καὶ μετὰ οἷσι φίλοισι. The sense of this clause can only be determined by that of the preceding, which is certain. The “ἄεθλοι” denote the struggle which Odysseus had to wage with influences adverse to his return, not that which awaited him in Ithaca; for (1) it is the former on which our attention is fixed by the earlier part of this same sentence, and on which we are still kept dwelling in the succeeding one: and (2) the genitive (see above) implies that the dangers had already arrived, while “ἔνθα” answers to “ὅτε δὴ ἔτος ἦλθε”, sc. when the time came for his return, not, when he had returned. It follows that “καί” cannot be rendered ‘even,’ nor does it connect the clause before which it stands with “οὐδ᾽ ἔνθα”, but with “πεφυγ. ἀέθλων”, in the sense of ‘and,’ or, more accurately, ‘or.’ ‘And’ is less natural, as (1) we should expect “πεφυγμένος τε ἀεθ.”, and (2) the two ideas thus brought together have only an accidental connection. For “καί” in the sense of ‘or,’ after a negative, cp. Od.3. 349“ᾧ οὔ τι χλαῖναι καὶ ῥήγεα πόλλ̓ ἐνὶ οἴκῳ”, Od.6. 182“οὐ μὲν γὰρ τοῦ γε κρεῖσσον καὶ ἄρειον”. Translate—‘Not even then was he safe out of danger or among his friends.’ Nitzsch on the other hand, following the Venet. Schol. to Il.16. 46, regards the words “οὐδ᾽ ἔνθα . . φίλοισι” as parenthetical, and makes the apodosis begin with “θεοὶ δ᾽ ἐλέαιρον”. A modification of this view is given by La Roche (Hom. Untersuch. 1869), who places the apodosis at “θεοὶ δ᾽”, but treats the clauses “οὐδ᾽ ἔνθα, καὶ μετά” as belonging to the protasis, and still under the government of “ἀλλ᾽ ὅ τε δή”, and not as parenthetical.Köchly follows Bekker in rejecting vv. 18, 19. ‘qui quam importune sententiarum cohaerentiam interpellant et Bekkerus dilucide demonstravit nec novissimos fugit editores quamquam ex suorum librorum ratione illam offensionem interpretando occultantes’ (Diss. 1. p. 11); for he maintains that the point of time denoted here is the actual return of Odysseus to Ithaca, which is incompatible with the words “πάρος ἣν γαῖαν ἱκέσθαι”: and several critics of the same school concur in striking out vv. 23-26.
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