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Odysseus has his home on Ithaca, and the scene of the greater part of the Odyssey is laid on that island. Since the search for Mycenaean remains according to the guidance of the Homeric myths had been rewarded so brilliantly at Mycenae and at Troy, it is intelligible that Mr. Schliemann planned and Professor Dörpfeld attempted to carry out the plan to discover Odysseus' palace on Ithaca. Of course Professor Dörpfeld holds the opinion that old Ithaca was in reality Leucas. We need not discuss that vexed question here. On both islands the search for Mycenaean remains failed, generally speaking; all that was found were some few sherds such as appear even in countries distant from Greece. 1

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[paragraph continues] Why the search for Mycenaean remains failed is clear. One of the premisses was erroneous. For the myth of Odysseus is not a heroic myth but a romance. 2 A romance may choose and localize its heroes in an arbitrary manner; thus the localization of the plot is unreliable. It may be transferred from one place to another in a loose manner which some scholars think fit for heroic mythology also. The failure of the search for the palace of Odysseus proves from the negative side the view maintained in these lectures.

On the other hand, apart from the story of his return, Odysseus is one of the most prominent Homeric heroes and plays a most important part in the Iliad. That seems to prove that he, as well as other heroes, belonged to the old stock. His very name shows signs of great antiquity. The ending is the one common in the earlier stratum of heroic names, -eus, and the varying forms, Odysseus, Olytteus, etc., 3 present a perplexing philological problem and prove the ancient origin of the name; for later names are regularly so formed that their origin is clear.

Odysseus lived at Ithaca, be it the historical Ithaca, or Leucas. Although he himself plays a very

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prominent part in the Iliad, his country and his people are mentioned only twice. In the rather late scene where Helen from the walls of Troy points out the Greek heroes to the Trojans, she says that he was bred in the rocky country of Ithaca; 4 and in another place the herald Eurybates is said to be an Ithacan. 5 On the other hand, when Odysseus' people are mentioned in the mustering of the troops by Agamemnon, they are said to be Cephallenians. 6 In the Odyssey Odysseus lives on Ithaca and is twice called an Ithacan, but he is called not king of Ithaca but king of the Cephallenians. This occurs in the late narrative of his meeting with his old father Laërtes. 7 He fears that the Ithacans may send messages to the towns of the Cephallenians. Remembering the prowess of his youth, Laërtes calls himself king of the Cephallenians, and some verses later 8 Antinous' father complains that Odysseus killed the bravest of the Cephallenians. The name of the island of Cephallenia is, however, absent from Homer, the four islands of which the dominion of Odysseus is composed being called Ithaca, Dulichion, Same, and Zacynthus.

These passages are all late and it may be inferred that a late name intruded itself, just as in the Pylian epos the Epeans were called Eleans. But the relation between the names of the country and of the people is here reversed. The Eleans have their name from the country of Elis, the people of the Kephallenes, as the Greek form is, have given their name to the island of Cephallenia, which in the

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[paragraph continues] Homeric age was called by another name, be it Dulichion, as Professor Dörpfeld and his followers think, be it Same as the old opinion is. 9

To this view the finds from the Mycenaean age correspond in a certain manner. While very few Mycenaean remains, not more than in foreign places, have been found on Ithaca and on Leucas, such finds are more considerable on Cephallenia, including four tholos tombs and a series of chamber tombs and other tombs near Diaka, with sub-Mycenaean pottery. 10 To these finds, registered by Dr. Fimmen, are to be added not inconsiderable finds of pottery, bronze utensils, etc., from a habitation at Orkopeda on the peninsula of Pale. 11 Thus archaeological facts seem to prove that the epical tradition of the dominion of the Cephallenians is old; it belonged, however, to a very late period of the Mycenaean age and was of no great importance.

There are, however, certain objections to be considered. Attention has been called to the fact that the name of the Kephallenes, in the Dorian dialect Kephallanes, has the same ending as several tribal names of northwestern Greece, e.g., Ainianes, Atintanes, Athamanes, etc., and from this fact the conclusion is drawn that the Kephallenes were a north-western tribe. If this is so, they must have invaded the islands at the beginning of the historical age; that is, at a very late period of epic poetry, and have given their name to the island after the Homeric age. The name of the island of Cephallenia appears for the first time in Herodotus. It cannot be denied

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that this is possible; and if it is really what happened, the above inference must be withdrawn. 12

It appears that this is a very uncertain matter, but its importance for our chief purpose is slight. Moreover, I am obliged to confess that I am unable to guess why Odysseus was localized precisely on Ithaca. It may be explained, if with Professor Wilamowitz we take Ithakoi to be a tribal name which was applied to the island later, 13 just as the tribal name of the Cephallenians was applied to the island of Cephallenia, but this also is not more than a guess. It ought, however, to be well observed that no old cycle of myths is attached to Odysseus. The story of his return to his faithfully abiding wife is a romance; his adventures on the sea are sailors' stories, such as are told by a sea-faring people; and were en vogue during the epoch of the Greek colonization. Originally they were not bound up with a certain person but were attached to one person or to another who seemed suitable, and Odysseus was suitable as king of an empire of far-off islands. Other myths of Odysseus are still later. The fame of Odysseus is due to these late myths and to the genius of a poet who depicted his character as that of the wise and cunning man and thus made him an important personage in the Iliad. He has no mythological cycle of his own but was put into the foreground during the development of Homeric

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epics. And this corresponds closely to the state of things in this outlying part of Greece, as archaeology shows them to have been in the Mycenaean age.


95:1 W. Dörpfeld, Alt-Ithaka (1927), p. 150 (Ithaca), pp. 283 and 337 (different sites on Leucas). It is impossible to know what value is to be attributed to a recent newspaper statement that there were found on p. 96 Ithaca "des restes très importants d’agglomérations mycéniennes et promycéniennes." See Journal of Hellenic Studies, XLIX (1929), p. 235. If that is literally true, it would reverse my arguments, but I think it safest to wait and see. I have not seen the correspondence which has been going on this autumn (1930) in the Times concerning Ithaca. Cp. Bulletin de correspondence hellénique, LIII (1929), p. 505.

96:2 Here I am in agreement with Wilamowitz, Die Ilias and Homer, pp. 281 et seq.

96:3 Collected e.g. by J. Schmidt in Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie, iii. pp. 645 et seq.

97:4 Il. iii. v. 201.

97:5 Il. ii. v. 184.

97:6 Il. iv. v. 330.

97:7 Od. xxiv. vv. 350 et seq.

97:8 Od. xxiv. v. 429.

98:9 Cp. Wilamowitz, Homerische Untersuchungen (1884), p. 73.

98:10 Deltion archaiologikon, V (1919), pp. 92 et seq.

98:11 Ibid., VI. (1920-21), pp. 175 et seq.

99:12 The contention that tribal names ending in -ānes and -ēnes are exclusively northwestern is not absolutely certain. If Athamas is the eponymous hero of the Athamanes, which, however, is very uncertain (cp. below pp. 133 et seq.), this would prove that tribal names with this ending had already appeared in the Mycenaean age.

99:13 Wilamowitz, Die Heimkehr des Odysseus (1927), p. 187.

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