Aktaion (page 480, with art)

Chapter 14: Thebes

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Bakch 337-40 – Euripides, Bakchai

You see the wretched fate of Actaeon, who was torn apart in the meadows by the blood-thirsty hounds he had raised, having boasted that he was superior in the hunt to Artemis. Greek Text

Aischylos, Toxotides fr 241 R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, p. 346, ed. B. Snell. Gottingen 1971.

Kallimachos, Hymn 5.107-18 to Athena

How many burnt offerings shall the daughter of Cadmus burn in the days to come? How many Aristaeus? – praying that they might see their only son, the young Actaeon, blind. And yet he shall be companion of the chase to great Artemis. But him neither the chase nor comradeship in archery on the hills shall save in that hour, when, albeit unwillingly, he shall behold the beauteous bath of the goddess. Nay, his own dogs shall then devour their former lord. And his mother shall gather the bones of her son, ranging over all the thickets. Greek Text

ApB 3.4.4 – Apollodorus, Biliotheke (Library)

He perished in that way, according to Acusilaus, because Zeus was angry at him for wooing Semele; but according to the more general opinion, it was because he saw Artemis bathing. And they say that the goddess at once transformed him into a deer, and drove mad the fifty dogs in his pack, which devoured him unwittingly. Greek Text

Met 3.138-252 – Ovid, Metamorphoses

Thy grandson, Cadmus, was the first to cast
thy dear felicity in sorrow’s gloom.
Oh, it was pitiful to witness him,
his horns outbranching from his forehead, chased
by dogs that panted for their master’s blood!
If thou shouldst well inquire it will be shown
his sorrow was the crime of Fortune—not
his guilt—for who maintains mistakes are crimes?

Upon a mountain stained with slaughtered game,
the young Hyantian stood. Already day,
increasing to meridian, made decrease
the flitting shadows, and the hot sun shone
betwixt extremes in equal distance. Such
the hour, when speaking to his fellow friends,
the while they wandered by those lonely haunts,
actaeon of Hyantis kindly thus;
“Our nets and steel are stained with slaughtered game,
the day has filled its complement of sport;
now, when Aurora in her saffron car
brings back the light of day, we may again
repair to haunts of sport. Now Phoebus hangs
in middle sky, cleaving the fields with heat.—
enough of toil; take down the knotted nets.”—
all did as he commanded; and they sought
their needed rest.

There is a valley called
Gargaphia; sacred to Diana, dense
with pine trees and the pointed cypress, where,
deep in the woods that fringed the valley’s edge,
was hollowed in frail sandstone and the soft
white pumice of the hills an arch, so true
it seemed the art of man; for Nature’s touch
ingenious had so fairly wrought the stone,
making the entrance of a grotto cool.
Upon the right a limpid fountain ran,
and babbled, as its lucid channel spread
into a clear pool edged with tender grass.
Here, when a-wearied with exciting sport,
the Sylvan goddess loved to come and bathe
her virgin beauty in the crystal poolContinue Reading  Latin Text

DS 4.81.4-5 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

For whether Acteon made an improper use of the spoils of his hunting to satisfy his own desire upon her who has no part in marriage, or whether he was so bold as to assert that as a hunter he was to be preferred above her before whom even gods withdraw from rivalry in the chase, all would agree that the goddess was justified in having become indignant at him. Greek Text

Fab 180 – Hyginus, Fabulae

Actaeon, son of Aristaeus and Autonoe, a shepherd, saw Diana bathing and desired to ravish her. Angry at this, Diana made horns grow on his head, and he was devoured by his own dogs. Latin Text

Bomarzo (provenance), now lost: Attic black-figure cup, Aktaion attacked by dogs

P. Jacobstahl, “Aktaions Tod,” Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 5 (1929), p. 2 fig. 2

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Athens, National Archaeological Museum 488: Attic black-figure lekythos with  Aktaion attacked by dogs

P. Jacobstahl, “Aktaions Tod,” Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 5 (1929), p. 3 fig. 4

Arachne (details of flanking women)

Digital LIMC (details of flanking women)

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Athens, National Archaeological Museum 489: Attic black-figure lekythos with  Aktaion attacked by dogs

P. Jacobstahl, “Aktaions Tod,” Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 5 (1929), p. 2 fig. 3

Digital LIMC

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Athens, National Museum 12767: Attic black-figure white-ground alabastron with Aktaion defending himself from dogs with sword

P. Jacobstahl, “Aktaions Tod,” Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 5 (1929), p. 3 fig. 5

Digital LIMC (with views of four women flanking attack)

Beazley Archive Pottery Database (no photos)

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Artistic sources edited by by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, July 2020

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2020

 

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