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[172] For the reference of the poet to himself and his country cf. Theog. 23 f. In “personal” poetry (e.g. Hes. Op.639 f., fr. 227, quoted above) the autobiography is of course natural.

Παιπαλοέσσιη: epithet of Chios, Od. 3.170. This line was, at least partly, the origin of the tradition that Homer was blind, and lived in Chios ( l.c.); Simonides of Ceos (or Simonides of Amorgos) fr. 85ἓν δὲ τὸ κάλλιστον Χῖος ἔειπεν ἀνήρ”. See Jebb Homer p. 87 f. The legendary Thamyris and the Phaeacian Demodocus were also blind; indeed it was natural that the blind should have recourse to the profession of the “ἀοιδός”, just as the lame found employment as blacksmiths (cf. the lame smith-god Hephaestus). This explanation (suggested by Bergk) is opposed by Fries Rhein. Mus. 57. 2 (1902), p. 265 f., who curiously thinks that the idea of blind poets is a folk-tale of Egyptian origin, and even throws doubt on the genuineness of this passage as a personal narrative. Cf. also Brugmann I. F. iii. 257 n., who compares Servian epos.

For Cynaethus, who, if the tradition is true, must be the speaker here, see Pref. p. lii and Introd. p. 65.

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