Did Herodotus and Sophocles Take no Notice of Each Other? (To the Evaluation of a Recent Hypothesis)

Surikov Igor E.

There is a common opinion that Sophocles and Herodotus were intimate with each other. Two main arguments are cited: presence of parallel places in both authors, which may be a sign of borrowing, and an epigram by Sophocles mentioning Herodotus (only its beginning is known, preserved in Plutarch’s Moralia). Recently A.A. Sinizin called this common opinion in question. He noted reasonably that some of the parallel passages in Herodotus and Sophocles may well be purely coincidences. However, some other correspondences can by no means be fortuitous. As to the epigram, Sinizin denies Sophocles’ authorship and takes it for a late interpolation. But his arguments for such a crucial thesis are manifestly weak. Therefore, the traditional point of view still stands firm, and we see no forcible ground for an assertion that the dramatist and the historian were not even familiar with each other.

Keywords: Athens, Herodotus, Sophocles, tragedy