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μέγιστανόμιμα, those ‘unwritten and unfailing’ laws of the gods which prescribe natural piety in human relationships. See on Ant. 454 f. “ἄγραπτα κἀσφαλῆ θεῶν” | “νόμιμα”: and O. T. 865 ff. “νόμοι..ὑψίποδες, οὐρανίαν” | “δἰ αἰθέρα τεκνωθέντες, ὧν Ὄλυμπος” | “πατὴρ μόνος.

ἔβλαστε: they are the greatest that have ever ‘come into existence,’ being of divine origin, and antecedent to any human law: “ἀεί ποτε” | “ζῇ ταῦτα, κοὺδεὶς οἶδεν ἐξ ὅτου ᾿φάνη” ( Ant. 456).

τῶνδε φερομέναν ἄριστα: ‘on account of these,—i.e., for observance of them,— winning excellent things,’ ‘winning an excellent reward,’—viz., praise of the noblest kind. τῶνδε is then a causal gen.: cp. O. T. 48σωτῆρα κλῄζει τῆς πάρος προθυμίας”. That this is the sense of “φερομέναν” here, is strongly suggested by other passages; cp. 968 f. “εὐσέβειαν”.. | ..“οἴσει”, and esp. O. T. 863 ff. “εἴ μοι ξυνείη φέροντι” (=“φερομένῳ”) | “μοῖρα τὰν εὔσεπτον ἁγνείαν λόγων” | “ἔργων τε πάντων, ὧν νόμοι πρόκεινται” | “ὑψίποδες” (‘winning the praise of reverent purity,’ etc.). Some take “ἄριστα” as = “ἀριστεῖα” (‘winning the foremost place’ in respect to these laws): an impossible sense for it. “ἄριστα” might, indeed, be taken with “τῶνδε” as possessive gen.; ‘winning the best things belonging to these laws,’— their best gifts; those, namely, which they bring to those who obey them. But this would be somewhat forced.

I formerly understood:—‘in respect to these laws, prospering full well’: “ἄριστα” being then an adv., while “φερομέναν” is used as in Thuc. 2. 60§ 3 “καλῶς..φερόμενος τὸ καθ᾽ ἑαυτόν”: 5. 15 § 2 “εὖ φερόμενοι”: 5. 16 § 1 “εὖ φερόμενος ἐν στρατηγίαις”. This view is recommended by the fact that “φερομέναν ἄριστα” then forms a clear antithesis to “μοίρᾳ..οὐκ ἐν ἐσθλᾷ βεβῶσαν”. But two points are against it. (1) “τῶνδε”, as a genitive of relation, is somewhat awkward; though we might compare Thuc. 3. 92§ 4 “τοῦ πρὸς Ἀθηναίους πολέμου καλῶς ἐδόκει αὐτοῖς πόλις καθίστασθαι...τῆς τε ἐπὶ Θρᾴκης παρόδου χρησίμως ἕξειν”: and id. 1. 36 § 2 “Σικελίας καλῶς παράπλου κεῖται”. (2) The poet's usage, as we have seen, favours the other sense of “φερομέναν”.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 454
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 456
    • Sophocles, Electra, 968
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 48
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 863
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 865
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.60
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.92
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