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[181] This line is remarkable as being the only case where Homer formally recognizes the mixed monsters which play such a prominent part in later Greek mythology. Even here he makes no mention of the winged horse Pegasos, who is an integral portion of the legend in Pindar ( Ol. xiii.), unless a reference to him be found in “θεῶν τεράεσσι”, which may mean anything (cf. 4.398). But the mixed type is to be traced back to the primitive ‘Mykenaean’ gems called ‘island-stones,’ where various animals are found thus joined, one seeming to grow out of the back of another. This represents probably only a clumsy attempt of the engraver to indicate one as behind the other. The myth may possibly have arisen from the attempt to explain such pictures (see Milchhöfer, Anf. d. Kunst pp. 81 ff.). There is therefore no reason for doubting the antiquity of 181-2. The couplet recurs in Hes. Theog. 323-4. Editors of Hesiod appear generally to regard it as interpolated from the Iliad, editors of the Iliad as interpolated from Hesiod. Possibly it may come from a third source, now lost.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 323
    • Homer, Iliad, 4.398
    • Pindar, Olympian, 13
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