καμόντας used to be explained ‘those that have passed through the toil of life,’ as though “κεκμηκότες”, laboribus functi; or ‘men outworn,’ “ἀμενηνοί”, of the feeble shadows of the dead; Nägelsbach, ‘those that endured ill in life’ = “δειλοὶ βροτοί” as opposed to the happy gods. But Classen explains ‘those that grew weary, succumbed to the toils of life’ = “θανόντες”: so “κοπιάσας”, C. I. 6509. This best suits the aor. part., and is now generally accepted; see M. and R. on Od. 11.476. The phrase recurs also Od. 23.72, Od. 24.14. “οἳ .. τίνυσθον” must mean “Ζεύς τε καταχθόνιος καὶ ἐπαινὴ Περσεφόνεια” (9.457). We should have expected the “Ἐρινύες”, as in the parallel passage, 19.259 “Ἐρινύες αἵ θ᾽ ὑπὸ γαῖαν ἀνθρώπους τίνυνται, ὅτις κ᾽ ἐπίορκον ὀμόσσηι” (the whole of that passage, with the notes, should be compared with this). Zenod., who regarded the dual and plural as identical, said that the avengers were Minos, Rhadamanthos, and Aiakos, but this is certainly not Homeric. And if the Erinyes are to come in, we must read “τίνυσθε”. It seems very probable indeed that “τίνυσθε ὅτις” is original, and “τίνυσθον ὅτις, τίνυσθ᾽ ὅστις” (v. supra) two different resources to remove the hiatus. But Nitzsch, in his note on “λ” (Erkl. Anm. iii. p. 184 sqq.), raises a more serious question as to this present passage. He says that the idea of punishment after death is entirely alien to Homer's conception of the under-world; vengeance for sins is taken by the gods in this life only. The punishments of Tityos, Tantalos, and Sisyphos (Od. 11.576-600) occur in an interpolated passage. The two oaths (here and in T) are the only inconsistent places; and in T he would take “ὑπὸ γαῖαν” with “αἵ τε”, not with the verb, they that, dwelling beneath the earth (for which see 9.568）, punish men, a possible construction, though a very harsh one (it would be better to excise 19.260 entirely). If this be so, it follows that “καμόντας” in this passage cannot be right. ‘Expectatur fere “μένοντες”’ van L.; but here again no remedy short of omitting 278-9 removes the difficulty. The lines may be an interpolation from the period of the spread of the religion of the mysteries in Greece, in the 7th cent. (see W.-M. H. U. 206 ff.). Rohde, however (Psyche p. 60), finds here as elsewhere in H. traces of two distinct systems of belief. The older regards the spirits of the dead as active and often malignant agencies, to be appeased by the living (cf. note on 2.302); the later, that generally prevalent in the poems, as poor harmless shadows, neither punished nor punishing. As he says, an oath-ritual is exactly the place where an obsolete belief might be expected to survive. If this is right, we clearly should read “καμόντες .. τίνυσθε”, the powers appealed to being all the world of spirits.
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