Catalogue of Ships
|Historicity of the Iliad|
|Trojan War in literature and the arts|
|Greeks and allies|
|Trojans and allies|
Caused the war:
On the Greek side:
On the Trojan side:
The Catalogue of Ships (Ancient Greek: νεῶν κατάλογος, neōn katálogos) is an epic catalogue in Book 2 of Homer's Iliad (2.494–759), which lists the contingents of the Achaean army that sailed to Troy. The catalogue gives the names of the leaders of each contingent, lists the settlements in the kingdom represented by the contingent, sometimes with a descriptive epithet that fills out a half-verse or articulates the flow of names and parentage and place, and gives the number of ships required to transport the men to Troy, offering further differentiations of weightiness. A similar, though shorter, Catalogue of the Trojans and their allies follows (2.816–877). A similar catalogue appears in the Pseudo-Apollodoran Bibliotheca.
In the debate since antiquity over the Catalogue of Ships, the core questions have concerned the extent of historical credibility of the account, whether it was composed by Homer himself, to what extent it reflects a pre-Homeric document or memorized tradition, surviving perhaps in part from Mycenaean times, or whether it is a result of post-Homeric development. Dörpfeld notes that while in Odyssey Odysseus's kingdom includes Ithaca, Same, Dulichium, and Zacynthus, the Catalogue of Ships contains a different list of islands, again Ithaca, Same, and Zacynthus but now also Neritum, Krocylea, and Aegilips. The separate debate over the identity of Homer and the authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey is conventionally termed "the Homeric Question".
The consensus before the mid-twentieth century was that the Catalogue of Ships was not the work of the man who composed the Iliad,[a] though great pains had been taken to render it a work of art;[b] furthermore, that the material of the text is essentially Mycenaean or sub-Mycenaean, while disagreement centers largely on the extent of later additions.
If taken to be an accurate account, the Catalogue provides a rare summary of the geopolitical situation in early Greece at some time between the Late Bronze Age and the eighth century BCE. Following Milman Parry's theory of Homeric oral poetry, some scholars, such as Denys Page, argue that it represents a pre-Homeric recitation incorporated into the epic by Homer. A few argue that parts of the recitation, such as the formulae describing places, date as early as the time of the Trojan War in the mid-13th century BCE, or possibly before. Others contend that the Catalogue is based on the time of Homer himself in the eighth century BCE and represents an anachronistic attempt to impose contemporary information to events five centuries earlier.
An intermediate theory is that the catalogue developed through a process of accretion during the poem's oral transmission and reflects gradual inclusion of the homelands of local sponsors by individual singers. In the most recent extended study of the Catalogue, Edzard Visser, of the University of Basel, concludes that the Catalogue is compatible with the rest of the Iliad in its techniques of verse improvisation, that the order of the names is meaningful and that the geographical epithets evince concrete geographical knowledge. Visser argues that this knowledge was transmitted by the heroic myth, elements of which introduce each geographical section. W. W. Minton places the catalogue within similar "enumerations" in Homer and Hesiod, and suggests that part of their purpose was to impress the audience with a display of the performer's memory.
The most striking feature of the catalogue's geography is that it does not portray Greece in the Iron Age, the time of Homer. By then a tribal identity called the Dorians had enveloped western Greece, the Peloponnesus and Crete, while the shores of Ionia were densely populated by a people claiming to descend from families in the now-Dorian regions of Greece. The whole northwestern part of Greece is not mentioned and it is these peoples (Epirotes, Macedonians, some Thessalians etc.) thought to be of Dorian descent.
Instead the catalogue portrays a loose union of city-states, mostly in mainland Greece, ruled by hereditary families under the overlordship of the High King (ἄναξ, ánax) of Mycenae. Hardly any of them are Dorian. The Ionian Greeks are mainly missing. This political snapshot is possibly one intended to be of Late Bronze Age Greece.
The Catalogue was an important source for solving geopolitical matters. When the Athenians claimed Salamis they cited the Catalogue of Ships which listed it among the Athenian troops, as proof of its moral allegiance to Athens
In the Iliad, the Greek Catalogue lists twenty-nine contingents under 46 captains, accounting for a total of 1,186 ships. Using the Boeotian figure of 120 men per ship results in a total of 142,320 men transported to the Troad. They are named by various ethnonyms and had lived in 164 places described by toponyms. The majority of these places have been identified and were occupied in the Late Bronze Age. The terms Danaans, Argives and Achaeans or the sons of the Achaeans are used for the army as a whole. In his Library, Apollodorus lists thirty contingents under 43 leaders with a total of 1013 ships, Hyginus lists 1154 ships, although the total is given as only 245 ships.
