2016.12.09 / updated 2018.09.20 | By Gregory Nagy
By now Achilles has a new set of armor, and he is ready to fight the Trojans. But his first major opponent seems to be a distraction. At least, our initial impression may lead us to think that there is a distraction going on here. The first major opponent of Achilles in Iliad 20 is Aeneas, hero of epic traditions that eventually became absorbed into the Aeneid of Virgil. Is this hero, we may ask, a truly worthy opponent of Achilles? Are the epic traditions that figure this son of Aphrodite / Venus truly worthy of the epic that is the Homeric Iliad? Once we examine more closely the oldest Greek epic traditions of Aeneas, it will become clear that this hero is indeed a most important opponent of Achilles, in that he represents ancient Greek epic traditions that are different from and antithetical to the epic tradition that prevailed in the Homeric Iliad as we know it. Not only does Aeneas challenge Achilles: even the epic traditions that figure Aeneas will challenge the epic traditions that figure Achilles. To say it another way, Aeneas represents a proto-Aeneid that challenges the proto-Iliad of Achilles. What makes Aeneas and his Aeneid—or, better, Aeneids—such a formidable challenge to Achilles is the enormous political prestige of the epic tradition that backs up Aeneas. By virtue of being the son of Aphrodite/Venus, Aeneas possesses a genealogical and dynastic charisma that threatens to overshadow the purely epic charisma of his Iliadic opponent Achilles.
By now Achilles has a new set of armor, and he is ready to fight the Trojans. But his first major opponent seems to be a distraction. At least, our initial impression may lead us to think that there is a distraction going on here. The first major opponent of Achilles in Iliad 20 is Aeneas, hero of epic traditions that eventually became absorbed into the Aeneid of Virgil. Is this hero, we may ask, a truly worthy opponent of Achilles? Are the epic traditions that figure this son of Aphrodite / Venus truly worthy of the epic that is the Homeric Iliad? Once we examine more closely the oldest Greek epic traditions of Aeneas, it will become clear that this hero is indeed a most important opponent of Achilles, in that he represents ancient Greek epic traditions that are different from and antithetical to the epic tradition that prevailed in the Homeric Iliad as we know it. Not only does Aeneas challenge Achilles: even the epic traditions that figure Aeneas will challenge the epic traditions that figure Achilles. To say it another way, Aeneas represents a proto-Aeneid that challenges the proto-Iliad of Achilles. What makes Aeneas and his Aeneid—or, better, Aeneids—such a formidable challenge to Achilles is the enormous political prestige of the epic tradition that backs up Aeneas. By virtue of being the son of Aphrodite / Venus, Aeneas possesses a genealogical and dynastic charisma that threatens to overshadow the purely epic charisma of his Iliadic opponent Achilles. [[GN 2016.12.09.]]
subject heading(s): council of divinities; Olympian divinities; local divinities; Will of Zeus; Xanthos; Scamander; language of immortals vs. language of mortals
Zeus convenes a council of divinities. Many gods and goddesses are invited, and they all assemble, I.20.005–006. Included are all kinds of local divinities who preside over locales of their own, such as gods of various rivers and goddesses of various wildlands, I.20.007–009. A detail is ostentatiously added here: all the river gods actually attend the council—with the notable exception of Ōkeanos, I.20.007. This council of the divinities, held on Mount Olympus, is different from other such councils, which normally exclude local divinities and include only those gods and goddesses who are imagined as living on Mount Olympus together with Zeus. What, then is this special occasion? Or, to put it in terms of the question that Poseidon asks of Zeus, I.20.015, what is the Will of Zeus here? In response, Zeus tells Poseidon that, yes, the Will of Zeus is now at work, I.20.020, and he proceeds to say what he wants to happen: while Zeus stays behind on Mount Olympus, the other divinities may now proceed to the battleground of the Trojan War, and they will be allowed to give their individual help to whichever side they favor, Trojan or Achaean, I.20.021–030. Accordingly, the divinities now travel to the battlefield, I.20.31–40, and they are listed as follows: Hērā, Athena, Poseidon, Hermes, Hephaistos, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Leto, Xanthos, and Aphrodite. Included in this list, almost surreptitiously, is the local river god Xanthos, I.20.40. On the battlefield, the divinities line up in opposition to each other, and the matches that are highlighted are: Poseidon and Apollo at I.20.057–068, Ares and Athena at I.20.069 (also already at I.20.047–052), Hērā and Artemis at I.20.70–71, Leto and Hermes at I.20.072, Hephaistos and Xanthos at I.20.073–074. Missing, so far, from any further matchings is Aphrodite. Later, at I.21.415–433, we will see that this goddess does in fact get involved in the upcoming conflict of divinities, but not as a combatant in her own right. For the moment, what is most striking about this list of matchings is the prominence given to the river god Xanthos at I.20.073–074. And, as we learn here at I.20.074, the immortals call this river god Xanthos, but mortals call him Skamandros. See also the comment on I.02.811–815. This name Skamandros, latinized as Scamander, refers to the most important river in the region of Troy. On this river, see already the comments on I.08.220–227 and I.11.497–500. As we will see later, in the comment on I.21.001–021, the role of Scamander as the local river god of the Trojans is vitally important for the plot of Iliad 21. [[GN 2016.12.16.]]
subject heading(s): epic deeds of Achilles before the time dramatized in the Iliad; conquest of Pedasos by Achilles the Aeolian; conquest of Lyrnessos by Achilles the Aeolian; Aeneas the Ionian
Aeneas tells about a past encounter with Achilles in an epic story that is situated outside the time-frame of the Iliad, I.20.089–102. At a later point, I.20.187–194, the story will be supplemented by what Achilles himself says about such an encounter. As we will see, what Achilles says at that later point reflects a different though related version of the same story. In the story as told by Aeneas here at I.20.089–102, he was pasturing his cattle in the highlands of the mountain range known simply as Mount Ida, and Achilles evidently caught him off guard in a cattle-raid, I.20.090–091. Aeneas, as he was being pursued by Achilles, fled from the highlands of Mount Ida all the way down to the coastland in the south. The general direction of the flight of Aeneas is indicated by a detail about the pursuit by Achilles. After he chased Aeneas down from the heights of Mount Ida, Achilles conquered the cities of Pedasos and Lyrnessos, I.20.092. As we know from other contexts, I.06.034–035 and I.21.086–087, Pedasos was a city situated near the river Satnioeis, and we know from Strabo 13.1.50 C605 that this river flowed into the Gulf of Adramytteion at the coastline situated to the southwest of Mount Ida. As for Lyrnessos, it was situated further off to the east along the coastline, as we know from Strabo 13.1.60 C611. Whereas Lyrnessos was inhabited by Kilikes, as noted in the anchor comment at I.02.689–693 with reference to Strabo 13.1.7 C586, Pedasos was inhabited by Leleges, as we read at I.21.086–087. The story as told by Aeneas explains how he succeeded in escaping from Achilles: at I.20.092–093, Aeneas boasts that he received the divine aid of Zeus himself, who gave to him the superhuman speed that he needed to run away from that most prodigious of all runners, Achilles. As for the story as told by Achilles at I.20.187–194, we will see in the comment on those verses that there are added details about the escape of Aeneas from Achilles, and that some of those details do not mesh with the version of the story as told by Aeneas. [[GN 2016.12.04 via BA 140, 270.]]
