The Children of Zeus: Apollo (page 90, with art)

Chapter 2: The Olympians

Previous Page   Table of Contents    Next Page

Homer, Iliad 9.555-64

he then, wroth at heart against his dear mother Althaea, abode beside his wedded wife, the fair Cleopatra, daughter of Marpessa of the fair ankles, child of Evenus, and of Idas that was mightiest of men that were then upon the face of earth; who also took his bow to face the king Phoebus Apollo for the sake of the fair-ankled maid. Her of old in their halls had her father and honoured mother called Halcyone by name, for that the mother herself in a plight even as that of the halcyon-bird of many sorrows, wept because Apollo that worketh afar had snatched her child away. Greek Text

Simonides 563 PMG Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 291 ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Chest of Kypselos from temple of Hera at Olympia (known through Pausanias’ description and modern reconstructions)

Pausanias Description of Greece 5.18.2

Who the man is who is followed by a woman is made plain by the hexameter verses, which run thus:—“Idas brings back, not against her will,
Fair-ankled Marpessa, daughter of Evenus, whom Apollo carried off” Greek Text

Detail of Idas leading Marpessa home, from reconstruction of chest of Kypselos (lost monument once in temple of Hera, Olympia) by W. von Massow, “Die Kypseloslade,” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilungvol. 41 (1916), pl. 1.

Munich, Antikensammlungen 2417: Attic red-figure psykter by the Pan Painter, Apollo, Marpessa, Idas



Monumenti inediti pubblicati dall’Instituto di corrispondenza archeologica 1 (1829-1833), pl. 20

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Homeric Hymn to Apollo 208-13

Shall I sing of you as wooer and in the fields of love, how you went wooing the daughter of Azan along with god-like Ischys the son of well-horsed Elatius, or with Phorbas sprung from Triops, or with Ereutheus, or with Leucippus and the wife of Leucippus … you on foot, he with his chariot, yet he fell not short of Triops. Greek Text

Phylarchos 81F32 apud Parthenios – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker pt. 2, sect. A, p. 170, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Pausanias 8.20.2-4

I pass over the story current among the Syrians who live on the river Orontes, and give the account of the Arcadians and Eleans. Oenomaus, prince of Pisa, had a son Leucippus. Leucippus fell in love with Daphne, but despaired of winning her to be his wife by an open courtship, as she avoided all the male sex. The following trick occurred to him by which to get her. Leucippus was growing his hair long for the river Alpheius. Braiding his hair as though he were a maiden, and putting on woman’s clothes, he came to Daphne and said that he was a daughter of Oenomaus, and would like to share her hunting. As he was thought to be a maiden, surpassed the other maidens in nobility of birth and skill in hunting, and was besides most assiduous in his attentions, he drew Daphne into a deep friendship. The poets who sing of Apollo’s love for Daphne make an addition to the tale; that Apollo became jealous of Leucippus because of his success in his love. Forthwith Daphne and the other maidens conceived a longing to swim in the Ladon, and stripped Leucippus in spite of his reluctance. Then, seeing that he was no maid, they killed him with their javelins and daggers. Greek Text

Palaiphatos 49 – Mythographi Graeci 2, p. 70, ed. N. Festa. Leipzig 1902.

Ladon:  Earth decided to approach the river Ladonto have sex; after their union, Earth got pregnant and gave birth to Daphne (laurel). The Pythian fell in love with the girl, and his to her were the words of a lover. But Daphne loved propriety: it was necessary to pursue her, and she was pursued. Before renouncing her flight, Daphne called on her mother to take her back inside and preserve her as she was born. Earth did so, and kept Daphne inside herself. But at that place a plant at once sprang forth. Apollo at the peak of his desire ran into the plant for he had no way to avoid it. But his hands took it up; henceforth his head was ornamented. It is said that the tripod over the chasm by Boeotia was not established without the laurel.  Greek Text

Scholion at Lykophron, Alexandra 6 – Lykophronis Alexandra 2, pp. 10-11, ed E. Scheer. Berlin 1908

Greek Text

Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.452-567

This saide, with drift of fethered wings in broken ayre he flue,
And to the forkt and shadie top of Mount Parnasus drue.
There from hys quiver full of shafts two arrowes did he take
Of sundrie workes: t’one causeth Love, the tother doth it slake.
That causeth love, is all of golde with point full sharpe and bright,
That chaseth love is blunt, whose stele with leaden head is dight.
The God this fired in the Nymph Peneis for the nones:
The tother perst Apollos heart and overraft his bones.
Immediatly in smoldring heate of Love the t’one did swelt,
Againe the tother in hir heart no sparke nor motion felt.
In woods and forrests is hir joy, the savage beasts to chase,
And as the price of all hir paine to take the skinne and case.
Unwedded Phebe doth she haunt and follow as hir guide,
Unordred doe hir tresses wave scarce in a fillet tide.
Full many a wooer sought hir love, she lothing all the rout,
Impacient and without a man walkes all the woods about.
And as for Hymen, or for love, and wedlocke often sought
She tooke no care, they were the furthest end of all hir thought.
Hir father many a time and oft would saye: My daughter deere,
Thow owest me a sonneinlaw to be thy lawfull feere.
Hir father many a time and oft would say: My daughter deere,
Of Nephewes thou my debtour art, their Graundsires heart to cheere.
She hating as a haynous crime the bonde of bridely bed
Demurely casting downe hir eyes, and blushing somwhat red,
Did folde about hir fathers necke with fauning armes: and sed:
Deare father, graunt me while I live my maidenhead for to have,
As to Diana here tofore hir father freely gave.
Thy father (Daphne) could consent to that thou doest require,
But that thy beautie and thy forme impugne thy chaste desire:
So that thy will and his consent are nothing in this case,
By reason of the beautie bright that shineth in thy face.
Apollo loves and longs to have this Daphne to his Feere,
And as he longs he hopes, but his foredoomes doe fayle him there.
Continue Reading. Latin Text

Previous Page   Table of Contents    Next Page


#Apollo, #Idas, #Marpessa

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, June 2019.

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, January 2021

 1,255 total views,  2 views today