This volume is designed as a companion volume to the new text of Sophocles. It aims to explain the editors' views about a large number of disputed passages that occur in the plays. A historical survey is followed by discussion and comment arranged play by play according to line number. Until the 15th century texts of the works of ancient Greek and Roman authors had been transmitted from the first papyri by copying; first by scribes for both libraries and for individuals, and then, after the growth of Christianity and the establishment of monastic communitites, by the monks. During this manual transmission, corruption crept into the texts: as well as simple copying errors, misunderstand of the texts led to the copyists substituting more familiar words for the unfamiliar, marginal glossaries originally used to help explain the texts became absorbed into the texts, and sometimes lines or whole sections were omitted or lost.
`the new Oxford text co-edited by Hugh Lloyd-Jones and Nigel Wilson, excites admiration and delight by its comprehensive learning and the sure judgement with which it handles this mass of material ... this is a book which will long be indispensable to scholars who take seriously the pleasure of reading Sophocles.'
Malcolm Heath, Times Literary Supplement
`a commentary on the text that is full of sound judgment and great learning'
Times Literary Supplement (in a review of the collected papers)
'The editors have produced a selective critical commentary of permanent value and a text which will long remain the standard edition of Sophocles.'
Greece and Rome
'The new Oxford Clasical Text (OCT) of Sophocles and its companion volume, Sophoclea (Soph.), make important contributions to scholarship by the editors' handling of traditional scholarly problems, their lively response to recent work, especially that of R. D. Dawe, and their many original suggestions. The two volumes under review mark real progress in the study and understanding of Sophocles. Filled with original ideas and the humane assimilation
of earlier work, they challenge the contemporary scholar to absorb their contributions and to go on, by means of further collations and rethinking, to understand the text of Sophocles, the process of its survival,
and what he might mean to our day.'
E. Christian Kopff, University of Colorado, Boulder, American Journal of Philology 114 (1993)
The editors' approach is remarkably fresh and undogmatic: they often express strong views, but they are open to ideas from a very wide range of sources, and they are not sparing in the credit they give to other scholars... Sophoclea is a thought-provoking collection of notes... in general the point is to elucidate the reasoning that lies behind the editors' choice of reading... The attentive reader will be more impressed by the scholarly strengths
of Sophoclea than troubled by its weaknesses: what matters most is the sense it gives overall of intense engagement with an inexhaustible text.'
P. E. Easterling, University College London, Journal of Hellenic Studies, No 114, 1994