[Plutarch], Lives of Homer 3. On Homer (I)

LCL 496: 404-405

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Lives of Homer


1Περισσὸν μὲν ἴσως δόξειέ τισι πολυπραγμονεῖν περὶ Ὁμήρου, ποίων τε ἦν γονέων καὶ πόθεν, ἐπεὶ μηδὲ αὐτὸς ἠξίωσεν εἰπεῖν τὰ περὶ αὑτοῦ, ἀλλ᾿ οὕτως ἐγκρατῶς ἔσχεν ὡς μηδὲ τὴν ἀρχὴν τοῦ ὀνόματος ἐπιμνησθῆναι. ἐπεὶ δὲ ὡς πρὸς εἰσαγωγὴν τῶν ἀρχομένων παιδεύεσθαι χρήσιμος ἡ πολυπειρία, πειρασώμεθα εἰπεῖν ὅσα ἱστόρηται τοῖς παλαιοῖς περὶ αὐτοῦ.

2Ἔφορος μὲν οὖν ὁ Κυμαῖος ἐν συντάγματι τῶι ἐπιγραφομένωι Ἐπιχωρίωι (70 F 1) Κυμαῖον αὐτὸν ἀποδεικνύναι πειρώμενός φησιν ὅτι Ἀπελλῆς καὶ Μαίων καὶ Δῖος ἀδελφοί, Κυμαῖοι τὸ γένος· ὧν Δῖος μὲν διὰ χρέα μετώικησεν εἰς Ἄσκρην κώμην τῆς Βοιωτίας, κἀκεῖ γήμας Πυκιμήδην ἐγέννησεν Ἡσίοδον· Ἀπελλῆς δὲ τελευτήσας ἐν τῆι πατρίδι Κύμηι κατέλιπε θυγατέρα Κριθηΐδα τοὔνομα, προστησάμενος αὐτῆς τὸν ἀδελφὸν Μαίονα· ὃς διακορεύσας τὴν προειρημένην καὶ τὴν ἀπὸ τῶν πολιτῶν ἐπὶ τῶι γεγονότι δείσας κατάγνωσιν, ἔδωκεν αὐτὴν πρὸς γάμον Φημίωι Σμυρναίωι, διδασκάλωι γραμμάτων. φοιτῶσα δὲ αὐτὴ ἐπὶ τοὺς πλύνους, οἳ ἦσαν παρὰ τῶι Μέλητι,



3. (Pseudo-)Plutarch on Homer (I)

It may perhaps seem to some people superfluous to bother about Homer’s parentage and place of origin, seeing that he himself did not see fit to speak of his personal details but was so reserved as not even to mention his name. But as a broad survey is useful as an introduction for those in the early stages of education, let us try to state what the ancients have recorded about him.

Ephorus of Cyme in the work entitled Local History, attempting to show that he was a Cymaean, says that Apelles, Maion, and Dios were brothers of Cymaean stock. Dios because of debts migrated to Ascra, a village in Boeotia, and there he married Pykimede and fathered Hesiod. Apelles died in his native Cyme and left a daughter named Critheis, having made his brother Maion her guardian: but the latter violated her, and fearing his fellow citizens’ condemnation in the matter, gave her in marriage to Phemius, a Smyrnaean teacher of letters. She used to go by herself to the washing places beside the Meles, and

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plutarch-homer_i.2003