For instance, with respect to Ithaca, when the poet says,
he denotes by the epithet, that he means Neritum the mountain. In other passages he expressly mentions the mountain; “‘I dwell at Ithaca, turned to the western sun; where is a mountain, Neritum, seen from afar with its waving woods;’2” but whether he means the city, or the island, is not clear, at least from this verse; “ they who possessed Ithaca, and Neritum.
“ and they who possessed Ithaca, and Neritum with its waving woods,1”Il. ii. 632.
” Any one would understand these words in their proper sense to mean the city, as we speak of Athens, Lycabettus, Rhodes, Atabyris, Lacedæmon, and Taygetus, but in a poetical sense the contrary is implied. In the verses, “‘I dwell at Ithaca, turned to the western sun, in which is a mountain Neritum,’” the meaning is plain, because the mountain is on the island and not in the city; and when he says,
it is uncertain whether he means that Neium was the same as Neritum, or whether it is another, either mountain or place. [He, who writes Nericum for Neritum, or the reverse, is quite mistaken. For the poet describes the former as ‘waving with woods;’ the other as a ‘well-built city;’ one in Ithaca, the other on the sea-beach of Epirus.]4
“ we came from Ithaca situated under Neium,3”Od. iii. 81.