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f <^.r' ■ •?•■■ 












^^J. /,JS, 

BAVILL Aim BDWAIM, ?&IirTBmi, GBAin>0»-fTBKrr, 

Govnrr oa«dvh« 


The Greek Text of the Eumenides which formed part 
of the first edition of this work, is omitted from the 
present, as it may now be had in a separate form. 
The circumstances under which a re-publication of the 
Dissertations was called for, were such as admitted of no 
delay, and the present Editor found it impossible, with 
the limited time allowed him, to do all that he wished 
far the improvement of the translation : he has, how- 
ever, revised it throughout, and, in many places, Juts 
substitvied a fuller or more accurate rendering of the 
Author's meaning, and inserted matter which was omitted 
in the former edition. 

ApHl, 1853. 





catalectic orders to the fundamental beat of the metre. — 
(§ 23) Trochaic rhythm. Lydian Mode.— (§ 24) Odes 6 and 
7. Commatica.— (§ 25) Odes 8, 9, 10. Third Stasimon, 
Anapaestic systems. Concluding Ode. 


(§ 26) Stone Theatre at Athens.— (§ 27) The Stage repre- 
sented the Pythian Temple with the Omphalos, and the Or- 
chestra the Front Court, in which the Prologue is spoken. — 
(§ 28) The sudden appearance of the Erinnyes not effected by 
an Eccyclema, but (§ 29) by a curtain. — (§ 30) The scene 
shifted to Athens by turning round the Periacti. — (§ 31) 
Scene laid in and about the Temj^e of Athene Polias to the 
end of the play. 


(§ 32) General character of the stage-costume. — (§ 33) 
Distribution of the parts in the Orestea among three players. 
— (§ 34) Garb and personal appearance of the several actors. 

Second Dissebtation. On the Purport and Com- 
position OF THE Play 69 



(§ 35) Abasement of the Areopagus by Ephialtes.---(§ 36) 
Not effected at the time of the ccmiposition of the Eumeni- 
des. — (§ 37) The trial for homicide withdrawn from the 
Areopagus, ^schylus upholds that court in its ancient 
jurisdiction. — (§ 38) The same aristocratic sentiments ex- 
hibited by the Poet in the Persae and Septem c. Thebas. 
Issue of the affiur. 


(§ 39) League with Argos. Orestes the representative of 
that State.— (§ 40) The same sentiments towards Argos in 
the Supplices. — (§ 41) The Poet's views of domestic and 
foreign affairs reconciled.— (§ 42) Bis warnings against civil 
discord, and encouragement to foreign war. 





a, BvZy of aA)€fiaging bloody cU Athena cmd in the ecvrUer 

times 87 

(§ 43) Exclusively incumbent on the relations of the 
deceased, by Attic law. — (§ 44) Interference of the State in 
wilful murder and manslaughter, and limitation of vengeance 
in those cases. — (§ 45) Greater extent of vengeance and neces- 
sity of flight in the heroic Age. 

h. Duty of Orestes according to Ihe tevioroflhe mylhus,*, 97 

(§ 46) Strict obligation of Orestes to avenge his &ther.— • 
(§ 47) Instigation to vengeance by Apollo, exhibited in the 
hero's companion Pylades.— {§ 48) .^Slschylus's views on the 
duty of Orestes vindicated against Euripides.— (§ 49) Ven- 
geance of the Erinnyes upon Orestes. 

e. Poeition of the fugiMve Homicide 103 

(§ 50) Dread of miasma from the shedder of blood. — 
(§ 51) Eespect and compassion (mdof) for the blood-guilty 
suppliant. Meaning of 7rpo<rrp67raios in .^^chylus. 


o. Ingeneral, 106 

(§ 52) Sanction of the practice by Attic law, and greater 
extent of the custom in heroic times according to Homer.-^ 
(§ 53) Expiation for blood founded upon the legends of 
Ixion and Hercules. 

b. Biffetenoe bet/ween the rites of Atonement cmd those of 

Tv/rificaJtipn {HUasmos cmd Katharmos) 112 

(§ 54) Atonement (Hilasmos) its constant reference to the 
Chtiionian deities. — (§ 55) Demonstrated in the Cultus of 
Zeus Meilichios and Laphystios as a chthonian God, and (§ 56) 
in the festival of the Delphinian Apollo as having reference 
to a dithonian divinity. Hence its connexion with the pro- 



pitiation of the dead in the Hydrophoria.— (§ 67) Method 
of atonement, servitude for eight years, and (§ 58) sacrifice 
of an animal, especially a ram, to the chthonian Zeus. Origin 
of the Greek ransom (ttoii^).— (§ 69) Purification by the 
blood of expiatory sacrifices, and by water. — (§ 60) Apollo 
the proper Grod of purification. — (§ 61) Other Grods of puri- 
fication, especially Dionysus. 

c. Pmjficatian of Orestes 128 

(§ 62) The several places where Orestes abode during his 
exile and was cleansed from his guilt. — (§ 63) Orestes puri- 
fied, but the Erinnyes still unpropitiated. 



a. The Attic GovHa a/nd Trihmiala..^ 133 

(§ 64) Historical relation between the Areopagus and the 
Ephetse.— (§ 65) Separation of these Courts in the cases of 
wilful murder and of undesigned and justifiable (i. e. re- 
deemable) homicide, effected by Solon's legislation.—- (§ 66) 
A Supreme Board, formerly administering justice in ^ve 
Courts (Areopagus, Palladium, Delphinium, Prytaneum, 
Phreatto).— (§ 67) The meaning of these localities in con- 
nexion with the Courts held there.— (§ 68) Vindication of 
the my thus which refers the trial of Orestes to the Areo- 
pagus, and not to the Delphinium (§ 69). 

6. On the Judicvail proceedmga in JEschyhis, 144 

(§ 70) Athene, as President of the Court, holds the pre- 
liminary enquiry. — (§ 71) On the challenge of Orestes by the 
Erinnyes to take oath.— (§ 72) Proceedings in Court. — (§ 73) 


(§ 74) Its reference to the unwritten law.— (§ 76) Propaga- 
tion by the Eupadridic families. — (§ 76) Emanation from the 
Cultus of ApoUo, whom .^chylus introduces in the capacity 
of Exegetes. 





o. Mecming of the term cmd mt/thiccU conception of the 

Erinnyes 155 

(§ 77) Definition of Erinnys, and connexion with jlra.— 
(§ 78) Comprehension of Erinnys as a divinity withont strict 
personality.— (§ 79) Mythical fixation of the idea of the 
Erinnyes, and extension of their agency. 

h, CvUua of the Erirvnyea and Eumemdes or Semnas 160 

(§ 80) Origin of the Oultus of the Erinnyes in the religious 
service of Demeter-Erinnii/s, or Black JDemeter,-^^ 81) De- 
meter-Erinnys, the predominant principle in the Theban 
legend: first in Oadmus's fight with the Dragon.— (§ 82) 
(Edipus a victim of Demeter-Erinnys ; his grave in Boeotia. — 
(§ 83) CEdipus's grave at Athens and Oolonus; system of 
religious services at Colonus. — (§ 84) The CEdipus Ooloneus 
of Sophocles. — (§ 85) Demeter-Erinnys the destroyer of 
Thebes by means of Adrastus. — (§ 86) Dissemination of the 
Cultus of Dem^r-Erinnys in other quarters, and transition 
of it into that of the Erinnyes or Senmce. — (§ 87) Develope- 
ment of the idea of the Eumenides upon this basis.^§ 88) 
The Eumenides as beneficent beings in ^schylus. 

e^ Eeligimis Service of the SemncB at Athena 177 

(§ 89) Site of their Temple ; connexion of their Cultus 
with that of Ares ; sacrifices and libations to them. 

d, JEeckyhids Conception of the Erinnyes cmd their Figure 181 

(§ 90) Opposition between the elder and younger race of 
Gods.— (§ 91) The two systems reconciled by -^Eschylus ; 
fiucoession of the Pythian deities.— (§ 92) .^Eschylus's selec- 
tion among the mythi relative to the extraction of the Erin- 
nyes. — (§ 93) His construction of the figure and appearance 
of the Erinnyes. 



B. axm 80TER 190 

(§ 94) The idea of Zeus Soter, as the third, carried all 
through the trilogy. — (§ 95) Dissemination of this cultus, 
and its bearing upon the opposition between the Olympian 
and chthonian deities. 


(§ 96) Tragedy as KaBap<ns r&v naBrfnaroup, developed out 
of the Dionysian Cultus. — (§ 97) Train of emotions in the 
Agamemnon, (§ 98) the Choephorce, (§ 99) the Eumenides. — 
(§ 100) Trilogic Unity. Satyric drama. 

Appendix. Caleultis Minervce 216 

Index 220 


Page 13, line 9 from bottom, for liveliest read liveli/, 

— 78, line 8, for 640 read 640. 

— 87, line 2 from bottom, for ^gyjfi read Egypt, 

— 98, line 6 from bottom, for rotoiroif, read rouArrois, 

— 170, note 1, line 1, for 'Hpawi^, read 'H^y. 

— 183, line 8, for trAo^, read which. 








a. Number of the Choreuta. 

1. When ^schylus had determined to present him- 
self as a candidate for the Tragic prize at the Dionysian 
Festival at which he produced his play of the Eume- 
NiDEs^ he was first of all obliged^ by the regulations of 
the Athenian Festivals^ to apply to the Chief of the 
Nine Archons for a Chorus. He obtained one/ and 
we learn from the Didascalia that the Chorus assigned 
to him was that which a wealthy individual^ Xenodes 
of Aphidna^ had engaged^ in the capacity of Choregus 
of his tribe^ to collect/ mamtain during their trainings 
and equip for the stage. Our Poet then proceeded to 
train^ this Chorus for his four plays^ that being the 
number which by ei^blished custom the Tragic Poet 
was required to produce on the stage at the same time; 
these were the Agamemnon, the ChoephortB, the Eume- 
nides, and the Proteus, a Satyric drama. As the judges^ 
in estimating the merits of each candidate^ could (mly 
look to outward and visible results^ and the prize was 
not for the best poem as such^ but for the play which 
was most effectively brought out upon the stage^ this 
training was in the eyes of the State the most essential 
part of the Poet's whole performance; accordingly^ by 

B 2 


custom established from the firsts it was not to the 
Poet as such, but invariably to the Teacher qf the 
Chorus^ that the prize was awarded. 

Now the question is, how many persons did Xenodes 
— for according to the Didascalia he was the only Cho- 
regus with whom iEschylus was concerned on this 
occasion — assign to our Poet for the performance of the 
Choral dances and Odes in this Tetralogy ? 

It is well known that the ancient Grammarians 
state the usual number of the Tragic Chorus, even with 
iEschylus, to have been fifteen (for fourteen, the number 
given in their statements, only means fifteen without 
the Leader, or else is to be accounted a mere error of 
transcription) : whereas in an ancient Life of Sophocles, 
as also in Suidas, we are informed that Sophocles was 
the first who changed the number of the Chorus fix>m 
twelve to fifteen. It has indeed been su^ested that 
these numbers ought to be transposed ; but that such a 
transposition is inadmissible here, is sufficiently evident 
even from the fact (which will appear in the sequel) 
that the Grammarians, in all that they tell us of the 
arrangement and distribution of the Tragic Chorus, 
have constantly the number fifteen in view : for, of 
course, in all their remarks on this subject, they must 
have been thinking of the Drama as brought to its 
perfection by Sophocles and Euripides, rather than of 
the comparatively antiquated form in which it appears 
m iEschylus. 

Now, as far as I am aware, these accounts have been 
universally understood to mean, that the said twelve or 
fifteen individuals acted as Chorus in all four plays one 
after another ; that is, in the present instance, as Chorus 
of Old Men in the Agamemnon, of Female Mourners 

^ X^P^^ dtdaaKoXoff. 


in the second play, of Furies in the third, and of Satyrs 
in the last. — It is a point of considerable importance 
that we should see clearly how entirely unfounded this 
opinion is, and how necessary it is to adopt a different 

2. What ? are we expected to beUeve that the same 
individuals, and those assuredly not accomplished artists 
like the principal stage-actors, but men of the ordinary 
class, and such as could not be supposed to have received 
more than the usual education of Athenian citizens, — 
were actually so well taught and so perfect in their 
parts, as to execute successfully all the various figures^ 
of those numerous long dances — and we know that to 
the most ancient Tragedians in particular 

* The Dance imparted movements manifold. 
As in the stormy mght the immeasurable sea 
Seanes sequent wa/oe on wave^ — 

all the complex systems — ^which, in the older Tragedy 
come three and four together without intermission— of 
the many odes which occur in the Agamemnon, the 
Choephoroe, the Eumenides, and a Satyric drama to 
boot ? And furthermore, that these self-same indivi- 
duals were alike skilful in personating, both in song and 
dance, the characters of old Men, of gentle Females, of 
wrathful Furies, of wanton Satyrs ? Nay, even as a 
question of physical possibility, whence were they to 
get the enormous bodily power that should enable them 
to sustain the choral movements (and we know that 
these were often violent and impetuous, even in the 
solenm tragic dance'), and at the same time to support 
the exertion of voice accompanying the dance, through 
all four plays ? And lastly, considering the number of 

* a-xnfJurra, ' tufieXtui, 


tetralogies that were crowded into the compass of a 
short Festival^ where was the time to be found between 
the several plays for transforming old men into mooming- 
women^ women into furies^ and these last into satyrs ? 

But supposing all this to have been possible^ and to 
admit of some rational explanation^ still there are other 
and more conclusive arguments against that opinion. 

3. It is a sufficiently obvious remark^ that besides the 
proper Chorus in the several tragedies^ ^schylus almost 
invariably employs in his dramas a considerable number 
of persons who are neither Actors nor Choreutse in the 
proper sense of the term, and yet evidently bear a great 
resemblance to the latter. To go no further than our 
tetralogy, we have first in the Agamemnon the female- 
attendants, who spread the purple carpets for the vic- 
torious Prince to walk upon from his chariot to the 
palace ; and then in the Eumenides the Areopagites and 
the female-escort of the Furies. It cannot be doubted 
that these characters made their entrance on the stage 
in solemn and symmetrical order, conformably with the 
spirit of ancient Art : the procession of the Areopagites 
and females at the conclusion of the Eumenides more 
particularly requires well-trained dancers; and in fact 
the female-escort, by singing the closing ode, approves 
itself at last to be a kind of Chorus. Moreover, there 
is an evident congruity observable in point of general 
character, first, between the Old Men in the Agamemnon 
and the Areopagites ; next, between Clytaemnestra's 
female-attendants, the female-mourners, and the female- 
escort of the Eumenides. All this considered, it is 
a very obvious conjecture that we have in these instances 
the self-same Choreutse under a slight change of garb : 
and consequently, that besides the proper Chorus of any 
individual drama, that belonging to some other play of 
the same tetralogy often does duty as accessory Chorus ; 


whence it necessarily follows^ that the Chorus of one 
play must have been quite distinct from that of another^ 
in respect of the persons of whom it was composed. 
. But there is a still stronger fact by which we are even 
compelled to adopt this supposition; the fact that in 
the second play of this very tetralogy^ besides its own 
proper Chorus^ the one belonging to the third play 
actually comes on the stage ; and that too^ not as in 
the above-mentioned instances under a different cha- 
racter and costume^ but to all intents as a Chorus of 
Furies. This appears from a passage towards the end 
of the play (v. 1044), where Orestes exclaims : 

^fjKMfoi yvvaiKEc, aiBe Topyovufv ^iicriy 
*j>aioic\lTtoveQ jcai ireifKeKravriixivai 
irvKVOiQ ^paxovffiv* ohx er' &y fjielvaifji* iyw. 

It is true, the Choephorse do not see the Erinnyes, 
of whom Orestes speaks here ; and hence it has been 
inferred that in fact they exist only in the fancy of 
Orestes ; — a conception which, in my opinion, most peri- 
lously assails and indeed goes near to destroy the entire 
poetic and religious consistency of the trilogy. For, 
assuredly, according to ^schylus's idea, the Erinnyes 
are as really present here, where Orestes first beholds 
them, as they are where they are pursuing him to Delphi 
and Athens : and it would have been nothing less than 
wilfully annihilating all truth of the poetic picture, had 
the Poet begun by treating the very beings, whom he 
meant to produce in the sequel as corporeal and actually 
present, — nay, on whose real presence the whole plot of 
the following play depends, — ^in the light of a mere 
fancy, the phantom of a diseased brain. Euripides, 
indeed, has done so, but iEschylus was of all poets the 
least capable of committing such a blunder. We con- 
fidently assert that the spectator whose eyes did not 


actually behold the Erinnyes on this their first appear- 
ance^ must needs have remained blind to their presence 
in the sequel. True^ the Chorus of Choephoroe does 
not perceive them^ but that is because these daemonic 
beings are visible only to such as have their eyes 
opened to behold the realities of the supernatural worlds 
into which the Poet conducts us. Accordingly, in the 
third play, where the Erinnyes compose the Chorus, 
^schylus has carefully avoided bringing characters of 
an ordinary stamp into communication with them. 
There, except Apollo and Athena, who sustain the 
principal part in the action, none see them but Orestes, 
who bears their tortures in his heart, the inspired 
Pythoness, and the Shade of Clytsemnestra. The 
Areopagites and the female-escort cannot be taken into 
account as an exception to the truth of this remark, 
inasmuch as these do not properly bear a part, as acting 
characters, in this Drama of Deities. The spectator on 
the contrary does and must behold the Erinnyes from 
their very first appearance : it is for him that the Poet 
draws asunder the veil from the invisible world, which 
Ues revealed to the deeper intuitions of his inspired 
mind ; and if its denizens be visible at all, they must 
be present to his view from the very commencement of 
their supernatural operations. 

But fortunately for such as credit only what they 
have external evidence of, it is on record that such is 
the fact. At least we are informed by Pollux* that the 
Erinnyes of Tragedy (and what tragedy more obviously 
occurs to us than this very trilogy of -^schylus ?) were 
raised as it were out of the infernal world through trap- 
doors^ near the fiight of steps^ leading from the Orchestra 
to the Amphitheatre. Now the only occasion on which 

rV. 132. cf. 121. ' dvoTriea'fiaTa, ' dva^Bfwi. 



the Eriimyes can and must be conceived to be so repre- 
sented as rising out of the infernal world is at the 
conclusion of the Choephoroe. At the commencement 
of the succeeding play they have long been in this upper 
world : they have already chased Orestes from the home 
of his fathers to Delphi. Consequently the statement 
of PoUux affords an indirect confirmation of the assertion 
I have advanced^ that the Chorus of Erinnyes really 
did appear on the stage^ besides the Chorus of Choe- 
phoroe. At the same time his statement serves in some 
sort to explain how it was that the Chorus did not see 
them^ namely^ because the Chorus, as it faced the stage^ 
had its back turned upon the doors in question. Though 
it is also likely enough that there were particular con- 
trivances by means of which the spot on which the 
Erinnyes first appeared was concealed from the view 
of persons on the level of the Orchestra^ and visible 
only from the elevated stations of the stage and Amphi- 

4. After these explanations the relation between the 
accessory and the principal Chorus in each of the three 
tragedies may be thus arranged : 

Principal Chor. 
Accessory Chor, 


Old Men. 
Women from II. 


Erinnyes from III. 


Old Men from I. 
and Womenfrom II. 

At the dose of the Eumenides^ in order to afford the 
people a splendid spectacle^ which also &om the contrast 
of the characters would be very impressive and signi- 
ficant^ all three Choruses move off from the Orchestra 
in the same order as they entered ; the old men at the 
head of the procession (v. 965); then the escort of 
maidens^ women^ and aged matrons with torches and 

B 8 



votive offerings of purple garments;^ and lastly the awful 
figures of the Erinnyes. The proper Chorus of the play 
leaves the Orchestra last of all. 

From the preceding exposition we obtain this un- 
questionable result : the Choregus appoints the Poet a 
much larger Chorus than one of twelve or fifteen^ and 
it is the Poet's business to distribute this large Chorus 
into Choruses for the individual Tragedies and Satyric 
Drama composing the tetralogy. Perhaps the con- 
sideration of this collective Chorus may help us to 
ascertain the original number of tragic Choreutae with 
greater precision than has hitherto been done.^ 

5. The Tragic Chorus^ as we learn &om Aristotle and 
others^ was derived &om the Dithyrambic, which we 
know from various sources' consisted of fifty persons. 
This being the case^ it is quite natural to suppose that 
the Choregus furnished the same number of dancers 
for the Tragic Chorus, as he had previously been 
accustomed to provide for the Dithyrambic, and that the 
distribution of these fifty persons into the component 
choruses of the tetralogy was left to the discretion of 
the Poet. On this view, the well-known statement of 
Pollux, that the chorus of Eumenides consisted of fifty. 

^ V. 982. From this passage we | 
may infer that the ChoephorsB were 
not all elderly women, although their 
Leader was aged, Choeph. 169. 

' Accomits from later times, when 
the andent importance and signifi- 
cance of the Choms had been quite 
overborne by the domineering pre- 
tensions of insolent Actors, of course 
do not count for much in this ques- 
tion. Still it is worth mentioning, 
that in an anecdote of Alexander's 
times, preserved by Plutarch in his 
Phocion, c 19, a tragic actor who 

desired to act, claimed the part of a 
queen, and demanded for this pur- 
pose a number of splendidly dressed 
female-attendants — which the Cho- 
regus refused. It appears that it 
still rested with the Choregus to ap- 
point such persons: only this had 
become optionaL Cf. Boeckh Civ. 
Econ. t. i. p. 487, n. 646. 

» Simonid.Epigr. 68,Br.— Scholl. 
In ^schin. c. Tim. p. 721, R.— 
Tzetzes Prolegom. in Lycophron, p. 
1, Pott. 



may still be defended^ if we suppose Pollux to have 
misconceived something that he had learnt relative to 
the number of choreutse for the whole tetralogy, of 
which number, as we have seen, at least three-fourths 
were on the stage at the end of the Eumenides. 

Still however the number fifty requires some modifi- 
cation. The Dithyrambic Chorus was cyclic, and sang 
the dithyramb in a circle about the altar, passing 
round it first in one direction, then in the other. But 
the Tragic, as well as the Comic and Satyric Chorus 
was quadrangulary rerpaytovog* which latter expression 
is clearly and pointedly opposed to the former. Now 
a quadrangular chorus is one that is divided into rank 
itvya) and file [arlyoi^ aToiyoi), so as to form a quad- 
rangle. Its number therefore must always be the 
product of a multiplication, such as 3x4=12; 3x5 
= 15. But as it appears that the component numbers 
are never so fiir apart that the one is double of the 
other (3x4 or 3x5 is the tragic, 4x6 the comic 
chorus), a quadrangular chorus of 5 x 10 is not at all 
probable. If the tragic chorus of earUer times came on 
the stage as an undivided whole, it is much more credible 
that its number was forty-eight, 6x8. And here by 
the way I may be allowed to express my conjecture that 
the singular term, aTr\<iiyopoq or Master of the Chorus,* 
given by the Greeks to the number eight in the game 
of dice, may refer to the ancient custom of arranging 
the chorus in eight ranks. 

6. Now an equal division of this chorus of forty- 
eight gives twelve choreutse for each of the four plays. 
Twelve therefore, recommends itself, even in this point 

* See Tzetzes, u. s.; Etyin.M.8.v. 
Tpoy^dia. Schol.Diony8.Thr.p.746, 
Bekker; and Villoison's Anecdota, 

II. p. 178. 

« See Stesich. Fragm. Ed. Eleine, 
p. 27. 


of view, as the probable number originally employed by 
^schylus. Moreover, twelve is just half the number 
of the comic chorus, which consisted, in all, of twenty- 
four persons — as it should seem that Comedy, a form 
of the Drama which received much less encouragement 
from the state than Tragedy, was obUged to content 
itself with half the number of persons required for the 
collective chorus of a tragic tetralogy. The original 
number of choreutse in each tragedy cannot have been 
fifteen, because in that case either the collective chorus 
must have extended beyond fifty, whereas its intimate 
connexion with the dithyrambic chorus forbids us to 
suppose this ; or there would be only five left for the 
Satyric Drama, which would be too small a number for 
a festive chorus, and far too meagre and scanty a 
representation of the merry crew of Bacchus, a spectacle 
so deUghtfid to an audience in that early age especially. 

But, it will be asked, did not iEschylus unquestion- 
ably employ a chorus of fifteen, as the old SchoUasts^ 
have remarked with reference to the Agamemnon and 
Eumenides, and Hermann^ has proved to the general 
satisfaction in respect of the former tragedy ? The fact 
is, we have here a remarkable instance of the force of 
a confident assertion ; which may for a time obtain such 
authority, even with the most clear-sighted inquirers, 
that it scarcely ever occurs to any of them to doubt its 
truth, though all the while it may be radically false. 
The very passage produced in proof of fifteen choreutae 
furnishes conclusive evidence in favour of twelve, as we 
shall now proceed to show. 

7. The Chorus in the Agamemnon represents a Su- 
preme Council,' left by the Prince in administration of 

* SchoL Aristoph. Equit. 686. 
Eumen. 575. 

^ De Choro Eumen. DIbh. I. 
' yepovo'La. 



the realm during his absence/ Suspicious of Clytsem- 
nestra^s evil disposition and deeply affected by Cassan* 
dra^s predictions, this company of elders is filled with 
an anxious presentiment of the horrible event so nearly 
impending. On a sudden the death-cry of Agamenmou 
is heard from the interior of the palace (v. 1343 Well.): 
first, one of the elders draws the attention of the others 
to it j a second declares it is the very perpetration of 
the deed they dreaded ; a third proposes that they should 
hold a consultation upon it.* Young men would in- 
stantly have hastened to the spot and forced their way 
in j but these old men, who with all their integrity of 
sentiment betray throughout the tragedy a degree of 
weakness and irresolution, proceed to debate on the 
course they ought to pursue, and the question with them 
is, whether they should summon the citizens to their 
assistance, or should endeavour to prevent the crime by 
forcing their way into the palace : or, lastly, as they 
would most probably arrive too late to prevent the deed, 
whether they should not rather bring the murderer to 
trial. The suffrages are given in iambic distichs (the 
three preceding hasty utterances of the Chorus on the 
first alarm are in the liveliest trochaic metre), and of 
these distichs there are just twelve. The first proposal 
is carried by a considerable majority,^ and is confirmed 
by the last voter, probably the same person who moved 
the debate, for the offices of iTrixpritpitnv and aTriKvpovv 
usually fell to the same individual. The next moment 
the Gerontes are inside the palace ; that is, the interior 
of the palace, — the apartment containing the silver 
laver, the corpse of Agamemnon enveloped in the fatal 

* See V. 856, 884. 

* Koufova-Bcu fiavkevimra, ▼. 

" [Klaoaen, in I, makes the pro- 
posals only two, of which the second 
has the minority of voices.] 


garment^ and Clytsemnestra still standing, with the 
bloody weapon in her hand, on the spot where she 
struck the blow,^ — is wheeled upon the stage by means 
of the machine called sKKvKXrifia,^ The expression, 
arrijica 8' ivO' iwaKra^ shows that Clytaemnestra, although 
wheeled out by means of this machinery, is still to be 
imagined within the apartment : of course, therefore, 
the Poet would have us conceive the Chorus to have 
forced its way in, although in fact it was still outside. 
Hence it is evident that the debate was over, and had 
been closed in due form ; and hence again it follows 
that all the elders have given their votes. For, indeed, 
so well acquainted were the Athenians with the mode 
of proceeding in the debates of a BouX^, that they 
would not have been very well satisfied, had ^schylus 
suffered three of the Gerontes to remain quite silent, 
nor have been put off with the lame explanation that 
the other three had called the attention of the rest to 
what was going on, (1344, 6, 7,) since this could not 
prejudice their right and duty to give their opinion. 

8. Thus in the above transaction there are evidently 
twelve choreutse; and the same number also appears 
in other parts of the tragedy. For instance, the Chorus 
in their colloquy with Cassandra preceding that trans- 
action speak twelve times in iambics, and this in such 
manner, that the speeches are related to each other three 
and three, so as to form a whole.' Thereupon, as the 

* €<TTrjKa b* €V0* €iraia'a, v. 1379. 
Cf. V. 1472, 1549. 

3 Of. § 28, for an account of this 

' The ChoreutfiB, by whom these 

Iambics are spoken, 1047 (= 971 

Kl.) to 1113, probably rangeid thus: 

6 12 9 3 

5 11 8 2 

4 10 7 1 

It will be seen, namely, that on each 
occasion the third speaker, 3, 6,9, 12, 
does not address Cassandra, but only 
speaks of her ; these, therefore, seem 
to form the hindmost rank, i. e., 
farthest from the stage. Also 1 and 
4 speak three iambic verses each : 
the rest only two. [But 7 also only 
speaks ofC, v. 1083, Kl. 1007.] 


(jerontes^ possessed by dire forebodings of evil^ are borne 
away from their calm Belf-possession just in proportion 
as the Prophetess recovers hers^ they break out into 
song^ and perform (perhaps in pairs) six odes replete 
with emotion of a lyrical character, in continuation of 
those sung by Cassandra, at first with and afterwards 
without iambics (beginning at y. 1119, Ell. 1044). And 
then again (1198, Kl. 1119) of three principal choreut® 
each holds a dialogue with Cassandra on her gift of 
prophecy and on the purport of her predictions, each 
dialogue regularly commencing (1198, 1243, 1298,) with 
four iambic verses, and then proceeding in single verses, 
[6 (or 5, with distich at 1204), 5, and 8.] And again, 
after the murder, the Chorus in dispute with Clytsem- 
nestra (1448, Ell. 1370) sings siv Strophes and the same 
number of Antistrophes, which apparently belong to 
the individual members of it. 

9. Lastly, with this exactly tallies the fact we have 
asserted above, viz., that the G^routes in the Agamem- 
non reappear in the Eumenides in the character of 
Areopagites. Twelve^ we know, was of old the favourite 
number for a Council, and there arises a probability 
that ^schylus would assume this number for the 
Areopagus from the heroic age, — which was also con- 
sidered to have been the original number, by those who 
referred the first institution of the Areopagus to the 
contention of the Twelve Gods. This conclusion, how- 
ever, results more directly from the whole course of the 
proceedings in the balloting for Orestes, beginning at 
V. 700. Athena there charges the Areopagites to rise 
from their seats, take each of them a ballot from the 
Altar, and cast It into the Urn provided for the purpose. 
Of course it is not to be imagined that the old men 
would perform this act in a confused, irregular fashion ; 
we may be quite sure that the entire proceeding took 
place in a manner strictly conformable to the law of 


measured rhythm and symmetry which pervades all 
ancient Art. Now, during this proceeding, from the 
point where Athena has bidden the judges to rise, to 
that where the Goddess herself takes up the last ballot 
from the Altar, we shall find that Apollo and the 
Eumenides speak eleven times, an iambic distich each 
time except the first and last. This makes twelve nearly . 
equi-distant intervals or pauses, and there can be no 
doubt that at each pause, one of the Areopagites cast 
his ballot into the urn, and as the ^f/d»oc Sdcaorcic^ 
struck against the vessel, the sound Koy^, so familiar 
to the Athenian ear, was distinctly audible through the 
Theatre. For, that we are to reckon by the intervals 
between the speeches, and not by the speeches them- 
selves, is evident even from the fact that the number of 
the speeches is uneven, whereas the number of ballots 
was even ; it is not till Athena gives the casting vote 
that the whole number becomes odd, and Orestes is 
acquitted by a majority of one vote/ 

10. There is no other play which exhibits the chorus 
of twelve so plainly as the Agamemnon ; for it does not 
by any means follow as a matter of course, that because 
the chorus of twelve was certainly employed in this one 
instance, the same must have been the case in all the 
other dramas of ^schylus. It is very possible that 
after Sophocles had extended the number to fifteen, 
jEschylus may now and then have adopted the enlarged 
number. Nevertheless I think I can shew some pro- 
babihty of the chorus of twelve having been employed 
in the Persians, the Suppliants, and the Seven against 
Thebes ; and among the lost tragedies of iEschylus that 
was beyond doubt the number of the Chorus of Titans 

^ The same oondosion is drawn from this passage by Boeckh, Carp, 
Inscript. II. p. 311. 



in the Prometheus Unbound? In the play of the Per- 
sians, the Chorus represents a Council of Elders, or 
Senate, for which twelve might be the regular number, 
as established in the Agamemnon; and the same appears 
admissible also in the Antiffone of Sophocles.* More- 
over, in the evocation of Darius from his grave (v. 625 
— 658), six voices are distinguishable, and the like 
number join in singing the concluding Ode. In the 
Suppliants, we must bear in mind that each of the 
Danaids has a female attendant with her (v. 956) : 
therefore the Chorus composed of both must contain an 
even number ; and as the chorus of fourteen appears 
to have been a special peciiliarity in the Suppliants of 
Euripides (in which play there is good reason for 
assuming that number^), we must in this instance also 
abide by the chorus of twelve, among which number 
the closing ode readily admits of being distributed. 
In the Seven against Thebes the demonstration is less 
concise than in the other instances : I will therefore 
merely state it here as my opinion, that this play ranks 
with those above-mentioned with respect to the amount 
of its chorus. But in the Choephorce and the Eumenides 
the number of the chorus is not to be inferred, as a 
matter of course, from that in the Agamemnon. Out 
of fifty choreutae ^Eschylus might allot twelve to the 
first play and allow fifteen for each of the two foUow- 

3 See Welcker Mgchylean Tri- 
logy, p. 39 (German). Supplement, 
p. 67. Against this now, at least, 
the objection no longer holds : 
SaUus erit, opinor, quod ususpostu- 
labai, qwindecim. In the Seven, Pas- 
sow (IVooBm. Lect. Univ.) assumes 
the number fourteen, which in my 
opinion was a rare exception. 

^ On the character of the Chorus 
in the Antigone, cf. v. 159. 835 of 

that play, and Boeckh on the Anti- 
gone, Essay I. p. 45. (Gterman). 

* Reisig(Enarr.(Ed.Col.v.l308,) 
failed to perceive this circiunstance, 
owing to his not viewing the chorus 
as a whole, without regard to the 
particular circumstances andfeelings 
of the individuals coipposing it. 
Elmsley speaks most to the point on 
this subject in the Class. Joumal, 
Vol> IX. 4, xvii. p. 56. 


ing ones^ thus leaving eight for the Satyric Drama, 
which are not too few to form a Chorus.* Nay, in the 
Eumenides, independently of the testimony cited above 
(§ 6), which there is no decided reason for rejecting in 
this case, every thing speaks is favour of the chorus of 
fifteen. For in such of the choral odes as are com^ 
matic (i. e. sung by single individuals), seven distinct 
voices are frequently apparent ; which number is to be 
accounted for by the withdrawal of the Leader, so that 
seven pairs remained, among whom the several odes 
had to be divided. This must be made to appear by 
analysis of the several odes : I wish however to draw 
attention here to one passage in the dialogue, in which 
this number seven very clearly presents itself, though 
in a way that, to our modem conceptions, may appear 
trivial. The Chorus of Erinnyes is awakened from deep 
sleep by the agitating presentiment that Orestes has 
fled from them. Half dreamingly they howl upon each 
other to look to and seize upon the prey. In the MSS. 
the verse, with the scenical annotation, runs thus : 

\al3e, Xa/3e, Xdfie^ XdjSe, ^pa^ov. 

But according to the Scholiast in v. 1, the metre of the 
verse was, 

for he describes it as a dimeter brachycatalectic with an 
hepthemimer of tribrachs. He must therefore have read 
it (and the inference is confirmed by the comparison of 
his other statements concerning the metre) thus : 

/iv fiv' fiv fiv' ^pdi^ov — \ajie, Xafie, \a(ie, Xdfie, \a/3c. 

* Pausan. v. 16. 2. 


And I do not hesitate with him to depart from the 
MSS. in placing <ppatov {give heed!) before Xa/3c {seize 
him I) : the natund sense also of the following lines^ in 
which the Erinnyes are represented as hounds giving 
tongue in the chase^ Aongly recommends the trans- 
position. But there is no reason that appears why the 
ordinary course of the iambic metre should be suspended 
in this verse. The tragic usage is to allow inarticulate 
sounds^ as the fiv /kv, /uv fw here^ and only such^ to 
stand extra metrum; the hcence by no means extends 
to words of the common sort^ as those which follow. 
We are therefore not without warrant for repeating the 
word Xa/3c seven times. Thus the Iambic verse becomes 
complete^ and the following arrangement is obtained : 

Leader, ^pa^ov. 
Voices 2, 3. Xafli 

^> ^- Xa/3e 

^> '^^ - Xa/3€ 

8, 9. Xa/36' 

10, 11. Xa/Je 

12, 13. xdfi. 

Of course this arrangement of the Poet's is not to be 
viewed, as we modems may be apt to view it, in the 
light of a petty and overstudied conceit, but as the sub- 
stratum of a vigorous and spirited dramatic effect. 
Imagine a wild, fierce howl, as of coupled hounds 
giving tongue, pair by pair, in unison, and this harmo- 
nized yell running through the whole line of Erinnyes 
with the utmost rapidity and without interrupting the 
beat of the verse. 


b. Arrangement of the Chorus. 

11. In place of a lengthened disquisition I shall here 
give^ from the statements of the Grammarians on the 
subject^ the arrangement of tft chorus of fifteen, the 
number of which it usually consisted in the subsequent 
period of dramatic art. The annexed figure exhibits 
the chorus in two positions; the first, at its entrance 
by the side-passages of the Orchestra; the other, in its 
place in the centre of the Orchestra, about the Thymele. 
As the Thymele was derived from the Dionysian Altar 
around which the CycUan Chorus executed its move- 
ments, it is natural to suppose its place to have been 
the centre of the Orchestra, as represented in the figure. 
But usually the Chorus stood nearer to the stage than 
to the amphitheatre;* therefore, between the Thymele 
and the Proscenium; and the lines have been drawn 
accordingly.^ The cardinal points of the heavens are 
assigned from the position of the Athenian Theatre on 
the south side of the Acropolis. They are taken into 
account in Soph. Ag. 874, 877, Eur. Orest. 1258. 

12. The entire management of the Chorus is pervaded 
in a remarkable manner by its analogy to a Aoj^oc of 
soldiers drawn up in order of battle. Hence lochos is 
a favourite expression of -^schylus for the chorus; in 
the Agamemnon he even makes the Gerontes advance 
against Aegisthus with hand on sword exactly like 
lochitse. The same thing appears in the divisions of 
the chorus and the various terms used to designate 
them. The chorus of fifteen, in the annexed plan, 
enters in ranks i^vyd) three abreast. The files of five 

^ Schol. Aristoph. Pax. 736. Orchestra for the several ranks of 

^ In the old Theatre these lines 
were traced upon the floor of the 

the Chorus, v. Hesych. s. v. ypo/x- 








deep are called ffrij^oi or ffroij^oi.' Besides the entry 
in file we find mention made of the entry Kara 2vya, 
i. e. in ranks of five abreast;^ but this, from the import 
of the terms ^vyoi' and arij^oc, cannot have been the 
original arrangement. The choreutae ABODE, fronting 
the audience, are called apitrrspotTTaTai ;* whence it 
follows that the Chorus usually entered the Orchestra 
by a western door. The place of these left-hand men, 
as being most in view of the spectators, was deemed the 
most honourable. Among these the third, rpiVoc or 
/uecroc apidrepovy is the principal; it is the place occu- 
pied by the Hegemon of the whole Chorus, who in the 
earliest times was the same individual with the Choregus 
who ftirnished and equipped it.* When the Chorus 
takes its station on the lines in the Orchestra, his place 
comes to be on the Thymele itself. In fact he must 
needs be elevated above the other choreutse to be 
enabled to converse over the heads of the other two 
ranks with the acting persons of the drama. LMNOP 
are the Sc^ioararai, right-hand men : FGHIK are the 
XavpofTTUTai, so called from their standing in the alley 
formed by the other two files. Being the least exposed 
to view, inasmuch as in aU the evolutions of the chorus 
they were covered by the other two files, they were 
naturally those on whom least attention and care were 
expended. Hesychius denotes nearly the same situation, 
perhaps GHI in particular, by the term vTrojcoXTrcoi/ rov 
)^opov. The expressions Tr/owroorariyCj ScvTcpoorariyCj 
&c., according to strict usage, are not to be understood 

' PoUux iv. 108. Phot. s. v. 
ToiTos dpuTT€pov, whcre read rpi&v 
ovrav <rr. Koi Trcvre f . 

* PoUnx iv. 109. 

• Phot. Pollux, and Schol. on 

Aristid. Miltiades, p. 202, 7. Fr. or 
535, 20. Dmd. where for EIIEIXON 
read 2T0IX0N. 

^ Phot, and Bekk. Aneod. p. 444. 


of the members of the first, second, &c. arl-^^o^, but 
must be taken to mean the first, second, &c., in each 
(TTi-j^og; namely, AFL the wpwrodTarai^ BGM the 
SevTepoaraTai, &c. Hence Hesychius explains the 
TTpwroGTarai to be the first on the wing in battle-array 
(irapa to Kepag rrig wapara^ewg). The term Coryphaei 
seems not always to be taken in the same sense, for in 
Plutarch* we find the Coryphaei as the foremost opposed 
to the Kpa<nreSiTai as the hindmost and most remote 
from them, which can scarcely denote any other than 
the rank AFL who were foremost in entering. Whereas 
when Fosidonius in Athenaeus^ compares him who sits 
in the middle place of a ring with the coryphaeus of a 
chorus, he must plainly mean the Hegemon; and this 
agrees with Demosthenes^s* expression of a Hegemon- 
Coryphaeus. Accordingly all five apiarepodTaTai ABC 
DEy as being the foremost towards the audience in the 
stationary position of the chorus, may perhaps be called 
coryphaei. The term coryphaeus is always connected 
with the notion of one who stands at the head or front/ 
Hence to the coryphaei Aristotle* opposes the Trapaararai, 
which term seems to denote any of the rear ranks rela- 
tively to the front rank. 

13. Such was the proper and stated arrangement or 
placing of the chorus (<rraaic). In this order the 
chorus might make its first entrance, and very often 
did so. But it is by no means true that it always took 
up its position according to this plan from the beginning 
of the play. On the contrary, we know that the Chorus 
of the Eumenides does not form in rank and file until it 
is about to sing the Binding Hymn (v/ii/oc Sca/icoc) to 

^ Sympos. V. 6, 1. j ^ Aristoph. Hut. 954. 

2 IV. 162. I * PoUtic. iiL 2. 

» c. Mid. 633. 


Mother Night. There is no mistaking the express 
testimony afforded by the words of the Chorus itself 
(aye Sri Kai xo(>oi' axl/to/iev^ Y. 297)^ especially when taken 
in connexion with the discrepancy observable in the 
structure of the preceding and subsequent odes. And 
with this coincides the ancient account given in the Life 
of ^schylus^ that the Chorus of the Eumenides entered 
ffTTppaSiyi/, dispersedly. 

But the manner in which the Chorus of the Eume- 
nides made its first entrance and executed its evolutions^ 
until it took up a regular position^ can be learned only 
from the construction of its odes, which we now pro- 
ceed to examine in detail. 


First Ode. V. 138. 

14. There is this difference between the Eumenides 
and all the other Greek Tragedies we are acquainted 
with, that the Chorus does not enter the Theatre at the 
beginning of the play, but is there from the very com- 
mencement. We see the Erinnyes at first sunk in sleep 
on the stage, reclined on benches, until one after another 
they wake, start up, and range themselves in their 
places on the stage. All this time the Chorus is 
not in its proper place, the Orchestra, but on the stage 
itself, the Proscenium: this is evident; for they are 
conceived to be within the Delphic Temple (v. 170), but 
the Orchestra represents the area in front of the build- 
ing, as we shall endeavour to shew in the following 
section, when we treat of the local and scenic arrange- 
ments. In taking this their first position on the stage, 
the Hegemon probably is in the middle, the rest right 


and lefb^ so that the one portion of them is nearer to 
the station occupied by Apollo^ the others to the place 
where the Shade of Clytaemnestra appeared^ which, 
doubtless, was as remote as possible from the eyes of 
the God Phoebus Apollo, whose nature is abhorrent of 
such spectral apparitions. This is, perhaps, the expla- 
nation to be given of the circumstance that in this Ode 
the first and second antistrophes are addressed to 
Apollo, while the preceding strophes rather depict the 
impression and feehngs called forth by the apparition 
from the infernal world. Perhaps the choreutse, who 
sang the antistrophes, stood fronting Apollo, the others 
nearer to the Eidolon of Clytaemnestra, on its approach 
towards them. At last, however, they all unite in a 
common sentiment of hatred and revenge against Apollo, 
and the object of his protecting care. 

In reference to its interior structure we desig- 
nate this ode Ko/i/uariica. In general, namely, it 
should be remarked that the odes of ancient Tragedy 
divide themselves into two classes, marked by a distinc- 
tion which seems more ioiportant than any other : that 
is to say. Odes of the entire Chorus, the chief of which 
are the Stasima; and Odes sung by individtials. The 
latter are either such as are sung by one or other 
of the Dramatis Personae alone {ra otto aKrivrig^ or 
fjiovffiSiai) ; or Odes divided between the acting persons 
and the Chorus, which are called ko/a/ioi, because in the 
earlier form of Tragedy lamentations for the dead formed 
their principal subject ; or, thirdly, portions sung by the 
chorus, but in single voices, or in smaller divisions of 
their whole body. For these latter Aristotle* has no 
technical name^ probably because these portions of song 
belong to the older form of Tragedy, as the monodies 

1 Poet. 12. 


became more predominant in the later age of Dramatic 
Art. But that the Chorus in ^schylus frequently per- 
formed its part in this way has often been remarked, 
and the play of the Eumenides exhibits two leading 
eixamples of the kind. The epithet Commatic, derived 
from KOfXfioQy is by the ancients themselves applied to 
such Odes.' The affinity between these Commatica and 
the Commi and Stage-odes, as also their radical dif- 
ference from the Stasimon, is evident from the very fact 
of their insertion into the main course of the action. 
The Stasima divide the Tragedies into acts ; they form 
pauses in the action; allow opportunity for the entry 
of new characters, and indicate perceptible lapse of time. 
In respect of their intrinsic purport, they serve to im- 
part to the mind that collectedness and lofty self-pos- 
session which the ancient Tragedy labours to maintain 
even in the midst of the strongest excitement of the 
passions.^ On the contrary, the Commatica, and the 
species allied to them, are component parts of the indi- 
vidual act or section, (so that they might often be 
replaced by dialogue, of which, indeed, they do but 
form a kind of lyrical climax) and as such contribute 
essentially to the conduct of the action by their lively 
expression of will and purpose, passionate desire, con- 
flicting or accordant incUnations and endeavours. 

Now, as to this first Ode of the Eumenides, it is 
evident at a glance, and without our needing to be in- 
formed of the fact by the Scholiasts (ico/u/iiarciccjc tKaarov 
Kar iSiai/ Trpoci/c/CTcov) that it was not sung by the whole 
Chorus simultaneously, but by individual members of 
it : and the number fourteen being assumed or known 
beforehand, the whole may readily be divided into por- 
tions corresponding to that number of voices. In the 

3 Schol. Eumen. v. 139. " Comp. § 100 



first strophe it is plain that the words of the first 
speaker are interrupted by a second voice faUing in^ and 
are then resumed and continued. The same must be 
assumed^ for symmetry's sake^ in the antistrophe^ and 
may very well be so ; for, since Apollo's reception of 
the fugitive parricide exhibits more of the swindling 
character (cTriicXoTroc) which the Erinnyes ascribe to 
him, than of his trampling upon the elder Deities, the 
first and third lines of the antistrophe cohere more 
closely than the second and third. The second and 
third strophe and antistrophe do not seem to admit of 
being apportioned in a symmetrical and pleasing manner 
to single voices ; therefore, if we adhere to the number 
fourteen, we must assign each strophe and antistrophe 
to two voices conjointly.* 

Second Ode. V. 244. 

15. The Erinnyes in obedience to the injunction of 
Apollo rid his temple of their hated presence and disap- 

^ Observable in this Ode, the nepi Kapa* Perhaps the same may 

metre of which is dochmiac,arhythm be stud of the syllables ircpifiapv, v. 

expressive of violent passion [denoted 155, and dp6fi€pov, v. 161, on the 

by the vehement tf^om^Ttw^ character removal of which the verse forms a 
of the rhythmical beat, j dochmius. In the former passage 

^ _' _' >^ _/] even,theParacataloge,strictlytaken, 

; is reducible to the four syllables viri 

is the UapoKaToKoyrj. As far as (fype'vas. What foUows is a Cretic. 

anything has hitherto been made [it does not appenr why the whole 

out on this obscure subject, the Pa- verse, in each mstance, should be 

racataloge consists m a number of accounted other than a dochmius, 

short syllables inserted in the midst with the first syllable long, and the 

of iambic and dochmiac rhythms, antispastic long syllables resolved : 
and uttered almost like prose (fcora- / / 't mv h:^ v 

Xtyy^v) in a uniform suspensive ^^1^ C^ CH^ w— J Th« ^schy- 

tone of vcnce, thus forming a sort of lean Paracatalogc, seemingly formed 

climax to the seeming irregularity on the model of the old lambists, ap- 

of those metres. Instances of such pears to have been very temperately 

a Paracataloge are v. 153, vtt^ <^pe- used by our poet, compared with 

vas, vnh \o^v, and 159, irtpX iroda, that of the later age of Tragedy. 


pear from the stage. The first Act concludes^ with- 
out the possibility of a stasimon ; for the Chorus, far 
from being able to assume a stationary position in the 
Orchestra, is engaged in the pursuit of the fugitive 
Orestes. Presently, however, the Chorus re-appears, 
and this time it is in its proper place, the Orchestra, as the 
sequel plainly implies. To no other entry than this 
can we refer the above cited expression <TiropaSnv cia- 
ayeiv top \op6v : from which however we are not to 
conclude at once that the Erinnyes entered singly {icaB^ 
tva, Pollux) by the door of the Orchestra, for the word 
aTTopaS}}!/ will still retain its proper signification, if we 
suppose the Chorus brought upon the stage in any other 
way but that of rank and file. Indeed, there is one 
word in our Tragedy, which, while it is very difficult to 
be explained upon any other view of the matter, affords 
a proof that our Chorus made its entry in two long 
lines, and then parted right and left ; than which, in 
&ct, nothing could better accord with the conceptions 
we are required to form of them as engaged in a search, 
tracking their prey like bloodhounds. The word I refer 
to is the dual Xaxxra^rov. It is well known that in the 
old poetical language the dual may be appUed not only 
to two individuals, but e. g. to the oarsmen seated on 
the two benches of a bireme, or to four horses har- 
nessed abreast right and left to the pole of a chariot,^ 
and therefore cannot here be alleged in support of the 
strange hypothesis that the Chorus of Erinnyes consisted 
only of three individuals, the leader and two others. 

In the ensuing Ode the abrupt, commatic character 
plainly appears. Even the metre, being dochmiac, is 
little adapted to a song for many voices. The thread 
of the discourse also is carried on for the most part in 

2 Dissen on Pindar, voL ii. 87. 

c 2 


the form of reply and rejoinder, quite in the manner of 
dialogue, A further aid in the adjustment of the parts 
to the several voices is afforded by the interspersed 
iambics ; namely, by observing that in this Ode each 
speech begins with a common iambic verse, from which, 
as the passion mounts, it passes into the dochmiac 
rhythm ; occasionally, however, subsiding into iambics. 
But as little can I doubt the antistrophic composition of 
the whole Ode, with the exception of the prelude (Trpo- 
^Soc) : the antistrophic opposition is quite perceptible 
in the first pair of strophes (247 — 253), and we have 
at least a gUmpse of it in the subsequent pair (254 — 
265). It is true we have, according to our arrange- 
ment of the text, a redundant dochmius in each division 
of the last antistrophe (n roKeag (jtiXovg v. 261, and 
evepOe yOovog v. 264) ; which seems to disturb the 
antistrophic equilibrium. But when I consider not 
only the general correspondency of parts which pervades 
the whole, but in particular the energetic thought which 
precisely in these few redundant syllables is flashed 
upon Orestes, I find no supposition more probable than 
that the pair of voices which sang the correspondent 
portion of the strophe fell in with the antistrophic pair 
at these supernumerary words, rj roKsag ^iXovc, ^^^ so 
again at ivepOe yOovog. I know indeed that no instance 
has hitherto been alleged of such a blending of voices, 
but this is no more than may be said of many other 
technical details of Greek dramatic art. 

On these several assumptions the Ode may without 
any violence be portioned out to fourteen voices ; at the 
same time I do not mean to deny that other views may 
have something to recommend them.^ 

^ This Ode bears some resem- 
blance to the first section of the first 
CommoB in Soph. (Ed. Col. v. 116. 

It is plain that the old men engaged 
in the search after (Edipns enter 
awopddrjv, and ezi>anding them* 


Third Ode. V. 296. 

16. The moment for the Chorus to arrange itself in 
stated order arrives in v. 296^ with thQ Anapaestic 

Anapasts are a metre^ from their nature^ adapted 
to accompany a firm vigorous step. The equality in 
respect of quantity between the arsis and thesis in the 
metre^ between the stronger and the weaker portion of 
the rhythmical beat^ imparts to it a staid and measured 
character. The reason why the arsis follows the thesis 
is because^ by the natural law of the human pace^ in 
advancing a step the stronger foot remains stationary in 
order to propel the body: when the impulse is given the 
foot follows after it^ and does this with the more weight 
and force the more the body is accustomed to depend 
for its motion on that foot principally. For this reason 
the march-songs of the Greeks were in general ana- 
pffistici and agreeably with tHs arrangement it is found 
that wherever anapaests occur in Greek Tragedy, they 
accompany a steady pacing or march. This may be 
proved to be the case almost without exception.^ It is 
in anapaests that the Chorus sings at its entrance, at its 
exit, and when it moves towards a person or accom- 
panies him. Everywhere they remind us of those 
marches or battle-songs of the old Dorians {efitarripioi 
vaiaveg), the very acclamation in which (eXeXev cXcXcu') 

selves in two Unes sing in strophe evanroVf ^v€, rasde x^P^^^ '^* ^^* 

and antistrophe, but evidently in se- 
parate divisions. The first strophe 
and antistrophe may perhaps best be 
apportioned between 2x3, and the 
second pair between 3X4 voices, not 
reckoning the Anapaests and the 
portions sung by (Edipns and An- 
tigone. In the Odes of the (Ed. 
CoL all is oommatic till the Parodos 

Compare § 16. 

^ See Bockh on the Antigone, 
p. 46. 

8 Hence i\e\i(€iv is to strike up 
the War-Psean. The iXcXev, it is 
plain, belongs strictly speaking to 
the PsBan. It is, as Plutarch 
Thes. 22, says, the accompanying 
oKokvynos, Compare ^2sch. Sept., 



accorded with the anapaestic rhythm in which they were 
composed. In those long series of anapaestic systems 
which we find at the beginning of the Persians, Sup- 
pliants, tLJii* Agamemnon of ^schylus^ we may perhaps 
see the original form of the Parodos, strictly so called ; 
that is to say^ of the entrance of the Chorus into the 
Orchestra drawn up in regular form, by rank and file. 
Subsequently, the grand simplicity of these long marches 
(which in ^schylus moreover are often very full of 
matter), fell into distaste. In consequence, either anti- 
strophic odes were mixed up with the anapaests, as in 
the Antigone, or superseded them entirely: and from 
this deviation from the old procedure have arisen the 
difficulty and obscurity which now beset our conceptions 
of the Parados.' At times, however, there was a recur- 

250. Hence Apollo derives his 
name 'EXcXcv; Macr. Sat. i. 17. 
The oXoXa^ctv r^ 'Ein;aXt^ comes 
after the eXcXt^cti/. Xenoph. Anab. 
Y. 2, 14. Comp. Hellen. ii. 4, 17. 
But Anab. i. 8, 18, Xenophon puts 
rXcXi^etv for oXaXa^civ. Comp. 
Demetr. de EIoc. 98. Schol. Aris- 
toph. Ay. 364, and Stiid. s. v. 

^ Not, however, to soch a degree 
as to justify Hermann in calling 
that a Hdpodos which is in reality 
the first stasimon. The passage of 
Aristot. Poet. 12, 7, Tldpodog fiiv ^ 
Trp<Syrri Xt^is t\ov xppov, ardo'tfiov 
dc ficXor yopov t6 av€V Svairalarov 
icolrpoxatov, which Tyrwhitton the 
whole understood rightly, makes it 
very clear that the Parodos was es- 
pecially distinguished from the sta- 
simon by anapsBsts and trochees, 
that is, systems or longer verses of 
those metres. HephsBst. ir. iroiTjfi, 
c 10, p. 128. IT. OTjfifimv c. 15, 3, 
p. 135. Qaisf. assign to the Hapodoi 

the unequally measured anapaestic 
systems. As instances of Hapodot 
I find the following adduced. Soph. 
(Ed. Col. 668. (vtmrov f «v. El. 
121. J TTOi iral. Eur. EL 167. 
*Ayafi(fivovos. Orest. 140. trlya, 
(Ttya XcTrrAv txvos dpfivkijs (which 
is remarkable). Phoemss. 210. 
Tvpiov oldfia. See Flntarch an 
Senl. 8 ; Lysand. 15 ; SchoL Soph. 
El. ad 1. Metr. SchoL Phoeniss. 
210; Hypoth. .^Isch. Pers. In the 
Prometheus the Parodos lies before 
the Ode artva) trc far, which is the 
first stasimon, Schol. Vesp. 270. To 
add examples from the Comedians, 
Aristoph. Nub. v. 826, aivaoi Nc- 
<f>€\ai, and Vesp. 230, x^P^* npo- 
$aiv* (ppafifpms are described as 
napodoi. Although these exam- 
ples by no means all agree with 
each other, still the greater part of 
them serve to confirm the definition 
given by the SchoL Phcen. 210. 
Udpoiog dc €<mp <jfd^ x^pov fiadi- 
(ovros, ^dofifvrj &jia rfj ccrdd^. — 



rence to the simpler form of the elder Tragedy in this 
matter^ as in the Hecuba of Euripides. The time and 
rate of motion observed by the Chorus in singing off 
these anapaestic systems may perhaps be gathered from 
the circumstance that the Gerontes in the Agamemnon 
sing 118 and in the Persians 123 double anapaests in 
traversing the interval born, the door of the Orchestra 
to the Thymele, which in the Athenian Theatre must 
be taken at from 150 to 200 feet. The Danaids mea- 
sure out the same space in 76 double anapaests : it is 
dear these young Aigitives move at a swifter pace. As 
to the oral deUvery of these anapaests, we may gain some 
conception of it by recurring to the analogy of those 
same Embaterian Paeans. In these the General strikes 
up the singing, and in some sort may be said to take 
the lead {k^ia^yjti is the expression of Xenophon and 
Plutarch^), but of course the whole army took part in it. 
In the same manner the Cretans sing the Paean^ in the 
Homeric Hymn^ as they move in measured time from 
Crisa to Pytho ; ApoUo himself is the leader^ ^PX^'* 
Indeed in the Paean we regularly meet with an k^dpyjujv. 
If in connexion with this it be observed that in these 
anapaestic Choruses we generally find three systems 
standing in a more intimate relation to each other than 
to the rest; and, further, that in the three Tragedies 
now mentioned {Persians^ Suppliants, Agamemnon), the 

strange, that Hermann, while com- 
plaining of the dearth of ancient au- 
thorities on this point, should have 
made so little use of those we do 
possess. Aristot. Poet. 12, 7; El. 
Doct. Metr. p. 724. As to Hermann's 
assertion that these anapeests were 
only spoken, not sung, I look in vain 
for any proof of it. The probability 
is that the anapeests of the Parodos 
were chaunted in the manner of re- 

citative. Such a mode of delivery 
might with equal propriety be called 
by the above cited Scholiast ^'di;, 
and by Aristotle Xc^tr. In like 
manner the dancing paces of the 
Parodos as ififiarripioi are to be dis- 
tinguished from those which are 
strictly x^pevriKoL Comp. Athe- 
nseus, i. p. 22. a. 

2 Xen. Hellen. ii. 4, 17; Plut. 
Lye. 22. 


entire mass of anapaests in each Parodos resolves itself 
into 3x3 systems^ as also that this number three per- 
vades all the anapaestic systems in the same tragedies^ 
it will appear highly probable that the three protostatae 
of the three files (aroiyoi) were the \^dpyovTtQ, each 
of whom was accompanied by the other voices of his 
own <noiyoQ, and each performed one system, so that at 
the end of every three systems the order commenced 
afresh. There is no diflSculty in reconciling this view 
with Aristotle's definition of the Parodos ('the first 
speech of the entire Chorus') by which I understand 
him to mean, in the first place, that the Parodos was 
sung by the Chorus as a united whole regularly drawn 
up in rank and file ; and, secondly, that all the Cho- 
reutae bore a part in it, not indeed simultaneously, but 
in an order of succession. 

17. Now between these regular marches which ac- 
company the ordinary entrance of the Chorus, and the 
anapaests now imder review, there is this difference. 
These latter are sung by the Chorus when already in 
the Orchestra, and now for the first time falling into 
rank and file. In accordance with this object the 
anapaests themselves exhibit a peculiar structure. They 
resolve themselves into shorter verses, not indeed in all 
cases marked as such by a catalexis, but nevertheless 
clearly defined by other indications of a close to the 
verse, as well as by the order and dependence of the 
several portions of the sense. The separation effected 
upon these principles yields of its own accord seven verses 
of the following dimensions : 

I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. 

pentam. tetram. dim. tetram. dim. tetram. hexam. 
cataL cat. cat. acat. cat. cat. cat. 

Here, in the first place, we have visibly the antithetic 
arrangement so frequently found in anapaestic systems 



on the larger scale ; VI. answers to II., and V. to III., 
and the equipoise between VII. and I. is only disturbed 
by the addition of a double anapaest. At the same time 
the number seven which appears in these verses, and the 
strongly marked interpunction between them all make 
it not only conceivable but very probable that here as 
before we have the fourteen Choreutse, omitting the 
Hegemon, singing in pairs. And if further it be con- 
sidered that in fedling into their places on the three lines 
of the Orchestra, the Choreutae of one (rroi'^og must 
needs have to move through a greater space than those 
of the next, and these again than those of the third, and 
that the Ode here sung by them in the act of falling in 
presents us with verses of three different dimensions 
(2, 4, 6 metres), the following view of the evolution 
offers itself with some degree of evidence in its favour. 
Conceive the persons of the Chorus to have previously 
formed into one line, nearly straight, in front of the 
thymele and facing the audience, the hegemon in the 
centre. After uttering the words vfxvov 8* aKoviry rovSt 
Sea/xiov (reOev, the Hegemon ascends the thymele. 
Hereupon the Choreutae, first those of the one side, then 
those of the other, fall into their places in pairs, in an 
order the symmetry of which may be better exhibited by 
a few lines. 

This leaves only one circumstance unexplained, namely, 
why the Vllth pair sings a double anapaest more than 

c 3 


the Ist ; unless the reason is to be sought in the desire 
of obtaining a full and impressive close. 

Fourth Ode. V. 311. • 

We are now arrived at the first Stasimon^ or Ode sung 
by the Chorus as a whole, and regularly drawn up in 
rank and file. This sublime and majestic composition 
beginning, Marcp a jx iriKTtg^ !) /xartp NvS, is a Hymn 
addressed by the Children of Night to that Primal 
Mother-Goddess, and in it they proclaim now with 
passionate vehemence, now with more of a haughty 
confidence, their indefeasible right to the person of the 
shedder of maternal blood. By this proclamation they 
would deter every child of earth, and Orestes in parti- 
cular, from the vain attempt of evading the power of the 
Erinnyes ; by it Orestes is to be fettered as with indis- 
soluble bonds : a purpose undoubtedly symboUzed to 
the view of the spectators by pecuUar evolutions accom- 
panying the dance. On that account the Ode is called, 
'a magically binding >hymn,^ {vfxvog Sccr/icoc). It 
therefore bears a certain analogy to the KaTaBeang of 
the ancients addressed to infernal Hermes, Earth, and 
similar divinities, with the object of devoting a person 
to destruction. This character is confirmed by the burden 
of the first strophe and antistrophe, eirl Se rt^ rcOv/icv^, 
&c. Such iteration of the particular passage which 
marks the proper object of the whole procedure was 
usual in incantations and in songs of destiny : thus in 
the love-charm of Theocritus we have the perpetually 
recurring burden ''luyS cXicc tv rrivov ifiov ttoti Siofxa 
TOP avBpa^ and in the song of the Fates in Catullus's 
Epithalamium of Thetis, ^ Currite ducentes subtemina, 
currite fiisi.^ No doubt the accompanying evolutions of 
the Chorus were directed towards the stage with a 
motion expressive of encompassing, confining, narrowing 


in : men's own eyes beheld how the victim was arrested 
and spell-bound with mysterious fetters. 

The nvuncal character of this Ode we must concave 
to have been such as would impress the mind with a 
feeling of gloomy solemnity. The Cithara^ which, as it 
was handled by the Greeks, operated upon the Grecian 
temperament in a way that always tended to composure, 
cheerfulness, or equanimity, is silent here ; the aitXoi 
alone are heard, the tones of which produce sometimes 
ecstacy, sometimes bewildering delirium, always (such 
is the uniform judgment of antiquity) a mood opposed 
to the cahn equipoise of thought and feeling. For 
assuredly that expression iXvpoq vfxvog is not a mere 
form of speech, any more than the aXvpoc iXeyoi of 
Euripides, Iph. T. 147. Indeed we are certain we have 
here a purely aulodic and not a citharodic performance 
(see Aiistoph. Ban. 1263). Upon the same grounds 
as here, the aiXog is the sole accompaniment in a ter- 
rific scene of the Hercules Furens of Euripides, where 
Frenzy (personified) is instigating the hero to the murder 
of his children. ' Hercules,' says the Chorus, ^ shall 
dance to the maddening flutes of Lyssa,' fxaviaaiv Xvaaag 
yoptvBivT iv avXoiQ^ v. 874. And again says the 
Chorus, V. 891, ^vyp, tIkv , H^opfiari' Saiov toSb^ Saiov 
fiiXog BiravXeiTai. An Ode in the Trachinise of Sophocles, 
sung in the highest emotions of joy, is likewise aulodic : 
aupofi ovS* airiidofxai top avXoVf to rvpavve Tag €/uac 
^pei'oc (v. 216). 

19. And nothing could better accord with this aulodic 
character than the musical mode in which this Stasimon 
was composed. I am persuaded it was the Phrygian 
mode, and am not to be disturbed in my confidence by 
an obscure passage of Aristoxenus, who in his Life of 
Sophocles speaks of that Poet as having been the first 
to introduce the Phrygian mode in the Tragic Odes — 


a notice which relates only to the tSia iaixara, that is to 
say. Monodies (comp. Aristot. Poet. 12). For it is quite 
inconceivable that the Phrygian fnode^ admirably adapted 
as it was to Tragedy by its enthusiastic and yet solemn 
character^ should not have passed over from the Dithy- 
rambic Odes, to which it peculiarly belonged/ to their 
offspring the Tragic Odes, The following appear to me 
to be the principd data upon which we are to proceed in 
order to ascertain what kind of rhythms were usually 
connected with the Phrygian harmony, 

(1) A Monody in the Orestes of Euripides, v. 1381 
sqq. It is sung by a performer whom Euripides, to 
gratify the effeminate taste of that already degenerate 
age, brings upon the stage in the character of a Phrygian 
Eunuch, trembling for fear. The Poet, evidently 
wishing to shew off this piece of musical art and let all 
the world know what it is meant for, makes the Phrygian 
himself announce that he is singing a ap^druov fniXog 
^ap(iap(f) (ioa. Now it can hardly be doubted but that 
the *Aj>/iar€coc vofiog (which was aulodic, and belonged 
to the enharmonic order) was composed in the Phrygian 
mode: for the most competent authorities^ derive it 
from the Phrygiaa musician Olympus ; and though 
others differ as to the person of the inventor, all are 
agreed as to its Phrygian origin.^ That it is here simg 
by a Phrygian, that the singer himself describes it as 
barbaric and ungrecian, and compares it to ^ a mournful 
song or dirge (aiXivog) which the barbarians with Asiatic 
voice utter at the death of their kings' (v. 1392), all 
these circumstances indicate the Phrygian kind of music. 

(2) We may claim as Phrygian the extant fragment 
of a Dithyramb of Pindar's. The length of the stro- 

1 Aristot. Polit. viii. 7; Hut. 
Mils. 19; Prod. Chrestom. p. 345. 

' Cited in Plutarch Mus. 7. 
' £tyinoL M. s. v. 



fhea, — a symptom of the approximation^ even then^ to 
that dissolution of the antistrophic form which befel the 
Dithyramb at a later period^ when it was altogether 
withdrawn from the Choruses^ and given up to be per- 
formed by individual professors^ — and also the multipli- 
city and peculiar character of the rhythms^ indicate a 
different mode of music to any which Pindar has used 
in his Epinicia^ in which it is well known only the Doric^ 
iBohan^ and Lydian^ are to be traced. 

(3) A passage in the first Chorus of the Bacchse^ v. 
159^ plainly shews it to have been an Ode sung to the 
flute^ in the Phrygian mode. 

To go no further than these examples; out of the 
great variety of metres which present themselves to one's 
notice in the Odes which have been mentioned^ what 
strikes us as particularly characteristic are the cretica, 
especially the resolved cretics or paeons.* Let it be 
remembered, too, that these very rhythms are said to 
have found their way into the compositions of the Cretan 
Thaletas from the flute-music of Olympus the Phrygian;* 
and that a notion of magnificence, fxeyaXoTrpsTri^,^ was 
attached to these, above all other rhythms. Another 
rhythm of frequent occurrence in the above-mentioned 
Odes is the galliamb (a rhythm known to have origi- 
nated in the hymns addressed to the Phrygian mother 
of the Gods^; this metre however is of a softer and less 
noble character than would in all places be suitable to 
the Phrygian mode, one of the characteristics of which 
is sublimity. The impetuous rhythm of the trochees is 

* Comp. e. g. in the Bacch. Xcarbs 
&rav tvK€kadot Up6s it pa Traiyfiara 
Pp€fiu avvo\a ^Ltcutiv (Is 6pos 
et seqq. In the most splendid pas- 
sages we meet also with resolved 
Choriamb!, as in the Pindaric Dythy- 

ramb T6v Bpofuop t6v 'Epi/3oay rr 
KaK(opi€vy6vov vfrdrav flip Trarcpiop 


^ Hoeck Creta, iiL p. 855. 

* Demetr. de Elocut. 88. 

7 Telestes in Athenseus, xiv. 626. 



also not foreign to the Phrygian style^ as these examples 
and other authorities^ shew. It is also very observable 
that those single feet serving to introduce or close a 
metrical period^ which we are accustomed to call (iatreig 
or €/c/3a(r€iC9 are particularly frequent in the Phrygian 
style, and in the Odes which we are now considering, 
often occur at such passages and fall upon such weighty 
words, that one cannot help feeling that these feet must 
have been deUvered in a particularly solemn and slow 
style, and have been made to count as equal in respect 
of time to entire periods.' 

It seems to me impossible not to recognise here the 
No/iioc opOiog (which was sometimes joyftd, sometimes 
mournful,^ but always power^ and grand), which 
Herodotus and Plutarch mention in close connection 
with the Dithyramb, and which is known to have been 
used by -^schylus.* From a passage of Plutarch,^ at- 
tended with some obscurities, thus much at least can 
be gathered: that the two feet called the Orthios 
and the TVochaus Semantus were pecuUarly apposite in 
the Nofioc opOioc; the former is an iambus (— — ) 
the latter a trochee {± — ) of twelve times, therefore 
reckoning as four feet.'' Certainly these solemn long- 

^ Plutarch. Erotic, c. 16. 
^ Ckmipare, for example, in Pin- 
dar's fragment aXti — tcu t ofi— 

(f)at /xcXccov avv avKoig, and the 
lollowing verse. In the Orestes 

6 de (;w€pyos aXX' eirpcurtr tav 

KOKOs I <l)<oK€V£, <l>ap€a nop — <fivp€a 


dm — pa kXvtcu — funjarpa. 
' Comp. Agam. 1124. 

* Schol. Aristoph. Ran. 1308. 

* Mus. 28. 

' I perceive an indication of these 
feet in the passage of Pindar, 01. 
ix. 109. The whole ode — a lofty 
eulogy on godlike physical power — 
is very peculiar in its metrical com- 
position, and seems to have a touch 
of Phrygian in it ; especially the 
epode, in respect of the accumulated 
bases and echasea. Now the poet 
in the last epode — precisely in the 
weightiest passage of the whole 
poem, summons himself to sound in 
ortMan the cry that his hero, by the 
godlike power of hit) nature, is a 



drawn feet/ when combined with impetuous cretics 
and fleet paeons^ were much better adapted to the en- 
thusiastic Phrygian mode^ deUghting as it did in wild 
starts and contrasts^ than to the purely symmetrical 
flow of the Doric. It is also known that the Paeon 
Epibatus/ a foot counting as ten times, was used by 
Olympus for the Phrygian mode.' The circumstance 
that the vofiog opOiog was connected^ not indeed 
necessarily (for the cithara is sometimes found with it)^ 
but more commonly^ with flute-music^ and the fact that 
the deep-toned bent avXog, the Phrygian hom^ was 
particularly used with it/° well accords with the repre- 
sentation here given. 

20. These data and inferences respecting the Phry- 
gian mode^ when applied to our Chorus^ leave scarcely a 
doubt as to its musical character. The passages in the 
first strophe^^' so plainly in the orthian style. 

8 4 

— w — » w 

fiarep a jx ercicreC) ^ \ fiarep 


Nv^, aXaoiai Kai SiSopKotriv 
again in the last Strophe^ 

8 4 


/xevei yap tv 

Tc fULvrifxoveg 

— w 


8 4 I 

(Tefivai I 

re Kai rcXcc I oi kokvjv 


Xaj^iy Oetov Bi'^otrraTOvvT avrfXitf) Xa/iTTfi 

mighty athlete ; and this is done in 
rhythms, which we have every right 

to call orthicm, "OpBiov &pv(rcu 

3ap(r€(av Tovd* dv€pa dmfioviaf yc- 


ya/i€v E{fx^ipa d€(t6yvu)v 6pS>vT 

oXicoy. In the passage of the Aga- 
memnon, 1124, in the places pre- 

ceding the dochmii, lii, lo» rcikaipas 
and lci>, ?fil> XiydaSi I seem to myself 
to catch the orthian tone. 

7 Arist. Quint, p. 38, 98. 

8 Id. Ibid. 

9 Pint. Mus. 33. 

^^ Lucian Bacch. 4. 
" Cf. Herm. Doctr. Metr. p. 661; 
Opnsc. ii. p. 121. 



the cretic periods following the former^ and the turbu*- 
lent paeons at the close of the first and second strophes 
-—all this palpably evinces the Phrygian mode. It also 
appears from Euripides* and the fragments of the later 
Dithyrambs^ that repetitions of the same word and the 
jingle of homoeoteleuta were particularly affected in 
Odes set to the Phrygian mode (probably this was the 
case in the native songs of Phrygia). Some touch of 
this appears in the wapaKOTrUf Trapa^opa of our Ode. 
In those passages where the tone of feehng in the 
Erinnyes is of a more composed character, and which 
rather express a proud consciousness of their rightful 
power and dignity than a fear of its being disparaged^ 
the rhythms (long dactylic orders with spondaic termi- 
nations and annexed trochaic closes) approximate to 
those used with the Doric mode; indeed it would be a 
probable conjecture that this harmony here takes place 
of the Phrygian^ were it not that the latter in many 
cases readily admits of very long dactyUc orders.^ 

21. With this first stasimon the Chorus has taken up 
a fixed position in the middle of the orchestra^ and now 
leaves this place no more until the end of the play. 
The notion entertained by many/ that the Chorus, in 
performing the strophe and antistrophe of an ode, 
moved towards opposite ends of the orchestra, and ad- 
vanced to the left and right by turns, is palpably erro- 
neous, for in that case the Chorus would be no o-raacc 

1 Comp. Aristophanes Banse. 1315. 

* So at the close of the ode in 
the BacchsB, f^dofifpa d* &pa iroXor 
&irm dfta fuircpi (jyopfiadi kS>Kop 
^€i raxvirovp aKip — rrificuri Box- 
Xop, That the Phrygian mode ad- 
mits of long verses, formed of dac- 
tylic orders, is decidedly instanced 

in a Fragment of the 'Opecrrcta of 
Stesichorus preserved in the Schol. 
on Aristoph. Pax. v. 727. rouide 
XP^ XapiroDP da — pMoara <ca\Xt- 
K6pMP vfi — peip <j>pvyiop pJXos 
cf €1/ — p6pra 'Afip&s ^pos intpxo- 
fupop. Its metrical scheme (see p. 
48) U 

X X 

' Hermann on Aristot. Poet. 12, 8 ; and Doctr. Metr. p. 727. 



(at it is often termed in the Tragedies themselves^ and 
its ode no stasimon/ There is no need to adduce a 
whole host of Scholiasts' to prove the &ct that in a sta- 
simon the Chorus did not leave its place. The very 
name speaks for itself. Only, I think it does not war- 
rant the inference that the Chorus in a stasimon was 
motionless as well as stationary/ for that would be for 
the Chorus, in the most and the longest of its odes to 
fiunego, I might almost say, what is its very essence as 
a chorus, the '^^opiveiv. But just as the old cydian 
diorus, as described on the slneld of Achilles in the 
niad^ circled in the dance now to the right, now to the 
left^ like a potter's wheel f so the antistrophic move- 
ment of a chorus is to be conceived as such that, while 
the indwidual members change places, the whole occupies, 
throughout, one and the same portion of space. For 
this very reason it was that the old Masters of Tactics 
gave the name of 'the choral evolution' {y^opuog 
l^eXcyfioc) to that evolution of a lochos, by which the 
foremost came to be hindmost, and vice versd, while the 
lochos as a whole did not leave its place. Hence it 
may be inferred with a considerable degree of certainty 
that in the strophe of the choral dance (just as in the 
lochos), the TrptoTotrTCLTai afl (see the following dia- 
gram) passed in a curved line to the position e kp ; the 
ievT€po(TTaTai b gm to dio ; and at the same time the 
KpaoireSirat ekp to a f I, and the choreutse of the pen- 

< .£Bch. Ag. 1115; Choeph. iii. 

' oracTif fuX&v, Aristoph. Ban. 

^ SchoU. Eur. Hec. 647 ; Aris- 
toph. Vesp. 270 ; Ran. 1307; Hy- 
poth. lEocii, Pen. Phavorinus and 

7 Boeckh on the Antigone, 2nd 
Dissertation, p. 51. 

•8 n. xviii. 599. See Mar. Victo- 
reus, p. 2501. Putsch. Euanth. de 
trag. et com. 2. Etym. M. s. v. 
irpo<r6biov* Schol. Pind. 01. p. 11. 
Boeckh. Schol. Eur. Hec. 647. In 
all these testimonies this same point 
is continually remarked, viz. — ^that 
the movement which in the strophe 
was towards the right, in the anti- 
strophe was repeated towards thelefb. 


ultimate row d i o to b g m ; all tliis reversed in 
the antistrophe. The choreutse, as from their first 
occupation of the orchestra they stood face to face, av- 
rnrpotTtoiroi aWtfXoig (jravrtQ,^ now advanced towards 
each other with exact correspondency of movement and 
gesture on either side/ each first continually approach- 
ing the other^ then meeting and passings and ending at ' 
the point from which the other started. If therefore 
we suppose a chorus to be arrested when it has per- 
formed the first quarter of its evolution, it would pre- 
sent some such aspect as is exhibited in the following 
diagram ; though, of course, it should be borne in mind, 
that the variety and expressiveness of the movement 
would depend more or less, in each particular ode, on 
the form of the curves described by the chorus in the 
process of changing places : for example, in our Hymnos 
Desmios. [The points where the curves start from the 
straight lines are the original stations of the several 
choreutse: those of the middle row, chn, describe no 
curve but perhaps perform a stationary dance.] 

^ Hephffist. It, TTotrjfi. 14. p. 131. 
Comp. Scbol. Aristoph. Eq. 512. 

^ This is the meaning of dtfri- 
aroixftp in Xenoph. Anab. v. 4. 12, 

comp. Sympos. 2, 20. Suvem on 
Aristoph. Equit. p. 102. (German). 
Eolster de Farabasi, p. 13. 


Fifth Ode. V. 468. 

22. The character of the second stasimon is very 
simple, the rhythms consisting mostly of trochaic orders, 
some short, some long, blended into larger metrical 
periods. The shortest orders look like cretics, but from 
to the general character of the ode and the manner of con- 
nexion it is sufficiently clear that they are to be read 
with a pause at the end as catalectic trochaic dipodise, 
so that the trochaic rhythm runs uninterruptedly through 
the whole verse, and consequently through the greater 
part of the ode. Now when the catalexis of one of 
these broken orders (— ^ — ) falls at the middle of a word, 
which is therefore divided between two consecutive sub- 
stantive portions of metre, as we can hardly imagine 
that the word would be allowed to be split in two by the 
sensible intervention of the proper pause, we must of 
necessity suppose that the vacant interval of time be- 
longing to the regular pause would be thrown into the 
time of the syllable preceding, thereby lengthening it. 
Words thus situated would hence acquire a very marked 
and quite peculiar emphasis and weightiness in the deli- 
very ; and accordingly it does in fact appear the words 
which occur in these same places are often peculiarly 
energetic. In the present Ode, rovSc firi'TpoKrovov. 
Bvyepii'f <Tvvapfio(TH^ iraOea TrpotrfUBVu roKiv-mv fiBva 
T aifOig iv j^poi'y, may serve as examples. I know not 
whether this remark may not at least help somewhat 
towards the solution of the question concerning the 
ground of the difference observable in the manner of 
connecting rhythmical orders into choral verses. I 
mean the question, why trochaic and logaoedic orders, 
which can scarcely be imagined to have been meant as 
entire verses by themselves, often stand detached and 
unconnected as if they were complete verses, and then 


again in certain places are found closely attached to the 
succeeding portion of rhythm by means of a word run- 
ning over into this.* That the Poet^s aim in such 
places was to gain a peculiar emphasis for a particular 
passage^ I at least have often sensibly perceived : and 
scarcely anywhere more forcibly than in the Chorus of 
the Agamemnon at the words aai'vwv and a-ra^, v. 
725, 735 ; the more so, as their exact coincidence at 
the same place of the strophe and antistrophe gives them 
the appearance of being, as it were, the two opposite 
poles on which the whole idea revolves. What mind 
would not be forcibly struck by the representation in 
the strophe, of the young lion-whelp (Aegisthus) brought 
up in the house like a dog, caressed by all and fawning 
upon all — 

iroXca 5' effK kv dyicaXaic veorpdipov tIkvov lUav, 

^€uZpu)irQQ TTOrt X^*P® o'tti— viav tv yaarpoQ 6,vdyKaiQ. 

And then the contrast in the antistrophe, of the grown- 
up lion no longer concealing his native thirst of blood : 

Afia^ov AXyoc oitciraie fiiya alvoQ woXvicrdvov, 
e/c deov 5' iepeve rie a — rag ^dfwiQ irpoatdpitpBri, 

28. The proper rhythmical theme of the ode now 
under consideration, that with which it begins, and 
which is distinctly heard throughout, is the catalectic 
trochaic tetrapodia,— »^ — ^ — ^ — , called by the metrists 
\r\KvBiov^ perhaps from the smoothness and lubricity 

* [The reader who is not acquaint- 
ed with the principles of lyrical 
metre as they are now understood, 
should be apprised, that a verse 
never ends in the middle of a word: 
and that the distribution of an ode 
of Pindar (before Boeckh), and of 

middle of a word, has nothing to be 
said in its fiivour, but that it is 
more sightU^, and (where this point 
is attended to) convenient for per- 
spicuity of the rhythmical orders 
composing the verse."] 

2 Hephffl8t.6,p.33— Possiblythe 

the lyrical parts of tragedy into [ joke in Aristophanes, \rjKv0iov air&' 
shorter Unes, often ending in the i \€<r€. Ban. 1208, sqq. alludes to 


with which it runs, like drops of oil from a flask. As for 
the mtisical mode : these almost purely trochaic odes, in 
which nothing appears of the elevation and pomp of 
the Phrygian, were certainly almost invariably Lydian, 
The Lydian mode was tender, graceful, but apt to 
degenerate into an enervated character. This very 
character it was that gave the trochaic metre the name 
icopSa^, ' from a soft and voluptuous dance of Lydian 
origin. * To counteract this enervating tendency -ZEs- 
chylus in the third pair of strophes intermixes long dac- 
tylic orders : the same rhythm which tranquillizes the 
Phrygian here dignifies the Lydian ; and the Poet with 
great art reserves for these dactylic passages moral sen- 
tences or gnomes, to which the solemnity of this firm 
and equable metre* is peculiarly well adapted. On the 
other hand, the anacrusis of iambic dipodise, which in the 
last strophe' of this as of the preceding ode, introduces 
the trochaic orders, imparts to this portion a more rapid 
and animated march, which again is most beautifully 

this. With these words he makes 
^schylus continually clip off from 
Enripides's trimeters just this fatal 
lecylMnm ( — w — w — w — ), 
The joke indeed is principally aimed 
at the contents of the Eoripidean 
Prologaes, which hegin like a story 
of common life ; still it may carry 
an allusion to something in the an- 
dent art of versification; a jeer, 

• [Last verse of str. 3, 

perhaps, at the monotonous unifor- 
mity of the csesural pause in the 
opening verses of Euripides's Plays. 

^ Aristot. in Quintil. ix. 4. Cic 
Orat 17. 

^ Pausan. vi. 22. — P&usanias was 
himself by extraction a Lydian. 

^ uATpov araarifiaTaToy Ka\ oy- 
KoodcoToroi/. Aristot. Poet. 

v^ — \j — , -£-v^ — y -L \j \j — v^ — ,_. 

Then in str. 4, 

— jLv^— , -L«^ — v^ — v^ — , _Lv^ — v^ — — 

\J J~ \J — 9~V^ — \J — v^ 
v^JL*^ y -L \j — \j — \j — . 

After which, a complete iambic trimeter. 
And then. 

\j Ji \j — v^' — v^' — \j -^ \y — • 

v^jL— , — v^ — v^' — ^ 

Xv^V^' — «^ — ^— > — W — Vi/ — — ] 


soothed down by the graceftil flow of the interposed 
logaoedic, an arrangement to which ^schylus in gene- 
ral is very partial. 

Sixth Ode. V. 748. Seventh Ode, V. 801. 

24. In the two preceding odes the tone of feeling in 
the Erinnyes was still suspensive and wavering. Now 
that Orestes has gained his cause in the Areopagus, it 
mounts once more into frantic rage : breaking off from 
the regular rhythms, they burst into an ode evidently 
commatic in its nature, and accompanied with very wild 
movements, as one may see from the very metres em- 
ployed. These are dochmii, a metre expressive, ac- 
cording to circumstances, either of sorrow or of joy, 
but fdmost invariably of violently excited feelings. 
Here also we have plainly an occurrence of bacchii,* a 
metre rarely used in Tragedy on accoimt of its un- 
rhythmical character. In the first ode not only the 
matter, but the form, in respect of the interspersed 
iambic verses, indicates three voices, perhaps those of 
the three protostatae. The second ode, which consists 
almost entirely of short and unconnected ejaculations 
of extreme fury, may be distributed among seven voices. 
The iteration of the same ode indicates the dogged 
pertinacity with which they persist in the feelings to 
which they had already given vent, and their utter disre- 
gard of Athena^s attempts to soothe them in her replies. 

Eighth (V. 876), Ninth (V.916), Tenth (V. 950) Odes. 

25. At last the Goddess has succeeded in appeasing 
the frantic Erinnyes. Now comes the third stasimon 

' [v. 698. aT€vdi<o ; &c., viz. 

y^±± ^J,± yJ,JL yj±±, 

a metre which in its stamping cha- 

cUmeter dochm. hypercat. 

Several instancea of the baochius 

racter is akin to the dochmius : as occur in the Bacchffi of Euripides : 
in ikct this verse might be read as e. g. 989, 1011. ] 


(no tragedy of iEschylus has fewer than three) con- 
sisting of three pairs of strophes^ insulated indeed in 
respect of time by the intervening anapaests sung by 
Athena^ but nevertheless retaining the independent 
and composed character of a stasimou, there being no 
reference in the ode to the matter expressed in those 
anapaests^ and the strophes and antistrophes following 
regularly in three pairs. The ode^ which is a v^vo^ 
fViCTiicoc, a song of blessing, is composed partly of light 
trochees^ partly of solemn dactyls. The molossi^ yamc 
€$ a/u/3/t>v(Tac, 7rXovro)^0o;i' 'Ep/aaiav, are to be measured 
dactylically (—'--:>—. | — '-=1^-'— .), and thus in each in- 
stance are equivalent in time to four dactyls^ or eight 
light trochees (two lecythia) ; at least this seems to be 
the only way in which they can be read so as to get the 
right impression from them. 

In the intervals between these six strophes Minerva 
sings five anapaestic systems^ antithetically related one to 
another^ (1, 2, 3, 2, 1). These anapaests are so printed 
in the text as to give each system as a connected whole. 
The minor sections are not intended to represent verses, 
in the proper sense of the term^ but to divide into 
members the matter expressed. The usual mode of divi- 
sion by dimeters and monometers has the effect of frit- 
tering away the majestic roll of such anapaestic periods. 

' That is, the rhythm is dactylic, 
-Lv^^ — . ~L \j\j — ; and 

moreoyer, each molosmis, with iU 
pause ^dicated hy the point) is 
metrically equivalent to two dactyls, 
the pause occupying the time of 
the thesis of the second dactyl— 

viz, jL«- ,=zj^s^y^ — ^^v^'. 

The author's further statement, that 
each of these double dactyls is equi- 
valent to a trochfdc tetrapodia 
J-v^ — ^ — v^ — »^, or rather 

Iccythium-^ v^ — ^ — «^ —, which 

is the rhythmical theme of the 
whole strophe, rests upon the prin- 
ciple enunciated by Boeckh, de 
MetriSf Find. iii. 20, that in the 
rhythms of the Doric mode (viz., 
dactylic orders curbed by the heavy 

double-trochee jL^ , e« g** in 

the ode xpviria <f)6pfuy$, J-\y 

J-^ , — v^v>' — ^'^— I 

±s^ , -L ^ ^ — , &c) the 

time is regulated by the equivalence 
of the dactyl to the double-trochee. 
Cf. Anhang. p. 82.] 


That the Ooddess during these anapaests changes her 
position is indicated also by their purport. At first she 
addresses from the stage the Council of the Areopagites^ 
or rather the assembled people of Athens^ and^ in so 
doings speaks of the Eumenides in the third person. 
It is only towards the end that she personally addresses 
the latter ; then she expresses her good wishes towards 
them also^ and makes known to them that now she will 
discharge the duty of escorting the Dread Goddesses 
into their sacred Thalamos. We see plainly that 
Athena has gradually descended from the stage into 
the Orchestra^ and ends with placing herself at the head 
of the Chorus^ to which the Areopagites also and the 
escort of maidens now attach themselves. To these 
maidens belongs the last Ode ; short indeed^ but pecu- 
liarly solemn^ and (its sense rightly understood) winding 
up the action with a strain of majestic simpUcity.^ 

[Note. — In the metrical notation used in this work, the rhyth- 
mical orders of which the ver$e is composed are separated by 
commas, the pauses are denoted by full stops. Also, when the 
same rhythmical order is reneated, this is compendiously denoted 
by the Arabic numeral prefixed. Thus the vene (for it is but 
one) 362-365, consisting of fonr iambic dimeters, one monometer, 
and an ecbasis, would give this scheme, 

\J -^ \J — V^ — V^ — , ^ — V^ — , f 

and the longest verse in Pindar, Isthm. vii. 5, 

The distribution of an ode into verses, and of verses into their 
component essentially dependent on rhythmical consider- 
ations, but the determination of the close of a verse is aided by 
observation of the occurrence of a syllaha anceps or hiatus. For 
this reason, besides others, the principles of tne higher metrical 
science are best learned from Pindar, since the continual recur- 
rence of the same strophe throughout an ode furnishes a larger 
induction of probabihties, and therefore more evident resuts 
ilian can be obtained from the single strophe and antistrophe of 
the Tragedians. For an introduction to tne study of the lyrical 
metres and of their relation to the musical modes, the student 
may be referred to Thiersch's Preliminary Dissertation prefixed 
to nis edition and German version of Pmdar. For jEschylus, 
comp. the Metro et Numeri of Xlausen.] 


26. The play of the Eumenides was acted in the large 
stone Theatre near the Temple of Dionysus. The 
erection of this Theatre was commenced after 01. 70. 1, 
(B.C. 500)^ but the building was not completed till about 
01. 110 (b.c. 340)^ during the financial administration 
of Lycurgus. But a theatre mighty in the same 
manner as an ancient temple, or a Gk)thic church, be 
used for centuries without being quite completed ; and 
we certainly have no authority for supposing that the pro- 
ductions of the great tragedians still continued to be 
exhibited in a wooden structure, whilst even the insig. 
nificant Epidaurus had obtained {rota the hands of 
Polycletus, a contemporary of Phidias, a magnificent 
theatre of stone. 

The Athenian Theatre, which was erected at the time 
above mentioned — ^a structure, the perspective arrange- 
ment of which had given occasion to scientific investi- 
gations even by the most distinguished among the 
physical philosophers of the Peridean age, Anaxagoras 
and Democritus — ^was no doubt the original model of 
the Greek Theatre described by Vitruvius ; and this can 
be proved in detail. Accordingly, for information con- 
cerning the general plan of the whole structure, the 
divisions of the orchestra, stage and amphitheatre, etc., 
we may refer our readers to the works of Genelli and 
other modem writers, who with much taste and erudition 
have reduced the rules and statements of Vitruvius into 
a connected form. The only peculiarity in the exhibition 


of the Eumenides was the arrangement of the stage — 
called by the Greeks TrpoaKtiviov and Xoyeiov ; the 
term wpoaKriviov being used to denote the space in 
front of the (nctyin?, and the term Xoyeiov^ or more 
anciently oKpi^ag^ being applied to the wooden plat- 
form raised above the level of the orchestra. 

But before we can determine the exact arrangement 
of the stage on the occasion with which we are here 
concerned^ we must first ascertain what scenes and 
localities were intended to be represented by the stage^ 
in the several parts of the play^ and by what means the 
Poet made his intention palpable to the spectators. 

27. In the opening scene, we behold the Pythoness 
in the open court in front of the Temple of Apollo at 
Delphi. She is praying to the Gods of the Temple, 
evidently at an altar (probably representing the ^ Great 
Altar' of Delphi^). This altar is frequently mentioned 
by Euripides in the Ion/ and we learn from him that 
beside it were carved images of divinities (^oai^a), 
which it was customary for suppliants to embrace. It 
appears to me a very credible supposition that these 
images represented the deities who had successively 
held possession of this sacred oracle; namely, Gala, 
Themis, Phoebe, and Phoebus. I ground my opinion 
mainly on the expressions made use of by the Priestess 
herself in the prologue. Her prayer to the four 
above«mentioned deities is most pointedly distinguished 
fix)m her reverential address to the others. She mani- 
festly first of all addresses herself exclusively to the 
divinities immediately present ; then directs her thoughts 
to the more remote deities, commencing with Pallas, 
who was worshipped under the title of Upovaia before 
the precincts^ of the Pythian Temple, on the road to 

* Pwwan. X. 14, 4 « Cf. w. 116. 1269, ff. 1418. » rcficwj. 


BcBotia and Athens ; then proceeding to the divinities 
of the Corycian Dripping Grotto ;* next to the fountain- 
nymphs of the river Pleistus^ and the fountain-god 
Poseidon ; and lastly to the Lycorean Jove/ the god 
who dwells supreme on the mountain-summit Lycorea. 

Hereupon the Priestess retires into the Temple^ but 
presently returns in horror^ and after describing the 
impression of the sight she has there beheld^ quits the 

Immediately on her departure^ the interior of the 
sanctuary is exposed to view. The very Adyton, that 
unapproachable abode of Prophecy/ is displayed before 
the eyes of the spectators. The locality of this Adytum 
is precisely defined by the term o/u^aXoc (EarthVnavel), 
which so often occurs. The Pythoness beheld Orestes 
sitting on the Omphalos {40): hence the Erinnyes call 
it ' a seat dripping with the blood of murder &om head 
to foot/ a seat which (by the reception of Orestes into 
the Temple) has contracted ^ the abominable pollution of 
blood' (158). In the time of ^schylus and Pindar 
this Omphalos was situated in the Adytum of the 
Temple ; and upon it were the golden images of the 
two eagles^ which^ according to the legend^ being let fly 
from east and west^ had met here : but it was afterwards 
removed from the penetralia^ and in the time of Pausa*- 
nias was in the front court of the Temple.^ We are 
indebted to modem Archaeology for our present exact 
knowledge of the shape of this TFhite Stone, as Pausanias 
calls it ; for the semi-circular or semi-oval object^ which 

* Pious dedicatory inscriptions to 
Pan and the Nymphs may stUl he 
read <m this grotto. Cf. fioeckh 
Corp.Iiucr. N. 1728. 

' AvK<»paiog, Steph. Byz. — In 
the heautiful Believo of Homer's 
Apotheosis Jupiter is represented 

D 2 

occupying the summit of Parnassus. 

^ fitiyrucoi fJLvxoi, v. 171. 

7 This point of the Delphic Anti- 
quities has heen accurately investi- 
gated and explained hy I>is86n(Phid. 
Py th. iy. 4), and hy Bronsted in his 
' Travels in Greece' (Qenn^). 


SO frequently occurs in relievos^ coins^ and vase-paintings^ 
and was till lately regarded^ though without any good 
reason^ as a portion of the Tripod^ has recently been 
discovered to be the Omphalos in question.' In con- 
sequence of this discovery^ it is now found that nurne- 
rous works of sculpture^ which could not be properly 
understood before^ are intended to represent ' the God 
sitting on the Omphalos at the centre of the Earth/ 
as the Pythian Apollo is designated by Plato.^ But 
the clearest instances are to be seen in the vase-paint- 
ings/ where Orestes is exhibited^ as a suppliant for pro- 
tection and expiation^ sitting on the Omphalos in the 
Temple of Apollo^ exactly as described by iBschylus. 
On this semi-circle are to be seen stripes of various 
kinds, sometimes horizontal, sometimes crossing, some- 
times pendant. These I take to be bands {infuUe, 
arifi/Aaraj or raiviai)^ with which the navel-stone was 
decorated ; and this explanation accords with an expres- 
sion of Strabo's, TBraiviwfiivog. These infulse, composed of 
loose woollen threads, may, when knotted together cross- 
wise, so as to form a sort of net-work, be termed yprivog 
or aypripopj the name given to a net-like woollen cover- 
ing, worn by the ancient soothsayers and bacchanals.^ 

28. To return to our subject : together with this Om- 
phalos, behind which, perhaps, the Tripod was also 
visible, as in the vase-paintings, we see in the Temple 
the following assembly: Orestes, sitting on the Om- 
phalos; around him the Erinnyes, reclined on seats 

^ The anthor of this discovery is 
Pasiow (Bottiger's 'Archaologie nnd 
Kunst/ St. L p. 158). 

* PoUt.iv.p.427. 

^ See the Vase-painting, edited 
with a learned explanation by Millin, ' 54. 
and the collection in Baoul- ' 

Bochette's Orest^ide, particularly 
PI. 36. 

^ See Winckelmann, Mon, Ined, 
p. 212, and Pr. G. Schoen, de Per- 
sonarum in Eur. Bacch, hdbitu, p. 



and fast asleep ; beside him Apollo; in the back-ground 
Hermes, This assembly cannot be reckoned at fewer 
than eighteen persons. Now^ in what way^ we ask^ was 
this large company exhibited at once to the view of the 
spectators after the prologue of the Pythoness ? For, 
unquestionably^ it was not brought into view till after 
the prologue ; the whole description which the Priestess 
gives of the hags who encompassed Orestes would be 
tame and frigid, if the spectators had already had a view 
of their figure and appearance, before the Priestess 
caught sight of them. The description is surely prepa- 
ratory to the spectacle, not explanatory of it. 

There are two ways in which the interior of the 
Temple, with its assemblage of persons, might be thus 
suddenly disclosed to view. Orie of these methods has 
been already proposed by a Schohast,* and among the 
Modems by Bottiger" (an Antiquarian of high account 
for his acquaintance with the ancient stage) : I mean the 
kifixTTpa or siciciicXf|/4a. 

'E^oKTrpa or eKKvKXrifia (the latter is much the more 
usual term) denotes the platform or small wooden stage^ 
which, in passages of the Drama, where the interior of a 
house was required to be exposed to the spectator's view, 
was pushed or wheeled forward' through the great portal 
in the stone screen {(jK-nvvi) &t the back of the stage, 
and afterwards wheeled back^ when the interior had to 
be again withdrawn from view. Of the employment of 
the eccydema in the old Tragedians, the following are 
decided instances, and these may serve to shew in what 
cases this machinery was appUcable. 

(1) In the Agamemrum (v. 1345) there is suddenly 

* In Emnen. v. 64 ; cf. on v. 4»7. 
' De Deo ex Machina, p. 9. 
Forien-maske, p. 98. 

^ CfCICVKXcil/. 

^ €1(tkvkK€w, Pollux iv. 128. 
Schol. Acham. 407. Enstath. on 
IL p. 976, 16. 



displayed to view (evidently by means of the eccyclema) 
the Foyal bathing-chamber^ with the silver laver, the 
corpse enveloped in the fatal garment^ and Clytsemnestra^ 
besprinkled with bloody and holding in her hand the 
reeking weapon, stiU standing with mien of haughty 
triumph and defiance over her murdered victim. 

(2) In the Choephoroe, the same bathing-chamber is 
exhibited to view (v. 967). Here likewise it is drawn 
out through the central door in the stage-screen ; and 
on this occasion the SchoUasts notice the employment 
of the eccyclema. Orestes is seen standing over the 
corpses of Clytaemnestra and ^Egisthus, holding in his 
hands the fatal garment.* 

(3) In the Electra of Sophocles (v. 1450) ^Egisthus 
orders the great gates of the palace to be thrown open, 
that all the Mycenseans and Argives may convince them- 
selves with their own eyes of the death of Orestes : a 
covered corpse is wheeled upon the stage on an eccy- 
clema ; iBgisthus uncovers it : it is Clytaemnestra. 

(4) In the ArUigone (1 293) the corpse of Eurydice is 
exhibited on the stage almost immediately after we have 
been informed of her death by her own hands within 
the palace. The Chorus adverts to the eccyclema in 
the words ; opap irapiariv* ov yap ev /uvj^oic crc ; and 
the Scholia also mention it. 

(6) In the Ajaa^ (346), upon the earnest desire of the 
men of Salamis to see their lord and prince, Tecmessa 
throws open the tent : at the instant she draws aside 
the awning, Ajax (by means of an eccyclema, which is 
again remarked by the Scholia) is wheeled out to view : 
he is seen holding a drawn sword in his hand and 

^ Clyteemnestra comes out by the 
doorway to the right, the yvvcuKelai 
TTuKaif and is led off by Orestes into 
the main building through the cen- 

tral doorway. The door to the right 
belongs to the second actor (deutera- 
gonistes), who is evidently Clyteem- 



sprinkled with blood ; surrounded by slaughtered cattle, 
and sunk in deep anguish. 

(6) In the (Edipus Tyrannus (1297)^ the unfortunate 
son of Laius^ his eyes pierced through and dripping with 
blood, his footsteps in need of a guide, becomes visible 
through the open gateway of the palace. He is 
evidently wheeled out on an eccyclema ; and Sophocles 
has apparently overlooked that circumstance, when he 
afterwards makes Creon prohibit the exhibition of so 
horrible a spectacle to the open light of day, and order 
(Edipus to be led back into the house (1429). 

(7) In the Hercules Parens of Euripides (1030) the 
bars of the palace-doors are drawn back ; by means of 
an eccyclema, we behold the hero asleep, bound hand 
and foot to a broken piUar, surrounded by the corpses 
of his wife and children, and by the fragments of shat- 
tered shafts and columns. 

(8) In the Hippolyttis (818) Theseus bids throw open 
the doors of the palace, in which Phaedra has hanged 
herself: thereupon, no doubt by means of an eccyclema, 
the corpse is seen stretched on a couch, with the fatal 
letter attached to the hand. 

(9) In the Medea, v. 1314, where Jason is about to 
force open the doors of the palace, the Colchian Enchan- 
tress appears aloft (probably on an elevated eccyclema) 
standing in the chariot presented to her by HeUos. In 
it are also the corpses of her children.^ 

29. All these instances of the eccyclema agree in 
one particular, which is, that the scenes brought before 
the eyes of the spectators are such as would naturally 

2 With these instances of eccy- 
clemas may be compared, for the 
sake of greater deamess, those of 

Comedy ; e. g. Aristoph. Nub. 223, 
c. SchoU. Equit.1151,1249. Acham. 
407, c. SchoU. 


take place within doors. Accordingly^ the eccyclema 
is not employed in cases where it would be quite as 
easy and proper for the persons who are the subjects of 
such scenes to come out to view from the stage-doors. 
Wherever we find it employed^ it invariably appears that 
the nature of the case makes it unavoidable. It is only 
when the persons or objects are unij)le of themselves 
to come out^ that the spectator is^ after a fashion, con- 
ducted in. In every one of the instances above given, 
it is a scene of murder or bloody wounds which the 
eocydema brings into view: most of them exhibit 
groups of the living and dead, formed, no doubt, accord- 
ing to the rules of Art; for it is certain that in no 
other of its arrangements did the Drama approximate 
so nearly to the province of Sculpture as in the eccy- 

Hence it appears that in the scene under considera- 
tion the eccyclema would, fix)m the very nature of the 
case, have been a very unusual phenomenon ; but still 
more so, when we consider the great number of persons 
required to be wheeled forward at once — amoimting, as 
we have seen, to no less than eighteen ; whereas in none 
of the other instances are there more than four indi- 
viduals at most; nor is the Chorus ever included. 
Then, how spacious must have been this moveable stage, 
to be capable of exhibiting at once, in a tasteful group, 
Orestes on the Omphalos, the Gods, and the entire 
Chorus ! How wide, too, the portal, to admit of their 
being wheeled through I 

But there are further considerations, which lead us 
to conclude that the eccyclema was not employed on 
this occasion. We first of all saw the Pythoness in the 
open square in front of the Temple. We are now to 
view the interior of the Temple ; and this (we will sup- 

THEATRE. • 57 

pose) is to be effected by means of an eccydema. The 
floor of this moveable stage must therefore be that of 
the Temple^ now disclosed to view. Then the Erinnyes 
wake^ start up^ and^ during a choral dance^ give vent to 
their annoyance and their rage against Apollo. All 
this still in the Temple ; for it is not until afterwards 
that the Grod commands them to quit his Sanctuary. 
Now to suppose that the Chorus had room on this secon- 
dary stage for those wild evolutions, is even more in* 
credible than all the rest. Consequently, the eccydema 
is not at all adequate or applicable to the case ; and we 
must rather imagine the whole stage to represent the 
area of the Temple. 

Thus we are reduced to the second supposition, 
which, although not borne out by any external evi- 
dence, is nevertheless attended with greater internal 
probability than the former hypothesis. It is namely 
this — ^that, as long as the Pythoness was speaking the 
prologue, the space representing the interior of the 
Temple (i. e., the stage) was concealed by a curtain 
extending the whole length and height of the stage, like 
the common AuUeum or Parapetasma. The Priestess 
stood in the orchestra, which represented the front- 
court (the avXri) of the Pythian Temple : the altar of 
the Prophetic Deities stood there. We must conceive 
a few colunins in fix)nt of the stage, giving it the 
character of a Temple. It will be seen that this 
arrangement answers perfectly well for the whole 

All the preceding eluddations are founded on the 
hypothesis, that, after the condusion of the prologue, 
the interior of the Temple, together with the Erinnyes, 
is rendered visible in some way or other. This suppo- 
sition forces itself upon us as a necessary and natmral 




one^ and^ indeed, is generally received/ except by 
Oenelli/ who has quite a different conception of the 
whole scene. His idea is that the whole scene between 
Clytsemnestra and the Erinnyes takes place at the back 
of the screen. He supposes the Adytum of the Temple 
to be there; and that, after the Ode beginning, iov, 
cov, woira^, the Erinnyes rush one by one through 
the centre door upon the stage. Now there can be no 
doubt that the effect produced on the auditors by indi* 
yidual sounds and broken exclamations from the con- 
cealed interior of a tent or chamber is very impressive ; 
but the dialogue between Clytsemnestra and the slum- 
bering Chorus is not at all of that description ; and we 
may be sure that ^schylus was but little disposed to 
deprive the spectators of so striking a sight as that pre- 
sented in the highly tragic figure of the royal Appa* 
rition pointing to the bloody wound in her breast, and 
the Erinnyes starting convulsively and fiercely in their 

30. Between v. 225 and v. 226 there is a long pause. 
First Orestes, then the Chorus, and lastly Apollo, have 
each left the stage. Then all at once we are trans- 
ported frx)m Delphi to Athens, and must fancy a long 
interval of time to have elapsed, during which Orestes 
has passed over land and sea — ^a disregard of the exter- 
nal Unities quite in the character of the ^schylean 
Poetry. So in the first act of the Agamemnon (v. 270), 
the beacon-fires announce the fall of Troy the very 
day it was taken; and, by the commencement of the 
following act, Agamemnon himself, after encountering 

1 It 18 also A. W. V. Schlegel's 
opinion. See his History of Dra- 
matic Poetry. — OnlySchlegel thinks 
the Erinnyes are seen first of all, 
before they start np, merely through 
the open doors of the Temple i but 

this latter hypothesis cannot be sa- 
tisfactorily reconciled with the ar- 
rangement of the andent stage, nor 
with the progress of the play. 
3 Theater von Athen, p. 218. 



great perils at sea^ has landed on the coast of Argod. 
In so doings i£schylus only availed himself of the 
genuine license of art^ which^ among the Greeks^ in the 
province of Poetry as well as of Sculpture^ while it was 
strictly observant of the internal connexion and har- 
mony^ treated space and time as very subordinate 
matters. It was not until a subsequent period that 
Tragedy stooped to do homage to a common-place ' illu- 
sion' {aTrarri). 

With regard to the shifting of scene required by the 
change of place^ that could easily be effected without the 
intervention of the curtain, since we merely step out of 
one Temple into another; all that would be necessary 
was a contrivance in the centre door, to make the 
Omphalos disappear at the instant the statue of Pallas 
was brought forward. Perhaps also the Ilfpiaicroc^ were 
turned round at the same time. 

The ancient sacred Image of Pallas* which Orestes 
embraced in obedience to Apollo's command, can be no 
other than the carved wooden image/ which, according 
to the legend, fell from heaven, and was consecrated 
and preserved by the Autochthones of Attica in the 
Temple of the Goddess of the citadel (iroXiac). It 
formed the central point of the Athenian Religion, and 
was the only image that could be designated by so 
general a title. Therefore, from v. 226 the stage repre- 
sents the Temple, or at least, if not the actual edifice, 
the sacred precincts of the Temple of Athena Polias on 

^ These Periadi^ of the same 
height as the stage-screen and situ- 
ated at the angles between it and 
the side walls, were prism-shaped, 
having three faces, and were easily 
moveable about a pivot : on the se- 
veral three ho&A there were different 

views and prospects painted, so that 
by turning round the Periacti the 
near and distant landscape {j6vros 
and x&pcL) were changed with faci- 
lity and expedition. 

* TIclKcu6v Pfyeras. 

* $6avo¥. Pans. i. 16, 7. 


the Athenian AcropoUs. The Chorus^ now in the 
orchestra^ is coneeived to be in the front-oourt of this 
Temple. It is also in the orchestra — certainly not on 
the stage — ^that the Areopagites subsequently made their 
appearance ; in fact^ they must have taken their seats 
under the amphitheatre^ in the semi-circular curve of 
the orchestra. For it is evidently the Poet's design to 
comprise the Areopagus and the assembled Athenians 
as a whole^ and as such they are addressed in common 
by the Goddess in her inauguration-speech. At this^ 
the first trial for murder at Athens, a public assembly* 
is conceived to be present, just as in the courts of the 
Homeric Grerontes; and the Goddess, by voice of herald 
and blast of trumpet, enjoins silence during the sitting 
of the court (536). On this occasion, no doubt, actual 
blasts of the trumpet pealed through the theatre, and 
the well-known herald's cry, 'A^kovete Xcy, was heard, 
as in court. The pubUc assembly could not possibly be 
represented by a crowd of people on the stage, or in the 
orchestra : the Athenians actually assembled and pre- 
sent in the Theatre are the people addressed on this 
occasion. And the finest way of exhibiting this con- 
ception would be to make the Areopagites, as we have 
supposed JSschylus to have made them, take their seats 
on chairs in the orchestra, immediately below the tiers 
of seats in the amphitheatre. In that case directly 
above them sat the actual BovXfi, to whom the lowest 
tier of seats^ was appropriated ; and above these the 
densely crowded mass of the Athenian population, rising 
tier above tier in ever widening semi-drcles. Oppo- 
site to them, like an orator on the Pv/xa, is stationed 
the majestic figure of Pallas Athena, who organises the 

* The \aol or Xc^. ^ ^^ /3ovXevrMc<Jv. 


Court of Areopagus^ and impresses on the hearts of the 
Athenians the sanctity of that institation. 

In this way the Athenian People is irresistibly drawn 
into the very Drama^ and in a manner compelled to 
bear a part in the action. The Theatre is transformed^ 
as by a stroke of enchantment^ into the Pnyx^ the Poet 
into a counselling and admonishing Orator^ the mythic 
Past into the immediate Present^ dedsive for the weal 
and woe of the Future. 

31. From the circumstance of Athena's appointing 
the Hill of Ares as the place of sitting for the newly- 
instituted court (653)^ and her speaking of it as before 
the eyes of the spectators/ one might perhaps be led to 
infer that the scene has been again shifted. But this 
inference cannot be supported without considerable dif- 
ficulty ; and the circumstance in question is satisfactorily 
accounted for^ if we suppose a distant prospect of the 
hill opposite the citadel to have been delineated on a 
Periactos^ and that the Goddess pointed to that picture. 
Let it be observed^ that in the very same passage (668) 
the Athenian citadel is pointed out as before the eyes of 
the spectators.^ 

With respect to the style in which these views were 
executed^ for instance, those of the Delphic Temple, the 
ancient Temple of Pallas, the Hill of Ares and the sur- 
rounding scenery^ we may suppose a certain degree of 
optical illusion to have been attained, and the impression 
of reahty to have been conveyed ; for Agatharchtis, the 
first who attained a degree of perfection in the art of 

' Uayov — T6vb€, v. 666. 

* The only way in which I can 
understand this passage is, that the 
Amazons assail the new fortress 
(i. e. the town and citadel hnilt hy 

Theseus) hy means of a counter- i person.' 

fortress on the Areopagus (like the 
Persians in Herodot. viil. 62); and 
in support of this sense of ayri- 
wupyovv jr6Kiv, I instance the ex- 
pression carnage w rivd, 'to assail a 


scene-paintings to which scientific study contributed as 
much as a bold and skilful pencil^ was in all probability 
put in requisition for this very trilogy of ^schylus. At 
all events the painting needed to be the more accurate^ 
as the Athenians here beheld on the stage the identical 
objects they were accustomed^ only under a less antique 
aspect^ to se6 but a few steps distant. That there was 
no danger of the solemn and exalted impression of tragic 
poetry suffering from this cause^ we may be sure from 
the enthusiasm^ heightened by Faith and Imagination^ 
with which the Greeks were wont to regard their native 
land and all its sacred spots. With them Reality was 
blended with Legend into a majestic Whole. 

From this point to the end of the play the scene re- 
mains in and about the Temple of Athena Polias. It 
is from thence also that the procession afterwards sets 
out^ to conduct the Erinnyes to their new Sanctuary 
between the Acropolis and the Areopagus. The female 
attendants of the Temple form part of this proces- 
sion (978). 

The altar in the orchestra^ required in the first por- 
tion of the play^ is also necessary in this second larger 
section^ since it is from the altar that the Areopagites 
take the ballots. The images of the Delphic Deities 
exhibited upon it in the first part of the play might 
easily be removed, or withdrawn by a simple contrivance 
from the view of the spectators. 


32. If we desire to form a lively and true conception 
of the procedure of an ancient Tragedy upon the stage^ 
we must first divest ourselves entirely of those ideas of 
the characters in Grecian Mythology, which we derive 
from ancient works of art, and which from natural 
causes continually haunt our imagination. There is 
not the least comparison to be drawn between the scenic 
and the plastic costume of the ancient Gods and Heroes; 
for, as the statements of the old Grammarians and 
ancient works of art (especially the mosaics in the 
Vatican) sufficiently prove, there was but one general 
(ttoXtj, or costume for Tragedy. This was nothing more 
than an improvement on the gay and brilliant^ apparel 
worn in the processions at the Dionysian Festivals, and 
but slight alterations were needed to adapt it to the 
different dramatic characters. The following parts of. 
dress are universally reckoned in the costume : long 
')^^LT(oveg of various gay colours, falling in ample folds 
down to the feet; very broad embroidered girdles 
(/ia(T^aXi(Tr^/t>€c)/ sitting high on the breast; upper 
robes, frequently of purple, with gold-embroidered 
borders and other such-like decorations ; the cothurnus; 
and the head-dress oyKog. As in the Dionysian ritual, 
so likewise in Tragedy, there was but little distinction 

* TToiKiKa or avBivd, 

^ This ^brdle evidently fbrms part 
of the tragic costume, as exhibited 
in the Vatican mosaics and on the 

statues of Melpomene, e. g. on the 
colossal figure of that Muse in the 


between the male and female apparel. In speaking of 
heroes the Tragedians very often call their dress 
wiirXog, a garb never worn at that period by males in 
common life. In the ancient mosaics one is con- 
tinually in danger of confounding heroes with heroines, 
unless where the old equestrian chlamydes are thrown 
over the long, bright-coloured tunics, or weapons added, 
or the masks characterised by some marked difference. 

We must always bear this general costume in mind, 
when we feel disposed to wonder why the Ancients, with 
their singular reluctance to increasing the number of 
actors, chose to have different and often very different 
parts acted by one and the same individual : it must be 
remembered that with them there was no need of such 
a complete change of dress as modem principles and 
taste require. We look for illusion from first to last : 
the Ancients always remained, and wished to remain, 
conscious that the whole was a Dionysian Entertain- 

33. It is a well known fact that in his earlier plays 
^schylus employed only two Actors; the one (called 
the wpfjjraywvKTTrig^ performing the main characters, 
(i. e. those which most abound in outward or inward 
7ra0oc)> the other (the SevrepayovKTrrig)^ acting the 
more quiet and subordinate parts. So we find it in the 
Persians, the Seven against Thebes, the Suppliants, In 
the Prometheus there is a third actor (an improvement 
introduced by Sophocles), only however in the prologue. 
But in the trilogy of the Agamemnon, ChoephoroB and 
Eumenides, we find a third actor throughout ; a circum- 
stance well known to the Ancients (Schol. Choeph. 892), 
and not to be doubted by any attentive reader. The 
distribution of the parts in our trilogy was nearly as 
given in the following arrangement, which on the whole 
is pretty certain : whatever is doubtful is marked with a 



note of interrogation. It is taken for granted that 
where the same character recurs in the successiYe plays, 
it was performed by the same actor. 


1. Upforaymy. 

2. Aevrepayoy. 

3. Tpirayooy. 

Watchman, Herald, Agamemnon. 


Cassandra, MgistAixis, 


1. Upmraymy, 

2. Aevrepaya>y. 

3. Tpiraymv. 


Clytsemnestra, Nurse (?) 

Mectra^ JBgisthns, Domestic, Pylades.^ 

!• npa>raya>y. 

2. A€VT€pay»y, 

3. Tpirayiov, 



Pythoness, ClytsBmnestra, Athena. 


34. I here subjoin a description of the costume worn 
by the several characters in the Eumenides: the 
account is drawn from general sources of information on 
the subject, and from particular hints furnished by the 
play itself. 

(1) Orestes : — wears a long, gay*coloured tunic, and 
over it a chlamys, fastened by a clasp on the right 
shoulder : at the back of his head a Petasus suspended 
by a thong, the badge of the wandering hero. In one 
hand he holds, at least at the beginning of the play, a 
drawn sword, in the other the cjcsriypca, i. e. a long 
slender olive-bough with a few leaves at the end, and 

^ The Domestic (v. 646) is not 
visible, and there is no need of a 
special actor for the part. As a 
mute character (v. 642-707) Pylades 
is represented by a fourth person ; 
but where he afterwarda comes on 
the stage as a speaking character, 
the third actor personates him, — i»a 
fi^ ^ Xryoxrty, as the Scholiast re- 

' I think one reason why the 
two last plays take their names from 
the chorus is, that in both of them 
the principal actor is Orestes. As 
&r as we are able to ascertain, a 
play never had its name from any 
other of the DranutHs-persotus than 
the principal one. 


locks of white wool, drawn out into threads, loosely sus- 
pended about it. His hair hangs down dishevelled^ over 
his face, and his pale emaciated countenance betokens 
the miseries he has endured. 

(2) Clytamnestra: probably in the same robe of state 
which she wore in the preceding play, only more sombre 
and spectre-like. No doubt her breast is bare, and the 
bloody wound visible near the neck (v. 103. 562).* 

(3) Pythoness ; in a long dress such as was worn by 
priests or prophets, consisting chiefly in a tunic falling 
in straight folds,' not interrupted by a girdle. Also a 
laurel- wreath on her head (/uai^Teia (ttI^?;), and a sceptre 
in her hand (Agam. 1238). The mask expresses age. 

(4) Pallas Athena: in the long TreTrXoc, with the 
JSgis and Helmet. The ^gis does not sit close on the 
breast, as usually exhibited in works of art subsequent 
to the age of Phidias, but is much larger and hangs 
over the left shoulder down the arm, as may plainly be 
seen on the statues of the Goddess in the earlier style.* 
In her passage over the sea Athena spread her iEgis to 
the breeze like a sail (v. 382). This -^gis-sail however, 
in ^schylus's bold invention, answered in a manner the 
purpose of wings to the steed-drawn chariot in which the 
Goddess is described as driving on the stage (v. 383). 
^schylus took especial delight in introducing striking 

^ avxiunbris K6nrj, Eur. Orest. 
217, 881. 

' '0/)^o<rradios. — Perhaps she 
also wore the Syprjvov mentioned 
ahove, § 27. 

Fragm. 51, M. and the Vatican 
Believo explained hy Sieeren,) 

* For instance, the ^ginetan and 
Herculenean Statues (MiUingen 
And. Uned. Motmments, Ser. ii. 

' A trait in the legend, preserved | pL 7. Compare Raoul-Kochette 
alike in Poetry and Art, represents ; Orest^ide, pL 35, p. 119), and the 
Clytaemnestra extending her hreast . Athenian Terra Cotta in Brondsted, 
to her son as he Ib ahont to kill ' Fo^. cUnu la Gr^ce, Liv. ii. pi. 42, 
her. (Choeph. 883, cf. 524. Eur. p. 170. 
Or. 520, 852. El. 1215. Euphor. , 



figures upon the stage ; but in what way he managed 
such matters it would be useless to inquire further.' 

(5) ApoUo ; in a long gay-striped tunic with sleeves^ 
and a light mantle hanging from the shoulders down 
the back. This dress formed part of the Pythian 
costume worn by the citharoedi in the Delphic Games. 
In the first scene he holds a bow in his left hand. 

(6) Hermes: a mute character^ but certainly not 
invisibley as many suppose. The Chlamys and Petasus^ 
like Orestes ; a herald*s staff in his hand. 

The costume of the Chorus does not need to be 
described here^ as we shall have occasion to speak of it 
by and bye in our inquiry into the meaning of the 
Chorus : and besides^ Bottiger has investigated the sub- 
ject very fully in his learned Dissertation on the ' Mask 
of the Furies.^ 

^ Nevertheless I will just remark 
that the idea expressed in KaTrjp€<l)rj 
ir6ba (v. 284), was no doabt visibly 
manifested. In the ancient dpfia 
the charioteer stood in a stooping 
postore, as shown in numerous spe- 
cimens of ancient sculpture: so 
that with female charioteers the 

dress fidls over the feet. (See, for 
instance, Stuarf s AfUiquities of 
Athens, vol. ii. ch. i. pi. 20.) On 
the contrary, when combating 
on foot, Pallas plants her left leg 
straight in advance, riOrjo'iv 6pB6v 
n-dda, as exhibited on the Panathe- 
naic Yases. 






35. Of all the ancient Tragedies extant^ there is none 
in which the Mythic and the PoUtical, the development 
of an occurrence in the Heroic Age and the reference to 
circumstances and events in contemporary public life^ 
are so intimately blended as in the Eumenides. Not 
only is the mythological texture of the play pervaded by 
political allusions^ as it were fine threads discernible only 
by the more scrutinizing eye, but the whole treatment of 
the mythus so turns upon poUtical institutions deemed 
of paramount importance in those times, that by yield- 
ing oneself up to the impression of the poem, one may 
for a while fancy the audience assembled in the theatre 
to be an Ecdesia convened for the purpose of deUberat- 
ing on matters of state and law. The speech in which 
Athena inaugurates the Court of Areopagus, is at the 
same time a popular harangue, a Sri/nriyopia^ clearly 
pervaded by a design of inculcating upon the people that 
they should leave the Areopagus in possession of its 
ancient well-founded privileges, and warning them against 
innovations which must inevitably issue in unbridled 

The Areopagus, although no longer an exclusive cor- 
poration of caste, now that every Athenian citizen had 
become eligible to the office of Archon, and Archon to 
that of Areopagite, was nevertheless of momentous im- 
portance to the aristocracy at that sera of rampant 



democracy; and that on many accounts. The office was 
for Ufe ; the members few in number ; the Council had 
lost little of its vast influence; it maintained within 
itself a high tone of sentiment^ which doubtless^ the elder 
and aristocratic members instiUed into the new comers 
elected^ indeed^ on the reformed constitution^ but onlyafter 
full and unrestricted examination by the existing bench : 
above all^ the great mass of the Demos had been trained 
from their earliest years to stand in awe of this body^ 
and despite of their own propensities continued so to do. 
Thus it acted as a check upon the schemes of a policy 
tending in every direction to seduce the Athenians from 
the course of hereditary customs into a temper till then 
imknown to them^ a lust of power^ pomp^ and pre- 
eminence ; the effect of which was to make the Orator, 
who could sway and agitate an Ecclesia at will by the 
force of his imagination, the only real power in the State, 
before which all established authority sank into insig- 
nificance. TTds was the spirit of the policy pursued by 
Pericles and his partisans. One of these was Ephialtes, 
a man who has been unfairly represented as a mere 
vulgar tool of that great character, whereas we are 
authorised to conceive of him as an eminent and (faction 
apart) irreproachable statesman and military commander.^ 
This Ephialtes, son of Sophonides, it was, who at that 
time moved in the Ecclesia a psephism by which (as 
Aristotle observes^ the constitution of the Areopagus 
was mutilated, the influence of the Council weakened (so 
says Diodorus, xi. 77) and its famous hereditary usages 
annihilated. According to Plutarch's more distinct 
account,' by this psephism the Areopagus was deprived 

' The character of Ephialtes is 
yindicated hy Wachsniath in his 
Orecian Antiqq. ii. p. 60 (German). 

^ Polit.iL 9, and similarly Pansan. 
i. 29. 6. 

» Perid. 7, 9; Cim. 16; Cf. 
Beip. ger. Pnec. 10, 16. 


of its power and of all its judicial cognisance^ some few 
cases only excepted; and, to conclude with Cicero's* 
representation of the aiSair, by the destruction of the 
Areopagus^ all authority became vested solely in the 
Ecdesia, and the State was bereft of that which adorned 
and dignified it; a reflexion which Isocrates* dilates 
upon with his wonted diffuseness. 

86. Diodorus places this occurrence, as contemporary 
with the j^gyptian war, under 01. 80, 1. But as that 
historian, in his unfortunate style of narrative, which 
follows neither the pragmatical nor the annalistic method, 
but is a confused hash of both, comprises in the same year 
the events of subsequent years as far down as 01. 81, 1, 
we cannot be at all sure that the attack of Ephialtes on 
the Areopagus occurred precisely in 01. 80, 1. Judging 
from the impression conveyed by our tragedy, which we 
know for certain was exhibited in the 7th or 8th month 
of 01. 80, 2, (either at the Lensea, or at the great 
Dionysia,) we are led to believe that the conflict was at 
that time still undecided, and that hopes were still en- 
tertained of the possibility of rescuing the Areopagus 
from the degradation with which it was threatened. I 
cannot conceive it possible that ^schylus would have 
put into the mouth of the National Goddess herself the 

£(TTai ^e KOI TO \oiir6y 'Aiye/y trrparf 

ael diKaoTUfV tovto flovkevriipioy (v. 653, 4.) 

if the occurrences of the preceding months had belied 
the assertion, if the Areopagus had at that very time 
almost entirely ceased to be a high Court of Judicature. 
Had that been the case, how could the Poet have made 
the Goddess repeatedly declare that her Institution was 

De Republ. i. 27. • Areopagit. § 50, sqq. 



founded /or all time ? (v. 462. 542.*) In the sequel 
there is to be sure an indication of no slight anxiety^ 
but then it is attended with an expression of confident 
rehance on the ultimate triumph of the righteous cause. 
This is surely not the tone of a defeated man^ driven off 
the fields too^ before ever he could battle for his political 
aims with the weapons of poetry. As the action of the 
tragedy advances^ the Poet's confidence appears to rise^ 
and Athena's noble expression^ 

•AXX* iKpOLTtlfft 

Zevc ayopaioQ* ViKq. ^' hyadwv epic hf^tripa lid iravTOQj 

though it more immediately applies to the suit between 
the Eumenides aud Apollo then before her^ is evidently 
pointed at the contentions existing in the Athenian 
Ecclesia in the Foefs own times* 

Ephialtes certainly did not attain his object in one 
Ecclesia. The question may possibly have been ad- 
journed : or^ if we suppose citizens to have come forward 
previous to the votings aud boimd themselves over to 
indict Ephialtes for an unconstitutional measure {irapa^ 
vofiwv ypa^eaOai^^ the motion may have been postponed 
for a longer period ; nay^ strictly speakings it was not 
allowable for such a change in the Constitution to be 
brought into operation by a mere decree of the people 
{\pfi<fii(TjAa); for that purpose a law (i^o/xoc) was requisite^ 

^ In the former passage I find 
nothing amiss in 0€(rfi6v t6v: Oeo"- 
fjL^p is predicate of the object t6v, 
t6p by the Greek idiom being 
attracted by the predicate ; so that 
the meaning is *thig as a thesmoe.' 
The sense of v. 542 is this : it be* 
hoyes, first, the whole city to all 
eternity (i. e., the citizens actually 
present, in the play conceived as 
future) to attend to my BtcfAoi, and 

next, that these should be attended 
to for the purpose of settling the 
dispute between the present parties^ 
Orestes and the Erinnyes. The 
irregular construction in the second 
verse («col r&vlf Swas, k» t. X.) pre- 
sents no difficulty. In the first 
member the main idea lies in 'ir6\is, 
in the second it is oonlained in 


which demanded much more extensive preliminaries. It 
is not possible perhaps at the present day to come to 
any accurate decision on this pointy since we do not know 
to what extent the proceedings in these matters^ which 
we learn from the Orators, -are applicable to the tune of 
Pericles : but thus much, it appears, is certain, that the 
motion had not come to a final issue at the date of the 
acting of this tragedy. For in it the Poet speaks in 
such a tone of triumphant confidence concerning the 
Areopagus, as could not have been grounded on a forlorn 
hope that the psephism might yet be thrown out, or 
(even if it had passed) that the law might be repealed by 
impeaching the mover of it. 

This conjuncture must be regarded as the epoch in 
which the opposite parties, after a long fostering of 
mutual hatred, strained their powers on either side to 
the utmost, and tried every possible means to turn the 
scale of victory in their own favour ; as a crisis in which 
the political ulcer came to a head and discharged the 
morbid matter which had been so long gathering. 
Scantily as we are acquainted with the internal history 
of Athens at this period, the little we do know of it 
directly implies such party-strifes running to the very 
highest. The movements against the Areopagus are 
beginning: Cimon returns from Laconia with the 
Athenian army, which fancies itself contemptuously re- 
jected and deeply aggrieved by the Spartans : under such 
untoward circumstances, Cimon the aristocrat and friend 
of the Spartans, has but little influence with the people ; 
they even carry their resentment against Sparta so far 
as to dissolve the long-established confederacy with that 
State, and immediately form a league with her heredi- 
tary enemies, the Aleves and the Thessalians; Cimon 
himself is expelled by ostracism, probably at the very 
time when the degradation of the Areopagus was resolved 

£ 2 


and resolutions, and whose wont is to utter what is right 
or hold his peace (v. 601). But even this virtuous 
man cannot escape ruin, inasmuch as he is leagued with 
such a worthless set and has for his fellow-citizens a 
race of men who hate the straqger and despise the 

iyBpoih'OLQ rt koX Otwv a^i^fioai (v. 587). 

Such, no doubt, in ^schyhis's view was the station 
then occupied by Aristides in juxta-position with the 
grasping and unconscientious party of Themistocles, 
'vfhose projects obviously extended to the subjugation of 
the rest of Greece. And in this same play the obser- 
vation that the people on having escaped from great 
troubles is difBicult to manage (v. 1035), is borrowed 
from the history of those times, when the Athenian 
populace, full of pride and insolence on the score of 
their achievements against the Persians, clamorously 
demanded new privileges and Uberties, a partial conces- 
sion of which even Aristides considered to be rendered 
expedient by the spirit of the age. 

But if the political bent pursued by -^schylus through 
life was such as we find it in his defence of the Areo- 
pagus in the Eumenides, we may readily conceive how 
fruitless his exertions must have appeared to him, and 
how sorely his heart must have been filled with vexation 
and sorrow, when, after all, the demolition of the authority 
of the Areopagus was accomplished, and that unlimited 
extension given to the democracy, which he had con- 
templated with so much alarm. It is very probable 
that (as hinted in an old Epigram') in order to escape 
from the ill-will of his fellow-citizens as well as from his 

Tls <I>06pos dar&v Qrjo'eidas dyaBS>v tyKoros aUv €\€i ; 


own mortified feelings^ he retired immediately after the 
victory of the adverse party to Sicily, where he died at 
Gela, in 01. 81, 1, three years after the exhibition of 
the Orestea. 


39. The political part of this Tragedy, however, refers 
not only to revolutionary attempts at home, but also to 
foreign relations of the State. 

A short time previous to the composition and exhi- 
bition of this drama, Athens had dissolved the somewhat 
unnatural league with Sparta, and had formed an inti- 
mate confederacy with the Thessalians, their former 
allies, whose cavalry served admirably to complete the 
Athenian force, and with Argos, whose now democratised 
constitution and rooted enmity to Sparta greatly recom- 
mended it as an ally at such a conjuncture.^ The mari- 
time cities of the Peloponnese, which lay opposite to 
Athens, and were a main support to the Lacedaemonian 
party, whose navy they supplied, were now as it were 
hemmed in, and assailable on both sides ; and by cut- 
ting off all aid from Sparta it was possible they might 
even be brought under subjection to the confederates. 
Thus was this alliance with Ai^os an event, which doubt- 
less every Athenian, in the full anticipation of a new 
rise of the Athenian power, regarded with feelings of 
especial joy and hope. 

Now j^schylus has connected this confederation with 
the story of his play in a very simple as well as inge- 
nious manner. Orestes, having been rescued by the 

^ The alliance with Argos is gene- 
rally placed earlier, but by that 
means the time of the Athenian 
auxiliary army's stay in Laconia is 
too mudi contracted, and the disso- 

E 3 

lution of the Symmachia is too fkr 
removed from the commencement of 
the War with the Peloponnesian 
naval powers, which is fixed at 01. 
80, 3. (Corp. Inscr. n. 165). 


Athenian Goddess and the Athenian Areopagites from 
all his troubles^ on his departure takes an oath^ not 
only in his own person^ but in the name of all the Ar- 
gives for ever^ to maintain a firm alliance and friendship 
with the Athenians (v. 734, sqq.), and the same promise 
had been before held out by Orestes (v. 279), and by 
Apollo (v. 639), as a motive for Athene to receive the 
fugitive and support him in. his trial. Hitherto that 
engagement had ahnost constantly been so far observed, 
that Ai^s had never been at war with Athens, which 
indeed its geographical and political position forbad ; ^ 
now at last the two States had entered upon a new and 
more intimate connexion of great political moment, and 
it is to this that the above-cited passages refer. 

It is true, a person conversant with history might 
raise an objection to the Foetus putting this annoimce- 
ment in the mouth of Orestes, from the fact that this 
hero was not an Argive but a Mycenaean, and that Ar- 
gos and Mycenae not only were distinct states in the 
mythic age, but existed as such even in historical times, 
until a very few years before the Orestea was exhibited, 
when the Argives succeeded in taking the Cyclopean 
walls of Mycenae, and reduced the real city of Orestes 
to a heap of ruins. But then the very fact that 
Mycenae no longer existed enabled Poets, who de- 
lighted in connecting the reaUties of the Present with 
the reminiscences of the Past, to substitute Argos in the 
place of Mycenae. Indeed the Argives along with their 
conquest of Mycenae had, so to speak, won the mythic 
and heroic splendour and glory of that &mous city : and 
moreover the indefinite use of the word Argos by the 
earliest Poets, sometimes in the extended, and at other 
times in a more limited sense, contributed its share to 

^ See however Herodot. V. 86. 



the transfer. In fact ^dBschylus is in this particular the 
most consistent of the Tragedians ; in his extant trage- 
dies he never mentions the name of Mjceudd, but in the 
spirit of mythic fiction concentrates upon Ai^os all the 
dignity and splendour of the old legends ; whereas the 
other two Tragedians are more lax in this respect^ making 
Argos and Mycense sometimes distinct and sometimes 

40. In these sentiments towards Argos our Poet 
shews himself very qonsistent^ inasmuch as on other 
occasions also he appears to have been favourably dis- 
posed towards that State^ and an advocate for an alliance 
with it. In the Suppliants the Argives are highly com- 
mended for having afforded refuge to the persecuted 
Danaids ; and in long benedictory odes we find the wish 
expressed that their dty might be stormed by no enemy^ 
devastated by no famine nor plague^ unsettled by no 
internal broils. The reference to contemporary rela- 
tions is expressed yet more plainly in the following 
prayers (679^ sqq.) that the Demos^ in whose hands was 
vested the chief authority over the dty^ might in con- 
junction with a prudent^ right-spirited Magistracy^ 
uphold the honours of all who deserve to be had in 
honour^ and render to all foreign States, without harm^ 
whatever was rights on the faith of international agree- 
ments^ rather than have recourse to war.^ Although 
this passage contains no definite reference to an Alliance 
of War, still it is evident that the play was written at a 
time when the Athenians were f&vourably disposed 

' Of. "Pbbbow in Wachsmuth's 
Athensenm, III, ii, p. 192. Dissen 
on I^dar Nem. x, Introdnction. 

' The above translation rests upon 
some coijectoral emendations in the 
4th . Strophe, which is rather per* 

^vXacrcroi rifdourt rifjtits 

t6 drffuop, t6 irrSkip KpaTVV€t, 

TTpOfxaOrvs r evOvfirfris ap^d' 

cf owXtfFiv "Apiy, dUas artp 


towards the Argives, and regarded the Uberty of the 
people in that state as a support of their own republican 
constitution : true^ no league was as yet formed with 
them^ but the compacts made for the mutual adjustment 
of lawsuits shew that this was in contemplation. Such^ 
in all probability^ was the state of public feeling at 
Athens as early as the end of 01. 79, when Cimon suc- 
ceeded^ though not without considerable difficulty^ in 
his desire to be sent with an army to the aid of the 
Spartans.^ It was at this conjuncture (01. 79, 3), that 
Athens first carried the war with the Persians into 
Egypt, and those very conclusive arguments adduced to 
shew how little Greeks need dread a contest with 
Egyptians, (v. 742 and 931, ' papyrus-fiiiit and barley- 
wine would never stand against wheat-bread and the 
juice of the grape,^) must have told admirably upon the 
war-loving Athenians, who were soon to come to blows 
with that nation on the banks of the Nile. In this 
way we arrive with others^ at the conclusion that the 
Trilogy to which the Suppliants belonged was exhibited 
only a few years previous to the Orestea ; and if there 
is an apparent objection to this in the circumstance of 
there being three Actors throughout in the Orestea, 
whereas in the Suppliants there are only two (one acting 
the characters of Danaus and the Herald, the other 
personating the King), the only inference deducible 
from that circumstance is, that ^schylus did not follow 
the example of Sophocles in the constant adoption of a 
third Actor till quite at the end of his career. 

41. This friendly feeling towards Argos, which had 
so much influence on the dramatic compositions of 
iBschylus in the 79th and 80th Olympiads, may perhaps 

* Plut. Cim. 16. I PWiwj. p. 54. Also Hanpt. Mach. 

^ See particularly Boeckh 2Vd^. ' Sappl. c. 7. 


subject our Poet to another charge fix)m those who 
expect to find in him a decided political bias^ the spirit 
of a thorough-going partizan. For in fact the Alliance 
then formed between Athens and Argos was neither 
more nor less than a manoeuvre of the party whose aim 
was to disengage Athens from the Peloponnese (to the 
entire abandonment of the Confederacy which the inde- 
pendent states of Greece had formed among themselves 
for the purpose of repelling the aggressions of the 
Persian power)^ and to constitute her as sovereign of 
tiie seas, islands^ and maritime cities of Asia : and this 
very same party it was which overthrew all the bulwarks 
and defences of the Old Constitution, in order to allow 
of their hurrying along the Demos, in the bold imagi- 
native flights of their Orators and Leaders, to the 
execution of those daring schemes. Now here is 
^schylus, a man of aristocratic sentiments, labouring 
upon Cimon's principles for the preservation of the 
Areopagus, and yet running counter to Cimon's aims 
by eulogising the league with Argos. If this procedure 
be alleged against ^schylus as an inconsistency, it is 
sufficient to reply that, correct as may be this repre- 
sentation of the connexion between the domestic and 
foreign policy of the Athenians of those times, it by no 
means follows that ^schylus was bound to attach him- 
self to a party exclusively, and thereby run into extremes 
unworthy of an enlai^ed mind. As a moderate man 
he might be of opinion that Athens was compelled by 
the general aspect of her position to disengage herself 
from Sparta and pursue her plans independently, and 
yet hold that the real welfare of the State demanded the 
strict maintenance of civil order, reverence for ancient 
institutions and vested rights, and the upholding of the 
aristocratic element embodied in the Areopagus ; and on 
the whole this was perhaps the most rational view of 



things* Athens^ indeed^ reached by a shorter road the 
qplendid destiny appointed for her, namely by demo- 
lishing the safeguards of her internal constitution ; she 
shone^ but it was with a brightness which rapidly con- 
sumed that which was to feed the splendour; a lamp 
blazing too fiercely to last long. He who endeavoured^ 
as ^schylus did^ to retard the eager impetuosity of the 
times did his best to defer the day which was to see 
that light extinguished. 

42. But there is in our Tragedy an idea which forms 
a point of imion to both of its political aims, and for 
that very reason is everywhere prominent in the latter 
part of the play. It is, the desire — ^very natural to a 
patriotic spirit in such dangerous conjunctures — ^that 
foreign war, that the thirst after conquest and glory 
among the Greeks, might damp and stifle the incentives 
to domestic broils. This train of ideas opens with the 
wish expressed by Orestes for the Athenians, that they 
might be ever victorious (v. 746) : next, it is followed up 
by Athene's conjuring the wrathful Erinnyes not to incite 
the minds of the citizens to factious strife, nor ' intoxi- 
cate them with a fury which is not wine;' not to let 
civil discord rage, but to kindle war abroad,^ wherein 
the love of glory might have free scope. And when the 
Erinnyes are propitiated, and under their new name and 
character of Eumenides are about to pronounce their 
benediction, Pallas invites them to promise the city such 
blessings and gifts of nature from heaven and earth as 
may conduce to the attainment of glorious and honour, 
able conquest,^ that the city might never lack either 

^ In V. 826, ov fiSkis nap&p 
clearly does not suit. ^schyloB 
certainly does not mean to repro- 
bate the noble conflict with the 
Persian Empire. I have adopted 
the emendation lidfioif, though with 
some hesitation. 

' 'Oirota viiofs firj luucrjs itri- 
tTKOTTcu Certamly no one who has 
entered into the train of ideas will 
entertun a thought (as Hermann 
does) that the passage requires 


provisions or men^ as the means of defeating her 
enemies : but the award of victory to her citizens in 
the strife of war is a boon which she, the Warrior Grod- 
dess, is resolved to retain in her own gift. The citizens 
are told to turn all their feelings of enmity in one and 
the same direction, on the ground that 'unammity even 
in hatred^ relieves mortals from many miseries (v. 942). 
And again, at the conclusion of the blessings it is inti- 
mated in few but emphatic words, that every boon sent 
up by the Eumenides is to aid the city in conquest* 
Indeed, the idea of conquest forms the setting in which 
the Ode is enclosed, and thus considered, it aptly intro- 
duces a Triumphal Ode, such as could not fail to affect 
every Athenian heart. Conquest then, be it over 
Greek or Barbarian, Conquest both by sea and by land^ 
gained by the exertion of all their powers, great as ever 
city has summoned up, this is the idea which ^schylus 
dwells upon in his endeavours to divert the Athenian 
citizens, engaged at that very time in the fiercest heats 
of contention, from the obstinate schemes of their 
several parties. And how strenuous the efforts of the 
Athenians for conquest actually were at that period, is 
evidenced by a record as unassuming as it is striking 
and imposing, namely, in an obituary inscription of an 
Attic tribe, belonging to the very next year, 01. 80, 8. 
It runs thus : ^ Of the Erechthean tribe these fell in 
battle, — in Cyprus, in ^gypt, in Phoenicia, in Halue 
(the Argolic), in jEgina, at Megara, — the same year.' 

At the dose of this Section we may notice a political allusion, 
which does not so materially pervade the entire composition as 
the preceding. In v. 375 sqq. Minerva says, ' she heard the 
voice of Orestes from afar at the banks of the Scamander, where 
she had forestalled foreign usurpation by taking possession of the 
country assigned as a meed of honour to the Athenians and to 


herself by the Allied Grreeks before Troy/ Thia is obviously 
the meaning of KaraffiOaTovfiiVT) ; not simply = KaTcucrafifvrj, as 
Hesychius explains it, bnt = (f>6dvova-a KarcLKTmfifvr}, It is well 
known, that from the time of Phryno and Pittacns the Athenians 
were engaged in a dispute with the Lesbians respecting the coast 
of Troas round Sigeum. Both parties attested their claims to 
it by mythic arguments ; the Lesbians asserting their ancient 
right to the whole of that coast on the ground of their descent 
from the Pelopid Achsans (cf. Scholl. a. 1. and Strabo, xiii. 
p. 509), whilst the Athenians founded their claims to it on the 
extensive worship of Athene in that district, especially the 
Temple Glaucopeum at Sigeum. From this historical fact 
^sohylus has drawn the very ingenious fiction of Athene be- 
taking herself to that coast shortly after the Trojan War, for the 
purpose of taking formal possession of the region assigned as a 
yipas to the Theseids, and at the same time dedicated to her ; 
thus establishing her claim to it, and preventing all foreign en- 
croachment on her rights. 




a. Duty of avenging blood, at Athens and 
in the earlier Times, 

43. The sacred duty of avenging bloody recognised 
by the earliest customs and national laws of the East as 
well as the West^ formed at Athens the basis of a great 
portion of the penal code. Even at the period when 
personal afi&onts to an Athenian were in most cases 
indictable by any of his fellow-citizens as outrages upon 
the public peace and safety of the commonwealth^ the 
prosecution for murder devolved exclusively upon the 
relatives of the deceased; not as though homicide were 
no violation of the peace nor dangerous to the security 
of the State^ but because the avenging of it was deemed 
a sacred office^ which could no more be taken out of 
the hands of the relatives than that of burying the dead^ 
or the right of succession to his patrimony. The words 
of the law^ are to the following effect : 

' The kinsmen of the deceased^ within the degree of 
first-cousins (inclusive)^ shall issue a proclamation in 
the market-place^ charging the homicide to hold aloof 

* Demosth. c. Macart. 1069. 
There is clearly a distinction here 
between dvcyjnwv iral8(s, consohri' 
norwnJUii, and avr^iahoi, sobrini, 
though these expressions may other- 

wise from their nature be nsed in 
either sense. See Bunsen, Platner, 
and especially Klenze, Fam,Mecht d, 
Cogn, u, Affin. p. 153. 



from the altars and temples in the city^ as also from all 
assemblies in the exercise of religious rites : and they 
shall be supported in the prosecution by the sons of the 
first-cousins of the deceased^ by the fathers-in-law and 
sons-in-law^ by the second-cousins and the members of 
the same Phratria/ 

The prosecution was not legal without an oath on the 
part of the prosecutors attesting their afi&nity to the de- 
ceased.^ Slaves were herein reckoned as members of 
the family/ not because they were part of their master's 
property, but by reason of their participation in the 
flEUuily worship and in the sprinkling of sacrificial 

When we read of instances where this regulation 
does not appear to have been observed (as in Plato's 
Euthyphron), we may be sure that in all such cases a 
strict Interpreter of old Customs and Laws (£S*?7»?^nc 
up!!i}v Ka\ oaiufv) would have pronounced the proceedings 
to be illegal. Even on the murder of an inmate not 
being a kinsman or slave of the family^ the master of 
the house was not allowed to prosecute^ but merely to 
plant a spear — ^the symbol of prosecution — upon the 
grave at the time of the burial^ and there proclaim the 
murder, that the rightful and bounden avenger might 
come forward and pluck up the weapon. Thus in every 
case the prosecution of the slayer proceeded from the 
duty of avenging the slain; and the obligation was 
equally binding, whether the latter had expressly charged 
his relatives to prosecute (67ri<ric^7rr6iv eire^iipai) — ^a 
chaise which might be directed even to the child yet 
unborn,*— or whether the duty was presupposed on the 

* Dem. c. Euerg. 1160. Cf. Pol- 
lux, viii. 118. Hesych. 8. v. hy^ic- 
rlviifjv ofAvvpoi, 

' Bee also Eurip. Hec. 295. 

' Koivcovo\xfpvlp(ov,Msch,Agam, 
1007. Cf. Iseens, Ciron, § 16. 
* Lysias, c. Agorat. § 42. 



principle of ' Blood for blood.' It was only when the 
dying man forgave his slayer that the prosecution did 
not take place ; and in such cases it was prohibited/ 

44. Thus the idea of vengeance as a claim due to the 
murdered kinsman was nothing strange to the Greeks 
even in the time of iElschylus^ but was still entwined in 
the most intimate union with all that was deemed sacred 
and venerable. The only distinction between the earlier 
and the later times was^ that the State had now assumed 
the office of mediator^ and as such, upon the appUcation 
of the relatives^ it either took the charge of inflicting 
vengeance entirely off their hands, or else assigned cer. 
tain means and limits for its execution. It is true, the 
avenger,^ even in Athens, began with issuing in person 
a public and solemn notice charging the homicide to 
hold aloof from market-place and attars {wpoayopiVH 
elpyeaOai riov i^ofic/icov), but then he was required in 
the first place to lay a formal indictment before the 
proper authorities for previous investigation, and then 
before the Areopagus or the Ephetse, according to the 
nature of the case : if the action was for wilful and 
malicious murder, it was brought into the former court; 
if for manslaughter or for excusable homicide, into the 
courts of the Ephetse* In either case the defendant 
was at Hberty to take to flight before sentence was 
passed ; no one was allowed to hinder him. None but 
the parricide was prohibited from flight, and such an 
one was instantly arrested. It is on this law that 
Euripides has founded his representation in the Orestes 
(v. 438, 507). If the verdict returned was ioilful mwr* 
der and the accused still remained in the country, he 

* Dem. c. Pantaen. 983. 

• 'Avdpi;XaTi;s,Eum.212. Agam. 
1393, 1568, sqq. Sept. 619. Soph. 

(Ed. T. 100. Hesych. s. v. dpSp€i' 
QTrjs, which Euster has properly 
corrected dpSpfjXcmjs, 



fell nnder sentence of the law; his execution was the 
business of the State, and the prosecutor might look to 
it.^ Draco's Gca/uoc recognised nothing less than capital 
punishment in such cases ; and on this point they were 
still valid. If the criminal had evaded the sentence of 
the Areopagus by flight, he was never allowed to return 
home again (^cvyci aenpvyiav): even on occasions of 
danger and emergency at Athens, when the return of 
exiles and of such as had forfeited their civil rights and 
dignity was sanctioned by extraordinary measures, an 
exception was invariably made against the criminals 
condemned by the Areopagus (oi «$ 'Apeiov wayov 
(ftBvyovTeg) . 

When a verdict of manslaughter was returned, it was 
allowable for the prosecutor and the accused to enter 
into a compromise on the spot, if they pleased ; but in 
the regular mode of proceeding, the convict quitted his 
country by a certain road at a certain time (e^riXOe), and 
remained absent until one of the relatives of the deceased 
took compassion on him (acSlaiyrac rcc ^^^ '^^ y^vu tov 
mwovOoTog)^ and made reconciliation with and for him ; 
whereupon he was permitted to return home under cer- 
tain prescribed forms, and after the due performance of 
sacrifices and rites of purification he was at liberty to 
dwell once more in his native land. In particular cases, 
however, the prosecution of vengeance still went on : 
for instance, when a person convicted of wilful murder 
or of manslaughter (this is the legal sense of ai/Spo^oi/oc) 
remained in the country contrary to law. Maltreatment 
of such an one, or extortion of money from him, was 
prohibited as infamous and accompanied by a penalty of 
double the sum exacted f but the avenger was at liberty 

> Dem. c. Aristocr. 642. This 
passage proves that in the disputed 
passages, cPantaen. 983, c. Nausim. 

991, the question is about <f)6vos 

2 c. Aristocr. 629. 



to strike the ofifender dead upon the spot^ or to arrest 
him and commit him to prison (aTrayeiv). Draco 
thought fit to provide by a special enactment^ that any 
person meeting a murderer where he had no right to be, 
and informing against him^ or haling him before the 
magistrates, thereby causing him to be executed, was in 
no wise to be held chargeable with his death. But a 
murderer who kept beyond the Attic frontiers, and held 
aloof from Amphictyonic Games and from Sacrifices, as 
also from the frontier-towns, and in short from all places 
where he would be likely to meet with his countrymen, 
was by law not liable to prosecution ; and if in such 
case the avenger put him to death, the avenger himself 
was deemed a murderer. So in the case of manslaughter^ 
the prosecution of vengeance ceased upon the compromise 
between the parties. This took place between the slayer 
and the father, brothers, and sons of the slain, upon 
condition that none of them objected to it :® if there 
were no such relatives living, the compromise was accepted 
on the approbation of ten members of the Phratria, 
elected by the Ephetse who had returned the verdict. 
But how the case stood when the reconciliation was not 
granted by the relatives or by the Phratores, — ^whether 
the criminal was for ever debarred from his home, or 
whether after a certain lapse of time the relatives were 
compelled to accept of a compromise, are questions 
which, for want of evidence, do not admit of a satis- 
&ctorv answer. Plato, whose scheme of criminal law 
is in the main based on the same principles as the 
Attic code, and Uke that sets out from the duty of 
avenging blood (the postponement or neglect of this 
giving rise, in his opinion, to miasma or pollution^). 

' V. Dem. c. Macart. 1069, and 
Reiske's interpretation of the words 

irdvTas(alb€a'aa'6ai)rj r6v ica>Xvon*a 
fcpoTctv. * I^g* ix. p. 871. 



fixes the term of exile in the case of manslaughter at 
one year.* 

45. There are some points in this disquisition which 
unavoidably remain obscure and doubtful^ but the general 
principles upon which the prosecution for homicide was 
conducted at Athens are clear and characteristic. No 
doubt these principles existed in the Greek nation from 
the earliest times^ the rites and ordinances concerning 
the shedding of blood being always extolled by the 
Greeks themselves as the most ancient portion of their 
whole system of laws." The practice of revenge for 
bloodshed is found in the very infancy of political life^ 
nay^ is antecedent to real political life. Hence it main- 
tains its existence more among isolated hordes of rude 
mountaineers, than among the more numerous and inter- 
mixed inhabitants of the plain ; more in the patriarchal 
mode of Ufe^ than under institutions of caste.^ The 
formation of the various clans into regular societies no- 
wise served to heighten the force of the obligation^ but 
only tended to restrict it in its operation. 

In the Heroic Age, of which we have in Homer the 
poetical and quite general portraiture, the condition of 
the homicide was, on the whole, harder than in the Attic 
Courts and under the Platonic scheme of laws. In the 
first place, the pursuit of vengeance was carried beyond 
the frontiers ; neither was it limited in its operation as 
by Attic law, but was exercised in all its rigour ; even in 
foreign countries the fugitive man-slayer was in constant 

' lb. p. 865. In cases of man- 
slaughter, exile for a limited term 
was usual in the rest of Greece, if 
not at Athens. This is proved by 
the peculiarterma7r6V(avrto'fA($f and 
d7r€viavTTi<ris frequently applied in 
that sense by Plato (cf. Timseus Lex. 
Flat. p. 39. K.) The expression was 

certainly not invented by him. See 
also Hesych. Said, and Etym. M. s. 
V. and Eur. Hippol. 34i. c. ScholL 

^ Antiph. Herod. § 14. Choreut. 

^ Hence the custom of avenging 
blood among the Corsicans, Monte- 
negrians, Circassians, and Arabians. 



apprehension of the avenger (Od. xv. 278). In the 
next plaee^ manslaughter committed even in childhood 
was visited with banishment for life (II. xxiii. 88) ; even 
the slaying of an adulterer taken in the fiEtct^ which Draco's 
law sanctioned^ was in the earlier times punished with 
exile.* Nevertheless the method of atonement by fines 
was also practised^ but without any dear distinction^ such 
as was drawn in later times^ between the cases where 
compromise was and those where it was not allowable ; 
for indeed the body politic did not greatly concern itself 
with the doings of the clans or fiunilies among them- 
selves. There can hardly have existed at that early 
period any marked line of distinction between wilful 
murder and manslaughter^ when even in Plato's view 
this is a difficult point to settle.' No doubt it was 
left to the feelings of the relatives to determine the de- 
gree of heinousness attaching to the act^ and whether 
satisfaction should be accepted or not: and in the 
investigation of this matter we may be sure the distinc- 
tion (one of great moment in the popular morality of 
the Greeks) between ''Any, a momentary bewilderment 
which makes a man forget himself for the instant^ and 
''Y/3/0CC, ^^ insolent disregard of another's rights, was 
taken mainly into account. In some cases the penalty 
of exile was remitted upon payment of a considerable 
Bum of money to the relatives (II. ix. 632. cf. xxiv. 48), 
as it was at Athens^ when the reconciliation of the parties 
immediately followed the commission of the act. The 
State took no part whatever in the business ; it inter- 
fered only when a dispute arose respecting the payment 
of the ransom after it had been agreed upon ; in which 
case the question was decided by the Court of Princes 

* 'Hotoi, ap. Paus. ix. 36, 4. 
' And no law declared, like that 
of Moses, Knxnb. xxxv. 31, ' Ye shall 

take no aaiisf action for the life of a 
mwrderer,* i. e. the wilM murderer. 


and Elders (II. xviii. 499). From this one might be 
led to suppose that in those heroic times^ under the rule 
of avaKTig the homicide of high and powerful fiunily 
would extort a compromise or resist expulsion from his 
country by force of arms, and so bring on civil war. 
But of such proceedings there is no trace to be found, 
and hence we see that public opinion and private feelings 
were quite as efficacious in instigating the criminal to 
flight, as the menacing vengeance of the relatives (Od. 
xxiii. 119). From mythological narratives we learn that 
Princes also fled their country upon having committed 
homicide on any of their subjects,* or even in the case 
of manslaughter where pardon had been granted them 
at the hands of the relatives.^ It was as though for a 
time the very dead himself thrust the shedder of his 
blood out of the familiar circle of life ; a notion which 
Pkto^ calls a very old Mythtca, On that account it was 
the practice at Athens for a blood-guilty person, who was 
not or could not be pursued by an avenger, to abstain 
from entering holy places and public assemblies, and to 
regard himself, until his purification, in the light of a 
polluted person.* It was more particularly the Phratria, 
a family community on an enlarged scale and held to- 
gether by religious rites, that was offended by the pre- 
sence of a manslayer : they not only took vengeance 
upon any member of another Phratria who had slain one 
of their own body, but also never failed to expel from 
among themselves any member who lay under the pol- 
lution of blood. So the Erinnyes say of Orestes (v. 625) : 

TTOiOKTi l^ut/idic ^pSffievoc toIq dri^loic', 
TTola Be \ipvi\f/ ^parSptav wpoffhi^eTai ; 

The antiquity of these rights is evinced by a passage 

" Paiis. i. 22. 2. 
' ApoUod. ii. 7, 6. 

^ Legg. ix. p. 665. 

* Autiph. Chor. 4,. Ct Herod. 87. 


in Homer (II. ix. 64), where Nestor in his admonitions 
against civil war says, 

a<l>pifrwp, itdifiKTToc, iiyiemSc ktrriv ekeIvoq, 
^Q woXifjiov tparai k-Ki^rifilov, OKpvdtvroQ. 

In fact, when we consider the matter, every wilful 
murder is a breach of the peace, and the work of "A/oiyc 

b. Duty of Orestes according to the Mythus. 

46. Clytaemnestra has murdered her husband. Now 
by the law, as it existed alike in the historical and in the 
heroic age, she is expected at least to flee firom her home 
and shun the altars of her country. And in fact that 
is the sentence pronounced upon her by the Council of 
Elders in the Agamemnon. But having the support of 
jSlgisthus she fancies herself as superior to the laws of 
the State as she is insensible to the reproaches of con- 
science. The reason why the Erinnyes forbear to drive 
her out of the land* is, whei^ we look to the principle of 
the matter, no other than her having contrived to pacify 
her conscience with a sophistry of the passions, which 
we find exhibited with great psychological skill even 
by -ffischylus.' 

Agamemnon's natural Avenger is his son Orestes ; it 
is his bounden duty to take vengeance ; the ghost of his 
murdered father and the Delphic Gt)d demand it of him. 
The strictness of the obligation and the infamy attending 
the neglect of it are very emphatically dwelt upon by 
^schylus in Apollo's admonitions and menaces to 

» Bum. 674. • Agam. 1347. 



Orestes^ which the Poet makes the latter recount in the 
foUowing passage (Choeph. v. 267—294) :' 

ovTOi TTpodwffei Ao^ov fjieyaadevrjc 
XpriajJioc, KeXevwy rdv^e Kiy^vvov irepaVf 
K&iopdidZtjjy TToXXa, kol IvtrxeiixipovQ 
&rac v<f Jjirap Oepfioy c{au5w/i£voc 
ei fji^ fiirei^i tov Trarpoc rove alrlovc, 
rpOTTOv rov avroy SLyrairoicreiyai Xiywy^ 
imoxpTifidroiffi ^rifiiaig ravpov^eyoy, 

rltreiv /x* €')(oyTa iroXKa Bvcrep^fj KUKa. 
ra fiey yap Ik yfjc IvQt^poytay /iccX/y/iara 
(iporcfic vi(l>avaKufy elwf, rAc 5c yfy yoaovQ^ 
aapK&y kwafiparijpaQ iiypiaic yyadoiQ 
Xi^^vac l^iaOoyTUC apxalay <l>v<ny' 
XevKac 5c K6paaQ ryB' iwayTiXKeiy votr^ 
&XXac re i^ioyti wpocfioXac *Epiyyvb)yf 
eK rwy warp^wy aifiaruty reXovfiiyac, 
optHyra Xafivpoy ky OK&rif ywjjtQyr 6<l>pvy. 
TO yap aKoreiyoy rwy evepTipuy fiiXog 
€K irpOQTpoiralitty ky yiyei 7rc7rrw«C(5rwv, 
Kai Xvtraaf Ka\ fi&ratoc Ik yvKrQy i^6fioQ 
Kiyei, Tapa(T(T€i, i:al hwKtrai irSXeuc 
')(aXKrjXaT(^ frXatmyyi Xv^ayOey Bifiac. 
ICal TOIq TOIOITOIQ OVT€ KpaTfjpoc fiipoQ 
el^ac fUTa(r)(e'iy, oh <l>iXoa'7r6yBov Xifioc, 
fitafJLwy r* inrelpyeiy olr^ bpwfuyqy warpoc 
fiijyiy Zi\€(rQaiy rov re (xvXXveiy riya, 
irayruty 5' &rifioy ic^cXov Ovfiaiceiy "xpoytf, 
Koxws rapi-xevdiyra 9ra/i^0<!if>r^ fji6p^. 

' In V. 278 [which EL transposes 
10 versef lower, after Sp&vra Xoft- 
irp6v, &c] the xprnuiTa are opposed 
to the person (avrhg r^ ^xv)' The 
loss of the ;^p^/Mira follows from 
Apollo's u\janction to the people to 
offer the produce of the earth (rcli €k 
yris) as iitikiyfWTa to hostile divini- 

ties. Then in v. 292 I read rov re 
instead of ofhe, and construe thus : 
fi^vLv mrtipyfLv Ptofrnv, — namely 
{&g) bex^aoal rtva avrovs tU /So- 
pjovs, — rov T€ avKkv€iv riva airrols, 
SvXXvctv rivl stands for avv nvi 
fcaraXvetv, as in I^ndar Xvais for 


47. It has already been observed elsewhere^ that 
Apollo^ in the character of a punishing, avenging Grod, 
ako presides over the avengers of blood : we will here 
only notice a beautifiil trait of the old mjrthus in its 
representation of Apollo as influencing Orestes by the 
intervention of Pylades, a main character in the heroic 
mythology, Pylades, son of Strophius the son of Crisus, 
was a Crisaean. Now it was in the domain of the town 
of Crisa (as we learn from the Homeric hymn to Apollo) 
that the Pythian Temple was originally situated ; whence 
Pindar calls the Pythian domain the rich land of 
Pylades (Pyth. xi. 15). It is at Crisa that Orestes 
dwells as an exile (Soph. El. 181); and it is thence also 
that Pylades accompanies him in the character, as it 
were, of a minister of the God, to admonish Orestes con- 
tinually of the duty incumbent upon him. The very 
name of Pylades is probably in reference to the UvXaia, 
or a\mphictyonic Assembly held at Delphi, of which on 
that account Pylades is said to have been the founder.' 

This feature of the old mythus was perfectly clear to 
iEschylus, however lost sight of by later poets ; nay, in 
the Choephoroe he has managed to impress it on the 
thoughtful spectator with great spirit and depth of 
significance. Pylades is a mute character. Once and 
once only does he break silence. It is at the very 
moment when Orestes is almost overcome by his 
mother^s agonizing entreaties, and hesitates to commit 
the bloody act ; whereupon Pylades exclaims, 

wov ^fjra \oiwa Ao^iov fJLqLVTevjjiaTa 
TO, 7ru6(5;(pi;oTa, Treoro ^ tifopKWfiara ; 
&iravTa£ lyQpovQ rStv dewy fiyov ir\eov.* 

Choeph. 887 sqq. 

2 Mailer's Dorians, and Prole- I ^ Agathon Schol. Trach. 639. 
gomena to a Scientific Mythol. \ * Cf. sup. § 33. 

F 2 



It is evident that Pylades is introduced here, not on 
the score of his far-famed league of friendship with the 
hero of the play/ but as a monitor from Apollo ; and 
on that very account he does not appear in the Eumeni- 
des, because Apollo there comes forward in person as 
Orestes' conductor. This fine connexion Euripides, 
though he also makes Pylades a Delphian (Orest. v. 1092), 
destroys by banishing him from his country after the 
bloody end of Clytaemnestra (v. 755). Sophocles on 
the contrary has preserved in addition an unquestionable 
feature of the old legend. He makes the bearer of the 
feigned intelligence of Orestes' death profess to come 
from Phanoteu8 the Phocian, a war-friend (Sopv^ci/oc) of 
Clytaemnestra (El. 45, 670). Now this Phanoteus or 
Panopeus is no other than a hostile brother of Crisus,' 
and the hoary-headed sovereign of the city bearing the 
same name which, according to the local traditions, was 
the resort of all the giants and warriors who hated 
Apollo; as Tityus, Autolycus, Phorbas, and the 
Phlegyans. This Phanoteus therefore is the natural 
ally of Clytaemnestra, while all who desire to see the 
house of Agamemnon re-established by a righteous in- 
fliction of vengeance on his murderers look for support, 
as Electra does, to Strophius the Crisaean. For the rest, 
it is pretty clear that Homer's silence about Orestes' 
residence at Crisa' proves nothing against the antiquity 
of the legend, for no one would think of taking Pylades 
for a character of later invention.'* 

48. But notwithstanding such motives to vengeance. 

^ Westrick, de JEsch, Choeph. 
p. 191, holds this opinion. 

^ Pans. ii. 29, 4k, et al. 

3 Od. iii. 807, vulsf. 

* In Pacuvius it was Pylades who 
conducted Orestes into the Delphic 
Temple for harbour and protection 

against the Erinnyes (Servius ad 
Mil iv. 473). It is very remarkable 
also that in the mythus of Aristode- 
mus's death the sons of Pylades and 
the God Apollo are placed on an 


it would, according to Grecian conceptions, have beea 
impious in Orestes to have pursued his mother, had she 
taken to flight ; whereas, daring as she did to sacrifice 
at the public altars, it was justifiable in the eye of the 
law, even of historical times, to put her to death on the 
spot. Nay, this summary vengeance in her case was 
absolutely necessary, seeing that recourse could be had 
to no higher powers for her punishment, herself and 
^gisthus being supreme. Euripides, indeed, who in 
his criticism of the earlier Poets attacks even the my- 
thus itself, and ventures to cast the imputation of impiety 
on the accredited oracular behests of the Gpds, asserts 
more than once'^ that Orestes ought to have brought his 
mother to public trial, and expelled her from the palace : 
to which suggestion ^schylus would probably have 
replied, that on the strength of ^gisthus^ countenance 
and support she had already set all law at defiance, and 
had long since abandoned all thoughts of expiating her 
crime by flight. ^Eschylus, therefore, retaining as he 
did so much deeper an impression of the sacred duty of 
^ blood for blood,' makes Orestes declare that, though 
he cannot but admit having violated a mother's rights 
(for otherwise his mother's Erinnyes could not have per- 
secuted him), still he never repented of the deed : Kal 
Seifpo y aei rriv rv^^rfp ov iiijxi^ojxai^ he exclaims before 
the Areopagus (v. 566). Euripides, on the contrary, 
exhibits Orestes as the remorseful sinner condemning 
his own deed as needless and impious: in his soft-hearted- 
ness he thinks that even his father, could he have been 
asked, would have bid him spare the murderess (Or. 283); 
nay, he apprehends in Apollo the voice of a spirit of 
evil [akaariop) come to destroy mankind (v. 1685) : ex- 
pressions of a weak and puling humanity derived not 

' 5 Orest. 492. 



from depth bat from shallowness of feelings and calculated 
to undermine the main pillars of Grecian religion and 
civil order. And yet even Euripides admits the hereditary 
duty of vengeance. His ^gisthus takes care not to 
marry Electra to a man of rank and power^ lest the 
fruit of such a marriage should yet rouse the dormant 
spirit of vengeance.* 

49. So much for the vengeance wreaked by Orestes. 
Now, with respect to the vengeance directed against 
Orestes, the mythus, or, it may be, the suppletory 
hand of mythologists, invented all sorts of persons 
who might lawfiilly undertake and execute that duty; 
as, for instance, Clytaemnestra's father Tyndareus, or 
her cousin Perilaus, or iEgisthus' daughter Erigone.^ 
iBschylus, however,' recognises only the Erinnyes as the 
pursuers of Orestes ; and, imdoubtedly, the circumstance 
that the murderer and his rights are contrasted, not 
with human avengers, but with divine agents, personify- 
ing the accursedness of the deed itself, adds considerably 
to the effect and sublimity of the whole contest. More- 
over, the expulsion of Orestes from his country was 
peculiarly the o£Sce of the Erinnyes, and could not be 
lawfully undertaken by the relatives of the deceased, in- 
asmuch as Orestes was a constituted avenger of blood, 
and, therefore, justified in the act he had committed. 

We next proceed to take a somewhdt nearer view of 
the picture of the fugitive homicide which JBschylus has 
dehneated in its main features with so much clearness 
and vigour of expression. 

1 EL 28, 89, 269. Of. Soph. El. 

* Eurip. Orest. Fragm. Accii Eri- 
gon. Pans. viii. 34. Tzetz. in 
Lycophr. 1374. Etym. M. p. 42. 

Natal. Com. Myth, ix. 2. Creazer, 
Meletem, i. p. 82. 

^ And also Hellanicns, Frag. 98, 


c. Position of the fugitive Homicide, 

50. The feelings with which the Greeks from the 
earliest times regarded the fugitive homicide were of 
quite a peculiar kind. 

On the one hand, the shedder of blood was avoided 
with a feeling of dread, hke that with which in the East 
a leper was shunned. At Athens the prosecution for 
homicide began with debarring the criminal from all 
sanctuaries and assemblies consecrated by religious ob- 
servances ; nay, even in the judicial proceedings all the 
arrangements were made in such a way that there was 
iio need to be under the same roof with him. The 
race of the Athamantidse in Thessalian Achaia lay 
under the ban of a very ancient act of bloodshed, and 
on that account all of that race were prohibited from 
appearing in the Xti'Itop or Town-hall.'* The blood- 
guilty individual himself, as though infected with a 
miasma, shunned all contact and conversation with other 
people, and avoided entering their dwellings. The pro- 
hibition against his addressing a word to any man is 
always a main characteristic in his treatment.^ A firag- 
ment of one of Euripides' plays^ has the words; Tl 
(Tiy^g ] fiiov ^ovoi/ tip upydato ] and in another play of 
the same Poet, we find Orestes describing his reception 
at Athens in the following terms : 

k\Qu)v B* kKtiat, irpQra fiiy fi ohZtiQ ^iviav 

eK(itv e^eiaO*u)g deoig arvyovfievoV 

01 5* ttr^oy aida, ^ivta fioyoTpdire^a fioi 

irapi(T\ov, oIkwv ovreg kv ravrf ariyei, 

(Tiy^ 0* kreKTrivavr airdf^QtyKvov /x', Birutg 

ZaiTOQ yevoifirjv iruffiaTdg t avTwv ^Ix^* '^' ^' ^ 

Iph. T. V. 947, sqq. (Bind.) 

* Herodot. vii. 197. 

< Eumen. 266, 426. Apollon. 

Rh. iv. 693. Amphis in Athen. vi. 
224 E. Alexis ib. x. 421 £. 
* Schol. Eum. 272. 


a legend which at Athens^ according to the testimony of 
Euripides and others^ was brought into connexion with 
the origin of the conyivial usages at the festival of the 

51. On the other hand, however, the fugitive homicide 
was the object of a certain peculiar respect and awe, 
such as the principles of humanity among the ancient 
Greeks, required to be shown to every needy and dis- 
tressed person, without making inquiry about the cause 
of his distress. The blood-guilty fugitive everywhere 
appeared as an iiceriyc^ one that demands protection; 
nay, it is probable that in the early times the term Jkctijc 
was applied particularly to a person in that situation. 
As such he was entitled to a hospitable reception, as far 
as that was compatible with the feelings of dread above- 
mentioned.^ He was to be treated with ai^ijQ) a term 
of the earlier Greek ethics which cannot be fully 
rendered in our modem languages ; the notions of awe 
and compassion are combined in it. It was the duty of 
every one aiOiaQai rov ^ivov^rov iKeTriv, The same 
word, aiSaiffOai, was used to denote the feeling with 
which the avenger pardons the object of his pursuit, and 
in the language of Attic law, the term was retained in 
the sense of making reconciliation after manslaughter. 
This strangely-mingled state of feeling is very deeply 
marked in a passage of the Iliad, where the feelings ex- 
cited in Achilles by the sudden entrance of old Priam 
are compared to it : 

tjQ y orav &vdp* &Trj irvKivrl Xa/Bj;, oqt* evl iraTprj 

<^Gyra KaraKrelyag &\\wv l£/fcero dfjfiov 

aySpog cc ayyirtw, dafi^og^ S* cj^f i elaopoiorrag, 

&g 'A\i\£vg QcLfi^riaiVy lliSiv Uplafxoy Oeoei^ia. xxiv. 480. 

' Athen. x. p. 437. Schol. Acham. I ' It is quite clear that the read- 
960. ing dp8p6s €s d<f>v€iov, given in our 

^ II. xvi. 674. Hes. Scutum texts, is not the original one. The 
Here. 85. old Scholiasts read dvbphs fs 


This very instructive passage shews at once that the 
very act of eolation or purification makes a most 
material change in the situation and treatment of the 
iKerrtg. The fugitive manslayer leaves the house of his 
aypiTTig quite a different person from what he was 
when he entered it. This change is also made a very 
prominent feature in our play; and herein the term 
TrpocrrpoTratoc occupies a very important place. Hpo^ 
(TTpoiraiog, in its proper signification, means, hke ticcriyc* 
one that applies to another, one who begs for reception :* 
irpoarpowr\i therefore, denotes, the act of humble 
entreaty,^ But these terms are generally coupled with 
the notion of a fugitive homicide not yet cleansed jfrom 
his blood-guiltiness ; and hence TrpocrpowaioQ takes the 
meaning of Juymo piacularis.^ In the Eumenides, how- 
ever, TTpoffTpoiraiog is mostly used in the quite peculiar 
sense of a suppliant for expiation, 'one laying claim to 
purification.^' Such was Orestes at Delphi, where he 
received expiation : at Athens, although, indeed, a sup- 
pliant of the Goddess, an Jiccriyc (v. 452), he is no 
longer a TrpocTpoiraioq] he is now at liberty to asso- 

AFNITEQ, as plainly appears from 
their interpretations ; direpxtrcu 
7rp6g Tov dyviaopra, and, t6v dc 
KoBcupovTa KOI dyvirrfv TKeyov, 
That they do not merely draw this 
conclosion from the homicide's en- 
tering the house, is proved by their 
noticing what they take to be an 
anachronism in the passage, infer- 
ring it from the clrcmnstance that 
Homer nowhere else makes snch ex- 
press mention of the dryvirqs. They 
compare with it the passage lax!^ 
(rakiny^, on account of the ana- 
chronistic mention of the trumpet. 
Perhaps this may have been one 
cause of the corruption of the text 
by the Alexandrine Grammarians. 


It seems, d<l>v€iov ia also the reading 
of the Egyptian MS., on which see 
JPhiloL Museum, i. p. 183. On 
dyvirrfg see Hesych, s. v. Perhaps 
it ought to be substituted for dyirrj^ 
in Bekker's Anecd. p. 338. 

* Agam. 1569. Suppl. 357. Soph. 
(Ed. Col. 1309, &c. 

« Choeph. 21. 83. Pers. 216. 

• Eum. 168. Choeph. 285. 
Hence avrov TrpoorprfTratoy in 
^schin. TT. TTOpoTrp. § 158 Bekk. 
means, 'One who brings a curse 
upon himself.' 

7 Eum. 225. 228. 423. Sunilarly 
irpoaTpdntaBai, 196; TrpoorpoTn}, 


ciate with his fellow-men without bringing a curse upon 
them (v. 229^ 275) ; he is allowed to enter temples and 
embrace the statues of Gk)ds without causing pollution 
(jivffog) : he may freely open his lips and hold converse 
with men and Gods.' 

These considerations having led us to observe the im- 
portance attached to the expiation of blood-guiltiness 
in the composition we are considering^ we cannot do 
otherwise than insert in these Essays a discussion on 
this diflScult point in the moral history of the earlier 
Greeks, which modem controversies have as yet by no 
means entirely elucidated. 


a. In general. 

52. As the avenging of blood has for its specific 
object the expulsion of the manslayer from the society 
of his fellow-men, so the religious rites of expiation and 
purification, derived from the remotest times of Grecian 
antiquity, were designed to reinstate him in the com- 
munity which is held together by religious ordinances. 
The Athenian Laws place these ceremonies in intimate 
connexion with a man^s restoration to the society of his 
country; they speak only of the cleansing, which, on 
the return of the unintentional manslayer (for the 

^ This is the meaning of v.* 451, I censure. But the Erinnyes also, 
sqq. (as emended in the text). The | their office heing to pursue the 
main idea is : < I, Pallas, am bound ; shedder of blood, may not lightly be 
to receive both of you, both Orestes dismissed.' KanypruKebf , which 
and the Erinnyes. rbic, Orestes, have Heysch. interprets reXet^o-af, de- 

a claim to my protection in other 
respects; but now in particular, 
since you are come purified, d^KaPtl 
(vvovaiif, to my sanctuary, I accept 
yon as one to whom my dty by all 
jus sacrum {6<rl<os) can attach no 

notes ' a person who has duly per- 
formed everything,* 'attended to all 
observances;' and to this same 
matter I would refer Spfteva napi- 
X^iv, § biitr} tfaS' iKerjjah Hes. Scut. 
Here. 85. 


wilful murderer may not return) is administered to him 
in his own country/ and which was submitted to even 
by such as in a case of unintentional homicide were not 
pursued by any avenger of blood.' Purification for 
unintentional homicide {KaOaptria twi aKovtritf) <fi6v(^) 
was the universal custom among the Greeks ;^ the dif- 
ferent cases and the correspondent gradations of the 
cleansing were particularly defined by laws which pro- 
ceeded from the Delphian Oracle^ and by traditions 
orally transmitted by the expounders of ancient rites.^ 
In like manner^ by the Law of Moses^ the cities of 
refuge were available only for the manslayer ^^that 
killeth any person unawares/^ whereas the murderer, 
even if he fled thither, might be given up, and the 
Goel, or avenger of blood, might put him to death with 
his own hand. On the same principle, the old Roman 
Law permits expiation to be made only when the 
weapon could be said to have " flown fix>m the hand 
rather than to have been thrust or hurled'^ (magis fugit 
quam jecit) / indeed, the Pontifex Mucins Scsevola gave 
it as his judgment that no wilful offence admitted of 

The manners and usages of that age which is repre- 
sented in the heroic mythology make, as we have before 
observed, no such positive distinctions ; the feelings, it 
is probable, appreciated the merits of the individual case 
more safely and exactly. Moreover, the homicidal acts 
of such times fall imder the category of acts committed 
upon sudden excitement of mind— voluntarily, indeed, 
but not, properly speakmg, of malice aforethought ; and 

^ DemoBth. c. Aristocr. 644. 
' Antipho. Chor. 4. comp. Herod. 

* Pausan. v. 27, 6. , i. 16. 

^ Plato Legg. ix. 865. 

• Cicero Top.' 17. Feetus, s. v. 

' Varro L. L. vi. 4, Macrob. Sat. 


these^ according to Flato^ are to be distinguished from 
involuntary acts^ but yet border close upon them, and 
are to be treated after the same analogy.^ These were 
the very acts which the religious psychology of the 
ancient Greeks ascribed to the Ate which bewilders the 
mind and betrays the man into deeds which in his sober 
senses he is heartily sorry for. Hence the Ate has in 
its train the Lita — ^the humble prayers of repentance, 
which must make good, before Gods and men, whatever 
has been done amiss.^ For every evil-doer (so we find 
it even in Homer) has to appease the Gods as well as 
men ; and it is vei^ clear that, in an age in which even 
'beggars come from Zeus,^^ the slaying of a ^ivog, 
or a fellow-citizen within the peace, was not a matter 
that the Gods would regard with indiflference. But 
then the heroic mythology and epic poetry, from its 
very nature, cannot be expected to deal so much in the 
situation of the manslayer who stays at home or may 
return thither, as in that of the man who is obhged to 
flee his country, and to be a vagabond over the earth, 
seeking in other lands some hereditary xenos or related 
hero who shall receive him into his house, and restore 
him, a cleansed man, to the society of his fellow-men. 
Such cases imdoubtedly occurred, though more rarely, 
even in historic times ; the well-known story of Croesus 
and Adrastus in Herodotus is an instance ; but these 
wanderings of exiled manslayers in quest of expiation 
were of more frequent occurrence and of more impor- 
tant aspect in a period when order and government 
were as yet unsettled ; and the mythologists are rich in 
tales of heroes who, driven from their home by reason 
of some unfortunate act, were received by other heroes, 
and obtained expiation at their hands. Homer in such 

1 Plato Legg. ix. 867. » IL ix. 602. » Od. xiv. 67. 


cases (if we except only the new-discovered passage, 
as it may be called, II. xxiv. 482) speaks only of the 
reception of the suppliant manslayer, without any 
express mention of expiation; whence ancient Gram- 
marians, as weU as modem scholars/ have inferred that 
in Homer the manslayer pays a fine or goes into exile, 
but has no purification to undergo. To me, on the con- 
trary, there is nothing surprising in the omission of 
such mention ; the Foetus hearers would understand, as 
a matter of course, that the fugitive manslayer seeking 
admission into a strange house must propitiate the in- 
censed Gods by certain ceremonies before he could 
become a member of the family. I am persuaded that, 
when Homer says, ^he came as hiketes to Peleus' 
(II. xvi. 574), his contemporaries as immediately con- 
nected with the term the idea of a request for purifica- 
tion as the Athenians did with ^schylus^s word tt/qo- 
(TTpoiraioQ, before explained. It were much to be 
wished, indeed, that the grounds were once well ascer- 
tained, — grounds subsisting, perhaps, only in the 
feelings, but not the less sure on that account — upon 
which those old Poets proceeded in their poetical crea- 
tions, when out of innumerable features presented by 
the old legends of the various Grecian tribes they 
educed, by selection and elaboration of some in prefer- 
ence to others, that well harmonised portraiture of one 
uniform race of heroes in all the simple grandeur of its 
life and doings. The wandering sons of chieftains, who 
find admission into the houses of foreign chieftains, with 
whose sons they become the playfellows and brothers- 
in-arms, are a very important feature of epic poetry in 
its delineation of that age ; that the act of their admis- 

^ Schol. n. xi. 618.— Lobeck, Aglaophamus, p 300. 967. Hoeck Ereta, 
iii. p. 268. 


sion was connected with certain circumstances and 
ceremonies was the less needful to be expressed, as none 
of these acts are narrated in detail. 

53. Legends preserved by the clans of northern 
Greece, and stamped, as it seems to me, with evident 
marks of high antiquity, represent Ixion, the Phlegyan 
chieftain, leader of a clan as hostile to the Dorians as 
it was to the Pythian sanctuary, as the first example of 
tm expiation &om blood-guiltiness, but withal repaid by 
him with ingratitude. Ixion in slaying the father of 
his bride is the first among men that has shed kindred 
blood.^ Then wild frenzy seizes him ; he wanders like 
Cain, on whose forehead Jehovah has set a mark ; none 
either of Gods or men will give him expiation,^ until 
Zeus himself at last takes compassion upon him and 
cleanses him. But unmindful of the sacred obligation 
which binds the expiated to the expiator,^ he stretches 
forth his audacious arms even towards Hera. That 
Ixion^s request for expiation forms the nucleus of the 
legend concerning him is indicated by the veiy name, 
which probably is identical with hiketes.^ Even 
^schylus takes this view of the legend ; he wrought it 
out in a Trilogy of which the ' Perrhsebian Women^ 
and ' Ixion' were component parts ; with what views and 
in what spirit, may be . gathered from the Eumenides, 
in which Orestes is first addressed by Pallas as a orc/ui^oc 
wpofTiKTwp ev TpoiroiQ 'l^iovoQ'y and then Apollo, to 
prove that expiation does not contaminate the giver nor 
deprive him of his prophetic endowments, alleges that 

^ ifJLtjivkiov alfia Trp&Turrog C7re- 
fuf € Bvaroii* Pindar. Pyih. ii. 82. 

' Pherecydes, Fragm. 69. 

' Comp. ApoUodor. iii. 13, 3. 

^ 'l$imp from acta, formed as 
'laaUop, Ueuriav, Ilpa(ici>Vt*A(la>v» 

The disappearance of the spiritus 
atiper may he explained; compare 
ucrap. For this very satisfactory 
explanation of the name we are in- 
dehted to Welcker, Trilogie, p. 549. 


the wisdom of Zeus was not in the least disparaged by 
his receiving the first manslayer Ixion as a suppliant 
for that benefit (v. 687). In short Ixion here appears' 
as the representative of expiation ; which was first ap- 
plied to him, and that upon an act of not unintentional 

Opposed in a manner to Ixion is Heracles, the Hero 
to whom all the chieftains of the Dorians traced their 
origin, among whose posterity also so many leaders o£ 
colonies and founders of cities reckoned themselves, 
while in the cycle of his legends there is so much that 
bears upon the first establishment of l^al and political 
relations. Heracles several times has recourse to the 
rites of expiation, and always submits to its require- 
ments, even when unusually severe, with the greatest 
readiness. He demands it with such vehemence, that 
in Hesiod's poem, the KaraXoyoc, Heracles's war against 
Pylos is derived from a refusal on the part of Neleus 
and his family to impart to him the rites of absolution 
from blood-guiltiness.* 

We may promise ourselves a more exact insight into 
the history of these ceremonies, if we more exactly dis- 
tinguish the ceremonies themselves according to their 
scope and nature. It is evident, namely, that the cere- 
monies of absolution have a twofold aspect, being 
designed on the one hand to appease the slain, and 
remove his Erinnys ; and on the other, to purify the 
slayer from his pollution, and thereby restore him to 
intercourse with his fellows. The former we call Hilas* 
moi, the latter, Katharmoi {piatio et lustratio). 

* Scbol. n. ii. 336. p. 70. Bekker. 



6, Difference between Hilasmoi and Katharmoi, viz. 

Ceremonies of Atonement or Eivpiation^ and Cere- 

monies of Lustration or Purification. 

54. It is not possible to study attentively the religious 
ceremonies of Grecian Antiquity without arriving again 
and again at a persuasion that the worship of the dead, 
from which that of the Heroes, a more elevated class of 
the dead, takes its origin, is marked with an expiatory 
character, and is designed to propitiate the gloomy 
powers of the infernal world, conceived as standing in 
hostile opposition to life in general. Libations of water^ 
mixtures with honey {fieXiKpara), which always express 
a purpose of propitiating {fjiH\i<T(T£iv), victims cut in 
pieces and burnt, either most part or entire, are alike 
usual both in the worship of the dead and in rites of 
expiation ; even the term applied to the sacrifices for the 
dead and the heroes {ivayiteiv^) points very plainly to 
atonement and purification. 

On the other hand, it is in the highest degree pro- 
bable that all expiatory ceremonies were originally de- 
signed for the deities of the Earth and Infernal World, 
the Chthonian and Elatachthonian Powers, and only this 
world of Gods was deemed to require propitiation, at 
least in stated solemiAies. It is true, hilastic cere- 
monies also occur in connexion with the Gods who bear 
rule in the bright upper world, the Gods of Olympus, 
as Zeus and Apollo; but, upon closer inspection, it 
seems to me beyond doubt that it was to deities and 

* To the stem, *Ar, Lat. SAC, 
SANC, belong Siyios, dyi^oD, €v—€<f) 
"d(l}'-Ka0ayl(<o, dyirrfs, dyurrevti), 
also dyo£ or Syos (fear, or that which 
is to be feared), ivayrjs, tvayrjs, 
irapoyrjs, also 5fa) (formed from AT 
by this same process, as p€(a from 

'PEr). As this d(€ip denotes reve- 
rence of that which is holy as well 
as dread of that which is wicked 
and polluting, so this double refe- 
rence pervades all these words. 
Comp. Hanovii Exercit. Crit. p. 11. 



daemonic beings of the infernal world that the propiti- 
atory cultus properly and immediately appertained. 

55. In the first place^ as regards the often mentioned 
Zevg MtiXi^iogj propitiatory Zeus : this Deity, in the 
cultns of the Attic gens Phytalidse, stood in combination 
with Demeter ; which circumstance of itself carries one 
to a Zeus Chthonios or Hades.^ With this accords the 
circumstance that in the Attic cultus of MeiUchian Zeus^ 
the victims sacrificed were swine, the animals devoted to 
the Earth-Mother Demeter, and moreover as holocausts, 
just as was the practice in the service of Infernal Zeus :* 
in this way Xenophon on his return from Asia propiti- 
ated the God according to the rites of his country.* 
Moreover the sacrifices to Meilichian Zeus were held by 
night ;^ and at Olympia a Zeus Chthonios stood near to 
a Zeus Katharsios, which again closely coheres with 
Zeus Meilichios.^ Near akin to the MeiUchios is un- 
doubtedly the Zeus Laphystios of the old Minyse, to the 
cultus of which God the mythi concerning the family of 
Athamas and the Argonautic expedition are so closely 
attached, that it is only from it they can be derived and 
explained. Zeus Laphystios is a grasping and devour- 
ing Power, a god of vengeance and death f his significant 
victim, the ram, often meets us again in offerings to the 
dead and in evocations of the Manes, 'even in the 
Odyssee. But what is most remarkable is, that the 
fleece of this propitiatory victim, which the terrified 
Phrixos ('the Shudderer^) had suspended in the grove of 

2 Paiwan. i. 37, 2. 3. Comp. Plut. 
Thes. 12. 

» See on Virg. ^n. v. 253. 

* Anab. vii. 8, 4. 5. and Schneid. 

' Pansan. x. 38, 4. 

• Pausan. v. 14, 6. 

7 The name Aa<t>v<mos is un- 

doubtedly derived from the theme 
AAB, AA^ (in dfi(^cXa(^^9, Xa* 
(jyvpov), as is aJao \app6sf which in 
signification is much related. Thus 
both explanations of the andents 
are admissible, ' the devourer* and 
the ' putter to flight.' 


Ares in a distant land^ must be fetched back as a holy 
things while at the same time the soul of Phrixos must 
be brought home by means of an Anaclesis/ a ceremony 
derived from ancient times: for this procedure evidently 
is most closely connected with the circumstance that in 
the Attic ritual of propitiation for blood the fleece of 
the ram sacrificed to Zeus Meilichios^ the Aiog kw^iov^ 
formed one of the principal means of atonement and 
purification (§. 59). Of a kindred nature was un* 
doubtedly the cultus of Zcvc Ov^ioc (Zeus of Flight)^ 
to whom Fausanias the Spartan sacrificed^ in order to 
propitiate the soul of a girl whom he had killed. 

56. In Zeus, the different, nay opposite sides of the 
world meet together, as in a culminating point; al- 
though, as to the predominant conception, a God of 
Heaven and of the Upper World, he appears in many 
of the more obscure and mystical kinds of worship as 
an infernal Ood, and therefore requiring to be propiti- 
ated. These opposite aspects recede further apart in 
Apollo, who is altogether a bright and pure Ood, 
manifesting himself in light and order. Yet even in 
the ritual of this Ood (not to mention the Hyacinthia) 
there is one festival of a clearly propitiatory character. 

> Pindar. Pyth. iv. 169, and in- 

^ The same Dioekodion also oc- 
curs in expiatory solemnities relative 
to the seasons; for this was the 
name ^ven to the skin of the victim 
sacrificed to Zetts Meilichioa, with 
which were performed the KaOapfiol 
(called UofiTToia or Aumofiircua, 
Eostath. Od. xxii. p. 1985, 8. B.) at 
the end of Meemacterion (the Month 
of Storms): these icaOapfiol plainly 
refer to the approaching storms of 
winter, which they were intended 
to propitiate. That the Atoa-Kcadui 

were also used at the Scirophoria (at 
the time of the sanuner solstice), 
tallies with the circumstance that 
the worshippers who sacrificed to 
Zeus Actseus on Mount Pelion at 
the b^inning of the dog-days, 
girded themselves with fresh fieeces 
of rams (Dicsearch. Pelion). Here 
again are the old expiatory usages, 
by which Zeus as God of the hot 
weather is to be propitiated. See 
the rest concerning the Ai6g K&diov 
(on which Polemo wrote) in Lobeck, 
Aglaopham. p. 183 sq. 



the Delphinia, at which Theseus was said to have pre- 
sented himself in the temple of Apollo Delphinios with 
seven boys and seven girls^ in order to propitiate him ; 
which ceremony was observed even in later times ;' so 
in Sicyon seven boys and as many girls conducted the 
propitiatory service of Apollo and Artemis.* But here 
again various considerations intimate that the Dsemon 
to be propitiated and appeased was not properly Apollo 
but the Chthonian Dragon^ the guardian of the old 
Earth-Oracle, with the slaying of which monster the 
Sicyonian cultns also is connecfed. Delphinia is doubt- 
less the Festival of the slajdng of the Python, whose 
name, Delphin or Delphine,* preserved by the antiqua- 
rian poets of Alexandria, can have been derived by them 
only from old legends or religious poetry; although at 
that time, and indeed down from the time of the 
Homeric Hymnists, the notion connected with Apollo 
Delphinios was that of the marine Delphine and sea- 
voyages.^ But what decides for the assertion here 
advanced is, first, the circumstance that the Delphinia 
at Athens were held at the very time (6th and 7th 
Munychion) at which Apollo slew the dragon at Delphi 
(7th Munychion), on which ensues the Delphic Festival, 
the Pythia :^ and secondly, that the Attic Court Delphi- 
nion took cognizance only o{ justifiable homicide; plainly 
an institution of very early times, when it was still 
generally understood that the Delphinios is the God 

3 See esp. Pint. Thes. 18. 

■* Pansan. ii. 7. 7. 

^ At\<t>Lvri, ApoUon. Rhod. ii. 
708. A€X(^iV, Schol. Eur. Phoen. 
232. Tzetz. on Lye. 208. Etym. 
M. 8. V. 'Ektj^oKoS' But even from 
A€X<^tvi7, A€X<^tWf is according to 
analogy, as KvXkrivios from KvX- 
Xrjvrj. The fem. £i€\<l>ivTj better 
suits the notion of a BpaKcuva 

(Horn. H. Pyth. ApoU. 122) than 

* See also Artemidor. Oneirocr. 
ii. 36. 

7 fioeckh. Corp, Inscrip. p. 814. 
The question whether the month 
Bysios corresponds with Elaphebo- 
lion, or not rather with Munychion, 
I here leave without discusmon. 



triumphing over the hostile serpent (§ 67). Now at 
Delphi dirges were sung over the grave of the Delphine; 
Apollo himself must do every thing to appease the 
Dragon — ^must undergo exile and servitude; and thus 
it is very probable that the Delphinia also had this 
object. In Corinth too fourteen children were sent 
into the temple of Hera, where with shorn heads and 
black clothes they were to appease the children of 
Medea by penitential offerings and mournful hymns :' 
now these children of Medea are either themselves 
infernal powers, which is indicated by the name of one 
of them, Mermeros (the Dreadful^; or, to forbear at 
present a deeper investigation of the origin of this 
mythus, at least they are infernal spirits and objects of 
alarm to the upper world. As the servitude of Apollo 
begins with the slaying of the Python, as the service of 
the fourteen Athenian children commences with the 
Delphinia ; so the residence of the fourteen Corinthian 
children in the temple is a periodic servitude, and there- 
fore called awBviavTKT/ioQ.^ In jEgina the festival 
Hydrophoria was held during the Delphinian month, as 
it was at Athens in Anthesterion, the month appointed 
in the Attic Calendar for the worship of the dead. It 
may be more conveniently proved in detail upon some 
other occasion, that these Hydrophoria in Greece were 

^ Parmenisc. ap. Schol. Med. 273. 
Pausan. ii. 8, 6. Philostrat. Her. 19, 
14, Gsetulicus in the Palatine An- 
thoL vii. 854. 

^ In ApoUodor. and Pausan. ii. 3, 
6. The hideous shape of a woman on 
the grave of these children, called 
Aci/ia or Afi/ia>,is prohahly the Mop- 
lia yvvT] Kopivdia of the Schol. Ans- 
tid. p. 18. Frommel. Those children 
and this Mormo kill little children.. 

' Hence it seems very probahle 
that Androgeos, Eorygyes, Minotan- 

ros, who are propitiated by the four- 
teen Attic boys, are obscured forms 
of the monster hostile to Apollo. 
The tithes of men were undoubtedly 
sent as a peace-offering to the 
Chthonlan Daemon overcome by 
Apollo. The Thessalians dedicated 
the like to Apollo KaraijSonjr, 
which I take to be, as Adolph 
Scholl (de Orig. Graeci Dramatis, p. 
59) has with great penetration re- 
marked, the God descending into 
the infernal world. 



generally vernal solemnities^ at which water was poured 
into chasms, especially such as^ according to the old 
legends^ the earth-bom brood of dragons proceeded from; 
the water was a mortuary and propitiatory offering for 
the death-gods overpowered by the energy of spring. 
On the one hand these water-pourings related^ as one 
sees from the tenor of the legends^ to the running off 
into these chasms of the unfertilising swamps left by the 
wintry torrents {avrXog, TrXiyyu/uu/occ) : on the other 
hand the pouring of water into trenches was conceived 
as a bath for the dead {'j^Ooviov Xovrpovy airovifAfULa), and 
was in Greece a widely diffiised ceremony of the worship 
paid to the dead. Now if these Hydrophoria came to 
be connected with the Delphinia^ it is plain they must 
have belonged to the propitiatory ceremonies paid to 
the earth-dragon^ which is said to have had its den in a 
cave of the Temple of Earthy in the low bottom of 
Delphi beside the source of the Styx.^ 

Thus^ then^ in the cultus of Apollo also it appears 
that the hilastic ceremonies of the Grecian religion were 
not originally addressed to the serene Olympian Gods 
of the upper world, but to daemons belonging to a dark 
world and state of nature, repressed indeed, but still ob- 
jects of terror. 

Now as regards the customary expiation for blood, 
there can be no doubt that in this case the soul of the 
slain, which itself is now a Chthonian Daemon, the 
resentment (the Erinnys) of this soul, and in fine the 

' It was this fountain (of which 
also Plutarch speaks, de Fyth. Or. 
17), and not, as is commonly sup- 
posed, the Castalian, that the Py- 
thian Dragon, guardian of the old 
Earth* Oracle, kept watch over. 
Here must have been the (ci^a 

Svrpa ipoKovros, Eurip. Fhoen. 289. 
The fountain probably bore the 
name Delphusa (Steph. Byz. s. y. 
AcX<^i,) with reference to the 
guardian Delphine: from this also 
the name Delphi seems to be de- 



powers of the infernal world (Zeus Meilichios hunself 
being one of them), are the beings to be propitiated.* 

57. But if we inquire what, in the belief of the prim- 
eval times of Greece, were the means of propitiation, 
we shall find that the ceremonies of the various descrip- 
tions of cultus of which we have been speaking, taken 
in connexion with what we already know concerning the 
specific propitiation for blood, aflFord very complete infor- 
mation. Universally they are based upon the idea that 
the manslayer, nay, in particular cases (as in the Theban 
Mythus of Menoeceus) his whole race also must atone for 
the guilt of blood with their own life. But the life is, so 
to speak, redeemed or bought ofi^ by vicarial substitution 
in various ways. And first by the servitude of the slayer. 
The slayer gives up himself, his liberty and free agency, 
as a satisfaction for the blood he has shed. Thus Cad- 
mus serves Ares, as the father of the slain dragon^ for a 
period of eight years : so ApoUo, the same period, for 
the slaying of the Python. Apollo, as is now, I suppose, 
generally understood, serves the Gods of the infernal 
world, the unconquerables Hades CAS/iiyroc^ and He- 
cate of Pherse : the original legend without doubt made 
the bright God, to whom the gloom of the subterranean 
world is an utter abomination, descend bodily into the 
realm of shades. This legend is known to the Iliad, 
but in a form already divested of much of its original 
significance, and transmitted to the Homeric age through 
the various re-modellings it underwent in the heroic my- 
thology. The great Hesiodic Poem, a composition 

' See especially Apollon. Argon. 
iy. 709, 714. 

' In addition to what is noticed 
in my Prolegomena zu einer wis- 
senschqftlichen Mythologie, p. 306, 
compare the poetical designation 
of Hecate, 'Adfiryrov ic6pTi, in 

Hesych. s. v. Hermes (Chthonios) 
as a God of Fherse, also occurs in 
Callunach. Frag. 117. BentL The 
legends of Apollo's descent into 
Hades were nsed hy Euhemems 
after his fashion. Minnc. Felix C. 



formed out of very diversified materials^ the Eoiai^ gave 
the legend at great length in the Katalogos of the Leu- 
cippidse ^ connecting it with the mythi of Asdepios ; a 
process in which the original coherency of the religious 
legend was lost^ but still the servitude in atonement for 
blood kept its place. As in so many other particulars^ 
so in this also, Heracles bears a marked resemblance to 
Apollo ; he too must undergo servitude as a manslayer;^ 
and the circumstance that the (Echalian chieftain Eury- 
tus, father of the slain Iphitus, receives the money paid 
for the redemption of the slayer, is a plain indication 
that the servitude represents a surrender of the life. The 
period frequently occurring in these legends as the stated 
term of atonement is the so-called Great Year, consist- 
ing of eight years ; which became of such importance as 
the period of the principal festivals of Apollo (the Pythia 
and Daphnephoria), and enters so extensively into the 
religious and civil life of the Greeks. Alluding to the 
use of this eight-years^ term of servitude, Pindar, adopting 
Orphic ideas, says, in one of his Threni,* ' Persephone 
sends back to the upper world in the ninth year the 
souls of those of whom she has received atonement for 
their old sins ' (this is the meaning of olm iroivav Sl- 
X^rai). Eight years therefore, according to the Poet, 
was the term of servitude or bondage in the infernal 
world. Hesiod^s view of the punishments inflicted on 

' The following passages supply 
the most convenient materials for 
the construction of this portion of 
the 'Hotai. Schol. Tzetz. on Theog. 
142. oomp. witli Apollod. iii. 10, 8. 
Pausan. ii. 26, 8. Schol. Eurip. 
Aloest. 1. Athenagor> Leg. 25, 7. 
p. 116. Oxf. comp. Servius on JSn. 
vii. 763 . Perhaps also the verse in 
Plutarch Amator. 17. 'Ad/x^ry 
ndpa $rjT€vo'€U fi^yav eU €Viav' 

t6p, of which Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. 
p. 189. S. 888. P. belongs to this 
poem. The Katalogos of the Leu- 
cippids was at variance with that of 
the Koronis concerning the extrac- 
tion of .£sculapius. Hence the 
doubts of the former's genuineness, 
in Pausan. ii. 265, 5. Comp. SchoL 
Pind. P^h. iiL 14. 

* Comp. Agam. 1011. 

' Threni. Frag. iv. Boeddi. 


Oods was likewise based on the recollection of these 
ancient usages (Theog. 795). If I understand the pas- 
sage aright^ the God who has sworn falsely by the Styx 
must pass one great year, i. e. eight years, without nee- 
tar and ambrosia, in arid slumber, separated &om the 
rest of the Gods, and then endure severe contests for 
a yet further term : so that his punishment lasts alto- 
gether nine years. Others preferred assigning a less defi- 
nite extent to this period of the penance of a God ; 
Empedocles says a God who has shed blood must wan- 
der thirty thousand seasons {rpig /nvpiaQ wpag) ; the 
Philosopher announced himself to be such an exiled 
God.^ That eight-years^ period, however, or ivvaerriplg, 
although it is sufficiently explained in another manner, 
may originally have had reference to the worship of the 
dead, since at Athens the ninth day after interment (ra 
Bvara^ novendialia ^) was a solemn day of expiation ; and 
as the same usage was observed at Rome, it was pro- 
bably of very ancient origin. One of the expanded 
forms of these Euata was the expiatory festival at Lem- 
nos, at which offerings without fire were presented to 
the dead, and the island was considered impure and 
desecrated until on the ninth day a ship sent to Delos 
brought back pure fire ; at that moment, as they ex- 
pressed themselves, ' new life^ began in Lemnos.^ 

58. This is one of the ways in which the soul of the 
alain, which properly demands life for life, may be ap- 

^ EmpedocL Fragm, coU, Sturz,, 
Gitatioii from Plutarch de exilio 17. 
Plato's expression that the murderer 
miist continue exiled rhs &pas rrd- 
aas rov (vuLxrrov, L^^* ix. p. 865, 
is midoubtedly derived from the an- 
cient legal language. 

' T^ tvara, often in the Oratt. 
Bee Schomann on Issbus» p. 219. 

Virg. Geo. iv. 544. Mn, v. 64, 
762. Proclus on Timseus, p. 45. 
Thrice nine days was the duration 
of the Idsean foneral-feast of Jupi- 
ter in Crete, Porphyr. Vit. Pythag. 
§ 17. The'^Evara after death cor- 
respond with the Amphidromia 
after birth. 

» Welcker, Prometh. 247. 


peased ; namely^ by servitude. In this the Greeks saw 
an actual atonement; even Heracles (in Sophocles 
Trach. 258) is ayvog^ set free by atonement^ by the 
bondage he has submitted to : and the fearful malady^ 
which according to a very ancient fiction had fallen upon 
him, departs from him in consequence/ The other 
mode consists in the substitution of a victim, symboli- 
cally denoting the surrender of the man's own life : a 
significance which resides in the very first origin of sa- 
crifice, and which manifests itself with the greatest 
clearness in the sacrificial procedures used with oath- 
takings or covenants ; in which the slaying and dis- 
membering of the victim * has always been imderstood 
as a symbol of the fate which shall overtake the per- 
jured. But in expiations for blood we find among the 
old Greeks the widely-diffused rite whereby the ram 
represents the human being; as the goat among the 
Jews, so the ram among the Greeks and the kindred 
Italic races was the principal sin-offering. The very 
ancient Minyan legends concerning the Athamantidse 
turn entirely upon the human sacrifice demanded by 
the wrathful Zeus Laphystios, and the ram substituted 
in its place. A ram is the principal offering at all ora- 
cles of the dead,* the ceremonies of which closely agree 
with those of expiation for blood ; their object usually 
was to pacify the souls beneath the earth. Black rams 
and sheep were the customary sacrifices to the dead in 
Greece.' Now it was a very ancient Roman usage, and 

^ Apollodor. u. 6, 2. 

^ FcBclus icere, Sqkui r^yLVtiv, 

' Odyss. X. 627. Pansan. i. 84, 
8; iz. 89, 4. 

7 A black ram at the funeral sa- 
crifice of Pelops, Pausan. v. 18, 2. 
Black sheep, in Eurip. £1. 92, 516, 
comp. 826. Black and white sheep 

were the Areopagitic peace offerings 
appointed by Epimenides, Diog. 
Laert. L 110. In the Cretan Myste- 
ries, which referred to Zeus Chtho- 
nioB, black sheepskins were worn. A 
black lamb in Canidia's evocations 
of the dead, Horat. Sat i. 8. 



as we are told upon the occasion^ an Athenian usage 
also^ that in a case of unintentional homicide {si telum 
fugit maffis quam jecit) a ram^ as a vicarial substitute 
for the head of the skin, was given {aries subjiciebatur) ' 
to theAgnati or ay')^i<irkiQy upon whom the duty of aveng- 
ing blood immediately devolved. This was one of the 
peace-offerings on the return of the homicide, which 
are denoted by the term o<rfov(r0ae, and are distin- 
guished &om the KaOaipetrOai, the rites of purification.^ 
' For the head of the slain/ say our authorities ; for 
which we would put, ' the head of the slayer.' For, as 
is shown by the legends concerning the race of Atha- 
mas, which was rescued from the sacrificial death by the 
substitution of a ram, this animal as a sin-offering takes 
the place of man even in cases where there was no 
slain to be appeased. Besides, it would be very strange 
if the slain, whose Erinnys is the chief thing to be pa- 
cified, received a brute- victim as the vicarial representa- 
tive of his own life. On the contrary, it is clear that 
the ram was given for the man^s life, precisely as in the 
usage before explained the sum paid over as ransom to 
the family of the slain, as the price of the slayer, repre- 

* See Cicero Top. 17. Cincius 
and Antistius ap. Fest. s. v. subici, 
p. 265 and 267. Lindem. Servius 
ad Eel. 4, 43, with Hnschke's true 
emendation, pro capite occisi agna- 
tis ejus, and ad Georg. iii. 387. 
Comp. Abegg de Aniiqmss. Mom, 
jure crimin, p. 47. 

' In Demosth. c. Aristocr. p. 644, 
Ovtrat. is plainly equivalent to 6<ri.' 
ov(r6cu and opposed to KaOaipea-Oai. 
Compare with it d<f)ofriova'6ai, to 
appease a person, to make atone- 
ment to a person. Flat. Enthyphr. 
p. 4. Phsed. p. 61. Issens, ApoUod. 
§ 38. Demosth. c. Energ. p. 1161. 
To the d<t>oa-iov(rBai of the dead 

belongs the ancient ongolar prac- 
tice of aKpaynjpidieiVf fuurxa^io"- 
fiara or hirdpynara of the corpse 
of the slain man, well enough known 
from -Sschylus, Sophocles (El. 437. 
and Hermann), ApoUonius, and the 
Grammarians. The leading of aa 
army betwixt the slaughtered limbs 
of victims occurs as a Grecian cus- 
tom, Apollod. iii. 13, 7, and Per- 
sian, Herod, vii. 39. That oa-iova-' 
Bm (Xen. Hell. iii. 3, 1. L. Dindorf.) 
and h(l>o(riova6ai are also used of 
frmeral solemnities, arises from the 
drcumstanoe that there was in all 
«uch solemnities an imderlying idea 
of expiation. 


sented the slayer. In the oldest times both kinds of 
expiation coincided not only in the idea but also in the 
outward act ; for cattle represented money, and there- 
fore the man who expiated an act of bloodshed by the 
surrender and redemption of his own person would at 
the same time bring together a certain number of rams 
and other victims for propitiation of the slain. 

Here, I think, we have clearly ascertained the origin 
of the iroivvj price of blood (afterwards uTro^oj^ia), which 
occurs even in Homer. Although this consisted, as 
early as the Homeric age, in talents of gold, it is dis- 
tinguished &om every other species of indemnification 
and penalty (ri/iTj) by a peculiar term, woivfi. The 
TToivYi of the slain man is his Were, his Werigelt, ac- 
cording to the expression of our Gherman forefathers. 
Now it seems to me but little in accordance with the 
spirit of the most ancient times to suppose that the 
blood-avenging family bartered with the slayer, and for 
a money-payment, more or less as suited their rapacity, 
allowed him to remain in the land. Undoubtedly the 
desire of increased wealth may have early acted in this 
direction also; in more ancient times, after a simple 
and guileless manner, and without violence to the natu- 
ral feelings ; in an age of more refined sentiments the 
Attic laws utteiiy forbade the exaction of a price from 
the manslayer, aTroivav. But the original proceeding 
is unquestionably religious in its source — ^the propitia- 
tion of the incensed Manes by victims. Even the 
Wehrgeld of the German nations admits of being traced 
back to this idea, — ^namely, the redemption of the slayer's 
own life from the death with which he is menaced by 
the blood-avenging family ; though it is not to be de- 
• nied that in the old German poems and popular laws the 
other idea, namely the price for the slain, the (Bstimatio 
capitis, is brought forward sometimes in a very palpable 

6 2 


and lively manner ;^ and this again is not far removed 
from the original notion of atonement and propitiation. 
59. Such is the hilasHc aspect of the ancient usage we 
are considering. It is not uninteresting to observe how 
closely the other aspect^ that of katharsis, attaches itself 
to this. The victims sacrificed as expiatory offerings to 
the Infernal Powers serve withal for purification. Pia- 
cular offerings of swine to the subterranean deities^ 
especially the Earth-Mother {Tellurem porco piare), 
were of old an established ceremony among all branches 
of the Grecian family ; and hence it is that swine^s 
blood is a principal ingredient in all ceremonies of puri- 
fication.^ In the lustrations coimected with the expiation 
for bloody sucking-pigs were slaughtered in such a way 
that the blood which spirted from the wound (cr^ayi^ 
oifxaToq) fell upon the hands of the slayer; thus the 
human blood which still cleaved to his hands was con* 
ceived to be washed away by the sacred swine^s blood.' 
At Athens, women whom we otherwise find employed 
at sacrifices to the dead, the Enchytristriae, are actively 
engaged in this rite ; they received the swine's blood in 
vessels and poured it over the cidprit.* In this pro- 
cedure the person to be purified stood on the fleece of 
the ram sacrificed to Zeus Meilichios/ that primeval 
symbol of expiation and redemption from divine wrath 

' See J. Grimm, Deutsche Becht' 
salterfchiimer, p. 670. foil. 

3 Bo likewiFe in the lustrations 
of the Pnyx by the Peristiarchi be- 
fore the opening of the Ecclesia, 
and of the Council-Hall before the 
admission of the new BouleutsB 
(Srav flaUpai yJKkannv, flairri- 
pid). Here, it seems, the swine 
were previously caittrated ; as indeed 
it was a common practice for the 
Manes and Infernal Powers to re- 
ceive hostias exsectas* We read 

of a sort of worthless vagabonds, 
called Triballi, who prowl^ about 
the ccBfkBferales of Hecate, to make 
a meal of them, that they scrambled 
for these Spxfis when flung away, 
and ate tl)^m ! Demosth. c. Conon. 
p. 1269. 

^ Eumenid. 273, 427, and more . 
in detail in ApoUon. Rhod. iv. 704. 

* Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 801. 
comp. Lobeck Aglaopham. p. 682. 

» He8ysch.8.v.AiS£ic<j[»diovFbry- 
nichus in Bekker Anecd. p. 7. 


(§ 55.) ; the washed-off blood was then collected in 
the fleece and from that scattered out.' The funda- 
mental idea on which all this rests is the endeavour to 
bring the individual^ to whom the expiation is adminis- 
tered^ into the closest possible contact and most intimate 
connexion with the victim which is his vicarial repre- 
sentative ; for the same reason^ the parties concerned 
in oaths and covenants solemnized with sacrifice^ stood 
on the limbs of the dismembered victim — the type of 
what their fate should be if they violated their pledges 
— dipped their hands into the bason of bloody and 
perhaps^ when the oath was meant to be pecuUarly 
awful^ even tasted a little of the blood. 

Besides the bloody water was used^ which as a means 
of lustration also entered into the ordinary sacrifices to 
the dead (§ 56.) It is Achelous, the mighty river 
(whose name in fact denotes water), that purifies Alc- 
mseon &om the stain of his mother's blood ;^ in the 
case of Orestes also the streams of water wherewith he 
was purified are often mentioned f in particular^ the 
oracle is said to have directed him to the seven rivers 
of Rhegium. The water with which the oflFender had 
been purified^ called the Aponimma, was poured out in 
some appointed spot f &om the lustral water so poured 
out {XvimaTa,) after Orestes's purification at Troezen^ a 
laurel^ we are told^ sprung up : a miracle which is sup- 
posed to be the subject of a picture on an ancient vase.^*' 

60. Now that we have thus distinguished between 

* This 18 evidently the meaning of irritrfis to the cnltns of Zevg Trpoo-- 
dvodumofATreio'Bai as a riteof jca^op- rp6nMos. 

(r(£. See Timseos Lex. Flat. s. v. 
and Buhnken ad I. Plirynich. s. v. 
in Bekker, Anecd. p. 7. Of the pas- 
sages from Plato, Legg. ix. 8Y7 re- 
fers specially to the expiation for 
blood ; and the Scholl. on the Cra- 
tylus and on Legg. ix. p. 120, 14, 
Bekk. appropriate the dirodioTrofi- 

7 ApoUod. iii. 7, 5. comp. 15, 8. 

^ Earn. 430. oomp. Pausan. ii. 
31, 11. 

' Athen. ix. p. 410. Eustath. on 
Od.i.l87.p.l401. R.,oomp.Apollon. 
Rh. iv. 710. 

^^ Laborde, FoMt de Lamberg, 
pi. 14. 



the two ceremonies^ the belief on which they are 
grounded presents itself clearly to view^ and in a con* 
nexion which has its roots in the ftindamental ideas of 
all Grecian reUgion. 

In Hilasmos, the beings atoned and propitiated are 
the powers of the infernal worlds the Chthonian diyi- 
nities^ the Erinnyes^ the Manes of the slain. 

Supreme over the whole presides Zetis—^st once a 
celestial and a chthonian God. As MeiUchios he must 
be atoned and propitiated. He becomes a purifying 
Orod, Katharsios^ partly as he is an incensed Meilichios^ 
partly as God of the house and of such as approadi it 
in the character of suppliants (Zeus Herkeios^ EphestioSi 
Xenios^ Hikesios*). Even in Solon^s Laws Zeus^ as a 
God of solemn oaths and covenants^ was named HikesioSy 
ELatharsios^ and Exakesterios.^ As protector and re- 
ceiver of prostropaei he is himself named Ilpocyrpo- 

But after all^ the true and proper Purifier^ according 
to the ancient institution of Themis^ is none other than 
Phosbm- Apollo J the radiant Gt)d, who teaches to over- 
come the terrors of the darksome world by heroic con- 
flict or rites of avemmcation ; he^ whose festivals in all 
parts of Greece are connected with purifications of men 
and countries; who in the mythi belonging to his 
worship himself submits to expiation and purification ; 

* Comp. Herodot. i. 44. 

^ Pollux viii. 142. Comp. Eur. 
Here. F. 925. 

■ As 7rpo(rrp67raiog, therefore, 
denotes both him who TrpoarpiTrercu, 
and him to whom a person npoa-- 
TpinfTcu, so the words formed from 
(Ko have the same twofold significa- 
tion. Not only the suppliants are 
Ik4t<u, ticTopfg (hence lKTop€V€ip 

SophocL ap. Hesych.) d(f){KTop€g, 
but Zeus also is ucrt^p, or ticnfp, 
d(f>lKTap, ^sch. Suppl. L 474. 
Hence I explain Eumen. 118. Jify 
enemies ha/oe found TrpoaiKTOpa £, 
i.e.GodH who protect them as tt/mxt- 
iKTopas. Moschion (ap. Arsen. p. 
363. Walz.) calls the staff of the 
hiketes borne by Orestes, irpoaucrrjv 



whose ancient pseans^ or religious hymns^ were original! j 
without doubt chaunts of expiation. He it is^ who 
exterminates the monsters^ the swarming dragon-brood 
sent up by the powers of the earth and the infernal 
world in their wrath because of ancient guilt/ banishes 
contagion and pestilence^ the hostile operations of the 
same Gods^ and brings order^ light and welfare in their 
stead. To him his priestess justly leaves it to purify 
his own temple ; as latromantis and portent-seer he 
can account for the presence of these terrific beings and 
do away the curse which evoked them ; as Katharsios he 
can remove the pollution they hav6 occasioned^ Wi 62, 
63; a combination of ideas which, though in the 
earUer poetry, it is not expressed in the same way, is as 
old as the ApoUinary cultus itself. 

61. We do not mean to deny that other divinities 
also administer purification, of which probably Hermes 
and Athena are instances in the old heroic poem, the 
Danais :' but we maintain that in no other cultus does 
purification form so important a feature, so int^ral a 
portion of the reUgious service, as in that of Apollo. 
Achilles makes a voyage from Troy to Lesbos, as Arc- 
tinus (in Froclus) relates, in order to be purified, at a 
distance from tl^ camp, in the temple of Apollo, Artemis, 
and Leto, from the blood of a fellow-combatant. It is 
a fine trait in the legend of Heracles, that the hero, 
when seeking to be purified from the blood of Iphitus, 
is refused by the PyUan Neleus, but is entertained by 
Deiphobus of Amyclae,^ and by him actually purified : 

* Comp. on Eamen. 62. the beau- 
tiful passage Suppl. 265. conoeming 
Apis. Apis (i. e. *H7rtr, "Httios) is 
the SOD of Apollo ; he comes fix)m 
northern Greece and purifies Pelo- 
ponnese. As he, an tarpd/iovrir, 
exterminates the KvcadaXa PpoTo(l>- 

66pa, the bpoKiov SfuKog, so the 
Pythoness will have Apollo, as latro- 
mantis, destroy those KvoDbdka, the 

* Apollod. ii. 1, 5. 

• Apollod. ii. 6, 2. 



which is clearly meant to indicate Amyclse^ that spot 
peculiarly sacred to Apollo as the place where &om the 
time of the heroes a suppliant for purification always 
found a peculiarly kind reception. 

The cultus of Dionysos has also its ritual of expiation 
and purification — ^the connecting link here being the idea 
of the Chthonian God, Dionysos-Zagreus — a ritual which 
was subsequently formed by the men of Orpheus into a 
peculiar ascetic discipline. But although the Dionysian 
Katharsis (through its common origin in the cultus of 
the chthonian powers) may blend at its source with 
that of Apollo, yet the religion of Dionysos forms, in 
Greece, an independent system of itself, so detached 
from pubUc life, that a momentous poUtical institution 
like that of expiation for blood can by no means have 
been derived &om such a quarter. In all orgiastic 
religions Katharsis is, no doubt, an important feature : 
the Dionysian Katharsis, in particular, releases from 
the Dionysian mania, the &enzy of the Baccheia, as it 
did the God Dionysos himself according to Eumelus, 
and as it did the Proetidse according to ancient poems ; 
but that it also frees from pollution of blood I can 
find no evidence.' Concerning the Dionysian Katharsis 
as a point of great importance for the history of tragic 
poetry, I shall find occasion to say somewhat in a 
subsequent part of these Essays. 

c. Purification of Orestes, 

62. The virtue of ApoUinary expiations is strikingly 
exhibited in the mythic tale of Orestes. The story of 

^ Compare Hoeckh, Ereta iii. p. 
285 foU. 266 foil.— It is true Poly- 
idos, the Melampodide, exercises 
at oiioe the expation for blood and 

the cultus of Dionysos, Pausan. 
L 43> 5 ; but that does not prove a 
systematic connexion between them. 


his residence at Delphi, whence he sets out as avenger 
of bloody and whither he returns in the character of 
prostropaeus^ is undoubtedly of very ancient origin. 
The representation of the Crissean Pylades as his faith- 
ful companion^ and of Orestes himself as defender of the 
Pythian temple against Pyrrhus^ indicates a close con- 
nexion between the hero and the Grod^ such as I cannot 
account for otherwise than by referring it to actual 
historical relations and matters of fact. The glory, 
however, of having cleansed Orestes from his guilt was 
claimed by several other temples, especially by such as 
were consecrated to Apollo; in the same way as the 
tale of his persecution was repeated in different temples 
of the Erinnyes. Thus (1) Orestes is said to have spent 
the period of his exile among the Azan^s in Parrhasia, 
a district of Arcadia, and the natives derived the term 
Orestium from his name.^ In this district, which 
abounded in very ancient temples of the Earth-goddesses, 
there was shown, as late as the time of Pausanias, a 
temple of the mad Goddesses (Manise), not far from the 
site which MegalopoUs subsequently occupied: here it 
was that Orestes was seized with madness, and in his 
delirium bit off one of his fingers, to which also there 
was a monument erected (SaKrvXov fivrifxa) : further 
on was a spot called ''Aiciy {Healing), where the Goddesses 
were said to have appeared to him, on that occasion, 
whitey and where as Eumenides they had a temple. It 
was farther related that to the black Erinnyes Orestes 
offered evayiar/xaTa, and dvcriae to the white. In con- 
junction with these deities there were sacrifices offered 
to the Charites. (2) Upon the overthrow of Mycense 
by the Argives in 01. 97, a portion of the Myceneans 
fled to Cerynea in Achaia, and, as usual in such cases, 

2 Eurip. Orest. 1663. Tzetz. Lye 1374. 

o 3 



carried with them their forms of worship and the mythi 
connected with them. Hence arose the report that in 
Cerynea there was a temple built and consecrated by 
Orestes to the Eumenides, who made every offender 
mad:^ Orestes was said to have converted them from 
Erinnyes into Eumenides by holocausts of black sheep — 
so ran the legend, transferred from Mycenae to Cerynea.' 
(8) In Laconia, there was a rude stone on which (it 
was said) Orestes happening to sit down, experienced an 
alleviation of his madness : it was called ' the Stone of 
Assuaging Zeus, Zcuc Kairirwra^),' (4) The purification, 
however, was said to have been performed upon Orestes 
at Troezen, otherwise celebrated as a place of expiation 
for blood, by nine men in front of the temples of Apollo 
and Artemis/ (5) But the inhabitants of Rhegiumj 
who derived their origin partly from Chalcis and partly 
from Messenia, and called themselves sacred colonists of 
Apollo, also claimed for themselves and their seven rivers 
the honour of having performed this ceremony.' 

These, and perhaps also the traditions that Argos, in 
the country of the Macedonian Orestae, was founded by 
Orestes in the course of his wanderings,' were probably 
the stories which ^schylus had before him. No doubt 
the Greeks, in conveying their mythi with them in their 

^ Paiu. vii. 25, 4. 

^ For there is no doubt that in 
the Schol. (Ed. C. 42, instead of 
iv Kapvvii}, the reading of the Cod. 
Laurent., which was changed into 
€v Kapvia, iv Kapva (by the aro<f>o:>- 
TOTos Triclin.) we ought to read 


^ Pans. iii. 22. 1., and Siebelis 
in I, 

* Paufl. u. 31, 7, 10. Cf. i. 22, 

The Rhcgian legend is discussed 
by Fr. W. Schneidewin in a learned 

treatise, Diana PhaceliHs et Ores- 
tes apud Rheginoa et Siculos, Gott. 
1832. From the Messenian colony 
the Rhegians derived the cultus of 
the Orthian or Tauiic Artemis ; but 
this must even then have been con- 
nected in Laconia with the story 
of Orestes in the form in which we 
find it at a later period. 

' The passages from Strabo and 
otliers may be found in Raonl-Ro- 
chette. Hist, de V Etahliaaement des 
Col. Qr. V. ii. p. 451. 



migrations to all parts of the ancient worlds and every- 
where attaching them to localities of their new abodes, 
added to the original story a number of fictitious 
circumstances resting for the most part upon mere ety- 
mology: for instance, the Cappadocian mountain Amanon 
was marked as the place of liberation from madness ; 
Comana^ as the spot where the hair was shorn, and so 
on.^ iEschylus also goes upon the supposition of several 
acts of purification having been performed upon Orestes, 
the first and principal of them at Delphi, very shortly 
after the commission of the deed;^ but there is an 
evident allusion to several in the passage, 

TToAat irpoc aXXoic ravr* a^tepui/xeda 
oiKoiffi, Koi florolaiKal pvrois 7r6poic* 

V. 429. Cf. 220. 275. 

Befare other temples, he says, because an unhallowed 
person was not admitted into the abodes of Gt)ds or 
men. Hence the cabin in which Orestes sojourned at 
Troezen stood in front of the temple of Apollo, and the 
trials for blood at Athens were held not t9i, but near the 
Delphinium, Prytaneum, &c. In the long interval of 
time which must be imagined between v. 225 and 226, 
Oredtes visits even remote countries beyond the seas 
{jll. 241.) : probably the reference is to Bhegium, 
although the Bhegian legend places the arrival of 
Orestes after his Tauric wanderings. The Tauric voyage 
of Orestes^ as also the return of Iphigenia with him, is 
entirely omitted by iEschylus, as foreign to the develop- 
ment of his plot : how Euripides and others connected 
it with the legend of the Areopagus is a question which 

' Raoul-Rocb. ib. iv. p. 899. 
There was, however, in Cappadocia, 
a femily of priests called OresHacUe, 
as appears from an inscription found 

in the Catacombs of Thebes. IVanS' 
actions qfthe Royal Soc. qflAterai. 
V. ii. 1. 

B Choeph. 1081. Earn. 272. 


does not fall within the compass of our present inquiry. 
But that a considerable period of time had elapsed 
between the sojourn at Delphi and the arrival at Athens^ 
our Poet himself intimates to his audience^ where he 
says that besides the purifications and intercourse with 
mankind the very lapse of time must have removed all 
stain from Orestes (276). 

63. A greater difficulty may appear to he in the dr* 
cumstance that, although the purification of Orestes 
restores him without spot or stain to the intercourse 
with men and Gods, it does not rid him o{ the Erinnyes, 
nor even mitigate the keenness of their resentment 
against him. This difficulty cannot perhaps be satis- 
factorily cleared up in any other way than by the 
distinction we have above drawn between expiation and 
purification for blood. Orestes is no longer a polluted 
person, and therefore no longer an outcast from society : 
he now appears internally also more tranquillized than 
at the conclusion of the Choephoroe ; he has no stain of 
blood upon his hands or upon his conscience. But the 
resentment of his mother's Manes, of the infernal 
powers, the Erinnyes, is not yet removed ; it is for the 
Gods to rescue Orestes &om that by a formal trial. 
Fundamentally, indeed, the two considerations, which 
^schylus here separates, are one and identical; for the 
curse of the infernal powers manifests itself in the dis- 
tracted condition of the criminal, and their appeasement 
brings with it his purification, which clears the gloom 
£rom his countenance and restores him to human society. 
But, in the process of the positive development, these 
ideas, intimately as they were connected in the first 
instance, had become separate ; therefore ^schylus was 
at liberty to exhibit Orestes as purified, and yet under 
the ban of those infernal powers; and the more so, as it 
is probable that, although the rites of purification might 


be administered in foreign states^ the soul of the 
murdered person could in general be appeased only in 
the country where the deed was done^ where the grave 
of the slain was situated. Hence it is that ^schylus 
never makes mention of that part of the rites which has 
expiation for its object; namely, sacrifices to the 
Erinnyes and to the dead, melicrata, and the ram of 
Zeus Meilichios, but constantly confines himself to the 
ceremonies of purification — ^though, where the whole 
was complete, the latter were only a continuation of the 
former. It must be confessed that, if the deep and 
heartfelt truth which speaks in the primitive legend is 
somewhat obscured even in this modification of it, stilly 
^schylus has so managed the story, that, whether one 
reads it as an ordinary narrative of facts, or even medi- 
tates on its ethical and religious ideas, all is as consistent 
and consequent as it well could be, compatibly with the 
ultimate aim of his composition. 


a. The Attic Courts and Tribunals. 

64. We will begin this Section, as we did that on 
the Avenging of blood and pursuit of the bloodshedder, 
by giving a concise description of the institutions of 
historical times, with which we are better acquainted; 
and then go back to the more obscure regions of the 
earlier ages. 

By Solon's Code the jurisdiction in cases of blood 
was committed to two several Colleges, the Areopagus 
and the Ephetee, The Areopagus, or, more correctly 
speaking, the Council on the Hill of Ares (17 iv 'Apdtf 
vdyif PovXfi), consisted of such as had held the dignity 



of Archon^ and whose conduct in that station had been 
irreproachable. According to Solon's regulation, none 
but the rich could fill the office of Archon, and those 
only by election ; but after the time of Aristides every 
Athenian was eligible to it by the falling of the lot. 
The Areopagus was intended for the supreme court in 
cases of homicide, as it took, cognisance of wilful murder 
[i^ovoq kKoixTioq or cic irpovoiag), as also for malicious 
attempt to kill, by maiming, poisoning, and arson. 

The Ephetse were fifty-one men, above fifty years of 
age, of noble family {apiarTivSrjv) and eligible only on 
the ground of irreproachable character. They sat as a 
collective body in one or other of the four several courts 
of justice.* In cases of manslaughter they held their 
sittings at the Palladium ; in cases of justifiable homi- 
cide (such as killing another in self-defence, taking the 
life of an adulterer in vindication of family honour, 
killing a tyrant, a thief, or robber, and also man- 
slaughter in the gymnastic games), they met at the 
Delphinium. Sometimes their sittings were held at 
the Prytaneum, where by a singular old custom judg- 
ment was passed on the instruments of murder in cases 
where the perpetrator of the act was either not forth- 
coming or not detected. Lastly, when a person who 
had gone into temporary exile for manslaughter was 
indicted for murder, they held trial upon him at 
Phreatto or Zea.' In this particular case the defendant 

^ Thk is the meaning of nepi- 
i6vT€s in Photius. In Suidas, 
Zonaras and the Scholia on Dem. c. 
Aristocr. p. 98 R, this expression, 
from a misconception of the ahhre- 
viation Tr.iSvrts (= 7r€pii6vT€s) has 
been changed into tt (= oyborj- 
Kovra) 8vTfg. 

^ These are undoubtedly identi- 
cal. Phreatto was the name given 
to a spot of ground, t^mOtv rov 

TLcipaiSii (Helladias in Phot. My- 
riob. p. 535 Bek.) Zea was the most 
inland and northern of the three 
havens at the Piraeus, but so situated 
that at one spot it was separated 
from an outer bay only by a narrow 
tongue of land : it was on this the 
court of justice stood. See Stuart* s 
or Kruse's plan, PI. iii. § 3. In 
Wachsmuth's Antiqq. ill. p. 820, a 
slight correction is needed. 


pleaded his cause on board ship^ being prohibited firom 
landing by the vengeance awaiting blood: if con- 
demned^ his aTT^viavTKTfiog became a banishment for 
Ufe (§ 44). 

65. Now if it be asked why Solon committed the 
cognisaDce of wilful murder^ and that of the last specified 
kinds of homicide, to two different courts, we may first 
of all confidently answer thus much, that it was not 
because such a severance had been customary in Greece 
from the earliest times. For, to say nothing of the 
very slight distinction made in the earlier times between 
wilful murder and manslaughter (§ 52), there is not a 
trace to be found in all Greece of such a severance of 
jurisdictions, and it must be admitted that in practice 
it would necessarily give rise to many inconveniences 
and circuitous procedures. The nature of the case, as 
well as all historical analogy, obliges us to assume that 
in the first instance, even in Attica, the same authorities 
(although perhaps at different tribunals) investigated the 
degree of heinousness attaching to an act of homicide, and 
determined whether it ought to be punished with death — 
with which, in the view of the Greeks, perpetual banish- 
ment stood pretty nearly on a par — or whether it might 
be atoned for by a temporary avoidance of one's native 
land, and consequently was capable of expiation at home. 
In these last words we assign at the same time the 
reason why the court of Ephetee was separated from the 
Areopagus, and it needs but one step more to arrive at 
the conclusion that this separation could only have been 
brought about by Solon. Namely : The atonement for 
blood and purification of the bloodshedder came under 
the Sacred Law of Athens (the Upa kqI oaea), which 
remained in the hands of the old nobility even after 
they had lost their poUtical authority (the proofs of this 
will be given in the following Section on the Exegetse) : 



80 that the administration of the rites of expiation could 
not be taken away from the old aristocracy of Athens^ 
even when the constitution underwent in other respects 
a complete change. None but an aristocratic court 
was competent to pronounce an act of homicide expiable, 
and itself to preside over the rites of expiation and 
cleansing. Accordingly^ the cases reserved for decision 
of that court were those in which a person was accused 
of unpremeditated manslaughter — for here expiation 
came in after the flight : further^ where the plea put 
in by the accused was that of jmtifiable homicide — ^in 
this case there was no punishment^ nor was the indi- 
vidual obliged to flee his country/ but still it was neces- 
sary^ at least in certaui cases/ that he should undergo 
puriflcation : Airther^ the case in which an unpremedi- 
tated was followed by a premeditated act of homicide^ it 
being then a question whether expiation were still 
admissible or not : and lastly^ the formalities observed 
in holding judgment on the weapon with which blood 
had been shed^ since these formalities necessarily devolved 
upon the managers of ancient rites of expiation. As 
wilful murder^ on the contrary^ could not be expiated 
but by the hand of the executioner — such no doubt was 
the principle expressed in the stem 0fa/io/ of Draco — 
there was no need in this case to refer to expositors of 
ancient Sacred Law ; so that Solon was at liberty here 
to vest the cognisance of such cases in a corporate body 
which, in accordance with the spirit of his legislation. 

^ He was siud to commit the act 
vrimivel, Dem. c. Aristocr. p. 637, 
639. Killing of a fioixis was 
deemed no <l)6vos: Lys. de Era- 
tosth. CsBd. § 30. 

' This is seen quite clearly by 
comparing the law in Demosthenes 
with Plato, Legg. ix. p. 865 : e7 ri£ 

€v &yS)Pi Koi Sffkois Brjfioo'ioi.g 3jco>v 
— aiT€ier€iv€ — KaBapBtXg Kara rbv 
€K Aek^Sfv KOfiiadevra irtpl rov- 
rap v6iiov taron KaOapds* This 
applies to the cases in which ven- 
geance was not allowed. On the 
other cases Plato's expression ix. 
p. 874) is not quite definite. 



he formed out of the most affluent of the Athenian 
citizens who had filled the office of Archon^ and which, 
as he himself expressed it^ he intended to make the 
anchor of his Constitution. 

66. If the matter be viewed in this light, it seems 
impossible to doubt that the separation of the court of 
Ephetse from the Areopagus took place at a period when 
the domination of the Athenian nobility was brought to 
an end, and stripped of whatever could be withdrawn 
from it, consistently with the respect for religious tradi- 
tions. And such a period, we know, was precisely the 
age of Solon. Besides these reasons, there are others of 
a subordinate kind which lead to the same result.' 
Thus, in Pollux, we find it stated, probably upon 
Aristotle's authority, that the Ephetse formerly ad- 
ministered justice in five courts, not in four only: 
and Draco, in his laws, never spoke of any but Ephetse, 
although the antiquity of the jurisdiction held by the 
Areopagus, in cases of bloodshed, is attested by so many 
legends, and admitted also by Aristotle (Pol. ii. 9). 

These circumstances also lead us to infer the early 
existence of a Senate at Athens, invested, like the 
Spartan Gerusia, with the jurisdiction in cases of homi- 
cide, and encroaching upon the office of avenging blood, 
as far as the views of the age, resting as they did upon 
a rehgious basis, allowed such interference. This council, 
which also watched over the preservation of morals 
and good order, and, no doubt, had in the first instance 
great administrative power, had, in reference to its 

' See Luzac Exercitt, Acad. 
Spec. iii. p. 181. Plainer Process 
und Klagen, vol. i. p. 21. Scbo- 
mann, however, takes a different 
view of the matter {Attischer Pro- 
cess, p. 15.) He is of opinion that 
Draco took the oognisanoe of homi- 

cide entirely out of the hands of the 
Areopagus and transferred it to the 
Ephetse. But would not this have 
been a material change in the Con- 
stitution, such as we are told, upon 
the testimony of Aristotle, was no 
part of Draco's design ? 



cogmsance of actions for homicide the title of Ephetae 
(EfjteTaiyY a term more correctly derivable from the 
permission of blood-vengeance^ than from the appeal of 
the accused against it, inasmuch bb the very point on 
which all depends in this branch of the judicature is 
how far the slayer should be given up to the vengeance 
of the relatives, or rescued from it. This title occurred 
so frequently in Dracoes laws, that it gave rise to the 
opinion which we find in Pollux, that Draco instituted 
the college of Ephetse. 

While on these grounds we deem the separation into 
different courts to be of later date, and to have arisen 
out of the political views of after-times ; on the other 
hand, we hold the distinction of different tribunals for 
different degrees and kinds of crimes and guilt to be of 
very ancient origin, inasmuch as the choice of these 
tribunals has reference to religious ideas, which carry us 
back to times in which the various Grecian worships 
were in course of formation, whereas, in later times, 
these ideas had become obscured and fallen into oblivion. 
We may be permitted to pursue this subject somewhat 

67. The worst cases of murder were tried on the Hill 
qf Ares, whose temple was at the top, and that of the 
Erinnyes at the bottom of the hill (irrfr. §.88). Judg- 
ment was there held on such as had broken the peace by 
maliciously murdering a citizen.^ The special resent- 
ment of the deceased, the Erinnys (§ 77), rested upon 

^ 'E^rrot, 01 e^tao-i r^ avbpo- 
<f>6vt^ rbv dvbprjkdTqv* The expla- 
nation of i(f)€Tris as ' a person ap- 
pealed to' is not authorised by the 
instances of nouns in~ rris in a 
passive sense ; as deiycverai dcoi in 
Homer, yeverrjs and ycvereipa in 
the sense of son and daughter, in the 

Tragedians and Euphorion, Katra-O' 
dcTog in Pindar, evbvr^p ircirXos in 
Sophocles, &c. 

^ Such acts were supposed to be 
done at the instigation of "A.pus 
€fi<f)v\u)g or '^Aprjs riBaa-ds, as 
.Sschylus calls it, Eum. 335. 



such an one ; and to that Erinnys he was abandoned, if 
his guilt was clearly proved. In the Areopagus, says 
Euripides, the murderer must render their just rights to 
the nameless Goddesses {Bucriv wapafiytiv toIq avwvv" 
fioig Otaig, Iph. T. 951). The accused takes oath by 
these Goddesses in particular.' K acquitted, he is with- 
drawn from their power, and sacrifices to them in their 
neighbouring temple, as appeased divinities;^ if con- 
demned, he is abandoned to the Erinnys, which he has 
provoked, and to the Gx)d of War whom he has roused. 
This connexion of the cultus of the Erinnyes with the 
court of Areopagus is also exhibited in the story of 
Epimenides, in which it is related that this Cretan 
priest, having to expiate the pollution brought upon the 
country by former deeds of blood, let loose some black 
and some white sheep from the Areopagus, and sacrificed 
them on the spot whither they had run, to the divinities 
who seemed to desire the sacrifice (ry irporrnKovri Oet^), 
and at the same time built a tepple to the Dread God- 
desses or Erinnyes. In reaUty, however, their temple 
was founded unquestionably at an earher date/ But 
how this connexion is based upon the earliest history of 
the Grecian worships, I shall endeavour to show in the 
next section. 

