Neoptolemos (page 692)

Chapter 17, The Return from Troy

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Euripides, Andromache 12-25

I myself, a member of a house most free, became a slave and was brought to Greece, given as the choicest of the Trojan spoil [15] to the islander Neoptolemus as his prize of war. I live now in the lands that border on Phthia here and the city of Pharsalia, lands where the sea-goddess Thetis, far from the haunts of men and fleeing their company, dwelt as wife with Peleus. The people of Thessaly [20] call it Thetideion in honor of the goddess’s marriage. Here is where Achilles’ son made his home, and he lets Peleus rule over the land of Pharsalia, being unwilling to take the sceptre during the old man’s lifetime. In this house I have given birth to a manchild, [25] lying with Achilles’ son, my master.  Greek Text

Euripides, Andromache 51-55

he is away in the land of Delphi. There he is offering amends to Apollo for his madness—in which he went to Pytho and asked Phoebus for satisfaction for his father Achilles, whom the god had killed—on the chance that by begging remission of punishment for his previous sins [55] he might win the god’s favor for the future.  Greek Text

Euripides, Andromache 427-32

I’ve caught you. In order that you might leave the goddess’s shrine, I threatened you with the death of your son, by which I induced you to surrender to my power and be slaughtered. [430] As regards yourself, know that this shall be so. As to your son, my daughter shall decide whether she wants to kill him or not.  Greek Text

Euripides, Andromache 706-24

But I will teach you not to regard Paris, shepherd of Mount Ida, a greater enemy to you than Peleus unless you clear off from this house at once, you and your childless daughter. This child, offspring of my loins, [710] shall drive her through this house, grasping her by the hair, if she, sterile heifer that she is, does not put up with others’ having children just because she herself has none. If her luck in respect to children is bad, must we be bereft of offspring? [715] Clear away from this woman, slaves, so that I may learn whether anyone means to prevent me from loosening her hands.  

To Andromache
Raise yourself up!

Andromache rises to her feet
Though I tremble with age, I will loosen the plaited thongs.

To Menelaus
Did you, base coward, mar her hands thus? [720] Was it a bull or a lion you thought you were tying up with the noose? Or were you afraid that she might take a sword and wreak vengeance on you?

To Molossus
Come here under my arm, child, and help me to untie your mother’s bonds. In Phthia I shall bring you to manhood to be a great enemy to these people.  Greek Text

Euripides, Andromache 987-1006

My father shall concern himself with my marriage: it is not for me to decide this. But take me with all speed out of this house [990] so that my husband may not arrive home first and catch me, or old Peleus learn that I am abandoning the house and come after me in hot pursuit.

Do not trouble yourself about interference from the old man. As for the son of Achilles, do not fear him for all his insolence toward me. [995] To free you from this fear, there is a cunningly wrought death-trap that stands in his path with a noose that cannot be thrust aside. I shall not reveal this trap beforehand, but the rock of Delphi shall come to know of my plans as they are brought to fulfilment. I, the matricide, provided the oaths [1000] of my allies in Delphi hold fast, shall teach him not to marry a bride that is rightfully mine. His demand to Lord Apollo for satisfaction for his father’s death shall prove costly to him. His change of heart shall do him no good but the god will punish him. [1005] Both by Apollo’s will and because of my slanders against him he will die a painful death, and he shall know the enmity of the god.  Greek Text

Euripides, Andromache 1231-58

Peleus, because of the marriage-bed we once shared I, Thetis, have left the house of Nereus and come here. First I counsel you not to be too much cast down by your present misfortunes. [1235] For even I, who ought not to have born children to make me weep, since I am a goddess and have a god for my father, have lost the child I had from you, Achilles, swift of foot, whom I bore to be the noblest of the Greeks.

But listen, and I shall tell you why I have come. Take the son of Achilles, who lies here slain, [1240] to the altar of Delphi and there bury him, a reproach to the Delphians, so that his grave may proclaim that he was violently slain by the hand of Orestes. As for the captive woman, I mean Andromache, she must go to dwell in the land of Molossia [1245] and be married to Helenus, and with her must go her son,1 the last of the line of Aeacus. It is fated that his descendants in unbroken succession will rule over Molossia and live their lives in prosperity. For, old sir, it was not to be [1250] that your race and mine should be so laid waste, nor that of Troy, for Troy too is in the gods’ care although it fell by the will of Pallas Athena. As for yourself, in order that you may feel gratitude for your marriage to me, [1255] I shall set you free from mortal woe and make you a god, deathless and exempt from decay. And then you shall dwell with me in the house of Nereus, god with goddess, for all time to come.  Greek Text

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

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