previous next


ON this hymn see Introduction to xxxi, and on the mythology of Selene see Roscher Selene und Verwandtes 1890, with Nachträge 1895, and his art. in Lex. ii. 3119 f.

ἀείδειν and ἔσπετε seem incompatible; but the parallel with xxxi. 1 (“ὑμνεῖν ἄρχεο”) suggests that “ἔσπετε” may be used irregularly for “follow,” i.e. “go on to” sing. The sense would be very appropriate, if the two hymns were not only the work of one poet, but were recited on the same occasion, as might well be the case; cf. Aristot. Eth. Nic. iii. 1. 2 “ἕπεται διελθεῖν”. Ebeling's translation dicite ut canam does violence to the Greek. Most editors accept Bothe's “εὐειδῆ”, but this would not be corrupted to “ἀείδειν”. If there is any corruption, “ἀϊδίην” may be suggested: if the alternative form “ἀειδίην” were written, “ἀείδειν” would easily result as a metrical correction. “ἀΐδιος” is of two terminations in Scut. 310, xxix. 3, but of three Orph. h. x. 21, lxxxiv. 6. “ἔσπετε”, at all events, is sound; for its regular use cf. xxxiii. 1, Il. 2.484 etc.

τανυσίπτερον: the epithet seems to imply lateness of composition. There appears to be no other example of a winged Selene in literature, and the type is very uncertain in art; Roscher (Lex. ii. 3140) doubtfully identifies a winged goddess on a gem (MüllerWieseler ii. 16, 176a) as Selene-Nike. The attribution of wings to Selene is rather due to a confusion with Eos than with Nike. Even when she drives a car, Eos is regularly represented as winged.

[2] ᾠδῆς: for the form cf. h. Dem. 494.

[3] ἐλίσσεται with direct accusative is remarkable. Franke translates in terram volvitur (funditur); Gemoll's suggestion “surrounds” (for “ἑλίσσει”) is better.

[4] κρατὸς ἀΠ᾽ ἀθανάτοιο = Il. 1.530.

[5] Barnes' correction of the metre by inserting “τ̓” is simpler than any of the emendations of “ἀλάμπετος”.

[6] χρυσέου: the epithet “golden” is at least as common as “silver” in classical allusions to the moon; cf. Pind. Ol.3. 20, Eur. Phoen.176, Anth. Pal. v. 15. 1, orac.ap. Jo. Lyd. p. 94, Dion. 44. 192, and other references in Roscher Lex. ii. 3130, 3136. On the “στέφανος” see ib. 3133.

ἀκτῖνες: the last syllable is lengthened by position; see on h. Dem. 269, and cf. h. Dion. 1.18.

ἐΝδιάονται: the verb has been accepted, although the middle is not found elsewhere, and it is difficult to see how “ἐνδιάω” (= sub divo sum or simply versor in) is appropriate to the rays of the moon. The usual translation “are diffused” cannot fairly be extracted from the word. The writer may intend it to mean “are as bright as day.” The rarity of the verb is an argument for its genuineness; otherwise Roscher's “ἐνδαίονται” might be received.

[9] Πώλους: of the horses of Eos Od. 23.246, and Selene Theocr. ii. 103. On the car of Selene see Roscher Lex. ii. 3134 f., 3174 f.

[10] Προτέρως᾿: Homer has only “προτέρω” (with hiatus Il. 9.199, δ” 36); for the later “προτέρωσε” cf. Apoll. Arg. 1.306, 1241.

[11] διχόμηΝος: i.e. at the full. Another form is “διχόμηνις”, for which cf. Pind. Ol.iii. 19διχόμηνις . . . Μήνα”, Apoll. Arg. 1.1231.

τε Πλήθει: this may be accepted, with “τελέθουσιν” (for “τελέθωσιν” which is due to “ἐλάσῃ” 10). But “ δέ” (Baumeister) would be the epic usage.

ὄγμος, “orbit”; cf. Aratus 749 “μέγαν ὄγμον ἐλαύνων”, Nicand. Ther. 571(of the sun). Gemoll's “ὄγκος” is therefore unnecessary, although supported by Parmen. 102σφαίρης ἐναλίγκιον ὄγκῳ”, “mass,” “bulk.”

[13] τέκμωρ κτλ.: i.e. men compute periods of time by the full moon (Baumeister); for “τέκμωρ” or “τέκμαρ” of the heavenly bodies cf. Eur. Hec. 1273, Apoll. Arg. 1.499, 3.1002 etc.

[15] ΠανδείηΝ: elsewhere unknown as a daughter of Selene; the point of her introduction here is not apparent. Hermann's “πανδίην” would make the mythology even more obscure. The daughter of Selene seems to be merely an abstraction of the moon herself; cf. Ulpian on Mid. 517 “οἱ δὲ Πανδίαν τὴν Σελήνην νομίζουσιν”, Orph. h. fr. 11 “πανδῖα Σεληναίη”, Maximus (“περὶ καταρχῶν”) 22, 281, and 463. The Attic festival “Πάνδια” was not connected with the goddess (Preller-Robert i.^{2} p. 445 n. 1).

[18] Πρόφρον: here a true adjective, “benevolent”; in xxx. 18, xxxi. 17 the word is used predicatively with a verb, as in Homer (Il. 1.543 etc.).

[19] Cf. Od. 1.338 and for the phrase “Μουσάων θεράπωνHes. Theog. 100-102, Theognis 769, Margites i. 2, Epig. gr. Kaibel 101. 3, Orac.ed. Hendess 77. 3 and (b) 1, Inscr. gr. metr. ed. Preger 248 (of Linus ), Ar. Av. 909, 913.

κλείους᾿: on the form see Schulze Q. E. p. 281.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide References (24 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (24):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: