AESCHYLUS, FRAG. 57 - 154
 

AESCHYLUS INDEX

PROMETHEUS BOUND

SUPPLIANT WOMEN

SEVEN AGAINST THEBES

AGAMEMNON 1

AGAMEMNON 2

LIBATION BEARERS

EUMENIDES

FRAGMENTS 1 - 56

FRAGMENTS 57 - 154

FRAGMENTS 155 - 272

PAPYRI FRAGMENTS

TRANSLATED WITH NOTES BY HERBERT WEIR SMYTH

MEMNÔN

According to the story in the Aethiopis of the Cyclic poet Arctinus of Miletus, as summarized by Proclus in his Chrestomathy 458, Achilles is informed by his mother Thetis that Memnon, the son of Eos, clad in full armour fashioned by Hephaestus, has come to the aid of the Trojans. Antilochus, the son of Nestor, is slain in battle by the Ethiopian prince, who in turn is slain by Achilles, whose mother begs of Zeus the boon of immortality for her son. Achilles routs the Trojans, bursts into the city, is killed by Paris and Apollo; his body is borne to the ships by Ajax, while Odysseus keeps the Trojans at bay. Thetis, attended by the Muses and her sister Nereïds, arrives on the scene bewails her son, whose body she takes from the funeral pyre and carries to the island of Leuce.

The trilogy consisted of The Memnôn, Psychostasia, The Weighing of Souls (the order is disputed), and a third play unknown, but probably dealing with the death of Achilles. In the Psychostasia Zeus was represented as holding aloft the balance, in the scales of which were the souls of Achilles and Memnon, while beneath each stood Thetis and Eos, praying each for the life of her son. Comparing the passage in the Iliad (X 210), in which Zeus weighs the fates of Achilles and Hector, Plutarch (How a Young Man ought to hear Poems 2. p. 17A) says that Aeschylus accommodated a whole play to this fable.
Fragments 155, 161, 181, 183 have been referred to the Memnon.

FRAGMENT 57

Eustathius on Iliad 1156. 18, Bekker, Anecdota Gracea 445. 18 (kai . .. arkios); cp. Hesychius, Lexicon.

And lo, he draws near and his advance fills us with chilling fear, like a blast from the North that falls on sailors unprepared.

FRAGMENT 58

Bekker, Anecdota Graeca 353. 11 (Aischulos Agamemnoni: Memnoni Wellaeuer), Photius, Lexicon 42. 16 (Reitzenstein).

Bronze, unshorn (?) and stretched over the shield.

Restoration and translation are wholly uncertain. The ancients were hopelessly confused between the words athêrês, atheirês, ateirês, atêrês, atherêtos, atheritos. Possibly the bronze of a shield may be said to be “unshorn,” “unconquered,” since a weapon “shears off” what it strikes (cp. Euripides, Suppliants 716).


MYRMIDONES

The Achilles-trilogy, the “tragic Iliad,” consisting of the Myrmidones, Nêreïdes, Phruges ê Hektoros lutra, dramatized (so far as this was appropriate by visible action or reported description) the chief events of the Homeric story of the death of Patroclus, the slaying of Hector, and Priam’s ransom of the body of his son.
See Fragments 155, 240, 263, 266.

FRAGMENT 59

Harpocration, Glossary of the Ten Attic Orators 259. 11, explaining propepôkôs as having the meaning of prodedôkôs; l. 1 Aristophanes, Frogs with Scholiast.

Beholdest thou this, glorious Achilles, beholdest thou the distress wrought by the destructive lance upon the Danaans, whom thou hast betrayed, yet sittest idle within thy tent?

From the parodus of the Chorus of Myrmidons.

FRAGMENT 60

Aristophanes, Frogs 1264 with Scholiast.

Lord of Phthia, Achilles! Why, oh, why, when thou hearest the man-slaying (Ah woe!) buffetings of war, dost thou not draw night to our rescue?

By the repetition of l. 2 in Frogs 1266, 1271, 1275, 1277, after other high-sounding dactylic measures, Aristophanes is here seeker (inter alia) to ridicule Aeschylus for his iteration of the refrain and his strange use of interjections. In the present instance kopon yields an intelligible sense with androdaïkton; in the other cases the word (and the entire verse) has no connexion with what precedes, being solely designed to mark the obscurity of Aeschylus’ choral lyrics.
A later Scholiast on Frogs 1264 and on Prom. 441 ascribes the two verses to envoys, whose pleadings that Achilles enter the battle were received with inflexible silence.

FRAGMENT 61

Scholiast Venetus on Aristophanes, Peace 1177; l. 1 Scholiast Ravennus on Frogs 932.

The buff horse-cock fastened thereon, the laborious work of outpoured paints, is dripping.

When the Trojans set fire to a ship of the Greeks (in O 7171 Hector attempts to burn that of Protesilaüs), the heat caused the melting of the paint of the figure (or picture of a horse-cock, the emblem of the vessel. A horse-cock is pictured in Harrison and MacColl, Greek Vase-Paintings pl. viii.

FRAGMENT 62

Aristophanes, Women in Parliament 392 with Scholiast. The Scholiast ends the quotation with mallon, but, since Gataker, the following words are also generally ascribed to Aeschylus.

Antilochus, bewail me, the living, rather than him, the dead; for I have lost my all.

FRAGMENT 63

Scholiast on Aristophanes, Birds 807, 808, Suidas, Lexicon s.v. tauti men; l. 1 Pseudo-Diogenianus, Proverbs (Paroemiographi Graeci i. 180); ll. 4-5 Birds 808 and often in late writers: Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On the Power of the Style of Demosthenes 7, Philo of Alexandria, On the Incorruptibility of the World 14. 49 (Cohn and Reiter vi. 88), Galen, On the Opinions of Hippocrates and Plato iv (vol. v. 395), Aristeides, On Rhetoric 15 (ii. 17), Athenaeus, Deipnosophists xi. 86. p. 494B. Eustathius on Iliad 632. 35.

Even so is the Libyan fable famed abroad: the eagle, pierced by the bow-sped shaft, looked at the feathered device, and said, “Thus, not by others, but by means of our own plumage, are we slain.”

Achilles has lost his friend Patroclus, who, by his consent and clad in his armour, fought to rescue the Greeks only to lose his life.

FRAGMENT 64

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists xiii. 79. p. 602E, cp. Plutarch, On Love 5. p. 751C; 1.2 Plutarch, How to know a Flatterer from a Friend, 19. 61A.

No reverence hadst thou for the unsullied holiness of thy limbs, oh thou most ungrateful for my many kisses!

Fragments 64-66 are from the address of Achilles in the presence of the corpse of Patroclus, who had been slain by Hector (P 821) and lay with his lower limbs uncovered. Achilles here mournfully urges against him the reproach that, in his forbidden advance against the Trojans, he had been heedless of the affection of his friend.

FRAGMENT 65

[Lucian], The Loves 54.

And the chaste nearness of thy limbs.

The Fragment was ascribed to Aeschylus by Porson.

FRAGMENT 66

Bekker, Anecdota Graeca 321. 22, Suidas, Lexicon s.v. abdelukta, etc.

And yet – for that I love him – they are not repuslive to my sight.


MYSOI

According to the common version of the legend, Telephus, son of Heracles and Auge, daughter of Aleüs of Tegea, being ignorance of his parents, was directed by an oracle to seek for them in Mysia, of which country Teuthras was ruler. Aristotle (Poetics 1460 a 32), however, referring to the fault that improbably incidents are sometimes set forth within a play (whereas they ought, if possible, to be external, as part of the fable) alludes to Telephus as having come speechless all the way from Tegea to Mysia, a taboo explicable only if he had incurred blood-guiltiness (cp. Eumenides 448). Telephus had, in fact, killed his maternal uncles.
Fragment 208 has been referred to The Mysians.

FRAGMENT 67

Strabo, Geography xiii. 1. 70. p. 616 (wrongly ascribing the verse to the prologue of The Myrmidones, an error corrected by Pauw), Macrobius, Saturnalia v. 20. 16.

Hail, Caïcus and ye streams of Mysia!

FRAGMENT 68

Photius, Lexicon 344, 19, Suidas, Lexicon s.v. orgeônes.

Hail, thou first priest of Caïcus’ stream, by thy healing prayers mayest thou preserve thy lords!

FRAGMENT 69

Photius, Lexicon 113. 15 (Reitzenstein).

I saw them trotting (?) amid the spears.


NEANISKOI

The Youths, the third play of the Lycurgus-trilogy, apparently has its name form the Edonians who celebrated the worship of Dionysus that had gained admission into the kingdom of Lycurgus despite the opposition of that prince.
See Fragments 179, 187, 193, 210, 256.

FRAGMENT 70

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists xi. 109. p. 503C.

Breezes in cool, shady places

FRAGMENT 71

Photius, Lexicon 102. 13 (Reitzenstein).

Besides, in addition to these, having the plenteous woes of the immortals.


NÊREÏDES

Thetis, accompanied by her sister Nereïds, comes from the depths of the sea to enquire the cause of the lamentations of her son (cp. S 53 ff.). She finds Achilles by the dead body of Patroclus and promises to procure from Hephaestus new armour that he may take vengeance on Hector, who has been exulting over the death of Patroclus. The play probably contained a description of Achilles’ new armour, his reconciliation with Agamemnon, and his combat with Hector, whose corpse was dragged in at the close.
See Fragments 158, 189.

FRAGMENT 72

Scholiast on Euripides, Women of Phoenicia 209.

Having crossed the plain of the sea, that bears dolphins

FRAGMENT 73

Herodianus Technicus, Excerpts 22. 31 (Hilgard).

Let fine linen be cast about his body.

FRAGMENT 74

Hesychius, Lexicon s.v. enarophoros, states that ancient commentators compared X 412: “for it is unholy to boast over slain men,” and gives the meaning of the much mangled words as follows:

Death, the spoiler and slayer, angry at boastings, will quit the company of the immortals on high (?).

FRAGMENT 75

Scholiast on Pindar, Nemean 6. 85 (53).

Hurling the shaft with forked point


NIOBÊ

The place and progress of the action of this famous drama cannot be determined with any certainty. Apart from the title-heroine, the only person know to participate in the action is Tantalus, the father of Niobe – himself, like his daughter, destroyed because of evil pride engendered by great good fortune. Niobe, according to Homer (Ô 602 ff.), had vaunted herself a more prolific mother than Leto, whose two children, Apollo and Artemis, therefore slew her seven sons and seven daughters. From Fragment 81 it has been inferred that he scene remained Thebes throughout the play. Since it is expressly reported that Sophocles in his Niobe made the mother return to her native Lydia after the destruction of her children in Thebes, it is likely that this transference of the place of action from Thebes to Lydia was not anticipated by Aeschylus. – The older poet gives no hint as to the reason for the calamity visited by Zeus upon Amphion, Niobe’s husband and his own son.
Sources other than the text inform us that Aeschylus gave Niobe fourteen children, a number adopted by Euripides and Aristophanes; whereas, apart from other variations in the tradition, Homer states that they were twelve, Hesiod twenty, equally divided as to sex. – Until the third part of the play Niobe sat speechless upon the tomb of her dead offspring, apparently the most celebrated instance of the dramatic device of silence often employed by Aeschylus, and for which he is ridiculed by Euripides in Aristophanes, Frogs 911.
It has been disputed whether the title refers only to the one play Niobe, or whether, like Prometheus, it was both a collective designation of an entire trilogy and also the name of a single drama; in any case, as to the dramas presented at the same time we have no information. Welcker sought to establish the group Trophoi (distinct from Dionysos trophoi), Niobê, Propompoi. R. J. Walker finds a trilogy in Kallistô, Atalantê, Niobê on the ground that all the persons thus named suffered metamorphosis, and that Artemis was prominent in each member of the group. From Aristotle (Poetics 18. 1456 a 16) it would seem that Aeschylus did not, like some playwrights, deal with the whole story of Niobe. There is no indication whether or not Aeschylus adopted the legend that Niobe was turned to stone.
Fragments 197, 227, 240 have been ascribed to the Niobe.

FRAGMENT 76

Choeroboscus (41. 10) on Hephaestion’s Handbook of Metres 7 (Consbruch 3. 15).

Maidens such as these Ister and pure Phasis claim to breed.

FRAGMENT 77

Plato, Republic ii. 380A, whence Eusebius, Preparation for the Gospel xiii. 3. 643C; without mention of the poet’s name: Plutarch, How a Young Man ought to hear Poems 2. 17B, On Common Conceptions against the Stoics 14. 1065E.

God planteth in mortal men the cause of sin whensoever he wills utterly to destroy a house.

FRAGMENT 78

Hesychius, Lexicon s.v. epôzein (he took the passage to mean that Niobe sat over her dead children as a hen sits on her eggs – an interpretation still current).

Seated on their tomb she made lament over her dead children.

FRAGMENT 79

Strabo, Geography xii. 7. 18. p. 580; speirô . . . chôron Plutarch, On Banishment 10. 603A, That a Philosopher ought chiefly to converse with Great Men 3. 778B.

I sow a field twelve days’ journey wide, even the Berecynthian land, where Adrastea’s seat and Ida resound with lowing oxen and bleating sheep, and the whole plain roars.

Spoken by Tantalus. The words of Fragment 80 have regard to the overthrow of his house and followed close upon those of Fragment 79.

FRAGMENT 80

Plutarch, On Banishment 10. 603A.

My fate, that dwelt aloft in Heaven, now falleth to earth and saith to me “Learn not to esteem human things overmuch.”

FRAGMENT 81

Stobaeus, Anthology iv. 51. 1 (Hense v. 1066) in cod. Sambuci; ll. 1-3 Scholiasts AB on Iliad I 158 (cp. Eustathius on Iliad 744. 3); l. 1 Aristophanes, Frogs 1392, Scholiast on Sophocles, Electra 139, and on Euripides, Alcestis 55, Suidas, Lexicon s.v. thanatôn, monos theôn, pagkoinos.

