Monday, August 28, 2006


Euripides, Orestes 206

This is another note to myself, of little interest to anyone else.

Euripides, Orestes 201-207 (tr. E.P. Coleridge):
You are in your grave, and the greater part of my life is spent in weeping and wailing, and tears at night; unmarried, childless, I drag out forever a joyless existence.

σύ τε γὰρ ἐν νεκροῖς, τό τ' ἐμὸν οἴχεται
βίου τὸ πλέον μέρος ἐν στοναχαῖσί τε καὶ γόοισι
δάκρυσί τ' ἐννυχίοις, ἄγαμος    205
[ἐπὶ δ'] ἄτεκνος ἅτε βίοτον ἁ
μέλεος ἐς τὸν αἰὲν ἕλκω χρόνον.

206 ἐπὶ δ' L: ἔπιδ᾽ rell.: secl. Wilamowitz, e Σ irrepsisse ratus
The text and apparatus are Gilbert Murray's, from C.W. Willink, Euripides Orestes. With introduction and commentary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986). James Diggle's edition is not available to me. Willink ad loc.:
ἄγαμος ἄτεκνος: a frequent pair (Al. 882, IT 220, Hel. 689; Al. 887-9 ἀτέκνους ἀγάμους τ᾽); these parallels (and many others, e.g. Tr. 1186 ἄπολις ἄτεκνος, Su. 966 ἄπαις ἄτεκνος) confirm Wilamowitz' excision of the otherwise obscure ἔπιδ᾽ (or ἐπὶ δ').
With Wilamowitz' excision, we have an example of asyndetic, privative adjectives, not cited in any of my earlier posts on this subject. Another example in the Orestes (310) is ἀνάδελφος ἀπάτωρ ἄφιλος.

There is an odd misprint in Willink's commentary on lines 126-139:
A link-passage between Helen's exit and the entry of the Chorus. First Helen gives vent to the hatred which she has had to control (hoping for help from Men.) in Helen's presence.
"First Helen" is obviously a mistake for "First Electra".

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