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Aphrodite enters above the skene. Aphrodite Mighty and of high renown, among mortals and in heaven alike, I am called the goddess Aphrodite. Of all those who dwell between the Euxine Sea and the Pillars of Atlas and look on the light of the sun, I honor those who reverence my power, but I lay low all those who think proud thoughts against me. For in the gods as well one finds this trait: they enjoy receiving honor from mortals. The truth of these words I shall shortly demonstrate. Hippolytus, Theseus' son by the Amazon woman and ward of holy Pittheus, alone among the citizens of this land of Trozen, says that I am the basest of divinities. He shuns the bed of love and will have nothing to do with marriage. Instead, he honors Apollo's sister Artemis, Zeus's daughter, thinking her the greatest of divinities. In the green wood, ever consort to the maiden goddess, he clears the land of wild beasts with his swift dogs and has gained a companionship greater than mortal. To this pair I
Chorus Keep a holy silence, you who inhabit the double clashing rocks of the Black Sea! O daughter of Leto, Dictynna of the mountains, to your hall, to the golden walls of your temple with beautiful pillars, I, the servant of the holy key-holder, bend my holy virgin steps. For I have left the towers and walls of Hellas, famous for horses, and Europe with its forests, my father's home. I have come. What is the news? What is troubling you? Why have you brought me, brought me to the shrine, you who are the daughter of Atreus' son, master of a thousand ships and ten thousand soldiers, who came to the towers of Troy with a famous fleet?
Chorus The rocks that rush together, the sleepless shores of Phineus—how did they cross them, running along the salty coast on Amphitrite's surge, where the fifty daughters of Nereus . . . the circular choruses sing, with wind in the sails, the guiding rudder creaking under the stern, with southern breezes or by the blasts of the west wind, to the land of many birds, the white strand, Achilles' lovely race-course, over the Black Sea
Chorus I have heard her cry full of groans, how she utters shrill charges against the husband who betrayed her bed. Having suffered wrong she raises her cry to Zeus's daughter, Themis, goddess of oaths, the goddess who brought herThemis ‘brought her to Hellas’ in that she came to Greece relying on Jason's oath. to Hellas across the sea through the dark salt-water over the briny gateway of the Black Sea, a gateway few traverse.‘The briny gateway [lit. “key”] of the Euxine’is probably the Bosporus, beyond which, on the Propontis and Hellespont, lay numerous Greek settlements in histo
Croesus was a Lydian by birth, son of Alyattes, and sovereign of all the nations west of the river Halys, which flows from the south between Syria and Paphlagonia and empties into the sea called Euxine. This Croesus was the first foreigner whom we know who subjugated some Greeks and took tribute from them, and won the friendship of others: the former being the Ionians, the Aeolians, and the Dorians of Asia, and the latter the Lacedaemonians. Before the reign of Croesus, all Greeks were free: fows from the south between Syria and Paphlagonia and empties into the sea called Euxine. This Croesus was the first foreigner whom we know who subjugated some Greeks and took tribute from them, and won the friendship of others: the former being the Ionians, the Aeolians, and the Dorians of Asia, and the latter the Lacedaemonians. Before the reign of Croesus, all Greeks were free: for the Cimmerian host which invaded Ionia before his time did not subjugate the cities, but raided and robbed them.