Accius, Tragedies

LCL 314: 328-329

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This play may be identical with Clytaemnestra (see pp. 406–11). So P. Venini, in R.I.L., LXXXVII, 1954, 321 ff. But Nonius quotes from Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra as though they were separate plays; the fragments of Aegisthus we owe to Nonius alone, but several other writers quote from Clylaemnestra. Agamemnon, before he led the Greeks against Troy, left Clytaemnestra under the protection of a bard. Aegisthus, inflamed with love for Clytaemnestra, removed the bard to a desert island and intrigued with her. When Agamemnon


Nonius, 110, 32: ‘Fligi’ . . . Accius . . . Aegistho—

Heu! Cuiatis stirpem funditus fligi studet?


Aesch., Agam., 1350 ἐμοὶ δ᾿ ὅπως τάχιστά γ᾿ ἐμπεσεῖν δοκεῖ.

Nonius, 89, 22: ‘Celebre’ . . . etiam velox . . . —

Celebri gradu gressum adcelerasse decet.

Cp. Serv. auct., ad Aen., IV, 641.


Aesch., Ag., 1632 κρατηθεὶς δ᾿ ἡμερώτερος φανεῖ. Cp. 1639–1641.

Nonius, 111, 1: ‘Fragescere,’ frangi . . . —

. . . nec fera hominum pectora fragescunt, donec vim persensere imperi.

  • 7adcelerasse Iun. adceleravisse S adcelebrasse cdd. Non. ad(ac-)celerate Serv. auct. decet Iun. docet cdd. Non., om. Serv. auct. condecet Maehly dedecet Buecheler
  • 9persensere (vel persensint) imperi Hermann. i. persenserint Botha persenserit imperi Bentin. persenserim imperii cdd.



returned, a watcher reported the truth to him, and he invited Aegisthus to a feast in order to trap him. But Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra murdered Agamemnon at a dining-table. For seven years Aegisthus ruled in Mycenae, and in the eighth year came Orestes who killed the murderers. We can make little of the five fragments; I have accepted the parallels from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon suggested by Ribbeck, but with hesitation; on this supposition, line 12 implies a gap of several years falling within the action of the play. Cf. also R., 464 ff.


Lament on the plot of Orestes to slay his mother f:

Nonius: ‘Fligit’ . . . Accius . . . in Aegisthus

Alas! Of what land is the man who plans To strike our stock down to its base?


Excitement of the chorus on hearing Agamemnon’s cries?: a

Nonius: ‘Celebre’ (frequent, redoubled) . . . also means swift . . .—

It is our duty to hasten our steps with redoubled bustling pace.


Aegisthus defies the chorus?

Nonius: ‘Fragescere,’ to be broken . . .—

. . . nor break men’s savage souls Until they’ve felt the might of government.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.accius-tragedies.1936