COMMENTARY NOTES

Dedicatory epistle Sir Ralph Freeman [fl. 1610 - 55], civilian and author of the tragedy Imperiale (1635): life in D. N. B. Alabaster supplied gratulatory epigrams prefacing his translations of Seneca’s Consolatio ad Martiam (1632) and de Brevitate Vitae (no copy of the first edition survives, second edition 1663); these are registered as Alabaster’s poems XXXV and XXXVI
morticinum hoc edidi duarum hebdomadarum abortum Throughout this letter Alabaster playfully writes of Roxana as if the play were his daughter. The conceit is suggested by the similar one in Luigi Groto’s Prologue to La Dalida (114 - 6) in which he writes of this play as a daughter born from his brain, as Minerva was from that of Jove.
qui nomen meum si non a fronte, tamen a tergo gereret? I do not understand this remark. Crook’s volume, to be sure, contains a printer’s identifying page at the back, but at least in the copy selected for microfilming in the Early English Books series, Alabaster’s name does not appear there.
recitare ista cum spuma soni This sentence is occasionally quoted out of context, as if it were Alabaster’s injunction to reciters or actors on how the lines ought to be delivered. Nothing could be farther from the truth. He is saying that bad playwrights read their work in mock-impressive tones in order to make it sound better than it is, whereas Freeman, a good playwright, has no need for such tricks. At the same time, the grandiloquence of tragic diction obviously impressed Alabaster. One of the epic similes in the Elisais (661f.) begins:

 

Sic ubi grandiloqua generosa tragoedia voce
Intonat…

 

First gratulatory epigram Hugh Holland was a lifelong friend of Alabaster’s and the probable addressee of Alabaster’s Conversion. He is best known for contributing gratulatory verses for the First Folio and Sejanus His Fall. For a biographical sketch cf. Guiney, Recusant Poets 361 - 7. The present poem is something of a tour de force, a Latin poem with the rhyme-scheme of an English sonnet.
5 Ore rotundo Obviously both Holland and Farnaby had seen Alabaster’s dedicatory epistle; Alabaster, like Freeman, is a good poet who need not recite his work in a forced, mock-impressive manner. Perhaps Holland also recollected Elisaeis 661, just quoted.
10 Clarii est vetus minister Clearly Alabaster is meant. Most likely the allusion is to the Roman place-name of Therfield, Herts., where Alabaster was rector of the local church, although so far I have not been able to verify that this is so. (The reference is not to Clare Hall, Cantab., the present Clare College, which which, as far as I am aware, Alabaster never enjoyed any association.)
12 haec stupenda moles The present volume.

Second gratulatory epigram Thomas Farnaby was a distinguished schoolmaster and Classicist (although he led an abnormally colorful life for a man of that calling — he accompanied Drake and Hawkins on their last expedition). There is a life in the Dictionary of National Biography. The contributors of these gratulatory verses are not without interest for a student of Alabaster’s biography. Hugh Holland was converted to Catholocism at about the same time as Alabaster, and they turned up at Rome together. Holland was converted by Father John Wright, who conspired with Alabaster to make a Catholic of Essex in exchange for Spanish support for the crown. Wright also converted Ben Jonson (for whom, as we have seen, Holland wrote a dedicatory poem, and it seems likely that his one for the First Folio was elicted by Jonson’s efforts in connection with that project). Farnaby was a Jesuit-educated Catholic, and the D. N. B. article presents evidence for his links to Jonson. There is a certain interest in the fact that Alabaster maintained (and did not bother to disguise) his association with this Anglo-Catholic circle long after his return to the Anglican fold.

I.1 In academic Seneca-imitating tragedy, it was all but obligatory to begin with the apparition of a ghost, personified abstraction, or an infernal being. The monologues of the Ghost of Moleon and his interviews with Death and Suspicion comprise an elaborated counterpart to the dialogue of the equally revenge-hungry Ghost of Tantalus and the Fury at Seneca, Thyestes 1 - 121. More immediately, the first two scenes are based on Act I, scene i of Groto’s La Dalida.
1Crook printed Tartareus vapor.
2Obnubit oculorum radiantes orbitas — Crook.
4 For the idiom oculis haurire cf. Vergil, Aeneid IV.596 (imitated by Statius, Thebais X.596).
8 Crook’s perni is a printer’s error (what I describe in these notes as printer’s errors may of course also be copyist’s errors in the ms. from which the printer set the text).
13 Celsum… fastigium was suggested by Seneca, Troades 652.
16 Namque Orcus — Crook.
17 stulte for vane — Crook.
18 Satis tibi, satis indultum est, id nimio est nimis; - Crook. Cf. Hercules’ question at Seneca, Hercules Furens 663 (imitated at Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1774) cur diem questu tero?
19 Vindicta vivax omnibus vivacior — Crook.
23 luxuriat nimium iecur — Crook. For furoris… humani cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile V.103.
26 So Crook: Alabaster’s printed text has nec dum.
28 Crook’s vigere amorete is a printer’s error.
29f. Crook has:

Sed verba velitor: Dies hinc deperit
Quam Pluto Furiis indulserat ultricibus;

30Rather more comprehensibly, in La Dalida Pluto has authorized Moleonte’s revenge ordered Death and Jealousy to serve him (23 - 8). In a somewhat way this detail is restored in the English translation (26f.), a possible sign that the translator was familar with La Dalida (hence further evidence that Alabaster was the translator).
31
For moras with forms of necto cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaus 10 (also Statius,Thebais III.495, VI.677, and Martial, Spectacula xxix.2).
34Sed quale spectrum nostris se oculis ingerit? — Crook.
I.2 Alabaster’s “scenes” are not scene divisions in the modern sense of the word; they do not necessarily indicate any discontinuity of time or location, or any other kind of break in the action. Rather, according to the standard system employed by academic drama, derived from the manuscripts of Terence, each scene indicates a new grouping of speaking characters currently on the stage. Very often the identification of such scenes functions as a somewhat crude way of marking entrances and exits.
44 satianda est sanguine — Crook.
45 et acerbis moris — Crook.
46 For doloris impetum cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 347f.
48 Probably suggested by Seneca, Thyestes 5, where peius fame stands at line-end.
49 Crook mistakenly printed seu for ceu.
50 mihi nam superest mali — Crook.
51 Vis milleformis — Crook. Mille formis is probably suggested by Seneca, Phaedra 551.
53 - 61 These lines replace a single one printed by Crook, Pudor medicorum aeternus, ut discant senes.
56 Alabaster appears to have been thinking of Vergil, Georgics III.482, nec via mortis erat simplex.
63 Quae lege, fato, — Crook. Cf. lege fatorum at Seneca, Thyestes 74.
65 Caducae vitae, nobisque semper prope — Crook. Caducae is changed to eliminate a spondaic second foot. A considerable number of Alabaster’s changes are made in the interest of eliminating spondees and improper resolutions in the second and fourth feet of the line, either because his personal prowess as a metrican, or perhaps the general understanding of Latin metrics, had improved since the 1590’s.
67f. Crook has:

Quis tantus curis pectus insanis agit
Crudelis irae tam furentis impetus?

