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Hermann's earlier view (see cr. n.) seems clearly the true one. Verse 1252, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδέ τοι κ.τ.λ., is the reply to a lost verse, in which Odysseus said that he would enforce his will with his own hand. Throughout this passage it is Odysseus who threatens, while Neoptolemus stands on the defensive. To Odysseus must belong “οὔ τἄρα Τρωσίν, ἀλλὰ σοὶ μαχούμεθα”, and “χεῖρα...ἐπιψαύουσαν”: while “ἔστω τὸ μέλλον” and “ἀλλὰ κἀμέ...κοὐ μέλλοντ᾽ ἔτι” are the answers of Neoptolemus. Hence, if we reject the hypothesis of a lost verse, only three resources remain.

(1) To transpose vv. 1252 and 1253. This was Hermann's later theory. The objection to it is that N. then says, “ἀλλ᾽ οὐδέ τοι σῇ χειρὶ πείθομαι τὸ δρᾶν”. | “ἔστω τὸ μέλλον”,—when the last three words lose the force which they now possess as a short and direct reply to a threat. Further, the verbal echoes in this dialogue (“τῶν σοφῶν” in 1246, “δίκαιον” in 1247, “φόβον” in 1251) make it probable that σῇ χειρὶ in 1252 referred to words of Odysseus which either included “χείρ”, or at least foretold his personal interference more explicitly than is done by μαχούμεθα.

(2) To remove v. 1252. Wunder proposes to delete it: Todt, to place it after v. 1290. Neither course is warrantable.

(3) To assume that vv. 1251, 1252 were spoken consecutively by N., and that v. 1252 alludes to a menacing gesture of Odysseus. This is Wecklein's view. But it appears scarcely consonant with the character and practice of Greek Tragedy that words spoken by one person should require the dumb action of another to make them clear.

If, then—as seems hardly doubtful—a verse has dropped out, its loss may have been due to the fact that it began with the same words as one of its next neighbours. In dialogue of this kind, anger is sometimes marked by derisive repetition: cp. O. T. 547ΚΡ. τοῦτ᾽ αὐτὸ νῦν μου πρῶτ᾽ ἄκουσον ὡς ἐρῶ”. | “ΟΙ. τοῦτ᾽ αὐτὸ μή μοι φράζ̓” etc. (with n. there). Odysseus—who asserts a “δίκαιον” of his own (1247)—may have replied to N.'s words, ξὺν τῷ δικαίῳ τὸν σὸν οὐ ταρβῶ φόβον, with some such retort as, “ξὺν τῷ δικαίῳ χεὶρ ἐμή σ᾽ ἀναγκάσει”. Or v. 1252, ἀλλ̓ οὐδέ τοι κ.τ.λ., may have answered such a verse as, “ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἄλυπος τῆς ἐμῆς ἔσει χερός”.

The textual history of this passage is parallel with that of O. T. 622—626, where the loss of one verse led to a similar confusion of persons in the MSS.

ἀλλ᾽ οὐδέ τοι: cp. O. C. 47ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ̓ ἐμοί τοι.οὐδέ refers to σῇ χειρὶ: as he does not fear the Greek army (1250), so neither does he fear the violence of Odysseus. ‘But neither do I obey thy hand (=yield to thy threat of force), τὸ δρᾶν, so as to do thy bidding.’ —For the constr. of πείθομαι with dat. and inf., cp. Plat. Prot. 338Aκαὶ πείθεσθέ μοι ῥαβδοῦχον...ἑλέσθαι”: for the art. with the inf., Plat. Prot. 118 n.: Soph. Ant. 1105καρδίας δ᾽ ἐξίσταμαι” | “τὸ δρᾶν”.

hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Plato, Protagoras, 338a
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1105
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 47
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 547
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 622
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