Before the Trojan war there is no indication of any common action in
nor indeed of the universal prevalence of the name; on the contrary, before the time of Hellen, son of Deucalion, no such
appellation existed, but the country went by the names of the different
tribes, in particular of the Pelasgian. It was not till Hellen and his sons grew strong in Phthiotis, and were
invited as allies into the other cities, that one by one they gradually
acquired from the connection the name of Hellenes; though a long time elapsed before that name could fasten itself upon all.
The best proof of this is furnished by Homer.
Born long after the Trojan war, he nowhere calls all of them by that name,
nor indeed any of them except the followers of Ac
, accordingly set out at once
during this winter with some troops from Decelea, and levied from the allies
contributions for the fleet, and turning towards the Malian gulf exacted a
sum of money from the Oetaeans by carrying off most of their cattle in
reprisal for their old hostility, and, in spite of the protests and
opposition of the Thessalians, forced the Achaeans of Phthiotis and the
other subjects of the Thessalians in those parts to give him money and
hostages, and deposited the hostages at Corinth, and tried to bring their
countrymen into the confederacy.
The Lacedaemonians now issued a requisition to the cities for building a
hundred ships, fixing their own quota and that of the Boeotians at
twenty-five each; that