I'm enjoying scouring ancient texts for invocations to the Gods. I've done the Iliad and the Odysseia, so it's time to move on to the ancient Hellenic plays. An invocation is a request for the spiritual presence and blessing of a deity during a rite. To invoke is to call upon earnestly, so an “invocation” in the context of prayer is a serious, intentional calling upon a God or Goddess. In Hellenic ritual, it's common for prayers of invocation to be offered every time a new deity is invoked, so we can be sure They will the hymns and prayers of petition offered to Them.

I'm going to start the plays with Aeschylos. Aeschylos (Aiskhulos, Αἰσχύλος) was the first of the three Hellenic tragedians whose plays can still be read or performed. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in plays to allow for conflict amongst them, whereas previously characters had interacted only with the chorus. Aescholos' most famous works are undoubtedly the Seven against Thebes, the Supplicants and the Oresteia. I'm going to begin with the Oresteia.

The Oresteia (Ὀρέστεια) is a trilogy of Hellenic tragedies written by Aeskhylos concerning the murder of Agamemnon by Klytaemnestra, the murder of Klytaemnestra by Orestes, the trial of Orestes, the end of the curse on the House of Atreus and pacification of the Erinyes. This trilogy also shows how the Hellenic Gods interacted with the characters and influenced their decisions pertaining to events and disputes.

"O lord Apollon, be our preserver and our healer..."
"Apollon, Apollon! God of the Ways..."
"Lord Apollon, you know how to do no wrong; and, since you know this, learn not to be neglectful also. For your power to do good is assured...""

"Daughter of Zeus..."
"Pallas, savior of my house..."

"Earth herself, who gives birth to all things..."

"Infernal Zeus, the savior of the dead..."

"Hera, Fulfiller...

"Supreme herald of the realm above and the realm below, O Hermes of the nether world, come to my aid..."
"May Maia's son, as he rightfully should, lend his aid, for no one can better sail a deed on a favoring course, when he would do so. But by his mysterious utterance he brings darkness over men's eyes by night, and by day he is no more clear at all..."

"Hail, kindly Night, you who have given us great glory..."
"O Night, our dark Mother..."

"Hail, sovereign Zeus, you who have given us great glory..."
"Great Zeus, lord of host and guest, whom I revere..."
"O Zeus, Zeus, you who bring things to fulfilment, fulfill my prayers! May you see to that which you mean to fulfill!"
"O Zeus, O Zeus, regard our cause..."
Zeus, supreme over all, lend your aid"..."
"Now at my supplication, O Zeus, father of the Olympian gods, grant that the fortunes of our house be firmly established, so that those who rightly desire the rule of order may behold it. Every word of mine has been uttered in justice. O Zeus, may you safeguard it!"
"O Zeus, O Zeus, what should I say? Where shall I begin this prayer of mine, this appeal to the gods? How in my loyal zeal can I succeed in finding words to match need?"