ἔθνεα: cf. v. 87. 460 = 15.692. χηνῶν: the specializing of “ὀρνίθων” forms a concrete picture, of which the definite local designation forms a part, cf. quales Eurotae progignunt flumina myrtus Catull. 64. 89, nemora inter Cresia Verg. Aen. iv. 70 of a doe, saltusque Dictaeos ib. iv. 72 f. κύκνων: cf. ceu quondam nivei liquida inter nubila cycni Verg. Aen. vii. 699.
 Ἀσίῳ: for the use of the adj., cf. “ἐν λειμῶνι Σκαμανδρίῳ” v. 467, Asia prata Verg. Georg. i. 383, quales sub nubibus atris | Strymoniae dant signa grues id. Aen. x. 264 f.—From this plain of Lydia south of Mt. Tmolus, the name of Asia spread to the Persian Empire and finally over the whole continent; as Europe at first was only the Boeotian plain.
 κλαγγηδὸν προκαθιζόντων: settling (forward) with loud cries, referring to “ὀρνίθων” v. 459. The flocks with incessant noise fly on again and again to settle in another spot, and the last birds to reach the ground take their places in front of the rest.σμαραγεῖ δέ: for the parataxis, see on v. 210. 464 = v. 91.
 πεδίον: the plain between the camp and the city.προχέοντο: cf. ‘Saw what numbers numberless | The city gates outpour'd, light-arm'd troops’ etc. Milton Par. Regained iii. 310 f. Σκαμάνδριον: “σκ” here does not make position, cf. vs. 634, 824; see § 41 i. “ε”. ὑπό: adv., explained by the following ablatival gen. “ποδῶν”, cf. “ὑπὸ δὲ κτύπος ὤρνυτο ποσσὶν ι ἀνδρῶν Τ” 363 f.
 The third comparison is closely connected with the preceding.ἔσταν: halted, stopped, as they came to the field of battle. For the aor., see on v. 94.
 ὥρῃ: in the season, i.e. in spring.μυιάων: the fly has elsewhere also the character of an impudent, eager insect, cf. “καί οἱ μυίης θάρσος ἐνὶ στήθεσσιν ἔθηκεν. Ρ 570, Δ” 131; for “κυνάμυια Φ” 394, see on 1.159. ἁδινάων ἔθνεα: cf. v. 87.
 ἠλάσκουσιν: always hover about.471 = 16.643.—“ὅτε κτλ”.: explains “ὥρῃ ἐν εἰαρινῇ”, cf. “ὥρῃ κτλ. ὅτε ἤματα μακρὰ πέλονται ς” 367. τέ: marks the close connection of the clauses; see § 3 o.
 ἵσταντο: were taking their positions.διαρραῖσαι: sc. “Τρῶας”, cf. “Λ 713, Ρ” 727.
 πλατέα: standing epith., broad, wide-feeding; in contrast with ‘huddling’ sheep.αἰπόλοι ἄνδρες: cf. “βασιλῆι ἀνδρί Γ 170, ἄνδρες στρατηγοί, ἄνδρες στρατιῶται, ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί” Acts xxiii. 1. νομῷ: dat. of place. μιγέωσιν: sc. “αἰπόλια αἰγῶν” as subj. μετά: adv. as v. 446.
 “Διὶ κτλ”.: Agamemnon combines the majesty of Zeus with the grace of Ares. These characteristics of the gods seem known to the hearers from works of art. cf. 3.167 ff. Homeric comparisons of men with gods are generally indefinite, not specifying a particular feature.ζώνην: waist. ἀγέληφι: in the herd. For the ending, see § 15 a. μέγα: far, see on 1.78. ἔπλετο: gnomic aor., freq. in comparisons; cf. 1.418.—For the comparison of a hero to a brute, cf. 3.196 (Odysseus compared to a ram), 4.253 and 13.471 (Idomeneus, to a wild boar), 5.782 (the Argives, to lions), 11.558 (Ajax, to a stubbornass), 17.281 (Ajax, to a boar), 17.570 (Hector has a fly's audacity). ἔξοχον: elsewhere followed by the gen. (as 3.227), except Od. 21.266.
THE CATALOGUE OF THE SHIPS.Vs. 484-785. The forces of the Achaeans. 484-493. Prooemium: Invocation of the Muses. 484 = “Λ 218, Ξ 508, Π” 112.—Solemn invocation of the muses where a faithful memory is needed for telling the story, or where the theme taxes the poet's powers. cf. “ἄειδε θεά Α 1, ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε μοῦσα α” 1, pandite nunc Helicona, deae, cantusque movete, | . . . et meministis enim, divae, et memorare potestis; | ad nos vix tenuis famae perlabitur aura, Verg. Aen. vii. 641, 645 f.—For the repetition of the invocation, cf. ‘Descend from Heaven, Urania’ Milton Par. Lost vii. 1. νῦν: now, closely connecting what follows with the advance of the Achaeans that has been described, vs. 455-483. μοῦσαι: pl. as v. 594. Homer does not know the name of any muse, and has their number as nine only Od. 24.60. The muses could not be assigned to different arts and sciences before these arts and sciences existed.—For the rhyme between the words before the caesura and the close of the verse, cf. 3.133; see § 2 a.
 πάρεστε: sc. “πᾶσιν” from “πάντα”. —This verse and the next following are parenthetical.—cf. ‘Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view, | Nor the deep tract of Hell’ etc. Milton Par. Lost i. 27.
 ἡμεῖς: we singers.κλέος: report, “what people say,” the saga, in contrast with “ἴδμεν”. ἀκούομεν: we hear; equiv. to we have heard, as in the Eng. idiom.
 cf. v. 760.πληθύν: as v. 143. αν μυθήσομαι: for the subjv. with “ἄν”, cf. “Α 137, 139, Γ” 54; see § 3 b.
 οὐδ̓ εἰ: not even if.— cf. non ego cuncta meis amplecti versibus opto, | non, mihi si linguae centum sint, oraque centum, | ferrea vox Verg. Georg. ii. 42 f., Aen. vi. 625, si vox infragilis, pectus mihi firmius aere, | pluraque cum linguis pluribus ora forent Ovid Trist. i. 5. 53 f.ἦτορ: i.e. lungs.
 This thought is hard to reconcile with the preceding, which notes the physical impossibility of rehearsing the names of so great a multitude.Ὀλυμπιάδες: not a patronymic here, but a mere adj. of connection, cf. “Οὐρανίωνες Α” 570; the muses are “Ὀλύμπια δώματ̓ ἔχουσαι” v. 484; see § 21 a.—“Διὸς κτλ”.: cf. v. 598, “θεὰ [μοῦσα] θύγατερ Διός α” 10. The mother, according to the later myth, was Mnemosyne (Memory).
 This verse promises something different from v. 487.ἀρχοὺς αὖ: in contrast with “πληθύν” v. 488. προπάσας: all together; as the poet adds a statement of the number of the ships to the names of the leaders of each people.
 The Catalogue seems to be prepared for an account of the mustering of the Greeks at Aulis and the embarcation thence (cf. v. 509 f.), and to have been inserted here with divers alterations. We expect here an account of the forces, not of the ships.The nations, their leaders, and the number of their ships are enumerated in a definite geographical order, in three principal divisions: I. (a) The main land of Greece south of Thermopylae; (b) middle and southern Greece with the islands immediately adjoining. 16 contingents. (Vs. 494644.) II. Insular Greece, from Crete to Calydnae. 4 contingents. (Vs. 645-680.) III. Thessalian Greece, from Mts. Oeta and Othrys on the south, to Olympus on the north. 9 contingents. (Vs. 681-759.)—The Greeks valued this list highly, because of its geographical and statistical information. It was their ‘Domesday Book.’ They looked upon it as a part of history, a versified geography and gazetteer. They appealed to it to settle disputed questions, and the charge of interpolating verses in it was like a charge of falsifying public records. The geographer Strabo bases upon it his account of Greece. The poet evidently desires to represent this expedition as a great national undertaking. He enumerates even those nations which from their inland position were not likely to have had anything to do with such a war, e.g. the Arcadians (vs. 603-614), who are not mentioned in the rest of the Iliad as taking part in the battles on the plain of Troy. The poet does not seem to exalt one nation at the expense of another, either here or in the other parts of the Iliad. A bard wandering from country to country would acquire a wealth of geographical information, but would form no strong local attachments. The Achaean ships number in all 1186. The number of men on each ship is stated for only two contingents: each Boeotian ship carried 120 men (v. 510); each of the ships of Philoctetes brought 50 men (v. 719). The ships of Achilles also brought each 50 men (16.170). From the average of the two numbers given for the Boeotians and the ships of Philoctetes, the ancients reckoned the whole number of Achaeans before Troy as about 100,000 (cf. Thuc. i. 10. 33 f.). Others reckoned the ships roundly as 1200, assigned 100 men to each ship, and thus estimated the whole number of Achaeans as 120,000.— “Ἑλλάς” and the “Ἕλληνες” are restricted to a part of Thessaly, vs. 683 f. The Dorians and Ionians are not mentioned. No Greek colonies are known, whether in Asia Minor, in Sicily and the West, or elsewhere. The names Peloponnesus, Attica, Eleusis, Megara, Delphi, Olympia and Pisa, do not appear. Thus this catalogue seems to have been composed before the Dorian migration into Peloponnesus, and the sending forth of colonies to Asia Minor etc. 494-644. I. Greece south of Thermopylae, with the adjoining islands. 494-558. Boeotia, Phocis, Locris, Euboea, Athens, Salamis. The enumeration proceeds from Boeotia in a northerly direction, then to the east, then southward, and so to the west, around Boeotia. Seven contingents; 262 ships. The poet begins with Boeotia, prob. because the fleet collected at Aulis (v. 303). Because of this beginning, the ancients gave the name “Βοιωτία” or “Βοιωτεία” to the catalogue of the ships. 494-510. Boeotia. This document presents a distribution of the Greeks such as existed after the Trojan war. Acc. to Thuc. i. 12, the Boeotians lived in Thessaly until sixty years after the fall of Troy. See on v. 507. More towns are mentioned in Boeotia than elsewhere. This last fact may indicate not a Boeotian poet, but the extent of the culture and history of the country. Thebes is not mentioned; see on v. 505. μέν: correl. with “δέ” 511.— The five leaders are all mentioned elsewhere: the two first, “Ξ 487, Ρ” 601 ff.; the other three were killed: Arcesilaus by Hector (15.329), Prothoënor by Pulydamas (14.450), Clonius by Agenor (15.340). Ὑρίην: not far from Tanagra and Aulis. Αὐλίδα: where the Achaean forces gathered before setting sail for Troy; see on v. 339.
