χαλκόπλακτος, act., ‘striking with bronze’; cp. Ph. 688“ἀμφιπλάκτων ῥοθίων”, ‘billows that beat around him’ (n.). γένυς: cp. 159 “γενύων” (n.). The very axe (“φόνιος πέλεκυς”, 99) with which the blow was dealt is imagined as nourishing a grudge against the murderers who had set it such a task. Such a personification recalls that practice of Athenian law by which inanimate objects which had caused death were brought to a formal trial in the court called “τὸ ἐπὶ Πρυτανείῳ”, and, after sentence, cast beyond the boundaries, in the presence of the Archon Basileus and the sacrificial officers of the tribes (“φυλο-” “βασιλεῖς”). Aeschin. or. 3 § 244 “τὰ μὲν ξύλα καὶ τοὺς λίθους καὶ τὸν σίδηρον, τὰ ἄφωνα καὶ ἀγνώμονα, ἐάν τῳ ἐμπεσόντα ἀποκτείνῃ, ὑπερορίζομεν”. (Cp. Dem. or. 23 § 76.) A like conception was implied in the English law (repealed in 1846) of ‘deodands’ (Deo danda), i.e., personal chattels (whether animals or things) which, having caused the death of a human being, were forfeited to the Crown for pious uses.
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