NOTES TO APOLLODORUS 1b
 

NOTES ON BOOK 1 OF THE LIBRARY OF APOLLODORUS BY J. G. FRAZER

102. As to the creation of the human race by Prometheus, compare Philemon in Stobaeus, Florilegium ii.27; Paus. 10.4.4; Lucian, Dial. Deorum i.1; Libanius, Declam. xxv.31, vol. ii. p. 552, ed. R. Foerster; Ov. Met. 1.82ff.; Juvenal xiv.35. It is to be observed that in the earliest versions of the legend (Hes. Th. 510ff. Hes. WD 48ff.; Aesch. PB) Prometheus appears only as the benefactor, not the creator, of mankind.

103. Compare Hes. WD 50ff., Hes. Th. 565ff.; Aesch. PB 107ff.; Plat. Prot. 321; Hyginus, Fab. 144; Hyginus, Ast. ii.15. According to Serv. Verg. Ecl. 6.42, Prometheus stole the fire by applying a torch to the sun's wheel. Stories of the original theft of fire are widespread among mankind. See Frazer's Appendix to Apollodorus, “Myths of the Origin of Fire.” The plant (narthêx) in which Prometheus is said to have carried the stolen fire is commonly identified with the giant fennel (Ferula communis). See L. Whibley, Companion to Greek Studies (Cambridge, 1916), p. 67. Tournefort found the plant growing abundantly in Skinosa, the ancient Schinussa, a small deserted island south of Naxos (Pliny, Nat. Hist. iv.68). He describes the stalk as about five feet high and three inches thick, with knots and branches at intervals of about ten inches, the whole being covered with a tolerably hard rind. “This stalk is filled with a white pith, which, being very dry, catches fire just like a wick; the fire keeps alight perfectly in the stalk and consumes the pith only gradually, without damaging the rind; hence people use this plant to carry fire from one place to another; our sailors laid in a supply of it. This custom is of great antiquity, and may serve to explain a passage in Hesiod, who, speaking of the fire which Prometheus stole from heaven, says that he carried it away in a stalk of fennel.” He tells us, further, that the Greeks still call the plant nartheca. See P. de Tournefort, Relation d'un Voyage du Levant (Amsterdam, 1718), i.93. The plant is common all over Greece, and may be seen in particular abundance at Phalerum, near Athens. See W. G. Clark, Peloponnesus (London, 1858);, p. 111; J. Murr, Die Pflanzenwelt in der griechischen Mythologie (Innsbruck, 1890), p. 231. In Naxos Mr. J. T. Bent saw orange gardens divided by hedges of tall reeds, and he adds: “In Lesbos this reed is still called narthêka narthêx, a survival of the old word for the reed by which Prometheus brought down fire from heaven. One can understand the idea well: a peasant today who wishes to carry a light from one house to another will put it into one of these reeds to prevent its being blown out.” See J. T. Bent, The Cyclades (London, 1885), p. 365. Perhaps Bent mistook fennel for a reed. The rationalistic Diodorus Siculus explained the myth of the theft of fire by saying that Prometheus was the inventor of the fire-sticks, by the friction of which against each other fire is kindled. See Diod. 5.67.2. But Greek tradition attributed the invention of fire-sticks to Hermes. See the HH Herm. 108ff.

104. As to the release of Prometheus, see Apollod. 2.5.11.

105. The whole of the following account of Deucalion and Pyrrha is quoted, with a few trifling verbal changes, by the Scholiast on Hom. Il. i.126, who cites Apollodorus as his authority.

106. As to the making of Pandora, see Hes. WD 60ff., Hes. Th. 571ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 142.

107. As to Deucalion's flood, see Lucian, De dea Syria 12ff.; Ov. Met. 1.125-415; Hyginus, Fab. 153; Serv. Verg. Ecl. 6.41; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 57ff., 99 (First Vatican Mythographer 189; Second Vatican Mythographer 73); Folk-Lore in the Old Testament, i.146ff. Another person who is said to have escaped alive from the flood was a certain Cerambus: the story ran that the nymphs wafted him aloft on wings over the Thessalian mountains. See Ov. Met. 7.353ff.

108. Compare Pind. O. 9.41ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 153.

109. This passage as to the children of Deucalion is quoted by the Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiii.307, who names Apollodorus as his authority.

110. As to Hellen and his sons, see Strab. 8.7.1; Paus. 7.12; Conon 27. According to the Scholiast on Hom. Il. i.2, Xuthus was a son of Aeolus.

111. According to the Parian Chronicle, the change of the national name from Greeks (Graikoi) to Hellenes took place in 1521 B.C. See Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, ed. C. Müller, i.542ff. Compare Aristot. Met. 1.352; Etymologicum Magnum, s.v. Graikos, p. 239; Stephanus Byzantius, s.v. Graikos; Frazer on Paus. 3.20.6; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, ii.160.

112. As to the early seats of the Dorians, see Hdt. 1.56.

113. As to the Aeolians of Thessaly, compare Paus. 10.8.4; Diod. 4.67.2.

114. As to Aeolus, his descendants, and their settlements, see Diod. 4.67.2-7; Scholiast on Pind. P. 4.107(190).

115. According to Ov. Met. 11.271ff., Ceyx reflected his father's brightness in his face.

116. Compare Scholiast on Aristoph. Birds 250; Scholiast on Hom. Il. ix.562; Eustathius on Hom. Il. ix.562. p. 776. The story may be a reminiscence of an ancient Greek custom, in accordance with which kings are said to have been regularly called Zeus. See Tzetzes, Antehomerica 102ff.; Tzetzes, Chiliades i.474; A. B. Cook, “The European Sky-god,” Folklore, xv. (1904), pp. 299ff.

117. Compare Lucian, Halcyon 1; Scholiast on Aristoph. Birds 250; Ov. Met. 11.410ff., especially 710ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 65. The identification of the seabird ceyx is doubtful. See D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Glossary of Greek Birds (Oxford, 1895), p. 81.

118. As to the Aloads, see Hom. Od. 11.305ff.; Verg. A. 6.582ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 28.

119. This answers to the enneôroi of Homer (Hom. Od. 11.31), the meaning of which has been disputed. See Merry, on Hom. Od. x.19. Hyginus, Fab. 28 understood enneôroi in the same way as Apollodorus (“cum essent annorum novem”).

120. They are said to have imprisoned him for thirteen months in a brazen pot, from which he was rescued, in a state of great exhaustion, by the interposition of Hermes. See Hom. Il. 5.385ff. Compare my note, “Ares in the brazen pot,” The Classical Review, ii. (1888) p. 222.

121. Compare Hyginus, Fab. 28.

122. As to Endymion and the Moon, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.57ff., with the Scholiast; Paus. 5.1.4; Mythographi Graeci, ed Westermann, pp. 319ff., 324; Hyginus, Fab. 271. The present passage of Apollodorus is quoted almost verbally by Zenobius, Cent. iii.76, but as usual without mention of his authority. The eternal sleep of Endymion was proverbial. See Plat. Phaedo 72c; Macarius, Cent. iii.89; Diogenianus, Cent. iv.40; Cicero, De finibus v.20.55; compare Cicero, Tusc. Disp. i.38.92.

123. Compare Paus. 5.1.8; Conon 14.

124. As to Evenus and Marpessa, see Scholiast on Hom. Il. ix.557; Eustathius on Hom. Il. ix.557 p. 776; Plut. Lives. 40; Hyginus, Fab. 242 (who calls Evenus a son of Herakles). According to the first two of these writers, Evenus, like Oenomaus, used to set his daughter's suitors to run a chariot race with him, promising to bestow her on the winner; but he cut off the heads of his vanquished competitors and nailed them to the walls of his house. This seems to be the version of the story which Apollodorus had before him, though he has abridged it.

125. Compare Scholiast on Hom. Il. ix.557 (who cites Simonides); Eustathius on Hom. Il. ix.557 p. 776; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 561; Paus. 5.18.2.

126. Paus. 3.13.8 agrees with Apollodorus in saying that Leda was the daughter of Thestius, who was a son of Agenor, who was a son of Pleuron; and he cites the epic poem of Areus as his authority for the genealogy.

127. Compare Hyginus, Fab. 129.

128. So Romulus is said to have killed Remus for leaping over the rising wall of Rome (Livy i.7.2).

129. See Apollod. 2.7.5, with the note.

130. The whole of the following account of the life and death of Meleager is quoted, with a few verbal changes and omissions, by Zenobius, Cent. v.33. The story is told by Bacch. 5.93ff., ed. Jebb; and, though without any express mention of the burning brand or of Meleager's death, by Hom. Il. 9.529-599. Compare Diod. 4.34; Ov. Met. 8.270ff.; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. ii.481; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 46ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 146). It was made the theme of tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides. See Nauck, TGF, 2nd ed. (Leipsig, 1889), pp. 219ff., 525ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, ii.64ff.

131. For the story of the burning brand on which the life of Meleager depended, see also Aesch. Lib. 604ff.; Bacch. 5.136ff., ed. Jebb; Diod. 4.34.6ff.; Paus. 10.31.4; Ant. Lib. 2; Dio Chrysostom lxvii. vol. ii. p. 231, ed. L. Dindorf; Scholiast on Hom. Il. ix.534; Ov. Met. 8.445-525; Hyginus, Fab. 171, 174; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. ii.481; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 47 (First Vatican Mythographer 146). The story belongs to a widespread class of tales concerned with the “external soul,” or the belief that a person's life is bound up with an animal or object outside of his own body. See Balder the Beautiful, ii.94ff.

132. For lists of the heroes who hunted the Calydonian boar, see Ov. Met. 8.299ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 173.

133. The following account of the death of Meleager is substantially that of Hom. Il. 9.529ff.

134. From Calydon, then besieged by the Curetes.

135. The birds called in Greek meleagrides, guinea-fowl (Numida sp.). See Ant. Lib. 2; Ael., Nat. Anim. iv.42; Ov. Met. 8.533-546; Hyginus, Fab. 174; Pliny, Nat. Hist. x.74, xxxvii.40. Worshippers of Artemis strictly abstained from eating the bird; the reason of the abstention was known to the natives of Leros, one of the Sporades (Ael., Nat. Anim. iv.42). The birds were kept in the sanctuary of the Maiden (Artemis?) in that island, and were tended by the priests (Athenaeus xiv.71, p. 655 C). It is said that it was Artemis who turned the sisters of Meleager into birds by touching them with a rod, after which she transferred them to the island of Leros (Ant. Lib. 2) On the birds see D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Glossary of Greek Birds (Oxford, 1895), pp. 114ff.

136. Compare Diod. 4.35.1ff., according to whom Periboea alleged that she was with child by Ares. Sophocles wrote a tragedy on the subject; a few fragments of it remain (The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, i.216ff.).

137. Gorge was a daughter of Oeneus. See above, Apollod. 1.8.1; Paus. 10.38.5.

138. Compare Eustathius on Hom. Il. xiv.122, p. 971; Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiv.114, 120; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, iii.38, frag. 799; Statius, Theb. i.401ff., with the commentary of Lactantius Placidus, pp. 47ff. ed. R. Jahnke. The accounts differ as to whom Tydeus killed, but they agree that he fled from Calydon to Adrastus at Argos, and that Adrastus purified him from the murder (Eustathius and Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiv.122, p. 971) and gave him his daughter to wife. Compare Apollodorus, iii.6.1.

139. See below, Apollod. 3.6.3ff.

140. With this and what follows compare Paus. 2.25.2; Scholiast on Aristoph. Ach. 418; Ant. Lib. 37; Hyginus, Fab. 175. The story furnished Euripides with the theme of a tragedy called Oeneus. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 536ff.

141. Compare Paus. 2.25.2.

142. For the story of Athamas, Phrixus, and Helle, see Zenobius, Cent. iv.38; Apostolius, Cent. xi.58; Scholiast on Aristoph. Cl. 257; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 22; Eustathius on Hom. Il. vii.86, p. 667; Scholiast on Hom. Il. vii.86; Diod. 4.47; Hyginus, Fab. 1-3; Hyginus, Ast. ii.20; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. i.65; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 8, 120ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 23; Second Vatican Mythographer 134). According to Herodotus (Hdt. 7.197), it was a rule among the descendants of Phrixus that the eldest son of the family should be sacrificed (apparently to Laphystian Zeus) if ever he entered the town-hall; hence, to escape the risk of such a fate, many of the family fled to foreign lands. Sophocles wrote a tragedy called Athamas, in which he represented the king himself crowned with garlands and led to the altar of Zeus to be sacrificed, but finally rescued by the interposition of Herakles (Scholiast on Aristoph. Cl. 237; Apostolius, Cent. xi.58; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, i.1ff.). These traditions point to the conclusion that in the royal line of Athamas the eldest son was regularly liable to be sacrificed either to prevent or to remedy a failure of the crops, and that in later times a ram was commonly accepted as a substitute for the human victim. Compare The Dying God, pp. 161ff.

143. Compare Zenobius, Cent. iv.38; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 229; Scholiast on Hom. Il. vii.86; Eust. on Hom. Il. vii.86, p. 667; Eust. on Hom. Od. v.339, p. 1543; Paus. 1.44.7ff.; Paus. 9.34.7; Ov. Met. 4.481-542; Hyginus, Fab. 4, 5. Euripides wrote a tragedy, Ino, of which a number of fragments remain. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 482ff. It is said that Hera drove Athamas mad because she was angry with him for receiving from Hermes the infant Dionysus and bringing him up as a girl. See Apollod. 3.4.3; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 22.

144. Compare Scholiast on Plat. Minos 315c; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 22; Etymologicum Magnum, s.v. Athamantion, p. 24.10. According to the last of these writers, Athamantia was a plain in Thessaly.

