Classical Texts Library >> Hyginus, Fabulae >> Fables 200-277



[200] CC. CHIONE

Apollo and Mercury are said to have slept the same night with Chione, or, as other poets say, with Philonis, daughter of Daedalion. By Apollo she bore Philammon, and by Mercury, Autolycus. Later on she spoke too haughtily against Diana in the hunt, and so was slain by her arrows. But the father Daedalion, because of his grief for his only daughter, was changed by Apollo into the bird Daedalion, that is, the hawk.


Mercury gave to Autolycus, who he begat by Chione, the gift of being such a skilful thief that he could not be caught, making him able to change whatever he stole into some other form - from white to black, or from black to white, from a hornless animal to a horned one, or from horned one to a hornless. When he kept continually stealing from the herds of Sisyphus and couldn’t be caught, Sisyphus was convinced he was stealing because Autolycus’ number was increasing while his was growing smaller. In order to catch him, he put a mark on the hooves of his cattle. When autolysins had stolen in his usual way, Sisyphus came to him and identified the cattle he had stolen by their hooves, and took them away. While he was delaying there, he seduced Anticlia, the daughter of Autolycus. She was later given in marriage to Laertes, and bore Ulysses. Some writers accordingly call him Sisyphean; because of this parentage he was shrewd.


When Apollo had made Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas, pregnant, he put a crow in guard, so that no one should violate her. But Ischys, son of Elatus, lay with her, and because of this he was killed by the thunderbolt of Zeus. Apollo struck the pregnant Coronis, and killed her. He took Ascelpius from her womb and reared him, but the crow who had guarded her he turned from white to black.


When Apollo was pursuing the virgin Daphne, daughter of the river Peneus, she begged for protection from Earth, who received her, and changed her into a laurel tree. Apollo broke a branch from it and placed it on his head.