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ἥδ᾽: he indicates the dead body of Eurydicè, now made visible by the “ἐκκύκλημα”.—Arndt's first emendation is given in the text. His later substitution of “πτώσιμος” for βωμία was not an instance of second thoughts being wiser. The altar meant is that of “Ζεὺς Ἑρκεῖος” in the “αὐλή” of the house (487). The objection made to “βωμία” here is to the effect that one could say “βώμιος ἐφέζεται” or “ἵσταται”, but not “βώμιος ποιεῖ τι”: i.e. that the verb must refer directly to the assuming of the position denoted by “βώμιος”. It is quite true that this is usually the case; Eur. Suppl. 93βωμίαν ἐφημένην”: O. T. 32ἑζόμεσθ᾽ ἐφέστιοι”: and cp. above, 785 f. But here βωμία is not merely an adverbial word, to be taken closely with “λύει”. It is rather an instance of an adj. used with the force of a participle, and virtually equivalent to “βωμία στᾶσα”: i.e. it means, ‘having taken her place at the altar,’ she slew herself. Cp. O. C. 83ὡς ἐμοῦ μόνης πέλας” (sc.οὔσης”): and see above on 471. Further: even if it were necessary to bind “βωμία” closely with “λύει”, it would be bold to say that poetry could not permit this slight modification in the ordinary use of the word, when we remember how free was the adverbial use of adjectives in poetry (e.g., Ai. 217νύκτερος Αἴας ἀπελωβήθη”).

ξίφει. A sacrificial knife, which lay on the altar. Cp. Eur. Alc. 74 (Death speaks) “στείχω δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ αὐτήν, ὡς κατάρξωμαι ξίφει”. For the prep. cp. Ai. 828πεπτῶτα τῷδε περὶ νεορράντῳ ξίφει”.

Next to Arndt's, the best conjecture seems that of Blaydes, ἥδ᾽ ὀξυθήκτῳ σφαγίδι βωμίᾳ πέρι. In favour of Arndt's we may observe:—(a) the MS. “πέριξ” (a word not used by Soph. , and nowhere common) was not likely to have originated from “πέρι” alone: whereas it could easily arise from “περὶ ξίφει”, if “ίφει” had been blotted or lost. (b) The MS. “ἥδε” (or “ δὲ”) is just the kind of feeble make-shift which is sometimes found in the MSS., where a verse had come down in a mutilated state: see, e.g., on O. T. 943 f., 1264 f.—For other conjectures, see Appendix.


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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Euripides, Alcestis, 74
    • Euripides, Suppliants, 93
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 217
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 828
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 83
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 32
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 943
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