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τῷ Λ. τῷδ᾽ ἀνακ. πυρὶ: you fire, famed as Lemnian; “πῦρ Λήμνιον ἀνακαλοῦσι”:—the volcano Mosychlus, which was always associated with Lemnos, and which had given rise to the proverb “Λήμνιον πῦρ”. One meaning of “ἀνακαλεῖν” is ‘to call to’ a person by his name: Thuc. 7. 70§ 8 “ἀνακαλοῦντες ὀνομαστὶ τὸν τριήραρχον”. Hence the verb is sometimes joined with appellatives, as Thuc. 1. 3Δαναοὺς...ἐν τοῖς ἔπεσι...ἀνακαλεῖ” (Homer designates the Greeks as Danai): Soph. El. 693Ἀργεῖος μὲν ἀνακαλούμενος”.—Not: ‘Yon Lemnian fire, which is so famous’ (as if “ἀνακαλουμένῳ”, by itself, could mean ‘celebrated’): nor, ‘yon Lemnian fire which is invoked by me.’ There is thus no difficulty in “ἀνακαλουμένῳ” when rightly understood, while the proposed substitutes (cr. n.) are all unsatisfactory.

The volcanic mountain called “Μόσυχλος” appears to have been on the east coast of Lemnos, south of the rocky promontory (“Ἑρμαῖον ὄρος”, v. 1459) to which the cave of Philoctetes was adjacent. No volcanic crater can now be traced in Lemnos; and it is probable that the ancient Mosychlus has been submerged. See Appendix. “Λήμνιον πῦρ” was proverbial for ‘a fierce fire’ ( Ar. Lys. 299). Lycophron (227) has “τεφρώσας γυῖα Λημναίῳ πυρί” in this sense, and calls Ajax “ Λήμνιος” | “πρηστὴρ Ἐνυοῦς” (462), ‘Lemnian thunderbolt of war.’ Cp. Hesych. “Λήμνιον βλέπειν: ἐπειδὴ τὸ πῦρ Λήμνιον”. The legendary association of Lemnos with fierce crime (“Λήμνια κακά”) may have helped to suggest such phrases.

hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Sophocles, Electra, 693
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.70
    • Aristophanes, Lysistrata, 299
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