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Euripides, 'Phoenissae' 64f.

[Unknown Words Omitted] She has told the story of Oedipus up to the point when their sons lock him up in the house (63-8):(1)

[Unknown Words Omitted]

These lines present various difficulties. Elsewhere, [Unknown Words Omitted] seems to be found only in the active sense `unmindful, forgetful, (LSJ I.1). For the passive meaning `forgotten, not mentioned', LSJ quote no other example (1.2), If [Unknown Words Omitted] were here to be taken in the active sense, one would have to translate: `that [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] might become forgetful'. Perhaps [Unknown Words Omitted] could in this case also be regarded as equivalent to [Unknown Words Omitted], and could, thus, govern the participle [Unknown Words Omitted] `that [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] might forget that it needed many a [Unknown Words Omitted] Either way, it is hard to see what this would mean (even if one were to push [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] into the direction of `the unhappy one -- i.e. Oedipus -- in his misfortune'). On the other hand, it seems natural enough to admit that these verbal adjectives are, strictly speaking, neither `active' nor `passive', and that their exact meaning depends on the closer context.(2) The simplex [Unknown Words Omitted] is normally active -- as one might expect, if this formation is in origin (like [Unknown Words Omitted]) a nomen agentis.(3) On the other hand, adjectives of this type are closely associated with verbal nouns in -[Mu]a.(4) In this case, [Unknown Words Omitted] would mean `having no [Unknown Words Omitted],' which could refer to `remembering' or `being remembered'. The correct rendering of [Unknown Words Omitted] would then be without memory' and [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] here be called `without memory', because the sons of Oedipus hope that their father's fate will not be remembered. This is how the line is generally understood.(5)

However, one should not seek to determine the meaning of [unknown characters] without addressing the main difficulty of this passage. The phrase [Unknown Words Omitted] is curiously vague and imprecise. What are these [Unknown Words Omitted] What is their purpose? And at whom are they directed -- who is meant to forget? In the scholia, one reads two alternative explanations. The scholion on 64 runs: [Unknown Words Omitted] (I. 258, 25f. Schwartz). The scholion on 65 first repeats this interpretation, and then proceeds to offer an alternative solution: [Unknown Words Omitted] (I. 258, 27 -- 259, 2 Schwartz). The first of these explanations -- [Unknown Words Omitted] -- is generally accepted,(6) but different views have been advanced.(7) Furthermore, the second option proposed in the scholia -- that the [unknown characters] are not intended to bring about public oblivion, but are concerned, as a [Unknown Words Omitted], with Oedipus, own peace of mind -- cannot be refuted out of hand. It is arguable that Oedipus, attempts to forget played some role in the Cyclic Thebaid. There, Oedipus cursed his sons because Polyneices had disobeyed his orders and set before him the cup of Laius -- [Unknown Words Omitted], comments Eustathius.(8) And yet, would imprisonment be a natural course of action to keep Oedipus from brooding over his fate? Would [Unknown Words Omitted] alone be intelligible for `tricking Oedipus into comfort'? Would the wording not require a context that could give it this special force? Thus, one could argue oneself into subscribing to the opinio communis -- but whatever version may be accepted, [unknown characters] or [Unknown Words Omitted], a lot has to be read into the [unknown characters]. The reader is left to infer the precise nature and specific relevance of the `tricks'.

Either way, the main problem remains. The phrase is unclear and comes strangely unexpected. For what is the exact logical force of the participle? If the preceding line states, as it appears to do, that in shutting away their father it was the sons, intention to let his [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] fall into oblivion, one feels that the participle, in providing the crucial qualification of this [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta], should somehow relate to their action, or reflect upon it, and perhaps explain why that [Tau][Upislon][Chi][Eta] is to be forgotten. One would assume that it should clarify in what circumstances and under which conditions the sons decided on their way of action -- not what they met with as a result of this decision (which would be expressed far more naturally in a relative clause, if not in an independent main clause). The most satisfactory paraphrase is perhaps the following: `the sons locked up their father that a [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] might be forgotten which would require many a [Unknown Words Omitted] (if they were to succeed).' [Pi][Omicron][Chi][Chi][Omega][Upsilon] would stand in pointed opposition to the one [Unknown Words Omitted] imprisoning their father, stressing the futility of their attempt.(9) This, however, is not the point to which Iocasta is building up. She is not concerned with the possible inefficiency of their measure, but with the terrible truth that, although he may be forgotten, Oedipus is still very much alive, hurling curses against his sons and thus bringing about yet another disaster. Or could one argue that Iocasta tries to defend her sons? `Yes, they confined their father -- but only under dire necessity.' As the experimental parapharase shows, the stress on [Unknown Words Omitted] does not quite suit this approach, and a qualifying attribute -- e.g.[Unknown Words Omitted] would have brought out the justificatory tendency of the argument far more forcefully.

There is one further point that will prove relevant. Oedipus curses his sons [Pi][Rho][Omicron]c ...[Unknown Words Omitted] Pearson (n. 5, on 66) comments: `It is not easy to determine whether these words mean (1) "though suffering at the hands of fortune",(10) or (2) "distracted in consequence of his ill fortune'"(11) The concessive notion of (1) seems hard to pick up, and since the causal use of [Unknown Words Omitted] is well attested (LSJ A.II.2), (2) will be at once the easier and the safer course. But what exactly does [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] here refer to? Why does Oedipus curse his sons? Is it just because of his bad luck in general (schol. 66: [Unknown Words Omitted] I. 259, 3 Schwartz)? That is hardly satisfactory. The definite article makes one suspect that Oedipus, reason for cursing his sons is more specific, that [Unknown Words Omitted] refers, not just to `his' fate in general, but to `that' disgrace just mentioned: the imprisonment he suffers at the hands of his sons(12). Thus, Euripides would be in broad agreement with the poetic tradition in that here as elsewhere Oedipus would curse his sons for a specific offence.(13) (The nexus is mentioned later in the play, 874-7,(14) but since the whole passage 869-80 is under suspicion,(15) no argument can be built on it.)

The reason why this possibility is rarely considered is presumably that [Unknown Words Omitted] in 64 and [Unknown Words Omitted] in 66 stand in close proximity. That is not in itself objectionable,(16) but the close vicinity of two instances of the same word makes it difficult to dissociate the one from the other. [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] in 64 appears to refer to Oedipus' fate in general; the same is then inferred for the instance in 66. Again, there is a problem, and again, it seems to hinge on 64f.

The `rhetorical surface' of the passage is strangely vague and blurred. Verse 65 is particularly obscure -- although the difficulty of this turgid phrase lies less in its grammatical structure than in its general pointlessness and lack of reference. None of these objections on its own would be sufficient to impugn the authenticity of any of these lines. It is the cumulation of oddities that raises one,s suspicion. Verse IS@ looks highly suspect -- get rid of it and see what happens.(17)

[Unknown Words Omitted]

T[Gamma]XH in 64 turns out to be a verb, and at once, everything falls into place. The sons imprison their father that he may be forgotten -- but he is yet alive, and has cursed them for their offence. Verse A on its own is perfectly straightforward: the subject of the final clause is now Oedipus, and [Unknown Words Omitted] makes it clear that the sons intend him -- not to forget, but to be forgotten ([Unknown Words Omitted] can mean this).(18) [Tau][Upsilon[Chi][Eta] adds a nice touch (lost in [Unknown Words Omitted]): the sons hope that their father will `happen to be forgotten, sink into oblivion' -- casually and imperceptibly, accidentally and as if by chance, without any further incidents and public attention. Once 65 is gone, no neighbouring [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] blurs the precision of 66 (the quasi-repetition is covered by Jackson's and Page's examples: see above, n. 16). And into the bargain, a dreary anticlimax(19) turns into the splendid juxtaposition of [Unknown Words Omitted] and [Unknown Words Omitted](20). The rhetoric of the passage is far more successful without 65. Forgotten Oedipus may be -- but he is still alive. The prologue-speech as a whole builds up to this surprise.

The interpolated line may derive from a gloss which was added to the text and elaborated into a complete trimeter.(21) In the present case, [unknown characters] could be a gloss on [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta], designed to draw attention to the slightly uncommon construction (see above, n. 18) and to prevent confusion with the noun (which would be a great danger anyway, and is so all the more for the lack of a participle).(22) The gloss (meaning `i.e. [Unknown Words Omitted] would be mistaken for an addition ([unknown characters]), thus becoming the cause of the error which it was designed to avoid -- the confusion of [Unknown Words Omitted] and [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta].

However, whether 65 came into being with or without a [Unknown Words Omitted] may remain open. Either way, the origin of the interpolation is not difficult to explain. T[Gamma]XHI was mistaken for the noun, and consequently, a line was added to complete the sentence by supplying a predicate.(23) At the beginning of a line, [Unknown Words Omitted] would be the easiest verb, and the rest is padding (perhaps inspired by 472 or something like it).

(1) Quotations are from the Teubner edition of the Phoenissae by D. Mastronarde (Leipzig, 1988). See also his commentary (Cambridge, 1994).

(2) This phenomenon is well documented for the adjectives in-[Tau][Omicron]c: see Fraenkel on Aesch. Ag. 12 and 238 (with literature); Barrett on Eur. Hipp. 677-9; Collard on Eur. Suppl. 80b-2; cf. the notes on the passages listed by Chr. Collard, Composite Index to the `Clarendon' Commentaries on Euripides 1938-71 (Groningen, 1981), 24 (`III: Language') s.v. Adjective, verbal, both `act." and `pass.' (Alc. 173, El. 1046, Ion 701, I.T. 1418-19, 1476, Med. 109, 212).

(3) Euripides does not use the simplex. See E. Risch, Wortbildung der homerischen Sprache (Berlin, New York, 2nd ed., 1974), 51f. Cf. also P. Chantraine, La Formation des Noms en Grec Ancien (Collection Linguistique 38, Paris, 1933), 171f., who paraphrases [Unknown Words Omitted] `qui se souvient' (172).

(4) Mastronarde on 64 compares [Unknown Words Omitted] (act. and pass.), and [Unknown Words Omitted] (only pass.). See Risch (n. 3) 52f. Cf. [unknown characters] at Soph. O.C. 1668 (hapax with gen. obj.; I owe this reference to Professor Parsons).

(5) Schol. 64 [Unknown Words Omitted] (I. 258, 25 Schwartz); cp. W. Dindorf (ed.), Scholia Graeca in Euripidis Tragoedias III: Scholia in Phoenissas (Oxford, 1863), 55, 6 on 63; 55, 9-11 on 63; 55, 16-19 on 63; 56, 11f. on 67. F. A. Paley (ed.), Euripides, with an English Commentary, Vol. Ill (London, 2nd ed., 1880), 122 on 64 Cf. A. C. Pearson (ed.), Euripides. The Phoenissae (Cambridge, 1909), 80 on 64. Note also Platnauer on Eur. I.T. 1418-19.

(6) Mastronarde on 65: `requiring many clever shifts to be forgotten' (quoting Heliod. 4. 6. 26 for the ellipse of sense). Paley (n. 5) 122 on 64: `The sense is, "that his fate might pass out of memory, requiring as it did many devices (for its concealment)"' J. U. Powell (ed.), The Phoenissae of Euripides (London, 1911), 151 on 64: [Unknown Words Omitted] devices to conceal it"'. Chr. Mueller-Goldingen, Untersuchungen zu den Phonissen des Euripides (Palingenesia 22, Wiesbaden-Stuttgart, 1985), 47: `Es bedurfte vieler Kniffe, um dieses Schicksal in Vergessenheit geraten zu lassen.' E. Craik (ed.), Euripides. Phoenician Women (Warminster, 1988), 65 translates: `...they hid their father with barred doors, so that his fortune should be umnentioned, despite needing many devices to conceal it.' Cf. also the transiation by H. Grotius (quoted from L. C. Valckenaer's edition of the Phoenissae, 1755): iam barba postquam filios pinxit meos, / patrem coercent carcere, ut sortem tegant, / quae ne patescat artibus multis eget. / domi ille vivit, atque fortunae ad mala / diras tremendas in genus cumulat suum, / ut sanguinante dividant ferro domum. The referee points to Bacchae 30, where Cadmus, supposed attempt to disguise a human rape as a divine one is termed a [unknonw characters]'.

(7) Cf., e.g., N. Wocklein (ed.), Euripidis Phoenissae (Leipzig, 2nd ed., 1881), 22 on 65: `"Quae multis indiget artibus ad excusandum" i.e. quae aegre excusari potest. Scificet purgat mater filios'; N. Wecklein (ed.), Ausgewahlte Tragodien des Euripides V: Phonissen (Leipzig, 1894), 35 on 64f: `schwer zu beschonigen' (E. Fraenkel in the margin on his copy, kept in the Ashmolean Library: `Nein: "schwer zu verheimlichen"'). The referee: `"so that O.'s [Unknown Words Omitted] migh become forgotten because it needed a good deal of cleverness (to explain it) or (to handle its consequences)"' (comparing 472; 871; 1259).

(8) Cycl. Theb. fr.2 Bernabe or Davies (Eustathius is quoted ad I). As this is Eustathius, own interpretation of the fragment. Welcker and Bethe thought that he was right CE. Bethe, Thebanische Heidenlieder. Untersuchungen uber die Epen des thebanisch-argivischen Sagenkreises [Leipzig, 1891], 103 with note 40). Cf. below, n. 13, on Oedpus' curse(s).

(9) Cf. Mastronarde on 65. The same effect is achieved by J. Geelius (ed.), Euripidis Phoenissae (Leiden, 1856), who conjectures [Unknown Words Omitted] (85f ad i.; attributed to `Zakas 1891' by Mastrronarde in his appendix coniecturarum, 128); `Suspicor duplicem Scholiastae interpretationem admitti non posse, sed corrigendum esse [Unknown Words Omitted]. lpsa occlusio Oedipi erat [Unknown Words Omitted]. Potuerunt sane reliqua cootcuata in Cyclica Thebaide commemorari, ut Poeta eo respicere videature; sed [unknown characters] refertur ad [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta], ut 475 [Omicron] [Delta] [unknown characers] non ad praedicatum [Unknown Words Omitted] itaque sententia non accurate enuntiata est. substituto Sedmot, interpretor: patrem occultum tenuerunt, multos modos excogitantes, quibus calwnitatem eius ab hominwn notitia removerent. Sed urgere hoc nolim., The final clause can hardly depend on the participle, and to read the [Unknown Words Omitted] as a reference to the Thebaid seems as arbitrary (or desperate) as C. Robert's Callimachean verismo (Oidipus. Geschichte eines poetischen Stoffes im griechischen Altertum [Berlin, 1915], vol. I. p. 173): `Um den vielfachen Fragen nach dem Befinden und dem Aufenthalt ihres Vaters zu begegnen, haben Eteokles und Polyneikes den Thebanem gegenuber viele Ausreden notig, (cf. Call. h. 6. 72-86.

(10) This is the view which Pearson adopts in the end. Cf Wecklein 1881 (n. 7), 22 on 66: `I.e. quamquam Fortuna ei causa malorum est, non filii qui includentes patrem necessitati paruerunt' (cf ibid. on 65); Wecklein 1894 (n. 7), 35 on 66ff.:` ... obwohl die Schuld an seinem Wehe dem Schicksal zufiel, nicht den Sohnen'; schol. 67: [Unknown Words Omitted] (II.56. 9f. Dindorf).

(11) Cf. Mastronarde on 66. Paley (n. 5) 122 or 66: `While other writers, following the account in the Cyclic poems, made Oedipus curse his sons because he had been badly fed by them [unkown characters] Aesch. Theb. 783), Euripides has here preferred to describe him simply as "maddened by his fortune", or by the circumstances of his position.' Craik (n. 6) translates `deranged from ill-fortune'(65), but comments (172 on 66-8); `Iokaste glosses over...the reason for Oidipous, curse on his sons, blaming neither him nor them' (cp. ibid. on 64-5). On the contrary, she clearly condemns Oedipus, curses as [Unknown Words Omitted], nor is there any trace of her palliating her sons' deed.

(12) Thus Mastronarde on 66: [Unknown Words Omitted] = specifically "what had just happened to him'". Robert (n. 9) I.177 on 66f.: `Hier wird also als das Motiv seines Zornes und seiner Gemutsstorung schon die blo[B]eta Gefangenhalmg hingestellt.' Cf. schol. 66: [Unknown Words Omitted] (III.55,26-56,1 Dindorf; cf. 56,10-4 on 67).

(13) See Bethe (n. 8) 102-6; Robert (n. 9) I.67. 109. 169-80. 263F. 353F. 466-71; G. O. Hutchinson (ed.), Aeschylus. Septem contra Thebas (Oxford, 1985), xxvf. Cf.frr.2 and 3 of the Cyclic Thebaid (literature in Bernabe ad I.); TrGF adesp. 346b, and 458.

(14) Teiresias is speaking about Oedipus, sons: [Unknown Words Omitted].

(15) 869-80 were deleted by E. Fraenkel, Zu den Phoenissen des Euripides (SB Munchen, 1963/1), 37-43. For a defence of the passage, see H. Diller's review of Fraenkel, Gnomon 36 (1964), 641-50, at 647, and H. Erbse, `Beitrage zum Verstandnis der Euripideischen Phoinissen,' Philologus 110 (1966), 1-34, at 9-13. Cf. M. D. Reeve, `Interpolation in Greek Tragedy I', GRBS 13 (1972),247-65 (reviewing J. Baumert, ENIOI A[Theta]ETOY[Sigma]IN[Diss. Tubingen, 1968]); Interpolation in Greek Tragedy III,' GRBS 13 (1972), 451-74 (against Erbse;s article); detail, but see pp. 458f. of the second article).

(16) See J. Jackson, Marginalia Scaenica (Oxford, 1955), 220-2: `Unconscious Repetitions by the Poet'; cf. 198f.; 223-7: `Unconscious Repetitions by the Copyist'; D. L. Page, Actors' Interpolations in Greek Tragedy (Oxford, 1934), 122.; cf. 127f.; 145.

(17) Mastronarde notes in the app. crit. that 65 is omitted in Laurentianus 32.33 ante correctionem, but since it was added between the lines, this looks like a chance omission, not like independent testimony (see D. J. Mastronarde & J. M. Bremer, The Textual Tradition of Euripides' Phoinissai [University of California Publications. Classical Studies 27, Berkeley, Los Angeles, 1982], 194 on 65: `versum om., deinde inter lineas add. Rf'). Neither WEcklein, in the app. crit. or the appendix coniecturas minus probabiles continens of his edition (Euripidis Fabulae, R. Prinzk N. Wecklein [eds.], III.4 Leipzig, 1901), nor Mastronarde, in app. crit., appendx coniecturarum, or conspectus versuum suspectorwn, note any prior deletion of 65.

(18) Still, this use of [Unknown Words Omitted] remains difficult. For the omission of [Omega][Upsilon] etc. with [Unknown Words Omitted], see LSJ A.II.2.A; Kuhner-Gerth II.67c; Schwyzer-Debrunner 392,6; E. Bruhn, Anhang zu: Sophokles, F. W. Schneidewin & A. Nauck (eds.), Achtes Bandchen (Berlin, 1899), 74: `[section] 134. [unknown articles] mit zu eganzzendem [Omega][Upsilon].'

(19) H. v. Herwerden, `Novae curae Euripideae,' Mnemosyne 31 (1903), 261-94, at 286: `Quia misere abundant verba [Unknown Words Omitted] ambigo utrum deleto toto hoc versu in sequenti legam [Unknown Words Omitted], an sic refingam: [Unknown Words Omitted].

(20) Note how carefully not only [Unknown Words Omitted] and [Zeta] but also [Unknown Words Omitted] and [Unknown Words Omitted] balance each other.

(21) As opposed to glosses that intrude into the text, `either in place of what they were meant to explain or in addition to it' (M. L. West, Textual Criticism and Editorial Technique [Stuttgart, 1973], 22f.). See Fraenkel III.564 on Aesch. Ag. 1226 (with literature); cf. III.580,4 on 1256f. (`expansion ofan interjection to a trimeter'); Page (n. 16), 114 on Eur. I. A. 1416; M. L. West, Studies in Aeschylus (Stuttgart, 1990), 262; 173f. with Denniston-Page (ad l.) against the deletion of Aesch. Ag. 7 (cf. Fraenkel II.9 ad l.) Cf. R. J. Tarrant, `Toward a Typology of Interpolation in Latin Poetry', TAPhA 117 (1987), 281-98, at 290f. (`gloss elaborated into a metrically appropriate insertion'; I owe this reference to Professor Nisbet); A. E. Housman (ed.), D. Iunii Iuvenalis Saturae (Cambridge, 2nd ed., 1931), xxxiii; xxxvf. This casts a shadow of doubt on many lines beginning with enjambement: Page (n. 16) 56f. (cf. also Eurr. Orr. 695. 716); G. . Jachmann, Binneninterpolation. ll. Teil, NGG 1/9 (1936), 185-215, at 200-202 (cp. 194-8) = Textgeschichtliche Studien, Chr. Gnilka (ed.), (Beitrage zur klassischen Philologie 143, Konigstein /Ts., 1982), 550-80, at 56507 (cf. 559-63), on proper names. The dating of this category remains uncertain; see U. v. Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (ed.), Aeschyli Tragoediae (Berlin, 1914), xxviii: `quae interpolationes ultrum iam in archetypo fuerint, an Byzanti demum confictae, diiudicare non audeo.'

(22) Would [Unknown Words Omitted] not presuppose andrixot are both possible (and are confused at Archil. fr. 178 W.), but [Tau][Upsilon][Chi][Eta] seems preferable, because -- with or without iotacism -- its confusion with [Unknown Words Omitted] is slightly easier. Cf. F. Johnson, De coniunctivi et optativi usu Euripideo in enuntiatis finalibus et condicionalibus (Diss. Berlin, 1983; I owe this reference to Professor Diggle). The optative [Unknown Words Omitted] was perhaps chosen to stress the force of the mood. Geelius (n. 9 (86) ad l. points out that the scholion on 64 presupposes the subjunctive: [Unknown Words Omitted] (III.55, 18f. Dindorf).

(23) This type of interpolation is well known: H.-Chr. Guntherr, `Textprobleme im Prolog der Aulischen Iphigenie des Euripides', WuJbb N.F.13 (1987), 57-74, at 63, 34 (with literature on `Pradikatserganzung'); Jachmann (n. 21) 189-92 = 554-7 (on interporlation following corruption); Tarrant (n. 21) 288f. (`a mistaken impression of syntactical incompleteness has the easiest verb, and the rest is padding (perhaps inspired by 472 or something
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Author:Kerhecker, Arnd
Publication:The Classical Quarterly
Date:Jul 1, 1996
Words:3587
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