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τὰ θεἶ ἀφείς, having set religion at nought: cp. O. T. 910ἔρρει δὲ τὰ θεῖα.

μαίνεσθαι, the madness of passions which are no longer controlled by religion,—as the frenzy of ambition (371), and of hatred (1392).—I do not suppose that the poet directly alludes to any contemporary event; but we may surmise that, when he wrote these lines, he had in his thoughts the daring outrage on religion at Athens in 415 B.C.,—the partial impunity of its authors (including Alcibiades),—and the tremendous disasters of the city two years later. Cp. O. T. p. xxx, 886 n.

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