πλὴν τ. στυγεροῖν, ‘wretched’ (as Ph. 166): not, ‘hateful,’ nor, ‘filled with hate.’ Of the seven Argive leaders, Polyneices was the only one who could not properly be said to have been vanquished, since he was not more vanquished than victorious. But, in excepting him, the poet associates him with the brother who was his victim as well as his conqueror. Thus “ἑπτὰ...ἔλιπον..., πλὴν τοῖν στυγεροῖν”, is a lax way of saying, ‘defeat befell each of the seven Argive leaders, except in the case of the two brothers,’—in which an Argive leader and a Theban leader slew each other.— πατρός, etc., gen. of origin (38). καθ᾽ αὑτοῖν = κατ᾽ ἀλλήλοιν. Cp. Dem. or. 40 § 29 “ὧν ἂν ἐν αὑτοῖς διενεχθῶσι γυνὴ καὶ ἀνήρ”. Plat. Prot. 347D “λέγοντάς τε καὶ ἀκούοντας ἐν μέρει ἑαυτῶν.” δικρατεῖς λόγχας, two spears, each of which was victorious over the wielder of the other. So Ai. 251 “δικρατεῖς Ἀτρεῖδαι”, two Atreidae, each of whom is a king. That is, “δικρατεῖς” is equiv. to two distinct epithets (“δύο” and “κρατοῦσαι”): cp. O. C. 1055 “διστόλους...ἀδελφάς”, two journeying sisters: ib. 17 “πυκνόπτεροι” = many, and feathered (n.): see O.T. 846 n. στήσαντε, having set in position, levelled, against each other. The Homeric “δόρυ” was chiefly a missile; here the “λόγχη” is used for thrusting.
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