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[661] ἀμφιμέλαιναι. The word occurs four times in Homer besides the present passage, viz. Il.1. 103; 17. 83, 499 Il., 573.But it is unnoticed by the Alexandrian grammarians and by Sophist.Apollon. , nor does the interpretation of Eustath. give any special force to “ἀμφί”. The Schol. to the Ambros. E. , a MS. of the 15th cent., interprets the word as “αἱ ἀμφοτέρωθεν μελανωθεῖσαι τῷ καπνῷ τοῦ θυμοῦ”. E. Itis highly probable that early editions divided the composite form, so as to connect “ἀμφί” with the verb in the clause; but such a separation of “ἀμφί” from a preceding verb would be without a parallel; for in Hom. Od.10. 94(“λευκὴ δ᾽ ἦν ἀμφὶ γαλήνη”) the verb and preposition still stand in immediate juxtaposition. Hesych. and Et. Mag. quote the word in its compounded form, which is identical in structure with “ἀμφιδάσειαHom. Il.15. 309.The force to be given to “ἀμφί” is either that of ‘thoroughness,’ from the notion of the blackness being ‘on all sides;’ or, more properly, ‘on both sides,’ i. e. on back and front. Ameis believes that in “ἀμφί” may be implied the notion of an ‘ebb and flow’ of passion in the heart. Passing to the signification of the uncompounded form “μέλαιναι” as used with “φρένες”, it is uncertain whether it denotes the ordinary physical or moral condition of the “φρένες”, or whether it expresses some peculiar and temporary state. Thus we get a variety of interpretations, e. g. (1) “βαθεῖαι, ἐν βάθει κείμεναι: τὸ γὰρ βαθὺ μέλαν:” (2) “συνεταί” or “ἰσχυραί”, contrasted with the Pindaric phrase “λευκαὶ φρένες”, Pind. Pyth.4. 109: (3) belonging to a man “τεταραγμένου καὶ νυκτὶ ἐοικότος”, into which interpretation comes the physical conception of ‘black bile’ representing passionate excitement: (4) darkened by suffering or fear, as Eur. Suppl.785; Pers. 114; Cho.413; Soph. Aj.954; Theogn. 1199: or (5) in the more settled condition of gloominess and moroseness, Eumen. 459. Cp. Ov. A. A. 503ora tument ira, nigrescunt sanguine venae.’” See the excursus of Autenrieth in Nägelsbach ed. Il.1. 103.It seems at any rate right to take the word as predicative with πίμπλαντ᾽, ‘were filled so as to be black with rage on both sides.’ Monro.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Aeschylus, Libation Bearers, 413
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 114
    • Euripides, Suppliants, 785
    • Homer, Iliad, 15.309
    • Homer, Iliad, 17.573
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.103
    • Homer, Odyssey, 10.94
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 954
    • Pindar, Pythian, 4
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, 3
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