previous next

τὸν αὐτὸν . . . χρόνον. There is no good reason to doubt the synchronism, though most modern critics think it artificial. Duncker (vi. 266, 271) uses it to explain the absence of the Phoenician fleet in Scythia. The exact date, however, does not interest H., and cannot be fixed; it must be earlier than the suppression of Aryandes' revolt (cf. 166. 2 n.). H. gives the πρόφασις in c. 167, where he states the expedition was intended ‘to conquer Libyans’ (i. e. the Eastern ones); this motive is probably the real one, though H.'s own narrative (c. 203) does not agree with it, and the plan failed (cf. 197. 1).

τάδε. The account of the colonization of Thera and Cyrene. H. seems deliberately to introduce this digression, in order to illustrate this important feature in Greek life. Whether the facts are true or not, they represent fifth-century thought as to colonization.

    I. Its causes:
    • (1) στάσις. (a) The Minyae are in a position of inferiority (146. 1); (b) Theras excluded from the throne (147. 3); (c) Battus born out of wedlock (155. 1 n.).
    • (2) Over-population (151. 1; but see n.).
    • (3) Commercial enterprise.
    • (4) Delphic sanction and guidance (passim, cf. v. 42 n.).
    II. The stages of colonization:
    • (1) The reconnoitring expedition (151. 3; 156. 2).
    • (2) The settlement off the coast, Platea.
    • (3) The constitutional development (c. 161 ad fin.).
    III. The relations of Greeks and natives (especially interesting):
    • (1) At first friendly, but with suspicion (158. 2).
    • (2) Then frankly hostile (c. 160).
    • (3) In spite of this, great admixture.

For this last cf. common customs (c. 170; 189. 3); common worships (186. 2; c. 189); actual intermarriage, e. g. Alazir (164. 4), father-in-law to Arcesilaus III. This explains the brutal cruelty of Pheretime (c. 202), which is quite un-Hellenic.

Some see (e. g. Macan ii. 265) in the two stories of the Minyan settlement in Laconia, and of the settlement of Cyrene, ‘aetiological legends’ explaining present facts; ‘the former justified the Spartan supremacy in Laconia; the second the Spartan claim over Thera’ (cf. for this the similar legend as to Patrae, Paus. iii. 2. 1).

That the stories are unhistorical in form needs no proof; and it may be the case that the real connexion between Laconia and Thera dates at earliest from the seventh century (Studniczka, vid. inf.). But the only argument adduced (ib. p. 51) is that the Spartan Dorians were at first too weak to send out colonies. This is valid against the Herodotean version of the facts, but has no bearing on the wider question, the date of the Dorization of Thera; this may well have been part of the same movement that Dorized the Peloponnese. This earlier date is partly confirmed by the 700 years which the Melians claim for their city in 416 B. C. (Thuc. v. 112. 2).

The story of the two foun dations is examined by F. Studniczka in a book (‘Cyrene’, 1890) full of ingenious hypotheses, most of which are unprovable and many of which are improbable. For his summary cf. Roscher, ii. 1734 f. His main conclusions are:

(1) The fact that the legends always connect the nymph Cyrene with Thessaly (pp. 39 f., 45) shows that the colonists came from this part of the world.

(2) Their route was by Attica, as is shown by the occurrence of Attic place-names in the island (p. 65; cf. Busolt, i. 353).

(3) The connexion of Dorians with Thera was later than the first Messenian war, and led to troubles in Thera, and ultimately to the expulsion of the original colonists, who go to Cyrene (cf. 156. 3 n.).

(4) Dorian encroachment spreads to Cyrene (p. 103, cf. cc. 159, 161), and ultimately leads to the expulsion of the royal house.

(5) Cyrene herself is a form of Artemis (cf. the name Θήρα, p. 146), who is degraded into a heroine; her worship is superseded when the Cyrenian democracy is established (p. 173, cf. Arist. Pol. vi. 4, 1319 b, quoted on 161. 3).

(6) The connexion of the Minyae with Lemnos, their settlement in Thera, and the connexion of Theras with Thebes are all cut out as later inventions.

All these guesses and combinations are as devoid of real evidence as the story in H.; they have the additional disadvantage of being more than 2,000 years further from the facts.

ἐπιβατέων. In vi. 12. 1 ἐπιβάται is opposed to ἐρέται; but the Argonauts were αὐτερέται (cf. Thuc. i. 10. 4).

παίδων παῖδες, ‘descendants’; for the Minyans were driven out in the fifth generation (147. 2 and App. XIV. 2) after Heracles, who was one of the Argonauts.

For Pelasgians in Lemnos cf. vi. 137 n.

Taygetus occurs again in 148. 2. The subsequent connexion of Euphemus, the ancestor of Battus, with this region (Pind. Pyth. 4. 78-9) makes it possible that there was a prehistoric settlement of non-Dorians here, connected specially with Thera.

Euphemus is turned by Studniczka (p. 116) into an euphemistic name of a chthonian god, who lives at the gate of Hades, Taenarum! This is a fine example of the ‘Higher Criticism’.

παῖδες. The Argonauts found Lemnos inhabited only by women, who had killed their fathers and husbands (Apollod. i. 9. 17); Hypsipyle had spared her father Thoas (Ov. Her. 6. 135). The later population of Lemnos was the result of their visit. For this story cf. Il. vii. 467-9 (Euneos the Lemnian, a son of Jason).

Τυνδαριδέων. Some see an inconsistency here, because the mass of the Lacedaemonians were Dorians, and the Tyndaridae as Achaeans were alien to them. The story is obviously unhistorical, but the Tyndarid reference is only an anachronistic anticipation of the later Spartan claim to be the heirs of Agamemnon (vii. 159. 1).

The legend also aims at emphasizing the connexion between Lacedaemon and Thera. This story of admission to citizenship is interesting as showing none of the exclusiveness which later was so characteristic at Sparta (cf. ix. 35. 1 n.; Arist. Pol. ii. 9. 17, 1270 a). It is probable, on other grounds, that this exclusiveness was late, due to the growth of Lacedaemonian power after 550 B. C.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: