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ἕτοιμος, without the verb “εἰμί”, as in O. T. 92: Eur. El. 796: Dem. or. 9 § 4: Polit. 277 E, and often.— ἔργου, the usual antithesis to “λόγῳ”, is defined by ποδῶν.

Tecmessa now leaves the scene by the entrance on the spectator's left, leading to the open country. The Messenger, with the servants of Ajax, goes out on the spectator's right, as being bound for the Greek camp.

The Chorus leave the orchestra in two “ἡμιχόρια”, one by the “πάροδος” on the right, the other by that on the left. The withdrawal of the Chorus from the orchestra during the course of a play was called “μετάστασις”: their return, “ἐπιπάροδος”. The other extant examples are:—(1) Aesch. Eum.: “μετάστασις” at v. 231: “ἐπιπάροδος” at v. 299. (2) Eur. Alc.: “μ.”, Eur. Alc. 746: “.”, Eur. Alc. 872.(3) Helen.: “μ.”, 385: “.”, 515. (4) Ar. Eccl.: “μ.”, Ar. Eccl. 310: “.”, Ar. Eccl. 478.

A change of scene is now supposed to take place, from the ground in front of the tent of Ajax to a lonely spot on the sea-shore, with trees or bushes (“νάπος”, 892). We do not know how this change was managed. (1) It may have been indicated merely by removing the hangings on the back-wall which represented the “σκηνή” of Ajax. This is MA. üller's view (Gr. Bühnenalterthümer, p. 162). (2) Wecklein supposes that a back-wall, representing the “σκηνή”, was drawn back on right and left, disclosing the new scene.—We cannot assume the use of “περίακτοι” in the poet's time (cp. note at the beginning of the play). Had they been in use, the “περίακτος” on the spectator's left could have turned, so as to represent a new locality (“τόπος”). The right-hand “περίακτος”, indicating the region in which the whole action takes place (“χώρα”), would not have been changed.

The only other Greek play in which a change of scene is certain is the Eumenides, where the action begins at the temple of the Delphian Apollo, and passes at v. 235 to that of Athena Polias at Athens. This may have been marked merely by substituting a statue of Athena for one of Apollo.

815 Ajax is standing at the side of the scene on the spectator's right, near the underwood which screens him when he falls—so that his body is not at first visible to the Chorus when they return to the orchestra, but could be seen by Tecmessa, when she comes on the scene from the left. The point of the sword could probably be seen by the audience. Hesychius quotes Polemon, the sophist in Hadrian's age, as saying that the “συσπαστὸν” was used “ἐν Αἴαντος ὑποκρίσει”. It was a short stage-sword, of which the blade ran back; otherwise called “ἀνδρόμητον” (Hesych., which some refer to “ἀναδραμεῖν”), or “ἀνδρομηρόν”. Cp. Achilles Tatius 3. 20 “ σίδηρος εἴσω καταδύεται, τούτῳ δ̓...ἐν τοῖς θεάτροις ἐχρῆτο πρὸς τὰς κιβδήλους σφαγάς”.

The antithesis to μὲν σφαγεὺς κ.τ.λ. is delayed: it is given by ἐκ δὲ τῶνδε in 823. Meanwhile, the reasons why the weapon should prove deadly have been developed in three clauses (“δῶρον μὲνπέπηγε δ̓ἔπηξα δ̓”). Hence “ μὲν σφαγεὺς κ.τ.λ.” is resumed in 823 by “οὕτω μὲν εὐσκευοῦμεν”.

σφαγεὺς here is simply ‘the slayer.’ In Eur. Andr. 1134σφαγῆς” are sacrificial knives.

τομώτατος: Plat. Tim.p. 61 E “σφοδρὸν ὂν καὶ τομόν”.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae, 310
    • Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae, 478
    • Demosthenes, Philippic 3, 4
    • Euripides, Alcestis, 746
    • Euripides, Alcestis, 872
    • Euripides, Andromache, 1134
    • Euripides, Electra, 796
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 92
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