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ἀλιπαρῆ. The schol.'s paraphrase “αὐχμηράν”, gives the sense which we require. Cp. Eur. El. 183σκέψαι μου πιναρὰν κόμαν καὶ πέπλων τρύχη τάδ᾽ ἐμῶν” . But “ἀλιπαρής”, the negative of “λιπαρής”, could mean only, ‘not earnest,’ ‘not persevering.’ In v. 1378 Electra says (to Apollo), “ σε πολλὰ δὴ” | “ἀφ᾽ ὧν ἔχοιμι λιπαρεῖ προὔστην χερί”, i.e., ‘with a zealous, a devout, hand.’ And we learn from the scholiast here that a variant, probably as old as Didymus (circ. 30 C.B. ), for “ἀλιπαρῆ” was λιπαρῆ: “ ἐστιν, ἐξ ἧς αὐτὸν λιπαρήσομεν, ὡς εἰ ἔλεγεν ἱκέτιν τρίχα”, ‘a suppliant lock.’ It is surely manifest, however, that “λιπαρὴς θρίξ” could not mean, ‘a lock of hair offered by a suppliant.’ We may safely, then, reject Hermann's corresponding interpretation of “ἀλιπαρῆ”, comam non accommodatam supplicationi. Nor do I now think that “ἀλιπαρὴς θρίξ” could mean ‘not cared for,’ ‘neglected.’

We come, therefore, to a dilemma. (1) The words “τήνδ᾽ ἀλιπαρῆ τρίχα” may conceal some corruption: “τήνδ̓” ought possibly to be τήνδε τ̓ (which is preferable to “τήνδε γ̓” here), followed by ἀλίπαρον (cr. n.), ‘not sleek or glossy,’ as with unguents. I incline to this view. The genuine word was in any case probably negative, parallel with “οὐ χλιδαῖς ἠσκημένον” in 452.

(2) Or else, if the text be sound, “ἀλιπαρῆ” may mean “οὐ λιπαράν”. There is no doubt that “λιπ”, ‘fat,’ is the root both of “λι^παρός”, ‘shining,’ and of “λι_παρής”, ‘sticking’; cp. Plat. Crat. 427 Bτὸ λιπαρὸν καὶ τὸ κολλῶδες” (Curt. Etym. § 340). Similarly “γλίσχρος”, ‘sticky,’ came to mean ‘importunate.’ It is barely possible that, in coining a new negative compound, the poet may have transferred the sense of “λιπαρός” to “λιπαρής”: but it seems improbable.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Euripides, Electra, 183
    • Plato, Cratylus, 427b
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