Heat and Lust: Hesiod’s Midsummer Festival Scene Revisited

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Appendix 4. Commentary on WD 448-452

Cf. West ad loc. Also cf.:

448. φράζεσθαι: infinitive as imperative = ‘heed’ as at WD 86 ἐφράσαθ’, ὥς·.

φωνήν: the crane’s ‘voice’ is actually a strident “krooh” (Field guide, p. 101), or κλαγγή, cf. below on 449. Φωνή is even so appropriate, for it refers to ‘the resonant voice’ (as opposed to αὐδή, which refers to the ‘articulate voice’: see Verdenius, pp. 57-58 on WD 79). On the crane’s call, see also Nagy 1985. 64-68 and Nagy 1990b[1983]. 213.

ἐπακούσεις: the addressee, it is implied, should listen intently for the cry; ἐπί- refers to an intention: cf. WD 29 ἐπακουόν and Verdenius, p. 32 ad loc.

449. ὑψόθεν ἐκ νεφέων: Pollard, p. 83: “Cranes often fly high above the line of vision, but their loud trumpet is still audible from the clouds.” Cf. Iliad 3.3 ἠΰτε περ κλαγγὴ γεράνων πέλει οὐρανόθι πρό; further literary testimonia of its elevated flight in Thompson, pp. 70-71.

ἐνιαύσια: neuter plural as adverb; the crane migrates southward from Greece in November. Cf. carmen populare 848.3 (PMG) [ἄγουσα] καλοὺς ἐνιαυτοὺς and carmen populare 1.11 (Diehl ii) νεῦμαι ἐνιαύσιος, both discussed below.

κεκληγυίης: perfect participle of *κλάζω, present, intensifying sense, on which cf. Verdenius, p. 120 on WD 207 λέληκας; for literary evidence of its noisy cry, see Thompson, p. 70.450. ἥ τ’ : cf. on 595 (Appendix 1). Also cf. Iliad 3.4, αἵ τ’ ἐπεὶ οὖν χειμῶνα φύγον καὶ ἀθέσφατον ὄμβρον (of cranes).

ἀρότοιο σῆμα φέρει: σῆμα = ‘sign to do or begin something’ (cf. Odyssey 21.231, Hes. Shield of Herakles 385 [Solmsen] … πολέμοιο), hence ἀρ. σ. = ‘sign or signal to take up plowing.’ The crane was associated with plowing: Theognis 1197 f. (W), Cratinus fr. 5 (PCG iv [K.-A.]) βωλοκόπωι … γεράνωι, with the editors’ note (p. 125).

450-451. καὶ χείματος ὥρην / δεικνύει ὀμβρηροῦ: cranes flee (and therefore presage) rainy weather: Iliad 3.4 (already quoted), and further testimonia in Thompson, pp. 71, 74. In general they signal the coming of winter: Theophrastus On weather signs 7.3.38, Aratus 1075 f. But for the adjective ὀμβρηροῦ, the relative clauses in vv. 450-451 would be perfectly parallel.

451. κραδίην δ ’ ἔδακ ’: δέ has consecutive force: Verdenius, p. 21 on v. 18.

452. δὴ τότε: δή ordinarily follows the word it stresses, but poetry admits of deviations from normal order (Denniston, p. 227). Here it not only precedes the emphatic temporal adverb, but occurs at the opening sentence, as at Iliad 5.136 δὴ τότε μιν τρὶς τόσσον ἕλεν μένος (further examples in Denniston, p. 228). Δὴ τότε refers back to εὖτ ‘ ἂν (448).