Sophocles, Fragments of Known Plays

LCL 483: 14-15

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another person, who replies to each of the utterances of Ajax with a negation; this may have come from such an episode.

Fr. 10c shows that Athena actually appeared in person to the Greeks and rebuked them with extreme severity; no doubt she went on to warn them that retribution would follow and that Ajax and many others would pay the penalty of their offence. It seems likely that she spoke towards the end of the play as god from the machine; but it might be argued that her appearance may have come earlier, and that a messenger speech near the end of the play may have described the storm and the end of Ajax.

10a—g Ed. pr. Haslam, P. Oxy. 3151 (Part 44, 1976, 1 f); cf. Haslam, ZPE 22 (1976) 34; Lloyd-Jones, ib. 40; Luppe, Gnomon 49 (1977) 738


(remains of one line)


ποίου Δρύαντος κεῖνος ἐγγό[νοις ξυνὼν Τροίαν ἐπεστράτευσεν, Ὠργεῖοι; τ[ίς ἦν ὃς τἆργα ταῦτα πρὸς θεοὺς ἐμή[σατο; 5μῶν τῶν ἔνερθεν ἐξανέστηκ[εν μυχῶν ὁ βυρσοφώνης Ζηνὶ Σαλμωνε[ὺς πρόμος; τίν[ος ποτ᾿ ἀνδρὸ]ς εἰκάσω τάδ᾿ ἔργ[ματα, ὅστι[ς μ᾿ ὑβρίζων ἐμὸν] ἀκόλλητον βρέ[τας κρηπῖδος ἐξέσ]τρεψεν, ἐκ δὲ φοι[βάδα 10ἔσυρε βωμοῦ παρθέ]νον [θεῶν βίᾳ;

2 Ll.-J. 5-6 Ll.-J. 7 ἔργ[ματα Ll.-J. 9 κρηπῖδος Diggle φοι[βάδα Luppe 10 ἔσυρε Luppe end Ll.-J.

Fragments of Known Plays

But where and to whom could such a speech have been delivered?

There are 77 fragments of the papyrus, but apart from 10c all are very small. In 10e the names of two speakers are plausibly restored as those of Antenor’s son Helicaon and Agamemnon’s herald Talthybius, and 10g 43, 12 appears to mention Cassandra’s suitor Coroebus (perhaps also 10g 37,2). Helicaon’s father is mentioned in fr. 11. But we cannot be sure that all these fragments come from the same play, and since Helicaon may have been a character in the Eurypylus (q.v.) and Coroebus is said to have been killed by Neoptolemus, who certainly figured in that play, some of the fragments may have come from that work. See Tragica Adespota fr. 637.


Descendants of what Dryas were his companions when he launched his expedition against Troy, Argives?a Who was he who performed these actions against the gods? Has Salmoneus, who made himself a voice by means of hides,b risen from the caverns of the underworld to challenge Zeus? What sort of man can I guess was author of these deeds, the man who in his insolence wrenched headlong from its base my image, not fastened there, and dragged the prophetic maiden from the altar in defiance of the gods?

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sophocles-fragments_known_plays.1996