 Θέσπειαν: without conj. to connect it with the preceding, in order to mark the beginning of a new series, as vs. 501 f., 560 f., 647, 739. Only the plur. of this word is used by later writers, as for “Πλάταιαν” v. 504; but Herodotus has the sing. of both, viii. 50. See § 19 j.—The town lay at the foot of Mt. Helicon. Thespiae and Platea were the only Boeotian cities to refuse ‘earth and water’ to Xerxes.Γραῖαν: near Oropus. From this is derived the later name “Γραικοί”. εὐρύχορον: generally of cities (with broad squares for the choral dance), as here. Even now in Greece the villagers assemble on the public square for their dances.—Freq. in Homer are three substs. so placed in a verse that but one has an adj., and this adj. with its noun fills the second half of the verse; cf. vs. 497, 502, 532, 561, 582, 606, 647, 739, etc. Μυκαλησσόν: on the road from Thebes to Chalcis. Ἅρμα: near Mycalessus. Here Amphiaraus (the chief hero of the expedition against Seven-gated Thebes) and his chariot sank into the earth.
 Κώπας: this town gave its name to the lake on which it lay.Θίσβην: between Mt. Helicon and the Corinthian Gulf, not far from the coast. In the holes of the cliffs there, many wild doves now build their nests. cf. “ἡ δὲ Θίσβη Θίσβαι νῦν λέγονται . . . ἐπίνειον” (roadstead) “δ̓ ἔχει πετρῶδες περιστερῶν μεστόν” Strabo ix. 411. Shakspere's ‘Thisbe’ was named for the nymph of this place. Γλίσαντα: at the foot of Mt. Hypatus. The decisive battle between the Epigoni and Thebans was said to have been fought there.
 Ὑποθήβας: Lower Thebes, which lay on the plain; in distinction from Seven-gated Thebes with the Cadmeian citadel which was destroyed in the second Argive invasion by Diomed and his associates (cf. 4.406 ff.), and does not seem to have been rebuilt in the Homeric time.
 Ὀγχηστόν: on Lake Copaïs, in the district of Haliartus. It was the chief seat in Boeotia of the worship of Poseidon, whose temple stood on the hight of bare rocks near the lake. In early times, it was the seat of an Amphictyonic league.ἄλσος: sacred grove; in appos. with “Ὀγχηστόν”, cf. vs. 592, 696. The name was often applied to a sacred precinct even when no grove of trees existed.
 Ἄρνην: to be distinguished from the Thessalian town of the same name, which was the old home of the Boeotians, and gave to this town its name. cf. “Βοιωτοί τε γὰρ οἱ νῦν ἑξηκοστῷ ἔτει μετὰ Ἰλίου ἅλωσιν ἀναστάντες ὑπὸ Θεσσαλῶν τὴν νῦν μὲν Βοιωτίαν, πρότερον δὲ Καδμηίδα γῆν καλουμένην ᾤκισαν” (“ἦν δὲ αὐτῶν καὶ ἀποδασμὸς πρότερον ἐν τῇ γῇ ταύτῃ, ἀφ̓ ὧν καὶ ἐς Ἴλιον ἐστράτευσαν”, Thuc. i. 12. 6 ff.
 Ἀνθηδόνα: on the Euripus, about seven miles from Chalcis (v. 537).ἐσχατόωσαν: at the extremity of the land, cf. v. 616. ἐν δὲ ἑκάστῃ βαῖνον: in each were sailing, sc. from Aulis; see on vs. 494 ff.