P. 363

Sophokles, Kolchides fr 343 R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta vol. 4, p. 319, ed. S.L. Radt. Göttingen 1977. 

Sophokles says that they slaughtered the child (i.e. Apsyrtos) in Kolchis in the house of Aietes.   II  Sophokles in his Kolchides says that they slaughtered Apsyrtos in the house of Aietes (follows in the Skythai etc. [see F 546])  (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Euripides, Medea 1334-35

For you killed your own brother at the hearth [1335] and then stepped aboard the fair-prowed Argo.  Greek Text

Pherekydes 3F32 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, pp. 69-70, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

ApB 1.9.24 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

When Aeetes discovered the daring deeds done by Medea, he started off in pursuit of the ship; but when she saw him near, Medea murdered her brother and cutting him limb from limb threw the pieces into the deep. Gathering the child’s limbs, Aeetes fell behind in the pursuit; wherefore he turned back, and, having buried the rescued limbs of his child, he called the place Tomi. But he sent out many of the Colchians to search for the Argo, threatening that, if they did not bring Medea to him, they should suffer the punishment due to her; so they separated and pursued the search in divers places.  Greek Text

Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika 4.305-481

but the rest went to the river, and them Apsyrtus led, and, turning aside, he entered the mouth called Fair. Wherefore he outstripped the heroes by crossing a neck of land into the furthest gulf of the Ionian sea. For a certain island is enclosed by Ister, by name Peuee, three-cornered, its base stretching along the coast, and with a sharp angle towards the river; and round it the outfall is cleft in two. One mouth they call the mouth of Narex, and the other, at the lower end, the Fair mouth. And through this Apsyrtus and his Colchians rushed with all speed; but the heroes went upwards far away towards the highest part of the island. And in the meadows the country shepherds left their countless flocks for dread of the ships, for they deemed that they were beasts coming forth from the monster-teeming sea. For never yet before had they seen seafaring ships, neither the Scythians mingled with the Thracians, nor the Sigynni, nor yet the Graucenii, nor the Sindi that now inhabit the vast desert plain of Laurium. But when they had passed near the mount Angurum, and the cliff of Cauliacus, far from the mount Angurum, round which Ister, dividing his stream, falls into the sea on this side and on that, and the Laurian plain, then indeed the Colchians went forth into the Cronian sea and cut off all the ways, to prevent their foes’ escape. And the heroes came down the river behind and reached the two Brygean isles of Artemis near at hand. Now in one of them was a sacred temple; and on the other they landed, avoiding the host of Apsyrtus; for the Colchians had left these islands out of many within the river, just as they were, through reverence for the daughter of Zeus; but the rest, thronged by the Colchians, barred the ways to the sea. And so on other islands too, close by, Apsyrtus left his host as far as the river Salangon and the Nestian land.

[338] There the Minyae would at that time have yielded in grim fight, a few to many; but ere then they made a covenant, shunning a dire quarrel; as to the golden fleece, that since Aeetes himself had so promised them if they should fulfill the contests, they should keep it as justly won, whether they carried it off by craft or even openly in the king’s despite; but as to Medea — for that was the cause of strife — that they should give her in ward to Leto’s daughter apart from the throng, until some one of the kings that dispense justice should utter his doom, whether she must return to her father’s home or follow the chieftains to the land of Hellas.  Continue Reading   Greek Text

Hyginus, Fabulae 23

ABSYRTUS: When Aeetes knew that Medea had fled with Jason, he made ready a ship and sent Absyrtus, his son, with armed guards after her. When he had caught up with her in the Adriatic Sea in Histria at King Alcinous’ court, and would fight for her, Alcinous intervened to prevent their fighting. They took him as arbiter, and he put them off till the next day. When he seemed depressed and Arete, his wife, asked him the cause of his sadness, he said he had been made arbiter by two different states, to judge between Colchians and Argives. When Arete asked him what judgment he would give, Alcinous replied that if Medea were a virgin, he would give her to her father, but if not, to her husband. When Arete heard this from her husband, she sent word to Jason, and he lay with Medea by night in a cave. Then next day when they came to court, and Medea was found to be a wife she was given to her husband. Nevertheless, when they had left, Absyrtus, fearing his father’s commands, pursued them to the island of Minerva. When Jason was sacrificing there to Minerva, and Absyrtus came upon him, he was killed by Jason. Medea gave him burial, and they departed. The Colchians who had come with Absyrtus, fearing Aeetes, remained there and founded a town which from Absyrtus’ name they called Absoros. Now this island is located in Histria, opposite Pola, joined[?] to the island.  Latin Text

Ovid, Heroides 6.129-30

Would she, who could scatter the dismembered joints of her own brother, scruple to imbue her hands in the blood of these innocent pledges of my love?  Latin Text

Ovid, Heroides 12.113-16

Alas! why did I not leave my brother also? Here conscious guilt arrests my hand, and commands me to draw a veil over my crime. My hand refuses to write what it dared to commit. In this manner ought I to have been torn to pieces.  Latin Text

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

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