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κεφαλὴν καὶ γλῶσσαν ἄκραν. He first shears off the head; then, still holding it, while the carcass drops to the ground, cuts off the end of the tongue; and next hurls both head and tongue from him. “ἄκρα γλῶσσα” can mean the extremity, the tip, of the tongue, as in Theocr. 9. 30ἐπὶ γλώσσας ἄκρας”: so in Ph. 748ἄκρον πόδα” is the heel. It could not mean, ‘the tongue from the roots,’ “γλῶσσαν πρυμνήν” ( Il. 5. 292).—It was customary to cut out the tongues of animals slain for sacrifice, and to offer them separately ( Od. 3. 332: Ar. Pax 1060). But I doubt whether there is any reference here to the sacrificial custom; the act of Ajax rather expresses merely fierce hatred of a slanderer.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Aristophanes, Peace, 1060
    • Homer, Iliad, 5.292
    • Homer, Odyssey, 3.332
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 748
    • Theocritus, Idylls, 9
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