These four verses are addressed by Hyllus to the leader of the Chorus, and give the signal for moving from the orchestra. With παρθέν̓, compare “ὦπαρθένοι” in 211. The Chorus has been silent since 1113; and it seems dramatically right that its silence should be maintained in this last scene. The young maidens of Trachis may well leave the son of Heracles, at this solemn moment, to sum up the lesson of his father's fate.
If the verses are given to the leader of the Chorus, then “παρθέν̓” will be taken in a collective sense, as referring to the other choreutae; cp. 821 “ὦπαῖδες”. Prof. Campbell understands a reference to the maidens of the household(205); but this seems less natural. In either case, the singular number would be unusual.
Another view is that “παρθέν̓” means Iolè. But she is not present: and, even if she could be thus summoned forth, her presence would be unfitting.
ἐπ᾽οἴκων (see cr. n.) is clearly right. “ἐπὶ” is often thus used with the gen., of position: Plat. Charm. 163 B “ἐπ᾽οἰκήματοςκαθημένῳ”: Thuc. 4. 118 “μένεινἐπὶτῆςαὑτῶν”.—The Vulg. “ἀπ̓οἴκων” has been explained in three ways, each of which appears untenable:—(1) ‘Do not stay behind,—leaving the house,’ i.e., ‘leave it.’ (2) ‘Do not fail from the house,’—i.e., ‘stay there.’ (3) With “παρθέν̓”: ‘O maiden from the house, do not stay behind.’
Sophocles: The Plays and Fragments, with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose. Part V: The Trachiniae. Sir Richard C. Jebb. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 1902.
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