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μόρων κάλλιστ᾽ ἔχων. I have adopted “ἔχων”, a conjecture of Pallis for “ἐμῶν”, on the following grounds. (1) The phrase “μόρων ἐμῶν” could mean nothing but, ‘of all fates possible for me.’ This, however, is most strange. In 1313 “μόρων” meant ‘violent deaths’: so Aesch. Th. 420αἱματῃφόρους μόρους”. Hence it has been proposed to render “μόρων ἐμῶν” here, (a) ‘the deaths caused by me’: as Hermann, ‘veniat caedium per me factarum suprema, exoptatissime mihi ultimum diem adducens.’ (b) Figuratively, ‘the many deaths that I have died’; cp. 1288ὀλωλότ᾽ ἄνδρ᾽ ἐπεξειργάσω”. But neither version is tolerable. (2) Triclinius proposed to make “ἐμῶν” fem., and to take it with “τερμίαν”: when it would at least be necessary to write “ἐμᾶν” (sc.ἁμερᾶν”). But, either with “ἐμῶν” or with “ἐμᾶν”, the relation of “ κάλλιστ᾽ ...ἄγων” to the gen. “μόρων” is exceedingly awkward. ‘That one among fates which best brings my last day,’ cannot be explained as an equivalent for, ‘that best of fates which brings it’; i.e., for “μόρων κάλλιστος, ...ἄγων”.

Both these difficulties (which to me seem insuperable) are removed by reading “μόρων κάλλιστ᾽ ἔχων”, the best of fates. That “ἔχων” could have been changed to “ἐμῶν”, either by conjecture or by accident, is shown by v. 575, where at the end of the verse L has the probably true “ἐμοί”, while other MSS. have “ἔφυ”. (If “κύνες” is right in 467, and “ξίφει” in 1301, these, too, are instances of final words corrupted.) A question of punctuation remains. The comma might follow either “ἔχων” or “ἐμοί”. I prefer the latter. Cp. Ai. 394ἰὼ σκότος, ἐμὸν φάος, ἔρεβος φαεννότατον, ὡς ἐμοί”.


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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 420
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 394
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1288
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