previous next

ἐχθρὰ...τῷ θανόντι προσκείσει δίκῃ, ‘thou wilt be subject to the lasting enmity of the dead.’ The word προσκείσει means literally, ‘wilt be attached to...,’ i.e., ‘wilt be brought into a lasting relation with’; and ἐχθρά defines the nature of that relation. The sense is thus virtually the same as if we had, “ θανὼν ἐχθρός σοι προσκείσεται”, ‘the enmity of the dead will cleave to thee.’ The convertible use of “προσκεῖσεθαι” is illustrated by 1243 “ἀνδρὶ πρόσκειται κακόν”, as compared with El. 1040 σὺ πρόσκεισαι κακῷ”, and ib. 240εἴ τῳ πρόσκειμαι χρηστῷ”. Here, “προσκείσει” expresses merely the establishment of the permanent relation between the two persons. It does not mean, ‘you will be brought, as his foe, into dependence on him’ (i.e. under the power of his curse); as in Eur. Tro. 185τῷ πρόσκειμαι δούλα τλάμων”; ‘to whom have I been assigned as a slave?’ (i.e. by the casting of lots:— the answer is, “ἐγγύς που κεῖσαι κλήρου”). Nor, again, ‘you will press upon the dead as his foe,’ i.e. be hostile and grievous to him: for, as “δίκῃ” shows, the punishment is to be hers, not his. The idea might have been expressed in a converse form by “τὸν θανόντα ἐχθρὸν προσθήσει” (cf. Xen. Cyr. 2.4.12).

Lehrs proposed “Δίκῃ”, i.e. ‘you will fall under the chastisement of justice.’ Donaldson, following Emper, reads “ἐχθρᾷ... δίκῃ”, as iure inimicorum apud mortuum eris: i.e. on the part of the dead you will be deemed to have only the rights of a foe. This is impossible. The ordinary reading is sound.

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 (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Euripides, Trojan Women, 185
    • Sophocles, Electra, 1040
    • Sophocles, Electra, 240
    • Xenophon, Cyropaedia, 2.4.12
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: