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τὸ μέν τιςκ.τ.λ.” Two points first claim notice. (1) οὔτε and νεαρός are both in the MSS., but both cannot be right. Cp. v. 715. If with Porson the first “οὔτε” is changed to οὐ, the second “οὔτε” must certainly be changed to οὐδέ. A single “οὔτε” cannot follow “οὐ”, though a repeated “οὔτε” can (Tr. 1058). Elmsley's “οὔτε νέος” is hardly probable. (2) γήρᾳ σημαίνων seems to me impossible. It surely could not mean either (a) “"commanding in old age"”—the elderly Archidamus in contrast with the young Xerxes— or (b) “"commanding the elderly men."” The difficulty is not in the sense of

σημαίνων itself, for which cp.

πάντων μὲν κρατέειν ἐθέλει, πάντεσσι δ᾽ ἀνάσσειν,
πᾶσι δὲ σημαίνειν

,—he would be master, king, captain (“σημάντωρ”): it is in the combination with γήρᾳ.

Now comes this question:—Was the antithesis here between youth and age, or between some other notions? Hartung writes “οὔτ᾽ ἦρος οὔτε γήρᾳ”, understanding, “"neither in spring nor in winter,"” “σημαίνων”, “"by his word of command"”: but such a fig. sense of “γήρᾳ” is inconceivable. Nauck's “οὔτ᾽ ἦρος οὔτ᾽ ἐν ὥρᾳ χειμώνων” is too far from the MSS., and the plur. is strange. I incline to believe that the poet indeed meant “"neither young nor old,"” but without any personal reference, and merely in this general sense:—“"from generation to generation of men these sacred trees are safe."” The words “ γὰρ αἰὲν ὁρῶν” suit this. The conjecture συνναίων has palaeographic probability (for a cursive text): for the phrase cp. Eur. fr. 370 “μετὰ δ᾽ ἡσυχίας πολιῷ γήραϊ συνοικοίην”.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 1058
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.288
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