ὡς τὴν παλαιὰν φηγὸν “κ.τ.λ.” A note on the Oracle at Dodona, illustrative of this passage and of vv. 1166—1168, will be found in the Appendix. The signs were taken from the movement and rustling of the oak's leaves; and these signs were interpreted by the priestesses called “Πελειάδες”. Cp. fr. 414 “τὰς θεσπιῳδοὺς ἱερίας Δωδωνίδας”. Euripides spoke of three such priestesses; but Pindar, like Sophocles, gave the number as two (schol. here). In saying that the oak ‘spake’ (“αὐδῆσαι”) by their mouths, he follows the established mode of expression with regard to it. See, e.g., Lucian Amor. 31 “ἡ ἐν Δωδώνῃ φηγὸς...ἱερὰν ἀπορρήξασα φωνήν”. Constantine Porphyr. 2. 55 “Δωδώνη, ἐφ᾽ ἧς ἡ δρῦς ἡ φθεγγομένη τὰ τῶν δαιμόνων μυστήρια”. Others understand:—(1) ‘by the agency of two doves’: i.e., the signs from the oak were somehow combined with, or explained by, signs derived from birds. (2) ‘The oak spake from between two doves’; i.e. a symbolical dove, of stone or metal, stood on either side of the tree. The Appendix will show what can be said for or against each of these theories. Here it may be noted that neither seems to accord so well with the phrase αὐδῆσαι ἐκ. It was through the inspired lips that the utterance of the oak became a ‘voice.’ Δωδῶνι, as in frr. 413, 415: so fr. 412 “Δωδῶνος”. The nom. “Δωδών” is not extant; unless it should be restored to a verse which Byz.Steph. , s.v. “Δωδώνη”, quotes from Simmias of Rhodes (c. 320 B.C.?), “Ζηνὸς ἕδος Κρονίδαο μάκαιρ᾽ ὑπεδέξατο Δωδώ”. For the locative dat., cp. Soph. O. T.900“τὸν Ἀβαῖσι ναόν”.
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