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θέσθε ἐν τάφοισι=“"lay me in the tomb"”:

θέσθε ἐν κτερίσμασι=“"give me a share of funeral honours"”: cp. Her. 3.3τὴν δὲ...ἐν τιμῇ τίθεται”. There is thus a slight zeugma of the verb (cp. 1357).

κτερίσματα (only plur.) is used by Soph. and Eur. for the Homeric “κτέρεα”, gifts to the dead, or funeral rites: Od. 1.291σῆμά τέ οἱ χεῦαι καὶ ἐπὶ κτέρεα κτερεΐξαι”. In El. 434, 931κτερίσματα” (=“ἐντάφιαib. 326) are the gifts of libations, flowers, etc., brought to Agamemnon's grave. Cp. Ant. 203τάφῳ κτερίζειν”.

The poet's allusion to his own Antigone is lightly and happily made. Polyneices here naturally prays for regular funeral rites. That prayer was doomed to disappointment. And yet the “κτερίσματα” for which he asks are represented by the “χοαὶ τρίσπονδοι” which, in the Antigone, his sister pours, after the symbolic rite of scattering dust on the unburied corpse (Ant. 431).

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.3
    • Homer, Odyssey, 1.291
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 203
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 431
    • Sophocles, Electra, 326
    • Sophocles, Electra, 434
    • Sophocles, Electra, 931
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