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χρυσοδέτοις ἕρκεσι, nets, or snares, of golden links; i.e., the toils of fate into which he was drawn through the necklace with which his wife was bribed. (Not, ‘the snare laid for her by the necklace’; she knew what was to come.) The epithet marks the figurative sense of “ἕρκεσι” (as a ship is “λινόπτερον ὄχημα”, Aesch. P. V. 468): cp. Soph. Ai. 60εἰς ἕρκη κακά” (the net of doom). γυναικῶν, i.e.Ἐριφύλης”, an allusive plur. (145 n.), perhaps suggested by Hom. Od. 15. 247(of Amphiaraüs), “ἀλλ᾽ ὄλετ᾽ <*> Θήβῃσι γυναίων εἵνεκα δώρων”. (This is better than to give “γυναικῶν” a general sense,— ‘such as women love.’) Cp. Plat. Rep. 590A Ἐριφύλη ἐπὶ τῇ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς ψυχῇ τὸν ὅρμον δεξαμένη”. It was the “ὅρμος” which had been given to Harmonia by her husband Cadmus ( Paus. 9. 41. 2).

κρυφθέντα, which has been suspected (cr. n.), is sound; it is the word repeatedly used with ref. to the end of Amphiaraüs: Pind. N. 9. 24 δ᾽ Ἀμφιάρῃ σχίσσεν κεραυνῷ παμβίᾳ” | “Ζεὺς τὰν βαθύστερνον χθόνα, κρύψεν δ᾽ ἅμ᾽ ἵπποις”: Apollod. 3. 6. 6Ζεὺς κεραυνὸν βαλὼν τὴν γῆν διέστησεν, δὲ σὺν τῷ ἅρματι...ἐκρύφθη”: and especially the oracle cited in Athen. p. 232 E, commanding Alcmaeon , the seer's son, to dedicate the fatal necklace at Delphi: “καὶ σὺ φέρειν τιμῆεν ἐμοὶ γέρας, ποτε μήτηρ” | “Ἀμφιάραον ἔκρυψ᾽ ὑπὸ γῆν αὐτοῖσι σὺν ἵπποις”,—where the instrum. dat. “” (‘by means of which’) gives an exact parallel to “ἕρκεσι” here (cp. also 549). In Aesch. Theb. 587 f. Amphiaraüs says, “τήνδε πιανῶ χθόνα”, | “μάντις κεκευθὼς πολεμίας ὑπὸ χθονός”. Pausanias (9. 8. 3) saw near Thebes the enclosed and sacred spot where the earth had opened.

Some vase-paintings, representing the departure of Amphiaraüs for Thebes, show Eriphylè carrying the bribe in her hand. In one of these, on a very ancient vase from Caere, it appears as a necklace of large white pearls (Baumeister, Denkm. p. 67): in another, on a lekythos from Cervetri (Roscher, Lex.p. 295), it is a collar, with projecting rays.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 468
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 587
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.6.6
    • Homer, Odyssey, 15.247
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.41.2
    • Pindar, Nemean, 9
    • Plato, Republic, 590a
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 60
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