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λύει κελαινὰ βλέφαρα, allows her eyes to close in darkness. “λύει”=relaxes: the eyelids are deprived of power to remain open. The phrase has been suggested by the epic “λῦσε δὲ γυῖα, λέλυντο δὲ γυῖα”, etc., and seems quite intelligible; though, doubtless, it would have been more natural to say “κλῄει”, as Soph. has done in fr. 640, “βλέφαρα κέκλῃται”. In [Eur.] Rhes. 8 we have “λῦσον βλεφάρων γοργωπὸν ἔδραν”, of opening the eyes; but that has no bearing on the different use here. Wolff brings what at first sight is a perfect parallel: Anthol. P. 3. 11 “ἄνθ᾽ ὧν ὄμματ᾽ ἔλυσε τὰ Γοργόνος ἐνθάδε Περσεύς”. But unfortunately neither he nor Bellermann has observed the meaning. It is not, ‘caused the Gorgon 's eyes to close,’ but ‘uncovered the Gorgon 's head.’ The epigram refers to Perseus bringing Medusa's head to Seriphos, and therewith petrifying Polydectes, who had married Danaë, and sent her son on his perilous mission.—The objection to μύει is that elsewhere the verb has these usages:—(1) intrans.,—“ὄμματα μύει”, the eyes close, or “μύομεν”, we shut our eyes. (2) trans., as Anth. P. 9. 558 “ὕπνος ἔμυσε κόρας” (with the post-classical “υ_”), ‘caused to close.’ That is, there is no classical example of such a phrase as “μύει ὀφθαλμούς”, she shuts her eyes.


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    • Euripides, Rhesus, 8
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