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Milan Budisavljević
 Heroes of Iliad by Tischbein
janja gave birth to a son and laid him down under a fir branch, covered his face with a sprig of poplar leaves and left. Seeing this, a fairy took pity on the baby, flew down from her cloudy abode and suckled the child “upon her white lap”; lest janja should sorrow overmuch, however, she did not take it back with her but left it there for someone else to find. Thus the poem. in Vuk Karadžić’s Dictionary, under the entry obil, a reference is made to a folk tale according to which Miloš was found by the em- peror Stephen himself and taken to his court. Reminis- cent of this is the belief that Miloš was reared by a mare (kobila, in Serbian) that let him suckle her; hence his last name Kobilović or Kobilić (Hilferding).
Let us add that Miloš is also known as Pocerac, mean- ing “of Mount Cer” (V. Karadžić). This leads us to the following points of similarity between achilles and Miloš: Pelionian (after the mountain)—Pocerac; Pelides (son of Peleus)—Obilić (son of dragon); the sea goddess Thetis— the fairy, often called “boatman’s protectress; the Cen- taur tutor (half man and half horse)—the mare that reared Miloš.
Let us now add to all this that folk poetry and tradi- tion refer to Miloš as Lazar’s son-in-law, which is remi- niscent of agamemnon’s offer to give his daughter in mar- riage to achilles—in both instances the spirit of the folk poem tends to have the protagonist marry into a royal family—and the similarity between Miloš and achilles as presented in our folk poetry and the Iliad will be brought almost to the point of identity.
5. Remembering that Miloš was an actual living per- son, as is transmitted to us by both our, own and Turkish chronicles, we cannot but wonder why so many and so varied interpretations should have enveloped such a man—one that is still alive, so to speak—that we take him for a hero of the most ancient mythological poems rather than a protagonist of the battle of Kosovo.
The only answer possible is that folk poetry, as the battle of Kosovo receded farther an farther into the past, added to Miloš’s image more and more mythical charac- teristics of the kind usually ascribed to ancient and truly mythological persons. Let us now consider the principal mythological features of achilles.
The very fact, mentioned above, that his parents were allegedly the hero Peleus and the sea goddess Thetis, that his tutor was the centaur Chiron, and that he ought Xan- tos, suggests the mythological attributes of a sea deity (cf. Rasher). As Miloš’s last name, Obilić/Kobilović, is asso- ciated with something unusual, so would achilles’s name be associated with names of certain rivers. also sugges- tive of his mythological nature are his spear, his invinci- ble weapons forged by Hephaistos himself, his already mentioned character traits, the ornamental epithets, his matchless strength, his wrath and rage, his strange un- armed appearance in the midst of the Trojans, his fight with the elemental forces.
it may well be concluded, then, that achilles’s feats reflect the feats of the river demon achilles with the de- mons Xantos (Scamander, which is also the name of Hec- tor’s son) and Hector for the sake of Deidamia or Briseis (cf. e. Meyer, Wilamowitz).
We thus finally have a mythical achilles who fights over a woman in the Iliad, and Miloš who also fights over a woman in our epopee, where not only the ancient mo- tif of women but also the very personalities of the two protagonists would suggest a much earlier origin of those motifs—or rather, poems—than the Troyan war or the battle of Kosovo. Such a status of both achilles and Miloš could be termed mythical, regardless of their historical wartime roles. Thus we arrive at a question of major im- portance for our case: is the Trojan story older than the aeolian colonization?
6. Here we have two opposing opinions of the two prin- cipal scholars, Meyer and Cauer. e. Meyer perceives quite correctly (Geschichte des Alterlhums II, Stuttgart 1893) that aeolia is the true homeland of heroic poems, aeolia be- ing the country wherein were formed both the language and the story, together with the poet’s entire mythical cir- cle. He describes equally aptly the relation between aeo- lian and ionian elements, stating that the latter were s superimposed on the layers of the former in terms of both the language and the story. His most interesting hypoth- esis, however, is that the Trojan war story is not of aeo- lian origin or based upon the feats of aeolians but a piece of tradition, of historical information, inherited by them from ancient times; as the ionians were later to inherit the story from the aeolians and develop it further, so did the aeolians inherit it and weave their own elements into its fabric.
Meyer depends for his conclusions on the contents of the Iliad He evidently takes achilles to be the hero of the aeolian story, i.e. unknown to the pre-aeolian epic; his connection with the Trojan war, no matter how ancient, is still a secondary one. On the other hand, it is agamem- non, the Mycenian king, who is already the central figure of the story; the Trojan story originates principally from the Peloponnese, its core being the destruction of Troy by the army of the Peloponnese princes, or, even more likely, “wie wir wohl unbedenklich sagen dürfen,” by the

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