Hermann's earlier view (see cr. n.) seems clearly the true one. Verse 1252, ἀλλ᾽οὐδέτοικ.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 “οὔτἄραΤρωσίν, ἀλλὰσοὶμαχούμεθα”, and “χεῖρα...ἐπιψαύουσαν”: while “ἔστωτὸμέλλον” and “ἀλλὰκἀμέ...κοὐμέλλοντ᾽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᾽οὐδέτοισῇχειρὶπείθομαιτὸδρᾶν”. | “ἔστωτὸμέλλον”,—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 (“τῶνσοφῶν” in 1246, “δίκαιον” in 1247, “φόβον” in 1251) make it probable that σῇχειρὶ 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. 547“ΚΡ. τοῦτ᾽αὐτὸνῦνμουπρῶτ᾽ἄκουσονὡςἐρῶ”. | “ΟΙ. τοῦτ᾽αὐτὸμήμοιφράζ̓” etc. (with n. there). Odysseus—who asserts a “δίκαιον” of his own (1247)—may have replied to N.'s words, ξὺντῷδικαίῳτὸνσὸνοὐταρβῶφόβον, with some such retort as, “ξὺντῷδικαίῳχεὶρἐμήσ᾽ἀναγκάσει”. Or v. 1252, ἀλλ̓οὐδέτοικ.τ.λ., may have answered such a verse as, “ἀλλ᾽οὐδ᾽ἄλυποςτῆςἐμῆςἔσειχερός”.
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᾽οὐδέτοι: cp. O. C. 47“ἀλλ᾽οὐδ̓ἐμοίτοι.” οὐδέ refers to σῇχειρὶ: 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), τὸδρᾶν, so as to do thy bidding.’ —For the constr. of πείθομαι with dat. and inf., cp. Plat. Prot. 338A “καὶπείθεσθέμοιῥαβδοῦχον...ἑλέσθαι”: for the art. with the inf., Plat. Prot. 118 n.: Soph. Ant. 1105“καρδίαςδ᾽ἐξίσταμαι” | “τὸδρᾶν”.
Sophocles: The Plays and Fragments, with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose. Part IV: The Philoctetes. Sir Richard C. Jebb. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 1932.
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