Sophocles, Fragments of Elegies

LCL 461: 332-333

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fr. eleg. 4 =iF.G.E. Athen. 13. 604d–f (iii 333s. Kaibel)

Ἱερώνυμος δὲ ὁ Ῥόδιος ἐν τοῖς ἱστορικοῖς ὑπομνήμασίν (fr. 35 Wehrli) φησιν ὅτι Σοφοκλῆς εὐπρεπῆ παῖδα ἔξω τείχους ἀπήγαγε χρησόμενος αὐτῷ. ὁ μὲν οὖν παῖς τὸ ἴδιον ἱμάτιον ἐπὶ τῇ πόᾳ ὑπέστρωσεν, τὴν δὲ τοῦ Σοφοκλέους χλανίδα περιεβάλοντο. μετ᾿ οὖν τὴν ὁμιλίαν ὁ παῖς ἁρπάσας τὸ τοῦ Σοφοκλέους χλανίδιον ᾤχετο, καταλιπὼν τῷ Σοφοκλεῖ τὸ παιδικὸν ἱμάτιον. οἷα δὲ εἶκος διαλαληθέντος τοῦ συμβεβηκότος, Εὐριπίδης πυθόμενος καὶ ἐπιτωθάζων τὸ γεγονὸς καὶ αὐτός ποτε ἔφη τούτῳ κεχρῆσθαι τῷ παιδί, ἀλλὰ μηδὲν προεθῆναι (West: προσθεῖναι cod.), τὸν δὲ Σοφοκλέα διὰ τὴν ἀκολασίαν καταφρονηθῆναι. καὶ ὁ Σοφοκλῆς ἀκούσας ἐποίησεν εἰς αὐτὸν τὸ τοιοῦτον ἐπίγραμμα, χρησάμενος τῷ περὶ τοῦ ἡλίου καὶ Βορέου λόγῳ, καί τι πρὸς μοιχείαν αὐτοῦ παραινιττόμενος·

ἥλιος ἦν, οὐ παῖς, Εὐριπίδη, ὅς με χλιαίνων γυμνὸν ἐποίησεν· σοὶ δὲ φιλοῦντι †ἑταίραν† Βορρᾶς ὡμίλησε. σὺ δ᾿ οὐ σοφός, ὃς τὸν Ἔρωτα, ἀλλοτρίαν σπείρων, λωποδύτην ἀπάγεις.

2 τάλαν West

fr. eleg. 5 = ii F.G.E. Plut. an seni sit gerenda resp. 3. 785b (V. i. 26 Hubert)

τουτὶ δὲ ὁμολογουμένως Σοφοκλέους ἐστὶ τὸ ἐπιγραμμάτιον·

ᾠδὴν Ἡροδότῳ τεῦξεν Σοφοκλῆς ἐτέων ὢν πέντ᾿ ἐπὶ πεντήκοντα


fr. eleg. 4 = F.G.E. Athenaeus, Scholars at Dinner

Hieronymus of Rhodes1 says in his Historical Notes that Sophocles took a good-looking boy outside the city wall to have intercourse with him: the boy spread his own cloak on the grass, and they wrapped themselves in Sophocles’ cape. When they had finished, the boy grabbed Sophocles’ cape and went off with it, leaving him his boy’s cloak. As was to be expected, people gossiped about the incident, and when Euripides heard of it he joked about it, saying that he had once had intercourse with this boy but that nothing had been taken off, whereas Sophocles had been treated with contempt because of his licentious behaviour. When Sophocles heard this, he addressed the following epigram to him, using the fable of Helius and Boreas2 and making riddling reference to his adultery:

It was the sun, Euripides, and no boy that made me hot and stripped me, but when you made love, it was Boreas who kept you company; and you are unwise to bring Love to court as a clothes-stealer while you sow another man’s field.

fr. eleg. 5 = ii F.G.E. Plutarch, Should an old man govern?

And this little epigram is universally accepted as the work of Sophocles:

Sophocles fashioned a song for Herodotus1 when he was five and fifty years of age.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sophocles-fragments.1992