|The Miracle of Teumessus: the Meaning of the Petrification
|This paper examines the meaning of the petrification that befell the Teumessian fox and the hound chasing it. The event is described in nine texts. In some of them the quarry and the hunter are both assumed to be absolutely invincible, while in others there is no such categorical assumption. In the Epigoni, the typical example of the latter group, the petrification stops the hound at the last moment from capturing the fox and perpetuates the climactic situation of the battle. In Apollodorus, who belongs to the former group, it is simply the materialisation of the original state of the never-ending pursuit. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, a hybrid of both groups, it hampers the intervention of Cephalus' javelin and upgrades the seemingly endless match to an eternal one. In sum, their petrification means either the blocking of the conclusion of game or the representation in stone of the never-ending match of the equal fighters. In this second meaning it embodies the metaphysical concept of contradiction in notable distinction from the well-known episode of Han Feizi, whereas the petrification in the Epigoni, along with the first meaning, symbolises mankind's incessant manoeuvre against the overwhelming superhuman power and the limit of their mastery.
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|XXVI (SCRIPTA IN HONOREM DR. HIROYUKI TAKAHASHI)
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