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[122] ὥς τε to be joined with κουράων, ‘as it were the voice of girls.’ Cp. Od.4. 45ὥς τε γὰρ ἠελίου αἴγλη πέλεν ἠὲ σελήνης”.

κουράων is further defined by the addition of νυμφάων, cp. Od.4. 63ἀνδρῶν . . διοτρεφέων βασιλήων”. The voice of nymphs may further have suggested to him the presence of mortals, as sacrifices and altars to the nymphs are mentioned in Od.13. 350; 17.210. Homer speaks of nymphs of fountains and streams, “νηίδες Il.6. 22; nymphs of mountains, “ὀρεστιάδες Il.6. 420, and “ἀγρονόμοι”, as sup. 105. They are represented as daughters of Zeus in Il.6. 420, having their origin from springs, groves, and rivers, Od.13. 350, and worshipped in sacred grottos, Od.14. 435.The two lines, 123-4, though accepted without objection by the Scholl., are suspected or rejected by many modern editors. Nitzsch remarks that 124 is identical with Il.20. 9 and h. Hom. Ven. 99; and that the supposition that the cry came from nymphs would really give very little hint about the place being inhabited by mortals. Bothe objects to the combination “κουράων νυμφάων”, and proposes to read “ νυμφέων”. The Schol. supposes it was the loneliness of the place that suggested the presence of nymphs, and the alternative possibility of the presence of mortals is given in “ νύ που”, which he writes with the disjunctive “”.

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