previous next

ὁρκίαν, the conjecture of P. N. Papageorgius, is the best emendation of the certainly corrupt ἀρχαίαν. It gives exactly what we need, viz. such an epithet for πίστιν as marks the special solemnity of the pledge. Cp. Plat. Legg. 843Aφιλίαν τε καὶ ἔχθραν ἔνορκον”. The occurrence of “ὅρκιος” in 1637 cannot be made an objection (cp. 544 n.); on the contrary, it rather confirms “ὁρκίαν” here. Theseus did just what Oedipus asked.

ἀρχαίαν has been explained as follows: —(1) “"Thy right hand, that time-honoured pledge."” I agree with Campbell and Bellermann that this is the best version: indeed, I should be disposed to say, the only sound one. But in such a context we surely want something more than so general an epithet. (2) Thy pledge, “"which some day will be old,"i.e. which you are sure to observe permanently. Herm. supports this extraordinary “"prolepsis"” by Aesch. Ag. 579, where, however, “ἀρχαῖον γάνος” is rather, “"the traditional ornament"” of temples (spoils): unless we should read (“δόμοις”) “ἀρχαίοις”. (3) “"A pledge of such good faith as you have always observed"” (fides perpetuo apud te usu sacrata, Ellendt). (4) A modification of the last view refers “ἀρχαίαν” to v. 631, as=“"the pledge given at the beginning (of our intercourse)."” It is impossible to accept any one of these interpretations.

(1) Two other conjectures claim notice. ἀρθμίαν (Wecklein)=“"in a friendly compact."” Cp. Od. 16.427οἱ δ᾽ ἡμῖν ἄρθμιοι ἦσαν”, “"they were in amity with us."” In Ph. 1132 Erfurdt has restored “ἄρθμιον” (as =“"trusty comrade"”) for “ἄθλιον”. But this epithet does not strengthen “πίστιν”. (2) ἀρκίαν (L. Schmidt)=“"sure."” The only support for this is the epic phrase “μισθὸς ἄρκιος” (Il. 10.304, Od. 18.358, Hes. Op. 368).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Hesiod, Works and Days, 368
    • Homer, Odyssey, 16.427
    • Plato, Laws, 843a
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1637
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1132
    • Homer, Iliad, 10.304
    • Homer, Odyssey, 18.358
    • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 579
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: