraudulently asks and obtains from Jupiter the promise
that the person to be born that day shall enjoy a certain sovereignty,
it is not over the Argives, but over the περικτίονες:

    ἦ μὲν τὸν πάντεσσι περικτιόνεσσιν ἀνάξειν
    ὅς κεν ἐπ’ ἤματι τῷδε πέσῃ μετὰ ποσσὶ γυναικός.

Thus the promise is the babe shall reign over περικτίονες, a word
clearly inapplicable to the whole of that straggling territory, which
was occupied irregularly by the Greeks. But when the fulfilment is
claimed, it is that he shall reign over Ἀργεῖοι. Therefore the two
names are coextensive, and accordingly Ἀργεῖοι does not mean all
Greeks; for example, it does not include the line of Cadmus then ruling
in Bœotia.

3. But we come down to the time of Tydeus, who was lord of Argos during
the epoch of the Pelopid sovereigns. And now we find that his subjects
cease to be called Ἀργεῖοι (see Il. v. 803. iv. 384) in the legends,
where Homer observes a peculiar nicety in the application of these
important words.

_Local sense of the former name retained._

4. Still the Argeian name continues to preserve its local application
to the inhabitants of Argos and its district, or of Achaic Argos.

At the games on the death of Patroclus, Idomeneus thinks he discerns
Diomed coming in as the winner, and he describes him thus:

                  δοκέει δέ μοι ἔμμεναι ἀνὴρ
    Αἴτωλος γενέην, μετὰ δ’ Ἀργείοισιν ἀνάσσει[687].

It is plain that here Idomeneus means among Argives, and not among

1. Because not Diomed was lord among the Greeks, but Agamemnon.

2. Because Diomed was lord over a part of the Argives.

3. Because the word is used in evident contradistinction to, and
correspondence with, the foregoing word Αἴτωλος, which is undoubtedly

Again, when we are told that Orestes made a funeral feast for the
Ἀργεῖοι[688], we may probably presume that we have here again the local

Thus we see plainly enough the history of the rise of the Argive name.
Belonging to the subjects of the ruling part of Greece, it grows so as
to be applicable to all Greeks, in cases where no confusion can arise
from its being thus employed. Thus the Roman name became applicable
to Campanians or Calabrians as subjects of Rome, in contradistinction
to Germans, Dacians, or Parthians; but if the subject in hand were
domestic and Italian, the domestic distinction would naturally revive.
Even so Homer’s Greeks are all Argeians in the _Troica_: but at home
they have their local meaning, like Cadmeans, Ætolians, Pylians,
Elians, Epeans, Arcadians, Locrians, and also, as we shall find,

It is at the very period of the local prevalence of the Argive name,
that we find also from Homer unequivocal appearances of a Cretan
empire, circumscribing it by sea, and possibly more or less by
land, though perhaps the Minoan power and dynasty may not at once
have acquired its Grecian character. If then, with respect to the
word Ἀργεῖοι, we see that it was originally of limited and local
application; we have no reason whatever to suppose that the Danaan name
could ever have been of wider scope. Two questions then arise.

First, why does Homer use the Danaan and Argive names as national, when
they were only local?

Secondly, the priority of the Danaan name being clear, as we see
that the Danaan dynasty preceded that one whose subjects were called
Argives, why did the Argive name supplant or succeed the Danaan?

The first question will be resumed hereafter, but I will now touch upon
the second.

The name Danaan, in all likelihood, was that of a dynasty originating
beyond seas; and if so, it could not well, until softened by the mellow
haze of distance, be more popular with the Greeks, when they had
awakened under Hellic influence to a full consciousness of national
life, than it would have been with the English in the last century to
be called Hanoverians or Brunswickers.

The Danaid line ceased, when Perseus came to the throne, as he was
descended on the father’s side from another source.

Nothing could be more natural, than that with this change of dynasty
an old and merely dynastic name should disappear. But why should it be
succeeded by the name Ἀργεῖοι?

_Relation of Argeian and Pelasgian names._

I hope it will not be thought too bold, if, founding myself on the
probable, perhaps I might say, plain resemblance of meaning between
Πελασγοὶ and Ἀργεῖοι, I conjecture that on the disappearance from use
of the name Δαναοὶ, instead of falling back upon the old agricultural
name Πελασγοὶ, which had by a Danaan conquest become that of a
subordinate, if not servile class, the people may have come to bear the
name Ἀργεῖοι; borrowed, like the other, from the region they inhabited,
and from their habits of life in it, and of equal force, but without
the taint which attached to the designation of a depressed race.

In this view, the name Ἀργεῖοι may be defined to be the Hellic
equivalent of the old Pelasgic appellation of the people of the
country: and it naturally takes root upon the passing away of the
Danaan power, within the dominions of those to whom that power had been

I shall hereafter have occasion to consider further, what was the first
historic use of the Argeian name.

There are signs in the later Greek of the affinity, which I have
here supposed, between the Pelasgian and Argeian names, and of the
assumption of the functions of the former by the latter. I do not enter
on the question of etymological identity, but I refer to similarity of
application alone.

_Illustrations of the Etymology._

In Suidas we find the proverb Ἀργείους ὁρᾷς, with this explanation;
παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν ἀτενῶς καὶ καταπληκτικῶς ὁρώντων. Now we know nothing
of the Argives, that is, the inhabitants of Argolis, which would
warrant the supposition that they were of particularly savage and
wild appearance. But if Ἀργεῖοι, as has been shown, originally meant
settlers in an agricultural district, and if in process of time the
population gathered into towns, in lieu of their old manner of living
κωμηδὸν, then, in consequence of the change, Ἀργεῖοι would come to mean
rustics, as opposed to townspeople, and from this the transition would
be slight and easy to the sense of a wild and savage aspect, as in the

Let us compare with it the Latin word _agrestis_. This I take to be
precisely similar, indeed identical, etymologically, with Ἀργεῖος.
The point of divergence is when Ἄργος by transposition becomes ἀγρὸς,
whence are _ager_ and _agrestis_. Materially this Latin word is in
still closer correspondence with ἀργηστὴς, a Greek derivative of ἄργος.
Ideally, it passes through the very same process as has been shown in
the case of Ἀργεῖος, and here it is strongly supported by the common
Homeric word ἄγριος, rude or savage, which comes from ἄγρος, made ready
by transposition to yield such a derivative.

This name we find not only as an adjective, but likewise as a proper
name. It is applied to a brother of Œneus and Melas, a son of
Portheus[689]: and in these names we appear to see described the first
rude Hellic invaders of Ætolia, at an epoch three generations before
the _Troica_. The _agrestis_, or agricultural settler, next comes to
mean the class of country folk, as opposed to the inhabitants of towns
or _urbani_; and then, while _urbanus_, with its Greek correlative
ἀστεῖος, passes on to acquire the meaning of cultivated and polished,
_agrestis_, on the other hand, following a parallel movement with
Ἀργεῖος, and in the opposite direction, comes to mean uneducated,
coarse, wild, barbarous. Thus Ovid says of the river Achelous, when he
had been mutilated by the loss of his horn in the combat with Hercules,

            Vultus Achelous agrestes
    Et lacerum cornu mediis caput abdidit undis[690].

Thus Cicero, in the Tusculans, after a description of the battles of
the Spartan youths, carried on not only with fists and feet, but with
nails and teeth, asks, _Quæ barbaria India (~al.~ barbaries Indica)
vastior atque agrestior?_

We also find in Suidas the phrase Ἀργεῖοι φῶρες, and this explanation:
Ἐπὶ τῶν προδήλως πονηρῶν· οἱ γὰρ Ἀργεῖοι ἐπὶ κλοπῇ κωμῳδοῦνται.
Ἀριστοφάνης Ἀναγύρῳ.

No part of this play remains, so that we are left to general reasoning:
but it seems a most natural explanation of this proverb or phrase,
that the word Ἀργεῖος, meaning wild and savage, should be applied to
banditti: theft in the early stages of society, always frequenting
solitary places, as in the later ones, it rather draws to the most
crowded haunts of men.

Again, Æschines, in the Περὶ Παραπρεσβείας, brings the grossest
personal charges against Demosthenes, for offences, which he says
had brought upon him various nicknames. Among these, he thus accuses
him: Ἐκ παιδῶν δὲ ἀπαλλαττόμενος, καὶ δεκαταλάντους δίκας ἑκαστῷ τῶν
ἐπιτρόπων λαγχάνων, Ἄργας ἐκλήθη. This passage is noticed by both
Suidas and Hesychius under Ἀργὰς, and it is explained ὄνομα ὀφέως. A
serpent, either generally or of some particular kind, had, it seems,
the name of Ἀργὰς, which we can easily derive from ἄργος, taken in the
same sense as that in which it became the name of Argus the spy. ‘Now
the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field[691].’ But
this does not seem to satisfy the intention of the highly vituperative
passage in Æschines. This imputation of extreme cleverness or craft
would not have been perhaps a very effective one in Greece. I think he
more probably means to call Demosthenes a swindler or plunderer, _homo
trium literarum_, from whom his guardians were trying to recover, and
who was likely to be exposed, not like the serpent, to get off: and
in this sense the word Ἀργὰς at once attaches itself to the reported
passage in Aristophanes, and through that to the old meaning of
_agrestis_ or Ἀργεῖος. Nor is Ἀργεῖος, a thief, more remote in sense
from Ἀργεῖος, a rural settler, than is _paganus_, an idolater, from
_paganus_, a villager.

I will take yet one more illustration, Hesychius under Ἀργεῖοι gives
this explanation; ἐκ τῶν Εἱλώτων οἱ πιστευόμενοι οὕτως ἐλέγοντο, ἢ
λαμπροί. Now the sense of λαμπροὶ might easily be derived from the
primitive sense, in the same way as that of whiteness. But it is quite
distinct from the explanation respecting that select and trusted
class of Helots, who were called Ἀργεῖοι. This usage both serves to
explain history, and is explained by it. Ἀργεῖοι was the name of the
Greek citizen in Eastern Peloponnesus under the Perseids; it appears
in part to have retained its local force throughout the period of the
Pelopids; for though in the legend of Tydeus the inhabitants of Argolis
we at least find the name Ἀχαιοὶ among them, yet in the Twenty-third
Iliad, and in the Third Odyssey, they are called Ἀργεῖοι. In the local
usage, then, the Helot meaning a serf, the emancipated Helot would be
a citizen, an Ἀργεῖος. But neither serfship nor citizenship were in
those days rigidly defined, and the one ran into the other. What could
under such circumstances be more natural, than that any Helot who was
separated from his brethren, by being taken into the confidence of his
master, and living on easy terms with him, should acquire the name of
Ἀργεῖος, and, that the class who had thus obtained it in a somewhat
peculiar sense, that is to say, the sense of a free rural settler, or
(so to speak) freeholder, should continue to bear it as descriptive of
their own position, even when it had ceased to be generally applicable
to the free Greeks of that particular district? which of course it
could no longer be when the family and dynastic tie between Argolis and
Lacedæmon came to be dissolved.

And if I am right in supposing that even in Homer[692] the name Ἀργεῖοι
evidently leans towards the masses, and that of Ἀχαιοὶ towards the
select few or chiefs, such a distinction is in marked harmony with the
whole of this inquiry respecting the force of the former phrase.

_Different extent of Ἀργεῖοι and Ἄργος._

According to the view which has been here given, we must carefully
distinguish between the sense of Ἀργεῖοι, as a national name in Homer,
and that of Ἄργος, in this respect. The name Ἀργεῖοι was raised to
the distinction of a national name apparently in consequence of
the political ascendancy of a house that reigned over territories
specially named Ἄργος, and over subjects named from the region Ἀργεῖοι.
I say this without undertaking to determine whether there actually
was a period in which the Greeks were as a nation called Ἀργεῖοι, a
supposition which seems to me improbable: or whether it was a name
which Homer applied to them poetically, like the name Δαναοὶ, because
it had once been the proper designation of those who held the seat
of Greek supremacy. In either view, however, the case of the name
Ἄργος is different. That name had not its root in political power,
actual or remembered: it kept its place, as being founded in a good
physical description, so far as it went, of the general character of
the principal habitable parts of the peninsula which the Hellic tribes,
swarming downwards from their hills, successively and gradually
occupied. Hence the substantive was, as we see, capable of spreading
beyond the adjective in space, since, while we have an Iasian and a
Pelasgian Ἄργος, we have no Iasian or Pelasgian Ἀργεῖοι. Thus they were
detached one from the other. In Homer the epithet has a larger range
of clear signification than the substantive. But apart from Homer the
substantive appears from etymology to have been the older, and from
history either to have reached points at which the adjective never
arrived, or to have long survived its desuetude.

_The Achæans._

_Particulars of the use of the Achæan name._

The lights, which we have already obtained in considering the Danaan
and Argive names, will assist the inquiry with respect to the Achæans.
At the same time, the fullest view of that name and race cannot be
attained, until we shall have succeeded in fixing what we are to
understand by the Homeric ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.

I now proceed, however, to show from the text of the poems,

1. That of the three great appellatives of the nation, the name Ἀχαιοὶ
is the most familiar.

2. That the manner of its national use indicates the political
predominance of an Achæan race, in the Homeric age, over other races,
ranged by its side in the Troic enterprise, and composing along with it
the nation, which owned Agamemnon for its head.

3. That, besides its national use, the name Ἀχαιοὶ has also an
important local and particular use for a race which had spread through
Greece, and which exercised sway among its population.

4. That the manner of its local and particular use points out to
us, with considerable clearness, the epoch at which it acquired
preponderance, namely that when Pelops and his family acquired
ascendancy in Greece.

As respects the first of these propositions, the numerical test,
although a rude one, yet appears to be conclusive. We find that Homer
uses the name Ἀργεῖοι in the plural two hundred and five times, of
which twenty-eight are in the Odyssey; besides fifteen passages in
which the singular is used. And the name Δαναοὶ about one hundred and
sixty times, of which thirteen are in the Odyssey. But we find the name
Ἀχαιοὶ, employed from seven to eight hundred times: that is to say,
five hundred and ninety-seven times in the Iliad, and one hundred and
seventeen times in the Odyssey; all these in the plural number, besides
thirty-two places of the poems in which it is used in the singular, or
in its derivatives Ἀχαίïς or Ἀχαιïκός.

The particulars next to be stated will bear at once upon the first and
upon the second proposition.

Homer very rarely attaches any epithet to the name Ἀργεῖοι, more
frequently by much to Δαναοὶ, and still oftener to Ἀχαιοί. To the first
only six times in all: to the second twenty-four: and to the third near
one hundred and forty times. It is not likely that metrical convenience
is the cause of this diversity. We have already seen that Ἀργεῖοι is
susceptible of a substantive force, which will carry one at least of
the other names by way of epithet, as if it indicated an employment,
and not properly the name of a race. A like inference may be drawn from
the greater susceptibility of carrying descriptive epithets, which we
now find the Danaan and Achæan names evince. For example, the name of
the Scotts, Douglasses, or Grahams, four centuries ago, would have
afforded larger scope for characteristic epithets than such a name as
Farmers or Colonists, when used to point out a particular people, or
than such a name as Lowlanders, while it still retained its descriptive
character, and had not yet become purely titular or proper. We must
probably look, then, to political significance for the basis of the use
made by Homer of the Achæan name.

When we examine the character of the epithets, this presumption is
greatly corroborated. Homer uses with the word Ἀχαιοὶ, and with this
word only, epithets indicating, firstly, high spirit, secondly,
personal beauty, and thirdly, finished armour[693]. I take these to be
of themselves sufficient signs, even were others wanting, to point to
the Achæans as being properly the ruling class, or aristocracy, of the
heroic age.

The Achæan name, again, attains with Homer to a greater variety of use
and inflexion than the Danaan or Argeian names.

He has worked it into the female forms Ἀχαιΐδες, Ἀχαιïάδες, Ἀχαιαὶ, as
on the other side he has done with the names Τρῶες into Τρωὲς, Τρωάδες,
and Τρωαὶ, and Δάρδανοι into Δαρδανίδες: but he has not made any such
use of the names Ἀργεῖοι and Δαναοί. The female use of the former
appears indeed in the singular with the names of Juno and of Helen,
but never as applicable to Greek women in general, or to a Greek woman
simply as such.

He uses it in the singular to describe ‘a Greek’ Ἀχαιὸς ἄνηρ, Il. iii.
167, 226: which he never does for the two other names. In the same
manner he uses Δάρδανος ἄνηρ, Il. ii. 701. This form seems to indicate
the full and familiar establishment of a name; and the Dardanians had,
we know, been Dardanians for seven generations before the _Troica_ (Il.
xx. 215-40).

In the opening passage of the First Iliad, not less than in that
of the Odyssey, Homer has, as it is generally observed by critics,
intentionally given us a summary or ‘Argument’ of his poem. But I doubt
whether sufficient notice has been taken of the very effective manner
in which he has given force to his purpose, by taking care in that
passage to use the most characteristic words. Achilles is there the son
of Peleus, for his extraction, as on both sides divine, but especially
as on the father’s side from Jupiter, is the groundwork of his high
position in the poem. Agamemnon is likewise here introduced under the
title which establishes the same origin for him, and more than any
thing else enhances the dignity of his supremacy before men[694]. And
the Greeks too, if I am correct, are not without significancy here
introduced to us, as is right, under their highest and also their best
established designation, that of Achæans. Nor is it until they have
been five times called Achæans[695] that he introduces the Danaan
name[696] at all. The Argive name, as if the weakest, when it is first
employed, is placed in an awkward nearness to the title of Achæans,
perhaps by way of explanation:

                      ὃς μέγα πάντων
    Ἀργείων κρατέει, καὶ οἱ πείθονται Ἀχαιοί[697].

Again the paramount force of the Achæan name may justly be inferred
from its being the only territorial name which had clearly grasped the
whole of Greece at the epoch of the _Troica_[698].

Turning now entirely to what indicates more or less of peculiar
character in the Achæans, I would observe, that the adjective δῖοι
appears to be the highest of all the national epithets employed by
Homer; and this he couples, as has been observed by Mure[699], (who
recognises a peculiar force in the term,) with the Achæan designation
alone among the three. He also applies it to the Pelasgi; for whom, as
we have found, he means it to be a highly honourable epithet. Probably
the Achæans are δῖοι because of preeminence, the Pelasgians because
of antiquity. To no other nation or tribe whatever does he apply this
epithet. His very chary use of it in the plural is a sign of its
possessing in his eyes some peculiar virtue.

_Signs of its leaning to the aristocracy._

Of its feminine forms one has been selected to convey the most biting
form of reproach to the army, in the speech of Thersites. Now it is
remarkable that in that speech, of which an inflated presumption is
the great mark, the Achæan name is used five times within nine lines,
and neither of the other names is used at all. I do not doubt that
the upstart and braggart uses this name only because it was the most
distinguished or aristocratic name, as an ill-bred person always takes
peculiar care to call himself a gentleman. And doubtless it is for the
same reason that he takes the feminine of Ἀχαιὸς, instead of using
Δανααὶ or Ἀργειαὶ for his interpretative epithet, when he wants to
sting the soldiery as ‘Greekesses and not Greeks.’

Somewhat similar evidence is supplied by the Homeric phrase υἷες
Ἀχαιῶν, which has nothing corresponding to it under the Danaan or
Argive names. This is an Homeric formula, and the form υἷες seems to
belong exclusively to the Achæan name. To the Greeks who always asked
the stranger who were his parents, this phrase would carry a peculiar
significance. What addressed them as the sons of honoured parents
would be to them the sharpest touchstone of honour or disgrace. And
what the patronymic was to the individual, this form of speech was to
the nation, an incentive under the form of an embellishment. It is a
principle that runs throughout Homer; it is every where μηδὲ γένος
πατέρων αἰσχύνεμεν. The poet could not say sons of Danaans, for their
forefathers were not Danaan: nor sons of Argeians, for this would
recall the ploughshare and not the sword: though the army are addressed
from time to time as ἥρωες Δαναοὶ, and ἥρωες Ἀχαιοὶ, they are never
ἥρωες Ἀργεῖοι. But to be sons of the Achæans was the great glory of the
race, even as to degenerate from being Achæan warriors into effeminacy
would have been its deepest reproach: and the fact that he calls a
mixed race sons of the Achæans is conversely a proof that the Achæan
element was the highest and most famous element in the compound of
their ancestry.

But, unless I am mistaken, we have many passages in Homer where the use
of the simple term Ἀχαιοὶ is shown from the context to have a special
and peculiar, sometimes perhaps even an exclusive reference to the
chiefs and leaders of the army. I think it may be shown that the word
has in fact three meanings:

1. That of a particular Greek race, which extended itself from point to
point, acquiring power everywhere as it spread, by inherent superiority.

2. That of the aristocracy of the country, which it naturally became by
virtue of such extension and assumption.

3. That of the whole nation, which takes the name from its prime part.

We have now to examine some passages in support of the second meaning:
and I know not why, but certainly these passages appear in the Iliad to
be most abundant near the opening of the poem.

Chryses solicits ‘all the Achæans and most the two Atridæ[700].’ All
the Achæans assent, except Agamemnon. Now the priest could not solicit
the army generally except in an assembly: and there is no mention of
one, indeed the reply of Agamemnon[701] is hardly such as would have
been given in one. It is likely, then, that those whom he addressed
were Agamemnon’s habitual and ordinary associates; in other words, the

When Calchas proceeds to invoke the vengeance of Apollo, which is to
fall upon the army at large, it is no longer the Ἀχαιοὶ of whom he
speaks, but his prayer is,

    τισείαν Δαναοὶ ἐμὰ δάκρυα σοῖσι βέλεσσιν[702].

Although I do not concur with those, who find no element of real
freedom in the condition of the Greek masses, whether at home or in the
camp, yet it seems plain enough, from the nature of the case, that the
questions relating to the division of booty, as being necessarily an
executive affair, must have been decided by the chiefs. Now whenever
questions of this class are handled, we generally find such an office
ascribed to Ἀχαιοί. Agamemnon says[703], ‘Do not let me alone of
the Argeians go without a prize;’ and in conformity with this we
find Nestor stimulating the host at large with the expectation of
booty[704]. But Achilles replies to Agamemnon, ‘that the _Achæans_ have
it not in their power to compensate him there and then, for they have
no common stock:’ but ‘when Troy is taken, then we the Achæans will
repay you three and four fold[705].’ The same subject is again touched
in i. 135, 162, 392. ii. 227: and both times with reference to the
Ἀχαιοὶ as the distributors of the spoil. In Il. ii. 255 it is allotted
by the ἥρωες Δαναοί.

In the same way we find a decided leaning to the use of the word
Ἀχαιοὶ, when reference is made to other governing duties.

For instance, in the adjuration of Achilles by the staff or sceptre.
‘It has been stripped of leaf and bark, and now the υἷες Ἀχαιῶν,
who are intrusted by Jupiter with sovereign functions, bear it in
hand[706].’ It is hardly possible here to construe the phrase without
limiting it to the chiefs.

I have referred to the passage where Homer introduces the word Ἀργεῖοι
for the first time, under the shadow, as it were, of Ἀχαιοί. Now, if we
examine that passage, we shall perceive that unless there be some shade
whatever of difference in the meaning, the words are tautological, an
imputation which Homer never merits. But if we admit in the Achæan
name a certain bias towards the nobles of the army, then the sense and
expressions are alike appropriate. ‘I fear the resentment of him, who
mightily lords it over (all) the Greeks, and to whom even the Achæans
(or chiefs) submit themselves[707].’

Again the phrase Ἀχαιὸς ἄνηρ[708], twice used by Homer, and both times
in the mouth of Priam from the Trojan wall, both times also refers
to noble and chieftainlike figures, which his eye, keen for beauty,
discerns among the crowd. The second case is particularly worthy of

    τίς τ’ ἄρ’ ὅδ’ ἄλλος Ἀχαιὸς ἀνὴρ ἤυς τε μέγας τε,
    ἔξοχος Ἀργείων κεφάλην ἠδ’ εὔρεας ὤμους;

Of which the effect seems to be expressed in these words:

    Who is th’ Achæan Chieftain
      So beautiful and tall?
    His shoulders broad surmount the crowd,
      His head outtops them all.

Here again, if Achæan and Argeian be synonymous, the use of the latter
word is in the highest degree insipid, but if the reference be to
the chief, excelling in height the mass of the soldiery, a perfect
propriety is maintained.

I need not extend these illustrations to other passages, such as Il.
ii. 80, 346. ix. 670. And, on the other hand, it is easy to point to
passages where the force of the Achæan and Argeian names is obviously
identical, such as Il. ix. 521: or again where Achæan and Danaan must
agree, as in Il. ix. 641, 2. The most frequent use of the Achæan name
is, I believe, for the nation, and not the race or class: yet a number
of passages remain to show the native bias and primitive meaning of the

I will however point out two more places, one in each poem, where
that shading of the sense, for which I contend, will either greatly
facilitate the rendering of the text, or even may be called requisite
in order to attain a tolerable construction.

1. It deserves particular notice, that Homer sometimes places the words
in very close proximity, as in the following passage;

                νηῶν ἐπ’ ἀρίστερα δηιόωντο
    λαοὶ ὑπ’ Ἀργείων· τάχα δ’ ἂν καὶ κῦδος Ἀχαιῶν
    ἔπλετο· τοῖος γὰρ Γαιήοχος Ἐννοσίγαιος
    ὤτρυν’ Ἀργείους·

This is in Il. xiii. 676-8, and Δαναῶν follows in 680. The nearness of
the words, and the place of Ἀχαιοὶ, between the twice used Ἀργεῖοι, is
highly insipid and un-Homeric, if they are pure equivalents. But now it
seems by no means impossible, that the Poet may in this passage have in
view a distinction between the leaders and the mass. He may have meant
to say, ‘Hector had not yet learned that his men were suffering havock
on the left from the Greek troops. But so it was; and the chiefs might
now perhaps have won fame, such was the might with which Neptune urged
on their forces,’ but that, &c.

2. It is difficult, except upon the supposition of a different shade of
meaning in these appellatives, to construe at all such a passage as

                ἐξερέεινεν ἕκαστα,
    Ἴλιον, Ἀργείων τε νέας, καὶ νόστον Ἀχαιῶν[709].

Here the juxtaposition of the words, if they are synonymous, becomes
absolutely intolerable. But the sense runs easily and naturally, if we
render it ‘he inquired (of me) all about (the fall of) Troy, and the
fleet (or armament) of the Greeks, and the adventures of the chiefs
while on their way home.’

The Odyssey, however, appears to offer a larger contribution towards
our means of comprehending the Homeric use of Ἀχαιοὶ, than can be
supplied by the mere citation of particular passages.

_Its application within Ithaca._

There is considerable evidence of a division of races in Ithaca: and
also of the application of the Achæan name to the aristocracy of the

The length of time during which Ulysses had been absent, will account
for much disorganization in his dominions: and their lying chiefly in
separate insular possessions would tend to aggravate the evil. Still
not only Nestor, Idomeneus[710], Philoctetes, Neoptolemus, but also
Menelaus, who was absent almost as long as Ulysses himself, appear
to have resumed their respective thrones without difficulty; so that
we are led to suppose there must have been much peculiarity in the
case of Ithaca. Part of this we may find in the fact, that the family
of Ulysses may but recently have attained to power, and that the
consolidation of races was imperfect. Besides his force of character,
he had accumulated[711] great wealth, following in the footsteps of his
father Laertes, who was both a conqueror and an economist[712]. His
power, thus depending on what was personal to himself, could not but be
shaken to its very base by his departure, and by his long detention in
foreign parts.

So far as we can learn from the text of Homer, the family of Ulysses
had come, like the other Hellic families, from the north: and it had
only reigned in Ithaca at most for two generations. His extraction is
not stated further back than his paternal grandfather Arceisius[713].
But his connections all appear to be in the north. His maternal
grandfather, Autolycus[714], lived by Parnesus, or Parnassus, in
Phocis, near to Delphi. And his wife’s father, Icarius, had a daughter
Iphthime, who was married to Eumelus[715], heir-apparent of Pheræ in
the south of Thessaly: a circumstance which affords a presumption of
proximity in their dominions. Thus it is probable that Laertes may have
married in Thessaly; and, as we have no mention of the sovereignty of
Arceisius, it is highly probable that Laertes was the first, either to
acquire the Ithacan throne, or at least to hold it for any length of

The fountain near the city, which supplied it with water, and which
probably marks its foundation, was constructed, as we are told, by
Ithacus, Neritus, and Polyctor[716].

The first must have been the Eponymist of the island: the second of its
principal mountain[717].

Peisander, called ἄναξ and Πολυκτορίδης[718], is one of four principal
Suitors, whose gifts to Penelope are specifically mentioned in the
Eighteenth Odyssey. Thus he would appear to have been most probably
nephew to the Eponymist of the island. Sometimes indeed the patronymic
is derived from a grandfather, or even, as in the case of Priam
(Δαρδανίδης, Il. xxiv. 629, 631), from a remote ancestor; but then he
must apparently be a founder, or one of the highest fame. But Peisander
at the least may have been the son of Polyctor; and he was probably
the representative of the family, which had been displaced from the
Sovereignty by the house of Laertes. He afterwards appears among the
leaders in the struggle of the Suitors with Ulysses[719].

The names applied to the subjects of Ulysses in the Odyssey are three:
Κεφαλλῆνες, Ἰθακήσιοι, and Ἀχαιοί. In accordance with its use in the
Iliad, the first of these, which is but four times[720] used, appears
to be a name of the whole people of the state; and, judging from what
we have seen of the force of the word, it implies that the Hellenic
element was dominant. The difference in the use of the other two is
very marked.

In the first place, the Suitors are commonly called Ἀχαιοὶ[721], never
Ἰθακήσιοι, nor ever Δαναοὶ or Ἀργεῖοι. Either, being the aristocracy,
they were an Achæan race; or else, without all being of Achæan race,
they were called Achæan, because they were the aristocracy. Of that
class they are stated to have constituted the whole[722].

The more probable of these two suppositions is, that they were by no
means exclusively of Achæan blood, but took the name from their birth
and station. It is most natural to suppose that the displaced family
of Peisander, and probably others, were not Achæan, but belonged to an
older stock. This stock may have been Hellenic; for, as we know, there
were Hellenic, and in particular Æolid, families in Greece long before
we hear of the Achæans there.

The house of Ulysses still indeed had friends in the island, like
Mentor, like Noemon, son of Phronius, (or the class represented by
these names, if they be typical only,) or like Peiræus, who took charge
of Theoclymenus at the request of Telemachus[723]. But the bulk of
the people were neutral, or else unfriendly. The best that Telemachus
can say is, that the _whole_ people is not hostile[724]. And in the
last Book, whilst more than one half the Assembly take up arms against
Ulysses the rest simply[725] remain neutral: so that he has no one to
rely upon but his father, his son, and a mere handful of dependents.

While the Achæan name is thus exclusively applied to the Suitors, and
apparently to them because they formed the aristocracy, the people,
when assembled, are invariably addressed as Ἰθακήσιοι. It is said
indeed, that the Achæans[726] were summoned by the heralds to the
Assembly of the Second Book: but it seems to have been customary
to send a special summons only to principal persons, as we find in
Scheria[727]; though all classes were expected to attend, and did

I do not, however, venture to treat it as certain, that the word Ἀχαιοὶ
is not applied to the population of Ithaca generally. When Euripides
addresses the Assembly, and incites the people to revenge the death of
the Suitors, we are told that οἶκτος δ’ ἕλε πάντας Ἀχαιούς. This may
mean the aristocratic party in the Assembly, as we know that there were
two sections very differently minded. At any rate, if the whole people
be meant, it is by the rarest possible exception. The name is applied,
as we should expect, to the soldiers who sailed with Ulysses to Troy:
but within Ithaca it seems clear that the name properly denotes the
nobles. And upon the whole it seems most probable, that these Ἀχαιοὶ,
in the Twenty-third Book, are the party of the Suitors, with reference
rather to their position in society than their extraction: while the
minority, who do not join in the movement against Ulysses, are probably
the old population of the island, who have no cause of quarrel to make
them take up arms against him, and yet no such tie with him, either
of race or of ancient subordination, as to induce them to move in his

Ithaca was ill fitted for tillage, or for feeding anything but sheep
and goats. And Ithacus, its eponymist, being a very modern personage,
it seems highly probable that, whether Achæan or not, he and his race
were Hellenic, and gave to the population that peculiar name of
Cephallenes, under which Laertes describes them as his subjects. But
there were probably anterior inhabitants of the old Pelasgian stock,
submerged beneath two Hellenic immigrations, caring little which of
their lords was uppermost, and forming the supine minority of the final

The use of the Achæan name in Ithaca, in broad separation from the
Ithacesian, must then prove either its connection with a race, or its
bias towards a class, and may prove both. But quitting the latter as
sufficiently demonstrated, I now proceed to trace the local use of the
Achæan name.

And, first of all, we find it locally used in the North; in that
Thessaly, where the name of Hellas came into being, and from whence it
extended itself to the Southward; therefore in the closest connection
with the Hellic stem.

We are told in the Catalogue, with respect to the division under
Achilles, after the names of the districts and places from which they

    Μυρμίδονες δὲ καλεῦντο, καὶ Ἕλληνες, καὶ Ἀχαιοί[728].

Now we find throughout the Iliad, that the local or divisional name
of this body is unchanging: the troops of Achilles are uniformly
denominated Myrmidons. Therefore Homer does not mean that one part were
Myrmidons, another Hellenes, another Achæans, but that the three names
attached to the whole body, of course in different respects. They were
then Myrmidons, whatever the source of that name may have been, by
common designation. They were Hellenes, because inhabitants of Hellas,
of the territory from whence the influence and range of that name
had already begun to radiate, more properly and eminently therefore
Hellenes, than others who had not so positively acquired the name,
though they may have been included in the Πανέλληνες. And manifestly
they could only be called Ἀχαιοὶ, because known to be under leaders of
the pure Achæan stock, who were entitled to carry the name in their own
right, instead of bearing it only in a derivative sense, and because
it had spread all over Greece. Of this peculiar and eminent Achæanism
in the Peleid stock, we have, I think, two other signs from the poems:
one in the possible meaning of the love of Juno, which we have seen
extended to Achilles in an equal degree with Agamemnon; the other
in the marriage of Hermione to Neoptolemus, which was founded upon
a promise given by Menelaus her father while before Troy. Doubtless
the eminent services of Neoptolemus might be the sole ground of this
promise: but it may also have had to do with kin, as some special
relation, of neighbourhood or otherwise, appears commonly to accompany
these matrimonial connections. In conformity with this passage, the
name Ἀχαίιδες is applied by Achilles in the Ninth Book to the women of
Hellas and Phthia.

_Local uses of the Achæan name._

It is wonderfully illustrative of the perspicacity and accuracy of
Homer, to find that in this very spot, which he has so especially
marked with the Achæan name, it continued to subsist as a local
appellation, and to subsist here almost exclusively, all through the
historic ages of Greece. On this subject we shall have further occasion
to touch.

2. Of the five races who inhabited Crete at the time of the _Troica_,
one was Achæan[729]:

                ἐν μὲν Ἀχαιοὶ
    ἐν δ’ Ἐτεοκρῆτες μεγαλήτορες, ἐν δὲ Κύδωνες,
    Δωριέες τε τριχάïκες, δῖοί τε Πελασγοί.

The presence of an Achæan tribe in Crete may have been due to its
constant intercourse with Eastern Peloponnesus[730], where the Achæans
had for some time been dominant: or to those relations with Thessaly,
to which the name of Deucalion in Homer bears probable witness. In any
case, the passage clearly establishes the local virtue of the name.
It also exhibits to us Achæans as distinct from Dorians, and shows us
that there were a variety of branches, known to Homer, of the Hellenic
tree. And the enumeration of the Achæan and Pelasgian races with others
in this place, compared with the uniform description in the Iliad of
the whole force of Idomeneus as Cretan, shows us how careful Homer was
to avoid such confusion as the juxtaposition of Achæans and Pelasgians
would have caused with reference to the main ethnical division in the

3. In the Pylian raid of the Eleventh Book, Nestor carefully
distinguishes between the parties, as Epeans, also called Elians, on
the one side, and Pylians, also called Achæans, on the other[731]. This
raid took place in his early youth, perhaps forty or fifty years before
the _Troica_, and within the Achæan epoch. And as he withholds the
Achæan name from the other party, they plainly were not Achæan in the
limited sense. And yet they were Hellenic: for, among other Hellenic
signs, Augeas, the king of the Epeans, was an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. Thus again
we have Achæan fixed as a subdivision, though probably the principal
subdivision, of the Hellenic race.

4. A fourth case, in which the Achæan name appears clearly to have a
limited signification, is in a second passage of the Greek Catalogue,
where a part of the forces of Diomed are described as those,

    οἵ τ’ ἔχον Αἰγίνην, Μάσητά τε, κοῦροι Ἀχαιῶν[732].

Although Mases has been taken to be a town, yet its junction here
with Ægina perhaps rather points to it as an island. It appears to be
admitted that its site is unknown. And an extra-Homeric tradition[733]
reports, that the small islands off the Trœzenian coast were called
after Pelops. It is impossible not to observe the correspondence
between this tradition, and the indirect traditions afforded us by
Homer’s language in this verse. For in the Catalogue he seems carefully
to avoid repeating the general Greek appellatives in connection with
the inhabitants of particular places, and to give them local and
special names only. It follows irresistibly, that therefore he must
be understood here to speak of the distinct race and local name of
Achæans: to which race and name would naturally belong any settlers
brought by Pelops into Southern Greece.

And, as Homer does not discontinue altogether the application of the
Argeian name to the inhabitants of Argolis, he probably in this place
means to distinguish Achæans not only from other Greek races, but even
from other subjects of Tydeus and of Diomed, who would most properly be
called Argeians.

It thus appears, that twice in the Catalogue Homer has occasion to use
the Achæan name locally, and in its original or, so to speak, gentile
sense. And accordingly he has been careful not to risk confusion by
employing it in its wider signification either at the commencement of
the Catalogue or at the close. In both cases he uses the word Δαναοί;
the only one of his great appellatives which nowhere takes a local or
otherwise varied meaning. When he begins he invites the Muse to tell
him, v. 487,

    οἵτινες ἡγεμόνες Δαναῶν καὶ κοίρανοι ἦσαν.

So also at the close, v. 760, he sums up in these words,

    οὗτοι ἀρ’ ἡγεμόνες Δαναῶν καὶ κοίρανοι ἦσαν.

5. As Nestor applies the Achæan name to the inhabitants of Pylos, so
from the time of the Pelopid sway it becomes applicable to those of
Eastern Peloponnesus generally, in a sense wider than that of Il. ii.
562, but yet narrower than the national one. In Il. iv. 384, and Il.
v. 803, those, from among whom Tydeus set out for Thebes, are called
Ἀχαιοί. So also in the colloquy with Glaucus, Diomed calls the comrades
of his father on that occasion by the same name (Il. vi. 223). He
repeats the name in his prayer to Minerva, Il. x. 286, 7; and here he
is careful to distinguish them from the Thebans of that epoch, who are
Καδμεῖοι (288).

_The name Παναχαιοι._

6. In further prosecution of the same subject, we have yet to consider
the force of the kindred Homeric word Παναχαιοί.

This is undoubtedly a term that challenges particular notice. No writer
is so little wont as Homer to vary his expressions without a reason for
it. But since the word Ἀχαιοὶ is used many hundred times as the simple
equipollent of Greek, it cannot require the prefix παν to enable it
to convey this sense effectually. Therefore to suppose that Παναχαιοὶ
means Greeks and nothing more, would render the prefix unmeaning, and
I conclude that such cannot be an adequate explanation of its purpose.
But if we construe the word as having a specific reference not only to
the aggregate, but to the parts of which it is made up, then the prefix
παν becomes abundantly charged with meaning. The word Παναχαιοὶ will in
this view mean what we should call ‘all classes of the Greeks,’ ‘the
Greeks from the highest to the lowest.’

It is used, in all, eleven times. Of these eleven passages, seven times
it appears in the expression ἀριστῆες Παναχαιῶν. Here the preceding
word ἀριστῆες at once directs the mind to this notice of the different
classes, and receives much force from the distinctive particle παν: as
we may judge from the fact that Homer never but once (ἀριστῆες Δαναῶν,
Il. xvii. 225) appends the appellative in its simple form to ἀριστῆες.
The prefix παν seems to strip the idea of conventionality, and to make
it real: the chiefs are the pick and flower of the whole Greek array.

Only in one other passage of the Iliad do we find Παναχαιοί; it is in
the peroration of the speech of Ulysses to Achilles[734]:

    εἰ δέ τοι Ἀτρείδης μὲν ἀπήχθετο κηρόθι μᾶλλον,
    αὐτὸς καὶ τοῦ δῶρα, σὺ δ’ ἄλλους περ Παναχαιοὺς
    τειρομένους ἐλέαιρε κατὰ στρατόν.

‘Still, if you detest (the king) Atrides from your heart ever so
much, him and his gifts, yet pity the Greeks throughout the army, now
suffering from the highest to the lowest.’ The force of the Παναχαιοὶ
κατὰ στρατὸν is here very marked.

Lastly, in the Odyssey we find the line thrice repeated,

    τῷ κέν οἱ τυμβὸν μὲν ἐποίησαν Παναχαιοί,

and always in the same connection with the death of some select and
beloved hero of the army. Its obvious sense is, ‘all classes of the
Greeks would have joined to do him honour, by lending a hand to raise
his funeral mound.’

In every one of these cases therefore the word Παναχαιοὶ seems to
express the combination of all classes, and thus to point distinctly
to the word Ἀχαιοὶ as capable of signifying something less than all
classes, namely, one, that is, the ruling class.

The construction thus put upon Παναχαιοὶ is in conformity with Homer’s
usual mode of employing such words as the adjective πᾶς and the
preposition σὺν in composition. We have previously seen the intensive
force of πᾶς in πᾶν Ἄργος and Πανέλληνες. And πᾶς itself receives
additional power from σύν. As in Il. i., where Achilles, having just
before reminded Calchas of his office as Seer to the Δαναοὶ, proceeds
to assure him that no one of the Greeks shall hurt him for doing his
duty, it is now no one, not of the Δαναοὶ merely, but of the σύμπαντες
Δαναοί; no, not even if he name Agamemnon himself as the guilty

It is hardly necessary to point out how accurately all this coincides
with the general results to which we have been already led. According
to these, the bulk of the Greeks were a Pelasgian population, under the
sway of ruling tribes and families, belonging to another race; among
which the most powerful were those belonging to the Achæan stock; and
whose Argeian name was etymologically, and perhaps practically, a sort
of substitute for the older Pelasgian one.

Nor is there difficulty in conceiving how, if the Achæans became the
dominant race in the most important parts of Greece, they might,
without constituting a numerical majority, give their name to the mass
of the people, and to the country itself, as Britain and Britons became
England and English from the Angles, or as Lombardy took its name from
the Lombards, and, unhappily, European Turkey, once the civil head of
Christendom, from the Turks.

_The Æolid and Æolian names._

It has been customary to speak of the question whether Homer was
an Æolian Greek: to give the Æolian name to the forms of the Greek
language prevailing in his time: and to describe the Achæans as a
branch of the Æolians. With certain exceptions, says Strabo[736], the
Æolian name still prevails outside the Isthmus; and it also covered
the Peloponnesus, till a mixture took place. The Ionians from Attica
had occupied Ægialus; and when the Heraclids, with the Dorians, became
masters of many Peloponnesian cities, the Ionians were expelled in
their turn ὑπὸ Ἀχαιῶν, Αἰολικοῦ ἔθνους, after which two ἔθνη only
remained in Peloponnesus, the Æolian and the Dorian.

Again, as respects the _digamma_, Heyne[737] most justly observes
that it may much more justly be called Pelasgic than Æolic; since the
Æolians, as far as we know, only retained it, after having found it
in use with the Pelasgi. But in general, to those who ground their
judgments on the Homeric text, the whole view of the relation of
Achæans and Æolians, as it is commonly given, will appear a false
one. In the first place the Æolians as a nation or tribe are wholly
post-Homeric: unless we are bold enough to find some modification of
their name in the Αἴτωλοι. The Æolid families, indeed, of Homer have
evidently a great position, which we shall further discuss[738]: but
they simply fall for the time under the general name of Achæans, as
much as any other families, and more than families like the Æacidæ,
who were in close political relations with a race bearing a designation
of its own, namely, the Myrmidons. This nowhere appears to have been
the case with the Æolians. On the contrary, the Neleids, though they
were of illegitimate birth, may perhaps be considered as belonging
to the Æolidæ; but their subjects actually bore the name of Achæans,
besides their territorial name of Pylians[739]. With respect to the
epoch of the _Troica_, instead of calling the Achæans an Æolic race, it
would be more reasonable to call the Æolids (as there was nothing more
extensive than a patronymic connected with that name) Achæan houses. I
do not however mean that they were properly such: for the Æolid name
appears in Southern Greece before the Achæan, and was probably an older
branch from the same trunk.

The subsequent prevalence of the Æolian as compared with the Achæan
name, (the Hellenic, however, overlying and soon absorbing both,)
appears to point to one of two suppositions. Either there was an
original Æolian tribe, which has escaped notice altogether in Homer,
as the Dorians have all but escaped it: or else, and more probably,
it may have happened that part at least of these Æolian houses held
their ground in Greece, while the Achæan name, which had been elevated
by the political predominance of the Pelopid sovereigns, collapsed
upon the loss of that predominance. It was to be expected that the
name should share in the downfall of the race, when the Heraclid and
Dorian invasion expelled the bearers of it from the seat of their
power, and reduced them first to be fugitives, and then to settle in
a mere strip of the Peloponnesus; a single region of narrow scope,
and, as is remarked by Polybius[740] after many centuries, of small
weight and influence, which from them was called Achæa. The fact that
the Dorian name is all but unknown to Homer, while the Achæan one is
at its zenith, not only heroically, as in the Iliad, but in the every
day familiar use of Ithaca throughout the Odyssey, is to me one of
several strong presumptions, not countervailed by any evidence of equal
strength, that Homer could not have lived to see that great revolution,
which so completely effaced the ethnical landmarks, and altered the
condition, of Southern Greece.

_The Heraclids in Homer._

There is certainly a striking analogy between the relation of the Æolid
houses named in Homer to the afterwards prevalent and powerful Æolian
race, and that of the Heraclid families, also named by him, to the
Dorian race, which in like manner grew from obscurity in the Homeric
period to such great after-celebrity. Hercules himself appears before
us in the ancient legend as the great Dorian hero, ‘everywhere paving
the road for his people and their worship, and protecting them from
other races[741].’ The only Heraclids mentioned nominally by Homer are
Tlepolemus, Pheidippus, Antiphus; and there are others without names
specified[742]; none of these, or of the Greeks of the expedition, are
called Dorians, while, again, none of the Heraclids of Homer are called
by the Achæan or Æolid names. They may have been Dorian houses, like
the Æolid houses; and the name may have become tribal afterwards, when
they rose to power. The tradition of the reception of certain Heraclids
in Attica appears to have been recognised by the Lacedæmonians in
the historic ages[743], and in the supposition of a friendship thus
established, we may perhaps find the true explanation of the Decelean
privilege mentioned by Herodotus[744].

In arranging chronologically the Danaan, Argeian, and Achæan names of
Homer, we give the first place to Danaan, and the next to Argeian, so
as to bring the Danaans nearest to the Pelasgi. But the real meaning of
this is simply that the three names were suggested to Homer by three
periods of Greek history, which stand in the order given to the names.
If, however, instead of tracing the purpose of the Poet, we are to look
for ethnical history, then we must state that the Danaan name does not
denote a change of race, but it is a mere foreign affix to the closing
portion of the Pelasgian period. Nor does the Argeian name, if we
suppose it to have been a sort of translation or reconstruction of the
Pelasgian, directly indicate the Hellenic infusion; but the mere fact
of its substitution for a preceding appellation appears to presuppose a
cause. Homer, indeed, gives us no Greek stories of the Danaid period,
so that we do not certainly know that he might not have described the
Greeks of that period also as Argeian. All we can say positively is,
that his use of the Argeian name _de facto_ begins with the epoch of
the first Hellenic throne in Greece, that of the Perseids. I hope to
show that the Achæan name and that of Perseus belong in truth to the
same stock and origin[745]: but it is with the Pelopids only that the
Achæan name appears, and it denotes the second stage of the Hellenic
preponderance, as the Argeian name marks the first, and the Dorian the
third. The first, or Argeian, stage belongs partly, as I believe, to
the house of Perseus, but partly, as is clear from the Homeric text,
to the houses descended from Æolus.

_Descent of the Æolids._

Æolus himself is nowhere mentioned in Homer. The oldest Αἰολίδαι given
to us as such are Sisyphus and Cretheus. The patronymic does not of
itself enable us to determine whether these were sons of Æolus, or were
more remotely descended from him. But indirectly we may perhaps be
enabled to fix his date, as follows:

1. Bellerophon the grandson of Sisyphus[746], is called by the
contemporary Lycian king, the offspring of the deity, that is, of

    γίγνωσκε θεοῦ γόνον ἠῢν ἐόντα[747].

The meaning of this can only be that the person, whom Homer has
indicated as the founder of the race, namely Æolus, was a reputed son
of Jupiter.

2. In the Νεκυΐα of the Eleventh Odyssey we are introduced to Tyro, the
daughter of Salmoneus, and the wife of Cretheus[748]. She is decorated
with the epithet εὐπατέρεια, never given elsewhere by Homer except to
Helen, and apparently an equivalent with him for Διὸς ἐκγεγαυῖα.

It is by no means unlikely, I would venture to suggest, that a similar
force may lie in the epithet Salmoneus, who is here called ἀμύμων.
That epithet is indeed sometimes applied on the ground of personal
character. But Homer also gives it to the villain Ægisthus, which
appears quite inexplicable except on the ground of the divine descent
of the Pelopids[749]. The later tradition has loaded Salmoneus with
the crime of audacious profanity: and it has also, beginning with
Hesiod[750], made him a son of Æolus. The word ἀμύμων, combined with
the εὐπατέρεια of Tyro, leaves little room for doubt that perhaps both,
and certainly the latter of these representations are agreeable to the
sense of Homer. If so, then Tyro was a granddaughter of Æolus; and we
can at once fix his date from Homer, as follows:

  1. Æolus.
  2. Salmoneus, Od. xi. 235-7.
  3. Tyro = Cretheus, ibid.
  4. Pheres, Od. xi. 259.
  5. Admetus, Il. ii. 711-15, 763.
  6. Eumelus, ibid. and Od. iv. 798.

From which last cited passage I set down Eumelus as the contemporary
of his brother-in-law Ulysses, and half a generation senior to the
standard age of the war.

We have also the collateral line of Sisyphus from Æolus as follows: 1.
Sisyphus; 2. Glaucus (1); 3. Bellerophon; 4. Hippolochus; 5. Glaucus
(2), contemporary with the war[751]. According to this table Sisyphus
might be either the son or the grandson of Æolus.

And again, Cretheus, who like Sisyphus is Αἰολίδης, may have been
either the uncle or the cousin of his wife Tyro. The Fragment of Hesiod
would make both him and Sisyphus sons of Æolus, and therefore uncles to

These genealogies are in perfect keeping with what Homer tells us of
the Neleid line. Tyro, he says, fell in love with Enipeus. In the
likeness of that river, Neptune had access to her, and she bore to
him two sons, Pelias and Neleus. Neleus is the father of Nestor: and
Nestor stands one generation senior to Eumelus; for he was in his third
tri-decadal period[752], if the expression may be allowed, during the
action of the Iliad. Thus we have (as before), 3. Tyro; 4. Neleus; 5.
Nestor; 6. Nestor. The maternal genealogy of Eumelus brings us exactly
to the same point: for Alcestis, the daughter of Pelias, was married to
his father Admetus[753].

Thus the Æolid genealogies are laid down by Homer with great clearness,
except as to the first interval, and with a singular self-consistency.
Perseus[754], as we have seen, belongs to the fifth generation before
the war. This is nearly the same with Sisyphus, and with Cretheus: and
we are thus enabled to determine with tolerable certainty the epoch of
the first Hellenic infusion into Greece. It precedes the arrival of
Portheus in Ætolia by one generation, and that of Pelops by two.

Of Sisyphus we know from Homer, that he lived at an Ephyre on or near
the Isthmus of Corinth. It is not so clear whether Cretheus ever came
into the Peloponnesus. There is an Enipeus of Elis: but there is also
one[755] of Thessaly, which was doubtless its original. The name,
however, of the Thessalian stream appears to have been written Eniseus.
Nitzsch[756] determines, on insufficient grounds as far as I can judge,
that the passage of Od. xi. cannot mean the Enipeus of Pisatis. I can
find no conclusive evidence either way: but Sisyphus was certainly in
Southern Greece at or before this time, so that we need not wonder
if Cretheus, another Æolid, was there also. His reputed son Neleus
founded, without doubt, the kingdom of Pylos. Post-Homeric tradition
places even Salmoneus, the father of Tyro, in Elis.

_Earliest Hellenic thrones in Greece._

We have now before us an outline of the first entrance of Hellic
elements into Greece, south of Thessaly. It seems to have been effected
by five families;

1. The house of Perseus.

2. That of Sisyphus.

3. The illegitimate line of Cretheus, or the Neleids.

4. Probably the legitimate line of Salmoneus, represented in Augeas.

5. Next to these will come Portheus, the head of the Œneidæ in Ætolia:
and only then follows the great house of the Pelopids, not alone, but
in conjunction with a race, to whose history we now must turn.

Of the Danaid and Perseid princes we have no reason to suppose, that
they enjoyed the extended power which was wielded by Agamemnon. Not
only would they appear to have been circumscribed, latterly at least,
by the Minoan empire founded in Crete, but Homer gives us no intimation
that their dominion at any time included the possession of a supremacy
over a number of subordinate princes beyond their own immediate
borders, or reached beyond the territory which may be generally
described as the Eastern Peloponnesus.

A direct inference bearing on this subject may be obtained from the
passage concerning the sceptre of Agamemnon[757]: for the Pelopids do
not succeed to that of Eurystheus and the Perseids, but they hold from
Jupiter: which seems to imply that they acquired much more, than had
been under the sway of their predecessors. Probably therefore we shall
do well to conclude that Eurystheus, for example, had a limited realm,
and that by land only: Agamemnon, a certain supremacy by land and sea,
within the range of which the old Minoan empire had now fallen. Still
the kingdom of Eurystheus was probably in its own day the greatest, and
was also probably the oldest, of all properly Hellenic kingdoms.

If, then, neither of the prior dynasties of Danaus and Perseus reigned
over all Greece, it is unlikely that either of them could give a name
to the whole nation: though they might give a name to the part of
the country which, having in their time been particularly famous and
powerful, became under the Pelopids a metropolis, supreme throughout
the rest of the country; and whose people then not only took the name
of Ἀχαιοὶ for itself, but extended it over the whole of Greece.

_Use of the Danaan and Argeian names poetical._

It is thus more than probable that the scope of the name Danai, (if
we are to assume that it was then a name in actual use,) under the
Danaids, and of the name Ἀργεῖοι under the Perseids, was local, and
confined in the main to Eastern Peloponnesus, where those princes
ruled; with the addition of any other parts of the country, over which
they might for the time have extended their power. And if so, then
we have to suppose that Homer, having received the traditions of the
Danaan and Argeian princes as having been at the head in their own time
of Greek history or legend, gave to the nation by way of a poetical
name, but of a poetical name only, the appellation which their subjects
respectively had borne, and which had never before been, and never
became by any other title than his poetical authority, applicable to
all the Greeks.

The Achæan name, on the other hand, differs from these, first, in
denoting the extension of a particular race, though not over the whole
country, yet through very many of its parts, and secondly, in the
fact that the ruling house of those who bore the name enjoyed a real
political supremacy over both the continent and the islands. So that it
became the most legitimate exponent of Greek nationality, until it had
lost both its extension and its power; the one by compression of its
principal tribes into a narrow space: the other by the transfer of its
political prerogatives to the great Dorian family of the Spartan kings,
after the conquest of the Heraclidæ.

When the Achæans had ceased to predominate, there could be no reason
why their name should remain stamped upon their brethren, who boasted
of the same descent, and who had attained to greater force.

As in the Homeric times, while the Achæans were the leaders of Greece,
they might claim to represent the whole Hellenic stock, so, when the
Dorians had dethroned them and occupied the seat of power, when the
Æolian name was widely diffused, and, again, when Athens with its mixed
race became great, and claimed, along with its vaunts of antiquity and
continuity, to pass over, as Herodotus says, to the Hellenic class,
but without an Achæan descent, then the Achæan name could no longer
adequately represent the title to nationality, and the various races
naturally fell back on the designation which gave no exclusive right
or preeminence to any of them, and which they were all entitled to
enjoy in common. They apparently however chose to be connected with the
rich plains of Thessaly, where they first learned civilization, and
organized their collective or national life, rather than with the rude
and coarse manners of their more remote ancestors in the hills. They
were therefore not Helli, but Hellenes.

This may be considered as the _rationale_ of the common and palpably
manufactured tradition respecting Hellen and his family, of which we
have the earliest form in Hesiod.

_Summary of the Evidence._

Our conclusions respecting the names by which Homer describes the
inhabitants of Greece may now be summed up as follows:

1. We set out from the point at which Greece is, probably for the first
time, settled by a race given to tillage and pacific habits, under
the general name of Pelasgians, with subdivision under minor names of
particular tribes, or partially and locally intermixed with fragments
of other races.

2. A dynasty of foreign origin, in a portion of Greece which then
became, and ever after continued to be most famous, leads the march of
events; and, apparently without displacing the Pelasgians themselves,
yet seems to have displaced, in a certain quarter, the Pelasgic by
the Danaan name; at any rate, it attains to such celebrity, that its
history, in the eye of Homer, fills the whole breadth of its own epoch,
and its name stands in after time, poetically at least, for a national

3. An Hellenic dynasty of Perseids, belonging to the Greek Peninsula,
follows this dynasty; and, effacing the trace of foreign rule, governs
its subjects under the Argeian or Argive name; which, without reviving
the title of the Pelasgi, a word now becoming or become subordinate,
yet like that title is founded on the physical character of the regions
in which the population was settled, and upon the employments suited

4. Next appears upon the scene the Achæan name, which bears no mark of
relationship to the soil, or to any particular employment, or to any
particular eponymist, but appears to be the designation of a race, not
indeed foreign, yet new to the Peloponnesus.

5. A warlike and highly gifted race gradually pervade different parts
of Greece under this name: the Pelopids, its ruling family, possessing
themselves of the throne of the Perseids, attain, perhaps through the
extended sympathy of Achæan blood, to a national supremacy. The Achæans
are, in fact, become the Greeks of the Troic age. They include Æolids
and Æacids, Argives, Bœotians, Ætolians, Epeans, Abantes, Dorians,
Arcadians, Ionians, and all the other local tribes, as well as the mass
of old Pelasgians, who constitute the working population (so to speak)
of the country; some of them by virtue of blood, and the rest by that
political union, in which the Achæans had an undisputed ascendancy.

6. All the characteristics of this race, social and religious, and its
close geographical proximity to, if not indeed its identity with, the
first-named or Myrmidon Hellenes of Homer, appear to derive it from the
North, to dissociate it from the Pelasgic, and to unite it with the
Hellic stock.

7. Time passes on; we lose the guiding hand of Homer; but universal
tradition assures us that the Dorians, emerging, like those who had
preceded them, from the cradle of the nation, lead another and the last
great Hellenic migration southward; the Pelopids are driven from the
throne of that which may be termed the metropolitan region of Greece;
they migrate to an inferior seat, with their followers, and become the
obscure heads of a secondary State: and the name of Hellenes, belonging
to all the great Greek tribes in common, whether of Achæan, Æolid, or
Dorian blood or connection, becomes the grand historical designation of
the nation at large.

8. After perhaps eight hundred years of fame and freedom for Hellas,
the iron hand of Roman power descends upon her at a time when the old
Achæan name has revived by means of a democratic confederacy, and has
once more overspread[758] the Peloponnesus. From this time, Hellas
takes her place in history only as a minor portion of the Roman empire,
even while, by an inward process, she is asserting her intellectual
supremacy[759], and moulding the literature and philosophy of her
conquerors. But to them politically she is no more than an appendage of
the _Magna Græcia_, whose glory it is to be a part of imperial Italy,
and whose name the land of Homer’s song must now assume in virtue of a
double relationship; the first, that of their common social base, the
old Pelasgi, of whom the Greeks (Γραïκοὶ) were probably a part; and the
second, that of a more recent colonization. Thus the Graic or Greek
name, having existed, but never having emerged to what may be called
visibility in Hellas, travels round to it again by the route of Italy,
and finally becomes predominant in this its earliest seat.

Of this intermixture and succession of names dependent on the fusion of
races, and on political supremacy, we have sufficient example in our
own island. It has been inhabited by Britons, Romans, Angles, Saxons,
Jutes, Danes, and Normans. All came more or less as conquerors, one
following upon the other. But two names only have left their mark,
Britons and Angles: all the others, including the last or Norman
conquerors, are submerged. So it has been with the succession of
Pelasgians, Achæans, Hellenes, Greeks. Each of these names historically
superseded the one before it. Apart from them, by the high privilege
of Poetry, stand their names in another combination: the Iliad
and Odyssey shew us Danaans, Argeians, and Achæans, as in the main
synonymous before Troy: yet each with its own leaning, which makes
Δαναοὶ most properly and by preference ‘the soldiery,’ Ἀργεῖοι, ‘the
masses,’ and Ἀχαιοὶ, ‘the chiefs.’

It still remains to observe the immediately subsequent literary history
of these three great appellatives, which the _fiat_ of Homer made so

Hesiod and the minor Greek poets afford us the only satisfactory
illustration of actual usage, because the tragedians may probably have
sought, in treating heroic subjects, to employ the nomenclature of the
heroic age. The other poets spoke, of course, according to their own
respective ages.

In Hesiod we do not find Δαναοὶ at all: Ἀργεῖος only in the singular
for Juno: Ἀχαιοὶ is once used for the Greeks collectively, in a
retrospective passage referring to the assembly at Aulis[760]. He uses
Πανέλληνες[761] in the same poem with the same sense. An important
passage of Strabo[762] testifies, that both Hesiod and Archilochus were
acquainted with the use of the names Ἕλληνες and Πανέλληνες for the
Greeks at large; and refers to works of theirs, now lost, by way of
example as to the latter term. Both Ἕλλας and Ἕλληνες are freely used
in Simonides, who also has Ἀργεῖοι for the Argives only. And generally
these old writers, coming next after Hesiod, knew nothing of the use of
Ἀργεῖοι, or even of Ἀχαιοὶ, for the whole nation, while the word Δαναοὶ
is not found in them at all.

This is strongly confirmatory, as it appears to me, of the propositions
I have endeavoured to establish.

Among the tragedians the name Ἀχαιὸς, with its derivatives, used to
some extent by Æschylus, progressively declines: the Danaan name holds
its ground rather better, and Ἀργεῖος better still; though all are
eclipsed by the great historical name of Hellenes, which probably had
enjoyed an undisputed prevalence from the time of the Dorian conquest.
Thus, for poetical use, dealing with the events and characters of the
heroic age, they properly fall back upon the names which Homer employed.

_Its value as primitive history._

From these successions of name, whether the particular appellation be
founded upon lineage or upon physical incidents, it is not unreasonable
to hold that we may draw the outlines of a primitive history, at least
with more confidence and satisfaction than by efforts to compound and
piece together the miscellaneous and promiscuous traditions of many
ages and places, set wide apart from one another; in respect to which,
even where we have not to lament the gnawing power of Time, we, at
least, know that the faculties both of exaggeration and of invention,
stimulated by vanity, rivalry, and self-interest in many other forms,
have been at work. It is better to deal with slighter relics, of which
we know the _bona fides_, than with an abundance of such as have been
falsified. Besides, when we have effectually exhausted the power of
the first, we may much more profitably use the subsidiary lights which
the second will afford us. And the tendency of an attempt to invest
the Homeric text with an unequivocal supremacy, is to substitute for
complete and symmetrical systems, in which the hewn stone and the trash
are not distinguishable one from another, very slight and partial
indeed, but yet authoritative fragments and outlines, all the intervals
of which are filled up by avowed conjecture. This conjecture is
without a pretence to authority properly so called, but it is, at any
rate, both kept visibly apart from what is authoritative, and likewise
founded upon the suggestions which even fragmentary testimony, when
genuine and near the source, is well qualified to make.

And the succession of names is in effect of itself almost a political
history. For the names of nations are not arbitrarily changed, though
such things have been done to particular cities within the dominion of
particular states. The names of races, especially of races disposed,
like the Greeks, to knit themselves closely with the past, are
cherished as a material portion of their patrimony. When they alter,
it is for some great and commanding political reason. Such as, for
example, if some tribe or family, previously not advanced beyond its
fellows, in some great national exigency becomes invested with the
responsibility of acting for the whole body, and thus grows to be as
well its representative and organ in all external relations, as also
the representative of its inward life: or when some conquering dynasty
and host have by the strong hand entered in upon prior occupants of
the soil, and, reducing them to dependence or to servitude more or
less qualified, or narrowing the circle of their possessions, have
taken into their own custody, together with the best lands of the
country, the whole range of public affairs, and have imposed laws
upon the vanquished, and imparted to them manners. In this case, the
different elements are welded into a political unity, by a power
proceeding from that race which among them has possessed the greater
physical and martial force. But unless there be more than the merely
convulsive effort of conquest, unless deep roots be struck into the
soil, and sharper furrows drawn upon it than the spear alone can
carve, or than the wave of a mere deluge traces, unless, in a word,
there be a predominant organizing faculty, the effect will not be
permanent; and the crude mass of mere strength will sink down amid the
surrounding milder, but more enduring and more prevailing impulses.
In some instances it has been so: the body, which has been stronger
in the hand, has proved weaker in the intellectual and moral, that
is to say, the enduring, elements of power. The undying yet daily
influences and sympathies of peace wear down the convulsive vibrations,
which the shock of war and conquest have communicated to the social
fabric. Victory must end in possession, like toil in sleep. Possession
implies the dispersion of the conquerors, and, in such cases as these,
their free intermixture with the vanquished. Ties of neighbourhood,
of commerce, of marriage, ties belonging to all the transactions of
life, are gradually multiplied between the new comers and the old;
and by a gentle process, experience and opinion gradually decide, not
imperiously in the spirit of party, but insensibly for the benefit of
all, what laws, what manners, what language[763], what religion shall
predominate. The fate of the name follows that of the institutions and
habits with which it was connected; and the old designation prevails
ultimately over the new, or the new over the old, in proportion as the
older inhabitants have contributed a larger or a smaller share towards
the common national life resulting from the combination; in proportion
as the newly arrived receive more of impression than they impart, or
impart more than they receive.


[613] Strabo, pp. 372, 383.

[614] Il. ii. 494. xiii. 685. vid. sup. p. 243.

[615] Il. iv. 385. 191.

[616] Il. xi. 670-761.

[617] v. 759.

[618] Inf. p. 392.

[619] Od. iv. 184, 296.

[620] See inf. sect. ix.

[621] Il. vi. 292. Od. xxii. 227.

[622] Il. iii. 199 et alibi.

[623] Il. iii. 236. Od. xi. 298.

[624] Inf. pp. 410, 11.

[625] Od. v. 333.

[626] Il. xiv. 319.

[627] Il. xix. 116.

[628] Il. ii. 108.

[629] Inf. sect. x.

[630] Od. xi. 271.

[631] See inf. sect. ix.

[632] Fragm. of the Danais, Düntzer, Fragm. der Epischen Poesie, p. 3.
It has been argued by E. Curtius (_Ionier vor der Ionischen Wanderung_,
pp. 11-13), that there were settlers on the Egyptian sea-board,
belonging to the Ionian race, and to the same stock with the Hellenes.
From among such settlers, whether Ionian or not, it seems likely that
the immigrants from Egypt to Greece might have proceeded.

[633] Il. vi. 158.

[634] Hes. Fragm. lviii. and Scut. Herc. 216. 229.

[635] Sup. sect. iii.

[636] Eurip. Ar. Fr. ii. 7.

[637] Od. i. 344.

[638] Il. ii. 108.

[639] Il. iii. 75, 258.

[640] Il. vi. 224.

[641] Il. vii. 363.

[642] Il. xii. 70.

[643] Il. i. 254, and vii. 124.

[644] Il. xi. 770.

[645] Od. xi. 166 and 481. See also Od. xxiii. 68.

[646] Od. xiii. 249.

[647] Od. xxi. 107.

[648] Od. xv. 223.

[649] Od. xv. 238.

[650] See also Il. xiii. 378. Od. xv. 224, 239.

[651] Il. ix. 141, 283.

[652] Il. xix. 115.

[653] Od. iii. 249.

[654] It is curious that Strabo should say in viii. 6, that Homer often
marks Ἄργος by the epithet ἵππιον, as well as ἱππόβοτον, when the
former word does not occur at all in the Homeric Poems.

[655] Il. xv. 332.

[656] Od. xi. 281. E. Curtius (‘Ionier,’ p. 22 et seqq.) connects
Iasus, Amphion, Iaolkos, Jason, with the Ionian race.

[657] Il. vi. 224.

[658] Il. ii. 530.

[659] Strabo viii. p. 371.

[660] Heyne on Il. i. 270. Buttmann Lexil. in voc. Crusius ad locc.

[661] Suppl. 277.

[662] See Scott and Liddell, in voc. Damm Lex. Hom. in voc. Crusius Il.
xxiii. 30. Nitzsch on Od. ii. 11, and Hermann quoted by him.

[663] Orchomenus und die Minyer, p. 119. See also E. Curtius ‘Ionier,’
p. 17.

[664] Strabo found in his own time, and has reported it as the custom
of the ‘moderns,’ that the Argive plain passed by the name of Ἄργος,
and not the city only.

[665] Cramer’s Greece, i. 197. 385. ii. 10. Strabo ix. p. 440.

[666] Il. xxiv. 437.

[667] Od. iv. 606.

[668] Il. v. 196. viii. 560.

[669] Grote’s Hist.

[670] See _Museum Criticum_, vol. i. p. 536, and Marsh’s Horæ
Pelasgicæ, p. 70.

[671] Steph. Lex.

[672] Carm. I. vii. 15.

[673] See Nitzsch on Od. i. 38 for his etymology of Argeiphontes; but
not for his etymology of Argus, which he simply refers to Argos.

[674] Soph. Fr. 288.

[675] Od. viii. 578.

[676] In loc.

[677] Il. ii. 110, 256. xv. 733. xii. 419.

[678] Sup. p. 353, 4.

[679] Il. i. 196.

[680] Inf. p. 417.

[681] Od. xi. 45.

[682] Il. iv. 52.

[683] Od. iv. 35.

[684] Od. iv. 515.

[685] Il. vi. 158.

[686] Il. xix. 122.

[687] Il. xxiii. 470.

[688] Od. iii. 309.

[689] Il. xiv. 115.

[690] Ov. Met. ix. 96.

[691] Gen. iii. 1.

[692] See inf. p. 410.

[693] Sup. p. 357.

[694] See inf. sect. ix.

[695] Il. i. 2, 12, 15, 17, 22.

[696] Il. i. 42.

[697] Il. i. 81.

[698] See sup. p. 380.

[699] Hist. Gr. Lit. xv. 5. vol. ii. p. 77.

[700] Il. i. 15, 22.

[701] i. 26-32.

[702] i. 42.

[703] i. 118.

[704] ii. 354.

[705] Il. i. 123, 127.

[706] i. 237.

[707] i. 78.

[708] iii. 167, 226.

[709] Od. x. 14.

[710] Od. iii. 188, 9.

[711] Od. xiv. 96.

[712] Od. xxiv. 377, and 205-7.

[713] Od. xvi. 118.

[714] Od. xix. 394.

[715] Od. iv. 798.

[716] Od. xvii. 205-7.

[717] Od. ix. 22.

[718] Od. xviii. 299.

[719] Od. xxii. 243.

[720] Od. xxi. 210. xxiv. 354. 377. 428.

[721] Od. i. 394. 401. ii. 87. 90. 106. 112. 115. xviii. 301, et alibi.

[722] Od. ii. 51. xvi. 122.

[723] Od. ii. 386. xv. 545.

[724] Od. xvi. 114.

[725] Od. xxiv. 463.

[726] Od. ii. 7.

[727] Od. viii. 11.

[728] Il. ii. 624.

[729] Od. xix. 175-7.

[730] Il. iii. 232.

[731] Il. xi. 671, 94, 732, 7. xi. 687, 724, 37, 53, 59.

[732] Il. ii. 562.

[733] Pausanias ii. 321.

[734] Il. ix. 300.

[735] Il. i. 85-91.

[736] B. viii. c. 1. p. 333.

[737] Hom. Il. vol. vii. p. 711.

[738] See inf. sect. ix.

[739] Sup. p. 352.

[740] Polyb. b. ii. c. 38.

[741] Müller, Dorians, ii. 11. 6.

[742] Il. ii. 653. 665. 678. v. 628.

[743] Müller ii. 11. 10.

[744] Sup. p. 88.

[745] Inf. sect. x.

[746] Il. vi. 154, 5.

[747] Ibid. 191.

[748] Od. xi. 235-7.

[749] Inf. sect. ix.

[750] Fragm. xxviii.

[751] Il. vi. 154, 197, 206.

[752] Il. i. 250.

[753] Il. ii. 714.

[754] Sup. p. 364.

[755] Thuc. iv. 78.

[756] On Od. iii. 4.

[757] Il. ii. 101-8.

[758] Polyb. ii. c. 38.

[759] Hor. Ep. II. i. 156. _Græcia capta ferum victorem cepit._

[760] Ἔργα, ii. 269.

[761] Ibid. ii. 146.

[762] Strabo, viii. 6. p. 370.

[763] The mode of this process, with reference to language, is
beautifully exhibited for the case of Spain, in Ticknor’s Spanish
Literature, Appendix A. (vol. iii.)


_On the Homeric title ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν._

_Difference between Epithets and Titles._

Both in modern society, and in the forms of modern language, the
distinction is a familiar one, which separates between descriptive
affixes or epithets, and titles properly so called.

A descriptive affix, be it substantive, like Δαναοὶ αἰχμηταὶ, or
adjective, like Δαναοὶ φιλοπτόλεμοι, describes a quality, and
challenges from the reader, like any other phrase conveying an idea,
assent to the justice of its description. These descriptive affixes
have a tendency, from repeated use, to grow into _formulæ_, and then at
length they approximate to the nature of titles.

But a title is quite a different thing from a descriptive affix. A
title is the current coin of language, which is intended to pass from
mouth to mouth without examination. It is like a pronoun, having for
its office simply to indicate, or to stand for, a particular person. It
is the index of a rank or office, a thing determinate in its nature,
like an unit of number: and it has no relation, when once fixed as a
title, to personal character, though in its origin it may have been
founded on the real or presumed existence of personal qualities. Like a
descriptive affix, a title may be either adjective, as ‘most noble,’ or
substantive, as ‘marquis.’

Titles evidently presume a certain progress in the organization of
political society; while descriptive epithets must be used, in order to
meet the purposes of human speech, even in its first stages.

This degree of progress must have been attained in the time of Homer;
for the use of titles in the poems, as well as of descriptive
epithets, can be clearly made out.

Among the descriptive epithets of Homer we find, of substantives,
ἡγεμόνες, ἀριστῆες, and also βασιλεῖς, ἀοιδοί. Of adjectives, applied
to classes, σκηπτοῦχοι (βασιλῆες), ὑπερμενέες (βασιλῆες), θεῖοι
(ἀοιδοί): and applied to persons, ἐχεφρὼν Πηνελόπεια, Τηλέμαχος
πεπνυμένος, πολύμητις Ὀδύσσευς: and many more.

In modern phraseology, duke, earl, baron, knight, esquire, are titles:
nobles, clergy, freeholders, burgesses, are descriptive phrases. Of a
descriptive epithet or affix which has grown to be a title, we may find
instances among those just cited; knight (_knecht_) meant originally
a servant, then a person performing particular service to the king;
and esquire (_scudiero_, _écuyer_) meant a person who bore the arms
of a knight, particularly his shield. In process of time these became
titles. Again, words may hang doubtfully upon the confine between title
and epithet; as the much criticised expressions of the English Common
Prayer Book, ‘(our) most religious and gracious (king).’

We find in Homer that the word βασιλεὺς, a king, had already begun to
pass from the function of a mere descriptive word towards that of a
title; for, though rarely, he attaches it to the names of individuals,
besides freely using it without them; and it is an usual note of
titles properly so called, that they can, even if substantives, either
be combined with the name of the person, or, in addressing them,
substituted for it. In the Iliad we find Ἀλεξάνδρῳ βασιλῆι, and in the
Odyssey Ἔχετον βασιλῆα. Again, we find βασίλεια used in the Odyssey in
the vocative[764], which in like manner marks it as a title.

The word ἄναξ, again, in Homer, which must on no account be confounded
with βασιλεὺς[765], is commonly a descriptive epithet, nearly
equivalent to our word _lord_, and, like it, having an extraordinary
elasticity of sense; for as a person may now be lord, so he might then
be ἄναξ, of a kingdom, a people, a field, a mine, a slave, a horse,
or a dog. Instances are countless. Sometimes the meaning is lord, or
master, relatively to a particular object, as of the horses of Nestor,

    οἱ δὲ ἄνακτος ὑποδδείσαντες ὁμοκλὴν....[766]

Sometimes it means in the abstract a class of persons,

    οἷοί τε ἀνάκτων παῖδες ἔασιν.[767]

where the ἀνάκτων παῖδες nearly corresponds with our ‘children of the
higher orders,’ i.e. the masters of slaves.

On the other hand, in reference to the immortals, ἄναξ is sometimes a
title: as in Il. xvi. 233,

    Ζεῦ ἄνα, Δωδώναιε, Πελασγικέ.

_Examples of titles._

There are, however, in Homer various words which are undoubtedly and
uniformly titular. Such are in particular the adjectives Διοτρεφὴς
and Διογενὴς, which are very nearly equivalent in power to the phrase
‘Royal Highness’ of the present day. They commonly accompany the name
of the individual, or of the class, to which they belong: and they are
confined, with one single exception, in the Iliad, to persons of the
highest known rank, that of βασιλεὺς or king. The exception is Phœnix,
who is in one place addressed by Achilles as γέραιε Διοτρεφές. But
Achilles says this χαριζόμενος, when petting and coaxing the old man,
and therefore the instance does not destroy the force of the general

In one place we have ὁ Διογενὴς[768] used for Achilles in the third
person without his name: which still more strikingly marks the word
as a title. Also Διοτρεφὴς is not unfrequently used in the vocative,
without, as well as with, the name of the person to whom it is
addressed. It may possibly be worth notice, that these words, Διοτρεφὴς
and Διογενὴς, are never applied to Agamemnon, as if they had, again
like the phrase ‘Royal Highness,’ a limit upwards as well as downwards,
and were not applicable to the supreme head of the nation. There is
indeed one passage where Agamemnon is addressed as Διοτρεφὴς, but it is
in the universally suspected[769] νεκυΐα of the Twenty-fourth Odyssey.
Plainly this fact cannot be referred to metrical considerations, even
as to Διοτρεφὴς, because either in the genitive, or in the vocative,
it would easily have been made available: especially in the latter
inflexion, for Agamemnon is addressed vocatively some five and twenty
times in the poems. I admit that Ulysses may allude to him in the line,

    θυμὸς δὲ μέγας ἐστὶ Διοτρεφέος βασιλῆος[770].

But the phrase here is more abstract than personal: it is perhaps as we
should say, ‘our royal master.’

The word βασιλεὺς may have borne originally a merely descriptive
character. But it has only partial traces of that character still
adhering to it, as it is used in the Iliad. The chief note of such a
sense, that I can find, is, that it is used in the comparative and
superlative to distinguish the Pelopid house from the other kings.
Agamemnon is βασιλεύτατος, Il. ix. 69, and Menelaus is evidently
intended in the βασιλεύτερος of Il. x. 239; where Diomed is bidden to
choose the best man, irrespectively of rank, and not to tie himself to
the βασιλεύτερος.

As the Odyssey represents a period of political disorganization,
brought about by the long absence of the chiefs, it is not surprising
that we find the word βασιλεὺς, and its proper epithet Διοτρεφὴς, used
in this poem with greater laxity. The βασιλῆες and the Διοτρεφεῖς[771],
are here not the kings but the aristocracy of Scheria, and of the
dominions of Ulysses: and it is a compliment paid to Telemachus by
Theoclymenus, when he says[772],

    ὑμετέρου δ’ οὐκ ἔστι γένος βασιλεύτερον ἄλλο
    ἐν δημῷ Ἰθάκης.

Yet even here the special and official sense of βασιλεὺς remains: no
one is ever called individually a βασιλεὺς unless he is on the throne,
though Antinous is said to resemble one of the king-class,

    βασιλῆι γὰρ ἀνδρὶ ἔοικας[773].

And the same Antinous sarcastically expresses his hope, that Jupiter
will not make Telemachus βασιλεὺς in Ithaca, notwithstanding his right
of succession by birth[774]. If βασιλεὺς only indicated a certain
station, Telemachus without doubt was βασιλεὺς already.

The sense proper to it in Homer is that in which, for some thousands of
years, it appears to have maintained a world-wide celebrity.

_Common interpretations of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν._

And now as respects the constructions which have been put upon the
phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. It is not noticed by Heyne or by Crusius. Of the
translators I have already spoken. As regards the Lexicographers,
Scott and Liddell say ‘Agamemnon _as general-in-chief_ is specially
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, while Orsilochos is called ἄναξ ἄνδρεσσιν in Il. v.
546;’ but the phrase is πολέεσσ’ ἄνδρεσσιν ἄνακτα, which I take to be
simply equivalent to ἀνάσσοντα, and to have no relation to a phrase or

Damm[775] says it indicates supreme dignity united with military

Again; Mure[776] remarks, that in common with ποιμὴν λαῶν and κρείων,
‘it denotes the office of any king or chieftain, but more particularly
that of a supreme ruler or commander.’

That these explanations are entirely beside the mark, I am convinced
after a somewhat minute consideration.

In answer to Damm, I would observe that the phrase was applied to
Æneas, who was a commander, but not a sovereign: it was applied to
Anchises, who was a sovereign, but not a commander; it was applied to
Eumelus, who was neither a sovereign, nor a warrior of any note, and
who commanded no more than eleven ships.

It does not then depend upon the highest degree either of military or
of civil elevation.

Nor does it in all cases attach to divine descent, even though that
descent be from Jupiter; nor even if it be immediate or next to
immediate: as among the living, Sarpedon the son of Jupiter has it not,
neither has Polypœtes his grandson (Il. ii. 740). So, among the dead,
it is not given either to Hercules or to Rhadamanthus[777], sons of
Jupiter. If, as is probable, reputed extraction from Jupiter in all
cases attached to it, it was a remote and not a near extraction, and
thus the title was the ornament of an antique lineage; certainly divine
descent was not the immediate qualification for the particular dignity.

I do not dispute, that an idea of divine descent attaches generally and
immediately to sovereigns as such, at least in the Iliad. But this is
represented by the words Διοτρεφὴς and Διογενὴς, as they bear witness
by their etymology, and not by ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. Indeed we seem to find the
word Διοτρεφὴς used for heaven-born, without reference to political
power, in that line of the Odyssey (v. 378), where Neptune applies it
to the Phæacians:

    εἰσόκεν ἀνθρώποισι Διοτρεφέεσσι μιγείης.

But of those Homeric titles which are specifically Greek, by far the
most remarkable is the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.

_Particulars of its use._

It is used by the Poet fifty-two times: fifty times in the Iliad, twice
only in the Odyssey.

It is applied forty-six times to Agamemnon, and six times to five other
persons, once for each in four cases, and twice in one. The persons are,

  Eumelus, a living Greek.

  Augeias,  }
            } dead Greeks.
  Euphetes, }

  Anchises, }
            } living Trojans.
  Æneas,    }

It appears and perishes with Homer, not being found in the writings of
any other Greek author.

It is never used in any of the cases, except the nominative: never
separated from the proper name of the person to whom it is applied,
except once (Il. i. 7), and then only by the particle τε: it always
precedes the name except in that single passage: it always ends with
the first half of the fifth foot of the verse, except in that same
passage: and again, the word ἄναξ is never separated from the word
ἀνδρῶν, except once in the Odyssey by the word δέ.

It is applied to no person whose name does not begin with a vowel,
and to no person whose name is not of the metrical value necessary
to enable it to form the last foot and a half of the hexameter: as,
Agamemnon, of two short syllables and two long ones; Euphetes, three
long ones; Eumelus, two long and one short. Circumstances, these last,
which, if they stood alone, would raise a presumption that the use of
it was determined by metrical considerations only.

That metrical considerations had some degree of influence on the use of
phrases in Homer, we may sufficiently judge, by observing that while
Homer uses the name of Achæans four times for that of Argeians once, he
uses the forms Ἀχαίοισι and Ἀχαίοισιν but twelve times, whereas he uses
Ἀργείοισι and Ἀργείοισιν more than sixty times.

But we may observe that no metrical considerations could have prevented
Homer from applying the phrase to Diomedes, Polypœtes, or others, whose
names differ from that of Agamemnon only in having a consonant at the
beginning of them: and yet he has not done this: the names of all his
six ἄνακτες ἀνδρῶν begin with a vowel. Thus as he restrains himself
beyond what metre requires, he may have had some reason other than
metre to govern his use of the title.

The question is, whether there are, evidently or probably, other
conditions of substance, which, besides these of sound, meet in the
persons designated by the title, and which enable us to trace and fix
its purport?

With reference to Mure’s explanation I observe, that it does not
appear to take account of the difference between descriptive words in
general, and titles, as applicable to Homer; but rather to assume that
the Homeric phrases are simply of the former class.

It is plain that the word κρείων is a term of that class only: which,
_pro tanto_, is indicated by its relationship to the established and
ordinary epithet of comparison κρείσσων. It clearly describes the class
of those, who bore single-handed rule, in the address to Jupiter, ὕπατε
κρειόντων[778]; and it answers to the epithet princely in Il. xxiv. 538.

                          ὅττι οἱ οὔτι
    Παίδων ἐν μεγάροισι γονὴ γένετο κρειόντων.

    ‘For he had not as yet a princely offspring in his home.’

Lower than Βασιλεὺς, which corresponds to the rank implied by our term
‘majesty,’ and less wide in sense than ἄναξ, which corresponds very
nearly with ‘lord,’ it is generally the equivalent as to rank of prince
or princely, according to the English sense of the terms; but it is in
Homer always a descriptive word only, and never a title. Accordingly it
is found in the later Greek writers, when both ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, and even
ποιμὴν λαῶν have disappeared.

_The ποιμὴν λαῶν of Homer._

The phrase ποιμὴν λαῶν is more largely used than κρείων, and with
more appearance of approximation to that substantive character, and
susceptibility of individual application, which belongs to a title.
Thus in

    Οἱ δ’ ἐπανέστησαν, πείθοντό τε ποιμένι λαῶν,
    σκηπτοῦχοι βασιλῆες[779],

the βασιλῆες are the members of the Greek βουλὴ, and ποιμὴν λαῶν means
Agamemnon. Like κρείων, it was applicable to those who held secondary
sovereignties, the feudatories, so to speak, of the principal chiefs:
as for instance, we find among the secondary commanders of the Pylian

    Αἵμονά τε κρείοντα, Βίαντά τε, ποιμένα λαῶν[780].

It reaches down to persons, of whom we know and can infer nothing,
but that they may probably have held small fiefs (so to call them)
with derivative sovereignty of some kind, such as were, among the
Trojans[781], Bienor, Hypeiron, Apisaon, Hypsenor: and it is also
applied to the sons of the greater chiefs, for example, Thrasymedes and
Agenor[782], as well as to the chiefs themselves, including Agamemnon.
It is likewise given to Ægisthus, when he was, _de facto_, in
possession of the throne of Agamemnon[783]. It is therefore applicable
to the idea of political rule in the very widest sense, differing
however from ἄναξ in so far that, while it is assigned to personages of
smaller note politically, it is confined to the expression of that kind
of superiority, and has nothing whatever to do with property.

I find it, on the whole, impossible to detect in this phrase any thing
of a definite character, except that it expresses political rule at
large, and expresses it under the form of a figure adapted to the early
and patriarchal state of society. I hesitate then to call it with
confidence a title, because the class to which it applies is somewhat
indeterminate, and therefore it is wanting in specific meaning: yet it
may partake somewhat of that character. We must, however, distinguish
broadly between the element of subordination to Agamemnon, such as we
see it in Nestor and Diomed, and that of the class to which the lower
ποιμένες λαῶν belonged. These were as widely separated as the great
feudatories of mediæval France, from the petty lords who so much
abounded in this island.

In its form, the phrase bears an external, rather than a real
resemblance to ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. For ποίμην figuratively used expresses
no more than the office of a ruler in his political relation to his
subjects; while ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν is much more peculiar in character, since
ἄναξ exhibits the idea of master as well as ruler, and he is not
merely ἄναξ of a people, but ἄναξ of individual men, in respect to
something appertaining to man as such, of which he is the possessor or
usufructuary. The ποιμὴν λαῶν expresses a relation, which implies that
political society is already formed, for λαὸς means a body united in
that form.

Again, we are scarcely entitled to presume that ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν denotes
the office of ‘any king or chieftain,’ when, though it is used in some
fifty passages, it is only applied to six persons: nor is it less
hazardous to say that it means especially the office of a supreme ruler
or commander, when out of these six persons only one at all answers to
that description, and when at least three are persons of insignificant
power, as well as individually obscure.

Once more, it is the manner of Homer, where he applies an epithet or
phrase characteristically to one of his greater personages, to give
them the exclusive use of it, such as the ποδωκὴς δῖος for Achilles,
κορυθαίολος for Hector, πολύμητις and πολυτλὰς δῖος for Ulysses. For
example, κορυθαίολος is used thirty-eight times for Hector, never for
any other hero: though it is used once for Mars, in Il. xx. 38. It
would be strange if he departed from this usage in the case before
us. But if ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν be a mere phrase of description, as Mure
supposes, he does depart from it in the strangest manner; for while
he applies it forty-six times to Agamemnon, he likewise gives it to
the very insignificant Eumelus. If it be a phrase simply serving the
purpose, as an epithet would, of denoting the great political position
of Agamemnon, how can its force be more utterly shattered than by
bestowing it not only upon Eumelus, who does nothing except drive a
chariot, but upon Euphetes, who is mentioned but once in the poems of
Homer, without any epithet or circumstance whatever except this to
distinguish him, and who is named nowhere else at all? If it describes
a ruler as supreme among rulers, why is it thus debasingly, as well as
loosely, applied? But if it describes a ruler generally, then why is
it employed so restrictedly? The actual mode and conditions of its use
require us to examine whether it does not in fact cover some specific
idea, derived from a form of society which, even in the days of Homer,
had become, or, at the least, was becoming obsolete; perhaps already
in some part a monument of the past, and cutting across, rather than
fitting into, the arrangements and usages of his time.

_Ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν has a specific meaning._

The peculiar formula ‘lord of men’ appears well adapted to mark the
period of transition from the patriarchal to the political construction
of society; in the family, sovereignty and the possession of property
are united, and the βασιλεὺς naturally follows after and grows out of
the ἄναξ. Authority is here clothed in a form more extended than that
of a mere family connection, yet the idea of it remains indeterminate:
there is no distinct formation of _class_; superiors are not yet viewed
under the formal political notion of kings, nor (as in λαὸς) have _men_
yet come to conceive of themselves as subjects. There are human beings
with a superior: but there is no society with a head. In that state of
things, power, if less secure and rooted, was more absolute: witness
the projected sacrifice by Abraham of his son Isaac.

To sum up, however, what we have said upon the other phrases, it
appears that we have in Homer four words commonly used to express the
ruling office, from the highest form of that office downwards: they are,

1. βασιλεὺς, the most limited: confined in the Iliad to those who
both were practically supreme, and ruled over considerable territory,
or else were of primary importance from personal prowess or other

2. κρείων, the next; embracing the very highest, but descending to
secondary princes, though commonly confined to the more considerable.

3. ποιμὴν λαῶν, which, also capable of application to the highest,
yet, as expressing political dominion in the widest form, embraces the
subordinate, derivative, and petty principalities even of persons who
do not appear to have been in any sense independent sovereigns.

4. More varied in its application than any of these, perhaps older, and
related to the time when the only known form of sovereignty implied
indeterminate, and so far absolute powers of disposal, the word ἄναξ
involves the double idea of political authority and of ownership; it
accompanies them both, like our word _lord_, when they separate, and it
adheres to each of them in all its forms.

I admit that the construction which it is now proposed to put upon
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν has not, so far as I am aware, been heretofore propounded;
and that this is, _pro tanto_, a presumption against it. But in lieu
of _pro tanto_, I would in this case crave to write _pro tantillo_;
for it seems to be the fact, that, as only of late has Ethnology been
systematically studied, so only of late have the text and diction of
Homer been subjected to minute investigation; and it is reasonable to
expect, that the further application of critical attention to it may
yet disclose to our view much, which has heretofore been unsuspected.
It is the more allowable to proceed upon this view in the case of ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν, because so few readers of Homer appear even to have observed
that it is ever applied to any person besides Agamemnon, and therefore
the common opinion rests upon an inaccurate impression as to the
elementary facts. My purpose, accordingly, may more justly be described
as an attempt to open a new question, than as an attack upon a critical
verdict regularly delivered.

Let us now proceed to examine what the facts really are respecting the
use of the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν in Homer.

_Persons to whom it is applied._

It is applied to Agamemnon in the following passages:

  Il. i. 7, 172, 442, 506.
      ii. 402, 434, 441, 612.
      iii. 81, 267, 455.
      iv. 148, 255, 336.
      v. 38.
      vi. 33.
      vii. 162, 314.
      viii. 278.
      ix. 96, 114, 163, 672, 677, 697.
      x. 64, 86, 103, 119, 233.
      xi. 99, 254.
      xiv. 64, 103, 134.
      xviii. 111.
      xix. 51, 76, 146, 172, 184, 199.
      xxiii. 161, 895.

  Od. viii. 77.
      xi. 396.

It is also applied to

  Anchises, Il. v. 268.
  Æneas, Il. v. 311.
  Augeias, Il. xi. 701, 739.
  Euphetes, Il. xv. 532.
  Eumelus, Il. xxiii. 288.

Now although, as we have seen, the term is in fact employed only with
names nearly akin to one another in point of metrical value, yet the
Poet has given us the most distinct evidence that the employment of
it was not a mere metrical expedient to assist him in the use of names
otherwise unmanageable. This we learn in the two following forms:

1. The name Eumelus is one of those to which he applies the phrase:
but the metrical conjunction of it with this name is by no means
particularly convenient, for out of five places in which Homer mentions
Eumelus in the nominative case, he only once gives him his title of
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. Again, it is evident that he has no preference for the
end of the verse as a place for the name of Eumelus; for he places it
elsewhere, at the beginning, and in τὴν Εὔμηλος ὄπυιε (Il. ii. 714. Od.
iv. 798), on the only two occasions when he uses the nominative without
a title annexed. He only puts it at the end of the verse in order to
couple it with ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, and with κρείων (Il. xxiii. 288, 354). So
far then from being a metrical convenience, this phrase rather forces
him out of his way in order to introduce it. So it is with Æneas. Homer
uses his name very many times, but never once places it at the end of a
verse, except in the single case in which he attaches it to the title
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. Again, then, the phrase compels him to adopt a position
which he is uniformly careful to avoid elsewhere for Æneas, and this in
little short of forty instances.

_Persons to whom it might have been applied._

2. Besides the names to which Homer applies the phrase, he employs
a great number of names, of persons having high or the very highest
rank, which possess exactly the same metrical value as one or another
of the six names above quoted; but yet to none of these does he at any
time give the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. Of such names I have observed the
following: and I exclude from the list the merely local characters of
the Odyssey, and all persons in inferior station.

  (1) Of the same metrical value with Eumelus:


  And of the dead,


  (2) Of the same metrical value with Augeias, Euphetes, Æneas,

  Hercules (Heracles).

  (3) Of the same metrical value with Agamemnon:


  (4) Of the same metrical value with Agamemnon, except having the last
  syllable short:


  And of the dead,


Here are thirty-five names as susceptible of conjunction with the
phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν as the six to which he attaches it. How comes it to
be attached, significant as it is _primâ facie_, to the six, and never
to the thirty-five? Did it come and go by accident, or had Homer a
meaning in it?

Moreover, I would by no means be understood to admit, that metrical
obstacles would have sufficed to prevent Homer from applying almost any
title to almost any name: such were the resources of his genius and his
ear, and such the freedom that the youthful elasticity of the language
secured to him.

It must be remembered too that he has given us an instance (in Il.
i. 7) of a second site, so to speak, for ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν in the Greek
hexameter, which would have enabled him at once to combine it with all
such proper names as come within the compass of a dactyl and trochee,
or a spondee and trochee. Such as Πουλυδάμας γὰρ ... Καὶ Πρίαμος μὲν
... Καὶ γὰρ Τευκρὸς ... Θησεὺς αὐτὸς ... Δάρδανος αὐτὸς .... And even
without altering its usual position in the verse, by a break of it, or
a _cæsura_, which is not unfrequent with him, he might have given us
(for example) ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν γὰρ Ἐρεχθεύς. Or he might by _tmesis_, more
liberally used, have further widened the field for its employment.

Or again, he would have been free, by the rules of his own usage, to
have said in the vocative, ἀνδρῶν ἄνα.

_Homer’s reverence for this title._

His abstinence from inflexion absolutely, and from _tmesis_ almost
entirely, in the use of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, I think deserves remark. We might
be struck, even in another author, by finding a word fifty-six times
in the nominative singular, and never in any other form: but in Homer
these slight circumstances have a value and significance, which in
ordinary cases it would be more dangerous to assign to them. It seems
to me possible, that this restraint in the use of the name, which
always assigns to it the most commanding place in the sentence, was
not unconnected with a sense of reverence towards it. I think that if
we were to examine the correspondence, for example, between British
Ministers and their Sovereign, we might find that the phrase ‘Your
Majesty’ was placed, under a sort of natural and unconscious bias,
by the writers, in the nominative case, in a proportional number of
instances far exceeding that which the pronoun ‘you’ would supply in an
ordinary letter.

It is difficult to define this delicate and subtle sentiment: but it
may perhaps be illustrated by the feeling on which is founded the
prevailing usage of addressing among ourselves the very highest ranks,
and in some languages all persons of consideration, in the third
rather than the second person. And again, it is the same description
of sentiment, which, when carried into the sphere of religion, has led
Dante invariably to forbear, when he introduces the name ‘Cristo’ at
the close of a verse, from placing any other word in rhyme with it, so
that he makes it its own echo (so to speak), and repeats it thrice, in
no less than four passages, to meet the full demand of his metre[784].

Or again, as Homer appears to have possessed a fineness of ear which
is not only wonderful, but by us in some part inappreciable, it may be
that he attached an importance, which we cannot measure, to preserving
a perfect uniformity in this dignified and sonorous title, as a means
of producing popular impression, not less than of satisfying his own

Other instances might be given from Homer, bearing upon the case.

Ἐνοσίχθων is used forty times, and only once out of the nominative,
though metrical reasons could not hamper the poet with respect to any
of the cases of this noun. Διογενὴς is used in the nominative and
vocative only. Κύδιστος is used sixteen times, and in the vocative
alone. The feminine form however is found in the nominative, but only
in two passages (one of them with a rival reading) applied to Minerva.
Εὐρυκρείων is found twelve times, and only in the nominative.

Perhaps again the rarity and slightness of his use of _tmesis_ may be
accounted for, not by euphony alone, but by the circumstance that these
two words had grown by titular use almost into one.

The fact that the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν should have disappeared with
Homer himself, while his heroes were incessantly sung by later poets,
of itself raises a presumption that it belonged to a state of things
which, when after a wide interval the race of his successors began, had
wholly ceased to exist.

That stage of society, in the closing stages of which Homer lived,
and which we know through him alone of classical authors, was the
patriarchal stage in its last phasis. By the patriarchal stage of
society, I mean the stage in which rights on the one hand, and powers
and duties on the other, were still indeterminate, and were gradually
passing from the state of _nebula_ into that of body. Now, if the
phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν belonged to it, without doubt it must at the outset
have exhibited its unvarying characteristic, the union of sovereign
political power not only with hereditary descent, but with a reference
to some original stock as an object of deep veneration, if not to a
relationship of blood more or less remote between the royal family and
their subjects, or to the dominant race among them.

_Its relation to Patriarchal Chieftaincy._

The chieftaincies of the Celtic tribes in our own island, such as
they existed until within only one century back, afford us a partial
analogy. The primary idea is that of the headship of an extended
family, sometimes approximating to the character of a nation;
sometimes more limited, so that many of such families or tribes may be
regarded as belonging to the same nation. One marked characteristic
of these chieftaincies is that the preeminence and power, which
they attached to birth, is separable from, though capable of union
with, sovereignty strictly so called, that is, an absolute political
supremacy, and subsists in its main particulars even after the
division; neither does it become ambiguous or indefinite, where the
field for its exercise is a narrow one. The splendour of the name
increases with the range of dominion, but its integrity subsists even
in the most contracted sphere, so long as the organization on which it
is dependent remains.

It is at least conceivable, that the Greek and the Celtic chieftaincies
thus far agree. They differ in this, that the Hellenes, whenever we
hear of them, appear more or less clearly as the subjugators of some
race in prior occupancy of the soil, and as the masters of slaves: so
that, while the relation of the Highland Chief to his clan was elevated
and softened by union in blood, a Greek chieftaincy rather affected the
relation between the head of the tribe and, not the whole, but only a
privileged part, of the community.

The fundamental idea of this chieftainship would lie in the
possession of the powers of government, patriarchally organized, by
lineal descent, and traced up to the point which was the recognised
fountain-head of the traditions of the race.

Where the idea of succession by primogeniture was well defined, there
probably would be but one line in existence at a time that could hold
the title for any one race. But there might be cases where the rule of
primogeniture was unknown, or not consistently applied, or where the
fact of elder descent was contested, or where common descent from some
one acknowledged race and period might confer the title on a variety of
families, situated at remote points from one another, in each of which
it might afterwards be confined to the lineal heir. In such cases there
would be a plurality of lines, all running up into the stem of a common
ancestor, and all bearing in their own separate successions the title
of chieftainships.

Again, among these chieftains one might be politically supreme over the
rest within a given country. Such were the Macdonalds, Lords of the
Isles, in Scotland, who claimed to be kings as well as chieftains: and
such in Ireland were the Kevanaghs, O’Ruarcs, and O’Briens.

If therefore I am right in interpreting the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν to
mean properly (together with something more) _Chieftain_, in a sense
including the main elements of Celtic chieftaincy, or _Patriarch_, (but
the latter phrase is less applicable from its conventional connection
with advanced age), then it need excite no surprise if we find an ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν on each side, and not in the supreme command. At the same time,
though there are vast differences in power between one Homeric ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν and another, they are all, so far as we see, strictly in the
position of princes ordinarily independent within their dominions,
though owning, it might be, the prerogatives of a qualified political
supremacy lodged in other hands.

_Case of Agamemnon._

_Mode of its use for Agamemnon._

It is very worthy of remark, that Homer scarcely ever describes
Agamemnon by personal epithets. In a few passages (I see seven noticed)
he uses the word δῖος in connection with the name: but this is one of
the least specific among the Homeric epithets for individuals, and is
employed not only for Achilles, Hector, Ulysses, Nestor, and others,
but for a crowd of inferior personages, so that, as a word of the most
general purport, it has little or no defining or individualizing power.
It means preeminence in some particular kind, among a class, and it
is applicable to any class; to Agamemnon greatest among sovereigns,
and to Eumæus worthiest among swineherds. A few times Homer calls
him ἥρως, a word which he also applies to the entire Greek army (Il.
ii. 110). In all other places, (I omit, of course, the invectives of
Achilles,) he is characterised only by words taken from his position or
descent. The principal of these are Ἀτρείδης, which he enjoys in common
with Menelaus: κρείων, applied to him and to various other chiefs:
ποιμὴν λαῶν, yet more largely and loosely used: εὐρυκρείων, which is
exclusively his own among men, and which is the epithet used by Homer
as properly descriptive of his wide-reaching sway. It is also applied
to Neptune among the immortals, because vastness was with Homer a
principal feature of the θάλασσα, his domain. Lastly, Agamemnon is ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν, which, as I hold, describes his position by birth as the head
or chieftain of the Achæans properly so called.

There are two remarkable passages, which are evidently intended to
supply the key-note, as it were, for our conception of the material
power of Agamemnon: the first, Il. ii. 108, respecting the sceptre:
the second, in the Catalogue, Il. ii. 576-80: in both of these he is
called κρείων, in neither ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. This fact entirely accords with
the supposition that neither a determinate form of political power, nor
military command, is the vital idea of the phrase.

On the other hand, although the Poet does not seem to connect this
phrase with imperial power, yet that he intended to use it as one
highly characteristic, we may at once deem probable from his having
employed it in that remarkable passage[785] with which the poem begins,
and which so succinctly, yet so broadly opens the subject of it.
For here he has taken the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν out of its usual, and
elsewhere its only place in the verse, and has subjoined it, contrary
in this likewise to his uniform practice elsewhere, to the name of the
person described by it. The line is

    Ἀτρείδης τε, ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.

Evidently this is done for greater emphasis: as ‘great Alexander’
is less emphatic than ‘Alexander the Great,’ and ‘king Darius’ than
‘Darius the king.’ It may be admitted that the epithet δῖος, used in
this place for Achilles, is not one of the most characteristic: but
Achilles had already been described (in v. i.) by that distinguished
patronymic which formed his chief glory[786], as it connected him,
through his father and his grandfather, with Jupiter.

All these presumptions drawn from the case of Agamemnon converge upon
a point: they tend to show, that ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν means preeminence indeed,
but yet a particular kind of preeminence; and one distinct from, and
more specific than, the general idea of sovereignty.

_Extraction and station of Agamemnon._

The so-called genealogy of Agamemnon differs from every other one given
by Homer in this, that it does not describe the descent in a right
line. For as Thyestes, one of his three predecessors on the Pelopid
throne was the father of Ægisthus, who was the contemporary, but yet
not the brother of Agamemnon, he must without doubt have been brother
to Atreus, Agamemnon’s father. It is in fact not a genealogy simply,
but rather a succession in dignities. The dignity of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν may
have combined with that of the political supremacy to lead Homer into
this unusual course. If, as I suppose, ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν required the double
derivation both of lineage and of sovereignty, this was the way, and
the only way, in which Homer could attain his end. And his having
pursued this method seems to imply that such _was_ his end.

I cannot therefore under the conditions of the definition given above,
explain the application of the phrase to Agamemnon by mere reference
to his political supremacy. It will be necessary to prove, either by
direct or by presumptive evidence, his lineal connection with the
primitive Grecian or Hellenic stock, the trunk of the tree from which
other Achæan families were branches and offshoots only.

I propose to do this by showing,

First, that no appreciable value is to be attached to the notions which
represent him as the grandson of an Asiatic immigrant; while even if
this descent could be made good, we should not on that account be
justified in at once proceeding to deny that the Pelopids were of pure
Hellenic blood.

Secondly, that he was not merely at the moment the political head of
Greece, but that he was also the hereditary chief of the Achæans, then
the ruling tribe of the country.

Thirdly, that this Achæan tribe was in all likelihood derived from
Thessaly, where it was especially rooted and distinguished: as Thessaly
was itself fed from the Helli of the mountains, and constituted
the secondary and immediate source from whence the Hellenic races
successively issued, and spread themselves over the peninsula.

I do not pretend to carry the proof of a patriarchal position or lineal
chieftaincy in the case of Agamemnon further. We do not know what was
the strictly original royal stock of the Hellenic tribes. The current
tradition of Hellen and his sons would be very convenient, but it is
too obviously accommodated to after-times, and too flatly at variance
with the earliest, that is to say with the Homeric accounts, to be in
the slightest degree trustworthy as an historic basis. We may take
the Hesiodic tradition as affording evidence of the belief that there
was a primitive royal stock, and that the ruling families had been
derived from it, since within these limits it does not contradict
Homer; but we can justly build upon it nothing further. Undoubtedly
the very employment of the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, if the proposed
construction of it can be made good, will greatly fortify this belief.
But this can only be made good in a presumptive manner: as by showing
that the phrase was only given in ruling families: and only in the
representative lines of ruling families: and only in families which
ruled over tribes of the dominant race; and which had so ruled from
time immemorial--that is to say, they must be families of which it
cannot be shown that at any time they had acquired their position in
their own tribe. If a first ancestor, apparently the channel of the
title, is indicated, he must be one from whom history begins: there
must be nothing before him, nothing to show that he or his line had
ever been less than what he came to be. Lastly, the tribes, over which
the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν rules, must be in visible or presumable connection
locally with the original seat or cradle of the nation; and it will
be a further confirmation of the argument if, as we ascend the
lineal lines, we find in them a tendency to converge towards an unity
of origin, which we shall find poetically expressed as the divine
parentage of Jupiter, and thus covered with the golden clouds of a
remote antiquity, that not even the sun can pierce[787]. Perhaps we may
even find reason to suppose it likely that descent from Jupiter was an
essential qualification for the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.

_Arguments against his Hellenic descent._

First, then, let us deal with the negative or adverse presumptions,
which would go to prove that Agamemnon was not Hellenic at all.

It may be urged,

1. That we see, even from Homer, that Pelops was a recent hero, only
two generations before the _Troica_, so that Agamemnon has no antiquity
to boast of.

2. That, according to extraneous tradition, there is no connection
between Agamemnon and the Hellic stock: as Pelops is reputed to be the
son of Tantalus, and Tantalus the king of Phrygia.

To the first I answer, that the list of names in Il. ii. 101-8, is not
simply a genealogy, for it includes Thyestes, who is not in the right
line; but it is a succession of kings on a common throne, and can only
therefore begin with Pelops, as the first who sat upon that throne.

But, further, even if it were a genealogy, yet Homer seems usually to
begin his genealogies not with the first known ancestor of a person,
but with the first ancestor of his who settled in the place where he
exercises power. Thus Nestor, though we acquire indirectly a knowledge
of his earlier descent through the Νεκυΐα, has no genealogy beyond
Neleus his father, because he was the ancestor that migrated into
Peloponnesus, or, at least, that first acquired the Pylian throne, by
marriage into a prior, and perhaps a Pelasgian house[788]. Ulysses
has none beyond Arceisius; and it is plain, from the records of the
earlier dynasty in Ithaca, that there could have been no king of that
house before him. Dardanus and Minos, heads of genealogies, were also
the founders of sovereignties. Again, Portheus is given us as the head
of the Œneid line in Ætolia: and we have found it probable that he was
the first of his race[789] who migrated into that country. The same
considerations, in all likelihood, hold good with regard to Pelops.

Now with respect to the second objection.

We are to remember that Homer has nowhere asserted the connection
between Pelops and Tantalus, or between Tantalus and Phrygia.

But not even the latter connection, and far less the former, would
disprove the title of Agamemnon to represent lineally the character of
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. For, as we have seen, that title subsisted in the line of
Dardanus, and the causes which planted it there might also have planted
it in Phrygia; which is not irrationally supposed to have been the line
of march for the Hellic race in its original movement westwards[790].
Moreover, Phrygia is not a name confined to Asia.

_Connection of Tantalus with the Greeks._

There are, however, many indirect Homeric indications, as well as
much extra-Homeric tradition, which tend to connect Pelops both with
Tantalus and with Greece.

First, even if Tantalus were known to Homer as the father of Pelops, he
could not have been named in the tradition of Il. ii. 101-8, unless he
had occupied, like Pelops, the throne to which Agamemnon succeeded.

From the appearance of Tantalus in the Νεκυΐα, it is probable that
Homer regarded him as Greek, either by birth or by what we may call
naturalization. This he might be in the Poet’s view, if the traditions
concerning him, without assigning to him Greek birth or even residence,
made him the father of one who became a great Greek sovereign. If,
for instance, we take the name of Æolus; it is the source of some of
the most famous Greek houses, yet Homer never mentions it, except in
the patronymic, and gives us no means of absolutely attaching it to
any part of Greece. Æolus may have been known only as the father of
Greeks. So Minos was not of Greek birth; but was naturalized, and
therefore appears in the Νεκυΐα as the judge of the nether world. All
the other personages, without exception, who are introduced there, are
apparently Greek: Sisyphus, Hercules, Tityus, Theseus, Pirithous, from
clear marks of residence: even Orion, since he is made the hero of a
scene in Delos[791], appears, whatever his origin, to have been already
Hellenized by tradition. Nor is it easy to avoid the same assumption
with respect to Tantalus.

Again, we may be quite sure, that Tantalus was a person of the highest
rank and position. None others seem to have been distinguished by an
express notice of their fate after death. Orion was the object of the
passion of Aurora (Od. v. 121). Tityus was an offender so lofty, that
he became the occasion of a voyage of Rhadamanthus himself to deal with
his crime[792]. Sisyphus was, as we have found reason to believe[793],
of the most exalted stock.

The punishment of Tantalus in the nether world is probably, as in
other cases, the reflection of a previous catastrophe, certainly of
a previous character, upon earth. The nature of his punishment is a
perpetual temptation, of irresistible force, presented to the appetites
of hunger and thirst, while the gratification of it is wholly and
perpetually denied. This shews that his offence on earth must have been
some form of πλεονεξία, of greediness, presumption, or ambition. It is
therefore not unlikely that by restless attempts at acquisition, he may
have convulsed his dominions, and caused his son to migrate.

Now this supposed vein of character in Tantalus would thoroughly accord
with that of the Pelopid line. He is punished for covetousness or
acquisitiveness. His son gains a kingdom through Mercury, who is the
god of increase by fair means or foul. His grandson Thyestes gathers
wealth (πολύαρς, Il. ii. 106): his great-grandson Agamemnon is deeply
marked by the avarice everywhere glanced at in the Iliad: and finally
we have the reckless and guilty cravings of the ambition of Ægisthus.

We are by no means without reasons from the poems for placing Tantalus,
as the later tradition places him, among the heroes of the stock
of Jupiter. One ground is afforded us by the text of the Eleventh
Odyssey for supposing that he was, I do not say a son, but at least a
descendant of Jupiter. It is this; that apparently all the heroes, to
whom we are thus introduced, were at least of divine extraction. They
are, besides Tantalus, as follows:--

1. Minos, who was a son of Jupiter. (Od. xi. 568.)

2. Orion: he was of divine extraction according to the later tradition.
In Homer he has no parentage, but he had at least attained to divine
honours, inasmuch as he was translated into a star. (Od. v. 274 et

3. Tityus, son of Γαῖα. (Od. xi. 596, and vii. 324.)

4. Sisyphus, son of Æolus; therefore descended from Jupiter.

5. Hercules, son of Jupiter (ibid. 620.)

But I rely specially upon the passages towards the end, where these
are all called ἄνδρες ἥρωες, and where Ulysses says he might have seen
others, namely, Θήσεα Πειρίθοόν τε, θεῶν ἐρικύδεα τέκνα, illustrious
children of the gods: as if to be a child of the gods were a condition
of appearing in this august, though mournful, company.

Hereas, a Megarian author of uncertain age, is quoted by Plutarch[794]
as having declared that the last cited verse was among the
interpolations of Pisistratus. But Hereas was as likely to be wrong
in this statement, through Megarian antipathy, as Pisistratus to have
interpolated the verse in favour of Athenian vanity. The internal
evidence is, I think, in its favour. For the phrase θεῶν ἐρικύδεα τέκνα
is, according to the view here given, really characteristic. It is,
at the same time, characteristic through the medium of an idea which,
though it can be deduced fairly from the text, is not obvious upon
its surface; namely the idea that all the heroes of the Νεκυΐα were
divine. The verse is therefore supported by something in the nature of
a spontaneous or undesigned coincidence.

The post-Homeric tradition makes Niobe the daughter of Tantalus;
and, if this be so, then we may derive from her very high position a
further support to the presumption that Tantalus was of the race of
Jupiter, as also to the hypothesis of his personal connection with
Greece. For that the tradition of Niobe is Greek we see, from its being
cited by Achilles; and that she was a sovereign is clearly implied
by the combined effect of various circumstances. The first is her
being compared by Achilles with Priam. The second, that the vaunt
of an inferior person would hardly have been noticed by the direct
intervention of the gods. The third is the singular extent and dignity
of that intervention: Apollo slays the sons, Diana the daughters;
Jupiter converts the people to stone; the Immortals at large bury the
dead. The fourth is the use of the term λαοὺς, which means plainly the
subjects of the kingdom where Niobe was queen.

We cannot now carry farther the presumptions that Tantalus was
the descendant of Jupiter, and Agamemnon of Tantalus: but if, in
considering the cases of the other members of his class, we shall
sufficiently shew that they were all descended in common repute from
Jupiter, we shall then perhaps be warranted in relying more decidedly
upon the connection, which is suggested by the text in the case of
Agamemnon through his presumed ancestor Tantalus.

It is difficult to find more than slight traces of the seat of the
power of Tantalus from Homer.

He mentions a mountain called Sipylus[795], near the Achelous, and
thus near the principal passage from Northern and Middle into Southern
Greece. Here it is that he places the mourning Niobe. But Pausanias
places the tomb of Pelops on the summit of Mount Sipylus, meaning,
apparently, the hill of that name in Lydia[796]. Again, the Phryges,
over whom the later tradition reports him to have reigned, are also
made known to us as a Thracian people[797]: a designation quite capable
of embracing any of the hill tribes in the neighbourhood of Thessaly.
We have another sign of the extension of this name in the Phrygians of
Attica, mentioned by Thucydides (ii. 22): and the Phrygian alphabet is
closely akin to that of Greece.

Strabo, however, observes, that the state of these traditions is
so greatly confused, so as to make them scarcely tractable for the
purposes of history[798].

_Place of Pelops in Greek history._

The connection of Pelops with Southern Greece is well supported by
the ancient name of Peloponnesus. No notice of this name is found in
Homer; but we need not be surprised, if Pelops was the first of his
race in that part of the country, at finding him sparely recognised by
the Poet: it is the uniform manner of the poet with strangers or _novi

The Homeric notices of Pelops are not more liberal than of Tantalus. 1.
We find him called πλήξιππος[799] in such a way as shows that something
connected with the driving of a chariot must have been attached either
to the known habits, or to some great crisis of his life, or to both.
In either mode, it agrees with the common tradition, according to
which, by success in the chariot race, he won the hand of Hippodameia,
daughter of king Œnomaus, and therewith the throne of Pisa. We have
another fact from Homer which tends to support this tradition, namely,
that in the earliest youth of Nestor there were, as we have seen,
public games, which included chariot-races, in Elis.

2. The common tradition is also further supported by the passage in the
Second Iliad, which gives us the line of Pelopid sovereigns. For we are
there told that Vulcan wrought the Pelopid sceptre for Jupiter: that
Jupiter gave it to Mercury, and Mercury to Pelops the horse-driver, who
handed it on to Atreus and the rest. From this statement two things
clearly appear. First, that the throne of Pelops was gained either by
craft, or at least by enterprise, of his own. Secondly, that it was a
new power which he erected, and that he was not merely the transferee
of the power of the Perseid line.

Nor is it difficult to discern wherein the novelty consisted. This
sceptre carried the right of paramount lordship over all Greece--

    πολλῇσιν νήσοισι καὶ Ἄργεϊ παντὶ ἀνάσσειν[800]--

whereas the Perseids had been local sovereigns, though probably the
first in rank and power among their contemporaries of Continental

Now this sovereignty, thus extended, was plainly an Achæan sovereignty.
For we have seen that, contemporaneously with its erection, Homer drops
the marked and exclusive use of the word Ἀργεῖοι for the inhabitants
of that quarter, and calls them by preference Ἀχαιοὶ, the older name
falling into the shade. Thus, then, the Achæans rose with the house of
Pelops: and this being the case, we can the better understand why it
was that that house rose to so great an elevation. It was because the
Achæan race had now acquired extension in the North and in the South
of Greece, in Eastern and Western Peloponnesus, and because it usually
predominated wheresoever it went. Thus the house of Pelops had an
opportunity of gaining influence and power, which had not been enjoyed
by the preceding dynasties, though they ruled from the same sovereign
seat. They were families only: the Pelopids were chiefs of a race.

What we have thus seen from Homer, with respect to the high position
attained by Pelops, is confirmed by the later tradition.

Pausanias notices the local traces of Tantalus, as well as of Pelops,
in Elis. A harbour there bore the name of Tantalus[801]: and Pelops was
worshipped in a sanctuary hard by the temple of Jupiter Olympius. It
was on the right hand, in front of that temple, a very marked situation
in all likelihood: and Pausanias says, that the Elians reverenced
Pelops among heroes, like Jupiter among gods. It was probably on this
account, and as a memorial of the worship from high places, that the
θρόνος, or seat of Pelops, was, as he says, not only in Sipylus, but on
the summit of the mountain.

Another tradition makes Pelops the original king of Pisa, the rival
town to Elis, which at length succumbed to it. And a further tradition
reports, that he became the son-in-law of Œnomaus, king of Pisa, by
conquering him in the chariot-race: and together with this, that he
restored the Olympian Games. Another tradition reports him to have come
from Olenos in Achaia: and as the Dorians, with the Heraclids, came
into Peloponnesus by that route, probably as the easiest, so, and for
the same reason, may Pelops probably have done. Lastly, while Homer
places Achæans in Ægina and in Mases, (of which the site is unknown,)
Pausanias (b. ii. c. 34) states that nine islands (νησίδες) off the
coast of Methana, which lies directly opposite Ægina, were in his time
called the Islands of Pelops.

Before quitting the subject of Pelops, I would observe, that his
worship in Olympia with such peculiar honours is connected with a
tradition, that he raised the Olympian Games to a distinction which
they had never before attained. Now if we view him as the principal
chief who brought the Achæans into Peloponnesus, this tradition tends
to support the view which has been taken in a former section of the
relation between the Hellic race and the institution of public Games.
Nor is there any thing more intrinsically probable, than that a chief
from the great breeding region of Thessaly should have either founded
the chariot or horse-races of Olympia, or should have raised them to
an unprecedented celebrity, and secured for them the truly national
position that they for so long a time maintained.

We have seen thus far,

1. That the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν is employed by Homer as the chief
distinction of Agamemnon.

2. That most probably Agamemnon was descended from Tantalus, as well
as from Pelops, that the line was a line of sovereigns all along, and
Tantalus in all likelihood a reputed descendant of Jupiter himself.

3. That the Achæans emerge in company with the Pelopids, from the
cavern of pre-historic night, and that the Pelopids are therefore to
be taken as in all likelihood the chief and senior house of the Achæan

But we have still to ask, whence came the Achæans themselves? and how
are we to prove their connection with the Hellenic name and stock?

And first, as to Homeric evidence.

_Achæans from Thessaly._

We have already seen, in considering Homer’s account of the contingent
of Achilles, and also from Il. ix. 395, that the Achæan race appears
to have been the dominant one in the proper and original Hellas of
Thessaly: which appears to place it beyond doubt, that the Achæans were
they who first carried with them extensively into Greece the Hellenic
name, a name always following in the wake of the Achæan one, and in
Homer extending to all Greece, unless we except that part which was the
sovereign seat of Achæan power.

The first form of the name is with the Helli of Northern Thessaly:
the second is developed into the Hellas proper of Southern Thessaly;
we find the third in the more large and less determinate use of the
word for Greece to the northward of the Isthmus. The name gains this
extension apparently just during the period while the Achæans are
moving southward, as the house of Ulysses to Ithaca, the house of
Neleus, perhaps with an Achæan train, to Pylos, the Pelopids to Mycenæ
and Sparta, Tydeus from Ætolia to Argos.

And again, we must observe this distinction. We see the Achæans come
into the Peloponnesus, and we can, from the text of Homer, point out
the time when they were not there. But we do not see them come into
Thessaly from among the Helli of the mountains. We simply find their
name prominent there; from which we must conclude, that Homer meant to
point them out as the first representatives on an adequate scale of
Hellas in that country.

All this is strongly confirmed by the later tradition as to the
connection of Pelops with the Achæans of Thessaly, and by the clear
historical proofs in our possession of the profound root which the
Achæan name had taken there.

Strabo, in a passage where he chooses a particular tradition from among
many, as peculiarly worthy of record, says[802],

Ἀχαιοὺς γὰρ τοὺς Φθιώτας φασὶ συγκατελθόντας Πέλοπι εἰς τὴν
Πελοπόννησον, οἰκῆσαι τὴν Λακωνικὴν· τοσοῦτον δ’ ἀρετῇ διενεγκεῖν, ὥστε
τὴν Πελοπόννησον, ἐκ πολλῶν ἤδη χρόνων Ἄργος λεγομένην, τότε Ἀχαϊκὸν
Ἄργος λεχθῆναι.

Thus he at once asserts the connection of Pelops with the Achæans, and
of the Achæans with Thessaly. He proceeds to say, that Laconia was
considered to have a peculiar title to the name of Achaic Argos[803];
that some construed Od. iii. 251 as supporting it, and that the
Achæans, driven by the Dorians out of Laconia, in their turn displaced
an Ionian race from Achaia, and took possession of the district.

Herodotus[804], in treating of the Peloponnesus, describes the
Arcadians and Cynurians as αὐτόχθονες, who had never changed their
habitation; four other races, including the Dorians, as ἐπήλυδες, and
the Achæans as having migrated about the Peloponnesus, but never left
it. He does not explicitly place the Achæans in either class; and this
tradition does not throw much light on the origin of the Achæans, which
would seem not to have been within his knowledge, but only deals with
matter subsequent to their entry into Peloponnesus.

Pausanias[805], again, would seem rather to draw the Thessalian Achæans
from Peloponnesus than _vice versa_. He tells us that, after the death
of Xuthus, Achæus went with an army from Ægialus, and established
himself in Thessaly. But with Homer before us, we may boldly say,
that there was no such person as either the Xuthus or the Achæus of
the later tradition, and that there were, on the other hand, Achæans
in Thessaly long before the time assigned to this Achæus, namely, the
epoch when the race took refuge in Ægialus. This tradition, then, is
late and worthless, and, even if it directly contradicted that of
Strabo, which it does not, could not be put in competition with it.

The tradition which made Phthiotis in Southern Thessaly the cradle of
the Achæan race, where it first grew into conscious life, seems to have
been an undying one.

_Duration of the name in Thessaly._

Here again history comes in to our aid. Throughout the historic
times of Greece, and down to the era of Polybius, there were Achæans
of Phthiotis. When, 205 years before Christ, Quintius, the Roman
general, examined into the origin of the Greek cities, and made a
classification of them[806], the Achæans of Phthiotis were declared to
be Thessalians: and he appears to use the name for all Phthians, since
he calls Phaxidas[807] an Achæan, seemingly for no other reason than
that he was an inhabitant of Melitea, a city of Phthiotis.