68 Cf. crudeles… iras at Statius, Silvae II.i.141.
69 For origo tenuis cf. Ovid, Fasti III.433.
70 Possibly suggested by Vergil, Aeneid I.373, vacet annalis nostrorum audire laborum.
72 aeternus pudor — Crook.
73 For iustus dolor cf. Vergil, Aeneid VIII.400, Ovid, Heroides xii.133, and Tristia IV.iii.21.
76 Haec regna, et has arces opulentae Bactriae — Crook.
80 Par Oromasdes: ille sed morae impotens with non erat in animo…annique pariter om. — Crook.
86 For saeva… cupidine cf. Juvenal xiv.175 and Statius, Silvae II.i.214.
91 Cf, Vergil, Aeneid IX.363, pugnaque potiti.
92 Vitaque me exuit, ut solio, vita altera — Crook.
93 Sed damna vitae nec solii gravia forent — Crook. Alabaster was possibly thinking of Seneca, Agamemnon 411, graviora pelago damna quam bello tulit.
96 For superbo…victori cf. Vergil, Georgics III.227 and Aeneid V.473.
98 Cf. Statius, Thebais III.6, pessimus in dubiis augur timor.
101 For similar lines cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 112, periere mores ius decus pietas fides, and Thyestes 216, nec cura iuris sanctitas pietas fides.
102 Et insuper Dianae virginem innubam — Crook.
103 Turri sacravi lignea — Crook.
110 Usus tyrannis deos et metus facit — Crook.
111 For simplex turba cf. Martial X.lxii.1.
114 cuique Atossae — Crook.
118 patri — Crook.
126 et iubar throni regii — Crook.
127 Orbus tyrannus ne esset — Crook.
128 Alabaster may have been thinking of Vergil, Aeneid X.879, haec via sola fuit qua perdere posses.
130 fit exacte miser — Crook. Fit…miser is perhaps a conscious echo of Seneca, Thyestes 907.
131 Sed impudicam pellicem, matrem malam — Crook.
136 Sed nomen untrunque nepotis et generi execror — Crook.
137 Crook omitted et.
138 Sed nostra odia: bene fit: quod utrosque implicat - Crook
139 For violentus furor cf. Lucretius II.621.
149 gis? — Crook.
153 For ministra sceleris cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 466 ministros sceleris.
I.iii This scene is based on La Dalida I.ii.
160 A very few errors are shared by the texts printed by Crook and by Alabaster; these must be cases in which Alabaster failed to correct mistakes he had made in his original version when revising Roxana for the press. In this line, both versions have vertagus instead of vetragus. The identity of the dog was probably suggested by Martial XIV.cc.1, Non sibi, sed domino venatur vertragus acer.
161 Possibly suggested by Seneca, Phaedra 1043, naresque hiulcis haustibus patulae fremunt.
162 Hausit sagaci nare, tremiscit artubus — Crook.
167 et amica — Crook.
169 et incipiunt hostes mori — Crook.
176 quis minuet curam hanc mihi? — Crook. Possibly Alabaster was thinking of Ovid, Amores I.vii.63, minuet vindicta dolorem. At various points in the play Oromasdes and Atossa appear in the company of servants. Such servants are usually not mentioned in the text, but their presence can be deduced from the fact that Oromasdes and Atossa issue commands to them using plural imperatives.
177 Ut inde crescat ipse: si quicquam me amas — Crook.
178 nunquam magis — Crook.
179 Invisa nobis capita, nepotum filiae — Crook.
185 hoc paenam facit — Crook.
187 For patris . . amplexum cf. Thyestes 976.
188 Solet perire mortuis formae decus: — Crook. Seneca uses formae decus at the end of the line at Phaedra 1110 and Troades 1144.
192 Cf. Horace, Sermones II.iii.320, haec a te non multum abludit imago.
195sed imago — Crook.
196. Cf. Juvenal viii.88, pone irae frena modumque.
197 Lucan uses vindicta with forms of perio at Bellum Civile VIII.422 and IX.1053.
204 Dicere is used with forms of sustineo at Ovid, Heroides v.52 and Metamorphoses VI.367.
I.iv This scene is based on La Dalida I.iii.
205 Sic illam — Crook. For ira crudelis cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 48
206 moras facis? — Crook. Cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 206, quid tamen nectis moras?
207 Cf.Seneca, Hercules Furens 385, sequitur superbos ultor a tergo deus.
208 Cf. Seneca, Thyestes 447, frustra timentur dura.
210 Sim quare Suspcio rogas. — Crook.
212 est domi — Crook.
215 Subduxerit, et absente me, mihi pellicem — Crook.
216 (Crook’s virtus et cuscus is a printer’s error.) Cf. Propertius II.xviii(b).7, at non Tithoni spernens Aurora senectam (in mythology ancient Tithon was Aurora’s consort).
217 rapuit magis senem — Crook.
218 plicabilis — Crook.
221 - 26 These lines were added by Alabaster in his printed edition; they are not in Crook’s.
223 Cf. Statius, Thebais VI.405, exiluere loco.
228f. Crook’s text has:
Illudque sub te latet, in quo clauderis
Atque in te claudis.

231 For materia mali cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.xvi.50.
232 For ignotus thous cf. Tibullus III.vi.60 and III.xvi.6.
237 Utrum immerentem, stuprum an impietas facit? — Crook.
240 Leda’s daughter Helen ran away from her husband Menelaus; the Belides (the daughters of Danaus) murdered their husbands on their wedding night. Rather more plausibly, however, at La Dalida 104 the murderously vengeful Procne is mentioned in place of Leda.
244 Saevisne genitor in filiam? — Crook.
244f. Etiam in patrem, / Etiam in me ipsum — Crook.
247 Etiam in patrem, / Etiam in me ipsum — Crook. Cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1004, scelus nefandum, triste et aspectu horridum
250 Neque mors satis ulcisci; hoc est faciendum tibi. — Crook. For poenarum agmine cf. Statius, Thebais XII.647.
252 cum accederis — Crook.
254 Cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 254, ne qua pars probro vacet.
257f. Crook has:

Si quicquam amoris et fidei carens scelus,
Quod impedire possit, insit regiae,

259 Crook’s cito imputetur is a printer’s error.
262 Sed illa surgant, studiis quae totis agis, — Crook.
263 For vani metus cf. Seneca, Oedipus 700.
266 Boni miserentur: sic metuant, quod non sciant: — Crook.
272 Atque en nunc famularum perviam pompam parans — Crook.
273 For dubio… gradu cf. Seneca, Thyestes 490 and Troades 522.
274 donis capiet — Crook.
275 Cf. perhaps Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 705f., vultus loquitur / quodcumque tegis.
276 accinge te: nunc — Crook—. Cf. Seneca, Medea 51f., accingere ira teque in exitium para / furore toto.
281 Sine morte comite suspicio nulla aut levis. Crook.
Act I chorus Meters: 282 - 90 — anapestic dimeters; 291 - 98 — lesser Asclepiadeans; 299 - 308 — anapestic dimeters; 309 - 13 — hendecasyllables. For some reason, the text specifies that this chorus is to be performed by three choristers, although others in the play require four. It cannot be demonstrated that the chorus is continually onstage during Acts I - III, in the manner of a Greek (although not necessary Senecan) one, although it remains onstage and engages in dialogue with actors in the course of Acts IV and V. The onstage presence of the chorus in Roxana is probably suggested by Grott’s La Dalida, in which the chorus is frequently present during acted portions of the play. It may be relevant to note that there is at least one example of a university tragedy with a chorus continually onstage, Peter Mease’s Adrastus Parentans (ca. 1620), which is unusual in not being divided into acts.
291ff The simile is perhaps suggested by Vergil, Aeneid VI.707 - 9:

ac veluti in pratis ubi apes aestate serena
floribus insidunt variis et candida circum
lilia funduntur

292 For carpunt delicias cf. Propertius II.xxxiv.74.
298 Cf. Aeneid XII.665, obstipuit varia confusus imagine rerum.
299 For vana fides cf. ib. IV.12, Lucan, Bellum Civile X.219, and Statius Thebais XI.215.
301 For umbras… rerum cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses III.144.
308 For sibila colla cf. Vergil, Aeneid V.277 and Georgics III.421.
310 Cf. penetrant aulas at Goergics II.504.
312 Cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 687f.:

illic luctifer bubo gemit
omenque triste resonat infaustae strigis.

Alabaster repeatedly mentions screech owls and similar birds of ill omen in order to create sinister atmospherics: cf. 554, 981f., 1046, 1289, and 1488. Even the last line of the play contains an address to volucres pessimae, the ghosts of Atossa’s victims.
II.1 In Alabaster’s printed text this scene is incorrectly identified as scena quarta. This scene is based on La Dalida II.i - ii.
314 For ignavos metus cf. Seneca, Oedipus 88.
315 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Heroides xvii.130, tarda solet magnis rebus inesse fides.
316 For sorsque difficilis cf. Ovid, Tristia V.iii.28.
317 impiarint — Crook (a printer’s error?). Then Crook’s text has an extra line, Aut impiabunt? Quicquid adversi est scelus,
318 Cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 1148 (= Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 745), nescioquod animus grande praesagit malum.
320fCrook has:

BEL. Morbus sapientum est, metuere ubi non est opus.
ORO. Nervus sapientum est, metuere et diffidere.

325 veros metus — Crook.
328f Crook has:

Sed in secreto; fit populus paenae arbiter,
Nunquam timoris.

328 Cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 166, poenarum arbiter.
331 invidet invisis deus — Crook.
332 torqueor — Crook.
334 et hunc cape — Crook.
335 et acitam fidei notam — Crook.
336 Cf., perhaps, Martial IX.xvi.1, consilium formae, speculum.
339 For exuet… metum cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.623.
342 Certabit expeditio simul et fides. — Crook.
344 For dubii pedes cf. Ovid, Fasti VI.678.
345 Alabaster’s printed text has et pes haud constans sibi. This seems intolerably redundant after the preceding line, so I have retained Crook’s line, et animus haud constans sibi (translated as “and unconstant mind”). For tremorque subitus cf. Vergil, Aeneid VII.446, Ovid, Heroides xiv.18, Metamorphoses III.40, and Statius, Thebais XII.447.
348 et perferre — Crook.
349 Se exedit ipse: vim minuit magnam mali — Crook.
351 Garrulis — Crook.
352 Loquere, palam fit; quod tacitis latet magis. — Crook.
354 For damnat fidem cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 863.
357Crook’s Loquar is a printer’s error.
359 Crook accidentally omitted at.
360 For vocem premit cf. Vergil, Aeneid IX.324 and Lucan, Bellum Civile III.541.
361 lingua muta — Crook.
364 For impos sui cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 117.
367 visa est et anxia — Crook.
368 Cf. Seneca, Phaedra 639, Ambigua voce verba perplexa iacis. For fractis… vocibus cf. Aeneid III.556.
369 et per omnia — Crook.
370 Crook’s zalotypae is a printer’s error.
372 Itum reditumque, ut exuar tanto metu. — Crook. For caeco metu cf. Ovid, Fasti II.822.
375 Gravis ruituro — Crook.
377 For superbum… caput cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1974.
379ff. For the idea cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 197 - 201:

me mea tellus lare secreto
tutoque tegat.
venit ad pigros cana senectus,
humilique loco sed certa sedet
sordida parvae fortuna domus:
alte virtus animosa cadit.

This in turn is indebted to Horace, Odes II.x.5 - 8:

auream quisquis mediocritatem
diligit, tutus caret obsoleti
sordibus tecti, caret invidenda
sobrius aula.

387. Crook printed Minante mortem involvere ne monte excidam, whereas Alabaster has Minante montem inferre, ne monte obruar. In this latter line montem is in error for mortem.
388 Utrinque timeo, et timeor, utrinque obnoxius — Crook.
393 Crook’s quocumque is a printer’s error.
394 Solus secreta — Crook.
398 hic fasciculus — Crook.
401 Mei impotentem? Sive amor est, sive hic dolor — Crook.
402 anime superbe — Crook.
408 et cassum decus — Crook.
410 Crook’s nata est is a printer’s error.
413 labor est victoriae — Crook.
424 Cf. signabat iter at the Vergilian Culex 290.
425 sceleri est opus — Crook.
430 For Crook’s Atossa non facit Alabaster substitutes Atossa haud facit, which destroys the scansion by introducing an unwanted elision. Cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 115, per scelera semper sceleribus tutum est iter.
436 For deorum…metus cf. Horace, Odes I.xxxv.37 and the Vergilian Ciris 436.
441 Crook’s parti is a printer’s error. In the same line he printed fingeret, evidently another error.
442 For flammeam… facem cf. Seneca, Thyestes 1089.
443 vetitus mentem calor — Crook.
444 For dolor saevus cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 28 and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1282.
446 Abscessit, et redit — Crook.
II.iii This scene is based on La Dalida II.iii - v.
448 For tellus parens cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 239.
451 cuius syderae rutilum caput — Crook. For noxque alma cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 74, Medea 876, and Troades 438.
452 For gremio with forms of foveo cf. Vergil, Aeneid I.718, Ovid, Heroides xvii.56, Statius, Silvae II.i.121, and Thebais I.61.
453 For defecta…membra cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile IV.600.
454 Alia sepultis sensibus varias agunt — Crook.
455 et induunt animum — Crook.
456 Rerum simulachris — Crook.
460 Colorque moriens et rediens toties tibi, — Crook.
461 atque humeris caput grave — Crook. For laxa cervix cf. Persius, Satire I.98 and Statius, Thebais IV.70.
464 Tene etiam trepida territant insomnia? — Crook.
465 Me noctis horrent visa, — Crook.
466 For spes blanda cf. the Vergilian Ciris 341 and Statius, Thebais XII.246.
467 nisi vigilantis somnium. — Crook.
469 est visa — Crook.
472 At quae — Crook.
474 For certas notas cf. Seneca, Oedipus 811.
475 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Metamorphoses III.205, pudor hoc, timor inpedit illud.
483 For signa… vivida cf. Propertius II.xxxi (xxxi + xxxii).8.
484 Desideret quis nomina qui vultum videt. — Crook.
485 For formae decus cf. Seneca, Phaedra 1110 and Troades 1144.
486 praeter imaginem — Crook.
488 istoc — Crook.
489 Amica nemo vetat in amicis somnia. — Crook.
491 Unus vigilanti mundus est — Crook.
492 cuique. Quisque - Crook.
493 me vigilans videns — Crook.
495 in principes, et non amor — Crook.
496 Quod minus est iubet — Crook.
497 aut amor — Crook.
498 Crook accidentally omitted sit.
500 melius decet — Crook.
502 Fato reguntur, non legibus — Crook. Cf., perhaps, Aeneid XII.819, nulla fati quod lege tenetur.
503 Cogunt — Crook. Cf. Seneca, Phaedra 440, quem fata cogunt.
504 quid hosti — Crook.
507 For lucidum… decus cf. Seneca, Oedipus 405. Cf. also the note on 188.
509f. Crook has:

AT. Tibi non patebat. BES. Astra lucent omnibus.
AT. At non patebit. BES. Astra non possunt regi.

510 For siste… furorem cf. Seneca, Phaedra 248.
512 et mori — Crook.
515 The English To please the rascall sort? (504) would seem to require populo ut probemur?
517 coniux — Crook.
518 cogitasset illa — Crook.
519 Perspecto amat: hoc secreta permittunt tibi. — Crook.
521 pateat — Crook. For veniae locus cf. Seneca, Oedipus 263.
524 Alabaster’s printed text mistakenly omits est. Crook has O quod monstrum.
528 Crook’s text mistakenly omits a.
529 Turri condiderat intima sylva pater: — Crook.
530 For errat longius cf. Lucretius III.676.
534 For attonitam metu cf. Ovid, Fasti II.341 and Lucan, Bellum Civile VII.134.
535 Stupro conciliat — Crook.
538 For obstare… inceptis cf. Ovid, Heroides xviii.35 and Metamorphoses VII.145.
539f. ut mater meo / Fiam marito? — Crook.
543 For nimius… favor cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 883a.
544 Reclusit amor — Crook. For Amor reclusit cf. Propertius III.xix.24. Cf. also Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.98, Huic tamen ablati doluit iactura decoris.
545 For discrimen… vitae cf. Metamorphoses X.612.
548 execratae — Crook.
550Mentis acumen (unmetrically) — Crook.
552In classical mythology, Encleladus was one of the giants who waged war against the Olympian gods. When he was low by Minerva, his corpse was transformed in to Sicily.
553 For noctis aeternae cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 610, Medea 9, 464, 835, Oedipus 393, and Thyestes 1094.
555 Catervae — Crook.
556 For flammeas faces cf. Thyestes 1089.
557f. in me saeviat / Incendium, quam — Crook.
558 In mythology, Vulcan’s smithy was located on the island of Lemnos.
568 quod statuam dextra tua: — Crook.
569 geminosque liberos — Crook. For pellicem invisam cf. Seneca, Medea 495.
570 For dote with forms of placeo cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.596 and Tristia IV.iii.57.
574 For in occulto cf. Seneca, Medea 976.
575 For maius decus cf. Seneca, Thyestes 408 and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 989.
576 nimini id datur — Crook.
577 Both printed texts have gratias, but possibly we should read gratis.
580 ut citius iussa — Crook. For iussa exequar cf. Hercules Oetaeus 538.
581 Despecta — Crook.
585 per haec — Crook.
586 fida, constans, innocens — Crook.
587 Nunc revivisco — Crook.
592 reiecerit? — Crook.
594 Mirabar sterlilem Crook.
596 ut ad matrem solet. — Crook.
599 reget — Crook.
601 - 3This list of physical impossibilities in the natural world (adunata ) is a stock feature of Senecan rhetoric.
601Thetis the sea-nymph mother of Achilles. In Latin poetry, “Thetis” is sometime employed to designate the ocean. Cf., for example, line 52 of Milton’s in Quintum Novembris, te furtiva Tibris Thetidi videt oscula dantem.
602 circuitum — Crook. For quies aeterna cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 592 and Oedipus 785.
603 liberam — Crook.
608 Hercules fought the Hydra as his second labor.
609 non ululatis iugis — Crook.
610f. Alabaster was wrong: Agave was Pentheus’ mother and rent him apart in a bacchic frenzy, whereas his aunt Ino and her husband Athamas had reared Bacchus in his infancy. Cf. Seneca, Medea 383, recepto maenas insanit deo.
612 For stumulo amoris cf. Vergil, Georgics III.210 and Ovid, Fasti II.779.
614 Deduxerit. Mairor mihi incumbit dolor, — Crook.
Act II chorus 617 - 35 are hendecasyllabi with interspersed Adonics (i. e., if you wish to think of it this way, they are four Sapphic stanzas with an extra hendecasyllable introduced in the third and fourth stanzas). Although not printed with indented lines by either Crook or Alabaster, 636 - 47 are four Alcaic stanzas.
622 Enceladus cratere — Crook.
623 Cf. Seneca, Phaedra 737, ocior nubes glomerante Coro.
624 Flammis — Crook.
626 For meritos honores cf. Ovid, Fasti V.596.
630 Cf. solvere amores at Propertius I.iv.15.
632 liberam — Crook.
634pluvia — Crook.
636 proditori — Crook.
III.1 This scene is ultimately based on the dialogue between Atreus and the Satelles at Seneca, Thyestes 204 - 335, and is immediately based on La Dalida III.i.
648 Iam laetam — Crook. For laeta… Fortuna cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 563. For porrigit frontem cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.527.
649 Cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 649, Hinc aura primo lenis impellit rates.
650 For animae sequaces cf. Statius, Thebais III.500.
651 For inhibes impetum cf. Seneca, Medea 413.
652 Both Crook and Alabaster print Seu (in contemporary pronunciation ceu and seu were constantly confused homophones).
653 For salsum… gurgitem cf. Lucretius V.482.
655 liceat coniugi ex animo tuo — Crook.
660 For deorum tristium cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 611 and 1065. For livor malus cf. Martial X.xxx.6.
661 For regni… statum cf. Seneca, Medea 879.
665 Rex est populo mensura: — Crook. For pietatem docet cf.. Seneca, Agamemnon 957 and Phoenissae 311.
667 Cui visque fasque cum populo par est suo. — Crook. Ius and fas are linked by several ancient poets, including Seneca at Thyestes 48.
669 liceat — Crook.
671
For regi negat cf. Seneca, Troades 748.
673 cogatur nemo — Crook.
676 For regi decus cf. Seneca, Medea 130 (also 571 and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1591).
677 In Alabaster’s printed text manus is mistakenly transposed with minus at the end of the next line.
679 Although both printed versions have flectunt, flectant seems rhetorically superior.
682 quod rex obtinet — Crook.
685 Reges patientur, unicus victoriam? — Crook.
686 For cura prolis cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 138f.
687 Sollicitet — Crook. For sollicitat animum cf. Martial VII.liv.2.
688 flectat Venus — Crook.
689 Quarum frequenter numine vel steriles foret — Crook.
690 vel Danaidum parens Crook.
693 For thalami coacti cf. Statius, Thebais I.578 and V.463.
694 viscera visceribus suis — Crook. Roxana contains several references to the Thyestes myth (including references to the sun turning back in its in horrified reaction to his involuntary cannibalism, as described by Seneca, Thyestes 789 - 821), which, in view of the play’s dénouement, have a strong proleptic value.
695 The allusion is of course to the Oedipus myth
696 Etiam praemonitus — Crook.
697f. For the idea of tiring the gods with one’s prayers, cf. Statius, Silvae V.i.72f.:

dum nocte dieque fatigas
numina, dum cunctis supplex advolveris aris

698 domus regiae — Crook.
701 Probas amorem, Oromasda, non probas metum. — Crook.
702 For mortale…genus cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 448, Oedipus 983, Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1434 and Octavia 924.
703 For curam exuant cf. Martial X.xxx.3.
704 superum valuerit — Crook. Cf. Ovid, Fasti III.334, altorum rexque paterque deum.
705 et ensis aureus — Crook.
706 sequester, at — Crook.
708 For solis… iubar cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1289.
709 peribit isto documento genus. — Crook.
711 For incertum… animum cf. Seneca, Thyestes 638.
712 semper insanus, velut — Crook.
714 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.264, madidis Notus evolat alis.
716 Quis rati findet fretum — Crook. Cf. findens… freta at Seneca, Hercules Furens 336.
717 For Scylla latrans cf. Catullus lx.2. Cf. also Seneca, Medea 408f., quae Charybdis Ausonium mare / Siculumque sorbens. Scylla and Charybdis are also mentioned at Thestes 579 - 81.
718 For procelloso mari cf. Medea 411.
720 timenda? Posuit in angusto — Crook. For potuit…deus cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 655.
721 metu caret — Crook. For metu vacat cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 441.
722 Crook’s mundi status is a printer’s error. Cf. lege… mundi at Seneca, Agamemnon 814.
727 Regni salutem quicquid intendit, ius est. — Crook. For salutem… publicam cf. Seneca, Oedipus 516 and 830.
737 For sceptri decus cf. Statius, Thebais VI.193.
738Cuius parentis munere habes, quod regis: — Crook. Cf. parentis munera at Seneca, Phoenisae 222.
741 Supplex petebas: Crook. For decus raptum cf. Seneca, Hercules 258 and Medea 131.
742 filiam in uxorem — Crook.
743 For antiquos lares cf. Ovid, Tristia IV.viii.22 and Tibullus II.i.60.
745 Huius — Crook.
746 bellum — Crook.
747 Cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 502, sceptra quid possint scies, andOedipus 519, quid arma possint regis irati scies.
748 genus suum — Crook.
III.ii This scene is based on La Dalida III.iii.
751 For aura with forms of vescor cf. Aeneid I.546 and III.339.
753 For humani modi cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile IX.794.
756 resignet — Crook.
757 beato sanctitas cingat — Crook.
759. For rerum vices cf. Seneca, Troades 1145.
760 In nemora exuimus urbes, et in urbes nemus, — Crook.
761 For nutant comae cf. Aeneid II.629 and Statius, Thebais IX.534.
763 vernalae — Crook, either a printer’s error or an attempt to correct Alabaster’s mistake. Alabaster appears to have thought that vernulae = vernales.
765 Cf. Seneca, Troades 109, habitansqeue cavis montibus Echo.
766 Crook’s Eccho occupata is a printer’s error. For vocis extremae cf. Seneca, Medea 553.
767 For turrium… culmina cf. Propertius III.xvi.3.
770 For tristis… imago cf. Vergil, Aeneid VI.695, Ovid, Heroides vi.70, Metamorphoses XI.427, XV.785, Tristia I.iii.1, and Statius, Thebais X.105, and for occurrit… imago cf. Lucretis IV.782, Aeneid VI.696, and Heroides xiii.109.
773 For sereno… caelo cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1569.
774 lachrymae genas — Crook. For genas… rigant cf. Seneca, Oedipus 953, Phoenissae 441, Troades411 ad 965.
778 Cf. fidem… poscunt at Seneca, Agamemnon 934.
780 - 82 Cf. Catullus xxv.12f.:

velut minuta magno
deprensa navis in mari, vesaniente vento.

For procellosi maris cf. Seneca, Medea 411.
784 animus difficiles motus — Crook. For leves motus cf. Seneca, Oedipus 353, and for motus capit cf. Phaedra 1138.
786 For regis… tecta cf. Catullus lxiv.75, Vergil, Aeneid VII.585, and Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.591.For suspenso pede cf. the Vergilian Elegiae in Maecenatem I.80.
787 For sylvae horridae cf. Vergil, Aeneid IX.381 and Juvenal ix.13.
789 For perplexus error cf. Statius, Thebais I.502.
794 perterrita somnos expuli. — Crook.
799 Cf. Thebais VI.269, miris in vultum animata figuris.
802e variis meat. — Crook.
806 For exitum… negant cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 888.
811 revertam — Crook.
815 Si tu lacrhimaris, ego lachrimari volo; — Crook.
816 Ariaspe, ne fleat. — Crook.
817 ARI. Quis verberavit te mater? SIS. Ego mortuum. — Crook.
818 pugione fecero — Crook.
823 involvet — Crook.
824 utrinque — Crook. Cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 731, libare oscula.
825 For oris spiritus cf. Vergil, Georgics IV.300 and Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.303.
827 Cf. Seneca, Phaedra 1263, fletusque largos sistite.
828 Nam leniendo fletum, Sisimethre, moves. — Crook.
829 Si minimus esset pietati reduci locus, — Crook.
831 Cf. excussit… dolor at Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1403.
832 For lachrymas inanes cf. Aeneid IV.448 and X.465.
833 truncus manet — Crook.
III.iii This scene is based on La Dalida III.iv.
837 For sol alme cf. Horace, Carmen Saeculare 9.
839 Quo in nostris laetas venit Roxana manus. — Crook. Cf. Seneca, Thyestes 494f.: venit in nostras manus / tandem Thyestes.
840 protendunt — Crook.
843 For ignotus mihi vultus cf. Seneca, Oedipus 842.
845 avi redivia indoles, — Crook.
846 primum mellei amoris — Crook.
847 gratum pendeat — Crook. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.339, deque viri collo dulce pependit onus.
848 For invisam nurum cf. Ovid, Fasti II.626.
849 fovit? Heu gratias — Crook.
852 Cf. Seneca, Phaedra 617, me famulam accipe.
853 Matrem liberosque famulosque — Crook.
854 Occasus and ortus are thus closely linked at Seneca, Agamemnon 824, Hercules Furens 374, 871, 1330, and Thyestes 814.
855 For supplices… manus cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 1119, Oedipus 71, and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1316, and for aufer manus Ovid, Fasti IV.921 and Metamorphoses III.390.
III.4 Arsaces’ soliloquy about the seductive evils of the courtier’s life is rather similar to that of the disillusioned courtier-philosopher in Act IV, scene 5 of Matthew Gwinne’s academic tragedy Nero (1603). Both are probably inspired by the complaint at Cf. Ps. - Seenca, Octavia 34 - 8:

fulgore primo captus et fragili bono
fallacis aulae quisquis attonitus stupet,
subito latentis ecce Fortunae impetu
modo praepotentem cernat eversam domum
stirpemque Claudi.

III.iv This scene is based on La Dalida III.v.
859 caecos — Crook.
860 Quos humili et tuto statu — Crook.
863 Cf. Seneca, Medea 744, rota resistat membra torquens, tangat Ixion humum (in classical mythology Ixion was one of the famous sufferers in the Underworld, punished on his spinning wheel for having attempted to rape Juno).
870 Arcuatus — Crook (printer’s error?).
871 flammeum — Crook.
872 Maior mobilitas per tot — Crook. For incertas vices cf. Ovid, Tristia III.xi.68.
874 recurrat — Crook. Cf. incerto… casu at Seneca, Troades 915f.
876seu — Crook.
877f. For cura… fatigat cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 62.
880 Cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 323, haesit Syrtium brevibus vadis.
882 For turba… ruit cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses III.539, XV.730, and Ps. - Ovid, Epicedion Drusi 199.
886 divum — Crook.
887 - 89 Crook has:

In principes censura, bilis in pares,
Fastidiosus et in statu nobili
Pruritus, inque rebus offusis amor:
Febriculosa levitas animi, et partium

892 Seminatur hic, et crescit ad summum nefas. — Crook.
893 - 5 Crook has:

Sed maior illos sollicitat cura et timor,
Quibus secreti regii incumbit fides,
Arcana sacri sensa consilii dare.

896 Cf. Statius, Thebais VI.296f, dic incluta, Phoebe, regentum / nomina, and for nomen ferat cf. Horace, Epistulae I.vi.15.
897 Oromasdes, caeptis angitur quenquam suis — Crook.
899 Cf. augebo malum at Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 566.
905per ruinam aliorum — Crook.
907aulae — Crook (printer’s error?).
908Diffusus, his exemplis animum muniit, — Crook.
909 For dura… feram cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 596.
Act III chorus Meters: 910 - 12 - first Asclepiadeans; 918 - 18 - hendecasyllabi with a concluding Adonic; 919 - 22 - hendecasyllabi; 923 - 27 - anapestic dimeters; 928 - 33 - hendecasyllabi; 935 - 39 - anapestic dimeters.
911 For consilii impotens cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 126.
923 Occupat artus is a familiar tag in classical Latin poetry: Vergil, Aeneid VII.446, XI.424, Georgics IV.190, Tibullus III.x.5, Ovid, Metamorphoses I.548, III.40, V.632, XIV.757, XV.166, Lucan, Bellum Civile I.246, and Statius, Achilleis I.930.
924 For tendit habenas cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.520.
926 For alma fides cf. Statius, Thebais XI.98.
927 Cf. vota cadunt agt Tibullus II.ii.17 and Propertius I.xvii.4.
928 cum sic — Crook.
929 For insanis… procellis cf. Seneca, Phaedra 736, Phoenissae 420, and Thyestes 636.
930 Alabaster appears to have been thinking of Aeneid VI.573f., stridentes cardine sacrae / panduntur portae.
932 For mare abruptum cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile VIII.293.
933 horrenti Cyclade — Crook.
937 For pervigilis… draconis cf. Ovid, Heroides vi.13 and Metamorphoses VII.149. Alabaster appears to have been thinking of Metamorphoses V.241, torva colubriferi superavit lumina monstri.
IV.1 This scene is closely modeled on the similar one between the Messenger and the Chorus at Seneca, Thyestes 622 - 788; it is also based on La Dalida IV.i - ii.
940 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid X.603f., turbinis atri / more furens.
942 inviso — Crook (printer’s error?) For nivoso… iugo cf. Seneca, Oedipus 808 and Phaedra 233.
943 For solis… vapor cf. Lucretius I.1032, IV.185, and VI.236.
944 For aeternae siti cf. Seneca, Thyestes 150.
945 For nubis atrae cf. Seneca, Oedipus 1000, Phoenissae 394, 422, Thyestes 624, 1072, Ps. - Seneca, and Hercules Oetaeus 1133.
946 For fulminantis… Iovis cf. Hercules Oetaeus 558 and 1804.
947 For terrave hiante cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile III.10.
948 et turpem domum — Crook. Cf. Seneca, Phaedra 352f., vindicat omnes / natura sibi.
950 Cf. subitos… horrores at Seneca, Thyestes 949. For tantum scelus cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 167 and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 994.
954 Cf. vibrans… fulmen at Seneca, Phaedra 156.
955 in prodigiosam domum — Crook.
958 rore madefactum pio? — Crook.
961 See the note on 601.
963 lachrymosae Stygis — Crook.
964 For aeterno situ cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 702.
966 For perplexa… verba cf. Seneca, Phaedra 639 and 858.
969 We have seen that the Ghost of Moleon is suggested by the Ghost of Tantalus in Seneca’s Thyestes ( note on I.1) and that the play has a number of proleptic allusions to Thyestes’ horrible fate ( note on 694). The present line further underscores the resemblances: the sin, guilt, and murder with which the House of Atreus was accursed has passed over into the royal household of Bactria. Compare all the mentions of the Bactrian domus regia with all that is said about the House of Atreus in the Thyestes (23, 33, etc.).
970 se recondit Atossa — Crook.
972 et liberos suos — Crook.
973f. Crook has:

NUN. Se prius absumsit scelus,
Victrixque Atossa Tantali aequavit nefas.

975 For molem mali cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 1239.
976ff. This lengthy description of the sinister, secluded wing of the palace in which the murders occur is suggested by the similar one at Seneca, Thyestes 641ff.
977 For gelidumque… sidus cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile VI.393.
981 For the general spirit of the thing, cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses X.453, funereus bubo letali carmine fecit and Statius, Thebais III.511f., nocturnaeque gemunt striges et feralia bubo / damna canens.
985 For tacitumque murmur cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 634.
987 cantibus magicis — Crook. For magicis cantibus cf. Seneca, Medea 684.
989 For tristi rogo cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 597.
990 For imbre… sanguinis cf. Statius, Thebais V.598.
991 For sordidum… caput cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 785.
997 Raucos, boatu — Crook. For Tartareus canis cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 751.
998 For trino remugit cf. Seneca, Thyestes 676. Cf. also Aeneid I.90, crebris micat ignibus.
1002 nigra, pensile et — Crook.
1003 subtegmina — Crook.
1007 purpureus — Crook. Cf. violae nigrae at Vergil, Eclogue x.39 and Georgics IV.275.
1009 florigerae pratis apes — Crook. For sedulae… apes cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.928.
1011 Aulae inerrat, parieti, tectis, solo; — Crook.
1015 Cf., perhaps, Propertius III.xii.33, nigrantisque domos animarum intrasse silentum.
1016 For infausti ominis cf. Aeneid XI.589.
1017Crudis — Crook. The allusion is to Saturn devouring his children.
1018 Agi (sic) insania— Crook.
1020 Plisthenes was one of the two sons of Thyestes, unwittingly devoured by their farther.
1021 matre discerptus sua — Crook.
1023 aeditum — Crook (printer’s error).
1024 The original line, printed by Crook, was Lychnuchus Aethops piceam motans facem, which Alabaster replaced with Lychnuchus ater, fumidam quassans facem. Presumably Alabaster had learned that there is no such word as Aethops (Aethiops would not fit the meter), but the repetition of ater seems indefensible. The best improvement would have been to change ater to puer in the preceding line. For facem with forms of quasso cf. Ovid, Fasti V.506, Metamorphoses III.508, and Martial VIII.xliii.2.
1026 vibrent — Crook.
1031 For tecta penetrat cf. Seneca, Oedipus 918. Cf. also, perhaps, Catullus lxiv.64, levi velatum pectus amictu.
1032 torulis — Crook. For fulvae come cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto III.ii.74.
1033 For adoperta vultus cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.94.
1037 For ambit… latus cf. Statius, Silvae V.i.80.
1038 For idea of standing out like moon among stars cf. Horace, Odes I.xii.45 - 7 and Epodes xv.2. Possibly Alabaster was also familiar with William Gager’s praise of Elizabeth in his poem XXIV.38 - 40:

(livor edax meis
absit Camoenis) inter omnes
luna micat velut inter astra.

1040 For tenera + manus in Seneca cf. Hercules Furens 221, 473, Phaedra 200, Troades 775, and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 540.
1041 For indignis sonis cf. Ovid, Amores III.vi.72.
1043 Aulea — Crook.
1044 For laetae cupressi cf. the Vergilian Culex 140.
1047 Tisiphone was one of the three Furies. Cf. Ovid, Heroides ii.117f.:

pronuba Tisiphone thalamis ululavit in illis,
et cecinit maestum devia carmen avis;

1053 For the Belides cf. the note on 240. For undas… refundent cf. Lucan,Bellum Civile II.618.
1055 recumbet — Crook.
1056 Crook had printed Dulcis ut luscinia. Alabaster wanted to change this to Veris ut cytharistria but mistakenly printed at for ut. For thalamum novum cf. Seneca, Herrcules Furens 427, Medea 743, and Troades 900.
1058 For aduncis unguibus cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.479, XI.342, and XIII.613.
1066 Moriendo — Crook. For pars… perit cf. Seneca, Thyestes 695.
1068 matrem par est — Crook.
1070 For imbris effusi cf. Vergil, Aeneid V.693, Georgics II.352, IV.312, and Lucan, Bellum Civile III.70.
1074 For mixtoque fletu cf. Statius, Thebais IX.820. For veniam petunt cf. Seneca, Hercule Furens 1266.
1075 Ah parce matri, parce dilecta avia! — Crook.
1076 nihilo — Crook.
1077 pellex mei — Crook.
1082 Vitae minimum nunc — Crook.
1083 ad hos irriguit illa tam diros sonos, — Crook.
1084 Cf., evidently, Horace, Epodes v.1, At o deorum quidquid in caelo regit.
1087 Vitam Oromasdes — Crook.
1090 quotocunque — Crook.
1091 misera — Crook.
1092 sed minue — Crook.
1093 For maior… dolor cf. Seneca, Phaedra 99.
1094 For maius… decus cf. Seneca, Thyestes 408 and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 989.
1096 Hyrcania is the ancient name for the Caucasus region. For the exceptionally fierce Hyrcanian tiger cf. Vergil, Aeneid IV.367, Martial, Spectacula xviii.2, Epigrams VIII.xxvi.3, Statius Thebais IX.165 and XII.170.
1097 Marpesia is a mountain on the island of Paros. For Cautesque… Marpesia cf. Aeneid VI.471.
1098 For insani maris cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 540, Meda 765, and Phaedra 700.
1101 For verbisque parcit cf. Seneca,Oedipus 1020.
1104 et roseam crebris cutem — Crook.
1106 Sulsi — Crook (printer’s error). For corpus… totum cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 711 and Phoenissae 475.
1109 tabulis — Crook (printer’s error).
1110 For fusus cruor cf. Seneca, Troades 1162.
1111 purpura gutta — Crook.
1112 For invitas genas cf. Ps. - Ovid, Epicedion Drusi 276.
1115 For torrente Cancro cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile VIII.851 and X.234.
1119 Dum matri soboles, mater et soboli timet. — Crook.
1122 For sanguinis… sitim cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 144.
1123 For maius… nefas cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 124, Oedipus 18, Phaedra 143, and Phoenissae 531.
1128 Fulgore gladii pignus utrumque territum — Crook.
1129 cedit — Crook.
1132 For recusantem manum cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 177.
1136 For infelix puer cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 167.
1138 Non is mistakenly omitted from Alabaster’s printed text.
1140 rorem capit — Crook. Cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile IX.698, dirosque fero de sanguine rores.
1142 For misera mater cf. Seneca, Phaedra 113, Troades 706, 949, and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1137. For questibus vanis cf. Thyestes 179.
1143 For rigens animus cf. Phaedra 413. For alto… metu cf. Statius, Thebais X.621.
1144 Quaerebat fata NiobesQuaerebat fata Niobes — Crook. Cf., perhaps, Hercules Oetaeus 240, stetit furenti similis ac torvum intuens.
1147 For laevum latus cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 1150.
1148 For luctanti… animae cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 143f.
1154 Cf. Hercules Furens 208f., finis alterius mali / gradus est futuri.
1157 Cf. Seneca, Medea 1, Di coniugales tuque genialis tori.
1158 primis — Crook (printer’s error).
1159 Vos nunc — Crook, rigido brumae — Crook.
1161 Sed nomen — Crook. For coeli… aula cf. Statius, Silvae I.i.106. Cf. Oxford Latin Dictionary s. v. nomen def. 16a, “the name as opposed to the substance… a more name, cipher, or sim.” with the examples cited. An example of this usage is Ovid, Heroides x.116, nomen inane, fides!
1163 For rupit claustra cf. Seneca, Oediopus 160. For genialis thori, besides Medea 1 cf. also Agamemnon 298.
1168 The Oxford Latin Dictionary s. v. filius 1.d defines terrae filium = “a man about whom nothing is known, a nobody,” but cites no classical examples of this usage. It may be found, for example, at Persius, Satires vi.59.
1172 For summisque rebus cf. Seneca, Thyestes 177. For fidum caput cf. Hercules Furens 1334.
1173 Mihi fecerim — Crook.
1177 For sceptri decus cf. Statius, Thebais VI.193.
1178 impotentes, et iubar — Crook. For iubar… coruscum cf. Seneca, Phaedra 889.
1179 regni resplendens — Crook. For tacitum dolum cf. Martial III.xvi.6. For dolum… aperiet cf. Statius, Achilleis I.586.
1180 Roxanae refert — Crook. For violat fidem cf. Seneca, Medea 1003.
1181 violat thori — Crook.
1183 Cf. caput amputatum at Seneca, Agamemnon 902
1187 This nurse, who pops up out of nowhere, is more properly introduced at La Dalida 2367ff.
1188Adulter ovans gaudeio, et tripudiat — Crook.
1190 Possibly this is meant to be an ironic parody of Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 476, haec summa virtus, petitur hac caelum via.
1192 Licet morituris — Crook.
1194 For clouds hiding the day, cf. Seneca, Phaedra 675, Phoenissae 394, and 422.
1195 Crook’s text has Auro et purpureis consecranda literis. Alabaster’s text substitutes Per purpurissam consecranda literis, which I correct to purpurissum as if purpurissam were a typographical error, although it may be the author’s mistake.
1203 - 5 Bessus compares his achievement to the eleventh labor of Hercules, in which he overcame the serpent Ladon to procure the Apples of the Hesperides; in her note on these lines, Kaplan observed that he is smugly comparing himself to Hercules.
1208 For ad superos iter cf. Seneca, Oedipous 573, Troades 179, and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1943 sand 1988.
1215 dubiis pulsibus — Crook.
1218 Eheu, me miserum! Versor in Orci limine: — Crook. For in ipso… limine cf. Seneca, Phaedra 852.
1219 Per te, per veterem gratiam, per vitam tuam — Crook.
1220 dolor? Crook. Cf. Seneca, Troades 678, Cessatis et vos flebilis clamor movet.
1221 loquendo — Crook.
1222 For fatum sentiat cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1942.
1223 For turpe… cadaver cf. Ovid, Ibis. 338.
1226 For malae linguae cf. Catullus vii.12, Vergil, Eclogue vii.28, Ovid, Amores II.ii.49, Martial II.proem.6 and III.lxxx.2.
1230f Crook has:

