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Bergk has an ingenious (though, I think, mistaken) theory concerning this passage. Seeing that v. 1180 resembles v. 1184, he suggests that 1180 was an inferior variant for 1184: and, on similar grounds, that 1183 was a feebler substitute for 1179. That is, there were two different texts of this passage. (a) In one of them, the better, verses 1180 and 1183 were absent, and the rest stood in this order, 1178, 1181, 1182, 1179, 1184. (b) In the other, verses 1179 and 1184 were absent, and the rest stood in this order, 1178, 1181, 1182, 1183, 1180. The present text arose from an attempt to harmonise the other two.

We have only to read the dialogue with attention to perceive that this hypothesis of variants is arbitrary. Verse 1183 expresses sympathy in a more definite and emphatic manner than v. 1179: verse 1184 expresses surprise more directly and decidedly than v. 1180. There is a gradual accentuation of the stranger's interest and of Electra's perplexity. This development is the internal proof that our text has not arisen from a dittographia.

καὶ μάλ̓: here, as in 1455, the “καὶ”=‘and’; sometimes, however, “καὶ μάλα”=vel maxime (cp. “καὶ πολύ, καὶ λίαν”), as in Xen. Cyr. 6. 1. 36ἀνθρώπους..καὶ μάλα δοκοῦντας φρονίμους εἶναι”.

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