Agamemnon (page 665)

Chapter 17, The Return from Troy

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Homer, Odyssey 3.304-6

but meanwhile Aegisthus devised this woeful work at home. [305] Seven years he reigned over Mycenae, rich in gold, after slaying the son of Atreus, and the people were subdued under him.  Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 3.273-75

And many thigh-pieces he burned upon the holy altars of the gods, and many offerings he hung up, woven stuffs and gold, [275] since he had accomplished a mighty deed beyond all his heart had hoped.  Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 3.232-35

But for myself, I had rather endure many grievous toils ere I reached home and saw the day of my returning, than after my return be slain at my hearth, as Agamemnon [235] was slain by the guile of Aegisthus and of his own wife.  Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 4.496-537

but two chieftains alone of the brazen-coated Achaeans perished on their homeward way ( as for the fighting, thou thyself wast there), and one, I ween, still lives, and is held back on the broad deep. “‘Aias truly was lost amid his long-oared ships. [500] Upon the great rocks of Gyrae Poseidon at first drove him, but saved him from the sea; and he would have escaped his doom, hated of Athena though he was, had he not uttered a boastful word in great blindness of heart. He declared that it was in spite of the gods that he had escaped the great gulf of the sea; [505] and Poseidon heard his boastful speech, and straightway took his trident in his mighty hands, and smote the rock of Gyrae and clove it in sunder. And one part abode in its place, but the sundered part fell into the sea, even that on which Aias sat at the first when his heart was greatly blinded, [510] and it bore him down into the boundless surging deep. So there he perished, when he had drunk the salt water.

“‘But thy brother escaped, indeed, the fates and shunned them with his hollow ships, for queenly Hera saved him. But when he was now about [515] to reach the steep height of Malea, then the storm-wind caught him up and bore him over the teeming deep, groaning heavily, to the border of the land,1 where aforetime Thyestes dwelt, but where now dwelt Thyestes’ son Aegisthus. But when from hence too a safe return was shewed him, [520] and the gods changed the course of the wind that it blew fair, and they reached home, then verily with rejoicing did Agamemnon set foot on his native land, and he clasped his land and kissed it, and many were the hot tears that streamed from his eyes, for welcome to him was the sight of his land. Now from his place of watch a watchman saw him, whom [525] guileful Aegisthus took and set there, promising him as a reward two talents of gold; and he had been keeping guard for a year, lest Agamemnon should pass by him unseen, and be mindful of his furious might. So he went to the palace to bear the tidings to the shepherd of the people, and Aegisthus straightway planned a treacherous device. [530] He chose out twenty men, the best in the land, and set them to lie in wait, but on the further side of the hall he bade prepare a feast. Then he went with chariot and horses to summon Agamemnon, shepherd of the people, his mind pondering a dastardly deed. So he brought him up all unaware of his doom, [535] and when he had feasted him he slew him, as one slays an ox at the stall. And not one of the comrades of the son of Atreus was left, of all that followed him, nor one of the men of Aegisthus, but they were all slain in the halls.’  Greek Text

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2023

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