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βροτῶν is a partitive gen., on which “θνῄσκειν μέλλων” depends (cp. Thuc. 4. 102τῶν ἄλλων τὸν βουλόμενον”, etc.); though the sense is not affected in a translation if it be rendered as a gen. absol.

σὺν κακοῖς μεμιγμένων, ‘involved in miseries,’ implying here, ‘crimes, and their consequences.’ Cp. Od. 20. 203(“ἄνδρας”) “μισγέμεναι κακότητι”. For “σὺν” (which need not be taken as a case of tmesis), cp. Pind. N. 3. 77μεμιγμένον μέλι λευκῷ” | “σὺν γάλακτι”. So Pind. I. 3. 3ἄξιος εὐλογίας ἀστῶν μεμῖχθαι”. The converse phrase (like “πρόσκειται κακόν μοι” relatively to “πρόσκειμαι κακῷ”, Pind. I. 240 n.) occurs in Her. 7. 203εἶναι δὲ θνητὸν οὐδένα οὐδὲ ἔσεσθαι τῷ κακὸν ὲξ ἀρχῆς γινομένῳ οὐ συνεμίχθη”. We may also compare Soph. Ant. 1311δειλαίᾳ δὲ συγκέραμαι δύᾳ” (‘steeped in it’): Plut. 853 “οὕτω πολυφόρῳ συγκέκραμαι δαίμονι”. Shelley, The Cenci, act 5, sc. 4: ‘Be constant to the love | Thou bearest us; and to the faith that I, | Though wrapt in a strange cloud of crime and shame, | Lived ever holy and unstained.’

θνῄσκειν: for the pres. inf. with “μέλλω”, cp. n. on O. T. 967.

τοῦ χρόνου, the time implied in “μηκύνειν”.

Many recent critics follow Dindorf in suspecting or bracketing these two verses. Two things should be clearly recognised at the outset. First, that no suspicion is warranted by the fact that the scribe of L accidentally omitted these verses from the text,—as he also omitted several lines elsewhere which are undoubtedly genuine. Secondly, that in the language of these verses there is nothing to which exception can fairly be taken. If they are rejected, it must be on the ground that the thought which they express is inappropriate. But is it so? Aegisthus has appealed to mercy, asking for a brief respite. Electra fears that her brother may relent. What gain, she asks, would such a respite be, even to the doomed wretch himself? And her own feeling requires his instant death. It should be noted also that such a pair of verses, containing a general sentiment in an interrogative form, is Sophoclean; cp. Ai. 475τί γὰρ παρ᾽ ἦμαρ ἡμέρα τέρπειν ἔχει” | “προσθεῖσα κἀναθεῖσα τοῦ γε κατθανεῖν”; also Ant. 463 f.

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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.203
    • Homer, Odyssey, 20.203
    • Pindar, Isthmean, 3
    • Pindar, Nemean, 3
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 475
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1311
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 463
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 967
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.102
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