The Dioskouroi (page 328 upper)

Chapter 11: The Daughters of Thestios

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Aen 6.121 – Vergil, Aeneid

If Pollux by the interchange of death
Redeemed his twin  Latin Text

DD 25 (26) – Loukianos, Dialogi Deorum (Dialogues of the Gods): Apollo and Hermes

 APOLLO
Hermes, have you any idea which of those two is Castor, and which is Pollux? I never can make out.

HERMES
It was Castor yesterday, and Pollux to-day.

APOLLO
How do you tell? They are exactly alike.

HERMES
Why, Pollux’s face is scarred with the wounds he got in boxing; those that Amycus, the Bebrycian, gave him, when he was on that expedition with Jason, are particularly noticeable. Castor has no marks; his face is all right.

APOLLO
Good; I am glad I know that. Everything else is the same for both. Each has his half egg-shell, with the star on top, each his javelin and his white horse. I am always calling Pollux Castor, and Castor Pollux. And, by the way, why are they never both here together? Why should they be alternately gods and shades?

HERMES
That is their brotherly way. You see, it was decreed that one of the sons of Leda must die, and the other be immortal; and by this arrangement they split the immortality between them.

APOLLO
Rather a stupid way of doing it: if one of them is to be in Heaven, whilst the other is underground, they will never see one another at all.  Greek Text

Hel 1642-65 – Euripides, Helen

Dioskouroi
Restrain the anger that is wrongly carrying you away, Theoklymenos, king of this land. We, the twin sons of Zeus, are calling you; Leda once gave birth to us, [1645] with Helen, who has fled from your home. For you are angry about a marriage that is not destined for you; and your sister Theonoe, daughter of a Nereid goddess, does not wrong you when she honors the word of the gods and her father’s just commands.

[1650] For it was ordained that Helen should live in your house up to the present time; but no longer, since Troy is wholly destroyed and she has provided her name to the gods; she must be united in her own marriage, [1655] and come home and live with her husband. But hold your black sword away from your sister, and believe that she is acting with discretion in this matter. Long ago, before this, we would have saved our sister, seeing that Zeus has made us gods; [1660] but we are weaker than fate and also than the gods, who decreed these things to happen in this way.

This is my bidding to you, while I say to my sister: “Sail on with your husband; and you shall have a favorable breeze; for we, your two savior brothers, [1665] riding over the sea, will send you to your fatherland.  Greek Text

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Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2024.

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