πολὺς δέ, ‘and on either side is a great heap of bones of mouldering men; and round (the bones) the flesh is wasting away.’ There is no instance in Homer of a form in “-φιν” standing as the genitive in dependence on another noun, though we have “ἀπ᾽ ὀστεόφιν” Od.14. 134, “ἐξ εὐνῆφιν” Od.2. 2.There seems however a general consent to accept ὀστεόφιν here as convertible with “ὀστέων”, otherwise it is tempting, on the analogy of “φθινύθει δ᾽ ἀμφ᾽ ὀστεόφι χρώς” Od.16. 145, to join ἀνδρῶν πυθομένων ἀμφ᾽ ὀστεόφιν, ‘mouldering round their bones;’ to which the words “περὶ δὲ ῥινοὶ μινύθουσι” would form the epexegesis, and nearer description. Monro, H. G. § 158, suggests that ὀστεόφιν may be an instrumental of material = ‘a heap (is made) of bones.’ Nitzsch quotes Aesch. Pers.818“θῖνες δὲ νεκρῶν καὶ τριτοσπόρῳ γονῇ”“ἄφωνα σημανοῦσιν ὄμμασι βροτῶν”. By ῥινοί we must understand both flesh and skin together, as in Hom. Od.14. 133“μέλλουσι κύνες . . ῥινὸν ἀπ᾽ ὀστεόφιν ἐρύσαι”. Cp. Hes. Scut.152“ὀστέα δέ σφι περὶ ῥινοῖο σαπείσης”
“Σειρίου ἀζαλέοιο κελαίνῃ πύθεται αἴῃ”, where “ἡ ῥινός” seems to be an Alexandrine form.