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Μεγαρέως. Cp. Aesch. Theb. 474Μεγαρεύς, Κρέοντος σπέρμα, τοῦ σπαρτῶν γένους”, where he is one of the Theban warriors who guard the gates: his patriotic death is foreshadowed ib. 477θανὼν τροφεῖα πληρώσει χθονί”. The story is thus told by Eur. ( Eur. Phoen. 930—1018), who calls him Menoeceus. While the Argives are pressing Thebes, Creon and Eteocles send for Teiresias. The seer says that Ares is wroth, because Cadmus of old slew the god's offspring, a dragon (or serpent?) which had its lair outside the walls. One of the Cadmean race, sprung from the dragon's teeth, must die to appease him. Now, Creon and his two sons are the only pure-bred “σπαρτοί” left. And Haemon is married. The seer therefore suggests that Menoeceus should die. Menoeceus pretends that he means to fly to Delphi. Creon leaves the scene, in order to provide him with money for the journey. Menoeceus then rushes to the top of a tower on the walls, where he cuts his throat, and falls into the dragon's former den (“σηκὸν ἐς μελαμβαθῆ δράκοντος”, Ph. 1010, see n. above on 411). Statius, who also calls him Menoeceus, tells the story in Theb. 10. 589—782, and, like Eur. , makes the son practise a pious fraud in order to hinder his father from preventing the sacrifice.

κλεινὸν λάχος: cp. Eur. Phoen. 1013, where he says, “στείχω δὲ θανάτου δῶρον οὐκ αἰσχρὸν πόλει δώσων, νόσου δὲ τήνδ᾽ ἀπαλλάξω χθόνα”. Statius Th. 10. 670 where Virtus says to Menoeceus, “rape nobile fatum.λάχος is freq. in poetry, and is used by Xenophon. The MS. λέχος would be forced as an allusion to the dragon's den (“θαλάμαι”, Eur. Phoen. 931, or “σηκός”, ib. 1010) into which the corpse fell. And it could not here be a general word for ‘grave.’

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 474
    • Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 477
    • Euripides, Phoenician Women, 1010
    • Euripides, Phoenician Women, 1013
    • Euripides, Phoenician Women, 930
    • Euripides, Phoenician Women, 931
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1010
    • Statius, Thebias, 10
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