Et regis dedecus
Per ora curret, insanos et plebis iocos?

1231 Crook’s text accidently omits Regis. For per cora curret cf. Vergil, Aeneid XI.296 and XII.66.
1232Both printed editions have Tacitusne. This looks like an uncorrected error for Tacitusve.
123 5Quiquaque — Crook.
1239f. suis / Epulis precatur — Crook.
1240 anni stato — Crook. Cf. Seneca, Thyestes 970f., Festum diem, germane, consensu pari / celebremus (cf. also Thyestes 943).
1242 credit — Crook.
124 nunc consilii vires explica — Crook.
1244 Quid pietatem respicis? — Crook.
1245 Crook had Sequitur illa, which Alabaster replaced with Sequentur illae. I do not understand this (what would be the subject of this plural verb?). The translation has “followe she shall,” which suggests the more plausible reading sequetur illa.
1246 frustra est — Crook. For frustra pius cf. Horace, Odes I.xxiv.11 and Vergil, Aeneid V.27.
1248 non bene vitae creditur — Crook.
1249 Negotium nisi cui — Crook.
Act IV chorus This chorus is written entirely in anapestic dimeters.
1250 For syderei… poli cf. Seneca, Phaedra 663 and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1940.
1251 For liquidum… aequor cf. the Vergilian Ciris 493, Ovid, Fasti V.547, and Statius, Achilleis I.99.
1252 For res hominum cernis cf. Ps. - Ovid, Epicedion Drusi 62.
1255 For iras… agis? cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 27.
1256 lentus agis murmure caeco? with 2 beginning next line — Crook. For murmure caeco cf. Vergil, Aeneid XII.591.
1257 Crook’s genit is a printer’s error.
1258 For montes… involvis cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XII.507.
1259 involves — Crook. For fulminis ictu cf. Seneca, Phaedra 1132.
1260 For fumida… taeda cf. Vergil, Aeneid IX.76.
1261 For nostri generis cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 385, Hercules Furens 358, and Medea 28.
1262 For raro fulmine cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto I.ii.126.
1267 For causa latendi cf. Ovid, Fasti VI.571.
1269 Both Crook and Alabaster printed geminos… Arctos. Evidently this was an uncorrected author’s mistake. For geminas… Arctos cf. Ovid, Fasti III.107, Metamorphoses III.45, and Propertius II.xxii (b).25.
1271 For bis senis… signis cf. Germanicus, Aratea 531.
1275 For Chiron semivir cf. Ovid, Fasti V.380 (semivir is also used at Seneca, Agamemnon 890).
V.i This scene is based on La Dalida IV.iii.
1282 For aura fluents cf. Seneca, Oedipus 888. For venti flamina cf. Lucretius I.290, Tibullus III.vii.124, Ovid, Ars Amatoria III.99, and the Vergilian Ciris 404.
1284 For caeli plagas cf. Seneca, Oedipus 1284.
1285 Here Hesperia can scarcely mean Italy. More likely it designates the western Isles of the Blessed, where Medea is imagined to have gone after death. remiges alae — Crook. For leves alae cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XII.570 and XIV.501.
1286Dictum hoc Medeae dicite, ne superbiat, — Crook.
1287For crista = “a swollen head” cf. Cf. Juvenal iv.70 - 2:

et tamen illi
surgebant cristae. nihil est quod credere de se
conterere verbis.

1288 et maius — Crook.
1290 Thessaly was noted for its witches. Nec heu petivi — Crook. Cf. Seneca Phaedra 421, Thessali cantus.
1293 Et luna pallens ad tortu plicitos sonos. — Crook.
1294 Cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 838, pectore ex uno tria monstra natos.
1296 Vivax ingenium, vosque — Crook. For felices manus cf. Ovid, Amores III.xiii.34.
1298 For breves iras cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.v.11, Statius, Silvae III.iii.184, and Thebais IX.63.
1299 Si sic quiescas vanuit totum scelus — Crook. For summa vindictae cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile I.526.
1303f. For these two lines Crook has a single one, Adhuc sitio, oculus expleri nequit.
1306 For mensasque… struant cf. Seneca, Thyestes 148.
1311Cf. Vergil, Aeneid XII.68f.:

aut mixta rubent ubi lilia multa
alba rosa, talis uirgo dabat ore colores.

In Elizabethan literature one frequently encounters praises of a woman’s beauty that describe roses and lillies sitting on her cheeks, because ceruse (white lead) and vermillion were used as cosmetics.
1315 Quod regem deceat — Crook.
1318 Et quemne — Crook.
1319 parare — Crook (printer’s error?). For nefas… admittet cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 639 and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 768.
1321 Et se miserum nesciret, — Crook.
1330 - 35 These lines are not in Crook’s text.
1334This line does not scan; Alabaster should have written illud for hoc. For ruina… una cf. Seneca, Troades 686f.
1338 tota quatiat — Crook. Alabaster’s version mistakenly prints Bactra. For armatae… cohortes cf. Seneca, Medea 214 and Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 626.
1341 For .Hyrcanum mare (the Caspian Sea) cf. Propertius II.xxx (a).20.
1342 quod leviter plecto — Crook.
1344 Iniuriam semper in bello par est — Crook.
1347 Alabaster’s printed text places a question mark after hostibus.
1352 Effectus huius criminis — Crook.
1354 Vindicta sceleris sola persimile est scelus. — Crook.
1355 At coniux regia — Crook.
1356 Crook’s ferum is a printer’s error. Probably a deliberate contradiction of Seneca, Agamemnon 960, Nisi forte fallor, feminas ferrum decet.
1360 Scelera praetereunt — Crook.
1361 Praeceps casurus — Crook. For respicit terram cf. Seneca, Oedipus 112.
1363 laeta fronte — Crook. For fronte laeta cf. Vergil, Aeneid XI.238. For verba simulata cf. Seneca, Troades 568.
V.ii - iv Alabaster has reengineered Act V of La Dalida to produce a more dramatically effective climax: Roxana concludes with the climactic ghastly banquet, whereas Groto only provided an eyewitness description of the death of Queen Berenice; Groto’s lengthy dialogue between the Consigliere and the dying Candaule, which diffuses the tragic effect, is greatly compressed in the dialogue between Arsaces and Oromasdes.
1367 For animoque fixum cf. Vergil, Aeneid IV.15. For graves moras cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 665.
1372 For pax alta cf. Seneca, Agamenon 596, Hercules Furens 929, Thyestes 576, Troades 324 and 326.
1373 For secundent vota cf. Hercules Furens 645. For laetum diem cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1187 and 1675.
1375 For spargit iubar cf. Ovid, Fasti I.78.
1377 Fore clarus… dies cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 586, 821, Medea 5, 238, Troades 756, and Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 4.
1380a This line only appears in Crook’s text. I include it here because I am not quite sure whether Alabaster omitted it deliberately or by accident (it is rendered in the translation).
V.3 This short passage is written in anapestic dimeters. For some reason, banquet scenes are very common in English academic drama. In some cases (such as William Gager’s tragedy Dido II.i and George Ruggle’s comedy Ignoramus II.ii ) textual evidence suggests that the foodstuffs brought onstage in these scenes were afterwards shared out among honored guests at the performance. It seems exceedingly unlikley that this was done in the present instance. The instruction CHORUS canit suggests that this passages was set to music.
1383 Matuta ortu, — Crook.
1387 For Habet, peractum est cf. Seneca, Agamenon 901 and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1457 (and also Bene habet, peractum est at Oedipus 998).
1389 dicite crudeles manes— Crook.
1390 Et corrigatum — Crook.
1391 et humanos — Crook. Cf. Seneca, Oedipus 664, caedem stuprumque.
1393 Alabaster’s text accidentally omits mors.
1394 nunc cineres mollis meos — Crook.
1395 superstat — Crook. Alabaster may have been thinking of Propertius I.xvii.21 - 4:

illa meo caros donasset funere crines,
molliter et tenera poneret ossa rosa;
illa meum extremo clamasset pulvere nomen,
ut mihi non ullo pondere terra foret.

