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Cp. Her. 3.119, which clearly supplied, not merely the thought, but the form, of these verses:—“ἀνὴρ μέν μοι ἂν ἄλλος γένοιτο, εἰ δαίμων ἐθέλοι, καὶ τέκνα ἄλλα, εἰ ταῦτα ἀποβάλοιμι: πατρὸς δὲ καὶ μητρὸς οὐκέτι μοι ζωόντων, ἀδελφεὸς ἂν ἄλλος οὐδενὶ τρόπῳ γένοιτο(3.119.6). Arist. Rhet. 3.16 § 9 (if you introduce a trait of character which will seem improbable, the reason ofit should be added): “ἂν δ᾽ ἄπιστον , τότε τὴν αἰτίαν ἐπιλέγειν, ὥσπερ Σοφοκλῆς ποιεῖ παράδειγμα τὸ ἐκ τῆς Ἀντιγόνης, ὅτι μᾶλλον τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ ἐκήδετο ἀνδρὸς τέκνων: τὰ μὲν γὰρ ἂν γενέσθαι ἀπολόμενα” [this=vv. 909, 910]: “μητρὸς δ᾽ ἐν ᾄδου κ.τ.λ.” (he then quotes 911 f., with “βεβηκότων”,—a mere slip of memory: see on 223).

Three points in these vv. are strange. (1) The gen. abs. κατθανόντος, for which a gen. has to be evolved from πόσις. The gen. of that word was not in Attic use (‘mihi non succurrit exemplum ubi “πόσεος” aut “πόσεως” legatur,’ Pors. Med. 906). Why was not “ἀνδρός” used? Itlooks as if the composer who made up these verses from Her. 3.119 (see above) had sought to impart a touch of tragic dignity by substituting “πόσις” for the historian's word, “ἀνήρ”. The gen. “κατθανόντος” cannot be taken (as some wish) with “ἄλλος”, ‘different from the dead’ (!). (2) ἀπ᾽ ἄλλου φωτός. Why is it assumed that the first husband died before, or with, his child? The two hypotheses of loss should have been kept separate. We wanted something like “καὶ παῖς ἂν ἄλλος, παιδὸς ἐστερημένῃ”. (3) τοῦδ᾽ means the first husband's child, but is most awkward.—As to “οὐκ ἔστ᾽ ἀδελφός κ.τ.λ.”, it may be somewhat inelegant; but it is not (as some urge) incorrect, since “οὐκ ἔστιν ὅστις οὐδείς”.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aristotle, Rhetoric, 3.16
    • Euripides, Medea, 906
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.119
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