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Oedipus
Stranger, hearing from this maiden, who has sight both for herself and for me, [35] that you have arrived as a scout of good fortune for the solving of our doubts—

Enter a stranger, a man of Colonus.

Stranger
Now, before you question me at length, leave this seat. You occupy ground which is unholy to tread upon.

Oedipus
And what is this ground? To which of the gods is it sacred?

Stranger
Ground inviolable, on which no one may dwell. The dread [40] goddesses hold it, the daughters of Earth and Darkness.

Oedipus
Who are they? Whose awful name might I hear and invoke in prayer?

Stranger
The all-seeing Eumenides the people here would call them: but other names please elsewhere.

Oedipus
Then graciously may they receive their suppliant! [45] Nevermore will I depart from my seat in this land.

Stranger
What does this mean?

Oedipus
The watchword of my fate.

Stranger
I dare not remove you without warrant from the city, until I report what I am doing.

Oedipus
Now by the gods, stranger, do not deny me, hapless wanderer as you see, [50] the honor of the knowledge for which I beg you.

Stranger
Tell me, and you will not be without honor from me.

Oedipus
What, then, is the place that we have entered?

Stranger
All that I myself know, you will hear and learn. This whole place is sacred; [55] august Poseidon holds it, and in it lives the fire-bearing god, the Titan Prometheus. But as for the spot on which you tread, it is called the bronze threshold of this land, the support of Athens. And the neighboring fields claim Colonus, the horse-rider, for their ancient ruler; [60] and all the people bear his name in common as their own. Such, you see, stranger, are these haunts. They receive their honor not through story, but rather through our living with them.

Oedipus
Are there indeed dwellers in this region?

Stranger
[65] Yes indeed, the namesakes of that god there [Colonus].

Oedipus
Have they a king? Or does speaking [in assembly] rest with the masses?

Stranger
These parts are ruled by the king in the city.

Oedipus
And who is he that is sovereign in counsel and in might?

Stranger
Theseus he is called, son of Aegeus who was before him.

Oedipus
[70] Could a messenger go to him from among you?

Stranger
With what aim? To speak, or to prepare his coming?

Oedipus
So that by a small service he may find a great gain.

Stranger
And what help can come from one who cannot see?

Oedipus
In all that I speak there will be vision.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (6):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1014
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 36
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 49
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 1123
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 988
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 1293
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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