The Children of Zeus: Hermes (page 110, with art)

Chapter 2: The Olympians

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Ovid, Metamorphoses 11.301-21

“My brother had a daughter Chione
so beautiful she pleased a thousand men,
when she had reached the marriageable age
of twice seven years. It happened by some chance
that Phoebus and the son of Maia, who
returned—one from his Delphi, the other from
Cyllene’s heights—beheld this lovely maid
both at the same time, and were both inflamed
with passion. Phoebus waited till the night.

Hermes could not endure delay and with
the magic of his wand, that causes sleep,
he touched the virgin’s face; and instantly,
as if entranced, she lay there fast asleep,
and suffered violence from the ardent god.
When night bespangled the wide heaven with stars,
Phoebus became an aged crone and gained
the joy he had deferred until that hour.

“When her mature womb had completed time
Autolycus was born, a crafty son,
who certainly inherited the skill
of wingfoot Mereury, his artful sire,
notorious now; for every kind of theft.
In fact, Autolycus with Mercury’s craft,
loved to make white of black, and black of white.

“But Phoebus’ child, for Chione bore twins,
was named Philammon, like his sire, well known.
To all men for the beauty of his song.
And famous for his handling of the lyre.

“What benefit in life did she obtain
because she pleased! two gods and bore such twins?
Was she blest by good fortune then because
she was the daughter of a valiant father,
and even the grandchild of the Morning Star?
Can glory be a curse? Often it is. Latin Text

Ovid, Metamorphoses 11.321-27

“And surely it was so for Chione.
It was a prejudice that harmed her days
because she vaunted that she did surpass
Diana‘s beauty and decried her charms:
the goddess in hot anger answered her,
sarcastically, ‘If my face cannot
give satisfaction, let me try my deeds.’

“Without delay Diana bent her bow,
and from the string an arrow swiftly flew,
and pierced the vaunting tongue of Chione.
Her tongue was silenced, and she tried in vain
to speak or make a sound, and while she tried
her life departed with the flowing blood.  Latin Text

Hyginus, Fabulae 201

Mercury gave to Autolycus, whom he begat by Chione, the gift of being such a skilful thief that he could not be caught, making him able to change whatever he stole into some other form — from white to black, or from black to white, from a hornless animal to a horned one, or from horned one to a hornless. Latin Text

Homeric Hymn to Pan 19

Muse, tell me about Pan, the dear son of Hermes, with his goat’s feet and two horns —a lover of merry noise. Through wooded glades he wanders with dancing nymphs who foot it on some sheer cliff’s edge, calling upon Pan, the shepherd-god, long-haired, unkempt. He has every snowy crest and the mountain peaks and rocky crests for his domain; hither and thither he goes through the close thickets, now lured by soft streams, and now he presses on amongst towering crags and climbs up to the highest peak that overlooks the flocks.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

Hekataios 1F371 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, pp. 46-47, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Pindar and Hekataios say that he is son of Apollo and Penelope, others of Mercury and Penelope. Euforio considers him son of Ulixes. Some, such as Apollodorus, do relate that he is a god without an ancestor. About him Sergius, Vergil’s scholiast, (Buc. 2.31) so says… (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Pindar fr 100 SM – Pindarus 2, p. 94, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.

Pan was born to Penelope and Apollo (or Mercury?) on Mount Lykaion. (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

♠ Pindar fr 90 – Pindarus, ed. C.M. Bowra. Oxford 1964.

Herodotos 2.145

and Pan the son of Penelope (for according to the Greeks Penelope and Hermes were the parents of Pan)  Greek Text

Cicero De Natura Deorum 3.22.56

The third, the son of the third Jove and of Maia, the legends make the father of Pan by Penelope. Latin Text

Loukianos Dialogi Deorum (Dialogues of the Gods) 2 (22)

Greek Text  Greek Text and English Translation

ApE 7.38 – Apollodoros, Epitome (summary of the last part of the Bibliotheke)

But some say that Penelope was seduced by Antinous and sent away by Ulysses to her father Icarius, and that when she came to Mantinea in Arcadia she bore Pan to Hermes. Greek Text

Hyginus, Fabulae 224

Pan, son of Mercury and Penelope  Latin Text

Theocritos, Syrinx – Bucolici Graeci, ed A. S. F. Gow, p. 180. Oxford 1952.

The bedfere of nobody and mother of the war-abiding brought forth a nimble director of the nurse of the vice-stone  Greek and English Text

Aischylos, Glaukoi 25b R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, p. 142, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

Two Pans, one son of Zeus, the other son of Saturnus  (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Pindar fr 95 SM – Pindarus 2, p. 93, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975

Pindar fr 96 SM – Pindarus 2, p. 93, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 10.185: Attic red-figure krater by the Pan Painter, Pan and youth

Museum of Fine Arts

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Moschos 6 – Bucolici Graeci, ed A. S. F. Gow, pp. 151-52. Oxford 1952.


Pan loved his neighbour Echo; Echo loved a frisking Satyr; and Satyr, he was head over ears for Lydè. As Echo was Pan’s flame, so was Satyr Echo’s, and Lydè master Satyr’s. ‘Twas Love reciprocal; for by just course, even as each of those hearts did scorn its lover, so was it also scorned being such a lover itself. To all such as be heart-whole be this lesson read: If you would be loved where you be loving, then love them that love you.

Theocritos, Syrinx – Bucolici Graeci, ed A. S. F. Gow, p. 180. Oxford 1952.

that loved the wind-swift voice-born maiden of mortal speech  Greek and English Text

Longus, Daphnis and Chloe 3.23

Greek Text

Nonnos, Dionysiaka 2.117-19

and I tremble at your lustful Pan, who will persecute me like Pitys, like Syrinx – I shall be chased myself until I become another Echo, to scour the hills and second another’s speech.  Greek Text

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Artistic sources edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, June 2019.

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2021

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