Evil Communications

Classical Quarterly 19 (2):92-93 (1925)
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Abstract

Mr. P. H. Ling's suggestion that the famous line θερουσιν θη χρσθ' μιλαι κακα stood at the beginning of a play of Euripides seems to me to lack anything like cogent proof. A gnomic verse of this sort—to take the characteristics of the line in the order given by Mr. Ling—may indeed begin a play, as in the fragment of the Stheneboia which he quotes; but it may also begin a speech, as Hec. 864; or come early in a speech, cf. Heracl. 2; or alone in stichomythia, as Alc. 540; or late in a speech, as Med. 561; or at the end of one, as Supp. 510. In other words, there is no position which it may not have. As to its lack of ‘any particle or conjunction to connect it with what preceded or followed,’ how does Mr. Ling prove that it was not preceded by γιγνσκων τι, cf. Med. 560; or that the previous line did not end in γάρ, like Hec. 551, Supp. 361; or that this line is not the end of a longer sentence, like Alc

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