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[34] Σχερίην. We read ( Od.6. 4) that the Phaeacians formerly dwelt “ἐν εὐρυχόρῳ Ὑπερείῃ

ἀγχοῦ Κυκλώπων”, and that they were transported thence by their king Nausithous and settled in Scheria. From the story which Odysseus tells of his voyage ( Od.19. 271 foll.), he seems to place Scheria off the coast of the Epirote Thesprotians; and this hint may have given rise to the tradition which identified Scheria with Corcyra. So Callimachus (as we find in Strabo, 7. 3. 6) “τὴν μὲν Γαῦδον Καλυψοῦς νῆσόν φησι, τὴν δὲ Κερκύραν Σχερίαν”, and Thucyd. (1. 25) speaks of “τὴν τῶν Φαιήκων προενοίκησιν τῆς Κερκύρας κλέος ἐχόντων περὶ ναῦς”, and (3. 70) he also alludes to the “τέμενος τοῦ Ἀλκίνου” in Corcyra. But when we attempt to establish the identity, the story melts into romance. Hypereia and Scheria are merely topographical descriptions:—the ‘Highlands’—the ‘Coast.’ The Schol. E. has a story to the effect that “ Σχερία τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἐκαλεῖτο Δρεπάνη” (sickle), because there the sickle was kept with which Cronus was mutilated. E. Itwas afterwards called Scheria, so the story goes, because at Demeter's request Poseidon consented to stop (“σχεῖν”) the flood that threatened to drown her.
The Phaeacians themselves are represented as of divine lineage (“ἀγχίθεοι”), and their name has been etymologically connected with “φαιός”, ‘dark;’ their home being in the wonderland of the West (“ποτὶ ζόφον”). According to others, the name is to be referred to root “φα”, =bright. Their magic ships flit over the sea, “ἠέρι καὶ νεφέλῃ κεκαλυμμέναι” ( Od.8. 562), and Nausicaa describes herself and her countrymen as living “ἀπάνευθε πολυκλύστῳ ἐνὶ πόντῳ

ἔσχατοι, οὐδέ τις ἄμμι βροτῶν ἐπιμίσγεται ἄλλος” ( Od.6. 205). Welcker (Klein. Schrift. 2. 14) endeavours to identify the account of the Phaeacians with certain forms of northern legend, laying much stress on their being called “πομποὶ ἀπήμονες”, and on their having carried Odysseus in a deep sleep across the sea. He finds in this a representation of the story of the Ferrymen of the Dead: see further on Od. 8.562.
Welcker also supposes that Homer sought in his description of the Phaeacians to portray the habits of his own Ionian countrymen.

Mure (Hist. Gk. Lit. vol. 1. Append. E.), commenting on the similarity of the words Phaeacian and Phoenician, thinks that it is ‘some colony of these oriental adventurers in some part of the western Mediterranean which here forms the butt of Homer's playful satire.’ He notices that Homer gives the epithets “ναυσικλυτοί” and “ἀγαυοί” to both peoples, comparing Od.7. 39 with 15. 415, and 13. 272 with 13. 120. According to Mure, ‘Scher’ is a Phoenician word signifying a ‘busy port,’ which suggests a ready etymology for Scheria. But the whole idea seems fanciful.

There is a more decided connection between the Elysian plain and the gardens of Alcinous. Both enjoy the constant presence of the genial Zephyr ( Od.4. 567; 7. 118), and Rhadamanthus, the inhabitant of Elysium, is the visitor of the Phaeacians ( Od.4. 564; 7. 323). This connection was remarked by the Schol. on Eurip. Hippol. 742ἑτέραν γὰρ ἐμύθευσαν εἶναι γῆν ἐν πλεῖστα καὶ θαυμαστὰ φύονται: ἐν τάυτῃ γὰρ τὸ Ἠλύσιον πεδίον καὶ τῶν Φαιήκων τὴν γῆν ἐμύθευσαν εἶναι”. Nitzsch supposes that we have in Phaeacia a trace of Italian scenery idealised, but on the whole we shall not be able to improve upon the decision of Eratosthenes, quoted by Strabo (1. 2. 35), “Ὅμηρον μήτε εἰδέναι ταῦτα μήτε βούλεσθαι ἐν γνωρίμοις τόποις ποιεῖν τὴν πλάνην” (sc. “Ὀδυσσῆος”).

ἵκοιτό κε, not “ἵξεται”, because his safe arrival is dependent on many contingencies. Compare the same mood expressing the same conditions in the speech of Teiresias, Od. 11. 104, 111.

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