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τὸ κακὸν δοκεῖν ποτ᾽ κ.τ.λ. The sense of ποτέ here is not ‘sometimes,’ but ‘at one time or another,’ ‘at length,’ as Ph. 1041ἀλλὰ τῷ χρόνῳ ποτέ”. A moment arrives when he makes the fatal error. “ἄτη” (“ἀάω”), as the heaven-sent influence that leads men to sin, is properly ‘hurt done to the mind.’ Milton, Samson

1676 Among them he a spirit of phrenzy sent, Who hurt their minds. Cp. “βλαψίφρων, φρενοβλαβής”. Il. 19.137ἀλλ᾽ ἐπεὶ ἀασάμην, καί μευ φρένας ἐξέλετο Ζεύς”. Theognis 403 “σπεύδει ἀνήρ, κέρδος διζήμενος, ὅν τινα δαίμων πρόφρων εἰς μεγάλην ἀμπλακίην παράγει, καί οἱ ἔθηκη δοκεῖν, μὲν κακά, ταῦτ᾽ ἀγάθ᾽ εἶναι, εὐμαρέως, δ᾽ ἂν χρήσιμα, ταῦτα κακά”. Lycurgus in Leocr. § 92 “οἱ γὰρ θεοὶ οὐδὲν πρότερον ποιοῦσιν τῶν πονηρῶν ἀνθρώπων τὴν διάνοιαν παράγουσι: καί μοι δοκοῦσι τῶν ἀρχαίων τινὲς ποιητῶν ὥσπερ χρησμοὺς γράψαντες τοῖς ἐπιγιγνομένοις ταῦτα τὰ ἰαμβεῖα καταλιπεῖν: ὅταν γὰρ ὀργὴ δαιμόνων βλάπτῃ τινά, τοῦτ᾽ αὐτὸ πρῶτον, ἐξαφαιρεῖται φρενῶν τὸν νοῦν τὸν ἐσθλόν, εἰς δὲ τὴν χείρω τρέπει γνώμην, ἵν᾽ εἰδῇ μηδἐν ὧν ἁμαρτάνει”. The schol. on our verse quotes an unknown poet's lines, “ὅταν δ᾽ δαίμων ἀνδρὶ πορσύνῃ κακά, τὸν νοῦν ἔβλαψε πρῶτον, βουλευεται”. (‘Quem Iuppiter vult perdere, dementat prius.’ See n. in Appendix.)— The epic ἔμμεν (used also by Pind. and Sappho) occurs nowhere else in tragedy.


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