Classical Quarterly 69 (1):119-125 (2019)

The third stasimon of Oedipus Rex is the climax of the play, separating the conversation with the Corinthian messenger from the interrogation of the shepherd, so crucial for the narrative. Indeed, the question τίς σε, τέκνον, τίς σ’ ἔτικτε, critical for the plot, comes right at the beginning of its antistrophe. Sophocles, however, offers no easy answer to it. Instead, he provides yet another narrative misdirection, one that—for the last time—suggests that the paths of the king of Thebes and of his predecessor may have been divergent: the possibility that Oedipus’ divine ancestry would question the prophecy of Apollo. After enumerating Pan, Hermes and Apollo himself as possible parents, the song also mentions Dionysus and the ‘Heliconian nymphs’. The reference to Helicon has perplexed the readers for many years, since the text seems to focus on Cithaeron as the ‘birthplace’. As a result, editions and translations prefer the conjecture ἑλικωπίδων proposed by U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff in 1879, over Ἑλικωνίδων, the form present in all manuscripts. In this paper I argue that an analysis of our sources for Heliconian cults, an assessment of the performative context, and a close reading of the stasimon and its place in the narrative, all suggest that the manuscript reading should be retained.
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DOI 10.1017/s000983881900051x
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Studies on the Text of Sophocles. [REVIEW]N. G. Wilson & R. D. Dawe - 1976 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 96:171-176.

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