Altheia (page 333)

Chapter 11: The Daughters of Thestios

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AR 1.396-400 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

but the middle bench they chose for Heracles and Ancaeus apart from the other heroes, Ancaeus who dwelt in Tegea. For them alone they left the middle bench just as it was and not by lot.  Greek Text

AR 2.118-21 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

Then Ancaeus, the dauntless son of Lycurgus, quickly seized his huge axe, and in his left hand holding a bear’s dark hide, plunged into the midst of the Bebrycians with furious onsetGreek Text

Lyk 479-92 – Lykophron, Alexandra

The second who comes to the island is a country-man and a landsman, feeding on simple food, one of the sons of the oak, the wolf-shaped devourers of the flesh of Nyctimus, a people that were before the moon, and who in the height of winter heated in the ashes of the fire their staple of oaken bread; he shall dig for copper and from the trench drag the soil, mining with mattock every pit. His father the tusk of Oeta slew, crushing his body in the regions of the belly. In sorrow, wretched man, he learnt the truth of the saying that the all-devising fate of men rolls many a thing betwixt the life and the draught of the cup. That same tusk, all flecked with glistening foam, when he had fallen took vengeance on his slayer, smiting with unescapable blow the dancer’s ankle-bone.  Greek Text

Met 8.391-402 – Ovid, Metamorphoses

Behold! Ancaeus wielding his war-axe,
and rushing madly to his fate, exclaimed,
“Witness it! See the weapons of a man
excel a woman’s! Ho, make way for my
achievement! Let Diana shield the brute!
Despite her utmost effort my right hand
shall slaughter him!” So mighty in his boast
he puffed himself; and, lifting with both hands
his double-edged axe, he stood erect,
on tiptoe fiercely bold. The savage boar
caught him, and ripped his tushes through his groin,
a spot where death is sure.—Ancaeus fell;
and his torn entrails and his crimson blood
stained the fair verdure of the spot with death.  Latin Text

Il 2.211-77 – Homer, Iliad

Now the others sate them down and were stayed in their places, only there still kept chattering on Thersites of measureless speech, whose mind was full of great store of disorderly words, wherewith to utter revilings against the kings, idly, and in no orderly wise, [215] but whatsoever he deemed would raise a laugh among the Argives. Evil-favoured was he beyond all men that came to Ilios: he was bandy-legged and lame in the one foot, and his two shoulders were rounded, stooping together over his chest, and above them his head was warped, and a scant stubble grew thereon. [220] Hateful was he to Achilles above all, and to Odysseus, for it was they twain that he was wont to revile; but now again with shrill cries he uttered abuse against goodly Agamemnon. With him were the Achaeans exceeding wroth, and had indignation in their hearts. Howbeit with loud shoutings he spake and chid Agamemnon: [225] “Son of Atreus, with what art thou now again discontent, or what lack is thine? Filled are thy huts with bronze, and women full many are in thy huts, chosen spoils that we Achaeans give thee first of all, whensoe’er we take a citadel. Or dost thou still want gold also, [230] which some man of the horse-taming Trojans shall bring thee out of Ilios as a ransom for his son, whom I haply have bound and led away or some other of the Achaeans? Or is it some young girl for thee to know in love, whom thou wilt keep apart for thyself? Nay, it beseemeth not one that is their captain to bring to ill the sons of the Achaeans. [235] Soft fools! base things of shame, ye women of Achaea, men no more, homeward let us go with our ships, and leave this fellow here in the land of Troy to digest his prizes, that so he may learn whether in us too there is aught of aid for him or no—for him that hath now done dishonour to Achilles, a man better far than he; [240] for he hath taken away, and keepeth his prize by his own arrogant act. Of a surety there is naught of wrath in the heart of Achilles; nay, he heedeth not at all; else, son of Atreus, wouldest thou now work insolence for the last time.” So spake Thersites, railing at Agamemnon, shepherd of the host. But quickly to his side came goodly Odysseus, [245] and with an angry glance from beneath his brows, chid him with harsh words, saying:“Thersites of reckless speech, clear-voiced talker though thou art, refrain thee, and be not minded to strive singly against kings. For I deem that there is no viler mortal than thou amongst all those that with the sons of Atreus came beneath Ilios. [250] Wherefore ’twere well thou shouldst not take the name of kings in thy mouth as thou protest, to cast reproaches upon them, and to watch for home-going. In no wise do we know clearly as yet how these things are to be, whether it be for good or ill that we sons of the Achaeans shall return. Therefore dost thou now continually utter revilings against Atreus’ son, Agamemnon, shepherd of the host, [255] for that the Danaan warriors give him gifts full many; whereas thou pratest on with railings. But I will speak out to thee, and this word shall verily be brought to pass: if I find thee again playing the fool, even as now thou dost, then may the head of Odysseus abide no more upon his shoulders, [260] nor may I any more be called the father of Telemachus, if I take thee not, and strip off thy raiment, thy cloak, and thy tunic that cover thy nakedness, and for thyself send thee wailing to the swift ships, beaten forth from the place of gathering with shameful blows.” [265] So spake Odysseus, and with his staff smote his back and shoulders; and Thersites cowered down, and a big tear fell from him, and a bloody weal rose up on his back beneath the staff of gold. Then he sate him down, and fear came upon him, and stung by pain with helpless looks he wiped away the tear. [270] But the Achaeans, sore vexed at heart though they were, broke into a merry laugh at him, and thus would one speak with a glance at his neighbour: “Out upon it! verily hath Odysseus ere now wrought good deeds without number as leader in good counsel and setting battle in army, but now is this deed far the best that he hath wrought among the Argives, [275] seeing he hath made this scurrilous babbler to cease from his prating. Never again, I ween, will his proud spirit henceforth set him on to rail at kings with words of reviling.”  Greek Text

