Euripides: Suppliant women 0856687847, 9780856687846

First produced in the 420s BC, Suppliant Women centres around the actions of Theseus, King of Athens, who is persuaded b

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Euripides: Suppliant women
 0856687847, 9780856687846

Table of contents :
General Editor’s Foreword
Editor’s Preface
1. Plot, themes and motifs
2. Politics and character
3a. King Theseus and democratic Athens
3b. Theseus, Herakles and Kimon
4. Athenian funeral encomia and Adrastos’ oration
5. The play’s geography
5a. Eleusis
5b. Thebes
5c. Argos
6. The myth and its reception
7. Date
8. The text and translation
Editorial symbols employed in Greek and translation
Bibliography and Abbreviations for Suppliant Women
Map: The Greece of the play
Suppliant Women
Appendix: The Argive Women and Athenian mourning legislation
General Bibliography for Euripides

Citation preview

A ris & P hillips C lassical


EURIPIDES Suppliant Women

ith Introduction. Translation and Commentary by

James Morwood




EURIPIDES Suppliant Women

with Introduction, Translation and Commentary by

James Morwood


Aris & Phillips Classical Texts are published by Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford 0X1 1HN

© James Morwood, 2007. Greek text reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press from Euripides Fabulae Volume II (1981) edited by James Diggle. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including photocopying without the prior permission of the publishers in writing. ISBN 978-0-85668-779-2 ISBN 978-085668-784-6

0-85668-779-0 cloth 0-85668-784-7 paper

A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library.

The cover illustration is a figure from a kylix o f c.430 BC at Harrow School (1864.52, Gardner Wilkinson Collection). Theseus is portrayed as he is about to kill the sow o f Krommyon (see 3 1 6 19n.). He is in the posture o f Aristogeiton, one o f the tyrannicides (see n.17 in the Introduction). Reproduced from J. Gaunt, Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, Great Britain 21 (Oxford 2005) Plates 2 2 -2 5 (23.1) by kind permission o f the Keepers and Governors o f Harrow School and the British Academy (photograph by Robert L. Wilkins). €) The British Academy 2005.

Printed and bound by the University Press, Cambridge


General Editor’s Foreword Editor’s Preface Introduction 1. 2. 3a. 3b. 4. 5. 5a. 5b. 5c. 6. 7. 8.

Plot, themes and motifs Politics and character King Theseus and democratic Athens Theseus, Herakles and Kimon Athenian funeral encomia and Adrastos’ oration The play’s geography Eleusis Thebes Argos The myth and its reception Date The text and translation

vii ix I I 5 8 11 14 17 17 20 22 23 26 30

Bibliography and Abbreviations for Suppliant Women


Map: The Greece of the play


Suppliant Women




Appendix: The Argive Women and Athenian mourning legislation


General Bibliography for Euripides




GENERAL EDITOR’S FOREWORD Euripides’ remarkable variety of subject, ideas and methods challenges each generation of readers - and audiences - to fresh appraisal and closer definition. This Series of his plays is in the general style of Aris and Phillips’ Classical Texts: it offers university students and, we hope, sixth-formers, as well as teachers of Classics and Classical Civilisation at all levels, new editions which will emphasise analytical and literary appreciation. In each volume there is an editor’s Introduction which sets the play in its original context, discusses its dramatic and poetic resources, and assesses its meaning. The Greek text is faced on the opposite page by a new English translation which attempts to be both accurate and idiomatic, The Commentary, keyed wherever possible to the translation rather than to the Greek, pursues the aims of the Introduction in analysing structure and development, annotating and appreciating poetic style, and explaining the ideas; since the translation itself reveals the editor’s detailed understanding of the Greek, philological comment is confined to special phenomena or problems which affect interpretation. These are guidelines within which individual contributors to the Series have been asked to work, but they are free to handle or emphasise whatever they judge important in their particular play, and to choose their own manner of doing so. It is natural that commentaries and commentators on Euripides should reflect his variety as a poet. These last points are being borne out by the volumes as they appear, all of them different in emphasis and style. Reviewers in a very wide range of journals have been generally sympathetic to the purpose of the Series and appreciative of what it offers. Some of the warmest welcomes have come from countries where English is not the first language. Suppliant Women is the seventeenth volume in the series, which now includes two offering Selected Fragmentary Plays. The next volume to be published will be Medea (Judith Mossman); in preparation are Cyclops (to include major satiric fragments of



Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides: Patrick O’Sullivan with Christopher Collard) and Iphigenia in Aulis (Christopher Collard). It is hoped still to include the probably spurious Rhesus. July 2006

Christopher Collard, Oxford (formerly University of Wales, Swansea)

EDITOR’S PREFACE Euripides’ Suppliant Women was one of the least studied of his plays up to a generation ago. Indeed, Christopher Collard’s magnificent edition of 1975 set out to provide the first comprehensive commentary on the work. Its only successor up till now has been David Kovacs’ 1998 Loeb edition. Yet over the past twenty years the play has attracted considerable comment in books and articles. Its concerns appear to be central to the modern debate on Greek political, social, religious and military life as well as the role and behaviour of women. It has very decidedly come in from the cold. And it certainly deserves a new commentary for the first decade of the new millennium. I have been helped in my efforts to provide this by a number of individuals. While they have improved my work enormously, I of course must take full responsibility for any errors and betises that remain. My warmest thanks go to William Allan, Angus Bowie, Anthony Bowen, James Diggle, Tara Evans, Peter Liddel, lan McAuslan, Bryan Morwood (who designed the map), Judith Mossman, John Penney, Scott Scullion, Richard Seaford, Ian Storey and Christopher Tyerman. My principal debt is to Christopher Collard, the general editor of this series, who has far exceeded any obligations of friendship in his unstinting guidance. To work with him on this play, which he knows and loves so wisely and so well, has been not only a privilege but an education. July 2006

James Morwood Wadham College Oxford


7. Plot, themes and motifs The setting of Suppliant Women is in front of the temple of Demeter and Kore at Eleusis. The Chorus of the mothers of the seven warriors killed in a disastrous attack on Thebes surround Aithra, queen mother of Athens, in supplication at the altar in the orchestra. By the temple doors are Adrastos, king of Argos, who led the expedition against Thebes, and a secondary chorus of boys, the sons of the dead warriors. Aithra explains that the Thebans are refusing to hand over the bodies of the slain heroes for burial. Adrastos is supplicating her to persuade her son Theseus, the king of Athens, to recover the bodies by negotiation or force. The Chorus give voice to their intense grief in their first song. Theseus arrives and discovers from Adrastos that he had attacked Thebes without divine approval, indeed in defiance of the counsel of the seer Amphiaraos. He rejects the Argive king’s supplication dismissively. However, moved by an appeal from the Chorus and recalled by his mother to a sense of his status as a hero and as the Athenian king, he relents and returns to Athens to win the people over to his new resolve to regain the bodies. The Chorus anxiously wonder what the city’s decision will be. Theseus returns. He has gained the people’s endorsement. A Theban herald now enters and, after a passionate argument with Theseus about the relative merits and defects of tyranny and democracy, warns the Athenian king not to take up the cause of the Argives. Theseus makes it clear that he is determined to recover the bodies, either by negotiation or by warfare. He sets out for Thebes with the Athenian army. The Chorus speculate, half of them pessimistically, half of them with greater optimism, on the result of the seemingly inevitable battle. A messenger arrives and, in a vivid speech, gives an account of Theseus’ defeat of the Thebans. In a dialogue with Adrastos he pays tribute to the Athenian’s noble treatment of the bodies he has recovered. Faced with the prospect of seeing the corpses of their sons, the Chorus express the wish that they had never married or had children. The bodies of the sons are now brought on to agonized grieving from Adrastos and the mothers. At Theseus’ invitation, the Argive king delivers a funeral oration, paying tribute to the dead heroes’ courage and their sense of civic duty. The bodies are taken off to be cremated.



The sorrowing Chorus now see Euadne, the wife of Kapaneus (one of the Seven), on a rock above the temple. Clothed in her wedding dress, she ecstatically expresses her longing to join her husband in death. Her father Iphis then arrives in search of her, and he and the Chorus watch appalled as she leaps onto her husband’s burning pyre. Old Iphis departs, a broken man. The boys bring on the urns containing the ashes of their fathers and join with the grandmothers in intense lamentation. Theseus now asks the Argives always to remember what Athens has done for them. The goddess Athena appears aloft and instructs him to take an oath from the Argives that they will never attack the city and will take up arms against her aggressors. She declares that the sons of the Seven will sack Thebes in vengeance for their fathers’ deaths. Finally the Chorus pay tribute to the labours of Theseus and his city on their behalf. I deal with matters of the staging and interpretation of this multi­ faceted, rich and moving play in the notes to this edition. Here it seems appropriate to outline a number of the themes and motifs that permeate the drama and give it unity. In the Index I list full references to the notes on the text that deal with these as well as the line numbers of occurrences not commented on in the notes. (I feel, however, that the motif of parents and children is too pervasive to allow for a helpful accumulation of references.) The central issue of Suppliant Women is the treatment of the Argive corpses. This serves as a kind of touchstone to test individuals and cities and to expose their essential nature. By their passionate support for the cause of burial, Aithra and (after an initial stumble) Theseus, and by extension the Athenians generally, are revealed as proponents of what is pious and right, while Kreon, the Theban herald, and by extension the Thebans generally, are shown up as impious and hubristic. The play’s theme of pity also asserts the humane rightness of Theseus’ delayed response. As Colin Macleod remarks, ‘pity is one of the leading ideals of Athenian democracy’ and he refers to the Theseus of our play (above all at 763-8) as a most striking exemplar of this.1 In

1 Macleod (Collected Essays (Oxford, 1983) 74) cites ‘especially’ PI. Menex. 244e. There was an altar o f Pity in Athens (Paus. 1.17.1), and the artist Parrhasios included pity among the conflicting passions he attempted to represent in his portrait o f the Athenian Demos (Pliny HN 35.69); cf. Thuc. 3.36.2-4. Dem. 24.171 and E.B. Stevens. ‘Some Attic commonplaces o f pity', AJPh 65 (1944) 1-25. For Euripides' exploitation o f pity which made him so popular in the eighteenth-century theatre, see E. Hall & F.



fact, Theseus nowhere espouses pity in explicit words,2 though he admits he has felt a stab of what can only be that emotion at 288, but the lines to which Macleod refers show him as embodying it in his actions, as indeed does his whole behaviour in the play after his mother has brought him to the right way of thinking. The generosity of Athenian pity is thrown into relief by the limitations shown in the conventional self-pity of Iphis and the Argive women. The rightness of the reformed Theseus is also emphasized by the exploitation of a Panhellenic motif. Just as the Greece of Suppliant Women is deeply divided, so was the Greece of Euripides’ own day. But it was united in its conviction that both divine and human law insisted that corpses should be buried. This is not a pacifist work. Its one brief celebration of peace comes from the lips of the Theban herald (486-91), an unappealing character whose stance is in any case undermined by the fact that it is Thebes’ obduracy that drives Theseus to warfare to ensure that the burial can take place. We need to be persuaded that the Athenian king has no choice but to fight, and the tragedy’s assertion of Panhellenic values is a more than sufficient justification for his action. Aristotle thought that it was right to fight a war ‘for the sake of peace’ {Pol. 7.13.8), and surely it would have struck an Athenian audience as equally right to fight for the attainment of this fundamental Panhellenic end. The equally important motifs of youth and age and parents and children - obviously in many instances they coincide - lend continual emphasis to the fact that we see three generations in this play. The old Argive women, Aithra and the now white-haired Adrastos contrast strongly with the chorus of boys, the new generation of Argives. The virile and youthful Theseus (see n.166) manifestly belongs to the middle generation between them. And the theme of education, which finds its clearest expression in Adrastos’ great funeral oration (857— 917: see nn.841-2, 857-917.1, 902-3, 911, 913-14, 914-17), clearly coalesces with that of youth and age. The fresh generation of boys must be schooled in the proper values in order to become the citizen warriors

Macintosh, Greek Tragedy and the British Theatre 1660-1914 (Oxford, 2005) 84-5. The authors quote Joseph Warton’s description o f Euripides in 1744 as ‘soft Pity’s priest, / Who melts in useful woes the bleeding breast’. 2 Indeed, in his reply to Adrastos (195-249), he responds not at all to the appeals of the Argive king and the Chorus for pity (168, 179, 190; 194), as Adrastos tartly observes (253-62).



of the future (implicitly in the funeral oration; 1169-73), and the aged Adrastos is not too old to learn, even if belatedly (1176-79, 1181). In a play that seems so straightforwardly to accept the inevitability of war, it is perhaps not surprising that the boys’ education will not succeed in liberating them from the tragic cycle of revenge (1213-24). And a pessimism that accompanies much that is optimistic in Suppliant Women may find expression above all in the motif of labours. Theseus - and Herakles (see Introduction 3.b) - have aimed to civilize the world through their labours, line 342 (‘it is not possible for me to refuse labours’) proving superbly definitive of the Athenian hero, and labour is the price they have had to pay for their success. There are other sorts of labour too: the toil of endurance (80, 84), the toil of argument (195), the toil of bearing children for death to take away (920), the toil of tending to the corpses (939). Life is harsh. Do all these labours justify themselves? At 951 —4 Adrastos, guided by his own disastrous shouldering of a doomed enterprise, grimly concludes that they do not. Yet there is much in the play to suggest that they very decidedly do. Adrastos and the Argive women in the end arrive at a moving appreciation of what Theseus and Athens have done for them, the women referring to the toils of the hero and the city in the lines that conclude the play (1176-9, 1181, 1232—4). Their sons have been established as exemplars of courage and civic virtue, and they themselves seem to have reached the other side of despair (see nn.1232, 1233-4). Even if only temporarily, the labour of Athens has built a structure of civilized order. It has reaffirmed key religious values, and that reaffirmation endures both in the myth and in the Euripides play which celebrates that myth. Thus the drama, even though it is shot through with sorrow, is fundamentally optimistic. Theseus may get a lot wrong in his speech rejecting Adrastos’ supplication (195-249), but his view of an essentially beneficent divinity who has brought about human progress (201-15; cf. 594-5, 1227-8) is surely borne out by the play as a whole. There is nothing sentimental about Theseus’ optimism. The philosophical passage is preceded by his acceptance that life has bad elements as well as good (199). Later in the same speech he is alive to serious defects in political systems (232-43).3 Suppliant Women fully 3 See contra D.J. Mastronarde, (1986) 201-11. He argues that Theseus is an ‘optimistic rationalist’ who believes ‘that the world is orderly and comprehensible and that there are elements in that order which have been fashioned for the good o f man'



acknowledges the tragic dimension of human existence.4 But the clear­ eyed recognition of this dimension lends strength to the play’s underlying assertion that through piety, pity, education and labour man can indeed progress. 2. Politics and character Writing in 1995 of the recent emergence of Suppliant Women from obscurity, Barbara Goff remarked that the ‘category of “political” has often been assumed to connote “not as good as other tragedies that are not political’” , but, as she goes on to say, ‘such an easy division can no longer be so easily made’.5 It is true that, when G. Zuntz forty years before gave to his ground-breaking book championing this work, along with Children o f Heracles, the title The Political Plays o f Euripides, his classification set these tragedies apart in a manner scarcely calculated to make the pulse beat faster. There is, of course, an important sense in which he was spot on in his choice of title. The debate on democracy and tyranny between Theseus and the Theban herald (399-455) is one of the Ur-texts of political theory (discussed in n.381-597). The myth of the return of the bodies of the Seven, with its insistence on the Athenians’ championship of the victims of sacrilegious abuse and their espousal of pity, was a frequent feature of their civic funeral orations (see Introduction 4). Furthermore, Suppliant Women offers compelling evidence in support of the argument of Simon Goldhill’s famous article, ‘The Great Dionysia and Civic Ideology’,6 which, for the post-Zuntz generation, (202). However, he feels, its dramatic context tells us ‘that Theseus' speech is undercut by irony and shown to be inadequate to the realities o f the tragic world’ (203). For me the context tells a different story. 4 - as when Athena makes it clear that the Epigonoi are to renew the cycle o f warfare and death (1213-24): see the first sentence o f the paragraph above. 5 Goff (1995) 65. Mendelsohn (2002), 1-12, summarizes the critical approaches hitherto taken towards Suppliant Women. He remarks (5) that academic criticism o f the play has continued ‘to lag behind the richly imaginative interpretative activity that has been focused on this poet’s better known and more highly-esteemed tragedies’. 6 JHS 107 (1987) 58-79, revised in Winkler and Zeitlin (1990) 97-129. The approach had been anticipated some 150 years earlier when in 1833 Edward Bulwer (later Bulwer-Lytton) wrote o f the ancient Athenians that 'the theatre with them was political... Thus theatrical performance was to the Athenians a newspaper as well as a play. We banish the Political from the stage, and we therefore deprive the stage o f the most vivid o f its actual sources o f interest' (quoted by Hall and Macintosh (2005 - see n.l above) 314).



set the agenda for what political drama now meant, when the pre-play ceremony in which the orphans of the Athenian war-dead were led into the orchestra (Isoc. On the Peace 82, Aeschin. In Ctes. 154) is reflected in our drama’s chorus of sons who hold urns containing their fathers’ ashes as they sing in their lament (see n. 1123-64: strangely Goldhill misses this). The nakedly political content of the play does not stop there: among other things, alliance with Argos is invoked (see η. 1191 — 5) and the mutual loathing between Athens and Thebes is inevitably exploited (see Introduction 5.b).7 Since the appearance of Goldhill’s article, what is meant by the word ‘political’ in this context has been refined and expanded.8 Richard Seaford, in ‘The social function of Attic tragedy: a response to Jasper Griffin’,9 lists ‘but a few’ of the ‘practices of the Athenian polis that...cannot be ignored by serious interpreters of tragedy’: democracy, philosophy, written law, the mysteries, the development of rhetoric, the legal position of women, the Peloponnesian war, hero-cult. Suppliant Women makes use of all that material and more, and if that makes it a political play all over again, then new oxygen is pumped into the old classification and the work’s recent popularity is scarcely surprising. Would Seaford allow the family a space on his list?10 No doubt. The question is worth asking because Suppliant Women revolves around mothers who have lost their sons - like the archetypal mother Hecuba in the same dramatist’s Trojan Women, they are on stage from start to finish - and around sons who have lost their fathers. Theseus’ first appearance is motivated by anxiety for his mother (89-91), ‘the one intimate facet of his character’, according to Collard (quoted in n.90). She understands how to manage him and shames him into pious behaviour; she causes him to be true to himself. At the end of their scene together, they hold each other’s hand (n.361: the only occasion indicated in the text that two characters do so) and he calls the mutual 7 For the possible evocation in this play o f the aftermath o f the Battle o f Delion, see Introduction 7. 8 A valuable recent contribution is P.J. Rhodes, ‘Nothing to do with democracy: Athenian drama and the polis ’ in JHS 123 (2003) 104-19. 9 CQ 50 (2000) 38-9. Griffin had written an article called ‘The Social Function o f Attic Tragedy’ in CQ 48 (1998) 30-41 in which he responded to the trend o f political/ritual criticism o f tragedy associated with both Goldhill and Seaford. 10 For an admirable summary o f this dimension o f the play, see Suzanne Said, Tragedy and Politics’ in D. Boedeker and K. Raaflaub (eds.), Democracy, Empire, and the Arts in Fifth-Century Athens (Harvard, 1998) 289-90.



service of parents and children the ‘noblest’ of benefits (361-4). The sensitively and discreetly delineated familial interplay has led Theseus to take a momentous political decision which will cause his city to involve itself in a bloody war. Thus the politics of the family are reflected on the big screen of international affairs. The part played by his mother in the education of Theseus is important, but of course the role of women generally is of profound significance in this play (see under ‘Women’ in the index). This is established at the outset by the setting at Eleusis (see Introduction 5.a), the great Attic sanctuary of the goddesses Demeter (whose name launches the play) and Kore (Persephone). Queen Aithra is beneficently present for the Proerosia, the festival before the autumn planting (the all-female Thesmophoria festival would happen later the same month in historical Athens), and she speaks the prologue surrounded by 15 Argive women (see η. 1—41 a). The play’s management of the grief of these women is a subject which has much exercised recent scholars, who tend to see it in terms of masculine control of mourning ritual (see Appendix). Yet it is the Argive women who are given the play’s final words, which are no mechanical signing off - five of Euripides’ plays, by contrast, end with more or less identical stock concluding lines - but a handsome acknowledgement of the labours that Theseus and his city have undertaken on their behalf. The disruptive, profoundly un-Greek nature of Euadne’s astonishing scene (nn.980-1113, 1026-30, 1059) offers another, deeply disconcerting view of female behaviour. Three images of women, in modern eyes iconic, are set before us: the empowered older woman (Aithra), the sorrowing mother (the Chorus), the woman running wild (Euadne). All three offer challenges to the men who in a patriarchal society ‘should’ control them. The tension between these women and the men is one of the features of the play that give it so vital a dramatic life. Another source of vitality is the realm of international relations. The Argives are temperamentally very different from the Athenians whom they have come to supplicate (see Introduction 5.c). Quite simply, Theseus and Adrastos find it hard to relate to each other. The Argive brings out a dismissive contempt in the Athenian, evident in his very first comment to Adrastos - ‘Yes, for you didn’t keep quiet in crossing over Greece’ (117)-, culminating in his brutally colloquial interruption at 513 (see n.) and continuing with his refusal to allow Adrastos to go to war with him (589-93). The Argive king is proud and resentful (164-7, 253-7 (see n.)). Then, after Theseus has rehabilitated him by



asking him to deliver the funeral oration, he becomes almost unnaturally submissive (933, 947-8). Pace Collard (see my n.513), he seems to learn little or nothing until the play’s final scene, apart perhaps from a lesson in grieving from the mothers (771), he finds himself reduced to grimly nihilistic cliches (734-6, 744-49, 775-7), and at 949-54 (see n.951) he appears crassly unappreciative of all that Theseus and the Athenians have done for him. Adrastos and Theseus are antitypes: the former would wish men to cease from labours (951); the latter’s fundamental nature is such that he cannot give them up (342 - see nn.). But Adrastos’ limitations - and Shaw (1982), 12-15, argues that they apply to the play’s Argives generally - throw the characterization of Theseus into brilliant relief. While Adrastos stays imprisoned in his limitations until he attains a generosity of spirit at the end (1176-9, 1181), and the Argive heroes that he describes (860-908) are incomplete as rounded humans, however magnificent they may be, the Athenian king grows before our eyes. His trust in words (see under Theseus and coherent talk’ in the Index) serves him as a kind of compass, but it is not enough: he must learn his obligation to the concept of Panhellenic law from his mother (306-13), thus unlearning his narrow nationalism (135, 220-1). Simple victory on the battlefield is insufficient. He has learnt a complementary greatness of spirit when he takes upon himself the task of burying the dead, moving on from his previous view that bad fortune is infectious (see n.768). The philosopher (195-218, 531-536) has learnt to feel (288, 764). The play does not simply show the king of Athens developing into a noble and pious statesman. It portrays a great hero becoming a great man. A work that has shown such concern with definitions of masculine virtue offers us an ideal in this well-tempered Athenian.11 3m King Theseus and democratic Athens Theseus is explicitly linked with the city of Athens as early as lines 3^t of the play, and then finally in its penultimate line. In its various forms the idea of Theseus and the city’ sounds repeatedly like a musical motto, occurring twelve times (for references, see Theseus and the 11 - ‘well-tempered* in the musical sense. In the next century Isocrates (Encomium o f Helen 21) observed o f Theseus that ‘although we shall find that other famous people lack something - the one courage, another wisdom, another some other share o f virtue - this person alone was in need o f nothing: he had achieved complete virtue (arete )’ (tr. David Mirhady in Isocrates (Austin. 2000)).



city' in the Index). We are faced with the apparent paradox that Theseus is presented at one and the same time as the king of Athens and the creator (352-3) and champion (403-62) of its democracy, as well as a full participant in it (247, 349-50).12 To be specific, he says that he has put the people in sole command, making the city isopsephos (‘on terms of an equal vote’ - 352-3). He insists on the authority of one set of laws for all: poor and rich are equal (407-8, 430-41); and he claims to have made Athenians equal (isos - 408, 432, 434, 441). Is this the kind of thing that a Greek king does? In fact, a number of ancient authors find no problem in seeing King Theseus as the founder of its democracy. Plutarch (Thes. 25.2) observes that ‘Aristotle says that he was the first to incline towards democracy’ (literally, ‘to the rabble’, okhlon - see n.411 for this loaded way of referring to the people). We have only Plutarch’s word for this, but Isocrates (436-338 BC) gives an account of the matter in his Encomium o f Helen (c.370?) which predates Aristotle: Far from doing anything against the citizens’ wishes, he made the people {demos) master of the state, and they in turn decided that only he was worthy to rule. They thought that his monarchy was more trustworthy and beneficial to the common good than their democracy. (36 - tr. David Mirhady - see η. 11 above)1’ Isocrates goes on to say that ‘his authority was that of a king (turannos), but his good deeds made him a leader of the people ( / > » » / ccpouca ο iepa €Τ*μματ . οιχ€ται oc μοι κήρυζ 1rpoc aero δ^ΰρο θ η ^ α καλών, we η τό τούτων Χυπρόν ίξόΧηι χθονόc η ταοδί ayay/eac Ik€clovc Χύζηι, 0cot)c ociov τι 0p0cac πάντα γάρ δι* apccVcov γυναιξί πpάcc€ιν €lkoc cutivcc ίοφαι.





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and lamenting that most ill-fated military expedition which he led from home. He is urging me to persuade my son with my prayers to become the recoverer of the corpses and abetter of their burial either by negotiation or force of arms,25 setting this as a joint task for my son and the city of Athens. I happen to be sacrificing for the land’s tillage. I have come from my home to this sacred enclosure where the fruitful com crop first appeared bristling over this soil.30 Bound by this foliage that is no bond I stay by the holy hearth of the two goddesses, Kore and Demeter, in pity for these grey-haired mothers who are orphaned of their children, 35 and in reverence for their sacred wreaths (of wool). And a herald has gone for me to the city to call Theseus here so that he can either relieve the land of the distress they are causing or loose (the bond of) his obligation to help the suppliants by performing a holy service to the gods. It is appropriate for women who are wise to do everything through men.40 CHORUS

I beseech you, aged woman, from my aged mouth as I fall at your knees, t Recover our children! Lawless are the men who leave the limbs of dead bodies t 45 in death that looses the limbs (and makes them) food for the beasts of the mountains. (Recover them,) as you look upon the pitiful tears around the lids of our eyes,


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177-8 deleted by Bothe 179 δεδορκεναι Tyrwhitt: δεδοικέναι L a lacuna after this line Kirchhoff 201 εκ πεφυρμενου p: έκπεφυρμένον L









It is wise both for the rich man to look upon poverty and for the poor man to turn his gaze on the rich and emulate them so that desire for money may possess him, and for those who have no bad fortune to fix their eyes upon what is pitiable < > and for the song-maker to produce whatever songs he himself produces, 180 with joy in his heart. If he doesn’t feel this, there is no way, if he is personally overwhelmed by calamity, that he could give others pleasure; nor indeed does he have the right to. Perhaps you would say, ‘How can you ignore the land of Pelops and press this labour upon Athens?’ 185 It is right for me to explain this. Sparta is cruel and its ways are double-dealing, while the other (cities on the Peloponnese) are small and weak. It is only your city which could undertake this labour. For it looks on what is pitiful and it has in your young self a good shepherd. 190 It is because they lack one such that many cities have come to ruin. They have no general. I also say the same to you as he does, Theseus - that you should take pity on my fortunes. I laboured in argument with other men 195 and the debate went like this. Somebody said that mortals have more bad fortune than good. But I hold the opposite opinion to this, that mortals have more blessings than evils. For if this were not the case, we would not be living in the light of day. 200 I praise (that one) of the gods who in due measure separated our human life from chaos and the bestial,


EURIPIDES πρώτον μεν ενθειε εννεειν, €Ϊτα δ* άγγελον γλώ εεαν λόγω ν δούε, ώετε γιγνώ εκειν δπα, τροφήν τε καρπόν τηι τροφηι τ* ά π * ουρανού εταγόναε νδρηλάε ώε τά τ 9 εκ yaiac τρεφηι άρΒηι τε νηδύν πράε δε τοΐει χείματοε προβλήματ* αΐθόν ( τ ε ξ α μ ύ ν α ε θ α ι θεού, πόντον τε νανετολήμαθ* ώε διαλλαγάε εχοιμεν άλλήλοιειν Λν πενοιτο γή . α δ' εετ* άεημα κον εαφώε γιγνώ εκομεν, €c πνρ βλεποντεε καί κατά επλάγχνω ν πτνχάε μάντειε προεημαίνονειν οιωνών τ 9 άπο. άρ* ον τρνφώμ€ν, θεοΰ καταεκειτην βίω ι Βόντoc τοιαντην, otciv ούκ αρκεί τάδε; ά λλ’ ή φρόνηειε τον θεόν μεΐζον εθενειν ζητεί, το γαϋρον δ* εν φρεciv κεκτημενοι δοκονμεν είναι δαιμόνων εοφώτεροι. fjc και εύ φαίνηι δεκάδοε, ον εοφόε γεγώ ε, ocnc κόραε μεν θεεφάτοιε Φοίβον ζνγειε ζενοιειν ώδ* εδωκαε ώε δόντων θεών, λαμπρόν δε θολερώι δώμα ευμμείξαε τό εόν ηλκωεαε οίκονε' χρή γάρ οντε εώματα άδικα δικαίοιε τον εοφόν ευμμειγνύναι εύδαιμονοΰντάε τ * εε δόμονε κτάεθαι φίλονε. κοινάε γάρ ό θεόε τάε τνχαε ηγούμενοε τοΐε τον νοεοΰντοε πήμαειν διώλεεεν τον ον νοεοΰντα κονδεν ήδικηκότα. cc δε ετρατείαν πάνταε Ά ρ γ είο ν ε άγω ν, μάντεων λεγόντω ν θεεφατ’ ε ΐτ * άτιμάεαε, βίαι παρελθών θεού ε άπώλεεαε πόλιν, 206

206 208 221 228 230

ύδρηλάς Τ γ 1: -ηράς L τ’ Markland: γ’ L προβλήματ’ ρ: πρόβλημά τ’ L Faber, Milton δόντων Scaliger: ζώντων L: cf. ΙΑ 702 ού νοοοϋντα Lambinus: co w o c o w r a L deleted by Wilamowitz









first of all endowing us with the faculty of reason, and then giving us language as a means of communication so that we can understand what men say, and the growing of crops, and rain­ drops from the sky 205 to make them grow so that (the god) might nurture the earth’s produce and give our bellies drink; and besides these things (he gave us) protection against the winter’s cold and (ways) to defend ourselves from the (sun-)god’s heat, and the skill of sea-faring so that we might be able to exchange with each other whatever each country is poor in. 2,0 And as for what is uncertain and what we don’t clearly understand, prophets foretell it by inspecting fire and in accordance with the folds of entrails, and from the flight of birds. Are not those of us for whom these things are insufficient self-indulgent when the god has given us such provision for life? 215 But arrogance seeks to have more power than the divine, and filling our hearts with vainglory, we think that we are wiser than the gods. And you are plainly of this number. You are not wise by nature and, being under the yoke of Phoibos’ oracle, 220 you joined your daughters to foreigners giving them just as if it were the gods giving them, and you wounded your house, sullying your bright family with mud. The wise man should not mingle healthy bodies with unhealthy ones and he should acquire prosperous friends for his house. 22* For the god makes no distinction between their fortunes and with the sufferings of the sick man destroys the man who is not sick and has done nothing wrong. Secondly, when you led all the Argives on an expedition and then scorned the prophets when they uttered the god’s oracles, 2,0 you used force and went against the gods and destroyed your city,

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239 242 244 245 247 249 250 251 252 253

