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The pyre is to be built with (1) oak, sacred to Zeus (1168); and (2) the wild olive, which Heracles himself had brought to Greece: Paus.5. 7. 7κομισθῆναι δὲ ἐκ τῆς Ὑπερβορέων γῆς τὸν κότινόν φασιν ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἡρακλέους ἐς Ἕλληνας”. Pindar, in treating that legend, uses the generic word, “ἐλαία”, O. 3. 13. Pliny H. N. 16. 89Olympiae oleaster, ex quo primus Hercules coronatus est:” where he also mentions that, near Heracleia in Pontus, were “quercus duae ab Hercule satae.

κείραντα, like Il.24. 450δοῦρ᾽ ἐλάτης κέρσαντες”. In Attic prose, “κείρειν”, ‘to shear,’ is said only of cutting off hair, or devastating land. The prose word here would be “κόψαντα.—ἐκτεμόνθ̓”, cutting it from the stump, close to the ground: Il.12. 148ἄγνυτον ὕλην”, | “πρυμνὴν ἐκτάμνοντες” (‘at the root’). In Lys. or. 7 § 19ἐξέτεμνον τὰ πρέμνα” refers to cutting the roots of an olive out of the ground.— ἄγριον ἔλαιον: the “κότινος” was also called “ἄγριος ἔλαιος” ( Pind. fr. 21), “ἀγριέλαιος”, or “ἀγριελαία”. The epithet ἄρσενα expresses its sturdy vigour. Acc. to Theophrastus (Hist. Plant. 4. 13) the “κότινος” lives longer than the “ἐλαία”. Ovid says, “Ure mares oleasFast.4. 741).

πολλὸν=“πολύν”, as Ant.86πολλὸν”=“πολύ”: the only instance of this Ionic form in tragedy.— σῶμα τοὐμὸν is repeated, the sentence having become so long: cp. “νιν” in 289, after “ἐκεῖνον”.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Homer, Iliad, 12.148
    • Homer, Iliad, 24.450
    • Lysias, On the Olive Stump, 19
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.7.7
    • Pindar, Olympian, 3
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 86
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 16.89
    • Ovid, Fasti, 4
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