subject heading(s): speech of Achilles to Aeneas
In this speech, Achilles speaks to Aeneas from the standpoint of an epic tradition that glorifies primarily Achilles. On the other hand, in the corresponding speech of Aeneas to Achilles, I.20.200–258, we will see that Aeneas speaks to Achilles from the standpoint of a different though related epic tradition. This different tradition, as we will see, glorifies primarily Aeneas himself. [[GN 2016.12.06.]]
subject heading(s): epic deeds of Achilles before the time dramatized in the Iliad; conquest of Pedasos by Achilles the Aeolian; conquest of Lyrnessos by Achilles the Aeolian; Aeneas the Ionian
Achilles tells about a past encounter with Aeneas in an epic story that is situated outside the time-frame of the Iliad, I.20.187–194. The story supplements what Aeneas says at I.20.089–098 about such an encounter, where that hero tells a different though related version of the same story. The differences are highlighted in the story as told by Achilles here at I.20.187–194, where we find additional details about the escape of Aeneas from Achilles. According to this version of the story, Aeneas seems to have escaped from Achilles not once but twice: after Aeneas ran down from the highlands of Mount Ida and reached the coastland without getting caught by Achilles, he found refuge in the city of Lyrnessos, which Achilles then destroyed—but without catching him, since Aeneas somehow escaped, I.20.190–194. In this narrative, Achilles knows that it must have been the gods who made it possible for Aeneas to escape, but he does not know the exact identity of the god who actually rescued that hero: the wording of Achilles is ostentatiously vague when he refers at I.20.194 to the action of ‘Zeus and other gods’ in rescuing Aeneas from the besieged city of Lyrnessos before Achilles destroyed it. This vagueness about the interference of the gods is relevant to what will happen in the upcoming encounter between Aeneas and Achilles. As we will see in the comment on I.20.290–352, Achilles will be literally kept in the dark about the identity of the god who will rescue Aeneas from being killed when the two heroes finally engage in mortal combat. That said, I return to my focus on the second escape of Aeneas from Lyrnessos—following his first escape when he ran down to that city from the highlands of Mount Ida. The details we have seen about the second escape explain why only Lyrnessos is mentioned in the version of the story as told by Achilles, unlike the version as told by Aeneas, where both Pedasos and Lyrnessos are mentioned. The second escape of Aeneas, from a besieged city, could only have happened at one of the two cities of Pedasos and Lyrnessos, which were both ultimately destroyed by Achilles. Aeneas could not have been present in two besieged cities at the same time. I propose, then, that Pedasos and Lyrnessos were alternative places of refuge for Aeneas in alternative versions of his story, just as these same two cities had been alternative places of residence for Briseis in alternative versions of her own story, as I noted in the comment on I.16.057. In yet another story, there was yet another city from which Aeneas escaped before it was completely destroyed. The dramatic time of this other story, unlike the stories we have just considered about the cities of Pedasos and Lyrnessos, comes after rather than before the dramatic time of the Iliad. This other story is about the city of Troy itself, and, in this story as well, Aeneas managed to escape before the city was completely destroyed. The story was told in an Ionian epic that belonged to the epic Cycle, and the name of this epic was the Iliou Persis ‘Destruction of Ilion’, attributed to Arctinus of Miletus, Proclus summary p. 107.24–26 ed. Allen 1912. On the epic Cycle, see the Inventory of terms and names. [[GN 2016.12.05 via BA 140, 270.]]
subject heading(s): ‘swift-footed Achilles’
In the wording of Achilles here, his boast about his swift-footedness is a paraphrase, as it were, of the epithets that describe him as swift-footed. There are over 30 occurrences of the epithet podas ōkus ‘swift-footed’ and over 20 occurrences of podōkēs ‘‘swift-footed’. [[GN 2016.12.06 via BA 326.]]
subject heading(s): counter-speech of Aeneas to Achilles; epea ‘words; words of poetry’; neikos ‘quarrel’; neikeîn ‘quarrel with’
In this speech, Aeneas speaks to Achilles from the standpoint of an epic tradition that glorifies primarily Aeneas, not Achilles. At I.20.200, Aeneas uses the word epea ‘words’ in referring negatively to the earlier speech of Achilles, I.20.178–198, where Achilles had spoken from the standpoint of an epic tradition that glorified primarily Achilles. This word epea—pronounced as epē in prose—normally means simply ‘words’ when it is used inside of epic diction, but it can also mean ‘words of poetry’ when it is used outside of such diction in contexts referring to poetry, especially to epic poetry. In prose, this kind of usage leads to the explicit meaning of epē as ‘epic poetry’. And, exceptionally, such a meaning of epē can even occur within the diction of epic poetry itself. That is what seems to be happening in the context of I.20.200, where epea refers to the words of Achilles as if they were the ‘poetic words’ of epic—that is, as if these words were the equivalent of epic itself. Do not try to intimidate me, Aeneas says to Achilles at I.20.200–201, by telling epea ‘words’ about past epic events like our mutual encounter in the highlands of Mount Ida and beyond. Yes, some epics will glorify you, but there are other epics that will glorify me instead. See further in the comment below on I.20.248–250. By implication, Aeneas is saying here that he has access to a different though related version of epic events, and that such a version will glorify him at the expense of Achilles. In fact, the entire speech of Aeneas at I.20.200–258 is a glorification of this hero by way of an epic tradition that is different from though related to the tradition that glorifies Achilles. This different tradition, as Aeneas goes on to demonstrate, glorifies primarily Aeneas himself. Meanwhile, the poetic implications of the word epea as ‘epic’ now become more explicit at I.20.203–205. Aeneas says here that he and Achilles know stories about each other not because they have been eyewitnesses to these stories, I.20.205, but because they both have heard, as other listeners have also heard, the epea that are the stories, and these epea are pro-kluta ‘glorious’, I.20.204. In this context, then, the word epea comes close to meaning ‘epics’, since the idea of pro-kluta as poetically ‘glorious’ is linked with the etymology of this adjective as ‘prominently heard’, just as the idea of kleos as a poetic kind of ‘glory’ is linked with the etymology of this noun as ‘the thing that is heard’. See the comment on I.02.484–487. Also relevant to the sense of epea as ‘words of poetry’ is the mutual negativity of the rivalry that is ongoing here between the two different epic traditions about Aeneas and Achilles. For example, there is an insulting reference that Aeneas makes at I.20.211 to the epea as recounted by Achilles about Aeneas. Those epea or ‘words of poetry’, as a veritable ‘epic’ told by Achilles, were certainly negative about Aeneas, just as Aeneas is now speaking negatively about Achilles and about that hero’s role in those same epea. Such mutual negativity is expressed by way of using words of blame poetry as contained within the epic, even though epic sees itself as a form of poetry that engages primarily in words of praise. The negativity of blame poetry is actually signaled in the words of Aeneas at I.20.251, who uses the noun neikea, plural of neikos ‘quarrel’, in referring to the mutual negativity that the two heroes express in their speeches to and about each other. See further in the comment on I.20.244–256. [[GN 2016.12.06 via BA 270–272, 274; GMP 27.]]
subject heading(s): eukhesthai ‘declare’
In boasting about his own genealogy, the hero Aeneas uses the verb eukhesthai ‘declare’ here at I.20.209, thus making a most definitive epic statement of identity. When the genealogy is completed at I.20.241, the verb eukhesthai ‘declare’ recurs, indicating the simultaneous completion of the boast. For Aeneas, an all-important aspect of his lengthy genealogy is his most immediate genetic link: as this hero boasts by way of that most solemn word eukhesthai ‘declare’ here at I.20.209, he is the son of Aphrodite herself. And, from this goddess of sexuality, who is the embodiment of eternal regeneration, Aeneas has inherited what could best be described as eternal genes, as it were. Such an arresting idea is at the same time a political ideology, since any dynasty that can claim Aeneas as ancestor is thereby destined to be regenerated, successor after successor, for all eternity. There is evidence, as noted by Strabo 13.1.53 C608, for the existence of dynastic powers that did in fact claim Aeneas as their ancestor. In the end, though, only one of these powers noted by Strabo actually succeeded in making permanent such a claim. That power was Rome, and, retrospectively, the surviving record that made such a claim permanent was of course the Aeneid of Virgil, which tells how Aeneas escaped from Troy before it was completely destroyed and how he traveled all the way to Italy, where he became the originator of the world power that became Rome. [[GN 2016.12.08 via BA 269.]]
I.20.209/ anchor comment on: Aeneas the Ionian, part 1
see also anchor comment at I.20.302–308 on: Aeneas the Ionian, part 2
see also to anchor comment at I.20.302–308 on: Aeneas the Aeolian
So, Aeneas in the Homeric Iliad can boast about the eternal genes that make him the ideal ancestor of any dynasty that claims to be descended from him. And that is how, from the hindsight of world history, Rome could claim its destiny as the Eternal City. I have already noted that Strabo (13.1.53 C608), after listing various dynasties in the past that had been vying with each other for possession of Aeneas as their ancestor, concludes by acknowledging Rome as the world power that ultimately won out in claiming Aeneas as its founder. And Virgil’s Aeneid can go down in history as a most powerful statement of such a claim. But what about the era when the Homeric Iliad took shape? Does this epic make a claim that is comparable to what we see in the Aeneid of Virgil? Such questions need to be consolidated and asked retrospectively, not just prospectively, since the historically earlier cases where dynasties claimed descent from Aeneas are not nearly as well attested as is the case of Rome. So, the consolidated question is this: from the standpoint of the Iliad as we have it, was there any existing political power that could have claimed ownership, as it were, of Aeneas? The answer is simple: there did exist some grouping of Ionians that had such power, and, for them, Aeneas was an Ionian. But the details, as we will see in what follows, are complicated. And, to complicate things further, there were two phases of Ionian ownership, which I summarize here in the form of two points to be made from the start.
Point 1. [Epitomized from HPC 196–197.] The first of two phases for an Ionian ownership of Aeneas can be traced back to the seventh century BCE or perhaps even earlier. It was a time when the Ionians of the Ionian Dodecapolis in central Asia Minor, dominated by the Ionian city of Miletus, were continuing to expand their influence in northern Asia Minor. (For more on the Ionian Dodecapolis, see the Inventory of terms and names.) One sign of such expansionism was the success of these Ionians in making inroads into the region of ancient Troy in northern Asia Minor and establishing there a new Troy, as it were. Such success is reflected in the Ionian epic tradition. The primary example is the Ionian epic of the Iliou Persis, attributed to Arctinus of Miletus. Here I offer a brief review of the relevant parts of this epic (Proclus summary p. 107.24–26 ed. Allen 1912):
After Troy was completely destroyed by the Achaeans, a handful of prominent survivors sought to find alternative places to live. The most prominent of these survivors of Troy’s total destruction was the hero Aeneas: foreseeing the destruction that was about to happen, he withdrew from the doomed city and moved to a palace he established in the highlands of Mount Ida.
This version of the Aeneas story matches not only the plot of the epic Iliou Persis. It matches also the local mythology of the city of Scepsis, located in the region of Mount Ida. As we learn from Strabo (13.1.53 C607), Demetrius of Scepsis claimed explicitly that the basileion ‘royal palace’ of Aeneas was in the city of Scepsis. The idea of a royal city founded by Aeneas in the region of Mount Ida reflects the political interests of Ionians in general, not only of Scepsis in particular. To make this point, I start by focusing on two details reported by Demetrius of Scepsis by way of Strabo (13.1.52 C607):
A. The city of Scepsis, after being founded by Aeneas, was later ruled jointly by Ascanius (Askanios) son of Aeneas and Scamandrius (Skamandrios) son of Hector.
B. The population of Scepsis was augmented at a later period by immigrants from the Ionian city of Miletus.
Scepsis had a special meaning for Ionians not only because this city was supposedly the site of the palace of the hero Aeneas but also because the ancient site of Troy was supposedly located within its territory, in the highlands of Mount Ida. Here was the kōmē ‘village’ of the Ilieis ‘people of Ilion’, a site that Demetrius of Scepsis claimed was the real ancient Troy, while the Aeolian site of Ilion, some 30 stadium-lengths to the northwest, was supposedly a false Troy (Strabo 13.1.35–36 C597–598; also 13.1.25 C593). So, the Trojan War, according to this Ionian version, supposedly happened in territory that Ionians once claimed as their own. In this version, ancient Troy was totally destroyed and then later reoccupied as a mere village, while Aeneas established at Scepsis a new city of Troy for the surviving Trojans. And the relocation of Aeneas to Scepsis at a time that anticipated the total destruction of ancient Troy now made it possible for the new Troy that was Scepsis to become the legitimate heir to the Trojan heritage—all within the framework of Ionian territory. In terms of this particular Ionian version of the Trojan War, everything happened within the Ionian territory of Scepsis. In contrast to this version of the Trojan War, which suited the interests of the Ionians, the Aeolians made a rival claim: that Troy was in fact not totally destroyed and that some of its population survived to rebuild the old city, originally called either Troy or Ilion, as the New Ilion, or, more simply, Ilion. See the anchor comment at I.09.328–333 about efforts of Aeolians to possess ancient Troy and its environs in the historical period. This rival version of the Aeolians was actively promoted by the historian Hellanicus of Lesbos, whose publications can be dated as far back as 406 BCE (scholia for Aristophanes Frogs 694). Hellanicus in his Trōïka (FGH 4 F 25b), as mediated by Strabo (13.1.42 C602), says that the city of New Ilion was in fact the same place as the old Ilion, that is, ancient Troy. Strabo (again, 13.1.42 C602) remarks that this claim of Hellanicus—who was a native of Aeolian Lesbos—reflects the historian’s partiality toward the people of the Aeolian city of New Ilion. Modern archaeology, however, has proved that the claim of the Aeolians as represented by Hellanicus of Lesbos was basically right and that the rival claim of the Ionians as later represented by Demetrius of Scepsis was wrong. There is in fact no historical or archaeological support for the claim that the old Ilion, ancient Troy, was located in the Ionian territory of Scepsis. Here I return to the Ionian version as restated by Demetrius and then by Strabo (13.1.35–36 C597–598; also 13.1.25 C593). According to this version, as we saw, the site of the old Ilion was the kōmē ‘village’ of the Ilieis ‘people of Ilion’ in the territory of Scepsis, some thirty stadium-lengths away from New Ilion. Despite the fact, however, that Demetrius thinks of this ‘village’ as the site of ancient Troy, he concedes (via Strabo 13.1.38 C599) that he could see absolutely no trace of any epic ruins there.
Point 2. [Epitomized, radically, from HPC 143–146.] The second of two phases for an Ionian ownership of Aeneas can be traced back to an era that starts, by my estimation, somewhere around the late seventh century BCE. The city of Athens, which was emerging as a primary representative of Ionian identity at that time, was making its own inroads into the region of ancient Troy, eventually establishing there a new Troy of its own by occupying and reconfiguring the city of Sigeion, which had been formerly an Aeolian stronghold. The formerly Aeolian identity of Sigeion is noted by Strabo 13.1.25 C593. As for the reconfigured Ionian identity of Sigeion as a new Troy, I refer again to Points 6 and 8 in the anchor comment at I.09.328–333. This reconfigured city of Sigeion as a new Troy became a rival of another new Troy, Ilion, which had been built by the Aeolians on the foundations of what remained of the old Troy, as noted at Points 1–5 in the same anchor comment at I.09.328–333. [[GN 2016.12.07 via BA 269; also HPC 196–197 and 143–146, in that order.]]
subject heading(s): eidénai ‘know’
The use of the verb eidénai ‘know’ in both verses here at I.20.213–214 is relevant to the poetics of knowing something by way of hearing the authoritative testimony of epic. There is a reference to such poetics already earlier at I.20.203, where eidénai ‘know’ refers to knowing the facts of genealogy by way of hearing epea as ‘epic’, described at I.20.204. On this point, see the general comment on the speech of Aeneas at I.20.200–258. And the basic fact about that entire speech of Aeneas is a fact of genealogy. As we saw in the comment on I.20.209, Aeneas is making a most solemn heroic boast, signaled by the word eukhesthai ‘claim’, that he is the son of the goddess Aphrodite herself. [[GN 2016.12.07 via BA 271.]]
subject heading(s): Erikhthonios
Erikhthonios, son of Dardanos, is figured here at I.20.215–219 as a kind of proto-Trojan king who was an ancestor of Aeneas. The name of this foundational king Erikhthonios, I.20.219, converges with the name of a foundational king of Athens, as we will see in the comment on I.20.230–241. Such a convergence signals an Athenian connection with the Ionian ownership, as it were, of epic traditions about Aeneas. On Athenians as would-be representatives of Ionian cultural heritage, see Point 2 in the anchor comment at I.20.209 about Aeneas the Ionian. [[GN 2016.12.08 via HPC 209.]]
subject heading(s): Erikhthonios
As we learned previously from I.20.215–219, the foundational proto-Trojan king named Erikhthonios was fathered by an even earlier proto-Trojan king named Dardanos. The narrative of the genealogical succession now continues at I.20.231–241: Erikhthonios fathers Trōs, whose name means ‘Trojan’; so, from here on, the succession of kings is no longer proto-Trojan but Trojan; then Trōs fathers Ilos and Assarakos; then Ilos—whose name presupposes the alternative name of Troy, Ilion—fathers Laomedon who fathers Priam, but Assarakos fathers Kapys who fathers Anchises; finally, Priam fathers Hector but Anchises fathers Aeneas. There is a match here in the chronological sequencing for the king Erikhthonios of Troy and for the king Erikhthonios of Athens. The Athenian king Erikhthonios was a differentiated mythological by-form of another Athenian king, Erekhtheus. Such a differentiation can probably be dated as far back as the late seventh century BCE, when the Athenians gained control of Sigeion, a city that now became their very own new Troy. See Point 2 in the anchor comment at I.20.209 about Aeneas the Ionian, part 1. What resulted from this differentiation was a set of two different kings located in two different zones of time within the genealogical sequence of Athenian kings. The earlier location of Erikhthonios in this Athenian genealogy matches chronologically the location of Erikhthonios in the Trojan genealogy that culminates in Aeneas. According to the Parian Marble (FGH 239 section 23), Troy was conquered in 1209/8 BCE, and that event would have happened roughly three centuries after an event that coincides with the era of the Athenian king Erikhthonios: according to the Parian Marble (FGH 239 section 10), the Athenians claimed that Erikhthonios was the inventor of the four-horse chariot for the occasion of the first chariot race held at the first Panathenaic festival in 1505/4 BCE. So, the differentiation of the Athenian Erekhtheus into an earlier Erikhthonios and a later Erekhtheus made it possible to connect more easily the Athenian Erikhthonios with the Trojan Erikhthonios, ancestor of Aeneas. This way, the prestige of the Trojan genealogy, culminating in the dynastic figure of the epic hero Aeneas, could be appropriated into the Athenian genealogy of kings. A signal of such an Athenian appropriation in the Iliad is a pointed reference at I.05.271 to four chariot-horses owned by Anchises, father of Aeneas, to be complemented by two chariot-horses owned by Aeneas himself. I.05.272. The narrative introduces these two sets of chariot-horses by revealing at I.05.263–270 that Anchises secretly bred six horses from the original set of chariot-horses given by Zeus to Trōs in compensation for the abduction of the king’s son, Ganymede; of these six, he kept four for himself and gave two to Aeneas, I.05.271–272. As we have already learned from the Parian Marble (FGH 239 section 10), the Athenians claimed that Erikhthonios was the inventor of the four-horse chariot for the occasion of the first chariot race held at the first Panathenaic festival in 1505/4 BCE. So, the Iliadic reference to the four-horse chariot team of Anchises is an implicit Athenian signature. To be contrasted are the two-horse chariot teams used by almost all warriors—including Aeneas himself, I.05.270–272—for fighting battles in the Trojan War. An exception is the four-horse chariot team used by Hector, I.08.185. He too, like Aeneas, is a descendant of Dardanos, I.20.240. So here again we see the makings of an implicit Athenian signature. [[GN 2016.12.08 via HPC 209–210.]]
subject heading(s): ozos Arēos ‘attendant of Ares’
See anchor comment at I.12.188.
subject heading(s): eukhesthai ‘claim’; ring-composition
In boasting about his own genealogy, the hero Aeneas started the boast by signaling it with the verb eukhesthai ‘declare’ at I.20.209, thus making a most definitive epic statement of identity. Now that the genealogy is completed at I.20.241, the verb eukhesthai ‘declare’ recurs, indicating by way of ring-composition the simultaneous completion of the boast. For more on the semantics of boasting as signaled by eukhesthai ‘declare’, see Muellner 1976. [[GN 2016.12.08 via BA 269.]]
subject heading(s): neikos ‘quarrel’; neikeîn ‘quarrel with’; oneidos (plural oneidea) ‘words of insult’
As noted in the general comment on I.20.200–258, Aeneas uses the noun neikea, plural of neikos ‘quarrel’, in referring to the mutual negativity that he and Achilles are expressing in their speeches to and about each other. Also used in the same context is the verb neikeîn ‘quarrel with’ at I.20.252 and I.20.254. On the noun neikos ‘quarrel’ and the verb neikeîn ‘quarrel with’ as programmatic markers of blame poetry, see especially the comments on I.02.221, I.03.059, I.03.100, I.10.249–253. Yet another word that is used in the same context here at I.20.244–256 is the noun oneidea, plural of oneidos ‘words of insult’, at I.20.244. On this word, see the comments on I.02.222. [[GN 2016.12.10 via BA 270–271, 274.]]
subject heading(s): epea ‘words; words of poetry’; mūthos ‘wording spoken for the record’
The word epea is used here at I.20.249 to mean not only ‘words’ but also, more specifically, ‘words of poetry’, such as the words of epic. The words of poetry are spoken here in an act of boasting—which is framed within the act of performing epic. See the general comment on I.20.200–258; see also the earlier comment on I.12.387–391 . Here at I.20.248–250, Aeneas is cautioning Achilles about the variability of epea as ‘poetic words’. There is a wide range of different ways of saying different things. Different epics, Aeneas is saying in effect, can have different truth-values in different places. What is said in a positive sense at one place may be said in a negative sense at another place. That is the nature of mūthoi, I.20.248, which are ‘wordings spoken for the record’. For more on the Homeric sense of this word mūthos as ‘wording spoken for the record’, see the comment at I.19.084–085. As I noted in that comment, any wording that is called a mūthos by the Master Narrator himself in the act of actually quoting the words of the wording will have the prestige of reality—to the extent that the listeners were actually expected to accept the idea that such wording had once upon a time been really spoken exactly as quoted by Homer himself. In the context of I.20.248–250 here, however, it becomes clear that there were in fact different regional versions of epics as quoted, as it were, by Homer. As Aeneas says at I.20.248–249, there is no single mūthos in the sense that there is no single way of wording a story for the record: rather, there are many ways of wording a story, and so there are many mūthoi to be heard by listeners, not just one. And, to repeat, there is a wide range of different ways of saying different things. As Aeneas says it, I.20.249, the nomós or ‘range’ of epea as ‘words of poetry’ is vast, varying from place to place. The choice of wording here is most evocative: the word nomós can mean literally ‘range of lands used for pasturing’, as at I.02.475, and the metaphorical application here to the wide range of epics about Aeneas and Achilles may evoke a pastoral scene of a cattle-raid in the highlands of Mount Ida, where Achilles was once upon a time rustling the cattle that were pastured there by Aeneas. Such a pastoral scene is signaled in the story as told by Aeneas at I.20.089–102: he was pasturing his cattle in the highlands of Mount Ida, and Achilles evidently caught him off guard in a cattle-raid, I.20.090–091. See the comment on I.20.089–102. [[GN 2016.12.09 via GMP 24, 43; also BA 270–271, 274.]]
subject heading(s): why does Poseidon rescue Aeneas?
In the short-term logic of the narrative here about the one-on-one battle between Aeneas and Achilles, I.20.290–352, it becomes certain that Aeneas will lose the battle and be killed by Achilles, I.20.290. But now, most abruptly, this short-term certainty is contradicted by a long-term certainty, which is, that Aeneas must not be killed by Achilles. It simply cannot happen. And the divine agent of this long-term certainty is the god Poseidon, who notices what is happening short-term and will now intervene directly, I.20.291, in order to insure the long-term certainty that Aeneas must not be killed in this battle-scene. As Poseidon declares to his fellow divinities before he takes action, it is morimon ‘destined’ that Aeneas must avoid being killed by Achilles at this epic moment, I.20.302, since Aeneas as a descendant of Dardanos must not die without having further descendants of his own, I.20.303–306, and these descendants may then continue to rule over the Trojans even after Troy is completely destroyed, I.20.307–308. So, there is an eternity that is destined for the genes, as it were, of Aeneas, as I noted already in the anchor comment at I.20.209, since this hero’s descendants will have eternal rule over the Trojans. But this rule, says Poseidon, will not be in Troy, since both Hērā and Athena have committed themselves by oath to the complete destruction of that city, I.20.313–317. Having made these declarations, Poseidon now takes action. What happens right away is that Aeneas is literally lifted into the air by the power of the god, I.20.325, who spirits him off to a safe place that is removed from the battle scene, I.20.328–329. Once Aeneas is safe, Poseidon appears to him and declares that it would have been huper moiran ‘beyond fate [moira]’ for this hero to die at this epic moment, I.20.336. And, while Poseidon is taking action by rescuing Aeneas, he simultaneously beclouds the vision of Achilles, I.20.321–322, so that this hero cannot get to see the actual rescue of his opponent. Achilles is literally in the dark here. Then, after the rescue, the vision of Achilles is restored, I.20.341–342, and he now comprehends that some god must have arranged the escape of Aeneas, I.20.342–350. It is significant, however, that Achilles does not know the identity of the god who rescued Aeneas. Similarly, Achilles did not know the exact identity of the god who rescued Aeneas from the city of Lyrnessos, where that hero had once upon a time taken refuge from the pursuing Achilles. As I noted in the comment on I.20.187–194, the wording of Achilles is ostentatiously vague when he refers at I.20.194 to the action of ‘Zeus and the other gods’ in helping Aeneas escape from the besieged city of Lyrnessos before it was destroyed by Achilles. By contrast, the wording of Achilles is clear when he refers at I.20.192 to the action of Zeus and Athena together in helping him destroy Lyrnessos. I propose, then, that Achilles was kept in the dark about the agency of the god or goddess who helped Aeneas escape from Lyrnessos before it was destroyed, just as he is now being kept in the dark about the agency of Poseidon. Further, just as Achilles at I.20.194 is complaining about the divine help given to Aeneas, so also Aeneas at I.20.097–102 complains about the divine help given to Achilles—and there the one divinity who is singled out as that hero’s greatest divine helper is Athena, I.20.094–096. The implication of this complaint by Aeneas is that Athena gives to Achilles an unfair advantage, and that the two heroes would be evenly matched if Athena were taken out of the picture. Ironically, Athena is in fact out of the picture in the one-on-one battle between Aeneas and Achilles, and the only god who intervenes in this battle is Poseidon, who helps not Achilles but Aeneas. But, even with the help of Poseidon, Aeneas does not win the one-on-one battle. He succeeds only in escaping death at the hands of Achilles. [[GN 2016.12.09 via HPC 203.]]
I.20.302–308 / anchor comment on: Aeneas the Ionian, part 2
see also anchor comment at I.20.209 on: Aeneas the Ionian, part 1
see also anchor comment at I.20.302–308 on: Aeneas the Aeolian
The prophecy that is made by the god Poseidon here about the descendants of Aeneas as heirs to eternal rule over the Trojans—but not in Troy—is a basic theme that pervades Ionian epic traditions. (On theme, see the Inventory of terms and names.) The identity of Aeneas as an Ionian depends ultimately on the idea that he must be relocated from ancient Troy, since that city simply must be destroyed completely. There are four points that now need to be made about this idea:
Point 1. A starting point is the city of Scepsis in its Ionian phase of existence. As we have already seen in Point 1 of the anchor comment at I.20.209, this Ionian city claimed control over the territory of Troy. Essentially, Scepsis now became the new Troy for the Ionians in this region. Meanwhile, the ancient city of Troy was supposedly never rebuilt and never again amounted to anything more than a simple village that was located within the territory of Scepsis. Such Trojan connections of Scepsis were not limited to this city’s claim that ‘the village of the people of Ilion’, which was under its control, had once been the sacred ground of the real Troy of the Trojan War. The city also claimed as its own the hero Aeneas. From the anchor comment at I.20.209 about Aeneas the Ionian, part I, I repeat here two relevant details reported by Demetrius of Scepsis by way of Strabo (13.1.52 C607): (A) The city of Scepsis, after being founded by Aeneas, was later ruled jointly by Ascanius (Askanios) son of Aeneas and Scamandrius (Skamandrios) son of Hector; and (B) the population of Scepsis was augmented at a later period by immigrants from the Ionian city of Miletus I also repeat here the fact that Scepsis claimed to be the original site of the basileion ‘royal palace’ of Aeneas, as reported by Demetrius of Scepsis by way of Strabo (13.1.53 C607). By implication, it was this palace that became the stronghold of the dynasty of Aeneas that survived the Trojan War.
