Notes on Hierocles Stolcvs

Classical Quarterly 10 (02):85- (1916)
The bear, says Hierocles, is aware that its head is easily injured, and instinctively uses its paws as a protection. The three following lines in the papyrus are badly damaged– καν εί π.ε … δεηθεί Του | βαλανεíον κρημν | πáλιν ύ;β εθεíησιν ε | αυΤήν. This is followed by a description of what the bear does when it is pursued and comes to a precipice. It inflates itself and trusts to the inflation to break its fall. It is hardly possible to restore the damaged lines. Von Arnim thinks that the sense required is: ‘wenn die Bärin, vom Jäger verfolgt, eines Bades bedarf oder auf ihrer Flucht an einen Abgrund kommt,πáλιν ύπ èψίησιν εαψτήν’ But a sensible bear would hardly think of taking a bath when pursued by the hunter. It might take to the water; but the Greek for this would be somewhat different. As I read the passage, there is no reference to the bear as pursued by the hunter till line 34, where I would read πоιεî δè τò τοιóνδε , since the phrase εί δ υν διοκμéνμ in line 38 is resumptive, and implies that the pursuit must have been alluded to before. But before line 35 H. is only describing what the bear does to protect its head in the ordinary routine of its life when it is not harassed by the hunter. It wants a bath, and finds that it cannot reach the water without clambering down an overhanging bank It will not climb down head foremost, but guards its head by sliding backwards down the bank. As the bear would want its bath because it was hot, it is perhaps not too hazardous to conjecture that some phrase such as xs03F0xs2135ν ει π ε<ζομéν πνíγηι δεμθεíν του β. should find its place in line 31
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DOI 10.1017/S0009838800009381
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