ἅ μοι προσελθὼν … κυρεῖ: ‘advance, I pray thee (μοι), towards them’ [the cave and spring], ‘and sign (to me) whether he still occupies this same spot, or is elsewhere.’ The position of μοι indicates that it is the ethic dat. ( O. T. 1512), rather than dat. with “σήμαινε”, with which it can easily be understood.—In the Appendix reasons are given for the following views. (1) The words σήμαιν᾽ εἵτ᾽ ἔχει break the metrical rule, since “εἴτ̓” must be considered as metrically belonging to “ἔχει” rather than to “σήμαινε”, and therefore the 5th foot ought to be an iambus. But nevertheless the words are sound, since the natural stress on the first syllable of the imperative “σήμαιν̓”, coinciding with the rhythmical ictus, has the effect of making the next syllable (“αιν”) seem relatively short to the ear. (2) In v. 23 the traditional “χῶρον πρὸς αὐτὸν” is untenable. “πρός” with acc. could here mean only, ‘looking towards,’ ‘facing’; it could not mean merely, ‘in the neighbourhood of.’ And ἔχει | “χῶρον πρὸς αὐτὸν τόνδε” could not mean either, ‘(the cave and spring) are situated facing just this spot’; nor, ‘he dwells facing this spot.’ We should read with Blaydes, “χῶρον τὸν αὐτόν”. (3) τόνδ᾽ ἔτ̓, εἴτ̓ is the best correction of L's “τόνδ̓, ἤτ̓” in v. 23: and “ἔτ̓” confirms the view that Philoctetes is the subject to the verbs. Odysseus is sure that the cave is somewhere near (16). His doubt is whether Philoctetes still lives in it, or has removed to some other part of the island.
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