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πατρῷον. What is meant by the “"horrible paternal gloom of Tartarus"”? Clearly “πατρῷον” must have some reference to the personal relationships of the speaker, but that reference might be variously defined. (1) The primeval Darkness, father of all (as Apollo is “πατρῷος διὰ τὴν τοῦ Ἴωνος γένεσιν”, Plat. Euthyd. 302 C). Aristoph. Av. 693Χάος ἦν καὶ Νὺξ Ἔρεβός τε μέλαν πρῶτον καὶ Τάρταρος εὐρύς”: cp. Hes. Th. 116. The point will then be twofold; the Furies are “παῖδες ἀρχαίου Σκότου” (see on 40); and Darkness, father of all, is invoked by the father who is cursing his son,— as “Ζεὺς πατρῷος” is the god to whom an outraged father appeals (Aristoph. Nub. 1468). (2) The nether gloom which hides Laïus (so Hermann). The thought will then be that the family “ἀρά” which slew Laïus is to slay Polyneices. It seems hardly the fit moment, however, for Oed. to recall his own parricidal act. (3) The nether gloom which is to be thy sole patrimony, “πατρῷον” being proleptic. This appears a little too subtle for the direct vehemence of the curse. (4) A darkness like that in which thy blind father dwells: cp.

ἰὼ σκότου
νέφος ἐμὸν ἀπότροπον


I prefer (1), but suspect that the poet used “πατρῷον” with some measure of deliberate vagueness, leaving the hearers to choose between its possible associations, or to blend them. No emendation seems probable: see cr. n.


γένοιτ᾽ ἔπουρος ἑστιῶτις αὔρα,
ἥτις μ᾽ ἀποικίσειεν ἐκ τόπων


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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 693
    • Aristophanes, Clouds, 1468
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 116
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 302c
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1314
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 954
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