Point 2. The descendants of Aeneas in the city of Scepsis represented the Ionians not only generally, in the sense that Scepsis eventually became an Ionian city. More specifically, as I have just reiterated on the basis of reportage originating from Demetrius by way of Strabo, Scepsis as an Ionian city was closely connected to the Ionian city of Miletus. So, the connection here is not only Ionian in general but also Milesian in particular. Such a connection is most significant in view of the fact that the Ionian city of Miletus once dominated the federation of Ionian cities known as the Ionian Dodecapolis, as we see from Herodotus 1.142.3 and other sources (HPC 216–217).
Point 3. And this Milesian connection of Scepsis is represented not only by the status of Aeneas as an adoptive dynastic hero of the city’s Ionian population but also by his prominent status as an epic hero who fought in the Trojan War. Here I return to the Ionian epic tradition about Aeneas that became part of the epic Cycle and was known as the Iliou Persis, an epic attributed to Arctinus of Miletus. As we have seen earlier, this Milesian epic narrates how Aeneas and his followers withdrew from Troy before its total destruction and moved back to his home in the highlands of Mount Ida (Proclus summary p. 107.24–26 ed. Allen 1912).
Point 4. There is a clear sign of this Ionian epic tradition in the overall Homeric narrative about the rescue of Aeneas by the god Poseidon in I.20.290–352. This god, although he is generally pro-Achaean in the Iliad, has a special link to the figure of Aeneas. That is because Poseidon also has a special link to the Ionians belonging to the federation of the Ionian Dodecapolis headed by Miletus: as Poseidon Helikōnios, he was the chief god of the Panionion, the sacred site of the festival of the Panionia, which expressed the communality of the twelve cities of the Ionian Dodecapolis as headed by the city of Miletus (Pausanias 7.24.5, scholia bT for I.20.404). [[GN 2016.12.09 via HPC 200, 202–203.]]
I.20.302–308/ anchor comment on: Aeneas the Aeolian
see also anchor comment at I.20.209 on: Aeneas the Ionian, part 1
see also anchor comment at I.20.302–308 on: Aeneas the Ionian, part 2
The four points that have just been made about Aeneas the Ionian need to be juxtaposed with twelve points that now need to be made about Aeneas the Aeolian, as featured in rival traditions. [These twelve points are epitomized from HPC 197–201.]
Point 1. The Aeolians of New Ilion, unlike the Ionians of Scepsis, claimed that Troy was not totally destroyed and was not left uninhabited. Rather, the Aeolians converted the ruins of Troy into the city of New Ilion. Our source for such a claim is Strabo (13.1.40 C600), evidently following Demetrius of Scepsis, who reported the claim of the Aeolians but went on to dispute it. Strabo (13.1.42 C602), however, also cites an important textual source that supported the same claim, namely, the Trōïka of Hellanicus of Lesbos (FGH 4 F 25b). See Point 1 of the anchor comment at I.20.209. As we will see, this claim of the Aeolians as reported by Hellanicus meshes with the idea that the hero Aeneas was originally an Aeolian, not an Ionian.
Point 2. In terms of the Aeolian claims, according to which Troy was not completely abandoned after its capture by the Achaeans, there was not only a surviving population that stayed in old Ilion but also a dynasty that ruled over such a population. There are traces of a traditional narrative about such a dynasty in the Trōïka of Hellanicus of Lesbos (FGH 4 F 31), as reported by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Roman Antiquities 1.45.4–1.48.1): according to this narrative, Aeneas himself was at least indirectly involved in such a dynasty. In this role, Aeneas would have been not an Ionian but an Aeolian. Here is a summary of what Hellanicus says:
A. After Aeneas escaped the capture of Troy by retreating to the highlands of Mount Ida, he negotiated with the victorious Achaeans his relocation to the city of Aíneia on the Thermaic Gulf.
B. Meanwhile, his son Ascanius was relocated as king of Daskylitis on the coast of the Sea of Marmara.
C. Eventually, Ascanius returned to the old Ilion, where he joined forces with Scamandrius (Skamandrios) son of Hector in refounding it as the New Ilion.
Point 3. Another source, however, indicates that the joint rule of the descendants of Aeneas and Hector over New Ilion was not to last. Here is what we read in the scholia for I.20.307–308: ‘but some say that the Aeolians expelled the descendants of Aeneas’ (οἱ δέ, ὅτι Αἰολεῖς ἐξέβαλον τοὺς ἀπογόνους Αἰνείου). Such a story about an expulsion from Ilion, it must be emphasized, could still be part of an Aeolic version of the story about ancient Troy. The wording here, if the text is not corrupt, would still assume an Aeolian re-founding of Ilion after the destruction of the ancient city.
Point 4. What is being problematized in the scholia that I have just cited is the prophecy made by the god Poseidon, in the Iliad as we have it, concerning the descendants of Aeneas. The god is prophesying that these descendants, to whom I will refer hereafter simply as the Aeneadae, will survive the Trojan War and will rule their subjects forever, I.20.306–308, but the context makes it clear that this rule will never happen in the old city of Troy, which will have to be destroyed completely, I.20.309–317. For now, I emphasize one basic fact about this prophecy: it implies that the Aeneadae will have to be relocated from Troy. Such a story about a relocation, of course, does not have to follow the Ionian tradition about Scepsis as a final place of refuge for the Aeneadae. The scholia for I.20.307–308, which we have already considered at Point 3, also report an alternative story about the relocation of the Aeneadae: ‘some say that it was by way of the Romans, with regard to whatever things the Poet knew on the basis of oracles emanating from the Sibyl’ (οἱ μὲν διὰ Ῥωμαίους φασίν, ἅπερ εἰδέναι τὸν ποιητὴν ἐκ τῶν Σιβύλλης χρησμῶν). So, the point made in the Iliadic text about the relocation of the Aeneadae could be explained in terms of a Roman appropriation of Aeneas: according to the Roman version, the Aeneadae were relocated from Ilion all the way to Italy, and such a relocation could still be explained in terms of the prophecy uttered by Poseidon at I.20.306–308.
Point 5. In terms of the Aeolian version of the story about the conquest of Troy by the Achaeans, as we saw at Points 1 and 2 above, the relocation of the Aeneadae was not predicated on the total destruction of Troy. The Aeolians, unlike the Ionians, did not need to own Aeneas in order to own their claim to ancient Troy, since an essential part of their overall claim was that they had built the city of New Ilion on the ruins of the original Ilion. As we have seen, our earliest source for the essentials of the Aeolian version of this story is the Trōïka of Hellanicus of Lesbos (FGH 4 F 31), as reported by way of Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Roman Antiquities 1.45.4–1.48.1). After the Trojan War, according to this Aeolian version of the story, New Ilion was ruled jointly by Ascanius the son of Aeneas and Scamandrius the son of Hector and by their descendants. But then, as we can see from the scholia for I.20.307–308, the descendants of Aeneas were expelled from New Ilion by ‘the Aeolians’, so that New Ilion was in later times ruled exclusively by the descendants of Hector. The story about the expulsion of the Aeneadae by the Aeolians from Ilion can be seen as a political reaction to the adoption of Aeneas by Ionians who claimed this hero as the founder of their very own new Ilion.
Point 6. To be contrasted with the Aeolian tradition about the New Ilion is the Ionian tradition about Scepsis. In this case, as we have seen, our primary source is Demetrius of Scepsis by way of Strabo (13.1.52 C607). After the Trojan War, according to this version of the story, Scepsis was first ruled by Aeneas. Then it was ruled jointly by Ascanius the son of Aeneas and Scamandrius the son of Hector and by their descendants. But then it was ruled by a coalition including immigrants from the Ionian city of Miletus.
Point 7. Retrospectively, in terms of the Aeolian tradition about New Ilion, Scamandrius represents the Aeolians who dominated New Ilion while Ascanius represents Ionians who may have originally inhabited the city together with the Aeolians. Once the Ionians appropriated a rival new Ilion as supposedly founded by Aeneas, however, the Aeolian version of the story would have to change: accordingly, the Aeneadae would now have to be expelled from the city of New Ilion. If the Ionians wanted to designate Aeneas as the founder of their rival new Ilion, as in the case of Scepsis, then the Aeolians of New Ilion would no longer want to designate the Aeneadae as partners in the dynasty that ruled them. In terms of the Ionian tradition about Scepsis, by contrast, Scamandrius represents the non-Ionians who ruled jointly with the Ionians the relocated new Ilion that is Scepsis, and the dominantly Ionian character of this city is then reinforced by Ionians immigrating from Miletus, leader of the Ionian Dodecapolis. There is evidence for the intensification of the Ionian identity of Scepsis over time, at the expense of its formerly Aeolic identity: Leaf 1923:273 notes a shift from Aeolic to Ionic dialect in the language found on the coinage of Scepsis around the fifth century BCE (HPC 200n145).
Point 8. The conflicting Aeolian and Ionian myths about Troy after the Trojan War can be correlated with an eventual differentiation of New Ilion and Scepsis as respectively Aeolian and Ionian cities. We know by hindsight that New Ilion was in fact a predominantly Aeolian city, whereas Scepsis, once an Aeolian city, eventually shifted toward an Ionian identity. The earlier Aeolian identity of Scepsis matches the identification of the Aeolians with the descendants of Hector, who ruled the city jointly with the descendants of Aeneas (Strabo 13.1.52 C607). And, conversely, the later Ionian identity of Scepsis matches the identification of the Ionians with the descendants of Aeneas.
Point 9. This is not to say that the Aeneadae were all along perceived as Ionians. Their Ionian identity was merely a function of the eventual Ionian identity of some of the places where they were relocated after the Trojan War, such as Scepsis. That is why the identity of the Aeneadae remains Aeolian if they are relocated to places that still have an Aeolian identity. We see an example in a myth about Aeneas as retold by the mythographer Conon, who flourished in the first century BCE and CE. According to this source (Conon FGH 26 F 1.46), Aeneas founded a settlement in the region of Mount Ida but was later displaced from there by two surviving sons of Hector, namely by Oxynios and Skamandros (F 1.46.2); Aeneas then migrated to the Thermaic Gulf (F.1.46.3), where he founded the city of Aíneia, also known as Aînos (F.1.46.4). The same name Aînos applies to a city on the banks of the river Ebros; that city, and Aíneia as well, were Aeolian settlements.
Point 10. Reviewing the various myths about Scamandrius son of Hector, as mentioned in Point 7 (also about one Skamandros son of Hector, as mentioned in Point 9), I emphasize that not one of them is represented in the Homeric Iliad, according to which the Trojans of the future will be ruled exclusively by the descendants of Aeneas, not by any descendants of Hector. The wording comes from the god Poseidon himself, as we have seen at I.20.307–308. Strabo (13.1.53 C608) quotes these same Homeric verses and then proceeds to quote a variant version of I.20.307–308, according to which the Aeneadae will rule not only over the surviving Trojans but also over all humanity. Depending on whether we follow the first or the second of the two versions as reflected in these two textual variants, we can say that the population to be ruled by the lineage of Aeneas will be either the Trojans or all humanity, I.20.307. Either way, the point that is being made in both versions is that the lineage of Aeneas will last forever, I.20.307–308, whereas the lineage of Hector the son of Priam will be extinct, I.20.302–306. The same point is being made in a prophecy made by the goddess Aphrodite in the Homeric Hymn (6) to Aphrodite (196–197). So, the version of the myth that is validated by both the Iliad and the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite is decidedly anti-Aeolian, not just pro-Ionian. The extinction of Hector’s descendants is a prerequisite in Homeric poetry as we have it.
Point 11. In terms of Homeric poetry, then, the future Trojans who are destined to be ruled by the descendants of Aeneas—and not by the descendants of Hector—could not be equated with the population of the New Ilion dominated by the Aeolians, who as we have seen ultimately expelled the descendants of Aeneas from their city, according to the scholia for I.20.307–308. That much is not surprising any more—provided that we keep in mind the Ionian ideology that drives the myth in Homeric poetry as we have it. What is surprising, however, is that the Ionian ideology that we see at work in the myths stemming from Scepsis can still leave room for the descendants of Hector as well as the descendants of Aeneas. In terms of the Homeric version as we have it, the Trojans of the future cannot even be equated with the population of the would-be new Ilion that was Scepsis, who were ruled not exclusively by Ascanius the son of Aeneas but jointly by him and by Scamandrius the son of Hector and grandson of Priam, as we saw from the testimony of Demetrius by way of Strabo (13.1.52 C607). So, what kind of Ionian ideology prevailed in the Homeric version of the myth? I propose that this ideology originated from the city of Sigeion in the Ionian phase of its existence, at a time when it was dominated by Athens. The Trojans of the future as pictured in the prophecy of Poseidon were imagined as the population controlled by the would-be new Ilion that was Sigeion, and this population was to be ruled exclusively by the descendants of Aeneas, not of Hector. Tracing the history of Sigeion forward in time into the early fifth century BCE, I propose that the possession of this city by Athens made it a more prestigious would-be new Ilion than was Scepsis, which must have gone into a severe decline after its main source of support, the city of Miletus, was captured by the Persian Empire in 494 BCE. By contrast with Scepsis, Sigeion persisted as a rival of New Ilion until sometime in the Hellenistic period. By the time of Strabo, however, who flourished in the late first century BCE, the city of Sigeion no longer even existed: the geographer reports that the site where the city had once stood had been systematically demolished (13.1.31 C595). The most likely cause of the city’s total destruction, it may be added, was its history of rivalry with New Ilion. So, by the time of Strabo, which matches the time when Aeneas became definitively recognized as the founder of the world power that was Rome, the only Ilion that still mattered any more was the Ilion of the Aeolians. But these Aeolians, unlike the ultimately doomed Ionians of Sigeion, did not need an Aeolian Aeneas as their source of legitimation.
