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The simple correction, κελευσμάτων for “κελεύσμασιν”, is (I think) certainly right. Cp. Aesch. Pers. 397ἔπαισαν ἅλμην βρύχιον ἐκ κελεύσματος” (and similarly Eur. I. T. 1405): Her. 6.50ἔλεγε δὲ ταῦτα ἐξ ἐπιστολῆς τῆς Δημαρήτου”.

With κελεύσμασιν, we have only two tolerable resources. (1) To join “κελεύσμασιν ἐξ ἀθύμου δεσπότου”, ‘orders given by him.’ But, though “τοῖς ἐξ ἀθ. δεσπ. κελεύσμασιν” could be defended by “τὴν ἐξ ἐμοῦ δυσβουλίαν” (95), the phrase without the article is very strange. In phrases which might appear similar, it will be found that a verb has influenced the use of “ἐκ” with gen.: thus Ai. 137σὲ δ᾽ ὅταν... λόγος ἐκ Δαναῶν κακόθρους ἐπιβῇ”: Aesch. Ag. 1366 γὰρ τεκμηρίοισιν ἐξ οἰμωγμάτων μαντευσόμεσθα τἀνδρὸς ὡς ὀλωλότος”; here, however, it is impossible to take “ἐξ ἀθύμου δεσπότου” with “ἠθροῦμεν”, and to make “κελεύσμασιν” a mere epexegesis (‘looked, at our master's instigation, i.e., by his command’).

(2) The alternative is to amend ἐξ ἀθύμου. Only one correction is probable, viz. ὀξυθύμου. The decisive objection to this is the sense. It could mean only, ‘swift to wrath,’ like “ὀξύχολος” (955). It could not mean merely, ‘agitated’ (by alarm). But Creon is no longer proud or fierce; he has been humbled: his late words (1211 ff.) expressed only grief and fear.

Dindorf writes κελεύμασιν, holding this to be the older Attic form (cr. n.). The fact appears to be that both “κέλευμα” and “κέλευσμα” are well attested in our MSS. of some authors: and there is no evidence from inscriptions. As regards the verb, Lobeck (on Ai. 704) remarks that, while “ἐκελεύσθην” is far commoner than “ἐκελεύθην, κεκέλευμαι” and “κεκέλευσμαι” are both well attested for the best age. But Veitch's statement on this point is more accurate. While “ἐκελεύθην” is extremely rare in classical Greek, “κεκέλευμαι” is nearly (if not quite) unknown to it. It would be very rash, then, to affirm that Soph. must have used the nonsigmatic form of the noun.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 397
    • Euripides, Iphigeneia in Taurus, 1405
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.50
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 137
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 704
    • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 1366
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