`This is divine Homer who by his sweet-voiced art honoured all proud Hellas, but especially the Argives who threw down the god- built walls of Troy to avenge rich-haired Helen. For this cause the people of a great city set his statue here and serve him with the honours of the deathless gods.'
After he had stayed for some time in Argos, he crossed over to Delos, to the great assembly, and there, standing on the altar of horns, he recited the "Hymn to Apollo" (7) which begins: `I will remember and not forget Apollo the far-shooter.' When the hymn was ended, the Ionians made him a citizen of each one of their states, and the Delians wrote the poem on a whitened tablet and dedicated it in the temple of Artemis. The poet sailed to Ios, after the assembly was broken up, to join Creophylus, and stayed there some time, being now an old man. And, it is said, as he was sitting by the sea he asked some boys who were returning from fishing:
`Sirs, hunters of deep-sea prey, have we caught anything?'
`All that we caught, we left behind, and carry away all that we did not catch.'
Homer did not understand this reply and asked what they meant. They then explained that they had caught nothing in fishing, but had been catching their lice, and those of the lice which they caught, they left behind; but carried away in their clothes those which they did not catch. Hereupon Homer remembered the oracle and, perceiving that the end of his life had come composed his own epitaph. And while he was retiring from that place, he slipped in a clayey place and fell upon his side, and died, it is said, the third day after. He was buried in Ios, and this is his epitaph:
`Here the earth covers the sacred head of divine Homer, the glorifier of hero-men.'
(1) sc. the riddle of the fisher-boys which comes at the end of this work. (2) The verses of Hesiod are called doubtful in meaning because they are, if taken alone, either incomplete or absurd. (3) "Works and Days", ll. 383-392. (4) "Iliad" xiii, ll. 126-133, 339-344. (5) The accepted text of the "Iliad" contains 15,693 verses; that of the "Odyssey", 12,110. (6) "Iliad" ii, ll. 559-568 (with two additional verses). (7) "Homeric Hymns", iii.
HIPPOLYTUS, bastard son of THESEUS