Classical Quarterly 35 (01):229- (1985)

In the second Nekyia Hermes conducts to Hades the souls of the suitors slain by Odysseus: Even in antiquity the identification of the Λευκς πέτρη was a conundrum. It would seem that no ancient Greek scholar could plausibly locate this rock. According to the scholion in the codex Venetus Marcianus 613, one of the many reasons Aristarchos gave for athetising the whole of the second Nekyia was λλ' οδ οικεν ες Ἅιδου λευκν εναι πέτραν. Certainly Hades had πέτραι, but traditionally they were ‘black-hearted’ or ‘blood-red’, not λευκαί. As an example of the lengths to which scholiasts were driven to justify the epithet Λευκάς, the scholion in the British Library codex Harley 5674 has the unhelpful explanation ο γρ νεκροί κλείψαντος το αματος λευκοειδες ρνται. Eustathios' attempt is not much better; he writes στέον δ τι Λευκάδα μέν πέτραν μθος πρς τ Ἅιδπλάττει ἢ κατ ντίρασιν, μλας γρ κε σκότος, ἢ κα δι τούς σχάτους τς κε γς τόπους, ος εκς τν ᾓλιον τι διαλευκαίνειν δυόμενον. At Od. 10.515, in commenting on the πέτρη where the Pyriphlegethôn and the Kôkytos flow into the Acherôn, he ventures the suggestion σως δ εη ν ατη ν τος μετ τατα λεχθησομένη Λευκς πέτρα, which is obviously a mere guess. It would be a waste of time to record the conjectural attempts of modern scholars to locate the Λευκς πέτρη in Hades, for if the ‘Rock Leukas’ was across the Ocean, near the ‘Gates of the Sun’ and the ‘Land of Dreams’, we cannot reasonably hope to identify it
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DOI 10.1017/S0009838800014701
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