The Propontis: Kyzikos and Amykos (page 349 with art)

Chapter 12: Iason and the Argo

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VF 4.99-343 – Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica

Next open out the shores of the Bebrycian realm, a land of fertile soil and a good friend to sturdy bulls. Amycus was its king, and trusting to his destiny and power divine they girded not their homes with walls nor observed conditions of treaties or laws that constrain peaceful minds. Even as the wild Cyclopes in Aetna’s caverns watch the straits during stormy nights, should any vessel driven by fierce south winds draw nigh, bringing thee, Polyphemus, grim fodder and wretched victims for thy feasting, so look they forth and speed every way to drag captive bodies to their king. Them doth the cruel monarch himself on the rocky verge of a sacrificial ridge, that looms above mid-sea, take and hurl down in offering to his father Neptune; but should the men be of finer build, then he bids them take arms and meet him with the gauntlets; that for the hapless men is the fairest doom of death.

[[114] When Neptune saw the vessel borne hither upon the flood and for the last time looked upon his son’s domain the fields that once rejoiced in their master’s contests, he sighed and poured from his heart such plaints as these: “Melie, ‘tis pity thou wast long ago carried off by me beneath the waves, and didst not rather yield to the Thunderer! So utterly then does a sad fate await my offspring, from whosoever born? Ere now have I known thee so to act, O Jupiter, when hapless Orion fell by the cruel virgin’s shaft and now fills Chaos. And let not thy valour, O my son, nor confidence in me afford thee courage, trust no more in thy father’s power. Now other might has the mastery, and the destinies of Jove, more eager to protect his own, are too strong for blood of mine. Therefore I stove not to turn away this ship with boisterous winds nor stayed her course, nor now can I in aught delay thy death. Make lesser kings thy prey, hard-hearted one!” Then he turned his gaze away, and the father, leaving his son and the ill-starred combat, laved the shores with a tide of blood.  Continue Reading  Latin Text

ApB 1.9.20 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

From Mysia they departed to the land of the Bebryces, which was ruled by King Amycus, son of Poseidon and a Bithynian nymph. Being a doughty man he compelled the strangers that landed to box and in that way made an end of them. So going to the Argo as usual, he challenged the best man of the crew to a boxing match. Pollux undertook to box against him and killed him with a blow on the elbow. When the Bebryces made a rush at him, the chiefs snatched up their arms and put them to flight with great slaughter.  Greek Text

Fab 17 – Hyginus, Fabulae

AMYCUS: Amycus, son of Neptune and Melie, king of Bebrycia, compelled whoever came to his kingdom to contend with him in boxing, and slew the vanquished. When he had challenged the Argonauts to a boxing match, Pollux fought with him and killed him.  Latin Text

Peisandros 16F5 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1p. 181, ed. F. Jacoby. 2d ed. Leiden 1957. 

Greek Text

fr 6 Kaibel – Epicharmos, Amykos– Fragments of Epicharmos cited according to G. Kaibel, Comicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 1, p. 92. Berlin 1899.

Greek Text

fr 7 Kaibel – Epicharmos, Amykos – Fragments of Epicharmos cited according to G. Kaibel, Comicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 1, p. 92. Berlin 1899.

Greek Text

Paris, Cabinet des Medailles 442.  Lucanian hydria with Amykos bound on a rock.



Roma, Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia 24787.  Cista Ficoroni, Polydeukes securing Amykos to a tree.



Ferrara, Museo Archeologico di Spina 2865.  Attic red-figure volute krater, Group of Polygnotos.  Amykos (boxer) bound to the tree..

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

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