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νικᾷ γὰρ: ‘Yes, for with me his worth is far more potent—weighs far more—than his enmity.’ τῆς ἔχθρας is a genitive of comparison, depending on the notion of superiority contained in νικᾷ: =“ ἀρετὴ πολὺ κρείσσων ἐστί μοι τῆς ἔχθρας”. There is no parallel for such a genitive after “νικᾷ”: but it is quite intelligible, and seems not too bold for the poet's style. (Eustathius p. 842. 10 takes “τῆς ἔχθρας” as depending on “πολύ”:—“καινῶς τὸ πολὺ ἀντὶ τοῦ πλέον ληφθέν”.)

It is very improbable that the text is corrupt. The context in verses 1355 f. at once proves that the words “ἁρετή” and “ἔχθρας” are genuine; and the article before “ἀρετή” confirms “τῆς”. As “νικᾷ” also is presumably sound, the fault, if any, would have to be sought in “πολύ”, for which neither “πλέον” nor “πάρος” is a tolerable substitute; or else in “με”. Now in a reply to the question, “ἐχθρὸν ὧδ᾽ αἰδεῖ νέκυν;” we should expect some reference by Odysseus to his own feeling; and v. 1358 (“τοιοίδε μέντοι φῶτες κ.τ.λ.”) further indicates that in the preceding verse he actually did refer to himself. Hence the only correction of “με” which would solve the difficulty of the genitive, viz. “τὰ”, is unsatisfactory.

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