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You pray. And in answer to your prayer, if you will give a loyal reception to my words and minister to your own disease, you may hope to find help and relief from woes. These words I will speak publicly, as one who was a stranger to the report, [220] a stranger to the deed. I would not go far on the trail if I were tracing it alone, without a clue. But as it is—since it was only after the event that I was counted a Theban among Thebans—to you, Cadmeans all, I do thus proclaim:

Whoever knows [225] by whom Laius son of Labdacus was slain, I order him to declare all to me. And if he is afraid, I order him to remove the danger of indictment from his path by denouncing himself: he will suffer no other punishment, but will only leave this land, unhurt. [230] If anyone knows the assassin to be an alien, from another land, let him not keep silent. I will reward him, and my thanks shall rest with him besides. But if he keeps silent, if anyone, through fear, seeks to screen himself or a friend from my orders, [235] then hear what I shall do: I charge you that no resident of this land, which I rule, give shelter to or address that murderer, whoever he is, or make him a partner in prayer or sacrifice, [240] or give him a share of the lustral rite. Ban him from your houses, all of you, knowing that this is the defilement, as the oracle of the Pythian god has recently shown to me. In this way [245] I am an ally both to the god and to the dead man. And I pray solemnly that the slayer, whoever he is, whether he alone is guilty or he has partners, may, in the horrible way he deserves, wear out his unblest life. And for myself I pray that if he should, [250] with my knowledge, become a resident of my house, I may suffer the same things which I have just called down on others. And I order you to make all these words good, for my sake, for the sake of the god, and for the sake of our land, thus rendered unfruitful and ungodly.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 484
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 1014
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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