κοὐχ ἡλίωσε τοὔπος: modelled on the Homeric “οὐδ᾽ ἁλίωσε βέλος” ( Il.16. 737), with a reminiscence also of “οὐδ᾽ ἅλιον ἔπος ἔσσεται” (ib. 24. 92). ὅθ᾽ ἁγνὸς ἦν. The Homeric poems know nothing of a ritual for purification from homicide: the blood-shedder either flies into exile ( Il.24. 480 ff.), or prevails on the kinsfolk of the slain to accept a “ποινή” (ib. 9. 632 ff.), and stays at home. Here the schol. supposes that, by ἁγνός, Sophocles alludes simply to the year of exile having expired. This may be so; but it is more probable that Heracles is conceived as also undergoing a formal “κάθαρσις”. According to other writers, he received this from Deiphobus at Amyclae, after vainly seeking it from Neleus at Pylos ( Apollod.2. 6. 2: Diod.4. 31). So Aesch. makes the exile Orestes receive the “καθαρμοὶ χοιροκτόνοι” ( Aesch. Eum.283Aesch. Eum., 449). The homicide who withdrew into banishment was said “ἀπενιαυτίζειν” (or “ἀπενιαυτεῖν”),—a word not always restricted to one year: Legg. 868 D “ἐνιαυτοὺς τρεῖς ἀπενιαυτεῖν”. Cp. ib. E “καθαίρεσθαι μὲν τοὺς αὐτοὺς καθαρμούς, τριετεῖς δὲ ἀπενιαυτήσεις διατελεῖν”. The rites of “κάθαρσις” for homicide are fully described by Apoll. Rhod., 4. 693—717.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.