Methodological Reflections on the Text and Action of Sophocles’ Tereus (S. Fr. 583 + POxy. 5292)


POxy. 5292, portions of which overlap with S. fr. 583, offers precious new information about Sophocles’ fragmentary Tereus. The impli­cations of the papyrus for our understanding of this tragedy have recently been considered at length by Patrick Finglass. Finglass’ larger interests have to do with matters of methodology, although he is rarely explicit about his own working methods or what he believes can be learned from consideration of earlier scholarly conjectures about the Tereus — many of them now seemingly proven false. This article considers Finglass’ handling of the papyrus with an eye to a number of simultaneously practical and theoretical questions about problems posed by literary fragments generally.