Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge

By Charles Segal | Go to book overview

A NOTE ON REFERENCES
AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
(FROM THE FIRST EDITION)

The Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles is also called Oedipus the King and Oedipus Rex. As the Greek word tyrannos does not correspond exactly either to English “king” or Latin rex, I keep the Greek title. I refer to passages in the Greek plays by the line numbers of the Greek text, which are standardized in all modern editions. Of the two most widely used translations of Oedipus Tyrannus, David Grene in the University of Chicago series, The Complete Greek Drama, closely follows the line numbers of the Greek, and these are printed in the margin of his translation. Robert Fagles in the Penguin edition gives the original line numbers at the top of each page (his line numbers in the margin refer to his translation only).

I generally quote from the translations of Fagles or Grene, but in many cases I have made my own translation to bring out specific nuances in the Greek original, and in these cases no translator is indicated in the text. I cite other Greek authors according to the numeration of the Oxford Classical Texts, which English translations frequently indicate. I have used recent and available translations, as indicated in the text, but here too I have sometimes made my own. In some cases, as I note in the text, I have slightly modified existing translations to bring out aspects of the original. References to works cited in the Notes by author and short title may be found in the Selected Bibliography at the end of the volume. “Oedipus,” unless otherwise noted, refers to the Oedipus Tyrannus. I refer to the Oedipus at Colonus sometimes as Oedipus Coloneus or simply as Coloneus.

I have profited greatly from the commentaries and the abundant scholarly literature on the play and the myth; and, even though I do not always agree, I am deeply indebted to the scholarly labors of Dawe, Edmunds, Jebb, Knox, Lattimore, Lloyd-Jones, Reinhardt, Moret, Vernant, and Winnington-Ingram, to mention only a few. Limitations of space do not permit me to acknowledge the many places in which I draw on previous scholarship or to discuss controversies or differences of interpretation.

I have concentrated on those aspects of the play that seem to me most mean-

-vii-

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