πετρώδει … ἐν κατώρυχι, ‘in a rocky cavern’; schol., “ἐν ὑπογείῳ σπηλαίῳ”. Verse 773 shows that Creon is not yet thinking of any particular spot. And “κατῶρυξ” shows that he is not thinking of some merely natural grotto or cavern. This word, usu. an adj., here a subst., means a cavern, or chamber, excavated by man's hand: cp. Eur. Hec. 1002 “χρυσοῦ παλαιαὶ Πριαμιδῶν κατώρυχες”. So the place is described by “κατασκαφής” (891). The “κατῶρυξ” actually used was near the furthest and highest part of the plain, where Polyneices lay (1197). What, then, was the poet's conception? He seems to suppose the existence of tombs artificially constructed in the rocky “πάγοι” (411) which bordered on the Theban plain. In one of these tombs— chosen for the remoteness of its situation (773)—Antigone is to be immured. The general type of sepulchral chamber supposed here can be illustrated from actual remains which have been discovered in Greece: see below on vv. 1216 ff.
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