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ματᾶν. The MS. μάτην seems plainly corrupt. The sense is: “"for I cannot say that any decree of deities is in vain"”: i.e.μάτην” must stand for “μάταιον εἶναι”. Isocr. or. 4 § 5 has “ὥστ᾽ ἤδη μάτην εἶναι τὸ μεμνῆσθαι περὶ τούτων” (=“μάταιον”): but that does not justify the use of the adv. alone here. Nor can it go with “φράσαι”. For ματᾶν cp. Aesch. Eum. 142ἰδώμεθ᾽ εἴ τι τοῦδε φροιμίου ματᾷ”, "is in vain."

ἀξίωμα prop., “"what one thinks right"”; here, “"decree,"” “"ordinance"”; in 1459 “"request."” Cp. Dem. or. 18 § 210τὰ τῶν προγόνων ἀξιώματα”, their political maxims.

φράσαι: cp.

πτανά τε καὶ πεδοβάμον᾽ ἂν ἀνεμοέντων
αἰγίδων φράσαι κότον

.—These words are a comment on the last. Perchance it is Fate that is being fulfilled; for a heaven-appointed fate never fails of fulfilment.


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