When, after mentioning Phoenicia, he talks of Sidon, its metropolis, he merely employs a common form of expression, for example,
“For the sons of magnanimous Œneus were no more, nor was he himself surviving; moreover, fair-haired Meleager was dead.2”
“ He urged the Trojans and Hector to the ships.1Iliad xiii. 1.”
“ He came to Ida—and to Gargarus.3”Iliad viii. 47.
Sappho likewise [says], “ Whether Cyprus, or the spacious-harboured Paphos.5
“ He possessed Eubœa, Chalcis, and Eretria.4”Iliad ii. 536.
” But he had some other cause besides this for mentioning Sidon immediately after having spoken of the Phoenicians: for had he merely desired to recount the nations in order, it would have been quite sufficient to say, “Having wandered to Cyprus, Phœnice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians.6” But that he might record his sojourn amongst the Sidonians, which was considerably prolonged, he thought it well to refer to it repeatedly. Thus he praises their prosperity and skill in the arts, and alludes to the hospitality the citizens had shown to Helen and Alexander. Thus he tells us of the many [treasures]of this nature laid up in store by Alexander.7
And also by Menelaus, who says to Telemachus,
“ There his treasures lay,”
Works of Sidonian women, whom her son,
The godlike Paris, when he crossed the seas
With Jove-begotten Helen, brought to Troy.8Iliad vi. 289.
Here the expression, ‘work of Vulcan,’ must be looked upon as a hyperbole: in the same way all elegant productions are said to be the work of Minerva, of the Graces, or of the Muses. But that the Sidonians were skilful artists, is clear from the praises bestowed [by Homer] on the bowl which Euneos gave in exchange for Lycaon:
“ 'I give thee this bright beaker, argent all,”
But round encircled with a lip of gold.
It is the work of Vulcan, which to me
The hero Phædimus presented, king
Of the Sidonians, when on my return
Beneath his roof I lodged. I make it thine.9Odyssey xv. 115.
Own'd not its like for elegance of form.
Skilful Sidonian artists had around
Embellish'd it, and o'er the sable deep
Phœnician merchants into Lemnos' port
Had borne it.10Iliad xxiii. 742.