previous next


Few problems of Greek Tragedy have been more discussed than the question whether these vv., or some of them, are spurious. Arist. ( Arist. Rhet. 3. 16§ 9) quotes vv. 911, 912, and certainly had the whole passage in his text of The Soph. interpolation, then, if such it be, must have been made soon after the poet's death; and has been imputed to his son Iophon (“ ψυχρός”), or some other sorry poet; or to the actors. I confess that, after long thought, I cannot bring myself to believe that Soph. wrote 905—912: with which 904 and 913—920 are in organic unity, and must now stand or fall. Some remarks will be found in the Appendix.

The main points (to my mind) are briefly these. (1) The general validity of the divine law, as asserted in 450— 460, cannot be intelligibly reconciled with the limitation in vv. 905—907. (2) A still further limitation is involved in 911 f. She has buried her brother, not simply as such, but because, while he lived, he was an irreplaceable relative. Could she have hoped for the birth of another brother, she would not, then, have felt the duty to be so binding. (3) The composition of vv. 909—912 is unworthy of Sophocles.

'τίμησα (cp. “'φάνη”, 457 n.), with εὖ (last word of v., as O. C. 642), I honoured thee rightly, τοῖς φρονοῦσιν, in the judgment of the wise; ethic dat. (25 n.): cp. 514.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Aristotle, Rhetoric, 3.16
    • Homer, Odyssey, 24.912
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 514
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 642
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: