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Am I to assume that enough has been said, and shall I now command these jurors to cast an honest vote according to their judgment? [675]

For our part, every bolt is already shot. But I am waiting to hear how the trial will be decided.

Why not? As for you,To Apollo and Orestes. how shall I arrange matters so that I will not be blamed by you?

You have heard what you have heard; and as you cast your ballots, keep the oath sacred in your hearts, friends. [680]

Hear now my ordinance, people of Attica, as you judge the first trial for bloodshed. In the future, even as now, this court of judges will always exist for the people of Aegeus. And this Hill of Ares, the seat and camp of the Amazons, [685] when they came with an army in resentment against Theseus, and in those days built up this new citadel with lofty towers to rival his, and sacrificed to Ares, from which this rock takes its name, the Hill of Ares:1 [690] on this hill, the reverence of the citizens, and fear, its kinsman, will hold them back from doing wrong by day and night alike, so long as they themselves do not pollute the laws with evil streams; if you stain clear water with filth, you will never find a drink. [695]

Neither anarchy nor tyranny—this I counsel my citizens to support and respect, and not to drive fear wholly out of the city. For who among mortals, if he fears nothing, is righteous? Stand in just awe of such majesty, [700] and you will have a defense for your land and salvation of your city, such as no man has, either among the Scythians or in Pelops' realm. I establish this tribunal, untouched by greed, worthy of reverence, quick to anger, awake on behalf of those who sleep, a guardian of the land. [705]

I have prolonged this advice to my citizens for the future; but now you must rise and take a ballot, and decide the case under the sacred obligation of your oath. My word has been spoken. [710] The judges rise from their seats and cast their ballots one by one during the following altercation.

1 The Amazons, as “daughters of Ares,” invaded Attica to take vengeance on Theseus either, as one story reports, because he had carried off Antiope, their queen; or because he did not enclose the hill within the confines of his newly-founded city, which included the Acropolis. Aeschylus apparently rejects the legend whereby the Hill of Ares had its name from the fact that Ares was here tried for the murder of Halirrothius, a son of Poseidon, and acquitted by a tie vote of the gods, his judges.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 389
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    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.2
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