For, alone of gods, Death loves not gifts; no, not by sacrifice, nor by libation, canst thou aught avail with him; he hath no altar nor hath he hymn of praise; from him, alone of gods, Persuasion stands aloof.

FRAGMENT 83

Plato, Republic iii. 391E; cp. Strabo, Geography xii. 8. 21. p. 580.

The kindred of the gods, men near to Zeus, whose is the altar of Zeus, their sire, high in clear air on Ida’s hill, and in their veins not yet hath ceased to flow the blood divine.

Spoken by Niobe, says Strabo.


XANTRIAI

The subject of this play is the rejection of the newly instituted worship of Dionysus either by Pentheus or by the daughters of Minyas. The Scholiast on Eumenides 24 states that the death of Pentheus took place, in the Xantriai, on Mt. Cithaeron; and Philostratus (Images 3. 18) describes a picture in which the mother and aunts of Pentheus rend asunder (xainousi) the body of the unbelieving prince. On the other hand, Aelian (Historical Miscellanies 3. 42, cp. Ovid, Metamorphoses 14. 32 ff.) relates that Leucippe, Arsippe, and Alcithoë, the daughters of Minyas, out of love for their husbands, held themselves aloof from the orgiastic rites of Dionysus and attended to their weaving (in which case Xantriai might yield the meaning “Wool-Carders”) and to punish their obstinacy, the god brought madness upon the sisters, so that they tore to pieces the son of Leucippe; in consequence of which deed of blood they were pursued by the Maenads. – Hera appeared in the play in the guise of a priestess begging alms (Fragment 84); and Bacchic frenzy was incorporated as Lyssa (Fragment 85). By some the drama is regarded as satyric.

FRAGMENT 84

Scholiast on Aristophanes, Frogs 1344, Diogenes, Letters 34. 2; l. 3 Plato, Republic ii. 381D.

For the nymphs of the springs, the glorious goddesses mountain-born, I beg a dole, even for the life-giving children of Inachus, the Argive river.

FRAGMENT 85

Photius, Lexicon 326. 22, Suidas, Lexicon s.v oktôpoun.

From the feet up the corwn of the head steals the spasm, the stab of Frenzy, aye, the scorpion’s sting.

FRAGMENT 86

Pollux, Vocabulary 10. 117.

Shafts of pine tree ablaze with fire.

FRAGMENT 87

Galen, Commentary on Hippocrates’ Epidemics vi, vol xvli. 1. 880.

[Women] upon whom looketh neither the sun’s flashing ray nor the starry eye of Leto’s child.

Possibly from a description of the Maenads, whose appearance is represented as equally strange with that of the daughters of Phorcys, upon whom “neither doth the sun with his beams look down, nor ever the nightly moon” (Prom. 796). Hecate, a moon-goddess, is here identified with Artemis.


OIDIPOUS

The second play of the Oedipoedea: Laïos, Oidipous, Hepta epi Thêbas, Sphinx. Of the Laïos no certain remains are attested.
See Fragments 164, 186, 201, 214, 229.

FRAGMENT 88

Scholiast on Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrranus 733.

We were coming on our journey to the place from which three highways part in branching roads, where we crossed the junction of the triple roads at Potniae.


HOPLÔN KRISIS

The Award of the Arms, the first play of the Ajax-trilogy, dealt with the contest between Ajax and Odysseus for the arms of Achilles after that hero’s death. From Fragment 90 it appears that each of the chieftains set forth his pretensions and indulged in detraction of his rival. According to a verse of the Odyssey (L 547, rejected by Aristarchus) the Trojans were the judges; according to the Aethiopis of Arctinus the award was made by Trojan captives; according to Lesches’ Little Iliad the decision in favour of Odysseus resulted from the fact that a Trojan, overheard by Achaean scouts under the walls of the city, pronounced that warrior more redoubtable than Ajax. The constitution of the Chorus is uncertain. Fragment 89 is cited as addressed to Thetis by some one who called upon the Nereïds to make the award. Welcker held that Trojan captives formed the choral group.
Fragment 189 has been referred to the play.

FRAGMENT 89

Scholiast on Aristophanes, Acharnians 883.

Queen of Nereus’ fifty daughters.

FRAGMENT 90

Scholiast on Sophocles, Ajax 190.

But Sisyphus drew nigh unto Anticleia – aye, unto thy mother, I say, who bare thee.

Ajax calls Odysseus a bastard of Sisyphus, the crafty knave.

FRAGMENT 91

Stobaeus, Anthology iv. 43. 24 (Hense v. 1104).

For wherein is life sweet to him who suffers grief?

Spoken by Ajax.

FRAGMENT 92

Stobaeus, Anthology 3. 11. 4 (Hense iii. 431).

For simple are the words of truth.

FRAGMENT 93

Photius, Lexicon 39. 7 (Reitzenstein).

And through his lungs he breathes fevered sleep.


OSTOLOGOI

The Bone-Gatherers was a tragedy, if, as seems not improbably, the Chorus consisted of the relatives of the suitors of Penelope who came to exact vengeance from Odysseus for the slaughter of their kin and to collect their bones after their bodies had been burned on the funeral pyre (cp ô 417). On this supposition, Fragments 94 and 95 were spoken by Odysseus standing by the corpses of the suitors and recounting the insults he had received at their hands.
A counter interpretation, regarding the play as satyric, derives the title from the hungry beggars in the palace at Ithaca, who collected the bones hurled at them by the suitors (cp. u 299, s 394).

FRAGMENT 94

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists xv. 5. p. 667C.

Eurymachus here, another, brought no less unseemly outrage upon me; for he continually made my head his mark, and at it, with bent-armed casts, his vigorous hand kept aiming true.

The poet has in mind that form of the cottabus-game (kottabos or kossabos) in which each of the players so bent his arm and turned his wrist as to aim the wine left in the bottom of his cup at the head of a small bronze figure (manes) placed in a saucer (plastinx).

FRAGMENT 95

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists i. 30. p. 17C; cp. Eustathius on Odyssey 1828. 28; tên kakosmon . . . kara Sopocles, Frag. 565. Ascribed to Aeschylus by Athenaeus, to this play by Welcker.

There is the man who once hurled at me (nor did he miss his aim) a missile that caused them all to laugh, even the ill-smelling chamber-pot; crashed about my head, it was shivered into shards, breathing upon me an odour unlike that of unguent-jars.


PALAMÊDÊS

Palamedes, son of Nauplius, was the human, as Prometheus was the divine, inventor or discoverer of arts and sciences useful to man; and to both were ascribed the introduction of the alphabet, number, and the skill to know the periods of the stars. Later epic and the tragic drama were especially concerned with the manner of his death at Troy. According to the legend preferred by the tragedians, his violent end was due to the ancient enmity of Odysseus, whose feigned madness to escape participation in the Trojan war had been detected by the ingenuity of Palamedes. One account had him drowned by Odysseus and Diomedes; another had him lured into a well in search of treasure and then crushed with stones. More famous was the story that Odysseus, in concert with Agamemnon (to whom Palamedes, as leader of the peace party, was opposed) concocted a plot to show that their adversary purported to betray the Greeks: gold was hidden in his tent, likewise a letter purporting to be written to him by Priam, on the discovery of which by the people he was stoned to death by Odysseus and Diomedes.
Nauplius, failing to obtain justice form the murderers of his son, took vengeance on the Greek commanders by raising deceptive fire-signals on the Capherean cliffs in Euboea at the time of their homeward voyage.
Fragment 252 has been referred to this play.

FRAGMENT 96

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists i. 19. p 11D; oiston . . . trita Eustathius on Odyssey 1791. 42.; l. 3 often in later writers.

Both commanders of regiments1 and centurions did I appoint for the host, and I determined their knowledge of different foods,2 and for them to take breakfast, dinner, and supper third.

Spoken by Palamedes (Athenaeus).
1. At Athens taxiarchoi commanded the troops raised from each of the tribes.
2. It is uncertain whether the mention of food refers to soldiers’ rations or has regard to a distinct invention on the part of Palamedes. Possibly eidenai is corrupt.

FRAGMENT 97

Scholiast A on Iliad D 319.

By reason of what injury hast thou slain my son?

Nauplius reproaches Odysseus for the death of his son.


PENTHEUS

The Pentheus anticipated Euripides’ Bacchae, in which play Dionysus, angered at the refusal of Pentheus, ruler of Thebes, to recognize his godhead, inspired with frenzy the prince’s mother Agave and her sisters. In their madness the women tore Pentheus to pieces, and Agave bore his head in triumph in the delusion that it was that of a lion. See Eumenides 26, and cp. Fragment 197.

FRAGMENT 98

Galen, Commentary on Hippocrates’ Epidemics vi. Vol. xvii. 1. 880.

Nor do thou cast a drop of blood upon the ground.


PERRHAIBIDES

The Women of Perrhaebia belongs with the Ixion. Compare Fragments 182, 192, 222.

FRAGMENT 99

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists xi. 99. p. 499A, Eustathius on Odyssey 1775. 22.

Where are my many promised gifts and spoils of war? Where are my bold and silver cups?

Eïnoeus here, as in Frag. 100, demands the bridal-gifts promised him by Ixion.

FRAGMENT 100

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists xi. 51. p. 476C, Eustathius on Iliad 917. 63.

With silver-mounted drinking-horns, fitted with golden mouthpieces.

FRAGMENT 101

Eustathius on Iliad 352. 34, Favorinus, Lexicon s.v. apaiolê.

He has perished piteously, defrauded of his own.


PÊNELOPÊ

FRAGMENT 102

Etymologicum Geniunum s.v. aoidoiestaton; cp. Etymologicum Magnum 31. 6.

I am a Cretan of most ancient lineage.

Odysseus, on the occasion of his first conversation with Penelope after his return, fabricates the tale that he is a Cretan, the grandson of Minos (t 180). In x 199 he tells Eumaeus that he is a Cretan, the son of Castor.


PROMÊTHEIS

The Medicean Catalogue of Aeschylus’ plays names three entitled Promêtheus (desmôtês, lyomenos, purphoros); a fourth, Promêtheus purkaeus (Pollux, Vocabulary 9. 156, 10. 64) was probably the satyric drama of the trilogy Phineus, Persai, Glaukos (pontios) produced in 472 B.C. From the Scholiast on Prom. 511 it is to be inferred that the Lyomenos followed the Desmôtês. The theme and place of the Pyrphoros are still disputed: (1) it is another name for the Pyrkaeus; (2) it preceded the Desmôtês in the trilogy and dealt with the Titan’s theft of fire – in this sense, it is the Fire-Bringer or Fire-Giver; (3) as the Fire-Bearer, it followed the Lyomenos, and described the inauguration of the Promêtheia, the Athenian festival at which torch-races were held in honour of the Titan, now become the god of the potter-guild. Some, who follow Canter in identifying the Pyrphoros with the Pyrkaeus, maintain that it was the satyric drama, and dealt with the Attic worship of the god. A satyr-play in the Prometheus-trilogy is unknown.
The extract from the Literary History, appended to the Life of the poet in the Medicean and many other manuscripts, says that “some of Aeschylus’ plays, as those entitled Prometheus (oi Promêtheis), dealt only with gods.” The singular Promêtheus, may at times be a collective title; but it generally indicates a particular play whose more exact designation was unknown or neglected. Late writers sometimes city, as from the Desmôtês, passages not appearing in that play: these should, if possible, be located among the other dramas of the group rather than forced into the text of the extant tragedy.

FRAGMENT 103

Scholiast on Aristeides, In Defence of the Four Statesmen, vol. iii. 501. 17 (en Promêthei desmôtê).

For silence is gain to many of mankind.

Cp. Agam. 548, Frag. 118.


PROMÊTHEUS LYOMENOS

Fragments 104, 105, 106 are from the parodus of the Chorus of Titans, now released from Tartarus by the clemency of Zeus. To them Prometheus describes his tortures (Frag. 107) and his benefits to man (Frag. 108). In his search for the golden apples of the Hesperides, Heracles, having come to the Caucasus, where Prometheus is confined, receives from him directions concerning his course through the land of the peoples in the farthest north (Frag. 109-111) and the perils to be encountered on his homeward march after slaying Geryon in the farthest west (Frag. 112, cp. 37). Frag. 113-114 refer to Heracles’ shooting of the eagle that fed on the vitals of the Titan.
See Fragments 204, 208, 209, 230, 261.

FRAGMENT 104

Arrian, Voyage in the Euxine 99. 22, Anonymous in Müller, Fragmenta Historicum Graecorum v. 194.

We have come to look upon these thy ordeals, Prometheus, and the affliction of thy bonds.

FRAGMENT 105

Strabo, Geography i. 2. 27. p. 33.

[Leaving] the Erythraean Sea’s sacred stream red of floor, and the mere by Oceanus, the mere of the Aethiopians . . . that giveth nourishment unto all, where the all-seeing Sun doth ever, in warm outpourings of soft water, refresh his undying body and his wearied steeds.

Cited by Strabo as proof that the ancient Greeks designated as Aethiopia all the southern countries toward the ocean. In l. 3 chalkokeraunon is credited with the meaning “flashing like bronze.” But keraunos is not used for steropê (chalkosteropon Weil, chalkomaraugon Hermann; but neither satisfies).

FRAGMENT 106

Arrian, Voyage in the Euxine 99. 22, Anonymous in Müller, Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum v. 184.

Here Phasis, the mighty common boundary of the land of Europe and Asia

FRAGMENT 107

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations ii. 10. 23-25; ll. 14-15 sublime – sanguinem in Nonius Marcellsu, Compediosa Doctrina 17. 9M.

