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From the bust in the National Museum, Naples












COPYRIGHT, 1889, 1901, 1903





THE Text of this edition of the First Books of Homer's IU<1 is
substantially that of Dindorf-Hentze, as used in the College Series
of Greek Authors, issued by the same publishers.

The Commentary has been adapted to the use of schools from
that of Homer's Iliad, Books I-III, IV- VI, in the same series.

The Introduction has been adapted to the use of schools from
the Editor's Introduction to the Language and Verse of Homer, also
in the College Series of Greek Authors. Sections 22 and 57 are
most immediately necessary for the beginner.

The Introduction, Commentary, and Vocabulary of the edition of
1889 have been carefully revised for this edition. For criticisms
and suggestions, the editor is indebted in particular to Professor
H. Z. McLain of Wabash College, Mr. R. A. Minckwitz of Kansas
City, Professor Mustard of Haverford College, Professor G. F.
Nicolassen of the Southwestern Presbyterian University, Mr. C. B.
Goold of the Albany Academy, Dr. A. S. Cooley of Auburndale,
Mass., and Principal A. E. Peterson of South Manchester, Conn.

Reference is made to Books of the Iliad by the capital letters of
the Greek alphabet, A, B, T, KT\. ; to Books of the Odyssey, by the
small letters, a, /?, y, KT\. References preceded by the symbol []
are to the Introduction. //. stands for the Greek Grammar of
Hadley- Allen ; G. stands for Goodwin's Greek Grammar. Other
abbreviations are intended to be self-interpreting. Translations
are in italics ; paraphrases are inclosed in double inverted commas ;
quotations are inclosed in single inverted commas.

YALE COLLEGE, March 4, 1901.

M 107972



Adjectives 38.

Adverbs 56.

Analysis of Iliad 7.

Analysis of Odyssey 10.

Anastrophe 55 c.

Anomalous Forms 37.

Aorists of /ai-form 53.

Apocope 29.

Apostrophe 16 g.

Asyndeton 15.

Augment 43.

Batrachomachia 2 e.

Bibliographical Note p. Ixxxv.

Books, Division into, 10 6.

Bucolic Diaeresis 58 h.

Caesural Pauses 58.

Change of meanings 17.

Chiasmus 16 a.

Comparison of Adjectives 40.

Comparisons 14.

Conjugation of Verbs 43-54.

Consonants 30.

Contract Verbs 47.

Contraction 24.

Crasis 26.

Dactyls 57 c.

Declension of Nouns 33-37.

Dialect, General Remarks, 22.

Digamma 32.

Direct Discourse 11 e.

Elision 28.

Epanalepsis 16 &.

Epexegesis 12 e.

Epic Poetry 1.

Epithets 12 a.

Family Trees 7 e.

Feminine Caesura 58 c, d.

First Aorist 48.

First Declension 34.

Future 48.

Genitive Absolute 19 /, g.

Greek Forces 7 d.

Hexameter Verse 57.

Hiatus 27.

Homeric Hymns 2/.

' Homeric Question ' 1 a.

Hysteron Proteron 16 /.

Iliad, Action of, according to days, 7 c.

Iliad, Analysis of, 7 a.

Iliad, Contents in Hexameters, 7 6.

Iliad, Story of, 6.

Iterative Forms 54.

Life in the Homeric Age 4.

Litotes 16 c.

Map of Homeric Greece, after Text.

Map of Troad, just before the Text.

Masculine Caesura 58 c, d.

Metathesis 31.

Mi-verbs 52.

Middle Voice 50.

Numerals 41.

Odyssey, Analysis of, 10.

Odyssey, Story of, 9.

Optative Mode 44 c, d.

Order of Words 11 h.

Parataxis 21.

Parechesis 13.

Particles 20.

Passive Voice 51.

Patronymics 39.

Perfect Tense 49.

Periphrasis 16 d.

Prepositions 19 e, 55.

Pronouns 42.

Quantity 59.

Reduplication 43.

Second Declension 35.

Special Case Endings 33.

Spondees 57 c, e.

Stereotyped Expressions 12 h.

Style 11.

Subjunctive Mode 45.

Synizesis 25.

Synonymous Expressions 12 d.

Syntax 18.

Third Declension 36.

Trojan War, Story of, 5-8.

Troy .">.

Verb Endings 44.

Verse 57.

Vowels '_>:>>.

16 e.




