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εἴ τι σέβει ξένον, if thou hast any regard for a friendly stranger, εὐνοίᾳ πάσᾳ πελάταν, who draws near to thee with all good will, πέλασσον (intrans.), draw near to him:—i.e., meet his advances half way, instead of repelling him. For the epic “σς”, cp. Ai. 390ὀλέσσας”: ib. 926 “ἐξανύσσειν”.

Philoctetes is at the mouth of his cave, as if about to enter it (952): the Chorus now advance a little towards him, as they make this earnest appeal. The position of πέλασσον, between “ξένον” and εὐν. π. πελάταν, is warrantable, since the latter words suggest a reason for the prayer, “πέλασσον”. Bolder collocations of words occur elsewhere in Soph. : e.g. Soph. O. C. 1427τίς δὲ τολμήσει κλύων” | “τὰ τοῦδ᾽ ἕπεσθαι τἀνδρός”; cp. Soph. O. T. 1251.The word “πελάταν” gives a certain tone of deference, since “πελάτης” was familiar in Attic as = ‘dependent’ ( Euthyphr. p. 4 C).— Other versions are:—(1) “εἴ τι σέβει, ξένον πέλασσον”, ‘if anything is sacred to thee, approach the stranger’: (2) “εἴ τι σέβει ξένον, πέλασσον...πελάταν”, ‘approach him who approaches thee.’ But “πελάζειν” (intrans.) could not take an acc. of the person approached: see Append. on 1149 ff. (3) “εἴ τι σέβει, ξένον πέλασσον” (trans.), bring the stranger near thee (i.e., ‘allow him to approach thee’).

Arndt conjectures: “εἴ τι σέβει ξένον γ̓ ἔλασσον,...ἀλλὰ γνῶθ̓ κ.τ.λ.”: ‘if thou hast too little respect for a guest-friend, at least (“ἀλλὰ”) think’ of thine own interest. Such a use of “ἔλασσον” would be obscure; and the supposed antithesis of ideas seems forced; since, even if he did ‘revere the stranger,’ that feeling would not be his only motive for leaving Lemnos.


hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 390
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1427
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1251
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