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ἡνίκ᾽ Οἰδίπους κ.τ.λ. The only obscurity arises from the use of the plur. κείνων in 168. κείνων παῖδας ought to mean, ‘the descendants of Laïus and Oedipus,’ viz. Eteocles and Polyneices. But, as the sentence stands, it must mean, ‘the offspring of Laïus and of Oedipus respectively’; viz. Oedipus, the son of Laïus; Eteocles and Polyneices, the sons of Oedipus. The relative clause, ἡνίκ᾽ . . ὤρθου πόλιν, induced the poet to add immediately the other relative clause to which the same person is subject, viz. ἐπεὶ διώλετο, instead of inserting, after “ὤρθου πόλιν”, words expressing their loyalty to Oedipus. We might, indeed, suppose that, after “ὤρθου πόλιν”, we were intended to supply mentally, “καὶ τὰ ἐκείνου θρόνων κράτη σέβοντας”. But against this is the fact that, after τοῦτο μέν . . τοῦτ᾽ αὖθις,—‘in the first place’ . . ‘in the second place,’

καί (in “κἀπεὶ”) would scarcely have been thus used to introduce a distinct third clause. Evidently καί links “ἡνίκα ὤρθου” to “ἐπεὶ διώλετο.

ἐμπέδοις φρονήμασιν, with steadfast sentiments (of loyalty), modal dat., as oft. “προθυμίᾳ, εὐνοίᾳ, φρονήματι” (Thuc. 2.62), etc. Hartung, whom some recent editors follow, adopts ἐμπέδους on the strange ground that Soph. must otherwise have written “ἐμμένοντας”. But μένοντας ἀμφὶ τοὺς κείνων παῖδας=‘remaining around them,’ and the modal dat. is added no less legitimately than the causal dat. in Eur. Her. 701δειλίᾳ μένειν”, ‘to remain through cowardice.’ Soph. could have said “ἐμπέδους φρονήμασιν”, as he has said “συντρόφοις ὀργαῖς ἔμπεδος” (Ai. 639): but ἐμπέδοις is better here, both (a) because a series of accusatives has preceded, and (b) because, as “μένοντας” has already marked their constancy, we now want an epithet for their “φρονήματα”.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Euripides, Heracles, 701
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 639
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.62
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