Much suspicion has fallen upon these verses. Some critics, indeed, hold that the only resource is to write them anew (see cr. n.). The points to which objection is made are the following.
(1) ὁμοῦ as a prep. with the gen. (schol., “ἐγγύς”). The dat. is the usual case ( O. T. 1007). There are, however, two other passages in which the gen. is a well-attested reading. (a) Xen. Anab. 4. 6. 24“πρὶνδὲὁμοῦεἶναιτοὺςπολλοὺςἀλλήλων”: three of the best MSS. support the gen., while others give “ἀλλήλοις”. (b) Menander fr. incert. 204. The schol. on Rh. 2. 121 quotes it as “ὁμοῦδὲτῷτίκτεινπαρεγένεθ᾽ἡκόρη”: but the mutilated form of it found in Suidas, Photius and Harpocration has “τοῦτίκτεινὁμοῦ”. It is noteworthy that the use of “ὁμοῦ” in the sense of “ἐγγύς” (as distinguished from the sense ‘along with’) is said by the schol. on Apollonius to be distinctively AndAttic. , when it bore this sense, the analogy of “ἐγγύς, πέλας”, etc., might easily permit it to be sometimes construed with the gen. See Appendix.
(2) στείχων is suspected by Nauck, who says, ‘one would rather have expected the aorist (“ἀπελθών”).’ But the pres. partic. is quite right: ‘moving on my way, I should now have been near my ship.’
(3) στείχοντα following “στείχων”. This is a real blemish, though a small one. But it does not follow that it is corrupt. There are several proofs that Sophocles, writing rather for hearers than for readers, was not always careful to avoid such iteration of commonplace words. The emphasis here falls on the contrasted qualifications (“νεὼςὁμοῦ”, and “πέλας”), not on the participles themselves. A recurrence which, in print, catches the eye would hardly have offended the ear. Cp. 87, 88 “πράσσειν” bis, with n.,—265 “ἀγρίᾳ”, 267 “ἀγρίῳ”: 1268 f. “λόγων, λόγοις”.
(4) πρὸςἡμᾶςδεῦρ᾽ἰόντ̓, repeating the sense of “πέλαςστείχοντα”. The words are certainly unnecessary; but they are nothing worse. For a like redundancy, cp. Lysias or. 16 § 13 “τοῖςμὲνἱππεύουσινἀσφάλειανεἶναιδεῖννομίζοντας, τοῖςδ᾽ὁπλίταιςκίνδυνονἡγουμένους”, where the second participle merely repeats the sense of the first, and might have been omitted. We could, indeed, take ἰόντ̓ as=“ἰόντε” (for the elision of the dual, cp. Hes. Op. 199“ἴτονπρολιπόντ᾽ἀνθρώπους”), placing commas after “γόνον” and “ἰόντ̓”. Then “στείχοντα” would refer to both men. ‘I see Hom. Od.and N. approaching, on their way hither to us.’ But this is less natural.
On the whole, I incline to think that these four vv. are sound, though (like vv. 265 ff.) they are somewhat carelessly written.
Sophocles: The Plays and Fragments, with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose. Part IV: The Philoctetes. Sir Richard C. Jebb. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 1932.
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