Eurystheus and the Herakleidai (page 466)

Chapter 13: Herakles

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Hdt 6.52 – Herodotos, Historiae

The Lacedaemonians say (but no poet agrees) that it was Aristodemus son of Aristomachus son of Cleodaeus son of Hyllus, and not his sons, who led them to that land which they now possess. [2] After no long time Aristodemus’ wife, whose name was Argeia, bore him offspring; they say she was daughter of Autesion son of Tisamenus son of Thersander son of Polynices; she bore him twins; Aristodemus lived to see the children, then died of a sickness. [3] The Lacedaemonians of that day planned to follow their custom and make the eldest of the children king. But the children were identical in all respects, so the Lacedaemonians did not know which to choose; when they could not judge between them, or perhaps even before this, they asked the mother. [4] She said she knew no better than the Lacedaemonians which was the elder; she knew perfectly well, but she said this because she desired that by some means both might be made kings…...

So they took the child that was preferred by its mother and brought it up at public expense as the first-born; and they called it Eurysthenes, and the other Procles. [8] They say that when these two brothers grew to manhood, they feuded with each other as long as they lived, and their descendants continued to do likewise.  Greek Text

Hdt 7.204 – Herodotos, Historiae

Each city had its own general, but the one most admired and the leader of the whole army was a Lacedaemonian, Leonidas, son of Anaxandrides, son of Leon, son of Eurycratides, son of Anaxandrus, son of Eurycrates, son of Polydorus, son of Alcamenes, son of Teleclus, son of Archelaus, son of Hegesilaus, son of Doryssus, son of Leobotes, son of Echestratus, son of Agis, son of Eurysthenes, son of Aristodemus, son of Aristomachus, son of Cleodaeus, son of Hyllus, son of Heracles. Leonidas had gained the kingship at Sparta unexpectedlyGreek Text

Hdt 8.131 – Herodotos, Historiae

Their general and admiral was Leutychides son of Menares, who traced his lineage from son to father through Hegesilaus, Hippocratides, Leutychides, Anaxilaus, Archidemus, Anaxandrides, Theopompus, Nicandrus, Charilaus, Eunomus, Polydectes, Prytanis, Euryphon, Procles, Aristodemus, Aristomachus, Cleodaeus, to Hyllus who was the son of Heracles. He was of the second royal house.  Greek Text

DS 4.58.1-4 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

After these events all the Heracleidae, now that they had conquered Eurystheus in a battle whose fame was noised abroad and were well supplied with allies because of their success, embarked upon a campaign against Peloponnesus with Hyllus as their commander. [2] Atreus, after the death of Eurystheus, had taken over the kingship in Mycenae, and having added to his forces the Tegeatans and certain other peoples as allies, he went forth to meet the Heracleidae. [3] When the two armies were assembled at the Isthmus, Hyllus, Heracles’ son, challenged to single combat any one of the enemy who would face him, on the agreement that, if Hyllus should conquer his opponent, the Heracleidae should receive the kingdom of Eurystheus, but that, if Hyllus were defeated, the Heracleidae would not return to Peloponnesus for a period of fifty years.​ [4] Echemus, the king of the Tegeatans, came out to meet the challenge, and in the single combat which followed Hyllus was slain and the Heracleidae gave up, as they had promised, their effort to return and made their way back to Tricorythus.  Greek Text

ApB 2.8.2-3 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

But Hyllus married Iole according to his father’s commands, and sought to effect the return of the Heraclids. So he went to Delphi and inquired how they should return; and the god said that they should await the third crop before returning. But Hyllus supposed that the third crop signified three years; and having waited that time he returned with his army … of Hercules to Peloponnese, when Tisamenus, son of Orestes, was reigning over the Peloponnesians. And in another battle the Peloponnesians were victorious, and Aristomachus was slain. But when the sons of Cleodaeus were grown to man’s estate, they inquired of the oracle concerning their return. And the god having given the same answer as before, Temenus blamed him, saying that when they had obeyed the oracle they had been unfortunate. But the god retorted that they were themselves to blame for their misfortunes, for they did not understand the oracles, seeing that by “ the third crop” he meant, not a crop of the earth, but a crop of a generation, and that by the narrows he meant the broad-bellied sea on the right of the Isthmus. On hearing that, Temenus made ready the army and built ships in Locris where the place is now named Naupactus from that. While the army was there, Aristodemus was killed by a thunderbolt, leaving twin sons, Eurysthenes and Procles, by Argia, daughter of Autesion. [3] And it chanced that a calamity also befell the army at Naupactus. For there appeared to them a soothsayer reciting oracles in a fine frenzy, whom they took for a magician sent by the Peloponnesians to be the ruin of the army. So Hippotes, son of Phylas, son of Antiochus, son of Hercules, threw a javelin at him, and hit and killed him. In consequence of that, the naval force perished with the destruction of the fleet, and the land force suffered from famine, and the army disbanded. When Temenus inquired of the oracle concerning this calamity, the god said that these things were done by the soothsayer and he ordered him to banish the slayer for ten years and to take for his guide the Three-Eyed One.  Greek Text

Il 5.655-59 – Homer, Iliad

So spake Sarpedon, and Tlepolemus lifted on high his ashen spear, and the long spears sped from the hands of both at one moment. Sarpedon smote him full upon the neck, and the grievous point passed clean through, and down upon his eyes came the darkness of night and enfolded him.  Greek Text

Il 2.653-70 – Homer, Iliad

And Tlepolemus, son of Heracles, a valiant man and tall, led from Rhodes nine ships of the lordly Rhodians, [655] that dwelt in Rhodes sundered in three divisions—in Lindos and Ialysus and Cameirus, white with chalk. These were led by Tlepolemus, famed for his spear, he that was born to mighty Heracles by Astyocheia, whom he had led forth out of Ephyre from the river Selleïs, [660] when he had laid waste many cities of warriors fostered of Zeus. But when Tlepolemus had grown to manhood in the well-fenced palace, forthwith he slew his own father’s dear uncle, Licymnius, scion of Ares, who was then waxing old. So he straightway built him ships, and when he had gathered together much people, [665] went forth in flight over the sea, for that the other sons and grandsons of mighty Heracles threatened him. But he came to Rhodes in his wanderings, suffering woes, and there his people settled in three divisions by tribes, and were loved of Zeus that is king among gods and men; [670] and upon them was wondrous wealth poured by the son of Cronos.  Greek Text

Ol 7.20-38 – Pindar, Olympian Odes

I shall want to proclaim my message for them, the widely powerful race of Heracles, and tell correctly from the beginning, from Tlepolemus, the story that concerns all. For, on the father’s side, they boast descent from Zeus, while, on the mother’s, they are descendants of Amyntor, through Astydameia. But around the minds of men [25] countless errors loom; and this is impossible to discover: what is best to happen to a man, now and in the end. For indeed, striking Licymnius, the bastard brother of Alcmena, with a staff of hard olive-wood as he came out of the chamber of Midea, [30] the founder of this land once killed that man, in anger. Disturbances of the mind lead astray even a wise man. Tlepolemus went and sought the god’s oracle. To him the golden-haired god spoke, from his fragrant sanctuary, of a voyage by ship from the shore of Lerna straight to the pasture land with sea all around it, where once the great king of the gods showered the city with golden snow, [35] when, by the skills of Hephaestus with the bronze-forged hatchet, Athena leapt from the top of her father’s head and cried aloud with a mighty shout.  Greek Text

DS 4.58.7 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

But Tlepolemus, the son of Heracles, while he dwelt in Argos, slew Licymnius, the son of Electryon, we are told, in a quarrel over a certain matter, and being exiled from Argos because of this murder changed his residence to Rhodes.  Greek Text

ApB 2.8.2 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

Now before they came out of Peloponnese, Tlepolemus had killed Licymnius inadvertently; for while he was beating a servant with his stick Licymnius ran in between; so he fled with not a few, and came to Rhodes, and dwelt there.  Greek Text

ΣA Il 2.662 – Scholia A to Homer, Iliad – Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem I, p. 124, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Oxford 1875.

Greek Text

Σ Ol 7.36cScholia to Pindar, Olympian Odes – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, Scholia in Olympionicas 1, pp. 208-9, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1903.

Greek Text

Σ Ol 7.49aScholia to Pindar, Olympian Odes – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, Scholia in Olympionicas 1, pp. 211-12, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1903.

Greek Text

Σ Ol 7.54 – Scholia to Pindar, OlympianOdes – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, Scholia in Olympionicas 1, p. 213, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1903.

Greek Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, December 2023.

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