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αἱ μακραὶ ἁμέραι, the long days (of any given long life),

πολλὰ μὲν δὴ κατέθεντο are wont (gnomic aor.) to lay up full many things,

λύπας ῾γεν. σινγ.᾿ ἐγγυτέρω somewhat near to grief: i.e. advancing years are apt to accumulate around men a store of cares, regrets, sorrows,—in brief, a store of things which are nearer to pain than to joy; while in the mean time the joys of earlier days have vanished.

λύπας ἐγγυτέρω is a sort of euphemism: cp. Ant. 933οἴμοι, θανάτου τοῦτ᾽ ἐγγυτάτω τοὔπος ἀφῖκται”, “"this word hath come very nigh unto death"”—i.e. threatens imminent death.

The middle “κατατίθεσθαι” is continually used in Attic of “"storing up,"”— either literally, as “καρπούς, θησαυρούς, σῖτον”,—or figuratively, as “χάριν, κλέος, φιλίαν, ἔχθραν”. Therefore I would not render κατέθεντο simply, “"set down,"” as if the meaning were that many things, once “"near to joy,"” are moved by the years, and set down nearer to grief; though this view is tenable. (Cp.

Δ. τὰ στρώματ᾽ αὖθις λάμβανε.
Ξ. πρὶν καὶ καταθέσθαι;

) —Not, "oft (“πολλὰ”) lay up griefs (“λύπας” acc. pl.) nearer (us)."

οὐκ ἂν ἴδοις ὅπου (sc.ἐστί”, as Ai. 890ἄνδρα μὴ λεύσσειν ὅπου”): cp. Aesch. Eum. 301τὸ χαίρειν μὴ μαθόνθ᾽ ὅπου φρενῶν”, “"knowing not where to find joy in thy soul."

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 301
    • Aristophanes, Frogs, 165
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 890
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 933
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