Here's a note from Monique Lillard, who teaches at the University of Idaho.
She now has my permission to write to me anytime she wants.
"Your column reminded me of the Iliad, where Homer describes all the towns that sent warriors, and has a line or two about each place -- 'known for good olives,' 'known for lovely women,' 'known for huge ships,' 'known for strong oarsmen,' and so forth. So there's your classical allusion of the day."
In looking for an image of Homer, I had to clarify my search terms to get through the thicket of pictures of Homer J. Simpson.