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Callimachus, Hymns

CALLIMACHUS OF CYRENE was a Greek poet and scholar of the Library of Alexandria who flourished in the C3rd B.C. He was the author of a large number of works, of which only 6 hymns and 63 epigrams still survive in their entirety.

Callimachus, Hymns and Epigrams. Lycophron. Aratus. Translated by Mair, A. W. & G. R. Loeb Classical Library Volume 129. London: William Heinemann, 1921.

This volume is still in print and available new from Amazon.com (click on image right for details). In addition to the translation of Callimachus' Hymns and Epigrams the book contains Lycophron's riddling poem Alexandra, Aratus' description of the stars, source Greek texts and Mair's introduction, index and footnotes.

Some more recent translations of Callimachus and commentaries on his work appear in the booklist (left below).


HYMNS 1 - 3

1. To Zeus
2. To Apollo
3. To Artemis

HYMNS 4 - 6

4. To Delos
5. The Bath of Pallas
6. To Demeter



[1] At libations to Zeus what else should rather be sung than the god himself, mighty for ever, king for evermore, router of the Pelagonians, dealer of justice to the sons of Heaven?

[4] How shall we sing of him – as lord of Dicte1 or of Lycaeum?2 My soul is all in doubt, since debated is his birth. O Zeus, some say that thou wert born on the hills of Ida3; others, O Zeus, say in Arcadia; did these or those, O Father lie? “Cretans are ever liars.”4 Yea, a tomb,5 O Lord, for thee the Cretans builded; but thou didst not die, for thou art for ever.

[10] In Parrhasia6 it was that Rheia bare thee, where was a hill sheltered with thickest brush. Thence is the place holy, and no fourfooted thing that hath need of Eileithyia7 nor any woman approacheth thereto, but the Apidanians8 call it the primeval childbed of Rheia. There when thy mother had laid thee down from her mighty lap, straightway she sought a stream of water, wherewith she might purge her of the soilure of birth and wash thy body therein.

[17] But mighty Ladon9 flowed not yet, nor Erymanthus,9 clearest of rivers; waterless was all Arcadia; yet was it anon to be called well-watered. For all that time when Rhea loosed her girdle, full many a hollow oak did water Iaon9 bear aloft, and many a wain did Melas10 carry and many a serpent above Carnion,11 wet though it now be, cast its lair; and a man would fare on foot over Crathis12 and many-pebbled Metope,13 athirst: while that abundant water lay beneath his feet.

[28] And holden in distress the lady Rheia said, "Dear Earth, give birth thou also! They birthpangs are light." So spake the goddess, and lifting her great arm aloft she smote the mountain with her staff; and it was greatly rent in twain for her and poured forth a mighty flood. Therein, O Lord, she cleansed they body; and swaddled thee, and gave thee to Neda to carry within the Cretan covert, that thou mightst be reared secretly: Neda,14 eldest of the nymphs who then were about her bed, earliest birth after Styx15 and Philyra.16 And no idle favour did the goddess repay her, but named that stream Neda17; which, I ween, in great flood by the very city of the Cauconians,18 which is called Lepreion,19 mingles its stream with Nereus,20 and its primeval water do the son’s son of the Bear,21 Lycaon’s daughter, drink.

[42] When the nymph, carrying thee, O Father Zeus, towards Cnosus,22 was leaving Thenae22– for Thenae as nigh to Cnosus – even then, O God, thy navel fell away: hence that plain the Cydonians23 call the Plain of the Navel.24 But thee, O Zeus, the companions of the Cyrbantes25 took to their arms, even the Dictaean Meliae,26 and Adrasteia27 laid thee to rest in a cradle of gold, and thou didst suck the rich teat of the she-goat Amaltheia,28 and thereto eat the sweet honey-comb. For suddenly on the hills of Ida, which men call Panacra,29 appeared the works of the Panacrian bee. And lustily round thee danced the Curetes30 a war-dance,31 beating their armour, that Cronus might hear with his ears the din of the shield, but not thine infant noise.

[54] Fairly didst thou wax, O heavenly Zeus, and fairly wert thou nurtured, and swiftly thou didst grow to manhood, and speedily came the down upon thy cheek. But, while yet a child, thou didst devise all the deeds of perfect stature. Wherefore thy kindred, though an earlier generation, grudged not that thou shouldst have heaven for thine appointed habitation.32 For they said that the lot assigned to the sons of Cronus their three several abodes.33 But who would draw lots for Olympos and for Hades – save a very fool? For equal chances should one cast lots; but these are the wide world apart. When I speak fiction, be it such fiction as persuades the listener’s ear! Thou wert made sovereign of the gods not by casting of lots by the deeds of thy hands, thy might and that strength34 which thou hast set beside thy throne. And the most excellent of birds35 didst thou make the messenger of thy sings; favourable to my friends be the sings thou showest! And thou didst choose that which is most excellent among men – not thou the skilled in ships, nor the wielder of the shield, nor the minstrel: these didst thou straightway renounce to lesser gods, other cares to others. But thou didst choose the rulers of cities themselves, beneath whose hand is the lord of the soil, the skilled in spearmanship, the oarsman, yea, all things that are: what is there that is not under the ruler’s sway? Thus, smith, we say, belong to Hephaestus; to Ares, warriors; to Artemis of the Tunic,36 huntsmen; to Phoebus they that know well the strains of the lyre. But from Zeus come kings; for nothing is diviner than the kings of Zeus. Wherefore thou didst choose them for thine own lot, and gavest them cities to guard. And thou didst seat thyself in the high places of the cities, watching who rule their people with crooked judgements, and who rule otherwise. And thou hast bestowed upon them wealth and prosperity abundantly; unto all, but not in equal measure. One may well judge by our Ruler,37 for he hath clean outstripped all others. At evening he accomplisheth what whereon he thinketh in the morning; yea, at evening the greatest things, but the lesser soon as he thinketh on them. But the others accomplish some things in a year, and some things not in one; of others, again, thou thyself dost utterly frustrate the accomplishing and thwartest their desire.

[90] Hail! greatly hail! most high Son of Cronus, giver of good things, giver of safety. Thy works who could sing? There hath not been, there shall not be, who shall sing the works of Zeus. Hail! Father, hail again! And grant us goodness and prosperity. Without goodness wealth cannot bless men, nor goodness without prosperity. Give us goodness and weal.

1. Mountain in Crete.
2. Mountain in Arcadia.
3. This proverbial saying, attributed to Epimenides, is quoted by St. Paul. Ep. Tit. i. 12, “One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies” (kata thêria, gasteres argai), and seems to be alluded to by Aratus, Phaen. 30 ei eteon dê. The explanation given by Athenodorus of Eretria ap. Ptolem. Hephaest. In Photii Bibl. p. 150 Bekk. Is that Thetis and Medea, having a dispute as to which of them was the fairer, entrusted the decision to Idomeneus of Crete. He decided in favour of Thetis, whereon Medea said, “Cretans are always liars” and cursed them that they should never speak the truth. The schol. On the present passage says that Idomeneus divided the spoils of Troy unfairly.
4. The Cretan legend was that Zeus was a prince who was slain by a wild boar and buried in Crete. His tomb was variously localized and the tradition of “the tomb of Zeus” attaches to several places even in modern times, especially to Mount Iuktas. See A. B. Cook, Zeus, vol. i. p. 157 ff.
5. Arcadia.
6. Cf. Apoll. Rh. iv. 1240.
7. Goddess of birth.
8. The ancient Arcadians (schol.).
9. River in Arcadia.
10. Melas: Dion. Per. 415 ff. Arkades Apidanêes hupo skopiên Erumanthou, entha Melas, othi Krathis, ina rheei hugros Idaôn, êchi kai ôgugios mêkunetai udasi Ladôn. Herodot. i. 145 has Ôlenos en tô Peiros potamos megas estia. Strabo 386 has Ôlenos, par’ on potramos megas Melas where it has been proposed to read par’ on <Peiros> and to omit Melas. M. T. Smiley, in Classical Qu. v. (1911) p. 89 f., suggests that the Styx is meant, which supplies the waterfall near Nonacris in North Arcadia and later becomes a tributary of the Crathis (Paus. viii. 18. 4). When Leake discovered the waterfall in 1806 the natives did not know the name Styx for it but called it the Black Water (Mavro nero) or the Dragon Water. The name Peiros in any case suggests a connexion with the underworld.

11. Carnion or Carion, river in Arcadia, Paus. viii. 34.
12. Crathis, river in Arcadia (and Achaea), Paus. vii. 25. 11, viii. 15. 5, viii. 18. 4.
13. Metope, river in Arcadia.
14. Cf. Paus. iv. 33. 1, “The Messenians say that Zeus was reared among them and that his nurses were Ithome and Neda, after whom the river got its name.” Cf. viii. 38 ff.
15. Styx, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, Hesiod, Th. 361.
16. Philyra, daughter of Oceanus, mother of Cheiron by Cronus.
17. Paus. iv. 20. 2. The river Neda rises in Mount Lycaeon, flows into Messenia and forms the boundary between Messenia and Elis. Cf. Strabo 348 who says it rises in Lycaeon from a spring which Rheia caused to flow in order to wash the infant Zeus.
18. A people of Triphylia, Hom. Od. iii. 366.
19. Herod. iv. 148 says that Lepreon in Triphylia was founded by the Minyae after driving out the Cauconians.
20. i.e. the sea.

21. Arcas, the ancestor of the Arcadians, was the son of Zeus and Lycaon’s daughter Callisto who was changed into a bear.
22. Town in Crete.
23. Cydonia, town in Crete.
24. Schol. Nicand. Alex. 7 Omphalos gar topos en Krêtê, hôs kai Kallimachos pege . . . Kudônes. Diodor. v. 70 tells the story (he says that Zeus was carried by the Curetes) and gives the name of the place as Omphalos and of the plain around as Omphaleion.
25. Corybantes.
26. The ash-tree nymphs, cf. Hesiod. Th. 187.
27. Cf. Apoll. Rh. iii. 132 ff. Dios perikalles athurma | keino, to oi poise philê trophos Adrêsteia | antrô en Idaiô eti nêpia kourixonti | sphairan eutrochalon; i.q. Nemesis, sister of the Curetes (schol.).
28. The nymph of she-goat who suckled Zeus; Diodor. v. 70, Apollod. 1. 5, schol. Arat. 161. Ovid, Fast. i. 115 ff.
29. Mountains in Crete (Steph. Byz. s.v. Panakra). Zeus rewarded the bees by making them of a golden bronze colour and rendering them insensible to the rigours of the mountain climate (Diodor. v. 70).
30. Apollodor. i. 4, “The Curetes in full armour, guarding the infant in the cave, beat their shields with their spears that Cronus might not hear the child’s voice.”

31. prulis, the Cyprian name for the purrhichê (Aristotle fr. 476, schol. Pind. P. ii. 127) or dance in armour (Pollux iv. 96 and 99); see Classical Qu. xxxii. p. 131.
32. This has been supposed to refer to the fact that Ptolemy Philadelphus was the youngest of the sons of Ptolemy Soter.
33. Homer, Il. xv. 187 ff.; cf. Apollodor. i. 7, Pind O. vii. 54 ff.
34. Bia and Cratos appear as personification of the might and majesty of Zeus in Aeschylus, P.V., Hesiod, Th. 385, etc.
35. The eagle.
36. Artemis Chitone (Chitonea, Athen. 629 c), so called from the tunic (chiton) in which as huntress she was represented; not, as the schol. Says, from the Attic deme Chitone.
37. Ptolemy II. Philadelphus, 285-247 B.C.


[1] How the laurel branch of Apollo trembles! How trembles all the shrine! Away, away, he that is sinful! Now surely Phoebus knocketh at the door with his beautiful foot. See’st thou not? The Delian palm1 nods pleasantly of a sudden and the swan2 in the air sings sweetly. Of yourselves now ye bolts be pushed back, pushed back of yourselves, ye bars! The god is no longer far away. And ye, young men, prepare ye for song and for the dance.

[9] Not unto everyone doth Apollo appear, but unto him that is good. Whoso hath seen Apollo, he is great; whoso hath not seen him, he is of low estate. We shall see thee, O Archer, and we shall never be lowly. Let no the youths keep silent lyre or noiseless step, when Apollo visits3 his shrine, if they think to accomplish marriage and to cut the locks of age,4 and if the wall is to stand upon its old foundations. Well done the youths, for that the shell5 is no longer idle.

[17] Be hushed, ye that hear, at the song to Apollo; yea, hushed is even the sea when the minstrels celebrate the lyre or the bow, the weapons of Lycoreian Phoebus.6 Neither doth Thetis his mother wail her dirge for Achilles, when she hears Hië7 Paeëon, Hië Paeëon.

[22] Yea, the tearful rock defers its pain, the wet stone is set in Phrygia, a marble rock like a woman8 open-mouthed in some sorrowful utterance. Say ye Hië! Hië! an ill thing it is strive with the Blessed Ones. He who fights with the Blessed Ones would fight with my King9; he who fights with my King, would fight even with Apollo. Apollo will honour the choir, since it sings according to his heart; for Apollo hath power, for that he sitteth on the right hand of Zeus. Nor will the choir sing of Phoebus for one day only. He is a copious theme of song; who would not readily sing of Phoebus?

[32] Golden is the tunic of Apollo and golden his mantle, his lyre and his Lyctian10 bow and his quiver: golden too are his sandals; for rich in gold is Apollo, rich also in possessions: by Pytho mightst thou guess. And ever beautiful is he and ever young: never on the girl cheeks of Apollo hath come so much as the down of manhood. His locks distil fragrant oils upon the ground; not oil of fat do the locks of Apollo distil but he very Healing of All.11 And in whatsoever city whose dews fall upon the ground, in that city all things are free from harm.

[42] None is so abundant in skill as Apollo. To him belongs the archer, to him the minstrel; for unto Apollo is given in keeping alike archery and song. His are the lots of the diviner and his the seers; and from Phoebus do leeches know the deferring of death.

[47] Phoebus and Nomius12 we call him, ever since that when by Amphrysus13 he tended the yokemares, fired with love of young Admetus.14 Lightly would the herd of cattle wax larger, nor would the she-goats of the flock lack young, whereon as they feed Apollo casts his eye; nor without milk would the ewes be nor barren, but all would have lambs at foot; and she that bare one would soon be the mother of twins.

[55] And Phoebus it is that men follow when they map out cities.15 For Phoebus himself doth weave their foundations. Four years of age was Phoebus when he framed his first foundations in fair Ortygia16 near the round lake.17

[60] Artemis hunted and brought continually the heads of Cynthian goats and Phoebus plaited an altar.18 With horns builded he the foundations, and of horns framed he the altar, and of horns were the walls he built around. Thus did Phoebus learn to raise his first foundations. Phoebus, too, it was told Battus19 of my own city of fertile soil, and in guise of a raven20 – auspicious to our founder – led his people as they entered Libya and sware that he would vouchsafe a walled city to our kings.21 And the oath of Apollo is ever sure. O Apollo! Many there be that call thee Boëdromius,22 and many there be that call thee Clarius23: everywhere is thy name on the lips of many. But I call thee Carneius24; for such is the manner of my fathers. Sparta, O Carneius! was they first foundation; and next Thera; but third the city of Cyrene. From Sparta the sixth25 generation of the sons of Oedipus brought thee to their colony of Thera; and from Thera lusty Aristoteles26 set thee by the Asbystian27 land, and builded thee a shrine exceedingly beautiful, and in the city established a yearly festival wherein many a bull, O Lord, falls on his haunches for the last time. Hië, Hië, Carneius! Lord of many prayers, - thine altars wear flowers in spring, even all the pied flowers which the Hours lead forth when Zephyrus breathes dew, and in winter the sweet crocus. Undying evermore is thy fire, nor ever doth the ash feed about the coals of yester-even. Greatly, indeed, did Phoebus rejoice as the belted warriors of Enyo danced with the yellow-haired Libyan women, when the appointed season of the Carnean feast came round. But not yet could the Dorians approach the fountains of Cyre,28 but dwelt in Azilis29 thick with wooded dells. These did the Lord himself behold and showed them to his bride30 as he stood on horned Myrtussa31 where the daughter of Hypseus slew the lion that harried the kind of Eurypylus.32 No other dance more divine hath Apollo beheld, nor to any city hath he given so many blessings as he hath given to Cyrene, remembering his rape of old. Nor, again, is there any other god whom the sons of Battus have honoured above Phoebus.

[97] Hië, Hië, Paeëon, we hear – since this refrain did the Delphian folk first invent, what time thou didst display the archery of they golden bow. As thou wert going down to Pytho, there met thee a beast unearthly, a dread snake.33 And him thou didst slay, shooting swift arrows one upon the other; and the folk cried “Hië, Hië, Paeëon, shoot an arrow!” A helper34 from the first thy mother bare thee, and ever since that is thy praise.

[105] Spare Envy privily in the ear of Apollo: “I admire not the poet who singeth not things for number as the sea.”35 Apollon spurned Envy with his foot and spake thus: “Great is the stream of the Assyrian river,36 but much filth of earth and much refuse it carries on its waters. And not of every water do the Melissae carry to Deo,37 but of the trickling stream that springs from a holy fountain, pure and undefiled, the very crown of waters.” Hail, O Lord, but Blame – let him go where Envy dwells!

1. The palm-tree by which Leto supported herself when she bare Apollo. Cf. H. Delos 210, Hom. H. Apoll. 117, Od. vi. 162 f. Theogn. 5 f. The laurel and the palm are coupled in Euripides, Hecuba, 458 ff.
2. For the association of the swan with Apollo cf. Hymn to Delos 249; Plato, Phaedo, 85; Manilius v. 381 "ipse Deum Cygnus condit.”
3. The schol. on v. 12 remarks that Callimachus emphasizes the presence of the God because “it is said in the case of prophetic gods that the deities are sometimes present (epidêmein), sometimes absent (apodêmein), and when they are present the oracles are true, when absent false.” Cf. Pind. P. iv. 5 ouk apodamou Apollônos tuchontos. The Delphians celebrated the seventh day of the month Bysios – the birthday of Apollo – when he was supposed to revisit his temple, and the seventh of the holy month (Attic Anthesterion) was celebrated by the Delians when Apollo was supposed to return to Delos from the land of the Hyperboreans. (W. Schmidt, Geburstag im Altertum, p. 86.) Cf. Verg. A. iii. 91.
4. i.e. if they are to live to an old age.
5. i.e. the lyre, originally made by Hermes from the shell of a tortoise. êgasamên = Well done!
6. Lycoreus, by-name of Apollo, from Lycoreia, town on Parnassus above Delphi: Strabo 418. 3 hyperkeitai d’ autês hê Lukôreia eph’ topou proteron hidrunto hoi Delphoi hyper tou hierou. Legends of its foundation in Pausanias x. 6, 2-3. Ph. Lukôreioio Apoll. Rh. iv. 1490.
7. Though , not hiê, is the usual form, it is perhaps better here to write the aspirated form to suit the suggested etymology from hiei “shoot.” See vv. 97-104 for the legend.
8. Niobe, daughter of Tantalus, had, according to Hom. Il. xxiv. 602 ff. six sons and six daughters, who were slain by Apollo and Artemis respectively, because she boasted over their mother Leto, who had but two children. Niobe was turned into a stone, and this was identified with a rude rock figure on Mount Sipylos near Smyrna which is still to be seen. The water running down the face of the rock was supposed to be Niobe’s tears – entha lithos per eousa theôn ek kêdea pessei, Hom. l.c. 617, cf. “Phrygium silicem,” Stat. S. v. 3. 87.
9. Ptolemy III. Euergetes, according to the schol.
10. Lyctos, town in Crete.

11. As a personification Panaceia appears frequently as the daughter of Asclepius. In the Hippocratean oath she is named after Apollo, Asclepius and Hygieie. Such “all-healing” virtue was in early times ascribed to various plants (Panakes Cheirônion, Aslêpieion, etc.).
12. Cf. Pind. ix. 65.
13. River in Thessaly where Apollo tended the flocks of Admetus. Cf. Verg. G. iii.2 “pastor ab Amphryso.”
14. King of Pherae in Thessaly.
15. Hence Apollo’s titles Archêgetês, Ktistês, etc.
16. Delos.
17. A lake in Delos. Cf. H. iv. 261, Theognis vii, Apollo is born epi trochoeidei limnê, and Eur. I.T. 1104.
18. The keratin (Plut. Thes. 21, Dittenb. Syll. No. 588, 172) bômos keratinos (Plut. Sollert. animal. 35), made entirely of horns, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Cf. Anon. De incredib. 2; Ovid, Her. 21. 99.
19. Battus (Aristoteles), founder of Cyrene, birthplace of Callimachus.
20. The raven was one of the birds sacred to Apollo.

21. The Battiadae.
22. Boëdromius: Et. Mag. s.v. Boêdromiôn. Hoti polemou sustantos Athênaiois kai Eleusiniois summachêsantos Iônos . . enikêsan Athênaioi. apo oun tês tou strateumatos boês tês epi to astru dramousês ho te Apollôn boêdromios eklêthê kai hê thuria kai ho autois ho theos meta boês epithesthai tois polemiois. Doubtless the Athenians associated the name with help given them by some superhuman champtions (boêdromoi = boadooi, Pind, N. vii. 31). Mommsen, Feste d. Stadt Athen, p. 171.
23. Clarius, by-name of Apollo, from Claros near Colophon.
24. Carneius, by-name of Apollo in many Dorian states, as Sparta, Thera, Cyrene.
25. The genealogy is Oedipus – Polyneices – Thersander – Tisamenus – Autesion – Theras, who led the colony to Thera and who is the sixth descendant of Oedipus according to the Greek way of reckoning inclusively. Cf. Herod. iv. 147.
26. Battus.
27. The Asbystae were a people in Cyrenaica.
28. Cyre: stream at Cyrene which after running some distance under ground reappears at the Temple of Apollo as the fountain of Apollo (Herod. iv. 158, Pind. P. iv. 294).
29. Azilis or Aziris where the Theraeans with Battus dwelt for six years before they went to Cyrene (Herod. iv. 157 ff.).
30. Cyrene.

31. i.e. “Myrtle-hill” in Cyrene.
32. Eurypylus: prehistoric king of Libya, who offered his kingdom to anyone who should slay the lion which was ravaging his land. Cyrene slew the lion and so won the kingdom (Acesandros of Cyrene in schol. Apoll. Rh. ii. 498).
33. In Strabo 422 Python is a man, surnamed Draco. Pytho was popularly derived from the fact that the slain snake rotted (puthô) there.
34. Callimachus seems to adopt the old derivation of aossêtêr from ossa (voice). Thus aossêtêr = boëthoos. For ezeti cf. H. iv. 275.
35. Cf. Apoll. Rhod. iii. 932.
36. Euphrates.
37. Deo = Demeter, whose priestesses were called Melissae (Bees): Porphyr. De antro nympharum 18 kai tas Dêmêtros hiereias hôs tês chthonias theas mustidas Melissas oi Palaioi ekaloun autên te tên Korên Melitôdê (Theocr. xv. 94).


