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τὰ δεινὰ, the dread elemental forces of nature. The word “δεινός” might be called the key-note of the earlier part of this speech (cp. 648 f., 674): it comes readily to the mind of the strong man, full of the thought how strength can become weakness.

τιμαῖς, ‘dignities,’ ‘prerogatives,’ here, the provinces assigned to these elemental forces in the order of nature. Plat. Apol.p. 35 B “ἔν τε ταῖς ἀρχαῖς καὶ ταῖς ἄλλαις τιμαῖς”. Cp. Troilus and Cressida 1. 3. 83 (Ulysses tracing the ill-success of the siege to the bad discipline of the Greeks):—“Degree being vizarded, | The unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask. | The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre | Observe degree, priority and place, | Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, | Office and custom, in all line of order.

τοῦτο μὲν, followed by “δέ” (instead of “τοῦτο δέ”), as in O. C. 440 f. (n.).

νιφοστιβεῖς χειμῶνες, probably ‘winters with snowy paths,’ ‘snow-strewn.’ “στίβος”, ‘path,’ is the notion present in other like compounds; O. T. 301οὐράνιά τε καὶ χθονοστιβῆ” (‘walking the earth’): Suppl. 1000 “καὶ κνώδαλα πτεροῦντα καὶ πεδοστιβῆ”: P. V. 791πρὸς ἀντολὰς φλογῶπας ἡλιοστιβεῖς”, ‘where are the paths of the Sun.’—Some understand, ‘storms that range over snow’: but such a personification of the “χειμῶνες” seems harsh. A third version is, ‘storms dense (or piled) with snow,’ from “στείβω” in the sense of ‘pressing down,’ ‘packing.’

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 791
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 648
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 440
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 301
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