Before the palace of Heracles at Thebes. Nearby stands the altar of Zeus, on the steps of which are now seated Amphitryon, Megara and her sons by Heracles. They are seeking refuge at the altar.


What mortal has not heard of the one who shared a wife with Zeus, Amphitryon of Argos, whom once Alcaeus, son of Perseus, begot, Amphitryon the father of Heracles? Who lived here in Thebes, where from the sowing [5] of the dragon's teeth grew up a crop of earth-born giants; and of these Ares saved a scanty band, and their children's children people the city of Cadmus. Hence sprung Creon, son of Menoeceus, king of this land; [10] and Creon became the father of this lady Megara, whom once all Cadmus' race escorted with the glad music of lutes at her wedding, when the famous Heracles led her to my halls.

Now he, my son, left Thebes where I was settled, left his wife Megara and her kin, [15] eager to make his home in Argolis, in that walled town which the Cyclopes built, from which I am exiled for the slaying of Electryon; so he, wishing to lighten my affliction and to find a home in his own land, offered Eurystheus a mighty price for my recall: [20] to free the world of savage monsters, whether it was that Hera goaded him to submit to this, or that fate was leagued against him. Other toils he has accomplished, and last of all has he passed through the mouth of Taenarus into the halls of Hades to drag to the light [25] that hound with three bodies, and from there he has never returned.

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