previous next

[175] 175-177. The form of the sentence “ἐν μὲν Ἀχαιοί, ἐν δὲ κτλ.” seems intended to make a distinction between the “Ἀχαιοί” and the four other nations. As this distinction is expressly founded upon language (“ἄλλη δ᾽ ἄλλων γλῶσσα”), it is practically the later contrast of ‘Hellene’ and ‘barbarian.’

The name “Ἐτεόκρητες”—‘true’ or ‘native’ Cretans—shows that they were commonly recognized as the original population of the island, like the Sicani and Siculi in Sicily. In historical times they are found in the eastern end of Crete, near Mount Dicte, the seat of the primitive worship of the Dictaean Zeus. Their city was Praesus (“Πρᾶσος” in Strabo, x. 4. 6, but “Πραῖσος” on the inscriptions: see Pashley, i. p. 290). From an inscription discovered at Praesus some years ago it appears that they retained their ancient non-Hellenic language down to a comparatively late period. See Kretschmer, Einl. in die Gesch. der griech. Sprache, p. 407: Evans, Cretan Pictographs, pp. 85-86: Journal of Hellenic Studies, xiv. 354.

The Κύδωνες were probably Semitic, either Carian or Phoenician. They are described in Od.3. 292 as living ‘about the streams of the “Ἰάρδανος”’ or ‘Jordan’ (see Bursian, Geogr. von Griechenland, ii. 534).

The name Δωριέες presents great difficulty. It is hard to believe that these were the Dorians of history, of whom as yet there is no trace in the Peloponnesus. They are represented here as speaking a different language from the “Ἀχαιοί”, whereas even in later times the divergence between Doric and Achaean Greek was unimportant. The name “Δωριέες” means simply ‘people of “Δώριον”,’ and as there was a “Δώριον” in Messenia (as well as in Doris itself), there may have been one among the non-Achaean cities of Crete. The name “Ἰάρδανος” also occurs both in Triphylia and in Crete. On the other hand it may be said that the Dorian colonization of Rhodes is referred to in the Catalogue ( Il.2. 653 ff.), and that their settlements in Crete are not likely to have been later. But if so, we should expect to find the Catalogue making some distinction, such as the Odyssey makes here, between the Achaean and the Dorian element in Crete.

The epithet τριχάϊκες must be derived from “θρίξ” and “ἀΐσσω”, and compared in respect of form with “κορυθάϊκι πτολεμιστῇ” ( Il.22. 132) and “πολυάϊξ” (epithet of “κάματος”); in meaning with “κορυθαίολος, κάρη κομόωντες, ὄπιθεν κομόωντες” and the like. It is a picturesque word, descriptive of the dashing movement of long-haired warriors. In time however it suffered a kind of popular etymology, and came to be connected with “τρίχα” and the threefold division which was characteristically Dorian. Thus we find quoted from Hesiod ( Hesiod fr.178) “πάντες δὲ τριχάϊκες καλέονται, οὕνεκα τρισσὴν γαῖαν ἑκὰς πάτρης ἐδάσαντο”. Modern attempts to clothe this derivation in a scientific form have not been satisfactory (Fick in Bezz. Beitr. 111-168).

The Πελασγοί appear in the Iliad (2. 840., 10. 429) among the allies of the Trojans, and are therefore nonAchaean, and presumably “βαρβαρόφωνοι”. This agrees with the statement in Hdt.1. 57 about the historical Pelasgians speaking a ‘barbarous’ language (Grote, Pt. II. ch. ii). In Homeric times their chief seat was Larisa ( Il.2. 841),— probably the city of that name in Aeolis, to the south of the There Troad.are also Homeric traces of Pelasgians in Thessaly —the name “Πελασγικὸν Ἄργος”, and “Πελασγικός” as an epithet of Zens at Dodona.

On the various traces of affinity between Crete and Asia Minor, see Grote, Pt. I. ch. xii.

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 (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: