Sophocles, Electra

LCL 20: 168-169

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Ὦ τοῦ στρατηγήσαντος ἐν Τροίᾳ ποτὲ Ἀγαμέμνονος παῖ, νῦν ἐκεῖν᾿ ἔξεστί σοι παρόντι λεύσσειν, ὧν πρόθυμος ἦσθ᾿ ἀεί. τὸ γὰρ παλαιὸν Ἄργος οὑπόθεις τόδε, 5τῆς οἰστροπλῆγος ἄλσος Ἰνάχου κόρης· αὕτη δ᾿, Ὀρέστα, τοῦ λυκοκτόνου θεοῦ ἀγορὰ Λύκειος· οὑξ ἀριστερᾶς δ᾿ ὅδε Ἥρας ὁ κλεινὸς ναός· οἷ δ᾿ ἱκάνομεν, φάσκειν Μυκήνας τὰς πολυχρύσους ὁρᾶν, 10πολύφθορόν τε δῶμα Πελοπιδῶν τόδε, ὅθεν σε πατρὸς ἐκ φονῶν ἐγώ ποτε πρὸς σῆς ὁμαίμου καὶ κασιγνήτης λαβὼν ἤνεγκα κἀξέσωσα κἀξεθρεψάμην τοσόνδ᾿ ἐς ἥβης, πατρὶ τιμωρὸν φόνου. 15νῦν οὖν, Ὀρέστα καὶ σὺ φίλτατε ξένων Πυλάδη, τί χρὴ δρᾶν ἐν τάχει βουλευτέον· ὡς ἡμὶν ἤδη λαμπρὸν ἡλίου σέλας ἑῷα κινεῖ φθέγματ᾿ ὀρνίθων σαφῆ μέλαινά τ᾿ ἄστρων ἐκλέλοιπεν εὐφρόνη. 20πρὶν οὖν τιν᾿ ἀνδρῶν ἐξοδοιπορεῖν στέγης, ξυνάπτετον λόγοισιν· ὡς ἐνταῦθ᾿ †ἐμὲν ἵν᾿ οὐκέτ᾿ ὀκνεῖν καιρός, ἀλλ᾿ ἔργων ἀκμή.

  • 1del. Haslam (vid. Sophoclea p. 42)
  • 11φονῶν Dindorf: φόνων codd.
  • 21ἐνταῦθα μὲν Handley
  • 22ἵν’] fort. ἔστ’ (ἦν Handley)



Enter orestes, pylades, and the old slave. They stand before the central door of the stage building, which represents the palace of Mycenae.
old slave

Son of Agamemnon who once led the army before Troy, now you can gaze with your own eyes on what you have always longed to see! This is the ancient Argos for which you used to long, the precinct of the daughter of Inachus whom the gadfly stung; and this, Orestes, is the Lycean marketplace of the wolf-killing god; a this to the left is the famous temple of Hera; and at the place where we have arrived, you may say that you see Mycenae, rich in gold, and the house of the sons of Pelops here, rich in disasters, from which I once carried you, after your father’s murder, receiving you from your own sister, and kept you safe and raised you up to this stage of youthful vigour, to avenge your father’s murder. So now, Orestes, and you, dearest of hosts, Pylades, you must speedily decide what you must do; for already we hear the morning voices of the birds whom the bright beam of the sun is arousing, and the black night of stars has departed. So before any man leaves the house you must take counsel, since in this place this is no occasion to hesitate, but it is time to act.

  • aApollo.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sophocles-electra.1994