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χαλκοβόαν cannot be resolved into two separate epithets,—“"brassclad,"” and “"clamorous"”: rather it seems to mean, “"with noise of brass,"”—the clatter of shields and swords in battle. Cp. O. T. 190, where the Death-god (the plague) is an Ares who is “ἄχαλκος ἀσπίδων”, yet “περιβόατος. χαλκεόφωνος”, “"with voice as of brass,"” is not really similar: it is the epithet of Stentor (Il. 5.785) and of Cerberus (Hes. Theog. 311).

μείξουσιν: cp. Il. 15.510 αὐτοσχεδίῃ μῖξαι χεῖράς τε μένος τε”. The Attic spelling in the age of Sophocles was “μείξω” (not “μίξω”), “ἔμειξα”, verb. adj. “μεικτός”: and so in the proper names “Μειξίας, Μείξιππος”, etc.: see Meisterhans pp. 25, 87. There is no epigraphic evidence for the pres.; but, as Curtius remarks (Gr. Verb p. 111 Eng. tr.), “μείγνυμι”: “μιγ” :: “δείκνυμι”: “δικ”.

πρὸς Πυθίαις λαμπάσιν ἀκταῖς. The Chorus here imagine the Athenians as pursuing the Thebans through the pass of Daphne, over Mount Aegaleos, towards Eleusis. Two points are mentioned as possible scenes for a fight.

(1) Πύθιαι ἀκταί, the Pythian shores; the shore of the bay of Eleusis just beyond the pass of Daphnè on the N.W., near the salt-springs called “Ῥείτοι” (Thuc. 2.19). The distance from Colonus is about six miles. “Πύθιαι” alludes to the “Πύθιον”, an Ionic temple of Apollo (some fragments from which are among the Elgin marbles in the British Museum), situated on the site of the present monastery of Daphnè, in the narrowest and highest part of the pass. (Cp. Leake, Demes pp. 144 f.: Paus. 1.37.6.) Others take the “Πύθιαι ἀκταί” to mean Oenoe, where also there was a temple of Apollo. But (a) Oenoe was about 12 miles N.W. of Eleusis, near the pass of Dryoscephalae over Cithaeron. “ἀκταί” could not be said of such an inland place, and the distance imagined is too great. (b) The order of mention indicates the “Πύθιαι ἀκταί” as nearer than Eleusis to Colonus.

(2) λαμπάδες ἀκταί, “"the torch-lit shores"” (cp. Harpocr. 184, quoted on 56, “ἑορτὰς λαμπάδας”): the coast of the same bay of Eleusis at a point about 5 miles W.N.W. of the former point,—viz. at Eleusis itself. The yearly celebration of the great Eleusinia began on or about the 16th of Boedromion (September). On the 20th of that month an image of Iacchus was borne in a torch-light procession along the “ἱερὰ ὁδός” from Athens to Eleusis. This procession is indicated by the “χορὸς μυστῶν” in Aristoph. Ran. 316 ff.: see

ἔγειρε φλογέας λαμπάδας, ἐν χερσὶ γὰρ ἥκεις τινάσσων,
Ἴακχ̓, Ἴακχε,
νυκτέρου τελετῆς φωσφόρος ἀστήρ

ib. 340
. The search of Demeter for Persephone was also represented at Eleusis in a “παννυχίς” of torch-bearing mystae. Cp. Aesch. fr. 376 (speaking of Eleusis) “λαμπραῖσιν ἀστραπαῖσι λαμπάδων σθένει”. Ar. Th. 1151ὄργια σεμνὰ θεαῖν, ἵνα λαμπάσι φαίνετον ἄμβροτον ὄψιν”.

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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Aristophanes, Frogs, 340
    • Aristophanes, Frogs, 316
    • Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae, 1151
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 311
    • Homer, Iliad, 15.510
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.37.6
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 190
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.19
    • Homer, Iliad, 5.785
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