Notes to pp. 567
recognitiononce againthat the curse is fullled (83247). Then the two corpses are brought in, and the Chorus rouse
themselves to grief (84860); it will be a kommos (beating), lamentation accompanied by rhythmic striking and tearing of
Notes to pp. 412
232 stay inside the house: see n. on 200
235 How can you be angry with us, etc.?: as Eteocles was in 182
236 honouring: prayers as honour, 77, Supp. 6259; cf. sacrices at
239 shouts ying: the image of 85 [but and the shouts
Notes to pp. 423
265 away from the images: motivating the Chorus move into the orkhs- tra for their ode at 287; a similar
dramatists manoeuvre at Supp.
266 make this better prayer, for the gods to be our allies: the Chorus have prayed before to
Notes to p. 43
100577), or possibly displacement from elsewhere in the play, rather than simple carelessness in Aeschylus. in
proud style: evoking the Home- ric ideal of heroes duelling; the expression is varied at 465, in a dierent context.
Notes to p. 44
319 noble shrines: cf. 1668, 241, of the Theban acropolis.
32068 These details of a ransacked city recur throughout Tragedy, and are vividly dwelt upon by Clytemnestra at Ag.
3219 and by choruses of captive women at Eur. Hecuba 90142 an
Notes to p. 45
infamous exception, e.g. Eur. Trojan Women 725, 11739), but took them into slavery with their mothers.
355 he desires neither less nor equal: all want more than both successful looters
(352) and unsuccessful (354).
356 what follows: the
Notes to p. 45
Furthermore, if six defenders were visible, it would become even more heav- ily predictable that Eteocles is to be the
36974 The two part-voices of the Chorus are made deliberately similar in wording to emphasize the equal hast
Notes to p.
on his native land (for Amphiaraus see Introd. 2.2 p. xxxii). This comes
immediately before Polynices is revealed as the seventh and last attacker,
and as Eteocles inevitable opponent. Simultaneously, Eteocles matches
each attacker with
Notes to pp. 456
38790 arrogant device: Tydeus through his shield arrogates pre-eminence among his fellow Argives (and the Thebans)
just as the brilliant full moon dominates the stars of heaven. wrought: the word is Homeric, for ne met- alwork, e.g.
Notes to pp. 401
2001 What lies outside the house, etc.: cf. 232. The ultimate ancestor of this axiom is Hectors instruction to Andromache
in Homer, Iliad 6.490 . go into the house and see to your own work . . . the war is to be all mens concern, and
Notes to pp. 3940
175 stand over: as over a man wounded in battle, a Homeric
1789, 1801 Our citys rites, etc.: the native gods are invited to save the
rituals from which they themselves benet through sacrice; for
comparable prayers, cf. LB
Notes to pp. 278
retains as sound, noting an ancient gloss a Persian tribe; (many heroes) of
Agbatana (961, cf. 16 n.) is also conjectured.]
929 King of our country: a very at address [sometimes emended or deleted, therefore].
93549 Mariandynian: a pe
Notes to pp. 305
1041 woes gift of woe to woe: such verbal redundancies evoke extreme suering, e.g. 682 (also with alliteration), Seven
1045 Alas . . . very much: language awkward to us but not untypical of repetitive lament [the text is neverthe
Notes to p. 35
as a scout, see 36, 41, 66, 369). Some editors suppose that the report in
819 is given by a separate messenger, because of its brevity and
dierence in verbal style from the long speeches of the Scout earlier in the
play; these edito
Notes to pp. 35
p. xxxi). Eteocles strong concern here for the city and its people prepares
for the Chorus who are their stage voice (78181: n.).
Eteocles second monologue, however, begins with two lines (6970)
weighted heavily with premonition: he
Notes to pp. 367
345 the throng of outside attackers: slightly contemptuous and attempting reassurance. the god will end things well!: see on
42 captains furious for war: later found to include the seer Amphiaraus, who foresaw his own death and so
Notes to pp. 378
90 bright shields: glittering armour is often described, but bright here is Greek white and the shields of Argos
(etymologically interpretable as White City) are white elsewhere. It is hard not to hear in shields a pre-echo of the pla
Notes to p. 37
appeal for his own safety (70) strikes a grimly prophetic note: see the n. on
177, at end.
712 raze . . . root and branch: a Homeric image, of clearing woodland, Iliad
12.148; it complements the image of destruction by sea storm, 634. [
Notes to pp. 389
13740 Ares progenitor: the Theban founding hero Cadmus was the god Ares relative in some way (mythical details are
vague) and gave his name to the citadel he built, the Cadmea (l. 1); in most accounts he married Harmonia, Ares
Notes to p. 47
(425: 43840) is one gain and his scorn of the gods (4278) another because it will draw Zeus punishment (4435).
4389 tongues are . . . accusing evidence: Aeschylus neatly uses an apt metaphor, from forensic language.
440 those prepared t
Notes to pp. 467
41415 Ares . . . with his dice: Eteocles, like a Homeric hero, sees ghting as determined by the gods, often capriciously,
but is condent that Justice will triumph for the Theban motherlands soil when it sends its son, blood-kin, to de
Notes to pp. 545
ghost 958 there [this wording is inferred from the ancient commentator;
the MSS oer who is to wash the blood away].
739 harsh new: harsh is idiomatically implicit in the Greek, where new is emphasized through the heavy juxtaposition o
Notes to pp. 512
detestation: Eteocles again at 691: now my fathers curses . . . fullment: unmis- takably heralding Eteocles intention to
oppose his brother himself (6725); the idea recurs at once in 659, then e.g. 724.
6567 give birth to: a common me
Notes to pp. 534
705 mood: the gods have this human disposition also at Supp. 364. [Wait:
Wests conjecture for MSS Now, which lacks syntax; he supports it from
Dont take this road,
7068 late veer . . . changeable . . . breath, etc.: the wind
Notes to pp. 267
antiphonal from 923 on, whole stanzas, part-stanzas, single lines, and
even shared lines being exchanged, always in exact responsion.
It is a kommos, a strongly rhythmic lament. It moves from the invitation
to extreme grief in the rst
Notes to pp. 578
848 s.d.: the approach of the bodies is inferred from Here . . . in 848 and two deaths in 850; they have been set down by 860,
and the Chorus address them at once, in 874.
84860 An interlude of quickly contrasting styles: bleak, terse
Notes to p. 56
perhaps, and it may not matter that the equally wretched daughters were
not cursed too. [In oering this approximate meaning, I have not translated
at all the corrupt word in 785 which appears to duplicate curses, and which
West leaves o
Notes to p.
cannot be deected; with settlement (also 908) I translate a term taken by
many to imply reconciliation. The Chorus appear to vary their assumption
of the inevitable: the duel of the brothers is now certain, but not yet its
Notes to p.
805 The men are dead, etc. and 806 Who?: the Scout seems reluctant,
even evasive, with the truth after the transparent 8002; but Aeschylus
accommo- dates the revelation to the Chorus extreme anxiety (note the
Notes to p.
Agamemnons narrative of Troys ruin, Ag. 75082. We are in great
diculty to assess both the details narrated here and the background to
the question (which is not taken further here) because we have lost both
the earlier plays of the tril