Pagina:Zibaldone di pensieri VII.djvu/388

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(4445-4446) pensieri 379

politica; ciascuna gens o casa era composta di piú famiglie senz’alcun riguardo ad affinità scambievole). These names may have been transferred from the most distinguished among the associated families to the rest: it is more probable that they were adopted from the name of a hero, who was their eponymus. Such a house was that of the Homerids in Chios; whose descent from the poet was only an inference drawn from their name, whereas others pronounced that they were no way related io him (not. 747. Harpocration Vedi ‘ΟμηρÛδαι. It may be warrantably assumed that a hero named Homer was revered by the Ionians at the time when Chios received its laws. See the Rhenish Museum (Museo Renano) I. 257). In Greek history what appears to be a family, may probably often have been a house of this kind; and this system of subdivision is not to be confined to the Ionian tribes alone (27. 1829).  (4446)


*   Ib. sezione intitolata Aeneas and the Trojans in Latium, p. 166-7. These wars Virgil describes, effacing discrepancies and altering and accelerating the succession of events, in the latter half of the Aeneid. Its contents were certainly national; yet it is scarcely credible that even Romans, if impartial, should have received sincere delight from these tales. We feel but too unpleasantly how little the poet succeeded in raising these shadowy names (degli eroi di quelle guerre), for which he was forced to invent a character, into living beings, like the heroes of Homer. Perhaps it is a problem that cannot be solved, to form an epic poem out of an argument which has not lived for centuries in popular songs and tales as common national property, so that the cycle of stories which comprises it, and all the persons who act a part in it, are familiar to every one. Vedi p. 4475 - Assuredly the