MW – Fragmenta Hesiodea

MW – Fragmenta Hesiodea, ed. R. Merkelbach and M.L. West. Oxford 1967.

New Translations

Ehoiai (The Catalogue of Women)

fr 23a MW – pp. 13-14

Agamemnon <lord of men> married the dark-eyed daughter <of Tyndareos, Klytaimestra, for the sake of her beauty (?)>. And she in his halls <bore slim-ankled Iphimede> and Elektra who rivaled the goddesses in beauty. Iphimede the well greaved Achaians slaughtered on the altar of famed <Artemis of the golden arrows> on that day <when they sailed on their ships> to Ilion <to exact> a penalty for the <slim-ankled> Argive woman, an eidôlon, that is. For <Iphimede herself the huntress> showerer of arrows easily saved, and pored down upon her head <lovely ambrosia, so that her flesh might be unchanging>,and she made her immortal and ageless all her days. And now the races of men upon the hearth call her Artemis of the wayside, <the attendant of the famous> showerer of arrows. (Lines 13-26, Transl. T. Gantz)

Last, in the house, dark-eyed Klytemnestra having yielded to Agamemnon bore noble Orestes, who then having come to full youth avenged himself on the murderer of his father (patrophoneus), and killed his overbearing mother with a pitiless weapon.  (Lines 27-30, Transl. E. Bianchelli)  EGM pp. 291 upper, 582 lower 668, 677, 681, 686 lower

fr 23b – p. 14

I know that Hesiod in the Catalogue of Women says that Iphigeneia did not die, and she is, by the will of Artemis, Hekate. (Transl. E. Bianchelli)  EGM p. 99 upper

fr 25.18-23 – pp. 15-16

Joined with Mighty Herakles bore Hyllos and Glenos and Ktesippos and Oneites; [20] she bore and contrived dreadful deeds in the folly (?) of her mind, when anointing a chiton with a drug she gave it to the herald Lichas to convey. And he gave it to lord Herakles son of Amphitryon sacker of cities.  (Transl. T. Gantz)  EGM p. 432

fr 25.25-33 – p. 16

And he died and went down into the <much-groaning> house of Hades. But now he is a god, and he has escaped all evils. And he lives in the same place as others having homes on Olympos, immortal and ageless, having fair-ankled Hebe, daughter of great Zeus and golden-sandaled Hera. [30] Before, the white-armed Hera hated him beyond all other gods and mortals; but now she loves him, and honors him above all the other gods after mighty Kronion himself.  (Transl. T. Gantz)  EGM p. 461

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 37 – pp. 25-26

P.S.I. 1301

. . .] whose fame [. . .] difficult; but [the blameless prophet] alone re[ceived them]. And he acco[m]plished this, [. . .] holding the shameful bond [. . .] for she was courting his broth[er, the hero Bias,] and achieving a delightful marr[iage . . .] rolling cattle, and [received the girl as a blam]eless prize. And [pre]tty-haired Pero bore Tala[os . . .] son of Bias [. . .]

     And they [reached noble] Proi[to]s in Argos, where he bestowe[d] on them [. . .] st[o]ut Proitos [. . .] a share [. . .] and to horse-taming [Bi]as [and Melampous . . .] he healed with his prophecies, since [. . .] sent a madness on them, anger[ed . . .] This family [. . .] of Neleus [. . .]

     [. . .] but he r[emained] there [in spacious Iolkos] holding the scepter [of Pelias . . .] whom [. . .] bore [. . .] Alkestis [. . .] and pretty-haired M[edousa . . .] Pasidike [. . .] bore [. . .  (Transl. Silvio Curtis)

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 43a –  pp. 27-31

P. Cairensis Instituti Francogallici 322 fr. B, C, F, A; P. Oxy. 2495 fr. 21, 25, 30; P. Berol. 7497; P. Oxy. 421

[. . .pre]tty-crowned Polymele. [Or like the daughter of] god[like Erysichthon . . .] of the [. . .] son of Triops, [Mestre of pretty locks,] who had the [s]parkles [of the Graces; and they called him Aithon by] n[a]m[e] because [a blazing, mighty] famine [. . . the tribes] of mortal humans [. . .] and all [. . . blazi]ng famine [. . . for m]ortal humans [. . .] kn[ow- . . . shre]wd counsel in their [h]earts [. . . of w]omen [. . .]

