The Propontis: Kyzikos and Amykos (page 348)

Chapter 12: Iason and the Argo

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AR 1.1172-1357 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

Now at the hour when from the field some delver or ploughman goes gladly home to his hut, longing for his evening meal, and there on the threshold, all squalid with dust, bows his wearied knees, and, beholding his hands worn with toil, with many a curse reviles his belly; at that hour the heroes reached the homes of the Cianian land near the Arganthonian mount and the outfall of Cius. Them as they came in friendliness, the Mysians, inhabitants of that land, hospitably welcomed, and gave them in their need provisions and sheep and abundant wine. Hereupon some brought dried wood, others from the meadows leaves for beds which they gathered in abundance for strewing, whilst others were twirling sticks to get fire; others again were mixing wine in the bowl and making ready the feast, after sacrificing at nightfall to Apollo Ecbasius.

[1187] But the son of Zeus having duly enjoined on his comrades to prepare the feast took his way into a wood, that he might first fashion for himself an oar to fit his hand. Wandering about he found a pine not burdened with many branches, nor too full of leaves, but like to the shaft of a tall poplar; so great was it both in length and thickness to look at. And quickly he laid on the ground his arrow-holding quiver together with his bow, and took off his lion’s skin. And he loosened the pine from the ground with his bronze-tipped club and grasped the trunk with both hands at the bottom, relying on his strength; and he pressed it against his broad shoulder with legs wide apart; and clinging close he raised it from the ground deep-rooted though it was, together with clods of earth. And as when unexpectedly, just at the time of the stormy setting of baleful Orion, a swift gust of wind strikes down from above, and wrenches a ship’s mast from its stays, wedges and all; so did Heracles lift the pine. And at the same time he took up his bow and arrows, his lion skin and club, and started on his return.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

Theok 13 – Theokritos, Idylls

From what god soever sprung, Nicias, Love was not, as we seem to think, born for us alone; nor first unto us of mortal flesh that cannot see the morrow, look things of beauty beautiful. For Amphitryon’s brazen-heart son that braved the roaring lion, he too once loved a lad, to wit the beauteous Hylas of the curly locks, and even as father his son, had taught him all the lore that made himself a good man and brought him fame; and would never leave him, neither if Day had risen to the noon, nor when Dawn’s white steeds first galloped up in to the home of Zeus, nor yet when the twittering chickens went scurrying at the flapping of their mother’s wings to their bed upon the smoky hen-roost. This did he that he might have the lad fashioned to his mind, and that pulling a straight furrow from the outset the same might come to be a true man.

[16] Now when Jason son of Aeson was to go to fetch the Golden Fleece with his following of champions that were chosen of the best out of all the cities in the land, then came there with them to the rich Iolcus the great man of toil who was son of the high-born Alcmena of Midea, and went down with Hylas at his side to that good ship Argo, even to her that speeding ungrazed clean through the blue Clappers, ran into Phasis bay as an eagle into a great gulf whereafter those Clappers have stood still, reefs ever more.

[25] And at the rising of the Pleiads, what time of the waning spring the young lambs find pasture in the uplands, then it was that that divine flower of hero-folk was minded of its voyaging, and taking seat in the Argo’s hull came after two days’ blowing of the Southwind to the Hellespont, and made haven within Propontis at the spot where furrow is broadened and share brightened by the oxen of the Cianians. Being gone forth upon the strand, as for their supper they were making it ready thwart by thwart; but one couch was strown them for all, for they found to their hand a meadow that furnished good store of litter, and thence did cut them taper rushes and tall bedstraw.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

Hes fr 263 MW – Hesiod, Keyx gamos (Wedding of Keyx)Fragmenta Hesiodea, p. 129, ed. R. Merkelbach and M.L. West. Oxford 1967.

Hdt 7.193 – Herodotos, Historiae

There is a place on this gulf in Magnesia, where, it is said, Heracles was sent for water and was left behind by Jason and his comrades of the Argo, when they were sailing to Aea in Colchis for the fleece; their purpose was to draw water from there and then to put out to sea. This is the reason why that place has been called Aphetae.  Greek Text

Pherekydes 3F111 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, pp. 89-90, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Herodoros 31F41 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 223, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

41a [APOLLOD] Bibl 1.118:  Herodoros says that he (Herakles) did not sail at all at that time, but was a slave at Omphale’s.

41b SCHOL. APOLL. RHOD. 1.1289: Herodoros says that he and some others were not engaged.  (Tansl. E. Bianchelli)  Greek Text

Demaratos 42F2 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 264, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

ApB 1.9.19 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

There they left Hercules and Polyphemus. For Hylas, son of Thiodamas, a minion of Hercules, had been sent to draw water and was ravished away by nymphs on account of his beauty. But Polyphemus heard him cry out, and drawing his sword gave chase in the belief that he was being carried off by robbers. Falling in with Hercules, he told him; and while the two were seeking for Hylas, the ship put to sea. So Polyphemus founded a city Cius in Mysia and reigned as king; but Hercules returned to Argos. However Herodorus says that Hercules did not sail at all at that time, but served as a slave at the court of Omphale. But Pherecydes says that he was left behind at Aphetae in Thessaly, the Argo having declared with human voice that she could not bear his weight. Nevertheless Demaratus has recorded that Hercules sailed to Colchis; for Dionysius even affirms that he was the leader of the Argonauts.  Greek Text

AR 2.1-163 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

Here were the oxstalls and farm of Amycus, the haughty king of the Bebrycians, whom once a nymph, Bithynian Melie, united to Poseidon Genethlius, bare the most arrogant of men; for even for strangers he laid down an insulting ordinance, that none should depart till they had made trial of him in boxing; and he had slain many of the neighbours. And at that time too he went down to the ship and in his insolence scorned to ask them the occasion of their voyage, and who they were, but at once spake out among them all: “Listen, ye wanderers by sea, to what it befits you to know. It is the rule that no stranger who comes to the Bebrycians should depart till he has raised his hands in battle against mine. Wherefore select your bravest warrior from the host and set him here on the spot to contend with me in boxing. But if ye pay no heed and trample my decrees under foot, assuredly to your sorrow will stern necessity come upon you.

[19] Thus he spake in his pride, but fierce anger seized them when they heard it, and the challenge smote Polydeuces most of all. And quickly he stood forth his comrades’ champion, and cried: “Hold now, and display not to us thy brutal violence, whoever thou art; for we will obey thy rules, as thou sayest. Willingly now do I myself undertake to meet thee.”

[25] Thus he spake outright; but the other with rolling eyes glared on him, like to a lion struck by a javelin when hunters in the mountains are hemming him round, and, though pressed by the throng, he reeks no more of them, but keeps his eyes fixed, singling out that man only who struck him first and slew him not. Hereupon the son of Tyndareus laid aside his mantle, closely-woven, delicately-wrought, which one of the Lemnian maidens had given him as a pledge of hospitality; and the king threw down his dark cloak of double fold with its clasps and the knotted crook of mountain olive which he carried. Then straightway they looked and chose close by a spot that pleased them and bade their comrades sit upon the sand in two lines; nor were they alike to behold in form or in stature. The one seemed to be a monstrous son of baleful Typhoeus or of Earth herself, such as she brought forth aforetime, in her wrath against Zeus; but the other, the son of Tyndareus, was like a star of heaven, whose beams are fairest as it shines through the nightly sky at eventide. Such was the son of Zeus, the bloom of the first down still on his cheeks, still with the look of gladness in his eyes. But his might and fury waxed like a wild beast’s; and he poised his hands to see if they were pliant as before and were not altogether numbed by toil and rowing. But Amycus on his side made no trial; but standing apart in silence he kept his eyes upon his foe, and his spirit surged within him all eager to dash the life-blood from his breast. And between them Lyeoreus, the henchman of Amycus, placed at their feet on each side two pairs of gauntlets made of raw hide, dry, exceeding tough. And the king addressed the hero with arrogant words: “Whichever of these thou wilt, without casting lots, I grant thee freely, that thou mayst not blame me hereafter. Bind them about thy hands; thou shalt learn and tell another how skilled I am to carve the dry oxhides and to spatter men’s cheeks with blood.”  Continue Reading  Greek Text

Theok 22 – Theokritos, Idylls

Then when Castor of the nimble coursers and Polydeuces ruddy as the wine together wandering afield from the rest, for to see the wild woodland of all manner of trees among the hills. Now beneath a certain slabby rock they did find a freshet brimming ever with water pure and clear. The pebbles at the bottom of it were like to silver and crystal, and long and tall there grew beside it, as well firs and poplars and planes and spiry cypresses, as all fragrant flowers which abound in the meadows of outgoing spring to be loved and laboured of the shag bee. In that place there sat taking the air a man both huge and terrible. His ears were crushed shapeless by the hard fist, and his giant breast and great broad back were orbed with iron flesh like a sledge-wrought effigy; moreover the sinews upon his brawny arms upstood beside the shoulder like the boulder-stones some torrent hath rolled and rounded in his swirling eddies; and, to end all, over his neck and about his back there was hung by the claws a swinging lion-skin.

[53] First spoke the champion Polydeuces. ‘Whoever you may be, Sir,’ says he, ‘I bid you good morrow. Pray tell me what people possesseth this country.’

[55] Is it good-morrow, quotha, when I see strangers before me?

[56] Be of good cheer. Trust me, we be no evil men nor come we of evil stock.  Continue Reading  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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