Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus

LCL 20: 328-329

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20ἀγοραῖσι θακεῖ, πρός τε Παλλάδος διπλοῖς ναοῖς, ἐπ᾿ Ἰσμηνοῦ τε μαντείᾳ σποδῷ. πόλις γάρ, ὥσπερ καὐτὸς εἰσορᾷς, ἄγαν ἤδη σαλεύει κἀνακουφίσαι κάρα βυθῶν ἔτ᾿ οὐχ οἵα τε φοινίου σάλου, 25φθίνουσα μὲν κάλυξιν ἐγκάρποις χθονός, φθίνουσα δ᾿ ἀγέλαις βουνόμοις, τόκοισί τε ἀγόνοις γυναικῶν· ἐν δ᾿ ὁ πυρφόρος θεὸς σκήψας ἐλαύνει, λοιμὸς ἔχθιστος, πόλιν, ὑφ᾿ οὗ κενοῦται δῶμα Καδμεῖον· μέλας δ᾿ 30Ἅιδης στεναγμοῖς καὶ γόοις πλουτίζεται. θεοῖσι μέν νυν οὐκ ἰσούμενόν σ᾿ ἐγὼ οὐδ᾿ οἵδε παῖδες ἑζόμεσθ᾿ ἐφέστιοι, ἀνδρῶν δὲ πρῶτον ἔν τε συμφοραῖς βίου κρίνοντες ἔν τε δαιμόνων συναλλαγαῖς· 35ὅς γ᾿ ἐξέλυσας ἄστυ Καδμεῖον μολὼν σκληρᾶς ἀοιδοῦ δασμὸν ὃν παρείχομεν, καὶ ταῦθ᾿ ὑφ᾿ ἡμῶν οὐδὲν ἐξειδὼς πλέον οὐδ᾿ ἐκδιδαχθείς, ἀλλὰ προσθήκῃ θεοῦ λέγῃ νομίζῃ θ᾿ ἡμὶν ὀρθῶσαι βίον. 40νῦν δ᾿, ὦ κράτιστον πᾶσιν Οἰδίπου κάρα, ἱκετεύομέν σε πάντες οἵδε πρόστροποι ἀλκήν τιν᾿ εὑρεῖν ἡμίν, εἴτε του θεῶν φήμην ἀκούσας εἴτ᾿ ἀπ᾿ ἀνδρὸς οἶσθά που· ὡς τοῖσιν ἐμπείροισι καὶ τὰς ξυμφορὰς 45ζώσας ὁρῶ μάλιστα τῶν βουλευμάτων. ἴθ᾿, ὦ βροτῶν ἄριστ᾿, ἀνόρθωσον πόλιν· ἴθ᾿, εὐλαβήθηθ᾿· ὡς σὲ νῦν μὲν ἥδε γῆ

  • 21ἐφ’ Ἱσμηνοῦ Dawe dubitanter
  • 31ἰσούμενον] -ος Stanley

Oedipus Tyrannus

other crowd that carries chaplets is seated in the marketplace, near the two temples of Pallas and the prophetic ashes of Ismenus. For the city, as you see yourself, is grievously tossed by storms, and still cannot lift its head from beneath the depths of the killing angry sea. A blight is on the buds that enclose the fruit, a blight is on the flocks of grazing cattle and on the women giving birth, killing their offspring; the fire-bearing god, hateful Pestilence, has swooped upon the city and harries it, emptying the house of Cadmus, and black Hades is a plutocrat in groans and weeping. a

It is not because we rank you with the gods that I and these children are seated at your hearth, but because we judge you to be the first of men, both in the incidents of life and in dealing with the higher powers. For it was you who came to the city of Cadmus and released us from the tribute we were paying, the tribute of the cruel singer; b and that with no special knowledge or instruction from us; no, it is by the extra strength given by a god that you are said and believed to have set right our life.

But now, Oedipus, mightiest man in the sight of all, all we suppliants implore you to find some protection for us, whether your knowledge comes from hearing a message from a god or from a man, perhaps; for I see that the setting together of counsels is most effective for those who have experience. Come, best of living men, raise up the city! Come, take care! For now this land calls you its

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sophocles-oedipus_tyrannus.1994