1. a. The Homeric poems are to modern readers the oldest
remains of Greek literature, but they were not the earliest poems
of the Greeks. Lyric poetry naturally precedes epic poetry. Every
nation has love songs, war songs, and dirges before it has narra-
tive poems. Those earliest songs of the Greeks are all lost, although
traces of them remain in the Iliad and Odyssey. Doubtless the
Greeks had also many brief epic songs, narrating exploits in war
and ' hair-breadth 'scapes ' in adventure, before any one thought of
composing a long epic poem. In the Iliad and Odyssey are found
indications of poems about the adventures of Heracles, and the
Argonautic Expedition for the Golden Fleece, and of short songs
about the expedition against Troy. The earlier and shorter epic
poems were used freely by Homer (for this name may be given con-
veniently to the man who formed the plan of the Iliad, and to
whom its unity is due) in the composition of the Iliad ; and again,

I after him, additions were made by other bards. The poem thus
contains Pre-Homeric, Homeric, and Post-Homeric elements.
Some scholars lay more stress on one class of elements, while
other scholars lay more stress on another. But the lover of the
poem, who reads it attentively again and again, generally feels
the essential unity and harmony of the work more forcibly than
the inconsistencies and discrepancies on which have been based the
arguments for the different authorship of different parts of the
poem. Composed at a time when the art of writing was not familiar
to the people, when Greece had no < reading public/ the poem was
made to be recited and heard, not to be read. It would, then, be
composed in parts short enough to be recited at a single sitting. The
poet would not be solicitous to preserve exact harmony of detail
between lays which were not likely to be sung in immediate suc-
cession nor on the same occasion. He would not begin his work



with, the plan of composing a poem of 15,693 verses (like the Iliad),
or of 12,110 verses (like the Odyssey), but, finding that his theme
was popular and admitted of indefinite expansion, he would natu-
ratty develop what had been only indicated before. Thus the Books
of the Iliad doubtless were not composed in the order in which
they stand in our texts. The first part of the First Book must
have been the earliest composed, for that is the basis of the whole
poem ; but Books II- VI (and still more, Books VII-X) may have
been composed after Book XI, in order to fill up the details of the
story. So in the Odyssey, the First Book is the general introduc-
tion to the rest of the poem, although scholars are not agreed in
believing that it is now in its original form ; but Books II-IV
(the Telemachia), which contain an account of the journey of
Odysseus' son Telemachus to the homes of Nestor and Menelaus
in the hope of obtaining tidings of his long-absent father, may very
likely have been part of an independent poem, or at least may have
been composed after Book V. Doubtless, details were sometimes
filled in later. The reciter of five or six hundred lines might pre-
fix or affix a few verses which would make his recitation seem
more complete in itself, or he might insert what would make this
more suitable to the special occasion. The Alexandrian critics
believed that the original Homeric close of the Odyssey was with
the 296th verse of the Twenty-third Book, and critics have thought
the last two Books of the Iliad, like the last part of the Odyssey,
to be of later composition.

The beginner need not (and should not) be disturbed by ques-
tions as to the diverse authorship of different parts of the Iliad.
The subject is exceedingly complicated, and cannot be studied
profitably until the student is perfectly familiar with the entire
poem, and with similar literature in other languages. The student
should strive to enjoy and appreciate the Homeric poems, not
to analyze them. 1

1 The famous ' Homeric Question,' as to the composition of the Homeric
poems, whether they were merely the remnants of the songs of many bards,
or the creations of a single poetic genius, was first treated in a scientific way
by a German scholar, Friedrich August Wolf, in his Prolegomena ad Homerum,
in 1795. He claimed that the Iliad and the Odyssey were not the work of one



poet, and that the unity of each poem was given to it by scholars at the court
of Pisistratus in Athens, in the Sixth Century B.C. He based his view on
external arguments, which have grown weaker rather than stronger since his
day, and are almost entirely neglected now holding that the art of writing
was introduced into Greece comparatively late, and that poems as long as the
Iliad and the Odyssey would not have been composed before the use of letters
was known. The art of writing, however, was known in Greece before 1000 B.C.,
though its application to literary purposes was much later. Just when poets
began to write their lays, is uncertain. About half a century after Wolf, in
1837, another German scholar, Lachmann, divided the Iliad into eighteen differ-
ent lays, resting his division on internal arguments, i.e. on the inconsistencies
of different parts. But we do not know just what degree of logical consistency
the poet or the poet's audiences required. Certainly, many of the inconsist-
encies on which stress is laid by modern critics had escaped notice for two
thousand years, though men have had copies of the poems in their hands, and
could turn backward and forward to detect discrepancies in a way which was
quite impossible for the poet's first audiences. Herodotus (ii. 117) said that
Homer could not have composed the poem called Cypria ( 2 d), because the
Iliad and the Cypria differ in regard to the course taken by Paris on his return
to Troy from Sparta, and Homer nowhere else recalls his statement, ovSa^y
&\\y dvir68L<7 euvTov. The discussion now continues with the use of internal
arguments, but scholars are less inclined than a few years ago to suppose that
either the Iliad or the Odyssey is a conglomeration of separate lays, a ' fortuitous
concurrence of atoms ' ; they have abandoned the search for independent lays,
and seek rather for the sources of the different parts of the poem, being dis-
posed to favor the idea of a natural and organic development, such as was
suggested in 1859 for the Odyssey by Kirchhoff (the first to question seriously the
unity of the composition of the Odyssey), who assigned to the old N60Tos of
Odysseus (with some omissions, 1200 lines in all) a 1-87, e 43-7; 297, X 333-
353, and v 7-184. According to Kirchhoff, 3561 verses formed a later continu-
ation, while the rest of the poem was made up of still later additions and inter-
polations. In some such way the poem may have grown, but he is a bold man
who ventures to say just what and how much is the work of one poet. A
master mind there must have been, but yet the poems came gradually to their
present condition. 'Many brave men lived before Agamemnon,' and many
poets preceded. Homer, who used freely the poetic material which was the
inheritance of his generation. No one has stated the case more clearly than
Rudyard Kipling :

Wen 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre,
'E'd 'eard men sing by land and sea,

And wot 'e thought 'e might require,
'E went and took, the same as me.

We may compare also Cicero's words (Brutus xviii. 71) : Nihil est simul et inven-
tum et perfectum ; nee dubitari debet quinfuerint ante Homerum poetat


b. Scholars now do not ask where Homer was born, 1 but rather
where Greek epic poetry had its rise. The Muses were ' Pierian
Muses/ 'OAv/MTTia Sw/Aar' e^ovcrai, and their earliest home seems to
have been on the slopes of Mt. Olympus, in Pierian Thessaly.
Thence epic poetry was carried by the Aeolian Greeks to Asia
Minor, where it was adopted and perfected by the lonians. The
Homeric Poems still contain many Aeolic forms in words and
phrases for which the lonians had no metrical equivalent. The
Aeolic form has been disposed to persist particularly in proper

c. No one can tell the exact date of the composition of the
Homeric Poems. Probably they were essentially in their present
form as early as the Eighth Century B.C. Herodotus (ii. 53)
believed the poems to have been composed four hundred years
before his time, or about 850 B.C., and this date may serve as well
as another.

d. Bards (dotSoi, cf. dei'Sw) are mentioned in the Homeric poems
as singing on themes connected with the Trojan War. The poems
(doiScu, Attic wSai, English Odes) were recited by rhapsodists

, 2 who were at first themselves poets, but in later times

1 The so-called Lives of Homer which have come down to us under the names
of Herodotus and Plutarch, and anonymously, have no historical value. The
most important opinion preserved is that of Herodotus, who (ii. 53) thought
Homer to have lived about 400 years before his own time, or 850 B.C. That we
know nothing of Homer's life does not prove that he never existed. Seven
cities, according to a well-known epigram, claimed each to have been the poet's
birthplace :

7r6\eis fj.dpva.vro ffo<f>T)v 5iA ptfav '0/u^pou
va, Xfos, Ko\o0tiv, 'Iddicr), IIiJXos, "Apyos,

' Seven cities claimed great Homer dead,
Through which the living Homer begged his bread.'

The story of Homer's blindness rests on an expression in a so-called Homeric
Hymn. See 2 /.

2 The derivation of this word is not entirely clear. Pindar paraphrases it at
the beginning of his Second Nemean Ode, 'Owpidai, pairr&v tirfav doiSo/, singers
of stitched songs. Perhaps this means no more than carefully contrived songs;
cf. f*60ovs v<t>atvov T 212 wove (i.e. put together) words. Hesiod (Frag, ccxxvii)
speaks of himself and Homer as frfyavTfs doiS^, stitching a song.


were merely reciters. We read of a guild of these Homeridae
on the island of Chios. Nearly six hundred years B.C., Solon intro-
duced regulations for the contests of rhapsodists at the Pan-
athenaic festival at Athens. In the dialogue entitled Ion, ascribed
to Plato, one of these rhapsodists, Ion of Ephesus, is introduced,
who had just gained the prize for his recitation at Epidaurus, and
was planning to contend at the Panathenaic festival. This Ion is
said to have had audiences of 20,000 people. He must have
flourished in the Fifth Century B.C., but the bloom of his art in
Athens was more than a century earlier, before the rise of tragedy,
in the time of Pisistratus and his sons, when epic recitations were
an important part of the chief festival of the city, and regulations
were adopted in order to insure the presentation of the poems in
due form and order.

e. The Homeric poems were enjoyed and studied by the Greeks
through all their national life. They were learned by the children
(the distinguished Athenian general Nicias caused his son Niceratus
to learn both Iliad and Odyssey by heart), they were repeated by the
people, and they were carefully examined by scholars. The begin-
ning of literary criticism and of linguistic study were based on
Homer. For the judgment of the Romans, quotations follow from
Cicero and Horace :

Traditum est Ilomerum caecum fuisse ; at eius picturam, non poesin videmus.
Quae regio, quae ora, qui locus Graeciae, quae species formaque pugnae, quae
acies, quod remigium, qui motus hominum, quiferarum non ita expictus est, ut
quae ipse non viderit, nos ut videremus efficerit ? Cicero, Tusc. Disp. v. 39, 114.

Troiani belli scriptorem, maxime Lolli,
dum tu declamas Bomae, Praeneste relegi :
qui quid sit pulchrum, quid turpe, quid utile, quid non,
planius ac melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicit. . . .
fabula, qua Paridis propter narratur amorem
Graecia barbariae lento collisa duello,
stultorum regum et populorum continet aestus.
Anterior censet belli praecidere causam ;
quid Paris ? ut salmis regnet vivatque beatus
cogi posse negat. Nestor componere litis
inter Peliden festinat et inter Atriden:
hunc amor, ira quidem communiter urit utrumque.


quidquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi.

seditione, dolis, scelere atque libidine et ira

Iliacos intra muros peccatur et extra. Horace, Epist. i. 2. 1 ft.

quanto rectius hie qui nil molitur inepte ? . . .
semper ad eventurn festinat et in medias res
non secus ac notas auditorem rapit et quae
desperat tractata nitescere posse, relinquit.
atque ita mentitur, sic wen's falsa remiscet,

primo ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum. Horace, Art of Poetry,
140, 148 ff.

2. a. An Epic Poem is a narration in heroic verse of a digni-
fied story of considerable length which has a definite beginning,
middle, and end, and an organic relation of parts. The time of the
action should not be so long as to make difficult a general view of
the story. The poet puts as much as possible of his tale into the
mouth of his actors, and so the Homeric poems are strongly dra-
matic. In the First Book of the Iliad the first 427 verses are
almost entirely dramatic, the narrative serving simply as ( stage
directions.' Of the 444 verses of the First Book of the Odyssey,
285 are in speeches. Epic poetry was the mother of the drama.
A large part of the story of the adventures of Odysseus is told
by the hero himself, a device which not only was followed by
Vergil in making Aeneas tell Dido of his wanderings, and by
Milton in his Paradise Lost, where Eaphael, 'the affable arch-
angel/ tells Adam of the creation of the world and of the revolt in
heaven, but has been adopted by many modern novelists.

b. The Homeric Poems used to be compared with Vergil's
Aeneid, Dante's Divina Commedia, and Milton's Paradise Lost;
but men have come to see a difference between the Natural Epic
and the Literary Epic. Vergil had no personal (only an artistic)
interest in the battles and adventures of his hero. He sends
Aeneas to Hades simply because the Homeric Odysseus had been
there ; he makes Aeneas tell to Queen Dido the story of his wan-
derings and sufferings, because Odysseus had told a similar story
to King Alcinous. Vergil consciously strives to unite the charac-
teristics of both Iliad and Odyssey, as he shows by beginning his



poem with arma virumque cano, the anna being for the Iliad,
and the virum for the Odyssey. Vergil is self-conscious, too, in the
use of cano ; he remembers that he is the court poet of Augustus,
and borrows the word ( sing/ although his poem was not meant to
be sung but to be read. But Homer is in earnest when he says,
a8c Oed, Sing, goddess !

In the epics of Vergil, Dante, and Milton, more grace and finish
are expected, and more studied thought. ' The capital distinction
of Homeric poetry,' as Professor Jebb has well said, ' is that it has
all the freshness and simplicity of a primitive age, all the charm
which we associate with the " childhood of the world " ; while on
the other hand it has completely surmounted the rudeness of form,
the struggle of thought with language, the tendency to grotesque or
ignoble modes of speech, the incapacity for equable maintenance
of a high level, which belong to the primitive stage of literature.'

c. A great Natural Epic is possible only in a nation which has a
rich and varied mythology. Hence, the Komans, being without
a rich mythology of their own, could have no great Natural Epic.

