Moments before Euripides' Polyneices and Eteocles square off for their final, fatal battle in the Phoenissae, each prays for divine assistance (1359–76). Their prayers, though very brief, are by the standards of Greek drama rather formal. Polyneices, as Theban as his brother Eteocles, is leading a force of Argives against Thebes to recover the kingship he claims is rightfully his. As he prays he looks toward distant Argos and invokes ‘Lady Hera’, for, he says, ‘I am now yours, because I married Adrastus’ daughter and dwell in his land' (1364–6). He has left his homeland, married into an Argive family, and now lives in Argos, and he must therefore appeal to an Argive deity. Hera is here made a doubly appropriate recipient of his prayer—by locality as patroness of the Argolid and by function as protectress of marriage, her two major roles in the religion of Greek life and tragedy. Eteocles, commanding the home forces against invaders, looks to the nearby temple of ‘Pallas of the golden shield’. He invokes her as the ‘daughter of Zeus’ and, like Polyneices but less explicitly, explains why he appeals specifically to her. He wishes to kill ‘the man who has come to sack my fatherland’ (1372–6). This Athena ‘of the golden shield’ is patroness of Thebes and, in more general terms, a goddess who aids the city in defence against foreign invaders. Like Hera she is doubly appropriate, in terms of locale and function, to her worshipper's needs.