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Citizens, my news might be summed up most briefly thus: Oedipus is dead. [1580] But the story of the happening cannot be told in brief words, as the deeds done there were not brief.

Is he gone, the unfortunate man?

You may be sure that he has left this life.

[1585] How? By a fate divine and painless, the poor man?


In that you touch upon what is indeed worthy of wonder. How he departed from here, you yourself must know since you were here: with no one of his friends as guide, but rather with himself leading the way for us all. [1590] When he had come to the Descending Way, which is bound by steps of bronze to earth's deep roots, he paused at one of the many branching paths near the basin in the rock, where the faithful covenant of Theseus and Peirithous has its memorial. [1595] He stood midway between that basin and the Leaping stone, and between the hollow pear-tree and the marble tomb; then he sat down and loosened his filthy clothing. And then he called his daughters, and asked them to bring water from some flowing source, so that he might wash and make a drink-offering. [1600] They went to the hill which was in view, the hill of Demeter who guards the tender plants, and in a short time brought what their father had commanded. Then they washed him and dressed him, as is the custom. But when all his desire was fulfilled, [1605] and nothing that he required was still undone, then Zeus of the Underworld sent forth his thunder, and the maidens shuddered as they heard. They fell weeping at their father's knees, and did not cease from beating their breast, and from wailing loud. [1610] When he heard their sudden bitter cry, he put his arms around them and said: “My children, on this day your father no longer exists. Now I have perished utterly, and no longer will you bear the burden of tending me, [1615] which was no light one, I well know, my children. Yet just one word turns all those toils to nothing: you have been treated as friends by no one more than by this man; and now you will have me with you no longer, through all your days to come.”

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.1.4
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek, The Article
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