a1 Balliol College, Oxford
Euripides, Medea 11–13 (Diggle's Oxford text):
12 πολιτν codd. et Σbv; πολίταις (Bgl) V3, sicut coni. Barnes 13 ατ Sakorrphos; ατή codd. et gE et Stob. 4.23.30
In his recent discussion of this passage (CQ 34 , 50–1), Diggle has convincingly argued for πολίταις and ατ, the latter of which he places in his new Oxford text, but recognises that υγ remains highly problematic (51): ‘The truth, I think, is still to seek’. It is to this last difficulty that I should like to suggest a solution.
The problems of υγ are syntactical, as Diggle clearly demonstrates (51): ‘With which verb (νδάνουσα or ίκετο) is υγ to be constructed?’ Of these νδάνουσα is more likely for position, ίκετο for sense; but the former construction produces an obscurity, the latter an unacceptable hyperbaton. Another complicating element is the juxtaposition υγ πολιτν. it is clearly significant, and by its intervention appears to prevent taking υγ as π κοινο with both verbs, the third possible construction.
As a solution I should like to revive a forgotten conjecture of Pierson's, made in his Verisimilia (1752). His υγς πολίταις appears both to solve all the syntactical problems and to give appropriate point to the juxtaposition of ‘exile’ and ‘citizen’. υγάς would then go with νδάνουσα and bear a concessive sense: ‘pleasing, though an exile, the citizens to whose land she came’, a nuance found already in Wecklein's paraphrase of his text υγ πολιτν. ‘Sie gefällt denen, in deren Land sie gekommen ist, obwohl sie die Bürgerschaft als eine fremde, landesflüchtige Person gegenübersteht’. This contrast between citizen and exile and the necessity for the latter to please the former are naturally important themes in the dramatic situation of the Medea — cf. Medea's words at 222 χρ δ ξένον μν κάρτα προσχωρεν πόλει, with Page's note.