♠ Pherekydes 3F54 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 76, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.
♠ Akousilaos 2F14 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 51, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.
♠ Akousilaos 2F13 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 51, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.
♦ Munich, Antikensammlungen 596: Chalkidian black-figure hydria with Zeus and Typhoeus
A. Furtwaengler and K. Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei: Auswahl hervorragender Vasenbilder (Serie I, 1904), pl. 32
♦ Olympia, Archaeological Museum B988: bronze shield-band relief with Zeus and Typhoeus
♦ Olympia, Archaeological Museum B1636: bronze shield-band relief with Zeus and Typhoeus
♦ Boston, Museum of Fine Arts: Protocorinthian aryballos with Zeus and Typhoeus?
Antoninus Liberalis 28 – Mythography Graeci 2.1, pp. 107-8, ed. E. Martini. Leipzig 1896.
♠ ApB 1.6.3 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)
When the gods had overcome the giants, Earth, still more enraged, had intercourse with Tartarus and brought forth Typhon in Cilicia, a hybrid between man and beast. In size and strength he surpassed all the offspring of Earth. As far as the thighs he was of human shape and of such prodigious bulk that he out-topped all the mountains, and his head often brushed the stars. One of his hands reached out to the west and the other to the east, and from them projected a hundred dragons’ heads. From the thighs downward he had huge coils of vipers, which when drawn out, reached to his very head and emitted a loud hissing. His body was all winged:unkempt hair streamed on the wind from his head and cheeks; and fire flashed from his eyes. Such and so great was Typhon when, hurling kindled rocks, he made for the very heaven with hissings and shouts, spouting a great jet of fire from his mouth. But when the gods saw him rushing at heaven, they made for Egypt in flight, and being pursued they changed their forms into those of animals. However Zeus pelted Typhon at a distance with thunderbolts, and at close quarters struck him down with an adamantine sickle, and as he fled pursued him closely as far as Mount Casius, which overhangs Syria. There, seeing the monster sore wounded, he grappled with him. But Typhon twined about him and gripped him in his coils, and wresting the sickle from him severed the sinews of his hands and feet, and lifting him on his shoulders carried him through the sea to Cilicia and deposited him on arrival in the Corycian cave. Likewise he put away the sinews there also, hidden in a bearskin, and he set to guard them the she-dragon Delphyne, who was a half-bestial maiden. But Hermes and Aegipan stole the sinews and fitted them unobserved to Zeus. And having recovered his strength Zeus suddenly from heaven, riding in a chariot of winged horses, pelted Typhon with thunderbolts and pursued him to the mountain called Nysa, where the Fates beguiled the fugitive; for he tasted of the ephemeral fruits in the persuasion that he would be strengthened thereby. So being again pursued he came to Thrace, and in fighting at Mount Haemus he heaved whole mountains. But when these recoiled on him through the force of the thunderbolt, a stream of blood gushed out on the mountain, and they say that from that circumstance the mountain was called Haemus. And when he started to flee through the Sicilian sea, Zeus cast Mount Etna in Sicily upon him. That is a huge mountain, from which down to this day they say that blasts of fire issue from the thunderbolts that were thrown. So much for that subject. Greek Text
Nonnos, Dionysiaca 1.362-534
With these words Zeus passed away in the shape of the horned Bull, from which the Tauros Mountain takes its name.
But Cadmos tuned up the deceitful notes of his harmonious reeds, as he reclined under a neighbouring tree in the pasturing woodland; wearing the country garb of a real herdsman, he sent the deluding tune to Typhaon’s ears, puffing his cheeks to blow the soft breath. The Giant loved music, and when he heard this delusive melody, he leapt up and dragged along his viperish feet; he left in a cave the flaming weapons of Zeus with Mother Earth to keep them, and followed the notes to seek the neighbouring tune of the pipes which delighted his soul. There he was seen by Cadmos near the bushes, who was sore afraid and hid in a cleft of the rock. But the monster Typhoeus with head high in air saw him trying to hide himself, and beckoned with voiceless signs, nor did he understand the trick in this beautiful music; then face to face with the shepherd, he held out one right hand, not seeing the net of destruction, and with his middle face, blood-red and human in shape, he laughed aloud and burst into empty boasts:
“Why do you fear me, goatherd? Why do you cover your eyes with your hand? A fine feat I should think it to pursue a mortal man, after Cronion! A fine feat to carry off panspipes alone with the lightning! What have reeds to do with flaming thunderbolts? Keep your pipes alone, since Typhoeus possesses another kind of organ, the Olympian, which plays by itself! There sits Zeus, without his clouds, hands unrumbling, none of his usual noise – he could do with your pipes. Let him have your handful of reeds to play. I don’t join worthless reeds to other reeds in a row and wave them about, but I roll up clouds upon clouds into a lump, and discharge a bang all at once with rumblings all over the sky!
“Let’s have a friendly match, if you like. Come on, you make music and sound your reedy tune, I will crash my thundery tune. You puff our your cheek all swollen with wind, and blow with your lips, but Boreas is my blower, and my thunderbolts boom when his breath flogs them. Drover, I will pay you for your pipes: for when I shall hold the sceptre instead of Zeus, and drive the heavenly throne, you shall come with me; leave the earth and I will bring you to heaven pipes and all, with your flock too if you like, you shall not be parted from your herd. I’ll settle your goats over the backbone of Aigoceros, one of the same breed; or near the Charioteer, who pushes the shining Olenian She-goat in Olympos with his sparkling arm. I’ll put your cattle beside the rainy Bull’s broad shoulder and make them stars rising in Olympos, or near the dewy turning-piont where Selene’s cattle send out a windy moo from their life-warming throats. You will not want your little hut. Instead of your bushes, let your flock go flashing with the ethereal Kids: I will make them another crib, to shine beside the Asses’ Crib and as good as theirs. Be a star yourself instead of a drover, where the Ox-driver is seen; wield a starry goad yourself, and drive the Bear’s Lycaonian wain. Happy shepherd, be heavenly Typhon’s guest at table: tune up on earth to-day, to-morrow in heaven! You shall have ample recompense for your song: I will establish your face in the starlit circle of heaven, and join your tuneful pipes to the heavenly Harp. If you like, I will give you Athena for your holy bride: if you do not care for Grayeyes, take Leto, or Charis, or Cythereia, or Artemis, or Hebe to wife. Only don’t ask me for my Hera’s bed. If you have a horse-master brother who can manage a team, let him take Helios’ fiery four-in-hand. If you want to wield the goatskin cape of Zeus, being a goatherd, I will make you a present of that too. I mean to march into Olympos caring nothing for Zeus unarmed; and what could Athena do to me with her armour? – a female! Srike up ‘See the Conquering Typhon comes,’ you herdsman! Sing the new lawful sovereign of Olympos in me, bearing he sceptre of Zeus and his robe of lightning!”
He spoke, and Adrasteia took note of his words thus far. But when Cadmos understood that the son of Earth had been carried by Fate’s thread into his hunting-net, a willing captive, struck by the delightful sting of those soul-delighting reeds, unsmiling he uttered this artful speech:
“You liked the little tune of my pipes, when you heard it; tell me, what would you do when I strike out a hymn of victory on the harp of seven strings, to honour your throne? Indeed, I matched myself against Phoibos with his heavenly quill, and beat him with my own harp, but Cronides burnt to dust my fine ringing strings with a thunderbolt, to please his beaten son! But if ever I find again the swelling sinews, I will strike up a tune with my quills to bewitch all the trees and the mountains and the temper of wild beasts. I will drag back Oceanos, that coronet self-wreathed about the earth and old as earth herself, I will make him hasten and bring his stream rolling back upon himself round the same road. I will stay the army of fixed stars, and the racing planets, and Phaëthon, and Selene’s carriage-pole. But when you strike Zeus and the gods with your thunderbolt, do leave only the Archer, that while Typhon feasts at his table, I and Phoibos may have a match, and see which will beat which in celebrating mighty Typhon! And do not kill the dancing Pierides, that they may weave the women’s lay harmonious with our manly song when Phoibos or your shepherd leads the merry dance!”
He finished; and Typhoeus bowed his flashing eyebrows and shook his locks: every hair belched viper-poison and drenched the hills. Quick he returned to his cave, took up and brought out the sinews of Zeus, and gave them to crafty Cadmos as the guest’s gift; they had fallen on the ground in the battle with Typhaon.
The deceitful shepherd thanked him for the immortal gift; he handled the sinews carefully, as if they were to be strung on the harp, and hid them in a hole in the rock, kept safe for Zeus Giant-slayer. Then with pursed-up lips he let out a soft and gentle breath, pressing the reeds and stealing the notes, and sounded a tune more dainty than ever. Typhoeus pricked up all his many ears and listened to the melody, and knew nothing. The Giant was bewitched, while the false shepherd whistled by his side, as if sounding the rout of the immortals with his pipes; but he was celebrating the soon-coming victory of Zeus, and singing the fate of Typhon to Typhon sitting by his side. So he excited him to frenzy even more; and as a lusty youth enamoured is bewitched by delicious thrills by the side of a maiden his agemate, and gazes now at the silvery round of her charming face, now at a straying curl of her thick hair, now again at a rosy hand, or notes the circle of her blushing breast pressed by the bodice, and watches the bare neck, as he delights to let his eye run over and over her body never satisfied, and never will leave his girl – so Typhoeus yielded his whole soul to Cadmos for the melody to charm. Greek Text
Artistic sources edited by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, March 2018
Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, July 2020
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