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Book 8 (Θ

Zen., who omitted the last line of H, placed this after 52. The council of the gods is thus put a day earlier, and so brought into closer connexion with the omens of 7.478, but Zeus is made to take an all-night journey to Ida in 41-52. The whole introductory passage 1-52 may be a later insertion, and the reading of Zen. may indicate a variation in the place assigned to it.

The following lines are borrowed in 1-52, occasionally with small variations: 1 = 24.695; 3 = 1.499; 5-6 = 19.101-2; 10 cf. 1.549, 2.391, 15.348; 11 = 13.9; 28 = 3.95; 28-9 = 9.693-4; 30-1 = Od. 1.44-5; (33-7 recur 464-8); 38-40 = 22.182-4 (with 4.356); 41-4 = 13.23-6; 45 = 5.366; 46 = 5.769; 47 = 14.283 (Hymn. Ven. 68); 48 cf. Od. 8.363; 50-1 cf. 5.775-6; 51-2 cf. 11.81-2. Cf. also notes on 12 and 39 for other echoes.

[3] The ‘topmost peak’ of Olympos is a suitable outlook for Zeus in 1.499, but hardly convenient for an assembly. The line is thoughtlessly copied; in 20.10 the assembly properly takes place in the palace of Zeus.

[4] ὑπό, simply thereat. It does not necessarily imply the idea of subjection, but is commonly used of any phenomenon following in connexion with another.

[5] θέαιναι, a form which recurs, only in this particular phrase, in 8.20, Od. 8.341. It seems to have a half comic effect; compare “λέαινα”.

[7] τό γε anticipates “διακέρσαι”, ‘this, namely to thwart.’ For the verb cf. 15.467μάχης ἐπὶ μήδεα κείρει δαίμων”, and 8.408ἐνικλᾶν”.

[10] The conjunction of the two participles ἐθέλοντα and ἐλθόντα is excessively awkward, and only explicable by the fact that 10 is adapted from 2.391 (cf. 1.549, 15.348), and 11 borrowed without change from 13.9. ἀρηγέμεν must depend on “ἐθέλοντα”.

[12] πληγείς, sc. with lightning, as 455, 15.17. οὐ κατὰ κόσμον, as 2.214 (cf. 264). Compare Hymn. Merc. 255 ff. “τάχα νῶϊ διοισόμεθ᾽ οὐ κατὰ κόσμον. ῥίψω γάρ σε λαβὼν ἐς Τάρταρον ἠερόεντα, εἰς ζόφον αἰνόμορον καὶ ἀμήχανον”. The author of one of these passages must have had the other before him — it is hard to say which. So with the unmistakable echoes in Hesiod: Hesiod Th. 720Τάρταρος ἠερόεις” is “τόσσον ἔνερθ᾽ ὑπὸ γῆς ὅσον οὐρανός ἐστ᾽ ἀπὸ γαίης”: 726 “τὸν περὶ χάλκεον ἕρκος ἐλήλαται”: 732 “πύλας δ᾽ ἐπέθηκε Ποσειδῶν χαλκείας”: 811 “ἔνθα δὲ μαρμάρεαί τε πύλαι καὶ χάλκεος οὐδός”.

[14] The βέρεθρον reminds us of the famous “βάραθρον” at Athens. The word is used again of the cave of Skylla in Od. 12.94.

[18] The text follows Nikanor (with L. Lange and Döderlein) in putting a comma after πάντες and a colon at the end of the next line, so that κρεμάσαντες goes closely with πειρήσασθε, ‘fasten a rope, and try me.’ With the ordinary punctuation, in which there is a colon after “πάντες” and no stop after “κρεμάσαντες”, it is necessary either to read “πάντές τ᾽” for “πάντες δ᾽” in 20, or to assume a harsh change of construction, ‘the participle being regarded as half independent, and the imperative being added in 20 as though another finite verb had preceded.’ (So Ameis.)

[19] It is curious that this line, which evidently alludes to a mere trial of strength by pulling at a rope, “ἑλκυστίνδα”, should have been made the base of all sorts of mystical interpretations and esoteric myths from the earliest times. Thus in Plato we find, Theaet. 153C, “