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καὶ στίβου γ᾽ οὐδεὶς κτύπος, ‘and of foot-fall, at least, there is no sound.’ The γε, which has been suspected, is fitting; he is still a little below the cave, and cannot yet see whether it is empty. Seyffert's “καὶ στίβου δ᾽” would be appropriate only if it followed the mention of some other sign that the cave was empty.

στίβου, usu. ‘track (path),’ or ‘footprint,’ here, the act of treading: cp. 206στίβου κατ᾽ ἀνάγκαν”, n. Remark how strongly κτύπος (L's reading) is confirmed, as against τύπος, by v. 30, where Odysseus says (in effect), ‘perhaps the reason why you hear no sound is that he is asleep within.’—Other readings are “καὶ στίβου γ᾽ οὐδεὶς τύπος” (Tricl. and Brunck): “καὶ στίβου ᾿στ᾽ οὐχ ἑ̂ς τύπος” (Mudge): “καὶ στίβου ᾿στ᾽ οὔδει τύπος” (Bergk; though “οὖδας” is the only case of the noun found in Tragedy). These assume that there was sand or earth just in front of the cave on the side towards the sea. But vv. 1000 ff. imply that the cave's seaward mouth opened on steep rocks at some height above the beach. And if v. 29 referred to the presence or absence of foot-prints, v. 30 would lose its special point.

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    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 206
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