A newer edition of this work is available: 2018

Seneca the Younger, Agamemnon

LCL 78: 198-199



frigidus custos nescius somni, linqueret cum iam nemus omne fulvo plenus Alcides vacuum metallo. tractus ad caelum canis inferorum 860triplici catena tacuit nec ullo latravit ore, lucis ignotae metuens colorem. te duce succidit mendax Dardanidae domus et sensit arcus iterum timendos; 865te duce concidit totidem diebus Troia quot annis.


Res agitur intus magna, par annis decem. eheu quid hoc est? anime, consurge et cape pretium furoris: vicimus victi Phryges. 870bene est, resurgis, Troia; traxisti iacens pares Mycenas, terga dat victor tuus! tam clara numquam providae mentis furor ostendit oculis: video et intersum et fruor; imago visus dubia non fallit meos. 875spectemus! epulae regia instructae domo, quales fuerunt ultimae Phrygibus dapes, celebrantur; ostro lectus Iliaco nitet merumque in auro veteris Assaraci trahunt. et ipse picta veste sublimis iacet, 880Priami superbas corpore exuvias gerens.



by the chill guard that knew no sleep, as Alcides was leaving the grove entirely empty of the tawny metal that filled his arms. The hound of the underworld, dragged aloft with triple chains, fell silent, barked with none of his mouths, fearing the colour of the unknown light. When you led the attack, the Dardanid’s perjured house collapsed, and felt the arrows that would threaten again; 49 when you led the attack, it fell in as many days as Troy took years to fall.

Act 5

A great deed is being done inside, a match for those ten years. Oh no, what is this? Rise up, my spirit, and enjoy the rewards of your madness! We have conquered, we conquered Phrygians! Good, you are rising again, Troy. While fallen you have dragged down your adversary, Mycenae; your conqueror turns and runs! My prophetic madness has never shown things to my eyes so clearly. I see the scene, I am there, I relish it; this is no hazy picture deceiving my sight. Let us watch! A feast is being held, laid out in the royal house—like that last banquet for the Phrygians. The couch is replendent with purple cloths from Ilium, and they quaff their wine from the gold of old Assaracus. He himself lies in state in an embroidered robe, his body clothed in proud spoils from Priam.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-agamemnon.2004