145. Compare Hom. Il. 6.152ff.; Paus. 2.1.1.

146. As to Bellerophon and the Chimera, see Apollod. 2.3.1, with the note.

147. As to Sisyphus and his stone, see Hom. Od. 11.593-600. Homer does not say why Sisyphus was thus punished, but Paus. 2.5.1 and the Scholiast on Hom. Il. i.180 agree with Apollodorus as to the crime which incurred this punishment. Hyginus assigns impiety as the cause of his sufferings (Hyginus, Fab. 60). The picturesque story of this cunning knave, who is said to have laid Death himself by the heels, so that nobody died till Ares released Death and delivered Sisyphus himself into his clutches (Scholiast on Hom. Il. vi.153), was the theme of plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 74ff., 251, 572; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 184ff. Critias, one of the Thirty Tyrants at Athens, is credited with a play on the same theme, of which a very striking fragment, giving a wholly sceptical view of the origin of the belief in gods, has come down to us. See Sextus Empiricus, ed. Bekker, pp. 402ff.; TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 771ff.

148. Compare Apollod. 2.4.7, Apollod. 3.15.1. As to the love of Dawn or Day for Cephalus, see Hes. Th. 986ff.; Paus. 1.3.1; Ant. Lib. 41; Ov. Met. 7.700-713; Hyginus, Fab. 189, 270.

149. Compare Paus. 4.2.2 and Paus. 4.2.4.

150. See below, Paus. 3.10.3.

151. Compare Diod. 4.68.1. His city was called Salmone. See Strab. 7.3.31-32; Stephanus Byzantius, s.v. Salmônê.

152. Compare Verg. A. 6.585ff. with the commentary of Servius; Hyginus, Fab. 61; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 28, 93 (First Vatican Mythographer 82; Second Vatican Mythographer 56). In the traditions concerning Salmoneus we may perhaps trace the reminiscence of a line of kings who personated the Skygod Zeus and attempted to make rain, thunder and lightning by means of imitative magic. See The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings, i.310, ii.177, 180ff. Sophocles composed a Satyric play on the subject (The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 177ff. ).

153. As to the passion of Tyro for the river Enipeus, see Hom. Od. 11.235ff.; Lucian, Dial. Marin. 13; Diod. 4.68.3; Eustathius on Hom. Od. xi.234, p. 1681. Sophocles wrote two plays, both called Tyro, on the romantic love and sorrows of this heroine. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 272ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 270ff.

154. As to the exposure and discovery of the twins Pelias and Neleus, see Menander, Epitrepontes 108-116 (Four Plays of Menander, ed. E. Capps, pp. 60ff.); Scholiast on Hom. Il. x.334; Eustathius on Hom. Od. xi.253, p. 1681. According to Eustathius and the Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.253, Pelias was suckled by a mare and Neleus by a bitch. Compare Ael., Var. Hist. xii.42. Aristotle says (Aristot. Poet. 1454b 25) that in Sophocles's play Tyro the recognition of the forsaken babes was effected by means of the ark (skaphê) in which they were found. Menander seems to have followed a somewhat different tradition, for he says that the children were found by an old goatherd, and that the token by which they were recognized was a small scrip or wallet (pêridion). The legend of the exposed twins, the children of a divine father by a human mother, who were suckled by animals, reared by a peasant, and grew up to quarrel about a kingdom, presents points of resemblance to the legend of Romulus and Remus; and it has even been suggested that the Greek tale, as dramatized by Sophocles, was the ultimate source of the Roman story, having filtered to the early Roman historian Q. Fabius Pictor through the medium of the Greek historian Diocles of Peparethus, whom Fabius Pictor appears to have followed on this and many other points of early Roman history (Plut. Romulus 3). The same word skaphê which Sophocles seems to have applied to the ark in which Pelias and Neleus were exposed, is applied by Plut. Romulus 3 to the ark in which Romulus and Remus were exposed. See C. Trieber, “Die Romulussage,” Rheinisches Museum, N.F. xliii. (1888), pp. 569-582.

155. Compare Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 175, who seems to have copied Apollodorus.

156. Compare Hom. Od. 11.281ff.; Paus. 4.2.5.

157. See below, Apollod. 2.7.3, and compare Hom. Il. 11.690-693, with the Scholia; Ov. Met. 12.549ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 10. As to Periclymenus, see the verses of Hesiod quoted by the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.156, according to whom Periclymenus received from Poseidon the power of turning himself into an eagle, an ant, a bee, or a snake; but Herakles, so says the scholiast, killed him with a blow of his club when he had assumed the form of a fly. According to another account, it was in the form of a bee that Periclymenus was slain by Herakles (Eustathius on Hom. Od. xi.285, pp. 1685ff.; Scholiast on Hom. Il. ii.336). Ov. Met. 12.549ff. says that Herakles shot him in the shape of an eagle, and this version is followed by Hyginus, Fab. 10. Periclymenus is also reported to have been able to change himself into any animal or tree he pleased (Eustathius, on Hom. Od. xi.285, pp. 1685ff.; Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.286).

158. According to Homer (Hom. Od. 3.452), the wife of Nestor was Eurydice, daughter of Clymenus.

159. Compare Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 175.

160. Compare Hom. Od. 11.258ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 175.

161. As to the mode in which Melampus learned the language of birds, and with it the art of divination, from serpents in return for the kindness which he had shown to their species, see Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.118; compare Eustathius on Hom. Od. xi.292, p. 1685; Pliny, Nat. Hist. x.137. Helenus and Cassandra are said to have acquired their prophetic power in like manner. As children they were left overnight in a temple of Apollo, and in the morning serpents were found licking their ears. See Scholiast on Hom. Il. vii.44; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron, Introd. vol. i. pp. 266ff., ed. C. G. Müller. Polybius said that perhaps we and all men might have understood the language of all animals if a serpent had washed our ears (Porphyry, De abstinentia iii.4). In the folk-tales of many lands, men are said to have obtained a knowledge of the language of animals from serpents, either by eating the flesh of serpents or in other ways. See Frazer, “The Language of Animals,” The Archaeological Review, i. (1888), pp. 166ff.

162. The following romantic tale of the wooing of Pero is told also by the Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.287. It is repeated also in substantially the same form by Eustathius on Hom. Od. 11.292, p. 1685. Compare Scholiast on Theocritus iii.43; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.118; Prop. ii.3.51ff. A summary of the story, shorn of its miraculous elements, is given by Homer (Hom. Od. 11.287-297, Hom. Od. 15.225-238) and Paus. 4.36.3). See Frazer's Appendix to Apollodorus, “Melampus and the kine of Phylacus.”

163. According to the Scholiast on Hom. Od. xi.287, 290 and Eustathius on Hom. Od. xi.292, p. 1685, the tree was not an oak but a wild pear-tree (acherdos).

164. Compare Apollod. E.3.20, with the note.

165. See below, Apollod. 2.2.2; Diod. 2.68.4; Paus. 2.18.4.

166. Compare below, Apollod. 3.7.2.

167. See Hom. Il. 2.565ff.

168. See below, Apollod. 3.6.4.

169. See below, Apollod. 3.10.4.

170. Compare Hyginus, Fab. 50, 51.

171. That is, Persephone.

172. This pathetic story is immortalized by Euripides in his noble tragedy Alcestis, happily still extant. Compare Zenobius, Cent. i.18, which to a certain extent agrees verbally with this passage of Apollodorus. The tale of Admetus and Alcestis has its parallel in history. Once when Philip II of Spain had fallen ill and seemed like to die, his fourth wife, Anne of Austria, “in her distress, implored the Almighty to spare a life so important to the welfare of the kingdom and of the church, and instead of it to accept the sacrifice of her own. Heaven, says the chronicler, as the result showed, listened to her prayer. The king recovered; and the queen fell ill of a disorder which in a few days terminated fatally.” So they laid the dead queen to her last rest, with the kings of Spain, in the gloomy pile of the Escurial among the wild and barren mountains of Castile; but there was no Herakles to complete the parallel with the Greek legend by restoring her in the bloom of life and beauty to the arms of her husband. See W. H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Philip the Second, bk. vi. chap. 2, at the end.

173. For the story of Pelias and Jason, see Pind. P. 4.73(129)ff., with the Scholia; Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.5ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron i.175; Hyginus, Fab. 12, 13; Serv. Verg. Ecl. 4.34; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iii.516. The present passage of Apollodorus is copied almost literally, but as usual without acknowledgment, by Zenobius, Cent. iv.92. It was the regular custom of Aetolian warriors to go with the left foot shod and the right foot unshod. See Macrobius, Sat. v.18- 21, quoting Euripides and Aristotle; Scholiast on Pind. P. 4.133. So the two hundred men who broke through the Spartan lines at the siege of Plataea were shod on the left foot only (Thuc. 3.22). Virgil represents some of the rustic militia of Latium marching to war with their right feet shod and their left feet bare (Verg. A. 7.689ff.). As to the custom, see Taboo and the Perils of the Soul, pp. 311ff.

174. See Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.1268-1270, iv.123ff. 163.

175. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.524ff., iv.580ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 175. The following narrative of the voyage of the Argo is based mainly on the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius. As to the voyage of the Argonauts, see further Pind. P. 4.156(276)ff.; Diod. 4.40-49; Orphica, Argonautica; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 175; Hyginus, Fab. 12, 14-23; Ov. Met. 7.1ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon.

176. For lists of the Argonauts, see Pind. P. 4.171ff.; Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.20ff.; Orphica, Argonautica 119ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. i.352ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 14.

177. As to the visit of the Argonauts to Lemnos, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.607ff.; Orphica, Argonautica 473ff.; Scholiast on Hom. Il. vii.468; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. ii.77ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 15. As to the massacre of the men of Lemnos by the women, see further Hdt. 6.138; Apostolius, Cent. x.65; Zenobius, Cent. iv.91; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.609, 615. The visit of the Argonauts to Lemnos was the theme of plays by Aeschylus and Sophocles. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 79, 215ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, ii.51ff. The Lemnian traditions have been interpreted as evidence of a former custom of gynocracy, or the rule of men by women, in the island. See J. J. Bachofen, Das Mutterrecht (Stuttgart, 1861), pp. 84ff. Every year the island of Lemnos was purified from the guilt of the massacre and sacrifices were offered to the dead. The ceremonies lasted nine days, during which all fires were extinguished in the island, and a new fire was brought by ship from Delos. If the vessel arrived before the sacrifices to the dead had been offered, it might not put in to shore or anchor, but had to cruise in the offing till they were completed. See Philostratus, Her. xx.24.

178. As to the visit of the Argonauts to the Doliones and the death of King Cyzicus, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.935-1077; Orphica, Argonautica 486ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. ii.634ff., iii.1ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 16.

179. They lamented for three days and tore out their hair; they raised a mound over the grave, marched round it thrice in armour, performed funeral rites, and celebrated games in honour of the dead man. The mound was to be seen down to later days, and the people of Cyzicus continued to pour libations at it every year. See Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.1057-1077. Compare Orphica, Argonautica 571ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. iii.332ff.

180. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.1172ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. iii.481ff.

181. As to Hylas and Herakles, compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.1207ff.; Theocritus xiii.; Ant. Lib. 26; Orphica, Argonautica 646ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. iii.521ff.; Prop. i.20.17ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 14; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 18, 140 (First Vatican Mythographer 49; Second Vatican Mythographer 199). It is said that down to comparatively late times the natives continued to sacrifice to Hylas at the spring where he had disappeared, that the priest used to call on him thrice by name, and that the echo answered thrice (Ant. Lib. 26).

182. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.1321ff., 1345ff.

183. The opinions of the ancients were much divided as to the share Herakles took in the voyage of the Argo. See Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.1290. In saying that Herakles was left behind in Mysia and returned to Argos, our author follows, as usual, the version of Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.1273ff. According to another version, after Herakles was left behind by the Argo in Mysia, he made his way on foot to Colchis (Theocritus xiii.73ff.). Herodotus says (Hdt. 1.193) that at Aphetae in Thessaly the hero landed from the Argo to fetch water and was left behind by Jason and his fellows. From the present passage of Apollodorus it would seem that in this account Herodotus was following Pherecydes. Compare Stephanus Byzantius, s.v. Aphetai.

184. As to the visit of the Argonauts to the Bebryces, and the boxing match of Pollux with Amycus, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.1ff.; Theocritus xxii.27ff.; Orphica, Argonautica 661ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. iv.99ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 17; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iii.353; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 31, 123 (First Vatican Mythographer 93; Second Vatican Mythographer 140). The name of the Bithynian nymph, mother of Amycus, was Melie (Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.4; Hyginus, Fab. 17; Serv. Verg. A. 5.373).

185. As to Phineus and the Harpies, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.176ff., with the Scholiast on 177, 178, 181; Scholiast on Hom. Od. xii.69; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. iv.422ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 19; Serv. Verg. A. 3.209; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 9ff., 124 (First Vatican Mythographer 27; Second Vatican Mythographer 142). Aeschylus and Sophocles composed tragedies on the subject of Phineus. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 83, 284ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 311ff. The classical description of the Harpies is that of Verg. A. 3.225ff.). Compare Hes. Th. 265-269ff. In his account of the visit of the Argonauts to Phineus, the rationalistic Diod. 4.43ff. omits all mention of the Harpies.

186. So Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.237, 240 and Hyginus, Fab. 19.

187. See below, Apollod. 3.15.3 with note.

188. Hes. Th. 267 calls her Ocypete.

189. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.284-298, who says that previously the islands were called the Floating Isles (Plotai).

190. The Clashing Rocks are the islands which the Greeks called Symplegades. Another name for them was the Wandering Rocks (Planctae) or the Blue Rocks (Cyaneae). See Hdt. 4.85; Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.317ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. iv.561ff.; Pliny, Nat. Hist. vi.32; Merry on Hom. Od. xii.61; Frazer's Appendix to Apollodorus, “The clashing Rocks.” As to the passage of the Argo between them, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.317ff., 549-610; Orphica, Argonautica 683-714; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. iv.561-702; Hyginus, Fab. 19. According to the author of the Orphica, the bird which the Argonauts, or rather Athena, let fly between the Clashing Rocks was not a dove but a heron (erôdios.)The heron was specially associated with Athena. See D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Glossary of Greek Birds, p. 58.

191. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.720ff.; Orphica, Argonautica 715ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. iv.733ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 18.

192. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.815ff.; Orphica, Argonautica 725ff.; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. v.1ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 14, 18. According to Apollonius, the barrow of Idmon was surmounted by a wild olive tree, which the Nisaeans were commanded by Apollo to worship as the guardian of the city.

193. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.851-898; Orphica, Argonautica 729ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 890; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. v.13ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 14, 18.

194. As to Jason in Colchis, and his winning of the Golden Fleece, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. ii.1260ff., iii.1ff., iv.1-240; Diod. 4.48.1-5; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. v.177-viii.139; Ov. Met. 7.1-158. The adventures of Jason in Colchis were the subject of a play by Sophocles called The Colchian Women. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 15ff.; TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 204ff.

195. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii.401ff., 1176ff.

196. As to the yoking of the brazen-footed bulls, compare Pind. P. 4.224ff.; Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii.1026ff. As to the drug with which Jason was to anoint himself, see further Pind. P. 4.221ff.; Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii.844ff. It was extracted from a plant with a saffron-coloured flower, which was said to grow on the Caucasus from the blood of Prometheus. Compare Valerius Flaccus, Argon. vii.355ff.; Pseudo-Plutarch, De Fluviis v.4.

197. Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii.1246ff.

198. Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii. 1278ff.

199. Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii. 1320-1398.

200. Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.123-182.

201. Here Apollodorus departs from the version of Apollonius Rhodius, according to whom Apsyrtus, left behind by Jason and Medea, pursued them with a band of Colchians, and, overtaking them, was treacherously slain by Jason, with the connivance of Medea, in an island of the Danube. See Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.224ff., 30 (Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.223, 228). The version of Apollonius is followed by Hyginus, Fab. 23 and the Orphic poet (Ap. Rhod., Argon., 1027ff.). According to Sophocles, in his play The Colchian Women, Apsyrtus was murdered in the palace of Aeetes (Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.228); and this account seems to have been accepted by Eur. Med. 1334. Apollodorus's version of the murder of Apsyrtus is repeated verbally by Zenobius, Cent. iv.92, but as usual without acknowledgment.

202. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.576-591; Orphica, Argonautica 1160ff.

203. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.659-717 who describes the purificatory rites. A sucking pig was waved over the homicides; then its throat was cut, and their hands were sprinkled with its blood. Similar rites of purification for homicide are represented on Greek vases. See Frazer on Paus. 2.31.8 (vol. iii. p. 277).

204. About the Argonauts and the Sirens, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.891-921; Orphica, Argonautica 1270- 1297; Hyginus, Fab. 14.

205. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.922ff. These Wandering Rocks are supposed to be the Lipari islands, two of which are still active volcanoes.

206. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.964-979, according to whom the kine of the Sun were milk-white, with golden horns.

207. About the Argonauts among the Phaeacians, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.982ff.; Orphica, Argonautica 1298-1354; Hyginus, Fab. 23.

208. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1106ff.; Orphica, Argonautica 1327ff.

209. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1111-1169; Orphica, Argonautica 1342ff.

210. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1206ff.

211. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1701-1730; Orphica, Argonautica 1361-1367. From the description of Apollonius we gather that the raillery between men and women at these sacrifices was of a ribald character (aischrois epessin.) Here Apollodorus again departs from Apollonius, who places the intervention of Apollo and the appearance of the island of Anaphe after the approach of the Argonauts to Crete, and their repulse by Talos. Moreover, Apollonius tells how, after leaving Phaeacia, the Argonauts were driven by a storm to Libya and the Syrtes, where they suffered much hardship (Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1228-1628). This Libyan episode in the voyage of the Argo is noticed by Diod. 4.56.6, but entirely omitted by Apollodorus.

212. As to Talos, see Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1639- 1693; Orphica, Argonautica 1358-1360; Agatharchides, in Photius, Bibliotheca, p. 443b, lines 22-25, ed. Bekker; Lucian, De saltatione 49; Zenobius, Cent. v.85; Suidas, s.v. Sardanios gelôs; Eustathius on Hom. Od. xx.302, p. 1893; Scholiast on Plat. Rep. i, 337a. Talos would seem to have been a bronze image of the sun represented as a man with a bull's head. See The Dying God, pp. 74ff.; A. B. Cook, Zeus, i.718ff. In his account of the death of Talos our author again differs from Apollonius Rhodius, according to whom Talos perished through grazing his ankle against a jagged rock, so that all the ichor in his body gushed out. This incident seems to have been narrated by Sophocles in one of his plays (Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1638; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, i.110ff.). The account, mentioned by Apollodorus, which referred the death of Talos to the spells of Medea, is illustrated by a magnificent vase-painting, in the finest style, which represents Talos swooning to death in presence of the Argonauts, while the enchantress Medea stands by, gazing grimly at her victim and holding in one hand a basket from which she seems to be drawing with the other the fatal herbs. See A. B. Cook, Zeus, i.721, with plate XL1.

213. Compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1765-1772, from whose account we gather that this story was told to explain the origin of a footrace in Aegina, in which young men ran with jars full of water on their shoulders.

214. Compare Diod. 4.50.1; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. i.777ff. The ancients believed that bull's blood was poisonous. Similarly Themistocles was popularly supposed to have killed himself by drinking bull's blood (Plut. Them. 31).

215. Her name was Perimede, according to Apollod. 1.9.16. Diodorus Siculus calls her Amphinome, and says that she stabbed herself after cursing Pelias (Diod. 4.50.1).

216. Compare Diod. 4.50.1.

217. With this account of the death of Pelias compare Diod. 4.51ff.; Paus. 8.11.2ff.; Zenobius, Cent. iv.92; Plaut. Ps. 868ff.; Cicero, De senectute xxiii.83; Ov. Met. 7.297-349; Hyginus, Fab. 24. The story of the fraud practised by Medea on Pelias is illustrated by Greek vase-paintings. For example, on a black-figured vase the ram is seen issuing from the boiling cauldron, while Medea and the two daughters of Pelias stand by watching it with gestures of glad surprise, and the aged white-haired king himself sits looking on expectant. See Miss J. E. Harrison, Greek Vase Paintings (London, 1894), plate ii; Baumeister, Denkmäler des klassischen Altertums, ii.1201ff. with fig. 1394. According to the author of the epic Returns (Nostoi), Medea in like manner restored to youth Jason's old father, Aeson; according to Pherecydes and Simonides, she applied the magical restorative with success to her husband, Jason. Again, Aeschylus wrote a play called The Nurses of Dionysus, in which he related how Medea similarly renovated not only the nurses but their husbands by the simple process of decoction. See the Greek Argument to the Medea of Euripides, and the Scholiast on Aristophanes, Knights, 1321. (According to Ov. Met. 7.251-294, Medea restored Aeson to youth, not by boiling him, but by draining his body of his effete old blood and replacing it by a magic brew.) Again, when Pelops had been killed and served up at a banquet of the gods by his cruel father Tantalus, the deities in pity restored him to life by boiling him in a cauldron from which he emerged well and whole except for the loss of his shoulder, of which Demeter had inadvertently partaken. See Pind. O. 1.26(40)ff with the Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 152-153. For similar stories of the magical restoration of youth and life, see Frazer's Appendix to Apollodorus, “The Renewal of Youth.”

218. See Eur. Med. 1136ff. It is said that in her agony Glauce threw herself into a fountain, which was thenceforth named after her (Paus. 2.2.6). The fountain has been discovered and excavated in recent years. See G. W. Elderkin, “The Fountain of Glauce at Corinth,” American Journal of Archaeology, xiv. (1910), pp. 19-50.

219. In this account of the tragic end of Medea's stay at Corinth our author has followed the Medea of Euripides. Compare Diod. 4.54; Ov. Met. 7.391ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 25. According to Apuleius, Meta. i.10, Medea contrived to burn the king's palace and the king himself in it, as well as his daughter.

220. Compare Paus. 2.3.6; Ael., Var. Hist. v.21; Scholiast on Eur. Med. 9, 264. Down to a comparatively late date the Corinthians used to offer annual sacrifices and perform other rites for the sake of expiating the murder of the children. Seven boys and seven girls, clad in black and with their hair shorn, had to spend a year in the sanctuary of Hera of the Height, where the murder had been perpetrated. These customs fell into desuetude after Corinth was captured by the Romans. See Paus. 2.3.7; Scholiast on Eur. Med. 264; compare Philostratus, Her. xx.24.

221. According to one account, Medea attempted to poison Theseus, but his father dashed the poison cup from his lips. See below, Apollod. E.1.5ff.; Plut. Thes. 12; Diod. 4.55.4-6; Paus. 2.3.8; Scholiast on Hom. Il. xi.741; Eustathius, Comment. on Dionysius Perieg. 1017; Ov. Met. 7.406-424. According to Ovid, the poison which Medea made use of to take off Thesus was aconite.

222. For the etymology, compare Diod. 4.55.5, 7, Diod. 4.56.1; Strab. 11.13.10; Paus. 2.3.8; Eustathius, Comment. on Dionysius Perieg. 1017; Hyginus, Fab. 27.

223. According to others, it was not Medea but her son Medus who killed Perses. See Diod. 4.56.1; Hyginus, Fab. 27. Cicero quotes from an otherwise unknown Latin tragedy some lines in which the deposed Aeetes is represented mourning his forlorn state in an unkingly and unmanly strain (Tusculan. Disput. iii.12.26). The narrative of Hyginus has all the appearance of being derived from a tragedy, perhaps the same tragedy from which Cicero quotes. But that tragedy itself was probably based on a Greek original; for Diodorus Siculus introduces his similar account of the assassination of the usurper with the remark that the history of Medea had been embellished and distorted by the extravagant fancies of the tragedians.

<< APOLLODORUS BOOK 1 NOTES ON BOOK 1A >>
 
RELATED BOOKS