Scene: —Before the palace of Oedipus at Thebes. In front of the large central doors (βασίλειος θύρα) there is an altar; a smaller altar stands also near each of the two side-doors: see verse 16. Suppliants—old men, youths, and young children—are seated on the steps of the altars. They are dressed in white tunics and cloaks, —their hair bound with white fillets. On the altars they have laid down olive-branches wreathed with fillets of wool. The PRIEST OF ZEUS, a venerable man, is alone standing, facing the central doors of the palace. These are now thrown open: followed by two attendants (πρόσπολοι), who place themselves on either side of the doors, OEDIPUS enters, in the robes of a king: for a moment he gazes silently on the groups at the altars, and then speaks. See Appendix, Note 1, sect. 1.

[1-77] Oedipus asks why they are suppliants. The Priest of Zeus, speaking for the rest, prays him to save them, with the gods' help, from the blight and the plague. Oedipus answers that he has already sent Creon to consult Apollo at Delphi, and will do whatever the god shall bid.

νέα last-born (not “young,” for τέκνα includes the old men, v. 17), added for contrast with τοῦ πάλαι. Oedipus, —who believes himself a Corinthian (774), —marks his respect for the ancient glories of the Theban house to whose throne he has been called: see esp. 258 f. So the Thebans are “στρατὸς ΚαδμογενήςAesch. Seven 303, “Καδμογενὴς γένναEur. Phoen. 808, or Καδμεῖο. τροφή = θρέμματα (abstract for concrete); Eur. Cycl. 189ἀρνῶν τροφαί” = ἄρνες ἐκτεθραμμέναι. Cadmus, as guardian genius of Thebes, is still τροφεύς of all who are reared in the δῶμα Καδμεῖον (v. 29). Campbell understands, “my last-born care derived from ancient Cadmus,” —as though the τροφεύς were Oedipus. But could Κάδμου τροφή mean “[my] nurslings [derived from] Cadmus”? It is by the word τέκνα that Oedipus expresses his own fatherly care.

[2] ἕδρας The word ἕδρα= “posture,” here, as usu., sitting: when kneelingis meant, some qualification is added, as Eur. Phoen. 293γονυπετεῖς ἕδρας προσπίτνω σ᾽,” “I supplicate thee on my knees.” The suppliants are sitting on the steps (βάθρα) of the altars, on which they have laid the κλάδοι: see 142: cp. 15 προσήμεθα, 20 θακεῖ: Aesch. Eum. 40 (Orestes a suppliant in the Delphian temple) ἐπ᾽ ὀμφαλῷ (on the omphalos) ἕδραν ἔχοντα προστρόπαιον ... ἐλαίας θ᾽ ὑψιγέννητον κλάδον. θοάζετε prob. = θάσσετε, “sit,” ἕδρας being cognate acc. In Eur. θοάζωθοός) always =“to hasten” (transitive or intrans.). But Empedocles and Aesch. clearly use θοάζω as =θάσσω, the sound and form perh. suggesting the epic θαάσσω, θόωκος. See Appendix.

[3] ἱκτηρίοις κλάδοισιν The suppliant carried a branch of olive or laurel (ἱκετηρία), round which were twined festoons of wool(στέφη, στέμματα, —which words can stand for the ἱκετηρία itself, below 913, Hom. Il. 1.14): Plut. Thes. 18ἦν δὲ [ἡ ἱκετηρία] κλάδος ἀπὸ τῆς ἱερᾶς ἐλαίας, ἐρίῳ λευκῷ κατεστεμμένος.” He laid his branch on the altar ( Eur. Her. 124βωμὸν καταστέψαντες”), and left it there, if unsuccessful in his petition (Eur. Supp. 259); if successful, he took it away (Eur. Supp. 359, below 143). ἱκτηρίοις κλάδοισιν ἐξεστεμμένοι= ἱκτηρίους κλάδους ἐξεστεμμένους ἔχοντες: Xen. Anab. 4.3.28διηγκυλωμένους τοὺς ἀκοντιστὰς καὶ ἐπιβεβλημένους τοὺς τοξότας,” “the javelin-throwers with javelins grasped by the thong(ἀγκύλη), and the archers with arrows fitted to the string.” So 18 ἐξεστεμμένον absol., = provided with στέφη (i.e. with ἱκετηρίαι: see last note). Triclinius supposes that the suppliants, besides carrying boughs, wore garlands(ἐστεφανωμένοι), and the priests may have done so: but ἐξεστεμμ. does not refer to this.

[4] ὁμοῦ μὲν ... ὁμοῦ δὲ The verbal contrast is merely between the fumes of incense burnt on the altars as a propitiatory offering ( Hom. Il. 8.48τέμενος βωμός τε θυήεις),” and the sounds — whether of invocations to the Healer, or of despair.

[7] ἄλλων Redundant, but serving to contrast ἀγγέλων and αὐτός, as if one said, “from messengers,—at second hand.” Blaydes cp. Xen. Cyrop. 1.6.2ὅπως μὴ δι᾽ ἄλλων ἑρμηνέων τὰς τῶν θεῶν συμβουλίας συνείης, ἀλλ᾽ αὐτὸς ... γιγνώσκοις.ὧδ᾽ =δεῦρο, as in vv. 144, 298, and often in Soph.: even with βλέπειν, ὁρᾶν, as in Soph. Trach. 402βλέφ᾽ ὧδε” = βλέπε δεῦρο.

[8] πᾶσι κλεινὸς ... καλούμενος πᾶσι with κλεινός (cp. 40 πᾶσι κράτιστον), not with καλούμενος: “called Oedipus famous in the sight of all,” not “called famous Oed. by all.” Cp. πασίγνωστος, πασίδηλος, πασιμέλουσα, πασίφιλος. The tone is Homeric ( Hom. Od. 9.19εἴμ᾽ Ὀδυσεύς ... καί μευ κλέος οὐρανὸν ἵκει,” imitated by Verg. Aen. 1.378 sum pius Aeneas ... fama super aethera notus): Oedipus is a type, for the frank heroic age, of Arist.'s μεγαλόψυχος μεγάλων αὑτὸν ἀξιῶν, ἄξιος ὤνAristot. Nic. Eth. 4.3).

[9] ἔφυς which is more than εἶ, refers, not to appearance(φυή), but to the natural claim (φύσις) of age and office combined.

[10] πρὸ τῶνδε “in front of,” and so “on behalf of,” “for” these. Ellendt: “Non est ἀντὶ τῶνδε, nec ὑπὲρ τῶνδε, sed μᾶλλον s. μάλιστα τῶνδε, prae ceteris dignus propter auctoritatem et aetatem.” Rather ἀντὶ τῶνδε = “as their deputy”: ὑπὲρ τῶνδε = “as their champion”: πρὸ τῶνδε = “as their spokesman.” So Soph. OC 811ἐρῶ γὰρ καὶ πρὸ τῶνδε.τίνι τρόπῳ with καθέστατε only: δείσαντες στέρξαντες = εἴτε ἐδείσατέ τι, εἴτε ἐστέρξατε (not πότερον δείσαντες; στέρξαντες;), “in what mood are ye set here, whether it be one of fear or of desire?”

[11] στέρξαντες “having formed a desire”: the aor. part., as Soph. Aj. 212ἐπεί σε ... στέρξας ἀνέχει” “is constant to the love which he hath formed for thee.” Soph. El. 1100καὶ τί βουληθεὶς πάρει”; Soph. Aj. 1052αυτὸν ἐλπίσαντες ... ἄγειν.” Cp. Soph. OC 1093καὶ τὸν ἀγρευτὰν Ἀπόλλω καὶ κασιγνήταν ... στέργω διπλᾶς ἀρωγὰς μολεῖν,” “I desire”: where, in such an invocation(ἰὼ ... Ζεῦ, ... πόροις, κ.τ.λ.), στέργω surely cannot mean, “I am content.” Oed. asks: “Does this supplication mean that some new dread has seized youδείσαντες)? Or that ye have set your heartsστέρξαντεςon some particular boon which I can grant?”—Others render στέρξαντεςhaving acquiesced.” This admits of two views. (i) “Are ye afraid of suffering? Or have ye already learned to bear suffering?” To this point the glosses ὑπομείναντες, παθόντες. But this seems unmeaning. He knows that the suffering has come, and he does not suppose that they are resigned to it (cp. v. 58). (ii) Prof. Kennedy connects στέρξαντες ὡς θέλοντος ἂν ἐμοῦ προσαρκεῖν πᾶν; i.e. are ye come in vague terror, or in contentment, as believing that I would be willing to help you? This is ingenious and attractive. But (a) it appears hardly consonant with the kingly courtesy of this opening speech for Oedipus to assume that their belief in his good-will would reconcile them to their present miseries. (b) We seem to require some direct and express intimation of the king's willingness to help, such as the words ὡς θέλοντος ... πᾶν give only when referred to φράζε. (c) The rhythm seems to favour the question at στέρξαντες. —στέξαντες, explained as “having endured,” may be rejected, because (1) the sense is against it—see on (i) above: (2) στέγειν in classical Greek = “to be proof against,” not “to suffer”: (3) στέξω, ἔστεξα are unknown to Attic, which has only the pres. and the imperf. ὡς θέλοντος ἂν (to be connected with φράζε) implies the apodosis of a conditional sentence. Grammatically, this might be either (a) εἰ δυναίμην, θέλοιμι ἄν, or (b) εἰ ἠδυνάμην, ἤθελον ἄν: here, the sense fixes it to (a). ὡς, thus added to the gen. absol., expresses the supposition on which the agent acts. Xen. Mem. 2.6.32ὡς οὐ προσοίσοντοςἐμοῦτὰς χεῖρας, ... δίδασκε:” “as (you may be sure) I will not lay hands on you, teach me.”

