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A Dorian himself, H. identifies the Dorians with the Hellenes. Hellas was originally a district in Thessaly, closely connected with Phthia and ruled by Achilles (Il. ix. 395), whose followers are ‘Myrmidons and Hellenes’ (Il. ii. 684). But in the Catalogue (ii. 530) it is also used as a general name, Πανέλληνες (cf. καθ̓ Ἑλλάδα καὶ μέσον Ἄργος, Od. i. 344 et pass.—a verse condemned by Aristarchus as an interpolation). ‘Hellas’ was already used in a general sense by Archilochus and Hesiod (Strabo, 370), i. e. in the seventh century, and had become established in this sense before 580 B. C., when two ‘Hellanodicae’ (cf. I. G. A. 112) were appointed for the Olympic games; but the date depends on the reading in Paus. v. 9. 4, 5, which is a little uncertain (cf. Frazer, P. i. 584; iii. 489). Thucydides (i. 3) describes the transition from the special to the general sense; this was probably due to the influence of the myth of Achilles; as the Greeks, by contrast with the barbarians, became conscious of their own similarity, it was natural they should assume the name of the people whose chief was the hero of the national epic and the type of heroic manhood. The adoption of the name may be connected with the spread of Dorian influence (cf. Ζεὺς Ἑλλάνιος and Ἀθανὰ Ἑλλανία in the ῥήτρα of Lycurgus, Plut. Lyc. 6).

The origin of ‘Hellenes’ is uncertain; it may be connected with the Σελλοί, the priests of Zeus at Dodona (Il. xvi. 234, where Achilles prays to this god). This is partially confirmed by Aristotle (Meteor. i. 14, 352 A), who says that ‘ancient Hellas’ was περὶ Δωδώνην. For the whole subject cf. Busolt, i. 196 seq. Bury has an ingenious theory that the name received its first great extension in connexion with the Achaean colonies in Magna Graecia (J. H. S. xv. 236); but his proof is by no means complete.

This chapter (with c. 145, and viii. 43 and 73) is interesting as showing that the story of the Dorian Invasion was fully developed in H.'s time: he assumes its main points and even refers to details, e. g. vi. 52, ix. 26. 3. The questions as to it may be summed up under two heads:—

I. Evidence for reality of Dorian Invasion.

The oldest evidence for it is Tyrtaeus, fr. 2 (in Str. 362)— “Ζεὺς Ἡρακλείδαις τήνδε δέδωκε πόλιν:
οἷσιν ἅμα προλιπόντες Ἐρινεὸν ἠνεμόεντα,
εὐρεῖαν Πέλοπος νῆσον ἀφικόμεθα.

(Cf. Pind. Pyth. i. 63 seq.) Beloch (R. M. xlv) argues that the story is an invention, based on mistaken etymologies (e.g. of ‘Naupactus’) and unhistorical combinations, to explain the difference between Homeric Greece and Historic Greece. His arguments are briefly these: (1) The evidence is late; there is nothing as to the migration in Homer (but Homer is equally silent as to Greek migrations to Asia Minor which are pretty generally accepted). (2) Race names are very late (Thuc. i. 3; but this argument confuses name and fact: races exist as distinct, though their general names may be late). (3) There was no real gap between ‘Mycenaean’ and historic times, e. g. a Dorian column is found in the Lion Gate at Mycenae. The transition was gradual, but the Greeks, not understanding such a process, invented a catastrophe. (This argument is not admitted by archaeologists generally; it makes the Mycenaean culture too late; cf. Busolt, i. 116 n.)

Arguments for the historic reality of the invasion are (cf. generally Meyer, ii. 47): (1) Modern archaeological research tends to vindicate the accuracy of Greek myths in their general outlines. (2) If tradition is ever good evidence, it would be so for an event of such importance. (3) Tradition is confirmed by the existence of subject classes (probably subject races) in many parts of the Peloponnese. (4) The Dorians always looked on themselves as being new-comers in the Peloponnese. (5) The tradition explains such facts as resemblance of Dorian and Aeolian dialects (Busolt, i. 195) and the connexion of the Lacedaemonians with Doris, which is of great importance in historic times (Thuc. i. 107. 2).

It must be frankly admitted, however, that we know nothing of the details of the Invasion.

II. Main points as to Dorian Invasion.

(1) As to its origin. It was part of a general movement from the North, connected with the Phrygian migration (vii. 73), and perhaps (but remotely) with the invasions of Egypt under the Nineteenth Dynasty (cf. App. X. 8).

(2) As to its course. (a) The invaders were of mixed race; all probability (cf. the invasion of the Cimbri and Teutones) confirms tradition on this.

(b) Doris was a stage in the progress of part of the invaders.

(c) Some of the conquerors came by sea (cf. the local tradition as to Solygeius (Thuc. iv. 42. 2) and the Temeneion near Argos (Strabo, 368)).

(d) The conquest was gradual, and may have been assisted by the discontented elements in the population of the Peloponnese.

(3) As to its ultimate results. It was part of a series of movements. Thucydides (i. 2. 3) connects it, though not causally, with the conquest of Boeotia; and it may have led to the migration to Asia Minor (c. 145).

τὸ μέν: obviously the Pelasgic race, although this sense is inconsistent with what H. says of Pelasgians in Asia Minor (146. 1) or of those in Attica (vi. 137); he writes too absolutely, having in view only the contrast between the mass of the Athenians, who were οὐ μετανάσται (vii. 161. 3), and the much-wandering Dorians. These are placed first in Phthiotis, because this was the traditional home of Deucalion, the Greek Noah, the grandfather of Aeolus, Xuthus, and Dorus. H. may be following the post-Homeric epic, ‘Aegimius.’

Histiaeotis was in north-west Thessaly; H. transfers it to the north-east (the district really of Thessaliotis (57. 1)), probably in accordance with Cretan tradition (for Dorians in Crete cf. Od. xix. 177). The invaders of Crete must have originally lived on the sea coast.

Καδμείων. For the Cadmeans cf. v. 61. 2 n.; as there it is said that the Cadmeans fled to the Illyrian Encheleis, their migration must have been to north-west; hence it is obvious that the legend placed the Dorians in north-west Thessaly (not north-east).

Πίνδῳ. P. is one of the towns of the Dorian Tetrapolis, the others being Erineus (cf. viii. 43 and Tyrtaeus, u. s.), Boeum, and Cytinium (Strabo, 427); it lay on a river of the same name on the south-east of Mount Oeta; for it cf. Pind. Pyth. i. 65ἔσχον δ᾽ Ἀμύκλας ὄλβιοι Πινδόθεν ὀρνύμενοι”. Others (less probably) take Pindus to be the mountain chain, i. e. H. would bring his Dorians from north-east to north-west Thessaly and then later (ἐνθεῦτεν αὖθις) to their home in Doris.

Μακεδνόν. Stein doubts whether H. means to connect the Dorians with the Macedonians (cf. viii. 43), arguing that H., if he had believed this, would have explained the unusual form (Μακεδνόν) by the common one (Μακεδών). It seems, however, as if H. must have been thinking of the claim of the Macedonian kings to be Argives (cf. v. 22. 2; viii. 137); but this would prove nothing as to connexion of the races. He may be referring to some unknown tradition, connecting the Dorians in north-west Thessaly with their Macedonian neighbours to the north; e. g. Myres (J. H. S. xxvii. 178) shows that in the Homeric Catalogue the strip of coast between Mount Olympus and the Axius is unaccounted for; he argues that the Dorians (unknown to Homer except in Od. xix. 177) had already reached this.

Δρυοπίδα. D. was the original name of the lower part of the Pindus valley, which in historic times was Doris (viii. 31; cf. Strabo, 434). The Dryopians originally dwelt on both sides of Mount Oeta, and south as far as Parnassus; they are said to have been expelled from the coast by the Malians, and by Heracles from the Pindus valley (Apollod. ii. 7. 7). Heracles was especially honoured by the Malians (vii. 176. 3), and in the east of Central Greece generally (Meyer, ii. 166). Here the Dorians learned his worship, and made his son Hyllus to be adopted by king Aegimius, and so to be the ancestor of the Spartan kings. The expelled Dryopes settled at Hermione and Asine in the Peloponnese (viii. 73. 2), at Styra (viii. 46. 4), and Carystus in Euboea (Thuc. vii. 57. 4); also in Cythnus (viii. 46. 4) and in Ionia (146. 1). For an account of the Dryopes, based in part on cult usage, cf. Paus. iv. 34. 6.

οὕτως: i. e. they get their Dorian name when they conquer the Peloponnese. This is probably wrong; ‘it is native in the upper Cephissus valley’ (Meyer, ii. 47).

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hide References (14 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (14):
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.7.7
    • Homer, Odyssey, 19.177
    • Homer, Odyssey, 1.344
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.34.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.9.4
    • Pindar, Pythian, 1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.107.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.42.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.57.4
    • Homer, Iliad, 16.234
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.684
    • Homer, Iliad, 9.395
    • Plutarch, Lycurgus, 6
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