Χθονὸς μὲν εἰς τήλουρον ἥκομεν πέδον, Σκύθην ἐς οἷμον, ἄβροτον εἰς ἐρημίαν. Ἥφαιστε, σοὶ δὲ χρὴ μέλειν ἐπιστολὰς ἅς σοι πατὴρ ἐφεῖτο, τόνδε πρὸς πέτραις 5ὑψηλοκρήμνοις τὸν λεωργὸν ὀχμάσαι ἀδαμαντίνων δεσμῶν ἐν ἀρρήκτοις πέδαις. τὸ σὸν γὰρ ἄνθος, παντέχνου πυρὸς σέλας, θνητοῖσι κλέψας ὤπασεν· τοιᾶσδέ τοι ἁμαρτίας σφε δεῖ θεοῖς δοῦναι δίκην, 10ὡς ἂν διδαχθῇ τὴν Διὸς τυραννίδα στέργειν, φιλανθρώπου δὲ παύεσθαι τρόπου.
Κράτος Βία τε, σφῷν μὲν ἐντολὴ Διὸς ἔχει τέλος δή, κοὐδὲν ἐμποδὼν ἔτι. ἐγὼ δ᾿ ἄτολμός εἰμι συγγενῆ θεὸν 15δῆσαι βίᾳ φάραγγι πρὸς δυσχειμέρῳ· πάντως δ᾿ ἀνάγκη τῶνδέ μοι τόλμαν σχεθεῖν, εὐωριάζειν γὰρ πατρὸς λόγους βαρύ. τῆς ὀρθοβούλου Θέμιδος αἰπυμῆτα παῖ, ἅκοντά σ᾿ ἅκων δυσλύτοις χαλκεύμασιν 20προσπασσαλεύσω τῷδ᾿ ἀπανθρώπῳ πάγῳ, ἵν᾿ οὔτε φωνὴν οὔτε του μορφὴν βροτῶν
- 2ἄβροτον (or ἄδροτον) t: ἄβατον codd. t.
- 6ἀδαμαντίνων δεσμῶν ἐν t: ἀδαμαντίναις (-οις b΄, -ῃς b΄ k΄) πέδησιν (-αις or -αισιν I b΄, -οις b΄) ἐν (om. b΄ k΄) codd.
- 6πέδαις t: πέτραις codd.
- 17εὐωριάζειν Porson: ἐξωριάζειν codd.
We have reached the land at the furthest bounds of earth, the Scythian marches, a wilderness where no mortals live. Hephaestus, you must attend to the instructions the Father has laid upon you, to bind this criminal to the high rocky cliffs in the unbreakable fetters of adamantine bonds; for it was your glory, the gleam of fire that makes all skills attainable, that he stole and gave to mortals. For such an offence he must assuredly pay his penalty to the gods, to teach him that he must accept the autocracy of Zeus and abandon his human-loving ways.
So far as you two are concerned, Power and Violence, 1 the orders of Zeus have been completely fulfilled, and there is no task still lying before you. But for my part, I can hardly bring myself to take a kindred god and forcibly bind him at this stormy ravine; still, I have no alternative but to endure doing it, for it is dangerous to slight the Father’s word. [To Prometheus ] God of lofty cunning, son of Themis 2 of wise counsel, I, under as much constraint as you, am going to nail you, with metal bonds hard to undo, to this rock, remote from men. Here you will hear no mortal voice, see no
- 1This pair come from Hesiod, Theogony 385–401, where they are children of Styx who live permanently with Zeus, follow wherever he leads, and embody his absolute power over the universe.
- 2This is an innovation; in Hesiod’s Theogony Prometheus is son of Cronus’ brother Iapetus and the Oceanid Clymene (507–511), while Themis has no children until she bears Dike, the Fates, the Seasons and others to Zeus (901–6).