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ἄλλοσ᾽ὄμμα, θατέρᾳ δὲ νοῦν ἔχοντ̓: he was gazing forth from the high place, in the hope of descrying his horses; and, as he could not see them, his thought was wandering to other places where they might perhaps be. Cp. Diod. Sic. 4. 31: Heracles commands Iphitus, “ἀφορᾶν, μή που νεμόμεναι τυγχάνουσιν: οὐ δυναμένου δὲ κατανοῆσαι τοῦ Ἰφίτου κ.τ.λ.” Thus θατέρᾳ does not merely repeat ἄλλοσε, but is opposed to it: as in Her.1. 32ἄλλο μὲν ἔχει” to “ἑτέρου δὲ ἐπιδέεται”. Cp. Theages 129 C “βουλόμενός με λαθεῖν ἀνέστη,...ἐπιτηρήσας ἄλλοσε τὸν νοῦν ἔχοντα”.

πυργώδους πλακός. The current version spoke of Heracles as hurling Iphitus from a wall or tower. Pherecydes the logographer (5th cent. B.C.) is quoted to this effect (schol. Od.21. 23): “τὸν δὲ Ἡρακλέα μηχανῇ τινι καὶ στρατηγίᾳ συνεφελκυσάμενον αὐτὸν ἄγειν εἰς ἐπίκρημνον τεῖχος”. Apollod.2. 6. 2μανεὶς δὲ αὖθις” (Heracles) “ἀπὸ τῶν Τιρυνθίων ἔρριψεν αὐτὸν τειχῶν”. Diod. Sic. 4. 31τοῦτον μὲν ἀναβιβάσας Ἡρακλῆς ἐπί τινα πύργον ὑψηλὸν ἐκέλευσεν ἀφορᾶν”. The word “πύργος” oft.=a city-wall with its towers ( O. T.56 n.). Thus it would satisfy all these statements to suppose that Iphitus was thrown from some high part of the walls which encompassed Tiryns “τειχιόεσσα”. And by “πυργώδης πλάξ” Sophocles may well have meant ‘the summit of a tower-like building.’ Modern critics have usually held that he meant ‘the top of a towering rock or cliff’: and so the schol. here explains, “ὑψηλοῦ ὄρους”. We need not press the argument that it is not well-suited to the locality. But it may be doubted whether a Greek poet would have compared a rock or cliff to a “πύργος” merely because it was high and steep. On the other hand, where “πυργοειδής” occurs elsewhere, it refers to a building. Josephus Bell. Iud. 5. 5. 8 (the “Ἀντωνία”, or citadel of Jerusalem) “πυργοειδὴς...οὖσα τὸ πᾶν σχῆμα”. Dion Cassius 74. 5 “πυρὰ πυργοειδής”. And it is consonant with the style of Tragedy that, in regard to such a detail, the vaguer phrase “πυργώδης πλάξ” should be preferred to “πλὰξ πύργου”.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.6.2
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.32
    • Homer, Odyssey, 21.23
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 56
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 4.31
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