First Epeisodion: 147–273
The quarrel scene between Hermione and Andromache, beginning with set speeches followed by a passage of stichomythia.
147. κόσμον … χρυσέας χλιδῆς: a golden diadem. The reminiscence of πολυχρύσῳ χλιδῇ in 2 may well be deliberate.
μέν: probably μέν solitarium. Denniston, GP 382, notes a tendency for speeches in early oratory and in drama to open with μέν where there is no antithesis to come. It is less likely that μέν is resumed by μὲν οὖν in 154 and then answered by δέ in 155.
148. χρωτός: objective gen. with στολμόν.
πέπλων: gen. of material; cf. Alc. 216 μέλανα στολμὸν πέπλων.
151. Λακαίνης: Eur. keeps reminding us of the Spartan nationality of Hermione and Menelaus.
152. δωρεῖται: the tense indicates present relationship: M. is the donor; cf. S. Ant. 1174 καὶ τίς φονεύει; 'and who is the slayer?'
153. ἕδνοις: 'dowry'; see on 2 above.
ἐλευθεροστομεῖν: sc. ἐμέ. H. claims that wealth gives her the right to say what she likes.
156–8. These are precisely the accusations mentioned by Andromache in 32–5.
157. ἀνδρί: see on πόσει in 33.
159–60. ἠπειρῶτις … ψυχὴ γυναικῶν: hypallage for ψ.ἠπειρωτιδῶν γυναικῶν; cf. Tro. 1110 πατρῷον θαλάμον ἑστίας. The periphrasis with ψυχή is unusual and has caused suspicion. Since planning and contriving are involved Nauck suggested τέχνη and Schenkel the all-embracing term φύσις. But Dodds perhaps exaggerates a little in saying (The Greeks and the Irrational, p. 139) that before Plato ψυχή is seldom if ever spoken of as the seat of reason. ψυχή is a mind that conceives or apprehends plans in Hdt. 7. 16a. 2 διδάσκειν τὴν ψυχὴν πλέον τι δίζησθαι ἀεὶ ἔχειν τοῦ παρεόντος and probably S. Ph. 1014 ἡ κακὴ σὴ ψυχή 'your evil intelligence' and Tro. 1171 γνούς … σῇ ψυχῇ. See T. B. L. Webster, JHS 77 (1957), 150.*
ἠπειρῶτις: here and in 652 'Asiatic'. Elsewhere this adj. and the noun ἠπειρωτής are used only in the sense 'dwelling on the mainland' in contrast with νησιωτής; but ἤπειρος often means 'continent', e.g. S. Tr. 101 δισσαὶ ἄπειροι, and particularly the continent of Asia, e.g. A. Pers. 718. The most famous example of a sorceress from the East was of course Medea, Pindar's παμφάρμακος ξείνα.
163. δʼ οὖν: Denniston, GP 465 'the speaker hypothetically grants a supposition which he denies, doubts or reprobates'; cf. Hcld. 714 ἢν δʼ οὖν, ὃ μὴ γένοιτο, χρήσωνται τύχῃ and 338 below. In the following lines Hermione dwells with satisfaction on the humiliation she can inflict on Andromache, and Verrall and Norwood (Gk. Trag., p. 226) take it that this and not death is the vengeance she really wants; but the deadly intention in 161–2 is confirmed in 245; see also 806–7.
164. ὀλβίων φρονημάτων: the combination well illustrates the connection of material resources and independence of spirit.
165. πτῆξαι: cf. Xen. Cyr. 3. 1. 26 τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἀνδρὸς εἶναι καὶ εὐτυχοῦντα ἐξυβρίσαι καὶ πταίσαντα ταχὺ πτῆξαι.
166. σαίρειν: cf. Hyps. fr. 1. ii. 15–18 (Bond) πότερα δώματος εἰσόδους σαίρεις ἢ δρόσον ἐπὶ πέδῳ βάλλεις οἷά τε δούλα; Hec. 363.
167. τευχέων is scanned as a disyllabic by synizesis, as in El. 496.
Ἀχελῴου: not of course the real river A. (the modern Aspropotamo), which rises to the West of Phthiotis and flows into the Ionian Sea. Achelous is often used by metonymy for water; cf. Hyps. fr. 753 (where the scene is in Nemea) δείξω μὲν Ἀργείοισιν Ἀχελῴου ῥόον. See Bond's note ad loc. and Dodds on Ba. 625–6, and for the rather lofty expressions for housework cf. Phaethon, fr. 773. 12–14.
168. γνῶναί θʼ ἵνʼ εἶ γῆς: Norwood's suggestion (Gk. Tr., p. 277) that 'the very sound and fall of the words, with the two long monosyllables, can only be described as a verbal box on the ears' is rather fanciful, though it is not disproved by the fact that exactly the same metrical effect occurs, e.g in vv. 62 and 342, where it can have no significance. Hermione is in effect echoing the advice of the Chorus in 136 ff.
τάδε means in effect 'here'. In this idiomatic use it always follows a negative and often, as here, has a sarcastic or contemptuous pg 117connotation; cf. Hom. Od. 1. 226 οὐκ ἔρανος τάδε γʼ ἐστίν; Thuc. 6. 77 οὐκ Ἴωνες τάδε εἰσὶν … ἀλλὰ Δωριῆς ἐλεύθεροι; Cyc. 204; also more generally, e.g. Tro. 99 οὐκέτι Τροία τάδε; Hyps. fr. 1. ii. 9.
169. χρυσός, interrupting the series of proper names, has been suspected, but perhaps needlessly. It goes closely with Πρίαμος, 'Priam and his gold'; cf. Tro. 994 τὴν Φρυγῶν πόλιν | χρυσῷ ῥέουσαν.
170. ἀμαθίας: for the sense 'lack of finer feeling' see Denniston on El. 294–5 and Verrall on Med. 223.
172. αὐθέντου: as Hermione has just said, it is actually the father of Neoptolemus who is αὐθέντης in relation to Hector. J. Helland conjectured αὐθεντῶν, a generalizing plural as in Tro. 660 Ἀχιλλέως με παῖς ἐβουλήθη λαβεῖν | δάμαρτα· δουλεύσω δʼ ἐν αὐθέντων δόμοις. This may be right; cf. 403 below φονεῦσιν Ἕκτορος νυμφεύομαι.
173–6. In reply to Hermione's assertion that among βάρβαροι incest between parents and children and between brother and sister is sanctioned by νόμος, Andromache cannot unfortunately quote Hdt. 1. 135, where, speaking of Persians, he observes ἀπʼ Ἑλλήνων μαθόντες παισὶ μίσγονται. In 3. 31 he refers to the union of Cambyses and his sister but speaks of it as being without precedent among the Persians. The audience would no doubt think of their own times, and apart from Herodotus there are other fifth-century references, though perhaps later than this play, to the current practice of incest in foreign countries. See, with reference to the Magi, Xanthus of Lydia1 (FHG iiic, 765 F 31) Ξάνθος δὲ ἐν τοῖς ἐπιγραφομένοις Μαγικοῖς "μίγνυνται δὲ" φησὶν "οἱ μάγοι μητράσι". (It is uncertain whether the following words καὶ θυγατράσι καὶ ἀδελφαῖς μίγνυσθαι θεμιτὸν εἶναι are to be attributed to the same author.) See also Δισσοὶ Λόγοι (end of fifth cent.) τοὶ δὲ Πέρσαι … καλὸν νομίζοντι καὶ τᾷ θυγατρὶ καὶ τᾷ ματρὶ καὶ τᾷ ἀδελφᾷ συνίμεν (D–K ii. 408).
175–6. οἱ φίλτατοι: the reference is, as often, to those bound by ties of kinship.
διὰ φόνου χωροῦσι: oriental families could not provide better examples than the House of Atreus.
181. The periphrasis with χρῆμα is equivalent to θήλεια φρήν, 'a woman's heart is a jealous thing'. All the MSS. here give ἐπίφθονόν τι χρῆμα θηλειῶν ἔφυ and this was the reading used by the excerptor in the Gnomologium Vatopedianum (CQ n.s. 9 (1959), p. 139). It is in itself satisfactory and is printed by Hermann and Méridier; similar examples, where the MS. reading is not questioned, are Ph. 198 φιλόψογον δὲ χρῆμα θηλειῶν ἔφυ; Andr. 957 σοφόν τι χρῆμα τοῦ διδάξαντος pg 118…; Pl. Theaet. 209 e ἡδὺ χρῆμʼ ἂν εἴη τοῦ καλλίστου … λόγου. In this passage however Σ has for one note the lemma θηλείας φρενός, and this reading is implied in explanations given in other notes; also Stobaeus quotes the line in that form. There appear to be alternative traditions and there is little to choose between them. In any case it is not necessary to emend τι to τοι (Dobree) or to τό (Valckenaer).
We should probably distinguish between three common types of expression illustrating the pleonastic or periphrastic use of χρῆμα: 1. σκαιόν τι χρῆμα πλοῦτος (E. fr. 96, and see 727 below); 2. συὸς μέγιστον χρῆμα (S. fr. 401); 3. σμικρὸν τὸ χρῆμα τοῦ βίου (Supp. 953). The present example, whichever reading is adopted, is a mixture of 1 and 3, and is a compressed form of ἐπίφθονόν τι χρῆμα ⟨ἐστι⟩ τὸ χρῆμα θηλείας φρενός. These idiomatic uses of χρῆμα are practically confined to Euripides in Tragedy, and are common in Comedy and in other colloquial contexts. For further discussion see L. Bergson in Eranos, 65 (1967), 79–115.
184 ff. It is natural that in the last decades of the fifth century the rhetorical techniques which must have become familiar to educated Athenians should be employed, sometimes perhaps instinctively, in the verbal contests in the theatre. This speech of Andromache, like so many law-court speeches, opens with a προοίμιον (184–91) in which the speaker stresses the special disadvantages under which she labours. In 192–204 she employs the argument ἐκ τῶν εἰκότων in a series of rhetorical questions involving reductio ad absurdum and designed to demonstrate that the idea of her being able to supplant Hermione is so absurd that the accusation lacks all probability.
This sort of approach is not strictly appropriate to a discussion between two persons or likely to prove persuasive in those circumstances. Andromache would have been more likely to win over Hermione by talking to her with tact and sympathy than by preaching at her and scoring debating points; but in fact nobody is ever won over in a Euripidean agon of this type, the purpose of which is to enable each character to state his or her case, as much for the benefit of the audience as of anybody else. Perhaps the presence of the Chorus, who listen and comment, though they are not a jury and are generally powerless to intervene, may make the forensic rhetoric seem more plausible. This is different from the quasi-judicial type of agon, where opponents argue before a 'judge', who then delivers his verdict, as in Hec. 1129 ff. (Polymestor v. Hecuba before Agamemnon) and Tro. 895 ff. (Helen v. Hecuba before Menelaus).
184. κακὸν … τὸ νέον: Σ explains διὰ τὴν προπετείαν. The folly and rashness of youth is a commonplace in Tragedy, e.g. Hipp. 118, IA 489, Ion 545.
185. A ὅστις clause is often found in apposition to an abstract noun, e.g. Hel. 271 τοῦτο μεῖζον … κακόν, | ὅστις τὰ μὴ προσόντα κέκτηται κακά. Here, however, the infin. which it replaces (τὸ μὴ δίκαιον εἶναι) would pg 119be parallel to τὸ νέον. Andromache again stresses the youth of Hermione in 192, 238, and esp. 326, where she describes her as ἀντίπαις.
186. τὸ δουλεύειν: an Athenian might think of the παρρησία which a citizen could claim but a slave could not; cf. Ph. 392 δούλου τόδʼ εἶπας, μὴ λέγειν ἅ τις φρονεῖ and Ion 674–5; but in the present context Andromache's apprehension seems rather unreal.
188. κρατήσω: 'if I win', almost as though they were arguing in a court of law.
ὄφλω: here in the general sense to incur or bring upon oneself, but the use of this word, which in its technical sense meant to be the loser in a lawsuit, brings out the irony of the situation in which to 'win her case' will do her harm.
189. πνέοντες μαγέλα: cf. 327 and Ba. 640 κἂν πνέων ἔλθῃ μέγα.
κρείσσους: 'the winning arguments', looks back to κρατήσω.
190. ὕπο can be explained as due to the idea of being worsted implied in κρείσσους, but Hermann's correction ἄπο 'coming from' would be more natural and may be right.
191. ἁλώσομαι:. the regular legal term for being convicted and condemned: 'I shall not let my case go by default'; cf. S. OT 576.
192–204. Rearrangements of these lines to produce a more logical argument, such as those of Bothe and Dobree, are not justified.
192. ἐχεγγύῳ: another legal term. As Jebb notes on OC 284 (though there the sense is different), it generally means 'having a good security (ἐγγύη) to give', and so 'trustworthy'; cf. Med. 387. In Ph. 759 it is connected with ἐγγύησις, formal betrothal.
194. τῶν Φρυγῶν: brachylogy for τῆς τῶν Φ. πόλεως; cf. ἀρσένων in 220. Scaliger's τῆς Φρυγῶν is not necessary.
195. The MS. reading printed in OCT apparently goes back to Σ, who explains τῇ εὐδαιμονίᾳ ὑπερβάλλει ἡ Φρυγῶν πόλις τὴν Λάκαιναν; but this involves a very abrupt and awkward change of subject, made rather worse by the brachylogy in 194. There is also some lack of balance in the sentence, since the comparison of cities has been made in 194 and 195 should deal with comparison of persons.
Dindorf, followed by Hyslop, removes the difficulty by emending 194 to ὡς τῆς Λακαίνης ἡ Φρυγῶν μείζων πόλις, but this is much too drastic a change. Hermann and Paley print τύχη, the reading of B, and supply ἡ ἐμή, an extremely harsh ellipse; σε must also be supplied. Wecklein and Méridier print Lenting's correction τύχῃ θʼ ὑπερθεῖ τἄμʼ ἐλευθέραν θʼ ὁρᾷς. τἄμʼ for κἄμʼ is an easy correction and με can be supplied (from τἀμά), and σε as object of ὑπερθεῖ. The smallest possible change to avoid the main difficulties is however, as Murray suggests, to take ὑπερθεῖ as 2nd pers. sing. passive, perhaps reading ὑπερθέῃ, but the passive is rather odd here and does not lead naturally pg 120to the second half of the line. Possibly ἐλευθέρον, the reading of B, conceals ἐλευθέρων, and if we accept Lenting's τἄμʼ and make the small correction of ὕπερθεν for ὑπερθεῖ, we have τύχῃ θʼ ὕπερθεν τἄμʼ ἐλευθέρων ὁρᾷς; Andromache then asks in bitter irony, 'Is Sparta less than Troy, and do you regard me, a slave, as superior in fortune to those that are free (i.e. yourself)?' Once τἄμʼ had become κἄμʼ the other changes might easily follow. For τἀμά equivalent to ἐμέ cf. 235.
197 πόλεως: many editors accept Brunck's πλούτου, but there is no variant reading, and perhaps μεγέθει goes better with πόλεως.
199–202. The reductio ad absurdum is rather less convincing here, since the birth of other male children to Andromache by Neoptolemus would tend to strengthen her position, and δούλους is a rhetorical exaggeration: the children of Neoptolemus by a concubine would not actually have been slaves in Homeric society (or in the Athens of Euripides). In 942 Hermione describes the children of Andromache as ἡμιδούλους and νοθαγενεῖς. As νόθοι their status would normally be inferior to γνήσιοι, but for exceptions see Od. 14. 202; Il. 8. 284 and 2. 727. In 1246 it is implied that Andromache's son will become a king and founder of a royal line.
200. ἐφολκίδα: the same metaphor is used twice in HF 631, 1424.
201. τις here as often means something like 'public opinion'.
203–4. All editors except Murray and Méridier follow Σ in taking these lines as ironical statements, but it is better to regard them as continuing the series of rhetorical questions from 195 onwards.
204. ἀμαυρός in Tragedy means 'dim, obscure' or 'weak' or perhaps sometimes both; here the first sense predominates; cf. Wilamowitz on HF 124.
ἦ: it is probably better to keep the MS. reading ἧ; see on 59.
206. The regular use of εἰ instead of ὅτι after verbs expressing emotion does not give a hypothetical flavour to the following clause. Andromache gives specific instances in 209–12.
207. φίλτρον: Bornmann compares Menander, fr. 571 K.ἕν ἐστʼ ἀληθὲς φίλτρον, εὐγνώμων τρόπος, | τούτῳ κατακρατεῖν ἀνδρὸς εἴωθεν γυνή. See also on 540.
τόδε: i.e. wifely virtue rather than beauty; cf. fr. 909 οὐδεμίαν ὤνησε κάλλος εἰς πόσιν ξυνάορον | ἁρετὴ δʼ ὤνησε πολλάς.
208. ἁρεταί: the proper qualities in a wife. Σ explains ἀρετὴ δὲ γυναικὸς ἡ πρὸς τὸν ἄνδρα ὁμόνοια. Cf. 213–14 and El. 1052 γυναῖκα γὰρ χρὴ πάντα συγχωρεῖν πόσει.
209. κνισθῇς: cf. Med. 568 εἴ σε μὴ κνίζοι λέχος.
209–12. From ἡ Λάκαινα to Ἀχιλλέως (212) A. is describing the line of argument which she believes H. to adopt when irritated by her husband.
210. Σκῦρον: see on νησιώτῃ in 14 above.
οὐδαμοῦ: cf. S. Ant. 183 τοῦτον οὐδαμοῦ λέγω; E. HF 841; IA 954; Xen. Mem. 1. 2. 52 μηδαμοῦ τοὺς ἄλλους εἶναι πρὸς ἑαυτόν.
211. οὐ πλουτοῦσι: virtually a compound, equivalent to πένησι. The negative would in any case be οὐ since the reference is to specific persons, i.e. Neoptolemus and his family.
σοι: 'in your eyes'.
212. ταῦτα: adverbial 'for this reason'; cf. Hec. 13–14 ὃ καί με γῆς | ὑπεξέπεμψεν; Ar. Nub. 320 ταῦτʼ ἄρʼ … ἡ ψυχή μου πεπότηται: 'So that's why …'
215. χιόνι: Thrace conventionally suggested snow; cf. Hec. 81 χιονώδη Θρῄκην; Alc. 67; Hor. Carm. 3. 25. 11 'nive candidam Thracen'.
220–1. Difficulties in these lines are hardly sufficient to justify their deletion.
220. αἰσχρόν γε: this is certainly abrupt, and must presumably refer not to the hypothetical situation in the previous sentence (which would require an ellipse of ἂν ἦν) but rather to the whole behaviour of Hermione implied in the previous lines.
καίτοι: Murray's ἐπεὶ κεἰ is presumably intended to give a more logical connection of thought, but no change is needed. καίτοι is used in self-correction and also, as Σ observes, in anticipation of objections by Hermione, and the sequence of thought is: 'disgraceful indeed; though admittedly women are more afflicted in this way than men—but this is no excuse for Hermione, for women do or should conceal their passion.' For other examples where a modification introduced by καίτοι is then countered by the stronger adversative ἀλλά see GP 557–8.
221. προύστημεν: gnomic aorist. Σ rightly paraphrases καλῶς περιστέλλομεν αὐτὰ καὶ οὐ φανεραὶ γιγνόμεθα. 'We stand in front of, we conceal our weakness'; cf. 955 χρεὼν | κοσμεῖν γυναῖκας τὰς γυναικείας νόσους. For the sense of προστῆναι see Jebb on S. El. 980. Hermann corrected to προσταῖμεν, a wish, on the ground that as a statement it is false; but the reproach against Hermione is that women in general are assumed to do this, whereas she does not. Wecklein compares Nonnus, Dionys. 42. 209 πᾶσα γυνὴ ποθέει πλέον ἀνέρος αἰδομένη δὲ | κεύθει κέντρον ἔρωτος. Teiresias put it differently when, giving Zeus and Hera the benefit of his unique experience as man and woman, he pronounced that women have nine times as much pleasure as men from sexual intercourse (Pfeiffer on Call. fr. 576; I owe the ref. to H. Lloyd-Jones).
223. ξυνήρων: not quite, with Paley, 'I loved those whom you loved', but 'I helped you in these affairs'; so Méridier 'j'allais jusqu'à m'associer à tes amours'. This slightly extended sense of ξυνερᾶν seems possible, and Reiske's ξυνῆρον is not necessary.
224–5. μαστὸν … ἐπέσχον: perhaps suggested by Il. 5. 70 where Theano is said to have reared a bastard son of her husband Antenor χαριζομένη πόσεϊ ᾧ. Extant early Epic has no mention of νόθοι of Hector, but the existence of Ἑκτορίδαι is referred to by Hellanicus of Lesbos pg 122(Jacoby, fr. 31 = D. Hal. AR 1. 47) and may therefore have been known to Euripides.
225. ἐνδοίην: 'show, betray' suits the context better than 'cause'; cf. Hel. 508 ἢν δʼ ἐνδίδῳ τι μαλθακόν 'betray any weakness'; Ar. Pl. 988; Hdt. 7. 52. σοι is then dat. of person concerned and πικρόν has the sense 'bitterness', 'anger', for which see S. Ant. 423 with Jebb's note.
227. A striking example of hyperbole.
229. φιλανδρία: LSJ give 'love for a husband', or, in this passage, 'wifely jealousy' as the only meaning in the classical period, the bad sense 'love of male sex' being only found in late Greek. The former sense is appropriate for Hermione in this context, but not for her mother, Helen. Probably both meanings were possible at this period, and Andromache is taking advantage of an ambiguity inherent in the word. Certainly φίλανδρος, which has the sense 'loving one's husband' in Luc. Halc. 8 and often in epitaphs, can also have a bad sense, as in Pl. Smp. 191 e γυναῖκες φίλανδροί τε καὶ μοιχεύτριαι.
230. γάρ, long by position, violates Porson's canon that in the tragic trimeter the final long syllable of a word may not fall in the anceps of the third metron, i.e. before the final cretic. This rule does not apply to a monosyllable unless, like γάρ, it is a postpositive and thus for metrical purposes counts as part of the preceding word. Violations of this canon are so rare, especially after discounting certain apparent exceptions for which there is special justification, that where they occur it is natural to suspect corruption. Hence Elmsley's δέ, which may be right, since δέ where γάρ might be expected is not rare in verse. See GP 169, and for the replacement of δέ by γάρ in MSS. cf. S. fr. 951 with Pearson's note. It is however just possible that in τῶν … μητέρων, where the words run together to form a single phrase, the violation was felt to be less objectionable.
