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μηροίμηρίων in 1008,—thighbones, with some flesh on them. “μηρός” is the ordinary word for ‘thigh.’ “μηρία” was the sacrificial word, denoting thighbones, with so much flesh as the sacrificer chose to leave upon them. The tendency to give the gods more bone than meat is noticed by the poets quoted on v. 1010 (“ὀστῶν ἀσάρκωνὀστᾶ ἄβρωτα”), and by Hes. Th. 556(where men offer “ὀστέα λευκά” to the gods),— as it is implied in the story there told, of Prometheus giving the worst parts of the ox to Zeus, and keeping the best for men. Since the bone was an essential part of the offering, “μηρία” cannot be merely, ‘slices cut from the thighs.’ In the Homeric phrase, “κατὰ πίονα μηρία καίειν”, the word means, like “μηροί” here, thigh-bones wrapped in fat, the “κνίσῃ... κῶλα συγκαλυπτά” of Aesch. PV 496. In Od. 3.456ἐκ μηρία τάμνον πάντα κατὰ μοῖραν”, the phrase is equiv. to the “μηροὺς ἐξέταμον” of the Il.(1. 460 etc.); i.e., “μηρία” includes the bones. Only one ox is there in question, but “πάντα”=‘completely.’ The “ηομ. μῆρα μηρία” (Il. 1.464).

καλυπτῆς=‘which had been wrapped round them’; cp. Il. 21.321τόσσην οἱ ἄσιν καθύπερθε καλύψω”, ‘so thick a covering of silt will I lay on him.’ This is better than to make the adj. active, ‘covering,’ like “μεμπτός”, ‘blaming’ (Tr. 446: cp. O. T. 969 n.).

πιμελῆς (“πίων”), prop., soft fat (adeps), as dist. from “στέαρ”, stiff fat, tallow (sebum). The fat was laid in a double layer round the “μηρία”: Il. 1.460μηρούς τ᾽ ἐξέταμον κατά τε κνίσῃ ἐκάλυψαν, δίπτυχα ποιήσαντες”. So human bones are wrapped “δίπλακι δημῷ”, Il. 23.243.— ἐξέκειντο, lay outside of, i.e., had been bared of, the fat.


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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 496
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 556
    • Homer, Odyssey, 3.456
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 969
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 446
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.460
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.464
    • Homer, Iliad, 21.321
    • Homer, Iliad, 23.243
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