It was debated by the old critics whether ἐσάκουσε meant that Odysseus did not hearken, or only that he did not hear what was said. The former was the view of Aristarchos, but the latter is supported by the fact that Homer never represents any of the leading Greek heroes as a downright coward. The compound does not recur in H., and both senses are found in Trag. Hymn. Cer. 284 is ambiguous. Platt, however (J. P. ut supr.), aptly quotes Thuc.iv. 34 “ὑπὸ δὲ τῆς μείζονος βοῆς τῶν πολεμίων τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς παραγγελλόμενα οὐκ ἐσακούοντες”, which shews it to be ‘the correct term for catching a word in the tumult of battle.’ The fact that the flight here is caused by the act of Zeus would hardly exonerate Odysseus under the circumstances, as Diomedes is able to resist the panic for a while under the action of a special incentive.
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