Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; drama; tragedy; suspect] [word count] [Aesch. PV].
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436

Prometheus No, do not think it is from pride or even from wilfulness that I am silent. Painful thoughts devour my heart as I behold myself maltreated in this way. And yet who else but I definitely assigned 440their prerogatives to these upstart gods? But I do not speak of this; for my tale would tell you nothing except what you know. Still, listen to the miseries that beset mankind—how they were witless before and I made them have sense and endowed them with reason. 445I will not speak to upbraid mankind but to set forth the friendly purpose that inspired my blessing.

First of all, though they had eyes to see, they saw to no avail; they had ears, but they did not understand ; but, just as shapes in dreams, throughout their length of days, 450without purpose they wrought all things in confusion. They had neither knowledge of houses built of bricks and turned to face the sun nor yet of work in wood; but dwelt beneath the ground like swarming ants, in sunless caves. They had no sign either of winter 455or of flowery spring or of fruitful summer, on which they could depend but managed everything without judgment, until I taught them to discern the risings of the stars and their settings, which are difficult to distinguish.

Yes, and numbers, too, chiefest of sciences, 460I invented for them, and the combining of letters, creative mother of the Muses' arts, with which to hold all things in memory. I, too, first brought brute beasts beneath the yoke to be subject to the collar and the pack-saddle, so that they might bear in men's stead their 465heaviest burdens; and to the chariot I harnessed horses and made them obedient to the rein, to be an image of wealth and luxury. It was I and no one else who invented the mariner's flaxen-winged car that roams the sea.

Wretched that I am—such are the arts I devised 470for mankind, yet have myself no cunning means to rid me of my present suffering.



Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; drama; tragedy; suspect] [word count] [Aesch. PV].
<<Aesch. PV 425 Aesch. PV 436 (Greek) >>Aesch. PV 472

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