ξιφέων (possessive gen.) ἐπίχειρα, ‘the wages of swords,’ i.e. the reward of strife with the sword,—viz. a violent death. The gen. after “ἐπίχειρα” always denotes that for which the reward is given, as Aesch. PV 318 “ὑψηγόρου ι γλώσσης”, Aristoph. Vesp. 581 “ταύτης” (sc. “τῆς δίκης”), Plat. Rep. 608C “ἀρετῆς”, [Dem. ] Epist. p. 1484. 4 “τῶν...πεπονημένων”. Here, “ξιφέων” can hardly be a subjective gen., ‘the reward which the sword gives’; though the meaning is the same. The ironical sense of “ἐπίχειρα” occurs in Attic prose as well as verse; Antiphon or. 1 § 20 “ἡ μὲν διακονήσασα” (in the murder) “ἔχει τὰ ἐπίχειρα ὦν ἀξία ἦν” (torture and death). Cp. El. 1382 “τἀπιτίμια ι τῆς δυσσεβείας. ξιφέων” might be poet. plur. for sing., as in Eur. Andr. 812 “ἔκ τε δεξιᾶς ι ξίφη καθαρπάζουσιν”, and Or. 1398(cp. “σκῆπτρα”, etc.); but it is rather an ordinary plural.
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