Ἥκω λιπὼν Αἰγαῖον ἁλμυρὸν βάθος πόντου Ποσειδῶν, ἔνθα Νηρῄδων χοροὶ κάλλιστον ἴχνος ἐξελίσσουσιν ποδός. ἐξ οὗ γὰρ ἀμφὶ τήνδε Τρωικὴν χθόνα 5Φοῖβός τε κἀγὼ λαΐνους πύργους πέριξ ὀρθοῖσιν ἔθεμεν κανόσιν, οὔποτ᾿ ἐκ φρενῶν εὔνοι᾿ ἀπέστη τῶν ἐμῶν Φρυγῶν πόλει ἣ νῦν καπνοῦται καὶ πρὸς Ἀργείου δορὸς ὄλωλε πορθηθεῖσ᾿· ὁ γὰρ Παρνάσιος 10Φωκεὺς Ἐπειὸς μηχαναῖσι Παλλάδος ἐγκύμον᾿ ἵππον τευχέων συναρμόσας πύργων ἔπεμψεν ἐντὸς ὀλέθριον βρέτας. [ὅθεν πρὸς ἀνδρῶν ὑστέρων κεκλήσεται δούρειος ἵππος, κρυπτὸν ἀμπισχὼν δόρυ.] 15ἔρημα δ᾿ ἄλση καὶ θεῶν ἀνάκτορα
- 13-14del. Burges
At the beginning of the play hecuba lies prostrate on the ground before the skene on a pallet. Enter poseidon above the skene, on the theologeion.
I am Poseidon, and I have come here from the briny depths of the Aegean, where choruses of Nereids turn their footsteps in graceful rounds. Ever since Phoebus and I put stone fortifications about this land of Troy with straight mason’s rule, good will toward the city of the Phrygians 1 has never left my heart. 2 Now the city smolders, sacked and destroyed by the Argive spear. Epeius, the Phocian from Parnassus, built a horse pregnant with weapons by the devising of Pallas Athena and sent inside the walls this image meant for ruin. [And therefore men of later times shall call it the Wooden Horse because it hid spears within its belly.] 3
The sacred groves are deserted, and the temples of the
- 1The Trojans are called Phrygian in Greek poetry and the Greeks Argives, Achaeans, and Danaans. Troy is also called Ilium and Pergamum.
- 2Poseidon is here represented as a pro-Trojan deity. In the Iliad he is pro-Greek.
- 3These two bracketed lines make a poor pun on δούρειος ἵππος, which usually means “wooden horse” but is treated as if it meant “horse of spears.”