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The Electra
 9004038361, 9789004038363

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THE PLAYS OF SOPHOCLES BY

J. C. KAMERBEEK Litt. Dr. Professor o f Ancient Greek in the University o f Amsterdam

COMMENTAMES PART V THE ELECTRA

LEIDEN E . J. B R I L L

1974

ISBN 90 04 03836 1

C o p y r ig h t 1 9 7 4 b y E . J . B rill, L e id e n , N e th e r la n d s A l l r ig h ts reserved . N o p a r t o f th is b o o k m a y b e re p r o d u c e d or tr a n s la te d in a n y f o r m , b y p r in t, p h o to p r in t, m ic ro film , m ic ro fich e o r a n y o th e r m e a n s w ith o u t w ritte n p e rm is sio n f r o m th e p u b lis h e r PRINTED IN BELGIUM

Commilitonibus anni MCMLXXII

PRAEFATIO Causas complures et diversas cum privatas tum alias quae progressum operis mei tardaverunt enumerare, taedium lectori afferret. Quodsi affirmarem hanc tragoediam Sophoclis operamque ei impensam semper et continuo mihi gaudio fuisse, verum non dicerem. Electra enim, ut summae artis dramaticae specimen haud dubie nobis praebet, ita non ad intimam ‘tragoediam’ humanae condicionis pertinet, ut variis modis pertinent Oedipus Tyrannus et Antigone·, non enim, ut mihi quidem videtur, poetae contigit ut suam interpretationem matricidii omni ex parte aptam ad persuadendum efficeret. Luctatus est cum materia (ut saepe Euripides, sed aliter), maximam operam dedit ut argumentum traditum vindicaret non Aeschylea doctrina theologica adiutus, nec tamen in hac fabula dicas eum ‘omne tulisse punctum’. Nihilominus nolim assentiri sententiae severae et iniustae quam dedit vir clarissimus Mazon in editionis suae notitia. Fortasse quae offendunt in hac tragoedia inhaerent materiae eius ipsi. Abhinc paene quadraginta annos primum textum interpretari conatus sum, neque nunc quidem difficultates perplexas identidem meditatus, me solvisse quae difficillima sunt dicere audeam. Magno autem mihi usui fuit quod bis cum studiosis provectioribus magnas partes fabulae legi. Praeterea J. M. Bremer v.d., adiutor fidelis. Introductionem notis utilibus correxit neque oblivisci velim auxilium quod mihi tulerunt discipulae E. Vester, L. Zeijlstra, L. van Paassen-van Oosten, B. Luyken, M. Overpelt in colligendis notis bibliographicis et in corrigendis locis citatis. Rursus D. A. S. Reid M.A. multa vitia e textu Anglice scripto sustulit, multa eleganter immutavit; quae auribus Anglicis minus recte sonant, mihi imputanda sunt. Santpoort, mense Decembri MCMLXXII

HISCE LOCIS TEXTUS AB OXONIENSI QUEM CONSTITUIT A. C. PEARSON DIFFERT 21 33 45 55 81 133 164 187 257 282 300 308 312 337 363 405 443 459 482,3 495,6

514 522 528

fejuevf πατρί Lac (?), edd. multi : πατροε GRAL“, Pearson. Φωκεύε codd. : Φωκάωε Bentley, Pearson. οΐσθά μοι LacGR : οίσθά που AL“iφ ι), Pearson. κάνακοάσωμεν fere codd. (καν άκοάσωμεν /1(?)Ν) : κάπακοάσωμεν Nauck, Jebb, Pearson, alii. στοναχεΐν codd., Campbell : στενάχειν Elmsley, edd. multi, Pearson. Sv εγωγ’ codd. : Sv y εγώ G. Hermann, edd. plerique, Pearson. τοκεων codd. : τεκεων Meineke, edd. multi, Pearson. ή η ε LRA : εί n s G, Pearson. όρώσ’ ή δάσμοροε LGR, Jebfo, Dain : όρωσα δάσμοροε A.ac, Pearson. ταύτά Blomfield, Campbell, Jebb : ταΰτα codd., Pearson. πάρεσην, : πάρεσην · Pearson. ή κάρτα · : ή κάρτα. Pearson. άλλα codd. : άλλα Dindorf, edd., Pearson. λνπεΐν codd. : λνποΰν Erfurdt, Pearson. ^εμπυρα·\ δεξασθαι codd. : δεξεσθαι Heath, Pearson, alii. νεκυε · : νεκυε Pearson. ’μελεν tentavi : μελον codd. : μελειν Nauck, Pearson, alii. ό φάσας codd., Campbell, Dain : é φάσας Froehlich, Jebb, Pearson. θάρσοε εχει με μήποθ’ ήμ'ιν tentavi : μ ’εχει μήποθ' ημίν LA : μ’ εχει. μήποτε μηποθ’ ημίν A : μ’ εχει θάρσοε μηποθ’ ημίν GR : θάρσοε μηποτε μήποθ’ ήμΐν Pearson. ελειπεν LA : ελιπεν GR, Pearson. οΐκουε L ^ R : οΐκου GA, Pearson. και τά σά ’ : και τα σά. Pearson. εΐλε κούκ LGR : εΐλεν ούκ A, edd. multi, Pearson.

0 Turyn’s siglum.

X

534

HISCE LOCIS TEXTUS AB OXONIENSI DIFFERT

τον χάριν, τίνων Lae Jebb, alii : < τοΰτο> τον χάριν Schmalfeld, Pearson. 563,4 f τίνος I ποινάς τά πολλά πνενματ' εσχ εν Αύλίδι 'f 581 τιθβς : τίθης Pearson. 591 καί τοντ codd. : καί ταΰτ Dobree, edd. multi, Pearson. 606 χρη codd. : χρτ}ς Wunder, edd. multi, Pearson. 676 vvv re καί πάλαι λέγω LGR, Eustath., edd. complures : vvv re και τότ έννέπω AL“W, edd. complures, Pearson. 686 δρόμον ... τά τέρματα fere codd. : δρόμον ... τά τ έργματα Pearson. 720-22 Non transposui : transp. E. Piccolomini, Pearson. 734 υστέρας εχων LR : υστέρας δ’ εχων GAL“, Pearson. 736 όπως δ’ LGR : ο δ’ ώς (6 δ’ ώς) A, Pearson. 760 έκλάχοι LAGRA : εκλάχτ) recentiores nonnulli, Pearson. 761 èv λόγω LGR : iv λόγοις ALBlA, Pearson. 797 φιλεΐν LA, Vahlen, Kaibel, Groeneboom : τυχεΐν RGry/jAL“ edd. multi, Pearson. 818 εσομαι ξυνοικος Dawes : ξυνοικος εσομ’ LAG (om. R) : ξυνοικος έσσομ’ AL“ : ξννοικος εισειμ' G. Hermann, edd. multi, Pearson, 826, 830 alaî, ... φεΰ : αίαΐ. ... φεϋ. Pearson. 853 άθρόεις ( ανάγκη rfj8ε προτρέπει βροτών fere codd. (< σ ’> Moschop. AL“) : τίς γάρ σ’ ανάγκη τηδε προστρεπει βροτών Pearson (προστρεπει Reiske). 1197 ονθ' d κωλνσων L A A : ου8 ό κωλνσων GR, Pearson. 1201 τοΐς ΐσοις LA, Campbell : τοΐσι σοΐς GRAL“, edd. multi, Pearson. 1207 πείθου codd. optimi : πιθοΰ rec. nonnulli, Pearson. 1239 τάν αίεν άδμηταν codd. : τάν del άδμηταν Hartung, Pear­ son. 1245 οτοτοτοτοί τοτοί G. Hermann : ότοττοΐ L : όττοτοΐ GRA : οττοτοί Οττοτοΐ Bergk, Pearson. 1251 παρουσία fere codd. : παρρησία Pearson. 1260 τίς οΰν äv αξίαν AL“ : τίς ουν αξίαν LGR : τίς ονν άντάξι’ dv Pearson. 1261 γε σοΰ πεφηνότος codd. : σου γε πεφηνοτος Seidler, Pearson. 1266 επώρσ' scripsi : επορσεν Lae(?)Gr : επώσεν GR : επωρσεν AL“ : επόρισεν Dindorf, edd. multi, Pearson. 1275 πολΰστονον codd. : πολυπονον Jen. B 7, G. Hermann, edd., Pearson. 1343 èv τούτοισiv LAG R : οΰν τοΰτοισιν A, Pearson. 1403 Αιγισθος : ημάς Jen. Β 6s, Pearson : αυτούς Kaibel. 1423 ούδ’ εχω tAeyetv| : ov8' εχω φεγειν Erfurdt, edd., Pearson. 1430-1432 Ό ρ. είσορατε που / τον άνδρ ; εφ* ήμΐν οΰτος ; Ή λ . εκ προασ­ τίου χωρεΐ γεγηθώς — (G. Hermann, Dain) id quod habent fere codd. nisi quod Electra incipit a οΰτος : Ό ρ. είσο­ ρατέ που τον άνδρ’ εφ’ ήμΐν ... Ή λ ......... / χωρεΐ γεγηθώς οΰτος εκ προαστίου Pearson.

INTRODUCTION 1. S o u r c es

Epic tradition knew of Agamemnon’s murder and its revenge by Orestes. In the Odyssey Orestes is held up as an example of filial piety to Telemachus and it seems likely that it is due to this function of Orestes as example that we are left in the dark as to the exact measure of Clytaemestra’s culpability and to the question whether or not Orestes killed his mother together with Aegisthus. Od. Ill 309, 310 ή τοι 6 τον κτείνας Βαίνυ τάφον Άργείοισι / μητρός r e στυγερής καί άνάλκιδος ΑΙγίσθοιο seems to imply the killing of Clytaemestra without mentioning it explicitly and Od. X I 430, 452, 3 and XXIV 199 sq., where Clytaemestra serves as foil to Penelope, give us the impression that she was the chief culprit, as opposed to Od. Ill 198, 256 sqq., 303 sqq., IV 524-537. The poet of the Odyssey evidently made use of various versions of the story according to the needs of his context *) (and the discrepancies are not so great that they are mutually incompatible, except for some details which would be unobserved by an uncritical hearer). Agamemnon’s murder by Clytaemestra and Aegisthus and its revenge by Orestes and Pylades occurred in the Νόστοι of Hagias of Troezen ('Procli Fragmenta 301 sq., Severijns, Homeri Opera V, Allen, p. 109) but except for the interesting mentioning of Pylades we do not learn anything about the matter from Proclus’ excerpt, nor from elsewhere. Up till recently it was correct to state that Electra as the name of one of Agamemnon’s daughters was not found in the epic tradition. And it remains true that neither in Homer nor in what we know of the Cyclus does the name occur. Agamemnon’s three daughters, Χρνσόθεμις κ α ί Λαοδίκη κ α ί ’Ιφιάνασσα, are enumerated at II. IX 145 (= 287) and the schol. Laur. in Soph. El. 157 informs us that the poet of the Cypria knew of four daughters, apparently Chrysothemis, Laodice, Iphigeneia and Iphianassa. But now we know for certain that she was known to Hesiod (or his ‘school’): fr. 23 Merkelbach-West gives us as daughters of Agamemnon and Clytaemestra Ίφιμέδη and Ή λεκτρη (Ήλεκτρην θ’ ή είδος ερηριατ ά[θανά]τησιν 16). The fragment tells us of the ’) Cf. A. Lesley, D ie S c h u ld d e r K ly ta e m e s lr a , Wiener Studien N.F. Bd. I, 1967, pp. 5-21, esp. pp. 10, 15, 17; J. Defradas, L e s T h è m e s d e la P ro p a g a n d e d e tp h iq u e , 1954, pp. 161-163.

INTRODUCTION

sacrifice of Ίφιμέδη and her salvation by Artemis, who gives her im­ mortality (17-26) and it has the following interesting lines about Orestes (27-30): λοΐσθον S’ εν μεγά[ροισι Κλυτφαιμηστρη κνανώπις \ γείναθ’ νποδμηθ [ εΐσ’ Ά γ α μ έμ ν ] ον[ι δΐ]ον Ό ρέ[στην, j os ρα καί ηβησας άπε[τείσατο πφατροφονηα, | κτεΐνε 8è μητέρα [ην νπερην]ορα νηλέι [χαλκφ. Here, at any rate, it is clear that Orestes killed both Aegisthus and Clytaemestra. According to Aelianus v.h. IV 26, Π 71 the lyric poet Xanthus, older than Stesichorus (and in Athenaeus 513 A we read that Stesichorus borrowed much from Xanthus ώσπερ καί την Όρέστειαν καλούμένην), λέγει την Ήλέκτραν τον Άγαμέμνονος ού το ντο εχειν τοννομα πρώτον άλλα Ααοδίκην. h ret δε ’Αγαμέμνων άνηρέθη, την δε Κλυταιμνήστραν 6 Αϊγισθος εγημε καί εβασίλενσεν, άλεκτρον ου σαν και καταγηρώσαν παρθένον Άργεΐο ι Ήλέκτραν εκάλεσαν διά το άμοιρεΐν άνδρος και μη πεπειράσθαι λέκτρου (cf. P.M.G. 700 Ρ.). It does not follow from these statements that Stesichorus in his Oresteia, even granting that a daughter called Electra played a part in it (which is not quite sure, but very likely since we have the fragment of a commentary on the melic poets in which we read that Aeschylus borrowed τον άναγνωρισμον διά τον βοστρνχον from Stesichorus, P.M.G. 217. 11-13), took the name from Xanthus; he could have taken it from Hesiod *): it is expressly stated by Philodemus De pietate ρ. 24 Gomperz (P.M.G. 215) that Στη [σίχορο]s έν’Ορεστεί[ α κατ]ακολονθη aas [Ή σιό-] δφ την ’Αγαμέ[μνονος Ί]φιγένειαν εΐ[ναι τη]ν Έ κάτην νΰν [ονομαζφομένην ... (cf. Paus. 143.1). We read now in Hes. fr. 23.25,6 M.-W. : την δη νΰν καλέο[νσιν έπι χ]θονι φνλ' άν[θρώπων] / “Αρτεμιν ΕΙνοδί[ην, πρόπολον κλυφτον if ο]χ[ε]αίρ[ηε. We can be fairly sure that Stesichorus’ Oresteia was among Aeschylus’ main sources. Orestes’ τροφός (Laodamia in Stesichorus, Cilissa in Aeschylus, Arsinoa in Pindarus Pyth. X I 26) (P.M.G. 218), Clytaemestra’s dream (Plut. De sera mm. vind. 10, P.M.G. 219), and an im­ portant element in the recognition-scene seem to derive from Stesichorus and it is possible that the latter was the first to assign a rôle of some importance to Orestes’ sister Electra, But it is impossible to decide to what extent Aeschylus also stands in his debt for his religious or ‘theo­ logical’ interpretation of the saga-complex. Schol. Eur. Or. 268 and P.M.G. 217.14-24, it is true, attest that Orestes is under the charge of *) On ‘Hesiod’ and Stesichorus see the pertinent remarks of C. M. Bowra, G re e k 19612, pp. 79, 81.

L y r ic P o e tr y ,

INTRODUCTION

3

Apollo in Stesichorus’ poem, but since Pylades is mentioned in the poor extract from the Νόστοi l) (vide supra) it is not to be excluded that the connections between Orestes and Pythian Apollo were already esta­ blished in epic poetry (that is not to say that we should revive the idea of a formal Delphic Oresteia) 12). Neither should we overestimate the part played by “Delphi” in the formation of the Orestes-saga, nor minimize the importance of the old connections between Orestes and Athens (cf. Od. Ill 306, 7 τώ 8é οί όγδοάτψ κακόν ηλνθε δΐος ’Ορέστης \ άφ απ’ Άθηνάων, κατά δ’ ίκτανε πατροφονηα: it will not do here to read with Aristarchus Άθηναίης nor with Zenodotus Φωκήων), as Defradas is prone to do. An important difference between Stesichorus and the tragedians concerns the site of Agamemnon’s palace: whereas the tragedians follow the general tradition in placing this and the murder and revenge at Mycenae or Argos (sometimes hardly to be distinguished), the place is Sparta (Λακεδαίμονι) in Stesichorus (thus also Simonides P.M.G. 216, and Pindar Pyth. X I 16 Λάκωνος '0 ρόστα, 32 Άμΰκλαις). But it is a fact that not even in the Odyssey is the filace of Agamemnon’s murder Mycenae, but Aegisthus’ palace outside Agamemnon’s own territory, perhaps in Laconia (cf. Od. IV 514 sqq., X I409 sqq., Lesky l.c., p. 13; cf., on the other hand όφόστιος Od. Ill 234). The date of Pind, Pyth. XI remains uncertain (474 or 454). If 474 is the correct date3), he is so far as we know the first to mention Strophius the Phocian, Pylades’ father, as Orestes’ host (vss. 15, 16, 34, 35) and since Pindar follows Stesichorus in the Laconian localization of the events, we might infer that Strophius and Orestes’ exile in Phocis also occurred in Stesichorus; this gains weight from the fact that in Stesi­ chorus Orestes’ τροφός plays a part in the story4). No mention of Electra is made by Pindar. All this is of comparatively small importance for Sophocles’ Electra. Sophocles may be supposed to have had cognizance of Stesichorus’, Simonides’, Pindar’s poems and he indubitably was aware of the ‘Ho­ meric’ and possibly of the ‘Hesiodean’ traditions concerning the house

1) Note that Stesichorus also wrote a poem N iort«. (P .M .G . 208, 209). 2) Wilamowitz’ conception, still adhered to by him in A is c h y lo s In te r p re ta tio n e n , 1914, p. 192. 3) Cf., however, C. M. Bowra, P in d a r, 1964, pp. 402-405. 4) Note, however, that in Aeschylus it is Clytaemestra herself, not the τροφόν —as in Pindar—who entrusted Orestes to Strophius.

4

INTRODUCTION

of the Atreidae (or the Pelopidae), but much more important for him must have been Aeschylus’ Oresteia. For whatever the rôle assigned to Electra in late epic tradition and in Stesichorus, it was in Aeschylus’ Choëphoroi that he had seen her playing her part with the Chorus, with Orestes in the recognition-scene and with both in the κομμό?, where she partakes in the mental preparation for the revenge, whereupon, after the following urgent invocation of the father by the brother and the sister (Cho, 479-509) and Orestes’ exposition of his design, she leaves the stage (579, 80) not to return in the second half of the play. Aeschylus of course did not intend to write a tragedy on Electra but on the punish­ ment of Agamemnon’s murderers; Orestes the matricide on the orders of Apollo is in the centre of the picture. But that is not to say that his Electra lacks meaning and perspective. For a poet who like Sophocles wanted to dramatize the tragedy of Electra (or to centre the story of the revenge of Agamemnon neither on Orest nor on the problematic nature of the revenge), Aeschylus’ Electra offered in many respects an excellent point of departure. Up to a point Sophocles’ creation of Electra is an elaboration, a development of much that is to be found, in germ or in outline, in the Aeschylean Electra, although the differences are great. The idea of the sister who has remained at home with the murderers of the father and who, faithful to the memory of the latter, during the long years of her suffering and isolation, has craved for the return of her brother, for the day of justice and liberation—this idea which is at the root of Sophocles’ tragedy, he borrowed from Aeschylus. The germ of Sophocles’ maid in mourning, obsessed by the traumatic experi­ ence of her father’s death and by her everlasting hate against the murder­ ers and her thirst for revenge is clearly present in Aeschylus’ figure: cf. Cho. 17, 18 (Orestes on seeing Electra with the Chorus) καί γάρ ’Ηλεκτραν 8οκώ | στείχειν αδελφήν την εμην πενθεί λυγρω \ πpéπου σαν. lb. 101 (Electra to the Chorus) κοινόν γάρ εχθος εν δόμοι? νομίζομεν, ib. 132, 3 (Electra on her and Orestes’ plight) πεπραμενοι γάρ νΰν γό πως άλώμεθα | προς της τεκούσης, ib. 138, ib. 189-191 (on Clytaemestra), 235 sqq. (Electra to Orestes after the recognition), 418422 (she informs Orestes how she has come to hate Clytaemestra and how this hatred has made her resemble her mother precisely in this respect) λύκος ... ωστ ώμόφρων άσαντος εκ ματρός εστι θυμός), 444-450 (Electra’s remembrance of the occasion of Agamemnon’s slaughter). But, before the recognition, Aeschylus’ Electra shows a certain hesitation as to what her line of conduct ought to be in the matter of

INTRODUCTION

5

Clytaemestra’s expiatory sacrifice on Agamemnon’s tomb after the dream. She asks the Chorus for advice and it is the Chorus who leads her to take the course comparable to Chrysothemis’ at the advice of Electra in Sophocles. She longs for Orestes’ return but we do not hear that she had sent for him. She stiffens, it is true, by her considerable contribution to the κομμόs, Orestes’ will to carry the revenge into effect, but so, in no lesser degree, does the Chorus. Despite her remaining true to the memory of Agamemnon, and her longing for revenge and for δίκη, she is not that idea of faithfulness and of desire for revenge made incarnate which we find in the Sophoclean heroine. She is not the dynamic centre of the tragedy and it is entirely in keeping with Aeschylus’ general design in the Oresteia that she disappears from the stage and the play when the action proper begins and that she does not partake in the murder itself: the problem of her culpability does not arise, nothing more is heard of her neither in the Choëphoroi nor in the Eumenides. We may imagine that Sophocles’ purpose in his Electra was simply this: to write a tragedy on the revenge for Agamemnon’s murder with the faithful daughter at the centre of the play, for whose portraiture the Electra of the Choephoroi provided him with a good starting-point. Those who believe in the priority of Sophocles’ Electra to Euripides’ tragedy will be inclined to leave it at that. 2. Sophocles

and

E uripides

But since Euripides’ Electra exists the problem is not as simple as that. Ergocentric views of the study of literature in their extreme forms may bid us leave aside questions of chronology, priority, influence, historical context as leading away from the real problems of the poetical work in itself; but for the study of all literature that draws inspiration from the sources of common tradition, such views are strongly to be rejected. This applies with particular force to Greek Tragedy, which in the choice of its material is traditional with a vengeance and which is ‘agonistic’ in the practice of its pursuit. It is not to be believed that a Sophocles or a Euripides composing a tragedy entitled Electra after the composition of a similarly entitled work by his rival would not, in one way or other, have taken account of the other’s play. And so, I am convinced, the priority problem is more than merely an interesting question of literary history not affecting the interpretation of at least one of the plays concerned. Even if we were to assume that the dates of the plays coincided (a theoretical

INTRODUCTION

possibility not entirely illusory), even then a comparison between the two would remain fruitful for a better understanding of both. It is a well-known fact that strictly external evidence on the dates of the two plays and on their relative chronology is not available. We have no διδασκαλία of either of them nor is anything to be found on the matter in the Sophocles scholia or elsewhere in ancient literature. As far as anything may be gathered from Sophocles’ evolution in the matters of style, primacy of the protagonist, structure of the play as a whole, details of dramatic technique, treatment of the chorus, of lyric passages sung by the protagonist, and of lyric metres, a date somewhere between Oedipus Tyrannus (itself not dated, but 426 or 425 seems acceptable) and Philoctetes (409), perhaps not too far from the latterl). seems to be fairly certain; but this leaves us with a large margin. As to Euripides’ Electra, the confidence with which almost everybody proclaimed 413 as its date on the basis of 1280-1283 (considered as an announcement of the Helen, 412) and in particular of 1347 sq. ν ώ 8 ’ ε π ί π ό ν τ ο ν Σ ι κ ε λ ο ν σ π ο υ 8 ί ) / σ ώ σ ο ν τ ε ν έ ω ν π ρ ώ ρ α ς ε ν ά λ ο υ ς (interpreted as a historical allusion to Eurymedon and Demosthenes’ auxiliary expedition sent to the rescue of Nicias’ forces before Syracuse) has not recovered from the blow dealt to it by G. Zuntz’ forceful argumentation in The Political Plays o f Euripides, 1955, pp. 64-71. Zuntz pointed out that (above all in view of the structure of its trimeters) 413 is too late a date for the play and that we have to assign it to the period between 422-416'). In itself this makes the chances of Sophocles’ play coming after Euripides’ greater, without, of course, proving anything. But it would be indeed strange if Sophocles’ Electra were unknown to Euripides when he was composing his Orestes (date 408), for in the Orestes the pre­ suppositions of the action much more closely resemble what one might suppose as a sequel to Sophocles’ Electra than as a continuation of Euripides’ synonymous play; and moreover in the Orestes Chrysothemis (lacking in Euripides’ Electra and Iphigeneia Taurica) is mentioned (23) without any dramatic necessity. The latter small fact in itself strongly militates against dating Euripides’ Electra after Sophocles’. The two tragedies offer many textual similarities but their close study has not and will not lead to a generally accepted solution of the*) l) Cf. the sensible remarks by A. S. Owen, T h e D a te o f S o p h o c le s ' E le c tr a , in 1936, pp. 143-157, who opts for 410 or 411. *) W. Theiler’s Schubladen-theory, D ie e w ig en E le k tr e n , Wiener Studien LXXIX, 1966, p. 103. is unconvincing. G re e k P o e tr y a n d L ife ,

INTRODUCTION

7

priority problem. This at any rate has to be granted to A. Vogler 0, much as one may disagree with his final conclusion. There are, however, at least two remarks I want to make on questions which reach further than ‘details’. It is well-known that the recognition-signs occurring in the Choêphoroi (177-234) are scornfully rejected by Electra in Euripides’ play (520-544), without much dramatic necessity. In fact Aeschylus’ devices are all but parodied by Euripides (I know very well that the intention of parody is sometimes denied by modem scholars but I think it is manifest; that the tone and the spirit of these rejections are quite in keeping with the portrayal of this Electra is another m atter2) ). Now nobody would deny that, chronology apart, Euripides’ interpretation of the saga strongly contrasts with Sophocles’. No explicit criticism, however, of Sophocles’ dramaturgical methods in his Electra, as com­ pared with the criticism of Aeschylus in this respect, is to be found in Euripides’ play and this is the more remarkable since such criticism does occur in Euripides, not in the Electra but in the Helen 1049-1056, where Helen’s proposal to Menelaos β ο υ λ ή λ ε γ ε σ θ α ι ; μ η θ α ν ώ ν , λ ό γ ω θ α ν ε ΐ ν (and her intention to bewail the λ ό γ ω θ α ν ό ν τ α , γ υ ν α ι κ ε ί ο ς ... κ ο υ ρ α ΐ σ ι κ α ι θ ρ η ν ο ι σ ι ) elicits her husband’s famous comment: π α λ α ι ό τη 5

γά ρ

τω

λόγω

γ'

ενεσ τί τ ς

3).

It would, of course, be preposterous to expect any form of explicit criticism of his rival by Sophocles. My second remark regards the structure of the parodos in Sophocles’ Electra. A long monody of the protagonist is followed by the parodos proper consisting in an ά μ ο ι β α ΐ ο ν between the protagonist and the Chorus. Such a structure is not to be found elsewhere in Sophocles, whereas the parodoi in Euripides’ Hecuba, Troades, Io, Helen are comparable; but its exact like occurs only in his Electra. It would seem more likely that in this respect Sophocles learned something from Euripides than vice versa. As a working-hypothesis, then, I assume the priority of Euripides’ play4). So without entering into all the details of this complicated, admirable and in some respects baffling tragedy I think it relevant to *) V e rg le ich e n d e S tu d ie n z u r s o p h o k le ls c h e n u n d e u rip id eisc h en E le k tr a , 1967, 32. Cf. H. Friis Johansen, D ie E le k tr a d e s S o p h o k le s , CI. et Med. 25 (1964), p. 10. a) Cf. W. H. Friedrich, E u r ip id e s u n d D ip h ilo s, 1953, pp. 79-81. a) Cf. my commentary on 11. 59, 60 and A. M. Dale on Eur. I f el. 1050 sqq. and in the same’s paper on Sophocles’ E le c tr a ( C o lle c te d P a p e rs, 1969, p. 228 sq.). 4) Implicitly rejecting the sequence Soph. E l., Eur. E l., Eur. I . T . , upheld by P. Klimpe, D ie *E le c tr a ’ d e s S o p h o k le s u n d E u r ip id e s ’ 'Ip h ig e n ie b e i d e n T a u re rn ’, 1970.

8

INTRODUCTION

mark a number of its features by which it shows striking difference in comparison with Sophocles’ Electra. (1) The position of Electra is far less central; Orestes and his fate are almost as important as Electra’s. (2)Electra’s thirst for revenge derives more from her own sufferings and her personal hatred than from her sense of duty to the memory of her father (though the latter element is not lacking). (3) Heroic stature is absent in Electra and still more in Orestes. (4) The design and the execution of both Aegisthus’ and Clytaemestra’s murder are con­ trived in such a way that the horror of it all overrules any feeling of satisfaction at justice done. (5) After the murder of Clytaemestra her children are shown as broken and reduced to despair. (6) The portraiture of Clytaemestra (in her dialogue with Electra just before her death) is apt to arouse in the hearer some sympathy with her; she shows some remorse and a certain amount of uncertainty.. (7) The rightness of Apollo’s command is questioned or even denied by the murderers, by the Chorus and even by the Dioscuri. In brief: the saga is dramatized in its full atrocity without redeeming features (the epilogue with the Dioscuri does not belong to the tragedy proper; it supplies an indis­ pensable rounding off or, if you prefer, a neat winding up, but it does not attempt to reestablish harmony after chaos—or if it does, it fails in that respect). The meaning of the saga is reduced to absurdity. Tragedy, if tragedy there is, is the tragedy of the absurd, 3. SOPHOCLES’ Electra; σΰστασις των πραγμάτων

la. In the iambic part of the Prologue the action proper of the play is prepared by the partly expository, partly exhortatory rhesis of the Paedagogus and by Orestes’ exposition of the course by which he has decided to attain his goal: the revenge on the murderers and the vindi­ cation of his rights, in accordance with Apollo’s prescriptions (53 cf. note a.L). At the end of Orestes’ speech (76) the hearer possesses all the data which will enable him to follow the course of the action—all but one, the reality of Electra’s plight. For though it has been mentioned by the Paedagogus, that it was through her interference that Orestes had been saved at the time of Agamemnon’s murder (11,12), her name is conspicuously absent throughout Orestes’ words. Immediately after Orestes’ brisk* last words (75, 6 echo the Paedagogus’ last lines 21,2, the μηχάνημα of the action is set in motion) Electra’s cry from the palace is heard (77). A momentary hesitation on Orestes’ part is over­ ruled by the Paedagogus and they leave the stage. By this device it is

INTRODUCTION

9

clear that the sequence of the action is to be quite different from either Aeschylus’ or Euripides’ pattern: no overhearing of Electra by her brother, no recognition between the two for the time being, lb. The second part of the Prologue, forming a point by point contrast with the first part, consists of Electra’s threnodic monologue in ana­ paests. the elaboration, as it were, of her cry 77. She is introduced as the splitary mourner for her father,, full of the memory of the gruesome.. dee4 bent on its revenge and waiting for Orestes* 2. The Parodos, in the form of a long amoibaion between Chorus and protagonist, develops the portrayal of Electra’s situation, the passionateness of her feelings, her unswerving faithfulness to Aga­ memnon’s memory, her desperate longing for Orestes’ return, the hopelessness of her withering youth (121-250). Not a single word in this great structure is irrelevant to the matter in hand. When its last lapidary sentence (245-250) has sounded, we know all about this Electra and the impact of these lyrics is such that the hearer will identify himself with the heroine to an uncommonly high degree. 2a. In the first scene of the first epeisodion (251-327) Electra’s long rhesis states more precisely the βία (256) of her situation which forces her to do as she does and to be as she is; the carryings-on of Aegisthus and Clytaemestra are pictured in graphic details. Again, her waiting in vain for Orestes is stressed (303-306) and the last lines of her speech (307-309) contain a summary of her tragic plight, in which she is forced êv roîs Kaicoîs èmrrfieàetv κακά (cf. 221 sqq.). In the short dialogue which follows we hear (1) that Aegisthus is absent, (2) that Orestes has sent word to Electra that he will come (319, cf. 170). This second point has its importance in driving home to the spectator the irony of the situation: φησίν ye · φάσκων S’ oôSèv Sv Aeyei noeî. To this dramatic irony, in a sense the inverse of the tragic irony in for instance the Oedipus Tyrannus, which is maintained throughout the play until Electra is allowed to recognize Orestes (1221), we shall revert in the course of this discussion. 2b. The second scene brings Chrysothemis with Clytaemestra’s offerings to Agamemnon which are meant to avert the evil forebodings of her dream. The motif has been taken from the Choëphoroi*), but its function is quite different*2). There Electra takes counsel with the Chorus whether *) But not the contents o f the dream, cf. note ad 1. 410. 2) Note that with Euripides there is no dream at all.

INTRODUCTION

or not they will act according to the queen’s orders, here Chrysothemis is dissuaded by Electra from obeying her mother. There Orestes secretly witnesses the scene and later on (Cho. 523 sqq.) he will draw encourage­ ment from his own interpretation of the dream, when its details have been told him, whereas in Sophocles’ play Orestes never gets to know the dream. The dream is there as a sign of hope and as an occasion for Electra to seize upon it and to prevail upon her sister literally to set at naught Clytaemestra’s orders and her impious offerings. This brings about a sort of understanding between the two sisters after the preceding fairly bitter altercation arising from their fundamental difference. For, of course, the complication brought into the play by introducing Chryso­ themis, has in itself nothing to do with the dream: a servant rôle might have sufficed for that purpose, Chrysothemis, certainly not lacking in individual ήθος, serves above all as a foil to Electra, as a girl on the level of common humanity in contradistinction to Electra’s heroic „status*. From a technical point of view, however, the poet has made the most of his decision to provide his central figure with a contrasting sister (indubitably borrowing the idea from his own Antigone) by allotting to Chrysothemis a well-defined but limited part in the action of the play alongside and interwoven with her function of setting off Electra by contrast. At the end of the scene Chrysothemis starts off for Aga­ memnon’s grave (as Orestes c.s. at the end of the first scene of the Prologue) and the spectator is bound to wonder what and whom he is to see and hear at the opening of the next epeisodion. Chrysothemis again or the Paedagogus? 3. The impression of hope which the spectator gets from the dream is confirmed by the confident comments of strophe and antistrophe of the first Stasimon (etaiv Δίκα μίτΐΐσιν ού μακροΰ χρόνον, άδυπνόων ... όνΐφάτων, rjÇei ... Έριννς). The reliability of dreams and oracles will not be gainsaid. But the same strain is not continued in the epode, a gloomy song if ever there was one, in fact a dirge on the αΐκΐία prevailing in Pelops’ house, πολυπονας atW a ... enter Clytaemestra. 4a. Before the expected arrival of the Paedagogus the poet has chosen to place a scene of confrontation between the two absolute antagonists of the tragedy. There is an ‘agon’ between Electra and Clytaemestra in Euripides’ play but its place as well as its function are widely different. It is inter alia evidently meant to enhance the horror of the murder which will follow it immediately, it is interwoven with the climax of the μηχάνημα action itself; rather than Clytaemestra it is Electra who is exhibited by it in a lurid light.

INTRODUCTION

11

Such an άγων as this, as is correctly noted by H. Friis Johansen *) has hardly an exact parallel in Sophocles’ extant tragedies, for it is only here that a real discussion between protagonist and opponent takes place. To this extent the method here applied reminds us unmistakably of Euripides rather than of Sophocles’ other plays but on the other hand there is no question of representing the rights and the wrongs of either as relative and debatable: E ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ M h a a k ila ^ a jQ v ta e mesMWiqweg, r -with-A-egistlius (561, 2, cf. 493, 4); Jphigeneia’s deatàrwaa-only-pretext,--witness her ill-treatment of the other children (589, 590). Ifcjrfl«taë)nestra’-s-condi!et-which'c5Tnpëls Electrä tö follow h e J p e rof. behaviour- however- ιη ίίφ .ΐΛ ^ ΐ^ Γ β ^ Ιβ ^ ^ ^ ΐΐί-ίε ΙΓ (616621). The result of this ά γ ω ν is a triumph for Electra; Clytaemestra’s fundamental wickedness is confirmed by her impious and infamous prayer to Apollo. So first in the preceding scene with Chrysotliemis and now more forcibly in this scene the decision of the heroine to abide fey her self-imposedjiorxnJs dramatically vindicated. There is an obvious climax leading from the intercourse between Electra and Chorus via the stirring confrontation with Chrysothemis to the grand and dis­ tressing scene between mother and daughter. Two other points call for some comment. (1) The portraiture of Clytaemestra does not begin in this scene. We have had a sketch of her demeanour in the first scene of the first epeisodion from the lips of Electra (275-298) and her actual words and ways of reacting here are entirely consistent with that por­ trayal (cf. note ad 294, 5). And it is not enough to lay stress on the wickedness of this ‘character’, still more important perhaps is the fear which lies at the bottom of her words and deeds (cf. note ad 296, 7). (2) Electra is right, Clytaemestra wrong (and so her death will be a small loss, we infer). Electra triumphs: certainly, but still more explicitly than in the Parodos and in the following scene with the Chorus (131, 135; 221 sqq.; 254 sq.; 307-309) the tragic consequences of her stand are emphasized (608,9; 616-621). At the end of the debate (633) Clytaemestra proceeds to pray to Apollo, Electra remaining on the stage (Electra’s continuous presence on the stage throughout the play, very impressive and symbolic of the meaning of the tragedy, confronts the stage-manager with a number of problems: for instance here, does she remain where she stood during

i) D ie E l e k tr a d e s S o p h o k le s, Cl. and Med., XXV (1964) esp. p. 19.

INTRODUCTION

the ά γ ω ν — presumably at the centre of the stage facing Clytaemestra— or does she move away—which is probable—?). 4b. Enter the Paedagogus, just when Clytaemestra has finished her prayer. Evidently the prayer has been introduced not only in order to make Clytaemestra’s entrance plausible (this entrance with offerings, by the way, creates a sort of scenic ‘rime’ with Chrysothemis’ coming upon stage), and to demonstrate her impiety but also for another pur­ pose: a highwater mark of dramatic irony is achieved by it: for to all appearances Clytaemestra’s prayer is immediately followed up by its fulfilment. Fourteen lines after the end of her prayer the queen will have heard of Orestes’ death and so will Electra. Electra’s triumph is followed by the crippling of her hopes, Clytaemestra’s humiliation by the suppression of her fears. “Wie im König Oedipus, in der Entdeckungs­ szene, Iokastens Aufstieg zum Triumph und Niedergang dem Nieder­ gang und Aufstieg zum Triumph des Oedipus entgegenlief, wie die Figuren einer zweistimmigen Fuge, so ist auch Elektras Aufstieg und Triumph und Niedergang zum Niedergang und Aufstieg Klytaemestras gegenstimmig durchfugiert” J). But, as Reinhardt himself pointed ou t3 , the differences are great. If it is true that both the Oedipus Tyrannus and the Elektra are plays of ‘Sein’ and ‘Schein’, the ‘Schein’ in the Elektra is above all the result of human craft and less of that ignorance which is inherent in the human condition as contrasted with the inscrut­ able divine omniscience3) (though it may be argued that δόλοισι κ λ ε ψ α ι 37 is the hub of Apollo’s command; but I am loath to urge that point). The hearer who knows for certain, not only by his knowledge of the saga but also by having witnessed the Prologue, that Orestes is alive and not far away, bent on perpetrating the revenge, knows also that the appearance of the Paedagogus means the beginning of Clytaemestra’s undoing. But by his identification with Electra he will at the same time be shocked by the message of Orestes’ death, and this antinomy between his knowledge and his sentiment will continue up till the moment of recognition. For the time being, when hearing the elaborated story of Orestes’ triumph and fall at the Pythian games from the mouth of the Paedagogus —no less than eighty-four lines—he will be at the mercy of this pathetic*) *) K . Reinhardt, S o p h o k le s \ 1933, p. 161. He means o f course O .T . 924-1085, preceded by Iocasta’s prayer to Apollo. z) Ib id e m , pp. 161 sqq. ’) See J. M. Bremer, H a m a r tia , thesis, Amsterdam 1969, pp. 166-169.

INTRODUCTION

13

report, in which all the stops of rhetorical narrative are pulled out, and, if he is thoughtful, he will think of the impact this is bound to make on Electra. The very long messenger’s report, indeed, should not be exclu­ sively regarded as the show-piece of virtuosity it indubitably is nor should we think that the hearer is meant to be brought under its impact to such a degree that he really believes Orestes to be dead, not even for the time being. Its function in the play as a whole is to demonstrate what would be the situation if Orestes were really dead and to show Clytaemestra’s perversity as well as Electra’s heroism. And, of course, it serves the intrigue, it is essential to it. It had to be elaborate in order to be credible and a full account of a hero’s death was in keeping with the traditions of Greek Tragedy. There is moreover a striking irony in the presentation of the circumstances of Orestes’ fictitious death: Orestes who at the end of the play will be seen as the triumphant avenger at Apollo’s command, is brought down, after deeds of prowess, a victim to fate, at the games held in honour of Apollo, according to the story of the Paedagogus. This subtlety is contrived at the small cost of an anachronism. After the report Clytaemestra’s relief at hearing the news swiftly chokes a remnant of maternal feelings and after a bitter alter­ cation with Electra she goes indoors with the Paedagogus. Electra remains before the palace, a prey to utter despair. 5. The two strophic pairs of the Kommos 823-870 between the Chorus and Electra enlarge upon the hopeless situation. 6. In sharp contrast with this mournful lament is the opening of the third epeisodion (cf. ad 823-870): the swift and joyful entrance of Chrysothemis, returning from Agamemnon’s grave where she has seen Orestes’ offerings. It does not take long for her brisk hopefulness to be quenched by Electra’s sombre and absolute certitude. Chrysothemis notwith­ standing her intense experience at Agamemnon’s grave is soon convinced of her apparent error. And so the shallow nature who for once was right is enticed into the delusion under which her deep-feeling, earnest sister has been brought. Then the poet makes Electra seize upon her chance of winning her sister over to her ultimate aim: that together they should be the executioners of the revenge. For Electra is shown to have recovered from the blow which plunged her into despair. But, of course, this proposal only leads to a wrangle between the two sisters far worse than in the first Chrysothemis scene. Electra has to stand and act alone. 7. The second stasimon deals with the strife between the two sisters, with Electra’s situation and develops into a prayer for and a eulogy of Electra’s heroism.

14

INTRODUCTION

8a. Fourth epeisodion, first scene: enter Orestes and Pylades with servants carrying the urn. The plan of the scene sequence can now be made clear by the following conspectus: Paedagogus Orestes (Pyl.) 77 Electra (ενδοθεν) Electra Prologue (second part 86-120) Parodos (121-250) Chorus Electra Chorus First epeisod. (first scene 251-327) Electra Chrysothemis First epeisod. (second scene 328-471) Electra Chorus First stasimon (472-515) Chorus (El.) Clytaemestra Second epeisod. (first scene 516-659) Electra Chorus Paedagogus Second epeisod. (second scene 660-822) Chorus Clytaemestra Electra Kommos (823-870) Chorus Electra Chrysothemis Third epeisod. (871-1057) Electra Chorus Chorus (El.) Second stasimon (1058-1097) Fourth epeisod. (first scene 1098-1231) Orestes (Pyl.) (with amoibaion 1232-1287) Chorus Electra Fourth epeisod. (second scene 1288-1383) Orestes Electra Paedagogus Third stasimon (1384-1397) Chorus Exodos (first scene: a 1397-1421) Electra Chorus Clytaemestra (ενδοθεν) Prologue (first part 1-85)

15

INTRODUCTION

Exodos (first scene: b 1422-1441)

Exodos (second scene: a 1441-1465) Exodos (second scene: b 1466-1507)

Exodos (final anapaests: 1508-1510)

Chorus Electra Orestes (Pyl.) Aegisthus Electra Aegisthus Orestes (Pyl.) Electra Chorus x)

Electra is on the stage from 86 to the end except during the short third stasimon. The presence of the Paedagogus marks the scenes in which the plot (deceit + revenge) is announced (Prologue, first scene), the deceit is brought about (second epeis., second scene) and the revenge is urged on (fourth epeis., second scene). Clytaemestra’s ίνδοθαν in the Exodos (first scene a) answers, in a sense, Electra’s in the Prologue (77)*2). Prologue (first part) and Fourth epeis". (first scene) encompass, so to say, the intervening parts, again Par. First epeis. first and second scene and Kommos and Third epeis. encircle the two parts of the Second epeis. or, if you prefer, First epeis. second scene and Third epeisodion encircle the Second epeis. The spectators immediately recognize Orestes c.s. and are in tense expectation of the recognition which is bound to follow. To Electra’s mind the ashes of her brother are before her and with the Chorus in Track. (962, 3) she might have exclaimed άγχοΰ 8’ âpa κού μακράν προύκλαιον, οξύφωνος ώς αηδών. Her determi­ nation of the preceding scene is shown to vanish when facing the apparent concrete τβκμήριον of Orestes’ death. Before the recognition the poet makes her pour out all the grief of her bereavement and all her love. Indubitably the great and highly pathetic scene involving Electra and the urn, quite apart from its intrinsic merits as a moving picture of sentiment, serves as a rounding off of Electra’s portraiture: the picture of hate has to be counterbalanced by a picture of love. Few recognitions are brought about with such a sustained suspense

*) For a comparable survey cf. E. Brann, A N o te o n th e S tr u c tu r e o f S o p h o c le s ’ Cl. Philol, LII (1957), pp. 103-104, to which Dr. Bremer has drawn my attention. 2) Cf. R. W. Minadeo, S o p h o c le s ’ E le c tr a , Cl. and Med. XXVIII (1969, 1970), pp. 119 sq.

E le c tr a ,

INTRODUCTION

and by such refined means as this one1). And in this scene Orestes is shown as becoming aware how questionable were his words in the Prologue r t γάρ μ ΐ λ υ π ε ί τ ο ν θ ό τα ν λ ό γ ω θανών / Ζργοισι σωθώ κάξενέγκωμαι κλόος; (59, 60). 8b. The tension of the recognition scene is counterbalanced by the comparative elation of the following amoibaion between Electra and Orestes, that is to say the elation is entirely on the part of Electra, Orestes’ trimeters are expressive of restraint throughout. 8c. The next scene is tripartite and prepares for the scene of the murder: (1) Orestes inquires after the situation in the palace and warns Electra not to show her happiness. Electra reassures him on the latter point, informs him that Aegisthus is not at home and confirms him in his readiness by stating that she, if she had been left alone, would have executed the revenge or died (1319-21). (2) Entrance of the Paedagogus: Orestes is startled at hearing somebody approaching from within and Electra immediately enters into her role of deceit she will have to play at Aegisthus’ arrival2), The Paedagogus rebukes the two for the delay and urges action but before he is obeyed the recognition between him and Electra takes place, the last postponement of the deed. Electra’s lines to him (esp. 1358-1363) are a telling comment on the deceit as it had affected her. (3) At the moment when Orestes, Pylades and (ap­ parently) the Paedagogus enter the palace, Electra is praying to Apollo (1376-1383), impressive parallel to Clytaemestra’s prayer to the same god (637-659). 9. The concise third stasimon effectively functions as a prelude to and as a comment upon what is going to happen. 10. The last ± 120 lines of the play (total number of lines 1510) deal with (la) Clytaemestra’s slaying within the palace, Electra remaining outside and taking a verbal part in the murder. (Even here the main dramatis persona is not Orestes but Electra). (lb) Orestes and Pylades’ entering from the house and Aegisthus’ approach. (The two scenes la and lb are construed in the form of an antistrophic kommos divided between Electra, Chorus, Clytaemestra ëvSoOev in the strophe and Electra, Orestes, Chorus in the antistrophe). (2a) Aegisthus’ being led before Clytaemestra’s shrouded corpse by Electra’s deceitful words, (2b) Aegisthus’ being led away to the interior of the palace in order*) *) See F. Solmsen’s very sensitive discussion of the recognition in E le c tr a a n d Mededelingen der Kon. Ned. Ak. Letterk. N.R. 30.2 (1967), pp. 18-34. *) The lines 1323-1325 are, in a sense, a prelude to 1448 sqq. O re s te s, T h r e e R e c o g n itio n s in G re e k T ra g e d y,

INTRODUCTION

17

to meet his fate. (Dialogue between Aegisthus and Electra in 2a, between Aegisthus, Orestes and Electra in the scene 2b). Short concluding anapaestic system recited by the Coryphaeus. It is, of course, merely the semblance of truth to aver that only these last 120 lines deal with the murder. The structure of the play leads up to it and throughout the tragedy the idea of the revenge is part and parcel of Electra’s portraiture. But there are a few remarks on this Exodos I want to add: (1) the disposal of the two criminals within a comparatively very short space of time is not detrimental to its shocking effect^ on the contrary. (2) Although the transmitted text is probably corrupt at the end. of 1423, ambiguous in 1425 and deplorably defective after 1427, it remains true that, to say the least, very little explicit stress is laid on the horror and the problematic character of the deed. (3) On the other hand, the portraiture of Clytaemestra, in the course of the tragedy, has been such that the inclination (on the part of the spectator) to pity her fate when it overtakes her has been reduced to a minimum. (4) The order of the murders kept by Aeschylus and Euripides, has been reversed by Sophocles. It has been often thought that he did so in order to conclude his play by a triumph whose justness was in all respects unobjectionable and thus to quench the feelings of uneasiness possibly aroused in his audience by a matricide without Erinyes or remorse. There may be some element of truth in this but I should rather be inclined to judge as follows: assuming that Sophocles wanted to write a play on the tragedy of Electra without bothering about what tradition­ ally was to follow the revenge for Agamemnon’s murder, he could not but prefer the reverse order of the murders. For otherwise the play would have ended on a climax and this would have been intolerable from a dramaturgic viewpoint. The murder of Aegisthus, technically speaking, is the equivalent of Orestes’ being assailed by the Erinyes in the Choëphoroi and of the scene of remorse in Euripides’ Electra 0(5) Had it been the poet’s intention to spare the audience’s feelings regarding the matricide, would he then have given to Electra the grisly words: παΐσον, el adéveis, διπλήν! 4. E lectra ’s T ragedy

In his very important paper on Sophocles’ play z), Holger Friis Johansen has given us a reinterpretation of the Electra, which in many12 1) Friis Johansen’s article, quoted above, pp. 7, 11. 2) See the previous note.

INTRODUCTION

respects is illuminating (both this Introduction and the Commentary owe an important debt to his argumentation). Taking his inspiration i.a. from J. T. Sheppard’s J) and R. P. Winnington-Ingram’s 2) papers on the tragedy, he argues against the fairly common conception accord­ ing to which Sophocles, owing to his placing Electra’s sufferings and fortunes in the centre of the play, dealt with the matricide as a subsidiary matter. The culminating point of the action would be represented by the recognition scene, the deceit and its consequences for Electra would have to be regarded as the essential subject-matter of the drama; since the problem of the matricide did not play any important part, the spectator of the tragedy would go home under the impression that justice has taken its course, that the evil-doers have been punished and the brother and sister, after their triumph, will live a happy life. Friis Johansen’s arguments strongly and convincingly disprove such notions; the portraiture of Electra as the daughter of her mother, as a human being whose fate is bound up with the fact that the Erinyes hold sway over Pelops’ offspring; her discontent with her own. behaviour indissolubly linked up. with her sense of duty withregard t o t h e re venge; the manner in which she partakes in the revenge itself, all this is in favour of his statement that as with the other tragedians the matricide has to be regarded as the critical point on which the action of the play hinges. But if we have settled that important point, we should immediately add as a corollary that with regard to Sophocles’ Electra at any rate (and, as I for one am inclined to believe, to all Sophocles’ tragedies) the dichotomy between a w d e a i s or σ ΰ σ τ α σ ι ς τ ω ν π ρ α γ μ ά τ ω ν and ‘charac­ ters’ which we owe to the analytical mind of Aristotle is a sadly defective tool of interpretation. For the matter with which this tragedy deals is, to be sure, the traditional matricide of the Atreidae saga but only in so far as the life and being and fate of its protagonist are bound up with it. The main features of a saga complex are not to be tampered with in its dramatic representation which is tragedy. This is not simply a question of piously observing a tradition. Tragedies are ‘history’, things which have happened, reenacted. What has happened, as well as what happens, did so and does so by divine will as well as by the act of m an*3). *) T h e T r a g e d y o f E le c tr a , a c co rd in g to S o p h o c le s, Cl. Qu. XII (1918), pp. 80-88. z) T h e ‘E le c tr a ' o f S o p h o c le s, P r o le g o m e n a to a n In te r p r e ta tio n , Proc. Cambr. Philol. Society 183 (1954, 55), pp. 20-26. 3) The reader will understand that these considerations owe much to Kitto’s invalu­ able S o p h o c le s D r a m a tis t a n d P h ilo so p h e r, 1958.

INTRODUCTION

19

The problem of the Tragedians, briefly stated, was this: how to make sense of terrible acts and sufferings willed by the gods, if these gods stand at the same time as the upholders of a ‘moral’ order? The answer of Aeschylus, as far as we can see, was mainly ‘theological’, harmony is in the end to be found in the supreme power of Zeus’ Δίκη. To Euri­ pides’ mind the universe seems to be governed rather by arbitrariness than by a harmonizing power and Tragedy in his hands is on the way to becoming a demonstration of the absurdity of human fate and of the non-sense of traditional saga. Such is the impression one especially gets from a play like his Electra where—as in the majority of his plays, but not in all—the chief characters are ‘menschlich, allzu menschlich’. That is to say ‘allzu menschlich’ for the saga to retain its sense, for man’s condition to retain some redeeming features and some dignity. Sophocles does not share Aeschylus’ inclination to a theodicy and still less Euri­ pides’ swerving moods which often come near TO denying altogether the existence of the traditional gods. He dramatizes terrible acts and sufferings in order to make sense of these by the portraiture of the dramatic personae, by the singleness of purpose inherent in his protagon­ ists, by their standing up against fate, by their ‘heroic temper’, οΐον καί Σοφοκλής £φη αυτός μ£ν οΐονς δει ποιεΐν, Εύριττίδην Sè'oïoi elalv. It would seem plausible to assume that Sophocles felt aroused to write his Electra at seeing Euripides’ play. For to a higher degree perhaps than any among the latter’s tragedies this Electra seems to be at variance with the very fundamentals of Tragedy as conceived by Sophocles. Sophocles confronts the spectator with a protagonist of great stature, of unshakable faithfulness to the memory of her father and to the idea o f revenge. This faithfulness is the main spring of Electra’s being and acting; based on the belief in an ultimate triumph of justice and on a sense of godinspired duty it is, in a sense, an act of faith and at the same time the hallmark of her intrinsic nobility. By all her sufferings—those real and those caused by Orestes’ deceit—she arouses the pity of the spectator and with her he rejoices at the final dénouement and the ensuing triumph and deliverance. But her obedience to the norm imposed on her by her own inner self, her stubborn faithfulness, is not only the expression of her greatness but also the cause of her tragic condition. For, apart from the treatment she receives from Clytaemestra and Aegisthus, it involves the unnatural relation with her mother and, in the end, the matricide. Really, Chrysothemis’ word 1042 άλλ’ ϊ σ τ ι ν £ ν θ α χ ή δ ί κ η β λ ά β η ν φ ε ρ ΐ ΐ applies to Electra in a deeper and larger sense than is meant by her sister. And of

20

INTRODUCTION

this βλάβη, this moral injury Electra is shown to be aware throughout the tragedy »)· παισον el oGéveis διπλήν is its ultimate expression and consequence. If we are to suppose, assuming Euripides’ priority, that Sophocles wanted to restore a sense to the saga, we have to state that he tried to do it by representing his central dramatis persona as one who remains ‘tragic’ notwithstanding her triumph and in quite another way than is the case with Antigone. For the latter pays by her death for a cause which is unambiguously good, her triumph by death confirms the unimpaired nobility of her being. Electra pays for her triumph and her heroic faithfulness 12) by the harm to her soul inherent in that very faithfulness and in such a triumph. It remains doubtful whether or not the human condition appears to be less absurd in Electra’s tragedy according to Sophocles than in his rival’s play, despite the redeeming feature of her ‘heroism’ in So­ phocles. 1) It follows that I declare myself entirely out of sympathy with R. W. Minadeo’s verdict: “In the E le c tr a only the villains and the audience suffer” . And his next sen­ tence viz. “The spectator becomes protagonist” is nonsensical. (S o p h o c le s ’ E le c tr a , Class, and Med. XXVIII (1969, 1970), p. 141). 2) Cf. Virginia Woolf, O n n o t k n o w in g G re e k , The Common Reader (I), (Pelican Books, 1938, p. 36).

ELECTÈA Prologue 1-85 and 86-120 Enter Paedagogus, Orestes, Pylades (possibly with two attendants, cf. 1123 but these can easily be supposed to have been left behind—with the urn cf. 54, 5—for the time being). They arrive before the palace of the Pelopidae at Mycenae; it is dawn (17-19). Just as in Ai., A nt, Phil., O.C. (the opening speech of O.T. is a rather special case and Deianeira’s comes near to being a monologue) the one character by addressing the other directly and immediately swiftly introduces the audience to the situation, the interrelation of the characters and the matter in hand in a natural and ‘dramatic’ way. 1. τοΰ στρατηγήσαντος : Σ notes a v.l. τυραννήσαντος; possibly from a grammarian who wanted is after στρατηγήσαντος. There can be no question of taking exception to the word itself as is done with στρατηγόν Ani. 8 by some modern scholars (cf. Y. Ehrenberg, Sophocles and Pericles 1954, pp. 105 sqq.). 2. Άγαμέμνονος ιταϊ: nobody can be in doubt about the identity of the young man addressed. 3. ών -πρόθυμος ήσθ' : πρόθυμός *1μι with the construction and the meaning of όπιθνμόω. This and the next line {ούπόθα,ς) make clear from the start that it was Orestes’ fervent desire to return (in contra­ distinction to Electra’s misgivings on that score cf. 168, 305). 4. Ά ργος: the plain of Argolis is meant. They must be supposed, as they stand before the palace of Mycenae on its high hill, to be looking, southward, over the plain of Argolis with its river, Argos and even the Heraeum (in reality the latter can not be seen from where they are standing). ovwoOeis: cf. 171, 2. 5. οίστροπλήγος: cf, Aesch. Prom. 681 (οίστρο8όνητος Suppl. 573 and other variations). άλσος: the whole plain of Argos is considered as Io’s άλσος, the sacred domain where her adventures started. But the use of άλσος in Θήβας τ ' εύαρμάτου άλσος Ant. 845 is not very different. 6,7. There is a difficulty here in so far as the Apollo temple of Argos was situated not on the άγορά of the town but on the south-west side of the Aspis roughly 800 metres north of the αγορά It is of course

COMMENTARY

possible (1) that another Apollo temple stood near the αγορά, or (2) that another αγορά existed near the Aspis, or (3) that Sophocles did not aim at topographical exactness. It is a pity that little about the location of ’Απόλλωνος lepov Λνκίου can be learned from Paus. II 19. 3 sqq. τοΰ λυκοκτόνου θεού ... Avtceios: whatever the original meaning of Αόκΐίοΐ, it is clear that Sophocles here took it to be identical with λυκοκτόνος, It is certain that in Argos (but also elsewhere) a connection between Apollo and the wolf exjsted.(cf. v. Wilamowitz, Gl. der Η. 1 147, Nilsson, G.G.R. P 536, Groeneboom ad Aesch. Sept. 145) but as often in such cases the real meaning of this connection is complex and elusive. 7,8. ούξ ... ναός: indubitably the famous Heraeum (roughly 2 1/2 kilometres south-east of Mycenae). The old temple burned down in 423; everyone in the audience must have understood which temple was meant. ol 8’ ίκάνομΐν: a sharp line is drawn between the prospect before them and the place of their arrival1). 9. Μνκήνας τάς πολυχρύσους: the epic epithet. 10. πολύφθορον ... Πίλοπώων: elaborated in 504-515. The effect of the contrast between Μυκηνας τάς πολυχρύσους and πολύφθορον r e 8ώμα is enhanced by the chiastic order and in 504-515 the same contrast is found (παγχρύσων 8ίφρων δυστάνοις αίκείαις). Cf. also 1498. 11. iic φόνων: surely, ‘away from’ not ‘after’. In Aeschylus’ Aga­ memnon (877-886) Orestes is at Strophius’ house when Agamemnon comes home, in Euripides’ Electra his τροφούς ίκκλίπτα him at the time of the murder and entrusts him to the care of Strophius, without staying with the latter (Eur. El. 16-18) and Pind. (Pyth. X I 17) has him saved by his τροφός Arsinoa. 12. προς σής όμαιμου καί κασιγνήτης: a similar emphatic redun­ dance to that in Ant. 1. 13. ψΐγκα: ‘carried’ (if the poet did not bother about chronological niceties) or ‘took away’ (if he must be supposed to do so). κάξεθρεφάμψ: the ties between the two are represented as being very close. 15,6. και σύ ... ΠυλάΒη: Pylades remains a κωφόν πρόσωπον throughout the play. His presence, as Orestes’ alter ego, was doubtless expected; he may be regarded as a witness to Apollo’s will, but dramatic­ ally speaking there is a certain awkwardness in this silent shadow (seeat21). βουλΐυτόον : ύμίν or ήμίνΐ *) The words ούξ ip u m p & s . .. vans are parodied by Python A g e n 2, 3, cf. B. Snell, I, p. 260; Id., S c e n e s f r o m G r e e k D r a m a , 1964, p. 105 (p. 810, Nauck*).

T .G .F .

PROLOGUE, VSS. 7-22

23

18. έωα ... σαφή: a very suggestive, almost lyrical, marking of the time of dayx)- Note that Electra’s song (86 sqq.) starts with an appeal to the light of day and that throughout the play the light-darkness contrast is a recurrent motif. (This at any rate is one sensible remark in C. P. Segal’s The Electra o f Sophocles, T.A.P.A. 1966, p. 478). 19. άστρων ... ενφρόνη : άστρων goes with εύφρόνη (άστερόεσσα would mean about the same), cf. K.-G. 1264 c *2). εκΧέΧοιπεν intrans.: ‘has failed’, ‘is spent’ (Jebb). Those who take exception to this because of μέλαινα are misguided; cf. Eur. El. 54 ώ ννζ μέΧαινα, χρυσέων άστρων τροφέ. It is quite unnecessary to read εΧΧέΧοιττεν (Groeneboom2) (in order to make άστρων dependent on the verb); it is untrue to aver that, with εκΧέΧοίττεν, μέΧαινα would be strange: it would be more so with ελΧεΧοιπεν because it cannot be taken as a prolepsis: the stars pale because of the dawn. 20. εξοδοιπορεΐν: a άπαξ, but όδοιπορεΐν is common in Sophocles and compounds with εξ- frequent. 21,2. ξυνάπτετον Χόγοισιν: not very different from βονΧευτεον except that the exhortation, in the 2. pers. dual. pres, imperat., is more clearly addressed to them both, a fact which renders the silence of Pylades the more awkward. This is enhanced if we mentally supply , smoothed down if we supply < μοι> and still more mitigated if we read ξνναπτέον (reading of Paris, anc. fonds gr. 2884—E in Pearson, Zf Turyn, Moschopulean in the Electra according to the latter—, adopted by Brunck, conjectured by Toupius); we are then at liberty to understand aXXrjXoiv or ήμΐν. (It is somewhat startling to find that Porson at 1. 16 wanted to read βονΧευετον). But the degree of authenticity of the reading ξννατττέον is not certain and we had better leave ξυνάπτετον in the text and acquiesce in the awkwardness of Pylades’ dramatic status. Χόγοισιν is instrumental dative and ξυνάπτετον is intransitive with a dative of the person understood. fe/rii/f: this form is unacceptable; Call.fr. 561 Pf. (a line itself as corruptedly transmitted as any) does not at all warrant its possibility in Sophocles (or in any Greek text). Among the many remedies which have been proposed ώ? ένταΰθ' ΐνα / ουκ ear er’ όκνεΐν καιρός (G. Hermann, recommended by Jebb) is one of the best, although perhaps only slightly better than ένταΰθ’ ϊμεν (Dawes), defended by L. Parmentier, R.Ph. 43 (1919) p. 72. I have considered ενταύθα μεν (sc. εσμεν or εστόν). Emphatic μεν !) Perhaps the crowing of the cocks is meant, but we cannot be sure. 2) The closest parallel is Eur. O r. 225 βοστρύχων ... κάρα.

24

COMMENTARY

is not rare in Sophocles, a nominal phrase with an adverb as predicate is possible and so is the ellipsis of είναι which would not be a mere copula if expressed. (Cf. Ellendt s.v, μεν p. 434 and K.-G. 1 40). But the phrase seems improbable. So we have to put a crux. Pap. Antinoopolis I I 72 (minute fragments of El. 16-24 on parchment) does not yield any help. But to consider 20-22 as an actor’s interpolation (cf. A. Dihle, Eine Schauspielerinterpolation in der Sophokleischen Elektra, in Studien zur Textgeschichte und Textkritik G. Jachmann gewidmet, Köln 1959, pp. 47-56) is in my opinion an arbitrary solution. The end of the rhesis would be very abrupt and 1. 22 contains the first instance of the καιρός· motif, so important in the play. On the antithesis λόγοισιν ... έργων, an antithesis which runs throughout the play, cf. R. W. Minadeo, Sophocles' Electra, Cl. & Med. XXVIII (1969, 1970), pp. 114-142. 23,4. σαφή / σημεία φαίνεις εσθλός ... γεγώ ς: the participle to be closely connected with σαφή ... φαίνεις, as with φαίνομαι, δήλός είμι. 25-27. ώσπερ γάρ ίππος κτλ.: A comparison based on Ibycus’ fr. 6. 5-7 P. ή μάν τρομεω νιν (“Ερον)επερχόμενον, / ώστε φερεζυγος ίππος άεθλοφόρος ποτί γήραι / άεκων συν οχεσφι θοοίς είς άμιλλαν iß a .1) .Λ'. 27. δε: in apodosi after a comparative protasis (Denniston, G.PJ 180). 28. καυτός εν πρώτοις επη : εν πρώτοις ‘among the foremost’. UL has: SA ίση διά την από του γήρως εύβουλίαν. ίση is a ν./.; in my opinion SA is a compendium for δίχως ‘in two ways’ sc. γράφεται *) (cf. E L ad Ai. 1225 SA καί δήλός εστιν ώσ τι σημανων νεον). Both readings yield good sense but we may easily suspect that ίση was con­ jectured by somebody who objected to (or did not understand) ev πρώτοις επη or that ίση was simply a mistake: the future is not what one would expect. 29. τα Sάξαντα: the consultation has been held already, but the old man is at liberty to make amendments. 31. μεθάρμοσον: the object is either με (cf. Luc. Nigr. 12) or τα 8dξαντα or < τοΰτο> referring to el ... τι. τι may be regarded as accusa­ tive of respect or as ‘internal’ (adverbial) accusative. καιρού τυγχάνω : καιρόΰ approximates to του δέοντος, and the phrase μή καιρόν τυγχάνω to ‘miss the mark’. 32. Διά τής διηγήσεως τούτης το λείπον τής Ιστορίας προσανε*) See further von Wilamowitz ad Eur. Her. 119. ’) Stà την in è τοΰ γήραι; εύβονλίαν ‘would < th e n > comment on the whole verse’ (Jebb).

be an originally separate

PROLOGUE, VSS. 23-45

25

πλήρωσαν ήμΐν. (27). By these words the expository character of Orestes’ answer is correctly indicated. 33. ώς μάθοιμ 6τω τρόπω: it is a sophism to argue, as sometimes is done l)> that in this way the poet intended to clear the god of any responsibility for the matricide: ενδίκους 37 belongs to the words of the oracle. 33. πατρί: probably Lac and perhaps preferable as the lectio paulo difficilior. 34. άροίμην: oblique for άρωμαι (from άρνυμαι, cf. ipfj Ai. 75). 36. ασπίδων re καϊ στρατού: a hendiadys meaning ‘armed force’. 37. δόλοισι : δόλω also occurs in Apollo’s oracle in Aesch. Cho. 557. κλάψαt: as often ‘do something by fraud’ (or the like). Cf. Ai. 1137. χεφός: with σψαγάς, ‘by my hand’; subjective genitive. 38. St : approximating to a causal sense. 39. καιρός: cf. 22, 75, 1259, 1292, 1368. 40. ϊσθι: pregnant: πυνθανόμενος ϊσθι. παν το δρώμενον: ‘all that is going on’. 42,3. oil γάρ μη / γνω σ, ονδ’ νποπτενσουσιν : either the two phrases are on a par or ούδ’ ύποπτεΰσουσιν is a parenthesis (comma before ώδ’), ώδ’ ηνθισμάνον going with σε ... γνω σ. ηνθισμάνον: ‘coloured’, referring to his hair (27 contests this natural interpretation, proposing ηνθισμάνον = ησκημάνον; to be rejected). άνθος is used to denote clear colours. Jebb quotes Erinna fr. 2 B. (= 1 D) = Erinna Baukis 46 πραΰλογοι πολιαί, ταΐ γήραος άνθεα θνατοις. χρόνο) μακρω: of his absence, μακρφ χρόνιο, reading of Moschopulos’ recension, is a case of vitium Byzantinum (see for instance L. D. Reynolds & N. G. Wilson, Scribes and Scholars, 1968, p. 158), 44, S. Φωκεύς: unnecessary to follow Bentley in writing Φωκάως. άνδρος introducing a proper name of somebody not previously mentioned is fairly common. Φανοτενς is surely no ethnicon; he is the ηρως επώνυμος of the town Φανοτενς (or Πανοπευς), brother of Crisus, hero of Crisa. There was a feud between these brothers. Crisus was the father of Strophius, Agamemnon’s ally. Phanoteus is not found in Aeschylus or Euripides; he is introduced in order to render the fraud more probable than if the Paedagogus was to say he came from Strophius. See note ad 180. !) J. T. Sheppard, Cl. Rev. X U (1927) pp. 2-9; against this view correctly C. M. Bowra, S o p h o c le a n T r a g e d y , 1943, pp. 215-217.

COMMENTARY

45. ο γάρ: on the use of & (or 5) as pronoun cf. Steup ad Thuc. I 69. 2. 47. άγγελλε ... προστιθεϊς '■ δρκω mss., όρκον Reiske. If we retain the transmitted text we have to explain either thus: άγγελλε δρκφ (‘under oath’) προστιθεϊς (but one would expect σύν δρκφ) or: άγγελλε < άγγελμα> δρκω προστιθεϊς (by a sort of inversion) or: άγγελλε δρκφ προστιθεϊς (by a similar inversion: cf. Track. 255 δρκον αύτφ προσβολών). The second course is perhaps the best. But the correction is a slight one and had better be accepted *). It is a fact that when delivering his report to Clytaemestra the Paeda­ gogus does not swear at all but that is no reason why we should here introduce εργω or όγκον into the text. 48-50. The tone and the wording are such that Orestes strikes us as enacting for a moment the part the old man is asked to play, τεθνηκ Όρεστης, pathetic by its emphatic word order, is echoed infra 673, εξ αναγκαίας τύχης is an impressive formula for his fate (cf. Ai. 485, 803) and εκ τροχηλάτων δίφρων κυλισθείς has the perfect ring of messengers’ rhetoric, τροχήλατος Aesch. Pers. 1001, Eur. Andr. 399, Her. 122, I.T. 82. 49. άθλοισι Πυθικοΐσιν : άνήκται τοΐς χρόνοις Σ, i.e. ‘has been (carried back), antedated’. Of course the anachronism shocked Aristar­ chus and his pupils. 50. ώδ’ ... εστάτω: ‘let such be the basis of the story’. 51. ώς εφίετο: Phoebus, cf, 82. It is at first sight somewhat surprising that the subject is not expressed; but Phoebus is supposed to be foremost in Orestes’ mind (and also apparently in the poet’s). 52. καρατόμοις χλιδαΐς: lit. ‘luxuriant locks shorn from the head’. καράτομος is catachrestically used, the common meaning being ‘behead­ ed’ *). The spectator is thus prepared for Chrysothexnis’ finding of the lock (900 sqq.) and note the contrast between Orestes’ χλιδαί and Electra’s hair (450, 1). 53. στ άφαντες: for στέφω ‘encircle’, ‘crown’ > ‘honour’ (with li­ bations) cf. Ant. 431 χοαΐσι τρισπόνδοισι τον νεκυν στεφει (cp. per­ haps Eur. Phoen. 1632), Eur. Hec. 126 τον Άχΐλλειον τύμβον στεφανοΰν / αΐματι χλωρό), Aesch. Cho. 95 στεφη = libations. Infra 441. λοφαΐσι πρώτον: there is little to choose between this (Lac) and λοφαΐς re πρώτον GRAL“. *) R. D. Dawe, E m e n d a tio n s in S o p h o c le s, Proc. Cambr. Philolog. Soc. 194 (N.S. 14), 196S, p. 14 proposes όρκους. s) N ot in L. Kugler, D e S o p h o c lis q u a e v o ca n tu r a b u sio n ib u s. Thesis, Göttingen 1905.

PROLOGUE, VSS. 45-60

27

53. άιfioppov εξομεν πάλιν: the fullness of expression is here simply rhetorical whereas at O.T. 430, 1 où πάλιν / αψορρος ... άπει the wording is expressive of Oedipus’ scorn and ire. 54. τύπωμα χαλκύπλενρον: Aeschylean όγκος, cf. Cho. 686 νυν yàp λέβητος γαλκέου πλευρώματα. ήρμένοι χεροίν : ήρμένον χεροίν εχοντες, but ήρμένοι is middle, not passive, cf. K.-G. 1 105. 55. οΐσθά μοι: better attested (LacGR) than οΐσθά που (ALa and Turyn’s class φ). 56. κλέπτοντες: ‘deceiving’, ‘misleading’ (cf. 11.1131,2 μη δη οΰτως ... κλεπτε νόω), cf. supra 37. φάτιν: the same as φήμης 65, see note ad O.T. 151. 57. φέρωμεν: thus G opp. φεροιμεν LRA; the correct reading, όπως being dependent on ήξομεν. 58. φλογιστον ... κατηνθρακωμένον: again fullness of expression in harmony with the style of a, messenger’s report. He is represented as rather wallowing in the idea of his pretended death, φλογίζειν not in Aesch. and Eur., in Soph, also Track. 95, Phil. 1199. The verbal adjective and the participle are identical in function. κατηνθρακωμένον: cf. Aesch. fr. 281.4 N.2 στέγην πυρώσω καί κατανθρακώσομΛΐ. 59. 60. The idea that Orestes is reported dead (or that he himself is the messenger of such tidings) had been applied by Aeschylus (though not quite in the same way; we do not of course know whether he was its ενρετής). The question in 59, 60 implies a scruple about being called dead contrary to truth; the scruple is discarded by means of ratiocination illustrated by example. Such a scruple does not occur in Aeschylus. The probable reason for this is that in Aeschylus, more clearly than in Sophocles, the son is the incarnation of the dead father and that the son’s reputed death underlines the ambivalence of the idea τον ζωντα καίνειν τους τεθνηκότας (Cho. 886). Both dramatists make their character use the same guile, but in Aeschylus the guile is nearer to the original meaning of the myth, in Sophocles (though he too does not ignore the idea of Orestes incarnating Agamemnon) the guile comes closer to a deceit the original meaning of which is less conspicuous. It is interesting to compare Eur. Hel. 1050-52 (and 1056) where no original myth with' a deeper meaning is involved; immediately after Helena’s 1050 βουλή λέγεσθαι, μή θανών, λόγω θανεΐν we find the very human scruple: κακός μεν δρνις; it is only κέρδος which will decide Menelaus to take such a course. (It is quite possible that Euripides 4—0

ΟΛ

I ' W O l S x . r y ■g

r ti» · .« )

COMMENTARY

thought of our passage when writing his—cp. λόγω θανεΐν ~ λόγω θανων, κερδανώ λ ό γ ω ν (see A. Μ. Dale α.Ι.) ~ ουδόν ρήμα συν κερδει κακόν and I. 1056—and note that he did not make use of the device in his Electra). 60. εργοισι: opposite to λόγω and probably going not only with σωθώ but with εξενόγκωμαι κλέος as well. 61. μεν: emphatic, stressing δοκώ. ‘Really, I think κακόν: not in a moral sense; ‘ill-omened’, correctly Jebb, who com­ pares Ant. 1001 and O.C. 1433. 62-64. Σ refers to a story about Pythagoras and remarks that some had thought of Odysseus. It is better to assume that Sophocles had in mind the story of Saîmoxis (Hdt. IV 95) or perhaps that of Aristeas of Proconnesus (Hdt. IV 14) because of Sophocles’ familiarity with Hero­ dotus. 63. μάτην: surely falso, just as infra 1298. δόμους: δόμοις lA^dGR is impossible. 64. αυθις: if we punctuate before αυθις, the meaning would be ‘henceforth’. 65. ώς: probably better than ως (preferred by Dain). έτταυχώ: ‘I am confident that’ (L.-Sc.), not glorior (the basic meaning occurring at Ant. 483). It is a remarkable fact that the vox Euripidea αύχώ does not occur in our text of Sophocles. από: more than ‘after’, rather ‘in consequence of’: it is the deceit which will enable him to prevail against the enemies. On φήμη see 56. 66. δεδορκότ : ‘alive’, cf, Aesch. Eum. 323 (and fr. 296 N.2, if the text is left unaltered). άστρον ως: a star’s glitter may be felt as an ominous glint; cf. II. XXII 30 sqq., ονλιος άστήρ ib. XI 62. i n : with menacing implication, as often when connected with a future; see my note ad Track. 257, 68. ταΖσδε ταΐς όδόΐς: ‘bei diesem Gange den ich vorhabe’ (Kaibel), perhaps the best interpretation; cf. infra 1295 τή νυν όδψ. 70. καθαρτής: important for the understanding of Orestes’ rôle as seen by himself. The word is not found in Aesch. and Eur., in Soph, only here and in fr. 34 P. (of a priest-purifier) στρατού καθαρτής κάιτομαγμάτων ϊδρις (cf. Hippocr. Morb. Sacr. 1 μάγοι re καί καθαρταί). 0 The authentic tradition (L-dGR) has: ίο κ ώ μ έρ t!>s oiStp. παννυχίδων μογερά is taken up by όσα ... θρηνώ. 95,6. υν ... εξενισεν: for the pattern of thought cf. Aesch. Cho. 345 sqq. φοίνιος: in poetry φοίνιος is used where φόνιος is excluded by metre (at 99 L/iR have φοινίω, A has the correct φονίω). εξενισεν: Σ quotes Archil, (fr. 4 D.) ξείνια δνσμενεσιν λ υγρά χαριζόμενοι with the comment: ξένια γάρ ”Αρεως τραύματα καί φόνοι. 97. κοινολεχής: a hapax. 97-99. σχίζουσι: the object is ον 95, specified by κάρα (σχήμα ’Ιωνικόν, cf. V. Wilamowitz ad Eur. Her. 162). όπως δρΰν υλοτόμοι: although Sophocles follows Homer in having Agamemnon murdered during the meal (203) the simile is not borrowed from &s Tis τε κατεκτανε βουν επί φάτνη but from Ii. XIII 3S9 sqq. ‘But the unfeeling act of the woodman is more prominent in the present passage than the grandeur of the tree’ (Campbell). 100. τούτων: genitive of the object. 101,2. σου ... θανόντο$: either genitive absolute or elaboration of τούτων. φέρεται: I do not feel (as Jebb does) that this means any more than ‘is brought as a tribute’. aiKMs: corrected from the v.l. άεικώς in Σ seems preferable to αδίκων, the reading of the mss. Its effect is much more forceful. The word is a key-word of this play: cf. 206, 216, 487, 511, 515. 105, 6. εστ ’âv ... ήμαρ: the transmitted text ear’ αν λεύσσω παμφεγyeîr άστρων / ριπάς, λεύσσω δε τόδ’ ημαρ has two long syllables too many. The deletion of the first λεύσσω seems the best remedy. ριπάς: the common meaning of ριπή is impetus (cf. Ant. 137) but here it seems to be used de astrorum micantium coruscatione. 107-109. μή ού ... προφωνεΐν: the normal double negation after a negatived verb which in itself implies a negative idea. The construction is complicated because of θρήνων στυγερών τε γόων; the infinitive is epexegetic. The function of μή ού is comparable to that of Latin quin. In a translation it is preferable to start a new sentence, thus e.g.: ‘No, I will ...’ (or the like).

34

COMMENTARY

τεκνολετεψ’ ως τις αηδών: the ‘mythic example’ will recur twice (147-149, 1077)l), hut as appears from τις it is here less a case of mythic example than of an emotional comparison with allusion to a myth 2). (Cf, Aesch. Suppl. 60 sqq.—much more elaborated—; let us not forget that Sophocles himself wrote a Tereus·, see further ad 147 sqq.)· τεκνολετεψ': ambiguous; if we think of the myth ‘having killed its young’, if not, rather ‘having lost its young’. cm κωκντώ: ‘with continual wailing’ (Jebb). Cf. Eur. I.A. 1175 cm Sc δακρΰοις / μόνη κάθημαι (K.-G. I 502). For κωκντός cf. Aesch. Cho. 150, 1 υμάς δε κωκυτοΐσ' επανθίζειν νόμος, / παιάνα τοΰ θανόντος έξαυδωμένας. πάσι προφωνεΐν: this is the ground of Clytaemestra’s reproach 518, cf. also 641. 111. χθόνι ‘Ερμη: cf. Aesch. Cho. 1, 124, 727. Ά pd: cf. Aesch. Cho. 692 c3 δυσπάλαιστε τώνδε δωμάτων Ά ρ ά and for its close connection with Erinys Sept. 70 Ά ρ ά τ ’ Έρινύς πατρος η μεγασθενης, Eum. 417. 112. θεών παΐδες: O.C. 40 Γης re καί Σκότου κόραι. Jebb, com­ paring Ant. 1075 "Αώου και θεών Έρινύες, states: ‘in the general sense that they are called into existence and activity by the resolve of the gods to punish guilt’ (similarly Campbell). Possible, but not certain: σεμνοί is their name at Colonus and the poet might have thought of the same mythological genealogy as in the passage quoted above. Έρινύες: with synizesis? (Cf. Eur. I.T. 931). 113,114. δραθ, I at τούς: Dobree’s correction for όράτε τούς, accepted by many editors. Kaibel objected that by means of the anaphora the punishing of adultery would be represented as a special task of the Erinyes, but the objection does not carry conviction. The function of the anaphora is not so much that it stresses the Erinyes’ double task as the double crime committed by the perpetrators towards Agamemnon. υποκλεπτόμενους: passive. 116. Perfect responsion could be obtained by inserting something like: alai, alal. 117. The dramatic irony is unmistakable. 119,120. The image is of a balance with its two scales. The one is brought down by the λύπης άντίρροπον άχθος lit. the load of grief that weighs down the opposite scale (opp. the scale in which Electra has to throw the weight of her energy), άγειν is said of the ‘drawing up’ ‘ *) Cf. on the passages C. M. Bowra, S o p h o c le a n T r a g e d y 1 (1943), p. 243. z) But see, for n s , Groeneboom ad Aesch. S e p t. 292.

PROLOGUE, VSS. 111-120

35

of the scale of grief. We cannot construe: Ί have not the force to άγειν a weight outweighing (άντίρρονον) < the weight o f> the grief’ for instead of άγειν the text should then have ηθέναι: cf. I.G. I2 945. 11 = Peek, Griechische Vers-Inschriften 120. 11, φσνχάς 8’αντίρροπα θεντες / ΙΧλάχσαντ' àperàv καί πατρίδ’ εύκλέϊσαν. So Jebb’s interpretation is the correct one: ‘for I have no more the strength to bear up alone against the load of grief that weighs me down’. σωκώ: ‘have strength’, a rare denominative from σώκος known as an epithet of Hermes II. XX 72 (άπαξ) and as a proper name (ib. X I427). Since at Aesch. Eum. 36 ώς μήτε σωκεΐν μήτε μ ’άκταίνειν βάσιν, the only other place of its occurrence, the context points to ‘have the strength to keep one’s balance’, the word here seems very aptly chosen. Farodos 121-250 The Parodos has the form of a κομμός or άμοφαϊον between Electra and the Chorus (they are married women, cf. 254) consisting of three strophic pairs and an epode, each of them divided between Chorus and protagonist. In the first pair occur aeolo-choriambic cola, dactyls and iambics (dactyls predominate), in the second pair iambics and dactyls (iambics predominate), in the third pair anapaests predominate but there are also iambo-trochaic elements and one doehmiac. In the epode all the metres found in the preceding songs recur with anapaests, dactyls and dochmiacs predominating. Thus metres occurring in the preceding song prepare for metres in the next one and in the epode a sort of metrical synthesis is arrived at. 121-123. The aeolo-choriambic lines form a harmonious transition after Electra’s anapaests. The many ‘doric’ a s strongly contrast the song with the preceding recitative. ώ 7rat, παΐ : Ιώ τταΐ, irai LA; ώ is Triclinius’ correction. GR have ΐώ παΐ and this might be preferable (with the t of Ιώ long, cf. 149). δυστανοτάτας: ‘wretched’ (in moral sense, as often with adjectives meaning ‘unhappy’, ‘miserable’ and not only in Greek). 123-125. τάκεις ... οίμωγάν / τον ... Άγαμέμνονα: since τάκω οίμωγάν amounts to τακομένα οιμώζω the accusative τον Άγαμ,έμνονα does not offer any difficulty. Cf. Aesch. Sept. 290, 1. άθεώτατα: Porson’s necessary and convincing correction of άθεωτάτας mss., an old mistake as appears from Σ (ασεβούς). 126. κακά ... χειρϊ: either instrumental dative (ολέθρω, θανάτω to be understood with πρόδοτον) or dative dependent on πρόδοτον and

36

COMMENTARY

referring to Aegisthus; in that case κακφ would seem to mean ‘cowardly’. The latter interpretation is preferred by Mazon and the next sentence fits in well with it. The fact that Clytaemestra took part in the deed herself is no objection to the idea that she treacherously handed over her husband to Aegisthus. eus: with the function of utinam. ο τάδε 7τορών: ‘der dies herbeiführte’ (Bruhn). The Chorus may be ostensibly speaking of Aegisthus alone but the masculine singular may be taken to refer to Clytaemestra as well. Σ rather foolishly comments: λίαν αίδήμων ό χοροί os έπί τον Αΐγισθον τρέπει την αιτίαν και γυναικών έστιν ίδιον τό μηδε im rois προφανέσιν άμαρτήμασιν καταλέγειν άλλης γυναίκας · καί το 'e t μοι θέμις τάδ’ανδάν’ λίαν ηθικόν καί άρμόζον γνναιξίν. 129. ώ γενέθλα γενναίων, after γενναίων the mss. have πατέρων (and some recentiores τοκέων). We have either to omit this or assume a lacuna after οίκτρώς 145 l). The fact that the v.l. τοκέων exists alongside of πατέρων seems to argue for the assumption that both are originally glosses on γενναίων. 130. παραμυθίαν: accusative in apposition with the sentence (thus rightly Campbell and Jebb). 132. οΰδ’ έθέλω : it is not certain whether we have to read this or ουδέ θέλω, έθέλω is rare in Tragedy, even outside dialogue (where its metrical form is awkward). On the other hand, these are dactyls and θέλω is all but unknown to Homer. It is to be noted that L/1GR have οΰδ’ αδ θέλω, which is excluded by metre. Possibly αδ is originally a gloss by which a commentator wanted to underline the strongly adversative force of ουδέ; οΰδ’ αδ must then have been in the archetypus of both LA and the Roman class. According to Turyn (Manuscript Tradition, p. 20) οΰδ’ έθέλω or ουδέ θέλω is Moschopulean; it is A’s reading. But if it is true that this obviously correct reading passed into a part of our mediaeval tradition by Moschopulos’ doing, I think it more probable that he found it in a source lost to us than that he conjectured it. 133. μη ου: cf. 107. στοναχεΐν: all the mss. Most editors prefer Elmsley’s στενάχειν12). The present στοναχέω, it is true, does not occur in Homer, but the aorist στοναχησαι does; why then could Sophocles not have used στοναχεΐν, rare though the form is? 1) A. von Blumenthal, Hermes 69 (1934), p. 454 conjectures των < ω ν> ο'κτρο< Tarais > . 2)

But not Campbell.

PARODOS, VSS. 129-149

37

134. τταντοίας ... χάριν: both χάριν and άμειβόμεναι emphasize the mutual friendly relation. 135. άλΰειν: ‘to be beside oneself’ mostly from grief or despair; but cp. Ichn. 318 !). 137, 8. γ ’: limitative, cf. Denniston G.P.2 pp. 140, 1. τον εζ Ά ιδα j πάγκοινου λίμνας -πατερ' : normal proleptic phrasing instead of what would logically run: τον εν Ά ιδα παγκοίνω λίμνα < εκ ταύτας~> ούκ ανατάσεις. Cf. K.-G. I 546, 7. 139. The strophe has τάκεις ώδ’ άκόρεστον οίμωγάν----- v ν - ν — glyc. + sp. The transmitted text in L/1GR here: στάσεις οϋτε γόοις οΰτε λιταΐσιν------ν ν — w — a catalectic minor asclepiad. Triclinius tried to obtain perfect responsion by writing γόοισιν ού λιταΐς on the mistaken assumption that the i of λιταΐς could be long; Erfurdt wrote γόοισιν οΰτ εύχαΐς, unconvincingly, for how could λιταΐς have ousted εύχαΐς. A subtler suggestion is G. Hermann’s ανταις, taken from Hesychius 2) but not occurring elsewhere (it is adopted by Dain). I am inclined to follow Pearson and W. Kraus, Strophengestaltmg in der griechischen Tragödie, 1957, p. 149, in retaining the best transmitted text and accepting the free responsion of two aeolic cola varying in structure (Kraus compares Ant. 607 ~ 618 and O.C. 512 ~ 523). There is period end at the close of this line and so λιταΐσιν = v But it would perhaps be better'to write -στάσεις οΰτε γόοις, ού λιταΐσιν: thus the cola will be of equal length and 139 might be described as pher. + bacch., their difference in structure will be minimal, (v ------~ - v — ) and the ‘anaclasis’ in the antistrophe will be illustrative of the abruptness of the wording (ού instead of the expected οΰτε)·, for οΰτε ... ού in Soph. cf. Ant. 249,250,953, 4, O.C. 972, 3 (Denniston G.P? p. 510 (IV) ). 140,1. άλλ’ άπο ... hr ... διόλλυσαι: in διάλλυσαι = προβαίνεις διολλυμενη (thus Jebb) the idea of ‘arriving at’ is implied. 142. iv οΐς: antecedent: the contents of the preceding sentence. 144. μοι: dativus sympatheticus (if the term is permitted). εφίτ) : with genit, ‘crave for’. 145. οϊκτρώς; if at 128 πάτερων is retained Porson’s αίκώς τ ’ or Kaibel’s ούτως will do. 147-149. Elaboration of 107, followed by the still more pathetic invocation of Niobe.*) *) C. W. Vollgraff A d S o p h o c lis In d a g a to r e s, Mnemos. 1914, p. 174. z) I.e. from Hesychius’ ά ντή σ α · λιτανεία», άνπ}σεσιν, with the lemma corrected into am rjoi, Hesychius’ next lemma runs: ά ν τή ο α ς 3 ίκεσίαι , λιτανεΐαι, ΐκετεΐαι.

COMMENTARY

άραρεν: thematic aorist, without augment, of άραρίσκω, meaning ‘is congenial to’ l) with accusative of the person and of the part (σχήμα 'Ιωνικόν); intransitive ήραρον, it is true, takes the dative in Homer but άρίσκω—cognate in derivation and in meaning—often takes the accusative of the person (cf, e.g. Ar. Lys. 509). â "Ιτνν, alèv "Ιτνν ολοφύρεται : '"Ιτυν' ... '"Ιτυν' as well as 'Ίτυν ... “Ιτνν (cf. Mr. Diggle’s remark ad Eur. Phaëth. 70). Similarly Aesch. Ag. 1144 (this passage must have been in Sophocles’ mind here as well as at 107, and at 123). For the hiatus cf. Od. XIX 522 παΐδ’ όλοφυραμένη "Ιταλόν φίλον and και Ίφιάνασσα infra 157, 8. ”Ιτϋν ... “Ιτΰν: for the effect cp. ' Apes "Apes and for the long second syllable cf. Ar. Av. 212 τον έμον και σόν πολνδάκρυν "Ιτυν / έλελιζομένη (in an anapaestic system). opvïs: both opvïs and opvïs in epos and tragedy. άτυζομένα: ‘distraught with grief’ (L.-Sc.), but also ‘from fear’. Atos άγγελοί: Kaibel is quite right in rejecting the traditional inter­ pretation (‘harbinger of Spring’ Σ and many commentators, an irrele­ vancy): ‘Zeus hat ihr diesen Boten gesandt, um sie zur unaufhörlichen Klage anzuhalten, daraus entnimmt sie die göttliche Bestätigung ihrer eigenen Auffassung’ and Bowra, Sophoclem Tragedy1 p. 243: ‘The nightingale is the type of grief which is inconsolable because it is faithful’. Does not Penelope compare herself with the nightingale? (Od. XIX 521-3). 149-152. ίώ ... Νιόβα ... δακρύεις: cf. Ant. 823-833; but the com­ parison has a different function here: it is again the faithfulness of Niobe which explains Electra’s exclamation, the everlasting grief which leads her to consider Niobe as a god. The nightingale is Διος άγγελοί, Niobe herself is a god. νέμω: ‘deem’, ‘count’. Cf. Track. 483, O.T. 1080 εγώ δ'έμαυτον παΐδα τής Τύχης νέμων, infra 598. ά τε: survival of epic re (cf. O.T. 694; C. J. Ruijgh, Autour de τε épique, 1971, §814). 151. τάφιρ πετραίω: i.e. the rock which is your grave. 152. alal: the v.l. aiei (Thomas Magister’s according to Turyn) is very much inferior (pace Jebb). The perpetuity of Niobe’s grief is ade­ quately expressed by έν τάφψ πετραίω. Note the word-responsion between 152 and 136. 153-155. ovToi σοι μούνα ... άχος ... προς ότι σύ των ένδον et !) Campbell’s excellent rendering.

FARODOS, VSS. 149-164

39

περισσά: the natural interpretation of où ... αχός ... πρός 5 τι runs: *ηο sorrow has come to you regarding which you are beyond (i.e. more afflicted than) those within’. It is against Greek usage to regard S τι as a substitute for o and to interpret: ‘not to you alone has come the sorrow, in regard of which you are excessive < in your laments> in comparison with those within’. Nor is Bruhn’s artifice {πρός δ τί) attractive, περισσός adjective from περί, has a meaning exactly corres­ ponding to that of epic περί in περί πάντων or in περί γάρ μιν οιζυρον τεκε μήτηρ. 156. οΐς: just as its antecedent των ένδον masculine, though referring to Chrysothemis and Iphianassa. 157. οΐα ... ζώει: οΐα Χρί'σόθεμίς εστιν, η ζώει (thus rightly Jebb). Chrysothemis, Iphianassa, Electra and Iphigeneia are Agamemnon’s daughters according to the Cypria (Σ h.l.). According to 11. IX 145 Chrysothemis, Laodice, Iphianassa. 158,9. It is perhaps best to put a semicolon after Ίφιάνασσα; the next clause has a certain independence: ‘and then , κρυπτή άχεων εν ήβψ όλβιος, Sv’ the' relative clause impressively leading up towards the proper name at the end (cf. Bruhn, Anhang § 174). κρυπτά ... άχεων εν ήβα: I reject the interpretation of άχεων as a participle, not only because άχεω ‘to sorrow’ does not occur elsewhere in Tragedy but also because, as Campbell puts it, ‘the notion of Orestes sorrowing is out of place’; ‘and he whose fortunate youth is hidden out of the way of sorrow’ (Campbell), ‘semota a doloribus in iuventa felix’ (G. Hermann). On the ablatival genitive with κρυπτά, cf. Barrett ad Eur. Hipp. 153, 4. The oxymoron άχεων (participle) εν κρυπτή, ήβαι όλβιος would be pointless. The fact that Electra at 602 says τλήμων Όρεστης δυστυχή τρίβει βίον is irrelevant for the interpretation of what the Chorus put foreward as a consolation. The point is not, as with των ένδον, that there are others οΐσιν εφάνη άχος but that there is one who will come to restore liberty and dignity. The postponement of Orestes’ name (Όρεσταν at the end of the sentence) greatly enhances the impressiveness of the words; cf. the postponement of this name Aesch, Ag. 879. 162. εύπατρίδαν: as the noble prince and rightful successor of his father (cf. 857). Both κλεινά and εύπατρίδαν are more or less proleptic. 163,4. ευφρονι βήματι: if right = Διος εύφρόνως βήααντος αυτόν. It seems better to accept this boldness than any of the many frigid conjectures proposed to get rid either of Διος or of βήματι. 164. δν εγωγ’: G. Hermann’s conjecture όν γ ’ έγώ is generally

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COMMENTARY

adopted by the editors, but (1) it introduces a shortening of ω in iambics, (2) metrically it does not seem necessary (v-/ \j —\j \_r λ/ - u u uxj %j 185), (3) as to the sense, έγωγ' sharply contrasts Electra’s unhappy plight with Orestes’: κρυπτά, άχεων iv ήβα όλβιος. On the other hand, ον γ ’ εγώ falls into the category of the use of ye described by Denniston G.P.2 137 as follows: ‘carries on a sentence which is already complete in itself, often giving a new and malicious turn to the thought’. This would also tally very well with this context. 164, 5. άτεκνος, τάλαιν’, ανύμφευτος', τάλαιν’ is subordinate to άτεκνος, ανύμφευτος is on a par with άτεκνος making explicit what is already implied in άτεκνος. In a sense the two are in a ύστερον πρότερον relation, the more important cause of her unhappiness being stated first. οίχνώ: I do not believe that οίχνώ here means οΐχομαι = όλλυμαι', there are no instances of οίχνώ with that meaning. Σ glosses by περι­ έρχομαι, which is accepted by Jebb and others (‘walk’ = ‘live’ L.-Sc,). 166,7. δάκρυσι μυδαλέα: [Hes.j Scut. 270 (κόνις) δάκρυσι μυδαλέη, Aesch. Fers. 539 διαμυδαλέους δάκρυσιν κόλπους τέγγουσ . τον άνήνυτον / οΐτον έχουσα κακών: for οίτον έχουσα cf. II. IX 563 άλκύονος, πολυπενθεος οΐτον έχουσα. οΐτος as a rule means ‘fate’ (not in Aesch., v.l. Ant. 858, once in Eur. I.T. 1091—reading not quite sure—). τον has demonstrative force, κακών: to be connected with άνήνυτον rather than directly with οΐτον: ‘that fate in which my misery finds no end’ (in which there is no άνυσις of my κακά). On the genitive with compounds formed by a privativum see K.-G. 1401, 2; the verbal adjective in - t o s · is in principle neither ‘active’ nor ‘passive’, Ed. Fraenkel, Aeschylus Agamemnon II p. 137 η. 1 and ib. p. 12. ό δέ λάθεται: thus ALa; neither ώδε λάθεται Lao nor οδ ’ελάθετο is possible. 169, Sv τ’ έπαθ’: probably not, as Σ and, among others, Bruhn will have it, referring to Electra’s benefits, but to the wrong suffered by himself. cSv τ έδάη: from his sister (and possibly from the Paedagogus). 169,70. ri yap ... άπατώμενον: either: ‘what message comes which is not for me frustrated in its result’ or ‘what message comes to me that is not belied’ (Jebb); the former tallies better with what precedes, the latter with what follows. But perhaps a combination of the two is intended; έρχεται may very well mean: ‘comes back’, ‘returns’. The difficulty lies principally in the ambiguity of the dative εμοί. For άπαταν ‘frustrate’ cf. Ant. 630 απάτης λεχέων νπεραλγών. 171,2. άεί μεν yàp ποθεί: Jebb and others rightly compare 319. ποθών δ’ ούκ άξιοι φανήναι: cf. infra 1273, 4. άξιοι has a scornful

PARODOS, VSS. 164-184

41

undertone. Note the significant sequence έφάνη 154, κρυπτά άχέων 159, φανήναι 172. 173,4. τέκνον ... ούρανώ: what we should preferably read between τέκνον and ούρανώ is far from certain. L80 has en μέγας èv ούρανώ, RGALa27 823 have Ίση μέγας èv ούρανώ. Without τέκνον the metrical schema of 154 runs: ^ u ^ o f 174 in the text of Lac υ υ υ υ υ —u —, of the rest —v»\j u\> —\>—, with τέκνον resp. o u u u u — and \j \j \j \j \j \j \j —\j —or — \j \j —\j.. If we omit èv and follow I.ae the responsion is restored both if τέκνον belongs to 153/173 and if to 154/174. If we follow G. Hermann in reading μέγα? Ίτ èv ούρανώ, τέκνον has to go with the preceding line. The latter is anyhow possible. In that case 153/173 is an iambic dimeter (---------- v»- //) and 154/174 a colon peculiar to Sophocles, mostly occurring in the form - υ υ υ ----(cf. 160, 161 and the epode 504sqq.) but also a s - u u u - u - {Track. 846 —V/ \J XJ—\J —, in the antistrophe ib. 857 —\J XJ M----- ) and as KJKJKJ u - x j - or as v/v/wu----- (infra 515). If τέκνον belongs to 154/174 we shall have: υ υ υ υ υ υ —υ - , which may be regarded as a lecythion. With τέκνον in the preceding line it is not to be excluded that αχο? έφάνη βροτών and Ίση μέγαε ούρανφ, may be taken to correspond. But I feel that here exact responsion is to be preferred. 175. κρατύνει: ‘rule’, as fairly often in Tragedy. τον ύπεραλγή χόλον νέμούσα: ‘leaving < the revenge longed for by> your exceeding wrath to (Zeus)’. 179. εύμαρψ: causative: ‘giving ease’, ‘easing’. 180. Κρΐσαν: there is no reason why we should read Κρίσψ; βούνομον άκτάν is appositional to it. Crisa is an old settlement on the road from the coast to Delphi and strictly speaking βούνομον άκτάν seems not very apposite. But apparently Crisa proper with its harbour Cirrha and the land between is meant. That Orestes was staying with Strophius, king of Crisa, is nowhere explicitly mentioned in the play, only implied here and at 1. 1111. (See also note ad 45). 182-184. άπερίτροπο$: a hapax, variously interpreted, often with the assumption that it has been zeugmatically used: Σ a.l. nvès 8è το άπερίτροπος έπι μέν Όρέστου άνεπέλευστος, èwl 8ε του Πλούτωνος άνεπίστροφοΐ τοΰ τούς έχθρούς μετελθεΐν and so Campbell among others. Kaibel takes the word to mean: ‘unerbittlich’ which does not seem suitable. The problem is bound up with the question as to who is meant by the words 6 παρά τον ’Αχέροντα deos ανάσσων. Since it seems strange that Hades would be called: ‘he who rules as a god beside the Acheron’ (the word order is not in favour of the interpretation:

42

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‘the god who rules beside the Acheron’), we may well feel (with Blaydes, Paley, Campbell) that Agamemnon is referred to. Cf. Aesch. Cho. 356, 7 and infra 839-841 (Amphiaraus) and above all 453 sq. It might, then, be preferable not to assume a zeugma but to interpret άπερίτροπος with both subjects as: ‘not returning’ and ούκ άπερίτροπος will mean: ‘(he) is certain to return’. But with both subjects the meaning ‘not heeding’ seems equally appropriate. The yap of 180 introduces these words as one reason for the confidence expressed in the preceding words (the possibility of future retribution), the other being the healing effect of time (equally introduced by yap); on successive yap’s cf. Denniston G.P.2 p. 64 (6). 185. μεν: merely emphatic. 185,6. ό πολύς ... βίοτος: a very natural hyperbole (well rendered by Jebb: ‘the best part of life’). ανέλπιστος: ‘without bringing me hope’. Since the ‘life’, the ‘course of life’ is separable from the person but all what happens to a person can be said to happen to his life or by means of his life it is perfectly immaterial whether ανέλπιστος or άνε'λπιστον should be read; the reading of the mss. ανέλπιστος gives excellent sense (as would the conjecture άνελπιστον). 186. ούδ’ I t ’ άρκώ: cf. 119, 120. Non par sum ferendae aerumnae (Ellendt). 187. τοκεων: the reasons for which the conjecture τεκέων are preferred by Jebb and Pearson are not sufficient, άνευ τοκεων: without < the support o f> parents, Agamemnon being dead and Clytaemestra ‘worse than lost’ (Campbell) to her. 188. ύπερίσταται: ‘protect’, a rare compound. 189. άπερεί: ώσπερεί, velut, quasi, only here. εποίκος: an ‘alien’; Jebb compares II. IX 648 ώσεί τιν’ άτίμητον μετανάστην. άναξία: ‘despicable’, ‘worthless’. Note the shortening of the â before the vowel in the dactylic sequence. 190. οίκονομώ θαλάμους πατρός: I am a household-slave in the house of my father. 190-192. t58e μεν ... στολά, κεναΐς δ’ άμφίσταμαι τραπεζαις: on the transition from prepositional phrase to independent construction cf. Denniston G.P.* p. 369 η. 1. κεναΐς ... τραπεζαις: the idea seems to be that every day (hence the plural) she has to ‘stand at a meagre board’. But άμφίσταμαι (reading found in Eustathius 1692. 57 and in Turyn’s φ class) is not quite the verb

PARODOS, VSS. 185-204

43

one would expect, άφίσταμαι L&CA is impossible, υφίσταμαι GRAL® is defended by Turyn (p. 142) by dividing 171, 2 and 191, 2 thus: del μεν γάρ ποθεί, πόθων δε || ούκ άξιοΐ φανηναι. ||| άεικεΐ σνν στάλά, κεvais δ'ε H άφίσταμαι τραπεζαις. ||| 193-196. There is much uncertainty as to the correct interpretation of these lines. If we retain σοι in 195 (reading of all the mss, rejected by most editors in favour of ol, conjectured by G. Hermann), as is done by Campbell, it seems necessary to take ανδά as referring to Electra’s cry (or cries) at the occasion of Agamemnon’s murder immediately after his return (or both at his return and at the moment when she sees him murdered). If, on the other hand, we accept G. Hermann’s ol, 193 may refer to Cassandra’s cry after Agamemnon’s return (Aesch. Ag. 1072 sqq.) and 194 either to Cassandra’s or Agamemnon’s own death-cry (or to both); but it is perhaps preferable to regard οίκτρά μεν νόστοις ανδά, οίκτρά δ’ εν κοίταις πατρφαις, with Kaibel, Bruhn and others, as a sort of hendiadys referring to Agamemnon’s death-cry when he was murdered on his return, πατρφαις, in that case, has to mean: ‘ancestral’ and «V κοίταις πατρφαις refers to the hall of the Pelopidae where the meal took place. With Campbell’s interpretation of the mss. reading πατρφαις means: ‘of your father’ and κοίταις refers either to Agamem­ non’s couch or to his lying dead, ol has to be interpreted as a dativus incommodi, σοι as a dativus sympatheticus. 195. άνταία: cf. Ant. 1307. 196. γεννών: lit. the ‘jaws’, i.e. the ‘blades’ of the axe. 197. φράσας: not ‘planned’ but ‘urged to’ (suadere, Ellendt). 199. μορφάν: refers to the horror of Agamemnon’s murder, in which the άλάστωρ of Atreus’ house manifested itself. If Aeschylus has to be quoted, it must be Ag. 1500 sqq. (not 1580, as we find in Dain’s note p. 145 n. 3). 199,200. ειτ oSv ... πράσσων: i.e. εΐτ οΰν d ταΰτα πράσσων fjv θεός < τις> , είτε τις βροτων. 201,2. πασάν ... πλέον ... εχθίστα: hyperbolic and pleonastic. Cf. H. Thesleff, Studies on Intensification, 1954, §§186,301. The com­ bination is still more emphatic than πλεΐστον εχθίστα. 203. δείπνων: following the Homeric tradition according to which the murder took place at the banquet (Od. IV 535). 204. εκπαγλος: < *εκπλαγ-λος < εκπλαγ- (ηναι).

COMMENTARY

205,6. τούς ... θανάτους αΐκεΐς: τους is relative, θανάτους αίκείς, represents the antecedent θάνατοί αίκείς (apposition to εκπαγλ’ άχθη), drawn into the relative clause. αίκείς: see ad 102. διδΰμαιν χειροΐν: by the hands of two, ‘by joint violence’ (Campbell). 208. πρόδοτον: pace Jebb it seems better to regard πρόδοτον not only as predicative, but also as proleptic (i.e. ‘in such way that henceforth my life was deserted’). For the meaning of ττρόδοτος cf. infra 1074 (desertus et ope destitutus, correctly Ellendt). (It is not certain whether at τον εμον εΐλον ßiov j πρόδοτον, al μ άπώλεσαν ΟΓ al τον εμον εΐλον βίον, / πρόδοτον αΐ μ ’ άπωλεσαν yields the better sense). 210. ποίνιμα ... πόροι: the effect of the -alliteration is manifest enough (cf. Phil. 927-931 π and τ, O.T. 370,1 r, Ai. 245-, 6 κ). Another phonic phenomenon in 11. 207-212 consists in the fact, that in 207-209 o-sounds predominate over a-sounds and in 210-212, inversely, a-sounds predominate over o-sounds (resp. o 4 + 4 + 5 and 2 + 4 + 1 , a 1+ 3+ 1 and 4 + 6+ 4); its intention, if any, is not easy to ascertain but an oppo­ sition (and balance) between the predominant vowel sounds in the two sets of three lines is unmistakable. 211. αγλαΐας: the joy and the splendour of their triumph. 213-216. It is probably best to put the point of interrogation after τα παρόντα *) (there are no clear instances of adverbial τά παρόντα and the three abrupt sentences are very much in keeping with the ήθος of the statement as a whole). 214. γνώμαν ϊσχεις'. = (emphatic) γιγνφσκεις ‘understand’. 214,5. εξ οΐων τά παρόντ : ‘from what kind of words and deeds < o n yourpart> the present situation has resulted’. 215. οικείας: ‘caused by yourself’. 216. αίκώς: see ad 102. 217. πολύ . . . τ ι κακών:‘a vast amount of misery’. This is reinforced by ύπερ-, which amounts to ΰπερ μόρον. 218. δυσθυμψ: expresses the despondency and melancholy intracta­ bility of one in the grip of despair. 219,220. τά δε ... πλάθειν: Jebb’s interpretation seems to me entirely correct: ‘but those things (i.e. such contests) cannot be waged with the powerful, so that one should come into conflict with them’ (epexegetic infinitive). Alternatively ούκ ipurrà may be regarded asl 77

l) As among others in Pearson’s text

PARODOS, VSS. 205-227

45

equivalent to ονκ ipiarov = ού Set έρίζειν with rà (Sè) as internal accusative; or τά Sè may be taken as internal accusative with πλάθειν (‘you cannot risk coming into such conflicts with the powerful’). Con­ jectures are needless x). 221. The mss. reading (eV Seivoir ήναγκάσθην iv Setvois) has to be altered for metrical reasons (not being strikingly probable in itself) and there is little to choose between Seiv’ ήναγκάσθην iv Seivots (Wolff, Bruhn), iv Seivots Seiv’ ήναγκάσθην (Kaibel), Seiv' iv Seivots ήναγ­ κάσθην (Pearson). 222. %ξοι8’ ... όργά: the essence of Electra’s personal tragedy consists in her consciousness that her passionate clinging to the norms of faithful­ ness involves a destructive element. όργά: i.e. the consequences of my passion. 223. άλλ’ ... γίρ: cf. Denniston G.P.* pp. 100, 101. But it is possible that here iv ... Seivots ■.■καίρια (τίνι γάρ ... καίρια being parenthetic) has to be regarded as the causal clause of the main sentence αλλά ... avéré μ ’ avere παράγοροι, thus: άλλ’ — iv γάρ Seivots ον σχήσω raéras aras, δφρα με ßios εχη — ( rivi γάρ vor’ άν, ώ φιλία γενέθλα, •προσφοράν άκουσαιμ* eiros, rivi φρονονντι καίρια ;) avéré μ’ avere παράγοροι. On the other hand it would seem more natural to interpret άλλ’ ... γάρ as amounting to: ‘but for all that’ (γάρ explaining ‘the άλλα feeling’, G. Misener, quoted by Denniston p. 100) and to take 229 as an emotional asyndeton, very effective after the previous passionate outburst. 224. ravras aras: answering the Chorus’ omeias aras 215; ‘this fatal course’ (Campbell). 225. δφρα με ßios δχη: on the omission of av cf. K.-G. Π 450 (δφρα only here in Soph., twice in Aesch., not in Eur.). The meaning of the words does not differ from δφρα αν ζώ and thus the statement is as hyperbolic as e.g. 185. 226,7. rivi ... erros: the dative probably on the analogy of the dative with δέχεσθαι (cf. note ad 442, 3)—‘receive something at the1 1) Buth Wakefield’s idea, as corrected by J. Jackson, deserves consideration: τάδε — τοίς δυνατοί,' üuk άριστά — τλάβι. (M a r g in a lia S c a e n ic a , 1955, p. 138).

COMMENTARY

hand of another’—since άκούειν has the pregnant meaning of ‘hear and accept, regard as acceptable’; thus Σ (παρά rivos άκαυσομαί), Brunck, Ellendt, Kaibel, Bruhn. Alternatively the dative may be taken as a dativus indicantis (‘in whose eyes going either with the whole sentence or (perhaps preferably) with πρόσφορον. πρόσφορον: ‘useful’, ‘of any avail’. 228. φρονονντί καίρια: ‘ayant le sens de l’heure’ (Mazon). It must be said that this addition is in favour of the second interpretation mentioned above. On the other hand there is something to be said for Kaibel’s argument against this interpretation: Electra’s appeal to another’s judgement does not seem in keeping with her character. But, may we ask, does the question, however interpreted, amount to anything else than: ‘there is no useful advice that anybody could give me’? 229. were μ’ avere, παράγοροι: amounts to εάσατε, οΐον παυσασθέ pe παραμυθονμεναι (27). But that is not to say that παράγοροι has not to be regarded as a vocative: avere παράγοροι cannot be said instead of âvere παρηγορονσαι. 230. τάδε: i.e. the miseries of my situation. άλυτα: cf. supra 142. 231. εκ καμάτων άποπανσομαι: somewhat more emphatic than καμάτων άποπανσομαι. 232. άνάριθμοζ ... θρήνων: άναρίθμοις θρήνοις εγ κείμενη. 233. άλλ’ oSv ... y’: cf. infra 1035. On άλλ’ ουν ‘following upon the rejection of a suggestion’ see Denniston G.P.2 pp. 442, 3. ‘Well, at least’; ye emphasizes evvola, just as it does τοσοϋτον Phil. 1305 άλλ’ ουν τοσοΰτάν γ ϊσθι, and προμηνυσης Ant. 84 ’^4λλ’ ουν προμηνυσ-rjs γε τοΰτο μηδενι / τονργον. 235. άταις: the dative is ‘additive’ (not instrumental, as Kaibel will have it). 236. καί ... εφυ: indignant question; for και in such questions cf. infra 883. Since the exhortations of the Chorus are based on the idea of μετράν and of overstepping its limit, Electra’s exclamation is natural enough: ‘ well then, teU me, what measure is there in their wickedness’, κακότατος: rather ‘< th e ir> wickedness’, than ‘< m y > wretchedness’ (thus Kaibel, and this seems more relevant, pace Jebb). κακότας as in κακότητ’ άσκεΐν Aesch. Prom. 1066, = κακία O.T. 511. 237. επϊ rois φθιμένοις: ‘in the case of the dead’, but επί with the dative is not common with that meaning (O.T. 829, quoted by Jebb, has to be interpreted in another way, see my note). Perhaps on the

PÄRODOS, VSS. 228-248

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analogy of έπΐ with dative with the verba affectuum, άμελεΐν, in the context, amounting to ον θρηνεΐν. l) 238. to u t’: the idea that it would be καλόν. 239. τούτοι?: se. iv ofs ταΰτο εβλαστεν (‘shot forth’ or with another metaphor ‘took root’). 240. ei τω πρόσκειμαι χρηστω: Le. ehrep τι χρηστόν iv έμο'ι er’ ίστιν, ‘si je garde au cœur quelque droiture ’(Mazon), cf. infra 1040 εΐρηκας ορθώς φ σύ πρόσκεισαι κακφ and, the inverse construction, Ant. 1242, 3 δείξας iv άνθρώποισι την αβουλίαν j δσω μέγιστον ανδρΐ πρόσκειται κακόν. See also Campbell, Essay on Language p. 80 β. The interpretation of Σ (μητ€ ei τινι αγαθω καί χρηστω πρόσκειμαι φίλω συνοικοίην ευκηλοs οΙον μηδε ei αγαθός τις èoTiv φ εγώ πρόσκ€ΐμαι μηδε τουτω συνοικοίην εΰ ζηλοΰσα τα αυτού*2) καί αποδεχόμενη el τοιοΰτος περί τούς γονέας φαίνοιτο) has to be rejected and I cannot follow Jebb’s rendering: ‘Never, when my lot is east in pleasant places, may I cling to selfish ease’. The simple fact is that τούτοις 239 has also to be taken with ξυνναίοιμι. εΰκηλος: ‘care-free’, ‘quiet’. Cf. Aesch. Sept. 238 and 590 (εύκηλως εχων, with Groeneboom’s note) (εΰκηλος < 'έκηλος by popular ety­ mology). 241-243. γονέων ... γόων: for the plural γονέων cf. supra 187 τοκέων. The γόοι are felt as winged creatures (the image of the flying birds is reinforced by οξύτονων, cf. Ai. 631 όξυτόνους ωδάς. Track. 963 οξύφωνος αηδών, see also supra 107, 147 sqq.). γονέων έκτίμους: ‘in such a way that they no longer honour my father’. The genitive with έκτίμους as with the compounds with a privans. In έκτίμους there is an element of enallage: not the πτέρυγες but the γόοι would no longer honour her father. But the phrase πτέρυγας ... γόων forms a whole. 245-248. el γάρ d μεν θανών ... αντί φόνους δίκας: there are two problems in this double protasis, one relatively minor and one of greater import. (1) Have we to take 6 and θανών closely together (‘the dead’) or is d μεν subject and θανών ‘circumstantial’ participle? I do not see why we should prefer either of the two possibilities. As far as can be seen

Ps. Lys. VI 2 Μ τοντψ may be an instance. 2) Thus Papageorgios’ reading, but Σ here is probably based on a v.l. εΰζ-ηλας, hence we may read eff ζηλοΰσα or omit eu. Cf. V. de Marco, D e S c hoH ls in S o p h o c lis tra g o e d ia s v eterib u s, Mem. Aec. dei Lincei, Classe di scienze morali etc. S. VI, vol. VI (1937), p. 177.

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COMMENTARY

from translations and comments, the first course is generally preferred. (2) Is the first clause of the protasis to be understood as really hypo­ thetical or not really so, though formally dependent on ell In other words, does the first clause contain a general truth recognized by Electra or a supposition denied by her innermost convictions but to be submitted to if her adversaries insist on having their way? The Greek admits of both interpretations for ούδέν in itself (where μηδέν would be regular if the hypothesis as such were real) does not guarantee the former; οΰ(-) often replaces μη in a hypothetical clause if closely going with a single word: so the occurrence of ούδέν here does not prove that the clause is not really hypothetical. Jebb though arguing that the first clause is not really hypothetical nevertheless, at the end of his comment, stresses the fact that Electra ‘believes that his (Agamemnon’s) spirit lives in the world below, and will be active in aiding the vengeance’. The latter is certainly true but contrary to his interpretation of the first clause, unless we assume that Electra is represented as wavering between two contradictory starting-points. But we cannot imagine Electra subscribing to the words of Eur./r. 532 N.2 {Meleager)·, τούς ζώντας eS δράν · κατθανών δε vas άνηρ / γη καί σκιά · το μηδέν els ούδέν ρέπει. άντιφόνονς δίκας: cf. Aesch. Eum. 982 ποινάς (Tri., ποινάς MF.) άντιφόνονς aras, ib. 464 άντικτόνοις ποιναΐσι. πάλιν and άντιreinforce each other. 249-50. τ' ... f : logically of course the place of τ’ ... τ’ is after resp. αιδώς and ευσέβεια; but re (and, in fact, all enclitics) is inclined to take the second place in a clause or phrase. For eppoi (and the ethos of the whole sentence) cf. O.T. 910 and 895, 6. Since in order to prevent the actualization of what is said in these last lines Electra is prepared to die, it would seem better to regard the first part of the hypothetical clause, too, as a hypothesis to which she, for her part, is not resigned. αίδώς: combines the notions of: ‘consciousness of moral standards’ and what in French is called ‘respect humain’. ευσέβεια: pietas and religio. I can not subscribe to I. M. Linforth’s verdict on this epode (in his otherwise excellent Electra’s Day in the Tragedy o f Sophocles, Univ. of Calif. Publ. in Cl. Philology 19. 2, 1963, p. 93): ‘(the words of the epode) express a decline in Electra’s emotional excitement.... From her plaint about her own unhappy state she has passed to moral principles of wider significance, uttered in a quieter tone’. On the contrary, the passionate convictions on which her very life is based are here uttered

PARODOS, VSS. 249-250

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with a vehemence surpassing all that has been said before. How is it possible not to perceive the culmination of her passion in the dochmiacs of 245 sqq.? First Epeisodion 251-471 Up to 1. 310, after the three introductory lines spoken by the Cory­ phaeus in which Electra is invited to give a picture of her situation, she does so, justifying her behaviour but at the same time recognizing the excessive, though in the circumstances inevitable, features of her conduct. Generally speaking, the contents of her rhesis are the same as thosejrf· the preceding lvrics but stated in.a.icjmeter. moreratiqnalway. But there is this difference that the murderers’ abject conduct and attitudes are now set forth in detail. 251. εγώ μεν: according to Jebb μεν ‘merely emphasises the pronoun’; but perhaps it is better to assume that the wording presupposes a follow­ ing σν δε, for which et δε ... σύ νίκα is substituted. 251,2. »cat το aov ... και τούμον αυτής', this Chorus identify their own interest with the protagonist’s much more than e.g. the Chorus of elders in the Antigone. Throughout the tragedy they are almost without reserve on Electra’s side. This attitude is strongly expressed by the next words. 253. άμα: is best taken as adverb. 256. άλλ’ ... γάρ: cf. 223. But here there can be no question of ellipse: άλλα and yap ‘fulfil their normal functions independently’ (cf. Denniston G.P.2 pp. 98, 9). It is interesting to compare Electra’s defence of her conduct with Ismene’s Ant. 65-67. 257. ητις: there is no advantage in rejecting ήτις (L) in favour of eï τις (G), as is done by Pearson, εύγενης: well rendered by Mazon: ‘bien née’. 258. varpip: Jebb’s rendering ‘of a father’s house’ takes the edge off the wording. 259. κατ’ ήμ&ρ καί κατ’ εύφρόνην: the order is unusual in Greek. 260. θάλλοντα: for the metaphor cf. Solon 3. 35 D. αυαίνει δ’ άτης άνθεα φυόμενα, Aeseh. Suppl. 104-107, supra 198, Phil. 259; Bacch. XIV 58 άφροσυναις θάλλουσ *Υβρις. The antithesis θάλλειν — φθίνειν also in medical writings: Hippocr. vepi τόνων των κατά άνθρωπον 24 ό απλήν θάλλει και το σώμα φθίνει. 261. ή: εμκιί γάρ. On πρώτα μεν ... εΐτα see Denniston G.P.2p. 377. 262. συμβέβηκεν: without either infinitive or participle just as τυγχάνω is often found without the expected participle. 263. εν τοΐς εμάντης: of her, Agamemnon’s rightful heiress.

50

COMMENTARY

264. κάκ ... κάκ: generally speaking εκ with a passive verb is not uncommon in the function of υπό; here it does suggest (as Jebb remarks quoting some parallels) ‘the head and fount of authority’ and moreover its use permits the pathetic repetition κάκ τώνδε ... κάκ τώνδε, the second κάκ τώνδε being the natural phrase with Χαβεΐν and τητάσθαi πεΧει. 264. 5. κάκ τώνδε ... πεΧει: εκ τώνδε goes with πεΧει (cf. Jl. XIII 632 aio δ'εκ τάδε πάντα πέΧονται), It is the only instance of impersonal πεΧει in Soph. 265. ΧαβεΙν ... το τητάσθαι: probably better to assume variatio (infinitive may be used both without article and with article as subject of a sentence) than to take τδ άπο κοινού. The opposition in aspect (Χαβεΐν X τητάσθαι) is what one would expect; but we cannot say that τητάσθαι, pres. inf. denoting a state, has the article as a natural consequence thereof in contradistinction to the aor. inf. Χαβεΐν: for aorist infinitives with the article as subject are common enough. 266. επειτα ποιας ημέρας: in the course of this long and passionate sentence its interrogative beginning is, so to say, lost sight of,—The ethos and the movement of Phil. 276 are comparable to this passage (which agrees with the all but certain proximity in time of the two plays). 267-271, 299-309. ΐ'δω ... είσίδω ... ϊδω: for variation in anaphora cp. Bruhn, Anhang §218111. Just as in the case of κάκ τώνδ’ ... κάκ τώνδ’ the anaphora is suggestive of the rising tide of her indignation as she calls up the shocking pictures which daily wound her heart. There is of course a climax in the enumeration: the θρόνοι, the εσθηματα, the κοίτη. The last horror gives her the occasion to switch from Aegisthus to Clytaemestra. On Clytaemestra’s behaviour she dwells from 275 to 299 (with one interruption where she makes mention of her own com­ plaints and tears but this serves as introduction to further details of her mother’s conduct); at 299 she returns with scornful words to Aegisthus (again threefold or fourfold anaphora gives articulate form to the flow of her passion). Then she turns to the mention of Orestes and her waiting for him (303-306, with many references to the themes of the parodos) and she winds up by restating in other terms what she had expressed at the beginning of her speech (so we have a case of ring-composition of a sort). 267. ενθακοϋντ: on the words deriving from θακ cf. G. Björck, Das Alpha Impurum 1950, pp. 349-352. 268. πατρφοις: ‘of my father’, meaning which is here, if need be, proved by εκείνω 269, referring to the implied πατρός.

FIRST EPEISODION, VSS. 264-279

51

26?! 70. παρεστίους / σπενδοντα Χοιβάς: at every sacrifice and feast the first libation and probably also the last was made to Hestia, cf. Horn. H. 29. 4, Cornutus 28 p. 53 καθδ καν ταΐς θυσίαις ol ΈΧΧηνες από πρώτης re αυτής ηρχοντο και eh εσχάτην αυτήν κατεπαυον. Soph. fr. 726 P. (Chryses) . 354. ον ζώ ... εμοί: for the ethos cf. Phil. 1043 sq. 356. εκεί', cf. Ai. 855. et ... χάρις: well paraphrased by Campbell: ‘If the dead have any sense of honours done to them’. 357,8. In the course of Electra’s rhesis the tone and the wording become more and more tense and vehement, the contrast between Chrysothemis’ pretended and (to Electra’s mind) real disposition more bitingly expressed, reproach changes to sarcasm. 357. συ δ’ ήμϊν ή μισούσα: i.e. ‘you who would have us believe that you hate’; the ethic dative is used with extraordinary effect, μισούσα ... μισείς refers to το τούτων μίσος 348. For the brachylogy cf. Holzinger ad Ar. Plut. 354. μισείς μεν λόγω: for λόγψ cf. 347 ητις λέγεις μεν .... There the antithesis is οντε ξυνερδεις κτλ. Much more brutal is the antithesis which now follows. 358. rots φονενσι ... ξύνει: since Electra herself lives in the palace (cf. 263,4 τοΐς φονενσι ... ξννειμι), the word ξύνει must mean more than at 263, 4, in this context. Jebb translates: ‘art their ally’; perhaps this goes too far and something like ‘you have intercourse with’, ‘you move in the company of’ will suffice *)■ But in my opinion the text is not above suspicion. 359,360. τά era / ... δώρ', εφ' οΐσι νυν χλιδάς: indubitably^Electra and Chrysothemis are contrasted in dress and outward appearance as much as in character, τα ο·ά δώρα refers first and foremost to the fine garments and ornaments she is wearing. τά σά δώρα is extremely malicious for it implies the rewards of her compliance. *) N ot bad Bruhn: ‘du hältst es mit ihnen’.

COMMENTARY

€’ οΐσι ... χλιδάς: ‘pride oneself upon’, implying ostentation and insolence. 361. ύπεικάθοιμι: see note ad O.T. 650. 361,2. σοι ... ßios: contrast supra 190-192. περιρρείτω ßios: suggestive of superabundant luxury; the metaphor is perhaps taken from an overflowing bowl (but the metaphoric use of the verb is only found in later authors; Dionys. Halic. Dem. 18 [Aéfu] ττΐριρρεονσα roîs νοήμασιν ‘a lavish clothing for the thoughts’. (L.-Sc. Suppl, p. 119 does not afford us a striking parallel). 363,4. εμοϊ γάρ έστω τούμε μη λυπείν μόνον / βόσκημα: thus the transmitted text, admitting of only one interpretation: εμε = εμαυτήν, cf. infra 461, Ant. 736; for Homer cf. K.-G. I p. 565 Anm. 5 and see Bruhn Anhang § 77: ‘Einfaches Personalpronomen der ersten und zweiten Person statt des reflexiven, oft herbeigeführt durch ausge­ sprochenen oder vorschebenden Gegensatz’. The latter applies to the present passage, το εμε μη λυπείν is subject of the sentence, εμε object of λυπείν: ‘that I do not grieve myself’ (which I should if complying with the murderers); the implied antithesis to εμε is τούτους, and to εμε μη λυπείν, τούτους λυπείν. Bruhn has an excellent comment on the close interrelation between 355 and 363, 4. She does not want Chrysothemis’ πλούσια τράπεζα (for this implies τούτοις ύπεικαθειν and thus λυπείν εαυτην). Provided that she does not have to comply with the murderers, she will be content to live κακώς μεν, επαρκούντως δε (354). In a condensed and exaggerated form this complex of thoughts is expressed by the wish that το εαυτην μη λυπείν may be her βόσκημα —not stranger than Ev. Joh. IV 34 εμόν βρώμά εστιν ΐνα ποιώ τό θέλημα τοΰ πεμφαντός με κτλ. (already quoted by Dacier in his comment on this passage). It would then seem that conjectures are uncalled fo rl). (I want to mention what has been proposed by B. Jaya-Suriya, Cl. Rev. 1966, p. 147: εμοϊ γάρ έστω τούπ’ εμ η λύπη μόνον, which is clever; but τούπ’ όμ is rather otiose and the connection with 355 is broken). 364. της σης τιμής: cf. τά σά ... δώρα 359, 60. It is the τιμή Chrysothemis secures for herself by refusing to τώ τεθνηκότι τιμάς προσάπτειν (355, 6). 365. ούδ’ αν σύ: SC. ή pas. σώφρων: the meaning of σώφρων is contextually determined by the notion of ‘insolence’ implied in εφ ’οΐσι νϋν χλιδάς 360. χ) See Jebb’s Appendix for a large harvest of proposed readings. The mss text is defended by J. E. Harry, A. J . P h . 1935, pp. 142 sq.

FIRST EPEISODION, VSS. 361-374

63

365-67. νΰν 8’ ... τής μητρός: I do not believe that by καλόν τής μητρός Electra is meant to suggest that Chrysothemis by forsaking the memory of her father puts herself on a par with an illegitimate child (Kaibel »), followed by Bruhn and Groeneboom). Correctly Jebb: ‘By forgetting her duty to her father, she as it were repudiates him, and will be known only as Clytaemestra’s daughter’. There is certainly a relation with Eur. El. 933 sqq., but Kaibel too confidently uses the comparison of the two passages as a strong argument in favour of Sophocles’ priority (Einleitung p. 62). For καλείσθαι cf. Men. Mis. C—»-20 and Turner’s note*2). 367. γάρ: ‘indeed’ rather than ‘for’. 369-371. The Chorus, as a Chorus will, tries to mediate (similarly e.g. Ant. 724, 5). Electra’s last implacable words (οΰτωγάρ φανή πλείστοις κακή,) are countered by the impressively elliptical μηδέν προς οργήν .... 370. άμφοΐν. there is little to choose between dative or genitive fern. μάθοις: and οργή would render μανθάνειν impossible. συ: Electra. 371. πάλιν: rursus a sua parte, cf. O. T. 619 ταχύν δει κάμε βουλευειν πάλιν. 371. τήσδε ... αυτή: both referring to Chrysothemis; cf. infra 981, 2. 372. εγώ μεν: implicitly contrasted with εκείνη δε. ήθάς: not in Aesch.; άπαξ in Soph.; Eur. Andr. 818, Cycl. 250; thrice in Ar. (sometimes in prose, but there εθάς, with the same meanings, is more common). 373. οϋδ’ αν εμνήσθην ποτέ: referring to her first words riva ... φωνεΐς ... φάτιν. Kaibel’s comment: ‘während sie doch ... an das was sie jetzt mitteilt anfänglich gar nicht gedacht hatte’ is a typical instance of confusing real and fictional personages. We may safely assume that the poet had in mind what Chrysothemis was to say here, when he wrote her introductory words, in other words: we are meant to understand that Chrysothemis had in mind at 328 what she is going to say here. We even ought to interpret Chrysothemis’ rather blunt first words in the light of the information which is now forthcoming. We are meant to understand that Chrysothemis does care for her sister. 374. κακόν ... Ιόν: cf. Ant. 10 προς τους φίλους στείχοντα των εχθρών κακά, Eur. Her. 544 τί Βήτα προς σε και γεροντ ήλθεν φόβος; *) Kaibel does not illustrate by examples his contention that illegitimate children were called after their mother. 2) E. G. Turner, N e w F r a g m e n ts o f th e Misoumenos o f M e n a n d e r, Inst, o f Cl. Stud., Bulletin Supplement 17, 1965, p. 14. = O x y r . P a p . XXXIII (1968) 2657, C 20 = 307.

COMMENTARY

375. ο ταυτην τών μακρών αχήσει γόων: μακρών amounts to ‘end­ less’ or the like (πολυχρονίων Σ). There seems to be some inconsistency between these words and 382 (an inconsistency which would pass unnoticed in the theatre), unless the antecedent of 12) ή πολλά κακά τίκτουσα) has to be rejected; perhaps it originated in somebody’s taking exception to -7τους soon to be followed by χαλκόπους. 1) Note that immediately after this the Erinys’ arrival is mentioned. 2) Interpunxi et inserui < ή > .

COMMENTARY

490. δεινοΐς ... λόχοις: the Chorus ‘ne croyait pas si bien dire’. For, although generally speaking Erinys can very well be taken to operate by means of tricks and snares (cf. e.g. Ant. 1075 λοχώσιν ... ’Ερινύες), the words do in fact exactly apply to the ‘real situation’, unknown to the Chorus. 491. χαλκοίτους: ή στερεά καί άκοπίαστος εν τφ έπιέναι κατά των φονέων. In Homer it is an epithet of the horses of the gods. (In comic parody Empusa is said to have a σκέλος χαλκόΰν (Ar. Ran. 294)). O.T. 418 δεινόπονς Ά ρ ά is comparable. 492-494. άλεκτρ’ ... θέμις: construe: αλεκτρα, άνυμφα άμιλληματα μιαιφιόνων γάμων επέβa (‘attacked’) οΐσιν ού θέμις. άμιλληματα ‘passionate craving for’. Logically άλεκτρα άνυμφα (para­ phrased: ‘in which no real marriage, no bride and bridegroom were involved’) belong to γάμων rather than to άμιλλήμαθ’, μιαιφόνων rather to άμιλλήμαθ’ than to γάμων but the enallage renders the phrase much more forceful and is suggestive of the inextricable relation between the passion and its object. (Good discussion of the passage in A. A. Long, Language and Thought in Sophocles 1968, p. 136). For cf. Ai. 137,8 (but would also be possible (thus Campbell)). Cp. also O.T. 1299 sq. οΐσιν ού θέμις: ‘for whom this was unlawful’. 495-498. προ τώνδέ ... τέρας: mss. text of the first two lines: προ τώνδέ τοι μ' εχει μήποθ' ήμιν LA προ τώνδέ τοι μ έχει μήποτε μήποθ’ ήμίν À προ τώνδέ τοι μέχει θάρσος μήποθ’ ήμίν GR Text of the strophe νπεστί μοι θράσος (sive θάρσος) άδυπνόων κλύουσαν (άρτίως ονειράτων). (On θράσος / θάρσος cf. Fraenkel ad Ag. 803). It is not likely that μ ’ έχει as an impersonal phrase can stand. The gemination of μήποτε in A(Le) has all the appearances of a make­ shift for metrical reasons. The reading of GR does not yield a metrically acceptable text. Reading θάρσος in 479, 479-481 may be scanned as follows: w-u- ia. glyc. 2 ia. (cf. W. Kraus, Strophengestaltung in der griechischen Tragödie, 1957, p. 152). Reading θάρσος έχει με μήποθ’ ήμίν in 495,6 we shall have: u-v-:-vAr ja, chor. dim. 2 ia. Metrically this will indubi­ tably be satisfactory J)· x) If we accept Turyn’s stemma ( M a n u s c r ip t T r a d itio n , p. 137) it is conceivable

FIRST STASIMON, VSS. 490-515

77

In itself it is very natural that θάρσος, in this way, recurs at the same place in the antistrophe as in the strophe (as had been seen by v. Wilamowitz and Pearson). προ τώνδε: K.-G. 1 455 and Schwyzer-Debrunner II 506 take προ simply as a substitute for αντί **). Campbell translates: ‘in the face of these things’, Jebb ‘therefore’ (comparing II. XVII 667 where προ φόβοιο is often interpreted as meaning ‘for fear’). ήμϊν: ethical dative (whether we should write ήμιν or ήμίν remains uncertain). αφεγΐς ... συνδρώσιν: the dative goes άπο κ οινού with πελάν and with âipeyés (not ‘blameless’ but ‘not disapproved of’, together with the negation in μήποτε a caustic litotes), πελάν is futurum atticum of πελάζω: the râpas, referring to the dream, of course, has taken place, but its conversion into fact, its realization is meant. 498,9. η τοι : ήτοι ( < i j t o i ) not combined with âv or âpa does not occur elsewhere in Tragedy (cf. Denniston G.P.2 p. 554); besides, its meaning (‘verily’ Jebb) is not exactly what one would expect here. It is better to read ή τοι, interpreting: ‘or else’ (see Denniston l.c. and C. J. Ruijgh, Autour de τε épique, 1971, § 191). 499-500, βροτών: goes with μαντείαι. O r else mortals cannot prophesy from fearful dreams and oracles’. 501-503, εί μη ... κατασχέσει: elaboration of the id e a ‘else’ implied in η. εδ κατασχησει: ‘reach its destination safely’, a maritime metaphor, cf. Track. 826, 7 καί τάδ’ όρθώς / εμπεδα κατουρίζει. 504-515. The miseries of the royal house are traced back to Pelops’ chariot-race. Cf. Eur. Or. 990 sqq., 1548. Within the framework of this stasimon there seems to be a curious harmony with the striking use of άμιλλήμαθ’ 494 2) and within the framework of the play a subtle correlation with the story of Orestes’ fictitious death. In the Oresteia nothing is said of the guilt of Pelops, Pelops, indeed, is nowhere mention­ ed (cf. Fraenkel’s notes ad Ag. 1193 and 1468 sq.). Cf. 1. 10 supra. that p had the reading as proposed above, whereas in λ Bipaos had been left out and that, in order to avoid hiatus μ Ιχει was written instead o f ίχ α με, further that this faulty reading found its way into the ‘Roman’ tradition, by contamination in p a ; but the scribe o f p a restituted Bdpaos in his text, taking it from his main source p, but putting it at the wrong place and without correcting μ ’ ί χ α . l) And thus Bruhn, Kaibel, Groeneboom. *) Cf. Eur. H e I. 386, 7 , τοΰ χάριν (Schmalfeld) is not attractive; Reiske’s προς χάριν τίνων would be preferable. 535. πότερον: for πότερον continued, not by ή but by αλλά ... δήτα (537) cf. AL 460-466 (K.-G. II p. 532 Anm. 10). 536. άλλ’ ... κτανεΐν: i.e. has its parallels in the language of comedy (‘protesting against tedious question­ ing or conversation’, see Barrett ad Eur. Hipp. 329; cf. Ar. Vesp .849, Thesm. 1073, Ran. 1245, Eccl. 775, Plut. 390, van Leeuwen’s note ad Nub. 470 is not entirely reliable) but this fact does not make it a collo­ quialism in this context. 833,4. των φανερώς ... Άΐδαν: Electra must be supposed to have Orestes chiefly in mind but the generic plural leads the coryphaeus to answer as if Agamemnon were meant in the first place. It is of course true that Orestes’ supposed death cannot be dissociated from the idea of the murdered Agamemnon who now has lost his prospective avenger; it is therefore perhaps not wholly correct to regard Electra’s plural as simply a case of generic plural. 834. 5. ελπίδ’ ΰποίσεις: υποφέρω is here used with about the same meaning as ύποτίθημι (‘proffer’, ‘suggest’). 835. κατ' εμοΰ: more forceful than εμοί. τακομενας: cf. 187; 123, 283. 836. επεμβάση: cf. 456; Eur. Hipp. 668. Kaibel was tempted to write επεμβάσα without a stop after άπολεΐς; the idea deserves consideration but the conjecture is unnecessary. 837-848. Sophocles makes the Chorus choose an apparently irrelevant example from myth in order to console Electra; no wonder the con­ solation falls flat. What did the poet mean by this? We have to bear in mind that the real situation will vindicate the parallel between Agamemnon-Clytaemestra-Orestes and Amphiaraus-Eriphyle-Alcmeon. So we have a case of very ingenious (we might say overingenious) dramatic irony. On the other hand, at this moment of the action, the fact that what in Greek saga is thought of as the nearest parallel to Orestes’ case does not seem to apply, brings out the apparent hopelessness of Electra’s plight. 837. γάρ: this must refer to the idea that all the same there is still

COMMENTARY

some cause for hope (as Amphiaraus’ case will teach her); that is to say that yap refers in particular to έλπίδ’ viroiaeis in the preceding sentence and that the elliptic wording may be expanded thus: ‘ for For yàp in an answer referring to one word or clause or phrase in the preceding sentence cf. G.PA 80 (7). ανακτ’: the seer Amphiaraus bears the same title as Teiresias. 838. χρυσόδετος ερκεσι: ερκη ‘net’, ‘toils’, cf. Ai. 60, fr. 2 (with Pearson’s note) and fr. 431. άπατα« codd, is possibly an intrusive gloss and has been deleted by Brunck, followed by most editors. But this, of course, is not certain; άπατα« does not, in itself, disturb the metre nor the sense (χρυσόδετος ερκεσι κρυφθεντα γυναικών άπατα« -υυ---- uv.---- «g---- uw- καί νυν υπό yalas - - v u — two choriambic dimeters in synaphy with reiz.) and a word of the form may be supposed to have dropped out before κρύπτουσιν in the strophe (cf. Σ κρύπτουσιν εκηλοι · olον ούκ άγουσιν eis φώς την τούτων παρανομίαν, φανερά would make sense, χρυσόδεταis is the epithet of the όνομα κύριον for which ερκεσιν has been substituted (ορμψ or the like): ‘set in gold’ (a όρμος of gems or pearls set in gold) or simply = ‘golden’ (but there may be intended a special connection between -δετό« and ερκεσι in the choice of the epithet; Ale. 350. 2 L.-P. is the first instance of the word). Different Aesch. Cho. 617 χρυσεοδμητοισιν όρμος γυναικών: refers to Eriphyle. The necklace by means of which Eriphyle had been bribed by Polynices or Adrastus became for Amphiaraus the toils of his fate. κρυφθεντα: Amphiaraus was engulfed by the earth. 841. π άμφυχας άνάσσει: ‘he wields authority with mighty spirit un­ impaired’ (Campbell). He retained his faculties just as Teiresias; cf. E. Rohde, Psyche p. 114 η. 1, v. Wilamowitz, Glaube der Hellenen II pp. 12, 3. This is meant to suggest that the same may hold good for Agamemnon. 842. φεΰ: it is difficult to see how this can be interpreted otherwise than as a cry of woe at the thought of the difference between Agamemnon and Amphiaraus. φεΰ δήτ · àXoà yàp: again no other interpretation seems to be possible than the assumption that the coryphaeus is meant to misunder­ stand Electra’s φεΰ, believing her cry to refer to the close similarity between the fate of both kings, and intending something like: ‘for the destructive wife ’. ολοα is of course fern. sing. 845. εδάμη: but Electra bent on stressing the futility of the alleged similarity interrupts the coryphaeus and by substituting εδάμη for what

K.OMMÖS, VSS. 838-852

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the latter was going to say she clearly brings out that Eriphyle at any rate underwent the fate from which Clytaemestra will escape. ναι: this tame agreement signifies the end of the coryphaeus’ attempt at consolation. Electra henceforth insists on the non-existence of an avenger for Agamemnon. 846. έφάνη : cf. Aesch. Cho. 328 αναφαίνεται S’ 6 βλάπτων. Eum. 320 πράκτορας αίματος αύτω εφάνημεν. μελετώρ: hapax, amounting to ‘avenger’. 847. τον εν πενθεί : Amphiaraus; the dead man, unavenged, is represented as mourning his fate. Thus Jebb, Bruhn and others, referring to 290. But phrases like εν μικρω λόγιρ είναι, εν μεγάλτ) τιμτ} είναι may also suggest a passive meaning (τον πενθοΰμενον); this is preferred by Campbell and Kaibel. 848. εμοϊ ... εσθ’: πάνυ ... περιπαθώς το πάθος τοΰ Άγαμεμνονος εις έαντην μεταφέρει διά τοΰ εμοί δ’ οντις Σ, rightly, but Electra’s grief for her father and her distress at her own plight are inextricably intertwined throughout. φρούδος άναρπασθείς: cf. Men. Aspis 13 νυν δε συ μεν οΐχει παραλόγως τ' άνηρπασαι. 849. δειλαία ... κυρεΐςί ‘afflicted as you are, new afflictions befall you’. Cf. O.C. 595 πέπονθα, Θησεΰ, δεινά προς κακαΐς κακά. 850. το öS’ ϊστωρ: very rare (in tragedy only here and Eur. I.T. 1431), but cf. συνίστωρ Aesch. Ag. 1090, Soph. Phil. 1293, Ant. 542, Eur. Suppl. 1174. τοΰ δ' ϊστωρ is a very emphatic substitute for τόδ’ οίδα *). Since it means testis, Hipp. Iusiur. and since Flump is in Boeotian the common word for testis (see for instance Schwyzer, Delectus 491. 18, 492.7, 503 a 28, 511.7, 512.6, 523.64) and since συνίστωρ ‘witness’ is more in use than the simplex with the tragedians, it is perhaps possible to regard the dative in the next words as dependent on ύπερίστωρ ( = συνίστωρ, ύπερσυνίστωρ) (τοöS’ is not in favour of this possibility); otherwise it will be a causal dative. 851. 2. πανσυρτω ... *αίώνι: at least the last word of the sentence (άχεων IAZGR, άχαίων Lao(?)A) is corrupt. G. Hermann’s conjecture αίώνι yields a fairly satisfactory sense and is accepted by many editors. πανσυρτω in an active sense (πάντα σνροντι τα κακά cf. Synes. Hymn. IX (= VIII Terzaghi) 63, 4 χρόνος χθονος εκγονα συρων) with the genitives dependent on it and with παμμήνω, though in parallel con­ struction, subordinate to it in sense (‘through all months’ L.-Sc.) leads 0 For ϊστω ρ ‘knowing’ cf. Heracl.

fr. 35.

Cf. G. Müller ad A n t . 542.

COMMENTARY

up to the expected expression of the notion o f‘time’ or ‘life’ (the metaphor of ‘stream’ suggested by πανσύρτω). Mazon’s reading αχθών (with Brunck’s insertion of τε after δεινών; αχθαι was an idea of G. Hermann’s—apud Erfurdt—adopted by Camp­ bell) is somewhat easier from a palaeographic standpoint (ΑΧΘ Ω Ν vel ΑΧΘ ΕΩ Ν > ΑΧΕΩ Ν ) but it is then necessary to take either πανσνρτφ (as is done by Mazon) or παμμήνω (as is done by Vollgraff, Le Péan Delphique à Dionysos B.C.H. 49, 1925, p. 130) as a noun, either of which is very hard to accept, the former because the article seems required, the latter because πάμμηνος = η πανσέληνος is unexampled. Hermann’s solution is to be preferred. In παμμήνω may be felt a connection with 278-281; δεινών στυγνών τ’ is in agreement with such a supposition, εϊδομεν certainly not at variance with it. 853. â θροεΐς: the metre does not necessitate any alteration ( - ^ ------- 864 - w ----- , though the lenghtening of â is uncommon) and the sense of άθρήνεις (Dindorf, Jebb) is less convincing than that of the transmission. The objection to ‘taking into the hand’, βαστάσαι οΰ το αραι 8ηλοΐ wapà τοΐς Ά ττικοίς, αλλά το φηλαφήσαι (Sud.); cf. Phil. 657. δυσφημώ μεν οΰ: Jebb’s interpretation viz. ‘she refrains from uttering any mournful or reproachful word, with reference to his long delay in coming’ is beside the mark. She utters no cry whichsoever for fear of its possible ill omen; εύφημ^ΐτε practically amounts to ‘be silent’. So Groeneboom e.g. is right in noting: ‘almost = ενφημώ’ (cf. 630 where ύπ’ ευφήμου βοής amounts to ‘in silence’). Most commentators prefer this interpretation. 907, 8. εξεπίσταμαι / μή: μή, as often after a verb of ‘confident belief’ (Jebb). This is in harmony with the fact that in cases where both μή and οΰ are possible, μή is often preferred in order to lend more emphasis to the negative statement. του ... κ€ίναυ: the genitives are both possessive in relation to αγλάισ­ μα and ‘separative’ in relation to μολεΐν, but the latter is dominant. αγλάισμα: cf. Aesch. Cho. 193. 909. The ratiocination partly follows Cho. 187 sqq. From πλήν γ ’ έμοΰ καί σοΰ it follows that πλήν 908 is preposition rather than adverb. 911. πώς γάρ: elliptical, confirming a negative statement (G.P.2 86). One may hesitate as to whether the phrase has to be regarded as a parenthesis or not. προς θεούς: ad templa deorum. 912. άκλαΰτω: i.q. impune. For μηδε άκλαΰτω cp. οΰτι χοίρων. The mss here have άκλαΰστψ (G άκλαυστως), but at Ant. 29 L has άκλαυτον; certainty is hardly to be attained, the transmission of -κλαυτός forms would seem to point to general inconsistency in the matter, perhaps on the part of Sophocles himself, μηδε ... εξεστ* ... στέγης, cp. 212, 3. 914. ελάνθανεν: the omission of âv is, to say the least, singular. Jebb strongly argues for έλάνθαν' âv, although the elision of -e third pers. sing, before âv is rare. (A. D. Fitton Brown, Cl.Qu. 49 (1956) p. 39 argues in favour of Meineke’s conjecture έληθεν âv). But there are other instances of the omission, cf. Eur. Hec. 1111-1113 and see Goodwin G.M.T. §§ 431, 432. It is possibly correct to assume that the imperfect ελάνθανεν is expressive of the speaker’s certainty that, should Clytaemestra have done such a thing she would not have sought to escape notice; but we may even think that Chrysothemis, after φιλεΐ τοιαΰτα

COMMENTARY

πράσσειν, might have continued by: ούτε δρώσα λανθάνει (hence Naber’s spirited conjecture ούτε δρώσα λανθάνεινΧ) and that ούτε δρώσ’ ελάνθανεν is simply the transposition of these words into the past tense. (Cf. Dodds ad Eur. Bacch, 612). After all Clytaemestra did send Chrysothemis in order to make offerings to Agamemnon. Somewhat different Pearson Cl.Qu. 1917, p. 68 ‘she was not likely to escape notice if she did it’. 915. τάπιτίμια: Although it is true that επιτίμων elsewhere always means ‘the penalty paid’ there is nothing in the derivation and the formation of the word that prevents us from assuming that for once the poet used it to denote το ini τ -fj τιμτ) γινόμενα τον πατρός. Such an etymologizing catachresis is not alien to Sophocles’ style. Τιμή is properly: το αποτινόμενου, cf. his use of τιμάν Ai. 688, Ant. 514, άτιμάζειν Ant. 22, 544, O.C. 49, 286. (See L. Kugler, De Sophoclis quae vocantur abusionibus, thesis Göttingen, 1905, pp. 35-37). The v.l. in 2JL τάγλαΐσματα is a conjecture by an ancient grammarian who objected to τάπιτίμια on the same grounds as his modem colleagues, 916. θάρσννε: intr,, thus only here. Cp. the common use of κρατύνω instead of κρατεω (see O.T. 14 with note). 916-918. rots ... παραστατεΐ: ούκ άει ol αυτοί ευδαιμονεί η κακο­ δαίμονες είσιν (Schneid.-N.-Bruhn), correctly as far as it goes, παραστατεί certainly does not mean here ‘support’ (L.-Sc. s.v. 2) but is vox media, δαίμων is not quite ‘fortune’ or ‘fate’ but the alternating divine powers who are felt to allot to mortal man his ‘fortune’ or ‘fate’ in the vicissitudes of his life. For the general import of the sentence Jebb and others are right in pointing to Track. 129 sqq.. Men. fr. 714 Koerte is (partly) a protest (probably not entirely serious, cf. Epitr. 734 sqq.) against this conception of δαίμων. For the meaning of δαίμων in Sopho­ cles Ellendt s.v. is still invaluable. The sententious words, a common feature at the end of a rhesis, clearly ‘point the applicability of a universal truth to the special matter in hand’ by means of τοι: ‘Don’t forget, please’ (Denniston, G.P. 542) and have a consolatory and at the same time exhortative ring. νφν[δ’]·ήν τα πρόσθεν στυγνός: not 6 δαίμων νψν fjv τα πράσθεν στυγνός but δαίμων τις στυγνός νφν ην τα πρόσθεν. It would seem preferable to leave out S’ after νψν 918 (with L) and to write πρόσθε (with LGR). 918,19. ή δε νΰν ... I ... καλών: since clear examples of υπάρχω ‘begin’ with the accusative are not to be found before the prose-writers of the fourth century, υπάρχω will be the intransitive verb meaning

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‘exist’, amounting, with a predicate, to an emphatic είναι. Kaibel’s idea, viz. that πολλών καλών is dependent both on υπάρξει and on κύρος is a case of eating one’s cake and having it too. Correctly Bruhn: ‘wird uns gegeben sein als entscheidende Macht, Ursache’, or Campbell’s first course: ‘will be the consummation of much good’. It seems im­ possible to construe: ‘will be the beginning of much good as its κύρος’, Jebb has no note on υπάρξει, but translates (admirably in itself): ‘but this day, perchance, will seal the promise of much good’. Here as elsewhere in this scene Chrysothemis’ words contain a dra­ matic irony, for she is speaking the whole truth (this day will be the day of Electra’s triumph), though she will be soon persuaded that it was all a mistake (see the introductory remark to this scene). 920. φεΰ ... εποικτίρω: we may take τής άνοιας with φευ or with εποικτίρω and punctuate accordingly; the former course seems better (the words are more forceful) but it does not prevent us from taking it with εποικτίρω as well. 921. ού ... λέγω: it seems better to regard the words as a statement, not as a question (cf. Weil ad Eur. Med. Π3 δέχου δε μη προς ηδονήν λόγους), as is done by the Budé editors: ‘je parle là très sérieusement’. Cf. fr. 63 P. (Acrisius) δήλον γάρ ■ εν δεσμοΐσι δραπέτης άνήρ / κώλον ποδισθεις παν προς ηδονήν λέγει ‘to win favour’ (Pearson, who compares Eur. Or. 1516). Cp. also Hdt. V II101. 3 κότερα άληθείη χρήσομαι ή ηδονή; ‘shall I speak truly or so as to humour youT (L.-Sc. s.v. ηδονή I 1) and Thuc. II 65. 8 (Pericles) ούκ ήγετο μάλλον ύπ' αντοΰ (sc. τοΰ πλήθους) ή αύτός ήγε, διά το μη κτώμενος εξ ού προσηκόντων την δνναμιν προς ήδονήν τι λέγειν, άλλ* εχων επ’ αξιώσει και προς οργήν τι άντειπεΐν. Thus her reply is more relevant to Electra’s reproach of άνοια. It also echoes Electra’s scornful εΐ σοι τω λόγψ τις ήδονή (891). 922. ούκ ... φερη: id est you live in a world of mere delusion far removed from realities. The common metaphor in οποί γνώμης φερη is as it were expanded and vivified by οποί γης. ‘insana Chrysothemidis laetitia cum immenso itinere comparatur, peregrinante ad extremi quasi orbis fines aliqua fatali necessitate abrepto’ (Ellendt). 923. κάτοιδ’ ... εΐδον εμφανώς: cf. supra 878 εναργώς, ώσπερ είσορψς εμέ, 885, 6 σαφή / σημεί' ίδοΰσα, 892 κατειδόμην, 894 όρώ, 897 Ιδοΰσα, 900 όρώ, 902 εΐδον, 904 όράν, 907 εξεπίσταμαι. The poet must have been aware of the etymological connection between οΐδα and εΐδον: cp. Phil. 250 πώς γάρ κάτοιδ’ δν γ ’ εΐδον ούδεπώποτε. On κάτοιδ a Fraenkel ad Ag. 4.

COMMENTARY

924, 5. τέθνηκεv: Electra’s revelation o f ‘the truth’ is put as brutally as possible. τάκείνου ... / ... σωτήρια: lit, ‘the means of deliverance coming (to be expected) from him’. μηδέν ... Spa: thus all Chrysothemis’ confident assurances of ‘having seen’ are quashed. The words prepare us for what she will say at 938, 9. 928. υπερχεται: cp. for this and for the structure of the line infra 1112. 929. ήδύς ... δυσχερής: μητρϊ has also to be taken with ήδύς. Cf. Eur. Bacch. 861 (Διόνυσος) δεινότατος, άνθρώποισι δ’ ήπιώτατος. Many instances of this από κοινού construction are listed by von Wilamowitz ad Eur. Her. 237. ήδύς ουδέ δυσχερής is of course a ‘polar’ expression of a common kind (positive term followed by its negated opposite); examples are listed in Bruhn’s Anhang § 208. The v.l. δυσμενής is very inferior; Clytaemestra ήδεται ουδέ δυσχεραίνει ττ) τοΰ ανθρώ­ που παρουσία. 931. προς τάφον: ‘pregnant’ construction, ‘since the thought is, τις προσήνεγκε ταΰτα’ (Jebb). Housman’s τάφοις, adopted by Pearson, has to be rejected. κτερίσματα: cf. supra 434. 932. οΐμαι μάλιστ εγωγε: lit. Ί for one am most inclined to think’; ‘in my opinion it is most likely that’. (Dutch: ‘ik geloof voor het naast'), cf. Phil. 617 οϊοιτο μεν μάλισθ’ ... . But the notion potissimum bears both upon οΐμαι and upon the accusative with infinitive dependent on οΐμαι. 933. μνημεία: the plural as in ‘Sim.’ 116. 3 D. (= A.P. V II443). 934. cS δυστυχής: refers to herself. 934,5. εγώ δε ... εσπευδον: after the disillusionment, a short and pitiable restatement of the opening words of the scene (871 sqq.). 941. ούκ εσθ' S y' εΐπον: since y’ is not only in A and L®1 but also in R, the case for its authenticity is strong. If this is the correct reading, y’ belongs to εΐπον rather than to S, notwithstanding its placing (the propensity of enclitics to creep up near to the beginning of a clause or sentence is a well-known fact, established by Wackernagel), ούκ la τάδε (εσθ’ οδε L possibly < εστι δδε < εσ τάδε) would mean: ‘to this purpose’, ‘with this purpose in mind’, cf. for ες Phil. I ll, L.-Sc. s.v. V 2. (On the comparative rareness of ye with relatives cp. Denniston G.P.2 p. 123(5)). 942. τ ί yap κελεύεις: ‘well < if not that> , what, then, do you urge (bid, order) me < to d o > ? ’ For yap cf. G.P.3 p. 81 VI (1).

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&v εγώ φερέγγυος'· ‘quae ego praestare possim’, φερέγγυος occurs five times in Aesch. (‘fide dignus’, ‘idoneus’), only here in Soph., not in Eur. The construction with the genitive only here, the construction with the infinitive is fairly common. The meaning does not differ much from that of άξιόχρεως (with infinitive and with genitive). 943. τληναι ... δρώσαν: see K.-G. II 55. 5. 944. άλλ’ εΐ τις ωφέλεια y’: the reluctant acquiescence conveyed by αλλά in this case, is made evident by the restrictive y’ in the clause with εί. Cp. the very subtle argumentation on ‘assentient’ αλλά in G.P.2pp. 16 sq. άπώσομαι: cf. supra 430. On ωφέλεια see note infra ad 1031. 945. Spa : a strong reminder of what has to be taken into consideration, cf. supra 580, infra 1003, 1243. ακούε δη νυν; formular, cf. C. Austin ad Men. Sam. 305. 947. ττοεΐν: reading of LGR. τελειν Lr and the reading of A and many deteriores (Turyn, Manuscript Tradition p. 133). It is more difficult to see how ττοεΐν, if original, became τελειν than vice versa. For τελειν might have been regarded either as implying too much confidence at the start of her exhortatio or as being in need of an explicit object, more than ττοεΐν. But this argumentation is not strong and so, with misgivings, I am inclined to follow our best transmission (with Jahn, Kaibel, Bruhn, Jebb, Dain-Mazon inter alios, contra Campbell and Pearson). 948,9. -παρουσίαν ... φίλων / ώς ... εστιν: Excellent remarks on this periphrasis and ‘bold word-order’ with their pathetic effect are made by A. A. Long, Language and Thought in Sophocles 1968, p. 105. ‘Presence’ implies ‘assistance’, ‘support’. 949, 50. άλλ’ ... λελείμμεθον: the clause does not seem to be sub­ ordinate to οΐσθα (ώς); it is rather to be taken as standing on a par with ■παρουσίαν ... εστιν. λαβών / άττεστέρηκε: or . λελείμμεθον: on the rare first person dual see Schwyzer 1672. μόνα λ,: cf. Ant. 58 μόνα δη νώ λελειμμένα. 951. δ’: continuative rather than corresponding with μεν 948, which is emphatic rather than preparatory. 952. θάλλοντ’ I t ’ : Reiske’s conjecture is certain, βίφ θάλλοντα — ζώντα και θάλλοντα Trach. 235. The θάλλος of Clytaemestra’s dream (422) symbolizes Orestes’ final triumph. 953. 7τράκτορ: cf. Fraenkel ad Ag. 111. 954. ες σε δη: emphatic δη. I do not believe that its meaning here = ήδη (thus Jebb).

COMMENTARY

955,6. δ-π-ως ... μη κατοκνήσ€ΐς: the future indic, is decidedly better than the aorist subjunct. (LGR), because is σέ δη βλέπω implies: quaero efficere (Ellendt) and after the verbs denoting effort όπως with future indie, is normal; the clause is not ‘pure final’ and the function of όπως oscillates between interrogative adverb and (final) conjunction. Jebb’s note remains entirely valid. αύτόχεφα ... φόνον: the murderer of our father, αντόχεψ does not imply a contrast between Aegisthus on the one hand and on the other Clytaemestra as merely his accomplice. 957. Αϊγισθον: its place and its occurrence in itself (she could have done without naming the hateful tyrant) lend to her words a sinister force. It is a matter of speculation and of scenic interpretation whether we should regard Αϊγισθον as Electra’s reaction to Chrysothemis’ shrinking back at μη κατοκνήσεις κτανεΐν. ovSèv γάρ ... êrt: this refers to Electra’s resolve to take the matter of the revenge into her own hands, implied in the preceding words, not of course to the naming of Aegisthus. In point of fact she does keep secret from her sister the other half of her purpose, viz. to kill Clytaemestra asTwell. That such are her intentions is proved by τοΐσιν εχθροϊς 979 and still more by the words of the Chorus διδνμαν ελοΰσ’ Έρινΰν 1080. And generally speaking, the killing of the one involves the killing of the______ lather,~and Electra would be acting out of/£Λcharacter if she was . ____—-— .. ._ . . . . ... ο} . » really* planning the death of Aegisthus while spänng Clytaemestra. SheJsjising guile in_order to induce Çhrysothemis to help her. How could Jebb aver: ‘Sophocles avoids everything that could qualify our sympathy with Electra; while it suits the dilferent aim of Euripides to make her plan the matricide’? If that were true, he would not have had her cry: παΐσον, el σθένεις, διπλήν at the moment of the murder. On this important issue I entirely agree with H. Friis Johansen, Die Elektra des Sophokles, Cl. et Med. XXV, (1964), pp. 21, 22, whose concluding words on this problem are quite convincing: ‘So hat uns der Dichter auf Elektras Rolle während der Ermordung ihrer Mutter vorbereitet’. 958, 9. 7toî: αντί eis τίνα χρόνον; schol. Subtler Campbell “ ‘To what point will you remain inert’ i.e. How far must things go before you are roused to action”. He compares O.C. 383, 4 tous Si σουs οποί θεοί f πόνους κατοικτιαΰσιν, ούκ εχω μαθεΐν. Less natural, in my opinion, is it to assume that ποΐ depends on βλόψασα so that is τίν’ ελπίδων I t ’ ορθήν is its specification (Monk, Kaibel). is τίν ελπίδων ... ετ ορθήν: cf. her own words 810, 833, 855. But cf. also 995. 't

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959 sqq. Her argumentation is well-adapted to what she rightly regards as her sister’s main concern. The arguments based on the con­ cepts of piety and glory do not come first. But Electra would not be Electra if she were to be silent about the latter. 959. πάρεστι: with the same meaning as υπάρχει; cf. Ai. 432. 960. κτήσιν: possibly dependent on cπτένειν, then sc. εστερημένη. But the accus, with έστερημένη is not impossible (cf. Eur. Hel. 95 βίον στερείς, quoted by Jebb, and cp. the two accusatives with άφαφοΰμαί); moreover the construction reminds one of μετέχειν μοίραν rivos and the like. 960-963. έστερημένη ... γηράσκουσαν: cf. K.-G. II 26 Anm. 1. 962. άλεκτρα ... άνυμεναια: the misery of the useless and hopeless circumstances of their lives is strikingly expressed by this internal acc. neutT. plur. 963. κ α ϊ... μέντοι: see Denniston G.P.2 pp. 413 sq. 'μέντοι gives liveliness and force to the addition’. τώνδε: the wealth belonging to their father and above all marriage (implied in 962). 964,5. ου γάρ ώδ' άβουλος sqq.: cf. Eur. El. 19-24, 34-42, 266-268. η κάμόν: ‘or mine either’ (Jebb). But perhaps καί marks a climax: ‘even’ cf. G.P.2 p. 306 (III); the tone is akin to that in Antigone’s words Ant. 31 sq. τοιαΰτά φασι τον αγαθόν Κρέοντα σοι / κάμοί, λέγω γάρ καιu.é ... 966. πημονψ: in apposition with the sentence (thus Jebb), rather than with γένος. 967. επίσπτ)·. cf. for instance Ant. 636. 968. 9. ευσέβειαν ... οΐση: win < th e prize, the praise, the reputation o f > ευσέβεια. κάτω: goes with πατρος, cf. Ant. 197 where κάτω seems to belong to νεκρόΐς rather than to έρχεται. This is better than to connect κάτω with θανόντος, which would involve the identity of θανόντος and τεθνεώτος. The words do not mean: ‘from our dead father in Hades’ but ‘from our father in Hades, < o u r father> who died ( = was murder­ ed)’. Only thus are the aorist as well as the place of θανόντος accounted for. 970. ώσπερ εξέφυς: i.e. in conformity with your birth and lineage. 972. τα χρηστά: for the neuter of adjectives functioning as noun where a category or class of persons is meant see the instances in Bruhn, Anhang §2. A scholion remarks: γνώμη. 973. λόγψ: no need to read λόγων with Dobree and many editors (Kaibel and Dain-Mazon retain λόγψ); the contrast is with έργψ implied

COMMENTARY

in the preceding benefits, ye μήν is not simply progressive, as Denniston G.P.2 p, 349 (3) will have it, but progressive with an adversative element (ib. p. 348 (2) ), just because of the implied contrast. εύκλειαν: echoed by the Chorus infra 1083. 975. αστών η ξένων: ‘polar’ expression for ‘everyone’ with an anachronistic tinge. Cf. O.T. 817. 976. δεξιώσεται: δεξιό ΰσθαι prop, ‘extend the right hand towards a person in token of greeting or admiration’ (Campbell), here with the person in the accusative and the dativus modi; only here in Soph. The starting-point of this and similar passages, in which what is to be expected from a course of conduct or from a present situation is put in the mouth of people who will judge afterwards, is to be sought in Homeric passages as II. V I459 sqq. or VII 87 sqq. Comparable are Ai. 500 sqq., Ant. 694 sqq. (but this is a report of what people are saying, not a prediction of what they will say). (This kind of ηθοποιία has grown into a special τόπος in rhetorical practice and theory, cf. Hyperides fr. 118 quoted by Longinus IX p. 545 sq. W. I owe the remark to KaibePs commentary). The words supposed to be uttered by αστοί and ξένοι might, with small alterations, form part of a laudatory epitaph; that is to say there is an unmistakable ambiguity in the tone of Electra’s exhortation: mark the significant ζώσαιν θανοΰσαιν θ’ 985. The decision to be taken is envisaged under the aspect of the κλέος to be won in life and death. 979,80. ώ τοΐσιν έχθροις ... προυστητην φόνον: ‘who dealt with their enemies as champions of the murder’ (see my note ad Ai. 1133). In my opinion φόνου refers to Agamemnon’s unavenged blood (cf. 955) in behalf of which they would enter the lists against the enemies. Thus προίστασθαί τινί τίνος amounts to τιμωρείσθαί τινά τίνος. Neither Ai. 803 πρόστητ’ αναγκαίας τύχης (which can hardly mean ‘da es einmal nötig geworden ist, so besorgt ihr es’ Kaibel) nor Eur. Andr. 221 (where see my note) are comparable. It is improbable that προστήναι here properly means ‘place himself at the head of’ (Jebb and others) for they are not to be supposed to have followers: so Jebb in his com­ mentary first says: lit. ‘became ministers of bloodshed’ but he translates: ‘and stood forth as avengers of blood’. ευ βεβηκόσιν ποτέ: ‘notwithstanding their once-firm position’. 980. φυχής άφειδήσαντε: ‘unsparing of their life’. Cf. Tyrt, 6. 14 D. θνησκωμεν φυχέων μηκέτι φειδόμενοι; Thuc. II 43. 5 άφειδοΐεν äv του βίου. 981. τοντω ... τώδε: for the variation cf. supra 371, Ant. 189, 296, 7,

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673, Eur. Med. 1046. K.-G. 1 644, 5. τώδ« insists on the character of example to be set before the mental eye. 982. έν θ' έορταΐς ëv re πανδήμφ πόλει: cf. Ο.T. 1489, 90 ποιας γάρ αστών ηξετ els ομιλίας, ποιας §’ έορτάς. 984. τοι : ‘you know’, ‘be sure of it’. 985. μη ’κλιπείν: the correct reading of LGR; έκλιπειν is intrans. (deficere) and ζώσαιν θανονσαιν θ’ are datives, 986-988. σνμπόνει ... σαυτήν: the two pairs of anaphora lend urgency to her exhortation, συμ- and συγ-: i.e. with me; πατρί and άδελφω are dativi commodi. Thus Kaibel and Bruhn; the alternative interpretation viz. ‘work with thy sire, share the burden of thy brother’ (Jebb and others) is less likely in my opinion. The starting-point of her rhesis is the revenging of Agamemnon (951, 2) and her appeal to Chrysothemis to help her, Electra (ξύν rf}8’ αδελφή 956), in executing this revenge, συμπονεΐν and συγκάμνειν are to be regarded as synonyms. For συμπονεΐν in a comparable context cf. Ant. 41 el ξυμπονησεις και ξυνεργάση σκοπεί (~ 43 el τον νεκρόν ξύν τηδε κουφιεΐς χέρι). Cf. also Ai. 1378 sqq. καί τον θανόντα τόνδε συνθάπτειν θέλω, / και ξυμπονεΐν και μηδέν έλλείπειν όσων / χρη τοΐς άρίστοις άνδράσιν πονεΐν βροτονς. For συγκάμνειν of. Ai. 988. 989. ζήν αισχρόν αίσχρώς: the exceptional word-order, necessitated by metre, renders the sentence more striking without impairing its immediate intelligibility. 990,1. Non-committal lines of the Chorus, as usual between two speeches in a αγών. For the omission of the article before κλυοντι see Bruhn, Anhang, § 85; cf. O.T. 626, 7, infra 1498, Thuc. Π 40. 3. 994. ώσπερ ούχι σώζεται: the relative clause emphasizes the unreal character of the preceding supposition, just as νΰν 8’ ούχι σφζεται would have done. 995. ποτ έμβλεφασα: perhaps to be preferred to ποτέ βλεφασα Pap. Oxyr. IV 693, though certain instances of έμβλεπειν in Tragedy are wanting (Eur. Io 732 έμβλέφαι is the reading found in Plut, and Stob.). ποι ... έμβλεφασα: i.e. is τίν ελπίδων έμβλεφασα ετ ορθήν, i.e. the words are a parodying echo of Electra’s 958, 9 (thus Kaibel); this fact perhaps argues in favour of the less natural construction of 958, 9 assumed by Monk and Kaibel but the echo is none the less perceptible without that assumption. However the phrase ποί ... βλεπων has a wider implication: ‘how can you be so blind as to ...’. Cf. Ai. 1290 with note.

COMMENTARY

995,6. τοιοΰτον θράσος ... όπλίζη: lit. ‘you take such a rashness as your equipment’. Schol,: λίαν εμφαντικώς τω βράσει φησιν αυτήν όπλίζεσθαι ώς μηδέν άμυντήριον αυτήν εχουσαν ή μόνον θράσος. 999. ευτυχής: GRA(La) slightly better than ευτυχεί L. καθ' ήμέραν: hodie. 1000. άπορρεΐ: cf. Ai. 523 with note. Since δαίμων means ‘fate’ and since in ft. 871 P. Menelaus compares his fate with the ever-changing form of the moon the second part of the last line of the ft. πάλιν διαρρεί κάπι μηδέν ερχεται is entirely on a par with the second part of our line (‘comes to nothingness’ Headlam’s translation). I am not sure that the difference between διαρρεί and άπορρεΐ has to be pressed: perhaps here also the comparison with the moon is implied. According to Kaibei the metaphor in άπορρεΐ is taken from a stream drying up. 1002. άλυπος ... έξαπαλλαχθήσεται: άτης goes with άλυπος, the phrase amounting to άνατος or άνατος κακών (cf. O.C. 786). With έξαπαλλαχθήσεται something like του βουλεύματος or του επιχειρή­ ματος may be understood, άτιj here simply means any kind of bane or doom. 1003 sqq. Chrysothemis’ portraiture remains perfectly consistent. She is unable to grasp the absolute norm by which Electra is driven; she remains within the ordinary human framework of fears and calcu­ lations. Cf. for 1004 supra 469. 1005. λύει ... ημάς ουδόν: λύειν = λυσιτελεΐν commonly takes the dative, cf. e.g. Eur. Med. 566. So it is understandable that the scholia a.h,l. already hesitate between two interpretations: oi λυσιτελεΐ γάρ ήμΐν, φησιν · ούκ απαλλάσσει των κακών * άντϊ ούδεν ημάς εκλύσεται and that modern interpreters are divided accordingly; some of them accept Elmsley’s ήμΐν. The borden-line between the notions ‘release one ’ and ‘avail’, ‘profit one’ is elusive; if it is true that λύειν has come to mean ‘avail’, ‘profit’ approximating to ώφελεΐν in meaning, it is also true that ώφελεΐν normally takes the accusative, although the dative is possible. Comparable to our line is Eur. St hen. Prol. 35 sqq. (H. v. Arnim, Suppl. Eur. p. 45) ου γάρ με λύει τοΐσδ’ εφήμενον δόμοις / κακορροθεΐσθαι μή θελοντ' είναι κακόν, / ουδ’ αΰ κατειπεΐν και γυναικι προσβαλεΐν / κηλΐδα Πραίτου καί διασπάσαι δόμον. An accusative with infinitive with λύειν is found in Xen. An. Ill 4. 36, with λυσιτελεΐν in Hippocr. Fract. 19 (L.-Sc. s.v. 1 2). There is a chance that the normal construction of έπώφελεΐν has made the accusa­ tive with λύει easier. Neither do I see the necessity of taking ουδ' έπωφελεΐ as a parenthesis nor of attributing to λύειν the exact and exclusive

THIRD EPEISODION, VSS. 995-1016

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meaning of ‘setting free’, although this original meaning is also perceptible. 1006-8. βάξιν: fama, reputation, cf. O.T. 519 *)> supra 642. βάξιν ... θανεΐν: cp. 980, 985, 989. Nothing is more characteristic of the contrast between the two sisters than this envisageaient of the matter. What she is referring to by δυσκλεως appears from the next two lines, a fate adumbrated supra 379-382. Bruhn quotes Arist. Ath. Pol. 18. 6 (Aristogiton) ούκ εδννατο πάντα ποιων άποθανεΐν. 1009. πανωλέθρους: passive, as often, just as πανώλης. But note that the exact meaning of the word (‘with utter destruction’) which is neither ‘active’ nor ‘passive’ allows us to take it also with εξερημώσαι. This is the more relevant since πανώλης, εξώλης and cognates are in use with reference to the destruction of a person and his family. 1012. άρρητ ... φυλάξομαι: i.e. ware μηδ' ειρήσθαι δοκεΐν καί τέλος μη έχειν (Kaibel). But the exact meaning of ατελή is not clear. άρρητα and ατελή are probably not meant as synonymous; for her part Electra’s words will not be followed up, so that they will remain without effect and harmless. She will ‘keep them secret’, as if not said at all, and ‘not fulfilled’ (as far as it will be in her power). 1013. άλλα τώ χρόνοι: cf. supra 411 and Track. 201 with note. νοΰν σχες ... τφ χρόνω: this is what she feigns to have achieved (using the very words of Chrysothemis’ exhortation) when she stands before Aegisthus 1464, 5, 1014. τοίς κρατοΰσιν είκαθεΐν: dependent on νοΰν σχες, without ώστε; cf. infra 1465 νοΰν εσχον, ώστε συμφέρειν τοίς κρείσσοσιν. 1015. πείθου: in a case like this W. F, Bakker’s *) verdict seems entirely justified: ‘The speaker who uses the present imperative sees a connection between the existing situation (as he sees it!) and the action ordered’. But is it to be supposed that Chrysothemis in 1011 and 1013, using ‘an aorist imperative does not see a connection’ Cbetween the existing situation and the action ordered> (cf. id. ib.)1 No, the old distinction between present implying a mental process and aorist denoting an act (thus for instance Jebb) accounts better for the facts. 1015, 6. ούδεν ... άμεινον: ούδεν goes with κέρδος, λαβεΐν with άμεινον. For similar instances of this manner of expression cf. A. A. Long, Language and Thought in Sophocles, 1968, p. 150 n. 9. Cp. also *) In my note a .l. I ought to have referred to E l. 1006 rather than to A t . 998. a) W, F. Bakker, T h e G re e k Im p e ra tiv e , thesis Utrecht 1966, p. 65. But he does not deal with this passage, nor with T ra c k . 480.

COMMENTARY

fr. 950. 3 P. προμηθία γάρ κέρδος άνθρώποις μέγα,/r. 302 Ρ. σωτηρίας γάρ φάρμακ ονχι πανταχοΰ / βλέφαι πάρεσην, èv δε τη προμηθία, Eur. Andr. 690 έμοϊ δε κέρδος ή προμηθία. There is no difference in meaning between πρόνοια here and προμηθία 990. Electra, of course, is not inclined to προμηθία in order to save her life {φυχής άφειδήσαντες 980), she does not care for Chrysothemis’ προμηθία (1036), she is, as the Chorus observes 1078 ούτε n τον θανεΐν προμηθης τό τε μη βλέπειν έτοιμα. But in the end her προμηθία in saving Orestes is re­ warded (1350). 1017. δ’: cf. O.T. 29 with note. 1018. άπηγγελλόμην : Campbell, rejecting the interpretation in Hesych. : επηγγελλόμην · παρεκάλονν, επεστελλον, wants the word to be allowed to retain its proper meaning: ‘The offer which I made’, correctly in my opinion. 1019. αύτόχειρί: the adjective, not αύτόχειρί, the adverb. The v.l. in Σ αλλ' ούδεν ήσσόν μοι is very much inferior, perhaps invented by somebody who was scandalized by αύτόχειρί*). The man who noted: παρατηρεί κάνθάδε την εύτολμίαν ώς και εν ’Αντιγόνη was better inspired. 1020. où γάρ δη ... y’ : Denniston G.P? p. 243 (2). κενόν ... άφήσομεν: ‘leave undone’, κενόν amounts to ατελές as in κενά εϋγματα, κενα'ι ελπίδες; cf. supra 331. 1019, 20. That the poet at this moment in his drama makes Electra take this desperate decision, is very important for a correct under­ standing of his creation. This decision represents the highwatermark of her character’s consistency, entirely in line with her conduct at the moment of the murder. We have to take it as seriously as the Chorus does in the next stasimon. 1021. 2. φευ: the following words lend a sarcastic ring to the com­ miserative exclamation. την γνώμην: the word expresses judgement, disposition and purpose together, particularly the last. πάντα y’ αν: there is little to choose between παν γάρ αν (Dawes) and πάντα γ* äv (Musgrave); πάντα γάρ âv L and πάντα γάρ GRA are equally impossible. I prefer πάντα y’ âv because of its pungency. 1023. φυσIV γε: γε is limitative, φύσις denotes ‘real being’, ‘character’, indoles, νόος ‘mind’ in relation to a person’s ability to decide on his course of conduct, ‘mental energy’. In Ar. Av. 371 εί δε τ ψ φνσιν μεν *) « would become impossible and should be altered into ye.

THIRD EPEISODION, VSS. 1017-1027

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εχθροί, τον δε νοΰν είσιν φίλοι the contrary relation of the two terms is quite different, ήσσων either ‘weaker’ (than now) or ‘too weak’. The meaning of τον δε νοΰν ήσσων, as intended by Electra, becomes modified in Chrysothemis’ answer to: ‘inclined to submissiveness’ (cf. 1013, 14). 1024. ασκεί: for άσκεω with inf. cf. fr. 963 P. oi γάρ γυνανδροι και λεγειν ήσκηκότες, Eur. fr. 1067,2 Ν.2 εύσεβείν τ’ ήσκηκότα. 1025. νουθετείς τάδε: the verb, in this context, retains its full etymological force: just as νομοθετέω properly means ‘frame laws’, so νουθετεω ‘frame somebody’s νοΰς\ As Kaibel rightly remarks the relation between νουθετείς τάδε and ώς ούχ'ι συνδράσουσa is quite the same as between θροεΐς and ώς έργασείων ούδεν ών λέγω Track. 1232. 1026. είκος ... κακώς: the statement being general (εγχειροΰντα), Jebb’s interpretation viz. ‘(I will not act with thee), for it is likely that one who makes the attempt should e’en (καί) fare ill’ (similarly Camp­ bell) is unlikely. It is better to supply from κακώς κακά, κακοΐς or even κακώς with εγχειροΰντα and to take καί as meaning ‘also’, cf.//·. 962 P. et δείν’ εδρασας, δεινά καί παθεΐν σε δει. I can not see why the poet ‘had he meant this, (he) might rather have written πάσχειν κακά’ (Jebb). κακώς to be supplied with εγχειροΰντα would not imply an ethical evaluation: it, would amount to perperam as in Aesch. Pers. 454 κακώς το μέλλον ιστορών or to κακώς βουλευόμενον (cf. Track. 589). Thus Mazon: ‘Toute entreprise mal conçue risque de se terminer mal’. In Chrysothemis’ opinion the venture is bad because it is bound to meet with failure. The scholion is not entirely correct: είκος γάρ τον κακώς ττοιείν επιχειροΰντα καί πάσχειν κακώς and Pindar’s γνώμη. Nem. IV 31 επεί ρεζοντά τι καί παθεΐν εοικεν (quoted by the scholion) involves a rule of wider application than Chrysothemis’ words; so does Soph. fr. 229 P. τον δρώντα γάρ τι καί παθεΐν οφείλεται. Of course if we refrain from supplying κακώς or the like with εγχειροΰντα and reject all the same Jebb’s interpretation on the ground of the general character of the sentence (note that he translates: the attempt, not an attempt), Chrysothemis must be seen as opposing any endeavour whatso­ ever because it risks turning out badly: this is not impossible but would seem less relevant. 1027. ζηλώ σε τοΰ νοΰ: here νοΰς denotes ‘wisdom’ ‘prudence’, apparent from her previous sententious line, but of course since the words are sarcastic, it is Chrysothemis’ worldly-wise disposition of mind which she intends by the word. The biting sarcasm is followed by

COMMENTARY

a direct and harsh attack, an unambiguous instance of κακώς λέγειν. δειλίας: cf. supra 351. 1028. άνέξομαι ... λέγης: what she means is, broadly speaking, made clear by 1056, 7, But the implications of άνέξομαι are somewhat problematic. The words presuppose something like: ... I do not believe that Bruhn is right in assuming that άνέξομαι implies the sorrow with which she will at some future time listen to Electra’s admission of her error, nor can I understand Jebb’s remark, viz. ‘The point of άνέξομαι is that it will be a trial of patience—not less than that of being reproached with δειλία—to hear Electra’s acknowledgements and regrets when her rash attempt has failed’. I should prefer to think that Campbell’s inter­ pretation is the correct one: Ί will listen with the same equanimity when you shall praise me’ i.e. ‘As I am indifferent to your censure, so I will be to your commendation, when you have learned the truth’. As Kaibel says, there is no noble-mindedness in these words; on the contrary they are the scornful utterance of one who congratulates herself that events will put her in the right and Mazon’s 0 translation is strikingly correct: ‘j ’accepterai sans plus d’émoi tes compliments un autre jour’. 1029. εξ εμοΰ γε: on the postponement of ye cf. Denniston G.P.* * p. 149. Electra’s answer is in the same vein; τάδε sc. e5, λέγεσθαι, εΰ ακονειν. μάθης LGR must be corrupt; πάθης A (Moschopulos?) has to be accepted. 1030. μάκρος ... χρόνος: on the article with the infinitive see K.-G. I I 43 sq., Bruhn, Anhang § 129, Goodwin, G.M.T. § 795. το κρίναi is an accusative of respect2) amounting to ές το κρίνοι, going with μακρός (‘long enough’ implying the idea Ικανός), χώ λοιπός χρόνος i.e. not only the present but even all the future; as Jebb notes, the translation ‘Time enough in the future to decide that’ with its natural emphasis on ‘future’ is an adequate rendering. 1031. aol ... ώφελησις ονκ ένι: those scholars who hunt for key­ words in the text of Sophocles (in itself a justifiable and often rewarding sport) must beware of identifying ώφελησις here with ωφέλεια 944. There ωφέλεια refers to the possible usefulness of Electra’s prescriptions, here ώφέλησis to Chrysothemis’ capacity or readiness to help. On the l) Mazon’s insertion o f < μ > before t ! is not strictly necessary. *) This is only another way o f circumscribing the fairly frequent phenomenon of the epexegetic infinitive with the article.

THIRD EPEISODION, VSS. 1028-1036

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periphrases by means of the two - σ ι ς nouns in this line and the next one (intensifying ‘an antithesis of attitudes’, the effect is heightened by the almost identical run and rhythm of the two lines and by the rhyme of the two nouns) see A. A. Long, Language and Thought in Sophocles, 1968, Ch. IV Periphrasis, p. 65. On the words on - σ ι s in general see P. Chantraine, La formation des noms, 1933, pp. 275 sqq. and on μ ά θ η σ ι ς in particular p. 286 (‘La valeur active de μ ά θ η σ ι ς est si nette que le substantif arrive à signifier la possibilité d’apprendre’). 1033. ελθοΰσα ... afj: the provocative maliciousness arises naturally from the gradually envenomed debate. Warts are not left out in the portraiture of Electra; Chrysothemis shows more restraint. The passage Ant. 82-88, comparable up to a point, shows more real feeling on the part of Ismene and more spontaneous passion on Antigone’s side; the differences are characteristic of the general difference between the two pairs of characters and their interrelation. afj: emphatic, at the end of line and sentence, renders the words particularly invidious. Cf. 1011 sq. 1034. ο ύ δ ’ : = άλλ’ ο ύ . 1035. άλλ’ ο ΰ ν . . . γ ε : cf. supra 233. ο ΐ μ ' α τ ι μ ί α ς ά γ ε ι ς : the maintenance of her τ ι μ ή . Le. the revenge she regards it her duty to achieve, is her chief aim (just as it is for a Homeric hero l) ), the ground of her existence. So Chrysothemis’ rejection of her appeal appears to her as a way to her α τ ι μ ί α . 1036. α τ ι μ ί α ς . . . σ ο ΰ : the genitives α τ ι μ ί α ς and π ρ ο μ η θ ί α ς continue the genitive α τ ι μ ί α ς in 1035, which depends on ο ΐ . So if we do not want to assume that π ρ ο μ η θ ί α ς ‘follows the case of α τ ι μ ί α ς , without having any definite construction with the preceding words’ (thus Campbell), we may supply Chrysothemis’ words as follows: Ί do not bring you to any depth of dishonour but to a stance where π ρ α μ η θ ί α rules’. But it is possible that α τ ι μ ί α ς is as it were between quotation marks and π ρ ο μ η θ ί α ς its ungrammatical counterpoise (‘do not call it α τ ι μ ί α : it is π ρ ο μ η θ ί α ’ Jebb). ‘An answer often follows the structure of the preceding speech though another construction would be more logical’ (Campbell, Essay on Language § 35, p. 60 c in fine). The so-called caesura media, the absolute metrical and rhythmical equivalence of the two halves of the line and their assonance and rhyme (its syntax may be considered as deriving from the effect aimed at by these particular means or at any rate inextricably bound up with them). q Cf. A. W. H. Adkins, M e r i t a n d R e s p o n sib ility , 1960, p. 63.

COMMENTARY

far from rendering the verse ‘hässlich’ (Kaibel) lend to it a suggestiveness of the dead-lock between the standpoints of the two sisters. 1037. τω σω δικαίω: that what is δίκη in your eyes. Here also caesura media, although mitigated by the elision. 1038. γάρ: ‘yes, for This line has also caesura media and so, rhythmically speaking, echoes 1036. 1039. ή δeivov: for the structure cf. Ant. 323. εδ λέγουσαν: since, in her own eyes, she εδ φρονεί, she can say that Chrysothemis, though εδ λέγονσα, speaks amiss, because according to her Electra for the moment κακώς φρονεί. The first explication of the schol. derives from an entirely wrong interpretation: δεινόν έμε καλώς λέγουσαν δοκεΐν εζαμαρτάνειν', the correct interpretation follows. 1040. εϊρηκας ... κακώ: since as a general truth Electra’s words are unimpeachable Chrysothemis, from her standpoint, can easily turn the tables on her sister. 7τρόσκεισαι: cf. supra 240. 1041. συν δίκη: i.e. with Δίκη as my ally. It is the point which Chryso­ themis has conceded at the start of their first dialogue supra 338, 9. 1042. άλλ’ ... φέρει: indubitably^ Chrysothemis is referring to the risks involved in Electra’s. stubborn clinging to Δίκη. But in my view a tragic irony is intended. For Electra’s clinging to Δίκη, involving as it does the murder of Clytaemestra, will bring her βλάβη at a deeper, more tragic level than Chrysothemis means to convey. 1043. τοδτοις τοΐς νόμοις: rules of conduct. 1044. άλλ* ... εμέ: oîov toîs δει vois περιπεσοΰσα επαινέσεις με συμ­ φορά σοι συμβουλεύαασαν ( Σ). ποήσεις τα ΰτ refers to the execution of the revenge. For επαινέσεις εμέ cf. 1028 χώταν εδ λεγης and infra 1057 (~ 1050, 1). Again caesura media, mitigated by elision. 1045. καϊ μήν ποήσω y ’: ‘And do it I will’ (Jebb); cf. Denniston G.P.2 p. 353 (3) on καϊ μην ‘substantiating a required condition’, ουδεν, of course, goes with εκπλαγεΐσα. 1046. και: ‘actually’, cf. Phil. 921 καϊ ταϋτ' αληθή δράν νοείς’, ονδε βουλευση πάλιν: ‘and will you not alter your resolve?’. 1047. yap: ‘No, for ...’. βουλής ... κακής: it is immaterial whether βουλής refers to Chryso­ themis’ advice or to Electra’s resolve altered in agreement with the latter. The ambiguity is exactly rendered in Mazon’s translation: (1046) ‘Bien vrai? Tu ne veux pas alors changer d’avis?’ (1047). ‘Rien qui me fasse horreur comme un avis honteux’.

THIRD EPEISODION, VSS. 1037-1057

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1048. φρονεΐν ... λέγω: the words amount to ούΒεν ΐσον φρονεΐν εοικας τοΐς εμοΐς. 1049. ταΰτα: refers to her decision and its underlying prin­ ciples. 1050. άπειμι τοίνυν: cf. Teiresias O.T. 444, and Ox, Pap. XXVII (1962) 2452, fr. 1 4 {Theseus). 1051. τολμφς: ‘you can bring yourself to’; cf. Aesch. Prom. 999 sq. τόλμησαν, ‘go in search of you’ (there are no other instances of μεθέπεσθαι in Tragedy). ovB' ην σφόΒρ’ Ιμείρουσα τυγχάνης: a similar supposition is ex­ pressed by Antigone Ant. 69, 70 οντ âv κελενσαιμ* out’ άν, εΐ θελοις ετι / πράσσειν, εμοϋ y âv ηΒεως μετά. But see the next note. 1053. 4. επεϊ / ... κενά: the words express the motive of οΰ σοι μη μεθεφομαι ποτέ. It would be θηράσθαι κενά should she again hope to win over Chrysothemis. But does ovS’ ... τυγχάνης express the idea that her sister will sometime be ready to help her or simply that Chryso­ themis will desire (as she does now) Electra to ‘follow after her’ because she, Electra, is ready to follow her advice? It would seem that the latter interpretation is correct (cf. supra 430) and that the passage bears less similarity to the quoted lines of the Ant. than at first sight, και, according to Denniston G.P.2 p. 293 IIA (2), marks ‘a minimum’: ‘so much as’, ‘at all’. I am not sure that this is the correct view. Would it not be more satisfactory for Electra at the end of the exasperating debate, to come to the conclusion that ‘ the attempt of an idle quest is a matter of great folly’? Alternatively καί might be taken to mean ‘actually’: cp. Mazon’s translation: ‘La pire des sottises est bien de se lancer dans une quête vaine’. 1055-57. Chrysothemis in this scene has certain traits in common with Creon in O.T. 512 sqq. Cf. O.T. 673-675: like Creon she is speaking in a superior tone to one who is her superior. She defends common sense against overbearing confidence. She maintains her attitude on the inferior level of common humanity. 1056, 7. orav ... επη: cf. 1028, 1030, 1044, 1050; 430. yap: in the preceding words something like the following thought is implied: no need to argue any longer. The sentence with yap implies that she is in the right and that future events will bear that out. In a

COMMENTARY

translation the import of γάρ can be expressed by ‘I am sure’, Fr. ‘en effet’. εν κακοΐς / ... ßeßrjKTjs'. cf. 1093-5 μοίρα ... ούκ εν εσθλά / βεβώσαν. Second Stasimon 1058-1097 The Chorus, taking their cue from the key-word φρονεΐν of the pre­ ceding scene, twice uttered by Chrysothemis in her last lines, proceed to contrast birds’ care of their parents with human negligence. But careless man will not go unpunished. They pray Phama to carry the woeful tidings to the Atreidae in the nether-world, the tidings of the sisters’ unresolvable conflict and Electra’s isolation and destitution. However, far from being a mournful dirge on the hopeless situation of a tragic heroine the choral song, from 1081 to the end, develops into ahymn of praise to Electra’s heroism and a prayer for her ultimate triumph. 1058. άνωθεν: hardly different from άνω, though Ellendt’s remark ‘Aves enim ex caeli templo in terram devolantes cogitantur’ may be correctl). τούς ... φρονιμωτάτους οιωνούς: since the poet did not write οιωνών, it is uncertain whether he meant one species or more than one. Schol. already thought of the storks. Cf. Ar. Av. 1355 sqq., Arist. H.A. IX 615 b 23 περί μεν ovv των πελαργών, οτι άντεκτρεφονται, θρυλεΐται παρά πολλοίς, PI, Ale. 1 135 e 2). The stork as avenger Call. fr. 271 Pf. Sophocles might also have remembered Herodotus’ story of the phoenix ( II 73). φρονιμωτάτους: it has nothing to do with omens (wrongly listed in L.-Sc. s.v. Ill 3) but with prudence, (practical) wisdom. Since it is Electra whose filial piety is similar to that of the birds, the Chorus reject Chryso­ themis’ taunts at Electra’s φρονεΐν. 1060,1. άφ’ Sv re ... άφ’ &v re: the repetition lends urgency to the words. βλάστωσιν: three times in this song forms of βλαστάνειν are sub­ stituted for forms of γίγνεσθαι, here referring to the birds, at 1081 to Electra herself, at 1095 to the eternal laws which she observes. (Sophocles shows a certain preference for the word).

0 Is there any connection with the αίωνοί, symbol o f piety, and the metaphor 242 s u p r a ! a) Cf. J. de Romilly, L a L o i d a n s la P e n s é e g rec q u e , 1971, p. 172, n. 28.

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ονησιν: codd., also Ai. 400, Ant. 616, Probably not to be altered (cf. Kaibel a.I, G. Björck, Das Alpha Impurum p. 170 n. 1 and p. 237). 1062. iiT ίσας: sc. μοίρας, ‘equally’. τελοΰμεν: schol. καλώς d χορός καί εαυτόν συγκαταλέγει ινα μη Soκfj φορτικός είναι τουτοις καθ’ tSv τον λόγον πεποίηται. Express­ ing themselves in general terms, they censure Chrysothemis’ line of conduct. 1063-65. Pace Σ and many modern commentators it is impossible to regard Aegisthus and Clytaemestra as the subject of the sentence; the subject is ‘we’, i.e. ‘those of us mortals who (like Chrysothemis) neglect these duties’; thus rightly Jebb. 1063. ου ταν: the deletion of μα before ràv is probable (see the antistrophe); for the omission cf. infra 1238, O.T. 660, 1088, Ant. 758. A ιός άστραπάν: cf. supra 823. 1064. Θεμιν: apart from Themis, daughter of Gaia or identified with Gaia herself (Aesch. Prom. 18, 209, Eum. 2, Eur. I.T. 1259, Or. 164), the goddess Themis is seldom mentioned (or invoked) in Tragedy: in Sophocles only here, Aesch. Suppl. 360 Ικεσία Θέμις Διάς κλαριού, Eur. Med. 160 c5 μεγάλα Θέμι, 168-170 κάπιβοάται / Θεμιν ευκταίαν Ζήνά θ’ ος όρκων θνητοΐς ταμίας νενόμισται, 208 ταν Ζηνός ορκίαν Θεμιν. In Hes. Theog. 901, 2 she is Zeus’ second wife (after Metis) and mother of the Horae, Eunomia, Dikè and Eirene; she is associated with Zeus in Od. II 68 λίσσομαι ήμεν Ζηνός ’Ολυμπίου ήδε Θέμιστος. She is called εϋβουλος, χ) ουρανία by Find, when the Moirai bring her to Olympus as Zeus’ consort {Hymn. 1fr. 30); Pind. Ol. V III21 runs (Aegina) ένθα σώτειρα Δ ιός ξενίου / παρέδρος ασκείται Θέμις. As Zeus’ con­ sort she may be regarded as the embodiment of Zeus’ functions as ξένιος, ίκέσιος, όρκιος, as the vindicator of justice, and as such hardly to be distinguished from Δίκη. 1065. ουκ άπόνητοι: somewhat more emphatic than άπονοι. The word is far from common: only in Hdt. as adv. superl. ‘(In failing thus) we do not long escape from trouble’ (Campbell). 1066. χθονία: où την επίγειόν φησιν αλλά την κατά γης χωρήσαι δυναμένην (schol.). βροτοΐσι: if the living are meant (thus many commentators), it is not correct to say that the dative functions as a genitive; it then means on behalf of (mortal) men. If the dead are meant (Jebb): for the dead to hear. But 407 and 462 supra, wherel l) Cf. O l. X III 8, Aesch. P r o m . 18 τ ή s ορθοβούλου 0e/u5o?·

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βροτων reinforces the superlative—an almost formular phrase—, do not guarantee the supposed reference to the dead in this passage. φάμα: more or less personified: their own voice, their own message is represented as a power with separate existence or, inversely, their communication with the dead is supposed to be possible by the divine intervention of Φάμα embodied in their voice. The references of Jebb, Bruhn and Kaibel to Pind. Ol. VIII 81 Έ ρμα Be θυγατρος άκονσais Ίφίων ’Αγγελίας (’Αγγελία daughter of Hermes—χθόνιος as Kaibel aptly remarks—is very much akin to χθονία φάμα) and to Pind. 01. XIV 20-22 μελαντειχεα νΰν Βόμον Φερσεφόνας ελθ’, Ά χο ΐ, πατρϊ κλνταν φεροις αγγελίαν are wholly apposite. The vowel-sequence of a’s and o’s, from 1066 & to 1068 roîs is very impressive (ω.ο.ί.ά; o.ot. i.ä; ä.a.a.oi; o.ä.o.oi; ä.o.a.oi - w - o-w1067. κατά ... βάασον: what χθονία φάμα means is illustrated by what she is asked to do. μοι has the same function with καταβόασον as βροτοΐσι with χθονία φάμα. 1068, 9. rots ενερθ’ ΆτρείΒαις; according to Jebb the reference is to Agamemnon only ‘as τέκνων in 1071 shows’; but τέκνων may have been chosen more as a contrast to Βόμων than to the implied notion of ‘father’, σφίν 1070 makes Jebb’s interpretation dubious. άχόρεντα ... άνείΒη: ‘tidings of joyless dishonour’. Cf. Eur. Troad. 120, 1 μοΰσα Bè χαϋτη τοΐς Βυστηνοις άτας κελαΒεΐν άχορευτους. (Telestes fr. 1 (b), P.Μ .G. 805 αλλά μάταν άχόρεντος àΙΒε ματαιολόγων / φάμα προσεπταθ’ ΈλλάΒα μουσοπόλων / σοφάς επίφθονον βροτοΐς τεχνας ονειΒος is perhaps an involuntary reminiscence of our pas­ sage). 1070, 1, The crux in this passage is the long syllable after νοσεί that has dropped out in the mss; Triclinius’ 8η is no more than an unsatis­ factory makeshift. (Schaefer’s correction of σφίσιν ηΒη into σφίν ηΒη seems sure). What if νοσοΰσιν (νοσοΰσι in some dett. according to Jahn-Michaelis and Pearson) was what Sophocles wrote, to be inter­ preted as dative plural? We might imagine that someone, misunder­ standing the form as a 3. p. pi. ind. with τά μεν εκ Βόμων as its subject, altered it into νοσεί. Both τά μεν εκ Βόμων and τα 8ε προς τέκνων—if we read νοσοΰσιν dative pi.—will be accusatives of respect. It is not possible to read νοσοΰσιν regarding the form as a 3. p. pi. ind.: there are no instances of such a use of the verb in the plural with neut. pi. as subject in Sophocles. The use of μεν ...8ε is not more difficult than where μεν occurs in a subordinate and Be in the main clause (Denniston

SECOND STASIMON, VSS. 1067-1076

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G.P.2 p.379). The two word-groups (τά ... έκ Βόμων / τά ... πρόσ τέκνων) form a grammatically co-ordinated antithesis. But it goes without saying that the corruption may have arisen in another way (among the six conjectures listed by Jebb in the Appendix Paley’s < v 5p> Βέ τά προς τέκνων, Dindorf’s voaevet—the active νοσεύει is unknown—(but νοσεύει may be regarded as a dorism: cf. ζατεύει — ζητεί AIcm. 17. 8 P. = 4 9 D.). and Erfurdt’s νοσώΒη deserve mention; I had also thought of , but in Tragedy the word occurs only once: Aesch. Pers. 584. I do not believe in νασεΐται Paris, gr. 2794 defended by V. Coulon R.E.G. LII (1939) 2-4 and adopted by Dain). το έκ Βόμων: τά κατ’ οίκον (schol.) with the idea that the tidings come from the house to the Atreidae. 1071. τά προς τέκνων: hardly to be distinguished from τά των τέκνων, cf. O.T. 668 τά προς σφων - τά ύμέτερα; formal parallelism with τά έκ Βόμων is of course intended. 1071, 2. διπλή / φύλοπις: i.e. φύλοπις διπλών , a case of enallage complicated by the fact that τέκνων has to be understood from the preceding words (on enallage cf. Bruhn, Anhang § 10). The epic word φύλοπις only here in Tragedy; it is very remarkable in reference to a personal conflict. Something like ‘fray’ or even ‘brawl’ is perhaps intended. έξισοΰται: Bruhn is right in postulating here the meaning: ‘ausgleichen’. 1073, 4. φιλοτασίψ δίαιτα: I am inclined to attribute to δίαιτα its juridical meaning ‘arbitration’. The phrase, then, amounts to: ‘friendly arrangement’. There seems to be a special relation between έξισοΰται and φιλοτασίψ', cp. ίσότης φιλότης Ari st. Eth. Nie. 1168 b 8. The alternative interpretation (Jebb and others) runs: ‘in a friendly homelife’. But note ούκέτι: there has never been any question of Electra and Chrysothemis having ‘a friendly homelife’. The words amount to: ‘a compromise between the two sisters is no longer possible’, φιλοτησιος is άπαξ in Tragedy. 1074, σαλεύει: cf. O.T. 23 with note. The nautical metaphor is some­ what surprising in this play, which is lacking in nautical imagery, except in the messenger’s story; no other such metaphor refers to Electra (cf. ad 335). 1075, 6. τον άεί πατρός ... στενάχουσ': if we leave the text un­ altered we have to assume either the ellipse of χρόνον (cf. Track. 80 with note), πατρός going with στενάχουσ’, ('λείπει ή περί’ schol. quoting II. XXII 424) or the ellipse of στεναγμόν (M. Haupt Op. I I 301, Bruhn,

COMMENTARY

Kaibelx) ). I do not think that Pearson’s τό y ’ del πάρος or Heath’s ά Trais, οΐτον del νατρός is more convincing than either of these interpretations of the transmitted text. The words echo 133 supra. 1076,7. όπως ... αηδών: the theme of 107, 147 recurs. 1078-1080, ούτε ... έτοιμα: a ‘polar’ expression or rather two, intertwined with great virtuosity; ovre ... προμηθής is balanced by re έτοιμα, του θανεϊν by το μη βλέπειν. προμηθής: cf. supra 990, 1036. τό ... μη βλέπειν: for the article cf. 1030; but here it furthers the balance between the two members. For ßλέπειν opp. θανεϊν cf. e.g. Ai. 1067, 8 el γάρ βλέποντας μή ’δυνήθημεν κρατεϊν, / πάντως θανόντος y αρξομεν, Eur. Erechth. fr. 65. 20 Austin τ ί φήις; τέθνηκεν η φάος βλέπε[ι .... It would perhaps be preferable to put a semi-colon (·) after αηδών instead of a comma, regarding ovre ... έτοιμα as a nominal sentence in lieu of an apposition. διδυμαν έλοΰσ’ Έρινύν: the clause goes with το μη βλέπειν, the participle expressing condition: idv < μόνον > έλη διδυμαν 'Ερινυν. διδυμαν Έρινυν refers to Clytaemestra and Aegisthus, έλουα’ has its very common meaning of καθελοΰσα, άνελοΰσa cf. supra 1001. Electra has stated supra 399 πεσούμεθ’, el χρή, πατρϊ τιμωρούμενοι and cf. 985, 989. See the note ad 957. There remains the problem of Έρινύς used to designate the murderers. Neither Aesch, Ag. 749 (νυμφόκλαυτος Έρινύς embodied in Helena, cf. Em. Or. 1389) nor Eur. Med. 1260 (βξελ’ οίκων τάλαιναν φονίαν τ ’ Έρινυν νπαλάστορον—corr. Page) offer entirely convincing parallels. It is of course possible that mortals as baneful as Furiae are simply so called. Perhaps there is some reminis­ cence of Aesch. Ag. 1468,1477,1482, the δαίμων of the house of Tantalus embodied in Clytaemestra, although even so the use of Erinys is not precise. But Kaibel’s idea (‘wenn sie nur zuvor die doppelte Erinys der von ihr zu erschlagenden Unholde gewonnen hat’), though sagacious, breaks down on the unnatural interpretation of έλουσα. 1081. εΰπατρις: just as εύγενής means ‘noble-born’ and ‘worthy of his noble descent’, so here εΰπατρις ‘worthy of a noble sire’. Cf. Ant. 38 δείξεις τάχα / εϊτ’ εύγενης πέφυκας e l f έσθλών κακή. 1082-84. ούδείς ... θέλει: cf. supra 985 and 989. κακώς goes with ζών. νώνυμος: ώστε νώνυμος γενέσθαι ΟΙ άπολέσθαι (cf. 11. X II70). Metre of 1082 and 1083:----- mu— / v*------u u-. The antistrophe 0 Cf. von Wilamowitz ad Eur. H e r . 680, 1.

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runs in the codd.: ζφης μοι καθύπερθε / χέρι καί πλουτω τών εχθρών 0σθν-----VU-U / KJ\J--- ------——κχ—, G. Hermann inserted < γάρ> after αγαθών in the Strophe: ούδεις τών αγαθών < y à p > / ζών κακώς εύκλειαν αίσχΰναι θέλει----- υυ— / -ν,----- «------reading in the antistrophe: ζωής μοι καθύπερθε (Τ. Eustathius) / χειρι (Eustath.) και πλοντφ — u— — ν - (thus Jebb, τών *) εχθρών ό σ ο ν ----- uu— / Campbell and Groeneboom), Since the asyndeton in 1082 seems more forceful, it is simpler to insert nothing in the strophe and to read with TricliniUS in the antistrophe ζωής μοι καθνπερθεν j χερί πλοντφ re τών εχθρών όσον, as is done by Bruhn, Kaibel, Pearson and Dain (the last mentioned with another division of the cola). Both texts are conjectural. 1085, 6. κοινόν: if sound, it must mean κοινωνόν, cf. O.T. 240, Ai, 267, Ar. Vesp. 917 ούδε τφ κοινφ y’ εμοί, Herod. IV 57 ούχ όρης, φίλη Κνννοΐ, / οΓ έργα', κοινήν ταΰτ’ ερεΐς Άθηναίην / γλύφαι τα καλά, with Groeneboom’s note. πάγκλαυτον αιώνα: ‘a lifetime of tears and sorrow’. ‘Time lives side by side with us; it keeps an existence of its own that encroaches on ours and substitutes itself for us’. (J. de Romilly, Time in Greek Tragedy, 1968, p. 43). Cf. O.C. 7 στέργειν γάρ al πάθαι με χώ χρόνος ζυνών / μάκρος διδάσκει, Aesch. Prom, 981 άλλ’ έκδιδάσκει πάνθ' 6 γηράσκων χρόνος. See further O.T. 1082, 3 with note, Ed. Fraenkel ad Aesch. Ag. 107, H. Fränkel, Wege und Formen frühgriechischen Denkens*, 1960, pp. 14,18. The emphasis is on πάγκλαυτον: ‘you chose a lifetime of sorrow as*your partner’ is the Greek equivalent for ‘you chose Sorrow as your partner for your lifetime’. 1087. το μη καλόν f καθοπλίσα/σα f : τό μη καλόν can not refer to Aegisthus and Clytaemestra (το ον καλόν might perhaps have been used in reference to them, but it would be strange). So it is not only for the reason that καθοπλίζω can not mean νικάω, that the explanation of the schol. viz. καταπολεμήσασα τό αισχρόν καί νικήσασα οΐον τούς εχθρούς καταγωνισαμένη has to be rejected. Nor would it seem possible that το μη καλόν refers to Electra’s miserable plight (since this is an ‘objective’ datum ού would be the expected negative); so Kaibel’s interpretation viz. ‘Aber dies Elend hat El. so eingerichtet, seine Schwäche hat sie so gerüstet, gewappnet, gestärkt, dass ihr etc.’ cannot stand either. The interpretation offered by L.-Sc. s.v. καθοπλίζω II ‘so ordering that which is not well as to’ is not better, το μη καλόν is illustrated by x) reos A n t. 604.

Ant. 370 άπολιζ οτω τό μη καλόν ζΰνεστι. Here also το μη καλόν must refer to what is morally wrong, in the context Chrysothemis’ ‘δίκαιον’ (1037), It follows that the participle must express the idea of rejecting with disdain, spuming (thus Jebb and others). But καθοπλίσασα can not bear that meaning. So, in my opinion, S. Bernardete, Sophocles Electra 1087, Rhein. Mus. 104, 1961, p. 96 makes a good case for his conjecture ύπεροπλίσασα ‘spurning’, ‘rejecting’, cf. Od. XV II268 (the middle) and Suda: ύπεροπλίσαι · υπερνικήσαι', νπεροπλησαι Hesych. He lists a number of cases in which κατα- ousted another praeverbium. The eye of a scriba may have wandered to καθυπερθεν 1090. The con­ jecture renders the responsion with 1095 exact. The negative idea implied in the participle is in harmony with μη. (I can not believe in H. LloydJones’ conjecture cucos καλόν καθοπλίσασα: d/coy ousted by the gloss τομή > το μη, see Cl.Qu. 1954, p. 95). 1088. épeiv: the epexegetic infinitive goes with etλου, the participle is subordinate to it. épeiv = φερεσθαι, as fairly often, cf. supra 692. ενι λόγω: a plausible, though not quite certain, supplement by Brunck; cf. O.C. 1655 iv ταύτω λόγω. 1089. σοφά τ ’ άριστα Te: Jebb (Appendix ad 1087) is right in pointing to the intolerable contradiction, should το μη καλόν be thought to refer to Electra’s project of slaying Aegisthus (Whitelaw’s interpretation); the Chorus is no Odysseus (cf. Phil. 119). 1090. καθυπερθεν : since synaphy between 1090 and 1091 is probable, this (younger) form is preferable. 1091. On the text see note ad 1082-84. 1092. ύπόχειρ : this (or υπό χέρα Erfurdt) is necessary for metrical reasons instead of ύπο χείρα codd. 1094. iv: not in LGR; in Thoman and Moschopulean mss., A. Possibly a Byzantine conjecture (but a lost source can not be ruled out), which has to be adopted for metrical and idiomatic reasons. επ’ (some dett.) is inferior. Cf. 1056, 7 iv κακοΐς ... βεβήκης. έπΐ would mean ‘in the power of’, less plausible with βεβώσαν. 1095-1097. a δε ... ευσεβεία: there is some resemblance to O.T. 863-865. The μέγιστα νόμιμα are the same as the νόμοι νφίποΒες there (or the άγραπτα κάσφαλή θεών νόμιμα of Ant. 454, 5). In a less emotional style the words expressing the same idea would run approxi­ mately thus; τα δε μέγιστα νόμιμα τα του Aios σεβουσαν, άριστα σ’ εφηυρηκα φερομενην. As it is, the preceding relative clause in which the μέγιστα νόμιμα as a living force once begotten by divine will are brought into prominent relief by means of εβλαστέ, is immediately taken

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up by its ‘postcedent’ τών8ε, which is best considered as a causal genitive: ‘on account of these’ (cf. των O.T. 510), in which the idea ‘by reverence of these’ is already proleptically present. Then φερομεναν άριστα amounts to: ‘winning the best part, the noblest gifts’ and the implicit notion of ‘revering’ is made explicit by the emphatic τα Ζψ ος εύσεβεία. Ζψ ος is the evident correction of Aios, already recommended by the diorthotes of L and adopted by Triclinius. ’Διάς ist metrisch und dem Sinne nach unmöglich’ is a Strange comment in Schneidewin-Nauck-Bruhn. Fourth Epeisodion 1098-1383 F irst scene 1098-1231 Enter Orestes and Pylades, accompanied by two attendants (1123) with a bronze urn. The prayer of the Chorus (1090-1092) will be fulfilled: so much the spectator perceives as soon as he sees the entry of the group with the urn. For Electra their arrival first means a deepening of her misery; the urn is the τεκμήριον of the ill-fated message. But the recognition is soon to follow and utter despair makes way for excessive joy and feverish expectancy. The peripeteia in this part of the play is opposite to that which occurs in the third an fourth epeisodion of the Oedipus Tyrannus, just as throughout the tragedy the dramatic irony has a character quite the reverse of the tragic irony of the latter play. It may further be noted that the movement in the second epeisodion, from triumph over Clytaemestra in the debate to despondency after the messenger’s report, is repeated here in inverse order, whereas the pathos of Electra’s loneliness has been strengthened by the outcome of the scene with Chrysothemis. On the other hand a striking contrast is effectuated between Electra’s singleness of purpose and combativeness in that scene and her pathetic lament when she has the urn in her arms, a contrast as striking as the one between the lyrical passages 823-870 and 1232-1287. 1099. θ': better than S’ (LGRA). 1101. πάλαι: ‘for a time’, cf. O.T. 449 with note. But see note ad 1104. 1104. ποθεινήν: ambiguous: ‘desirable’ i.e. ‘welcome’ raïs εσω ,1), but also ‘desired’ by Orestes himself: cf. supra 4, 171. The ambiguity of this word raises the question of possible overtones in Orestes’ preceding words. Something of the sort is to be perceived in the somewhat emphatic ένθα χρήζομεν 1099 and still more in the proleptic Αΐγισθον combined with the slightly ambiguous πάλαι of 1101*) *) Cf. Men. Aspis 10 ποθεινόν ηκοντ

o ÎkoB s.

COMMENTARY

(cf. the similar, but stronger effect of O.T. 767 SeSοικ έμαυτάν κτλ.) and the wording of 1107. κοινόιτονν παρουσίαν: a somewhat stilted phrase, lending formality to his words. 1105. τον αγχιστον: ‘nearest in place’ and ( = άγχιστεύε) ‘next of kin’; the masculine form makes the expression generic. For ‘nearest in place’ cf. O.T. 919; Aesch. Ag. 256 is too controversial to be adduced (compare the clash between the comments by Ed. Fraenkel and Denniston-Page). I do not believe (in contradistinction to many commentators) that Orestes is to be supposed to recognize Electra as early as this; in that case the ambiguity of τον αγχιστον would be meaningless and its dramatic irony pointless (dramatic irony there is for if we hear in it ‘next of kin’ the coryphaeus cannot be supposed to imply more than ‘next of kin to Clytaemestra’—and perhaps to the dead Orestes—). The pathos of the situation consists primarily in the fact that Orestes at first cannot recognize his sister in the wretched creature before him. 1107. Φωκής ... rives', cf. supra 757-760. ματεΰουσ': it is possible that the word has been chosen because of its association with hunting, cf. Ichn. 13 εκπλαγείς δκνψ ζητώ ματευω, Aesch. Eum. 246, 7 dis κυων νεβρόν / npos αίμα καί σταλαγμόν εκματενομεν, Ag. 1093, 4 εοικεν evpis ή ζένη kvvos Βίκην / εΐναι, ματενει δ’ ων άνενρήσει φόνον (‘she is on the track of the murder of such people whose murder she will discover’ Ed. Fraenkel) and note the way in which Orestes and Pylades are visualized infra 1387, 8 μετάΒραμοι κακών πανουργημάτων άφνκτοι Ktives. Kaibel’s comment on 1106,7—particularly: ‘der einfache, ungekünstelte, ehrerbietige Ton, den seine Worte plötzlich annehmen, lässt sich trotz der fremdtuenden Anrede J> γνναι nicht verkennen: ΪΘ’ ... rives ■ Das zartfühlende rivés macht den ganzen Satz unbestimmt ...’—is one of those instances of perverse psychologizing interpretation against which Tycho von Wilamowitz, understandably but no less perversely, reacted. 1108. ού δη ποθ’: on this idiom (peculiar to Sophocles, according to Denniston) cf. (7.P.2 p. 223 (II). (One striking example in Hdt. IX 111. 5 if we read with Stein: Δέσποτα, ον δη κού (codd.) με άπώλεσας;). Cf. infra 1180, 1202. 1109. εμφανή τεκμήρια: cf. supra 774 and 904. The word is used three times in reference to Orestes: ‘token’ of his being dead, of his presence, of the presence of his remains, φέροντες εμφανή (manifesta) τεκμήρια refers to the urn: cf. 1113, 4.

FOURTH EPEISODXON, VSS. 1105-1116

151

φήμης: not different from κληδάν’ 1110 and amounting to ‘tidings’ but the word has been used by Orestes supra 65 in speaking of the rumor fictus of his death. I do not believe that κληδών implies ‘omen’ (contra Bruhn). 1110. την σην κληδάν’: cf. Ai. 792 ούκ οΐδa την σήν πρ&ξιν, but the cases are not really similar (see note there). For την σην (— ‘of which you are speaking’) cp. Phil. 1251 τον σόν ταρβώ φόβον (quoted by Jebb); Bruhn, Anhang § 80, gives a number of parallels, not all of them relevant to this passage (e.g. Ant. 573 άγαν ye λυπείς και ον και το σον λόχος is relevant only if 572 is really spoken by Ismene). 1111. Στροφίος: mentioned only here in this play. The poet must have assumed that his public remembered him as a well-known figure in the story of Orestes; in the context of the play itself his name comes as unexpectedly as Polybus’ at O.T. 490. He is mentioned in Aesch. Ag. and Cho. and in Eur. El. I.T. and Or. See further the Introduction p. 3 and note ad 1. 45. For the accentuation cf. Fraenkel ad Ag. 881. 1112. ως μ’ νπέρχεται : exclamative. 1113,4. φεροντες ... κομίζομεν: φεροντες echoes φόροντες 1109, it simply means ‘carrying’ whereas κομίζομεν implies the care with which they remove the remains from abroad to Orestes’ native soil. Cf. Aesch. Cho. 683. (κομιδή is ‘care’, ‘conveyance’, ‘recovery’, (‘safe) return’). Cf. A.P. XIH 12 6-8 αιδοίων όθι / προξείνων υπό χερσι λαχων πυρός ϊκετο πάτρην / ”Αβδηρα κρωσσφ χαλκόω περισταλείς. One is reminded of Aesch. Ag. 434-444 (τεύχος ‘urn’; it is not quite certain whether in Aesch. Ag. 435 it has the same meaning). 1115, 6. t o u t ... j ... δέρκομαι: Editors disagree as to the mode of punctuation. I do not see why τοϋτ εκεΐν would be too colloquial a phrase for Sophocles’ style; ‘hoc illud, germana, fuit’ apparently was not for Vergil’s. I am even inclined to punctuate as follows: τοΰτ εκεΐν’, ήδη σοφός · πρόχειρον άχθος κτλ. ‘That is it, it is now (already) clear (beyond any doubt); I see the burden near at hand’. The jerky syntax of the asyndetic parts of the sentence is expressive of her disturbed heart. If we do not punctuate at all or if we punctuate after σοφός the result will not be strikingly different; if we punctuate after εκεΐν’ (and not after σαφές) σαφός has to go with δόρκομαι (not impossible but not con­ vincing J) ). άχθος refers to the urn and to the sorrow the latter represents. πρόχειρον: quasi in manus sumendum (E.). This seems better than to take πρόχειρον as referring to the hands of the bearers. x) Commentators point to T r a c k , 223, 4 τα§’ άντίττρψρα δή σοι / ßXineiv πάρεστ* έναργη.

COMMENTARY

1117, 8. άγγος: not different from τεΰχος 1114. In my opinion these lines make more sense, if Orestes is supposed not to have recognized Electra as yet. We cannot tell for certain in such a matter as this, but the most satisfactory view of Electra’s recognition by Orestes seems to me as follows: the poet has arranged the dialogue between Orestes and Electra in such a way that Orestes’ permission to let her take the um has a certain inner probability; should we assume that he is supposed to have recognized her beforehand, this inner pro­ bability would not exist. Besides (and perhaps still more important) the formidable pathetic effect of her monologue on Orestes’ state of mind (from the start of the latter he does recognize her and in the course of her words he becomes aware of his sister’s real state of mind: the recognition is not only one of ‘identity’ but also of ‘existence’ and even ‘being’) would lose much of its dramatic intensity. On the other hand it is as mistaken to assume that he recognizes her only at 1171x) as to think that from the start of the scene he is supposed to know that Electra is before him *2). There is a gradual decrease of harshness in Orestes’ words from 1110,11 to 1123-1125 with 1113, 14 and 1117,18 as inter­ mediate steps; this is in keeping with the increase in urgency of her words, but would hardly make any sense at all if we did not suppose that the poet meant us to understand that Orestes is gradually brought nearer to recognition, up to άλλ’ η φίλων n s, η προς αίματος φυσιν 1125, immediately followed by Electra’s outburst, by which all must become clear to him. (In view of the comparatively friendly tone of 1117,18, we may perhaps venture to think that the schol. a.h.l. ά ξ ι οπίστως άγαν ' Ορέστης σκληρός εστιν ούχ οίον δει άγγελον είναι και συναχθόμενον τοίς άτυχημασιν έσθ’ ότε belongs rather to 1110, 11 or 1113,14). 1120. κέκευθεν: form and meaning (‘contain’) as in Homer, Aesch. Cho. 687, Eur. I. A. 112. (Cf. 869 where the form is intrans.). 1121, 2. όπως ... σποδώ: note the symmetrical balance between the two objects and the two verbs: έμάντην και γένος το παν ~ κλανσω κάποδνρωμαι. 1124. επαιτεΐται τάδε", επαιτεΐται is A’s reading, Moschopulean according to Turyn; LGR have έπαιτεί τάδε (A has moreover τάδε). 0 T. von Wilamowitz, D ie D ra m a tisc h e T e c h n ik d e s S o p h o k le s , 1917, pp. 203 sqq., M. Pohlenz, D ie G riec h isch e T ra g ö d ie l, 1954, E r l. p. 133 ad p. 320 Z. 10. 2) Kaibel and many others. Far better understanding is shown by K. Reinhardt, S o p h o k le s l, 1933, p. 170 sqq. and p. 276 η. 1 ad p, 171.

FOURTH EPEISODION, VSS. 1117-1142

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The correction, if it is one, has to be accepted; I am not sure about τάδε or τάδε. 1125. προς αΐματος: cf. Ai. 1305. φνσιν: natu. 1126,7. ώ ... λοιπόν: the construction runs thus: ώ μνημεΐον (‘memorial’) εμο'ι φιλτάτον ανθρώπων, λοιπόν (‘relic’) φυχής Όρεστου (‘of Orestes’ life’). < σ > : Brunck’s insertion is necessary; the transition to Orestes himself is only natural and the verbs cannot stand without their proper object 1127, 8. άπ' ελπίδων, ούχ ώνπερ: άπό ‘far from’ > ‘contrary to’ cf. άπό γνώμης Track. 389, ούδ' άπό δόζης 11. X 324, see K.-G. I 456. Compare also Eur. Her. 771 δοκημάτων εκτός ήλθεν ελπίς. It is then advisable to put a comma after ελπίδων; ούχ repeats the negative notion in από, ώνπερ standing by attraction for αΐσπερ (K.-G. I I 409 Anm. 4 has another, impossible explanation): ‘In a manner how contrary to my hopes—not with those hopes wherewith I sent thee forth— have I received thee back’ (Jebb). But a certain amount of that ‘con­ fusion to which double negatives are liable’ (Campbell) is undeniably involved. (Wecklein’s reading ώς άπ’ ελπίδων / ούχ δνπερ *) εζεπεμπον είσεδεζάμην deserves some consideration)2). 1129, 30. All the stress is on ούδεν δντα and λαμπρόν. For λαμπρόν (‘ “bright”, i.e. full of promise’ Campbell) cf. supra 685. δόμων, because of its place suggestive of emphasis, is somewhat surprising. 1132. Cf. supra 11-13. 1134. όπως ... δκεισο: see K.-G. I I 388. 7, Goodwin G.M.T. §333. 1135. τύμβου iraτρφου: cf. supra 893. κοινόν: ‘rightful’ (as a member of the family). 1139. λουτροΐς σ’ εκόσμησ’: cf. Ant. 900 sq. 1139, 40. παμφλεκτου πυράς / άνειλόμην: cf. e.g. Horn. II. XXIII 239, 252, 3. παμφλεκτου is ‘active’ (‘all-consuming’) and the genitive a genitive of separation. For βάρος cf. Aesch. Ag. 441. 1141. εν ξόνησι χερσί: just as in εν φίλαισι χερσίν 1138 εν is instrumental. κηδευθείς: the verb embraces the diverse funeral rites (also in prose). 1142. σμικρός ... κύτει: cf. again Aesch. Ag. 434-436, 440 sq. and supra 757, 8. *) It does not seem of any importance that this reading occurs to Harleyanus 5744. also attested and adopted by Pearson, strikes me as a weak and vulgar conjecture. a) Cf. Men. A s p is 2 , 3 οδδέ διαλογίζομ[αι / πα ρ α π λή σ ι' ä s ro[r' ç2]jr«r ίξ ο ρ μ ν μ χ ν [os.

ούχ ώ σπερ,

COMMENTARY

1143, 4. τής εμής ... / άνωφελήτον: cf. Eur. El. 506, 7 av ποτ' εν χεροίν εχων / άνόνητ’ εθρεφας, Aesch. Cho. 752, 3 καί πολλά καί μ όχθηρ’ άνωφελητ’ εμοί / τλάστ] ... . 1145, 6. οντε γάρ ... / φίλος: on ή καί following a negative cf. Denniston G.P.~ p. 299 (5): ‘You were not your mother’s darling more than’ (by implication: ‘so much as’) ‘mine’, καί stresses εμοΰ. 1147. οί κατ’ οίκον: οί αίκεται, cf. Track. 934 οφ’ εκδιδαχθείς των κατ’ οίκον, ήσαν: sc. τροφοί, εγώ τροφός sc. ή, but εγώ τροφός is also continued by the anaphoric εγώ δ’ 1148. 1148. άδελφή: predicative adjunct going with προσηυδώμην. We may call the dative σοί a dativus auctoris or commodi or possessivus: all three aspects of its function are present; an adequate and concise trans­ lation is not entirely possible. She was his sister κατ’ εξοχήν. 1149. εκλελοιπε: ‘has ceased’, ‘is finished’, ‘is at an end’. eV ήμερψ μιψ: the dramatic irony is clear if we compare 783, 919, 1363. 1150. θανόντι: excellent in itself, but the v.l. θανόντα GR deserves serious consideration. Brunck (quoted by Jebb) knew it and preferred it, comparing Eur. Her. 69 καί νΰν εκείνα μεν θανόντ άνεπτατο and Eur. fr. 734 (Temenidaé) κακοΐσι δε j άπαντα φροΰδα συνθανόνθ’ υπό χθονός. The comparison with Eur. Her. 69 is the more apposite since the metaphor in this line (and again in Her. 507 and 510) shows a certain affinity with Sophocles’ next words (πάντα ... βεβηκας). 1150,1. θύελλ’ όπως: goes with πάντα συναρπάσας; the tertium comparationis lies in the suddenness of the bereavement, as if a tree had been stripped of its foliage by a squall (cf. Ant. 419) or, perhaps better, the reference is to a destructive fire fanned by a storm: cp. Fraenkel’s note ad Aesch. Ag. 819 άτης θύελλαι ζώσι and cf, πυράς τ ’ όλοοΐο θύελλαι Horn. Od. XIX 68. 1151. 2. οΐχεται ... θανών: the three members are rather an outburst of despair at her utter bereavement than a logical explication or enumer­ ation of πάντα 1150. τεθνηκ έγώ σοί: if we retain the text of the mss, the dative has probably the same meaning as in Ai. 970 θεοίς τεθνηκεν ουτος, ού κείνοισιν ‘He has fallen a victim to the gods, not to them’ and the contents of the phrase amount to the same as μ ’ άπώλεσας 1163, 4. Cf. Eur. Andr. 334 τεθνηκα τή σή θνγατρί καί μ ’ άπώλεσε. It will not do to compare Phil. 1030 & ουδόν είμι καί τεθνηχ’ νμΐν πάλαι (as is done by Jebbl)) 0 I do n o t quite understand Jebb’s starting-point: Ί am dead in relation to thee’.

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for these words do not necessarily mean more than: ‘für euch bin ich längst tot’, nor would it be satisfactory to explain: Ί am dead to you < as you to m e> ’ *). Groeneboom’s conjecture εγώ < ’v> σοί ‘as far as it depends on you’ (cf. Eur. Ale. 278 iv σοί 8’ εσμεν καί ζήν και μή. Ai. 519 εν σοι ττάσ’ εγωγε σώζομαι, Ο.Τ. 314 eV σοί γΐχρ εσμεν) remains attractive. The difference between this and the, in my opinion, most probable explanation of the words as transmitted is more than a negligible nuance. 1154. άμήτωρ : thus only here; what is meant by it, is made explicit in Track. 817, 8 and infra 1194. 1154-1156. ής ... αυτός: I fail to see why ής ‘must not be taken with λάθρα (Jebb and similarly Campbell and Kaibel). On the contrary: as far as I see, the personal genitive with τιμωρός always denotes the person to be avenged, not the person to be punished, and ής ‘concerning whom’ strikes me here as an unnatural interpretation. I agree with Ellendt, Bruhn, Groeneboom. For the contents cf. 169-172, 303 sqq., 317 sqq. 1156. αυτός: in contrast with the messenger implicit in προυπεμπες. 1156, 7. d δυστυχής / δαίμων: cf. supra 999, 917. 1158. ώδε: ‘thus’ (not: ‘hither’). προΰπεμφεν: in connection with προυπεμπες 1155 there are two small problems: (l)in 1155 the verb may mean ‘send before’ and ‘send forth’, here at any rate ‘send forth’; (2) has the repetition any special intention or is it one out of many cases in classical poetry where the use of the same word twice within a short space, whether or not with some shade of difference in meaning, does not signify anything in particular? I am inclined to hear some bitterness in the repetition brought into relief by the difference in verbal aspect (‘infektiv’ opp. ‘konfektiv’); if this is true, it is better to attribute the same meaning (‘send forth’) to the verb in both lines. We should not forget that there is an intense inner connection between ώς φανονμενος and φιλτάτης μορφής. The antithesis between αντί φιλτάτης / μορφής and σποδόν ... ανωφελή is perhaps the most moving feature of the whole pathetic rhesis. Nothing is more natural than the following lyrical outpouring of sentiment (1161-1163) in which the elements πεμπειν, φιλτάτης, μορφής are echoed by δέμας, πεμφθείς, φίλταθ’. 1159. ανωφελή: echoes άνωφελήτου 1144. 1160-1162. For the sporadic insertion of lyric metres in trimeter speech see note ad Track. 1085, 6. *) Mazon’s ‘je suis morte pour toi* is almost meaningless.

COMMENTARY

1161. & Βίμας οίκτρσν: cf. supra 756. Possibly she is supposed to imagine Orestes’ mangled corpse but I think it more likely, in this context, that the reference is to his body turned into dust (thus Jebb who translates: Ό piteous dust’.). 1162, 3, ώ δεινότατα?- ... / πεμφθε'^ κελεύθους'· The reading of the mss κελεόθον is unintelligible; L° κελενθους must be right. Again it is not quite certain how we have to take these words. Cp. for instances the following comments: ‘Sie hat ihn ja einst in die Fremde hinaus­ geschickt, und dieser Weg endete in der pythischen Rennbahn’ (Bruhn). ‘ “Sent on a terrible journey” ; i.e. dismissed from life by a calamitous death’ (Campbell). But decidedly preferable is Jebb’s interpretation: ‘from Crisa to Mycenae: δεινότατα?, since the expected avenger returns as dust’. Thus the lines 1161-1163 are closely related with 1156-1159 and πεμφθείς κελεΰθους has a much more satisfactory connection with ώ? μ’ άπώλεσαε than is the case with other interpretations. 1165. τοιγάρ: ‘therefore’ i.e. since I may be reckoned among the dead. 1165-1167. δεξαι ... στεγος: i.e. she wishes her ashes to rest in the same urn as his; so they will stay together in Hades. The idea of together­ ness in death and its desirability is known from Homer (//. X X III91, 2), from Tragedy and from epitaphs; cf. Aesch. Cho. 894, 5,906, 7; Eur. Ale. 363 sqq., Suppl. 1019 sqq., perhaps I.T. 1010,11 (cf. my De Loco Euri­ pideo, Mnemosyne 1941, pp. 48-53); the inscriptions quoted by R. Lattimore in Greek and Latin Epitaphs § 70 (adde e.g. W. Peek, Grab-Epigramme 236—of husband and wife— [οφρα καί] είν Ά ίδ η κοινόν εχωσι δόμον). is τό σόν τάδε στεγας: for the position of τάδε cf. K.-G. I 628 Anm. 5. Theocr. 2. 116 is τό τεόν καλεσασa τάδε στεγος is a ‘precise parallel’ (Gow a.l.). την μηδέν is τό μηδέν: for ό (η) μηδέν ‘the dead’ cf. note ad Ai. 1231. τό μηδέν can also be used with this meaning but here a translation ‘nothingness’ ‘ashes’ (or perhaps ‘grave’) seems to come nearer the truth (see notes ad Track. 1107 and 1108). 1168. των ίσων: amounts to τον αύτοΰ baipavos. ξνν: perhaps tmesis; for ξυμμετίσχω cf. Ant. 537. μη άπολείπεσθαι: not to be bereaved from. θανοΰσα μη άπολείπεσθαι: i.e. θανειν και μη, or ώστε μη .... 1170. The last line is of course a locus communis but there is no disharmony with what precedes. 1171-1173. Again a locus communis but impressive by its sober

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wording. The simple words serve as an excellent transition to the extreme­ ly dramatic stichomythia by which the recognition is brought about. 1174. φεΰ φεΰ, τΐ λεξω : similarly Neoptolemus Phil. 895 sqq. 1174. 5. Trot λόγων αμήχανων / έλθω: λόγων goes with iroî; to take it άπό κοινού (with λόγων and άμηχανων, thus Ellendt) goes against the normal use of άμηχανων; besides he is not in want of words, but rather the reverse. On αμηχανία cf. B. Snell, Die Entdeckung des Geistes3 (1955) p. 106 and p. 148. 1175. ουκέτι: this would suffice to show that Orestes can not be supposed to have recognized Electra only now. 1176. τί δ’ εσχες άλγος: his distress is manifest from φευ φεΰ and from the tone of his words. 1177. ή ... τόδε: this line proves, if necessary, that Orestes did not at first recognize Electra because of her piteous state. Orestes did not realize the depth of his sister’s misery before he became aware of her physical degradation. Did Sophocles, in writing this line, remember Hesiodus’ verse 'Ηλεκτρην θ’ ή eidos ερήριστ’ άθανάτησινΊ (Hes. fr. 23.16 Merkelbach-West). He had not thought of the disastrous effect on Electra resulting from the announcement of his death. Now he begins to realize it all (1185). Jebb’s idea that κλεινόν is enallage for κλεινής does not recommend itself. 1178. εκείνο: that κλεινόν είδος of which you speak. καί μάλ’: καί ‘actually’ Denniston G.P.* p. 317 (1) not ‘and’ (Jebb). 1179. ταλαίνης τήσδε συμφοράς: her piteous state. äpa: on άρα as a substitute for âpa, especially in Tragedy and Comedy (probably a metri gratia lengthening of äpa) see Denniston G.P.Z pp. 44 sq. 1180. ον δή ποτ’: thus Lsl and I ß and preferred by the editors; LGRA and ethers have τ ί δή ποτ’; if this is false it may have arisen from 1184 (but here δή is not sure), ού δή ποτ is a typically Sophoclean idiom (see note ad 1108) and the sense seems superior to τί δή ποτ'. The question is incredulous and 1181 removes her incredulity, so 1182 excellently carries on 1180 (better than if τ ί δή ποτ' were to be read). 1181. άτίμως: a strong expression, still surpassed by άθεως. For άτίμως cf. άτιμος supra 444, άθεως supra 124. 1182. δυσφημείς: ‘ill-omened’ are his words because of άθεως. 1183. άννμφου : the same as ανύμφευτος supra 165. 1184. τ ί μοί ποτ: Perhaps we should prefer to read this (with the first hand of L and Sud.) than τί δή ποτ’ (thus Campbell and Dain-

COMMENTARY

Mazon); μοι is then an ethical dative (Ί pray thee’): επισκοπεω cannot take a dative. επισκοπών: ‘with fixed look’ (Campbell). 1185. ώς: exclamative. των εμών κακών: this identification of his misery with hers cannot but bewilder Electra. So far is she as yet from having any inkling of the truth. Note that here as in 1174, 5, 1179, 1181, 1183 Orestes does not address her, whereas she is addressing him throughout. The real dialogue starts in the next line. 1186. εν τψ ... των ειρη μενών: iv τώ is instrumental, των ειρημένων, because she can not understand how the sight of her could give rise to Orestes’ exclamation. 1187. πολλοΐς εμπρεπουσαν άλγεσιν: the phrase is an oxymoron, for the proper use of εμπρεπειν (fulgere in) is connected with rich garments, costly equipment, wealth, royal state etc. There may be a reminiscence of Aesch. Cho. 10-12 όμηγνρις γυναικών φάρεσιν μελαγχίμοις πρέπουσα or of ib. 16-18, Ήλεκτραν ... πενθεί λυγρψ / πρέπουσαν; cf. Soph. fr. 769 Ρ. γυναικομίμοις εμπρεπεις εσθημασι. 1188. και μην: on adversative και μην see Denniston G.P.2 ρ. 357. 1189. εχθίω: εχθρός has the same nuance as στυγνός, στυγερός. 1190. όθουνεκ: ‘< the fact> that ...’. 1191. Orestes’ questions while he maintains (or rather resumes) his disguise lead up to 1198, the heart of the matter. πόθεν ... κακόν: πόθεν εστ'ι τοΰτο τό κακόν ê εξεσημηνας (Jebb). 1192. δουλεύω: cf. supra 814. 1193. τις γάρανάγκη τηδε προτρέπει βροτών: thus the trans­ mitted reading (σ’ added in Moschopulean mss and in A); ανάγκη is confirmed by a gloss in L: τηδε · εις τοΰτο (for instances of τηδε = huc see Ellendt s.v. δδε p. 508 f.). It would seem that this is better than ανάγκη, for examples of the dative with προτρεπειν are scarce and not convincing, nor is ανάγκη τηδε taken together as an instrumental dative plausible and still less ανάγκη alone taken as an instrumental dative and, then, τηδε as adverb. Reiske’s ανάγκη τηδε προστρεπει would be more convincing if comparable instances of πραστρέπειν so used could be quoted. If we accept the text as written above προτρεπειν will have its normal meaning of ‘impelling’ (possibly there is a tinge of oxymoron in the use of the verb) and βροτών depends on ανάγκη; τις ανάγκη βροτών amounts to τις βροτών άναγκάζων so that Electra’s answer is understandable. (Thus in substance Kaibel). 1194. μήτηρ ... εξισοΐ: cf. 1154.

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εζισοΐ: probably transitive, cf. schol. ονκ ίσα πράσσει τώ της μητpos όνοματι, but intransitive, with ονδέν as adverbial accusative, is possible. 1195. λΰμ-η βίου: refers to the indignities she suffers in respect of food, dress etc., cf. 189-192, 265, 393 etc. 1197. οϋθ’ d κωλύσων: LA A, ονδ' o GR. Since où ... οϋτε has to be accepted in Tragedy (Denniston G.P.2 p. 509) and since δε in (the first) ούδέ marks the connection, οϋθ’ has probably to be read as lectio difficilior. 1198. προύθηκαε: ‘set before me’; the use of the verb is somewhat remarkable because of the well-known meaning of προτίθημι in con­ nection with a corpse. 1200. νΰν: indubitably particle (with the imperative in the same function as δη) but that is no reason why we should take it as an enclitic unless the υ must be short. Cf. C. J. Ruijgh, L ’élément Achéen dans la langue épique, 1957, pp. 66, 7. See 1205. μόνος ... εποικτίρας: cf. Call. fr. 51 Pf. οϋνεκεν οικτείρειν οΐδε μόνη πολίων with Pfeiffer’s note. ' 1201. rots ίσοι?: thus LA and this is better than τοΐσι σοΐς as is well argued by Campbell. Pace Jebb, it is, in my opinion, true that with τοΐσι σοΐ? 1201 all but repeats 1200, for if you say that somebody suffers from another’s woes this is tantamount to saying that he pities another’s woes. Campbell makes the true remark that ‘rots ίσοι?, like τών ΐσων 1168, implies “identity” rather than “equality” ’ and is also right in stating that ‘τοΐσι σοΐ? is less in keeping with the subtle gra­ dations of this recognition-scene’. Indeed, Electra’s ensuing question is more relevant if we read rots ίσοι? than in if we accept τοΐσι σοΐ?. 1202. où §ή ποθ’: see notes ad 1108, 1180. 1203. το τώνδε: the disposition (inclination) of these women. It goes without saying that, for all practical purposes, this amounts to ‘αίδε’ but also that the periphrasis arises from the need to distinguish between ‘these women’ and the ‘something’ of these women which may be ‘good’ or the reverse—in fact their vous; so the words amount to el ό vo vs ό τώνδε των γυναικών αγαθά φρονέων ηάρεστιν or el αΐδε al γυναίκες έννοιαν εχουσαι πάρεισιν. 1205. νΰν: I am not so sure whether νΰν is here particle or adverb (on the accentuation in either case see ad 1200). Perhaps its function is intermediate between the two; if so the comma may be placed after άγγος (or omitted) and the verse has a normal caesura; by its position νΰν may be said to function as particle with μεθες and as adverb with μάθης.

COMMENTARY

(For the rest it is a well-known phenomenon that in cases of caesura media its disruptive force is often mitigated by the fact that the last word before the caesura is a monosyllabic perispomenon: another reason for writing here νΰν, even if it is taken as particle). It is as understandable that Orestes should want her to let go the urn, symbol of his death, as that Electra should cling to what she still believes to be the only thing that remains of him. Their short struggle is a fine piece of symbolic action. 1207. ττείθου: just as at Track. 470 I fail to see the gain of reading ιηθοΰ. 1208. μη . ..μ η 'ξελη: much more pathetic than Elmsley’s μη ... μ ίξ έλ η . (thus rightly Jebb). 1209. οΰ φημ’ εάσειν: sc. σε εχειν to άγγος (or something like that; at any rate a strong rebuke). 1210. τής ... ταφής, she wanted at least to deposit the urn in her father’s grave as a substitute for the burial rites she ought to have performed. 1211. εύφημα φώνει : commentators agree in pointing out the ominous character of Electra’s words. But we have to bear in mind that the whole design of Orestes’ μηχάνημα was based on the fiction of his death and that the scruples which such a design may easily arouse had be explicitly brushed aside by himself (59-60). However, confronted with his sister’s sorrow and lamentation, which in themselves are real enough, the idea of his death seems to take on a sort of reality at which he winces; note that the phrase is in keeping with his unwillingness to disclose the truth unless Electra releases the urn. •προς δίκης γάρ ον ατενείς: cf. Ο.T. 1014 προς δίκης ούδέν τρεμων. 1212. She could not but understand: you have no right to lament your brother. R. D. Dawe, Emendations in Sophocles, Proc. Cambr. Philol. Soc. 194 (N.S. 14) 1968, p. 14 proposes to punctuate πώς; perhaps a good idea. 1213. οΰ ... φάτιν: the words are subtly ambiguous: in οΰ ... προσηκει may be heard: ‘it does not beseem’ or ‘you have no right’. With προσφωνείν may be supplied Όρεστην or με: ‘to speak of him thus’ (sc. θανόντα), ‘to address me thus’ (sc. θανόντα). Electra is supposed to understand ‘you have no right to speak of him thus’. 1214. άτιμος ... τοΰ τεθνηκότος: certainly not ‘Am I so contemned by the spirit of my dead brother’ (Jebb); rather: ‘debarred from all rights in’ L.-Sc. and Kaibel, Bruhn, Mazon; ‘onwaardig’ (Groeneboom) seems less correct, also in connection with the next line.

FOURTH EPEISODION, VSS. 1207-1223

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1215. άτιμος ονδενός συ: ουδενός masculine; lit. ‘you are not debarred from your rights in anybody’, i.e. ‘you are not at all debarred from your rights in him’; on this idiomatic use of οϋης, ούδείς see Campbell, On the Language o f Sophocles § 22 p. 36 in fine: cf. supra 276 Έρινυν οΰτιν' ίκφοβουμένη, O.T. 1019 ό φυσάς εξ Ίσου τώ μηδενι. (I had not considered this passage when writing my comment ad O.T. 1019). τούτο: το ατενειν (Jebb), many others ‘the urn’, but σόν is more in keeping with Greek idiom if we take t o στενειν to be the subject. The next line is not against this interpretation. For τούτο δ’ούχϊ σόν cf. infra 1470. 1216. ehrep y ... τάδε: ‘yes Ccertainly it is my part to lament> since (if as is the fact) what I hold here are the remains of Orestes’ corpse’. From these words it appears that Kaibel cannot be right in supposing that she surrenders the urn at 1209. 1217. ήσκημένον: άσκεω can easily approximate to μηχανωμαι in sense, cf. Track. 384 τα δε / λάβροι' §ς ασκεί μη πρέπονθ' αύτψ κακά, μηχαναΐσι μεν / θανόντα 1228, 9 is in the same vein. Σ renders by κατεσκευασμενον: κατασκευάζω is used of fraudulent transactions (L.-Sc. s.v. 4). ‘Artfully dressed up’ if you consider it, with Jebb, as a metaphor from dress.—Hereafter she will release her grip on the urn. 1218. The desperate words lead up to Orestes’ liberating answer. 1219. Note the contrasting elements in this and the preceding line: 5του δ ’ εστ ... τάφος X ουκ εστι .... ούκ εστιν τάφος εκείνου του ταλαίπωρου X τού ... ζώντος (which bears all the emphasis). 1220. In the άντιλαβαί the consummation of the άναγνωρισμός is brought about. c3 παί: she is his elder sister and this switch from the formal & ξένε (1180) to the intimate term sets the tone of the ensuing tense dialogue. ψευδός is predicate. 1221. άνηρ: I do not think, pace Jebb, that άνηρ represents more than a substitute for he, Orestes (L.-Sc. s.v, V I2). 1222. 3. σφραγίδα πατρος: this new άναγνώρισμa, not to be found in Aeschylus nor in Euripides, is in the context an entirely convincing means for bringing about the definite άναγνωρισμός, which has been so carefully prepared on the psychological plane. Note that the poet had already made use of the lock in a most original way (901 sqq.); now he avoids tedious repetition by choosing another device. In order to avoid a break in the series of άντιλαβαί L. Parmentier (R. Ph. 43 (1919) p, 70) gives σφραγίδα πατρος to Electra, perhaps rightly. Then μου has to be taken as dependent on εκμαθ' (cf. O.C. 114, 5).

