previous next



ἐν κτήμασι πίπτεις, who fallest upon men's possessions; who makest havoc of their wealth and fortunes. Cp. Od. 24.526ἐν δ᾽ ἔπεσον προμάχοις”, ‘they fell on the fore-fighters’: so “ἐμπίπτειν” is oft. said of the attacks of disease or passion. Love makes men reckless of possessions: it can bring ruin on great houses and proud cities. Sophocles himself has given us the best commentary: see Tr. 431, referring to the capture of Oechalia by Heracles, who loved Iolè, the daughter of its king, Eurytus: “ὡς ταύτης πόθῳ πόλις δαμείη πᾶσα, κοὐχ Λυδία πέρσειεν αὐτήν, ἀλλ᾽ τῆσδ᾽ ἔρως φανείς”. The same thought is finely expressed by Eur. , in a choral ode to “Ἔρως”, which this passage has certainly helped to inspire ( Eur. Hipp. 525 ff.): “Ἔρωτα δέ, τὸν τύραννον ἀνδρῶν, ...οὐ σεβίζομεν, πέρθοντα καὶ διὰ πάσας ἰόντα συμφορᾶς θνατοῖς, ὅταν ἔλθῃ”. Troy was sacked for the sake of Helen,—“ἑλέναυς, ἕλανδρος, ἑλέπτολις”. Medea betrayed her father's treasure to Jason (cp. Eur. Med. 480). The resistless power of Love is the central thought of this ode. All that men prize most becomes his prey.—See Appendix.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Euripides, Hippolytus, 525
    • Euripides, Medea, 480
    • Homer, Odyssey, 24.526
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 431
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: