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Headword: *masxalisqh=nai
Adler number: mu,274
Translated headword: to put under the armpits, to mutilate
Vetting Status: high
They are accustomed to wipe their swords on the heads of those killed, as a way of averting the impurity of murder. Or, that on killing someone they would cut off the murder victim's extremities, and hang them around his armpit, so that (he says) he would become too weak to punish the murderer in return. So Apollonius [wrote]: "you were cutting off the first sacrificial extracts of the dead". [This is said] about Jason.[1] Or, that those waging a civil war would mutilate the people killed, cutting off [the extremities] from every part of the body, and would hang them around themselves, stringing the extremities together. In this way they took away the power of those [they killed], so they would not suffer anything horrible from those [they killed] later on. And they would wear the extremities around their armpits: they would call this "putting under the armpits".[2] Sophocles [writes]: "so think whether the corpse in the tomb would accept these burial honours kindly—when the corpse is dead by her hand without honour, mutilated with hostility, and its head wiped off spots in the bath". [This is said] about Agamemnon.[3]
Greek Original:
*masxalisqh=nai: ei)w/qasi tw=n a)nairoume/nwn ei)s ta\s kefala\s a)poma/ssein ta\ ci/fh, w(/sper a)potropiazo/menoi to\ mu/sos to\ e)n tw=| fo/nw|. h)\ o(/ti e)pi\ tai=s kaqa/rsesi tou= foneuqe/ntos ta\ a)/kra e)/temnon kai\ peri\ th\n masxa/lhn au)tou= e)kre/mazon au)ta/, i(/na, fhsi/n, a)sqenh\s ge/noito pro\s to\ a)ntiti/sasqai to\n fone/a. kai\ *)apollw/nios: e)ca/rgmata te/mnes qano/ntos. peri\ tou= *)ia/sonos. h)\ o(/ti oi( drw=ntes e)mfu/lion po/lemon h)krwthri/azon tou\s a)naireqe/ntas, e)k panto\s me/rous tou= sw/matos a)potemno/menoi, kai\ perih=pton e(autoi=s, ta\ a)/kra sunei/rontes, dia\ tou/twn w(/sper th\n du/namin e)kei/nwn a)fairou/menoi, dia\ to\ mh\ paqei=n ei)s u(/stero/n ti deino\n par' e)kei/nwn. e)fo/roun de\ ei)s ta\s masxa/las ta\ a)/kra: o(\ masxalisqh=nai e)/legon. *sofoklh=s: ske/yai ga/r, ei)/ soi prosfilw=s au)th=| dokei= ge/ra ta/d' o(u)n ta/foisi de/casqai ne/kus, u(f' h(=s qanw\n a)/timos, w(/ste dusmenh\s e)masxali/sqh, ka)pi\ loutroi=si ka/ra khli=das e)ce/mace. peri\ tou= *)agame/mnonos.
See also alpha 3616, epsilon 928, mu 275.
[1] Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4.477, which reads ta/mne, "he cut off".
[2] The entire entry is excerpted from the scholia to Sophocles, Electra 445, i.e. part of the passage now to be quoted'). The final sentence contains the headword as cited, in the aorist passive infinitive; the form does not occur in literature, but is glossed in Hesychius, and may come from a passage like this. (Sophocles himself uses the indicative in the following quotation.)
[3] Sophocles, Electra 442-446. The final verse misquotes ka/ra for ka/ra|: "and wiped off the spots [of blood] on [his] head".
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; ethics; medicine; military affairs; mythology; poetry; religion; tragedy
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 23 April 2009@21:09:42.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, keywords, cross-reference, status) on 24 April 2009@20:03:00.
David Whitehead (more x-refs; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 27 April 2009@07:07:50.
David Whitehead on 9 May 2013@03:42:11.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 18 July 2020@00:54:19.


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