I take it then to be sufficiently proved, that Agamemnon and his
house were the proper heads of the Achæan race, which rose with them.
The proof is doubled by the fact that they fell with it: for in the
post-Homeric literature, all of which follows the Dorian conquest, the
Achæan name has ceased to be a living name for the nation of the Greeks.

And as the Pelopids were the leaders of the Achæans, so I now assume it
to be sufficiently shown from Homer, that the Achæans were in his time
at the head of all the Hellenic families and tribes; of the Dorians,
the Æolids, the Cephallenes, and whatever others came from the same
stock, and were in fact, for their age, the proper type of Hellenism

That most remarkable supremacy of Agamemnon over the Greek nation,
which is so strongly marked on the page of Homer, and to the force of
which Thucydides ascribes the wonderful movement of the Trojan war,
left behind it a tradition which it was thought worth while by the
ruling race of Dorians to appropriate, even after the shipwreck of the
old political system.

Orestes came to the throne of Agamemnon, and Tisamenus to that of
Orestes. He was cast out by the Heraclids with the Dorians, and they
made Sparta the chief seat of their power. Thus established in the
primacy of Greece, they held it, under the name of Ἡγεμονία, contested
sometimes, but only after the lapse of several ages, by Athens:
never absolutely taken away, until it passed, as Polybius says,
unexpectedly, into the hands of the Thebans, in the fourth century
before the Christian era.

Tisamenus and his Achæans went into Ægialus, and gave it their own
name. But the imperial Spartans found it for their interest to put
in their claim to the old Agamemnonian title. So, as Pausanias[808]
informs us, even down to his day, the Tomb of Tisamenus was shown in
Sparta, and hard by it the Lycurgian feast of Pheiditia was kept; with
a tradition that their fathers, admonished by an oracle, had fetched
the remains of the last Pelopid sovereign from Helice in Achæa. On
the other hand, the Achæans, who in the time of Polybius[809] had not
yet ceased to keep the image of their legendary ancestor Achæus, and
whose claim to that image was recognised by the Roman general, likewise
cherished a tradition that the family of Tisamenus had been continued,
and had reigned among them down to the time of Ogygus[810], when their
League was formed upon the basis of democratic institutions.

_Dorians appropriate the Pelopid succession._

Now it is no more than we might expect, that the Achæans should, in
their depressed fortunes, fondly cherish the recollections of their
glory, by preserving and honouring the memory of the last of that race,
who, through being their sovereigns, were also the heads of the Greek
nation. But why did the Dorians exhibit an anxiety of a kind in their
position so remarkable? Such a feeling could hardly have existed, had
there not been a special character attaching to the Pelopid race, as
possessed not only of an actual supremacy, but of some peculiar title
by descent, to which it was worth the while of the Dorian sovereigns to
lay claim, as a kind of heirs by adoption. We do not find that when the
Pelopids came in with their Achæans, they had shown any corresponding
solicitude to connect themselves with the memory of Danaids or of
Perseids: on the contrary, Homer expressly disconnects the dynasties,
by assigning to the Pelopids a new sceptre, fresh by the hands of
Mercury from Jupiter. It seems to follow, that in all likelihood the
Pelopids had something which neither Danaids nor Perseids possessed
before them, and which the Dorians too did not hold at all, or did not
hold by so clear a title: the honour, namely, not of Hellenic blood
alone, but of being ruled by a family which represented an original and
primitive sovereignty over the Hellenic nation, through its foremost,
or Achæan tribe.

This is the more remarkable, because the Dorian sovereigns of Sparta
claimed Hercules, and through him Jupiter, for their progenitor. But
the patriarchal chieftaincy, though not more directly connected with a
divine stock, had superadded to it that accumulation of dignity, which
depends upon the unbroken transmission of power from the most remote
historic origin: and Hercules was modern in comparison with those to
whom some of the Hellenic families were able (as we have seen) to trace
their ancestry.

Were we to give credit to the common tradition respecting Hellen and
his sons, I admit that it would raise a new difficulty in the way
of the construction, which I propose to attach to the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.
Instead of seeing Agamemnon invested with it because he is head of the
Achæans, and highly favoured by a special, nay by an almost exclusive
appropriation of it, because they are the foremost Hellenic tribe,
we should have to own in them the youngest of all the branches from
that stem, with Dorians, Æolians, and Ionians too, taking precedence
of them: and we should have to look, and look in vain, for any trace
or presumption whatever of his descent from that Achæus, whom the
tradition feigns to have existed.

But with the acknowledgment of Homer’s historical authority, the credit
of that tradition falls; as indeed it is etymologically self-convicted
by the formation of its cardinal name Hellen.

The Achæan prominence in Homer rests on grounds sufficiently clear:
over the Ionians, who appear to be not even an Hellenic race; over
the Dorians, latent in the Pylian town of Dorion, or among the sister
races of Crete, where they are as yet wholly undistinguished: over the
Æolids, (for there are no Æolians,) because these are single shoots
only, while the Achæans are a branch, a principal section of the
Hellenic race; and also, as I think may be shown[811], because of all
Hellenes they appear really to have had the most normal connection with
the true fountain-head of their race.

Nowhere among the Dorians, and (of course, if the Ionians are
Pelasgian,) nowhere among the Ionians, have we any trace of the name
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, or of the thing indicated by it. May not this be the
reason that the Dorian kings of Sparta sought (so to speak) to serve
themselves heirs to the house of Agamemnon?

I may observe in passing, as to the Ionians, that it has recently been
held that they are not only Hellenic, but the oldest Hellenes: that
they parted from the rest of the race in Asia, came into Greece by
the islands, and were its great sea-faring race. This theory, ably as
it has been supported, is but doubtfully agreeable to the positive or
negative evidence of Homer: still it is not less fatal to the current
tradition of Hellen and his family, than that which views the Ionians
as more nearly connected with the Pelasgians[812].

Only among Achæans, Æolids, and Dardanians, do we find the patriarchal
title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. The Dardan house fell with the Trojan war. The
throne of Augeias had given way even before that great crisis. It is
probable that the line of Euphetes was then no longer in existence;
else we must have heard of it in the Catalogue, or during the action.
The realm of Eumelus was remote and small, and if it had been wrecked
in the convulsions of the period, it would leave nothing upon which the
Dorians could lay hold as a point of junction with the past. But they
had come into the very dominions of the family of Pelops, though with
a transfer of the metropolis from Mycenæ to Sparta. Here was the true
Greek Patriarchate, of which for purposes of policy they might well
desire to become the ostensible representatives.

_Spurious Tradition of the Hellenidæ._

The legend of the Hellenidæ might probably be meant to cooperate
towards the same end. Its determinate form I have ventured to discard:
but its spirit and intention have their importance in connection
with the subject of the extraction of the Greeks. It affords early
witness to the general belief in the derivation of the Greek races
from Thessaly: and though it does not suffice of itself to prove that
a Dorus or an Ion came from thence, yet it is of great importance as a
testimony to their general connection with Thessaly, and it powerfully
corroborates evidence such as Homer affords to that effect in the
case of the Achæans. Nor are we entirely without Homeric evidence of
a connection between the Dorians and the Achæans, and thus between
the Dorians and Thessaly. For the Dorians are found in Crete together
with the Achæans (Od. xix.), and in the dominions of Nestor peopled by
Achæans we find the town called Δώριον, Il. ii. 594. As, however, the
great Dorian mass came into Peloponnesus not under a family of Dorian
rulers, but under Heraclids, their connection with the old Hellas was
not maintained by any regal tradition, and hence perhaps the need of
the legend of Hellen to revive the memory of it.

Let us now endeavour to gather together the threads of the argument.

It is plain that Agamemnon was not called ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν on account of
his great monarchy; because other great monarchs want the title, and,
again, other insignificant lords hold it.

Nor did he possess it on the ground of autochthonism: for the Achæans
were immigrants into the Peloponnesus, and not autochthons, and they
had been preceded by other races.

Neither was it borne by him on the ground of a divine descent more
direct or more illustrious than that of others: for his divine descent
would in that case at least have been specifically stated, instead of
being left to remote and hazardous inference. Nor is the title borne
by Achilles, who was the great grandson of Jupiter, or by Hercules or
Minos, who were his sons.

If sovereignty and antiquity be connected with the title, they are
not of themselves sufficient to confer it: and if divine descent be a
condition of it, this must be joined with other conditions.

These negatives, established in the case of Agamemnon, leave room, I
believe, for but one supposition; namely, that the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν must
indicate chieftaincy, or in other words, the lineal headship, passing
by seniority, of one among the ruling or royal houses, who represent
the stem of a particular race, in his case the Achæan branch of the
Hellenic family; and who govern, and have continuously governed, those
of their own name or branch. Of these royal houses there might be
many, allied together by common derivation, at the same or different
epochs, from a common stem.

_Summary of the Evidence._

In sum, the Homeric picture appears to be as follows.

First we have the remote and wintry Dodona of Thessaly, the most
ancient and most awful seat of the religious worship of the Greeks; in
connection with which Achilles invokes Jupiter for the success and safe
return of Patroclus.

Around Dodona dwell the Selli or Helli. The special veneration paid to
the place points it out as the oldest site of the national worship;
and the possession of this oldest site again points out the tribe as
the mother-tribe of that wonderful Greek race, whose fame is graven
ineffaceably upon the rock with a pen of iron.

From among the Helli of the mountains, who nowhere appear among the
contingents of the Greek army, must have proceeded the migratory bands
who gave to the Thessalian plain the name of Hellas. Their descendants
fix themselves as settlers there. Beguiled into civilization, they
become Hellenes; they spread, by their inborn elastic energies, towards
the south, and carry with them, only a little in their rear, the very
title of their Hellenic origin, as well as their own peculiar name.

The ruling families of their septs or clans give each to its actual
head, if not to its heir, the dignity of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, and this title
they carry forth with them to the southern provinces in which they
plant themselves.

One of these ruling families, the head of the great sept of the
Achæans, carries the right to this title in the case of Agamemnon: and
inasmuch as it betokens what is both oldest and highest in descent and
in civil authority in the whole group of the Hellenic tribes, it forms
an appropriate and characteristic designation for their chief ruler and

Having thus considered the case of Agamemnon, the great Achæan
chieftain, in this view, we may proceed to the other cases of Anchises
and Æneas, of Augeias, Euphetes, and Eumelus.

In none of these cases, however, have we the same right to assume
_in limine_ the character of chieftainship by known lineage from an
Hellenic family, as in the case of the Achæans. The cases of Anchises
and Æneas may indeed be treated on grounds of their own. In the other
instances, we must inquire what ground Homer furnishes for especially
connecting these persons with the headship of ruling families, and with
Hellas or Thessaly.

This I shall do, subject to the general rule, that if in any particular
case there can be found a special mark of connection with Thessaly
or Hellas in or about a particular spot, it is thereupon to be
inferred that in that particular place the connection was known and
commemorated. If, for example, we find at a given point an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν,
reason binds us to presume that, as the local name might show the
derivation from the first seat of the race, so by this title the lineal
descent from a ruling family there was meant to be commemorated and

_The Cases of Anchises and Æneas._

But first for Anchises and Æneas.

Homer is the historian as well as the poet of Greece: but he is neither
the poet nor the historian of Troy, further than as it was necessary
for him to describe generally to the Greeks the race with whom they had
been engaged in a death-struggle.

The strong resemblance between the two nations, and especially their
partaking, to a certain extent, of a common lineage, seems to have
constituted a difficulty in his way. Already in his time the sentiment
of Greek nationality was strong. Whether he chiefly found or made it
so, is nothing to the present purpose. This sentiment of nationality
required to be circumscribed by a clear line, marking the extent of
the Greek political organisation; and if it was unfavourable to the
acknowledgment of relationship to any race beyond that line, especially
was it so in the case of a race that the Greeks had conquered. Probably
therefore the purpose of Homer required that he should instinctively as
it were keep in special obscurity the notes of kindred between the two

In the case of the Greeks, Homer has intelligibly pointed out the
origin of the race among the hills of Northern Thessaly round the
ancient Dodona, and near Olympus, its poetical counterpart, and the
residence of Jupiter with his gorgeous train. Yet more clearly has
he in the case of the Trojans enabled us to trace them to their
fountain-head, again in the mountains, and beside the roots, of Ida,
where they worshipped the Idæan Jove[813]. We have here the race
without predecessors, residing in the very spot where they were planted
by their divine progenitor, and coming down by a clear line of seven
generations to the cousins Hector and Æneas.

But although the conditions of chieftaincy are thus obviously fulfilled
in the race of Dardanus, yet difficulty presents itself in a new form.
Why is the term ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν applied to Anchises and to his son Æneas,
but never to Priam, or to his son Hector, or to any of his family?

The answer to this question opens a curious chapter of Homeric history
and speculation. In going through it I shall endeavour carefully to
separate between positive statement, and interpretation or conjecture.

These facts then are on the face of the poem.

1. Anchises nowhere personally appears in it. And yet there was at
Troy an assembly of δημογέροντες (Il. iii. 146-8). Of the persons
there mentioned, Lampus, Clytius, and Hiketaon were brothers of Priam;
others, for example, Panthus and Antenor, were in the exercise of at
the very least a subaltern sovereignty. They were present at Troy,
while their sons fought in the Trojan ranks. The reason, therefore, of
the absence of Anchises is not to be sought in his being represented
by Æneas. Nor in the immunity of his dominions, through their being
placed among the mountains, from war: for Æneas himself, before he
came to Troy, had only been rescued by divine interposition from the
hands of Achilles[814]. Why then does Anchises never appear? Either
surely because of the high rank of his sovereignty, or because of some
unexplained rivalry between the families.

_Evidence as to Æneas._

2. It does not appear that Æneas took any part in the councils of
the Trojans. But still he is always represented as a personage of
the greatest importance. It is said of him, as of Hector, θεὸς δ’ ὡς
τίετο δήμῳ[815]. Yet his character would seem to be wholly unmarked
by any great or striking quality, such as we find in Sarpedon and in
Polydamas. Something peculiar then in his birth and position must have
been the cause of the importance attached to him, as it is not to be
found in his personal qualities.

3. Accordingly, there are clear indications of a jealousy between
Æneas himself and the Trojan royal family. In the great battle of B. x.
118, Deiphobus, wanting aid, goes to seek Æneas (459-61).

                      τὸν δ’ ὕστατον εὗρεν ὁμίλου
    ἐστάοτ’· αἰεὶ γὰρ Πριάμῳ ἐπεμήνιε δίῳ
    οὕνεκ’ ἀρ’, ἔσθλον ἔοντα μετ’ ἀνδράσιν, οὔτι τίεσκεν.

Now this aversion is wholly foreign to the character of Priam, which
was genial and kindly: nor can it be accounted for by any thing in the
very neutral character of Æneas. There is an opinion of some critics,
that he and Anchises had given offence by advising the restoration of
Helen. This, however, seems (B. iii. 159) to have been the general
wish of the δημογέροντες, to whom it is expressly ascribed; and it is
Antenor, who proposes it in the Assembly; why then should it not, if
it existed, be mentioned by Homer in the case of Æneas and Anchises?
Yet there is not the faintest reference to it. It would still,
however, appear insufficient to account for the feeling imputed to
Priam. Coupling it with the high position of Æneas, and the absence of
Anchises, I cannot but think there is most probably a reference here
to the headship of the family, which is designated by the term ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν. Nothing could be more natural than this jealousy between the
recent and wealthy city of the plain on the one hand, and the ancient
but comparatively poor city of the hills on the other, if the ruling
family of Dardania claimed by seniority the chieftaincy of the race.

4. Another remarkable indication of the peculiar position of Æneas is
afforded by the taunt of Achilles (Il. xx. 179-83),

      ἦ σέ γε θυμὸς ἐμοὶ μαχέσασθαι ἀνώγει
    ἐλπόμενον Τρώεσσιν ἀνάξειν ἱπποδάμοισιν
    τιμῆς τῆς Πριάμου;

‘But you will not get it,’ he proceeds, ‘for Priam has children of his
own, and is no fool.’

To this taunt Æneas makes no reply, except by stating his genealogy,
for which Achilles had not asked. Is not this very like justifying his
expectation of the throne? or what other connecting link can be pointed
out between the taunt of Achilles, and the genealogy given in answer to
the challenge it conveyed?

5. While Ilion, the city of Priam, was later by several generations,
probably having been founded in the reign of Ilus, Anchises reigned in
Dardania, the original seat (Il. xx. 216) of the race. The fact of his
sovereignty there seems to be indicated by our finding Æneas in command
of the Dardanians, with two sons of Antenor, who probably served as
his lieutenants (ii. 819-23): by the connection which that passage
establishes between Anchises and the hill country, inhabited (Il. xx.
216) by the Dardanians; by the division of the royal line at the point
where the Ilian name first appears (Il. xx. 231); and by a number of
places showing the high position in the army which Æneas held, as head
of the Dardanian force.

6. The rank of Æneas was without any rival or parallel in the Trojan
army, except Hector. Though strictly speaking Dardanian, he is
addressed as

    Αἰνεία, Τρώων βουλήφορε·

His name is often combined with that of Hector, and when so combined
frequently precedes it. Thus we have (vi. 75),

    εἰ μὴ ἄρ’ Αἰνείᾳ τε καὶ Ἕκτορι εἶπε κ.τ.λ.

To this are subjoined, by Helenus, words which assign to Æneas a parity
of command with Hector:

    Αἰνεία τε καὶ Ἕκτορ, ἐπεὶ πόνος ὔμμι μάλιστα
    Τρώων καὶ Λυκίων ἐγκέκλιται[816].

If it be thought that metrical considerations had to do with putting
Æneas in these places as well as in xx. 240, before Hector, so they
might have to do with placing Ilus before Assaracus in the genealogy.

It is asserted of him by Mars in the person of Acamas, Il. v. 467,

    κεῖται ἀνὴρ ὅντ’ ἶσον ἐτίομεν Ἕκτορι δίῳ,
    Αἰνείας, υἱὸς μεγαλήτορος Ἀγχίσαο.

Lastly, we have the prophecy of Neptune that the sceptre of Dardanus
should continue in the line of Anchises (Il. xx. 302-8).

And, as regards the application to Æneas of the title which properly
belonged to Anchises, this seems to connect itself with the practice
of the heroic age as to a devolution of sovereignty, either partial or
total, by aged men upon their heirs. We seem to find another example
of this in the case of Eumelus; and the instances of Achilles, and
especially of Ulysses, are also in point.

7. As the character of Æneas does not account for the jealousy felt
towards him, so neither does his conduct. He nowhere thwarts Hector by
opposition, or tries him by advice that he is not inclined to take. Of
this course of proceeding we have an instance; but it is in Polydamas.
If, then, neither the character nor the conduct of Æneas supply the
explanation, we must look for it in some claims that he was entitled
to make in virtue of lineage, and that consequently attracted jealousy
towards him.

8. Although it has been assumed that Priam was the head of the Trojan
race and federation, this is not stated by Homer. In Il. xxiv. 544
it is only said that he excelled the other princes of that region,
(1) in his wealth, and (2) in the number, or possibly it may mean the
excellence of his sons. On the contrary, it is doubtful, by the mere
words of the poem, whether Priam represented the senior or the junior
line, and when we compare and draw inferences from the text, we may
arrive at the conclusion that it was the junior line, quite as easily
as at an opposite one; especially if we shall find, that the rights of
seniority itself were less determinate in Troas, than in Greece.

In the genealogy of the Twentieth Book, we find no assistance towards
elucidating this question, except in the precedence given to names. The
three sons of Tros stand in the following order:

  1. Ilus.
  2. Assaracus.
  3. Ganymedes.

Then (1) the fate of Ganymedes is described;

(2) the line of Ilus is traced down to Priam;

(3) that of Assaracus is traced to Anchises.

Here the line of Priam has precedence: but on the other hand, lastly,
Æneas proceeds to state his own birth from Anchises, before that of
Hector from Priam,

    αὐτὰρ ἔμ’ Ἀγχίσης, Πρίαμος δ’ ἔτεχ’ Ἕκτορα δῖον[817].

9. In the Fifth Iliad we learn, that Jupiter presented some horses
of a particular breed to Tros, as a compensation for the loss of his
son Ganymedes. Anchises brought his mares to them in the time of
Laomedon without leave, and thus got possession of the breed. And it
is in this place that Homer calls him ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν[818]. It may also
be observed that this was the act of a young man; for Laomedon, on
whom he played this trick, was one generation higher in the family
tree. It is here shown undoubtedly that the horses of Tros, the common
ancestor, descended to the line of Priam; which was the more wealthy
and powerful, and occupied the plain country, where the horses fed in
great numbers (xx. 221); but again, does it not seem as if this very
proceeding of Anchises may have had reference to a rivalry between the
two houses, and a claim on his part to the headship of the family?
especially from the use in this very narrative of the phrase ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν for Anchises (v. 268), and shortly after for his heir Æneas (v.

_Summary of the Evidence._

To sum up the evidence. We find the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν applied to
two persons only among the Trojans. Those two are a father advanced
in years, and his heir apparent. The father is plainly enough the
sovereign of Dardania, as well as descended from Dardanus; and
Dardania, though secondary in power, was the original seat of the race.
We cannot say positively whether Anchises represented the elder or the
younger branch of the family: for precedence of name is sometimes given
to one, and sometimes to the other line. But as Troy was powerful, and
Dardania poor, we can understand the precedence of the Trojan line,
even although it be supposed junior: whereas it seems difficult to
account for the fact that the precedence is sometimes given to Æneas,
or for the jealousy felt both towards him, and by him, except on the
supposition that his family in its humbler circumstances either were
the rightful representatives of Dardanus, whose sceptre, after the
fall of Troy, Æneas and his sons were undoubtedly to transmit[819]; or
at least were in a condition, whether by primogeniture in Assaracus,
or whether by holding the original seat of the race, to make fair and
plausible pretensions to the distinction.

It is important to bear in mind, that we have not the same clear
assertion of the right of the elder branch to succeed to power in Asia,
which the cases of Agamemnon, Protesilaus, Thrasymedes, and perhaps
others, supply in Greece. On the contrary, we shall find Sarpedon
first leader of the Lycians, though of a junior branch to Glaucus, and
likewise representing only the female line. We shall also find great
reason to question whether Hector, even if he was the heir expectant
of the succession, was not, nevertheless, junior to Paris. This want
of definiteness in the rule of succession is exactly what would bring
it into dispute, and perhaps into prolonged dispute. And if the right
of seniority was not fully acknowledged in Asia, this would at once
explain, why Homer did not observe an uniform order in the genealogy:
perhaps it might also explain his not being historically aware what
that order was.

If this be so, the apparent anomaly of the application, on the Trojan
side, to secondary persons only of the title so constantly given to the
highest Greek, disappears, and becomes the consistent application of a
rule. And Anchises with Æneas may then offer the most perfect model of
the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, as uniting with continued sovereignty not only known
lineal descent from the first ancestor, and from Jupiter, but also the
continued possession of the original seat.

It may however be asked, why, even if we allow that ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν
is among the Greeks a title of patriarchal chieftaincy, should we
therefore assume that it had the same defined meaning among a people of
different blood and institutions?

Let me briefly answer this question.

It is to the Helli that we have looked back as the most probable
source of those ideas and institutions of clanship, which gave rise
to the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. But the Helli were a mountain people,
(for they were around the wintry Dodona,) and so were the Dardanians:
and the institutions of highlanders in different parts, even at wide
intervals of space and time, often present strong mutual resemblances.
The limited means and pursuits of man in such a physical position check
development, and tend to maintain uniformity.

The Dardan highlanders worshipped Jupiter on Ida, as the Helli
worshipped him at Dodona. That it was the same Jupiter, we may infer
with the greatest confidence, from the fact that Homer makes one
formula of invocation common to his Trojans and his Greeks[820].

    ὧδε δέ τις εἴπεσκεν Ἀχαιῶν τε Τρώων τε·
    Ζεῦ πάτερ, Ἴδηθεν μεδέων, κύδιστε, μέγιστε, κ.τ.λ.

The bulk of the religion was nearly the same on both sides, as far as
the principal deities were concerned.

_Signs of kin between Trojans and Greeks._

As the first among the proofs of affinity in blood, I should be
inclined to cite that very visit of Paris to Menelaus, which gave
occasion to the war. We have no other instance recorded in Homer
of a foreign prince, received as such in domestic hospitality by a
Greek chieftain. Nor can we, inversely, find that Greek chieftains
were similarly entertained by foreigners. We have indeed an account
of gifts received by Menelaus in Egypt[821]; and we have the kindly
reception by the Egyptian king and his people of the Pseudo-Ulysses as
a suppliant[822]; and the similar entertainment of Ulysses, again as a
suppliant, in Scheria. But these cases fall greatly short of the case
of Paris. Again, Homer calls the Egyptians ἀλλόθροοι ἄνθρωποι[823]: and
that phrase is an usual one with him, evidently representing a familiar
idea. But he never calls the Trojans ἀλλόθροοι, nor speaks of them as
having different manners or religion from the Greeks. The strongest
word applied to them is ἀλλοδάπος[824]. But this word seems to mean
simply ‘from another place,’ and does not convey the proper and full
idea of a foreigner. For not only the Lycian Sarpedon is an ἀλλοδάπος
to the Trojans, but Greek pirates are usually said to attack ἀλλοδάποι,
whereas they evidently were wont to plunder those of their own nation,
even down to the time of Thucydides: and above all Eumæus, disgusted
and worn out with the profligate misdeeds of the Suitors, thinks of
moving off ἄνδρας ἐς ἀλλοδάπους, together with his oxen (ἰόντ’ αὐτῇσι
βόεσσιν), by which he could not have meant more than a short passage to
the Greek continent[825]. On the whole, I think that all this permits
the supposition that the Trojans were admitted to be a kindred, though
they were not a Greek people.

But further, the poems are full of testimony to the affinities between
the Trojans and the Greeks. It is true they also bear witness to
considerable differences: but both nations had been settled in the
plain country for several generations before the Trojan War; and, with
the growth of agriculture and trade, arts and wealth, they might well
have diverged from the close parallelism of a ruder age.

At this point, however, we must call to mind some matters, which have
been more largely discussed already.

Among these resemblances of a general character it may be observed,
that there evidently are Pelasgi on both sides of the great quarrel.
The Πελασγοὶ of the Trojans are among the ἐπίκουροι (Il. ii. 840): the
Πελασγοὶ of the Greeks appear as one of the Cretan races, distinct from
the Dorians and Achæans, and probably as the first founders of those
lowland settlements in Thessaly (ii. 681), over which the Hellenic and
Achæan names seem principally to have prevailed. Thus the Pelasgian
name forms a decided bond of union between the two races: though, from
the Poet’s mentioning it on the Trojan, and suppressing it on the Greek
side, we at once infer that the Pelasgian element was stronger and more
palpable among the Trojans.

_Signs connected with the Helli._

Next, it may be recollected that, according both to antecedent
probability and to tradition, those Helli who colonized the tract
about Dodona must have come from, that is, come by way of, Dardania.
There is thus every likelihood of a similarity, either of race or of
manners, between those who passed onwards, and those who dropped off
the movement, and remained behind.

Nor are there wanting some indications, small in amount, but
trustworthy in their nature, of primitive identity between the Dardans,
or some portion of them, and the Helli.

The Trojan Catalogue divides itself into two principal parts. The
latter of these (840-877) recites the names of the allied nations.
The former (816-39) mentions no names of races but the Trojan and
Dardanian; which were really one, and were even in name sometimes
treated as identical: for Æneas is addressed, though commander of the
Dardans[826], as

    Αἰνεία, Τρώων βουλήφορε.

This division of the Catalogue is clearly indicated by the verse which
introduces it,

    ἔνθα τότε Τρῶές τε διέκριθεν ἠδ’ ἐπίκουροι·

where the word Τρῶες evidently includes the Dardanians.

And that every thing is Trojan, or Dardan, which lies within the
division, vv. 816-839, may further be inferred from Dolon’s description
of the bivouac of the ἐπίκουροι in Il. x. 428-31. He enumerates
nine nations, some of whom appear among the eleven described in Il.
ii. 840-77, but not one among those portions of the force which are
described 816-839. I therefore gather, that every thing in this part of
the Catalogue is strictly Trojan or Dardan. But here we have

    Ἄσιος Ὑρτακίδης, ὃν Ἀρίσβηθεν φέρον ἵπποι
    αἴθωνες μεγάλοι, ποταμοῦ ἀπὸ Σελλήεντος.

The mention of this river is repeated in Il. xii. 96, 7.

Now the name of a river Selleeis at once suggests a connection with the
tribe of Selli or Helli: and further on we shall find, that Ephyre is a
sign of the Helli, as Larissa is of the Pelasgi, and that one at least
of the Ephyres of Greece, probably one situated in Thessaly, was by a
river Selleeis. In later times Sicyon[827], and in Homer Elis, if not
Thessaly, show each their Ephyre with a river Selleeis.

It has been already noticed, that in the Games of the Twenty-third
Iliad, Homer tells us that the σόλος, or ball of iron given by Achilles
as a prize, had previously been hurled by the strong arm of king
Eetion. And as all the traces of gymnastic exercises in Homer lead us
to refer them to Hellic families, we may perhaps be justified in taking
this as an indication that Eetion, the father of Andromache, belonged
to this stock.

_The Hellespont of Homer._

Another trace of the name of the Helli is found in the grammatical
structure of the ancient Homeric word Hellespont. Its composition
declares it to be the sea of Helle. Helle would be the descriptive
name of a woman of the tribe of Helli. Nor could any thing be more
natural, than that the Strait and neighbouring water should take its
appellation from the tribe of Helli, or even from a person of that
tribe, when we have every reason to believe they made the passage in
the course of their migration westward.

In later times, the name Hellespont has been restricted to the narrow
strait between the Sea of Marmora and the Archipelago. In Homer it bore
this sense, at least occasionally or inclusively, because he calls it
ἀγάῤῥοος[828]. At other times he calls it πλατὺς, and the commentators
have been much puzzled to show how a narrow strait could be a broad
one, while the interpretation _salt_ has also been suggested for the
epithet. It is just possible, that this adjective might apply to what
was afterwards known as the Hellespont, and might describe it as broad,
in comparison with the bay in which lay the Greek ships: but it is much
more natural to construe it more freely, and to understand by it the
broad Hellespont, in opposition to the narrow Hellespont; that is, the
open sea, in opposition to the ἀγάῤῥοος, which signifies the Strait.
The expression πλατὺς Ἑλλήσποντος is used but thrice; once[829] for
the water near the part of the camp occupied by Achilles, which we
know was by the open sea[830], and twice[831] with reference to the
sepulchral mounds which were to be erected there, and for which the
most conspicuous spot would of course be chosen. What πλατὺς suggests,
another epithet, ἀπείρων[832], surely requires: for it is incredible
that this word should be applied to the mere Strait. And in truth,
independently of epithets, it is demonstrable that the word in Homer
sometimes means, not the strait, but the Archipelago. For Achilles,
announcing his intention to sail home, says he will be seen passing
Ἑλλήσποντον ἐπ’ ἰχθυόεντα[833], _over_ the Hellespont, which, having
his vessels already at the mouth of it, he clearly could not do if it
meant the strait only. And, in truth, the etymology of the word speaks
for itself: the Greeks never would have given the name πόντος at all
to a narrow strip of water. The connection, which was thus established
between this quarter and Greece through the medium of the name Helle,
was recognised by the later Greeks: but they naturally altered its
form, by keeping to their own country the honours of the fountain-head,
while they made the eastward traces of the name to be secondary and
derivative. In Apollonius, Phryxus and Helle are the children of
Athamas, and grandchildren of Æolus: and they are carried from Thessaly
on the back of a ram to the Troic sea, where she is dropped, and
gives her name to it. This tradition is summed up in the argument to
the Argonautica, and exhibits the belief of the Greeks in the early
relationship of the countries.

