ἐπακτὸν, ‘imported,’ ‘alien’; Tr. 259“στρατὸν..ἐπακτόν”, cp. O. C. 1525 n.: Eur. Ion 592“πατρός τ᾽ ἐπακτοῦ καὐτὸς ὢν νοθαγενής” (bastard son of the alien Xuthus): here, a paramour, as opposed to a lawful husband. ὁ φιτύσας πατήρ can mean only the father of Aëropè, Catreus. Now, according to the schol. on Eur. Or. 812, Sophocles (in a play not named there, but which was probably the “Ἀτρεὺς ἢ Μυκηναῖαι”) somewhere described Atreus himself as drowning his false wife for a twofold crime,—adultery with Thyestes, and the theft of the golden lamb: “τὴν γυναῖκα Ἀερόπην τιμωρεῖται κατ᾽ ἄμφω...ῥίψας αὐτὴν εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ὡς φησὶ Σοφοκλῆς”. Hence it has been proposed to change πατὴρ into σ᾽ Ἀτρεὺς (Hermann), or σ᾽ ἀνὴρ (Wolff). A simpler correction would be, “ὁ σ᾽ ἐκφύσας πατήρ”. But it cannot be assumed that Sophocles must have followed here the same version which he used elsewhere. In his “Ἀλήτης”, for example, he appears to have modified the version of the “Ὀρεστεία” which he adopts in his Electra (see El., Introd., p. xliii, n. 4). The story of Aëropè's detection by Catreus is effective for the purpose here, which is to represent Agamemnon as born of a mother who had sinned before his birth. Nor is that story necessarily inconsistent with the other, that she was false to Atreus, and was drowned by him.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
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.