previous next



κοὐδὲ μαντικῆς κ.τ.λ.: not even by seer-craft do ye leave me unattempted: in your plots against me ye resort even to seer-craft. Two points in this phrase are notable. (1) ἄπρακτος =‘not worked,’ in the sense of, ‘not plotted against.’ “πράσσειν” oft.=‘to intrigue’; and ‘to intrigue against one’ might be expressed by “πράσσειππερί τινος”, or “ἐπί τινι”, though “ἐπιβουλεύο τινί” is the usu. phrase. But, while “ἐπιβουλεύομαι” had a personal pass. use (to be plotted against’), we could not say “πράσσονται”, ‘they are the objects of an intrigue.’ “ἄπρακτος” is therefore bolder than its prose equivalent, “ἀνεπιβούλευτος”. Still, for poetry, it seems possible. (2) μαντικῆς. Such a gen., joined to a verbal adj. with α privative, more often denotes the agent, answering to a gen. with “ὑπό” after a pass. verb, or to the subject of an act. verb: cp. 847: Tr. 685ἀκτῖνος...ἄθικτον” (untouched by the ray). Here, the instrument, “μαντική”, is, in fact, personified as the agent: i.e., “μαντικῆς” does not correspond to the instrum. dat. in “καὶ μαντικῇ πράσσετε περὶ ἐμοῦ”, but to the nom. in “καὶ μαντικὴ πράσσει περὶ ἐμοῦ ὑμῖν” (ye have even seer-craft practising on me). An easier reading would be μαντικῇ. The instrumental dat. is often retained with the negative verbal; as Plat. Symp. 219Eχρήμασι...μᾶλλον ἄτρωτος σιδήρῳ”: fr. com. anon. 52 “ἀνεπιβουλεύτου φθόνῳ”. But poetical usage seems to warrant “μαντικῆς”.—The conjecture ἄπρατος (see Appendix) would forestall the taunt which now forms the climax, “ἐξημπόλημαι”.

τῶν δ᾽ ὑπαὶ γένους, ‘by the tribe of those men.’—the “μάντεις” implied in “μαντικῆς”. Creon, though he addresses Teiresias, is speaking as much to the Chorus as to him. If we read τῶν (without δ᾽), as relative, it would naturally

refer to ὑμῖν: it could hardly refer to μαντικῆς. The conjecture of Semitelos, μαντικοῖς, would then be attractive. But such a substitute for “μάντεσι” would be very strange. And, if we keep L's τῶν δ᾽, the scornful demonstrative sufficiently interprets the reference to “μάντεις.

ὑπαί in trimeters, as El. 711: Aesch. Ag. 892, 944, Eum. 417.

γένους: cp. 1055.—For other views of the passage, see Appendix.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 892
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 417
    • Plato, Symposium, 219e
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1055
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 847
    • Sophocles, Electra, 711
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 685
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: