Sophocles, Fragments of Known Plays

LCL 483: 196-197

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cates that the play was produced as early as the sixties of the fifth century; see Snell, TrGF I DID C 6.

On the legend, see M. D. Reeve, Acta Academiae Hungaricae 37 (1996–7), 245–58.


According to Proclus’ summary of the Little Iliad (Davies, Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, p. 52) Odysseus made his way secretly into Troy, was recognised by Helen and “made an agreement with her about the taking of the city”, and finally after killing some Trojans returned to the ships. Later he went there again with Diomedes to steal the Palladium, the image of Athena which the Greeks had to get possession of if they were to take the city.


στενὴν δ᾿ ἔδυμεν ψαλίδα κοὐκ ἀβόρβορον

Pollux, Vocabulary 9, 49 (2, 160, 1 Bethe)

ἀβόρβορον Blomfield: ἀβάρβαρον codd.


θεοὶ γὰρ οὔποτ᾿, εἴ τι χρὴ βροτὸν λέγειν, ἄρξασι Φρυξὶ τὴν κατ᾿ Ἀργείους ὕβριν ξυναινέσονται ταῦτα· μὴ μάχου βίᾳ

Priscian, Institutions 18, 197 (2, 302, 13 Hertz)

3 colon placed before ταῦτα by Madvig

Fragments of Known Plays

The Laconian Women

Fr. 367 clearly refers to the story mentioned by Servius on Virgil, Aeneid 2, 166 that Odysseus and Diomedes got out of Troy by way of a sewer; and fr. 368 is thought to come from a speech made by one of the pair to Theano, the priestess of Athena, to persuade her to hand over the statue. The Laconian women of the title must have been attendants who had accompanied Helen to Troy from Sparta. See fr. 799.


And we entered a narrow sewer, not free of mud.


For the gods will never approve this, if a mortal may pronounce a word, when the Phrygians have begun it with outrage against the Argives. Use no force to fight against it!

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sophocles-fragments_known_plays.1996