Appendix B


The absence from the Catalogue of all the Aegean islands except the Dodecanese should not be surprising. The other islands, especially the Cyclades, had little part in the Trojan War saga (cf. Allen 1921, 105). Some islands are mentioned in the Odyssey: Samothrace, Tenedos, Imbros, Lemnos, Naxos (as Dia) and Delos with its shrine of Apollo (Od. 6. 162). The Northeast Aegean islands, which would have been well known to the later Ionians, are mentioned in various contexts, often as landmarks (cf. Thomas and Stubbings 1962, 298-299), as in the voyages of the heroes returning from Troy (Od. 3. 155-172. Tenedos, Lesbos and Chios) and in the travels of the Gods (Il. 14. 225-285, Lemnos and Imbros, and Il. 13. 32-38, Tenedos and Imbros). Lesbos and Lemnos are envisaged as foreign lands. Lesbos apparently belonged to Priam, king of Troy, and was ruled by Makar (Il. 24. 544) whose name is foreign; and he Sintians of Lemnos are men “of wild speech” (ἀγϱioϕώνoυς, Od. 6. 294). Lesbos was sacked by Agamemnon (Il. 9. 128-130). Poseidon views Troy from Samothrace (Il. 13. 10-14). Hecate laments not only the death of her son Hector, slain by Achilles, but also the loss of other sons who have been sent overseas by Achilles for sale in Samos (i.e. Samothrace) Imbros and Lemnos (Il. 24. 751-753). The other Samos, the island off the coast of Asia Minor, is missing altogether from the Homeric poems, as are the Northern Sporades Skiathos, Skopelos etc.). Achilles had captured Skyros before the War (Il. 9. 666-668). It is featured as a safe haven for his son Neoptolemos (Il. 19. 325-333) until (as Odysseus tells the dead Achilles, Od. 11. 503-537) Neoptolemos was brought to Troy from Skyros by Odysseus and subsequently distinguished himself in battle and as one of the warriors concealed in the Wooden Horse.


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Mycenaean Greece and Homeric Tradition Copyright © by Richard Hope Simpson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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