Trends in Classics
Journal of Classical Studies
Ed. by Montanari, Franco / Rengakos, Antonios
Editorial Board: Bernabé Pajares, Alberto / Billerbeck, Margarethe / Calame, Claude / Grethlein, Jonas / Hardie, Philip R. / Harrison, Stephen J. / Hinds, Stephen / Hunter, Richard / Kraus, Christina S. / Mastromarco, Giuseppe / Nagy, Gregory / Papanghelis, Theodore D. / Picone, Giusto / Raaflaub, Kurt / Whitmarsh, Tim / Zimmermann, Bernhard
Abstract: Aesch. Sept. 576–579, from the Messenger report on the mantis Amphiaraus in the scene of the seven pairs of speeches, is one of the most puzzling passages of Aeschylus, in which the poet, as he is speaking about a mantis and is partly reproducing his words, makes use of the cunning contrivances of the oracular language; a language that is not in principle so remote from the poetic language, but, at least as Aeschylus applies it, is more abstruse and arcane, sometimes reaching to extremes. Within this framework, the present paper attempts to construct the intricate period, to interpret the enigmatic words, to approach the poetic etymologies and to associate them with the myth. In addition, some more passages reproducing oracular language in Aeschylus are examined and interpreted, mainly in the oracle of Calchas and the utterances of Cassandra in Agamemnon.