Some scholars debate whether the Catalogue of Ships was a later addition to the Iliad from some time after the composition of the main work. Evidence for this, they suggest, is the inconsistencies between the Catalogue and the rest of the text and also the odd way it is inserted into the poem.
- Succinctly expressed by C.M. Bowra (1933), which is a review of F. Jacoby's The introduction of the Ships Catalogue into the Iliad (1932).
- Crossett (1969) discusses the dramatic function of the Catalogue in the place that it occupies.
- The dramatic time of the catalogue is early in the war; the place, the shores of the Troad. Captains of those contingents outside the time and place of the catalogue are parenthesized; they are not in the catalogue.
- The Anglicised spellings and diacritical marks of the names in the table are as they are in Britannica, Great Books of the Western World, Volume 4. The order of contingents is that of the catalogue.
- Probably ancient Isos in the vicinity of modern Pyrgos, already in ruins by the time of Strabo
- Compare to Book 1, verse 230 where Odysseus' kingdom includes Dulichium, Same, Zacynthus and Ithaca.
- Homer 1924, verses 2.494-2.759.
- Anderson 1995, pp. 181–191.
- Bowra 1933.
- Jacoby 1932.
- Crossett 1969.
- Page 1959, pp. 132, 134.
- Visser 1997.
- Minton 1960.
- Bowra 1963.
- Luce 1975.
- Apollodorus & Hyginus 2007, "Library" epitome 3.11.
- Apollodorus & Hyginus 2007, fable 97.
- Reece 2009.
- Autenrieth 1891, Κεφαλλῆνες: "the Cephallenians, collective designation of the subjects of Odysseus on islands and mainland"
- Homer 1919, verses 1.230-1.279.
- Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Argura". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray. p. 209(Smith identifies "Argissa" with "Argura" and cites several theories as to its location.)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Anderson, J.K. (1995). "The Geometric Catalogue of Ships". In Carter, Jane B.; Morris, Sarah P. (eds.). The Ages of Homer. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. ISBN 9780292712089. OCLC 1145803250.
- Apollodorus; Hyginus (2007) [c. 100 BC; before AD 200]. Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae: Two Handbooks of Greek Mythology. Hackett Classics. Translated by Trzaskoma, Stephen M.; Smith, R. Scott. Hackett Publishing Company. OCLC 940867223(Note that for both works authorship and date of creation are contested.)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Austin, John Norman Henry (1965). Catalogues and the catalogue of ships in the Iliad (Ph.D. thesis). University of California, Berkeley. OCLC 993700612. ProQuest 302174287.
- Autenrieth, Georg (1891) . A Homeric Dictionary for Schools and Colleges. New York: Harper and Brothers. OCLC 184883642.
- Bowra, Cecil Maurice (1963) . Tradition and Design in the Iliad (PDF). London: Clarendon Press. OCLC 310035. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
- Bowra, Cecil Maurice (1933). "The Catalogue of the Ships". The Classical Review. Cambridge University Press. 47 (5): 174. doi:10.1017/S0009840X00062624. JSTOR 699431.
- Crossett, John (March 1969). "The Art of Homer's Catalogue of Ships". The Classical Journal. Classical Association of the Middle West and South. 64 (6): 241–245. ISSN 0009-8353. JSTOR 3296106.
- Homer (1924) [circa 800 BC]. Iliad. Loeb Classical Library. Translated by Murray, Augustus Taber. London, New York: W. Heinemann; G. P. Putnam's Sons. OCLC 38101377.
- Homer (1919) [circa 800 BC]. Odyssey. Loeb Classical Library. Translated by Murray, Augustus Taber). London, New York: W. Heinemann; G. P. Putnam's Sons. OCLC 685521.
- Jacoby, Felix (1932). "Homerisches II: Die Einschaltung des Schiffkatalogs in die Ilias" [Homerical II: The introduction of the Ships Catalogue into the Iliad]. Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-Historische Klasse (in German). Berlin: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften. 24: 572–617. OCLC 176744621.
- Luce, John Victor (1975). Homer and the heroic age. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0060127228.
- Minton, William W. (1960). "Homer's Invocations of the Muses: Traditional Patterns". Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. 91: 292–309. ISSN 0360-5949. JSTOR 283858.
- Page, Denys Lionel (1959). History and the Homeric Illiad. Sather classical lectures. 31. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. doi:10.1525/9780520319813. ISBN 9780520319813.
- Reece, Steve (2009). Homer's Winged Words - The evolution of early Greek epic diction in the light of oral theory. Mnemosyne, Supplements. 313. Leiden; Boston: Brill. pp. 172–180. ISBN 9789047427872.
- Visser, Edzard (1997). Homers Katalog der Schiffe [Homer's catalogue of ships] (in German). Stuttgart; Leipzig: Teubner. doi:10.1515/9783110958591. ISBN 978-3-598-77442-3.