previous next

What should a mortal man fear, for whom the decrees of Fortune are supreme, and who has clear foresight of nothing? It is best to live at random, as one may. [980] But fear not that you will wed your mother. Many men before now have slept with their mothers in dreams. But he to whom these things are as though nothing bears his life most easily.

All these words of yours would have been well said, [985] were my mother not alive. But as it is, since she lives, I must necessarily fear, though you do speak well.

Your father's death is a great sign for us to take cheer.

Great, I know. But my fear is of her who lives.

And who is the woman about whom you fear?

[990] Merope, old man, the consort of Polybus.

And what is it in her that moves your fear?

A divine oracle of dread import, stranger.

Proper, or improper, for another to know?

Proper, surely. Loxias once said that I was [995] doomed to marry my own mother, and to shed with my own hands my father's blood. For which reasons I long shirked my home in Corinth—with a happy outcome, to be sure, but still it is sweet to see the face of one's parents.

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.

load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb)
load focus Greek (Francis Storr, 1912)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1026
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1153
    • C.E. Graves, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 4, CHAPTER LXII
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: