NOTES ON BOOK 3 OF THE LIBRARY OF APOLLODORUS BY J. G. FRAZER
101. That is, “the Fountain Gate.”
102. That is, one of the Sparti, the men who sprang from the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus. See above Apollod. 3.4.1.
103. The blinding of Tiresias by Athena is described by Callimachus in his hymn, The Baths of Pallas. He tells how the nymph Chariclo, mother of Tiresias, was the favourite attendant of Athena, who carried her with her wherever she went, often mounting the nymph in her own car. One summer day, when the heat and stillness of noon reigned in the mountains, the goddess and the nymph had stripped and were enjoying a cool plunge in the fair-flowing spring of Hippocrene on Mount Helicon. But the youthful Tiresias, roaming the hills with his dogs, came to slake his thirst at the bubbling spring and saw what it was not lawful to see. The goddess cried out in anger, and at once the eyes of the intruder were quenched in darkness. His mother, the nymph, reproached the goddess with blinding her son, but Athena explained that she had not done so, but that the laws of the gods inflicted the penalty of blindness on anyone who beheld an immortal without his or her consent. To console the youth for the loss of his sight the goddess promised to bestow on him the gifts of prophecy and divination, long life, and after death the retention of his mental powers undimmed in the world below. See Callimachus, Baths of Pallas 57-133. In this account Callimachus probably followed Pherecydes, who, as we learn from the present passage of Apollodorus, assigned the same cause for the blindness of Tiresias. It is said that Erymanthus, son of Apollo, was blinded because he saw Aphrodite bathing. See Ptolemy Hephaest., Nov. Hist. i. in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, p. 183.
104. According to the MSS., it was a blue staff. See Critical Note. As to the cornel-tree in ancient myth and fable, see C. Boetticher, Der Baumkultus der Hellenen (Berlin, 1856), pp. 130ff.
105. This curious story of the double change of sex experienced by Tiresias, with the cause of it, is told also by Phlegon, Mirabilia 4; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 683; Eustathius on Hom. Od. 10.492, p. 1665; Scholiast on Hom. Od. x.494; Ant. Lib. 17; Ov. Met. 3.316ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 75; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. ii.95; Fulgentius, Mytholog. ii.8; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 5, 104, 169 (First Vatican Mythographer 16; Second Vatican Mythographer 84; Third Vatican Mythographer iv.8). Phlegon says that the story was told by Hesiod, Dicaearchus, Clitarchus, and Callimachus. He agrees with Apollodorus, Hyginus, Lactantius Placidus, and the Second Vatican Mythographer in laying the scene of the incident on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia; whereas Eustathius and Tzetzes lay it on Mount Cithaeron in Boeotia, which is more appropriate for a Theban seer. According to Eustathius and Tzetzes, it was by killing the female snake that Tiresias became a woman, and it was by afterwards killing the male snake that he was changed back into a man. According to Ovid, the seer remained a woman for seven years, and recovered his male sex in the eighth; the First Vatican Mythographer says that he recovered it after eight years; the Third Vatican Mythographer affirms that he recovered it in the seventh year. All the writers I have cited, except Antoninus Liberalis, record the verdict of Tiresias on the question submitted to him by Zeus and Hera, though they are not all agreed as to the precise mathematical proportion expressed in it. Further, they all, except Antoninus Liberalis, agree that the blindness of Tiresias was a punishment inflicted on him by Hera (Juno) because his answer to the question was displeasing to her. According to Phlegon, Hyginus, Lactantius Placidus, and the Second Vatican Mythographer the life of Tiresias was prolonged by Zeus (Jupiter) so as to last seven ordinary lives. The notion that it is unlucky to see snakes coupling appears to be widespread. In Southern India “the sight of two snakes coiled round each other in sexual congress is considered to portend some great evil” (E. Thurston, Ethnographic Notes in Southern India, Madras, 1906, p. 293). The Chins of Northeastern India think that “one of the worst omens that it is possible to see is two snakes copulating, and a man who sees this is not supposed to return to his house or to speak to anyone until the next sun has risen” (B. S. Carey and H. N. Tuck, The Chin Hills, vol. i. Rangoon, 1896, p. 199). “It is considered extremely unlucky for a Chin to come upon two snakes copulating, and to avoid ill-fortune he must remain outside the village that night, without eating cooked food; the next morning he may proceed to his house, but, on arrival there, must kill a fowl and, if within his means, hold a feast. If a man omits these precautions and is found out, he is liable to pay compensation of a big mythun, a pig, one blanket, and one bead, whatever his means, to the first man he brings ill-luck to by talking to him. Before the British occupation, if the man, for any reason, could not pay the compensation, the other might make a slave of him, by claiming a pig whenever one of his daughters married” (W. R. Head, Haka Chin Customs, Rangoon, 1917, p. 44). In the Himalayas certain religious ceremonies are prescribed when a person has seen snakes coupling (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1884, pt. i. p. 101; the nature of the ceremonies is not described). In Timorlaut, one of the East Indian Islands, it is deemed an omen of great misfortune if a man dreams that he sees snakes coupling (J. G. F. Riedel, De sluik- en kroesharige rassen tusschen Selebes en Papua, The Hague, 1886, p. 285). Similarly in Southern India there prevails “a superstitious belief that, if a person sees two crows engaged in sexual congress, he will die unless one of his relations sheds tears. To avert this catastrophe, false news as to the death are sent by the post or telegraph, and subsequently corrected by a letter or telegram announcing that the individual is alive” (E. Thurston, op. cit. p. 278). A similar belief as to the dire effect of seeing crows coupling, and a similar mode of averting the calamity, are reported in the Central Provinces of India (M. R. Pedlow, “Superstitions among Hindoos in the Central Provinces,” The Indian Antiquary, xxix. Bombay, 1900, p. 88).
106. These lines are also quoted by Tzetzes (Scholiast on Lycophron 683) from a poem Melampodia; they are cited also by the Scholiast on Hom. Od. 10.494.
107. As to the voluntary sacrifice of Menoeceus, see Eur. Ph. 911ff.; Paus. 9.25.1; Cicero, Tusc. Disp. i.48.116; Hyginus, Fab. 68; Statius, Theb. 10.589ff.
108. As to the death of Capaneus, compare Aesch. Seven 423ff.; Eur. Ph. 1172ff.; Eur. Supp. 496ff.; Diod. 4.65.8; Hyginus, Fab. 71; Statius, Theb. x.827ff.
109. As to the single combat and death of Eteocles and Polynices, see Aesch. Seven 804ff.; Eur. Ph. 1356ff.; Diod. 4.65.8; Paus. 9.5.12; Hyginus, Fab. 71; Statius, Theb. xi.447-579.
110. According to Statius, Theb. ix.455-539, Hippomedon was overwhelmed by a cloud of Theban missiles after being nearly drowned in the river Ismenus.
111. As to the death of Parthenopaeus, see Eur. Ph. 1153ff. In the Thebaid, also, Periclymenus was represented as the slayer of Parthenopaeus. See Paus. 9.18.6.
112. Compare Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 1066; Scholiast on Pind. N. 10.7(12); Scholiast on Hom. Il. v.126. All these writers say that it was Amphiaraus, not Tydeus, who killed as well as decapitated Melanippus. Pausanias also (Paus. 9.18.1) represents Melanippus as slain by Amphiaraus. Hence Heyne was perhaps right in rejecting as an interpolation the words “who, wounded though he was, had killed him.” See the Critical Note. The story is told also by Statius, Theb. viii.717-767 in his usual diffuse style; but according to him it was Capaneus, not Amphiaraus, who slew and beheaded Melanippus and brought the gory head to Tydeus. The story of Tydeus's savagery is alluded to more than once by Ovid, Ibis 427ff., 515ff., that curious work in which the poet has distilled the whole range of ancient mythology for the purpose of commination. With this tradition of cannibalism on the field of battle we may compare the custom of the ancient Scythians, who regularly decapitated their enemies in battle and drank of the blood of the first man they slew (Hdt. 4.64). It has indeed been a common practice with savages to swallow some part of a slain foe in order with the blood, or flesh, or brains to acquire the dead man's valour. See for example L. A. Millet-Mureau, Voyage de la Perouse autour du Monde (Paris, 1797), ii.272 (as to the Californian Indians); Fay-Cooper Cole, The Wild Tribes of Davao District, Mindanao (Chicago, 1913), pp. 94, 189 (as to the Philippine Islanders). I have cited many more instances in Spirits of the Corn and of the Wild, ii.148ff. The story of the brutality of Tydeus to Melanippus may contain a reminiscence of a similar custom. From the Scholiast on Hom. Il. v.126 we learn that the story was told by Pherecydes, whom Apollodorus may be following in the present passage. The grave of Melanippus was on the road from Thebes to Chalcis (Paus. 9.18.1), but Clisthenes, tyrant of Sicyon, “fetched Melanippus” (epêgageto ton melanippon) to Sicyon and dedicated a precinct to him in the Prytaneum or town-hall; moreover, he transferred to Melanippus the sacrifices and festal honours which till then had been offered to Adrastus, the foe of Melanippus. See Hdt. 5.67. It is probable that Clisthenes, in “fetching Melanippus,” transferred the hero's bones to the new shrine at Sicyon, following a common practice of the ancient Greeks, who were as anxious to secure the miraculous relics of heroes as modern Catholics are to secure the equally miraculous relics of saints. The most famous case of such a translation of holy bones was that of Orestes, whose remains were removed from Tegea to Sparta (Hdt. 1.67ff.). Pausanias mentions many instances of the practice. See the Index to my translation of Pausanias, s.v. “Bones,” vol. vi. p. 31. It was, no doubt, unusual to bury bones in the Prytaneum, where was the Common Hearth of the city (Pollux ix.40; Corpus Inscriptionum Atticarum, ii.467, lines 6, 73; Frazer, note on Paus. viii.53.9, vol. iv. pp. 441ff.); but at Mantinea there was a round building called the Common Hearth in which Antinoe, daughter of Cepheus, was said to be buried (Paus. 8.9.5); and the graves of not a few heroes and heroines were shown in Greek temples. See Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. iii.45, pp. 39ff., ed. Potter. The subject of relic worship in antiquity is exhaustively treated by Fr. Pfister, Der Reliquienkult im Altertum (Giessen, 1909-1912).
113. Compare Pind. N. 9.24(59)ff.; Pind. N. 10.8(13); Eur. Supp. 925ff.; Diod. 4.65.8; Strab. 9.2.11; Paus. 1.34.2; Paus. 2.23.2; Paus. 9.8.3; Paus. 9.19.4; Statius, Theb. vii.789-823. The reference to Periclymenus clearly proves that Apollodorus had here in mind the first of these passages of Pindar. Pausanias repeatedly mentions Baton as the charioteer of Amphiaraus (Paus. 2.23.2; Paus. 5.17.8; Paus. 10.10.3). Amphiaraus was believed to be swallowed up alive, with his chariot and horses, and so to descend to the nether world. See Eur. Supp. 925ff.; Statius, Theb. viii.1ff.; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 49 (First Vatican Mythographer 152). Hence Sophocles speaks of him as reigning fully alive in Hades (Soph. Elec. 836ff.). Moreover, Amphiaraus was deified (Paus. 8.2.4; Cicero, De divinatione i.40.88), and as a god he had a famous oracle charmingly situated in a little glen near Oropus in Attica. See Paus. 1.34, with (Frazer, commentary on Paus., vol. ii. pp. 466ff.). The exact spot where Amphiaraus disappeared into the earth was shown not far from Thebes on the road to Potniae. It was a small enclosure with pillars in it. See Paus. 9.8.3. As the ground was split open by a thunderbolt to receive Amphiaraus (Pind. N. 9.24(59)ff.; Pind. N. 10.8(13)ff.), the enclosure with pillars in it was doubtless one of those little sanctuaries, marked off by a fence, which the Greeks always instituted on ground struck by lightning. See Frazer on Apollod. 3.7.1.
114. Arion, the swift steed of Adrastus, is mentioned by Homer, who alludes briefly to the divine parentage of the animal (Hom. Il. 22.346ff.), without giving particulars to the quaint and curious myth with which he was probably acquainted. That myth, one of the most savage of all the stories of ancient Greece, was revealed by later writers. See Paus. 8.25.4-10; Paus. 8.42.1-6; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 153; compare Scholiast on Hom. Il. 23.346. The story was told at two places in the highlands of Arcadia: one was Thelpusa in the beautiful vale of the Ladon: the other was Phigalia, where the shallow cave of the goddess mother of the horse was shown far down the face of a cliff in the wild romantic gorge of the Neda. The cave still exists, though the goddess is gone: it has been converted into a tiny chapel of Christ and St. John. See Frazer, commentary on Pausanias, vol. iv. pp. 406ff. According to Diod. 4.65.9 Adrastus returned to Argos. But Pausanias says (Paus. 1.43.1) that he died at Megara of old age and grief at his son's death, when he was leading back his beaten army from Thebes: Pausanias informs us also that Adrastus was worshipped, doubtless as a hero, by the Megarians, Hyginus, Fab. 242 tells a strange story that Adrastus and his son Hipponous threw themselves into the fire in obedience to an oracle of Apollo.
115. Apollodorus here follows the account of Antigone's heroism and doom as they are described by Sophocles in his noble tragedy, the Antigone. Compare Aesch. Seven 1005ff. A different version of the story is told by Hyginus, Fab. 72. According to him, when Antigone was caught in the act of performing funeral rites for her brother Polynices, Creon handed her over for execution to his son Haemon, to whom she had been betrothed. But Haemon, while he pretended to put her to death, smuggled her out of the way, married her, and had a son by her. In time the son grew up and came to Thebes, where Creon detected him by the bodily mark which all descendants of the Sparti or Dragon-men bore on their bodies. In vain Herakles interceded for Haemon with his angry father. Creon was inexorable; so Haemon killed himself and his wife Antigone. Some have thought that in this narrative Hyginus followed Euripides, who wrote a tragedy Antigone, of which a few fragments survive. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 404ff.
116. As to the flight of Adrastus to Athens, and the intervention of the Athenians on his behalf see Isoc. 4.54-58; Isoc. 12.168-174; Paus. 1.39.2; Plut. Thes. 29; Statius, Theb. xii.464ff., (who substitutes Argive matrons as suppliants instead of Adrastus). The story is treated by Euripides in his extant play The Suppliants, which, on the whole, Apollodorus follows. But whereas Apollodorus, like Statius, lays the scene of the supplication at the altar of Mercy in Athens, Euripides lays it at the altar of Demeter in Eleusis (Eur. Supp. 1ff.). In favour of the latter version it may be said that the graves of the fallen leaders were shown at Eleusis, near the Flowery Well (Paus. 1.39.1ff.; Plut. Thes. 29); while the graves of the common soldiers were at Eleutherae, which is on the borders of Attica and Boeotia, on the direct road from Eleusis to Thebes (Eur. Supp. 756ff.; Plut. Thes. 29). Tradition varied also on the question how the Athenians obtained the permission of the Thebans to bury the Argive dead. Some said that Theseus led an army to Thebes, defeated the Thebans, and compelled them to give up the dead Argives for burial. This was the version adopted by Euripides, Statius, and Apollodorus. Others said that Theseus sent an embassy and by negotiations obtained the voluntary consent of the Thebans to his carrying off the dead. This version, as the less discreditable to the Thebans, was very naturally adopted by them (Paus. 1.39.2) and by the patriotic Boeotian Plutarch, who expressly rejects Euripides's account of the Theban defeat. Isocrates, with almost incredible fatuity, adopts both versions in different passages of his writings and defends himself for so doing (Isoc. 12.168-174). Lysias, without expressly mentioning the flight of Adrastus to Athens, says that the Athenians first sent heralds to the Thebans with a request for leave to bury the Argive dead, and that when the request was refused, they marched against the Thebans, defeated them in battle, and carrying off the Argive dead buried them at Eleusis. See Lys. 2.7-10.
117. As to the altar of Mercy at Athens see above Apollod. 2.8.1; Paus. 1.17.1, with my note (vol. ii. pp. 143ff.); Diod. 13.22.7; Statius, Theb. xii.481-505. It is mentioned in a late Greek inscription found at Athens (Corpus Inscriptionum Atticarum, iii.170; G. Kaibel, Epigrammata Graeca ex lapidibus conlecta 792). The altar, though not mentioned by early writers, was in later times one of the most famous spots in Athens. Philostratus says that the Athenians built an altar of Mercy as the thirteenth of the gods, and that they poured libations on it, not of wine, but of tears (Philostratus, Epist. 39). In this fancy he perhaps copied Statius, Theb. xii.488, “lacrymis altaria sudant”.
118. The branch of olive which a suppliant laid on the altar of a god in token that he sought the divine protection. See Andoc. 1.110ff.; Jebb on Sophocles, OT 3.
119. For the death of Evadne on the pyre of her husband Capaneus, see Eur. Supp. 1034ff.; Zenobius, Cent. i.30; Prop. i.15.21ff.; Ovid, Tristia v.14.38; Ovid, Pont. iii.1.111ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 243; Statius, Theb. xii.800ff., with the note of Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. v. 801; Martial iv.75.5. Capaneus had been killed by a thunderbolt as he was mounting a ladder at the siege of Thebes. See Apollod. 3.6.7. Hence his body was deemed sacred and should have been buried, not burned, and the grave fenced off; whereas the other bodies were all consumed on a single pyre. See Eur. Supp. 934-938, where sumpêxas taphon refers to the fencing in of the grave. So the tomb of Semele, who was also killed by lightning, seems to have stood within a sacred enclosure. See Eur. Ba. 6-11. Yet, inconsistently with the foregoing passage, Euripides appears afterwards to assume that the body of Capaneus was burnt on a pyre (Eur. Supp. 1000ff.). The rule that a person killed by a thunderbolt should be buried, not burnt, is stated by Pliny, Nat. Hist. ii.145 and alluded to by Tertullian, Apologeticus 48. An ancient Roman law, attributed to Numa, forbade the celebration of the usual obsequies for a man who had been killed by lightning. See Festus, s.v. “Occisum,” p. 178, ed. C. O. Müller. It is true that these passages refer to the Roman usage, but the words of Eur. Supp. 934-938 seem to imply that the Greek practice was similar, and this is confirmed by Artemidorus, who says that the bodies of persons killed by lightning were not removed but buried on the spot (Artemidorus, Onirocrit. ii.9). The same writer tells us that a man struck by lightning was not deemed to be disgraced, nay, he was honoured as a god; even slaves killed by lightning were approached with respect, as honoured by Zeus, and their dead bodies were wrapt in fine garments. Such customs are to some extent explained by the belief that Zeus himself descended in the flash of lightning; hence whatever the lightning struck was naturally regarded as holy. Places struck by lightning were sacred to Zeus the Descender (Zeus kataibatês) and were enclosed by a fence. Inscriptions marking such spots have been found in various parts of Greece. See Pollux ix.41; Paus. 5.14.10, with (Frazer, Paus. vol. iii. p. 565, vol. v. p. 614). Compare E. Rohde, Psyche(3), i.320ff.; H. Useher, “Keraunos,” Kleine Schriften, iv.477ff., (who quotes from Clemens Romanus and Cyrillus more evidence of the worship of persons killed by lightning); Chr. Blinkenberg, The Thunder-weapon in Religion and Folklore (Cambridge, 1911), pp. 110ff. Among the Ossetes of the Caucasus a man who has been killed by lightning is deemed very lucky, for they believe that he has been taken by St. Elias to himself. So the survivors raise cries of joy and sing and dance about him. His relations think it their duty to join in these dances and rejoicings, for any appearance of sorrow would be regarded as a sin against St. Elias and therefore punishable. The festival lasts eight days. The deceased is dressed in new clothes and laid on a pillow in the exact attitude in which he was struck and in the same place where he died. At the end of the celebrations he is buried with much festivity and feasting, a high cairn is erected on his grave, and beside it they set up a tall pole with the skin of a black he-goat attached to it, and another pole, on which hang the best clothes of the deceased. The grave becomes a place of pilgrimage. See Julius von Klaproth, Reise in den Kaukasus und nach Georgien (Halle and Berlin, 1814), ii.606; A. von Haxthausen, Transkaukasia (Leipsig, 1856), ii.21ff. Similarly the Kafirs of South Africa “have strange notions respecting the lightning. They consider that it is governed by the umshologu, or ghost, of the greatest and most renowned of their departed chiefs, and who is emphatically styled the inkosi; but they are not at all clear as to which of their ancestors is intended by this designation. Hence they allow of no lamentation being made for a person killed by lightning, as they say that it would be a sign of disloyalty to lament for one whom the inkosi had sent for, and whose services he consequently needed; and it would cause him to punish them, by making the lightning again to descend and do them another injury.” Further, rites of purification have to be performed by a priest at the kraal where the accident took place; and till these have been performed, none of the inhabitants may leave the kraal or have intercourse with other people. Meantime their heads are shaved and they must abstain from drinking milk. The rites include a sacrifice and the inoculation of the people with powdered charcoal. See “Mr. Warner's Notes,” in Col. Maclean's Compendium of Kafir Laws and Customs (Cape Town, 1866), pp. 82-84. Sometimes, however, the ghosts of persons who have been killed by lightning are deemed to be dangerous. Hence the Omahas used to slit the soles of the feet of such corpses to prevent their ghosts from walking about. See J. Owen Dorsey, “A Study of Siouan Cults,” Eleventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology (Washington, 1894), p. 420. For more evidence of special treatment accorded to the bodies of persons struck dead by lightning, see A. B. Ellis, The Ewe-speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast (London, 1890), p. 39ff.; A. B. Ellis, The Yoruba-speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast (London, 1894), p. 49; Rev. J. H. Weeks, “Notes on some customs of the Lower Congo people,” Folk-Lore, xx. (1909), p. 475; Rendel Harris, Boanerges (Cambridge, 1913), p. 97; A. L. Kitching, On the backwaters of the Nile (London, 1912), pp. 264ff. Among the Barundi of Central Africa, a man or woman who has been struck, but not killed, by lightning becomes thereby a priest or priestess of the god Kiranga, whose name he or she henceforth bears and of whom he or she is deemed a bodily representative. And any place that has been struck by lightning is enclosed, and the trunk of a banana-tree or a young fig-tree is set up in it to serve as the temporary abode of the deity who manifested himself in the lightning. See H. Meyer, Die Barundi (Leipsig, 1916), pp. 123, 135.
120. The war of the Epigoni against Thebes is narrated very similarly by Diod. 4.66. Compare Paus. 9.5.10ff., Paus. 9.8.6, Paus. 9.9.4ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 70. There was an epic poem on the subject, called Epigoni, which some people ascribed to Homer (Hdt. 4.32; Biographi Graeci, ed. A. Westermann, pp. 42ff.), but others attributed it to Antimachus (Scholiast on Aristoph. Peace 1270). Compare Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, pp. 13ff. Aeschylus and Sophocles both wrote tragedies on the same subject and with the same title, Epigoni. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 19, 173ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, i.129ff.
121. The sons of Eriphyle were Alcmaeon and Amphilochus, as we learn immediately. The giddy and treacherous mother persuaded them, as she had formerly persuaded her husband Amphiaraus, to go to the war, the bauble of a necklace and the gewgaw of a robe being more precious in her sight than the lives of her kinsfolk. See above, Apollod. 3.6.2; and as to the necklace and robe, see Apollod. 3.4.2; Apollod. 3.6.1-2; Diod. 4.66.3.
122. The battle was fought at a place called Glisas, where the graves of the Argive lords were shown down to the time of Pausanias. See Paus. 9.5.13; Paus. 9.8.6; Paus. 9.9.4; Paus. 9.19.2; Scholiast on Pind. P. 8.48(68), who refers to Hellanicus as his authority.
123. According to a different account, King Laodamas did not fall in the battle, but after his defeat led a portion of the Thebans away to the Illyrian tribe of the Encheleans, the same people among whom his ancestors Cadmus and Harmonia had found their last home. See Hdt. 5.61; Paus. 9.5.13; Paus. 9.8.6. As to Cadmus and Harmonia in Illyria, see above, Apollod. 3.5.4.
124. See Paus. 9.33.1, who says that the grave of Tiresias was at the spring. But there was also a cenotaph of the seer on the road from Thebes to Chalcis (Paus. 9.18.4). Diod. 4.67.1 agrees with Pausanias and Apollodorus in placing the death of Tiresias at Mount Tilphusium, which was beside the spring Tilphussa, in the territory of Haliartus.
125. Compare Diod. 4.66.6 (who gives the name of Tiresias's daughter as Daphne, not Manto); Paus. 7.3.3; Paus. 9.33.2; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.308.
126. That is, as well as to the undoing of his father Amphiaraus. See above, Apollod. 3.6.2.
127. Compare Thuc. 2.102.7ff.; Diod. 4.65.7; Paus. 8.24.7ff.; Ov. Met. 9.407ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 73. Sophocles and Euripides both wrote tragedies called Alcmaeon, or rather Alcmeon, for that appears to be the more correct spelling of the name. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 153ff., 379ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. i. pp. 68ff.
128. Oicles was the father of Amphiaraus, and therefore the grandfather of Alcmaeon. See Apollod. 1.8.2.
129. Paus. 8.24.8 and Prop. i.15.19 call her Alphesiboea.
130. So Greece is said to have been afflicted with a dearth on account of a treacherous murder committed by Pelops. See below, Apollod. 3.12.6. Similarly the land of Thebes was supposed to be visited with barrenness of the soil, of cattle, and of women because of the presence of Oedipus, who had slain his father and married his mother. See Soph. OT 22ff.; Soph. OT 96ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 67. The notion that the shedding of blood, especially the blood of a kinsman, is an offence to the earth, which consequently refuses to bear crops, seems to have been held by the ancient Hebrews, as it is still apparently held by some African peoples. See Folk-Lore in the Old Testament, i.82ff.
131. The text is here uncertain. See the Critical Note.
132. Achelous here seems to be conceived partly as a river and partly as a man, or rather a god.
133. Compare Thuc. 2.102.7ff.; Paus. 8.24.8ff. As to the formation of new land by the deposit of alluvial soil at the mouth of the Achelous, compare Hdt. 2.10.
134. According to Ephorus, or his son Demophilus, this oracle was really given to Alcmaeon at Delphi. See Athenaeus vi.22, p. 232 DF, where the words of the oracle are quoted.
135. His grave was overshadowed by tall cypresses, called the Maidens, in the bleak upland valley of Psophis. See Paus. 8.24.7. A quiet resting-place for the matricide among the solemn Arcadian mountains after the long fever of the brain and the long weary wanderings. The valley, which I have visited, somewhat resembles a Yorkshire dale, but is far wilder and more solitary.
136. Compare Ov. Met. 9.413ff.
137. Paus. 8.24.10 calls them Temenus and Axion.
138. According to Paus. 8.24.10; Paus. 9.41.2, it was the sons of Phegeus, not the sons of Alcmaeon, who dedicated the necklace at Delphi. The necklace, or what passed for it, was preserved at Delphi in the sanctuary of Forethought Athena as late as the Sacred War in the fourth century B.C., when it was carried off, with much more of the sacred treasures, by the unscrupulous Phocian leader, Phayllus. See Parthenius, Narrat. 25 (who quotes Phylarchus as his authority); Athenaeus vi.22, p. 232 DE (who quotes the thirtieth book of the history of Ephorus as his authority).
139. Compare Thuc. 2.102.9; Paus. 8.24.9, who similarly derive the name of Acarnania from Acarnan, son of Alcmaeon. Pausanias says that formerly the people were called Curetes.
140. The reference is no doubt to one of the two lost tragedies which Euripides composed under the title Alcmaeon. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 479ff.
141. Amphilochian Argos was a city of Aetolia, situated on the Ambracian Gulf. See Thuc. 2.68.3, who represents the founder Amphilochus as the son of Amphiaraus, and therefore as the brother, not the son, of Alcmaeon. As to Amphilochus, son of Amphiaraus, see above, Apollod. 3.7.2.
142. See above, Apollod. 2.1.1.
143. The following passage about Lycaon and his sons, down to and including the notice of Deucalion's flood, is copied, to a great extent verbally, by Tzetzes (Scholiast on Lycophron 481), who mentions Apollodorus by name as his authority. For another and different list of Lycaon's sons, see Paus. 8.3.1ff., who calls Nyctimus the eldest son of Lycaon, whereas Apollodorus calls him the youngest (see below). That the wife of Pelasgus and mother of Lycaon was Cyllene is affirmed by the Scholiast on Eur. Or. 1645.
144. With this and what follows compare Nicolaus Damascenus, Frag. 43 (Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, ed. C. Müller, iii.378; Suidas, s.v. Lukaôn): “Lycaon, son of Pelasgus and king of Arcadia, maintained his father's institutions in righteousness. And wishing like his father to wean his subjects from unrighteousness he said that Zeus constantly visited him in the likeness of a stranger to view the righteous and the unrighteous. And once, as he himself said, being about to receive the god, he offered a sacrifice. But of his fifty sons, whom he had, as they say, by many women, there were some present at the sacrifice, and wishing to know if they were about to give hospitality to a real god, they sacrificed a child and mixed his flesh with that of the victim, in the belief that their deed would be discovered if the visitor was a god indeed. But they say that the deity caused great storms to burst and lightnings to flash, and that all the murderers of the child perished.” A similar version of the story is reported by Hyginus, Fab. 176, who adds that Zeus in his wrath upset the table, killed the sons of Lycaon with a thunderbolt, and turned Lycaon himself into a wolf. According to this version of the legend, which Apollodorus apparently accepted, Lycaon was a righteous king, who ruled wisely like his father Pelasgus before him (see Paus. 8.1.4-6), but his virtuous efforts to benefit his subjects were frustrated by the wickedness and impiety of his sons, who by exciting the divine anger drew down destruction on themselves and on their virtuous parent, and even imperilled the existence of mankind in the great flood. But according to another, and perhaps more generally received, tradition, it was King Lycaon himself who tempted his divine guest by killing and dishing up to him at table a human being; and, according to some, the victim was no other than the king's own son Nyctimus. See Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. ii.36, p. 31, ed. Potter; Nonnus, Dionys. xviii.20ff.; Arnobius, Adversus Nationes iv.24. Some, however, said that the victim was not the king's son, but his grandson Arcas, the son of his daughter Callisto by Zeus. See Eratosthenes, Cat. 8; Hyginus, Ast. ii.4; Scholia in Caesaris Germanici Aratea, p. 387 (in Martianus Capella, ed. Fr. Eyssenhardt). According to Ov. Met. 1.218ff., the victim was a Molossian hostage. Others said simply that Lycaon set human flesh before the deity. See Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. xi.128; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i.5 (First Vatican Mythographer 17). For this crime Zeus changed the wicked king into a wolf, according to Hyginus, Ovid, the Scholiast on Caesar Germanicus, and the First Vatican Mythographer; but, on the other hand, Clement of Alexandria, Nonnus, Eratosthenes, and Arnobius say nothing of such a transformation. The upsetting of the table by the indignant deity is recorded by Eratosthenes, Cat. 8 as well as by Hyginus, Ast. ii.4 and Apollodorus. A somewhat different account of the tragical occurrence is given by Pausanias, who says (Paus. 8.2.3) that Lycaon brought a human babe to the altar of Lycaean Zeus, after which he was immediately turned into a wolf. These traditions were told to explain the savage and cruel rites which appear to have been performed in honour of Lycaean Zeus on Mount Lycaeus down to the second century of our era or later. It seems that a human victim was sacrificed, and that his inward parts (splanchnon), mixed with that of animal victims, was partaken of at a sort of cannibal banquet by the worshippers, of whom he who chanced to taste of the human flesh was believed to be changed into a wolf and to continue in that shape for eight years, but to recover his human form in the ninth year, if in the meantime he had abstained from eating human flesh. See Plat. Rep. 8.565d-e; Paus. 8.2.6. According to another account, reported by Varro on the authority of a Greek writer Euanthes, the werewolf was chosen by lot, hung his clothes on an oak tree, swam across a pool, and was then transformed into a wolf and herded with wolves for nine years, afterwards recovering his human shape if in the interval he had not tasted the flesh of man. In this account there is no mention of cannibalism. See Pliny, Nat. Hist. viii.81; Augustine, De civitate Dei xviii.17. A certain Arcadian boxer, named Damarchus, son of Dinnytas, who won a victory at Olympia, is said to have been thus transformed into a wolf at the sacrifice of Lycaean Zeus and to have been changed back into a man in the tenth year afterwards. Of the historical reality of the boxer there can be no reasonable doubt, for his statue existed in the sacred precinct at Olympia, where it was seen by Pausanias; but in the inscription on it, which Pausanias copied, there was no mention made of the man's transformation into a wolf. See Paus. 6.8.2. However, the transformation was recorded by a Greek writer, Scopas, in his history of Olympic victors, who called the boxer Demaenatus, and said that his change of shape was caused by his partaking of the inward parts of a boy slain in the Arcadian sacrifice to Lycaean Zeus. Scopas also spoke of the restoration of the boxer to the human form in the tenth year, and mentioned that his victory in boxing at Olympia was subsequent to his experiences as a wolf. See Pliny, Nat. Hist. viii.82; Augustine, De civitate Dei xviii.17. The continuance of human sacrifice in the rites of Lycaean Zeus on Mount Lycaeus is hinted at by Paus. 8.38.7 in the second century of our era, and asserted by Porphyry, (De abstinentia ii.27: Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelii, iv.16.6) in the third century. From these fragmentary notices it is hardly possible to piece together a connected account of the rite; but the mention of the transformation of the cannibal into a wolf for eight or nine years suggests that the awful sacrifice was offered at intervals either of eight or of nine years. If the interval was eight years, it would point to the use of that eight years' cycle which played so important a part in the ancient calendar of the Greeks, and by which there is reason to think that the tenure of the kingship was in some places regulated. Perhaps the man who was supposed to be turned into a wolf acted as the priest, or even as the incarnation, of the Wolf God for eight or nine years till he was relieved of his office at the next celebration of the rites. The subject has been learnedly discussed by A. B. Cook (Zeus, i.63-99);. He regards Lycaean Zeus as a god of light rather than of wolves, and for this view there is much to be said. See Frazer on Paus. 8.38.7 (vol. iv. pp. 385ff.). The view would be confirmed if we were sure that the solemn sacrifice was octennial, for the octennial period was introduced in order to reconcile solar and lunar time, and hence the religious rites connected with it would naturally have reference to the great celestial luminaries. As to the octennial period, see the note on Apollod. 2.5.11. But with this view of the festival it is difficult to reconcile the part played by wolves in the myth and ritual. We can hardly suppose with some late Greek writers, that the ancient Greek word for a year, lukabas, was derived from lukos, “a wolf,” and bainô, “to walk.” See Ael., Nat. Anim. x.26; Artemidorus, Onirocrit. ii.12; Eustathius on Hom. Od. xiv.161, p. 1756.
145. As to the town of Trapezus, see Paus. 8.3.3; Paus. 8.5.4; Paus. 8.27.4-6; Paus. 8.29.1; Paus. 8.31.5. The name is derived by Apollodorus from the Greek trapeza, “a table.” Compare Eratosthenes, Cat. 8.
146. See above, Apollod. 1.7.2.
147. As to the love of Zeus for Callisto, daughter of Lycaon, her transformation into a bear, and finally into the constellation of the Bear, see Paus. 1.25.1; Paus. 8.3.6ff.; Eratosthenes, Cat. 1; Libanius, in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, Appendix Narrationum, 34, p. 374; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 481; Hyginus, Fab. 155, 176, and 177; Ov. Met. 2.409-507; Serv. Verg. G. 1.138; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iii.685; Scholia in Caesaris Germanici Aratea, p. 381, ed. F. Eyssenhardt (in his edition of Martianus Capella); Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 5 (First Vatican Mythographer 17; vol. ii. p. 94, Second Vatican Mythographer 58). The transformation of Callisto into a bear is variously ascribed to the amorous Zeus himself, to the jealous Hera, and to the indignant Artemis. The descent of the Arcadians from a bear-woman through a son Arcas, whose name was popularly derived from the Greek arktos, “a bear,” has sometimes been adduced in favour of the view that the Arcadians were a totemic people with the bear for their totem. See Andrew Lang, Myth, Ritual and Religion (London, 1887), ii.211ff.
148. The Tegean historian Araethus also described the mother of Arcas as the daughter of Ceteus; according to him she was the granddaughter, not the daughter, of Lycaon, and her name was Megisto, not Callisto. But he agreed in the usual tradition that the heroine had been transformed into a bear, and he seems to have laid the scene of the transformation at Nonacris in northern Arcadia. See Hyginus, Ast. ii.1. According to a Scholiast on Eur. Or. 1646, Callisto, mother of Arcas, was a daughter of Ceteus by Stilbe.
149. As to the sons of Arcas, and the division of Arcadia among them, see Paus. 8.4.1ff. According to Pausanias, Arcas had three sons, Azas, Aphidas, and Elatus by Erato, a Dryad nymph; to Azas his father Arcas assigned the district of Azania, to Aphidas the city of Tegea, and to Elatus the mountain of Cyllene.
150. For the story of Auge and Telephus, see above, Apollod. 2.7.4.
151. Compare Paus. 8.4.10, who mentions only the first two of these four sons.
152. For the story of Atalanta, and how her suitor won her by the bait of the golden apples, see Theocritus ii i.40-42; Hyginus, Fab. 185; Ov. Met. 10.560-680; Serv. Verg. A. 3.113; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 14, 91 (First Vatican Mythographer 39; Second Vatican Mythographer 47). As Apollodorus points out, there was a difference of opinion as to the name of Atalanta's father. According to Callimachus, Hymn to Artemis 215 and the First and Second Vatican Mythographers (Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 54, 124), he was Iasius; according to Ael., Var. Hist. xiii.1, he was Iasion. Prop. i.1.10 seems to agree with Apollodorus that her father was Iasus, for he calls Atalanta by the patronymic Iasis. But according to Diod. 4.34.4, Diod. 4.65.4, Paus. 8.35.10, Hyginus, and Ovid, her father was Schoeneus. Hesiod also called him Schoeneus (see Apollodorus, below), and the later writers just mentioned probably accepted the name on his authority. According to Euripides, as we learn from Apollodorus (see below), the name of the heroine's father was Maenalus. The suckling of Atalanta by the bear, and the unsuccessful assault on her by the two centaurs, Hylaeus and Rhoecus, are described, with a wealth of picturesque detail, by Aelian (Ael., Var. Hist. xiii.1), who does not, however, mention her wedding race. The suitor who won the coy maiden's hand by throwing down the golden apples is called Hippomenes by most writers (Theocritus, Hyginus, Ovid, Servius, First and Second Vatican Mythographers). Herein later writers may have followed Euripides, who, as we learn from Apollodorus (see below), also called the successful suitor Hippomanes. But by Prop. i.1.9 and Ovid, Ars Am. ii.188 the lover is called Milanion, which nearly agrees with the form Melanion adopted by Apollodorus. Pausanias seems also to have agreed with Apollodorus on this point, for he tells us (Apollod. 3.12.9) that Parthenopaeus, who was a son of Atalanta (see below), had Melanion for his father.
153. According to Ov. Met. 10.644ff. the goddess brought the golden apples from her sacred field of Tamasus, the richest land in Cyprus; there in the midst of the field grew a wondrous tree, its leaves and branches resplendent with crackling gold, and from its boughs Aphrodite plucked three golden apples. But, according to others, the apples came from the more familiar garden of the Hesperides. See Serv. Verg. A. 3.113; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 14 (First Vatican Mythographer 39).
154. The sacrilege and its punishment are recorded also by Hyginus, Fab. 185; Serv. Verg. A. 3.113; and the First Vatican Mythographer (Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 14, (Fab. 39). The reason why the lovers were turned into a lion and a lioness for their impiety is explained by the ancient mythographers to be that lions do not mate with each other, but with leopards, so that after their transformation the lovers could never repeat the sin of which they had been guilty. For this curious piece of natural history they refer to Pliny's Natural History; but all that Pliny, in the form in which he has come down to us, appears to affirm on this subject is, that when a lioness forgot her dignity with a leopard, her mate easily detected and vigorously punished the offence (Pliny, Nat. Hist. viii.43). What would have happened if the lion had similarly misbehaved with a leopardess is not mentioned by the natural historian.
155. See above, note on p. 399. It may have been in his lost tragedy, Meleager, that Euripides named the father and husband of Atalanta. She is named in one of the existing fragments (No. 530) of the play. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 525ff.
156. See above, Apollod. 3.6.3. According to others, the father of Parthenopaeus was neither Melanion nor Ares, but Meleager. See Hyginus, Fab. 70, 99, and 270; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 54, 125 (First Vatican Mythographer 174; Second Vatican Mythographer 144).
157. As to the Pleiades, see Aratus, Phaenomena 254-268; Eratosthenes, Cat. 23; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica xiii.551ff.; Scholiast on Hom. Il. xviii.486; Scholiast on Pind. N. 2.10(16); Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii.226; Hyginus, Ast. ii.21; Hyginus, Fab. 192; Ovid, Fasti iii.105, iv.169-178; Serv. Verg. G. 1.138, and Serv. Verg. A. 1.744; Scholia in Caesaris Germanici Aratea, p. 397, ed. F. Eyssenhardt (in his edition of Martianus Capella); Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 73 (First Vatican Mythographer 234). There was a general agreement among the ancients as to the names of the seven Pleiades. Aratus, for example, gives the same names as Apollodorus and in the same order. However, with the exception of Maia, a different list of names is given by the Scholiast on Theocritus xiii.25, who tells us further, on the authority of Callimachus, that they were the daughters of the queen of the Amazons. As their father was commonly said to be Atlas, they were sometimes called Atlantides (Apollodorus, below; Diod. 3.60.4; compare Hes. WD 382). But there was much diversity of opinion as to the origin of the name Pleiades. Some derived it from the name of their mother Pleione; but the most probable view appears to be that the name comes from plein, “to sail,” because in the Mediterranean area these stars were visible at night during the summer, from the middle of May till the beginning of November, which coincided with the sailing season in antiquity. This derivation of the name was recognized by some of the ancients (Serv. Verg. G. 1.138). With regard to the number of the Pleiades, it was generally agreed that there were seven of them, but that one was invisible, or nearly so, to the human eye. Of this invisibility two explanations were given. Some thought that Electra, as the mother of Dardanus, was so grieved at the fall of Troy that she hid her face in her hands; the other was that Merope, who had married a mere man, Sisyphus, was so ashamed of her humble, though honest, lot by comparison with the guilty splendour of her sisters, who were all of them paramours of gods, that she dared not show herself. These alternative and equally probable theories are stated, for example, by Ovid and Hyginus. The cause of the promotion of the maidens to the sky is said to have been that for seven or even twelve years the hunter Orion pursued them with his unwelcome attentions, till Zeus in pity removed pursuer and pursued alike to heaven, there to shine as stars for ever and to continue the endless pursuit. The bashful or mournful Pleiad, who hid her light, is identified by modern astronomers with Celaeno, a star of almost the seventh magnitude, which can be seen now, as in antiquity, in clear moonless nights by persons endowed with unusually keen sight. See A. von Humboldt, Cosmos, translated by E. Sabine, iii.47ff.
