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Ὀρφέα. For the legend of Orpheus and his wife Eurydice, see Paus. IX. 30, Virg. Georg. IV. 454 ff., Ovid Met. X. 1 ff. Phaedrus modifies the usual story (1) by making Eurydice a φάσμα, and Orpheus consequently ἀτελής (cp. Stesichorus' treatment of the Helen-legend, followed also by Euripides in his Helena, and Phaedrus 243 B): (2) by making O.'s descent an act of μαλακία rather than of τόλμα (as Hermesianax 2. 7, Ov. Met. X. 13ad Styga Taenaria est ausus descendere porta” ): (3) by representing O.'s death to be a penalty for this cowardice rather than for his irreverence to Dionysus (as Aeschylus Bassarai, etc.). For Orpheus and Orphism in general, see Miss J. Harrison Proleg. pp. 455 ff.

ἅτε ὢν κιθαρῳδός. As if the “soft Lydian airs” of the cithara conduced to effeminacy. For the cithara, as distinguished from the λύρα, see Rep. 399 D—E (with Adam's note). It is worth noticing that Spenser (H. to Love) cites Orpheus as an instance of ἔνθεος τόλμα—“Orpheus daring to provoke the yre Of damned fiends, to get his love retyre.”

τοιγάρτοι διὰ ταῦτα. Cp. Isocr. VII. 52, Andoc. I. 108, Dem. XXIII. 203; an example of the rhetorical trick of amplitude. Phaedrus, as Hug observes, is blind to the obvious corollary that Eros sometimes fails to implant τόλμα.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.1
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.13
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