All this marks the Helli not only as a people who had crossed the
straits, but as one which had left its name associated with the
northern coast of the Ægean, and moreover upon the country in the
neighbourhood of the straits, up to the river Selleeis; a stream which
we see must have been at a considerable distance beyond Troy, because
all the rivers that descended from Mount Ida were employed in clearing
away the Greek earthworks, and this one is not among them[834].

_The gift of Echepolus._

We find an insulated yet remarkable note of kin between the Dardan
house and the Greeks in the case of Echepolus. He was a son of
Anchises, and he resided in Sicyon. He was possessed of great wealth,
and apparently he had also the fine breed of horses which was in his
family: for he presented Agamemnon with the mare Αἴθη[835], as a
consideration for not being required to follow him against Troy.

Now there was evidently at this time no commercial class formed in
Greece. Echepolus must therefore have had a territorial fortune. To
find a wealthy member of the Dardan house domesticated in Greece, and
peacefully remaining there during the expedition, must excite some
surprise. It seems to supply a new and strong presumption of the Hellic
origin of the royal families of Troas. The name too, and the gift
of a horse, are in remarkable conformity with the horse-rearing and
horse-breaking pursuits of the highest Trojans.

We have already seen stray signs of the Pelasgic affinities between
the two contending parties: but it would now appear, that there were
affinities in the Hellic line also: and if so, then this institution of
chieftaincy, standing above merely political supremacy, and indicated
by the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, may probably have subsisted among Trojans as
well as Greeks.

The less warlike character of the Trojans, their more oriental
manners, and their less multiform and imaginative religion, all point
to considerable differences in the composition of the people. The
Pelasgic ingredient was probably stronger in Troy: it appears to have
had more influence over religion, manners, and institutions. But the
circumstances mentioned above are tokens of an infusion of Hellic
blood in the populations that inhabited Troas. Now this was nowhere so
likely to be found as in the royal family; for we see the governing
faculty everywhere accompanying the Hellic tribes through Greece, and
asserting itself both by the acquisition of political power, and by the
energetic use of it. Everywhere it rises, by a natural buoyancy, to the
summit of society; and gives their first vent, in miniature, to those
energies, which were afterwards to defy, or even to subdue the world.

At the same time, though it is in connection with the Hellic families
alone that we find the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν among the Greeks, we need not
proceed so far as to deny the possibility that it might also have been
a Pelasgic institution, and that its non-appearance, in connection with
their name, might be sufficiently accounted for simply by their loss
of political power. We have no reason to suppose the Pelasgi and Helli
to have been families of mankind whose characters were in radical and
absolute opposition to one another: the completeness of their fusion
after a short period seems to prove, that, though with a different
distribution of capacities and tendencies, they must have had many and
important points of contact.

IV. _Case of Augeias._

Let us take next the case of Augeias.

He appears in three passages of the Iliad.

1. The Epeans, who inhabited Elis, with Bouprasium and other towns
enumerated in the Catalogue, and lying in the north-western corner
of the Peloponnesus, sent to the Trojan war forty ships, in four
divisions, under four separate leaders, and without any head over
the whole contingent. The fourth named of these is Polyxeinus, son of
Agasthenes, himself a lord (ἄναξ), and the son of Augeias.

2. In the Eleventh Book, Nestor gives the curious history of the war of
his boyhood or earliest youth, between the Elians (v. 671), called also
Epeans (688), and the Pylians.

Neleus had sent to Elis a chariot with four horses to contend in the
games, of which a tripod was the prize. The horses were detained by
Augeias (v. 701).

            τοὺς δ’ αὖθι ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Αὐγείας

Nestor and the Pylians invaded Elis in return, and brought off an
immense booty. The Elians then took arms and besieged Thryoessa (in
the Catalogue Thryon), the border city of Pylos, at the ford of the
Alpheus. Minerva brought the tidings to Pylos. The Pylian forces spent
one night on the boundary river Minyeius, and marched to the Alpheus,
beside which they spent a second night.

3. In the morning the battle was fought: the Epeans were defeated,
and driven all the way to Bouprasium and the Olenian rock, upon the
sea shore, in the western part of what was afterwards Achæa. There
Pallas turned them back. The Pylians, who returned home, are called

Nestor in the first fight had slain a warrior named Μούλιος. He was the
son-in-law of Augeias, married to his eldest daughter Agamede, who was
profoundly skilled in drugs (v. 741);

    ἣ τόσα φάρμακα ᾔδη, ὅσα τρέφει εὐρεῖα χθών.

K. O. Müller (Orchomenus, p. 355) infers from the Catalogue, that
Augeias was lord only of a fourth part of Elis. But this assumption
seems quite gratuitous in connection with the passage in the Catalogue,
and utterly in contradiction to the tenour of the history of the Pylian
raid in B. xi. On the contrary, I infer with considerable confidence,
from the acephalous state of the Elian division of the army, in which
it differs from the other divisions, that there had been a revolution
in that state since the time of Augeias; and if so, then indirectly the
Catalogue confirms the Elian monarchy described in the Eleventh Book.

Thus then we find this ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, Augeias, lord of Elis two
generations before the Trojan war. He is neighbour to Achæans, whom
we have already traced in Hellas: and he appears to have belonged to
the same national origin with them, because they sent their chariots
to run races at his games. Again, the fact of his holding these games
at all, and at a place which subsequently contended for and obtained
the superintendence of the great national assemblages celebrated at
Olympia, testifies to his known connection with the cradle of the
race whose custom it was to celebrate them; because these festivities
had a religious and national character, and as such could not but
have depended very greatly upon traditionary title. This race we have
previously found to be the Hellenic race.

_Notes of connection between Elis and the North._

We may however find other indications of the descent of Augeias
from a ruling Hellenic family, in local and personal notices which
connect Elis, his own territory, with the north, and with Thessaly in

For example: it was at the Alpheus in Elis that Thamyris suffered his
calamity: and he was coming at the time from Œchalia[837], in the
valley of the Upper Peneus, a part of the Homeric Thessaly or Hellas
proper. (Il. ii. 730.)

The name Θρῂξ, too, which is applied to him, never seems to have spread
farther southwards than the hills about Thessaly.

Further, he was coming from Eurytus of Œchalia, who is again named as
the lord, apparently, of that city, in ii. 730. But the name Eurytus
was one current among the descendants of Actor[838], for a descendant
of Actor who bore it is named in the Catalogue a little below: and this
latter Eurytus was an Epean chief: and the descendants of Actor are
found in the Epean or Elian army of the Eleventh Book. (xi. 709, 739.)

Again, they are found in Thessaly or Phthiotis, for when Mercury had
deflowered Polymele, the daughter of Phylas a Thessalian, Echecles,
a descendant of Actor, married her; and yet again, they are found
near Aspledon[839] and the Minyeian Orchomenos, between Bœotia and

Again, the Pylian army halted, at a day’s march from the Alpheus, on
the Minyeius, a river evidently named from the Minyæ of Peloponnesus.
But there was a Minya also in Thessaly[841], of which the site was not
precisely known in historic times: and the northern Orchomenos was
called Minyeius[842].

There is no part of Middle or of Southern Greece which so abounds in
the local and personal notes of connection with Thessaly and the North
as Elis and its neighbourhood. Some indications of it have already been
given, and many more might be added. As for example, there was an
Enipeus[843], a river of Elis, so there was of Pieria and of Phthiotis.
Doris, beneath Œta, is reflected or prefigured in the Homeric Dorium
of the Pylian territories: the Thessalian Larissa in a Larissa, and a
river Larissus, of Elis. The Thessalian name Œchalia is repeated in the
district, over which Nestor ruled at the epoch of the _Troica_; and
there is an Arcadian Orchomenos as well as a northern one. Cyparissus
in Elis corresponds, again, with a Cyparissus in Phocis. Some other
more doubtful indications may close the list. The Parrhasie of Arcadia
may be from the same root with the Πύρασος[844] of the dominions of
Protesilaus. Perhaps the Thessalian Helos and Pteleos may be akin to
Alos in the country of Peleus[845]. The resemblance of names is not
confined to the extremities of the line, but is scattered along the
path of migration from north to south. It extends also to Laconia.

Nestor in his youth is summoned all the way from Pylos (τηλόθεν), to
fight with Pirithous and others in Thessaly; (from whence Polypœtes,
the son of Pirithous, led a division of the Greek army,) against the

Thus far we find some presumptions as to the descent of Augeias, as to
his connection with the Hellic institution of the games, and as to the
relation between Elis, over which he reigned, and the line northwards
into Thessaly; all tending, together with the evidently Hellic
character of the Epeans, to shew that he was the representative of one
of their ruling tribes.

But he also bears a distinct local mark, the nature of which I shall
now endeavour to investigate.

The chieftainship of Agamemnon has been traced and identified by
means of his Achæan connection, without any assistance from local or
territorial names connected with the abode of his family.

In such a case as his, we could not look for aid of that description:
for his house had only been possessed for two generations of their
dominions: we have no precise knowledge before that time of the place
of their sojourn: and when they rose to power, it was in a territory,
and in cities, which appear to have been already of historic fame. It
was not therefore likely that their abodes should bear names such as,
if they had come in the characters of founders and not of inheritors,
they would probably have affixed to them.

In the case of the Dardan house, we have found, among other indications
of their Hellic affinities, the two evidently Hellic names of the
Hellespont and the River Selleeis.

_The name of Ephyre._

There is another local name in Homer of paramount importance as a key
to the question respecting the ruling Hellic tribes, the name of Ephyre

Let us endeavour to collect the scattered lights which either the
etymology, or the use and associations of the term in Homer, may supply.

_Its cognate names._

And, first, we may notice in Homer a large cluster of names which are
found running over Greece, and which are evidently in etymological
association with one another: I will bring these together, before
endeavouring to estimate their relation to the name Ephyre.

1. Φᾶρις, Il. ii. 582. In Lacedæmon.

2. Φεραὶ, Il. ii. 711. In Thessaly.

3. Φήρη, Il. v. 543. Between Pylus and Sparta.

4. Φήραι, Il. ix. 151, 293. Od. iii. 488. The same.

5. Φεαὶ, Od. xv. 296[846]. Otherwise read Φεραὶ, and, according to the
Scholiast, the same with Φῆραι. The site is on the sea, between Pylus
and Sparta.

6. Φεῖα, Il. vii. 135. On the Iardanus: and probably also on
the Arcadian frontier towards Pylus: but, in the opinion of the
Scholiast[847], the same with Φεαί.

Besides these names of places, we have also,

1. Φηρητιάδης, Il. ii. 763. xxiii. 376, the name of Eumelus; who was
the son of Admetus, the lord of Φεραὶ in Il. ii. 711.

2. Φέρης, one of the sons of Cretheus, a Thessalian king, Od. xi. 259.

3. The Φῆρες, termed ὀρέσκῳοι in Il. i. 268, and λαχνηέντες in Il. ii.
743; the shaggy mountaineers, on whom Pirithous made war, when he was
attended by Nestor.

With respect to the six local names, and the two first of the three
personal names, there can be little doubt of their identity in root.
It is directly probable from the text, that Φήρη and Φηραὶ were the
same place. The name of Eumelus, who lives at Φεραὶ, and who is the
grandson of Φέρης, yet is called Φηρητιάδης, clearly establishes the
etymological relationship. Thus there is, again, no difficulty whatever
in recognising between Φεραὶ and Φεαὶ, or again between Φεαὶ and Φείαι;
and it is in the manner of Homer to give the name of the same country
both in the singular and in the plural, as Μυκήνη, Il. iv. 52, and
Μυκηναὶ, Il. ii. 569. Φᾶρις, the only remaining name, gives us the
Doric or Æolic α for η, and an altered form of declension. This however
is not at all incompatible with the manner of Homer, who not only uses
Πηνελόπη and Πηνελόπεια, Ἀστυόχη and Ἀστυόχεια, Πηρείη (according
to one reading), Il. ii. 766, and Πιερίη, Od. v. 50, but Ἑρμῆς and
Ἑρμείας, Πατροκλέης and Πατρόκλος; and for towns, the Θρύον of Il. ii.
591 appears again as Θρυόεσσα in Il. xi. 711.

In general it is to be remembered that the instrument of language, at
the time when Homer lived was as yet in a highly elastic state: it was
in the state as it were of gristle; it had not yet hardened into bone,
nor assumed the strict conventional forms which a formed literature
requires. And for the same reasons that it has presented variations as
between one time and another, it could not but do the like as between
one place and another.

The very same causes which made change a law of language would give to
that course of change in one place a greater, and in another a less
velocity, older forms succumbing at a given time in one place, and yet
surviving in another. Such a state of facts around him would give great
liberty to a poet, independently of the exigencies of his verse; which
appear indeed to have caused to such a man, and with such a language,
little difficulty.

But we hardly require the benefit of these general considerations to
cover the case of a varying declension for the name of a town. The true
explanation probably is the very simple one, that in one declension it
has been used substantively, and in the other adjectively. And this
will be the more plain if we consider that the name of the town would
usually be the representative of an idea, either in conjunction with a
person, or directly. Thus θρύον is _a rush_, and θρυοεὶς _rushy_. The
town Θρύον in the Catalogue is at the ford of the Alpheus, and in Il.
xi. 711 it is τις Θρυόεσσα πόλις, αἰπεῖα κολώνη, which exhibits to us
the adjective use in an actual example. So again by analogy we might
have Φῆρις from Φήρα or Φήρη, as πάτρις from πάτρα, ἀναλκὶς from ἄλκη.

We have a curious extra-Homeric remnant of geographical evidence with
respect to this Pharis. Pausanias[848] relates to us, that the place
where it was reported to have stood was in his time called Alesiæ, and
that near it there was a river bearing the peculiar name of Phellias;
which it seems most natural to regard as a corrupted form of the
Homeric name Σελληείς. This connection of Pharis with Selleeis becomes
in its turn an argument for relationship between Pharis and Ephyre,
with which Selleeis is associated in the places where Homer mentions it
as the name of a Greek river.

Nor are we without other traces, in this region, of that name which so
often attends upon Ephyre: for Laconia had for its key on the north the
town of Sellasia[849]. The Προέληνοι of Arcadia should also here be
borne in mind.

Thus then we appear to find the name of Ephyre according to one or
other of its forms in Laconia, in Pylus, and in that part of Thessaly
which was ruled by Admetus. The ruling race in the two former was
Achæan, and therefore Hellic. Admetus was himself an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, and
his Hellic origin will be shown presently. So far, therefore, we have a
presumption established that the name of Ephyre signifies some peculiar
connection with the Helli.

Etymologically it is obvious to connect these words with ἔρα as their
root, and to suppose that they retain the prefix, which it had lost in
the common Greek usage even before the days of Homer, as he employs
ἔραζε without the digamma: and which prefix we find reproduced in the
Latin _terra_.

_The Φῆρες._

Let us now pass on to the Φῆρες.

The Φῆρες of Homer are, like the Ἕλλοι, a mountain people, Il. i. 268,
rude in manners (ii. 743), and aggressive upon the inhabitants of the
plains; for the war in which Nestor engaged was evidently retributive,
as the expression used is ἐτίσατο[850], Pirithous ‘_paid them off_;’
and he was sovereign of a part of the plain country, called Pelasgic
Argos. Nor does any adverse presumption arise from our finding a Hellic
tribe (if such they were) of the mountains, making war on tribes of
similar origin in the plain: any more than we are surprised at war
between the Pylians and the Epeans, both apparently Hellic, though
probably not both Achæan.

It may be well to remember, that the Dardans of Homer are often
included in Trojans; as well as often separately designated: and that
the Cephallenians are also apparently included among his Ἀχαιοί.
Neither of these pairs of names are territorial: while in each pair one
probably indicates a subdivision of the other.

The Φῆρες thus resembling the Ἕλλοι, we are led by their designation
to another link between the name of Φῆραι with its cognates and the
Hellic race. It seems thus far as if Φηραὶ were the appropriate name of
a settlement formed by Φῆρες.

Having proceeded thus far, we may now observe the relation of the word

1. To the Greek ἔρα, which evidently, from its passing into the Latin
_terra_, had at one time a Greek prefix. With this we may probably
associate the Greek ἔαρ, and the Latin _ver_.

2. To the Greek θὴρ, a wild beast.

3. To the Latin _fera_, with the same meaning.

4. To the Latin _terra_, meaning the earth.

5. To the Italian _terra_, the old classical name, in that beautiful
tongue, not for a district, but for an inclosed, walled, or fortified
place. This word seems in Italian to be rarely, if at all, used for a
district, but so generally for a town, that it is difficult to suppose
the signification was derived in the same manner as Argos in Greek,
from the tract of country in which it was situated. In Italian _terra_
seems often to mean _tellus_, often _humus_, very rarely _ager_,
constantly _oppidum_ or _castrum_. Thus in Dante (Inferno, C., v. 97),
‘_Siede_ la terra, dove nata fui.’

This being so, it is natural to suppose that, while the correlative
of the Greek ἔρα became in Latin _terra_, so as directly to signify
_tellus_ or _humus_, that of the Greek Φηρὰ became in Italian _terra_,
so as to signify a walled place; or, in other words, that the original
word, whatever it was, of the common mother language, which became Φηρὰ
in Greek, in Italy became _terra_ for this latter purpose. The exchange
of θ for _t_ we see in ἐσθὴς becoming _vestis_: and of _t_ for _f_ (=
φ) in τρυγάω compared with _fruges_.

This sense of _terra_ seems to have dropped altogether out of the
Latin, and especially Pelasgian, branch of the old Italian tongue.

The relation between Φὴρ and θὴρ, the one applicable to men, and the
other to wild beasts, appears evidently to throw us back upon that
which the mountain tribes of men had in common with animals, namely, a
wild and savage life, and the free possession of the earth. Thus the
two stand in a common and near relation to the word ἔρα, the earth, and
they seem to have ἐρ or ἠρ for their common root.

Before passing on to Ἐφύρη, I would remark that in this instance again
we seem to derive light from Homer’s unequalled point and precision
in the use of epithets. His Φῆρες appear to be in fact the rude and
uncombed mountaineers, who also have the name of Ἕλλοι in the same or
other tribes. These Φῆρες are λαχνηέντες, shaggy. They come down to
the plains, and acquire settled and civilised habits: from Φῆρες they
are become Ἀχαιοὶ, but their long hair has not left them, and from
λαχνηέντες they are now καρηκομόωντες.

Now we find the word Ἐφύρη used many times in Homer: and once we have
the name Ἔφυροι, applied to a people apparently Thessalian, on whom
Mars[851], with his son Φόβος, makes war from out of Thrace.

_Etymology of Ἐφύρη._

Can we then presume an etymological connection between the word Ἐφύρη,
and that group of words which we have been discussing, and which we
have found to show marks of connection with the Helli?

For if so, then we shall be supported by various other reasons, which,
as we shall find, connect the word Ephyre with the Hellic races in a
very remarkable manner.

What we have here to consider is,

1. The prefix ε.

2. The change of ε or η for υ.

Dr. Donaldson[852] has given a list of Greek words which have, as
prefixes unconnected with the root, sometimes the letter α, sometimes
ε, sometimes ο.

Such in the second class are

  ἐ-ρέφω, whence roof.
  ἐ-λεύθερος, whence liber.
  ἐ-ρυθρὸς, whence ruber, rufus.
  ἐ-ρετμὸς, whence remus.

This point being disposed of, how are we to account for finding φυρη,
instead of φερη or φηρη?

Can it be because, in cases of Greek syllabic augment, there is a
tendency to avoid reduplication, as in ἀτιτάλλω for ἀτατάλλω? In but
a small proportion of the cases given in Dr. Donaldson’s table is the
vowel prefix the same with the vowel following.

Can it be from that tendency of what we call comprehensively the
digamma to lapse into the υ, which Heyne has observed[853]?

Or, shall we found it on the principles laid down by Bopp[854], in his
Comparative Grammar, that the α has a tendency to weaken itself into υ,
and that liquids having a preference for that latter vowel, influence
the generation of it? the conditions of interchange between α and υ
resting, as he says, upon the laws of gravity or vocal equilibrium.

It must be observed that the original vowel of the root may, in this
case, have been the α which we find in φᾶρις.

It is not only α that we may find supplanted by υ. The ε suffers the
same fate in the Italian _Siculus_, which appears as the representative
of the Greek Σίκελος. Again we have, in the Latin, the kindred words
_furo_ and _fera_. Perhaps I am wrong in dealing thus scrupulously
with the variation from ε to υ, as if capable of affecting vitally the
question of identity in the root. For in examining another root (that
of κεφάλη), we have seen that its derivatives appear to include the
whole, or nearly the whole range of the vowels of the alphabet.

_Its probable signification._

Upon the whole it appears not unsafe, without pretending to any
authoritative solution of a question fitted for philological scholars,
among whom I cannot pretend to rank, to suppose that Ἐφύρη and Φηραὶ
may be drawn etymologically from the same root. If so, that root will
be probably the same with that of ἔρα, and of φῆρ of which we have
ascertained that it is related to the Hellic races: and upon these
suppositions we may already be prepared, I do not say to conclude, but
to suspect that Ἐφύρη and Φεραὶ may properly denote, and may be the
original and proper Hellic name for the _terre_ (Ital.), or walled
places, founded by the Hellic races; as Ἄργος signifies the open
districts in which the Pelasgians were given to settling κωμηδὸν, for
agricultural purposes.

I do not mean by this that the Pelasgian settlements contained no
aggregations of houses, or that the Hellic were not connected with the
cultivation of the soil. On the contrary, as the Pelasgians apparently
built their Larissas for defence, so we seem to have indications
connecting the name Ephyre with a fertile soil. When Homer represents
the Ἔφυροι as objects of invasion by Mars from Thrace, he probably
means by the name the inhabitants of a settled country in the plains,
on whom predatory incursions were made by the Thracian highlanders.
So that if we shall succeed in shewing a special connection between
the local name Ephyre and the Hellic tribes, we may, by the reflected
light of that conclusion, even venture to understand the word Ephyri
as meaning Helli, who had come down into the low country, made
settlements, and acquired something at least of the habits of civilized

Nor are we without further Homeric evidence to the effect that,
wherever an Ephyre is found, there is usually an abundance of rich
pasture and cultivable land, so that the name is well adapted to mark
those spots which a conquering race would be apt to choose for its

For example, Elis has its Ephyre: and from the fact that Elis was the
scene of the national chariot-races, we might at once conclude that it
was famous for its horses, and if so, that it abounded in good soil
and pasture, and in open country. Wherever in Homer we find the horse
conspicuous, we find also good lands and opulence, whether it be in
Troas, in the Thrace called ἐριβώλαξ[855], in Thessaly, or in Elis.
For Homer gives us, as to the last, direct evidence of the fact, by
his epithets εὐρύχορος, open, and ἱππόβοτος, horse-pasturing[856].
Elis, in fact, was most probably for Peloponnesus what Bœotia was for
Middle Greece: the first halting place, from its fertile soil, of those
who entered the region; the scene, accordingly, of rapid successions,
and therefore frequent revolutions, but also the place bearing the
strongest marks, through nomenclature, of the country from which the
new-comers had proceeded.

Again, the Ephyre of the Odyssey is expressly called (Od. ii. 328),
πίειραν ἄρουραν. And when Hercules took Astyoche from Ephyre (Il. ii.
659), after despoiling that with many other cities, we may clearly
infer, that they were rich, and not poor places which he plundered,
therefore that this Ephyre also was rich, and if so, rich in its soil,
the only wealth, for regions, then known to Greece. Again, the Ephyre
of Sisyphus (Il. vi. 152) became Corinth, and Corinth was even in
Homer’s time called ἄφνειος. This epithet is referred by some to its
favourable position for commerce. But such an explanation is wholly
unsuited to the age of Homer. For the commercial prominence of Corinth
belongs to a later period; and we have nothing to support the idea,
that commercial opulence existed in Greece at this period at all. The
natural explanation seems to be, the fertility of the soil of the plain
between the rock of Corinth and Sicyon. This seems to have become, in
after-time, the subject of a proverb. Hence the χρησμόλογος in the Aves
of Aristophanes says (Av. 968),

    ἀλλ’ ὅταν οἰκήσωσι λύκοι πολιαί τε κορώναι
    ἐν ταυτῷ τὸ μεταξὺ Κορίνθου καὶ Σικυῶνος.

In the same sense as where Shakespeare says,

    When Birnam wood shall move to Dunsinane.

The Scholiast gives two explanations, of which the best is εὔφορος γὰρ
αὕτη ἡ χώρα.

Again, it is certainly confirmatory of the supposition that Ἐφύρη
was the name of the primitive Hellic, as Ἄργος was of the Pelasgic
settlement, when we find that the first, though clearly meaning
a settled place, has etymologically no reference to agricultural
labour, while the second is entirely based upon that idea; since
these significations of the word chosen to denote settlement, in the
two cases agree, in their reciprocal difference, with the different
specific character of the Hellic and Pelasgic tribes, the former
emerging from the mountains, predatory and poor, ardent, bold, and
enterprising; the latter peaceful in their habits, and looking to
nothing beyond the cultivation of the soil.

So much for the root of Ephyre and Pheræ, and for the relation between
the two.

_Places bearing the name in Homer._

Now the Homeric testimony to the prevalence of these names is exactly
such as most effectually establishes the connection between them on the
one hand, and Thessaly with the Hellic races on the other.

First as to Ephyre.

1. Five generations before the Trojan war, Sisyphus, a son or
descendant of Æolus, was settled, apparently as a subordinate prince
or lord, in an Ephyre, which was near the territory of Prœtus, and
was situated μύχῳ Ἄργεος ἱπποβότοιο. Bellerophon, the grandson of
Sisyphus, was driven out by Prœtus, king of the Argives; and was a
ξεῖνος of Œneus, the ancestor of Diomed. These circumstances, combined
with the tradition that attached the name of Ephyre to the site of
Corinth, leave no doubt that Homer means to place Sisyphus in what was
afterwards Corinth[857]. There was no other known Ephyre in a nook of
Ἄργος, or what may be termed within reach of Prœtus and Œneus: whereas
this Ephyre lay upon the pass that communicated with the North from
that part of the Peloponnesus.

But the line of Sisyphus had been displaced in the person of
Bellerophon, two generations before the Trojan war. Together with this
line the old name of Ephyre had disappeared: we hear of it in the Iliad
only as Corinth, and as part of the Mycenian dominions. Now tradition
connects the Æolid title particularly with Thessaly, the Æolids always
having been recognised as one of the great primitive Greek races. And
Homer gives us Æolids in Thessaly, as well as in Peloponnesus. In the
time of Sisyphus then we see this Æolid name, which is Eteo-Hellenic,
conjoined with the local name Ephyre: at the epoch of the Trojan war,
both have disappeared from the spot.

The traditional name Ephyre remained, indeed, in many parts of Greece
down to later times. Strabo (p. 338) reckons one in Elis, one in
Thesprotia, and one in Thessaly, besides Corinth: and also five κωμαὶ
of the name. But even in Homer’s time, either these settlements had
decayed, or else, which is more likely, the particular form Ἐφύρη had
never acquired the precise force of a proper name, but remained rather
in the category of a descriptive word: for otherwise it could hardly
have happened, but that one or other of the Ephyres must have been
named in the Catalogue of Homer. If a descriptive word, it was in all
likelihood simply descriptive of primitive settlement for the Hellic
race. Probably these Ἐφύραι were rude and small; and were, properly
speaking, collections of a few buildings, rather than cities regularly

2. That passage of the Thirteenth Iliad has already been mentioned,
which places this name in the North. The Poet says, speaking of Mars
and his son Φόβος,

    τὼ μὲν ἄρ’ ἐκ Θρῄκης Ἐφύρους μέτα θωρήσσεσθον,
    ἠὲ μετὰ Φλέγυας μεγαλήτορας[858].

Two circumstances warrant our placing these Ἔφυροι in Thessaly: the
first, that the name of Thrace does not extend farther southward: and
the second, that here is the only known seat of the Phlegyæ.

3. It may be convenient next to take the Ephyre, which is mentioned
twice in the Odyssey.

In the first of these passages Pallas, in the character of Mentes, Lord
of the Taphians, remembers Ulysses in the days when he undertook other
journeys before his Trojan one: remembers him,

    ἐξ Ἐφύρης ἀνίοντα παρ’ Ἴλου Μερμερίδαο.
    ᾤχετο γὰρ καὶ κεῖσε θοῆς ἐπὶ νηὸς Ὀδυσσεὺς
    φάρμακον ἀνδροφόνον διζήμενος[859].

And again, when the Suitors apprehend that Telemachus meditates
mischief, they ask whether he will bring allies from Pylus, or even
from Sparta (which was more remote).

    ἤ τινας ἐκ Πύλου ἄξει ἀμύντορας ἠμαθόεντος
    ἢ ὅγε καὶ Σπάρτηθεν, ἐπεί νύ περ ἵεται αἰνῶς·
    ἠὲ καὶ εἰς Ἐφύρην ἐθέλει, πίειραν ἄρουραν·
    ἐλθεῖν, ὄφρ’ ἔνθεν θυμοφθόρα φάρμακ’ ἐνείκῃ[860].

For several reasons it appears probable that the Ephyre here meant was
in Elis, and was therefore the Ephyre of Augeias.

1. Geographically it would appear likely to be in the Peloponnesus.
Telemachus was little likely to make any more extended voyage. The
intercourse of his family was generally with the Iasian Argos, or
Western Peloponnesus. Hence it is said of Penelope[861], ‘Could all
the Achæans of Iasian Argos see thee.’ And hence, in the Twenty-fourth
Odyssey[862], the enemies of Ulysses anticipate that, unless prevented
by them, he will resort either to Pylus or to Elis, where are the
Epeans, for assistance. Hence, again, it is that, in the Second
Odyssey, we find Ephyre joined with Pylus and Sparta (which last is
mentioned as an extreme point, ἢ ὅγε καὶ Σπάρτηθεν,) as the quarters
to which he might repair for aid. The names of Elis and the Epeans do
not appear: and this of itself amounts nearly to a demonstration that
Ephyre not only lay in, but actually stands in lieu of, Elis in this

We may however note one or two secondary points.

2. Corinth had now lost the name of Ephyre, that is to say, a new name
had overshadowed the old one. But this Ephyre, if not Corinth, could
only be the Elian Ephyre.

3. Post-Homeric tradition places an Ephyre in Elis.

We have already seen that Augeias was lord of Elis, that he ruled over
an Hellenic race, that he is an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν: was this Ephyre the seat
of his empire?

Even from the bare fact of being in Elis, it stands in significant
connection with Augeias: but more especially, it seems impossible not
to connect the peculiar knowledge of drugs, preserved at the Ephyre to
which Ulysses repaired, with the former fame of Agamede, the daughter
of Augeias (Il. xi. 740), from whom it had, in all probability, been
handed down to the next following generation.

It may be asked, what place had Ilus, the son of Mermerus[863], in
an Ephyre, where Augeias had been king or lord? We can give at least
this negative answer: the Catalogue shews that Elis, in the time of
the Trojan war, was no longer patriarchally ruled; for the Epeans had
four coordinate leaders; of whom the grandson of Augeias was but one.
Therefore an Ilus may have been in the time of Ulysses possessed of
the place, which belonged to Augeias in Nestor’s boyhood: and we may
observe, that no Epean or Elian chief, contemporary with the _Troica_,
appears in Homer under the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.

Upon combining all these circumstances, we appear to have the strongest
warrant for believing that Augeias was lord of Ephyre; that he was the
head of one of the ruling families which derived themselves by a known
and recorded lineage from Hellas and a Hellic tribe; and consequently
that the archaic title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν was applied to him, not casually,
but with a definite meaning, and in conformity to an established rule.

_Summary of the evidence for Augeias._

The following brief synopsis will, after what has been said, serve to
indicate the chief presumptive grounds of the title of Augeias to ἄναξ

1. Augeias is connected with the φάρμακα, Il. xi. 739-41.

2. The φάρμακα with Ephyre, Od. i. 259.

3. Ephyre with Sisyphus, Il. vi. 152, 3.

4. Sisyphus is the son of Æolus, Il. vi. 154.

5. Æolus is Eteo-Hellenic, as the common ancestor of several of the
great Greek houses, and the lineal ancestor of at least one ἄναξ

6. Æolus is also of divine descent, for his descendant Bellerophon is
θεοῦ γόνος, Il. vi. 191.

7. That is to say, he is a son of Jupiter; for θεὸς commonly means
Jupiter, when there is no particular reference to any other deity in
the context, and when a personal act or attribute is described.

The extra-Homeric tradition entirely supports this belief, for it makes
Augeias the son of Salmoneus, and Salmoneus the son of Æolus.

And now, after we have considered so fully the term Ἐφύρη and its
kindred words, we shall do well to notice that at least the dominions
of Agamemnon are not void of some relation to this family of names;
inasmuch as Φᾶρις, in the Catalogue, is one of the towns that provide
his forces, and Φῆραι, in the Ninth Iliad, is one of the towns of which
he promises to make Achilles lord. Of Phellias and Sellasia we have
already treated.

V. _Case of Euphetes._

I proceed to the case of Euphetes.

He is mentioned only once in the Homeric Poems. It is when, in the
Fifteenth Iliad, Dolops strikes at Meges, son of Phyleus, who is saved
by his stout breastplate: by that breastplate,

                τόν ποτε Φύλευς
    ἤγαγεν ἐξ Ἐφύρης, ποταμοῦ ἀπὸ Σελλήεντος.
    ξεῖνος γάρ οἱ ἔδωκεν ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Εὐφήτης[865].

This case, as it stands, is very simple. Euphetes is manifestly the
king of Ephyre: the name of the place supplies the connection with the
cradle of the Hellenes; the link is doubled by the name of the river
Σελληείς, and his rank presumably stamps him as of a ruling race in the
country; for he is a ξεῖνος to a sovereign, and the xenial relation
appears to have been always one between persons equal, or nearly so.

The passage, however, affords us no aid towards determining where this
Ephyre lay; for it does not tell us where to look for the residence of

Was it the Ephyre of Elis, or was it another Ephyre, mentioned in a
passage that we have not yet examined? To this passage let us now turn.

In the Greek Catalogue, Tlepolemus, the son of Hercules, commands nine
ships from Rhodes, whither he had migrated, on account of having slain
his grand uncle Licymnius. His birth is described as follows,--

    ὃν τέκεν Ἀστυόχεια βίῃ Ἡρακληείῃ·
    τὴν ἄγετ’ ἐξ Ἐφύρης, ποταμοῦ ἀπὸ Σελληέντος,
    πέρσας ἄστεα πολλὰ Διοτρεφέων αἰζηῶν[866].

Hercules then led off Astyocheia from Ephyre beside Selleeis, after
having devastated many cities. The opinion may perhaps be sustained
from this passage, that the Ephyre mentioned in it is not the Ephyre of
Elis, for the following reasons.

1. Tlepolemus[867] emigrates to Rhodes in consequence of homicide. He
is more likely to have done this from Thessaly than Elis, for we see no
signs of communication between western Peloponnesus and the islands of
Asia Minor near the base of the Ægean.

2. If Astyocheia, the mother of Tlepolemus, was also the Astyoche who
bore to Mars Ascalaphus and Ialmenus (Il. ii. 513), then he was more
likely to be Thessalian than Elian; for Mars, dwelling in Thrace,
bordered upon Thessaly, but is not heard of in Southern Greece; and
these princes ruled over the Minyeian Orchomenus, which is far from the
Peloponnesus, but near Southern Thessaly.

3. Again, Nestor, in the Eleventh Book[868], where he sets forth the
depression into which the Pylians had fallen, through the depredations
of their neighbours the Elians, states that they had been unable
to defend themselves against those ravages, because Hercules had
devastated their country and slain their princes. Now he would hardly
have said this, if the Elian Ephyre and its neighbourhood had likewise
been devastated by Hercules, since his account would then have failed
to explain the relative inferiority of the Pylians. But if it was
not the Elian Ephyre, and since the situation of the Isthmus and its
state make the passage inapplicable to the Corinthian Ephyre, then,
still looking for some country known in connection with the exploits
of Hercules, we must naturally take it to be the Ephyre of Thessaly,
where the name Selleeis, as that of a neighbouring stream, would most
naturally of all be looked for.

It is true that the geographers give us no record of a river Selleeis
near the Thessalian Ephyre. But the fugitive character of the name
Ephyre is manifest from the fact that, though there were several
Ephyres in Homer’s time, none of them was of sufficient importance to
furnish a military contingent worth naming. If by Ephyre was meant
the first site of a new colony, that name might naturally disappear,
not only with a removal to a more secure or convenient spot, but
even perhaps on the growth of a mere group of inclosed buildings
into a walled town. It is therefore no wonder if the site of many of
these towns has been forgotten, or if the neighbouring streams in
consequence cannot be identified.

_The site of his Ephyre._

There is a tradition, external to Homer, but not at variance with him,
that the Astyocheia whom Hercules carried off was the daughter of
Phylas; and if so, Phylas was of course lord of the Ephyre, from which
she was carried off. If we assume the veracity of this tradition, we
can determine the seat of the Ephyre of Astyocheia to have been in
Thessaly. For the five commanders under Achilles were of course all
drawn from that country. But among them is Eudorus, the son of Polymele
and grandson of Phylas[869].

It may here be asked, by the way, why is not this Eudorus an ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν? even his name is of the form to which the phrase is so well
suited. The answer is that, though he was the son of Polymele, and the
grandson of Phylas on the female side, his reputed father was Mercury,
and he was therefore not descended in the male line from, and could not
be called, the chieftain of a tribe.

If then Phylas was lord of the Thessalian Ephyre, and Euphetes was also
lord of the Thessalian Ephyre, in what relation to one another are we
to presume them to have stood as to time? There is here no appearance
of discrepancy. Phyleus, as the father of Meges, was the ξεῖνος of
Euphetes one generation before the Trojan war. Tlepolemus, contemporary
of Meges, was by our supposition the grandson of Phylas. Phylas, lord
of Ephyre, was therefore probably one generation earlier than Euphetes,
and may have been his father.

Nor is it an objection to this reasoning, that Meges, son of Phyleus,
was lord of Dulichium, and that we cannot suppose Phyleus to have been
the ξεῖνος of one dwelling so far off as the Thessalian Ephyre. For
first, Nestor the Pylian had fought in Thessaly. And next, Meges had
been a fugitive from his father’s dwelling on account of a feud with
him: which makes it even probable that he would remove to a distance,
as we see that Tlepolemus went on a similar account from Thessaly, or
at least from some part of Greece, to Rhodes.

If then Euphetes, who was an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, governed an Ephyre, and
particularly if it was in Thessaly, the special seat of the Helli, we
can have little difficulty in concluding that he bore the title as a
patriarchal one, in right of his descent.

On the other hand, the Ephyre of Tlepolemus is certainly in the
general opinion presumed to be the Ephyre of Elis. If this opinion be
correct, it is still more easy to connect him with the title of ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν. Augeias lives two generations before the Trojan war, rules in
Ephyre, and is ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. Euphetes is contemporary with the father of
Meges, who fights in the war; and he is therefore one generation after
Augeias, while he rules in the same place, and bears the same title. If
then the Ephyre of Euphetes was Elian, it seems impossible to escape
the presumption that Euphetes was the son of Augeias.

This view as to the Ephyre of Euphetes on the whole will more
completely satisfy the Homeric text. For we find Meges in the
Thirteenth Book fighting at the head of Epean troops[870]. But the
troops he led to Troy were from Dulichium and the Echinades[871]. So we
can only conclude one of two things. Either Meges commanded the Epeans
of Elis in virtue of the connection of his family with that country;
or he commanded Epeans, whom his father Phyleus had taken with him from
Elis across the Corinthian gulf. Either way a relation between Elis and
the family of Meges is made good, which tends to place Euphetes, as the
friend of that family, in the Ephyre of Elis.

There is yet another supposition open. Homer has told us that Phyleus
was Διὶ φίλος,--a distinction he very rarely confers,--and that he
migrated, as he implies rather than asserts, from Elis, on account of a
quarrel with his father:

    ὃς πότε Δουλίχιόν δ’ ἀπενάσσατο πατρὶ χολωθείς.

He does not mention the cause; but this abrupt allusion to the father
of Phyleus implies that he was a person of note. Strabo[872] may
therefore only be filling up a void in Homer, when he tells us, of
course from some tradition, that Augeias was the father of Phyleus.

If this were so, we have to ask, why is not Phyleus an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν? and
who, upon this supposition, could Euphetes be?

As we must infer from the Catalogue that the Elian kingdom of Augeias
was broken up at the epoch of the _Troica_, and as in consequence we do
not find Polyxeinus, his grandson, called by the title in question, so
neither need we expect it of Phyleus.

If Phyleus was the son of Augeias, Euphetes cannot have been sovereign
of the Elian Ephyre, for they would in this case not have been ξεῖνοι,
but brothers.

But he might still have been sovereign either of the Ephyre mentioned
by Homer, μυχῷ Ἄργεος, which appears as Corinth in the Catalogue: or
possibly of the Thesprotian Ephyre with which we become acquainted in

If Euphetes represented, with the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, one of the old
Hellic chieftaincies at either of those places, nothing could be more
natural than that the tie of hostship should subsist between him and
Phyleus, the son of another Hellic chieftain of the same class.

In any case, though the Homeric evidence is palpably incomplete, yet
by connecting the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν with the highly characteristic
local title of Ephyre, and the name of the river Selleeis, it
unequivocally supports the interpretation of that title as one
indicating an original and purely Hellic chieftaincy.

VI. _Case of Eumelus._

It now only remains to consider the case of Eumelus, the last of the
six persons to whom Homer gives the peculiar title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.

He is introduced to us in the Catalogue as the φίλος παῖς[873] (φίλος
meaning probably either the eldest or only son) of Admetus, who is
never mentioned except in the oblique cases, and to whom therefore,
consistently with his usage, Homer never applies the title ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.
He is in command of his father’s forces; and, as Pheræ is the city
first named in this list, we may infer that this was his principal city.

In the first place I would remark, that we have for this Pheræ a sign
of wealth, which has been already noticed, the excellence, namely, of
its breed of horses. There is also abundant evidence of the wealth and
importance of Pheræ in the historic times[874]. This mark then accords
with the hypothesis, that it was probably one of the primitive lowland
settlements made by the Hellic race in Thessaly. In fact, Pheræ stands
relatively to Admetus, as Ephyre does relatively to Augeias, Euphetes,
and the older Æolid, Sisyphus.

Through the medium of the name Pheræ we connect this family with Ἐφύρη,
as its cognate name, and as the name which we have found, in the cases
of Euphetes and Augeias, to be eminently characteristic of settlements
under an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.

Next it appears, that the father or ancestor of Admetus took his name
from the place which he inhabited, and was called Pheres, for says the

    Ἵπποι μὲν μέγ’ ἄρισται ἔσαν Φηρητιάδαο,
    τὰς Εὔμηλος ἔλαυνε[875].

The union between the names of the place and the person affords another
sign of primitive settlement. Pheres was probably the founder of the
town Φηραί.

Next, a passage in the Odyssey gives us an account of this Pheres[876].
He was the son of Cretheus, by Tyro:

    τοὺς δ’ ἑτέρους Κρηθῆϊ τέκεν βασίλεια γυναικῶν,
    Αἴσονά τ’ ἠδὲ Φέρητ’ Ἀμυθάονα τ’ ἱππιοχάρμην.

Now Cretheus was a son or descendant of Æolus:

    Φῆ δὲ Κρηθῆος γυνὴ ἔμμεναι Αἰολίδαο[877].

And we have already seen the Æolids of Homer directly connected with
the characteristic name of Ephyre in the person of Sisyphus (Il. vi.
152, 211). Outside the Homeric text, all tradition ascribes to the
Æolians, not less than the Achæans, an Eteo-Hellenic origin. Again, we
may observe, that among the Greek genealogies of Homer, the longest are
those of the Æolids. From Æolus to Glaucus II, in the Sixth Iliad, are
six generations: and here in like manner from Cretheus to Eumelus are
four, which number will be increased to five or to six, according as
we take Cretheus to be the son or the grandson of Æolus, or estimate
the age of Eumelus. According to the Homeric force of the patronymic,
he may be either. Eumelus, however, himself was, as we have seen,
presumably not young at the time of the _Troica_; since he was wedded
to Iphthime, the sister of Penelope, who must be taken to stand, with
her husband Ulysses (Il. xxiii. 791), as above the average age of the

To sum up; it thus far appears,

1. That Eumelus was heir to Admetus, a reigning prince of Thessaly or

2. That the capital of this prince bore testimony by its name to its
primitive or Eteo-Hellenic character.

3. That Eumelus was a descendant in the male line from Æolus, of
whose lineage several, according to Homer, seem to have possessed the
character and borne the title of the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.

4. In virtue of his descent from Æolus, he is sprung from Jupiter.

To estimate fully the force of the evidence, it may be well to observe,
that a great many Thessalian princes and leaders are noticed in the
Catalogue besides Eumelus; to the last alone, however, the title of
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν is applied. But no one of the others bears any mark,
personal or local, of the peculiar descent and social position to which
this title appears to belong: although among them are found Podaleirius
and Machaon, the sons of Asclepius; Polypœtes, the son of Pirithous,
and grandson of Jupiter; Eurypylus, the distinguished warrior;
Protesilaus and Philoctetes, each the subject of distinct historical

Again, I would, from the case of Eumelus, illustrate the phrase ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν in another point of view.

He was descended by his mother Alcestis from Neptune. She was the
daughter of Pelias, the son whom Tyro bore to the fabled ruler of the
seas. This descent on the mother’s side is mentioned in the Catalogue,
where a total silence is observed as to his paternal lineage from Æolus
and Cretheus.

    Εὔμηλος, τὸν ὑπ’ Ἀδμήτῳ τέκε δῖα γυναικῶν,
    Ἄλκηστις, Πελίαο θυγατρῶν εἶδος ἀρίστη.

But it is plain that his descent from Jupiter by the father’s side was
more worthy of notice than his descent from Neptune through the bastard
Pelias. Yet Homer has nowhere taken notice of the descent from Jupiter,
in the case of Eumelus, unless it is implied in the meaning of the term
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, though we know the descent as a fact: surely a strong
proof that it is part of the meaning of the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, and is
a thing not only inseparable from it, but conveyed by it.

_The ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν descended from Jupiter._

With regard to the divine descent of the Homeric chieftains bearing
this title, our direct evidence from the Poet stands as follows:

1. That the Dardan line springs originally from Jupiter.

2. That Tyro, being called εὐπατέρεια in common with Helen only, is
evidently meant to be described as sprung from that deity.

3. That Bellerophon, also an Æolid, is also θεοῦ γόνος, therefore
himself a descendant of Jupiter.

4. And if so, then Eumelus, who was Æolid too, falls within the same

5. Augeias in like manner attains to the same honour by the Homeric
presumptions which make him an Æolid, as well as by all extra-Homeric

6. With regard to Euphetes and Agamemnon, we have no direct evidence.
But we have seen strong reason to suppose, that Euphetes was himself an
Æolid: and no inconsiderable presumption that Tantalus was according to
Homer what the later tradition makes him, a son of Jupiter, and that
Agamemnon was descended from Tantalus.

Perhaps also, without venturing to attach any conclusive weight to
such a sign, we may interpret the annexation of Διοτρεφὴς and Διογενὴς
to Hellic kingship, as a sign that the earliest Hellic kingship,
being also that which conveyed the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, was always
associated with divine descent.

Among those who bear the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, we find no case of a
descent from Jupiter reputed to be recent. The two lines in which the
title is most clearly transmitted, those of Æolus and of Dardanus, are
among the oldest genealogies in Homer. That of Agamemnon, apparently
the shortest, interposes at the least four generations between Jupiter
and him.

The line of Dardanus is apparently by one generation longer than any
of the others belonging to an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. But nothing can be more
natural: for any settlement, made by the Helli on the Hellespont during
their eastward movement, would naturally precede by some time their
descent from Olympus and the Thracian hills into Thessaly; so that the
earlier date of the primary ancestor is a witness for, rather than
against the relationship.

It cannot, however, be too carefully borne in mind, that the divine
descent of the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν from Jupiter is widely different from that
of the more recent heroes, like Sarpedon or Hercules. We may suppose
that in such cases as these the divine parent either screens the
result of unlawful love, or perhaps indicates the sudden rise into
eminence of a family previously obscure: with the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν the case
is quite distinct. The poetical meaning here is, that backward there
lay nothing of family history beyond the ancestor from whom he claimed
descent, whether it were Dardanus, or Æolus, or Tantalus: as if aiming
at the effect legitimately produced by those words in the Gospel of
St. Luke, with which the upward line of the genealogy given by him
closes; ‘which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God[878].’
And the historic basis of the allegory may probably be this, that the
person indicated was one of some ruling house, who, with his followers
or kindred, separated from the migratory race of Helli as it swept
westward along the hills, and founded a stable settlement, and a
society more or less organized in orders and employments, in which his
name became the symbol at once of sovereign rank, of the national point
of origin, and of affinity in blood with a ruling race.

_Four notes of the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν._

To conclude then: the notes of the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν in Homer, probable or
demonstrative, are these:

1. He must be born of Jupiter _ab antiquo_.

2. He must hold a sovereignty, either paramount or secondary, and
either in whole, or, like Æneas, by devolution in part, over some given
place or tribe.

3. His family must have held this sovereignty continuously from the
time of the primary ancestor.

4. He must be the head of a ruling tribe or house of the original
Hellenic stock: and must be connected with marks of the presence of
Hellenic settlement. These marks may, as in the case of Agamemnon, be
supplied by a race or tribe: or they may be territorial, such as those
afforded by the name of the river Selleeis, and more especially by the
name Ephyre, and the family of cognate words.

Now each of the six persons, to whom alone Homer gives the title ἄναξ
ἀνδρῶν, partakes, by evidence either demonstrative or probable, of
every one of these notes.

_Negative proofs._

Among negative evidences that the title ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν conveys a peculiar
sense, we may place the following:

1. The position of Priam in Troas, where he was the greatest man of
North-western Asia, Il. xxiv. 543-6, and of Hector, or else Paris, as
his heir, were such as called for the highest epithets of dignity. He
had even a regular court of γέροντες, of whom it seems plain, that some
at least, such as Antenor, were invested with some kind of sovereignty.
Yet none of the Ilian family are called by the name of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.

2. Alcinous in the Odyssey affords another example of a lord over
lords, who does not belong to the historical Greek stem, and who
therefore is not called ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. The example may appear weak,
because of the divine descent of the Phæacians. But if this phrase
had, like κρείων, been one of merely general ornament, why should it
not have been applied to him as κρείων is, or to his brother Rhexenor,
or his father Nausithous? If the divine descent of the Phæacians from
Neptune renders the phrase inapplicable to them, this is of itself a
proof of its very specific nature.

3. Again; it may be asked why Glaucus was not an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, as he
was descended from an Æolid sovereign. The answer is, he was no longer
the chieftain of any Hellenic clan. His grandfather Bellerophon had
migrated simply as an individual fugitive into a South-Asian country,
of which the people had no immediate ties of race with him; and, while
apart from his original tribe, he could not inherit a title as its head.

4. Sarpedon was under the same disqualification as Glaucus his brother
king. Besides this, he was not descended in the male line from Æolus,
but only through his mother Hippodamia.

5. Again, among the Greeks. Why, it may be asked, was not Peleus, or
why was not Achilles an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν? Here was a throne above thrones:
for Patroclus was not only an ἄναξ, but was called Διογενὴς, which
implies sovereignty; therefore Menœtius his father was the same: but
Menœtius was in attendance at the court of Peleus. Phœnix again was
tutor to that chief, though he ruled over the Dolopians by the gift of
Peleus, as he tells us,

    καί μ’ ἀφνειὸν ἔθηκε, πολὺν δέ μοι ὤπασε λαὸν,
    ναῖον δ’ ἐσχατίην Φθίης, Δολόπεσσιν ἀνάσσων[879].

Besides that he occupied a great position, and was of the highest
descent, I think it is clear from the Catalogue that the Myrmidons,
over whom Peleus reigned, were Achæans, and therefore a strictly Hellic

And again, the character of Achilles makes it quite clear that his
family were from the Hellic stock. For it is in him that Homer has
chosen to exhibit the prime and foremost pattern of the whole Greek
nation: and he could surely never have chosen for such a purpose any
family of foreign, or of doubtful blood.

It is not however in every Hellic race or family, but only among the
known representatives by descent of the principal or senior branches,
that we are justified in expecting to find the patriarchal title. And
still less do we know whether the Myrmidons, even though Hellic and
Achæan, were a principal tribe of that stock.

The evidence as to the descent of Achilles may throw further light upon
this part of the subject.

In those cases where a long line of ancestry purported to begin with
Jupiter, as, for instance, the Trojan genealogy, it is doubtless
natural to treat this as a sort of necessary introduction to a period,
beyond which the memory of man, unaided as it was, did not run.

But when we find the paternity of a person contemporary with the Trojan
war, or of some near ancestor of his, referred to Jupiter, the most
proper interpretation of this legendary statement seems to be, that
they were, so to speak, _novi homines_, who having come suddenly into
the blaze of celebrity, and living among a nation accustomed to ask
of every passing stranger who were his parents, yet having no parents
to quote, or none worth quoting, gilded their origin by claiming some
great deity for their father. I do not speak now of the distinct
and yet cognate case, where a similar pretext was used to shield
illegitimacy: as for example, not to travel from the line before us, in
the instance of the son of Polydora[880], sister to Achilles himself.
But the same principle applies to both: divine progenitorship was used
to keep from view something that it was desirable to hide, whether this
were the shame of a noble maiden, or the undistinguished ancestry of a
great house or hero. Such a hero perhaps, according to this rule, was
Hercules: such a house more clearly was that of the Æacids; for Æacus,
grandfather of Achilles, was son of Jupiter[881]. He did not therefore
represent a patriarchal family, and could not bear the title.

According to extra-Homeric tradition, the Myrmidons fled from Ægina to
Thessaly under Peleus[882].

6. Further examples may be taken from the Pelopid family. The Menelaus
of the Iliad belongs to the highest order: he is more kingly than the
other kings[883]. In the Odyssey he desires to transplant Ulysses to a
portion of his dominions (Od. iv. 174). And Ægisthus actually occupies
for years, during the exile of Orestes, the Pelopid throne: the name of
either Menelaus or Ægisthus is of the metrical value most convenient
for union with the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν: but neither the one nor the other was
the representative of the great Achæan house of Pelops, and accordingly
neither the one nor the other receives the title.

7. Diomed is a Greek of the very highest descent: of him alone, among
the kings before Troy, we may confidently say, that he was himself a
hero, had a hero for his father, a hero for his uncle, and a hero for
his grandfather. Œneus, Tydeus, Meleager, are three names not easily
to be matched in early Greek story. They were likewise near the stock,
as we may probably infer from the name of the founder of the race,
Portheus, the Destroyer. He was father of Œneus and also of Ἄγριος the
Rude, and Μέλας the Swarthy, all names indicating that the first stage
of arrival within the precinct of civilization had not yet been passed.
He commanded, too, one of the largest contingents: yet neither he nor
his uncle Meleager, the Achilles of his day, is ever called ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν.

The reason doubtless is that, in the case of the Œneid family, there is
no connection with a leading Greek ancestry. They are neither Æolid nor
Pelopid; and they stand in no relation to the characteristic names of
Ephyre and the Selleeis.

8. Let me notice, lastly, the case of Nestor. He had been a warrior
of the first class. His rich dominions supplied a contingent of ninety
ships to the war; larger even than that of Diomed, or of any chief
whatever, except Agamemnon, who had one hundred. His father, Neleus,
was of great fame. He had actually more influence in council than any
other chief, and always took the lead there. He was descended from
Neptune, who indeed was but his grandfather: while his grandmother,
Tyro, was probably, as we have found, a granddaughter of Æolus.

But he could not be ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, because not in lineal male descent
from the primary ancestor Æolus: nor was he the tribal head of the
Hellenic race among which he ruled, which was an Achæan one (Il. xi.
759), since the Achæans owned the Pelopids for their chiefs. Also his
father Neleus, apparently the younger twin, had migrated from the
North, leaving Pelias the elder, as is probable, in possession. Thus
Nestor presents none of the four notes of the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν. Yet this
title attached to an insignificant relative, Eumelus, his first cousin
once removed, doubtless because he possessed them.

_Persons with the notes yet without the title._

It is certainly true that there are a few cases where Homer has _not_
applied the title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν to particular persons, to whom he
might have given it consistently with the suppositions, as to its
meaning, of which I have attempted to show the truth. They are, in one
word, the ancestors of the persons to whom he has actually given the
title. But all of these, such as Pelops and his line, Dardanus with his
line as far as Tros, and the earlier descendants of Æolus, are persons
mentioned in the poems for the most part but once, and rarely more than
twice or thrice. Now, as Homer mentions frequently without the prefix,
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, those to whom on other occasions he gives it, we are not
entitled to require its application to all persons capable of bearing
it, whom he mentions but once.

And again, if I am right in holding that this was strictly a title
attaching to lineage, then it was wholly needless, when he had
designated a particular person, as an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, to grace his
predecessors also with the title, because, as a matter of course,
inasmuch as they were his predecessors, it attached to them. No
historic aim then was involved, and no purpose would have been gained
if Admetus, for example, had been mentioned with this title as well as
his son Eumelus.

But, I confess, it appears to me to afford no small confirmation to the
arguments and the conclusions of these pages, when we remember that
not only do the four rules for the sense of the phrase suit, as far as
we can tell, all the six persons to whom it is applied, but that there
is absolutely no other living person named in the poems, whom they
would not effectually exclude, with the insignificant exceptions, first
of Admetus, who has just been mentioned, and next of Orestes. In the
Iliad, Orestes is only named in one single passage (twice repeated), of
the Ninth Book[884]. In the Odyssey he is named several times, but the
title of ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν is less suitable to the political state of Greece
as it appears in this poem, and also to the subject. It never appears,
except retrospectively.

A few words may perhaps be due to the case of Polyxeinus, grandson of
Augeias, who, it is just possible, though unlikely, may have retained
the position of his grandfather. It is just possible, because we are
not assured of the contrary; but most unlikely, because Augeias appears
as lord of the Epeans, Polyxeinus only as commanding a division of
them. Again, Polyxeinus is only once mentioned. It is also evident that
the loss of his grandfather’s throne, by a revolution in Elis, might
naturally put an end to the application of the title in his particular
case, by a process exactly the same with that to which its general and
final extinction, now so speedily to arrive, was due.

It might indeed be of some interest to inquire why it is that, when
Homer makes no practical or effective use of the phrase for any one
except Agamemnon, he has notwithstanding been careful to register,
as it were, a title to it on behalf of five other persons? Nor can I
doubt that the just answer would be, that he did this because, with his
historic aims, he may have deemed it a matter of national interest to
record a title of such peculiar and primitive significance.

_Its disappearance with Homer._

But of all the negative arguments that tend to show ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν not to
have been a merely vague title, there is none on which I dwell with
more confidence than its total disappearance with the Homeric age.
For it was not so with the other less peculiar forms, βασιλεὺς, ἄναξ,
and κρείων. Although they were supplanted in actual use by the term
τυραννὸς, which became for the Greeks the type of supreme power in
the hands of a single person, yet the idea of them was traditionally
retained. Accordingly, even the name βασιλεὺς was applied by Greek
writers to contemporary kings out of Greece, and to the old bygone
Greek monarchies: and Thucydides has given it to them as a class, where
he describes the πατρικαὶ βασιλεῖαι[885]. But the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν,
the most specific of them all, disappears even from retrospective
use: and the inference is, that its proper meaning had ceased to be
represented in the institutions either of Greece or of the known world
beyond the Greek borders; that it had passed away with the archaic
system, of which it was the peculiar token.

Even independently of direct testimony, we might be assured that
the patriarchal and highland constitution of society could not very
long survive the multiplication of settlements in the plains. For
the wealth, which these settlements created through the increased
efficiency of labour, the greater bounty of the earth, and the
augmented means of communication and exchange, could not but bring with
it at once new temptations, and new sources of disturbance; whereas the
art of controlling these evils was but painfully and slowly, and most
incompletely learned. Among highland tribes, there might be war and
pillage with a view to immediate wants: but stored wealth could not be
stolen, where, except in its simplest forms, it did not exist: and men
do not overturn hereditary power, or drag society into revolutions,
without an object.

But the Catalogue, as well as other parts of the Homeric poems, show
us how the causes thus indicated had already worked. Of the Greek
States comprised in that invaluable enumeration, some were, as is
plainly asserted or implied, monarchically governed: for example, the
Mycenians, the Spartans, the Pylians, the Myrmidons, the Arcadians,
the Eubœans[886], and the Ætolians. We may reasonably infer the same
with regard to the followers of those great chiefs, who are treated as
Βασιλεῖς in the body of the poems: the Salaminians and Locrians, each
under their Ajax, the Cephallenians under Ulysses, the Cretans, or else
a portion of them, under Idomeneus, the Argives under Diomed. In each
of these cases, either there is but a single leader, or, as in the two
last, the text makes it obvious that the chief first named is supreme
in rank. We may probably infer that monarchy prevailed in all the
instances, including the Athenians, when only a single general appears.
The expression δῆμος, applied to Athens, is perfectly compatible with
kingship in Homer. But there remain six cases, where there are a
plurality of leaders, apparently on an equal footing. These are the
cases of

1. The Bœotians.

2. The people of Aspledon and the Minyeian Orchomenus; who are in fact
a second Bœotian contingent.

3. The Phocians.

4. The Elians or Epeans: who differ from the others in being formally
distributed into four divisions, under four leaders, and who are
therefore strictly acephalous.

5. The Nisurians, &c.

6. The people of Tricce, Ithome, and Œchalia, under the sons of

It is observable with respect to the four first of these, that
they were all in the comparatively open, and rich country; liable,
therefore, to the influences which, as Thucydides observes[887],
made Bœotia, Thessaly, and most of Peloponnesus peculiarly liable to
revolutions; and whence doubtless it is, that Homer has been led to
tell us that Amphion and Zethus built walls for Thebes, because they
could not hold it without them.

With respect to the Nisurians, in stating that they were under
Pheidippus and Antiphus, Homer adds that these were (Il. ii. 679)

    Θεσσαλοῦ υἷε δύω Ἡρακλείδαο ἄνακτος.

On which we may observe

1. That the power divided between them had apparently been monarchical
in the preceding generation.

2. That the name of their father points to his having been born
in Thessaly[888], which from its richness was peculiarly open to

3. That he was the son of Hercules, with whose name disturbance and
convulsion are so much associated.

In the case of the sons of Asclepius, there is the same presumption
that they divided a power which had been monarchical: and although the
epithet κλωμακόεσσα given to Ithome, the site of which is unknown[889],
may suggest rough and broken ground, yet the territory is within the
limits of Thessaly[890], and on the river Peneus. Tricce was known
in the historic times; and it is mentioned in Homer with the epithet
ἱππόβοτος, indicating fertility.

_Signs of political disorganisation._

Here, then, and particularly in the Bœotian and Elian cases, we have
considerable signs of the weakening and gradual breaking up of the
old highland institutions: I distinguish between those two and the
rest, because where the division is only between two brothers, it may
have implied little deviation from the monarchical form. Still that
little might be the first stage of a deviation which was soon to grow
indefinitely large.

There are other signs to the same effect, both in the Iliad, and to a
greater extent in the Odyssey.

For example: the dynasty of the Œneids had disappeared among the
Ætolians[891]: the dynasty of the Æolids, and the name Ephyre, from
Corinth[892]: Polyxeinus, the grandson of Augeias, an ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, is
not described as an ἄναξ, or lord, at all: Hercules had laid waste the
cities about Ephyre, and the cities about Pylos[893]: Tlepolemus, at
war with his Heraclid relations, had been driven to emigrate to Rhodes:
and all this since the family of the Perseids had disappeared before
the Pelopids.

