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βεβήλοις, neut. plur. (cp. “ἀβάτων ἀποβάς, 167), places which may be trodden, profana, opp. to ἱερά, ἄθικτα: cp.

δεινὸς γὰρ ἕρπειν πλοῦτος ἔς τε τἄβατα
καὶ πρὸς βέβηλα

fr. 86. 6
(Vater's correction of καὶ πρὸς τὰ βατά): Bekker Anecd. 325. 13ἀβέβηλα τὰ ἄβατα χωρία καὶ ἱερὰ καὶ μὴ τοῖς τυχοῦσι βάσιμα, μόνοις δὲ τοῖς θεραπεύουσι τοὺς θεούς. βέβηλα δὲ ἐλέγετο τὰ μὴ ὅσια μηδὲ ἱερά: οὕτω Σοφοκλῆς”. (This ignores the classical use of ὅσιος as opp. to ἱερός: in Aristoph. Lys. 743ὅσιον χωρίον” = βέβηλον.) In

καὶ βέβηλα καὶ κεκρυμμένα

= oracles to which access was easy, as opp. to those hidden in temple-archives.

πρὸς ἄλσεσιν does not necessarily imply entrance on the ἄλση. But the contrast with πρὸς βεβήλοις is unmeaning unless Oed. thinks of a seat on sacred ground, and not merely near it. So Antigone, who recognises the grove as sacred (16), seats him within it (19). This grove at Colonus was “ἀστιβές(126) because the cult of the Eumenides so prescribed. Sacred groves were often open to visitors, as was the κυκλοτερὲς ἄλσος of the Nymphs, with an altar "whereon all wayfarers were wont to make offerings," “ὅθι πάντες ἐπιρρέζεσκον ὁδῖταιOd. 17.208). Hence Pausanias sometimes mentions that a particular ἄλσος was not open to the public. At Megalopolis, in the precinct of Zeus Philios, there was an ἄλσος of which he says, “ἐς μὲν δὴ τὸ ἐντὸς ἔσοδος οὐκ ἔστιν ἀνθρώποις(8. 31. 5). At Pellene, again, there was a walled ἄλσος of Artemis Soteira; “ἔσοδός τε πλὴν τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν ἄλλῳ γε οὐδενὶ ἔστιν ἀνθρώπων(7. 27. 3).

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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Aristophanes, Lysistrata, 743
    • Euripides, Heracles, 404
    • Homer, Odyssey, 17.208
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.27.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.31.5
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 16
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 19
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 126
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 167
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