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As E. Meyer has shown (F. ii. 219), we have here an echo of the laud of Athens usual in funeral orations in the Ceramicus and in other panegyrics (cf. also vii. 161. 3 n.). These three mythical instances of valour and unselfishness were, along with Marathon (§ 5), the regular themes of patriotic Athenian orators. Cf. Isocrates, Paneg. § 54-70; Panath. 168 f., 193 f.; Plataic. 53; Plato, Menex. 239; Ps.-Lysias Epitaph. 3 f.; Ps. Dem. Epitaph. 8. Similarly in the Tegean speech there is a little history and a large admixture of myth.


προέθηκε, ‘has laid on us the task of.’ The idea seems to be that the Tegean has instituted a contest in self-laudatory panegyrics.


Cf. Diod. iv. 57, 58, and especially Apollodorus, ii. 8. The Athenians refused to surrender the Heracleids to Eurystheus, and slew his sons in battle, while Hyllus came up with Eurystheus as he fled by the Scironian rocks and slew him.

For another version cf. Euripides, Heraclidae.


Apparently in the oldest form of the legend it was Adrastus who persuaded the Thebans to allow the Argive heroes to be buried at Thebes (cf. Pind. Ol. vi. 15 with schol.); at any rate the grave of Tydeus was there (Paus. ix. 18. 2, quoting Il. xiv. 124, a spurious line); then the Attic tragedians, &c., made Adrastus flee to Theseus at Athens, who, whether by persuasion (Aesch. Ἐλευσίνιοι; Plut. Thes. 29; Isocr. Panath. 168-71) or by force of arms (Isoc. Paneg. 58; Euripides, Supp. 634 f.), recovered the bodies and buried them at Eleusis (Euripides, op. cit.), where their tombs were shown (Paus. i. 39. 2). Thus the story was turned into a panegyric on Athens.


Theseus is said to have carried off the queen of the Amazons, Antiope or Hippolyte (cf. iv. 110. 1 n.), from her land, going thither either as a companion of Heracles (Paus. i. 2. 1; Philoch. fr. 49, F.H.G. i. 392; cf. Plut. Thes. 26) or with his friend Pirithous (Pind. fr. 161). The Amazons in revenge invaded Attica and fought long and fiercely with Theseus near the Pnyx and Museum. These daughters of Ares seized the hill of Ares (Aesch. Eum. 688 f.) to attack the Acropolis thence (cf. viii. 52). In that neighbourhood was the Amazoneion (Diodor. iv. 28; Aesch. Eumen. 655 f.) and the graves of the Amazons (Plut. Thes. 27). Graves of Amazons were also to be seen at Cynoscephalae and Scotussa in Thessaly, at Chaeronea in Boeotia, at Chalcis near Megara (Plut. Thes. 27), and at Troezen (Paus. ii. 31. 4, 32. 9).

Amazons are favourite subjects of sculptors and vase-painters. The fight with them was represented by Phidias on the shield of the Parthenos (Paus. i. 17. 2) and on the metopes of the Parthenon, and by Micon in the Stoa Poikile (Paus. i. 15. 2) and the Theseion (Paus. i. 17. 2). It is treated as the mythical counterpart of the Persian invasion.

ἀπὸ Θερμώδοντος: cf. iv. 110. 1.

οὐ τι προέχει, ‘it avails naught.’ The Athenian speaker glides gracefully away from the Trojan war, in which his countrymen played no great part; cf. vii. 161. 3 n.


μοῦνοι δή: very emphatic (cf. viii. 124. 3 n.). This insistence that the Athenians won Marathon by themselves ungratefully forgets the help of the Plataeans (cf. vii. 10. β 1). Attic orators follow the example of their advocate here; cf. Plato, Menex. 240 C; Laws 698 E; Isocr. Panegyr. § 86. 99; Ps.-Lysias, §§ 20-6; especially μόνοι ὑπὲρ ἁπάσης τῆς Ἑλλάδος πρὸς πολλὰς μυριάδας τῶν βαρβάρων.

The forty-six nations answer to the number of those who served on foot in the host of Xerxes (vii. 61-80). The assumption that they all fought at Marathon is purely gratuitous.

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hide References (17 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (17):
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 655
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 688
    • Euripides, Suppliants, 634
    • Isocrates, Panegyricus, 58
    • Isocrates, Panathenaicus, 168
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.15.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.17.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.2.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.39.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.31.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.18.2
    • Pindar, Olympian, 6
    • Homer, Iliad, 14.124
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 26
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 27
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 29
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 4.57
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