Sophocles, Ajax

LCL 20: 150-151



1300ὅστις στρατοῦ τὰ πρῶτ᾿ ἀριστεύσας ἐμὴν ἴσχει ξύνευνον μητέρ᾿, ἣ φύσει μὲν ἦν βασίλεια, Λαομέδοντος· ἔκκριτον δέ νιν δώρημ᾿ ἐκείνῳ ᾿δωκεν Ἀλκμήνης γόνος. ἆρ᾿ ὧδ᾿ ἄριστος ἐξ ἀριστέοιν δυοῖν 1305βλαστὼν ἂν αἰσχύνοιμι τοὺς πρὸς αἵματος, οὓς νῦν σὺ τοιοῖσδ᾿ ἐν πόνοισι κειμένους ὠθεῖς ἀθάπτους, οὐδ᾿ ἐπαισχύνῃ λέγων; εὖ νυν τόδ᾿ ἴσθι, τοῦτον εἰ βαλεῖτέ που, βαλεῖτε χἠμᾶς τρεῖς ὁμοῦ συγκειμένους, 1310ἐπεὶ καλόν μοι τοῦδ᾿ ὑπερπονουμένῳ θανεῖν προδήλως μᾶλλον ἢ τῆς σῆς ὑπὲρ γυναικός, ἢ σοῦ τοῦ θ᾿ ὁμαίμονος λέγω; πρὸς ταῦθ᾿ ὅρα μὴ τοὐμόν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ σόν. ὡς εἴ με πημανεῖς τι, βουλήσῃ ποτὲ 1315καὶ δειλὸς εἶναι μᾶλλον ἢ ᾿ν ἐμοὶ θρασύς.


ἄναξ Ὀδυσσεῦ, καιρὸν ἴσθ᾿ ἐληλυθώς, εἰ μὴ ξυνάψων, ἀλλὰ συλλύσων πάρει.


τί δ᾿ ἔστιν, ἄνδρες; τηλόθεν γὰρ ᾐσθόμην βοὴν Ἀτρειδῶν τῷδ᾿ ἐπ᾿ ἀλκίμῳ νεκρῷ.


1320οὐ γὰρ κλυόντες ἐσμὲν αἰσχίστους λόγους, ἄναξ Ὀδυσσεῦ, τοῦδ᾿ ὑπ᾿ ἀνδρὸς ἀρτίως;

  • 1312σοῦ τοῦ θ᾿ Hertel: τοῦ σοῦ θ᾿ codd.


one as I, whose father was Telamon, who as the army’s greatest prize for valour won as bedfellow my mother, who was by birth a princess, daughter of Laomedon, and she was given as a special gift by Alcmene’s son? Would I, thus born the noble son of two noble parents, shame my relation, whom, as he lies low in misery, you would expel unburied, and feel no shame for your words? Know it for certain, if you hurl him aside, you shall hurl aside also the three of us along with him, since I am proud to die before all fighting for him rather than for your wife, or shall I say for you and your brother? In face of that, think not of my position, but your own; since if you do me harm, you shall live to wish you had been cowardly rather than brave in dealing with me.

Enter odysseus.

Lord Odysseus, know that you have come at the right moment, if you have come not to make the tangle worse, but to untie it!


What is it, sirs? From far off I heard loud cries of the sons of Atreus over this valiant corpse.


Why, had we not heard shameful words from this man just now, my lord Odysseus?

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sophocles-ajax.1994