The Children of Tyro: Pelias (page 194 upper, with art)

Chapter 5: The Line of Deukalion

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

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5.17.10

After the house of Amphiaraus come the games at the funeral of Pelias, with the spectators looking at the competitors… The wrestling-bout between Jason and Peleus is an even one  (Greek Text).

Detail of wrestling match of  Peleus and Iason 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.

Hyginus, Fabulae 24

But Jason, at a given signal of Medea, made himself the master of the palace, and handed over the rule to Acastus, son of Pelias, brother of the Peliades, because he had gone with him to Colchis.  Latin Text

Diodoros Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica 4.53

Jason now, we are informed, promising all his kindred in general that he would conduct himself honourably and magnanimously, summoned the people to an assembly. And after defending himself for what he had done and explaining that he had only taken vengeance on men who had wronged him first, inflicting a less severe punishment on them than the evils he himself had suffered, he bestowed upon Acastus, the son of Pelias, the ancestral kingdom, and as for the daughters of the king, he said that he considered it right that he himself should assume the responsibility for them. And ultimately he fulfilled his promise, they say, by joining them all in marriage after a time to the most renowned men. Alcestis, for instance, the eldest he gave in marriage to Admetus of Thessaly, the son of Pheres, Amphinomê to Andraemon, the brother of Leonteus, Euadnê to Canes, who was the son of Cephalus and king at that time of the Phocians. These marriages he arranged at a later period.  Greek Text

Pindar, Nemean 4.57-60

Peleus turned a warlike hand against Iolcus and gave it in subjection to the Haemones after encountering the crafty arts of Acastus’ wife Hippolyte. With the sword of Daedalus, the son of Pelias sowed the seeds of death for Peleus [60] from an ambush.  Greek Text

Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika 1.321-23

And they perceived Aeastus and Argus coming from the city, and they marvelled when they saw them hasting with all speed, despite the will of Pelias.  Greek Text

Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 1.153-83

shall I not snatch away the young Acastus to undergo the same fortunes and the same perils? Then let Pelias desire a safe voyage for the hated ship, and join with our mothers to appease the waves by prayer!”

[156] This is he faint to attempt, when on the left the thunder-bearer of Jove draws near from on high and bears aloft a lamb caught in his strong talons. But from the folds hard by with a shout the fearful shepherds pursue and the barking dogs; too swift the ravisher has mounted into the air, and flies off over the Aegean deep. Jason hails the omen, and joyfully sets out to the halls of haughty Pelias. Then first the king’s son comes running toward him, and casts his arms about him in cousinly embrace.

[164] “Nay, Acastus,” says the leader, “I am not come, as thou deemest, to utter ignoble plaints; I am minded to make thee partner of our enterprise; for I hold not Telamon nor Canthus nor Idas nor Tyndareus’ son more worthy than thou art to seek the fleece of Helle. Lo! what mighty tracts of land, what vast expanse of sky it is granted us to know! To what great ends are we opening the paths of the sea! At this time perchance thou thinkest the labour too heavy: yet when the vessel shall speed joyfully home, and give me back my loved Iolcos, ah! how shalt thou sign as I tell of all the nations we have seen!”

[173] The prince suffered him not to say more; “Enough, enough! I am ready for anything to which thou callest. And think not, friend,” he says, “that I am a laggard, or that I trust more in the kingdom of my fathers than in thee, so but thou grant me to win beneath thy guidance the first rewards of my prowess, and to grow to the measure of a cousin’s fame. Nay, I myself, lest a father’s too timorous care hinder me, will escape from him unawares, and of a sudden will be with you when you are ready, what time the vessel puts off from the strand.” He ceased; the other joys to see such courage and to hear this promise, and turns his eager footsteps to the shore.  Latin Text

ApB 1.9.10 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

But Pelias dwelt in Thessaly and married Anaxibia, daughter of Bias, but according to some his wife was Phylomache, daughter of Amphion; and he begat a son, Acastus, and daughters, Pisidice, Pelopia, Hippothoe, and Alcestis. Greek Text

Hyginus, Fabulae 14.4

Acastus, son of Pelias and Anaxibia, daughter of Bias, from Iolchus, clad in a double mantle.  Latin Text

Hesiod, Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 37.8-9 MW – Fragmenta Hesiodea, pp. 25-26, ed. R. Merkelbach and M. L. West. Oxford 1967.

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#Iason, #Peleus

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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