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Θησέα has the final “α” long in 1458, but short here: cp. Eur. Hec. 882ξὺν ταῖσδε τὸν ἐμὸν φονέα τιμωρήσομαι”, =870 ed. Porson, who adds Philemon ap. Athen. 7. 307 E “κεστρἔ ὀπτόν”. Is the MS. καὶ after “Θησέα” genuine? If so, ἐμμείξειν is here intrans., like “ἐπι-, προσ-, συμμιγνύναι”: and the sense is, “"Theseus and the two maidens will soon meet amid a battle-cry of confident prowess."” Thus with ἐμμείξειν we are to understand “ἀλλήλοις”. The verb is fitting, because the maidens, though their sympathies are with Theseus, are in the midst of the hostile force.

αὐτάρκει βοᾷ is dat. of circumstance. This I believe to be the right view. Not, “"Th. and the maidens will join battle with the foe,"sc.τοῖς πολεμίοις”: for the maidens are in the hands of the foe. Such a phrase is not defensible merely because in spirit they are with Theseus.

Many critics, however, now regard καὶ as spurious: for Θησέα καὶ Dindorf proposes Αἰγεΐδαν: for Θησέα καὶ τὰς Wecklein Θησέα παῖδας. The sense would then be:—“"Theseus will soon bring the sisters into (i.e., will soon raise around them) a battle-cry of confident prowess,"”—by attacking their captors. This is possibly right: but a change of καὶ τὰς into παῖδας is hardly likely. In Ph. 79παῖ”, which Erfurdt changed to “καί”, is clearly sound.

διστόλους=“"two journeying"” sisters, —as borne off by their captors: see on 17πυκνόπτεροι”. Not, “"separately carried off,"” with ref. to two bands of Thebans (cp. 818).

αὐτάρκει, “"self-sufficing,"” and so “"self-reliant,"” giving confident promise of victorious rescue.

τούσδ᾽ ἀνὰ χ.: i.e. in Attica, before the border can be passed.

The poet has left the details of the rescue indistinct. Creon's guards first carried off the girls (844), and Theseus sent mounted Athenians in pursuit (897). Afterwards, Theseus commands Creon to lead him to where the girls are; if they are “"in these regions"” (1020 “ἐν τόποισι τοῖσδ̓”), Theseus himself will recover them: if, however, the guards are already flying with them, then Theseus has nothing to do; the mounted Athenians, who have already started, will pursue (1020 ff.). But from the words of Theseus in 1148 it is plain that they have been rescued by his personal prowess, of which he forbears to boast (“κομπεῖν”, 1149): and the same inference must be drawn from Antigone's words (1117). How are these facts to be reconciled? We can only suppose that the mounted Athenians, who started first, halted to watch the “δίστομοι ὁδοί” (900), while Creon's guards also halted somewhere in concealment, to await their master. Theseus, with Creon, was thus enabled to overtake his Athenians before the struggle. The fact is that Sophocles did not care to think out these points, about which an Athenian audience in the theatre would not trouble themselves. Cp. on O. T. 758.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Euripides, Hecuba, 882
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 758
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 79
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