Orpheus (page 721 lower)

Chapter 18: Other Myths

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#Orpheus

Delphi, Museum, metope from the Sikyonian Treasury.  See Ch. 12, p. 344

Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika 4.891-911

And soon they saw a fair island, Anthemoessa, where the clear- voiced Sirens, daughters of Achelous, used to beguile with their sweet songs whoever cast anchor there, and then destroy him. Them lovely Terpsichore, one of the Muses, bare, united with Achelous; and once they tended Demeter’s noble daughter still unwed, and sang to her in chorus; and at that time they were fashioned in part like birds and in part like maidens to behold. And ever on the watch from their place of prospect with its fair haven, often from many had they taken away their sweet return, consuming them with wasting desire; and suddenly to the heroes, too, they sent forth from their lips a lily-like voice. And they were already about to cast from the ship the hawsers to the shore, had not Thracian Orpheus, son of Oeagrus, stringing in his hands his Bistonian lyre, rung forth the hasty snatch of a rippling melody so that their ears might be filled with the sound of his twanging; and the lyre overcame the maidens’ voice. And the west wind and the sounding wave rushing astern bore the ship on; and the Sirens kept uttering their ceaseless song.  Greek Text

Scholion at Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika 1.23 – Scholia in Apollonium Rhodium vetera, p. 9, ed. C. Wendel. Berlin 1935 = Herodoros 31F43b – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 224, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Simonides 567 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 293 ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Bakchylides 28 – Bacchylidis Carmina cum fragmentis, p. 79, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1970.

Aischylos, Agamemnon 1629-32

The tongue of Orpheus is quite the opposite of yours. [1630] He led all things by the rapture of his voice; but you, who have stirred our wrath by your silly yelping, shall be led off yourself.  Greek Text

Euripides, Bakchai 560-64

Perhaps in the deep-wooded lairs of Olympus, where Orpheus once playing the lyre drew together trees by his songs, drew together the beasts of the fields.  Greek Text

Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2022

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