231. τέκνʼ οἷς (τέκνα οἷς MBO), the MS. reading, is unmetrical and most editors print τέκνʼ ὅσοις, the reading of the second hand of L. It has, however, been pointed out by Jackson, Marginalia Scaenica, p. 46, that rearrangement of the words without change will give νοῦς οἷς ἔνεστι χρὴ τρόπους φεύγειν τέκνα.
232–3. These lines, conciliatory but favouring Andromache, balance 181–2.
προσίσταται is printed by most editors except Hermann, but the sense required seems to be 'as far as an easy opportunity offers' so far as she can go without 'losing face'; so Σ ὅσον ἐνδέχεται. For this sense παρίσταται, the reading of P, is better. In Thuc. 4. 133 the MS. reading παρεστηκός ( = πάρον) 'opportunity having been given' should probably be kept, rather than Krüger's παρεσχηκότος.
233. τῇδε: Wecklein's τῆσδε would give a more usual construction, but it is possible for συμβῆναι to govern both τῇδε and λόγοις.
234. σεμνομυθεῖν occurs only here and Hipp. 490 τί σεμνομυθεῖς; οὐ λόγων pg 123εὐσχημόνων | δεῖ σʼ ἀλλὰ τἀνδρός. In both passages the sense is 'indulge in lofty moralizing'.
235. ὡς δή: ironical, as usual. Each woman accuses the other of lack of σωφροσύνη—Hermione because Andromache lies with Neoptolemus, son of her husband's slayer, Andromache because Hermione has no reticence in matters of sex, including her jealousy of Andromache.1
τἀμά: for τὰ ἐμά = ἐγώ (or ἐμέ) cf. 195; Or. 296 ὅταν δὲ τἄμʼ ἀθυμήσαντʼ ἴδῃς; Hel. 1194; Ion 615; Ph. 775; A. fr. 138.
236. λόγοις: presumably her arguments in 170–80.
237. νοῦς: picks up the words of Andromache in 231.
ξυνοικοίη: for the metaphor cf. E. Hipp. 162; Xen. Smp. 8. 24 ὁ σύνοικος ἐμοὶ ἔρως, and (with the person as subject) E. Hcld. 996 μὴ συνοικοίην φόβῳ.
239. δρᾷς: H. still maintains her accusations of witchcraft against Andromache.
δύνῃ: the normal Attic form is the uncontracted δύνασαι. The contracted form δύνᾳ is the MS. reading in S. Phil. 849 (lyr.) and Theocr. 10. 2. In this passage and in Hec. 253 and S. Phil. 798 all MSS. give δύνῃ, but some editors accept Porson's δύνᾳ in all three passages, assuming that this Ionicism is due to copyists. There are, however, other Ionicisms in Eur. in form and vocabulary, and it is not certain that correction is necessary. An exactly parallel form ἐπίστῃ is found in Theogn. 1085, but ἐπίστᾳ in Pind. and Aesch. See KB ii. 68 Anm. 4; Schwyzer, 1. 2. 668; Rutherford, New Phryn. 463–5; Björck, Das Alpha Impurum, p. 150 (but δύνῃ in Ar. Eq. 491 is subj.).
240. οὐκ αὖ σιωπῇ …; αὖ is used elliptically, as Hermann pointed out: 'you're at it again! keep quiet, can't you?' Cf. Pl. Euthyd. 296 a οὐκ αὖ, ἔφη, παύσῃ παραφθεγγόμενος;
241. τί δʼ; 'What!', expressing astonishment; for this common elliptic use see GP 175 iv (a).
πρῶτα: Hermione means first in importance and therefore a natural subject for discussion, but Andromache in her reply takes it to mean the greatest good.
242. [ναί]: here ναί is found in MSS. other than P and in 586 it is the reading of all MSS.; editors are not justified in omitting or bracketing it. For ναί extra metrum cf. S. Tr. 425; IT 742; Hel. 99; Cyc. 147. The sense is certainly complete without it, but redundant ναί is similarly used in assent followed by qualification in S. Tr. 425 ναί, κλύειν γʼ ἔφασκον. ταὐτὸ δʼ οὐχὶ γίγνεται …, and this is a common use in Platonic pg 124dialogue, e.g. R. 415 e Ναί, ἦν δʼ ἐγώ, στρατιωτικάς γε, ἀλλʼ οὐ χρηματιστικάς. For redundant ναί see also Alc. 1119 and Hdt. 1. 159. 4.
245. σοφὴ σοφή: cf. Ba. 655 σοφὸς σοφὸς σύ. In each passage it is the retort of someone who is worsted in argument: 'very clever, but …'
248. A combination of 'Helen, not I' and 'not I, but your mother'.
249. ἦ … γάρ: introduces a surprised question, as in S. Ant. 44 ἦ γὰρ νοεῖς θάπτειν σφε; καί intensifies πρόσω.
250. ἰδού (with this accent)1 is the regular conversational idiom to indicate compliance with a request made or (as here) implied; cf. 411. There are 43 examples in Aristophanes, 20 in Euripides and 3 in Sophocles. καὶ δή with the same sense, found in Aeschylus and Sophocles and more rarely in Euripides, was perhaps felt to be less colloquial.
251. ἐκεῖνο must refer forward to the question in 253. It can hardly, as Paley supposes, refer to a question τί με ἀπωθεῖς γνησίων νυμφευμάτων, which he infers from 193. On that topic Hermione launched a series of threats and accusations but asked no questions.
ἐστάλην: AV give the variant ἱκάνω, with some other changes. There is little reason for a gloss on ἐστάλην, and it is odd that in Med. 668 LP give the same variant (ἱκάνεις for ἐστάλης), though in that passage the sense requires a past tense.
εἵνεκʼ: I should prefer (with Méridier) to accept οὕνεκʼ, the reading of most MSS. (see app. crit.). ἕνεκα and the Attic by-form οὕνεκα coexist in the fifth century; οὕνεκα is, mainly for metrical reasons, the dominant form in MSS. of dramatists, but disappears before the end of the fourth century, only ἕνεκα being found in New Comedy. The metrically equivalent Epic–Ionic εἵνεκα also occurs in MSS. of dramatists as a variant of οὕνεκα or more rarely instead of it; but compared with οὕνεκα it is rare and likely to be a corruption, since οὕνεκα soon disappeared whereas εἵνεκα was known in late Greek and might easily replace the true form in some passages. See Di Benedetto on Or. 611, Barrett on Hipp. 456, Platnauer on Ar. Pax 203 (where he notes that in the Laurentian MS. of Sophocles οὕνεκα alone is found, never εἵνεκα). See also Wackernagel, KZ 28 (1887), 109 ff. (= Kl. Schr. 591 ff.).
252. Not a reply to 251, but to preserve the flow of stichomythia λέγω mockingly picks up λέξον and introduces a line of general invective. For the sense cf. Hipp. 105 νοῦν ἔχων ὅσον σε δεῖ; perhaps this had pg 125become a stereotyped expression, οἷον, conjectured by Nauck here and by Wakefield in Hipp. 105, is shown to be wrong in Barrett's note ad loc.
254. εἰ μὴ θανοῦμαι: 'if I am not to die', i.e. 'provided that I have assurance of safety'. It appears from 256 that the assurance she has in mind is the return of Neoptolemus, whom she seems to trust.
εἰ δὲ μή: 'otherwise', often used after a negative.
255. ὡς τοῦτʼ ἄραρε: the same phrase occurs in a somewhat similar context in Med. 322. For the elliptical use of ὡς 'be sure that' cf. 587, 923; Hec. 346, 400, et al. It is not found in Aesch., rarely in Soph. but fairly often in Eur. and Comedy, and may be colloquial.
256. ἀλλʼ οὐδʼ … μήν: 'nor will I surrender …' The same particles are used to introduce a counter-resolve in Hec. 401; cf. GP 345 (ii).
ἐκδώσω: ἐκδίδωμι is the vox propria for surrender to a superior right or to overmastering force; cf. Held. 97, 319, 442; Dem. 21. 30.
με for ἐμαυτόν, as often; cf. 553; Hel. 842 σε κτανὼν ἐμὲ κτενῶ; Hipp. 1409; IA 677.
257–60. Suppliants could eventually, without sacrilege, be forced by starvation to leave sanctuary; a threat of burning would produce quicker results, as it does in HF 240–4, but if carried out might presumably incur divine displeasure; certainly to kill or wound a suppliant at the altar would be gross sacrilege. Thus in 258 Andromache only says that the gods will take note of the threat of burning, but in 260 warns Hermione that if she sheds blood the goddess will punish her. There is in fact no need for either of these threats, since H. knows (264) that she has other means of causing A. to leave sanctuary. Perhaps we should take it that throughout the stichomythia Andromache, in spite of all, maintains an attitude of calm contempt (cf. 238, 248, 252) which goads Hermione to almost hysterical fury. Contrast 163–5, where H. seems less sure that A. must die.
257. τὸ σὸν προσκέψομαι: it is not necessary to assume, with Murray, that the sense is incomplete: the phrase may well be complete in itself with the sense 'I will show no consideration for you'; cf. Med. 460 τὸ σὸν … προσκοπούμενος.
258. δʼ οὖν: 'burn away then'. For this 'permissive' use see GP 466 (4).
259. ἀλγηδόνας is governed by προσοίσω in 257.
261. θρέμμα is not in itself abusive: in S. Ph. 243 and OT 1143 it means foster child (τρέφω); but it is often used with an abusive epithet, e.g. S. El. 622 ὦ θρέμμʼ ἀναιδές 'shameless creature'; A. Sept. 181.
θράσος: abstract for concrete. This is the only example of θράσος so used, but cf. ὦ μῖσος Med. 1323; IT 525; Hcld. 52, 941. In general this use of abstract nouns is common in Eur., e.g. Or. 477 κήδευμα, 480 στύγημα; Tro. 1104 λάτρευμα; Ph. 1492 ἁγεμόνευμα; see 446 and 1273 below.
262. ἐγκαρτερεῖς: this verb governs an accusative only here and in the pg 126same phrase in HF 1351, the sense being 'face death with resolution'. Hermione, infuriated by failure to break Andromache's spirit, boasts that she will first be removed from sanctuary and so deprived of the consolation that her death will bring divine anger upon the slayers.
263. ἕκουσαν: i.e. without using physical force.
264. ἀλλὰ γάρ: used in breaking off a train of thought; see GP 103. 2 (ii).
λόγους κρύψω: rather an odd phrase for 'I will say no more.'
265. τό δʼ … σημανεῖ: 'the facts will speak for themselves', 'you'll soon see'. Cf. Ph. 623 αὐτὸ σημανεῖ; Ba. 976 τἆλλα δʼ αὐτὸ σημανεῖ; S. fr. 388 τάχʼ αὐτὸ δείξει τοὔργον (Hel. 151 πλοῦς αὐτὸς σημανεῖ is rather different). These phrases, probably colloquial in tone, are variants on the regular expression αὐτὸ δείξει, as in Ar. Lys. 375; Pl. Hipp. Mai. 288 b, where the scholiast comments: παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν ἀπιστούντων τι μὴ γενέσθαι.
266. ἔχοι: many editors print the MS. reading ἔχει, but the optative is normal in a hypothesis of this kind, and Murray rightly prints Bruhn's correction (already tentatively suggested by Hermann).
267. τηκτὸς μόλυβδος: the expression was probably suggested to Eur. by the use of melted lead to fix a statue to its base. Cf. Ar. Ec. 1109 εἶτα τὼ πόδε μολυβδοχοήσαντες κύκλῳ περὶ τὰ σφυρὰ ἄνω ʼπιθεῖναι.
268. With this threat Hermione goes back into the house. This has been disputed. Garzya in Dioniso, xv (1952), 136 thinks it possible that Hermione is present during the first stasimon and the following scene (309–463), but this is unlikely. Andromache naturally does not leave her sanctuary, and in other plays there are examples of a silent figure in the background while the Chorus sing an ode (e.g. Creon in S. Ant. 582 ff. and perhaps 781 ff.); but the presence of Hermione in addition has no special justification. In the following scene she does not speak and is never addressed, but is ten times referred to in the third person and discussed in 344–8. The only passage in the text that could be construed as evidence on the other side is 459–60, and this does not necessarily imply the presence of Hermione.
269. δεινὸν δʼ …: the form of the sentence recalls a type familiar in Attic oratory—πῶς οὐ δεινὸν εἰ … followed by μέν and δέ clauses.
270. θεῶν τινα: the chief patron deity of the art of healing was Apollo.
271. ὅ: the MS. reading ἅ is not impossible; for a similar plural where the singular might be expected cf. Ion. 731 ἃ μὴ γένοιτο δʼ, εἴ τι τυγχάνοι κακόν …, where Stephanus would emend to ὅ. See A. Braunlich in AJP 83 (1962), 395, though some other examples there adduced do not seem to me to be strictly parallel. (Garzya would keep ἅ as nom. sing. fem., but this form is unlikely in iambic dialogue.)
ἐχίδνης καὶ πυρός: elsewhere ἔχιδνα, like viper and snake, is generally used of domestic treachery, as in A. Cho. 249, 992 (Clytemnestra); S. Ant. 531 (Creon on Ismene); Ion 1262 (Ion on Creusa). Here the pg 127reference is rather to the venomous nature of Hermione; cf. Alc. 310 μητρυιὰ … ἐχίδνης οὐδὲν ἠπιωτέρα. For πυρός cf. fr. 429 ἀντὶ πυρὸς γὰρ ἄλλο πῦρ | μεῖζον ἐβλάστομεν γυναῖκες πολὺ δυσμαχώτερον.
For similar judgements on the female sex see 353; Med. 265; Ion 843; fr. 276. It was no doubt such passages as these that helped to establish the notion of Eur. as a misogynist.