But this line seems to imply some contradiction;
for χθαμαλὴ is low, and depressed, but πανυπεοͅτάτη expresses great height, as he describes it in other passages, calling it Cranæ, (or rugged,) and the road leading from the harbour, as,
“ it lies in the sea both low, and very high,1”Od. ix. 25.
and again, “‘for there is not any island in the sea exposed to the western sun,3 and with good pastures, least of all Ithaca.’4” The expression does imply contradictions, which admit how- ever of some explanation. They do not understand χθαμαλὴ to signify in that place ‘low,’ but its contiguity to the continent, to which it approaches very close; nor by πανυπεοͅτάτη great elevation, but the farthest advance towards darkness, (ποͅὸς ζόφον,) that is, placed towards the north more than all the other islands, for this is what the poet means by ‘towards darkness,’ the contrary to which is towards the south, (ποͅὸς νότον,）
“ a rocky way through a woody spot,2”Od. xiv. l.
For the word ἄνευθε denotes ‘at a distance,’ and ‘apart,’ as if the other islands lay to the south, and more distant from the continent, but Ithaca near the continent and towards the north. That the poet designates the southern part (of the heavens) in this manner appears from these words, “‘whether they go to the right hand, towards the morning and the sun, or to the left, towards cloudy darkness;’6” and still more evidently in these lines, “‘my friends, we know not where darkness nor where morning lie, nor where sets nor where rises the sun which brings light to man.’7” We may here understand the four climates,8 and suppose the morning to denote the southern part (of the heavens), and this has some probability; but it is better to consider what is near to the path of the sun to be opposite to the northern part (of the heavens). For the speech in Homer is intended to indicate some great change in the celestial appearances, not a mere obscuration of the climates. For this must happen during every cloudy season either by day or by night. Now the celestial appearances alter very much as we advance more or less towards the south, or the contrary; but this alteration does not prevent our observing the setting and rising of the sun, for in fine weather these phenomena are always visible whether in the south or the north. For the pole is the most northerly point: when this moves, and is sometimes over our heads and sometimes below the earth, the arctic circles change their position with it. Sometimes they disappear during these movements, so that you cannot discern the position of the northern climate, nor where it commences;9 and if this is so, neither can you distinguish the contrary climate. The circuit of Ithaca is about 8010 stadia. So much then concerning Ithaca.Od. ix. 26.