[1] Artemis we hymn – no light thing is it for singers to forget her – whose study is the bow and the shooting of hares and the spacious dance and sport upon the mountains; beginning with the time when sitting on her father’s knees – still a little maid – she spake these words to her sire: “Give me to keep my maidenhood, Father, forever: and give me to be of many names, that Phoebus may not vie with me. And give me arrows and a bow – stay, Father, I ask thee not for quiver or for mighty bow: for me the Cyclopes will straightway fashion arrows and fashion for me a well-bent bow. But give me to be Bringer of Light1 and give me to gird me in a tunic2 with embroidered border reaching to the knee, that I may slay wild beasts. And give me sixty daughters of Oceanus for my choir – all nine years old, all maidens yet ungirdled; and give me for handmaidens twenty nymphs of Amnisus3 who shall tend well my buskins, and, when I shoot no more at lynx or stag, shall tend my swift hounds. And give to me all mountains; and for city, assign me any, even whatsoever thou wilt: for seldom is it that Artemis goes down to the town. On the mountains will I dwell and the cities of men I will visit only when women vexed by the sharp pang of childbirth call me to their aid4 even in the hour when I was born the Fates ordained that I should be their helper, forasmuch as my mother suffered no pain either when she gave me birth or when she carried me win her womb, but without travail put me from her body.” So spake the child and would have touched her father’s beard, but many a hand did she reach forth in vain, that she might touch it.

[28] And her father smiled and bowed assent. And as he caressed her, he said: “When goddesses bear me children like this, little need I heed the wrath of jealous Hera. Take, child, all that thou askest, heartily. Yea, and other things therewith yet greater will thy father give thee. Three times ten cities and towers more than one will I vouchsafe thee – three times ten cities that shall not know to glorify any other god but to glorify the only and be called of Artemis And thou shalt be Watcher over Streets5 and harbours.6” So he spake and bent his head to confirm his words.

[40] And the maiden faired unto the white mountain of Crete leafy with woods; thence unto Oceanus; and she chose many nymphs all nine years old, all maidens yet ungirdled. And the river Caraetus7 was glad exceedingly, and glad was Tethys that they were sending their daughters to be handmaidens to the daughter of Leto.

[46] And straightway she went to visit the Cyclopes. Them she found in the isle of Lipara – Lipara in later days, but at the at time its name was Meligunis – at the anvils of Hephaestus, standing round a molten mass of iron. For a great work was being hastened on: they fashioned a horse-trough for Poseidon. And the nymphs were affrighted when they saw the terrible monsters like unto the crags of Ossa: all had single eyes beneath their brows, like a shield of fourfold hide for size, glaring terribly from under; and when they heard the din of the anvil echoing loudly, and the great blast of the bellows and the heavy groaning of the Cyclopes themselves. For Aetna cried aloud, and Trinacia8 cried, the seat of the Sicanians, cried too their neighbour Italy, and Cyrnos9 therewithal uttered a mighty noise, when they lifted their hammers above their shoulders and smote with rhythmic swing10 the bronze glowing from the furnace or iron, labouring greatly. Wherefore the daughters of Oceanus could not untroubled look upon them face to face nor endure the din in their ears. No shame to them! On those not even the daughters of the Blessed look without shuddering. Though long past childhood’s years. But when any of the maidens doth disobedience to her mother, the mother calls the Cyclopes to her child – Arges or Steropes; and from within the house comes Hermes, stained11 with burnt ashes. And straightway he plays bogey to the child, and she runs into her mother’s lap, with her hands upon her eyes. But thou, Maiden, even earlier, while yet but three years old, when Leto came bearing thee in her arms at the bidding of Hephaestus that he might give thee handsel12 and Brontes13 set thee on his stout knees – thou didst pluck the shaggy hair of his great breast and tear it out by force. And even unto this day the mid part of his breast remains hairless, even when mange settles on a man’s temples and eats the hair away.

[80] Therefore right boldly didst thou address them then: “Cyclopes, for me too fashion ye a Cydonian14 bow and arrows and a hollow casket for my shafts; for I also am a child of Leto, even as Apollo. And if I with my bow shall slay some wild creature or monstrous beast, that shall the Cyclopes eat.” So didst thou speak and they fulfilled thy words. Straightway dist thou array thee, O Goddess. And speedily again thou didst go to get thee hounds; and thou camest to the Arcadian fold of Pan. And he was cutting up the flesh of a lynx of Maenalus15 that his bitches might eat it for food. And to thee the Bearded God16 gave two dogs black-and-white,17 three reddish,18 and one spotted, which pulled down19 very lions hen they clutched their throats and haled them still living to the fold. And he gave thee seven Cynosurian20 bitches swifter than the winds - that breed which is swiftest to pursue fawns and the hare which closes not his eyes21; swiftest too to mark the lair of the stag and where the porcupine22 hath his burrow, and to lead upon the track of the gazelle.

[98] Thence departing (and thy hounds sped with thee) thou dist find by the base of the Parrhasian hill deer gamboling – a mighty herd. They always herded by the banks of the black-pebbled Anaurus – larger than bulls, and from their horns shone gold. And thou wert suddenly amazed and sadist to thine own heart: “This would be a first capture worthy of Artemis.” Five were there in all; and four thou didst take by speed of foot – without the chase of dogs – to draw thy swift car. But one escaped over the river Celadon, by devising of Hera, that it might be in the after days a labour for Heracles,23 and the Ceryneian hill received her.

[109] Artemis, Lady of Maidenhood, Slayer of Tityus, golden were thine arms and golden thy belt, and a golden car didst thou yoke, and golden bridles, goddess, didst thou put on thy deer. And where first did thy horned team begin to carry thee? To Thracian Haemus, whence comes the hurricane of Boreas bringing evil breath of frost to cloakless men. And where didst thou cut the pine and from what flame didst thou kindle it? It was on Mysian Olympus, and thou didst put in tit the breath of flame unquenchable, which thy Father’s bolts distil. And how often goddess, didst thou make trial of thy silver bow? First at an elm, and next at an oak didst thou shoot, and third again at a wild beast. But the fourth time – not long was it ere thou didst shoot at the city of unjust me, those who to one another and those who towards strangers wrought many deeds of sin, forward men, on whom thou wilt impress thy grievous wrath. On their cattle plague feeds, on their tilth feeds frost, and the old men cut their hair in mourning over their sons, and their wives either are smitten or die in childbirth, or, if they escape, bear birds whereof none stands on upright ankle. But on whomsoever thou lookest smiling and gracious, for them the tilth bears the corn-ear abundantly, and abundantly prospers the four-footed breed, and abundant waxes their prosperity: neither do they go to the tomb, save when they carry thither the aged. Nor does faction wound their race – faction which ravages even the well-established houses: but brother’s wife and husband’s sister set their chairs around one board.24

[134] Lady, of that number be whosoever is a true friend of mine, and of that number may I be myself, O Queen. And may song be my study forever. In that song shall be the Marriage of Leto; therein thy name shall often-times be sung; therein shall Apollo be and therein all thy labours, and therein thy hounds and thy bow and thy chariots, which lightly carry thee in thy splendour, when thou drivest to the house of Zeus. There in the entrance meet thee Hermes and Apollo: Hermes the Lord of Blessing,25 takes thy weapons, Apollo takes whatsoever wild beast thou bringest. Yea, so Apollo did before strong Alcides26 came, but now Phoebus hath this task no longer; in such wise the Anvil of Tiryns27 stands ever before the gates, waiting to see if thou wilt come home with some fat morsel. And all the gods laugh at him with laughter unceasingly and most of all his own wife’s mother28 when he brings from the car a great bull or a wild boar, carrying it by the hind foot struggling. With this sunning speech, goddess, doth he admonish thee: “Shoot at the evil wild beasts that mortals may call thee their helper even as they call me. Leave deer and hares to feed upon the hills. What harm could deer and hares do? It is boars which ravage the tilth of men and boars which ravage the plants; and oxen are a great bane to men: shoot also at those.” So he spake and swiftly busied him about the mighty beast. For though beneath a Phrygian29 oak his flesh was deified, yet hath he not ceased from gluttony. Still hath he that belly wherewith he met Theiodamas30 at the plough.

[162] For thee the nymphs of Amnisus rub down the hinds loosed from the yoke, and from the mead of Hera they gather and carry for them to feed on much swift-springing clover, which also the horses of Zeus eat; and golden troughs they fill with water to be for the deer a pleasant draught. And thyself thou enterest thy Father’s house, and all alike bid thee to a seat; but thou sittest beside Apollo.

[170] But when the nymphs encircle thee in the dance, near the springs of Egyptian Inopus31 or Pitane32 – for Pitane too is thine – or in Limnae33 or where, goddess, thou camest from Scythia to dwell, in Alae Araphenides,34 renouncing the rites of the Tauri,35 then may not my kine cleave a four-acred36 fallow field for a wage at the hand of an alien ploughman; else surely lame and weary of neck would they come to the byre, yea even were they of Stymphaean37 breed, nine38 years of age, drawing by the horns; which kine are far the best for cleaving a deep furrow; for the god Helios never passes by that beauteous dance, but stays his car to gaze upon the sight, and the lights of day are lengthened.

[183] Which now of islands, what hill finds most favour with thee? What haven? What city? Which of the nymphs dost thou love above the rest, and what heroines hast thou taken for thy companions? Say, goddess, thou to me, and I will sing thy saying to others. Of islands, Doliche39 hath found favour with thee, of cities Perge,40 of hills Taygeton,41 the havens of Euripus. And beyond others thou lovest the nymph of Gortyn, Britomartis,42 slayer of stags, the goodly archer; for love of whom was Minos of old distraught and roamed the hills of Crete. And the nymph would hide herself now under the shaggy oaks and anon in the low meadows. And for nine months he roamed over crag and cliff and made not an end of pursuing, until, all but caught, she leapt into the sea from the top of a cliff and fell into the nets of fishermen which saved her. Whence in after days the Cydonians call the nymph the Lady of the Nets (Dictyna) and the hill whence the nymph leaped they call the hill of Nets (Dictaeon), and there they set up altars and do sacrifice. And the garland on that day is pine or mastich, but the hands touch not the myrtle. For when she was in flight, a myrtle branch became entangled in the maiden’s robes; wherefore she was greatly angered against the myrtle. Upis,43 O Queen, fair-faced Bringer of Light, thee too the Cretans name after that nymph.

[206] Yea and Cyrene thou madest thy comrade, to whom on a time thyself didst give two hunting dogs, with whom the maiden daughter of Hypseus44 beside the Iolcian tomb45 won the prize. And the fair-haired wife46 of Cephalus, son of Deioneus, O Lady, thou madest thy fellow in the chase; and fair Anticleia,47 they say, thou dist love even as thine own eyes. These were the first who wore the gallant bow and arrow-holding quivers on their shoulders; their right shoulders bore the quiver strap,48 and always the right breast showed bare. Further thou dist greatly commend swift-footed Atalanta,49 the slayer of boars, daughter of Arcadian Iasius, and taught her hunting with dogs and good archery. They that were called to hunt the boar of Calydon find no fault with her; for the tokens of victory came into Arcadia which still holds the tusks of the beast. Nor do I deem that Hylaeus50 and foolish Rhoecus, for all their hate, in Hades slight her archery. For the loins, with whose blood the height of Maenalus flowed, will not abet the falsehood.

[225] Lady of many shrines, of many cities, hail! Goddess of the Tunic,51 sojourner in Miletus; for thee did Neleus52 make his Guide,53 when he put off with his ships from the land of Cecrops.54 Lady of Chesion55 and of Imbrasus,56 throned57 in the highest, to thee in thy shrine did Agamemnon dedicate the rudder of his ship, a charm against ill weather,58 when thou didst bind the winds for him, what time the Achaean ships sailed to vex the cities of the Teucri, wroth for Rhamnusian59 Helen.

