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[1455] οἶδα μὴ ἂν πέρσαι = “I am confident that nothing can destroy me ” μή is admissible since οἶδα here = πέποιθα, and μὴ ἂν πέρσαι represents a negative conception of the mind. So with partic. Soph. OC 656οἶδ᾽ ἐγώ σε μή τινα ἐνθένδ᾽ ἀπάξοντ᾽. οἶδα οὐκ ἂν πέρσαι” would be more usual; the difference being that this would be the oblique form of οἶδα ὅτι οὐκ ἂν πέρσειε. The ordinary usage is (1) οὐ with infin. (= ὅτι with indic.) after verbs of saying or thinking, λέγω, φημί, οἴομαι, etc; (2) μή with infin. after verbs of feeling confident, promising, etc., as πιστεύω, πέποιθα, ὑπισχνοῦμαι, ὄμνυμι. But a few exceptions occur both ways, when a verb of either class is virtually equivalent to a verb of the other: e.g. (1) Dem. 29.48οἴεσθε οὐκ ἂν αὐτὴν λαβεῖν”= ὅτι οὐκ ἂν ἔλαβεν αὐτήν), but Xen. Mem. 1.2.41οἶμαιμὴ ἂν δικαίως τυχεῖν τούτου τοῦ ἐπαίνου τὸν μὴ εἰδότα: (2) Plat. Prot. 336bὁμολογεῖμὴ μετεῖναί οἱ μακρολογίας, but Plat. Apol. 17aὁμολογοίην ἂν ἔγωγεοὐ κατὰ τούτους εἶναι ῥήτωρ. Cp. Whitelaw in Trans. Cam. Phil. Soc. (1886) p. 34, and Gildersleeve in Amer. Fourn. Philol. 1.49. —Whitelaw here takes πέρσαι ἄν as = ἔπερσεν ἄν, and reads τῷ (not τῳδεινῷ κακῷ: “my parents wished to kill me; but nothing could have killed me; I was reserved for this dread evil. ” Surely, however, it is better to connect the verses with the wish for death which he has just uttered. The poet of Colonus gives Oedipus a presentiment that his end is not to be as that of other men.

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