[13] κατοικτίρων οἰκτίρω, not οἰκτείρω, is the spelling attested by Attic inscriptions of circ. 550-350 B.C.: see Meisterhans, Grammatik der Attischen Inschriften, p. 89. μὴ οὐ κατοικτίρων. An infinitive or participle, which for any reason would regularly take μή, usually takes μὴ οὐ if the principal verb of the sentence is negative. Here, δυσάλγητος = οὐκ εὐάλγητος: Dem. 19.123πόλειςχαλεπαὶ λαβεῖν ... μὴ οὐ χρόνῳ καὶ πολιορκίᾳ”(sc. λαμβάνοντι,) where χαλεπαί = οὐ ῥᾴδιαι: “cities not easy to take, unless by a protracted siege.” The participial clause, μὴ οὐ κατοικτίρων, is equivalent to a protasis, εἰ μὴ κατοικτίροιμι. Prof. Kennedy holds that the protasis is εἰ μὴ θέλοιμι understood, and that μὴ οὐ κατοικτίρων is epexegetic of it: —“Yes(γάρ) I should be unfeeling, if I did not wish (to help you): that is, if I refused to pity such a supplication as this.” But the double negative μὴ οὐ could not be explained by a negative in the protasis εἰ μὴ θέλοιμι): it implies a negative in the apodosis δυσάλγητος ἂν εἴην. Since, then, the resolution into οὐκ εὐάλγητος ἂν εἴην is necessary, nothing seems to be gained by supposing a suppressed protasis, εἰ μὴ θέλοιμι.

[16] βωμοῖσι τοῖς σοῖς The altars of the προστατήριοι θεοί in front of the palace, including that of Apollo Λύκειος (919). μακρὰν
. So Andromache to her child —“νεοσσὸς ὡσεὶ πτέρυγας ἐσπίτνων ἐμάςEur. Tro. 746. The proper Attic form for the aor. of πέτομαι was ἐπτόμην, which alone was used in prose and Comedy. Though forms from ἐπτάμην sometimes occur in Tragedy, as in the Homeric poems, Elms. had no cause to wish for πτάσθαι here.

[17] σὺν γήρᾳ βαρεῖς = βαρεῖς ὡς γήρᾳ συνόντες. Soph. OC 1663σὺν νόσοις ἀλγεινός”: Soph. Aj. 1017ἐν γήρᾳ βαρύς.

[18] ἐγὼ μὲν The answering clause, οἱ δὲ ἄλλων θεῶν, must be supplied mentally: cp. Hom. Il. 5.893τὴν μὲν ἐγὼ σπουδῇ δάμνησ᾽ ἐπέεσσι”(sc. τὰς δὲ ἄλλας ῥᾳδίως). It is slightly different when μέν, used alone, emphasizes the personal pronoun, as in “ἐγὼ μὲν οὐκ οἶδαXen. Cyrop. 1.4.12. οἵδε τ᾽. The conjecture οἱ δ᾽ ἐπ᾽(“chosen to represent the youth”) involves a questionable use of ἐπί: cp. Soph. Ant. 787 n. ᾐθέων, unmarried youths: Hom. Il. 18.593ἠΐθεοι καὶ παρθένοι”: Eur. Phoen. 944Αἵμονος ... γάμοι σφαγὰς ἀπείργουσ᾽: οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ᾔθεος”: Plut. Thes. 15ᾐθέους ἑπτὰ καὶ παρθένους.

[19] ἐξεστεμμένον see on 3.

[20] ἀγοραῖσι local dative, like “οἰκεῖν οὐρανῷPind. N. 10.58. Thebes was divided from N. to S. into two parts by the torrent called Strophia. The W. part, between the Strophia and the Dirce, was the upper town or Cadmeia: the E. part, between the Strophia and the Ismenus, was κάτω πόλις. The name Καδμεία was given especially to the S. eminence of the upper town, the acropolis. (1) One of the ἀγοραί meant here was on a hill to the north of the acropolis, and was the ἀγορὰ Καδμείας. See Paus. 9.12.3. (2) The other was in the lower town. Xen. Hell. 5.2.29 refers to this βουλὴ ἐκάθητο ἐν τῇ ἐν ἀγορᾷ στοᾷ, διὰ τὸ τὰς γυναῖκας ἐν τῇ Καδμείᾳ θεσμοφοριάζειν: unless Καδμεία has the narrower sense of “acropolis.” Cp. Aristot. Pol. 4.12.2 on the Thessalian custom of having two ἀγοραί— one, ἐλευθέρα, from which everything βάναυσον was excluded. πρός τε Παλλάδος ...
. Not “both at the two temples,” etc. as if this explained ἀγοραῖσι, but “and,” etc.: for the ἀγοραί would have their own altars of the ἀγοραῖοι θεοί, as of Artemis (161). One of the διπλοῖ ναοί may be that of Παλλὰς Ὄγκα, near the Ὀγκαία πύλη on the W. side of Thebes(“πύλας Ὄγκας ἈθάναςAesch. Seven 487, “Ὄγκα ΠαλλάςAesch. Seven 501), whose statue and altar ἐν ὑπαίθρῳ Paus. mentions (9. 12. 2). The other temple may be that of Athene Καδμεία or of Athena Ἰσμηνία— both mentioned by the schol., but not by Paus. Athena Ζωστηρία, too, had statues at Thebes (Paus. 9.17.3). The schol. mentions also Ἀλαλκομενία, but her shrine was at the village of Alalcomenae near Haliartus (Paus. 9.23.5). It was enough for Soph. that his Athenian hearers would think of the Erechtheum and the Parthenon—the shrines of the Polias and the Parthenos—above them on the acropolis.

[21] ἐπ᾽ Ἰσμ. μ. σποδῷ “The oracular ashes of Ismenus” = the altar in the temple of Apollo Ἰσμήνιος, where divination by burnt offerings( δι᾽ ἐμπύρων μαντεία) was practised. So the schol., quoting Philochorus (in his περὶ μαντικῆς, circ. 290 B.C.). σποδῷ: the embers dying down when the μαντεῖον has now been taken from the burnt offering: cp. Soph. Ant. 1007. Soph. may have thought of Ἀπόλλων Σπόδιος, whose altar(ἐκ τέφρας τῶν ἱερείων) Paus. saw to the left of the Electrae gates at Thebes: 9. 11. 7. Ἰσμηνοῦ, because the temple was by the river Ismenus: Paus. 9.10.2ἔστι δὲ λόφος ἐν δεξιᾷ τῶν πυλῶν” (on the right of the Ἠλέκτραι πύλαι on the S. of Thebes, within the walls) ἱερὸς Ἀπόλλωνος: καλεῖται δὲ τε λόφος καὶ θεὸς Ἰσμήνιος, παραρρέοντος τοῦ ποταμοῦ ταύτῃ τοῦ Ἰσμηνοῦ. Ismenus (which name Curt. Etym. 617, connects with rt ἰς, to wish, as = “desired”) was described in the Theban myths as the son of Asopus and Metope, or of Amphion and Niobe. The son of Apollo by Melia (the fountain of the Ismenus) was called Ismenius. Cp. Hdt. 8.134 (the envoy of Mardonius in the winter of 480-79) τῷ Ἰσμηνίῳ Ἀπόλλωνι ἐχρήσατο: ἔστι δὲ κατάπερ ἐν Ὀλυμπίῃ ἱροῖσι χρηστηριάζεσθαι: Pind. O. 8.1 ff.Οὐλυμπία ... ἵνα μάντιες ἄνδρες ἐμπύροις τεκμαιρόμενοι παραπειρῶνται Διός.” In Pind. P. 11.4 the Theban heroines are asked to come πὰρ Μελίαν (because she shared Apollo's temple) “to the holy treasure-house of golden tripods, which Loxias hath honoured exceedingly, and hath named it Ismenian, a truthful seat of oracles” (MSS. μαντείων, not μαντίων, Fennell): for the tripod dedicated by the δαφναφόρος, or priest of Ismenian Apollo, see Paus. 9.10.4. Her. saw offerings dedicated by Croesus to Amphiaraus ἐν τῷ νηῷ τοῦ Ἰσμηνίου Ἀπόλλωνος (1. 52), and notices inscriptions there (5. 59). The Ἰσμήνιον, the temple at Abae in Phocis, and that on the hill Πτῶον to the E. of Lake Copais, were, after Delphi, the chief shrines of Apollo in N. Greece.

[24] βυθῶν “from the depths,” i.e. out of the trough of the waves which rise around. Cp. Soph. Ant. 337περιβρυχίοισιν περῶν ὑπ᾽ οἴδμασιν,under swelling waves which threaten to engulf him. Arat. 426 ὑπόβρυχα ναυτίλλονται. φοινίου here merely poet. for θανασίμου, as Soph. Trach. 770φοινίας ἐχθρᾶς ἐχίδνης ἰός”: Soph. OC 1689φόνιος Ἀΐδας.” But in Soph. Aj. 351φοινία ζάλη”= the madness which drove Ajax to bloodshed. ἔτ᾽ οὐχ οἵα τε: for position of ἔτ᾽, cp. Soph. Trach. 161ὡς ἔτ᾽ οὐκ ὤν”, Soph. Phil. 1217ἔτ᾽ οὐδέν εἰμι.” With οἷός τε the verb is often omitted, as 1415, Soph. OC 1136, Soph. Trach. 742, Aristoph. Kn. 343.

[25] φθίνουσα μὲν ...
φθίνουσα δέ
rhetorical iteration(ἐπαναφορά); cp. 259, 370, Soph. OC 5, 610, etc. The anger of heaven is shown (1) by a blight φθίνουσα on the fruits of the ground, on flocks and on child-birth: (2) by a pestilence λοιμός which ravages the town. Cp. 171 ff. For the threefold blight, Hdt. 6.139ἀποκτείνασι δὲ τοῖσι Πελασγοῖσι τοὺς σφετέρους παῖδάς τε καὶ γυναῖκας οὔτε γῆ καρπὸν ἔφερε οὔτε γυναῖκές τε καὶ ποῖμναι ὁμοίως ἔτικτον καὶ πρὸ τοῦ”: Aeschin. 3.111μήτε γῆν καρποὺς φέρειν μήτε γυναῖκας τέκνα τίκτειν γονεῦσιν ἐοικότα, ἀλλὰ τέρατα, μήτε βοσκήματα κατὰ φύσιν γονὰς ποιεῖσθαι.” Schneid. and Blaydes cp. Philostr. Apoll. 3.20, p. 51. 21 γῆ οὐ ξυνεχώρει αὐτοῖς ἵστασθαι: τήν τε γὰρ σπορὰν ἣν ἐς αὐτὴν ἐποιοῦντο, πρὶν ἐς κάλυκα ἥκειν, ἔφθειρε, τούς τε τῶν γυναικῶν τόκους ἀτελεῖς ἐποίει, καὶ τὰς ἀγέλας πονηρῶς ἔβοσκεν.

κάλυξιν ἐγκάρποις The datives mark the points or parts in which the land φθίνει. κάλυξιν ἔγκαρπος is the shell or case which encloses immature fruit, —whether the blossom of fruit-trees, or the era of wheat or barley: Theophr. Hist. Plant. 8.2.4 (of κριθή and πυρόςπρὶν ἂν προαύξηθεὶς στάχυςἐν τῇ κάλυκι γένηται.

[26] ἀγέλαις βουνόμοις (paroxyt.) =ἀγέλαι βοῶν νεμομένων: but ἀκτὴ βούνομος, proparoxyt., a shore on which oxen are pastured, Soph. El. 181. Cp. Soph. El. 861χαλαργοῖς ἐν ἁμίλλαις” = ἁμίλλαις ἀργῶν χηλῶν: Pind. P. 5.28ἀρισθάρματον ... γέρας” = γέρας ἀρίστου ἅρματος. The epithet marks that the blight on the flocks is closely connected with that on the pastures: cp. Dionys. Hal. 1. 23 (describing a similar blight) οὔτε πόα κτήνεσιν ἐφύετο διαρκής. τόκοισι, the labours of child-bed: Eur. Med. 1031στερρὰς ἐνεγκοῦσ᾽ ἐν τόκοις ἀλγηδόνας”: Eur. IT 1466γυναῖκες ἐν τόκοις ψυχορραγεῖς.Dion. Hal. 1.23ἀδελφὰ δὲ τούτοις”(i.e. to the blight on fruits and crops) ἐγίνετο περί τε προβάτων καὶ γυναικῶν γονάς: γὰρ ἐξημβλοῦτο τὰ ἔμβρυα, κατὰ τοὺς τόκους διεφθείρετο ἔστιν καὶ τὰς φερούσας συνδιαλυμηνάμενα.

[27] ἀγόνοις abortive, or resulting in a still birth. ἐν δ᾽, adv., “and among our other woes,” “and withal”: so 183, Soph. Trach. 206, Soph. Aj. 675. Not in “tmesis” with σκήψας, though Soph. has such tmesis elsewhere, Soph. Ant. 420ἐν δ᾽ ἐμεστώθη,Soph. Ant. 1274ἐν δ᾽ ἔσεισεν.” For the simple σκήψας, cp. Aesch. Ag. 308εἶτ᾽ ἔσκηψεν,” “then it swooped.” So Aesch. Pers. 715λοιμοῦ τις ἦλθε σκηπτός. πυρφόρος θεὸς, the bringer of the plague which spreads and rages like fire (176 κρεῖσσον ἀμαιμακέτου πυρός, 191 φλέγει με): but also with reference to fever, πυρετός. Hippoc. 4.140ὁκόσοισι δὲ τῶν ἀνθρώπων πῦρ”= πυρετὸςἐμπίπτῃ: Hom. Il. 22.31καί τε φέρει”(Seirius) πολλὸν πυρετὸν δειλοῖσι βροτοῖσι (the only place where πυρετός occurs in Il. or Od.). In Soph. OC 55ἐν δ᾽ πυρφόρος θεὸς Τιτὰν Προμηθεύς” refers to the representation of Prometheus with the narthex, or a torch, in his right hand ( Eur. Phoen. 1121δεξιᾷ δὲ λαμπάδα Τιτὰν Προμηθεὺς ἔφερεν ὥς”). Cp. Aesch. Seven 432ἄνδρα πυρφόρον, φλέγει δὲ λαμπάς, κ.τ.λ.” Here also the Destroyer is imagined as armed with a deadly brand, —against which the Chorus presently invoke the holy fires of Artemis (206) and the “blithe torch” of Dionysus (214). For θεὸς said of λοιμός, cp. Simonid. Amorg. fr. 7. 101 οὐδ᾽ αἶψα λιμὸν οἰκίης ἀπώσεται, ἐχθρὸν συνοικητῆρα, δυσμενέα θεόν. Soph. fr. 837 ἀλλ᾽ φρόνησις ἁγαθὴ θεὸς μέγας.

[29] μέλας δ᾽ elision at end of v. is peculiar in Trag. to Soph., who is said to have adopted it from a poet Callias (Athen. 10 p. 453 E): hence it was called εἶδος Σοφόκλειον. Examples: δ᾽ 785, 791, 1224; Soph. OC 17; Soph. Ant. 1031; Soph. El. 1017: τ᾽ below, 1184: ταῦτ᾽ 332. [In Soph. OC 1164μολόντ᾽” should prob. be μόνον.] In Comedy: “δ᾽Eur. Hipp. 1716, Aristoph. Eccl. 351: “μ᾽Aristoph. Frogs 298.

[30] πλουτίζεται with allusion to Πλόύτων, as Hades was called by an euphemism(ὑποκοριστικῶς, schol. Aristoph. Pl. 727), ὅτι ἐκ τῆς κάτωθεν ἀνίεται πλοῦτος (crops and metals), as Plato says, Plat. Crat. 403a. Cp. Soph. fr. 251 (Nauck(2)) (from the satyric drama InachusΠλούτωνος= Ἅιδουἥδ᾽ ἐπείσοδος: Lucian Timon 21(Πλοῦτος speaks), Πλούτων (Hades) ἀποστέλλει με παρ᾽ αὐτοὺς ἅτε πλουτοδότης καὶ μεγαλόδωρος καὶ αὐτὸς ὤν: δηλοῖ γοῦν καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι. Schneid. cp. Statius Theb. 2.48 pallentes devius umbras Trames agit nigrique Iovis vacua atria ditat Mortibus.

[31] μέν νυν as in Soph. Trach. 441.

οὐκ ἰσούμενόν σ᾽, governed by κρίνοντες in 34. But he begins as if instead of ἑζόμεσθ᾽ ἐφέστιοι, ἱκετεύομεν were to follow: hence ἰσούμενον instead of ἴσον. It is needless to take ἰσούμενον (1) as accus. absol., or (2) as governed by ἑζόμεσθ᾽ ἐφέστιοι in the sense of ἱκετεύομεν, —like φθορὰς ... ψήφους ἔθεντο Aesch. Ag. 814, or γένος ... νέωσον αἶνονAesch. Supp. 533. Musgrave conj. ἰσούμενοι as = “deeming equal,” but the midd. would mean “making ourselves equal,” like “ἀντισουμένουThuc. 3.11. Plato has ἰσούμενον as passive in Plat. Phaedrus 238e, and ἰσοῦσθαι as passive in Plat. Parm. 156b: cp. 581 ἰσοῦμαι.

[34] δαιμόνων συναλλαγαῖς = “conjunctures” caused by gods (subjective gen.), special visitations, as opposed to the ordinary chances of life(συμφοραῖς βίου). Such συναλλαγαί were the visit of the Sphinx (130) and of the πυρφόρος θεός (27). Cp. 960 νόσου συναλλαγῇ, a visitation in the form of disease (defining gen.). Here, the sense might indeed be, “dealings (of men) with gods,” = ὅταν ἄνθρωποι συναλλάσσωνται δαίμοσιν: but the absolute use of συναλλαγή for “a conjuncture of events” in Soph. OC 410 (n.) favours the other view. In Soph. Trach. 845ὀλεθρἱαισι συναλλαγαῖς”= “at the fatal meeting” of Deianeira with Nessus. But in Soph. Ant. 157θεῶν συντυχίαι” = fortunes sent by gods. The common prose sense of συναλλαγή is “reconciliation,” which Soph. has in Soph. Aj. 732.

[35] ὅς γ᾽ The γ᾽ of the MSS. suits the immediately preceding verses better than the conjectural τε, since the judgment(κρίνοντες rests solely on what Oed. has done, not partly on what he is expected to do. Owing to the length of the first clause (35-39) τ᾽ could easily be added to νῦν in 40 as if another τε had preceded. ἐξέλυσας ...
. The notion is not, “paid it in full,” but “loosed it,” —the thought of the tribute suggesting that of the riddle which Oed. solved. Till he came, the δασμός was as a knotted cord in which Thebes was bound. Cp. Soph. Trach. 653Ἄρης ... ἐξέλυσ᾽ ἐπίπονον ἁμέραν,” “has burst the bondage of the troublous day.” Eur. Phoen. 695ποδῶν σῶν μόχθον ἐκλύει παρών,” “his presence dispenses with (solves the need for) the toil of thy feet.” This is better than (1) “freed the city from the songstress, in respect of the tribute,” or (2) “freed the city from the tribute(δασμόν by attraction for δασμοῦ) to the songstress.”

[36] σκληρᾶς “hard,” stubborn, relentless. Eur. Andr. 261σκληρὸν θράσος.” In 391 κύων expresses a similar idea.

[37] καὶ ταῦθ᾽ “and that too”: Soph. Ant. 322ἐποίησας τὸ ἔργονκαὶ ταῦτ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀργυρῷ γε τὴν ψυχὴν προδούς: Soph. El. 614. οὐδὲν ... πλέον, nothing more than anyone else knew; nothing that could help thee. Plat. Crat. 387aπλέον τι ἡμῖν ἔσται,” we shall gain something. Plat. Sym. 217cοὐδὲν γάρ μοι πλέον ἦν,” it did not help me. ἐξειδὼς ...
: not having heard (incidentally)—much less having been thoroughly schooled.

[38] προσθήκῃ θεοῦ “by the aid of a god.” Dem. 25.24 εὐταξία τῇ τῶν νόμων προσθήκῃ τῶν αἰσχρῶν περίεστι,” “discipline, with the support of the laws, prevails against villainy.” Dion. Hal. 5.67προσθήκης μοῖραν ἐπεῖχον οὗτοι τοῖς ἐν φάλαγγι τεταγμένοις,” “these served as supports to the main body of the troops.” προστίθεσθαί τινι, to take his side: Thuc. 6.80τοῖς ἀδικουμένοις ... προσθεμένους”: so Soph. OC 1332οἷς ἂν σὺ προσθῇ.” (The noun προσθήκη does not occur as = “mandate,” though Hdt. 3.62 has τό τοι προσέθηκα πρῆγμα.) The word is appropriate, since the achievement of Oed. is viewed as essentially a triumph of human wit: a divine agency prompted him, but remained in the background.

