Seneca the Younger, Agamemnon

LCL 78: 128-129

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thyestis umbra

Opaca linquens Ditis inferni loca adsum profundo Tartari emissus specu, incertus utras oderim sedes magis: fugio Thyestes inferos, superos fugo. 5en horret animus et pavor membra excutit: video paternos, immo fraternos lares. hoc est vetustum Pelopiae limen domus; hinc auspicari regium capiti decus mos est Pelasgis, hoc sedent alti toro 10quibus superba sceptra gestantur manu, locus hic habendae curiae—hic epulis locus. Libet reverti. nonne vel tristes lacus accolere satius, nonne custodem Stygis trigemina nigris colla iactantem iubis, 15ubi ille celeri corpus evinctus rotae in se refertur, ubi per adversum irritus redeunte totiens luditur saxo labor, ubi tondet ales avida fecundum iecur, et inter undas fervida exustus siti

  • 13accolere Bothe: incolere EA



ghost of thyestes

I leave the dark world of infernal Dis and come released from Tartarus’ deep cavern, uncertain which abode I hate more: I Thyestes shun those below, and am shunned by those above. Ah, my spirit shudders, my limbs tremble: I see my father’s—no, my brother’s dwelling. This is the ancient threshold of the House of Pelops; here it is the custom for Pelasgians to inaugurate the glory of a royal crown; high on this throne sit those whose proud hand wields the scepter; this is the place for Senate meetings—this is the place for feasts.1

I want to go back. Is it not better to dwell even near those dismal lakes, near the guardian of Styx2 tossing his triple necks with their black manes? Where the one whose body is bound to a swift wheel circles back on himself;3 where uphill toil is vain and mocked as the stone repeatedly descends; where the greedy bird crops the ever growing liver; and one parched midriver with burning

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-agamemnon.2018