Cases of unpremeditated homicide were tried at the 
Palladium. The term Palladium in Grecian antiquity 
is not applied to any or every statue of the Goddess 
Pallas-Athena;^ it is only to a certain particular repre- 

3 Dinarch. c. Demosth. § 47. 

* Pans. i. 28, 6. 

^ Lobon of Argos in Diogen. 
Laert. i. 10, 112. To Epimenides 
is also ascribed the erection of the 
pillars to "YjSpir and 'AvoiSeta on 
the Areopagus. Gemens Alex. 
Protrept. p. 22 Potter. 

^ The statue of Athena Polias in 
the citadel was never called by the 
Athenians themselves IlaXXddcoy, 
but r6 apxaHov Syaikfia t6 ey ttAci, 
r^ TTJs Ucikidbos, t6 yraXatdi/ ^perast 
and in the Plynteria (the holy wash- 
ing) rh ibos (to itpxcuov) rrjs *A^- 
vas. Vid. Xen. Hell. i. 4, 12. Hut., 



sentation^ which at an early date had assumed a 
typical character^ of Pallas BellatriXy that this name 
attaches; the reason of which must be sought in the 
meaning of the name Pallas itself. By Palladia we 
must always understand figures of Pallas in a standing 
posture, with the -ffigis, and with shield and spear 
advanced. At one period the Greek legends placed all 
such statues of Pallas in connexion with Troy: every 
town that possessed an old wooden image of the above 
description boasted of having had it from Troy: and 
the same origin was claimed for the Attic one in legends 
of various kinds, all of them, however, agreeing in this 
one point.^ This Athenian Palladium was in the 
southern quarter of the city,' and the care of it was 
entrusted to the ancient Attic family of the Buzygi, as 
appears from an old legend, and an inscription of lat^r 
date,' coinciding with each other. Now this Trojan 
Palladium is connected with a tradition, which though 
known to us from no earlier author than ApoUodorus, is, 
unquestionably, of ancient origin, that the Goddess 
Athena having killed one of her playmates, Pallas, in 
exercises of arms, made the Palladium in memory of 
her. Moreover, this Trojan Palladium (which was pro- 
bably quite distinct from the statue in the citadel of 
Ilium, this latter being described by Homer as in a 
sitting posture), is said to be placed on the hill of Ate,^ 
where the abode of Cassandra was situated;^ the reason 
for this was, because the statue owed its origin to Ate, 
or a temporary derangement of mind. Little as this 

Aldb. 84. Hesych. s. v. TLpa^icp- 
ytdcu. On the other hand the 
image in Ilium was called r^ rris 
*ABripas edosi o UclKXclBiov lutKovai, 
Appian Mithrid. c. 53. (ebog means 
hiOTe generally an IbpvyJvov, a con- 
secrated image as in Corp. Inscr. 
491.) The image of Pallas Alaloo- 

mene Lb also called a Palladium. 

^ Creuzer SymboL vol. ii. p. 600 
sqq. (German.) 

3 Pint. Thes. 27. 

^ Corp. Inscrip, ii. 491. 

* ApoUod. iii. 12, 3. 

» Lyoophr. 29. 



part of the mythi about Pallas has hitherto been un- 
riddled^ thus much at least is clear^ that the Palladia in 
general were connected with the notion of homicide 
committed without malice aforethought^ imder the mo- 
mentary influence of Ate (§ 4J5, 52); and on that 
account the court adjoining the Palladium was deemed 
by the Athenians the fittest tribunal for such cases.' 

Similarly the Delphinian Apollo, near whose temple 
the third tribunal of the Ephetse was situated, was con- 
nected with the notion of justifiable homicide. ApoUo 
is called Delphinios, as slayer of the AeXfjtivri, the 
hostile serpent Python (§. 56). This was a lawful act, 
although the God fled in consequence, and underwent 
purification (§. 65). Hence cases of justifiable homicide 
were brought before the tribunal contiguous to the 
temple of the Delphinian Apollo. But clear as this 
connexion is, it must have been lost sight of by the 
Athenians at an early period, since the notion of Apollo 
Delphinios as a conducting God, sweeping over the seas 
in the form of a dolphin, very soon prevailed. Thus, 
on the one hand, the circumstance of the tribunal of the 
Ephetse being at the Delphinium is an evident proof that 
by Apollo Delphinios the slayer of the serpent was 
originally meant; and on the other hand, the early 
disappearance of this conception of the Delphinian Apollo 
clearly attests the antiquity of the Ephetic Courts. 

The Prytaneum was from time immemorial, as its 
name impUes, the place of assembly for the Prytanes, 

' This notion of nnintentional 
homicide recurs also in the legraids 
about the manner in which the 
Palladium came to Athens. The 
Argives deputed to convey this Pal- 
ladium were killed upon their land- 
ing in the Phalerian Harbour, un- 

known who they were. Hence they 
were worshipped under the title dT 
dyvcarts. (Pollux viii. 118. 6€ol 
dyvmaroi Koi rjpm^s in Phaleron, 
Pans. i. 1, 4. Cf. Siebelis in I,) See 
Phaiiodem. ap.Suid. inl noXXod/tt, 
and others. 



the presidents for the time being of the Supreme Council. 
Consequently it had probably been at some time or 
other the tribunal for political offences, obscure traces 
of which are to be found in a law of Solon's and the 
decree of Patroclides.^ The Ephetse, however, usualfy 
held only those sham-trials there, especially that on tbe 
axe of the Diipolia. The reason for this is pa*haps to 
be sought in local circumstances. 

The reason why the fourth, formeriy the fifth, tri- 
bunal of the Ephetic Court was in Phreatto, at tiie 
Peirseeus, is evident. 

68. In the poetical treatment of an ancient leg^id 
we do not require a literal agreement with a real his- 
torical state of things; the main point is that the 
fundamental idea be intrinsically true. In the present 
instance, however, any representation of the Areopagus 
differing from the existing state of that institution would 
instantly have struck every well-informed spectator, and 
so have materially counteracted the Poet's design of 
influencing his own generation and supporting this Court 
of Judicature against its adversaries. This would have 
been the case for instance, had the Areopagus been 
wholly an institution of Solon's, which it appears from 
the preceding elucidations it was not. It is true the 
Ephetse, as the Eupatridic Assize of Expiation, strike us 
on the one hand rather as a remnant of the ancient 
Gerusia, which formerly gave judgment in all cases of 
homicide ; but then on the other hand the Areopagus 

^ Plut. Solon 19. Andoc. de 
Myster. § 77. Hence it appears 
that before the time of Solon, and 
perhaps even afterwards, on parti- 
calar occasions, the authors of mas- 
sacres (a-<l>ay€is) and insurrections 
tending to the establishment of 

tyranny were tried in the Pryta- 
neam before the Paa-ikeU (the <^Xo- 
Paa-ikeis, I suppose, who may have 
been identical with the Prytanes in 
the first instance, and subsequently 
had to do with the sham-trials at the 


had preserved the union of Council and Court of Justice^ 
which characterized it upon its first institution ; and^ as 
it still maintained its credit, whilst the Ephetic Courts 
sank more and more in the public estimation^ it was 
natural that all those old legends and mythi should be 
made to redound solely to the glory of the Areopagus. 

Thus it appears that the legend of Orestes^s acquittal 
by the Areopagus could not possibly be a matter of 
surprise to any Athenian at all conversant with history. 
That it was the invention of -^schylus himself, as a 
modem scholar has supposed, is perfectly incredible : 
besides, Hellanicus, a contemporary of ^schylus, relates 
that this Court awarded sentence not only to Orestes, 
but to many other heroes and even Gods before him. 
These legends ^schylus lets quite alone ; the mythus 
of Orestes was so famous that, quite in the manner of 
legend, it was possible to refer the very institution of 
the Court to this sentence, as the first pronounced by 
it. To have assumed the Areopagus as already exist- 
ing would scarcely have accorded with -^schylus^s plan ; 
he was obliged to make his poem serve for a record of 
the institution of this sacred and divine tribunal. Neither 
did his views allow him to represent the twelve Gods as 
the first Judges in this Court, as Demosthenes relates of 
them f the citizens of Athens were to be the first in- 
vested with that important office, and must receive it 
from the hands of Athena. As usual, there were 
numerous legends on this point at variance one with 
another; the Argives also claimed for an ancient tri- 
bimal in their city the fame of Orestes^s trial (Eur. Or. 
862. c. Scholl). But the high consideration of the 
Areopagus among the Greeks appears upon the whole 
to have prevailed, and to have estabUshed the priority 
of the Attic legend. 

^ c. Aristocr. p. 641, 644. 


69. The only circumstance one might be apt to 
wonder at is that^ though all the above mentioned 
tribunals for the trial of homicide were of very early 
origin, the legend of Orestes was attached to the Areo- 
pagus and not to the Delphinium. The cases tried 
before this latter tribunal were ^ when a pei'son pleaded 
justifiable homicide/ and Demosthenes cites Orestes him- 
self as an instance in point. Nevertheless, according to 
the more ancient view, which concerns itself less with 
set distinctions and definitions than with the considera- 
tion of the internal aspect of the thing done and the 
mental state of the doer, the Areopagus might appear 
more competent to decide the matter than the Delphi- 
nium. Or, to speak in the sense of earlier times, the 
Hill of Ares would seem a fitter tribunal than the 
temple of the Delphinian Apollo. The slayer who pre- 
sents himself for judgment at this bar is no conscience- 
stricken criminal; there is no Erinnys to harass him: 
for how can an Erinnys be ascribed to the nocturnal 
robber, or to the adulterer, seized in the very act of their 
offence and slain upon the spot? But Clytaemnestra, 
though lawfully put to death by the avenger of bloody 
is a mother, and as such has her Erinnyes ; and this is 
the significance of the Areopagus, that it decides between 
these vengeful Goddesses and the object of their resent- 
ment, to which, as we have above seen, the very locality 
itself, and the solemnities observed in the proceedings 
before the Areopagus distinctly point. 

i. On the judicial proceedings in jEschyltis. 

70. iEschylus makes his Areopagus as like as possible 
to what it was in historical times; and whilst on the one 
hand the entire spectacle is marvellous and superhuman, 
the actors in the drama being Gods, on the other hand 
the whole procedure is conducted so much in regular 


form^ and according to the established laws and costoms 
that the Foetus drift is at once evident^ and palpably 
none other than that of exhibiting the existing consti- 
tution in the light of a Divine Providence. It is 
therefore worth while to take a closer view of these 
proceedings and of the formalities observed in them. 

At Athens^ and nearly everywhere in the ancient 
world, every Court consisting of a large body of Judges 
had its president {fiy^fxijv) whose duty it was to conduct 
the previous inquiry upon the cases about to be 
presented, and upon whose sanction they were brought 
into court. In actions for homicide this office was held 
at Athens by the second of the nine Archons, the "Kpywv 
BaaiXEvc* Here however it is filled by the Lady Athena 
(ai'a<r<r' 'Aflai^a), whom Orestes by the instruction of 
Apollo invokes at the very outset to be his judge (cf. 
V. 81. 215. 234. 250. 446). This indeed she decKnes, 
since it is not for her, the immaculate Goddess, to sit 
as judge upon a case of blood (v. 449); and she appoints 
a jury instead, to whom she refers the matter. Pallas 
therefore is the magistrate of preliminary inquiry, the 
Pr<Btor who appoints judges for the parties [datjudicea.) 

This preliminary examination (ai^aic/ocaic) is exhibited 
by jiEschylus, in the scene where Athena questions 
both parties about their name, office, and legal demands 
and pretensions (see especially 386 — 467) ; whereupon 
she sees good to decide that the cause shall be received, 
and requires both parties to have their witnesses and 
evidence in readiness to produce in court ; although it 
is true these were usually brought forward at the 

71. In this scene occurs a passage which, from not 
being rightly imderstood, has been variously altered by 
the editors. A little attention to the course of the pro- 
ceedings in court makes all dear. The passage in 



question is at v. 407, where, when Athena, after ques- 
tioning the Erinnyes, turns to Orestes, they exclaim, 
' But he would hardly accept an oath, nor yet give one :' 

aXX* 6pK0V oh ^i^aiT ay, oh ^ovvai OiXei, 

One does not comprehend what they mean, unless, in 
the first place, one bears in mind what is the original 
sigi^ification of the word opKog, viz., the object whereby 
one takes oath, and which binds the conscience of the 
party taking it.* The party who challenges the other 
to take his oath names to him the object by which he 
shall swear ; for instance, the head of his child, or such 
and such Gods. This is called giving an o^koq. Now 
it should be further observed that an oath of this kind, 
demanded of, or tendered to one party by the other, 
forms part of the depositions, which required a chal- 
lenge {ir^oKXriaiq) and the acceptance of it : both 
parties must be agreed to rest the issue to be tried on 
the oath of one or other of the parties, in order that 
the oath might be admissible and stand as a substantive 
deposition. The agreement to this effect and the oath 
itself might take place either at the anacrisis or in court, 
or quite independently of the trial ; only in the latter 
case the transaction must be duly attested before it 
could influence the verdict. The meaning, then, of 
what the Erinnyes say is this : ' Orestes will scarcely 
allow us to name the oath which he shall take for asse- 
veration of his innocence, nor will he readily consent to 
rest the issue upon our swearing to his guilt by what- 

* See tbis proved by Battmann 
in the Lexilogus ii. p. 52, whose 
proofs m my opinion are not reftited 
by more recent objections. That 
the Attic usage accords with this 
explanation is proved by passages in 
Demosthenes, which may be found 

in Reiske's Index. And although, 
I grant, Euripides uses ^pKov dovvai 
in the sense of taking oath, still, in 
all probability, .^schylus would 
keep to the stricter sense of the 


ever oath he shall please to propose to us 'y in which 
they are perfectly right. But Athena very properly 
refuses to admit such a mode of decision in this case^ 
as a mere semblance of justice : never, with her consent, 
shall oaths gain the victory for the wrong cause. It is 
evident, partly from these expressions and partly from 
other circumstances, that the question here is not about 
the oath regularly administered^ independently of any 
proclesis, in the Court of Areopagus — viz., that in which 
the prosecutor and the defendant, standing over the 
dissected members (ctti ro/iiioic) of a wild boar, a ram, 
and a bullock, solemnly deposed to the truth and 
justice of their respective causes, and, in case of per- 
jury, denoimced most awful curses upon themselves and 
all that belonged to them (Sicu/ioaia Kar* i^iaXuaq)? 
This oath was indispensable in all such prosecutions; 
and if ^schylus makes no mention of it in the sequel, 
it is because it had no specific significance in this 
particular case; just as the oath of the Areopagites to 
do strict justice is frequently referred to in the course 
of the play,^ but is not actually administered in the 
Theatre. On the other hand, the irpoicXriaiq, or 
provocatio ad jusjurandum here in question, is charac- 
terised as something opposed to the simple straight- 
forward course of law, the cvOcia Scicii, 411 ; as indeed 
the euthydicia, although usually opposed to .an exception 
or counter-charge put in for the purpose of preventing 
a charge or indictment from being sent into court 
[frapaypaf^riy Siafiaprvpia^ avTiypa<^r\)y may very well 
be used in a wider sense, as opposed to the diversion 
of law from its direct course by a proclesis ; of which, 
indeed, the very passage before us furnishes a proof. 
72. Thereupon Athena calls together the Jury, ' the 

* Cf. Luzac, Exerdtatt. Acad, Spec, iii. p. 176. ' Cf. w. 461. 660. 680. 

H 2 



worthiest of her people* {aaTwv ra jScXrara, v. 465)* 
whom she intends in the sequel to invest in solemn 
form with the new office of Areopagites. The number 
of these men we have above fixed at twelve (§ 9) ; and 
it is not improbable that the council of the Areopagus 
really consisted^ in the first instance^ of that number of 

Athena then introduces the suit {ei(Tayti, 550, 552) ; 
as president of the court, she is also ciaaywyevc^ The 
parties plead against each other in short and plain 
sentences ; long speeches being against the usage of the 
Areopagus, as well as contrary to the taste of our Poet. 
The only one who speaks at all at length is Apollo, and 
in his case it is very allowable, since he is not only 
advocate for Orestes, but also Exegetes, of which office 
I shall speak presently. As such he expounds the 
nature of justifiable homicide, as well as the other 
exculpatory circumstances, to the clear comprehension 
of the Judges. 

After the parties have done pleading, Athena fulfils 
the promise she had made (v. 462), by announcing the 
institution of the court of Areopagus (the Q^a^ioq, 46?, 
651). If it be asked why this ceremony is deferred till 
after the pleading, the answer is this. The Judges 
had hitherto listened to the dispute, like the rest of the 
assembled multitude, and had probably in their own 

^ T^ jScXrara, in a political sense, 
must be compared with Herodotus's 
ra jTpayra, It is equivalent to the 
^ekrioTOi of Xenophon. 

* Perhaps the following conjec- 
tures may be deserving of notice. 
We assume that the earliest Bule, 
elected from the first Fhyle, con- 
sisted of twelve. Then, if aU four 
Fhylse be represented, the number 
becomes forty-eight, includingyb«r 

Phylobasileis as Prytanes of this 
Bule : the King himself being 
reckoned in, the number becomes 
forty-nine. The transfer of that 
number to the new ten Phylse gave 
rise to the fifty-one Ephetie, in the 
same manner as fi% were formed 
out of forty-eight NaucrarisB. At 
the same time, for fowr Phylo- 
basileis ten were introduced. Cf. 
Photius s. V. pavKpapia, 


minds come to a decision upon the case^ but not in a 
judicial capacity ; they are now to give their votes, after 
serious deliberation, with a strict observance of their 
oath and a fall sense of the importance of their office. 
The introduction, therefore, of the ceremony of inaugu- 
ration is quite appropriate at this stage of the action. 
It is the central point of the composition as a political 
drama, in which aspect it has been above considered 
{§ 35 flf). 

73. We come next to the balloting which follows the 
inaugural address. Unless we have a clear comprehen- 
sion of the manner in which this ceremony is conducted, 
and carefully distinguish between two points in the 
action, there wiU be some danger of our getting a very 
confused notion of the whole proceeding. For it is 
assuredly a confiised and ridiculous notion which very 
many entertain on this subject — ^viz., that after Athena 
has thrown in her ballot for Orestes, and not till then, 
the votes are counted and found equal, and that Orestes 
is acquitted on the score of this equality. The very 
idea of the Calculus Minerva, so often mentioned by 
the ancients, is neither more nor less than this — TTie 
votes are equal, a white \f^ri<l^og (for acquittal) is 
imagined to be added,' and so the accused is supposed to 
have the majority. Without doing violence to justice 
(a thing not to be conceived of the righteous Goddess), 
the calculus Minervae is mercy naturally prevailing over 
strict justice in an equally balanced case. But the 

' From the verdict returned for 
Orestes by the Areopagus Euri- 
pides deduces the principle, that in 
la'o^<fiia the defendant gains the 
cause (El. 1277. Iph. T. 1482,) and 
in this sense the -^^r AOrjvas is 
often mentioned by the later ora- 

tors. See the passages cited in K. at the end of this volume.) 

F. Hermann's Manual of Political 
Antiquities, § 143, 4. In the Scholia 
on Aristid. Panath. p. 108, 7. Dind. 
it is stated that the twelve Grods sat 
as Judges in the Areop^us; Athena, 
however, gave the thirteenth vote. 
(See appendix on Calculus JliGnerva 



difficulty, as we said before, is removed by distinguish- 
ing between two points in the action, the taking up of 
the ballot and the casting it into the urn (i/zt^^oi^ aipeiv 
Kai Siayvdivai SUriv, v. 679). The Areopagites each in 
turn rise from their seats, go to an altar on which are 
lying an adequate number of ballots, and take one up. 
The taking of the ballots from the altar was a usual 
ceremony upon divisions of the court, and therefore 
-^schylus would scarcely omit it. Then they step to a 
table upon which probably two vessels^ — ^the brazen urn 
of mercy and the wooden one of death — stand side by 
side, and throw their ballot into one of them — ^unless, in- 
deed, as was usual in the other Attic courts of justice, for 
the sake of secrecy, they had also a second xprifjtog, which 
was marked as not intended to count. This is done by 
the twelve Areopagites in turn, at measured intervals. 
This done, Athena likewise takes a ballot from the altar, 
and holding it up, says that she intends to give this for 
Orestes (705) — by virtue of this ballot Orestes shall 
gain the cause, even should* the votes be equal (711) — 
but without forthwith casting it into one of the urns. 
To do so, in fact, would be quite in contradiction to 
the very meaning of the calculus Minervae. The ballots 
are now turned out of the urns, and being counted, are 
found equal (v. 762) : thereupon the Goddess lays hers 
along with those for the acquittal, and at the same 
instant announces even now the final issue of the whole 

* Called nvxn v. 7X2. cf. Agam. 
789, 790. 

' This appears to me the most 
satisfkctory conception of the af^^ 
though there may perhaps he room 
for a different view on minor points. 
In works of art, for instance on the 

cup in the Corfini Collection, there 
is only one vessel given, into which 
Minerva is in the act of casting her 
hallot ; hut who dreams of inferring 
from such evidence what were the 
arrangements in the Court of Areo- 



74. We have still to define the nature of the office 
discharged by Apollo in this suit. 

The Exegesis at Athens applied wholly to the un- 
written Law J the precedents and usages handed down 
by oral tradition. Notwithstanding the great extension 
given to the written law at Athens, by fresh additions 
continually made to it, there was still a great deal left 
to oral tradition with respect to religious rites and the. 
duties owing to the dead, one of which was the avenging 
of blood. Now such persons as were in possession of 
superior information on these points, and could accu- 
rately define the right and wrong in cases of that class, 
were called e^ijyijrai twv warpiwv, twu lepfov Kal oaliov 
(Exegetae of the customs of the land, the sacred and 
sanctioned usages, interpret es religionis). Their office 
was, ISij-yeio-Oa*, to expound this Law, de jure sacro 

For instance, the Exegetse are asked if a person were 
bound to contribute to the interment of such and such 
an one (Isseus de Ciron. Hsered. § 39) ; and so in all 
cases where a person was apprehensive of omitting any 
honour due to the dead (Harpocr. s. v. i^tiyriTfig). He 
is consulted when it is not known in what way the 
death of a slave ought to be avenged upon the author 
of it (Plat. Euthyph. p. 4). In such cases the Exegetse 
point out the lawful course and give suitable advice 
{e^TiyovvTai ra vofxifxa, irapaivovaw ra (TVfXi^opay Dem. 
c. Euerget. p. 1160). This office of the Exegetse 
clearly shews how intimately the law relating to the 
shedding of blood was connected at Athens with reli- 
gious rites and ordinances. Even the Areopagus had 
unwritten laws in its keeping (oy/oa^o vojuLifxa, Dem. c. 



Aristocr. p. 646)^ though it was a fundamental principle 
in the jurisdiction exercised by the popular tribunals of 
Athens to allow no appeal to precedents, to admit none 
but written or statute law^ and charge the right use of 
it upon the conscience of the Judges. 

75. The Exegesis presupposes oral precepts^ which in 
the earlier times can scarcely have been anything else 
than family traditions^ similar to those on which the 
Etruscan discipline was conducted^ only that the latter 
was a far more laborious and extensive study than the 
jus sacrum of the Athenians. This custom of £Etmily 
tradition existed everywhere among the ancients, espe- 
dally in noble families ; and accordingly we find that at 
Athens the Eupatridse were in the first instance the 
Exegetae of the sacred law (Pint. Thes. 25) ; nay, even 
in the Roman period there were Eupatridic Exegetse 
(fc^ EvirarpiSfop e^tiytirai, Corp. Inscr. n. 765). The 
Eupatridae were no association or body, and it is dif-* 
ficult to say by whom they were nominated ; perhaps 
by the Ephetse elected from the old families: at all 
events the Ephetae were closely connected with that 
ancient court. As the latter body had the power of 
sanctioning the expiation of blood, so the superintendence 
of its performance devolved upon the former (Tim. 
Lex. s. V. e^tiytirai). Hence Dorotheus, in his work 
on ^ The Hereditary Usages of the Eupatridae,' treated 
of the purification of suppliants, that is, homicides who 
had made atonement for blood.^ The principal points 
upon which this Exegesis of the Eupatridic families 

^ In giving this title to the work 
I have assumed that the reading cV 
TPIA12N) narpioig in Athenseus ix. 
410, A, will be deemed more proba- 
ble than the emendation ^YTAAI- 
AQS proposed' by Lobeck. For 

although the Fbytalidse, according 
to the legend of Theseus, also had 
the superintendence of purifications, 
their narpia could scarcely have Air- 
nished matter enough for a separate 


turned^ were the burial of the dead and the law of homi- 
cide; whereas that of the sacerdotal families had to do 
rather with the particular services over which they pre- 
sided. Thus the Eleusinian Eumolpidae exercised an 
Exegesis of unwritten customs/ which seems to have been 
partly transferred by them to other hands/ and the prin- 
ciples of which were no doubt contained in the work on 
the ^ Traditional Customs of the Eumolpidse' published 
in the time of Cicero.* The other sacerdotal families at 
Eleusis also had the exegetic office in certain cases.* 

76, If in this way every worship had its own peculiar 
rites requiring for their performance a certain degree of 
information, which might be handed down by exegesis, 
the exegesis connected with the cultus of Apollo com- 
prised more than this, and in particular it involved the 
rites of atonement and purification. As Athens derived 
the conditions of atonement for blood from the decrees 
of the Pythian God, so also the three Exegetm, who pre- 
sided at Athens over the purification of blood-guilty 
persons, were elected, or at least their election was ratified, 
by the Delphic Oracle (TrvOo^piyoroc, Timseus). The 
office of Exegesis is quite as much ApoUo^s prerogative 
as that of prophecy. Plato in his ideal Polity will have 
no other Exegetes consulted respecting the erection of 
temples and the founding of the cultus of Gods, of 
heroes, and of the dead, than the national God, Apollo 
of Delphi (Polit. iv. p. 427). But in his more practical 
State he would have Exegetse elected by the individual 
tribes, with the sanction and concurrence of the Delphian 
God, to expound the sacred law derived from Delphi 
(Legg. vi. p. 759), and to define the religious rites 

* Lys. adv. Andoc. § 10. 

' cfiyy?^^ *fi Ev/AoXTTtd©!' Plut. 
X. Orat. 12, p. 256 sqq. Corp. Inscr. 

H 3 

* Cf. Varro de L. L. V. § 98. 
^ Andoc. de Myst. } 115 sq. 


(Legg. vi. p. 775 ; viii. p. 828 ; xii. p. 958), but espe- 
cially to preside over all ceremonies of atonement and 

These conceptions pervade the entire scene which has 
given rise to this disquisition. Apollo, the paternal God 
of the Athenians {irarpwog), who always announces the 
truth to them, appears before the Areopagites to instruct 
them, as Exegetes, on the important duty of avenging 
blood incumbent on Orestes, and to convince them that 
this duty to the father demanded the sacrifice of the 
mother, as being, so to say, not so near of kin to Orestes. 
Subtle as this plea may seem, especially in the form in 
which -ZEschylus puts it, it was probably very much in 
the spirit and character of the arguments in complex 
cases. Apollo thus performs the service Orestes required 
of him : he explains the circumstances which justified 
the act (579) ; and so likewise on a former occasion, in 
his injunctions to Orestes to commit the act, he assumed 
the office of Exegetes by explaining to him the duty of 
vengeance (565). It is a fine trait of the Poet's skilful 
management, that Apollo's coming forward in this 
capacity is brought about by Orestes's asking the Exegesis 
of him only on his own account (579), with the intention 
of afterwards laying before the Judges the information 
obtained (583) ; for it should be observed that at 
Athens it was only the parties themselves, not the 
Judges, who consulted that source of information. Here, 
however, this circuitous mode of proceeding is avoided 
by Apollo's addressing himself at once to the court of 
Areopagites and pointing out to them the right of the 
case (584). 

* Legg.viii.p.865,ix.p.87l,873. yfladai of the fmvreig, which has 
xi. p.916. Cf.RuhnkenadTimseum, nothing at all to do with the mat- 

p. Ill, where however, the whole 
of the above is referred to the (fil- 

ter in qaestion. 



a. Meaning of the Name, and Mythic conception of the 


77. In the Arcadian dialect, wliich undoubtedly 
retained many archaisms^ the word epivveip, we are 
told, signified to be wroth? But the term was certainly 
never used in so general a sense in the Greek language, — 
a language in which, the further back we trace it, the 
more we find of intuitive distinctness of expression for all 
motions, as well mental as corporeal. It will be better 
to give at once an accurate definition of the term 
kpipvvq, or more correctly epipvgf it is the feeling 
of deep offence, of bitter displeasure^ when sacred rights 
belonging to us are impiously violated by persons who 
ought most to have respected them. The earUest Greek 
Poets, in whom we find the idea in its fullest develope- 
ment, attribute Erinnyes more especially to the father, 
mother, and elder brother ; these in particular entertain 
such feelings of resentment upon the violation of pious 
duties claimed by them as their natural right; for 
instance, when they meet with ill-treatment, or even 

' Paus. viii. 25. 4. Etym. M. p. I * Herm. ad Antigon. Ed. 3tia. 
874. 1. I Prsef. p. xix. sqq. 


when due respect is not paid them.* But the poor man, 
the beggar as well as the suppliant, being from his situa- 
tion entitled to a hospitable reception in more wealthy 
families, if instead of that he meet with insolent treat- 
ment, also has his Erinnyes ; a trait which exhibits the 
humanity of the ancient Greeks in a most pleasing light.^ 
Afterwards, the term was used in a more restricted sig- 
nification; parricide more especially calls forth an 
Erinnys, and JSsch^lus also attributes one to the heinous 
crime of a man^s neglecting his duty as avenger of blcod.^ 
The sensible manifestation of the Erinnys is 'Apa :* the 
long-suppressed feeling of deep o£Pence bursts forth in 
sudden imprecations, frequently on apparently slight 
provocations. For instance, according to that fine old 
heroic poem, the Cyclian Thebais, old (Edipus, after long 
endurance of extreme impiety towards himself on the 
part of his sons, at last curses them when he finds they 
have forcibly possessed themselves of the family jewels, 
and when they neglect to give him the honorary portion 
of the sacrifice which was due to him. The Erinnys is 
indeed conceivable without Ara, inasmuch as it admits 
of being stifled in the heart ; but still the two notions 
bear so close an aflBnity to each other, that JSschylus 
seems perfectly justified in designating the Erinnyes by 
the title of 'Apa/.* 

78. One of the distinguishing features of that ancient 
period, in which the Greek and other Popular Keligions 
originated, together with the Poetry which sprung up 

1 Vid- n. xi. 204. xxL 412. Od. 
xi. 279. 

3 Od. xvii. 476. 

5 Choeph. 281. cf. 396. 641. 

* hpfia-aa-BaiEpivvf. Od.ii.136. 
Cf. II. ix. 454. 571. 

« Eum. 395. Cf. Sept. 70. 707. 
773. 962. Klauaen, Theologum, 
^sch. p. 49, sq. 


from them^ was that it contemplated all intellectual life^ 
nay, life in general, as the unintermitted working, not 
of individual forces and causes, but of higher super- 
natural agents, and viewed man for the most part merely 
as the focus in which those active powers were concen- 
trated and manifested. That feeling of painful mortifi- 
cation and just resentment, originally termed epivvQ, is 
not merely an instigation and arousing of certain deities 
to avenge and to punish — rather, it is in itself of a 
divine nature and of miraculous energy ; it is exhibited, 
so to say, as an act proceeding from the life of divine 
beings which are as eternal as the laws of nature out 
of which that resentful feeling arose. In order to per- 
ceive how perfectly the resentment of oflPended parents 
is one and identical with the Goddess Erinnys, we need 
only compare with one another the expressions: ri}c 
fiifrpoQ 'FipivvaQ e^airoTivoiQ (II. xxi. 412), and, aXyaa 
. . . o<T<Ta re firiTpog ^EipiuvsQ eKreXiovffiu (Od. xi. 280), 
and also, ISpixrapro ek OeoirpoTriov '¥,pipvv(»)v rdiv 
Aaiov TB Kal ^OiSiTToSeto ipov (Herodot. iv. 149) .• 
The Erinnys atoned for and the Erinnys that brings 
the mischief are undoubtedly one and the same in these 
expressions, and both of them, by the same verbal 
construction, are attributed to the individuals offended 
and incensed; although we modem Grammarians, on 
whom the capital letter at the beginning of proper names 
imposes the hard task of deciding on the point, suppose 
the existence of a Goddess only under the latter mode 
of expression, and under the former merely conceive the 
idea of a human passion. For us a chasm has disunited 
what was originally one and inseparable ; and the dis- 
tinction between the mythico-poetical, and the so-called 

" Compare also iBsch. Choeph. 911. 1050. Soph. OSd. C. 1299. 1484. 
Pans. viii. 34. 2. ix. 6. 8. 


rational or philosophical view of the Universe,— a dif- 
ference which at first did not exist at aU, and when it 
had arisen was little felt and heeded by the old Epic 
and Lyric Poets, — demands of ns that we should 
mark it by a corresponding use of smaU letters and 

Such expressions as, ' the Erinnyes of the Mother, — 
of Laius,' serve also to shew how Uttle the original use 
of the word warrants the notion of a definite number 
of Erinnyes, and how unfair it is to require of JSschylus 
that he should bring but three on his stage. This 
number can no more be established upon the authority 
of any poet prior to Euripides, than the mention of the 
well-known names, Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera, can 
be found in any writers previous to the Alexandrines. 
Had JSschylus, however, been induced by any motive 
to restrict himself to that number, he would undoubtedly 
somewhere or other have placed its significance in a 
prominent point of view, as Euripides does in the Orestes 
(v. 402. 1666), although he too, by the way, makes no 
scruple of assuming elsewhere a greater number, (Iph. 
T. 961, sqq.) 

79. Now it is quite in the natural course of the deve- 
lopment and formation of mythic conceptions, for the 
mythus to be, on the sudden, externally arrested, to 
harden into fixed shape, and therein to become invested 
with a significance extended far beyond that which it in- 
herently possessed. Thus the Erinnyes, who originally 
have their life and essence only in that feeling of ^ront, 
are conceived as existing independently by themselves, as 
ever wakeful and active avenging Spirits, as Tloival ; and 
by this name in fact ^schylus designates them. Never- 
theless the account given of their origin in Hesiod's 
Thec^ony adheres most strictly to the original significa- 
tion of the word. The outrage committed by Cronus 
on his father Uranus is the very first invasion on the 



rights of consanguinity; the Erinnyes themselves owe 
their origin to this outrage : they are in the first instance 
Erinnyes of Uranus, and so in fact they are called in 
another passage.* On the other hand the Erinnyes 
make their appearance more as independent beings, as 
early as Homer and Hesiod. According to these Poets 
the violation of oaths^ originally perhaps as an insult to 
the God by whose name the oath was taken, was 
punished by these avengers. Even in the realms 
below they chastise the perjured/ an ofl&ce which other- 
wise belonged to Hades and Persephone/ as appears 
from old forms of oaths. And by the way, these very 
forms are of themselves sufl&cient to prove that the 
Homeric conception of a spectral, sham-existence held 
by departed heroes in the nether world, without feeling 
and consciousness, was not the general popular belief. 

Moreover, the darkness-haunting Erinnys appears 
several times in Homer^ as bewildering the mind and 
thereby driving persons into dire disasters, probably 
because such a derangement of the mind was frequently 
consequent upon the consciousness of having violated 
the most sacred duties.** So too they are often repre- 
sented by the Tragedians in the general character of 
retributive and harmful beings, who inflict chastisement 
on the criminal in all sorts of ways ; as, by expulsion 
from human society, by the pangs of conscience, and 
by torments in the lower world. Indeed the concept 
tion of the Erinnyes as workers of mischief is extended 
to such a generaUty, that even persons who seem to 
have been saat into the world to work evil to mankind, 
like Helen and Medea, and who are usually called oXclg' 

* Tfieogon, 472. 

^ H. xix. 260. Comp. Hes. Works 
and Days, 803. 
8 II. iii. 278. 

* n. xix. 87. Od. XV. 284. 
^ Of. the <l)p€v£>v 'Epivvs. Soph. 
Antig. 608. 



Topeg, are also denominated Erinnyes;^ and even by 
^schylus presentiments of misfortune and miscliief- 
boding strains are termed ' Dirges and Paeans of the 

These remarks arose out of the definition of the term 
Erinnys in its original meanings and were intended to 
draw attention to the fact^ how greatly this signification^ 
under the shape it has assumed in Mythology^ loses in 
internal precision in proportion to its external expansion. 
But this individual signification of the term does not 
by any means lead to a train of conceptions connected 
with the Erinnyes, such as are mainly required for the 
understanding of our tragedy. For this purpose we must 
trace back to its source the idea of the Erinnyes as 
great and venerable Goddesses {'Eefivai deal, as they 
were called at Athens)/ . an idea founded on a more 
extensive system of views and thoughts^ and manifested 
in legends and religious rites and ceremonies. 

ft. Culttis of the Erinnyes and Eumenides or Semna. 

80. The widely diffused and noted religious service 
of the Erinnyes or Eumenides^ or the Venerable God- 
desses, as they were usually designated at Athens^ can 
hardly be understood^ so long as we comprise those 
beings under the class of divinities attached to individual 
circumstances of life or states of mind (as Ate^ Eris^ 
and many others). On the contrary there are a great 
many traces in the worship of those deities which shew 
that the Erinnyes^ in the system of religions that had 
taken root in the different districts of Greece^ were 
neither more nor less than a particular form of the great 

> Agam. 729. Soph. El. 1080. 
Eur. Orest. 1886. Med. 1266. 
s Ag. 631. 964. cf. 1090. 1662. 
** On Zcfivol, as proper name of 

the Furies at Athens, of. Osann ad 
Philemon, p. 162, and Meineke <id 
Menandr, p. 846, with reference to 
Creozer, SymboL iv. p. 827. 


Goddesses who rule the Earth and the lower world and 
send up the blessings of the year^ namely Demeier and 
Cora. This must be understood to mean that these 
deities^ so mild and benign on the one hand^ are withal 
—either, in mythological connexion, by means of adverse 
divinities, or, in more ethic conception, by reason of 
human crimes and misdeeds which confound the very 
ordinances of nature — ^perverted into resentful, destruc- 
tive deities. In very ancient times there existed in 
Greece a widely-extended cultus of the Thelpusian, or 
Tilphossian Demeter-ErinnySy and in the time of Pausa- 
nias it still maintained its station at Thelpusa in Arcadia, 
where Demeter was worshipped as the Goddess of Earth 
indignant against Poseidon, the God of Water (the God 
who deluges the earth in winter with floods and tor- 
rents). Under the same form she was designated at 
another place in Arcadia, Phigaha, by the name of the 
Black Goddess. There are evident traces of this idea of 
the Demeter-Erinnys to be found in various localities, 
but the point where it appears most prominently is in the 
fundamental characteristics of the old legend concerning 
the Cadmean Kings of Thebes, and its antiquity is 
evinced by the very circumstance of its being contained in 
those original outlines of the mythus. I will endeavour 
to delineate the grand and simple features of this legend 
in such a way as to render them clear to the attentive 
reader. Recent investigations have paved the way, and 
scarcely anything more is required than to combine the 
results already obtained, in order to recover those pri- 
meval conceptions from which a considerable portion of 
tragic Poetry originally emanated. 

81. Thebes, as the old legend goes, the fair city in 
the green, irriguous, fruitful plain, was a favourite abode 


of the Goddess of Earth and her daughter^ but withal a 
memorial of her inevitable resentment when injured. 
Demeter and Cora^ mother and daughter^ founded 
Thebes/ Jupiter having made a present of the land to 
Cora on her marriage with Hades f and they had a 
joint-founder in Cadmus (Harmonia's Consort), who is 
now ascertained to have been regarded by the earliest 
Greeks as a God of form and order, a Hermes who 
brings harmony and consistency out of confusion. But 
before he could found Thebes, Cadmus had to slay the 
DragoUy begotten by Ares the God of War with Erinnys 
Tilphossa,^ i, e, the resentful, offended Demeter wor- 
shipped at Tilphossa: and from the sowing of this 
dragon^s teeth springs the new Cadmean race of men. 

This dragon, which is a main figure in the Theban 
mythology, is obviously symboUcal of the rancour che- 
rished by a gloomy power of nature. Demeter is 
Erinnys even before she is irritated by mankind, and, 
as is the case in all profound Theogonies, Evil is con- 
ceived to have had a previous existence in a higher 
world and a more universal course of nature before it 
bore fruit in the human race. To the men of early 
ages there seemed to reside in the eternal powers of 
nature, from the very beginning of thmgs, an aspect 
calculated to excite fear and horror : if in the genial and 
fruitful season of the year all seems appeased and tran- 
quillized, yet in the winter-storms and ever recurring 
terrors of nature the suppressed malevolence bursts forth 
anew. The gracious consort of the celestial God, the 
mother whose womb teeming with blessings gives birth 
to the gentle child Cora, is withal the hideous malevo- 
lent bride of hostile powers. 

' Eurip. Phoen. 694. Schol. ^ Euphorion in the SchoU. 

3 SchoL Antigon. 126. 


The settlers in the thick forests about Dirce must 
have been first acquainted with Demeter under her 
character of Erinnys^ and could not have recognised in 
her the gentle bountiful Goddess until after they had 
succeeded in draining the marshes, clearing away the 
forests, and converting them into productive fields. 
This latter era is represented in the person of Cadmus^s 
son Polydorus (the Rich in Blessing), with whom the 
nocturnal Goddess of the Depth (Nycteis, daughter of 
Nycteus son of Chthonius, identical perhaps with 
Demeter-Europa), was united in marriage and shared 
the blessings of her favour, as Demeter with lasion. 
Similarly the daughters of Cadmus and their sons un- 
fold to us a system of natural Gods, all of whom are 
only di£Perent aspects of one and the same Dionysus. 
But although the dragon is slain, still its wrathful spite* 
continues to influence the whole course of the Theban 
Mythic History. Cadmus himself, in order to appease 
it, had to serve the dragon^s father (in conformity with 
the law concerning bloodshed) for a term of eight 
years/ and is said to have been himself metamorphosed 
into a dragon and to have instigated barbarian nations 
(the Encheleans) to ravage his native country. Con- 
tinual vicissitudes of exalted fortune and de6p misfortune 
are characteristic features in the legend of the Cadmean 
kings, and are largely displayed by Pindar in his second 
Olympian Ode, as the destiny of the race even down to 
the history of his own times. 

82. But with Lams the ruling agency of Demeter 
Erinnys begins to manifest itself more as the peculiar 
destiny of the Cadmean family. The original curse 
attaching to the race begets parricide, incest, fratricide; 
and the order of the physical world being turned upside 

^ fA^vtfia hpcMovToS' ^ Cf. also Phot. Lex. "KaJbyxla viicrj. 



down along with that of the moral worlds barrenness^ 
famine and pestilence go side by side with them. 
(Edipus is altogether a victim of Erinnys^ bom to ruin 
his whole race by his curse. According to the common 
legend^ he was fostered on the inhospitable mount 
Cithaeron^ called by Hermesianax the abode of the 
Erinnyes;^ in like manner as of Orestes it was told that 
he was bom on the festival-day of Demeter-Erinnys.^ 
But the end of (Edipus's life was in perfect accordance 
with the commencement of it^ the main idea in the old 
legend beings that the grievously ai&icted (Edipus, after 
the fulfilment of his allotted doom, was to find rest in 
the sanctuary of Demeter-Erinnys, the deity who had 
persecuted him through life, but was now at last recon- 
ciled to him. According to the Theban legend it was 
the Eteonic Temple of Demeter (unquestionably a 
Demeter-Erinnys) that gave him shelter f which Tem- 
ple was situated by mount Citlupron at the southern 
boimdary of the Theban domain. And no doubt the 
meaning of the oracle was, that (Edipus was to find a 
burial-place on the frontiers of the country: as a parri- 
cide it was not allowable for him to lie within the 
confines of his home, and yet (the reason for which will 
appear in the sequel) he was to be buried not &r from 
his native land.^ 

83. After the calamity and overthrow of Thebes, 
scattered bands of Cadmeans were the means of diffusing 
their native traditions, as well as those of (Edipus's 
burial-place, far and wide, and constantly in close con- 
nexion with the cultus of the Erinnyes. To Attica they 

* In Pa. Plutarch de FUm. 2, 8. 

* Ptolem. Heph. in Phot. p. 247. 

* Schol. (Ed, CoL 91. The tale 
related there is partly fictitious, in 

order to account for (Edipus's tomh 
coming into a Temple of Demeter. 

* See Soph. (Ed. Ck>L 399. 785. 
cf. (Ed. T. 422. 



were carried perhaps by the Cadmean family of the 
Gephyrseans^ who were received and naturaUzed there ; 
and several traces of them existed in different parts. 
In the first place^ there was shown in Athens itself a 
tomb of CEdipus in the sanctuary of the Semnse between 
the Areopagus and the citadel/ In the next place^ we 
find in an Attic demus (the Colonus Hippitis), together 
with another sepulchre of CEdipus^ the entire group of 
that cultus from which the leading ideas in the Theban 
mythi are derived. Here too^ as at the Arcadian Thel- 
pusa, the God of the waters, Poseidon Hippius, is 
worshipped in juxtaposition with the Semnae/ who, 
beyond doubt, were originally identical with Demeter 
and her daughter worshipped at that very same place. 
For whereas the legend as handled by Sophocles assigns 
to CEdipus a resting-place in the sanctuary of the 
Semnse or Eumenides at Colonus,^ an Attic collector of 
legends^ tells of his applying as a suppliant for protec- 
tion to Demeter of Colonus. Euripides makes Poseidon 
Hq^pius the sheltering deity.' Opposed to Demeter 
Erinnys in the service of the Colonians was probably 
the blooming verdant Demeter (Eu^Xooc), whose temple 
mentioned by Sophocles (1600) must be conceived in 
the vicinity, but on a different hill firom that of Colonus. 
In other respects also everything on this spot implied 
connexion and intercourse with the infernal world. It 
was an ancient notion^^ that the entrance to the abyss of 
Tartarus was enclosed with a brazen thrediold, and 

• See Pans. i. 28. 7. Val. Max. v. 
8. ext. 3, where the locality is 
clearly defined. 

' At Capua too there was an 
cBdeg Neptwni cum Cerere Erinny, 
Gruter p. 196, 16, if rightly ex- 
plained by Rcinesius. 

^ Also according to ApoUod. ilL 

^ Androtion in Schol. Od. xi. 

» Phsen. 1721. 

»o Hesiod Theog. 811. D. viii. 


employed towards the end of his life> so that it was 
first produced on the stage by his grandson^ the younger 
Sophocles^ 01. 94. 3.^ (Edipus arrives^ blinded and 
exiled^ an emblem of the deepest misery, at Attica : 
there he finds himself unexpectedly in the grove of the 
Semnse^ which the God foretold him was to be the goal 
of all his sufierings. Although the horror that seizes on 
all who hear his name is near causing his immediate 
expulsion from the country, yet he presently meets 
with compassion, and the hospitable reception prof- 
fered him is an act all the more generous, as the 
oracles, on the strength of which he promises the Athe- 
nians increased blessings from their reception of him, 
exhibit but dim predictions devoid of clear and definite 
meaning. The action is now rapidly unfolded ; mighty 
by virtue of the salvation he is to impart after death, 
secure by virtue of Athens' hospitality, he repels all the 
violent importunity and unworthy entreaties ¥rith which 
he is assailed by Creon of Thebes and his own son Poly- 
nices, in their efibrts to secure for themselves the sal- 
vation expected from his grave. Exalted even in his life- 
time above this throng of human passions, he triumphs 
over those who with selfish eagerness are bent upon 
winning him over to themselves, and with subUme com- 
posure and enthusiasm welcomes death, thenceforth to 
assume the character of a mysterious power, working 

' It is remarkable that, as Ms- this his favourite oompo8ition,where- 
chylus admitted three actors for the as the other plays of later date were 
first time in his last trilogy, the ' composed more rapidly than the 
Orestea, so again Sophocles did not ! earlier ones, since he is said to have 

add B, fourth till the end of his ca 
reer, in the (Edipns at Colonus. 
The reason why the metre in this 

written 32 dramas in 28 years, prior 
to the Antigone, and 81 dramas in 
84 years, q/!(6r the Antigone. Arga- 

play is more carefully attended to ; ments drawn from the form are 
than in other later ones of Sophocles | often employed in the present day 

is sufficiently explained by the espe 
cial pains bestowed by the Poet on 

with too great confidence, as though 
they rested on a physical necessity. 


mightily for never-failing weal to the country in which 
he had obtained rest and reconciliation with the Erinnyes. 
Thus is this tragedy the triumph of misery and suffering 
over human strength and arrogance^ a transfiguration 
by which that which in human estimation seems lament- 
able and piteous is exalted into god-like sublimity^ and 
death itself is invested with a mysterious glory ; a tra- 
gedy wherein, moreover, every one who has any feeling 
for the language of the heart, will recognise in many 
legible characters, not haply a tale foreign to the Poet, 
but his own feelings at a period of life when he had 
experienced much that was painful from his own imme- 
diate kindred, and was looking forward to death as a 
longed-for time of rest. True it is, that in the compo- 
sition of this tragedy there is much that deviates widely 
from all the rest, the solution, so to speak, not being 
at the conclusion, but pervading the whole, almost as in 
the last piece of an iEschylean trilogy ; still, the (Edipus 
at Colonus is, by virtue of the dramatic development 
of morally-religious ideas, — ^not from the merely i^cces- 
sory political and patriotic allusions, — a Tragedy in the 
highest sense of the word.^ 

85. Thus the Demeter-Erinnys has again received 
her victim QEdipus to her bosom: but more severe is the 
doom of Thebes, the city once so beloved of Grods. 
Against it the Goddess conducts ''AS/oacrroc, the Inevi- 
table, a male personification of Adrastea-Nemesis, to 
whom Adrastus is also said to have erected various 
temples. He rides the terrible Thelpusaic steed Arion,' 
in whose name Ares the fieither of the Dragon reappears. 

