πέτρας ἰσόταυρος is J. F. Martin's and E. L. Lushington's brilliant emendation of πετραῖος ὁ ταῦρος, the reading of the first hand in L. It is at once closer to the letters, and more poetical, than πέτρας ἅτε ταῦρος （Dorville, —where the use of ἅτε is un-Attic）, πέτρας ἴσα ταύροις （M. Schmidt）, or πέτρας ὡς ταῦρος, which last looks like a prosaic correction. I suppose the corruption to have arisen thus. A transcriber who had before him ΠΕΤΡΑΣΙΣΟΤΑΥΡΟΣ took the first O for the art., and then amended ΠΕΤΡΑΣΙΣ into the familiar word ΠΕΤΡΑΙΟΣ. With a cursive MS. this would have been still easier, since in πετρασισοταυρος the first ς might have been taken for ο （not a rare mistake）, and then a simple transposition of ι and the supposed ο would have given πετραιος. It is true that such compounds with ἰσο usu. mean, not merely “like,” but “as good as” or “no better than”: e.g. ἰσοδαίμων, ἰσόθεος, ἰσόνεκυς, ἰσόνειρος, ἰσόπαις, ἰσόπρεσβυς. Here, however, ἰσόταυρος can well mean “wild” or “fierce of heart” as a bull. And we know that in the lost Κρέουσα Soph. used ἰσοθάνατος in a way which seemed too bold to Pollux （6. 174 οὐ πάνυ ἀνεκτόν）, —probably in the sense of “dread as death” （cp. Soph. Aj. 215 “θανάτῳ γὰρ ἴσον πάθος ἐκπεύσει）.” The bull is the type of a savage wanderer who avoids his fellows. Soph. in a lost play spoke of a bull “that shuns the herd,” Bekk. Anecd. 459.31 ἀτιμαγέλης: ὁ ἀποστάτης τῆς ἀγέλης ταῦρος: οὕτω Σοφοκλῆς. Verg. Georg. 3.225 （taurus） Victus abit, longeque ignotis exulat oris. Theocr. 14.43 “αἶνός θην λέγεταί τις, ἔβα καὶ ταῦρος ἀν᾽ ὕλαν”: a proverb ἐπὶ τῶν μὴ ἀναστρεφόντων（schol.）. The image also suggests the fierce despair of the wretched outlaw: Aesch. Lib. 275 “ἀποχρημάτοισι ζημίαις ταυρούμενον,” “stung to fury by the wrongs that keep me from my heritage”: Eur. Med. 92 “ὄμμα ταυρουμένην”: Aristoph. Frogs 804 “ἔβλεψε γοῦν ταυρηδὸν ἐγκύψας κάτω”: Plat. Phaedo 117b “ταυρηδὸν ὑποβλέψας πρὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον.” With regard to the reading πετραῖος ὁ ταῦρος, see Appendix.
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