[13]         [. . .] girl [. . . dece]ived, [thou]gh he was very thoughtful [. . . ] darting-eyed, be[autif]ul-cheeked gi[rl . . .] and m[ar]ry a spirit-fit bedmate [. . . prom]ise[d] countless marriage gifts [. . . h]undred [. . .] h[erd]s o[f] lowing cattle [. . .] of sheep [. . .] of goats [. . . acce]pted [. . .] in spirit [. . .]

          [. . .] and out [. . .] and when she [had been] released, she darted away [and went off] i[nto the palace of her father,] and presently th[ereafter] a woman [was born i]n [her father’s] halls; [and . . .] followe[d . . .] with the mother [. . .]

     [. . .] and wished to take the girl [o]f[f . . . And so]on [aft]er strife and q[uarreling] wi[t]h each other ca[me to] Sisyphos and Aithon becau[se o]f the slender-ankled [girl,] and [n]o mortal could give judgment; but [. . .] they [re]ferred and praised; and then she [r]eliably se[t] forth her judgment [for] them [. . . “wh]enever someone longs to to ta[ke] a t[hin]g instead of the price[, . . .] must certainly [. . . con]cerning the pr[ice . . .] honor [. . . f]or it is [not] to be exchang[ed, when he has given it back] at first.”

          [. . .] to her [. . .] mules’ [. . .] after the mules [. . .]

     [. . .] of the ble[s]sed [. . .] and he surpassed the minds and the hea[rts] of me[n, b]ut he knew not at all the mind of aegis-holding Zeus, how the family of the children of the Sky would not grant him that any seed from Mestra [be] left to Glaukos among humans. [55] And gro[und]shaking Poseidon overpowered her then, carrying her far from her father over the wine-colored oce[an,] in i[s]land Kos, though she wa[s] shrewd; there she bore Eurypylos, leader of a great arm[y,] she bore a child Ko[. . ., who ha]d presumptuous strength. [60] And his sons we[re] Chalkon and Antagoras. And for only a small reason the stout son of Zeus sacked his attractive city and ravaged his villages, as soo[n as] he s[ail]ed from Troy i[n] s[wift] ships[. . .] because [of] Laomedon’s [ho]rses; an[d in Phlegra] he sle[w] the arrogant Gigantes.

     [But Mestra, aba]ndoning Kos, [cross]ed to her ancestral land, to holy Athens’ hill [. . . w]hen she bore a child to lord Poseidon[. . .] tended her [grim]-fated father.

[. . .] daughter of the son of Pandion [. . . wh]om Pallas Athena taught her works [. . . -]ing, for she had understanding equal to the goddesses, [from whose very bo]dy and silvery clothing [. . .] and a pleasant form blew away; [now, Sisypho]s son of Aiolos tested [her] plans, drivi[ng] off the cattle; [but] he did [not] know the mind of aegis-holding [Zeus at all]; he came [see]king the wom[an with gifts] by the will of Ath[ena; but against this] cloudgathering Zeu[s shook] his immortal head so that [. . .] would not ever exist [. . .] of the son of Sisyphos.

     And she, mixi[ng] with Pose[idon in his] arms, [. . .] blameless Belle[rophontes] to Glaukos in [. . . .] outstanding in wor[th among hum]ans on the boundless e[arth. His fa]ther gave to him, even [. . .] Pegaso[s,] the swiftest [horse . . .] everywhere [. . .] with which [. . .] fire[-breathing Chimaira].

     And he married the [dear] dau[ghter of great-hearted Iobates,] the respected ki[ng . . .] chief [. . .] who bo[re . . .]   (Transl. Silvio Curtis)   EGM pp. 23, 68, 174, 258, 314, 442 lower, 444

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 87 – pp. 52-53

(Hesiod observes this about Teiresios as do Dikaiarkhos, Klearkhos, Kallimakhos, and some others…) They themselves observe that in the land of the Lapiths, King Elatos had a daughter called Kainis. Poseidon, having slept with her, announced that he would do for her whatever she wanted, and she thought it worthy to change herself into a man and make herself invulnerable. After Poseidon acted according to what seemed right, she was called Kaineus.  (Transl. Aaron J. Ivey).  EGM p. 281

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 129 – pp. 62-63

P. Oxy. 2487 fr. 1, ed. Lobel

. . . gave . . . [paid ba]ck a great harm. . . . then b[ore blam]eless Abas . . . in the lofty palace . . . [who] rivaled [the Oly]mpians [in sightliness;] . . . [fa]ther of men and gods . . . and to mount the same bed; [and she bore Proitos] and Akrisios the king.

[And the] father of [me]n an[d of go]ds s[ettled them: Akrisios] was k[i]ng in well-buil[t A]rgos . . . rugged . . . [Eury]dike . . . [o]f Lakedai[mo]n . . . [fair-]cheeked, well fur[nishe]d with wi[ts.

And she bore] f[a]ir-ankle[d Dana]e [in her h]a[lls, who bore Perseus, mi]g[ht]y in[st]ille[r] of fear. [But Proitos dwelt in Tiry]ns, a well-[b]ui[l]t city, [and he married the daughte]r of great-hearted [Apheida]s so[n] of Arkas, S[th]eneboi[a] of beau[tiful] locks. . . . cow-eyed Sthen[e]boia . . . mounting the same bed, [the daughter of gr]eat-h[e]arte[d Apheidas s]on of Arkas . . . s who knew [most b]eautiful works, [Lysippe and Iphi]noe and Iphianassa, . . . palace of their father . . .  (Tansl. Silvio Curtis)   EGM pp. 187, 299, 312

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 130 – p. 64

Concerning Hellas and Hellenes and Panhellenes there is discussion … and Apollodoros (244 F 200) says that only those in Thessaly are called Hellenes: “They are called Myrmidons and also Hellenes” (Hom. B 684).  He says however that Hesiod and Archilochos (fr. 54 Diehl) already knew that all Hellenes are called Panhellenes, the one saying how Panhellenes wooed the daughters of Proitos, and the other, etc.  (Transl. Mary Emerson)   EGM pp. 187312

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) Hes fr 131 – p. 64

Danae was born to Akrisios by Eurydike, daughter of Lakdedaimon; and to Proitos by Stheneboia were born Lysippe and Iphinoe and Iphianassa.  They, when fully grown, went mad; as Hesiod tells it, this was because they did not accept the mystic rites of Dionysos, but according to Akousilaos (2 F 28), it was because they showed contempt for the xoanon[wooden image] of Hera. (Transl. Mary Emerson)   EGM pp. 187, 312

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 132 – pp. 64

Suda 12.307

The word is Hesiodic; for he says of the daughters of Proitos:

because of hateful lewdness [he/she] lost [his/her] tender bloom.  (Transl. Silvio Curtis)

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 133 – p. 65

P. Oxy. 2488A

. . .] boundless earth, for he even poured down a dreadful itch on their heads; for a leprosy covered their whole body, and their tresses streamed off their scalps, and their beautiful heads were bare.  (Transl. Silvio Curtis)

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 135 – pp. 65-66

P. Cair. 45624, ed. Edgar

. . . Abas; and he be[got a son,] Akrisios. . . . [Pe]rseus, whom . . . [in a che]st into the sea . . . [b]rought up for Zeus . . . gold . . . dear Perseus . . . [and from him and] Andromeda [daughter of] Kepheus [were born Alkaios] and [S]thenelos and the force [of Elektryon] . . . by the cattle . . . for [the Te]leboai . . . [A]mphitryon  (Transl. Silvio Curtis)  EGM p. 300

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 141 – pp. 68-69

…and crossed the salty water…conquered by Zeus’s tricks. [And] the father [mingled with her in love] and gave a gift, a golden necklace that Hephaisos famed for his art…with his [know]ing wits…bringing [it to his fath]er; and he received the gift;…to the [daughter] of illustrious Pheonix…to the slender-ankled Europa he was about to…the father of gods and men…from beside the fair-haired maid. [And she bore sons] to the exceedingly mighty son of Kronos…commanders of many men, [lordly Minos] and just Rhadamanthys [and divine Sarpedon], noble and powerful…counselor Zeus distributed…ruled over [wi]de Lykia…well-inhabited cities…and much honor followed him…great-hearted sheperd of the people…of speech-possessing humans…counselor Zeus loved [him]…and he selected a great host…allies to the Trojans…experienced in war…showing forth omens on the le[ft…Zeus] knowing imperishable counsels…throwing round…it was a portent from Zeus…of man-slaying Hektor…caused woes…to the Argives  (Transl. Nick Gardner).  EGM pp. 77, 259, 260

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 145 – p. 71

And sent [him] to Ida, nymphs…receiving him for father Zeus…and they sent [him] to…and…Androgeos…for Minos, the much-surging…all of them, since…and…and having seen her [in] he fell in love with her…and she, having become pregnant, bore Minos a strong son, a marvel to s[ee;]..for…a body like a man down to his feet…but above, the head of a bu[ll had grown].  (Transl. Nick Gardner).  EGM p. 260, 261

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 180.12 – p. 86

…Pandion in the lofty houses…  (Transl. Aaron J. Ivey)  EGM p. 233

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 190 – pp. 90-91

P. Oxy. 2502, ed. Lobel

. . . they armed kindre[d] blood. [And after them in her hall]s the noble among women bore daughters, [Lysidike and Nikip]pe and Astydameia, [whom the sons of Perseus m]a[r]ied as wives; [Alkaios,] counselor equal [to a god] m[ade Astydameia his vigorous] bedfellow . . . [and the force of l]or[d Sthe]nelos [married Nikippe] . . . [Herakl]es’s [force] . . . he [or]dained labor[s] . . . [and o]n fastened [chariots] . . .   (Transl. Silvio Curtis)

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 191 – p. 91

Σ A Iliad 19.116

Some say Amphibia daughter of Pelops, and some Antibia daughter of Amphidamas; but Hesiod says Nikippe daughter of Pelops.  (Transl. Silvio Curtis)

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 193 – p. 92

Alkmaon, s[hephe]rd [of] the army . . . the trailing-ro[bed] daughters of Kadmos . . . [was] astounded, seeing the body before . . . of sorrowful Oidipodes . . . beast . . . Danaan [warrior]s, servants of Are[s] . . . to Polyneikes . . . by Zeus’s divine . . .

. . . from deep-swirli[ng] Alpheios on [hor]ses and fast[ened] chariots [Elektryon brought Lysidike,] the gorgeous [daughter] of Pelops. [She bore him child]ren, mount[ing] the same bed: [Gorgophonos] the warrior and the spearman Per[i-] . . . and Nomios and Kelaineus [and] Am[phimachos] and [Deimachos] and Eurybios and famous E[pilaos. And them] the ship-famous Taphi[an]s sl[ew over roll]foot cattle, [sailing] in [s]hips over the s[ea’s] w[i]de back f[rom] the Echinai [islands; but Alkmene] alone was l[eft] as a joy to her pa[rents, dau]ght[er of Lysidike] and [of illustrious El]ektryon . . . to the b[lack-]cloud [son of] Kro[nos] . . .  (Silvio Curtis)

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 195 – pp. 93-96 

(partial)    Shield

. . . and the good son of Alkaios led them, exulting in his army. . .   (Transl. Silvio Curtis)

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 197.4-5 MW – p. 96

…but Agamemnon, since he was their brother-in-law, turned his mind towards his brother, Menelaos (Transl. Aaron J. Ivey).  EGM p. 291 upper

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 200 MW –  p. 98

and especially came…to be the husband of the fair-haired Argive Helen. Of the Athenians, Menestheus, the son of Peteos, wooed [her] and gave many wedding gifts. For he had acquired a great many valuables: gold, cauldrons, and tripods. Good things, and the house of lord Peteos hid them inside. With these things his spirit compelled him to marry, furnishing the most things since he hoped that no one would be better among all the heroes in possessions and gifts…the houses…mighty…for the sake of fair-haired Helen… (Transl. Aaron J. Ivey)  EGM pp. 298, 565

