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Thus far the theme has been Colonus and the adjacent region. Now the praises take a larger range. Athena's gift of the olive, Poseidon's gift of the horse, are here celebrated as common to Attica (“τᾷδε χώρᾳ”, 700, cp. 668): though the latter had a special interest for Colonus Hippius, and the former for the Academy, where an olive was shown, said to have sprung up next after the primal olive in the “Πανδροσεῖον” of the Erechtheum (Paus. 1.30.2).

γᾶς Ἀσίας, sc.ὄν”, possessive gen., with “ἐπακούω”, hear of as belonging to. The poet does not mean, of course, that he has never heard of the olive as growing in the Peloponnesus or in Asia Minor. It is enough to recall the “στρεπτῆς καλουμένης ἐλαίας φυτόν” of Epidaurus (said to have been twisted by Heracles, Paus. 2.28.2), and the speculation of Thales in the olive-oil presses of Miletus and Chios (“ἐλαιουργεῖα”, Arist. Pol. 1.11). He means that nowhere else has he heard of an olive-tree springing from the earth at a divine command, or flourishing so greatly and so securely under divine protection.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aristotle, Politics, 1.1259a
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.30.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.28.2
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