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Ἀντίλοχος. Pindar is our earliest authority for the story of Antilochus saving his father Nestor's life: he brings it in à propos of a son who had driven his father's chariot in the Pythian games, and won the race (Pyth. 6. 38 ff.). Memnon was pressing Nestor hard, and one of the horses in Nestor's chariot had been wounded by Paris. Nestor called for help to Antilochus, who diverted Memnon's attack from his father to himself, and was killed; thus winning the fame, “ὕπατος ἀμφὶ τοκεῦσιν ἔμμεν πρὸς ἀρετάν”. The Odyssey notices that Antilochus was slain by Memnon, but does not say that he fell in saving his father (4. 188). At the end of the Iliad Antilochus is still living (23. 785 ff.); in Il. 8. 90 it is Diomedes who rescues Nestor (from Hector). Pindar's source was the Aethiopis of Arctînus, in which Achilles avenged Antilochus by slaying Memnon.

ὃς παρῆν γόνος, the son who was at his side:—not (I think) with direct reference to the saving of Nestor's life by Antilochus,—this is more than “παρῆν” could suggest, without further explanation (cp. 373),—but rather in the general sense that the son was the stay and comfort of his father's old age.—The MS. reading, ὅσπερ ἦν γόνος, would clearly imply that Antilochus was Nestor's only (or last surviving) son. The Iliad describes Nestor as having two sons at Troy, Thrasymedes and Antilochus (17. 378); and according to the Odyssey (3. 413 ff.) six sons were left to Nestor after the death of Antilochus, one of these being Thrasymedes. If it be suggested that the Aethiopis may have represented Antilochus as the last surviving son, we may reply that this is extremely improbable, when it is remembered that several Ionian colonies claimed to have been founded by the Neleidae, descendants of Nestor who emigrated from Pylus (Introd. to Homer, p. 167). The same consideration condemns Seyffert's ὅς γ᾽ ἔτ᾽ ἦν. Cavallin's ὅς ποτ᾽ ἦν is free from this objection, but is somewhat weak.—See Appendix.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Homer, Iliad, 8.90
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 373
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