εἰλυόμην (cp. 702), ‘crawl’; cp. Plat. Tim. 92A “ἄποδα...καὶ ἰλυσπώμενα ἐπὶ γῆς”. The word suggests that each step with the sound foot is followed by a slight halt, while the other foot is dragged after it. Thus the notion is different from that of “εἰλίποδες” (“βοῦς”), where a ‘rolling’ gait is meant. Cp. on 163. A cornelian intaglio in the Berlin collection shows Philoctetes thus “εἰλυόμενος”, with the help of a stick in his left hand, while the righ<*> holds his bow and quiver; the left foot is the wounded one. (Milani, Mito di Filottete p. 78: see Introd.) It is clear from 215 (“πταίων”) and 894 (“ὀρθώσει”) that the poet imagines him as striving to walk erect, and not as creeping prone, with the knee of the sound leg against the ground. ἂν with the iterative impf. in apodosis, after optat. in protasis, as oft.: cp. Isocr. or. 6 § 52 “τὸν παρελθόντα χρόνον, εἰ...εἷς μόνος Λακεδαιμονίων βοηθήσειεν, ὑπὸ πάντων ἂν ὡμολογεῖτο” (‘it used to be allowed’) “παρὰ τοῦτον γενέσθαι τὴν σωτηρίαν αὐτοῖς”. Cp. 294 f. δύστηνον, as 1377 “δυστήνῳ ποδί.” ἐξέλκων: cp. Eur. Phoen. 303“γήρᾳ τρομερὰν ἕλκω ποδὸς βάσιν. ” πρὸς τοῦτ ἄν: for the repetition of “ἄν”, cp. 223 n.: that of “πρὸς τοῦτο” emphasises the limit of the painful effort.
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