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ἰσώσας * τἀφέσει: ‘having made the end of his course even with the starting-place,’—i.e., having run back again to that place in the stadion from which he started. Musgrave's conjecture, “τἀφέσει” for τῇ φύσει, affords the best solution here. If it be right, then the foot-race meant is either (a) the “δίαυλος”, in which the competitor rounded the “καμπτὴρ” at the further end of the course, and returned to the starting-place ( Aesch. Ag. 344κάμψαι διαύλου θάτερον κῶλον πάλιν”): or better, (b) the “δόλιχος”, in which he performed that double course several times. (The number of stadia in the “δόλιχος” was usually, if not always, an even number: cp. art. ‘Stadium’ in Smith's Dict. Ant. vol. II., 2nd ed. The schol. on Ar. Av. 292 asserts, indeed, “δολιχοδρόμοι δὲ οἱ ἕπτα” (“δρόμους”) “τρέχοντες”. Cp. IX.Bacch. ) The race in which the course was traversed only once (properly called “στάδιον”) cannot be intended, since the verse could not mean, ‘having finished the race as swiftly as he began it’: still less, ‘having made the end seem simultaneous with the start,’—by his marvellous speed. [This last was Musgrave's own view, which he sought to support from Antipater Sidonius, Epigr. 39: “ γὰρ ἐφ᾽ ὑσπλήγγων τέρματος εἶδέ τις ἄκρου” | “ἠΐθεον, μέσσῳ δ᾽ οὔποτ᾽ ἐνὶ σταδίῳ”.]

Now there is evidence that the customary order for the foot-races was, 1. “δόλιχος”, 2. “στάδιον”, 3. “δίαυλος”. See Boeckh C. I. G. no. 1590 and 1591 (referring to games at Thespiae, circ. 240 B.C.): also no. 2214 (games at Chios, circ. 100—80 B.C.). Paus. 6. 13. 3(of the athlete Polites at Olympia), “δολίχου τε ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ καὶ παραυτίκα σταδίου λαβὼν νίκην προσέθηκε διαύλου σφίσι τὴν τρίτην”. It would agree, then, with the words “οὗ πρώτη κρίσις” (684) if the “δόλιχος” were meant here. [As to Legg. 833 D, see Appendix.]

For “ἄφεσις” as=‘starting-place,’ cp. Suidas (s.v.ἀπὸ γραμμῆς”): “γραμμῆς, ἣν ἄφεσιν καὶ βαλβῖδα καλοῦσιν”: Paus. 6. 20. 9 τοῖς σταδιοδρόμοις ἄφεσις πεποίηται”: id. 5. 15. 5 “ἐν δὲ τῶν ἵππων τῇ” “ἀφέσει, ἐν μὲν τῷ ὑπαίθρῳ τῆς ἀφέσεως κ.τ.λ.”—Dindorf notes that in Aristeides vol. I. p. 339 the words “τῆς ἀφέσεως” were corrupted to “τῆς φύσεως”.

The proposed versions of the vulgate τῇ φύσει, and other attempts to correct it, are discussed in the Appendix.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 344
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 292
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 6.13.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 6.20.9
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