Seneca the Younger, Medea

LCL 62: 318-319

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SENECA

exul pavens invisus incerti laris; 23a, 22biam notus hospes limen alienum expetat; 22a, 23bme coniugem optet, quoque non aliud queam peius precari, liberos similes patri 25similesque matri. parta iam, parta ultio est: peperi. Querelas verbaque in cassum sero? non ibo in hostes? manibus excutiam faces caeloque lucem! spectat hoc nostri sator Sol generis, et spectatur, et curru insidens 30per solita puri spatia decurrit poli? non redit in ortus et remetitur diem? da, da per auras curribus patriis vehi, committe habenas, genitor, et flagrantibus ignifera loris tribue moderari iuga: 35gemino Corinthos litori opponens moras cremata flammis maria committat duo. Hoc restat unum, pronubam thalamo feram ut ipsa pinum, postque sacrificas preces caedam dicatis victimas altaribus. 40per viscera ipsa quaere supplicio viam, si vivis, anime, si quid antiqui tibi remanet vigoris. pelle femineos metus, et inhospitalem Caucasum mente indue. quodcumque vidit Phasis aut Pontus nefas, 45videbit Isthmos. effera ignota horrida, tremenda caelo pariter ac terris mala mens intus agitat: vulnera et caedem et vagum

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MEDEA

in exile, in fear, hated and homeless; may he seek out other men’s doors, by this time a notorious guest; may he long for me as his wife, and—I can make no worse prayer—for children resembling their father and resembling their mother. My revenge is born, already born: I have given birth.

Am I stringing together futile words and complaints? Shall I not attack my enemies? I shall dash the bridal torches from their hands, and the light from heaven. Does the Sun, the sower of my family’s seed, behold this? And is he beheld? Does he sit in his chariot and race along his usual course through an unclouded sky? Not return to the East and retraverse the day? Grant me to ride through the air in my ancestral chariot, entrust me with the reins, father, and allow me to guide the fiery steeds with blazing traces: Corinth, which blocks a pair of gulfs, must be consumed by flames and let the two seas converge.5

This alone remains, that I carry the bridesmaid’s torch myself into the chamber, and after sacrificial prayers slaughter the victims on a consecrated altar. Through the very guts find a path to punishment, my spirit, if you are alive, if there is any of your old energy left. Drive out womanish fears, and plant the forbidding Caucasus in your mind. Every outrage that Phasis or Pontus saw, the Isthmus will see. Savage, unheard-of, horrible things, evils fearful to heaven and earth alike, my mind stirs up within me: wounds and slaughter and death creeping from limb

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-medea.2018