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Since the poet speaks of Crete at one time as "possessing a hundred cities,"1 and also at another as "possessing ninety cities,"2 Ephorus says that the ten were founded later than the others, after the Trojan War, by the Dorians who accompanied Althaemenes the Argive; he adds that it was Odysseus, however, who called it "Crete of the ninety cities." Now this statement is plausible, but others say that the ten cities were razed to the ground by the enemies of Idomeneus.3 However, in the first place, the poet does not say that Crete had one hundred cities at the time of the Trojan War, but rather in his own time (for he is speaking in his own person, although, if the statement was made by some person who was living at the time of the Trojan War, as is the case in the Odyssey, when Odysseus says "of the ninety cities," then it would be well to interpret it accordingly). In the second place, if we should concede this,4 the next statement5 could not he maintained; for it is not likely that these cities were wiped out by the enemies of Idomeneus either during the expedition or after his return from Troy; for when the poet said,“and all his companions Idomeneus brought to Crete, all who escaped from the war, and the sea robbed him of none,
6 he would also have mentioned this disaster; for of course Odysseus could not have known of the obliteration of the cities, since he came in contact with no Greeks either during his wanderings or later. And he7 who accompanied Idomeneus on the expedition to Troy and returned safely home at the same time could not have known what occurred in the homeland of Idomeneus either during the expedition or the return from Troy, nor yet even after the return; for if ldomeneus escaped with all his companions, he returned home strong, and therefore his enemies were not likely to be strong enough to take ten cities away from him. Such, then, is my description of the country of the Cretans.

1 Hom. Il. 2.649.

2 Hom. Od. 19.174.

3 The grandson of Minos.

4 i.e., that Homer was speaking of his own time.

5 i.e., that ten were razed by the enemies of Idomeneus.

6 Hom. Od. 3.191 (Nestor speaking).

7 Nestor.

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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