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Ἄρτεμιν Ὀρτυγίαν. The epithet was usu. understood as meaning ‘born in Ortygia.’ That name, like Nysa, was associated with various places (as Syracuse; Aetolia, schol. Apoll. Rh. 1. 419; Ephesus, Strabo 14. 639); but most frequently with Delos, as a name either for that island itself, or for some islet near it (Rheneia?): cp. Hom. h. Apoll. 16, which describes Artemis and Apollo as born, “τὴν μὲν ἐν Ὀρτυγίῃ, τὸν δὲ κραναῇ ἐνὶ Δήλῳ”. The epithet is parodied by Ar. Av.870Λητοῖ ὀρτυγομήτρᾳ” (‘Quail mother’) Asteria, Leto's sister, was said to have escaped from Zeus by taking the form of a quail (“ὄρτυξ”): Apollod.1. 2§ 2. One theory explains the name Ortygia as simply ‘abounding with quails’; another (Preller vol. I. p. 238) supposes that the “ὄρτυξ” was taken as the type of a good mother; but the question remains uncertain.

Artemis was worshipped on the coasts near Malis (637 n.), but we have no proof that the name “Ὀρτυγία” was specially given to her there. Perhaps the poet uses it here merely as one of her standing epithets.

ἐλαφαβόλον (like “θαναταφόρα”, O. T.180): see on O. C.1092 f.

ἀμφίπυρον: with a torch in each hand: see on O. T.207.

Νύμφας: the “Μαλιάδες νύμφαι” ( Ph.724 ff., n.) of Malian hills. woods, and streams.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 1.2
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 870
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 16 to Asclepius
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1092
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 180
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 207
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 724
    • Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 1.419
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