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14549Re: [ANE-2] On the Historicity of Troy

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  • Jean-Fabrice Nardelli
    Oct 24, 2012
      Graham,

      you do not understand what the Athenian use of these two Iliadic
      lines from the Catalogue of the Ships (sorry for the wrong reference ;
      my only excuse was the very late hour in Frence) demonstrates as to the
      textual canonization of the poem. Aristotle, Rhetoric, I, 1375 b 28-30
      (p. 69 Kassel [1976]) tells us that "by ancient witnesses I mean the
      poets and all famous figures whose decisions [KRISEIS] are notorious,
      like the Athenians who invoked Homer as witness with respect to Salamis"
      in 560 BC, which is confirmed by Plutarch (Life of Solon, 10) and
      Diogenes Laertius (I, 48), both of whom declare that the Attic
      leader-poet Solon cited Iliad 2. 557 with verse 558 of his own invention
      to bolster the claims of Athens on the great island against the rival
      ones of the Megarians. Though that story has been shown to lack
      credibility, the spuriousness of 558 was unquestioned in later times and
      is nearly universally admitted by modern scholars (contra, R. Hope
      Simpson and J. F. Lazenby, The Catalogue of Ships in Homer's Iliad
      [Oxford, 1970], pp. 59-61, see E. Visser, Homers Katalog der Schiffe
      [Stuttgart & Leipzig, 1997], pp. 449-452, who concludes that "fasst man
      alle Gesichtpunkte zusammen, so spricht doch mehr dafür, in B 558 einen
      Vers zu sehen, der nicht vom Iliasdichter stammt" ; the same Visser
      wrote the commentary on the Catalogue in Latacz's Basler
      Gesamtkommentar, vol. II [Munich & Leipzig, 2003], here at pp. 179-180,
      which replaces the badly defective G. S. Kirk, The Iliad. A Commentary,
      I [Cambridge, 1985], pp. 208-209). The line was omitted by Aristarchus
      in his epoch-making editions, in all probability because he only found
      it in a few of his chosen manuscripts (a point demonstrated beyond
      reasonable doubt by M. J. Apthorp, The Manuscript Evidence for
      Interpolation in Homer [Heidelberg, 1980], pp. 165-177 [text], 188-194
      [notes]), and it re-entered the textual tradition later on an unsecure
      footing (as it is omitted by six papyri and roughly one half of the
      best-known mediaeval manuscripts ; an instructive tale is told by the
      comparison of the apparatuses of G. M. Bolling's Ilias Atheniensium
      [Lancaster, 1950] , p. 39, and West's Teubner eddition, I [1998], p.
      71). The problem is highly complex and cannot be sketched in a few
      sentences - see Apthorp for a complete, if heavy-going, unravelling of
      it -, but, unless the interpolation was well-known by Solon's time, viz.
      textually fixed orally and in some exemplars of the poem, it is
      inconveivable that the Athenians could ever have invoked it and the
      judges of the quarrel with the Megarians accepted it. Homeric scholars
      were thus lead to posit an updating of the geographic-mythical map of
      heroic Greece as preserved by the Catalogue and some interpolations in
      Hesiod with a view to the interests of Athens and other regional powers
      of the middle of the 6th century (M. Finkelberg, 'Ajax's Entry in the
      Hesiodic Catalogue of Women', Classical Quarterly 38, 1988, pp. 31-41 at
      35-38) - if this is not an airtight sign of canonized textualization,
      then what can it be ?

      I can only hope that, tonight, I suceeded in making my point
      crystal-clear.
      Yours,
      J.-F. Nardelli
      Université de Provence
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