December 18th, 2004

Oedipus Whatever

My daughter is downstairs reading Oedipus Rex. That's the Latin name of the play, with Rex meaning king. But in transliterated Greek the name of the play is Oedipos Tyrannos, with Tyrannos meaning tyrant. So is he a king or a tyrant, and why do the Greeks and Romans disagree about this?

By means of sex and strife,
Oedipus wrecks his life.

Update: Despite my confusion about this "last name," I do know what his "first name" means. Oedipus means swollen foot, where Oidus means swollen and Pous means foot. At least, that's what they say at: