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πολλὴν ἔχον στόμωσιν, with a hard and keen edge,—thoroughly attempered to a shameless and cruel task. “στόμωσις” was the process of tempering iron to receive an edge or point (“στόμα”); cp. Arist. Meteor. 4.6τήκεται δὲ καὶ εἰργασμένος σίδηρος, ὥστε ὑγρὸς γίγνεσθαι καὶ πάλιν πήγνυσθαι. καὶ τὰ στομώματα ποιοῦσιν οὔτως: ὑφίσταται γὰρ καὶ ἀποκαθαίρεται κάτω σκωρία” (dross). “ὅταν δὲ πολλάκις πάθῃ καὶ καθαρὸς γένηται, τοῦτο στόμωμα γίγνεται” (this makes tempered iron). Hence, fig., Plut. Mor. 988 Dτῆς ἀνδρείας οἷον βαφή τις θυμός ἐστι καὶ στόμωμα”: Lycurg. 16 “τὰ δ̓” “ὑγιεινὰ” (“βρέφη”) “μᾶλλον στομοῦσθαι καὶ κρατύνεσθαι τὴν ἕξιν”, have their constitutions tempered and strengthened.

μέμνησ᾽ ὅπως
εὖ μοι στομώσεις αὐτόν, ἐπὶ μὲν θάτερα
οἷον δικιδίοις, τὴν δ᾽ ἑτέραν αὐτοῦ γνάθον
στόμωσον οἵαν ἐς τὰ μείζω πράγματα

, alluding to a two-edged blade; schol. “ὀξυνεῖς... ἀκονήσεις”. The double sense of στόμα has suggested the “παρήχησις” with στόμωσιν: cp. Tr. 1176τοὐμὸν ὀξῦναι στόμα”.

ὃς τὰ δείν᾽ ἐκαρτέρουν τότε,
βαφῇ σίδηρος ὥς, ἐφηλύνφην στόμα

: "I, erst so wondrous firm,—yea, as iron hardened in the dipping,—felt the keen edge of my temper softened." Cp. Ai. 584γλῶσσα... τεθηγμένη”.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Aristophanes, Clouds, 1107
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 650
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 584
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 1176
    • Plutarch, Bruta animalia ratione uti, 988d
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