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οὕτω δὲ: cp. El.25 ff. “ὥσπερ γὰρ ἵππος...ὡσαύτως δὲ σύ.—τὸν Καδμογενῆ” (cp. O. T.1, n.), not merely because he was born at Thebes (“Θηβαγενής”, Hes. Th.530); but because, though Alcmena and Amphitryon were Argive Perseidae, the youthful Heracles had been adopted into the ‘Cadmean’ nobility of Thebes. This was symbolised by the tripod dedicated on the boy's behalf in the Ismenion, after he had served as “δαφναφόρος” of the Ismenian Apollo. ( Paus.9. 10. 4.


βιότου πολύπονον (“πέλαγος”). ὥσπερ πέλαγος Κρήσιον, (“τὸ μὲν”) στρέφει τὸ δ᾽ αὔξει τὸν Καδμογενῆ. With Κρήσιον cp. C. 1. 26. 1 ff. The image is that of a strong swimmer buffeting a rough sea. One wave twists him aside (στρέφει) from his course: the next sweeps him onward, lifting him on its crest. It is characteristic of Sophocles that, in the second clause, he has preferred αὔξει to “αἴρει”, through thinking of that which the uplifting wave figures,— viz., the honour won by the hero. For the omission of “τὸ μέν” (implied by τὸ δ̓) before “στρέφει”, cp. Il.22 157τῇ ῥα παραδραμέτην, φεύγων, δ᾽ ὄπισθε διώκων”. Remark that βιότου πολύπονον could not stand for “τὸ βιότου πολύπονον”: and the “τὸ δ̓” before “αὔξει” in 1.0 way alters this fact. It is therefore necessary, as it is easy, to supply “πέλαγος” from what follows.

Among those who receive στρέφει (due to Reiske) are Dindorf, Nauck, Wecklein, Hartung. The last-named, however, takes it as = ‘overturns,’ referring it to the swimmer being plunged down into the trough of the sea. For this sense of “στρέφειν”, see on O. C.1453 f. But here the idea of ‘turning aside or back’ better suits the image of reverses alternating with triumphs. “στρέφειν” was said of the wrestler who ‘twists back’ his foe (Pollux 3. 155: cp. “ἀποστρέψας” in Ar. Eq.264).

As to the MS. τρέφει, we may observe:—(1) Eur. Hipp.367 πόνοι τρέφοντες βροτούς” may fairly be quoted to show that the sense here might be, ‘troubles make up the life of Heracles.’ (2) But the context seems to show that, instead of this, we require a word (a) which shall convey the idea of vexing, and (b) which can be opposed to “αὔξει”. For other views of the passage, see Appendix.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Aristophanes, Knights, 264
    • Euripides, Hippolytus, 367
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 530
    • Homer, Iliad, 22.157
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.10.4
    • Sophocles, Electra, 25
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1453
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 1
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