Orion (page 272)

Chapter 8: Minos and Krete

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Pindar fr 72 SM – Pindarus 2, p. 81, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.

Korinna, 673 PMG Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 340, ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Par 20Parthenios, Love Romances


Aëro, so the story runs, was the daughter of Oenopion and the nymph Helice. Orion, the son of Hyrieus, fell in love with her, and asked her father for her hand; for her sake he rendered the island where they lived habitable (it was formerly full of wild beasts), and he also gathered together much booty from the folk who lived there and brought it as a bridal-gift for her. Oenopion however constantly kept putting off the time of the wedding, for he hated the idea of having such a man as his daughter’s husband. Then Orion, maddened by strong drink, broke in the doors of the chamber where the girl was lying asleep, and as he was offering violence to her Oenopion attacked him and put out his eyes with a burning brand.  Greek Text

ApB 1.4.3 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

And Artemis slew Orion in Delos. They say that he was of gigantic stature and born of the earth; but Pherecydes says that he was a son of Poseidon and Euryale. Poseidon bestowed on him the power of striding across the sea. He first married Side, whom Hera cast into Hades because she rivalled herself in beauty. Afterwards he went to Chios and wooed Merope, daughter of Oenopion. But Oenopion made him drunk, put out his eyes as he slept, and cast him on the beach. But he went to the smithy of Hephaestus, and snatching up a lad set him on his shoulders and bade him lead him to the sunrise. Being come thither he was healed by the sun’s rays, and having recovered his sight he hastened with all speed against Oenopion.  Greek Text

Astr 2.34.1-2 – Hyginus, De Astronomia

ORION: Hesiod calls him the son of Neptune by Euryale, daughter of Minos. He had the ability of running over the waves as if on land, just as it is said that Iphiclus could run over standing grain and not bruise it.

[2]  Aristomachus says that there lived a certain Hyrieus at Thebes — Pindar puts him on the island of Chios — who asked from Jove and Mercury when they visited him that he might have a child. To gain his request more readily he sacrificed an ox and put it before them for a feast. When he had done this, Jove and Mercury asked him to remove the hide from the ox; then they urinated in it, and bade him bury the hide in the ground. From this, later on, a child was born whom Hyrieus called Urion from the happening, though on account of his charm and affability he came to be called Orion.  Latin Text

Σ Aen 10.763 – Servius, Scholia to Virgil, Aeneid – Servii Grammatici qui feruntur in Vergilii Carmina commentarii: Aeneis 2, pp. 465-66, ed G. Thilo and H. Hagen. Leipzig 1881.

Latin Text

Ovid, Fasti 5.537-44

the Delian goddess took him to be her companion; he was her guardian, he her attendant. Heedless words excite the wrath of gods. “There is no wild beast,” said he, “which I cannot master.” Earth egged on a scorpion: its mission was to attack the Goddess Mother of Twins with its hooked fangs. Orion threw himself in the way. Latona set him among the shining stars, and said, “Take thy well-earned reward.”  Latin Text

Astr 2.26 – Hyginus, De Astronomia

SCORPION: This sign is divided into two parts on account of the great spread of the claws. One part of it our writers have called the Balance. [2] But the whole of the constellation was put in the sky, it is said, for the following reason: Orion since he used to hunt, and felt confident that he was most skilled of all in that pursuit, said even to Diana and Latona that he was able to kill anything the produced. Earth, angered at this, sent the scorpion which is said to have killed him. Jove, however, admiring the courage of both, put the scorpion among the stars, as a lesson to men not to be too self-confident. Diana, then, because of her affection for Orion, asked Jove to show to her request the same favour he had given of his own accord to Earth. And so the constellation was established in such a way that when Scorpion rises, Orion sets.  Latin Text

Pal 51Palaiphatos, Peri Apiston (on Incredible Things) Mythographi Graeci vol. 3 pt. 2, pp. 71-72, ed. N. Festa. Leipzig 1902.

He [Orion] was hunting with Artemis and tried to rape her. Furious, the goddess produced a scorpion from the earth, which wounded him in the ankle and killed him. Zeus, in sympathy, made him a constellation.  Greek Text

Katast 7 – Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Katasterismoi: Skorpios – Mythographi Graeci 3.1, p. 9, ed. A. Olivieri. Leipzig 1897.

Greek Text

Katast 32 – Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Katasterismoi: Orion – Mythographi Graeci. 3.1, pp. 37-39, ed. A. Olivieri. Leipzig 1897.

Greek Text

Kallimachos fr 570 Pf – Callimachus 1, p. 400, ed. R. Pfeiffer. Oxford 1949

H 3.265Kallimakos, Hymns: to Artemis

for not Otus, nor Orion wooed her to their own good.  Greek Text

Aratos, Phaenomena 634-46

The winding River will straightway sink in fair flowing ocean at the coming of Scorpion [Scorpio], whose rising puts to flight even the mighty Orion. Thy pardon, Artemis, we crave! There is a tale told by the men of old, who said that stout Orion laid hands upon her robe, what time in Chios he was smiting with his strong club all manner of beasts, as a service of the hunt to that King Oenopion. But she forthwith rent in twain the surrounding hills of the island and roused up against him another kind of beast – even the Scorpion, who proving mightier wounded him, mighty though he was, and slew him, for that he had vexed Artemis. Wherefore, too, men say that at the rising of the Scorpion in the East Orion flees at the Western verge. Nor does what was left of Andromeda and of Cetus fail to mark his rise but in full career they too flee.  Greek Text

♠ Euphorion fr 101 Pow – Fragments of Euphorion and other Hellenistic poets cited according to J. U. Powell, Collectanea Alexandrina. Oxford 1925.

same as

ΣA Il 18.486 – Scholia to Homer, Iliad – Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem 2, pp. 168-69, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Oxford 1875.

Greek Text

Ther 13-20 – Nikandros, Theriaka – Nikander: The Poems and Poetical Fragments, ed. A. S. F. Gow and A. F. Scholfield, Cambridge 1953.


Fab 195 – Hyginus, Fabulae 

ORION: Jove, Neptune, and Mercury came as guests to King Hyrieus in Thrace. Since they were received hospitably by him, they promised him whatever he should ask for. He asked for children. Mercury brought out the hide of the bull which Hyrieus had sacrificed to them; they urinated in it, and buried it in the earth, and from it Orion was born. When he tried to violate Diana, she killed him. Later he was placed by Jove among the stars, and called Orion.  Latin Text

ApB 1.4.5 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

But Orion was killed, as some say, for challenging Artemis to a match at quoits, but some say he was shot by Artemis for offering violence to Opis, one of the maidens who had come from the Hyperboreans.  Greek Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2023

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