Page:Odes of Pindar (Paley).djvu/24

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do by the help of the index) all the passages in Pindar in which Peleus, Thetis, and Achilles are mentioned by name, he will find, perhaps with some surprise, that by far the greater part contain allusions to stories not found in our Homer at all.

I may here add, as a noteworthy circumstance, that a people called Μέροπες are twice mentioned by Pindar,[1] whereas in our Homeric text (though Μέροψ occurs as a man's name) we have the word only as an epithet, and in a combination which nobody pretends exactly to understand, μερόπων ἀνθρώπων.

Unquestionably, I think, either Pindar knew more epics on the Troica than are contained in our Homer, and held them to be of equal authority, or our own Homer is a compilation later than Pindar's time. The subject yet demands a very careful critical investigation. The difficulties of it are not to be evaded, by saying that Pindar may easily be supposed to have known and borrowed from both our Homer and the "inferior and later" Cyclic poets. That is a very superficial view of the matter. Pindar knew the tale of Troy generally from the rhapsodists, without distinction of early or late (see Pyth. iii. 113, Nem. ii. 1.) There are these two main facts (among many others) which, I repeat, must be fairly met and fully explained. (1.) Our

  1. Nem. iv. 26; Isthm. v. 29.