previous next


The tenor of this fine passage should be observed.

Oedipus took “ἐν σοί(392) to mean that the welfare of Thebes depended on his presence there. He is thinking of a restoration to his Theban home (395). He asks, therefore, —"Of what use can I be to them if I am left at their doors, and not received within their land?" "They will suffer," she replies, "if your tomb is neglected." Oedipus does not see the force of this answer: he still infers (from θανόντα in 390) that, whatever may be his doom in life, he is at least to be buried at Thebes. "Why, of course they will," he replies (403). "So" — pursues the daughter (404) — "they mean to keep you within their grasp." A new suspicion flashes on him. "They will bury me at Thebes?" "It cannot be." That is enough. He will never give himself into their hands. — Remark that he was supposing Apollo's former decree (91) to have been cancelled by this later one (389). He now sees that the new oracle does not cancel the former, but merely confirms it in one aspect, viz. in the promise of “ἄτην τοῖς πέμψασιν(93).

θύρασι, foris, as Eur. El. 2074οὐδὲν γὰρ αὐτὴν δεῖ θύρασιν εὐπρεπὲς φαίνειν πρόσωπον” (she ought not to show her beauty abroad), where, as here, Elms. restored it from the MS. θύραισι. Campbell retains the latter. But, while in “θύρασι, θύραζε, θύραθεν, θυραῖος” the notion of "external" is uppermost, the figurative uses of the plural “θύραι” always speak of approaching the house: as “ἐπὶ τὰς θύρας φοιτᾶν, ἐπὶ ταῖς θύραις διατρίβειν, ἐπὶ ταῖς θύραις τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἐσμέν” (Xen. Anab. 6.5.23). So here “θύραισι” would mean, not, “"outside of their doors,"” but “"at their very doors."

κειμένου: schol. “οἰκοῦντος”.

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 (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Sophocles, Electra, 2074
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 404
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 389
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 390
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 392
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 395
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 403
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 91
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 93
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 6.5.23
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: