The poet also gives the name of Samos to Thracia, which we now call Samothracé. He was probably acquainted with the Ionian island, for he seems to have been acquainted with the Ionian migration. He would not, otherwise, have made a distinction between islands of the same names, for in speaking of Samothrace, he makes the distinction sometimes by the epithet,
sometimes by uniting it with the neighbouring islands,
“ on high, upon the loftiest summit of the woody Samos, the Thracian,1”Il. xiii. 12.
“ to Samos, and Imbros, and inaccessible Lemnos;2”Il. xxiv. 753.
He was therefore acquainted with the Ionian island, although he has not mentioned its name. Nor had it formerly always the same name, but was called Melamphylus, then Anthemis, then Parthenia, from the river Parthenius, the name of which was changed to Imbrasus. Since then both Cephallenia and Samothracé were called Samos4 at the time of the Trojan war, (for if it had not been so Hecuba would not have been introduced saying, that Achilles would sell any of her children that he could seize at Samos and Imbros,5) Ionian Samos was not yet colonized (by Ionians), which is evident from its having the same name from one of the islands earlier (called Samos), that had it before; whence this also is clear, that those persons contradict ancient history, who assert, that colonists came from Samos after the Ionian migration, and the arrival of Tembrion, and gave the name of Samos to Samothracé. The Samians invented this story out of vanity. Those are more entitled to credit, who say, that heights are called Sami,6 and that the island obtained its name from this circumstance, for from thence
“ between Samos and rocky Imbros.3”Il. xxiv. 78.
But according to some writers, Samos had its name from the Saii, a Thracian tribe, who formerly inhabited it, and who occupied also the adjoining continent, whether they were the same people as the Sapæ, or the Sinti, whom the poet calls Sinties, or a different nation. Archilochus mentions the Sail; “‘one of the Saii is exulting in the possession of an honourable shield, which I left against my will near a thicket.’”
“ was seen all Ida, the city of Priam, and the ships of the Greeks.7”Il. xiii. 13.