The Odyssey

Page: 213

78 (return)
[ I take all this passage about the Cyclopes having no ships to be sarcastic—meaning, "You people of Drepanum have no excuse for not colonising the island of Favognana, which you could easily do, for you have plenty of ships, and the island is a very good one." For that the island so fully described here is the Aegadean or "goat" island of Favognana, and that the Cyclopes are the old Sican inhabitants of Mt. Eryx should not be doubted.]

79 (return)
[ For the reasons why it was necessary that the night should be so exceptionally dark see "The Authoress of the Odyssey" pp. 188-189.]

80 (return)
[ None but such lambs as would suck if they were with their mothers would be left in the yard. The older lambs should have been out feeding. The authoress has got it all wrong, but it does not matter. See "The Authoress of the Odyssey" p.148.]

81 (return)
[ This line is enclosed in brackets in the received text, and is omitted (with note) by Messrs. Butcher & Lang. But lines enclosed in brackets are almost always genuine; all that brackets mean is that the bracketed passage puzzled some early editor, who nevertheless found it too well established in the text to venture on omitting it. In the present case the line bracketed is the very last which a full-grown male editor would be likely to interpolate. It is safer to infer that the writer, a young woman, not knowing or caring at which end of the ship the rudder should be, determined to make sure by placing it at both ends, which we shall find she presently does by repeating it (line 340) at the stern of the ship. As for the two rocks thrown, the first I take to be the Asinelli, see map facing p.80. The second I see as the two contiguous islands of the Formiche, which are treated as one, see map facing p.108. The Asinelli is an island shaped like a boat, and pointing to the island of Favognana. I think the authoress's compatriots, who probably did not like her much better that she did them, jeered at the absurdity of Ulysses' conduct, and saw the Asinelli or "donkeys," not as the rock thrown by [Polyphemus], but as the boat itself containing Ulysses and his men.]

82 (return)
[ This line exists in the text here but not in the corresponding passage xii. 141. I am inclined to think it is interpolated (probably by the poetess herself) from the first of lines xi. 115-137, which I can hardly doubt were added by the writer when the scheme of the work was enlarged and altered. See "The Authoress of the Odyssey" pp. 254-255.]

83 (return)
[ "Floating" ({Greek}) is not to be taken literally. The island itself, as apart from its inhabitants, was quite normal. There is no indication of its moving during the month that Ulysses stayed with [Aeolus], and on his return from his unfortunate voyage, he seems to have found it in the same place. The {Greek} in fact should no more be pressed than {Greek} as applied to islands, "Odyssey" xv. 299—where they are called "flying" because the ship would fly past them. So also the "Wanderers," as explained by Buttmann; see note on "Odyssey" xii. 57.]

84 (return)
[ Literally "for the ways of the night and of the day are near." I have seen what Mr. Andrew Lang says ("Homer and the Epic," p.236, and "Longman's Magazine" for January, 1898, p.277) about the "amber route" and the "Sacred Way" in this connection; but until he gives his grounds for holding that the Mediterranean peoples in the Odyssean age used to go far North for their amber instead of getting it in Sicily, where it is still found in considerable quantities, I do not know what weight I ought to attach to his opinion. I have been unable to find grounds for asserting that B.C. 1000 there was any commerce between the Mediterranean and the "Far North," but I shall be very ready to learn if Mr. Lang will enlighten me. See "The Authoress of the Odyssey" pp. 185-186.]

85 (return)
[ One would have thought that when the sun was driving the stag down to the water, Ulysses might have observed its whereabouts.]

86 (return)
[ See Hobbes of Malmesbury's translation.]

87 (return)
[ "Il." vxiii. 349. Again the writer draws from the washing the body of [Patroclus]—which offends.]

88 (return)
[ This visit is wholly without topographical significance.]

89 (return)
[ Brides presented themselves instinctively to the imagination of the writer, as the phase of humanity which she found most interesting.]

90 (return)
[ Ulysses was, in fact, to become a missionary and preach Neptune to people who knew not his name. I was fortunate enough to meet in Sicily a woman carrying one of these winnowing shovels; it was not much shorter than an oar, and I was able at once to see what the writer of the "Odyssey" intended.]

91 (return)
[ I suppose the lines I have enclosed in brackets to have been added by the author when she enlarged her original scheme by the addition of books i.-iv. and xiii. (from line 187)-xxiv. The reader will observe that in the corresponding passage (xii. 137-141) the prophecy ends with "after losing all your comrades," and that there is no allusion to the suitors. For fuller explanation see "The Authoress of the Odyssey" pp. 254-255.]

92 (return)
[ The reader will remember that we are in the first year of Ulysses' wanderings, [Telemachus] therefore was only eleven years old. The same anachronism is made later on in this book. See "The Authoress of the Odyssey" pp. 132-133.]

93 (return)
[ Tradition says that she had hanged herself. Cf. "Odyssey" xv. 355, etc.]

94 (return)
[ Not to be confounded with [Aeolus] king of the winds.]

95 (return)
[ Melampus, vide book xv. 223, etc.]

96 (return)
[ I have already said in a note on bk. xi. 186 that at this point of Ulysses' voyage [Telemachus] could only be between eleven and twelve years old.]

97 (return)
[ Is the writer a man or a woman?]

98 (return)
[ Cf. "Il." iv. 521, {Greek}. The Odyssean line reads, {Greek}. The famous dactylism, therefore, of the Odyssean line was probably suggested by that of the Ileadic rather than by a desire to accommodate sound to sense. At any rate the double coincidence of a dactylic line, and an ending {Greek}, seems conclusive as to the familiarity of the writer of the "Odyssey" with the Iliadic line.]