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τὸ δ᾽ ἁλώσιμον ἐμᾷ φρ., as far as my thought can grasp the question, =“καθ᾽ ὅσον ἐγὼ κατανοῶ τὸ πρᾶγμα”. Cp. Plat. Tim. 29Aτὸ λόγῳ καὶ φρονήσει περιληπτόν”. The acc. is one of ‘respect’ (like “τοὐμὸν μέρος”, etc.).

πόνος μὴ φοβῶν κράτιστος, ‘the enterprise not fraught with fear is best’ (Whitelaw): a sententious utterance, like “βράχιστα γὰρ κράτιστα τἀν ποσὶν κακά” ( Ant. 1327). They mean that it is best to depart noiselessly with the bow, and so avoid the risks involved in taking Philoctetes. μὴ φοβῶν is left vague by the proverb-like brevity of the phrase: it means, ‘which does not disturb the sleeping Philoctetes.’ The word πόνος is also in keeping with the gnomic form,—implying that there will be leastπόνος” in such a course; as if it were, “πόνος ἐλάχιστος κράτιστος”. Cp. “σιγῆς ἀκίνδυνον γέρας” (meaning that “σιγή”, though it wins no positive “γέρας”, risks nothing): ‘Discretion is the better part of valour,’ etc.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Timaeus, 29a
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 1327
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