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μηδὲ συμφορὰν δέχου τὸν ἄνδρα, lit., ‘do not receive (or take) the man as a calamity,’ i.e., ‘do not apprehend harm from his coming.’ There is a light touch of half-playful irony in the words with which the goddess reassures her favourite. Cp. Eur. Or. 138ἀλλ᾽ ἐμοὶ τόνδ᾽ ἐξεγεῖραι ξυμφορὰ γενήσεται”. Hdt. 6. 61τοὺς γονέας συμφορὴν τὸ εἶδος αὐτῆς ποιευμένους”. Similarly Il. 21. 39τῷ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἀνώϊστον κακὸν ἤλυθε δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς”: O. T. 379Κρέων δέ σοι πῆμ᾽ οὐδέν”. —Whitelaw (Translation, p. 440) takes the constr. to be, “μίμνε” (“μηδὲ συμφορὰν δέχου”) “τὸν ἄνδρα”,—‘Bravely await, expecting no mischance, | His coming,’— “διὰ μέσου” construction ( Ant. 1279 f., n.). A difficulty in this view is that δέχου must then have definitely the sense of “προσδέχου”.

ἀποστρόφους, proleptic: cp. Ant. 791σὺ καὶ δικαίων ἀδίκους φρένας παρασπᾷς”. Here the adj. is equiv. to “ἀποστρέψασα”,— ‘I will avert, and (thereby) hinder.’— ἀπείρξωεἰ<*>ιδεῖν, without “μή”: as “εἴργω” takes the simple inf. in O. T. 129, Ph. 1407, Tr. 1257.

These three verses have been rejected (cr. n.), on the ground that, after this promise from Athena, Odysseus had no cause to feel the alarm which he shows in vv. 74 ff., or to ask the question (v. 84) which elicits a renewal of that promise (85). But the poet wished to render the preparation for the hero's entrance as impressive as possible; and chose, therefore, to represent Odysseus—a brave man—as still uneasy, until the assurance given to him had been repeated in a yet more explicit and emphatic form.


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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Euripides, Orestes, 138
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.61
    • Homer, Iliad, 21.39
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1279
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 791
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 129
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 379
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1407
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 1257
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