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τοῖς μὲν γὰρ ἤδη, for some men at once (i.e., after but a brief friendship), for others, later.

ἤδη is here used as “αὐτίκα” more often is: cp. Aesch. Cho. 1020μόχθος δ᾽ μὲν αὐτίχ̓, δ᾽ ἥξει”. No relationship between men or states is permanent, for the feelings with which they regard each other are liable to change,—from liking to dislike, yes, and back again to liking.

καὖθις φίλα, by completing the circle, completes the picture of inconstancy. Nauck has quite needlessly suspected these two vv. The maxim ascribed to Bias of Priene (c. 550 B.C.), “φιλεῖν ὡς μισήσοντας καὶ μισεῖν ὡς φιλήσοντας” (Arist. Rhet. 2.13, Cic. De Amic. 16. 59ita amare oportere ut si aliquando esset osurus”), is paraphrased in Ai. 679 ff., with the comment, “τοῖς πολλοῖσι γὰρ βροτῶν ἄπιστός ἐσθ᾽ ἑταιρείας λιμήν”: cp. ib. 1359 κάρτα πολλοὶ νῦν φίλοι καὖθις πικροί”.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Aeschylus, Libation Bearers, 1020
    • Aristotle, Rhetoric, 2.13
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1359
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 679
    • Cicero, De Amicitia, 16
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