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τὰ γὰρ περισσὰκ.τ.λ.” To judge the text aright here, we must remember that these are the words of the “μάντις”, who speaks as the prophet of the gods. περισσὰ κανόνητα ς<*>ματα are mortals whose over-great strength and success have made them wax too proud, so that they no longer serve the gods with due piety. Such mortals are “ἀνόνητοι”,—their lives can yield no worthy fruit. Compare the words of warning addressed to Xerxes ( Her. 7. 10): “ὁρᾷς τὰ ὑπερέχοντα ζῷα ὡς κεραυνοῖ θεὸς οὐδὲ ἐᾷ φαντάζεσθαι..φιλέει γὰρ θεὸς τὰ ὑπερέχοντα πάντα κολούειν”. See also v. 1077, “κἄν τις σῶμα γεννήσῃ μέγα κ.τ.λ.”: and Athena's phrase in 129, “μηδ᾽ ὄγκον ἄρῃ μηδέν̓”.

It is not without reason, then, that the reading κἀνόνητα is supported by the general consensus of ancient testimony. κἀνόητα is adopted by several recent editors, because the folly of Ajax is elsewhere recognised (763 “ἄνους”, 766 “ἀφρόνως”), whereas he could not, they think, be called “ἀνόνητος”. But that depends on the point of view. In the sight of the gods, the greatest warrior would be “ἀνόνητος”, if he ceased “κατ᾽ ἄνθρωπον φρονεῖν”. Observe, too, that the word σώματα confirms “ἀνόνητα”: the idea is that of greatness which, swollen beyond the human limit, has ceased to fulfil the proper function of mankind. Such “σώματα” are “ἀνόνηταbecauseπερισσά”.

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    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.10
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