Some shrewd and intelligent man invented fear of the gods for mortals, so the wicked would have something to fear ... concealing the truth with a false account— translated by Gagarin and Woodruff 1995 (Introduction of the text Reason and Religion in Socratic Philosophy, 2000, p. 9)
The authorship of the Sisyphus Fragment remains in question. While most scholars attribute it to Critias, including ancient sources such as Sextus Empiricus, some claim Euripides as the author. We know that Critias earned a reputation for atheism in later antiquity, but that is likely due to his presumed authorship of this fragment.
The Sisyphus fragment is problematic due to its nature as a fragment of a lost Satyr play. Even were the author of the fragment known for certain, its inclusion in a 'tragicomedy' further insulates the sentiment being expressed in the play from any earnest argument the author may or may not be making.
- ND Smith, P Woodruff. Reason and Religion in Socratic Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 2000, ISBN 0195350928.
- JN Bremmer, The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (p. 24, note 24).
- Dihle, Albrecht (1977). "Das Satyrspiel 'Sisyphos'". Hermes 105: 28–42.
- Kahn, Charles (1997). "Greek Religion and Philosophy in the Sisyphus Fragment". Phronesis 42 (3): 247–262.