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“πολλὴν μὲν ἄροτον ἐκπονεῖν δ᾽ οὐ ῥᾴδιον”,
“κοίλη γὰρ, ὄρεσι περίδρομος, τραχεῖά τε”.
κητώεσσα, by the regular rule of the composition of adjectives in “-εις”, must come from “κῆτος”, ‘a gulf;’ root “καϝ”, Lat. cav-us; and thus means ‘cavernous.’ Ameis quotes from Plutarch, Cim.16“ἡ τε χώρα τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων χάσμασιν ἐνώλισθε πολλοῖς”, and Strabo 8. 367 “ὅτι οἱ ἀπὸ τῶν σεισμῶν ῥωχμοὶ καιετοὶ λέγονται . . εὔσειστος δὲ ἡ Λακωνική”. Zenodotus' emendation “καιετάεσσαν” (which Buttmann thinks never existed as a real variant) would have this meaning equally, from “καῖαρ”, akin to which is the name of the best-known of those hollows, the “Καιάδας”, into which malefactors were thrown, Thuc.1. 134.Others again see in “κητώεσσα” merely a reference to the deep valley between Taygetus and Parthenius, in which Lacedaemon lies. Strabo also mentions μεγάλη, as one interpretation of the word, and calls this rendering “πιθανώτερον”. But without doubt the epithet refers to ‘the numerous rifts and fissures in the undulating ground.’ Tozer, ib. 3-19. The criticism given in Athenaeus (5. 180) on this place, is to the effect that Diodorus, “ὁ Ἀριστοφάνειος”, expunged the whole passage (“ὅλον τὸν γάμον περιέγραψε”), which we are told he did on the supposition that the scene intended to be described was the full height of the festivity (“τοπάζων πρώτας ἡμέρας εἶναι”). Hennings (Die Telem. p. 178 foll.) adopts this view, and regards the passage as a later interpolation. But it must be remarked that the excision of vv. 3-19 makes the connection between v. 2 and 20 very awkward.
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