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οὐ πτανῶνἴσχων. The only food which Ph. could obtain was that which his bow procured (287). And here the loss of the bow is uppermost in his thoughts. Hence the emphatic repetition :—“οὐ φορβὰν ἔτι προσφέρων, οὐ” (“προσφέρων”) πτανῶν ἀπ᾽ ἐμῶν ὅπλων. The general word, “προσφέρων”, is understood again with the adverbial phrase which specialises it. Thus the rhetorical effect is much as if he had said, “οὐκ ἀγρεύων ὄρνιθας, οὐ τοξεύων”. The object to ἴσχων is “αὐτά” (i.e.τὰ ὅπλα”) understood. Cp. 1058κάκιον οὐδὲν ἂν” | “τούτων κρατύνειν μηδ᾽ ἐπιθύνειν χερί”. Hartung objects that it is the bow which is held, whereas πτανῶν suits only the arrows: hence he writes, “οὐ πτανῶν ὅπλ̓ ἐμῶν τόξων” (for the final spondee cp. 1151ἀλκάν”). The simple answer is that, at the moment of shooting, the archer holds both bow and arrow: and the epithet κραταιαῖς suits precisely that moment, since it suggests the effort of drawing the bow. Brunck was clearly wrong in supplying “φορβάν” with “ἴσχων”.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1058
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1151
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