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ἄθαπτον ἠνσχόμην νέκυν, had allowed him to be an unburied corpse. For “ἄθαπτον” without “ὄντα”, cp. Hist. An. 8. 8 “δύναται δ᾽ ἄποτος ἀνέχεσθαι” (sc.ὤν”): and O. T. 412 n. L has ηἰσχόμην, and ἠνσχόμην appears only as one of several readings in the later MSS.,—the other readings being manifestly impossible. The first question is, Could an Attic poet have used “ἠνσχόμην” for “ἠνεσχόμην”? We can only say that we find nothing really like it, and that no support for it can be drawn from the Homeric forms in which “ἀνά” suffers apocope, viz., “ἄνσχεο ἀνασχοῦ” (Il. 23.587 etc.), “ἀνσχήσεσθαι” (Il. 5.104), “ἀνσχετά” (Od. 2.63), “ἀνσχεθέειν” (Od. 5.320). Still, there is force in Prof. Tyrrell's remark (Classical Review, vol. 11. p. 140) that ‘“ἠνσχόμην” is just the form in which an Attic poet would have applied apocope of “ἀνά”, inasmuch as he would have felt that he was only sacrificing the redundant augment.’

In my first edition I placed in the text the emendation of Semitelos (1887) ᾔσχυναν κύνες. Cp. Il. 22.74ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ πολιόν τε κάρη πολιόν τε γένειον αἰδῶ τ᾽ αἰσχύνωσι κύνες κταμένοιο γέροντος”. If the “ες” of “κύνες” had been obliterated, “νέκυν” would easily have arisen (esp. after “ν”); and a change of “υ” into “ο” would have taken “ᾔσχυναν” far towards “ηἰσχόμην”. But, while I still hold that this brilliant conjecture has no small degree of probability, I also recognise the justice of the criticism that the context here decidedly favours a verb in the first person.

Other emendations will be found in the Appendix. Most of them assume that we must have “ἠνεσχόμην” (or “ἀνεσχόμην”), and therefore alter the words “θανόντ᾽ ἄθαπτον” and “νέκυν” in various ways, —usu. omitting “νέκυν”. The verses produced by these processes are wretched, while, from a palaeographical point of view, they are pure conjectures, which do not attempt to account for the tradition in L.—Two points remain. (1) τὸν ἐξ ἐμῆς μητρός. This is like saying, ‘the son of the same womb.’ Cp. Eur. I. T. 497πότερον ἀδελφὼ μητρός ἐστον ἐκ μιᾶς”; Yet it has been seriously urged by many critics, as a ground for change, that a mention of the father was indispensable. “ἐμῆς” need not be altered to “ὁμῆς” (Seyffert)

or “μιᾶς” (Meineke). (2) τὸν ἐξ ἐμ. μητρος θανόντ᾽. It is quite true that, when written, these words have an awkward ambiguity; but they would have had none when spoken, since a slight pause after “μητρός” would have been required to bring out “θανόντ᾽”. This is the right test to apply in the case of a play written to be acted.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Euripides, Iphigeneia in Taurus, 497
    • Homer, Iliad, 22.74
    • Homer, Odyssey, 2.63
    • Homer, Odyssey, 5.320
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 412
    • Homer, Iliad, 23.587
    • Homer, Iliad, 5.104
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