The Children of Zeus: Hermes (page 111, with art)

Chapter 2: The Olympians

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Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.689-712

To him the God, “ A famous Naiad dwelt
among the Hamadryads, on the cold
Arcadian summit Nonacris, whose name
was Syrinx. Often she escaped the Gods,
that wandered in the groves of sylvan shades,
and often fled from Satyrs that pursued.
Vowing virginity, in all pursuits
she strove to emulate Diana‘s ways:
and as that graceful goddess wears her robe,
so Syrinx girded hers that one might well
believe Diana there. Even though her bow
were made of horn, Diana‘s wrought of gold,
vet might she well deceive.
“Now chanced it Pan.
Whose head was girt with prickly pines, espied
the Nymph returning from the Lycian Hill,
and these words uttered he: ”—But Mercury
refrained from further speech, and Pan’s appeal
remains untold. If he had told it all,
the tale of Syrinx would have followed thus:—

but she despised the prayers of Pan, and fled
through pathless wilds until she had arrived
the placid Ladon’s sandy stream, whose waves
prevented her escape. There she implored
her sister Nymphs to change her form: and Pan,
believing he had caught her, held instead
some marsh reeds for the body of the Nymph;
and while he sighed the moving winds began
to utter plaintive music in the reeds,
so sweet and voice like that poor Pan exclaimed;
“Forever this discovery shall remain
a sweet communion binding thee to me.”—
and this explains why reeds of different length,
when joined together by cementing wax,
derive the name of Syrinx from the maid.  Latin Text

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

but him whose heart was fired of old by the P-lessine of bucklers  Greek and English Text

Nonnos, Dionysiaka 42.258-61

Greek Text

Vergil, Georgics 3.391-93

Even with such snowy bribe of wool, if ear
May trust the tale, Pan, God of Arcady,
Snared and beguiled thee, Luna, calling thee
To the deep woods; nor thou didst spurn his call.  Latin Text

♠ Servius, Scholion at Vergil, Georgics 3.391 – Servii Grammatici qui feruntur in Vergilii Bucolica et Georgica Commentarii, pp. 307-8, ed. G. Thilo. Leipzig 1881

Latin Text

Ovid, Metamorphoses 11.146-93

Abhorring riches he inhabited
the woods and fields, and followed Pan who dwells
always in mountain-caves: but still obtuse
remained, from which his foolish mind again,
by an absurd decision, harmed his life.
He followed Pan up to the lofty mount
Tmolus, which from its great height looks far
across the sea. Steep and erect it stands
between great Sardis and the small Hypaepa.

While Pan was boasting there to mountain nymphs
of his great skill in music, and while he
was warbling a gay tune upon the reeds,
cemented with soft wax, in his conceit
he dared to boast to them how he despised
Apollo’s music when compared with his—.
At last to prove it, he agreed to stand
against Apollo in a contest which
it was agreed should be decided by
Tmolus as their umpire.  Continue Reading  Latin Text

Plutarch, Moralia 419b-d – Plutarch, Moralia, vol. 5, pp. 400-403, ed. F. C. Babbitt, Cambridge, Mass., 1957.

Greek and English Text

ApB 2.6.2-3 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

But being afflicted with a dire disease on account of the murder of Iphitus he went to Delphi and inquired how he might be rid of the disease. As the Pythian priestess answered him not by oracles, he was fain to plunder the temple, and, carrying off the tripod, to institute an oracle of his own. But Apollo fought him, and Zeus threw a thunderbolt between them. When they had thus been parted, Hercules received an oracle, which declared that the remedy for his disease was for him to be sold, and to serve for three years, and to pay compensation for the murder to Eurytus.  After the delivery of the oracle, Hermes sold Hercules, and he was bought by Omphale, daughter of Iardanes, queen of Lydia, to whom at his death her husband Tmolus had bequeathed the government. Eurytus did not accept the compensation when it was presented to him, but Hercules served Omphale as a slave. Greek Text

Alkaios 447 LP – Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta, p. 291, ed. E. Lobel and D. L. Page. Oxford 1955

Alkaios introduces Hermes as the cup-bearer of the gods, and so does Sappho…  (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Sappho 141 LP – Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta, p. 95, ed. E. Lobel and D. L. Page. Oxford 1955

London, British Museum B639: Attic black-figure white-ground lekythos by the Sappho Painter, with Hermes with scales with eidola (miniature images of Achilleus and Memnon), flanked by fighting Achilleus and Memnon

British Museum

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Rome, Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia 57912: Attic red-figure cup by Epiktetos, with Hermes with scales with eidola, between fighting Achilleus and Memnon; on the right, Eos and Thetis flee to enthroned Zeus and Hera

F. Diez de Velasco, Teorías y Metodologías del Estudio de las Religiones: psicostasia

Digital LIMC

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 10.177: Attic red figure stamnos by the Syracuse Painter with Hermes with scales and two women 

Museum of Fine Arts

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Pindar, Pythian 4.178-79

And Hermes of the golden wand sent two sons to take part in the unabating toil, Echion and Erytus, bursting with youth.  Greek Text

Pindar, Pythian 2.10

and Hermes the god of contests present the gleaming reins to him  Greek Text

Pindar, Olympian 6.78-79

piously gave many gifts, with prayers and sacrifices, to the herald of the gods, Hermes, who rules over games and the dispensation of contests  Greek Text

Aischylos fr 384 R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, p. 432, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

O Hermes, patron of athletic contests, son of Maia and Zeus  (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Aischylos, Choephoroi 1

Hermes of the nether world  Greek Text

Aischylos, Choephoroi 124

O Hermes of the nether world  Greek Text

Aischylos, Choephoroi 727

and for Hermes of the nether world  Greek Text

ApE 2.6 – Apollodoros, Epitome (summary of the last part of the Bibliotheke)

So Pelops also came a-wooing; and when Hippodamia saw his beauty, she conceived a passion for him, and persuaded Myrtilus, son of Hermes, to help him; for Myrtilus was charioteer to Oenomaus.  Greek Text

Scholion at Euripides, Orestes 812  – Scholia in Euripidem, ed. E. Schwartz, vol. 1, pp. 180-81. Berlin 1887. 

Greek Text

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#Achilleus, #Hermes, #Memnon, #scales

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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