[344] Praefatio Gaspari Stiblini In Iphigeniam In Aulide.

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Hoc de Iphigenia in Aulide mactata Drama monarcharum et principum vitam ceu in tabula conspiciendam proponit: quae nimirum plena miseriarum, curae, timoris, incerto fortunae aestu perpetuo iactatur nec habet quo firma consistat. Quid enim cruciabilius Agamemnoni accidere poterat quam caedem carissimae filiae aspicere? Ea vero necessitas ipsum iam premebat ac veluti in angustias concluserat ut aut immolanda esset filia aut summum imperium Graecorum deponendum. Somnum itaque rumpit, anxie agitat, consultat cum sene, aestuat: ablegat nuntium qui iubeat domi manere uxorem cum filia: intercipitur nuntius, ipse gravissime incessitur a Menelao. Adest ex improviso cum filia Clytaemnestra, patefit crudele de occidenda Iphigenia consilium. Volvitur Agamemnon, quomodo rem instituat quidve faciat plane dubius. Quid autem miserius tali homine, in cuius animo ac intra viscera tam dira tempestas saevit? Est igitur verissime a Plutarcho in commentario περὶ εὐθυμίας* dictum: Multos ex principibus foris ac extrinsecus beatos apparere, sed revera non esse: imo miserius aetatem agere quam etiam infimi quique. Praeterea in Agamemnone typus est elegans pugnae diversarum cupiditatum ac affectuum in homine, qua nihil crudelius et miserius est: ea in sapiente locum non habet, ut qui in se totus sit teres atque rotundus. Pugnabant in Agamemnone cupiditas et amor dominandi populique timor adversus φιλοστοργίαν paternumque affectum erga longe dulcissimum pignus Iphigeniam. Sic tamen vicit illa obtinendi imperii rabies ut horrente ipsa natura propriam filiam Graecis caedendam propinaret: fit enim plerumque dum mens humana sic varie iactatur ut infames ac turpes vincant libidines. Ita fere agitur cum iis qui gravissima ac taeterrima multarum cupiditatum tyrannide premuntur, ut scilicet atrocia et immania audeant videantque tandem funestas rerum vices tristesque mutationes. Tales sunt maiore ex parte reges ac principes, qui quo potentiores eo sibi blandiores sunt nutriuntque istas intra se pestes ac malorum fomenta: unde postea caedes, eversiones, totaque malorum lerna pullulet. Licet autem in praesens Iphigeniae casum non statim secuta sit calamitas, tamen id factum postea extitit causa caedis Agamemnoniae, ut ipse Poeta in Electra sub persona† Clytaemnestrae testatur. Alienata enim erat isto facinore tam crudeli ab Agamemnone ac iam tum eum odisse coeperat. Ad haec notandum, spectaculo illo quo Iphigenia pro salute Graecorum et prospera ad Ilium traiectione immolatur nobis patriae amorem commendari: cui non solum res et facultates, sed liberos, propriamque vitam (si res ita postulet) impendere debemus. Praeterea nos moneri ut neglectis privatis rationibus perpetuo publicis commodis consulamus: qua sententia nihil potest praecipi salubrius. Nec illud praetereundum, pulchro exemplo in hac fabula doceri quam dubii et incerti sint humanorum consiliorum eventus. Videbatur Agamemnon pulchre cavisse missis alteris literis ne adduceretur Iphigenia. verum longe aliter evenit. Deinde cum uxorem de consilio suo celare studet, ipsa ex alio comperit Iphigeniam neci destinatam. Hinc igitur oriuntur saevi motus, querelae, iurgia, ac plane tragoedia. Sic nimirum hallucinamur ac caecutimus animo ut pleraque praeter nostras rationes eveniant nobis: ac sapienter dixisse Pindarus in Olymp.** videatur,τῶν δὲ μελλόντων τετύφλωνται φραδίαι, πολλὰ δ’ ἀνθρώποις παρὰ γνώμαν ἔπεσον.

*[Plutarch, de tranquillitate animi 471A-C]

**[Pindar, Olympian 12.9-10]

†[personae in the original is a typographical error.]

