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At once, the two sons of the old Oedipus were hiding themselves in bronze armor; and lords of Thebes with friendly care equipped the captain of this land, while Argive chieftains armed the other. There they stood dazzling, nor were they pale, all eagerness to hurl their lances at each other. Then their friends came to their sides first one, then another, with words of encouragement, saying: “Polyneices, it rests with you to set up an image of Zeus as a trophy and crown Argos with fair renown.” Others to Eteocles: “Now you are fighting for your city; now, if victorious, you have the scepter in your power.” So they spoke, cheering them to the battle. The seers were sacrificing sheep and noting the tongues and forks of fire, the damp reek which is a bad omen, and the tapering flame which gives decisions on two points, being both a sign of victory and defeat. But, if you have any power or subtle speech or charmed spell, go, restrain your children from this terrible combat, for great
Chorus Around the city a thick cloud of shields is kindling a shape of bloody battle, which Ares will soon learn, if he brings upon the sons of Oedipus the curse of the Furies. O Argos, city of Pelasgia! I dread your might, and also what comes from the gods; for the one who approaches his home in armor is setting out to a contest that is not without justice.