P. 347

Diodoros Siculus, Library of History 4.42

After they had sailed from Iolcus, the account continues, and had gone past Athos and Samothrace, they encountered a storm and were carried to Sigeium in the Troad. When they disembarked there, it is said, they discovered a maiden bound in chains upon the shore, the reason for it being as follows. Poseidon, as the story runs, became angry with Laomedon the king of Troy in connection with the building of its walls,​ according to the mythical story, and sent forth from the sea a monster to ravage the land. By this monster those who made their living by the seashore and the farmers who tilled the land contiguous to the sea were being surprised and carried off. Furthermore, a pestilence fell upon the people and a total destruction of their crops, so that all the inhabitants were at their wits’ end because of the magnitude of what had befallen them. Consequently the common crowd gathered together into an assembly and sought for a deliverance from their misfortunes, and the king, it is said, dispatched a mission to Apollo to inquire of the god respecting what had befallen them. When the oracle, then, became known, which told that the cause was the anger of Poseidon and that only then would it cease when the Trojans should of their free will select by lot one of their children and deliver him to the monster for his food, although all the children submitted to the lot, it fell upon the king’s daughter Hesionê. Consequently Laomedon was constrained by necessity to deliver the maiden and to leave her, bound in chains, upon the shore. Here Heracles, when he had disembarked with the Argonauts and learned from the girl of her sudden change of fortune, rent asunder the chains which were about her body and going up to the city made an offer to the king to slay the monster. When Laomedon accepted the proposal and promised to give him as his reward his invincible mares, Heracles, they say, did slay the monster and Hesionê was given the choice either to leave her home with her saviour or to remain in her native land with her parents. The girl, then, chose to spend her life with the stranger, not merely because she preferred the benefaction she had received to the ties of kinship, but also because she feared that a monster might again appear and she be exposed by citizens to the same fate as that from which she had just escaped. As for Heracles, after he had been splendidly honoured with gifts and the appropriate tokens of hospitality, he left Hesionê and the mares in keeping with Laomedon, having arranged that after he had returned from Colchis, he should receive them again; he then set sail with all haste in the company of the Argonauts to accomplish the labour which lay before them.  Greek Text

Valerius Flaccus, Argonauticon 2.451-578

While Hercules and Telamon at his side passed along the shore that broke back in a pleasant inlet, a voice fell upon their ears, ever and anon sounding mournfully as each wave broke and murmured away again. Full of amaze they went slowly, following the viewless track of the voice; now it sounds distinct: a maiden abandoned to a cruel death was calling all men and gods to help her. At this the heroes press on more keenly, resolved to bring succour; even as when a bull fills the wild places with his harsh bellowing, as he bears upon his high back a lion that rends him with his jaws, there rouses and gathers from the scattered huts a band of countryfolk and husbandmen with bewildering shouts. Hercules halted, and straining his gaze upwards sees upon a high crag galling shackles and the worn face of a maiden, her eyes brimful to the verge of weeping; just as when lifeless ivory is yet constrained by mastering skill to weep, or Parian marble assumes man’s lineaments and person, or flowing colours bring wonders before us. The hero spoke: “Maiden, what is thy name and thy family? what lot is thine, tell me? wherefore do gives strain thy hands?”

[470] Trembling and casting down her eyes in sorrow and shame she replied: “I do not deserve these sufferings; thou seest here the last gifts of my parents, these rocks covered over with purple and gold. Our stock sprang of Ilus, happy once until envious Fortune deserted the home of Laomedon. First of all there fell a sickness and the temperate airs were driven from the clear sky; the country blazed with pyre rivalling pyre, when there burst forth a roar, and waves that made all Ida’s forests with their lairs shudder. Lo! of a sudden there rose from the sea a beast, of monstrous bulk; not by any mountain, not by the sea we know couldst thou measure it. A band of young maidens is sacrificed to its rage amid the tears and embraces of their parents. This the lot, this doth horned Ammon command – that a maiden’s life and her body that drew death’s lot be doomed; ‘tis I whom the cruel urn condemns to the rocks. But oh! if once again Heaven inclines to the Phrygians, and if thou art he whose coming augury and Heaven’s omens promised, he for whom my father now feeds snow-white horses in the pasture of his vow, the pledged reward for saving my life, say Yea and rescue both me and wasted Troy from the dragon, for so thou canst; since never did I behold do broad a breast while Neptune was raising the walls to meet the stars, nor had Apollo such mighty shoulders or such a quiver.”  Continue Reading  Latin Text

Herodoros 31F7 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 217, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika 1.936-1077

There is a lofty island inside the Propontis, a short distance from the Phrygian mainland with its rich cornfields, sloping to the sea, where an isthmus in front of the mainland is flooded by the waves, so low does it lie. And the isthmus has double shores, and they lie beyond the river Aesepus, and the inhabitants round about call the island the Mount of Bears. And insolent and fierce men dwell there, Earthborn, a great marvel to the neighbours to behold; for each one has six mighty hands to lift up, two from his sturdy shoulders, and four below, fitting close to his terrible sides. And about the isthmus and the plain the Doliones had their dwelling, and over them Cyzicus son of Aeneus was king, whom Aenete the daughter of goodly Eusorus bare. But these men the Earthborn monsters, fearful though they were, in nowise harried, owing to the protection of Poseidon; for from him had the Doliones first sprung. Thither Argo pressed on, driven by the winds of Thrace, and the Fair haven received her as she sped. There they cast away their small anchorstone by the advice of Tiphys and left it beneath a fountain, the fountain of Artaeie; and they took another meet for their purpose, a heavy one; but the first, according to the oracle of the Far-Darter, the Ionians, sons of Neleus, in after days laid to be a sacred stone, as was right, in the temple of Jasonian Athena.

