ποῦ γῆς (“ἔλειπες”), (“εἴτε”) πατρῴας εἴτε βαρβάρου (“ἔλειπες”）; where did you leave him,—whether it was in Greece or abroad that you left him? εἴτε, either doubled or single, is thus used, with ellipse of the verb, when a statement or a question is to include two alternative suppositions: cp. Legg. 844 D “ὃς ἂν ἀγροίκου ὀπώρας γεύσηται, βοτρύων εἵτε καὶ σύκων” [sc. “ἐγεύσατο”],...“εἴτ᾽ ἐν τοῖς αὑτοῦ χωρίοις εἴτε καὶ ἐν ἄλλων,...πεντήκοντα ὀφειλέτω δραχμάς”. So, with a single “εἴτε”, O. T.517: with doubled “εἴτε”, ib. 194 O. T., 1049.In such sentences εἴτε becomes practically equivalent to “ἤ”. But it cannot, of course, replace “ἤ” in a direct statement or question: i.e., ‘This is either good or bad,’ could not be rendered, “τοῦτο εἴτ᾽ ἀγαθὸν εἴτε κακόν ἐστι”. Hence the following punctuation, adopted by Dindorf, is impossible: ποῦ γῆς; πατρῴας εἴτε βαρβάρου; λέγε. This would require “ἢ” instead of “εἴτε”. (Paley, who follows Dindorf, seems to have felt a misgiving; ‘The use of “εἴτε” for “ἢ”,’ he says, ‘is remarkable.’）—Ellendt prefers a third way of pointing, which L (see cr. n.) also suggests: ποῦ γῆς; πατρῴας εἴτε βαρβάρου, λέγε (‘say whether...’). The objection to this is that it throws too much emphasis on the distinction between Greek and foreign soil. πατρῴας (“γῆς”)=“πατρίδος” (as in O. C.1292 etc.), i.e. Hellas, as the land of his ancestors (not as ‘the land of his father Zeus’). Cp. 1060 “οὔθ᾽ Ἑλλὰς οὔτ᾽ ἄγλωσσος”. The rumours reported by Hyllus spoke of Heracles as freed from Omphalè, but left it doubtful whether he was yet in Euboea (69—75).
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