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Double layer of fat

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Double layer of fat

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:11 pm

Il 1.458:
αὐτὰρ ἐπεί ῥ’ εὔξαντο καὶ οὐλοχύτας προβάλοντο,
αὐέρυσαν μὲν πρῶτα καὶ ἔσφαξαν καὶ ἔδειραν,
μηρούς τ’ ἐξέταμον κατά τε κνίσῃ ἐκάλυψαν
δίπτυχα ποιήσαντες, ἐπ’ αὐτῶν δ’ ὠμοθέτησαν·
καῖε δ’ ἐπὶ σχίζῃς ὁ γέρων, ἐπὶ δ’ αἴθοπα οἶνον
λεῖβε· νέοι δὲ παρ’ αὐτὸν ἔχον πεμπώβολα χερσίν.

What does it mean, concretely, "making it a double layer"? I mean, I have often wondered this while sacrifying a hecatomb, whether I've been doing it all wrong... Ok, seriously, have you any idea what it means?
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Re: Double layer of fat

Postby Bart » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:14 pm

"What does it mean, concretely, "making it a double layer"?"

You've never barbecued then?
Willcock suggests that the thigh-bones covered with a layer of fat above and below and with pieces of raw meat on top symbolises the offering of the whole animal. That doesn't explain though why there should be two layers of fat.
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Re: Double layer of fat

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:21 pm

Well, I must admit I haven't barbecued a lot... Maybe that is a handicap to understanding this :)

But it's the word double that is bothering here. What does it mean exactly? I'm aware of the idea that the victim is in a way reconstituted.
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Re: Double layer of fat

Postby Qimmik » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:01 am

δίπτυχα means "double folded." I think the ideas is that they put the bone on a slab of fat and then folded the fat over the bone. Is that how you've been doing your hecatombs? If not, maybe that's why the gods aren't listening to your prayers for billions of euros, or even a complete edition of the LfrgE.
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Re: Double layer of fat

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:36 am

So you think it means the fat is folded into a sort of pocket to envelope the bone? In that case the fat covers the bone from both sides, so I guess that would explain it.

Ok, maybe I'll finally get my LfgrE! But do you think I have to pour Champagne for libation, or will any sparkling wine do? (Just kidding, of course -- whatever αἴθοπα οἶνον means, I'm sure "sparkling wine" is misleading as a translation)
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Re: Double layer of fat

Postby Qimmik » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:30 pm

"whatever αἴθοπα οἶνον means"

Don't worry. The "original" creator(s?) of the Homeric poems probably didn't know what this means, either. He/she/they just dropped in the formula when it happened to be convenient. Like ἐπὶ οἴνοπα πόντον.
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