Aischylos, Argeiai fr 17 R
Euripides, Phoinissai (Phoinician Women) 1141-99
To begin with, we fought with bows and thonged javelins, with slings that shoot from far and crashing stones; and as we were conquering, Tydeus and your son suddenly cried aloud: “You sons of Danaus, before you are torn to pieces by their attack, why delay to fall upon the gates with all your might, light-armed and cavalry and charioteers?” No loitering then, soon as they heard that call; and many fell with bloody head, and many of us you could have seen thrown to the earth like tumblers before the walls, breathing their last, bedewing the dry ground with streams of blood…. Greek Text
Euripides, Phoinissai (Phoinician Women) 1219-39
Those two sons of yours are resolved on deeds of shameful recklessness, a single combat apart from the army; they addressed to Argives and Thebans alike words I would they had never uttered. Eteocles, taking his stand on a lofty tower, after ordering silence to be proclaimed to the army, began: [and said: “O captains of Hellas,] chieftains of Argos here assembled, and you people of Cadmus, do not barter your lives for Polyneices or for me! For I myself excuse you from this risk, and will engage my brother in single combat; and if I slay him, I will possess my house alone, but if I am conquered I will hand down the city to him alone. You men of Argos, give up the struggle and return to your land, do not lose your lives here; there are enough of the Sown-men who lie dead.” So he spoke; then your son Polyneices rushed from the battle-line and assented to his proposal. And all the Argives and the people of Cadmus shouted their approval, as though they thought it just. Greek Text
Euripides, Phoinissai (Phoinician Women) 1356-1424
Of our successes before the towers you know, for the walls are not far away [so as to prevent your learning each event as it occurred]. Now when they, the young sons of the old Oedipus, had adorned themselves in their bronze armor, they went and took their stand between the armies, [chieftains both and two generals] for the contest and the single combat. Then Polyneices, turning his eyes towards Argos, lifted up a prayer: “O Lady Hera, for I am yours, since I have married the daughter of Adrastus and dwell in your land, grant that I may slay my brother, and give my right hand, which is set against him, the victory, stained with his blood.” [Asking for a shameful crown, to kill his brother. And tears came to the eyes of many at their sad fate, and men looked at one another, casting their glances round.] But Eteocles, looking towards the temple of Pallas with the golden shield, prayed: “Daughter of Zeus, grant that this arm may launch the spear of victory against my brother’s breast and slay him who has come to sack my country.”… Greek Text
Euripides, Phoinissai (Phoinician Women) 1455-59
But when their mother saw this sad event, in her overmastering grief she snatched a sword from the dead, and did a fearful deed; for she drove the steel right through her throat, and there she lies, dead with those she loved so well, her arms thrown round them both. Greek Text
Euripides, Phoinissai (Phoinician Women) 903-1018
Then you will presently hear my prophetic words. But first I would know for certain where Menoeceus is, who led me here.
Here, not far away, but at your side.
Let him go far from my prophecies.
He is my own son and will be silent as he ought.
Do you want me to tell you in his presence?
Yes, for he will rejoice to hear the means of safety.
Then hear the intent of my oracle; [if you observe it, you will save the city of Cadmus] you must sacrifice Menoeceus, your son here, for your country, since you yourself are calling on fate… Greek Text
ApB 3.6.7-8 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)
Now Amphiaraus had forbidden Eriphyle to accept gifts from Polynices; but Polynices gave her the necklace and begged her to persuade Amphiaraus to go to the war; for the decision lay with her, because once, when a difference arose between him and Adrastus, he had made it up with him and sworn to let Eriphyle decide any future dispute he might have with Adrastus. Accordingly, when war was to be made on Thebes, and the measure was advocated by Adrastus and opposed by Amphiaraus, Eriphyle accepted the necklace and persuaded him to march with Adrastus. Thus forced to go to the war, Amphiaraus laid his commands on his sons, that, when they were grown up, they should slay their mother and march against Thebes. Having mustered an army with seven leaders, Adrastus hastened to wage war on Thebes. Greek Text
Ferrara, Museo Archeologico, 3031. Attic red figure volute krater. Theban heroes.
Athens, National Museum 1125: Attic black-figure lekythos by the Beldam Painter, death of Amphiaraos
O. Benndorf and G. Niemann, Das Heroon von Gjölbaschi-Trysa (1889), p. 196 fig. 157
Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2020
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