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ἀλλ᾽ Ο῎κνοςκ.τ.λ.” The MSS. have ἀλλὰ δέδοικ̓, παῖ, μή μ᾽ ἀτελὴς εὐχή. Camerarius conjectured “ἀλλ᾽ οὖν δέδοικα μὴ μάτην εὔχῃ, τέκνον”, which Cavallin prints. Wecklein gives “δέδοικα δ̓, παῖ, μὴ μάτην εὔχῃ τάδε”,...in which “τάδε” is his own, and “δέδοικα δ̓” (instead of “ἀλλὰ δέδοικ̓”) is Neue's. The conjecture in the text is my own. I differ from Camerarius in holding that the traditional παῖ is genuine, and from Neue in holding that the ἀλλὰ is genuine also. The spurious word is δέδοικ̓, a gloss upon some rarer expression in the same sense, as Hermann saw; who wrote, “ἀλλ᾽ οὔ τί σοι, παῖ, μὴ ᾿τελὴς εὐχὴ πέλῃ”. First, as to metre. The words “ἀλλὰ δέδοικ̓, παῖ, μή μ᾽ ἀτελὴς εὐχή” can be read as a dochmiac dimeter, though of an unusual type (cp. J.H.Heinrich Schmidt, Rhythmic and Metric, p. 77). But they cannot be construed: μ̓ can be only με: and, though we read εὔχῃ, μή μ᾽ ἀτελὴς (or ἀτελῶς) εὔχῃ could not mean, ‘lest thou pray vainly on my behalf.’ An iambic trimeter is required here. On this point recent edd. and critics are practically unanimous. In the whole passage from 730 to 826 the series of trimeters is otherwise unbroken, save by those brief cries of Ph. which occur ‘extra metrum’ (785, 787, 790, 796, 804). A solitary dochmiac dimeter is here inconceivable. The corruption of the trimeter began with the loss of the last word, as in Ant. 1301 the MS. “πέριξ” came from “περὶ ξίφει”. Among the words suggested are “πέλῃ, τύχῃ, κυρῇ, μένῃ, τάδ᾽ , τάδε, τέκνον”. Of these, “τύχῃ” alone has any resemblance to “εὐχή”: but ἔχει might easily have dropped out after “εὔχηι”. For the phrase cp. O. C. 652τοῦ μάλιστ᾽ ὄκνος σ᾽ ἔχει”; Next, as to ἀτέλεστ̓. An ellipse of “” with “μὴ ἀτελὴς εὐχή” would be too harsh: we must read “εὔχῃ”. Again, “μὴ ἀτελὴς εὔχῃ” could not mean, ‘lest thou pray in vain.’ In Pind. Pyth. 5. 83ἀτελὴς ...μαντεύμασιν” is said of the god. On the other hand cp. Od. 8. 570τὰ δέ κεν θεὸς τελέσειεν” | “ κ᾽ ἀτέλεστ᾽ εἴη”. And when “ΕΥΧΗΙ” had become “εὐχή, ΑΤΕΛΕΣΤ” would easily become “ἀτελής”, the “τ̓” being taken for an intruded “τε”.— See Appendix.

For μὴ followed by α, cp. 933: O. T. 1388τὸ μὴ ἀποκλῇσαι”: El. 1169μὴ ἀπολείπεσθαι”: Aesch. Eum. 85τὸ μὴ ἀδικεῖν”: Eur. Tro. 981μὴ ἀμαθεῖς ποίει θεάς”. Most edd. now write “μὴ ἀδικεῖν”, etc., assuming synizesis, rather than “μἀδικεῖν” (crasis), or “μὴ ᾿δικεῖν”.


hide References (14 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (14):
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 85
    • Euripides, Trojan Women, 981
    • Homer, Odyssey, 8.570
    • Pindar, Pythian, 5
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1301
    • Sophocles, Electra, 1169
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 652
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1388
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 785
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 787
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 790
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 796
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 804
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 933
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