The Return Voyage (page 364)

Chapter 12: Iason and the Argo

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fr 546 R – Sophokles, Skythai Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 4, p. 416, ed. S.L. Radt. Göttingen 1977.

Not from one single marriage-bed did they spring, for Apsyrtus, the Nereid’s son, was still growing up, while Eiduia, daughter of Ocean was Medea’s mother long before …  (Transl. Mary Emerson)

fr 9 Rib – Accius, Medea Tragicorum Romanorum Fragmenta, ed. O. Ribbeck. Scaenicae Romanorum Poesis Fragmenta 1, p. 181 Leipzig 1897.

Latin Text

Dionysios 32F10 FGrHDie Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 246, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Py 4.19-56 – Pindar, Pythian Odes

That token shall make [20] Thera the mother-city of great cities, the token which once, beside the out-flowing waters of lake Tritonis, Euphemus received as he descended from the prow, a clod of earth as a gift of friendship from a god in the likeness of a man. And as a sign of favor, Zeus the son of Cronus sounded a peal of thunder, when the stranger found us hanging the bronze-jawed anchor [25] , the bridle of the swift Argo, against the ship. Before that we had been dragging our seafaring ship for twelve days from the Ocean over the deserted back of the land, having drawn it ashore by my counsels. And then the solitary god approached, who had assumed the splendid appearance of an honored man. He began to speak friendly words, [30] such as beneficent hosts use when they first invite arriving strangers to a meal. But we could not stay, for the plea of our sweet homecoming prevented us from lingering. He said that he was Eurypylus, the son of the holder of the earth, the immortal earth-shaker Poseidon. He realized that we were hurrying on our way, and straightaway with his right hand he snatched up a piece of earth, [35] the first thing to come to hand, and sought to present it as a gift of hospitality. He did not fail to persuade Euphemus; the hero leapt down onto the shore, and, pressing his hand in the hand of the stranger, received the divine clod of earth. But now I learn that it was washed out of the ship into the sea by a wave [40] at evening, following the watery tide. Truly, I often urged the sailors who relieve their masters from toil to guard it; but their minds were forgetful, and now on this island the immortal seed of spacious Libya is washed ashore before the proper time. For if only Euphemus had gone to his home in holy Taenarus and cast the clod beside the earthly mouth of Hades— [45] Euphemus the son of lord Poseidon, ruler of horses, whom once Europa the daughter of Tityus bore beside the banks of the Cephisus— the blood of the fourth generation descended from him would have taken possession of that broad continent together with the Danaans; for then they will be uprooted from Lacedaemon and the Argive gulf and 

Mycenae. [50] As it is, Euphemus shall find in the beds of foreign women a chosen race, who, with the honor of the gods, will come to this island and beget a man who will be master of the dark-clouded plains; whom one day Phoebus, in his home rich in gold, will mention in his oracles [55] when he goes into the Pythian shrine at a later time; Phoebus will tell him to carry cities in his ships to the fertile precinct of the son of Cronus beside the Nile.”  Greek Text

Py 4.50-51 – PyndarPythian Odes

As it is, Euphemus shall find in the beds of foreign women a chosen race.  Greek Text

AR 4.1551-61 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

then before them stood, in the form of a youth, farswaying Triton, and he lifted a clod from the earth and offered it as a stranger’s gift, and thus spake: “Take it, friends, for no stranger’s gift of great worth have I here by me now to place in the hands of those who beseech me. But if ye are searching for a passage through this sea, as often is the need of men passing through a strange land, I will declare it. For my sire Poseidon has made me to be well versed in this sea. And I rule the shore if haply in your distant land you have ever heard of Eurypylus, born in Libya, the home of wild beasts.”  Greek Text

AR 4.1731-64 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

But when they had loosed the hawsers thence in fair weather, then Euphemus bethought him of a dream of the night, reverencing the glorious son of Maia. For it seemed to him that the god-given clod of earth held in his palm close to his breast was being suckled by white streams of milk, and that from it, little though it was, grew a woman like a virgin; and he, overcome by strong desire, lay with her in love’s embrace; and united with her he pitied her, as though she were a maiden whom he was feeding with his own milk; but she comforted him with gentle words:) “Daughter of Triton am I, dear friend, and nurse of thy children, no maiden; Triton and Libya are my parents. But restore me to the daughters of Nereus to dwell in the sea near Anaphe; I shall return again to the light of the sun, to prepare a home for thy descendants.”

[1746] Of this he stored in his heart the memory, and declared it to Aeson’s son; and Jason pondered a prophecy of the Far-Darter and lifted up his voice and said: “My friend, great and glorious renown has fallen to thy lot. For of this clod when thou hast cast it into the sea, the gods will make an island, where thy children’s children shall dwell; for Triton gave this to thee as a stranger’s gift from the Libyan mainland. None other of the immortals it was than he that gave thee this when he met thee.”

[1755] Thus he spake; and Euphemus made not vain the answer of Aeson’s son; but, cheered by the prophecy, he cast the clod into the depths. Therefrom rose up an island, Calliste, sacred nurse of the sons of Euphemus, who in former days dwelt in Sintian Lemnos, and from Lemnos were driven forth by Tyrrhenians and came to Sparta as suppliants; and when they left Sparta, Theras, the goodly son of Autesion, brought them to the island Calliste, and from himself he gave it the name of Thera. But this befell after the days of Euphemus.  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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