Saturday, May 29, 2021


Time in Its Fullness

Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 930-931 (tr. E.F. Watling):
                      It's evident your lengthening days
Have given you age and robbed you of discretion.

                        καί σ᾽ ὁ πληθύων χρόνος
γέρονθ᾽ ὁμοῦ τίθησι καὶ τοῦ νοῦ κενόν.
J.C. Kamerbeek ad loc.:
ὁ πληθύων χρόνος: 'the increasing time', 'your increasing age'.

τοῦ νοῦ κενόν: 'bereft of your wit', whereas normally wisdom is supposed to be the result of age. The same idea underlies Ant. 281 μὴ 'φευρεθῇς ἄνους τε καὶ γέρων ἅμα, and cf. Eur. Bacch. 251,2 (Pentheus) ἀναίνομαι, πάτερ, / τὸ γῆρας ὑμῶν εἰσορῶν νοῦν οὐκ ἔχον.

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