Soph. Ant. 471 and Aeschylus’ Oedipus

The article is dedicated to the interpretation of Soph. Ant. 471–2. The main problems posed by these verses are the meaning of the epithet ὠμός, the ambiguous reference to Oedipus and the comparison of Antigone to him. Basing on lexicological analysis and interpretation of the context, the author rejects the understanding of ὠμός as “savage, uncivilized” which became popular in the last decades. Meanwhile, the author assumes that this extravagant explanation has diagnostic value, and supposes that we cannot fully understand the meaning of these lines, since we do not possess the tragedy they refer to. The author explains these verses as a reference to the lost Aeschylus’ Oedipus. In this case, the ὠμότης of Oedipus referred to consists in his curse on his sons, who, according to the testimonies of Aeschylus’ Septem and the Scholia to Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus, refused to provide proper maintenance for him when he found himself in helpless state in their care. The author prefers this interpretation of Sept. 778–87 to the alternative one, which understands τροφή not as “care, maintenance”, but as “origin”. Refs 47.

Barzakh_Soph. Ant. 471 and Aeschylus’ Oedipus