This line was athetized by Aristarchos on account of the word οὐρεύς, which he took to mean “φύλαξ”, a longer form of “οὖρος”, guardian. So also Fäsi, Düntzer, and others, comparing “πομπεύς” by “πομπός, ἀριστεύς” by “ἄριστος”. But this is hardly tenable; “οὐρεύς” in the sense of mule is too common a word to admit of homonyms which might lead to ambiguity. And there is something peculiarly graphic in the idea of the suddenly awakened sleeper asking the intruder if he wants to find a friend or a strayed mule — of which there were many in the Greek camp, 1.50, 23.111. Schwartz has compared Xen. Anab. ii. 2. 20, where a night alarm occurs owing to an ass straying among some armour. If there is something of a burlesque tone about the question, it is only in harmony with the rest of the book.
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