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[40]

The present Ilians further tell us that the city was, in fact, not completely wiped out at its capture by the Achaeans and that it was never even deserted. At any rate the Locrian maidens, beginning a little later, were sent every year.1 But this too is non-Homeric, for Homer knows not of the violation of Cassandra, but he says that she was a maiden at about that time,“for he2 slew Othryoneus, a sojourner in Troy from Cabesus, who had but recently come, following after the rumor of war,3 and he was asking Cassandra in marriage, the comeliest of the daughters of Priam, without gifts of wooing,
4 and yet he does not so much as mention any violation of her or say that the destruction of Aias in the shipwreck took place because of the wrath of Athena or any such cause; instead, he speaks of Aias as "hated by Athena,"5 in accordance with her general hatred (for since they one and all committed sacrilege against her temple, she was angry at them all), but says that he was destroyed by Poseidon because of his boastful speech.6 But the fact is that the Locrian maidens were first sent when the Persians were already in power.

1 To appease the wrath of Athena, caused after the Trojan War by the sacrilege of Aias the Locrian in her temple (he dragged Cassandra away from the altar of the Palladium), the Locrians were instructed by an oracle from Delphi to send to her temple (as temple slaves) at Ilium two maidens every year for a thousand years. It appears that the servitude of the maidens lasted for only one year, each pair being released at the end of the year when the next pair arrived, but that upon their return home they were forced to remain unmarried (see Leaf, Annual of the British School at Athens, XXI, p. 148-154).

2 Idomeneus, son of Minos and King of Crete; one of the bravest heroes of the war.

3 Or perhaps "in quest of war's renown" (Leaf).

4 Hom. Il. 13.363. Homer mentions Cassandra in only two other places, Hom. Il. 24. 699 and Odyssey 11. 422

5 Hom. Od. 4.502

6 Hom. Od. 4.500 ff

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