πολλάκις. There were many such popular stories. Pythagoras was said to have hidden himself in a subterranean chamber, causing his death to be reported; and when he reappeared, he was supposed to have been born anew (schol.). Herodotus tells a similar story of the Thracian Salmoxis, a slave and disciple of Pythagoras, who thus converted the Thracians to a doctrine of immortality (4. 95). So, too, the poet Aristeas of Proconnesus disappeared for seven years,—as a sort of preliminary advertisement, it would seem, to his poem the Arimaspeia ( Her. 4. 14). It is vain to ask what particular story or stories Sophocles was thinking of; very possibly he knew those in Herodotus (cp. Soph. O. C. 337 n.); but it was enough for him that his hearers would recognise the allusion to stories of that type. Hartung thinks that the reference is to Odysseus; but, as Odysseus did not contrive the rumour of his own death, the case is not in point. λόγῳ μάτην θνῄσκοντας: for “μάτην” as =‘falsely,’ cp. 1298, Ph. 345. ἐκτετίμηνται. The emphatic perf. might denote either (1) permanence,— ‘they are in greater honour thenceforth’; or (2) the instantaneous result,—‘forthwith.’ Perhaps the usage of the perf. pass. of “τιμάω” rather favours (1). Cp. O. C. 1304“τετίμηνται δορί” (with Thuc. 2. 45, cited there): Hom. Od. 7. 69(of Arêtè) “τετίμηται”.— The finite verb, instead of “ἐκτετιμημένους”, by a frequent idiom; cp. 192 (“ἀμφίσταμαι”): O. C. 351 n.—“ἐκτιμάω” is rare in classical Greek. Arist. Oec. 2. 33(p. 1352 b 5) has “ἐκτετιμημένα” as=‘things on which a high price is set,’ opp. to “εὔωνα”, ‘cheap.’
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