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La NOSOS di Aiace (a proposito di Soph. Ai. 654-659)

digital La NOSOS di Aiace (a proposito di Soph. Ai. 654-659)
fascicolo AEVUM ANTIQUUM - 2012 - 2013
titolo La NOSOS di Aiace (a proposito di Soph. Ai. 654-659)
editore Vita e Pensiero
formato Articolo | Pdf
online da 01-2016
issn 1121-8932 (stampa) | 1827-7861 (digitale)
€ 6,00

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In this study I re-examine the ll. 654-659 of Sophocles’ Ajax. The hero shows the intention of going to the sea shore to purify his body and to appease Athena’s wrath. According to a general opinion the origins of impurity are due to his killing of animals when he was victim of the madness sent by Athena. Yet this motivation does not seem sound because the killing of animals is not a good reason to cause pollution. A new analysis of these lines and the comparison with the iliadic episode where the Achaean army celebrates a similar rite after the plague sent by Apollo and the restitution of Chryseid to her father (Il. I 312-317) require a different explanation. Ajax presents his project as the consequence of Athena’s wrath and of the sickness (nosos) sent by the goddess who corrupted his mind. Rites of purification are presented as necessary in order to eliminate any trace of dirt and to get a decisive rescue after the crisis.