Aietes (page 341 upper)

Chapter 12: Iason and the Argo

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Akousilaos 2F38 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 56, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Pherekydes 3F25 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 68, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Herodoros 31F9 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 217, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

DS 4.47.2 – Diodoros Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica

After this, while Aeëtes was king of Colchis, an oracle became known, to the effect that he was to come to the end of his life whenever strangers should land there and carry off the golden fleece. For this reason and because of his own cruelty as well, Aeëtes ordained that strangers should be offered up in sacrifice, in order that, the report of  p491 the cruelty of the Colchi having been spread abroad to every part of the world, no stranger should have the courage to set foot on the land. He also threw a wall about the precinct and stationed there many guardians, these being men of the Tauric Chersonese, and it is because of these guards that the Greeks invented monstrous myths.  Greek Text

Fab 22 – Hyginus, Fabulae

AEETES: An oracle told Aeetes, son of Sol, that he would keep his kingdom as long as the fleece which Phrixus had dedicated should remain the shrine of Mars.  Latin Text

Fab 3 – Hyginus, Fabulae

Phrixus, however, was carried to Colchis, where, as his mother had bidden, he sacrificed the ram, and placed its gilded fleece in the temple of Mars — the very fleece which, guarded by a dragon, it is said Jason, son of Aeson and Alcimede, came to secure. But Aeetes gladly welcomed Phrixus, and gave him his daughter Chalciope in marriage. She later bore him children, but Aeetes feared that they would drive him from his kingdom, because he had been warned by prodigies to beware of death at the hands of a foreigner, a son of Aeolus. Therefore he killed Phrixus. But Phrixus’ sons — Argus, Melas, and Cylindrus — took ship to go to their grandfather Athamas.  Latin Text

VF 1.41-45 – Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica

Thou hast heard how Phrixus of the seed of Cretheus our kinsman fled from the altars of his father. Him the savage Aeetes who dwells in Scythia and the frost-bound Phasis (alas! for the shame of the great Sun!), murdered amid the genial cups and ceremonial of the stricken banquet, recking nought of me or of heaven.  Latin Text

VF 5.224-58 – Valerius Fraccus, Argonautica

by now had Phrixus, now grown old in the Scythian city of the Sun, fulfilled the appointed term of his long life of toil.When at the last he died, on a sudden appeared a marvellous flame in heaven, and the ram in a vast constellation stirring up all the sea. But the fleece had Phrixus left in the War-god’s shady grove, a conspicuous memorial of his peril, embracing an oak tree with its glowing metal.

[231] Once too did he appear, a vast phantom, in the silent hours of night, and a great voice spoke forth and struck terror into the father of his bride14: “O thou who didst suffer me, a fugitive from my native land in search of a home, to settle in these abodes, and soon offering thy daughter invited me to be thy son-in-law, dolour and ruin of thy realm shall abound for thee what time the fleece is stolen from the sleep-drugged grove. Moreover, Medea, who now is consecrated to Diana of the underworld and leads the holy dance – let her look for betrothal to any suitor, suffer her not to abide in her father’s kingdom.”

[241] He spoke, and seemed therewith to put forth his hand and proffer the fateful hide, and from the visionary gold there poured a gleam which glanced about the coffered ceiling of the palace. Trembling the other started from his couch, and prayed to the godhead of his sire and to his chariot as it rose above the eastern strand: “This prayer do I make to thee, O father, guardian of my destiny, all-seeing one! Cast now thine eyes upon the land, upon all the sea; whether it be men of my own land or strangers that are planning secret treachery, be first to bear me news. Thou too, Gradivus, in whose sacred oak the fleece doth glitter, keep watch; present to aid let thy arms clash and trumpets sound in thy grove and thy voice ring through the darkness.”

[253] Scarce had he spoken, when a serpent gliding from the Caucasus mountains, not without the will of the god, entwined all the grove with its circling coils and looked toward the Grecian land. Therefore is he watchful to foil all threats and the dangers foretold by Phrixus, and Medea, though her girlhood be not yet mature, is plighted to the Albanian prince’s marriage chamber.  Latin Text

AR 3.594-600 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

And he said that besides all that the sons of Phrixus should pay a fitting penalty to himself for returning in consort with evildoers, that they might recklessly drive him from his honour and his throne; for once he had heard a baleful prophecy from his father Helios, that he must avoid the secret treachery and schemes of his own offspring and their crafty mischief.  Greek Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2022.

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