ἐκ πατρῴας ἥκων γενεᾶς ἄριστος … Ἀχαιῶν, lit., ‘noblest of the Achaeans by his descent (“ἥκων”) from the line of his fathers’: i.e., having a prouder lineage than any other Achaean can claim. ἥκων here, going with ἄριστος, has nearly the same force as (e.g.) in O. T. 1519“θεοῖς ἔχθιστος ἥκω”, ‘I have become most hateful to them’: i.e., it denotes the outcome of an illustrious ancestry. Though ἄριστος (see cr. n.) cannot be regarded as certain, and may be a mere conjecture, it is at least far better than anything else that has been suggested. The ingenious conjecture of Burges, “ὃς εὖ πατρῴας ἥκων γενεᾶς ἄνωθεν”, would mean, ‘fortunate (“εὖ ἥκων”) in his descent (“ἄνωθεν”) with regard to paternal lineage’ (the gen. “γενεᾶς” as in “χρημάτων εὖ ἥκοντες”, Her. 5. 62, etc.). But this is tame; and “εὖ ἥκων” is also prosaic: nor does it account for the gen. “Ἀχαιῶν”. Wecklein, reading “εὖ πατρῴας ἥκων γενεᾶς, ἄριστα..Ἀχαιῶν”, understands, ‘fortunate in his lineage, — most so, indeed, of the Achaeans’: so that “ἄριστα” defines “εὖ”. πολυπόνων refers to warlike toils: cp. Aesch. Pers. 320“πολύπονον δόρυ”. Her. 9. 27“ἐν τοῖσι Τρωικοῖσι πόνοισι”.
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