Palin, the first part of what is a compound adjective, implies precisely the logic of reversal and repetition (‘back again’) central to revenge; and the verb stem from which -ortos comes suggests ‘rising’, ‘rushing’, ‘incited’ – that is, what remains is also active and activated, hence Fagles’ ‘back and back in the future’, a bold attempt to capture the force of the adjective.

What remains is also oikonomos. Here is the first noun of the sentence. Oikonomos means ‘household manager’ (the term from which ‘economics’ is derived). The noun directs attention to the oikos as the focus of the narrative. Although Agamemnon is with the army, the sacrifice is caused by something that directs the household. It is this term, primarily, that provides the sense of a specifically familial horror. It is also a surprising term that suggests both the household manager Clytemnestra (whom we have heard of ordering – managing – the watchman) and the idea of a more general force directing the household members (the overlap suggests how Clytemnestra fulfils a role in the family history and how the family history finds an instrument in Clytemnestra).