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Five or Seven Recesses?

  • P. Walcot (a1)


IN C.Q. N.S. xiii (1963), 1578ff., M. L. West discusses various non-Greek traditions which throw light on the interpretation of Pherecydes. Of course problems remain, but one of these the comparative material may yet solve. Is West correct in suggesting (p. 157) that we emend the Suda entry on Pherecydesand so reduce the seven recesses to five ? A convincing analogy can help us here. G. S. Kirk has already compared the seven gates which Ishtar has to penetrate when she descends into the underworld. Despite all his reluctance to admit oriental influence on Pherecydes, he sees this as a possible source.



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page 79 note 1 Kirk-Raven, , The Presocratic Philosophers (Cambridge, 1957), pp. 58 and 71.

page 79 note 2 I quote the translation by Driver, G. R., Canaanite Myths and Legends (Edinburgh, 1956), p. 91.

page 79 note 3 Pope, M. H., ‘El in the Ugaritic Texts’, Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 2 (Leiden, 1955), pp. 6181.

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The Classical Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0009-8388
  • EISSN: 1471-6844
  • URL: /core/journals/classical-quarterly
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