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1 It was a boast of the Athenians that their city had always been a refuge for the distressed, such as Orestes and Oedipus and the children of Heracles. The altar of Mercy and its grove were well known to the ancient world and are described at length in one of the more famous passages of the Thebaid (12.481-511; tr. in the L.C.L.) of Statius, who calls it the altar of "gentle Clemency."
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