ΣbT Il 2.212 – Scholia bT to Homer, Iliad Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem 3, pp. 105-6, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Oxford 1877.

Greek Text

same as

Pherekydes 3F123 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1,p. 93, ed. F. Jacoby. 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

ΣA Il 2.212 – Scholia A to Homer, Iliad  – Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem I, pp. 91-92, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Oxford 1875.

Greek Text

same as

fr 106 Pow – Collectanea Alexandrina, ed. J. U. Powell, p. 49. Oxford 1925.

ApB 1.8.6 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

But the sons of Agrius, to wit, Thersites, Onchestus, Prothous, Celeutor, Lycopeus, Melanippus, wrested the kingdom from Oeneus and gave it to their father, and more than that they imprisoned Oeneus in his lifetime and tormented him. Nevertheless Diomedes afterwards came secretly with Alcmaeon from Argos and put to death all the sons of Agrius, except Onchestus and Thersites, who had fled betimes to Peloponnese; and as Oeneus was old, Diomedes gave the kingdom to Andraemon who had married the daughter of Oeneus, but Oeneus himself he took with him to Peloponnese. Howbeit, the sons of Agrius, who had made their escape, lay in wait for the old man at the hearth of Telephus in Arcadia, and killed him. But Diomedes conveyed the corpse to Argos and buried him in the place where now a city is called Oenoe after him. And having married Aegialia, daughter of Adrastus or, as some say, of Aegialeus, he went to the wars against Thebes and Troy.  Greek Text

♠ AntLib 37 – Antoninus Liberalis, MetamorphosesMythography Graeci 2.1, pp. 118-20, ed. E. Martini. Leipzig 1896.

Greek Text

DS 4.34.7 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

Afterward, however, being deeply incensed at the murder of her brothers, she burned the brand and so made herself the cause of the death of Meleager; but as time went on she grieved more and more over what she had done and finally made an end of her life by hanging.  Greek Text

Met 8.531-32 – Ovid, Metamorphoses

Althaea, maddened in her mother’s grief,
has punished herself with a ruthless hand;
she pierced her heart with iron.  Latin Text

ApB 1.8.3 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

After the death of Meleager, Althaea and Cleopatra hanged themselves, and the women who mourned the dead man were turned into birds.  Greek Text

Bakchylides fr 20D SM – Bacchylidis Carmina cum fragmentis, pp. 101-3, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1970.

AntLib 2 – Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses – Mythography Graeci 2.1, pp. 68-70, ed. E. Martini. Leipzig 1896.

Greek Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2024.

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