The changes observable in the Odyssey are such as connect themselves
with a species of deluge, which had apparently overspread the face of
the political society of Greece. They would merit a full examination,
in connection with a view of the relation of that poem to the Iliad.
Here it need only be observed, that the ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν appears nowhere
in the action of the Odyssey: the phrase is used but twice, and then
only with reference to the dead Agamemnon: and that the partial
disappearance of the word from the later work of Homer evidently
accompanies a great approach towards disorganisation of the old order
of things and ideas in the political state of Greece.

_Summary of the whole._

I may now collect the results, as far as they are related to the
present subject, of our whole ethnological inquiry.

1. From the Homeric text, the phrase ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν appears not to have
belonged to political preeminence or power, or to personal heroism,
or to the distinction of wealth, or to divine descent as such; but to
the archaic form of sovereignty which united it continuously with the
headship in blood of a ruling family or clan, inhabiting the country
which was the reputed cradle of the nation, or able to trace lineally
its derivation from that country. A tradition of original descent from
Jupiter attached in all cases essentially to the possession of the

2. In each of the six instances where Homer employs it, he appears to
do so in strict conformity with the rules thus indicated.

3. The immediate cradle of those Greek races, which possessed this
primitive title and descent, was Thessaly; and of Thessaly Hellas was
either a synonym, or a part.

4. The origin of the races thus ruling Hellas is to be sought among the
Helli, who dwelt in the mountains around Dodona, apparently with those
institutions which have ever been characteristic of mountaineers; and
who represent, more faithfully than the inhabitants of lowlands, the
earliest type of human society, cast at a time when its relationship to
the family was still palpable and near.

5. The resemblances of the Helli and the Dardans afford, together with
the probabilities of the case, strong evidence of their having some
common affinity to the same branch of the great stem, from which a
large part of Europe was peopled with its ruling race.

6. Finally, we may with reasonable grounds conjecture, that the
patriarchal system denoted by the patriarchal chieftaincies, which had
been shaken before the Trojan war, was further and violently disturbed
by it, and by its direct and indirect political consequences; and that
this system had vanished before the line of the post-Homeric Greek
poets, to be reckoned from Hesiod, had begun. Thus, the basis of the
title being removed, the title itself naturally disappeared from
literature as well as history; and if we find, that in later times
the key to its meaning had been lost, it is but a new mark of the
abruptness and width of the breach that lies between Homer and his
successors, of the paucity of continuous traditions, and of the limited
means possessed by the Greeks of the historic ages for research into
the earlier periods of their national existence.


[764] Od. iv. 697.

[765] This caution is not needless, as the error is a common one.
Damm, indeed, most strangely says, ἄναξ _ex multo augustius nomen
quam_ βασιλεὺς (in voc. ἄναξ). The English translators, Chapman, Pope,
Cowper, and others, render ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν, king of men. Voss, with his
usual precision, though probably without a very specific meaning,
translates it, ‘_der herrscher des volks_.’

[766] Il. xxiii. 417.

[767] Od. xiii. 223.

[768] Il. xx. 17.

[769] V. 121.

[770] Il. ii. 196.

[771] Od. i. 394.

[772] Od. xv. 533.

[773] Od. xvii. 416.

[774] Od. i. 386; cf. 401.

[775] In voc. ἄναξ.

[776] Lit. Greece, vol. ii. p. 78.

[777] Il. xiv. 322.

[778] Il. viii. 31. Od. i. 45.

[779] Il. ii. 85.

[780] Il. iv. 296.

[781] Il. ix. 92. v. 144. xi. 578. xiii. 411.

[782] Il. ix. 81. xiii. 600.

[783] Od. iv. 528.

[784] Paradiso, xii. 71. xiv. 104. xix. 104. xxix. 11.

[785] Il. i. 1-7.

[786] See Il. xx. 106.

[787] Il. xiv. 343.

[788] Od. xi. 281.

[789] Sup. p. 398.

[790] See E. Curtius, Ionier vor der Ionischen Wanderung, p. 9.

[791] Od. v. 121. also see Il. xviii. 436.

[792] Od. vii. 323.

[793] Sup. sect. viii. pp. 427, 8.

[794] Thes. 20.

[795] Il. xxiv. 615.

[796] Pausan. ii. 23. 4.

[797] Strabo, xii. p. 579. xiv. p. 680.

[798] Strabo xii. 572, 3.

[799] Il. ii. 104.

[800] Il. ii. 108.

[801] Paus. v. xiii. 1-4.

[802] Book viii. 5, 5. p. 365.

[803] See sup. p. 381.

[804] Herod. viii. 7, 73.

[805] Pausan. vii. 1.

[806] Polyb. xviii. c. 30.

[807] v. 65. 3 and 11.

[808] Paus. vii. 1. 3.

[809] Polyb. xl. 8. 10.

[810] Polyb. ii. 41. 4. iv. i. 5.

[811] See sect. x.

[812] Die Ionier vor der Ionischen Wanderung: von E. Curtius, Berlin,

[813] Il. iii. 276. vii. 202. ix. 47, 8. xvi. 605. xxiv. 290, 308.

[814] Il. xx. 90-3, 128-31.

[815] Il. xi. 58.

[816] Il. vi. 77.

[817] Il. xx. 240.

[818] Il. v. 268.

[819] Il. xx. 303.

[820] Il. iii. 297, 320.

[821] Od. iv. 125-35.

[822] Od. xiv. 276-86.

[823] Od. iii. 302.

[824] Il. iii. 48. xix. 324.

[825] Od. iii. 48. xx. 219. Il. xvi. 550.

[826] See also Dolon’s description, Il. x. 418-21.

[827] Strabo, p. 338.

[828] Il. xii. 30.

[829] Il. xvii. 432.

[830] Il. i. 350.

[831] Il. vii. 86. Od. xxiv. 82.

[832] Il. xxiv. 545.

[833] Il. ix. 360.

[834] Il. xii. 19-23.

[835] Il. xxiii. 293-9.

[836] Il. xi. 759.

[837] Il. ii. 592 et seqq.

[838] Il. ii. 596, 621.

[839] Il. xvi. 189.

[840] Il. ii. 513.

[841] Cramer’s Greece, i. 449.

[842] Il. ii. 511.

[843] Thuc. iv. 76. Strabo, 356, 432. Cramer’s Greece, i. 207, 399.

[844] Il. ii. 608, 695.

[845] Il. ii. 682.

[846] Strabo, b. viii. p. 351.

[847] Schol. Il. vii. 135. Od. xv. 297. Cramer, Geogr. Gr. iii. 87.

[848] Paus. Lac. b. III. c. xx. 5, 3.

[849] Cramer iii. 221.

[850] Il. ii. 743.

[851] Il. xiii. 301.

[852] New Cratylus iii. 1. p. 282, 286.

[853] Heyne Exc. iii. ad Hom. Il. xix. vol. vii. p. 770.

[854] Comp. Gram. sect. 490.

[855] See Il. xi. 222. xx. 485, compared with x. 436, 545-7.

[856] Od. iv. 635; and xxi. 347.

[857] Compare Propertius, b. ii. El. v. 1.

    _Ephyreæ Laidos ædes_.

[858] Ver. 301.

[859] Od. i. 259.

[860] Od. ii. 326.

[861] Od. xviii. 245.

[862] Od. xxiv. 430.

[863] Od. i. 251.

[864] Eumelus, sup. p. 428.

[865] Il. xv. 530.

[866] Il. ii. 658.

[867] Il. ii. 667.

[868] Il. xi. 688-95.

[869] Il. xvi. 179.

[870] Il. xiii. 692.

[871] Il. ii. 625-30.

[872] Strabo p. 459.

[873] Il. ii. 711-15.

[874] Cramer’s Greece, vol. i. p. 392.

[875] Il. ii. 763.

[876] Od. xi. 258.

[877] Ibid. xi. 237.

[878] St. Luke iii. 38.

[879] Il. ix. 483.

[880] Il. xvi. 175.

[881] Il. xxi. 189.

[882] Strabo ix. 5. p. 433.

[883] Il. x. 239.

[884] Il. ix. 142, 284.

[885] Thuc. i. 13.

[886] Compare Il. ii. 540 with iv. 363.

[887] Thuc. i. 2.

[888] The name of Thessaly is not found in Homer; and it is marked
by Thucydides as modern: ἡ νῦν Θεσσαλία καλουμένη. May it not be
reasonably conjectured, that when the great Dorian tribe had evacuated
Hellas to reconquer the Peloponnesus, this Thessalid branch of the
Heraclidæ, which had migrated to the south-east, went back thither, and
imparted to it the name of their ancestor?

[889] Cramer i. 360.

[890] Il. iv. 202.

[891] Il. ii. 641.

[892] Il. vi. 152, compared with ii. 570.

[893] Il. ii. 659, 60, and xi. 689, 91.


_On the connection of the Hellenes and Achæans with the East._

We have reached the close of this inquiry, so far as it regards the
origin, character, and pursuits of the Pelasgians; the character of
the Hellenic tribes, and their relations to the Pelasgians; and the
position of the Achæans among the Hellenes, as the first national
representatives of the Hellenic stock. But who were these Achæans, and
whence did they come? We have at present been able only to describe
them by negatives. They were not the descendants of a legendary Achæus:
they did not take their name from a Greek territory, nor from any
pursuit that they followed; and the word has no apparent root in the
etymology of the Greek tongue.

But we have seen manifest indications that the Hellic name did not
first come into being on the western side of the Dardanelles: and if
the Achæi were the first leaders of the Helli, why should we not trace
them too beyond the Straits, and thus follow perhaps the Helli also, by
their means, and as represented in them, up to a fountain-head?

At the same time, if I presume to affiliate the Hellic nation upon any
Eastern parentage, and, again, to suggest relationships between that
nation and others, which had also migrated from the first nurseries
of man towards the West, it will, I hope, be understood, that all
such propositions are asserted, not only as not demonstrable, but as
likewise being, even within their own limits, those of merely probable
truth, subject, by an admission tacitly carried all along, to every
kind of qualification. The succession and intermixture of races, the
combinations of language, the sympathetic and imitative communication
of ideas and institutions, form a mass of phenomena complex enough, and
difficult to describe, even by contemporaries; how much more so by the
aid only of those faint and scattered rays that we can now find cast
upon them.

Let us then proceed to consider what aid can be had from other sources
in support of those presumptions, arising out of the text of Homer,
which tend to connect the Hellenes of his day, and the Achæans as their
leading tribe, with the East.

And here we may look first, as far as regards the general outlines of
race and language, to the ethnological evidences afforded by the course
of migration from Central Asia over Europe.

Next, to the evidence of those among ancient authors, who have taken
notice of this diffusion in such a manner as in any degree to guide us
towards the sources of the great factors of the Greek nation.

After that, we will inquire whether the names themselves, which are
employed in Homer for the contemporary Greeks, can, by comparison with
cognate names elsewhere, afford us any light.

And lastly, whether in the quarter to which these lines of information
would lead us, we can discover any of those resemblances of manners
and character with the Greeks which, if found, would afford the most
satisfactory corroboration to the argument in favour of the derivation
of one from the other.

The labours of ethnologists have associated together in one great
family, at first called Indo-Germanic, and then Indo-European, but
threatening to expand even beyond the scope of that comprehensive name,
a mass of leading languages from the Celtic regions in the west to the
plains of India in the east.

_High German and Low German races._

This great family, says Dr. Donaldson[894], divides itself into two
groups. To these two groups respectively belong the Low German and the
High German tongues: the former spoken in the plain countries to the
north of Europe, the latter in the more mountainous countries to the
south. The Low German languages contain evidence of greater antiquity,
and those who speak them appear to have been driven onward in their
migrations by the High Germans following them: the latter entering
Europe by Asia Minor, the former to the north of the Euxine.

The distinction runs back to the earlier seat of the race in Ariana or
Iran, a portion of Asia which may be loosely defined as lying between
the Caspian and the Indian ocean to the north and south, the Indus
and the Euphrates to the east and west. Within these limits are to be
found two forms of language, holding the same relation to one another
as that which subsists between the High German and Low German tongues;
the first, corresponding with the High German, was spoken among the
countries of the south-west, where lies Persia proper, and the other in
its more northern and eastern portions, of which Media formed a central
part. The population of this great tract issued forth in the direction
of the south-east, over the northern parts of India; and again towards
Asia Minor and Europe, in the direction of the north-west. Those who
came first proceeded from Media, and supplied the base of what have
been called, the Low German nations: Sarmatians, Saxons, Getæ (or
Scythians or Goths). The language of these emigrants was that which,
when it assumed an organized or classical form, and with due allowance
for changes which the lapse of time must have introduced, became the
tongue now best represented, at least as a literary language, by the

The whole course of history seems to indicate a struggle of races in
that quarter of the world, which may be used to illustrate the present
inquiry. To a certain extent the scene of that struggle may be pointed
out on the map. From the Caspian towards the south, and from the
head of the Persian Gulf towards the north, the land soon rises to a
great general elevation, but with marked and also highly diversified
inequalities. Media would appear to have occupied the principal part of
the great central space, defined by the mountains which form the outer
line of this elevation. It corresponds with what is now the Province
of Irak, and Ispahan is its principal city. Here, says Malcolm[895],
we find the happiest climate that Persia can boast. To the south,
near the Gulf, the summer heat is overpowering: as the country rises
towards Shiraz the climate becomes temperate, and further improves as
we advance northward, until we approach the hills that divide Irak from
Mazenderan on the Caspian, where it deteriorates.

_The Province of Fars or Persia proper._

Immediately to the south of Irak, and touching the Persian gulf, a
little to the east of the Karoon and Jerokh, which are the eastern
tributaries of the great central rivers, Tigris and Euphrates, is
the Province of Fars, which ascends the hills to its capital town
Shiraz, and then extends in a north-easterly direction towards the
sandy deserts. This is the province[896] where the Persian race is
still to be found in its greatest purity; and from this tract the name
of Persia, attached by Europeans to the empire of Iran, is supposed
to be derived[897]. From Fars or Pars, for both forms are understood
to exist, is drawn the name Parsee, borne by the fire-worshippers,
who migrated for safety into India: and the same root appears to be
clearly traceable in the great Persian tribe of Pasargadæ, named by
Herodotus[898] as the leading tribe of the country. But though the
province of Fars now embraces a considerable range of country and
diversity of climate, all that is recorded of the ancient Persians
would seem to connect them particularly with its ruder and more
mountainous parts: for we have every reason to believe that Herodotus
spoke truly when he described the Persians, properly so called, as
poor, and their country as hard and barren in comparison with the rich
valleys of Media, which at an early date attracted and repaid the
labours of agriculture. It was inhabited, as Herodotus[899] says, κατὰ
κώμας, that is, in the Pelasgian fashion, at the time when Dejoces
acquired the throne.

The conflict of race between a bold highland people of superior
energies, and the more advanced, but also more relaxed inhabitants
of the more favoured district, is indicated even amidst the
indistinctness of the earliest efforts of history. Ethnologically the
general character of the movement is that of a pressure, to adopt the
language of Dr. Donaldson[900], of the High upon the Low Iranians; I
would be understood, however, to signify by the terms High and Low a
distinction in language and not one in altitude of site. The overthrow
of the Median empire by the Persians, related in different forms by
Ctesias and Herodotus, and again in Holy Scripture, whatever be its
chronological epoch, may be taken as a great crisis in the struggle,
at which the High Iranians established themselves in the country of
the Low, and in permanent political ascendancy among them. The Magian
revolution, doubtless a great reaction against this ascendancy, was of
short duration. The invasion of Media by the Scythians, which Herodotus
has reported as proceeding from beyond the Euxine and the Palus
Mæotis, but which was more probably from the east of the Caspian[901],
indicates, it is probable, another form of this reaction. This invasion
took place under Cyaxares, the grandson of Dejoces: and we may perhaps
consider Media as having at this time received Persian influences,
possibly by the immigration of groups of Persian families, before the
general ascendancy of that race, just as we see the Æolid houses, and
the family of Perseus, finding their way into Southern Greece before
the days of the Achæan race, and of the general Hellenic ascendancy in
the country.

The resemblance of the modern Persian to the modern High German
language has been observed[902]: and it has even been thought
probable, for reasons which will presently be considered, that the
German name may have been derived from that quarter. The Hellic
ingredient of the Greek tongue is referred to a similar origin. On the
other hand, we are told that a traveller[903], taking a popular rather
than a scientific view of language, has noticed the strong resemblance
between the Latin and the modern Sclavonian forms. Again, the structure
of the Latin language, from its repelling certain more modern
tendencies of the Greek, is taken to indicate an antiquity beyond that
of the Greek: and there is also an opinion that the older Greek forms,
like the Latin, bear marks of correspondence with the Sclavonic. All
this would tend to sustain the belief that the Pelasgians, who formed
the older portion, and the basis, of the population of Italy and
Greece, were offshoots from the old, or Low Iranian tribes: and that
the more recent element was High Iranian or Persian.

_Relation of Germans to Celts._

Ethnological affinities, illustrative of what has here been advanced,
have not escaped the attention of the Greek and Roman writers. What
Strabo has said on this subject is particularly deserving of notice.
His derivation of the German name from the Latin word _Germanus_ may
indeed be passed by as a notion which cannot be maintained, although it
is supported by the opinion of Tacitus[904], that the name was recent:
since even Roman inscriptions show, that it existed three hundred years
before that historian. It is however very remarkable, that Strabo
asserts the Germans and the Celts to have been nearly associated:
μικρὸν ἐξαλλάττοντες τοῦ Κελτικοῦ φύλου τῷ τε πλεονασμῷ τῆς
ἀγριότητος, καὶ τοῦ μεγέθους, καὶ τῆς ξανθότητος, τἄλλα δὲ παραπλήσιοι
καὶ μορφαῖς, καὶ ἤθεσι, καὶ βίοις ὄντες[905].

_And to Hellenes._

Now, the result of all that we have drawn from Homer thus far would
be to connect the Celts with the Pelasgi, with Media, and with the
Low Iranian countries: the ‘Germans’ with the Helli and with Persia.
Observe, then, how the differences, noted by Strabo between Celts and
‘Germans,’ correspond with the Homeric differences between Helli and
Pelasgi. First, as to ἀγριότης: let us call to mind the history of the
name Ἀργεῖος; the use of Ἄγριος as an early Hellic proper name; the
absence of names of this class among the Pelasgians; the rude manners
of the Helli and the Pheres; the pacific habits, wealth, and advanced
agriculture of the Pelasgian populations. Then as to stature: how this
gift has Diana for its goddess, how it is a standing and essential
element of beauty for women as well as men, how the Greek Chiefs in the
Third Iliad are distinguished from the crowd by size,

    ὥς μοι καὶ τόνδ’ ἄνδρα πελώριον ἐξονομήνῃς,
    ὅστις ὅδ’ ἐστὶν Ἀχαιὸς ἀνὴρ ἠΰς τε μέγας τε[906],

and how Achilles, the bravest and mightiest chief of this army, was the
first also in beauty and in size; for Ajax is always recorded as next
to him, and at the same time as before all others[907]; except Nireus,
who was beautiful, but who as a soldier was mere trash.

And, lastly, as to the auburn hair, which was with Homer in such
esteem. Menelaus is ξανθός (_passim_); so is Meleager (Il. ii. 642);
so is Rhadamanthus (Od. iv. 564); Agamede (Il. xi. 739); Ulysses (Od.
xiii. 399, 431); lastly, Achilles (Il. i. 197). But never once, I
think, does Homer bestow this epithet upon a Pelasgian name. None of
the Trojan royal family, so renowned for beauty, are ξανθοί: none of
the Chiefs, not even Euphorbus[908], of whose flowing hair the Poet has
given us so beautiful and even so impassioned a description. Nothing
Pelasgian, but Ceres[909] the καλλιπλόκαμος, is admitted to the honour
of the epithet. It could hardly be denied to the goddess of the ruddy

    Excutit et flavas aurea terra comas[910].

Now Tacitus, describing the Germani, gives them _truces et cærulei
oculi, rutilæ comæ, magna corpora_[911]. His treatise supplies many
other points of comparison.

It is obvious, to compare the names of Scythæ, Getæ, Gothi, Massagetæ,
Mœsi, Mysi, as carrying the marks of their own relationship; and the
reader will find in Dr. Donaldson’s New Cratylus[912] the various
indications recorded by ancient writers of the extension of the Medians
over Northern Egypt: namely, from Herodotus (v. 9), Pliny (Hist. Nat.
vi. 7), and Diodorus (ii. 43). The last of these authors recognises
the similarity of tongue between Greeks and Hyperboreans (ii. 47):
and Clemens Alexandrinus, after reciting a series of inventions which
the Greeks owed to the barbarians, records among them the saying of
Anacharsis, whom some of the Greeks placed among their ‘seven wise
men,’ and adds ἐμοὶ δὲ πάντες Ἕλληνες Σκυθίζουσι[913].

And again, Herodotus (i. 125) gives us a list of names belonging to the
different tribes of Persia: the Persia, that is to say, of his own day.
Six of these are settled or agricultural, and four nomad. Of the six,
the Pasargadæ are the first. Then come the Μαράφιοι and Μάσπιοι. Three
more follow, of whom one is named Γερμάνιοι. The precise correspondence
of name immediately suggests that the modern Germans derive their
appellation from this Persian tribe. But it is customary to derive that
name from _wehr_ and _man_, or from _heer_ and _man_, thus giving it a
military sense: and it is also observed[914] that, if it had borne this
sense in the time of Herodotus, he would probably have assigned to it a
higher place in his list. But he does not give us to understand, that
he means to point out these tribal names as being the descriptive names
of the various classes in one and the same homogeneous community, or
as having, in any degree, the character of caste. To the first three,
indeed, he assigns a political supremacy: for they were the tribes by
whose means Cyrus effected his designs. But the idea of particular
employments, and social duties, does not seem to belong even to these,
and there is no sign of it with the others. It may have been that the
Γερμάνιοι meant martial, as Κεφάλληνες seems to have meant Head or
Chief Hellenes, and yet that, as the latter were not the chiefs of all
the Hellenes, so the former were not the soldiery of all Persia. Again,
as the Δωριέες of Homer lay undistinguished in the Hellenic mass,
yet afterwards, and on the very same arena, attained to a long-lived
supremacy, so, and yet more naturally, may it have happened that a
tribe, secondary in Persia itself, may have taken or acquired the lead
in a northward and westward migration from it, and may have given its
name to the people, which afterwards coagulated (so to speak) around
that migration.

_Traces in Homer of the Persian name._

There are not wanting either Homeric or post-Homeric traces of a
connection between early Greece and Persia. In Homer, Perseus, father
of a line of Peloponnesian kings, is the son of Jupiter and Danae[915].
A son of Nestor bears the same name[916]. We have also the name
Περσεφόνεια, wife of Aidoneus or Pluto, and Perse, daughter of Oceanus,
who bears Circe and Æetes to Ἠέλιος, the Sun[917].

When Homer makes Perseus the son of Jupiter, he certainly implies of
this sovereign, as of Minos, that he had no known paternal ancestry,
and perhaps that he falsely claimed a maternal one, in the country
where he attained to fame. But further, it very decidedly appears from
the use of the word Ἀργεῖοι for the subjects of the Perseids, and from
the intense attachment of the Homeric Juno to that family, that they
were an Hellenic house, following upon the probably Egyptian dynasty of
the Danaids. With them appears to begin what Homer esteems to be the
really national history. Perseus therefore probably may have brought
his name direct from among the Hellenes of the north. Why should it not
have come to the Helli from Persia? Let it be recollected that we have
two other links with the east supplied: one in Perse, daughter of the
Eastern Oceanus, and bride of the Sun, the other in Persephoneia, whose
ἄλσεα, as I hope to show in treating of the Outer Geography, are in the
same quarter.

In Herodotus we find a tradition that Perseus visited Cepheus[918],
the Persian king, at the period when the people were called by the
Greeks Cephenes; that he married his daughter Andromeda, and had
a son, Perses, who remained behind him, succeeded Cepheus, and
gave his name to the country. This tale has the appearance of a
palpable fiction, intended to cover what may have been a fact; that
Perseus--who in Homer has himself all the appearance of an immigrant
into Peloponnesus--was a stranger, and derived his name from that of
the Persians. Now this was the version current among the Persians;
who reported that Perseus, born one of themselves, became an Hellene,
but that his ancestors had not been Hellenes. To this Persian account
Herodotus appears to give his own adhesion: and he states that the
Greeks reckoned Hellenic kings up to Perseus[919], but that before
him they were Egyptian. This is in entire harmony with what can be
gathered from the indirect, but consistent and converging, notices
supplied by Homer. And again, the whole mass of the later reports
concerning Perseus keep him in close relation with that outer circle
of traditions, which I have designated as Phœnician; with the Gorgons
of Hades, with Tartessus on the Ocean, with Æthiopia and Atlas.
Lastly; the continuance of the name as a royal name, down to the very
extinction of nationality in Greece--for the last Macedonian king was
a Perseus--may probably be connected with a stream of tradition, that
drew from Persia the oldest of the national monarchs.

_The Achæan name in Persia._

Again, we find that the name Ἀχαιοὶ was the great descriptive name of
the Hellic races in the Homeric age. Yet it is without any note of
an Hellic or European origin. Let us therefore see, whether in the
East we can find anything that stands, even though at first sight
disguisedly, in affinity with it. Now Herodotus tells us, that in the
leading tribe of Pasargadæ there was a family (φρήτρη), from which
came the Persian kings; the family of the Ἀχαιμενίδαι. Even if it
were not easy to trace the mode of the relationship, it would seem
inevitable to recognise a connection between the name Ἀχαιμένης, or
whatever is the proper Persian root of this Greek patronymic, and those
Ἀχαιοὶ whom we find at the head of the Greek races. This connection
receives a singular illustration from Strabo, who in describing the
Asiatic country called Aria, which gives a name to the Arian race,
states that it has three cities called after their founders, Artacaena,
Alexandria, and Achaia. Artacaes was a distinguished Persian, of the
army of Xerxes. The name of Alexander speaks for itself. With respect
to either of these, Strabo may be understood to speak of what may, from
the respective dates, have been genuine historical traditions. But he
knew and could know nothing of a Persian Achæus, as the founder of the
third city. And the Greek Achæus, if he existed at all, belonged to
another country, and to a pre-historic antiquity. The real force of
the tradition which reports that these cities bore the names of their
founders, seems, however, to be pretty obvious. It must surely mean
this: that they had borne the same names at all times within the memory
of man. Thus we have the Achæan name thrown back, by a local testimony
subsisting in Strabo’s time, to a remote antiquity: there it finds a
holding-ground in the Achæmenidæ of Herodotus: and both these authors
become witnesses, I think, to the derivation of the Ἀχαιοὶ of Homer
from Persia[920]. I do not mean that the Achæmenes, who, according to
the Behistun Inscription, gave his name to the Achæmenidæ, was the
father of the Achæans of the poems, for he appears to have lived only
five generations before Darius. But the coincidence of name between
the ruling family in Persia, and the dominant race in Greece, bears
witness, in harmony with other testimonies, to a presumptive identity
of origin.

It appears, too, that the name thus viewed may well have had its root
in the ancient Arian language, if we judge from its extant forms.
The word signifying ‘friends,’ according to Sir H. Rawlinson, is in
Sanscrit _sakhá_, and in Persian _hakhá_.

  “The name Achæmenes signifies ‘friendly,’ or ‘possessing friends,’
  being formed of a Persian word _hakhá_, corresponding to the Sanscrit
  _sakhá_, and an attributive affix equivalent to the Sanscrit mat,
  which forms the nominative in _man_. H. R.[921]”

The word, then, if we may rely on this high authority, undergoes no
other change, on passing into the Greek tongue, than the loss of the
initial aspirate, (while the second is retained in χ,) and the addition
of the Greek termination ος or ιος. In this description of a ruling
race by their common bond as associates, there is something that
resembles the European and feudal name of peers.

There is indeed another name still existing in Persia, that of the
Eelliats or itinerant tribes, the form of which, and the circumstances
under which it appears, will shortly be noticed[922].

We have now obtained various lights, which point out to us the Persians
as the probable ancestry of the Greeks. It still remains to learn,
whether from the history of ancient Persia we can raise a presumption
that there were, through resemblances subsisting there, marked signs of
affinity between the two.

_The Persians according to Herodotus._

Herodotus has given us a remarkable, and apparently a careful, account
of the ancient Persians, both as to religion and as to manners, which
upon the whole both exhibits striking points of resemblance to Greece,
and likewise tends to attach that resemblance to the Hellic rather than
the Pelasgian race.

In making the comparison, we must allow specially for two sources of
error. The Hellic tribes of Homer’s time had been probably for not
less than eight or ten generations (since we trace the Dardanians on
their own ground for seven generations, the Perseids and Æolids for
six) detached from the parent stock, and might well have modified their
character and customs, especially since they had mingled with the
Pelasgians in the plains. And again, the account of Herodotus is later
probably by 500 years or more, than the manners described in Homer. The
Persians of his day had long been mixed with the Medes: and had, as he
tells us[923], adopted their costume: probably much else along with it.

_The comparison as to religious belief._

The Persians, says Herodotus[924], have no temples, altars, nor statues
of the gods. Tacitus[925] gives a like account of the Germans. Of these
Homer only enables us to trace altars with clearness as having been
adopted by the Hellenic races at the period of the _Troica_. But the
tendency to sacerdotal development among the Pelasgi may have had its
counterpart in ‘the symbolism and complicated ceremonial of Media[926].’

They worship Jupiter from high places. So did Hector. We have no reason
to make the same assertion of the Trojans generally: but the place
given to Jupiter on Ida, and the whole Olympian fabric, probably also
the plan of scaling heaven by heaping mountains one on another, all
belong to the same train of thought.

They, if we are to adopt the statement, call the whole circuit of the
heaven by the name of Jupiter. This same is the share of the universe,
which, in the Homeric mythology, falls to the lot of Jupiter, and the
name Ζεὺς is said to be identical with the Sanscrit _Dyaus_, meaning
‘the sky[927]:’ a sense which we find in the _sub dio_ and _sub Jove_
of the Latin writers, belonging to the Augustan age. This elemental
conception of him, however, is probably more Median than Persian.

They did not originally worship Venus (ἀρχῆθεν); but they learned the
worship of her from others, apparently the Medes or Assyrians. This
remarkably accords with the case of the Hellenes of Homer, who seem
only to have been drawing towards, rather than to have accepted fully,
the worship of Venus in his time[928].

They considered fire to be a god[929]: differing in this from the
Egyptians, who held it to be an animal.

So we find that the worship of Vulcan appears to be Hellic more than
Pelasgian, and that the fable of his origin distinctly points to what
was for Homer the farthest east[930].

They paid a particular reverence to rivers[931]. Of this we have the
amplest evidence in Homer among the Greeks as to Alpheus, Spercheus,
and the River of Scheria: rivers, too, were honoured by a more distinct
personification than was attributed to other natural objects. The
Scamander is, indeed, similarly treated. But this is an exception
to the general mode of representation: and no other Trojan River is
actively personified[932]. Simois is addressed (Il. xxi. 308) by
Scamander; but is himself a mute.

These, however, are particular points: let us also consider more at
large the general outline which Herodotus has given us of the Persian

They did not, he says, consider as the Greeks did that the gods were
(ἀνθρωποφυέας) anthropophuistic[933]. They called the entire circle
of heaven by the name of Jupiter. They originally worshipped no gods
except the sun, the moon, the earth, fire, water, and the winds.
Afterwards they learned from the Assyrians and Arabians to worship
Οὐρανίη under the name of Mitra.

I shall not attempt in this place to discuss the difficult subject of
the Persian or Magian religions as they are in themselves; farther than
to observe, that they appear to have been different. Here we have only
to consider