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δασυστέρνου: shagginess is a regular attribute of the Centaurs in Greek poetry and art: cp. 837: Il.2. 743φῆρας ...λαχνήεντας”: Hom. hymn 3. 224 “κένταυρον λασιαύχενα”. In Ov. Met.12. 284Cometes is the name of a Centaur.

παρὰ Νέσσου, because it was his “δῶρον” (555): he invited her to take it, and told her how to use it: ἐκ φονῶν, gathered up from his wounds, as he lay dying. “φονῶν”, Bergk's correction of “φόνων”, seems right. The plur. “φόνοι” elsewhere (1) denotes separate acts of slaughter, O. C.1234: or (2) is a tragic expression for one such act (like “θάνατοι”): as El.11πατρὸς ἐκ φόνων”: ib. 779 “φόνους πατρῳους”. But here we expect rather a word which shall directly suggest the wounds: cp. 573σφαγῶν”. And “φονῶν” can do so, since the phrase “ἐν φοναῖς” so often refers to carnage in battle. The schol. has φόνων in the lemma, but explains by “αἵματος”, and quotes Il.10. 521(“ἄνδρας τ᾽ ἀσπαίροντας”) “ἐν ἀργαλέῃσι φονῇσιν”. Cp. Ant.696ἐν φοναῖς” | “πεπτῶτ̓” (n.). If metre had allowed “ἐκ φόνου”, there would then have been no reason for change.

The name Νέσσος symbolises the roar of the angry torrent: the Sanskrit is nad, loud sound, whence nadá-s, ‘bellower’ (bull), or river: nad-i, flood: Curtius Etym. § 287 b. Hence the Thracian river “Νέστος” (also “Νέσσος”, Hes. Th.341), and the Arcadian “Νέδα”, described by Strabo as “ῥεῦμα λαβρὸν ἐκ τοῦ Λυκαίου κατιόν” (8, p. 348). Among the Centaurs whom Heracles met at Mount Pholoè were “Δούπων” and “Ὅμαδος”,—names likewise denoting noise; and it is noteworthy that Homados, like Nessus, was a ravisher: “ἐν Ἀρκαδίᾳ τὴν Εὐρυσθέως ἀδελφὴν Ἀλκυόνην βιασάμενος ἀνῃρέθη” ( Diod.4. 12).

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 341
    • Homer, Iliad, 10.521
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.743
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 696
    • Sophocles, Electra, 11
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1234
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 573
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 837
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 12.284
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 4.12
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