Chapter 1: The Early Gods
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♠ Homeric Hymn to Apollo 3.14-126
Rejoice, blessed Leto, for you bare glorious children, the lord Apollo and Artemis who delights in arrows; her in Ortygia, and him in rocky Delos, as you rested against the great mass of the Cynthian hill hard by a palm-tree by the streams of Inopus.
How, then, shall I sing of you who in all ways are a worthy theme of song? For everywhere, O Phoebus, the whole range of song is fallen to you, both over the mainland that rears heifers and over the isles. All mountain-peaks and high headlands of lofty hills and rivers flowing out to the deep and beaches sloping seawards and havens of the sea are your delight. Shall I sing how at the first Leto bare you to be the joy of men, as she rested against Mount Cynthus in that rocky isle, in sea-girt Delos —while on either hand a dark wave rolled on landwards driven by shrill winds —whence arising you rule over all mortal men?
Among those who are in Crete, and in the township of Athens, and in the isle of Aegina and Euboea, famous for ships, in Aegae and Eiresiae and Peparethus near the sea, in Thracian Athos and Pelion‘s towering heights and Thracian Samos and the shady hills of Ida, in Scyros and Phocaea and the high hill of Autocane and fair-lying Imbros and smouldering Lemnos and rich Lesbos, home of Macar, the son of Aeolus, and Chios, brightest of all the isles that lie in the sea, and craggy Mimas and the heights of Corycus and gleaming Claros and the sheer hill of Aesagea and watered Samos and the steep heights of Mycale, in Miletus and Cos, the city of Meropian men, and steep Cnidos and windy Carpathos, in Naxos and Paros and rocky Rhenaea — so far roamed Leto in travail with the god who shoots afar, to see if any land would be willing to make a dwelling for her son. Continue Greek Text
♠ Theognis 5-10 – Iambi et Elegi Graeci 1, p. 174, ed. M.L. West, Oxford 1971
♠ Pindar, Paian 12 – Pindarus 2, pp. 49-52, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.
♠ 886 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 472 ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.
♠ Pindar fr 33d SM – Pindarus 2, p. 10, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.
♠ ApB 1.4.1 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)
But Latona for her intrigue with Zeus was hunted by Hera over the whole earth, till she came to Delos and brought forth first Artemis, by the help of whose midwifery she afterwards gave birth to Apollo. Greek Text
♠ Hyginus, Fabulae 140
PYTHON: Python, offspring of Terra, was a huge dragon who, before the time of Apollo, used to give oracular responses on Mount Parnassus. Death was fated to come to him from the offspring of Latona. At that time Jove lay with Latona, daughter of Polus. When Juno found this out, she decreed (?) that Latona should give birth at a place where the sun did not shine. When Python knew that Latona was pregnant by Jove, he followed her to kill her. But by order of Jove the wind Aquilo carried Latona away, and bore her to Neptune. He protected her, but in order not to make voice Juno’s decree, he took her to the island Ortygia, and covered the island with waves. When Python did not find her, he returned to Parnassus. But Neptune brought the island of Ortygia up to a higher position; it was later called the island of Delos. There Latona, clinging to an olive tree, bore Apollo and Diana, to whom Vulcan gave arrows as gifts. Four days after they were born, Apollo exacted vengeance for his mother. For he went to Parnassus and slew Python with his arrows. (Because of this deed he is called Pythian.) He put Python’s bones in a cauldron, deposited them in his temple, and instituted funeral games for him which are called Pythian. Latin Text
♠ Homeric Hymnto Apollo 3.5
But Leto alone stays by the side of Zeus who delights in thunder. Greek Text
♠ Homer, Iliad 21.497-504
But unto Leto spake the messenger Argeiphontes: “Leto, it is not I that will anywise fight with thee; a hard thing were it to bandy blows with the wives of Zeus, the cloud-gatherer; nay, with a right ready heart boast thou among the immortal gods that thou didst vanquish me with thy great might.” So spake he, and Leto gathered up the curved bow and the arrows that had fallen hither and thither amid the whirl of dust. She then, when she had taken her daughter’s bow and arrows, went back. Greek Text
♠ Homer, Iliad 20.38-40
but unto the Trojans went Ares, of the flashing helm, and with him Phoebus, of the unshorn locks, and Artemis, the archer, and Leto and Xanthus and laughter-loving Aphrodite. Greek Text
Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, July 2020
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