A Commentary on Homer's Odyssey, Volume II: Books IX-XVI by Alfred Heubeck, Arie Hoekstra

By Alfred Heubeck, Arie Hoekstra

This moment quantity of a huge three-volume statement compiled by way of a global staff of students contains distinct discussions of diction within the Odyssey and the culture of epic diction often.

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AKov (here, liquid to temper the metal); harden'). TO ycip ... EOTLV (cf. ll. ix 706): 'for the strength of iron depends on this hardening process'. While the poet elsewhere consistently archaizes (he equips his heroes exclusively with bronze weapons and tools) he includes in the similes pictures of the contemporary world. The technique here described was introduced in Greece around the ninth century BC (R. Forbes, Archaeologia K, 26, 32). weev (ll. W~as- (ll. xxii 34; cf. vii I25); see West, Papyri, 237· 398· XEp47LV surely belongs with £ppti/Jev (T.

Risch, MH xxix (1972), 69. The mutilation (TafLwv explanatory) is to prepare the bodies for o6p1rov (cf. ). 295. ) from Odysseus, who is never short of ideas (1roAvfL~xavos). 297. For a recent discussion of av8p6fLea see E. Risch, Acta Mycenaea, ii (Salamanca, 1972), 299; on Kpi' see Chantrainc, Grammaire, i 210. COMMENTARY Polyphemus washes down his horrible meal with aKp'T/TOV milk (the word is otherwise used only of wine): there may be intentional contrast with the Hellenic custom of adding water to milk as well as to wine; but the main function of the detail is to point to the later use of aKp'T/TOS olvos; cf.

It is, therefore, pointless to attempt, as so many scholars, both ancient and modern, have done, to identify either the AwTos- plant itself or the country where it grows. , and scholars after him, showed no understanding of the nature and function of poetry. How the story of the Lotus-eaters is to be understood genetically has been shown by Page, Folktales, 3-21, who cites some illuminating parallels; cf. iihlungen, I o-1 3· The poet knows a type of story found in folk-tales throughout the world and based on mythological concepts, in which tasting a certain magic food makes return impossible for one who has crossed the boundary of the world of men; the strange world may be the realm of fabulous beings or, more commonly, the kingdom of the dead.

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