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ἤγαγ̓, the reading of one MS. (the Palatinus at Heidelberg, written in the 14th century), was doubtless no more than a conjectural emendation; but it appears probable. ἡγεῖτ̓, the reading of the other MSS., has been defended by Erfurdt and others on the ground that the elision has the effect of running the two words “ἡγεῖτ᾽ οἴκοθεν” together, so that they become virtually one. This is just possible; but in tragic iambics we find no certain examples of a precisely similar kind. (As to “σήμαιν᾽ εἴτ᾽ ἔχει” in Phil. 22, see n. there.) If “ἤγαγ̓” was the original word, the change to “ἡγεῖτ̓” may have been caused by failure to perceive that the genitive ὧν (for “οὓς”) was due to attraction. Porson (ap. Kidd, Tracts, p. 194) wished to read ἦγεν, comparing Il. 2. 557, “Αἴας δ᾽ ἐκ Σαλαμῖνος ἄγεν δυοκαίδεκα νῆας”. The imperfect tense is, of course, free from objection (cp. also Aesch. Pers. 341Ξέρξῃ..χιλιὰς μὲν ἦν ὧν ἦγε πλῆθος”): but “ΗΓΕΝ” was less likely than “ΗΓΑΓ” to tempt the correction “ΗΓΕΙΤ”. Elmsley's ἤγετ̓ (n. on Eur. Heracl. 371) is still nearer to the letters of “ἡγεῖτ̓”: but the middle voice would be at least very unusual, where the sense is simply that of ‘leading’; in Soph. O. C. 1460, indeed, “ἄξεται” is hardly more than “ἄξει”: but in Soph. Ph. 613ἄγοιντο” suggests the notion, ‘bring with them, for their own ends.’

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 341
    • Euripides, Heraclidae, 371
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.557
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1460
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 22
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 613
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