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τῶν δὲ εὐθὺς κτλ.: ‘about those who died as soon as they were born, and those who had lived but a short time’ etc., lit. “about the ‘as-soon-as-they-wereborn’ and the ‘short-lived’ etc.” The εὐθὺς γενόμενοι and the ὀλίγον χρόνον βιοῦντες were probably two well-recognised categories of the ἄωροι (as to whom see Rohde Psyche^{2} II pp. 411 ff.): hence the article τῶν. Cf. Virg. Aen. VI 428 dulcis vitae exsortes, et ab ubere raptos. A limbus infantum appears to have been a feature of early Orphic pictures of the underworld (Dieterich Nek. p. 158). It is unwise to insert ἀποθανόντων (Ast, Stallbaum) or ἀπογενομένων (Herwerden, Baiter) after γενομένων, or to read <ἀπο>γενομένων (Cobet), for, as Schneider observes, “de mortuis hic agi in aperto est.” Schneider's own interpretation may be gathered from his note “nec nostrates, opinor offenderet von denen, die eben erst geboren gewesen etiam non addito als sie starben.” I agree with Stallbaum in doubting whether εὐθύς can have this meaning: and it is safer, I think, to understand εὐθὺς γενόμενοι in the ordinary way. Others think that only one category is intended, taking ὀλίγον χρόνον βιούντων as equivalent to ἀποθανόντων (Purves, and so also D. and V. “those whose death followed close upon their birth”). But καί cannot be so easily ignored.

εἰς δὲ θεοὺς κτλ. Cf. Xen. Mem. IV 4. 19, 20 παρὰ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις πρῶτον νομίζεται τοὺς θεοὺς σέβειν. Οὐκοῦν καὶ γονέας τιμᾶν πανταχοῦ νομίζεται; Καὶ τοῦτο, ἔφη, and Pind. Pyth. 6. 23—27 and other passages in Nägelsbach Nachhom. Theol. pp. 191 ff., 275 ff. The categories of sinners in the Phaedo (113 E—114 B) correspond very nearly to those mentioned here. Cf. Dieterich Nek. pp. 165 ff.

αὐτόχειρος φόνου. See cr. n. In common with most editors I have adopted αὐτόχειρος in place of αὐτόχειρας. The error was easy, and the change is slight. Schneider understands εἰς before αὐτόχειρας, in a different sense from that which it bears with θεούς and γονέας. “Contorta sane loci interpretatio,” says Stallbaum, rightly. αὐτόχειρ φόνος (cf. the ἀνδροφόνοι of the Phaedo l.c.) does not necessarily mean either ‘suicide’ or ‘the murder of near relations’ (D. and V.), but merely ‘slaying with one's own hand,’ ‘homicide.’ See Jebb on Soph. Ant. 55.

Ἀρδιαῖος: a purely fictitious personage, no doubt, although verisimilitude is preserved by χιλιοστόν: cf. εἶναι δὲ τὴν πορείαν χιλιέτη 615 A.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 55
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 4.4.19
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