The Children of Tyro: Pelias (page 191, with art)

Chapter 5: The Line of Deukalion

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Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika 1.5-17

Such was the oracle that Pelias heard, that a hateful doom awaited him to be slain at the prompting of the man whom he should see coming forth from the people with but one sandal. And no long time after, in accordance with that true report, Jason crossed the stream of wintry Anaurus on foot, and saved one sandal from the mire, but the other he left in the depths held back by the flood. And straightway he came to Pelias to share the banquet which the king was offering to his father Poseidon and the rest of the gods, though he paid no honour to Pelasgian Hera. Quickly the king saw him and pondered, and devised for him the toil of a troublous voyage, in order that on the sea or among strangers he might lose his home-return.  Greek Text

Scholion at Homer, Odyssey 12.69 – Scholia Graeca in Homeris Odysseam, vol. 2, pp. 533-35, ed. W. Dindorf. Oxford 1855.

Greek Text

♠ Scholion at Hesiod, Theogony 993 – Scholia vetera in Hesiodi Theogoniam, ed L. Di Gregorio. Milan 1975.

Euripides, Peliades pp. 550-51 N² – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. A. Nauck, 2nd ed. Leipzig 1889.

Greek Text

Sophokles, Rhizotomoi (Root-cutters) p. 410 R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 4, ed. S.L. Radt. Göttingen 1977.

Stesichoros 179 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 98 ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Stesichoros 178 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 97 ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Chest of Kypselos from temple of Hera at Olympia (known through Pausanias’ description and modern reconstructions)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5.17.9-11

After the house of Amphiaraus come the games at the funeral of Pelias, with the spectators looking at the competitors. Heracles is seated on a throne, and behind him is a woman. There is no inscription saying who the woman is, but she is playing on a Phrygian, not a Greek, flute. Driving chariots drawn by pairs of horses are Pisus, son of Perieres, and Asterion, son of Cometas (Asterion is said to have been one of the Argonauts), Polydeuces, Admetus and Euphemus. The poets declare that the last was a son of Poseidon and a companion of Jason on his voyage to Colchis. He it is who is winning the chariot-race. Those who have boldly ventured to box are Admetus and Mopsus, the son of Ampyx. Between them stands a man playing the flute, as in our day they are accustomed to play the flute when the competitors in the pentathlum are jumping. The wrestling-bout between Jason and Peleus is an even one. Eurybotas is shown throwing the quoit; he must be some famous quoit-thrower. Those engaged in a running-race are Melanion, Neotheus and Phalareus; the fourth runner is Argeius, and the fifth is Iphiclus. Iphiclus is the winner, and Acastus is holding out the crown to him. He is probably the father of the Protesilaus who joined in the war against Troy. Tripods too are set here, prizes of course for the winners; and there are the daughters of Pelias, though the only one with her name inscribed is Alcestis. Iolaus, who voluntarily helped Heracles in his labours, is shown as a victor in the chariot-race. At this point the funeral games of Pelias come to an end, and Heracles, with Athena standing beside him, is shooting at the hydra, the beast in the river Amymone.  (Greek Text).

Details of chariot race, boxing match, wrestling, discus throw and foot race from reconstruction of Chest of Kypselos (lost monument once in temple of Hera, Olympia) by W. von Massow, “Die Kypseloslade,” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung vol. 41 (1916), pl. 1.

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Artistic sources edited by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, January 2020.

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2022

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