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[1218-1219] The MSS. give δύρομαι γὰρ ὡς περίαλλα[sic; in one MS. ὡς περίαλα] ἰαχέων ἐκ στομάτων. I conjecture δύρομαι γὰρ ὥσπερ ἰάλεμον χέων ἐκ στομάτων: “I lament as one who pours from his lips a dirge ”: i.e., Oedipus is to me as one who is dead. Cp. Pind. I. 7.58ἐπὶ θρῆνον ... πολύφαμον ἔχεαν,” “over the tomb they poured forth a resounding dirge. ” My emendation has been adopted by Prof. Kennedy (ed. 1885). Every attempt to explain the vulgate is unavailing. (1) ὡς περίαλλ᾽ is supposed to be like ὡς ἐτητύμως, ὡς μάλιστα, “in measure most abundant. ” Now περίαλλα could mean only “preeminently,” “more than others”: Soph. fr. 225 νόμων οὓς Θαμύρας περίαλλα μουσοποιεῖ, “strains which Thamyras weaves with art preeminent”: Aristoph. Thes. 1070τί ποτ᾽ Ἀνδρομέδα περίαλλα κακῶν μέρος ἐξέλαχον;” “why have I, Andromeda, been dowered with sorrows above all women?” Pind. P. 11.5θησαυρὸν ὂν περίαλλ᾽ ἐτίμασε Λοξίας,” honoured preeminently. Here, περίαλλα is utterly unsuitable; and the added ὡς makes the phrase stranger still. (2) The MSS. have ἰαχέων. Both ἰα^χεῖν and ἰα_χεῖν occur: but the latter should, with Dindorf, be written ἰακχέω. Eur. Her. 752ἰακχήσατε”: 783 ὀλολύγματα ... ἰακχεῖ: Eur. Orest. 826Τυνδαρὶς ἰάκχησε τάλαινα”: 965 ἰακχείτω δὲ γᾶ Κυκλωπία. The participle, however, is unendurably weak after δύρομαι, and leaves ἐκ στομάτων weaker still. (3) ἐκ στομάτων can mean only “from my lips” (the plur. as Soph. Trach. 938ἀμφιπίπτων στόμασιν,” kissing her lips: Eur. Alc. 404ποτὶ σοῖσι πίτνων στόμασιν”: it could not mean “loudly. ” (4) Elmsley, doubtless feeling this, took ἰαχέων as gen. of a supposed, but most questionable, ἰαχέος, “loud,” formed from ἰαχή. Erfurdt conjectured ἰακχίων, “from lips wild as a bacchant's.” But a Greek poet would not have brought Iacchos and Thanatos so close together; χωρὶς τιμὴ θεῶν. (5) ἰάλεμον gives exactly the right force; for them, Oed. is as the dead. ἰάλεμος is a wail for the dead in the four places of Eur. where it occurs (Eur. Orest. 1391, Eur. Phoen. 1033, Eur. Tro. 600, Eur. Tro. 1304), in Eur. Rh. 895, and in the one place of Aesch. Supp. 115, which is just to our point: the Chorus of Danaides say, πάθεα ... θρεομένα ... ἰηλέμοισιν ἐμπρεπῆ ζῶσα γόοις με τιμῶ, “lamenting sorrows meet for funeral wails (i.e. the sorrows of those who are as dead), while yet living, I chant mine own dirge.” ἐκ στομάτων fits χέων, since χεῖν was not commonly used absolutely for “to utter” (as by Pindar, l. c. above). (6) The corruption may have thus arisen in a cursive MS.: ἰάλεμον being written ἰαλεμὸ, the last five letters of ὡσπεριαλεμοχῈων would first generate αχεων (as in one MS.), or, with the second stroke of the μ, ιαχεων: the attempt to find an intelligible word in the immediately preceding group of letters would then quickly produce the familiar περίαλλα (in one MS. περίαλα). The nonelision of the final α in the MSS. favours this view. As to metre, with πατρὶ in 1209, a tribrach (-τρὶ θαλαμ answers to a dactyl ὡς περι-, my ὥσπερ ἰ-), whether we keep the traditional text, or adopt my conjecture, or that of Wecklein or of Burges; though Wecklein, by a strange oversight, has noticed this objection as if it were peculiar to my conjecture. Wunder's πόσει for πατρὶ in 1209 would restore exact correspondence, and may be right; but I rather prefer, with Heinrich Schmidt (Compositionslehre 64), to regard the ὡς as an “irrational syllable ”: see Metrical Analysis.

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