This play about the sacrifice of Iphigenia in Aulis displays the life of monarchs and princes as if to be viewed in a painting: a life which is constantly thrown about, without a doubt, in the wavering tides of fortune, full of woe, anxieties, fear, nor does it possess a place where it may stand firm. For what greater anguish could have befallen Agamemnon than seeing the slaughter of his dearest daughter? That inevitability, however, was pressing now on him and had virtually confined him in the narrow straits so that either his daughter had to be sacrificed or he had to give up the highest authority over the Greeks. And so he breaks off his sleep, deliberates anxiously, consults with the old man, wavers back and forth: he sends off the messenger to order his wife to remain at home with their daughter: the messenger is intercepted, Agamemnon himself is assailed very harshly by Menelaus. Clytemnestra unexpectedly arrives with their daughter; the cruel plan regarding the killing of Iphigenia is exposed. Agamemnon turns this way and that, obviously in doubt as to how to embark on this action or what he is to do. What, moreover, is more wretched than such a man, in whose soul and within whose entrails such a savage storm rages? Therefore, it has been said most truly by Plutarch in his commentary On Peace of Mind: that many of the foremost men appear to be blessed in public and from outside, but in fact are not: on the contrary, they live their life more wretchedly than everyone even of the lowest ranks. Besides, in Agamemnon is a fine model of the fight of opposing desires and emotions in a man, than which nothing is more cruel and wretched: this battle does not have a place in a wise man, since he within himself is as a whole smooth and round. In Agamemnon, the desire and love of ruling and fear of the people were fighting against a sense of family affection and his emotional paternal attachment towards one who was by far the sweetest pledge of marital love, Iphigenia. Nevertheless, that madness of obtaining power triumphed to such a degree that, although nature itself shrank from it in horror, he made a free gift of his own daughter to the Greeks to be slaughtered: indeed, it often happens when the human mind is tossed about in an ever-shifting way that disgraceful and ugly passions prevail. Thus in general does it occur with those who are oppressed by the most onerous and foul tyranny of many desires, so that certainly they dare to do savage and brutal deeds and see finally the deadly turn of events as well as the sad reversals. Such are, for the most part, kings and princes, who, the more powerful they are, are more permissive to themselves and feed within themselves those pestilences and tinder-wood of evils: from which afterwards murders, destructions, and a whole Lerna (gushing spring) of woes spouts forth. Moreover, although for the present moment the fate of Iphigenia was not immediately followed by disaster, nevertheless that deed turned out afterwards to be the occasion of the murder of Agamemnon, as the poet himself attests in Electra through the character of Clytemnestra. For she was estranged from Agamemnon by that very savage crime, and already then had begun to hate him. In addition to this we must note that love of fatherland is recommended to us by that spectacle in which Iphigenia is sacrificed for the salvation of Greece and for a successful crossing to Troy: for our fatherland we ought to devote not only our property and our capabilities, but also our children, and our own life (if the affair so demands). Furthermore, we are advised that, with no thought for private plans, we should constantly look out for public interests: nothing can be taught more beneficial than this maxim. Nor is this point to passed over, that we are instructed by a beautiful example in this play how the outcomes of human plans are dubious and uncertain. Agamemnon seemed to have taken precautions quite well, by sending the second letter, that Iphigenia not be brought there. In truth, it happened far otherwise. Then, when he strives to keep his wife in the dark about his plan, she herself discovers from another that Iphigenia has been consigned to die. From this, then, fierce commotions, complaints, quarrels, and clearly a tragedy emerge. To such a degree certainly do we wander and suffer blindness in the mind that many things happen to us beyond our intentions, and that Pindar seems to have said wisely in his Olympian Odes: τῶν δὲ μελλόντων τετύφλωνται φράδαι, πολλὰ δ’ ἀνθρώποις παρὰ γνώμαν ἔπεσον (our perceptions of what is to be have been rendered blind, and many things befall men contrary to their judgment).

Hi aestus immanesque ausus haeque fortunae vices potissimum magnos homines ac reges persequuntur vexantque. nihil enim tam fortunae tyrannidi obnoxium est quam potentes rerumque monarchae: nisi et animum et utramque fortunam alterna velificatione sapienter moderari didicerint. Cetera in Annotationibus persequemur.

These passions and great feats of daring and these changes in fortune especially overtake and torment great men and kings. For nothing is so liable to the tyranny of fortune as men of power and kings of affairs, unless they have learned to wisely restrain the spirit and to manage each kind of fortune with a shifting course. We will follow up with the rest in the annotations.

Annotationes in Eandem Iphigeniam: Gasparo Stiblino auctore.