Point 12. Here I return one more time to the two Iliadic versions of the prophecy made by the god Poseidon to Aeneas, as reflected in the two attested textual variants that we have already considered at I.20.307–308. According to the variant in one version, as quoted by Strabo (13.1.53 C608), the lineage of Aeneas will rule all of humanity, not only the Trojans of the future. Besides the textual variant that is cited by Strabo here to support this version, there is also another similar variant cited by other sources in support of the same version, as we read in the scholia for I.20.307 (see HPC 200n144, where it is suggested that the source for such a variant was Aristonicus, contemporary of Strabo). As we read in Strabo (13.1.27 C594–595), this version of the Aeneas story became suitable for appropriation by the lineage of Julius Caesar, who claimed to be descended from Iulus, alternatively named Ascanius, who was the son of Aeneas. In terms of this version, the descendants of Aeneas would one day rule all humankind, in that the Roman imperial rule of Caesar followed by Augustus and by their successors was viewed to be universal. According to the other version, on the other hand, it was the Trojans themselves who would be ruled forever by the descendants of Aeneas, and these future Trojans would have been equated with the population of Sigeion—until, as we saw at Point 11, that city was totally destroyed in the Hellenistic period. Meanwhile, the population of New Ilion remained Aeolian well into the Roman period, without ever needing Aeneas as a legitimator of their Aeolian identity. [[GN 2016.12.09.]]
subject heading(s): ásmenos ‘returning to light and life’
The etymology of this word can be explained as ‘returning to light and life’. See the anchor comment on O.09.566. [[GN 2017.05.31.]]
subject heading(s): sacrifice of a bull to Poseidon Helikōnios; Ionian Dodecapolis; Aeneas the Ionian; Ionian Migration
[Epitomized from HPC 229–230.] Here at I.20.404–405, the bellowing of a mortally wounded Trojan warrior is compared to the bellowing of a bull that is about to be sacrificed on the occasion of a ritual that was central to the people of the Ionian Dodecapolis in worshipping the god Poseidon. Such a comparison, which occurs in a context that is proximal to the narrative about the rescue of Aeneas by Poseidon, I.20.290–352, evokes the Ionian connections of the god with Aeneas as a hero who was appropriated by the Ionians of the Ionian Dodecapolis: see Point 4 of the anchor comment at I.20.302–308 about Aeneas the Ionian, part 2. Strabo (8.7.2 C384) makes it explicit that the Ionians even in his own time worshipped Poseidon Helikōnios and celebrated (thuein) the festival of the Panionia at the Panionion: ‘even today, the Ionians honor [tīmân] him [= Poseidon], and they still celebrate [thuein] at that place [= the Panionion] the festival of the Panionia’ (ὃν καὶ νῦν ἔτι τιμῶσιν Ἴωνες, καὶ θύουσιν ἐκεῖ τὰ Πανιώνια). And he proceeds to describe this festival as a thusiā ‘sacrifice’ in the context of noting that Homer actually mentions it here at I.20.404–405: ‘he [= Homer] makes mention, as some suggest, of this sacrifice [thusiā] when he says …’ (μέμνηται δ’, ὡς ὑπονοοῦσί τινες, ταύτης τῆς θυσίας Ὅμηρος ὅταν φῇ … [the quotation from Homer follows]). I draw special attention to Strabo’s metonymic use of thusiā ‘sacrifice’ here to designate the whole festival of the Panionia. On metonymy, see the Inventory of terms and names. The geographer then proceeds to quote the verses at I.20.404–405 that concern the sacrifice of a bellowing bull to Poseidon Helikōnios: ‘as when a bull | bellows when he is being dragged toward the lord who is Helikōnios’ (ὡς ὅτε ταῦρος | ἤρυγεν ἑλκόμενος Ἑλικώνιον ἀμφὶ ἄνακτα). As Strabo observes (again, 8.7.2 C384), the climax of the festival of the Panionia at the Panionion is the sacrifice of the bull to Poseidon Helikōnios—I note the word thusiā, used here in the specific sense of ‘sacrifice’—and special care must be taken by the sacrificers to induce the bull to bellow before it is sacrificed. Accordingly, Strabo continues, the reference at I.20.404–405 to the sacrifice of a bellowing bull to Poseidon Helikōnios can be used to argue that the birth of Homer ‘the Poet’ par excellence is to be dated after the Ionian apoikiā ‘migration’, on the grounds that Homer actually mentions the Panionian sacrifice of the Ionians to Poseidon Helikōnios in the environs of Priene: ‘they use [this] as evidence for aguing that the Poet was born after the Ionian migration [apoikiā], given that he makes mention of the Panionian festival [thusiā] that the Ionians celebrate in the territory of the people of Priene in honor of Poseidon Helikōnios’ (τεκμαίρονταί τε νεώτερον εἶναι τῆς Ἰωνικῆς ἀποικίας τὸν ποιητήν, μεμνημένον γε τῆς Πανιωνικῆς θυσίας ἣν ἐν τῇ Πριηνέων χώρᾳ συντελοῦσιν ῎Ιωνες τῷ ῾Ελικωνίῳ Ποσειδῶνι). (On the Ionian Migration, see the Inventory of terms and names.) As we see from Strabo, then, this Homeric passage may well refer to the special way of sacrificing bulls at the festival of the Panionia at the Panionion in Priene. The testimony of Strabo is in fact corroborated by the Homeric scholia (bT for I.20.404). As we see from the context of the Iliadic passage here, the mode of inflicting the mortal blow in sacrificing the bull highlights the vitality of the bull, who is “pumped up” with fear and rage. In the scholia bT for I.20.406a (see also bT for 404b), the commentator takes great care in noting the explosion of arterial blood at the climactic moment when the sacrificial blow severs the carotid artery of the “pumped up” animal. It appears that this mode of sacrificing the bull intensifies the rush of arterial blood spurting from the sacrificial blow. [[GN 2016.12.09 via HPC 203, 230.]]
subject heading(s): therapōn ‘attendant, ritual substitute’; therapontes (plural) of Ares
First, the chariot fighter is killed. Then and only then is the chariot driver, the therapōn, also killed: he is pierced in the back by a javelin as he turns the chariot team around and attempts to drive away from the scene of battle. [[GN 2014.08.04.]]
BA = Best of the Achaeans, Nagy 1979/1999.
GMP = Greek Mythology and Poetics, Nagy 1990b.
H24H = The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours, Nagy 2013
HC = Homer the Classic, Nagy 2009|2008
HPC = Homer the Preclassic, Nagy 2010|2009
HQ = Homeric Questions, Nagy 1996b
HR = Homeric Responses, Nagy 2003
LSJ = Liddell, H. G., R. Scott, and H. S. Jones. 1940. A Greek-English Lexicon. 9th ed. Oxford.
MoM = Masterpieces of Metonymy, Nagy 2016|2015
PasP = Poetry as Performance, Nagy 1996a
PH = Pindar’s Homer, Nagy 1990a
See the dynamic Bibliography for AHCIP.
Inventory of terms and names
See the dynamic Inventory of terms and names for AHCIP.