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In Greece today—and it is unlikely that things were very different in antiquity—large kills are rare, so the issue of sharing does not arise. e. those highest in the ‘pecking’ order) get first go, and so on down the line. But what is true is that there is a structured aspect to a kill, so that the notion of cooperation has a basis in actual behaviour. Myth ‘clarifies’ an asymmetrical order into equality. It is a small step from the idea that wolves treat each other as equals to the idea that wolves are all alike; and this step was also taken in Greek belief.

84 Yet myths regularly speak of female hunting, both individual (Atalante, Prokris, Kallisto; Kyrene in Pindar’s 9th Pythian) and collective (maenads hunt down Orpheus on Pangaion85 and Pentheus on Kithairon). 86 The presence of women on the oros can even be seen as a symptom of madness. 88 To behave outside the norm, or outside oneself, is to belong on the oros, and in a way to belong to it. Here, as elsewhere, myth sharpens the boundary between oros and settlement, a boundary which in everyday life will have been blurred; the livelihood of shepherds, and of charcoal-burners like the Acharnians, depended, after all, on the constant crossing of the divide.

At first this wish is generalized in ektopion (‘away from this place’) (1340), then expressed as a threefold possibility: ‘Hide me somewhere abroad, or kill me, or throw me into the sea’ (1410–12). ) Kreon’s response is to confine Oidipous not just within the polis of Thebes, but within Oidipous’ own oikos, to prevent his pollution from infecting the world outside. Oidipous then makes his request more precise: ‘Let me live on the mountains, where this place of mine called Kithairon is situated’ (1451–2).

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