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πρὸ τῶνδέ τοισυνδρῶσιν: ‘therefore I am confident that we shall never see (“ἡμῖν”, ethic dat.) the portent draw near to the murderess and her accomplice without giving them cause to complain of it’;—i.e., ‘we shall assuredly find that the dream has been an omen of their ruin.’

Verses 495—497 (“πρὸ τῶνδέ τοι...τέρας”) answer metrically to vv. 479—481 “ὕπεστί μοι...ὀνειράτων”, where the text is certain, save for the doubt whether “θράσος” or “θάρσος” should stand in 479. Here we must first decide two points.

(1) Are the words πρὸ τῶνδε sound? I think so. The sense is, ‘for (=on account of) these things,’ “πρό” being used as “ὑπέρ” is in O. T. 165ἄτας ὕπερ”, Ant. 932βραδυτῆτος ὕπερ”. This is a rare, but not unexampled, sense of “πρό”, in which the notions ‘before’ and ‘by reason of it’ were associated, just as in Lat. prae and our own ‘for.’ See Il. 17. 666μή μιν Ἀχαιοὶ” | “ἀργαλέου πρὸ φόβοιο ἕλωρ δηίοισι λίποιεν”,=prae timore, ‘for fear’ (not, as Düntzer explains, ‘forward on the path of flight’: cp. Leaf ad loc.). Tr. 505κατέβαν πρὸ γάμων”, ‘entered the contest for the marriage’ (not ‘before’ it, which would there be pointless).

(2) Could “ἔχει με, μήποτε τέρας πελᾶν” (etc.) mean, ‘the belief possesses me, that’ etc.? Surely not. No real parallel for so strange a phrase has been produced. It is irrelevant to quote those impersonal verbs which directly express the occurrence of a thought to the mind; as Xen. An. 6. 1. 17εἰσῄει αὐτοὺς ὅπως ἂν καὶ ἔχοντές τι οἴκαδε ἀφίκοιντο” (‘the thought came to them, how they might,’ etc.): Thuc. 6. 78.§ 1 “εἰ δέ τῳ ἄρα παρέστηκε, τὸν μὲν Συρακόσιον...πολέμιον εἶναι κ.τ.λ.” Either, then, the subject to “ἔχει” has dropped out, or the words “μ᾽ ἔχει” conceal a corruption.

The following remedies are possible: I incline to the first, as involving least change. (1) Reading in 479 “ὕπεστί μοι θράσος”, we may read here “πρὸ τῶνδέ τοί μ᾽ ἔχει” | “<θάρσος τι>, μήποθ᾽ ἡμῖν” etc. (It may be remarked that “τι” is in harmony with the tone of “ὕπεστί μοι” in 479.) Another available word is “ξύννοια” (cp. Ant. 279). (2) Or, reading in 479 “ὕπεστί μοι θάρσος”, we could read here “πρὸ τῶνδέ τοι θάρσος ἴσχει με”. On either view, the “υ” of “ἁδυπνόων” in 480 is long (as several critics have assumed). It should be noted that (1) involves a different constitution of the verses: see p. lxxxii.

In those MSS. which have μή ποτε μή ποθ᾽ ἡμῖν, the first “μήποτε” (absent from L) was probably an attempt to fill the gap: unless, indeed, “μ᾽ ἔχει” should be “θράσος” (as Wunder thought).—For other conjectures, see Appendix.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Homer, Iliad, 17.666
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 279
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 932
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 165
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.78
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 6.1.17
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 505
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