σύμμικτον εἶδος κἀποφώλιον βρέφος –> an infant of mixed appearance, born to sterility

spiros

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σύμμικτον εἶδος κἀποφώλιον βρέφος –> an infant of mixed appearance, born to sterility
ξύμμικτον εἶδος κἀποφώλιον τρέφος

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:YisYP1gTAlYJ:https://www.loebclassics.com/view/euripides-dramatic_fragments/2008/pb_LCL504.541.xml+&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=gr


τοὺς δὲ παῖδας εἰς Κρήτην κομιζομένους ὁ μὲν τραγικώτατος μῦθος ἀποφαίνει τὸν Μινώταυρον ἐν τῷ Λαβυρίνθῳ διαφθείρειν, ἢ πλανωμένους αὐτοὺς καὶ τυχεῖν ἐξόδου μὴ δυναμένους ἐκεῖ καταθνήσκειν, τὸν δὲ Μινώταυρον, ὥσπερ Εὐριπίδης φησί σύμμικτον εἶδος κἀποφώλιον βρέφος γεγονέναι, καὶ ταύρου μεμῖχθαι καὶ βροτοῦ διπλῇ φύσει.


Pour rendre le fait plus tragique, la fable ajoute que ces enfants étaient ou dévorés par le Minotaure dans le labyrinthe, ou condamnés à errer jusqu’à leur mort dans ce lieu, d’où ils ne pouvaient sortir. Pour le Minotaure, C’était un monstre affreux dont la double nature de l’homme et du taureau présentait la figure, a dit Euripide.

— (Plutarque, Vies parallèles)
https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%9C%CE%B9%CE%BD%CF%8E%CF%84%CE%B1%CF%85%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%82
« Last Edit: 07 Jul, 2020, 16:32:22 by spiros »


billberg23

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Euripides, Cretans fr. 472a (Nauck, Tragicorum graecorum fragmenta: (see Snell’s 1964 edition of Nauck, pp. 680 & [1033]).  The thoughtful scholar wonders what κἀποφώλιον (= καὶ ἀποφώλιον) has to do with the Minotaur.  As the brilliant A. E. Housman remarked in the Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society back in 1890, the vicious monster “was by no means ἀποφώλιον, empty, idle.”  I very much like Housman’s emendation to κἀποφύλιον, (“and sui generis,” “off-species,” “belonging to no [human] tribe”), so appropriate to the Minotaur.  And for good measure, H. finds ἀποφύλιος already recognized as corrupted into ἀποφώλιος at Aeschylus, frag. 287.
Our fragment derives from two sources in Plutarch:  Theseus 15, where it appears as σύμμικτον εἶδος κἀποφώλιον βρέφος, “a mixed figure, an idle/empty baby,” and De curiositate (Περὶ πολυπραγμοσύνης) 520c, which reads σύμμικτον εἶδος κἀποφώλιον τέρας, “a mixed figure, an idle/empty monster”.  To many scholars, it has seemed inappropriate to refer to the frightful Minotaur as a βρέφος, a “baby;” τέρας is much better, but how do we explain the discrepancy in MS readings? The word τρέφος, “creature” is Nauck’s reasonable compromise:  it’s easy to see how it might be corrupted to either βρέφος or τέρας.
To sum up:  the most likely reconstruction of the line would seem to be σύμμικτον εἶδος κἀποφύλιον τρέφος, “a mixed figure, a creature belonging to no species.”
« Last Edit: 10 Jul, 2020, 06:12:46 by billberg23 »



spiros

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billberg23

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That's not the only reason.  I think it's a mistake to take that Homeric instance of ἀποφώλιος (Odyssey 11.249) to mean "barren" in a clinical sense ("sterile"), with reference to Poseidon's rape of Tyro.  There it seems to mean "pointless" or "purposeless," "with no result," and thus goes back to the basic meaning of ἀποφώλιος, "idle".  Sex with a god was never a meaningless event, never without significance — and in the case of Tyro, her offspring became Peleus and his son Achilles;  her rape engendered history.  Anyhow, as far as I know, no one accuses the Minotaur of being sterile.  And Euripides himself was surely more interested in the Minotaur's monstrosity than in his ability to beget children.   
« Last Edit: 08 Jul, 2020, 02:53:13 by billberg23 »



 

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