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Enter by Eisodos B a Chorus of Marathonian citizens.

Oh! Oh! What is this cry that has been raised near the altar? Of what disaster will it soon give proof?

[75] See the feeble old man lying spread upon the ground! O unhappy man, at whose hands have you had this wretched fall?

This man, strangers, dishonors your gods and drags me by force from the altar steps.

[80] But you, old sir, from what land have you come to this people who dwell together in four cities?1 Have you left the shore of Euboea and put in from beyond the water with sea-going oar?

It is no islander's life that I live. [85] We have come to your land from Mycenae.

What is the name the people of Mycenae call you?

You know, I'm sure, of Iolaus, the man who stood at Heracles' side. I am not unknown to fame.

[90] I have heard of you before. But whose are the young children you lead by the hand? Tell us.

They are Heracles' sons, strangers, who have come as suppliants to you and your city.

1 The Marathonian tetrapolis (Marathon, Oenoe, Probalinthus, and Tricorythus) was an old confederacy of towns that existed before the unification of Attica under Theseus.

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