C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Yet another place where “there is no need to obilize” .
οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἀμφὶ σώμασιν πεπτωκότες
ἀνδρῶν κασιγνήτων τε, καὶ † φυταλμίων
παῖδες γερόντων, † οὐκέτ' ἐξ ἐλευθέρου
δέρης ἀποιμώζουσι φιλτάτων μόρον·
a prose description might go something like this: The ground is littered with bodies of fallen Trojans after the destruction of the city. Those of the defeated who are still living and now enslaved, cry out over their dead brothers, parents, grandparents and bemoan the fate of their beloved. Certain details are ambiguous. Who is dead and who is bemoaning whom? What other difficulties do you see here?
 Raeburn-Thomas p. 106, lines 326-9.
Paul Derouda wrote:Of the modern commentators, only Denniston-Page seems to have a problem with this. Raeburn-Thomas, West, Fraenkel and Sommerstein are not obelizing. I guess the problems that have been seen are at least 1) the exact meaning of φυταλμίων (apparently "progenitor"), 2) which παῖδες and why are they lamenting "the old".
According to West, "The answer is that the word [παῖδες] does not here mean 'young children', but 'their children'. ἀνδρῶν implies wives, κασιγνήτων implies sisters or brothers, but γερόντων does not itself imply a family relationship, and this has to be indicated by the addition of φυταλμίων and παῖδες."
Some commentators appear to have found it incredible that children should mourn their fathers or grandfathers, because everybody knows that the old bury the young in a war. But probably the point is that as the Trojan war was an extraordinary war, thus even the old were exterminated; just think about what happened to Priam.
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