Erasmus of Rotterdam, one of the most important intellectual figures of European Renaissance humanism, played a major role in the gathering of knowledge on antiquity that took place at this time. In his “Adagiorum Chiliades” (1508–1536), Erasmus assembled a monumental collection of sayings, proverbs and “gnomai” (the equivalent of Latin “sententiae”) from both the Greek and the Roman worlds, together with a huge number of literary fragments, including fragmentary texts of the Greek tragic dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. This paper aims to evaluate the ecdotic value of Erasmus’ quotations from Sophocles’ “deperditae fabulae”. It does so by examining the features of Sophoclean fragments contained in the final edition of the Adagiorum Chiliades (Basel 1536), and by analysing Erasmus’ textual approach and criticism (if any) with regard to these fragments and their sources.
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