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ἆρ᾽ οἶσθ᾽τελεῖ; For the various interpretations and emendations, see Appendix. The soundness of the text is doubtful, but no proposed correction is probable. I read τι, pron., not ὅτι, conjunction, and supply “ἐστί”. In the direct question, “τί ὁποῖον οὐ τελεῖ”; we understand “ἐστί” with “τί”. In the indirect form, it is simplest to say “οὐκ οἶδ᾽ τι οὐ τελεῖ”: and we certainly could not say, “οὐκ οἶδ᾽ τι [ἐστὶν] ὁποῖον οὐ τελεῖ”, if “ τι” came immediately before “ὁποῖον”. Here, however, the separation of “ τι” from “ὁποῖον” by “Ζεὺς τῶν ἀπ᾽ Οἰδίπου κακῶν” makes a vital difference. The sentence begins as if it were to be, “ἆρ᾽ οἶσθ᾽ τι Ζεὺς οὐ τελεῖ”; But when, after an interval, “ὁποῖον” comes in, the Greek hearer would think of the direct form, “τί ὁποῖον οὐ τελεῖ”; and so his ear would not be offended. This, too, suggests the answer to the objection that “Ζεύς” ought to follow “ὁποῖον”. Certainly Eur. I. A. 525,οὐκ ἔστ᾽ Ὀδυσσεὺς τι σὲ κἀμὲ πημανεῖ”, would be parallel only if here we had “ἆρ᾽ οἶσθα, Ζεύς” (without “ τι”). Nor could we have (e.g.) “ἆρ᾽ οἶσθ᾽ ἥτις Ζεὺς τῶν νόσων ὁποίαν οὐ τελεῖ”; But, since τι might be acc., “Ζεύς” seems to follow it naturally; and when, afterwards, the sentence takes a shape which makes “ τιnom., the ear does not return on “Ζεύς” as on a misplaced word, because the whole is felt as=“τί Ζεὺς ὁποῖον οὐ τελεῖ”;—The main objection to reading ὅτι, and taking “ὁποῖον” as substituted for the direct “ποῖον” (‘that he fulfils—what not?’) is the shortness of the sentence.

τῶν ἀπ᾽ Οἰδ. κακῶν, the ills derived from Oed. (cp. Ph. 1088λύπας τᾶς ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ”): i.e. the curse upon the Labdacidae (594) which he had inherited, and which he bequeathed to his children in a form intensified by his own acts,—the parricide, the incest, the imprecation upon his sons. That imprecation finds a further fulfilment in Creon's edict. ἔτι ζώσαιν does not mean, ‘living wearily on,’ but simply, ‘still living’ (not yet dead), so that ἔτι is almost pleonastic, as in 750ἔτι ζῶσαν”, and so Tr. 305. Sometimes, indeed, the use of “ἔτι” with “ζῆν” is more emphatic, as in Ai. 990ἔτι ζῶν...ἐφίετο” (while yet alive), Eur. Bacch. 8πυρὸς ἔτι ζῶσαν φλόγα” (still smouldering).

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Euripides, Bacchae, 8
    • Euripides, Iphigeneia in Aulis, 525
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 990
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 594
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 750
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1088
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 305
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