Ye race of Titans, offspring of Uranus, blood-kinsmen mine ! Behold me fettered, clamped to these rough rocks, even as a ship is moored fast by timid sailors, fearful of night because of the roaring sea. Thus hath Zeus, the son of Cronus, fastened me, and to the will of Zeus hath Hephaestus lent his hand. With cruel art hath he riven my limbs by driving in these bolts. Ah, unhappy that I am! By his skill transfixed, I tenant this stronghold of the Furies. And now, each third woeful day, with dreadful swoop, the minister of Zeus with his hooked talons rends me asunder by his cruel repast. Then, crammed and glutted to the full on my fat liver, the utters a prodigious scream and, soaring aloft, with winged tail fawns upon my gore. But when my gnawed liver swells, renewed in growth, greedily doth he return anew to his fell repast. Thus do I feed this guardian of my awful torture, who mutilates me living with never-ending pain. For fettered, as ye see, by the bonds of Zeus, I have no power to drive from my vitals the accursed bird. Thus, robbed of self-defence, I endure woes fraught with torment: longing for death, I look around for an ending of my misery; but by the doom of Zeus I am thrust far from death. And this my ancient dolorous agony, intensified by the dreadful centuries, is fastened upon my body, from which there fall, melted by the blazing sun, drops that unceasingly pour upon the rocks of Caucasus.

FRAGMENT 108

Plutarch, On Fortune 3. 98C (cp. On the Craftiness of Animals 7. 965A), Porphyry, On Abstinence 3. 18.

Giving to them stallions – horses and asses –and the race of bulls to serve them as slaves and to relieve them of their toil.

FRAGMENT 109

Galen, Commentary on Hippocrates’ Epidemics vi, vol. xvii. 1. p. .

Follow this straight road ; and, first of all, thou shalt come to the north winds, where do thou beware the roaring hurricane, lest unawares it twist thee up and snatch thee away in wintry whirlwind.

FRAGMENT 110

Stephen of Byzantium, Lexicon 7. 5 (s.v. Abioi) on Iliad N 6 (cp. Scholiasts AT). Homer calls the Abioi the “most just of men.”

Thereafter thou shalt come unto a people of all mortals most just and most hospitable, even unto the Gabians; where nor plough nor mattock, that cleaves the ground, parteth the earth, but where the fields, self-sown, bring forth bounteous sustenance for mortals.

FRAGMENT 111

Strabo, Geography vii. 3. 7. p. 301.

But the well-ordered Scythians that feed on mares’ milk cheese

In Iliad N 5 Homer mentions Hippêmolgoi, who drink mares’ milk.

FRAGMENT 112

Strabo, Geography iv. 1. 7. p. 183; ll. 1-3 Dionysius of Halicarnasus, Early History of Rome i. 41.

Thou shalt come to the dauntless host of the Ligurians, where, full well I know, thou shalt not be eager for battle, impetuous though thou art; for it is fated that even thy arrows shall fail thee there; and thou shalt not be able to take from the ground any stone, because the whole place is smooth. But the Father, beholding thy helplessness, shall pity thee, and, holding above thee a cloud, shall overshadow the land with a shower of round stones. Hurling these, thou shalt easily drive back the Ligurian host.

According to Strabo, Prometheus here gives directions to Heracles concerning the road he is to take on his journey from the Caucasus to the Hesperides.
Strabo states that the place was called the Stony Plain, and was situated between Marseilles and the outlets of the Rhone, about a hundred stades distant from the sea. It is now identified with “la plaine de la Crau” near Arles.

FRAGMENT 113

Plutarch, On Love 14. 757E. Ascribed to this play by Schültz.

May Hunter Apollo speed my arrow straight!

The prayer of Heracles as he bends his bow against the eagle that rends Prometheus (Plutarch).

FRAGMENT 114

Plutarch, Life of Pompey 1.

Of his sire, mine enemy, this dearest son

Prometheus addresses Heracles as the author of his deliverance (Plutarch).


PROMÊTHEUS PYRKAEUS

To Prometheus the Fire-Kindler has been referred Fragment 156; to the “satyric Prometheus,” 169, 170, 171, 172.

FRAGMENT 115

Pollux, Vocabulary 10. 64.

And linen-lint and long bands of raw flax

FRAGMENT 116

Galen, Commentary on Hippocrates’ Epidemics vi, vol. xvii. 1. 880.

And do thou guard thee well lest a blast strike thy face; for it is sharp, and deadly-scorching its hot breaths.

FRAGMENT 117

Plutarch, How to Profit by our Enemies 2. 86F, Eustathius on Iliad 415. 7.

Like the goat, you’ll mourn for your beard, you will.

Spoken, says Plutarch, by Prometheus to the satyr who desired to kiss and embrace fire on seeing it for the first time. Eustathius took tragos to be the nominative used for the vocative; and the passage thus interpreted has been regarded as a proof that the satyr of the satyr-play was addressed as “goat.” The translation assumes the existence of a proverb about a goat that burnt his beard (Shorey in Classical Philology iv. (1904) 433).


PROMÊTHEUS PYRPHOROS

Apart from Fragment 118, the only extant reference to Prometheus the Fire-Bearer is contained in the scholium on Prom. 94, where the statement is made that, in the Pyrphoros, Prometheus declared that he had been bound (dedesthai) thirty thousand years (to the same effect, Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 15, but without naming the play). On the assumption that the Pyrphoros preceded the Desmôtês and that the Titan was prophesying the duration of his bondage, Hartung conjectured dedêsesthai, Cobet dethêsesthai. Welcker proposed to refer the utterance of Prometheus to the Lyomenos; in Desmôtês l. 774 the hero says to Io that he shall be released by her descendant in the thirteenth generation.

FRAGMENT 118

Gellius, Attic Nights xiii. 19. 4.

Both silent, when there is need, and speaking in season

Cp. Seven against Thebes 619, Libation-Bearers 582, Euripides, Frag. 413.


PRÔTEUS

The satyr-play of the Orestea and dealing with the fortunes of Menelaüs in Egypt, whither he seems to have been carried by the storm described in Agam. 674. In the fourth book of the Odyssey, Menelaüs relates his encounter with the “deathless Egyptian Proteus,” whom he compelled to disclose how he might find his way home from the island of Pharos.

FRAGMENT 119

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists ix. 50. p. 394A.

A wretched piteous dove, in quest of food, dashed amid the winnowing-fans, its breast broken in twain


SALAMINIAI

In Aristophanes, Frogs 1040, Aeschylus declares that his spirit, taking its impress from Homer, created many types of excellence, such as Patroclus and Teucer, the lion-hearted. It is highly probably that The Women of Salamis, the third play of the Ajax-trilogy, had as its theme the fortunes of Teucer, Ajax’s half-brother, after his return from Troy with Eurysaces, the son of Ajax. Tradition reports Teucer’s repudiation of his father Telamon, inconsolable at the loss of Ajax, for whose death he held Teucer responsible; Teucer’s expulsion from his home; and his founding a new Salamis in Cyprus. The Chorus probably consisted of women of Salamis, who joined with their mistress Eriboea in lamenting the death of her son. The drama may have ended with the inauguration of the annual festival in honour of Ajax, whose virtues and unhappy fate were thus commemorated by his aged father.
The play is entitled Salaminiai in Herodian (see Frag. 120), Salaminioi in the Medicean Catalogue.
To The Women of Salamis have been referred Fragments 157, 167, 196, 2332, 263.

FRAGMENT 120

Herodian, On Peculiar Words ii. 942. 4 (Lentz), On Words of Two Qualities in Cramer, Anecdota Graeca Oxoniensia iii. 295. 15. Pseudo-Draco, On Metres 35.12 (=Grammaticus Hermanni) derives from Herodian.

Would that I might get a mantle like unto the heavens!

Mantles and curtains were often embroidered with stars among many ancient peoples: Eurip. Ion 1147, Nonnus, Dion. Xl. 578; cp. Psalm civ. 2.


SISYPHOS

Sisyphos dratetês, Sisyphus the Runaway, is named only in the Medicean Catalogue; Sisyphos petrokylistês, Sisyphus the Stone-Roller, is mentioned twice in grammarians; elsewhere the form of citation is simply Sisyphos.
The first-named drama was satyric; its theme, the escape from Hades of the crafty Corinthian king. According to the fabulous story told by Pherecydes (Frag. 78 in Müller, Fragmenta Historicum Graecorum, i. p. 91) Sisyphus made known to Asopus that it was Zeus who had carried off his daughter Aegina; in punishment for which offence the god sent Death against the babbler; but Sisyphus bound Death fast, so that men ceased to die, until Ares came to the rescue, released Death, and gave Sisyphus into his power. Before he died, however, Sisyphus directed his wife Merope to omit his funeral rites, so that Hades, being deprived of his customary offerings, was persuaded by the cunning trickster to let him go back to life in order to complain of his wife’s neglect. But, once in the upper world, he refused to return, and had to be fetched back by Hermes. – The Satyrs forming the Chorus were probably represented as initiates if the play was a parody of the Dionysiac-Orphic mysteries. (Sisyphus the Stone-Roller is one of the six dramas mentioned by the ancients in connexion with the charge of impiety brought against the poet.)
Sisyphos petrokylistês is probably identical with the Sisyphos drapetês (at least Frag. 127 savours of a satyr-play); and the conclusion of the single drama may have been the famous punishment inflicted on the “craftiest of men” (cp. l 593).

FRAGMENT 121

Pollux, Vocabulary 10. 78 (cp. 7. 40).

And now it behoves to bring water for feet that bear a god. Where is the bronze-wrought tub with lion-base?

Returning to Corinth from his journey from Hades, Sisyphus orders a bath for his feet, that bear one more than mortal. Cp. Horace, Satires ii. 3. 20.

FRAGMENT 122

Pollux, Vocabulary 10. 20.

Do thou, the master of the house, leer well and mark!

FRAGMENT 123

Aelian, On Animals xii. 5.

Nay, is it some field-mouse so monstrous large?

From a description of Sisyphus emerging from the earth.

FRAGMENT 124

Etymologicum Gudianum 227. 40, Cramer, Anecdota Graeca Oxoniensia ii. 443. 11.

Now [I came] to bid farewell to Zagreus and to his sire, the hospitaler.

Sisyphus describes his departure from the lower world. Dionysus, viewed by the Orphics as the child of Zeus and Persephone, received the name Zagreus, the “great hunter.” At times he was thus identified with Hades, at times made the son of the “hospitaler of the dead” (Suppliant Maidens 157).

FRAGMENT 125

Etymologicum Gudianum 321. 58, Cramer, Anecdota Graeca Parisiensia iv. 35. 22.

And in the sinews of the dead there is no blood.

FRAGMENT 126

Etymologicum Gudianum 321. 58, Cramer, Anecdota Graeca Parisiensia iv. 35. 23.

But in thee there is no vigour nor veins that flow with blood.

FRAGMENT 127

Scholiast on Aristophanes, Peace 73 (en Sisuphô petrokulistê).

‘Tis a beetle of Aetna, toiling violently.

The ancients explained a “beetle of Aetna” either as a comic exaggeration (“as huge as Aetna”) or as referring to the actual size of the beetles on the mountain. Epicharmus mentions (Frag. 76) a report that these beetles were of vast size. Pearson, Class. Rev. 28 (1914) 223, sees here a jest due to the verbal similarity of kanthôn “pack-ass” and kantharos. Cp. Sophocles frag. 162.


SPHINX

The Sphinx was the satyr-play of the Oedipus-trilogy. See Fragment 155.

FRAGMENT 128

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists xv. 16. p. 674D.

For the stranger a garland, an ancient crown, the best of bonds, as Prometheus said.

Athenaeus (xv. 13. p. 672E-F) cites Menodotus of Samos to the effect that, after Zeus had freed Prometheus from his bonds and the Titan had professed himself willing to make a “voluntary and painless” expiation for his theft of fire, Zeus ordered him to wear a garland as a symbolic punishment; and that the Carian custom of wearing garlands of osier was a memorial of the shackles once worn by Prometheus, the benefactor of mankind. Athenaeus himself (xv. 16. p. 674D) states that Aeschylus, in the Prometheus Unbound, distinctly says: “In honour of Prometheus we place garlands on our heads as an atonement for his bonds.”
Ek Promtheôs logou may signify either (1) that in tô de xenô . . . logou (the (unknown) speaker is simply referring to the “story of Prometheus”; or (2) that the words desmôn aristos were spoken by the Titan in the Prometheus Unbound as an indication of his satisfaction with the form of retribution imposed on him after his release from the torture of his bonds. The latter explanation would dispose of the inconsistency thought by Athenaeus to exist between the utterance of Prometheus quoted above (676D) and Fragment 128: namely, that a garland, which in later times was worn as a symbol of the agony of Prometheus, could not have been praised by the sufferer himself. If the second interpretation is correct, the Prometheus-trilogy is earlier than 467 B.C., the date of the production of the Sphinx.
The “stranger” is probably Oedipus; but the situation is unknown.

FRAGMENT 129

Aristophanes, Frogs 1287 with Scholiast.

The Sphinx, the Watch-dog that presideth over evil days


TÊLEPHOS

According to the Cyclic epic, the Cyprian Lays, Telephus, king of Mysia, having been wounded by the lance of Achilles in the first expedition of the Greeks against Troy, had recourse to the Delphic oracle, which returned the answer ho trôsas kai iasetai, “he who wounded, he shall also heal.” The drama may also have adopted the legend that Telephus went to Argos, where, by the counsel of Clytaemestra, he seized the infant Orestes, whom he threatened to kill unless Agamemnon persuaded Achilles to heal him of his wound. The Scholiast on Aristophanes, Acharnians 323, says that, in Aeschylus, Telephus, in order to secure his safety among the Greeks, laid hold of Orestes. Since it is the Telephus of Euripides that is ridiculed by Aristophanes, it is supposed by many scholars that “Aeschylus” is an error for “Euripides” in the statement of the Scholiast.
See Fragment 198.