[961] Now the Doliones and Cyzicus himself all came together to meet them with friendliness, and when they knew of the quest and their lineage welcomed them with hospitality, and persuaded them to row further and to fasten their ship’s hawsers at the city harbour. Here they built an altar to Ecbasian Apollo and set it up on the beach, and gave heed to sacrifices. And the king of his own bounty gave them sweet wine and sheep in their need; for he had heard a report that whenever a godlike band of heroes should come, straightway he should meet it with gentle words and should have no thought of war. As with Jason, the soft down was just blooming on his chin, nor yet had it been his lot to rejoice in children, but still in his palace his wife was untouched by the pangs of child-birth, the daughter of Percosian Merops, fair-haired Cleite, whom lately by priceless gifts he had brought from her father’s home from the mainland opposite. But even so he left his chamber and bridal bed and prepared a banquet among the strangers, casting all fears from his heart. And they questioned one another in turn. Of them would he learn the end of their voyage and the injunctions of Pelias; while they enquired about the cities of the people round and all the gulf of the wide Propontis; but further he could not tell them for all their desire to learn. In the morning they climbed mighty Dindymum that they might themselves behold the various paths of that sea; and they brought their ship from its former anchorage to the harbour, Chytus; and the path they trod is named the path of Jason.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika 1.1078-1152

After this, fierce tempests arose for twelve days and nights together and kept them there from sailing. But in the next night the rest of the chieftains, overcome by sleep, were resting during the latest period of the night, while Acastus and Mopsus the son of Ampyeus kept guard over their deep slumbers. And above the golden head of Aeson’s son there hovered a halcyon prophesying with shrill voice the ceasing of the stormy winds; and Mopsus heard and understood the cry of the bird of the shore, fraught with good omen. And some god made it turn aside, and flying aloft it settled upon the stern-ornament of the ship. And the seer touched Jason as he lay wrapped in soft sheepskins and woke him at once, and thus spake: “Son of Aeson, thou must climb to this temple on rugged Dindymum and propitiate the mother of all the blessed gods on her fair throne, and the stormy blasts shall cease. For such was the voice I heard but now from the halcyon, bird of the sea, which, as it flew above thee in thy slumber, told me all. For by her power the winds and the sea and all the earth below and the snowy seat of Olympus are complete; and to her, when from the mountains she ascends the mighty heaven, Zeus himself, the son of Cronos, gives place. In like manner the rest of the immortal blessed ones reverence the dread goddess.”

[1103] Thus he spake, and his words were welcome to Jason’s ear. And he arose from his bed with joy and woke all his comrades hurriedly and told them the prophecy of Mopsus the son of Ampycus. And quickly the younger men drove oxen from their stalls and began to lead them to the mountain’s lofty summit. And they loosed the hawsers from the sacred rock and rowed to the Thracian harbour; and the heroes climbed the mountain, leaving a few of their comrades in the ship. And to them the Macrian heights and all the coast of Thrace opposite appeared to view close at hand. And there appeared the misty mouth of Bosporus and the Mysian hills; and on the other side the stream of the river Aesepus and the city and Nepeian plain of Adrasteia. Now there was a sturdy stump of vine that grew in the forest, a tree exceeding old; this they cut down, to be the sacred image of the mountain goddess; and Argus smoothed it skilfully, and they set it upon that rugged hill beneath a canopy of lofty oaks, which of all trees have their roots deepest. And near it they heaped an altar of small stones, and wreathed their brows with oak leaves and paid heed to sacrifice, invoking the mother of Dindymum, most venerable, dweller in Phrygia, and Titias and Cyllenus, who alone of many are called dispensers of doom and assessors of the Idaean mother, — the Idaean Dactyls of Crete, whom once the nymph Anchiale, as she grasped with both hands the land of Oaxus, bare in the Dictaean cave. And with many prayers did Aeson’s son beseech the goddess to turn aside the stormy blasts as he poured libations on the blazing sacrifice; and at the same time by command of Orpheus the youths trod a measure dancing in full armour, and clashed with their swords on their shields, so that the ill-omened cry might be lost in the air the wail which the people were still sending up in grief for their king. Hence from that time forward the Phrygians propitiate Rhea with the wheel and the drum. And the gracious goddess, I ween, inclined her heart to pious sacrifices; and favourable signs appeared. The trees shed abundant fruit, and round their feet the earth of its own accord put forth flowers from the tender grass. And the beasts of the wild wood left their lairs and thickets and came up fawning on them with their tails. And she caused yet another marvel; for hitherto there was no flow of water on Dindymum, but then for them an unceasing stream gushed forth from the thirsty peak just as it was, and the dwellers around in after times called that stream, the spring of Jason. And then they made a feast in honour of the goddess on the Mount of Bears, singing the praises of Rhea most venerable; but at dawn the winds had ceased and they rowed away from the island.  Greek Text

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

 682 total views,  1 views today