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ὡς πρὸς τί goes with both participles, μολεῖν with the second only. The Chorus are uncertain whether Oedipus has merely some message for Theseus, or wishes to bring him in person to the spot (as πομπός might imply). Our pointing is better than ὡς πρὸς τί; λ. κ. μολεῖν; The query turns more on the motive of the appeal than on a sharp contrast between its possible forms. λέξων should not be joined with μολεῖν (“"bid him come,"” Blaydes).

The reading and explanation of the verse hinge on the question whether ὡς (1) belongs to πρὸς τί, = "with what view?" or (2) is final, = "in order that." Now (1) is strongly supported by two other places of Soph., in each of which this formula stands, as here, at the beginning of a question: O. T. 1174ΟΙ. ὡς πρὸς τί χρείας;Tr. 1182ΥΑ. ὡς πρὸς τί πίστιν τήνδ᾽ ἄγαν ἐπιστρέφεις;” The simple πρὸς τί; (also freq. in Soph.) = merely "with reference to what?" while ὡς πρὸς τί= "with reference to what, in your conception or intention (ὡς)?": hence the latter is appropriate when the questioner cannot imagine the agent's motive.

καταρτύσων μολεῖν, to prepare things (to work upon his mind, directly or indirectly), so that he shall come: for the inf. cp. 1286: Plat. Rep. 562Cτὴν πολιτείαν... παρασκευάζει τυραννίδος δεηθῆναι”: and for καταρτύω of mental or moral influence, Plut. Mor. 38 Dἂν...μὴ λόγοις χρηστοῖς ἀφαιρῶν παρατρέπων καταρτύῃ τὴν φύσιν”.

With L's μόλοι (ὡς being then final), we must render: "That Theseus might come with what view (πρὸς τί), —to say or to arrange (what)?" The opt. can stand (in spite of “κερδάνῃ72), since “ἆρ᾽ ἂν μόλοι;(70) puts the case hypothetically: see on 11. But: (a) the double μόλοι, at the end of two successive verses, is intolerable. Dindorf, therefore, conjecturally reads παρῇ, which Wecklein and others adopt. (b) The antithesis between λέξων and καταρτύσων is hardly clear. Wecklein explains, πρὸς ποῖον λόγον ἔργον; Certainly τί λέξων δράσων could mean, "for what conceivable purpose?" (cp. O.T. 71 τι δρῶν τί φωνῶν”): but καταρτύσων would be a very strange substitute for δράσων.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Plato, Republic, 562c
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1286
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 70
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 72
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1174
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 71
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 1182
    • Plutarch, De recta ratione audiendi, 38d
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