Οὐ γὰρ τάφου νῷν τὼ κασιγνήτω Κρέων
τὸν μὲν προτίσας, τὸν δ’ ἀτιμάσας ἔχει;
Ἐτεοκλέα μέν, ὡς λέγουσι, σὺν δίκης
χρησθεὶς δικαίᾳ καὶ νόμῳ, κατὰ χθονὸς
ἔκρυψε τοῖς ἔνερθεν ἔντιμον νεκροῖς·
τὸν δ’ ἀθλίως θανόντα Πολυνείκους νέκυν
ἀστοῖσί φασιν ἐκκεκηρῦχθαι τὸ μὴ
τάφῳ καλύψαι μηδὲ κωκῦσαί τινα,
ἐᾶν δ ̓ ἄκλαυτον, ἄταφον, οἰωνοῖς γλυκὺν
θησαυρὸν εἰσορῶσι πρὸς χάριν βορᾶς.
τοιαῦτά φασι τὸν ἀγαθὸν Κρέοντα σοὶ
κἀμοί, λέγω γὰρ κἀμέ, κηρύξαντ’ ἔχειν,
καὶ δεῦρο νεῖσθαι ταῦτα τοῖσι μὴ εἰδόσιν
σαφῆ προκηρύξοντα, καὶ τὸ πρᾶγμ’ ἄγειν
οὐχ ὡς παρ’ οὐδέν, ἀλλ’ ὃς ἂν τούτων τι δρᾷ,
φόνον προκεῖσθαι δημόλευστον ἐν πόλει.
οὕτως ἔχει σοι ταῦτα, καὶ δείξεις τάχα
εἴτ’ εὐγενὴς πέφυκας εἴτ’ ἐσθλῶν κακή.
(Sophocles, Antigone 21-38)
Why, has not Creon honoured one of our brothers and dishonoured the other in the matter of their burial? Eteocles, they say, in accordance with justice and with custom he has hidden beneath the earth, honoured among the dead below. But as for the unhappy corpse of Polynices, they say it has been proclaimed to the citizens that none shall conceal it in a grave or lament for it, but that they should leave it unwept for, unburied, a rich treasure house for birds as they look out for food. This is the proclamation which they say the good Creon has made to you and me—yes, I count myself also—and he is coming this way to make the proclamation clear to those who do not know of it. He is not treating the matter as unimportant, but for anyone who does any of these things death in the city is ordained, by stoning at the people’s hand. There you have the way things stand, and you will soon show whether your nature is noble or you are the cowardly descendant of valiant ancestors. (tr. Hugh Lloyd-Jones)