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True friend and follower, how well you prove your loyalty to our house! [25] Just as a thoroughbred mount, even if advanced in years, does not lose courage in danger, but pricks up his ears, so you speed us forward and follow in the first ranks. I will tell you, then, what I have determined. [30] Listen closely to my words and correct me, if I miss the mark in any way.

When I went to the Pythian oracle to learn how I might avenge my father on his murderers, [35] Phoebus gave me the commandment which you will now hear: that alone, and by stealth, without the aid of arms or large numbers, I should carry off my right hand's just slaughters. Accordingly, since I received this divine declaration, you must go into that house there [40] when opportunity gives you entrance, and learn all that is happening, so that you may report to us out of sure knowledge. Your age and the lapse of time will prevent them from recognizing you; they will never suspect who you are with that silvered hair. Let your story be that you are a Phocian stranger [45] sent by Phanoteus, since he is the greatest of their allies. Tell them, and affirm it with your oath, that Orestes has perished by a fatal chance, hurled at the Pythian games [50] from his speeding chariot. Let that be the substance of your message.

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load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1894)
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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 1331
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.5.3
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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