τ’ deleted by Reiske (kept by Stob.) Kirchhoff ή μέςη ... πόλιν Stob. δόξηι πόλει Stob. καλών Tr1 αύτόο, πιέζειν εήν τύχην ημάς τί δει; Hermann: cf. 226-8, 591-2 ημαρτον Elms ley τώνδ’ Hermann deleted by Matthiae < c’> Stiblinus



led astray by young men who delight in winning honour and intensify wars with no regard for justice, destroying their citizens, one so that he can be a general, another so that he can grasp power and behave high-handedly, 235 another to make money, not considering if the ordinary people are harmed at all by such treatment. For there are three classes of citizen. The rich (are) harmful and always covet more, while the have-nots who lack the resources for living 240 are dangerous, giving way to envy, and stick nasty torments into the haves, deceived by the rhetoric of worthless leaders. Of these three classes, it is the middle one that keeps cities safe, guarding whatever constitution the city sets up.245 And in view of all that, am I to become your ally? What good grounds for that could 1 give to my fellow citizens? On your way and good luck to you! For if you have not planned things well f yourself, why should your fortune oppress us? t CHORUS He made a mistake. Young men are liable to do this. 250 You should forgive him. [But we have come to (you seeking) a curer for these things, my lord.] ADRASTOS I did not choose you to pass judgement on my misfortunes nor, if I am found to have done something wrongly, to punish and censure them, lord. 255No, my purpose was to gain help. If you do not want that,


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βάθι, τάλα ιν\ ιερών δαπέδων απο Περεεφονείαε, βάθι καί άντίαεον γονάτων επι χειρα βαλονεα, τέκνων τεθνεωτων κομίεαι δέμαε, ώ μελέα *γώ, ουε ύπδ Καδμείοιειν άπώλεεα τείχεει κονρονε. [ιώ μοι' λάβετε φέρετε πέμπετε \ κρίνεref 275 ταλαίναε χέραε γεραιάε.] πρόε (εε) γενειάδοε, ώ φίλοε, ώ δοκιμώτατοε Έ λλάδι, άντομαι άμφιπίτνουεα το εάν γόνυ καί χέρα δειλαία*

259 καταετεφη Scaliger: -ετροφή L 262 Melanchthon-Xylander identfied the lacuna after this line: assigned to the chorus by Musgrave 271-85 some distribute these lines among a divided chorus 271 assigned to the chorus by L 274 Κ αδμείοιαν άπώλεεα τείχεα Hermann: τ- κ> ά- L 27 5 -6 deleted by Dindorf 277 Markland 279 δειλαία Hermann: -αίαν L



I have to be content with your decision. What else can I do? Come, old women, off with you, leaving behind right here your grey-green foliage, wreathed around (with wool), and calling the gods and the earth and the fire-bearing goddess 260 Demeter and the light of the sun as witnesses that our prayers to the gods were of no avail to us. CHORUS

who was the son of Pelops, we have the same blood (as you) inherited from our fathers of the land of Pelops. What are you doing? Will you betray that and cast out of your land 265 old women who have gained nothing of what they should have won? No, don’t do this. For a wild animal has a cave as its refuge, a slave has the altars of the gods, a city cowers to another city for protection when it is stormtossed. There is no aspect of human affairs that has good fortune through to the end.270

The CHORUS move awayfrom the altar to supplicate THESEUS, leaving their branches there. Come, unhappy woman, from the holy ground of Persephone, come and entreat (Theseus), casting your hands upon his knees, to bring back the bodies of our dead children - o my wretched self! -, the sons whom I lost beneath the walls of Thebes. [Woe is me! Take, support, guide, t decide in favour of f 275 these wretched, aged hands.] I beseech by your beard, o our friend, a man most esteemed in Greece, falling by your knee and hand in my wretchedness.


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280 ίκέτιν Markland 296 επη κρύπτειν Hermann: έπικρύπτειν L φίλους Barnes: φίλοις L 303 deleted by A. Schmidt ταλλ’ εύ φρονών γάρ εν μόνωι τούτωι ’ςφάλης Marchant



Pity me, t a suppliant for my children or some kind of wanderer t 280 singing out a pitiable, pitiable dirge. My child, with your youthful strength, do not overlook our children, unburied in the land of Kadmos, the sport of wild beasts, I beseech you. See the tears in my eyes, I who fall thus before your knees, (beseeching you) to bring about the burial of my children.285 THESEUS


Mother, why do you weep, casting your finely-woven cloak over your eyes? Is it because you hear the wretched laments of these women? Yes, for something pierced my heart too. Raise your white head, do not pour forth tears as you sit by the holy hearth of Deo.290 Alas! These women’s woes are not for you to groan about. Oh the unhappy women! You are not one of them. May I say something which is good for you and the city, my son? Yes, since much wisdom comes from women too. But the words which I am keeping unspoken lead me to hesitate.295 That is something shameful that you have spoken - to conceal good words from your friends. I shall not keep quiet and then find fault later with my present silence on the grounds that it was wrong to keep quiet, and I shall not, in sudden apprehension that it is unprofitable for women to give good advice, let my good (advice) go (unspoken) out of fear.3 First of all, my son, I bid you look to the gods in case you stumble by dishonouring them. [For this is the only area in which you are in error: in all other respects you show good judgement.]


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304 305 306 309 321 322 323

έχρήν KirchhofT τιμωρόν KirchhofT νυν δ’ icOi Bothe: νυνι δέ L τοϋθ’ δοην Marchant: τούτο την L μοίραν Herwerden: μοίρας L opaic; Musurus γοργόν δμμ’ Wecklein: γοργόν’ toe L πατρίς· Musurus

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In addition to this, if one did not have to find the courage to help the wronged, I would be keeping very quiet. 305 But as things are, know how much honour this brings you - and to advise it brings no fear to me, my son -, with your hand to compel violent men who prevent the dead from receiving their due lot of burial and its rites (to enable) this, 3,0 and to stop those who are confounding the laws of all Greece. For whenever people are careful to observe the laws, it is this that holds together the cities of men. But somebody will say that it is out of unmanly weakness that you have shown fear and declined the task, when it is possible for you to win a garland of glory for the city,315 and that you laid your hand to the conflict with the wild boar in a laborious but ignoble contest, but where it was necessary to labour through to the end in the face of helmets and spear-points, you were found to be a coward. No then, since you are mine, o [my] son, do not do this. 320 Do you see how when your fatherland is scoffed at for lack of deliberation, it turns a bright and terrifying face back on the scoffers? It grows through its labours. Cities which stay inactive and act secretly also keep secret the ways their eyes are looking in their caution. 525 Will you not go, my child, to help the dead and the wretched women in their need? For I am neither afraid about your setting forth since you have justice on your side, and I am confident, since I see the people of Thebes now enjoying success, that in the future they will throw a different cast of the dice.330



340 346 347 348 351 352 355

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ήθοο Lane έξεδειξάμην Hermann: έξελεξάμην L δράοω KirchhofT: δράοων L πείθων Nauck: πείοων L τότ’ Diggle: τόδ’ L προοδούς Scaliger: προδούο L αύτόο KirchhofT αετών Elmsley: αυτών L









For the god turns everything back again. O dearest of women to me, you have spoken nobly both for Theseus here and for me. This is a twofold pleasure. The words 1 have spoken, mother, are correct as far as this man (Adrastos) is concerned and 1 have given 335 my opinion about the thinking that tripped him up. On the other hand, I too see what you are warning me about, that it is not in accordance with my nature to run away from dangers. For by doing many noble things I have clearly shown this characteristic to the Greeks, 340 always to take my stand as the chastiser of the wicked. So it is not possible for me to refuse labours. For what will men actually ill-disposed to me say of me when you who gave me birth and are fearful on my behalf are the first to order me to undertake this labour? 345 I shall do this. I shall go and I shall redeem the corpses with persuasive words. If that doesn’t work, it will then at last be a matter to be settled by military might and we shall not incur divine resentment. But I want the whole city to approve this too, and it will approve it since I wish it. But if I were to grant them the right to speak 350 I would have the people more on my side. For 1 put the people in sole command when I freed this city on terms of an equal vote. Taking Adrastos as evidence for my words, I shall go to the assembly of the citizens. And after persuading them of this 355 I shall gather together the pick of the Athenian young men and come here. Sitting beside our arms I shall send a message to Creon demanding the bodies of the dead. (Turning to the Chorus) Old women, remove your sacred wreaths of wool from around


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366 368 371 380

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my mother so that I may take her loving hand in mine and lead her to Aigeus’ palace. 360 Unhappy the son who does not pay back his parents’ services, in the noblest of mutual benefits. For if he has himself given, he takes back from his own children whatever he gives to his parents. THESEUS, AITHRA and ADRASTOS go out stage left. CHORUS

Horse-breeding Argos, o ground where my fathers lived, 365 did you hear, did you hear , these (words) of the king, pious towards the gods, and great for Pelasgia and throughout Argos? If only Theseus would come to the limit of my sorrows and that which lies beyond it and, what is more, bring from (Thebes) a mother’s blood-stained delight 370 and by helping the land of Inakhos make it friendly. A fair adornment for cities is pious toil and it wins eternal thanks. Whatever will the city ordain, I wonder? Will it sacrifice to make an alliance, I wonder, 375 and shall we win burial for our sons? Defend a mother, city of Pallas, defend her - so that there is no pollution of the laws of mortals. You revere justice and you do not let injustice be supreme and you always protect every wretched man. 380



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381 386 388 392 397 398

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a lacuna before this line suggested by Musgrave and 387 reversed by Wilamowitz aivecac Cobet: alvecai L ευτρεπήο Flor., Scaliger: εύπρ- L κηρυξ, έπίοχεο Ribbeck ΰπαντα Hartung: ύπαντά L





Enter THESEUS, talking to an Athenian herald, and ADRASTOS stage left. THESEUS

You serve the city and me in this skilled office on any occasion by carrying round messages. Now cross over the Asopos and the river Ismenos and tell the haughty tyrant of Kadmos’ people this. Theseus asks you for the bodies to be returned as a favour (for him) to bury, 385 thinking it right that he should gain his request since he lives in a neighbouring land - and (he asks you) to establish friendly relations with the whole people descended from Erekhtheus.’ And if they are willing, commend them and hurry back. But if they disobey, this is my second message: ‘Receive my revelling band of warriors. 390 Our army is in position here, in review order and at the ready, close by holy Kallikhoros. And furthermore our city was willing and glad to undertake this labour when it saw that I wished it.’ Enter Theban HERALD stage right.



But look! Who is this man coming to interrupt my words? 395 He is a herald from Kadmos’ city, as seems probable to one who does not know for sure. (To the Athenian Herald) Stay here in case this man has come to meet my plans half-way and thus saves you the trouble. Who is the tyrant of this land? To whom should I report the words of Kreon who rules over Kadmos’ land 400 now that Eteokles has been killed before the seven mouths of its gates by his brother’s hand, by Polyneikes? First of all, you began your speech with a false assumption, stranger, when you sought a tyrant here. For our city is not ruled by one man.405 It is free.


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4 3 5 -6 deleted by Nauck (omitted by Stob. who cites 433a-b, 434, 437 continuously) 442 εύθυντήε Markland: αύθέντηε L 445 Markland 449 τομαΐε Nauck: τόλμαε L 451 deleted by KirchhofT 454 έτοιμάζουα has been suspected: δέ toic τεκοΰα Markland 455 νυμ φ εύετα ι Hermann: -ευεται L 458 γ ’ Lenting: δ’ L



and the wealthy man have justice equally and it is possible for the weaker to say 35 the same things of the prosperous man when they are impugned, and the lesser overcome the powerful if their cause is just. And freedom is this: ‘Who wishes to put before the city some proposal which is good for it, if he has one?’ The man who wants to do this wins fame, the man who doesn’t 440 stays silent. What is stronger evidence of equality for a city than this? Look, when the people are regulator of the land, they rejoice in their reserves of young citizens. But a man who is a king thinks this inimical and kills the best of the citizens those whom he considers clever, 445 fearful for his power as a tyrant. Besides, how, under these circumstances, could a city become strong, whenever someone cuts and destroys the flower of the young men, lopping them off like the ears of com in a spring meadow. What use is it to win a wealthy livelihood for one’s children 450 just so that one can enhance a tyrant’s life by one’s toils? Or to bring up one’s daughters in proper chastity in one’s house, when one is simply preparing sweet pleasures for tyrants at their whim and tears for oneself. I’d rather be dead than see my children forced into a marriage. 455 That’s what I have to say in attacking your arguments. But what do you need from this land that you have come here? You would have regretted your coming had not your city sent you, since you have gone far beyond your brief.


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460 464 479 481 486

πάλιν Reiske: πόλει L καλώς Stob. 4. 42. 10: κακώς L γάρ έςτ’ άπιςτον Fix: γάρ έ'ςτι κάκιςτον L λεώ Stob. 4. 14. 6: πόλεως L καίτοι Stob.: και τοΐν L





For a messenger ought to say as much as he’s been told to and then to go back as quickly as possible. 460 In future let Kreon send to my city a messenger who prattles less than you. Alas, alas! Whenever god gives good things to evil men, how insolently they behave, as if their good fortune will last for ever. 1 would (like to) have my say now. About the matters we’ve disputed, 465 let us agree to differ. I and all of Kadmos’ people order (you) not to allow Adrastos to enter this land, and if he is in this land, to drive him out of it before the (sun-)god’s brightness sets, undoing the solemn mysteries of suppliant branches 4™- and not to take the bodies up for burial by force since you have no connection with the Argives’ city. And if you obey me, you will steer your city’s ship unbuffeted by waves. But if not, we and you and our allies will suffer a great tempest of war. 475 Take thought, and do not, in your rage at my words on the grounds that you have - ha! - a free city, make a puffed-up answer when you have less to be confident about. For we should not trust in the hope which has engaged many cities (in conflict), urging their passions to excess. 480 For whenever war comes to be voted on by the people, no-one any longer reckons on his own death but assumes that this disaster will come to someone else. If death were before the eyes when the vote is cast, Greece would never be suffering destruction in its madness for war. 485 And yet all men, all of us, know the better of two arguments,



Χ ο.

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487 χοί κακοί West 490 τ’ L: δ’ Stob. 495 ΰβριο ouc Scaliger: οΰε ΰβριο L 496 οΰ ταρ’ Markland: οΰτ’ αν L 497 όρθοοτάτας Nauck: -τάτων L 498 oc Nauck: ac L 509 νέος Orelli 510 τοι Hermann: μοι L 511-12 assigned to the chorus by Elmsley, to the Herald in L




5 °5

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both the good and the bad, and know how much better a thing peace is for mortals than war. First of all, peace is most dear to the Muses and hostile to the Punishments, and it takes delight in teeming children 490 and rejoices in wealth. We sinners let these benefits slip when we enter into wars and we make the weaker man our slave - men enslaving men and cities cities. Are you giving help even after their death to men who are our enemies, transporting and burying those whom their insolence destroyed? 495 In that case, I tell you, it is not right that Kapaneus’ body still smoulders from the thunderbolt. (He it was) who flung his scalingladder against the gates and swore that he would sack the city whether the god wished it or not. And is it not right that a chasm snatched the seer 500 swallowing his four-horse chariot in its gaping cleft, and that other captains lie at the gates, their skullbones shattered by stones? So either be confident that you know better than Zeus or that the gods are right to destroy the wicked.505 Wise men should love their children above all, and then their parents and their fatherland, which they ought to foster and not wreck. A rash leader and ship’s sailor are prone to error. A man who keeps quiet at the proper time is wise. And it is in foresight, I tell you, that true courage lies.510 Zeus was the punisher and he was enough, but you (Thebans) should not have behaved so outrageously.



521 528 530 532 533

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ADRASTOS Vilest of men... THESEUS Silence, Adrastos, keep your mouth shut and don’t place your words before mine. For this man has not come with his message to you 515 but to me. And it is I who must respond. And I shall answer your first points first. I am not aware that Kreon is my master or has the greater power so that he can compel Athens to do these things. The world would flow backwards 520 if we are to be dictated to like this. 1am not beginning this war and I didn’t go to the land of Kadmos with these men either. But I think it right to bury the bodies of the dead, not damaging my city nor bringing upon it struggles in which men die, 525 (but) maintaining the custom of all the Greeks. What aspect of all this is not good? For if you have suffered some injury at the hands of the Argives, they are dead, you repulsed your enemies nobly, bringing disgrace on them, and the case is closed. 530 Now (that they are dead), allow the bodies to be covered in the ground and to go away to the place from which each part of them came to the light, the breath to the air, the body to the earth. For we do not possess it as our own but only as something to dwell in for our life(-time), 535 and then the (earth) that nourished it must recover it. Do you think that you are harming Argos by not burying the bodies? Absolutely not. This is a cause shared by the whole of Greece - if someone keeps the dead unburied, separating them from what is their due portion. For it will instill cowardice 540 in the brave if this custom is established.


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And have you come to me to deliver terrible threats while (mere) bodies make you afraid if they are to be hidden in the earth? What do you fear may happen? That buried (corpses) will raze your land to the ground? Or that they will beget children in the recesses of the earth, 545 from whom some vengeance will come? It is a perverse waste of time to talk about this - the fear of base and empty terrors. No, you deluded men, recognize the ills of human existence. Our life (is) a series of wrestling bouts. Some men have good fortune now, 550 others in the future, others in the past. The gods lead a spoiled existence. For they are revered and respected by the unfortunate man so that he may gain good fortune. The rich man exalts them to the heights in fear that the breath (of good fortune) may leave him. In recognition of this, 555 those who are wronged should not react to moderate troubles with anger and they should inflict such wrongs as will not recoil harmfully upon them. Well, how is it to be? Give the bodies of the dead to us who wish to act piously to bury. Or else what comes next is clear. I shall go and use force to win their burial. 560 For never will it be broadcast among the Greeks that when the ancient law of the gods was referred to me and the city of Pandion, it was extinguished. Be confident. For if you preserve the light of Justice, you would escape much censure from men.565 Do you want me to put it briefly? If you want to say anything, say it. You aren’t exactly reticent. You will never take the Argives’ sons from our land. Then hear me too as 1respond in turn, if you are willing. I shall listen. I can scarcely deny you your turn (to reply).570



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whom Zeus burnt to ashes with his fiery thunderbolt.640 O my dearest friend, what you say about your return is good news - as is what you say about Theseus. If the army of Athens is safe too, all of your news would be welcome. It is safe, and it has fared as Adrastos should have fared with MESSENGER the Argives whom he despatched from Inakhos 645 when he made his expedition against the city of the people of Kadmos. Well, how did the son of Aigeus and those who were fighting with CHORUS him (win and) set up the trophy of Zeus? Tell me. For as you were there, you will gladden the hearts of us who were not. The bright ray of the sun, a clear guide, 650 was striking the MESSENGER earth. I stood near the Elektran gate as a spectator. I had climbed a tower which gave a clear view. I saw three divisons of the (Athenian) army: the armoured host (of infantiy) extending upwards to the Ismenos hill - so I heard it called - 655 and the king himself, the famous son of Aigeus and those with him, the inhabitants of ancient Kekropia, drawn up on the right wing; and Paralos t himself t, armed with a spear, close to the spring of Ares itself; and the massed cavalry 660 drawn up at the fringes of the army, equal in number; and the chariots below Amphion’s holy tomb. The host of Kadmos was positioned before the walls. They had placed the corpses, the cause of the conflict, behind them. 665












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Cavalry were drawn up against cavalry and chariots against fourhorsed chariots. And the herald of Theseus said these things to all: ‘Silence, armies, silence, you ranks of Kadmos’ descendants, listen. We have come to fetch the bodies. 670 We wish to bury them, maintaining the custom of all the Greeks, in no way wanting to prolong the slaughter.’ And Kreon made no answering proclamation to these words but sat in silence by his arms. Thereupon the drivers of four-horsed chariots began the battle,675 and driving their chariots through each others’ formation, they set down the warriors who were riding beside the charioteers, into the ranks of spearmen. And the warriors battled it out with iron while the chariot drivers kept turning their colts back to the fight where the dismounted warriors were. And seeing the turmoil of the chariots, Phorbas, who was the captain of the horse for the descendants of Erekhtheus, 680 and also the marshallers of the Theban horse joined battle and were winning and being defeated. I saw these things and did not discover them from hearsay (for 1was there where the chariots and the warriors fought) 685 and 1do not know which of the many woes there I should speak of first. Should it be the vast amount of dust rising up to the sky, or the men being dragged up and down entangled in reins, and the streams of red blood as some fell and others were violently hurled headlong to the ground from their shattered chariots and left life in the wreckage of the chariots?


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But when Kreon suspected that the army from Athens was winning the equestrian battle, he took a shield in his hand 695 and moved before the allies could lose their morale. And indeed Theseus’ cause was not destroyed by hesitation, but he immediately snatched bright arms and hurried. And (both sides), dashing their whole armies together in the middle, began to kill and be killed and they kept passing 700 words of command to each other with much shouting. ‘Strike!’ ‘Set your spears firmly against Erekhtheus’ descendants!’ And the army that had grown to manhood from the dragon’s teeth proved a fearsome wrestler. For it began to turn our left wing. But their left wing was worsted by our right 705 and fled. And the struggle was evenly-balanced. And at this point it was possible to praise (our) general. He was not content only with this victorious wing’s success but he went off to the struggling (wing) of his own army. And he let loose his voice so that the land reechoed: 7,0 ‘My lads, if you do not check these tough spears of the sown men, Pallas’ cause is lost.’ And he roused courage throughout the army of the descendants of Kranaos. And he took his weapon from Epidauros, the terrible club, and whirled it in all directions like a sling,715 snapping necks with the wood of it like stalks and at the same time cropping the helmets set upon their heads like ears of summer wheat. With difficulty, but somehow or other, they turned and fled. 1 shouted the victory shout and danced with joy and clapped my hands. But they were struggling towards the gates.720


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And throughout the city there was shouting and wailing of young and old and they crowded the sacred buildings in fear. But although it was possible to go inside the walls, Theseus held back. For he said that he had not come to sack the city but to ask for the bodies back. 725 Such, I tell you, is the general one should choose, one who is courageous in terrible situations and who hates an insolent people which, seeking amid success to reach the topmost rungs of the ladder, destroys the prosperity which it could have enjoyed.730 CHORUS Now, as I behold this unhoped for day, I believe that the gods (exist) and I think that I have lesser misfortunes than these who have paid the penalty. ADRASTOS Why then, O Zeus, do they say that we suffering mortals have the power of thought? For we are dependent on you 735 and we do suchever things as you happen to want. For in our judgement Argos was irresistible and we ourselves were many in number and young men with (stout) arms. And, when Eteokles tried to make an agreement and expressed moderate wishes, we did not want to accept it, 740 and then we were destroyed. And then again, the malignant people of Kadmos, at that point successful, like a poor man gaining new riches, behaved with insolence, and in their insolence were afterwards destroyed in their turn. O you hollow men t who, aiming your bow beyond the mark t 745



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747 λόγοιο Wecklein: θεοΐο Markland 752 δορόο Hermann: δορί L 754-71 though there is ms. confusion in the voice parts at 769-771, Adrastos' lines are assigned to the chorus in L: corrected in the Brubach edition 755 λόχοιο Reiske: δόμοιο L 760 που Hermann: ποΐ L ηκειο Heath: ήκει L 763 lacuna after this line identified by Hermann 765 airroc Reiske: αυτών L



and justly suffering many evils, do not pay heed to your friends but to your circumstances. And O (you hollow) cities, when you are able to round the comer of your evils through words, you accomplish your business not with words but with slaughter. But why (do I say) these things? What I want to know 750 is how you were saved. Then I shall ask the rest. MESSENGER. When the turmoil of war flung the city into confusion, I went through the gates at the very spot where the army was coming in. ADRASTOS Do you bring the bodies over which they were fighting? MESSENGER Yes, all who stood at the head of the seven famous companies.755 ADRASTOS What do you mean? Where are all the rest of the dead? MESSENGER They have been given burial by the dells of Kithairon. ADRASTOS On the Theban or Athenian side of the mountain? Who buried them? MESSENGER Theseus - by the shady rock of Eleutherai. ADRASTOS Where did you leave the bodies he did not bury when you came here? 760 MESSENGER Nearby. For the object of all your efforts is near completion. ADRASTOS It was very distressing to the servants to bring the bodies from the (field of) blood, of course? MESSENGER No-one who was a slave attended to this task. [ADRASTOS ] MESSENGER You would have said (so) if you had been there when he was tending the corpses. ADRASTOS And did he really wash the battle-wounds of the unhappy men himself? 765 MESSENGER Yes, and he strewed biers for them and covered their corpses. ADRASTOS Certainly it was a fearful thing to handle them - and brought shame. MESSENGER Why should men feel shame over one another’s misfortunes? ADRASTOS Alas! How much I wish I had died with them (rather than this)!



άκραντ' όδνρηι ταΐτδτ τ' τξάγτιτ δάκρυ. δοκώ μτν, ανταί γ * τίτιν αί διδάτκαλοι. άλλ' €Ϊμ* ιν* αίρω χτΐρ* ά π α ν τ^ α τ ντκροϊα "AiSov ττ μ ο λπ & τκχτω δάκρυ ppoovc, φίλοντ προτανδων ων λτλτιμμτνοτ raAac τρήμα κλαίω, τούτο yap μόνον βροτοΐ c



ούκ €cti τάνάλω μ' άναλωθτν λαβτΐν, ψυχήν βροττίαν' χρημάτω ν δ* τίά ν πόροι. Χ ο.

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772 789 790 793


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τι γάρ μ* τδτι παίδων; τι μτν γά ρ ήλπιζον αν πτπονθέναι πάθοτ πτριττόν τί γά μ ω ν άπτζνγην; νυν δ ’ όρώ ταφέττατον κακόν,

[cT p .

είμ’ \V Blaydes: εϊεν L μ’ εδει Mark land: με δει L τί Nauck: τό L ετερεΐεα Markland: ςτερεΐ L: ςτερεΐεθαι T r , ετέρεεθαι Blomfeld




MESSENGER Your tears are useless, and you are causing these women to weep.770 ADRASTOS I think it is they who are the teachers. But I shall go to meet the corpses and raise my hand and pour forth the tearful songs of Hades, addressing my friends, the loss of whom makes me weep for my desolation in misery. For this is the only expenditure that it is not possible for mortals 775 to recover once it has been made, the life of a man. But for money there are ways and means. Exit MESSENGER stage left. ADRASTOS exits stage right. CHORUS

Some things are well but others are unhappy. For the city and for the generals, there is double glory and honour in warfare. 780 For me (it will be) bitter to look upon the limbs of my children but a good spectacle if I am really going to behold it, seeing the day I had despaired of, the greatest grief of all.785 If only Time, the ancient father of days, had kept me unmarried still always until now. For what use to me were children? For what extreme suffering would 1 have been expecting to endure 790 if I had abstained from marriage? But as it is, I behold the disaster that is plainest to see, having lost my dearest children.

ADRASTOS enters stage right with the cortege of the dead, carried on by soldiers. But now I look upon the bodies of my sons who have died.795


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[άντ. β


798-823 successive editors have restored the assignment o f the parts which are left in doubt in L 800 άττυοατ’ άπυοατ’ Blaydes: άύοατ’ άπυοατ’ άπυοατ’ P 805 ίώ ίώ Tr2: ίώ μοι μοι P εγώ κακών Diggle 806 and Hermann; lacuna identified Tr2 807 Αδ. Hermann: Xo. L έπάθομεν p: έπαθον μέν L Hermann 809 όρώ α κάμε Heimsoeth: opccoiv εμέ L 811 Tr2 Diggle, Hermann 813 οφαγένταο Fritzsche: οφαγέντ’ L 815 Χο. Barnes: [L]: Αδ. Tr'



O that I might die with these children in my wretchedness, going down to join them in Hades! ADRASTOS Cry forth, o mothers, cry forth a lament for the bodies beneath the ground in answer to my 800 wails as you hear them. CHORUS O my sons, o how bitter it is for loving mothers to call you that, 1 speak to you in your death. ADRASTOS Alas! Alas! Yes / (cry alas) for my own sorrows.805 Aiai CHORUS. > ADRASTOS We have suffered, oh the most outrageous agonies of sorrow. ADRASTOS O city of Argos, do you not see my fate? CHORUS It sees me too, the wretched woman orphaned of her children.810 Bring forward, the bloodstained bodies of the ill-fated men, unworthily slaughtered and by the unworthy, among whom the contest was brought to its ordained conclusion. CHORUS Give them to me so that I may at last embrace my children 8,5 and hold them in my arms.



AS. Χο.

AS. Χο. AS.



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818 Αδ. Musgrave: Χο. L Χο. Musgrave: Αδ. L 819 Αδ. Musgrave: Χο. L < Χ ο > Musgrave 830 δέ Tr1: omitted L: τε Diggle 835 sc ημάς Elmsley: εγημαο L 835-6 λίπους’ Οιδιποδα δώματ’ Wilamowitz (λ- Οίδίπου δ-) and Collard: οι- δ- λ- L 8 38-9 ήνίκ’ έξήνταο (έξήιειο D ig g le )... άφήαον Elmsley 840 εϊαοα Elmsley: είο τά ca L Άδραοτ’, άνιετορώ Jacobs: άδραοτον είοορώ L: ά- ιστορώ T r



ADRASTOS You have, you have CHORUS, yes, a sufficient weight of woes. adrastos Alas! Do you not speak for the parents? ADRASTOS Listen to me. CHORUS. You mourn sorrows both for yourself and for us.820 ADRASTOS If only the ranks of the Thebans had slain me in the dust! CHORUS If only my body had never been brought in union to a husband’s bed! ADRASTOS Behold a sea of evils, o wretched mothers of these children.825 CHORUS We have furrowed our skin with our nails, we have poured dust over our heads. ADRASTOS Alas, I cry alas! May the earth’s surface swallow me below, and may the wind tear me in pieces; 830 and may the blaze of Zeus’ fire fall on my head. Bitter were the marriages you looked upon, bitter was the oracle of CHORUS Phoibos (that you heard). The grievous Fury has left the house of Oidipous 835 and come to us. THESEUS enters stage right. THESEUS

(addressing Adrastos) I was about to ask you t when you were draining the depths of your lamentations over the army, but I shall let the matter alone f . However, though I left off and let my words be, now, Adrastos, I put a question to you. 840 How ever did these men come to be pre-eminent


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το χ ρ η ς τ ό ν ς ΐν α ι, μ ό τ ρ ια 8* ίζ α ρ κ ς ΐν ίφ η .

842 είπε δ’ Elmsley: είπ** L: είπέ γ ’ Τ γ1 ειπ’· έπιοτήμων γάρ εί Hermann, deleting the end o f 842 and beginning o f 843 844-5 moved to after 859 by Camper 844 είδες Morwood 849 κενοί Grotius: κοινοί L 854 αύ Reiske: άν L 858 ών Pierson: τών L 860 τό λάβρον Tyrwhitt: τον αβρόν L



among mortals in courage? Tell the young (sons) of these citizens here since you have greater wisdom. Yes, you have the knowledge. For I saw their bold deeds, too great to tell in words, through which they hoped to take the city. 45 But there’s one thing 1 shall not ask you in case I incur laughter, which of the enemy did each of these men encounter in the battle or (from which) did he receive a spear-wound? For these words of those who listen are worthless 850 as are those of the speaker who stands amid the fighting, as the spears fly thick and fast before his eyes, and makes a clear report of who is the hero. I would not be able either to ask these things or, then again, to believe those who have the temerity to say them. For a man can scarcely see the needs of his immediate situation 855 when he stands facing the enemy. ADRASTOS Listen then. For I am not unwilling to undertake (the task) you give me, (that of) praising the men about whom I wish to say things both true and just: they were my friends. You see the man whom (Zeus’) violent thunderbolt pierced? 860 This is Kapaneus. He was a man of great substance, but no-one could have exulted less in his wealth. He set his thoughts no higher than a poor man, avoiding the kind of man who boasted too much of (extravagant) feasts and paid no heed to what was sufficient. For he said that virtue did not lie in gluttony 865 but that moderation was enough.


EURIPIDES φίΧοπ τ' aXrjdrjc t y φί Aoc napovci tc καί μϊ\ irapovciv’ ων αριθμόc ον noXvc. άφενδεε JjOoc, €νπροεήγορον πόμ α , άκρατον ov8cv οΰτ* cc ocWrac εχων οΰτ* €c πολίταε. τον 8c δεύτερον Χεγω ΈτόοκΧον, άΧΧην χρηετότητ* ήεκηκότα. νεανίαε fjv τώι βίωι μεν ενδεήε, πΧείεταε δε τιμάε εεχ} εν Ά ρ γεία ι χθονί. φίλων δε xpvcov πολλάκιε δωρονριενων ούκ είεεδεξατ’ οίκον ωετε tovc τρόπονε δονΧονε παραεχεΐν χρημάτων ζενχθείε νπο. rove 8' εξαμαρτάνονταε ονχι τήν πόΧιν ηχθαιρκ επεί rot κούδεν αίτια πόΧιε κακώε κΧνονεα δια κνβερνητην κακόν. 6 8* αν τρίτοε τωνδ* Ίπ π ομεδω ν toioc8 * εφ ν* nalc ων ετόΧμηε* ενθνε ού προε ηδονάε Μονεών τραπεεθαι προε το μαλθακόν βίον, aγρονε 8c ναίων εκΧηρά τηι φνεει 8ιδονε εχαιρε προε τάνδρεΐον, εε τ * άγραε ίων Ιπποιε τε χαίρω ν τόξα τ * εντείνων χεροΐν, πόΧεκ παραεχεΐν εώμα χρησ μόν θεΧων. ο τηε κνναγον 8* aAAoc *Αταλάντηε γόνοε n alc Παρθενοπαΐοε, εΐδοε εξοχώτατοε, *Αρκαε μεν ήν, εΧθών 8* επ* Ίναχον ροαε

870 ακρατον Lenting: ακραντον L οΰτ Markland: ούδ’ L 878 δ’ Stob. 4. 5. 13: τ’ L 879 κούδεν Stob.: γ* ούδέν L 8 85-6 the repetition εχαιρε ... χαίρων has been suspected 889 παΐο deleted by Dindorf



He was also a true friend to his friends whether they were present or absent. There is no great number of such men. His character was free from deceit, he was an easy conversationalist, there was nothing immoderate about his behaviour 870 to his household or his fellow citizens. The second I name is Eteoklos, a man who practised a different sort of virtue. He was a young man poor in substance but he had gained very many honours in the Argive land. And though his friends often tried to give him gold, 87~he did not take it into his house and thus yoke himself with money and make his behaviour servile. He hated those who did wrong, not the city. For, take my word for it, a city is in no way to blame if it is ill spoken of because of a bad helmsman.880 The third of these, Hippomedon, was like this: starting right from childhood, he had the strength of mind to avoid the Muses’ pleasures and the soft life. No, living in the country, he loved to subject his nature to harsh training so that he would achieve manliness, both going to the hunt 885 and loving to ride and bending his bow in his hands, wishing to make his body useful to the city. The next, the son of the huntress Atalante, Parthenopaios, a young man of the most outstanding beauty, was Arcadian, but coming to the streams of Inakhos,890


EURIPIDES παιδεύεται κατ' *Α ρ γο ε. εκτραφειε &* εκεί πρώτον μεν, ώε χρη τούc μετοικοννταε ξενουε, λυπηροί ονκ ήν ούδ* επίφθονοί πόλει ονδ' εζεριετηε των λόγων, όθεν βαρύε μάλιετ' αν εΐη δημδτηε τε καί ζενοε. λόχοιε δ* ενεετώε ώεπερ Ά ρ γεΐο ε γεγώ ε ήμννε χώραι, χώ πότ* εΰ πράεεοι πόλιε εχαιρε, λνπρώε δ' εφερεν ε ϊ τι δυετνχοΐ. πολλούε δ' εραεταε καπό θηλειών focacf εχων εφρονρει μηδέν εζαμαρτάνειν. Τνδεωε δ* έπαινον εν βραχεί θήεω μεγαν* [οι)κ εν λόγοιε ήν λο,μπρόε άλλ* εν άεπίδι δεινόε εοφιετηε πολλά τ' εζενρειν εοφά. γνώμηι δ' αδελφού Μελεάγρον λελειμμενοε ϊεον παρεεχεν όνομα δια τεχνηε δορόε, ευρών ακριβή μουεικην εν άεπίδι.] φιλότιμον ήθοε πλονειον, φρόνημα δε


9° °


899-900 deleted in L, Dindorf: I'cac Canter, rocac England 902-8 901, 9 07-8 alone are quoted by Stob. 2. 15. 2. 9 02-6 are deleted by Bruhn, Diggle, 903 by Porson, 9 0 4 -5 by Dindorf, Wecklein, Wilamowitz 902 λαμπρόο δεινός cited by scholiast at II. 4. 400 903 δεινός cocpiciric τών αγύμναστων εφαγευε Numenius εοφιετήε] παλαιετήε Valckenaer εοφά] εοφόε Toup 905 παρέεχετ’ Diggle



he was educated in Argos. Brought to manhood there, first, as is proper for foreigners living in a city, he roused no annoyance or odium in the city and proved no stubborn disputant, the thing which above all makes both a fellow-citizen and a foreigner burdensome. 895 Taking his stand in the ranks like a native Argive he defended the country, and whenever the city fared well, he would rejoice, but he took it sorrowfully if it fared badly. He had many male and t many t female lovers too, but he took care to do no wrong. 900 I shall set forth my great praise of Tydeus in few words. [For he did not shine at speaking but was a formidable expert in warfare and in finding much wisdom there. Though left behind by his brother Meleagros in intelligence, he won equal fame through his fighting skill, 905 finding a precise music in warfare.] His richly-endowed nature was ambitious, but his thoughts


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908 913 914 916 918 921 925 926

ίώ τόκνον, δν€τνχη c 9 €τρ^φον όφτρον ύφ’ fjTraToc novovc eveyKovc* tv wSici' και νυν τον ίμδν *AiSac *χα μόχθον dBXiact όγώ Si γηροβοζκόν ονκ *χω, t c k o v c * α τ ά λ α ιν α π α ιδ α . κ α ι μην τον OIkXcovc yt ytvvalov τόκον dtot ζώντ* avapndcavrtc ic μ υ χ ο ύ ς xdovoc avrotc Ttdpinnoic tvXoyodciv όμφανώ c .

icov L: εχων Stob. γενέςθαι] κεκλήςθαι Stob. 2 . 3 1 . 3 and 3. 1.5: λεγεοθαι Diggle δ ιδ α κ τό ν Stob. 2. 31. 3 and 3. 1. 5: -oc L tic ] παΐο Valckenaer δυστυχής Markland τόν έμόν Χίδαο Wilamowitz: αιδαο (i subscript) τον έμόν L Θη. Musgrave: Αδ. L άφαρπάςαντες Paley: ζώνθ’ άρπάεαντεε ic μ- χ- θεοί Baier

9 10






were more on deeds than words. In the light of what I have said here, Theseus, do not wonder that these men had the courage to die before the towers. 9,0 For to be brought up not basely brings a sense of honour. Every man who has practised what is good is ashamed to become base. Courage is something that can be taught, since even a young child is taught to speak and be told things which he does not understand. 91 And whatever things someone understands, he usually preserves them till old age. Since this is so, give children a good education. CHORUS

O my child, I brought you up for an evil fortune, I carried you in my womb, suffering labours in the birth-pangs. And 920 now Hades holds the fruit of my labours, wretched (mother) that I am, and I have no-one to tend me in old age, though I, poor woman, gave birth to a son.


Look, the gods who have swept off the noble son of Oikles 925 still living to the recesses of the earth, chariot and all, give him clear praise.




θη. Ah.

θη. Λδ. θη.


θη. Ah. θη.

Λδ. θη.

AS. θη.


τον Οίδίπον δζ παΐδα, Πολννζίκη λέγω, ημζΐζ ζπαινζζαντζζ ού φζνδοίμζθ* αν. ζζνοζ yap ην μοι πρίν λιπών Κάδμον πάλιν φυγήι π ροζ "Αργοζ διαβαλζΐν αύθαιρζτωι. άλλ* οΐζθ* ο δράν ζζ βούλομαι τούτων πέρι; ούκ οΐδα πλην ζν, ζοΐζι πζίθζζθαι λόγοιζ. τον μζν Δ ioc πληγζντα Καπανζα πνρι ή \ojplc ίζρον with its songs in honour of my wedding, 995 Argos’ city made (my) happiness tower-high and that of my groom, bronze-armoured Kapaneus? I have come here from my home 1000 with a bacchante’s wild haste, seeking to share the light of his pyre and his tomb, to end my toilsome life of labours in death. For the sweetest death, 1 tell you, is to die together with one’s dead loved ones - if god should bring this about. Look, you see here this pyre near which you are standing, Zeus’ treasure chamber, where your husband lies, 1010 subdued by the lightning bolts. 1do indeed see the final destination where 1stand. May fortune be with me as I leap


EURIPIDES fev/cAeiac χ ίρ ιν ένθιν op-

μάςω rdcS* από πέτρας πηδήςαςα irupoc cca/f ςώμά r* αϊθοπι φ λ ο γ μ an π όςιι ςυμμιίζαςα φίλω ι, χρώ τα Xfiot π έλα c θυμένα, Φ ιρςιφόνας ηξω θαλάμους, c€ τον θανόντ* ουποτ* έμάι προδοΰςα ψυχάι κατά γ ά c. ϊτω φως γά μ οι τι'




\ ι ι θ ι τινςς €ΐ)ναί| δικαίων ύμιναίω ν iv * Α ρ γιι |φ α ν ώ α τέκνοιςιν 6 coc ivvaioc γαμέτας ςυντηχθιις avpaic άδόλοκ γινναίας άλόχοιο. Χ ο.


και μην οδ9 αυτός coc πατήρ β α ίν ιι πέλας γιραιός *Ιφις ic νιωτέρους λόγους, ovc ον κατιιδώ ς πρόςθιν ά λ γη ςιι κλυων.

ΙΦ Κ ω δυςτάλαιναι, δυςτάλας δ* έγώ γέρω ν,

1018 πυράς Bothe: πυρος Wilamowitz 1020 φίλωι Wecklein: φίλον L 1021 χροι Hermann: χρωτι L: χρώι Hartung (π- χρώτα χρώι Θ-) 1025 τε ρ: τ’ L 1026fT. e.g. ειθ’ (Page) τινέο εύναι ... φανεΐεν (Paley) τέκνοιο (Heath), ocioc (Hermann) δ’ εύναΐοο γαμέτας 1029 ςυντακεις Diggle 1030 άλόχοιο Wilamowitz: ψυχάς άλόχω L 1034 δυςτάλαιναι Markland: -τάλαινα L



f for glory’s sake from where I shall jump 1015 from this rock, leaping into the fire t and, joining my body to my dear husband’s in the blazing flames 1020 and placing my flesh next to his flesh, I shall come to the bridal chambers of Persephone, never betraying you, who are dead beneath the ground, by staying alive. Light the marriage-torch, start the marriage-song. '°25 f May sound marriages appear in Argos for children, and [may] my t wedded husband (be an example) in being fused together with a noble wife whose heart is true. 1 30 IPHIS enters stage right. CHORUS IPHIS

Look, here is your father approaching, aged Iphis, to hear unwelcome news which he did not know before and will grieve to hear. O you unhappy women, I too am unhappy in my old age.


EURIPIDES ήκω διπλοΰν πίνθημ* όμαιμόνω ν εχω ν, τον μ εν θανόντα παΐδα Κ αδμείω ν δορι *Ετεοκλον εε γη ν πατρίδα νανεθλώεων νεκρόν ζητών τ εμήν π α ΐδ \ η δόμων εζώ πιοε βεβηκε πηδήεαεα Κ απανεω ε δάμαρ, θανεΐν ερωεα cvv πόεει. χρόνον μ εν ουν

Ε ν.

Ιφ. Ε υ. Ιφ. Ευ.

Ιφ. Ε ν. Ιφ. Ε ν. Ιφ. Ευ. Ιφ.

1035 1049 1050 1055 1058

τον πρόεθ* εφρουρεΐτ' εν δόμοιc* ^π«ί δ * εγώ φυλακάε ανήκα τοΐε παρεετώ ειν κακοΐε, βεβηκεν. άλλα τηιδε νιν δοξάζομεν μ ά λιετ αν €Ϊναι. φ ρ ά ζετ* εί κατείδετε. τ ί τάεδ* ερω τάιε; ήδ* εγώ πετραε επι opvic tic cocci Καπανεω ε ύπερ πνράε δυετηνον αιώρημα κουφίζω , πάτ ερ. τεκνον, tic a v p a ; τίε ετόλοε; tlvoc χάριν δόμων ύπ€κβάc* ήλθεε εε τήνδε χθόνα; οργήν λάβοιε αν τω ν εμω ν βουλευμάτω ν κ λύω ν άκου cat S' οΰ εε βούλομ α ι, πάτ ερ. τ ί δ*; ού δίκαιον πατέρα τον εόν είδεναι; κριτήε αν ειηε ού εοφώε γνώ μ ηε εμήε. εκευήι δε τήιδε του χάριν κοεμειε δεμαε; θελει τι κλεινόν οδτοε ό ετολμόε, πάτερ. ώε ούκ ε π ’ άνδρι πενθιμοε πρεπειε όράν. ic γάρ τι π ρά γμ α νεοχμόν εεκευάεμεθα. κάπειτα τυμβω ι και πνράι φαίνηι πελαε; ενταύθα γάρ δή καλλίνικοε έρχομαι, νικώεα νίκην τίνα ; μ αθεΐν χρήιζω εεθεν.

πένθημ’ όμαιμόνων KirchhofT: πένθιμον δαιμόνων L δόμων Par.: -ον L: -ον γ’ Tr1ύπεκβάς’ Kirchhoff: ύπερβ- L οργήν Reiske: όρμήν L καινόν Porson, Hermann ςτολμός Markland: ςτόλος L τύμβου και πυράς Markland










I have come here in sorrowful anxiety for two blood relatives, ,0>5 to carry the corpse of my son Eteoklos, who died by the spear of the sons of Kadmos, by sea to his native land, and to look for my daughter, the wife of Kapaneus, who has rushed headlong away from our house, longing to die with her husband. For the time before, 1040 she was kept under watch at our home. But when 1 relaxed the watches because of the sorrows that surround us now, she disappeared. But we suspect that she is most likely to be here. Tell me if you have seen her. Why do you ask these women? Here am I, hovering lightly in my grief on the crag 1045 like a bird, above Kapaneus’ pyre, my father. My child, what wind? What errand? Why did you steal out of the house and come to this land? You would be angry if you heard my plans. 1050 I do not wish you to hear. But why? Is it not right for your father to know? You would not be an understanding judge of what I intend. Why have you dressed your body in this clothing? This apparel means something famous, father. 1 5 (I tell you) that you don’t look like a wife mourning for her husband. No, for I have dressed myself for some startling deed. And then do you show yourself near the tomb and the pyre? Yes, for here and now I go to win my glorious victory. What victory is this? 1want to learn that from you. 1060



Ιφ. Ευ. Ιφ. Ευ. Ιφ. Ευ. Ιφ . Εν.

Χο. Ιφ. Χ ο.

Ιφ. Χ ο.


1064 1066 1075 1079 1082

πάεαε γ υ ν α ίκ α άε δεδορκεν ηλιοε. εργοιε *Αθάναε η φρένων εύβονλίαι; αρετήν πόεει γάρ ευνθανονεα κείεομαι. τι φήιε; τι tout1 αίνιγμα Q-ημαίνει caΘρόν; die ecu θανόντοε Καπανεωε τή νδ* εε πυράν, ώ θύγατερ, ού μη μύθον εε πολλούε ερεϊε; tout' αυτό χρήιζω , πάνταε *Α ργέ ίουε μαθεΐν. άλλ' ουδέ τοι εοι πείεομαι δρώεηι τάδε, ομοιον ου γάρ μη κίχηιε μ 1 ελών χερί. και δη παρεΐται εώμα, εοι μεν ου φίλον, ημΐν δε καί τώι ευμπυρουμενωι πόεει.