FRAGMENT 130

Aristophanes, Frogs 1270. The Scholiast on the passage declares that, whereas Timachidas referred the verse to the Telephus, Asclepiades ascribed it to the Iphigenia of Aeschylus.

Most glorious of the Achaeans, wide-ruling son of Atreus, learn of me!

FRAGMENT 131

Plato, Phaedo 108A, Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies iv. 7. p. 583; cp. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Art of Rhetoric 6. 5 (Reiske v. 265).

For a single path leads to the house of Hades.

Cp. Cicero, Tusculun Disputations i. 43. 104 undique enim ad inferos tantundem viae est, referring the sentiment to Anaxagoras : pantachothen homoia estin hê eis Haidou katabasis (Diogenes Laertius ii. 3. 11).


TOXOTIDES

Actaeon, the hunter, turned into a deer, was torn asunder by his dogs, who did not recognize their master. The common version of the legend – that he was thus punished by Artemis for having seen her bathing – seems to have been adopted by Aeschylus. The Chorus of “Archer-Maidens” were nymphs, attendants of Artemis in the chase.

FRAGMENT 132

Bekker, Anecdota Graeca 351. 9; cp. Photius, Lexicon 41. 10 (Reitzenstein) s.v. athêros hêmera.

Not yet has any day, without its game, sent Actaeon homeward empty-handed, only rich in toil.

FRAGMENT 133

Antigonus of Carystus, Incredible Tales 115.

For in pure maidens, knowing not the marriage-bed, the glance of the eyes sinks from shame.

FRAGMENT 134

Antigonus of Carystus, Incredible Tales 115; ll. 1-2, Plutarch, On Love 21. 767B; l. 2 Plutarch, On Progress in Virtue 10. 81D. In Antigonus these lines follow Fragment 133 after a short interval.

The burning gaze of a young woman, such as hath tasted man, shall not escape me; for I have a spirit keen to mark these things.

FRAGMENT 135

Scholiast A on Iliad I 593.

The dogs destroyed their master utterly.


PHILOKTÊTÊS

The story of Philoctetes, king of Malis, touched upon in Iliad B 721, was narrated at length in two Cyclic epics – the Little Iliad by Lesches and the Destruction of Ilium by Arctinus. On their expedition to Troy, the Greeks abandoned Philoctetes on the island of Lemnos because, having been bitten in the foot by a poisonous snake, his screams of pain and the odour from his wound rendered his presence intolerable. In the tenth year of the war, when the Greeks were despairing of victory, they learned from the seer Helenus that Troy could not be taken without the aid of Philoctetes and his bow and arrows, weapons given him by the dying Heracles, who had himself received them from Apollo. Diomedes was accordingly sent to Lemnos, and fetched thence the hero and his arms.
In his fifty-second Discourse (4-10), Dion of Prusa, surnamed the “golden-mouthed,” gives a brief comparison of the Philoctetes of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. In the Aeschylean play, instead of the noble Diomedes, the “shrewd and crafty” Odysseus was the envoy. Unchanged in aspect and voice by Athena, he appeared before Philoctetes, but was unrecognized because the powers of the sufferer had been impaired by his disease, his hardships, and his solitary life. The Chorus consisted of men of Lemnos, who had left Philoctetes unvisited until then – a more tragic and a simpler device (says Dion) than the excuse proffered by them according to Euripides – so that he hero could with good reason set forth to them, as something new, the story of his desertion by the Greeks and the cause of his distress. Odysseus sought to cheer Philoctetes and to gain his confidence by a false tale – disaster had befallen the Greeks; Agamemnon was dead; Odysseus had been put to death by reason of some shameful crime; and the Greeks at Troy were in desperate case. Dion omits to tell how Odyseus secured the arms – whether this was done first by treason (as was done by Neoptolemus in Sophocles) and then by persuading the hero that his bow as necessary to the success of the Greeks. But Odysseus’ deception and his pleas were seemly (Dion says), suited to a hero, and convincing – it needed no great skill or plot to content against a sick man and that a simple bowman.
The drama of Aeschylus was distinguished, according to Dion, by simplicity, absence of complicated plot, and dignity; by its antique air and its rugged boldness of sentiment and diction, so that it was well suited to express the nature of tragedy and to body forth the ancient manners of the heroic age.
Aspasius on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics 1150 b6 states that in Aeschylus, as in Sophocles, Philoctetes endeavoured to conceal his agony but was finally forced to give it utterance.
See Fragments 163, 180, 185, 190, 191, 198.

FRAGMENT 136

Aristophanes, Frogs 1383 with Scholiast

O Spercheus’ stream and cattle-grazing haunts!

FRAGMENT 137

Cited as a proverb by Suidas, Lexicon s.v. enth’ oute, Plutarch, On the Tranquility of the Mind 18. 476B, Aristaenetus, Letters i. 27, Pseudo-Diogenianus, Proverbs iv. 88, etc.

Where the wind suffers neither to remain nor to sail forth.

FRAGMENT 138

Scholiast on Odyssey X 12, Eustathius on Odyssey 1748.

Having hung the bow on a black pine-tree

FRAGMENT 139

Plutarch, On the Impossiblity of living happily by following Epicurus 3. 1087F.

For the snake let not go its hold, but fixed in me its dreadful . . ., the ruin of my foot.

Hermann would read stomôton ekphusin, which is supposed to mean “hard outgrowth,” “outgrowth with a mouth-shaped cavity,” “sharp projection,” But we expect something like odontôn (Nauck) ekptusin (Herwerden), “venom spat from its teeth.”

FRAGMENT 140

Aristotle, Poetics 22. 1458 b23.

The ulcer ever feeds on my foot’s flesh.

FRAGMENT 141

Stobaeus, Anthology iv. 52. 32 (Hense v. 1082). Attributed to this play by Maximus of Tyre, Dissertations 7. 5.

O death, the healer, reject me not, but come! For thou alone art the mediciner of ills incurable, and no pain layeth hold on the dead.

On death as the deliverer cp. Sophocles, Philoctetes 797, Trachinians 1209, Oedipus Coloneus 1220, Ajax 854, Frag. 698, Euripides, Hippolytus 1373, Heracleidae 595, Diphilus, Frag. 88. With l. 3 cp. Sophocles, Oedipus Coloneus 955, Euripides, Alcestis 937, Women of Troy 642.


PHINEUS

The Phineus preceded The Persians in the tetralogy produced in 472 B.C.
Apollodorus, Library i. 9. 21, relates the story of Phineus as follows: “Thence the Argonauts put out to sea and landed at Salmydessus in Thrace, where dwelt the seer Phineus, who had lost the sight of his eyes. . . . The gods also sent Harpies against him. These were winged female creatures, and when a table was spread for Phineus, they flew down from the sky and snatched away most of the food, but the little they left smelled so foul that no one could come near it. And when the Argonauts wished to learn about their voyage, he said that he would advise them about it if they would free him from the Harpies. So the Argonauts placed beside him a table of eatables, and the Harpies with a cry flew down and snatched the food. Seeing this, Zetes and Calaïs, the sons of Boreas, who were winged, drew their swords and chased them through the air. . . . Being freed from the Harpies, Phineus revealed their course to the Argonauts, and advised them concerning the Clashing Rocks on the sea.”

