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ἐπεισόδιον τρίτον. A messenger from Corinth, bringing the news that Polybus is dead, discloses that Oedipus was not that king's son, but a Theban foundling, whom the messenger had received from a servant of Laius. Iocasta, failing to arrest the inquiries of Oedipus, rushes from the scene with a cry.

[911-923] Iocasta comes forth, bearing a branch ἱκετηρία), wreathed with festoons of wool στέφη), which, as a suppliant, she is about to lay on the altar of the household god, Apollo Λύκειος, in front of the palace. The state of Oedipus frightens her. His mind has been growing more and more excited. It is not that she herself has much fear for the future. What alarms her is to see “the pilot of the ship” (923) thus unnerved. Though she can believe no longer in human μαντική, she has never ceased to revere the gods (708); and to them she turns for help in her need.

[912] ναοὺς δαιμόνων can only mean the public temples of Thebes, as the two temples of Pallas and the Ἰσμήνιον (20). The thought had come to Iocasta that she should supplicate the gods; and in effect she does so by hastening to the altar which she can most quickly reach (919).

[913] στέφη see on 3.

ἐπιθυμιάματα offerings of incense: cp. 4. In Soph. El. 634, where Clytaemnestra comes forth to the altar of Apollo προστατήριος, an attendant carries θύματα πάγκαρπα, offerings of fruits of the earth.λαβούσῃ. λαβοῦσαν would have excluded a possible ambiguity, by showing that the δόξα had come before and not after the wreaths were taken up: and for this reason the accus. often stands in such a sentence: Xen. Anab. 3.2.1ἔδοξεν αὐτοῖς προφυλακὰς καταστήσαντας συγκαλεῖν τοὺς στρατιώτας.

[916] τὰ καινὰ the prophecies of Teiresias, τοῖς πάλαι, by the miscarriage of the oracle from Delphi: 710 f.

[917] τοῦ λέγοντος Plat. Gorg. 508dεἰμὶ δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ βουλομένῳ, ὥσπερ οἱ ἄτιμοι τοῦ ἐθέλοντος, ἄντε τύπτειν βούληται, κ.τ.λ.” —as outlaws are at the mercy of the first comer: Soph. OC 752τοὐπιόντος ἁρπάσαι”.ἢν φόβους λέγῃ has better MS. authority than εἰ λέγοι, and is also simpler: the latter would be an opt. like Soph. Aj. 520ἀνδρί τοι χρεὼν”= χρὴ μνήμην προσεῖναι, τερπνὸν εἴ τί που πάθοι: cp. Soph. Aj. 1344: Soph. Ant. 666. But the statement of abstract possibility is unsuitable here. εἰ ... λέγῃ has still less to commend it.

[918] ὅτε seeing that, = ἐπειδή: Soph. Ant. 170: Soph. El. 38: Dem. 1.1ὅτε τοίνυν οὕτως ἔχει”: so “ὁπότεThuc. 2.60.

[919] Λύκει᾽ Ἄπολλον see on Λύκειε 203.

[920] κατεύγμασιν the prayers symbolised by the ἱκετηρία and offerings of incense. The word could not mean “votive offerings.” Wunder's conject. κατάργμασιν, though ingenious, is neither needful nor really apposite. That word is used of (a) offerings of first-fruits, presented along with the εἰρεσιώνη or harvestwreath, Plut. Thes. 22: (b) the οὐλοχύται or barley sprinkled on the altar and victim at the beginning of a sacrifice: Eur. IT 244χέρνιβάς τε καὶ κατάργματα.

[921] λύσιν ... εὐαγῆ a solution without defilement: i.e. some end to our anxieties, other than such an end as would be put to them by the fulfilment of the oracles dooming Oedipus to incur a fearful ἄγος. For εὐαγὴς λύσις as = one which will leave us εὐαγεῖς, cp. Pind. O. 1.26καθαροῦ λέβητος,” the vessel of cleansing.

[923] ὡς κυβερνήτην νεώς not ὡςὄντακυβερν. ν., because he is our pilot, but ὡςὀκνοῖμεν ἂνβλέποντες κυβερν. ν. ἐκπεπληγμένον: Aesch. Seven 2ὅστις φυλάσσει πρᾶγος ἐν πρύμνῃ πόλεως οἴακα νωμῶν, βλέφαρα μὴ κοιμῶν ὕπνῳ.

[924] When the messenger arrives, Iocasta's prayer seems to have been immediately answered by a λύσις εὐαγής (921), as regards part at least of the threatened doom, though at the cost of the oracle's credit.

[926] μάλιστα denotes what stands first among one's wishes: cp. 1466: Soph. Trach. 799μάλιστα μέν με θὲς ἐνταῦθ᾽ ὅπου με μή τις ὄψεται βροτῶν: εἰδ᾽ οἶκτον ἴσχεις, κ.τ.λ.”: Soph. Phil. 617οἴοιτο μὲν μάλισθ᾽ ἑκούσιον λαβών, εἰ μὴ θέλοι δ᾽, ἄκοντα”: Soph. Ant. 327ἀλλ᾽ εὑρεθείη μὲν μάλιστ᾽: ἐὰν δέ τοι ληφθῇ τε καὶ μὴ κ.τ.λ.

[928] γυνὴ δέ Here, and in 930, 950, the language is so chosen as to emphasise the conjugal relation of Iocasta with Oedipus.

[930] παντελής because the wife's estate is crowned and perfected by the birth of children (928). The choice of the word has been influenced by the associations of τέλος, τέλειος with marriage. Aesch. Eum. 835θύη πρὸ παίδων καὶ γαμηλίου τέλους” (the marriage rite): Aesch. Eum. 214Ἥρας τελείας καὶ Διὸς πιστώματα”: schol. on Aristoph. Thes. 973ἐτιμῶντο ἐν τοῖς γάμοις ὡς πρυτάνεις ὄντες τῶν γάμων: τέλος δὲ γάμος”: Pind. N. 10.18τελεία μήτηρ” = Ἥρα, who (Aristoph. Thes. 976κλῇδας γάμου φυλάττει. In Aesch. Ag. 972ἀνὴρ τέλειος” = οἰκοδεσπότης: as δόμος ἡμιτελὴςHom. Il. 2.700) refers to a house left without its lord: cp. Luc. Dial. Mort. 19ἡμιτελῆ μὲν τὸν δόμον καταλιπών, χήραν δὲ τὴν νεόγαμον γυναῖκα.