* Cf. § 97. The mysticism occur- 
ring in the (Edipus of ^schylus 
(Eustratius on Arist. Eth. Nicom. 
iii. 2.) would also probably refer to 
Demeter-Erinnys, who perhaps was 

there made more clearly prominent 
than in the Eumenides. 

' Antimachus in Pans. viii. 25, 
8, 4. Cf. also Schol. in Aristoph. 
Comoed. Ed. Dind. Vol. iii. p. 418. 


This Arion is altogether a symbolical creature connected 
with the cultus of the Tilphossian or Thelpusai'c De- 
meter.* The genuine popular legend of Demeter-Erinnys 
herself^ how, as Poseidon^s indignant and wrathful bride, 
she gave birth to it, was gleaned by Pausanias in the 
Arcadian Thelpusa. The Iliad touches on this legend 
with its wonted delicacy (xxiii. 846) ; the Thebaid, 
which was composed not long after the Homeric age, 
makes Poseidon and Erinnys, at the Boeotian fountain 
Tilphossa, the parents of Arion. Later writers mostly 
endeavour to soften down the harshness and singularity 
of this legend, and ascribe the birth of Arion either 
to Demeter under the assumed form of an Erinnys,' 
or to Earth, occupying in mystic legends the place 
of Demeter,' or to one of the Erinnyes/ Arion 
is called, by the same epithet as Poseidon himself, a 
black-maned horse ;* whence also Adrastus himself was 
called Kyanippus, an appellation early converted by My- 
thology, after its usual fashion, into a son of Adrastus. 
He is the fleetest of all steeds, and therefore must natu- 
rally be victorious in every race, as in the aywv cele- 
brated by Adrastus and the Argives previous to the ex- 
pedition in honour of the righteously-dispensing Jove 
(the Nf/uEtoc Zcvc). Adrastus, the inevitable Avenger, 
mounted on this black-maned and fleetest of steeds, and 
heading the expedition of the Argive army against sinftil 
Thebes in the name and by the mandate of the guardian 
Goddess of Thebes, now appearing in the character of 
an .Erinnys, is an imagination of a quite antique bold- 
ness and grandeur, by the side of which the Iliad and 

Adrastus, who had a 'Hpaov oracle iniroio Kokovds* (Schol. (Ed. 
at Colonus, was said to have drawn C. 67. 712. Etyin. M. s. v. 'hmia.) 

up his horses there on his flight 
(Elfiara \vypa <j)€p(ov crvv 'Aptiovt 
Kvavoxairj), Thebais in Paus. viii. 
26, 6) ; and that is the reason, per- 
haps, why Colonus is called in the old 

^ Apollodorus, with Tzetzes. 
' Antimachus. 

* Hesych. s. v. 'Aptmv, 

* *Ap€io>v KvavoxcuTTfs in Hcs. 
Shield 120, and in the Thebaid. 


Odyssee must evidently appear as the far later^ and by 
comparison, quite modem fruits of a spirit now become 
much more gentle and subdued. 

This time, however, vengeance does not overtake the 
transgressors at Thebes ; possibly because, as ^schylus 
represents it, the assailants themselves are heaven-storm- 
ing boasters, and Nemesis, though sure to follow crime, 
is usually late; or because, as Euripides relates — un- 
questionably from a very ancient tradition — the youth 
Menoeceus ^ gave himself up a voluntary sacrifice to the 
Dragon, in whom the anger of Demeter-Erinnys was 
revived. Here we learn, that by the walls of Thebes 
there was a temple sacred to the Dragon, having in it a 
deep cavern said to have been the dragon^s lair.' No 
doubt at a later period expiatory sacrifices were o£Pered 
there from time to time. — From that delay, the sons 
were the first to su£Per for the sins of their fiathers. 
Adrastus returns, Uke a IIofi'T?^ in the second genera- 
tion, and this time under better auspices : the 'ETrtyoi^oe 
fulfil the work allotted to their fathers, and Thersander 
the son of Polynices comes forward as an avenger, a 
TiaafAtvog, an appellation which in this case again, just 
as in that of the son of Orestes, and of Alcmseon's 
daughter Tisiphone, from beuig the epithet of the father 
became the proper name of the son. 

So intimate is the intellectual coherency which the 
men of earUer generations perceived in this primeval 
history of Thebes, — so powerful was the Idea in that 
age, that it found no difQculty in appropriating and 
assimilating to itself the external facts. For it is scarcely 

^ MevoiKtvs is the self'Sacrificing 
Home-stayer, who does not follow 
the counsel ^>€vy* a>r raxurra rrjs 
b*airaXXaxBols x6ov6i (Phoen. 986)» 
in opposition to those who, in the 

I 2 

Laphystian cultus, avoid sacrifice hy 
flight. Of. §65. 

7 Phoen. 945, 1024, 1335. Phi- 
lostr. Imagg. 1, 4. 


possible for any one utterly to deny the Argive expedi- 
tion^ however little we are warranted to regard Adrastus 
and Amphiaraus as real persons. Thebes did really lie 
desolate till it was raised anew by the Boeotians ; merely 
a subm*b below the old town, called Hypothebes, existed 
in the intervening period. At the same time there were 
Cadmeans in the most widely remote parts of Greece, 
and under the most various names. 

86. This episodical exposition was designed to shew 
how Demeter, as a punient power, as Erinnys, is the pre- 
dominant principle in the Theban legends. At the 
same time one sees quite clearly how it was, that subse- 
quently, when the mention of Demeter, as a wrathftd god- 
dess, was shunned with a feeling of dread, the once widely- 
extended cultus of the Tilphossian or Delphusian Deme- 
ter-Erinnys came to be obscured, and the Erinnyes, as 
independent divinities, succeeded in their place. Hence 
in later times there are only isolated traces to be found 
of their original identity. For instance, at Phlya, an Attic 
borough, along with ancient temples to the divinities of 
Earth, we find that Demeter the beneficent, Zeus the 
God of possession, Athena Tithrone, Cora the first-bom, 
and the Semnse were worshipped in conjunction. More- 
over, in the sanctuary of the Semnse at Athens the sta- 
tues of these divinities were placed with those of Pluto, 
Hermes, and Earth (a fact attested by Fausanias) ; so 
that here, if we take the Semnse for Demeter and Cora, 
the usual cycle of the chthonian deities is complete. 
At PotnisB in the Theban territory, besides Demeter 
and Cora, who are pre eminently called Ilori'tac (although 
Erinnys is also addressed by that title, Eum. 911), the 
Potniades were worshipped ;* but that is the designation 

* Pans. ix. 8, 1. em. by PoreoD. 



given by Euripides to the Erinnyes.^ Moreover between 
the sacrificial and religious rites of the Potniae — to give 
that title to the Eleusinian deities — and those of the 
SemnaB in Attica there are several very striking points of 
coincidence; for instance^ the Narcissus^ the Amereal 
flower consecrated to Demeter and Cora/ forms also the 
garland of the Eumenides/ the grand-daughters of Phor- 
cys ; and again^ at Athens the Erinnyes were clothed in 
blood-red garments (Eum. 982)^ and so also at Syracuse 
Demeter and Cora^ as Thesmophorian Goddesses, wore 
purple robes, which were put on by persons about to 
take some dreadful oath.* From the above combina- 
tions I think there can be no doubt that — although 
indeed of itself the Erinnys, that feeling of deep affi-ont, 
is of a divine nature — ^the Erinnyes first acquired a 
noted and extensive cultus, and altogether more reality 
and personality, in consequence of both the great chtho- 
nian and infernal deities, from whom come life and pros- 
perity as well as ruin and death to mankind, being con* 
ceived asoffended and angry beings, wherever mortal deeds 
have violated those sacred and eternal laws of nature. 

87. The circumstance also of the Erinnyes being re- 
garded, after the appeasement of their wrath, as benevo- 
lent, bountiful deities, cannot be perfectly understood 
except in this view. The name of Eumenides, implying 
this, was, strictly speaking, native at Sicyon,*^ not at 
Athens, where, under the title of Semrue, was comprised 

^ Orest. 812. Euripides however 
calls the Erinnyes especially Pot- 
niades, as mad and maddening God- 
desses, and in that sense the expres- 
sion is frequently used hy the tra- 
gedians. This I explain from the 
circumstance of their having posses- 
nion of the Potnian Fountain, the 
waters of which caused phrenzy. It 
is mentioned hy Pausanias, and was 

prohahly spoken of in the Glaucu^ 

' Creuzer ad Plotin. de pulcr. 
Prsepar. p. 48. 

^ According to Euphorion ; supr. 

* Plut.Dio.56. Ehert. SixcXiwy, 
p. 32. 

* Pans. ii. 11, 4. with Siehelis' 



the collective being of those Goddesses. Hence it is 
that iEschylus, who emphatically calls them a^fivaiy never 
mentions the name of Eumenides^ closely as it bears on 
his subject^ but particularly delights in designating the 
mild aspect of the Goddesses by the epithet A^^poviq^ 
whilst succeeding Tragedians prefer the title of Eumen- 
ides^ which had in the meantime become more familiar/ 
and is applied by Sophocles as a customary one to the 
Goddesses of Colonus.^ This title of Eumenides^ there- 
fore, as well as that of ' the White Goddesses/ usual in 
Arcadia (§ 62), is not, we may venture to assert, ade- 
quately explained by the meaning of the Erinnyes only 
as above developed; the curse of offended parents, or 
its equivalent, being in no way convertible by the removal 
of it into a benign, bountiful deity. For a satisfactory 
explanation of the term we must go back to the funda- 
mental ideas in the chthonian cultus, which represent 
death and ruin, as well as life and welfare, as emanating 
from one and the same source^ 

The transmutation of the Erinnyes into Eumenides 
formed in Greece an essential appurtenance to the legend 
of Orestes, The persecution of Orestes from country to 

^ V. 361. especially 998. 

» w. 946. 984. 

' The Grammarians (Harpocra- 
tion, Fhotius, Snidas, besides the 
argument to the Eumenides) state 
the purport of the \£schylean tra- 
gedy to be the metamorphosis of 
the Erinnyes into Eumenides. On 
this account an hiatus has been sup- 
posed after v. 982, and in this pas- 
sage it is thought Minerva gave the 
Erinnyes the appellation of Eu- 
menides. Of such an hiatus, how- 
ever, there is no trace, and the in- 
sertion of the idea proposed would 
destroy the whole sense of the pas- 
sage. But still less is it credible 

that iBschylus, who so frequently 
made use of the name of Erinnyes, 
should have shunned mentioning 
that of the Eumenides out of reli- 
gious awe (Beisig Enarr. (Ed. Col. 
p. 35. de part, iv p. 124). After 
what has been said above, ought it 
not to be cansidered a matter of 
doubt, whether iBschylus himself 
gave the title of EVMENIAE2 to 
this third play of the Orestea, espe- 
cially as the Chorus, from which 
the play bears its name, retains 
the mask of the Erinnyes to the 
very conclusion (944), and was not, 
as has been supposed, metamor- 
phosed externally into Eumenides ? 



country by his Mother's Erinnyes^ in the place of human 
vengeancej was no invention of poet or priest, but a 
Greek national tradition, which migrated betimes along 
with the cultus of the Erinnyes (§ 62), and could scarcely 
have been unknown even to Horner.^ Just in the same 
way the metamorphosis of the Erinnyes into Eumenides 
was attached in the national legend, the existence of 
which among the Mycenseans themselves we have already 
shown (§ 62), to the liberation of Orestes from blood- 
guiltiness ; the deity who had persecuted Orestes now 
becomes a boimteous being to him, and he himself is 
made a saint, so to speak, like CEdipus (§ 83). 
iEschylus has passed over in silence this reconciliation of 
Orestes with the Erinnyes. He contents himself with 
rescuing him from their power by the sentence of 
acquittal passed by the Areopagus, although in reahty 
it was customary for propitiatory sacrifices to follow 
upon that acquittal (§ 67). iEschylus, however, does 
not let the wrath of the Erinnyes reach its highest pitch 
till after this sentence, and educes the mild nature of 
those divinities by the charm of Minerva's eloquence, 
and her promise of a cultus dedicated to them ; where- 
upon their benedictory wishes, still without any mention 
of Orestes, are bestowed wholly on the city of Athens. 
The patriotic and poetical views, which gave this par- 

* From Od. iii. 806, the incorrect 
inference has heen drawn, that the 
Poet was not acquainted with the 
legend of the persecution of Orestes 
hy the Erinnyes. In that passage 
the tale, in compliance with the in- 
quiry of Telemachus, is continued 
by Nestor only down to the arrival 
of Menelaus at the funeral feast of 
JEgisthus and ClytaBumestra. Now 
it was at this very funeral banquet. 

at the nocturnal collection of the 
bones from the ashes of the rogus, 
that the Erinnyes fell on Orestes, 
according to the relation of Euri- 
pides (Or. 40. 398), which is appa- 
rently derived from very ancient 
sources. Owing to the loss of so 
many old epic poems, Stesichorus 
(Schol. Eur. Or. 268) is the earliest 
authority for the persecution of 
Orestes by the Erinnyes. 



ticular direction to the procedure of the play^ are easily 
explained (cf. § 99.) 

88. This benedictory hymn of the propitiated Erinnyes 
exhibits a marked allusion to the affinity of these God- 
desses with the chthonian beneficent deities^ since it 
would be a fruitless attempt to explain its meaning from 
what may be called the allegorical notion of the Erinnyes. 
True it is^ indeed^ that in the belief of the ancient 
Greeks the parents' blessing begets prosperity, as their 
curse brings niin;* but surely no one will educe the 
notion of beneficent beings from that of divinities pre- 
siding over the parental curse. It is evident rather that 
with iEschylus the Semnse are higher powers, chthonian 
divinities derived from the Titanian world and exercising 
their influence in both directions, as Erinnyes for destruc- 
tion, and as evfieveig for weal and blessing ; just as the 
realm of death was also regarded as the source of life, 
whence the funeral obsequies were termed yBviaia. In 
the above-mentioned hymn of blessing, the Eumenides 
dispense their bounties exactly in the same order as 
Pallas had required of them.* They promise the country * 
first of all a copious produce from the soil (884), and 
what was of great importance to Attica, abounding as 
it did in olive and fig-trees, the thriving of the fruit- 
trees (898) ; then the prolific increase of cattle, with the 
wish that the breeding of stock enriching the land 
might do honour to the bounties of Hermes and other 
Gods of herds (906). By virtue of their prayers and 
blessings they remove premature death and celibacy — 
for they were regarded also as Marriage-deities, and 

^ Cf. Lobeck Aglaopbam. p. 635. 

' Only in the vfiuos evKTr}pios 
they naturally omit the object de- 
aired by Pallas, v. 870. t&v dvo-o-e- 

PoVVTCaV b* €ltf^p<OT€pa TTcXoify 

' but the ungodly mayest thou ra- 
ther bear away as corpses to the 
burial' (by the €#e<^/)a, funerU 


were invoked for the blessing of children." At the same 
time they promise to prevent diminution and loss of 
population by civil factions and riots. But in order that 
all this may not be regarded as a mere flourish of words 
and pious wishes^ Pallas herself repeatedly ascribes to 
the Erinnyes an actual power over these matters 
(855.912)/ and expresses it as her anticipation^ that on 
their descent into their sacred cavern they will withhold 
the harmful beneath the earth and send up the whole- 
some and profitable (961). 

As this latter part of the Poem has especial reference 
to the Temple of the Semnae at Athens, it will be 
requisite, for the understanding of it, to make a few 
observations on the locality and religious rites of that 

c. The Religious Service of the SemntB at Athens. 

89. Athens was regarded in Greece as the proper 
seat of the service of the Venerable Goddesses ;* and, in 
fact, it seems nowhere to have attained such publicity of 
reputation, and to have been so intimately incorporated 
with political institutions. One side of their Temple 
rested on the base of the hill of Ares,' whose cultus 
stood in close union with that of the Erinnyes (§ 67); 
a union also manifested in the Theban legend of Ares, 
as the husband of Demeter-Erinnys (§ 81), and no 

' 799 and Schol. cf. Choeph. 480. 

^ The expresHion einKpcuv€iu used 
here of the Erinnyes (910, 927), im- 
plies a persevering agency, like that 
ascribed to Moipa, qniet in its ope- 
ration but taking effect in due sea- 
son : the same as Kpalv€iv, to resolve 
upon and carry an object. See par- 1 

I 3 

ticularly Prom. 610. Agam. 360. 
{€Trpa^€v as €Kpav€u), Eum. 729. 
The oracles being withal decrees of 
Fate, one may say irv66KpavTa 
(Agam. 1228), for 7rv66xprjaTa. 

^ Dio Cass. bdii. 14. 

' Meursius, Areopag, c. ii. 



doubt founded on the earliest history of the Grecian 
cultus. The other side lay towards the more accessible 
quarter of the Acropolis, as is evident from the accounts 
of the massacre of the Cylonian conspirators at the altars 
of the Semnse in their descent from the citadel. Hence 
^schylus is enabled to place the Temple of the Semnae 
near the palace of Erechtheus (tt/ooc SofAoig 'l£,peydiu)gy 
857), an expression by which he designates the whole 
Acropolis tenanted by the earliest kings of Athens. 

Besides the low hearths or fire-places {icFyapaig, 773. 
cf. 108.) in this Temple, there was a chasm* like that 
at Colonus, through which the Goddesses are said to 
have returned, after the trial of Orestes, to their sub- 
terranean abode. In all probability there were also 
carved wooden images of the Erinnyes here. For these 
images the purple robes were designed, which were con- 
secrated to them upon the institution of their cultus by 
Minerva (v. 982. cf. § 86). In after times there was 
seen here^ a statue of an Erinnys by Calamis, the con- 
temporary of Phidias, in conjunction with two others by 
Scopas, an artist of the next generation. On this 
ground Folemo asserted there were at Athens three 
statues of the Semnse; Phylarchus, however, who only 
took those by Scopas into account, spoke but of two.' 
According to Fausanias there was nothing of the terrific 
in these statues, but still they may have exhibited that 
mixture of pleasure and horror so profoundly expressed 
in the so-called Rondaninian head of Medusa. 

The cultus of the Semnae was held by the State in 
such high honour, that especial managers were appointed 
to superintend the sacrifices ('If/ooTroioi,) nominated from 

' X^fJM, K€vOfi<i>v, OaKaiMi, 772, 
958, 961, 977, 989. Eur. El. 

' See Osaim in the Annali deW 
Inatit, di Corr, arch, 1830, p. 149. 
» Schol. (Ed. Col. 39. 



the Athenian people by the Areopagas^ which presided 
over that service/ At the processions and sacrifices 
in honour of the Semnae the family of the HesychidtB 
took the lead, their name, 'the quiet ones/ implying 
the great solemnity and stillness (ev^ry/ica) necessary to 
be observed throughout the service of the Dread God- 
desses* — for the invention of a hero Hesychus for their 
mythic progenitor, whose chapel was situated in the 
vicinity of the Temple of the Semnae, near the Felasgian 
wall of the Acropolis, does not detract from the real 
meaning of the name.^ ^schylus makes no mention of 
these Hesychidae : he puts the Areopagites at the head 
of the procession (964). and they are joined by the 
female attendants who have the care of the old image 
of Pallas (978). It is remarkable that we find here, as 
in the service at Phlya, the combination of the Dread 
Goddesses with Minerva ; whether it be founded in old 
systems of deities, or be attributable merely to the en- 
deavours of the Athenians to make their tutelary Goddess 
the protectress of other adventitious worships. This 
numerous train of attendants is accompanied by other 
women, as well as maidens and aged matrons (981). 
The omission of males has been objected against, but 
without good reason, for in this cultus females were 
especially employed. Thus Callimachus, in a celebrated 
epigram,^ designates the females in the family of the 
Hesychidae as those who, in the capacity of public 
Priestesses, offered to the Eumenides their wineless 
libations and sacrifices.^ The sacrifices were, sometimes 

♦• Ulpian on DemostU. c. Mid. p. 
552, R. 

• Eum. 988, (Ed. C. 129, 489, 

« Cf. C. L. Bossier, de gent, et 
fanUL Att, sacerdot, p. 17. 

7 Schol. (Ed. C. 489. 

® Yet, according to Philo, qiiod 
omn, prob, liber, § 20, both males 
and females (but onlyj^ee persons) 
were employed at this procession. 


at leasts performed in the night-time (108); the Erinnyes 
themselves are children of night : on that account the 
procession was by torch-light^ and the torches were 
probably thrown together at the conclusion into the 
caTem; and to this action the words of Pallas probably 
allude : 

(.Iq tovq evepOe Kal kcltw y(QovoQ tottovq* v. 977. 

So likewise at Argos they threw burning torches into 
a cavern in honour of Cora.* 

On the arrival of the procession at the Temple, victims, 
especially black sheep,' were slaughtered in the manner 
usual in the sacrifices to infernal deities : the blood, it 
seems, was suflfered to run into the chasm (cf. v. 960). 
The flesh of the victims was probably cut in pieces, and, 
as was the case in the cultus of the Erinnyes at Cerynea,' 
entirely consumed by fire. This custom of dissecting 
and burning the victims was still, with certain modifi- 
cations and in diflferent degrees, generally practised 
throughout Greece in sacrifices to the dead, to heroes, 
to infernal and Meilichian powers (§ 55). The Olympian 
Gods in their serene sublimity require only the sweet 
odour and steam &om the bones and fat of the victims, 
whereas the chthonian £eings covet a portion of the 
flesh and blood, and demand the entire victim for them- 
selves. At the same time, water was poured on the 
ground, perhaps, as at Colonus, at three pourings &om 
three different vessels.'* The water was not mixed with 
wine (vri<l>a\ia), but with honey (/ucXcic/oara), and no 
doubt also with soft assuaging oil. In the cultus of 
the Black Demeter, also an Erinnys, at Fhigalia, they 

' Paiw. ii. 22, 4. 
2 Cf. § 68. and } 62. 

3 §62. 

* Soph. 469. sqq. cf. 167. 



poured oil upon greasy wool;* and, apparently for a 
similar reason iEsehylus calls the hearths of the SemnsB 
^a seat resplendent with fat' (Xi7ra/oo0povoc v. 778), 
The thrice nine sprigs of oUve which were set up for the 
Eumenides at Colonus^ are also to be explained in this 
way. Similarly, in offerings to the dead, there were 
libations of oil, besides honey and milk, as early as the 
Homeric age — a practice which was still in use in the 
times of the Roman Emperors/ 

d, JEschylus*8 Conception of the Erinnyes, and tJieir 

external Appearance. 

90. Such were the impressions, derived partly &om 
the reading of the old Poets, and partly from the con«* 
temptation of the religious ceremonies in the Temples 
of the Erinnyes, which, with the modifications which his 
own station, as thinker and beUever, necessarily brought 
with it, determined iEschylus's view and representation 
of those beings. With Demeter and Cora the Erinnyes 
could no longer appear to the Poet identical, since the 
former belong to the family of Zeus, whilst the latter 
had been already appropriated by the earlier poetry to 
the old Titanian world : this contrast between the old 
Titanian Rule and the Olympian Gods had been long 
established by poetry, and had quite passed over into the 
intellectual life of the Greeks. At the same time, the 
conception of Demeter and Cora had been moulded into 
such a mild and humane form, that, except in the 
mjTsteries, people shunned with extreme caution all 
mention of a Demeter-Erinnys, whereas very numerous 
titles extolled the graciousness and benignity of the 

^ Lana sucidct. Pans. viii. 42, 6. 

« Soph. 483. 

7 II. xxiiL 170. iEsch. Pers. 609. 

NorisiuB ad Cenot. Pisana, Dissert, 
iii. c 5. p. 395. 


The contrast between the elder and younger race of 
Crods, which, though not deeply rooted in the Grecian 
cultus, had at that time acquired the highest significance, 
rests mainly, as expressed m the contemporaries of 
iEschylus and in the Poet himself, on the connexion 
between an absolute natural necessity sluA dkfree agency. 
As heaven and earth and sun and moon, which also 
belong to the old race of Gods, manifest their agency 
in eternal and immutable duration, without intermission 
and unswervingly, so are the Erinnyes also to be re- 
garded as a natural law of the moral world: without 
regard to the particular circumstances of the act, without 
respect to person and situation, they fasten upon him 
who has burst the sacred bonds of consanguinity by the 
commission of an outrage like that of Orestes. This 
mode of comprehending the Erinnyes, as, so to say, the 
dark aspect of Themis, was quite in the spirit of that 
speculative theology in which the genius of ^schylus 
was nurtured. By the Erinnyes, said Pythagoras, the 
impure souls, separated from the pure ones, were held 
in indissoluble bonds;^ nay, were the sim himself to 
leave his course, said Heraclitus, the Erinnyes, the 
sworn confederates of Dike, would know where to find 
him ;^ for Plato tells us it is in accordance with Themis 
for the sun to pursue his allotted path. In answer to 
the question of the Oceanides, Tic ovv avayKrig affrlv 
oiaKO(Trp6<pogy Prometheus replies, Moc/oai rpiixop^oi 
jivriixovaq r 'Epipveg (v. 514, sq.) Here, as also in the 
Eumenides (361) and in Sophocles (Aj. 1390), it is 
noticed as especially characteristic of the Erinnyes, that 
they suffer neither the laws which they maintain, nor the 
outrages by which those laws are violated, to vanish from 

* Ding. I^iaert. viii. 32. 
^ Plutarch de exit, 11. and de Itide, 4iS. 


their memory, and accordingly they visit the sins of the 
fathers even on the children and grand-children (Eum. 
894 et al.) But if in human life the Erinnys manifests 
itself particularly in the conscience, and consequently, 
must needs assume an individual form, varying with the 
temper of different individuals, still the ancients, in their 
mode of contemplation, which had come down to them 
from the earliest times, and of what they could not 
divest themselves, conceive this evil conscience merely as 
a symptom of the power of the Erinnys, and regard 
the Erinnys herself as an external, actually existing, 
daemonic power of universal agency. The Olympian 
Grods, on the contrary, related from the very first to the 
tribes of Greece, the protectors of divers cities and pos- 
sessors of large temples, manifoldly interwoven with a 
complicated history, have so many motives for favour 
and disfavour, inclination and aversion, and in their 
whole agency refer so much to specific individual cir- 
cumstances that they are incapable of representing those 
universal laws. These are manifested in them much 
the same as in human life, united with the most multi- 
farious aims, which are indeed dependent on, but not 
produced by them. . At the same time, from the very 
circumstance of their having a more individual, more 
human character, they have a nearer insight into the 
special circumstances of each case; they bend and modify 
the stiff inflexible rule of the extrinsically right, which 
else, inexorable as a physical law, would overtake and 
smite the wrong-doer, and apply it with an humane 
consideration, according to the intrinsic character of the 
specific deed. Hence with iEschylus it is their office to 
make ordinances and institutions, such as the ApoUinary 
purifications and the court of Areopagus, which have the 
effect in certain cases of averting the naturally inexorable 
and irrespective Erinnys. Even argumenia ad hominem, 


many of which are addressed by Apollo to Athena^ 
(such as 'I will always fiirther the interests of thy city/ 
&c.) do not appear to j^schylas at all repugnant to the 
nature of those Gk)ds. But the compromise which the 
Erinnyes make of their resentment in consideration of 
the institution of their cultus is quite another matter; 
their cultus is a token, a pledge of the further exercise 
of their rights upon earth. Thus in fact j^schylua 
everywhere maintains this contrast, and he appUes it 
with the consistency and right consequence which he 
never fails to observe^ and not merely in this tragedy 
but everywhere. 

91. But with all this, it is j^schylus^s conviction 
that the conflict between those ancient orders and the 
powers that sway the present world is merely transient — 
existing for a certain epoch, a crisis preparatory only to 
a higher development. With him the world of Olym- 
pian Gods is in perfect unison with the original powers, 
and, as it were, nothing more than an improvement 
upon them. If the Erinnyes in their anger charge the 
Olympian Gods with having wronged the Moirae and 
bereft them of their authority (165 cf. 694), this wrong 
is but for a time and in appearance, ^schylus, like 
Pindar, labours to do away with the legends about the 
strife and conflict between the two orders of Gt)ds, and 
to supply their place with legends of a milder character. 
In the altercation between Apollo and the Erinnyes he 
very evidently alludes to the dogma (probably especially 
developed by the Orphici), how Zeus Uberated the 
fettered Cronus, and propitiated him by various concili- 
atory means (615). ^Zeus released the Titans/ saya 
Pindar also. It was a very just observation of the 
ancient annotators (cf. v. 47), that the tragedy com- 
mences with repose and solemnity, with iv<l>rifiia, and 
concludes also with the same, and that the elements of 



the terrible^ the rage and conflict^ are more condensed 
towards the middle. In the prayer of the Pythoness 
at the commencement of the play, j^schylus obviously 
pursues the design of clearing the traditions about the 
institution of the Pythian Oracle and its several pos- 
sessors from all strife and dispute, whilst Pindar, untrue 
to his own maxim, 'far be all contest from the Immor- 
tals,^ no doubt out of deference for old native traditions,^ 
depicted with such vehemence the conflict between Earth 
and Apollo, that it was said the incensed Earth attempted 
to thrust him down into Tartarus.^ With JSschylus, 
on the other hand, the primeval Prophetess Earth was 
succeeded in the possession of the sacred seat by her 
daughter Themis, by a kind of hereditary right ;^ the 
latter transferred it with good will (observe how expressly 
j^schylus notices this) to her sister Phcebe ; but Phcebe 
bestowed the oracular seat as a birth-day present (yci'l- 
OXioi/ Soaii')* on her grandson Apollo, who in conse- 
quence took the surname of Phoebus ; and Phoebus now 

» Cf. § 57. 

« Schol. Eran. 2. 

^ ^schylus's design is also ex- 
pressed here in the particle drj, v. 3, 
which belongs to the whole sen- 
tence, but in its closer connexion 
more particularly to t6 firfTp6s, The 
universal force of d^ is to render 
prominent something that is known 
and acknowledged, or the admission 
of which is presupposed — something 
to which one expects universal as- 
sent. Fully developed, the meaning 
of the whole expreusion is this: 
Themis succeeded as rightftd heiress 
to the Oracle, which of a truth be- 
longed to her mother, and which, 
as every one must see and allow, 
she had the most perfect claim to 
inherit. Arj attached to the sub- 

ject gives its complexion to the 
whole sentence. The force of this 
particle in its various usages has as 
yet (1834) been very inadequately 
developed: that it := 'namely' is 
perhaps a traction of the school 
(Hermann's), which could get itself 
to believe e. g. that n-ep == oirciter, 
and re. sometimes = 'perhaps.' 
Anhanff, p. 14. 

* FevcdXio, dies ncUalis, lug- 
tricus, was in general the eighth 
day for girls, and the ninth for 
boys. On tlds day they were car- 
ried round the hearth {dfi<l>idp6- 
fua), and so received a kind of 
fire-baptism: the children were 
shown on the occasion to the elder 
relatives, and received presents 
wrapped up, called oTm^pta, here 


takes possession of it^ setting out firom his native Delian 
lake (the \i/nvri rpoyotaaa), and, after voluntary 
homage paid him by the inhabitants and ruler of the 
country, is formally inducted into possession by an escort 
of Athenians/ who gloried in having been the first to 
pave the sacred way to Pytho by felling the forests and 
hewing out the rocky paths. 

92. Now in the same way as iEschylus deviates here 
from the legends which supposed violent revolutions in 
the succession of the Delphic deities, so likewise with 
regard to the origin of the Erinnyes, he departs from 
the profound old legend (§ 79), which makes them the 
perpetual memento of the crime committed by Cronus 
upon the primal father Uranus, because he would avoid 
the necessity of setting down as an everlasting enmity 
the conflict between the old and new Gods, of which he 
otherwise makes such frequent mention. He contents 
himself with calling the Erinnyes, without mentioning 
their father. Daughters of Nighty a Goddess at once 
terrible and mild,' as the Ermnyes become in this drama.' 
This genealogy obviously answered iEschylus's views 
and poetical aims better than any other of the existing 
ones, which derived the Erinnyes from Scotos and Gaia 
(Sophocles), from Cronus and Eurynome (in a work 
which went under the name of Epimenides), from 
Phorcys (Euphorion), from Gaia-Euonyme (Istrus), from 

ytpt0kiog d6o'is; at the same time 
the child was named, after the 
grandfather in preference. Some- 
times, however, the Amphidromia 
appear distinct from the G^ethlia. 
See the Interpp. ad L, ad Callim. 
Hymn, in Dian. 74, ad Pers. ii. 82. 
Fhoebtis's name was a fuififuo- 
Wfutc6v» Schol. n. i. 43. Hesiod in 
Etym. M. p. 796. 

* 'll<l>al<rrcv ircudeg (18) denotes 
the Athenians as descended from 
Erichthonins. Cf. Hesych. s. v. 

' w. 812. 894. 716. 760. 808. 

' <^iXia Agam. 846. Conse- 
quently €if<f>p6vrj. 

* €{}<l>pOVtf, § 87. 



Acheron and Night (Eudemus), from Hades and Per- 
sephone (Orphic Hymns), or Hades and Styx (Atheno- 
dorus and Mnaseas)/ By the genealogy he has adopted, 
our Poet brings the Erinnyes into near connexion with 
the Moira, who, in his way of thinking, partake with 
Jove of the highest dignity, the Moirse being represented 
also in Hesiod's Theogony as Daughters of Night, and 
consequently invoked by the Erinnyes as their sisters 
by the mother's side.® 

93. The external representation of the Goddesses is 
founded entirely on the fearful aspect of their ideal 
nature, so that even Pallas is constrained to notice the 
contrast between their benedictions and their hideous 
countenances (944). In the outward and visible form 
of the Erinnyes ^Eschylus seems to have drawn a good 
deal on his invention; for the earlier Poets had no 
definite image of these Goddesses before their eyes ; and 
though there were in the Temple at Athens old carved 
wooden images of the Semnae, still their figures could 
not be adapted for dramatic purposes. And hence it is 

^ On these genealogies see parti- 
cularly Schol. (Ed. C. 42. Tzetz. 
Lycophr. 406. Schol. .£schin. in 
Timarch, p. 747, R. Apnlei. de 
Orihogr, § 11, p. 6, Osann. Orphic 
Poems place Phorcys among the 
Titans, and represent Enrynome as 
mlingvdthOphionens hofore Cronus. 

* This rests upon an explanation 
of the passage, v. 919, sqq. which 
assumes that it is the Moirse, and 
not the Horse, who are there spoken 
of. The latter do not suit the pas- 
sage at all, and none but the former 
can fitly be called iravrq, nfuayraTai 
$€al. To take ixarpoKao'iyvrJTai in 
the sense of Aunts would be ridi- 
culous ; ^schylus puts it for Kam- 

yvTjrai, Sfiofi^pioi, Still more ab- 
suid would it be for the Erinnyes to 
apply that term to other Goddesses, 
as thus: 'Ye Goddesses, whose Aunts 
the Moirse are.' On these consider- 
ations is grounded the constitution 
of the text above assumed; the words 
Kvpi e^ovTcs rh Bvar&v {icvpta to 
be taken substantively) are to be 
understood as a general designation, 
and Moipcu fiarpoKaaiyvriTai as a 
special address to the Moirse. With 
respect to this passage I cannot 
agree with Elausen, Theologumena 
MscK p. 45, although in other 
points the exposition here given has 
much in common with Klauscn's. 


tliat the Pythian Priestess^ after having beheld the 
ErinnyeS; is only able to describe their forms^ without 
being apprised thereby of the nature of the beings she 
has seen, j^schylus drew the form he -gave to their 
mask partly from the internal lineaments stamped on 
the essential character of those deities^ and partly &om 
external analogy. To the latter the Pythoness herself 
draws our attention in the Prologue ; and her expres- 
sions are obviously intended to prepare us for the 
appearance of the Furies^ and to account in a manner 
for their figures. She first of all compares them to 
Gorgon-images, which were among the very earUest 
works of Grecian^ especially of Athenian art^ which can 
be traced as far back as the age of Cyclopian workman- 
ship. From the Gorgons j^schylus borrowed the snaky 
hair of the Erinnyes, before mentioned in the Choe- 
phorce (1045)^ and frequently set down as the invention 
of our Poet : but the Gorgons have it much earlier in 
works of art. Moreover, ^schylus borrowed from the 
Gorgons no doubt the pendent tongue and grinning 
mouthy which regularly characterize the Gorgon-head in 
ancient works of art. We shall see what significance he 
gave these features in the case of the Erinnyes. But 
even the comparison with the Gorgons does not fully 
satisfy the Pythoness ; she adds, ' I once saw in a picture 
the plunderers* of Phioeus* meal.' Here she again 
bethinks ^herself of a work of art, and in mentally 
recaUing the sight of it she does not immediately add 
the name of the Harpies, which every one of the 
audience could supply of himself. The supposition of a 
mixed species, a sort of Gorgon-Harpies,^ a species totally 
unknown to all antiquity, appears to me an utterly un» 
founded idea. Without entering into the investigations 

* Yoss, Mytholog. Briefe (Letters) uxi. p. 201. 



of modem Archaeology on the figure of the Harpies, I 
will merely remark here, that one of the vase-paintiugs 
in Millingen^ exhibits the scene exactly as iEschylus saw 
it ; the Harpies are there represented as old, hideous, 
winged, female figures, dragging ofi^ the meal of Fhineus 
in all directions. But the Erinnyes, the Pythoness adds, 
have no wings, and are of a black and quite disgusting 
aspect. The black garments which ^schylus invariably 
assumes for the costume of the Erinnyes, subsequently 
used not unfrequently on the stage at processions,' mark 
them for the Children of Night ;* but the wings which 
the Gorgons* as well as the Harpies have, and which Euri- 
pides® has given to the Erinnyes also, do not suit JSschy- 
lus^s idea, and for this reason — ^viz., because the images 
constantly before his eyes are those of huntresses and 
hounds chasing their game into every comer and covert. 
This image is by far the most prominent in the features 
marked by iEschylus, particularly in the first section of 
the tragedy : like hoimds, the Erinnyes yelp in their 
sleep, pursue the bloody track, nose the scent, lap blood 
from carcases: Orestes is the fleet roebuck which they 
hunt.' And in the Choephoroe (911. 1050), as also by 
Sophocles and others,^ they are in plain terms designated 
by the appellation of kvvbc^ used like a proper name. 
To this image the long pendent tongue of the Gorgo- 

' Ancient uned. Mon. p. 1, pi. 

^ Hence the black garb of the 
Dannian women (Lycophr. 1187). 
Cf. Strabo iii. p. 176. and Bottiger, 
'Mask of the Furies/ p. 44, sqq. 
In ^lian V. H. ix. 29, the Furies 
are personated by youths with masks 
and torches. The latter, JCschylus 
could only give to the choral escort, 
but later Poets regarded them as 

an essential appendage to the equip- 
ment of the Furies. Aristoph. Plut. 
425. Cic. in JPisan. 20. Legg. i. 

* Choeph. 1045. Eum. 52. 332. 
358. Cf. § 92. 

» JEsch. Prom. 497. 

« Orest. 817. 

7 w. 106, 127. 175. 237. 296. 

^ Kvpa 'Epiwvv. Hesych. 


be aided in the accomplishment of his vengeance by the 
infernal deities who are injured by Clytaemnestra, but 
above all by the Manes of his father out of the tomb. 
Subsequently, in the recognition-scene between Electra 
and Orestes (242), the sister expresses her wish that 
Power (Kparoc) and Justice (Aiici?), together with the 
Third, the Highest Zeus, may aid their plans of revenge 
upon Clytaemnestra (242). And after the accomplish- 
ment of the deed the Chorus says, at the conclusion of 
the play, that after the heinous crime of Atreus and the 
murder of Agamemnon a Third is now come as Soter, 
or, should it rather say, utter ruin (fiopov)? — the Chorus 
itself being doubtful whether the series of calamities be 
ended or not by this deed of vengeance. Lastly, in the 
Eumenides, Orestes after his acquittal says (728 — 731), 
that his paternal house and home are at length restored 
to him by the gracious interference of Pallas and Apollo, 
and of that Third, the All-ender, the Soter, who has 
compassionately supported the father's rights against the 
mother's advocates, the Erinnyes, and thereby rescued a 
father's avenger and mother's slayer. With these allu- 
sions must be compared the references to Zeus the Con- 
summator, teXhoq, especially the invocation to him at 
the conclusion of the prayer of the Pjrthoness in the 
opening scene of the Eimienides. 

95. The conception and the cultus of Zeus Soter, as the 
Third, was widely diffused through Greece. Among 
the convivial customs of the Greeks nothing is more 

self give in the Frogs, 1144. 
According to that interpretation 
Hermes received the office of Chtho- 
nios as a narpStov ytpas, an here- 
ditary office. On the contrary, we 
make this the connexion: 'Epfirj 

xB6vttf Trarpm inonrtvap Kpanj hero still breathing in his tragedies. 

atoTTip yepov poi, and thus obtain a 
much more appropriate idea, and 
withal one of great importance for 
the whole of the Tragedy. We appeal 
from the Aristophanic ghost of .£s- 
chylus to the spirit of the ancient 


familiar than their *three solemn draughts after meals^ 
the first consecrated to Olympian Zeus^ or Zeus as the 
husband of Hera, the second to the Earth and Heroes, 
the third to Zeus Soter.^ In this ceremony the Olym- 
pian Gods are placed in opposition to the chthonian 
genii, the divinities of death and the dark side of nature, 
in which class the heroes are also reckoned ; but Zeus 
Soter is conceived as a third and lord over both worlds. 
Precisely in the same way -^schylus makes the supphant 
Danaids (24) pray to the Gods above, to the venerable 
chthonian deities presiding over the grave, and to Zeus 
Soter the Third, as guardian of the families of righteous 
men. At the third draught Zeus was sometimes called 
the ayadoc Saifitov,^ and the cup was termed the fmish- 
ing one (reXeioc)- There is much significance in the 
genealogy ^ which makes Zeus Soter beget Zeus Ktesios 
by Praxidice, i. e. a Goddess of Destiny, governing and 
punishing according to justice ; it accords with several 
usages in which a Zeus Ktesios is distinguished from 
another Zeus,'^ and obviously imphes the idea of the 
revival of nature's blessings consequent upon the re- 
moval of the causes of evil by the Goddess who holds 
judgment (originally perhaps an Erinnys), and the God 
who rescues. The combination of the Olympian Jupiter 
with the Soter was particularly customary at Olympia, 
where Zeus Chthonius was also worshipped and the 
chthonian worship altogether formed the foundation of 
the earUest local mythi. ' Twice already,' says Plato in 
a passage full of thought and meaning,^ ^ have we exhi- 

^ Passages are to be found in 
Athen. i. p. 29 B. ii. p. 38 D. xv. 
676 C. 692. sq. Schol. Find. Isthm. 
5. 7. Spanheim on Aristoph. Plut. 

' Diphilns in Athen. zi. p. 487. 

* By Mnaseas in Said. s. v. TUpa- 

* Gerhard * Antike Bildwerke/ i. 
p. 9, 39 sqq. Cf. p. 97 sqq.' 

« PoUt. ix. p. 683. 


bited the righteous victorious over the unrighteous : let 
us DOW consecrate the third in Olympian fashion ('OXv/a- 
TTtfcwc) to the Soter, as well as to the Olympian Zeus^ 
and clearly demonstrate that none but the wise man^s 
pleasure is pure and real, and that of others nothing but 
a mere shadow of it/ The Philosopher, who delights 
quite as much as our Poet in allusions to the rpiroq 
<Twrrj/o/ obviously intimates in this passage the reli- 
gious notion of the removal of all troubles and the 
restoration of pure joy by the interposition of Zeus 
Soter as the Third/ At Athens also Zeus Soter, par- 
tially identified with Eleutherius, the Liberator, had 
several altars and statues; but it seems particularly 
remarkable that the last day in the year was sacred to 
him, and that the Disoteria were performed on that 
day,^ when we consider that the three last days but one 
of the month (the reTaprri, rpirr), and Seurepa) were 
consecrated to the dead and the lower world, and on 
that account assigned for the execution of criminals con- 
demned for murder/ From this it is evident that in 
the Attic Religion also, after the propitiation of adverse 
powers and the atonement of the particular transgres- 
sions, Zeus Soter interposes in the character of a con- 
summating Saviour-God, in whom the opposition between 
the serene Gods of the world above and the gloomy 
powers of the realms below is harmonized and tempered 
down into a satisfactory and calm conception of the uni- 

1 Cf. Charmides, p. 167. Phi- 
lebus, p. QQ. ^^^' iii. p. 692. 

2 Pindar (Isthm. v. 7), precisely 
like Plato, connects o-aynip '0\vfi- 
TTtos as TpiroS' This passage, how- 
ever, like many others on Zeos 
Soter as the Third, is rather a free 
allusion than a strict reference to 
the idea. 

^ Lysias c. Euandr. § 6. Corp. 
Inscript. 157. T. i. p. 252. 

* Etymol. M. p. 131. Gudian p. 
70, and other Lexioogr. s. v. otto* 


^ It was from the same associa- 
tion of ideas that the Generals at 
ArginussB, previous to the hazardous 
engagement, made vows to the 



We have said sufficient in this place for the compre- 
hension of iEschylus's intimations on this remarkable 
worship. Over the conflicting powers of darkness and 
of hght, the vindictive and the conciliatory, stands Zeus 
Soter in the character of the God who conducts all 
things to a good issue, and universally, as the Third and 
Finisher, either adjusts the difference between two 
others, or completes what two others have begun. On 
no occasion does this Zeus exert his influence directly, 
like Apollo, Athena, and the Erinnyes ; but, whereas 
Apollo is Prophet and Exegetes by virtue of wisdom 
derived &om him, and to him Athena is indebted for 
her sway over States and AssembUes, — ^nay, the very 
Erinnyes exercise their function in his name,® — ^this 
Zeus stands always in the back-ground, and has in 
reality only to settle a conflict existing within himself. 
For with iEschylus, as with all deep-thinking men 
among the Greeks from the earUest times, Zeus is the 
only real God in the higher sense of the word. Al- 
though he is in the spirit of ancient Theology a gene- 
rated god, arisen out of an imperfect state of things and 
hot produced till the third stage of the cosmogonic 
development of nature,' still he is, at the time we are 
speaking of, the Spirit that pervades and governs the 
universe. But with that genuine child-like simplicity 
which is not bewildered even by this conception of an 
imiversal God, nor deterred from a cordial approach to 

Semnse and Zens Soter as well as to 
Apollo, the fulfilment of which was 
recommended to the people by one 
of them, Diomedon, previous to his 
execution. Biodor. xiii. 102. 

^ This is the sense of the pas- 
sage V. 340. Cf. Klausen Theolo- 
gum. jEsch, p. 166 sq. and pp. 39, 
66. The effect of the obscurely- 

intimating riff on the Ghreeks is par- 
ticularly evident in Pindar 01. ii. 

7 This is the idea contained in the 
passage in the Agam. 162 ff, where 
for A£S;AI I would propose to read 
APKE2AI. Uranus is now power- 
less, and Cronus too has found in 
Zeus his Tpuucrffp. 


196 ZEUS 80TEB. 

him — a cordiality which is the most beautiful character- 
istic of the ancient religion — iEschylus conceives this 
all-controllings all-present Deity withal quite in human 
wise as a paternal God, and therefore pre-eminently the 
guardian o{ paternal rights^ and discerns in that circum- 
stance an hnportant and decisive motive for Jupiter's 
determination to rescue Orestes^ as one that held the 
father and master of the household of higher account 
than the mother. 

We will say no more here on this pointy and purposely 
abstain from bringing forward this train of ideas from its 
shadowy^ bodeful glimmering in the remotest distance 
into a stronger and clearer lights which by sharply de- 
fining every outline might easily give an air of distortion 
and falsity to what, when felt in the right way, is 
profound and true. 


96. F&oM the preceding discussions — judicial^ political^ 
and religious — ^it will be sufficiently evident that the 
drama of ^schylus presupposes^ for its due understand- 
ings that the reader should be well acquainted with these 
phases of the life of the Greeks. But these expositions 
tend but little to characterise the whole composition 
regarded as poetry^ since all this might have been 
exhibited in a form perfectly different from tragedy. 

