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[695] And they that held Phylace and flowery Pyrasus, the sanctuary of Demeter, and Iton, mother of flocks, and Antron, hard by the sea, and Pteleos, couched in grass, these again had as leader warlike Protesilaus, while yet he lived; howbeit ere now the black earth held him fast. [700] His wife, her two cheeks torn in wailing, was left in Phylace and his house but half established,1 while, for himself, a Dardanian warrior slew him as he leapt forth from his ship by far the first of the Achaeans. Yet neither were his men leaderless, though they longed for their leader; for Podarces, scion of Ares, marshalled them, [705] he that was son of Phylacus' son, Iphiclus, rich in flocks, own brother to great-souled Protesilaus, and younger-born; but the other was the elder and the better man, even the warrior, valiant Protesilaus. So the host in no wise lacked a leader, though they longed for the noble man they had lost. [710] And with him there followed forty black ships. And they that dwelt in Pherae beside the lake Boebeïs, and in Boebe, and Glaphyrae, and well-built Iolcus, these were led by the dear son of Admetus with eleven ships, even by Eumelus, whom Alcestis, queenly among women, bare to Admetus, [715] even she, the comeliest of the daughters of Pelias. And they that dwelt in Methone and Thaumacia, and that held Meliboea and rugged Olizon, these with their seven ships were led by Philoctetes, well-skilled in archery, [720] and on each ship embarked fifty oarsmen well skilled to fight amain with the bow. But Philoctetes lay suffering grievous pains in an island, even in sacred Lemnos, where the sons of the Achaeans had left him in anguish with an evil wound from a deadly water-snake. There he lay suffering; [720] yet full soon were the Argives beside their ships to bethink them of king Philoctetes. Howbeit neither were these men leaderless, though they longed for their leader; but Medon marshalled them, the bastard son of Oïleus, whom Rhene bare to Oïleus, sacker of cities. And they that held Tricca and Ithome of the crags, [730] and Oechalia, city of Oechalian Eurytus, these again were led by the two sons of Asclepius, the skilled leeches Podaleirius and Machaon. And with these were ranged thirty hollow ships.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 159
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