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[456] διέχευαν. Schol. “διέτεμον”. This means ‘broke up,’ or ‘dismembered;’ the process of dividing into small pieces is given by the word “μίστυλλον” inf. 462. Cp. Od.14. 427; 19.421; Il.7. 316.μιστύλλω” must be referred to root “μι” as in “μινύθω”.

μηρία is a distinctly ritualistic word. Ameis (Anh. ad loc.) states that it is used fifteen times in Homer, and the form “μῆρα” five times; in three passages out of the five (viz. Od.12. 364; Il.1. 464; 2. 427) it is found in connection with the phrase “μηροὺς ἐξέταμον”. The older grammarians regarded “μῆρα” as a metaplastic form of “μηροί” with the special meaning of “τὰ ἁγιαζόμενα θεοῖς”, while the oxytone form “μηρά” they held as wholly identical with “μηροί”. See Lobeck, Proleg. 13, who denies this subtle distinction, accepting “μηρία” either as a derivative from “μηροί” with a change in signification, or as a by-form of “μῆρα”. Hermann, on Aesch. P. V.496, sums up the facts of the case thus, “μηροί pluralem habent etiam neutrius generis μῆρα, significatione congruentem cum vocabulo μηρία.’” Nitzsch remarks that with “μηρία” or “μῆρα” Homer generally uses “καίειν”, but with “μηροί” the common expression is “ἐκτέμνειν”. According to this, “μηρός” represents the whole thigh ( Il.5. 305), and the portions cut from it and used in sacrifice are “μηρία” or “μῆρα Il., i.e. the slices or lumps cut from the thigh. To facilitate the burning of these lumps of meat, and to produce the sacrificial ‘sweet savour,’ they were wrapped up in fat, one layer of which went below and one above the meat, the process being described as, ‘laying it (sc. “κνίσην”) double.’

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