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Messenger

Messenger
[1085] When we had come to Phoebus' glorious land, we spend three days in gazing our fill. This, it seems, caused suspicion: the people who dwell in the god's land gathered in knots and circles. [1090] The son of Agamemnon went through the city and spoke in each man's ear these hostile words: ‘Do you see this man, who makes his way through the god's gold-laden precincts and the treasuries given by mortals? He has come here a second time for the same purpose as his earlier visit [1095] and means to sack the temple of Phoebus.’ Thereafter tumult ran through the city. The authorities flocked into the council-chamber, and of their own accord those who had charge of the god's property posted a watch in the porticoed halls. [1100] We, knowing as yet nothing of these things, took sheep, nurslings of the grass of Parnassus, and going on our way stood next to the altars together with Delphian diviners and those charged with looking after foreigners. Someone said, ‘Young man, what [1105] shall we ask from the god on your behalf? Why have you come here?’ And he replied, ‘I wish to give satisfaction to Phoebus for my earlier sin. For I demanded once that the god pay the penalty for my father's death.’ At that point it was clear that Orestes' story was having a great [1110] effect, the story that my master was lying and had come for a disgraceful purpose. He went up the steps and into the temple in order that before the shrine he might offer prayer to Phoebus. (He happened to be at the place where burnt offerings are made.) But there were, it turned out, armed men lying in ambush for him [1115] hidden by the shadow of laurel-branches, and the son of Clytaemestra was the sole contriver of all these doings.

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Parnassus (Greece) (1)

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 151-215
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