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A “θρῆνος ἀπὸ σκηνῆς”, or lyric lament delivered by an actor alone. as dist. from the joint “κομμός” of actor and Chorus (121 n.).

Verses 86—102 form a “σύστημα”,=vv. 103—120 (“ἀντισύστημα”). If the text is sound, the correspondence is not exact, since the dimeter in v. 99 answers to a monometer in v. 116. These anapaests are, however, of the type usually known as ‘free’ or ‘melic,’ as having more of a lyric character than the regular anapaests of the marching-songs (like those of the Parodos in the Ajax): see W. Christ, Metrik, 2nd ed., § 288. And in such anapaests the symmetry of ‘systems’ is often not strict (cp. O. C. 117 n.).

φάος ἁγνὸν: the Sun-god abhors impurity ( O. T. 1425 ff.). So too the “αἰθήρ” is “ἁγνός” ( Aesch. P. V. 281). —These opening words beautifully express the sense of relief with which she passes from her sad vigil in the polluted house to the clear sunlight and free air of morning.—Similar utterances of sorrow to the elements are those in Aesch. P. V. 88 ff., Eur. Andr. 91 ff.

γῆς ἰσόμοιρ᾽ ἀήρ, ‘air coextensive with earth,’—having a “μοῖρα”, a domain in space, equal to that of earth. Cp. Hamlet's phrase, ‘this goodly frame, the earth...this most excellent canopy, the air’ (2. 2. 311). Hes. Th. 126Γαῖα δέ τοι πρῶτον μὲν ἐγείνατο ἶσον ἑαυτῇ Οὐρανὸν ἀστερόενθ̓, ἵνα μιν περὶ πάντα καλύπτοι” . A genitive after “ἰσόμοιρος” usu. denotes that in which persons share alike (as Isae. or. 6 § 25ἰσομοίρους...τῶν πατρῴων”). Here it denotes the partner. Cp. De Mund. 6. 18 (p. 399 a 8) “ἥλιος...καὶ οἱ τούτου” [not “τούτῳ”] “ἰσόδρομοι, τε Φωσφόρος καὶ Ἑρμῆς”. So adjectives of similarity or equivalence can take a gen. (as “προσφερήςEur. H. F. 131, “ἀντίπαλοςPind. O. 8. 71). Such genitives are analogous to those which follow words expressing community or participation, as “κοινός, συγγενής”, etc.—Others, taking “ἀήρ” as that which is intermediate between “γῆ” and “αἰθήρ”, explain, ‘air, which has the same share in earth (as it has in “αἰθήρ”),’ —comparing Ar. Av. 187ἐν μέσῳ δήπουθεν ἀήρ ἐστι γῆς” (where “καὶ οὐρανοῦ” is to be supplied). This is very forced.

ἰσόμοιῤ is a necessary correction of ἰσόμοιρος (cr. n.), which would require “α^” in “ἀήρ”,—a quantity found only in pseudoPhocylides 108, and an epigram quoted by Eustathius p. 17. 46.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 281
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 88
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 187
    • Euripides, Andromache, 91
    • Euripides, Heracles, 130
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 126
    • Isaeus, Philoctemon, 25
    • Pindar, Olympian, 8
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 117
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1425
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