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Eteocles and Polyneices were young boys at the fall of Oedipus (see on 1), and their uncle Creon (brother of Iocasta) became regent (O. T. 1418). As the two brothers grew up, they agreed, at first, in wishing to resign the throne, of which they were joint heirs, to Creon, lest Thebes should be tainted by their own rule; but afterwards they fell to striving with each other for the sole power.

ἔρως, desire (436), is a necessary and a certain correction. The MS. ἔρις would have to mean "emulous desire," either (a) between the two brothers, if “τεμηδέ” = "both" … "and not": or (b) between the brothers and (τε) Creon. Now, there is no objection to using “ἐρίζω, ἔρις” of noble rivalry. The fatal objection is that the idea of rivalry at all is here completely,—almost ludicrously,—out of place. The notion that Soph. was thinking of the “ἀγαθὴ ἔρις”, which rouses men to effort, as opp. to the “κακὴ ἔρις” (Hes. Opp. 11 ff.), is surely very frigid. It is possible, however, that it was this notion which first brought “ἔρις” into 367.

Κρέοντί τε. The τε = "both," answering to μηδέ "and not." So “τε” is answered by “οὐδέ” (instead of “οὔτε”) Eur. I. T. 697, or by “δέSoph. Ph. 1312. So, too, “οὔτε” by “δέ”, Eur. Suppl. 223, etc. Such irregularity is natural when the second thought is opposed to the first. The objection to reading μήτε in 368 is that, while “οὔτε” (or “μήτε”)... “τε” is common enough, there is no example of “τε...οὔτε” (or “μήτε”).

Paley's “Κρέοντι δὴ” is, however, highly probable. It would mean, "to Creon in the next resort." So δὴ is used of succession in Ant. 173, where Creon says “ἐγὼ κράτη δὴ πάντα καὶ θρόνους ἔχω”, I next (the sons of Oed. being dead); and Aesch. Eum. 3 δὴ τὸ μητρὸς δευτέρα τόδ᾽ ἕζετο μαντεῖον”.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 3
    • Euripides, Iphigeneia in Taurus, 697
    • Euripides, Suppliants, 223
    • Hesiod, Works and Days, 11
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 173
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 368
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 367
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 436
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1418
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1312
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