Sophocles, Philoctetes

LCL 21: 256-257

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Ἀκτὴ μὲν ἥδε τῆς περιρρύτου χθονὸς Λήμνου, βροτοῖς ἄστιπτος οὐδ᾿ οἰκουμένη, ἔνθ᾿, ὦ κρατίστου πατρὸς Ἑλλήνων τραφεὶς Ἀχιλλέως παῖ Νεοπτόλεμε, τὸν Μηλιᾶ 5Ποίαντος υἱὸν ἐξέθηκ᾿ ἐγώ ποτε—ταχθεὶς τόδ᾿ ἔρδειν τῶν ἀνασσόντων ὕπο—νόσῳ καταστάζοντα διαβόρῳ πόδα· ὅτ᾿ οὔτε λοιβῆς ἡμὶν οὔτε θυμάτων παρῆν ἑκήλοις προσθιγεῖν, ἀλλ᾿ ἀγρίαις 10κατεῖχ᾿ ἀεὶ πᾶν στρατόπεδον δυσφημίαις, βοῶν, ἰύζων. ἀλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν τί δεῖ λέγειν; ἀκμὴ γὰρ οὐ μακρῶν ἡμῖν λόγων, μὴ καὶ μάθῃ μ᾿ ἥκοντα κἀκχέω τὸ πᾶν σόφισμα τῷ νιν αὐτίχ᾿ αἱρήσειν δοκῶ. 15ἀλλ᾿ ἔργον ἤδη σὸν τὰ λοίφ᾿ ὑπηρετεῖν, σκοπεῖν θ᾿ ὅπου ᾿στ᾿ ἐνταῦθα δίστομος πέτρα τοιάδ᾿, ἵν᾿ ἐν ψύχει μὲν ἡλίου διπλῆ πάρεστιν ἐνθάκησις, ἐν θέρει δ᾿ ὕπνον δι᾿ ἀμφιτρῆτος αὐλίου πέμπει πνοή. 20βαιὸν δ᾿ ἔνερθεν ἐξ ἀριστερᾶς τάχ᾿ ἂν ἴδοις ποτὸν κρηναῖον, εἴπερ ἐστὶ σῶν.

  • 11ἰύζων r: στενάζων cett.



Scene: the uninhabited island of Lemnos. Enter odysseus and neoptolemus, with a scout.


This is the shore of the seagirt land of Lemnos, untrodden by mortals, not inhabited. Here it was, you who were reared as the son of the noblest father among the Greeks, son of Achilles, Neoptolemus, that I once put ashore the Malian, the son of Poeas—on the orders of those in command—whose foot was dripping from a malady that was eating it away; since we could not pour libations or sacrifice in peace, but he filled the entire camp with savage and ill-omened cries, shouting and screaming. But why must I talk of that? It is not the moment for long conversation, for fear he should learn that I have come, and I should spill out the whole scheme by which I plan at once to take him. But from now on your task is to help me, and to see where in this place there is a cave with two mouths, such that when it is cold there is a double seat in the sun, and in summer a breeze wafts sleep through the cavern with its opening at both ends. A little below it, on the left, you may see a spring with drinking water, if it is still there. Go

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sophocles-philoctetes.1994