Achilles at Scyros and the Cypria: Tradition And Myth in the Epic Cycle

Pietro Verzina
Escon dagli occhi tuoi lampi e faville:
Pirra si perde e comparisce Achille.

Pietro Metastasio. Achille in Sciro, act 1, scene 8

In this paper I will analyze the episode of Achilles at Scyros with special reference to the lost epic Cypria, trying to reach the narrative substance of the episode by considering it part of an oral tradition. [1] This traditional story has attracted recent attention [2] , mostly aimed at the definition of the relationship between the sources and the attribution of the episode to specific poems. It is my belief that, beyond this necessary reconstruction which I myself will deal with in section 1, the story deserves a further and deeper analysis which may help to understand some characteristics of the narrative, composition and elaboration of Cyclic poetry.

In the first two sections of the paper I will try to reconstruct the episode through its variants, placing them in the right context in order to understand the narrative and structural characteristics of the Cypria; I will stress in section 2 how this epic elaborates the relevant traditional narrative in order to adapt it to its plot by means of what we may call oral technique. In section 3 my goal will be to illustrate in a more general sense that this episode and its function can be related to some specific motifs and themes and to certain idea of the Hero that are closely related to the conception of the poem itself.

1. Sources and versions

The reconstruction of the traditional tale of Achilles at Scyros in the Cyclic poems requires as a starting point a review of the sources. We may leave aside for the moment the separate story recalled by a passage of the Iliad (9.666–668) that makes reference to Achilles’ sack of Scyros: part of the scholia considers this Scyros only a place of the same name of the more famous Aegean island. Such a tradition is not linked to the Cycle by any source, and, on the contrary, is seen as non-Cyclic by the relevant scholium [3] .
There are, on the other hand, several sources that tell of Achilles’ peaceful stay on the island of Scyros, a more famous story which is also recalled by later authors [4] and that we can link to the Cyclic poems. We can outline the narrative of this story from some mythological scholia to the Iliad (D-scholia), namely Schol. D Iliad 19.326 (IV, 222, 29 Dindorf) (= Cypria fr. 19 [I] Bernabé = fr. 4 incerti loci Davies), which is the only one that ascribes it to the “Cyclic poets” (παρὰ τοῖς κυκλικοῖς); and Schol. D Iliad 1.417, which has a less detailed hint and does not reveal its source; it is convenient (and we will see why below) to also include in this group of sources Ps. Apollodorus’ narrative (Bibliotheca 3.13.8), although it is probably taken from a source that is later than archaic epic [5] .
This version states that Achilles, after a prophecy about his death in the Trojan war, was hidden on Scyros by one of his parents and disguised as a girl before the beginning of the war; there he met king Lycomedes’ daughter Deidameia and begot Neoptolemus. Next, with recruiting for the army underway, Odysseus reveals the identity of the son of Peleus by placing some weapons and some feminine garments in the front of the door: Achilles unintentionally took up the weapons, so Odysseus was able to unmask the hero and drive him towards his fate.
These sources, as well as later remakes, encompass a few minor variants, concerning at most which of his parent dealt with his hiding [6] and the details of the procedure by which Achilles was discovered (which concerns in any case his military vocation [7] ). However, a firm unity can be seen in this tradition (and this is sufficient enough for the purpose of my research) in regards to the fact that the stay on the island precedes in the fabula the departure of the Greek army, the first gathering at Aulis and the beginning of any military operation.
It is not so in Proclus. Here is the text of the grammarian with the story in its context:

ἔπειτα ἀναχθέντες Τευθρανίᾳ προσίσχουσι καὶ ταύτην ὡς Ἴλιον ἐπόρθουν. Τήλεφος δὲ ἐκβοηθεῖ Θέρσανδρόν τε τὸν Πολυνείκους κτείνει καὶ αὐτὸς ὑπὸ Ἀχιλλέως τιτρώσκεται. ἀποπλέουσι δὲ αὐτοῖς ἐκ τῆς Μυσίας χειμὼν ἐπιπίπτει καὶ διασκεδάννυνται. Ἀχιλλεὺς δὲ Σκύρῳ προσσχ ὼν γαμεῖ τὴν Λυκομήδους θυγατέρα Δηϊδάμεια ν. ἔπειτα Τήλεφον κατὰ μαντείαν παραγενόμενον εἰς Ἄργος ἰᾶται Ἀχιλλεὺς ὡς ἡγεμόνα γενησόμενον τοῦ ἐπ’Ἴλιον πλοῦ.
Cypriorum Argumentum lines 36–42 Bernabé

This account can be completed with two verses cited by Schol. B Iliad 19.326a1 (IV 636 Erbse) ( = Ilias Parva fr. 24dub [I] Bernabé = Ilias Parva fr. 4 Davies), a fragment whose attribution to the Lesches’ poem is debated (see below):

ὁ δε τὴν μικρὰν Ἰλιάδα ἀναζευγνύντα αὐτὸν ἀπὸ Τηλέφου προσορμισθῆναι ἐκεῖ·
Πηλεΐδην δ’ Ἀχιλῆα φέρε Σκῦρόνδε θύελλα,
ἔνθ’ ὅ γ’ ἐς ἀργαλέον λιμέν’ ἵκετο νυκτὸς ἐκείνης.

Ilias Parva fr. 24dub (I) Bernabé = Ilias Parva fr. 4 Davies

According to Proclus and this fragment, after the erroneous campaign in Mysia, where Achilles wounds Telephus, a storm scatters the Achaean fleet. Achilles arrives at Scyros, probably driven by the storm itself [8] ; there he marries Deidameia and next heals Telephus at Argos. This was the story contained in the Cypria, which also mentioned a son of Achilles and Deidameia, whom Lycomedes used to call “Pyrrhus” and Phoenix “Neoptolemus” (Pausanias 10.26.4 = fr. 21 [I] Bernabé).

To summarize, we can identify two different versions of the story and select the characteristic elements of each one:

an A1 version (Schol. D Iliad 19.326 [IV, 222, 29 Dindorf] = Cypria fr. 19 [I] Bernabé = fr. 4 incerti loci Davies; Schol. D Iliad 1.417; Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.13.8 and later authors) which the scholiast attributes to the “Cyclic poets” and which is recalled by later sources: Achilles is hidden at Scyros by one of his parents because of a prophecy before the departure of the Achaean troops in order to avoid the war; he has an affair with Deidameia behaving perhaps in a deceptive way (Schol. D Iliad 19.326: φθείρας), and begets Neoptolemus; he stays on Scyros disguised as a girl, is unmasked by an Odysseus’ trick and recruited; this version is surrounded by a few varying details;
an A2 version (Proclus, Cypriorum Argumentum lines 36–42 Bernabé; Pausanias 10.26.4 = Cypria fr. 21 [I] Bernabé; Schol. B Iliad 19.326 a1 [IV 636 Erbse] = Ilias Parva fr. 29dub [I] Bernabé = fr. 4 incerti loci Davies) attributed specifically to the Cypria and, perhaps erroneously, to the Ilias Parva and referred to exclusively as a Cyclic story: Achilles goes to Scyros after a storm which occurs after the army has been gathered for the first time at Aulis and the expedition has already begun; he marries (γαμεῖ) Deidameia and begets Neoptolemus; because of the conciseness of Proclus the reconstruction of this version misses many elements: how much time does Achilles stay on Scyros? Does he hide himself? Does he live amongst the girls? When does he leave, and why? Does he leave spontaneously or is he called back? Some details (Scyros, Deidameia, Neoptolemus) are certainly shared with A1, others, not reported by the sources, might have been.

It is easy to see that the only incompatibilities between the two versions are: 1) the temporal and logical placement of the episode in the fabula (not only in the story) of the Trojan War: before (A1) and after (A2) the departure of the army; 2) the reasons for the arrival at Scyros, either an initiative of one of Achilles’ parents (a detail much reiterated in A1 [9] ) or a storm (A2). For the rest, the obscure details of A2 are in theory fillable with some of the details of A1, as we will better see below. For this reason the sources that do not deal with the cause for the arrival at the island, namely Schol. T Iliad 9.668b (II, 538 Erbse) = Cypria fr. 19 (II) Bernabé (οἱ μὲν νεώτεροι [10] ἐκεῖ τὸν παρθενῶνά φασιν, ἔνθα τὸν Ἀχιλλέα ἐν παρθένου σχήματι τῇ Δηιδαμείᾳ κατακλίνουσιν κτλ.) or the similar Schol. D Iliad 1.131 might address either version or both. Every possible relationship between these two versions remains to be examined.

The first question is from where Schol. D Iliad 19.326 took A1. If we establish that A2 belongs without any doubt to the Cypria, we have to consider the results of some scholars [11] who believed that A1 too must be included in the same poem [12] and that both stories were somehow integrated into the narrative. The most creative in that sense is the hypothesis of Severyns 1928:290–291 [13] , who believes that in the Cypria Achilles went to Scyros twice: according to him the first time he seduced and impregnated Deidameia (A1 segment) and the second time he returned to Scyros because of a storm and he married Deidameia (A2 segment), in a sort of “bourgeois happy ending” [14] . This reconstruction had a certain success among scholars, but a different hypothesis of reconstruction also exists asserting that both stories were part of the Cypria [15] .
There are some plausible reasons to think that A1 featured in the Cypria: the D-scholium mentions “Cyclic poets” and the Cypria was the only Cyclic poem dealing with pre-iliadic stories that ancient grammarians knew [16] ; furthermore, the Cypria contained the recruitment of Odysseus and the travels of the sons of Atreus throughout Greece to recruit other heroes [17] . However, none of these arguments make certain the attribution of A1 to the poem.
The first reasoning (much controversialized and debated), can be easily criticized: in addition to the consideration that Proclus does not mention the recruitment of Achilles (A1) whereas he does mention that of Odysseus [18] , we can infer that the D-scholium might have taken A1 from another poem or from other sources: the sentence παρὰ τοῖς κυκλικοῖς is sufficiently vague to allow this hypothesis [19] . Davies 1998 has serious doubts that this text can be considered a fragment of the Cypria and does not place it in this poem (fr. 4 incerti loci) [20] . Any Cyclic poem can be considered the source of an analeptic story about Achilles’ early years as displayed in A1: in the Ilias Parva Neoptolemus had a big role and it would have been natural for such a poem to include a memory of the origins of this hero who had lived and grown up on Scyros. The role of Neoptolemus, who was necessary for the fall of Troy, recalls the role of his father, who for the same reason had to be recruited [21] . The poem also featured an apparition of Achilles’ ghost at his own tomb in the presence of Neoptolemus (Iliadis Parvae Argumentum lines 11–12 Bernabé, Papyrus Rylands 22, lines 9–10 Bernabé) and fr. 5 Bernabé tells how the son of Peleus learned how to use his spear, and this is probably another analepsis dealing with Neoptolemus [22] . These elements recall Achilles’ fate to die in the Trojan War. The placement of A1 in the Ilias Parva as an analepsis is therefore a likely guess [23] . The problem, however, is that the above-mentioned Schol B Iliad 19.326 a1 (IV 635 Erbse) ( = Ilias Parva fr. 24dub [I] Bernabé = Ilias Parva fr. 4A Davies) attributes A2, and not A1, to the poem by Lesches. But most scholars do not accept this attribution [24] : the context wherein the scholium locates the fragment, which encompasses a reference to Telephus and the Theutranian expedition, is suspiciously similar to the plot of the Cypria; therefore, someone has ascribed the fragment to this poem [25] . I do not venture such a hypothesis here; nevertheless, a hypothetical A1+A2 is not more plausible for the Cypria than for the Ilias Parva, a poem which after all in the opinion of Burgess 2001:24 and 143 might have originally narrated (just as the Cypria did) the complete story of the Trojan War.
Therefore the Ilias Parva could include A1 and the content of Schol. D Iliad 19.326 (IV, 222, 29 Dindorf) (= Cypria fr. 19 [I] Bernabé) can be attributed to this poem (as Davies 1988, cf. fr. 4 incerti locis, is inclined to think). Anyway, this is not the only possible solution: other hypothesis help to understand the character of the story. A1 deal with the hero’s fate and it is closely related to his death; therefore it could be included as an analepsis in a poem that featured the death of Achilles, for example, the Aethiopis, where Θέτις ἀφικομένη σὺν Μύσαις καί ταῖς ἀδελφαῖς θρενεῖ τὸν παῖδα (Aethiopidis Argumentum lines 20-21 Bernabé): Thetis recalls the personal story of Achilles and his departure to war when she mourns her son in advance in Iliad 19.54–60 [26] . In the Nostoi there were many circumstances in which Neoptolemus might have remembered his father: he came to his land, met Thetis and Peleus etc.; this poem, moreover, contained a Nekuia [27] , which might have included a reference to the fate of the son of Peleus, like the Nekuia of the Odyssey did (cf. 24.15–97). Therefore, the reason for the lack of any reference to A1 in Proclus’ argumenta is easy to understand: A1 in the Cycle belonged to a flash-back (perhaps more than one flash-back in more than one poem), and the grammarian may have overlooked such narrative segments. Proclus in a couple of cases does allude to digressions and elements that are not part of the sequence of events [28] ; however, it seems that, as a general rule, his summaries do not focus the attention on the parts of the fabula that do not follow a straight chronological order in the story elaborated in the poems [29] . In any case the attribution of A1 to the Cypria is very unlikely: if A1 suits any Cyclic poem, why insist on attributing it to the plot of the Cypria, if it produces an evident inconsistency with Proclus’ summary of this poem?
The recruitment of Odysseus is an episode equivalent to A1 and in the Cypria it alone is able to express the human wish of the Achaeans to avoid a war that will be fatal to them or make them suffer greatly (see also below). The recruitment of Achilles might have been non problematic in the Cypria [30] , and, as we will see below, such a version suits this poem very well. The narrative of a willing departure of Achilles from Phthia without the opposition of his parents is Homeric (Iliad 11.765–213 etc.) [31] , but it seems that such an episode was traditional and we can reconstruct an old alternative tradition (with the involvement of Thetis instead of Peleus) featuring Achilles’ departure from Phthia [32] : such an episode is also implied in a seventh century BCE vase painting [33] and in some sixth century BCE ones [34] whose sources are probably Cyclic. The departure of Achilles from the house of his father is featured in a play by Euripides that is strictly related to the Cypria: Iphigenia in Aulis 812 [35] . However, on the strength of the narrative of Proclus, it seems that the recruitment of Achilles at Phthia was reported as a brief allusion in the poem, and that it was narrated in the form of a summary, not as a scene, just like the non-problematic [36] recruitment of other warriors.
Therefore it cannot be proved by any means that A1 and A2 were both part of the plot of the Cypria. By examining how the sources handle those two stories we can understand more.
Firstly, Apollodorus, who certainly had the Cypria among his sources, but also something else, reports only one version (A1): like in many other instances [37] , in Epitome 3.18 (in the context of an account very similar to that of Proclus and depending in large part on the Cypria), he does not talk of A2 and of Scyros after the storm because in Bibliotheca 3.13.8 he has already reported in detail A1, taken from a different source. Therefore the two stories are not complementary, but alternative and, moreover, very similar. The author of the Bibliotheca was interested only in mythical details, not in descriptions of particular works; since A1 and A2 probably contained only trivial differences or since A2 would not have added anything new, he (or the compiler of the Epitome) overlooked it. The difference had only a narrative and structural relevance that was only significant in the particular plot of the Cypria. As we have seen, the only substantial difference between A1 and A2 was the temporal and logical placement of the episode in the timeline of the fabula of the Trojan war. This explains the difference between Proclus’ summary and Apollodorus’ Epitome, and this is probably why, in later remakes of the story, we find a substantially uniform version of the episode of Scyros, although, as it is well known, most authors certainly also had the Cypria among their sources.
Schol. B Iliad 19.326a1 (IV 636 Erbse) (= Ilias Parva fr. 24dub [I] Bernabé), despite its partial unreliability (see above), is the only early source that (although very briefly) explicitly compares the two versions. It says: “Someone (τινὲς μέν) [38] says that it was Thetis who brought [Achilles] to Scyros; on the contrary (δέ) the poet of the Little Iliad [39] says that he arrived there by ship coming away from the land of Thelephus.” Indeed, as I have already said, what brought Achilles to Scyros is the only difference that surely existed between the two variants: the scholium reports only this difference, as if it were the only difference worth mentioning and as if the rest would be more or less identical. Moreover, the scholiast knew both A1 and A2, but (unless this is due to his imperfect knowledge or awareness of the sources) he does not know any version that covered both stories at the same time and that integrated them into a single plot (for example with a former journey and a subsequent return). As a matter of fact, he considers A1 and A2 alternative versions.

2. Story

The hypothesis of the presence and integration of both A1 and A2 in the plot of the Cypria, in particular Severyns’s opinion that the episode of Scyros was split into two episodes in this poem, cannot be accepted. Nevertheless, this hypothesis may suggest something: such an imaginative story can only be conceived as an arrangement of the traditional tale into a complete narrative of the Trojan war. This implies that the poet of the Cypria highly elaborated the traditional tale in order to adapt the myth to the plot of his poem. A timeworn idea of Cyclic poetry has lead to the view of the Epic Cycle as a kind of basis, a sort of mythological handbook that must be, in any case, equivalent to a fixed myth. The updating of Neoanalysis with some of the findings of Oral Theory has lead to the redefinition not only of the relationship between Homer and Trojan myth, but also of the relationship between Cyclic poetry and tradition; in other words Homer does not derive from the Cycle nor the Cycle from Homer; on the contrary they both derive from a traditional myth that they are moderately free to elaborate on (of course the Homeric elaboration is considered deeper and superior) [40] . A tendency to elaborate is what ancient, and a part of modern, scholarship often ascribes, as a matter of fact, to the Cycle, but formerly it was conceived as a literary elaboration, which originated from the text of the Homeric poems. On the contrary, in conformity with a more up-to-date view, we can assume that elaboration in the Cyclic poems is realized according to the devices of oral composition and on the basis of a Trojan tradition that can be conceived as independent from Homer.
It can be noticed in many points of the Cypria that the use of traditional material depends on the structure and on the idiosyncratic aims of the poem and of its plot. The episode of Scyros is a key point to understanding this fact, but what we must consider and take into account is that the use of traditional elements follows the principles of oral composition and multiformity.
On the whole, I consider the results of part of recent scholarship (Tsagalis 2008:259, Tsagalis 2012:257–269 and 278–281, Fantuzzi 2012:26–27) correct and acceptable, according to which the versions that I have named A1 and A2 are mutually exclusive (Tsagalis talks of them as rival). However in my opinion a further analysis is possible in order to define the relationship between the two versions in the context of the tradition of the Trojan war. We may also scrutinize, as much as possible, their potential genetic relationship in a context of oral poetry. It is my impression that the primary traditional version that we see most faithfully represented in A1, in which Achilles is hidden on Scyros before the beginning of the expedition to Troy, was elaborated as A2 in order to be used in a specific narrative that covered the whole war (what we see represented in the plot of Cypria) by means of a “novelistic” [41] storm device (see also below).
Using A1 among the other recruitments and before the departure of the army, might have protracted the episode too much, or produced a redundancy, as the recruitment of Odysseus was able to express by itself the motif of the heroes’ reluctance to go to war in the poem. The Epic Cycle is very tolerant of doublets [42] , but the use of contiguous doublets may be considered particularly evident and redundant [43] ; we can assume that at this stage of the story (before the departure) oral storytelling used the two motifs, Achilles’ and Odysseus’ defection, alternatively. Not even in Ps. Apollodorus, which also reports the recruitment of Odysseus (Epitome 3.7), are the two recruitments grouped or connected, and nor do we find such a connection represented in any of the most ancient sources. As I have already said, the narrative of the recruitment of Achilles in the Cypria (and possibly in other poems with a similar structure), as seems to be implied in the account of Cypriorum Argumentum line 30 Bernabé, might have only been alluded to among the others (in form of summary and by means of a few lines), and probably consisted of Achilles’ willing departure from Phthia; this version recounted a “neutral” recruitment, without any of the distinctive elements that Homer elaborated in Iliad 11. We can imagine that he poet of the Cypria (or of the version of this poem that we know through Proclus) knew A1 [44] , but that he decided to use only the equivalent oral motif of Odysseus’ fake madness (a potential doublet) as a recruitment story and to move the popular story of Achilles at Scyros from one point in time in the fabula to another. The expressive and structural reasons for this elaboration are understandable as features of oral composition.
The move of the episode of Scyros, however, has even more sense if we consider the point where the story is eventually placed in the Cypria. Apollodorus (Epitome 3.18), indeed, reports a detail that is very important for the reconstruction of the structure of the poem: after the storm that follows the Mysian expedition, the Achaean chiefs return home; eight years elapse before they leave again (Epitome 3.18 μετὰ ἔτη ὀκτώ, 19 μετὰ τὴν ῥηθεῖσαν ὀκταετίαν) [45] , or maybe seven if we read this number as the folk sequence “for seven years and in the eight” [46] (cf. Odyssey 7.259–262). However, a period of eight years also seems to be a traditional or folk-tale motif used in Greek myth, as Apollodorus himself attests [47] .
Apollodorus does not have any narrative or structural reason to insert such a detail into his narrative: therefore this detail must be traditional (cf. Iliad 24.765–766): it is reported by the mythographer with reference to the ten year period [48] between the abduction of Helen and the arrival of the Achaean troops at Troy. The expedition leaves in the second year after the abduction of Helen [49] , and in this way we obtain a ten year period.
This detail is perfectly fitting to the Cypria, even though Proclus does not inform us how long the army traveled for. In contrast with a generalized view of this poem, the Cypria shows a high structural consistency [50] . It is clearly divided into three relatively equal parts [51] : 1) divine prehistory and origins of the war, 2) preparation and journey to Troy and 3) war on the battlefield. Each part is separately organized. I will restrict myself to the analysis of the second part, to which the relevant episode belongs.
The narrative of the Cypria is to be viewed as very similar, in regards to the structure and the theme, to the books 9–12 of the Odyssey [52] , that is the so-called Apologue of Odysseus: the narrative and thematic analogies between the Cypria and this part of the Homeric poem are numerous [53] . Obviously the second part of the Cypria, telling of the journey to Troy, is the most similar to the Apologue: it talks about adventures in the Aegean sea, it consists of a similar number of episodes [54] and, if we divide the poem into three parts, it is very likely that is was contained in four books just like the Apologue [55] .
In the Odyssey the narrative time is organized as follows: the journey of Odysseus, which is completely recounted in Odyssey 9–12, lasts ten years; the story consists of two years of scenic and singulative narration and eight years reported as ellipsis or summary [56] . In other words, the Apologue is formed of a scenic account of two years complemented by a non-scenic allusion to a period of eight years.
In the Odyssey the eight year period is represented by the sum of the stays at Kalypso’s (seven years, cf. Odyssey 7.259) and Kyrke’s (one year, cf. Odyssey 10.467–469) [57] islands (two evident doublets [58] ), episodes that Odysseus himself (Odyssey 9.29–33) mentions and groups as overall cause and amount of his delay. The two years of scenic and singulative account, divided into more or less independent episodes (Polyphemus, Sirens etc., of course with differences in rhythm and length between them), coincide with Odysseus’ adventure by sea. This succession of scenic accounts of events and empty unitary periods during which the time passes and little happens may be viewed as a device that ancient epic storytelling uses to perform the passing of the traditional length of ten years. Moreover, every empty period is represented as a stay of the protagonist on a far-away island where he is detained by a sentimental relationship. This must be a motif related to the Travel theme in ancient epic.
The traditional tale says that from the arrival of Helen at Troy to the arrival of the Achaean troops in the same place ten years elapsed; therefore the second part of the Cypria (troops provision and journey to Troy) covered ten years. I believe that the four central books of the Cypria and Odyssey 9-12 share a fixed model of ratio between fabula and story that was typical of travel poems, which encompass a similar number of episodes, a similar overall length and a similar alternation of scene and ellipsis.
Therefore, the point of the Cypria where the empty period of eight years can be best placed is the sojourn of Achilles on Scyros. As in the Odyssey, the passing of time coincides with a stay of the hero on an island where he has a sentimental relationship: Scyros is Achilles’ Ogygia/Aiaia [59] .
Moreover, a rather long stay of Achilles on Scyros was perhaps already a traditional element, as it seems to also belong to A1 [60] . But it is evident that a delay caused by the stay of the hero at the place of a woman is not only a traditional motif, but also, as Odysseus shows, an archaic narrative device closely related to folk-tale numbers and to an inherent 8+2 structure.
The passing of seven or eight years at this point may solve many questions; many details of A2 can be related to the organization of the plot of the poem.
One of the major problems concerning Scyros is the age of Neoptolemus, which Severyns 1928:289 [61] tried to solve with the hypothesis of a double stay (see above), suggesting that Neoptolemus was beget on Scyros before the departure for the Trojan War (A1 segment). My hypothesis avoids the need for a double stay on Scyros: if Neoptolemus is begot at the point when Achilles has just arrived at Scyros driven by the storm, and then at least seven or eight years pass before the Achaeans reach Troy (A2), he will be approximately eighteen when he fights at Troy, i.e. in the last year of the war. Schol. T Iliad 9.668b (II Erbse) indeed reports such an age for the fighting Neoptolemus: εἴκοσι δὲ ἔτη ἐστὶ πάσης τῆς παρασκευῆς τοῦ πολέμου, ὥστε δύναται ὁ Νεοπτόλεμος ὀκτωκαιδεκαέτης στρατεύειν. This scholium depends on different accounts, but an age of eighteen for Neoptolemus is clearly a traditional detail and is consistent with the Cypria, from which it might derive: if, like in Apollodorus (Epitome 3.18), the fleet departed in the second year after the abduction of Helen and Neoptolemus was born shortly afterwards, then the calculation of his age resulted simple and intuitive for the hearers: it is enough to add the years of the war to the years of Achilles’ stay on Scyros: they are traditional numbers (10+8) (see also above).
Neoptolemus was mentioned in the Cypria, therefore the question of his age had to be raised in this poem. There are two different explanations for the name of this character in the Trojan tradition: he was either named so because his father fought in the war as a young man, or because he himself did so (cf. Cypria fr. 21 Bernabé). The Cypria seems to have agreed with the first explanation, as explicitly told by fr. 21 Bernabé [62] . It is meaningful that Apollodorus insists on Achilles’ young age reporting the episode of Scyros in Bibliotheca 3.13.8 (cf. Epitome 3.17). This must be considered another element of the story pattern: in A1 Achilles has not yet fought. This detail is adapted to the plot of the Cypria in the development of A2: Achilles is very young in the poem, as his parents’ marriage occurred at the time of the judgment of Paris; he is of course younger than the other heroes [63] . Before the arrival at Scyros he has fought in Mysia, probably his first military campaign, where he distinguished himself by wounding king Telephus [64] . The name given to Neoptolemus, who is born shortly after the Mysian adventure, may have been, in the plot of Cypria, related to his fathers’ very first battle [65] .
Another element of interest is Deidameia. This character in the Cypria is a sign of Achilles’ long-term plan: why decide to marry a woman whom you will leave shortly after? It is not credible that Achilles married Deidameia and then returned home. As for the relationship with Deidameia, the majority of earlier sources uses verbs that simply imply sexual love [66] . But the major sources of A1 (the D-scolium) and A2 (Proclus) use strongly opposing verbs: the former has (like later sources) φθείρας [67] ; the latter has γαμεῖ [68] . As noted above, Severyns and others considered those acts complementary in the poem, whereas Tsagalis 2012, 263 considers the two verbs as irreconcilable elements of rival traditions. In my view there is a variation from seduction to marriage in the elaboration of A1 into A2, which makes sense in the arrangement of the particular plot of the Cypria (see also below, section 3). The detail of the relationship between Achilles and Deidameia must have been a basis for many variants and many embellishments in ancient poetry (marriage, sexual assault, seduction). But above all the marriage version was certainly what best suited the Cypria: Achilles married Deidameia because he planned to remain on the island and to desert the war, and this is consistent with his eight year stay: a deceptive seduction or a sexual assault are less compatible with a long sojourn in the same place [69] . Therefore, the poet of the Cypria needed a long-term relationship, i.e. a marriage.
Another element of adaptation of the story to the poem might deal with the cause of the arrival at Scyros. If in the Cypria the arrival on the island was due to an accident (the storm) and not to the awareness of Achilles’ fate by his parents, it is possible that the poet of the Cypria suppressed the traditional tale of an early prophecy about Achilles when the hero was a child foretelling that he would die on the Trojan ground. Such a prophecy was the cause of the arrival at Scyros in A1. Things are different in A2 and in the Cypria: in this poem the hero’s fate was perhaps determined by an event that took place after the episode of Scyros, namely the slaying of Apollo’s son Tennes on Tenedos [70] . This story also implies the concern of Thetis (that is an element of the motif, as A1 shows), who predicted to his son that he would die if he killed Tennes (which Achilles went on to do in spite of that); the tale of the killing of Tennes as the cause of Achilles’ death, if it was in the Cypria, may have replaced the prophecy of Achilles’ fate that characterized A1. In fact, Achilles arrived at Scyros by accident in A2, and the episode of Tennes recounted in the Cypria would be at odds with an early prophecy according to which Achilles’ fate was already stated in his childhood and depended simply on his presence at Troy. Moreover, the absence of such an early prophecy is consistent with the non-problematic recruitment of the hero (see above), just like in Iliad 11.771–779 [71] .
We have seen how the Cypria used and elaborated a traditional story, which was perhaps originally independent, according to the needs of its plot. We can now analyze some less evident elements not reported by Proclus but possibly included in A2, and consider their potential narrative uses.
Usually it is taken for granted that A2 and the adventure of Scyros in the Cypria did not include some elements characteristic of A1, namely a prophecy, a disguise etc. [72] However, if we consider the stories as manifestations of an oral motif and presuppose a strict thematic relationship between them, we can assume the existence of many common elements more or less explicitly featured in each one, as far as motif transference implies the retention of many recognizable traits.
Aristonicus of Tarentum (FgrHist 57 F 1 = Cypria fr. 19 [III] Bernabé) says that Achilles was called Πυρρά when he lived at the court of Lycomedes disguised as a woman [73] . It is usual in ancient epic that a child is named after his father’s characteristics, as the name “Neoptolemus” itself shows (see above). Is it also possible that the name Pyrrhos given in the Cypria to Achilles’ son by his grandfather (Cypria fr. 21 Bernabé) was given in memory of a paterna virtus, i.e. with reference to the condition and to the fake name of Achilles during the generation of Neoptolemus? [74]
I think however that the name Πύρρos given to the child cannot alone prove the occurrence of a disguise of Achilles in the Cypria and in A2 . In this matter, the information given by Eustathius (Eustathiua apud Cramer Anecdota Graeca Par. 3.26 = fr. 4 incerti loci Davies) is interesting: introducing the first line of Ilias Parva fr. 29dub Bernabé (i.e. A2) he says: ἐκ Δηϊδαμείαν τῆς Λυκομήδους, ἥν διέφθειρεν ἐν Σκύρωι ταῖς παρθέναις συνδιατρίβων. Eustathius reads almost exclusively A2 and in this case he talks about the disguise. However the presence of the verb διαφθείρω, which is characteristic of A2 (see above) and the fact that Eustathius read the Cycle only in fragments may suggest a contamination of sources. However, the cohabitation of Achilles with the maidens was a widespread detail that inspired many different stories [75] . The possibility that the motif was alluded to in A2 or that some kind of παρθενῶν featured in the Cypria remains plausible and we will see its importance below.
Consider now the next segment of the Cypria. Telephus has been wounded by Achilles [76] , so the son of Peleus is the only man who can heal him according to an oracle by Apollo (Cypriorum Argumentum line 41 Bernabé, Apollodorus Epitome 3.19). Help for Telephus is acute for the progression of the expedition against Troy: he has to guide the Achaean fleet, which, without the aid of a guide, cannot reach Troy, as Ps. Apollodorus explicitly states [77] . The Achaeans, who on the first occasion mistake their route, cannot make it by themselves, and have much need of Telephus. Only Achilles can heal him and make him an ally, therefore Achilles must be brought to Argos [78] .
In A1 a prophecy by Calchas, a seer endowed by Apollo and an interpreter of the god’s will, says that the war cannot begin without Achilles [79] . This implies a view of Achilles as a kind of talisman (just like Philoctetes and his bow [80] ), but the inner logic of the story must also have implied the motif of his strength and his unique ability to kill Hector [81] . In any case the importance of Achilles for the war was a fundamental element in the tradition of the Trojan War. It is such a prophecy that in A1 drives the Achaeans to Scyros to take Achilles, and it is an oracle by Apollo in A2 that drives them to Scyros in order to take Achilles to Argos: without him, in both stories, they cannot go ahead. The prophecy/oracle by Apollo may be part of the original story-pattern. In A2 it is made consistent with the plot of the poem and it is used to connect the Scyros episode to the story of Telephus. But what is most important is that Telephus and Calchas, who in A1 and A2 are responsible by means of divine knowledge of the calling of Achilles to war, are in some respects two manifestations of the same motif. This can also be seen in other aspects of these figures: both Calchas and Telephus, according to different traditions (which Ps. Apollodorus attempts to conciliate in Epitome 3.20 and which are represented principally by Iliad 1.68–73 and the Cypria) had the role of guide for the Achaeans to Troy.
The oracle/prophecy may also have had, as in Statius Achilleid 1.496–497, the function of revealing the place where Achilles concealed himself (and, in A2, that he was still alive).
Thereafter, Achilles must leave Scyros. But he is now married and intends to live on the island, where he remained for eight years. He now has a son, and, just like Odysseus, he does not want to leave him to go to war; he indeed misses him very much when he is at Troy in Iliad 19.326–333. This detail is probably part of the tradition reporting the marriage and the long stay on the island. Some later sources insist on Achilles’ wish to remain on Scyros in order not to leave his wife [82] . This detail might be a late autoschediasm, but it does show a possible development of the story which is not alien to the sentiments of epic heroes (see also below).
In order to avoid the recruitment, Achilles may also have disguised himself in A2, just like Odysseus did. A disguise and a cohabitation with maidens can in a sense be considered dishonorable and these details are usually seen as very alien to Homeric morality. In any case, we will see below that, if we leave morality aside, this detail may be considered an important motif of epic narrative.
It is evident that many elements of the motif of the recruitment of Odysseus (which we may call O) coincide with the story of Scyros: we are dealing with motif transference and doublets. A1, A2 and O are all manifestations of the motif of the hero’s defection, and in their elaboration we can find many residual elements.
It is extremely meaningful that both Neoptolemus and Telemachus are born at the time of the departure of their fathers and that they are named after those very circumstances. Tsagalis 2012:267–268 [83] thinks that the Cypria contrasted an anti-heroic and negative Odysseus, who tried to avoid recruitment, with Achilles’ high sense of duty, since the latter (as I myself believe) did not try to avoid the departure from Phthia, like in the Iliad. I think that such a contrast is unlikely in the Cypria, as much as the stories regarding the two heroes can be considered closely related doublets. Achilles, after knowing Deidameia, began to desire fervently to remain on Scyros with his wife and his son (otherwise he would have left the island or tried to escape from it), and this is consistent with the problematic epic relationship between duty and individuality that we can also observe in Homer (see also below). In the Iliad Achilles has been willingly recruited at Phthia, but he shows a deep nostalgia for Scyros and for his son, even though he has returned to the battle and does not intend to leave Troy anymore (Iliad 19.326–333). In the fabula of the Iliad we can see an Achilles who leaves willingly for the war and who later procures relationships and loved ones on Scyros, that he subsequently abandons in order to participate in the war. Therefore in the Homeric fabula we see a cohesive and diachronic development of feelings obtained trough the use of motifs (willing recruitment, desire to remain on Scyros), a development that (of course through different elaboration in details) must also have been in the fabula of the Cypria.
In the end, it is evident that A1 and A2 and O are placed in very similar contexts in which the army must be completed before the departure: it is extremely meaningful that in the Cypria there was a gathering at Aulis (the second, a doublet of the first one) also after the episode of Scyros (A2).
All this proves that in the Cypria arrangement of the plot, motif transference and use of traditional and folk-tale elements [84] can be viewed as parts of an orally composed story. Therefore, we can list the following story-pattern elements related to Achilles (I use parenthesis for the elements that are explicitly attested only in A1 and square brackets for the elements that might have been featured only in it):

  • a) a stay on Scyros at the court of Lycomedes
  • b) (a wish of the hero to avoid the recruitment [and his fate])
  • c) (a disguise [and a cohabitation with girls])
  • d) a relationship with Deidameia and the birth of a son who is named after his father’s deeds
  • e) an oracle/prophecy by the guide of the Achaeans regarding the need of Achilles in the war
  • f) (an unmasking by Odysseus and an unwilling departure to war)
  • g) the completion and the gathering of the army and a subsequent departure of the fleet.

We can recognize many of these traits in the episode of the recruitment of Odysseus (O) by simply substituting places and characters.

Those elements can be mixed in a different logical and chronological combination, but they remain recognizable elements of the same motif. Minor details, such as the involvement of Lycomedes, the heroes entrusted with the recruitment of the hero and their device, the evolution of the relationship with Deidameia, or which parent hid Achilles on the island may be considered non-essential, as it happens in oral composition by improvisation (the opposite, in fact, would be strange). These details are useful to understand the relationships between the sources, but do not help to understand the core of the relevant motif.
The combination of such elements and the addition of unessential details produce different stories, which in indirect tradition seem to belong to a multiform story. In this case however we cannot talk of a multiform poem (or, to be precise, a multiform poem is not what we have from the major sources): it is very likely that all the sources that we have were able to read only an A2 version of the Cypria (see above), that is the poem as we know it from Proclus [85] . Rather, we can consider the motif of Achilles at Scyros (or, maybe, the motif of the hero who is unwilling to go to war) as a multiform: it is an oral motif included in the poems in different forms in accordance with the needs of performance and of plot arrangement, remaining in any case completely recognizable.

3. Myth

We have seen that the traditional tale of Achilles at Scyros is connected to some motifs and that the elaboration of the story complies with some specific devices. We can analyze in more depth both the story and its elaboration in order to find in them traces of some specific models that are typical of epic composition and that can lead us to a deeper understanding of the story.
In the preceding section I have suggested a possible relationship between the Scyros episode and Odysseus’ travels. In A2 Achilles is driven to Scyros by rough water. In the Odyssey Odysseus’ arrival and adventures on the main islands (at least Scheria, Aiaia and Ithaca) seem to follow a well-defined narrative pattern, consisting of, among other elements, disoriented arrival, disguise or secret identity used to approach an important local woman, sex and marriage [86] . The existence and diffusion [87] of this oral pattern may also have influenced or (at least in part) determined the elaboration of the Scyros episode as A2: in this version we can find some thematic affinities or at least a similar overall organization, depending above all on the placement of the story in context of a sea journey.
The influence of the pattern may be a possibility and cannot be proved, but what is most important is that, in any case, the storm, the shipwreck and the only textual fragment of A2:

Πηλεΐδην δ’ Ἀχιλῆα φέρε Σκῦρόνδε θύελλα,
ἔνθ’ ὅ γ’ ἐς ἀργαλέον λιμέν’ ἵκετο νυκτὸς ἐκείνης

Ilias Parva fr. 24dub. Bernabé

whose wording we may compare with:

186καὶ γὰρ τὸν Κρήτηνδε κατήγαγεν ἲς ἀνέμοιο
189ἐν λιμέσιν χαλεποῖσι, μόγις δ’ ὑπάλυξεν ἀέλλας

Οdyssey 19.186–189

(about Odysseus’ fictitious landing at Crete during the journey to Troy) [88] , are eloquent evidences that in A2 the episode of Scyros acquired some features of an adventure by sea and that its elaboration also followed thematic lines of thought and composition. I consider also the eight year period one of these features.

