ἕρκος ὀδόντων. The ancient commentators generally understood this phrase of the lips. It is better to take it of the teeth themselves, which look like a fence when the lips open to speak. See note in Butcher and Lang's Translation on an Icelandic equivalent for the phrase. That the words were so understood in classical times may be inferred from the line in Solon (Bergk 25. 1) “παῖς . . ἔτι νήπιος ἕρκος ὀδόντων φύσας ἐκβάλλει”. Ameis quotes from Gell. N. A. 1. 16 “vallum dentium”, and from Pliny N. H. 11. 181 “cor munitum pectoris muro.” For the genitive cp. “πύργου ῥῦμα” Soph. Aj.159; “φόβου πρόβλημα” ib. 1076. The construction “σὲ ἕρκος ὀδ. φύγεν” is generally called the “σχῆμα καθ᾽ ὅλον καὶ μέρος”, cp. Il.20. 44“Τρῶας τρόμος ὑπήλυθε γυῖα”. Od.19. 356“ἥ σε πόδας νίψει”. Also Od.11. 578; 18.391; Il.2. 171; 5.98; 12.400. On the passage “τὸν δὲ σκότος ὄσσε κάλυψεν”, Hermann says there is a confusion between “τὸν δὲ σκότος κάλυψεν” and “τοῦ δὲ ὄσσε σκότος κάλυψεν”, but the construction is rather a true instance of Homeric epexegesis, where the subsequent word adds a nearer definition, as in Il.21. 37“ὁ δ᾽ ἐρινεὸν ὀξέι χαλκῷ τάμνε νέους ὅρπηκας”. As a rule the general word comes first, the specific one second, but the other order is found, as in Il.21. 180“γαστέρα γάρ μιν τύψε”. The same construction is used with two datives. Cp. “μηκέτ᾽ ἔπειτ᾽ Ὀδυσῆι κάρη ὤμοισιν ἐπείη” Il.2. 259, “δίδου δέ οἱ ἡνία χερσίν” Il.8. 129.See Monro, H. G. § 141.
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