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Theseus
[925] As for the noble son of Oecleus, him, while yet he lived, the gods snatched away to the bowels of the earth, and his chariot too, manifestly blessing him; while I myself may truthfully tell the praises of the son of Oedipus, that is, Polyneices, [930] for he was my guest-friend before he left the town of Cadmus and crossed to Argos in voluntary exile. But do you know what I would have you do in this?

Adrastus
I know nothing but this—to yield obedience to your commands.

Theseus
As for Capaneus, stricken by the bolt of Zeus—

Adrastus
[935] Will you bury him apart as a consecrated corpse?

Theseus
Yes; but all the rest on one funeral pyre.

Adrastus
Where will you set the tomb apart for him?

Theseus
Here near this temple I have built him a sepulchre.

Adrastus
Your slaves must undertake this toil at once.

Theseus
[940] I myself will look to those others; let the biers advance.

Adrastus
Approach your sons, unhappy mothers.

Theseus
What you propose, Adrastus, is anything but good.

Adrastus
How is that? Must not the mothers touch their sons?

Theseus
It would kill them to see how they are altered.

Adrastus
[945] True, the fresh and bloody wounds of the dead are a bitter sight.

Theseus
Why then will you add to their grief?

Adrastus
You are right. To the Chorus, You must patiently abide, for the words of Theseus are good. But when we have committed them to the flames, you shall collect their bones. O wretched sons of men! [950] Why do you get weapons and bring slaughter on one another? Cease from that, give over your toiling, and in mutual peace keep safe your cities. Short is the span of life, so it would be best to run its course as lightly as we may, free from trouble.The corpses, followed by the children of the slain chieftains, are carried off to the pyre which is kindled within the sight of the persons on the stage.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.6.1
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
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