ὁ δύσποτμος γεραιὸς ἠγωνίζετο;
420οὐκ Οἰνέως ἦν, ἀλλ᾿ ἔτ᾿ ἀθλιωτέρου.
τὰ τοῦ τυφλοῦ Φοίνικος;
οὐ Φοίνικος, οὔ· ἀλλ᾿ ἕτερος ἦν Φοίνικος ἀθλιώτερος.
ποίας ποθ᾿ ἁνὴρ λακίδας αἰτεῖται πέπλων; ἀλλ᾿ ἦ Φιλοκτήτου τὰ τοῦ πτωχοῦ λέγεις;
425οὔκ, ἀλλὰ τούτου πολὺ πολὺ πτωχιστέρου.
ἀλλ᾿ ἦ τὰ δυσπινῆ θέλεις πεπλώματα, ἃ Βελλεροφόντης εἶχ᾿ ὁ χωλὸς οὑτοσί;
οὐ Βελλεροφόντης· ἀλλὰ κἀκεῖνος μὲν ἦν χωλός, προσαιτῶν, στωμύλος, δεινὸς λέγειν.
οἶδ᾿ ἄνδρα, Μυσὸν Τήλεφον.
Not that in which this Oeneus, the star-crossed ancient, did contend? 55
No, not from Oeneus, but someone even more wretched.
From Phoenix, who was blind? 56
Not Phoenix, no; someone else more wretched than Phoenix.
What tatters of robing does the man seek? Do you mean those of the beggar Philoctetes? 57
No, someone far, far more beggarly than he.
Then do you want the foul accouterment that this Bellerophon, the cripple, wore? 58
Not Bellerophon, though the man I want was also a cripple, a beggar, a smooth-talker, an impressive speaker.
I know the man: Mysian Telephus! 59
- 55Oeneus, King of Calydon, deposed by his nephews in favor of his brother Agrius, became an impoverished exile. In Euripides’ lost play, Oeneus is returned to power by his grandson Diomedes.
- 56Phoenix was falsely accused by his father’s concubine of trying to seduce her, made an unconvincing defence speech, and was blinded and exiled.
- 57Euripides had portrayed the castaway Philoctetes as living on the charity of the Lemnians.
- 58Bellerophon tried to scale Olympus on the winged horse, Pegasus, but was thrown and crippled when Zeus sent a gadfly to vex the horse.
- 59See Introductory Note.