Omero, Maratona e Atene dalle ampie strade (Od. VII 78-81). Una nota sulla rappresentazione dell’ Atene micenea sotto I Pisistratidi
Santo Privitera Στο F. Longo, R. di Cesare & S. Privitera (eds) 2016. ΔΡΟΜΟΙ. Studi sul mondo antico offerti a Emanuele Greco dagli allievi della Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene, Atene-Paestum: 111-117.
In commenting the celebrated passage of the Odyssey (VII 78-81) that describes the visit of the goddess Athena to the “well-built house of Erechtheus” on the Acropolis of Athens, scholars have focused on isolated features, such as the hapax legomenon name of the city in the singular accusative, or the attribute euryagyia. Other elements have been overlooked, such as the seemingly inconsistent route of the goddess from Scheria to Athens and the obscure mention of Marathon. This paper reappraises these elements to put forward a new interpretation of the passage. Rather than hinting at a Late Bronze Age origin, the unparalleled form of the city-name was necessary for metrical reasons, as it was modified by an attribute exclusively recurring in the singular to realize the fifth dactyl of the hexameter. The adjective euryagyia is used to equate Athens to both Mycenae and Troy in urban splendor and political importance.
The reference to Marathon seems to imply that the goddess landed on the northeast coast of Attica, as if she were coming from Euboea or some other North Aegean island. This is entirely inconsistent with all the ancient traditions, which located the mythical island of Scheria at the westernmost limits of the world, but seems to hint at Peisistratus’ march in 547/6BC, which started from Marathon and led to his victory in the battle of Pallene. The author argues that Marathon is mentioned in this passage to acknowledge its connection with Peisistratus, and that the goddess Athena is accordingly represented as retracing Peisistratus’ route. This suggests that the passage is an interpolation of the 6th century BC.