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THIS and the following hymn have no formula of transition to a rhapsody. Hence it is very doubtful whether the hymn was a prelude at a recitation at Athens or elsewhere. The cult of Athena “πολιάς” or “πολιοῦχος” was common to many Greek states (Farnell Cults i. p. 299).

ἐρυσίπτολιν: the epithet occurs in Il. 6.305 and xxviii. 3 of Athena. The suggestion (Ebeling, Gemoll) that the word is non boni ominis, “making cities to fall,” cannot be entertained. The first part of the word must be connected with “ἐρύομαι”, “protect,” although Leaf suggests that the original form was “ῥυσίπτολις” (so schol. A l.c.), “ἐρυσίπτολις” being coined on the mistaken analogy of “ἐρυσάρματος” (from “ἐρύω” “draw”).

The epithet recalls Athena “πολιοῦχος” (Pauly-Wissowa “Athena” 1946). The reference to “περθόμεναι πόληες” (3) does not negative this view; Athena goes forth with her own people (4) to sack the enemy's city.

[2] Athena and Ares are very rarely united in myth or ritual; they had a common altar at Olympia as patrons of horse-racing ( Paus.v. 15. 6). Pindar brackets them as warlike deities ( Pind. Nem.x. 84). There was a statue of Athena in the temple of Ares at Athens ( Paus.i. 8. 4), and occasionally Athena “Ἀρεία” or “Στρατία” is mentioned with Ares (Farnell Cults i. p. 309 and 407); but generally there was little in common between the rough Thracian god and the <*>ivilised goddess. See Voigt Beitr. zur Myth. des Ares und der Athena, 1881.

[4] ἰόντα τε Νισσόμενόν τε, “in their goings (out) and returnings.” The verb “νίσσομαι” appears primarily to have the sense of “return” (so Ebeling, although L. and S. ignore the usage), being, no doubt, connected with “νέομαι, νόστος”; so, perhaps, Il. 12.119, Ψ” 76. On the spelling see La Roche Hom. Textkr. p. 316.

[5] With the concluding form of prayer cf. the last lines of hymns xv, xx, Callim. h. Zeusδίδου δ᾽ ἀρετὴν ἄφενόν τε”.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Homer, Iliad, 12.119
    • Homer, Iliad, 6.305
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.8.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.15.6
    • Pindar, Nemean, 10
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