Euripides, Alcestis

LCL 12: 154-155





Ὦ δώματ᾿ Ἀδμήτει᾿, ἐν οἷς ἔτλην ἐγὼ θῆσσαν τράπεζαν αἰνέσαι θεός περ ὤν. Ζεὺς γὰρ κατακτὰς παῖδα τὸν ἐμὸν αἴτιος Ἀσκληπιόν, στέρνοισιν ἐμβαλὼν φλόγα· 5οὗ δὴ χολωθεὶς τέκτονας Δίου πυρὸς κτείνω Κύκλωπας· καί με θητεύειν πατὴρ θνητῷ παρ᾿ ἀνδρὶ τῶνδ᾿ ἄποιν᾿ ἠνάγκασεν. ἐλθὼν δὲ γαῖαν τήνδ᾿ ἐβουφόρβουν ξένῳ, καὶ τόνδ᾿ ἔσῳζον οἶκον ἐς τόδ᾿ ἡμέρας. 10ὁσίου γὰρ ἀνδρὸς ὅσιος ὢν ἐτύγχανον παιδὸς Φέρητος, ὃν θανεῖν ἐρρυσάμην, Μοίρας δολώσας· ᾔνεσαν δέ μοι θεαὶ Ἄδμητον Ἅιδην τὸν παραυτίκ᾿ ἐκφυγεῖν, ἄλλον διαλλάξαντα τοῖς κάτω νεκρόν. 15πάντας δ᾿ ἐλέγξας καὶ διεξελθὼν φίλους, [πατέρα γεραιάν θ᾿ ἥ σφ᾿ ἔτικτε μητέρα,] οὐχ ηὗρε πλὴν γυναικὸς ὅστις ἤθελεν θανὼν πρὸ κείνου μηκέτ᾿ εἰσορᾶν φάος· ἣ νῦν κατ᾿ οἴκους ἐν χεροῖν βαστάζεται

  • 16del. Dindorf
  • 17ὅστις Reiske: ἥτις C
  • 18θανὼν Reiske: θανεῖν C
  • 19-20ἣν . . . ψυχορραγοῦσαν Usener cl. 201: post 19 lac. indic. Kirchhoff



Enter apollo from the palace of Admetus. He is wearing a quiver and carrying a bow.

House of Admetus! In you I brought myself to taste the bread of menial servitude, god though I am. Zeus was the cause: he killed my son Asclepius, striking him in the chest with the lightning bolt, and in anger at this I slew the Cyclopes who forged Zeus’s fire. As my punishment for this Zeus compelled me to be a serf in the house of a mortal. I came to this land and served as herdsman to my host, and I have kept this house safe from harm to this hour. I am myself godly, and in Admetus, son of Pheres, I found a godly man. And so I rescued him from death by tricking the Fates. These goddesses promised me that Admetus could escape an immediate death by giving in exchange another corpse to the powers below. But when he had sounded all his near and dear in turn, [his father and the aged mother who bore him,] he found no one but his wife who was willing to die for him and look no more on the sun’s light. She is now on the point of death, held up by the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.euripides-alcestis.1994