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[456] Ἧσθον τετιηότες: the use of the dual for the plural seems quite established for this hymn; cf. 487 “κάθετον λύσαντε, 501 ἵκησθον”. Zenodotus, with Eratosthenes and Crates (schol. A on Il. 24.282) recognised this use in Homer (e.g. Il. 1.567, Ε 487, Θ 74, Ο” 346), while Aristarchus denied its possibility, arguing that in the text of Zenodotus such dual forms had their proper force, or that the readings were incorrect. Some modern scholars, following Buttmann, have sided with Zenodotus; but general opinion agrees with Aristarchus. The false readings in Homer probably arose, as Monro (Odyssey vol. ii. App. p. 438) explains, from the fact that the dual number disappeared from the “κοινὴ διάλεκτος”. Hence dual forms in Homer came to be considered as “poetic licences,” mere equivalents of the plural. Late poets, e.g. Aratus 968, 1023, Apollonius Arg. 3.206 (see below 487) and perhaps Il. 1.384, and the author of the Hom. Epigr. iv. 8, imitated the use; so perhaps h. vi.12. As the duals in the three passages of this hymn cannot be emended without great violence, we must assume that the writer, like Aratus and others, regarded the dual as an archaic variety of the plural.

461=Il. 11.89 (“σίτου τε”).


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