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γνώμας, opinions, beliefs,—here, the fancies or illusions of madness. There is a certain irony in the word. Some editors strangely prefer the conjecture λήμας,—as if the goddess had afflicted him with sore or weak eyes ( Plut. 581 “Κρονικαῖς λήμαις...λημῶντες τὰς φρένας”).

Join τῆς ἀνηκέστου χαρᾶς with γνώμας: his eyes, under Athena's spell, see his human foes in the cattle whom he slays or torments; these fancies are the fancies of (or connected with) his baneful joy in his imaginary triumph. For the adj., cp. El. 888θάλπει τῷδ᾽ ἀνηκέστῳ πυρί” (n.).

Others take the gen. as depending on ἀπείργω, placing a comma after the verb, and another after βαλοῦσα,—a punctuation which is found in the Aldine. But (1) the sense of “χαρᾶς” is then attenuated to that of ‘hoped-for vengeance,’—whereas, as “ἀνηκέστου” shows, it clearly denotes the frantic joy which Ajax actually felt; and (2) the order of words is then less natural.


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    • Euripides, Electra, 888
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