In the history of canonised lyrical texts the few hundred years that passed between the origin of these texts (6th to 5th cent. B.C.) and their getting into the Alexandrian library (3rd cent. B.C.) are veiled in mist. Because of the scarcity of information about the Antiquities this obscurity is unlikely to be dissolved definitively and to general satisfaction. However, the problem can be addressed theoretically, the questions to be answered can be arranged around some focal points, parallelisms can be pointed out, the information available can be gathered and scrutinised and some newly discovered minor details can be added to them. That is how far this paper has purported to go.
The paper reports on the legacy of Gyula Moravcsik, the internationally renowned professor of Byzantine Studies, who died in 1972. The legacy kept by the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has been fully catalogued and is now available to researchers.
Sophocles' Trachiniae - similarly to his Oedipus - is a drama of responsibility and conflict unfolding from the sharp contrast between belief and knowing, appearance and reality. Those having the knowledge and those left without it, however, do not clash on the stage here: in Trachiniae, the conflict takes place between the stage and the auditorium. This is why the two protagonists, Heracles and Deianeira do not appear together, and this is the reason for the seemingly uncoordinated diptych-form of the play. Consequently, it is only the spectators that have certain knowledge - or perhaps not even they? The peculiar, frequently-disputed ending, that is, the incompleteness of the drama, turns suddenly all certainty into uncertainty for them, as well.