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γτ̂ν πατρῴαν . . καὶ θεοὺς . . πρῆσαι: cp. Aesch. Th. 582(of Polyneices) “πόλιν πατρῴαν καὶ θεοὺς τοὺς ἐγγενεῖς πορθεῖν, στράτευμ᾽ ἐπακτὸν ἐμβεβληκότα”. But “πέρσαι”, for “πρῆσαι”, would be a needless change here. ‘To burn his country’ means ‘to burn his native city’: so O. C. 1421πάτραν κατασκάψαντι”, when thou hast laid thy native city in ruins. “θεοὺς πρῆσαι” is to burn the gods' temples and the ancient wooden images (“βρέτη”) therein: cp. Her. 8.109ἐμπιμπράς τε καὶ καταβάλλων τῶν θεῶν τὰ ἀγάλματα”. Aesch. Pers. 809οὐ θεῶν βρέτη ᾐδοῦντο συλᾶν οὐδὲ πιμπράναι νεώς.

θ. τοὺς ἐγγενεῖς, of the race, here in a large sense, of the Cadmean stock: while “θεοὶ πατρῷοι” are usu. rather the gods of one's own family (O. C. 756 n.). Cp. El. 428πρός νυν θεῶν σε λίσσομαι τῶν ἐγγενῶν.

κατελθών, not “καταχθεὶς ὑπὸ τῆς πόλεως”: on the shield of Polyneices, Dikè was portrayed saying, “κατάξω δ᾽ ἄνδρα τόνδε” ( Aesch. Th. 647).

γ̓θέλησε μένἠθέλ. δέ, rhetor. epanaphora ( O. C. 610φθίνει μέν . . φθίνει δέ”). Since “πάσασθαι” cannot govern “γῆν . . καὶ θεούς”, ἠθέλησε μὲν should in strictness have preceded “γῆν.

πρῆσαι. Prose would have used “ἐμπρῆσαι”, though Thuc. has the pres. part. of the simple form (6. 94 “πίμπραντες”).

κατ᾽ ἄκρας, here in its proper sense, of a town being sacked ‘from top to bottom’ (Il. 13.772): cp. O. C. 1241 n.

αἵματος κ. πάσασθαι (“πατέομαι”), denoting the extreme of savage hatred; Il. 4.35ὠμὸν βεβρώθοις Πρίαμον”: 24. 212 “τοῦ ἐγὼ μέσον ἧπαρ ἔχοιμι ἐσθέμεναι”: Theogn. 349 “τῶν εἴη μέλαν αἶμα πιεῖν.

τοὺς δὲἄγειν, as if “τῶν μέν” had preceded “αἵματος”. O. T. 1228ὅσα κεύθει, τὰ δ᾽ αὐτίκ᾽ εἰς τὸ φῶς φανεῖ”. Tr. 117στρέφει, τὸ δ᾽ αὔξει”. Il. 22.157παραδραμέτην, φεύγων, δ᾽ ὄπισθε διώκων”.

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hide References (14 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (14):
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 809
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 582
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 647
    • Herodotus, Histories, 8.109
    • Homer, Iliad, 22.157
    • Sophocles, Electra, 428
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1241
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 610
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1421
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 756
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1228
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 117
    • Homer, Iliad, 13.772
    • Homer, Iliad, 4.35
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