previous next

οὑμπολητὸς Σισύφου Λαερτίῳ, ‘the son of Sisyphus, bought by Laertes,’ —because Anticleia was said to have been pregnant when Laertes married her. The word “ἐμπολητός” probably means that Laertes gave a large ‘bride-price’ (“ἕδνα”) to Anticleia's father, Autolycus. So the scholiast, “πολλὰ δοὺς χρήματα ἠγάγετο”. This is simpler than to suppose that “ἐμπολητός” is merely ‘acquired’ (as a bad bargain), like “λωβητὸν ἐμπόλημα” in Tr. 538.

The legend is not Homeric, but is already known to Aesch. (fr. 169), and is congenial to the spirit in which the dramatists often conceive Odysseus; cp. Soph. Ai. 190, fr. 143 (“ὡς Σίσυφος πολὺς” | “ἔνδηλος ἐν σοί”): I. A. 524, Cycl. 104: Lycophron 344 (“τῆς Σισυφείας δ᾽ ἀγκύλης λαμπουρίδος”, ‘crafty fox’): Ov. Met. 13. 31sanguine cretus | Sisyphio, furtisque et fraude simillimus illi.

With regard to the order of words, note:—(1) “ ἐμπολητὸς Σισύφου”=“ ἐμπ. Σισυφίδης”, the simple gen. of origin being placed as “Σισύφου παῖς” would have been; though usually such a simple gen. comes immediately after the art. (as Ai. 450 Διὸς γοργῶπις ἀδάματος θεά”). (2) “Λαερτίῳ” merely supplements “ἐμπολητός”, and hence can be placed as though it were an afterthought; the principle is the same as in O. C. 1514αἱ πολλὰ βρονταὶ διατελεῖς”: cp. n. on O. T. 1245.—The genit. Λαερτίου (see cr. n.) cannot be defended by understanding, (1) ‘the son of Laertes, bought from Sisyphus’; or (2) ‘the bought son of Laertes-Sisyphus,’ i.e., of a father, nominally Laertes, but really Sisyphus.

hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Euripides, Cyclops, 104
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 190
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 450
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1514
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1245
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 538
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 13.31
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: