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σῷζε, "guard them," — not merely, "remember" them, a sense peculiar to the midd. “σῴζομαι” (Plat. Theaet. 153 B, etc., n. on O. T. 318). Cp. Ant. 1113νόμους σῴζοντα” (“"observing"”).

ἀφικνῇ: L's “ἀφίκῃ” is of course impossible, the ι of the aor. being long only in the indic. (cp. 1495).

τῷ προφερτάτῳ μόνῳ: “but to one,
Thy chiefest

” (Whitelaw), which well gives the vagueness of the phrase. While the hereditary monarchy lasted, the προφέρτατος would, in fact, be the king's eldest son: afterwards, it would be the man whose place in the State made him the proper guardian of the secret. The poet chose a phrase which would cover priestly tradition. I would not, then, change μόνῳ, with Nauck, to γόνῳ. In fr. 401 “ γὰρ φίλη ᾿γὼ τῶνδε τοῦ προφερτέρου”, the sense “"elder"” is possible, but not certain. Hes. Scut. 260 has “τῶν γε μὲν ἀλλάων προφερής τ᾽ ἦν πρεσβυτάτη τε”, where the second adj. helps the first; Plat. Euthyd. 271 B has “προφερής”, “"wellgrown,"” of a youth, as opp. to “σκληφρός”, “"slight."” Hom. has only “προφερέστερος”, never of age. The nearest parallel to our passage is Hes. Th. 361προφερεστάτη ἐστὶν ἁπασέων”, foremost among the daughters of Oceanus is Styx; and at 777 she is called “πρεσβυτάτη”. So, here, the word suggests seniority, but without excluding pre-eminence of other kinds.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Hesiod, Shield of Heracles, 260
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 777
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 361
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 153b
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 271b
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1113
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 318
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