οἱ μέν. These are the other sons of Nestor, in contrast with Pisistratus. The victim had been felled by the blow of the axe (449); and these young men ‘having lifted his head held him so.’ This process seems identical with that described by Eurip. ( Soph. Elect.813) as “κἄσφαξ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ὤμων μόσχον, ὡς ἦραν χεροῖν”“δμῶες”, and appears in a similar scene in Il.1. 459 as “αὐέρυσαν μὲν πρῶτα καὶ ἔσφαξαν καὶ ἔδειραν”, the head being thus ‘drawn back,’ not only to expose the throat to the knife, but that the victim might turn its head upwards towards the Gods in whose honour it was sacrificed. Where a victim is sacrificed to the powers of the nether world, it is slain with its head bent earthward, “ἔνθ᾽ ὄιν ἀρνειὸν ῥέζειν . . εἰς ἔρεβος στρέψας” Od.10. 528.
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