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[234] τόδε σκῆπτρον: by this sceptre here, which he had just received from a herald; see on v. 15. For oaths by this symbol of power, see “ὣς εἰπὼν τὸ σκῆπτρον ἀνέσχεθε πᾶσι θεοῖσιν Η 412, δ̓ ἐν χερσὶ σκῆπτρον λάβε καί οἱ ὄμοσσεν Κ” 328. So King Richard swears ‘Now, by my sceptre's awe, I make a vow’ Shakspere Rich. II. i. I. 118.

τὸ μέν: anaphoric. dem. — “As surely as this staff shall never put forth leaves, so surely shall the Achaeans miss me sorely.” This is imitated by Vergil (Aen. xii. 206 ff.), ut sceptrum hoc . . . nunquam fronde levi fundet virgulta nec umbras,

cum semel in silvis, imo de stirpe recisum,
matre caret, posuitque comas et brachia ferro;
. . . patribusque dedit gestare Latinis.

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