This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
‘And all signs (of any tragic event), and acts (of the sufferer, represented in narrative or description), (the exhibition) for example (of) the dress of the sufferer and everything else of the same kind, or his (last) words, or anything else connected with those who are in the very act of suffering, for instance such as are actually dying’ (in articulo mortis). It is hardly necessary to mention the use that is made by Mark Antony of this ‘sign’ in exciting the people after the murder of Caesar by the exhibition of his ‘mantle’,—“you all do know this mantle”—pierced by the dagger of his assassins, in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, III 2. 174, since it must be fresh in every one's recollection. The incident and accompanying circumstances and the effect of Antonius' speech are related by Plut., Vit. Anton. c. 14, from whom Shakespeare may have derived it; and referred to by Quint., VI 1. 31. Suetonius, Jul. Caes. c. 84, gives a very different account of what passed on this occasion. See also Appian, Bell. Civ. II 146 (Schrader). Another example occurs in Aesch. Choeph. 980, where Orestes after the death of Clytemnestra holds up to the spectators the bathing robe in which his father was murdered, ἴδεσθε...τὸ μηχάνημα, δεσμὸν ἀθλίῳ πατρί κ.τ.λ. 982, ἐκτείνατ᾽ αὐτόν, which is also referred by Hermann to the display of the robe. ‘And most pitiable of all is the case when men have borne themselves bravely (worthily), at such critical moments, because all these things intensify our commiseration (in three ways), by the appearance they have of being close upon us, and by the suggestion (or impression, ὡς) of unmerited suffering and by the vivid representation of it (as though it took place before our eyes)’. The gender and construction of ἀναξίου are both uncertain; it may be either masc. or neut.; and may be made to agree either with πάθους if neut., or, as I rather think, used as masc. and construed thus; καὶ ὡς τοῦ πάθους ὄντος ἀναξίου (‘being that of one who did not deserve it’; whose sufferings were unmerited because he was σπουδαῖος) καὶ ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς φαινομένου: and so I have rendered it. Or again, if ἀναξίου be considered as neut., it may be interpreted with τοῦ πάθους ὄντος, ‘unworthy’ of the sufferer, in the sense of undeserved by him—though this is rather a non-natural explanation of the word. Or thirdly, a comma may be placed after ὄντος, and ἀναξίου will then be masculine with τοῦ παθόντος understood.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.