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τοῦδ᾽ αἰόλου κνώδοντος, lit., ‘this gleaming spike,’—i.e., the end or point of the sword-blade, projecting through the body of Ajax. “κνώδων” (“κνάω, ὀδούς”) meant any tooth-like prong or spike: see on Ant. 1233, where the “ξίφους διπλοῖ κνώδοντες” are the cross-pieces of the sword-hilt. Some suppose that here, too, “κνώδοντος” denotes the handle of the sword, against which the corpse is resting. But there are at least two decisive objections to that view,—(1) the singular number, (2) the epithet “αἰόλου”.

Lycophron borrows the word “κνώδων” from this passage, in alluding to the suicide of Ajax (464): “δυσμενεστάτου ξένων ἔτυψε δώρῳ σπλάγχνον, ἀρνεύσας λυγρὸν πήδημα πρὸς κνώδοντος αὐτουργοὺς σφαγάς”.—For the ἄρα after φονέως, cp. 233 n.

εἶδες, ‘seest thou?’ (a rhetorical apostrophe to the corpse). The aor. is used as in Tr. 1221ἔγνως” (‘thou art right’).


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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 233
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1233
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 1221
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