[40] νῦν τ᾽ it is unnecessary to read νῦν δ᾽: see on 35. πᾶσιν, ethical dat. masc. (cp. 8), “in the eyes of all men.” Soph. Trach. 1071πολλοῖσιν οἰκτρόν.

[42] εἴτε οἶσθα ἀλκήν, ἀκούσας φήμην θεῶν τουby having heard a voice from some god), εἴτε οἶσθα ἀλκὴν ἀπ᾽ ἀνδρός που. We might take ἀπ᾽ ἀνδρὸς with ἀλκήν, but it is perh. simpler to take it with οἶσθα: cp. 398 ἀπ᾽ οἰωνῶν μαθών, Thuc. 1.125ἐπειδὴ ἀφ᾽ ἁπάντων ἤκουσαν τὴν γνώμην”: though παρά (or πρόςτινος is more frequent.

[43] φήμην any message (as in a dream, “φήμη ὀνείρου,Hdt. 1.43), any rumour, or speech casually heard, which might be taken as a hint from the god. Hom. Od. 20.98Ζεῦ πάτερ ... φήμην τίς μοι φάσθω ... ” (Odysseus prays), “Let some one, I pray, show me a word of omen.” Then a woman, grinding corn within, is heard speaking of the suitors, “may they now sup their last”: χαῖρεν δὲ κλεηδόνι δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς, “rejoiced in the sign of the voice.” ὀμφή was esp. the voice of an oracle; κληδών comprised inarticulate sounds(“κλ. δυσκρίτους,Aesch. PB 486).

[44] ὡς τοῖσιν ...
I take these two verses with the whole context from v. 35, and not merely as a comment on the immediately preceding words εἴτ᾽ ἀπ᾽ ἀνδρὸς οἶσθά που. Oedipus has had practical experience(ἐμπειρία) of great troubles; when the Sphinx came, his wisdom stood the trial. Men who have become thus ἔμπειροι are apt to be also καί prudent in regard to the future. Past facts enlighten the counsels which they offer on things still uncertain; and we observe that the issues of their counsels are not usually futile or dead, but effectual. Well may we believe, then, that he who saved us from the Sphinx can tell us how to escape from the plague. Note these points. (1) The words ἐμπείροισι and βουλευμάτων serve to suggest the antithesis between past and future. (2) τὰς ξυμφορὰς ...
τῶν βουλευμάτων
= literally, the occurrences connected with (resulting from) the counsels. The phrase, “issues of counsels,” concisely expresses this. The objection which has been made to this version, that ξυμφορά is not τελευτή, rests on a grammatical fallacy, viz., that, in ξυμφορὰ βουλεύματος, the genitive must be of the same kind as in τελευτὴ βουλεύματος. τύχη is not τελευτή, yet in Soph. OC 1506 it stands with a gen. of connection, just as ξυμφορά does here:(θεῶντύχην τις ἐσθλὴν τῆσδ᾽ ἔθηκε τῆς ὁδοῦ (a good fortune connected with this coming). Cp. Thuc. 1.140ἐνδέχεται γὰρ τὰς ξυμφορὰς τῶν πραγμάτων οὐχ ἦσσον ἀμαθῶς χωρῆσαι καὶ τὰς διανοίας τοῦ ἀνθρώπου”: the issues of human affairs can be as incomprehensible in their course as the thoughts of man (where, again, the “occurrences connected with human affairs” would be more literal): ib. πρὸς τὰς ξυμφορὰς καὶ τὰς γνώμας τρεπομένους, altering their views according to the events. Thuc. 3.87τῆς ξυμφορᾶς τῷ ἀποβάντι,” by the issue which has resulted. (3)

[45] ζώσας is not “successful,” but “operative,” —effectual for the purpose of the βουλεύματα: as v. 482 ζῶντα is said of the oracles which remain operative against the guilty, and Soph. Ant. 457ζῇ ταῦτα” of laws which are ever in force. Conversely λόγοι θνῄσκοντες μάτηνAesch. Lib. 845) are threats which come to nothing. The scholium in L gives the sense correctly:— ἐν τοῖς συνετοῖς τὰς συντυχίας καὶ τὰς ἀποβάσεις τῶν βουλευμάτων ὁρῶ ζώσας καὶ οὐκ ἀπολλυμένας. See Appendix.

[47] εὐλαβήθηθ᾽ have a care for thy repute— as the next clause explains. Oed. is supposed to be above personal risk; it is only the degree of his future glory (55) which is in question; a fine touch, in view of the destined sequel.

[48] τῆς πάρος προθυμίας causal genit.: Plat. Crito 43bπολλάκις μὲν δή σε ... εὐδαιμόνισα τοῦ τρόπου.

[49] μεμνώμεθα This subjunctive occurs also in Hom. Od. 14.168πῖνε καὶ ἄλλα παρὲξ μεμνώμεθα,Plat. Stat. 285cφυλάττωμεν ... καὶ ... μεμνώμεθα,Plat. Phileb. 31aμεμνώμεθα δὴ καὶ ταῦτα περὶ ἀμφοῖν.” Eustathius (1303. 46, 1332. 18) cites the word here as μεμνῴμεθα (optative). We find, indeed, “μεμνῷοXen. Anab. 1.7.5 (v. l. μεμνῇο), “μεμνεῷτοHom. Il. 23.361, “μεμνῷτοXen. Cyrop. 1.6.3, but these are rare exceptions. On the other hand, “μεμνῄμηνHom. Il. 24.745, “μεμνῇτοAristoph. Pl. 991, Plat. Rep. 518a. If Soph. had meant the optative he would have written μεμνῄμεθα: cp. Soph. Phil. 119ἂν ... κεκλῇο.” See Curtius Greek Verb 2.226 (Eng. tr. p. 423). The personal appeal, too, here requires the subjunct., not optat.: cp. Soph. OC 174μὴ δῆτ᾽ ἀδικηθῶ,Soph. Trach. 802μηδ᾽ αὐτοῦ θάνω.

[50] στάντες τ᾽ For partic. with μέμνημαι cp. Xen. Cyrop. 3.1.31ἐμέμνητο γὰρ εἰπών”: Pind. N. 2.15θνατὰ μεμνάσθω περιστέλλων μέλη”: for τε ... καί, Soph. Ant. 1112αὐτός τ᾽ ἔδησα καὶ παρὼν ἐκλύσομαι,as I bound, so will I loose.

[51] ἀσφαλείᾳ “in steadfastness”: a dative of manner, equivalent to ἀσφαλῶς in the proleptic sense of ὥστε ἀσφαλῆ εἶναι. Cp. Soph. OC 1318κατασκαφῇ . . δῃώσειν,” n. Thuc. 3.56οἱ μὴ τὰ ξύμφορα πρὸς τὴν ἔφοδον αὑτοῖς ἀσφαλείᾳ πράσσοντες,” those who securely made terms on their own account which were not for the common good in view of the invasion. Thuc. 2.82ἀσφαλείᾳ δὲ τὸ ἐπιβουλεύσασθαι” (where ἀσφάλεια is a false reading), to form designs in security, opp. to τὸ ἐμπλήκτως ὀξύ, fickle impetuosity. The primary notion of ἀσφαλής (“not slipping”) is brought out by πεσόντες and ἀνόρθωσον.

[52] ὄρνιθι ... αἰσίῳ like secunda alite or fausta avi for bono omine. A bird of omen was properly οἰωνός: Hom. Od. 15.531οὔ τοι ἄνευ θεοῦ ἔπτατο δεξιὸς ὄρνις: ἔγνων γάρ μιν ἐσάντα ἰδὼν οἰωνὸν ἐόντα”: Xen. Cyrop. 3.3.22οἰωνοῖς χρησάμενος αἰσίοις.” But cp. Eur. IA 607ὄρνιθα μὲν τόνδ᾽ αἴσιον ποιούμεθα”: Eur. Her. 730ὄρνιθος οὕνεκα”: Aristoph. Birds 720φήμη γ᾽ ὑμῖν ὄρνις ἐστί, πταρμόν τ᾽ ὄρνιθα καλεῖτε, ξύμβολον ὄρνιν, φωνὴν ὄρνιν, θεράποντ᾽ ὄρνιν, ὄνον ὄρνιν.” For dat., Schneid. cp. Hipponax fr. 63 (Bergk) δεξιῷ ... ἐλθὼν ῥωδιῷ(heron). In Bergk Poet. Lyr. p. 1049 fr. incerti 27 δεξιῇ σίττῃ (woodpecker) is a conject. for δεξιὴ σίττη. καὶ is better taken as = “also” than as “both” (answering to καὶ τανῦν in 53).

[54] ἄρξεις ... κρατεῖς ...
κρατεῖν τινός, merely to hold in one's power; ἄρχειν implies a constitutional rule. Cp. Plat. Rep. 338dοὐκοῦν τοῦτο κρατεῖ ἐν ἑκάστῃ πόλει, τὸ ἄρχον;” Her. 2. i ἄλλους τε παραλαβὼν τῶν ἦρχε καὶ δὴ καὶ Ἑλλήνων τῶν ἐπεκράτεε, i.e. the Asiatics who were his lawful subjects, and the Greeks over whom he could exert force. But here the poet intends no stress on a verbal contrast: it is as if he had written, εἴπερ ἄρξεις, ὥσπερ ἄρχεις. Cp. Soph. Trach. 457κεἰ μὲν δέδοικας, οὐ καλῶς ταρβεῖς”: below 973 προὔλεγον ... ηὔδας.

[55] ξὺν ἀνδράσιν not “with the help of men,” but “with men in the land,” = ἄνδρας ἐχούσης γῆς. Cp. 207 ξὺν αἷς = ἃς ἔχουσα. Soph. El. 191ἀεικεῖ σὺν στολᾷ”: Soph. Aj. 30σὺν νεορράντῳ ξίφει.Soph. Ant. 116ξύν θ᾽ ἱπποκόμοις κορύθεσσι.

[56] ὡς οὐδέν ἐστιν Thuc. 7.77ἄνδρες γὰρ πόλις, καὶ οὐ τείχη οὐδὲ νῆες ἀνδρῶν κεναί.” Dio Cass. 56. 6 “ἄνθρωποι γάρ που πόλις ἐστίν, οὐκ οἰκίαι, κ.τ.λ.Hdt. 8.61 (Themistocles, taunted by Adeimantus after the Persian occupation of Athens in 480 B.C. with being ἄπολις, retorted) ἑωυτοῖσι ... ως εἴη καὶ πόλις καὶ γῆ μέζων ἤπερ κείνοισι, ἔστ᾽ ἂν διηκόσιαι νῆές σφι ἔωσι πεπληρωμέναι.

