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Catalogue of Ships

From Academic Kids

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The famous Catalogue of Ships (νεων κατολογος) is recorded as a part of Book II (verses 494–760, Template:Perseus) of Homer's Iliad. It lists the names of all the allies who came with the Greeks to lay siege to Troy along with the names of their leaders and the number of ships they brought with them. It is followed by a similar, though shorter, list of the Trojans' allies.

The Catalogue provides a rare summary of the geopolitical situation in the region although its reliability is disputed. Some argue that it dates from the time of the Trojan War in the mid 13th century BC, while others contend that it dates from the time of Homer himself in the 8th century BC and is an attempt to transfer later information back five centuries. An intermediate theory is that the catalogue originated through a process of accretion during the poem's oral transmission and reflects gradual inclusion of the homelands of local sponsors by individual singers.

The Catalogue

The Catalogue lists 28 contingents accounting for a total of 1186 ships, corresponding to a force of some 100.000 to 140.000 men. It contains 50 toponyms and 150 ethnonyms.

External links

Literature

  • Austin, J. N. H. Catalogues and the Catalogue of Ships in the Iliad, Berkeley, 1965.
  • Visser, E. Homers Katalog der Schiffe, Teubner, 1997.
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