σῷζε, "guard them," — not merely, "remember" them, a sense peculiar to the midd. “σῴζομαι” (Plat. Theaet. 153 B, etc., n. on O. T. 318). Cp. Ant. 1113 “νόμους ι … σῴζοντα” (“"observing"”). ἀφικνῇ: L's “ἀφίκῃ” is of course impossible, the ι of the aor. being long only in the indic. (cp. 1495). τῷ προφερτάτῳ μόνῳ: “but to one,
” (Whitelaw), which well gives the vagueness of the phrase. While the hereditary monarchy lasted, the προφέρτατος would, in fact, be the king's eldest son: afterwards, it would be the man whose place in the State made him the proper guardian of the secret. The poet chose a phrase which would cover priestly tradition. I would not, then, change μόνῳ, with Nauck, to γόνῳ. In fr. 401 “ἦ γὰρ φίλη ᾿γὼ τῶνδε τοῦ προφερτέρου”, the sense “"elder"” is possible, but not certain. Hes. Scut. 260 has “τῶν γε μὲν ἀλλάων προφερής τ᾽ ἦν πρεσβυτάτη τε”, where the second adj. helps the first; Plat. Euthyd. 271 B has “προφερής”, “"wellgrown,"” of a youth, as opp. to “σκληφρός”, “"slight."” Hom. has only “προφερέστερος”, never of age. The nearest parallel to our passage is Hes. Th. 361 “προφερεστάτη ἐστὶν ἁπασέων”, foremost among the daughters of Oceanus is Styx; and at 777 she is called “πρεσβυτάτη”. So, here, the word suggests seniority, but without excluding pre-eminence of other kinds.