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ὅσων (fem.) “σπαράγματα”, mangled bodies belonging to them, as being the corpses of their citizens. The possessive gen. in this sense is quite justifiable, since “σπαράγματα σώματα ἐσπαραγμένα”, just as “πτώματα σώματα πεπτωκότα”. (It would be possible, but harsh, to make ὅσων masc., as=“ἐπεὶ τοσούτων”: cp. O. C. 263 n.)

L's καθήγνισαν=‘hallowed’ them, in the sense of, ‘gave burial rites to them’: cp. Eur. Or. 40μήτηρ πυρὶ καθήγνισται δέμας” (has had the funeral rite of fire): Suppl. 1211 “ἵν᾽ αὐτῶν σώμαθ᾽ ἡγνίσθη πυρί”. The v.l. καθήγισαν reaches the same meaning (‘buried’) by a different channel. “καθαγίζω” was properly ‘to devote’ or ‘dedicate’: Her. 1.86ἀκροθίνια ...καταγιεῖν θεῶν ὅτεῳ δή”. Then, fig., to devote to the gods below by the funeral fire; Anton. 14 “τὸ...σῶμα τοῦ Καίσαρος ἐν ἀγορᾷ καθαγίσαι” (‘solemnly burn’). Either καθήγνισαν or καθήγισαν, then, is admissible. But (apart from L's support) “καθήγνισαν” seems preferable on two grounds: (a) its primary sense lends force to the grim irony: (b) the funereal sense of “καθαγίζω” has only post-classical evidence.—Hesychius (“καθαγίσω”) says that Soph. used “καθαγίζω”, not in the sense of “καθιερόω”, but in that of “μιαίνω”:—a statement perh. founded on a misunderstanding

of “καθήγισαν” here. The Schol. read the latter (“μετὰ ἄγους ἐκόμισαν”). But the fact that L has “καθήγνισαν” must be set against these doubtful testimonies.—For the irony, cp. El. 1487πρόθες ταφεῦσιν, ὧν τόνδ᾽ εἰκός ἐστι τυγχάνειν” (as Gorgias called vultures “ἔμψυχοι τάφοι”, “λονγιν. π. ὕψους” 3 § 2): Aesch. Th. 1020ὑπ᾽ οἰωνῶν ... ταφέντ᾽ ἀτίμως”: Ennius Ann. 142volturu' crudeli condebat membra sepulcro:Lucr. 5. 993viva videns vivo sepeliri viscera busto.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 1020
    • Euripides, Orestes, 40
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.86
    • Sophocles, Electra, 1487
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 263
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 5.993
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