♠ Homer, Iliad 19.114-19
But Hera darted down and left the peak of Olympus, and swiftly came to Achaean Argos, where she knew was the stately wife of Sthenelus, son of Perseus, that bare a son in her womb, and lo, the seventh month was come. This child Hera brought forth to the light even before the full tale of the months, but stayed Alcmene’s bearing, and held back the Eileithyiae. Greek Text
♠ Homer, Odyssey 19.188
So he anchored his ships at Amnisus, where is the cave of Eilithyia. Greek Text
♠ Homeric Hymn to Apollo 3.97-116
Only Eilithyia, goddess of sore travail, had not heard of Leto’s trouble, for she sat on the top of Olympus beneath golden clouds by white-armed Hera’s contriving, who kept her close through envy, because Leto with the lovely tresses was soon to bear a son faultless and strong.
But the goddesses sent out Iris from the well-set isle to bring Eilithyia, promising her a great necklace strung with golden threads, nine cubits long. And they bade Iris call her aside from white-armed Hera, lest she might afterwards turn her from coming with her words. When swift Iris, fleet of foot as the wind, had heard all this, she set to run; and quickly finishing all the distance she came to the home of the gods, sheer Olympus, and forthwith called Eilithyia out from the hall to the door and spoke winged words to her, telling her all as the goddesses who dwell on Olympus had bidden her. So she moved the heart of Eilithyia in her dear breast; and they went their way, like shy wild-doves in their going.
And as soon as Eilithyia the goddess of sore travail set foot on Delos, the pains of birth seized Leto, and she longed to bring forth. Greek Text
♠ Pindar, Olympian 6.41-42
The golden-haired god sent gentle-minded Eleithuia and the Fates to help her [Evadne]. Greek Text
♠ Pindar, Nemean 7.4
Eleithuia, seated beside the deep-thinking Fates, hear me, creator of offspring, child of Hera great in strength. Without you we see neither the light nor the dark night before it is our lot to go to your sister, Hebe, with her lovely limbs. 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)
♠ Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.21.3
The Lycian Olen, an earlier poet, who composed for the Delians, among other hymns, one to Eileithyia, styles her “the clever spinner,” clearly identifying her with fate, and makes her older than Cronus. Greek Text
♦ London, British Museum 1971.11-1.1: Attic black-figure dinos by Sophilos, “The Erskine Dinos,” Eileithuia (top frieze just behind fish-tailed Okeanos)
♦ Olympia, Archaeological Museum B1687: bronze shield-band relief, birth of Athena with Eileithuia behind Zeus and Hephaistos with axe in front of him
♦ Olympia, Archaeological Museum B847: bronze shield-band relief, birth of Athena with Eileithuia behind Zeus and Hephaistos with axe in front of him (lower relief)
♦ Berlin, Antikensammlung F1704: Attic black-figure Tyrrhenian neck-amphora, birth of Athena with Eileithuia behind Zeus and Hephaistos with axe second figure on left
Monumenti inediti pubblicati dall’Instituto di corrispondenza archeologica, vol. 9 (1869-1873), pl. 55 top
♦ London, British Museum B147: Attic black-figure amphora, birth of Athena with Eileithuia facing Zeus and Hephaistos with axe on far left
♦ Paris, Musée du Louvre E852 (not E851, as Gantz p. 83; cf. Appendix C, p. 776 under E852): Attic black-figure Tyrrhenian neck-amphora, birth of Athena with Eileithuia behind Zeus and Hephaistos with axe on far right
Monumenti inediti pubblicati dall’Instituto di corrispondenza archeologica 6-7 (1857-1863), pl. 56.3
Artistic sources edited 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, August 2018.
Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, January 2021
822 total views, 2 views today