As Athena has whisked herself off to Athens for some reason in this week's passage, I thought it might be nice to rest a while and admire the pure air and light soil.
In a change to the regular format, here are some extracts related to the Athenian influence on the text of the Odyssey.
West, The Making of the Odyssey pp.89-91 wrote:
Certain passages in the Odyssey have been thought to point to an Athenian poet
When Athena leaves Scheria she goes to Marathon and Athens, into the old palace of Erechtheus
Certain linguistic and metrical features of the Odyssey favour the hypothesis that it was composed in the west Ionic area that consists, essentially, of Attica and Euboea. One is the relative frequency of 'Attic correption', that is, the failure of a plosive + liquid (τρ, κλ, etc.) combination to lengthen a preceding short syllable ... it occurs about three times as often in the Odyssey as in the Iliad
Andersen, Pisistratean Recension, Homer Encyclopedia wrote:
Evidence that the Homeric poems were subject to some kind of processing in Athens during the reign of the Pisistratids ... is first to be found in the 4th-century BCE pseudo-Platonic Hipparchus. ... it can hardly be doubted that Homer was shaped up and given special treatment in the Athens of the Pisistratids.
Haslam, Homeric Papyri and Transmission of the Text in New Companion to Homer pp.82-83 wrote:
But the 'Pisistratean recension' itself is controversial, some assigning to it the definitive formation of the Homeric poems, others denying it transmissional importance beyond the diction's acquisition of an attic veneer. What seems clear, although even this depends on accepting atticisms as such, is that the poems passed through Athens, and in written form, on their way to Alexandria and us.
Hix, the wonderfully-named 'Morte D'Author' pp.136-137 wrote:
Speculation has centered on the "Pisistratean recension"; this term refers to the "hypothetical Athenian stabilization of the text" of the poems in connection with the Panathenaean festival and under the supervision of Pisistratus. But scholars are unsure about Pisistratus' exact role; no one knows whether Pisistratus was directly involved in the process or whether he only supervised it, and no one knows whether or not the first official written version (the version produced by the Pisistratean recension) was also the first written version of any kind. Probably for our purposes it is best to talk of Pisistratus as the scribe, but only in the sense that he symbolizes for us the process of writing down the poems.
My conclusion from this lot is that we're not looking at a significantly Athenian text, but that the 'attic veneer' provides us with a nice reminder of the hands through which the text has passed. Does anyone have any other points or sources to add to that? It's not clear to me to what extent this atticisation was a conscious process/project, or simply show-through from editing.
I've included the quote from Hix, who you will no doubt be shocked to hear is not an expert in the Homeric manuscript tradition, because he provides the reminder that, even if we don't know who they are, someone
wrote down these tens of thousands of words and that's an amazing thing in itself.