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Chorus
And I counsel you not to dishonor us in any way, since our company can be a burden to your land.

Apollo
And I, for my part, command you to stand in fear of the oracles, both mine and Zeus', and not cause them to be unfulfilled.

Chorus
Although it is not your office, you have respect for deeds of bloodshed. [715] You will prophesy, dispensing prophecies that are no longer pure.

Apollo
Then was my father mistaken in any way in his purposes when Ixion, who first shed blood, was a suppliant?

Chorus
You do argue! But if I fail to win the case, I will once more inflict my company on this land as a burden. [720]

Apollo
But you have no honor, among both the younger and the older gods. I will win.

Chorus
You did such things also in the house of Pheres, when you persuaded the Fates to make mortals free from death.1

Apollo
Is it not right, then, to do good for a worshipper, [725] especially when he is in need?

Chorus
It was you who destroyed the old dispensations when you beguiled the ancient goddesses with wine.

Apollo
Soon, when you have lost the case, you will spit out your venom—no great burden to your enemies. [730] The balloting is now ended.

Chorus
Since you, a youth, would ride me down, an old woman, I am waiting to hear the verdict in the case, since I have not decided whether to be angry at the city.

Athena
It is my duty to give the final judgment and I shall cast my vote for Orestes. [735] For there was no mother who gave me birth; and in all things, except for marriage, whole-heartedly I am for the male and entirely on the father's side. Therefore, I will not award greater honor to the death of a woman who killed her husband, the master of the house. [740] Orestes wins, even if the vote comes out equal.

Cast the ballots out of the urns, as quickly as possible, you jurors who have been assigned this task.The ballots are turned out and separated.

1 In atonement for having shed blood (according to one legend, that of the dragon at Delphi, according to another, that of the Cyclopes), Apollo was compelled by Zeus to serve as a thrall in the house of Admetus, son of Pheres. An ancient story, adopted by Aeschylus, reported that, when the time came for Admetus to die, Apollo, in gratitude for the kindness shown him by the prince, plied the Fates with wine (l. 728) and thus secured their consent that Admetus should be released from death on condition that some one should voluntarily choose to die in his stead. Euripides, in his Alcestis, tells how, when both the father and the mother of Admetus refused to give up to him the remnant of their days, his wife Alcestis died for him.

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), PSEPHUS
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