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[1279] The best choice lies between Heath's ὄμβρος χαλάζης αἱματοῦς and Porson's ὄμβρος χάλαζά θ᾽ αἱματοῦσσ᾽. The fact that all the MSS. have χαλάζης and that most (including L, A) have αἵματος favours Heath's reading, which is also the stronger. Dindorf prefers Porson's on the ground that such forms as αἰματοῦς, αἱματοῦν are rarer than the feminine forms; but this seems an inadequate reason. Seneca's free paraphrase (Oed. 978 rigat ora foedus imber, et lacerum caput Largum revulsis sanguinem venis vomit) affords no clue as to his text of Sophocles. μέλας ὄμβρος αἱματοῦς χαλάζης = a shower of dark blood-drops rushing down as fiercely as hail: cp. Soph. OC 1502ὀμβρία χάλαζ᾽ ἐπιρράξασα.” Pindar has ἐν πολυφθόρῳ ... Διὸς ὄμβρῳ ἀναρίθμων ἀνδρῶν χαλαζάεντι φόνῳPind. I. 4.49) of a slaughter in which deathblows are rained thick as hail; and so χάλαζαν αἵματοςPind. I. 6.27): so that the resemblance is only verbal.

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