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ἐπερρόθησε. This verb can denote the blended sound of many voices ( Aesch. Ch.458); esp., the responsive shout of a crowd ( Eur. Hec.553, Eur. Or.901). Here it refers to loud and vehement railing: cp. Soph. Ant.259λόγοι...ἐρρόθουν κακοί” (n.), and ib. 413 “ἐπιρρόθοις” | “κακοῖσιν”.

From “ἐπερρόθησε” a verb of more general sense, such as “ὕβρισε”, is to be supplied with ἀτηρᾷ φρενί. (For the sense of “ἀτηρᾷ”, cp. Ph.1272: Paley wrongly takes it as= ‘deluded.’) This is the easier, since the antithesis between γόγοις and φρενί at once suggests a distinction between affronts expressed in speech and those which showed the malicious intention in another way, viz., by acts: two examples of the verbal insults are given, and then one of the other kind (δείπνοις δ̓ κ.τ.λ.). Instances of zeugma quite as bold occur elsewhere in poetry; for the Greek mind was quick to seize the hint of a contrast, and did not always require full expression of it: e.g., Od.15. 374ἐκ δ᾽ ἄρα δεσποίνης οὐ μείλιχον ἔστιν ἀκοῦσαι” | “οὔτ᾽ ἔπος οὔτε τι ἔργον” (sc.παθεῖν”): ib. 20. 312 f. “μήλων σφαζομένων οἴνοιό τε πινομένοιο” | “καὶ σίτου” (sc.ἐσθιομένου”). In these examples, just as here, the antithesis of nouns supersedes an explicit antithesis of verbs.

Others understand :—‘railed against him both with (rude) words and with evil intent.’ To this there are two objections. (1) Since all the supposed affronts are then verbal, the antithesis would require an epithet for λόγοις (such as “αἰσχροῖς”), to balance ἀτηρᾷ. (2) The formula πολλὰ μὲνπολλὰ δέ would be out of place, unless two classes of verbal taunts were distinguished by the presence or absence of a spiteful intent; but the context excludes such a distinction.

The text is clearly (I think) sound. It is unwarrantable, as it is undesirable, to strike out πολλὰ δ᾽χεροῖν μὲν (see cr. n.). Again, it is improbable that a verse has been lost after v. 264.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Aeschylus, Libation Bearers, 458
    • Euripides, Hecuba, 553
    • Euripides, Orestes, 901
    • Homer, Odyssey, 15.374
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 259
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1272
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