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[790] προὔφηνεν suggested by Herm., has been adopted by several recent editors. Cp. Hdt. 1.210τῷ δὲ δαίμων προέφαινε,” and so Hdt. 3.65, Hdt. 7.37: Plut. Dem. 19ἐν οἷς τε Πυθία δεινὰ προὔφαινε μαντεύματα καὶ χρησμὸς ᾔδετο”: Plut. Camill. 4 (a man who pretended to μαντικήλόγια προὔφαινεν ἀπόρρητα: Dem. 21.54τοῖς ἐφ᾽ ἑκάστης μαντείας προφαινομένοις θεοῖς,” the gods announced (as claiming sacrifice) on each reference to the oracle. Yet the fact that προφαίνειν was thus a vox sollennis for oracular utterance would not suffice to warrant the adoption of προὔφηνεν, if the προὐφάνη of the MSS. seemed defensible. προὐφάνη λέγων would mean, “came into view, telling”: cp. above, 395, and Soph. El. 1285νῦν δ᾽ ἔχω σεπροὐφάνης δὲ φιλτάταν ἔχων πρόσοψιν.” It might apply to the sudden appearance of a beacon (cp. “ φρυκτὸς ἀγγέλλων πρέπει,Aesch. Ag. 30): but, in reference to the god speaking through the oracle, it could only mean, by a strained metaphor, “flashed on me with the message,” i.e. announced it with startling suddenness and clearness. The difficulty of conceiving Sophocles to have written thus is to me so great that the special appropriateness of προὔφηνεν turns the scale.

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