Aias Oileiades and Nauplios’ Revenge (page 696)

Chapter 17, The Return from Troy

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Proklos, Nostoi argumentum – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, pp. 94-95, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library) 2.1.5

Amymone had a son Nauplius by Poseidon. This Nauplius lived to a great age, and sailing the sea he used by beacon lights to lure to death such as he fell in with. It came to pass, therefore, that he himself died by that very death. But before his death he married a wife; according to the tragic poets, she was Clymene, daughter of Catreus; but according to the author of The Returns, she was Philyra; and according to Cercops she was Hesione. By her he had Palamedes, Oeax, and Nausimedon.  Greek Text

Alkaios 262 SLG – Supplementum Lyricis Graecis, ed. D. Page, p. 81. Oxford 1974.

Aischylos, Agamemnon 646-73

But when one comes with glad news of deliverance to a city rejoicing in its happiness—how shall I mix fair with foul in telling of the storm, not unprovoked by the gods’ wrath, that broke upon the Achaeans? [650] For fire and sea, beforehand bitterest of foes, swore alliance and as proof destroyed the unhappy Argive army. In the night-time arose the mischief from the cruel swells. Beneath blasts from Thrace ship dashed against ship; [655] and they, gored violently by the furious hurricane and rush of pelting rain, were swept out of sight by the whirling gust of an evil shepherd. But when the radiant light of the sun rose we beheld the Aegean flowering with corpses [660] of Achaean men and wreckage of ships. Ourselves, however, and our ship, its hull unshattered, some power, divine not human, preserved by stealth or intercession, laying hand upon its helm; and Savior Fortune chose to sit aboard our craft [665] so that it should neither take in the swelling surf at anchorage nor drive upon a rock-bound coast. Then, having escaped death upon the deep, in the clear bright day, scarce crediting our fortune, we brooded in anxious thought over our late mischance, [670] our fleet distressed and sorely buffeted. So now, if any of them still draw the breath of life, they speak of us as lost—and why should they not? We think the same of them.  Greek Text

Sophokles, Aias Lokros fr 10c R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 4, pp. 105-6, ed. S.L. Radt. Göttingen 1977.

Euripides, Troades 48-97

Athena
May I address the mighty god whom the gods revere and who to my own father is very near in blood, [50] laying aside our former enmity?

Poseidon
You may; for over the soul the ties of kin exert no feeble spell, great queen Athena.

Athena
For your forgiving mood my thanks! I have messages to impart affecting both yourself and me, lord.

Poseidon
[55] Do you bring fresh tidings from some god, from Zeus, or from some lesser power?

Athena
From none of these; but on behalf of Troy, whose soil we tread, I have come to seek your mighty aid, to make it one with mine.

Poseidon
What! have you laid your former hate aside [60] to take compassion on the town now that it is burnt to ashes?

Athena
First go back to the former point; will you make common cause with me in the scheme I purpose?

Poseidon
Yes, surely; but I want to learn your wishes, whether you have come to help Achaeans or Phrygians.

Athena
[65] I wish to give my former foes, the Trojans, joy, and on the Achaean army impose a bitter return.

Poseidon
Why do you leap thus from mood to mood? Your love and hate both go too far, on whomever centred.

Athena
Do you not know the insult done to me and to the shrine I love?

Poseidon
[70] I do: when Aias dragged away Cassandra by force.

Athena
Yes, and the Achaeans did nothing, said nothing to him.

Poseidon
And yet it was by your mighty aid they sacked Ilium.

Athena
For which cause I would join with you to do them harm.

Poseidon
My powers are ready at your will. What is your intent?

Athena
[75] I will impose on them a return that is no return.

Poseidon
While they stay on shore, or as they cross the salt sea?

Athena
When they have set sail from Ilium for their homes. On them will Zeus also send his rain and fearful hail, [80] and inky tempests from the sky; and he promises to grant me his thunder-bolts to hurl on the Achaeans and fire their ships. And you, for your part, make the Aegean strait to roar with mighty billows and whirlpools, and fill Euboea‘s hollow bay with corpses, [85] that Achaeans may learn henceforth to reverence my temples and regard all other deities.

Poseidon
So shall it be, for this favor needs only a few words. I will vex the broad Aegean sea; and the beach of Myconos and the reefs round Delos, [90] Scyros and Lemnos too, and the cliffs of Caphareus shall be strewn with many a corpse. You go to Olympus, and taking from your father’s hand his lightning bolts, keep careful watch against the hour when Argos‘ army lets slip its cables. [95] A fool is he who sacks the towns of men, with shrines and tombs, the dead man’s hallowed home, for at the last he makes a desert round himself and dies.  Greek Text

Euripides, Troades 80-81

and he promises to grant me his thunder-bolts to hurl on the Achaeans and fire their ships.  Greek Text

Euripides, Helen 766-67

Why should I tell you about our losses in the Aegean, and Nauplios’ beacons on Euboia? Greek Text

Euripides, Helen 1126-31

an Achaean man, who had only a single ship, lit a blazing beacon on sea-girt Euboia, and destroyed many of them, casting them onto the rocks of Kaphareus [1130] and the sea-shores of the Aegean, by the treacherous flame he kindledGreek Text

 

Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2023

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