[233] For thee surely Proetus60 established two shrines, one of Artemis of Maidenhood for that thou dist gather for him his maiden daughters,61 when they were wandering over the Azanian62 hills; the other he founded in Lusa63 to Artemis the Gentle,64 because thou tookest from his daughters the spirit of wildness. For thee, too, the Amazons, whose mind is set on war, in Ephesus beside the sea established an image beneath an oak trunk, and Hippo65 performed a holy rite for thee, and they themselves, O Upis Queen, around the image danced a war-dance – first in shields and armour, and again in a circle arraying a spacious choir. And the loud pipes thereto piped shrill accompaniment, that they might foot the dance together (for not yet did they pierce the bones of the fawn, Athena’s handiwork,66 a bane to the deer). And the echo reached unto Sardis and to the Berecynthian67 range. And they with their feet beat loudly and therewith their quivers rattled.

[248] And afterwards around that image was raised a shrine of broad foundations. That it shall dawn behold nothing more divine, naught richer. Easily would it outdo Pytho. Wherefore in this madness insolent Lygdamis threatened that he would lay it waste, and brought against it a host of Cimmerians68 which milk mares, in number as the sand; who have their homes hard by the Straits69 of the cow, daughter of Inachus. Ah! foolish among kings, how greatly he sinned! For not destined to return again to Scythia was either he or any other of those whose wagons stood in the Caystrian70 plain ; for thy shafts are ever more set as a defence before Ephesus.

[258] O Lady of Munychia,71 Watcher of Harbours, hail, Lady of Pherae!72 Let none disparage Artemis. For Oeneus73 dishonoured her altar and no pleasant struggles came upon his city. Nor let any content with her in shooting of stags or in archery. For the son74 of Atreus vaunted him not that he suffered small requital. Neither let any woo the Maiden; for not Otus, nor Orion wooed her to their own good. Nor let any shun the yearly dance; for not tearless to Hippo75 was her refusal to dance around the altar. Hail, great queen, and graciously greet my song.

1. phôsphoros is one of the titles of Artemis; cf. v. 204, Eur. Iphi. in T. 21.
2. See note on v. 225.
3. Amnisus, river in Crete. Cf. Apoll. Rhod. iii. 877 ff.
4. Artemis in one aspect is Eileithyia = Lucina. She is said to have been born before Apollo and to have assisted at his birth. Hence her birthday was put on the 6th of Thargelion (Diog. L. ii. 44), while Apollo was born on the 7th. (W. Schmidt, Geburstag im Altertum, p. 94.)
5. Hence her title enodia, A. P. vi. 199.
6. As goddess of mariners she is called Euporia, Limenitis etc. So Nêossoos, Apoll. Rh. i. 570.
7. River near Cnossus in Crete, Strabo 476.
8. Sicily.
9. Corsica.
10. It is hard to determine the sense of amboladis. The schol. says ek diadochês, i.e. in succession or alternately. The same difficulty attaches to amblêdên and amboladên, which the scholiasts interpret usually as either = apopooimiou or as = “by spurts” (e.g. Pind. N. x. 62, where among other explanations in the scholia one is ouk ephexês, i.e. not continuously). The combination of amboladên with zeiô in Hom. Il. xxi. 364, Herod. iv. 181 might suggest that here to amboladis should be taken with zeionta in the sense of “sputtering,” but the order of words is against that.

11. kechrêmenos of MSS. is probably correct. This participle in late poetry is used in the vaguest way to indicate any sort of condition.
12. optêria, ta hyper tou idein dôra (schol.), were gifts given on seeing for the first time a new-born child (schol. Aesch. Eum. 7; Nonn. v. 139). Very similar is the birthday-gift proper, the dosis genethlios or gegethlia. Ta epi tê prôtê hêmera dôra (Hesych.). Phoebe gave the oracle at Delphi as a birthday gift to Phoebus. More usually optêria = anakaluptêria, gifts given to the bride by the bridegroom on seeing her for the first time; Pollux ii. 59 optêria ta dôra ta para tou proton idontos tên numphên numphiou didomena. Cf. iii. 36 ta de para tou andros didomena edna kai optêria kai anakaluptêria . . . kai prosphthegktêria ekaloun. Moeris 205. 24 optêria Attikôs, anakaluptêria Hellênikôs.
13. The three Cyclopes, sons of Gaia, were Brontes, Steropes, Arges (Hesiod, Th. 140).
14. i.e. Cretan, cf. Stat. Th. iv. 269 “Cydonea harundine,” vii. 339 “Cydoneas sagittas.”
15. Mountain in Arcadia.
16. Cf. Homer H. Pan 39.
17.The ancients differed as to whether pêgos meant black or white (Hesych. s.vv. pêgos and pêgesimallô).
18. It is by no means certain that the MSS. parouatious is wrong, “with hanging ears.” Parouaious is based upon Hesych. s.v v. parôas, parôos, Aelian. H.A. viii. 12 cf. Arist. H.A. ix. 45, Dem. De cor. 260. Should we read Parauaious, i.e. Molossian?
19. au eruontes, common in Oppian and Nonnus, is apparently a misunderstanding of the Homeric aueruontes (= anaferuontes).
20. Arcadian, cf. Stat. Th. iv. 295 “dives Cynosura ferarum.”

