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The MSS. have ἐν καθαρῷ βῆναι. “"And I pray that he (Cerberus) ...may leave a clear path for the stranger,"” as he passes to Hades. “βῆναι ἐν καθαρῷ τῷ ξένῳ” must mean strictly, “"to go on to clear ground for the stranger,"i.e. to pass to ground which he will not traverse, leaving his path clear. ἐν καθαρῷ is thus virtually equivalent to “ἐκποδών”. Madvig's ἐκ καθαροῦ is proleptic:—“"go out of the path, so as to leave it clear."” Cp.

κελεύθῳ τ᾽ ἐν καθαρᾷ
βάσομεν ὄκχον

: Her. 1.202῾οφ α ριϝεῤ ῥέει διὰ καθαροῦ” (through an open country, where its course is not checked). So Il. 8.491ἐν καθαρῷ”, in a clear space. I suspect the text to be unsound, but the data are inadequate for its certain correction. Two views are possible. (1) τόν in 1574 may be corrupt. If (e.g.) Hartung's τόδ᾽ were read, the sense would be:— “"This is my prayer for the stranger..., that he may move in a clear path."” Such a view best suits the natural sense of “ἐν καθαρῷ βῆναι”. (2) τόν may be sound, while ἐν καθαρῷ may have supplanted something like “ἐκ καθόδου”. Or βῆναι may have come (e.g.) from “φθῆναι”: “"I pray for the stranger that he speed safely past Cerberus to clear ground."

πλάκας: see on 1564.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.202
    • Pindar, Olympian, 6
    • Homer, Iliad, 8.491
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