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συγγραψαμένους, ‘causing them to be written down for them,’ i. e. by the προφήτης, who put the answer of the πρόμαντις (vii. 111. 2) into proper shape, usually into hexameters (cf. c. 174 for iambics); here, however, the Pythia or πρόμαντις seems to have given her answer in verse directly, without intermediary. In later times, from third century onwards, prose was the usual medium. As the answers were given all together, once a year originally, and once a month later (Plut. Q. G. 9, Mor. 292), it is obvious that the προφήτης was allimportant. Cf. Frazer, P. v. 235 for the inspiration of the πρόμαντις.
μέγαρον is always used by H. in a religious sense, though in Homer it means simply ‘chamber’ or (mostly in plural) ‘house’ (cf. aedes). Perhaps the Herodotean sense is the original one; the word may be connected with Semitic maghar (‘cave,’ RobertsonSmith, Relig. of Sem. p. 200). This use survives in the μέγαρα or ‘caves’ into which pigs were thrown at the Thesmophoria (Paus. ix. 8. 1 and Frazer, v. 29). For an underground shrine (of Palaemon) cf. Paus. ii. 2. 1. μέγαρον is the temple itself as opposed to the τέμενος (cf. vi. 134. 2), and especially the shrine proper, where stood the image of the god (ii. 141. 3); it sometimes seems to be used interchangeably with ἄδυτον (cf. vii. 140. 1 and 3). It is, however, used for the whole building (not merely the shrine), ii. 143. 2. The ‘shrine’ at Delphi was at the west end of the cella, and beneath was the chasm into which it is said the priestess went down to divine (Frazer, v. 352-3; but cf. Oppé, J. H. S. xxiv, for good reasons against believing in ‘the chasm’).
The δέ is common in oracles (cf. 174. 5 et pass.); it marks off an answer from a preceding one given to other inquirers (u. s.). For a like claim to omniscience cf. Pind. Pyth. 9. 44 seq. χαλκόν, cogn. acc. Cf. Il. iii. 57 “λάινον ἕσσο χιτῶνα”, ‘with brass is it (the tortoise) clad above’; cf. 48. 2 for explanation.
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