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[1390] Eteocles, in kicking aside a stone that rolled beneath his tread, exposed a limb outside his shield, and Polyneices, seeing a chance of dealing him a blow, aimed at it, and the Argive shaft passed through his leg; [1395] the Danaid army, one and all, cried out for joy. And the wounded man, seeing Polyneices' shoulder bare in this effort, plunged his spear with all his might into his breast, restoring gladness to the citizens of Thebes, though he broke off the spear-head. [1400] And so, at a loss for a weapon, he retreated step by step, till catching up a splintered rock he let it fly and broke the other's spear in the middle; and now the combat was equal, for each had lost his lance.

Then clutching their sword-hilts [1405] they closed, and round and round, with shields clashing, they fought a wild battle. And Eteocles introduced the crafty Thessalian trick, having some knowledge of it from his association with that country. Disengaging himself from the immediate contest, [1410] he drew back his left foot but kept his eye closely on the pit of the other's stomach from a distance; then advancing his right foot he plunged the weapon through his navel and fixed it in his spine. Down fell Polyneices, dripping with blood, [1415] ribs and belly contracting in his agony. But the other, thinking his victory now complete, threw down his sword and began to despoil him, wholly intent on that, without a thought for himself. And this indeed tripped him up; for Polyneices, who had fallen first, was still faintly breathing, [1420] and having in his grievous fall kept his sword, he made a last effort and drove it through the heart of Eteocles. They both lie there, fallen side by side, biting the dust with their teeth, and they have not decided the mastery.

Chorus Leader
[1425] Ah, ah, how I mourn for your sorrows, Oedipus! The god, it seems, has fulfilled those curses of yours.

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    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek, Concord
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