d. The expedition against Troy was the theme of other poems

I than the Iliad and the Odyssey, but they have long been lost, and
little is known of them. One, the Cypria (TO. Kvrrpia, sc. tiry,
assigned to Staslnus of Cyprus), told of the events which preceded
the action of our Iliad. The Aethiopis (Ai&oTri's, sc. 71-0070-19,
assigned to Arctinus of Miletus) told of the events which followed
the action of the Iliad. The Iliupersis ('IA.ibu IIcpo-is, assigned

I to Arctinus) and the Little Iliad ('IXias Mi*pa, assigned to Lesches
of Lesbos) sang of the destruction of the Trojan city. The Noo-rot
(Returns, assigned to Agias of Troezen) told of the adventures
of the Achaeans (except Odysseus) on their way home to Greece.
These poems were much briefer than the Iliad and Odijssey ; prob-
ably all together were not much longer than the Iliad alone.
According to Aristotle, they had less poetic unity and less dramatic
dialogue than the Homeric poems.
e. The Batrachomachia, or Batrachomyomachia (' Battle of the
Frogs and Mice '), a burlesque ' epyl,' which was once thought to
be one of Homer's Minor Poems, was composed probably not far


from the time of the Persian Wars, and is assigned with reason to
Pigres of Halicarnassus. It contains only 303 verses.

f. The Homeric Hymns (to Apollo, Demeter, Aphrodite, Hermes,
and other divinities) are of different ages, and in them much mate-
rial of high antiquity is combined with what is comparatively
recent. They are epic rather than lyric in form and manner. To
the Hymn in honor of Delian Apollo seems to be due the fixing of
the story of Homer's blindness, for the poet of that ' hymn ' says
that he is a blind bard of Chios. The shorter ' hymns ' are a kind
of ' grace before meat, 7 being intended to be sung as an act of
homage to the gods before the recitation of some epic story.
Twenty-seven of them have each less than twenty-five verses ; only
seven are longer. The longest (to Hermes) has 580 verses.

3. a. Homer's story of the siege of Troy certainly was not
intended to be a history of an actual war. The poet says again
and again that he is of a later generation. He asks the Muse to
tell the story, since she alone knows what really happened.
Doubtless many such battles were fought and many such sieges
endured in Asia Minor about 1000 years B.C.

b. Dr. Heinrich Schliemann was led by his Homeric enthusiasm,
a few years ago, to excavate the site of Hissarlik (< Ilium Novum ')
in the Troad, near the Hellespont, and that of Mycenae in Argolis.
In both places are found indications and remains of ancient wealth
and power which justify the Homeric epithets of Ilios (as lv vai-
I 402, TToAvx/ovow, TToXv^aXKov 3 289) and Mycenae
TrroXUOpov B 569, TroAv^ixroio MVKTJVTJS y 304) and make
probable the belief that the story of the expedition against Troy
was founded on fact. The civilization of the two cities was simi-
lar. The king of Mycenae may have been the central power of
Peloponnesus at one time. An armada may have been led by the
king of Mycenae against Troy. The massive walls which have
been uncovered at Hissarlik, about three miles from the sea, must
have been seen long after the sack of the city, and would be
reminders to bards and people of the conflicts on the shore of the
Hellespont. The agreement between the ruined city which has
been found and the situation assumed in the Iliad is too exact to

i ogjrrigtaied, 1897, i>y o

From a photograph


be the work of chance, but certainly most of the incidents and
names of heroes were invented. The traditional date of the fall of
Troy, 1184 B.C., is not historical, but will answer as well as another.
At that time the Mycenaean civilization was at its height, but
nearing its close.


4. a. The Homeric Poems give a picture of life in Greece which
differs in important particulars from that of the classical or
historical period. The poet knows no one name for Greece as
opposed to other lands. The Greeks are ' Argives,' ' Achaeans,' or
' Danaans.' The 'Hellenes 5 are as yet only the inhabitants of
a small district in Thessaly. The names of 'Attica 7 and 'Pelo-
ponnesus ' are unheard. Thebes seems to be in ruins. Athens
has no special distinction. The contrast of Dorians and lonians
is unknown. Menelaus, king of Sparta, and his country are com-
paratively insignificant, although the war was undertaken to avenge
the wrong which he had suffered from Paris. The king of Mycenae,
Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus, is the chief monarch of Greece.
The Greek colonies in the west and on the Black Sea, and the
Greek cities of Asia Minor are not mentioned. Monarchy pre-
vails ; democracies seem to be unknown. The king is also corn-
man der-in-chief of the army, judge, and priest; as head of the
nation he represents it before the gods. His power is derived
directly from Zeus, but it is practically limited. Public opinion is
st miiLj, although Homer has no word for law; he recognizes, rather.
institutions (0c/ucrre?). That is, the Homeric Greeks had a very

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