21. Oppian, Cyneg. iii. 511 f.
22. Oppian, ibid. 391 ff.
23. Apollodor. ii. 5. 3 “The third labour which he (Eurystheus) imposed on him (Heracles) was to bring the Cerynean hind (Kerunitin elaphon) to Mycenae alive. This was a hind . . . with golden horns, sacred to Artemis.” Cf. Pind. O. iii. 29.
24. einateres = wives whose husbands are brothers; galiô = wife and sister(s) of one man. (Hom. Il. vi. 378) Gercke, Rh. Mus. xlii (1887), p. 273 ff., sees an allusion to Arsinoë I. and Arsinoë II.
25. Cf. the Homeric epithet of Hermes, Akakêta, Il. xvi. 185, etc.
26. Heracles, as son of Amphitryon son of Alcaeus. According to Apollodor. ii. 4. 12, Alcides was the original name of Heracles, the latter name having been bestowed upon him by the Pythian priestess when he consulted the oracle after he had gone into exile for the murder of his children. Heracles asked the oracle where he should dwell and he was told to settle in Tiryns and serve Eurystheus for twelve years.
27. There is nor reason whatever to suppose that akmôn here has any other than its ordinary sense of anvil, used metaphorically, as in Aesch. Pers. 52. It has been sometimes supposed to mean unwearied = akamatos.
28. Hera, mother of Hebe.
29. “Phrygia, a hill in Trachis where Heracles burnt” (schol.)
30. When Heracles was passing through the land of the Dryopes, being in want of food for his young son Hyllus, he unyoked and slaughtered one of the oxen of Theiodamas, king of the Dryopes, whom he found at the plough. War ensued between the Dryopes and Heracles, and the Dryopes were defeated, and Hylas, son of Theiodamas, was taken as a hostage by Heracles (Apollodor. ii. 7. 7, Apoll. Rh. i. 1211 ff., Ovid, Ib. 488). Hence Heracles got the epithet Bouthoinas, schol. Apoll. Rh. l.c., Gregor. Naz. Or. iv. 123. The Lindian peasant who was similarly treated by Heracles, and who, while Heracles feasted, stood apart and cursed (hence curious rite at Lindos in Rhodes, where, when they sacrifice to Heracles, they do it with curses, Conon 11, Apollod. ii. 5. 11. 9, Lactant. Inst. Div. i. 21) is identified with Theiodamas by Philostr. Imag. ii. 24. Cf. G. Knaack, Hermes xxiii. (1888), p. 131 ff.

31. Inopus in Delos was supposed to have a subterranean connexion with the Nile.
32. On the Eurotas with temple of Artemis.
33. This may be the Athenian Limnae (so schol.); but there was a Limnaeon also in Laconia with temple of Artemis and an image supposed to be that carried off by Orestes and Iphigeneia (Paus. iii. 7) from Taurica.
34. Attic deme between Marathon and Brauron with temple of Artemis (Eurip. Iphig. in T. 1446 ff.).
35. In the Crimea, where Artemis was worshipped with human sacrifice (Eurip. l.c., Ovid, Trist. Iv. 4, Ex Ponto iii. 2, Herod. iv. 103).
36. The typical heroic field (Hom. Od. xviii. 374, Apoll. Rh. iii. 1344); cf. Od. vii. 113.
37. i.e. from Epirus. For the great size of the Êpeirôtikai boes see Aristotle, H.A. iii. 21, who says that when milking them the milker had to stand upright in order to reach the udder. Both Stymphaea and Tymphaea seem to be attested, though the latter seems to have the better authority (Steph. Byz. s.v. Tumphon).
38. Hesiod, W. 436.
39. Doliche: either Euboea (E.M. s.v. Euboia), E. Maass, Hermes xxv. (1890), p. 404, or Icaros (Steph. Byz. s.v. Ikaros), or an island of Lycia (Steph. Byz. s.v. Dolichê. nêsos pros tê Lukia, hôs Kallimachos).
40. In Pamphylia, with temple of Artemis, Strabo 667.

41. In Laconia.
42. Britomartis or Dictyna, a Cretan goddess sometimes represented as an attendant of Artemis, sometimes regarded as identical with her.
43. Artemis in Ephesus, Sparta, etc.
44. Cyrene.
45. "The tomb of Pelias" (schol.).
46. Procris.
47. Mother of Odysseus.
48. The MS. asul(l)ôtoi is quite unknown. The translation assumes a connexion with asilla.
49. Atalanta took a prominent part in the hunt of the Calydonian boar, and received from Meleager the hide and head of the boar as her prize (Paus. viii. 45).
50. Hylaeus and Rhoecus were two centaurs who insulted Atalanta and were shot by her (Apollod. iii. 9. 2).

51. Chitone, by-name of Artemis as huntress, wearing a sleeveless tunic (chitôn) reaching to the knees.
52. Neleus, son of Codrus, founder of Miletus (Strabo, 633).
53. Artemis Hegemone as leader of colonists (Paus. viii. 37).
54. i.e. Athens.
55. Cape in Samos.
56. River in Samos.
57. Artemis was worshipped in Ephesus with the tile Prôtothroniê (Paus. x. 38. 6). For rock-cut throne on Mount Coressus at Ephesus cf. A. B. Cook, Zeus, i. p. 140 f.
58. The aploia is sometimes described as a storm, sometimes as a dead calm.
59. Epithet of Helen as daughter of Nemesis, who was worshipped at Rhamnus in Attica.
60. King of Argos.

61. For their madness and cure cf. Paus. ii. 7. 8, viii. 18. 7 f.
62. Azania in Arcadia.
63. In Arcadia.
64. For the temple of Artemis Hemera or Hemerasia at Lusa cf. Paus. viii. 18. 8.
65. Queen of the Amazons, no doubt identical with Hippolyte.
66. The flute (aulos) invented by Athena (Pind. P. xii. 22) was often made from fawn bones, Poll. Iv. 71, Athen. 182 E, Plut. Mor. 150 E.
67. In Phrygia.
68. A people living on the north of the Black Sea.
69. The Cimmerian Bosporus, which was named after the Cow (bous), i.e. Io, daughter of Inachus, king of Argos.
70. The Cayster is a river in Lydia.

71. Harbour of Athens, where Artemis had a temple (Paus. i. 1. 4).
72. Artemis Pheraia is Artemis as Hecate from Pherae in Thessaly (Paus. ii. 23. 5).
73. King of Calydon in Aetolia, who neglected to sacrifice to Artemis. In anger she sent the Calydonian boar to ravage his land.
74. Agamemnon, who shot a stag which was sacred to Artemis and boasted of the deed (Soph. Electr. 566 f., Hygin. Fab. 98). This led to the aploia at Aulis and the sacrifice of Iphigeneia.
75. Queen of the Amazons, who founded the temple of Artemis at Ephesus.