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Kayser's ἄναξ, χρῄζουσι (for ἀναγκάζουσι) is exactly what the sense requires, and is fairly near to the MS. reading, while the latter is (I think) certainly corrupt. The verse must not be considered alone, but in close connection with 590, and with the whole context. It has been rendered:—(1) “"They are for compelling (my protectors) to convey me to Thebes."” But the ellipse of “τινά” before “κομίζειν” is intolerable. And the protectors could not be required to do more than surrender him. Therefore it is no cure to propose εἴ ς᾿ (for “κεῖς᾿”) “ἀναγκάσουσί με”. To read “σε” for “με” merely shifts the first difficulty, and leaves the second. (2) “"They are for putting constraint on me, so as to carry (me) to Thebes."” Such an epexegesis by the act. infin. is impossible here. Who could write “ἀναγκάζει σε ἄγειν ἐκεῖσε”, meaning, “"he is forcing thee, so as to take (thee) thither"”? (3) “κομίζειν” has been taken as=“"to return,"”=“κομίζεσθαι”. This needs no comment. We want either: (1) instead of κομίζειν, a word=“"to return"”; but “κατελθεῖν” is very unlikely, and no other substitute is obvious: or (2) instead of ἀναγκάζουσι, a word = “"they wish, seek."” That the fault lies in “ἀναγκάζουσι” is very strongly suggested by 590, where L has ἀλλ᾽ εἰ θέλοντ᾽ ἄν γ̓, evidently corrupted, by dittographia of “γ̓”, from “ἀλλ᾽ εἰ θέλοντά γ̓”, which L2 has. This gives a clear and fitting sense, if in 589 we read ἄναξ, χρῄζουσί με. All the trouble, for the MSS. and for the edd., has arisen from “ἀναγκάζουσι”. Hence (1) Goebel, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ θελόντων, “"but if they do not wish thee"” (“φεύγειν”): (2) Reisig, ἀλλ᾽ εἰ θέλοντάς γ̓, “"but what if it be not seemly for thee to shun them when willing (to receive thee)?"” Both these are forced. Campbell supplies “εἰ βούλοιντο κομίζειν” to explain “θέλοντα”, keeping L's “θέλοντ᾽ ἄν”: but “ἄν” can stand with a partic. only when the latter is equiv. to an apodosis, as it is in 761. So far as the tense of “ἀναγκάζουσι” is concerned, a change to the fut. is no gain: it is the pres. of tendency or intention. But the whole mention of compulsion or violence is premature in 589. Oed. leads very gently up to the disclosure of his sons' unnatural conduct (599).

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