previous next

[565] ὅμως, ‘notwithstanding;’ cp. Il.12. 393ὅμως δ᾽ οὐ λήθετο χάρμης”. We do not find ὅμως elsewhere in Homer, but, in place of it, “ἔμπης”. We do find “ὁμῶς” with the meaning ‘equally,’ which the Schol. reads here; though he interprets it, contrary to Homeric custom, by “ἔμπης”. This use of “ὅμως” throws some suspicion upon the verse, which is heightened by the unusual way in which the participle κεχολωμένος is connected with the verb; ‘though angry, he would notwithstanding have addressed me:’ and not less strange is the substantival use of κατατεθνηώτων (inf. 567) without any noun such as “νεκύων”. It is indeed probable that the interpolation which Schol. H. (see crit. note) notes as extending from vv. 568-627 really begins at 565. Odysseus did not, like Aeneas, make a descent into the netherworld, but he sits at the edge of the trench, and questions the shades as they come forward and taste the blood. In the following passage however the story is told by one who is an eyewitness of what is going on in the depths of Erebus. The whole scene gives a view of mythology and of the punishment of the dead that seems to be later than Homer. Plato (Gorg. 525 D) refers to this passage, remarking that Homer has represented here “τοὺς ἐν Αἵδου τὸν ἀεὶ χρόνον τιμωρουμένους, Τάνταλον καὶ Σίσυφον καὶ Τιτυόν”, and he quotes (526 D) the line that describes Minosbearing his sceptre. Cp. also Protag. 315 B, C. These references however need only show that the interpolation was an early one. La Roche (Hom. Stud. § 97. 3) is inclined to refer the whole passage to an Attic source; and traces of Athenian interpolation are found in the Iliad, as 1. 265; 2. 553-555, 558; 15. 333-383; and in the Odyssey, as 5. 121-128; 7. 80; and 11. 321-325, 631. The remark of the Schol. on inf. 604, “τοῦτον ὑπὸ Ὀνομακρίτου [ἐμ]πεποιῆσθαί φασιν”, may give the key to the whole of this interpolation. Onomacritus, Zopyrus, Orpheus, and Concylus[?] are named as the coadjutors of Peisistratus in his recension of the Homeric poems. To such men a system of punishments in the nether-world was probably an article of belief or profession. We are reminded by Herodotus (7. 6) that Onomacritus was caught making interpolations in an oracle.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: