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τοῦ Θεστορείου μάντεως: Il. 1. 69Κάλχας Θεστορίδης, οἰωνοπόλων ὄχ̓” “ἄριστος”. Cp. above, Il. 134, “Τελαμώνιε παῖ”: and n. on O. T. 267.According to one legend, Thestor was the son of Idmon (“ἴδμων”), the seer who accompanied the Argonauts, and whose father was Apollo (schol. Apoll. Rhod. 1. 139). The name “Θέσ-τωρ” is from the root “θες”, ‘desire,’ ‘pray,’ whence “θεσσάμενος” (=“αἰτησάμενος”, Archil. fr. 11, etc.), “πολύθεστος” ‘much besought’ (Curt. Etym. vol. II. p. 137): meaning, ‘one who prays to the gods.’ “Κάλχας” is prob. from “καλχαίνω”, one who ‘darkly broods’ on futurity ( Ant. 20 n.).

ὅτ᾽ αὐτῷφέρει. The traditional ὅτ̓ (“ὅτε”) seems right. Tecmessa has already heard that the “ἔξοδος” is perilous. The new fact which she is now to learn is that ‘this day’ must decide the fate of Ajax. If, however, ὅτ̓ be changed to ὃς, then this new fact will not be told, unless the words “καθ᾽ ἡμέραν τὴν νῦν” be taken with what follows (“ὃς..φέρει”). But they go more naturally with what precedes them (“τοῦ..μάντεως”, sc.μαθών”).

If φέρει be sound, the subject to it is “ ἔξοδος” (798). There is nothing harsh in this, since the “ἔξοδος” is the matter uppermost in the minds of the speakers. φέρειθάνατον βίον then means, ‘is fraught with death or life’: cp. Ph. 109εἰ τὸ σωθῆναί γε τὸ ψεῦδος φέρει”: El. 84ταῦτα γὰρ φέρει νίκην”: ib. 1042 “χἡ δίκη βλάβην φέρει”. The subject to “φέρει” is certainly not “ἡμέρα νῦν”. If Calchas were subject to “φέρει”, the verb would mean “ἀγγέλλει”: but, for this sense, the subject must be the “ἄγγελος” himself, not the sender. There is no parallel for “φέρει” as=merely ‘portends.

It is possible that “ΦΕΡΕΙ” came, under the influence of “ΦΕΡΕΙΝ” in 799, from “ΘΡΟΕΙ” (the subject being Calchas): but we should not be warranted in altering the text. Wecklein and Blaydes, reading θροεῖ, compare O. C. 1425(“τὰ τοῦδε”) “μαντεύμαθ̓, ὃς σφῷν θάνατον ἐξ ἀμφοῖν θροεῖ”.


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  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.134
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.69
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 20
    • Sophocles, Electra, 84
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1425
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 267
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 109
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