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The downfall of Croesus and Oedipus: Tracing affinities between Herodotus’ Histories and Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus

journal contribution
posted on 20.09.2021, 14:33 by Jan Haywood, Doris Post
In this paper, we compare the downfall of Herodotus’ Croesus and Sophocles’ Oedipus against four central themes: ignorance and learning too late, misplaced hope, mutability of fortune, and fate and responsibility. This reveals striking affinities between the two texts, especially in the conception of happiness and the working of divine and human causation. Secondly, it shows how Herodotus and Sophocles engage their audiences by employing similar narrative techniques, notably through the use of different focalisations. Finally, it demonstrates that many of the features highlighted in Aristotle’s Poetics for the finest tragedy not only apply to Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus but also to the Croesus logos.

History

Citation

Classical World (In press)

Author affiliation

School of Archaeology and Ancient History

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Classical World

Publisher

Johns Hopkins University Press

issn

0009-8418

Acceptance date

11/01/2021

Publisher DOI

Language

en