πύργος = the city wall with its towers: the sing. as below, 1378: Soph. Ant. 953οὐ πύργος, οὐχ ἁλίκτυποι ... νᾶες”: Eur. Hec. 1209πέριξ δὲ πύργος εἶχ᾽ ἔτι πτόλιν.

[57] Lit., “void of men, when they do not dwell with thee in the city”: ἀνδρῶν depends on ἔρημος, of which μὴ ξυνοικούντων ἔσω is epexegetic. Rhythm and Sophoclean usage make this better than to take ἀνδρῶν μὴ ξυνοικ. . as a gen. absol. Cp. Soph. Aj. 464γυμνὸν φανέντα τῶν ἀριστείων ἄτερ”: Soph. Phil. 31κενὴν οἴκησιν ἀνθρώπων δίχα”: Lucret. 5.841 muta sine ore etiam, sine voltu caeca.

[58] γνωτὰ κοὐκ ἀγνῶτα The emphasis of this formula sometimes appears to deprecate an opposite impression in the mind of the hearer: “known, and not (as you perhaps think) unknown.” Hom. Il. 3.59ἐπεί με κατ᾽ αἶσαν ἐνείκεσας οὐδ᾽ ὑπὲρ αἶσαν,” duly, and not, —as you perhaps expect me to say, —unduly. Hdt. 3.25ἐμμανής τε ἐὼν καὶ οὐ φρενήρης”— being mad, —for it must be granted that no man in his right mind would have acted thus. Soph. OC 397βαιοῦ κοὐχὶ μυρίου χρόνου,” soon, and not after such delay as thy impatience might fear.

[60] νοσοῦντες ...
We expected καὶ νοσοῦντες οὐ νοσεῖτε, ὡς ἐγώ. But at the words ὡς ἐγώ the speaker's consciousness of his own exceeding pain turns him abruptly to the strongest form of expression that he can find οὐκ ἔστιν ὑμῶν ὅστις νοσεῖ, there is not one of you whose pain is as mine. In Plat. Phileb. 19b (quoted by Schneid.) the source of the anacolouthon is the same: μὴ γὰρ δυνάμενοι τοῦτο κατὰ παντὸς ἑνὸς καὶ ὁμοίου καὶ ταὐτοῦ δρᾶν καὶ τοῦ ἐναντίου, ὡς παρελθὰν λόγος ἐμήνυσεν, οὐδεὶς εἰς οὐδὲν οὐδενὸς ἂν ἡμῶν οὐδέποτε γένοιτο ἄξιος, — instead of the tamer οὐκ ἂν γενοίμεθα.

[62] εἰς ἕν᾽ ...
μόνον καθ᾽ αὑτόν
καθ᾽ αὑτόν, “by himself” (Soph. OC 966), is strictly only an emphatic repetition of μόνον: but the whole phrase εἰς ἕνα μόνον καθ᾽ αὑτόν is virtually equivalent to εἰς ἕνα ἕκαστον καθ᾽ αὑτόν, each several one apart from the rest.

[64] πόλιν τε κἀμὲ καὶ σ᾽ The king's soul grieves for the whole State, —for himself, charged with the care of it, —and for each several man(σέ). As the first contrast is between public and private care, κἀμέ stands between πόλιν and σέ. For the elision of σέ, though accented, cp. 329 τἄμ᾽, ὡς ἂν εἴπω μὴ τὰ σ᾽: 404 καὶ τὰ σ᾽: Soph. El. 1499τὰ γοῦν σ᾽”: Soph. Phil. 339οἴμοι μὲν ἀρκεῖν σοί γε καὶ τὰ σ᾽”: Eur. Hipp. 323ἔα μ᾽ ἁμαρτεῖν: οὐ γὰρ ἐς σ᾽ ἁμαρτάνω.

[65] The modal dat. ὕπνῳ, more forcible than a cogn. acc. ὕπνον, nearly = “soundly.” Cp. Soph. Ant. 427γόοισιν ἐξῴμωξεν”: Soph. Trach. 176φόβῳ, φίλαι, ταρβοῦσαν”: [Eur.] fr. 1132 (Nauck(2)) 40 ὀργῇ χολωθείς (where Nauck, rashly, I think, conjectures ἔργει). Verg. Aen. 1.680sopitum somno”. εὕδειν, καθεύδεινXen. Anab. 1.3.11) oft. = “to be at ease” (cp. ἔνθ᾽ οὐκ ἂν βρίζοντα ἴδοις, of Agam., Hom. Il. 4.223): the addition of ὕπνῳ raises and invigorates a trite metaphor.

[67] πλάνοις has excellent manuscript authority here; and Soph. uses “πλάνουSoph. OC 1114, “πλάνοιςSoph. Phil. 758, but πλάνη nowhere. Aesch. has πλάνη only: Eur. πλάνος only, unless the fragment of the Rhadamanthus be genuine (659 Nauck(2), v. 8, οὕτω βίοτος ἀνθρώπων πλάνη). Aristoph. has πλάνος once (Aristoph. Wasps 872), πλάνη never. Plato uses both πλάνη and πλάνος, the former oftenest: Isocrates has πλάνος, not πλάνη.

[68] ηὕρισκον “could find” (impf.). Attic inscriptions of the t=h or early t/h cent. B.C. support the temporal augment in the historical tenses of εὑρίσκω (Meisterhans, Gram. Att. Inschr., p. 78). Our best MS. of Soph. (L), however, preserves no trace of it, except in Soph. Ant. 406 (see cr. n. there). Curtius (Curt. Verb. 1.139, Eng. tr. 93) thinks that, while the omission of the syllabic augment was an archaic and poetical license, that of the temporal was “a sacrifice to convenience of articulation, and was more or less common to all periods”: so that εἴκαζον could exist in Attic by the side of ᾔκαζον, εὕρισκον by the side of ηὕρισκον.

[69] ταύτην ἔπραξα a terse equivalent for ταύτῃ ἔργῳ ἐχρησάμην.

[71] Φοίβου ... τι
δρῶν ... τί φωνῶν
Cp. Plat. Rep. 414dοὐκ οἶδα ὁποίᾳ τόλμῃ ποίοις λόγοις χρώμενος ἐρῶ.” These are exceptions to the rule that, where an interrogative pronoun (as τίς) and a relative (as ὄστις) are both used in an indirect question, the former stands first: cp. Plat. Crito 48aοὐκ ἄρα ... φροντιστέον, τί ἐροῦσιν οἱ πολλοὶ ἡμᾶς, ἀλλ᾽ τι ἐπαΐων, κ.τ.λ.”: Plat. Gorg. 448eοὐδεὶς ἐρωτᾷ ποία τις εἴη Γοργίου τέχνη, ἀλλὰ τίς, καὶ ὅντινα δέοι καλεῖν τὸν Γοργίαν”: Plat. Gorg. 500aἐκλέξασθαι ποῖα ἀγαθὰ καὶ ὁποῖα κακά”: Plat. Phileb. 17bἴσμενπόσα τέ ἐστι καὶ ὁποῖα.

[72] δρῶν ... φωνῶν: there is no definite contrast between doing and bidding others to do: rather “deed” and “word” represent the two chief forms of agency, the phrase being equivalent to “in what possible way.” Cp. Aesch. PB 659θεοπρόπους ἴαλλεν, ὡς μάθοι τί χρὴ δρῶντ᾽ λέγοντα δαίμοσιν πράσσειν φίλα.

ῥυσαίμην (L's reading) is right: ῥυσοίμην is grammatically possible, but less fitting. The direct deliberative form is τί δρῶν ῥύσωμαι; the indirect, πυνθάνομαι τι (or τίδρῶν ῥύσωμαι, ἐπυθόμην τι (or τίδρῶν ῥυσαίμην. This indirect deliberative occurs, not only with verbs of “doubting” ( Xen. Hell. 7.4.39ἠπόρει τι χρήσαιτο τῷ πράγματι),” but also with verbs of “asking”: Thuc. 1.25τὸν θεὸν ἐπήροντο, εἰ παραδοῖεν ... τὴν πόλιν” (oblique of παραδῶμεν τὴν πόλιν). Kennedy wrongly says that ῥυσαίμην here could be only the oblique of ἐρρυσάμην (as if, in Thuc. 1.25, παραδοῖεν could be only the oblique of παρέδοσαν; and that, for the sense, it would require ἄν. This would also be right, but in a different constr., viz., as oblique of τί δρῶν ῥυσαίμην ἄν; Cp. Soph. Trach. 991οὐ γὰρ ἔχω πῶς ἂν στέρξαιμι,” and Soph. Ant. 270 ff. n. In Soph. El. 33ὡς μάθοιμ᾽, ὅτῳ τρόπῳ πατρὶ δίκας ἀροίμην,” the opt. is that of ἠρόμην, being oblique for ἄρωμαι, rather than of ἀροῦμαι. ῥυσοίμην would be oblique of τί δρῶν ῥύσομαι; ῥυσοίμην (oblique for ῥύσομαι) would imply that he was confident of a successful result, and doubtful only concerning the means; it is therefore less suitable.

[73] καί μ᾽ ἦμαρ ... χρόνῳ Lit., “and already the day, compared with the lapse of time [since his departure], makes me anxious what he doth”: i.e. when I think what day this is, and how many days ago he started, I feel anxious. ἤδη, showing that to-day is meant, sufficiently defines ἦμαρ. χρόνῳ is not for τῷ χρόνῳ, the time since he left, —though this is implied, —but is abstract, —time in its course. The absence of the art. is against our taking χρόνῳ as “the time which I had allowed for his journey.” ξυμμετρούμενον: cp. Hdt. 4.158συμμετρησάμενοι τὴν ὥρην τῆς ἡμέρης, νυκτὸς παρῆγον,” “having calculated the time, they led them past the place by night”: lit., “having compared the season of the day (with the distance to be traversed).” Eur. Orest. 1214καὶ δὴ πέλας νιν δωμάτων εἶναι δοκῶ: τοῦ γὰρ χρόνου τὸ μῆκος αὐτὸ συντρέχει” “for the length of time (since her departure) just tallies (with the time required for the journey).”

[74] λυπεῖ τί πράσσει Soph. Aj. 794ὥστε μ᾽ ὠδίνειν τί φῄς.τοῦ γὰρ εἰκότος πέρα. τὸ εἰκός is a reasonable estimate of the time required for the journey. Thuc. 2.73ἡμέρας ... ἐν αἶς εἰκὸς ἦν κομισθῆναιαὐτούς),” the number of days which might reasonably be allowed for their journey (from Plataea to Athens and back). Porson conjectured τοῦ γὰρ εἰκότος περᾷ, as = “for he overstays the due limit”—thinking v. 75, ἄπεστι ... χρόυνου, to be a spurious interpolation. The same idea had occurred to Bentley. But (1) περᾶν with the genitive in this sense is strange (in 674 θυμοῦ περᾶν is different), and would not be readily understood as referring to time; (2) it is Sophoclean to explain and define τοῦ εἰκότος πέρα by πλείω τοῦ καθήκοντος χρόνου.

[78] εἰς καλὸν to fit purpose, “opportunely”: Plat. Sym. 174eεἰς καλὸν ἥκεις.Soph. Aj. 1168καὶ μὴν ἐς αὐτὸν καιρὸν ... πάρεισιν.” Cp. Aristoph. Ach. 686εἰς τάχος”=ταχέως, Aristoph. Birds 805εἰς εὐτέλειαν”=εὐτελῶς. οἵδε: some of those suppliants who are nearer to the stage entrance on the spectators' left—the conventional one for an arrival from the country— have made signs to the Priest. Creon enters, wearing a wreath of bay leaves bright with berries, in token of a favourable answer. See Appendix, Note 1, sect. 2.

[80] ἐν τύχῃ ... ὄμματι may his radiant look prove the herald of good news. ἐν τύχῃ, nearly = μετὰ τύχης, “invested with,” “attended by”: cp. 1112 ἔν τε γὰρ μακρῷ γήρᾳ ξυνᾴδει: Soph. Aj. 488σθένοντος ἐν πλούτῳ.τύχη σωτὴρAesch. Ag. 664), like χεὶρ πράκτωρAesch. Ag. 111), θέλκτωρ πειθώAesch. Supp. 1040), καρανιστῆρες δίκαιAesch. Eum. 186).

[81] λαμπρὸς with ἐν τύχῃ κ.τ.λ., —being applicable at once to brilliant fortune and (in the sense of φαιδρός) to a beaming countenance.

[82] εἰκάσαι μέν, ἡδύς (sc. βαίνει). Cp. Soph. El. 410ἐκ δείματός του νυκτέρου, δοκεῖν ἐμοί.Soph. OC 151δυσαίων μακραίων τ᾽, ἐπεικάσαι.ἡδύς, not “joyous,” but “pleasant to us,” “bringing good news”: as 510 ἡδύπολις, pleasant to the city: Soph. El. 929ἡδὺς αὐδὲ μητρὶ δυσχερής,” a guest welcome, not grievous, to her. In Soph. Trach. 869 where ἀηδὴς καὶ συνωφρυωμένη is said of one who approaches with bad news, ἀνηδής is not “unwelcome,” but rather “sullen,” “gloomy.”

[83] πολυστεφὴς ... δάφνης The use of the gen. after words denoting fulness is extended to the notions of encompassing or overshadowing: e.g. περιστεφῇ ... ἀνθέων θήκηνSoph. El. 895), στέγην ... ἦς [v. l. ᾗ] κατηρεφεῖς δόμοιEur. Hipp. 468). But the dat. would also stand: cp. Hom. Od. 9.183σπέος ... δάφνῃσι κατηρεφές”: Hes. WD 513λάχνῃ δέρμα κατάσκιον.παγκάρπου, covered with berries: cp.Soph. OC 676. Plin. NH 15.30 maximis baccis atque e viridi rubentibus (of the Delphic laurel). The wreath announces good news, Soph. Trach. 179: so in Eur. Hipp. 806 Theseus, returning from the oracle at Delphi to find Phaedra dead, cries τί δῆτα τοῖσδ᾽ ἀνέστεμμαι κάρα πλεκτοῖσι φύλλοις, δυστυχὴς θεωρὸς ὤν; So Fabius Pictor returned from Delphi to Rome coronatus laurea coronaLiv. 23.11).

[84] ξύμμετρος γὰρ ὡς κλύειν He is at a just distance for hearing: ξύμμετρος = commensurate (in respect of his distance) with the range of our voices (implied in κλύειν).

[85] κήδευμα “kinsman” (by marriage). = κηδεστής, here = γαμβρός (70). Soph. Ant. 756γυναικὸς ὢν δούλευμα μὴ κώτιλλέ με.Eur. Orest. 928τἄνδον οἰκουρήματα” = τὰς ἔνδον οἰκουρούσας.

[87] λέγω γὰρ ...
Creon, unwilling to speak plainly before the Chorus, hints to Oedipus that he brings a clue to the means by which the anger of heaven may be appeased.

[88] ἐξελθόντα, of the event, “having issued”; cp. 1011 μή μοι Φοῖβος ἐξέλθῃ σαφής; so 1182 ἐξήκοι. The word is chosen by Creon with veiled reference to the duty of banishing the defiling presence (98 ἐλαύνειν). πάντ᾽ predicative with εὐτυχεῖν, “will all of them (= altogether) be well.” λέγω ἂν εὐτυχεῖν = λέγω ὅτι εὐτυχοίη ἄν.

[89] τοὔπος the actual oracle(“τοὔπος τὸ θεοπρόπον,Soph. Trach. 822): λόγῳ (90), Creon's own saying(λέγω, 87).

[90] προδείσας, alarmed beforehand. Cp. Hdt. 7.50κρέσσον δὲ πάντα θαρσέοντα ἥμισυ τῶν δεινῶν πάσχειν μᾶλλον πᾶν χρῆμα προδειμαίνοντα μηδαμὰ μηδὲν παθεῖν.” No other part of προδείδω occurs: προταρβεῖν, προφοβεῖσθαι = “to fear beforehand,” but ὑπερ δέδοικά σου, I fear for thee, Soph. Ant. 82. In compos. with a verb of caring for, however, προό sometimes = ὑπέρ, e.g. “προκήδομαιSoph. Ant. 741.

[91] πλησιαζόντων here = πλησίον ὄντων: usu. the verb = either (i) to approach, or (2) to consort with (dat.), as below, 1136. εἰ ... εἴτε, as Aesch. Eum. 468σὺ δ᾽, εἰ δικαίως εἴτε μή, κρῖνον δίκην.

[92] εἴτε καὶ στείχειν ἔσωχρῄζεις), (ἕτοιμός εἰμι τοῦτο δρᾶν). So Eur. Ion 1120 (quoted by Elms., etc.) πεπυσμέναι γάρ, εἰ θανεῖν ἡμᾶς χρεών, ἥδιον ἂν θάνοιμεν, εἴθ᾽ ὁρᾶν φάος: i. e. εἴτε ὁρᾶν φάοςχρή), (ἥδιον ἂν ὁρῷμεν αὐτό).

[93] ἐς πάντας Hdt. 8.26οὔτε ἠνέσχετο σιγῶν εἶπέ τε ἐς πάντας τάδε”: Thuc. 1.72ἐς τὸ πλῆθος εἰπεῖν” (before the assembly). πλέον adverbial, as in Soph. Aj. 1101, etc.: schol. περὶ τούτων πλέον ἀγωνίζομαι περὶ τῆς ἐμαυτοῦ ψυχῆς.

τῶνδε object. gen. with τὸ πένθος (not with περί): cp. Soph. El. 1097τᾷ Ζηνὸς εὐσεβείᾳ.

[94] καὶ “than even.” This must not be confounded with the occasional use of καί in negative sentences containing a comparison: e.g. Soph. Aj. 1103οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ ὅπου σοὶ τόνδε κοσμῆσαι πλέον ἀρχῆς ἔκειτο θεσμὸς καὶ τῷδε σέ”: Soph. El. 1145οὔτε γάρ ποτε μητρὸς σύ γ᾽ ἦσθα μᾶλλον κἀμοῦ φίλος”: Antiph. 5.23ἐζητεῖτο οὐδέν τι μᾶλλον ὑπὸ τῶν ἄλλων καὶ ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ” (where καί is redundant, = “on my part”).

[95] λέγοιμ᾽ ἂν a deferential form, having regard to the permission just given. Cp. Soph. Phil. 674χωροῖς ἂν εἴσω”: Soph. El. 637κλύοις ἂν ἤδη.

[97] ὡς marks that the partic. τεθραμμένον expresses the view held by the subject of the leading verb (ἄνωγεν): i.e., “as having been harboured” = “which (he says) has been harboured.” Cp. Xen. Anab. 1.2.1ἔλεγε θαρρεῖν ὡς καταστησομένων τούτων εἰς τὸ δέον”: he said, “Take courage, in the assurance that” etc.

[98] ἐλαύνειν for ἐξελαύνειν was regular in this context: Thuc. 1.126τὸ ἄγος ἐλαύνειν τῆς θεοῦ”(i.e. to banish the Alcmaeonidae): and so 1. 127, 128, 135, 2. 13.

μηδ᾽ ἀνήκεστον τρέφειν The μίασμα is ἀνήκεστον in the sense that it cannot be healed by anything else than the death or banishment of the bloodguilty. But it can still be healed if that expiation is made. Thus ἀνήκεστον is a proleptic predicate: cp. Plat. Rep. 565cτοῦτον τρέφειν τε καὶ αὔξειν μέγαν”:Soph. OC 527 n. See Antiph. 4.3.7ἀντὶ τοῦ παθόντος”/GREEK> (in the cause of the dead) ἐπισκήπτομεν ὑμῖν τῷ τούτου φόνῳ τὸ μήνιμα τῶν ἀλιτηρίων ἀκεσαμένους πᾶσαν τὴν πόλιν καθαρὰν τοῦ μιάσματος καταστῆσαι, “to heal with this man's blood the deed which angers the avenging spirits, and so to purge the whole city of the defilement.”

