Friday, July 2, 2010

Strabo On Odysseus In Antarctica

Strabo, The Geography, Book I, Chapter 2, 7

For at one moment he [Polybius] quotes the words of the poet: "Thence for nine whole days was I borne by baneful winds"; and at another moment he suppresses statements. For Homer says also: "Now after the ship had left the river-stream of Oceanus"; and "In the island of Ogygia, where is the navel of the sea," going on to say that the daughter of Atlas lives there; and again, regarding the Phaeacians, "Far apart we live in the wash of the waves, the farthermost of men, and no other mortals are conversant with us." Now all these incidents are clearly indicated as being placed in fancy in the Atlantic Ocean; but Polybius by suppressing them destroys what the poet states in express terms. In so doing he is wrong ....

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