158. Compare Paus. 5.10.6. According to another account, Sterope or Asterope, as she is also called, was not the wife but the mother of Oenomaus by the god Ares. See Eratosthenes, Cat. 23; Hyginus, Ast. ii.21; Hyginus, Fab. 84, 159; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 73 (First Vatican Mythographer 234).
159. See above, Apollod. 3.5.5.
160. The following account of the birth and youthful exploits of Hermes is based, whether directly or indirectly, on the beautiful Homeric Hymn to Hermes, though it differs from the hymn on a few minor points, as to which Apollodorus may have used other sources. Compare The Homeric Hymns, ed. T. W. Allen and E. E. Sikes, pp. 130ff. Among the other literary sources to which Apollodorus may have had recourse was perhaps Sophocles's satyric play Ichneutae, or The Trackers. See below.
161. Compare the HH Herm. 21; HH Herm. 63; HH Herm. 150ff.; HH Herm. 254; HH Herm. 290; HH Herm. 358; Sophocles, Ichneutae 269 (The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, ii.258). So Dionysus at birth is said to have been laid on a winnowing-fan (Serv. Verg. G. 1.166): hence he got the surname of “He of the Winnowing-fan” (Liknitês, Plut. Isis et Osiris 35). These traditions as to the gods merely reflected an ancient Greek custom of placing newborn children in winnowing-fans “as an omen of wealth and fruitfulness” (plouton kai karpous oiônizomenoi.) See the Scholiast on Callimachus, Hymn 1.48 (Callimachea, ed. O. Schneider, i.109). As to the symbolism of the custom, see W. Mannhardt, “Kind und Korn,” Mythologische Forschungen, pp. 351-374; Miss J. E. Harrison, “Mystica Vannus Iacchi,” JHS xxiii. (1903), pp. 292-324. The custom was not confined to ancient Greece, but has been widely practised in India and other parts of the east down to modern times. The motives assigned or implied for it are various. Sometimes it seems to have been intended to ensure the wealth and prosperity of the infant, sometimes to guard it against the evil eye and other dangerous influences. See Spirits of the Corn and of the Wild, i.5-11. To quote a single example, among the Brahuis of Baluchistan, “most good parents keep their babe for the first six days in a chaj, or winnowing-basket, that God may vouchsafe them full as many children as the basket can hold grain . . . But some folk will have nothing to do with a winnowing-basket; it harbours epilepsy, they say, though how or why I am at a loss to think. So they lay the child in a sieve, that good luck may pour upon him as abundantly as grain pours through a sieve” (Denys Bray, The Life-History of a BrāhūīLondon, 1913, p. 13). The substitution of a corn-sieve for a winnowing-fan seems to be common elsewhere.
162. Compare HH Herm. 22ff.; Ant. Lib. 23; Ov. Met. 2.680ff. The theft of cattle by the infant Hermes was the subject of Sophocles's satyric drama Ichneutae, or The Trackers, of which some considerable fragments have been discovered in recent years. The scene of the play is laid on Mount Cyllene. Apollo appears and complains of the loss of the cattle, describes how he has come from Thessaly and through Boeotia in search of them, and offers a reward to anyone who will help him to find the missing beasts. The proclamation reaches the ears of Silenus, who hurries to the scene of action and warmly proffers the services of himself and his Satyrs in the search, only stipulating that the reward shall take the solid shape of cash down. His offer being accepted, the Satyrs at once open on the scent like sleuth-hounds and soon discover confused tracks of cattle pointing in different directions. But in the very heat of this discovery they are startled by a strange sound, the like of which they had never heard before. It is, in fact, the muffled sound of the lyre played by the youthful Hermes in the cave. At this point the nymph Cyllene issues from the cavern and upbraids the wild creatures with the hubbub they are raising in the stillness of the green wooded hills. The Satyrs tender a humble apology for their intrusion, but request to know the meaning of the strange sounds that proceed from the bowels of the earth. In compliance with their request the nymph explains how Zeus had secretly begotten Hermes on Maia in the cave, how she herself was acting temporarily as nurse to the child, how the infant grew at an astonishing and even alarming rate, and how, being detained in the cave by his father's orders, he devoted his leisure hours to constructing out of a dead beast a curious toy which emitted musical notes. Being pressed for a fuller explanation she describes how Hermes made the lyre out of a tortoise shell, how the instrument was “his only balm of grief, his comforter,” and how the child was transported with delight at the ravishing sweetness of the tones which spoke to him from the dead beast. Unmoved by this touching description, the Satyrs at once charge the precocious infant with having stolen the cattle. His nurse indignantly repels the charge, stoutly declaring that the poor child had inherited no propensity to thieving either from its father or from its mother, and recommending his accusers to go and look for the thief elsewhere, since at their age, with their long beards and bald heads, they ought to know better than to trump up such ridiculous accusations, for which they may yet have to smart. The nurse's passionate defence of her little charge makes no more impression on the Satyrs than her previous encomium on his musical talent: indeed their suspicions are quickened by her reference to the hides which the infant prodigy had used in the construction of the lyre, and they unhesitatingly identify the skins in question with those of the missing cattle. Strong in this conviction, they refuse to budge till the culprit has been made over to them. At this point the Greek text begins to fail; we can just catch a few disjointed fragments of a heated dialogue between the nurse and the satyrs; the words “cows,” “thief,” “rascal,” and so forth, occur with painful iteration, then all is silence. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. i. pp. 224-270. From this seemingly simple piece of mild buffoonery Miss J. E. Harrison would extract a ritual of serious and indeed solemn significance, of which, however, she admits that the author of the play was himself probably quite unconscious. See her learned essay in Essays and Studies presented to William Ridgeway, ed. E. C. Quiggin (Cambridge, 1913), pp. 136ff.
163. In the HH Herm. 115ff. we are told that Hermes roasted the flesh of two oxen and divided it into twelve portions (for the twelve gods), but that in spite of hunger he ate none of it himself.
164. Compare Sophocles, Ichneutae 278ff. (The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, ii.259). In the HH Herm. 22ff., the invention of the lyre by Hermes precedes his theft of the cattle.
165. In the HH Herm. 185ff. it is to Onchestus in Boeotia, not to Pylus, that Apollo goes at first to inquire after the missing cattle.
166. Compare the HH Herm. 213ff., where it is said that Apollo discovered Hermes to be the thief through observing a certain long-winged bird.
167. Compare the HH Herm. 511ff., where, however, nothing is said about an attempt of Apollo to get the pipes from Hermes, or about an exchange of the pipes for the golden wand. However, there is a lacuna in the hymn after verse 526, and the missing passage may have contained the exchange in question and the request of Hermes for the gift of divination, both of which are mentioned by Apollodorus but omitted in the hymn as it stands at present. See Allen and Sikes on the HH Herm. 526ff., in their edition of the Homeric Hymns, p. 190.
168. For the gift of the golden wand, see HH Herm. 527ff.
169. Compare the HH Herm. 552ff. The reference is to the divining pebbles called thriae, which were personified as three winged sisters who dwelt on Parnassus, and are said to have been the nurses of Apollo. See Zenobius, Cent. v.75; Callimachus, Hymn to Apollo 45, with the Scholiast; Etymologicum Magnum, s.v. Thria, p. 455.45; Hesychius, s.v. thriai; Anecdota Graeca, ed. Bekker, i.265.11, s.v. Thriasion pedion.. According to one account, the divining pebbles were an invention of Athena, which so disgusted Apollo that Zeus caused that mode of divination to fall into discredit, though it had been in high repute before; and Apollo vented his spite at the practitioners of a rival art by saying that “There be many that cast pebbles, but few prophets.” See Zenobius, Cent. v.75; Stephanus Byzantius, s.v. Thria. This tradition may perhaps be accepted as evidence that in time the simple mode of divination by pebbles went out of fashion, being cast into the shade by the far more stately and imposing ritual of the frenzied prophetesses at Delphi, whose wild words were accepted as the very utterances of the deity. However, we are informed that in the temple at Delphi there were divining pebbles in a bowl on a tripod, and that when an inquirer applied to the oracle, the pebbles danced about in the bowl, while the inspired priestess prophesied. See Nonnus, in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, Appendix Narrationum 67, p. 384; Suidas, s.v. Puthô. As to Greek divination by pebbles, see A. Bouche-Leclercq, Histoire de la Divination dans l'Antiquité, i.192,ff.; and Frazer, note on Paus. 7.25.10 (vol. iv. pp. 172ff.)
170. Compare Paus. 3.1.2; Scholiast on Eur. Or. 626.
171. According to Paus. 3.1.1, Eurotas was a son of Myles, who was a son of Lelex.
172. Compare Paus. 3.1.3.
173. See above, Apollod. 1.3.3; Nicander, Ther. 901ff., with the Scholiast on Lycophron 902; Paus. 3.1.3; Paus. 3.19.5; Tzetzes, Chiliades i.241ff.; Ov. Met. 10.161-219; Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxi.66; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 37, 135ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 117; Second Vatican Mythographer 181). The tomb of Hyacinth was shown at Amyclae under the great image of Apollo; a bronze door opened into the tomb, and sacrifices were there offered to him as a hero. See Paus. 3.19.3. Compare Adonis, Attis, Osiris, 3rd ed., i.313ff.
174. See above, Apollod. 1.9.5, where Apollodorus represents Perieres as the son of Aeolus (compare Apollod. 1.7.3), though he adds that many people regarded him as the son of Cynortas. See below Apollod. 3.10.4 note.
175. Compare Pind. N. 10.62(116); Paus. 4.2.7 (who seems to have misunderstood the foregoing passage of Pindar); Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 553; Hyginus, Fab. 14, p. 42, ed. Bunte.
176. See below, Apollod. 3.11.2.
177. The ancients were divided with regard to the mother of Aesculapius, some maintaining that she was a Messenian woman Arsinoe, daughter of Leucippus, others that she was a Thessalian woman Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas. See the Scholiast on Pind. P. 3.8(14), who quotes authorities on both sides: amongst the champions of Arsinoe were Asclepiades and an Argive writer named Socrates. The claims of the Messenian Arsinoe were naturally supported by patriotic Messenians, who looked on the god and his sons as in a sense their fellow countrymen. See Paus. 2.26.3-7; Paus. 4.3.2; Paus. 4.31.12. Apollodorus apparently accepted the Messenian view. But on the other side a long array of authorities declared in favour of Coronis, and her claim to be the mother of the god had the powerful support of the priesthood of Aesculapius at Epidaurus, one of the principal seats of the worship of the healing god. See the HH Ascl.; Pind. P. 3.8(14)ff.; Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.616ff.; Diod. 4.71.1, Diod. 5.74.6; Paus. 2.26.3-7; Hyginus, Fab. 202; Hyginus, Ast. ii.40; Serv. Verg. A. 6.617; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iii.506; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 17, 37 (First Vatican Mythographer 46, 115). Pausanias, who expressly rejects the claim of Arsinoe, quotes in favour of Coronis a Delphic oracle, which he regards as decisive: for who should know the true mother of Aesculapius better than his own father Apollo? The testimony of the deity for once was quite unambiguous. It ran thus:-- “O born to be the world's great joy, Aesculapius, Offspring of love, whom Phlegyas' daughter, fair Coronis, bore to me in rugged Epidaurus.” See Paus. 2.26.7. In modern times the stones of Epidaurus, if we may say so, have risen up to testify to the truth of this oracle. For in the course of the modern excavations at the great Epidaurian sanctuary of Aesculapius there was discovered a limestone tablet inscribed with a hymn in honour of Apollo and Aesculapius, in which the family tree of the junior god is set out with the utmost precision, and it entirely confirms the Delphic oracle. The author of the hymn was a certain native of Epidaurus, by name Isyllus, a man of such scrupulous accuracy that before publishing his hymn he took the precaution of submitting it to the fount of knowledge at Delphi with an inquiry whether the god would sanction its publication. The deity granted his permission in very cordial terms; hence we may look on the hymn as an authentic document bearing the imprimatur of the Delphic Apollo himself. In it the pedigree of Aesculapius is traced as follows: Father Zeus bestowed the hand of the Muse Erato on Malus in holy matrimony (hosioisi gamois.) The pair had a daughter Cleophema, who married Phlegyas, a native of Epidaurus; and Phlegyas had by her a daughter Aegla, otherwise known as Coronis, whom Phoebus of the golden bow beheld in the house of her grandfather Malus, and falling in love he got by her a child, Aesculapius. See Ephêmeris archaiologikê, iii. (1885) coll. 65ff.; H. Collitz and F. Bechtel, Sammlung der griechischen Dialekt-Inschriften, iii.1, pp. 162ff., No. 3342.
178. The story how Coronis played her divine lover false and was killed by him, and how the god rescued his child from the burning pyre and carried him to Chiron, is told by Pind. P. 3.8(14)ff. Compare the Scholiast on this passage of Pindar, especially 27(48); Paus. 2.26.6 (according to whom it was Hermes, not Apollo, who snatched the child from the burning pyre); Hyginus, Fab. 202; Hyginus, Ast. ii.40; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iii.506; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 17, 37, and 118 (First Vatican Mythographer 46, 115; Second Vatican Mythographer 128). All these writers, except Pindar and Pausanias, relate the story of the tell-tale raven and his punishment. The story is also told by Ov. Met. 2.534ff. and Ant. Lib. 20, but neither of them mentions Aesculapius. It was narrated by Pherecydes, who may have been the source from which the other writers drew their information. See Scholiast on Pind. P. 3.34(59). The name of the human lover of Coronis is given as Ischys, son of Elatus, by Pindar and Pausanias in agreement with Apollodorus. But Antoninus Liberalis calls him Alcyoneus; Lactantius Placidus and the Second Vatican Mythographer call him Lycus; and the First Vatican Mythographer describes him (Hyginus, Fab. 115) simply as the son of Elatus. As to the connexion of Coronis with the raven or the crow in Greek legendary lore, see Frazer, note on Paus. ii.17.11 (vol. iii. pp. 72ff.). Compare D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Glossary of Greek Birds, p. 93.
179. Compare Zenobius, Cent. i.18, who probably copied Apollodorus. According to Eur. Ion 999ff., Pallas gave Erichthonius two drops of the Gorgon's blood, one of them a deadly poison, the other a powerful medicine for the healing of diseases.
180. For other lists of dead men whom Aesculapius is said to have restored to life, see Sextus Empiricus, p. 658, ed. Bekker; Scholiast on Pind. P. 3.54(96); Scholiast on Eur. Alc. 1. These two Scholiasts mention that according to Pherecydes the people who died at Delphi were raised from the dead by Aesculapius. To the list of dead men whom Aesculapius restored to life, Propertius adds Androgeus, son of Minos (Prop. ii.1.61ff.).