1399 For regium… thorum cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 1002.
1403 quas cerebrum credas Iovis. — Crook. The Oxford Latin Dictionary defines Iovis cerebrum as “a choice dish, delicacy,” citing Ennius, varia 40.
1404 Cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile IV.376, lautae gloria mensa.
1405 geminis cum pullis — Crook.
1407 Sed per longinqua maria — Crook.
1410 - 18. At this moment of greatest agitation Oromasdes shifts from iambic senarii to trochaic octameters.
1410 Cf. Seneca, Phaedra 898, Quod facinus, heu me, cerno? quod monstrum intuor?
1411 sidereus pater — Crook.
1413 Scelerum spectris? Et coruscum nube non condis caput? — Crook. For nube with forms of condo cf.. Ovid, Heroides xix.122, Metamorphoses XV.804, and Martial VIII.xxxvi.8.
1416 For dirumque… nefas cf. Seneca, Medea 931 and Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1232 and 1350.
1417 Oculi crudeles, nec exilit imis sedibus? — Crook. For lumina oculorum cf. Lucretius IV.824, IV.836, VI.184 and VI.1181. For imis sedibus cf. Vergil, Aeneid I.84, Georgics IV.471, and Statius, Thebais I.228.
1418 pectus crescit in — Crook.
1421 aevi scelus — Crook.
1422 quicquid infamem decet — Crook.
1426 Vel mille Furiarum — Crook.
1427 de pellice — Crook.
1428 Quae sic solicita est? — Crook.
1429 coniugisque — Crook.
1432 cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 133, dolori subdidit stimulos timor.
1433 quoque Scyllae — Crook.
1434 Furiisque omnibus! — Crook.
1436 For restinxit sitim cf. Vergil, Eclogue v.47.
1440 For animus haeret cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 176f. and Thyestes 419.
1441 revocato — Crook. For pars poenae cf. Seneca, Troades 973. For pars… perit cf. Thyestes 695.
1443ff. This speech is a lurid elaboration on the one at Seneca, Thyestes 1035 - 51, possibly with an eye on Jasper Haywood’s tasteless embroideries on the theme in his translation of the Thyestes printed in Seneca his Tenne Tragedies (1585).
1443 Cf. post tot scelera at Thyestes 178.
1445 Alabaster was possibly thinking of Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1149f., conde me tota, pater, / mundi ruina.
1446 Te nosque sepelit? — Crook (printer’s error).
1447 Cf. Thyestes 1020, immota tellus, pondus ignavum iaces?
1451 Tridente diram fulmine involve domos. — Crook.
1457 amplecti volo — Crook.
1458 tam prope, quam sunt procul? — Crook. Possibly Alabaster was thinking of Martial I.lxxxvi.10, Quisquam est tam prope tam proculque nobis.
1464 auxit dolor — Crook.
1468 Cf. Ovid, Tristia I.iii.77, tum vero exoritur clamor gemitusque meorum.
1470 Sed pateant potius — Crook.
1471 For caedis authorem cf. Seneca, Oedipus 394.
1474ff. This speech is suggested by the similar one at Seneca, Thyestes 1052 - 78.
1476 Alabaster appears to have been thinking of Lucan, Bellum Civile IX.775f., saevum sed membra venenum / decoquit.
1477 coralla — Crook (printer’s error). For laticem meri cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.653.
1479 Alabaster had originally written miserum. Sed hoc unum. He later altered this to miserum. At hoc unum to avoid a fourth-foot dactyl. But in so doing he ignored the elision in the new version, which leaves only two short syllables in the fourth foot.
1483 For compressi manu cf. Lucretius VI.866.
1484 fistos sonos — Crook (printer’s error).
1485 For sanguine extinxi cf. Seneca, Thyestes 742, Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 339, Octavia 264, 608, and 830.
1486 Another uncorrected error: both printed versions have artis focis.
1487 fixum iecur — Crook. Cf. Octavia 513, stillante sanie. For iecur… palpitare cf. Hercules Oetaeus 709.
1493 Cf., possibly, Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.474, laudemque a crimine sumit.
1495 For ultrices deae cf. Seneca, Medea 13, 967, Thyestes 893, and Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 965.
1497 For fato pari cf. Tibullus III.v.18 = Ovid, Tristia IV.x.6.
1498 For victi vicimus cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 869.
1505 For vorat medullas cf. Seneca, Phaedra 82.
1509 Astat morienti? — Crook.
1510 Quem pietas solum diligit, solum fides — Crook. For pietate longa cf. Ovid, Tristia I.v.14. For longa fide cf. Ovid, Amores II.vi.14.
1511 horendum — Crook (printer’s error).
1514 regui — Crook (printer’s error).
1515 For fata impia cf. Seneca, Oedipus 1046.
1517 For limen insisto cf. Vergil, Aeneid VI.563.
1520 - 25 This roster of these famous malefactors in the Underworld is another stock feature of Senecan tragedy.
1522 tradet — Crook. Cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 19, aquas fugaces ore decepto appetit.
1523 addat — Crook.
1526 - 31 Crook has:

Discurrit ossa pestilens succi vapor,
Vitamque quaerit; palpitat pugnae impotens
Cor tremulum: iamque luminum torvae faces

1527 For dirae coniugis cf. Statius, Thebais XI.333.
1535f. Profunda ducit — Crook. Cf. the description of frenzied Medea at Seneca, Medea 383f.:

Incerta qualis entheos gressus tulit
Cum iam recepto maenas insanit deo
Pindi nivalis vertice aut Nysae iugis,
Talis recursat huc et huc motu effero,
Furoris ore signa lymphati gerens.

1537f. This final couplet only exists in Alabaster’s version, and for some reason only the first two words of the second line are printed. He may have written something like Et ultionis discite ultimum finem.
1539 In Senecan tragedy, a character often exclaims Quid hoc? when confronted with a strange vision. Cf. for example Thyestes 992 - 5:

Quid hoc? Magis magisque concussi labant
Convexa caeli; spissior densis coit
Caligo tenebris noxque se in noctem abdidit:
Fugit omne sidus.

Atossa has a vision of riding in a vehicle very much like the chariot on which Medea makes her escape at Seneca, Medea 1022 - 26.
1540 For curru seco cf. Vergil, Aeneid X.440.
1542 For magnum decus cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 424.
1543 - 45 These lines are hendecasyllables.
1543 The reverse command of Seneca, Agamemnon 817, celeres agitare currus.
1545 For cernat… facinus cf. Seneca, Phaedra 898.
1546 - 56 These lines are dactylic hexameters; then the final lines of the play are iambic senarii.
1546 Dux serpentigeri sol inquies arbiter anni, — Crook.
1547 Siste pater currus — Crook. For rotas volucres cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 750.
1548 Alabaster’s printed text has Maedusaei. For torva…ora cf. Statius, Achilles II.53, Silvae V.ii.179, and Thebais XI.121. For Gorgonis ora cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses V.180.
1550 in me fulmina — Crook.
1553 Tormenta tanta sola perpetiar Minos, — Crook.
1555The allusion is to the vulture perpetually rendering Tithyrus’ liver in the Underworld.
1558 Fugite impudentes lemures — Crook.
1559 parcite — Crook.