οἶσθα γὰρ ἃν … πάθη. I read ἃν (=“ἣν”), with Hermann, for the ὧν or ὃν of the MSS. ‘If thou holdest this purpose—thou knowest what purpose I speak of—in relation to this man (Philoctetes), truly there are desperate troubles (“ἄπορα πάθη”, sc. “ἔστι”) for shrewd men to foresee’ (lit., ‘to see in’ such a deed). The γνώμαν is the purpose of Neoptolemus to take Philoctetes on board the ship—ostensibly for conveyance to Greece—and then carry him to Troy. The allusive phrase, οἶσθα γὰρ ἃν αὐδῶμαι, is used, because they are afraid of breathing a word which might betray the secret to the sick man, if he should awake while they were speaking. ταύταν emphatically opposes this plan to κεῖνο—the course which they themselves recommend. τούτῳ is a dat. of relation, nearly=“περὶ τούτου”: cp. Plat. Rep. 598D “ὑπολαμβάνειν δεῖ τῷ τοιούτῳ ὅτι εὐηθής τις ἄνθρωπος” (‘in the case of such a person’). πυκινοῖς: cp. “ξριτιας Σίς”. fr. 1. 12 “πυκνός τις καὶ σοφὸς γνώμην ἀνήρ.” ἐνιδεῖν, oft. used of seeing a difficulty or danger in a proposed course of action: Her. 1. 89“εἴρετο Κροῖσον ὅ τι οἱ ἐνορῴη ἐν τοῖσι ποιευμένοισι” (what harm he foresaw for him in what was being done). Id. 1. 120“εἰ φοβερόν τι ἐνωρῶμεν, πᾶν ἂν σοὶ προεφράζομεν”. The ἄπορα πάθη are the horrors of the disease,—the fury which would burst forth in Philoctetes when he learned that they were taking him to Troy,—and the curses which he would invoke from “Ζεὺς Ἱκέσιος” on his betrayers.—For other views of this passage, see Appendix.
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