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οὔτε γὰρ, after “χρόνος γὰρ” in 179: Sophocles often thus uses “γάρ” in two successive clauses ( Ai. 20 f., Ai. 215 f., Ai. 514 f., Ai. 1262 f.; Ph. 1158 f.; Ant. 1255 f.). Here the second “γάρ” introduces a reason for thinking that, in this instance, Time will bring a remedy.

Κρῖσαν. Most MSS. have “Κρίσαν”: Triclinius wrote “Κρίσσαν”. But in favour of “Κρῖσαν” Hermann appeals to a grammarian of Hadrian's age, Dracon of Stratonicea, in his treatise “περὶ μέτρων” (p. 21, 4).

Crisa stood about two miles W.S.W. of Delphi, on a spur of Parnassus, at the lower outlet of the gorge through which the river Pleistus issues into the plain. The Iliad mentions ‘sacred Crisa’ (“ζαθέην”, 2. 520). But the Homeric Hymn to the Pythian Apollo is the best witness to its ancient power. There, just as here, the name “Κρῖσα” includes the land which stretches southward from the town to its harbour on the ‘wide gulf’ (vv. 253— 261). We need not, then, read “Κρίσᾳ” or “Κρίσας”. Crisa was the earliest seat of trade on the western sea; Delphi, when first founded, was merely a sanctuary in its territory. Pindar recalls the old prominence of its name when he describes a Pythian victory as won “Κρισαίαις ἐνὶ πτυχαῖς” (P. 6. 18).

Cirrha, a town of much later date, was the port of Crisa on the gulf. About 585 B.C., the Delphians, aided by Cleisthenes of Sicyon and his allies, succeeded, after a long struggle, in humbling Crisa and destroying Cirrha. The Crisaean plain was then devoted to Apollo, whose domain was thus extended from his temple to the coast. When Sophocles wrote, that ground was still a “βούνομος ἀκτή”, inviolable by plough or spade. It was not till the middle of the next century that the alleged encroachments of Amphissa on the “ἱερὰ χώρα” gave a pretext for war to the Amphictyons (355 B.C.).

Ulrichs (Reisen in Griechenland) was the first to place the relations of Crisa and Cirrha in a clear light. Strabo correctly describes the site of Cirrha, but erroneously places Crisa to the east of it (9. p. 418).

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  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1262
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 20
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 215
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 514
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1255
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1158
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