The question as to the date
Date of the play.
The strategia of Sophocles.
1 The Greek life of Sophocles says that he served as general ‘in the war against the Anaeans’ (“ἀναίους”). Anaea was a place on the mainland, near Prienè. Boeckh supposes that the first expedition was known as ‘the Anaean war,’ and that Sophocles took part in it as well as in the second expedition. To me, I confess, there seems to be far more probability in the simple supposition that “ἀναίους” is a corruption of “σαμίους”.
2 p. 603 E. Miller, Frag. Hist. II. 46.
3 Arguments against the genuineness have been brought, indeed, by Ritter Fr.(Vorgebliche Strategie d. Sophokles gegen Samos: Rhein. Mus., 1843, pp. 187 ff.). (1) Ion represents Sophocles as saying,—“Περικλῆς ποιεῖν με ἔφη, στρατηγεῖν δ᾽ οὐκ ἐπίστασθαι”. Sophocles (Ritter argues) would have said “φησί”, not “ἔφη”, if Pericles had been alive. The forger of the fragment intended it to refer to the revolt of Lesbos in 428 B.C.,—forgetting that Sophocles would then be 78. But we reply:—The tense, “ἔφη”, can obviously refer to the particular occasion on which the remark was made: ‘Pericles said so [when I was appointed, or when we were at Samos together].’ (2) Ion says of Sophocles, “οὐ ῥεκτήριος ἦν”. This (says Ritter) implies that Sophocles was dead; who, however, long survived Ion. [Ion was dead in 421 B.C., Aristoph. Pax 835.] But here, again, the tense merely refers to the time at which the writer received the impression. We could say of a living person, ‘he was an agreeable man’—meaning that we found him so when we met him.
4 See Curtius, Hist. Gr. II. 472 (Eng. tr.).
5 This fragment of Androtion has been preserved by the schol. on Aristeides, vol. 3, p. 485 (Dind.). Müller, Frag. Hist. IV. 645. The names of two of the ten generals are wanting in the printed texts, but have since been restored, from the MS., by Wilamowitz, De Rhesi Scholiis, P. 13 (Greifswald, 1877). I have observed a remarkable fact in regard to Androtion's list, which ought to be mentioned, because it might be urged against the authenticity of the list, though (in my opinion) such an inference from it would be unfair. Androtion gives (1) the names, (2) the demes of the Generals, but not their tribes. The regular order of precedence for the ten Cleisthenean tribes was this:— 1. Erectheis. 2. Aegeis. 3. Pandionis. 4. Leontis. 5. Acamantis. 6. Oeneis. 7. Cecropis. 8. Hippothontis. 9. Aeantis. 10. Antiochis. Now take the demes named by Androtion. His list will be found to follow this order of the ten tribes,— with one exception, and it is in the case of Sophocles. His deme, Colonus, belonged to the Antiochis, and therefore his name ought to have come last. But Androtion puts it second. The explanation is simple. When the ten tribes were increased to twelve, by the addition of the Antigonis and Demetrias (in or about 307 B.C.), some of the demes were transferred from one tribe to another. Among these was the deme of Colonus. It was transferred from the Antiochis, the tenth on the roll, to the Aegeis, the second on the roll. Hence Androtion's order is correct for his own time (c. 280 B.C.), but not correct for 440 B.C. It is quite unnecessary, however, to infer that he invented or doctored the list. It is enough to suppose that he re-adjusted the order, so as to make it consistent in the eyes of his contemporaries.
6 The Argument to this play, and the “Βίος Σοφοκλέους”, have already been cited. See also (1) Strabo 14. p. 638 “Ἀθηναῖοι δὲ...πέμψαντες στρατηγὸν Περικλέα καὶ σὺν αὐτῷ Σοφοκλέα τὸν ποιητὴν κακῶς διέθηκαν ἀπειθοῦντας τοὺς Σαμίους”. (2) Schol. on Aristoph. Pax 696 “λέγεται δὲ ὅτι ἐκ τῆς στρατηγίας τῆς ἐν Σάμῳ ἠγυρίσατο” (“ὁ Σοφοκλῆς”). (3) Suidas s.v. “Μέλητος” [but referring to the Samian “Μέλισσος”: cp. Diog. L. 9. 24] “ὑπὲρ Σαμίων στρατηγήσας ἐναυμάχησε πρὸς Σοφοκλῆν τὸν τραγικόν, ὀλυμπιάδι πδ́” (Ol. 84 = 444-441 B.C.).—The theory that Sophocles the poet was confused with Sophocles son of Sostratides, strategus in 425 B.C. (Thuc. 3.115), is quite incompatible with the ancient evidence.
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