Orestes’ Revenge (page 680)

Chapter 17, The Return from Troy

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Aischylos, Choephoroi (Libation Bearers)

The tomb of Agamemnon. Enter Orestes and Pylades

Orestes
Hermes of the nether world, you who guard the powers that are your father’s, prove yourself my savior and ally, I entreat you, now that I have come to this land and returned from exile. On this mounded grave I cry out to my father to hearken, to hear me [5]

[Look, I bring] a lock to Inachus in requital for his care, and here, a second, in token of my grief.

For I was not present, father, to lament your death, nor did I stretch forth my hand to bear your corpse.

What is this I see? [10] What is this throng of women that moves in state, marked by their sable cloaks? To what calamity should I set this down? Is it some new sorrow that befalls our house? Or am I right to suppose that for my father’s sake they bear these libations to appease the powers below? [15] It can only be for this cause: for indeed I think my own sister Electra is approaching, distinguished by her bitter grief. Oh grant me, Zeus, to avenge my father’s death, and may you be my willing ally!

Pylades, let us stand apart, [20] that I may

know clearly what this band of suppliant women intends. Exit Orestes and Pylades. Enter Electra with women carrying libations.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

Stesichoros, Oresteias 217 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, pp. 116-17 ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Aischylos, Eumenides

The Priestess of Pythian Apollo
First, in this prayer of mine, I give the place of highest honor among the gods to the first prophet, Earth; and after her to Themis, for she was the second to take this oracular seat of her mother, as legend tells. And in the third allotment, with Themis’ consent and not by force, [5] another Titan, child of Earth, Phoebe, took her seat here. She gave it as a birthday gift to Phoebus, who has his name from Phoebe. Leaving the lake and ridge of Delos, he landed on Pallas’ ship-frequented shores, [10] and came to this region and the dwelling places on Parnassus. The children of Hephaistos, road-builders taming the wildness of the untamed land, escorted him with mighty reverence. And at his arrival, the people [15] and Delphus, helmsman and lord of this land, made a great celebration for him. Zeus inspired his heart with prophetic skill and established him as the fourth prophet on this throne; but Loxias is the spokesman of Zeus, his father.

These are the gods I place in the beginning of my prayer. [20] And Pallas who stands before the temple is honored in my words; and I worship the Nymphs where the Corycian rock is hollow, the delight of birds and haunt of gods. Bromius has held the region —I do not forget him— ever since he, as a god, led the Bacchantes in war, [25] and contrived for Pentheus death as of a hunted hare. I call on the streams of Pleistus and the strength of Poseidon, and highest Zeus, the Fulfiller; and then I take my seat as prophetess upon my throne. And may they allow me now to have the best fortune, far better than on my previous entrances. [30] And if there are any from among the Hellenes here, let them enter, in turn, by lot, as is the custom. For I prophesy as the god leads. She enters the temple and after a brief interval returns terror-stricken  Continue Reading  Greek Text

Aischylos, Eumenides 605

Chorus
She was not related by blood to the man she killed.  Greek Text

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

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