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 223 – p. 111

Boutes was, they say, a son of Poseidon, as Hesiod states in the Catalogue. (Transl. E. Bianchelli)   EGM p. 63

Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 224 – p. 111

Indeed Hesiod…made it so that Sikyon was Erechtheus’ son  (Transl. Aaron J. Ivey).  EMG p. 233

Megalai Ehoiai fr 262 – p. 128

In the Great Ehoiai Skylla is the daugther of Phorbas and Hekate. (Transl. E. Bianchelli)   EGM p. 26

fr 280 – pp. 139-40

 P. Ibscher col. i

 “. . .] to [sl]ay me by force and with long spear, [but destroy]ing [Fate] and Leto’s [son] slew me. [But come,] t[ell me this thr]ough and through: [. . .] you went down [to the house of Aides . . .] tru[sty companio]n accompanied [. . .] why, as you ought [. . .?”

. . .] and [f]irst made [a]nswer: [“. . .] to the shepherd of the host [. . . go]ddess horrid Erinys, [Zeus-bor]n [Mel]eag[ros,] son of [quick-]witted Oineus, indeed I will tell [you] thi[s v]ery exactly[. . . .] illustrious Phersephoneia [. . .] thunder-joyful Z[eus,] and so he would betroth as br[i]de, by the laws of the [immor]tals[, . . .] they say that those [w]oo their gre[at-. . .] sisters, and marry them far [from] their own [parents . . .] he arises from the blessed to betroth for marriage [his own] full [s]ister; for [he says that] he himself is born nearer than great Aides to [Pherseph]one, daughter of pretty-haired Demeter; for he says that [he is] brother by the same father [. . .] Aides is her uncle; [and] he said that [this is w]hy he was going down to the misty gloom.”

[So he said;] and the son of Oineus shuddered as he heard the story, [and,] an[swe]ring [him,] he addressed him gently: [“Theseus,] counselor of the armored [Athen]ians[, . . .-]dameia was the prudent sp[ou]se [. . .] of [g]reat-spirited Peirithoos? [. . .”]  (Transl. Silvio Curtis)

“…to destroy me by violence and his great spear, but ruinous Fate and Leto’s son destroyed me. But come now! Tell me this thoroughly…you arrived in Hades…your trusty companion followed together…what according to need…first, tell the story”…”towards the people’s shepherd…the horrid goddess, the Fury, o Zeus-born Meleager, son of warlike Oineus, therefore I shall explain this very precisely…noble Persephone…Zeus, delighting in thunder, so that he might betroth his wife by the gods’ customs…they say they were siblings…to woo and to wed apart from their dear parents…by the gods he swears to marry his own sister by the same father. For he says that he himself was nearly born of great Hades to Persephone, daughter of fair-haired Demeter. He says that he himself, a brother and of the same father…dear Hades has prepared his patrimony. On account of this, he said, we went underneath the murky darkness.” So he spoke, and Meleager was horror-struck when he heard the story. He answered, speaking with soothing words, “Theseus, adviser of the Athenians, armed with breastplates…if the thoughtful wife…of great-spirited Peirithous…” (Transl. Aaron J. Ivey)    EGM pp. 127, 288 lower, 292

Aigimios fr 298 – p. 153

For a terrible love of Aigle daughter of Panopeus afflicted him. (Transl. Nick Gardner)  EGM p. 260

fr 307 – p. 160

Paieon is different from Apollo, as Hesiod also asserts:

     If Phoibos Apollo saves from death

     or Paieon himself, who knows remedies of all kinds (Transl. E. Bianchelli)  EGM p. 96


fr 312 – p. 162

Hesiod says that of all birds, only the nightingale has little regard for sleep but lies awake forever. The swallow does not always lie awake and loses but half of its sleep. They pay this penalty because of the insolent incident that occurred at that unlawful banquet in Thrace. (Transl. Aaron J. Ivey).  EGM p. 239 lower

fr 389 – p. 185

Hesiod says that Ouranos is an Akmonides; Gaia bore Akmon, and Ouranos came from Akmon. (Transl. E. Bianchelli)   EGM p. 12



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