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).
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