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ἐπίσχετον is said to N. and Ph. , who are moving towards the cave. μάθωμεν, absol., let us learn,—viz., what tidings the new comers are bringing. The conjecture “μένωμεν” (or “μείνωμεν”) would merely repeat the sense of “ἐπίσχετον”.—This hortative subjunct. occurs even in the 1st pers. sing., as Eur. Hipp. 567ἐπίσχετ̓, αὐδὴν τῶν ἔσωθεν ἐκμάθω”: id. H.F. 1058 “σῖγα, πνοὰς μάθω.

ἀλλόθρους, prop., speaking a foreign tongue: here, simply = “ἀλλότριος”, just as in Tr. 844ἀλλόθρου” | “γνώμας”=merely “ἀλλοτρίας γνώμης”.

ὧν μαθόντες, i.e., having learned (their news) from them: cp. 370 n.

αὖθις=‘at a later moment,’ as Ai. 1283.εἴσιτον (imperat., not indic.): for the dual, after “μαθόντες”, cp. Laches p. 187 A “αὐτοὶ εὑρεταὶ γεγονότε”: and n. on O. C. 343.

542 Odysseus said that he would send back the “σκοπός”, disguised as a merchant captain, if N. seemed to be tarrying too long (126 ff.). The actor who now comes on as “ἔμπορος” would not, however, be the same who played the “σκοπός” (a mute person), but the tritagonist, who played Odysseus. The sailor who accompanies him is a mute person; and that part may have been taken by the former representative of the “σκοπός”.

As N. has already ensnared Ph. , and is on the point of starting with him, there is no actual need for the intervention of the “ἔμπορος”. But Odysseus, at the ship, could not know this; and we are to suppose that he had become impatient. The scene which follows heightens the dramatic interest by bringing out the horror with which Ph. regards the idea of returning to Troy.

ξυνέμπορον, fellow-traveller, as Tr. 318, etc.

hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Euripides, Hippolytus, 567
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1283
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 343
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 370
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 318
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 844
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