The poet first enumerates the Thessalians subject to Achilles, who occupied the southern side, and adjoined Œta, and the Locri Epicnemidii; “‘All who dwelt in Pelasgic Argos; they who occupied Alus, Alope, and Trachin; they who possessed Phthia, and Hellas, abounding with beautiful women, were called Myrmidones, Hellenes, and Achæi.’1” He joins together with these the people under the command of Phoenix, and makes them compose one common expedition. The poet nowhere mentions the Dolopian forces in the battles near Ilium, neither does he introduce their leader Phoenix, as undertaking, like Nestor, dangerous enterprises. But Phoenix is mentioned by others, as by Pindar, “ Who led a brave band of Dolopian slingers,
Who were to aid the javelins of the Danai, tamers of horses.
” The words of the poet are to be understood according to the figure of the grammarians, by which something is suppressed, for it would be ridiculous for the king to engage in the expe- dition,
and his subjects not to accompany him. For [thus] he would not appear to be a comrade of Achilles in the expedition, but only as the commander of a small body of men, and a speaker, and if so, a counsellor. The verses seem to imply this meaning, for they are to this effect, ‘To be an eloquent speaker, and to achieve great deeds.’3 From this it appears that Homer considered the forces under Achilles and Phœnix as constituting one body; but the places mentioned as being under the authority of Achilles, are subjects of controversy. Some have understood Pelasgic Argos to be a Thessalian city, formerly situated near Larisa, but now no longer in existence. Others do not understand a city to be meant by this name, but the Thessalian plain, and to have been so called by Abas, who established a colony there from Argos.
“ (I live at the extremity of Phthia, chief of the Dolopians,2）”Il. ix. 480.