Primal Elements (page 7, with art)

Chapter 1: The Early Gods

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ApB 2.5.11 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

When the labours had been performed in eight years and a month, Eurystheus ordered Hercules, as an eleventh labour, to fetch golden apples from the Hesperides, for he did not acknowledge the labour of the cattle of Augeas nor that of the hydra. These apples were not, as some have said, in Libya, but on Atlas among the Hyperboreans. They were presented < by Earth> to Zeus after his marriage with Hera, and guarded by an immortal dragon with a hundred heads, offspring of Typhon and Echidna, which spoke with many and divers sorts of voices. With it the Hesperides also were on guard, to wit, Aegle, Erythia, Hesperia, and Arethusa. Greek Text

Scholia to Apollonio of Rhodes 4.1396a – Scholia in Apollonium Rhodium vetera, p. 315, ed C. Wendel. Berlin 1935.

same as

Agroitas 762F3a

DS 4.26-27 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

At any rate Heracles slew the guardian of the apples, and after he had duly brought them to Eurystheus and had in this wise finished his Labours he waited to receive the gift of immortality, even as Apollo had prophesied to him.

But we must not fail to mention what the myths relate about Atlas and about the race of the Hesperides. The account runs like this: In the country known as Hesperitis there were two brothers whose fame was known abroad, Hesperus and Atlas. These brothers possessed flocks of sheep which excelled in beauty and were in colour of a golden yellow, this being the reason why the poets, in speaking of these sheep as mela, called them golden mela. Now Hesperus begat a daughter named Hesperis, whom he gave in marriage to his brother and after whom the land was given the name Hesperitis; and Atlas begat by her seven daughters, who were named after their father Atlantides, and after their mother, Hesperides. Greek Text

Ruvo, Museo Jatta 1097: Apulian red-figure volute krater with Hesperides and snake (Ophis)

M. Jatta, “La Collezione Jatta e l’ellenizzamento della Peucezia,” Japigia: Rivista pugliese di archeologia, storia e arte (1932), 270 fig. 51

alamy photo

iconiclimc (general view)

iconiclimc (neck and body of vase)

iconiclimc (detail)

Homer, Iliad 24.49

For an enduring soul have the Fates given unto men. Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 24.209-10

On this wise for him did mighty Fate spin with her thread at his birth, when myself did bear him, that he should glut swift-footed dogs far from his parents. Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 20.127-28

But thereafter shall he suffer whatever Fate spun for him with her thread at his birth, when his mother bare him. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 7.197-98

But thereafter he shall suffer whatever Fate and the dread Spinners spun with their thread for him at his birth, when his mother bore him. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 4.207-8

Easily known is the seed of that man for whom the son of Cronos spins the thread of good fortune at marriage and at birth. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 1.17-18

But when, as the seasons revolved, the year came in which the gods had ordained that he should return home to Ithaca. Greek Text

Hesiod, Theogony 217-19

Also she [Nignt] bore the Destinies and ruthless avenging Fates, Clotho and Lachesis and Atropos, who give men at their birth both evil and good to have. Greek Text

Hesiod, Theogony 904-6

Next he [Zeus] married bright Themis who bore the Horae (Hours), and Eunomia (Order), Dikë (Justice), and blooming Eirene (Peace), who mind the works of mortal men, and the Moerae (Fates) to whom wise Zeus gave the greatest honor, Clotho, and Lachesis, and Atropos who give mortal men evil and good to have. Greek Text

Hesiod, Aspis (Shield of Heracles) 258-63

Clotho and Lachesis were over them and Atropos less tall than they, a goddess of no great frame, yet superior to the others and the eldest of them. And they all made a fierce fight over one poor wretch, glaring evilly at one another with furious eyes and fighting equally with claws and hands. Greek Text

Pindar, Olympian 1.26

when Clotho took him [Pelops] out of the pure cauldron, furnished with a gleaming ivory shoulder. Greek Text

Pindar, Paian 12.16-17 – Pindarus 2, p. 50, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.

They uttered a great roar from their mouth

both Eleithuia and Lachesis. (Transl. E. Bianchelli)


Pindar, Olympian 7.64-67

And he bid Lachesis of the golden headband raise her hands right away, and speak, correctly and earnestly, the great oath of the gods, and consent with the son of Cronus that that island, when it had risen into the shining air, should thereafter be his own prize of honor. Greek Text

Pindar, Olympian 6.41-42

The golden-haired god sent gentle-minded Eleithuia and the Fates to help her. Greek Text

Pindar, Nemean 7.1

Eleithuia, seated beside the deep-thinking Fates. Greek Text

Pindar, Olympian 10.51-52

But in this rite of first birth the Fates stood close by. Greek Text

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#Hesperides, #Moirai, #Ophis

Artistic sources edited by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, September 2017

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, University of Georgia, June 2020

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