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ἄτρακτον: cp. Ph.290 n.—

θεὸν Χείρωνα. Cheiron, as the son of the god Cronus by the nymph Philyra, was of a different origin from the other Centaurs, the descendants of Ixion and Nephelè. So Pindar distinguishes him as “Κρονίδαν” | “Κένταυρον” (N. 3. 47), “οὐρανίδα γόνον εὐρυμέδοντα Κρόνου” (P. 3. 4): and Apollonius Rhodius as “ἄλλα μὲν ἵππῳ”, | “ἄλλα θεῷ ἀτάλαντον” (2. 1240). He was still more separated from the rest of the Centaur tribe by his just and gentle character ( Il.11. 832δικαιότατος Κενταύρων”). Hence Greek art, after the in vention of the hippo-centaur (564 n.), continued to portray Cheiron under the more humane type of the andro-centaur. This is his form on Greek vases, down at least to 400 B.C. Later art neglected this distinction. (See Colvin S. in Journ. Hellen. Stud., vol. 1. pp. 133— 137.)

πημήναντα. Other Centaurs, routed by Heracles in Arcadia, fled to Cheiron near Cape Malea; and the hero, in shooting at them, accidentally wounded his friend. Cheiron could not be healed; and, being a god, could not die. At last Zeus allowed him to exchange fates, the immortal for the mortal, with Prometheus; and so he found rest ( Apollod.2. 5. 4).

Ovid varies the story. Heracles visited Cheiron on Mount Pelion; a poisoned arrow chanced to fall from the hero's quiver on the left foot of the Centaur. “Virus edax superabat opem...Nona dies aderat, cum tu, iustissime Chiron, | Bis septem stellis corpore cinctus eras.Fast. 5. 387—414.)

χὧνπερ seems a certain correction of χὥσπερ. The latter has been explained thus:—(1) ‘Even as it may touch, (so surely) does it destroy.’ This is possible, but somewhat forced; certainly less probable than “χὧνπερ”. (2) ‘If only it touch them.’ This view—that “ὥσπερ <*>ν”=dummodo—rests on passages in which “ὡς” should be corrected to “ἕως” ( O. C.1361, Ph.1330, Ai.1117).—Few will defend “χὥσπερ” as=“καὶ ὅσπερ” (‘whoever touches the arrow’); or accept, with Wunder, “χὥσαπερ”.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.5.4
    • Homer, Iliad, 11.832
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1117
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1361
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1330
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 290
    • Ovid, Fasti, 5
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