[99] ποίῳ ... ξυμφορᾶς By what purifying rite (does he command us ἐλαύνειν τὸ μίασμα)? What is the manner of our misfortune (i.e. our defilement)? Eur. Phoen. 390τίς τρόπος αὐτοῦ; τί φυγάσιν τὸ δυσχερές;” “what is the manner thereof?) sc. τοῦ κακοῦ, exile). ξυμφορᾶς, euphemistic for guilt, as Plat. Laws 934bλωφῆσαι πολλὰ μέρη τῆς τοιαύτης ξυμφορᾶς,” to be healed in great measure of such a malady (viz., of evil-doing): Plat. Laws 854dἐν τῷ προσώπῳ καὶ ταῖς χερσὶ γραφεὶς τὴν ξυμφοράν,” “with his misfortune [the crime of sacrilege] branded on his face and hands.” Hdt. 1.35συμφορῇ ἐχόμενος”=ἐναγής, under a ban. Prof. Kennedy understands: “what is the mode of compliance (with the oracle)?” He compares Soph. OC 641τῇδε γὰρ ξυνοίσομαι” (“for with that choice I will comply”). But elsewhere, at least, συμφορά does not occur in a sense parallel with συμφέρεσθαι, “to agree with.”

[100] ἀνδρηλατοῦντας As if, instead of ποίῳ καθαρμῷ, the question had been τί ποιοῦντας;

[101] ὡς τόδ᾽ αἷμα χειμάζον πόλιν since it is this blood [τόδε, viz. that implied in φόνον] which brings the storm on Thebes. χειμάζον, acc. absol. ὡς presents the fact as the ground of belief on which the Thebans are commanded to act: “Do thus, assured that it is this blood,” etc. Cp. Soph. OC 380: Xen. Hell. 2.4.1οἱ δὲ τριάκοντα, ὡς ἐξὸν ἤδη αὐτοῖς τυραννεῖν ἀδεῶς, προεῖπον, κ.τ.λ.” Cp. Eur. Supp. 268πόλις δὲ πρὸς πόλιν ἔπτηξε χειμασθεῖσα,” “city with city seeks shelter, when vexed by storms.”

[104] ἀπευθύνειν to steer in a right course. The infin. is of the imperf., = πρότερον ἀπηύθυνες, before you were steering (began to steer). Oedipus took the State out of angry waters into smooth: cp. 696 ἐμὰν γᾶν φίλαν ἐν πόνοις ἀλύουσαν κατ᾽ ὀρθὸν οὔρισας: fr. 151 πλήκτροις ἀπευθύνουσιν οὐρίαν τρόπιν, “with the helm(πλῆκτρα, the blades of the πηδάλια they steer their bark before the breeze.”

[105] οὐ γὰρ εἰσεῖδόν γέ πω As Oed. knows that Laius is dead, the tone of unconcern given by this colloquial use of οὔπω (instead of οὔποτε is a skilful touch. Cp. Soph. El. 402ΧΡ. σὺ δ᾽ οὐχὶ πείσει ... ; ΕΛ. οὐ δῆτα: μήπω νοῦ τοσόνδ᾽ εἴην κενή”: Eur. Hec. 1278μήπω μανείη Τυνδαρὶς τοσόνδε παῖς”: Hom. Il. 12.270ἀλλ᾽ οὔπω πάντες ὁμοῖοι ἀνέρες ἐν πολέμῳ”: cp. our (ironical) “I have yet to learn.”

[107] τοὺς αὐτοέντας ... τινας τούς implies that the death had human authors; τινας, that they are unknown. So in Soph. OC 290ὅταν δ᾽ κύριος παρῇ τις,” “the master—whoever he be.” τιμωρεῖν, “punish.” The act., no less than the midd., is thus used even in prose: Lys. 13.42τιμωρεῖν ὑπὲρ αὑτοῦ ὡς φονέα ὄντα”, to punish (Agoratus), on his own account, as his murderer. χειρὶ τιμωρεῖν, here, either “to slay” or “to expel by force,” as distinguished from merely fining or disfranchising: in 140 τοιαύτῃ χειρὶ τιμωρεῖν is explained by κτανὼν in 139

[108] ποῦ τόδ᾽ ...
τόδε ἴχνος αἰτίας = ἴχνος τῆσδε αἰτίας, cp. “τοὐμὸν φρενῶν ὄνειρονSoph. El. 1390.

[109] αἰτίας,“crime”: Soph. Aj. 28τήνδ᾽ οὖν ἐκείνῳ πᾶς τις αἰτίαν νέμει.” For δυστέκμαρτον, hard to track, cp. Aesch. Eum. 244 (the Furies hunting Orestes) εἶεν: τόδ᾽ ἐστὶ τἀνδρὸς ἐκφανὲς τέκμαρ. The poet hints a reason for what might else have seemed strange—the previous inaction of Oedipus. Cp. 219

[110] ἔφασκε sc. θεὸςεὑρεθήσεσθαι τὸ ἴχνος). τὸ δὲ ζητούμενον: δὲ has a sententious force, = “now.” The γνώμη, though uttered in an oracular tone, is not part of the god's message. Cp. Eur. fr. 435 αὐτός τι νῦν δρῶν εἶτα δαίμονας κάλει: τῷ γὰρ πονοῦντι καὶ θεὸς συλλαμβάνει.

[113] συμπίπτει The vivid historic present suits the alertness of a mind roused to close inquiry: so below, 118, 716, 1025: Soph. Trach. 748: Soph. El. 679. —Cp. Soph. Aj. 429κακοῖς τοιοῖσδε συμπεπτωκότα.

[114] θεωρός Laius was going to Delphi in order to ask Apollo whether the child (Oedipus), formerly exposed by the god's command, had indeed perished: Eur. Phoen. 36τὸν ἐκτεθέντα παῖδα μαστεύων μαθεῖν εἰ μηκέτ᾽ εἴη.ὡς ἔφασκεν, as Laius told the Thebans at the time when he was leaving Thebes. ἐκδημῶν, not going abroad, but being [= having gone] abroad: cp. Plat. Laws 864eοἰκείτω τὸν ἐνιαυτὸν ἐκδημῶν.ὡς = ἐπεί: Xen. Cyrop. 1.3.2ὡς δὲ ἀφίκετο τάχιστα ... ἠσπάζετο.” Cic. Brut. 5 ut illos libros edidisti, nihil a te postea accepimus.

[116] οὐδ᾽ ἄγγελός ...
ἐχρήσατ᾽ ἄν;
The sentence begins as if ἄγγελός τις were to be followed by ἦλθε but the second alternative, συμπράκτωρ ὁδοῦ, suggests κατεῖδε [had seen, though he did not speak]: and this, by a kind of zeugma, stands as verb to ἄγγελος also. Cp. Hdt. 4.106ἐσθῆτα δὲ φορέουσι τῇ Σκυθικῇ ὁμοίην, γλῶσσαν δὲ ἰδίην.οὐδ᾽ ἀγγελός: Hom. Il. 12.73οὐκέτ᾽ ἔπειτ᾽ ὀΐω οὐδ᾽ ἄγγελον ἀπονέεσθαι.

[117] ὅτου, gen. masc.: from whom having gained knowledge one might have used it.ἐκμαθὼν = a protasis, εἰ ἐξέμαθεν, ἐχρήσατ᾽ ἄν, sc. τούτοις ἐξέμαθεν. Plat. Gorg. 465eἐὰν μὲν οὖν καὶ ἐγὼ σοῦ ἀποκρινομένου μὴ ἔχω τι χρήσωμαι,” if, when you answer, I also do not know what use to make [of your answer, sc. τούτοις ἂν ἀποκρίνῃ), —where shortly before we have οὐδὲ χρῆσθαι τῇ ἀποκρίσει ἤν σοι ἀπεκρινάμην οὐδὲν οἶός τ᾽ ἦσθα.

[118] θνῄσκουσι The ι subscript in the pres. stem of this verb is attested by Attic inscriptions )Meisterhans, Gram. p. 86(. The practice of the Laurentian MS. fluctuates. It gives the ι subscript here, in 623, 1457; Soph. OC 611; Soph. Ant. 547, 761; Soph. El. 1022. It omits the ι subscript in Soph. El. 63, 113, 540, 1486; Soph. Trach. 707, 708; Soph. Phil. 1085. Cp. Etym. M. 482, 29, θνῄσκω, μιμνῃσκω. Δίδυμος [circ. 30 B.C.] χωρὶς τοῦ ι_ ... μέντοι παράδοσις ἔχει τὸ ι. — φόβῳ φυγὼν, “having fled in fear”: φόβῳ, modal dative; cp. Thuc. 4.88διά τε τὸ ἐπαγωγὰ εἰπεῖν τὸν Βρασίδαν καὶ περὶ τοῦ καρποῦ φόβῳ ἔγνωσαν”: Thuc. 5.70ἐντόνως καὶ ὀργῇ χωροῦντες.

[119] εἰδὼς with sure knowledge )and not merely from confused recollection, ἀσαφὴς δόξα: so 1151 λέγει γὰρ εἰδὼς οὐδὲν ἀλλ᾽ ἄλλως πονεῖ: Soph. El. 41ὅπως ἂν εἰδὼς ἡμὶν ἀγγείλῃς σαφῆ.” Iocasta says )849(, in reference to this same point in the man's testimony, κοὐκ ἔστιν αὐτῷ τοῦτό γ᾽ ἐκβαλεῖν πάλιν.

[120] τὸ ποῖον; Cp. 291: Soph. El. 670πρᾶγμα πορσύνων μέγα. ΚΛ. τὸ ποῖον, ξέν᾽; εἰπέ.Aristoph. Peace 696εὐδαιμονεῖ. πάσχει δὲ θαυμαστόν.” “EPM. τὸ τί; ἐξεύροι μαθεῖν. One thing would find out how to learn many things, i.e. would prove a clue to them. The infin. μαθεῖν as after a verb of teaching or devising: Hdt. 1.196ἄλλο δέ τι ἐξευρήκασι νεωστὶ γενέσθαι.Plat. Rep. 519eἐν ὅλῃ τῇ πόλει τοῦτο μηχανᾶται ἐγγενέσθαι.

[122] ἔφασκε sc. φυγών )118(. οὐ μιᾷ ῥώμῃ = οὐχ ἑνὸς ῥώμῃ, in the strength not of one man. Cp. Hdt. 1.174πολλῇ χειρὶ ἐργαζομένων τῶν Κνιδίων.Soph. Ant. 14διπλῇ χερί” = by the hands of twain. So perh. “χερὶ διδύμᾳPind. P. 2.9.

[123] σὺν πλήθει cp. on 55.

[124] εἴ τι μὴ if some intrigue, aided by (ξὺν) money, had not been working from Thebes. ti is subject to ἐπράσσετο: distinguish the adverbial τι (= “perchance”) which is often joined to εἰ μή in diffident expressions, as 969 εἴ τι μὴ τὠμῷ πόθῳ κατέφθιτ᾽, ‘unless perchance’: so Soph. OC 1450, Soph. Trach. 586 etc. Schneid. cp. Thuc. 1.121καί τι αὐτῷ καὶ ἐπράσσετο ἐς τὰς πόλεις ταύτας προδοσίας πέρι”: and Thuc. 5.83ὑπῆρχε δέ τι αὐτοῖς καὶ ἐκ τοῦ Ἄργους αὐτόθεν πρασσόμενον.

ἐπράσσετο ... ἔβη the imperf. refers here to a continued act in past time, the aor. to an act done at a definite past moment. Cp. 402 ἐδόκειςἔγνως: 432 ἱκόμηνἐκάλεις.

[126] δοκοῦντα ... ἦν expresses the vivid presence of the δόξα more strongly than ταῦτα ἐδόκει would have done )cp. 274 τάδ᾽ ἔστ᾽ ἀρέσκονθ᾽: Hdt. 1.146ταῦτα δὲ ἦν γινόμενα ἐν Μιλήτῳ.

[128] ἐμποδών sc. ὄν, with κακὸν, not with εἶργε, “what trouble (being) in your path?” Cp. 445 παρὼν ... ἐμποδὼν ὀχλεῖς. τυραννίδος. Soph. conceives the Theban throne as having been vacant from the death of Laius—who left no heir—till the election of Oed. The abstract τυραννίδος suits the train of thought on which Oed. has already entered, —viz. that the crime was the work of a Theban faction )124( who wished to destroy, not the king merely, but the kingship. Cp. Aesch. Lib. 973ἵδεσθε χώρας τὴν διπλῆν τυραννίδα” )Clytaemnestra and Aegisthus(.

[130] ποικιλῳδὸς singing ποικίλα, subtleties, αἰνίγματα: cp. Plat. Sym. 182a περὶ τὸν ἔρωτα νόμος ἐν μὲν ταῖς ἄλλαις πόλεσι νοῆσαι ῥᾴδιος: ἁπλῶς γὰρ ὤρισται: δὲ ἐνθάδε καὶ ἐν Λακεδαίμονι ποικίλος.Hdt. 7.3πρόμαντις δὲ χρέουσα, κατάπερ ἐν Δελφοῖσι, καὶ οὐδὲν ποικιλώτερον,” “the chief prophetess is she who gives the oracles, as at Delphi, and in no wise of darker speech.”

[131] προσήγετοThe constr. is προσήγετο ἡμᾶς, μεθέντας τὰ ἀφανῆ, σκοπεῖν τὸ πρὸς ποσί. προσήγετο, was drawing us )by her dread song(, said with a certain irony, since προσάγεσθαι with infin. usually implies a gentle constraint )though, as a milit. term, ἀνάγκῃ προσηγάγοντο, reduced by force, Hdt. 6.25(: cp. Eur. Ion 659χρόνῳ δὲ καιρὸν λαμβάνων προσάξομαι δάμαρτ᾽ ἐᾶν σε σκῆπτρα τἄμ᾽ ἔχειν χθονός.τὸ πρὸς ποσὶ )cp. ἐμποδὼν 128(, the instant, pressing trouble, opp. to τὰ ἀφανῆ, obscure questions )as to the death of Laius( of no present or practical interest. Pind. I. 7.12δεῖμα μὲν παροιχόμενον καρτερὰν ἔπαυσε μέριμναν: τὸ δὲ πρὸς ποδὸς ἄρειον ἀεὶ σκοπεῖν χρῆμα πᾶν.Soph. Ant. 1327τἂν ποσὶν κακά.

[132] ἐξ ὑπαρχῆς i.e. taking up anew the search into the death of Laius. Aristot. Soul 2.1πάλιν δ᾽ ὥσπερ ἐξ ὑπαρχῆς ἐπανίωμεν”: so “πάλιν οὖν οἷον ἐξ ὑπαρχῆςAristot. Rh. 1.1.14: Dem. 40.16πάλιν ἐξ ὑπαρχῆς λαγχάνουσί μοι δίκας.” The phrase ἐν τῇ τῆς ἐπιστήμης ὑπαρχῇ occurs in the paraphrase by Themistius of Arist. περὶ φυσικῆς ἀκροάσεως 8. 3 )Berlin ed. vol. 1. 247 b 29(: elsewhere the word occurs only in ἐξ ὑπαρχῆς. Cp. Soph. El. 725ὑποστροφῆς” = ὑποστραφέντες: Hdt. 5.116ἐκ νέης”: Thuc. 3.92ἐκ καινῆς.αὖθις, as he had done in the case of the Sphinx's riddle: αὔτ᾽ = τὰ ἀφνῆ.

[133] ἐπαξίως )which would usually have a genitive( implies the standard—worthily of his own godhead, or of the occasion— and is slightly stronger than ἀξίως. Cp. Eur. Hec. 168ἀπωλέσατ᾽, ὠλέσατ᾽”: Eur. Orest. 181διοιχόμεθ᾽, οἰχόμεθ”: Eur. Alc. 400ὑπάκουσον, ἄκουσον.

[134] πρὸ on behalf of, cp. πρὸ τῶνδε 10, Soph. OC 811: Xen. Cyrop. 8.8.4εἴ τις ... διακινδυνεύσειε πρὸ βασιλέως”: 1. 6. 42 ἀξιώσουσι σὲ πρὸ ἑαυτῶν βουλεύεσθαι. Campb. reads πρὸς τοῦ θανόντος, which here could mean only “at the instance of the dead.” πρός never = “on behalf of,” “for the sake of,” but sometimes “on the side of”: e.g. Hdt. 1.124ἀποστάντες ἀπ᾽ ἐκείνου καὶ γενόμενοι πρὸς σέο,” “ranged themselves on your side”: Hdt. 1.75ἐλπίσας πρὸς ἑωυτοῦ τὸν χρησμὸν εἶναι,” that the oracle was on his side: below, 1434, πρὸς σοῦ ... φράσω, I will speak on your side, —in your interest: Soph. Trach. 479καὶ τὸ πρὸς κείνου λέγειν,” to state his side of the case also.

ἐπιστροφήν a turning round (Soph. OC 1045), hence, attention, regard: ἐπιστροφὴν τίθεσθαι )like “σπουδήν, πρόνοιαν τίθ.,Soph. Aj. 13, 536( = “ἐπιστρέφεσθαίτινος(,Soph. Phil. 599. Dem. 23.136οὐκ ἐπεστράφη” “heeded not” = “οὐδὲν ἐφρόντισεDem. 23.135.

[137] ὑπὲρ γὰρ οὐχὶ i.e. not merely in the cause of Laius, whose widow he has married. The arrangement of the words is designed to help a second meaning of which the speaker is unconscious: “in the cause of a friend who is not far off” )his own father(. The reference to Laius is confirmed by κείνῳ προσαρκῶν in 141.

[138] αὑτοῦ = ἐμαυτοῦ. The reflexive αὑτοῦ, etc., is a pron. of the 1st pers. in Soph. OC 966, Soph. El. 285, Soph. Aj. 1132: of the n)d pers., in Soph. OC 853, 930, 1356, Soph. Trach. 451. ἀποσκεδῶ, dispel, as a taint in the air: cp. Hom. Od. 8.149σκέδασον δ᾽ ἄπο κήδεα θυμοῦ”: Plat. Phaedo 77dμὴ ... ἄνεμος αὐτὴντὴν ψυχὴνἐκβαίνουσαν ἐκ τοῦ σώματος διαφυσᾷ καὶ διασκεδάννυσιν.

[139] ἐκεῖνον κτανών ἐκεῖνον has emphasis: cp. 820.

[140] τοιαύτη referring to κτανὼν, implies φονίᾳ: on τιμωρεῖν see 107. The spectator thinks of the time when Oed. shall be blinded by his own hand. —For the double ἂν cp. 339, 862, 1438.

[142] παῖδες The king here, as the priest in 147, addresses all the suppliants. ἄλλος )144( is one of the king's attendants.

Cp. Soph. Ant. 417χθονὸς ... ἀείρας”: Soph. Phil. 630νεὼς ἄγοντα.” Prose would require a compound verb: Xen. Sym. 4.31ὑπανίστανται ... θάκων.

[143] ἄραντες. Aesch. Supp. 481κλάδους γε τούτους αἶψ᾽ ἐν ἀγκάλαις λαβὼν βωμοὺς ἐπ᾽ ἄλλους δαιμόνων ἐγχωρίων θές.

[145] πᾶν ... δράσοντος to do everything = to leave nothing untried: for ὡς cp. 97. Plat. Apol. 39aἐάν τις τολμᾷ πᾶν ποιεῖν καὶ λέγειν.Xen. Hell. 7.4.21πάντα ἐποίει ὅπως, εἰ δύναιτο, ἀπαγάγοι.εὐτυχεῖς ...
: “fortunate,” if they succeed in their search for the murderer, who, as they now know, is in their land )110(: “ruined,” if they fail, since they will then rest under the ἀνήκεστον μίασμα )98(. The unconscious speaker, in his last word, strikes the key-note of the destined περιπέτεια.

[147] παῖδες see on 142. καὶ δεῦρ᾽ ἔβημεν, we e'en came here: i.e. this was the motive of our coming in the first instance. Soph. Phil. 380ἐπειδὴ καὶ λέγεις θρασυστομῶν”: Lys. 12.29παρὰ τοῦ ποτε καὶ λήψεσθε δίκην;

[148] ἐξαγγέλλεται, proclaims on his own part )midd.(, of himself: i.e. promises unasked, ultro pollicetur. Cp. Soph. Aj. 1376ἀγγέλλομαι ... εἶναι φίλος,” “I offer friendship.” Eur. has thus used ἐξαγγ. even where metre permitted the more usual ἐπαγγέλλομαι: Eur. Heraclid. 531κἀξαγγέλλομαι θνῄσκειν,” I offer to die.

[149] ἅμα i.e. may the god, who has summoned us to put away our pollution, at the same time come among us as a healing presence.

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