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τί δ᾽ ἐστὶ τοῦτο; "What means this?" (cp. τί δ᾽ ἔστι; "what now?" O. T. 319 n.). “"What has this sudden resolve to do with the mention of the Eumenides?"

ξυμφορᾶς ξύνθημ᾽ ἐμῆς. σύνθημα=something agreed upon (συντίθεμαι), as e.g. a military watchword (Her. 9.98). Apollo had told Oedipus that, when he reached a shrine of the Σεμναί, then he should find rest (90). This was the σύνθημα, the sign preconcerted between them, which Oedipus has now recognised at Colonus (cp. “ἔγνωκα,96). He calls his own prayer (44 f.) the σύνθημα of his fate, because it embodies the two points of the σύνθημα, — "Here are the Eumenides, — here I stay." Campbell renders, "the word that sums my destiny," and seems to regard the notion of "sign" as blended with that of "summary." But the two notions are distinct. σύνθημα is always parallel in sense with συντίθεμαι as="to concert" (βουλήν, etc.), never with συντίθημι as="to put briefly together."

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 9.98
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 90
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 96
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 44
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 319
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