It is impossible to say whether we ought to read ἔχ᾽ ἐνδεκάπηχυ with MSS., or “ἔχεν δεκάπηχυ” with some of the old commentators. Either length seems unwieldy to us, but in 15.678 Aias uses a pike of twice the length, and Xenophon ( Anab. iv. 7. 16) incidentally mentions that the spears of the Chalybes were 15 cubits long. The old explanation of the πόρκης is no doubt correct, “ὁ κρίκος ὁ συνέχων τὸν σίδηρον πρὸς τὸ ξύλον τοῦ δόρατος”. Dr. Schliemann found at Hissarlik spearheads with flat bases and holes for nails, by which they were fastened into a slit in the shaft. This necessarily implies the use of some sort of ferrule to prevent the wood from splitting, probably a ‘lashing’ of wire. Cf. note on 13.162. πάροιθε, before him as he went; cf. 20.437 “ἐμὸν βέλος ὀξὺ πάροιθεν”.
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