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τήνδε δ᾽ ἔξοδονφέρειν. There is strong reason to think that “φέρειν” is genuine, and has the sense of ‘tending towards.’ For (1) Sophocles has thus used “φέρω” in O. T. 517εἰς βλάβην φέρον”: ib. 519 f. “οὐ γὰρ εἰς ἁπλοῦν ζημία μοι τοῦ λόγου τούτου φέρει”: ib. 991 “ἐς φόβον φέρον”. Cp. Her. 1. 10ἐς αἰσχύνην φέρει”. (2) This sense precisely suits the context here, where the apprehension is vague; Calchas had not said how the “ἔξοδος” was to be fatal, but merely that it was to be prevented, on pain of never again seeing Ajax alive. But “ὀλεθρίαν..φέρειν” could not mean, ‘is of fatal tendency.’ Such a fusion of “ὀλεθρίαν εἶναι” with “φέρειν εἰς ὄλεθρον” is impossible.

Nor can we render: ‘He (Teucer) forebodes that this going-forth, which he announces, will be fatal to Ajax.’ “φέρειν” could be said only of the messenger— not of the man who sends him. Paley's conjecture, “ἐλπίζω φέρειν”, meets the point as to “φέρειν”, but the change to the first person is too harsh. Bothe's ἐλπίζειν φέρει (‘Teucer announces that he forebodes,’ etc.) strains both verbs. Enger's ἐλπίζει κυρεῖν is somewhat tame, and does not seem very probable.

Could ὀλεθρίαν Αἴαντος have come from Αἴαντος εἰς ὄλεθρον? Easily, doubtless, if “εἰς” had been lost after “-ος”. I incline to this solution. “Αἴαντος εἰς ὄλεθρον” is not only intrinsically better, but also slightly more probable, than “ὄλεθρον εἰς Αἴαντος” (the reading of Blaydes in his text), since then “εἰς” follows “-ον”, and its unusual position would also tend to prevent its being overlooked. But the place of “εἰς” after its case is no objection, since “Αἴαντος” is an attributive gen. : see O. T. 178 n.


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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.10
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 178
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 517
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