[931] αὔτωςSoph. Trach. 1040ὧδ᾽ αὔτως ὥς μ᾽ ὤλεσε”) can be nothing but adverb from αὐτός (with Aeolic accent), = ”in that very way “: hence, according to the context, (a) simply “likewise,” or (b) in a depreciatory sense, “only thus,” —i.e. “inefficiently,” “vainly.” The custom of the grammarians, to write αὕτως except when the sense is “vainly,” seems to have come from associating the word with οὗτος, or possibly even with αὑτός. For Soph., as for Aesch. and Eur., our MSS. on the whole favour αὕτως: but their authority cannot be presumed to represent a tradition older than, or independent of, the grammarians. It is, indeed, possible that αὕτως was an instance of old aspiration on false analogy, —as the Attic ἡμεῖς (Aeolic ἄμμες for ἀσμές was wrongly aspirated on the analogy of ὑμεῖς (see Peile, Greek and Latin Etymology p. 302, who agrees on this with Curtius). In the absence of evidence, however, that αὔτως was a like instance, it appears most reasonable to write αὔτως.

[932] εὐεπείας gracious words, = εὐφημίας, in this sense only here: elsewhere = elegance of diction: Isocrates τὴν εὐέπειαν ἐκ παντὸς διώκει καὶ τοῦ γλαφυρῶς λέγειν στοχάζεται μᾶλλον τοῦ ἀφελῶςDion. Hal. Isoc. 538).

[935] παρὰ τίνος The change of παρά into πρός by an early hand in L is remarkable. I formerly received πρός, supporting the phrase by Hom. Od. 8.28ξεῖνος ὅδ᾽, οὐκ οἶδ᾽ ὅστις, ἀλώμενος ἵκετ᾽ ἐμὸν δῶ ἠὲ πρὸς ἠοίων ἐσπερίων ἀνθρώπων.” There, however, πρός is more natural, as virtually denoting the geographical regions (cp. Hom. Od. 21.347πρὸς Ἤλιδος,” ”on the side of Elis “). And πρὸς θεῶν ὡρμημένοςSoph. El. 70) would be parallel only if here we had ἐσταλμένος. Questioning, then, whether ἀφικνεῖσθαι πρός τινος is defensible, I now read παρά, with most edd.

[936] τὸ δ᾽ ἔπος “at the word,” accus. of the object which the feeling concerns: Eur. El. 831τί χρῆμ᾽ ἀθυμεῖς;

[937] ἀσχάλλοις from root σεχ, prop. “not to hold oneself,” “to be impatient,” the opposite of the notion expressed by σχο-λήCurt. Etym. 170): the word occurs in Her., Xen., Dem.; and in Hom. Od. 2.193 replaces the epic ἀσχαλάαν. Cp. Aesch. Ag. 1049πείθοι᾽ ἄν, εἰ πείθοι᾽, ἀπειθοίης δ᾽ ἴσως.

[941] ἐγκρατὴς = ἐν κράτει: cp. ἔναρχος = ἐν ἀρχῇ, in office, Appian Civ. War 1.14.

[943] A defective verse, πῶς εἶπας; τέθνηκε πόλυβος; has been patched up in our best MSS. by a clumsy expansion of the next verse (see crit. note). The γέρων supplied by Triclinius (whence some late MSS. have γέρον)was plainly a mere guess. Nauck's conj. τέθνηκεν Οἰδίπου πατήρ; is recommended (1) by the high probability of a gloss Πόλυβος on those words: (2) by the greater force which this form gives to the repetition of the question asked in 941: (3) by the dramatic effect for the spectators.

[946] θεῶν μαντεύματα Iocasta's scorn is pointed, not at the gods themselves, but at the μάντεις who profess to speak in their name. The gods are wise, but they grant no πρόνοια to men (978). Cp. 712.

[947] ἵν᾽ ἐστέ: ἵνα = ὅτι ἐνταῦθα, ”to think that ye have come to this! “: cp. 1311.

τοῦτον τὸν ἄνδρα ... τρέμων ἔφευγε he feared and avoided this man, μὴ κτάνοι αὐτόν).

[949] πρὸς τῆς τύχης i.e. in the course of nature, and not by the special death which the oracle had foretold. Cp. 977.

[951] ἐξεπέμψω the midd. as in ἐκκαλεῖσθαι (see on 597), μεταπέμπεσθαι, etc., the act. being properly used of the summoner or escort: see on στελοῦντα (860).

[954] τί μοι λέγει; ”what does he tell (of interest) for me? “ (not ”what does he say to me? “: nor ”what, pray, does he say? “).

[956] ὡς see on 848.

[957] σημάντωρ is, I think, unquestionably right. A is among the MSS. which have it, and in several it is explained by the gloss μηνυτής. That the word was not unfamiliar to poetical language in the sense (“indicator,” “informant”) which it has here, may be inferred from Anthol. 6.62 (Jacobs 1.205) κυκλοτερῆ μόλιβον, σελίδων σημάντορα πλευρῆς, the pencil which makes notes in the margin of pages: Nonnus 37.551 σημάντορι φωνῇ. On the other hand, σημήνας γενοῦ could mean nothing but “place yourself in the position of having told me,” and could only be explained as a way of saying, “tell me at once.” But such a use of γενέσθαι with aor. partic. would be unexampled. The only proper use of it is made clear by such passages as these: Soph. Aj. 588μὴ προδοὺς ἡμᾶς γένῃ,” do not make yourself guilty of having betrayed us: Soph. Phil. 772μὴ σαυτόν θ᾽ ἅμα κἀμὲ ... κτείνας γένῃ,” do not make yourself guilty of having slain both yourself and me.

[959] εὖ ἴσθ᾽ Dion. Hal. 1.41 thus quotes a verse from the Προμηθεὺς Λυόμενος of Aesch. (Nauck fr. 193. 2) ἔνθ᾽ οὐ μάχης εὖ οἶδα καὶ θοῦρός περ ὤν, where Strabo p. 183 gives σάφ᾽ οἶδα: and so Pors. here would write σάφ᾽ ἴσθι. But the immediately preceding σαφῶς is decisive against this. Soph. had epic precedent, Hom. Il. 1.385εὖ εἰδὼς ἀγόρευε,” etc. Cp. 1071, ἰοὺ ἰού.

θανάσιμον βεβηκότα Soph. Aj. 516μοῖρα ... καθεῖλεν Ἅιδου θανασίμους οἰκήτορας”: Soph. Phil. 424θανὼν ... φροῦδος.

[960] ξυναλλαγῇ: see on 34.

[961] σμικρὰ ῥοπή leve momentum: the life is conceived as resting in one scale of a nicely poised balance: diminish the weight in the other scale ever so little, and the inclination ῥοπή), though due to a slight cause σμικρά), brings the life to the ground (εὐνάζει). Plat. Rep. 556eὥσπερ σῶμα νοσῶδες μικρᾶς ῥοπῆς ἔξωθεν δεῖται προσλαβέσθαι πρὸς τὸ κάμνειν, ... οὕτω δὴ καὶ κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἐκείνῳ διακειμένη πόλις ἀπὸ σμικρᾶς προφάσεως ... νοσεῖ.

[963] Yes, he died of infirmities νόσοις ἔφθιτο), and of the long yearsτῷ μακρῷ χρόνῳ, causal dat.), in accordance with their term (συμμετρούμενος, sc. αὐτοῖς, lit. ”commensurably with them “): the part. being nearly equiv. to συμμέτρως, and expressing that, if his years are reckoned, his death cannot appear premature. Cp. 1113, and Soph. Ant. 387ποίᾳ ξύμμετρος προὔβην τύχῃ;” “seasonably for what hap?”

[964] σκοποῖτο midd. as Soph. Trach. 296.

τὴν Π. ἑστίαν = τὴν Πυθοῖ μαντικὴν ἑστίαν, as Apollo himself is Πυθόμαντις, i.e. “ Πυθοῖ μάντις,Aesch. Lib. 1030: cp. Πυθόκραντος, Πυθόχρηστος, Πυθόνικος. ἑστίαν, as Soph. OC 413Δελφικῆς ἀφ᾽ ἑστίας”: Eur. Ion 461Φοιβήιος ... γᾶς μεσόμφαλος ἑστία.

[966] κλάζοντας the word used by Teiresias of the birds when their voice φθόγγος had ceased to be clear to him, Soph. Ant. 1001κακῷ κλάζοντας οἴστρῳ καὶ βεβαρβαρωμένῳ”.

ὧν ὑφηγητῶν sc. ὄντων, quibus indicibus: 1260 ὡς ὑφηγητοῦ τινος: Soph. OC 1588ὑφηγητῆρος οὐδενὸς φίλων.” In these instances the absence of the part. is softened by the noun which suggests the verb; but not so in Soph. OC 83ὡς ἐμοῦ μόνης πέλας.

[967] κτενεῖν κτανεῖν, which the MSS. give, cannot be pronounced positively wrong; but it can hardly be doubted that Soph. here wrote κτενεῖν. If κτανεῖν is right, it is the only aor. infin. after μέλλω in Soph., who has the fut. infin. 9 times (Soph. El. 359, 379, 538: Soph. Aj. 925, 1027, 1287: Soph. Ant. 458: Soph. Phil. 483, 1084): and the pres. infin. 9 times (Soph. El. 305, 1486: Soph. Aj. 443: Soph. OT 678, 1385: Soph. OC 1773: Soph. Trach. 79, 756: Soph. Phil. 409). Aeschylus certainly has the aor. in Aesch. PB 625μήτοι με κρύψῃς τοῦθ᾽ ὅπερ μέλλω παθεῖν.” Excluding the Laconic ἰδῆν in Aristoph. Lys. 117, there are but two instances in Comedy, Aristoph. Birds 366τί μέλλετ᾽ἀπολέσαι,” and Aristoph. Ach. 1159μέλλοντος λαβεῖν.” Cp. W. G. Rutherford, New Phrynichus pp. 420-425, and Goodwin, Greek Moods and Tenses sect. 23.2. The concurrence of tribrachs in the 4th and 5th places gives a semi-lyric character which suits the speaker's agitation.

[968] κεύθει is hidden. Soph. Aj. 635Ἅιδᾳ κεύθων.” In Soph. Trach. 989σιγῇ κεύθειν” may be regarded as transitive with a suppressed acc., ”to shroud (thy thought) in silence. “ Elsewhere κεύθω is always trans., and only the perf. κέκευθα intransitive.

δὴ here nearly = ἤδη: cp. Soph. Ant. 170ὅτ᾽ οὖν ὤλοντο ... ἐγὼ κράτη δὴ ... ἔχω.

[969] ἄψαυστος = οὐ ψαύσας: cp. ἀφόβητος 885 (n.): Hdt. 8.124ἄκριτος,” without deciding: id. 9. 98 ἄπιστος, mistrustful; Soph. OC 1031πιστός,” trusting (n.): Soph. Phil. 687ἀμφίπληκτα ῥόθια,” billows beating around: Soph. Trach. 446μεμπτός,” blaming: Eur. Hec. 1117ὕποπτος,” suspecting. Cp. note on ἀτλητῶν 515.

εἴ τι μὴ an abrupt afterthought: -unless perchance: see on 124.τὠμῷ πόθῳ: cp. 797: Hom. Od. 11.202σὸς ... πόθος,” longing for thee.

[970] εἴη ξ cp. 1075: Soph. Phil. 467πλεῖν μὴ ξ ἀπόπτου. ἐξ,” as dist. from ὑπό, is strictly in place here, as denoting the ultimate, not the proximate, agency.

[971] τὰ δ᾽ οὖν παρόντα but the oracles as they stand, at any rate (δ᾽ οὖν,669, 834), Polybus has carried off with him, proving them worthless (ἄξι᾽ οὐδενός, tertiary predicate), and is hidden with Hades.

τὰ παρόντα with emphasis: even supposing that they have been fulfilled in some indirect and figurative sense, they certainly have not been fulfilled to the letter. The oracle spoke of bloodshed φονεύς, 794), and is not satisfied by κατέφθιτο ἐξ ἐμοῦ in the sense just explained.

συλλαβὼν is a contemptuous phrase from the language of common life: its use is seen in Aristoph. Pl. 1079νῦν δ᾽ ἄπιθι χαίρων συλλαβὼν τὴν μείρακα,” now be off—with our blessing and the girl: Aristoph. Birds 1469ἀπίωμεν ἡμεῖς συλλαβόντες τὰ πτερά,” let us pack up our feathers and be off: Soph. has it twice in utterances of angry scorn, Soph. OC 1383σὺ δ᾽ ἔρρ᾽ ἀπόπτυστός τε κἀπάτωρ ἐμοῦ κακῶν κάκιστε, τάσδε συλλαβὼν ἀράς,” begone ... and take these curses with thee: Soph. Phil. 577ἔκπλει σεαυτὸν συλλαβὼν ἐκ τῆσδε γῆς,” ”hence in thy ship—pack from this land! “

[974] ηὔδας instead of προὔλεγες: see on 54.

[975] νυν enforcing the argument introduced by οὔκουν (973), is clearly better than the weak νῦν.ἐς θυμὸν βάλῃς: Hdt. 7.51ἐς θυμὸν βαλεῦ καὶ τὸ παλαιὸν ἔπος”: Hdt. 8.68καὶ τόδε ἐς θυμὸν βαλεῦ, ὡς κ.τ.λ.”: Hdt. 1.84ἰδὼν ... τῶν τινα Λυδῶν καταβάντα ... ἐφράσθη καὶ ἐς θυμὸν ἑβάλετο.” The active in the Βίος Ὁμήρου sect. 30 ἐς θυμὸν ἔβαλε τὸ ῥηθέν. In Soph. El. 1347οὐδέ γ᾽ ἐς θυμὸν φέρω” is not really similar.

[977] , “for whom,” in relation to whom: not, “in whose opinion.”

τὰ τῆς τύχης is here somewhat more than a mere periphrasis for τύχη, since the plur. suggests successive incidents. τύχη does not here involve denial of a divine order in the government of the world, but only of man's power to comprehend or foresee its course. Cp. Thuc. 5.104πιστεύομεν τῇ μὲν τύχῃ ἐκ τοῦ θείου μὴ ἐλασσώσεσθαι.Lys. 24.22οὖ μόνου μεταλαβεῖν τύχη μοι ἕδωκεν ἐν τῇ πατρίδι,” the only privilege which Fortune (i.e. my destiny) has permitted me to enjoy in my country.

[978] πρόνοια Bentley on Phalaris (xvii, Dyce ii. 115) quotes Favorinus in Diog. Laert. Plat. 24 as saying that Plato πρῶτος ἐν φιλοσοφίᾳ ... ὠνόμασε ... θεοῦ πρόνοιαν. Bentley takes this to mean that Plato was the first to use πρόνοια of divine providence (not merely of human forethought), and cites it in proof that Phalaris Ep. 3 (= 40 Lennep) ἕως ἂν διοικοῦσα πρόνοια τὴν αὐτὴν ἁρμονίαν τοῦ-κόσμου φυλάττῃ is later than Plato. Lennep, in his edition of Phalaris (p. 158), puts the case more exactly. The Stoics, not Plato, first used πρόνοια, without further qualification, of a divine providence. When Plato says τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ ... πρόνοιανPlat. Tim. 30c), προνοίας θεῶνPlat. Tim. 44c), the phrase is no more than Herodotus had used before him, Hdt. 3.108τοῦ θείου προνοίη.” The meaning of Favorinus was that Plato first established in philosophy the conception of a divine providence, though popular language had known such a phrase before. Note that in Soph. OC 1180πρόνοια τοῦ θεοῦ” = ”reverence for the god “: in Eur. Phoen. 637 a man acts θείᾳ προνοίᾳ = ”with inspired foresight “: in Xen. Mem. 1.4.6προνοητικῶς” = not, “providentially,” but simply, ”with forethought. “

[979] εἰκῆ cp. Plat. Gorg. 503eοὐκ εἰκῆ ἐρεῖ, ἀλλ᾽ ἀποβλέπων πρός τι” (with some definite object in view).

κράτιστον ... ὅπως δύναιτο Cp. Soph. Ant. 666ἀλλ᾽ ὂν πόλις στήσειε τοῦδε χρὴ κλύειν”: where χρὴ κλύειν = δικαίως ἂν κλύοι. So here, though ἐστί (not ἦν must be supplied with κράτιστον, the whole phrase = εἰκῆ κράτιστον ἄν τις ζῴη. Xen. Cyrop. 1.6.19τοῦ ... αὐτὸν λέγειν μὴ σαφῶς εἰδείη φείδεσθαι δεῖ” = ὀρθῶς ἂν φείδοιτο.

[980] φοβοῦ φοβεῖσθαι εἴς τι = to have fears regarding it: Soph. Trach. 1211εἰ φοβεῖ πρὸς τοῦτο”: Soph. OC 1119μὴ θαύμαζε πρὸς τὸ λιπαρές.

[981] κἀν ὀνείρασιν in dreams also (as well as in this oracle); and, as such dreams have proved vain, so may this oracle. Soph. was prob. thinking of the story in Hdt. 6.107 that Hippias had such a dream on the eve of the battle of Marathon, and interpreted it as an omen of his restoration to Athens. Cp. the story of a like dream coming to Julius Caesar on the night before he crossed the Rubicon (Plut. Caes. 32, Suet. 7).

[983] παρ᾽ οὐδέν Soph. Ant. 34τὸ πρᾶγμ᾽ ἄγειν οὐχ ὡς παρ᾽ οὐδέν.

[984] ἐξείρητο the ἐξ glances at her blunt expression of disbelief, not her frank reference to a horrible subject.

[987] ὀφθαλμὸς the idea is that of a bright, sudden comfort: so Soph. Trach. 203 Deianeira calls on her household to rejoice, ὡς ἄελπτον ὄμμ᾽ ἐμοὶ φήμης ἀνασχὸν τῆσδε νῦν καρπούμεθα (the unexpected news that Heracles has returned). More often this image denotes the “darling” of a family ( Aesch. Lib. 934ὀφθαλμὸς οἴκων),” or a dynasty that is “the light” of a land (“Σικελίας δ᾽ ἔσαν ὀφθαλμός,Pind. O. 2.9: Βάττου παλαιὸς ὄλβος ... πύργος ἄστεος, ὄμμα τε φαεννότατον ξένοισι, Pind. P. 5.51). Not merely (though this notion comes in) “a great help to seeing” that oracles are idle δήλωσις ὡς τὰ μαντεύματα κακῶς ἔχει, schol.). A certain hardness of feeling appears in the phrase: Iocasta was softened by fear for Oedipus and the State: she is now elated.

[989] καὶ with ἐκφοβεῖσθε; 772, 851.

[991] ἐκείνης what is there belonging to her, in her (attributive gen.): Eur. IA 28οὐκ ἄγαμαι ταῦτ᾽ ἀνδρὸς ἀριστέως. —ἐς φόβον φέρον, tending to fear: cp. 519.

[992] θεήλατον sent upon us by the gods: cp. 255.

[993] The MSS. having οὐ θεμιτὸν, the question is between οὐχὶ θεμιτὸν and οὐ θεμιστὸν. The former is much more probable, since θεμιτός is the usual form, found in Attic prose, in Eur. (as Eur. Orest. 97σοὶ δ᾽ οὐχὶ θεμιτόν),” and in Soph. OC 1758ἀλλ᾽ οὐ θεμιτὸν κεῖσε μολεῖν.” On the other hand θεμιστός is a rare poet. form, found once in Pindar (who has also θεμιτός), and twice in the lyrics of Aesch. Had we ἄλλῳ, the subject of θεμιτὸν would be μάντευμα: the accus. ἄλλον shows θεμιτὸν to be impersonal, as in Eur. Orest. 97, Pind. P. 9.42οὐ θεμιτὸν ψεύδει θιγεῖν.

[996] τὸ πατρῷον αἷμα ἑλεῖν is strictly ”to achieve (the shedding of) my father's blood. “ Classical Greek had no such phrase as αἶμα χεῖν or ἐκχεῖν in the sense of “to slay.” αἱρεῖν is to make a prey of, meaning “to slay,” or “to take,” according to the context ( Soph. Trach. 353Εὔρυτόν θ᾽ ἕλοι τὴν θ᾽ ὑψίπυργον Οἰχαλίαν).” Cp. fr. 726 ἀνδρὸς αἶμα συγγενὲς κτείνας, which is even bolder than this, but similar, since here we might have had simply τὸν πατέρα ἑλεῖν, ”to slay my father “: Eur. Orest. 284εἴργασται δ᾽ ἐμοὶ μητρῷον αἶμα,” I have wrought the murder of a mother.

[997] The simplest view of Κόρινθος ἐξ ἐμοῦ ἀπῳκεῖτο is, as Whitelaw says, that it means literally, “Corinth was lived-away-from by me,” —being the passive of ἐγὼ ἀπῴκουν τῆς Κορίνθου. It is thus merely one of those instances in which a passive verb takes as subject that which would stand in gen. or dat. as object to the active verb: cp. the passive καταγελῶμαι, καταφρονοῦμαι, καταψηφίζομαι, ἐπιβουλεύομαι, etc. [I formerly took it to be passive of ἐγὼ ἀπῴκουν τὴν Κόρινθον, “I inhabited C. only at a distance,” —a paradoxical phrase like ἐν σκότῳ ὁρᾶν (1273).] ἀποικεῖν is a comparatively rare word. Eur. has it twice (Eur. Her. 557: Eur. IA 680: in both with gen., ‘to dwell far from ’): Thuc. once with μακρὰνThuc. 3.55) and Xen. once (Xen. Oec. 4.6), —both absol., as = ‘to dwell afar ’: as prob. Theocr. 15.7 (reading μέλ᾽ ἀποικεῖς with Meineke): Plato once thus (Plat. Laws 753a), and twice as = to emigrate (“ἐκ Γόρτυνος,Plat. Laws 708a, “ἐς Θουρίους,Plat. Euthyd. 271c): in which sense Isocr. also has it twice (Isoc. 4.122, Isoc. 6.84): Pindar once (with accus. of motion to a place), Pind. P. 4.258Καλλίσταν ἀπῴκησαν,” they went and settled at Callista.

[998] εὐτυχῶς because of his high fortunes at Thebes.

τῶν τεκόντων = τῶν γονέων: Eur. Hipp. 1081τοὺς τεκόντας ὅσια δρᾶν,” and oft.: cp. Eur. Her. 975βοᾷ δὲ μήτηρ, τεκών [”= πάτερ], τί δρᾷς

[1000] ἀπόπτολις exile, as Soph. OC 208.

[1001] πατρός τε So the MSS., rightly. It is the fear of Oed. regarding his mother by which the messenger's attention has been fixed. In explaining this, Oed. has indeed mentioned the other fear as to his father; but in v. 1000, γὰρ τάδ᾽ ὀκνῶν, the messenger means: “So this, then, was the fear about her which kept you away? ” —alluding to his own question in 991. As the speaker's tone seems to make light of the cause, Oed. answers, “and that further dread about my father which I mentioned. ” πατρός γε is unsuitable, since it would imply that this was his sole fear.

[1002] ἐγὼ οὐχὶ synizesis: see on 332 ἐγὼ οὔτ᾽.

[1003] ἐξελυσάμην the aor. implies, “why have I not done it already?” i.e. “why do I not do it at once?” Aesch. PB 747τί δῆτ᾽ ἐμοὶ ζῆν κέρδος, ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐν τάχει ἔρριψ᾽ ἐμαυτὴν τῆσδ᾽ ἀπὸ στύφλου πέτρας;

[1004] καὶ μὴν properly “however ”; here, like our “well indeed ” (if you would do so). The echoing καὶ μὴν of 1005 expresses eager assent. Cp. Soph. Ant. 221.

[1005] τοῦτ᾽ ἀφικόμην see on 788.

[1008] καλῶς pulchre, belle, thoroughly, a colloquialism, perh. meant here to be a trait of homely speech: cp. Alciphron Ep. 1.36 πεινήσω τὸ καλόν ( “I shall be fine and hungry ”): Aelian Ep. 2 ἐπέκοψε τὸ σκέλος πάνυ χρηστῶς ( “in good style ”).

[1011] With Erfurdt I think that ταρβῶν is right; not that ταρβῶ could not stand, but Greek idiom distinctly favours the participle. Soph. Ant. 403ΚΡ. καὶ ξυνίης καὶ λέγεις ὀρθῶς φής; ΦΥ. ταύτην γ᾽ ἰδὼν θάπτουσαν.Soph. Ant. 517ΑΝ. ... ἀδελφὸς ὤλετο. ΚΡ. πορθῶν γε τήνδε γῆν.Plat. Sym. 164eεἶπον οὖν ὅτι ... ἥκοιμι. —καλῶς” (v. l. καλῶς γ᾽), ἔφη, ποιῶν. Cp. 1130 ξυναλλάξας. ἐξέλθῃ; cp. 1182 ἐξήκοι σαφῆ, come true.

[1013] Cp. Soph. Trach. 408τοῦτ᾽ αὔτ᾽ ἔχρῃζον, τοῦτό σου μαθεῖν.

[1014] πρὸς δίκης as justice would prompt, “justly.” πρὸς prop. = “from the quarter of,” then “on the side of ”: Thuc. 3.59οὐ πρὸς τῆς ὑμετέρας δόξης ... τάδε,” not in the interest of your reputation: Plat. Gorg. 459cἐάν τι ἡμῖν πρὸς λόγου ,” “if it is in the interest of our discussion.” Plat. Rep. 470cοὐδὲν ... ἀπὸ τρόπου λέγεις: ὅρα δὴ καὶ εἰ τόδε πρὸς τρόπου λέγω,” “correctly.” Theophr. Char. 30 (= 26 in my 1st ed. p. 156) πρὸς τρόπου πωλεῖν, to sell on reasonable terms.

[1016] ἐν γένει Dem. 47.70οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν γένει σοι ἄνθρωπος,” compared with sect. 72 ἐμοὶ δὲ οὔτε γένει προσῆκεν.

[1019] τῷ μηδενί, dat. of μηδείς, one who is such as to be of account (in respect of consanguinity with me), —the generic use of μή (cp. 397, 638).

