ἀοιδός=“ἐπῳδός”, one who uses “ἐπῳδαί”, incantations, in healing: see on O. C.1194. τίς ὁ χειροτέχνης, sc. “ἐστίν”. (There is no art. before “ἀοιδός”, because the insertion of ὃς was an afterthought.) This is a climax; since, when gentle “ἐπῳδαί” failed, the next resort was to drugs or surgery: Ai.581“οὐ πρὸς ἰατροῦ σοφοῦ” | “θρηνεῖν ἐπῳδὰς πρὸς τομῶντι πήματι. χειροτέχνης ἰατορίας” does not mean definitely, ‘one who uses a skilled hand in healing,’ i.e., a “χειρουργός”, surgeon, as distinguished from a physician; it rather means properly, ‘a practical artist’ (as dist. from an amateur) ‘in healing’; but, at the same time, the “χειρο” in the compound serves to suggest the “τομαί” employed by the surgeon. This is quite Sophoclean. Cp. Thuc.6. 72“ἰδιώτας, ὡς εἰπεῖν, χειροτέχναις ἀνταγωνισαμένους”, ‘having been pitted like amateurs, as one might say, against masters of the art’ (where the dat., and not “χειροτέχνας”, is clearly right). χωρὶς Ζηνὸς=‘with the exception of Zeus’: not, ‘without the help of Zeus’ (schol. “εἰ μὴ ὁ Ζεὺς βούλοιτο”).
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