ὅν γ᾽ … τῷδ̓: for “ὅδε” after a relat., cp. O. C. 1332“οἷς ἂν σὺ προσθῇ, τοῖσδ᾽ ἔφασκ᾽ εἶναι κράτος”: Ph. 86 f.: Tr. 23, Tr. 820. ἐπέστεφε: 53 n. 442 f. The position of αὐτῇ shows that the dat. must be influenced by “προσ-” “φιλῶς”, though it would be sufficiently explained by “δέξασθαι”: cp. Eur. Hec. 535“δέξαι χοάς μοι τάσδε”. δέξεσθαι. Sophocles has joined “δοκῶ” (1) with the future infinitive in at least nine places:— O. T. 355, O. T. 368, O. T. 399, O. T. 401: Ph. 14: Tr. 1138, Tr. 1171: Ai. 1086: El. 471.(2) With the infin. (pres. or aor.) and “ἄν” in O. T. 584: O. C. 748: Ai. 263, Ai. 1078: El. 312, El. 614.(3) With the simple aor. inf. in El. 805, and Ph. 276: in both of which places the reference is to past time. It seems, then, a reasonable inference that here, where the reference is to future time, he would have written δέξεσθαι rather than δέξασθαι, or else would have added “ἄν” to the aor. inf. In three of those passages which have the fut. inf., the aor. inf. would have suited the metre equally well ( O. T. 368“λέξειν”: ib. 399 “παραστατήσειν”: Tr. 1171“πράξειν”). It is a different question whether “δοκεῖ δέξασθαι” could, or could not, refer to the future: see Appendix. 444 ff. Join θανὼν ἄτιμος, ruthlessly slain: cp. 98: 1181: Ant. 1069“ψυχήν τ᾽ ἀτίμως ἐν τάφῳ κατῴκισας”. ἐμασχαλίσθη. The verb occurs only here and in Aesch. Ch. 439“ἐμασχαλίσθη δέ γ̓, ὡς τόδ᾽ εἰδῇς”. In his Troilus Sophocles used the phrase “πλήρη μασχαλισμάτων”, and probably also “τὸν μασχαλισμόν” (fr. 566). The explanation given by the scholiasts and the lexicographers dates at least from Aristophanes of Byzantium (see Appendix). Murderers used to cut off the extremities of their victim, and suspend these at his arm-pits (“μασχάλαι”) and from his neck. Hence “μασχαλίζω” is paraphrased by “ἀκρωτηριάζω”. Two different motives are assigned by the Greek commentators; viz.:—(1) the desire to render the dead incapable of wreaking vengeance (“ὥσπερ τὴν δύναμιν ἐκείνων ἀφαιρούμενοι”): (2) the desire to make an atonement (“ἐξιλάσασθαι τὴν δολοφονίαν—ἀφοσιοῦσθαι τὸν φόνον”). There can be little doubt that the first of these motives was the primitive origin of the custom. If the second was afterwards blended with it, the idea may have been that of offering the severed portions to the gods below,—as a victim was devoted to death by cutting off a lock of hair ( Eur. Alc. 75). Apollonius Rhodius seems to present the practice in this light (4. 477): Jason, having slain a foe, “ἐξάργματα τάμνε θανόντος”. Cp. Etym. Magn.: “ἀπάργματα λέγεται τὰ ὑπὸ τῶν τραγῳδῶν λεγόμενα μασχαλίσματα”. κἀπὶ λουτροῖσιν κ.τ.λ.: ‘and, for ablution, she wiped off the blood-stains (from her sword) on his head.’ “ἐπὶ” here= ‘with a view to’ (cp. Ant. 792“ἐπὶ λώβᾳ”, O. T. 1457“ἐπὶ...κακῷ”), and “ἐπὶ λουτροῖς”= “ἐπὶ καθάρσει”. The action was a symbolical way of saying, ‘on thy head, not mine, be the guilt,’—as though the victim had provoked his own fate (thus Clytaemnestra claimed to be the avenger of Iphigeneia). So the Greek commentators explain; see schol. on 446, “ὥσπερ τὰς ἐπὶ τῷ μύσει κηλῖδας ἀποτρεπόμενοι”: and Eustathius p. 1857. 7 “ὡς εἰς κεφαλὴν δῆθεν ἐκείνοις” (the victims) “τρεπομένου τοῦ” “κακοῦ”. Cp. Od. 19. 92“ἔρδουσα μέγα ἔργον, ὃ σῇ κεφαλῇ <*>ναμάξεις”, ‘of which thou shalt take the stain on thine own head,’ i.e. ‘of which the guilt shall rest upon thy head’: imitated by Her. 1. 155“τὰ μὲν γὰρ πρότερον ἐγώ τε ἔπρηξα καὶ ἐγὼ ἐμῇ κεφαλῇ ἀναμάξας φέρω”. Besides the proverbial “εἰς κεφαλὴν σοί” ( Ar. Pax 1063 etc.), cp. Dem. or. 18 § 294 “οἷς ἂν εἰκότως..τὴν τῶν γεγενημένων αἰτίαν ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀναθεῖεν ἅπαντες”.—This is better than to take “ἐπὶ λουτροῖς” as=‘for washing (of the corpse),’—i.e., in lieu of the “λουτρά” which it was the duty of relatives to give the dead ( Ai. 1405“λουτρῶν ὁσίων”: O. C. 1602 n.: Ant. 901). ἐξέμαξ ν, sc. “ἡ Κλυταιμνήστρα”: not “ὁ νέκυς”, which would require “ἐξεμάξατ̓”. The change of subject is softened by the transition from a relative clause (“ὑφ᾽ ἧς κ.τ.λ.”) to an independent sentence (cp. 188 ff., O. C. 424, note in Appendix, p. 278); and Greek idiom was tolerant in this matter: see on Tr. 362 ff. ἆρα μὴ ( Ant. 632), like “μῶν” (‘can it be that..?’).
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