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 ὁ Σίσυφος πολὺς” | “ἔνδηλος ἐν σοί”): I. A. 524, Cycl. 104: Lycophron 344 (“τῆς Σισυφείας δ᾽ ἀγκύλης λαμπουρίδος”, ‘crafty fox’): Ov. Met. 13. 31 “sanguine cretus | Sisyphio, furtisque et fraude simillimus illi.” With regard to the order of words, note:—(1) “ὁ ἐμπολητὸς Σισύφου”=“ὁ 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“ἡ 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. 1514“αἱ 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.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents: