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Ocnus
(155 words)

[German version]

(Ὄκνος/Óknos, Latin Ocnus). 'One who hesitates', 'one who wavers': character punished in the Underworld; he is forced to twist a rope forever, which is then devoured by a donkey standing behind him (cf. Danaids, Sisyphus, Tantalus; Prop. 4,3,21f.). According to Paus. 10,29,1f., O. was a symbol of a hard-working man whose wasteful wife kept using up what he had earned. Other versions: O. sits helpless before a donkey that has stumbled, as its load of wood falls to the ground (Apul. Met. 6,18); or: An elderly man (O.…

Cite this page
Käppel, Lutz (Kiel), “Ocnus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 21 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e829630>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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