σέβειν. ‘Reverent action’ (meaning her loyalty to Polyneices) ‘is, in a sense, “εὐσέβεια”’: i.e. though it is not complete “εὐσέβεια”—which the Chorus regard as including loyalty to the State's laws— yet, so far as it goes, it deserves praise of the same kind. Cp. 924 “τὴν δυσσέβειαν εὐσεβοῦσ᾽ ἐκτησάμην”: by practising “εὐσέβεια” towards the dead, she had come to be thought, on the whole, “δυσσεβής”—as a law-breaker. The Chorus is here the apologist of Creon, and this concession is meant to emphasise the next sentence. Hence the purposed vagueness of σέβειν. The speaker avoids a direct reference to the peculiarly sacred and tender duty which Ant. had fulfilled. The proposed emendations (see cr. n.) would obliterate this touch.
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