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κίον᾽ ἑρκείου στέγης, lit., ‘a pillar of the domestic roof.’ As “Ζεὺς ἑρκεῖος” is the god of the household ( Ant. 487 n.), “ἑρκεῖος στέγη” is a poetical phrase for the house. In such a phrase, “στέγη” could mean either (a) ‘roof,’ or (b) generally, ‘building.’ Here, it probably means ‘roof’; as is suggested by the fact that, in Homer, “ἕρκος” sometimes denotes the enclosure of the “αὐλή”, open to the sky ( Od. 22. 442, etc.): in using “ἑρκεῖος”, then, as=‘domestic,’ the poet may have felt that “στέγη”, tectum, would make the sense clearer. This is also suggested by κίον̓: see Eur. H. F. 1006, where the roof of the house falls in, breaking one of the “κίονες” (called also “λάϊνοι ὀρθοστάται”, ib. 979 f.) which supported it:—“πρὸς κίονα νῶτον πατάξας, ὃς πεσήμασι στέγης διχορραγὴς ἔκειτο κρηπίδων ἔπι”. Cp. also Aesch. Ag. 897ὑψηλῆς στέγης στῦλον ποδήρη” (‘of a lofty roof | A strong-based pillar’; Kennedy).—I now prefer this view to that which takes “ἑρκεῖος στέγη” as=‘the building of an enclosure’; i.e. an “αὐλή”, open to the sky, within the house;—the “κίων” being then one of the columns of a peristyle surrounding this court, as in the “ἀνδρωνῖτις” of an ordinary Greek dwelling.

δεθεὶς πρὸς κίον̓: the regular preparation for a flogging: cp. Aeschin. or. 1 § 59δήσαντες πρὸς τὸν κίονα αὐτὸν...ἐμαστίγουν”. Lysias fr. 52 § 4πάλιν πρὸς τὸν κίονα αὐτὸν μαστιγοῦν δήσαντας”. Hypereides ap. Pollux 3. 80. So Plaut. Bacch. 4. 7. 24abducite hunc intro atque astringite ad columnam fortiter.

δεῖν πρὸς κίονα” (properly, ‘to take and bind to a pillar’), not πρὸς κίονι, was thus the usual phrase; but Artemidorus (c. 160 A.D. ) Oneirocr. 1. 78 has “προσδεθεὶς κίονι ἔλαβε πληγὰς πολλάς”. Cp. 240.—“κίων” is masc. in Herodotus Attic. uses it in both genders (fem. 1. 92, masc. 4. 184). With Pindar it is always fem.; and usually so in the Odyssey, but not always; in Od. 8. 66, “πρὸς κίονα μακρὸν ἐρείσας”, the masc. has a metrical motive, but not in 19. 38, “κίονες ὑψόσ᾽ ἔχοντες”.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Aeschines, Against Timarchus, 59
    • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 897
    • Euripides, Heracles, 1006
    • Homer, Odyssey, 22.442
    • Homer, Odyssey, 8.66
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 240
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 487
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 4.7
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