ιώ, γυναι, δεινόν εργον εξειργάεω . άπωλόμην δύετηνοε, *Αργείων κόραι. *


* €, εχετλια τάδε παθών, τό πάντολμον εργον οψηι τάλαε; ούκ άν τιν * εύροιτ* άλλον άθλιώτερον. ίώ τά λα ε* μετελαχεε τυχαε Οίδιπόδα, γέρον, μεροε καί εν (κ α ί) πόλιε εμά τλάμων. οίμοί' τ ί δη βροτοΐειν ούκ εετιν τόδε, νεουε δίε είναι καί γερονταε αΰ πάλιν; άλλ' εν δόμοιε μεν ην τι μη καλώε εχηι γνώμαιειν νετεροχειν εξορθούμεθα, αιώνα δ * ούκ εζεετιν. εί δ * ήμεν νέοι δίε καί γέροντεε, ε ί τιε εξημάρτανεν

ςημαίνει Markland: - eic L

ic Porson, Hermann: έπι L question mark added by Wilamowitz Hermann νόμοιο Nauck





1PHIS euadne



A victory over all the women whom the sun looks upon. In the works of Athena or in strength of your mind’s counsel? In goodness. For I shall lie with my husband in death. What are you saying? What does this diseased riddle signify? I am leaping into this pyre of the dead Kapaneus. 1065 O my daughter, do not say this with many witnesses... This is exactly what I want, that all the Argives should know. Well, but I shall not consent to your doing this either . It makes no difference. For you will certainly not reach me and catch me in your hands. And now look! I let my body fall, a sorrow to you, 1070 but (a joy) to me and my husband who is being burnt together with me. EUADNE leaps.


Ah! Woman, you have done a terrible deed. All is now over for me in my misery, daughters of the Argives. Woe! Woe! After suffering these cruel things, will you look upon this most reckless deed, poor wretch? 1075 You would not find anyone more wretched than me. O unhappy man! You have taken a share of the fortune of Oidipous, old man, both you and my wretched city. Alas! Why, oh why is it not possible for mortals 1080 to be twice young and old, for a second time again? But while in our homes, if something is unsatisfactory, we set it right with second thoughts, this is not possible with regard to life. But if we were young and old twice over, if anyone blundered, 1085


EURIPIDES διπλού βίου Χαχόντεε έξωρθονμ*θ' αν. εγώ γάρ άΧΧονε ειεορών τεκνουμένονε παίδων έραετηε tJ πόθωι τ* άπωΧΧύμην. ει δ* έε τόδ* ήΧθον κάζεπειράθην \τέκνων"\ otov creptεθαι πατέρα γίγνετα ι τέκνων, ούκ άν π ο τ* έε τόδ* ηΧθον tic δ νυν κακόν, [όετιε φυτεύεαε καί νεανίαν τεκών άριετον εΐτα τοΰδε νΰν ετερίεκομαι.] εΐέν' τι δη χρη τον ταΧαίπωρόν με δράν; ετείχειν πρόε οίκουc; κάιτ* ερημιάν ΐδω ποΧΧην μεΧάθρων απορίαν τ * έμώι βίω ι; η πρόε μέΧαθρα τοΰδε Καπανέω ε μάΧω; ηδιετα πριν ye δηθ* ότ* ήν παϊε η8ε μοι. άλλ* ονκέτ * εετιν, η γ* έμην γενειάδα προεηγετ* αίει ετόματι και κάρα τό8ε κατείχε χ ερ είν. ουδίν ηδιον πατρι γέρον τι θνγατρόε’ άρεένων δε μείζονεε φυχαί, γΧνκεΐαι 8f fjccov έε θωπενματα. ονχ ώε τάχιετα δητά μ * ά ζετ’ έε δόμονε εκότωι τε δώεετ*, ενθ' άειτίαιε έμόν δέμαε γεραιόν ευντακειε άποφθερώ; τι μ * ώφεΧηεει παιδόε όετέων θιγεΐν; ω δυεπάΧαιετον γηρ α ε, ώε μιεώ ε* έχω ν, μιεώ δ ’ όεοι χρηιζονειν έκτείνειν βίον βρω τοΐει καί ποτοΐει και μαγενμαειν παρεκτρέποντεε οχετόν ωετε μη θανεΐν'

1089 πάθους Diggle 1092-3 deleted by Diggle 1093 τοΐνδε Camper, τώνδε Bothe 1098 δήθ’ δτ’ Canter: δήποτ L 1101 ούδέν ηδιον πατρι Burney: πατρι δ’ ούδέν ηδιον L 1110 Plut. mor. HOC: νώτοιςι και ςτρώμναιςι και μαντεύμαςιν L



ι ιοο





we would put things right because we had a double life. For I saw others having children and began to desire them for myself and waste away with longing. If 1 had come to this point and had had experience of f children t (and learnt) what sort of thing it is for a father to be deprived of children, 1090 I would never have come to the evil pass to which (I have come) now, [since 1 who begat an excellent young son have now lost him.] Well then, what should 1, the man of sorrows, do? Go to my house? And then am I to look at the vast desolation 1095 of my halls and the helplessness of my life? Or am I to go to the halls of Kapaneus here? In times gone by (I did that) with the greatest pleasure - when I still had this daughter of mine. But she is no longer alive, she who always used to draw my cheek to (hers) for a kiss and to embrace this head of mine 1100 with her arms. Nothing is more delightful for an old father than a daughter. The spirits of sons are more great-hearted, less given to sweet endearments. So won’t you lead me to my home as quickly as possible and give me to darkness where I shall waste away and destroy my old body by starvation? 1105 What will it avail me to touch the ashes of my son? O old age, so hard to wrestle down, how 1 hate you as I suffer you. And I hate all those who wish to stretch out their lives, trying to divert the stream of their life with magical foods and drinks 1,1 so as not to die,


EURIPIDES ovc χρην, έπ α δά ν μηδέν ώ φ ίλώ α γην, davovrac έρρτνν κάκποδών ctvai vcotc. Xo.

Ιώ· rdSe δη παίδων ηδη φθιμένων ocra φέρεται. λ ά β € τ \ άμφιποΧοι, ypaiac apevovc (ού γαρ €V€ctiv ρώμη παίδων ύιτο πένθον^ πολλοΰ τ€ χρόνον ζακηο μέτρα δη καταλ€ίβομενη€ τ aAyeci π ο λ λ ο ί. τι γαρ αν μ€Ϊζον τονδ* έτι θ ν η τ ο ί nadoc €^€vpotc η τέκνα θανόντ*

I I 15



IIAIAEC φέρω φέρω, τάλαινα μάτ€ρ, έκ πυράc πατρδί μέλη, βάρος. μέν ούκ άβριθcc άλγέω ν νπο, έν δ* ολίγω ι τάμα πάντα cvvdeU. rr

Λ ο.


[CTP ‘ α 11 S?5

ι f

ιω ιω, π α ί, δάκρυα


φίλαι 12

1112 ώφελωα γην Plut.: ωφελούν πόλιν L 1114 Xo. added in ρ (ήμιχ.): omitted in L ηδη Musgrave: και δή L 1116 άμενοΰς Τ γ2: άομένουο P 1118 μέτρα Musgrave: μέτα L 1123-64 where no change o f persons is indicated in L, speakers are given in brackets 1124 TTDpac Markland: Ttupoc L 1125 ΰπο Markland: ΰπερ L 1127 παΐ Reiske: πά L δάκρυα φέρεκ: ρ: φ- δ- L φίλαι (ι adscript) L, Hermann first recognized this as a dative



while, when they can benefit the land in no way, they ought to hurry off in death and get out of the way of the young. IPHIS exits stage right. The remains of the dead are carried on in urns by the CHORUS OF BOYSfrom stage left. CHORUS

Oh! Here are the ashes of our dead children, now being carried here. Take hold of a feeble old woman, attendants, 1115 - for there is no strength in me because of our grief over the children - as I live for the tally of many years and melt away in tears over my many woes. For what yet greater suffering could you find for mortals than this 1120 - to look upon one’s children dead.


O wretched mother, I carry, carry the limbs of my father from the pyre, no light burden because of my sorrows, 1125 having placed what was all to me in a little (space). Oh, oh, my child, you are bringing tears






ζποδον τ€ πλήθοζ ολίγον αντί ecuμάτων ζύδοκίμων δη ποτ* έν Μνκηνate. Π α.


άπαιζ άπαιζ' έγώ δ* Έρημοζ αθλίου πατρόζ τάλac Έρημον οίκον όρφανζύζομαι λαβών,

ΙΙ30 231 [άντ. a

ού narpoc iv χζρζι τον τ€κόντοζ. 1 \ » /. LW ICO που δέ novoc ίμώ ν τέκνων, που λοχ€υμάτων χάριζ


τροφαί re ματροζ άυπνά τ* όμμάτων τέλη και φίλιαι Π α.

προζβολαι προζώπων;

β€βάζιν> ουκέτ βζβαζιν.

etciv οιμοι πάτζρ'

[crp. β

(Χ ο .} αιθήρ ίχ€ί νιν ηδη,

πνρόc τζτακόταζ ζιτοδώι'


ποτανοί δ* ηνυζαν τον νΑ ιδαν. (Π α .) πάτζρ, t ζύ μέν ccovf κλυζιζ τέκνων γόονζ; i p * άζπιδουχοζ ίτ ι ποτ* άντιτ€ΐζομαι ζον φόνον; €ΐ γάρ γένοιτο | τ έκνον^. (Π α .) Έτ αν θζον θέλοντοζ Έλθοι δίκα

[άντ. β

1131 παπαΐ παπαΐ Musgrave 1132 λαχών KirchhofT 1134 τόκων anon., then Dobree 1135 που λοχευμάτων Musgrave: πολυχευμάτων L: που νυχευμάτων Tr1 1136 ματρόο] μαετών Markland 1138 είείν οιμοι Wilamowitz: eici μοι L 1139 Murray 1140 πυράε Markland 1142 Tyrwhitt μών εών Nauck, εών μέν Collard 1143 άντιτείεομαι Canter: -τάεεομαι L 1144 Nauck gives the whole verse to the boys: Άδ. before εί γάρ L τούτο Nauck, τέκνωι or τεκνού Diggle 1145 Musgrave έΥ αν Musgrave: δταν L



for the dead ones to a loving mother and a small quantity of ashes in place of the bodies of those who were once glorious in Mykenai. BOYS CHORUS

Childless, childless! - while I, poor boy, am bereft of my wretched father and I shall take an empty house where I shall live as an orphan, not in the embrace of the father who begat me. Oh, oh! Where is my toil over my sons now? Where is the pleasure of childbirth and a mother’s breast-feeding and the service of unsleeping eyes 1,35 and the loving pressure of my face upon theirs.

They have gone, they are no more. Alas my father! They have gone. The air now holds them, crumbled into ashes in the fire. 1,40 They have flown to Hades and reached their journey’s end. Father, do f you t hear the laments of t your t sons? Shall I one

future day hold a shield and take vengeance for your death? If only it could be thus t for a son t! BOYS

With the god’s good will, justice will come one day for


EURIPIDES πατρώ ιοε. ( X o .) ονπω κακόν τόδ9 εΰδει; αίαΐ τν χ α ε’ aXic γόω ν, ά λιc (S ’) άλγεω ν εμοί πάρεετιν. ( Π α .) ετ’ Ά ε ω π ο ϋ μ ε δεξεται γάνοε χαλκεοιε ( ε ν ) οπλοιε Δαναΐδαν ετρατηλάταν, τον φθιμενου π a τρόε εκδικαετάν.

( Π α .) ε τ ’ είεοράν εε, πάτ€ρ, ε π ’ όμμάτω ν δοκώ ( Χ ο .) φίλαν φίλημα παρά γενυν τιθεντα coi. ( Π α .) λόγω ν δε παρακελευεμα εών Χ ο.

1146 1147 1148 1149 1150 1152 1153 1154 1156 1158 1159 1160 1162


[ετρ. γ


αέρι φερόμενον οιχετα ι. δυοιν 8' άχη, μ α τρ ί τ ’ ελιπεν, εε τ ’ ονπ οτ’ άλγη πατρώ ια λείφ ει.

( Π α .) εχω τοεόνδε βάροε δέον μ ’ άπώ λεεεν. ( Χ ο .) φερ’, άμφί μαετόν υποβάλω εποδόν ( Π α . εκλavca τόδ€ κλύων εποε ετνγνότατον' εθιγε μου φρένων. Χ ο. ω τεκνον, εβαε' ονκετι φίλον 14678950

1 1 46

[άντ. γ ).

ΐ ΐ 6θ

Murray: question mark added by Musgrave, Stinton τυχαε ... γόων Elmsley: γόων ... τυχαε L, keeping which and substituting αλιε for αίαΐ Porson, Hermann Tyrwhitt ετ’ Άεωποϋ Tyrwhitt (Άεωποϋ) and Elmsley: ετάεω· που L Markland Hermann έν όμμαειν Diggle Hermann φίλαν Diggle: +ov L coi Page: εόν L: cdv Diggle Hermann Xo. Hermann: marginal gloss in Tr2: ελιπεν Tyrwhitt: -εε L < Π α > Musgrave Hermann επ- Hermann, επ- Fritzsche, επ- Diggle Πα. Hermann: marginal gloss in Tr2 Xo. Tyrwhitt: marginal gloss in L



our fathers.1145 Does this evil not yet sleep? Alas for our ill fortune. 1have had my fill of laments, my fill of sorrows. The gleam of Asopos will welcome me as 1 command the descendants of Danaos 1150 in bronze armour exacting justice for my dead father.

I seem to see you, father, still before my eyes...

...putting a kiss on your beloved cheek. The encouragement of your words has gone, carried away upon the

air. 1155 He has left sorrows to the two of us, both to the mother, and as for CHORUS you, grieving for your father will never leave you. I have so great a weight (of griefs) that it has destroyed me.

Come, let me clasp his ashes to my breast < >. I weep as 1 hear those most hateful words. 1160 They touch my BOYS heart. O my child, you have gone. No longer shall I look upon you, CHORUS


EURIPIDES φίλα€ ά γ α λ μ ’ όφομαί θη.

i4 S .

θη Αδ. θη.


ματρό c .

"ASpacT* καί ypvaiKcc fApyciai y c 'v o c , opare nalSac rovc8* €%ovrac c v χζροιν πατέρων άρκτων ζώμαθ* ών a v c tA όμην' t o u t o t c έγώ af>€ καί πόλκ δωρονμ€0α . vpac Se τώνδ* χρη χάριν μ€μνημένον€ c c u t£ c tv , o p t o v r a c ών c W p c a τ' έζ έμοΰ, πακιν θ' ύπ€ΐπ€ΐν τοκδ* t o u c a u T o u c Xoyovc, τιμάν πόλιν τηνδ\ έκ τέκνων a c t τέκνοκ μνημην παραγγέλλονταζ ών έκυρζατ€. Z c u c 8 c ξννκ τω ρ οι τ ' έν ούρανώι 0 c o t οΐων ύφ' ημών ctc^ ct' ηξιωμένοι. © tjcc u , ξννκμ €ν πάνθ* oc 'Α ρ γ ία ν χθόνα δέδρακαζ c c 0 A a δ^ομένην c u c p y c T a iv χάριν τ ' άγηρω ν έζομ€ν’ y e w a t a γάρ παθόντεί u /x a c αντιδράν οφ* ίλομεν.

τί δητ* έθ' νμ ΐν αλλ' vn ovpyijcai μ€ χρη; χοϊρ*' a £ t o c γάρ καί cv καί π ό λκ c c'0 e v . c c T a i τάδ*' άλλα καί c u των αυτών τ ν χ ο κ .


