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These two verses give a moment of stillness before the storm breaks forth. So at O. T. 404 four verses of the chorus divide the angry speech of Oedipus from the retort of Teiresias.

τὸ γέννημα τῆς παιδός (the offspring consisting in the maiden) the maiden his offspring, δηλοῖ (sc.ὂν”) ὠμόν, shows herself fierce, ἐξ ὠμοῦ πατρός, from a fierce sire (i.e. by the disposition inherited from him). Cp. 20δηλοῖς...καλχαίνουσα” (n.): the omission of “ὄν” is somewhat bold, but possible for poetry; cp. 709ὤφθησαν κενοί”: Plat. Legg. 896Bδέδεικται ψυχὴ τῶν πάντων πρεσβυτάτη”. γέννημα occurs below, 628, O. T. 1167, and Tr. 315, meaning always ‘that which is begotten,’ the offspring. So in Plato the word always means the thing produced; for in Sophist. 266 D, “τὸ δ᾽ ὁμοιωμάτων τινῶν γέννημα”, where Ast takes it as=‘confectio,’ the sense is, ‘the other a product (consisting in) certain images.’ In Aesch. PV 850ἐπώνυμον δὲ τῶν Διὸς γεννημάτων τέξεις κελαινὸν Ἔπαφον”, the word, if genuine, would certainly mean ‘begetting’; but Wieseler's correction, “γέννημ᾽ ἁφῶν” (‘an offspring called after the touch of Zeus’), is highly probable. For “τὸ γέννημα τῆς παιδός” as=“ γεννηθεῖσα παῖς”, cp. 1164τέκνων σπορᾷ”, El. 1233γοναὶ σωμάτων ἐμοὶ φιλτάτων” (her brother), Eur. Med. 1098τέκνων...βλάστημα”. Here, the thought would have been complete without “τῆς παιδός” (‘the offspring shows the father's fierceness’), which is added, as if by an after-thought, for the further definition of “τὸ γέννημα”. I cannot believe that Soph. intended “τὸ γέννημα τῆς παιδός” to mean, ‘the inborn disposition of the maiden,’—an unexampled sense for “γέννημα”. On the other hand, all the emendations are unsatisfactory and improbable. The language, though somewhat peculiar, appears to be sound.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 850
    • Euripides, Medea, 1098
    • Plato, Laws, 896b
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1164
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 709
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 20
    • Sophocles, Electra, 1233
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 404
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1167
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 315
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