Aeschylus, Eumenides (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; drama; tragedy] [word count] [Aesch. Eum.].
<<Aesch. Eum. 389 Aesch. Eum. 397 (Greek) >>Aesch. Eum. 436


Enter Athena, wearing the aegis.

Athena From afar I heard the call of a summons, from the Scamander, while I was taking possession of the land, which the leaders and chiefs of the Achaeans assigned to me, a great portion of the spoil their spears had won, 400to be wholly mine forever, a choice gift to Theseus' sons. [Note] From there I have come, urging on my tireless foot, without wings rustling the folds of my aegis, [yoking this chariot to colts in their prime.] [Note] 405As I see this strange company of visitors to my land, I am not afraid, but it is a wonder to my eyes. Who in the world are you? I address you all in common—this stranger sitting at my image, and you, who are like no race of creatures ever born, 410neither seen by gods among goddesses nor resembling mortal forms. But it is far from just to speak ill of one's neighbor who is blameless, and Right stands aloof.

Chorus Daughter of Zeus, you will hear it all in brief. 415We are the eternal children of Night. We are called Curses in our homes beneath the earth.

Athena I now know your family and the names by which you are called.

Chorus You will soon learn my office.

Athena I shall understand, if someone would tell the story clearly. 420

Chorus We drive murderers from their homes.

Athena And where is the end of flight for the killer?

Chorus Where joy is absent and unknown. [Note]

Athena And would you drive this man with your shrieks to such flight?

Chorus Yes, for he thought it right to be his mother's murderer. 425

Athena Through other compulsions, or in fear of someone's wrath?

Chorus Where is there a spur so keen as to compel the murder of a mother?

Athena Two parties are present; only half the case is heard.

Chorus But he will not receive an oath nor does he want to give one.

Athena You want to be called just rather than to act justly. 430

Chorus How so? Teach me. For you are not poor in subtleties.

Athena I say that oaths must not win victory for injustice.

Chorus Well then, question him, and make a straight judgment.

Athena Then would you turn over the decision of the charge to me?

Chorus How not?—since we honor you because you are worthy and of worthy parentage. 435

Aeschylus, Eumenides (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; drama; tragedy] [word count] [Aesch. Eum.].
<<Aesch. Eum. 389 Aesch. Eum. 397 (Greek) >>Aesch. Eum. 436

Powered by PhiloLogic