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οὗ seems to denote generally the region in which the cave was situated, —near, or perhaps upon, the “πόντου προβολή”. We can hardly refer it back to the word “μέλαθρον”.

πολλάκι, an epic and lyric form twice used in lyrics by Aesch. ( Aesch. Theb. 227, Suppl. 131), but not elsewhere by

ἐνδόμυχον, a poet. word (like “ἐνδομάχης”); but, in later Greek at least, the verb formed from it seems to have been common: thus the schol. on Vesp. 970 explains “οἰκουρός” by “ἐνδομυχοῦντα”. For the place of “ἐνδόμυχον” after “κρᾶτα”, see note on “εὔχρυσον” in 393. The cave was on the east coast (see 1459 n.), but its seaward mouth is imagined as having a s. or S. E. aspect, so that the blasts of the stormy “νότος” ( Soph. Ant. 335 n.) could carry rain and spray into the inmost recesses.

πληγαῖσι: cp. Lucr. 5. 955verbera ventorum.

1459 This Ἑρμαῖον ὄρος is mentioned in only one other passage of classical literature,— Aesch. Ag. 283, where the “Ἑρμαῖον λέπας Αήμνου” is the signalling station intermediate between Ida and Athos. It is doubtless the N. E. promontory of Lemnos, now Cape Plaka.

The only rival claim is that of Mount Skopia, near Cape Murzephlo (the N.W. promontory), which has greatly the advantage of Plaka in height. But two points are in favour of Plaka. (1) It was a fitting place for the beacon; for it is in a direct line between Ida and Athos; it is the nearest point to the Troad; and it runs out far into the sea. (2) The cave of Philoctetes commanded a view of the volcano Mosychlus (v. 800), and his cries were re-echoed from Mount Hermaeum. The two hills were therefore at no very great distance from each other. But there is no reason to suppose that a volcano ever existed near Cape Murzephlo, while there is some ground for thinking that one may have existed on the eastern coast (cp. Appendix on v. 800). See Tozer, Islands of the Aegean, pp. 273 f. (1890).

Hermaeum occurs elsewhere also as the ancient name of a promontory,— e.g., in Sardinia (=C. Marrargiu, on the W. coast), and on the European shore of the Bosporus (=Rumili Hissar).

The MSS. give the accent Ἕρμαιον here, but Ἑρμαῖον is right. Adjectives in “-αιος”, of more than two syllables, were regularly properispomenon, like “Ἀθηναῖος”. Neuter substantives in “-αιον” were proparoxytone; hence “Ἀθήναια”, as the name of the festival (sc.ἱερά”), and “ἕρμαιον”, a wind-fall.


hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 283
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 227
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 335
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 5.955
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