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ἄστιπτος is the form given by L here, which also has στιπτή in v. 33. “στιπτός”, not “στειπτός”, is also the best attested form in Aristophanes Ach. 180, and in Theophrastus De Igne § 37. See Appendix.

οὐδ᾽ οἰκουμένη. Aeschylus and Euripides had both written a “Φιλοκτήτης”, and each had composed his chorus of Lemnians,—thus making it seem strange that the sufferer should have been left so long without aid (Dion Chrysostom, or. 52). Sophocles wished to avoid that defect. Everything that is said of Lemnos throughout this play would naturally suggest a wholly uninhabited island. And the words ascribed to Philoctetes (vv. 220 f., 300 ff.) require us to suppose that he, at least, believed it to be so. The Iliad, however, represents “Εὔνηος”, son of Jason and Hypsipylè, as reigning in Lemnos during the Trojan war (7. 467); and it was into ‘well-peopled Lemnos’ that Achilles sold Lycaon (21. 40). It is simplest to suppose that Sophocles, finding it convenient to have a desert island, ignored the Homeric notices. But it is also possible that he conceived the island as inhabited in some parts and desolate in others. This is the scholiast's view: “ἐν ἐρήμῳ γὰρ μέρει τῆς Λήμνου ἐξετέθη”. The area of Lemnos is about 150 square miles, or more than thrice that of Jersey. Philoctetes could not crawl far from his sea-side cave (cp. 163, 291).

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 163
    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 180
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