1 170


1 ΐ8θ

ΑΘΗΝΑ α κου€, θ η ecu, τονv καί 7rdλcωc μοχθημάτων 17 μη

1171 1180 1 183 1184

παιαν θ’ ύπειπεΐν Reiske: πάοίν θ’ ύπεΐπον L τοΐοδε Tyrwhitt: τούοδε L δήτ εθ’ Elmsley: δήποθ’ L τήςδ’ Seidler πόλιν Reiske, τά ca Musgrave





your dear mother’s dear delight. Enter THESEUS and ADRASTOS stage left. THESEUS

Adrastos and women of Argive race, 1165 you see these children holding in their arms the bodies of the best of fathers whom I recovered for burial. I and the city give them to these boys. You must remember these things and maintain your gratitude for them as you look upon what you have won from me, 1170 and you must suggest to these boys here these very words, to honour this city, always handing down from one generation of children to another the memory of what you have won. And (let) Zeus and the gods in heaven (be) witnesses of what treatment you have been thought worthy by us as you go on your way. 1,75 ADRASTOS Theseus, we are conscious of all the many good deeds you have done for the Argive land, doing it good service in its need, and we shall feel a gratitude that does not grow old. For we have met with noble treatment and have an obligation to pay you back in kind. What further service must I do you then? 1,8 THESEUS ADRASTOS Fare well. For that is what you and your city deserve. We shall fare well indeed. But may you too meet with the same THESEUS fortune. A THENA appears above. ATHENA

Listen, Theseus, to these words of Athena, hear what you should do and help t my commands t by so doing. Do not give these ashes to these children to carry to the Argive land, 1,85 letting them go easily like this, but in return for your and your city’s labours,


EURIPIDES πρώτον λάβ 9 όρκον. τόνδε δ' όμνυναι χρεών *Αδραετον' οδτοε κυρ toe, τύραννοε ών, πάεηε ύπερ γήε Δαναϊδών όρκωμοτεϊν. 6 δ* όρκοε εεται μήποτ 9 9Αργείουε χθόνα έε τηνδ9 έποίεειν πολέμιον παντευχίαν άλλων τ Ιόντων έμποδών θήεειν δόρυ.


ην δ 9 ορκον έκλιπόντεε ελθωαν πάλιν, κακώε όλέεθαι πρόετρεπ 9 9Αργείων χθόνα. εν ωι δί τέμνειν εφάγια χρη ε 9 άκουέ μου.

I I 95

εετιν Tpinovc cot χαλκόπουε εεω δόμων, δν 9Ιλίου ποτ 9 έζαναετηεαε βάθρα επουδήν έπ 9 άλλην 'Η ρακλή όρμωμενοε ετηεαί c έφεΐτο Πυθικην πρόε Σχάραν.

ι 200

eV τώιδί λαιμούε τρεΐε τριών μήλων τ€μών έγγραφον ορκουε τρίποδοc εν κοίλωι κύτει κάπ€ΐτα εώιζειν θεώι δόε ώι Δελφών μέλει, μνημεία θ 9 όρκων μαρτυρημά θ 9 Έλλάδι. Jji δ 9 αν διοίζηιε εφάγια καί τρώεηιε φόνον όξύετομον μάχαιραν εε γαίαε μυχούc


κρυφόν παρ 9 αύτάε επτά ττυρκάιαε νεκρών. φόβον γάρ αύτοιε, ην ποτ 9 ελθωειν πάλιν, δειχθεϊεα θηεει καί κακόν νόετον πάλιν. δράεac δέ ταΰτα πέμπε γήε εξω νεκρούε.


τεμένη δ9, ιν 9 αυτών εώμαθ9 ηγνίεθη πυρί, μέθεε παρ 9 αυτήν τρίοδον 9Ιεθμίαν θεώι. coi μεν τάδ 9 εΐπ ον παιεί δ 9 9Αργείων λέγω' πορθήεεθ9 ηβηεαντεε



1200 c’ Reiske: γ’ L 1211 ήγνίςθη Heath: άγνιοθή L 1212 Ίοθμίαν Tyrwhitt: ίοθμίαο Tr1: -Oiac L θεώι Tyrwhitt: θεού L Ίοθμίαο όδοΰ Heath, but μέθεο feeble without a dative



first exact this oath. Adrastos here must swear: he has the authority as the king to take the oath on behalf of all the descendants of Danaos. 11 0 The oath shall be that the Argives should never lead a hostile force in full array into this land, and that, if others come, they will set their spears in the way. And if they abandon this oath and come against our city, pray that the land of the Argives may perish miserably. 1195 Hear me (tell) over what vessel you must sacrifice the victims. Inside your palace you have a bronze-legged tripod which Heracles once, when he had uprooted the foundations of Ilion and was rushing off on another urgent task, bade you (to take) to the Pythian hearth and set it there. 1 00 Cutting three throats of three sheep in this, inscribe the oath on the curving hollow of the tripod and then give it to the god who looks after Delphi to guard, as a record of the oaths and a testimony to Greece. As for the sharp-edged knife with which you cut open the victims and deal the death-wound, 1205 hide it in the recesses of the earth there by the corpses’ seven pyres. When it is shown, it will cause fear in them, if ever they come against the city, and make their return home an unlucky one. Once you have done these things, send the bodies outside the land. 12,0 And dedicate the sanctuaries where their bodies were purified by fire, to the god by the turning to the Isthmos. That is what I have to say to you. To the sons of the Argives I say this. When you have grown up, sack the city of Ismenos,




Χ ο.

π α τέρ ω ν θανόντων €κ&ικάζοντ€ϊ φόνον, cv τ * αντί π α rpoc, A lyiaX tv, crparqX drqc vcoc K a racrac n a lc τ* άπ * Α Ιτω λώ ν μ όλω ν Τνδέω brackets in the translation reflect the problems encountered in the distribution o f parts in L. 796 O that I might die: death wishes occur frequently in kommoi: cf. 821, 8 2 9 31. For the expression, cf. n.618-9. 797 to join them in Hades: literally, ‘to a shared Hades'. 798-800 for the bodies: objective genitive, in answer to: the Greek adjective άντίφων’ translated here is neuter plural. The noun οτενάγματα ("wails') must be understood from 801 and taken, in conjunction with the adjective, in apposition to στεναγμόν ("lament’ (798)): ‘a lament for the bodies, wails in response t o ...’ 802-3 how bitter it is for loving mothers to call you that: literally, *o bitter object o f words o f address o f (i.e. from) loving mothers’.




for my own sorrows: των έμών κακών: Diggle (1994), 180-1, gives parallels for this genitive o f the thing exclaimed over: cf. Eur. Phoen. 373, Men. Dys. 189. 806 The words o f the Chorus are missing. This is shown by the fact that the line does not respond to 819 in the antistrophe. There is similar damage in 811. 807 O city of Argos, do you not see my fate?: like the corresponding 821 (see n.), a hexameter line imparting an epic tone (cf. nn.263-85, 686). Though the city is singular, the verb έοοράτε (do you see?) is plural. The idea is that it is in fact the citizens to whom she is putting the question: construction based on sense: cf. 660-2 and n.662. The plural continues into the next line. 811 Bring forward, : like 806, a line that needs repair because o f incomplete responsion. For a note on his text here, see Diggle (1981) 18-21. 813 unworthily: in the Greek we have an adjective in the neuter plural which is here used with adverbial force: cf. Eur. Hel. 455, IT 943. Adrastos is surely wrong in his view that the Seven did not deserve their deaths. They should never have attacked Thebes (155-61, 494-505, 738-9). slaughtered: the participle is in the masculine while the word for ‘bodies’ is in the neuter: they are, o f course, male corpses: construction based on sense: cf. Eur. Bacch. 1306-7. 815-17

so that I may at last embrace my children and hold them in my arms:

literally, ‘so that, having attached (my) hands with embraces, I may place (my) children in my arms’. The Greek word for ‘embrace’ (περιπτυχαΐα) is emphasized by δή to poignant effect: I have tried to convey this through my ‘at last’. In fact they are never to embrace the bodies o f their sons: see Appendix.

818 ADRASTOS. You have, you have CHORUS, yes, a sufficient weight of woes: Adrastos was presumably about to sing something meaning ‘the bodies o f your children’, communicating the sense, ‘Here they are before your eyes.’ The women’s substitution picks up 785, 790-1, 807. For the expression here, cf. Jebb’s note on Soph. Aj. 875. 819 Do you not speak for the parents?: i.e. are you so obsessed with your own woes that you are blind to those o f the Chorus? ‘For the parents’ is dative o f advantage. For the tragic idiom o f women using the masculine to refer to themselves or other women in the plural, cf. Eur. Hipp. 287: ‘the generalizing always masculine, even when used with reference to a woman’ (Barrett’s note): cf. Soph. El. 399, Ant.



Listen: the word for ‘listen’ is άίετε and it echoes the sound o f αίαΐ, the exclamation I have translated as ‘alas’ in the previous line. The assonance enhances the groundswell o f sorrow: see N. Loraux in The Mourning Voice: An Essay on Greek Tragedy, tr. E.T. Rawlings (Ithaca, 2002), chapter 3, which is largely devoted to the sound o f αίαΐ and like-sounding words in tragedy. 821 If only the ranks of Thebans had slain me in the dust!: a hexameter corresponding to the one in 807 (see n.). It has an unmistakably Homeric ring. For epic dust, cf. n.686-7. 824 a sea of evils: cf. Eur. HF 1087, Hipp. 822. The metaphor is Aeschylean, Pers. 433, PV 746, Supp. 470, cf. Sept. 758. 826-31 we have furrowed our skin: literally, ‘we have been furrowed’: cf. 76-7n. we have poured dust over our heads: the Greek word for ‘dust’ (οποδόο) can mean ‘ashes’ as well. It appears four times in Euripides, all in the kommoi o f this play; it is



both a marker o f the pathos o f death (the great heroes have crumbled to mere dust, to mere ashes —1129—30,1140) and also an emblem o f the intensity o f the women’s grief as they sully their bodies with it. After these expressions o f sorrow, Adrastos wishes for death in three different ways: being swallowed up in the earth (like Amphiaraos (500, 926) —a wish first found in Homer (e.g. //. 4.182, 8.150); being tom to pieces by the wind (with physical immediacy added to the standard idea o f being swept away by the winds: e.g. II. 6.346, Od. 20.66); and being blasted by Zeus’ lightning (like Kapaneus (496—7, 860, 934, 1011)) —cf. Eur Andr. 847, Med. 144. There is perhaps an element o f cliche in these lines, but it could be that Adrastos’ wishes are not merely conventional. He may wish to share Amphiaraos’ and Kapaneus’ deaths, as Euadne does later in the case o f the latter (1002-3, 1019-20). And the whole o f this passage is given energy and emphasis in the Greek by the several instances o f the epic phenomenon o f tmesis (by which the preposition which is part o f the verb is separated from it): κατά...ήλοκίΰμεθα, άμφι...κεχύμεθα, κατά.,.ελοι, διά.,.οπάοαι, έν.,.πέοοι.

833-4 Bitter were the marriages you looked upon, bitter was the oracle of Phoibos (that you heard): cf.2 2 0 -ln . For the word ‘bitter’, cf. 783, 802, 945 and n.782-5. 836 The grievous Fury has left the house of Oidipous and come to us: the Fury, in Greek ’Epivifc, was originally a haunting and maddening goddess o f punishment, and later particularly the vindictive spirit roused from the underworld by killings within the family (see Collard’s n.17 on p.xxxiv o f his Aeschylus, Oresteia (Oxford, 2002)). For the Oidipous myth, see nn.12-16 and 150. Cf. Pindar on the myth at Ol. 2.38ff.: ‘his doomed son met Laius and killed him, and accomplished the oracle spoken long before at Pytho. But the swift Erinus saw it, and slew his warlike sons, each by the other’s sword.’ Since those two sons, Eteokles and Polyneikes, are now dead, the Fury has no more work to do in Thebes and is now harrying the Argives, who were embroiled in the Theban conflict by Polyneikes. For the characteristic features o f the Furies, see Cropp’s n. at Eur. El. 1252.

838-954 Fourth episode The arrival o f the corpses has reduced the Chorus and Adrastos to a state o f abject despair. Theseus now enters and initiates a process o f rehabilitation for Adrastos by asking him to deliver a funeral oration. Adrastos does so, as also in Pindar (Ol. 6.12ff.), who on the other hand has him deliver his panegyric at Thebes itself. For a discussion o f Adrastos’ speech, see n.857-917. Another lyric expression o f grief by the Chorus (918-24) marks o ff Adrastos’ oration from the speech that follows, in which Theseus praises Amphiaraos and Polyneikes, the two o f the Seven whom Adrastos had omitted, presumably because their bodies are absent (925-31). Theseus and Adrastos now discuss the conduct o f the funeral in a passage o f stichomythia (932^16), Adrastos again reflects on the folly o f war (947-54: cf.734^19), and the two o f them go out to cremate the heroes.

838-40 t when you were draining the depths of your lamentations over the army, but I shall let the matter alone +: the text is hopelessly corrupt: Ί shall let the matter alone’ is nonsensical. ‘You’ is presumably Adrastos: hence OCT’s reading o f Adrastos in the vocative in 840. It is certainly easier to believe that Theseus is acting on an earlier intention to talk to Adrastos than that he is entering in conversation with a third



party (cf. his entry at 381). Elmsley’s reading ήνίκ’ έξήνταο οτρατώ γόους άφήοων ( ‘when you came to meet the army to pour out lamentation (for the dead)', cf. 772) at least makes sense, draining the depths: the metaphor is from the total draining o f a ship’s bilges: cf. Eur. Med. 79, and Mastronarde’s note there: ‘the metaphorical use o f άντλεω and έξαντλεω is a Euripidean mannerism (elsewhere only Aesch. Cho. 748, PV 375 [cf. άπαντλεω, PV 84]). From "bale out the bilge-water” it comes to mean "drain to the dregs”, “suffer to the bitter end”, or just "suffer”.’ I put a question to you: L’s text means *1 look at Adrastos’ and certainly needs correction. Jacobson’s reading, translated here, makes good sense.

841- 2 How ever did these men come to be pre-eminent among mortals in courage?: ‘Theseus wishes to learn not the heroic ancestry o f the Seven...but the manner o f their upbringing from childhood...and their individual acKijccic [modes o f life, fields o f expertise]...: these, not birth, teach virtue’ (Collard (1975) n.842b-3): cf. 911-17. For the play’s educational dimension, see Introduction 1 and Grethlein ((2003) 168-9) who links the pedagogical function o f Adrastos’ speech with that o f the Athenian public funeral oration. 842-3 the young (sons) of these citizens here: Smith (1966), 169, n.20, takes this as referring to ‘the sons o f these, your fellow townsmen [the Argive corpses now on stage]’, i.e. to the chorus o f orphans who, I suggest in n.794 (stage direction), may have come forward to their fathers’ bodies in the orchestra. But for Theseus to refer to the Argive corpses as townsmen or citizens in the play’s Eleusinian setting would seem decidedly odd. The pall-bearers are presumably Athenian citizens, but their sons are not on-stage to be spoken to by Adrastos. In fact, the deictic adjective τώνδε in conjunction with the word for ‘citizens’ would most naturally refer to the Athenian citizens who make up the audience, and it could well be that the play here breaks out o f the confines o f the dramatic action (cf. n.352-3) to include the young citizens in the theatre o f Dionysos, most especially to the orphans o f the Athenian dead who may well be sitting in the front seats o f the theatre: see n.l 123-64 and Introduction 2. since you have greater wisdom: since at 219 Theseus had specifically said that Adrastos was not naturally wise, it is tempting to accept Hermann’s deletion (see apparatus: the meaning that results is: ‘speak; for you have the knowledge.’). But Eur. Phoen. 529-30, cited by Diggle, would suggest that experience can bring its own wisdom (cf. F 619), and Adrastos has had plenty o f that. 844 I saw their bold deeds: the word that I have translated as Ί saw ’ could also mean ‘They saw’. Both are mystifying. O f those on stage, it was only Adrastos who witnessed the exploits o f the Seven. Theseus has o f course seen the corpses and may have inferred the heroes’ bold deeds from their wounds, but that seems a strained interpretation o f Ί sa w ...’ In his Loeb edition, Kovacs, following Camper, moves 8 4 4 5 to after 859, thus making Adrastos the speaker (Euripidea Altera (Leiden/New York/Κόΐη, 1996) 93). A different solution would be to emend είδον (Ί saw’) to είδες (‘you saw’). This would make Adrastos its subject and lead to good sense, their: αυτών refers back to οΐδε in 841.

849-50 these words of those who listen are worthless as are those of the speaker who stands amid the fighting: i.e. first- and second-hand reporting are equally unreliable in these circumstances: cf. 854-5.




makes a clear report of who is the hero: the first Greek verb here, απήγγειλε, is a gnomic aorist. For similar scepticism about reports from the front line, see Eur. El. 377—8. In his note there Cropp comments on ‘the serious nature o f this point in an era where...the old traditions o f awards for excellence ( aristeia , e.g. Hdt. 8.123) and calling on witnesses to one’s valour (e.g. HF 176-87) were in question'. There is surely no Euripidean mockery here o f his messenger speech earlier in the play. That was delivered by a man who had observed the battle from a tower, not participated in it (see n.652).

