Philoctetes – Φιλοκτήτης

Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Peter Meineck and Paul Woodruff free ebook
Philoctetes was Heracles’ dear friend. Years ago, Philoctetes had lit the funeral pyre that released Heracles from his slow, painful death and raised him to semidivine status. In return for that favor Heracles had given Philoctetes his own famous bow, along with a
stock of arrows dipped in the same poison that inadvertently caused Heracles’ death. Later, Philoctetes started out for Troy with the Greek army, but he was bitten by a snake as he approached a shrine. The wound festered, stank, and made Philoctetes scream in pain; it did not kill him, but it never healed, and it made him miserable company for the army. The Greek leaders decided to leave him on the northeastern shore of the island of Lemnos, far from any village or usable harbor.” and to sail on to Troy, about a day’s sail north along the coast of Asia Minor (see Sophoclean Geography). There Philoctetes lived in a cave with two entrances, hunting for game with his bow. free ebook