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Scout
Another, the fourth, has the gate near Onca Athena and takes his stand with a shout, Hippomedon, tremendous in form and figure. I shuddered in fear as he spun a huge disk—the circle of his shield, I mean— [490] I cannot deny it. The symbol-maker who put the design on his shield was no lowly craftsman: the symbol is Typhon, spitting out of his fire-breathing mouth a dark, thick smoke, the darting sister of fire. [495] And the rim of the hollow-bellied shield is fastened all around with snaky braids. The warrior himself has raised the war-cry and, inspired by Ares he raves for battle like a maenad, with a look to inspire fear. We must put up a good defense against the assault of such a man, [500] for already Rout is boasting of victory at the gate.

Eteocles
First Onca Pallas, who dwells near the city, close by the gate, and who loathes outrageousness in a man, will fend him off like a dangerous snake away from nestlings. Moreover, Hyperbius, Oenops' trusty son, [505] is chosen to match him, man to man, as he is eager to search out his fate in the crisis that chance has wrought—neither in form, nor spirit nor in the wielding of his arms does he bear reproach. Hermes1 has appropriately pitted them against each other. For the man is hostile to the man he faces in battle, [510] and the gods on their shields also meet as enemies. The one has fire-breathing Typhon, while father Zeus stands upright on Hyperbius' shield, his lightening bolt aflame in his hand. And no one yet has seen Zeus conquered. [515] Such then is the favor of the divine powers: we are with the victors, they with the vanquished, if Zeus in fact proves stronger in battle than Typhon. And it is likely that the mortal adversaries will fare as do their gods; and so, in accordance with the symbol, [520] Zeus will be a savior for Hyperbius since he resides on his shield.Exit Hyperbius.

1 Hermes presided over contests and lots.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1316
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