Bellerophontes (page 315)

Chapter 10: Perseus and Bellerophontes, Part 2

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Euripides, Stheneboia, pp. 567-68 NTragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. A. Nauck, 2nd ed. Leipzig 1889.

Ar. Ran. 1043 makes Aischylos say:  But, by Zeus, I did not create whores like Phaidra and Stheneboia.

Also v. 1051:  … you persuaded the noble wives of noble husbands to drink hemlock when they felt shame because of your Bellerophonteis [plural of Bellerophontes] …

Scholion Greg. Cor. From the Codex Mediceo partim in Rhet. Vol. 7 p. 1321, further amended by Welcker, Tragedies, p.777:

Euripides says this in his play Sthenoboia when he presents Bellerophontes giving a monologue.  This is the backstory:  Proitos was son of Akamas [or Abas], [brother] of Akrisios, and king of Tiryns. Having married Stheneboia he bred children* from her.  But, when Bellerophontes came as a fugitive from Korinth because of a murder, Proitos cleansed him of the defilement, while his wife fell in love with him [Bellerophontes].  When she was not able to achieve what she desired, she falsely accused the Korinthian as her rapist.  Proitos believed the accusation and sent him away to Karia, to meet his death; and he ordered him to take to Iobates a writing-tablet (on which he had written a message).  Iobates, acting in accordance with the message, ordered him to take his chance with the Chimaira.  So he fought with the beast, destroyed it, [and after that] turning back to Tiryns, first confronted Proitos, and then threatened that he would strangle (carry off cod.)  Stheneboia.  Learning that she, the wife of Proitos, again desired him, he returned and mounted Stheneboia onto Pegasos.  And coming to the sea, he held her tightly up aloft.  When he was approaching the island of Melos, he hurled her into the sea; some sea-folk who found her corpse conveyed it to Tiryns.  Bellerophontes, having returned to Proitos, confessed that he had done these things.

*) Cf. Apollodoros 2,2,1: He (Proitos) came to Lykia to Iobates, but according to certain people, Amphianax, and marries his daughter; she was named Anteia according to Homer, but according to tragedians was Stheneboia.  [see p. 311 lower] (Transl. Mary Emerson)  Greek Text

Euripides, Bellerophontes fr 286 N2 Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, p. 445, ed. A. Nauck, 2nd ed. Leipzig 1889.

People ask: Do gods really exist in heaven?  No, they do not exist, they really don’t; if any of mankind wishes to avoid being the sort of fool who follows the ancient story.  Consider it for yourselves, don’t take my word for it.  I say that tyranny destroys multitudes and confiscates their possessions; oath-breakers sack cities; and yet, those who do such things are far more prosperous than those who, day by day, live devoutly and in peace.  I know of small cities where the gods are honored:  yet these same cities are forced to comply with the demands of impious men in larger cities, overpowered by the sheer magnitude of their armament.  (Transl. Mary Emerson)  Greek Text

Euripides, Bellerophontes fr 309 N2 – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, pp. 451-52, ed. A. Nauck, 2nd ed. Leipzig 1889.

Plutarch, On Excessive Shame c. 3 p. 529 E:

… One should not take delight in the bewitchment of approval … nor, as did the Pegasus of Euripides “who cowered and yielded more than he really wished” to his master Bellerophon, should one surrender oneself to people’s demands.

Plutarch, [Precepts for Statecraft] Praec. Gerendae rei publ. c. 13, 11 p. 807 E:

Agesilaos himself became very weak and submissive with regard to the affairs of his friends, and like the Pegasus of Euripides “cowered and yielded more than he wished to”; and by lending a hand with their misfortunes more eagerly than was necessary, he seemed to be involving himself with their wrong-doings.  (Transl. Mary Emerson).  Greek Text

♠ Mor 807e – Plutarch, Moralia: Precepts of Statecraft – Plutarch 10, pp. 206-7, ed. F. C. Babbitt, Cambridge, Mass., 1957.

Agesilaüs, too, showed himself very weak and poor-spirited in dealing with his friends’ solicitations and, like Pegasus in Euripides‘ drama,

Crouched down and yielded more if more he wished,

and by too great eagerness in aiding them when in misfortunes he made himself seem like them in wrongdoing.  Greek Text  Greek Text and English Translation

Euripides, Bellerophontes fr 311 N2 – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, pp. 452, ed. A. Nauck, 2nd ed. Leipzig 1889.

Greek Text

NA 5.34 – Aelianus, De Natura Animalium (On the Characteristics of Animals)

Now the Swan has so contented a spirit that at the very close of its life it sings and breaks out into a dirge, as it were, for itself. Even so does Euripides [fr. 311 N2] sing of Bellerophon, prepared like a hero of high soul for death. For example, he has portrayed him addressing his soul thus:

‘Reverent wast thou ever in life towards the gods; strangers didst thou succour; nor didst thou ever grow weary towards thy friends’Greek Text  Greek Text and English Translation

Euripides, Bellerophontes fr 312 N2 – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, pp. 452, ed. A. Nauck, 2nd ed. Leipzig 1889.

Harnessed to the chariot of Zeus, he bears the lightening-bolt.

Ar. Pac. 722:

HERMES.  He’s not here, chum. (sc. The dung beetle)

TRYG.  So where’s he gone?

HERMES. “Harnessed to the chariot of Zeus, he bears the lightening-bolt.”

(Scholia Ven.:  The line is from the Bellerophon of Euripides.) (Transl. Mary Emerson)  Greek Text

Asklepiades 12F13 FGrH – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1pp. 170-71, ed. F. Jacoby. 2 nd ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Σ Ol 13.130c – Scholia to Pindar, Olympian Odes – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina 1, p. 382, ed. A.B. Drachmann. Leipzig 1903.

Greek Text

Σ Lyk 17 –  Scholia to Lykophron, Alexandra – Lycophronis Alexandra 2, pp. 15-19, ed E. Scheer. Berlin 1908.

Greek Text

Σ Batr 1043 – Scholia to Aristophanes, Batrachoi (Ranae, Frogs) – Scholia graeca in Aristophanem, p. 304, ed. F. Dübner. Berlin 1877.

Greek Text

Σ Batr 1051 – Scholia to Aristophanes, Batrachoi (Ranae, Frogs) – Scholia graeca in Aristophanem, p. 304, ed. F. Dübner. Berlin 1877.

Greek Text

♠ Fab 57 – Hyginus, Fabulae

But the king [Iobates], praising his valor, gave him his other daughter in marriage, and Stheneboea, hearing of it, killed herself.  Latin Text

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Literary sources edited by Silvio Curtis, Teaching assistant, Department of Classics, Univ. of Georgia, fall 2015.  Updated by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, May 2024.

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