Statius, Thebaid

Statius, The Thebaid, translated by John Henry Mozley, from the Loeb Classical Library edition of 1928, now in the public domain, with thanks to www.theoi.com for making the text available on line. This text has 1397 tagged references to 307 ancient places.
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§ 1.01  My spirit is touched by Pierian fire to recount the strife of brethren, and the battle of the alternate reign fought out with impious hatred, and all the guilty tale of Thebes. Whence, O goddesses, do ye bid me begin? — Shall I sing the origins of the dreadful race, the Sidonian rape and the inexorable terms of Agenor's law, and Cadmus searching o'er the main? Far backward runs the story, should I tell of the anxious husbandman of hidden war, sowing battles in the unhallowed soil, and searching to the uttermost, relate with what song Amphion bade the Tyrian mountains move to form a city's walls, whence came Bacchus' grievous wrath against his kindred towers; what deed fierce Juno wrought; against whom unhappy Athamas caught up his bow, and why with Palaemon in her arms his mother quailed not to leap into the vast Ionian Sea. Nay rather here and now I will suffer the sorrows and the joys of Cadmus to have gone by: let the troubled house of Oedipus set a limit to my song, since not yet may I venture to utter the theme of the standards of Italy and the triumphs of the North, or Rhine twice brought beneath our yoke and Ister twice subject to our law and the Dacians hurled down from their conspiring mount, or how in those days or scarce-approaching manhood Joe was forfended to attack, and of thee, O glory added to the Latian name, whom succeeding early to thy sire's latest exploits Rome longs to be her own for ever. Yea, though a closer bound confine the stars, and the shining quarter of the sky that knows nought of Pleiads or Boreas or rending thunderbolt tempt thee, though he who curbs the fiery-footed steeds set with his own hand upon thy locks the exalted radiance of his diadem, or Jupiter yield thee an equal portion of the great heaven, abide contented with the governance of men, thou lord of earth and sea, and give constellations to the sky. A time will come when emboldened by Pierian frenzy I shall recount thy deeds: now do I pitch my harp but to the singing of Aonian arms and the sceptre fatal to both tyrants; of their madness unchecked by death and the strife of flames in the dissension of the funeral pyre; of kings' bodies lacking burial and cities drained by mutual slaughter, when the dark-blue waters of Dirce blushed red with Lernaean gore, and Thetis stood aghast at Ismenos, once wont to graze arid banks, flowing down with mighty heaps of slain. Which hero first dost thou make my theme, O Clio? Tydeus, uncontrolled in wrath? the sudden chasm that gaped for the laurel-crowned prophet? Distraught Hippomedon, too, repelling his river-foe with corpses demands my song, and I must lament the gallant Arcadian and his wars, and sing with a yet fiercer thrill the fate of Capaneus.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.46  Already had Oedipus with avenging hand probed deep his sinning eyes and sunk his guilty shame in eternal night, abiding in a long and living death. But while he hugs his darkness and the uttermost seclusion of his dwelling, and keeps his secret chamber which the sun's rays and heaven behold not, yet with unwearied wings the fierce daylight of the mind hovers around him, and the Avenging Furies of his crimes assail his heart. Then he displays to heaven those empty orbs, the cruel, pitiful punishment of his life, and with blood-stained hands beats upon the hollow earth, and in dire accents utters this prayer: "Gods who hold sway over guilty souls and over Tartarus crowded with the damned, and thou O Styx, whom I behold, ghastly in thy shadowy depths, and thou Tisiphone, so oft the object of my prayer, be favourable now, and further my unnatural wish: if in aught I have found favour; if thou didst cherish me in thy bosom when I fell from my mother's womb, and didst heal the wounds of my pierced feet; if I sought the lake of Cirrha where it winds between the two summits of the range, when I could have lived contented with the false Polybus, and in the Phocian strait where three ways meet grappled with the aged king and cleft the visage of the trembling dotard, searching for my true sire; if by wit of the foreshowing I solved the riddles of the cruel Sphinx; if I knew exulting the sweet ecstasy and fatal union of my mother's bed, and passed many an unhallowed night, and begot sons for thee, as well thou knowest, yet soon, greedy for punishment, did violence to myself with tearing fingers and left my eyes upon my wretched mother — hear me to the end, if my prayer be worthy and such as thou wouldest inspire my ranging heart withal. Sightless though I was and driven from my throne, my sons, on whatever couch begotten, attempted not to give me guidance or consolation in my grief; nay, haughtily (ah! the maddening sting!) an raised to royalty with me long dead, they mock my blindness and abhor their father's groans. Do these too hold me accursed? and the father of gods beholds it, and does naught? Do thou at least, my due defender, come hither, and begin a work of vengeance that will blast their seed for ever! Set on thy head the gore-drenched circlet that my bloody nails tore of, and inspired by their father's curses go thou between the brethren, and with the sword sunder the binding ties of kinship. Grant me, thou queen of Tartarus' abyss, grant me to see the evil that my soul desires, nor will the spirit of the youths be slow to follow; come thou but worthy of thyself, thou shalt know them to be true sons of mine."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.88  So prayed he, and the cruel goddess turned her grim visage to hearken. By chance she sat beside dismal Cocytus, and had loosed the snakes from her head and suffered them to lap the sulphurous waters. Straightway, faster than fire of Jove or falling stars she leapt up from the gloomy bank: the crowd of phantoms gives way before her, fearing to meet their queen; then, journeying through the shadows and the fields dark with trooping ghosts, she hastens to the gate of Taenarus, whose threshold none may cross and again return. Day felt her presence, Night interposed her pitchy cloud and startled his shining steeds; far off towering Atlas shuddered and shifted the weight of heaven upon his trembling shoulders. Forthwith rising aloft from Malea's vale she hies her on the well-known way to Thebes: for on no errand is she swifter to go and to return, not kindred Tartarus itself pleases her so well. A hundred horned snakes erect shaded her face, the thronging terror of her awful head; deep within her sunken eyes there glows a light of iron hue, as when Atracian spells make travailing Phoebe redden through the clouds; suffused with venom, her skin distends and swells with corruption; a fiery vapour issues from her evil mouth, bringing upon mankind thirst unquenchable and sickness and famine and universal death. From her shoulders falls a stark and grisly robe, whose dark fastenings meet upon her breast: Atropos and Proserpine herself fashion her this garb anew. Then both her hands are shaken in wrath, the one gleaming with a funeral torch, the other lashing the air with a live water-snake.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.114  She halted, where the sheer heights of vast Cithaeron rise to meet the sky, and sent forth from her green locks fierce repeated hisses, a signal to the land, whereupon the whole shore of the Achaean gulf and the realm of Pelops echoed far and wide. Parnassus also in mid-heaven heard it, and turbulent Eurotas; with the din Oite rocked and staggered, and Isthmos scarce withstood the waves on either side. With her own hand his mother snatched Palaemon from the curved back of his straying dolphin steed and pressed him to her bosom.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.123  Then the Fury, swooping headlong upon the Cadmean towers, straightway cast upon the house its wonted gloom: troubled dismay seized the brothers' hearts and the madness of their race inspired them, and envy that repines at the others' happiness, and hate-engendering fear; and then fierce love of power, and breach of mutual covenant, and ambition that brooks not second place, the dearer joy of sole supremacy, and discord that attends on partnered rule. Even so would a farmer fain unite under the plough-yoke two picked bullocks of the savage herd, but they indignant — for not yet has the frequent coulter bowed those arching necks to the sinewy shoulders — pull contrariwise and with strength well-matched break harness and confound the furrows with divers tracks: not otherwise does furious discord enrage the proud brothers. 'Twas agreed to change rule for exile by the ordinance of the alternate year. By a grudging law they bade their fortunes change, so that a new claimant should ever embitter the monarch's fast-expiring term. No other bond united the brethren, this was their sole stay from arms, nor destined to endure to a second reign. Yet then no ceilings glittered with thick plates of yellow gold, nor did quarried Grecian pillars bear aloft vast halls that could freely spread the serried mass of clients; no spears kept guard o'er a monarch's troubled slumbers, no sentinels groaned at the recurring duty of the watch; they thought not to entrust precious stones to the wine-cup, nor to soil gold with food; 'twas for naked power the brethren armed, a starveling realm was their cause of battle. And while they dispute which of the twain shall plough scant Dirce's squalid fields, or boast himself on the Tyrian exile's lowly throne, the laws of God and man are broken, righteousness perisheth, and honour both in life and death. Alas! unhappy ones! what limits set ye to your wrath? what if it were the sky's farthest bounds ye dared so impiously, whereon the sun looks when he issues from the eastern gate and when he sinks into his Iberian haven, or the lands he touches afar with slanting devious ray, lands that the North wind freezes or the moist South warms with fiery breath? nay, even though the wealth of Phrygia and Tyre were gathered as the prize! A land of horror and a city God-accursed sufficed to rouse your hatred, and hell's madness was the price of sitting in the seat of Oedipus!

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.164  And now by the losing of the hazard Polynices saw his reign deferred. How proud a day for thee, fierce tyrant, when alone and unchallenged in thy palace thou didst look and behold all power thine, all other men thy subjects, and never a head but bowed beneath thy sway! Yet already murmurs are creeping among the Echionian folk, the people is at silent variance with its prince, and, as is the wont of a crowd, 'tis the claimant that they love. And one among them, whose chief thought it was to hurt by mean and venomous speech and never to bear the yoke of rulers with submissive neck, said: "Is this the lot that the hard fates have appointed for our Ogygian land, so often to change those whom we must fear, and to give uncertain allegiance to an alternate sway? From hand to hand they toss the destinies of peoples and of their own accord make Fortune fickle. Am I always to serve princes that take their turn of exile? Is this thy will and purpose for thy kindred realm, great Lord of heaven and earth? Does the ancient augury still have power for Thebes, since Cadmus, bidden search in vain the Carpathian sea for the winsome burden of the Sidonian bull, found an exile's kingdom in the Hyantean fields, and in the gaping of the pregnant earth bequeathed the warfare of brethren as an omen to his posterity for ever? See how the tyrant, rid of his colleague, rises erect more fiercely threatening under cruel brows! what terror in his look, how overbearing his pride! will this man ever stoop to subject rank? But the other was gentle to our prayers, affable of speech, and more patient of the right. What wonder? he was not alone. A worthless crowd indeed are we, ready for every chance, at the bidding of every lord, whosoe'er he be! As the sails yield to the cold north wind on this side and to the cloudy east wind on that, and the vessel's fate hangs wavering — alas! for the cruel, intolerable lot of peoples, racked by doubt and fear! — so now one commands and the other threatens."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.197  But now by Jove's command the High Court and chosen council of the gods had assembled in the spacious halls of the revolving sphere, in heaven's inmost depths. Equally removed from hence is the whole world's extent, the abodes of east and west, and earth and sea outspread beneath the infinite sky. Loftily through their midst moves the King himself making all tremble, yet with countenance serene, and takes his seat on the starry throne: nor dare they sit, the heavenly ones, until the sire himself with tranquil hand permit them. Next a crowd of wandering demigods and Rivers, of one kin with the high clouds, and Winds, their clamours hushed by fear, throng the golden halls. The arching vaults of heaven are all agleam with majesty, the heights glow with a fuller radiance, and alight that is not of earth blooms upon the portals. When quiet was commanded and heaven's orb fell silent, he began from his lofty throne — the sacred words have authority and power immutable, and Destiny waits upon his voice: "Of Earth's transgressions I complain, and of Man's mind that no Avenging Powers can satiate. Am I ever to be spent in punishing the wicked? I am weary of venting my anger with the flashing brand, long since are the busy arms of the Cyclopes failing, and the fires droop that serve Aeolian anvils. Yea, I had suffered the Sun's steeds to run free of their false driver, and heaven to be burned with their straying wheels and earth to be foul with the ashes that once were Phaethon. Yet naught availed it, nor that thou, brother, didst with thy strong spear send the sea flooding wide over the forbidden land. Now am I descending in punishment on two houses, whereof I am myself progenitor. The one branches from the stem to Persean Argos, the other flows from its source to Aonian Thebes. In all the implanted character abides: who knows not Cadmus' bloodshed and the array of warring Furies so oft summoned from the depths of hell, the mothers' unhallowed joys and frenzies ranging of the forests, and the reproaches of gods that must be veiled in silence? Scarce would the period of day or passing night avail me to recount the impious doings of the race. Nay, this unnatural heir has even ventured to climb his father's couch and defile the womb of his innocent mother, returning (oh! horror!) to his own life's origin. Yet he has made atonement everlasting to the gods above, casting forth from himself the light of day, nor any more feeds upon the air of heaven; but his sons (a deed unspeakable) trampled on his eyes as they fell. Now, now are they prayers fulfilled, terrible old man! deserving art thou, yea, deserving in thy blindness to hope for Jove as they avenger. New strife will I send upon the guilty realm, and uproot the whole stock of the deadly race. Let the gift of Adrastus' daughter and her ill-omened nuptials furnish me the seeds of war. This race too I am resolved to scourge with punishment: for never hath the deceit of Tantalus, nor the crime of the pitiless banquet been forgotten in the secret counsels of my heart."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.248  So spake the Almighty Sire. But wounded by his words and nursing sudden wrath in a heart aflame Juno thus makes answer: "'Tis I, then, justest of gods, I whom thou biddest to engage in war? for thou knowest how I ever give aid of men and might to the Cyclopean towers and the far-famed sceptre of great Phoroneus, although there thou didst ruthlessly cast on sleep and slay the guardian of the Pharian heifer, ay, and dost enter barred turrets in a shower of gold. Concealed armours I pardon thee: that city I hate where thou goest undisguised, where thou soundest the thunders that proclaim our high union, and wieldest the lightnings that are mine. Let Thebes atone her crimes; why doest thou choose Argos as her foe? Nay, if such discord hath seized our holy marriage-chamber, go, raze Sparta to the ground, bring war's destruction upon Samos and old Mycenae. Why anywhere is the altar of thy spouse made warm by sacrificial blood or fragrant with heaps of eastern incense? Sweeter is the smoke that rises from the votive shrines of Mareotic Coptos or from the wailing crowds and brazen gongs of river Nile. But if 'tis the evil deeds of former men that mankind now doth expiate, and this resolve hath come so tardily to minister to thy wrath, to cast back thy gaze through days of old, at what far stage of time doth it suffice to drive away earth's madness and purge the backward-reaching ages? Choose straightway that spot for thy beginning where Alpheus following afar the track of his Sicanian love glides by with sea-wandering wave. Here on accursed ground the Arcadians set thee a shrine — yet it shames thee not — here is Oenomaus' chariot of war and the steeds more fitly stalled beneath Getic Haemus, nay even yet the severed heads and mangled corpses of the suitors lie stark and unburied. Yet hast thou here the welcome honours of a temple, yea, and guilty Ida pleases thee, and Crete that tells falsely of thy death. Why dost thou grudge me then to abide in my Tantalean land? Turn hence the tumults of war, and have compassion on thine own blood. Many a wide and wicked realm hast thou, that can better suffer the crimes of offending sons."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.283  Juno had finished her mingled entreaty and reproach. But he made reply not in hard words, though cruel was its purport: "In truth I deemed not that thou wouldest bear with favouring mind all that I might devise, albeit justly, against thy Argos, nor does it escape me that, did occasion grant, Bacchus and Dione, would dare to make long pleading on Thebes' behalf, but reverence for my authority forbids. For by those awful waters, my brother's Stygian stream, I swear — an oath abiding and irrevocable, — that naught will make me waver from my word! Wherefore, my Cyllenian, in winged speed outstrip the winds that bear thee, and gliding through the limpid air down to the dusky realms tell this message to thy uncle: Let old Laius betake himself to the world above, Laius, whom his son's blow bereft of life and whom by the law of Erebus profound the further bank of Lethe hath not received; let him bear my commands to his hateful grandson: His brother, to whom exile has brought confidence and his Argive friendship boastful pride, let him in despite of kin keep far from his halls — as already he doth well desire — and deny him the alternate honour of the crown. So will angry deeds be begotten, and the rest will I lead on in order due."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.303  Obedient to his father's word the grandson of Atlas straightway fastens on his ankles the winged sandals, and with wide hat veils his locks and tempers the brilliance of the stars. Then he took in his right hand the wand wherewith he was wont to dispel or call again sweet slumber, wherewith to enter the gates of gloomy Tartarus or summon back dead souls to life. Then down he leapt, and shuddered as the frail air received him; delaying not, he wings his speedy flight through the void on high, and draws a mighty curve upon the clouds.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.312  Meanwhile the son of Oedipus, long time a wandering outlaw from his father's lands, traverses by stealth the waste places of Aonia. Already he broods on the lost realm that was his due, and cries that the long year stands motionless in its tardy constellations. One thought recurring night and day holds him, could he ever but behold his kinsman degraded from the throne, and himself master of Thebes and all its power; a lifetime would be bargain for that day. Now he complains that his exile is but time consumed in idleness, but soon the gust of princely pride swells high, and he fancies his brother already cast down and himself seated proudly in his place; fretful hope keeps his mind busy, and in far-reaching prayers he tastes all his heart's desire. Then he resolves to journey undismayed to the Inachian cities and Danaan lands and to Mycenae dark with the sun's withdrawal, whether it were the Fury piloting his steps, or the chance direction of the road, or the summoning of resistless Fate. He leaves the Ogygian glades that resound with frenzied howlings, and the hills that drink deep of Bacchic gore, then passes the region where long Cithaeron settles gently to the plain and stoops his weary height to the sea. Thereafter with dizzy climb along a rocky path he puts behind him Sciron's infamous cliffs and Scylla's country where the purple monarch ruled, and kindly Corinth, and in the midmost plain hears two shores resound.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.336  But now through the wide domains which Phoebus, his day's work ended, had left bare, rose the Titanian queen, borne upward through a silent world, and with her dewy chariot cooled and rarefied the air; now birds and beasts are hushed, and Sleep steals o'er the greedy cares of men, and stoops and beckons from the sky, shrouding a toilsome life once more in sweet oblivion. Yet no reddening clouds gave promise of the light's return, nor as the shadows lessened did the twilight gleam with long shafts of sun-reflecting radiance; black night, blacker to earthward and shot by never a ray, veiled all the pole. And now the rocky prisons of Aeolia are smitten and groan, and the coming storm threatens with hoarse bellowing: the winds loud clamouring meet in conflicting currents, and fling loose heaven's vault from its fastened hinges, while each strives for mastery of the sky; but Auster most violent thickens gloom on gloom with whirling eddies of darkness, and pours down rain which keen Boreas with his freezing breath hardens into hail; quivering lightnings gleam, and from the colliding air bursts sudden fire. Already Nemea and the high peaks of Arcadia that border the forests of Taenarum are drenched; Inachus flows in mighty spate, and Erasinus swelling high into icy billows. Streams that before were dusty road-tracks now defy all stay of confining bank, Lerna surges up from her deepest depths and foams with her ancient poison. Shattered are all the forests, aged boughs are swept out upon the storm, and the shady summer-haunts of Lycaeus, unbeheld before by any suns, are now stripped bare to view.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.364  Yet he, now marvelling at the rocks down-hurled from the cloven mountains, now listening in terror to the cloud-born torrents dashing from the hills, and the raging flood whirling away home of shepherd and stall of beast, slackens not his pace, though distraught and uncertain of his way, but through the dark silences devours the lonely stretches of his road; on every side fear and the thought of his brother assail his heart. And just as a sailor, caught in a tempest on the deep, to whom neither lazy Wain nor Moon with friendly beam show bearings, stands beggared of resource in mid-tumult of sky and sea, and even now expects the treacherous reef submereged beneath the wave, or waits to see foaming jagged rocks fling themselves at his prow and heave it high in air: so the Cadmean hero threads the darkness of the forests with hastening step, while with huge shield he braves the lairs of fearsome beasts and forward-stooping thrusts through the brushwood thickets; terror's sombre influence adds spurs to his resolve, till from above the town of Inachus, conquering the gloom with beam of light downpoured upon the shelving walls, shone forth the Larissaean height. Thither sped by every hope he hies him fast, with Juno's temple of Prosymna high on his left hand, and yonder the black marsh of Lerna's water branded by Herculean fire, and at length the gates are opened and he enters. Straightway he spies the royal portals; there he flings down his limbs stiffened with rain and wind, and leaning against the unknown palace doors woos gentle slumber to his hard couch.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.390  There king Adrastus, verging now toward old age from life's mid-course, ruled his folk in tranquil governance, rich in the wealth of ancestry, and on either side tracing his line to Jove. Issue lacked he of the stronger sex, but was prosperous in female offspring: two daughters gave him pledge of love and service. To him had Phoebus at fate's bidding told that sons-in-law drew nigh — a deadly horror to tell! yet soon was the truth made manifest — in the shapes of bristly swine and tawny lion. Naught comprehends the sire therein for all his ponderings, nor thou, wise Amphiaraus, for thy master Apollo forbids. Only the father's heart sickens ever in deep-felt anxiety.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.401  But lo! Olenian Tydeus leaving ancient Calydon by fate's decree — the guilty terror of a brother's blood drives him forth — treads beneath night's slumberous veil the same wild ways, bewailing likewise wind and rain, and with ice-sheeted back, and face and hair streaming with the storm, comes to the self-same shelter, whereof the former stranger, stretched on the cold earth, had part. Thereat so chanced it that both were seized with bloody rage, and suffered not a shared roof to ward of the night; for a while they tarry with exchange of threatening words, then when flung taunts had swelled their anger to the pitch, each uprose, set free his shoulders, and challenged to naked combat. Taller the Theban, with long stride and towering limbs and in life's prime, yet was Tydeus in strength and spirit no whit the less, and though his frame was smaller greater valour in every part held sway. Then closing fiercely they deal many a blow on face and temple, like showers of darts or Rhipaean hail, and with bent knee belabour hollow loins. Even as when the fifth year brings back his festival to the Pisaean Thunderer, and all is dust and heat and the crude sweat of men, while yonder the rival favours of the crowd urge on the youthful striplings, and the mothers, excluded from the scene, await the prizes of their sons: so these with but hate to spur them, and inflamed by no lust of praise, fall on, and the sharp nails probe far into their faces and force their way into the yielding eyes. Perchance — so hot their anger — they had bared the swords girt to their sides, and thou hadst lain, O Theban youth, the victim of a foeman's arms — far better so — and earned a brother's meed of tears, had not the king, marvelling at the night's unwonted show of clamour and the fierce panting groans deep-heaved, bent his steps thither: age and the burden of grave cares held him now in broken fitful slumber. And when proceeding through the high halls with attendant train of torches he beheld, the bars undone, upon the fronting threshold a sight terrible to tell, faces torn and cheeks disfigured with streaming blood: "Whence this fury, stranger youths?" he cried, "for no citizen of mine would dare such violence as this; whence this implacable desire to let your hate disturb the tranquil silence of the night? Has then day so little room, or is it grievous to suffer, even for a while, sleep and peace of mind? But now come tell me, whence are ye sprung, whither do ye fare, and what may be your quarrel? Mean of soul ye cannot be — such anger proves it — even through bloodshed the noble signs of proud race show clear."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.448  Scarce had he spoken, when with mingled clamour and sidelong glance together they begin: "Achaean prince! most gracious monarch! what need of words? thou seest thyself this face all bloody" — their words are lost in the confused sound of bitter accents. Then Tydeus taking first place of speech thus recounts his tale: "Desiring solace for my unhappy lot I left the wealth of Calydon, nurse of monsters, and he Acheloian fields: and lo! in your boundaries deepest night o'ertakes me. Who was he to forbid me shelter from the sky? or was it because he won his way first to this threshold? But twy-form Centaurs stall with each other, so 'tis said, and Cyclopes have peace together beneath Aetna; nay even to wild monsters nature has given laws and their own rule of right; and for us to share a lodging on the ground — ? But why waste words? either thou, whoe'er thou art, shalt today depart rejoicing in my spoils, or, if rising pain dulls not my blood, thou shalt know me to be of mighty Oeneus' stock and no degenerate scion of my forefather Mars!" "Nor lack I spirit or race" returns the other, but conscious in his heart of ruthless fate he hesitates to name his sire. Then kindly Adrastus: "Nay come now, cease the threatening words which night or sudden wrath or valour prompted, and pass beneath my palace-roof. Now let your right hands be joined to pledge your hearts. These doings have not been vain nor without the sanction of the powers above: perchance even these angry quarrels do but foreshadow a friendship to come, so that ye may have pleasure in remembrance." Nor were the old man's words an empty presage, for they say that from their comradeship in wounds grew such loyalty as Theseus showed when he shared extremest peril with wanton Pirithous, or Pylades when he rescued distraught Orestes from the fury of Megaera. So then, yielding their savage hearts to the king's soothing words — even as waters that winds have made their battleground sink to rest, and yet on the drooping sails one surviving breath is long in dying — even so submissive they entered the palace.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.482  Here first he has leisure to let his glance pass o'er the heroes' dress and mighty weapons. On Polynices' back he spies a lion flayed, all rought with uncombed mane, like to that one which in the Teumesian glades Amphitryon's son laid low in his boyish years and clothed himself withal, before the battle with the monster of Cleonae. Tydeus' broad shoulders the proud spoils of Calydon, grim with bristles and curved fang, strive to enfold. Aghast and motionless stands the old king at so dire an omen, calling to mind the divine oracles of Phoebus and the warning uttered from the inspired cell. His countenance is fixed in frozen silence, while through his limbs ran a thrill of joy; he felt that they had come, led by heaven's clear prompting, whom prophetic Apollo in riddling obscurities had foreshown to be his destined sons-in-law, under the feigned guise of beasts. Then stretching forth his hands to the stars, "O Night," he cries, "who castest thy mantle over toiling earth and heaven, and sendest the fiery stars on their divers roaming courses, gracious refresher of the mind, till the next sun shed blithe upspringing upon faint mortality, thou, kindly Night, dost bring me of thy bounty assurance long sought in perplexity and doubt, and dost reveal the ancient purposes of fate: aid now my work, and certify the omens thou hast given. Ever shall this house throughout the circling periods of the year hold thee high in honour and in worship; black bulls of chosen beauty shall pay thee sacrifice, O goddess! And Vulcan's fire shall eat the lustral entrails, whereo'er the new milk streams. Hail, ancient truth of mystic Tripod! hail, secret grotto! I have found, O Fortune, that the gods are gods indeed!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.510  So saying, and joining arms with both he goes forward to the inner chamber of his dwelling. Even yet the fires slumbered on the grey ashes of the altars, and the poured offerings of the sacrifice were yet warm; he bids the flames again be roused and the late banquet renewed. His henchmen obey his words in emulous haste: manifold tumult echoes throughout the palace. Some array the couches with delicate purple and rustling embroidery of gold and pile the cushions high, some polish smooth and place in order the tables: others again set about to banish the darkness of gloomy night by stretching chains for gilded lanterns; these have the task of roasting on a spit's point the bloodless flesh of slain beasts, those of crushing grain on a stone and heaping the bread in baskets; Adrastus rejoices to see his house aglow with obedient service.

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§ 1.525  And now he himself, raised high on the proud cushions an ivory throne, shone resplendent; elsewhere the youths recline, their wounds healed with cleansing water, and beholding each other's scarred visages bear mutual forgiveness. Then the aged king bids Acaste be summoned — his daughters' nurse and trusty guardian, chosen to keep ward on maiden modesty consecrated to lawful wedlock — and murmurs in her silent ear.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.533  She stayed not upon his bidding, but straightway both maidens came forth from their secret bower, in countenance, marvellous to tell, like to quiver-bearing Diana and warrior Pallas, yet without their terror. They spy the new faces of the heroes and are shamed; pallor at once and blushes made havoc of their bright cheeks, and their timorous eyes resought their reverend sire. When in the banquet's course hunger was quelled, the son of Iasus, as his custom was, bade his thralls bring a goblet fair-wrought with figures and shining with gold, wherefrom both Danaus and elder Phoroneus were wont to pour libations to the gods. Thereon was embossed work of images: all golden, a winged youth holds the snake-tressed Gorgon's severed head, and even upon the moment — so it seems — leaps up into the wandering breeze; she almost moves her heavy eyes and drooping head, and even grows pale in the living gold. Here the Phrygian hunter is borne aloft on tawny wings, Gargara's range sinks downwards as he rises and Troy grows dim beneath him; sadly stand his comrades, in vain the hounds weary their throats with barking and pursue his shadow or bay at the clouds. From this he pours the streaming wine and in order due calls on all the denizens of heaven, Phoebus before the rest; Phoebus' presence all invoke with praise, garlanded with reverent myrtle, friend and thrall alike, about his altar; for in his honour they make holiday, and the atlars, refreshed by lavish incense, glow through wreaths of smoke.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.557  "Perchance ye may inquire, O youths," thus says the monarch, "what means this sacrifice, and for what reason we pay Phoebus signal honour. Urged by no ignorant fear, but under stress of dire calamity, the Argive folk aforetime made this offering. Lend me your hearing, and I will recount the tale. When that the god had smitten the dark and sinuous-coiling monster, the earth-born Pytho, who cast about Delphi his sevenfold grisly circles and with his scales ground the ancient oaks to powder, even while sprawling by Castalia's fountain he gaped with three-tongued mouth athirst to feed his deadly venom: when having spent his shafts on numberless wounds he left him, scarce fully stretched in death over a hundred acres of Cirrhaean soil, then, seeking fresh expiation of the dead, he came to the humble dwelling of our king Crotopus. A daughter, in the first years of tender maidenhood, and wondrous fair, kept this pious home, a virgin chaste. How happy, had she ne'er kept secret tryst with the Delian, or shared a stolen love with Phoebus! For she suffered the violence of the god by Nemea's stream, and when Cynthia had twice five times gathered her circle's visage to the full, she brought forth a child, Latona's grandson, bright as a star. Then fearing punishment — for her sire would ne'er have pardoned a forced wedlock — she chose the pathless wilds, and stealthily among the sheep-pens gave her child to a mountain-wandering guardian of the flock for nurture. No cradle worthy of a birth so noble, hapless infant, did thy grassy bed afford thee, or thy woven home of oaken twigs; enclosed in the fibre of arbutus-bark thy limbs are warm, and a hollow pipe coaxes thee to gentle slumbers, while the flock shares thy sleeping-ground. But not even such a home did the fates permit, for, as he lay careless and drinking in the day with open mouth, fierce ravening dogs mangled the babe and took their fill with bloody jaws. But when the tidings reached the mother's horror-struck ears, father and shame and fear were all forgot; herself straightway she fills the house with wild lamentation, all distraught, and baring her breast meets her father with her tale of grief. Nor is he moved, but bids her — Oh horrible! even as she desires, suffer grim death.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.596  "Too late remembering thy union, O Phoebus, thou dost devise a solace for her miserable fate, a monster conceived 'neath lowest Acheron in the Furies' unhallowed lair: a maiden's face and bosom has she, from her head an ever-hissing snake rises erect, parting in twain her livid brow. Then that foul pest, gliding at night with unseen movement into the chambers, tore from the breasts that suckled them lives newly-born, and with blood-stained fangs gorged and fattened on the country's grief. But Coroebus, foremost in prowess of arms and high courage, brooked it not, and with chosen youths, unsurpassed in valour and ready at life's hazard to enlarge their fame, went forth, a willing champion. From dwellings newly ravaged she was going, where in the gateway two roads meet, the corpses of two little ones hung at her side, and still her hooked talons claw their vitals and the iron nails are warm in their young hearts. Thronged by his band of heroes the youth rushed to the attack, and buried his broad blade in her cruel breast, and with flashing steel probing deep the spirit's lurking-place at length restored to nether Jove his monstrous offspring. What joy to go and see at close hand those eyes livid in death, the ghastly issue of her womb, and her breasts clotted with foul corruption, whereby our young lives perished! Appalled stand the Inachian youth, and their gladness, though great now sorrow is ended, even yet is dim and pale. With sharp stakes they mangle the dead limbs — vain solace for their grief — and beat out the jagged grinding teeth from her jaws: they can — yet cannot glut their ire. Her did ye flee unfed, ye birds, wheeling round with nocturnal clamour, and ravening dogs, they say, and wolves in terror upon her, dry-mouthed.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.627  "But against the unhappy youths the Delian rises up fierce at the doom of his slain avengeress, and seated on the shady top of twin-peaked Parnassus with relentless bow he cruelly scatters shafts that bring pestilence, and withers beneath a misty shroud the fields and dwellings of the Cyclopes. Pleasant lives droop and fail, Death with his sword cuts through the Sisters' threads, and hurries the stricken city to the shades. Our leader then inquiring what the cause may be, what is this baleful fire from heaven, why Sirius reigns throughout the whole year, the word of the same god Paean brings command, to sacrifice to the blood-stained monster those youths that caused her death. O valour heaven-blest! O worth that will merit a long age of fame! No base craven thou to hide thy devoted deed, or shun in fear a certain death! Unabashed he stood on the threshold of Cirrha's temple, and with these words gives fierce utterance to his sacred rage: 'Not sent by any, nor suppliant, O Thymbraean, do I approach thy shrine: duly and consciousness of right have turned my steps this way. I am he, O Phoebus, who laid low thy deadly scourge, I am he whom thou, ruthless one, dost seek out by poison-cloud, and the light of day defiled, and the black corruption of a baleful heaven. But even if raging monsters be so dear to the gods above, and the destruction of men a cheaper loss to the world, and heaven be so stern and pitiless, in what have the Argives sinned? My life, my life alone, most righteous of the gods, should be offered to the fates! Or is it more soothing to thy heart that thou seest homesteads desolate, and the countryside lit up by the burning roofs of husbandmen? But why by speaking do I delay the weapons of thy might? our mothers are waiting, and the last prayers for me are being uttered. Enough: I have deserved that thou should'st be merciless. Bring then thy quiver, and stretch thy sounding bow, and send a noble soul to death! but, even while I die, dispel the gathered mist that form on high hangs pallid over Inachian Argos.'

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.661  "Equity hath regard for the deserving. Awe of slaughter took hold on Leto's fiery son, and yielding he grants the hero the sad boon of life; the deadly clouds fly scattering from our heaven, while thou, thy prayer heard, departest from marvelling Phoebus' door. Thenceforward do we in solemn banquet yearly renew the appointed sacrifice, and placate the shrine of Phoebus in recurring festival. Of what stock come ye, whom chance has led to these our altars? though, if but now my ears did rightly catch your outcry, Oeneus of Calydon is thy sire, and thine the lordship of Parthaonia's house. But thou, do thou reveal who thou art that comest thus to Argos, since now the hour permits of varied discourse."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.673  Straightway did the Ismenian hero bend his sad looks to earth, and cast an injured Tydeus a silent sidelong glance; then after a long pause he spoke: "Not at these honours paid to heaven is it meet to ask me of my birth or land or ancient descent of blood; hard is it to confess the truth amid the holy rites. But if your wish is urgent to know my unhappy tale, Cadmus was the ancestor of my sires, my land Mavortian Thebes, my mother is Jocasta."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.681  Then Adrastus moved to friendly compassion — for he recognized him — said: "Why hide what all have heard? this know we, nor doth Fame journey so distant from Mycenae. Yea, of that reign, and the madness, and the eyes that knew shame of their seeing, even he hath heard who shivers 'neath an Arctic sun, and he who drinks of Ganges, or sails in to the Ocean darkening to the west, and they whom the shifting shoreline of the Syrtes fails. Cease to lament, or to recount the woes of thy fathers: in our house also hath there been many a fall from duty, but past error binds not posterity. Only do thou, unlike to them, win by fortune's favour this reward, to redeem thy kindred. And now the frosty wagoner of the Hyperborean Bear droops languidly, with backward slanting pole. Pour your wine upon the altar-hearths, and chant we our prayer, again and yet again, to Leto's son, the saviour of our fathers!

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 1.696  "Phoebus, Sire! whether the copses of Patara and Lycia's snowy uplands keep thee busy, or thou delightest to bathe thy golden hair in Castalia's pure drew, or whether as Thymbra's lord thou dwellest in Troy, where they say thou didst willingly bear on thankless shoulders blocks of Phrygian stone, or whether Latonian Cynthus pleases thee, casting his shadow on the Aegean wave, and Delos, settled sure in the deep, nor needing now thy search, — thine are the arrows and the bending of bows against the savage enemy afar; to thee did celestial parents grant the cheeks' eternal bloom; thou art skilled to foreknow Fate's cruel handiwork, and the destiny that lies beyond, and high Jove's pleasure, to what peoples pestilence cometh or wars, what change of sceptres comets brings; thou makest the Phrygian subject to thy lyre, and for thy mother's honour dost stretch the earth-born Tityos on the Stygian sands; thee the green Python and the Theban mother horror-struck beheld triumphant with thy quiver, to avenge thee grim Megaera holds fast the starving Phlegyas, who lies ever pressed beneath cavernous rocks, and tortures him with the unholy feast, but mingled loathing defeats his hunger: be thou present to our succour, mindful of our hospitality, and shed on the fields of Junothe blessings of thy love, whether 'tis right to call thee rosy Titan, in the fashion of the Achaemenian race, or Osiris bringer of the harvest, or Mithras, that beneath the rocky Persean cave strains at the reluctant-following horns."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.1  Meanwhile the winged son of Maia returns from the cold shades, fulfilling the errand of great Jove; on every side sluggish clouds hinder his way and misty air enfolds him, no Zephyrs wafted his course, but the foul vapours of the silent world. On this side Styx encircling its nine regions, on that a barrier of fiery torrents encloses his path. Behind him follows old Laius' trembling shade, still halting from his wound; for deeper than the hilt had his kinsman's impious swordthrust pierced into his life and sped the first blow of Avenging Wrath; yet on he goes, strengthening his steps with the healing wand. Then barren woods and spirit-haunted fields and groves of lurid hue stand in amaze, and Earth herself marvels that the backward road lies open, nor even to the dead and those already bereft of light was lacking the livid blight of envy. One there, perversely eager beyond the rest ever to revile the gods — thus indeed had he come by a grievous doom — and to repine at happiness, cries: "Good speed, thou lucky one, on what behest soever summoned, whether by Jove's command, or whether an overmastering Fury drive thee to meet the day, or frenzied witch of Thessaly bid thee come forth from thy secret sepulchre: alas! thou that wilt see the pleasant sky and the sunlight thou didst leave behind and the green earth and the pure river-springs, yet more sadly wilt return again to this darkness."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.26  Cerberus lying on the murky threshold perceived them, and reared up with all his mouths wide agape, fierce even to entering folk; but now his black neck swelled up all threatening, now had he torn and scattered their bones upon the ground, had not the god with branch Lethaean soothed his bristling frame and quelled with threefold slumber the steely glare.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.32  There is a place — named Taenarum by the Inachian folk — where foaming Malea's dreaded headland rises into the air, nor suffers any vision to reach its summit. Sublime stands the peak and looks down serene on winds and rain, and only to weary stars affords a resting-place. There tired winds find repose, and there the lightnings have their path; hollow clouds hold the mountain's midmost flanks, and never beat of soaring wing comes nigh the topmost ranges nor the hoarse clap of thunder. But when the day inclines towards its setting, a vast shadow casts its fringes wide over the level waters, and floats upon mid-sea. Around an inner bay Taenaros curves his broken shore-line, not bold to breast the outer waves. There Neptune brings home to haven his coursers wearied by the Aegean flood; in front their hooves paw the sand, behind, they end in fishy tails beneath the water. In this region, so 'tis said, a hidden path conducts the pallid ghosts, and dowers with many a dead the spacious halls of swarthy Jove. If Arcadian husbandmen speak truth, shrieks are heard there and the moaning of the damned, and the land is all astir with hurrying grisly forms; often the cries and blows of the Furies have resounded till mid-day, and the baying of Death's tri-formed warder has scared the rustics from the fields.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.55  By this way then did the nimble god, all wrapped about with dusky shadow, leap forth to the upper world, and shake from his face the vapours of the nether region, and make serene his countenance with draughts of living air. Thence by Arcturus and the moon's mid silences o'er fields and cities he wends his way. Sleep, driving Night's coursers, met him, and rose abashed to salute his godhead, turning aside from his celestial path. Beneath the god flies the shade, and knows again his lost stars and the land that bore him; and now he looks down on Cirrha's heights and Phocis, that his own corpse polluted. Now they were come to Thebes, and hard by his own son's threshold Laius groaned, tarrying to enter the well-known house. But when he saw his own yoke hanging on the lofty pillars and the chariot still stained with blood, almost had he in wild fear turned back and fled, nor could the Thunderer's high commands restrain him, nor the waving of the Arcadian wand.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.71  That too chanced to be the day marked by the well-known falling of the Thunderer's brand, when thy birth's untimely hastening, O infant Euhius, caused thy sire to take thee to himself. Therein had the Tyrian settlers found cause to pass the night in sleepless rivalry of sport; scattered far and wide through house and field, amid garlands and mixing-bowls drained dry they panted forth the wine-god under the light of day; then many a boxwood pipe resounded and cymbals louder than the beat of bull-hide drum. Cithaeron himself exultant had set prudent matrons flocking in a nobler frenzy through his pathless groves: even as the Bistonians in wild concourse hold their revels upon Rhodope or in the depths of Ossa's vales. For them one of the flock snatched half-alive from the lion's jaw is a feast, and to abate their fury with new milk is luxury; but when the fierce fragrance of Ogygian Inachus breaths upon them, then how glorious to fling stones and goblets, and with the shedding of guiltless comrades' blood to begin the day anew and appoint once more the festal banquet!

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.89  Such was the night when the swift Cyllenian glided down on the silent air to the couch of the Echionian prince, where in huge bulk he had flung his limbs on a bed piled high with Assyrian coverlets. Alas! for mortal hearts that know not their destiny! He feasts and he slumbers. Then the old man performs what he is bidden, and, lest he seem but a false phantom of the night, puts on the darkened visage of the ancient seer Tiresias, and his voice and well-known woollen bands. His own long hair and hoary beard combed downward from the chin remain, and his own pallid hue, but through his locks there runs the feigned circlet, and the sacred fillets entwined with the grey olive are plain to view. Then he seemed to touch his breast with the olive bough and give utterance to these fateful words: "This is no time of sleep for thee, thou sluggard, who liest careless of thy brother in the depth of night! long time have great deeds summoned thee, slothful one, and weighty preparings for what shall be. But thou, even as if some ship's captain, while the south winds are already raising the billows on the Ionian main, should lie idle beneath a black storm-cloud, forgetful of his tackling and of the rudder that sway the waters, — thou tarriest. And he even now — so Fame can tell — waxes proud of his new wedlock, and gets to himself might whereby to seize the realm and refuse thee thy part, and appoints himself an old age in thy halls. Adrastus, foretold by omen to be the father of his bride, and the Argive dowry raise his spirits, yea, and Tydeus, stained by a brother's blood, hath he graciously received into a lifelong bond. Hence swelling pride, and a promise to thy brother of long exile for thee. The sire of gods himself in pity sends me down to thee from on high: hold fast to Thebes, and drive away thy kinsman who is blind with lust of rule, and will dare as much against thyself, nor suffer him all agape for a brother's death to trust any more in the treachery he devises, nor to bring Mycenae to queen it over Cadmus."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.120  He spoke, and departing — for already the sun's horses were driving in rout the pale stars — tore from his head the chaplet and woollen bands, and revealed himself for his grandsire, then leaning over his dread grandson's couch bared his throat's open wound and flooded his sleep with streaming blood. The other, startled from his slumbers, springs up and leaps from the couch, full of horror, and shaking from him the phantom blood shrinks appalled from his grandsire and seeks out his brother. Just as when a tigress hearing the noise of hunters has grimly faced the nets and shaken off lazy sleep; 'tis war she yearns for, and she loosens her jaws and trims her talons, and soon she rushes amid the companies and carries off in her mouth a man still breathing, to feed her savage whelps: even so stirred by rage the chieftain dreams of war against his absent brother.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.134  And now Aurora rising from her Mygdonian resting-place had scattered the cold shadows from the high heaven, and shaking the dew-drops from her hair blushed deep in the sun's pursuing beams; toward her through the clouds the rosy morning-star turns his late fires, and with slow steed leaves an alien world, until the fiery father's orb be full replenished and he forbid his sister to usurp his rays. Then did the aged son of Talaus and with no long delay the heroes twain of Dirce and of Achelous rise swiftly from their couches. Upon them, wearied by blows and endurance of the storm, had Sleep poured all his horn's bounty; but scant repose visited the breast of the Inachian monarch, while in his thoughts he broods upon heaven's will and the new ties of friendship, and wonders what destinies he is admitting to his house in his new-found sons-in-law. They meet in the mid chambers of the palace, and draw night and grasp each other's hand in turn, then seat themselves where they may best make interchange of secret counsel, and, the others hesitating, Adrastus thus beings: "Peerless youths, whom a propitious night has brought heaven-prompted to my realm, whose steps my own Apollo has guided even to my palace in spite of rain and lightning-flash and the Thunderer's unseasonable sky, I cannot deem it unknown to you and the Pelasgian folk, how zealous a crowd of suitors seeks alliance with my house; for my two daughters, joyful pledge of grandchildren, are reaching equal years of full-grown maidenhood. How great their beauty and their modesty, trust not a father's word, nay, ye could judge at yesterday's banquet. Many a one, with throne and wide-extending sway to boast of, ahs desired them — 'twere long to tell the tale of Pheraean and Oebalian princes — and mothers also throughout the towns of Achaea, for hope of posterity; nor did Oeneus thy own father despise more proffered unions, nor the sire of Pisa's bride with his terrible chariot-reins. But none of Spartan birth nor of them that hail from Elis may I choose for my daughters' consorts: to you doth ancient destiny pledge my blood and the guardianship of my halls. The gods are gracious, in that ye come to me so high in birth and spirit that I rejoice in their oracles. This is the prize that the night's sufferings have won, this is your reward for the blows ye bore."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.173  They heard him, and for a while held their eyes fixed in mutual gaze, seeming to yield each other place of speech. But Tydeus, in every deed more daring, begins: "O how sparingly doth thy sage mind impel thee to proclaim thy own renown, and how greatly by worth dost thou outdo all fortune's favour! To whom should Adrastus yield in power? Who knows not that thou, when driven from thy ancestral Sicyon's throne, didst give law to turbulent Argos? and would that thou wert willing, O just Jupiter, to entrust to these hands the races that Dorian Isthmus contains within the interior lands, and those which it removes beneath its other bound! The interrupted light would not have fled from dire Mycenae, nor would the vales of Elis have groaned at the fierce contests, nor divers Furies afflicted divers kings, nor happened all that thou, O Theban, canst best bewail. We verily are willing, and our hearts are open to thee." So spake he, and the other added: "Would any one refuse to welcome such a father of his bride? Though Venus smile not yet upon us exiles, banished from our land, nevertheless all sorrows of our hearts are calmed, and the grief is gone that held fast upon our minds. No less joyfully do we take unto us this solace, than a ship rent by the tearing gale beholds the friendly shore. We delight to enter upon a reign of happy omen, and to pass, under thy destiny, what remains of our allotted lives and labours." Without more ado they rise, and the Inachian sire adds weight of eager words to every promise, and vows that he will succour them and bring them back to their fathers' realms.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.201  The Argives, therefore, as the report spreads through the city that husbands for his daughters have come to the king's court, and that illustrious Argia, and Deipyle famed no less for beauty, are giving in wedlock their lusty maidenhood, eagerly prepare for great rejoicing. Fame flies through the kindred cities, and is carried from lip to lip in the neighbouring lands even as far as the Lycaean and beyond Parthenian glades and the Ephyrean countryside, nor less does the same tumultuous goddess descend upon Ogygian Thebes. With wings full-stretched she broods over those walls, bringing terror that accords with the past night to the Labdacian chief: the welcome and the marriage does she relate, and the royal covenant and the union of houses — what mad licence in the devilish monster's tongue! — and at last she tells of war.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.213  The long-expected day had spread the Argives all abroad: the royal halls are filled with joyous gathering, here may they look face to face upon their forefathers, and see bronzes that vie with the living countenance. So much hath skill dared and wrought! Father Inachus himself, twin-horned, leans leftward upon his titled urn; old Iasius supports him and calm Phoroneus and warrior Abas, and Acrisius angry with the Thunderer, and Coroebus bearing a head upon his naked sword, and the grim likeness of Danaus already meditating murder; and many a prince thereafter. Then the common folk in clamorous flood are given entrance at the proud portals, while the whole company of chiefs and all who in degree stand night the monarch's majesty take first place of rank. Within, the palace is all aglow with sacrificial fires, and loud with female tumult; a chase band of Argive women surrounds the mother-queen, others thronging about he maidens reconcile them to the new bonds and reassure their timorous hearts. They moved in splendour and majesty of look and dress, with eyes cast down and modest blush suffusing all their fairness; that last regretful love of maidenhood steals silently into their hearts, and the first shame of guilt overwhelms their countenances; then a generous rain bedews their cheeks, and tears bring joy to their tender-hearted parents. Just so might Pallas and Phoebus' sterner sister glide down together from high heaven, terrible alike in armour and in looks, and with golden hair braided on their heads, bringing their maiden company, from Cynthus she and she from Aracynthus; they wouldst thou never learn by long gazing, even had thine eyes leave to gaze, which had the greater beauty, which the greater charm, or which had more of Jove, and were they but pleased to take each other's dress, Pallas would beseem the quiver and Delia the crested helmet.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.244  The sons of Inachus contend in rivalry of joy, and weary the gods with vows, as each had household-gear and power of offering. These make supplication with entrails and the victim's life, those with bare turf; others, heard no less, if their heart be accepted would fain win merit of the gods by incense, and shade their portals with the spoil of the woodlands. But lo! a sudden fear — so cruel Lachesis commanded — strikes on their hearts and robs the sire of his rejoicing, and turns the day to gloom. On her threshold they were drawing nigh to Pallas the unwedded, who among cities prefers not the Munychian hills to Argive Larissa; here by ancestral rite the daughters of Iasus, so soon as their chaste years grew ripe for wedlock, were wont to make offering of virgin tresses, and pray pardon for the first marriage-bed. As they climb the steps and approach the lofty pile, there fell from the temple's highest summit a brazen shield, the spoil of Arcadian Euhippus, and overwhelmed the heralding torches, the festal light of the marriage train; and while they dare not yet to make sure advance, a mighty trumpet-blare, heard from the shrine's inmost recesses, filled them with terror. All at the first shock of panic turned toward the king, then denied they had heard aught; yet all are troubled by the event's dire omen, and increase their fear by various talk. Nor was it wonderful: for thou wast wearing, Argia, the ill-starred ornament of thy husband's giving, the dread necklace of Harmonia. Far back the story runs, but I will pursue the well-known tale of woes, whence came it that a new gift had such terrible power.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.269  The Lemnian, so they of old believed, long time distressed at Mars' deceit and seeing that no punishment gave hindrance to the disclosed amour, and the avenging chains removed not the offence, wrought this for Harmonia on her bridal day to be the glory of her dower. Thereat, through taught mightier tasks, the Cyclopes labour, and the Telchines famed for their handiwork helped in friendly rivalry of skill; but for himself the sweat of toil was heaviest. There forms he a circlet of emeralds glowing with a hidden fire, and adamant stamped with figures of ill omen, and Gorgon eyes, and embers left on the Sicilian anvil from the last shaping of a thunderbolt, and the crests that shine on the heads of green serpents; then the dolorous fruit of the Hesperides and the dread gold of Phrixus' fleece; then divers plagues doth he intertwine, and the king adder snatched from Tisiphone's grisly locks, and the wicked power that commends the girdle; all these he cunningly anoints about with lunar foam, and pours over them the poison of delight. Not Pasithea, eldest of the gracious sisters, nor Charm nor the Idalian youth did mould it, but Grief, and all the Passions, and Anguish, and Discord, with all the craft of her right hand. The work first proved its worth, when Harmonia's complaints turned to dreadful hissing, and she bore company to grovelling Cadmus, and with long trailing breast drew furrows in the Illyrian fields. Next, scarce had shameless Semele put the hurtful gift about her neck, when lying Juno crossed her threshold. Thou too, unhappy Jocasta, didst, as they say, possess the beauteous, baleful thing, and didst deck thy countenance with its praise — on what a couch, alas! to find favour; and many more beside. Last Argia shines in the splendour of the gift, and in pride of ornament and accursed gold surpassed her sister's mean attiring. The wife of the doomed prophet had beheld it, and at every shrine and banquet in secret cherished fierce jealousy, if only it might ever be granted her to possess the terrible jewel, nought profited, alas! by omens near at hand. What bitter tears she doth desire! to what ruin tend her impious wishes! Worthy is she, indeed, but what hath her hapless consort deserved, and his deluded arms? And what the guiltless frenzy of her son?

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.306  When twice six days had ended the regal banqueting and the rejoicing of the people, the Ismenian hero turned his gaze towards Thebes, and would fain now be seeking his kingdom. For he recalls that day, when by the hazard that favoured his brother he stood in Echion's palace stripped of power, and saw his cause deserted by the gods and his friends all slunk away in hurry and alarm, himself defenceless on every side and all his fortune fled. For but one sister had dared to escort the exile on his sad path; from her even had he parted, his journey scarce begun, and in deep anger repressed his tearful grief. Then nightly and day by day does he recount in order those whose joy he marked as he went forth, those who were foremost in flattery of the unjust prince, or whom he had himself seen to bewail his exile; anguish devours his mind, and furious wrath, and hope, than which the heart can bear no heavier burden, when 'tis long deferred. Brooding thus in his mind upon a cloud of care, he makes ready to set out for Dirce and the Cadmean home denied him. Even as a chieftain bull, banished from his loved valley, whom a conqueror has driven from his wonted meadow and bidden low far parted from his stolen love, yet anon in exile takes pleasure in his mighty thews, and his neck fresh-blooded waxes strong again, and he bethinks him of the oaks that he has shattered, and eager for battle demands back the pastures and the captive herds; already in speed of foot and power of horn hath he the mastery, his conqueror himself is dismayed at his return, and the astonished herdsmen scarce now him for the same: not otherwise does the Teumesian youth sharpen his wrath in brooding silence. But his faithful wife had marked his secret yearning to be gone, and lying on the couch in the first pale light of dawn, her arms about her lord, "What thoughts of flight," she said, "are these thou ponderest? nought escapes a lover's eye. I know thy wakeful complainings and thy bitter sighs, thy ever-troubled slumber. How often touching thee with my hand do I find this face all wet with tears, and thy breast loud groaning with thy weight of cares! 'Tis not the sundering of our marriage-bond that moves me, nor a widowed youth; although our love is still fresh, nor has our couch yet since the bridal lost he first glow of passion. 'Tis thy own safety, O beloved — I hasten to confess it — that wrings my heart. Wilt thou seek thy realm unarmed, unfriended, and be able to quit thine own Thebes, should he refuse it? Yea, Report, that is ever cunning to catch the mind of princes, tells that he is proud and arrogant in his stolen power, and ill-disposed to hear thee; nor had he yet reigned a full year. Terrified too am I now by soothsayers, now by entrails that speak of threatening gods, by flight of birds, or by disturbing visions of the night; and ah! never do I call to mind that Juno came falsely to me in my dreams. Whither doth thy journey lead thee? except it be a secretly cherished passion that draws thee to Thebes, and union with a nobler house." Then at last the Echionian youth brief-laughing consoled his wife's tender grief, and set timely kisses on her sorrowful cheeks and stayed her tears: "Free thy mind of fear; prudent counsels, believe me, win peaceful days; cares beyond thy years become thee not. But should one day the Saturnian father take knowledge of my fate, and Justice, if she think at all to glance down from heaven and defend the right on earth: then perchance that day shall dawn for thee, when thou shalt see thy husband's walls, and go in queenly pomp through two cities."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.363  So saying he hurried forth from the chamber that he loved, and sadly accosts Tydeus, already the partner of his enterprise, already sharing his troubles with faithful heart — so strong the bond of love that united them after their quarrel — and Adrastus, father of his spouse. Long time do they hold counsel, when after pondering many a scheme one plan at last finds preference with all, to make trial of his brother's constancy and seek by humble request a safe return to the realm. Bold Tydeus volunteers the mission; yea, and thee too, bravest of the Aetolian race, would Deipyle fain stay by many a tear, but her father's command and the assurance of any envoy's safe return and her sister's just entreaties make her yield.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.375  And now he had accomplished the full measure of a journey made rough by forests and seashore: where lay the marsh of Lerna and the burnt Hydra's heat makes warm the depths of those unrighteous waters, and where through the length of Nemea scarce is heard to scanty song of the yet timid shepherds; where Ephyre's eastern side slopes to the winds of Orient and the Sisyphian havens lie, and the wave that vents its wrath upon the land lies in the curved retreat of Lechaeum sacred to Palaemon. Thence passes he by Nisus, leaving thee, kindly Eleusis, on his left hand, and at last treads the Teumesian fields and enters the Agenorean towers. There he beholds the cruel Eteocles high upon a throne and girt round with bristling spears. The appointed season of his reign already past, he was holding the folk under savage governance in his brother's stead; prepared for every crime he sits, and complains of so late a claiming of his promise.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.389  Standing in the midst — the branch of olive proclaims him ambassador — when asked his name he declared it and the purpose of his coming; then, rude of speech as ever and quick to anger, and with mixture of harsh words, although his plea was just, he thus began: "Hadst thou simple honesty left thee and regard for a sworn bond, 'twere more right that envoys should go hence to thy brother, now thy year is finished, and that thou in due course shouldst put off thy state and contentedly leave thy throne, so that he, after long wanderings and unseemly hardships in many a strange city, should at length succeed to the promised kingdom. But since thy darling passion is to reign, and power exerts its flattering charm, we summon thee; already hath the swift circle brought round the starry globe, and the mountains have regained the shadows that they lost, since they brother hath suffered the unhappy lot of poverty and exile in unknown cities; now is it time thou too didst spend they days under Jove's open sky, and let earth's coldness freeze thy limbs, and pay submissive court at the hearths of strangers. Set a term to thy prosperity; long enough in rich pomp of gold and purple hast thou mocked at thy brother's year of mean poverty; I warn thee, unlearn of thine own will the joys of ruling, and in patient exile merit thy return."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.410  He ended, but the other's fiery heart rages beneath his silent breast, as when a serpent angered by a flung stone darts up close at hand, whose limbs long thirst has racked, down in its hollow lair, and gathered all the venom to its throat and scaly neck. "Had they been doubtful signs that forewarned me of my brother's quarrel, did not his secret hate shine clear as day to me, that bold assurance alone would suffice, whereby you, in mind his very pattern, thus prelude his fury, as though already a new train of sappers were breaching our fenced walls, and the trumpets were kindling the hostile bands to fierceness. Even if thou hadst been speaking to Bistonians face-to-face in their midst, or to the pale Geloni, on whom the sun shines not, thou wouldst have been more sparing of thy eloquence, and more observant of what is fair and just, in opening thy cause. Nor would I accuse thee of this madness: thou speakest but at command. Now, therefore, since all your words are threats, and ye demand the sceptre with warrant neither of trust nor peace, and your hands are ever on the sword-hilt, carry back in turn this message of mine, far short of thine as yet, to the Argolic prince: The fortune that is my right, the sceptre that due privilege of years hath assigned me, I hold, and will hold long. Keep thou thy royal dower, the gift of thy Inachian consort, pile up thy Danaan treasure — for why should I envy thee those nobler deeds? — rule Argos and Lerna under happy auspices! Be it mine to hold the rough pastures of Dirce, and the shores narrowed by the Euboean waves, nor think it shame to call unhappy Oedipus my sire! Let ancestral splendour be thy boast — scion of Pelops and Tantalus! — and by a nearer channel of descent unite Jove's blood with thine. Will thy queen, accustomed to her father's luxury, endure this simple home? rightly would my sisters perform their anxious tasks for her, my mother, unsightly from long mourning, and that accursed dotard, heard clamouring perchance from his dark seclusion, would give her offence! The people's minds are already accustomed to my yoke; I am ashamed, alas! for the folk and elders alike, lest they should suffer so oft the uncertainty of fortune and the distressful change of rulers, and unwillingly obey a doubtful throne. Unsparing to a people is a short reign; turn and behold the dismay and horror of my citizens at my danger! Shall I abandon these, whom under thy sway sure punishment awaits? 'Tis in anger, O kinsman, that thou comest. Or suppose me willing: the fathers themselves will not suffer me to render up the crown, if I but know their love and there is gratitude for all my bounty."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.451  No more endured he, but even in mid-speech flung at him this retort: "Thou shalt restore," he cries, and again, "Thou shalt restore! Nay, should an iron rampart fence thee, or Amphion with the strains of another song draw about thee a triple wall, in no wise shall fire or sword defend thee from paying for thy bold deed, and, ere thou die, beating thy captive diadem on the ground beneath our arms. Such a fate wilt thou deserve; those do I pity, whose cheap lives thou dost seize and hurl to death in horrid butchery, worthy king, and their wives and babes and thou, Ismenus, roll down upon thy blood-stained waters! This then is loyalty, and this thy trusted word! Nor marvel I at the crimes of your race; such was the first author of your blood, such your incestuous sires; but there is a flaw in your parentage, thou only art the son of Oedipus, and this, O man of violence, shall be the reward for thy sin and crime! We claim our year! But I waste words — " Boldly thus he shouted back while still in the doorway, then dashed out headlong through their disordered ranks. Even so the famous champion of Oenean Diana, with bristles stiff and lightning stroke of tusked jaw, hard pressed though he be by the Argive band, that rolls down stones upon him and boughs of trees uprooted from Achelous' banks, yet leaves now Telamon, now Ixion prostrate on the ground, and attacks thee, Meleager; there at last was he stayed upon the spear-thrust, and relaxed the weapon's force in the fierce-struggling shoulder. Such was the Calydonian hero, as he left the yet timorous council, with savage threats, as thou 'twere he who was denied the kingdom; he hastes away, hurling from him the branch of olive. The mothers in amazement watch him from their thresholds' edge, and utter curses on the fierce son of Oeneus, and withal in their secret hearts upon the king.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.482  But the monarch is not slothful, nor lacks cunning resource of crime and fraud unspeakable. A faithful company of chosen warriors he urges now by bribes, now by ardour of persuasive words, and fiercely plots a nocturnal affray, and would fain attack the ambassador — a name reverenced by peoples through the ages — by treachery and the silent-lurking sword. What is there that kings hold not vile? What cunning would he devise, were it his brother thou didst place in his power, O Fortune! O blind and guilty counsels! O ever timorous crime! A sworn band of soldiery go out against one single life, as though they made ready to storm a camp or level a city's lofty side with the ram's battering blows; fifty thus form close array, and march in order through the tall gates. Heaven favour now thy courage, who art deemed worthy of so numerous a foe!

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.496  A nearer road leads them through copses, where by a hidden path they make the better speed and travel by a cut through the dense woods. It was a choice spot for a stratagem: at a distance from the city two hills bear close upon each other with a grudging gulf between; the shadow of a mountain above and leafy ridges of curving woodland shut them in. Nature has implanted treachery in the place, and the means of hidden ambush. Through the middle of the rocks threads a rough and narrow track, below which lies a plain and a broad expanse of sloping fields. Over against it a threatening cliff rises high, the home of the winged monster of Oedipus; here aforetime she stood, fierce uplifting her pallid cheeks, her eyes tainted with corruption and her plumes all clotted with hideous gore; grasping human remains and clutching to her breast half-eaten bones she scanned the plains with awful gaze, should any stranger dare to join in the strife of riddling words, or any traveller confront her and parley with her terrible tongue; then, without more ado, sharpening forthwith the unsheathed talons of her livid hands and her teeth bared for wounding, she rose with dreadful beating of wings around the faces of the strangers; nor did any guess her riddle, till caught by a hero that proved her match, with failing wings — ah! horror! — from the bloody cliff she dashed her insatiate paunch in despair upon the rocks beneath. The wood gives reminder of the dread story: the cattle abhor the neighbouring pastures, and the flock, though greedy, will not touch the fateful herbage; no Dryad choirs take delight in the shade, it ill beseems the sacred rites of Fauns, even birds obscene fly far from the abomination of the grove. Speeding hither with silent steps comes the doomed band; leaning on their spears and with grounded arms held ready, they await their haughty foe, and set strong guard around the wood.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.527  Night had begun to shroud the sunlight in her dewy pall, and had cast over the earth her dark shadow. The hero drew nigh the woods, and from a lofty mound sees the red gleam of warriors' shields and plumed helmets, where the forest boughs leave an open space, and through the opposing shade the flickering moonlight plays upon the brazen armour. Appalled at the sight he yet went onward; he but draws to him his spiky darts, and the sword sheathed to the hilt. Then first he makes question, in no base terror: "Whence are ye, men, what mean ye lurking thus armed?" No voice made answer, the suspicious silence holds no sure pledge of peace. Lo! a spear, hurled by the mighty arm of Chthonius, the leader of the band, flies through the dusky air; but heaven and fortune let no aid to his venture. Yet through the covering of Olenian boar and the black bristly hide it sped, over his shoulder, near drawing blood, and widowed of its point strikes harmless on his throat. With hair erect and blood frozen about his heart he looks this way and that, fiercely alert and pale with rage, nor deems so large a troop to be equipped against him: "Come forth against me! out with you into the open! why such timorous daring, such arrant cowardice? alone I challenge you, alone!" Nor waited they; but when he saw them, more than he thought, swarming up from countless lurking places, some issuing from the ridges, others in ever-growing numbers coming from the valley-depths, nor few upon the plain, as when the first cry drives the encircled quarry into the open, and the road all lit by gleams of armour, he makes for the heights of the dire Sphinx — the only path of safety in his bewilderment — and tearing his nails upon the sheer cliff he scales the dreadful steep and gains mastery of the rock, where he has security behind and a clear downward range of harm. Then he tears away from the rocks a huge boulder, that groaning bullocks scarce with full strength could move from the ground and drag up to the wall; then heaving with all his force he raises ands strives to poise the deadly mass: even as great-hearted Pholus lifted the empty mixing-bowl against his Lapith foes. Right in death's path, aghast they view him high aloft; the mountain falls hurtling, and whelms them; at once human limbs and faces, weapons and armour lie in mingled ruin. Four men in all groan mangled beneath that one rock; straightway the host flees panic-stricken, dashed from their enterprise. For no cowards were they who lay there dead: Dorylas of the lightning stroke, in glowing valour a match for princes, and Theron of the seed of Mars, proudly confident in earth-born ancestors, Halys, second to none in swaying at will his reined steed, but fallen on those fields in dismounted flight, and Phaedimus, who drew his birth from Pentheus, and found thee, Bacchus, still his foe.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.576  But when he saw the band in terror and disordered rout from the sudden fate of these, he hurls two javelins — these alone did he carry, and had leant them against the mountain — and sends them after the fugitives. Soon, lest darts should fall on his exposed breast, of his own will he leapt down swiftly to the level plain, and seized the shield which he saw had rolled away when Theron was crushed down, and with his wonted covering of back and head, and breast defended by his enemy's shield he stood his ground. Then gathering again into one dense body the Ogygians advance: instantly Tydeus draws his Bistonian blade, great Oeneus' warlike gift, and attacking every quarter alike confronts now these, now those, and with his sword strikes down their glittering weapons; their numbers hinder them, and their arms impede each other; no strength is in their efforts, but their blows go astray on their own fellows, and falling they are entangled in their own disorder. He awaits their onset, a narrow mark for javelins, and resists them, firm and unshakeable. Not otherwise — if Getic Phlegra be worthy credence — stood Briareus vast in bulk against embattled heaven, contemning on this hand Phoebus' quiver, on that the serpents of stern Pallas, here Mars' Pelethronian pinewood shaft, with point of iron, and yonder the thunderbolt oft changed for new by weary Pyracmon, and yet complaining, though combated in vain by all Olympus, that so many hands were idle; no fainter was he in ardour, with shield outheld now this way, now that, himself retiring, doubling round, and ever and anon darting on their irresolute lines and pressing his vantage, while he pulls forth the many javelins that are stuck quivering all about his shield, an armoury for the hero; and many a bitter wound he suffers, yet none gains entrance to life's secret courses, nor may hope to be deadly. A whirling stroke deals he at raging Deilochus, and bids Phegeus, who threatens attack with axe upraised, go join him beneath the shades, Dircean Gyas too and Lycophontes of Echionian stock. And now, losing heart, they seek each other and count their numbers, nor feel the same zest for blood, but grieve that so large a band is growing few.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.613  Lo! Chromis, of Tyrian Cadmus' seed — him once Phoenician Dryope was carrying in her weighted womb, when revelling bands swept her along forgetful of her burden, and while she was dragging a bull unto thee, O Euhan, grasping its horns, the babe fell forth by stress of undue striving — Chromis at that time, in bold confidence of spears and hide of captured lion, brandished a stout club of knotted pinewood, and taunting cried: "Is one man, ye warriors, one man to go to Argos, boasting of so many slain? Scarce will he gain credence on his return! Come, friends, are there none strong in arm or weapon any more? was this our promise to the king, O Cydon? was it this, O Lampus?" While yet he shouts, the Teumesian cornel-shaft enters his open mouth, nor does his throat stay it; his voice is choked, and the sundered tongue floats in the rush of blood. Awhile he stood, till death poured through his limbs, and he fell, and falling was silent, while his teeth bit upon the spear.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.629  You too, O Thespians, why should I deny you and withhold from honourable renown? Periphas — none of brighter parts than he, or truer devotion — was raising from the ground his brother's dying frame, his left hand supporting the languid neck, and his right arm about his side; his breast beneath the cuirass is drained by choking sobs of grief, nor can the fastenings restrain the welling tears that flow from his helm, when amid his deep groans a heavy spear shatters his curved ribs from behind him. Issuing from him it pierces his brother also, and with one weapon unites the kindred breasts. The other steadies his swimming eyes, where light still lingered, but beholding his kinsman done to death closes them in darkness. But he, to whom life remains and strength as yet despite his wound, cries: "Such an embrace, such kisses may thy sons give thee!" So fell they, alike in doom, their vow performed alas! in death, and their eyes closed each by the other's hand.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.645  But Tydeus, straightway attacking, drove Menoetes with shield and spear before him terrified, in hurried backward retreat, till stumbling on the uneven ground he lost his footing; then prays he with both hands spread wide in supplication, and pushes away the spear that presses at his throat: "Spare me, I beseech thee by these star-inwoven shades, by the gods above, and by this night that favours thee: suffer me to bear to Thebes the sad tidings of thy deeds, and in our king's despite laud thee before our trembling folk; so may our darts fall fruitless and no steel pierce thy breast, and thou return triumphant to thy friend's desire!" He finished, but the other with countenance unchanged: "Vain tears thou wastest, and thou, if I mistake not, didst promise my head to the cruel prince. Surrender now thy arms and the light of day! Why seek the gaining of thy craven life? 'Tis wars are waiting." While yet he speaks, the spear-point returns thick-clotted with blood. Thereupon with bitter words he pursues the vanquished: "No triennial night or solemn festival are ye keeping now! no orgies of Cadmus do ye behold, no mothers eager to profane Bacchus! Did ye think ye were carrying fawnskins and brittle wands to your unwarlike music? or were joining the fray that true men know nought of at the sound of Celaeanae's boxwood pipe? Far other carnage is this, far other madness! To death with you, cowards and too few!" So thunders he, but nevertheless his limbs deny hi, and the tired blood beast heavy on his heart. His arm is raised, but falls in idle blows, his steps are slow, nor can his elbow bear the weight of the buckler changed by the spoils it bears; the cold sweat pours down his panting breast, and his hair and burning visage stream with gory dew and the foul bespattering of dying bodies: even as a lion, who had driven the shepherd far from the meadows and taken his fill of Massylian sheep, when his hunger is sated I in abundance of blood, and his neck and mane are congealed and heavy with corruption, stands faint in the midst of the slaughter, his mouth agape, fordone with gorging; gone is his savage fury, he only snaps in the air his empty jaws, and with hanging tongue licks them clean of the soft wool.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.682  Rich in spoils and bloodshed, he would even have gone to Thebes, and vaunted his triumph before astonished prince and people, hadst not thou, Tritonian maid, deemed worthy of thy counsel the hero, still ardent and all dazed by his deeds: "Scion of proud Oeneus, to whom just now, though far away, we granted victory over Thebes, set now a limit, and strain no more the gods' undue favour; seek only credence for these toils. Depart, having sued thy fortune to the full." There yet remained, an unwilling survivor of his comrades' slaughter, Maeon, the son of Haemon; all this he had foreseen, taught of omens from the air nor deceived by any bird; nor had he feared to deter his chieftain, but the fates deprived his warnings of belief. His doom is to be pitied as a useless life; in terror he receives Tydeus' stern behest: "Whosoever of the Aonians thou art, whom saved by my bounty from uttermost darkness tomorrow's Dawn shall yet behold, this message I command thee to carry to thy prince: Raise a mound about your gates, renew your weapons, see to your old and mouldering walls, mind above all to marshall your men in close array and press troop on troop; look now at this field, everywhere smoking from my sword: even so do we make war!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 2.704  So speaking, he prepares for thee, O Pallas, of thy deserving a fair guerdon from the gory rout, and in joy collects the booty lying there and surveys all his mighty deeds. Upon a hillock in mid-plain there was an oak tree, long time forgetful of its tender youth, with curving boughs and rude strength of trunk and thick encompassing bark. To this he brings and fastens smooth helmets and armour pierced by many a stroke, to this he binds swords that his blows have broken short and spears pulled out from limbs yet breathing. Standing then on the heap of arms and bodies he thus begins, while night and the long ridges make echo to his prayer: "Stern goddess, glory and wisdom of they mighty sire, powerful in war, thou on whose cheeks the terrible splendour of thy grim casque and blood-besprinkled Gorgon glow fierce with rage, — nor did ever Mavors or Bellona with her battle-spear inspire more furious trumpet-blasts — look favourably on this offering, whether thou comest from Pandion's hill to be present at my night of triumph, or whether thou dost turn aside from thy glad dances in Aonian Itone, or hast washed and combed thy hair again in LibyanTriton's waters, whither the fleet axle of thy inviolate mares doth speed thee shouting loud upon thy two-horsed chariot; now do we dedicate to thee the shattered spoils and shapeless armour of heroes. But should I come to my native Parthaonian fields, and Martian Pleuron throw wide her gates for my returning, then in the midst of the city's hills will I consecrate to thee a golden temple, where it may be thy pleasure to look down upon Ionian storms, and where turbulent Achelous with yellow head tossed high disturbs the deep, and leaves the barrier of the Echinades behind. Here will I carve ancestral wars and the awful visages of great-hearted kings, and arms will I hang in the proud shrines, arms that I myself bore home and gained at my own blood's cost, and those that thou, Tritonian maid, shalt give when Thebes is taken. A hundred Calydonian maidens there, votaries of thy virgin altars, shall duly twine thee Attic torches, and weave from thy chaste olive-tree purple fillets set off with snow-white wool; an aged priestess shall tend a never-failing fire upon the hearths, and hold in continual reverence thy mystic sanctities. Thou as of old shalt win in war and in peace rich first-fruits of my labours, nor shall Diana be offended." So prayed he, and set out again for pleasant Argos.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.1  But not to the perfidious lord of the Aonian palace comes the repose of slumber in the twilight hours, although for the dank stars long travail yet remain till dawn; in his mind care holds vigil and wreaks the penalty for his plotted crime; then fear, gloomiest of augurs in perplexity, broods deeply. "Ah me!" he cries, "why this tarrying?" — for he had deemed the task a light one, and Tydeus an easy prey to so many warriors, nor weighed his valour and spirit against their numbers — "Went they by different rods? Was a company sent from Argos to his succour? Or has news of the deed spread round the neighbouring cities? Chose we too few, O father Gradivus, or men unrenowned in action? But valiant Chromis and Dorylas and the Thespians, a match for these towers of mine, could at my bidding level all Argos with the ground. Nor proof, I ween, against my weapons had he come hither, though his frame were wrought of bronze or solid adamant. For shame, ye cowards, whose efforts fail before a single foe, if indeed ye fought at all!" Thus is he tormented by various gusts of passion, and above all his sword as he spoke in mid assembly, nor openly sated to the full his savage wrath. Now he feels shame of his design, and now repents him of the shame. And like to the appointed helmsman of a Calabrian barque upon Ionian waters (nor does the lack sea-craft, but the Olenian starrising clearer than its wont has beguiled him to leave a friendly haven), when a sudden uproar fills the wintry sky, and all heaven's confines thunder, and Orion in full might brings low the poles — he himself would fain win the land, and struggles to return, but a strong south wind astern bears him on; then, abandoning his craft, he groans, and heedless now follows the blind waters: even so the Agenorean chieftain upbraids Lucifer, yet lingering in the heavens, and the sun, so slow to rise on the distressed.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.33  Lo! beneath the western rein of Night, her course already turned, and the setting stars, so soon as mighty Tethys had driven forth tardy Hyperion from the Eastern sea, the earth with swaying masses trembled to her foundations, drear sign of ills to come, and Cithaeron was stirred and made his ancient snows to move; then were the rooftops seen to rise and the sevenfold gates to meet the mountain-ridges. Nor distant was the cause: wroth with his destiny and sad that death had been denied him, the son of Haemon was returning in the cold hour of dawn; not yet is his face plain, but, though indistinct to view, he gave from afar clear signs of dire disaster by wailing and beating his breast; for all his tears had soon been shed. Not otherwise does a bereaved herdsman leave the glade where savage wolves have wrought nocturnal carnage, what time a sudden squall of rain and the windy horns of the winter moon have driven his master's cattle to the woods; light makes the slaughter manifest; he fears to take the new tidings to his lord, and pouring unsightly dust upon his head fills the fields with his lamentations, and hates the vast and silent stalls, while he calls aloud the long roll of his lost bulls.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.53  When the mothers crowding to the threshold of the gates beheld him all alone — ah, horror! — no troop around him or valiant chieftains, they venture not to question him, but raise a cry like unto that last cry when cities are flung open to the victors, or when a ship sinks at sea. As soon as audience at his desire was granted by the hated king: "This hapless life fierce Tydeus doth present thee of all that company, whether the gods have willed it so, or fortune, or, as my anger feels shame to confess, that man's unconquerable might. Scarce to I believe my own report; all have perished, all! Witness night's wandering fires, my comrades' ghosts, and thou, evil omen wherewith I must needs return, no tears nor wiles won me this cruel grace and dishonoured gift of light. But the gods' commands snatched destruction from me, and Atropos, whose pleasure knows no denial, and the fate that long since shut against me this door of death. And now that thou mayst see that my heart is prodigal of life, nor shrinks from final doom: 'tis an unholy war thou hast begun, thou man of blood, no omens will approve thy arms; and while thou endeavourest to banish law, and reign exultant in thy kinsman's exile, the unceasing plaint of a long line of ruined desolate homes, and fifty spirits hovering night and day shall haunt thee with dire terror; for I also delay not."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.77  Already the fierce king's anger was stirred, and blood lights up his scowling visage. Then Phlegyas and Labdacus, who never dallied at evil work — the realm's armed might was in their keeping — prepare unbidden to go and assault him with violence. But already the great-souled seer had bared his blade, and looking now at the truculent tyrant's face, now at his sword: "Never shalt thou have power upon this blood of mine nor strike the breast that great Tydeus spared; I go, yea exultant, and meet the fate whereof he robbed me; I am borne to the shades of my expectant comrades. As for thee, to the gods and thy brother — " Even as he spoke, the sword was in his side to the hilt, cutting short his words; he fights against the agony, and with a strong effort doubling himself over the mighty blow sinks down, and the blood, sped by the last gaspings of his life, comes forth now from his mouth, now from the wound. The chiefs are stricken with dismay, the councillors mutter in alarm; but he, with visage set and grim in the death his hand accomplished, is borne to his house by his wife and trusty kinsmen, who have had no long joy of his return. But the mad rage of the impious ruler cannot so long be stayed; he forbids that the corpse be consumed with fire, and in vain defiance bars the peace of the tomb from the unwitting shades.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.99  But thou, so noble in thy death and in thy constancy, thou who wilt never suffer oblivion — such is thy due reward — thou who daredst scorn a monarch to his face, and thus hallow the path of ample freedom: by what strain of sufficing utterance can I add due renown to thy high prowess, augur beloved by the gods? Not in vain did Apollo teach thee all his heavenly lore and deem thee worthy of his laurel, and Dodona mother of forests and the Cirrhaean virgin shall rejoice to keep the folk in suspense while Phoebus holds his peace. And now far removed from Tartarean Avernus go thou and roam Elysian regions, where the sky admits not Ogygian souls, nor a guilty despot's cruel behests have power; thy raiment and thy limbs endure, left inviolate by gory beasts, and the forest and the birds with sorrowing awe watch o'er thee, as thou liest beneath the naked sky.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.114  But fainting wives and children and ailing parents pour forth from the city walls, and by easy road or trackless region everywhere haste in piteous rivalry, eager to gain the object of their own lament, while in their company go crowded thousands zealous to console; some are burning with desire to see one warrior's achievement and all the labours of the night. The road is loud with lamentation, and the fields re-echo the cries of grief. But when they reached the infamous rocks and the accursed wood, as though none had mourned before, nor bitter tears had flowed, once cry of keenest anguish rises, as from one mouth, and the sight of carnage drives the folk to madness; Grief inconsolable stands there with bloody raiment rent and with pierced breast incites the mothers. They search the helmets of the warriors now cold in death, and display the bodies they have found, stretched prostrate alike on stranger and on kinsman. Some steep their hair in the gore, some close up eyes and wash the deep wounds with their tears, others draw out the darts with vainly merciful hand, others gently replace the severed limbs and set the heads again to their shoulders.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.133  But Ide wanders through the thickets and on the open dusty plain — Ide, mighty mother of twin heroes, twinned now in death — with dishevelled hair all flowing, and nails piercing deep her livid cheeks; no more unhappy or pitiable is she, but terrible in her grief; and everywhere by weapons and by bodies she strews on the dire ground her white uncombed locks, and in helpless plight seeks her sons and over every corpse makes lamentation. Not otherwise does the Thessalian witch, whose race's hideous art it is to charm back men to life by spell of song, rejoice in warfare lately ended, and holding high her faggot-torch of ancient cedar nightly haunt the fields, while she turns the slain folk over in their blood, and tries the dead, to see to which corpse she shall give many a message for the world above; the gloomy councils of the shades complain, and black Avernus' sire waxes indignant.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.147  Together they were lying, apart from the rest beneath a rock, fortunate, that one day, one hand had wrought their doom; their wound-pierced breasts are knit fast by the uniting spear. She saw them, and her eyes made passage for the streaming tears: "Is it so ye embrace, my sons, is it so ye kiss, before your mother's eyes? Is it so that Death's cruel cunning at the final hour hath bound you? Which wounds shall I first touch, which face caress? Are ye those strong defenders of your mother, that glory of my womb, whereby I thought to touch the gods, and surpass the mothers of Ogygia in renown? How much better far, how happy in their union are they whose chamber is barren, whose house Lucina never visited at the cry of travail! Nay, to me my labour hath brought but sorrow. Nor in the broad glare of battle met ye a glorious fate, nor daring deeds ever famous among men did ye seek a death whose story might be told to your unhappy mother, but obscure ye fell and counting but in the tale of deaths; alas! in what streams of blood ye lie, unnoticed and unpraised! I dare not indeed sunder your poor embracing arms, or break the union of so noble a death; go, then, and long abide true brothers, unparted by the final flames, and mingle your loved ashes in the urn!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.169  No less in the meantime do the rest make lament, each over their own slain: here doth his wife mourn Chthonius, there Astyoche his mother grieves over Pentheus, and tender lads, thy offspring, Phaedimus, have learnt their father's fate; Marpessa laves Phylleus, her betrothed, and his sisters cleanse the blood-stained Acamas. Then with the iron they lay bare the woods, and lop the antique crown of the neighbouring hill, that knew the secret of the night's doings and watched the agony; there before the funeral piles, while each clings to the fire he himself has kindled, aged Aletes speaks consoling words to the unhappy company: "Often indeed has our race known sorrow and been racked by the heartless sport of Fate, ay, ever since the Sidonian wanderer cast the iron seed upon the furrows of Aonia, whence came strange growing and fear to the husbandmen of their own fields. But neither when old Cadmus' palace sank into fiery ashes at cruel Juno's bidding, nor when hapless Athamas, gaining a deadly fame, came down from the astonied mount, haling, alas! with exultant cries Learchus, nigh a corpse, hath such woe come to Thebes; nor louder then did Phoenician homes re-echo, when weary Agave overcame her frenzy, and trembled at her comrades' tears. One day alone matched this in doom, and brought disaster in like shape, that day when the impious Tantalid atoned her presumptuous boasting, when she caught up all those bodies whose countless ruin strewed the earth around her, and sought for each its funeral flames. As great then was our people's woe, and even so from forth the city went young and old and mothers flocking, and cried out their hearts' bitterness against heaven, and in crowding misery thronged the double pyre at each mighty gate. I too, so I remember, though my years were tender, wept nevertheless, and equalled my parents' tears. Yet hose ills were heaven-sent; nor would I more lament that the mad Molossian hounds knew not their master, when he crept forth from his unholy hiding-place to profane, O Delia, thy chaste fountains, nor that the queen, her blood transformed, melted suddenly into a lake. Such was the hard assignment of the Sisters, and so Jove willed it.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.206  "But now by a cruel monarch's crime have we lost these guiltless citizens, so many chiefs of our land; and not yet hath the fame of the spurned covenant reached Argos, and already we suffer the extremities of war. Alas! what sweat of toil in the thick dust of battle is in store for men and steeds! alas! how high will ye flow, ye rivers, blushing your cruel red! All this will our youth behold, yet green to war; as for me, may I be granted, while it may be, my own funeral pyre, and be laid in my ancestral earth!" So spoke the aged man, and heaped high the crimes of Eteocles, calling him cruel and abominable and doomed to punishment. Whence came this freedom of speech? his end was near, and all his life behind him, and he would fain add glory to late-found death.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.218  All this the creator of the stars had long observed from the summit of the world, and seen the peoples stained by the first bloodshed; then bids he Gradivus straight be called. He having laid waste with slaughter the wild Bistonian folk and Getic towns was driving his chariot in hot haste toward the ethereal heights, flashing the splendour of his lightning-crested helm and angry golden armour, alive with monstrous shapes of terror; heaven's vault roars thunderous, his shield glows with blood-red light and its emulous orb strikes on the sun from far. When Jupiter saw that he yet panted with his Sarmatic toils, and that all the tempest of war yet swayed his breast: "Even as thou art, my son, even so hie thee through Argos, with thy sword thus dripping, in such a cloud of wrath. Let them cast off the sloth that curbs them, let them hate all and desire but thee, let them in frenzy vow to thee their lives and hands; sweep away the doubting, confound all treaties; thou mayst consume in war — to thee have I granted it — even gods themselves, ay, and the peace of Jove. Already I have sown the seeds of battle: Tydeus, as he returns, brings news of monstrous outrages, the monarch's crime, the first beginnings of base warfare, the ambush and the treachery, which with his own weapons he avenged. Add thou credence to his tale. And you, ye gods, scions of my blood, indulge no angry strife, no rivalry to win me by entreaties; thus have the Fates sworn to me, and the dark spindles of the Sisters: this day abides from the beginning of the world ordained for war, these peoples are destined to battle from their birth. But if ye suffer me not to exact solemn vengeance for their sins of old, and to punish their dreadful progeny — I call to witness these everlasting heights, our race's holy shrine, and the Elysian streams that even I hold sacred — with my own arm will I destroy Thebes and shatter her walls to their foundations, and cast out upon the Inachian dwellings her uprooted towers, or else pour down my rain upon them and sweep them into the blue depths, ay, though Juno's self should embrace her hills and temple, and toil amid the chaos."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.253  He spoke, and they were spellbound at this commands. Mortal in mind thou hadst deemed them, so curbed they one and all their voice and spirit. Even as when a long truce of winds has calmed the sea, and the shores lie wrapt in peaceful slumber, indolent summer sets her spell upon forest leaves and clouds, and drives the breezes far; then on lakes and sounding meres the swelling waters sink to rest, and rivers fall silent 'neath the sun's scorching rays.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.260  Exulting with joy at these commands, and glowing yet with his chariot's burning heat, Gradivus leftward swung the reins; soon he was gaining his journey's end and the steeps of heaven, when Venus unafraid stood in his horses' very path; backward they gave place, and e'en now have drooped their thick manes in suppliant wise to earth. Then leaning her bosom on the yoke, and with sidelong tearful glance she beings — meanwhile bowed at their mistress' feet the horses champ the foaming steel: "War even against Thebes, O noble father, war dost thou thyself prepare, and the sword's destruction for all thy race? And does not Harmonia's offspring, nor heaven's festal day of wedlock, nor these tears of mine, thou madman, give thee one moment's pause? Is this thy reward for my misdoing? Is this the guerdon that the Lemnian chains and scandal's tongue and loss of honour have won for me at thy hands? Proceed then as thou wilt; far different service does Vulcan pay me, and even an injured husband's wrath yet does my bidding. If I were to bid him sweat in endless toil of furnaces and pass unsleeping nights of labour, he would rejoice and work at arms and at new accoutrements, yea, even for thee! Thou — but I essay to move rocks and a heart of bronze by praying! — yet this sole request, this only do I make in anxious fear: why didst thou have me join our beloved daughter to a Tyrian husband in ill-omened wedlock? And boast the while that the Tyrians, of dragon stock and direct lineage of Jove, would win renown in arms and show hearts keen and alive for action? Ah! would rather our maiden had married beneath the Sithonian pole, beyond Boreas and thy Thracians! Have I not suffered wrong enough, that my daughter crawls her length upon the ground, and spews poison on the Illyrian grass? But now her innocent race — "

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.291  No longer could the Lord of war endure her tears, but changed his spear to his left hand, and in a moment leapt from the lofty car, and clasping her to his shield hurt her in his embrace, and with loving words thus soothes her: "O thou who art my repose from battle, my sacred joy and all the peace my heart doth know: thou who alone of gods and men canst face my arms unpunished, and check even in mid-slaughter my neighing steeds, and tear this sword from my right hand! neither the marriage-bond of Sidonian Cadmus have I forgotten, nor thy dear loyalty — rejoice not in false accusing! — may I be rather plunged, god though I be, in my uncle's infernal lakes, and be hunted weaponless to the pale shades! But now 'tis the Fates' behests and the high Father's purpose I am bid perform — no fit choice were Vulcan's arm for such an errand! — and how can I dare face Jove or go about to spurn his spoken decree, Jove, at whose word — such power is his! — I saw of late earth and sky and ocean tremble, and mighty gods, one and all, seek hiding? But, dear one, let not thy heart be sore afraid, I pray thee — these things no Tyrian power can change; and when soon beneath the Tyrian walls both races are making war, I will be present and help our kindred arms. Then with happier mien shalt thou behold me descending in fury upon the Argive fortunes far and wide over the bloody plain; this is my right, nor do the fates forbid it." So speaking, he drove on through the open air his flaming steeds. No swifter falls upon the earth the anger of Jove, whene'er he stand on snowy Othrys or the cold peak of northern Ossa, and plucks a weapon from the cloud; fast flies the fiery bolt, bearing the god's stern command, and all heaven, affrighted at its threefold trail, soon threatens with ominous signs the fruitful fields or overwhelms unhappy sailors in the deep.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.325  And now Tydeus on his homeward way passes with weary step through the Danaan lands and down the slopes of green Prosymna; terrible is he to behold: his hair stands thick with dust, from his shoulders filthy sweat drips into his deep wounds, his sleepless eyes are raw and red, and gasping thirst has made his face drawn and sunken; but his spirit, conscious of his deeds, breathes lofty pride. So does a warrior bull return to his well-known pastures, with neck and shoulders and torn dewlaps streaming with his foe's blood and his own; then too doth weary valour swell high, filled with pride, as he looks down upon his breast; his enemy lies on the deserted sand, groaning, dishonoured, and forbids him to feel his cruel pains. Such was he, nor failed he to inflame with hatred the midway towns, all that lie between Asopos and ancient Argos, renewing everywhere and oft the tale, how he had gone on embassy from a Grecian people to claim the realm of exiled Polynices, but had endured violence, night crime, arms, treachery, — such was the Echionian monarch's plighted faith; to his brother he denied his due rights. The folk are swift to believe him; the Lord of Arms inclines them to credit all, and, once welcomed, Rumour redoubles fear.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.345  When he entered within the gates — and it happened that the revered sire Adrastus was himself summoning his chiefs to council — he appears all unexpectedly, and from the very portals of the palace cries aloud: "To arms, to arms, ye men, and thou, most worthy ruler of Lerna, if thou hast the blood of thy brave ancestors, to arms! Natural ties, justice, and reverence for Jove have perished from the world! Better had I gone an envoy to the wild Sauromatae, or the blood-stained warden of the Bebrycian grove. I blame not thy commands, nor regret my errand; glad am I that I went, yea glad, and that my hand has probed the guilt of Thebes. 'Twas war, believe me, war! like a strong tower or city stoutly fortified was I beset, all defenceless and ignorant of my path, treacherously at night, by a picked ambuscade armed to the teeth, ay, but in vain! — they lie there in their own blood, before a city desolated! Now, now is the time to march against the foe, while they are struck by panic and pale with fear, while they are bringing in the corpses, now, sire, while this right arm is not yet forgotten. I myself even, wearied by the slaughter of those fifty warriors, and bearing the wounds ye see still running with foul gore, beg to set forth upon the instant!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.365  In alarm the sons of Inachus start up from their seats, and before them all the Cadmean hero runs forward with downcast countenance: "Ah! hated of the gods and guilty that I am! do I see these wounds, myself unharmed? Is this, then, the return thou hadst in store for me, brother? Am I the mark, then, of my kinsman's weapons? Ah! shameful lust of life! Unhappy I, to have spared my brother so great a crime! Let now your walls at least abide in tranquil peace; let met not, who am still your guest, bring on you such tumult. I now — so hardly has fate dealt with me — how cruel it is, how sad to be torn from children, wife, and country; let no one's anxious home reproach me, nor mothers fling at me sidelong glances! Gladly will I go, and resolved to die, ay, though my loyal spouse call me back, and her father's voice once more plead with me. This life of mine I owe to Thebes, to thee, O brother, and to thee, great Tydeus!" Thus with varied speech he tries their hearts and makes dissembling prayer. His complaints stir their wrath, and they wax hot in tearful indignation; spontaneously in every heart, not only of the young, but of those whom age has made cold and slow to action, one purpose rises, to leave desolate their homes, to bring in neighbouring bands, and then to march. But the deep-counselling sire, well-versed in the government of a mighty realm: "Leave that, I pray you, to the gods and to my wisdom to set aright; thy brother shall not reign unpunished, nor are we eager to promise war. But for the present receive this noble son of Oeneus, who comes in triumph from such bloodshed, and let long-sought repose calm his warlike spirit. For our part, grief shall not lack its share of reason."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.394  Straightway his comrades and anxious wife bestir themselves in haste, all thronging round the way-worn and battle-weary Tydeus. Joyfully in mid-hall he takes his seat, and leans his back against a huge pillar, while Epidaurian Idmon cleanses his wounds with water — Idmon, now swift to ply the knife, now gentler with warm juice of herbs; — he himself, withdrawn into his mind's deep brooding, tells over the beginning of the deeds of wrath, the words each spoke in turn, the place of ambush, and the time of secret battle, what chieftains and how great were matched against him, and where most he laboured, and he relates how Maeon was preserved to take the sad tidings. The faithful company, the princes and his wife's sire, are spellbound at his words, and wrath inflames the Tyrian exile.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.407  Far on the sloping margin of the western sea the sinking Sun had unyoked his flaming steeds, and laved their bright manes in the springs of Ocean; to meet him hastens Nereus of the deep and all his company, and the swift-striding Hours, who strip him of his reins and the woven glory of his golden coronet, and relieve his horses' dripping breasts of the hot harness; some turn the well-deserving steeds into the soft pasture, and lean the chariot backward, pole in air. Night then came on, and laid to rest the cares of men and the prowlings of wild beasts, and wrapped the heavens in her dusky shroud, coming to all with kindly influence, but not to thee, Adrastus, nor to the Labdacian prince; for Tydeus was held by generous slumber, steeped in dreams of valiant prowess. And now amid the night-wandering shades the god of battle from on high made to resound with the thunder of arms the Nemean fields and Arcady from end to end, and the height of Taenarum and Therapnae favoured of Apollo, and filled excited hearts with passion for himself. Fury and Wrath make trim his crest, and Panic, his own squire, handles his horses' reins. But Rumour, awake to every sound and girt with empty tidings of tumult, flies before the chariot, sped onward by the winged steeds' panting breath, and with loud whirring shakes out her fluttering plumes; for the charioteer with blood-stained goad urges her to speak, be it truth or falsehood, while threatening from the lofty car the sire with Scythian lance assails the back and tresses of the goddess. Even so their chieftain Neptune drives before him the Winds set free from Aeolus' cell, and speeds them willing over the wide Aegean; in his train Storms and high-piled Tempests, a surly company, clamour about his reins, and Clouds and dark Hurricane torn from earth's rent bowels; wavering and shaken to their foundations the Cyclades stem the blast; even thou, Delos, fearest to be torn away from thy Myconos and Gyaros, and entreatest the protection of thy mighty son.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.440  And now the seventh Dawn with shining face was bearing bright day to earth and heaven, when the Persean hero first came forth from the private chamber of his palace, distracted by thought of war and the princes' swelling ambition, and perplexed in mind, whether to give sanction and stir anew the rival peoples, or to hold tight the reins of anger and fasten in their sheaths the restless swords. On the one side he is moved by the thought of tranquil peace, on the other by the shame of dishonoured quiet and the hard task of turning a people from war's new glamour; in his doubt this late resolve at last finds favour, to try the mind of prophets and the true presaging of the sacred rites. To thy wisdom, Amphiaraus, is given the charge to read the future, and with thee Melampus, son of Amythaon — an old man now, but fresh in vigour of mind and Phoebus' inspiration — bears company; 'tis doubtful which Apollo more favours, or whose mouth he has sated with fuller draughts of Cirrha's waters. At first they try the gods with entrails and blood of cattle: even then the spotted hearts of sheep and the dread veins threatening disaster portend refusal to the timorous seers. Yet they resolve to go and seek omens in the open sky.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.460  A mount there was, with bold ridge rising far aloft — the dwellers in Lerna call it Aphesas — sacred of yore to Argive folk: for thence they say swift Perseus profaned the clouds with hovering flight, when from the cliff his mother terror-stricken beheld the boy's high-soaring paces, and well nigh sought to follow. Hither the prophets twain, their sacred locks adorned with leaves of the grey olive and their temples decked with snow-white fillets, side by side ascend, when the sun rising bright has melted the cold hoarfrost on the humid fields. And first Oeclides seeks with prayer the favour of the wonted deity: "Almighty Jupiter, — for thou, as we are taught, impartest counsel to swift wings, and dost fill the birds with futurity, and bring to light the omens and causes that lurk in mid-heaven, — not Cirrha can more surely vouchsafe the inspiration of her grotto, nor those Chaonian leaves that are famed to rustle at thy bidding in Molossian groves: through arid Hammon envy, and the Lycian oracle contend in rivalry, and the beast of Nile, and Branchus, whose honour is equal to his sire's, and Pan, whom the rustic dweller in wave-beat Pisa hears nightly beneath the Lycaonian shades, more richly blest in mind is he, for whom thou, O Dictaean, dost guide the favouring flights that show thy will.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.482  "Mysterious is the cause, yet of old has this honour been paid to the birds, whether the Founder of the heavenly abode thus ordained, when he wrought the vast expanse of Chaos into fresh seeds of things; or because the birds went forth upon the breezes with bodies transformed and changed from shapes that once were ours; or because they learn truth from the purer heaven, where error comes not, and alight but rarely on the earth: 'tis known to thee, great sire of earth and of the gods. Grant that we may have foreknowledge from the sky of the beginnings of the Argive struggle and the contest that is to come. If it is appointed and the stern Fates are set in this resolve, that the Lernaean spear shall shatter the Echionian gates, show signs thereof and thunder leftward; then let every bird in heaven join in propitious melody of mystic language. If thou dost forbid, then weave delays, and on the right shroud with winged creatures the abyss of the day." So he spoke, and settled his limbs upon a high rock; then to his prayer he adds more deities and deities unknown, and holds converse with the dark mysteries of the illimitable heaven.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.499  When they had duly parted out the heavens and long scanned the air with keen attention and quick-following vision, at last the Amythaonian seer: "Seest thou not, Amphiaraus, how beneath the breathing sky's exalted bounds no winged creature travels on a course serene, nor hangs aloft, encircling the pole in liquid flight, nor as it speeds along utters a cry of peaceful import? No dark companion of the tripod, nor fiery bearer of the thunderbolt is here, and fair-haired Minerva's hooting bird with the hooked beak comes not with better augury; but hawks and vultures exult on high over their airy plunder. Monstrous creatures are flying, and direful birds clamour in the clouds, nocturnal screech-owls cry, and the horned owl with its dismal funeral chant. What celestial portents are we to follow first? must we take these as lords of the sky, O Thymbraean? Even now in frenzy do they tear each other's faces with crooked talons, and lash the breezes with pinions that seem to smite the bosom, and assail their feathery breasts."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.516  The other in reply: "Oft indeed, father, have I read omens of various sort from Phoebus. Yea, when in my vigorous youth the pinewood barque of Thessaly bore me in company of princes half-divine, even then did the chieftains listen spellbound to my chant of what should befall us on land and sea, nor Mopsus' self was hearkened to more often by Jason in perplexity than my presagings of the future. But never ere this day felt I such terror, or observed prodigies so dire in heaven; yet happenings more awful are in store. Look hither then: in this clear region of profound aether numberless swans have marshalled their ranks, whether Boreas has driven them from the Strymonian North, or the benignant fostering air of placid Nile recalls them. They have stopped their flight: these deem thou in fancy to be Thebes, for they hold themselves motionless in a circle and are silent and at peace, as though enclosed by walls and rampart. But lo! a more valiant cohort advances through the empty air; a tawny line of seven birds that bear the weapons of Jupiter supreme I see, an exultant band; suppose that in these thou hast the Inachian princes. They have flung themselves on the circle of the snow-white flock, and open wide their hooked beaks for fresh slaughter, and with talons unsheathed press on to the attack. Seest thou the breezes dripping unwonted blood, and the air raining feathers? What sudden fierce anger of unpropitious Jove is driving the victors to destruction? This one, soaring to the height, is consumed by the sun's quick fire, and lays down his proud spirit, that other, bold in pursuit of mightier birds, you let sink, ye still frail pinions. This one fails grappling with his foe, that one is swept backward by the rout and leaves his company to their fate. This one a rain-cloud overwhelms, another in death devours his winged foe yet living; blood bespatters the hollow clouds." "What mean those secret tears?" "Him yonder falling, reverend Melampus, him I know full well!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.547  Affrighted thus by the future's dire import, and having suffered all under a sure image of things to come, the seers are held by terror; it repents them that they have broken in upon the councils of the flying birds, and forced their will upon a forbidding heaven; though heard, they hate the gods that heard them. Whence first arose among unhappy mortals throughout the world that sickly craving for the future? Sent by heaven, wouldst thou call it? Or is it we ourselves, a race insatiable, never content to abide on knowledge gained, that search out the day of our birth and the scene of our life's'ending, what the kindly Father of the gods is thinking, or iron-hearted Clotho? Hence comes it that entrails occupy us, and the airy speech of birds, and the moon's numbered seeds, and Thessalia's horrid rites. But that earlier golden age of our forefathers, and the races born of rock or oak were not thus minded; their only passion was to gain the mastery of the woods and the soil by might of hand; it was forbidden to man to know what tomorrow's day would bring. We, a depraved and pitiable crowd, probe deep the counsels of the gods; hence come wrath and anxious fear, hence crime and treachery, and importunity in prayer.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.566  Therefore the priest tears from his brow the fillets and wreaths condemned of heaven, and all unhonoured, his chaplet cast away, returns from the hated mount; already war is at hand, and the sound of trumpets, and in his heart he hears the clamour of absent Thebes. Not sight of populace, nor trusted converse with the monarch, nor council of chieftains can he bear, but hidden in his dark chamber refuses to make known the doings of the gods; thee, Melampus, shame and thy own cares keep in thy country region. For twelve days he speaks not, and holds people and leaders in long-drawn suspense. And now tumultuous grow the Thunderer's high behests, and lay waste of men both fields and ancient towns; on every side the war-god sweeps countless troops before him; gladly do they leave their homes and beloved wives and babes that wail upon the threshold; with such power hath the god assailed their frenzied hearts. Eager are they to tear away the weapons from their fathers' doorposts and the chariots made fast in the inmost shrines of the gods; then they refashion for cruel wounds the spears that rotting rust has worn, and the swords that stick in their scabbards from neglect, and on the grindstone force them to be young once more. Some try shapely helms and the brazen mail of mighty corselets, and fit to their breasts tunics that creak with the mouldering iron, others bend Gortynian bows; in greedy furnaces scythes, ploughs and harrows and curved mattocks glow fiercely red. Nor are they ashamed to cut strong spear-shafts from sacred trees, or to make a covering for their shields from the worn-out ox. They rush to Argos, and at the doors of the despondent king clamour with heart and voice for war, for war! And the shout goes up like the roar of the Tyrrhenian surge, or when Enceladus tries to shift his side: above, the fiery mountain thunders from its caves, its peak o'erflows and Pelorus' flood is narrowed, and the sundered land hopes to return once more.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.598  Then Capaneus, impelled by war's overmastering passion, with swelling heart that had long thought scorn of lingering peace, — nobility of ancient blood had he in full measure, but, surpassing the prowess of his sires, he had long despised the gods; impatient too was he of justice, and lavish of his life, did wrath but urge him — even as a dweller in Pholoe's dark forests, or one who might stand equal among Aetnaean brethren, clamours before they portals, Amphiaraus, amid a crowd of chieftains and yelling folk: "What shameful cowardice is this, O sons of Inachus, and ye Achaeans of kindred blood? Before on citizen's lowly door — for shame! — do we hang irresolute, so vast a host, iron-girt and of ready valour? Not if beneath Cirrha's caverned height he, whoe'er he is — Apollo cowards and rumour account him — were to bellow from the deep seclusion of his crazy grotto, could I wait for the pale virgin to announce the solemn riddlings! Valour and the good sword in my hand are the gods I worship! And now let this priest with his timid trickery come out, on this very day I shall make trial, what wondrous power there is in birds."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.618  The Achaean mob raise joyful outcry, and encourage his madness. At last Oeclides, driven to rush forth among them: "'Tis not the unrestrained clamour of a blasphemous stripling nor the fear of his taunts that draws me from my darkness, mad though his threatenings be; far different are the tumultuous cares that vex me, far other is the destiny that brings my final doom, nor may mortal arms have power upon me. But now my love for you and Phoebus' strong inspiration compel me to speak forth my oracle; sadly to you will I reveal what is to come, yea all that lies beyond, — to you, I say, for to thee, thou madman, nought may be foreshown, concerning thee only is our lord Apollo silent. Whither, unhappy ones, whither are ye rushing to war, though fate and heaven would bar the way? What Furies' lash drives you blindly on? Are ye so weary of life? Is Argos grown so hateful? Hath home no sweetness? Heed ye not the omens? Why did ye force me to climb with trembling step to the secret heights of Perseus' mount, and break into the council of the heavenly ones? I could have remained in ignorance with you, of what hap awaits our arms, when cometh the black day of doom, what heralds the common fate — and mine! I call to witness the mysteries of the universe I questioned, and the speech of birds, and thee, Thymbraean, never before so pitiless to my supplication, what presagings of the future I endured: I saw a mighty ruin foreshown, I saw gods and men dismayed and Megaera exultant and Lachesis with crumbling thread laying the ages waste. Cast away your arms! behold! heaven, yea, heaven withstands your frenzy! Miserable men, what glory is there in drenching Aonia and the fallows of dire Cadmus with the blood of vanquished foes? But why do I warn in vain? why do I repel a fate foredoomed? I go to meet it — " Here ceased the prophet and groaned.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.648  Capaneus yet once more: "To thyself alone utter thy raving auguries, that thou mayst live empty and inglorious years, nor ever the Tyrrhenian clangour resound about thy temples. But why dost thou delay the nobler vows of heroes? Is it forsooth that thou in slothful ease mayst lord it over thy silly birds and thy son and home and women's chambers, that we are to shroud in silence the striken breast of peerless Tydeus and the armed breach of covenant? Dost thou forbid the Greeks to make fierce war? then go thyself an envoy to our Sidonian foe: these chaplets will assure thee peace. Can thy words really coax from the void of heaven the causes and hidden names of things? Pitiable in sooth are the gods, if they take heed of enchantments and prayers of men! Why doest thou affright these sluggish minds? Fear first created gods in the world! Rave therefore now thy fill in safety; but when the first trumpets bray, and we are drinking from our helms the hostile waters of Dirce and Ismenos, come not then, I warn thee, in my path, when I am yearning for the bugle and the fray, nor by veins or view of winged fowl put off the day of battle; far away then will be thy soft fillet and he crazy alarms of Phoebus: then shall I be augur, and with me all who are ready to be mad in fight."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.669  Again out thunders a vast approving shout, and rolls uproarious to the stars. Even as a swift torrent, drawing strength from the winds of spring and from the melting of the frozen cold upon the mountains, when o'er vainly hindering obstacles it bursts its way out upon the plain, then homesteads, crops, cattle, and men roar mingled in the whirling flood, until its fury is checked and baffled by a rising hill, and it finds itself embanked by mighty mounds: even so interposing night set an end to the chieftains' quarrel.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.679  But Argia, no longer able to bear with calm mind her lord's distress, and pitying the grief wherein she shared, even as she was, her face long marred by tearing of her hair and marks of weeping, went to the high palace of her reverend father in the last watch of night ere dawn, when Arctos' wagon sole-surviving envies the ocean-fleeing stars, and bore in her bosom to his loving grandsire the babe Thersander. And when she had entered the door and was clasped in her mighty parent's arms: "Why I seek thy threshold at night, tearful and suppliant, without my sorrowful spouse, thou knowest, father, even were I slow to tell the cause. But I swear by the sacred laws of wedlock and by thee, O sire, 'tis not he that bids me, but my wakeful anguish. For ever since Hymen at the first and unpropitious Juno raised the ill-omened torch, my sleep has been disturbed by my consort's tears and moans. Not if I were a tigress bristling fierce, not if my heart were rougher than rocks on the sea-strand, could I bear it; thou only canst help me, thou hast the sovereign power to heal. Grant war, O father; look on the low estate of thy fallen son-in-law, look, father, here on the exile's babe; what shame for his birth will he one day feel! Ah! where is that first bond of friendship, and the hands joined beneath heaven's blessing? This surely is he whom the fates assigned, of whom Apollo spake; no hidden fires of Venus have I in secret cherished, no guilty wedlock; thy reverend commands, thy counsel have I ever esteemed. Now with what cruelty should I despise his doleful plaint? Thou knowest not, good father, thou knowest not, what deep affection a husband's misery implants in a loyal bride. And now in sadness I crave this hard and joyless privilege of fear and grief; but when the sorrowful day interrupts our kisses, when the clarions blare their hoarse commands to the departing host, and your faces glitter in their stern casques of gold, ah! then, dear father, mayhap I shall crave a different boon."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 3.711  Her sire, with kisses on her tear-bedewed face: "Never, my daughter, could I blame these plaints of thine; have no fears, praiseworthy is thy request, deserving no refusal. But much the gods give me to ponder — nor cease thou to hope for what thou urgest — much my own fears and this realm's uncertain governance. In due measure shall thy prayers be answered, and thou shalt not complain thy tears were fruitless. Console thy husband and hold not just tarrying cruel waste of time; 'tis the greatness of the enterprise that brings delay. So gain we advantage for the war." As thus he spoke, the new-born light admonished him, and his grave cares bade him arise.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.1  Thrice had Phoebus loosened stark winter with the Zephyrs, and was constraining the scanty day to move in its vernal path with a longer course, when counsellings yielded to the shock of fate, and pitiful war was given at last an ample field. First from the Larissaean height Bellona displayed her ruddy torch, and with right arm drove the spear-shaft whirling; hissing, it flew through the clear heaven, and stood fixed on the high rampart of Aonian Dirce. Then to the camp she goes and, mingling with the heroes that glittered in gold and steel, shouts like a squadron; she gives swords to hurrying warriors, claps their steeds and beckons gateward; the brave anticipate her promptings and even the timid are inspired to short-lived valour.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.13  The appointed day had come. A mighty herd falls in due sacrifice to the Thunderer and to Mars; the priest, cheered by no favouring entrails, pales and feigns hope before the host. And now around their kinsmen sons and brides and fathers pour mingled, and from the summit of the gates would fain delay them. No stint is there of tears: bedewed are the shields and helmet-crests of those who make their sad farewell, and the household, the object of their sighs, clings to every weapon; they delight to find entrance for their kisses through the closed visors, and to draw down the grim helmet-peaks to their embrace. They who of late took pleasure in the sword, yea in death itself, now groan and shake with sobbing, their warlike temper broken. Even so, when men are about to go perchance on some long voyage o'er the sea, and already the south winds are in the sails and the anchor rises from its torn bed, the loving band clings fast and enlaces their necks with eager arms, and their streaming eyes are dimmed, some with kisses, some with the sea's vast haze; at last they are left behind, yet stand upon a rock, and rejoice to follow the swift-flying canvas with their gaze, while they grieve that their native breezes are blowing ever stronger; yet still they stand, and beckon to the ship from the well-known rock.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.32  Now, Fame of olden time, and thou, dark Antiquity of the world, whose care it is to remember princes and to make immortal the story of their lives, recount the warriors, and thou, Calliope, queen of the groves of song, uplift thy lyre and begin the tale, what troops of arms Gradivus roused, what cities he laid waste of their peoples; for to none comes loftier inspiration from the fountain's draught. The king Adrastus, sick with misgiving beneath the burden of his cares, and drawing nigh his life's departure, walked scarce of his own will amongst the applauding people, content to be girt but with his sword; attendants bear his arms behind him, his charioteer tends the swift horses close by the city gates, and already is Arion struggling against the yoke. To support their king Larissa and high Prosymna arm their men, and Midea, fitter home of herds, and Phlius rich in cattle, and Neris that quails at Charadros foaming down his valley's length, Cleonae with her piled mass of towers, and Thyrea destined one day to reap a harvest of Spartan gore.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.49  To them are joined men who remember the king sent thence in early days, men who cultivate the rocky heights of Drepanum and olive-bearing Sicyon, and whom Strangilla laves with lazy, silent stream, and Elisson winding through his curving banks. An awful privilege has that river: it cleanses, so 'tis said, with its austere waters the Stygian Eumenides; here are they wont to dip their faces and the horned snakes that gasp from drinking Phlegethon, whether they have ruined Thracian homes or Mycenae's impious palace or Cadmus' dwelling; the river itself flees from them as they bathe, and its pools grow livid with countless poisons. Ephyre, who consoled the weeping Ino, lends her company, and Cenchreae, where the river, struck by the Gorgon-quelling steed, owns the presence of the bard, and where Isthmos lies athwart the deep and wards off from the land the sloping seas. This troop, in all three thousand, followed in Adrastus' train exultant; some bore pikes in their hand, some stakes long hardened in the fire — for neither blood nor custom are shared by all their bands — some are wont to whirl firmly-woven slings and gird the air with a trackless circle. The king himself moves venerable alike in years and rank: as a tall bull goes amid the pastures he has long possessed, his neck and shoulders now drooping and void of strength, yet the leader still; no courage have the steers to try him in the fight, for they see the horns that many a blow has broken, and huge scars of wounds upon his breast.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.74  Next to the aged Adrastus his Dircaean son-in-law brings forth his standards; to his cause the war does service, to him the whole army lends it martial ire, for him even from his native home have men come gladly, whether those whom his exile moves, and in whom loyalty has stood sure strengthened by adversity, or those in whom desire to change their ruler is uppermost, many again whom the better cause makes favourable to his complaint. Moreover, his father-in-law had given him Aegion and Arene to rule, and all the wealth that Troezen, famous for Theseus, brings, lest with scant following he should go inglorious, and feel the loss of his native honours. The hero wears the same dress and carries the same arms as on that winter's night, when he owed the duty of a guest: a Teumesian lion covers his back, and the twin points of javelins glitter, while by his side a cruel Sphinx rises stiff on his wound-dealing sword. Already in his hopes and prayers he is master of his realm, and holds his mother and faithful sisters in his embrace, yet he looks back upon distraught Argia as she stands on the high tower against the sky; she draws back to herself her husband's eyes and thoughts, and drives pleasant Thebes from out his mind.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.93  Lo! in the midst Tydeus flashing bright leads on his native squadrons, glad already and hale of limb, so soon as the first bugles sounded: even so a slippery snake raises itself from the deep earth at the coaxing breath of the vernal sun, freed of its eld and the unsightly years put off, and gleams, a bright green danger, in the lush herbage; unhappy the husbandman who meets its gaping mouth in the grass, and spoils its fangs of their new venom! To him also the rumour of war brings present help of warriors from the Aetolian cities; rocky Pylene heard the tidings, and Pleuron of Meleager, wept for by his sister-birds; steep Calydon, and Olenos whose Jove doth challenge Ide, and Chalcis, welcome haven from Ionian billows, and the river whose face the athlete Hercules did mar: even yet scarce dares he raise his stricken visage from the waters' depth, but mourns with head sunk far below in his green cave, while the river-banks pant and sicken with dust. All these defend their bodies with bronze-bound targes, and bear fierce halberds in their hands, while native Mars stands erect upon their helms. Chosen youths surround the great-hearted son of Oeneus, high-spirited for battle and in all the glory of his well-known scars; no meaner he in threatening ire than Polynices; 'tis doubtful even for whom the war is waged.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.116  But mightier comes thereon the Dorian array new-armed, they whose numerous ploughs turn up thy banks, Lyrcius, and thy shores, Inachus, prince of Achaean streams — for no more tempestuous torrent flows forth from Persean land, when he has drunk deep of Taurus or the watery Pleiades, foaming high and swollen with Jove, his daughter's lover — they too whom swift Asterion encircles and Erasinus sweeping on his flood Dryopian harvests, and they who tame the fields of Epidaurus — favourable to Iacchus are those hill-sides, but they give denial to Ceres of Henna — desolate Dyme sends aid, and Neleian Pylos her swarming squadrons; not yet renowned was Pylos, and Nestor was as yet in the prime of his second age, but would not join a host doomed to perish. These doth tall Hippomedon excite and teach the love of glorious valour; on his head a brazen helm doth shake with triple tier of snow-white plume, beneath his armour iron mail fits close upon his flanks, his shoulders and breast a wide flaming circle covers, whereon the night of Danaus lives in the gold handiwork: the fifty guilty chambers blaze with Furies' murky torch, the sire himself on the blood-stained threshold praises the crime and views the swords. A Nemean steed in terror of the fight bears the hero from the citadel of Pallas, and fills the fields with the huge flying shadow, and he long trail of dust rises upon the plain. Not otherwise, crashing through the forests with shoulders and either breast, does twy-formed Hylaeus speed headlong from his mountain cave; Ossa trembles at his going and beasts and cattle fall in terror; yea, even his brethren are affrighted, till with a great leap he plunges into the waters of Peneus, and with thwarting bulk dams back the mighty flood.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.144  Who could describe in mortal speech that numerous armament, its peoples and their valiant might? Ancient Tiryns is roused by her own god to arms, not barren of brave men, nor degenerate from her tremendous son's renown, but desolate and her day of fortune past, nor hath she the power that wealth can give; the scanty dweller in her empty fields points out the towers raised by the sweat of Cyclopean brows. Yet she sends three hundred manly hearts, a company undisciplined for war, without javelin-thongs or the surly gleam of swords; on their heads and shoulders the tawny spoil of lions, their tribe's adornment, a pinewood stake their weapon, and shafts crammed tight in inexhaustible quivers. They sing the paean of Hercules and the world swept clear of monsters: the god listens from afar on leafy Oeta. Nemea gives them comrades and all the might that the sacred vineyards of Cleonaean Molorchus summon to war. Well known is the glory of that cottage; pictured upon its willow doors are the arms of the god who was its guest, and in the humble field 'tis shown where he laid his club, and under what holm-oak he reposed his limbs at ease, and where yet the ground bears traces of his lying.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.165  But Capaneus, on foot and looking down by a whole head's height upon the host, wields the burden of four hides torn from the backs of untamed steers and stiffened above with a covering of massy bronze; there lies the Hydra with triple-branching crown, lately slain and foul in death: part, embossed in silver, glitters fierce with moving snakes, part by a cunning device is sunken, and grows dark in the death agony against the tawny gold; around, in dark-blue steel runs the torpid stream of Lerna. His long flanks and spacious breast are guarded by a corselet woven of iron threads innumerable, a work inspiring terror, no mother's task; a giant rises from the summit of his flashing helm; his spear, that he alone can throw, is a cypress standing stripped of leaves and pointed with iron. Assigned in fealty to him are they whom fertile Amphigenia nourishes, and Messene's plain and mountainous Ithome, Thryon and Aepy high-piled on mountain-tops, Helos too and Pteleon and Dorion that bewails the Getic bard: here Thamyris made bold to surpass in song the skilled daughters of Aonia, but doomed to a life of silence fell on the instant mute with voice and harp alike — who may despise deities met face to face? — for that he knew not what it was to strive with Phoebus, nor how the hanging Satyr brought Celaenae fame.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.187  And now even the fate-foretelling augur's resolve begins to weaken under strong assault; he saw indeed what should befall and the dread signs thereof, but Atropos herself had made violent attack upon his doubting will, and overwhelmed the god within him, nor is wifely treachery absent, and already the house sparkles with forbidden gold. From that gold died the fates bode destruction to the Argive seer, yea, and she knew it — ah, impious crime! — but the perfidious wife would fain barter her husband for a gift, and yearns to gain the spoils of the princess Argia, and to excel her in the stolen finery. She not unwilling — for she sees that the spirit of the princes and the resolve of war must fail, should not the foreseeing hero join their enterprise — herself put off from her bosom the fatal ornament of her beloved Polynices, nor grieved therat, but saith moreover: "No fit times these to deck myself in shining jewelry, nor without thee let me take delight in adorning my hapless beauty; enough to beguile my doubts and fears with the solace of my maidens, and trail my unkempt tresses at the altars. Shall I — oh! thought unspeakable! — shall I wear rich Harmonia's dower of gold, while thou art shut within thy threatening helmet, and dost clang in arms of steel? More fitly mayhap will heaven grant me that boon, and I outdo the Argolic brides in apparel, when I am queen indeed, and must fill the temples with votive choirs, upon thy safe return. Now let her put it on who desires it, and can rejoice while her husband is at war." Thus the fatal gold made entry to the chambers of Eriphyle, and set in motion the beginnings of great crimes, and Tisiphone laughed loud, exulting in what should come to pass.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.214  Aloft behind Taenarian steeds, whom Cyllarus unknown to Castor had begotten on mares of meaner stock, he makes earth tremble; the adornment of Parnassian wool betrays the prophet, sprays of olive wreath his helmet, and the white fillet intertwines the scarlet crest. He handles at once his weapons and the reins held tight upon the yoke. On either side there is a shelter from darts, and an iron forest trembles on his chariot; far seen he stands, conspicuous and terrible with stern spear, and flashes the conquered Python on his shield. Amyclae, Apollo's town, bears his car company, and the bands of Pylos, and Malea shunned by doubting keels, and Caryae skilled to raise the hymn that wins Diana's applause, and Pharis and Cytherean Messe, mother of doves, the phalanx of Taygetus, and the hardy troop of swan-nurturing Eurotas. The Arcadian god himself trains them in the dust of combat, and implants in them the ways of naked valour and warlike temper; hence dauntless courage and the welcome consecration of a glorious death. Their parents rejoice in their children's fate and urge them on to die; and while the whole band of youths makes lamentation, the mother is content with the wreath that crowns the victim. They hold the reins and two javelins with thong attached, bard are their mighty shoulders, from which a rough cloak hangs; a Ledaean crest is on their helms. Not these alone, Amphiaraus, are in thy service: the slopes of Elis swell they array, and low-lying Pisa's folk, who swim thy waters, yellow Alpheus, thou who farest to Sicanian lands, yet art never tainted by so long a passage through the deep. Countless chariots vex their crumbling fields far and wide, their beasts are broken to war: that glory of the race endures even from the impious ways and broken axles of Oenomaus; the champed bits foam between the jaws, and the white spume bedews the churned earth.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.246  Thou too, Parthenopaeus, unknown to thy mother — unschooled alas! in arms, such lure hath young ambition — speedest onward thy Parrhasian cohorts. Thy warlike parent, so it chanced — not otherwise could the boy have left her — was bringing peace with her bow to distant glades, and the farther slopes of cool Lycaeus. No fairer face was there of any marching to the grim hazard of war, none winds such favour for pre-eminent beauty; nor lacks he courage, so he but come to sterner years. What forest-queens and spirits enshrined in rivers, what nymphs of the glade hath he not fired with consuming passion? Diana herself, when she saw the boy beneath the shade of Maenalus steeping youthful o'er the grass, forgave her comrade, so they say, and with her own hand fitted to his shoulders the Dictean shafts and Amyclean quiver. Smitten by dauntless love of war he dashes to the front, burning to hear the clash of arms and bray of trumpets, to soil his fair hair with the dust of battle, and to ride home on a foeman's captive steed. He is weary of the woodlands, and ashamed that he knows not the arrows' baneful boast of human blood. Foremost he shines, ablaze with purple and gold, his streaming cloak furrowed by Iberian cords, and his innocent shield adorned with his mother's Calydonian battles; fierce sounds the bow at his left side, and on his back, plumed with feathery shafts, rattles the quiver set with pale electrum and brilliant Eastern jasper, full of Cydonian arrows. His charger, accustomed to outstrip the flying stags, was covered with two lynxes' hides, and marvelled at his armed master's heavier weight; him he loftily bestrode, comely to look upon from the pleasant flush of youth upon his cheeks.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.275  To him the Arcadians an ancient people, older than the moon and stars, give trusty cohorts; they were born, 'tis said, of the hard trunks of forest trees, when the wondering earth first bore the print of feet; not yet were fields or houses or cities or ordinance of marriage: oaks and laurels suffered rude child-birth, and the shady mountain-ash peopled the earth, and the young babe fell from the pregnant ash-tree's womb. 'Tis said that, struck with terror at the change from light to murky darkness, they followed far the setting Titan, despairing of the day. The husbandmen grow few on high Maenalus, the forests of Parthenius are deserted, Rhipe and Stratie and windy Enispe give their troops to aid the war. Neither Tegea nor Cyllene blest by the winged god stand idle, nor Alea, woodland shrine of Minerva, nor swift Clitor, nor Ladon, almost, O Pythian, the father of thy bride; nor yet Lampia with her shining snow-white ridges, nor Pheneos, believed to send down Styx to swarthy Dis. Azan, that can rival the howling mobs of Ida, came, and the Parrhasian leaders, and the Nonacrian countryside, wherein the Thunderer quiverclad took delight, and furnished laughter for you, ye Loves, and Orchomenos rich in cattle, and Cynosura abounding in wild beasts. The same ardour lays bare the fields of Aepytus and lofty Psophis and the mountains famed for Hercules' might, Erymanthos home of monsters, and Stymphalos with its clanging bronze. All Arcadians these, one race of men, but sundered by differing customs: these bend back Paphian myrtle-saplings, and practise warfare with pastoral staves; some have bows, some pikes for weapons; some cover their hair with helmets, while that one keeps the fashion of the Arcadian hat, and another makes his head terrible with the jaws of a Lycaonian she-bear. This warlike gathering of hearts sworn true to Mars Mycenae, neighbour though she was, helped with no soldiery; for then was the deadly banquet and the sun's midday withdrawing, and there, too, was a feud of warring brothers.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.309  And now the tidings had filled the ears of Atalanta, that her son was going a captain to the war, and rousing all Arcadia; her steps faltered and the darts fell by her side; swifter than the winged wind she fled from the woodland, o'er rocks and brimming rivers that would stay her, just as she was, with snatched-up raiment and fair hair streaming behind her on the breeze; even as a tigress, bereft of her cubs, fiercely tracks the horse of him that robbed her. When she halted and pressed her bosom on the reins that met her (he pale, with eyes downcast): "Whence comes this mad desire, my son, whence this reckless valour in thy young breast? Canst thou drill men to war, canst thou bear the burdens of Mars and go among the sword-bearing companies? Yet would that thou wert able! Lately I paled to see thee plying the hunting-lance in close conflict with a struggling boar, forced back upon bent knee and almost fallen, and had I not drawn my bow and sped an arrow, where now would be thy wars? Nought will my shafts avail thee, nor my shapely bows, nor this black-spotted steed in whom thou trustest; mighty are the endeavours to which thou hastenest, and thou a boy scarce ripe for the embraces of Dryads or the passions of Erymanthian Nymphs. Omens tell true: I wondered why Diana's temple seemed to me of late to tremble, and the goddess herself to frown upon me, and why the votive spoils fell from her roof; this it was that made my archery slack and my hands to falter and never to strike sure. Nay, wait till thy prowess be greater, thy years more firm, till the shadow come upon thy rosy cheeks and my likeness fade from thy face. Then I myself will give thee the battles and the sword for which thou dost burn, and no mother's tears shall call thee back. Now take back thy weapons home! But you, will you suffer him to go to war, ye Arcadians, O born assuredly of rock and oak?" More would she fain entreat; her son and the chieftains thronging round console her and lessen her fears, and already the bugles' horrid signal blares forth. She cannot loose her son from her loving embrace, and commends him earnestly to his leader Adrastus.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.345  But in another region the Martian folk of Cadmus, dismayed by the madness of the king and terrified by news that is grave indeed — for 'tis spread abroad how Argos is making descent in force — tardily in truth for shame of the monarch and his cause, nevertheless prepare for war. None rush to draw the sword, or take pleasure in covering their shoulders with their father's shield or making trim the harness of wing-footed horses, delights such as war affords; despondent, without resolve or warlike temper, they vouchsafe a timorous aid; this one bewails a loving parent in his evil case, another his wife's pleasant youth and the hapless babes ripening in her womb. In none does the war-god wax hot; even the walls crumbling with age-long neglect and Amphion's mighty towers lay bare their worn and ancient sides, and a mean and unresponsive toil repairs those parapets once raised to heaven by the inspired harp. Yet the Boeotian cities are moved by the avenging lust of battle, and are stirred in behalf of their kindred race rather than to aid the unjust king. Like is he to a wolf that has forced an entrance to a rich fold of sheep, and now, his breast all clotted with foul corruption and his gaping bristly mouth unsightly with blood-stained wool, hies him from the pens, turning this way and that his troubled gaze, should the angry shepherds find out their loss and follow in pursuit, and flees all conscious of his bold deed.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.369  Disturbing Rumour heaps panic upon panic: one says that scattered cavalry of Lerna wander upon Asopus' bank, one tells of thy capture, Cithaeron of the revels, another reports Teumesos taken, and Plataeae's watch-fires burning through the darkness of the night. And to whom throughout the land hath not knowledge, yea sight been granted, of the Tyrian walls a-sweat and Dirce stained with blood, of monstrous births and Sphinx yet once more speaking from her rock? And to crown all, a new fear confounds their anxious hearts: of a sudden the queen of the woodland dance is seized by frenzy, and scattering the sacred baskets runs down to the plain from the Ogygian heights, and bloodshot-eyed waves fiercely to and fro a triple pine-torch, and fills the alarmed city with wild distracted cries: "Almighty Sire of Nysa, who long hast ceased to love thy ancestral nation, swift-borne beneath the frozen North thou art shaking warlike Ismara now with thine iron-pointed thyrsus, and bidding the vine-groves creep over Lycurgus' realm, or thou art rushing in mad and flaring triumph by swelling Ganges and the farthest confines of red Tethys and the Eastern lands, or issuing golden from the springs of Hermus. But we, thy progeny, have laid aside our country's weapons that do thee festal honour, and have our portion of war and tears, and terror and kindred crime, the cruel burdens of this unrighteous reign. Rather, O Bacchus, take and set me among the eternal frosts, beyond Caucasus that rings with the war-cry of the Amazons, than that I should tell the horrors of our rulers and their unnatural brood. Lo! thou drivest me! far different was the frenzy I vowed to thee, O Bacchus: I behold two similar bulls engage, alike in honour and sharing one inherited blood; with butting foreheads and lofty horns they close in fierce struggle, and perish in the violence of their mutual wrath. Thou art the villain! Do thou give way, who wrongfully seekest all alone to hold ancestral pastures and the hills ye both do own. Ah! miserable and wicked! such bloodshed have your wars cost you, and another champion is master of your meadow." So spake she, and as the god withdrew his presence fell mute with ice-cold face.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.406  But the king, affrighted by the portent and a prey to various terrors, in sick despair — such is the way of those who fear they know not what — seeks aid from the long-lived seer and the clear-sighted blindness of Tiresias. He replies that heaven shows not its will so clearly by lavish slaughter of steers or nimble feathered wing or the truthful leap of entrails, not by means of garlanded tripod or star-determined numbers, or by the smoke that hovers about the altar's frankincense, as by the ghosts called up from Death's stern barrier; then he prepares the rites of Lethe, and makes ready beforehand to evoke the monarch sunk below the confines of Ismenos where it mingles with the deep, and makes purgation all around with the torn entrails of sheep and the strong smell of sulphur, and with fresh herbs and the long mutterings of prayers.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.419  There stands a wood, enduring of time, and strong and erect in age, with foliage aye unshorn nor pierced by any suns; no cold of winter has injured it, nor has the South wind power thereon nor Boreas swooping down from the Getic Bear. Beneath is sheltered quiet, and a vague shuddering awe guards the silence, and the phantom of the banished light gleams pale and ominous. Nor do the shadows lack a divine power: Latonia's haunting presence is added to the grove; her effigies wrought in pine or cedar and wood or very tree are hidden in the hallowed gloom of the forest. Her arrows whistle unseen through the wood, her hounds bay nightly, when she flies from her uncle's threshold and resumes afresh Diana's kindlier shape. Or when she is weary from her ranging on the hills, and the sun high in heaven invites sweet slumber, here doth she rest with head flung back carelessly on her quiver, while all her spears stand fixed in the earth around. Outside, of vast extent, stretches the Martian plain, the field that bore its harvest to Cadmus. Hardy was he who first after the kindred warfare and the crime of those same furrows dared with the ploughshare till the soil and upturned the blood-soaked meads; even yet the accursed earth breathes mighty tumults at midday and in the lonely night's dim shadows, when the black sons of earth arise to phantom combat: with trembling limbs the husbandman flees and leaves the field unfinished, and his oxen hie them to their stalls, distraught.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.443  Here the aged seer — for well suited is the ground to Stygian rites, and the soil, rich with living gore, delighted him — bids dark-fleeced sheep and black oxen be set before him, all the finest heads that the herds can show; Dirce and gloomy Cithaeron wailed aloud, and the echoing valleys shuddered at the sudden silence. Then he entwined their fierce horns with wreaths of dusky hue, handling them himself, and first at the edge of that well-known wood he nine times spills lavish draughts of Bacchus into a hollowed trench, and gifts of vernal milk and Attic rain and propitiatory blood to the shades below; so much is poured out as the dry earth will drink. Then they roll tree trunks thither, and the sad priest bids there be three altar-fires for Hecate and three for the maidens born of cursed Acheron; for thee, lord of Avernus, a heap of pinewood though sunk into the ground yet towers high in to the air; next to this an altar of lesser bulk is raised to Ceres of the underworld; in front and on very side the cypress of lamentation intertwines them. And now, their lofty heads marked with the sword and the pure sprinkled meal, the cattle fell under the stroke; then the virgin Manto, catching the blood in bowls, makes first libation, and moving thrice round all the pyres, as her holy sire commands, offers the half-dead tissues and the yet living entrails, nor delays to set the devouring fire to the dark foliage.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.468  And when Tiresias heard the branches crackling in the flames and the grim piles roaring — for the burning heat surges before his face, and the fiery vapour fills the hollows of his eyes — he exclaimed, and the pyres trembled, and the flames cowered at his voice: "Abodes of Tartarus and awful realms of insatiable Death, and thou, most cruel of the brothers, to whom the shades are given to serve thee, and the eternal punishments of the damned obey thee, and the palace of the underworld, throw open in answer to my knocking the silent places and empty void of stern Persephone, and send forth the multitude that lurk in hollow night; let the ferryman row back across the Styx with groaning bark. Haste ye all together, nor let there be fore the shades but one fashion of return to the light; do thou, daughter of Perses, and the cloud-wrapt Arcadian with rod of power lead in separate throng the pious denizens of Elysium; but for those who died in crime, who in Erebus, as among the seed of Cadmus, are most in number, be thou their leader, Tisiphone, go on before with snake thrice brandished and blazing yew-branch, and throw open the light of day, nor let Cerberus interpose his heads, and turn aside the ghosts that lack the light."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.488  He spoke, and together the aged man and Phoebus' maiden waited in rapt attention. Nought feared they, for their hearts were inspired of the god; only the son of Oedipus was overcome by a great terror, and in agony he grasps, now the shoulders, now the hands and sacred fillets of the seer as he chants his awful strain, and would fain leave the rites unfinished. Even so a hunter awaits a lion roused by long shouting from his lair in the brushwood of a Gaetulian forest, steeling his courage and holding his spear in a perspiring grip; his face is frozen in terror and his steps tremble; "what beast approaches?" he wonders, and "how mighty?" and he hears the roar that gives ominous signal, and measures the growing sound in blind anxiety.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.500  Then Tiresias, as the ghosts did not yet draw night: "I bear you witness, goddesses, for whom we have drenched these flames and poured propitious goblets upon the rent earth, I can endure delay no further. Am I heard in vain, priest though I be? Or, if a hag of Thessaly bid you with her frenzied chant, will ye then go, or so often as a Colchian witch drives you with Scythian drugs and poisons, will Tartarus grow pale and stir affrighted: but of me have ye less regard, if I care not to raise bodies from the bomb, and bring forth urns crammed with ancient bones, and profane the gods of heaven and Erebus alike, or hunt with the sword the bloodless faces of the dead and pluck out their sickly tissues? Despise not these frail years nor the cloud that is upon my darkened brow, despise it not, I warn you! I, too, can vent my wrath. I know the name whose knowing and whose speaking ye so dread, even Hecate I can confound, feared I not thee, O Thymbraean, and the high lord of the triple world, who may not be known. Him — but I am silent; peaceful old age forbids. Now will I — "

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.518  But Manto, votary of Phoebus, eagerly cries: "Thou art heard, O father, the pale ghost draws nigh. The Elysian void is flung open, the spacious shadows of the hidden region are rent, the groves and black rivers lie clear to view, and Acheron belches forth noisome mud. Smoky Phlegethon rolls down his streams of murky flame, and Styx interfluent sets a barrier to the sundered ghosts. Himself I behold, all pale upon his throne, with Furies ministering to his fell deeds about him, and the remorseless chambers and gloomy couch of Stygian Juno. Black Death sits upon an eminence and numbers the silent peoples for their lord; yet the greater part of the troop remains. The Gortynian judge shakes them in his inexorable urn, demanding the truth with threats, and constrains them to speak out their whole lives' story and at last confess their extorted gains. Why should I tell thee of Hell's monsters, of Scyllas and the empty rage of Centaurs, and the Giants' twisted chains of solid adamant, and the diminished shade of hundredfold Aegaeon?"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.536  "Even so," said he, "O guide and strength of my old age, tell me not things well known. Who knows not the aye-returning rock, and the deceiving waters, and Tityos food of vultures, and Ixion swooning on the long circlings of the wheel? I myself in the years of stronger manhood beheld the hidden realms with Hecate as my guide, before heaven whelmed my vision, and drew all my light within my mind. Rather summon thou hither with thy prayers the Argive and the Theban souls; the rest, my daughter, bid thou with milk four times sprinkled to aver their steps, and to leave the dreary grove. Then tell me, pray, the dress and countenance of each, how great their desire for the spilled blood, which folk draw nigh more haughtily, and thus of each several thing inform my darkness."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.549  She obeys, and weaves the charm wherewith she disperses the shades and calls them back when scattered; potent (but without their crimes) as the Colchian maiden, or the enchantress Circe on the Aeaean strand. Then with these words she addressed her priestly sire: "First from the blood-red lake doth Cadmus raise his strengthless head, and the daughter of Cytherea follows hard upon her spouse, and from their head twin serpents drink. The earth-born company, seed of Mars, throng round them, whose span of life one day did measure, and every hand is on its weapon, yea, on the sword-hilt; they repel and bar approach, and rush to combat with the fury of living men, nor care they to stop to the gloomy trench, but thirst to drain each other's blood. Near by is a band of Cadmus' daughters and the sons they mourned. Here we behold bereaved Autonoe and panting Ino, looking back at the bow and pressing her sweet pledge to her bosom, and Semele with arms held out to protect her womb. With shivered wands and bosom bare and bleeding, the frenzy of the god now spent, doth his mother, Cadmus' daughter, follow Pentheus with wailing cries; but he fleeth by Lethe's pathless region even beyond the Stygian lakes, where his kindlier sire Echion weeps over him and tends his mangled body. Sad Lycus too, I recognize, and the son of Aeolus, his right arm bent behind him, and a corpse thrown upon his laden shoulder. Nor yet doth that one change his appearance or the reproach of his transformation, even Aristaeus' son: the horns roughen his brow, while spear in hand he repels the hounds agape to rend him. But lo! with numerous train comes the jealous Tantalid, and proud in her grief counts o'er the bodies, nought humbled by her woes; she rejoices to have escaped the power of heaven, and now to give freer rein to her mad tongue."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.580  While the chaste priestess thus recounts the tale to her father, his hoary locks trembling rise erect with lifted chaplet, and his pale visage throbs with a rush of blood. No longer rests he on the supporting staff or faithful maiden, but standing upright cries: "Cease they song, my daughter, enough have I of external light, the sluggish mists depart, black night flees from my face. Comes it from the shades or from Apollo on high, this flooding inspiration? Lo! I behold all that thou didst tell me of. Behold! there mourn the Argive ghosts with eyes downcast! grim Abas, guilty Proetus and gentle Phoroneus, and Pelops maimed and Oenomaus soiled with cruel duest, all bedew their faces with plenteous tears. Hence do I prophesy for Thebes a favouring issue of the war. But what means this dense throng of warrior-souls, for such their wounds and weapons prove them? Why show they gory faces and breasts, and with unsubstantial clamour raise and shake at me threatening arms? Do I err, O king, or re these that band of fifty? Chthonius thou dost behold, and Chromis and Phegeus and Maeon distinguished by my laurel. Rage not, ye chieftains, no mortal, believe me, dared that enterprise; 'twas iron Atropos span you those destined years. Ye have fulfilled your fate; for us cruel war remains, and Tydeus yet again." He spake, and as they swarmed upon his wool-bound chaplets he drove them off and pointed them to the blood.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.604  Reft of his comrade ghosts stood Laius on Cocytus' dreary strand — for already had the winged god restored him to unpitying Avernus — and glancing sidelong at his dire grandson, for he knew him by his face, came not like the rest of the multitude to drink the blood or the other outpourings, but breathed immortal hatred. But the Aonian seer delays not to lure him forward: "Renowned prince of Tyrian Thebes, since whose death no day has looked with kindly aspect on Amphion's citadel, O thou who hast now enough avenged thy bloody murder, O shade to whom thy issue have made full atonement, whom doest thou fly, unhappy one? He against whom thou ragest lies a living corpse, and feels Death joined with him in linked companionship, his sunken visage besmeared with blood and filth, and all the light of day put out. Trust me, 'tis a fate far worse than any dying! What cause hast thou to shun thy innocent grandson? Turn thy gaze hither, and take thy fill of sacrificial blood; then tell the chances that shall be, and the war's victims, whether thou art in hostile mood or pityest thy kindred's fortunes. Then will I grant thee to cross forbidden Lethe in the bark thou doest desire, and set thee again at peace in the blessed land, in the safe keeping of the gods of Styx."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.624  Soothed is he by the proffered honour, and brings the colour to his cheeks, then thus replies: "Why, when thou wert marshalling the spirits, O prophet equal to me in years, why was I chosen, first out of so many shades, to speak augury and to foretell what shall befall? 'Tis enough to have remembrance of the past. Seek ye my counsel, illustrious grandsons? nay, shame upon you! Him summon ye, him, to your unhallowed rites, who gladly pierces his father with the sword, who turns him to the place of his begetting, and casts back upon his innocent mother her own dear pledge of love. And now he wearies the gods and the dark councils of the Furies, and supplicates my shade for the coming strife. But if I have found such favour as a prophet of these times of woe, I will speak, so far as Lachesis and grim Megaera suffer me: War cometh from every side, war of countless hosts, Gradivus sweeps on the sons of Lerna before the goads of fate; them there await portents of the earth, and weapons of heaven, and glorious deaths, and unlawful withholdings from the final fire. Victory is sure for Thebes, doubt it not, nor shall thy fierce kinsman have thy realm; but Furies shall possess it, and twofold impious crime, and alas, in your unhappy swords your cruel father triumphs." So speaking he faded from their sight, and left them in doubt at his mazy riddling words.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.646  Meanwhile the sons of Inachus with scattered troop had reached cool Nemea and the glades that witness to Hercules' renown; already they burn with eagerness to drive off Sidonian plunder, to destroy and ravage homesteads. Say thou, O Phoebus, who turned them from their path of anger, whence came their staying, and how in mid course they wandered from the way; to us but scant beginnings of the tale remain.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.652  In drunken languor Liber was bringing back his array of war from conquered Haemus; there had he taught the warrior Getae, two winters through to hold the orgies, and white Othrys to grow green along his ridges and Rhodope to bear Icarian shade; already he draws nigh in his chariot decked with vine-leaves to his mother's city; wild lynxes bear him company to right and left, and tigers lick the wine-soaked reins. In his train exulting Bacchanals carry their spoil of beasts, half-dead wolves and mangled she-bears. No sluggish retinue is his: Anger and Fury are there, and Fear and Valour, and Ardour never sober, and steps that stagger, an army most like to its prince. But when he sees the cloud of dust surge up from Nemea, and the sun kindling on the flashing steel, and Thebes not yet marshalled for battle, horror-struck at the sight, though faint and reeling, he commands the brazen cymbals and the drums and the noise of the double pipe, screaming loudest about his astonished ears, to be silent, and thus speaks: "Against me and my race doth that host plan destruction; after long time their rage gains violence anew; savage Argos and my stepmother's indomitable wrath are stirring up this war. Doth it not even yet suffice — my mother's cruel burning, the natal pyre, and the lightning-flash that I myself perceived? Nay, even against the relics and the tomb of her consumed rival, against idle Thebes doth she make impious attack. By craft will I contrive delay; hasten then thither, ho! my comrades, thither to yon plain!" At the signal the Hyrcanian team pricked up their crests, and, the word scarce spoken, he halted at his goal.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.680  It was the hour when panting day uplifts the sun to the mid summit of the world, when the languid heat hangs over the gaping fields, and all the groves let in the sky. He summons the spirits of the waters, and as they throng round him in silence he begins: "Ye rustic Nymphs, deities of the streams, no small portion of my train, fulfil the task that I now do set you. Stop fast with earth awhile the Argolic river-springs, I beg, and the pools and running brooks, and in Nemea most of all, whereby they pass to attack our walls, let he water flee from the depth; Phoebus himself, still at the summit of his path, doth aid you, so but your own will fail not; the stars lend their strong influence to my design, and the heat-bringing hound of my Erigone is foaming. Go then of your goodwill, go into the hidden places of earth; afterwards will I coax you forth with swelling channels, and all the choicest gifts at my altar shall be for your honour, and I will drive afar the nightly raids of the shameless horn-footed ones, and the lustful rapine of the Fauns."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.697  He spoke, and a faint blight seemed to overspread their features, and the moist freshness withered from their hair. Straightway fiery thirst drains the Inachian fields: the streams are gone, fountains and lakes are parched and dry, and the scorched mud hardens in the river-beds. A sickly drought is upon the soil, the crops of tender springing wheat droop low; at the edge of the bank the flock stands baffled, and the cattle seek in vain the rivers where they bathed. Even so, when ebbing Nile buries itself in mighty caverns and gathers into its mouth the life-giving streams of Eastern winters, the flood-deserted valleys steam, Egypt gapes wide and waits expectant for the roar of her sire's waves, till by dint of many prayers he give sustenance to the Pharian fields and bring on a great year of harvest.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.711  Dry is guilty Lerna, dry Lyrcius and great Inachus, and Charadrus that rolls down boulders on his stream, bold Erasinus whom his banks ne'er contain, and Asterion like a billowy sea; oft hath he been heard on pathless uplands, oft known to break the repose of distant shepherds. But Langia alone — and she by the god's command — preserves her waters in the silence of a secret shade. Not yet had slaughtered Archemorus brought her sorrowful renown, no fame had come to the goddess; nevertheless, in far seclusion, she maintains her spring and grove. Great glory awaits the nymph, when the toiling contests of Achaean princes and the four-yearly festival of woe shall do honour to sad Hypsipyle and holy Opheltes.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.723  So then neither burning shields nor close-fitting breastplates have they power to carry — so fiercely doth fiery thirst scorch them — not only their mouths and the throat's passage are parched, but a fever rages within, their hearts beat heavily, the veins are thick congealed, and the tainted blood cleaves to the dried-up tissues; then the crumbling, sunburnt earth exhales a hot vapour. No rain of foam from the horses' mouths, their jaws close on dry bits, and far out hang their bridled tongues; no restraint of their masters do they suffer, but scour the plain, maddened by the fiery heat. This way and that Adrastus sends scouts to discover if the Licymnian lakes yet remain, or aught of Amymone's waters, but all lie drained by fire unseen, nor is there hope of moisture from Olympus, as though they ranged yellow Libya and Africa's desert sand and Syene shaded by no cloud.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.739  At length wandering in the woodland — for so had Euhius himself devised — they behold on a sudden Hypsipyle, beauteous in her grief; at her breast Opheltes hangs, not her own child, but the ill-starred offspring of Inachian Lycurgus; dishevelled is her hair and poor her raiment, yet in her countenance are marks of kingly birth, and a dignity not overwhelmed by a bitter lot. Then Adrastus, awestruck, thus addressed her: "Goddess, queen of the woodlands — for thy countenance and honourable bearing proclaim thee of no mortal birth — thou who beneath this fiery vault art blest in needing not to search for water, succour a neighbouring people; whether the Wielder of the Bow or Latona's daughter hath set thee in the bridal-chamber from her chaste company, or whether it be no lowly passion but one from on high doth make thee fruitful — for the ruler of the gods himself is no stranger to Argive bowers — look upon our distressed ranks. Us hath the resolve to destroy guilty Thebes with the sword brought hither, but the unwarlike doom of cruel drought doth bow our spirits and drain our exhausted strength. Help thou our failing fortunes, whether thou hast some turbid river or a stagnant marsh; nought is to be held shameful, nought too mean in such a pass as ours. Thee now in place of the Winds and rainy Jupiter do we supplicate, do thou restore our ebbing might and fill again our spiritless hearts; so may thy charge grow under suspicious stars! Only let Jupiter grant us to return, what high-piled booty of war shalt thou be given! With the blood of numerous herds of Dirce will I recompense thee, O goddess, and a mighty altar shall mark this grove." He spoke, but a fevered gasping makes havoc of his words even in mid-utterance, and with the rush of breath his dry tongue stutters; a like pallor holds all his warriors, and like panting of the hollow cheeks.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.768  With downcast eyes the Lemnian makes answer: "No goddess indeed am I, to help you, though of heaven be my descent; would that my griefs were not more than mortal! 'Tis an entrusted pledge you behold me nursing, and a nurse herself bereaved. But whether my sons found any lap or breasts to suckle them, heaven knoweth, — and yet I had once a kingdom and a mighty father. But why do I speak thus, and stay you in your weariness from the waters ye desire? Come now with me, perchance Langia's stream yet runs unfailing; for even beneath the path of the furious Crab 'tis ever wont to flow, yea, through the shaggy hide of the Icarian star be blazing." Forthwith, lest she prove a tardy guide to the Pelasgians, she sets down the clinging infant — alas! poor child! — on the grass near by — so willed the Fates — and when she would not be put down consoled his pretty tears with flowers heaped around and coaxing murmurs: like the Berecyntian mother, while she bids the Curetes leap in excited dance around the infant Thunderer; their cymbals clash in emulous frenzy, but Ide resounds with his loud wailings.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.786  But the child, lying in the bosom of the vernal earth and deep in herbage, now crawls forward on his face and crushes the soft grasses, now in clamours thirst for milk cries his beloved nurse; again he smiles, and would fain utter words that wrestle with his infant lips, and wonders at the noise of the woods, or plucks at aught he meets, or with open mouth drinks in the day, and strays in the forest all ignorant of its dangers, in carelessness profound. Such was the young Mars amid Odrysian snow, such the winged boy on the heights of Maenalus, such was the rogue Apollo when he crawled upon Ortygia's shore, and set her side atilt.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.797  They go through the coppices and by devious dusky ways of shadowy green; some cluster round their guide, some throng behind, others outstrip her. In the midst of the band she moves with proud mien and hurrying step; and now the vale echoes loud as they approach the stream, and the plashing of water upon rocks assails their ears: then first from the column's head, just as he was, with banner raised high for the nimble companies, Argus exultant cries "Water!" and through the warrior's mouths ran the long-drawn shout of "Water!" Even so, along the shores of the Ambracian sea, sounds forth at the helmsman's prompting the shout of the seamen at the oars, and in turn the smitten land sends back the echo, when Apollo at their salutation brings Leucas into view. Into the stream the host plunged, indiscriminate and disordered, chieftains alike and common soldiers; levelling thirst makes no distinction in their confused ranks; bridled horses with their chariots, chargers with armed riders all dash madly in. Some the flood whirls away, some lose their footing on the slippery rocks, nor have they shame to trample their princes as they wrestle with the torrent, or to sink beneath the stream the face of a friend who cries for succour. Loud roar the waves, while far from the fountain-head is the river plundered, that once flowed green and clear, with gentle lucid waters, but now from the depths of its channel is muddied and befouled. Then the sloping banks and torn herbage are mingled with the stream; and now, though it be stained and filthy with mire and earth, and though their thirst be quenched, yet they drink still. One would think armies strove in fight, or a pitched battle raged in the flood, or the conquerors were looting a captured city.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 4.824  And one of the princes, standing in the midst of the streaming river, cried: "Nemea, noblest by far of verdant glades, chosen seat of Jove, not even the toils of Hercules wert thou more cruel, when he strangled the furious monster's shaggy neck, and throttled the breath within its swollen limbs. So far let it suffice thee to have vexed thy people's enterprise. And thou, whom no suns are wont to tame, O horned one, so lavish of never failing waters, flow with prosperous current, from whatsoever storehouse thou settest free thy cooling springs, immortally replenished; for hoary Winter pours not out for thee her laid-up snows, nor doth the rainbow shed waters stolen from another fount, nor do the pregnant storm-clouds of Corus show thee favour, but thou flowest all thine own, and no star can overcome thee or destroy. Thee neither Ladon, Apollo's river, shall surpass, nor either Xanthus, nor threatening Spercheus, nor Lycormas of Centaur's fame; thee will I celebrate in peace, thee beneath the very cloud of war, and at the festal banquet, ay, honour thee next to Jove himself — so but thou gladly receive our triumphing arms, and again be pleased to give the welcome of thy streams to our tired warriors, and recognize of thy grace the host thou once didst save."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.1  Their thirst was quenched by the river, and the army having ravaged the water's depths was leaving the banks and the diminished stream; more briskly now the galloping steed scours the plain, and the infantry swarm exultant over the fields, inspired once more by courage and hope and warlike temper, as though from the blood-stained springs they had drunk the fire of battle and high resolution for the fray. Marshalled again in squadrons and the stern discipline of rank, they are bidden renew the march, each in his former place and under the same leader as before. Already the first dust is rising from the earth, and arms are flashing through the trees. Just so do flocks of screaming birds, caught by the Pharian summer, wing their way across the sea from Paraitonian Nile, whither the fierce winter drove them; they fly, a shadow upon the sea and land, and their cry follows them, filling the pathless heaven. Soon will it be their delight to breast the north wind and the rain, soon to swim on the melted rivers, and to spend the summer days on naked Haemus.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.17  Then the son of Talaus, ringed round once more by a band of chieftain peers, as he stood by chance beneath an aged ash-tree, and leaned on Polynices' spear hard by him, thus spoke: "Nay, tell us, thou, whoe'er thou art, to whom — such is thy glory — fate has brought our countless cohorts owing thee such high honour as the Sire of the gods himself would not despise — tell us, now that we are departing in all speed from thy waters, what is thy home or native land, from what stars didst thou draw thy life? And who was that sire thou spakest of? For heaven is not far to seek in thy descent, though fortune may have been traitorous; a nobler birth is in thy looks, and even in affliction thy countenance breathes majesty."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.28  The Lemnian sighed, and, stayed by shamefast tears awhile, then makes reply: "Deep are the wounds, O prince, thou biddest me revive, the tale of Lemnos and its Furies and of murder done even in the bed's embrace, and of the shameful sword whereby our manhood perished; ah! the wickedness comes back upon me, the freezing Horror grips my heart! Ah! miserable they, upon whom this frenzy came! alas, that night! alas, my father! for I am she — lest haply ye feel shame for your kindly host — I am she, O chieftains, who alone did steal away and hide her father. But why do I weave the long prelude to my woes? Moreover battle summons you and your hearts' high enterprise. Thus much doth it suffice to tell: I am Hypsipyle, born of renowned Thoas, and captive thrall to your Lycurgus."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.40  Close heed they gave her then, and nobler she seemed and worthy of honour, and equal to such a deed; then all craved to learn her story, and father Adrastus foremost urged her: "Ay, verily, while we set in long array the columns of our van — nor does Nemea readily allow a broad host to draw clear, so closely hemmed is she by woodland and entangling shade — tell us of the crime, and of thy praiseworthy deed and the sufferings of thy people, and how cast out from thy realm thou art come to this toil of thine."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.48  Pleasant is it to the unhappy to speak, and to recall the sorrows of old time. Thus she begins: "Set amid the encircling tides of Aegean Nereus lies Lemnos, where Mulciber draws breath again from his labours in fiery Aetna; Athos hard by clothes the land with his mighty shadow, and darkens the sea with the image of his forests; opposite the Thracians plough, the Thracians, from whose shores came our sin and doom. Rich and populous was our land, no less renowned than Samos or echoing Delos or the other countless isles against which Aegon dashes in foam. It was the will of the gods to confound our homes, but our own hearts are not free from guilt; no sacred fires did we kindle to Venus, the goddess had no shrine. Even celestial minds are moved at last to resentment, and slow but sure the Avenging Powers creep on.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.61  "She, leaving ancient Paphos and her hundred shrines, with altered looks and tresses, loosed, so they say, her love-alluring girdle and banished her Idalian doves afar. Some, 'tis certain, of the women told it abroad that the goddess, armed with other torches and deadlier weapons, had flitted through the marriage chambers in the darkness of midnight with the sisterhood of Tartarus about her, and how she had filled every secret place with twining serpents and our bridal thresholds with dire terror, pitying not the people of her faithful spouse. Straightway fled ye from Lemnos, ye tender Loves: Hymen fell mute and turned his torch to earth; chill neglect came o'er the lawful couch, no nightly return of joy was there, no slumber in the beloved embrace, everywhere reigned bitter Hatred and Frenzy and Discord sundering the partners of the bed. For the men were bent on overthrowing the boastful Thracians across the strait, and warring down the savage tribe. And in despite of home and their children standing on the shore, sweeter it was to them to bear Edonian winters and the brunt of the cold North, or, when at last still night followed a day of battle, to hear the sudden onburst of the crashing mountain torrent. But the women — for I at that time was sheltered by care-free maidenhood and tender years — sad and sick at heart sought tearful solace in converse day and night, or gazed out across the sea to cruel Thrace.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.85  "The sun in the midst of his labours was poising his shining chariot on Olympus' height, as though at halt; four times came thunder from a serene sky, four times did the smoky caverns of the god open their panting summits, and Aegon, thought the winds were hushed, was stirred and flung a mighty sea against the shores: when suddenly the crone Polyxo is caught up in a dire frenzy, and deserting unwontedly her chamber flies abroad. Like a Teumesian Thyiad rapt to madness by the god, when the sacred rites are calling and the boxwood pipe of Ida stirs her blood, and the voice of Euhan is heard upon the high hills: even so with head erect and quivering bloodshot eyes she ranges up and down the lonely city wildly clamouring, and beating at closed doors and thresholds summons us to council; her children clinging to her bear her woeful company. No less eagerly do all the women burst from their houses and rush to the citadel of Pallas on the hill-top: hither in feverish haste we press and crowd disorderly.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.102  "Then with drawn sword she commands silence, and prompting us to crime dares thus to speak among us: 'Inspired by heaven and our just anger, O widowed Lemnians — steel now your courage and banish thought of sex! — I make bold to justify a desperate deed. If ye are weary of watching homes for ever desolate, of watching your beauty's flower blight and wither in long barren years of weeping, I have found a way, I promise you — and the Powers are with us! — a way to renew the charm of Love; only take courage equal to your griefs, yea, and of that assure me first. Three winters now have whitened — which of us has known the bonds of wedlock, or the secret honours of the marriage chamber? Whose bosom has glowed with conjugal love? Whom has Lucina beheld in travail? Whose ripening hope throbs in the womb as the due months draw on? Yet such permission is granted to beasts and birds to unite after their manner. Alas! sluggards that we are! Could a Grecian sire give avenging weapons to his daughters, and with treacherous joy drench in blood the bridegroom's careless slumber? And are we then to be but a spiritless mob? Or if ye would have deeds nearer home, lo! let the Thracian wife teach us courage, who with her own hand avenged her union and set the feast before her spouse. Nor do I urge you on, guiltless myself or without care: full is my own house, and huge — ay, look — the struggle. Behold these four together, the pride and comfort of their sire; though they should stay me with embraces and tears, even here in my bosom I will pierce them with the sword, and unite the brothers in one heap of wounds and blood, and set their father's corpse on their yet breathing bodies! Who of you can promise me a spirit for slaughter so great?'

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.130  "Yet more was she urging, when yonder out at sea white sails shone — the Lemnian fleet! Exultant, Polyxo seizes the moment's chance and cries again: 'The gods themselves invite us — do we fail them? See, there are the ships! Heaven, avenging heaven, brings them to meet our wrath, and favours our resolve. Not vain was the vision of my sleep: with naked sword Venus stood over me as I slumbered, plain to my sight, and cried: "Why do ye waste your lives? Go, purge your chambers of the husbands who have lost their love! I myself will light you other torches and join you in worthier unions." She spoke, and laid this sword, this very sword, believe it, on my couch. Take heed then, unhappy ones, whilst there is time to act. Lo! the waters churn and foam beneath the strong arms of the rowers — perchance Thracian brides come with them!'

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.143  "At this all are wrought to highest pitch, and a loud clamour rolls upward to the skies. One would think it was Scythia swarming with tumultuous bucklers, when the Father gives rein to armed conflict and flings wide the gates of savage War. Their uproar held no varying voices, nor did dissension cleave into opposing factions, as is the wont of a crowd; one frenzy, one purpose inspires all alike, to lay desolate our homes, to break life's thread for young and old, to crush babes against the teeming breasts, and with the sword make havoc through every age. Then in a green grove — a grove that darkens the ground hard by the lofty hill of Minerva, black itself, but above it the mountain looms huge, and the sunlight perishes in a twofold night — they pledged their solemn word, and thou wast witness, Martian Enyo, and thou, Ceres of the underworld, and the Stygian goddesses came in answer to their prayers; but unseen among them everywhere was Venus, Venus armed, Venus kindling wrath. Unwonted was the blood, for the wife of Charops made offering of her son, and they girded themselves, and at once all greedily stretched forth their right hands and mangled with the sword his marvelling breast, and made common oath in impious joy upon the living blood, while the new ghost hovers about his mother. What horror struck my limbs when I beheld so dire a sight! What colour came upon my cheeks! As when a deer is surrounded by savage wolves, and no strength is left in her tender breast and scanty confidence in speed of foot, she darts away in fearful flight, and each moment believes that she is taken, and hears behind her the snap of baffled jaws.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.170  "They were come, and already the keels grated on the edge of the strand, and they leap ashore in emulous haste. Unhappy they, whom their stark valour 'neath Odrysian Mars destroyed not, nor the rage of the intervening sea! And now they fill with smoke of incense the high shrines of the gods, and drag their promised victims; but murky is the fire on every altar, and in no entrails breathes the god unimpaired. Slowly did Jupiter bring down the night from moist Olympus, and with kindly care held back, I ween, the turning sky, and stayed the fates, nor ever, the sun's course finished, did the new shadows longer delay their coming. Yet at last the late stars shone in heaven, but their light fell on Paros and woody Thasos and the myriad Cyclades: Lemnos alone lies under a heavy sky's thick pall of darkness, gloomy fogs descend upon it and above is a woven belt of night, alone is Lemnos unmarked of wandering mariners. And now, streaming forth from their homes and through the shade of sacred groves, they sate themselves in sumptuous feasting and drain vast golden goblets of the brimming wine, and tell at their leisure of battles on the Strymon, of sweat of war on Rhodope or frozen Haemus. Nay more, their wives, unnatural consorts, recline among the garlands and by the festal tables, each in her choicest raiment; on that last night Cytherea had made their husbands gracious toward them, and given a brief moment of vain bliss after so long a time, and breathed into the doomed ones a passion soon to perish.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.195  "The choirs fell silent, a term is set to banqueting and amorous sport, and as night deepens the noises die away, when Sleep, shrouded in the gloom of his brother Death and dripping with Stygian dew, enfolds the doomed city, and from his relentless horn pours heavy drowse, and marks out the men. Wives and daughters are awake for murder, and joyously do the Sisters sharpen their savage weapons. They fall to their horrid work: in the breast of each her Fury reigns. Not otherwise on Scythian plains are cattle surrounded by Hyrcanian lionesses, whom hunger drives forth at sunrise and greedy cubs implore for their udders' milk. Of a thousand shapes of guilt I hesitate what to tell thee that befell.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.207  "Bold Gorge stands over her chaplet-crowned Elymus, who on high-piled cushions pants out in his sleep the rising fumes of wine, and probes in his disordered garments for a vital blow, but his ill-omened slumber flees from him at the near approach of death. Confused and half-awake, he seizes his foe in his embrace, and she, as he holds her, straightway stabs through his side from behind, till the point touches her own breast. There at last the crime had ending: his head falls back, but still with quivering eyes and murmur of endearing words he seeks for Gorge, nor losses his arms from her unworthy neck. I will not now tell of the slaughter of the multitude, cruel as it was, but I will recall the woes of my own family: how I beheld thee, fair-haired Cydon, and thee, Crenaeus, with thy unshorn locks streaming o'er thy shoulders — my foster-brothers these, born of another sire — and brave Gyas, my betrothed, of whom I stood in awe, all fallen beneath the blow of bloodthirsty Myrmidone; and how his savage mother pierced Epopeus as he played among the garlands and the couches. Lycaste, her weapon flung away, is weeping over Cydimus, her brother of equal years, gazing alas! upon his doomed body, his face so like her own, the bloom upon his cheeks and that hair which she herself had decked in gold, when her cruel mother, her spouse already slain, stands over her, and threatening drives her to the deed, and thrusts the sword upon her. Like a wild beast, that under a soothing master has unlearnt its madness and is slow to make attack, and in spite of goadings and many a blow refuses to assume its native temper, so she falls upon him as he lies, and sinking down gathers the welling blood in her bosom, and staunches the fresh wounds with her torn tresses.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.236  "But when I beheld Alcimede carry her father's head still murmuring and his bloodless sword, my hair stood erect and fierce shuddering horror swept through my frame; that was my Thoas, methought, and that my own dread hand! Straightway in agony I rush to my father's chamber. He indeed long while had pondered — what sleep for him whose charge is great? — although our spacious home lay apart from the city, what was the uproar, what the noises of the night, why the hours of rest were clamorous. I tell a confused story of the crime, what was their grievance, whence their passionate wrath. 'No force can stop their frenzy; follow this way, unhappy one; they are pursuing, and will be on us if we linger, and perchance we shall fall together.' Alarmed by my words he sprang up from the couch. We hurry through devious paths of the vast city, and, shrouded in a covering of mist, everywhere behold great heaps of nocturnal carnage, wheresoe'er throughout the sacred groves the cruel darkness had laid them low. Here could one see faces pressed down upon the couches, and the sword-hilts projecting from breasts laid open, broken fragments of great spears and bodies with raiment gashed and torn, mixing-bowls upset and banquets floating in gore, and mingled wine and blood streaming back like a torrent to the goblets from gaping throats. Here are a band of youths, and there old men whom no violence should profane, and children half-slain flung o'er the faces of their moaning parents and gasping our their trembling souls on the threshold of life. No fiercer are the banquet-revellings of the Lapithae on frozen Ossa, when the cloud-born ones grow hot with wine deep-drained; scarce has wrath's first pallor seized them, when overthrowing their tables they start up to the affray.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.265  "Then first Thyoneus beneath night's cover revealed himself to us in our distress, succouring his son Thoas in his hour of need, and shone in a sudden blaze of light. I knew him: yet he had bound no chaplets round his swelling temples, nor yellow grapes about his hair: but a cloud was upon him, and his eyes streamed angry rain as he addressed us: 'While the fates granted thee, my son, to keep Lemnos mighty and feared still by foreign peoples, never failed I to aid thy righteous labours; the stern Parcae have cut short the relentless threads, nor have my prayers and tears, poured forth in vain supplication before Jove, availed to turn away this woe; to his daughter hath he granted honour unspeakable. Hasten ye then your flight, and thou, O maiden, worthy offspring of my race, guide thy sire this way where the wall's twin arms approach the sea; at yonder gate, where thou thinkest all is quiet, stands Venus in fell mood and aids the furious ones; — whence hath the goddess this violence, this heart of Mars? Trust thou thy father to the broad deep: I will take thy cares upon me.'

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.284  "So speaking he faded into air again, and since the shadows barred our vision lit up our road with a long stream of fire, in kindly succour. I follow where the signal leads, and anon entrust my sire, hidden in a vessel's curving beams, to the gods of the sea and the winds and Aegaeon who holds the Cyclades in his embrace; nor set we any limit to our mutual grief, were it not that Lucifer is already chasing the stars from the eastern pole. Then at last I leave the sounding shore, in brooding fear and scarce trusting Lyaeus' word, resolute in step but casting anxious thoughts behind me; nor rest I but must fain watch from every hill the breezes rising in heaven and the ocean waves.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.296  "Day rises shamefast, and Titan opening heaven to view turns aside his beams from Lemnos and hides his averted chariot behind the barrier of a cloud. Night's frenzied deeds lay manifest, and to all the new terrors of the day brought sudden shame, though all had share therin; they bury in the earth their impious crimes or burn with hurried fires. And now the Fury band and Venus sated to the full had fled the stricken city; now could the women know what they had dared, now rend their hair and bedew their eyes with tears. This island blest in lands and wealth, in arms and heroes, famed for its site and enriched of late by a Getic triumph, ahs lost, not by onslaught of the sea or of the foe or by stroke of heaven, all her folk together, bereft and ravaged to the uttermost. No men are left to plough the fields or cleave the waves, silent are the homes, swimming deep in blood and stained red with clotted gore: we alone remain in that great city, we and the ghosts that fiercely hiss about our rooftops. I, too, in the inner courtyard of my house build high a flaming pile and cast thereon my father's sceptre and arms and well-known royal raiment, and sadly do I stand by the blazing welter of the pyre with blood-stained sword, and lament the feigned deed and empty funeral in fear, should they perchance accuse me, and pray that the omen may be void of harm towards my sire and that so my doubting fears of death may come to naught.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.320  "For these deserts — since the ruse of my pretended crime wins credence — the throne and kingdom of my father are given me — punishment indeed! Was I do deny their urgent pressure? I submitted, having oft called heaven to witness my innocence and to give protection; I succeed — ah! ghastly sovereignty — to power's pale image and to a Lemnos sad without its chief. And now ever more and more do they writhe in wakeful anguish, now openly lament, and little by little grow to hate Polyxo; now is it permitted to remember the crime, and to set altars to the dead and adjure with many prayers their buried ashes. Even so when the frightened heifers behold in horror their leader and sire of the stall, to whom belonged the pastures and the glory of the grown herd, lying mangled beneath the Massylian foe, leaderless and dejected goes the herd, and the very fields and rivers with the mute cattle mourn the monarch slain.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.335  "But lo! dividing the waters with brazen prow the Pelian pinewood bark draws nigh, stranger to that wide unadventured sea: the Minyae are here crew; the twofold splashing wave runs white along her towering sides: one would think Ortygia moved uprooted or a sundered mountain sailed upon the deep. But when the oars stayed poised in air and the waters fell silent, there came from the vessel's midst a voice sweeter than dying swans or quill of Phoebus, and the seas themselves drew night the ship. Thereafter did we learn 'twas Orpheus, son of Oeagrus, who leaning against the mast sang thus amid the rowers and bade them know such toils no more. Towards Scythian Boreas were they voyaging and the mouth of the unattempted sea that the Cyanean rocks hold fast. We at the sight of them deemed them Thracian foes, and ran to our homes in wild confusion like crowding cattle or fluttering birds. Alas! where now is our frenzied rage? We man the harbour and the shore-embracing walls, which give a far view over the open sea, and the lofty towers; hither in excited haste they bring stones and stakes and the arms that mourn their lords, and swords stained with slaughters; nay, it shames them not to don stiff woven corselets and to fit helms about their wanton faces; Pallas blushed and marvelled at their bold array, and Gradivus laughed on the far slopes of Haemus. Then first did our headlong madness leave our minds, nor seemed it a mere ship on the salt sea, but the gods' late-coming justice and vengeance for our crimes that drew nigh o'er the deep.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.361  "And already were they distant from the land the range of a Gortynian shaft, when Jupiter brought a cloud laden with dark rain and set it over the very rigging of the Pelasgian ship; then the waters shudder, all its light is stolen from the sun and the gloom thickens, and the wave straightway takes the colour of the gloom; warring winds tear the hollow clouds and rend the deep, the wet sand surges up in the black eddies, and the whole sea hangs poised between the conflict of the winds, and with arching ridge now all but touching the stars falls shattered; nor has the bewildered vessel its former motion, but pitches to and fro, with the Triton on its bows now projecting from the waters' depths, now borne aloft in air. Nor aught avails the might of the heroes half-divine, but the demented mast makes the vessel rock and sway, and falling forward with overbalancing weight smites upon the arching waves, and the oars drop fruitlessly on the rowers' chests.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.376  "We, too, from rocks and every walled rampart, while they thus toil and rage against he seas and the southern blasts, with weak arms shower down wavering missiles — what deed did we not dare? — on Telamon and Peleus, and even on the Tirynthian we bend our bow. But they, hard pressed both by storm and foe, fortify, some of them, the ship with shields, others bale water from the hold; others fight, but the motion makes their bodies helpless, and there is no force behind their reeling blows. We hurl our darts more fiercely, and the iron rain vies with the tempest, and enormous stakes and fragments of millstones and javelins and missiles trailing tresses of flame fall now into the sea, now on the vessel: the decking of the bark resounds and the beams groan as the gaping holes are torn. Even so does Jupiter lash the green fields with Hyperboreans snow; beasts of all kinds perish on the plains, and birds are overtaken and fall dead, and the harvest is blasted with untimely frost; then is there thundering on the heights, and fury in the rivers. But when from on high Jove flung his brand with shock of cloud on cloud, and the flash revealed the mariners' mighty forms, our hearts were frozen fast, our arms dropped shuddering and let fall the unnatural weapons, and our true sex once more held sway.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.398  "We behold the sons of Aeacus, and Ancaeus threatening mightily our walls, and Iphitus with long spear warding off the rocks; clear to view among the desperate band the son of Amphitryon outtops them all, and alternately on either hand weighs down the ship and burns to leap into the midst of the waves. But Jason — not yet did I know him to my cost — leaping nimbly over benches and oars and treading the backs of heroes, calls now on great Oenides, now on Idas and Talaus, now on the son of Tyndareus dripping with the white spume of the sea, and Calais driving aloft in the clouds of his frosty sire to fasten the sails to the mast, and with voice and gesture again and again encourages them. With vigorous strokes they lash the sea and shake the walls, but none the more do the foaming waters yield, and the flung spears rebound from our towers. Tiphys himself wearies by his labours the heavy billows and the tiller that will not hear him, and pale with anxiety oft changes his commands, and turns right- and leftward from the land the prow that would fain dash itself to shipwreck on the rocks, until from the vessel's tapering bows the son of Aeson holds forth the olive-branch of Pallas hat Mopsus bore, and through the tumult of his comrades would prevent him, asks for peace; his words were swept away by the headlong gale.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.420  Then came there a truce to arms, and the tempest likewise sank to rest, and day looked forth once more from the turbid heaven. Then those fifty heroes, their vessels duly moored, as they leap from the sheer height shake the stranger shores, tail comely sons of glorious sires, serene of brow and known by their bearings, now that the swelling rage has left their countenances. Even so the denizens of heaven are said to burst forth from their mystic portals, when they desire to visit the homes and the coast and the lesser banquet of the red Aethiopians: rivers and mountains yield them passage, Earth exults beneath their footsteps and Atlas knows a brief respite from the burden of the sky.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.431  "Here we behold Theseus, lately come in triumph from setting Marathon free, and the Ismarian brethren, pledges of the North Wind's love, with red wing-feathers whirring loud on either temple; here, too, Admetus, whom Phoebus was content to serve, and Orpheus, in nought resembling barbarous Thrace; then Calydon's offspring and the son-in-law of watery Nereus. The twin Oebalidae bewilder our vision with puzzling error: each wears a bright red mantle and wields a spear, bare on the shoulders of each and their faces unbearded, their locks are aglow with the same starry radiance. Young Hylas bravely marching follows great Hercules stride for stride, scarce equalling his pace, slow though he bear his mighty bulk, and rejoices to carry the Lernaean arms and to sweat beneath the huge quiver.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.445  "So once more Venus and Love try with their secret fires the fierce hearts of the Lemnian women. Then royal Juno instils into their minds the image of the heroes' arms and raiment, and their signs of noble race, and all fling open their doors in emulous welcome to the strangers. Then first were fires lit on the altars, and unspeakable cares were forgotten, then came feasting and happy sleep and tranquil nights, nor without heaven's will, I ween, did they find favour, when they confessed their crime. My fault, too, my fated pardonable fault, perchance ye would hear, O chieftains: by the ashes and avenging furies of my people I swear, innocent and unwilling did I light the torch of alien wedlock — as Heaven's Providence doth know — though Jason be wily to ensnare young maidens' hearts: laws of its own bind blood-stained Phasis, and you, ye Colchians, breed far different passions. And now the skies have broken through the bonds of frost and grow war in the long sunlit days and the swift year has wheeled round to the opposite pole. A new progeny is brought to birth in answer to our prayers, and Lemnos is filled with the cries of babes unhoped-for. I myself also bear twin sons, memorial of a ravished couch, and, made a mother by my rough guest, renew in the babe his grandsire's name; nor may I know what fortune hath befallen since I left them, for now full twenty years are past, if the fates but suffer them to live and Lycaste reared them as I prayed her.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.468  "The boisterous seas fell tranquil and a milder southern breeze invites the sails: the ship herself, hating to tarry in the quiet haven, strains with her hawsers at the resisting rock. Then would the Minyae fain begone, and cruel Jason summons his comrades — would he had ere that sailed past my shores, who recked not of his own children, nor of his sworn word; truly his fame is known in distant lands: the fleece of seafaring Phrixus hath returned. When the destined sun had sunk beneath the sea and Tiphys felt the coming breeze and Phoebus' western couch blushed red, once more alas! there was lamentation, once more the last night of all. Scarce is the day begun, and already Jason high upon the poop gives the word for sailing, and strikes as chieftain the first oar-stroke on the sea. From rocks and mountain height we follow them with our gaze as they cleave the foamy space of outspread ocean, until the light wearied our roaming vision and seemed to interweave the distant waters with the sky, and made the sea one with heaven's extremest marge.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.486  "A rumour goes about the harbour that Thoas has been carried o'er the deep and is reigning in his brother's isle of Chios, that I am innocent and the funeral pyre a mockery; the impious mob clamours loud, maddened by the stings of guilt, and demands the crime I owe them. Moreover, secret murmurings arise and increase among the folk: 'Is she alone faithful to her kindred, while we rejoiced to slay? Did not heaven and fate ordain the deed? why then bears she rule in the city, the accursed one?' Aghast at such words — for a cruel retribution draws nigh, nor does queenly pomp delight me — I wander alone in secret on the winding shore and leave the deadly walls by the road of my father's flight, well known to me; but not a second time did Euhan meet me, for a band of pirates putting in to shore carried me speechless away and brought me to your land a slave."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.499  While thus the Lemnian exile recounts her tale to the Lernaean princes and by a long plaint consoles her loss, forgetful — so ye gods constrained her! — of her absent charge, he, with heavy eyes and drooping head and wearied by his long childish play, sinks to slumber, deep buried in the luxuriant earth, while one hand holds the grass tight-clutched.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.505  Meanwhile an earth-born serpent, the accursed terror of the Achaean grove, arises on the mead, and loosely dragging his huge bulk now bears it forward, now leaves it behind him. A livid gleam is in his eyes, the green spume of foaming poison in his fangs, and a threefold quivering tongue, with three rows of hooked teeth, and a cruel blazonry rises high upon his gilded forehead. The Inachian countrymen held him sacred to the Thunderer, who has the guardianship of the place and the scant worship of the woodland altars; and now he glides with trailing coils about the shrines, now grinds the hapless forest oaks and crushes huge ash-trees in his embrace; oft lies he in continuous length from bank to bank across the streams, and the river sundered by his scales swells high. But fiercer now, when all the land is panting at the command of the Ogygian god an the Nymphs are hurrying to the hiding of their dusty beds, he twists his tortuous writhing frame upon the ground, and the fire of his parched venom fills him with a baneful rage. Over pools and arid lakes and stifled springs he winds his way, and wanders in the riverless valleys, and consumed by burning thirst now flings back his head and laps the liquid air, now brushing o'er the groaning fields cleaves downward to the earth, should there be any sap or moisture in the grasses; but the herbage falls stricken by his hot breath, whereso'er he turns his head, and the mead shrivels at the hissing of his jaws; vast is he as the Snake that divides the pole from the Norther Wain and passes even unto the Southern winds and an alien sky, or as he that shook the horns of sacred Parnassus, twining his coils among them, until pierced by a hundred wound he bore, O Delian, a forest of thy arrows.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.534  What god appointed for thee, little one, the burden of so dire a fate? Scarce on thy life's earliest threshold, art thou slain by such a foe? Was it that thus thou mightest be sacred for ever to the peoples of Greece and dying merit so glorious a burial? Thou diest, O babe, struck by the end of the unwitting serpent's tail, and straightway the sleep left thy limbs and thine eyes opened but to death alone. But when thy frightened dying wail rose upon the air and the broken cry fell silent on thy lips, like the half-finished accents of a dream, Hypsipyle, heard it and sped with faint and failing limbs and stumbling gait; her mind forebodes sure disaster, and with gaze turned to every quarter she scans the ground in search, vainly repeating words the babe would know; but he is nowhere, and the recent tracks are vanished from the meadows. Gathered in a green circle lies the sluggish foe and fills many an acre round, so lies he with his head slantwise on his belly. Struck with horror at the sight the unhappy woman roused the forest's depths with shriek on shriek; yet still he lies unmoved.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.554  Her sorrowful wail reached the Argives' ears: forthwith the Arcadian knight at his chief's word flies thither in eager haste and reports the cause. Then at last, at the glint of armour and the shouting of men he rears his scaly neck in wrath: with a vast effort tall Hippomedon seizes a stone, the boundary mark of a field, and hurls it through the empty air; with such a whirlwind do the poised boulders fly forth against the barred gates in time of war. Vain was the chieftain's might, in a moment had the snake bent back his supple neck and foiled the coming blow. The earth re-echoes and in the pathless woods the close-knit boughs are rent and torn. "But ever shalt thou escape my stroke, " cries Capaneus, and makes for him with ashen spear, "whether thou be the savage inmate of the trembling grove, or a delight granted to the gods — ay, would it were to the gods! — never even if thou broughtest a Giant to battle with me upon those limbs." The quivering spear flies, and enters the monster's gaping mouth and cleaves the rough fastenings of the triple tongue, then through the upright crest and the adornment of his darting head it issues forth, and fouled with the brain's black gore sinks deep into the soil. Scarce has the pain run the length of his whole frame, with lightning speed he twines his coils around the weapon, and tears it out and carries it to his lair in the dark temple of the god; there measuring his mighty bulk along the ground he gasps and hisses out his life at his patron's shrine.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.578  Him did the sorrowing marsh of kindred Lerna mourn, and the Nymphs who were wont to strew him with vernal flowers, and Nemea's fields whereon he crawled; ye too, ye woodland Fauns, bewailed him in every grove with broken reeds. Jupiter himself had already called for his weapons from the height of air, and long had clouds and storms been gathering, had not the god allayed his wrath and Capaneus been preserved to merit a direr punishment; yet the wind of the stirred thunderbolt sped and swayed the summit of his crested helm.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.588  And now the unhappy Lemnian, wandering o'er the fields when the place was rid of the serpent, grows pale to behold on a low mound afar the herbage stained with streams of blood. Thither frantic in her grief she hastens, and recognizing the horror falls as though lightning-struck on the offending earth, nor in the first shock of ruin can find speech or tears to shed; she only bends and showers despairing kisses, and breathlessly searches the yet warm limbs for traces of the vanished life. Nor face nor breast remain, the skin is torn away and the frail bones are exposed to view, and the sinews are drenched in fresh streams of blood: the whole body is one wound. Even as when in a shady ilex-tree a lazy serpent has ravaged the home and brood of a mother bird, she, returning, marvels at the quiet of her clamorous abode, and hovers aghast, and in wild dismay drops from her mouth the food she brings, for there is nought but blood on the tree and feathers shed about the plundered nest.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.606  When, poor woman, she had gathered the mangled limbs to her bosom and covered them in her tresses, at length her voice released gave passage to her grief and her moans melted into words: "Archemorus, sweet image of my babes in my lonely plight, solace of my woes and exile, and pride of my thraldom, what guilty gods have slain thee, O my joy, whom, when I lately parted from thee, I left frolicking and crushing the grasses in thy crawl? Alas, where is that star-bright face? Where are thy half-formed words and tongue-tied utterance, those smiles, and mutterings that I alone could understand? How often used I to talk to thee of Lemnos and the Argo, with my long sad tale soothe thee to sleeping! For so indeed did I console my griefs, and gave the babe a mother's breasts, where now in my bereavement the milk flows in vain and falls in barren drops upon thy wounds. 'Tis the gods' work, I see: O cruel presage of my dreams and nightly terrors! ah! Venus, who never appeared in the darkness to my startled vision but ill befell! But why do I blame the gods? Myself I exposed thee to thy fate — for why should I fear to confess, so soon to die? What madness carried me away? Could I so utterly forget a charge so dear? While I recount the fortunes of my country and the boastful prelude of my own renown — what true devotion, what loyalty! — I have paid thee, Lemnos, the crime I owed. Take me then, ye princes, to the deadly snake, if ye have any gratitude for the service that has cost so dear, or any respect to my words; or slay me yourselves with the sword, lest I see again my sorrowing masters and bereaved Eurydice, now made my foe — although my grief comes not short of hers. Am I to carry this hapless burden and cast it on a mother's lap? nay, what earth may sooner engulf me in its deepest shades?" Thereupon, her face befouled with dust and gore, she turns to follow the mighty chieftains, and secretly as they grieve lays the waters to their charge.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.638  And now the news, sweeping sudden though the palace of devout Lycurgus, had brought full measure of tears to himself and all his house — himself, as he drew nigh from the sacred summit of Perseus' mountain, where he had offered sacrifice to the angry Thunderer, and was shaking his head as he returned from the ill-omened entrails. Here he abides without share in the Argolic war, not lacking in courage, but the temples and the altars kept him back; nor had the gods' response and ancient warning yet faded from his mind, nor the words received from the innermost shrine: "In the Dircaean war, Lycurgus, the first death shall be thine to give." Of that he is afraid, he is tortured at the trumpets' sound, and envies the doomed hosts.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.650  But lo! — so the gods keep faith! — the daughter of Thoas accompanies the mangled infant's funeral train, and his mother comes to meet her, leading a band of women and troops of mourners. But not sluggish was the devotion of great-souled Lycurgus: grief emboldened him, the father's mad rage thrust back the tears, and with long strides he covers the fields that stay his wrath, and cries aloud: "Where now is she, who recks little or is glad of the shedding of my blood? Lives she? Then seize her, comrades, and bring her speedily! I will make her insolence forget all her tale of Lemnos and her father and her lies about a race divine!" He advanced and prepared to deal the death-blow, his sword drawn in rage; but as he came, the Oeneian hero, quick to act, thrust his shield against his breast and barred the way, with stern rebuke: "Abate thy fury, madman, whoe'er thou art!" and Capaneus likewise and brave Hippomedon, with sword drawn back, and the Erymanthian, with levelled blade, were there to succour, and the prince is dazzled by their flashing swords: but on the other side the rustic bands protect their king. Between them Adrastus in gentler mood and Amphiaraus, fearing the strife of kindred fillets, cry: "Not so, I pray you, unhand the sword! Our sires are of one blood, give not vent to rage! Thou first disarm!" But Tydeus, his spirit not assuaged, rejoins: "Daredst thou then slay upon the grave — and in revenge for what a death! — and before so many thankless thousands the guide and preserver of the Inachian host, who was once a queen, and has Thoas for her sire and shining Euhan for her ancestor? Is it too little for thy cowardice that, when on all sides they folk are speeding to war, thou alone keepest peace among the hurrying cavalcades? Keep it them, and let the Grecian triumph find thee still groaning at this tomb."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.680  He spoke, and the other, now more controlled as anger ebbed, replied: "Indeed I thought your troops were bound, not for the walls of Thebes, but hither with hostile intent. March on then to destroy, if kindred murder so delights you, flesh first your arms at home, ay, and let impious fire — what indeed is not lawful? — devour Jove's temple that but now I sought in vain, if I thought, oppressed by bitter grief, that I had power upon a worthless slave, who am her king and lord! But he ruler of the gods beholds it, yea he beholds it, and his wrath, though late it fall, awaits your daring deeds." So speaking he looks back toward the city. And lo! there another armed affray is raging from house to house; recent Fame had outstripped the horsemen's flying squadrons, with twofold tumults gathered beneath her wings; some repeat that Hypsipyle is being dragged to death, some that she is even now meeting her fate, and is deserving of it: they believe, nor stay their anger, and already brands and javelins fly against the palace, cries are raised to overturn the kingdom, and to seize and carry away Lycurgus with Jove and all his shrines; the houses re-echo with female shrieks, and routed grief flees before panic terror.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.699  But Adrastus, aloft upon his car of wing-footed steeds and bearing with him the daughter of Thoas in the sight of the raging warriors, drives in amongst the ranks and cries: "Give o'er, give o'er; no cruel deed has been done, nor has Lycurgus deserved to perish thus, and lo! here is the discoverer of the welcome stream!" So when with opposing blasts Boreas and Eurus from one quarter, and from another Auster black with rain has upheaved the sea, when day is banished and the hurricanes hold sway, high on his chariot comes the ruler of the deep, and twy-formed Triton swimming by the foaming brides gives signal far and wide to the subsiding main; Thetis is smooth again, and hills and shores emerge.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.710  Which of the gods consoled her loss, and by granting her heart's desire brought joys unhoped-for to sad Hypsipyle and recompense for tears? Thou, Euhan, author of her race, who didst convey the twin youths from Lemnos' shore to Nemea, and wert preparing a wondrous destiny. In search of their mother they came, and not inhospitably had the palace of Lycurgus given them entry, when forthwith came that message to the monarch of his offspring's piteous death. Therefore hasten they to his support — so strange is Chance, so blind the purpose of men! — and favour the king's cause; but when "Lemnos" and "Thoas" reached their ears, straight had they rushed through weapons and troops of men, and both with tears snatch their mother to their greedy embrace and in turn press her to their bosoms. But she, like a stony rock, with countenance unmoved stirs not nor dares believe the gods she knows so well. But when she recognized their faces and the marks of Argo on their swords the mariners had left and Jason's name inwoven on their shoulders, her grief was stayed, and overcome by so great a blessing she swooned, and her eyes were moist with other tears. Signs too were shown in heaven, and he drums and cymbals of the god and the glad huzzas of his wild train resounded through the echoing air.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 5.731  Then the devout Oeclides, so soon as wrath appeased made the crowd fall silent, and there was approach to tranquil ears: "Hearken, O ruler of Nemea and ye flower of Argive princes, what Apollo surely reveals for us to do. Long hath this woe been ordained for you at Argive hands, unwavering runs the line of Destiny. The drought of perished streams, the deadly serpent, and the child Archemorus, whose name, alas, bears the seal of our fate, all these events flow down and issue from the high purpose of the gods. A truce now to your passions, lay down your hasty arms! To this infant enduring honours must be paid. Truly he hath deserved them; let virtue make fair libation to a virtuous soul, and would that thou mightest continue, O Phoebus, to weave even more delays, would that new chances might ever bar us from the fray, and thou, O deadly Thebes, fade from our sight for ever! And O ye happy ones, who have surpassed the common fate of noble parents, whose name will long endure through the ages, while Lerna's lake remains and father Inachus flows on, while Nemea throws the flickering shadows across her fields — profane not this holy rite by weeping, mourn not for the gods: for a god is he, yea a god, nor would he prefer to enjoy a Pylian age, nor a life that outlived the Phrygian span." He finished, and night wrapt the heaven in her enfolding shade.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.1  Far-travelling Rumour glides through the Danaan cities, and tells that the Inachidae are ordaining sacred rites for the new tomb, and games thereto, whereby their martial valour may be kindled and have foretaste of the sweat of war. Customary among the Greeks is such a festival: first did the dutiful Alcides contest this honour with Pelops in the fields of Pisa, and brush the dust of combat from his hair with the wild-olive spray; next is celebrated the freeing of Phocis from the serpent's coils, the battle of the boy Apollo's quiver; then the dark cult of Palaemon is solemnized about the gloomy altars, so oft as undaunted Leucothea renews her grief, and in the time of festival comes to the welcoming shores: from end to end Isthmos resounds with lamentation and Echionian Thebes makes answering wail. And now the peerless princes whose rearing links Argos with heaven, princes whose mighty names the Aonian land and Tyrian mothers, utter with sighs, meet in rivalry and arouse their naked vigour to the fray: just as the two-banked galleys that must venture the unknown deep, whether they provoke the stormy Tyrrhenian or the calm Aegean sea, first prove on a smooth lake their tackling and rudder and nimble oars, and learn to face the real perils; but when their crews are trained, then confidently do they push further out into the main nor seek the vanished coast.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.25  The bright consort of Tithonus had shown in heaven her toil-bringing car, and Night and Sleep with empty horn were fleeing from the pale goddess' wakeful reins; already the ways are loud with wailing, and the palace with fearful lamentation; from afar the wild forests catch the sounds, and scatter them in a thousand echoes. The father himself sits stripped of the honour of the twined fillet, his unkempt head and neglected beard sprinkled with dust of mourning. More violent than he and passionate with more than a man's grief, the bereaved mother urges on her handmaidens by example and by speech, willing though they be, and yearns to cast herself upon the mangled remains of her chid, and as oft they tear her from them and bring her back. Even the father too restrains her. Soon when the Inachian princes with royal bearing entered the sorrowing portals, then, as though the stroke were fresh and the babe but newly hurt, or the deadly serpent had burst into the palace, they smite their breasts though wearied and raise clamour upon clamour, and the doors re-echo with the new-kindled wailing; the Pelasgians feel their ill-will and plead their innocence with streaming tears.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.45  Adrastus himself, whenso'er the tumult was quelled and the distracted house fell silent, and opportunity was given, addressed the sire unbidden with consoling words, reviewing now the cruel destiny of mankind and the inexorable thread of doom, now giving hope of other offspring and pledges that by heaven's favour would endure. But he had not ended, when mourning broke forth anew. Nor does the king more gently hear his friendly speech than the madness of the fierce Ionian hears the sailors shouting prayers upon the deep, or the wayward lightning heed the frail clouds.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.54  Meanwhile the flame-appointed pyre and the infant bier are intertwined with bloomy boughs and shoots of cypress; lowest of all is laid the green produce o the country-side, then a space is more laboriously wrought with grassy chaplets and the mound is decked with flowers that soon must perish; third in order rises a heap of Arabian spices and the rich profusion of the East, with lumps of hoary incense and cinnamon that has come down from Belus of old. On the summit is set tinkling gold, and a soft coverlet of Tyrian purple is raised high, gleaming everywhere with polished gems, and within a border of acanthus is Linus woven and the hounds that caused his death: hateful ever to his mother was the marvellous work, and ever did she turn her yes from the omen. Arms, too, and spoils of ancestors of old are cast about the pyre, the pride and chequered glory of the afflicted house, as though the funeral train bore thither the burden of some great warrior's limbs; yet even empty and barren fame delights the mourners, and the pomp magnifies the infant shade. Wherefore tears are held in high reverence and afford a mournful joy, and gifts greater than his years are brought to feed the flames. For his father, in haste for the fulfilment of his prayers had set apart for him quivers and tiny javelins and innocent arrows, and even already in his name was rearing proved horses of his stable's famous breed; loud-ringing belts too are brought, and armour waiting for a mightier frame. Insatiable hopes! what garments did she not make for him in eager haste, credulous woman, and robes of purple, emblems of royalty, and childish sceptre? Yet all does the sire himself ruthlessly condemn to the murky flames, and bid his own signs of rank be borne withal, if by their loss he may sate his devouring grief.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.84  In another region the army hastens at the bidding of the wise augur to raise an airy pile, high as a mountain, of tree-trunks and shattered forests, to dark burnt-offering for the ill-omened war. These labour to cut down Nemea and its shady glens and hurl them to the ground, and to lay the forests open to the sunlight. Straightway a wood that axe has never shorn of its ancient boughs is felled, a wood than which none more rich in abundant shade between the vales of Argolis and Mount Lycaeus ever raised aloft its head above the stars; in reverend sanctity of eld it stands, and is said not only to reach back in years beyond the grandsires of men, but o have seen Nymphs pass and flocking Fauns and yet be living. Upon the wood came pitiful destruction: the beasts are fled, and the birds, terror-driven, flutter forth from their warm nests; the towering beeches fall and the Chaonian groves and the cypress that the winter harms not, spruces are flung prostrate that feed the funeral flames, ash-trees and trunks of holm-oak and yews with poisonous sap. And mountain ashes destined to drink the gore of cursed battle, and oaks unconquerable by age. Then the daring fir is cloven, and the pine with fragrant wound, alders that love the sea bow to the ground their unshorn summits, and elms that give friendly shade to the vines. The earth groans: not so are the woods of Ismarus swept away uprooted, when Boreas breaks his prison cave and rears his head, no swifter does the nightly flame tear through the forest before the south wind's onset; hoar Pales and Silvanus, lord of the shady glen, and the folk, half-god, half-animal, go forth weeping from the leisure haunts they loved, and as they go the woodland groans in sympathy, nor can the Nymphs loose the trees from their embrace. As when a leader gives over to the greedy conquerors the captured towers to plunder, scarce is the signal heard, and the city is nowhere to be found; they drive and carry, take captive and strike down in fury unrestrained: the din of battle was less loud.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.118  Two altars now of equal height had they with like toil erected, one to the doleful shades, the other to the gods above, when the low braying of the pipe with curved horn gave signal for lament, the pipe that by Phrygia's mournful use was wont to escort the youthful dead. They say that Pelops ordained for infant shade this funeral rite and chant, to which Niobe, undone by the quivers twain, and dressed in mourning garb, brought the twelve urns to Sipylus.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.126  The Grecian leaders bear the funeral gifts and offerings for the flame, each by his titles witnessing to his race's honourable renown; long after, high upon the necks of youths chosen by the prince from all his host, amid wild clamour comes the bier. The Lernaean chieftains encircle Lycurgus, a female company are gathered about the queen, nor does Hypsipyle go unattended: the Inachidae, not unmindful, surround her close, her sons support her bruised arms, and suffer their new-found mother to lament.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.135  There, as soon as Eurydice came forth from her ill-starred palace, she bared her breast and cried aloud, and with beating of her bosom and prelude of long wailings thus began: "I never thought, my son, to follow thee with this encompassing train of Argive matrons, nor thus did I picture in my foolish prayers thy infant years, nought cruel did I expect; whence at my life's end should I have fear for thee from a Theban war, whereof I knew not? What god has taken delight in joining battle with our race? Who vowed this crime against our arms? But thy house, O Cadmus, has not suffered yet, no infant do Tyrian crowds lament. 'Tis I that have borne the first-fruits of grief and untimely death, before even trumpets brayed or sword was drawn, while in indolent neglect I put faith in his nurse's bosom and entrusted to her my babe to suckle. Why should I not? She told a tale of cunning rescue of her sire and her innocence. But look! this woman, who alone, we must think, abjured the deadly deed she vowed, and alone of her race was free from the Lemnian madness, this woman here — and ye believe her, after her daring deed! — so strong in her devotion, cast away in desolate fields, no king or lord, but, impious one! another's child, that is all! and left him on a path in an ill-famed wood, where not merely poisonous snake — what need, alas, of so huge a slayer? — but a strong tempest only, or a bough broken by the wind, or groundless fright could have availed to cause his death! Nor you would I accuse in my stricken grief; unalterable and sure came this curse upon the mother, at his nurse's hands. Yet her didst thou favour more, my son, her only didst thou know and heard when she called thee; me thou knewest not, no joy had thy mother of thee. But she, the fiend! she heard thy cries and thy laughter mixt with tears, and caught the accents of thy earliest speech. She was ever thy mother, while life remained to thee, I only now. But woe is me! that I cannot punish her for her crime! Why bring ye these gifts, ye chieftains, to the pyre, why these empty rites? Herself, I beg — no more does his shade demand — herself, I pray you, offer, both to the dead and to the ruined parent, I beseech you by this first bloodshed of the war, for which I bore him; so may the Ogyian mothers have deaths to mourn as sad as mine!" She tears her hair and repeats her supplication: "Ay, give her up, nor call me cruel or greedy of blood; I will die likewise, so be it that, my eyes full-sated by her just death, we fall upon the selfsame fire."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.177  Thus loudly crying she beheld elsewhere afar Hypsipyle lamenting — for she too spares nor hair nor bosom — and ill brooking a partner in her woe: "This at least prevent, O princes, and thou for whom the child of our own bed has been flung to ruin; remove that hated woman from the funeral rites! Why does she offend his mother with her accursed presence, and who herself thus in my ruin?" Thus spake she and fell silent, and her complainings ceased. Even so when a wild beast has seized or shepherd borne away to the cruel shrine a bullock cheated of its first milk, whose strength is yet but frail and whose vigour is drawn but from the udder, the despoiled mother stirs now the valley, now the stream, now the herds with her moanings, and questions the empty meads; then it irks her to go home, and she leaves the desolate fields the last of all, and turns unfed from the herbage spread before her.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.195  But the father hurls with his own hand upon the pyre his glorious sceptre and the emblems of the Thunderer, and with the sword cuts short the hair that fell o'er back and breast, and with the shorn tresses covers the frail features of the infant where he lies, and mingles with tender tears such words as these: "Far otherwise, treacherous Jupiter, did I once consecrate these locks to thee, and held me to my vow, shouldst thou have granted me to offer therewith my son's ripe manhood at thy shrine; but the priest confirmed it not, and my prayer was lost; let his shade, then, who is worthier receive them!" Already the torch is set to the pyre, and the flame crackles in the lowest branches; hard is it to restrain the frenzied parents. Danaan are bidden stand and with barrier raised of weapons shut out afar from their vision the awful scene. The fire is richly fed: never before was so sumptuous a blaze; precious stones crack, huge streams of molten silver run, and gold oozes from out the embroidered raiment; the boughs are fattened with Assyrian juices, pale saffron drops hissing in the burning honey; foaming bowls of wine are outpoured, and beakers of black blood and pleasant milk yet warm from the udder.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.213  Then squadrons seven in number — a hundred tall knights in each — led by the Greek-born kings themselves with arms reversed, circling leftward in due manner purify the pyre, and quell with their dust the shooting flames. Thrice accomplished they their wheeling course, then with resounding clash of arms on arms four times their weapons gave forth a terrible din, four times the handmaids beat their breasts in womanly lament. The other fire receives half-dead animals and beasts yet living; here the prophet bids them cease their wailing, ominous of fresh disaster, although he knows the signs are true; rightward they wheel and so return with quivering spears, and each throws some offering snatched from his own armour, be it rein or belt he is pleased to plunge into the flames, or javelin or helmet's shady crest. [Around, the countryside is filled with the hoarse cries of wailing, and piercing trumpets rend the earth. Loud shouts affright the groves; even so do the bugles tear the Martian standards from the ground, while eager still is cool, and the sword unreddened with blood, and the first face of battle is made fair and glorious: high on a cloud stands Mavors, uncertain yet which host to favour.]

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.234  The end was come, and weary Mulciber was sinking now to crumbling ash; they attack the flames and dowse the pyre with plenteous water, till with the setting sun their toils were finished; scarce did their labour yield to the late-coming shadows. And now nine times had Lucifer chased the dewy stars from heaven, and as often changed his steed and nightly heralded the lunar fires — yet he deceives not the conscious stars, but is found the same in his alternate risings; 'tis marvellous how the work has sped! there stands a marble pile, a mighty temple to the departed shade, where a row of sculptured scenes tells all his story: here Hypsipyle shows the river to the weary Danai, here crawls the unhappy babe, here lies he, while the scaly snake writhes angry coils around the hillock's end; one would think to hear the dying hisses of his blood-stained mouth, so twines the serpent about the marble spear.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.249  And now Rumour is summoning a multitude eager to behold the unarmed battles; called forth from every field and city they come; they also gather together, to whom the horror of war is yet unknown, and they who through weary age or infant years had stayed behind; never were such clamouring throngs on the strand of Ephyre or in the circus of Oenomaus.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.256  Set in a green ring of curving hills and embraced by woodland lies a vale; rough ridges stand about it, and the twin summits of a mound make a barrier and forbid issue from the plain, which running long and level rises with gentle slope to grassy brows and winding heights soft with living turf. There in dense crowds while the fields were still rosy in the dawn, the warrior company took their seats; there the heroes delight to reckon the number of the motley multitude, and scan the faces and the dress of their fellows, and they fell the glad confidence of a mighty host. Thither they drag a hundred black bulls, the strength of the herd, slow-paced and straining; as many cows of similar hue, and bullocks with foreheads not yet crescent-crowned.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.268  Then the ancient line of great-hearted sires is borne along, in images marvellously fashioned to living likeness. First the Tirynthian crushes the gasping lion against the strong pressure of his breast and breaks it upon his own bones; him the Inachidae behold not without terror, though he be in bronze and their own famous hero. Next in order is seen father Inachus reclining leftward on the mound of a reedy bank and letting the streaming urn flow free. Io, already prone and the sorrow of her sire, sees behind her back Argus starred with eyes that know no setting. But kindlier Jupiter had raised her erect in the Pharian fields, and already was Aurora giving her gracious welcome. Then father Tantalus, not he who hangs above the deceiving waters and snatches the empty wind of the elusive branch, but the great Thunderer's god-fearing guest is borne along. Elsewhere triumphant in his car Pelops handles the reins of Neptune, and Myrtilos the charioteer grasps at the bounding wheels, as the swift axle leaves him far and farther behind. Grave Acrisius too and the dread likeness of Coroebeus and Danae's guilty bosom, and Amymone in sadness by the stream she found, and Alcmena proud of the infant Hercules, a threefold moon about her hair. The sons of Belus join their discordant right hands in a pledge of enmity, but Egyptus with milder look stand near; easy is it to mark on the feigned countenance of Danaus the signs of a treacherous peace and of the coming night. Then follow shapes innumerable. At length pleasure is sated, and prowess summons the foremost heroes to its own rewards.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.296  First came the sweat of steeds. Tell, O Phoebus, the drivers' famous names, tell of the steeds themselves; for never did nobler array of wing-footed coursers meet in conflict: even as serried ranks of birds compete in swift course or on a single shore Aeolus appoints a contest for the wild winds.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.301  Before the rest Arion, marked by his mane of fiery red, is led forth. Neptune, if the fame of olden time be true, was his sire; he first is said to have hurt his young mouth with the bit and tamed him on the sand of the sea-shore, sparing the lash; for insatiable was his eagerness to run, and he was capricious as a winter sea. Oft was he wont to go in harness with the steeds of ocean through the Libyan or Ionian deep, and bring his dark-blue sire safe home to every shore; the storm-clouds marvelled to be outstripped, and East and South winds strive and are left behind. Nor less swiftly on land had he borne Amphitryon's son, when he waged Eurystheus' wars, in deep-pressed furrows o'er the mead, fierce to him also and impatient of control. Soon by the gods' bounty he was deemed worthy to have Adrastus for his lord, and meanwhile had grown far gentler. On that day the chieftain allows him to be driven by his son-in-law Polynices, and much did he counsel him, what arts would soothe the horse when enraged, not to use too fierce a hand, nor to let him gallop free of the rein; "urge other steeds," said he, "with voice and goad; but he will go, ay, faster than you wish." Even so, when the Sun granted the fiery reins and set his son upon the whirling chariot, with tears did he warn the rejoicing youth of treacherous stars and zones that would fain not be o'errun and the temperate heat that lies midway between the poles; obedient was he and cautious, but the cruel Fates would not suffer him to learn.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.326  Amphiaraus, next favourite for the prize, aloft in his chariot drives Oebalian steeds; thy progeny, Cyllarus, stealthily begotten while far away by the mouth of Scythian Pontus Castor was exchanging for the oar the Amyclean rein. Snow-white his own raiment, snow-white are the coursers that lend their necks to the yoke, his helm and fillet match the whiteness of his crested plume. Admetus, too, the fortunate, from Thessalian shores, can scarce restrain his barren mares, of Centaur's seed, as they tell (so scornful, methinks, are they of their sex, and their natural heat turns all to body's vigour). White with dark flecks, they resemble day and night: so strongly marked was each colour, nor unfit were they to be deemed of that stock which stood spellbound at the piping of the Castalian reed, and scorned their pasture when they heard Apollo play.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.340  Lo! the young sons of Jason, too, their mother Hypsipyle's new-found pride, took stand upon the chariots wherein each rode, Thoas, bering the name of his grandsire, proper to his race, and Euneos, called from Argo's omen. In everything were the twins alike, in looks, in car and steeds, in raiment, and in the harmony of their wishes, either to win or to lose only at a brother's hands. Next ride Chromis and Hippodamus, the one born of mighty Hercules, the other of Oenomaus: it were doubtful which drove more madly. The one has horses bred by Getic Diomedes, the other a yoked pair of his Pisean sire, both chariots are decked with cruel spoils and drip with ghastly blood. For turning-points there stood here a bare oak-trunk, there a stone pillar, arbiter of husbandmen; betwixt either bound there lay a space thou mightest reach with four times a javelin's cast, with thrice an arrow's flight.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.355  Meanwhile Apollo was charming with his strains the Muses' glorious company, and, his finger placed upon the strings, was gazing down to earth from the airy summit of Parnassus. First he recounts the deeds of the gods — for oft in duty bound he had sung of Jove and Phlegra and his own victory o'er the serpent and his brothers' praises — and then reveals what spirit drives the thunderbolt or guides the stars, whence comes the fury of the rivers, what feeds the winds, what founts supply the unmeasured ocean, what pathway of the sun hastens or draws out the course of night, whether earth be lowest or in mid-heaven and encompassed by yet another world we view not. There he ended, and puts off the sisters, eager though they are to listen, and while he fastens bay about his lyre and the woven brilliance of his coronet, and ungirds his breast of the pictured girdle, he hears a clamour, and beholds not far away Nemea famed for Hercules, and there the mighty spectacle of a four-horsed chariot-race. He recognizes all, and by chance Admetus and Amphiaraus had taken their stand in a field hard by. Then to himself he spake: "What god has set those two princes, Phoebus' most loyal names, in mutual rivalry? Both are devoted to me, and both are dear; nor could I say which holds first place. The one, when I served as thrall on Pelian ground — such was Jove's command, so the dark Sisters willed — burnt incense to his slave, nor dared to deem me his inferior. The other is the companion of the tripods and the devout pupil of the wisdom of the air: and though the first has preference by his deserts, yet the other's thread is near its distaff's end. For Admetus is old age ordained, and a late death; to thee no joys remain, for Thebes awaits thee and the dark gulf. Thou knowest it, unhappy one: long since have my own birds sung thy doom." He spoke, and tears bedewed the face that scarce any sorrow may profane; then straightway came he to Nemea, bounding radiant through the air, swifter than his father's fire and his own shafts. Long had he reached the earth, yet still his tracks remain in heaven, and still athwart the zephyrs his path gleams bright.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.389  And now Prothous had shaken the lots in a brazen helmet, and each had his place and order at the starting. The heroes, each his country's glorious boast, and the coursers, a match to them in glory, all alike of blood divine, stand penned by the one barrier, hopeful, daring yet fearful, anxious yet confident. All is confusion in their hearts; they strive, yet are afraid, to be gone, and a thrill of courage mixt with dread runs through them to the extremities of their limbs. The steeds are as ardent as their masters: their eyes dart flame, they loudly champ the bits, and blood and foam corrode the iron; scarce do the confining posts resist their pressure, they smoke and pant in stifled rage. Such misery is it to stand still, a thousand steps are lost ere they start, and, on the absent plain, their hooves ring loud. Around stand trusty friends, smoothing out the twisted tangled manes, and speak heartening words and give much counsel. The Tyrrhenian blast rang in their ears, and all leapt forward from their places. What canvas on the deep, what javelins in war, what clouds so swiftly fly across the heavens? less violent are winter streams, or fire; slower fall stars or gather rains, more slowly flow the torrents from the mountain-summits.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.410  As they sped forth the Pelasgi saw and marked them; now are they lost to view, now confused and hidden in one cloud of blinding dust; they can see nothing for the press, and scarce by shout of name can they recognize each other. Then some draw clear of the throng, and each takes place according to his strength; the second lap blots out the former furrows, and now stooping forward in their eagerness they touch the yoke, now with straining knees they bend double, tugging at the reins. On the shaggy necks the muscles swell, and the breeze combs back the erect manes, while the dusty ground drinks up the white rain of foam. The thunder of hooves and the gentler sound of running wheels are blended. Never idle are their arms, the air hisses with the oft-plied lash; no more densely spatters the hail from the cold North, nor streams the rain from the Olenian horns.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.424  By instinct had Arion guessed that another driver stood grasping the reins, and feared, innocent as he was, the dire son of Oedipus; from the very start he rages more fiercely than his wont, fretting angrily against his burden. The sons of Inachus think him fired by praises, but it is the charioteer that he is flying, the charioteer that he threatens in maddened fury, and he looks round for his lord on all the plain. Amphiaraus follows him, yet far before the rest and by a long space second, and level with him runs Thessalian Admetus; the twins are together, now Euneos to the fore, now Thoas, and in turn give ground and go ahead, nor ever does ambitious love of glory set at variance the devoted brothers. Last of all fierce Chromis and fierce Hippodamus contend, not lacking skill, but the weight of their coursers retards them; Hippodamus, leading, feels the panting breath of the following steeds, and their hot wind upon his shoulders. The seer of Phoebus hoped by drawing tight his rein and turning close around the goal to gain first place; and the Thessalian hero too feels hope glow nearer, while Arion, defying control, dashes here and there in circles and strays rightward from the course. Already Oeclides was in front and Admetus no longer third, when the sea-born steed, at last brought back form his wide circuit, overtakes and passes both, their triumph but short-lived; a loud crash rises to the sky, and heaven trembles, and all the seats flashed bare, as the crowd sprang to their feet. But the son of Labdacus in pale anxiety neither handles the rein nor dares the lash: just as a steersman, his skill exhausted, rushes upon waves and rocks alike, nor any more consults the stars, but flings hi baffled art to the mercy of chance.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.454  Again at headlong speed they swerve right-handed from the track into the plain, and strive to keep their course, and again comes the shock of axle on axle, wheel on wheel-spokes; no truce is there, nor keeping faith; a lighter task, one would think, were war, savage war, and bloodshed, such furious will to victory is theirs, such fear and threats of death; and many a hoof is struck as it runs crosswise o'er the plain. Neither goads nor lashes now suffice, but with shout of name does Admetus urge Iris and Pholoe and steaming Thoe, and the Danaan augur chide fleet Aschetos and Cygnus, well so-called. Strymon too hears Chromis, son of Hercules, and fiery Aethion Euneos; Hippodamus provokes slow Cydon, Thoas entreats piebald Podarces to greater speed. Only Echion's son keeps gloomy silence in his erring car, and fears to confess his plight by cries of alarm.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.469  Scarce was the real struggle of the steeds begun, and yet now they are entering the fourth dusty lap, and now steaming sweat is pouring from their exhausted limbs, and fiery thirst leaves and gasps forth the thick breath of the horn-footed steeds; and now their vigour flags, and their flanks are racked with long-drawn pantings. Then first does Fortune, long time doubtful, dare to step in make decision. Thoas, pressing madly on to pass Haemonian Admetus, falls, nor does his brother aid him; fain would he, but Martian Hippodamus forestalled him and drove his team between them. Next Chromis by Herculean vigour and all his father's strength holds Hippodamus with axles interlocked, as he wheels inside him past the goal; in vain the steeds struggle to get free, and strain their sinewy necks and bridles. As when the tide holds fast Sicilian craft and a strong South wind impels them, the swelling sails stand motionless in mid-sea. Then Chromis hurls his rival from the shattered car, and had sped on the foremost, but when the Thracian horses saw Hippodamus lying on the ground, that awful hunger comes back upon them, and already had they shared in their mad lust his trembling frame, had not the Tirynthian hero, forgetful of victory, taken their bridles and dragged away the neighing steeds, and left the field vanquished but praised of all.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.491  But Phoebus hath long desired for thee, Amphiaraus, thy promised honours. At last, deeming the moment fit to show thee favour, he visits the grim spaces of the dusty course, when now the race is nearing its end, and for the last time victory hovers doubtful; a snake-tressed monstrous phantom, of visage terrible to behold, whether he wrought it in Erebus or for the cunning purpose of the moment, certainly endowed with countless terrors — this horrid plague he raises to the world above. The guardian of dusky Lethe could not have beheld it unterrified, nor the Eumenides themselves without a deep thrill of fear, it would have overturned the horses of the sun in mid-career, and the team of Mars. When golden Arion saw it, his mane leapt up erect, and he halts with upreared shoulders and holds high suspended his yoke-fellow and the steeds that shared his toil on either side. Straightway the Aonian exile is flung backward head-over-heels: he drops the reins, and the chariot, freed from restraint, dashes far away. But past him as he lies on the crumbling earth sweep the Taenarian car and the Thessalian axle and the Lemnian hero, and just avoid him by swerving in their flight. His friends rush up, and at last he lifts his dazed head and reeling limbs from the ground, and returns, scarce hoped for by his father-in-law Adrastus.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.513  How timely then, O Theban, had been thy death, had not stern Tisiphone forbidden! How grievous a war couldest thou have prevented! Thebe had bewailed thee and thy brother made show thereof, and Argos too had mourned, and Nemea and Lerna and Larissa had in suppliant guise shorn tresses for thee, thou hadst excelled Archemorus in funeral pomp.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.518  Then Oeclides, although the prize was now sure for him as he followed, since masterless Arion held first place, yearned yet with keen desire to pass even the empty chariot. The god lends strength and refreshment; swifter than the East wind he flies, as though the barrier were but just fallen and he were starting on the race, and calling aloud on nimble Caerus and snow-white Cygnus, plies their necks with blows and shakes the reins upon their backs. Now at least, when nobody is in front, the fiery axle devours the course, and the scattered sand is thrown afar. The earth groans, and even then savagely threatens. And perchance Arion too had owned defeat and Cygnus taken first place, but his ocean-sire suffers him not to be defeated; thus by a just division the glory remained for the horse, but the prophet gained the victory. His meed of triumph was a Herculean bowl, borne by two youths; the Tirynthian on a time was wont to take it in one hand, and with head flung back quaff it foaming, whether victorious over a monster or in the field of Mars. Fierce Centaurs has it, cunningly wrought, and fearful shapes in gold: here amid slaughter of Lapithae are stones and torches flying, and again other bowls; everywhere the furious anger of dying men; he himself seizes the raging Hylaeus, and grips him by the beard and wields his club. But for thee, Admetus, is brought for thy deserving a cloak with a flowing border of Maeonian dye, stained many a time with purple; here swims the youth contemptuous of Phrixean waters, and gleams with sea-blue body through the pictured wave; one sees the sideward sweep of his arm, and he seems about to make the alternate stroke, nor would one think to find his hair dry in the woven fabric. Yonder high upon the tower sits anxiously watching, all in vain, the Sestian maid; near her the conscious lamp droops and flickers. These rich rewards Adrastus bids be given to the victors; but his son-in-law he consoles with an Achaean handmaid.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.550  Then he incites those heroes who are speediest of foot to strive for ample rewards: a contest of agility where prowess is frailest, fit pursuit for peace, when sacred games invite, nor useless in war as a refuge should power of arm fail. Before all the rest Idas leaps to the front, whose temples were lately shaded by Olympian wreaths; the youth of Pisa and the bands of Elis hail him with applause. Alcon of Sicyon follows, and Phaedimus, twice acclaimed the victor of the sands of Isthmus, and Dymas, who once outstripped the flight of wing-footed steeds, but now they outran him by reason of retarding age. Many too, whom the ignorant multitude received in silence, came forward from this side and from that. But for Parthenopaeus the Arcadian they call aloud, and arouse murmurs that roam throughout the close-packed circus. Well know is his parent for speed of foot; who cannot tell of the peerless renown of Atalanta, and of those footprints that no suitor could o'ertake? The son bears all his mother's glory, and he himself, already known to fame, is said to catch on foot the defenceless hinds in the open glades of Mount Lycaeus, and, as he runs, to o'ertake the flung javelin. Long expected, at last darts he forward, leaping lightly o'er the companies, and unfastens the twisted golden clasp of his cloak. His limbs shine forth, and all his graceful frame is revealed, his fine shoulders, and breast as smooth and comely ahs his cheeks, and his face was lost in his body's beauty. But he scorns the praise of his fairness, and suffers not admirers to come near him. Then he cunningly sets to work with the draughts of Pallas, and makes his skin tawny with rich oil. Thus do Idas and Dymas and the rest shine sleek and glossy. So when the starlight glitters on a tranquil sea, and the spangled heaven is mirrored tremulous in the deep, brilliant is every star, but more brilliant than the rest does Hesperus shoot his beams, and brightly as he flames in the high heavens, so bright is his reflection in the dark-blue waves. Idas is next in beauty, nor much slower in speed, next older too in years; but for him already has the palaestra's oil brought on the tender growth, and the down is creeping o'er his cheeks, nor yet confesses itself among the cloud of unshorn locks. Then they duly try their speed and sharpen up their paces, and by various arts and feigned excitement stir their languid limbs; now they sink down with bended knees, now smite with loud claps their slippery breasts, now ply their fiery feet in short sprint and sudden stop.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.593  As soon as the bar fell, and left the threshold level, they nimbly dashed away and the naked forms gleamed upon the plain; more slowly seemed the swift coursers to move of late on the same ground: one might deem them so many arrows poured forth from Cydonian host or flying Parthians. Not otherwise speed the stags over Hyrcanian wilds, hearing, or fancying that they hear, a famished lion roar afar; blind fear drives them in crowding panic-stricken flight, amid the ceaseless noise of clashing horns. Then swifter than the rapid breeze the Maenalian boy outstrips the sight, and hard behind him fierce Idas runs and breathes upon his shoulder and presses close upon his rear with panting breath and over-shadowing form. After them Phaedimus and Dymas strive in doubtful contest, near them fleet Alcon. The yellow hair hung down from the Arcadian's unshorn head; this from his earliest years he cherished as a gift to Trivia, and vainly boasting had vowed it to his country's altars, when he should return in triumph from the Ogygian war. At that time, freed from its band and streaming loose behind, it flies backward as it meets the wind, at once hindering his own speed, and spreading out in front of his rival Idas. Thereat the youth bethought him of deceit and an opportunity for fraud; already close upon the goal, even while Parthenopaeus is triumphantly crossing the threshold, he grasps his hair, and pulling him back seizes his place, and is the first to breast the wide entrance of the goal.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.618  The Arcadians cry "To arms!" and with arms they hasten to defend their prince, if the lost prize and merited honour be not restored, and make ready to descend on all the course. Others again were pleased by the ruse of Idas. Parthenopaeus himself pours showers of earth upon his face and streaming eyes, and the comeliness of tears is added to his beauty. In his grief he rends with bloody nails now his breast, now his innocent cheeks and guilty hair, while all around discordant clamour rages, and old Adrastus halts irresolute of counsel. At last he speaks: "Cease quarrelling, youths! your prowess must be tried again; but run not in one track only; Idas has this side; keep thou apart yonder, and let there by no cheating in the race!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.631  They heard, and abide by his command. Then the youth of Tegea with silent prayer humbly entreats the gods: "Goddess, queen of the woodlands, for to thee and to thine honour these locks of mine are vowed, and from this vow comes my disgrace; if my mother or I myself have deserved well of thee in hunting, suffer me not, I pray thee, to go ill-omened thus to Thebes, or to have won such bitter shame for Arcadia." Clear proof was given that he was heard. The plain scarce feels him as he goes, his feet treads tenuous air, and the rare footsteps hover and leave the dust unbroken. With a shout he dashes to the goal, with a shout he runs back to the chief, and seizing the palm appeased his grief. The running was over, and prizes for their toils stand ready. The Arcadian is given a horse, the shameless Idas bears away a shield, the rest go contented with Lycian quivers.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.646  Then he invites any who may wish to try the issue with the hurled quoit, and display untiring vigour and proud strength. At his command goes Peterelas, and with all his body bent scarce lays down beside him the slippery weight of the bronze mass; in silence the sons of Inachus look on and estimate the toil. Soon a number rush forward: two of Achaean race, three sons of Ephyre, one Pisa-born, the seventh an Acarnanian; and more was the love of glory urging on, had not tall Hippomedon, incited by the crowd, come forward, and carrying another broad disk at his right side: "Take this one rather, ye warriors, who are marching to shatter walls with stones, and to overthrow the Tyrian towers, take this one! As for that other, any hand can toss that weight!" and with no effort he caught it up and threw it to one side. They fall back in amaze and confess themselves undone; scarce Phlegyas alone and eager Menestheus, compelled by sense of shame and noble ancestry, vouchsafed to try their strength; the rest of their own accord gave place, and returned inglorious, marvelling at the disk. Even so the shield of Mars on the Bistonian plain reflects an evil light on Mount Pangaeus, and shining strikes the sun with terror, and deeply clangs beneath the spear of the god.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.668  Phlegyas of Pisa begins the toil; straightway he drew all eyes upon himself, when they beheld his frame, such promise of great deeds was there. And first with earth he roughens the quoit and his own hand, then shaking off the dust turns it right skilfully to see which side best suits his fingers, or fits more surely the middle of his arm. This sport had he ever loved, not only when he attended his country's famous festival, but he was wont to reckon the space between Alpheos' either bank, and, where they are most widely distant, to clear the river nor ever wet the disk. At once, then, confident in his powers he measures, not the rough acres of the plain, but the sky's expanse with his right arm, and with either knee bent earthward he gathers up his strength and whirls the disk above him and hides it in the clouds. Swiftly it speeds aloft, and as though falling grows faster as it mounts; at last exhausted it returns to earth more slowly from the height, and buries itself in the field. So falls, whenever she is torn from the astonished stars, the darkened sister of the sun; afar the peoples beat the bronze for succour, and indulge their fruitless fears, but the Thessalian hag triumphant laughs at the panting steeds who obey her spell. The Danai shout applause, though amid thy frowns, Hippomedon, and he hopes for a mightier throw along the level.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.691  But thereupon Fortune, whose pleasure it is to dash immoderate hopes, assails him; what power has man against the gods? Already he was preparing a mighty throw, his head was turned and all his side was swinging back: the weight slipped and fell before his feet and baffled his throw, and his hand dropped empty and unavailing. All groaned, while to a few the sight brought pleasure. Menestheus then, more cautious, brings careful skill to the attempt, and uttering many a prayer to thee, O son of Maia, corrects with dust the slippery surface of the powerful mass. With far better fortune it speeds from his huge hand, nor falls till it has covered no mean extent of the course. They applaud, and an arrows is fixed to mark the spot. Third, Hippomedon with slow and ponderous step advances to the labours of the contest; for deep in his heart he takes warning from the fate of Phlegyas and the good fortune of Menestheus. He lifts the instrument of combat that his hand knew well, and holding it aloft summons up the strength of his unyielding side and vigorous arms, and flings it with a mighty whirl, springing forward after it himself. With a terrific bound the quoit flies through the empty air, and even in its flight remembers the hand that flung it and keeps to its due path, nor attains a doubtful or a neighbouring goal as it passes the defeated Menestheus, but far beyond the rival sign it falls to earth, and makes tremble the green buttresses and shady heights of the theatre, as though they were falling in vast and widespread ruin; even so from smoke-emitting Aetna did Polyphemus hurl the rock, though with hand untaught of vision, yet on the very track of the ship he could but hear, and close to his enemy Ulixes. Thus too the Aloidae, when rigid Ossa already trod Olympus under foot, bore icy Pelion also, and hoped to join it the frightened heaven.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.722  Then the son of Talaus bids a tiger's skin go as prize to the victor: all glossy it shone with a yellow border, and its sharp claws were tamed with gold. Menestheus receives a Knossian bow and errant shafts. "But to thee, Phlegyas," he cries, "whom unlucky fortune foiled, we give this sword, once the glory and aid of our Pelasgus, nor will Hippomedon grudge it thee. And now is courage needed; wield ye the terrible cestus in close conflict; valour here comes nighest to that of battle and the sword."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.731  Argive Capaneus took his stand — awful in aspect, awful the terror he inspires — and, binding on his arms the raw ox-hide black with lumps of lead, himself no softer, "Send me one," says he, "from all those thousands of warriors; and would rather that my rival were of Aonian stock, whom it were right to slay, and that my valour were not stained with kindred blood." They stood aghast and terror made them silent. At last Alcidamas, unexpected, leapt forth from the naked crowd of Laconians, while the Dorian princes marvel; but his comrades knew he relied on his master Pollux, and had grown up in the wrestling-school of a god. Pollux himself guided his hands and moulded his arms — love of the sport constrained him — and of the set him against himself, and admiring him as he stood up in like mood caught him up exultant, and pressed his naked body to his breast. Capaneus thinks scorn of him and mocks at his challenge, as though in pity, and demands another foe; at last perforce he faces him, and now his languid neck swells at anger's prompting. With bodies poised at their full height they lift their hands, deadly as thunderbolts; safe withdrawn are their faces on their shoulders, ever watching, and closed is the approach to wounds. The one is as great in broad expanse of every limb and terrible in size of bone as though Tityos should rise up from the Stygian fields, did the fierce birds allow him; the other was lately but a boy, yet his strength is riper than his years, and his youthful vigour gives promise of a mighty manhood; him would none wish to see defeated nor stained with cruel gore, but each man fears the spectacle with eager prayers.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.760  Scanning each other with their gaze and each awaiting the first opening, they fell not at once to angry blows, but stayed awhile in mutual fear, and mingled caution with their rage; they but incline their arms against each other as they spar, and make trial of their gloves, dulling them with mere rubs. The one, more skilfully trained, puts by his fury, and taking thought for the future delays and husbands up his strength; but the other, prodigal of harm and reckless of his powers, rushes with all his might and in wild blows exhausts both arms, and attacks with fruitless gnashing of teeth, and injures his own cause. But the Laconian, prudent and crafty, and with all his country's vigilance, now parries, now avoids the blow; sometimes by the throwing back or rapid bending of his head he shuns all hurt, now with his hands he beats off the aimed assault, and advances with his feet while keeping his head drawn back. Often again, as his foe engages him with superior power — such strength is in his cunning, such skill in his right hand — with bold initiative he enters his guard and overshadows him, and towering high assails him. Just as a mass of water hurls itself headlong on a threatening rock, and falls back broken, so does he wheel round his angry foe, breaking his defence; look! he lifts his hand and threatens a long time his face or side, and thus by fear of his hard weapons diverts his guard and cunningly plants a sudden blow, and marks the middle of his forehead with a wound; blood flows, and the warm stream stains his temples. Capaneus, yet ignorant, wonders at the sudden murmur of the crowd, but when, as he chanced to draw his weary hand across his face, he saw the stains upon the cowhide, no lion nor tiger feeling the javelin's smart was e'er so mad; hotly he drives the youth before him in headlong retreat over the whole field, and is forcing him on to his back; terribly he grinds his teeth and whirls his fists in countless repeated blows. The strokes are wasted on the winds, some fall on the gloves of his foe; with active movement and aid of nimble feet the Spartan eludes the thousand deaths that shower about his temples, yet not unmindful of his art he flees still fighting, and though fleeing meets blows with blows.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.796  And now both are wearied with the toil and their exhausted panting; slower the one pursues, nor is the other so swift to escape; the knees of both fail them and alike they rest. Thus when long wandering o'er the sea has wearied the mariners, the signal is given from the stern and they rest their arms awhile; but scarce have they taken repose, when another cry summons them to the oars again. Lo! a second time he makes a furious dash, but the other tricks him and goes at him with a rush of his own and sinking into his shoulders; forward he pitches on his head, and as he rises the merciless boy smote him another blow and himself grew pale at the success. The Inachidae raise a shout louder than the noise of shore or forest. But when Adrastus saw him struggling from the ground, and lifting his hands, intent on hideous deeds; "Haste, friends, I pray you, he is mad! hasten, prevent him! he is out of his mind — quick! bring the palm and the prizes! He will not cease, I see well, till he pounds the brain within the shattered skull. Rescue the doomed Laconian!" At once Tydeus darts forth, and Hippomedon, obedient to command; then scarce do the two with all their might master his two arms and bind them fast, and forcefully urge him: "Leave the field, thou art victorious; 'tis noble to spare the vanquished. He too is one of us, and a comrade in the war." But no whit is the hero's fury lessened; he thrusts away the proffered branch and the cuirass, and shouts: "Let me free! Shall I not smash in gore and clotted dust those cheeks whereby that eunuch-boy gained favour, and send his unsightly corpse to the tomb and give cause for mourning to his Oebalian masters?" So says he, but his friends force him away, swelling with wrath and protesting that he has not conquered, while the Laconians praise the nursling of famed Taygetus, and laugh loud at the other's threats.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.826  Long time have the varied deeds of valour and his own conscious worth provoked with urgent stings great-hearted Tydeus; both at the quoit and in speed of foot did he excel, nor less was he a champion of the boxing-glove, but before all other sports the anointed wrestling-match was dear. Thus had he been wont to spend the leisure intervals of fighting and relax his martial ire, and with mighty heroes on the banks of Achelous did he strive, heaven-taught, in many a victorious bout. Therefore when keen ambition called the youths to wrestle, the Aetolian puts off the terrible covering of native boar-hide from his shoulders. Against him Agylleus, who boasts of Cleonaean stock, raises his tall limbs, no less in bulk than Hercules, so loftily he towers with huge shoulders and monstrously surpasses human measure. But he lacks his father's close-knit strength of body; loose-limbed and overgrown is he, unsteady and soft of muscle; hence is Oenides boldly confident to overthrow so mighty an antagonist. Though slight himself to look upon, yet he is heavy of bone and hard and sinewy of arm: never did nature dare enclose so fiery a spirit or so great force in so small a frame.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.847  When their skins had taken pleasure in the oil, both ran forward to the middle of the plain and clad themselves in showers of sand; then with the dust they dry their wet limbs in turn, and sink their necks into their shoulders and hold out their arms wide-branching. At once Tydeus with cunning craft stoops his own body, his knees near touching the sand, and so draws down the tall Agylleus and makes him bend to his own level. But just as the cypress, queen of the Alpine height, inclines her summit to the south wind's pressure, scarce holding by her root, and nears the ground, yet soon springs up again into the air — not otherwise does towering Agylleus of his own will force down his huge limbs and groaning bend double over his little foe; and now, first one, then the other, their hands attack brow and shoulder and side and neck and breast and legs that evade the clutch. Sometimes they hang a long while locked in each other's grip, now savagely they seek to break the fingers' clasp. Less fiercely do two bulls, the leaders of the herd, make war; in the meadow stands the fair white heifer and awaits the victor, while their breasts are torn in the mad struggle, and love plies the goad and heals their wounds; so do boars fight with flashing tusks, so do ugly bears grasp shaggy hides in hairy conflict.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.870  So violent is Oenides; neither dust nor heat of sun makes his limbs faint and weary, but his skin is close-knit and firm, and schooled by toil to hard muscle. But the other, unsound in wind, pants heavily, and breathes sickly gasps in his exhaustion, and the caked sand runs off him in streams of sweat, while furtively he snatches support for his body from the ground. On him Tydeus constantly presses, and feinting at his neck catches at his legs, but his arms were baffled by their shortness and failed in their design, while all the other's towering height came down upon him, and crushed and buried him under the huge falling mass. Just as when the Iberian miner burrows beneath a hill and leaves far behind the living day, then, if the suspended ground has rocked and the tunnelled earth crashed down with sudden roar, overwhelmed by the fallen mount he lies within, nor ever does his crushed and utterly broken corpse deliver up the indignant soul to its own skies. More vigorous is Tydeus than his foe, and superior in spirited valour; nor is it long before he has slipped from the other's hold and unequal weight, and encompassing him as he hesitates fastens suddenly on his back, then swiftly enfolds sides and groin in a firm embrace and grips his knees between his thighs, and relentlessly, as he struggles in vain to escape from the grasp and force his hand against his side — a burden wonderful and terrible to see — raises him aloft. So, fame tells, did Hercules hold fast in his arms the sweating earth-born Libyan, when he found the trick and snatched him up on high, and left him no hope of falling, nor suffered him to touch even with his foot's extremity his mother earth.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.897  A shout arises and glad applause from the multitude. Then, poising him aloft, suddenly of his own will he loosed him and threw him sideways, and following him as he fell seized his neck with his right hand and his middle between his legs. Thus beset, his spirit fails, and only shame drives him to struggle. At last he lies extended, with breast and belly prone on the ground, and a long time after sadly rises, leaving the marks of his disgrace on the imprinted earth. But Tydeus, bearing the palm in his right hand and in his left the prize of shining armour: "What if the plain of Dirce held not no small measure of my blood — as well ye know — where of late these scars made treaty with Thebes?" So speaking he displays the scars, and gives to his comrades the glorious rewards that he had won, while the spurned corselet follows Agylleus from the field.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.911  There are some, too, who advance to combat with the naked sword. And already were they taking their stand, fully armed, Agreus from Epidaurus, and the Dircaean exile, not yet doomed by fate. But the chieftain, the son of Iasus, forbids them: "Great store of death remains, O youths, preserve your warlike temper and your mad desire for a foeman's blood. And thou, for whose sake we have laid bare our ancestral acres and our beloved cities, given not, I pray thee, such power to chance before the fight begins, nor — may the gods forfend it! — to thy brother's prayers." Thus he speaks, and enriches them both with a golden helm. Then lest his son-in-law lack praise, he bids his lofty temples be garlanded, and himself proclaimed aloud victor of Thebes: the dire Fates echoed back the ominous sound.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.924  The monarch himself also do the princes urge to dignify with some exploit of his own the festal contests, and to confer this final honour on the tomb; they bid him lest one victory be lacking to the number of the leaders, to shoot Lyctian arrows from his bow, or to cleave the clouds with the slender spear. Gladly he accedes, and thronged about by the foremost warriors descends from the green mound to the level plain; his armour-bearer at command bears after him his light quiver and his bow: he prepares to shoot the circus' mighty length, and to plant wounds upon an appointed ash-tree.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.934  Who will deny that omens flow from the hidden causes of things to come? The fates lie open to mankind, but we choose not to take heed, and the proof foreshown is wasted; thus turn we omens into chance, and from hence Fortune draws her power of harm.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 6.938  The fateful arrow in a moment measured the plain and struck the tree, and then — awful to behold! — came back through the air it but now had traversed and turning homeward from the goal kept on its way, and fell by the mouth of its well-known quiver. Much talk the princes interchange in error: some say the clouds and the winds on high did meet and drive the shaft, others that the impact of the wood repelled it. Deep hidden lies the mighty issue and the awful truth foretold: to its master only did the arrow vouchsafe survival, and a sad returning from the war.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.1  As thus they tarried at the outset of the Tyrian war, Jupiter turned on the Pelasgians his wrathful gaze and shook his head, at the movement of which the high stars tremble and Atlas cries that his shoulders' burden is increased. Then thus did he address the speedy Tegean: "Go, boy, and swiftly leaping glide through the North as far as the Bistonian dwellings and the snowy constellations of the pole, where the Parrhasian feeds her Ocean-barred fires on storm-clouds and Heaven's own rain. And there, whether Mars has laid aside his spear and draws breath again — though repose be hateful to him — or whether, as I think, he has his arms and his trumpets, whereof he never tires, and is wantoning in the blood of his beloved tribe, haste thou to deliver the angry message of his sire, and spare nought. Surely long since was he bidden to inflame the Inachian host, and all that the rock of Isthmus holds apart and the thunderous wrath of echoing Malea encompasses; yet scarce hath their army passed the boundary of their walls and they hold sacred festival; one would deem they had returned from war, so keen is their applause, as they attend the rites of an offended tomb. Is this thy rage, Gradivus? The round quoit crashes and reverberates, and the Oebalian gloves meet in the boxing-match. But if he really hath that boasted fury and mad joy in battle, then ruthlessly will he lay innocent towns in ashes, wielding sword and fire, and strike the peoples to the ground while they implore the Thunderer, and exhaust the miserable world. Now he is lenient in warfare and he grows slack though I am angry: but if he hastens not the fight and hurls not, more swiftly than the word of my command, the Danaan ranks against the Tyrian walls — with nought cruel do I threaten him — let his power be all for kindliness and goodness, and his ungoverned rage be slackened to quietness and peace, let him return me his horses and his sword, nor have right of bloodshed any more: I will look upon the earth and bid all cease from strife; for the Ogygian war Tritonia will suffice."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.34  He had spoken, and the Cyllenian was drawing nigh the fields of Thrace; down-gliding from the gate of the Northern pole he is driven this way and that by the region's everlasting tempest and the serried storm-clouds ranged athwart the sky and the first blasts of Aquilo: the pouring hail rattles upon his golden robe and ill does the shady hat of Arcady protect him. Here he observes barren forests, the sacred haunts of Mars — and he shudders as he looks — where on the far slopes of Haemus his savage mansion is ringed by a thousand furies. The walls are of iron structure, iron portals bear upon the threshold, the roof is carried by columns wrought of iron. The rays of Phoebus are weakened when they meet it, the very light fears that dwelling, and its murky glare dismays the stars. Fit sentinels hold watch there: from the outer gate wild Passion leaps, and blind Mischief and Angers flushed red and pallid Fear, and Treachery lurks with hidden sword, and Discord holding a two-edged blade. Threatenings innumerable make clamour in the court, sullen Valour stands in the midst, and Rage exultant and armed Death with blood-stained visage are seated there; no blood but that of wars is on the altars, no fire but snatched from burning cities. All around were spoils of every land, and captured peoples adorned the temple's high front, and fragments of iron-wrought gates and ships of war and empty chariots and faces ground by chariot-wheels, ay, almost even their groans! truly every form of violence and wounds. Himself was everywhere to behold, but nowhere with softened looks; in such wise had Mulciber with divine skill portrayed him: not yet had the adulterer, made manifest by the sun's bright beams, atoned his shameful union in the bed's grasping chains.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.64  Scarce had the winged Maenalian begun to seek the temple's lord — lo! earth trembles, and horned Hebrus bellows and stays his torrent's flow; then all the war-steeds that troubled the valley sped foaming o'er the frightened meads, sure sign of his approach, and the gates barred with everlasting adamant flew open. Glorious in Hyrcanian gore he himself comes riding by; far and wide the dire bespattering changes the aspect of the fields, behind him are borne spoils and weeping throngs; forest and deep snows give him room; with bloody hand dark Bellona guides the team and plies them hard with her long spear. The offspring of Cyllene grew stiff with terror at the sight, and cast down his eyes: ay, even the Father himself would feel awe, were he present, and would forgo his threats nor command so sternly. First spake the Lord of War: "What decree of Jove, what message bringest thou from the vast heaven? For not of thine own will comest thou, O brother, to this clime and to my wintry storms, thou whose home is dewy Maenalus and the kindlier air of warm Lycaeus." He reports his sire's resolve. Nor does Mars long delay, but drives forward his flying steeds, all panting as they were and sweating together 'neath the yoke, himself indignant that the Greeks were sluggish to begin the war. The Father on high beheld, and abating now his anger let his head sink with slow weight: as when the East wind sinks to rest and leaves the waters it has vanquished, yet even in calm the waters swell and the departed storm yet rolls the surface of the deep; not yet have the vessels all their tackling set, nor do the mariners draw a full breath again.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.90  The funeral rites had brought an end to the unarmed combats, but the crowds were not gone away, when amid universal silence the hero Adrastus poured wine upon the ground and propitiated the ashes of Archemorus: "Grant, little one, that this day may be renewed at many a triennial feast; let not maimed Pelops prefer to seek Arcadian altars or knock at Elean temples with his ivory arm, nor the serpent rather glide to the Castalian shrine, nor its own shade of the pine-groves of Lechaeum. We refuse thee, O child, to sad Avernus, and link these mournful rites with the undying stars, we who hurry now to arms. But if thou wilt grant us to overthrow the Boeotian dwellings with the sword, then a mighty temple shall exalt thee, then shalt thou be a god indeed, nor through Inachian cities only shall thy worship spread, but Thebes also in her captivity shall swear by thy name." So vowed the chief for all, so vowed each warrior for himself.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.105  Already Gradivus with forward-straining steeds was trampling the Ephyrean shores, where Acrocorinthus raises his summit into the airy heights and casts his shadow over the twin seas in turn. Then he orders Panic, one of his fearful train, to go before the horses: none more skilled than he to insinuate gasping terror and to steal courage from the heart; voices and hands innumerable has the monster, and aspects to assume at will; all-persuasive is he, and his onslaughts drive cities mad with horror. If he suggests that there are two suns, or that the stars are falling, or the ground heaving, or ancient forests marching down from the hills, alas! the wretches believe that they have seen it. A new and cunning trick was he then devising: he raises a phantom dust upon the plain of Nemea; astounded the chiefs behold above their heads the darkening cloud; he swells the tumult with unsubstantial clamour and imitates the clank of armour and the tread of horses' hooves, and scatters the terrible war-cry upon the wandering breezes. Their hearts leap in fear, and the crowd wait muttering in suspense: "Whence comes the noise? — unless our ears betray us. But why stand the heaven in a cloud of dust? surely the Ismenian soldiery have not dared so far? Ay, 'tis even so; they come! But is Thebes then so bold? Must they wait, think you, for us to pay rites to sepulchres?"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.127  Thus Panic in their bewildered minds: and many a different countenance does he assume amid their ranks, now is he one of a thousand men of Pisa, now a Pylian, now a Laconian by his look, and he swears the foe are near, and dismays the host with vain alarm. To their terror nought is false. But when undisguised he fell upon the distracted warriors, and, borne on a swift whirlwind around the heights of the sacred vale, thrice brandished his spear, thrice smote his steeds, thrice clashed his shield upon his breast, "to arms, to arms," they cry, each snatching in wild disorder his neighbour's or his own, and they seize other helms and force strange steeds beneath the yoke; in ever heart burns the mad lust of death and slaughter, nothing hinders their fiery rage; in furious haste they atone for their delays. Such a clamour fills the shore when the wind is rising, and men are leaving the port; everywhere sails are bellying and loose ropes flapping, and now the oars are afloat and every anchor too upon the surface, and now from mid-sea they are gazing back at the land they love and at the friends left far astern.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.145  Bacchus had seen the Inachian cohorts gather swiftly for the march; with a groan he turned towards the Tyrian city, and he recalls the home that nurtured him and his father's fires, with sadness in his heart and dismay upon his bright countenance; disordered were his locks and garlands, the thyrsus was fallen from his hand the untouched grapes from off his horns; tearful then and unsightly as he was with dishevelled robe, he stood before Jupiter — reigning then by chance alone in heaven — in such guise as had never before been seen — yet his sire knew well the cause — and spake in supplication: "Destroyest thou thine own Thebes, O worthy father of the gods? is thy spouse so cruel? pitiest thou not that well-loved land, that hearth thou didst deceive, those ashes I hold dear? Be it so, once thou didst hurl unwilling fire from the clouds — so I believe — but lo! a second time art thou bringing deadly fire upon the land, without oath of Styx or cunning paramour's request. What limit wilt thou set? Art thou my father, and incensed against me? Kindly, and yet dost wield the thunderbolt? Not in such mood wouldst thou go to Danae's city, or the Parrhasian grove, or Amyclae, Leda's home. Am I then in truth the worst-scorned of all thy sons? Yet am I surely he, who was a sweet burden for thy carrying, for whom thou deignedst to open once more life's threshold and the way once closed against me, and the period of the womb. Moreover, my people are unwarlike, and rarely schooled in camps, and know my warfare only, my battles, the twining of garlands in their hair and twirling to the frenzied pipe; they fear the wands that brides wield, the wars that matrons wage. How should they endure the bray of trumpets and the work of Mars, who makes — behold him! — such furious preparation? What if he were to lead thy own Curetes to the fight, and bid them decide the issue with their guileless targes? Nay more, 'tis hated Argos thou choosest — was there no other foe? Ah! cruel, O father, is our peril, but more cruel thy command! We pay the penalty, to make rich my stepmother's Mycenae. I yield! But my ruined people's sacred rites, and aught that my mother left when she brought forth but for the tomb — whither must we depart? to Thrace and the forests of Lycurgus? or shall I flee a captive to that India where I once did triumph? Grant the outlaw some resting-place! My brother could make Delos fast, Lato's rocky home — nor do I grudge him that — and entrust it to the lowest depths; the Tritonian removed the hostile waters from her beloved citadel; myself I have seen Epaphus lording it over Eastern races, and remote Cyllene and Minoan Ida fear not the trumpet's blast; why do our altars so offend thee? Here — since my own influence must already yield — here were those nights of Hercules' begetting, and the favoured flame of wandering Nycteis, here was the race of Tyre and the bull more fruitful than my lightning-brand: protect at least Agenor's offspring!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.193  Smiling at his jealousy his father raised him quietly to his embrace from where he knelt with arms outstretched, and in turn makes tranquil answer: "This comes not by my consort's will, as thou thinkest, my son, nor am I thus a slave to her fierce demands; 'tis fate's unchanging wheel that ordains our destiny; ancient causes are leading, now late in time, to war. Whose anger sinks so soon to rest, who is more sparing of human blood? The heavens and my eternal age-long dwelling witness how often I lay by the whirlingthunderbolt, how rarely these fires have mastery of the earth. Unwillingly indeed, though they had suffered great wrongs that cried for vengeance, did I deliver the Lapithae to Mars or ancient Calydon to Diana for destruction; sad is the loss, and 'tis irksome to give so many new lives for old, and animate afresh so many bodies. But for the seed of Labdacus and the sons of Pelops' line, them am I slow to destroy; thou knowest thyself — to leave unsaid the Dorian crimes — how ready is Thebes to accuse the gods; thee too — but my former anger is appeased and I will hold my peace. Pentheus was stained by no father's blood nor bore the guilt of defiling his mother's bed and begetting brothers, yet he filled thy haunts with the mangled fragments of his limbs: where then were these tears, this eloquent appeal? But it is to glut no private wrath that I sacrifice the sons of Oedipus: earth and heaven demand it, and natural piety and injured faith, and the laws of the Avenging Powers themselves. But be not distressed for thy city; not at this time have I decreed that the Aonian state shall fall, a darker age shall come hereafter, and others to avenge; now royal Juno shall complain."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.222  He hearing this was composed in mind and aspect; as when rose-gardens droop 'neath a fiery scorching sun and cruel South wind, should the day clear and Western breezes refresh the sky, all their beauty returns, the blooms open resplendent, and the unsightly branches are decked in their proper glory.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.227  Long since has the messenger brought sure tidings of discovery to the astounded ears of Eteocles, announcing that the Grecian chiefs are on the march at the head of a long array, and soon will be nigh the Aonian fields; wheresoever they advance, all tremble and pity Thebes; he reports the family and fame of each and their warlike deeds. The king hiding his fear demands to be told and hates the teller; then he decides to send a stirring message to his allies and to take the measure of his own resources. Mars — so it pleased Jove — had stirred up Aonia and Euboea and the neighbouring lands of Phocis; far flies the rapid signal from town to town; they march forth their hosts and display themselves in arms; they move upon the plain that, doomed to war, spreads near the city and awaits the fury of the fray. They meet no foe as yet, but matrons in an excited throng ascend the walls, and thence show to their children the glittering armour and their sires' formidable arms.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.243  Far removed upon a lonely tower and still withheld from the eyes of the people, Antigone shrouds in a black veil her tender cheeks; with her was an attendant, Laius' squire of old, whom the royal maid reveres. She first addressed him: "Is there hope, O father, that these standards will hold the Pelasgians in check? We hear that all the tribes of Pelops descend upon us; recount, I pray, the princes and their foreign bands, for I see what standards our own Menoeceus, and what troops our Creon hath under command, and how Haemon with towering crest of brazen Sphinx marches out from the mighty Homoloian gates." So spake artless Antigone, and old Phorbas thus replied: "Dryas, look! leads forth a thousand archers from cold Tanagra's hill: he whose snow-white armour bears a trident and a fire-brand rudely wrought in gold, is for valour the true son of exalted Orion: heaven forged the ill omen of his sire, and chaste Diana's ancient grudge! Ocalea and Medeon join our camps and declare for our monarch's cause, and thickly-wooded Nisa and Thisbe echoing with Dione's tuneful birds. Next is Eurymedon who counterfeits the pastoral arms and horsehair crest of his father Faunus with club and leaves of pine; terrible is he in the woodland, and such, I ween, will he be in the bloody conflict. Erythrae rich in flocks is with us, and so are they who hold Scolos, and Eteonos set thick with arduous ridges, and the brief strand of Hyle, and the proud folk of Schoenos, Atalanta's home, who till the famous plain her feet imprinted: they brandish as of wont the long ashen Macedonian shafts, and targes that scarce can ward off savage blows. But lo! the Neptunian folk of Onechestus rush on with shouts: they whom Mycalessos nourishes beneath her pines, and Melas, Pallas' stream, and Gargaphie with the waters loved of Hecate, and they on whose young wheat Haliartos looks jealously, o'ergrowing the glad cornlands with too abundant grass. Unfashioned tree-trunks are their weapons, and lions' empty jaws their helms, the curving bark affords them bucklers. These, as they lack a king, our own Amphion, look! is leading — 'tis easy to recognize him, O maid — conspicuous with a lyre and our ancestral bull upon his helm. A blessing on thy courage, youth! he is ready to go where swords are thickest, and protect with naked breast the walls he loves. Ye too come to add your strength to ours, ye Heliconian throng, and thou, Permessus, and Olmius, happy in your tuneful streams, ye have armed your unwarlike sons. Now heartest thou thy people exult in strains worthy of their home, such strains as, when pale winter yields, the swans uplift in praise of smiling Strymon. Onward, valiant ones! your praise shall never die, and Muses in songs unending shall recount your wars."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.200  He had finished, when the maiden briefly spake in turn: "But those yonder, what tie of birth unites those brethren? So truly alike are their arms, so rise their helmet-peaks into the air together; would that my brothers had such concord!" Smiling the old man answered her: "Thou are not the first, Antigone, to be so deluded in thy seeing; many have called them brethren, for their years deceive. Father and son they are, though the fashions of age are all confounded: the nymph Dercetis in burning passion and shameless lust of wedlock corrupted ere his time the boy Lapithaon, still innocent of the marriage bed and unripe for a lover's flames; and soon was born the fair Alatreus, and overtakes his father while still in the flower of youth, and assumes his features and confounds their years. So now they rejoice in the false name of brethren, but more the father; for the past has brought him pleasure as well as the years to come. Three hundred knights doth the sire marshal for the fray, and the son as many more; these, they say, have left scant Glisas and Coronia, once their husbandmen, Coronia rich in harvest, Glisas fertile in the grape.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.309  "But rather look at Hypseus casting his shadow far o'er his lofty steeds, his left side guarded by the sevenfold bull's-hide of his shield, his breast by triply woven mail;: his breast, for no fear hath he for his back. His spear is an ancient glory of the woodland: once thrown it always cleaves armour and flesh alike, and his hand fails never of its aim. Asopos is deemed his sire, a father worthy to behold, when in full torrent he sweeps past the wreck of bridges, or in swollen wrath and vengeance for his maiden daughter he lashes his waters to fury and scorns the Thunderer her paramour. For they say that Aegina was carried by force from her father's stream and hidden in the embrace of Jove; the river in wild rage prepares fierce war against the stars — not yet had even the gods such licence — ; in defiant, quenchless anger he stood and strove, nor had he any whose aid he could implore, till, scarce subdued by the threefold lightning of the brand, he yielded. Even yet doth the proud flood rejoice from out his heaving banks to pant forth 'gainst heaven fiery ashes, the signs of his dire punishment, and Aetnaean vapours. Such fury shall we marvelling see in Hypseus on the Cadmean plain, if but Aegina has happily appeased the Thunderer. He leads the men of Itone and Minerva's Alalcomenaean bands, and those whom Midea furnishes and Arne rich in grapes, the men who sow the fields of Aulis and of Graea and verdant Plataeae, and subdue Peteon with furrows and hold — where it is ours — Euripus whose current ebbs and flows, and thee, Anthedon, remotest of our lands, where from the grassy shore Glaucus plunged beneath the waters that summoned him, sea-green already in face and hair, and started to behold the fish-tail growing from his waist. They whirl the sling and cleave the zephyrs with the bullets: their javelins will outstrip fleet arrows.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.340  Thou too, Cephisus, wouldst have sent Narcissus, pre-eminent in beauty, but already, stubborn-hearted boy, he is a pale flower in a Thespian field: thou, O father, dost lave it with thy childless waves. Who could recount to thee the troops of Phoebus and of ancient Phocis? Panope, Daulis, Cyparissos, thy valleys, Lebadia, and Hyampolis that nestles beneath a beetling cliff, the husbandmen who with their bulls upturn Parnassos' either slope and Cirrha and Anemoria and the woodland of Corycia, and Lilaea that sends forth the ice-cold springs of Cephisus, whither Python was wont to take his panting thirst and turn aside the river from the sea: on all their helms behold the entwined bay, on all their armour Tityos or Delos or the quivers that he god emptied here in countless slaughter. Their leader is warlike Iphitus, whose father lately slain was Naubolus, son of Hippasus, thy friend, most gentle Laius: still was I holding the chariot-reins, without thought of ill, when thy neck lay mangled by cruel blows beneath the horses' hooves — would that my blood had flowed there too!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.359  His eyes were moistened as he spoke, and all his face grew pale, and sudden sobs checked the free passage of his voice; his ward soothes the trembling old man's friendly heart; he recovers and faintly speaks: "O thou, my anxious pride and chiefest pleasure, Antigone! 'tis for thee I shamelessly delay my late-arriving death, though perchance I must behold the crimes and murders of thy house repeated, until I deliver thee unharmed and fit for wedlock: that is enough; then, O Fates, let me leave this weary life. But while I am feebly swooning, what mighty champions — ah! now I see them again — have passed before us! Clonis I numbered not, nor the long-haired sons of Abas, nor thy men, rocky Carystus, nor low-lying Aegae and lofty Caphereus. But now my dimmed sight says me nay, and all have halted, while thy brother, look! bids the armed hosts be silent."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.374  Scarce had the old man ended upon the tower, when the prince began from a high mound: "Great-hearted chieftains, whom I your leader would not refuse to obey and fight, a common soldier for my native Thebes, no attempt were mine to stir your zeal — for freely have ye rushed to arms and of your own accord taken oath to champion my righteous anger — nor shall I suffice to praise enough or pay you worthy thanks — the gods and your own victory o'er the foe will make requital; from friendly peoples are ye come to protect a city assailed by no pillaging warrior from foreign shores, no stranger from an alien land, but a native enemy, who as he marshals his opposing camps has here a father and a mother and sisters of one blood, ay, and a brother had he too. Lo! with what guilt thou plottest destruction everywhere against thy father's race; but the Aonian peoples have come willingly to my aid, nor, cruel one, am I left to be thy victim. What yonder army wills, thou too shouldest be feeling: they forbid me to give up the throne." Thus he spoke, and orders all things duly, who are to meet the foe, who to guard the walls, what troops shall lead the van, whom he shall place in mid-array. Even so does a shepherd, while the earth is fresh and the rays are shining through the doorways, unfasten the wattled pens; he bids the leaders go first, then follow the crowding ewes; he himself aids those that are with young, and the parents whose udders trail the ground, and bears to their mothers' side the failing lambs.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.398  Meanwhile the Danai by day and night and night and day march under arms: wrath bears them onward; they scorn repose, scarce sleep or food delays them, like a fleeing army they haste toward the foe. They heed not the portents that chance, the herald of doom, with ominous presage strews thickly in their path; for birds and beasts give awful warnings, stars also and backward flowing rivers, and the Father thunders against them and baneful lightnings gleam; terrifying voices are heard in the shrines, and temple gates shut of their own accord; now it rains blood, now stones, ghosts suddenly appear and sires of old confront them weeping. Then too did Apollo's oracle at Cirrha fall silent, and all night through in months unwonted did Eleusis wail, and prophetic Sparta saw in open temples — fearful sight! — the brethren of Amyclae locked in conflict. The Arcadians say that in the silence of the night Lycaon's shade barked madly, and his own Pisa tells that Oenomaus drove o'er that cruel plain; Achelous, maimed of either horn, was dishonoured by the Acarnanian exile. Sad is the image of Perseus to which Mycenae prays, and downcast is Juno's ivory statue; the rustics tell how mighty Inachus bellowed, and the dweller by the double main how Theban Palaemon made lament over the whole sea. The Pelopean phalanx hears these warnings, but warlike ardour hinders heavenly counsels and robs them of their terror.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.424  Already they were come to thy banks, Asopus, and the Boeotian streams. The squadrons dared not cross the hostile river forthwith; by chance too he was descending in mighty flood upon the trembling fields, whether the rain-bringing bow or mountain clouds had given him strength, or whether the river-sire so purposed and hurled his stream athwart them to forbid their arms. Then fierce Hippomedon with a great tearing of the bank thrust down his wavering steed, and supported by reins and trappings shouts from mid-stream to the leaders left behind: "Forward, ye men! And I will be the first, I warrant you, to lead the attack and break through the Theban ramparts." All fling themselves into the river, ashamed to have but followed. Just so do cattle stand dismayed when the herdsman drives them to an unknown stream; far distant seems the other bank, and fear stretches wide between; but when the chieftain bull leaps in and makes the crossing, then gentler seem the waters, and easier to plunge, and the banks seem to draw nearer.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.441  Not far from thence they mark a ridge and suitable ground for a safe camp, whence too they can behold the city and the Sidonian towers; the situation pleased them and offered secure retreat upon a high and spreading hill, with open swelling fields beneath nor any other mountains near at hand to overlook; no weary toil added long lines of earthworks, for nature herself marvellously favoured the spot. Rocks rose to form a rampart, and the shelving earth served for trenches, and four chance mounds made bastions: the rest they themselves provide, until all the light had left the hills, and sleep gave rest to weariness.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.452  What words could portray the consternation of Thebes? In the face of war's impending doom dark night racks her with sleepless terror and threatens her with the coming day. Men hurry hither and thither on the walls; in that awful panic nought seems guarded or secure enough, no strength is in Amphion's fortress. Rumour announces other foes on every side, and Fear yet more and mightier; yonder they see the Inachian tents and foreign watch-fires in their own native hills. Some pray and entreat the gods, others exhort their weapons of war and battle-steeds, others weeping embrace the hearts they love and piteously appoint their pyres and funeral honours for the morrow. If their eyes are closed in a brief slumber, they are waging war; distraught they now sicken of life, now prize delay; they pray for the light, yet fear its coming. Tisiphone, shaking her twin serpents, goes rioting through either camp; brother against brother she inflames and against both their sire: aroused he wanders far from his secret cell, and implores the Furies and prays for his lost eyes once more.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.470  Already had breaking day put out cold Phoebe and the fading stars, while Ocean was pregnant with dawning fire, and the sea's expanse, revealed by new-born Titan, was sinking to rest beneath his radiant panting steeds: lo! Jocasta, wild-eyed, with hoary unkempt hair falling about her haggard face, her bosom bruised and livid and in her hand a branch of olive entwined with sable wool, goes forth from the gates in all the mighty majesty of sorrow, like to the most ancient of the Furies. On this side and on that her daughters, now the better sex, support her as she hastens her aged limbs and would fain go faster than her strength allows. She goes to meet the foe, and baring her breast she strikes upon the gates and with tremulous wail prays for admittance: "Unbar the road! it is the guilty mother of the war who asks you; some right to utter curses in this camp have I by virtue of this womb." The squadrons started with alarm beholding her, and hearing her, yet more; and now the messenger sent to Adrastus returns; at his command they receive her, and open a way through the swords' midst.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.488  As soon as she saw the Achaean princes, she uttered a fearful cry of rage and grief: "Ye Argive chiefs, who will show me the enemy whom I bore? Under what helm — tell me — shall I find my son?" Thus frantic she is met by the Cadmean hero, who clasps her to him and sheds tears of joy, and holding her in his arms consoles her, and ever and anon repeats "mother!" "mother!" entreating now herself, now his beloved sisters — when the aged dame mingles sharp anger with her weeping: "Why this pretence of unmanly tears and venerable names to me, O Argive prince? Why doest thou put thy arms about my neck, and crush thy hated mother against this mail-clad breast? Art thou that wandering exile, that hapless stranger? Whose heart wouldest thou not stir? Far-stretching cohorts await thy word and countless blades glitter at thy side. Ah! we unhappy mothers! Is this the son whom I wept for day and night? Yet if thou hast respect for the counsel of thy kinsfolk, now, while the armies are silent, and natural affection shrinks irresolute from war, I thy mother command thee and entreat: come with me, and look at least on thy country's gods and the homes which soon must burn, and, thy brother — why dost thou look away? — speak to thy brother and demand thy realm with me now for arbiter: either he will grant it, or thou wilt resume the sword with better right. Or fearest thou, lest there be treachery, and I thy mother purposely deceive thee? Not so wholly ahs righteousness fled our unhappy house; scarce shouldst thou have to fear if Oedipus led thee. Sinful verily was my marrying and my bringing forth, but I love you even so — ah! bitter grief! — and even now forgive your fury. But if thou dost persist so far, of our own accord we give thee to the victory, cruel one! Seize thy sisters and bind their hands behind them, load me with chains; thy sire shall also be brought hither, aged though he be. And now to your sense of shame, ye sons of Inachus, I turn my sad appeal; for ye have left at home, each one of you, little ones and aged parents and tears like these: believe in a mother's feelings! If my son here has grown dear to you so soon — and I pray he may be dear — what must I feel, Pelasgians, how must this bosom suffer! This might I have borne from Hyrcanian or Odrysian princes, and those whose frenzy surpassed my own. Grant my request, or may I die here with my arms around my son, nor live to see this war."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.527  The proud cohorts quailed before her words, and one could have seen the warriors' helmets quaking and their armour bedewed with pious tears. As when lions with furious impact have strewn men and weapons on the ground, straightway their wrath abates, and they rejoice to sate their hunger untroubled on the captured pray: so the Pelasgians' hearts are swayed and waver, and their fiery greed of battle grows tame.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.534  He himself, even before their eyes, turns to kiss now his mother, now Ismene plain of speech, now Antigone more tearful in her appeal, and in the varied tumult that distracts his mind the kingdom is forgot; he would fain go, nor does kindly Adrastus forbid him; then Tydeus, mindful of righteous anger, breaks in upon him: "Send me rather, comrades, who lately made trial of Eteocles' word, though not his brother, send me to face the king, whose boasted peace and honest covenant I yet bear on this breast of mine. Where then was the mother, mediator of peace and honour, when ye stayed me that night with such noble welcome? Is it to such intercourse thou dost drag thy son? Take him to that field which reeks yet richly of Theban blood, and richly yet of mine. Wilt thou follow her so far, too soft of heart, alas! and too forgetful of thy friends? Forsooth, when bared blades flash all round thee in hostile hands, her tears shall lay those swords to rest? Fool that thou art, will he send thee back to the Argive camp, once safe within his walls and at the mercy of his hatred? Ere that will this lance shake off its point and burgeon, or Inachus and my own Achelous flow backward. But 'tis gentle speech that thou art seeking, and peace amid savage arms: well, this camp too is open to thee, nor has yet merited fear. Or am I suspected? then I depart and make a present of my wounds. Let him enter: here too will he find mother and sisters to mediate. But suppose that utterly defeated he quits his covenanted realm: wilt thou surrender it a second time?" The troops, swayed by his words, veer round again; as when in a sudden hurricane the South wind swooping down wrests from Boreas the mastery of the sea. The rage of battle finds favour once more; fierce Erinys seizes the moment and sows the seed of opening conflict.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.564  Two tigers were straying by Dirce's waters, gentle yoke-fellows, whose warlike chariot had once laid waste the East, but Liber, lately triumphant from Erythraean shores, had suffered them to roam in Aonian fields. The followers of the god and, as of wont, an aged priest are zealous to adorn them, forgetful now of bloodshed and redolent of Indian herbs, with full-grown shoots and varied clusters of the vine, and deck their spotted hide with bands of purple. And by now the very hills and even — who would believe it? — the cattle loved them, and the lowing heifers ventured near; for no hunger drives them to fell deeds, they take their food from hands ready to feed them, and throw back their terrible heads to quaff the wine outpoured; they wander at peace over the countryside; and whenever with placid gait they come into the city, every home and every temple glows with sacrificial fire, and all believe that Lyaeus himself has entered. These did the Fury touch, three times each, with her snaky lash, and stung them to their former mood of madness; they dash forth, and the fields know them not. As when from opposing tracts of heaven two lightning-brands burst forth together, and falling trail through the clouds their length of hair: not otherwise do they with rapid course and furious roar bound o'er the plains, with a mighty spring seize they charioteer, Amphiaraus — nor was it without ill omen, that by chance he was first driving his master's horses to a neighbouring mere — then assail Taenarian Idas, following, and Aetolian Acamas; the horn-footed steeds flee madly over the fields, until Aconteus, kindling at the sight of heroes slain — an Arcadian was he, of wonted valour in the chase — pursued them, now making for their trusted walls, with thick-flung darts, and plying many a spear drove thrice and again the poised javelin through their backs and flanks. But they with a long trail of streaming blood bear fainting to the gates the darts that pierced them, and uttering human wails lean their wounded bodies on the walls they love. One would think the city and its shrines were being plundered, and the Sidonian homes were ablaze with accursed fire, such clamour arises when the gates are opened; rather would they that the cradle of great Hercules had perished, or Semele's bower or Harmonia's bridal chamber. Phegeus, votary of Bacchus, rushes with drawn sword on Aconteus, now weaponless and exulting in his victims twain; the youth of Tegea dash up in tardy succour, but already on the sacred bodies of the beasts the youth lies dead, and sorrowing Bacchus is avenged.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.608  The Grecian council too is broken up in the sudden tumult of the camp: Jocasta flees through the enemy, already in battle trim; no longer dares she supplicate; they, of late so courteous, now spurn her and her daughters, and Tydeus is quick to use the moment: "Away with you, now hope for peace and honest dealing! Surely he could have waited and delayed the outrage till his mother had returned in safety?" So speaking he bares his blade and calls to his comrades. And now fierce shouts are raised, and on every side wrath boils to fever-heat; the host assembles in disorder, chiefs are confounded with the common soldiers, and leaders' commands unmarked; horsemen, infantry in troops and rapid chariots are intermixed, and an indiscriminate mob urges the rout, nor is there time to display themselves nor scan the foe. Then in sudden swarms the youth of Thebes and Argos engaged; standards and bugles are in the rear, and the trumpets must needs follow to find the battle. So great waxes the conflict from so little bloodshed! Even so the wind gathers its earliest strength within the clouds: gentle as yet, it sways the leaves and the unprotected summits, but soon it has torn away the forest and laid the dark mountain bare to view.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.628  Come now, Pierian sisters, 'tis of no far-off deeds we bid you tell, sing your own country's wars, your own Aonia; for ye beheld while Mars raged near and the quills of Helicon shook at the blaring of Tyrrhenian bronze.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.632  The horse of Sidonian Pterelas, untrustworthy in battle, carries his rider, tearing at the reins, through the enemy's lines; and now he is free, so weary is his master's arm, when through his shoulder the spear of Tydeus flies, and pierces the youth's left thigh and nails him swooning to his seat; away he dashes, pinned to his dead lord, and bears him on, though no more he holds weapon or bridle: even as a Centaur, not yet bereft of both his lives, sinks on his own back in death. They vie with each other in the deadly work: in furious interchange Hippomedon lays Sybaris low, Menoeceus Pylian Periphas, Parthenopaeus Itys: Sybaris falls a victim to the reeking blade, fierce Periphas to the spear-point, Itys to a treacherous arrow. Marvortian Haemus severs with a blow the neck of Inachian Caeneus: his eyes wide-opened seek the trunk across the cloven wound, his spirit the head; already Abas was spoiling him as he lay, when caught by an Achaean shaft he left fall in death his foeman's buckler and his own.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.649  Who persuaded thee, Eunaeus, to desert they Bacchic worship and the groves a priest may never leave, and to change thy Bromian frenzy? Whom couldst thou make afraid? Pale ivy-wreaths of Nysa garland the weak texture of thy shield, and a while riband is fastened to thy vine-wood javelin. Tresses hide his shoulders, and the down is yet growing on his cheeks; his corslet blushes unwarlike with threads of Tyrian dye, he wears bracelets upon his arms and embroidered sandals on his feet, and is garbed in linen folds; a smooth golden clasp bites with a tawny jasper stone his Taenarian cloak, whereon rattle the nimble bow-case and the bow and the hanging quivers of gold-embroidered lynxes' hide. Crazed by the god he goes through the midst of thousands, and cries afar: "Stay your hands! these walls Apollo revealed by the good omen of Cirrha's heifer! Forbear! rocks came willingly of their own accord to form them. A sacred race are we: Jove is this city's son-in-law, and its father-in-law is Gradivus: Bacchus and great Alcides we truly call our children."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.668  Amid boasts so vain fierce Capaneus meets him, a tall spear in his hand. And as at break of day a lion in his gloomy lair stirs up his fresh-awoken fury, and spies from the grim cave a hind or bullock with yet unwarlike forehead, and leaps forth with joyous roar, though assailed by the spears of hunting bands, but he sees his prey and knows not of his wounds: so then did Capaneus exult in the unequal conflict and poised for the throw the great weight of his cypress-spear. Yet first he cries: "Why, doomed one, doest thou affright our troops with womanly howls? Would that he for whom thou ragest would come himself to battle! Go, bawl that message to thy Tyrian dames!" and therewith he flung the spear, which in its flight, as though no force could meet and stay it, scarce rang upon the shield and already had passed clean through his back. His weapons fall, the gold resounds with long choking sobs, blood streams forth and overflows his bosom. Thou art fallen, bold youth; thou too, one favourite more of Aonian Lyaeus, art fallen. Thee languid Ismarus lamented with broken wands, thee Tmolus and fruitful Nysa mourned, and Naxos of Theseus' fame, and Ganges, that in fear swore fealty to Theban orgies.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.688  Nor was Eteocles found a sluggard by the Argolic bands, but Polynices' sword, more sparing, shrank from his countrymen. Before the rest Amphiaraus shines pre-eminent, although already his horses fear the ground, and 'mid clouds of dust he upturns the indignant plain; Apollo sadly sheds a vain lustre upon his servant, and makes his last hours glorious. His shield too and his helm he sets afire with starry splendours, nor, Gradivus, wert thou slow to grant thy brother than no human hand, no mortal weapon should have power to harm the seer, but that he should go to Dis sacred and venerable in death. In such wise, conscious himself of doom, he is borne into the thickest of the fray; the assurance of death gives him new strength, his limbs grow mightier and the sky more favourable, nor ever knew he so well to read the heavens, had he but leisure: but Valour, near the neighbour of death, turns his gaze away. He glows with an insatiable love of savage War and revels in his might, and his fiery soul exults. Is this he who so oft alleviated the lot of man and made the Fates powerless? How quickly changed from him who was skilled to follow the guidance of tripod and of bay, to salute Phoebus and learn the import of the birds in every cloud! Like some pestilence or adverse ray of baleful star, his sword offers up to his own shade a host innumerable. With a javelin he slays Phlegyas and proud Phyleus, with scythed chariot he mows down Clonis and Chremetaon, the one standing to fight him, the other he severs at the knee; with spear-thrust Chromis and Iphinous and Sages and unshorn Gyas and Lycoreus sacred to Phoebus — the last unwillingly: already had he driven home the ashen strength of the spear when the falling crest revealed the fillet — with a stone Alcathous, to whom by the meres of Carystus was home and wife and his children who loved its shores. Long had he lived a poor searcher of the waters: earth played him false, and dying he praises the storms and winds, and the more welcome dangers of the familiar sea.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.723  Long has Asopian Hypseus beheld from far the slaughter of the scattered rout, and burned to stay the tide of battle, though he himself not less has put to flight Tirynthian forces; but the sight of the augur made him heed the present carnage less: for him his warlike spirit yearns. A dense phalanx of the foe bars his way: then proudly he makes ready a javelin, chosen from his father's banks, and first exclaims: "O bounteous lavisher of Aonian streams, Asopus, yet renowned for the ashes of Giants, give power to this right hand; thy son and the oaken nursling of thy river ask thee; if thou didst strive with the Sire of all the gods, I may despise Phoebus. All his armour will I sink in thy waters, and the sad fillets from the augur's head." His father heard him, but Phoebus would not suffer him, fain though he was, to grant the prayer, and turns the blow aside upon Herses the charioteer. He falls, and the god himself takes up the straying reins, assuming the feigned shape of Haliacmon of Lerna. Then indeed no squadrons try to resist his fiery course, but flee in terror unalloyed, and in their panic they die a coward's death unwounded; 'tis doubtful to the view onward by the burden. So when a cloud-encompassed mountain-side is loosened by the fresh storms of winter, or by irresistible decay of age, it crashes down upon the plain, a fearful terror, and sweeps away in many a track of ruin fields, husbandmen, and aged oaks, and at length, its furious rush exhausted, either scoops out a vale or bars a river in mid-course. Not otherwise does the chariot, burdened by the great warrior and the mighty god, drive furiously through many a scene of bloodshed. From his seat the Delian guides both reins and weapons, and instructs his aim; he turns aside hostile darts and cheats the flying javelins of their fortune. Menaleus on foot is overthrown, and Antiphus, no whit defended by his lofty steed, and Aetion, born of a nymph of Helicon, and Polites, ill-renowned for a brother's murder, and Lampus, who tried to defile the couch of the priestess Manto: against him Phoebus with his own hand sped holy arrows. And now the horn-footed steeds snort at the corpses in alarm and probe the ground, and every wheel-track runs o'er bodies and reddens deep with severed limbs. Some the remorseless axle grinds unconscious, but others half-dead from wounds — and powerless to escape — see it as it draws nigh to crush them. Already the reins are wet with gore, the slippery care gives no foothold, blood clogs the wheels and trampled entrails hinder the horses' hooves: then the hero himself madly tears out darts abandoned in the slain and spears projecting from the midst of corpses: ghosts shriek and pursue the chariot.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.771  At length, revealing to his servant all his godhead, Apollo said: "Use the light that is thine, and put on eternal fame, while Death irrevocable fears me in thy company. We are overcome: thou knowest that the cruel Fates unravel no threads; depart, long-promised delight of Elysian peoples, thou who of a surety wilt never bend thy neck to Creon's rule, or lie exposed and barred from burial."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.778  The other, taking breath awhile from the fight, makes answer: "Long since knew I, Cirrhaean father, that thou wert seated on my doomed chariot's trembling axle — why such high honour to my hapless plight? — How long wilt thou delay the death that threatens me? Already I hear the flow of rapid Styx, and the dark rivers of Dis and the triple baying of his noxious sentinel. Receive the honours thou didst bestow upon my head, receive the laurels which may not be taken down to Erebus. Now with my last words, if any gratitude be owed to thy prophet ere he depart, I commend to thee, O Phoebus, my betrayed home and the punishment of my wicked spouse and my son's noble rage." Sad at heart Apollo leapt down and turned to hide his tears: then verily groaned the chariot and the horses, thus left desolate. Not otherwise in a blind hurricane at night, when he North-wester blows, does a ship know that she will perish, so soon as the brethren of Therapnae have fled the sials their sister's fire has doomed.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 7.794  And now little by little the earth began to shudder to its rending, and the surface to rock, and the dust to rise in thicker clouds, already an infernal bellowing fills the plain. In alarm they think it is the battle and noise of conflict, and hasten in their steps: a shock far different hurls arms and warriors and marvelling steeds to earth; already the leafy summits are nodding, and the walls, and Ismenos flees with all his banks exposed to view; their wrath is abated, they fix their swaying weapons in the ground, or wandering meet and lean on their rocking spears, and start when they see each other's pallor. So when Bellona, scorning the deep, joins ships in battle on the sea, then, should a kindly tempest befall, all look to their own safety, and another death bids all their swords be sheathed, and common fears make peace among them. Such was the appearance of the heaving combat on the plain. Whether the earth, labouring with imprisoned blasts, expelled the pent-up fury of the raging wind, or whether hidden waters ate away and wore down and sapped the crumbling soil, or the fabric of the rolling sky flung that way its weight, or Neptune's trident moved all the ocean and flung too vast a sea upon the shore, or whether that uproar was a tribute to the seer, or Earth threatened the brothers — lo! in a gaping chasm the ground yawns sheer and deep, and stars and shades feel mutual terror. Him the huge abyss engulfs, and swallows the horses as they try to leap across it; he drops neither reins nor weapons, but, just as he was, drove his unshaken chariot down to Tartarus, and as he sank looked back at the heavens and groaned to see the plain meet above him, until a fainter shock joined once more the parted fields and shut out the daylight from Avernus.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.1  When on a sudden the prophet fell among the pallid shades, and burst into the homes of death and the mysteries of the deep-sunken realm, and affrighted the ghosts with his armed corpse, all were filled with horror and marvelled at the weapons and horses and the body still undecayed upon the Stygian shores: for no fires had whelmed his limbs, nor came he charred from the gloomy urn, but hot with the sweat of war, and gory drops and the dust of the rent plain beflecked his shield. Not yet had the Fury met and purified him with branch of yew, not had Proserpine marked him on the dusky door-post as admitted to the company of the dead; nay, his presence surprised the very distaff of the Fates, and not till in terror they beheld the augur did the Parcae break the thread. At the noise of his coming the care-free Elysian folk gazed round about them, and they whom far in the remoter gulf a deeper night and a blind region of denser shades o'erwhelms. Then sluggish meres and scorched lakes resound with groaning, and the pale furrower of the ghost-bearing stream cries out that a new chasm has cloven Tartarus to its depths and spirits have been let in across a river not his own.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.21  By chance the lord of Erebus, enthroned in the midst of the fortress of his dolorous realm, was demanding of his subjects the misdoings of their lives, pitying nought human but wroth against all the shades. Around him stand the Furies and various Deaths in order due, and savage Vengeance thrusts forth her coils on jangling chains; the Fates bring the souls and with one gesture damn them; too heavy grows the work. Hard by, Minos with his dread brother in kindly mood counsels milder justice, and restrains the bloodthirsty king; Cocytus and Phlegethon, swollen with tears and fire, aid in the judgement, and Styx accuses the gods of perjury. But he, when the frame of the world above was loosened and filled him with unwonted fears, quaked at the appearing stars, and thus did he speak, offended by the gladsome light: "What ruin of the upper world hath thrust the hateful light of day into Avernus? Who hath burst our gloom and told the silent folk of life? Whence comes this threat? Which of my brothers thus makes war on me? Well, I will meet him: confusion whelm all natural bounds! For whom would that please more? the third hazard hurled me defeated from the mighty heaven, and I guard the world of guilt; nor is even that mine, but lo! the dread stars search it from end to end, and gaze upon me. Does the proud ruler of Olympus spy out my strength?

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.42  "Mine is the prison-house, now broken, of the Giants, and of the Titans, eager to force their way to the world above, and his own unhappy sire: why thus cruelly doth he forbid me to enjoy my mournful leisure and this untranquil peace, and to hate the light I lost? I will open all my kingdoms, if such be my pleasure, and veil Hyperion with a Stygian sky. I will not send the Arcadian up to the gods — why doth he come and go on errands between realm and realm? — and I will keep both the sons of Tyndareus. And why do I break Ixion on the greedy whirling of the wheel? Why do the waters not wait for Tantalus? Must I so oft endure the profanation of Chaos by living strangers? The rash ardour of Pirithous provoked me, and Theseus, sworn comrade of his daring friend, and fierce Alcides, when the iron threshold of Cerberus' gate fell silent, its guardian removed. It shames me too, alas! how Tartarus opened a way to the Odrysian plaint; with my own eyes I saw the Eumenides shed base tears at those persuasive strains, and the Sisters repeat their allotted task; me too — ; but the violence of my cruel law is stronger. Yet I have scarce ventured on stolen journey, nor was that to the stars on high, when I carried off my bride from the Sicilian mead: unlawfully, so they say, and forthwith comes an unjust decree from Jove, and her mother cheats me of half a year. But why do I tell all this?

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.65  "Go, Tisiphone, avenge the abode of Tartarus! if ever thou hast wrought monsters fierce and strange, being forth some ghastly horror, huge and unwonted, such as the sky hath never yet beheld, such as I may marvel at and thy Sisters envy. Ay, and the brothers — let this be the first sign of my hatred — let the brothers rush to slay each other in exultant combat; let there be one who in hideous, bestial savagery shall gnaw his foeman's head, and one who shall bar the dead from the funeral fire and pollute the air with naked corpses; let the fierce Thunderer feast his eyes on that! Moreover, lest their fury harm my realms alone, seek one who shall make war against the gods, and with smoking shield repel the fiery brand and Jove's own wrath. I will have all men fear to disturb black Tartarus no less than to set Pelion on top of leafy Ossa." He finished, and long since was the gloomy palace quaking at his words, and his own land and that which presses on it from above were rocking: no more mightily does Jupiter sway the heaven with his nod, and bow the starry poles.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.84  "But what shall be thy doom," he cries, "who rushest headlong through the empty realm on a path forbidden?" As he threatens, the other draws nigh, on foot now and shadowy to view, his armour growing faint, yet in his lifeless face abides the dignity of augurship inviolate, and on his brow remains the fillet dim to behold, and in his hand is a branch of drying olive. "If it be lawful and right for holy shades to make utterance here, O thou to all men the great Finisher, but to me, who once knew the causes and beginnings, Creator also! Remit, I pray, thy threatenings and thy fevered heart, nor deem worthy of thy wrath one who is but a man and fears thy laws; 'tis for no Herculean plunder — , such wars are not for me — nor for a forbidden bride — believe these emblems — that I dare to enter Lethe: let not Cerberus flee into his cave, nor Proserpine shudder at my chariot. I, once the best beloved of augurs at Apollo's shrines, call empty Chaos to bear witness — for what power to receive an oath has Apollo here? — for no crime do I suffer this unwonted fate, nor have I deserved to be thus torn from the kindly light of day; the urn of the Dictean judge doth know it, and Minos can discern the truth. Sold by the treachery of my wife for wicked gold, I joined the Argive host, not unwitting — hence this crowd of new-slain ghosts thou seest, and the victims also of this right hand; in a sudden convulsion of the earth — my mind still shrinks in horror — thy darkness swallowed me up from the midst of thousands.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.109  What were my feelings, while I made my way on and on through the hollow womb of earth, and while I was whirled along, suspended in shrouding mist? Ah, woe is me! nought of me is left to my country or my friends, nor in the power of Thebes; no more shall I behold the roofs of Lerna, nor shall I return in ashes to my stricken sire. With no pomp of tomb or pyre or kinsmen's tears, to thee am I come with all my funeral train, nor likely to venture aught with yonder steeds; content am I to receive my shade, nor remember my tripods any more. For what avails thee the use of prescient augury, when the Parcae spin thy commands? Nay, be thou softened, and prove more merciful than the gods. If ever my accursed wife come hither, reserve for her thy deadly torments: she is more worthy of thy wrath, O righteous lord!" He accepts his prayer, and is indignant that he yields: just as a lion, when the glittering Massylian steel confronts him, then most summons up his anger and his might: but if the foeman fall, to pass over him is enough, and to leave to the vanquished his life.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.127  Meanwhile his chariot, garlanded with sacred wool and victorious bay, and feared but of late for noble feats of arms, is sought in the clear light of day in vain, though by none vanquished and by none put to flight: the troops fall back, and the ground is suspected by all, and the soldiers avoid the traces of the dangerous field; that ill-omened spot of ravenous destruction lies idle, shunned from awe of the hellish abyss. While Adrastus in a different quarter is encouraging his men, Palaemon flies to him with tidings, scarce trusting what he has seen, and cries in terror — for it chanced that he stood nigh the falling seer, and paled, poor wretch! to see the chasm open: "Turn, prince, and flee, if at least the Dorian land yet remains in its place, and our native towers where we left them. No need of arms or bloodshed: why draw we against Thebes the unavailing sword? The impious earth sucks in our chariots and our weapons and men of war; lo! even the field where we stand seems to flee away. With my own eyes I saw the road to deepest night, and the firm soil rent, and him, alas! Oeclides, falling, than whom none was dearer to the prescient stars; and in vain I stretched out my arms and cried aloud. 'Tis a miracle that I tell: only now has my charioteer left the furrowed ground and the smoking, foam-bespattered fields. Nor is the ruin shared by all: the earth knows its own children, the Theban host remains."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.150  Adrastus, horror-struck, is slow to believe, but Mopsus and affrighted Actor were bringing the same tidings. Already rumour, bold to ply new terrors, reports that more than one have perished. Unbidden, not awaiting the wonted bugle-call that sounds retreat, the troops take to headlong flight; but their movement is sluggish, their knees fail their eager haste; the horn-footed steeds themselves — one would think they knew — resist them, and stubbornly defy every command, whether to hasten pace or lift their eyes from earth. More valiantly the Tyrians press on, but dark Vesper is already leading forth the horses of the moon; a scant truce brings the warriors sad repose, and night that will but increase their fears.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.162  How looks it now, think you, when groans are granted their fill? How fell the tears from the loosened helms? Nought customary delights the weary warriors; they cast down their dripping shields, just as they were, none wiped his spear, or praised his charger, or dressed and decked the plume of his polished helm; scarce do they care to wash their grievous wounds, and stitch up the wide-gaping blows: so great the despair of every heart. Nor could the fear of battle persuade them to take food and due sustenance for war: all sing of thy praises, Amphiaraus, and of thy mind, unfailing oracle of truth; one speech is heard throughout the tents: that the gods have left them, and their protection is departed from the camp. "Where, alas! the laurelled chariot and the sacred arms and fillet-bearing crest? Is this the faith of Castalian lake and grotto, and holy tripod? Is this Apollo's gratitude? Who now shall explain to me the falling stars, or the purpose of the lightning on the left, or the will divine that leaps in the new-slain entrails? or when to march or tarry, what hour is profitable for battle, or rather calls for peace? Who now shall lay bare all the future, or with whom shall birds hold converse of my destiny? The chances of this war thou knewest also, both for thyself and us, and yet — how great the courage in that inspired breast! — thou camest and didst join our ill-fated arms. And when the earth and thy fatal hour called thee, thou hadst time to lay low the Tyrian lines and hostile standards; then even in the midst of death we saw thee a terror to the foe, and thy spear still threatening as thou didst depart. And now what fate befalls thee? Wilt thou be able to return from the abodes of Styx, and break forth from the depths of earth? Or sittest thou beside the glad Parcae, thine own deities, and by harmonious interchange dost learn and teach the future? Or hath the lord of Avernus in pity granted thee to watch Elysian birds in the groves of the blest?

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.195  "Whatever thou art, an eternal grief to Phoebus shalt thou be, and a loss that is ever new, and long shalt thou be mourned by a Delphi that is dumb. This day shall silence Tenedos and Chryse, and Delos, made fast for the bringing-forth, and unshorn Branchus' shrine, nor on this day shall any suppliant draw nigh to the Clarian temple-gates, nor to the threshold of Dindymus, nor consult the Lycian god. Nay, the precinct also of the horned prophet and the panting oak of Molossian Jove and Trojan Thymbra shall be mute. The very streams and laurels shall of their own will fail and wither, the air itself shall utter no certain presage in prophetic cries, and no wing of bird shall beat the clouds. And soon shall come the day, when thou too shalt be worshipped by truth-inspiring shrines, and thy own priest impart thy oracles."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.208  Such solemn chant do they make in honour of the prophet-prince, as though they were paying the due of flame and gifts and mournful service to the pyre, and laying the soul to rest in the soft earth. Then broken were the spirits of all, with loathing for the war: even so when sudden death snatched Tiphys from the brave Minyae, no longer seems the tackling to obey, no longer the oars to endure the water, and even the breezes drew the vessel with less power. And now were they wearied of weeping, and having mourned their fill in converse, their hearts were lightened little by little, till sorrow was drowned in the approach of night and sleep that gently steals o'er tearful eyes.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.218  But elsewhere, throughout the Sidonian city, far different was that night; in various sport before their houses and within they spend the hours of darkness, and even the sentinels on the walls are tipsy; cymbals and the Idaean drums resound, and the pipe that makes its music by varied breathing. Then in honour of their darling gods and every native deity in order sacred paeans everywhere swell high, everwhere are garlands seen and wreathed bowls of wine. Now mock they the witless augur's death, and again they vie in praising their own Tiresias; now they tell the history of their sires, and sing from its beginnings the ancient tale of Thebes: some tell of the Sidonian sea and the hands that grasped the Thunderer's horns and the mighty bull that ploughed the deep, others of Cadmus and the weary heifer and the fields pregnant with bloody war, others again of the boulders that moved to the music of the Tyrian lute and Amphion stirring rocks to life; these celebrate the travail of Semele, those the Cytherean nuptials and the train of brothers' torches that led Harmonia to her home; every table has its story. 'Tis as though Liber of late had ravaged Hydaspes rich in gems and the kingdoms of the East, and were displaying to the folk the banners of his swarthy captive-train and Indians yet unknown.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.240  Then for the first time Oedipus, who ever lurked unseen in his dread abode, came forth, they say, to the friendly gatherings of the social banquet, and, serene in countenance, freed his grey hairs from their black filth and his face from unkempt straying locks, and enjoyed the kindly converse of his fellows and the solace denied before, nay, partook of the feast and wiped the undried blood from his eyes. To all he listens and to all he makes reply, who was wont but to assail with sad complain Dis and the Furies and his guide Antigone. They know not the cause. 'Tis not the prosperous issue of the Tyrian war, but war alone delights him; he encourages and approves his son, yet would not have him win; but he searches for the first clash of swords and the seeds of guilt with prayers unspoken. Thence his pleasure in the feast and the strange joy upon his face. Even so old Phineus, after the long fast that was his punishment, when he knew the birds were driven away nor screamed any more about his house — yet believed he not wholly, — recline hilarious at the board, and handle the cups that no fierce wings upset.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.259  The rest of the Grecian host lay fordone with care and battle; from a high mound in the camp Adrastus — frail now and old, but forced by the curse of power to be watchful against disaster — heard with sinking heart the shouts of the merrymakers. From all sides the clamour of bronze and Theban uproar gall him, and the pipe grates harshly on his ears, he is vexed by the insolent shouts of the drunken and the flickering torches and the fires already scarce lasting out the night. So when upon the waves a ship is whelmed in the silence of universal sleep, and the crew in careless trust commend their lives to the peace of ocean, alone upon the poop stands the vigilant helmsman and the god who sails in the bark that bears his name.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.271  It was the time when Phoebus' fiery sister, hearing the sound of his yoked steeds and the roar of Ocean's cavernous abode beneath the gathering dawn, collects her straying beams and with light flick of whip chases the stars away: the king calls the doleful council, and in dismay they ask who shall take up the duty of the tripod, to whom shall pass the prescient laurel and the widowed glory of the fillet. Straightway all demand holy Melampus' son. Thiodamas of high renown, with whom alone Amphiaraus' self was wont to share the mysteries of the gods and view the flying birds, nor grudged him so much skill, but rejoiced to hear him called his like and nearest rival. Overwhelmed by the high honour and confounded by the unlooked-for glory he humbly reverences the proferred leaves, and pleads that he is unequal to the task, and must needs for his merit be constrained: even as when perchance a young Achaemenian prince has succeeded to the throne and all his father's realms (though safer were it for him that his sire still lived), his delight he balances with uncertain fear, whether his chiefs be loyal, whether the folk will fight against he reins, to whom he shall entrust the frontier of Euphrates or the Caspian gate; then does he feel awe to wield the bow and to mount his sire's own steed, nor can he see himself upholding the sceptre with large grasp nor as yet filling the diadem.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.294  He therefore having set upon his locks the emblem of the twisted wool and held intercourse with the gods, proceeds in triumph through the camp amid shouts of joy, and, first evidence of his priestly office, prepares to appease the Earth: nor seemed it vain to the sorrowing Danaan. Therefore he straightway bids altars twain he wreathed with living trees and well-grown turf, and on them, in honour of the goddess, he flings, countless flowers, her own bounty, and heaps of fruit and the new produce of the tireless year, and pouring untouched milk upon the altars he thus begins: "O eternal Creatress of gods and men, who bringest into being rivers and forests and seeds of life throughout the world, the handiwork of Prometheus and the stones of Pyrrha, thou who first didst give nourishment and varied food to famished men, who dost encompass and bear up the sea; in thy power is the gentle race of cattle and the anger of wild beasts and the repose of birds; round thee, firm, steadfast strength of the unfailing universe, as thou hangest in the empty air the rapid frame of heaven and either chariot doth wheel, O middle of the world, unshared by the mighty brethren! Therefore art thou bountiful to many races, so many lofty cities and peoples, while from above and from beneath thou art all-sufficient, and with no effort carriest thyself star-bearing Atlas who staggers under the weight of the celestial realm; us alone, O goddess, dost thou refuse to bear? Doth our weight vex thee? What crime, I pray, do we unwittingly atone? That we come hither, a stranger folk, from Inachian shores? All soil is human birthright, nor doth it beseem thee, worthiest one, to distinguish by a test so cruel and so mean peoples who are everywhere and in every land thine own: abide thou common to all alike, and bear alike the arms of all; grant us, I pray, in war's due course to breathe out our warrior souls and restore them to the sky. Whelm not in burial so sudden our still-breathing bodies; haste not, for we shall come by the path all tread, by the permitted way; hearken but to our prayer, and keep firm for the Pelasgians the fickle plain, and forestall not the swift Fates. But thou, dear to the gods, whom no violence nor Sidonian sword did slay, but mighty Nature opened her bosom to enfold in union with herself, as though for thy merits she were entombing thee in Cirrha's chasm, gladly vouchsafe, I pray, that I may learn thy supplications, conciliate me to the gods and the prophetic altars, and teach me what thou didst design to tell the peoples; I will perform thy rites of divination, and in Phoebus' absence be the prophet of thy godhead and call upon thy name. That place whither thou speedest is mightier, I ween, than any Delos or Cirrha, and more august than any shrine." Having thus spoken he casts into the ground black sheep and dark-hued herds, and piles up heaps of billowy sand on their living bodies, duly paying to the seer the emblems of death.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.342  Such things were happening among the Greeks, when already yonder the Martial horns were heard, and the blare of bronze drew fierce swords from their sheaths. From Teumessus' height Tisiphone sends her shrill cry, and shakes her locks, and with their hissing adds a sharpness to the trumpets' note; drunken Cithaeron and the towers that followed a far different music listen in amaze to the unwonted din. Already Bellona is beating at the trembling gates and the armed portals, already by many a doorway Thebes is emptying fast. Horsemen set infantry in disarray, chariots delay the hurrying troops, as though the Danaan urged their rear: thus at the issues of all the seven gates the crowded columns are stuck fast. Creon goes out by lot from the Ogygigan, the Neistae send forth Eteocles, Haemon guards the lofty Homoloian, the Proetian and Electran pour forth the men of Hypseus and tall Dryas, the troops of Eurymedon make the Hypsistae shake, great-hearted Menoeceus crowds the Dircean battlements. Even so, when Nile in his secret region has drunk with mighty mouth the nurture of a distant sky and the cold snows of the East, he breaks up all his wealth of waters and carried his tempests to the sea in seven wide channels o'er the fields; the routed Nereids take refuge in the depths, and fear to meet the saltless main.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.363  But sad and slow move yonder the Inachian warriors, especially cohorts of Elis and Lacedemon, and thy of Pylos; robbed of their augur they follow the late-appointed Thiodamas, not yet assenting to his command. Nor is it only thy own ranks that miss thee, lord of the tripods: all the host feels its loss: less gloriously along the line rises that seventh crest. 'Tis as though a jealous cloud were to snatch from the clear sky one of the Parrhasian cluster — spoiled is the glory of the Wain, the axle wavers, shorn of one fire, and the seamen count their stars in doubt.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.373  But already battle calls me: from a fresh source, Calliope, supply new vigour, and may a mightier Apollo attune my lyre! The day of doom brings nigh to the peoples the fatal hour of their own asking, and Death let loose from Stygian darkness exults in the air of heaven, and hovers in flight over the field of battle, and with black jaws gaping wide invites the heroes; nought vulgar doth he choose, but with bloody nail marks as victims those most worthy of life, in the prime of years or valour; and now all the Sisters' strands are broken for the wretched men, and the Furies have snatched the threads from the Fates. In the midst of the plain stands the War-god with spear yet dry, and turns his shield now against these, now against those stirring up the fray and blotting out home and wife and child. Love of country is driven out, and love of the light, that lingers latest in the heart; rage holds their hands all ready on the sword-hilt and on the lance, the panting spirit strives beyond its corslet, and the helmets tremble beneath the quivering plumes. What wonder that the heroes are hot for battle? Horn-footed steeds are inflamed against the foe and bedew the crumbling earth with a snow-white shower, as though they were made one in body with their masters, and had put on the riders' rage: so champ they the bits, and neigh to join the fight, and rearing toss the horsemen backward.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.395  And now they charge, and the first dust-clouds of the heroes begin to meet in the onset; both sides dash forward an equal space, and see the intervening plain diminish. Then shield thrusts against shield, boss upon boss, threatening sword on sword, foot against foot and lance on lance: in such close struggle they meet; together their groans reek, close-packed crests gleam over helmets not their own. The face of battle is still fair: plumes stand erect, horsemen bestride their steeds, no chariot is without its chief; weapons are in their place, shields glitter, quivers and belts are comely, and gold as yet unsightly with blood. But when fury and valour prodigal of life give rein to passion, Arctos lashes not airy Rhodope so fiercely with hardened snow when the Kids are falling, nor does Ausonia hear so loud an uproar when Jupiter thunders from end to end of heaven, nor are the Syrtes beaten with such hail, when dark Boreas hurls Italian tempests upon Libya. Their darts shut out the day, a steely cloud hangs athwart the sky, and the crowded air has no room for all the javelins. Some perish by flung spears, others by spears returning, stakes meet in the void and robe ach other of the wounds they carry, spears meet, and dread arrows winged with a double death rival the lightning-stroke. No place for weapons earthward, every dart falls on a body; often they slay and are slain unwitting. Chance does the work of valour: now the press retires and now advances, loses ground in turn and wins it. Even so when threatening Jove has loosed the reins of winds and tempests, and sends alternate hurricanes to afflict the world, opposing forces meet in heaven, now Auster's storms prevail, now Aquilo's, till in the conflict of the winds one conquers, be it Auster's overwhelming rains, or Aquilo's clear air.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.428  At the outset of the fight Asopian Hypseus repulsed the Oebalian squadrons — for these in fierce pride of race were thrusting their stout bucklers through the Euboean lines — and slew Menalcas the leader of the phalanx. He, a true-souled Spartan, child of the mountain-torrent, shamed not his ancestry, but pulled back through bones and bowels the spear that would pass beyond his breast, lest his back should show dishonour, and with failing hand hurled it back all bloody at the foe; his loved Taygetus swims before his dying eyes, and his combats, and the strong breast his mother praised. Dircaean Amyntas marks out Phaedimus, son of Iasus, with his bow: ah! the swift Fates! already Phaedimus lies gasping on the field, and not yet the bow of sure Amyntas ceased to twang. Calydonian Agreus cut the right arm of Phegeus from off its shoulder: on the ground it holds the sword in unyielding grip and shakes it: Acoetes advancing feared it as it lay amid the scattered weapons, and struck at it, severed though it was. Stern Acamas pierced Iphis, fierce Hypseus Argus, Pheres laid Abas low, and groaning from their different wounds they lay, horseman Iphis, foot-soldier Argus, chariot-driver Abas. Inachian twins had smitten with the sword twin brothers of Cadmus' blood, hidden by their helms — war's cruel ignorance! — but stripping the dead of all their spoils they saw the horror of their deed, and each in dismay looked on his brother, and cried that they were both at fault. Ion worshipper at Pisa overthrew Daphneus worshipper at Cirrha, in the confusion of his steeds: this one Jupiter praises from on high, that on Apollo vainly pities, too late to aid.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.456  Fortune on either side of the bloody fray sheds lustre on mighty warriors: Cadmean Haemon slays and routs the Danaan, Tydeus madly pursues the ranks of Tyre; the one has Pallas' present aid, the other the Tirynthian inspires: just as when two torrents break forth from mountain heights and fall upon the plain in twofold ruin, one would think they strove, which could whelm crops and trees or bury their bridges in a deeper flood; lo! at last one vale receives and mingles their waters, but proudly each would fain go by himself, and they refuse to flow down to ocean with united streams.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.466  Idas of Onchestus strode through the midst shaking a smoky brand, and disarrayed the Grecian ranks, forcing his way with fire; but a great lunge of savage Tydeus' spear from nigh at hand smote through his helm and pierced him: in huge length he falls upon his back, the lance stays upright in his forehead, the flaming torch sinks upon his temples. Tydeus pursues him with a taunt: "Call not Argos cruel; burn, Theban, in thy own flames; see, we grant thee a pyre!" Then like a tigress exulting in her first blood and eager to go through all the herd, he slays Aon with a stone, Pholus and Chromis with the sword, with thrust of lance two Helicaons, whom Maera, priestess of Aegaean Venus, bore against the goddess's pleasure: victims are ye of bloodstained Tydeus, but even now your mother visits the pitiless altars.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.480  No less on the other side is Haemon, ward of Hercules, led on by restless vigour; with unsated sword he speeds through thousands, now laying low the pride of Calydon, now Pylene's grim array, now sad Pleuron's sons, until with wearied sear he happens on Olenian Butes. Him he attacks, as he turns toward his men and forbids them to retreat; a lad was he, with cheeks yet smooth and hair unshorn, and the Theban battle-axe aimed against his helmet takes him unaware; his temples are cleft asunder, and his locks divided fall upon his shoulders, and he, not fearing such a fate, passed from life unwitting on its threshold. Then he slays fair-haired Hypanis and Polites — this one was keeping his beard for Phoebus, that one his hair for Iacchus; but cruel was either god — and joins Hyperenor to his victims, and Damasus who turned to flee; but the hero's lance sped through his shoulders and passed out by his heart, and tearing his buckler from his grasp, carried it on the lance-point as it flew.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.497  Even yet would Ismenian Haemon be laying low his Inachian adversaries — for Amphityron's son directs his darts and gives him strength — but against him Pallas urged fierce Tydeus. And now they met in rivalry of favour, and first the Tirynthian thus calmly spoke: "Good sister, what chance has thus brought about our meeting in the fog of war? Has royal Juno devised this evil? Sooner may she see me — unutterable thought! — assault the thunderbolt and make war against the mighty Sire! This man's race — but I disown him, since thou dost aid his foes, ay, were it even Hyllus or Amphitryon sent back from the world of Styx that the spear of thy Tydeus sought in close combat; I remember, and shall remember everlasting, how much that godlike hand, how oft that aegis of thine hath laboured for me, while, a thrall to hardship, I roamed through every land; yea! thou wouldst have gone thyself to pathless Tartarus with me, did not Acheron exclude the gods. Thou gavest me my home, ay, heaven — who could name a service so great? All Thebes is thine, if thou hast a mind to destroy it. I yield and crave pardon." So he spake, and departed. Pallas is soothed by the praise; her countenance is calm again, the anger spent, and the snakes erect upon her bosom sank to rest.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.519  Cadmean Haemon felt that the god had left him; more weakly he hurls his darts, nor recognizes his skill in any stroke. Then more and more his powers and courage fail him, nor is he ashamed to retreat; as he gives ground the Acheloian hero assails him, and poising a spear that he alone could wield aims the blow where the rim of the helmet rests on the topmost margin of the shield and the vulnerable throat gleams white. Nor erred his hand, and the spear had found a deadly spot, but Tritonia forbade, and suffered it to touch the left shoulder, sparing her brother for his merits' sake. But the warrior dares no longer hold his ground or engage or bear the sight of murderous Tydeus; his courage grows faint, and his confidence has departed: as when the bristly visage of a boar has been grazed by a Lucanian javelin-point, and the blow has not sunk deep into his brain nor has the aim been true, he lets the anger of his side-stroke weaken, nor attacks the spear he knows too well.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.536  Lo! now, indignant that Prothous the leader of a squadron is hurling sure darts with happy aim against the foe, Oenides furiously strikes two bodies with one shaft of pine, horseman and horn-footed steed: Prothous falls and the horse upon him, and as he gropes for the lost reins the horse tramples the helm upon his face and the shield upon his breast, until as the last drops ebb from his wound he casts off the bridle and sinks with his head upon his master's body. Even so from Mount Gauranus fall an elm-tree and a vine together, a twofold loss to the husbandman, but the elm more sorrowful seeks also for its comrade tree, and falling grieves less for its own boughs than for the familiar grapes it crushes against its will. Corymbus of Helicon had taken arms against the Danaan, formerly the Muses' friend, to whom Uranie herself, knowing full well his Stygian destiny, had long foretold his death by the position of the stars. Yet seeks he battles and warriors, perchance to find theme for song; now lies he low, worthy himself to be sung with lasting praise, but the Sisters wept his loss in silence.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.554  Atys, betrothed from childhood to Ismene, offspring of Agenor, went his way, a youth no stranger to the wars of Thebes, though Cirrha was his home, nor had he shunned his bride's kinsmen for their evil deeds; nay, her misery undeserved and chaste humility commend her to her lover's favour. He too was noble, nor was the maiden's heart turned from him, and they were pleasing in each other's sight, had only Fortune suffered it. But war forbids his marriage, and hence the youth's fiercer wrath against the foe; among the foremost he rushes on, and now afoot with errant sword, now grasping the reins aloft, as though at some spectacle, he drives before him the ranks of Lerna. With threefold robe of purple had his mother clothed his yet growing shoulders and smooth breast, and now, lest he should go in meaner raiment than his spouse, she had plated with gold his harness and with gold his arrows and his belt and armlets, and had encrusted his helm with inlay of gold. Trusting alas! in such things as these he challenges the Greeks to combat, and first assailing a weak company with his spear he brings back spoil of arms to his comrades, and the slaughter accomplished returns to the friendly lines. So a Caspian lion beneath Hyrcanian shade, still smooth nor terrible yet in the yellow glory of his mane, and guiltless of great carnage, raids the slow-moving flock not far from their fold while the shepherd is away, and sates his hunger on a tender lamb. Soon he feared not to attack Tydeus, knowing not his prowess but judging only by his stature, and dared to vex him with his frail weapon, as of the shouted taunts at some and pursued others. At length the Aetolian turned his gaze by chance upon his feeble efforts, and with a terrible laugh: "Long since," he cries, "I have seen, insatiate one, 'tis a famous death that thou desirest!" and forthwith, deeming the bold youth worthy of neither sword nor spear, with careless fingers lightly flung an unwarlike shaft; yet the missile drained deep the recesses of the groin, as though hurled with all his might. His death assured, Oenides passes him by, and is too proud to plunder. "For not such spoils as these," says he, "will I hang up to Mars, or to thee, warlike Pallas; shame keep me far from taking them for my own pleasure; scarcely had Deipyle left her bower and come with me to war, would I have borne her spoils that might mock at."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.592  So saying, he is led on to dream of nobler prizes of the fight: as when a lion by chance hath slaughter innumerable in his power, he passes by the unwarlike calves and heifers: he is mad to drench himself in some mighty victim's blood, nor to crouch save on the neck of a chieftain bull. But Menoeceus fails not to hear the dying wail of fallen Atys: thither he turns his horses, and leaps down from his swift chariot; the Tegean warriors were drawing night him where he lay, nor did the Tyrians hold them off. "For shame, Cadmean youth," he cries, "that belie your earthborn sires! Whither fly ye, degenerate ones? Hath he not fallen more nobly for our folk, the stranger Atys? Ay, still but a stranger, nor yet, hapless one, hath he avenged his spouse; shall we betray a pledge so great?" Heartened by righteous shame they rally, and each bethinks himself of those he loves.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.607  Meanwhile in the seclusion of their chamber the sisters — innocent pair, guiltless offspring of unhappy Oedipus — mingle their converse with varying complaint. Now grieve they for their present ills, but starting from the far origins of their fate, one laments their mother's marriage, the other their father's eyes, this one the brother that reigns, that one him that is an exile, and both lament the war. Long do they hesitate in their unhappy prayers: fear sways them either way, in doubt whom they wish defeated in the fight, and whom victorious: but in their silent hearts the exile wins the day. So when Pandion's birds seek once more trusty welcome and the homes they left when winter drove them forth, and they stand over the nest and tell to the house the old story of their woe, a broken, dolorous sound goes forth: they deem it words, nor in truth does their voice sound other than words. Then after tears and a long silence Ismene begins again: "What delusion is this of mortals? What means this trust deceived? Is it true then that our cares are awake in time of rest, and our fancies return in sleep so clearly? Lo! I, who could not bear the thought of wedlock, not even in sure abiding peace, this very night, my sister — ah! for shame! — I beheld myself a bride; whence did my fevered slumber bring my husband before my vision, whom I scarce know by sight? Once in this palace I caught sight of him, my sister, not of my own will — while pledges in some wise were exchanged for my betrothal. One the instant all was confusion to my view and sudden fire fell between us, and his mother followed me, demanding Atys back with loud clamour. What presage of disaster to whom I know not is this? And yet I have no fear, so but our home be safe and the Dorian host depart, and we can reconcile our haughty brothers."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.636  Such was their converse, when the quiet house started at a sudden tumult, and Atys, rescued at great labour's cost, bloodless but still living, is borne in; his hand is on his hurt, outside the shield the neck droops languid, and the tresses hang backward from his forehead. Jocasta saw him first and trembling called his beloved Ismene; for that prayer alone do the dying accents of her son-in-law utter, that name alone hovers on his parched mouth. The women shriek, and the maiden lifts her hands to her face; fierce shame restrains her, yet she must needs go to him, Jocasta grants the dying man this final boon, and shows her and sets her before him. Four times at the very point of death he bravely raised his eyes and failing vision of her name; at her alone, neglecting the light of heaven, he gazes, and cannot gaze enough on the face he loves. Then because his mother is not near and his father is laid in blissful death, they give to his betrothed the sad office of closing his eyes; there at last unwitnessed and alone, she gave utterance to wifely grief and drowned her eyes in tears.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.655  While these things were happening in Thebes, Enyo, afire with torch fresh-charged and other serpents, was restoring the fight. They yearn for battle, as though they had but lately borne the opening shock of combat hand to hand, and every sword still shone bright and clear. Oenides is pre-eminent; though Parthenophaeus draw an unerring shaft, and Hippomedon trample the faces of the dying with furious steed, though the spear of Capaneus fly even from far with a message to Aonian troops, that day was the day of Tydeus: from him they flee and tremble, as he cries out: "Whither turn ye your backs? Lo! thus can ye avenge your slain comrades, and atone for that sad night. I am he who took fifty lives in unsated carnage; bring as many, ay, as many squadrons in swarms! Are there no fathers, no loving brothers of the fallen? Why such forgetfulness of sorrow? Shame on me that I departed content to Inachian Mycenae! Are these all that stand for Thebes? Are these your monarch's strength? And where can I find that noble chieftain?" Therewith he spies him on the left of the array, encouraging his columns and conspicuous by the flash of haughty helm; not less swiftly does he rush to meet him all afire, than the bird that wields the flame swoops on the frightened snow-white swan and enfolds him in his mighty shadow. Then he first speaks: "Most righteous king of the Aonian people, meet we in open fight, and show we our swords at last, or doth it please thee to await the night and thy wonted darkness?" Nought spake he in reply, but the whizzing cornel-shaft comes flying against his foe, bearing the chieftain's message; the prudent hero strikes it aside just as it reached its mark, and himself eagerly hurled a mighty weapon with strength unknown before: on was the angry lance flying, to end the war. On it the gods, Sidonian and Greek, who favoured either side, turned their eyes; cruel Erinys checks the course, and preserves Eteocles for a brother's impious deed; the erring spear-point lighted on Phlegyas the charioteer.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.688  Then a great fight arose of heroes, for the Aetolian, drawing his sword, charged more fiercely, while Theban warriors protected the retreating king. So in the murk of night a crowd of shepherds forces away a wolf from the bullock he has seized; but he relentlessly rises up against them, nor cares to attack those who bar his way; him, him only, whom he had once assailed, does he pursue. Just so does Tydeus ignore the lines arrayed against him and the lesser throng, and pass them by in the fight; yet he wounds the face of Thoas, the breast of Deilochus, Clonius in the flank, stern Hippotades in the groin; now he throws back their limbs to mutilated trunks, or whirls heads and helms together through the air. And now he had enclosed himself with the spoils and corpses of the fallen; the ring of foes spends itself on him alone, at him alone all darts aspire; some lodge within his limbs, some fall amiss, others Tritonia tears away, many stand stiffly in his shield. Thick-planted already with spears, his buckler is a quivering grove of steel, and his native boarskin is torn upon his back and shoulders; gone is the towering glory of the crest, and the Mars that held the peak of his grim helmet falls, a happy omen to its lord. The bare bronze is fixed and welded in his temples, stones strike his head and fall rattling about his armour. His helm now fills with blood, and now his wounded breast is drenched by a dark mingling torrent of blood and sweat. He looks round upon his applauding comrades and on faithful Pallas, who conceals from afar her face behind her shield; for she was on her way to soften with her tears her mighty sire.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.716  Lo! an ashen spear charged with mighty wrath and fate cleaves the zephyrs, its author unperceived: Melanippus it was, the son of Astacus, and he betrayed not his own work and would fain have been hidden, but the joy of his troop revealed him all affrighted; for Tydeus bending o'er his groin had sunk upon his side and let go his round shield. Aonians and Pelasgians mingle their shouts and groans, and form a barrier, and protect the indignant hero. He spying afar through the foe the hated Astacides, summons for a stroke all the vital forces that remain, and hurls a dart that Hopleus who stood by had given him; the effort makes the blood spout and flow. Then his grieving comrades drag him away, eager yet to fight — what fiery zeal! — and calling for spears, and even in death's agony refusing to die, and set him on the farthest margin of the field, propped against shields on either side, and promise with tears a return to the conflicts of fierce Mars. But he too now felt the light of heaven fail him and his mighty spirit yield to the final chill, and lying on the ground he cries: "Have pity, sons of Inachus: I pray not that my bones be taken to Argos or my Aetolian home; I care not for funeral obsequies; I hate my limbs and my body so frail and useless, deserter of the soul within it. Thy head, thy head, O Melanippus, could one but bring me that! for thou art grovelling on the plain, so indeed I trust, nor did my valour fail me at the last. Go, Hippomedon, I beg, if thou has aught of Atreus' blood, go thou, Arcadian, youth renowned in thy first wars, and thou, O Capaneus, mightiest now of the Argive host!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.745  All were moved, but Capaneus first darts away, and finding the son of Astacus lifts him still breathing from the dust, and returns with him on his left shoulder, staining his back with blood from the stricken wound: in such wise did the Tirynthian return from the Arcadian lair, when he brought home to applauding Argos the captive boar.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 8.751  Tydeus raises himself and turns his gaze upon him, then mad with joy and anger, when he saw them drag the gasping visage, and saw his handiwork therein, he bids them cut off and hand to him his foe's fierce head, and seizing it in his left hand he gazes at it, and glows to see it still warm in life and the wrathful eyes still flickering ere they closed. Content was the wretched man, but avenging Tisiphone demands yet more. And now, her sire appeased, had Tritonia come, and was bringing immortal lustre to the unhappy hero: when lo! she sees him befouled with the shattered brains' corruption and his jaws polluted with living blood — nor can his comrades wrest it from him — ; fierce stood the Gorgon with outstretched snakes, and the horned serpents upreared before her face o'ershadowed the goddess; with averted face she flees from him where he lies, nor enters heaven ere that the mystic lamp and Elisson with plenteous water has purged her vision.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.1  The news of the mad fury of blood-stained Tydeus exasperates the Aonians; even the Inachidae themselves grieve but little for the fallen warrior, and blame him, complaining that he has transgressed the lawful bounds of hatred; nay, thou too, O Gradivus, most violent of gods, though at that time the furious work of slaughter did most occupy thee, thou too wert offended, as they relate, by such hardihood, nor turned they own gaze thereon, but drove another way thy affrighted steeds. Therefore the Cadmean youth rise up to avenge the shameful profanation of Melanippus' corpse, as much inflamed as though their father's bones had been disturbed from their sepulchres and their urns flung a prey to cruel monsters. The king himself infuriates them still further: "Who any more is merciful or humane to the Pelasgians? Why, with hooked fangs they rend our limbs — shame on such madness! Have we then so glutted their weapons? — Do ye not think ye are making war on Hyrcanian tigers or facing angry Libyan lions? And now he lies — O! noble solace of death! — his jaws fastened in his enemy's head, and meets his unhallowed end in welcome gore. Our weapons are ruthless steel and brands of fire, but theirs is naked hate, and savagery that needs no arms. May they continue in their frenzy and enjoy a renown so glorious, do thou but look upon it, O Father supreme! But they complained that the battle-field gaped and they marvel that the earth fled: would even their own soil bear such as them?" So speaking, he led his men forward in a fierce onset shouting loud, and all alike furious to seize the corpse of hated Tydeus and to gain his spoils. Not otherwise do swarms of obscene birds veil the stars, when the breezes have told them afar of tainted air and bodies left unburied; thither in clamorous greed they haste, the lofty sky is loud with flapping of wings, and lesser fowl withdraw from heaven.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.32  Fame, travelling in swift rumours about the Aonian plain, is spread from troop to troop, a more rapid messenger than of wont when her tidings are evil, until she glides into the affrighted ears of Polynices, to whom her tale brings most grievous news of loss. The youth stiffened with horror, his ready tears stood congealed, and slow was he to give credence; for Oenides' well-known valour now prompts and now forbids him to believe his death. But when the disaster was confirmed on undoubted warrant, his mind and vision are whelmed in night; his blood stands still; together his arms, together his limbs sink down, his lofty helm is already moist with tears, and his greaves caught the shield as it fell. Sadly he goes, dragging faint knees and trailing spear, as though burdened by a thousand wounds and maimed in every limb; his comrades shrink from him and point to him with groans. At length he throws away the armour he scarce has power to carry, and falling naked on the now lifeless body of his peerless friend speaks thus with streaming tears:

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.49  "Oenides, last hope of my emprise, is this my gratitude, is this my due reward and recompense to thee, that thou shouldst lie bare on Cadmus' hated earth and I be unharmed? Now for ever am I an exile and for ever banished, since my other, ay and truer, brother has, alas, been taken from me. No more do I seek the old decrees of lot or the perjured diadem of a guilty throne: to what purpose are joys so dearly bought, or a sceptre that thy hand will not place in mine? Depart from me, ye warriors, and leave me to face my cruel kinsman alone: nought avails it to try further battle and be wasteful of deaths. Depart, I pray you; what greater thing can ye give me now? I have squandered Tydeus. By what death can I atone for that? O father of my bride! O Argos! and that first night's honest quarrel, and our mutual blows, and the short wrath that was the pledge of long affection! Ah! why was I not then slain by thy sword, great Tydeus — thou wert able — on the threshold of our host Adrastus? Nay more, on my account thou didst go to Thebes, and willingly enter my brother's impious palace, whence none other would have returned, as though to win a sceptre and honours for thyself alone. Already of devoted Telamon, already of Theseus fame ceased to tell — and lo! in what plight thou liest here! Which wounds shall I first marvel at? Which is they blood, which thy foe's? What troops, what countless bands o'erthrew thee? Nay, the Father himself, and I mistake not, envied thee, and Mars smote thee with all the force of his spear."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.73  So he speaks and weeping cleanses with his tears the hero's face that still runs blood, and composes it with his own hand. "Didst thou then hate my foes thus far, and do I outlive thee?" — in his blind passion he had pulled the sword from its sheath, and was pointing it for death — his friends restrained him, and his father-in-law rebukes him, and calling to his mind the chances of war and the will of fate consoles his swelling heart, and from that dear body, whence comes his grief and eager will for death, little by little he drags him far away, and mid his converse silently puts back the weapon. He is led like a bull that having lost the partner of his toils deserts in numb despair the furrow he has begun among all the acres round, and on his drooping neck drags part of the unsightly yoke, while part the weeping ploughman bears.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.86  But see! rallying to the battle-cry of Eteocles a chosen band of warriors advances, who neither Tritonia would have despised in the fray nor Mavors in the encounter with the lance: against them, when he had set his protecting shield before his breast and thrust forth his long spear tall Hippomedon stands his ground: even as a rock that fronts the waves, and hath no fear from heaven, and the waters are broken and give way before it: firm it stands, unmoved by threats; the very sea flees from its stark face, and from afar the troubled barks recognize it. Then first the Aonian — choosing withal a stalwart spear: "Hast thou no shame in the presence of the gods and with heaven as witness to guard this ghost, this corpse that defames our warfare? Surely 'tis a glorious task and a memorable exploit to compass burial for this wild beast, in fear he go not to Argos to win his meed of tears and obsequies, nor on the soft bier spew out his cursed gore! Dismiss your care; him no birds nor foul monsters will devour, not even the sacred fire itself, were we to grant it."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.103  No more he spake, but hurled a huge javelin, that, checked by the hard bronze, yet passing through, is stayed in the second layer of the shield. Then Pheres aims, and vigorous Lycus; but the dart of Pheres falls vainly to earth, while Lycus cleaves the casque with its terrible streaming plume; torn by the lance-point the crest is scattered far, and lays bare the inglorious helm. He himself neither retires, nor leaps out to attack the foeman, but ever turning in his own ground to every side now advances and now draws back, nor ever for long gives his right arm play, but in all his movements keeps nigh the body, keeps the body in view, hovering over and around it. Not so jealously does its mother shield and protect a helpless calf, her first-born, when a wolf is threatening, and wheel round in perplexity with lowered horns; for herself she has no fear, but forgetful of her weaker sex foams at the mouth, and, female as she is, imitates mighty bulls. At last he cloud of darts grew less, and they could hurl weapons back again; and by now Alcon of Sicyon had come in succour, and the Pisaean squadron of fleet Idas arrives, and they reinforce the phalanx. Rejoicing thereat he flings a Lernaean shaft against the foe: it flies with all an arrow's speed, and tarrying not a whit pierces Polites through the middle, and still persistent passes through the shield of Mopsus his close comrade. Then he transfixes Cydon the Phocian, and Phalanthus of Tanagra, and Eryx, the latter as he turns rearward in search of weapons, with no thought of death, through the long tresses of his head; the other expiring marvels that he has received the lance not in his face but in his hollow throat, and therewith the blood gushes forth, full of his dying wail, and the teeth that the spear-point has dislodged. Leonteus, lurking behind the battle of the heroes, stealthily dared to put forth his right hand, and pulled at the prostrate corpse, seizing its hair: Hippomedon spied him, though faced by many a threat on every side, and with his grim blade lopped off the impudent hand, taunting him withal: "'Tis Tydeus, Tydeus himself who robs thee of it! Have fear of heroes even when they are slain and touch not, miserable man, the mighty dead!" Thrice did the Cadmean phalanx pull away the dreadful corpse, thrice do the Danaan drag it back again: just as an anxious vessel strays in a lawless tumult of the Sicilian sea, despite the helmsman's fruitless efforts, and then returns on her path with canvas backward-blown.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.144  No Sidonian forces would there have availed to drive Hippomedon from his purpose, no engine-hurled missiles were like to move his stout resistance, and the blows that proud battlements dreaded had fallen baffled from the buckler they assailed. But, mindful of the Elysian monarch, and recounting the crimes of Tydeus, impious Tisiphone craftily draws nigh to the middle of the field: the armies felt her presence, and horses and men alike were seized by a sudden sweat, although, laying aside her own aspect, she counterfeited Halys the Inachian; absent was the unhallowed torch and the scourge, while her locks at her command held their peace. As warrior, and with flattering looks and voice, she comes near to fierce Hippomedon, yet he feared her countenance as she spoke, and marvelled at his fear. Weeping she says: "In vain, O man of renown, thou guardest thy dead comrades and the unburied bodies of the Greeks — is that then our fear, do we yet care for a sepulchre? — Lo! Adrastus is being dragged along, the captive of a Tyrian band, and to thee before all else, to thee he cries and beckons. Alas! in what plight I saw him slip and fall in blood, his diadem torn and the white locks streaming free! Nor far from here, look! where all that cloud of dust is, all that mass of men."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.164  Awhile the hero stood perplexed, balancing his fears; the ruthless maid urges him: "Why dost thou hesitate? Shall we go forward? Or does this dead body keep us back, and is he more worthless who survives?" To his comrades he entrusts the forlorn task and the fight that should be his, and strides away, deserting his loyal friend, yet looking behind him, and ready, should they perchance recall him. Then following the impetuous footsteps of the relentless goddess he rushes here and there in aimless, pathless course, till the wicked Fury, casting her shield behind her, vanishes darkly from his sight, and snakes innumerable break forth from her helmet. The cloud disperses, and the unhappy man beholds the Inachidae unperturbed, and Adrastus in his chariot, fearing nought.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.177  And now the Tyrians possess the body, and by loud cries attest their joy; the triumphant shout steals upon the ear and strikes the heart with secret dismay. He is dragged on hostile soil — alas! fate's cruel power! — that very Tydeus for whom of late a mighty space on either hand was left as he pursued the ranks of Thebes, whether on foot or shaking out his chariot-reins; never still are hands or weapons or any savagery of man: they delight to wound with impunity those features rigid in death and that visage that they feared. This is their passion, by this deed they strive, both brave and cowards, to gain ennoblement, and they keep the blood-stained weapons to display to their young children and their wives. So when weary troops of shepherds have warred down a lion that has long devastated Moorish fields, and caused flocks to be penned up and guardians to be watchful, the countryside exults, the husbandmen come with loud cries of joy, and pluck at the mane and open the mighty jaws and tell of all their losses, whether he now keeps vigil nailed up beneath the roof, or hangs the glory of some ancient grove.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.196  But fierce Hippomedon, although he sees now his help is of no avail and he is too late to fight for the stolen corpse, nevertheless goes on and blindly whirls his relentless sword, scarce knowing friend from foe, so that nought delay his advance; but the ground now slippery with recent slaughter, and arms and dying men and shattered chariots impede him, and his left thigh, which the spear-point of the Echionian monarch pierced, but in his fury he had dissembled the wound or known not of it. At length he sees Hopleus sorrowing: he, the trustly comrade of great Tydeus and lately, but all in vain, his squire, was holding the wing-footed steed, who, with bowed neck and ignorant of his master's fate, was impatient only of his idleness, and because his lord was more adventurous in the fray of infantry. Him, though he scorns a new weight on his proud back — for since his taming he knew but one hand only — the hero seizes and thus bespeaks: "Why refusest thou thy new destiny, unhappy charger? Never more for thee is the burden of thy haughty lord; nor more shalt thou sate thy hunger on the Aetolian meads, or shake free thy exultant mane about the streams of Achelous. This remains for thee — go and at least avenge thy dear master's death, or come with me, lest thou too in captivity vex his vanished shade, and after Tydeus bear some boastful rider." One would have said he heard and was enkindled: so violently does he whirl him away in wild career, resenting the less the similar reins. Even so the half-brute Centaur leaps down into the vale from the airy height of Ossa: at himself the lofty forests quake in fear, at the horse the plain shakes. Alarmed and breathless the sons of Labdacus flock together, on them Hippomedon bears down, and shearing with the sword their unwitting necks leaves behind their falling trunks.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.225  They had reached the river: with channel fuller than of wont Ismenos was running then in mighty spate, an omen of disaster. There a short respite was given, thither the columns urged their weary flight in terror from the field; the waves, their refuge from the fray, are spellbound at the warriors, and are lit up by the bright sheen of armour. Into the water they leapt, and with a great crash the bank gave way and the opposite shores lay hid in dust. He too with mightier leap plunges through the hostile stream against the astonished foe, just as he was — no time for dismounting — , only his javelins, fixed in the green turf, he entrusts for a while to a poplar tree. Then, indeed in deadly terror, of their own accord they fling their weapons on the waves that carry them away; some doff their helms and lie basely hid, so long as they can maintain their lives beneath the waters; many tried to swim the river, but their fastenings grip them, the belts impede their breathing, and the soaked corslets weigh down their bodies. Even as beneath the swelling flood the dark blue fishes are afraid, whenso'er they see a dolphin probing the secret lairs of the deep; the whole swarm flees to the lowest pools and huddles frightened in the green seaweed: nor come they forth till through the surface waves he darts his curving body and prefers to race the ships that meet his sight: even so he hero drives them pell-mell before him, and in mid-stream both guides the rein and aims the shaft, upheld by his swimming horse, whose nimble hoof, accustomed to the plain, now treads the wave and seeks the deep-sunk sands.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.252  Chromis lays Ion low, Antiphos Chromis, and Hypseus Antiphos, Hypseus also Astyages, and Linus, who is about to leave the river and flee away, were it not that the Fates forbid, and early in his life's thread he is doomed to watery death. Hippomedon presses hard the ranks of Thebes, Asopian Hypseus throws the Danaan into confusion; on either side the river is affrighted, each stains the waters thick with blood, from that stream each is fated never to return. And now mangled limbs are rolled down on the flowing current, and heads and severed arms rejoin their bodies, and now the wave bears lances and light targes and slackened bows, and plumes suffer not their casques to sink. Far and wide the surface of the stream is strewn with floating weapons, and its depths with men; there bodies wrestle with death, and the confronting stream chokes back their forth-issuing breath.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.266  The lad Argipus had grasped a river-side elm-tree in the rushing flood; savage Menoeceus with his sword shears through those comely shoulders; he, as he falls, still striving, gazes, a trunk, at his own arms on the high boughs. The spear of Hypseus sank Tages with a mighty wound: he remains at the bottom, and in place of his body his blood returns. To rescue his brother Agenor leapt down from the bank, and grasped him — alas! poor wretch! — but the wounded man weighs him down in his embrace, as he tries to lift him. Agenor could have freed himself and come forth from the water, but liked not to return without his brother. Capetus rises to his right and threatens a blow, but is sucked down by the entangling eddies of the rapid current; now his face goes under, now his hair, now his right arm is gone, last of all his sword sinks beneath the headlong waters. One death in a thousand shapes of dying torments the wretches. A Mycalesian spear-point sheathes itself in Agyrtes' back: he looks round, but there was none who hurled it; urged by the torrent's flow the spear had sped and found his blood.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.284  The Aetolian charger too is pierced in his strong shoulders, and at the deadly shock rears up and prances, beating the air: yet he chief is no white upset by the plunge, but pities the horse, and groaning pulls the dart from the deep wound with his own hand, and of his own accord lets go the reins. Then he rejoins the fray afoot, surer both in step and hand, and, one after the other, slays tardy Nomius and valiant Mimas and Lichas of Thebes and Lycetus of Anthedon and Thespiades, one of twin brothers; to Panemus begging a like fate he cries: "Live on, and to the walls of accursed Thebes depart alone, no more to deceive thy unhappy parents. Thanks be to Heaven that Bellona's gory hand has driven the fight in to the rapid stream; the wave sweeps away the cowards on their native flood, and the naked ghost of unburied Tydeus shall not moan and shriek around your pyres; ye shall go down to feed the cruel monsters of the deep, but him the earth doth carry and shall resolve into her own elements." So harries he the foe, and with taunts adds bitterness to his blows; and now he rages with the sword, now snatches up floating javelins and flings them back; Theron he slays, the friend of chaste Diana, and Gyas, dweller in the country, and wave-wandering Erginus, and unshorn Herses, and Cretheus, contemner of the deep, who oft in a tiny craft had weathered Caphareus' stormy promontory and the Euboean squalls. Behold the power of fate! a lance pierces his breast, and he is carried on the stream, alas on what waters shipwrecked! Thee too Pharsalus, crossing the river in thy lofty care to join thy companions, the Doric spear-point overturns the slays they horses: the violence of the angry flood engulfs them, and the ill-starred union of the yoke.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.315  Come now, ye learned Sisters, grant me to know what toil laid low Hippomedon in the heaving billows, and why Ismenos himself was roused to join the fray; for your task it is to search out the past, and let not fame grow old. Crenaeus, the youthful son of Faunus and the nymph Ismenis, rejoiced to fight in his mother's waters — Crenaeus, who first saw the light in the trusted stream and was cradled in the green banks of his native river. So thinking that there the Elysian Sisters had no power, merrily, now from this bank now from that, he crosses his caressing grandsire: the wave supports his footsteps, whether he go downstream or athwart the flood; nor when he goes counter does the river one whit delay him, but flows backward likewise. No more winningly does the sea cover the waist of the stranger from Anthedon, nor Triton rise higher from the summer waves, nor yet Palaemon, when he hastes back to his darling mother's kisses, and smites his tardy dolphin. Gay harness decks his shoulders, and his splendid buckler gleaming with gold is engraved with the ancient tale of the Aonian race. Here the Sidonian maid rides on the white back of the enticing steer; now fears she not the sea, now clings not to the horns with tender hands; around the margin of her feet the waves play sportively; one would think that he bull moved upon the shield, and cleft the billows. The river-waves, of the same colour as the sea, assist belief. Then bold alike with weapons and saucy speech he challenges Hippomedon: "This is no poisonous Lerna, no Herculean Hydras drink these waters, 'tis a sacred river that thou art defiling, ay, sacred, — so shalt thou find it to thy cost, thou wretch! — and gods have been nourished by its streams." Nought said the other, but advanced upon him; in a denser mass the flood resisted him, and checked his hand, but yet he drave home the wound for all his hindering, and pierced utterly life's secret chambers. The river shuddered at the horrid deed, ye woods on either shore lamented, and deeper groans resounded from the hollow banks. From his dying lips came the last cry: "Mother!" As he uttered it, the waters choked the poor lad's voice.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.351  But his mother, amid her company of silvery-gleaming sisters, leapt up straightway from the sea-green valley at the shock of doom, frenzied, with loosened hair, and in wild grief rent with many a blow her face and bosom and green robe. Forth from the waves she burst, and with trembling voice again and again cries out "Crenaeus": nowhere was he to be seen, but on the flood there floats his shield, a mark, alas! his unhappy parent must recognize too well; he himself lies far off, where on the bounds of mingling sea and river Ismenos suffers his last charge. Often thus does Alcyone deserted make lament for her wave-wandering, spray-drenched home, when savage Auster and envious Thetis have scattered her darlings and their shivering nests. Once more the bereaved mother sinks, and hidden in the watery depths she searches in vain for her dead son by many a track, where the path shines clear before her as she goes — searches and yet bewails; oftimes the bristling river checks her, and a bloody haze obscures her vision. Yet in mad haste she flings herself on weapons and swords, and thrusts her hand into helmets and turns over prostrate corpses; nor drawing nigh the deep did she enter the bitter brine of Doris, until a band of Nereids pitying her wafted his body, now in the keeping of the ocean-billows, to his mother's breast. Embracing him on the sloping bank and with soft tresses dries his wet face and cries amid loud lament:

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.376  "Is this the gift thy half-divine parents and thy immortal grandsire have given thee? Is it thus thou reignest in our flood? Unhappy boy! gentler was the discordant alien earth, gentler the ocean wave, which brought back thy body to the river and seemed to await thy hapless mother's coming. Are these my lineaments? Are these the eyes of thy fierce sire? Are these thy billowy grandsire's tresses? Once wert thou the pride and glory of wave and woodland, and while thou livedst I was held a greater goddess and the queen of Nymphs. Where alas! is that late crowd of courtiers round thy mother's halls, where are the Maidens of the Glen (Napaeae) that prayed to serve thee? Why do I now bring thee home, Crenaeus, in my sad embrace, not for myself but for thy burial, who hadst better remained there in the cruel deep? Hard-hearted father, hast thou not pity nor shame for such a death? What lake profound and inescapable hath engulfed thee in the river's depths, so that nor thy grandson's cruel fate nor my own weeping can reach thee there? Lo! Hippomedon rages and boasts himself the master in thy flood, and banks and waves tremble before him; his was the stroke that made the water drink our blood; but thou art sluggish, and the fierce Pelasgians' acquiescent slave! Come at least, cruel sire, to the ashes and last obsequies of thy own, for 'tis not thy grandson only whose pyre thou shalt kindle here." With her words she mingles wailing, and stains with blood her innocent bosom, while the caerulean sisters re-echo her lament; so, men say, did Leucothea, not yet a Nereid, wail in Isthmus' haven, when her cold babe with gasping breast spewed out upon his mother the angry sea.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.404  But father Ismenos, reclining in that secret cavern whence winds and clouds do drink and the rain-bringing bow is nourished, and whence comes a fuller harvest to the Tyrian fields, when from afar, spite of his own waters' roar, he caught the sound of lamentations and his daughter's earliest groans, uplifted his moss-grown neck and his ice-weighted hair; the tall pine fell from his loosened grasp, and the urn dropped and rolled away. Along the banks the woods and lesser rivers marvel at him as he thrusts forth his face encrusted with age-long mire; so majestically he rises from the flood, lifting his foamy head and his breast astream with echoing fall of rivulets from his dark-blue beard. One of the Nymphs meets her father and tells him of his daughtes's tears and his grandson's fate, and shows him the blood-stained author of the deed and seizes his right hand; high he stands in the deep river, and smiting his face and horns entwined with green sedge, thus begins sore troubled with deep-mouthed utterance: "Is this thy reward, O ruler of the gods above, for that so oft I played the accomplice-friend to thy adventures, and saw — I fear not to recall it — the shameless horns on thy false visage, then Phoebe forbidden to unyoke her care, or the dowry-gift of a funeral-pyre and the lightning's trickery? And hat I have nurtured the foremost of thy sons? Do they too feel so mean a gratitude? Of a truth the Tirynthian crawled an infant by this river; with these waters I quenched thy Bromios as he burned. See the carnage the corpses a I carry on my stream, choked utterly with weapons as it is and hidden beneath unwonted heaps. Continuous warfare besets my channel, every wave breathes horror, and souls new-slain wander above me and beneath, and join bank to bank in darkness. Yet I, that river invoked with holy cries, I, whose praise it is to lave in my pure fount the soft wands and horns of Bacchus, am blocked with dead, and seek a difficult passage to the sea; so great a stream of gore fills not the impious meres of Strymon, and foaming Hebrus reddens not so deeply when Gradivus is at war. Does not thy fostering wave rebuke thee and thy violence, O Liber, who hast long forgotten thy parents? Is Eastern Hydaspes more easily subdued? But thou who boastfully exultest in the spoils and slaughter of an innocent lad, thou shalt not return in triumph from this stream to mighty Inachus of fierce Mycenae, unless it be that I am mortal and thou of heavenly race."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.446  So spake he, gnashing his teeth, and gave the sign to his already raging waters: cold Cithaeron sends succour from the hills, and bids his ancient snows and stores of frost be moving; to the flood his brother Asopos unites his secret stores, and supplies streams from wide-open veins. He himself explores the hollow earth's recesses, and tries torpid lakes and pools and lazy fens, and lifting skyward his greedy countenance sucks down the moisture of the clouds and drains dry the air. Already he flowed with a tide that rose above either lofty bank, already Hippomedon, who of late stood higher than mid-channel's depth, with unmoistened arms and shoulders, is marvelling that the stream has grown above his stature. All round him the billows swell and the angry tempest rises high, like the sea when it drains the Pleiads or flings darkened Orion against trembling mariners. Not otherwise does the Teumesian river batter Hippomedon with its seething flood and ever is hurled back by the shield on his left arm, and anon the dark tide in its foaming onslaught surges over his buckler, pours back with shattered wave and returns in greater volume; moreover, not content with the watery mass, its plucks at the trees that support the crumbling banks and whirls along aged boughs and stones torn from its bed. River and hero are locked in unequal combat, and furious grows the god; for the other retreats not, nor is weakened by any threats, but advancing attacks the oncoming billows, and holding out his shield divides the stream. His feet stand firm though the ground recedes, and with straining sinews he holds fast to slippery rocks, and by struggling and clinging with his knees he maintains the foothold that the treacherous mud undermines, and thus he taunts besides: "Whence, Ismenos, this sudden wrath? Or from what deeps hast thou drawn these forces, slave of an unwarlike god, who knowest nought of blood save in women's revels, when the Bacchic pipe is bleating, and frenzied matrons defile the three-yearly festival?" He spoke, and on the instant the god assailed him, his visage a welter of rain and clouded by floating sand; nor was he fierce in speech, but with an oak-trunk thrice and four times smote his adversary's breast with all the might of a god's wrath, rising to the blow; he at last turned his steps, the buckler stricken from his arm, and beat a slow retreat. The waters press after him, and the river follows in triumph as he gives ground; the Tyrians too vex him from above with stones and iron hail, and drive him back from either bank. What can he do, beset by flood and battle? No flight is there now for the unhappy man, no room for a glorious death.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.492  Rising from the grassy brim there stood an ash-tree, on the doubtful verge of land and waters but more friendly to the waters, and held the stream in the dominion of its mighty shadow. The succour of this tree — for where could he attempt the land? — he grasped with clutching fingers, nor did it endure the strain, but, overcome by a weight too great for its hold, gave way, and, torn from the roots whereby it entered the river and gripped the thirsty ground, dropped from on high and hurled itself and the bank together on the dismayed hero, nor brooking him further, bridged and damned the stream with sudden downfall. Hither all the waves comes surging, and an inescapable whirlpool of mud and hollow eddies rises and falls. And now the tortuous flood surrounds the shoulders, now the neck of the warrior; compelled at last to confess despair he exclaims: "For shame! great Mars! wilt thou drown this life of mine in a river? Must I then sink beneath sluggish lakes and meres like a shepherd caught in the cruel waters of a sudden torrent? Have I verily not deserved to fall by the sword?" Moved by his prayers Juno at length accosts the Thunderer: "How long, glorious sire of gods, how long wilt thou press the hapless sons of Inachus? Already Pallas holds Tydeus in detestation, already Delphi is silent, its prophet slain; lo! my Hippomedon, whose home is Argos and Mycenae the cradle of his race, who worships Juno before all other gods — is it thus I am faithful to my own? — shall my Hippomedon go to feed the cruel monsters of the deep? Surely thou didst once allow the conquered to have the last rites of the tomb? Where are the flames that followed the Cecropian fray? Where is Theseus' fire?" He spurns not his consort's righteous plea, but lightly glanced towards Cadmus' walls: the waters beheld his nod and sank to rest. The shoulders and breast of the hero are revealed, those drained of blood, that pierced with wounds: as when a stormy sea, made mountainous by the winds, abates, the rocks and the land the sailors sought for rise into view, and the waters subside from the threatening crags.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.526  What avails it to have gained the bank? The Phoenican host presses him on every side with a storm of darts, his limbs are without covering, all exposed is he to death; then his wounds stream, and the blood that was staunched beneath the waters flows in the open air and breaks the tender apertures of the veins, and the cold of the river makes him reel and stagger in his gait. He falls, even as on Getic Haemus, whether from Boreas' rage or its own strength's decay, an oak that blended its foliage with the sky falls forward and leaves a void in the wide air; as it totters, the forest and the very mountain tremble, for fear where it may fall, what stretch of woodland it may shatter. Yet none dares touch his sword or helmet; scarce believe they their eyes, but shudder at the monstrous corpse, and approach it with drawn swords.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.540  At length Hypseus went near and wrenched the sword-hilt from his deathly grip, and freed the grim visage of its casque: then he goes through the Aonian ranks, displaying the helmet balanced aloft on his glittering blade, and crying exultantly: "Behold the fierce Hippomedon, behold the dread avenger of impious Tydeus, and the subduer of the gory flood!" Great-hearted Capaneus knew him from afar, and mastered his rage, and poising a huge javelin with his arm thus prays: "Help me now, right arm of mine, my only present aid in battle and deity irresistible! On thee I call, thee only I adore, despising the gods above." So he speaks, and himself fulfils his own prayer, The quivering fir-shaft flies through shield and corslet's brazen mail, and finds out at last he life deep in the mighty breast; he falls with the thunderous crash of a lofty tower when pierced and shaken with innumerable blows it sinks in ruin, and opens the breached city to the conquerors. Then standing over him: "We deny thee not," says he, "thy death's renown; look hither, 'twas I that dealt the wound. Depart in joy, and boast thee far beyond the other shades!" Then he seizes the sword and casque of Hypseus, and tears away the shield; and holding them over the dead Hippomedon: "Receive, O mighty chief," he cries, "thy own and thy enemy's spoils together; thy ashes shall have their glory and thy shade its rightful rank. Meanwhile, till we pay thee the flame that is thy due, Capaneus thy avenger hides thy limbs in this sepulchre." Thus impartial Mars in the cruel vicissitudes of war gave interchange of mutual slaughter to Greeks and Sidonians alike: here they mourn fierce Hippomedon, there Hypseus, no slower to the fray, and each gain solace from their foes' distress.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.570  Meanwhile the stern-eyed mother of the Tegean archer-lad, troubled in her sleep by gloomy dreams, with flying hair and feet duly unsandalled was going before day-break to Ladon's chilly stream, that she might cleanse her tainted slumbers in its living waters. For throughout many a distracted, care-worn night she would often see spoils that she herself had dedicated fallen from the shrines, and herself, a fugitive from the woodlands and chased away by Dryad folk, wandering by unknown tombs, and often new-won triumphs of her son brought home form the war, his armour, his well-known steed, his comrades, but himself never; or again she would see her quiver fallen from her shoulders, and her own images and familiar likenesses aflame. But that night seemed to the unhappy woman to portend surpassing terrors, and disturbed all her mother's heart. Well-known throughout the forests of Arcadia was an oak of fertile growth, which she herself had chosen from a multitude of groves and made sacred to Diana, and by her worship endued with power divine; here she would lay by her bow and weary shafts, and fasten the curved weapons of boars and the flayed skins of lions, and antlers huge as woodland boughs. Scarce have the branches room, so closely set is it with spoils of the country-side, and the sheen of steal mingles with the green shade. This oak-tree, when once she was returning from the uplands tried with long chase, and carrying in proud triumph the head late-severed of an Erymanthian bear, she beheld all hacked and torn with many a wound, its foliage fallen, and its branches dripping blood and dying on the ground; in answer to her question a Nymph told of the violence of cruel Maenads and her foe Lyaeus. While she moaned and beat her breast with imaginary blows, her eyes cast off their darkness; from her sorrowing couch she leaps, and searches o'er her cheeks for the phantom tears.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.602  So when by dipping thrice her hair in the river she had atoned the sacrilege, and added words that comfort a mother's troubled heart, she hastened to armed Diana's shrine while the morning dew was falling, and rejoiced to see the familiar woodland and the oak-tree all unharmed. Then standing at the threshold of the goddess she prays thus, to no avail: "Maiden Queen of the forests, whose ungentle standards and ruthless warfare I follow, scorning my sex, in no Grecian manner — nor are the barbarous-fashioned Colchians or troops of Amazons more truly thy votaries — if I have never joined revelling bands or the wanton nightly sport, if, although stained by a hated union, I have nevertheless handled not the smooth wands nor the soft skeins, but even after wedlock remained in the rough wilds, a huntress still and in my heart a virgin; if I took no thought to hide my fault in some secret cave, but showed my child and confessed and laid him trembling at thy feet — no puny weakling was he, but straightway crawled to my bow, and as a babe he cried for arrows in his first tearful accents: for him I pray — ah! what mean these nights of terror, these threatening dreams? — for him, who now in confident hope, trusting overmuch, alas, in thee, is gone to battle; grant me to see him victorious in the war, or if I ask too much, grant me but to see him! Here let him labour and bear thy arms. Make the dire signs of ill to cease; what power, O Diana of the woods, have Maenads and Theban deities in our glades? Woe is me! — why in my own heart do I find a dreadful omen in the oak? But if sleep sends true presagings to my unhappy mind, I beseech thee, merciful Dictynna, by thy mother's travail and thy brother's splendour, pierce with all thine arrows this unblest womb! Let him first hear of his wretched mother's death!" She spoke, and beheld even cold Diana's marble moist with falling tears.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.637  The stern goddess leaves her still stretched upon the sacred doorway and brushing the cold altar with her tresses, and with a bound crosses the leafy summit of Maenalus in mid-air and directs her steps to Cadmus' walls, where the inner path of heaven shines for gods alone, and high uplifted views all the earth together. And now, near half-way on her road, she was passing the forest-clad ridges of Parnassus, when in a glittering cloud she saw her brother not as she was wont to see him: for he was returning sadly from the Echionian fray, mourning the death of the engulfed augur. The region of the sky glowed red as their rays mingled; at the divine conjunction the beams of each shone out, their bows met, and quiver rang to quiver. He first began: "I know, my sister, 'tis the Labdacian ranks thou seekest, and the Arcadian who dares to fight too valiant for him. His faithful mother begs thee: would that the Fates might grant her prayer! Lo! I myself have availed not — ah! for shame! — but seen my votary's arms and consecrated laurels go down to the void of Tartarus, and his face turned toward me as he went, nor did I check his car or close the chasm of the earth, heartless that I am and unworthy to be worshipped. Thou seest how my caverns mourn, O sister, and the silence of my shrine; this is my sole recompense to my loyal friend. Nor do thou continue to summon aid that can but fail, nor pursue thy sad task in vain; the youth is near his end, 'tis fate immutable, nor do thy brother's oracles deceive thee on a doubtful matter." "But I may surely obtain glory for him at the last," the maiden in dismay replies, "and find a colace for his death, if indeed it so must be, nor shall that man escape unpunished, whoever shall impiously stain his guilty hand with the blood of an innocent boy, and may my shafts wreak dire revenge!" With these words she moved upon her way, and suffering her brother but a scant embrace sought Thebes in hostile mood.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.670  But on either side after the slaying of the chiefs the fight waxed fiercer, and the lust of vengeance aroused mutual rage. Here the squadrons of Hypseus shout and the troop that has lost its leader, there with deeper roar the bereft cohort of the dead Hippomedon; fiercely struggling they expose their bodies to the sword, and with equal ardour drain the foe's blood and shed their own, nor do they budge a step: the lines stand locked, column against column, and they yield their lives, but will not turn their backs, to the cruel foe — when gliding through the air the swift Latonian takes her stand on the Dircaean height; the hills know her, and the forest trembles at the well-known goddess, where once bare-breasted with cruel arrows she had slain Niobe and all her brood, out-wearying her bow.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.683  But the land, exultant now that the slaughter has begun, was darting between the lines on a hunter steed, untrained to war and suffering then his earliest bridle; about him was cast a striped tiger-skin, and the gilded talons beat upon his shoulders: his knotted mane in controlled luxuriance lies close against his neck, and upon his breast tosses a crescent chain of snow-white tusks, tokens of the woodland. The boy wore a cloak twice steeped in Oebalian dye, and a glittering gold-embroidered tunic — only this had his mother woven — gathered about his waist by a slender girdle, and, burdened by a huge sword, he had let drop his shield on the left shoulder of his horse; the golden buckle of the belt that hangs by his armed side delights him with its polished clasp, and he joys to hear the rattle of the scabbard and the chains that fall behind him from his crest; sometimes he gaily tosses his flowing plume and his glancing jewel-studded casque. But when his panting helm grows hot in the fight, he frees him of the covering and appears bare-headed; then sweetly shine his locks and his countenance, all a-quiver in the sunbeams, and the cheeks whose tardiness he himself laments, not yet changed by rosy down. Nor does he find pleasure in the praise of his own fairness, but puts on a harsh severity of look; yet anger becomes him and preserves the beauty of his brow. Freely do the Theban warriors yield him place, remembering their own sons, and relax their straining bows, but he pursues and plies them with ruthless javelins, for all their pity. Even the Sidonian Nymphs along Teumesian ridges praise him as he fights; his very dust and sweat are in favour, and sighing they breathe unspoken prayers.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.712  Tender sorrow steals to the depth of Diana's heart as she beholds this sight, and staining her cheeks with tears she cries: "What escape from approaching death can thy faithful goddess find thee now? Was it to battles such as these thou hastenedst, fierce, ill-fated lad? Alas! thy rash and untried spirit drove thee, and the love of fame that prompts to a glorious death. Too scant already, forsooth, was the Maenalian forest for thy impetuous years, and the paths that lay through lairs of beasts, scarce safe for thee, child, without thy mother, to whose bow and woodland spears, impudent boy, thy strength was yet unequal. And she now is making loud and bitter complaint about my altars, and wearies the unhearing doors and thresholds; in the well-loved clarions and the battle's outcry thou art rejoicing, happy thou, and thou shalt die making but thy mother wretched." Yet lest as he dies she fail to bring him her last honour, she advances into the midst of the array, hemmed about with dusky mist, and first stealing the light shafts from the back of the bold lad, she fill his quiver with celestial arrows, whereof none falls unstained with blood; then she sprinkles his limbs with ambrosial liquor, and his steed also, lest their bodies be profaned by any wound before his death, and murmurs many a sacred charm and conscious spell, which she herself teaches the Colchian maids at night in secret caves, and as they search shows them cruel herbs.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.736  Then indeed uncovering his bow he darts in fiery course about the field, nor is controlled by caution, forgetful of his native land, his mother and himself, and uses overmuch his heavenly weapons: just as a lion, whose Gaetulian dam brings him herself in his infancy gory food, as soon as he feels his neck swell with muscles and grimly looks at his new talons, scorns to be fed, and at last breaks forth to freedom and loves the open plains, and can no more return to his cave. Whom now slayest thou, ruthless boy, with thy Parrhasian horn? Coroebus of Tanagra, did thy first shaft lay low, sped on a narrow path between the lowest margin of the helm and the uppermost of the shield; the blood wells up into his throat, and his face glows red with the sacred fiery venom. More cruelly Eurytion falls, in the orb of whose left eye the cunning point buries itself with triple barb. Pulling out the arrow that brings the melting eyeball with it, he dashes at his assailant; but what cannot the brave weapons of the gods perform? A second wound in the other orb makes his darkness complete; yet he yields not but pursues the foe by memory's aid, until he trips and falls o'er prostrate Idas: there wretchedly he lies gasping amid the victims of the cruel fight, and entreats friend and foe to slay him. To these he adds the sons of Abas, Argus of the noble locks, and Cydon, guiltily loved by his unhappy sister. Him did he pierce through both his temples with transverse-flying shaft: from one temple the point protrudes, at the other the feathers' flight was stayed, from both the blood came flowing. None do his angry darts excuse from death, Lamus is not shielded by his beauty, nor Lygdus by his fillet, nor Aeolus by his budding manhood. Lamus is pierced in the face, Lygdus bewails a wounded groin, thou, Aeolus, dost bemoan the dart that transfixed thy snow-white brow. Thee rocky Euboea bore, thee Thisbe shining white had sent, this warrior, green Erythrae, thou wilt not receive again. No blow but tells, no missile flies unfavoured of heaven, his right hand rests not, and the next arrow's twang follows hard upon the last. Who could believe that one bow, one arm was dealing death? Now aims he forward, now shifts from side to side in bewildering change of attack, now flees when they assail and turns nought but his bow to face them.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.776  And now in wonder and indignation the sons of Labdacus were rallying, and first Amphion, of Jove's famous seed, ignorant still what deaths the lad was dealing on the battle-field: "How long shalt thou still make profit of death's delaying, thou boy that shalt be a sore loss to thy goodly parents? Nay, even yet thy spirit swells high and thy rashness grows, while none deigns to meet thy onset and thy too feeble might, and thou art left as beneath their wrath. Go, return to thy Arcadia and mingling with thy equals there, while fierce Mars exhausts his fury here in the real dust of war, play thy soldier games at home! But if the melancholy glory of the tomb doth more thee, we will grant thee to die a hero's death." Long had the truculent son of Atalanta raged with yet bitterer taunts against him, and ere yet the other had ended thus begins: "Nay, I am even late in making war on Thebes, if this is all your host! What boy so tender as to refuse to fight with such as these? No Theban offspring seest thou here, but the warlike stock of the Arcadian race; no Thyiad mother, slave to Echionian Lyaeus, bore me in the silence of night, never have we put unsightly turbans on our heads, nor brandished dishonourable spears. From childhood I learnt to crawl on frozen streams, and to enter the dread lairs of monsters, and — but why should I say more? My mother has ever the sword and bow, your fathers beat hollow drums!" Amphion brooked this not, but hurled a mighty spear at his face while he spoke; but his charger, affrighted by the terrible gleam of the steel, swung round with his master to one side, and swerving sent the greedy javelin flying wide of the mark. Amphion was attacking the youth with drawn sword the more fiercely, when the Latonian leapt down into mid-plain, and stood clear to see before the eyes of all.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.808  Dorceus of Maenalus, bound by the ties of chaste affection, was keeping close to the lad's side: to him the queen had entrusted her son's rash youth and her own fears and all the chances of war. Disguised in his features the goddess then addressed the boy: "Enough, Parthenopaeus, to have routed the Ogygian bands so far; enough, now spare thy unhappy mother, spare the gods who favour thee." But he unterrified: "Suffer me, faithless Dorceus — no more will I ask — to slay this man who bears weapons that rival mine, and boasts like apparel and resounding reins. These reins I will handle, the apparel shall hang on Trivia's lofty door, and his captured quiver shall be a present to my mother." The Latonian heard him, and smiled amid her tears.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.821  Long time from a distant quarter of the sky had Venus, in the embrace of Mars, beheld her, and while she anxiously commended Thebes and Cadmus and her dear Harmonia's progeny to her lord, she stirred with timely utterance the grief that lay hidden in his silent breast: "Seest thou not, O Gradivus, yonder wanton maid who goes to and fro among the troops of warriors? And with what boldness she is ordering the lines and the Martial standards? Lo! she even presents and offers to the slaughter all these men of our own race! Hath she then valour? Hath she the rage of battle? Nought then remains for thee but to hunt the woodland deer!" Moved by these just complaints the lord of war sprang down into the fight: as he sped through the paths of air Anger alone was his companion: the other Madnesses were busy in the sweat of war. Without delay he stands by Lato's sorrowing daughter and chides her with harsh reproof: "Not such battles as these does the Father of the gods allow thee: leave forthwith the field of arms, thou shameless one, or thou shalt learn that not even Pallas is a match for this right hand." What can she do against him? On one side the spear of Mavors threatens her, on the other, child, is thy distaff, full already, yonder the stern countenance of Jove: then she departs, yielding to reverence alone.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.841  But father Mavors looks round upon the Ogygian ranks, and rouses up the terrible Dryas, who had turbulent Orion as the author of his blood, and an inherited hatred of Diana's followers — hence came his fury. Sword in hand he leaps upon the disheartened Arcadians, and robs their leader of his arms: in long lines fall the folk that dwell in Cyllene and shady Tegea, and the Aepytian chieftains and the Telphusian cohorts. Their prince himself he is confident to slay, though his arm be tired, nor does he husband his strength; for the other, already weary, was wheeling his squadrons here and there: a thousand presentiments of doom crowd on him, and the black clouds of death float before his eyes. And now the wretched lad could see but few companions and the true Dorceus, now he felt his force ebb little by little, and his shoulder lighten as the shafts diminished; already less and less can he support his armour, and even to himself he seems now but a boy, when Dryas blazed terribly before him with fiercely-flashing shield; a sudden tremor shook the countenance and the frame of the Arcadian, and, just as when a white swan sees above him the bearer of the angry thunderbolt he wishes that Strymon's bank would gape and gathers his trembling wings about his breast, so the youth, perceiving the great bulk of savage Dryas, felt wrath no longer, but a thrill that heralded death. Yet he plies his weapons, pale-faced and praying vainly to Trivia and the gods, and makes ready the bow that will not answer. Already he is on the point to shoot, and with both elbows held aslant he is touching the bow with the arrow-head and his breast with the string — when, mightily whirled, the Aonian chieftain's spear flies straight upon him, and cuts the slanted fastenings of the echoing bowstring: the shot is lost, his hands relax, and the arrow falls fruitless from the backward falling bow. Then in confusion and distress he drops both reins and weapons, reckless of the wound that had pierced the harness and the soft skin of his right shoulder; another javelin follows and checks the charger's flight, cutting the tendons of his leg. Then Dryas himself falls — strange! — nor ever knows who wounds him; one day the author of the deed and its cause will be revealed.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 9.877  But the lad is carried from the field in his comrades' arms — alas, for his tender years! — and dying bewails his fallen steed; relived of the helm his head sinks back, and a sickly charm plays about his quivering eyes; thrice and four times, grasping his hair, they shake the neck that refuses to stay upright, and — a horror whereat Thebes itself might weep — the purple blood came welling from the snow-white breast. At last he speaks, with sobs that break his utterance: "I am dying, Dorceus: go, solace my poor mother. Already, if care doth bring true presage, she hath seen this calamity in dream or omen. Yet do thou with loyal craft keep her fears in suspense, and long deceive her; nor come upon her of a sudden, nor when she holds a weapon in her hand; and when at last thou art forced to admit the truth, say this to her: Mother, I confess my fault; exact thy unwilling punishment; I rushed to arms, though a mere boy, nor, though thou didst hold me back, would I be still, nor, despite thy trouble, war once begun did I spare thee at the last. Live then thou and be angry rather at my impetuous spirit and now be done with fears. In vain dost thou look forth anxiously from Lycaeus' hill, if perchance sound or dust of my cavalcade rise to thee through the air afar; cold on the bare earth I lie, and thou art nowhere near me, to hold my face and catch my parting breath. Yet take this tress, O mother bereaved," and with his hand he offered it to be cut, "take this tress in place of my whole body; once thou wert wont to trim it in spite of my vain scorn. To it give burial, and amid the rites remember to let none blunt my weapons with inexperienced hands, or lead my beloved hounds to the hunting-grounds any more. But burn these ill-fated arms of my first warfare, or hand them up as a reproach to ungrateful Diana."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.1  Dewy Night overwhelmed Phoebus in the gateway of the West, hastened by the commands of Jove; nought pities he the Pelasgian camp nor the Tyrian forces, but he grieved that beside the warriors so many innocent folk should fall by the sword. Far stretches the plain, a vast unsightly sea of blood; there they leave their arms, and the steeds whereon before they went so proudly, and the corpses deprived of their pyres and the neglected limbs. Then, an unsightly troop with tattered ensigns, they withdraw their exhausted lines, and the gates that were so narrow as they thronged to battle are all too broad as they return. Each side is alike distressed, but Thebes has solace in the four Danaan bands wandering without a chief: like alder vessels on the billowy deep that are widowed of their helmsmen and steered by God and Chance and all the storms. Therefore the Tyrians are emboldened to keep watch no more on their own camp, but rather on their foes' retreat, lest haply they seek to return with all speed to Mycenae; the watchword gives the signal to the sentinels, and posts are set; Meges by lot, and Lycus at his request are leaders of the night's enterprise.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.19  And now in marshalled ranks they bring arms and food and fire; the king cheers them as they go: "Conquerors of the Danaan — for tomorrow's dawn is near, and the darkness that saved the cowards will not last for ever — raise your spirits high and let your hearts be worthy of heaven's favour. All the glory of Lerna, all her foremost might lies low: Tydeus is gone to avenging Tartarus; Death starts to behold the black augur's sudden shade; Ismenos is swollen with the plunder of Hippomedon's spoils; the Arcadian we are ashamed to count among the trophies of war. Our reward is in our hands, gone are the proud leaders of the host, and the chieftains' crests displayed along the sevenfold array; formidable indeed is Adrastus' dotage, and my brother's more cowardly manhood, and Capaneus' frenzied arms! Forward then, and set your wakeful fires about their beleaguered camp. Ye need not fear the foe; 'tis booty ye watch, and wealth that at last is yours."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.35  Thus does he heap encouraging words upon the fierce Labdacidae: they rejoice to repeat the toils already endured. Just as they were, with dust and sweat and blood still caked upon their limbs, they turned to go, scarce heeding the farewells that would stay them, but shaking off the embracing arms and hand-clasps of their friends. Then sharing between them front and rear and curving flanks they ring round the rampart with hostile flame. So gathers at nightfall a herd of ravening wolves, whom over all the country-side hunger that brings reckless daring has starved with long privation: already they are near the very sheep-folds, hope unfulfilled and the feeble bleatings and juicy scents from the pens torture their throats; at last they break their claws against the cruel stakes, and bruise their bodies and blunt their unfleshed fangs upon the doors.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.49  But far away a suppliant train of Pelopean dames, prostrate before their native altars and on the threshold of the Argolic fane, implore the help of sceptred Juno and the return of their loved ones, and press their faces to the cold stones and painted doors, and teach their little children to kneel. The day was already spent in entreaties: night comes and adds its cares, and the altars keep vigil with high-piled fires. They bear too a gift in a basket, a robe whose marvellous texture no hand of childless wife nor of any parted from her husband had wrought, a garment full worthy of the chaste goddess: thereon was much purple, gaily embroidered in manifold design and blazing with interwoven gold. She herself was there, promised in marriage to the great Thunderer, but not yet a bride and timidly putting off her sisterhood; with downcast eyes she kisses the youthful Jupiter, a simple maid, nor yet offended by the secret loves of her husband. With this robe the Argive matrons at that time veiled the sacred ivory image, and with tears and supplications made their prayer: "Look upon the sacrilegious towers of the Cadmean harlot, O Queen of the starry pole, shatter that rebel hill, and hurl — for thou canst — another thunderbolt against Thebes." What can she doe? She knows the Fates are adverse to her Grecians, and Jove's favour is turned away, but she would that such prayers and gifts were not wasted; nevertheless, a ready chance gave occasion for potent aid. From lofty heaven she sees the city-gates closed and the rampart guarded by sleepless sentinels; the stings of anger thrilled her frame, and stirred her hair and shook the awful diadem: no more fiercely did she rage, when alone in heaven she felt wrath against Alcmene for her offspring and for the Thunderer's twofold adultery. Therefore she determines to make the Aonians, sunk in the timeless bliss of slumber, a prey to death, and bids her own Iris gird herself with her wonted circles, and commits to her all her task. Obedient to command, the bright goddess leaves the pole and wings her way down her long arc to earth.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.84  Beyond the cloud-wrapt chambers of western gloom and Aethiopia's other realm there stands a motionless grove, impenetrable by any star; beneath it the hollow recesses of a deep and rocky cave run far into a mountain, where the slow hand of Nature has set the halls of lazy Sleep and his untroubled dwelling. The threshold is guarded by shady Quiet and dull Forgetfulness and torpid Sloth with every drowsy countenance. Ease, and Silence with folded wings sit mute in the forecourt and drive the blustering winds from the roof-top, and forbid the branches to sway, and take away their warblings from the birds. No roar of the sea is here, though all the shores be sounding, nor yet of the sky; the very torrent that runs down the deep valley nigh the cave is silent among the rocks and boulders; by its side are sable herds, and sheep reclining one and all upon the ground; the fresh buds wither, and a breath from the earth makes the grasses sink and fail. Within, glowing Mulciber had carved a thousand likenesses of the god: here wreathed Pleasure clings to his side, here Labour drooping to repose bears him company, here he shares a couch with Bacchus, there with Love, the child of Mars. Further within, in the secret places of the palace he lies with Death also, but that dread image is seen by none. These are but pictures: he himself beneath humid caverns rests upon coverlets heaped with slumberous flowers, his garments reek, and the cushions are warm with his sluggish body, and above the bed a dark vapour rises from his breathing mouth. One hand holds up the locks that fall from his left temple, from the other drops his neglected horn. Vague dreams of countless shapes stand round about him, true mixed with false, flattering with sad, the dark brood of Night, and cling to beams and doorposts, or lie on the ground. The light about the chamber is weak and fitful, and languid gleams that woo to earliest slumbers vanish as the lamps flicker and die.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.118  Hither from the blue sky came in balanced flight the varicoloured maid; the forests shine out, and the shady glens smile upon the goddess, and smitten with her zones of radiance the palace stars from its sleep; but he himself, awoken neither by the bright glow nor by the sound or voice of the goddess, lay motionless as ever, till the Thaumantian shot at him all her splendours and sank deep into his drowsy vision. Then thus began to speak the golden fashioner of clouds: "Sleep, gentlest of the gods, Juno bids thee bind fast the Sidonian leaders and the folk of ruthless Cadmus, who now, puffed up by the issue of the fight, are watching in ceaseless vigil the Achaean rampart, and refuse thy sway. Grant so solemn a request — rarely is this opportunity vouchsafed, to win the favour of Jove with Juno on thy side." She spoke, and with her hand beat upon his languid breast, and charged him again and yet again, lest her message be lost. He with his own nodding visage nods assent to the goddess' command; o'erweighted with the caverns' gloom Iris goes forth, and tricks out her beams, made dim by showers of rain.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.137  Himself too he bestirred both swift progress and his wind-torn temples, and filling his mantle's folds with the chill dark air is borne in silent course through heaven, and from afar swoops down in might upon the Aonian fields. The wind of his coming sets birds and beasts and cattle prostrate on the ground, and, whatsoever region of the world he passes in his flight, the waves slide languidly from the rocks, more lazily cling the clouds, the forests bow their summits, and many a star drops from the loosened vault of heaven. The plain first felt the god's presence by the sudden coming of a mist, and the countless voices and cries of men were hushed; but when he brooded with dewy wings and entered the camp, unsubstantial as a pitchy shadow, eyes wavered and heads sank, and words were left unfinished in mid-speech. Next shining bucklers and cruel spears are dropped from their hands, their faces fall in weariness upon their breasts. And now universal silence reigns: even the horn-footed steeds refuse to stand, even the fires are quenched in sudden ashes.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.156  But slumber woos no the anxious Greeks to the same repose, and the night-wandering, persuasive deity keeps his mists from the camp hard by; on every side they stand to arms, in wrath at the hateful gloom and their foes' proud sentinels. Lo! a sudden frenzy, heaven-inspired, seizes Thiodamas, and in awful tumult bids him show forth the fates, whether Saturnia fired him with this resolve, or kindly Apollo incited his new attendant. He rushes in the midst, fearful to see and to hear, and impatient of the god, whom his frail mind had received but could not contain; his pangs overwhelm him, stark madness reigns upon his visage, and the uncertain blood now distends, now ebbs from his trembling cheeks; his gaze darts here and there, he shakes and scatters on his shoulders the wreaths entwined in his locks. Thus does the Idaean mother summon from the terrible shrine the blood-stained Phrygian and make him unconscious of his knife-hacked arms; he beats the holy pine-brands against his breast, and tosses his gory hair and deadens his wounds by running; all the country-side and the bespattered votary tree feels terror, and the panic-stricken lions rear the chariot high.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.176  Now had he reached the inner council-chamber and the revered home of the standards, where Adrastus, long distressed by the dire disasters, takes fruitless counsel for their desperate plight: the new-appointed chiefs stand about him, each the next successor to the slain, and gaze at the empty places of the mighty princes, feeling no joy but rather grief that they are raised so high. Even so when a bark has lost its helmsman and stopped in mid-voyage, either the watchman of the sides or of the wave-breasting prow succeeds to the guidance of the widowed helm; the ship herself is all aghast, and the very tackling is slow to obey the word, nor does she brook the protection of a lesser lord. Therefore with spirited words the prophet rouses the hearts of the downcast Achaeans: "Chieftains, it is the high commands and awful counsels of the gods that I bring you; these words come not from my own breast; he gives the oracle, whom your solemn word, he too consenting, constrained me to serve and to assume his fillets. The divine augury reveals a night fruitful in achievement and well fitted for glory-winning guile; Valour meets and beckons us, and Fortune implores our arms. The Aonian legions are sunk 'neath the spell of slumber: now is the time to avenge our princes' deaths and that unhappy day; snatch up your weapons and break through the hindering gates! This means the lighting of our comrade's pyres, this means their burial. This saw I during the battle of the day, when our arms were stricken and we fled defeated to the rear — I sear it by the tripods and the strange fate of my lost master — I saw it, and the birds around me sang a favouring strain. But now my belief is sure. Only now beneath the silent night he himself — himself, Amphiaraus! — rose up again from the chasm of earth, even as he was — the shades had touched his team alone — and came towards me: 'tis of no vain phantom of night, or vision of sleep that I tell. 'Wilt thou allow the idle sons of Inachus,' he cries, ' — restore then those Parnassian wreaths, give me back my own gods! — to lose so favourable a night, degenerate one? Was it thus I taught thee all the secrets of the sky and the wandering flight of birds? Begone! for me at least take vengeance with the sword.' He spake, and seemed to raise his lance, and to drive me with all his chariot's force unto these doors. Arouse you, then, and use heaven's favour; this is no hand-to-hand slaying of the foe; his men lie prostrate, and ye may take your revenge. Will any come forward, ready to exalt themselves to mighty fame, while the Fates allow? Lo! once again the birds of night are auspicious; I follow them, and though my comrades' troops lie idle, I go alone! Ay, and there he too comes, shaking his reins!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.219  With such cries did he disturb the night: the chiefs pour forward, fired as though the same got inspired the hearts of all: they burn to accompany him, and share his fortunes. By command he chooses thirty himself, the flower of all the host; the rest of the youth demand in wrathful clamour, why remain they in the camp ingloriously at ease; some plead their noble birth, some their kinsmen's deeds, others their own, others again shout for the lot, and all take up the cry. Adrastus exults that they oppose him, and his spirits rise. Thus upon Pholoe's height a rearer of swift coursers rejoices when the breeding-time of prolific spring has renewed his stud, and he beholds some straining up steep mountain-paths, some swimming the stream, others vying with their sires; then in idle thought he ponders which he shall tame to bear a gentle yoke, which will make good riders, which are born for trumpets and arms, which best fitted to win the palm of Elis: such was the aged chieftain of the Achaean host. Nor does he fail the enterprise: "Whence of a sudden comes so late the favour of heaven? What gods are ye, who have turned again to Argos in her distress? Is this the valour born of misfortune? Does the vigour of our race still survive, and seeds of courage endure in spite of adversity? Yea, I praise you, heroic youths, and enjoy my warriors' glorious mutiny; but it is fraud and a hidden assault that we devise, our movements must be concealed; a crowd ill fits a secret ruse. Nurse then your rage, lo! dawn will bring vengeance on our foes; then shall the fight be open, and all take the field!" These words at length restrained and allayed their ardour: even so might father Aeolus, when the cave is in a tumult and the winds are already yearning for the deep, sternly set another rock against the door, and wholly bar their passage.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.249  Beside the rest the seer takes with him Agylleus, son of Hercules, and Actor: persuasive of speech is Actor, the other boasts strength equal to his sire's; with each go ten companions, a troop that even in open fight the Aonians would fear. He himself, since he goes to unwonted battle and ruse of war, lays down the sacred leaves, the emblems of Phoebus, and entrusts the glory of his brow to the bosom of the aged prince, and dons helm and corslet, the welcome gift of Polynides. Fierce Capaneus fastens his heavy sword on Actor, not deigning himself to go by stealth against the foe, or to follow where heaven leads. Agylleus borrows the arms of truculent Nomius; for what would the bow and shafts of Hercules have availed him, battling amid deceiving shades?

