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IN this hymn Baumeister sees Orphic influence, comparing Orph. h. lxii. 2 (of “Δίκη”), “ καὶ Ζηνὸς ἄνακτος ἐπὶ θρόνον ἱερὸν ἵζει”,

οὐρανόθεν καθορῶσα βίον θνητῶν πολυφύλων”. But the close connexion of Zeus with Dike or Themis is frequent in Greek poetry, and this hymn appears to be not less “Homeric” than its predecessors (xx-xxii).
The introduction of Themis gives the keynote of the hymn; the poet entreats for the favour of Zeus, the god of Law and Righteousness. For the Homeric conception of Themis see Il. 15.87, Υ 4, β” 68. Her relation with Zeus is prominent in later myth and cult. In Hesiod (Theog. 901) she is the wife of Zeus; cf. Pind. fr. 30 (this was the Theban belief; cf. Paus.ix. 25. 4). At Aegina she was worshipped as “Διὸς ξενίου πάρεδρος”, Pind. Ol.viii. 21(the title “πάρεδρος” is applied by Bacchyl.xi. 51 to Hera as the wife of Zeus). Cf. also Aesch. Supp.360, Soph. El.1064; Preller-Robert i.^{2} p. 475 f.

It is a question whether Themis is here the wife or merely the adviser of Zeus. In the latter case her position would be similar to that of Dike in Hesiod, who sits by the side of Zeus and complains when men work injustice ( Hes. Op.258, cf. Orph. h. lxii quoted above). But the passage in the Theogony and the language in line 3 suggest the former interpretation.

[2] τελεσφόρον, the “fulfiller”; the exact sense of this word varies according to the “τέλος” required in each context; it is applied to “Μοῖρα”, P. V. 511, to Dike, Soph. Aj.1390, to Gaea, Dittenberg C. I. G. (Septentr.) i. 2452. Here, as Zeus is closely connected with Themis, the “τέλος” must be the fulfilment of Law or Justice; cf. “τέλειος” L. and S. s.v. ii.

Θέμιστι: the unmetrical “Θέμιτι” is probably due to the ligature “στ”, often in good minuscule mistaken for “τ.” The schol. on Pind. Ol.x. 28 expressly read the form in Il. 15.87, where there is no trace in the Homeric MSS.

[3] ἐΓκλιδόν: bending towards, or leaning on, Zeus. The editors compare Apoll. Arg. 1.790, Γ” 1008, of looking “askance” or aside.

ὀάρους: in early epic the word and its cognates do not necessarily imply the talk of lovers; cf. Il. 13.291, Ρ 227, τ” 179, h. Herm. 170; but they are often used in that connexion; Il. 14.216, Χ” 126, h. Aphr. 249, h. Herm. 68.

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hide References (15 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (15):
    • Aeschylus, Suppliant Maidens, 360
    • Bacchylides, Epinicians, 11
    • Hesiod, Works and Days, 258
    • Homer, Iliad, 13.291
    • Homer, Iliad, 14.216
    • Homer, Iliad, 15.87
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 4 to Hermes, 170
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 4 to Hermes, 68
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 5 to Aphrodite, 249
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.25.4
    • Pindar, Olympian, 10
    • Pindar, Olympian, 8
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1390
    • Sophocles, Electra, 1064
    • Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 1.790
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