ὦ πρέσβυ δόμων: Hoc Agamemnonis et senis colloquium est parasceue quaedam ad narrationem sequentem, quae prologi partes agit totiusque fabulae occasionem et Argumentum continet. Ceterum non putandum est poetam absque ratione regem cum sene noctu consultantem introduxisse. Nam hoc pacto docet senes in primis adhibendos ad consilium de rebus magnis, sicuti apud Stobaeum idem in Melanippe* monet: παλαιὸς αἶνος, ἔργα μὲν νεωτέρων, [345] βουλαὶ δ’ ἔχουσι τῶν γεραιτέρων κράτος. Et apud Homerum Nestor grandaevus in consiliis praecipuus est. Deinde nox propter silentium et solitudinem maxime ad considerandum et consultandum de rebus gravibus idonea est. Unde et apud Plutarchum in Symposiacis,** Lacedaemoniis olim νυκτερινὸς σύλλογος, id est nocturnus conventus gravissimorum virorum, solemnis fuisse dicitur.

*[Euripides, fragment 508, from one of his Melanippe plays; the original has the misprint or mistake in Melanippo]

**[Plutarch, Quaestiones conviviales 714C]

Annotations on the same Iphigenia by Gasparus Stiblinus.

ὦ πρέσβυ δόμων: This conversation between Agamemnon and an old man is a kind of preparation for the certain following narrative, which fulfills the role of the prologue and contains the basis and the plot of the entire play. Moreover, it should not be thought that the poet introduced the king seeking counsel from the old man at night for no reason. For in this way he shows the old men are especially to be consulted for advice concerning great affairs, just as the same poet shows in Melanippe (quoted in Stobaeus): παλαιὸς αἶνος, ἔργα μὲν νεωτέρων, [345] βουλαὶ δ’ ἔχουσι τῶν γεραιτέρων κράτος (it is an ancient adage, that the deeds of younger men have power, but the counsels of older men). And in the writings of Homer, the aged Nestor is esteemed above others in counsels. Moreover, night, on account of its silence and solitude, is most suitable for consideration and counsel concerning serious affairs. From which also in the writings of Plutarch in the Symposiacs, it is said that long ago for the Lacedaemonians νυκτερινὸς σύλλογος, that is, the nocturnal gathering of the most important men, was customary.

ὦ πρέσβυ δόμων: Primus Actus continet Agamemnonis cum famulo sene consilium super inhibendo filiae adventu, quae sub falso nuptiarum titulo iam ad caedem accersebatur. 2. Agamemnonis narrationem sive exegesim quae etiam causas habet et principia Troiani belli. 3. Chorus catalogum ducum Graeciae qui in expeditionem ad Troiam venerant recenset.

ὦ πρέσβυ δόμων: The first act is comprised of Agamemnon’s discussion with his old servant about preventing the arrival of his daughter, who, under the false pretext of marriage, was already being summoned for slaughter. 2. It contains the narrative or explanation of Agamemnon, which also contains the causes and the origins of the Trojan War. 3. The chorus enumerates the names of the Greek leaders who had convened for the campaign on Troy.

In Secundum Actum, cuius initium: μενέλαε τολμᾶς δεῖνα*

Menelaus senem iam iturum ad Argos comprehendit literasque vi extorquet: id quum apud Agamemnonem quereretur, oritur acerbissimum iurgium inter fratres. Exprobat Menelaus Agamemnoni inconstantiam, levitatem et ambitionem: cui Agamemnon vicissim impudentiam obiicit, qui nulla ratione ac prorsus sine fronte audeat adulterae mulierculae gratia abs se liberorum necem contendere. 2. Discedente Menelao adest qui nuntiat Clytaemnestram cum filia ad faciendas nuptias advenisse. Hinc misera Agamemnonis querela, qui eo devenerat ut qua via se ex instantibus rebus explicet plane ignoraret. 3. Menelaus redit simulatque se mutasse sententiam: dehortaturque fratrem ab immolanda filia, consultans cum eo quomodo id quam minimo periculo fieri possit. 4. Chorus habet quaedam praecepta philosophica de mediocritate rerum, de coniugio casto ac sancto, de bona institutione ac doctrina, de vita tranquilla et gloria, et ceteris; denique originem Troiani belli commemorat.

*[misprinted as τολμᾶς μενέλαε δεῖνα, although the correct word order μενέλαε τολμᾶς δεῖνα appears in Stiblinus’ following note; the actual text of ΙΑ 303 as we accent it today is μενέλαε, τολμᾷς δείν’.]

On the Second Act, the beginning of which is: μενέλαε τολμᾶς δεῖνα

Menelaus intercepts the old man now heading to Argos and seizes the letters by force: when he complains about this before Agamemnon, a very bitter quarrel arises between the brothers. Menelaus reproaches Agamemnon’s change of heart, fickleness, and ambition: Agamemnon in turn accuses him of impudence, who, with no rational accounting and absolutely lacking in shame, dares to demand from him the death of his children for the sake of an adulterous, unworthy woman. 2. As Menelaus departs, a messenger arrives who announces that Clytemnestra with her daughter has arrived to celebrate the marriage. From this source arises the wretched complaint of Agamemnon, who had reached a point where he clearly had no idea how to extricate himself from the approaching events. 3. Menelaus returns and pretends that he has changed his opinion: he dissuades his brother from sacrificing his daughter, discussing with him how the thing may be accomplished with the least possible danger. 4. The chorus contains certain philosophical lessons on moderation of possessions, about chaste and sacred marriage, about noble education and teaching, about the quiet life and the life of fame, and about other things; finally, they recall the origin of the Trojan War.

[347] Argumentum Actus tertii.

Tertius Actus habet adventum Clytaemnestrae cum Iphigenia, quae ambae cupidissime in amplexus Agamemnonis ruunt. Is, licet humanissime acciperet Iphigeniam, tamen animum afflictum, frontem tristem, lacrimas, agitante nimirum conscientia destinati facinoris, dissimulare non poterat. Unde dum se mutua fruitione et colloquio explent, crebro quid angeretur animi obscure insinuat. 2. Clytaemnestrae genus, patriam, educationem sponsi simulati edisserit. Deinde ut domum redeat hortatur. se enim expenditurum ea quae ad nuptias pertinerent: quo facilius et minore periculo ea quae susceperat obire posset. Poterat enim ea in re non parum obsistere uxor. 3. Chorus ominatur periculum Phrygiae et urbis Troiae excidium.

Argument of the Third Act.

The Third Act contains the arrival of Clytemnestra with Iphigenia, both of whom rush very eagerly into Agamemnon’s arms. Although he embraces Iphigenia very kindly, nevertheless he was not able, with his awareness of the fated crime no doubt troubling him, to conceal his shattered heart, melancholy face, and tears. From there, while they take their fill of mutual enjoyment and conversation, he frequently implies in an obscure way what distress he feels in his mind. 2. He tells Clytemnestra the false bridegroom’s ancestry, fatherland, and upbringing. Then he urges her to return home. For he would care for the things that pertained to her marriage: he says this in order that he would more easily and with less danger be able to accomplish the things he had undertaken. For his wife was able in no small way to stand in the way of the matter. 3. The Chorus foretells the danger for Phrygia and the destruction of the city of Troy.

Argumentum Actus quarti.

In hoc Actu opportuna ad epitasim parasceue est. Nam Achilles ignarus simulatarum nuptiarum, dum Agamemnonem quaerit ut cum eo de prolixa in Aulide mora expostularet, casu incidit in Clytaemnestram: a qua gener salutatus id nominis constanter recusat nihilque se earum rerum scire quas Agamemnon scripserat profitetur. 2. Clytaemnestra sentiens dolum mox a famulo certior redditur de destinata Iphigeniae caede. 3. Implorat dolo tractata mulier opem Achillis adversus crudelitatem Agamemnonis. Pollicetur Achilles se pro virili defensurum filiam. Denique consultant qua via ac ratione commodissime consilium Agamemnonis inhiberi possit. 4. Chorus Pelei et Thetidis nuptiae celebrat perque antithesim miserum ac dispar fatum Iphigeniae deflet: concluditque gravissima sententia, nullum aequitati aut honesto locum esse, ubi violentia, impietas et licentia dominetur.

Argument of the Fourth Act.

In this act is a useful preparation for the climax. For Achilles, unaware of the false marriage, while looking for Agamemnon to complain about the lengthy delay in Aulis, happens upon Clytemnestra by chance: having been addressed by her as her son-in-law, he persistently refuses that title and professes to know nothing about those affairs of which Agamemnon had written. 2. Sensing the deceit, Clytemnestra is soon more fully informed by her slave about the intended slaughter of Iphigenia. 3. The woman, having been treated with deceit, begs for Achilles’s help against Agamemnon’s savagery. Achilles promises to defend her daughter to the extent of his manly ability. Finally, they discuss by which way and method it would be possible to curb Agamemnon’s plan most effectively. 4. The chorus honors the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, and through contrast they lament Iphigenia’s wretched and unfair destiny: and they conclude with the most unpleasant thought, that there is no place with justice or honor, where violence, impiety, and disorder reign.

