Finally there is the "Battle of the Frogs and Mice". Here is told the story of the quarrel which arose between the two tribes, and how they fought, until Zeus sent crabs to break up the battle. It is a parody of the warlike epic, but has little in it that is really comic or of literary merit, except perhaps the list of quaint arms assumed by the warriors. The text of the poem is in a chaotic condition, and there are many interpolations, some of Byzantine date.
Though popularly ascribed to Homer, its real author is said by Suidas to have been Pigres, a Carian, brother of Artemisia, `wife of Mausonis', who distinguished herself at the battle of Salamis.
Suidas is confusing the two Artemisias, but he may be right in attributing the poem to about 480 B.C.
The Contest of Homer and Hesiod
This curious work dates in its present form from the lifetime or shortly after the death of Hadrian, but seems to be based in part on an earlier version by the sophist Alcidamas (c. 400 B.C.). Plutarch ("Conviv. Sept. Sap.", 40) uses an earlier (or at least a shorter) version than that which we possess (18). The extant "Contest", however, has clearly combined with the original document much other ill-digested matter on the life and descent of Homer, probably drawing on the same general sources as does the Herodotean "Life of Homer". Its scope is as follows: 1) the descent (as variously reported) and relative dates of Homer and Hesiod; 2) their poetical contest at Chalcis; 3) the death of Hesiod; 4) the wanderings and fortunes of Homer, with brief notices of the circumstances under which his reputed works were composed, down to the time of his death.
The whole tract is, of course, mere romance; its only values are 1) the insight it give into ancient speculations about Homer; 2) a certain amount of definite information about the Cyclic poems; and 3) the epic fragments included in the stichomythia of the "Contest" proper, many of which -- did we possess the clue -- would have to be referred to poems of the Epic Cycle.
(1) sc. in Boeotia, Locris and Thessaly: elsewhere the movement was forced and unfruitful. (2) The extant collection of three poems, "Works and Days", "Theogony", and "Shield of Heracles", which alone have come down to us complete, dates at least from the 4th century A.D.: the title of the Paris Papyrus (Bibl. Nat. Suppl. Gr. 1099) names only these three works. (3) "Der Dialekt des Hesiodes", p. 464: examples are AENEMI (W. and D. 683) and AROMENAI (ib. 22). (4) T.W. Allen suggests that the conjured Delian and Pythian hymns to Apollo ("Homeric Hymns" III) may have suggested this version of the story, the Pythian hymn showing strong continental influence. (5) She is said to have given birth to the lyrist Stesichorus. (6) See Kinkel "Epic. Graec. Frag." i. 158 ff. (7) See "Great Works", frag. 2. (8) "Hesiodi Fragmenta", pp. 119 f. (9) Possibly the division of this poem into two books is a division belonging solely to this `developed poem', which may have included in its second part a summary of the Tale of Troy. (10) Goettling's explanation. (11) x. 1. 52 (12) Odysseus appears to have been mentioned once only -- and that casually -- in the "Returns". (13) M.M. Croiset note that the "Aethiopis" and the "Sack" were originally merely parts of one work containing lays (the Amazoneia, Aethiopis, Persis, etc.), just as the "Iliad" contained various lays such as the Diomedeia. (14) No date is assigned to him, but it seems likely that he was either contemporary or slightly earlier than Lesches. (15) Cp. Allen and Sikes, "Homeric Hymns" p. xv. In the text I have followed the arrangement of these scholars, numbering the Hymns to Dionysus and to Demeter, I and II respectively: to place "Demeter" after "Hermes", and the Hymn to Dionysus at the end of the collection seems to be merely perverse. (16) "Greek Melic Poets", p. 165. (17) This monument was returned to Greece in the 1980's. -- DBK. (18) Cp. Marckscheffel, "Hesiodi fragmenta", p. 35. The papyrus fragment recovered by Petrie ("Petrie Papyri", ed. Mahaffy, p. 70, No. xxv.) agrees essentially with the extant document, but differs in numerous minor textual points.
HESIOD. -- The classification and numerations of MSS. here followed is that of Rzach (1913). It is only necessary to add that on the whole the recovery of Hesiodic papyri goes to confirm the authority of the mediaeval MSS. At the same time these fragments have produced much that is interesting and valuable, such as the new lines, "Works and Days" 169 a-d, and the improved readings ib. 278, "Theogony" 91, 93. Our chief gains from papyri are the numerous and excellent fragments of the Catalogues which have been recovered.