COMMENTARY

μου: goes with σφραγίδα πατρος, to be taken as a syntactic unit. σαφή λέγω: ‘speak the truth’, cf. Track. 1225. 1224. ώ φίλτατον φώς: the light of Electra’s tragic day breaks through. The wonderful reality is forcefully suggested by referring to the senses of sight (φως), hearing (φθεγμα) and touch (έχω σε χερσίν). 1225. μηκετ’ άλλοθεν πάθη: cf, infra 1470. 1226. ώς: relative adverb. For έχω σε cf. Men. Mis. B-*-3 (Turner). 1228, 9. μηχαναΐσι ... σεσωμενον: cf. 1217. σεσωμενον: on σεσωσμενον, σεσωιμενον, σεσωμενον see note ad Ai. 692. The context proves that the intended meaning is ‘safely brought home’ (thus Jebb); cf. σώσαί μ’ is οίκους Phil. 311, is δόμους / ΐδοιμι σωθεντ Track. 610,11; καϊ προς ήπειρον σεσώσθαι τήνδε Aesch. Fers. 737. 1230. συμφοραΐσι : ‘happy issue’. Cf. Aesch. Ag. 24, Cho. 1064. Sim. 7 P. ( = 14 B. et D.) πίνε πΐν' επί συμφοραΐς (from Ar. Eq. 405 sq. schol. το δε συμφοραΐς, επ’ εσθλοΐς). 1231. γεγηθός ... δάκρυον: ‘a tear of joy’. On this kind of hypallage cf. Campbell, Essay on the Language o f Sophocles, §42 γ, p. 80. But the phrase has also the character of an oxymoron and at the same time the tears are personified, they lead, so to say, their own life, as Philo­ ctetes’ νόσος in το γάρ νοσούν / ποθεί κτΧ. Phil. 674, 5. F o u rth

Epeisodion

Μέλος άπο σκηνής 1232-1287. A ‘recognition duo’ (cf. A. M. Dale, Euripides Helen, 1967, p. 106) of a type not to be found elsewhere in Sophocles’ transmitted plays but comparable to the instances occurring in Eur. Hel. 625-697, I.T. 827899, Ion 1437-1509, Hyps. fr. 64,70-111 (all of them not far in date from Soph. EL); in contradistinction to these, which are astrophic, its composition is triadic. As in the Euripidean instances the female character performs mainly in lyric metres; the male partner mainly in iambic trimeters (Orestes sings or recites only two half-lines—1276 and 1280—which do not belong to acatalectic iambic trimeters). The lyric metres are restricted to dochmiacs, (syncopated) iambics (bacchiacs, cretics), whereas the end of the epode (1281-1287) is wholly (in part syncopated) trochaic. Here as elsewhere in his later plays Sophocles seems to have adapted something of his rival’s devices to his own ends, but on the whole the effect of this mixture is more restrained than in Euripides’ comparable passages. 1232. 3. γόναi ... φιλτάτων: γοναί as well as σωμάτων are poetical

FOURTH EPEISODION, VSS. 1224-1239

163

plurals; γόναί amounts to ‘offspring’, ‘son’, σωμάτων refers to Aga­ memnon (thus already Σ άντί ενικοΰ, γονή σώματος εμοί φιλτάτον, τον Άγαμέμνονος). Mazon’s translation ‘rejeton des êtres qui me sont les plus chers’ does not recommend itself for obvious reasons. 1234,5. εμόλετ’ ..., έφηυρΐτ' ... £χρήζετε: the asyndeta are ex­ pressive of vehement emotion. ovs εχρήζετε: refers to herself, object of the preceding verbs, which form two pairs εμόλετ', εφηυρετ’ and ή λθ ετ, εΐδεθ', in normal discourse = μολών εφηύρες; ελθών είδες. 1236. αλλά ... πρόσμενε: cf. infra 1399; Ο.Τ. 620 εί 8’ ήσυχάζων προσμένω. It is difficult to make out whether the words mean: Only abide < the event> in silence’ (thus Σ and Campbell) or ‘remain silent’, ‘keep silence < fo r a while>’ (so Jebb). Σ has a note of remarkable insight: παράκειται εκάστω το οικεΐον · ή μεν γάρ γυνή τε οΰσα καΧ προσδοκίαν εύτυχοΰσα θρασυτερα εστίν, ο δε ασφαλής (= ‘bent on safety’) §tà το νΰν πρώτον επιχειρείν τοιοΰτω κινδόνψ. 1238. σιγάν άμεινον: cf. Eur. Troad. 384, Or. 789. 1239» άλλ’ ού τάν “Αρτεμιν τάν αίεν άδμήταν: the antistrophe has τις οΰν αξίαν γε σοΰ πεφηνότος (LGR). Many conjectures have been made in order to restore exact responsion. But a case has been made by A. M. D alel) in defence of the transmission: u-v-w- may be regarded as a variant of the dochmiae in this metrical context and the hexasyllabies of the strophe as the result of irrational long syllables just as these occur in ordinary dochmiacs. But she forgets to mention that we have then to read τις οΰν < â v > αξίαν (with A). The Budé-editors read with Hartung μα τάν "Αρτεμιν 1239, τις οΰν αξίαν 1260, retain τάν αίεν άδμήταν 1239 but read with Seidler σου γε πεφηνότος 1260 (without indicating that this is a conjecture). Did they think that αίεν might scan This would be impossible. If responsion has to be restored (not even then perfect) one might read with Pearson following Hartung τάν αεί άδμήταν (with a not completely unobjectionable shortening of -εί). Jackson (Marginalia Scaenica, 1955, p. 103) votes for [άλλ’] ού τάν “Αρτεμιν (Seidler) τάν αεί άδμήταν (Hartung), τις οΰν αξίαν (L) σοΰ γε πεφηνότος (Seidler). But in itself άλλ’ où 1238 is excellent, so is the form αίεν and αξίαν γε σοΰ gives as good a sense as αξίαν σοΰ γ ε 2).*) *) T h e L y r ic M e tr e s o f G re e k D r a m a 1, 1948, p. 114. *) Cf. also W. Kraus, S tr o p h e n g e s ta ltu n g in d e r g riec h isc h en T ra g ö d ie. Sitz, ber., Wien 231.4, 1957, pp. 156-157.

COMMENTARY

Perhaps there is wisdom in the opinion of Kaibel, Bruhn and Campbell who accept the transmission (with äv inserted in 1260) and its irregu­ larities, whereas Jebb’s rewriting of 1239,40 as a regular trimeter άλλ’ ον μά την άδμητον alèv “Αρτεμιν has to be rejected. She invokes Artemis άδμήτα, just as the Chorus Aesch. Suppl. 144-150. 1240-1242. τάδε μεν ... τρεσαι: τάδε refers to the fear that n s ένδοθεν κλνη and is the object of τρίο at, to be expanded by the apposition περισσόν ... aiel; hence the comma after τρέσαι (Pearson and others are right), μεν is emphatic and solitarium. περισσόν ... alel: it is of course possible to regard this as referring to Clytaemestra alone. But if we think of the characterization of Aegisthus in Aeschylus and also in this tragedy the words will carry a fuller sense, in my opinion, if they refer to both Clytaemestra and Aegisthus (the fact that Aegisthus is not at home is for the moment forgotten). Cf. supra 301, 2 6 πάντ άναλκις οΰτος, η πάσα βλάβη, / ο συν γυναιζ'ι ras μάχας ποιούμενος] Aesch. Clio. 304, 5 δυοΐν γνναικοίν ώδ’ υπηκόους πέλειν. / θήλεια γάρ φρην ■et 8è μη, τάχ εΐσεται. He is the contempti­ ble stay-at-home: Ag. 1224, 5 λέοντ άναλκιν, iv λέχει στρωφώμενον j οίκονρόν and above all Ag. 1625-27 (the Chorus addresses Aegisthus) γυναι, σύ τους ηκοντας εκ μάχης νεον / οίκουρος εύνην άνδρος αισχυνών άμα / άνδρι στρατηγό» τόνδ* έβονλενσας μόρον] Cf. Ed. Fraenkel a.h.l. περισσόν άχθος: Homeric reminiscence (cf. II. X V III104, Od. XX 379) applied to a special case (Sophocles has given a general application to Homer’s phrase in fr. 945. 3 P. (unhappy race of mortal men) βάρος περισσόν γης άναστρωφώμενοι (see Pearson’s note). Cf. also Men. fr. 113 Koerte περιττόν άχθος όντα γης, ώς είπε τις (τις may refer to Sophocles) ). ένδον ... ον αιεί: these words belong together and have more meaning if the passage refers to Aegisthus as well. But even if this is not accepted, Kaibel’s idea viz. that αΙεί has to be connected with περισσόν has to be rejected. 1243. ye μεν δη: strongly adversative (‘Aye, but mark you’); cf. Denniston G.P.2 p. 395. 1243, 4. κάν γυναιξίν ώς “Αρης / ενεστιν: cf. Aesch. Suppl. 749 γυνι) μονωθεισ ουδεν · ούκ ενεστ “Αρης and probably Ag. 78 “Αρης δ’ ούκ ενι tycupaf. 1245. drorororot τοτοι: thus G. Hermann and so the responsion is exact. 1246-1250. ενεβαλες: this is evidently what Σ read; the mss reading επεβαλες does not yield satisfactory sense (‘you have laid upon me’.

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but the κακόν is upon her since long). ένέβαλες is explained by mentionem fecisti, ύπέμνησας; there are no parallels in the language of Tragedy (there are in Plato) and I do not regard the reading as certain. There is no better rendering of the passage than G. Hermann’s: Apertum comme­ morasti nunquam solubile, nunquam oblivescendum, quale nostrum est, malum. άνέφελον : ‘not veiled’. καταλυσψον: ‘not to be settled’ (with the associations of καταλύειν ■πόλεμον, καταλύεσθαι εχθραν and the like). ovSé -ποτέ λησόμενον'. λήθης τυχεΐν μή δυνάμενον (schol.) but since λήσομαι is never used as a passive form, κακόν is personified and the meaning is strictly speaking; ‘which never will forget’; so the case is comparable to γεγηθός ομμα 1231 and on the other hand to το ποθούν Track. 196. We may hesitate as to the exact construction of the words. άνέφελον seems to me predicative adjunct, not on a par with οΰ ποτέ καταλύσιμον ουδέ ποτέ λησόμενον which are attributes to άμέτερον κακόν whereas οϊον εφυ (‘as it is by its nature’) is an emphatic substitute for φύσει. Lit.: ‘what you have mentioned is clear enough: our misery which by its very nature can not be done away with nor will ever forget’. (Cf. J. H. Kells in the article quoted at 1251,2, whose remark: *... in these few words, the essence of Electra’s tragic situation is revealed’, p. 257, is entirely appropriate). 1251. εξοιδα και ταΰτ’: ‘these things also’ (Jebb). Cf. idem ad Phil. 79 Appendix pp. 232, 3: Orestes is trying to make his sister observe a cautious silence: he has repressed her cries of joy·, she has now cried aloud concerning her past sorrows; and so he says, “I know these things also” ’. Denniston G.P.2 p. 325 deems this explanation ‘perhaps satisfactory’. 1251, 2. άλλ’ όταν παρουσία / φράζη: A. A. Long, Sophocles, Electra 1251, 2 Cl. Rev. 1964, pp. 130-132 (repeated in Language and Thought in Sophocles, 1968, pp. 140-144) argues for the interpretation: ‘when their—the murderers’—presence gives the signal’ (in substance Camp­ bell’s interpretation); μεμνήσθαι then means ‘to remember’ not ‘to make mention of’. But the tenor of Orestes’ answers is that he tries to calm her down and the interpretation does not suit the context: there is no need for Electra to be reminded that she ought to remember the crimes and outrages. Σ explains: όταν έπιτρέπη d καιρός καί καλή ή όπόταν ή παρουσία τούτων ή και ό καιρός επιτήδειος. J. Η. Kells (Cl. Rev. N.S. 16 (1966) pp. 255-259) strongly argues in favour of this inter­ pretation. (His arguments are not quite the same as mine, but his and

COMMENTARY

mine reinforce each other). It is clear that Σ takes παρουσία as the noun belonging to the impersonal πάρεση; this would be an innovation by Sophocles (in which he was not followed). But is it acceptable? Let us consider the -ουσία nouns till the end of the Vth century: περιουσία Thuc. and Ar.; συνουσία Aesch., Soph., Eur., Hdt,, Ar.; εξουσία Soph. *), Eur., Antipho, Thuc.; απουσία Aesch., Eur., Thuc.; παρουσία (presence, arrival) Aesch., Soph., Eur., Ar., Thuc.; μετουσίa (partnership, partici­ pation) Ar.; ούσία(η) itself: Hdt., Eur., And., Ar. (property, abstract of είναι ‘belong to’ Eur. Ion. 1288) and the difficult passage in Track. 911 (where see note). There are no instances of any of these words before Aeschylus. Since εξουσία belonging to εξεστιν is used and since both εξεστιν and πάρεσην as near synonyms are common in Sophocles, since on the other hand these ‘abstracts’ are fairly young in the history of the language, it would not be strange if Sophocles, whose preference for ‘abstract’ language and nominal expression is well-known, had ventured to use the word παρουσία as derivation from πάρεση, just as εξουσία and μετουσία were felt to belong to εξεστι and μετεση. παρουσία then amounts to ‘occasion’, καιρός. Electra’s answer proves as it were that in writing παρουσία I φράζ-ρ the poet is experimenting with παρουσία; we are free to hear in it: d παρών καιρός or ή παρουσία καιροΰ. We should also bear in mind that τα παρόντα and phrases like τό παρόν θεραπενειν (Phil. 149) were already common. 1253-55. d πας ... παρών ... χρόνος: the wording of her answer is closely linked to Orestes’ last sentence: d πας χρόνος is opposed to όταν ... τότ , παρών ‘as it comes’ (Jebb) plays with παρουσία, the idea of time implied in παρουσία is made explicit in χρόνος.z) Should the adversative force of the asyndeton have been made explicit, μεν οΰν would have been added; by its omission and by the position and repetition of d πας the expression is so much the stronger, εννεπειν takes up μεμνησθαι, τάδε, έργων τώνδε. The interpretation of the passage runs much more naturally if we do not have to suppose (as with Long’s interpretation) that Electra misunderstands Orestes’ words. πρεποι : with a noun as subject and with epexegetic infinitive. δίκα: goes with εννεπειν, pace Kaibel. δίκαια mss is wrong3). 1256. εσχον: T have obtained’. ‘J’ai peine a retenir une langue dés­ ormais libre’ (Mazon) is surely wrong. *) If έ(ουσία f r . 8S.11 is not altered. !) Cf. the play with πάρεση 1454, 5. ®) Caused by the preceding τά3ε and the Doric form o f $U by whose hands ...’. 1351. jj κείνος οντος Sv: Ts this (οντος) that man (κείνος) whom’. Electra refers to the man with whom Orestes is engaged in conversation by οντος; he refers to him by οδε. For κείνος cf. 1355. 1353. έλεγχε: simply ‘ask’, ‘question’. He is consistently afraid of further delay and she as consistently in the grip of her emotions. 1354. s ... έν μέσω λόγους: ‘what happened between now and then’; thus the current interpretation (Campbell, Jebb, Bruhn, Groeneboom, Mazon; somewhat different Kaibel). ‘As for the story of the past’ Jebb. But O.C. 583, 4 τά λοίσθ’ άρ’ alrfj του βίου, τά δ’έν μέσω η λήστιν ϊσχεις η δι’ ούδενός ποιβ, Still less Eur. Med. 819 ϊτω · περισσοί πάντες οΰν μέσω λόγοι or Phoen. 588, 9 μητερ, ού λόγων έθ’ άγων, άλλ’ άναλονται χρόνος / οΰν μέσω μάτην ... are no exact parallels. We should have to assume that λόγους does not in fact mean verba but res, in itself far from impossible (cf. Ellendt s.v. λόγος p. 417 in fine and my note ad Track. 78). But it would perhaps be preferable to understand ‘the intervening words’ (i.e. ‘the explanations’) as the words which would come between now and the moment of the deed, if they were not to stop the inopportune conversation, εν μέσω is easily suggestive of ‘forming an obstacle’. The interpretation would be in keeping with the whole trend of the Paedagogus’ intentions. πολλαΐ κυκλοΰνται νύκτες ήμέραι τϊσαι: a circumstantial and some­ what solemn way of expressing: ‘in course of time there will be many occasions ...’. Cf. O.C. 1616-1620 *). ταΰτα: takes up τους ... λόγους and refers to answering the perplexity of Electra at his baffling conduct (1358 sqq.). It is this about which she asked to be enlightened, not about the past since Orestes left Mycenae. 1367. S’ ... ye: ‘marks a break off’ Denniston G.P.2 p. 155. 1368. καιρός: cf. supra 1292. The three νυν s are as it were hammerblows on the anvil of καιρός. 1369-1371. ούτις άνδρών: in my opinion άνδρών is here pregnantly used: ‘real men’, ‘men capable of wearing arms’. Not ούτις, but άνδρών is stressed. Jebb’s idea that the male domestics are supposed to be now busy out of doors seems far-fetched. 0 The passage o f time is expressed as the cyclic recurrence of nights and days.

COMMENTARY

1370. τούτος : refers to the male domestics, implied in ούτι? άνδρων. This interpretation is possible only if άνδρων is taken as defended above. Should we regard άνδρων as referring to Aegisthus’ absent body-guards, τούτοι? would refer to these, but, then, σοφωτεροi? άλλοι? becomes an enigma. Nobody would follow Kaibel in supposing that this refers to the women! Inversely, it is very difficult to take τούτοι? as referring to Clytaemestra’s women-servants supposed to be implied in ovns άνδρων. σοφωτεροις: more skilled (in the handling of arms). 1371. τούτων: may be genitive of comparison going with πλείοσιν or with σοφωτέροt?. In the latter case πλείοσιν is apposition to τούτοι? re κταί σοφωτύροις άλλοι?: ‘which would form a superior force’. 1372. 3. ούκ αν ... εσω: Construe: τάδε το εργον ουκ αν μακρών εθ’ ήμίν ούδεν (adverb) αν λόγων < εργον> εϊη, άλλ’ όσον τάχος χωρεΐν έσω. 1374,5. πατρώα ... έ'δη / θεών: = εδη -πατρώων θεών. εδη: here = άγάλματα rather than the literal meaning. Cf. note ad O.T. 886. προσκύσανθ' : ‘do reverence to’, certainly not by prostrating them­ selves (cf. Μ. P. Nilsson G.G.R.2 I, p. 159, v. Wilamowitz, Der Glaube der Hellenen I, p. 301). We should think of a kiss on the hand meant as a respectful salutation, perhaps accompanied by a brief prayer (cf. κλύε 1376). Where προσκυνάω (as often) means: ‘fall down and worship’ the meaning is derivative; in our passage we have to do with the original sense. The θεοί meant are certainly Apollo and probably Hermes, but because of δσοιπερ 1375 a greater number must be involved. It is not certain to what extent Aesch. Ag. 519 is comparable (δαίμονες τ άντηλιοι, see Fraenkel a.l.). 1375. πρόπυλα: the porch of the palace in or before which the εδη θεών are placed. The usual meaning of πρόθυρου (πρόθυρα) is not different. It is reasonable to suppose that Sophocles imagined the palace as a house of distinction in the Athens of his days, with prothyron on the street, conducting to αύλή (court) and παστός (interior portico). (Cf. e.g. R, Flacelière, La vie quotidienne en Grèce, 1959, pp. 31-32). — Exeunt Orestes, Pylades and the Paedagogus, entering the palace. 1376-1383. Electra’s addressing Apollo before the deed is a drama­ turgic ‘rhyme’ of Clytaemestra’s praying to the same god before the messenger’s report 634-659. 1376. αύτοίν κλύε: προσκύσανθ’ εδη implies a prayer, aloud or silent. 1377. 8. άφ' ών εχοιμι: from (the little) I possessed; cf. the variation 1379.

FOURTH EPEISODION, VSS, 1370-1382

179

πολλά: ‘many times’, hence the optative εχοιμι. σε προύστψ: ‘placed me before you’, ‘approached you as a suppliant’. In the context the verb takes the meaning of Ικετεύω and its construction. λιπάρει χερΐ: with insistently praying hand. See on 451. 1379. ώ Λυκει “Απολλον: as Clytaemestra 655. 1380. αίτώ, προπίτνω *), λίσσομαι: an emphatic expansion of προΐσταμαι. 1382. τάπιτΐμια: cf. supra ad 915. Third Stasimon 1384-1390 = 1391-1397 In a short strophic pair—not less effective because of its conciseness— the entry of the avengers is visualized as the arrival of the unescapable Erinyes and Orestes is to be seen as armed with the sword of revenge and conducted to his aim by Hermes, god of guile and guide of the traveller, but also psychopompus and in relation with the êvepoi; his con­ nection with Orestes, avenger of his father, is traditional (cf, Aesch. Cho. 1 sqq., 727, 812 sqq.). 1384. οπού: it would be easy to read 5πη or οποί, but ‘where’ (‘schaut < d ahin> wo’ Bruhn) is perfectly possible. προνέμεται: the image implied in the verb is either that of an advancing beast or of a fire ‘eating its way’ (thus Campbell who compares Ai. 197, 8 and Hdt. V 101. 1 and 2). 1385. “Αρης: as the god of destructive force, of bloodshed, cf. 1423, Pind. Pyth. X I 36. It is the lust of murder personified which is on the move. το δυσεριστον αίμα φυσών: δυσεριστον not ‘pertaining to unholy strife’ (L.-Sc. in the line of Σ) but: ‘against which the guilty will strive in vain’ (Jebb). alμα amounts to φόνον and φυσών is a hyperbolical πνεων. 1386. Since the Erinyes are operative in Orestes c.s. the latters’ dis­ appearance into the house can easily be visualized as the entry of the Erinyes themselves. They have come at last, as Electra prayed they would 112 and as the Chorus predicted 489 sqq., πολΰπους indeed and πολυχειρ, δειvols κρυπτόμενοι λόχο is. δωμάτων ύπόστεγοι: cf. Ai. 796 σκηνής υπαυλον (with note) K.-G. I ρ. 385, Anm. 4.

‘) Jebb reads π ρ ο π ίπ τω because the first syllable o f τ ίτν ω is always short.

COMMENTARY

1387. μετάδρομοι: only here, but cf. μεταδρομαΐς Έρινΰων Eur. I.T. 941 (μεταδρομή is especially used of hounds Xen. Cyn. 3. 7). The genitive is probably dependent on it (or alternatively on the whole complex μετάδρομοι άφυκτοι κάνες). For κάνες = Erinyes cf. Aesch. Cho. 924, 1054, cf. Eum. 132, Eur. El. 1342. 1389, 90. ου μακράν: supra 323. τονμον φρένων ovetpov: the vision they had evoked 489-491. αίωροάμενον: ‘in suspense’. I am not sure whether it is really better to read άμμενεί, than άμμένει. 1391, 2. ενέρων / δολιόπους αρωγός: Orestes. The fairly rare ενεροι refers to Agamemnon in a mysteriously expressive way. 1393, άρχαιόπλουτα: see for the word Aesch. Ag. 1043, Cratinus Πλοΰτοι, Page G.L.P. I 38. 32); ‘of hereditary wealth’. (See supra 72 άρχεπλουτον). The opposite is νεόπλουτος or άρτίπλουτος (Eur. Suppl. 742). εδώλια: the v.l. έδράσματα may be an old variant, as is noted by Dain (the word occurs at Eur. fr. 305. 1). 1394, νεακόνητον: we expect νεάκόνητον (cf. νεήκης Hom., νεηκονής Ai. 820. Metre would rather require νεάκόνητον ( w r u - u - as in the strophe). Irregularities of quantity may occur in the joint of a compound. Moreover u - w - might be regarded as a special form of the dochmiac *) and finally the first half of 1387 might be scanned ^r-v-vr-). Alteration is not called for . νεάκόνητον αίμα: αΐμα blood > bloodshed, murder > weapon of murder > sword. It is sometimes difficult to appreciate Sophocles’ use of metonymy, as it is his occasional confusion of metaphor (Ant. 601, 2 κατ’ αυ νιν φοινία θεών των νερτερων άμα κόνις) but here at any rate we should not hesitate to reject conjectures. The blood which will be shed shows as it were on the weapon in his hands (and the hands will be blood-stained). 1395, 6. σφ’άγει: takes up παράγεται, δόλον σκότιρ κρύφας expands δολιό-ιτους, ό Μαίας δε παΖς Έ ρμης has an inner connection with ενέρων. προς αυτό τέρμα: Hermes brings the wayfarer home and the deceiver to his aim. Cf. Phil. 133, Aesch. Cho. 812-814. κούκέτ άμμενεί'. echoes 1389.

*) Or we might assume synizesis (>ία-) and scan

THIRD STASIMON, VSS. 1389-1396

181

Exodos 1398-1510 Kommos 1398-1441.1398-1421 = 1422-1441 The composition of the Kommos is antistrophic and some gaps in the trimeters of the antistrophe probably have to be assumed. (Three trimeters after 1427, one before 1430 and the second part of 1431, or perhaps of 1432). The lacuna in 1431 or 1432 is certain; as for the whole trimeters supposed to be missing, we cannot be absolutely sure, since the text as transmitted makes sense and the responsion may not have been perfect as to the number of trimeters. On the other hand, the symmetry of the composition would seem to require them and some answer by Electra to Orestes’ μηκέτ’ εκφοβοΰ / μητρωον ως σε λημ' ατιμάσει ποτέ would seem to be very desirable. This loss, if loss there is, is the greater since this answer could well have had an important bearing on our ultimate judgment of Electra as intended by Sophocles. The odds, indeed, are that, by accident, by an adverse whim of the transmission, we are left without the daughter’s and the son’s last comments on Clytaemestra and her death.—The strophe is divided between Electra, Chorus and Clytaemestra off-stage, the antistrophe between Chorus, Electra and Orestes. 1398. Electra had followed the others into the house; now she comes back. She reports briefly on the situation within and mounts guard before the palace. Cf. her rôle in Eur. Or. 1246 sqq. 1399. τελοΰσι: the notion of τελos is omnipresent at the end of the tragedy: cf. supra 1344, infra 1417, 1435, 1464, 1510. άλλα αίγα ττρόσμενε: cf. 1236. The Chorus can always be addressed in the plural or the singular (the Chorus in the person of the Cory­ phaeus). 1401. κοσμεί: with a veil, or wreaths or both. 1403. < - o > : ημάς (Pearson) is taken from Jen B 6s and has no more status than a conjecture. I should prefer Kaibel’s αυτούς (not Triclinius’ αυτός and still less Desrousseaux’ αΰθις, adopted by Dain-Mazon). J. Jackson’s (ousted by the gloss A ϊγισθος) is a brilliant idea (Marginalia Scaenica p. 93). 1404, 5. Contrast what she had prayed for 650-654. 1406. ßoqi τις ëvSov: derisive and jeering; comparable—up to a point —Ar. Ran. 552 κακόν ηκει τινί, ib. 554, 606, 664. Eur. Her. 748 el ττράσσει τις ώς εγώ θέλω is a good parallel, in a similar situation.

COMMENTARY

1407, 8. In contrast with Electra the Chorus is horror-stricken. ανήκουστα: cf. Eur. Hipp. 363. 1410. ιδού μάλ’ αΰ θροεΐ τις: cf. 1406. 1412. 6 γεννήσας πατήρ: cf. Ο.Τ. 793 (with note). 1413, 4. ώ πόλις ... / ... φθίνει: If we retain σε, we have to assume (1) that Sophocles used the present φθίνω transitively (the aorist form φθίσον is so used O.T. 202, but that is another matter). (2) that the Chorus is so overwhelmed by the horror of the situation that the idea of general ruin eclipses for the moment the idea of liberation, the hopes for a better future etc., in the mind of the Chorus. (3) that μοίρα καθαμερία would mean ‘the fate of to-day’, not ‘the fate which has afflicted the house day by day’. (καθ’ ήμεραν commonly means ‘day by day’, but at Soph. Ai. 801 and O.C. 3 καθ' ήμεραν τήν νυν means ‘to-day’, similarly κατ’ ήμαρ Soph. Phil. 798, Eur. Hec. 628 and elsewhere means: ‘day by day’, but at O.C. 1079 (cf. Ai. 753) ‘to-day’: reAei τελεί Ζευς τι κατ' ήμαρ). If we read σοι (G. Hermann, the majority of editors) φθίνει has its normal intransitive meaning (cf. supra 259, 260), the Chorus see the end of the misery approaching and the objection (a feeble one *) ) against μοίρα καθαμερία ceases to exist. Nevertheless, just because it is so important with regard to the meaning of the whole tragedy, one’s decision to accept a conjecture (σ ο ι) which has such weighty consequences can only be made with extreme reluc­ tance *2). It would be oversubtle (or indeed an instance of philological sophistication) to accentuate ώ ... ώ and to consider σε as an apostrophe to Clytaemestra; and there are no clear instances of φθίνειν and com­ pounds, used transitively in the present stem. φθίνει: φθίνει: the normal quantity in Tragedy. 1415, 6. ωμοί πεπληγμαι . ώμοι μάλ' αυθις: exactly imitated from Aesch. Ag. 1343, 1345. I am not so sure as Friis Johansen (/.c. p. 26) appears to be that this conscious reminiscence points to a con­ ception of the murder of Clytaemestra on the part of Sophocles identical to Aeschylus’ conception of Agamemnon’s murder (‘eine doppelsinnige Tat’).

*) The more so since καθαμερία can be taken as predicative-adverbial (cf. Camp­ bell). 2) Cf. H. Friis Johansen, D ie E le k tr a d e s S o p h o k le s, Cl. et Med. XXV, 1964, p. 27 n. 33.

EXODOS, VSS. 1404-1423

183

παισον ... διπλήν: SC. πληγήν, διπλήν amounts to δευτεραν, but is strictly speaking a case of predicative prolepsis. It is a far-fetched idea proposed by I. M. Linforth, Electro’s Day in the Tragedy o f Sophocles, Univ. of Calif. Public, in Cl. Philol. 19. 2, 1963, p. 109 n. 5, to interpret the words by ‘return the blow’ derisively directed to Clytaemestra. The translation of Ant. 14 διπλή χερί ‘by mutual hand’ does not warrant such an interpretation. 1416. el γάρ ΑΙγίσθω γ ' όμοΰ: θ’ (mss) seems nearly impossible, if taken as ‘also’. Since el γάρ forms a close unity γ ' coming after γάρ does not offend. The elliptical phrase is, then, best understood by supplying όπλήγης. But a case can be made for the mss reading θ’. Clytaemestra cries out: ωμοί μάλ’ αΰθις, Electra wishes that she would cry: ωμοί μάλ’ αΰθις ΑΙγίσθω θ’ όμοΰ (adverb). So the complete intention of the words would be: el γάρ 'ΑΙγίσθω θ’ όμοΰ’. The words, then, echo the Paedagogus’ first words to Clytaemestra 666, 7: σοΙ φόρων ήκω λόγους / ήδείς φίλον παρ’ άνδρος ΑΙγίσθω θ’ όμοΰ. 1417. τελοΰσ’: intransitive or ‘absolute’. Cf. note ad O.T. 198 and for intransitive use of τελόω Aesch. Sept. 659, Fers. 225, Cho. 1021. For àpai cf. supra 111,2 ... πότνι’ Ά ρά , / σεμναί re θεών παΐδες Έριννες. The άραί are an aspect of the working of the Erinyes (cf. R. P. Winnington Ingram, The ‘Electra' o f Sophocles, Proc. Cambr. Philol. Society 1955, pp. 20-26). 1417, 8. ζώσιν ol / γάς ύπαι κείμενοι: cf. Aesch. Cho. 886 τον ζώντα καίνειν τούς τεθνηκότας λόγω. Here as in Aesch. the reference is both to Orestes and to Agamemnon (cp. supra 1314 sqq.). In his avenger Orestes, alive after having been thought of as dead, the dead Agamemnon is resuscitated. On ύπαι, Brunck’s conjecture, see ad 1437-39. 1420,1. παλίρρυτον: Bothe’s convincing correction of πολύρρυτον mss: ‘flowing in retribution’, cf. Eur. El. 1155 παλίρρους ... δίκα (Victorius), Her. 739 δίκα καί θεών παλίρρους πότμος; predicative. For πάλιν cf. supra 245, 6 οι δε μ,ή πάλιν / δώσουσ’ άντιφόνους δίκας. vπεiaφoΰσι: ‘drain away’ (L.-Sc.). The verb is suggestive of the vampire-character of oi πάλαι θανόντες and their Erinyes operative in their avengers. Cf. 784 sqq. with note. 1422, 3. καί μήν: cf. note ad 78. θνηλής "Αρεος: ‘offering to Ares’; for *Apeos cf. 1385. ούδ’ εχω fAeyetvf : here the same applies as said ad 1413, 4. Almost all modem editors accept Erfurdt’s φεγειν and thus the Chorus is made

COMMENTARY

to utter their satisfaction with the murder. Campbell alone retains λέγειv and translates: ‘And I am speechless’. If the Greek could express that, the meaning would be satisfactory, but not a single parallel can be found. To regard ovS’ εχω λέγειν as an unfinished sentence, interrupted by Electra, seems a desperate way out. We might consider the possibility that the mss are after all right in attributing 1422, 3 to Electra: then πώς Kvpeî may be construed as an indirect question dependent on λεγειν: ‘but I cannot tell, Orestes, how you fare’. We should have to accept a break in the symmetry of the division between the speakers, but, on the other hand, here as in the strophe, Electra would be the first speaker. This is in fact what we read in the editions before Erfurdt, Brunck for instance (on κνρείτε see the next note). 1424, 5. Kvpeîre: Elmsley’s excellent correction of κυρεί, much better than Triclinius’ κυρεί ye and Brunck’s κυρεί. τά y' εν δόμοισι μεν ι). τάν δόμοισι ... / καλώς ... εθεσπισεν: μεν is solitarium; we can only guess at the suppressed contrast, but the particle strikes me as lending to his words not a tone of confidence (heard in them by Jebb) but of anxiety. Cf. Bowra, Sophoclem Tragedy1, 1943, p. 253: ‘In these words there is no calm confidence such as has been found in them’ (correctly, in my opinion) and G. M. Kirkwood, A Study o f Sophoclean Drama, 1958, p. 241 n. 22 on the phrase καλώς εχει and similar phrases (1339, 1345, 1424, 1493, 4): T think there can be no doubt that Sophocles means to create an atmosphere of shadow and questioning by this play on καλόν and κακόν. It is one more element in the enigmatic emotional and moral situation at the end of this play’. Even Linforth, in whose opinion Orestes ‘is undisturbed by any scruples’, regards these words as ambiguous (Electro’s Day in the Tragedy o f Sophocles, Univ. of Calif. Publ. in Cl. Philol. 19. 2, 1963, pp. 121 and 124). If κυρείτε is correct, τάν δόμοισι is best taken as an accusative of respect. 1426, 7. τεθνηκεν ή τάλαινα: assigned (as a question, of course) to Electra since Erfurdt, to Orestes by the mss. I must confess that, were it not for the desirable division of the lines between the speakers, the asyndeta in a continuous speech of Orestes, very striking in them­ selves (the reader should try for himself, reading Brunck’s text) would make me believe that the mss tradition is right. In that case we should be inclined to hear a note of pity in ή τάλαινα. But the odds are against*)

*) But ir