Sollicitor

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Clytemnestra incites Aegisthus to kill Agamemnon

“Sors pariter nos una manet: iubeoque rogoque,
pastorem regina monens; formidine mortis
territa sollicitor miserandi femina sexus,
conveniens tamen hortor opus, dum congrua vitae
impero, ne moriar tecum peritura cruente;
nam mecum miser ipse cades Agamemnone viso,
impie. funereis nos casibus eripe sollers;
nec labor ullus erit victorem sternere ferro:
semper iners, securus agit, qui perculit hostem,
et patet insidiis nullo terrente quietus.
non est quem metuas: brevis est et parvus Orestes,
unaque natarum cinis est per templa Dianae,
altera sexus iners, recidens, miseranda – quid audet?”
(Dracontius, Orestis Tragoedia 183-195)

“One and the same fate awaits the both of us. I order and beseech you, a queen exhorting a herdsman; I, a woman, belonging to the pitiable sex, am tormented and afflicted by the fear of death. Yet it is a fitting deed to which I urge, a deed wholly agreeing with life which I demand, so that I may not die a bloody death with you. For you, godless one, will perish miserably with me when Agamemnon appears. Save us from these fatal events through your shrewdness. It will be no great trouble to slay the conqueror with your sword. He who has struck down his enemy is always lazy and feels secure; nobody scares him, and in his peace of mind he is easy to deceive. You don’t have anyone to fear. Orestes is but a small child, and of my two daughters one is mere ashes in the temple of Diana; the other one is weak, frail, pitiable – what’s she going to do?” (tr. David Bauwens)

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