Euripides, Suppliant Women

LCL 9: 12-13

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Euripides

ΙΚΕΤΙΔΕΣ

ΑΙΘΡΑ

Δήμητερ ἑστιοῦχ᾿ Ἐλευσῖνος χθονὸς τῆσδ᾿, οἵ τε ναοὺς ἔχετε πρόσπολοι θεᾶς, εὐδαιμονεῖν με Θησέα τε παῖδ᾿ ἐμὸν πόλιν τ᾿ Ἀθηνῶν τήν τε Πιτθέως χθόνα, 5ἐν ᾗ με θρέψας ὀλβίοις ἐν δώμασιν Αἴθραν πατὴρ δίδωσι τῷ Πανδίονος Αἰγεῖ δάμαρτα Λοξίου μαντεύμασιν. ἐς τάσδε γὰρ βλέψασ᾿ ἐπηυξάμην τάδε γραῦς, αἳ λιποῦσαι δώματ᾿ Ἀργείας χθονὸς 10ἱκτῆρι θαλλῷ προσπίτνουσ᾿ ἐμὸν γόνυ, πάθος παθοῦσαι δεινόν· ἀμφὶ γὰρ πύλας Κάδμου θανόντων ἑπτὰ γενναίων τέκνων ἄπαιδές εἰσιν, οὕς ποτ᾿ Ἀργείων ἄναξ

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Suppliant Women

Suppliant Women

When the action of the play begins, aethra is at an altar in front of the temple of Demeter, surrounded by the chorus, representing the mothers of the Seven against Thebes, who sit holding suppliant branches. On either side of the Chorus are their attendants. At the door of the temple lies the prostrate adrastus surrounded by young boys, the Sons of the Seven, who later form a second chorus.
aethra

Demeter, guardian of this land of Eleusis, and you servants of the goddess who keep her temple, I pray for prosperity for myself, my son Theseus, the city of Athens and Pittheus’ land! 1 It was in Trozen that Pittheus, my father, raised me, Aethra, in a prosperous house and gave me as wife to Pandion’s son Aegeus at the behest of Apollo’s oracles. 2

I make this prayer as I look upon these old women. They have left their homes in Argos and are falling with suppliant branches at my knees because of their terrible sufferings. They have lost their children: their seven noble sons perished before Cadmus’ gates, 3 men once led by

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.euripides-suppliant_women.1998