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[188] If this line is corrupt, as is usually supposed, no convincing emendation has yet appeared. The commentators (except Gemoll) assume that “κνώδαλον” disguises an adjective, with “γέροντα”, or a substantive, as object of a participle after “εὗρε”. With regard to this participle, it is clear that “νέμοντα” will stand if “κνώδαλον” is sound; if not, some other verb is required, as “νέμειν ἕρκος” makes no sense. In J. H. S. xvii. p. 259 the manuscript reading was defended: “κνώδαλον” usually connotes some sort of monster (e.g. a serpent), but it is used of beasts in general in Theog. 582, and of beasts of burden or draughtanimals in P. V. 478, Pind. Pyth.x. 36.It is not out of keeping with the style of this hymn to take it here of “his ox or his ass,” probably of the latter. While the old man was at work (“βατοδρόπε 190, ἔσκαπτον” 207), he let graze (“νέμοντα”) his “beast” by the roadside Pind. Pyth., i.e. outside the “ἀλωή”. There would still be “ἕρκος ἀλωῆς” to explain; and here perhaps lies the main difficulty. Gemoll, who alone of the editors defends the text, understands “νέμειν” to take a double acc., “letting his beast graze on the fence,” which may have been a hedge (cf. “βατοδρόπε”), although in Od. 24.224 the “ἕρκος ἀλωῆς” is a stone-wall; but the construction “νέμειν τινά τι” seems impossible, and Xen. Cyr.iii. 2. 20 is no parallel. The alternative (suggested in J. H. S. l.c.) is to take “ἕρκος ἀλωῆς” metaphorically, in apposition to “κνώδαλον”, “the stay of his vineyard.” This would be a parody of the Homeric “ἕρκος Ἀχαιῶν”, of Ajax; cf. “πύργος Ἀχαιοῖς, ἕρμα πόληος”, and “ἕρκος Ὀλύμπου” viii. 3, of Ares. The parody is not a more violent perversion of Homeric usage than “πίονα ἔργα” 127. Possibly, however, “ἕρκος” is a corruption of “ἐκτός” (cf. h. Aphr. 159ἄρκτων, ἐκ τῶν”). Otherwise we must assume a corruption in “κνώδαλον”, which, however, though found in Hom. , Hes. , and Attic poetry, is too unfamiliar to be readily substituted.


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