FRAGMENT 142

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists x. 18. p. 421F.

And many a deceitful meal with greedy jaws did they snatch away amid the first delight of appetite.

FRAGMENT 143

Etymologicum Genuinum s.v. anêstis.

Hungry wailing standeth not aloof.

FRAGMENT 144

Pollux, Vocabulary 7. 91; cp. 2. 196.

They wear socks in their well-fitting shoes.

Perhaps from a description of the sons of Boreas.


PHORKIDES

The Daughters of Phorcys was a part of the trilogy containing The Net-Draggers (Diktyooulkoi) and Polydectes. In the first of these plays, fisher folk of Seriphus rescue Danaë and her infant son Perseus, who had been placed in a chest and cast into the sea by her father Acrisius. In the second, Polydectes, king of Seriphus, in order the better to effect his purpose of marrying Danaë, sent her son, now grown to manhood, to fetch the head of Medusa, the one of the three Gorgons who was mortal. In pursuit of this quest, Perseus encountered the three daughters of Phorcys, old women from their birth, who possessed between them a single eye and tooth, which they passed to each other in turn, and also the cap of Hades. These women, the Graeae, were sisters and guardians of the Gorgons, who dwelt in a cave by the ocean. On his return, Perseus changed Polydectes into stone by displaying Medusa’s head, which he had cut off with an adamantine sickle that he had received from Hephaestus. In Poetics 18. 1456 a2, Aristotle regards as a distinct species of tragedy such plays as The Phorcides, Prometheus, and those whose scene was laid in the lower world. The Phorcides may be a satyr-drama.

FRAGMENT 145

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists ix. 65. p. 402B, Eustathius on Odyssey 1872. 5.

Into the cave he rushed like a wild boar.

Perseus enters the cave of the Gorgons. aschedôros is called by the ancient grammarians a Sicilian word for syagros.


PHRYGES ê HEKTOROS LYTRA

The scene of The Phrygians or The Ransom of Hector was the tent of Achilles, as in the twenty-fourth book of the Iliad, which the poet here dramatized. Hermes, the divine guide of Priam and his escort of Phrygians, preceded the entrance of the embassy to regain the body of Hector. Except at the beginning, and then only in few words, Achilles refused to speak to the god, but sat in silence, his head veiled in token of his grief for Patroclus. The gold brought as ransom was actually represented as weighed out in sight of the audience (Scholiast on Iliad X 351). To the peculiar dance-figures designed by the poet for the Chorus, allusion is probably made in a passage of a lost play of Aristophanes (Frag. 678): “I remember seeing the Phrygians, when they came in order to join with Priam in ransoming his dead son, how they often danced in many postures, now this way, now that.”
See Fragments 155, 158, 180, 255, 267, 268.

FRAGMENT 146

Pollux, Vocabulary 7. 131.

[Not a king,] but a trafficker by sea, one who takes petty wares from out a land

FRAGMENT 147

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists ii. 36. p. 51C, Eustathius on Iliad 211. 16.

But that man was gentler than mulberries are soft.

The verse refers to Hector and was probably spoken by Priam.

FRAGMENT 148

Stobaeus, Anthology iv. 57. 6 (Hense v. 1138).

And it unto the dead thou art fain to do good, or if thou wouldst work them ill – ‘tis all one, since they feel not or joy or grief. Nevertheless our righteous resentment is mightier than thye, and Justice executeth the dead man’s wrath.

Elsewhere Aeschylus declares that the dead possess consciousness and are wroth with those who have done them injury (Libation-Bearers 324, 41). Here, where Hermes has in mind the outrage done by Achilles to Hector’s corpse, his utterance is intended to console Priam and rebuke Achilles with the thought that, though the dead are insensible and cannot avenge themselves, their cause is in the divine keeping. It is the gods alone who have power to do that which is commonly ascribed to the spirits of the dead.

FRAGMENT 149

Scholiast on Euripides, Andromache 1

Hail, offspring of Andraemon of Lyrnessus, whence Hector brought his dear wife.

The statement of the Scholiast that Andromache is addressed is the sole warrant for the interpretation of the action that supposes her to have accompanied Priam to the tent of Achilles. Since her father was Eëtion from Hypoplacian Thebe according to Homer, and since Chrysa and Lyrnessus were both in the plain of Thebe, the Scholiast seems to have confused Andromache with Briseïs, though he properly remarks on the strangeness of the name given to her father.


PSYCHAGÔGOI

The ancients, say Phrynichus (Bekker, Anecdota Graeca 73. 10), used the word psychagôgos to denote one who by spells brought to life the spirits of the dead. The Spirit-Raisers was connected with the Penelope and The Bone-Gatherers, and included Teiresias’ prophecy to Odysseus concerning that hero’s death (cp. L 100-37). In L 134 the seer obscurely declares that “from out the sea thine own death shall come” (cp. Fragment 152).

FRAGMENT 150

Aristophanes, Frogs 1266 with Scholiast.

We, who dwell by the lake, honour Hermes as our ancestor.

Hermes was born on Mt. Cyllene, not far from Lake Stymphalis.

FRAGMENT 151

Pollux, Vocabulary 10. 10.

Arsenals and wreckage of ships.

FRAGMENT 152

Scholiast Vulg. on Odyssey L 134.

For a heron, in its flight on high, shall smite thee with its dung, its belly’s emptyings; a spine from out this beast of the sea shall rot thy head, aged and scant of hair.

Spoken by Teiresias. In Sophocles’ Odusseus akanthoplêx, which took the story from the Cyclic epic Telegonia, the hero was killed by his son Telegonus, who smote him with a spear tipped with he spoke or fin of a roach.


ÔREITHYIA

According to the legend probably followed by Aeschylus, Boreas, being enamoured of Oreithyia, daughter of Erechtheus, king of Athens, sought her in marriage from her father; repulsed by him, he laid hold of the girl by violence and carried her off as she was sporting by the Ilissus. She bore him two daughters, Chione and Cleopatra, the latter of whom became the wife of Phineus; and two sons, Zetes and Calaïs, who rescued Phineus from the Harpies. In the two extant fragments, which are cited as examples of pseudo-tragic diction, Boreas, enraged at the rejection of his suit, threatens to display his power in its full force.

FRAGMENT 153

Pseudo-Longinus, On the Sublime 3. 1 (after a lacuna of two leaves); cp. John of Sicily, On Hermogenes’ Kinds of Style” in Rhetores Graeci vi. 225.

. . . and check the oven’s soaring blaze; for let me not behold some soot, the tenant of the hearth, weaving in a single wreath of torrent flame, I’ll fire the roof and cinder it. But now – not yet have I blared my noble strain.

FRAGMENT 154

John of Sicily, as under Frag. 163.

With my two jaws I blow a blast and confound the main.

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