Accordingly, in the following Essay we shall endeavour 
to characterise the tragedy more particularly by the trains 
and combinations oi feelings and states of mind through 
which the Poet leads us. And here we are far fit>m 
disallowing the position that, as the form of Poetry is 
words, and therefore conceptions and thoughts, so Poetry 
itself, as a whole, is a development of thoughts. The 
unity and harmony of feelings requires also unity of 
thought. Even the Iliad is held together by an ethical 
idea; only it is what we should expect from an age living 
entirely by sight and sense, that this same idea is never 
there expressed in an abstract form ; the poet, however, 
is guided by it, as a rule, in his estimate of things, in 
their effect upon his state of mind. In Pindar's age 
the Grecian mind was already far more accustomed to 
abstract reflexion ; without question Pindar has a way 
of intellectualising the particular phenomena before him, 
and drawing from them a satisfactory tone of feeling, and 
that is, by discovering in them the expression of an 


universal ethical rule or law of fate.* Exactly in the 
same way the Tragedians for the most part directly ex- 
press the main thought that regulates their composi- 
tions. But as a branch of Art^ as sister to Music and 
akin to Sculpture, Poetry has her prescript laws indis- 
putably in the domain of feeling ; it is with the emo- 
tions that she is concerned, and these, with their risings 
and fallings, their transitions and contrasts, Ughts and 
shadows, she calls forth in their due sequence and 
measure, and brings to an harmonious close. 

No one has more profoundly apprehended, or more 
simply expressed the course and procedure of feeUngs 
which is essentially the aim of Tragedy than Aristotle, 
if indeed it be Aristotle, and not Sophocles in his prose 
Essay on Tragedy, or perhaps some other earher author, 
who (in the well-known definition which has been geni- 
ally handled by Lessing and Herder, but still has not 
hitherto received the complete development it requires) 
describes Tragedy as an exhibition tending by the 
operation of pity and fear to purify these and similar 

For this is precisely the most essential point in 
Tragedy, considered in its origin and its progress to 
perfection among the Greeks — the excitement of emo- 
tions which by their nature and intensity draw the soul 
out of its equable state, and hurl it into a tempest of 
conflicting elements, but which at the same time in the 
course of their progress and development are purified 
and exalted, so as to leave it in calmness and composure, 
apt for more elevated and ennobling impressions. In 
the Epic Poem, on the contrary, the peaceful fiow of 

* It w scarcely necessary to remark, that this is the principle on which 
Dissen proceeds in his interpretation of Pindar. 
^ KoBapats tS>v ira0rjfmTa)p. 


equable emotions is never suspended: beautifully cliarae- 
terised by the steady, unintermitted roll of the majestic 
hexameter, the succession of wave on wave, stronger 
and weaker without perceptible difference, strikes on the 
heart and disports itself around the whole world alike 
with impartial complacency. In this should seem to lie 
the radical distinction between the two kinds of poetry, 
not in the form of narration and representation, which, 
however, necessarily grows out of it, and in tragedy must 
be half lyrical and that of direct introduction to the 

Tragedy in Greece could only issue from a religious 
service calculated by its nature to agitate the spirit with 
tumultuous commotions of jubilant and painful feehngs, 
and one which on that very accoimt stood almost isolated 
among the Grecian forms of worship, — that of Bacchus, 
The sufferings with which Dionysos^ was threatened from 
adverse powers formed, as we learn from Herodotus^s 
account of the Sicyonian choral tragedies (a notice replete 
with inexhaustible interest and instruction), the subject 
of the earliest tragic play, probably first produced at the 
Bacchic winter-festival of the wine-presses, the Trieterica, 
answering to the Attic Lensea. But as Dionysos emerges 
from his sufferings with renovated glory, so he Ukewise 
liberates the mind from its intoxication and bewilder- 
ment, and by the side of the Bacchic or reveUing Dionysos 
is worshipped a Lysios, or Uberating and tranquillising 
God. In connexion with the Dionysian worship, there 
also existed from an early period a Catharsis, the mean- 
ing of which, as it was said to have been evinced in the 
God himself (§ 61), is, the restoration of the mind from 
a state of tumult and ecstasy to one of composure and 
tranquillity. There were also, besides the musical modes 

' Ta Aioin;(rov iraBrf. 



which inspired Bacchic phrensy, others of a directly 
opposite tendency^ supposed to possess a calming and 
piuifying virtue.* 

Even that earliest form of Tragedy, a choral ode, simg 
at the commemoration of the sufferings of the God by 
the Chorus, transformed by the nature of the festival 
into the immediate train of Dionysos, was in this sense 
a Catharsis, inasmuch as it Uberated the mind, harassed 
by strong emotions of pity and terror, from the excess 
of those passions, and restored its tranquil equipoise. 
But Tragedy continued to be so, in an aesthetical sense^ 
then also when the same lively sympathy was claimed 
for the sufferings of other heroes — ^for sufferings always 
formed the central point, and the protagonist was the 
principal sufferer. The vividness and energy of the 
scenes presented before us call forth a multitude of 
varied emotions — wishes and hopes, fear and hatred, pity 
and grief; — and as these in well-managed sequence succeed 
each other, the effect is, not that the one emotion sup- 
presses the other, but that both, exalted into a loftier 
and more generous character, are refined and purified, 
and instead of disturbing, estabUsh and settle the soul in 
its just equipoise. In the place of the eager wishes we 
felt for the success of individuals, and distressing appre- 
hension of the dangers which menaced this, there suc- 
ceeds, mingled with wondering awe and sublime joy, the 
contemplation of an imperturbable, eternal order, which 
out of all the seeming timnoil and confusion emerges 
only more resplendent. Such, briefly indicated, is the 
state of mind which the Poet intends to produce as the 
final result of his whole representation. We are speak- 

* According to Plato (Legg. vii. p. 
790) the €K<l>p6vcov fiaKXft&v tdo-cty 
are effected by music and dancing ; 
and Aristotle, who intended treating 

more at large of the KoBapo'is in 
his work on Poetry, ascribes to the 
av\6s a purifying as weU as an or- 
giastic virtue. Polit. viiL 6. cf. 7. 


ing of the ^schylean Trilogies — ^for in these it was the 
Poet^s aim, throughout, to extol the majesty of the 
eternal ordinances which uphold the universe : whereas 
Sophocles, in the new form which he gave to Tragedy, 
had in view the moral sentiments, apprehended under a 
more personal and certainly a more refined aspect ; and 
to confirm and establish these upon a sure and firm 
basis by means of the events which he brings before us 
was the pervading aim of his representation. 

97. No language can furnish terms completely ade- 
quate to denote the multiplicity of the feelings on the 
alternations of which, and their play into each other, 
the enjoyment of a work of art depends : for the most 
part all that we can do is to convey some indirect 
announcement of them by the medium of expressions 
appropriate to kindred conceptions. Still I will essay 
to bring nearer to the consciousness, in some of the 
principal points, the march of the various feelings and 
states of mind which, like a strain of music, moves through 
the ^schylean Trilogy. 

The predominant feelings in the opening scenes of 
the Agamemnon are rejoicings and triumph, serenely 
bright, cheerful, magnificent. The poet of a trilogy 
has this advantage over him of a single tragedy, that he 
can commence his composition with feelings of a joyous 
and tranquil nature, and is not obliged to hurry us 
forthwith into the tempest of passion. The line of 
beacon-fires darting their light over from Ilium to 
Argos, the flames of the thank-oflferings on the altars of 
the city, the grand announcement gradually brought 
out, with ever increasing distinctness, of the fall of 
Troy, and lastly the entrance of the great king himself 
with his trophy-bearers — most of them occurrences 
striking the mind through the eye and therefore doubly 
impressive — all these tend to maintain a succession of 



joyful and proud feelings. Along with these, however, 
there begins to creep over us a sense of dark mis- 
giving, faint and obscure at first, but gradually becoming 
more and more perceptible, which like an internal 
ulcer under an outward show of blooming health, keeps 
gnawing on, until at last it seizes on the whole frame. 
This bodeful presentiment is especially intimated in the 
reflexions of the Chorus of grave old men in the open- 
ing odes, whilst Agamemnon, even to the last fatal 
stroke, is free from all touch of misgiving. The sacri- 
fice of Iphigenia throws a shadow over the whole expe- 
dition against Troy ; even in the fall of Troy the Chorus 
traces the marked agency of avenging Gods; but the 
Prince too, who has purchased victory only by the death 
of many of his subjects sacrificed to his ambition, lies 
under the resentment of the Erinnyes. At the same 
time these old men cannot conceal their distrust of 
Clytaemnestra, and in an ominous Ode, the third, while 
ostensibly speaking of Paris and Helen, they so express 
themselves that our thoughts, already turned in this 
direction, cannot but recur ever and anon to ^gisthus 
and Clytaemnestra. The first series of impressions now 
culminates in a splendid spectacle; Agamemnon is at 
length prevailed on by Clytaemnestra to tread upon 
costly purple carpets in his way from the chariot to the 
palace, and thus, innocent as he is himself of this bar- 
barian insolence (for such it would be esteemed in the 
Grecian view), he is in this very act visibly exalted to 
the crowning point of external grandeur and magnifi- 
cence. But in the Chorus the presentiment of cakuuity 
increases in the same proportion, 

vfiviplti dprjvov *Epivvoc avro^idaKToc etrwdep OvfiSgy 

(v. 963 sq.) 

and in the awful scene — the most thrilling perhaps that 


ever emanated from tragic art — ^where Cassandra awakens 
to the consciousness where she is^ and what the fate 
awaiting her, the foreboding starts at once into clear 
contemplation of the fearful doom that broods over the 
house, and distinct announcement of the impending 
calamity. Now falls the stroke we have long dreaded, 
and in a moment all those proud feelings are scattered 
to the winds, and our whole soul is filled with horror. 
It is true, the speecheiS of Clytaemnestra and ^gisthus 
oflfer some palliation of the deed by exhibiting it as an 
act of retribution, and by representing to us the guilt 
of Agamemnon himself and the merited curse that 
haunts the whole race : we are convinced it must be so, 
yet neither Clytaemnestra^s dauntless avowal of the 
murder, nor the sophistries with which she attempts to 
justify the deed, least of all the dastardly exultation of 
uEgisthus, avail to call forth in us any other feelings 
than those of grief and abhorrence, moderated only by 
a feeUng of the inevitable certainty of vengeance. We 
entirely sympathise with the Chorus in their reprobation 
of the deed, and our whole soul is wound up to the 
highest pitch of tragic suspense and expectation. 

98. The character of the Choephoroe is defined, with 
the simplicity peculiar to works of ancient art, by making 
Agamemnon's tomb the central point of the staffe ; to 
this advances on the one side the avenger Orestes, com- 
missioned on this errand by the Pythian Apollo : on the 
other the Chorus of Choephoroe (Libation-bearers), con- 
sisting of Trojan female attendants belpnging to the 
palace. The chaise undertaken by the Chorus, of 
pacifying for Clytaemnestra the Manes of Agamemnon, 
is at variance with their own feehngs and the conviction 
they entertain of the futility of such means : readily 
influenced by the determined Electra, they offer the 
Ubations in a contrary sense, and in a short impassioned 



ode give utterance to their grief for the murder of Aga- 
memnon^ and their dark presentiment of approaching retri- 
bution. The continuation of this threnos is interrupted 
by the recognition of Orestes, first by means of the lock 
of hair and the footsteps, and then by the appearance of 
Orestes himself : and now the brother and sister — ' the 
old eaglets orphaned progeny ' — unite with the Chorus 
around the tomb and invoke the aid of the departed. 
' This long Kofifxoq^ bears at first the character of a Oprivog; 
it opens with the feeling of helplessness, under which 
the children flee for succour to their father's grave, and 
thence expect protection and strength ; they mourn the 
unworthy fate of Agamemnon, interred here, not as 
conqueror in a foreign land, still less as victor over his 
enemies at home. Hence that ardent thirst for ven- 
geance in Orestes, which, as yet expressing no resolution 
of his own, he expects from Zeus and the infernal 
deities; harassed by conflicting feelings he even gives 
a thought to the possibility of conciliating his mother 
by submission, but immediately abandons this scheme 
as utterly futile. Then the Chorus carries on the train 
of thoughts with more of reflexion than of passion, and 
Electra (antistrophically) replies to it* with narratives 

* The concise view of the Com- 
mos here ^ven is based upon the 
instructive Essay by Ahrens de 
causis qidbusdam ^schyli nondum 
satis emendati. 

2 The very unusual antistrophic 
correspondency of dialogue between 
the Chorus and one of the dra- 
matis persons is easily accounted 
fbr in this instance: the parties 
meet in the same way as di-amatis 
personae in the regular dialogue. 
Electra and the Hegemon, or some 
other central member of the Chorus, 
must be imagined to urge Orestes 

from either side. On the other 
hand, the antistrophic corresponsion 
of Choreutse with ChoreutsB always 
rests upon the relation between the 
right and left side of the Chonu» 
analogous to that of the Hemichoria. 
This may best be gathered from 
Soph. Aj. 866 sqq. So in the second 
Comraos of the (Edipus Coloneus, 
first of all one person, in correspon- 
sion to (Edipus, advances towards 
him and then withdraws, next two 
members of the Chorus on opposite 
sides sing in corresponsion (in point 
of matter as well as of form) to each 



detached by their metre from the rest of the song and 
calculated to complete the first tragedy of the trilogy, 
the scope of which did not admit of their introduction 
in that place. For instance, we are now informed for 
the first time that at Agamemnon's burial no Argive 
citizen, but only the train of Trojan female slaves was 
allowed to follow : that on that occasion the funeral 
mourning was conducted by them in the Asiatic style, 
and in their presence the expiatory rite of cutting the 
extremities from the corpse* was performed by Clytaem- 
nestra, whilst Electra, the rightful conductress of the 
funeral procession, was scandalously debarred and ex- 
cluded from the privilege. These representations act 
most powerfully on Orestes ; he instantly declares his 
determination either to take vengeance or to die in the 
attempt, and in conjunction with Electra and the Chorus 
prays for aid from the grave towards the execution of 
the deed, which the Chorus, concluding the whole in 
conformity with the rules of art, views as a necessary 
result of the old family destiny. Thus this commos is, 
in lyrical form, the foundation of the Orestean ven- 
geance ; the details, and the artifice by which it shall 
be carried into execution are then considered in dialogue. 
In the succeeding choral ode the reckless wickedness of 
Clytaemnestra is again the theme, and the approaching 
Erinnys is conceived as the inevitable result. The 
design of -^schylus is to hold up to view in the strongest 
colours possible every incentive that urges them to take 
the life of Clytsemnestra. Then follows the execution 
of the scheme, Orestes in disguise, with the pretended 

othor. In the second portion of 
the last Commos in the same play, 
one of the principal memhers of the 
Chorus responds to Antigone just 

in the same way as Antigone hikd 
before done to Ismene. 
'^ a(^0(ri6)<rifj of. § 58 N 



ashes of his own corpse, Electra^s counterfeit grief, 
Clytaemnestra^s suppressed joy. Now prevails, as the 
Chorus observes, the agency of Hermes at once in the 
character of Chthonius and of Nychius, as God of the 
nocturnal realm of the dead, and of nocturnal fraud.* 
In the midst of these sensations of dread some relief is 
afforded by the artless lamentations of Orestes^s old 
nurse, who believes in the death of her fosterling: 
thereupon she fetches ^gisthus without his body-guard, 
by the direction of the Chorus, which in a stasimon 
summons all aiding Gods to the assistance of Orestes. 
Now, whereas we only hear the death-groans of ^gisthus 
from the interior of the palace, it is not until after a 
violent scene and unavailing self-vindication, and, in a 
manner, not till after sentence pronounced on her, that 
Clytsemnestra is led away to execution by Orestes. 
Poetical aims here obliged ^schylus once more to insist 
upon the bounden duty of such an act, and on the 
other hand to expose the atrocity of the act in itself, 
and to exhibit in the strongest light that it is not from 
any passion of his own, but from the obligation to avenge 
his father and obey the behests of Apollo, that Orestes 
slays his mother. Thus, as the choral ode expresses it, 
justice has arrived, the house of the Atridae is once more 
raised up, day once more dawns on it {wapa to (jitog eSeiv). 
Then on a sudden we are transported into the interior 
of the palace, and there we behold Orestes standing over 
the two corpses, holding forth in his hand, in ocular 

* This idea was probably deve- 
loped in the parts of the prologue 
which are lost. The passage v. 
711 sqq. requires, in my opinion, 
only this alteration: *Q n^rvia 

xdcav vvv iirdpri^ov iyvv yhp 

aKfidCfi ll€i3a bokia), ^vyKara- 

firjpai Xd6pi6v 6' ^Epfirjv, koi rhv 
"Sv^iov Tolsb* €<f)ob€Va'(U, K. T. X. 
As A6KioSi Hermes is Ni;;(tof by 
day also (805). I write v. 680 thus : 
ot cyo), Kar cucpas tffinas (^fiiras 
firom many analogous forms) a>s 


vindication of his deed^ the treacherous bathing garment 
of Agamemnon. Yet his mind^ which as represented 
by u^schylus is naturally tender (not indeed in the same 
sense as that of Shakspeare^s Hamlet)^ and without any 
desire of its own for revenge has only obeyed the 
dictates of duty, is now reeling under the strong 
revulsion of the feelings he has hitherto suppressed, and 
it is impossible not to feel the deepest compassion for 
the hero, when, conscious as he is of the righteousness 
of his deed, he feels already that his mind is giving way, 
and presently afterwards actually beholds the awful 
forms of the Erinnyes, invisible only to the Chorus. 
We feel that Orestes^s act of vengeance is too deep a 
breach in the order of nature to admit of its forming 
in itself a conclusion to the Tragedy. 

99. After this harrowing scene of the Choephoroe, the 
Eumenides opens with solemn unction, and by directing 
our regards to the Pythian Apollo, the rightful lord of the 
Delphic Oracle and ancient friend of Athens, and to Zeus 
the all-consummating, affords our agitated feelings a 
stay to rest upon, while at the same time we have in this 
opening scene the germs of the action about to be deve- 
loped. Then follows the terrific description of the 
Erinnyes, and at the end of it, the actual sight of their 
appalling forms — a masterwork in which our Poet, though 
working under other conditions than the sculptor or the 
painter, evinces the creative fancy and shaping hand of 
the consummate artist. But, then, true to the spirit of 
antique Art, which in its most forcible exhibitions of 
power always seeks repose, ^schylus does not leave this 
image without its counterpoise : Apollo, the Grod who 
enjoined the deed of blood, stands there by the side of 
Orestes, as his patron and protector, Hermes as his con- 
ductor : to which we may add the prophetic intimation 
in which Apollo from the first points to the Areopagus. 



This done^ the Poet is wholly with the Erinnyes. Cly- 
tsemuestra^s gloomy spectre hounds on the blood-thirsty 
pack to a renewal of the chase ; their fury, their infernal 
hideousness, are depicted by themselves with fierce com- 
placency in their horrid prerogatives, and by Apollo in 
the aspect under which they appear to the Olympian 
Gods : the strife with the God closes with a direct 
declaration of war by both parties. Next appears 
Orestes, and close on his track, the Erinnyes, at Athens : 
he, full of reliance on the God, they athirst for his 
blood, and confident that he cannot escape them. And 
now the drama, hitherto in shifting motion with the 
Chorus over land and sea, obtains (by the Parodos)* its 
fixed station, and the action is brought into its settled 
channel; the Chorus unfolds its ranks, and encompass- 
ing Orestes as already their captive, describes with 
gloomy solemnity its terrible office. Athena appears, 

* The late occurrence of the 
Pa/rodo8 is as characteristic for this 
tragedy as it is for the (Edipus at 
Colonus (§ 16, Note). By this 
means a separation is made between 
the former portion of the tragedy in 
which unsettled, fluctuating move- 
ments predominate, and the latter, 
in which the action falls into a re- 
gular course and advances in a 
settled order with certain fixed 
resting-points (§ 14). In the A^/a- 
memnon the case is reversed, almost 
the entire second portion of the 
tragedy, from 949 — 1658, having no 
Stasimon, because in this instance 
there is no opportunity for a resting- 
point such as the Sl^ima ftimish. 
In defining the main idea of the 
Parodos to be 'an Ode during 
which the Chorus gains its proper 
station and arranges itself on the 
lines in the Orchestra,' I admit that 

the Ancients themselves appear to 
have frequently confounded it with' 
the first Ode sung by the Chorus in 
its regular order. Moreover, the 
Ode during which the Chorus takes 
its station is frequently followed im- 
mediately by another, after it is sta- 
tionary. In such cases these Odes 
are sep-i rated from each other partly 
by the change of rhythm, partly by 
the seeming insertion of an Epode, 
as in Soph. Ajax, Euripides PhoenisssB, 
and Iph. in AuL This Epode cannot 
have been sung during the pacing 
movement, i. e. during the Parodos 
in the strict sense, for in Hndar the 
odes which are known to accom- 
pany marches and processions are 
precisely those in which there is no 
Epode. In the Agamemnon we 
have for the Parodos, AuapsBsts 
(the march) and a dactylic pair of 
Strophes with an Epode (the sta- 



and resolves on deciding the 'otherwise interminable 
conflict by the institution of the first Court for the trial 
of the manslayer. The choral ode following this trans- 
action we might expect to find more impassioned and 
furious, since the Erinnyes already even speak of the 
annihilation of their power as a possible event ; but with 
iEschylus, who always proceeds on the principle of 
making the details subordinate to the main objects of 
the tragedy, this Ode is above all others an admonition of 
the Erinnyes to the Athenians to recognise their might, 
and in general, the supremacy of strict laws and controlling 
powers in the state. With this view it must necessarily 
be solemn and composed. Then ensues the litigation 
between Orestes, or rather Apollo, and the Erinnyes, in 
which especially the higher dignity of paternal rights 
and the personal motives to the act are set in opposition 
to the unquaUfied demand of vengeance for the blood of 
the mother. Then upon the inaugural address of Athena 
follows the acquittal of Orestes, and, in token of his 
gratitude for so great a benefit his promise of a league 
with Argos : but the wrath of the Erinnyes, is raised by 
all this to the highest pitch, and is only appeased^ by 
Athena^s persuasive eloquence, in which mildness and 
conscious power are beautifully blended, and by the 
institution of the sacred worship to be paid to them, by 
which these Dread Powers of the nether world — always 
on the understanding of their authority remaining invio- 
late — are converted, for the land of Athens, into bene- 
ficent beings. ^This compact,^ such is the closing 
thought, ^have Zeus and the Moirse made with Athens.' 
There is no need of a more detailed and lengthened 

tioning and arrangement), and then 
follows forthwith the first Stasimon. 
In the Persse, Anapaests (entry)^ 

Strophes consisting of Ionics with 
Mesode (arrangement), then the 
first Stasimon. 


exposition to shew how satisfactorily throughout the 
whole Trilogy the feelings are carried on from the tone 
of triumphant exultation through dark misgivings and 
lowering intimations to the full burst of the thunder- 
peal in all its horror ; then how^ under the influence 
of nocturnal powers, after many a wavering of undecided 
impulses, we are led on into a state of mind strangely 
blended with satisfaction and shuddering repugnance; 
how these elements — in a way which is demanded at the 
outset by the feehngs — are drawn off from each other and 
stand out in all their energy and sharpness, until, by the 
wisdom of the Gods in Athens, the reconciliation of the 
conflicting Powers is effected, and therewith — ^a result 
not limited to the individual history of Orestes — a sense 
of entire satisfaction is won. 

For that the Poet^s object is not merely to set our 
minds at rest in reference to Orestes, is evident even 
from the manner in which he is dismissed from the 
stage without a choral ode in celebration of his destiny. 
The poet seems almost to forget Orestes in the establish- 
ment of the Areopagus and the religion of the Erinnyes 
— ^two institutions which ^schylus deems closely con- 
nected and alike momentous to the welfare of the 
community, as in fact they were (Cf. § 67, 68). But 
to deem that in so doing, the Poet has sacrificed his 
proper subject to a patriotic political interest, would in my 
opinion be utterly to misconceive ^schylus's principles. 
The main idea of the Trilogy, — which consists in the 
shewing how a curse, rooted in the human race and 
generating one misdeed out of another — ^in a case where 
only the family-destiny and no guilt of his own weighs 
upon the curse-possessed person — is averted by the supe- 
rior control of .the saving God — this idea, I say, is by no 
means impeded and thwarted in its development by such 
a turn given to the interest. On the contrary, the very 
fact that it was, as iElschylus represents it, in Athenian in- 


stitutions that this providence of the saviour Gods was 
embodied^ and severity and mercy met together in right 
sorty must have made the impression all the warmer and 
more lively on the minds of his contemporaries. In short, 
the poUtical aim of the trilogy, — the inculcation of 
respect for the Areopagus, and generally for institutions 
consecrated and estabUshed for the purpose of holding 
unbridled licence in check, is intimately blended with 
the ethically-rehgious idea of the whole. 

Now as ^schylus generally, as in this particular in- 
stance, makes the fable subordinate to the idea, so again 
the delineation of character ranks with him below the 
development of the fable, and, so to say, occupies only 
the third place. No one will deny, indeed, that in the 
Eumenides, not to mention the preceding plays, the 
character of Orestes, in his entire devotion to duty and 
his calm reliance on the Gods, and that of the tutelary 
Goddess of Athens, in her perfect self-possession and 
imperturbable moderation and forbearance, are in them- 
selves very well sustained, in perfect keeping throughout, 
and marked, moreover, by more than one fine touch of 
individuality; still they are no more than what the whole 
scope of the tragedy requires them to be. To shape and 
mould particular characters into freer individuality, and 
to descend into lower depths of the human heart, were re- 
served for Sophocles, who, for this very reason, very often 
found himself obliged to detach, so to say, the centre of 
poetic interest from the centre of action ; as for instance 
in this story where, instead of Orestes, with his unreserved 
devotion to his call as Avenger, he was obliged to make 
the more remote Electra his protagonistes. 

100. In the Orestea of -^schylus we have the only 
extant specimen of an entire work of the more ancient 



form of tragic art^ and on that account it most naturally 
form the ground-work, especially with respect to com- 
position, of our whole study of ^schylus. From it we 
learn that, although it is only in the trilogy, as a whole, 
that we find the unity of idea, the satisfactory view of 
the universe which it is ^schylus's constant aim to 
educe, yet each individual tragedy carries out its own 
substantive action, so that, looking only at the outward 
appearance, one might at the end of each piece fancy 
oneself already arrived at the end of the whole. The 
trilogies of iEschylus may be compared to groups of 
statues, each standing on its separate pedestal. More- 
over, by taking the Orestea for our model, we may 
without difficulty ascertain the position occupied by 
other detached tragedies in their several trilogies. When 
in the Agamemnon we have learned to discern the skill 
of preparation with which ^schylus brings together 
and heightens the interest, we shall readily satisfy our- 
selves that the Prometheus Bound could be neither the 
first, nor the last piece of an entire series. In the 
Seven against Thebes there ought never to have been a 
question but that its concluding portion, containing the 
altercation between Antigone and the Herald, is a con- 
necting link with a succeeding tragedy, in just the same 
way as is the scene of the Erinnyes at the end of the 
Choephoroe, and, to adduce a third instance, the alter- 
cation between the semi-choruses at the end of the 
Suppliants. The slow progressing action, and the 
whirlwind of conflicting emotions are what the Choe- 
phoroe has in common with the Prometheus Bound, the 
Seven, the Suppliants: they are all middle tragedies.^ 

* Moreover in these pieces that 
stand-still in the middle, first no- 
ticed by Heeren, is particularly 
observable. This cannot be folly ex- 

plained otherwise than by the con- 
nexion of the trilogy ; for instance, 
the appearance of lo in the Prome- 



On the other hand certainly no other extant play of 
jSschylus can be compared^ as regards the process and 
march of the thoughts and feelings^ with the Eumenides: 
it is the only concluding tragedy we have. The reason 
why, with the exception of the Orestea, none but second 
pieces of ^schylus have been preserved, appears to be, 
that the quiet progress and detailed exposition of the 
first plays, and the tendency in the third or concluding 
parts to concentrate the interest rather upon mythically 
speculative ideas than upon the exhibition of human 
passions, had less attractions for the later ages of Antiquity 
than the, for the most part, equably sustained interest of 
the middle pieces. 

Likewise with respect to that most di£5cult problem, 
what sort of connexion can we conceive between the 
profound seriousness of a Tragic Trilogy and the wfld 
humour of the Satyric Play, the Orestea furnishes, in 
my opinion, the principal source of information, though 
of its accompanying Satyr-piece, the Proteus, nothing 
but the name remains to us. Our attention, however, 
is with good reason directed^ to the circumstance that 
it was this very sea-god Proteus who foretold to Aga- 
memnon's brother Menelaus his return to Argos. But 
along with this prophecy, the Odyssey' remarks that 
Menelaus will arrive too late to avenge his brother, and 
not before the burial of iEgisthus ; — a remark which is 
expressed more plainly in another passage,^ and was 
further developed in the Cydian poem, the Nostoi of 
Augeas.* And in this very way the tale is taken up by 
Euripides in the Orestes, that strange mixture of very 
ancient fables and very modem views. Now in the first 
piece of the Orestea, where Agamemnon is commending 

> Boeckh. Trag. Prindp. p. 268. 
• Od. iv. 547. 

< lb. iii. 311. 

* Acoording to ProduBChrestoiD. 


Ulysses as his only faithful companion^ and representing 
others^ who seemed the best-disposed^ as mere specious 
friends/ it is evident that he complains of the conduct 
of Menelaus in particular^ who is represented by Homer 
also as having separated himself in the return from 
Agamemnon. Thus Menelaus^ — who, while his brother 
is murdered and the insolent paramour bears rule in the 
palace of the Atridse, has, in company with the beautiful 
Helen, the seductive author of all this woe, been en- 
countering many an adventure, yet, withal, acquiring 
fresh stores of wealth as he roams along the barbaric 
shores, might admirably well be conceived as the con- 
trast to the faithftd Orestes, and we can well imagine 
how he might be handled by old Proteus with that 
serene irony which the ancients especially delighted in 
attributing to beings of his class, and at the same time 
be a mark for the wayward humours and raillery of the 
Chorus of Satyrs. Whether the acquittal of Orestes was 
regarded as the satisfactory conclusion of the whole 
composition, or whether in the ironical speeches of 
Proteus the whole glory of the house of the Pelopidae 
was made to appear in its perishableness, and all the 
pride of man in its intrinsic nothingness, is more than 
I can pretend to determine. 

* V. 812. cf. V. 610 sqq. 




It was a principle laid down in the Athenian Law, that the 
defendant was acquitted if the votes for and against him were 
equal, see this point clearly and accurately stated by Schomann, 
in the Att. Process, p. 722. In another case, of the mythical 
times, and occurring at Dodona^ Strabo remarks, ix. p. 40^, uroiv 
ht rSiv ylnj<f)oi>v yevofievoDP ras airokvova'as viKriaai : and the same 
principle held in the Roman Law-Courts. 

The author of the Aristotelian Problems (29, 13) is at the 
pains of looking up a number of grounds of reason to account 
for this old and natural principle : Ata ri Trore, orav, r^ <f>€vyovTi 
Ka\ r& Bia>K0VTi (paivoavrai ol yj/rj(j>oi laai, 6 <f>€vyaiv viKq., jN^ot SO the 
popular Grecian mind, which in the earlier times took quite a 
peculiar delight in endeavouring to refer all relations of actual 
life to institutions of the Gods and events of the olden time. 
In the case under consideration, where the Judges themselves 
gave no positive decision, it imagined to itself a benevolent deity 
as interposing and giving a casting vote in favour of the de- 
fendant, and had a particular tale to relate, which was to account 
for the whole matter. In other words, Minerva's ballot is neither 
more nor less than the mythical expression of the principle, that 
where Justice is undecided, Mercy prevails. 

This must be evident to every one who has mastered the ele- 
ments of Mythology, as understood now-a-days. It may, how- 
ever, be rendered comprehensible even to one who has not 
employed himself on this study, that the Calculus MinervsB is 
only the imaginary addition of a white stone for acquittal in the 
case of la'o^(l>ia. !Namely: suppose we assume the case to 
have been, that in the trial of Orestes, Athena gives her vote 
for the defendant, who had previously a majority of one against 
him, and so makes the numbers equal ; still this would not acquit 


Orestes. For, as this transaction is regarded (at least by 
^schylos) as the first trial for homicide, and the Erinnyes fa^cy 
themselyes abeady in possession of their prey, there cannot pos- 
sibly be any reference here to the practice of subsequent times, 
or to a general principle of leniency ; but a new declaration is 
needed, that the white stones are to prevail. This ex post facto 
declaration, especially if it is to come from the very person whose 
vote has made the numbers equal, would be downright arbitrary: 
scarcely less so than if she had taken upon her to give two votes 
in her person instead of one. 

Our view of the subject agrees with the most authentic testi- 
mony of the ancients. We will begin with Euripides, Iph, 
Tarn'. 1483 : 

iKOuxrand ere 
Kal TTpiv y\ 'ApiioiQ iv irayoiQ ^rjipovc ^(fae 
Kpivatr'y 'OpE(rra, xal vSfiiarfi* tic ravrd ye 
vtKav larriptig 6(rTie SLv yj/rj^ovQ \afiy, 

Athena plainly says here, that she rescued Orestes by deciding 
on the equal votes in the Areopagus, and that on that very 
account it continued to be a law, that when the votes were equal 
the defendant should be acquitted. It could not possibly occur 
to any Greek to take Kpiv€iv ^(f>ovs la-as in any other sense 
than settling or deciding on an equality of votes. Should any 
one wish, by a so-called prolepsis, to understand taag as the 
result of Kplv€ip, the equality as the result of the balloting in the 
first place, this would be contrary to the usage of the language, 
since an equalizing of the votes cannot be denoted by Kpivttv ; and 
still more would it contradict the logical connexion of the passage, 
since this very yfnicfxnjs taas Kplveip is adduced as a cause of tiie 
custom, viKdv loTipeis, &c. ; which custom would be left with no 
foundation to stand upon, unless y^<lHjvs Xtras Kpiv€iv contained 
the regulation respecting it.^ 

Compare with the above the passage in the same tragedy 
(v. 961), where Orestes says : 

terag di /loi 

^rj<f>ovQ SirjpiOfirjffi IlaXXdc dtXivy 
viKOLV d* &7rfjpa ^ovta vtiparrjpia. 

Of. also the Schol. on Aristoph. Ran. v. 961. 


In this passage the ^<f>ovs dtapiBfitlp evidently corresponds to 
the yjrfftfHws laas Kp'ivtw in the former. Pallas counts and sorts 
the ballots, and — as the necessary sequel to this act — declares 
the result. Euripides, whose form of expression is plainer and 
less m3rthological than ^schylus's, does not make Pallas first 
give her own vote : she only decides what shall be done in the 
case where the votes are equal. Had that equality been produced 
by her in the capacity of Judge, this must of course have been 
clearly expressed, as another benefit conferred by her on Orestes. 

The third passage we shall cite is from the Electra of Euripides 
V. 1274—78) : 

lerat dk ff iKCt&l^ovfn fi^ Oaviiv iiicy 
^rj^ot TtOtXvai' Ao^iae ydp alriav 
tig avrbv otarfi^ fitirkpoc xpijcrac ^ovov 
Kal Toifft XoiTToiQ *6dt vSfAOQ Tt9ri(rtr€u^ 
viK&v ifiaiQ }j/fi^oun rbv (ptvyovr* del. 

This agrees perfectly with the two former passages, when we 
consider that it is the Dioscuri who are speaking here. They do 
not mention in direct terms Athena's decision on the equality 
of votes, but only hint at it by saying that the equality of 
votes saved the life of Orestes on that occasion, and that the 
same therefore holds for all subsequent cases. 

We come next to the testimony of later authorities on the 
subject. In Aristides the Bhetorician we have the following 
passage (Vol. i. p. 24 A. Cant.) : <f>€vyovTa fi* {*Op€<m)p) 'AB^vija-i 
diKrjy vn* '"EvfituibcDV, mtodv t&p ^fni<l>mp ytvofjJvav, rrpoo'Btftevri Trfp 
Trap* avnjs (rcbC'^i* Koi roiwp tri vvv crflb^ci rravras, lav taai yivtovrat. 
And Julian says (Or. iii. p. 114 D. Spanheim) : ccttotc t&v 
biKaidvTCDP al ylnj(l>oi kot* laov (jmivoiPTO rois <l>€vyova'i wp6s roifs 
Si&Kovras, Trjv Tfji *Al6r)vas «r4Tf ^Cfwfviyv r^ t^p bixiip offAfiq-cip /xcX- 
\opTi, mrokvtiv ofKJHo rrjs alrias. These passages clearly express 
the same view of the subject that I have taken, namely, that 
Athena's ballot was added in order to remove the (0-0^^7^10. 
Lucian, indeed, does seem to have held that Athena's ballot 
was added to the white when there were more of the black 
ballots. (Cf. Piscator. c. 21. Harmonid. c. 3, fin.) But Lucian's 
authority is of much less weight than that of Aristides on 
a question of Attic Arch»ology. One point, however, in 
which all these authors are agreed is the important position 
that the Calculus Minervce did not exist merely for the history 
of Orestes, but was applied in historical times also, in order 
to produce the same result. Now it is perfectly incredible 



that such a cuBtom could have existed at Athens in historical 
times, as that of gynng the superiority to the white ballots 
by the imaginary addition of Minerra's ballot, when there was 
one more of the black than of the white. This is in direct 
contradiction of the unquestionable position from which we set 
out : and moreover we have an instance of a person being oast 
by a majority of one vote against him (Dem. c. Mid. p. 538). It 
is nothing to the purpose to remind us that in historical times the 
Athenian Courts consisted of one more than a round number ; 
there were, for instance, 51 Ephets (Pollux, viii. 124) and 201 
or 401 Dicasts in the ten principal Courts (Pollux, yiii. 48). 
For this arrangement arose from the desire of avoiding equality 
of votes : whereas, if the intention of Athena's ballot had been 
to effect laoylnj€l>ia, just the contrary result would have been 
produced. There would have been no advantage in having 51 
Ephets, if, when 26 were for condemning and 25 for acquittal, 
then came the calculus Minervee, and so the votes were equal, in 
order that — ^with a second appeal to the Goddess — they might 
now acquit the accused ! TkLs would have been carrying hu- 
manity great lengths, and it would deserve to be noticed in all 
manuals of Antiquities as a most remarkable circumstance, that, 
if the accused had a majority of one vote against him he was 
acquitted. Others indeed will rather be of opinion that for this 
very reason we must conceive the Areopagus of the mythical 
times to have consisted of an even number of Judges, viz., on 
purpose to make an l<ro^fi<f>ia possible, and so give Athena an 
opportunity of typifying that principle of humanity by her super- 
numerary ballot. 

This brings us back to the procedure in the Eumenides, which 
may now be placed in the clearest point of view. 

Athena had declared at the very outset (v. 424), when Orestes 
petitioned her to act as Judge in his cause, that it was not Biiut 
for her <^vov duup€iv o^firjpirov dUas. This of itself makes 
it impossible that she should subsequently act as a Judge in the 
proper sense, viz., by giving her vote along with the other judges 
previous to the decision. During the trial she is present in the 
character of eta-ay nay tis, but is never addressed as Judge. That 
office she had decidedly declined. When the question comes 
to the balloting, Minerva announces the new OeafiSs, impresses 
on the Athenians the dignity and sanctity of the institution, and 
concludes with reminding the Judges of the solemnity of their 
office and of the oath they had taken. After the balloting she 
declares her intention of giving a vote for Orestes (because she 


feels more sympatlij for the murdered man than for the woman); 
and pronounces that Orestes is to gain the cause, even should the 
votes be equal. Who could be imagined not to perceive that the 
second idea is only a conclusion drawn from the first, and that 
Athena (a Goddess not. unacquainted with the future) foresees 
the result of the balloting, and provides a means of adjusting the 
laoylrri<l>ia by taking a ballot on her own account? Had 
her idea been this: 'In the first place, I give my vote for 
Orestes, and, secondly, I ordain that, should this make the votes 
equal, Orestes shall prevail ;' then in the first place this second 
idea must necessarily have been denoted as a new addition by the 
requisite particles (for instance koL fiffv), and in the next place 
the establishment of this vdfiiafia, which Aristotle has given 
himself so much trouble to account for, would surely have needed 
a word or two in vindication. But why does not the Goddess 
immediately put in this ballot P This question likewise is easily 
answered. It is just because the 'AjOrjvas ylnf<f>og is no judicial 
vote ; because that ballot was never thrown with the rest into 
the urn, but when the black and white t>allot8 had been sorted 
and found equal, then, and not tiU then, is this white stone to 
be supposed added. Hence it necessarily follows that she 
cannot add her ballot, the meaning of whidi she has previously 
explained, until after those of the Judges have been coimted, and 
it has appeared that the white are equal in number to the black. 
'Ai^p 6d* e«c7r€<^€vycy aifiaros diiajv ttrov ydfy itrri rdpiBfjofffia t&v 
irdkcDv expresses the self-same thing as present, that Athena had 
announced as a future contingency, V^^oy d* 'Op€(nTj ""1^* ^ 

And now both Orestes can extol Athena as his preserver, since 
without her decision on the laoi^^fj<l>la he would not have been 
liberated from the Erinnyes ; and at the same time Athena can 
console the Erinnyes (v. 762) with the reflection that they are 
not defeated, but that in fact the trial has ended in an even 
balance, and the Judges having really been equally divided, have 
thereby acknowledged their high consideration for the claims of 
the Erinnyes ; only Pallas, upon this Itro^^tf^fiia of the judges, has 
by her vote in favour of Orestes decided the cause, and at the 
same time has established the mode of {ffooeeding for the future 
in similar cases. 

■ It appears to me, that after this explanation, not o^e expression 
of ^schylus at all bearing on the subject will be foimd to cast 
a shadow of doubt, but all is as clear as the day. 



Admbtub 118 

Adrastus 169 

MgiB 66 

.Sscbylus Agamemnon 64. 201. sq. 

emended 195 

explained t. 270..... 58 

631 160 

707.717 44 

729 160 

964 160 

1011 119 

1047—1113.. 14 

1847 97 

1352 14 

1860 191 

1569 105 

ChoephoroB 64. 208. sq. 

emended t. 292 97 note. 

680 206 note. 

711 206 note. 

. explained y. 1 191 

21.83 106 

169 10 

242 192 

272 97 

281 156 

285 105 

818 sqq 204 

626 66 

646 66 

888 66 

887 99 

911 157. 189 

1031 131 

1050 157.189 

Conelusion ... 7 

Enmenides, Title 174 note. 

explained ▼. 1 sqq ...60 sqq. 

... 185 sq. 

8 186 note. 

18 186 note. 

28. 193 

^sohylos £amenides, 

explained t. 40 51 

62 189 

54 189 note. 

62.68 127 

64 sqq. ... 51 sq. 

77 131 

81 145 

106 189 

108 178.180 

118 126 

125 18 sq. 

188— 169. .23 sqq. 

168 61 

165 184 

171 51 

196 105 

212 91 

215 146 


228 105 

229 105 

234 146 

241 131 


250 146 

268 103 

272 181 

278 124 

276 105.131 

276 182 

279 82 

284 67 note. 

296— 8ll..29sqq. 

812 84.186 

812—874 ... 34 

885 138 note. 

340 196 note. 

861 174.182 

876 87 

882—3 66 

886—467 ... 146 
896 166 

£scbyluB Eumenides, 

Bipldned t. lOT 116 

411 147 

4ie 110 

4S3 10ft 

426 103 

437 134 

439 131 

430 135 

430 TO 

416.449 14S 

4S1 100 noM. 

4S2 lOS 

461 117 

lea 71.11B 

465 118 

46a— S3a . 43 aqq. 

636 60 

640 78 


650. SS3 148 

666 164 

686 101 

671 07 

670.683,1... 161 

B8T 80 

601 80 

010 181 

6i5 06 

630 83 

600 117 

661 116 

863 61. 73. 78 

B66 61 

666 61 

674.676 78 

870 160 

660 U7 

687 Ill 

688 106 

TOOlqq 16 

708.711,3... 160 

738 iqq 1S9 

730 lT7iiote. 

734 82 

748 86 

748—780 ... 16 

783 180 

773.... 178 

773 178.181 

700 177 

801—809 ... 46 


. 176 n. 


804 isa 

010 177 

911 178 

013 177 

010 167 Dote. 

676— 0a6...46 sq. 

038.031 101 

033 T4 

OH 174 nota. 

018 174 

B68 178 

960 180 

961 177 

961 179 


977 180 

878 69 

081 179 

063... 10.178 DOM. 

0S4 „. 1T4 

988 178.0 

083 174 

1036 80 

1044 7 

^lohjIuB ferrhtEbidei ukd 

liion 110 

POTBB 17.70 

PromMiwDB 818 

Proteus 318 

SappliMS 17.83.313 

T. 870 SI 

066Bqq IT 

'Ayn'ruc 101 

Aguhaniu 61 

iyviiiTivllriv i/iviiiai 00 

aIIbis, aWtaaadai IDA 

AlMUundrina oritiaiuii 101 note. 

'A^iip^io 186 DOtB. 

AmycleB 198 

Antpnta 30 

'AvdpitXdntc 91 

'k¥l0o^6yiit 99 

Annus magDua 110 tf. 

'Air.v.a«riopSe -- 01.110 

Apia, lUramBDtia 18T 

irotiDrouitiivBai 199 

'Aircrav 123 

ApoUo DelpbiniDs 116, Ul 

KaQapTtii 136 


17a >q. 

sof )S3 

I BECrum ... 13S. 102 

Hided 161 


i ircatmeot of 


■ites 86 

,plice IT 

BBomu 107 




oa. 66 

luniiiiitT in lbs eiriji 
' 108. 1S6 





JSoler ". 191 sq. 

■ Id ThESlre "" 

■ KoriiXDroi 


I— LenclppidiB 

— Simula 104 

- Theogony, T. J73 

— T. 79S 

(14 i?xpluDed .,. 
is. ifi2. reBlored 104 
ii. ^i}l> eiplBindl 

170 DOW. 

Liii. l!fl 96 

iraent of legend! 109 

riiBl world 11,9 

pydroplorii 117 



101 Bq. 


LemniRn IciiiTil of u 

Leibiaiu 86 

Airat !"!.'!!!!!!;'.!!;!'.!!;!'.! loe 

L}duD mode 44 


MemaetnlR ]]4 

MncrxdXiff/ta ISS note. 

MnffX"^"^? 83 

Medea'B BhildTCD 116 

MfUBlius ai8 Bq. 

MeniBceu 171 

Mermeros 116 

UiiTpAc 'Epivutc 138 

MinoMar 116 nole, 

HornKi 116 nou. 

Mj^eoDffi 62 

MjlhiOTie* 158 


KsrcissuB 173 

Nigbt 186 

Noima in rqc pus 138 nole. 

NjeleiB 169 


OUh. Areopt^lio 147 

under proleBlion of Erin. 

njes IDS 

CEdipoa 164 sqq. 

Olympia, Cnltus *t 193 

Olympian a ode 180. 183 

Oljmpua, Hasioian 39 

'Ofi^oX^C 91 

'Orr^pin 180 noM. 

Orestea, oiylhui of 97 sqq. 

Oresti«d» 31 nolo. 

"Optov iix"Oai, tovvat 146 

uviounflai 132 

Orpbie Poeu 1S4. 187 

'Opftoc vopot 38 gq. 


TBllaiUDni,130,Counof... 134.136 

PenuRCalogfl 26 

Parodo 30. S06 

Pirrbtau, mldrnoe of Oreilea 120 



UdOw 191 

Phanoteus 100 sq. 

Phlya 17-2. 179 

Phratria 96 

Phreatio 134. 142 

Phrygian mode 35 sqq. 

♦wXojSoflriXfic 142 

Pindar 184 sq. 

Plato, Polit. and Legg. ... 158 eq. 

UoivT} 123 

PolydoruB 163 

PotnisB 172 

Potniades 172 

IXpofrrpoTraioc 106 

UpurotrrdTfie 21 

Prytaneum, Court of 134. 142 

Pylades 99 

Pylaea 99 

Pythagoras 182 

Pythia 115 

Pythian Oracle... 99. 185 

Rhegiam, Orestes at 130 


Sacrifice, of animals 121 

— — of swine 124 

of rams to Zeus 114 

of rams and sheep to 

the dead 121 sq. 

to the Erinnyes 129 

Satyric Drama 213 

Scene-painting 61 

"Sxfifiara in the dance 5 

Scholia to Aristides em 21 

— — — Demosth. c. Aristocr. 

em 134 

Soph. (Ed. C. V. 42. 

em 130 


Scirophoria 114 

2ff«vac 160. 177 

Service of the dead 112. 180 

Sigeum 88 

Slaves 90 

Solon 133 sqq. 

Sophocles, 200. 209. (Ed. Col. 

164 sqq., 180 sq., 204. 206 

oiropdStiv 23. 27 

Stasimoo 40. 208 note. 

Stesichorus,ll, Orest. Frag. 40 note. 

Srixoc 21 

Suidas emend 134 

S0ay}) alfuiTog 124 


Theban Mythology 161 sqq. 

Themistocles 79 sq. 

Theseus and Peirithous, Eleroon 

of 166 note. 

Thymele 61 

Tilphosgian Cultus, 161 sq. 170. 173 

Titanian deities '. 181 sq. 

TrcBzen, Orestes at 125. 130 


V/3pic 95 

Unities, dramatic 59 

Unwritten law 154 sqq. 


Zca 134. 142 

Zeus KavirkfTag 130 

KTriffioc 172. 193 

Laphystios 113. 121 

Meilichins 113 

Nemeus 170 

7 ^V^lOQ 114 

Soter, the Third ... 190 sqq. 

Zwyd 21 

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