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The fat wrapped about the thigh-bones ought to have caught fire, when the flesh on the bones would have been burned, and the bones themselves calcined. But here there was no flame; the kindled fuel lay in smouldering embers (“σποδός”). The heat caused a fatty moisture to exude from the covering of the thigh-bones. Trickling forth on the embers, this moisture emitted smoke, and sputtered as it threw particles of the fat upwards. The gall-bladder, too, which lay on the top of the thighbones, instead of catching fire, was gradually inflated by the heat, till it burst, scattering the gall into the air. And now the melting of the fat which covered the thigh-bones had gone so far that it was no longer a covering, but merely a liquid that was streaming off them, while they themselves were left naked and intact. So utterly had the gods refused the offering.

μυδῶσα: cp. 410: O. T. 1278φόνου μυδώσας σταγόνας.

κηκὶς μηρίων, a moisture exuding from them. For “μηρίαsee on 1011. Cp. Aesch. Cho. 268ἐν κηκῖδι πισσήρει φλογός”, pitchy ooze of flame, i.e., the funeral-fire of pine-wood from which pitch oozes. We might perh. join “μηρίων ἐτήκετο”, ‘was distilled from them’: but the other constr. is simpler, and “τήκεσθαί τινος” is not found elsewhere.

ἐτήκετο here=exuded: it goes with ἐπὶ σποδῷ (the embers of the fuel placed around the offering).

ἀνέπτυε, as particles of the fat crackled and were tossed upward on contact with the smouldering fire.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aeschylus, Libation Bearers, 268
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 410
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1278
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