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πρὶν ἀνακινῆσαι τήνδε νόσον, ‘before thou hast aroused this plague,’ i.e., ‘allowed it to arise,’—by delay. The attacks recur at intervals; and he wishes to reach the pyre speedily (1253). The meaning is not that vehement laments might bring on the pain.

Other views are:—(1) “ἀνακινῆσαι” is intrans., ‘be roused.’ But this use is unexampled, and cannot safely be inferred from the intrans. “ὑποκινεῖν” ( Her.5. 106, etc.), or “παρακινεῖν” as=“παρακόπτειν, παραπαίειν”, delirare. (2) The subject to the inf. is “νόσον”, and the object is “σε” understood. But “ἀνακινῆσαι” clearly refers to rousing the pain, not to troubling the mind: cp. 974μὴ κινήσῃς...ὀδύναν”: 979 “κἀκκινήσεις...νόσον”.

ψυχὴ σκληρά: this phrase has a bad sense in Ai.1361; just as the epithet “κρατερόφρων”, given to Heracles in Il.14. 324, is applied in Hes. Op.147 to the “χάλκειον γένος”.—Cp. Hom. Od.20. 18τέτλαθι δὴ κραδίη”: Aristophanes parodies such passages, Ach.483 ff. “πρόβαινε νῦν, θυμέ...ἄγε νυν, τάλαινα καρδία”: as Voltaire said of like apostrophes in Corneille, ‘nous ne sommes plus dans un temps où l'on parle à son bras et à son âme.’

χάλυβος λιθοκόλλητον στόμιον. This has been explained:—(1) ‘A curb of steel, set with sharp stones’—to make it more severe. (2) ‘A curb of steel, ornamented with costly stones.’ (3) ‘A steel clamp for binding stones together.’ See Appendix.

I take the words in a way different from any of these. “χάλυβος στόμιον”, the ‘curb of steel,’ is, as all agree, the strong selfrestraint which is to keep the lips closed. Then “λιθοκόλλητον” introduces a new image. The lips, thus firmly closed, are set as stone to stone in masonry. Thus the whole phrase means ‘A curb of steel, to keep the lips set as stone to stone.’ The use of “λιθοκόλλητον” to describe the effect of the ‘curb’ has been assisted by the suggestion, in “στόμιον”, of “στόμα”.

ἀνάπαυε βοήν. Pythagoras said that a dying man,—like one who is putting out to sea,—should avoid words of ill omen: —“κατὰ τὸν ὕστατον καιρὸν παρήγγελλε μὴ βλασφημεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ ὥσπερ ἐν ταῖς ἀναγωγαῖσοἰωνίζεσθαι μετ᾽ εὐφημίας” (Iamblich. Pyth. § 257).

ὡς with τελέους᾿ (fut. part.), marking the intention (cp. 160): ἐπίχαρτον, predicative: (‘as being about to do a compulsory deed with a feeling of joy.’) The end has been imposed by fate; but it brings victory over pain.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.106
    • Hesiod, Works and Days, 147
    • Homer, Iliad, 14.324
    • Homer, Odyssey, 20.18
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1361
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 160
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 974
    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 483
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