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ἥκειἐξεπλήσθη. Ph. fears that the sight of his horrible sufferings may deter Neopt. from taking him on board. He says,—‘Do not be scared into abandoning me. For this tormentor (αὕτη, the personified “νόσος”) comes only now and then (διὰ χρόνου),—when she has been sated, haply, with her roamings.’ And so—since the voyage to Greece will take less than one whole day (480)—he is not likely to have an attack while at sea. Three points deserve notice. (1) ἥκει=‘is wont to come,’—a sense which is as fitting for it as for a regular perfect tense used in the ‘gnomic’ manner (“ὄπωπε”, Soph. Ant. 1126). So in Plat. Symp. 188Aἥκει” is joined to the gnomic aor. “ἠδίκησεν”: and in Xen. Oec. 21. 3ἐκβαίνουσιν...ἥκουσι” denotes a repeated occurrence. (2) διὰ χρόνου, ‘after an interval of time,’ implies here, as it usually does, that the interval is a considerable one: cp. 285 n., where Lys. or. 1 § 12 is cited. (3) πλάνοις is contrasted with ἥκει. The word was suggested by the fact that intermittent fevers (etc.) were called “πλάνητες” (Hippocr. Epid. 1. 944). The term implied that the intervals were irregular: cp. Erotian Gloss. p. 306 (quoted by Arndt) “πλάνητες πυρετοὶ λέγονται οἱ μὴ κατὰ τάξιν φοιτῶντες”. This may be illustrated by the use of “πλανᾶσθαι” in Her. 6. 52, “ἢν δὲ πλανᾶται...ἐναλλὰξ ποιεῦσα” (‘if she is capricious, varying the order’— opp. to “κατὰ ταὐτὰ αἰεὶ ποιεῦσα”). So id. 7. 16. 2 “ἐνύπνια...τὰ ἐς ἀνθρώπους πεπλανημένα” (‘the dreams which are wont at times to visit men’). It was easy, then, for the poet to imagine the fitful “νόσος” as a personified wanderer, who, when sated with wandering, comes back to her abode:—much as Aesch. ( Aesch. P. V. 275) speaks of calamity ‘roaming’ among men: “πλανωμένη” | “πρὸς ἄλλοτ᾽ ἄλλον πημονὴ προσιζάνει”. Cp. below, Aesch. P. V. 808ὀξεῖα φοιτᾷ καὶ ταχεἶ ἀπέρχεται”. So the schol., who explains “πλάνοις” by “ὁδοιπορίαις”:—“ἥκει νόσος, ἴσως ὅτε ἐκορέσθη πλανωμένη: ὡς ἐπὶ θηρὸς δὲ ποιεῖται τὸν λόγον”. This is clearly better than to understand,—‘when it has once been sated, it returns only after a long interval,—in wandering fashion, seemingly’ (πλάνοις being then a modal dat.).—For conjectures, see Appendix.

ἐξεπλήσθη. — ἰώ. There is no other example of such a hiatus in a tragic trimeter. (As to lyrics, cp. 832, 851.) Probably, however, the text is sound. The verse is divided between two speakers, there is a full stop after “ἐξεπλήσθη”, and the second speaker begins with an interjection. Thus the hiatus has an exceptional excuse. On the other hand no emendation is probable. φεῦ (instead of the first ἰώ) is certainly not so, whether it be given to Ph. or Neoptolemus. Gaisford says, ‘ἐξέπλης’, ut videtur, conj. Elmsleius.’ This would require us to read πλάνους, or (keeping “πλάνοις”) to understand “αὐτούς”. But the context strongly confirms “ἐξεπλήσθη”.

760 There is an error in the traditional numbering here, as the fourth verse after this is called 765. The origin of this error is explained in the Appendix. To avoid changing the usual numeration throughout the rest of the play, I designate the next verse as 762.

δῆτα. Cp. El. 1163ὥς μ᾽ ἀπώλεσας”, | “ἀπώλεσας δῆτ̓.

δύστηνεφανείς: the predicative adj. is assimilated to the vocative partic. Cp. 828 n.: “αεσξη. περς. πολύκλαυτε φίλοισι θανών”. Eur. Tro. 1221σύ τ᾽ ποτ᾽ οὖσα καλλίνικε μυρίων” | “μῆτερ τροπαίων”. Propert. 2. 15. 2 Lectule deliciis facte beate meis.

διὰ πόνων πάντων, ‘in all manner of troubles,’—i.e., ‘in the course’ of them: O. T. 773διὰ τύχης τοιᾶσδ᾽ ἰών”. I. T. 988 “διὰ πόνων τ᾽ ἄγει” (sc. δαίμων”).

hide References (13 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (13):
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 275
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 808
    • Euripides, Trojan Women, 1221
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.52
    • Lysias, On the Murder of Eratosthenes, 12
    • Plato, Symposium, 188a
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1126
    • Sophocles, Electra, 1163
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 773
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 285
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 828
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 832
    • Xenophon, Economics, 21.3
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