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κοὐχ ἡλίωσε τοὔπος: modelled on the Homeric “οὐδ᾽ ἁλίωσε βέλος” ( Il.16. 737), with a reminiscence also of “οὐδ᾽ ἅλιον ἔπος ἔσσεται” (ib. 24. 92).

ὅθ᾽ ἁγνὸς ἦν. The Homeric poems know nothing of a ritual for purification from homicide: the blood-shedder either flies into exile ( Il.24. 480 ff.), or prevails on the kinsfolk of the slain to accept a “ποινή” (ib. 9. 632 ff.), and stays at home. Here the schol. supposes that, by ἁγνός, Sophocles alludes simply to the year of exile having expired. This may be so; but it is more probable that Heracles is conceived as also undergoing a formal “κάθαρσις”. According to other writers, he received this from Deiphobus at Amyclae, after vainly seeking it from Neleus at Pylos ( Apollod.2. 6. 2: Diod.4. 31). So Aesch. makes the exile Orestes receive the “καθαρμοὶ χοιροκτόνοι” ( Aesch. Eum.283Aesch. Eum., 449). The homicide who withdrew into banishment was said “ἀπενιαυτίζειν” (or “ἀπενιαυτεῖν”),—a word not always restricted to one year: Legg. 868 D “ἐνιαυτοὺς τρεῖς ἀπενιαυτεῖν”. Cp. ib. E “καθαίρεσθαι μὲν τοὺς αὐτοὺς καθαρμούς, τριετεῖς δὲ ἀπενιαυτήσεις διατελεῖν”. The rites of “κάθαρσις” for homicide are fully described by Apoll. Rhod., 4. 693—717.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 283
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 449
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.6.2
    • Homer, Iliad, 16.737
    • Homer, Iliad, 24.480
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 4.31
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