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[7]

Now the city of the Argives1 is for the most part situated in a plain, but it has for a citadel the place called Larisa, a hill that is fairly well fortified and contains a temple of Zeus. And near the city flows the Inachus, a torrential river that has its sources in Lyrceius, the mountain that is near Cynuria in Arcadia.2 But concerning the sources of which mythology tells us, they are fabrications of poets, as I have already said.3 And "waterless Argos" is also a fabrication, ("but the gods made Argos well watered "),4 since the country lies in a hollow, and is traversed by rivers, and contains marshes and lakes, and since the city is well supplied with waters of many wells whose water level reaches the surface. So critics find the cause of the mistake in this verse: “"And in utter shame would I return to πολυδίψιον5 Argos."
6πολυδίψιον either is used for πολυπόθητον, i.e., "much longed for." or, omitting the δ, for πολυΐψιον, i.e., "very destructive." in the sense of πολύφθορον,7 as in the phrase of Sophocles, “"and the πολύφθορον home of the Pelopidae there;"
8 for the words προϊάψαι and ἰάψαι , and ἴψασθαι signify a kind of destruction or affliction: “"Now he is merely making trial, but soon he will afflict9 the sons of the Achaeans;"
10“"mar11 her fair flesh; "
12“"untimely sent13 to Hades."
14And besides, Homer does not mean the city of Argos (for it was not thither that Agamemnon was about to return), but the Peloponnesus, which certainly is not a "thirsty" land either. Moreover some critics, retaining the δ, interpret the word by the figure hyperbaton and as a case of synaloepha with the connective δέ,15 so that the verse would read thus: "And in utter shame would I return πολὺ δ᾽ ἴψιον Ἄργος," that is to say, "would I return πολυίψιον Ἄργοσδε," where Ἄργοσδε stands for εἰς Ἄργος.

1 Argos.

2 It is Mt. Lycaeus, not Lyrceius, that is "near Cynuria in Arcadia." But Lycaeus (now Diophorti) is on the confines of Messenia and Arcadia. See critical note.

3 6. 2. 4.

4 The authorship of these words is unknown.

5 i.e., "very thirsty," though Strabo and Athenaeus 444e give the word a different interpretation.

6 Hom. Il. 4.171

7 The word means either "very destructive" or "ruined by the deaths of many"—clearly the latter in the phrase here cited from the Soph. El. 10

8 Soph. El. 10

9 ἴψεται, the primary meaning of which is "press hard," "oppress."

10 Hom. Il. 2.193

11 ἴαψῃ. Primary meaning, "send on" or "drive on."

12 Hom. Od. 2.376

13 προΐαψεν.

14 Hom. Il. 1.3

15 i.e., they take πολυδίψιον as an error for πολὺ δ᾽ ἴψιον, and explain the error as due to the transposition (hyperbaton) of the δε in Ἄργοσδε and to the contraction into one word through the elision of the vowel ε (synaloepha).

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