The Fragments of Euripides’ Oedipus Once Again: Neglected Evidence and Lessons Learned


Taking its cue from two recent articles on Euripides’ Oedipus (Liapis 2014, Finglass 2017), this paper addresses neglected evidence on fragments attributed to that play and reconsiders the question of their authenticity. A distinct dichotomy emerges between, on the one hand, fragments transmitted in authors relying on florilegia and, on the other, fragments ultimately deriving from non-florilegic sources. While the latter are above suspicion, there is reason to doubt the authenticity of the former. The paper also argues that there was no cross-pollination between the transmission of the authentic and the spurious Oedipus in antiquity, and that the latter’s readership was limited to milieus with links to rhetoric and education. Finally, the paper offers some general remarks which should be of consequence not only for the fragments of Euripides’ Oedipus, but also for the study of fragmentary Greek tragedies in general.