ὁπλοτεράων, youthful rather than younger, cf. “θηλυτεράων, κουρότερος” (4.316) etc. (H. G. § 122, van L. Ench. p. 246). In many cases the word is a real comparative, e.g. 2.707, 4.325 (compare also the superl. “ὁπλότατος” 9.58); but we cannot suppose that the existence of older Graces is here implied. The “χάριτες” are vaguely personified in 5.338, 17.51, Od. 6.18, Od. 8.364, Od. 18.194, as companions of Aphrodite, givers of beauty, etc.; and in 18.382 “Χάρις” is the wife of Hephaistos. Their number seems from this passage to have been regarded as indefinite. In Hesiod Theog. 907 we already find the number three; in 945 Hephaistos marries Aglaïe “ὁπλοτάτην Χαρίτων”. Pausanias has an interesting chapter on the questionHesiod Theog., ix. 35.The word ὁπλότερος has not been satisfactorily explained. The derivation from “ὅπλον” rarely, if ever, gives a good sense, and here is quite impossible. κε . . δώσω, see on 22.66.
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