[349] Argumentum Actus quinti.

Clytaemnestra certior facta consilii de occidenda Iphigenia foras egreditur maritumque nihil tale suspicantem de crudelibus coeptis arguit et tandem gravissima oratione conatur a caede filiae deterrere. 2 Mox Iphigenia admodum παθητικῶς* patrem puellari quadam simplicitate lenire cupit ne in immani perseveraret consilio, sed sineret se luce hac vitali frui qua nihil sit iucundius. Agamemnon harum precibus nihil motus culpam huius rei in exercitum Graecorum reiicit, cuius consensu poscatur ad caedam pro impetranda iuxta oraculum ad Troiam transmissione: cui resistere hac quidem in parte nec possit nec velit: hocque dicto abit. 3 Querela et planctus Iphigeniae iam certo morti destinatae. 4 Achilles turbidus e contione Graecorum rediens Clytaemnestrae narrat Iphigeniam exercitus suffragiis immolandam esse: se autem cum ipsam defendere vellet in vitae discrimen paene venisse. Pollicetur autem porro suam operam ac virtutem: nempe se vel armis, si ita necesse fuerit, filiam a caede vindicaturum. 5 Iphigenia excelso animo mortem obire pro Graecia se paratam esse praeter spem iactat: hinc enim libertatem Graeciae, sibi autem perennem gloriam venturam ait. 6 Hortatur praeterea matrem ut levius ferat casum hunc ac fati necessitatem, se hac morte immortalem, Graeciaeque liberatricis titulo inclutam fore docens. Hinc ad locum ubi immolanda erat deducitur iubetque famulas ac comites faustas ominationes et hymnos Dianae dicere. 7 Nuntius Clytaemnestrae narrat quomodo Iphigenia dum caederetur a sacrifico evanuerit et ad deos translata sit, substituta in eius locum cerva. Quod laetum nuntium et ipse Agamemnon confirmat, ne mater dubitaret. Deinde vale dicto uxori abitionem accelerat: ipsa Argos revertitur.

*[misprint παθετικῶς]

Argument of the Fifth Act.

Clytemnestra, having been informed of the plan for Iphigenia’s death, comes out of the doors, and accuses her husband, who does not suspect any such thing, of undertaking an inhuman deed and finally with a most serious speech tries to dissuade him from killing their daughter. 2. Next, Iphigenia in a very pathetic style wishes to soften her father with a certain childlike simplicity so that he not continue with the savage plan, but allow her to delight in this life-giving light than which nothing is more pleasant. Agamemnon, not moved at all by the entreaties of the women, casts the blame for this affair on the Greek army, by whose consensus she is demanded for slaughter in order to obtain passage to Troy according to the oracle: indeed, in this matter he would be neither able nor willing to oppose them: and with this word he leaves. 3. We see Iphigenia’s lament and wailing now that she has been condemned to a certain death. 4. Achilles returns troubled from the assembly of the Greeks, and announces to Clytemnestra that Iphigenia is to be sacrificed by vote of the army: that he, moreover, when he wanted to defend her, had come almost to the point of being killed. Moreover, He promises, however, for the future his aid and courage: specifically, he would save her daughter from death even by force of arms, if it should be thus necessary. 5. With a noble spirit, Iphigenia declares, contrary to expectation, that she is prepared to meet death for Greece: for she says this would bring freedom to Greece, while also bringing eternal glory to herself. 6. Furthermore, she urges her mother to bear this misfortune and the inevitability of fate more lightly, pointing out that she would be immortal by this death, and be celebrated with the title of liberator of Greece. Henceforth she is led to the place where she would be sacrificed and commands the servants and companions to sing auspicious predictions and hymns to Diana. 7. The messenger recounts to Clytemnestra how as Iphigenia was struck, she vanished from the sacrifice and was transported to the gods, a deer substituted in her place. And Agamemnon himself confirms this happy news, so that the mother may no longer doubt it. Then, having bid farewell to his wife, he hastens the departure: she herself returns to Argos.

Translation by Risa Takenaka

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