φέρων ἐπ᾽ ὤμοις. Nessus is here imagined as a Centaur of the older form known to Greek art,—viz., a complete man, with the barrel and hinder parts of a horse attached to the middle of his back. A Centaur on the “λάρναξ” of Cypselus at Olympia is described by Paus. (5. 19. 7) as “οὐ τοὺς πάντας ἵππου πόδας, τοὺς δὲ ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν ἔχων ἀνδρός”. This form may be called the andro-centaur. The more familiar hippo-centaur—a complete horse, only with a human chest and head substituted for the equine neck and head—was of later origin. In Journ. Hellen. Stud. I. 130 Mr Sidney Colvin gives a wood-cut of an early gem (in the British Museum), representing an androcentaur carrying off a woman, who is grasped in his right arm. Similar subjects occur on coins of Eastern Macedonia. Violence of this kind was part of the “ὕβρις” (1096) ascribed to the savage Centaurs, and appears in numerous legends (J. H. S., l.c., p. 140). ἦ: cp. O. T.1123 n. The third person, ἦν, would be less fitting: she speaks of her own helplessness at the moment. μέσῳ πόρῳ: for the dat., cp. 172: El.313“νῦν δ᾽ ἀγροῖσι τυγχάνει.—ματαίαις”, implying rash folly ( Ant.1339 n.), here =‘wanton.’ The schol. wrongly took it to mean that the attempt was baffled by Heracles. ἐκ δ᾽ ἤϋσ᾽ ἐγώ: Sophocles has avoided the error of Archilochus, who had described Deianeira as making a prolix appeal to her husband (“πρὸς τὸν Ἡρακλέα ῥαψῳδοῦσαν”: Dion Chrysost. or. 60).
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