Phineus and the Harpuiai (page 352)

Chapter 12: Iason and the Argo

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DS 4.43.3-44.4 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

At that time, however, the tale continues, when the storm had abated, the chieftains landed in Thrace on the country which was ruled by Phineus. Here they came upon two youths who by way of punishment had been shut within a burial vault where they were being subjected to continual blows of the whip; these were sons of Phineus and Cleopatra, who men said was born of Oreithyïa, the daughter of Erechtheus, and Boreas, and had unjustly been subjected to such a punishment because of the unscrupulousness and lying accusations of their mother-in‑law. [4] For Phineus had married Idaea, the daughter of Dardanus the king of the Scythians, and yielding to her every desire out of his love for her he had believed her charge that his sons by an earlier marriage had insolently offered violence to their mother-in‑law out of a desire to please their mother. And when Heracles and his friends unexpectedly appeared, the youths who were suffering these tortures, they say, made supplication to the chieftains as they would to gods, and setting forth the causes of their father’s unlawful conduct implored that they be delivered from their unfortunate lot.

[44.1] Phineus, however, the account continues, met the strangers with bitter words and ordered them not to busy themselves with his affairs; for no father, he said, exacts punishment of his sons of his free will, unless they have overcome, by the magnitude of their crimes, the natural love which parents bear towards their children. [2] Thereupon the young men, who were known as Boreadae​ and were of the company which sailed with Heracles, since they were brothers of Cleopatra, and because of their kinship with the young men, were the first, it is said, to rush to their aid, and they tore apart the chains which encircled them and slew such barbarians as offered resistance. [3] And when Phineus hastened to join battle with them and the Thracian multitude ran together, Heracles, they say, who performed the mightiest deeds of them all, slew Phineus himself and no small number of the rest, and finally capturing the royal palace led Cleopatra forth from out the prison, and restored to the sons of Phineus their ancestral rule. But when the sons wished to put their stepmother to death under torture, Heracles persuaded them to renounce such a vengeance, and so the sons, sending her to her father in Scythia, urged that she be punished for her wicked treatment of them. [4] And this was done; the Scythian condemned his daughter to death, and the sons of Cleopatra gained in this way among the Thracians a reputation for equitable dealing.  Greek Text

AP 3.4  – Palatine Anthology (Greek Anthology): Cyzene Epigrams 1, pp. 96-7, ed. W.R. Paton. Cambridge Mass., 1916-18.

Greek Text and English Translation

Σ Od  12.69 – Scholia to Homer, Odyssey – Scholia Graeca in Homeris Odysseam 2, pp. 533-35, ed. W. Dindorf. Oxford 1855. 

Greek Text

same as

Asklepiades 12F31 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 174-5, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

DS 4. 44.4 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

I am not unaware that certain writers of myths say that the sons of Phineus were blinded by their father and that Phineus suffered the like fate at the hands of Boreas.  Greek Text

ApB 1.9.21 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

Thence they put to sea and came to land at Salmydessus in Thrace, where dwelt Phineus, a seer who had lost the sight of both eyes. Some say he was a son of Agenor, but others that he was a son of Poseidon, and he is variously alleged to have been blinded by the gods for foretelling men the future; or by Boreas and the Argonauts because he blinded his own sons at the instigation of their stepmother; or by Poseidon, because he revealed to the children of Phrixus how they could sail from Colchis to Greece.  Greek Text

ApB 3.15.3 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

Cleopatra was married to Phineus, who had by her two sons, Plexippus and Pandion. When he had these sons by Cleopatra, he married Idaea, daughter of Dardanus. She falsely accused her stepsons to Phineus of corrupting her virtue, and Phineus, believing her, blinded them both. But when the Argonauts sailed past with Boreas, they punished him.  Greek Text

OA 671-76 – Orphic Argonautika Les argonautiques d’Orphée, ed G. Dottin. Paris 1930.

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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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