Sophocles, Fragments of Known Plays

LCL 483: 58-59

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Casaubon’s deduction from fr. 153 that this was a satyr play is surely right; clearly the satyrs aspired to be the lovers of Achilles. Achilles’ father Peleus and his tutor Phoenix were both characters; but we know nothing of the plot. Mount Pelion is a likely haunt of satyrs, and Chiron’s cave there, where Achilles was educated, may have been the scene.

Were there other lovers? Heracles was one in the Her-


τὸ γὰρ νόσημα τοῦτ᾿ ἐφίμερον κακόν· ἔχοιμ᾿ ἂν αὐτὸ μὴ κακῶς ἀπεικάσαι. ὅταν πάγου φανέντος αἰθρίου χεροῖν κρύσταλλον ἁρπάσωσι παῖδες εὐπαγῆ, 5τὰ πρῶτ᾿ ἔχουσιν ἡδονὰς ποταινίους· τέλος δ᾿ ὁ θυμὸς οὔθ᾿ ὅπως ἀφῇ θέλει, οὔτ᾿ ἐν χεροῖν τὸ κτῆμα σύμφορον μένειν. οὕτω δὲ τοὺς ἐρῶντας αὑτὸς ἵμερος δρᾶν καὶ τὸ μὴ δρᾶν πολλάκις προσίεται.

Stobaeus, Anthology 4, 20, 46 (4, 460, 7 Hense)

1 ἐφίμερον Arsenius: ἐφήμερον codd. 3 φανέντος] χυθέντος Blaydes 4 παῖδες εὐπαγῆ Campbell, Nauck: παιδιαισαγῆ cod. S: παιδιαῖς ἄγη MA 6 θυμὸς Dobree: χυμὸς codd.: κρυμὸς Meineke: ‘lac. after χυμὸς?’ Campbell 7 κτῆμα] πῆγμα Gomperz 8 οὕτω δὲ Schneidewin: οὔτε codd. 9 προσίεται Meineke: προ- codd.

Fragments of Known Plays

The Lovers of Achilles

acles of the proto-Cynic Antisthenes, and since Heracles figures in many satyr plays some people have suggested that he was a character in this play. But Antisthenes’ allegorical motive is patent, and he is not a reliable witness. In Aeschylus’ Achillean trilogy Achilles is the ἐραστής of Patroclus; Plato in the Symposium (180A) complains that in Homer Patroclus is the older of the two. Perhaps he figured in the play of Sophocles.


For this disease is an attractive evil; I could make quite a good comparison. When ice appears out of doors, and boys seize it up while it is solid, at first they experience new pleasures. But in the end their pride will not agree to let it go, but their acquisition is not good for them if it stays in their hands. In the same way an identical desire drives lovers to act and not to act.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sophocles-fragments_known_plays.1996