[1023] ἀπ᾽ ἄλλης χειρὸς sc. λαβών.

[1025] ἐμπολήσας ... τυχών i.e. “Did you buy me, or did you light upon me in the neighbourhood of Corinth? ” Oed. is not prepared for the Corinthian's reply that he had found the babe on Cithaeron. ἐμπολήσας: cp. the story of Eumaeus (Hom. Od. 15.403-483) who, when a babe, was carried off by Phoenician merchants from the wealthy house of his father in the isle Syria, and sold to Laertes in Ithaca: the Phoenician nurse says to the merchants, τόν κεν ἄγοιμ᾽ ἐπὶ νηός, δ᾽ ὑμῖν μυρίον ὦνον ἄλφοι, ὅπῃ περάσητε κατ᾽ ἀλλοθρόους ἀνθρώπους. τυχών is answered by εὑρών (1026) as in 973 προὔλεγον by ηὔδας. Cp. 1039. The τεκών of the MSS. is absurd after vv. 1016-1020. The man has just said, “Polybus was no more your father than I am ”; Oed. is anxiously listening to every word. He could not ask, a moment later, “Had you bought me, or were you my father?

[1026] The fitness of the phrase ναπαίαις πτυχαῖς becomes vivid to anyone who traverses Cithaeron by the road ascending from Eleusis and winding upwards to the pass of Dryoscephalae, whence it descends into the plain of Thebes.

[1029] ἐπὶ θητείᾳ, like “ἐπὶ μισθῷHdt. 5.65 etc. θητεία, labour for wages, opp. to δουλεία: Isoc. 14.48πολλοὺς μὲν ... δουλεύοντας, ἄλλους δ᾽ ἐπὶ θητείαν ἰόντας.πλάνης, roving in search of any employment that he can find (not merely changing summer for winter pastures, 1137). The word falls lightly from him who is so soon to be πλανήτης ΟἰδίπουςSoph. OC 3).

[1030] σοῦ δ᾽ With the σοῦ γ᾽ of most MSS.: “Yes, and thy preserver” (the first γε belonging to the sentence, the second to σωτήρ). Cp. Hdt. 1.187μὴ μέντοι γε μὴ σπανίσας γε ἄλλως ἀνοίξῃ”: where the second γε belongs to σπανίσας. There is no certain example of a double γε in Soph. which is really similar. With σοῦ δ᾽: “But thy preserver”: the γε still belonging to σωτήρ, and δὲ opposing this thought to that of v. 1029. For δέ γε cp. Aesch. Ag. 938ΑΓ. φήμη γε μέντοι δημόθρους μέγα σθένει. ΚΛ. δ᾽ ἀφθόνητός γ᾽ οὐκ ἐπίζηλος πέλει.” “True, but ... ” The gentle reproof conveyed by δέ γε is not unfitting in the old man's mouth: and a double γε, though admissible, is awkward here.

[1031] τί δ᾽ ἄλγος κ.τ.λ. And in what sense wast thou my σωτήρ̣ The ἐν κακοῖς of the later MSS. is intolerably weak: “what pain was I suffering when you found me in trouble?” The ἐν καιροῖς of L (found also, with the addition of με, in one later MS., Pal.) seems most unlikely to have been a corruption of ἐν κακοῖς. Among the conjectures, ἀγκάλαις με (Kock), or, better, ἀγκάλαισι, is perh. most probable; being slightly nearer the letters than Verrall's ingenious ἴσχον τἀγκάλισμα. (For the dat. ἀγκάλαις without ἐν, cp. Eur. IT 289, etc.) Such conjectures as ἐν δέοντι (Wecklein), ἐν καλῷ (Wunder), presuppose that ἐν καιροῖς was a gloss: but it is more probable that it was a corruption.

[1035] δεινόν γε in comment, as Soph. Phil. 1225, Soph. El. 341, Soph. Aj. 1127.

σπαργάνωνfrom my swaddling clothes ”: i.e. “from the earliest days of infancy ” (cp. Ovid Heroid. 9.22 Et tener in cunis iam Iove dignus eras). The babe was exposed a few days after birth (717). Soph. El. 1139οὔτε ... πυρὸς ἀνειλόμην ... ἄθλιον βάρος.” Some understand, “I was furnished with cruelly dishonouring tokens of my birth,” δεινῶς ἐπονείδιστα σπάργανα, alluding to a custom of tying round the necks of children, when they were exposed, little tokens or ornaments, which might afterwards serve as means of recognition (crepundia, monumenta): see esp. Plaut. Rud. 4.4.111-126, Plaut. Epidic. 5.1.34: and Rich s. v. Crepundia, where a woodcut shows a statue of a child with a string of crepundia hung over the right shoulder. Plut. Thes. 4 calls such tokens γνωρίσματα. In Aristoph. Ach. 431 the σπάργανα of Telephus have been explained as the tokens by which (in the play of Eur.) he was recognised; in his case, these were ῥακώματα (431). But here we must surely take σπαργάνων withἀνειλόμην.

[1036] ὥστε assents and continues: “(yes,) and so ... ”

ὃς εἶ i.e. Οἰδίπους: see on 718.

[1037] πρὸς μητρός, πατρός; sc. ὄνειδος ἀνειλόμην (1035): “was it at the hands of mother or father (rather than at those of strangers) that I received such a brand?” The agitated speaker follows the train of his own thoughts, scarcely heeding the interposed remark. He is not thinking so much of his parents' possible cruelty, as of a fresh clue to their identity. Not: “was I so named by mother or father?” The name —even if it could be conceived as given before the exposure—is not the sting; and on the other hand it would be forced to take “named” as meaning “doomed to bear the name. ”

[1044] βοτήρ cp. 837, 761.

[1046] εἰδεῖτ᾽ = εἰδείητε, only here, it seems: but cp. εἶτε = “εἴητεHom. Od. 21.195 (doubtful in Soph. Ant. 215). εἰδεῖμεν and εἶμεν occur in Plato (Plat. Rep. 581e, Plat. Theaet. 147a) as well as in verse. In Dem. 14.27καταθεῖτε” is not certain (κατάθοιτε Baiter and Sauppe): in Dem. 18.324 he has ἐνθείητε. Speaking generally, we may say that the contracted termination -εῖεν for -είησαν is common to poetry and prose; while the corresponding contractions, -εῖμεν for -είημεν and -εῖτε for -είητε, are rare except in poetry.

[1049] οὖν with the first εἴτε, as Soph. El. 199, 560: it stands with the second above, 90, 271, Soph. Phil. 345.

ἐπ᾽ ἀγρῶν Hom. Od. 22.47πολλὰ μὲν ἐν μεγάροισιν ... πολλὰ δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀγροῦ”: (cp. Soph. OC 184ἐπὶ ξένης,Soph. El. 1136κἀπὶ γῆς ἄλλης:)” the usual Attic phrase was ἐν ἀγρῷ or κατ᾽ ἀγρούς.

[1050] καιρὸς for the art., cp. Plat. Axioch. 364bνῦν καιρὸς ἐνδείξασθαι τὴν ἀεὶ θρυλουμένην πρὸς σοῦ σοφίαν. —ηὑρῆσθαι: Bellermann (objecting to the tense) reads εὑρέσθαι, citing Soph. Aj. 1023 (where, as usual, the aor. midd. = “to gain ”): but the perf. is right, and forcible, here; it means, “to be discovered once for all. ” For the form, cp. 546 n. Isoc. 15.295τῶν δυναμένων λέγειν παιδεύειν πόλις ἡμῶν δοκεῖ γεγενῆσθαι διδάσκαλος,” to be the established teacher.

[1051] Supply ἐννέπειναὐτόν), not ἐννέπει. The form οἶμαι, though often parenthetic (as Soph. Trach. 536), is not less common with infin. ( Plat. Gorg. 474aοἶον ἐγὼ οἶμαι δεῖν εἶναι),” and Soph. often so has it, as Soph. El. 1446.

[1053] ἂν ... ἂν see on 862.

[1054] νοεῖς = “you wot of, ” the man- i.e. you understand to whom I refer. We need not, then, write εἰ κεῖνον for ἐκεῖνον with A. Spengel, or νοεῖς; ἐκεῖνον with Blaydes, who in 1055, reading τόνδ᾽, has a comma at ἐφιέμεσθα. Cp. 859.

[1055] τόνδ᾽ is certainly right: τόν θ᾽ arose, when the right punctuation had been lost, from a desire to connect λέγει with ἐφιέμεσθα. Dindorf, however, would keep τόν θ᾽: “know ye him whom we summoned and him of whom this man speaks?” i.e. “Can you say whether the persons are identical or distinct?” But the language will not bear this.

[1056] τί δ᾽ ὅντιν᾽ εἶπε; Aesch. PB 765θέορτον βρότειον [γάμον γαμεῖ]; εἰ ῥητόν, φράσον. ΠΡ. τί δ᾽ ὅντιν᾽;Aristoph. Birds 997σὺ δ᾽ εἶ τίς ἀνδρῶν; Μ. ὅστις εἴμ᾽ ἐγώ; Μέτων.Plat. Euthyph. 2bτίνα γραφήν σε γέγραπται; ΣΩ. ἥντινα; οὐκ ἀγεννῆ.

[1058] Since οὐκ ἔστιν ὅπως, οὐκ ἂν γένοιτο ὅπως mean “there is, there could be found, no way in which, ” τοῦθ᾽ is abnormal; yet it is not incorrect: “this thing could not be attained, namely, a mode in which,” etc. Cp. the mixed constr. in Soph. Aj. 378οὐ γὰρ γένοιτ᾽ ἂν ταῦθ᾽ ὅπως οὐχ ὧδ᾽ ἔχειν” (instead of ἕξει).

[1060] Since the answer at 1042, Iocasta has known the worst. But she is still fain to spare Oedipus the misery of that knowledge. Meanwhile he thinks that she is afraid lest he should prove to be too humbly born. The tragic power here is masterly.

[1061] ἅλις εἰμὶ νοσοῦσ᾽ ἐγώ instead of ἅλις ἐστὶ τὸ νοσεῖν ἐμέ: cp. 1368: Soph. Aj. 76ἔνδον ἀρκείτω μένων”: Soph. Aj. 635κρείσσων γὰρ Ἅιδᾳ κεύθων”: Hdt. 1.37ἀμείνω ἐστὶ ταῦτα οὕτω ποιεύμενα”: Dem. 4.34οἴκοι μένων, βελτίων”: Isaeus 2.7ἱκανὸς γὰρ αὐτὸς ἔφη ἀτυχῶν εἶναι”: Athen. 435dχρὴ πίνειν, Ἀντίπατρος γὰρ ἱκανός ἐστι νήφων.

[1062] For the genitive τρίτης μητρὸς without ἐκ, cp. Soph. El. 341οὖσαν πατρός,” 366 καλοῦ τῆς μητρός. τρίτης μητρὸς τρίδουλος, thrice a slave, sprung from the third (servile) mother: i.e. from a mother, herself a slave, whose mother and grandmother had also been slaves. No commentator, so far as I know, has quoted the passage which best illustrates this: Theopompus fr. 277 (ed. Muller 1. 325) Πυθονίκην ... Βακχίδος μὲν ἦν δούλη τῆς αὐλητρίδος, ἐκείνη δὲ Σινώπης τῆς Θρᾴττης, ... ὥστε γίνεσθαι μὴ μόνον τρίδουλον ἀλλὰ καὶ τρίπορνον αὐτήν. Dem. 58.17εἰ γὰρ ὀφείλοντος αὐτῷ τοῦ πάππου πάλαι ... διὰ τοῦτ᾽ οἰήσεται δεῖν ἀποφεύγειν ὅτι πονηρὸς ἐκ τριγονίας ἐστίν ... ,” “if, his grandfather having formerly been a debtor, ... he shall fancy himself entitled to acquittal because he is a rascal of the third generation.” Eustathius Hom. Od. 15. 42-50 quotes from Hippônax Ἀφέω τοῦτον τὸν ἑπτάδουλον (Bergk fr. 75), i.e. “seven times a slave. ” For the force of τρι-, cp. also τριγίγας, τρίπρατος (thricesold, —of a slave), τριπέδων (a slave who has been thrice in fetters). Note how the reference to the female line of servile descent is contrived to heighten the contrast with the real situation.

[1063] κακή = δυσγενής, like δειλός, opp. to ἀγαθός, ἐσθλός: Hom. Od. 4.63ἀλλ᾽ ἀνδρῶν γένος ἐστὲ διοτρεφέων βασιλήων σκηπτούχων: ἐπεὶ οὔ κε κακοὶ τοιούσδε τέκοιεν.

[1067] τὰ λῷστα ... ταῦτα: cp. Soph. Ant. 96τὸ δεινὸν τοῦτο” (i.e. of which you speak).

[1068] ὃς = ὅστις: Soph. OC 1171ἔξοιδ᾽ ἀκούων τῶνδ᾽ ὅς ἐσθ᾽ προστάτης” (n.).

[1072] Iocasta rushes from the scene-to appear no more. Cp. the sudden exit of Haemon (Soph. Ant. 766), of Eurydice (Soph. Ant. 1245), and of Deianeira (Soph. Trach. 813). In each of the two latter cases, the exit silently follows a speech by another person, and the Chorus comments on the departing one's silence. Iocasta, like Haemon, has spoken passionate words immediately before going: and here σιωπῆς(1075) is more strictly “reticence” than “silence.”

[1074] δέδοικα has here the construction proper to a verb of taking thought (or the like), as προμηθοῦμαι ὅπως μὴ γενήσεται, —implying a desire to avert, if possible, the thing feared. Plat. Euthyph. 4eοὐ φοβεῖ δικαζόμενος τῷ πατρί, ὅπως μὴ αὖ σὺ ἀνόσιον πρᾶγμα τυγχάνῃς πράττων;

[1075] The subject to ἀναρρήξει is κακά, not γυνή: for (1) γυνὴ ἀναρρήξει κακά would mean, “the woman will burst forth into reproaches, ” cp. Aristoph. Kn. 626 δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔνδον ἐλασίβροντ᾽ ἀναρρηγνὺς ἔπη”: Pind. fr. 172 μὴ πρὸς ἅπαντας ἀναρρῆξαι τὸν ἀχρεῖον λόγον: (2) the image is that of a storm bursting forth from a great stillness, and requires that the mysterious κακά should be the subject: cp. Soph. Aj. 775ἐκρήξει μάχη”: Aristot. Meteor. 2.8ἐκρήξας ... ἄνεμος.

[532] χρῄζει scornfully personifies the κακά.

βουλήσομαι “I shall wish ”: i.e. my wish will remain unaltered until it has been satisfied. Cp. 1446 προστρέψομαι: Soph. Aj. 681ὠφελεῖν βουλήσομαι,” it shall henceforth be my aim: Eur. Med. 259τοσοῦτον οὖν σου τυγχάνειν βουλήσομαι,” I shall wish (shall be content) to receive from you only thus much (cp. Soph. Aj. 825αἰτήσομαι δέ σ᾽ οὐ μακρὸν γέρας λαχεῖν).Soph. OC 1289καὶ ταῦτ᾽ ἀφ᾽ ὐμῶν ... βουλήσομαι ... κυρεῖν ἐμοί”: Pind. O. 7.20ἐθελήσω ... διορθῶσαι λόγον,” I shall have good will to tell the tale aright. That these futures are normal, and do not arise from any confusion of present wish with future act, may be seen clearly from Plat. Phaedo 91aκαὶ ἐγω μοι δοκῶ ἐν τῷ παρόντι τοσοῦτον μόνον ἐκείνων διοίσειν: οὐ γὰρ ὅπως τοῖς παροῦσιν ἐγὼ λέγω δόξει ἀληθῆ προθυμηθήσομαι:” and Plat. Phaedo 191c.

[1078] ὡς γυνὴ for a woman: though, as it is, her “proud spirit” only reaches the point of being sensitive as to a lowly origin. She is proud of her lineage; Oedipus, of what he is. Whitelaw well compares Tennyson: “Her pride is yet no mate for mine, Too proud to care from whence I came.” Cp. Eur. Heraclid. 978πρὸς ταῦτα τὴν θρασεῖαν ὅστις ἂν θέλῃ καὶ τὴν φρονοῦσαν μεῖζον γυναῖκα χρὴ λέξει”: Eur. Hipp. 640μὴ γὰρ ἔν γ᾽ ἐμοῖς δόμοις εἴη φρονοῦσα πλεῖον γυναῖκα χρή.ὡς is restrictive; cp. 1118: Thuc. 4.84ἦν δὲ οὐδὲ ἀδύνατος, ὡς Λακεδαιμόνιος, εἰπεῖν” (not a bad speaker, for a Lacedaemonian): imitated by Dionys. 10. 31 (of L. Icilius) ὡς Ῥωμαῖος, εἰπεῖν οὐκ ἀδύνατος. See on 763.

[1081] Whatever may have been his human parentage, Oed. is the “son of Fortune ” (said in a very different tone from “Fortunae filius” in Hor. Sat. 2.6.49): Fortune brings forth the months with their varying events; these months, then, are his brothers, who ere now have known him depressed as well as exalted. He has faith in this Mother, and will not shrink from the path on which she seems to beckon him; he will not be false to his sonship. We might recall Schiller's epigram on the Wolfians; whatever may be the human paternity of the Iliad, “hat es doch Eine Mutter nur, Und die Züge der Mutter, Deine unsterblichen Züge, Natur.”

τῆς εὖ διδούσης the beneficent: here absol., usu. with dat., as “σφῷν δ᾽ εὖ διδοίη Ζεύς,Soph. OC 1435. Not gen. abs., “while she prospers me, ” since the poet. τῆς for αὐτῆς could stand only at the beginning of a sentence or clause, as 1082.

[1082] συγγενεῖς as being also sons of Τύχη: the word further expresses that their lapse is the measure of his life: cp. 963: ἀλκᾷ ξύμφυτος αἰώνAesch. Ag. 107), years with which bodily strength keeps pace. Pind. N. 5.40πότμος συγγενής,” the destiny born with one.

[1083] διώρισαν not: “have determined that I should be sometimes lowly, sometimes great”; to do this was the part of controlling Τύχη. Rather: “have distinguished me as lowly or great”: i.e., his life has had chapters of adversity alternating with chapters of prosperity; and the months have marked these off (cp. 723). The metaphor of the months as sympathetic brothers is partly merged in the view of them as divisions of time: see on 866, 1300.

[1084] “Having sprung of such parentage (ἐκφὺς, whereas φύς would be merely ”having been born such “) I will never afterwards prove (ἐξέλθοιμι, evadam, cp. 1011) another man ” (ἄλλος, i.e. false to my own nature). The text is sound. The license of ποτ᾽ at the beginning of 1085 is to be explained on essentially the same principle as μέλας δ᾽ , etc. (29, cp. 785, 791) at the end of a verse; viz. that, where the movement of the thought is rapid, one verse can be treated as virtually continuous with the next: hence, too, Soph. Aj. 986οὐχ ὅσον τάχος δῆτ᾽ αὐτὸν ἄξεις δεῦρο”: Soph. Phil. 66εἰ δ᾽ ἐργάσει μὴ ταῦτα.” So here Soph. has allowed himself to retain ἔτι ποτέ in their natural connexion instead of writing ἔτι ἄλλος ποτ᾽. The genuineness of ποτ᾽ is confirmed by the numerous instances in which Soph. has combined it with ἔτι, as above, 892, below, 1412: Soph. Aj. 98, 687: Soph. Trach. 830, 922.

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