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.262  Then, lest the brazen hinges groan too loudly, they leap down from the steep battlements of the fortress wall; nor is it long before lo! their prey lies vast upon the ground, as though already lifeless and slain by many a sword. "Forward, friends, withersoe'er delight in carnage unsated takes you, and have strength for the work I pray, since heaven shows us favour!" Now with loud voice the seer exhorts them, "See ye the cohorts lying in base torpor? Shame on them! Dared these beleaguer Argive gates, and keep watch on heroes?" So spake he, and drew his flashing sword, and with swift hand passed over the doomed lines. Who could reckon up the slaughter, or give names to all the crowd of corpses? At random he goes o'er backs and breasts, and leaves behind him groans stifled in their helms, and mingled all his victims in a welter of blood; one stretched carelessly upon a couch, another slipping with reeling steps upon his shield, too late, and fumbling with his arms, others lying in a throng amid wine and weapons, others propped against their shields — each one just as ill-fated slumber and the night that was their last had bound and cast them to the ground. Nor lack they divine power, but armed Juno frees her right hand and brandishing a lunar torch makes clear their path and strengthens their courage and displays the bodies. Thiodamas feels her presence, but conceals his joy in silence; already his hand grows slow, and his blade weak, and his fury is dimmed by too much success. Not otherwise does a Caspian tigress, amid a mighty slaughter of bullocks, when fury appeased by streams of gore has wearied out her jaws and stained her stripes in foul clotted corruption, behold her work, and grieve that her appetite fails; so wanders the augur fordone among the Aonian corpses: now would he have a hundred arms, a hundred hands to fight with; already it irks him to squander menaces in vain, and he could wish the foe would rise against him.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.296  Here the son of mighty Hercules, there Actor destroys the sluggish Sidonians, each followed by his own band along a path of slaughter; the grass is black and stagnant with gore, the tents totter and sway in streams of blood, the earth reeks, and the breathing of sleep is mingled with the gasps of death; none of the slumberers lifts his head or turns his gaze, so deep the shade wherewith the winged god broods over the wretched ones, and unseals their eyes but as they die. Ialmenus had spent his last night in unsleeping merriment and with the lute, never to behold tomorrow's dawn, and was singing a Sidonian paean; under the influence of the god his languid neck sank leftward, and his lyre pillowed his drooping head; through his breast Agylleus drives the blade, and pierces the right hand that grasps the tortoiseshell, and the fingers trembling among their well-known strings. The tables are flooded by the dreadful stream; everywhere flow blood and water mingled, and the wine returned to the goblets and deep mixing-bowls. Fierce Actor catches Thamyris in his brother's embrace, Tagus stabs garlanded Echetlus in the back, Danaus shears off the head of Hebrus: unwitting alas! he meets his fate, and mirthfully his life passes to the shades, saving the pains of cruel death. Calpetus, lying on the cold ground beneath his trusty chariot-wheels, scared with his heavy breathing his Aonian steeds as they cropped their native grass: his mouth o'erflows with liquor, and his slumber wine-inflamed grows agitated; lo! the Inachian prophet pierces his throat as he lies: the wine is forced out in a great rush of blood, and his murmurs perish in the stream. Perchance his sleep foretold his doom, and in his dream he saw with dismay Thiodamas and a black ruin that was Thebes.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.327  The fourth period of slumberous night remained, when the clouds have shed their dew and not all the stars shine bright, and Bootes flies before the pantings of a mightier care. And now, the task itself failing them, prudent Actor calls Thiodamas: "Sufficient for the Pelasgians is this unhoped-for triumph; scarce any, methinks, of so large a company have escaped cruel death, save the base cowards whom the gory flood conceals, polluted but alive; set a limit to success: dread Thebes too hath her deities. Perchance we too may lose those who late have favoured us." He consented, and raising his dripping hands to the stars: "These spoils, O Phoebus, the trophies of the night thou didst reveal, I present to thee, I, the bold champion of thy tripods and thy faithful priest, not yet cleansed with water, for this is my sacrifice to thee. If I have not disgraced thy commands and have borne thy instancy, come often to me, often deign to take possession of my mind. Rude is thy guerdon now, maimed limbs and human blood, but if ever, O Paean, thou wilt bestow on me my native home and the temples that I long for, O Lycian god, forget not my vow, but demand as many sumptuous gifts and as many bulls for thy sacred portals." He spoke, and recalled his comrades from the glad work of arms.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.347  Among these by the will of Fate had come Calydonian Hopleus and Maenalian Dymas, both favourites and close companions of their princes, after whose deaths they grieve and think scorn of living. First Hopleus incites the Arcadian: "Renowned Dymas, hast thou no care for thy hapless prince once slain, though perchance already birds and Theban dogs possess him? What then will ye bring home to your country, yet Arcadians? Lo! his stern mother meets you returning, and asks "Where is his body?" But in my heart unburied Tydeus gives me no rest, though more enduring of limb nor so worthy of lament for an untimely death. Yet fain would I go and search everywhere, high and low, over the ruthless plain, or break into the midst of Thebes." Dymas makes reply: "I swear by these moving stars, by my chieftain's wandering shade, to me a power divine, my grief inspires my resolve; my downcast mind hath long looked for a companion, but now I will lead the way" — and straight he stars upon the road, and turning his sad face to heaven thus speaks: "Cynthia, queen of the mysteries of night, if as they say thou dost vary in threefold wise the aspect of thy godhead, and in different shape comest down into the woodland, 'tis he who was lately thy companion and the glorious nursling of thy groves, 'tis thine own boy, Diana — now at least look upon us! — 'tis he we search for." The goddess stooped her horns and made bright her kindly star, and illumined the battle-field with near-approaching chariot. The plain appears and Thebes and lofty Cithaeron: so when fell Jupiter cleaves the sky at night with thunder, the clouds divide and the bright flash reveals the stars, and the world is suddenly shown to watching eyes. He caught the rays, and by the same piercing light Hopleus sees Tydeus; from afar they joyfully beckon to each other through the darkness, and each lifts his beloved burden on his bowed shoulders, as though it were restored to life and rescued from cruel death; no word to they utter, nor for a long while dare to weep; unfriendly day is nigh at hand, and the sunrise that threatens to betray. Mute they go with long strides through the sad silences and grieve that the exhausted gloom is paling to the dawn.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.384  Fate is envious of devoted souls, and good luck gores rarely with great ventures. Already they see the camp and in thought are at the gates, and lighter grows the burden, when there is a sudden cloud of dust and a sound behind them. It was bold Amphion at the head of his troop, bidden by his chief to explore the night and the guarded camp; he is the first to see far away on the pathless plain — not yet had the light dispersed all the shadows — something stirring faint and doubtful to the sight and bodies moving; then on a sudden he discovers the fraud and cries: "Halt, whoe'er ye be!" but 'tis plain they are the foe; on go the hapless ones, and fear, though not for themselves; then he threatens the anxious pair with death, and flings his spear, but, aiming in purposed error, sends it high and far beyond them. Before the eyes of Dymas it fell, who by chance was in front: he halted; but Aepytus, proud of soul, cared not to lose his throw, and transfixed the back of Hopleus, grazing thereby the shoulder of Tydeus as he hung. Hopleus falls, not yet forgetful of his peerless chieftain, and dies still clutching him — happy were he ignorant that the corpse was lost — and in such wise descends to the cruel shades.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.405  Dymas had turned and seen, and knew that battle was joined, and doubted whether to use arms or prayers against the oncoming foe: wrath urges arms, fortune bids him try prayer not daring; neither resource brings confidence. Anger forbade entreaty; before his feet he places the hapless body, and flings on his left arm a heavy tiger's hide that he wore by chance upon his back, and holding out his bared blade he stands on guard, and turns to face every dart, prepared both to slay and to be slain: as a lioness lately whelped, beset by Numidian hunters in her savage lair, stands above her young, erect but doubting in her mind, and utters a wild and melancholy roar; full well could she scatter their array and snap their weapons in her jaws, but love of her offspring overcomes the fierceness of her heart, and from the midst of her rage she looks round upon her cubs. And now the hero's left hand has been cut away, though Amphion bade them use no violence, and the boy is dragged along by his hair with face upturned.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.422  Then at last, too late a suppliant, he lets fall his blade and makes entreaty: "Carry him less roughly, I pray you, by the cradle of lightning-born Bacchus and the flight of Ino and your own Palaemon's tender years; if any of you know at home the joy of children, if any here is a father, grant the lad some few handfuls of dust, and a little fire: lo! he implores, the implores you with mute countenance; better that I should sate the accursed fowls, cast me to the wild beasts, 'twas I that made him dare the fight." "If so great be thy desire to bury thy prince," Amphion cried, "tell us, what plan of war have the scared Pelasgians, what purpose they in their broken heartless state? Quick, out with it all, and we grant thee to depart alive and give burial to thy chief!" The Arcadian shuddered, and on the instant plunged his sword up to the hilt in his own breast. "Was this then lacking," he cried, "to crown our woes, that I should dishonour and betray Argos in her hour of need? That were too dearly bought, nor would he himself wish for the pyre at such a cost." So speaking, he tore a mighty gash in his breast, and casting him down upon the lad with his last breath murmured: "Yet receive meanwhile this burial with me!" Thus in the longed-for embraces of their chiefs do both the noble-minded pair, Aetolian alike and famed Arcadian, breathe out their peerless souls and taste of death. Ye too are consecrate, though my sons soar for a less lofty lyre, and will go down the unforgetful years. Perchance too Euryalus will not spurn his comrade shades, and the glory of Phrygian Nisus will not say them nay.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.449  But fierce Amphion sends in triumph heralds to report his doings to the king, and inform him of the crafty attack, and deliver back the captured bodies; he himself proceeds to insult the beleaguered Pelasgians, and to display their comrades' severed heads. Meanwhile from the summit of the walls the Greeks perceive Thiodamas returning, nor conceal any more their joyous outbursts. But when they saw their naked swords and arms all red with recent carnage, a fresh shout leaps upward to the broad sky, and eager throngs hang from the rampart's top, while each one looks for his own. Even so a crowd of nestlings, seeing their mother returning through the air afar, would fain go to meet her, and lean gaping from the edge of the nest, and would even now be falling, did she not spread all her motherly bosom to save them, and chide them with loving wings. And while they recount their hidden deeds and the swift work of silent war, and clasp their friends in a long embrace, they look for Hopleus and complain of Dymas' slowness: and lo! Amphion, the commander of the Theban band, had drawn nigh in haste; no long delight had he of his late bloodshed, when he saw the ground a heap of countless bodies, and whole race in the death-throes of one universal doom. Such a tremor as falls on those whom the brand called forth from heaven has smitten, seized now the warrior, and in one spasm voice, sight, and blood all fail, and as he still attempts a groan his charger unbidden wheels him round; 'mid a whirl of dust the troop flees back.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.474  Not yet had they entered the barred gates of Thebes, when the Argive band, flushed with their nocturnal triumph, leapt forth into the plain; over weapons and prostrate bodies and earth befouled by heaps of slain, and blood still warm with life men and horn-footed steeds go rushing: the heavy hoof crushes the limbs, and a rain of gore bathes and clogs the axles. Sweet is it to the heroes to go by such a road, as if they proudly trampled Sidonian homes and Thebes herself in blood. Capaneus cheers them on: "Long enough, Pelasgians, has our valour lain in hiding; now, now is victory fair in my eyes, in the full blaze of day! On, men, with me to open conflict! Raise the dust and shout your battle-cry! Sure is the omen of my right hand, terrible the fury of my drawn sword!" So he speaks; Adrastus and the Argive prince with eagerness inflame their ire, and the augur follows in sadder mood. Already they are nigh the walls — and still Amphion is telling of the new disaster — and would straight have entered the hapless city, had not Megareus from a high watch-tower exclaimed in haste: "Shut the gates, sentry, everywhere! the enemy comes."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.493  Overmastering fear sometimes gives strength: quick closes every gate; only while Echion is slow to bar the Ogygian, courageous Spartan warriors break in, and fall in the threshold slain, Panopeus, dweller upon Taygetus, and Oebalus, swimmer of rough Eurotas; thou too, Alcidamas, who didst prove thy worth in every wrestling-ground, and of late win victory in Nemean dust, thou for whom the son of Tyndareus himself fastened thy first gloves; dying thou lookest toward the vault where thy master shines; straightway the god sinks with averted star. Thee the Oebalian woodland, thee the Laconian maiden's deceitful river-bank shall mourn, and the flood that the feigned swan once sang of; thou shalt be wept by Trivia's Amyclaean Nymphs, and thy mother who taught thee the laws and valiant rules of war shall lament that thou wert too apt a scholar. Thus does Mavors wreak his fury on the threshold of Echion's town.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.509  At length Acron, heaving with his shoulders, and Ialmenides, leaning all his body's weight, forced to the bronze-clad doors: with such strength do groaning bullocks cleave side by side the long-unploughed fields of Pangaeum. Yet equal is the loss to their labour's gain, for they have kept the foe within, and shut out their own countrymen. Ormenus the Grecian is slain within the walls, and while Amyntor stretches imploring arms and pours out prayers, his head is severed, and words and face alike fall to earth, and at the blow a shapely necklace drops from his neck into the hostile dust. Meanwhile the rampart is breached, the first lines give way, and already troops of infantry are at the walls; but the horses fear to leap the wide trenches and shrink back in alarm, and panic-struck at the vast abyss marvel that they are driven on; now they start forward from the edge, now of their own accord recoil upon the reins. Some tear from the ground the planted palisades, others hack at the defences of the gates and sweat to force away the iron barriers, and with beams and sounding bronze drive stones from their places; some hurl torches roofwards and exult when they stick fast, others assail foundations and with the blind tortoise sap the base of hollow towers.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.531  But the Tyrians — their only means of safety — crown the summit of the battlements, and hurl charred stakes and shining darts of steel against the foe, and stones torn from their own walls, and missiles that catch fire as they go through the void of air; a fierce deluge streams from the roof-tops, and the barred windows spew forth hissing javelins. As when the tempests sit motionless in the clouds over Malea or tall Ceraunia's mount and are ranged about he darkened hills, then suddenly swoop upon the sails beneath: so is the Argive host overwhelmed by the Agenorian arms; yet the relentless rain turns aside neither face nor breast, the warriors keep their gaze steady upon the walls, forgetful of death and seeing nought but their own weapons. While Antheus drives his scythed car round the Theban walls the violent impact of an Ogygian spear strikes him from above; the reins are torn from his grasp, and, scarce alive, he is hurled to the rear upon his back, but stays caught by his greaves; strange sight and horrible fate of war! his arms are dragged along, the smoking wheels and the spear with third furrow ploughing the earth; tossed to and fro the head follows in a long wake of dust, and the broad track of the outspread locks shows clear.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.552  But now the trumpet's clangour smites the city with dismay, and its harsh sound penetrates the barricaded doors. They divide the approaches, and in every gate there stands a fierce ensign-bearer, raising high for all to see their sufferings or their joys. Dreadful is the sight within, scarce Mars himself would rejoice to behold it; Grief and Fury and Panic, and Rout enwrapped in blinding gloom rend with many-voiced discord the frenzied, horror-stricken town. One would think the battle was within; men are hurrying to and fro about the citadel, the streets are full of clamour, everywhere they see in imagination sword and fire, everywhere cruel chains. Fear anticipates the future; already houses and temples are thronged, and the ungrateful shrines are ringed with lamentation. Old and young alike are in the grip of one universal terror; the old men pray for death, the young flush with ardour and grow pale by turns, the houses rock with the shriek of women's wailing. Children weep, nor know the cause of their weeping, but stand aghast and tremble at their mothers' sobs. Them love constrains, nor does utmost need admit of shame; with their own hands they give weapons to the men, with their own voices they fire them to wrath and valour, and exhort them, and rush with them to battle, nor cease amid their tears to show them their ancestral homes and helpless babes. So when a husbandman, on plunder bent, has aroused the armed bees from their rocky cavern, the angry swarm is in an uproar, inciting each other with loud buzzing, and all fly in the enemy's faces; but soon with failing wings they clasp their waxen home, and bewail the rifled store of honey, and press to their bosoms the laboured combs.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.580  The crowd is filled with the strife of opposing tongues, and spreads discordant passions; some, with no muttered voice, but outspokenly and in open tumult, bid the brother restore the kingdom; in their distress all reverence for their prince is lost: "Let him come, and here make up the count of his bargained year, and salute — unhappy exile! — his Cadmean home and his father's blindness; why should my blood atone the fraud and the royal miscreant's traitorous crime?" Then others: "Too late is good faith now, he would rather conquer." Others in tearful suppliant throng implore Tiresias, and ask — the only solace in adversity — to learn the future. But he withholds and keeps hidden the destinies of heaven: "Is it because our monarch so trusted my warning counsels before, when I forbade perfidious warfare? Yet, unhappy Thebes," he cries, "that art doomed to destruction should I be dumb, I cannot endure miserably to hear of thy fall and with these empty eyes to drink in Argolic flames. Let me yield, O Piety! ho! maiden, set the altars, let us inquire of the gods above." She obeys, and keenly gazing informs him of blood-red points of flame and a twofold fire upon the altar, and now the middle blaze yet rises high and clear; then she teaches her doubting sire that the ruddy flame is rolled and shaped with double coil into the ghostly likeness of a serpent and illuminates her father's gloom. He straightway spreads his arms about the garlanded fire, and absorbs the prophetic vapours with glowing countenance. His hair rises in horror and dismay, and the grey locks madly lift high the covering fillets: one would think his eyes were open, and the lost glow had returned again to his cheeks. At length he gave vent in words to the flood of his frenzy: "Listen, ye guilty sons of Labdacus, and hear the last sacrifice of all! Kindly salvation cometh, but by a hard path. The snake of Mars demands a victim and a cruel offering: the latest born of the serpent-brood must fall, at this price alone can victory come. Happy is he whose death shall win so great a guerdon!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.616  Creon, sad at heart and mourning as yet only for his country and the common fate, stood by the stern altar of the prophetic seer: when with the shock of a sudden blow, as if a flung lance had pierced his breast, he heard, near dead with horror, and knew Menoeceus was demanded. Fear points the truth, nor suffers doubt: he is benumbed by anguish, and any icy dread assails the father's heart; even so does the Trinacrian coast sustain the sea hurled back from the Libyan surge. Then humbly clasping the knees of the seer, who, full of Phoebus, bids him make speed, and touching the lips that chant the oracle, he entreats him to be silent, all in vain; already rumour has seized the word and flies abroad, and Thebes proclaims the oracle.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.628  Come, now, tell who fired the youth with joy in a noble death — for never without haven's aid is this mind given to men — begin thou, unforgetting Clio, for the ages are in thy keeping, and all the storied annals of the past.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.632  The goddess Virtue, close companion of the throne of Jove, whence rarely she is wont to be vouchsafed to the world and to bless the earth, whether the almighty Father hath sent her, or she herself hath chosen to dwell in men worthy of her — how gladly then did she leap down form the heavenly places! The shining stars gave way before her, and those fires that she herself had fixed in hevaen; already she treads the earth nor is her countenance far distant from the sky; but it pleased her to change her aspect, and she becomes sagacious Manto, that her speech might have full credence, and by deceit puts off her former mien. The look of awe, the austerity were gone, something of charm remained, and a softer beauty; the sword was laid aside, and she took instead the prophet's wand; her robe falls to her feet, and on her stern brow the wool is bound, where before was laurel; yet her grave aspect and more than mortal strides betray the goddess. Even so at Amphitryon's son did his Lydian mistress laugh, when putting off the bristling hide he marred the Sidonian raiment with his vast shoulders, and wrought confusion in the distaff and smashed the timbrels with his hand.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.650  Nor does she find thee, O Menoeceus, an unworthy victim, nor unfit to receive so solemn a behest, as thou standest before the Dircaean tower; the huge gate unbarred, thou wert slaying the Danaan, and Martian Haemon in like manner. But though ye were of one blood, and in everything brothers, thou hadst first place: heaps of dead are piled around thee, every dart finds its mark, no stroke but a victim falls — nor yet had Virtue come to aid — neither mind nor hand is idle, the eager weapons are never still, even the Sphinx, the guardian of his casque, appears to rage, the image, animated by the sight of blood, flashes out, and the bespattered brass gleams: when the goddess stays the warrior's hand upon the sword-hilt: "Great-hearted youth, than whom none were more surely known of Mars to be of Cadmus' fighting seed, leave these mean affrays, such is not the prowess reserved for thee: the stars are calling thee, thou shalt send thy soul to heaven — conceive a nobler destiny! This it is that inspires my father's frenzy at the joyful altars, this the flames and the fibres demand, this doth Apollo urge: they call for an earth-born one on behalf of our country's common life. Rumour repeats the counsel, the folk of Cadmus, certain of thee, rejoice; take the gods' word to heart, and snatch a glorious fate. Go, I pray thee, and hasten, lest Haemon by thy side forestall thee." So speaking she assured his wavering mind with the silent touch of her mighty hand, and left herself within his heart. No more swiftly does the cypress blasted by the lightning flash drink up the deadly flame from stem to summit than did the youth, possessed by the mighty deity, raise high his spirit and fall straight in love with death. But when he marked her gait and habit as she turned, and beheld Manto on a sudden rise from earth into the clouds, he was astounded. "I follow thee," he cries, "whoever of the gods hast called me, nor am I slow to obey:" yet even as he retired he pierce Agreus of Pylos, who was threatening the rampart. His squires receive him, weary from the battle; then, as he proceeds, the mob in joy hails him as peace-bringer, preserver and god, and kindles within him a noble flame.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.686  And now he is making his way to the city in breathless hate, rejoicing to have avoided his unhappy parents, when his father — both stopped, with speech cut short and eyes downcast. At length his sire began: "What new chance has taken thee from a battle lately joined? What design hast thou, that is weightier than war? Tell me, my son, I entreat thee, why is thy look so fierce? Why this angry pallor in thy face, why do thy eyes meet not thy father's gaze? 'Tis plain, thou hast heard the oracle. By thy years and mine, my son, and by thy wretched mother's breast, I pray thee, lad, listen not to the seer! Do the gods deign to inspire an impious dotard, with sightless face and blinded eyes, stricken even as dread Oedipus? What if the king be using treachery and deceitful fraud, fearing in his desperate case our noble blood and thy valour that is renowned above our chieftains? Perchance they are his words, which we deem to be the gods'; 'tis he that gives this counsel! Suffer not thy hot blood to carry thee away, but delay a trifling space, passion is ever a bad guide; grant this boon, I entreat thee, to thy father. So may thy temples be marked with the grey hairs of age, and thyself be a parent, and come, rash boy, to fear like me: lay not my home desolate. Do other sires and the babes of strangers move thee? If thou hast any shame, pity first thine own. This is duty, this is true honour; there lies but empty glory and wind-blown renown and a name that will be lost in death. Nor is it from a father's fears that I urge thee: go, join in the fray, go, force thy way through the Danaan lines where swords are thickest: I do not hold thee back; let me but cleanse thy quivering wounds and stanch with my tears thy welling blood, and send thee back again and yet again to the cruel battle. This does Thebes rather choose."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.718  So spake he, with his arms in close embrace about his son's neck, but the youth, once vowed to the gods, was moved by neither tears nor words; nay, at their prompting he met his sire with secret fraud and turned his fears: "Good father, thou art mistaken, thy fears are vain. No warning or speech of frenzied seers disturbs me, or troubles me with empty terrors; let crafty Tiresias keep his chantings for himself and his own daughter; nought should I care, if Apollo himself were to open his shrine and confront me with his ravings. No, 'tis the sore hurt of my loved brother that takes me back of my own will to the city; my Haemon groans from the wound of an Inachian spear; scarce out of the dust of battle, from between the lines — the Argives had already seized him — but I waste time; go, cheer his distress, and tell his bearers to spare him and carry him gently; I go to find Aetion who is skilled to join up wounds and recall the life-blood's ebbing stream." He breaks off and speeds away in the other's breast confusion reigns and a dark cloud of woe; he wavers uncertainly between devoted love and harsh, discordant fears; but Fate impels him to believe.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.738  Meanwhile impetuous Capaneus drives o'er the battle-plain the troops that issue from the breached gates, now squadrons of horse, now regiments of foot, now chariots that trample the corpses of their own charioteers; he it is that rends high towers with stones and many a whizzing dart, he it is that routs the cohorts and reeks in gore. Now he whirls the winged bullet and scatters strange wounds all around, now he swings his arm aloft and sends the javelin flying, nor ever a lance mounts the roof-top, that brings not down its man, and falls back streaming with blood. No longer does the Pelopean phalanx believe Oenides or Hippomedon slain, or the bard or yet the Arcadian, but rather that their comrades' souls are all rejoined in his one frame, so fills he all the battle-field. Nor age, nor dress, nor beauty moves him; alike on those that fight and those that entreat he pours his fury; none dare resist, or try the chances of war; afar as he rages they shudder at his armour and terrible crest and helmet's front.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.756  But the devoted Menoeceus stood on a chosen part of the wall, sacred already to behold, and majestic in mien beyond his wont, as though suddenly descended to earth from heaven above, bareheaded and manifest to view; he gazed down upon the lines of warriors, and stilled the clamours of the field and bade the war be silent. "Ye gods of battle, and thou, O Phoebus, who grantest me a death so glorious, vouchsafe to Thebes the joys which I have covenanted for and bought with all my lavish lifeblood. Roll back the tide of war, and hurl against captive Lerna her base remnants; let father Inachus turn away from his dishonoured sons as they nurse the spear-wound in their backs. But restore to the Tyrians by my death their temples, fields and homes, children and wives; if I, your chosen victim, have pleased you, if I heard the prophet's oracle with no panic-stricken ear, and took it to my heart ere ever Thebes believed it, reward Amphion's town in my stead, and reconcile, I pray, the sire whom I deceived." So he speaks, and with his glittering blade tears at the noble soul that long has disdained its body and grieved to be held fast, and probes for the life and rends it with one wound. Then with his blood he sprinkled the towers and purified the walls, and grasping still his sword hurled himself into the midst of the lines and strove to fall upon the fierce Achaeans. But Piety and Virtue clasped and bore his body lightly to the earth; for his spirit long since is at the throne of Jove, and demands for itself a crown 'mid the highest stars.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.783  And now rejoicing they bear the hero within the walls, recovering his body with no labour: of its own accord the Tantalid host in reverence withdrew; he is borne on the necks of youths in a long train, and is acclaimed by the glad praise of all the populace as patron of the town above Cadmus and Amphion; with garlands and all the honour of the spring they heap his lifeless limbs, and lay his venerated body in his forefathers' tomb. Then when their lauds are finished they resume the fight, and his sire, his wrath appeased, sheds tears and joins in the lament, and his mother can weep her fill at last: "Was it then to make atonement and devote thy life for cruel Thebes that I nourished thee, illustrious boy, as though I were some worthless mother? What crime then had I wrought, what god so hated me? No incestuous offspring have I borne in unnatural intercourse, nor given unhallowed progeny to my own son. What matters that? Jocasta hath her sons, and sees them leaders and kings: but we must make cruel expiation for the war, that the brothers, sons of Oedipus, may exchange their diadems — doth this please thee, O author of the blow? But why complain I of men and gods? Thou, cruel Menoeceus, thou before all didst haste to slay thy unhappy mother! Whence came this love of death? What cursed madness seized thy mind? What did I conceive, what misbegotten child did I bear, so different from myself? Verily 'tis the snake of Mars, and the ground that burgeoned fresh with our armed sires — thence comes that desperate valour, that overmastering love of war: nought comes of his mother. Lo! of thine own will and pleasure slain, ay, even against the will of Fate, thou forcest an entrance to the gloomy shades. I was fearing the Danaan and the shafts of Capaneus: 'twas this hand, this hand of thine I should have feared, and the sword I myself once gave thee in my folly. See how the glade is wholly buried in his throat! None of the Danaan could have made a deeper thurst."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.815  Even yet would the unhappy woman be speaking and making her sorrow known on every side; but her companions and her handmaids bear her away, hating those who would console her, and keep her in her chamber; there she sits, her cheeks deep ploughed by her nails, nor looks towards the light, nor listens to entreaties, nor turns her face that is ever fixed on the ground — her voice, her reason lost. So a fierce tigress robbed of her cubs lie desolate in her Scythian lair and licks the traces on the warm stone; her fury is gone, the savagery and hunger of her ravenous jaws are abated, and the flocks and herds go careless by: she sees them and lies still, for where are they for whom she should feed her dugs, or, long-awaited, heap up the abundant prey?

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.827  So far of arms and trumpets, of swords and wounds I tell; but now Capaneus must be raised high to do battle with the star-bearing vault. No more may I sing after the wonted way of bards; a mightier frenzy must be summoned from the Aonian groves. Dare with me, goddesses all: whether that madness of his was sent from deepest night and the Stygian sisters dogged the banner of Capaneus and forced him to the assault against Jove, or whether 'twas valour that brooked no bouds, nor headlong love of glory, or utter destruction's appointed doom, or success that goes before disaster and heaven luring to ruin in its wrath.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.837  Now earthly battles grow mean in her hero's eyes, he is tired of the endless slaughter; long ago have his own weapons and those of the Greeks been spent, his right arm grows weary, he looks up to the sky. Soon with frowning gaze he measures the lofty battlements, and gets him a skyward leading path of steps innumerable, a tree guarding its either flank, and terribly from afar he brandishes a flaring torch of oaken faggots: his armour glows red, and a glaze is kindled on his shield. "By this road," he cries, "by this road my lofty valour bids me go to Thebes, where yonder tower is slippery with Menoeceus' blood. I shall try what sacrifice avails, and whether Apollo be false." He speaks, and climbs with alternate step exultant against the captured wall: even as the vault beheld the Aloidae amid the clouds, when impious earth rose high and was like to look down upon the gods; not yet had mighty Pelion been added and Ossa already touched the affrighted Thunderer.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.853  Then indeed aghast, upon the utmost verge of doom, as though the last destruction threatened, or Bellona with blood-stained brand drew nigh to raze their towers to the ground, from every roof in emulous haste they hurl huge stones and stakes, and whirl the strong lash of the Balearic sling — what hope is there in javelins and the vague flight of arrows? — nay, they eagerly ply their engines and impel great rocks against him. But he, unmoved by missiles assailing him in front or rear, hovers aloft in empty air, yet sure as though he planted his steps on the flat earth, and strives onward, and draws nigh in the teeth of fell destruction: just as a river pressing upon the timbers of an ancient bride assaults it with unresting waters, and now the stones gape and the beams are loosened; with the more violence — for he knows it — and greater surge he shakes and drags at the weakening mass, till the swift current has burst all the fastenings, and triumphantly draws breath again, and flows on with unhampered course. And when he stood out high above the long-attempted summit, and in towering height looked down upon the trembling city, and terrified Thebes with his huge shadow, he taunted the astounded folk: "Are these Amphion's insignificant towers — for shame! — are these the compliant walls that followed an unwarlike song? — that ancient, lying tale of Thebes? And what glory is there in overthrowing a fortress built by a feeble lyre?" Therewith he falls with foot and hand upon the masonry, and fiercely destroys the jointing and the flooring that would stay him; connecting bridges fall, the stone curbs of the covering roof give way, and again he uses the dismembered mass, and hurls down rocky fragments on temples and on houses, and now he is shattering the city with its own fortress-walls.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.883  Meanwhile about Jove's throne the Argive and the Tyrian deities were clamouring in diverse factions: the impartial sire beholds their wrath blaze high around him, and marks that he restrains it. Beneath his stepmother's gaze Liber regards his sire askance, and makes lament: "Where now is that ruthless hand?" he cries, "where alas! is my cradle of fire, the thunderbolt, ay, where the thunderbolt?" Apollo too laments the homes which once his command appointed; the Tirynthian weighs Lerna against Thebes, and hesitates with ready-strung bow; the winged Danaan grieves for his mother's Argos; Venus weeps for Harmonia's folk, and fearing her husband stands apart and gazes at Gradivus in silent anger. Bold Tritonia blames the Tyrian gods, while speechless rage tortures the heart of silent Juno. Yet undisturbed is the peace of Jove; and lo! their quarrels ceased when in mid-heaven Capaneus was heard: "Are there no gods among you," he cries, "who stand for panic-stricken Thebes? Where are the sluggard sons of this accursed land, Bacchus and Alcides? Any of lesser name I am ashamed to challenge. Rather come thou — what worthier antagonist? For lo! Semele's ashes and her tomb are in my power! — come thou, and strive with all thy flames against me, thou, Jupiter! Or art thou braver at frightening timid maidens with thy thunder, and razing the towers of thy father-in-law Cadmus?"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.907  Loud rose the gods' indignant clamour at his words; Jove himself laughed at the madman, and shaking the thick mass of sacred locks: "What hope has man after Phlegra's arrogant assault?" he says, "and must thou too be struck down?" As he hesitates the gods throng round him, gnashing their teeth and crying for the avenging weapons, nor any longer dares his anxious consort resist the Fates. The heavenly palace itself thunders, though no sign is given, the clouds themselves gather and the storms collect without the blast of any wind: one would think Iapetus had burst his Stygian chains, and that fettered Inarime or Aetna had been lifted to the heights above. Such things the denizens of heaven feel shame to fear; but when they see the hero stand midway in the dizzy height of air, and summon them to insane battle, they marvel in silence, and grow pale, doubting the thunderbolt's power.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 10.921  Then above the summit of the Ogygian tower the vault began to bellow strangely, and the sky to be lost in darkness; yet still he grasps the battlements he no longer sees, and as often as the lightnings flashed through the rent storm-clouds: "Ay here," he shouts, "here at last are the fires 'tis right to use against Thebes! From them I may renew my torch, and awaken my smouldering oaken brand." Even as he spoke, the thunderbolt struck him, hurled with the whole might of Jove: his crest first vanished into the clouds, the blackened shield-boss dripped, and all the hero's limbs are now illumined. The armies both give way, in terror where he may fall, what squadrons he may strike with his burning body. He feels the flame hissing within him and his helmet and hair afire, and trying to push away the galling cuirass with his hand, touches the scorched steel beneath his breast. He stands nevertheless, and turning towards heaven pants out his life and leans his smoking breast on the hated battlements, lest he should fall; but his earthly frame deserts the hero, and his spirit is released; yet had his limbs been consumed a whit more slowly, he might have expected a second thunderbolt.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.1  When great-souled Capaneus had spent the fury of his unrighteous valour and gasped forth the Levin-fire that lodged within him, and when the long track of avenging flame that marked his fall to earth had left its brand upon the walls: victorious Jove with his right hand composed the shaken vault, and with his countenance restored the light of heaven. The gods welcomed him, as though he were breathless and weary after Phlegra's fight, or had piled smoking Aetna upon Enceladus. Grasping the fragment of a shattered tower the hero lies, with a scowl yet upon his face, and leaving deeds for all the world to tell of, deeds that even the Thunderer might praise. As vast as in Avernus lies outstretched the defiler of Apollo's mother, whom even the birds behold aghast when they emerge from his cavernous breast and view hi huge extended limbs, while the wretched fibres grow again to feed them: so burdens he the earth, flung prostrate, and scars the hostile fields and the plain that gasps with the heavenly sulphur. Thebes draws breath once more, and the bowed suppliants rise in the temples; vows and desperate wailing have an end, and the mothers dare to put down their little ones.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.21  But the Achaeans are swept over the plain in scattered, aimless rout. No more do they fear the squadrons of the foe or mortal steel: all have the anger of Jove before their eyes, all in their terror see their armour blazing and hear his thunder ringing in their helmets; Jove himself seemed to pursue and to oppose his fires to their flight. The warriors of Agenor press hard upon them, and use the tumult of the sky: as when upon Massylian meads a lion has crushed within his mighty jaws the untamed monarchs of the herd, and departs, his hunger sated; then growling bears draw nigh and greedy wolves, and with abated rage cowardly lap the blood of an alien prey. Here Eurymedon pursues, with armour rustic and uncouth and rustic weapons in his hand and native skill to arouse panic terrors — his sire was Pan; there goes Alatreus forth, tender in years for such emprise, and though a boy, matching his youthful father: fortunate both, but happier he who delights in such progeny; nor is it easy to discern whose weapons ring the louder, from whose arm more mightily flies the spear.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.39  The ramparts are thronged with a dense mass of fugitives. What changes dost thou bring, Gradivus! But lately the Pelasgians were climbing Cadmus' walls, now they defend their own! Even so the clouds return, so when the south winds are blowing field after field is swept by the blast, so the surge now uncovers, now clothes with its white foam the thirsty sand. Far and wide perish the Tirynthian soldiery, that counterfeit the spoils of their native god; the stern son of Amphitryon mourns from the stars above to see the Nemean skins and the clubs and quivers like his own all drenched in blood. Upon the ironclad summit of the Argive tower stood Enyeus, foremost to cheer to prosperous battle with the trumpet, but then he was giving welcome signal to the distressed, and urging their flight and safe retirement to the camp: when suddenly through the air fell a sidelong blow, and as he sped the sound his hand, just as it was, was fixed to his left ear; already his spirit flies forth upon the empty breeze, already his frozen lips are silent, the trumpet completed its call alone.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.57  And now Tisiphone, having wrought her crimes and weary of the bloodshed of two peoples, seeks to conclude the fight with the brothers' conflict; nor trusts she her own strength for so dire a fray, unless she can rouse from her infernal abode her companion Megaera and her kindred snakes to battle. Therefore she withdrew to an empty vale afar, and dug into the ground her Stygian blade, and muttered into the earth the name of the absent one, and — a sign indubitable to the Elysian realm — raised aloft a horned serpent from her hair with long-drawn hisses: he was the prince of her caerulean tresses, and straightway hearing him earth shuddered and sea and sky, and the Father glanced again at his Aetnaean fires. The other heard the sound: by chance she was standing near her sire, while Capaneus was belauded by the whole train of Dis, and refreshed his glorious shade in the Stygian streams. Forthwith she broke through the massive earth, and stood beneath the stars; the ghosts rejoice, and as the nether darkness grows less thick, so wanes the light above.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.75  Her fell sister receives her, and clasps her hand and speaks: "Thus far, my sister, have I been able to sustain our Stygian father's dread commands and the frenzy laid upon me, alone upon the earth and exposed to a hostile world, while ye in Elysium constrain the unresisting ghosts. No mean reward is mine for my pains, my labours are not vain: this deep-drenched battle-field, these waters that reek with blood, the countless swarms that gladden Lethe's bank — these are the tokens of my power, my signs of triumph. But what care I for these? Let Mars enjoy them, let Enyo boast and spread the story. Thou sawest — manifest surely was he in the Stygian shades — the chief whose jaws were fouled with blood, whose face dripped black corruption; insatiable, he ate the head of his hapless foe, which I did give him. Just now — was it not so? — the sound of a terrible din came down to you from the stars: me did that awful storm assail, 'twas I who mingling with the hero's fury-stricken arms laughed at the warring gods and the levin's mighty wrath. But now, sister, long toil — I confess it — has wearied out my spirit, and my arm is slow; the infernal yew languishes in the air of heaven, and the too strong influence of the stars drowses my unaccustomed snakes. Thou who still hast all thy rage, whose tresses are still riotous and fresh from Cocytus' fount, join thou thy strength to mine. 'Tis no common fray or Martian battle that we prepare, but brothers — though kindly Faith and Duty resist, they will be o'ercome — ay, brothers shall draw the sword in combat hand-to-hand. A noble work! Gird we ourselves with deadly hate, with armed discord. Dost thou hesitate? Nay, choose which banner thou wilt bear. Both are compliant and will do our will; but the mob is double-minded, and I fear his mother's words and Antigone's persuasive tongue, lest they somewhat hinder our design. Ay, even he, who is wont to weary us with his entreaties and call on the Furies to avenge his eyes, already feels his fatherhood; already they say he weeps alone, far from the haunts of men; ay, verily, I like not to invade Thebes and the abode I know so well without thy succour. Command thou the impious exile, incite the Argive to the crime; see that the mild Adrastus prevail not, nor the Lernaean host delay thee. Go, and return to the mutual fray — my foe!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.113  Their duties thus assigned, the sisters went their different ways: as from the two poles of the world South wind and North make war, one nurtured on Rhipaean snows, the other in Libyan sands: rivers, seas, clouds and woods resound, and soon is the ruin seen, the husbandmen lament their losses, yet pity the sailors whelmed upon the deep. When from Olympus' top the exalted Sire beheld them pollute the air, and saw Hyperion's frightened orb beflecked and tainted, with stern utterance he thus began: "Ye heavenly ones, we have seen armed fury pushed to the uttermost bound of right, and a war that yet was lawful, though one man engaged in impious conflict and dared to fall by my right hand. But now a duel unspeakable approaches, a combat yet unknown to miserable earth: look not upon it! Let no gods countenance such a crime, let it be hid from Jove; enough is it to have seen the deadly feast of Tantalus and the guilty altars of Lycaon, and Mycenae bringing the stars in hurried train upon the sky. Now once again must day be troubled; accept, O Earth, these baleful clouds, and let the sky be veiled; it is my will to spare heaven and my own deities; let not at least the star of the kindly maid behold such deeds, nor the Ledaean brethren." So spake the omnipotent Sire and turned his gaze away from the guilty fields, and the earth lacked its joyous light serene.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.136  Meanwhile the daughter of Erebus hastes on the track of Polynices through the Argolic cohorts, and finds him even at the gate, uncertain whether to avoid so many horrors by death or flight. Omens too had troubled his doubting mind: wandering by the rampart in the hours of darkness, distressed at heart and brooding in deep despair, he had seen the phantom of his wife Argia, with tresses torn and a doleful torch in her hand — a sign from heaven! ay, that was her intent, such were the torches she was to bring her spouse! — so, when he asked why she was come and what her grief, what meant these emblems of woe, she did but weep and hide the flame in silence. He knows 'twas but a mental vision of ill, for how could his spouse have come form Mycenae and draw nigh the wall, nor any know? But he is aware of Fate's admonishing and his approaching doom, and fears to be aware. But when the Fury of yawning Acheron thrice smote her lash against his corslet, he raged without restraint, and yearned not to be seated on his throne, but for crime and carnage and to expire in his slaughtered kinsman's blood, and suddenly he accosts Adrastus:

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.155  "Late though it be, O father, and in our extremity, I am at length resolved, who am the last survivor of my comrades and the folk of Argos: then had been the time, when the Achaean blood was yet unshed, to step boldly forth and venture single combat, nor expose the Danaan flower and the sacred lives of princes, that I might crown me with a glory that was the woe of mighty cities. But now since the stern hour of valour is past, now at least let me be allowed to pay what I deserve. For well thou knowest, father, though deep thou doest hide thy wounds and dost revere thy son-in-law's misery and shame: I am he, who, while thou wert ruling in peace and justice — ah! wretch that I am, would some other city had been my host! — exiled from country and throne — but exact thy punishment last: I challenge my brother — why dost thou start? I am resolved — to the death! nay, hinder me not, nor wilt thou be able. Not if my sad mother and unhappy sisters were to fling themselves between our weapons, not even if my sire were to oppose me as I rushed to battle and cast his sightless orbs upon my helm, should I give way. Shall I drink all that remains of Inachian blood, and even yet draw profit from your deaths? I saw the earth yawn and gape on my account, nor went I to the rescue; I saw Tydeus dead and caused his guilt; defenceless Tegea demands of me her prince, and his bereaved mother cries out against me in Parrhasian caves. I had not the spirit to scale Ismenos' banks while Hippomedon stained its streams with gore, nor the Tyrian towers amid the thunder and join my rage to thine, O Capaneus. Why such craven fear for my own life? But I will make due recompense. Let all the Pelasgian brides and mothers and aged sires assemble, all whom I have robbed of so many joys, and whose homes I have despoiled — I fight my brother! what more remains to do? Let them look on, and pray for Eteocles' victory. And now farewell, my wife, and farewell, sweet Mycenae! But thou, beloved sire — for mine is not all the blame for these ills, but Fate and the gods share the guilt with me — be gentle to my ashes, rescue my body after the battle and shield it from birds and from my brother, and bring home my urn, 'tis all I ask, and, for thy daughter, unite her in worthier wedlock."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.193  They fell to weeping, as when with returning spring the Bistonian snows are warmed and mighty Haemus melts and Rhodope is all dissolved into the straitened rivers. And the aged king had begun to soothe his rage with gentle words: but the cruel Fury broke off his speech with new terrors, and straightway, in the shape of Inachian Phereclus, brought his swift wing-footed steed and fatal arms, and with his helmet closed his ears to trusty counsels. Then "Haste!" she cried, "delay not! He too, so they say, is marching on the gates!" Thus, all scruples overcome, she seizes him and sets him upon his steed; ashen pale, he scours the open plain, and glances back to descry the looming shadow of the goddess.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.205  The Tyrian chieftain was offering in vain to Jove the sacrifice that his lightning stroke had won, thinking that the Danaan were disarmed. But neither the celestial sire nor any of the gods were at his altars, but baneful Tisiphone mingling with the affrighted attendants stands near, and to the infernal Thunderer turned aside his prayers. "Supreme of gods, to whom my Thebes owes its origin — though accursed Argos and angry Juno be jealous — since thou as a ravisher didst break up the revels on the Sidonian shore, and deign to bear on thy back a maiden of our race and to utter feigned lowings over the tranquil seas! Nor vainly do we believe that thou a second time didst enjoy Cadmean wedlock and invade the Tyrian dwellings in overpowering might: at length, at length thou dost gratefully regard thy kinsmen and the walls thou lovest, and sendest thy thunder to avenge; as though the heavenly palace had suffered assault, we saw thee rolling cloud on cloud to succour our lofty towers, and gladly we recognize thy kindly brand, and the lightnings that our sires once heard of old. Receive now our flocks and high-piled incense and our votive bull; worthy recompense is not in mortal power; let our own Bacchus and Alcides strive to repay thee, for them thou dost preserve these walls."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.226  He spoke, but he murky flame leapt forth against his face and cheeks, and seized and burnt the diadem on his locks. Then still unsmitten the angry bull beflecked the shrine with bloody foam, and dashed wildly through the opposing concourse, bearing the altar upon his frenzied horns. The ministers scatter, and the soothsayer strives to console the king. Faint-heartedly he commands the rite to be renewed and carried through, and with feigned countenance screens his anxious fears. As when the Tirynthian felt the fire enwrap his bones and the Oetaean robe cling to his limbs, he continued the offering he had begun and poured the incense, still resolute and enduring the agony; soon beneath the stress he groaned aloud, while triumphant Nessus raged throughout his vitals.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.239  Aepytus, in excited breathless haste, comes running with news to the king, his post by the gate abandoned, and scarcely understood pants out these words to the anxious prince: "Break off thy pious worship and the untimely sacrifice, O king! Thy brother rides threatening round thy walls, and with spear and bridle assails thy hindering gates, and flinging many a challenge calls thee, thee alone to battle." Behind him his sorrowing comrades weep, each echoing the speaker with their groans, while the host clash arms and rage against the foe. The monarch prays: "Now was the time, most righteous sire of the gods! What did Capaneus deserve?" A thrill of profound hatred shook the king, yet he rejoices in mid rage: as when a chieftain-bull after the repose of his rival's exile hears with ear alert the bellow of his enemy, and knows his challenge, he stands consumed with mighty wrath before the herd, and pants forth his valour in hot foam, now fiercely tearing the ground with his hoof, now the air with his horns; the meadows quake, and the affrighted vales await the conflict.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.257  Nor are his friends less moved: "Let him batter the walls in vain!" "Can he dare so far with shattered forces?" "'Tis madness prompts the wretches to court danger, weigh no fears and detest safety." "Stay thou assured upon thy throne, we will repulse the foe, bid us make war!" So speak those near him, but lo! Creon was at hand, aflame with grief and claiming for his tongue a warrior's silence; Menoeceus galls his heart to fierceness, no peace does the father know; him he seeks and clutches, him he beholds panting the bloody stream from his breast, and ever falling from the cruel tower. And when he saw Eteocles in doubt and shrinking from the fight: "Thou shalt go," he cries, "not, villain, shall we unavenged endure thee longer, thee the brother and the prince, made powerful by thy country's tears and sufferings, guilty of Heaven's Furies and the war. Long enough have we atoned thy perjuries to the angry gods. This city, once full of arms and wealth, and thronged with citizens, hast thou like a heaven-sent pestilence or plague of earth drained to nothing, yet castest thy tall shadow o'er its emptiness? Folk are lacking to be thy slaves: some lie on earth unburnt, others their native stream has already borne down to the sea; some seek their limbs, others tend anxious wounds. Come, restore to our wretched people their brothers, fathers, sons, restore husbands to their homes and farmsteads! Where now is mighty Hypseus, where is our neighbour Dryas, where are the arms of echoing Phocis and the Euboean chiefs? Yet them the impartial fate of war hath slain, but thou, my son — O shame! — liest the victim, ay, the victim of the throne, like some mute beast of the herd, alas! sprinkled with the first-fruits at the altar's unhallowed rite and bidden die: and doth he still waver, and now at least when summoned refuse the challenge? or does the wicked Tiresias bid another go to battle, and devise a second oracle to bring me woe? Yes, why is Haemon alone left to his unhappy sire? Command him to go, and sit thou on a lofty tower to watch the spectacle! Why dost thou rage and look round upon thy retinue? These would have thee go, ay, and pay the penalty; even thy mother and thy sisters hate thee. Thy brother hotly threatens thee with the sword and death, and rends the stern barriers of thy gates — dost thou not hearken?"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.297  Thus spoke the father, gnashing his teeth, in transports of misery and rage. The other in reply: "Thou dost not fool me, nor art thou moved by thy son's renowned death: that song of woe, those vaunts did but befit a father. But ambition lurks beneath those tears, ambition and concealed desire: thou art making his death a mask for thy mad hopes, and dost press me hard, as though succeeding to the vacant throne. Nor so utterly has Fortune left the Sidonian city that the sceptre should fall to thee, O most unworthy of so brave a son! Nor would revenge be difficult even now, but first — arms, arms, my servants! Let the brothers meet in battle. Creon would have some balm for his sorrow: take advantage of my rage; when I am victorious thou shalt pay me all." Thus for a while he put off the quarrel, and thrust back the sword that wrath put in his hand. As a serpent, struck at a venture and wounded by a shepherd, lifts up its coils erect, and from all its length of body draws the poison to its mouth: but should the foe bend his course but a little, the threats abate, the vainly swollen neck subsides, and it swallows back the venom of its own anger.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.315  But when his mother heard the first news of the calamity in appalled dismay — nor was she slow to believe it — she went with face and tresses torn, and naked, blood-stained breast, reckless of sex and dignity: just as the mother of Pentheus climbed the heights of the frenzied mount to bring the promised head to fierce Lyaeus. Neither her maidens nor her devoted daughters can keep pace with her, such strength does despair lend to the unhappy woman, her enfeebled years grow vigorous with grief. And already the chief was fastening on him the glory of his helm, and taking his sharp javelins, and regarding his steed that rejoiced in the trumpets nor feared the bugle's blast, when on a sudden his mother appeared, mighty to behold, and he and all his company grew pale with fear, and his squire took back the spear he was proffering.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.329  "What madness is this? Whence hath returned the Evil Spirit of this realm, restored again to life? Must ye then fight each other at the last? Is it too little to have led rival hosts and given the word for slaughter? And afterwards, what home awaits the victor? these arms of mine? O my dread spouse, blest hereafter in thy blindness! now pay ye the penalty, my guilty eyes! Must I then see this day? Whither, ruthless one, turnest thou thy threatening gaze? Why do flush and pallor alternate on thy countenance, and thy clenched teeth stifle angry mutterings? Ah, woe is me! thou wilt prevail! Yet first must thou test thy arms at home: I will stand in the threshold of the gate, a baneful omen and dread image of calamity. These hoary locks, these breasts must needs be trampled by thee, accursed one, and o'er thy mother's womb this steed be driven. Ah! spare! why dost thou repel me from thy path with shield and sword? No solemn curses have I uttered against thee to the Stygian gods, nor invoked the Furies with sightless prayer. Hear me in my distress! 'tis thy mother, not thy sire entreats thee, cruel one! Stay thy guilt, and take the measure of such madness. But thy brother — dost thou say? — beats at the walls, and raises impious war against thee. Ay, for no mother, no sister doth prevent him; but thee all beseech, here all make lament. Yonder scarce Adrastus alone dissuades from battle, or perchance doth urge it; wilt thou leave thy ancestral gate and the gods, and from my very embrace go forth against thy brother?"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.354  But in another region Antigone glides silently by stealth through all the tumult — nor does maidenly chastity delay her — and hastes in eagerness to climb to the summit of the Ogygian wall; old Actor follows close behind, though his strength avails not to reach the tower's height. Awhile she hesitated at the sight of the host afar, then recognized him, alas! as with proud taunt and javelin he assailed the city; first her wailings fill the air, then, as though about to leap down from he wall, she cries: "Put up thy weapons and look but a moment at this tower, my brother, and turn thy bristling crest to face my eyes! Is it enemies thou findest? Is it thus we demand good faith and yearly pact? Is this an innocent exile's just complaint and righteous cause? By thy Argive home, O brother — for thy Tyrian home thou slightest — by any joy thou hast therein, be softened: lo! both the armies, either folk entreat thee! Antigone, faithful to her kinsmen's sufferings and suspected by the king, and sister but to thee, hard-hearted one, entreats thee! Remit at least thy frowning looks; let me perchance for the last time behold the face I love, and see whether thou dost weep at my lament. Him even now doth our mother urge with suppliant tears, and doth put back, they say, his naked blade: art thou still stubborn to me, to me who night and day weep for thy wandering exile, and have oftimes appeased thy father's wrath even as it rose against thee? Why dost thou free thy brother of guilt? Verily he broke faith and his sworn word, guilty is he and cruel to his own; yet lo! he comes not to thy challenge."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.382  At these words his rage began somewhat to grow faint though the Fury upbraided and resisted; already he has relaxed his arm, now he wheels his horse less sharply, now he falls silent; groans burst from him, his casque confesses tears, his ire is blunted, and he feels shame both to depart and to have come in guilt: when suddenly the Fiend, thrusting his mother aside, shatters the gate and hurls forth Eteocles crying: "I come, and only grudge thee thou wert the first to challenge; chide not my delay, my mother hung upon my arms and stayed me; what ho! my country, land of thy monarchs most unsure, now assuredly thou shalt be the victor's!" The other in no milder strain: "At last, ruffian, dost thou keep faith, and come down into fair field? O once again after many a day my brother, engage! no law, no treaty but this remains." So spoke he, scowling at his kinsman in hostile mood; for in his heart he chafes at the other's numerous train, and his royal helm and the purple trappings of his charger, and his buckler's glancing gold — though he himself was not meanly armed, and his cloak shone with no common lustre: Argia herself had wrought it in Maeonian fashion, and with skilled finger had woven strands of gold in the purple web.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.403  And now at the Furies' impulse, they dash forward to the dusty plain, each goaded and inspired by his companion. These guide the reins themselves, and arrange the trappings and the shining arms, and entwine their snakes amid the horses' manes. Set there upon the field is the crime of kindred blood, the dread conflict of one womb, beneath their helms the faces of brothers meet in battle. The banners quake, the trumpets are silent, and the Martian horns are struck dumb; thrice from the regions of gloom thundered their impatient monarch and shook the depths of earth, and even the deities of battle fled; renowned Virtue was nowhere seen, Bellona put out her torches, Mars drove afar his affrighted chariot, and the Maid shrank away with her fierce Gorgon-head, and into their places came the Stygian sisters. The wretched common folk stand high upon the house-tops, no place but is wet with tears, no tower but sounds with lamentations. Here old men complain that they have lived so long, there mothers stand with bosoms bare, and forbid their little ones to view the fray. The king of Tartarus himself orders the gates to be set open, and the Ogygian ghosts to attend their kindred's monstrous deeds. Seated upon their native hills they pollute the day with grisly band, and rejoice that their own crimes should be surpassed.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.424  When Adrastus heard that the princes were rushing to the perilous fight with open taunts, and that shame could no longer hinder the ghastly deed, he hastens to the spot and himself drove between them, himself full-reverend both in monarchy and years. But what could a stranger's influence avail with those who recked not even of their loved ones? Yet he entreats: "Shall we then behold this horror, sons of Inachus and Tyre? In the name of justice and the gods, in the name of war — persist not in your fury! Thee, foeman, I beseech — although, did thy rage suffer thee, thou too art not far from me in blood — thee, son-in-law, I command as well; if thy lust of power is so great, I put off this royal robe, go take Lerna and Argos for thyself alone!" But his persuasion no more abates their kindled rage, or checks their once-determined purpose, than did the Scythian Pontus ever stay the Cyanean rocks from clashing, though it rose high with arching waves. When he sees his prayers are fruitless, and the teams galloping in twofold dust to battle, and the frenzied princes feeling their hold on the javelin-strap, he flees away leaving all, camp, army, son-in-law and Thebes, and drives Arion forward, though he turn him in the yoke and give fateful warning: even as the warden of the shades and the third heir of the world, after the lot's unkind apportioning, leapt down from his chariot and grew pale, for he was come to Tartarus and heaven was lost for ever.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.447  Yet would not Fortune suffer the fray, but halted at the opening of the crime, and delayed awhile. Twice were their onslaughts wasted, twice did a kindly mischance divert their charging steeds, and their flung darts fell aside pure of unnatural blood. They strain at the reins, with savage goads they incite their innocent teams; then too an awful prodigy of heaven stirs the armies, and from this side and that roll murmurs through the muttering hosts; often do they burn to renew the fight, to dash forward and to set their whole array in the wretches' path.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.457  Long time, offended alike by earth and the company of the gods, had Piety been sitting in a remote region of the heavens, with unwonted dress and troubled countenance, and fillets stripped from her hair: she bewailed the fraternal strife, as though a hapless sister or anxious mother of the fighters, and loudly chiding cruel Jove and the guilty Fates protested she would leave heaven and the light of day, and descend to Erebus, for already she preferred the abodes of Styx. "Why, sovereign Nature, didst thou create me to oppose the passions of living folk and often the gods? Nought am I any more among men, nowhere ma I reverenced. Ah! what fury! alas! mankind, alas! dread Promethean skill! How blessed was the vacancy of earth and sea after Pyrrha's time! Behold the race of mortals!" She spoke, and watching an occasion for her aid: "Let me but try," she cried, "though my attempt be fruitless." Down from the pole she leapt, and beneath the darkened clouds a snow-white track followed the footsteps of the goddess, sad though she was. Scarce had she set foot upon the plain, when a sudden peace stilled the fury of the warriors, and they were conscious of their crime; then tears bedewed faces and breasts, and a silent horror stole upon the brethren. Clad in feigned armour also and many dress she cries now to these, now to those: "Forward! be moving! Withstand them! Ye who have sons at home or brothers, or pledges held so dear. Even here — is it not plain, the gods unasked are pitiful? — weapons are falling, steeds wavering, and Chance herself resists."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.482  She had somewhat stirred the doubting lines, had not grim Tisiphone marked her deceit, and swifter than the fire from heaven darted to her side, reproaching her: "Why hinderest thou the bold deeds of war, O sluggard, peace-devoted deity? Hence, shameless one! this battle-field, this day is mine; too late now defendest thou guilty Thebes. Where wert thou then when Bacchus made war and the orgies drove the matrons to arms and madness? Where wert thou idling, while the snake of Mars drank the unhallowed flood, while Cadmus ploughed, while the Sphinx fell defeated, while Oedipus was questioned by his sire, while by my torch's light Jocasta was entering the marriage-chamber?" So she upbraids, and threatens her with hissing hydras and brandished torch, as she shrinks from her gaze and far withdraws her shamefast face; down over her eyes the goddess draws her mantle and flees to lay her complaint before the mighty Thunderer.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.497  Then verily are they kindled to yet more fiery wrath; battle pleases, and he armies, changed once more, are willing to look on. They begin anew the savage work: the impious monarch aims his dart, and first dares the fortune of the deadly spear; but striving to find a way through the middle of the shield it strikes not home, but is fabled by the solid gold. Then the exile advances, and utters loud a deadly prayer: "Ye gods, whom blinded Oedipus besought not vainly to blow the blaze of crime, I make no wrongful plea; with this same steel will I atone my deed and rend my breast, so that my rival die and leave me with the sceptre in my grasp, and, my vassal in the shades, take that sorrow with him to the tomb." The swift javelin flies between horseman's thigh and horse's flank, willing death for both, but the blow was foiled by the rider's bent knee, yet the spear-point baffled of its vow found a wound slantwise in the horse's ribs. Scorning the tightened rein the steed darts headlong away, and traces a bloody curve along the reddened field. The other exults, thinking it his brother's gore, and so thinks he himself in fear; and now the exile shakes free all his rein, and dashes in blind, impetuous onslaught against the wounded charger. Arms, bridles, weapons are all mingled in confusion, both horses lose their footing and are thrown to earth. Even as at night two ships that the cloudy South wind has locked together break oars, entangle ropes, and, struggling with each other and the storm through the long darkness, sink even as they are together to the depths: such was the appearance of the fight.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.524  Without skill or fashion, only in wrath and fury they engage, and see through their helms the flames of hate, and search with fiery glance each other's countenance: no interval of ground divides them, swords are entangled, arms interlocked, and they catch the sound of each other's cries like bugle or trumpet-call. As when rage has set lightning-swift boars rushing headlong to the fight, and raised the bristles erect upon their backs, fire quivers in their eyes, and the curved tusks of crescent shape ring loud; from a neighbouring height the anxious hunter watches the fray, and bids his hounds be silent: so bloodthirstily do they attack, nor yet do they deal mortal wounds, but the blood flows, the crime is accomplished. No more need is there of Furies: they only marvel and praise as they watch, and grieve that human rage exceeds their own. Each in furious lust seeks his brother's life-blood, nor knows his own is flowing; at last the exile rushes in, and calling on his right arm, whose ire is more valiant and which has the greater justice in his crime, drove his sword deep into his kinsman's body, where the corslet's lowest rim now gives with feathers but ill protection to the groin. The other, not yet in pain, but frightened by the first cold of the steel, withdraws his shaken limbs behind his buckler, but soon more and more conscious of the wound he gasps and labours; nor does his foe spare him as he gives way, but taunts him: "Whither art thou retreating, brother? Behold the somnolent languor, the exhausted sleep of kings! See there long years of sheltered rule! But here thou seest limbs hardened by want and exile! Learn to be schooled in arms, nor trust to fortune!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.552  So fight the hapless ones; life yet remained, though feeble, in the wicked king, and his last drops of blood, and awhile he could have stayed upright but purposely he falls, and even in the moment of death devises his last fraud. Cithaeron is startled by a shout, and his brother thinking he has conquered raises his hands to heaven: "'Tis well, my vow is heard; his eyes are heavy, and his face swims in death. Come, somebody, quick, away with the sceptre and the ornament of his locks, while he yet sees!" So speaking he drew nigh, and would fain also take his arms, as though to bear them to grace the shrines of his victorious land; but the other's life was not yet spent, and he retained still breath enough to wreak his avenging wrath; and when he knew that he was standing over him and stooping to his body, he raises his weapon unperceived and calling up his hatred to strengthen the weak remnants of his failing life, now glad to die, he left the sword in his brother's heart. But he: "Livest thou still, and doth thy malice yet survive, thou treacherous one, who wilt never merit an abode of peace? This way with me to the shades! There too will I demand my rights, if but the Knossian urn of the Agenorian judge still stands, whereby kings may be punished." No more he spake, but fell, and crushed his brother beneath all his armed weight.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.574  Go, savage souls, and pollute baleful Tartarus by your death, and exhaust all the punishments of Erebeus! And O ye Stygian goddesses, spare now the afflictions of mankind; in every land and throughout all ages let one day only have seen so dread a crime; let posterity forget the infamous horror, and kings alone recount that combat.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.580  But the sire, when he knew the horrid deed was over, burst out from his gloom profound, and in the dread gateway displays his living corpse; his grey hair and beard are filthy and matted with ancient gore, and locks congealed with blood veil his fury-haunted head; deep-sunken are his cheeks and eyes, and foul the traces of the sight's uprooting. The maid sustains his left arm that leans its weight upon her; his right is supported by a staff. 'Tis even as though the furrower of sluggish Avernus through loathing of the shades should leave his bark and come up to the world above and affright the sun and the pale stars, though himself unable long to endure the air of heaven; meanwhile the long tale grows as the ferryman dallies, and all along the banks the ages await him: in such wise does he come forth upon the plain, and to his comrade 'mid her utter woe: "Lead me," he cries, "to my sons, I pray, and set their father on the new-slain corpses." The maiden hesitates, not knowing what he purposes; arms, men and chariots block their way, and entangle and delay them, and the old man's steps falter in the high-piled carnage, and his hapless guide hath sore ado. But when the virgin's shriek betrayed the long-sought bodies, he flung his full length on the cold limbs. No word the old man spake: he lies and moans upon their bloody wounds, nor do the long-attempted words follow. At length while he gropes and searches for the faces hidden within their helms the father found utterance for his long-silent grief:

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.605  "Late after so long time art thou come, affection, to sway my heart? Doth mercy dwell in this human breast? Ah! thou hast conquered, Nature, conquered this unhappy father! Behold, I weep, and my tears steal over these dry wounds, this sinful hand follows with womanly beating of my breast. Receive these fitting obsequies of your unhallowed deaths, O cruel ones, too truly mine! I cannot recognize my sons, nor suit my words — tell me, daughter, I beg, which am I holding? With what honours now can one so cruel as I perform your rites? Oh, if my eyes could be restored for me to rend them! Oh, if I could wreak my rage upon my countenance as once I did! Ah, woe! alas, for a parent's prayers and curses granted too faithfully! What god was it stood by when I prayed, and caught my words and told them to the Fates? 'Twas madness caused those ills, and the Fury, and my father and my mother and my kingdom and my falling eyes — not I! By Dis I swear it, and by the darkness that I loved and this my innocent guide, so may I go to Tartarus by a worthy death, and Laius' shade not angrily shun my presence! Woe is me, what brotherly embraces are these, what are these wounds I feel? Loose your hands, I entreat, and relax at last these deadly bonds, now at least let your sire come between you." Amid such laments he little by little had become in mood for death, and secretly, lest his daughter should prevent him, sought a weapon; but prudent Antigone had withdrawn their swords from his reach. Then the old man in wrath: "Where are the weapons of death? Alas! ye Furies! has the blade sunk all its length into their bodies?" His feeble comrade lifts him as he speaks, and hides her own mute sorrow, rejoicing that grief has touched her savage sire.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.634  But the queen, terrified by the shout that marked the fight begun, had then brought forth from her chamber the famous sword, the sword that was the lamentable spoil of sceptred Laius. And with much complaining of the gods above and her dire couch and her son's madness and the shade of her first lord she strove with her right hand, yet scarce at length as she leaned forward did the steel make entrance to her breast; the wound rent her aged veins, and the ill-fated couch is purged in blood. As the blade grated upon her skinny bosom Ismene fell upon her and weeping stanched the wound with her hair and tears: as when in the Marathonian glade sorrowful Erigone wept her fill for her slain sire, and already was untying the fatal girdle, and bent on death was fastening it to the sturdy boughs.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.648  And now, rejoicing to have foiled the hopes of both princes, Fortune with spiteful hand had transferred elsewhere the sceptre of Amphion's realm, and Creon held the power of Cadmus. Ah, miserable end of war! for him had the brothers fought. Him does the seed of Mars proclaim, and Menoeceus lately offered to save the state endears him to the people. He climbs the throne of distressful Aonia, that brings death to tyrants: ah, flattering power! ill-counselling ambition! Will new rulers ne'er take heed by the examples of the old? Lo! he delights to stand in the accursed spot, and exert a bloody sway. What availest thou, kindlier Fortune? Already he begins to blunt the feelings of a sire, and once upon the throne to wipe Menoeceus from his heart. First, imbued with the savage customs of the palace, as proof and sample of his rule, he bids the Danaan be debarred from funeral fire, and the unhappy host he left under the bare vault, and their sad shades without a resting-place. Next, meeting the returning Oedipus in the entrance of the Ogygian gate, he quailed for a moment, and owned his lesser rank in silence, and checked his ready ire; but soon he resumes the king, and more boldly chiding his blind foe: "Avaunt," he cried, "hateful omen to the conquerors, keep far hence thy Furies, and purify the Theban walls by thy departure! Fulfilled is thy long-endured hope: go, for thy sons lie dead; what wishes has thou left?"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.673  A thrill of frenzy shook him, his squalid cheeks stood quivering as though he saw, and his old age fell from him. Then thrusting away his daughter and his staff, sustained by wrath alone, he utters a cry in the indignation of his heart: "Hast thou already time to be cruel, Creon? Camest thou but lately by treachery to my throne and place of rank, miserable wretch, and art so soon permitted to trample on the ruin of kings? Already dost thou debar the conquered from burial, our kinsmen from their city? Well done! thou canst worthily defend the sceptre of Thebes! This is thy first day of power, but why dost thou foolishly restrict thy new authority? Why grudgingly measure out so great an office? Thou threatenest exile: that is but timorous harshness in a monarch! Why dost thou not forthwith imbue thy greedy blade? Thou hast the power, believe me! some minion would come eager to obey, and fearlessly sever my unresisting neck. Begin then! or dost thou expect me to fall prostrate and with suppliant hand grope for my stern master's feet? But did I try, wouldst thou allow me? Canst thou threaten me with any punishments, or think that any terrors yet remain for me? Dost thou bid me leave the palace? Heaven and earth I have left of my own will, and uncompelled turned my fierce avenging hand on my own eyes: what canst thou command to equal that, malicious monarch? I take my flight, and leave an unhallowed land; what matters it whither I convey my blindness and my lingering death? Do I fear lest any people refuse to grant my prayer for as much of their soil as my miserable corpse will cover? But Thebes is sweet: ay, verily, here my birth is more renowned, here kindlier stars delight my vision, here are my mother and my sons! Nay, keep thou Thebes and rule it, with Cadmus' fortune and Laius' and mine; in such wise marry, and beget loyal sons! and lack the courage to escape by thy own hand the blows of Fortune, but when thou art in the toils, then hold life dear. There, 'tis enough of blessings! come, daughter, lead me far away; yet why do I make thee share my sorrows? Give me a guide, great sovereign!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.708  Hapless Antigone fears to be left behind, and pleads in different wise: "By thy heaven-blest throne, revered Creon, and Menoeceus' sacred shade, pardon him in his affliction, forgive his proud words. Long grievance hath given him this style of speech; nor is he thus harsh to thee alone, even so addresses he the gods and Fate; his distress hath hardened him, even to me he is often discourteous; in his untameable heart there long hath dwelt a stifled freedom and a savage longing for pitiless death. And now behold in his cunning he rouses up thy anger and desires thee to punish him; but do thou, I pray, enjoy the greater blessings of thy realm, and in thy lofty state o'erlook the fallen, and have reverence for the mighty ruins of former kings. He too was once lifted high upon a throne and hedged with arms, and, impartial alike to great and humble, gave succour and justice to the wretched — who now has but one companion maid out of all his armies; not yet did he know exile. Can he oppose happiness? Dost thou proceed against him with hated and thy kingdom's might? Dost thou drive him from thy house? Is it lest the groan too loudly at thy gate and meet thee with importunate prayers? Fear not that: far removed from thy hall will he lament; I will subdue his proud spirit and teach him submission, I will take him from the gatherings of men and hide him in a place of solitude. An outlaw will he be; for e'en should he wander, what foreign walls will open to him? Wouldst thou have him go to Argos and crawl a beggar into hostile Mycenae, or tell of the slaughter of the Aonians at the gate of conquered Adrastus, and entreat some scrap of succour for a Theban king? Doth it please thee that he should recount the crimes of our unhappy race, and show forth all his shameful plight? Conceal us, I pray, whate'er we are — no lengthy boon, O Creon: pity his old age, and grant me here, ay, here, I beg, to lay to rest my sire's unhappy spirit. Surely Thebans may have burial!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.739  So prays she, prostrate on the ground; her father leads her away, with angry words and scorning pardon. Even as a lion, whom once in his youth the woods and mountains trembled at, now lies sluggish beneath a lofty rock and disarmed by length of years: yet even in age is he terrible of aspect and not to be approached, and should the noise of lowing come to his languid ears, he springs up and remembers himself, and groans that his strength is broken, and that other lions lord it upon the plains.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.748  The monarch is moved by her plea, yet grants not everything to the suppliant's tears, but cuts short a part of his bounty. "Thou shalt not," he cries, "be kept far from the boundaries of thy land, so be it thou defile not with thy presence its sacred shrines and homes. Let the wilds of thy Cithaeron hold thee; and lo! this land is a fit dwelling for thy darkness, where the fight was fought and two races lie in blood." So he speaks, and in haughty pride, amid the feigned applauding of his train and the weeping folk, sought the palace gate.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 11.757  Meanwhile the routed Pelasgians steal away from their fatal camp; none has his own ensigns or chief to follow; silently in scattered rout they go, and instead of a glorious death they cherish dishonoured life and a shameful home-coming. Night favours the fugitives and shrouds them in welcome gloom.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.1  Not yet had the wakeful dawn put all the stars to flight from heaven, and the moon was beholding the approach of day with facing horn, what time Tithonia scatters the clouds in hurrying rout, and prepares the wide firmament for the return of Phoebus: already Dircean bands stray forth from their scanty dwellings, complaining of the tardy night; although not till then had they rested, or gained their first sleep after battle, yet a troubled peace forbids repose, and victory still remembers the horrors of war. Scarce at first dare they to step forth and destroy the rampart works, scarce wholly to unbar the gates; the old fears rise before them, and the dread of the deserted plain: just as to men long tossed on ocean earth heaves at first, so are they spellbound and amazed that nought assails them, and fancy that the slain hosts rise up again. So when Idalian birdshave seen a tawny snake climbing the threshold of a conspicuous tower, they drive their little ones within and wall the nestling brood behind their talons, and stir their unwarlike wings to battle; and though he soon retreat, yet the white flock fears the empty air, and when at last they venture flight they thrill with terror and still look back from the mid-vault of heaven.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.22  Forth they go to the bloodless multitude and the remnants of the fallen host, wherever grief and indignation, blood-stained guides, impel them; some behold the weapons, some the bodies, others but the faces of the slain, with strangers' limbs near by; some mourn their chariots, and address — all they can do — the widowed steeds; others imprint kisses on gaping wounds, and bewail the valour of the dead. They sort out the cold heaps of slain: severed hands appear with lances and sword-hilts in their grip, and arrows fixed in eyes; many find no traces of their dead, and rush about, with grief ever ready and on the verge. But around the unsightly corpses a pitiable strife arises, who shall perform the rites and make their funeral. Often too were they deceived — Fortune mocking them awhile — and wept for foemen; nor was it easy to tell what carnage to avoid and what to trample. But those whose homes have suffered not, and who are spared all anguish, either stray around the deserted tents of the Danaan and set them afire, or — so far as they can after battle — search where lies the dust-bespattered Tydeus, whether the chasm of the ravished augur still be gaping, where is the enemy of the gods, and whether the heavenly embers still glow among his limbs. Already the daylight faded upon their tears, nor did late Vesper drive them away; in their misery they love their lamentation and feast upon their sorrow. Nor return they to their homes, but sit all night about the corpses, and bewailing them by turns ward off the beasts by fires and sounds of woe; nor did their eyes close yielding to the sweet influence of the stars, nor through constant weeping. For the third time Aurora strove with the Morning Star, and already the mountains are despoiled, and mighty trunks of Teumessus, the glory of the groves, and the timber of Cithaeron, friend of the funeral pyre, is come; on high-wrought piles blaze the bodies of the ruined race: the Ogygian ghosts rejoice at the last tribute; but the unburied troop of Greeks raise pitiable lament, and moaning flit about the forbidden fires. Nor does the cruel spirit of fierce Eteocles receive the honours of a prince; his brother by command is held an Argive still, and his outlawed shade is driven away.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.60  But Menoeceus is not suffered by Thebes or the king his father to burn upon a vulgar pyre, no heap of logs forms a common, customary mound, but a warlike pile of chariots and shields and all the weapons of the Greeks is raised; on the massed trophies of the foe he himself like a conqueror is laid, his locks adorned with peace-bringing laurel and woollen fillets: just as when the Tirynthian, summoned by the stars, laid him down with joy on kindled Oeta. Thereon did his sire sacrifice yet living victims, Pelasgian captives and bridled steeds, a solace to his warlike valour; upon them the towering flames quiver, and at last his father's groans burst forth: "Ah! had not overmastering desire of noble praise possessed thee, my son, thou hadst been revered alike with me, ay, even ruled Echion's city, but now thou embitterest my coming joys and the ungrateful burden of a realm. Though thy unfailing virtue dwell in heaven amid the companies of the gods — as I verily believe — yet, I shall ever mourn thee, deity as thou art: let Thebes build altars and dedicate lofty fanes; suffer thy sire alone to lament thee. And now, alas, what worthy rites, what funeral pomp can I lavish on thy tomb? I could not, even had I power to mingle baneful Argos and stricken Mycenae with thy ashes, and fling myself upon them, who have gained life — ah! horror! — and royal state by the blood of my son! Hath one day, one same unhallowed war sent thee, boy, and those dread brothers to Tartarus together? Are Oedipus now and I in equal plight of sorrow? Like indeed are the shades we mourn O righteous Jove! Receive, my son, new offerings to grace thy triumph, receive this ruling sceptre of my right hand and this haughty crown that binds my brow, thy gifts unto thy sire — small joy indeed to him! As king, ay, king let the sullen shade of Eteocles behold thee!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.92  So speaking he strips head and hand, and with wrath inflamed continues in more violent strain: "Come then, let them call me fierce and heartless, if I forbid the Lernaean dead to burn with thee; would I could put lingering life within their bodies and drive their guilty souls from heaven and Erebus, and myself, ay myself go search for wild beasts and birds with hooked mouths, and show them the accursed limbs of the princes! Woe is me, that the kindly earth and the lapse of time will resolve them where they lie! Wherefore again and again I repeat my stern decree: let none venture to give the aid of final fire to the Pelasgians, or he will atone his deed by death, and fill up the tale of corpses: by the gods above and by great Menoeceus I sear it!" He spoke, and his companions dragged him away and bore him to the palace.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.105  Meanwhile a sorrowful band of Inachian women, widowed and bereaved — drawn, hapless ones, by the sad tidings — were hastening, like a captive throng, from desolate Argos; each had her own wounds, all were in similar plight, with hair hanging down upon their bosoms and high-girt raiment; their faces torn by their cruel nails were streaming, their tender arms were swollen with beating. First of her stricken sisters, helpless Argia, queen of the sable-clad company, seeks her path, sinking upon her sorrowing maidens and anon struggling to her feet; no thought has she of her sire or royal home; one devotion fills her heart, one name, that of her beloved Polynices, is on her lips; she would fain forget Mycenae and make Dirce and Cadmus' ill-starred city her abode. Next Deipyle, as eager as her sister, brings Calydonian women mingling with the train of Leran to Tydeus' obsequies; she had heard, unhappy one! of her husband's crime and impious gnawing, but love in affliction forgives the slain one all. After her Nealce, wild of aspect, yet rousing tearful compassion, bewails Hippomedon with the grief that is his due. Then comes the seer's unrighteous spouse, doomed alas! to build an empty pyre. The bereft comrade of Maenalian Diana leads the rearmost companies of the mourners, and Evadne, bitter at heart: the one in querulous sorrow for the exploits of her daring boy, the other mindful of her mighty lord goes fiercely weeping and in wrath against high heaven. Hecate beheld them from her Lycean groves and bore them tearful company, and as they approached the double shore the Theban mother lamented from her Isthmian tomb; the Eleusinian, though sorrowing for herself, wept for the night-wandering multitude, and showed her mystic fires to guide their errant course. The Saturnian herself leads their going, lest her own folk should meet them and forbid them passage, and the glory of their great enterprise be lost. Moreover, Iris is bidden cherish the dead bodies of the princes, and laves their decaying limbs with mysterious dews and ambrosial juices, that they may resist the longer and await the pyre, nor perish before the flames have seized them.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.141  Lo! Ornytus, haggard of face and pale from a gaping wound — he had lost his friends and was hampered by a recent blow — feebly picks his way in timid stealth through pathless deserts, leaning upon a broken spear. When in amaze he beheld the solitudes stirred by strange tumult and the train of women, all that he sees surviving of the host of Lerna, he inquires not of their journey or its cause — 'tis clear enough — but in mournful accents thus accosts them: "Whither, hapless ones, whither are ye journeying? Do ye hope for funeral fires for your dead heroes? A sentinel of the slain stands there unsleeping, and keeps count of the unburied corpses for the king. Tears are there nowhere, all men that venture nigh are driven far away; only beasts and birds are suffered to approach. Will the just Creon pay respect to your grief? Sooner may one prevail upon the merciless altars of Busiris or the ravening Odrysian stall or the Sicilian deities; perchance he will carry off the suppliants, if I know his mind, nor will he slay you upon the bodies of your lords, but far from the spirits ye love. Nay, flee, while your road is safe, return to Lerna and carve — this ye yet can do — the names of your lost ones on empty sepulchres, and call the absent ghosts to untenanted tombs. Or implore Cecropian succour — they say that Theseus draws nigh, returning in triumph from victory on Thermodon's banks. By force of arms alone will Creon learn humanity." So he spoke, but they were horrified amid their tears, and their great zest of going was struck with dismay, and all their faces were frozen in one pallor. Even so when the hungry roar of a Hyrcanian tigress comes wafted on the wind to gentle heifers, at the sound terror seizes the countryside, and all are filled with mighty fear, which shall please her, whose shoulders shall feel the ravening beast upon them.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.173  Straightway opinion is divided by many a discordant impulse: some wish to supplicate Thebes and haughty Creon, others to see if the clemency of the Attic folk will grant them aught; return seems cowardly and is last in their thoughts. Hereupon Argia conceives a sudden passion for more than womanly valour, and neglecting her sex designs a mighty emprise: she purposes — cruel expectation of unequalled peril! — to come to grips with the law of the impious realm, whither no maid of Rhodope, no child of snowy Phasis ringed round by virgin cohorts would go. Then she devises a cunning ruse whereby to separate herself from her faithful train, and in contempt of her life and in the rashness of overpowering grief to challenge the merciless gods and the cruel king; devotion and chaste passion urge her on. He himself too appears before her eyes, manifest in every act, now as her guest, unhappy girl! now pledging his hand at the first holy rites, now her kindly spouse, and now grimly helmed and mournful in her embrace and oft looking back fro the outer threshold of the gate: but no image more frequently haunts her mind that that which comes, stripped of its armour, from the blood of the Aonian battle-field and cries for burial. Her soul fretted with such frenzy she sickens and with purest passion woos the grave; then, turning to her Pelasgian comrades, "Do you," she says, "call forth the Attic hosts and Marathonian arms, and may Fortune favour your devoted toil: suffer me to penetrate the Ogygian abodes, who was the sole cause of ruin, and endure the first terrors of the monarch; nor shall I beat at the city's doors in vain; the parents and the sisters of my lord are there: not as a stranger shall I enter Thebes. Only call me not back: my keen desire urges me thither, and gives me good omen."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.204  Without more words she selects Menoetes alone — once the guardian and counsellor of her maiden modesty — and though without experience of knowledge of the country, hurries on with headlong speed by the way that Ornytus had come. And when she seemed to have left afar the comrades of her woes, "Could I wait," she cried, "for the pleasure of tardy Theseus, while thou — ah, sorrow! — art mouldering on the enemy's fields? Would his chieftains, would his cunning soothsayer assent to war? Meanwhile thy body doth decay. Rather than that shall I not give my own limbs for the taloned birds to tear? Even now, if thou hast any feeling in the world of shades, thou art complaining, faithful spouse, to the deities of Styx that I am hard-hearted, that I am slow in coming. Alas! if thou still art bare, alas! if perchance already buried: mine is the crime in either case; hath sorrow then no power? Is death, or fierce Creon, all a dream? Ornytus, thou dost cheer me on my way!" So speaking, she hastens with rapid pace over the fields of Megara; folk that she meets point out her path. Awe-struck at her miserable plight. With grim countenance she strides onward, terrified by no sound without a panic within, with all the confidence of utter despair, and rather feared than fearing: as when upon a night in Phrygia Dindymus resounds with wailing, and the crazy leader of the women's revel speeds to the waters of pine-rearing Simois — she to whom the goddess herself gave the knife, selecting her for bloodshed, and marked her with the wool-bound wreath.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.228  Already had father Titan hidden his flaming chariot in the Hesperian flood, to emerge again from other waves, yet she, her weary toil beguiled by grief, knows not that the day is ended; nor does the gathering gloom of the fields affray her, but unchecked she fares o'er pathless rocks, past boughs that threaten to fall, through mysterious forests, pitch-dark even in cloudless day, over plough-lands scarred with hidden dykes, plunging heedless through rivers, past sleeping beasts and dangerous lairs of fearful monsters. So great is the strength of passion and of grief! Menoetes is ashamed of his slower pace, and marvels at the gait of his frail ward. What abodes of beasts or men echoed not to her grievous plaint? How often did she lose the track as she went, how often did the solace of the companion flame desert her straying steps, and the cold darkness swallow up the torchlight? And now the slopes of Pentheus' ridge lie beside their weary path, and broaden into plain, when Menoetes nigh failing and with panting breast thus begins to speak: "Not far away, Argia, if the hope inspired by the toils we have endured deceive not, lie, methinks, the Ogygian dwellings and the bodies that lack sepulture; from close at hand come waves of heavily-tainted air, and mighty birds are returning through the void. 'Tis indeed that cruel battle-field, nor is the city far distant. Seest thou how the plain outstretches the vast shadow of the walls, and how the dying fires flicker from the watch-towers? The city is hard by; night herself was more silent but a moment past, and only the stars broke through the pitchy gloom."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.255  Argia shuddered, and stretched out her right hand toward the walls: "O city of Thebes, once longed-for, but now the dwelling of our foes, yet, if thou givest back my dead spouse uninjured, even so a soil beloved: seest thou in what garb arrayed, by what a train accompanied, I, the daughter-in-law of mighty Oedipus, for the first time approach thy gates? No unhallowed wish have I; a stranger, I beg but for a pyre, a corpse, and leave to mourn. Him restore to me, I pray, who was exiled from his realm and conquered in the fight, him, whom thou deemedst not worthy of his father's throne! And come thou too, I beg, if spirits have any shape, and souls can wander freed from their bodies, show me the way, and lead me thyself to thy own corpse, if I have so deserved!" She spoke, and entering the pastoral shelter of a neighbouring cottage kindles anew the breath of the dying brand, and impetuously rushes forth upon the awful plain. Even so did the bereaved Ceres light her torch and from Aetna's rocks cast the shifting glare of the mighty flame here over Sicily, there over Ausonia, as she followed the traces of the dark ravisher and the great wheel-furrows in the dust; Enceladus himself re-echoes her wild wailings, and illumines her path with bursting fire; "Persephone" cry woods and rivers, seas and clouds: only the palace of her Stygian lord calls not "Persephone."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.278  Her faithful supporter warns the distracted dame to remember Creon and keep low her torch in stealthy hiding. She who of late was feared as queen throughout Argive cities, the ambitious hope of suitors and sacred promise of her race, through all the terrors of the night, without a guide and in the presence of the foe, goes on alone, o'er obstacles of arms, o'er grass all slippery with gore, trembling not at the gloom nor at troops of spirits hovering around or ghosts bewailing their own limbs, oft treading blindly but unheeding on swords and weapons; she labours but to avoid the fallen, and thinks every corpse the one she seeks, while with keen glance she searches the slain, and bending down turns bodies on their backs, and complains to the stars that they give not light enough.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.291  By chance Juno, stealing herself from the bosom of her mighty lord, was faring through the slumberous darkness of the sky to Theseus' walls, that she might move Pallas to yield and Athens to give gracious welcome to the pious suppliants; and when from the height of heaven she beheld the innocent Argia exhausted by fruitless wandering o'er the plain, she was grieved at the sight, and encountering the lunar team she faced them and spoke thus with calm accents: "Grant me a little boon, O Cynthia, if Juno can command respect; 'tis true that Jove's bidding, thou shameless one, that threefold night when Hercules — but I will let old quarrels be; now canst thou do me a service. Argia, daughter of Inachus, my favourite votary — seest thou in what a night she roams, nor with failing strength can find her spouse in the thick darkness? Thy beams too are faint with shrouding vapour; show forth thy horns, I pray thee, and let thy orbit approach the earth nearer than is thy wont. This Sleep, too, who leaning forward plies for thee thy humid chariot-reins, send him upon the Aonian watchmen." Scarce had she spoken, when the goddess cleft the clouds and displayed her mighty orb; the shadows started in terror, and the stars were shorn of their radiance; scarce did Saturnia herself endure the brightness.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.312  First by the light that floods the plain she recognizes her husband's cloak, her own handiwork, poor woman! though the texture is hidden and the purple mourns to be suffused with blood; and while she calls upon the gods, and thinks that this is all that is left of the beloved corpse, she catches sight of himself, nigh trampled into the dust. Her spirit quailed, and vision and speech fled, and grief thrust back her tears; then she falls prostrate about his face, and seeks with kisses for his departed soul, and pressing the blood from his hair and raiment gathers it up to treasure. At last as her voice returns: "My husband, is it he who once marched captain of the war to the realm that was his due, is it the son-in-law of powerful Adrastus whom I now behold? Is this the manner in which I go to meet thy triumph? Raise hither thy countenance and thy sightless eyes: Argia has come to thy Thebes; lead me then inside thy city, show me thy father's halls and make me welcome in thy turn. Alas! what am I doing? thou liest on the naked earth, and this is all that thou dost own of thy native land. What were those quarrels? 'Tis sure thy brother holds not dominion here. Didst thou move none of thine own to tears? Where is thy mother? Where the famed Antigone? Verily 'tis for me thou liest dead, for me alone thou didst suffer defeat! I asked thee: Whither marchest thou? Why demandest thou the sceptre denied thee? Thou hast Argos and wilt reign in my father's hall; long honours await thee here, and undivided power. But why do I complain? Myself I gave thee war, and with my own lips begged it of my sorrowing sire — that now I might hold thee thus in my embrace. But it is well, ye gods; I thank thee, Fortune; the distant hope of my wandering is fulfilled: I have found his body whole. Ah! what a deep and gaping wound! Was this his brother's work? Were lies, I pray, that infamous robber? I would outdo the birds, might I but approach him, and keep the beasts away! Hath the fell villain fire as well? But thee thy land shall not behold undowered of flame; burn thou shalt, and tears that may not weep for kings shall rain on thee, and desolate love shall endure and aye tend thy sepulchre; thy son shall be the witness of my sorrow, a little Polynices shall cherish thy couch for me."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.349  Lo! with another torch and other sounds of woe hapless Antigone drew nigh the dead, having scarce won from the town the escape she longed for; for ever do guards attend her, and the king himself bids her be held fast; the times of watching are shortened and more frequent glow the fires. Therefore she makes excuse for her delaying to the gods and her brother, and frantically, so soon as the rough sentinels relaxed one whit their vigilance, burst from out the walls: with such a cry does the virgin lioness terrify the countryside, her fury free at last, when for the first time her mother shares not in her rage. Not long did she tarry, for she knew the cruel plain and where her brother lay in the dust: Menoetes, as he stands unbusied, marks her as she comes, and hushes the groans of his dear ward. But when the latest sob reached the maiden's uplifted ears, and when she saw by the stars' rays and the light of either torch her mourning raiment and dishevelled hair and face all foul with congealed gore, she cried: "Whose body seekest thou in this night that is mine? Who art thou, daring woman?"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.367  Nought answered the other a long while, but cast her raiment about her husband's face and likewise her own, a prey to sudden fear and awhile forgetful of her sorrow. Antigone, chiding her suspected silence, persists the more, and urges her comrade and herself; but both are lost in utter silence. At last Argia unveiled her face and spoke, yet still clasped the body: "If thou comest to seek aught with me in this stale blood of battle, if thou also fearest Creon's harsh commands, I can with confidence reveal myself to thee. If thou art wretched — and surely I behold tears and signs of grief — come join with me in friendship; Adrastus' royal seed am I — ah! is any near? — at the pyre of my beloved Polynices, though kingdoms set their ban — " the Cadmean maiden started in amaze and trembled, and broke in upon her speech: "Is it I then whom thou dost fear? — how blind is chance! — I, the partner of thy woes? Mine are the limbs thou holdest, mine the corpse thou dost bewail. Take him, he is thine! Ah, shame! Ah, for the cowardly devotion of a sister! She came before me — !"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.385  Side by side they fall, and together embracing the same body mingle greedily their tears and tresses, and share his limbs between them, and anon return with united lament to his face and glut themselves by turns upon his well-loved breast. And while they recall the one her brother and the other her spouse, and each tells to each the tale of Argos and of Thebes, Argia in longer strain brings to mind her own sad story: "By the sacred communion of our stolen mourning, by our common dead and the witnessing stars I swear to thee: not his lost crown, nor his native soil, nor his dear mother's breast did he desire, wandering exile though he was, but thee alone; of thee, Antigone, he spake by night and day; I was a lesser care and easily relinquished. Yet didst thou perchance before the horrid deed from a lofty turret behold him towering high and giving the Grecian companies their banners, and he looked back at thee from the very line of battle, and saluted thee with his sword and the nodding summit of his helm: but I was far away. But what god drove them to the extremity of wrath? Did your prayers nought avail? Did the other refuse thy own entreaty?" Antigone had begun to set forth the causes and the cruelty of fate, but the faithful comrade warned them: "Nay finish rather your task! Already the stars are paling in rout before the approaching day; complete your toil, the time for tears will come; kindle the fire, then weep your fill."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.409  Nor far away a roar betrayed the channel of Ismenos where he was flowing still discoloured and befouled by gore. Hither with united effort they feebly bear the mangled limbs, while their companion as weak as they adds his arms to theirs. So did his sisters lave the smoking Phaethon, Hyperion's son, in the heated Padus: scarce was he interred, when a weeping grove rose by the river-side. When the filth was purged in the stream and the body was once more beautiful in death, the wretched women after the last kisses searched for fire, but dead and cold were the ashes in the mouldering pits, and all the pyres were silent. Still there remained one funeral pile, whether by chance or heaven's will, that had been fated to burn the limbs of fierce Eteocles — whether Fortune once more gave opportunity for portents, or the Fury had spared the fires for mutual strife. Here both in their eagerness beheld a feeble glow still alive among the blackened timbers, and together wept tears of joy; nor yet knew they whose the pyre, but prayed, whosesoe'er it be, that he be favourable and graciously admit a partner to his latest ashes and unite their ghosts.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.429  Once more behold the brothers: as soon as the devouring fire touched the body, the pile shook, and streams up with double head, each darting tongues of flashing light. As though pale Orcus had set in conflict the torches of the Eumenides, each ball of fire threatens and strives to outreach the other; the very timbers, with all their massive weight, were moved and gave way a space. The maiden cries out in terror: "We are undone; ourselves we have stirred his wrath in death. It was his brother; who else would be so cruel as to spurn the approach of a stranger ghost? Lo! I recognize the broken buckler and the charred sword-belt, ay, it was his brother! Seest thou how the flame shrinks away and yet rushes to the fight? Alive, ay, alive is that impious hatred. The war was in vain: while thus ye strive, unhappy ones, Creon has conquered after all! Gone is your realm, why then such fury? For whom do ye rage? Appease your anger. And thou, everywhere an exile, ever debarred from justice, yield at last; this is thy wife's and thy sister's prayer, else shall we leap into the fierce flame to part you."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.447  Scarce had she spoken, when a sudden tremor shook the plain and the lofty roofs, and increased the chasm of the discordant pyre, while the watchmen, whose very sleep shaped images of woe, started from repose: straightway the soldiers rush forth, and with a ring of arms search the whole countryside. As they draw nigh, the old man alone has fear; but the women openly before the pyre confess to have spurned fierce Creon's command, and with loud cry admit their secret deed, careless, for they see that already the whole body is consumed. Ambitious are they for cruel destruction, and a spirited hope of death is aflame within them: they contend that they stole, the one her consort's, the other her kinsman's limbs, and prove their case by turns: "I brought the body," "but I the fire," "I was led by affection," "I by love." They delight to ask for cruel punishment and to thrust their arms into the chains. Gone is the reverence that but now was in the words of each; wrath and hatred one would deem it, so loud on either side rise the cries of discord; they even drag their captors before the king.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.464  But far away Juno leads the distraught Phoronean dames — herself no less distraught — to the walls of Athens, having gained at last the goodwill of Pallas, and goes before them on the road; she gives the train of mourners favour in the people's sight and inspires reverence for their tears. With her own hand she gives them boughs of olive and supplicating fillets, and teaches them to hide their faces in their robes and bear before them urns untenanted by the dead. A multitude of every age streams forth from the Erechthean homes and fills the housetops and the streets; whence comes this swarm? Whence so many mourners together? Not yet do they know the cause of their distress, yet are already weeping. With either concourse the goddess mingles and tells them of all: of what race they are sprung, what deaths they are bewailing, and what they seek; they themselves too in various converse make everywhere loud outcry against the Ogygian laws and inhuman Creon. No lengthier plaint do the Getic birds utter upon the foreign housetops in mutilated speech, when they exclaim against he treachery of the wedding bower and Tereus' cruel deed.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.481  There was in the midst of the city an altar belonging to no god of power; gentle Clemency had there her seat, and the wretched made it sacred; never lacked she a new suppliant, none did she condemn or refuse their prayers. All that ask are heard, night and day may one approach and win the heart of the goddess by complaints alone. No costly rites are hers; she accepts no incense flame, no blood deep-welling; tears flow upon her altar, sad offerings of severed tresses hang above it, and raiment left when Fortune changed. Around is a grove of gentle trees, marked by the cult of the venerable, wool-entwined laurel and the suppliant olive. No image is there, to no metal is the divine form entrusted, in hearts and minds does the goddess delight to dwell. The distressed are ever nigh her, her precinct ever swarms with needy folk, only to the prosperous is her shrine unknown. Fame says that the sons of Hercules, saved in battle after the death of their divine sire, set up this altar; but Fame comes short of truth: 'tis right to believe that the heavenly ones themselves, to whom Athens was ever a welcoming land, as once they gave laws and a new man and sacred ceremonies and the sees that here descended upon the empty earth, so now sanctified in this spot a common refuge for travelling souls, whence the wrath and threatenings of monarchs might be far removed, and Fortune depart from a shrine of righteousness. Already to countless races were those altars known; hither came flocking those defeated in war and exiled from their country, kings who had lost their realms and those guilty of grievous crime, and sought for peace; and later this abode of kindliness o'ercame the rage of Oedipus and sheltered the murder of Olynthus and defended hapless Orestes from his mother. Hither guided by the common folk comes the distressful band of Lerna, and the crowd of previous votaries give way before them. Scarce were they arrived, when their troubles were soothed and their hearts had rest: even as cranes chased o'er the deep by their native North wind, beholding Pharos, spread in denser array over the sky and raise a joyful clamour; they delight beneath a cloudless heaven to thin scorn of snows, and to loose the grip of winter by the banks of Nile.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.519  And now Theseus, drawing nigh his native land in laurelled car after fierce battling with the Scythian folk, is heralded by glad applause and the heaven-flung shout of the populace and the merry trump of warfare ended. Before the chief are borne his spoils, and virgin chariots that recall the grim War-God, and wagons heaped with crests and downcast steeds and broken axes, wherewith the foe were wont to cleave the forests and frozen Maeotis, light quivers too are borne and baldricks fiery with gems and targes stained with the blood of the warrior-maids. They themselves, still unafraid, admit no thought of sex, and scorn to entreat nor utter mean lament, only they seek the shrine of unwedded Minerva. The first passion of the folk is to behold the conqueror, drawn by his four snow-white steeds; Hippolyte too drew all toward her, friendly now in look and patient of the marriage-bond. With hushed whispers and sidelong gaze the Attic dames marvel that she has broken her country's austere laws, that her locks are trim, and all her bosom hidden beneath her robe, that though a barbarian she mingles with mighty Athens, and comes to bear offspring to her foeman-lord.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.540  The sorrowful daughters of Pelops moved a short space from the altars where they sat, and marvelled at the triumph with its train of spoils, and their vanquished lords came once more to their minds. And when the conqueror halted the chariots and from his proud car inquired the causes that had brought them and with kind attention bade them make their request, the wife of Capaneus dared speak before the others: "Warlike son of Aegeus, for whom Fortune opens up vast fields of unexpected glory through our ruin, no strangers by race are we, nor guilty of any heinous crime; our home was Argos, and our husband princes, would they had not been brave also! What need was there to arouse a sevenfold host, and chastise the city of Agenor? We complain not that they were slain; but they were no monsters risen from Sicilian dens or twyformed creatures of Ossa who fell in the battle. Of their race and famous sires I speak not; they were men, renowned Theseus, and of the seed of men, born to the selfsame stars to the same human lot, the same food and drink as ye are; yet Creon denies them fire, and like the father of the Furies or the ferryman of Lethe's stream debars them from the Stygian gate and keeps them hovering doubtfully between the worlds of heaven and hell. Alas! sovereign Nature! Where are the gods? Where is the hurler of the unrighteous brand? Where art thou, Athens? Already the seventh dawn shrinks with frightened steeds from their corpses; the starry pole shudders in all its splendours and withdraws its rays; already the very birds and prowling beasts loathe the horrid carrion and the battle-field that reeks of corruption and heavily taints the breezes and the air. How much indeed remains? let him but permit me to sweep up bare bones and putrid gore! Make haste, ye worthy sons of Cecrops! such a vengeance becomes you, before the Emathians and Thracians suffer, and every race of men that would fain be burnt on pyres and be given the last rites of death. For what limit will be set to his fury? We made war, I grant it; but hatred is assuaged, and death has put an end to sullen wrath. Thou also, for so Fame hath taught us of thy noble deeds, didst not give Sinis and the unutterable Cercyon to cruel monsters, and wert willing to let fierce Sciron burn. I ween too that Tanais smoked with Amazonian pyres, whence thou hast brought this host: deem then this triumph also worthy of thee. Devote one exploit to earth and heaven and hell alike, if thou didst save thy native Marathon from fear, and the halls of Crete, and if the aged dame that welcomed thee shed not her tears in vain. So may no battles of thine lack Pallas' aid, nor the divine Tirynthian envy thy equal exploits, may thy mother ever behold thee triumphant in thy car, and Athens know not defeat nor ever make a prayer like mine!"

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.587  She spoke: they all with hands outstretched make clamorous echo to her words; the Neptunian hero flushed, deeply stirred by their tears; soon fired by righteous anger he cries: "What Fury has inspired this strange unkingly conduct? Not so minded were the Greeks at my departure, when I sought Scythia and the Pontic snows; whence this new madness? Thoughtest thou Theseus conquered, fell Creon? I am near at hand, think me not blood-weary; even yet my spear thirsts for righteous slaughter. I make no delay; turn on the instant thy galloping steed, most trusty Phegeus, speed to the Tyrian towers and proclaim that the Danai must burn of Thebes must fight." So speaks he, forgetful of the labours of warfare and the march, and encourages his men and inspires their exhausted strength anew: as when a bull has lately won back his brides and pasture and ceased from battle, if by chance another glade resound with a warrior's lowing, then, though his neck and breast be dripping with the bloody rain, he prepares afresh for war and pawing the plain hides his groaning and conceals his wounds in dust. Tritonia herself smote upon her buckler the Libyan terror, the Medusa that guards her bosom. Straightway all the serpents rose erect together, and in a mass looked towards Thebe; not yet were the Attic warriors on the march, and already ill-fated Dirce trembled at the trumpets' sound.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.611  At once not only are they inflamed to war who were returned from sharing the Caucasian victory: all the countryside stirred up its untrained sons to war. They flock together and of their own accord follow their prince's standard: the men who spare not chilly Brauron and the Munychian fields and Piraeus, firm ground for frightened sailors, and Marathon, not yet famous for her Eastern triumph. The homesteads of Icarius and of Celeus that entertained their native gods send troops to battle, green Melaenae too, and Aegaleos, rich in forests, and Parnes, friend of vines, and Lycabessos, richer in the juicy olive. Violent Alaeus came, and the ploughman of fragrant Hymettus, thou, too, Acharnae, who didst clothe the bare wands in ivy. Sunion, far seen of Eastern prows, is left behind, whence Aegeus fell, deceived by the lying sails of the Cretan bark, and gave a name to the wandering main. These folk from Salamis, those from Eleusis, Ceres' town, were sent, their ploughs hung up, to the dreadful fray, and they whom Callirhoe enfolds with her nine errant streams, and Elisson who privy to Orithyia's rape concealed beneath his banks the Thracian lover. That hill too is emptied for the fight, where gods strove mightily, until a new tree rose from the doubting rocks and cast its long shadow on the retreating sea. Hippolyte too would have led her Northern squadrons to the Cadmean walls, but the already certain hope of her swelling womb restrains her, and her spouse entreats her to dismiss the thoughts of battle and in the marriage-bower to dedicate her war-spent quiver.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.639  When the chief perceives them in warlike mood and ablaze with joyous steel, how they give hurried kisses and brief embraces to their loving children, he speaks thus from his lofty chariot: "Soldiers, who will defend with me the laws of nations and the covenants of heaven, take courage worthy of our emprise! For us, 'tis clear, stands the favour of all gods and men, Nature our guide and the silent multitudes of Avernus: for them the troops of the Furies, that Thebes has marshalled, and the snake-haired Sisters bring forth their banners. Onward in warlike spirit, and trust, I pray you, in a cause so noble!" He spake, and hurling his spear dashed forth upon the road: as when Jupiter plants his cloudy footsteps upon the Hyperborean pole and makes the stars tremble at the oncoming of winter, Aeolia is riven, and the storm, indignant at its long idleness, takes heart, and the North whistles with the hurricane; then roar the mountains and the waves, clouds battle in the blind gloom, and thunders and crazed lightnings revel.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.656  The smitten earth groans, the heavy hoof changes the aspect of the verdant plains, and the crushed fields expire beneath countless troops of horse and foot, nor is the gleam of armour lost in the thick dust, but flashes far into the air, and the spears burn amid the clouds. Night too and the quiet shades they add to their toil, and the warriors mightily strive how they may speed the army's march, who may proclaim from a hillock the first sight of Thebes, who lance will first stand fixed in the Ogygian rampart. But from afar Theseus, son of Neptune, dwarfs the ranks with his huge shield, and bears upon its boss the hundred cities and hundred walls of Crete, the prelude to his own renown, and himself in the windings of the monstrous cave twisting the shaggy neck of the struggling bull, and binding him fast with sinewy arms and grip of either hand, and avoiding the horns with head drawn back. Terrified are the folk when he goes to battle 'neath the shelter of that grim device, to behold Theseus in double shape and his hands twice drenched in gore; he himself recalls his deeds of old, the band of comrades and the once-dreaded doorway and the pale face of the Knossian maid as she followed out the clue.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.677  But meanwhile the ruthless Creon leads onward to death Antigone and the widowed daughter of Adrastus, their hands fettered behind them; both cheerful and proudly eager for death, they hold our their necks to the swords and battle the cruel king, when lo! bearing Theseus' message Phegeus stood there. All peaceful he with innocent olive-branch, but war is his intent, and war he threatens in loud and angry tones, and well remembering his lord's commands repeats that he will soon be nigh at hand in person, soon covering the countryside as he passes with all his cohorts. The Theban stood in doubt amid surging cares, his anger wavers and his first wrath grows cool. Then steeling his heart, and with a feigned and sullen smile he answered: "Too slight assurance then did we give of Mycenae's ruin? Lo! here come others to vex our walls! Let them come! We take the challenge! But let them not whine when they are beaten; one law awaits the conquered." He speaks, but sees the daylight wane in thickening dust, and the sharp outlines fade from the Tyrian hills; yet in pale anxiety he bids his people arm and go to war, and suddenly beholds in his palace-hall the Furies, and Menoeceus weeping, and the Pelasgians exultant on their pyres. Ah! fatal day! when peace gained for Thebes at such a price of blood is lost again! They tear down the arms lately hung in their native shrines, and shield their bodies with pierced bucklers, don mutilated helms and take up gore-encrusted spears; none is gay with quiver or sword, none is glorious to behold upon his charger; no trust is there in the palisade, the city walls are all agape, the gates cry for defences; the former foe hath them in possession; the battlements are gone: Capaneus hath o'erthrown them; strengthless and faint, the warriors no more give the last kisses to wives or children, nor do their dazed parents utter any prayer.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.709  Meanwhile the Attic chief, beholding the rays burst through the clouds in growing splendour and the sun first glint upon the arms, leaps down into the plain where by the walls the dead still lie unburied, and breathing beneath his dusty helm the dread vapours of the tainted air he groans and is inflamed to righteous rage for war. His honour at least did the Theban chieftain pay to the hapless Danaan, that he engaged not the warring hosts in a second battle o'er the very bodies of the fallen; or else, that his impious lust might lose naught of mangled carnage, does he choose a virgin field to drink up the streams of gore? Already in far different wise Bellona summons the armies to mutual fight: here only is heard the battle-cry, here only the trumpet-blast; there frail warriors stand, with drooping ineffectual swords and loosened slings; they give way, and drawing back their armour display old wounds yet bleeding. Already even the Cecropian chiefs have lost their ardour for the fray, their temper wanes and confident valour flames less high; just as the wrath of the winds is weakened, if no forest impede their raging blasts, and the furious billows are silent where there is no shore.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.730  But when Theseus, born of the main, held aloft his Marathonian oaken shaft, whose cruel shadow as he lifted it fell upon the foe, and the spear-point flashed o'er the battle-field afar — as though father Mavors were driving his Edonian chariot down from Haemus' summit, with death and Panic riding upon his hurrying axle, even so does pale fear drive the sons of Agenor in terror-stricken rout; but Theseus disdains to do battle with the fugitives, his right hand thinks scorn of easy victims. The rest of the gallant host sate their rage in common slaughter. Even so dogs and coward wolves delight in prey that lies cowering at their feet, while anger is the strength of mighty lions. Yet he slays Olenius and Lamyrus, the one as he takes arrows from his quiver, the other as he raises a great stone aloft, and the sons of Alcetus, trusting in their threefold might, whom he pierces at long range with as many spears. Phyleus received the spear-point in his breast, Helops bit the iron with his teeth, the missile sped through the shoulder of Iapyx. And now he makes for Haemon riding aloft in four-horsed car, and whirls the terrible javelin with his arm; the other swerved his frightened steeds, but the spear, far-flung, struck home, and piercing two of them thirsted for yet a third wound, but the point was stayed by the intervening pole.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.752  But Creon alone is the object of his hopes and prayers, him alone he summons with terrible challenge amid all the squadrons of the field; he perceives him on a battle-front afar, exhorting his troops and uttering desperate threats in vain. His comrades flee away, but those of Theseus leave him at his bidding, relying on the gods and the prowess of their chief; Creon restrains his men and calls them back, but seeing that he is hated by either side alike, he nerves himself to a last outburst of rage, inspired now by the frenzy of doom and emboldened by inevitable death: "Tis with no targe-bearing girls thou doest battle here; no maiden's hands are ours, be sure; here is the stern strife of men who have sent great Tydeus and furious Hippomedon to death, and the vast bulk of Capaneus to the shades. What headlong madness drove thee to fight, thou reckless fool? Seest thou not their corpses whom thou wouldst avenge?" So he spoke, and lodged his missile fruitlessly in the buckler's edge.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.768  But the terrible son of Aegeus laughed at his words and deed alike, and poising his iron-clad shaft for a mighty blow first proudly cries in thunderous accents: "Ye Argive spirits, to whom I offer this victim, open wide the void of Tartarus, bring forth the Avenging Furies, lo! Creon comes!" He spoke, and the quivering spear rends the air; then, where with iron weft the slender chains combine to form the manifold cuirass, it falls; through a thousand meshes spirts upward the accursed blood; he sinks, his eyes open in the last spasm of death. Theseus stands over him in stern wrath, and spoiling him of his armour speaks: "Now art thou pleased to give dead foes the fire that is their due? Now wilt thou bury the vanquished? Go to thy dreadful reckoning, yet be assured of thy own burial."

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.782  From either side the banners meet and mingle in friendly tumult; on the very field of war a treaty is made, and Theseus is now a welcome guest; they beg him to approach their walls and to deem their homes worthy of his presence. The victor disdains not to set foot in the dwellings of his foes; the Ogygian dames and maidens rejoice: even as, o'ercome by the warring thyrsus, Ganges by now drunken applauded womanly revels. Lo! yonder on the shady heights of Dirce a shout of women shakes the vault, and the Pelasgian matrons come running down: like raving Thyiads are they, summoned to Bacchus' wars, demanding, thou mightest deem, or having done some deed of horror; their wailing is of joy, fresh tears gush forth; they dart now here, now there, doubting whether first to seek great-hearted Theseus, or Creon, or their own kinsmen; their widowed grief leads them to the dead.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.797  I could not, even if some god gave hundredfold utterance to my heart, recount in worthy strains so vast a funeral of chieftains alike and common folk, so many lamentations united: how fearless Evadne with impetuous bound had her fill of the fires she loved and sought the thunderbolt in that mighty breast, how as she lay and showered kisses on his terrible form his unhappy spouse made excuse for Tydeus; how Argia tells her sister the story of the cruel watchmen, with what lament the Erymanthian mother bewails the Arcadian, the Arcadian, who keeps his beauty though all his blood is spent, the Arcadian, wept for by either host alike. Scarce would new inspiration or Apollo's presence sustain the task, and my little bark has voyaged far and deserves her haven.

Event Date: -1000 LA

§ 12.810  Wilt thou endure in the time to come, O my Thebaid, for twelve years object of my wakeful toil, wilt thou survive thy master and be read? Of a truth already present Fame hath paved thee a friendly road, and begun to hold thee up, young as thou art, to future ages. Already great-hearted Caesar deigns to know thee, and the youth of Italy eagerly learns and recounts thy verse. O live, I pray! nor rival the divine Aeneid, but follow afar and ever venerate its footsteps. Soon, if any envy as yet o'erclouds thee, it shall pass away, and, after I am gone, thy well-won honours shall be duly paid.

Event Date: -1000 LA
END
Event Date: -1000

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