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Polyneices enters alone.

The doorkeeper's bolts admitted me readily within the walls, and so I fear that now they have caught me in their nets, they will not let me out unscathed; [265] so I must turn my eye in every direction, here and there, to guard against treachery. Armed with this sword, I shall inspire myself with the trust that is born of boldness. Oh! Who is that? Or is it a sound I fear? [270] Everything seems a danger to the daring, when their feet begin to tread an enemy's country. Still I trust my mother, and at the same time mistrust her, the one who persuaded me to come here under truce. Well, there is help at hand, for the altar's hearth [275] is close and the house is not deserted. Come, let me sheath my sword in its dark scabbard and ask these women standing near the house, who they are. Ladies of another land, tell me from what country do you come to the halls of Hellas?

Chorus Leader
[280] Phoenicia is my native land where I was born and bred; and the grandsons of Agenor sent me here as first-fruits of the spoil of war for Phoebus. But when the noble son of Oedipus was about to send me to the hallowed oracle and the altars of Loxias, [285] the Argive army came against his city. Now tell me in return who you are, who have come to this fortress of the Theban land with its seven gates.

My father was Oedipus, the son of Laius; my mother Jocasta, daughter of Menoeceus; [290] and I am called Polyneices by the people of Thebes.


O kinsman of Agenor's race, my royal masters who sent me here!

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