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[21] ἐπ᾽ Ἰσμ. μ. σποδῷ “The oracular ashes of Ismenus” = the altar in the temple of Apollo Ἰσμήνιος, where divination by burnt offerings( δι᾽ ἐμπύρων μαντεία) was practised. So the schol., quoting Philochorus (in his περὶ μαντικῆς, circ. 290 B.C.). σποδῷ: the embers dying down when the μαντεῖον has now been taken from the burnt offering: cp. Soph. Ant. 1007. Soph. may have thought of Ἀπόλλων Σπόδιος, whose altar(ἐκ τέφρας τῶν ἱερείων) Paus. saw to the left of the Electrae gates at Thebes: 9. 11. 7. Ἰσμηνοῦ, because the temple was by the river Ismenus: Paus. 9.10.2ἔστι δὲ λόφος ἐν δεξιᾷ τῶν πυλῶν” (on the right of the Ἠλέκτραι πύλαι on the S. of Thebes, within the walls) ἱερὸς Ἀπόλλωνος: καλεῖται δὲ τε λόφος καὶ θεὸς Ἰσμήνιος, παραρρέοντος τοῦ ποταμοῦ ταύτῃ τοῦ Ἰσμηνοῦ. Ismenus (which name Curt. Etym. 617, connects with rt ἰς, to wish, as = “desired”) was described in the Theban myths as the son of Asopus and Metope, or of Amphion and Niobe. The son of Apollo by Melia (the fountain of the Ismenus) was called Ismenius. Cp. Hdt. 8.134 (the envoy of Mardonius in the winter of 480-79) τῷ Ἰσμηνίῳ Ἀπόλλωνι ἐχρήσατο: ἔστι δὲ κατάπερ ἐν Ὀλυμπίῃ ἱροῖσι χρηστηριάζεσθαι: Pind. O. 8.1 ff.Οὐλυμπία ... ἵνα μάντιες ἄνδρες ἐμπύροις τεκμαιρόμενοι παραπειρῶνται Διός.” In Pind. P. 11.4 the Theban heroines are asked to come πὰρ Μελίαν (because she shared Apollo's temple) “to the holy treasure-house of golden tripods, which Loxias hath honoured exceedingly, and hath named it Ismenian, a truthful seat of oracles” (MSS. μαντείων, not μαντίων, Fennell): for the tripod dedicated by the δαφναφόρος, or priest of Ismenian Apollo, see Paus. 9.10.4. Her. saw offerings dedicated by Croesus to Amphiaraus ἐν τῷ νηῷ τοῦ Ἰσμηνίου Ἀπόλλωνος (1. 52), and notices inscriptions there (5. 59). The Ἰσμήνιον, the temple at Abae in Phocis, and that on the hill Πτῶον to the E. of Lake Copais, were, after Delphi, the chief shrines of Apollo in N. Greece.

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