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Wrathful sleuth-hounds ~ Aeschylus

Erinyes are chthonic goddesses of vengeance in ancient Greek religion and mythology.


  • Orestes: Ah, ah! Ye handmaidens, see them yonder—like Gorgons, stoled in sable garb, entwined with swarming snakes! I can no longer stay.
    Chorus: What fancies disturb thee, thou dearest of sons unto thy sire? Hold, be not greatly overborne by fear.
    Orestes: To me these are no fancied troubles. For in very truth yonder are the wrathful sleuth-hounds that avenge my mother.
    Chorus: ’Tis that the blood is still fresh upon thy hands—this is the reason of the disorder that assails thy wits.
    Orestes: O lord Apollo, lo! now they come in troops, and from their eyes they drip loathsome blood!
    • Aeschylus, Libation Bearers, 1047–1056
    • Herbert Weir Smyth, transl., Aeschylus, II (1926), p. 263
  • "Therefore, O ye that visit the deeds of men with vengeful pains, ye Eumenides, whose foreheads bound with snaky hair announce the wrath which breathes from your breast, hither, hither haste, hear my complaints which I (ah, unhappy !) bring forth from my inmost heart perforce, helpless, burning, blinded with raging frenzy. For since my woes come truthfully from the depths of my heart, suffer not ye my grief to come to nothing: but even as Theseus had the heart to leave me desolate, with such a heart, ye goddesses, may he bring ruin upon himself and his own."
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