Iphigenia in Aulis: Section 2


Greek

ἐπεὶ δ᾽ ἐπιστώθησαν — εὖ δέ πως γέρων
ὑπῆλθεν αὐτοὺς Τυνδάρεως πυκνῇ φρενί —
δίδωσ᾽ ἑλέσθαι θυγατρὶ μνηστήρων ἕνα,   20
ὅτου πνοαὶ φέροιεν Ἀφροδίτης φίλαι.
ἣ δ᾽ εἵλεθ᾽, ὅς σφε μήποτ᾽ ὤφελεν λαβεῖν,
Μενέλαον. ἐλθὼν δ᾽ ἐκ Φρυγῶν ὁ τὰς θεὰς
κρίνας ὅδ᾽, ὡς ὁ μῦθος Ἀργείων ἔχει,
Λακεδαίμον᾽, ἀνθηρὸς μὲν εἱμάτων στολῇ   25
χρυσῷ δὲ λαμπρός, βαρβάρῳ χλιδήματι,
ἐρῶν ἐρῶσαν ᾤχετ᾽ ἐξαναρπάσας
Ἑλένην πρὸς Ἴδης βούσταθμ᾽, ἔκδημον λαβὼν
Μενέλαον. ὃ δὲ καθ᾽ Ἑλλάδ᾽ οἰστρήσας δρόμῳ
ὅρκους παλαιοὺς Τυνδάρεω μαρτύρεται,   30
ὡς χρὴ βοηθεῖν τοῖσιν ἠδικημένοις.
τοὐντεῦθεν οὖν Ἕλληνες ᾄξαντες δορί,
τεύχη λαβόντες στενόπορ᾽ Αὐλίδος βάθρα
ἥκουσι τῆσδε, ναυσὶν ἀσπίσιν θ᾽ ὁμοῦ
ἵπποις τε πολλοῖς ἅρμασίν τ᾽ ἠσκημένοι.   35

Commentary

English

But when they had sworn the oath – in a fine way indeed old man
Tyndareus beguiled them with his cunning mind –
he allowed his daughter to choose one of the suitors,
the one whose sweet breaths of love swept her away.
And she chose Menelaus – I wish that he had never taken
her. Coming from Phrygia to Sparta, the man who judged
the goddesses, so the Argives’ story goes,
bright in his fine clothing
and gleaming with gold, with foreign finery,
loving his lover he snatched Helen away
and went off to the ox-stalls of Ida, having found Menelaus away
from home. And he, rushing madly with haste throughout Greece
called to witness the old oaths of Tyndareus,
saying that they must help those who had been wronged.
After that the Greeks, rushing out with spears and taking up
arms, have come to Aulis here, the city of the narrow-strait,
equipped with ships and shields, and at the same time
many horses and chariots.