Seneca the Younger, Oedipus

LCL 78: 18-19

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SENECA

OEDIPUS

oedipus

Iam nocte Titan dubius expulsa redit et nube maestus squalida exoritur iubar, lumenque flamma triste luctifica gerens prospiciet avida peste solatas domos, 5stragemque quam nox fecit ostendet dies. Quisquamne regno gaudet? o fallax bonum, quantum malorum fronte quam blanda tegis! ut alta ventos semper excipiunt iuga rupemque saxis vasta dirimentem freta 10quamvis quieti verberant fluctus maris, imperia sic excelsa Fortunae obiacent. quam bene parentis sceptra Polybi fugeram! curis solutus exul, intrepidus vagans (caelum deosque testor) in regnum incidi. 15infanda timeo, ne mea genitor manu perimatur; hoc me Delphicae laurus monent, aliudque nobis maius indicunt scelus. est maius aliquod patre mactato nefas? pro misera pietas! eloqui fatum pudet: 20thalamos parentis Phoebus et diros toros nato minatur impia incestos face.

  • 2maestus Gronovius: maestum EA
  • 13vagans A: vacans E
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OEDIPUS

OEDIPUS

ACT ONE
oedipus

Now night is driven off, and the Titan returns hesitantly, his rising beams made gloomy by filthy clouds. As his cheerless fire delivers a somber light, he will look forth on homes left desolate by the greedy plague, and day will reveal the havoc that night has wrought.

Does anyone find joy in kingship? So deceptive a good, hiding so many evils behind its seductive appearance! As the high ridges always catch the winds, and as a rocky crag that cleaves the vast deep is battered by waves however calm the sea, so supreme power lies open to Fortune’s blows. How good it was to have fled the scepter of my father Polybus! But while wandering in exile without a care, free of fears, I stumbled accidentally (gods in heaven be my witness) into kingship. What I fear is unspeakable: that I may kill my father with my own hand. The Delphic laurels warn me of this, and decree another, greater crime for me. Is any iniquity greater than a father’s murder? Unhappy ties of kinship! I am ashamed to utter my fate. Phoebus threatens the son with his parent’s bed, a monstrous marriage, an unnatural, incestuous union. This fear

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-oedipus.2018