Therefore, the elaboration of the story in the Cypria is also important for thematic reasons, which we may analyze leaving apart some questions, such as priority, in order to simply try to understand the meaning of the episode in context and its mythical significance.
The typical pattern of Withdrawal (or Absence) and Return may also be of interest in this matter. Such a pattern has been recognized and analyzed in archaic Greek epics after the seminal work of Lord 2000, especially in the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter [89] and some embedded stories such as Meleager’s withdrawal in Iliad 9. The pattern is also recognizable in some minor epic instances, with several variables in its components [90] . Moreover, the Withdrawal pattern is often related to, and partially coincides with, the theme of Journey [91] , as we see most clearly in the Odyssey.
In general, the pattern coincides with a typical sequence that is widespread in many oral cultures and may be associated with some specific elements. The basic concept of this sequence is the separation of the Hero from his world, and his entrance into an extraordinary land; thereafter he passes some existential point of no return and reenters into his society. The model is related to the idea of Death and Resurrection (sometimes the Journey entails a katabasis [92] ) and may represent the coming to maturity of a young Hero [93] ; for this reason the pattern often entails a reference to a symbolic death and a symbolic rebirth. The definition separation-initiation-return [94] can be also useful to understand its significance.
The Greek examples of withdrawal insist on the separation of the Hero from his community, which is often linked to the loss of someone beloved to him or to a catastrophic event: Demeter is deprived of her daughter and Achilles of his slave, and this causes a quarrel between the protagonist and the community; in the Odyssey, the element of the loss of loved ones has been identified in the death of Odysseus’ companions after his shipwreck, although this event is not the cause of Odysseus’ absence from Ithaca [95] ; in identifying the presence of an Absence and Return pattern in the Odyssey that is comparable with the other occurrences, it must be admitted that this particular stage is “not so clear-cut as in the Iliad [96] . It is evident that, in regards to a context of absence-from and conflict-with the community, the Odyssey offers an alternative setting: instead of a quarrel, the Hero’s absence here is caused by a catastrophic and traumatic event that causes his separation and isolation: a shipwreck, which best suits a context of journey and which results in a long stay on an almost deserted island (Ogygia: see especially Odyssey 5.11–20); as we shall see below, this variant is very important to my interpretation.
The Hero’s separation from his community is a necessarily long absence [97] that causes havoc (that is, need or concern) in the world that he has left, as we can see in the Hymn, in the Iliad (including the story of Meleager in Iliad 9) and in the Odyssey [98] ; subsequently, there are search efforts [99] or embassies to take him back; without the absent Hero the community usually cannot accomplish its duty, like in the Iliad [100] ; in the Hymn, most symbolically, the world withers; in the detachment of the Hero a parent is often somehow involved, or at least parentage is a recalled motif (see Iliad, Hymn to Demeter, Meleager).
Motifs such as of hospitality and of living amongst maidens are also often linked to the pattern, as we see in the cases of Odysseus in Odyssey 6 and of Demeter in the Hymn; these motifs are often associated with the idea of marriage [101] . The Hero, who has been removed from his world, sojourns in a place characterized by dissimilarity and strangeness. Sometimes the motif of disguise is related to this world and is the sign of the relationship between the Hero and such an environment; as the case of Demeter best demonstrates (see especially Hymn to Demeter 94–111, 192–201, 302–315 etc.), the disguise and the concealment/isolation may mark the alienation of the hero’s identity and, subsequently, of his social function; in any case, disguise, deceit and unmasking are often linked to withdrawal and long absence motifs [102] . The return is often obtained by means of embassies [103] and coincides with a reconciliation of the Hero and his world; in the tales related to bride-stealing the return is often marked by a final remarriage acknowledged by the community.
This Absence and Return and Journey motifs have, as I have already said, an evident metaphoric (or even allegoric) and symbolic force. It may already be explicitly evident in ancient narrative poetry that those patterns actually trace a psychological process. This is in part what happens in the Iliad, where Achilles’ spiritual development is particularly evident [104] . However, the relationship of the Hero with his ego is more or less noticeable in every mythic form of these structures. As his concealment indicates, the Hero’s withdrawal is an alienation from self [105] .
Even if we do not accept a complete identification, the meaning and the form of the Withdrawal pattern can illuminate, in my opinion, the essence of the story of Achilles at Scyros as it is represented in the Cypria (A2). After the catastrophic event of the shipwreck, Achilles, like Odysseus in Odyssey 5 and 6, has lost his companions, has been separated from his world and proceeds to live amongst maidens from whom he receives hospitality. This separation depends essentially on the shipwreck, but it is also true that in the Cypria and in the other poems of the Cycle where he features, like in the Iliad (and for Odysseus in the Odyssey), Achilles is persistently viewed as an isolated figure [106] . Of course, the absence of any offence or of a quarrel (and, by implication, of any remedy to it) does not allows us to define this a pure “angry withdrawal” [107] motif, but definitions are not my principal concern: what matters is that the Withdrawal motif helps us to understand the sense of Achilles’ absence. Achilles’ separation from his group is determined by a traumatic event which separates him from the others [108] , and the essential point is that the trauma (i.e. Achilles’ continued isolation) will, without a doubt, last until a necessary reconciliation (i.e. Achilles’ return after Odysseus’ embassy). The existence of this reconciliation is the strongest evidence that a break of social solidarity does also exist: as he is needed, Achilles’ absence may be conceived as acting against the group [109] ; the withdrawal and the crisis caused by it are, in themselves, the sign that an “alienation of affection” and a turn from social to private sphere [110] have occurred. In the episode of Scyros as interpreted in the Cypria the distance between the hero and his community is particularly evident. As in the case of Odysseus’ permanence on Aiaia (cf. Odyssey 10.472–474) and, especially, on Ogygia (where he is alone and far from men), the stay on an island has a particular symbolic force marking the hero’s social isolation.
Achilles remains on Scyros for eight years. The absence of the best of Achaeans from his companions, as we have seen above, causes havoc and need among the others; according to a prophecy, in A1 the war cannot go on without Achilles; the need for Achilles is dramatized in A2 by means of the story of the oracle and of Telephus’ wounding, which Achilles has the duty to heal in order to procure an ally and a guide. Without Achilles the Achaeans cannot go on, and they do not do so for many years. Any potential harm which occurs to the community during the hero’s absence (and which in the Withdrawal pattern usually takes the form of a devastation) falls into the hero’s responsibilities [111] .
Meanwhile, from Achilles’ point of view the withdrawal indeed appears as an escape from fate, even if he is not yet aware of this. On the island Achilles betrays his roles of hero and of warrior, as he get married and devotes his life to his family, escaping from war and death. In this phase the Hero is inactive. We see that Odysseus is particularly inactive when he is on the shore of Calypso’s island and in Kyrke’s bed (cf. Odyssey 5.13 κεῖται 5.151 etc.), tempted to renounce his ultimate triumph (in his case, the nostos) and kleos [112] . This cowardly languishing of the Hero obviously leaves few traces in the representation of the character of Achilles in the Iliad (wherein, moreover, the episode of Scyros is significantly partially omitted: see above and below). In the metaphoric journey of the Iliadic hero the motif of inactivity is concealed and integrated in the general motif of the menis, but its traces can be seen in Iliad 9 and in passages like Iliad 1.488–492 (cf. Odyssey 5.151, 10.468 ἥμεθα) or Iliad 9.410–416, where abstinence from the battle, which Achilles feels strongly about and regrets, is conceived as inactivity and indolence, and as a refusal of fate and duty [113] ; in Iliad 9 leaving Troy and returning to Phthia would mean, in the essence of the story, abandoning the choice of kleos in order to live a normal and unwarlike life [114] . Significantly Phoenix considers Achilles’ wrath as inactivity when he talks about the corresponding Meleager’s wrath, who κεῖτο παρὰ μνηστῇ ἀλόχῳ καλῇ Κλεοπάτρῃ (Iliad 9.556, cf. 565, cf. Odyssey 5.13 κεῖται) [115] . Achilles wastes his time in the same way with Deidameia on Scyros [116] . In the Cypria Achilles is perhaps considered dead by the Achaeans [117] , and his stay on Scyros represents a form of death which presupposes a rebirth. Achilles’ transvestitism represent a deprivation of the role of the warrior, a disappearance of the Hero; Achilles’ concealment and his harmful social isolation correspond to the alienation of his self (see also below). Overcoming this phase of refusal, which must only be a phase, is a spiritual and psychological necessity; as Diomedes says of Achilles in Iliad 9.702–703, he will return to the battlefield when his heart or a god urge him to. This necessity is the essence of the development (and existence) of both life and narrative. Scyros is only a stage, just like it is an island between Greece and Troy: it is not by chance that in A2 Scyros is represented as a stop-over during the Journey.
Achilles will return when he is ready. Therefore, the Hero, before he can return, is tested. Odysseus exhibits some weapons and some feminine garments: Achilles takes up the weapons (in a moment of simulated danger, as some sources specify), and so suddenly reconfirms himself as a warrior [118] . Achilles’ choice is unintentional, i.e. subconscious: he retrieves in the deepness of his own spirit his lost essence, the Hero whom he himself considered forever lost.
Odysseus’ trick is, as a matter of fact, a test [119] that symbolizes a turning point in Achilles’ heroic life. The re-appropriation of the armor has a symbolic meaning in the Return of the Warrior motif, as his armor is part of his identity, and this is evident in the Iliad when Achilles returns to the battlefield [120] and in the Odyssey, when Odysseus retrieves his bow and undergoes a sequence of tests about his own identity. Like in Iliad 18, Achilles’ return signifies a re-appropriation of the hero’s own role and acceptance of fate and of death [121] . I will further develop this argument later on.
Another element related to the Withdrawal story pattern is marriage [122] , which is often connected to the motif of hospitality [123] . Therefore, the marriage between Achilles and Deidameia, featured and developed especially in A2,, as we have seen, corresponds to an element of the pattern. Obviously, Deidameia functions as a character that detains the Hero from destiny and societal world, and not as the re-conquered bride (see below); she is an obstacle, not an ending. She resembles, as I suggested above, the Homeric Kirke, Calypso, or Nausicaa (the former offering to Odysseus an eternal affair and the latter two a marriage that would stop the hero’s return and kleos) [124] , and not the Homeric Penelope or Briseis. Nevertheless, in the Cypria both Achilles’ and Odysseus’ refusals of recruitment can be understood in light of a typical thematic issue, within which the Cypria’s Penelope and Deidameia seem to be parallel elements. Consider the reconstructed motivations of the behaviors of the heroes given above (section 2): at the moment of the departure of Odysseus from Ithaca and of Achilles from Scyros, we can single out a contrast between conjugal homilia and war [125] . Homilia is to be understood as private life and relationship, which is often represented by the warrior-spouse-son triangle [126] . Both the recruitments, as we have seen, were represented as the end of conjugal life, interrupted by an intense military scene consisting of a gathering of the army [127] ; in this sense Penelope-Telemachus (as they featured in the Cypria) and Deidameia-Neoptolemus are corresponding doublets. Therefore we can see in the marriage with Deidameia (which, as I have stressed, becomes a marriage in the elaboration of A2, strengthening the implicit parallelism with Odysseus’ departure from Ithaca) a force that is directly, from a thematic and narrative point of view, opposed to war; in such, this love relationship works against Achilles’ destiny and way to his kleos, which is “rolled up into one” [128] with the hero’s reintegration into his social group and his responsibility to protect it; private life (love story, marriage, family) is a restraint that the hero must overcome, just like Hector, in Iliad 6, must leave the couple Andromache-Astyanax in order to go towards his own destiny on the battlefield ἀρνύμενος πατρός τε μέγα κλέος ἠδ’ ἐμὸν αὐτοῦ (Iliad 6.446) [129] and must put community rather than family first . In the Iliad the life at Phthia that Achilles claims to desire when he wants to leave Troy would also imply marriage (cf. Iliad 9.393–400, where it is opposed to death in battle, v. 393). A normal life is opposed to a heroic life, and private/normal life including marriage and family life is represented as a temptation for the hero before his acceptance of death (see also below); in the Iliad, Achilles renounces an impossible private life when he accepts to return to the battlefield; nevertheless, in the Iliad itself (Iliad 19.328–333) he seems to have forsaken the possibility of seeing his son again a long time before the death of Patroclus, when he firstly accepted to go to Troy and die there: it is extremely significant that Achilles recalls Neoptolemus and his own painful life choice (going to war) at the same time; the farewell to his son represents Achilles’ first acceptance of fate and renouncement of private life, therefore it is significant that it is recalled in the important book 19 of the Iliad, when the hero returns to the battlefield. In the Cyclic story of his early years, renouncing his juvenile marriage with Deidameia represents for Achilles “the wrenching loss (of innocence, of one’s familiar identity) that accompanies the process of mature confrontation with real life” [130] and by means of which the Hero becomes, in C. Sowa’s words, “a sadder but wiser person” [131] .
Marriage as aim and ending has a completely different semantic value. As I have said, in the Withdrawal and Journey story patterns, the return determines a reintegration of the Hero into his social world and usually (in the tales related to bride-stealing) a finale through a remarriage acknowledged by the society. In the Cypria, the return of Achilles from Scyros and his responsibilities at Argos imply the reintegration of the hero into his society; moreover, his return is followed by the episode of the sham marriage with Iphigenia [132] . We cannot say that in the Cypria this marriage marks Achilles’ return, but it could be meaningful that in Iliad 9 and 19 a marriage between Achilles and a daughter of Agamemnon (which might represent a specific motif used in the Trojan tradition, wherein Iphigenia is often associated to Achilles) is offered as a possible solution for his return on the battlefield; also in the Iliad this marriage does not materialize and this possibility has a merely symbolic meaning: receiving Agamemnon’s daughter as bride-to-be would signify the reintegration of Achilles amongst the Achaeans. Therefore, after the second gathering at Aulis, where Achilles has a central role, we can see some signs of the reintegration of the Hero into his society, the motif of the marriage with Iphigenia originally being, possibly, an eloquent element of this stage of the pattern.
In general, we can view the two marriages, one to Deidameia that goes unacknowledged, and one with Iphigenia which instead serves to strengthen the coherence of the group, as polarized expressions of the individual’s behavior in relation to society, within or outside the social norm; and, by implication, as determiners of his position within or outside the social group.
All this helps us to understand that the A2 version has been elaborated as a complete cycle and according to specific models of thinking: it develops some ingredients of the same or of a similar meaning that were already part of the significance of the original story A1 and takes them to the extreme. The return of Achilles to the war expedition, however, does not exactly match a Return, as the adventure is yet to begin: Achilles returns amongst his companions, but he does not return home and to his world. He instead goes ahead to war: the end of the episode could absolutely not be the end of the poem and of the story.
The Withdrawal pattern as represented in A2 works as an independent story or completed episode from the arrival at Scyros until the second gathering at Aulis. Other single episodes (e.g. Paris’ Journey in the first part of the poem) evidently follow stand-alone patterns [133] , and such a kind of parataxis and composition by theme is what we expect from oral composition.
But in the plot of the Cypria and, in general, in the Trojan tradition (that is to say, in a hypothetical fabula of the Trojan war based on the version A1) the episode of Scyros is nothing but the initial stage of a wider journey and of a wider myth. The relevant episode is appropriate to represent an initial stage, as this is its original essence, which we best know from A1; I believe that, in despite of the re-elaboration, the episode also maintains this significance in the Cypria (A2), wherein it is placed in a similar context, before a gathering at Aulis and the ultimate departure (see above, section 2): since the Cypria had two general departures, it complemented both of them with an episode of the same meaning – Odysseus’ and Achilles’ engagements. For this reason, in the analysis I am about to give it will be clear that the story of Scyros as a first departure to war shares many thematic and semantic elements with the story of Achilles’ withdrawal after the storm and his return among the Achaeans.
A test or a kind of transition point just before the Hero’s departure to an adventure is an important feature of many folktale or mythic structures. We can see an example of this in Propp’s scheme: function IX, which corresponds to the dispatch of the Hero (see especially IX, 3 [134] ) and XI – The Hero leaves Home are closely related to the following group of stages (I have selected the sub-variants that most closely match our story, even if I do not intend to support any strictly formalist interpretation of the Trojan tradition): the Hero is tested by a donor (XII, 1 [135] ) and reacts by withstanding the test (XIII, 1) and acquiring a magical agent (XIV [136] ) that may be crucial in fighting the villain; afterwards (XV) he is able to reach the place where he will fight for the object of the search (XV, 2: by travelling on the ground or on water [137] ).
Even if we do not use formalism or other approaches, we may simply observe that in most tales departure is not (narratively or conceptually) a smooth phase; it consists of decision, choice, acceptance, effort and enhancement, in other words change; narratively, it may be punctual or expanded and developed. This point is well represented, in the Trojan tradition, by Scyros. The concealment, the test by Odysseus and the bestowing of the weapons and of the spear, a magic object which can wound and heal [138] , which only Achilles can use (like his armor [139] ) and that will mortally wound Hector, cannot therefore be considered only an element of episodic relevance; the meaning of this part is to be considered as a component of the whole, and, as we shall see, a remarkable one.
Achilles’ coming to maturity featured in the very first stage of the expedition expresses, in a complete narrative of the war, a first step, a development of the Hero’s personality and personal story, through an initial refusal before the acceptance of destiny and the beginning of the Journey.
It might be useful here to recall Joseph Campbell’s traditional concept of the “Refusal of the Call” [140] , simply in order to exemplify again how, in tracing mythical pattern and structures, scholars tend to single out a phase of transition and determination, which is part of the whole, as the beginning of the Journey. The Hero undergoes a fundamental phase of incubation which occurs in the very first part of the story, just before the departure, and which is characterized by inactivity, delay and refusal of destiny and of the story that is to begin; this phase is followed, as a rule, by a necessary passing from passivity to activity (Campbell calls it “The Crossing of the First Threshold” [141] ), which represents the acceptance, after an inducement, of the adventure and of one’s own destiny.
His disguise and his life amongst the maidens are, in a sense, the symbol and the dramatization of Achilles’ temporary disorientation in the course of his life; a confusion that brings about an effort to understand and retrieve his own identity. There are some interesting tragic fragments [142] in which Achilles is reproached on Scyros for playing with feminine works, such as “hand-knitting” and embroidery, instead of fighting war, and similar topics feature in later remakes [143] . The relationship with Deidameia is closely related to this issue. In addition to what I have said about marriage as temptation and restraint, I would add that the long period spent at a place of a woman, which we can relate to the idea of “sexual servitude” [144] , is often (and, for our idea of sexuality, paradoxically) connected to the risk of becoming passive and effeminate, or, if we want to use Hermes’ warning words to Odysseus before he meet Kirke, κακὸς καὶ ἀνήνωρ [145] . Heracles’ submission to Omphale is, in fact, represented by transvestitism and weaving, a motif that we can easily relate to the Scyros episode [146] . It is meaningful that in Statius Achilleid 1.260–263 Thetis, the protective mother, tries to convince Achilles that transvestitism would not be a bad thing by alluding to the episode of Herakles and Omphale. For her, of course, it is the best thing that her son can do [147] . Furthermore, this helps us to understand why Thetis encourages Achilles’ relationship with Deidameia [148] and why this relationship is a temptation and obstacle for Achilles’ enhancement: as Thetis tries to effeminate her son and to straighten his infantilism (see also below), this might be considered contradictory, but it is not, as (at least in such cases) relationships with women and sex result in effeminacy and isolation.
After the test by Odysseus, and the choosing of the weapons, Achilles, like in the Iliad, accepts his destiny, exits from his mother’s protection, and overcomes infantilism and the prison that is represented by parental concern [149] .
Anthropology and psychoanalysis lead us to recognize in Achilles’ choice an emancipation from the maternal womb and from motherly protection, represented in general by femininity. As rituals of different cultures associated with the entrance into society and adulthood demonstrate, the taking off of feminine-childish clothes and the wearing of masculine ones signifies a rite of passage where puberty is viewed as a rebirth [150] . In the tradition of the Trojan war, the young [151] Achilles becomes the hero whom everyone knows only when he leaves the island of Scyros and removes the women’s clothing as if he could take off his infantile ego which is linked to the mother [152] .
Development of personality is a result of the passage from maternal breast to the sphere of the father (the hero Peleus), a very well known principle in psychoanalysis and anthropology (see below): this is particularly perspicuous in this Euripides’ fragments:

σὺ δ’ ὦ τὸ λαμπρὸν φῶς ἀποσβεννὺς γένους
ξαίνεις ἀρίστου πατρὸς Ἑλλήνων γεγώς;

Euripides Skyrioi TrGrF 683a

It is evident here that emphasis is given to the exchange of functions: according to Odysseus’ stimulating reproach (ἐπίπληξις), on Scyros Achilles dedicates his time to needlework and to feminine occupations, instead of accepting a life as a warrior and thus making himself worthy of his valiant father, whose genos is represented as a light that must remain lit. In fact, the “kleos of the father(s)” also marks the eventual acceptance of destiny (after a refusal or a restraint) in Homeric epic [153] , which is also a step from isolation into the social world: social world and destiny are conceived as absolutely inseparable (see above), and the Father represents both.

The passage from one sphere to the other is expressly signified by the weapons, which are Peleus’ inheritance and symbolize Achilles’ destiny and identity [154] : the youth removes the Mother’s clothes and puts on the Father’s ones, thus becoming Achilles. Achilles’ spear can also be considered a phallic and paternal symbol [155] , which is strongly opposed to the sphere of the Mother: see Euripides TrGrF 880 and the extremely meaningful verses by Statius (Achilleid 1.40–42) that report an exclamation about Achilles by Thetis, precisely when the goddess is planning to send her son to Scyros:

40Illic [sc. on mount Pelion], ni fallor, Lapitharum proelia ludit
inprobus et patria iam se metitur in hasta.
O dolor, o seri materno in corde timores! [156] .

Statius Achilleid 1.40–42

It is also important not to forget that the same spear that is passed from Peleus to Achilles (see Iliad 16.140–144 = 19.388–389) will also determine Neoptolemus’ initiation (see above). The story of Neoptolemus’ maturity totally coincides with the story of Achilles, since he too will exit from youth when he goes to Troy, leaving Scyros and his mother [157] and following in his father’s footsteps; the sign of this is the receiving of his fathers’ spear, also in this case from Odysseus, as we see in Iliadis Parvae Argumentum lines 10–11 Bernabé (see also above); at the same time he enters into the social world. In some anthropological examples, the infantile-maternal phase ends precisely when the father symbolically bestows to his son the control of the phallus. [158]

The Lacanian principle of transition from Mother to Father (whose application to Sophoclean tragedy has been a recent object of interest [159] ) may be useful not only to understand the significance of the figure of the Father in Achilles’ coming to maturity; but also to ascertain the presence of a paternal principle in the Scyros episode, wherein it seems (at least in the sources we have) to feature only implicitly; and, in general, to reveal its importance in Trojan myth.
According to this view, the Father represents the societal Law, as he prevents incest between Mother and Son; he embodies the principle of culture as opposed to the principle of nature; nature in this sense is conceived as non-regulated desire and selfishness, and belongs to the sphere of the Mother [160] , to whose body the child is formerly tied in a “mirror-like” relationship. The principle of the Father determines the overcoming of a self-centered ego absorbed in desires and narcissism, imposing the introjection of a principle of otherness (represented by language) [161] , and then marking his entering into the social and external world: it establishes a truthful and inevitable way and order of things, the telos [162] , which is opposed to the confusion and contingency (tukhe) produced by the “fatherless” and represented by the Mother [163] . The metaphor of light in opposition to darkness, which we have seen in Euripides’ fragment (TrGrF 683a), can be considered a characteristic and emblematic feature of this conception of the Father [164] : in the name of Father Achilles retrieves his own identity, as the name of the Father sheds light on the way of the Son, bringing about the acknowledgment and the introjection of the telos in him; towards this telos he, retrieving himself, proceeds to direct his life unselfishly.
The absence and elusiveness of the Father during the “latent period” of immaturity (the life on Scyros) is the presuppose to the building and recovery of his meaning, of his eventual manifestation in life as Law [165] . Uncovering and accepting the paternal principle is therefore understandable as the acquisition by the Hero of a new and straight view of the story and of existence. This transition is expressed in myth as the turning point of the story and of heroic life, when Achilles starts to see his own existence, and the story of Troy, teleologically: thus he leaves a daily cycle of appetitive timewasting, a chaotic and non-oriented life which would lead to nothing, and accepts to actively take his place in the order of things: Scyros is contingency and passage, Troy is fate and target.
The passage from one sphere to the other in an archetypal structure such as the story of the Trojan expedition acquires a substantial relevance that is even deeper than the mere Peleus-Achilles relationship and the effects of the former on the self-realization of the latter (see e.g. Iliad 11.783–784): it involves the sign of Father Zeus, often represented in the sources as the teleological agent of the Trojan war and as the force that establishes and determines its course and its goal, as well as the establisher of Achilles’ destiny within its scope [166] ; furthermore, I have stressed above the importance of the Apollonian oracles and prophecies, in whose indications the hero’s destiny (death and glory at Troy) is integrated into the destiny of the war and of the story (the fall of Troy, for which Achilles is needed): as Pietro Pucci has shown [167] , the Apollonian light is a revelation of paternal Law, that is the telos as a truthful and inevitable destination.
Therefore, after this revelation, the story of Troy itself acquires a meaning and a determination. In the first part of the story oracles and prophecies take shape in order to illuminate Achilles’ destiny, his inevitable pathway; at the same time, they mark the acknowledgement of the fall of Troy as the telos of the story (see also the portent of the sparrows during the first gathering at Aulis), in whose scope Achilles and Odysseus are necessary elements; they are not only part of the army as military units, but also integral parts of an unitary destiny.
Odysseus, compelled to reveal his identity as a Trojan hero and induced to accept his fate of absence from home for many years, has understood this just before, and in turn, as in a chain reaction, engages Achilles in it. The simple fall of the disguises could not alone force the heroes to participate in the war and to accomplish their duties, if it were not a sign of change: the unveiling of the Heroes’ true self in the eyes of the others and of themselves means that, trough their identities, their destinies have been eventually accepted and will be actively pursued. This is also the sign that, subsequently, the fate of Troy has in turn been determined and will be fulfilled: Achilles will die at Troy and afterwards Troy will fall, in complete accordance with the unique and immutable destiny that corresponds to the plot of the story. It is also significant that the same heroes who had tried to oppose destiny before the departure, actively prevent, at a later stage, the premature return (i.e. surrender) of the troops, a return that would be “contrary to destiny” (cf. Iliad 2.155–156 ἔνθά κεν Ἀργείοισιν ὑπέρμορα νόστος ἐτύχθη, / εἰ μή …). Odysseus, in fact, holds back the Achaeans at Troy in Iliad 2.155–210, and Achilles does the same in the Cypria (Argumentum line 61 Bernabé) [168] .
Therefore, the use of the episodes of the recruitments just before the collective departure, understood as a defining element of this particular stage in the whole meaning of the story, is extremely telling. Scyros is a threshold for Achilles, but it is also the first threshold of the Trojan war adventure.
The Iliad (with Briseis) and the Odyssey (with Penelope) can be read as bride-stealing stories, which typically consist of an abduction and a final remarriage [169] . In the Cypria the main abduction of the poem is that of Helen, the abducted bride par excellence, or at least the main and original abducted bride of the tradition. Since this poem recounts in a plain and narratively uncomplicated manner the whole story of Troy or so [170] , in the Cypria we can best retrace the meaning and structure of an original story of quest [171] .
Achilles, in this poem, is extremely closely related to Helen. She is Menelaus’ wife, but Menelaus is not her co-protagonist: the protagonist is Achilles, who is born, as she is, for the war [172] . The destiny of Helen is in Achilles’ hands, and Achilles’ refusal in the first part of the poem coincides, as we have seen, with a general refusal by his whole society. This is without a doubt true, but in the general narrative of the Cypria it is the whole army, as an ensemble, that represents a Hero-protagonist [173] , and not Achilles. Achilles, indeed, dies before of the end of the war. He accomplishes his own story and fulfills his destiny with his death, but is not able (and not supposed) to bring the whole story to completion, whose protagonist must therefore be the Achaean army. In this way, with a collective protagonist, we can recognize a folk-tale structure in the Epic Cycle, which implies a departure, a victory and a return [174] . The initial situation is subverted with the abduction of Helen. This causes a ‘lack’ which is the catalyst of the story and which engages all the Achaean world, causing the dispatch of the Hero(es). [175]
The Achaean army is therefore called to a trial, but it hesitates; this is evident in Menelaus’ reaction to the infidelity of his wife: he needs to be comforted, and is tempted by the wine [176] , even though it is his encounter with Nestor, his Mentor, that convinces him to react [177] ; the other heroes (Odysseus, Achilles) refuse to defend the honor of Greece, and they conceal themselves, before or after the unsteady false step represented by the Theutranian expedition. These autonomous episodes of Menelaus’, Odysseus’ and Achilles’ refusals, are equivalent in their meaning. As I have already said, I do not accept a hypothetical contrast between a reluctant Odysseus and an enthusiastic Achilles in the Cypria. Folk-tale structures and the principles I have taken into account above help us to see that Odysseus’ reluctance at Ithaca and Achilles’ concealment at Scyros are actually expressions of the same thing at the same stage of the process. [178]
These refusals represent the varied ingredients of a general refusal: it is the whole Achaean world that hesitates, even if Achilles has a primary role and it is he who actually brings about the hibernation of his society. After a weak and hesitant departure and an embarrassing mistake, during which the army moves in darkness and misses its destination, the troops return home, live with their failure and renounce their revenge for eight years. This stage may be viewed as a general refusal, and as a general test. Achilles’ return represents the acceptance of the adventure for everybody, which is obtained by means of the healing of Telephus, which will provide, through the light of Apollo, the direction of the actual destination, Troy; the act of healing is done by Achilles but is wanted and solicited by everyone (as we see in the fragments of Euripides’ Skyrioi) and benefits everyone. Therefore, the departure of the Achaeans is the result of a development, of the passing of a phase. After this departure, the army-Hero procures allies (Telephus, Anius), and then proceeds to the recapture of Helen. The army is on the verge of death when, in the last year of war, Achilles will not fight, the camp is in a state of famine and the allies of the Trojans arrive [179] . Then the army faces the enemies and, without Achilles (who dies just before the finale, which a protagonist should not do [180] ) regains Helen and comes to the final stage, the return(s).
The interweaving that we see between choralism and protagonism highlights the fact that in the “choral” primordial myth there are already traces of a certain tendency that we see completely developed in Homer, where the main patterns are employed for individual protagonists, i.e. Achilles and Odysseus. As G. Nagy [181] points out, the development of the concepts of Achilles’ and Odysseus’ kleos and protagonism in their respective poems is an important feature of Homeric poetry in opposition to the Cyclic form of epic: each Homeric poem determinates its own meaning and subject by asserting and singing its own “best of the Achaeans” [182] . We do not find such a development in Cyclic myth, and above all in the Cypria, where emphasis is given to the whole Trojan expedition, and the heroics of the single characters are therefore limited or merged. However, if we conceive the form and structuration of the Cypria logically and poetically anterior to that of the Homeric poems and consider the use of the patterns, we can possibly see a stage in this poem in which some particular heroes are acquiring a special importance: they are becoming “the best of the Achaeans,” not only as characters (that is people who are simply the strongest or the most cunning among the group) but also as the subjects of the song. This may also be viewed as an acquisition of unity by the Trojan tradition that we can observe in progress [183]
It is therefore not by chance that we already find so many affinities between Achilles and Odysseus in the Cycle, as we have seen. In Homeric poems the two heroes are the main characters, but in the Cycle they are “less protagonist”; nevertheless they are both present and show traces of the protagonism of the Hero, which follows some narrative patterns. Perhaps it is also not by chance that in the Cypria Achilles and Odysseus, in addition to being corresponding doublets, meet each other precisely at the decisive point, i.e. the departure to the war and to their own fates, whose threshold is Scyros.
Another important non-Homeric episode consisting of an interaction between Achilles and Odysseus was also featured in a lost play by Sophocles (Syndeipnoi, TrGrF 562–571 Radt), where the two heroes quarreled at a banquet. Odysseus negotiates Achilles’ participation in the Trojan expedition and blames him for being a coward (fr. 566): interestingly enough, these are the same issues that we find in the Scyros episode [184] . Many scholars have suggested that the episode featured in the lost Syndepnoi may correspond to the banquet on Tenedos featured in the Cypria [185] ; however, I will not insist on this possibility, as the mere existence of the Trojan story alluded in Sophocles’ fragment and its thematic closeness to the Scyros episode is per se telling. G. Nagy has discussed the possible connection between this traditional tale (or, more generally, the theme of a contrast between Achilles and Odysseus) and the quarrel alluded in the first song of Demodokos at Odyssey 8.75–82 [186] , which can be considered an example of non-Homeric poetry [187] ; this song seems to recall the important traditional motif of the debate over taking Troy by might (Achilles) or artifice (Odysseus); a motif that is representative of the main thematic lines of the Trojan tradition [188] , converging sometimes in a “traditional enmity” [189] between the two heroes. Could this antithesis somehow shed light on the thematic setting of the Cypria?
It may be noted that in extra-Homeric traditions, including the Cypria, Achilles and Odysseus appear together at some (narratively and thematically) decisive points, namely when participation in the war and victory are brought into question. As I have already recalled, both the characters hold back the Achaeans in the Cypria and the Iliad respectively, preventing their premature return, as if they shared a symbolic (and multiform) traditional function: the war (and the story of Troy) depends on them. This also means that the victory and the fulfillment of destiny depends, at least in part, on their deeds and aristeiai; their specific abilities will culminate, in fact, in the killing of Hector (might) and in the Trojan horse (artifice), the two major decisive events. Therefore, we might conjecture that both the characters (together) seem to be predominant also in the extra-Homeric tradition. Achilles’ and Odysseus’ aristeiai are not only elements of the story as symbolic qualities (Achilles is strong, Odysseus is clever), but also the two main themes which permeate respectively the Iliad and the Odyssey; Demodokos seems to control both of them, whereas Homer develops them separately [190] . Unlike the Iliad and the Odyssey, neither of the two heroes and neither of their aristeiai could be thematically prevailing in the Cypria and in the traditions that included both the Ithaka and the Scyros episode: in these traditions both the heroes were necessary, complementing one another; and this is particularly evident in the Scyros episode, wherein, as we have seen, Achilles’ power is strictly connected to Odysseus’ capability of artifice [191] , which allows the full release and the presence of the former; correspondingly, in the Cypria battle and journey, as main themes respectively related to Achilles and Odysseus, are balanced. On the other hand, I have shown above (section 2) how either recruitment might have been used alone (that is alternatively) in other oral epics, perhaps depending on the thematic setting of the performance.
Lastly, it is extremely understandable that Homer somehow censors the episode of the recruitment at Scyros; both the Iliad and the Odyssey, in any case, mention Neoptolemus and Scyros, and we can imagine that this could bring to mind the episode of the concealment to the audience. The scholia, however, point out that Homer represents (or, we may say, reinterprets) Scyros only as a military conquest by Achilles [192] . In general, in the plot of the Iliad we see an overall different Achilles, who, instead of undergoing a necessary hesitation, a human weakness from which an authentic life can arise, apparently withdraws from war for reasons of pride. But, after all, the Iliad is based on a refusal, and the episode of Scyros could perhaps contribute to the understanding of its essential meaning.


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[ back ] 1. This paper was presented, in abridged form, at the Second Annual Teleconference of the “Kyklos” Project. I would like to thank all the participants in the conference, whose suggestions and observations have significantly contributed to the enrichment and improvement of the present work, in particular Justin Arft, Jonathan Burgess, Effimia Karakantza, Jim Marks and my PhD advisors Alberto Bernabé and Paola Volpe. I also want to thank my partner Ginevra Vezzosi for reading and discussing the paper with me; and Trinity Mitchell for patiently correcting my English through my frequent changes.
[ back ] 2. See Marin 2008–2009, Fantuzzi 2012:21–97, Tsagalis 2012.
[ back ] 3. Schol. T Iliad 9.668. Tsagalis 2012:260–261 and. n. 10, 278–280. See also Severyns 1928:286–287, Gantz 1993:580–581 and. n. 22. This story has been considered a “heroic” version of the concealment at Scyros (see Fantuzzi 2012:27–29, who believes that the “heroic” version also played a role in the Cycle, not only in Homer). Pausanias (1.22.6), who knows the Cycle well, seems to consider the heroic version a Homeric prerogative.
[ back ] 4. For a complete survey of the ancient sources see Vellay 1957, 123, Jouan 1966:205n1, Gantz 1993:577 and 580–582, Tsagalis 2012:258–259, Fantuzzi 2012:21–97, Uccellini 2013:IX–XXV.
[ back ] 5. Perhaps Euripides: cf. Tsagalis 2012:271, Jouan 1966:204–218, Gantz 1993:581.
[ back ] 6. Thetis in Apollodorus and Schol. B Iliad 19.326a1 (V, 636 Erbse) (see below), Schol. D Iliad 1.417 (II, 8 Ludwich), Peleus in Schol. D Iliad 19.326 (IV, 222, 29 Dindorf). Tsagalis 2012:272 considers the reference to Peleus unreliable.
[ back ] 7. A choice between arms and feminine garments in Schol. D Iliad 19.326 (IV, 222, 29 Dindorf), a trumpet call in Apollodorus. Cf. Hyginus fabula 96. Cf. Jouan 1966:209–210.
[ back ] 8. Ilias Parva fr. 24dub Bernabé explicitly links the storm to Scyros. Proclus simply says προσσχών (cf. line 36 προσίσχουσι), whereas for the Paris’ arrival at Sidon he uses more distinctly προσενεχθεῖς. Geographically the island of Scyros is between Mysia and Achilles’ house.
[ back ] 9. See e.g. Statius Achill eid 1.20–396.
[ back ] 10. That is probably the Cyclic poets, cf. Severyns 1928:287.
[ back ] 11. See Severyns 1928:290–291, Van Der Valk 1963:369–397, Jouan 1966:213–214, Burgess 2001:20–21, Marin 2008–2009.
[ back ] 12. I do not contemplate in this case an hypothesis of multiformity, for which see Finkelberg 2000, Nagy 2001, Burgess 2002:238–241, none of whom contemplates the episode of Scyros. Tsagalis 2012:281–282 assumes the existence of an oral version of the Cypria that encompassed the Dolopes episode featured in Iliad 9.668, but we have no sources that explicitly attribute this story to the Cypria (see above).
[ back ] 13. Cf. Breslove 1943:161, Jouan 1966:213–214.
[ back ] 14. I took this expression from Marin 2008–2009:211, who accepts the reconstruction of Severyns.
[ back ] 15. See e.g. Scaife 1995:172, who assumes that what I call A1 was reported as an analepsis during the second stay on Scyros (A2).
[ back ] 16. Cf. Van Der Valk 1963:369–370 etc.
[ back ] 17. Cf. Marin 2008–2009:217.
[ back ] 18. Tsagalis 2012:264–265 particularly stresses this point. See also Fantuzzi 2012:26.
[ back ] 19. Tsagalis 2012:269–270 (and references), Fantuzzi 2012, 26. See in general Van Der Valk 1963:369 and passim on the reliability of D-Scholia for the Cycle. Some scholars believe that the sentence ἡ ἱστορία παρὰ τοῖς κυκλικοῖς may apply only to the last part of the narrative of the Scholium, i.e. the facts of Neoptolemus (a character that was certainly featured in the Cypria, see fr. 21 Bernabé and below). I believe this is a way to reach an easy solution, but I also believe that it is unlikely (see also Gantz 1992:582). Therefore, I am inclined to think that the story A1 contained in Schol. D Iliad 19.326 was, as a matter of fact, a Cyclic story.
[ back ] 20. Cf. Davies 2001:42.
[ back ] 21. In this sense, Achilles and Neoptolemus may be considered doublets in the Ilias Parva, and the use of a story about the latter might have caused a modification of the story about the former. See also below.
[ back ] 22. Cf. Bernabé 1979:162, who attributes to the analepsis both the spear and fr. 24dub Bernabé; cf. Davies 2001:66, Fantuzzi 2012:23n7, Tsagalis 2012:261.
[ back ] 23. Tsagalis 2012:274–275 and n. 75, although consider the scholium partially based on the Ilias Parva (cf. Jouan 1966:214n1), assumes that A1 was not in the poem, since it would be at odds with an arrival at Scyros caused by a storm. But as I have said above, we cannot be sure that the Ilias Parva featured a storm. Another questionable point of Tsagalis is that the mention of A1 would prevent Neoptolemus from joining the war. I am uncertain that Schol. D Ilias 19.326 (IV, 222, 29 Dindorf) = Cypria fr. 19 (I) is based on the Ilias Parva, but it can be said that it does not conflict with its plot.
[ back ] 24. See Bernabé 1996:ad loc. and Marin 2008–2009. Tsagalis 2012:280–281 is inclined to accept the attribution to the Ilias Parva.
[ back ] 25. Cf. Marin 2008–2009:228–229.
[ back ] 26. Cf. Hirschberger 2012:192. According to the traditional version of Neoanalytic theory the beginning if Iliad 18 is based on the Aethiopis (for an overview of the problem see Willcock 1997:176–177). In any case, it can be said that the scenes are tied. Therefore it is not so strange that both contained a memory of the departure of Achilles. Of course in Iliad 18 the departure is pacific as it is consistent with the Iliad (see above).
[ back ] 27. Cf. Davies 2001:80.
[ back ] 28. Such as Nestor’s parekbasis, some ekphrasis etc. Proclus does however mention them as metaliterary allusions without narrating their content. Although they may simply be considered external analepsis, Nestor’s stories seem to have had an argument function, not a narrative one.
[ back ] 29. For example, the lack of any reference to the birth of Helen and of her brothers (which we can ascribe to the poem from the evidence of Cypria frr. 8 and 9 Bernabé) in Proclus’ summary of the Cypria confirms, in my opinion, the suspicion (cf. Kullmann 1955:183, Bernabé 1996 ad Cypria fr. 9, Davies 2001:37, West 2013:80) that these events were narrated as analepsis, maybe in a speech by Aphrodite.
[ back ] 30. Further evidences in Tsagalis 2012:264–268 (but see below).
[ back ] 31. Moreover, this passage neglect the Cyclic tradition reporting Achilles’ fate (see Hirschberger 2012:190–191). A2 too might have neglected it: Achilles indeed went willingly to Troy, as he did not know any prophecy about his death. See also below.
[ back ] 32. See Burgess 2001:39–40 and bibliography.
[ back ] 33. LIMC “Achilleus” n. 506 (ca. 670 BCE). It probably depicts Achilles receiving a shield from Thetis at Phthia (cf. Burgess 2001:39–40, Davies 2007:153). The arming by the hero’s mother is a widespread folk-tale motif: see Davies 2007, who believes that the hiding of Achilles by his mother at Scyros, which implies the subsequent recruitment and arming of the hero, is actually a form of the same motif (Davies thinks, however, that the set of the vase painting is Scyros, not Phthia, p. 153). See also Fantuzzi 2012:22n4 and bibliography. I believe that, as we will see below, this version of the departure from Phthia may be considered, in a sense, thematically concordant with the story of the hiding at Scyros, as the bestowing of the shield by the mother means “protection.”
[ back ] 34. LIMC “Achilleus” nn. 187–203. They all depict Thetis bestowing a shield or other parts of the armor to Achilles. This scene has been linked to a chorus of Euripides’ Electra (verses 432–485). According to Fantuzzi 2012:37 this model of representation stops in the fifth century due to a new orthodoxy about Achilles’ departure (that is the concealment at Scyros) stated by Attic tragedy.
[ back ] 35. Cf. Jouan 1966:218. Jouan attributes A1 to the Cypria and thinks that the pacific recruitment is taken from Homer, but Euripides conflicts with both Homer and the Cypria in some details. For the relationship between the Cypria and the tragedy see pp. 259–298.
[ back ] 36. Cf. Tsagalis 2012:265.
[ back ] 37. For example, in Epitome 3.7, after the recruitment of Odysseus, is reported the picturesque story of the hero’s vengeance against Palamedes as a prolepsis (Palamedes will die at Troy). Then in Epitome 3.34 (the proper chronological place of Palamedes’ death in the fabula), the mythographer omits the less interesting variant of the Cypria (fr. 30 Bernabé).
[ back ] 38. Tsagalis 2012:270 thinks that τινές must not mean Cyclic poets because of the following δέ. I believe that the scholiast simply contrasts different poets. However, I prefer to stress the contrast between the traditions being reported.
[ back ] 39. As I said above this attribution may be not reliable.
[ back ] 40. Such problems have been best discussed in Burgess 2006 (with an extensive survey of bibliography).
[ back ] 41. Marin 2008–2009:229.
[ back ] 42. Cf. Burgess 2001:85–86, Burgess 2006; Van Der Valk 1963:371–372.
[ back ] 43. Jim Marks rightly points out to me that we do have a strong example of the use of contiguous doublets in the Cycle, precisely in the Cypria: the prophecies of both Helenos and Kassandra before the departure of Paris from Troy.
[ back ] 44. Also Fantuzzi 2012:27–29 allows this possibility (but he has a different explanation for the “censure” of the episode of the concealment, which he thinks the Cypria did not feature at all).
[ back ] 45. West 2013:108 and n. 40 (cf. p. 107) thinks that Apollodorus is inaccurate here simply because a second recruitment by Menelaus would be inconvenient. I think this is not enough to discredit Apollodorus. The account of this section of the Cypria is focused on Achilles, then the new departure of the Achaeans does not need to be followed by the narrator. On the other hand, the new recruitment might have been mentioned in the form of a summary and might have been part of the second gathering at Aulis, which was, as a matter of fact, a doublet. Most importantly, why should Apollodorus mislead the reader? Douris (Schol. T Iliad 19.326a1 = FrGrHist 76, 88, cf. Severyns 1928:287–288) did not believe that ten years elapsed at this point because of the chronology of the Odyssey. But the additional ten years of Odysseus’ return are clearly pertinent only with the story of Odysseus’ nostos, which for understandable reasons had to evade the mention of the ten year elapsed for the preparation and the journey of the army to Troy, and to limit itself to the twenty years obtained by the sum of the 10 years of war at Troy and the 10 years of Odysseus’ journey.
[ back ] 46. Davies 2010:6: the passing of seven years is a folk-tale motif. In this case the tenth year may consist of the events from the second gathering at Aulis to the arrival to Troy (2+7+1).
[ back ] 47. See Bibliotheca 2.5.11 and 3.4.2. Cf. Frazer 1921, Scarpi 1996:ad locc. Eight is also the number of baby sparrows in the portent interpreted by Kalchas at Aulis; also in this case the number eight is related to a number of years (see Iliad 327–330; the episode also featured in the Cypria). This eight year period is not related to the journey, but to the period of battle on the field at Troy. However, the use of eight in the Iliad is puzzling, as Homer normally uses “for nine years, then in the tenth” (see Kirk 1985:ad loc.). The allusion to a eight year period may therefore be considered a residual feature of an ancient motif dealing with the passing of time: we also have other evidences from the Cypria. I am developing this subject in a paper which is currently in preparation.
[ back ] 48. With reference to the passing of years and to the motif of retardation, ten is a better attested folk tale number (see Davies 2010:5–6). Obviously, the years of battle at Troy and Odysseus’ wanderings are the best attested examples in Greek sources. Ten years seem to be associated in particular to long battles and long periods of absence. Jim Marks and Effimia Karakantza pointed out to me some other recurrences of ten year periods: in Hesiod Theogony 637 the battle between Gods and Titans lasts ten years; the number also recurs in Theogony 722–725 (days), 803 (years), Erga 612 (days); a penalty attested in a law from Grambeion (LSAM 16, third century BC) consisted of a ten-year long exclusion from public activity imposed on women; we can also take into account the ten-year ostracism in classical Athens (which has been paralleled with the voluntary period of mourning and seclusion of the protagonist in the Sophoclean Electra, see Karakantza 2013:66–68 and works cited). The last two examples may be possibly related to the Journey and Withdrawal motifs (see also below), as the ten-year period can be associated with an exclusion of individuals from their social world and normal activities (Karakantza 2013:68: “This time span therefore represents, on a symbolic level, a severe punishment of exclusion from the life of the polis”). The punishment of the gods for perjury in Theogony 793–804 is also interesting as, in this case too, a ten-year period is related to a forced separation from the community. This passage is relevant also because the period is represented as being composed of addends (9+1), like in other instances. However, it is more frequent that the use of the number ten is represented as “for nine days/years…, then in the tenth” (see Theogony 722–725, 803, Iliad 1.53–54, 2.328–329, 9.470–474, Odyssey 5.106–107, 7.253, 9.82–83, Hymn to Delian Apollo 91–92 etc.; other instances not dealing with time are also present).
[ back ] 49. The text of the Epitome leaves some minor details unexplained: the army leaves in the second year (ἔτει δευτέρῳ) after the abduction of Helen, but it is possible that two years were not completely elapsed yet. Therefore, it is possible that the story also took in account the time elapsed between the second gathering at Aulis and the arrival at Troy (ideally 1+8+1) (cf. also the preceding footnotes).
[ back ] 50. See especially Scaife 1995.
[ back ] 51. My division diverges from that of Welker used by West 2013:59–60.
[ back ] 52. The Cypria is in general linked to the Odyssey by Scaife 1995:173–174. See also Bernabé 1979:10.
[ back ] 53. I hope to explain this analogy in more detail in a work that I am currently preparing, where I will try to quantify the extent of the poem. The other parts of the poem were equally long and used similar devices in order to arrange the story.
[ back ] 54. De Jong 2001:222 identifies approximately ten episodes in the Apologue. Of course they had different rhythm and different extent. The Cypria had a similar number of episodes: 1) Menelaus goes to his brothers’, 2) Nestor’s tales, 3) recruitments; 4) recruitment of Odysseus 5) first gathering at Aulis 6) Teuthrania; 7) Achilles at Scyros; 8) healing of Telephus; 9) second gathering at Aulis and Iphigenia; 10) Tenedos. This division is obviously approximate, since some section (e.g. n. 2 or n. 10) may have contained more than one episode.
[ back ] 55. Approximately one-third of the number of books reported by Proclus; exactly one-third if we assume that a twelfth book was removed before the age of Proclus (see Huxley 1969:158, Burgess 1996:87, Burgess 2001:139, Scafoglio 2004:54).
[ back ] 56. For the alternation of scenic account and summary/ellipsis see De Jong 2004:42–43, 2007:31–32, Richardson 1990:9–35
[ back ] 57. There are other minor periods summarized or skipped, for example, a month on the island of the Sun (Odyssey 12.325), in the aggregate about 60 days (see S. West:ad Odyssey 1.4 in Heubeck, West, Hainsworth 1988). However, Odysseus significantly reports only the two mayor periods in Odyssey 9.29–33. See also De Jong 2001:ad Odyssey 9.82, Delebecque 1990:76–80.
[ back ] 58. See Louden 1999:105 and bibliography. For a comparison of the two episodes and the differences in their elaborations see Louden 1999:104–122.
[ back ] 59. The link between the Achilles-Deidameia and Odysseus-Kirke/Calypso episodes is even more understandable if we take in account that Odysseus’ stays may be considered a “sexual servitude,” as Karakantza 2001 illustrates. Karakantza 2001:476–477 links the servitude of Odysseus to the episode of the servitude of Heracles to Omphale, wherein Heracles’ submission is represented by transvestitism and weaving (see also Cyrino 1996 and bibliography). Both elements (weaving and cross dressing) also feature in many variants of the story of Achilles at Scyros, as we will better see below. Therefore, we can consider the episodes of Odysseus, Heracles and Achilles somehow linked to the motif of sexual servitude. This is of course less explicit in the episode of Achilles, but the hero seems to be in a condition of psychological subjection while he stays on the island. A parallel between the transvestitism of Heracles and that of Achilles is already taken into account in ancient sources (cf. e.g. Statius Achilleid 1.260–263). However, we can relate Odysseus’ and Achilles’ stays on the island to one another for further thematic reasons: see below, section 3.
[ back ] 60. According to Apollodorus Achilles goes to Scyros at the age of nine and departs for the war at the age of fifteen.
[ back ] 61. Breslove 1943 has the same explanation for the age of Neoptolemus as Severyns (two stays at Scyros), but he takes into account the detail of the eight years, then he assumes that Neoptolemus is born just before the departure of the Greek army.
[ back ] 62. There are actually some doubts. Tsagalis 2012:276–277 thinks that the sentence Νεοπτόλεμον δὲ ὄνομα ὑπὸ Φοίνικος αὐτῷ τεθῆναι, ὅτι Ἀχίλλεὺς κτλ. may be not based on the Cypria. But this is unlikely, as τεθῆναι is subordinate to τὰ δὲ Κύπρια ἕπη φησίν.
[ back ] 63. Cf. Hesiod fr. 204.89 MW.
[ back ] 64. Cf. Pindar Olympian 8.47–50 (consider especially the expression νεαράν … ἀρετάν).
[ back ] 65. According to another tradition Neoptolemus was named so because he, and not his father, fought as a young man. This story too may be related to chronological problems produced by a narrative of the whole war of Troy.
[ back ] 66. Schol. T Iliad 9.668b (II, 538 Erbse) συγκατακλίνουσιν, Apollodorus Bibliotheca 3.13.8 μίγνυται.
[ back ] 67. Cf. Jouan 1966:208n5.
[ back ] 68. Fantuzzi 2012:23 and West 2013:107 do not accept the meaning of “marry” for this verb in this context, but it is the usual meaning (see LSJ, s. v.); the text of the summary of Proclus does not use ambiguous or sophisticated diction. Moreover, Proclus uses γάμους for the marriage between Paris and Helen (Argumentum line 19 Bernabé).
[ back ] 69. Even though we can make some guesses about an unofficial relationship during a long in incognito stay, as seems to be implied in Euripides’ Skyrioi. Cf. Jouan 1966:206–208, Gantz 1993:581 (on the A1 version).
[ back ] 70. The presence of the slaying of Tennes in the Cypria is not unanimously accepted (see Gantz 1992:591–592, West 2013:111; see also Hirschberger 2012 for this traditional story and its presence in Homer, in particular p. 185). The episode was probably featured in the Cypria according to West 2003:76 and West 2013:111–112. Proclus does not mention the killing of Tennes in his extremely brief account of the facts of Tenedos (Argumentum. lines 50–51 Bernabé), but Tennes was Apollo’s son and his death is connected to the wrath of the god against the Achaeans; therefore, the sacrifice offered by the Achaeans to Apollo on Tenedos (which featured in the Cypria) was probably an attempt to appease the god after the killing of his son by Achilles in order to continue the travel to Troy (cf. what happens in the preceding episode with Apollo’s sister Artemis); the connection of the two facts (killing of Tennes, sacrifice to Apollo) can be deduced from Apollodorus Epitome 3.26–27 However, the killing of Troilos (Argumentum line 3 Bernabé) or that of Hector, who are sometimes considered sons of Apollo, may also have had for Achilles the same effect as the killing of Tennes (see Gantz 1992:582).
[ back ] 71. Cf. Hirschberger 2012:190–191 and below.
[ back ] 72. Cf. Severyns 1928:290–291, Marin 2008–2009 (who accepts these elements in the poem only as elements of A1), Tsagalis 2012:passim, Fantuzzi 2012:26–27.
[ back ] 73. Cf. Hyginus fabula 96. Marin 2008–2009:232 suggests a correspondence Achilles-Pyrrha : Neoptolemus-Pyrrhus. Marin assumes that the name was given to the child by his grandfather because of the absence of Achilles. This cannot be certain: both secondary (like Astyanax) and primary names are sometimes given by others also when the father is also present: in Odyssey 19.403–412 the name “Odysseus” is chosen by Autolykos in the presence of Laertes. Moreover, in the Iliad Achilles knows both the existence and the name of his son, as if he was not absent at the time of his birth. The name Pyrrha is also the name of Deidameia in some late sources, probably because of confusion (see e.g. AP 9.485.7).
[ back ] 74. Cf. Gantz 1992:581: “The maidens of the palace call [Achilles] Pyrrha from his reddish hair. Presumably this explains the son’s name.” The name of the child may also have been suggested directly because of Achilles’ hair color, which seems, as Gantz says, to have also inspired the name Πυρρά (cf. Hyginus fabula 96). We know Achilles’ hair color from later sources.
[ back ] 75. Cf. e.g. Van Der Valk 1963:369n228. A glimpse of Achilles’ genitalia is a predictable detail for such a story.
[ back ] 76. The Telephus’ episode cannot be used to quantify the length of the stay at Scyros: the wound can wait for eight years, as it surely waited out in the Cypria as long as Achilles remained at Scyros. The arrangement of the story in the Cypria may have overlooked this problem. For Apollodorus (Epitome 3.19–20) however it is perfectly normal that the sickness of Telephus lasted eight years. After all, it will not cease to be until Achilles will heal it.
[ back ] 77. Cf. Apollodorus Epitome 3.19. See also Hyginus fabula 101. Cf. Jouan 1966:231 and n. 5: also in Euripides the help of Telephus was probably indispensable.
[ back ] 78. In Euripides’ Telephus Achilles arrives at Argos by himself and δρᾶν ἔτοιμος (TrGrF 149, cf. Jouan 1966:244). This is understandable in this play, as it follows, like the Skyrioi, the A1 version, wherein the episode of Argos was not dependent on the episode of Scyros. In Euripides and Aeschylus, Odysseus or the others had difficulty in convincing Achilles to heal Telephus (cf. Jouan 1966:242–244 and 248–249): this difficulty can be viewed as a detail shared with A2, in which, according to my hypothesis, Achilles was forced to go to Argos in order to heal Telephus. However, Achilles’ behavior and his excitement and enthusiasm at Argos is understandable and meaningful if we consider the evolution of the character after the recruitment, as we shall see below: after Scyros Achilles recognized the necessity of his participation in the war as his telos.
[ back ] 79. Apollodorus Bibliotheca 3.13.8. See also Statius Achilleid 1.496–497, wherein a possessed Calchas reveals the concealment of Achilles.
[ back ] 80. Cf. Griffin 1977:40.
[ back ] 81. See Verzina Forthcoming.
[ back ] 82. See especially Schol. Lycophrones 276, Chiliades 8.793–800. Cf. Vellay 1957:123. Cf. Jouan 1966:207.
[ back ] 83. See also Davies 2007:149–150
[ back ] 84. See Davies 2010.
[ back ] 85. Nevertheless, we cannot be sure that A1, which I prefer to consider a stand-alone story, was not used in other works that contained the account of the whole war, or even in different oral versions of the Cypria that we do not know.
[ back ] 86. The use of this pattern in the Odyssey has been extensively examined by Louden 1999:1–30 (who however believes that Calypso is to be considered in part a separated case, see pp. 104–134); see also Lowenstam 1993:201–229. In the Scyros episode we can recognize a disoriented arrival, a divine helper (in Achilles’ case, Thetis, although the help from his mother on the island, for example to gain Deidameia’s heart, is explicitly featured only in Statius’ Achilleid), disguise and secret identity, which in the pattern is in turn related to winning the sympathy and help of a woman or to have a sexual relationship with her; also the idea of marriage is often raised in the pattern (see Calypso, Kirke, Nausicaa, Penelope).
[ back ] 87. See Louden 1999:29–30.
[ back ] 88. These verses tell of Odysseus’ arrival at Crete and are pronounced by the disguised Odysseus in his false tale to Penelope. The parallel with Achilles’ journey is particularly meaningful as this internal narrative is talking precisely about Odysseus’ journey to Troy (see verse 187 ἱέμενον Τροίηνδε, παραπλάγξασα Μαλειῶν), during which, according to the internal narrative, the hero had to stop in Crete for twelve days (verse 199: another delaying stay, another traditional number; see also verse 192).
[ back ] 89. See especially Lord 2000:186–187, Lord 1967 (M. L.), Nethercut 1976, Sowa 2005:95–120, Foley 1993:91–97. In the hymn the withdrawal that is best structured is the one of Demeter herself from Olympus, although a famous model of withdrawal is the abduction of Persephone; in the hymn, where both Demeter and Persephone are missing, there is a double withdrawal, but only that of Demeter is the main narrative subject. The oriental connections of the hymn are very meaningful. See Foley 1993:80: “As a whole, the Hymn offers a female version of the heroic quest that plays a central role in Mediterranean and Near East epic from as early as the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh.” The connection of the hymn with the Missing God Myth is also interesting; it is represented in Eastern sources by the sumerian Telipinu myth: for the relationship of this myth with the hymn see especially Richardson 1974:156 and 258–260, Bernabé 2008:325–330, Foley 1993:9–10. For a general study of the Missing God motif in Near Eastern and Greek myth (especially in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite) see Bernabé 2008:247–258.
[ back ] 90. Cf. Sowa 2005:97–120.
[ back ] 91. Cf. Sowa 2005:97–120.
[ back ] 92. Some variants of the myth of Demeter include a descent to the Netherworld: cf. Foley 1993:93 and 94–95 for the affinity of the descent by Demeter to that of several Mediterranean or Eastern gods, in particular the Sumerian goddess Inanna. See also Sowa 2005:48.
[ back ] 93. Cf. Sowa 2005:95.
[ back ] 94. Campbell 1949:28.
[ back ] 95. Lord 2000:186, Lord 1967:243–244.
[ back ] 96. Lord 1967:244.
[ back ] 97. The long duration of the absence is due to the fact that the pattern is originally related to the drama of the seasons and to fertility myths. Cf. Nethercut 1976, Lord 2000:186.
[ back ] 98. Lord 2000:186, Lord 1967:247, Sowa 2005:95–96.
[ back ] 99. There is a interesting detail in the hymn at verses 43–46 which according to Bernabé 1988 can be related to the Anatolian myth of the Missing God: the Sun sends an eagle in search of Telipinu. Obviously Demeter’s own withdrawal also causes havoc and concern among the gods.
[ back ] 100. Cf. Sowa 2005:95–96: “The withdrawal of the Hero deprives the community of its success.”
[ back ] 101. Lord 1967:245.
[ back ] 102. Cf. Lord 2000:97, Lord 1967:254. In the Iliad the disguise that we can relate to the motif is that of Patroclus, which has a different narrative function compared with that of the Hymn and of the Odyssey (cf. Lord 2000:186–197).
[ back ] 103. Cf. Lord 1967:247.
[ back ] 104. Nethercut 1976, Sowa 2005:107–108
[ back ] 105. Cf. Muellener 1996:137–138
[ back ] 106. This can be seen in the Cypria, where Achilles quarrels with Agamemnon at least twice, and in the Aethiopis, where Achilles quarrels with the Achaeans by reason of the killing of Tersites.
[ back ] 107. See Sowa 2005:95–96.
[ back ] 108. The break of the coherence of the group is a pivotal point in the withdrawal theme, being the μῆνις a form of acting against the group which is to be conceived above all in social terms rather than only in its emotional meaning (see Muellener 1996:136 and above).
[ back ] 109. The separation of the offended hero can be understood as his intentional act against the group, by means of his own absence (cf. Hymn to Demeter, Iliad, cf. Muellener 1996:136–137, Sowa 2005:98); the central point, however, is the break of the group’s solidarity (cf. Muellener 1996:136–137).
[ back ] 110. Cf. Muellener 1996:146–147 on Meleager. Meleager and the Iliadic Achilles substitute the solidarity with their peers turning to a private solidarity: the hero turns to his wife (Meleager: Kleopatre) or family (Achilles: Thetis, Peleus in Iliad 9) (Muellener 1996:146–147); it is clear that the same antithesis do exist in the A2 Scyros episode, wherein Achilles turns to Deidameia (see also below).
[ back ] 111. Cf. Sowa 2005:98.
[ back ] 112. Cf. Nethercut 1976:8, Louden 1999:106. Furthermore, in Odyssey 6.371–374 Menelaus is reproached by Eidothea for his inactivity while he is retained on the island of Pharos during his nostos. Lord 2000:165 draws a parallel between the sojourn of Menelaus on Pharos and the sojourn of Odysseus on Ogygia, which he considers corresponding elements of the same story-pattern. Cf. also the reproach to Odysseus by his companions in the episode of Kyrke at Odyssey 10.472–474. See also Schein 1995:20: “Kalypso ‘conceals’ Odysseus on her island at the ‘navel of the sea’ (1.50), which means, in effect, that as long as he is with her he is lost at sea and not himself—not able to function as Odysseus. All he ‘does’, until the intervention of Hermes in Book 5, is sit passively weeping, gazing out over the sea that should be the medium of his heroic achievement … In effect he chooses to be remembered as the hero of the Odyssey over the oblivion among mortals that would accompany an existence as Kalypso’s husband. This choice is every bit as significant as Achilles’ decision to die at Troy and achieve ‘imperishable glory’ rather than to return home to a long life with no glory (Iliad 9.412–416). In each epic the hero chooses, in a different way, to be a hero, and so chooses life (in heroic song) over death (through being forgotten).” For further discussion about the significance of the stay on Ogygia as giving up kleos (also in relation to Achilles) see Pucci 1987:33. In general, for the concept of Odysseus’ kleos dependent on his nostos and revenge, see Nagy 1999:2§11. For a different view see Pucci 1987:126 and passim. See also below.
[ back ] 113. And as “harming his own self” (Muellener 1996:138).
[ back ] 114. For this motif in Iliad 9 see principally Nagy 1999:10§1–13), Muellener 1996:142–143, Hirschberger 2013. In Iliad 9 Achilles’ κλέος will not be ἄφτιτον (Iliad 9.413) if he returns to Φθίη; Φθίη gives to the hero a “normal circle of life and death” instead of an heroic life and ethernal glory (Nagy 1979:184–185). See also Schein 1995:20–21 (quoted above) and bibliography.
[ back ] 115. Sowa 2005:99–100 also relates to this passage Paris’ withdrawal from the duel with Menelaus in Iliad 6.325–331, when he prefers to stay with his wife Helen. This is interesting as no anger is involved, but it is present as an element of the pattern. See also Sowa 2005:102: “Achilles, Mealeger and Demeter not only withdraw from someone, they withdraw to someone.” Cf. also Muellener 1996:133–134 and below.
[ back ] 116. Aelius Aristides associates the Iliadic Withdrawal with Scyros: see the sarcastic sentence directed to Achilles by the speaker of the embassy in Oration 16.32 καλὸν δὲ τῇ Σκύρῳ νῦν προσχεῖν. καὶ τί φήσεις πρὸς τὸν παῖδα τὸν σαυτοῦ; τί τῇ γυναικὶ δόξεις εἶναι βελτίων εἰπών; καὶ τί λέγω Σκῦρον ἢ γυναῖκα; ἀλλὰ τί φήσουσιν οἱ Τρῶες; Scyros is conceived here as the place where Achilles cowardly remains with his family, but the speaker suggests that the family itself would not appreciate this choice. The choice for normal life is, as a matter of fact, impossible: it would be a non life, it would be nothing.
[ back ] 117. So is Odysseus when he is on Kalypso’s island (see Odyssey 161–162 etc.).
[ back ] 118. Cf. Davies 2007:149.
[ back ] 119. Cf. Davies 2007:149.
[ back ] 120. Cf. Nethercut 1976:10–11. On the importance of the weapons and in particular of the spear in Achilles’ return see also Muellener 1996:165, Davies 2007 and below.
[ back ] 121. Cf. Nethercut 1976:9.
[ back ] 122. As I have said above, we can consider the marriage with Deidameia a development of the A2 version.
[ back ] 123. We can see this in Odyssey 6, where Nausicaa has marriage in mind, and in the Hymn to Demeter, where marriage is wished for the maidens who host the goddess: see Lord 1967:254.
[ back ] 124. Nausicaa is also strictly linked to the risk of delay in the nostos, and therefore equated to Kirke and Calypso: for this reason Odysseus avoids a relationship with her (cf. Most 1989:29). As I have said, these “women of the island” are special ingredients of the risks of journey. See above.
[ back ] 125. See Maronitis 2004:29–62. In Homer, the set of homilia is a secure place, far away and protected from the battlefield (Maronitis 2004:32–33). The emphasis on the separation between Achilles and Deidameia is characteristic of the elaboration by Statius, but we may also find traces of this as early as the V century a. C., e.g. in the fragments of Euripides’ Skyrioi and in the Boston krater (LIMC ‘Achilleus’ 176), if the interpretation of its depictions is correct (see Fantuzzi 2012:36–37).
[ back ] 126. The presence of a spouse and of son is an important feature in the conjugal homilia theme: see Maronitis 2004:34–35 and 47 on Hector’s homilia at Iliad 6 and his definition of “the triangle of homilia”: “The spouses are shown as constituting the base, the child as the unifying apex.” According to Maronitis 2004:47–49, the triangle is represented as a variation in the Odyssey because of the age of both Telemachus and Penelope; therefore, we can see it in its primary form in the Cypria. However, as for the Cypria, Maronitis (pp. 77–88) analyses only the Peleus-Thetis-Achilles triangle as an element connected to the theme of homilia.
[ back ] 127. Cf. Maronitis 2004:36–38.
[ back ] 128. Muellener 1996:157.
[ back ] 129. As I have said, the group Hector-Andromache-Astyanax is the principal example of the “the triangle of homilia” in Maronitis’ analysis of this theme in the Iliad (Maronitis 2004:34–35). Muellener 1996, 156–157 parallels Hector’s dilemma in Iliad 6 with that of Achilles and Meleager in their respective withdrawals: Andromache demands that Hector stays with her and their son instead of going to die in battle: “The hero’s wife is asking him to withdraw from the fighting.” Hector refuses as he must protect the Trojans and win his kleos (Iliad 6.441–444): “For him, the nearest and dearest person and the goal of heroic glory lie along divergent paths because he is a hero in the center of his social group, not withdrawn from it … His goal is to strive for glory and save his city, which in his case necessitates a painful separation from his wife.” See in general Nagy 1999:6§12–20 and Muellener 1996:133–175 for the theme of philotes. For the sign of the father in the hero’s kleos see below.
[ back ] 130. Sowa 2005:96.
[ back ] 131. Sowa 2005:96. According to Sowa (cf. Lord 2000:186–187) a primary element of the Hero’ acquisition of a new view of life is the motif of the Death of the Substitute. In the episode of Scyros we have, instead, another kind of loss, that is the renouncement of conjugal life. However, the death of the substitute, as Patroklos’s case shows, is closely related to the harm caused by the absence of the Hero from community (see Sowa 2005:96–98 and below).
[ back ] 132. Moreover, Iphigenia is involved in some late variants of the episode of Scyros. See Schol. T Iliad 19.326a1. Cf. Severyns 1928:286–287.
[ back ] 133. The episode of Paris is also related to the Journey and Return motif, and includes elements such as conflict of the Hero with his world, a task, divine helper, bride-stealing, final marriage etc.
[ back ] 134. IX, 3 The hero is allowed to depart from home. Propp specifies: “In this instance the initiative for departure often comes from the hero himself, and not from a dispatcher. Parents bestow their blessing.” Below we will see the importance of the parents in the story.
[ back ] 135. In some fairy-tales analyzed by Propp the test can consist in a long period of servitude.
[ back ] 136. The magical agent may be an object, like a sword etc. For further discussion of the spear see also below.
[ back ] 137. Cf. Davies 2002:6.
[ back ] 138. Cf. Apollodorus Epitome 3.20, Ovid Metamorphoses 12.112, 13.171–172 etc.
[ back ] 139. Iliad 19.387–391 etc. Cf. Wilson 1974, Muellener 1996:165 etc. See also below.
[ back ] 140. Campbell 1949, 54–63.
[ back ] 141. Campbell 1949:71–82.
[ back ] 142. Eur. TrGF 683a and 880 (cf. Jouan 1966:212). See also LIMG ‘Achilleus’ 176 and the interpretation proposed in Fantuzzi 2012:35.
[ back ] 143. See e.g. Bion Epithalamion of Achilles and Deidameia 15–21. For this motif (and its meaning in Attic drama, in later literature and in vase-painting) cf. Fantuzzi 2012, 33–35. Weaving is the strongest representation of feminine submission and it is also featured in the tale of Heracles’ servitude to Omphale. See also Karakantza 2001:476–477, Cyrino 1996:211–212.
[ back ] 144. See Karakantza 2001 and above.
[ back ] 145. Cf. Odyssey 10.300. In this case Odysseus’ risk is likely to be due only to Kirke’s magic powers. However, the danger that Odysseus faces in his homecoming is often sexual delight (see Schein 1995:20–21 etc.).
[ back ] 146. See Gantz 1992:437–438, Cyrino 1996, Karakantza 2001 and bibliographical references.
[ back ] 147. Statius’ Achilleid is the poem where Thetis’ psychology in the Scyros episode is best explained and where, I think, many psychological principles present in the original story become evident.
[ back ] 148. Cf. Statius Achilleid 1.318–342.
[ back ] 149. The less common variant according to which it was Peleus who hid Achilles on the island (see above) does not change things so much if we think in terms of functions; the protection is a maternal function and any parent in this case expresses the retention of Achilles in infantilism. However the variant featuring Peleus is secondary (see also below).
[ back ] 150. Cf. Delcourt 1961:1–16 (especially pp. 4–5), Cyrino 1996:211–212, 226–227 and bibliography, Davies 2007:149. Davies has a different view of Thetis’ role in the scene. Marriage may be implicated in rites of passage that involve transvestitism: see Delcourt 1961:1–16 (on Achilles, p. 10), Cyrino 1966:211. On death and rebirth as a passage from one age-class to the next one see also Nagy 1996, 87–103. An interesting point in the Scyros episode is also the change of name from Pyrrha to Achilles (cf. Delcourt 1961:9–10).
[ back ] 151. According to Apollodorus Achilles was only nine years old when he went to Scyros, and fifteen when he went to war. See also above.
[ back ] 152. The infantile ego is related to the mother and to femininity. Not overcoming it would results in a failed development of personality: archaic Greek culture knows this principle very well: see Hesiod Erga 127–142 (Silver race), who states it almost explicitly.
[ back ] 153. See Nagy 1999:6§11–22. and passim, Muellener 1996, 155–157: Patroklos and Kleopatre, who represent the end of the withdrawals of Achilles and Meleager respectively (and therefore the fulfillment of their destiny and their eternal glory), bear in their names the same etymological meaning of kleos of the father(s). Cf. also the above quoted verse Iliad 6.446 ἀρνύμενος πατρός τε μέγα κλέος ἠδ’ ἐμὸν αὐτοῦ, by means of which Hector expresses his acceptance of destiny, refusing to stay away from danger with his wife and son.
[ back ] 154. Cf. Wilson 1974. They were part of the wedding gifts that Peleus received during the banquet on mount Pelion, an episode recounted in the first part of the Cypria and strictly related to Achilles’ destiny (cf Iliad 18.84–85). See especially Iliad 17.196–197: Peleus’ weapons and armor are obsessively connected to Achilles’ destiny and glory (cf. Wilson 1974, Shannon 1975:27, Muellener 1996:165–166); also Xanthus, Achilles’ talking horse inherited from Peleus, foretells the hero’s death in Iliad 19.404–424 (cf. Wilson 1974:387–388)
[ back ] 155. For the passage from the spindle to the spear in the Scyros episode see also Ovid Ars amatoria 1.691–696. Peleus’ spear featured in the Cypria, wherein its making was recounted (see Cypria fr. 3 Bernabé); furthermore, by means of the Ilias Parva we can relate it to Achilles’ initiation on Scyros (see above and below). For the importance of Peleus’ spear in Achilles’ return to the battlefield see also Muellener 1996:165–166.
[ back ] 156. Cf. Uccellini 2012:ad loc. For Achilles’ relationship with paternal weapons see also Wilson 1974.
[ back ] 157. It is interesting, as a maternal point of view and relationship between son and paternal inheritance, also AP 9.462, where Deidameia contrasts the fate of Achilles, whom has been killed by Troy, with that of Neoptolemus, who has defeated Troy. See also Odyssey 11.506–540, where Odysseus tells Neoptolemus’ deeds at Troy to his dead father in the Netherworld. Odysseus mentions the killing of Telphus’ son Eurypylus: the young Neoptolemus follows in his father’s footsteps, reproducing his personal story; but he will survive (verses 533–537).
[ back ] 158. So is sometimes interpreted the meaning of rites of circumcision (see other rites in Campbell 1949, 127ff.). It is also meaningful that in the above-mentioned vase paintings depicting Thetis and Achilles at Phthia (LIMC “Achilleus” 187–203 and 506) the weapon bestowed by the mother to her son is not a spear, but a shield, or some parts of an armor (like in the Iliad): paternal and phallic symbols are harming and piercing instruments, the mother bestows shields and armor, which supply protection.
[ back ] 159. See especially Pucci 1992 (in particular pp. 42–51 for the discussion on psychoanalytic models), Karakantza 2011 and bibliographical references.
[ back ] 160. Pucci 1992:passim, Karakantza 2011:152.
[ back ] 161. Pucci 1992:48–51.
[ back ] 162. See Pucci 1992:4: “The father is both he who creates the son and he whom the son creates in order to fill up an absence, to give it the force of an origin and of a destination (telos) … No one felt the all-embracing force of this teleological origin and destination as the Greeks. Most of the epithetical nouns that describe and ennoble the epic heroes are formed through such father names as Peleiades ([Achilles], the son of Peleus) and Laertiades ([Odysseus], the son of Laertes.”
[ back ] 163. Pucci 1992:passim, Karakantza 2011:152: “He (sc. the Father) stands in opposition to the randomness, the fortuitous, deficiency, confusion and chaos, that is the Mother, who primarily is identified with desire and love for oneself. The Father marks the teleological course in one’s life, a course that is straight, truthful, inevitable and authoritative, heading towards a definite finality, a telos.” See especially pp. 158–164.
[ back ] 164. Pucci 1992:20–21.
[ back ] 165. Cf. Pucci 1992:passim.
[ back ] 166. See especially Cypriorum Argumentum lines 4–11 (cf. P.Oxy 3829 ii 9 in West 2003:80) and 66–68 Bernabé frr. 1, 9, 18 Bernabé, Schol. D Iliad 1.5 (especially about Thetis’ marriage and begetting of Achilles and Helen) etc.
[ back ] 167. For Apollo and the oracles in relation to the Law of the Father and the telos, see Pucci 1992:16–29, 52, and passim. Also in Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannus 469–472 both Apollo and the Law of Zeus are expression of the Father, and sometimes act together (see Pucci 1992:26–27, 85, 126 etc.).
[ back ] 168. The episode has clearly traditional origins and there are in it many traces of the alternation between Achilles and Odysseus. For example, in the episode of the Iliad (2.220) is said that both Odysseus and Achilles hated Thersites; in the Iliad Thersites is beaten by Odysseus (2.243), in the Aithiopis Thersites is killed by Achilles (Argumentum line 8 Bernabé). Cf. also, Nagy 1979:14§10, Helmer 2013:88–89.
[ back ] 169. Cf. Lord 2000:186–187, Lord 1967:241.
[ back ] 170. The poem recounted the whole war according to Huxley 1969:158, Burgess 1996:87, Burgess 2001:139 (cf. pp. 15–33), Scafoglio 2004:54, Verzina Forthcoming.
[ back ] 171. Cf. Lord 2000:186: “I believe that it was the element of the length of the Trojan war, itself apparently an historical fact, which drew unto its story the bride-stealing theme. Once thus sanctified, the war became the setting for tales of absence and return, the mythic death and resurrection, associated with fertility myth and ritual. The story of Odysseus is one form of these tales, that of Achilles is another.”
[ back ] 172. See Cypria fr. 1 Bernabé (particularly Schol. D Iliad 1.5), fr. 9 Bernabé etc. The two characters join together at Troy (Cypriorum Argumentum lines 59–60 Bernabé) and, after this encounter, Achilles holds back the Achaeans who want to return home, and force them to go ahead with the war (see also below).
[ back ] 173. Cf. Hölscher 1989:162–168, Davies 2002, 6 , 7–15 and bibliography. I do not venture to consider hypothesis like those of Hölscher and Davies about the folk-tale origins of the Trojan company, but limit myself to point out that the Hero of the Trojan expedition as a Journey (that is quest story) is collective. Moreover, as the object of my analysis is limited to the epic form of these stories, I follow only in part Davies’ and Hölscher’s arguments on the hypothetical folk-tale origins of the Trojan tradition (this hypothesis views Odysseus as the original protagonist, as this hero, among other things, will be the one who ultimately defeats Troy). However, this hypothesis implies that Achilles’ role cannot be that of a complete protagonist in a folk-tale structure.
[ back ] 174. Cf. Hölscher 1989:58–60, Davies 2002:5–7.
[ back ] 175. Cf. Davies 2002:6 (on Propp’s functions VIIIa and IX, 1).
[ back ] 176. Cf. Cypria frr. 16 and 17 Bernabé, Argumentum lines 26–29 Bernabé.
[ back ] 177. Nestor’s tales probably had this objective (cf. Marks 2010); they consist almost in part of stories about adultery and punishment; the mention of Theseus by Nestor is also meaningful: he is one of the heroes par excellence in Campbell’s book.
[ back ] 178. The fact that Achilles is taken to Scyros by Thetis (A1) guarantees that the hesitation of the Hero and the influence of his mother on him are actually, psychologically speaking, the same thing. Moreover, if Achilles had enthusiastically wanted to go to war, he would have escaped from Scyros instead of accepting to remain on the island: he is evidently still in an infantile state, he cannot decide autonomously. Of course the poem might have interpreted the two refusals in different ways even if they had the same mythical roots and meaning, but, as we have seen, the two episodes seems to be very similar doublets and to have had the same expressive aim.
[ back ] 179. See Verzina Forthcoming.
[ back ] 180. As I have said above, Hölscher 1989:58–60 and Davies 2002 assign to Odysseus the role of Hero in the original folk-tale pattern, as he is who will defeat the Trojans and return. In the Trojan tradition, however, we can also say that the army wins and returns collectively.
[ back ] 181. See especially Nagy 1999, 1§15–30, 1990:70–81, 2010:121–125 for a model of development from cyclic myth to Homeric myth.
[ back ] 182. Nagy 1999:passim (especially capp. 1–3).
[ back ] 183. Cf. Nagy 2010:126.
[ back ] 184. Cf. Sommerstein, Fitzpatrick, Talboy 2006 ad fr. 566.3–4, pag. 132: “In a passage of Aelius Aristides (Or. 16.32) which seems to be based on this one … the speaker … tells Achilles with similar sarcasm that ‘it’s honorable now to put in to Scyros’ and asks him what he will say to his son when he gets home” (see also above on the same passage).
[ back ] 185. Although Proclus does not mention Odysseus as taking part in the quarrel: see especially Kullmann 1960: 100 and 272, Nagy 1999:1§10, Radt 1999:425–426, Burgess 2000:209n31. See especially Sommerstein 2003:356–357 and 364–365 and Sommerstein, Fitzpatrick, Talboy 2006:95–96 for a possible explanation of the intervention of Odysseus in the quarrel.
[ back ] 186. See Nagy 1999:1§10 and cap. 3. Nagy refuses Kullman’s Neoanalytic view that Odyssey 8.75–83 is inspired to the episode of Tenedos, but admits the possible presence of the episode in the Cypria by saying that “at the best, we can rescue the relevance of the Cypria here by imagining some lost epic tradition that began with a dispute between Achilles and Odysseus and to which both Cypria and Odyssey alluded.” For the relationship of Sophocles’ play with both the Cypria and the Odyssey see also Sommerstein 2003:356–357 and Sommerstein, Fitzpatrick, Talboy 2006:84–85.
[ back ] 187. See Nagy 2009:313, Nagy 2010:79–127.
[ back ] 188. See Scholl. Odyssey 8.75an 8.77, and Schol. Iliad 9.347 (recalled in Nagy 1999:1§11). See also Nagy 1999:3§5–8.
[ back ] 189. Nagy 1999:3§22.
[ back ] 190. Nagy 1999:1§13. See also Nagy 1999:2§17–18.
[ back ] 191. If we recognize an allusion to this theme in the tale of the embassy to Scyros, it might be interesting the fact that, according to Nagy1999:3§6–22, also in the Iliadic Embassy there are some traces of a traditional contrast between Achilles’ and Odysseus’ aristeiai, that is might and artifice.
[ back ] 192. Schol. T Iliad 9.668 (see above).