To answer analogous questions about the Iliad and the Odyssey, however, we have first to frame the questions themselves. It is use­ less, for example, to enquire into an original state of the text, if we do not even know within centuries when the text was written down, or how much of it was written by any one hand or in any one generation of men. It is premature to criticize the merits or the defects of the plot and construction of these admitted masterpieces, until we have either laid the ghost, or resurrected the personality, of the Peisistratid Editor, the contriver of the Wrath o f Achilles, and those other afievrjva Kaprjva who flitter round every one of us when we leave the light of the sun about the time of the Persian Wars, and go down into the Dark Ages to take counsel with the shade of Homer.