857-917 Adrastos’ Funeral Oration 1. This speech, in which Adrastos pays tribute to five o f the Seven, has called forth very different critical responses. The essential problem is that Adrastos presents the five heroes as moral exemplars while the myth has established them as monsters, particularly in the cases o f Kapaneus and Tydeus. So is the oration a satire on the cliches o f the speeches over the war dead delivered annually in Athens (the most famous o f which is Perikles' as given in Thuc. 2.34ff. (for this Athenian custom, see Introduction 4))? For satirical/ironic interpretations, see especially L.H.G. Greenwood (1953) 92-120, Fitton (1961) 4 3 7 ^ 0 , Smith (1966) 162-^t, Gamble (1970), 403f., Mendelsohn (2002) 187-96. The basic stance o f such interpretations is one only too familiar to students o f Euripides. Greenwood, 99, sums it up when he says that There are things even in this play which are not easy to explain on the assumption that Euripides does mean what he appears to mean, and not something else’. And Fitton. 446, expresses the stance more pithily: O n e would have thought that it were better to regard Euripides as a satirist than a bungler’. Following in the footsteps o f Zuntz (1955), 13-16, 19, 23, 24, Collard (1972) rebuts these ingenious readings. One key point in his detailed argument is that the Greek tragedians always feel free to adapt the myths for dramatic purposes. Characterization o f both on-stage and narrated persons is subordinate to the dramaturgy o f a whole play. O f Kapaneus, for example, he remarks (44), ‘There is nothing a Capaneus made temperate and uncompromisingly loyal for the Oration - and the exemplary portrait set prominently at its start serves too as a preparatory motif for his wife Evadne’s suicide: she dies from devotion to a model husband. While Euripides has the Theban Herald recall Capaneus’ uppic at Thebes (496-9), this is in the special context o f the agon with Theseus: he is careful to have Theseus as the agon s moral ‘victor’ argue that with their death Capaneus and all the Seven have paid their debt to justice: their account is settled (528ff.. esp. 530: ή δίκη διοίχεται).’ Another important point is Collard's insistence on the educational nature o f the oration (see Introduction 1). At 841-2 (see n.) Theseus says to Adrastos, ‘How ever did these men come to be pre-eminent among mortals in courage? Tell the young (sons) o f these citizens here since you have greater wisdom .’ The young sons surely include those in the audience (see n.842-3). As Collard remarks, 44, ‘Together the portraits illustrate a wide range o f social and civic virtues acquisible by any man if he schools himself to them.’ It is such a schooling that Adrastos’ Funeral Oration offers. (For the motif o f education, see Introduction 1.) And the context in which it is presented is essentially a martial, not a civic one (840-5), so that the critique by Mendelsohn



((2002) 194) that it is out o f line with the values that ‘helped constitute fifth-century Athens’ ideological self-portrait’ is beside the point. Burian (1985), 146-9, has suggested a middle way between the two critical approaches: the speech is ‘a failed attempt at genuine praise’. ‘The custom o f honouring the dead, time-honoured and comforting, entails a disastrous suspension o f judgement’ on Adrastos’ part about the true nature o f these particular dead heroes. This approach is certainly a tempting one. Equally tempting is the view o f Grethlein ((2003) 173-4) that the discrepancy between the picture o f the heroes offered earlier in the play by the Theban herald as well as in the mythical tradition, and the portraits drawn by Adrastos reflects the tension between the truth communicated by tragedy and the ideal o f the funeral oration. A final consideration is that the de mortuis nil nisi bonum principle was, according to Plutarch (Sol. 21.1), enshrined in the law which Solon bequeathed to the Athenians: ‘Praise is given also to the law o f Solon which forbids speaking ill o f the dead.’ Cf. PI. Menex. 234C. (According to Cicero (On the Laws 2.63), in early times the speeches at the funeral banquet had been truthful: the relatives considered it wrong to lie.)

2. In these five portraits Adrastos tries to encapsulate what he sees as the essential character (qOoc) o f each o f the heroes. He develops three o f the portraits in association with the etymologies o f their names. The name Eteoklos is a collateral form o f Έτεοκλήο ( ‘truly famous’): see 874; Hippomedon means ‘horse-ruler’: see 886; Parthenopaios means ‘girl-boy’: for his beauty see 899. Adrastos steers clear o f such etymologies in the case o f Kapaneus, whose name damns him: see n.496-7. And the name Tydeus does not offer an opportunity for such development. 3. Theseus’ question to Adrastos at 841-2 relates specifically to pre-eminence in courage. The Greek word used for ‘courage’ here is ευψυχία: it refers to male courage in battle. See the discussion o f the word by Dover (1974), pp. 166-7. Whatever the flaws o f character that the five warriors may have had, no fault can be found with them as exemplars o f this virtue. It is surely appropriate to consider Adrastos’ eulogy in this context. Theseus has altered the view o f courage expressed in 161 (there too the Greek word is ευψυχία). But then he was condemning headstrong bravado; at 841 he appears to be commending reasoned courage learned by training and experience (cf. 885, 903, 909-17). 857 Listen then: the Greek here (ακούε δή νυν) is a tragic formula favoured by Euripides. 858-9 about whom: the preposition πέρι comes at the end o f the sentence, a long way from the relative pronoun which it governs. However, the word for ‘friends’ (the Greek literally means ‘about which friends’) is placed between them, keeping the listener alert to the need for something to complete the sense. 860 the man whom (Zeus9) violent thunderbolt pierced: Adrastos does not ignore the hubristic conclusion to Kapaneus’ life, but the portrait as a whole is deeply sympathetic. Kapaneus was unpretentious and not self-indulgent with his wealth, but modest and moderate (861-6); a true friend but with few friends (867-8); sincere, affable and reliable for all, both for those within the oikos (home) and for citizens



generally (869—71 — note the civic dimension), violent: L’s τον αβρόν ( ‘the delicate man’) is utterly out o f place in any portrait o f Kapaneus. Tyrwhitt’s transference o f the emended adjective to the weapon (βέλος - i.e. the thunderbolt that killed him) leads to good sense. Polybius (5.9.5) quotes a mocking adaptation o f this line by one Samos which was graffitized on the walls o f a city devastated in 218 BC in retaliation for the sack o f a place called Dion (4.62.2—3): opaic τό δΐον...βέλος ( ‘do you see...the divine (i.e. Zeus’) weapon?’). The jest is that τό δΐον...βέλος can be taken to mean ‘the Dionbolt’. Samos’ adaptation establishes that in the Euripidean original the adjective qualifies the weapon (τό λάβρον), not the man (τον αβρόν). If this emendation is accepted, there is surely no case for a satirical interpretation o f the speech (see n .857917.1). Kapaneus was certainly not delicate but everything else that Adrastos says about all five heroes is perfectly plausible, however incomplete. 864 boasted too much of (extravagant) feasts: boasted: the Greek word έξογκόω literally means ‘heap up’, ‘sw ell’, and there is doubtless a suggestion here o f the physical consequences o f excessive eating as well as the metaphorical sense o f being puffed up with pride: for the latter use, cf. e.g. Eur. Hipp. 938, Andr. 703. (extravagant) dinners: the Greek word for ‘dinners’ (τραπέζαιο) literally means ‘tables’. The use o f the plural suggests dining on a large scale: cf. Ar. Vesp. 1216 with M acDowell’s note.

867-8 He was also a true friend to his friends whether they were present or absent: this definition o f friendship - being true to friends even when they are distant is something o f a cliche: cf. Eur. Hipp. 1001, El. 245. The antithesis παρών/μή παρών has a proverbial ring: cf. 649. 869 he was an easy conversationalist: literally, ‘an affable mouth’. 870 there was nothing immoderate: literally, ‘having nothing unmixed’, as o f wine: cf. Eur. Cyc. 149. The nominative masculine participle εχων ( ‘having’) does not agree with anything grammatically; we might expect it to be in the dative o f possession ( ‘there was a character etc. (869) (possessed by him, a man) having’). But the man him self can be easily inferred as the noun governing the participle. For asyndeton in characterizations, see Eur. Or. 903-6, 920-2. I translate OCT’s άκρατον, but since Kapaneus’ moderation has been dealt with at length in 861-6, there is a case for keeping L’s άκραντον, ‘unfulfilled’: he always carried out his promises. 876-7 make his behaviour servile: literally, Tender (his) ways slaves (i.e. slavish)’. For the use o f the word δούλος cf. Eur. Or. 1170, F 1029.2. Again there is the insistence on the essential character: see n.857-917.2. Eteoklos’ self-control in coping with his poverty (873-7) and his loyalty to the civic ideal (cf. n.860) despite bad leadership (878-80) look back to the debate between Theseus and the Theban Herald (4 0 7 -8 ,4 1 2 -2 5 , 4 3 3 ^ 1 ). 879 take my word for it: I translate the particles τοι καί (Denniston, GP 545-6). 880 helmsman: for the image o f the ship o f state, see n.267-9, and cf. 509. 882-3 starting right from childhood: literally, ‘being a child, he at o n c e ...’ to avoid the Muses9 pleasures and the soft life: literally, ‘not to turn him self in pursuit o f (πρόο + acc.: KG 1.519-20: same sense in 885) softness (literally, the soft thing) o f life’. Eteoklos had no time for music and poetry. There is an interesting debate in Euripides’ fragmentary Antiope between the farmer Zethos and his musician brother Amphion. Music, says Zethos, has corrupted Amphion (F 185.2ff.,186), rendering him



useless at home and in the city and a nobody for his friends (F 187). He tells him to ‘cease from useless activities and practise the fine music o f hard work' (F 188). On the other hand, it is interesting to note that the greatest o f warriors, Achilles, played and sang to the lyre (Horn. //. 9.186-9). Cf. 906 and Eur. Hipp. 452. 8 8 4 - 5 he loved to subject his nature to harsh training: literally, ‘he rejoiced (in) giving harsh things to his nature'. 885-6 loved...loving: editors have worried about the repetition o f the verb χαίρω here, but it is surely unproblematic, loving to ride: literally, ‘taking joy in his horses'. For this very obvious instance o f the name reflecting the nature (Hippomedon means ‘horse-ruler’), see n.857-917.2. 887 wishing to make his body useful to the city: again the civic dimension: cf. nn. 860, 876-7, 882-3. Hippomedon’s physical fitness is devoted to the good o f the city. 888-90 Atalante: this Arcadian heroine participated in the famous hunt o f the Caledonian boar, the next: for this use o f aXXoc (‘other': here, ‘next’, ‘further’) cf. 71 and Eur. Tro. 706. Inakhos: see n.628-9. 889 Parthenopaios, a young man: his youth is stressed in the repetition o f the pai (παΐ) sound in pais (naic = boy. young man) and Parthenopa/os (Collard (1972) 41). For the exploitation o f the hero's name ( ‘girl-boy’), see n.857-917.2. An anapaest in the ‘second foot' is unproblematic when a name is used: cf. Eur. HF 220. Dindorf s deletion o f naic is mistaken. As we have seen, the hero’s youth and beauty are lent deliberate emphasisis and there is no pleonasm. Dindorf s deletion was motivated by the appearance o f the name Parthenopaios at the head o f a line in Aeschylus’ description o f the Arcadian in Sept. (547: the description is at 532-49). 891 was educated: in the Greek, this is a historic present. 892 foreigners living in a city: Parthenopaios was a metic (μέτοικοο). For advice in tragedy for foreigners to conform, see Aesch. Supp. 994ff.. Soph. OC 171-2 and Page’s note on Eur. Λled. 222. 899-900 He had many male and t many t female lovers too, but he took care to do no wrong: the only literal sense that can be extracted from the first clause as L preserves it here is: 'having many male lovers and how many from women!’; while ocac (how many!) can certainly introduce an exclamation, the expression seems decidedly convoluted. Hence England’s and Canter’s emendations (see apparatus), which would mean ‘as many’ and ‘an equal number’ respectively. For the idea that a beautiful boy should show self-discipline, see Demosthenes. 613. Following L. Dindorf, Collard (1972). 41, argues that these lines should be deleted, thus removing *a detail o f frivolous irrelevance’ from the sketch. But cf. Alcibiades' praise o f Socrates’ sexual temperance at PI. Symp. 218b-219e. I cannot agree with Collard that these lines are ‘inconsequential stu ff. Michelini (1994), 243. feels that the beauty o f Parthenopaios ‘offered him special challenges and temptations to which he responded with the same restraint that he brought to his role as a metic’. noting that ‘instead o f beginning with personal virtue and moving to civic topics [like the other descriptions], this description moves in reverse order’. Presumably the aim is variety. In a forthcoming paper, ‘Les moeurs des hommes politiques a Athenes au Vieme siecle’, Pauline Schmitt Pantel examines the way in which non-political behaviour and



political action are linked in fifth century Athens in six o f Plutarch’s Lives. She gives three examples o f love affairs: ‘The first presents the common love o f Themistocles and Aristides for a young man as the beginning o f their political rivalry [Arist. 2.2-3]. The second is the love o f Cimon for his sister, this being at odds with the honourable public life he led afterwards [Cim. 4.5-7]. The third is the love inspired by Alcibiades in his (male) contemporaries, divided between those attracted by his beauty and Socrates, who admired his virtue, thus showing the ambivalent rhetoric o f political/erotic seduction around Alcibiades [Ale. 4 .1 -4 ].’ Another example that could be cited here is Pericles’ comment to Sophocles, who, when serving together with him at Samos, began to praise the looks o f a handsome boy. Pericles remarked that a general has to keep his eyes clean as well as his hands (Plut. Per. 8.8). Schmitt Pantel concludes by commenting that ‘various domains, in addition to political acts, contributed to an Athenian political identity in the fifth century BC’. Sexual conduct was a significant factor. 902-8: there may well be damage and interpolation in the portrait o f Tydeus. See Collard (1975) 334-5. The main problems are: 1. Adrastos declares in 901 that he will praise Tydeus briefly (έν βραχεί), yet his eulogy continues for another seven lines. (This is surely not a difficulty: at Eur. F 362.5, the same word, βραχεί, introduces a sermon o f some 30 lines; and in any case the portrait o f Tydeus is significantly the briefest tribute in this speech.): 2. there is duplication, with Tydeus’ greater ability at fighting than speaking being mentioned twice (902, 908) and his martial skill being praised in both 902-3 and 906, where there is a further problem about the use o f metonymy (see n.); and there is repetition in 903 (see n.902-3); 3. in a tribute to Tydeus, why say that he is inferior to his brother Meleagros? Why mention Meleagros at all? As can be seen. Diggle deletes 902-6. Certainly, as Professor Diggle has observed to me, the verbless lines 9 07-8 fit perfectly after 901. He feels that the lack o f verbs gives 907-8 a lapidary ring, and might well have prompted interpolation from readers who thought more verbs were needed. Gregoire and Smith preserve the whole passage, but the accumulation o f problems makes it tempting to follow Diggle. Even so, L’s characterization o f Tydeus is in general a striking and forceful one and Adrastos’ speech as a whole would be weakened by its emasculation. With all their difficulties, I should prefer to let 90 2 -6 stand. 902-3 he did not shine at speaking: cf. 907-8: in this particular play, with the high value it sets on verbal communication (see n.739-40), this may come across as a seriously adverse criticism. At Homer II. 4.399-400, Agamemnon says that Tydeus produced a son inferior to him self at fighting, though superior in the agora (assembly). Euripides presumably glances at that comment here. As Peter Jones remarks ( Homer's Iliad (London, 2003) 57), ‘It is as important for the [Homeric] hero to win arguments in council as battles on the field, since in both arenas, the hero's personal status is at stake.’ Achilles says o f him self (//. 18.105-6) that he surpasses everyone else in warfare, though in the assembly others are better, a formidable expert in warfare and in finding much wisdom there: literally, ‘a terribly good (δ ειν ό ς sophist in the shield (i.e. warfare - metonymy: cf. n.473-5 and 6opoc in 905) and (terribly good) at finding many wise things’. Tydeus’ civic virtue finds expression in deeds, not words (908), in warfare, not the arts o f peace.



The repetition in co