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Headword: Οἴμοι
Adler number: omicroniota,101
Translated headword: alas; woe is me
Vetting Status: high
[An adverb] expressing complaint.
Sophocles [writes]: "[Deianeira:] Alas, what tale have you brought, child? - [Hyllus:] One bound to be fulfilled; for who could undo what has been seen?".[1]
And Aristophanes [writes]: "alas, unlucky man". In respect of those yearning to achieve their freedom; for the Athenians, having previously had a hard time in other sea-battles, won the sea-battle at Arginusae with slaves as their allies; and these they freed. So [Xanthias] is alluding to this in jest: if I had fought in the sea-battle I would have been set free.[2]
"And Euripides from the Bellerophon: 'alas! But why alas? We have suffered the lot of mortals'."[3]
"Alas, it is bad to anger a sick man, but who could endure someone with visions like these?".[4]
Greek Original:
Οἴμοι: σχετλιαστικόν. Σοφοκλῆς: οἴμοι, τίν' ἐξήνεγκας, ὦ τέκνον, λόγον, ὃν οὐχ οἷόν τε μὴ τελεσθῆναι: τὸ γὰρ φανθὲν τίς ἂν δύναιτ' ἀγένητον ποιεῖν; καὶ Ἀριστοφάνης: οἴμοι κακόδαιμον: τί γὰρ ἔγωγ' οὐκ ἐναυμάχουν τῷ προτέρῳ ἔτει. ἐπὶ τῶν ἐλευθερίας τυχεῖν ἐφιεμένων: περὶ γὰρ Ἀργινούσας ἐνίκων ναυμαχίᾳ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι, συμμαχίᾳ τῶν δούλων, προκακωθέντες ἄλλαις ναυμαχίαις: οὕς τινας ἠλευθέρωσαν. πρὸς τοῦτο οὖν φησι χαριεντιζόμενος: εἴπερ ἐνεναυμαχήκειν, κἂν ἀφείμην ἐλεύθερος. καὶ Εὐριπίδης ἐκ τοῦ Βελλεροφόντου: οἴμοι. τί δ' οἴμοι; θνητά τοι πεπόνθαμεν. οἴμοι, τῷ μὲν νοσοῦντι θυμοῦσθαι κακόν. τὸ δ' ὧδ' ὁρᾶν φρονοῦντα, τίς ποτ' ἂν φέροι;
cf. omicroniota 102.
[1] Sophocles, Trachiniae 741-743 (web address 1).
[2] Aristophanes, Frogs 33 (web address 2), with scholion. For Arginusae (406 BCE) cf. alpha 3778.
[3] Diogenes Laertius 4.26, quoting (in the Life of Crantor) Euripides fr.300.
[4] Sophocles, Trachiniae 1231-1232 (where the second word should be τό ). See web address 3.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: biography; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; history; medicine; military affairs; philosophy; tragedy
Translated by: David Whitehead on 15 June 2005@05:22:10.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added links, set status) on 15 June 2005@22:49:58.
David Whitehead (augmented n.2; added note number and other cosmetics) on 16 June 2005@02:54:26.
David Whitehead on 7 August 2013@05:20:29.


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