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ἐπιστρέψας, intrans., as in Her.2. 103ἐπιστρέψας ὀπίσω ἤιε”: Vesp. 422 “ἐπίστρεφε” | “δεῦρο”. The poet, though he has called the river “βαθύρρουν” (559), seems to imagine Heracles as wading across it, in front of Nessus. If Heracles had been carried over first, he would naturally have been facing the river. Ovid makes him swim across, and shoot the Centaur from the bank ( Met.9. 110 ff.).

κομήτην: Ph.711 n. According to Dion (or. 60), Sophocles was criticised on the ground that the hero's act might have been fatal to Deianeira; Nessus might have dropped her in the river. It would be enough to suppose that Heracles could not pause to think; but the context also suggests, as we have seen, that he was near enough to rescue her at need.

πλεύμονας=“πνεύμονας” (rt “πνυ”). Curtius (Etym. § 370) explains the change of ν to λ by ‘the rarity of the sound-group pn and the frequency of pl’; comparing the kindred words for ‘lungs,’ Lat. pulmo, Church-Slavonic plušta, Lithuanian plaúczei. The form with λ is attested as Attic by schol. Ar. Pax1069, Eustath. p. 483. 8. In 1054, as here, L gives the λ form, though with ν written above by the first hand: but in 1054 “πνευμόνων”.

ἐκθνῄσκων, as the faintness of approaching death began to come over him. The regular sense of “ἐκθνῄσκειν” is ‘to swoon away’: cp. Hist. Anim. 3. 19 (p. 521 a 11) “ἀφιεμένου” (“αἵματος”) “ἔξω πλείονος μὲν ἐκθνῄσκουσι, πολλοῦ δ᾽ ἄγαν ἀποθνῄσκουσιν”. So Legg. 959 A distinguishes a person in a swoon, “τὸν ἐκτεθνεῶτα”, from “τὸν ὄντως τεθνηκότα”.

569 ff. For τοσοῦτον, referring to what follows, and associated with “τοσόνδε”, cp. Ai.679 ff. “ἐς τοσόνδ̓...τοσαῦθ̓.—τοσόνδ̓” is explained by “ἐὰν γὰρ” etc.

τῶν ἐμῶνπορθμῶν: “πορθμός” usu. means (1) a ferry, or (2) the act of crossing water; here the second sense passes into that of “πορθμεία”, ‘my services as ferryman’: for the plur., cp. 628.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Aristophanes, Peace, 1069
    • Herodotus, Histories, 2.103
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 679
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 711
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 628
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9.110
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