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Poetics   


sense of mules, but of sentinels. So, again, of Dolon: 'ill-favored

indeed he was to look upon.' It is not meant that his body was

ill-shaped but that his face was ugly; for the Cretans use the word

eueides, 'well-flavored' to denote a fair face. Again, zoroteron de

keraie, 'mix the drink livelier' does not mean 'mix it stronger' as

for hard drinkers, but 'mix it quicker.'

Sometimes an expression is metaphorical, as 'Now all gods and men

were sleeping through the night,' while at the same time the poet

says: 'Often indeed as he turned his gaze to the Trojan plain, he

marveled at the sound of flutes and pipes.' 'All' is here used

metaphorically for 'many,' all being a species of many. So in the

verse, 'alone she hath no part... , oie, 'alone' is metaphorical;

for the best known may be called the only one.

Again, the solution may depend upon accent or breathing. Thus

Hippias of Thasos solved the difficulties in the lines, didomen

(didomen) de hoi, and to men hou (ou) kataputhetai ombro.

Or again, the question may be solved by punctuation, as in

Empedocles: 'Of a sudden things became mortal that before had learnt

to be immortal, and things unmixed before mixed.'

Or again, by ambiguity of meaning, as parocheken de pleo nux,

where the word pleo is ambiguous.

Or by the usage of language. Thus any mixed drink is called oinos,

'wine'. Hence Ganymede is said 'to pour the wine to Zeus,' though

the gods do not drink wine. So too workers in iron are called

chalkeas, or 'workers in bronze.' This, however, may also be taken

as a metaphor.

Again, when a word seems to involve some inconsistency of meaning,

we should consider how many senses it may bear in the particular

passage. For example: 'there was stayed the spear of bronze'- we

should ask in how many ways we may take 'being checked there.' The

true mode of interpretation is the precise opposite of what Glaucon

mentions. Critics, he says, jump at certain groundless conclusions;

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